This book was a bit of a struggle at times as I am not into the “hoo-huh” of Navy SEAL training, making some parts difficult to move through. This however must not detract from the message or the excellent job Mark Divine is doing in his SealFit Academy, as there is no doubt he gets amazing results by pushing the human body to its limits. There is a place for every style of training. If the writer or teacher comes from a place of good honest intentions, it’s always worthy to learn, even if it may not necessarily be for you.
That being said, I’m glad I persevered, as I did pick up some golden nuggets of information. Mark set the reader a task, which was completed on one of my daytime job flights to Shanghai. The results of which I lay out below.
What are your 3 P’s and One Thing
The three P’s are your Passion, Principles and Purpose. Your One Thing is what is inside your soul, what drives you from within your DNA. I really like this because life has definitely driven me away from my One Thing, from who I was born as and how my soul was raised. I became lost chasing false prophets and quick fixes. Once I reached my financial goals in life, I became arrogant and lost my way further as I had no further goals to chase.
When I established Urbalife and started my new journey, one of my goals was to become the boy I was before life corrupted my values. So the idea of defining my One Thing was of great interest, as well as putting into writing my Passions, Principles and Purpose by answering the layered questions set out by Mark as per the below:
What are you passionate about in a way that defines who you are?
The possibility to dramatically improve health and wellness through exercise and nutrition.
What makes you feel as if your hair is on fire?
I feel excited as if my hair is on fire when I learn something new which proves anybody’s health and well-being can be improved through exercise and nutrition. My first discovery like this was energy balance. Then macro-nutrients. More recently it has been the discovery of the microbiome and how we are connected to nature through the microbes in our gut. These type of lessons always fire me up and drive me forward in the belief my mission is the right one.
What unique skills and talents do you have that you love to use and that makes you different?
I believe I have a talent for teaching complicated information, in an easy to understand methodology.
If you won the lottery today, what would you do differently?
I would leave my job in logistics and study nutrition and exercise full time, so I can begin giving back to the world.
What is it that you truly value in your life?
My loved ones, friends and family.
How can you move towards those things that you truly value, and away from the things you don’t value as much?
Study and practice hard to become a nutrition coach and health specialist, so I can leave my logistics career behind, for one with worthwhile value to others.
What do these values say about what you are passionate about?
By moving towards my values, I learn more about my passion, which will increase the number of people’s lives I can positively affect.
Do these values point towards an overarching purpose in life?
Yes; to live longer, healthier, happier more fulfilled lives.
Can you make a habit of the big, positive values so they become part of your character and then your destiny?
Yes very much so. This is why I created Urbalife.
Your One Thing and Purpose
What have you been conditioned to think you are supposed to do with your life?
My upbringing conditioned me to work hard and make enough money to ensure my children had every opportunity possible to pursue whichever direction in life they may be passionate about. That could be summarised as; make money and survive.
What do you think you are really supposed to do with your life?
I truly think my destiny in life is to never stop learning, and to help others to do the same.
Is there a tiny voice of doubt deep within you suggesting you are on the wrong track?
Before I started my new life at 45, that voice was with me everywhere I went. For years I would wake up and hate going to work. I looked at myself in the mirror and could not see my value. I was in an industry which was polluting and I did not like my epitaph. The tiny voice became louder until lightning struck and I defined my new future. That tiny voice remains but now has a different message, guiding me to do the right thing and correct my past mistakes.
Is that same voice nudging you forward with the sensation you are on the right track?
Since I defined Urbalife and what my future would be, that tiny voice is only telling me I’m on the right track. Although it also continues to tell me to right my wrongs.
What One Thing do you think you are here for? What One Thing would you focus on if you had nothing holding you back?
The One Thing I think I am here for is to help people thrive in life and become the best version of themselves they can be. If I had nothing holding me back, I would focus on this full time.
What would you do differently if you knew you had one year to live?
I would leave my job and focus on correcting my mistakes, plenty of which remain. Even though I always try to be a better version of myself, I continually make mistakes. A year with zero mistakes and open honesty would be the best epitaph I could leave at death.
Completing this task helped confirm what I thought I already knew. It helped me define it in words and reassure myself I am on the right path and doing the right thing, but also reminded me I need to look back and put things right.
The other golden nuggets I took from this book were:
- Monkey brain: As soon as I heard this terminology it resonated with me immediately. If there is one thing I struggle with it’s the mental capacity to focus deeply on something for longer periods of time, as my monkey brain is jumping all over the place from one thought to another.
- How to use breathing as a stress reliever: Marks method to explain how to do this was easy to follow. I have used it regularly since, particularly when I’m about to fly as this still gives me anxiety even after 1000’s of flights. It’s also a great method to help control my monkey brain.
- Virtues are the heart of one’s value system, and both are nothing more than words unless we choose to practice them: I consider myself to have high valued virtues, but in reality and in some parts of my life, I practice the opposite. This can hold me back from my true purpose. Although I have discarded many of these negative practices, I still struggle with total honesty which will always hold me back. This is something I continue to wrestle with, but believe I will eventually overcome this to reach my higher plateau.
- Sheepdog strength: Dr. David Grossman, author of “On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace” describes the vast majority of people in the world as sheep grazing in ignorant bliss of threats, oblivious to any situational condition around them. Then there are the wolves who are prone to violence on the physically weak, or take advantage of the mentally weak through lies and manipulation. The sheepdog stands between the sheep and the wolves protecting the sheep and guiding them away from danger through ethical leadership, care and concern.
- The Five Plateaus of Consciousness: To discover what each level of these plateaus are you will need to read the book, which will guide you to where you are currently at. The fourth plateau is called The Sensitive Self where “those at this level transcend achieving solely for the sake of personal or material earnings and instead seek to achieve with goodness directed towards others and the world.” I feel I’m close to here now, with one last virtuous obstacle to overcome. Mark explains that although this plateau is an exciting step forward, you have to be careful that this new found identity is not expressed as spiritual egotism, or feeling uniquely special leading to a superiority complex, as this can impede further growth. Thank you Mark. Nicely said and consider myself checked. And I am continuously checking myself on this with the help of the love of another who knows me most. It is important to always remember this while I continue to forge my new path.
Even though there were sections of this book which did not resonate entirely with me, it is clear I took a lot from it and value highly what was learned. So I would recommend it for anybody who would like to learn more about themselves from a deeper perspective.