Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level - by Mark Divine


Sun Tzu said, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win". True warriors are unbeatable because they have conditioned their minds to be unbeatable. They learn to control their minds and win internally well before they enter the fight.This is the first Premise of Unbeatable Mind training.

Step 1 is to gain control of your mind, rather than allow your mind to run amuck. Step 2 is to charge your mind with positive energy. Step 3 is to build your unbeatable vision in the fertile soil of your unfettered mind. Step 4 is to nurture and strengthen your vision through repeated internal visualization practice. Step 5 is to take massive action.

Control the mind. Build your vision. Act on it.

By sitting in silence and observing thoughts you will empower your "witness" and distance yourself from your "monkey mind." This is the same technique used by meditation practices such as Zen or Vipassana meditation. Witnessing is considered a first step on the road to enlightenment. As awareness of witness grows stronger you will start to get back into the driver's seat when a negative thought pattern emerges in your conscious mind and starts to grow like a weed. When this happens, a strategy for interdicting these thought patterns is very helpful. With no interdiction of the negative thought pattern it will gain power and speed until it temporarily controls your entire mind and behavior.

How do we interdict these negative thought patterns? A Power Statement such as "NO," or "STOP," is ok. However both of these words are negative as well, so you are only strengthening the underlying negative energy. I recommend a positive statement such as "I GOT THIS!" or "Nothing to it!" or "I'm in control!" The point is to find a statement or two that are positive, powerful and meaningful to you. Then practice them until they become second nature to use when you notice a negative thought arise. Practicing this will allow your witness to notice when your monkey mind starts running away with a negative thought pattern sooner each time. Use your Power Statement and your mind will immediately stop the negative pattern and await further instructions.

The re-direct is the set of follow-on instructions you provide your conscious mind after your interdiction. If you interdict a negative thought pattern but do not have a strategy for "what's next" then there is a strong likelihood that your mind will slip back into the same negative pattern again. The strategy now must be to inject a new, substitute positive thought pattern into your brain-housing group that best supports your goals and gives you momentum. Once you witness, interdict and implement your re-direct strategy, it is important to maintain the new positive thought pattern with a repeatable positive statement that has meaning to you. Example: "feeling good, looking good, ought to be in Hollywood"

Key Insights

  • The only thing you can control in life are your thoughts and your breath

  • A warrior's first premise is to cultivate an unbeatable mind BEFORE they set off for war, regardless of their battlefield.

  • Negative thought patterns are first witnessed, then interdicted, then re-directed to positive patterns, then maintained with a positive mantra.


Key Insights

  • The responsibility of the warrior is a lifetime of uncommon values and discipline, holding the warrior to a higher standard than society at large.

  • There are two primary disciplines that must be developed as you embark upon the path toward developing Unbeatable Mind.

    • The first is the discipline of Self-Mastery. Self-Mastery is a daily practice and training of the key lines of development critical to living a good life, and the life of a warrior. These include the 5 Mountains of physical readiness, mental toughness and subconscious development, emotional depth and control, awareness and intuition and finally, your heart or unbeatable spirit. Self-Mastery cultivates the sub-disciplines of simplicity, contentment, seriousness, dedication, introspection and authenticity. The work on Self-Mastery is life-long and the joy is to be found in the journey, not the destination.

    • The second discipline is the discipline of Service. Service must be selfless, and cultivates abundance, generosity, belief in the golden rule, and compassion. These disciplines and the 5 Mountains of personal development must be worked on in tandem to ensure a balanced growth of the "whole person."


Key Insights Mental Toughness is defined by three primary underlying stages, which determine our response to a stressful situation.

  • The skill to perceive the stressor, and activate your stress response for performance using breath control and concentration.

  • The ability to transmute the stress response into performance versus allow it to be a disability (eustress vs. distress).

  • The competence to implement strategies of good leadership and decision-making once you learn to control and direct the stress response toward performance.


Key Insights

  • Most in our society are sheep. The Wolves prey on the sheep. It is up to us, the sheepdog warriors, to serve the sheep and keep them safe.

  • Sheep operate in threat condition "white." Sheepdogs operate in "yellow" and are prepared at a moment's notice to escalate to "orange" or "red."

  • Though the warrior trains for violence, and can withstand the psychological impact of violence, he or she abhors violence.

  • The largest part of the unbeatable warrior's training is in identifying threats, and diffusing them. Only when all else fails, will the warrior engage in a violent event to end the threat. When this happens, he or she does so with an offensive mind that terrifies their opponent.


If you ever feel like you are wandering or stumbling along, then re-focus and re-commit to some SMART goals and note new purpose, energy and direction in life.

If you don't have a daily check-in plan, with no follow-up or evaluation of your progress on your goals, then they will not be met. Goals require a constant "check up from the neck up" and measurement of progress to keep the momentum going, and in the right direction. Hold yourself accountable!

The technique to use to calm and center your mind and body when working I call the "Relaxation Breath." The Relaxation Breath is a simple practice. It involves a deep, slow and controlled breath in to a count of four (minimum), and a controlled exhale to a count of four. This breath leads to a tremendous stress release and is used in a situation where your breath is "out of control." If our breath is out of control, then our minds are out of control. Clearly our objective is to get back into control, so we can think clearly and make good decisions.

Events trigger our beliefs, which trigger our unconscious dialogue, which trigger an emotional or physiological response, which then hampers performance toward our goals. Change the belief and the dialogue to change the performance!

When using a power statement ("Easy Day!") our bodies must also get in the game. A power posture reinforces the power statement.

Key Insights

There are 5 primary skills that you must master to develop Unbeatable Mind mental toughness. These are:

  • Mental models can be very effective to streamline and for power decision-making. Models such as Boyd's OODA loop, the SMEAC mission planning process and the Integral AQAL model are all part of the Unbeatable training at SEALFIT Academy.

  • Goal setting has many nuances and is essential for developing momentum and direction toward personal and professional objectives. Proper goal setting is an important skill to nurture.

  • Breath control is a practice that has powerful benefits in many areas. Practicing box breathing in a quiet setting is a concentration practice that will spill over to more naturally use the relaxation controlled breathing during strenuous exercise or any event that is stressful.

  • Visualization and positivity are important compliments to the first three skills. Combined as a "suite of mental toughness skills" the 5 skills are comprehensive and complete. Positive self-talk, and eradicating negative feedback loops, is essential for charging your mind and energy with power and to attract the right people and circumstances into your life.


Key Insights

Values must be powerful, meaningful to you, and they must be practiced daily to become habit.

Values are displayed in action.

The SEALFIT values are drawn from the Navy SEAL ethos, and include:

  • Loyalty

  • Honor and Integrity

  • Responsibility and Accountability

  • Leadership and Teamwork (follower-ship)

  • Discipline

  • Hard work every day (the only easy day was yesterday)

  • Innovation

Values guide our actions and keep us from veering off track. They are a perishable skill. If we lose sight of a value, or stop practicing it and it wanes, then we can easily go off course and do some damage to our reputations, or worse.

You must keep a daily journal where you can track your goals, values, most important tasks and projects. I am sure most of you do this already, but just in case... do it! This is both a daily focus tool, as well as a reflection tool. It is priceless when used well.

The unbeatable mind suffers in silence and "embraces the suck." This is a trained quality that comes through a deliberate internalization of any expression of pain and discomfort.

Developing an Unbeatable Mind is a lifetime process. Mental toughness is a perishable skill. If you don't constantly challenge yourself, push yourself to new limits, and test your "grit" then you will backslide and get mushy. It is important for you to stay in the arena of hard work and adventure. By setting challenging goals for yourself every year, and working to knock them down, you will continue to grow your unbeatable mind and warrior spirit.


Key Insights

Warriors display a common set of 8 character traits of an unbeatable mind. These 8 traits are trained to be habits in the warrior.

  • Single Point Focus

  • Uncommon Resolve

  • Positive Attitude

  • Discernment

  • Unflappable

  • High Pain Tolerance

  • Other Focused

  • Humble Acceptance