10 Lessons I Learned From Mark Divine

Who is Mark Divine?

A native of Oneida County, New York, Mark Divine served in the U.S. Navy SEALs for 20 years, retiring as a commander. As the founder of SEALFIT, NavySEALs.com, and U.S. CrossFit, he has coached thousands of Navy SEALs and other Special Ops candidates to succeed in the most demanding military training programs in the world, with a success rate near 90 percent.

In his new Unbeatable Mind Academy (unbeatablemind.com), Mark trains the public in the eight Way of the SEAL principles. This integral leadership program combines Western and Eastern practices into the most effective training program in the world for warriors, athletes, professionals, and leaders from all walks of life. An MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern Business School, Mark has run six multimillion-dollar business ventures. He also holds several black belts and teaches CrossFit, yoga, and self-defense.

My Story Using His Teachings

Mark Divine has made a definite impact in my life. It all started about 2 years ago when I read his book “Way of the Seal”. It truly went into depth about warrior-mindset. Mark Divine is an amazing example of a warrior-philosopher. Ever since encountering his work, my mindset has become a lot more powerful, disciplined, and focused. I feel like his work has truly connected me to my inner-warrior. I’m truly grateful for his teachings and I know that if you’re a man interested in becoming stronger and more mentally tough, then his content if for you. Check out his book Way of the Seal here.

The Benefits

#1 Breathe Like A Warrior

“A warrior breathes 4-6 breaths per minute”. – Mark Divine

Throughout his work, Mark often mentions the importance of breathing. He describes breathing as an essential practice for any man seeking to be a warrior. Breathing is key because it helps you stay grounded and relaxed no matter what’s going on in the outside world. And research has shown a definite correlation between breathing and a calming effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. No wonder warriors throughout history, as well as modern warriors all, use breathing techniques during combat.

#2 Do Spot Drills Throughout The Day

It wasn’t until I started reading Mark Divine’s books that I heard the concept of “spot-drills”. Spot drills are basically mini-drills you do throughout the day to stay in a peak state. When most people are stressed out or need a breather, they go and smoke a cigarette or zone out for a few minutes on their phone. But how often do those types of activities leave them with a sense of empowerment and happiness?

Spot drills are meant to leave you feeling empowered. I believe spot-drills are a MUST for anyone seeking to live a high-performance lifestyle. Mark recommends that you do 1-2 before noon and 1-2 afternoon. I personally do about 5-6 per day, sometimes even more. This is definitely one of my secrets to staying in peak state everyday…

Spot Drills Include:

  • 2 Minute Breathing Exercise
  • 50 Pushups/Squats/Situps
  • Smile For 1 Minute
  • 2 Minute Yoga Session
  • 2 Min Visualization Drill
  • 1 Minute of Empowering Incantations
  • Read a Paragraph of an Empowering Book

#3 A Warrior Of Integrity

I always heard of the word “integrity” but I never understood it until I encountered Divine’s teachings. Integrity is no longer just a word to me but a virtue that i seek to embody on a daily basis.

From what I understand, Integrity means to be congruent in thought, word and deed—alone, with teammates, and within the systems defining your life.

A more basic way would be to say “Practice what you preach”. If you preach warrior mindset, living life to a high-standard, etc…Then you better be living that standard yourself!

I preach high-standards but I also do my best to live them. That’s why I get up early, do MMA, lift-weights, train my mindset, and seek to mastery myself on a daily basis. Integrity is helping me become the man I see in my vision of self-mastery.

#4 Embrace The Suck

Mark Divine often talks about “embracing the suck”. This is a common term used in the military but the first time I heard about it was from him. Embracing the suck is an awesome thought to keep in mind when you’re doing something you don’t want to do.

The older and wiser I get, the more I’m starting to realize that growth often comes from doing what you do NOT feel like doing. I don’t always feel like working out, coming out with new content, or choosing broccoli over ice-cream. However, I am now mentally tough enough to embrace the suck and do the right thing. It sucks now but I’ll be PROUD in the long-run.

#5 Think Offense, All The Time

“With an unwavering confidence honed through offense-style language and powered by emotional mastery and mental toughness, you are well on your way to a SEAL-like offensive mind-set.” – Mark Divine

This is definitely one of my favorite mindset lessons EVER!

To increase your ability to have an offense-oriented mindset, one of the many things you must start to do is use empowering self-talk. Stop saying things like “defend, good, can’t, and try”. And replace it with “great, attack, will, and definitely”.

#6 Identify With The Witnessing Self

Mark Divine proves to be a warrior-philosopher again when he asks you to “identify with the witnessing part of you”. Even someone as high-performance and “go-go-go” as Mark Divine realizes the importance of identifying with the witnessing part of you instead of being swept away by thoughts, worries and other aspects of your psyche.

Understanding this has truly helped me become so much more high-performance in all that I do. And I feel so much happier too!

#7 Yoga Was Meant For Warriors

Ancient Indian warriors were often tasked to hold certain yoga positions for hours on end in order to forge the composure needed in combat. Mark Divine also wrote a book called Kokoro Yoga which contains many amazing yogic sequences that I use on daily basis.

I used to think that yoga was for women and effeminate men but now I’m starting to realize the power to be found in yoga. Not only is it an awesome way to start forging bodily control but it has a whole slew of other amazing benefits. And if someone with a badass track-record like Mark Divine sees value in yoga…I’m sold.

#8 Build Your Intuition

“The art of using your intuition is to learn by absorbing more information and then accessing it in a sensible form. This skill can help us make better decisions and avoid danger or problems, especially on the fly or in chaotic situations.” – Mark Divine

Almost all of the special forces warriors I have come in contact with have expressed the importance of intuition. Mark is no exception.  

Don’t dismiss intuition as some “hocus-pocus” pseudoscience. Make it a way of life by realizing that warriors from ancient times to modern times all use it as a way to make decisions in unclear environments.

#9 Lead With Your Heart

A lot of the lessons I have encountered through Mark Divine are very powerful and can be dangerous if in the wrong hands. I definitely wouldn’t want my worst enemy to have a powerful mindset like this. Something I hear Mark talk about often is leading with the heart.

With these lessons come great power. You’ll truly have an edge in all that you do. Others will start to look at you as a leader and a source of empowerment. Lead with your heart and do good. Don’t fall into the trap of leading to satisfy your ego and put others down.  With great power comes great responsibility.

#10 Develop A Personal Ethos

“Most of us don’t take the time to think deeply about our personal ethos. However, once I was able to articulate it, the stand became a very real and powerful guiding force.” – Mark Divine

Do you have a stand? An ethos? A code of conduct? Having a personal ethos will allow you to stay grounded in the face of pain or pleasure.

Let’s face it, we live in a world of distraction and instant gratification. Most people spend their time in reaction to the world. They don’t consciously choose their actions. And having a personal ethos will allow you to be in a place of control.

“A warrior acts and a fool reacts” – Dan Millman


“Your life is a direct reflection of the standard of your peer group” – Tony Robbins

Chances are you live in an environment where most people aren’t holding you accountable to a high standard. Trust me…I’ve been there.

One of the fastest and most reliable ways to stay disciplined and develop these character traits is by having a reliable coach/mentor or accountability partner. That’s why I am now officially taking on new members into my Spartan Accountability program. It’s basically a coaching/accountability program for men who want to make massive progress!!!

Click here if you liked the above content and would like to learn more.


Maximillion Giamarco


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Maximillian Giamarco

Entrepreneur, coach, and author. Spartan Ownership is centered on providing groundbreaking content, products, and services tailored to improving men's lives. Main areas of focus include masculine lifestyle design, character development, self-discipline, MMA, women, mind and body optimization, and more!

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