Mark is joined by Amy streaming on Facebook Live to answer questions from his followers.
Today, Commander Divine is joined by his friend, Amy Jurkowitz, to answer questions from his followers on Facebook Live, as well as questions submitted prior to the livestream. Mark shares interesting insights on what it takes to be a great leader, how to cultivate compassion, how to start a mindfulness practice, and other suggestions on improving our mind, body, and spirit.
There were several questions about leadership including the following:
@drpedre: What do you think it takes to really be a leader? What characteristics?
@pthompson34: What qualities and characteristics do you feel a strong leader obtains?
Mark broke down the top 4 characteristics needed in a great leader.
How does a leader confront other peoples’ views after explaining a decision made?
Unless this is new information that impacts the decision, the decision has already been made, but it’s important to listen and thank people for sharing their perspective.
How do you show up when you really don’t feel like it?
Do something hard to change that feeling; that could be a cold shower or a hard workout. If that doesn’t work, fake it till you make it!
What is your evening routine 3 hours before bed?
Do you find that breathwork brings up anxiety?
If breathwork makes you anxious, you’re either doing it incorrectly, or you’re doing the wrong type of breathwork to activate a parasympathetic response. You need to focus on a slow inhale, and a slow exhale. Box breathing is a great practice for this!
I listened to the conversation you had with Dr. Fleet Maull. Interesting convo. Among the topics you discussed, I’d like to learn more about cultivating compassion for oneself and others, especially to overcome atmospheres of shame or hate.
When we have difficulty with others, it is often a sign we recognize things about them that we dislike about ourselves. We must first love and accept ourselves, flaws and all. We can also practice a loving kindness meditation. This is a great way to send kindness to ourselves and others. Another part of this is the practice of forgiveness. We must forgive ourselves and others, whether in writing, in person, or just in our minds. Forgiveness is crucial to healing.
How to get started with meditation?
Joining a community with a qualified teacher is really the best way to go.
If you must get started on your own, it can be extremely helpful to start with a practice like box breathing to calm the central nervous system first. Box breathing (deep belly breathing with a count of 4 in, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4, repeat.)
Outlook on accelerated pace of digitization and decentralization?
We are changing at an exponential rate. People are starting to awaken. However, the direction the world takes is really going to depend on asking the right questions, and more and more people waking up.
Mark Divine 1:03
Welcome to the Mark Divine Show. I’m your host Mark Divine. In this show, I discover I dive in and discuss what makes the world’s most inspirational, compassionate, and resilient leaders so fearless and courageous will talk in depth to people from all walks of life, martial arts grandmasters meditation monks, top CEOs, elite military leaders, Stoic philosophers, prod survivors, and many more. In each episode, I strive to turn our guest experience into actionable insights for you. You can learn from you can follow and use to lead a life filled with compassion and courage. Today, I am hosting a Q & A. We’ll be focusing on leadership exponential mindset, how to lead in the age of accelerating technology and cultural change and how you can prepare yourself to dominate. Speaking of leading in the exponential age I’m super stoked to be preparing for and putting out a free masterclass on February 24, called Forging an Exponential Mindset or something to that effect. So if you’re interested in this program, it’s free. Then go to our website unbeatable mind calm and sign up. You’ll also see advertising for this on our LinkedIn page, my Mark Divine LinkedIn page or Instagram at RealMarkDivine, or on Facebook at RealMarkDivine. I’ve got my good friend, Amy Jacqueline’s here, who is going to tee up some questions that we fielded from our Instagram and Facebook channels. So Amy is going to ask me and then including what she wants to try to stump me on, and which won’t be that hard. And we’ll have a good conversation and see what comes up. Thanks, Amy. Thanks for joining me, it’s good to see you.
Amy Jurkowitz 2:52
Well, it’s great to see you too. And the first question is, how do you feel after COVID?
Mark Divine 2:57
Oh, well, you know, it took me about two weeks after I get like, quote, unquote, healed to feel pretty normal. I feel fortunate because I’ve heard stories about people feeling not normal for months. So I feel pretty good right now. COVID itself. You know, I think I had the omachron variant. So it was pretty mild, relatively speaking. This felt like I had a bad cold. Thanks for asking. Yeah, because you thought I had bronchitis, but I did.
Amy Jurkowitz 3:25
I was like, get to the doctor.
Mark Divine 3:28
Doctor not gonna do anything for me, in that case, rest and letting the body’s amazing abilities to heal is what I would like, I prefer that anyways, don’t take medical advice from me. That’s a bad idea.
Amy Jurkowitz 3:39
Like, don’t definitely don’t. But I’m glad you’re feeling better. And Sandy and everyone else. So that’s pretty good. All right. So I’m just gonna jump right into some of these questions that some of your fans have asked you. This is from Pablo VAs Gong z 27. And he says, How does a leader confront other people’s views after explaining a decision? Well, that’s a good question.
Mark Divine 4:04
What I would do is thank them for their input and their perspective. Let them know that I appreciate it. And that is valid, but I sure wish they had shared it prior to the decision being made. And that in the future, that’s preferable course of action. But I wouldn’t, you know, unless the information has a dramatic impact on the decision, then, you know, decision has been made. At the same time as a leader, you know, if decisions made, I do find some information that is material, then I will always take another look, you know, I’m not that rigid in my positionality, that I can’t change something after a decision been made. I frequently do. Good question, though.
Amy Jurkowitz 4:45
Okay. I mean, in a similar vein, you know, there’s a lot of questions about leadership. I’m part of that is because I know you’re launching a really exciting program in a couple of weeks, called the exponential mindset. And I think there’s a lot of curiosity around what is that program? So before I even get into, I think, some of these questions that are sort of tangent off of that. Do you want to even just say, What Why are you doing a training program called the exponential mindset?
Mark Divine 5:12
Well, I’ve got a company called unbeatable originally, we called it unbeatable mind, we disrupt the mind off. And so we’ve developed a unique way to train leaders through mindset development. And so that kind of has become an expertise. Like we’re one of the leaders in the world in terms of training mindset, like actually, no shit developing and not just talking about it. And so I developed the program back in 2012. Amy, and it hasn’t really changed since then, although we’ve changed some of the models and distinctions and all that, but the world has changed dramatically. It really has. Technology has really accelerated it’s converged. It’s obviously radically changed things especially since the pandemic which actually kind of triggered a, an acceleration leap in the adoption of technology, especially virtual learning, and collaboration. And so because of that, what I’ve noticed is that the program, and the distinctions that I made in the tools that I’ve trained, I need to go to the next level, and people are ready for that. Part of that is a lot of other people are now training mindset. And they’re really training it at a surface level, like attitude, changing your perspective on things, appreciating, you know, the technologies that are going to be germane in the future, right, those are really surface level shifts in a little bit shift in behavior a little bit shift in what you think or how you think, or even what you know about technology. What I believe is that we need to go much deeper, and literally shift how we use our minds. And that, that we’ve been trained as a result of the nature of our educational system, and just the Western mindset as the staunch, individualistic mindset, to think in a linear pattern. And that worked for us, in the industrial information age, when things kind of, you know, the perception was that there was some sort of cause and effect linearity to things. And now we’ve shifted into the exponential age where there’s no linear cause and effect that you can point to practically for anything. And so we’re getting this kind of feeling of chaos and confusion. And that’s what we call VUCA, volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. And what I know through our training and my own training, my personal experience is that through training your mind a certain way you can adapt to be very comfortable with this environment. Where by your decisions become much more spontaneous and intuitive. And you get out of your sense of individuality and become open to the collective team or organization’s brilliance, as opposed to as a leader thinking that you’ve got to solve all the problems. So I wanted to really introduce some of these ideas, and how to develop this whole mind integrative thinking, and then actually train it, I think it’s going to be one of the most important if not the most important or critical leadership skill to navigate this exponential age.
Amy Jurkowitz 8:05
So are you going to run that program virtually? Or do people come in person? And are you gonna throw water on them? Is this a physical thing? Or is this mostly a mindset?
Mark Divine 8:14
Yes, let me put it this way. Ideally, we will engage people at all levels and make this an embodied Leadership Development Program. And that’s really the essence of what we do and why what we do or what I do is so effective, starting with SEAL Fit, and, you know, continue with unbeatable, the way that we learn as human beings is multi dimensionally, we download and consume content through various mechanisms, written content, reading, visual content, through video, and graphical and whatnot, or even video games. And then communities of practice where we learn from each other while consuming content or playing games or doing tasks and projects and creative things. And so what we want to do in this program is to engage people at all those different levels. But first, they have to understand the principles. And so the program was is going to start out with an eight week virtual program, where I’ll introduce the principles, there’ll be individual practices associated with them. Because once we download content, then we want to start to put them into practice, that’s the second stage of learning. And then we’ll also have some coaching. So you’ll be able to interact with an individual. And this is where we begin the Community of Practice, where you’re not alone, you’re learning with your peers, and you’re learning with a guided teacher who’s guiding you and providing indirect feedback. And so that’s level three. And then level four, would be a much deeper immersive experience where you’re training with a team. And so we call that a boat crew. So that part of developing an exponential mindset comes after this initial a week when individuals would join our year long program. And in that year long program, we also get together in person, and we do immersive embodied training. So yes, that’s when we get wet and Sandy, that’s when we learn integrated movement and bring breathing and visualization and mindset into a team environment to develop the team’s exponential thinking capacity. So it’s really multi dimensional, but we’re gonna start out with eight weeks, as I described, and then those who are willing and ready and accept the premise that I’m putting out here that this training is critical to lead an exponential age we’ll step up to the whole year long program.
Amy Jurkowitz 10:27
Sounds fantastic. I’ve
Mark Divine 10:29
got a slot for you by the way.
Amy Jurkowitz 10:30
Yeah, I’m coming. Thanks for explaining that because there are so many training programs out there and I know you’ve always differentiated yourself in so many ways, just even by hitting all those different mind body spiritual service. Different types of plateaus as you call them. Some as read a question from an am shipping MD, maybe answer. How do you show up when you really don’t feel like
Mark Divine 10:58
that’s a good question, man. Well, there’s two things that come to mind right off the bat. First, I do something hard to change that feeling, right? So I take a cold shower, and that’s nothing new, a lot of people do that. And then I go do my workout, and my workout is always hard. And at the end of the workout, I feel much better and much more motivated. And I’m ready to at least start to shift my attitude, right. And if my attitude isn’t fully shifted, I go into my mind gym, and I begin to, you know, practice, whatever it is, that I’m showing up for, and seeing myself kind of crushing, this only takes a few minutes. And if that still doesn’t work, then I fake it, until I make it. It’s amazing what will happen if you actually just jump into something, you know, with the can do attitude and say, even if I don’t feel like showing up in a screw it, I’ve got to show up, right, I have to do this. And so you dive into it. And once you dive into something, and you start to receive the feedback of really committing to it, because it’s important, and then you start to feel motivated to do it. So action eliminates doubt, that’s probably the number one point there. Do something hard, when in your mind, and then just go do it. And once you start, you know, the mindset will
Amy Jurkowitz 12:20
start to shift in your favor. I love that action limits doubt I’d always had this. Someone had told me this once I thought it’s the same kind of thing, like count to 10. And no matter what, it doesn’t matter if you’re fearful of it, just count to 10 and then do it. Yeah, no.
Mark Divine 12:35
Yeah reminds me of jumping off those massively high cliffs and you’re like, I don’t think I can do this. You have to come to a point. Either I’m going to go or I’m not going to go. And so if you’re going to go then just go, just go. If you’re not going to go then turn around and walk away. But don’t sit there and wonder whether you
Amy Jurkowitz 12:51
Yeah, well, I mean, there’s a big difference kind of attend to bungee jump and jumping off a building. So please, let’s do it. Let’s keep it set. Here’s another question. And it’s a pretty general question. But I think people really love to hear your answer. And it’s from Dr. Padre PE, D Ra. What do you think it takes to really be a leader what characteristics of course, there’s
Mark Divine 13:13
a lot because leadership is many things. And it’s experienced by people in different ways. There’s self leadership, there’s the leadership of a team, there’s leadership of an organization, or there’s leadership of a cause, or country. And each one of them is going to require different qualities or characteristics. But in general, I would say, you know, the number one or the, let’s just stick with the top four, because you can’t really rank these. But self awareness is really important, right to have self awareness of your strengths, your weaknesses, how you show up for people, what your gaps are, in knowledge, generally speaking, recognition, about, you know, human nature and our position in the world, right. So self awareness is pretty vast subject. But being on a path to self awareness is critical for a leader. Like Socrates says, a life examined is not worth living. And there are a lot of leaders who don’t examine themselves or their lives and their wrecking balls. And we see that in politics all the time, because there’s really no prerequisites. It’s not politics isn’t a meritocracy, any stretch of the imagination, you get much more self awareness in the corporate world, where it is in the western world is more of a meritocracy. And so you don’t ascend to the highest ranks, you know, without a pretty good sense of self and how you relate to others in the world. I think of like my friend, Carmen de Scipio, who’s chairman or CEO of Ernst and Young, you know, even back at Colgate, I don’t know if you knew Carmen, but he was much more self aware than I was, he was much, much better leader. You know, people just felt really calm and heard by him. And that was a skill that somehow he developed through his family, and you know, his origin as an immigrant Metallian to America, and it’s really fascinating. So anyways, that’s number one. Number two is self control. Now, self awareness can naturally lead to greater self control, because you’re going to become aware of where you’re reactionary or out of control. But self control needs to be trained. So self control is that aspect of you that’s not going to fly off the handle or be in someone’s face, because they’re challenging your viewpoints or even be all syrupy nice with your language but be out of control and boiling with rage inside. That’s lack of emotional self control. So this requires, it’s kind of a follow on to self awareness. Because once you become aware of reactionary behavior or something that you’re out of control on some emotional state or something that triggers you, then you got to work on it. And if you don’t work on it, it doesn’t magically go away. So self control I think, is probably the second best because as a leader, you don’t want to be the one that’s dropping grenades on your team and blowing up meetings and causing you know, things to be you might have the most brilliant idea And typically, it’s the ones who think that they have the most brilliant ideas who are the least in control, because they’re really married to their ideas. And so then they lose it when their ideas either aren’t accepted or you know, they’re changed, or they’re challenged. The third skill, which is built on top of self awareness, and the development, self control is humility. And this is, again, where the leader doesn’t make it about her him. It’s not this is my show, or my way or the highway or the success of the team is my success, even if I pretend to give that success back to the team, right? It really is about the team and about the mission. And you know, if tomorrow it looked like someone else would be a better leader for this, you’d gladly step aside because it really is about the mission and the deed. Really, right. It’s not about your career, or your position, or your rank, or your authority. And you recognize when you have this attitude, generally you’re the right person to lead because you’re capable of, of unlocking the potential of the team because you’re not a blocking energy to the team’s brilliance or the team’s potential. So humility is really important. And then I would say the fourth would be openness. Again, openness will come as a result of greater self awareness, a lack of reactionary conditions. So self control, humility, naturally will point toward openness but openness is something also that has to be developed. To me that means open hearted and accepting of others good, bad and ugly, and accepting of other person’s viewpoints, you know, skin color, religion, country of origin, inclusiveness, inclusiveness of all that plus different perspectives, and not having to be right and not judging. Right. So openness leads to a depth of character that is very forgiving, very accepting, very inclusive, and exceptional leader.
Okay, we’re gonna take a short break here from the Mark Divine show, to hear a short message from one of our partners. This episode of the Mark Divine show is brought to you by progressive, what’s one thing you purchased with a little extra savings, a weighted blanket, a smart speaker, that new self care trend you keep hearing about? Well, progressive wants to make sure you’re getting what you want by helping you save money on car insurance. Drivers who saved by switching to progressive save over $700 On average, and customers can qualify for an average of six discounts when they sign up. Discounts like having multiple vehicles on your policy. Progressive offers outstanding coverage and award winning claim service day or night. They have customer support 24/7 365 days a year. When you need them most. They’re at their best. A little off your rate each month goes a long way. Get a Quote [email protected] and see why four out of five new auto customers recommend progressive. This episode of the Mark Divine show is brought to you by 10,000. At the heart of 10,000 is a stoic dedication to continuous improvement. Everyday faster, everyday, stronger, everyday better than yesterday. I love 10,000 shorts, I wear their tactical short, which is the ultimate combination of durability, mobility and versatility developed and tested by over 50 Special Operators who put into the test rocking, swimming, lifting CrossFitting all around beating it up, they produce one heck of a short, they don’t believe in overnight success. miracle drugs cure all quick fixes or shortcuts they believe in works in progress and in the value of their products. And in failure even they believe in dusting off getting back up grit, tenacity and grinding. That’s why I’m super proud to have 10,000 as a sponsor of the Mark Divine show, because we believe in the same things and their clothing is outstanding. 10,000 is offering our listeners now 15% off a purchase. If you go to their website 10 thousand.cc Enter the code divine at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase, enter the code divine at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase. Once again, go to 10 thousand.cc and enter the code divine. And thank you 10,000 for sponsoring this podcast. And now back to the show.
Amy Jurkowitz 20:16
Have you seen a shift on what makes a good leader Since COVID started. And from where we are today.
Mark Divine 20:23
I’ve seen a shift in how people are talking about it and a recognition that these qualities are important suddenly, but they’ve always been important. They’ve always been important. It’s just they haven’t been emphasized by organizations or by leadership theory or by leadership, teachers or developers. And it’s largely because those individuals or organizations either didn’t possess those skills themselves, so they couldn’t see how valuable they were. Or they mistook other things for the success of a leader, such as having a strong vision, right? A powerful vision and the ability to communicate effectively. Those are important skills as well, they’re more like communication can be learned tactically without necessarily becoming a better person, or more evolved person. And vision is more of a creative skill, right, which also becomes it expands as you open up your whole mind and, and do some training. But there’s a lot of people who are just very creative, and they tend to be entrepreneurial, and they tend to have visions, but it doesn’t mean they’re humble and open. So before COVID, and even, you know, well, prior to that, in the information, age and and back, well, industrial age had a different set of things that people thought were good leaders, and that was really back in the charisma and motivation and influence. But up until COVID, which was, you know, we can almost say was the information age or transitioning out of the information into the exponential age, vision, strategy, and collaboration were considered to be like, the most important skills. And so now, you know, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, those are still important. But what’s even more important is to have those built on the backs of your own drawing, self awareness, self control, humility, and openness.
Amy Jurkowitz 22:05
Yeah, and I think the biggest challenge, and you can always see it, you don’t have the community coming together anymore. So for a leader, where they could be in front of everybody, and building relationships, really off of whatever happened that day, it’s so fabricated now. And the challenges for a leader to make that connection are really difficult it is.
Mark Divine 22:25
And so it all boils down to trust. Right, in the past, it was verify. And that’ll lead to trust, right, and your verify, because you’re in an organization, everyone shows up at the meeting. Right? Everyone is accountable to some metrics, and this and that, and in over time, trust would develop in the current age, it’s trust, and then verify. And even in the verification stage, we’re not looking, we’re not playing gotcha, we’re playing what can we improve on, right. And so that’s even shifted. So leaders, because we’re navigating with virtual environments, and endless zoom meetings and everything, we’re not there in person. So we can’t use the whole body immersive experience of leading your charisma. And then we really then shift the locus of control to the team, and you trust the team, to be able to bring it every day, to accomplish their aspect, or their part of the mission, and to grow all in the same direction. And then over time, you know, obviously, you track the leading and then lagging metrics. And again, you’re not looking to see how long someone was logged on every day, or whether they were surfing the web during their time. I mean, that’s a big mistake. And companies did that early and COVID. They realize that one way to really turn employees often to decrease trust is to track what they’re doing. Now you track their results. And you track the results at a team level. And the team will ferret out if an individual is trying to not pull their weight deliberately. And it’s usually not the case, although that does happen. Usually, it’s the case that they’re misaligned. or something’s going on, they just haven’t had the opportunity to express or they’re afraid to because the culture hasn’t evolved enough where you know, you can say something to the team, like, Hey, I’m not showing up mentally 100% Today, most people won’t do that. But I think we’re getting to a place where that’s going to become normal. And you’re like, you’ve seen that in some of the Olympians in the sports. Like I love the fact that some of them are leading some of the women are leading, like the gymnasts. And they’re saying, You know what, I, I’m not on my game. And that shocked a lot of people because elite athletes and elite, corporate athletes and lawyers and leaders, we generally stuff that stuff. So I think that teams will become self policing in terms of making sure that they can bring out the best of that teammates, which also includes recovery, taking downtime, mental health days, those types of things, picking up extra slack when your teams can’t do it, you know, your teammate can do
Amy Jurkowitz 24:57
I think you can start in Mikayla Shiffrin last night, I mean, the devastation when she, you know, fell the second time and you felt the mental stress of you know, losing her father or the pandemic, like, these pieces have just exaggerated. I’m going to shift it a little bit. There’s some fun questions sort of about you personally, that I think people are always wondering about, okay, don’t worry, it’s not too personal. But what’s your typical evening routine for you? Three hours before bed? Like how do you stay so fit so active and vibrant? What do you do
Mark Divine 25:29
my evening ritual? It’s a great question, because, you know, everyone focuses on morning ritual, and I have a pretty strong morning ritual. It’s the foundation to my day, and if I miss it, which is rare than my day is demonstrably different than if I catch it. The evening ritual, though, is really important as well. And so for me, there’s a ritual around family and my wife, right so I love to spend time and have dinner we used to cook dinner together or do Some sort of dinner thing together around 6pm. And then we’ll spend some time continuing a conversation more processing the day. And it’s, you know, both of us sharing what went well, what were the exciting things that happened, what was challenging, and those types of things. So it’s a little bit of a debrief. And you can do that alone. Or you can do it with a sniffing another eye. If you have a significant other, doing your morning and evening ritual together, I found is an extraordinary twofer. Because you get this deep connection and intimacy and you’re always in sync, you share. And sharing is the root of intimacy. And I’m not talking about sexual intimacy. But sharing helps there too, and I’m talking about is just being in sync, not treating, like you’ve got a roommate who’s in a separate room, that suddenly you come, you know, maybe share the same bed with this. So that’s powerful. I do not do a movement practice, very often in the evening, because I typically train in the afternoon 430 to five my time I’m doing Aikido a few times a week, and or I’m getting acupuncture or taking a walk on the beach. And so I’m trying to fulfill some of what I call our six pillars, six pillars for us in unbeatable our Exercise and Movement. Right. And so I keto and walk on the beach would be considered movement. My morning routine includes movement in the form of Asana, yoga, as well as exercise in terms of high intensity interval training, nutrition and sleep. So that comes in the form or nutrition recovery, I should say, that comes in the form of, you know, just paying attention to what I eat, and how I eat, I don’t want to go into all the details here, and taking some downtime in the evening. And then time in nature. And so when I get out on the beach, I’m also I’m doing some movement, and I’m breathing deeply, and I’m managing my mind. And I’m also getting that nice time in nature, you know, walking barefoot on the beach, breathing all that fresh ocean air. So that’s a big part of my evening ritual, even though it happens at like 430 or five my time. Generally speaking, when I you know, we turn off the lighting, go to bed, I go back to my breath awareness. And I go, you know, do a quick review and see if there’s anything that is like unfinished or any regrets or any kind of like nagging psychological energy that I need to deal with. Right? And this could happen, actually, before I turn the lights out, but sometimes it doesn’t. And if there is, then I’ll make a mental note, to deal with it first thing in the morning. Or if I can deal with it right then then I’ll really get back up and deal with it and might be sending an email or text or a note just to like, you know, apologize or, or to say, can we have a do over or you know what I mean? Let’s have a conversation tomorrow, that type of thing. That’s been a very valuable practice, as well. And then there’s the little bit of sleep hygiene stuff that, again, is not a big deal, because everyone knows about it. You know, by now, this stuff usually happens automatically, like my sleep bait is already cooling down my bed, my weighted blanket is there and get the blackout curtains going.
Amy Jurkowitz 29:06
Are you tracking your sleep?
Mark Divine 29:08
No, I used to do that. And I didn’t learn anything new after a few months. I mean, I was averaging 90 sleep score on a monthly basis. I could feel when I didn’t get a 90 and I could feel when I got a 94. And I could almost peg exactly what my score was going to be. And so I just stopped using the ring, the aura ring wasn’t providing any incremental benefit to me. And there’s one more thing that took up my time. So it became a distraction. All these
Amy Jurkowitz 29:34
trackers can. They are meant to do the right thing. But they also can give you more anxiety. I agree. I wake up and it tells me that I didn’t sleep well then like oh shit, I didn’t sleep I’ll have a terrible day. Normally, I could just keep going like I don’t care if I didn’t sleep well. No one’s telling me but somebody brought up a question. This is from at True Health Project, thinking and I know you talk a lot about breath work and it brings anxiety down but to them their question is breath work brings up anxiety for me. Why is that?
Mark Divine 30:03
If that’s true, then there’s two things that are possibly wrong. One is you’re doing the breath work wrong. Or two, you’re doing the wrong breath work. breath work, the way we teach it for arousal control naturally stimulates your vagus nerve and will activate a parasympathetic response. It can’t not do that. Because it’s just basic physiology. It’s like if you intend unless you’re paralyzed, if you intend to lift your leg and you move the muscles lift your leg, your legs will lift. And so if you intend to breathe slowly through your nostrils and to fill your lungs up and to relax, when you do that, it will activate your parasympathetic rest and digest system. And if you do this, for a minimum of five minutes, it will calm me down and lower your anxiety. But if you’re breathing through your mouth, or if you’re breathing shallowly and rapidly and you’re mistaking that for breathwork, or if you’re doing some sort of intense breathing exercise, like Wim Hof mouth breathing, or you’re doing 30 rounds of you know Intense inhale and exhale through your mouth and then holding your breath on the exhale, and you haven’t, or you’re naturally anxious and you’ve got a lot of stress build up and that’s going to actually make you more stress and more anxious. Because that’s a sympathetic nervous system practice. Right? So you’re you’re amping yourself up, instead of calming yourself down. It was very important to study which breath practices are effective, for distressing and calming and which ones you want to use to amp up and, you know, go to into combat with the Wim Hof, it’s good to amp up, get ready for a workout. It’s not good to calm down, box breathing or breath awareness through your nostril breathing, slow five, count and five count out, that’ll definitely calm me down.
Amy Jurkowitz 31:44
Now that makes sense. I think we’re gonna get to two more questions. And this one goes back to I mean, your podcast is obviously growing, and you’ve changed the name and your guests have gotten better and better every single week. This is from Zen, the savage. And he she or they said, I listened to the conversation you had with Dr. Fleet Mall. Interesting combo. Among the topics you discussed, I’d like to learn more about cultivating compassion for oneself and for others, especially to overcome atmospheres of shame or hate. And compassion.
Mark Divine 32:21
Means with passion, right? And so, but with passion, or shared passion is probably another way to look at that. And so how do you have shared passion for another individual if you don’t feel like you either like them, or you may even dislike them or hate them. If that’s the case, there’s a really good chance that you have that same feeling for yourself, but you’re unaware of it. Generally speaking, the human condition is such that what we dislike in another person is something that we either dislike in ourselves, therefore, we’re projecting it on someone else. Or we just completely repressed some emotions from trauma. So it’s either expression or repression or projection, you know, one of those things. But the point is that the answer to having compassion for others lies in having passion for yourself, meaning you like yourself, and that you can forgive yourself for your flaws, or your failures or your, you know, regrets. And so then the question, I guess, really is, how do we get there? What’s the practice of compassion, you can approach this two ways. One is through the outer movement, of forgiving others. And forgiveness is literally loving action is a doing thing, like you’re expressing forgiveness. This is like one of the 12 steps, you know, in Al Anon or Coda meetings or alcohol Anonymous is to basically make amends that’s expressing some form of forgiveness. And it can be through a letter it can be in person or can be literally in your mind, if it’s not safe, doesn’t mean that you suddenly turn around and love and going to hang out with this person. And it doesn’t mean that you like what they did or said to you. But you’re willing to outwardly Express forgiveness, and to accept it that it just happened. And it didn’t necessarily make this person a horrible person, it’s just the way things are. And that we have very similar qualities, and we’re not perfect, and then we’re also not horrible. The second is the inward movement of forgiveness. And this is to basically accept you are who you are, as you are, just recognize that as human beings, we are perfectly fine. It’s just that we have upon that, that goodness, we’ve kicked a lot of judgment, and even self loathing, based upon the way we were dealt with or handled early on in our life, that traumas, bullying, the lack of emotional support. And when you’re, you know, you’re a young child, you just take that very personally because there’s nothing else in the world to you, but you write you have no way to really recognize that it’s not personal, you take that on is a low self esteem or self worth issue. And so, that second movement, which should be actually if you were to sequency it should be the first movement is the inward movement of self forgiveness and self love and acceptance that you are okay the way you are. And then the second movement is to express that the love and action through forgiveness to another individual, and acceptance of who they are. And this naturally in necessitates that this is done from the heart, right? It can’t just be an intellectual exercise. And so the practice is challenging, and there’s a lot of resistance. And so it requires that you, you know, you get really quiet and to open your heart and to feel this and not just think it to feel the self love To feel the acceptance of this other individual. And so you know, complements this practice such as what Dr. Mall described, you know, come from the Eastern traditions, the tongue all practice of breathing in someone else’s suffering and breathing it out into the world or into the ground or you know, something like that, or the loving kindness meditation where you start with someone that you love, and you send them loving kindness, and then someone you just like, and you send them loving kindness, then someone you don’t like, you send them, let me copies and then someone you actually really pisses you off, you know, you can’t stand, you send them loving kindness, right. So you do that and kind of a staged approach. So there’s some phenomenal practices, this is a good time to really state the distinction between eastern and western healing modalities and show how they work hand in glove. So the Western mind is that doer is outward focused, and it likes to fix things. And so Western psychotherapy and psychology is about identify the problem, go fix the problem through your behavior, like cognitive behavioral therapy, or through appreciating the internal state of affairs and objectifying it meaning like bringing it out, so you can examine it in a relationship with the therapist, and then changing the energy associated with that. So that’s a fixing approach. And that’s okay. But it’s not enough. And the Eastern model, you know, from Buddhism, or from yoga, says that we are okay, just the way we are. Right, the human being is good. The Buddha said we have 84 positive qualities, but we just hide them from ourselves through negative mental conditioning and negative emotional patterns. And so the Buddhist say, Well, the answer to that is don’t fix because it keeps you stuck in those negative patterns, or you’re focusing all your energy on those negative patterns. So therefore, they grow. And there’s a lot of truth to that, because you know, what you focus on what you give energy grows, right, it can get worse. And this is why just sticking with talk therapy, sometimes you can be 2030 years, my wife is a therapist, she got clients she’s been with for 30 years, they’re discussing the same problems, and she tries to wean them off it, but they’re addicted to, you know, the talk therapy, but they’re dealing with the same issues, it hasn’t been resolved to talk therapy can, you know, has a lot of limitations, the Eastern approach is to develop presence through meditation. And in that presence, when your mind begins to disengage from the thinking and your emotions, it can turn inward. And when it turns inward, naturally, it’s looking for its pure essence, it’s looking for the nature of the big capitalist self. And when we find it, we call that awakened awareness, or an awakening moment where you’re like, Oh, my God, look at that aspect of me is connected to everybody else. It’s pure consciousness, it’s bliss, it’s love. And then you want to find that more often. Because in that space of pure presence, you feel whole, you don’t feel broken, because you’re not. And so I am a big proponent of combining meditation, and seeking that witnessing presence and acknowledging the goodness in us with Western methodologies for behavior modification, you know, habituating virtues and overcoming trauma. Together, they work really well. And you can accelerate your growth.
Amy Jurkowitz 39:18
I would say that I think that’s what’s makes you stand apart. I mean, if someone looks at you, and at first, like, oh my gosh, he was a commander in the Navy SEALs. He is the scariest guy of the eye,
Mark Divine 39:28
or all of them are a little scarier, and I am.
Amy Jurkowitz 39:31
But when someone gets to know you, I think it is this sort of Eastern influence that you have, and that you’ve incorporate into your life that has made you so calm and steady and approachable. And just as a last question, if somebody wants to incorporate that and use that Easter piece, and even if it started with meditation
Mark Divine 39:53
they’re going to take a short break here from the Mark Divine show, to hear a short message from one of our partners. This episode of unbilled mind is brought to you by the Jordan Harbinger show, if you’re looking for another podcast that’s entertaining, informative and packed with actionable content with an excellent host, then Jordan Harbinger is your guy. You know, the average podcast listener has six shows in rotation. So I’d love for you to add his show into your rotation. Because if you’d like my show, you’re going to love his it’s a top shelf podcast. It was named Best of Apple in 2018. So it’s not just my suggestion, but Apple and a lot of people like me love his podcast. He dives into the minds of fascinating people like he’s all over the place with really interesting thing athletes, author scientific scientists, mobsters, spies hostage negotiators. I love his recent episodes with Ray Dalio, the thought leader around finance and kind of world economics, and is also with Tony Hawk, who’s a local individual that I know here who’s obviously created the professional sport of skateboarding. He’s an undeniable talent He gets his guests to share things that they never thought about before even and without fail. He puts tactical bits of wisdom into each episode all actionable. I think you’re really gonna like this podcast I’m a fan to definitely Jordans the man when it comes to podcasting. And his is one of the most highly rated self development shows out there. Point blank Jordans. Funny. He’s smart. This is an easy to listen to show, it’s worth your time. Can’t go wrong with the Jordan Harbinger show search for Jordan Harbinger show that’s ATR B as in boy, I n as Nancy G our search for it on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks, Jordan. And now back to the show.
Amy Jurkowitz 41:44
How do they start? Do they jump on an app on calm? Do they take a transcendental meditation course? How can they at least start incorporating that into their life,
Mark Divine 41:54
if you’re looking to take a meditation, then joining a community that has qualified instructors, and some sort of process and structure is very, very valuable, as opposed to just doing an app on your own. And so based upon those first two very, very appropriate recommendations, I would say, TM is way better for you than just downloading an app like calm or 1% happier or Insight Timer. Now those apps can be an Augment. But TM or any type of meditation, whether it’s Zen or Zen is more approaching it from the concentration, mindfulness approaching it from the perspective of monitoring your thoughts and you know, getting comfortable and trying to disengage from them. And TM is a process of naturally turning inward, and what they call automatic self transcendence. So there are three really different styles of meditation. If I was to train someone, I would say a few things. First, let’s see where your mind is at. If you’re really distracted human being which most are in the West, then we need to work on our concentration first. So we’re going to work on box breathing. Now, box breathing will have a multifold effect on the state of your mind and your physiology, your physiology and psychology first, as we discussed earlier, because you breathe in through your nose in a slow and controlled pattern, five and five, hold Five out five hold, then you’re naturally calming your body down, and you’re distressing. And one of the reasons people have so much trouble meditating, and their bodies are too agitated, and they’re full of anxiety. And so they sit down. And the reason they have the popcorn brain is because the brain is full of stress and anxiety. So the body needs to take time to de stress. And breathwork is one of the most fastest and most powerful ways to do that. Secondarily, when you concentrate or hold your mind on that box pattern, you’ll get better and better at noticing when your mind wanders or gets distracted away from it and you can bring it back. So you’re training attention control. And then when you get better at that and holding that pattern. Now the third piece is your training concentration. So you get a three step triple whammy with Box breathing, by training, arousing control attend to control and concentration all in one practice. And that is usually enough for the individual to stabilize their mind to calm down and to be able to sit comfortably and go deeper in the meditation. And I think at that point, automatic self transcendence would work. If they’ve done self awareness work in the past, if they haven’t done self awareness work in the past, it’s usually appropriate to begin a practice of mindfulness. Because what then starts to really trip people up is emotional patterns, is when you start a practice of meditation, these emotional patterns come up and they can be really uncomfortable. And one of the main reasons people quit is because this discomfort. And so mindfulness is a practice of monitoring your thoughts like you’re actively like, what am I thinking right now? Oh, interesting. That thought keeps coming up. I had that yesterday and the day before, and I don’t like it. And now you can take that thought pattern that stream or that circular looping, and you can like carve it out, and begin to examine it through journaling, through contemplation through work with your therapist or your life coach your unbeatable coach. And generally speaking, this is going to be extremely valuable, because a lot of people have one or two of these big things that are just in their way. And if we can deal with those, then we’re going to have a much better chance with the automatic self transcendence practice. And so these things tend to work in progression. Now, like I said, if someone has been doing a breath practice, and they’re really fit and their nutrition is dialed in, they’re sleeping very well. Right, and they’ve done mindfulness, but they’re not finding much benefit. I’m like, Let’s go touch the void here. Let’s go do the silence practice. And this can happen through TM it can happen through deep Silent Retreat. It can happen through being alone in nature. It can happen through zij. Then there’s a lot of practices that get us there. TM isn’t the only one but it’s probably the one of the simplest one and it’s got a lot of research behind it. Now, the other thing I’ll say, and I just kind of alluded to this, meditation needs to be combined in a multi dimensional training and practice regimen. And we call that the integrated training plan. And that’s where the five mountains of unbeatable come from is like you train yourself physically, and mentally and emotionally and intuitively and spiritually, and then you, you develop this plan so that you’re doing some aspect of all five of those every day. And what happens here is now you’re bringing your whole being into the process of growth, not just not just your brain. And this is a challenge, like meditation, the way it was taught in this country was a brain exercise. And the brain is just one aspect of your mind, the brain is just one tool of the mind. And so we want to bring the entire body into the process. So we need to heal the body, we need to purify the body and make it a fit vessel to experience, the signals of the mind and the meaning that can be made, you know, from the nervous system and the gut and the biome and as the heart and you know, all the different aspects of how the mind perceives and uses the body to perceive reality. So fitness, movement, and then mental development, by improving the mental models overcoming cognitive bias, developing your contextual mind, which is basically opening your subconscious to more direct experience. And then, as we already talked about, with mindfulness, developing emotional awareness and emotional depth, so that you eradicate some of the shadow trauma, and that doesn’t get in your way anymore. And then naturally, your intuition will open up, as you are able to perceive you know, the signals from your body, not just your head, then then the last piece is just touching in with your spirit.
Amy Jurkowitz 47:43
That’s just thinking, you know, I think our next Facebook Live or Instagram Live, you could actually teach the box breathing, I think we could have a lesson in at least one of those modalities to get people on their way.
Mark Divine 47:55
I do have a Facebook question from Gearheart. So give her thanks for showing up. But what’s your outlook on the accelerated pace of digitization, digitalization and consequences for individual teams. So the impression that the mass ignores any guests when a potential trigger forces them to wake up, or how we wake them up? I think more and more people are becoming aware, if you’re in an organization, if you’re a leader, you’re aware of this, I believe you’re aware of this accelerating pace of digitization, and decentralization and all this kind of stuff, at least a reasonable sized organization that’s operating at a global level, maybe not the local pizza shop. But you’re right. So that’s still a small percentage of humanity are the leaders in organizations and in government that are dealing with this. So larger percentage of humanity, they may not be aware of what’s coming. But they’re certainly much more in tune with technology. Right. So if you think about, we’ve got the first generation entering the workforce who grew up 100% With a confluence of internet, Wi Fi, and a smartphone. And now a little bit later on mass collaboration, mass learning, mass communication, through communities of Learning Communities of Practice, and massive online games and, and learning communities. That’s very different than how Amy and I learned when we were a Colgate when we didn’t even have a computer.
And so the effect this has on the brain has a lot of positive qualities. And it has some qualities that we may be may think are suspect, such as distraction and distractibility inability to concentrate, and very, very short term focus. And so I think people are gonna get, I’ve already seen a major Wake Up Call in the last few years with a pandemic, and that everything is going to happen really fast. From here on out until people wake up and train their brain to be able to deal with that kind of pace of change in real time. Or they flat out connect themselves digitally, to the internet. And I do believe that’s coming, right, you’re going to see people through augmentation, connect to the internet. I’m very, very wary of that personally, although I recognize that there may be benefits to that as well, as long as you can disconnect. Right? So what we’re gonna see with the metaverse and the HoloLens and virtual reality, as people become more and more comfortable in the virtual world, until some people are going to be in the virtual world, almost to the exclusion except to take care of some basic needs. And so in that sense, there are already connected and then it’s very, very shortly from there to an implant. I think you’ll see all this happening in the next 20 years, or, you know, even by 2030, because it’s happening so fast. Even a self driving car is basically an extension, right where you are plugged into technology and using it in a way that’s got positive and brings a real benefit. And so we don’t want to go back in time and ignore this but we want to start really studying this as a culture and as a human. You know, as humanity and so what? What does this really mean for the human race, not just let the technologies just who just say, Oh, isn’t this cool? Or wouldn’t it be cool if we invented something like that? They’re going to invent this shit anyways, they can’t not it’s just their nature, what we need to do is start to really understand how these things are gonna affect us and what we want, like, what’s the vision, like the problem we have in our country, we don’t really have a combined vision that anyone agrees upon for what the future looks like in America. That’s a challenge, right? Because we have different visions. And any organization that had a multitude of visions with people trying to operate in that organization would tear apart at the seams. And then we don’t have a combined vision for humanity’s future. You know, are we an interstellar species? Some people say, yeah, and some people say that’s a waste of time, we should be spending that time and energy money, you know, healing the earth. And I think answer is both right? We got enough resources, not brainpower to, to solve both human beings are expensive, creative creatures, we want to explore, we want to figure things out and move beyond planet Earth, great, it’s gonna happen. But we can’t ignore planet Earth, you know, and planners can be healed simultaneously, right? And so the question is, What is the vision for the future, your heart, people need to wake up to that, and ask themselves, what do I want for the future myself? And what do I think the future for the human race is, and then more and more people who can align, then you’ll be able to direct culture as well as technology. But if you just sit around and play victim, or if we all sit around play victim, and just think that we’re, we’re just being acted upon which definitely appropriate to feel that way, because we are, because we’ve allowed it, we’ve been allowed to be cooked like a frog until most people are sheep and just are being led, you know, the more people who wake up and say, It’s time for us to lead through the collective power of our vision, then we can start to direct the future in a more positive way. And as far as Is there a trigger event for when that happens? I think that the trigger event is now like, it’s, there’s no time to waste. And that’s why you’re seeing 40 million people drop out of the workforce like it’s happening. Consciousness is elevating people are waking up spiritually, emotionally, to health, to longevity, to start to ask these questions, and to recognize that we don’t have answers, and we really need to start to get the dialogue going in a much broader scale.
Amy Jurkowitz 53:26
Well, I think that’s a great wrap up for today. And I think it’s also a plug it might be your new tagline for your exponential mindset program. If you don’t want to be cooked like a frog. Join on unbeatable mind. By the way, I
Mark Divine 53:40
think that whole metaphor that that is actually flawed. I don’t think a frog was sitting in a hot pan, you know, I’ve never tested out but I’m sure he’s gonna jump out before he gets cooked. Alright, thanks, folks, for showing up and for your questions. Thank you very much, Amy, for CO hosting with me and facilitating the questions that you asked that came from our audience. Excellent job. Show Notes and transcripts will be up in Mark.Divine.com video of the episode be up on our YouTube channel. You can always hit me up on LinkedIn. Quick plug for the new newsletter Divine Inspiration. If you would love to get insights and actionable habits and things that catch my attention every week, then please subscribe to the newsletter, you won’t be disappointed. Go to Mark Divine comm you’ll see the subscription right there. And if you like what you find, please share with other people and please rate this podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen to it. Especially shout out to my amazing team Jason Sanderson, Geoff Haskell, Michele Czarnik, and Amy Jurkowitz, who produced this amazing show, bringing incredible guests and doing all the editing and packaging and promotion. It’s an enormous amount of work. Amazing team who yeah, as you are aware, the world is changing fast. Subject we just discussed on this podcast. We seem divided we’re facing numerous complex global situations, including this evolving pandemic. Climate change, the impact of accelerating technology wide, widespread disruption, depression, anxiety, apathy, seems like things are a mess. Well, if that’s your perspective, it will be a mess. So it’s crucial that we wake up and take care of ourselves. Learn how to think positively learn how to craft a future that is filled with compassion and courage and learn skills of communication and cooperation, such as nonviolent communications and conflict resolution. We need to build teams who thrive on the exchange of creative energy and tackling large global issues. But it all starts with you. you cultivate these qualities in yourself first. And then you bring them and help others on your team or in your organization, develop the same qualities then together, we can change the world. So let’s do that. Who we are. See you next week. This is Mark Divine and this is the Mark Divine Show.