THE FIVE MOUNTAINS | UNBEATABLE MIND | BY MARK DIVINE
Mark Divine is an expert in human performance as it is displayed in mental toughness, leadership and physical readiness. His work is based on an integral warrior-leader model that he developed and tested on over a thousand special operations candidates worldwide.

The first mountain: physical preparation

Physical training should not only be geared towards competing in particular event, a weight loss goal or strength objective. No matter your age, weight or conditioning you should plan to train your entire life. The quality of your life will drastically improve by conquering this mountain alone.

In order to develop this type of training, we focus on five key competencies:

Strength
Stamina
Endurance
Work Capacity
Durability

The Second Mountain: Mental Preparation

Mental toughness can be trained, and that mentally tough athletes achieve extra-ordinary success on the playing field as well as in the arena of life. Mental Toughness is the second mountain of SEALFIT training and something the ancient Greeks understood and embraced entirely. They used the concept of hard physical training to develop the mind along with qualities of good citizenry.

Those that have spent time in physically strenuous work, such as first responders or military warriors, understand the value that hard physical training brings to developing mental toughness.

The 3rd Mountain: Emotional Control

“There are two types of pain in the world. The temporary pain of self-discipline and the permanent pain of regret” — Anonymous

Are you familiar with the term, emotional baggage? Our bodies are giant energy producers and storehouses, and the energy we store often turns into emotional baggage. Emotional baggage can often come back to haunt you by way of feelings of fear, anger, timidity, jealousy, rage and other negative beliefs and responses.

Clearly these emotions are not supportive of our journey toward self-mastery. By ridding yourself of emotional baggage, you will find that your reward is depth of character. A good analogy to this is the flow of water in a stream. In places where it is shallow, the water is choppy and turbulent, like our monkey minds. But in places where the water is deep, there is stillness and calm.

Therapy is a terrific way to help shed light on any emotional baggage we may have trailing behind us, trashing things in its wake. Unfortunately, most people have a jaded view of therapy and believe it’s only for those that can’t gut through difficult situations. Not true. Therapy is preventative maintenance. Similar to preventing a flood in your house by clearing a clog in your bathroom plumbing, rooting out emotional blockages will improve the flow of your emotional intelligence and overall development.

Yoga is another fabulous tool for dealing with emotional blockages.

The 4th Mountain: Awareness and Intuition

The Fourth Mountain covers the key elements of awareness, intuition and sensory development. These can be further broken down into five essential components.

Attention Control

Is about being aware of your thoughts. Hold on, I know what you’re thinking.

Body Control

Is learning to control your body response through breathing and concentration.

Think of what happens when you’re watching a scary movie, the combination of visual and sound cues physically alter your body’s response. You may begin to shake or feel cold at the extremities as your blood rushes to your core in a fight or flight response. This is your mind controlling your body, though not through your conscious direction.

Our goal here is to apply body controls methods in order to determine your body’s response. Yogis and martial artists are great examples of people who practice body control.

Breath Control

Closely linked to body control, is about placing all of your conscious thought on the breath. Why? Think about it, you’re erasing every other thought from your mind but one.

Nothing else matters. Just thinking about that has a calming effect, and that’s precisely what happens. You’re body begins to relax. Another side benefit is increased lung capacity. Not too bad, either.

Concentration

Is also closely related to breath control but unique in its emphasis, as it is solely about focusing on this moment, right now.

Meditation

Our last area of focus, covers the discipline of listening deeply while absent of active thought. Notice I did not write sitting on a cushion and focusing on the breath. Meditation can also mean focusing on our environment, bodies and those around us. In other words, meditation is about learning to keep our mouths shut, minds open, and listening with our whole being.

The Fifth mountain Kokoro: The Unconquerable Spirit

“Out of the night that covers me, black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my Unconquerable soul.”
— Invictus, by W. E. Henley

We cannot easily separate the training of the mind, body and spirit into nice little chunks and say, “I am now working the body and tomorrow I’ll work the spirit.” An unbeatable spirit can be developed through the sum total of your daily work in the other four mountains.

The first is by practicing Total Presence. In the now, the future and past do not exist. The past is a memory and the future is a notion. Simply by collapsing our time to the present, we eliminate uncertainty and analysis paralysis.

The second way to cultivate Kokoro, or unbeatable spirit, is through fear management. Fear is what exists in the gap between what we know to be true, and what we know we don’t know to be true. The wider the gap, the larger our fear. Your goal here is to narrow and ultimately eliminate the gap between the known and unknown, and we do this by narrowing our focus to the present.

Thirdly, in order to develop unbeatable spirit we practice hyper-focus. Hyper-focus is focus to the exclusion of everything else. This is when you focus on a particular action or goal with all of your emotional, cognitive, subconscious and action energy. There are no compromises. There is no quit. Think of using your eyes like laser beams, singularly focused on you target.

Conclusion

Finally and closely related to hyper-focus is total commitment. This practice, also known as a warrior virtue, draws upon our values of discipline and courage and extends to both task and team. It’s what makes elite teams elite and can skyrocket your development towards an unbeatable you!