The Hard Way w/ Joe De Sena

Taylor Phinney, an Olympic cyclist, recently sacrificed some "skin for glory." He fractured his leg after crashing his bike at speeds usually reserved for the highway. As with many champion athletes, he found a way to turn adversity to his advantage. The recovery process has pushed his pain threshold that much higher enabling him, in turn, to push the limits of his endurance. He has learned to trust the struggle as a way to impart valuable lessons on how it can make him that much stronger.
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1. Children should be allowed to find their own way as athletes.
2. Black Top Effect suggests that athletic talent is a mixture of nature and nurture.
3. You've got to play every day as if you were a pro.

Direct download: 022-Taylor_Phinney-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Monty Halls, a BBC host and adventurer, has the definitive test of grit: See what happens when people are denied their next seven meals. Hunger will transform us all into gritty, foraging survivalists. When voluntarily stranding himself on a remote island in Scotland, the rugged individualist in him leaned on the strength of the community. After all, it was their hard earned knowledge and culture that helped them survive the rugged environment and it would be foolhardy to ignore this.
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1. Wherever you go, it's best to learn from the locals.
2. We're seven meals away from a savage. I.e., all inherently capable of grit.
3. We all need to go slay dragons now and then.
4. "I can't do this" is sometimes a brave decision.
5. Unfulfilled potential is the biggest crime against self.

Direct download: 021-Monty_Halls-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
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Suzette Clarke is on a mission to reconnect thousands of kids a year back to the land. Slide Hill Ranch, the original organic farm in America, offers a holistic remedy for the childhood epidemic she identifies--lack of exercise, unhealthy eating and a disconnect with nature. This sort of alienation doesn't discriminate between the wealthy and impoverished. Both groups are isolated from the earth in distinct ways. But all kids who pass through the ranch are left no choice; the cardinal rule is “get dirty”.  
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Direct download: 020-Suzette_Clarke-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
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Mark Divine opened SEAL Fit, a Navy SEAL preparation center, in response to the stark proposition candidates faced: Ninety percent will fail if left to their own devices. Fortunately Divine has the key for bolstering their mental toughness and dramatically increasing their odds for success. He took the same journey himself after upheaving a stable but miserable career as a CPA. What he found along the way defies stereotypes. According to Divine, philosophies similar to those of gentle spirits such as the Dalai Lama and Eckhart Tolle are a more effective way to grit than those of the average drill sergeant.
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1. The human spirit soars when it's challenged.
2. Life is made up of the small choices you make from moment to moment, rarely the big ones.
3. The essence of mental toughness is to notice when you unconsciously make the wrong choices.
4. The most important lesson for mental toughness is to know your "why."

Panel Notes:
Joe Desena: He looks exactly like the Navy Seal in the movie Captain Phillips that helps take out the pirates. I  am not so sure it wasn't him. Great guy, great friend that was a Seal and wrote to talk about it, but not in a way that upsets the military. He writes to help all of us develop an unbeatable mind.

Col. Nye: SEAL Fit Sauna. Always know your why.  Must be disciplined.  Inspirational fitness guru and bona fide hero.  Holistic view of fitness, body, mind and spirit.  He is there to teach resilience and toughness.

Sefra Alexandra: “SealFit develops warriors of all walks of life in elite-level fitness, awareness, durability and longevity. We thrive on cultivating the “Kokoro” (warrior) spirit in our clients, helping them be unbeatable in life.”

We as a culture have much to learn from the Navy SEALS and Special Operations/ veterans community at large in terms of physicality, strategy and endurance. My twin brother runs a similar venture- Tactivate - to bridge the gap between the skill sets of special operations x entrepreneurship.

Loyalty – to our family and our team
Service – to others before self
Honor and integrity – in public as well as in private
Leadership and followership – we must be good at both to be effective at anything
Responsibility – we take it for both our actions and those of our teammates
Discipline – the only easy day was yesterday
Innovation – adapt, improvise and overcome

Johnny Waite: This one is all about how to teach grit. A former Navy Seal, who now operates SealFit; he knows what it takes to develop physical and mental toughness.

Direct download: 019-Mark_Divine-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

The fact that soldiers came out of retirement to follow General McChrystal back into a very challenging war in Iraq speaks to his effectiveness as a leader. He knows a thing or two about motivation and how to bring out the best in people. McChrystal has adapted this gift to start up a consulting firm. His facility to raise expectations and adapt in the most trying of circumstances has served his clients well in the equally competitive corporate world. McChrystal posits that adaptability is the new efficiency.
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1. Performance usually rises and falls according to expectations.
2. What got you to the first success will not necessarily take you any further.
3. Adaptability is the new efficiency.

Panel Notes:
Joe Desena: Talk about a no-nonsense guy that can teach us about success. You don't just get handed four stars when you become a general. You earn them and he did. He is all business and has been getting the job done throughout all the modern wars we have been alive for. He knows what makes great warriors and what makes successful missions and organizations.

Col. Nye: Grit, success, self discipline can be taught.  Surrounding yourself with exceptional people rubs off.  Organizations and people must constantly set new standards and goals. Great organizational stress. Raise the bar at every chance but the bar has to be achievable.  EQ is the ability to look long term. Adaptability is the new efficiency. 

Sefra Alexandra: “Leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure- I came to believe that a leader isn’t good because they’re right; they’re good because they’re willing to learn and to trust.”
From General Stanley McChrystal’s 2011 TED Talk, “Listen, learn… then lead”
General McChrystal imparted the words of wisdom to Joe that, "the first thing you should do each morning is make your bed, so you have already accomplished something when your day starts." My bed has been made first thing every morning since. Thank you gentleman.

Johnny Waite: This guy is so impressive! Incredibly intelligent and compassionate. He gives some very clear advice that anyone can follow to achieve higher level of success and, just as importantly, how to help others succeed!

Direct download: 018-StanleyAllen_McChrystal-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
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Nate Carr grew up with a full team of elite wrestlers in his backyard. Out of five competing brothers, all were Division I NCAA All-Americans and two reached the Olympics. Nate managed to edge above the rest, earning Olympic bronze. What spurred him on? It could have been his indomitable attitude. His positive mindset is a motivational machine first leading to his success and then to that of the wrestlers he coaches. Listen in to hear the sort of self-talk that leads to greatness.
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1. Never personalize failure.
2. “No” means “next opportunity.” “Yes” means “you expecting success.”
3. Speak the end of the thing at the beginning, i.e., state the goal then set the strategy.

Direct download: 017-Nate_Carr-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Starting out homeless in 2008, Johnny Waite has certainly emerged from adversity and hit the ground running. He's gone on to finish the Death Race, and become a master at motivation, hypnosis, psychology, adversity and raising his two children. Johnny's official title is Quality Manager for Spartan Race. His obstacle laden path has taught him the value of a challenging life and its ability to unleash positivity into the world. His mission is to compassionately dole out that same hardship to others so that they too may build up obstacle immunity.
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1. An easy life is no life at all.
2. Always ask, “so what?” meaning in the face of this situation, what will you do now?
3. Most of us live in abundance and can therefore be producers instead of consumers.
4. Interrupt a person's usual pattern and you may spark a positive change in their life.

Direct download: 016-Johnny_Waite-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

ll Mimi Anderson really wanted was thinner legs. She ran the windiest road imaginable to get there, a journey that brought her across frigid tundra and blistering desert alike and placed her in the record books for posterity. Along the way, what she found hidden underneath her compulsion to thin down was a passion to challenge herself and grow. Anderson runs it in 100 mile+ chunks, but swears that 5k is plenty if that's what challenges you. She has one deceptively simple piece of advice: Just sign up and you'll find a way to make it happen. 

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1. Just sign up and it and you'll find a way to make it happen.
2. When the going gets tough, think of all the people who expect you to fail.
3. If you don't constantly push boundaries, you're not going to grow as a person.

Panel Notes:
Joe Desena: Who would take a hair dryer on a long distance multi day run? Multi day! She ran across South Africa.  Most people complain when they need to drive that far. Find out what helps her get through that kind of adversity.

Col. Nye: Remarkable woman, staggering accomplishments, tough as nails.  Driven by challenge and adventure. Growth comes from challenge. Listen to your body.  Must be mentally prepared at all times. Uses visualization.

Sefra Alexandra: “The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible”
Mimi has run across deserts in the Sahara, Libya, Chile, Kalahari and Namibia to name a few: feats a Land Rover would be whimpering about. Speaking of the Kalahari, the San Bushmen are masters of persistence hunting: a combination of running, walking and tracking to pursue prey to the point of exhaustion. A hunt for a kudu (antelope) can last 2-5hrs covering around 22 miles in 104-108 °F… try that as a change in your frame of reference. (GERONIMO)

Mimi is Co-Founder of Freedom Runners - a 2350km run across South Africa’s Freedom Trail to raise money to provide products to keep South African girls in school.

Direct download: 015-Mimi_Anderson-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT