Dr. Brian Hite
Mindset Mastery

Throughout history, great minds have grappled with fundamental human challenges that we still face today, like managing thoughts, regulating emotions, strengthening relationships, and maximizing well-being. By integrating wisdom from Eastern and Western traditions, you can develop the skills to optimize your mental and emotional states for peak performance.

Dr. Brian Hite
Listen Now
Show Notes

Brian Hite, Ph.D., has an eclectic background that includes work as a stuntman and stunt coordinator on over 150 shows and movies, adjunct faculty at Grand Canyon University (GCU) serving as a Senior Dissertation Chair, Master Resilience Trainer and performance psychology consultant for the U.S. Army, co-host of the popular podcast “Poking Holes in Blinders: Two Stunt Guys Exploring Everyday Concepts in Creative Ways,” and owner and founder of Begin Again Performance Psychology. His consulting business focuses on developing mental strength and overall well-being in athletes, coaches, performers, and business leaders of all ages.

He holds a Master’s in Sport Psychology, a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology, and certifications as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC), Certified Leadership Coach (CLC), and Certified Executive Coach (CEC). He and his amazing 10-year-old daughter live in Nashville with his wonderful partner, her two boys, two cats, and one incredibly hearty fish.

“The physiological measures of nervousness and excitement are the same; It’s our perception that defines our experience.” – Brian Hite 

Key Takeaways

  • The Four Phases of Performance: Brian breaks down performance into before, right before, during, and after phases. Mastering the “right before” phase, when emotions and energy can spiral, is crucial for success.
  • Achieving the Ideal Performance State: Brian uses breath control, progressive muscle relaxation, mental imagery, and attentional focus on the first 2 seconds of the task to get into the zone or “bubble.”
  • Nervousness and Excitement are Physiologically the Same: The difference lies in perceiving the situation as a threat or challenge. Framing the energy positively allows you to use it to your benefit.
  • Eastern Philosophy and Western Psychology Overlap: Both emphasize the mind-body connection and achieving optimal mental states. Embracing this connection can lead to more flow experiences.
  • Three Keys to Personal Change: Develop self-awareness of thoughts, emotions and their influence. Accept current reality. Take self-regulatory action to make positive changes.

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Links for Brian Hite



[00:00:00] Mark Divine: Our brains are, like, wired to be negative and fearful, and we’re pumped full of that information. So, just to become aware of it is a huge step forward. 

[00:00:08] Brian Hite: It’s very easy to get wrapped up in our own stuff. And the fact of the matter is, is that any situation we’re in can be viewed in many, many different ways.

[00:00:17] Brian Hite: You can go top down, meaning change how you’re thinking, and that will influence your body. Or you can change what’s going on in your body, and that’s going to influence It’s your mind and how it is that you’re thinking there too. If that’s the perception that we have, man, it does, it’s a game changer.

[00:00:32] Mark Divine: That’s what flow is, right? When your ego kind of steps aside and you have this experience of life flowing through you unobstructed. 

[00:00:00] Mark Divine: Our brains are, like, wired to be negative and fearful, and we’re pumped full of that information. So, just to become aware of it is a huge step forward. 

[00:00:08] Brian Hite: It’s very easy to get wrapped up in our own stuff. And the fact of the matter is, is that any situation we’re in can be viewed in many, many different ways.

[00:00:17] Brian Hite: You can go top down, meaning change how you’re thinking, and that will influence your body. Or you can change what’s going on in your body, and that’s going to influence It’s your mind and how it is that you’re thinking there too. If that’s the perception that we have, man, it does, it’s a game changer.

[00:00:32] Mark Divine: That’s what flow is, right? When your ego kind of steps aside and you have this experience of life flowing through you unobstructed. 

[00:00:39] Brian Hite: For me, three things happen and they need to happen in this order for us to move ourself in a little bit better direction. Number one is 

[00:00:48] Mark Divine: Brian is super stoked to meet you.

[00:00:50] Mark Divine: Thanks for joining me on the Mark Divine show. 

[00:00:52] Brian Hite: Oh, thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it. 

[00:00:54] Mark Divine: Yeah, we’re going to have a good conversation. We have some things in common, but a lot of, uh, things that are unique, which is par for the course with a lot of my guests. So I’m curious, first off, uh, you’re a father to, uh, a young lady, a young daughter.

[00:01:10] Mark Divine: I imagine the way you wrote that in your bio, you’re, You’re a solo father? 

[00:01:16] Brian Hite: Yeah, I am a single father. Now, I, I, about, I guess it’s been nine months at this point, moved in with my fiancée, and she has two boys that are on either side of my daughter. My daughter’s ten, about to be eleven, and her boys are nine and twelve, so.

[00:01:30] Brian Hite: It’s, it’s been a fantastic addition that, you know, they fight, they argue, they laugh, they have a great time. It’s like they’re siblings. It’s wonderful. It’s 

[00:01:38] Mark Divine: stepbrother sandwich between. Okay. Well, that’s going to be a big change for her. 

[00:01:43] Brian Hite: Yeah, it is. She has a sister with her mom that’s older, but she’s never been really around other kids that were her age.

[00:01:50] Brian Hite: I was a foster parent too, for about four years. She would complain all the time. She’s like, why can’t you get any kids in here that are my age? I have a two year old in and I’d have a sixteen year old in like no kids her age ever showed up at the house So she’s happy to have them to play with. 

[00:02:04] Mark Divine: What has been both the biggest Joy or blessing as well as the biggest challenge for being a father?

[00:02:11] Brian Hite: The biggest blessing are the smiles I I don’t know how to say any different than that. I mean every time I see her face light up with joy I mean true joy, not just you know, walk around just regular every day, but The things that, you know, I’ll say something or I’ll let her know we’re gonna do something or she recently found rock climbing.

[00:02:28] Brian Hite: That’s her, that’s her thing. And so when she, you know, she’ll come off a wall that was really hard and she just has this genuine smile on her face. It just, it makes my heart warm up every single time. Uh, I’d say the biggest challenge? is dealing with my own insecurities and fears because, you know, she’s my responsibility and I want to set her up for success.

[00:02:52] Brian Hite: I want to give her what she, I don’t want to say needs, but all of the resources that really set conditions for her to thrive. And that’s on me, and that’s a big responsibility, and I know that. And so, I’d say that’s the biggest challenge, is just managing my own fears. 

[00:03:08] Mark Divine: Yeah, it’s interesting, people project all sorts of things onto guys like you, and even me, you know.

[00:03:13] Mark Divine: And they think, well, you must be the perfect father, because of, you know, hey, you’re a former Navy SEAL, and you’re a coach to, you know. Elite people. So fatherhood must come easy. Do you get that a lot? And you’re thinking no, it’s actually not, right? 

[00:03:26] Brian Hite: Yeah, you know, I I don’t know what’s going on in other people’s heads I only know what’s in my head and and I realize that uh, you know, truly It’s it’s funny.

[00:03:36] Brian Hite: I don’t know. Maybe you find the same thing. I do have to take my own advice More often than you, than you’d think that I should, you know, I don’t know, when I talk to other people, I, I hear that, because it’s, I don’t know, it’s an outside view, I’m, I’m not really involved in a first person way with their lives, I’m, I’m hearing from the outside, and so, I don’t know, if it’s easier to have clarity or easier to provide certain types of advice.

[00:04:00] Brian Hite: But with my own daughter, sometimes I really do have to take that step back and say, what would I say to somebody else having this issue? And, and try to take the advice that I give, so. 

[00:04:10] Mark Divine: In fact, you just kind of touched on a really, uh, powerful practice, which is to have a second person kind of dialogue with yourself.

[00:04:18] Mark Divine: Right, to treat yourself as your own client, you know, if you’re a coach or even if you’d you could, you know Take it from the perspective of like talking yourself from from your higher power and you’re talking to your ego That’s you know, the part of you that’s full of fear and doubt and uncertainty.

[00:04:31] Mark Divine: There’s actually been studies on that So it’s actually very useful practice. 

[00:04:34] Brian Hite: Yeah to be able to step outside. Yes, I’ve Fully wholeheartedly agree with that. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in our own stuff and, and to get completely immersed in, in all of our perspectives and, and really treat our perceptions and our thoughts like reality, like treat them like they are objective truth.

[00:04:54] Brian Hite: And the fact of the matter is, is that any situation we’re in can be viewed in many, many different ways. And all the people around us are viewing them in other ways. That’s right. So we certainly can step outside and see things from different perspectives. But it takes, number one, an awareness that that’s what we’re being viewed as.

[00:05:11] Brian Hite: engrossed in and locked into. And then number two, I think some skills, some, some techniques, some ways of helping yourself get out of that particular stuckness. Yeah. I want to come back to those and you know, as they relate to you personally, because you know what I found. And this is sort of what we’re talking about. We’re touching on is in a lot of cases, it’s easier to coach, you know, if you’re a performance coach like yourself, or even athletic coach, it’s easier to help others activate or achieve or refine the way they’re thinking, because you have that, you know, you’re able to hold up that mirror and you can see the behaviors, but it’s, but it’s less easy for yourself, right.

[00:06:50] Mark Divine: To, to manage yourself and to coach yourself and to, to live what you’re coaching or professing to be kind of a way. So, you It’s really important that coaches like yourself and I really kind of embody the principles that we teach and lead by example. So I’m curious, how do you do that? Like how do you embody what you coach to lead athletes and to the people that you coach?

[00:07:12] Mark Divine: What are your practices? 

[00:07:14] Brian Hite: Oh, that’s interesting. Well, I mean, I start every day by journaling and reading. That’s that’s every day I get up in the morning. Well, and yoga. I’ve started doing that. There’s always been some sort of exercise in the morning when I get up, I’ll do something and I’ve, I’ve kind of cycled through various things at different points to try to find the thing that really I need in, you know, when four 35 o’clock in the morning hits, what, what does my body need?

[00:07:40] Brian Hite: And it’s not a full blown cardio workout. I found that out. And it’s also not just some gentle stretching for five, ten minutes. It’s more than that. So I found that yoga has been incredibly helpful for me. So I get up, I go do yoga, I sit down with some coffee, and I journal. I journal for a little bit. I try to not journal about just details.

[00:08:00] Brian Hite: Okay, here’s what the day is going to be. I try to journal about What I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, where my mind is, what kind of mood I’m experiencing, and, and what kind of mood I’d like to experience, and how I’d like to interact with either specific people or even the world at large during the day.

[00:08:18] Brian Hite: And then I read. I read little snippets from any number of books. Currently, I have Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. I have a collection of Seneca’s works. I have My own book that I wrote I try to read through that again, you know, you say practice what you preach Well, I’ve written it. So let’s remind myself about it and put that into practice, too.

[00:08:39] Mark Divine: That’s a good one. I gotta start doing that 

[00:08:41] Brian Hite: Yeah, I 

[00:08:42] Mark Divine: mean every time you read it though. You’re like, hey, this is a new perspective. It’s a new you Sometimes I’m, I’m wondering who it was that wrote those words. 

[00:08:49] Brian Hite: Mark, it’s, it’s pretty amazing, right? And, and it’s that way with other books. I’ve read Meditations, I don’t know, I think I’m on my fifth iteration at this point of that.

[00:08:57] Brian Hite: Every single time you read one of those books that really has some wisdom in it and The book hasn’t changed, and probably the message of the author hasn’t changed, but we’ve changed. We’re different. We have had different experiences, and we have different knowledge. And so, our viewpoint is a little different.

[00:09:15] Brian Hite: So, I think it’s incredibly valuable to re read books. In fact, I think Seneca says that in one of his writings. And I know Ryan Holiday is another one that harps on that. You know, don’t just read stuff once and then throw it out. It’s not about quantity. Really get into an author that speaks to you and get into their work and read it not once, but twice, three times, four times, and really try to understand where that person’s coming from.

[00:09:39] Brian Hite: I’ve found that very valuable. So I have these, this stack of books and it, it cycles with different things. I’ve read the Bhagavad Gita. I’ve read, uh, different Upanishads and just different, different texts, you know, that have wisdom in them. The Bible, read a couple times, so just a lot of the books that have wisdom in them, and I try to just read a little bit, and let it soak in, and when it does, I have little sticky notes that are next to me, and I write down what stuck with me, on the sticky note, the little, little thing, so, my first book, um, That’s where it came from, was just those sticky notes.

[00:10:11] Brian Hite: I’d take the sticky note, turn it into a three to four hundred word essay, you know, and, and that was it. I didn’t, it didn’t, the book didn’t really even start out as a book. I didn’t intend to write a book. It’s just sort of what emerged from that work that you’re talking about. 

[00:10:24] Mark Divine: What do you do with these sticky notes?

[00:10:25] Mark Divine: Are they like all over your bedroom? 

[00:10:29] Brian Hite: They’re right here in this baggie. 

[00:10:31] Mark Divine: Oh, look at that. You’ve got a collection of sticky 

[00:10:33] Brian Hite: notes. That’s a 

[00:10:34] Mark Divine: treasure trove, man. Every time you need a little inspiration, you just dip your hand in, pull one out. 

[00:10:38] Brian Hite: Yeah. Or, you know, if I feel like writing, because writing’s a way that I, that I can, Escape the world and get into my bubble and really start to to collect my own thoughts and get myself situated It’s that that’s a tool that I’ve used.

[00:10:51] Brian Hite: It’s been very powerful. So you’re right That’s if that’s where I am Then I’d get the baggie pull out the sticky note and and go to town with whatever whichever one came out, 

[00:11:01] Mark Divine: you know I found that I speak very differently than when I write Like it’s almost two different languages or two different perspectives, because when I write, I get really into a flow state and the same as when I speak, sometimes when I speak, like probably you have this experience.

[00:11:16] Mark Divine: Like you have no idea where those words are coming from. Yeah, it’s not something you ever thought about before. But you have, I have that experience also when I write, but then I can step back from it. And begin to like, like poke holes in it or contemplate it and, and flesh it out a little bit. And so writing for me has been a, it is a cathartic process.

[00:11:36] Mark Divine: It’s a very, very creative process. I once tried to have, uh, one of my books written in an interview style format where, you know, another kind of editor slash ghostwriter would interview me and then write the chapter. And then it’s theoretically, it was kind of 90 percent done. I ended up rewriting every single word of the entire book.

[00:11:58] Brian Hite: Yeah. 

[00:11:58] Mark Divine: So I’ll never do that again. 

[00:11:59] Brian Hite: That’s interesting. I’ve, I’ve actually thought about just for the sake of expediency, trying to turn on one of those speech to text programs and just talk the book, just, just speak it. But I’m like you, I, it, the, my thought process of writing is very different from it is from speaking and, and it just wouldn’t work.

[00:12:18] Mark Divine: No, it wouldn’t. Save yourself the time and the frustration because I tried that as well. And I was like, there’s no way I’m going to ever use any of this. So interesting. What about your, um, kind of your origin story? Like, how did you get on this path where you are today? And then how did you become a stunt man?

[00:12:36] Mark Divine: I mean, that’s cool. I want to learn about that. 

[00:12:38] Brian Hite: It is an interesting path. I still ask myself that same question sometimes. How the heck did you end up here? What happened there? I am originally from Nashville. And I graduated high school here, went to college at Rutgers in New Jersey, where I did not graduate.

[00:12:53] Brian Hite: I went to college just I don’t know, because that’s what you were supposed to do. I mean, that’s what I’d been told. 

[00:13:00] Mark Divine: You were following the, uh, following the dream, right? 

[00:13:02] Brian Hite: Yeah, you go, you graduate high school, you go to college, you get a job, you get a family, you do, you know, you do all the things. But that, that’s not how it worked for me.

[00:13:09] Brian Hite: I got to college and I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. And then I ended up having a friend who was the company manager of the Batman Stunt Show at the Six Flags in New Jersey. 

[00:13:19] Mark Divine: Batman Stunt Show. Yeah. The story’s getting good. 

[00:13:23] Brian Hite: And I went to see the show and I was floored. I was amazed.

[00:13:27] Brian Hite: I couldn’t believe that that was something people did for a job. And because it was my friend who was the company manager, I was able to go backstage and talk to the people, which I did. And that was fascinating. And I asked, I said, how do you get this job? They said, well, you got to know how to do fights, high falls and motorcycles.

[00:13:44] Brian Hite: And then you come to the audition and maybe get the job. Maybe you don’t. So I went away and over the course of that year, I linked up with one of the guys. He taught me how to do high falls and fights. And then I bought a dirt bike and I practiced around on that a little bit, went to the audition. Did get hired originally as an alternate, but then the second day of rehearsals, one of the main guys got hurt and got bumped up the ladder.

[00:14:07] Brian Hite: And so then I just I did that season. It was the summer after my junior year and it was August. Truly one of the best times of my life. Every day, I loved going to work. I was not only doing the shows, but I was trying to get better on the motorcycle. So in between shows, I’d get on the dirt bike and I would practice.

[00:14:24] Mark Divine: So you weren’t, at this point, you weren’t stunting for movies. You were, this was an actual show. No, yeah, it was a live show. Trying to mimic what they did in the Batman movie. Is that what it was about? 

[00:14:33] Brian Hite: Yeah, it was the same characters. There was the Joker and I forget what the first show was. What, what all the characters were.

[00:14:40] Brian Hite: I was the, the old Rob, and it went, I don’t know, I was the bad guy through most of it, riding the motorcycle, but yeah, it mimicked the characters from the movie, and they put it together in a 15 minute show for the theme park. But it was great. I mean, we had motorcycles, we had a little dune buggy thing, we had some high falls, some fights.

[00:14:54] Brian Hite: Later in some other shows, we had some repels and different things. So it was a wonderful training ground too. I mean, that was just a perfect place to practice these skills and just get really good at doing them over and over and over again in front of people. So I did that that summer and then, and then I came back to Rutgers for my senior year and just couldn’t focus.

[00:15:13] Brian Hite: I was failing everything. And so I just dropped out. I just dropped the courses before I did fail. And I, you know, I stayed long enough to do this show another. During the summer time that year, and then I moved to LA, and I had managed to get into the Screen Actors Guild too when I was out in New Jersey just being an extra on a movie called IQ with Tim Robbins and Meg Ryan, I think it was.

[00:15:36] Brian Hite: I was just an extra for enough days to get in the union. Moved to LA, and they had the same stunt show at the Six Flags out in LA, so I was able to pick up. Doing that job while I was pursuing the film and TV work. That was the key into the TV and film work. Because the group of people that I was working with became like a, like a class, like a cohort.

[00:15:57] Brian Hite: That we just kind of, we came up in the business together. So now, 25 years later, those are the guys that are running the shows. You know, those are, those are the guys that are, that are running, you know, good friend of mine, running Stranger Things. Uh, he, he’s one of the guys that came out of the show.

[00:16:12] Brian Hite: There are a lot of other shows. So that was, that was really good time. And then I just kind of made it into the film and TV world. And, I did manage to make it back to Rutgers and finish the bachelor’s degree. And continued on with a master’s in sports psychology and a PhD in organizational psychology.

[00:16:29] Brian Hite: But never with the intention of actually working, using anything to do with those degrees. It was just because I enjoyed the material. I enjoyed learning. I really I became fascinated with the power of the mind and how it affects our performance and our overall well being and just the connection between the body and mind and how that works.

[00:16:51] Brian Hite: It was something that I just, I loved reading about, I loved listening to, I loved writing about. So I just continued with that path. Well, then life does what it does. Next thing you know, I find myself in Washington working for the Army as a performance psychology consultant. Did that for a couple of years and back then that job was just sport and performance psychology applied to soldiers.

[00:17:14] Brian Hite: Meaning it was, you know, how do you get your mind right to shoot better and, and get in shape faster and do medical tasks better and clear rooms more efficiently. Just performance based training for how do you get your, your mind and body connected so that you’re at your best. Then I left and went back to LA, did stunts again for another four or five years.

[00:17:35] Brian Hite: Yeah. Went back to the army, but this time back in Nashville. I moved back to Nashville to Fort Campbell And did the same job, but this time the program had expanded it had branched off into a resilience piece as well meaning that A lot of the same skills and concepts and techniques were taught but they were applied differently the purpose the intent was different the intent this time was Let’s give people some tools and resources that they can use You Whenever, whatever’s going on, they can handle the situation better.

[00:18:08] Brian Hite: If they get knocked down, they can get back up again and get back going again, more quickly and not, um, not even to where they were, but be better, learn how to, to, to grow and to thrive as a result of the challenges that they faced. And I really gravitated toward that. So I moved a little bit away from the sport performance piece and more into that resilience piece and taught classes all around the world with that.

[00:18:31] Brian Hite: Yeah. It’s a fascinating experience. And then, you know, I don’t know, I just outgrew it and. Ended up quitting that job a couple of years ago, starting my own business, which was begin again, performance psychology. Then I’m going through a rebrand now. Now it’s Brian Hite Global, but yeah, I did that been working with athletes.

[00:18:48] Brian Hite: I’ve been working with police officers. I’ve worked with real estate agents. I’ve worked with. Actors, it really the connection with that, that holistic mental, physical, emotional connection like that piece is missing from so much training. We get a lot of technical, tactical and even a lot of physical, but we don’t get that mental, emotional piece and how that fits in.

[00:19:10] Brian Hite: So being able to provide that for people and see their. See the power of that learning and their application has been really rewarding. I also, I’m a faculty member at Grand Canyon University too. So I’m able to, through my students, stay up on some of the research that’s, that’s current and be able to apply some of that.

[00:19:28] Brian Hite: So it just truly, it’s, it, you know, the stunt thing. And I’m still doing stunts. I mean, that’s something I still do. I, I worked on a show last month, got another one coming up. It’s, it’s something that all my friends are in that world. And it’s, it’s, I love it. I just, I love it. So any opportunity I have to go work on a show, I will take it.

[00:19:48] Brian Hite: I also love. The, the learning about and sharing this, this knowledge of how do we flourish, you know, really flourish, not just target, you know, get better physically or make our minds stronger or it’s everything together, physical, mental, emotional, social. How do we get along with other people? Spiritual.

[00:20:09] Brian Hite: How do we, how do we connect to things larger than ourselves? You know, we’re all part of something bigger. So how do we take all that and, and apply it regularly daily to our own benefit, but also the benefit of those around us. That’s where I really get a lot of energy. 

[00:20:25] Mark Divine: Uh, likewise, I think it’s, um, it’s fascinating.

[00:20:27] Mark Divine: We have, we share so much, uh, kind of common ground there. You know, you could look at the Navy SEALs as a big stunt job, right? Except with a little bit more danger because someone’s shooting back with real bullets. And. You know, when I was listening to you that the link or the bridge between, you know, performance psychology and being a stunt person, you know, it started in your own mind.

[00:20:49] Mark Divine: You had to develop certain capacities, uh, to be able to manage the fear and, you know, to develop that resilience in yourself and that, that kind of, that focus and that flow state and that calm, you know, under the pressure of the performance moment. So talk to me about like, not with your professor hat on, right, but your personal hat, like what’s going on.

[00:21:09] Mark Divine: in your internal state in an individual moment and then a little bit over time, like in terms of preparation for an event, you know, the before, during the after, like, how do you develop the capacity to thrive and flourish in spite of the, you know, the high risk that you take on in this stunt world? 

[00:21:26] Brian Hite: Yeah, it’s interesting that you bring up before, during, after.

[00:21:29] Brian Hite: One of the things that we at Fort Lewis, when I was working there, came up with and published in one of the journals that are out there, sports psychology journals, is this notion of a four phased approach to performance. And there’s a before, during, and after, but we added in a right before. So there’s a before, a right before, a during, and an after.

[00:21:51] Brian Hite: And, and that’s A three, two, 

[00:21:52] Mark Divine: one, go moment. Yeah, 

[00:21:53] Brian Hite: and, and it’s when performance is imminent. And to me, that is probably the most important time. The other times are obviously important too. How are you preparing? What’s the before? How are you setting yourself up for success? The during, obviously, what are you doing, how are you keeping your attention where it needs to be, and, and keeping, you know, your efforts at the level that they need to be.

[00:22:12] Brian Hite: And after, how are you recovering, how are you learning from that experience? But that right before will make or break performance, and that is where many people lose it. The energy activation levels go off the charts. The emotions start to spiral and they don’t know how to find that place, that right spot.

[00:22:30] Brian Hite: Like you called it being in the zone. I call it the bubble. That’s the part when we’re in the right before I get myself in what I call the bubble. And that’s when the outside world goes away. There is nothing at all relevant to me in that moment that’s not task oriented. So if I’m on a set, that for me, the right before begins when they say, Okay, Brian, we’re ready for you on set.

[00:22:53] Brian Hite: Because before then, you know, we may have done the rehearsal, we’ve gone through all the stuff, I know what I’m gonna do. But I’m just kind of hanging out, and that may be an hour, it might be 14 hours. It’s, you never know how long it’s going to be, so you can’t maintain that energy level the whole time.

[00:23:09] Brian Hite: But throughout that beginning time, I do stretch every now and then. I do periodically engage in mental imagery. So I’ll go through in my own mind in different ways what I’m going to do. If it’s choreography, I’ll lock that in. If it’s something else, I’ll lock that in too. But when they say, okay, Brian, we’re ready for you on set, that’s it.

[00:23:28] Brian Hite: That’s the cutoff. If I was on the computer, if I was on my phone, if I was having a conversation, if I was doing car tricks for somebody, everything goes away. And it is just that task. Just that. And 

[00:23:39] Mark Divine: what do you do to collapse your task? Like what, what mental process goes on? Is it automatic now? Or do you have like a mental checklist?

[00:23:46] Brian Hite: Well, it has become automatic, but for me it begins with breath because I changed my breathing and I immediately check in with my energy activation level. Because when I hear, all right, Brian, we’re ready for you on set. I get that immediate jolt because I know it’s coming, you know, it’s, it’s real now. And so it’s just a, an, an internal check in for myself on, all right, where’s this?

[00:24:07] Brian Hite: Because we all have an ideal energy activation level for any given task, no matter what it is for this podcast right now, there’s an ideal energy activation level for both 

[00:24:16] Mark Divine: define what that is. Peak performance energy state. 

[00:24:19] Brian Hite: It’s a it’s a physiological and it’s a it’s all connected physiological mental emotional It’s connected in the sense that when my energy activation level is in an ideal state i’m focused I’m energized my muscles flow freely.

[00:24:33] Brian Hite: They’re not too tense, but they’re also not relaxed Mentally i’m able to think clearly emotionally. I’m i’m calm, but i’m again not relaxed and I might be Uh, energized. I might be experiencing happiness, joy. If I’m too low, if my energy activation level is too low, I might be moving very slowly. I might be hunched over.

[00:24:52] Brian Hite: These are physical indicators. Mentally, I may not be able to retrieve information very easily. I might be forgetting things. Emotionally, I might be irritated or frustrated. And, and on the flip side, and this is where in the situation that you’re asking about, this is where most people end up. is the too high level.

[00:25:10] Brian Hite: And in that case, physically, the heart starts beating way too fast. All the things associated with the sympathetic nervous system. Kick in, but to way too high a degree, the heart starts beating more quickly. The breathing becomes rapid and shallow mentally. The, the mind swirls again, it, it’s, I can’t latch onto any thoughts.

[00:25:28] Brian Hite: My attention will narrow and I can’t see the bigger picture, the broader picture. Emotionally, I’ll feel a lot of anxiety. I may be jittery. My muscles will become too tense. Fine motor skills will be compromised. So those are the things that tell me when I’m too high, too low, and just right. And for me, you know, we all have to figure out what our own just right is for whatever the task is.

[00:25:51] Brian Hite: And then once we figure out what that just right energy activation level is for ourself, we have to figure out where we currently are in relation to it. So question one for anybody is, What is your ideal energy activation level for a given task? Could be given a presentation. Could be having a tough conversation with a spouse or significant other.

[00:26:11] Brian Hite: It could be anything. I mean, whatever performance environment you find yourself in, what’s your ideal energy activation level? If you’re going to coach kids, 

[00:26:18] Mark Divine: you know? Yeah, exactly, being present with your kids. But even just waking up and looking at this day as a performance moment, which it is, right? So that morning ritual you described is an opportunity to get into the energy activation level for an ideal day.

[00:26:33] Mark Divine: Same principle, right? 

[00:26:34] Brian Hite: Yeah, it is the same principle. However you define performance, there’s an ideal energy activation level for you personally for that task. 

[00:26:41] Mark Divine: Can that change over time? Because someone listening might be like, Oh, this is really interesting, Brian. I think my energy activation level is, is this, but then what happens, you know, in my, I’ll use myself as an example, as I’ve gotten more skillful in using the tools such as breath control and imagery work and internal dialogue and, you know, radical attention control, these things that really kind of, you know, stuff that I learned in the seals and then have been refining over the years, my flow state zone, let’s call it.

[00:31:59] Mark Divine: So I have more energy to bring to the performance moment and the performance goes better, you know, and so there’s an iterative kind of upward cycle through turning these skills into a daily practice. That’s part of my theory, and I’m sure I’d like to hear your thoughts on that. 

[00:32:15] Brian Hite: We all change every day, so there’s nothing in my experience that would say that we can’t.

[00:32:21] Brian Hite: That our ideal energy activation levels for a given task couldn’t also shift. For example, if I’m going to do a car hit or I’m going to wreck a motorcycle, there’s an ideal amount of energy activation for that. Well, I’ve done that a ton over the course of my career. Do I get as worked up about it as I used to?

[00:32:40] Brian Hite: No, I don’t. But I don’t know that I would say that my ideal energy activation level is different. I would say that I now sometimes have to pump up to get to that ideal energy activation level. Whereas before, when I was less experienced, I needed to calm down. Because I was coming into the situation too high.

[00:33:02] Brian Hite: And so I needed to come down. And now, sometimes I have to, I have to Worry about taking things for granted. I have to say, no, this is still, still a thing and it’s still important. It’s still dangerous. I need to be at this place. So I, I find myself having to pump up, but you know what, I don’t know that. So for me, I don’t know that I’ve experienced the change in that ideal energy activation level itself for the performance, but I certainly have experienced changes in which, like that level of energy activation prior to that moment of the right before.

[00:33:32] Brian Hite: So during that right before, do I need to pump up or do I need to calm down? Which do I need to do in order to be successful? That has changed. Right. Right. 

[00:33:41] Mark Divine: So you mentioned the breath as your, as the first kinda step. What, what else? Like, what, what’s the process to get into that ideal 

[00:33:48] Brian Hite: state? Yeah, so, so for me it’s that it’s that check-in with the, with the energy activation level.

[00:33:52] Brian Hite: And I use the breath either way. If I’m gonna pump up, then I’ll, I’ll get more oxygen into my body more quickly. Mm-Hmm. . If I need to calm down, I’ll take that breath and connect it with the body. I’ll drop the shoulders down. There’s a technique called progressive muscle relaxation that. is for those who don’t know what that is, it’s, you can start at the top or bottom of your body, but if you’re going to start, start at the bottom, for example, you would tense your toes as tightly as possible for three to five seconds, and then just relax for five seconds or so.

[00:34:23] Brian Hite: And then tense the calves as tightly as you can for three to five seconds and then relax. And you just do that with every muscle group individually up your body until you culminate with the whole body tensing as tightly as you can, and then relax. Now, if you do that exercise. You will sink into whatever it is that you’re sitting in or lying in because it is, it’s an incredibly powerful exercise.

[00:34:45] Brian Hite: But the reason I bring it up for this situation is because if you do progressive, at least this has been my experience and that of my clients who have tried it. If we practice progressive muscle relaxation regularly, then we can train our bodies to relax from tension. And so we don’t have to tense everything.

[00:35:03] Brian Hite: We don’t have to go through every single muscle group. Truly what I do, I squeeze my fist. I squeeze my fist with an inhale, I squeeze it as tightly as I can, and then I exhale and relax. And just because I’m relaxing that fist, the rest of my body will relax too. And connecting that with the breath is very helpful for me.

[00:35:19] Brian Hite: There’s a physical component to changing that through the breathing, but also through that muscle tension. 

[00:35:25] Brian Hite: attentionally, depending on how far away we are from the thing, I’ll go through in my head all the stuff that’s going to happen step by step. I’ll see it happen using mental imagery. Yeah. 

[00:35:35] Brian Hite: hmm.

[00:35:36] Brian Hite: But when we get really close where I put my attention is just on the first two seconds of whatever it’s going to be because I’ve practiced the other stuff and I trust That if I get those first two seconds right, that’s gonna, it’s gonna, the dominoes are gonna start falling and, and, and if I can get them fall in the right direction with those first two seconds, those going the way they’re supposed to, the rest of the seconds will follow.

[00:36:01] Brian Hite: And that’s been my experience. So when I get in those situations, I, I try to create that ideal energy activation state and I focus my attention on whatever the first thing is. Whatever it is, whether it’s, it’s a fight, if it’s the first punch or whatever, if it’s some other thing, whatever the first thing I have to do in the first couple seconds, that is where my full attention goes.

[00:36:21] Brian Hite: I see it very clearly in my mind. I remind myself exactly what it is. And that’s where I stay, until action, and then we do it, and pick it up, and usually do it again. But, uh. 

[00:36:33] Mark Divine: That’s right. Good, but not good enough. Take two. 

[00:36:36] Brian Hite: Yeah. 

[00:36:36] Mark Divine: That was great. Do it again. Do it again. What about internal dialogue? Do you have a mantra, or, you know, a series of sayings, or how do you maintain kind of a positive dialogue that crowds out doubt and fear and stuff?

[00:36:49] Brian Hite: I don’t have any . The only mantra that I have, and you’re old enough to remember this, this, this is wonderful. I don’t know what your audience is, but time to make the donuts. Sometimes I’ll, I’ll get up in the morning and I’m time to make 

[00:37:00] Mark Divine: the donuts. I bet. And I’m just 

[00:37:02] Brian Hite: not in the mood for it, you know? And, and, and it’ll even be sometimes during the day if I, if I’m like, I’m just not in the mood for whatever it is that I’m.

[00:37:09] Brian Hite: And I just remind myself, you know, time to make the doughnuts. It goes back to that Dunkin Donuts commercial where the guy goes, time to make the doughnuts, made the doughnuts. So yeah, I just, it’s time to make the doughnuts. It’s time to get up and go do, do what I do. And so that’s been helpful. But throughout the day, you know, Mark, there’s not a specific thing, but.

[00:37:28] Brian Hite: One thing that I have become better at, and it, it is, it’s been a process, it’s taken a long time to even get to where I am, and I have a long way to go to, to, I have a long way to go, but to really try to allow pessimistic thoughts to be a red flag for me, to, to allow them to ping my attention, so to speak, not, not, not let them slide by unaware.

[00:37:53] Brian Hite: That’s good. And, and it’s hard though. It’s been a challenge becoming aware of it. When 

[00:37:57] Mark Divine: you start that process, you begin to, you see how often they show up and how frequent, you know, well, that’s the same thing, but how persistent and pervasive they can be because you know, our brains are like wired to be negative and fearful and we’re pumped full of that information.

[00:38:13] Mark Divine: And so. Just to become aware of it is a huge, right, step forward. 

[00:38:17] Brian Hite: Yeah. And that’s something to address. I mean, that’s an important point. I will say that pessimism is wrong, but you’re right. We are wired in a way that our attention is very easily captured by things that we perceive as wrong. And that’s not a necessarily a bad thing.

[00:38:33] Brian Hite: That can be a very adaptive thing to notice what’s wrong in our environment so that we can fix it. When we notice some, this is an important thing too, that when we start talking about emotions. Because I’ll talk about negative emotions and positive emotions. And that’s not to say that negative emotions are called negative emotions like anger or sadness or anxiety or anything like that.

[00:38:52] Brian Hite: Those are, we consider negative emotions. Positive emotions we consider joy, awe, interest, curiosity. These are positive emotions. But it’s not that one’s good and one’s bad. It’s just that we like to experience one, the positive emotions, and we don’t like to experience the other, the negative emotions. But the negative emotions are very helpful.

[00:39:11] Brian Hite: They will narrow our attention and our focus to what is wrong in our environment that’s driving those emotions so that we can fix it. They help us pinpoint things that can be fixed. It can be helpful. 

[00:39:22] Mark Divine: I agree with that. I just want to kind of pin something there. I look at the negative emotions as catalyzing emotions, meaning that they’re there to get your attention.

[00:39:31] Mark Divine: Uh, for a reason, you know, get off the X and the seals, we would say, well, there’s a lot of fear and, you know, well, negative emotions. But if you dwell in the negative emotions, they become chronic because the energy of the negative emotions is, you know, vibrationally it’s, it’s at a lower quality, let’s just say.

[00:39:47] Mark Divine: And so if you dwell there, you’re actually going to end up doing harm to yourself over time and it certainly will destroy your performance moment. So. If I hear anyone say, yeah, anger is a really good motivator for performance. I say, be careful with that one. It’s, it’s okay to activate it. Like in that performance mode, it’s okay to activate you like, I’m going to get this done or do it for whatever reason that sparks that anger.

[00:40:13] Mark Divine: But then you got to release that into the positive side, you know, of, of courage, right. Or acceptance, you know, get to that higher energy state. 

[00:40:21] Brian Hite: Yeah, there are a couple things with that, and one is Seneca wrote an essay called On Anger that I think is a fantastic thing that anybody who does believe that anger should be their primary motivator.

[00:40:32] Brian Hite: They should go find Seneca’s work and read it immediately. The negative emotions can be helpful, but you’re right. If we’re sitting in them, if we’re dwelling in them, because they come from a place of lack and wrong. For example, if we’re feeling anger, it’s because we perceive that somebody did something wrong to us.

[00:40:48] Brian Hite: Something happened to us that’s bad. Somebody, you know, wronged us in some way. Sadness, we’ve lost something we value or care about. Nervousness and anxiety, we perceive a threat of some kind. It’s all tied to perception. And that’s where we can make the change. So if we recognize, Hey, I’m really, I’m really nervous and scared right now, which those two things aren’t necessarily the same thing.

[00:41:08] Brian Hite: And we can parse that if you want to. But, but if I’m perceiving a threat of some kind, I can switch that around. Like, okay, is it a threat or is it an opportunity? Right. Is this really a threat? Something that, that’s bad that could happen, or really am I leaning into something that’s a challenge that could be great for me?

[00:41:25] Brian Hite: It’s just about what we talked about a little while ago, and it’s that change of perspective, that change of focus, that the perception of our situations is entirely up to us. We can focus on and prioritize any aspect of our circumstances that we want and in the process of doing that We are also going to affect the emotions that we experience.

[00:41:46] Brian Hite: So we have control over that 

[00:41:48] Mark Divine: Yeah, I’m being reminded right now of you know, learning to parachute jump in as a SEAL You know it from 20, 000 feet at night and you know You’re on your fourth or fifth jump and there you are already free falling and the fear that you feel initially, you know is existential Cause you’re jumping to your death until you pull that parachute rip cord.

[00:42:06] Mark Divine: But we learned, of course, through the repetition and through the example of others and through the breath, right? Cause we’re, you know, we’re really, you know, focus on those performance drivers in the seals as well. And what happens is pretty quickly, the energy of that fear, which is not dissimilar from the energy of anger or, you know, those other kinds of lower negative energies, cause it’s, it can be destabilizing, debilitating.

[00:42:30] Mark Divine: You can transmute that into, uh, Actually, excitement, right? Like, like, we’re going to do this, so it could be mission, you could call it what you want. And this is part of like owning your perspective. And so for me, I would shift it to, um, anticipation of having a, Excellent parachute jump or an excellent mission, right?

[00:42:50] Mark Divine: So the same energy of fear transmutes to anticipation or excitement, but it changes the quality of that energy, which then changes the emotional experience, right, for one that could be debilitating and negative to one that’s really positive and reinforcing. 

[00:43:04] Brian Hite: Yeah, well, you just brought up an incredibly important point that actually, I just talked to a client yesterday who brought this up as a, as something that during a performance moment, he remembered me saying it and, and it was very valuable for him.

[00:43:16] Brian Hite: And that is that nervousness and fear and excitement physiologically, there’s no difference between them. If all we were doing was looking at the physiological measures of a person, we could not tell if they were experiencing fear. Or they were experiencing excitement. It’s totally in our minds. As to which one it is.

[00:43:37] Brian Hite: We’re either leaning in or we’re leaning out. We’re either approaching or we’re trying to avoid. It’s either a challenge or it’s a threat. And those are the things that are going to determine whether we are nervous or whether we’re excited. And you’re absolutely correct. From the physiological standpoint, they’re all the same.

[00:43:53] Brian Hite: And we can use that physiological activation to our benefit, for sure. And if we change the perception going with it, why am I feeling this way? Well, because it’s go time. It’s gonna be, I’m getting ready to do it. This is the performance moment. Of course, I’m feeling like this. Of course, my heart’s racing.

[00:44:08] Brian Hite: Of course, my breathing is, you know, You know, becoming a little bit more rapid, my body’s activating. It’s preparing me to do the thing that I’m about to do. And thank goodness it is because I’m looking forward to it. If that’s the perception that we have, man, it does. It’s a game changer. 

[00:44:21] Mark Divine: Yeah. We say in the seal fit training where your mind leads, the body will follow.

[00:44:25] Mark Divine: So first get your mind, right? Perceive it accurately or in performance state. And then, and the body kind of comes along, gets, you know, Yeah. 

[00:44:35] Brian Hite: Well, what’s interesting is it works the other way too. And anybody who’s worked out has experienced that you may go into a workout, drag it and feeling like, Oh my God, I don’t want to do this.

[00:44:45] Brian Hite: This sucks. I hate it. And then you get into the workout and your body does what it does and hormones and different neurotransmitters start getting secreted. Next thing you know, the workouts over and you’re feeling great. So it’s a whole different, it works both ways. And I, and I try to make sure my clients know that too.

[00:45:00] Brian Hite: It’s like, look, you can go top down, meaning change how you’re thinking, and that will influence your body. Or you can change what’s going on in your body, and that’s gonna influence your mind, and how it is that you’re thinking there, too. Same, it’s like sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, your mind, your mood, your patience level, all of that stuff is gonna deteriorate.

[00:45:19] Brian Hite: Get more sleep, which is a physical thing. And all of a sudden now you’re thinking better. You’re perceiving things differently. You got a better mood. You got more patience. 

[00:45:27] Mark Divine: And ultimately you do those together, right? The bottom up, top down, activate it together. And then boom, that pre event, you know, immediate pre event.

[00:45:36] Mark Divine: What do you call that moment? You know, the right before. Yeah. The right before. Yeah. Phase two, right 

[00:45:41] Brian Hite: before. Yeah. Just call it right before. 

[00:45:42] Mark Divine: It’s a powerful suit. So you get the body and the mind. Activated immediately right before and then you go in there and then you maintain that, that flow state through the attention on the task, that radical focus on the task, calm breathing, right?

[00:45:56] Mark Divine: All, it all just starts to, you know, energize into one experience. Yeah. Where there really isn’t much separate, you know, separation between you and, you know, the task. The, you know the object, you know the experience and this, everything becomes one. That’s what flow is, right? When your ego kind of steps aside and you have this experience of life flowing through you unobstructed.

[00:46:17] Brian Hite: Yeah, and it’s interesting because there’s, I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to any of Sam Harris’s. stuff, but he does a really good job in a lot of his talks and certainly his meditations that I’ve listened to about pointing out, helping people realize that we are our experiences. There aren’t two of us.

[00:46:32] Brian Hite: There’s not a one of us just kind of floating around out there watching the other. We are what it is that we’re experiencing. And so for me, another thing that’s been very helpful. Is mindful meditation, focusing really on being present and noticing thoughts just simply like I notice breath or like I notice, uh, you know, something itching.

[00:46:54] Brian Hite: I mean, it’s, it’s just another thing that my brain and body, it’s just another source of energy that I’m perceiving in a certain way because that’s what thoughts are. They’re connections among neurons in our heads and they come and they go, they’re ephemeral. They’re short lived. They’re in, they’re out.

[00:47:09] Brian Hite: And really noticing that. Has also helped me a lot because we can get very locked into certain thoughts and we can really treat those thoughts as if, like I said earlier, like they are the reality. And we can get wrapped up in them and that can be very, very unhelpful if we can just recognize thoughts as thoughts.

[00:47:28] Brian Hite: This is what’s going on in my head right now, and that’s it. In this experience, in this moment, this is how I am. That’s helped me achieve that flow state, that bubble that I’ve talked about. And you described it very, very well. It’s, it is one of those things I get asked about a lot, and it’s one of the hardest things to describe to people, at least in, in my experience, because I mean, I get that way when I’m on and doing stunts, but I also ride dirt bikes and I, and one of the reasons why I love getting on my dirt bike is for the time that I’m on that dirt bike, be it on a trail or on a track, there is nothing else.

[00:48:05] Brian Hite: The motorcycle and I are one with the track and the subject 

[00:48:09] Mark Divine: object kind of merge everything. 

[00:48:11] Brian Hite: Yeah, it is all one. If you’ve never experienced it, and most people have experienced it, most people have in some capacity. Yeah. But if you haven’t, I don’t know that anybody could just get it from what it is that I’m saying.

[00:48:24] Brian Hite: It really is an experiential thing. 

[00:48:27] Mark Divine: I’m really glad you mentioned this or we’re talking about this because, you know, I’m, I’m a lifelong, you know, martial artists and meditation practitioner myself, starting when I was 21 and, and heavily influenced by Eastern philosophy, psychology, spirituality. And this is a central tenant, right, of that philosophy, the Vedic philosophies, right?

[00:48:49] Mark Divine: That we are. All life force Sat Chit Ananda is described being consciousness bliss being experienced through this temporary temporal body that also has conditioning from its, from its lifetime of experiences and being, you know, how we were conditioned and taught to think. And so the body brain and those experiences represent kind of our, our identity as a separate self.

[00:49:15] Mark Divine: And we forget that or we lose sight of. I mean, maybe as a child, we had it. But as we get older, we get further and further away from this universal experience of all is ness, of oneness, that unity consciousness, and so it’s talked about almost as an object of something, something over there that, you know, is aspirational, right?

[00:49:37] Mark Divine: Or maybe you experience it after death. Or you’ll find it in a moment, but it’s not, it’s something you have to attain, right? And so this is a big misperception. It’s not something you have to attain, it’s something we are. 

[00:49:51] Brian Hite: Yeah, we just have to notice it. 

[00:49:53] Mark Divine: You just have to notice it. You just have to slow down and pay attention.

[00:49:56] Mark Divine: And that’s where the mindfulness meditation comes in. And, and in a very more Western sense, you know, these, these kind of extreme sports and endurance sports, right. And even being a Navy SEAL, you kind of refine your mind to the point where the ego finally steps aside and you get to experience that. And that’s like, that’s the flow moment where subject object or, you know, missing and everything is just pure experiencing.

[00:50:19] Mark Divine: I think it’s cool that we have the ability. You know, through conversations like this to help, you know, we’ll say Westerners, because most of our clients, most people are listening, are kind of brought up in the Western mindset model. To get them some language and some pointers and some, you know, Some conversation where it just says, okay, hey, take the mystery out of all that.

[00:50:41] Mark Divine: Forget about, you know, I call it taking the Fu out of the Kung Fu. Forget about all that flowery language of the Bhagavad Gita or, you know, Yogananda’s teachings or the, you know, the Yoga Sutras. Because it’s inaccessible for most Westerners. They don’t get it. They don’t speak the language, they don’t understand it.

[00:50:59] Mark Divine: But you can find the same, the principle is very simple, right? It’s all about attention and opening the aperture and like you said, very beautiful, moving away from thoughts, seeing thoughts as happening to you, not by you. Then you, you just kind of become a more open kind of vessel for that life force to flow more freely and you’ll experience more flow.

[00:51:24] Mark Divine: Simultaneously, we can use these tools to kind of hack our way there like we’ve talked about using the breath, dialogue, imagery, whatnot. 

[00:51:32] Brian Hite: Yeah, and, and what’s interesting to me, and one of the things that led to the title of my book, at least the subtitle, Utilize the Wisdom of Eastern and Western Ideologies to Achieve Your Full Potential, is that there’s so much overlap, and this surprised me as I was reading, because I, you know, I, I went through the, the master’s and the PhD, so there were, there were western scientific studies, different theories that I came across in terms of psychology and performance and all the stuff, But then when I started getting into more of the Eastern philosophy, like you just mentioned, uh, several of them, the overlap was, you can’t miss it, it was slap in the face clear.

[00:52:10] Brian Hite: That a lot of the things that were talked about in Eastern philosophy 2, 000, 2, 500 years ago, are things that are still, theoretically and scientifically, we’ve shown it through experiment and the science that we have, to work, to be helpful, that this connection exists. Descartes dualism, you know, the mind body complete separation, just, it doesn’t seem to hold up in what it is that we’re seeing in science, and that’s been, that’s, like I said, that’s a central tenet of the Eastern philosophy and has been for thousands of years, this idea of, like you put it, This oneness, that we just are connected, we are interwoven in this gigantic spider web of energy and, and matter, which is also energy.

[00:52:58] Brian Hite: And, and so, you know, it’s all connected, and, and you can’t, you can’t separate yourself from it, there’s just no way, and embracing that, it can be very, very powerful, and can lead to, help lead to, Some of these flow moments that you and I have just been talking about. 

[00:53:15] Mark Divine: Yeah. And as we wind down, it’s also can help you lead to greater, you know, connection to others, a greater sense of purpose or alignment, you know, with your purpose, which is what the Bhagavad Gita was all about, really is all about this idea of karma and Dharma.

[00:53:28] Mark Divine: You know, Arjuna was going to basically breach his karmic duty and not go to war, but he was a warrior. Right. And so that was his calling. That was his Dharma. And Krishna is there saying, you know what, dude? If you don’t go to war and fight your uncles, right, you’re just going to bring more suffering upon yourself and hence the universe.

[00:53:47] Mark Divine: So do your duty basically. So my point there is doing this work and aligning, you know, kind of merging, marrying Eastern West and understanding the profundity of that can lead to greater capacity to just be at peace with the way things are because the Eastern model says things happen, things are the way they are.

[00:54:10] Mark Divine: So be okay with it. It’s the opposite of the, the Western model says it’s the law of cause and effect, duality, I think therefore I am, so go out and change it. And so the Eastern model is the opposite of that. It’s anti Cartesian. It says I am and I also think, right? And you can even say I am and therefore I think.

[00:54:26] Mark Divine: It’s the opposite. It’s a flip side of Descartes. And that everything’s okay. And so just be okay. And so a lot of Westerners say, well, things aren’t okay. I don’t like my life. And the Eastern model is like, okay, be okay with it, but you can still strive to change aspects of it to have a better experience.

[00:54:47] Brian Hite: And that’s a paradox. They’re hand in glove. They work, 

[00:54:48] Mark Divine: they work together. That’s a paradox. It seems, 

[00:54:50] Brian Hite: it seems very, that’s a weird thing. What you just said is things just are, they are flowing, the energy’s happening. We are caught in it and, and we just need to accept that. And the quicker we can accept it, the faster we will be able to, to move things in a different direction.

[00:55:07] Brian Hite: And then people say, wait a minute, if we can, we can move it, then we’re not caught in it. No, we are, we’re, we’re there, we’re, we are immersed in and not at all separate from everything happening around us. And, and we do need to accept that. And the sooner we do and recognize exactly where we are. Then we can make some changes.

[00:55:25] Brian Hite: At the beginning of my book, and then there’s another book chapter coming out too pretty soon, where I wrote about this concept too. For me, three things happen, and they need to happen in this order, in order for us to move ourself in a little bit better direction. Number one is self awareness. We have to be aware.

[00:55:43] Brian Hite: We can’t change something we’re not aware of. So we have to tune into what is. How are we thinking? What are we feeling? And how is that influencing our environments? Once we have that awareness, then we have to accept. And not accept from a resignation standpoint or a give up standpoint. It’s acceptance of just acknowledging this is reality right now in this moment.

[00:56:04] Brian Hite: This is where I am. I can like it. I can not like it. Whatever it is. It just is. This is my reality now. And once I’ve accepted that, Now I can do the next part. I can take action. I can self regulate and I can do that through all the techniques we’ve been talking about. I can pay attention to how I’m thinking and what types of perceptions I tend to have, pessimistic versus optimistic.

[00:56:27] Brian Hite: I can pay attention to how I talk to people and the level of, you know, Empathy that I have and patience for, but I can take these self regulatory steps to control not only myself, but in a way that influences my environment. That’s how that works. I mean, we have to have the awareness first, but then we have to accept we can’t jump straight from awareness to the self regulation.

[00:56:48] Brian Hite: We have to sit in a second and make sure that we truly understand where we are. So that we’re not just, you know, throwing darts at a board blindly trying to make changes that really don’t need to be made. We need to be aware and then accept. Then the regulatory steps that we take are probably going to be more likely to be effective.

[00:57:08] Brian Hite: That’s, that’s, that’s an approach that I take with, with that. 

[00:57:11] Mark Divine: No, I appreciate that. That’s very practical and it’s probably a great place to kind of wrap things up here. So your book is, uh, Begin Again, Utilize the Wisdom of Eastern and Western Ideologies to Achieve Your Full Potential. Love that. It’s available right now.

[00:57:26] Mark Divine: Is it in the marketplace? Yep, it’s available 

[00:57:27] Brian Hite: on Amazon. You can go there and buy it right now if you want to. And I’m probably about halfway through volume two of that. 

[00:57:34] Speaker 3: Okay. 

[00:57:35] Brian Hite: I had such a great time writing the first one, kind of what you mentioned at the beginning. What do you do, Brian, to, to set yourself up?

[00:57:41] Brian Hite: Well, it’s a bunch of sticky notes. You had more sticky notes. When I run out of sticky notes, then I’ll stop writing these volumes. But for now, I just, I’m keeping on going. So I’m about halfway through another one. You can be on the lookout for that. Maybe in another six months to a year, we’ll see how, how time plays out.

[00:57:57] Brian Hite: I have a couple other books that are, that are coming too. Mental Strength for Entrepreneurs. One is designed for entrepreneurs themselves to use the different skills and concepts for their own well being. And then the other book is geared more for, you know, Entrepreneurs to take advantage of those skills to create climates and environments for those they lead to set conditions for success of those who are part of their organizations.

[00:58:21] Brian Hite: So those books are coming out as well. And then I mentioned another book chapter. I wrote a chapter for a book called The Change, which will be out. probably around the same time this podcast comes out. It’s supposed to be out about two, three weeks from now. So, 

[00:58:36] Mark Divine: where can people find that? 

[00:58:38] Brian Hite: You can find that on Amazon as well.

[00:58:40] Brian Hite: And I can send you a link to it too, if you want and, and yeah, that’d be helpful to the podcast 

[00:58:47] Brian Hite: I can certainly do that. And, you know, just to, to remind everybody to the business that I’ve had is begin again, performance psychology. I do work with athletes, singers, dancers, musicians, I do keynote addresses as well for businesses, organizations around resilience, around performance, risk taking is another topic that I’ve focused on and I’m rebranding now.

[00:59:08] Brian Hite: It’s going to be Brian Hite Global. That’s going to be where we’re going next. 


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