Ever speak to a Zen master? This week’s guest may be as close as I’ve come so far, although it may not be apparent by description alone. Jeff Depatie is a retired tier one special forces sniper who has survived and thrived in the harshest environments on the planet. From just what we can know as civilians about his certifications and experience, Jeff has ticked off about every “manly” thing you could list. But as you’ll hear in this episode, Jeff has been studying much more than that and is thinking much bigger, much deeper. He’s on a mission in service to the greater good of humanity.
“Understand the power of suffering as transcendence on the physical and mental planes”
– Jeff Depatie
You’ll learn about The Process, run once per year for a select group of men to experience the ultimate in adventure, personal growth, and the challenge of a lifetime. And The Trials – taking applicants now – for a 12 week self-discovery, self-mastery deconstruction, discovery, and training for the mind, body, and soul. As well as the Robust Human Summit coming soon to address how to survive AND thrive in the wilderness or after a pandemic like the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“None of us is smarter than all of us”
– Jeff Depatie
- Getting to the endpoint of yourself
- Constantly improving courage
- Fostering self-actualization in children
- Robust Human Summit
- Terror Management Theory
- Strength in vulnerability
- Personality + Environment = Behavior
Jeff Depatie is a loyal husband and a retired JTF2 sniper/assaulter committed to being a good man serving the greater good of humanity. Jeff’s vision is to identify superior non-military men and bring them together to see if they collectively can solve some of the world’s biggest issues from the ground up.
Depatie has spent years of his life in deserts, jungles, extreme cold, and other hardly inhabitable geographies. In the words of Master Yoda, “failure the greatest teacher there is.”
Depatie is committed to maintaining peak physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual shape – in addition to constantly improving the courage it takes to will that strength. For years, he’s been building his skills in the following crafts:
- Tactical shooting: Depatie has taught pistol, shotgun, carbine, and long-range shooting to incoming tier-1 operators. He was part of the sniper unit that holds the current world record for longest confirmed kill at 3.5km (2.2 mi).
- Martial arts training in multiple disciplines: MMA, karate, combato, defendo, and spears
- Skydiving and paramotoring: With multiple qualifications and course completions for each
- Piloting aircrafts: Private, IFR, float/sky racing, general purpose bushcraft
- Professional driving: On/Off road and multiple ATV variants such as UTVs, dirt bikes, and on/off road motorcycles
- Open water scuba and diving
- CCNA/CCNP Cisco Certified Network Professional
- Human Optimization Processes
- >50 confidential military courses and qualifications
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Jeff [00:00:00] So it's I guess scientifically proven that people have a fear of growth. And I think that fear of growth, this is like a hypothesis of mine is attached to that terror management, those, those cycles of the fear of the unknown, fear of the unknown, fear of the unknown. Um, and the key is don't people, you know, you sit at home and you're like, Oh man, I want a giant grandiose idea, whatever, insert it there.
Jeff [00:00:27] And that's daunting. But you could start small, you know, go put yourself in a small situation that puts you out of your comfort. Start small and then add to it.
Jeff [00:00:38] No, I had to relearn, develop all the things that should be done.
Michael [00:00:53] Episode 51 of the man of mastery podcast what's up guys? It's roundabout March 54th or something crazy like that week four or five of the coronavirus coven, 19 lockdown depending on where you are. And I just hope everybody is staying safe and, and strong and fit and using the time or the flexibility to, to innovate, to improve, to maybe just take a few minutes and think about what life looked like.
Michael [00:01:21] Make some notes for yourself on what it was like just, you know, just a month ago and the kind of things that really in hindsight were on necessary, on healthy, on needed, and just, you know, write those down so you remember them and you make sure not to fall back into those patterns or behaviors afterwards. And equally, you know, write down what's, what's great about what you're doing now, whether it's your daily routine or your hours that you're keeping, or your movement, exercise, mindfulness, relationships, connections, just how you're spending your time, quality to hydration, nutrition, exercise, whatever it might be.
Michael [00:01:59] There's gotta be great stuff that's going on that's a positive and you want to carry those forward. Remember to take those forward and remember to leave behind the stuff that you, you really didn't need. And it's going to be a new world, you know, what do you want it to look like for, for you? All right. Today's guest, Jeff de Potsy, and I'm sure I'm not doing this as name, complete justice, uh, Canadian name, French Canadian name originally.
Michael [00:02:25] And, uh, look Jeff wow. Jeff uh, I don't know if I've ever spoken to a Zen master, but as far as I'm concerned, this is as close as I've gotten so far. I'm sure Jeff would be too humble to say anything of the sort and you know, from his resume, maybe it would look like the furthest thing from it on the surface.
Michael [00:02:45] But first of all, there's no video to go along with this week. Uh, Jeff is, uh, he is, gosh, all right, let me just read it. This is like a manly man, right? So Jeff's a retired special forces tier one special forces soldier from the Canadian JTF two unit. He was a sniper assault or part of the sniper unit that has a current world record, longest shot trained in multiple disciplines of martial arts, MMA, karate, Spears.
Michael [00:03:14] I don't know what we do with Spears anymore. Skydiving, para motoring, piloting all different types of aircraft calls on that professional driving on and off road. Um, open water, scuba human optimization processes. And that's just what we can know about over 50 confidential military courses and qualifications.
Michael [00:03:37] So this guy is, he's ticks all the buckets, right? But when we get into the conversation, like usually I do highlights, right? What did I take away? Or what did I learn from the episode? This one's probably way out of my depth. So what I can can really tell you that you're going to learn and you're gonna hear about is some of what Jeff does in his mission to really help people grow.
Michael [00:04:02] And as they called it, human optimization process uh, how, how we work together. We develop, uh, we work on self mastery, we grow as individuals and as teams and he's got a mission of, uh, really to the greater good of humanity and working together, um, from, you know, from the inside out in solving some of the world's biggest problems.
Michael [00:04:25] So we hear about a, uh, an, an event might be the wrong word for it, but the process, which Jeff and his wife Jessica and their cadre, their team run once a year for a very select group of men to experience the well Jeff calls, the ultimate, and not only adventure, but personal growth and really the, the challenge of a lifetime.
Michael [00:04:48] And then something new they've got called the trials, which is just now taking applications and we'll start May 1st, this is a 12 week online live and video based, um, self-discovery, self-mastery, deconstruction, discovery and training for mind, body and soul.
Michael [00:05:11] And then Jeff also touches on something else new coming from him and team called the robust human summit and, you know, a great time for this. It's, it's sort of about survival and that can be wilderness related or it could be, you know, in an after a pandemic like the, the coven 19 coronavirus situation, but it's not only about survival but, but also thriving.
Michael [00:05:36] All right, so lots to learn in this one. Uh, I think you're really going to enjoy hearing from Jeff as much as I, as much as I did and enjoy talking to him. So Jeff will do it much more justice himself. Let's, let's jump right in with this week's guest. Jeff Depatie Jeff to Patsy.
Michael [00:05:56] Welcome, Mike. Thanks for having me on. Yeah, thanks for making the time again. Hey, um, we've got a lot to talk about today. You've got a very, very extensive resume, which I will not bore you with. You know, all about yourself. I'll splice that in for the listeners by the time they get to this, uh, but in general at a high level. So we're going to hit self-discovery, self-mastery, something that is a theme of this podcast and you hit and some, some very different ways, but you very succinctly call the human optimization process.
Michael [00:06:26] So I'm super excited about this, where to start. You're probably the second guy I've had on in the year now that has such an extensive resume that it's, it's hard to even figure out where to do it again. But just as a couple highlights. So you do have an extensive, extensive military background, um, for American listeners who may not be as familiar. You're part of JTF to the sniper unit, the tier one group in, in Canada.
Michael [00:06:51] And uh, in fact, your sniper unit, I think currently still holds the world record for the longest confirmed kill at three and a half kilometers or 2.2 miles. For those of us who are metrically challenged, uh, but just tons and tons of experience in all kinds of harsh environments in the, in the world. Um, and I find it really interesting to see on your resume, you're also a Cisco certified network professional.
Michael [00:07:17] So I don't have a, a long distance threat, whether it's with a, with a gun or with, uh, with the electronics. So, um, very, very, very past. Um, you're also, so I'm just going to start in a, in a kind of an odd place before we bounce back to what you mostly do. I notice that you have something called the Meraki collective. Does that go along with what you do as a, as an entrepreneur?
Michael [00:07:38] And I'm just curious because you're the third person who's used the word may Rocky with me in the last year.
Jeff [00:07:43] Oh, really? Interesting. Uh, that's a good word. I believe it. I'm not really a definition to put it, you know, putting all your love and passion to everything you do. American collective was, as I was transitioning out of the military, I met my wife Jess, and she's an entrepreneur. She is a marketer and she, I invest in real estate and she needed a place to work and we found this great place, great deal.
Jeff [00:08:13] Um, beautiful location that we turned into a coworking space, Meraki collective. I'm also the company name that I started purchasing commercial property under. We've since moved past doing the coworking. The coworking turned into an excellent segue into getting people to fill up our, our real estate.
Jeff [00:08:37] Sometimes it's difficult to fill up commercial space. Um, this was a great way of where people came in and started on their entrepreneurial journey and then eventually it blossomed. They would need more space to, um, you know, do their business. Whether it was a, we had a chiropractor, we had some online gamers. What else did we have? We had a pasture who started a church and then a few other ones that filled in the space.
Jeff [00:09:01] So that was kind of America. And then it, it's not that it fizzled, but we just couldn't stay in the location where it was. And little town called Smith falls and Ontario. And then we needed to move on. We were, it was unnecessary program. And then, you know, life moved on and we knew we were starting up the special forces experience and we needed to just thin out our, our workload.
Michael [00:09:26] Okay. Gotcha. Yeah. Interesting stuff. I, I really picked up on the fact that you guys were not only doing something for yourselves, but as part of the process, part of revitalizing a, a, a smaller town. And you mentioned your wife, Jess. I, uh, you know, maybe I should have asked to talk to both of you guys. I know your co-founders and what you do now. Uh, it sounds like you have a very complimentary missions.
Michael [00:09:48] So I'm just gonna read or cite a couple of things that, uh, that I found you talk about your mission as bringing men together to collectively solve some of the world's biggest issues from the ground up. And I think I've seen something from your wife that talks about saving the world by saving men, which I thought was a cool backstory. Every, every one of us has that successful woman behind the successful man type of thing.
Michael [00:10:12] And, um, and, and since, you know, you jumped in and mentioned it, uh, Jeff the process and the, and the special forces experience. Let's, let's start with that. That you co-founded and I think launched was the last year.
Jeff [00:10:24] Yeah. Ciro one was last year for the process. It's one of those journey. It's a lifelong journey, right? Most things are, you get to a certain point and it's kind of seems like the world conspired to get you there on purpose or the universe got to their own purpose. Right, right. Met Jess and she says, save men.
Jeff [00:10:47] It's not from a position of like I understand and know better. It's just, and you might agree with this in this point in time in history with all our ancient programming and wiring and you combine that with the modern world, it makes for some interesting psychology and how to manage that. Interesting psychology, right?
Jeff [00:11:07] We have all these tools that seem to get kind of bottled up. And so when she says that it's more about under like men working in binary units and bigger, you know, balancing masculine and feminine, et cetera, et cetera. Also giving them outlets, um, things of that nature. Yeah. So anyways, I was transitioning out of the military.
Jeff [00:11:29] I'll just, special forces for the American listeners are JTF too. Is something similar to your Delta force or seal team six? It's, as you mentioned, the tier one unit in our country and there was a lot of buckets that needed to be filled. When I was moving away and I really didn't want to do government contracting, I didn't want to do a military style in terms of working with police organizations.
Jeff [00:11:56] It wasn't that I have anything against it, I just, that's not where my head and heart was. And the question was, okay, what do I do with all these skills and transition them into the next evolution of my life, the next big change in my life. Cause it was around the time I was 35 and things start to happen hormonally.
Jeff [00:12:16] You know, people start to self-actualize a little bit more around that timeframe or move into transcendence and you know, your, your goals, your mission, what you want to vector and orientate towards is just different. Right? So we started piecing together this project called the special forces experience. It drew mostly on the human selection side of my experience and the optimization side that I gained when I was in this unit.
Jeff [00:12:46] I overlaid more of like the tactical style stuff to test physiology, to test psychology and to show characteristics, traits, cognitive traits, that kind of thing. And we overlayed it in a bunch of different ways and evolved into what we call the process, which is, it's spread out over a few months.
Jeff [00:13:08] The idea though is that we pick people who we believe are, I don't, I don't like using the word elite or next level, but they have their, they have their shit together. Um, in a lot of ways, right? They understand themselves generally. Um, they've probably been entrepreneurs or traveled up a hierarchy in a corporate world.
Jeff [00:13:29] Pretty good. And then we wanted to balance that of course, cause you can't just have, that's usually a guy between 40 and 50. And that's just one specific man. So we wanted to put up a big group of men together. So even had a, a young man, um, in serial one who was 18, but just like super put together young guy and the idea is can a, you know, mixing all these people together, different mindsets.
Jeff [00:13:56] We all grow and develop together. Right. And we all elevate together. And then last year, like you said, we ran serial one and it went excellent in my opinion. And we did lose a healthy amount of guys within the first couple of days. And um, the, I think everyone had a good experience.
Jeff [00:14:18] I say that a little bit kind of humbly. I believe, I know everyone had some kind of an experience and that was the idea that you come, you meet resistance, you meet a wall and in a way you're defeated, right? Cause it's, you know, the obstacles away and every time you meet those challenges, you overcome tournament opportunities or you know, some people, uh, weren't able to carry on, especially physically in order to tire out the mind and psychologically stressed the mind.
Jeff [00:14:49] You've got a tire at the body or at least you should. And Oh yeah, we definitely tired of the moment.
Michael [00:14:58] Yeah. A, a, a, a buddy of mine was, was in that, uh, in that cereal. So I got a brief download from him on it after he and I went and did a, um, a much, much smaller crucible together, a 12 hour overnight thing. And, um, he was one of your, your older guys. It is really interesting that you kind of get into this 35 to 55 range in your life and you start to go through those, you know, what is my, what's my purpose?
Michael [00:15:25] What's my legacy that self-actualization. So pretty impressive that you had an 18 year old that had had it together to even be selected. And I think it's really, um, fascinating from the little bit of discussion I had with, uh, with Jess last year and and looking at the process on your website, how much of the selection intensity you have and the, the psychology to that as well as the followup after the fact.
Michael [00:15:54] Um, but yeah, in the very, very brief download I got from, uh, from my buddy, certainly, um, got the message on the, the physical component. And it's fascinating how the physical, um, really opens up all those other realms or as, as I've heard you put it, you know, part of your own personal passion is maintaining peak physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual condition.
Michael [00:16:17] Uh, and it sounds like a lot of that is built into the way that you architected the process.
Jeff [00:16:22] Yeah. So what we do, um, we do a selection of the people as you mentioned, there is a site portion in that, a little bit of, we'll call it big esoteric spirituality, dabbling to see where someone's at that way physically, you know, are you a coach potato or not?
Jeff [00:16:42] I I have a pretty good idea. If you're not doing any kind of physical activity, you will never get through it. So, you know, there's all that, there's health issues. Okay. You know, can we bring them into the Bush for eight days and bad or their bodies and minds, uh, responsibly, you know, and then once that's done, I just want to circle back to the young man.
Jeff [00:17:02] So I wouldn't say they were South self individuals, but if I was to put my money on them as a someone who's on the path to something like that, those are, you know, that that's why they were picked. And, and you, you mentioned your friend, someone like that. You know, if I was 18 and I had one moment to get one nugget of wisdom from someone who's already lived another 20 some years on me, you know, give them that opportunity.
Jeff [00:17:31] Yeah. So anyways, chosen and then now if they commit, what happens is they get a file that kind of, they start looking at all their life. You know, they, they have to go to the doctor that's like got blood work. They have to check in with relationships, they have to check in with themselves. I ask a bunch of questions if send them back thinking about childhood and you know, the future and all that kind of stuff, it forces them if they haven't, if they're not to take as well it's more than a minute cause it takes a while.
Jeff [00:18:00] Um, some of the physical check-in stuff's like a month and a half just to see their, how they're living, their wellbeing, you know, how they're sleeping, all that stuff. And it gives them a chance to really look at themselves. Plus we're gathering info. There's all kinds of back burner things going on, all kinds of little Easter eggs that we plug in there. A little bit of, um, stress tactics and things like that because that's a very important dynamic.
Jeff [00:18:23] And the process is stressing your fear responses in order to set you up to better metabolize and later on. So meanwhile, the months are passing, they're physically getting ready, they're mentally getting ready while living their lives, right? So now they are living their lives and they've layered on these new stress loads and hopefully in some of the fine tooth combing they do, they, they, they remove.
Jeff [00:18:49] Some of the flack, you know, the things that aren't serving them anymore and then they show up for the eight days. And the first bit is really designed to overwhelm. I didn't expect it to happen so fast. I expected the way it goes is kind of the highly physically overwhelming portion and then it transitions. It doesn't get easy in most ways.
Jeff [00:19:10] It gets way harder. But the content that they encounter slowly changes. So what we are observing, what we're testing, what we're pushing, I'm looking for and when I say looking for, we're just gathering, um, undirected data mining, there's no point B. It's just to gather as much as we can so that we can start putting together their file for them.
Jeff [00:19:37] A debrief file that doesn't guide, you know, we don't say, Hey, you should be more like this or you should be more like that. It's kinda like from what we could see. This is where you are in this point in time. And obviously the deeper you make it into the eight days, much more. We gather a lot more on their cognitive traits in there. Um, characteristics.
Jeff [00:19:57] The deeper they go and then afterwards there's a decompression phase in order to, you know, we don't want people to come and psychologically be defeated in a negative way. I think psychological defeat can be such a healthy tool, you know, learning from failures, all that kind of thing. But we want it to be proper because hidden within it before the eight days, the eight days, and afterwards is what we call the post traumatic growth cycle, pre, during and after.
Jeff [00:20:28] So you have like a pain point or trauma or yet you learn what the cycle kind of looks like, which basically is checking in with yourself, understanding how you fit into your environments. And then we don't give them these tools up front to find healthy environments on the other end. Because most of the men that we pick know how to do this already intuitively or from self-mastery.
Jeff [00:20:49] And then they cycle into the eight days, you know, they get their pain points, there's traumas, and then afterwards we start to introduce some more coping mechanisms. Again, we kind of stack the odds by picking people who are already have really healthy coping mechanisms. Um, but they're the ones who, um, it gets harder, right?
Jeff [00:21:10] As you climb the ladder, it gets harder to find those things that induce those, those moments. It was catalyst of growth of opportunity. And then afterwards, of course, there's a and we're forming a network. Um, it's a, it's a slow burn right now where we were counting on was launching cereal two in may and topping up those numbers. And then that's when we start answering those questions, um, more deeply about, you know, solving world problems, all that kind of thing.
Jeff [00:21:37] Um, which I can get into a little later. And then we didn't have it in place for serial one. What we knew what we wanted to start to develop it. It's a program called the trials and the trials is based on these three mythic trials that, um, basically overlay on rites of passage, you know, kind of hero's journey in a way, just in a more simpler, simpler terms.
Jeff [00:22:02] And it's a 12 week program where people go through and they deep dive their psychology and their physiology and we inject some what I think some of the heaviest hitting contemplation tools out there, put it all together, laid out in an I course, nicely roadmap to get to the end point of yourself in a way.
Jeff [00:22:30] So what I mean by that is it's very hard to guide people and not tell, give them the answers. Right. You know, like a, like a Zen master, you know, with koans and parables and stuff. You don't want to give the answer because that's your answer. It's not their answer. You know, everyone's truth a little bit different for vastly different. So how do you nudge these people along a path to get to the end where they're like, okay, I can program myself physiologically and psychologically I understand my value sets more in my characteristics and just helps that next step of not letting life kind of happened to you, but you make life happen.
Jeff [00:23:10] Yeah. In a, in a broad brush kind of terms. Right.
Michael [00:23:13] Um, okay. Yeah, that makes sense. I want to dive more into the trials and sort of the, the deeper stuff is just trying to unpack, but just on, on the mechanical level before we leave the process I guess a couple things there. So it's, it's an amazing, um, package that you've got around the experience itself.
Michael [00:23:33] And what do I want to ask eight days? So just just on a couple of mechanical things. So what's the magic to eight days and is that, is that derived from sort of the selection in the elite units in Canada and, and kind of the British units or how does that compare or contrast to American SF or if somebody in particular is familiar with, with the Navy and buds?
Michael [00:23:59] Process
Jeff [00:24:01] so I guess I'll give them my secrets. No. Um, so it's derived from many ancient traditions that are out there. You know, just from my own personal interest and research sake that I've dove into, like I mentioned about initiate Rite of passages, all those kinds of ceremonial things that have been done more traditionally in antiquity times.
Jeff [00:24:27] And then, yeah, if you look at selections, things of that nature, there's usually some of them are longer, but there's usually that kind of heavy point, right and when to buds or something you got your hell weeks and all that kind of stuff and there's a reason for that because those who get over the hump, unless you break their body, you know by beating him with a bat or something, they're probably going to get through almost a hundred percent so it doesn't need to be 365 days of straight selection style mentality.
Jeff [00:25:01] You can also learn so much from the observations, the behavioral observations in that timeframe. I guess kind of like between you and me though, eight days we started on day zero, so day zero one two three, four, five, six, seven, eight days. It's a day over a week. People are used to thinking in the week, you know, you come into this world and inherit the culture of the, the Monday through Friday and then Saturday, Sunday, seven days a week, whatever the Gregorian calendar and know that's seven, that number seven, seven days really is ingrained in us.
Jeff [00:25:36] So to be kind of like, okay, I've gotta make a tip eight days. It just plays a little on the psychology when we're already playing a lot on their psychology. So it's just another little, it may be a little weight, but it's a little something on top of all the other things, right. And then day zero it does this thing where, you know, two days, three days in, we're like, you're just a day to, you know, and it makes it sound like it's, your brain's kind of like, okay, it's just day to, Oh God, I got so much more to go with the eight days.
Jeff [00:26:08] You know, it starts to play, especially in that really tired mind frame. It doesn't do that to everyone. But there is that significance and it gives us enough time to observe. It does play a little on their psychology cause it's a little bit out of the norm. Right.
Michael [00:26:23] Gotcha. Okay. Well I won't ask for all the, the secret sauce. That makes a ton of sense. There's so much you can, you can play with there. I did want to just put this out there and I'm not trying to put you on the spot or do this in a way that's weird for these other guys, but I mean the process just by all the stuff you described and the, the type of people that will be positioned for that.
Michael [00:26:47] It's going to be a relatively small group by definition. Um, however you want to say that elite or just a subset. And as we get back to the trials, maybe that's a bit of a more scalable or broad group, but what I wanted to ask on, on the process, so, um, there is out here in San Diego, there's, there's a group called seal fit, um, coach of mine, a retired Navy seal commander Mark divine and out of a Navy contract.
Michael [00:27:16] He had at one point it was designed. So I know you've got to, one of your business partners is, it is an ex CEO guy. Um, they had a contract at one point out here, they seal fit guys to help train young men going into that too, to try to deal with the attrition issue and, and get a higher success rate. How did that, Mark's created this, this a civilian is commercial business and he's got, uh, these, these different bootcamp events and the big one that came out of what he had done with a, with a government contract, he calls Kokoro, which I said is a Japanese word for heart mind warrior, which I found interesting is some of the use in your material heart, mine warrior, that Kokoro camp that he calls it as something like a 50, 52 54 hour crucible, no sleep nonstop.
Michael [00:28:06] And from what I understand he he designed that timeframe. Uh, I think in the spirit of what you're saying is that for those guys that went through buds, there's sort of that those first few days, two to three days, that if you get over that hump, then you know you've got a good chance of making it the rest of the way. And so I think that's the sweet spot he designed into this thing.
Michael [00:28:27] He doesn't seem to have as much explicit psychology and the upfront and the followup process for participants in that. But what he says and, and talked to some people who have gone through it, is that the, that there is a self-realization process you meet yourself for the first time is what he says.
Michael [00:28:47] Um, and so I think a number of people who've gone through that, I've had such an amazing experience, um, look back on it and kind of say like invaluable, but not sure I would ever do it again. But as you also, I think alluded to as people continue to look for ways to try to challenge themselves. So, okay, I've got that now, you know, what else am I going to do to grow?
Michael [00:29:11] Um, those guys like to say that's the hardest civilian training available anywhere in the world. So I guess this is where I'll put, put you on the spot a little bit, uh, with, with the process potentially be the next level if, if some of the guys that I know looking for that next thing might want to reach out and see what you're all about.
Jeff [00:29:31] Well, uh, let me just back up here and try to just take to fill in a couple of things. So I like how you said subset, um, because I do, I don't like using the word because it puts, it puts a caste system or something on it and that's not what I'm talking about. Like you said, a subset. And we're also subsets broad and a lot of ways it's not like, Oh, you only make this much money in you.
Jeff [00:29:53] The idea is to get really what psychologists would call fully functioning humans as many of them together as possible at different age brackets, at different experiences with different backgrounds, different ethnicities, et cetera, et cetera. Um, and then you mentioned about Mark mentions heart and mind. That's like a real British term when it comes to working with indigenous forces and stuff like that.
Jeff [00:30:19] But I think he's probably referring to it in terms of fully intelligent human being, one that uses their intellect but also learns to really use their intuition and listen to what their body is saying and moving forward. And then the post traumatic growth cycle, like you mentioned, if you are growth minded and you're having an exploratory nature, you're going to probably constantly be seeking those things out.
Jeff [00:30:49] They'll change as you mature, right. You know, inaction in action and where do you want to do it? Where do you put it? You vector it with more purpose. Um, but yeah, it gets harder to find growth cycles that really actually push you into growth, force you to every moment of difficulty.
Jeff [00:31:12] You either overcome it, step past it or you don't. Right. And that's the idea of these kinds of programs that you're constantly facing them. So as far as more difficult, um, I really, and I know, you know, in a fun way it's, it's kind of fun to be like us and them here.
Jeff [00:31:33] They are different. I know that for fact, because last year we had some Coke, zero past Coco people. Um, one of our cadre worked Coke zero or at least worked in the seal fit realm. Um, don't quote me on which part, but I know he worked under that umbrella with Mark.
Jeff [00:31:54] Um, I do agree about the, the few hours, you know, the, the, the crucible, the destruction also it fits over a weekend nicely, which, you know, most people can get off and now there's a lot of reasons why and that we don't handhold and we don't stop. The words that are used to describe Kadri is that they are relentless and I'm remorseful and it doesn't stop.
Jeff [00:32:18] It's just doing that in a healthy growth minded way has some nuances. Um, so you know, just if you think about it eight days over instead of a couple of couple of days, you know, there is that, um, I won't say one's harder than the other, cause I haven't done Coke row, so I can't speak to that.
Jeff [00:32:40] I haven't even done the process in, you know, a Dyna processes so I can't speak to it in, in, in those terms. You're right, it only be ever at most 30 guys a year because of that. It's a, it's, it basically goes back to a soft principle quality over quantity. But basically there is a two to one ratio for cadre, two candidates and I wouldn't want to dilute that anymore just to make sure that all the behavioral observations are happening and that the program is being delivered in the right way, you know, the right moments or accused the right timings are all being met.
Jeff [00:33:15] Not just from a logistical standpoint, but from that psychological, um, ratchet that we put on people. You know, I guess the only way to sort this out, Mike, would be, you'd have to go do Coke row and then you'd have to come do the process.
Michael [00:33:30] I like how you've turned that back on me. Maybe that's where we need to move on. Then I'll let you off the hook.
Jeff [00:33:37] Well, I, I will say this, that something I believe in my heart as you move human beings have been creating selection programs for thousands of years, you know, you'd think pre Spartan, Spartan, et cetera, et cetera. I just use Spartan because a lot of people are familiar with the you whatever, they'll go a year or whatever it is. Um, and then now here in 2020, the most modern wealthy countries, they're tier one units or two units should be at the tip of that.
Jeff [00:34:08] Ashkelon and their methods are very, very honed, right. And they're designed specifically to find characteristics where I don't think Mark necessarily doing that and that's not what we're doing. We're not looking for characteristics, but we use all the tools to find those things to Laurie, lay them back on to other people and to push them and tweak those things.
Jeff [00:34:34] Um, basically to help them develop their prefrontal cortex is better for certain situations.
Michael [00:34:40] Yeah, I think a lot about this in, uh, I mentioned my son, so he's 12, you know, as a father of a 12 year old boy, I think a lot about these kinds of things and how, you know, how you can apply them for a young man early in life and give them a headstart that, you know, maybe we didn't have 20, 30 years ago. And, and just some things that are missing culturally that don't necessarily have to be, uh, always done through a 50 hour weekend or an an eight hour or eight day week.
Michael [00:35:09] Uh, you know, as you mentioned, rites of passage, a tribal connection. And, um, you said the obstacle is the way. So, uh, I'm a big Ryan holiday fan and, uh, and he's turned me onto the Stoics. Um, so, you know, maybe to say it in terms of, of something else I picked up on from you is, is constantly improving courage or, you know, you've said it in, in science terms, post traumatic growth.
Michael [00:35:36] And so for, for all of us that have that mindset that want to challenge yourself in different ways and, and develop, um, yeah, maybe let's pivot back to, to what you're doing with the trials, um, because this is something right here, right now. You opened applications today. It's, um, it's starting soon and I think you're, you're doing some things with, uh, w with Jess and some others on the, on the team called robust human summit so can, can you talk about that please?
Michael [00:36:05] And connect it to,
Jeff [00:36:08] yeah, yeah. Um, well it's again, no, if you don't mind, I'm going to back up just sure. Uh, you mentioned about kids when it comes to rights of passage and stuff, the formulas separate, initiate return and it's basically the post traumatic growth cycle. You know, where you raise your kids and then you separate them from their, their worldview and their reality, and then you test it and you bend it.
Jeff [00:36:31] And that can be done with a fishing trip if you do it right. You know, it doesn't have, like you said, it doesn't have to be some kind of special forces selection or some kind of boot camp or anything like that. You know, it can be just a creative way to spend your time and right now's a good time because we're on lockdown. So it's a good time for parents to work on that work on their kids psychology, if you will, with those similar tools because we're doing that with, um, my niece and nephew and we've started using, um, a modified version of Maslow's hierarchy to start raising their consciousness and seeing how they fit in the world and they're, they're five and seven and the returns we're getting on that is just amazing and we're, we're doing is combining that with a little adventures, little quests, little things like that.
Jeff [00:37:20] Tell us, yeah, sorry. Go ahead.
Michael [00:37:22] Yeah, no, we're, we're all a bit outside of our comfort zones right now and uh, and trying to figure it out. But yeah, I appreciate you backing up to that. Let's, let's talk about that as, as much as you like I if I hear you the right way. The way I think of it is, um, I, I dunno, I'll take an example. And I, and I love the connection to nature. So last summer I took my son with a, with a group of other dads and boys and we spent a week we were going to try to summit Mount Whitney in California.
Michael [00:37:49] Um, ended up just, you know, doing some day hikes and some fishing and camping for five days, but one, you know, it was a connection to nature for an extended period of time that he I don't think it ever had before. Um, you know, just getting out of urban life and, and just being, you know, boys being boys throwing rocks and not having parents around telling them no and those kinds of limits and figuring it out for themselves and just being away from mama for five days, you know, there was no cell service.
Michael [00:38:20] And so for him it was a bit of a Rite of passage, something a little different and hugely enjoyable. And then as you said, kind of the return, um, you know, also brings you back to really appreciate what you have as well. So is that sort of the similar concept?
Jeff [00:38:35] Yeah, well
Michael [00:38:36] for sure. So many things in their connection to nature, just getting out into those vibrations, getting out into those, um, you know, nature gives off so many spores, pollens and things that we should absorb anyways. You know, the bacteria for your biome that's out there. And then just that freedom, stepping away from the noise of society and that it doesn't have to be dramatic.
Michael [00:38:59] Like you said, you know, you go out, basically what he was doing was creativity and free play. You know, like you said, throwing rocks and sticks, looking at things, testing is environment and a really healthy way. Probably being a little bit uncomfortable if you're even in a tent, I mean tent and a sleeping bag is not like sleeping on a bed. Right. And then you return home and you're like, Oh, okay, I'll hot water.
Michael [00:39:22] That's great. I'd shower. Feels great. Oh, that's a comfy bed. Um, and that goes back to the point of like, it doesn't have to be dramatic. It doesn't have to be like a whatever the folks in Africa do where they go out and have to kill a lion, you know, there's a Rite of passage and the Messiah, I think it is or something like that. It doesn't have to be that dramatic.
Michael [00:39:42] You can fit into our reality, um, here in the West. Right? Yeah. I think there's all kinds of big and small ways to play with that. The other way we've, we've played with it is that we've been fortunate enough to be able to take our son on, on a good number of international trips. Um, so he's, he's been a number of places already early in his life and we don't just go and enjoy, and of course we do.
Michael [00:40:07] But I'd like to talk about that as well as, you know, I think every time we come back with, because you've got, you've got different cultures, you've got, um, you know, I've been places where you've got squat toilets. Some of them are quite nice. Some of them are. But you know those
Jeff [00:40:23] that's, I get up the walls.
Michael [00:40:26] That's always been a mystery. Uh, but you know, you come home and you take some things away that you, that were different that you really liked and enjoyed. Maybe it was a culture or a style of clothing or music or food, but then you also come back with some things that you go like, well I now I really appreciate it. Something at home that I took for granted before.
Jeff [00:40:45] Yeah, it's, to me it's all about intentionally building their perspectives, a real intentional method of helping develop their psychology. You know, we're really good schools, very good at linear learning. It does help placing into different circumstances and all that, but it doesn't at a very important time.
Jeff [00:41:09] Childhood specifically target those kinds of things. And um, this isn't like to go off against schooling or anything. It just, it, the importance of parents doing those kinds of things with their kids and taking that time element. It pays dividends. It's unbelievable right now how conceptual. Even my five year old niece can think where, like I said, doing a modified Maslow's hierarchy and the things that she's able to grasp that most people say, ah, kids can't.
Jeff [00:41:40] And that's why it's avoided for a while. It's been unbelievable and it's helped so much when they're having little meltdowns, when their realities are being tested, when they don't understand their emotions, it's given them tools to talk about their emotions so they can express them, which is crucial when it comes to the post traumatic growth cycle.
Jeff [00:42:00] Emotional expression is key. That that gives you the language to make sense of your world, your new reality. So like you said, you go on a trip, you step into this new reality and then you talk about it and then the child can decide, Oh, that's, that fits me or that doesn't fit me. But at least they understand it too, right.
Jeff [00:42:21] When it comes to later on when it's him interacting with other people or he's receiving information from say like the news sources or whatever, and he's like, you know, no, I was there. Um, my perspective is this. Um, and it usually leads to a healthier outcome, I think.
Michael [00:42:39] Yeah. Two, well I think a lot of us figure out parenting as we go, but it's amazing how much more children understand and are capable of and are capable of communicating back if, um, you know, then then we might assume or that we allow them.
Jeff [00:42:53] Yeah, I have a bit of a theory and it's not like a theory to stand on, but kids come out pretty much self-actualized. It's not until we, you know, culture in concepts of low self esteem and you know, we, we flush out lots of their creative drives and their, their free play drives and how they interact with people.
Jeff [00:43:18] We were, we were starting to discuss things with them about other races, ethnicities, and it's amazing how much, you know, they see the difference, but they don't see it like we do. Right. Where they haven't had time to develop those stereotypes and biases and, and stereotype doesn't necessarily mean something bad. It just means a shortcut in your mind. It's just building them up and potentially a healthier way, you know, because in this case, we're kind of sitting on one side of the fence saying, okay, here's some tools that we wished we would have.
Jeff [00:43:47] But it doesn't mean they're gonna stand the test of time, but they're there. They're pretty good. And yeah, just they're already there. If you really, not all, of course, you know, everyone's circumstances are different, but if you look at what it takes to prop up those, those levels, you know, their, their sleep needs are usually met, their food, et cetera, et cetera. And now we're giving them their, their tools so they can come back to us and be like, I need a little bit more sleep.
Jeff [00:44:10] I need a little bit less sleep. Uh, I should be eating this kind of food instead of this kind of food. And, you know, putting away the junk food on their own, you know, all the impulse control that starts to come from because they're starting to get words and, uh, with the words, they're able to associate that with their reality. So much better.
Michael [00:44:28] That's amazing. Yeah, we come out pretty good until we screw ourselves up. I if you just take it like a tiny example of that that I was talking to somebody about the other day and I've said it before even on this podcast is like I'm damn near 50 years old and I'm just now learning to breathe the right way and to harness different breathing techniques as, as tools.
Michael [00:44:50] Whereas, you know, we all came out of the womb knowing how to breathe properly physically at least.
Jeff [00:44:55] Yeah. Or move our bodies to maintain big, flexible movements. And then we kinda hope now we're sitting in a chair where their whole shoulders hunched and we're hacking away at a laptop, you know, um, on doing all those things. You mentioned the trials earlier. It, part of its architecture is those kinds of things.
Jeff [00:45:16] So we reintroduced breath, breathing patterns, different breathing patterns, um, posture. You know how to use those two because those are really important because they're hooked up to your sympathetic nervous system and they're really good to help lower anxiety. Um, they're one of our only intentional shortcuts that we can do. One of a few, you know.
Jeff [00:45:37] And then like I said, physical movement, physical movement, design for endurance, strength, perseverance, the whole gamut of what you would, I think you'd want to, you'd want to build it so you can maintain a long time. Cause it's great to be a power lifter.
Jeff [00:45:57] You know, I love lifting a barbell. It's just now my, I have a dislocated shoulder, you know, my, my knees and stuff are starting to get sore now I've got to really look into the longevity portion of it. And that's what we, we do, we show different ways to maintain your flexibilities in your longevity's in different ways so you can cycle in out of it too. Right? The body adapts pretty, pretty good.
Jeff [00:46:18] So, okay. This I'm going to work on endurance style training and then I'm going to work on physical strength style training, you know, flexibility or longevity and then similar and we do that and the trials with the psychological portion.
Michael [00:46:33] So that's a, uh, yeah. Um, thanks for bringing us back to that. A lot of us have more time on our hands right now as a adults. There's still a lot more to learn physically. So you're talking physically, physiologically, psychology there. But, uh, those things can also lead us to those deeper things you mentioned on developing our emotional awareness and expression and intuition.
Michael [00:46:57] So the, the, the trials 12 weeks hosted remotely for those of us who have some time and have that connection we might want to make right now, this starts May 1st is it tell, tell, tell me a little bit more about who this is aimed for, how to qualify or apply and what it looks like May 1st forward.
Jeff [00:47:17] All right, so what we do is we have the trials, like I said, it's based on some mansion techniques. It's based on some modern techniques. Um, it's a, it's a group of us who collaborated and put this together. The gist of it, while we were creating it, like I said, it was a phase four product for the process meant to be done afterwards to culminate everything.
Jeff [00:47:41] And what we did is we said, okay, we need to bring these methods, math methods to the masses. Um, so, uh, with the process it has a price tag on it and not everyone's able to make that, but it doesn't mean that they don't want to go down the road of self-mastery. Right. And we didn't want to limit it that way.
Jeff [00:48:02] So we created this program much more affordable. Like you said, it's an online delivered remotely. So it brings a lot of flexibility because nowadays a lot of people are working from their laptops from different places. Yes. At this exact moment Cobits got us locked down a little, but generally, you know, people are on the move much more. They need more flexibility. Life's busy, you know. So yeah, we distilled a lot of the lessons out of the process.
Jeff [00:48:25] A lot of our methods as individuals, as part of the cadre as our collective group and put them together to create the trials. Right now it's mostly men and we are working on trials for women because women, although they could go through this program because psychological development, physiological development, there's some differences.
Jeff [00:48:49] But it works. It's not a gender specific program. It just seems like we're attracting a lot of men. And for women, there are also, you know, their mothers or crones. So we wanted to tailor it a little bit more. So that program will be within I think about a month and a half or so. But again, it's not targeting just men.
Jeff [00:49:09] That's not our goal. It just seems to be a lot of men are hungry for this kind of method right now. So guys who are at any stage in their lives, we have guys who were on eight years of therapy, not really going anywhere, you know, criminal activity, not, not the best at home life, but they're there, they're there and they're like, man, I want something more.
Jeff [00:49:36] I want more as in abundance more just, I know there's more for my mind to do, but I've been trapped in these horrible sick, logical patterns for years and I don't know how to break out of it. And you know, this isn't a bash against therapy, but if a therapist heals you in one day, it doesn't do so well. So I think they're the talk therapies take a little too long.
Jeff [00:50:00] I think we can deliver more punch. And then we have other guys who are, you know, captains of industry who are just looking for that next thing because as you know, as you start to get into those realms, do you find a 0.05% way to change your body, your movement, your, your outlook. That's gold that gets hard to find. Um, it's not like being a young man where Holy moly, there's all kinds of pearls of wisdom.
Jeff [00:50:23] I can hoist a board. So they come into this program, uh, we have a Slack group, um, where we get together and I don't want to say discuss ideas. What happens is every week they have a check-in. There's an accountability portion to it. So you check in to our group. People are free to comment because none of us are as smart as all of us, right?
Jeff [00:50:46] We don't pretend like we have a monopoly on knowledge at all. In fact, I learned a ton from these guys because we all have such vast life experiences. So you go through, you're introduced to, um, like I said, I think the most robust contemplate of techniques or are right now and contemplation is just, uh, how do we say, bridging the gap between mental concentration and meditation and adapting that for your body.
Jeff [00:51:12] So it starts off where you learn to control your thoughts a little bit more. And with contemplation, it's like any practice, it takes a long time. It's um, you know, there'll be guys who are at different levels, but it takes, you know, it's, it's a practice. You don't just show up and do it perfectly. So you start off there and then you go down your two, your two paths, uh, like I said, physiologically, physiologically and psychologically and you start to tear apart your mind and start to tear apart your body and you reset a little bit and you develop, learn, educate yourself on all these things.
Jeff [00:51:46] Like I said, you're going to reset your breathing patterns, posture, awareness, all these kind of bullet point things amongst all the other knowledge that we will deliver. Then you get to week four and then you're given a challenge. And the challenge is scored, just kinda, you know, for that fun, see where we stack in the order of things.
Jeff [00:52:12] And then what it does is it brings together what you've been learning physiologically, psychologically and contemplatively. And then we give you a problem to solve and you go do it. And then you move into the next four weeks. And then another challenge, and the idea here is as you go down the rabbit hole, you kind of master thought you won't master in the 12 weeks, but you're learning to master thought than emotion.
Jeff [00:52:36] And then somewhere, you know around, if you look at the brain, you move from the neocortex areas down to the older areas and then eventually to the brainstem where it jumps between mind and body were, you know, some people I apostatize we, I exist. You can actually start to really check in with your body.
Jeff [00:52:56] So the idea here is you're programming yourself for yourself by the time you master these techniques. Zen masters are excellent audit, a lot of, not a lot, but some yogis, you know, they're really good at getting down and listening to those synopses deep down. And then it kinda brings it full circle.
Jeff [00:53:18] That last challenge is something that you set and dictate, but you have to put it out into the world. So we hope you stay accountable once you kind of put it out there. And then, like I said, you learn to cycle this the PTG cycle in a deliberate way. So what happens is you can do it quicker and you can do it with little things. And once you're just aware of certain cycles, it just helps you program them a little better.
Jeff [00:53:40] And along the way, we have our Slack community and people start using really great, intentional, beautiful language there. Um, to adjust is emotional awareness and expression. Hmm. So there's a lot of other little things in there, you know, stream of consciousness journaling, super powerful tool, uh, meditation practices that we give.
Jeff [00:54:00] We give all the tools we can possibly give you along with practices and breaking them down so that when you show up and you're like, okay, week one, accountability what I learned about service versus sacrifice. When you put it in there, people give you some thoughts and putting, not, not push back or sometimes it's good to challenge ideas too.
Jeff [00:54:20] Right. Okay. Have you thought about this? Have I thought about that? Um, and it's really great and the thing is, is as you use more evolutionary language, your brain starts to work more evolutionary. You know, it gets stronger, it gets stronger, you get new words, you get new tactics. And um, we've had really, really great results.
Jeff [00:54:42] We had a beta and then a cohort one, we're about to move into cohort two just because we don't want to have like a hundred people going through week one at the same time because as the cadre checking in and stuff like that, it'd be just unmanageable. And I think if you dilute it too much, it'll lose its potencies. So yeah, we're about to move into cohort two and May 1st.
Jeff [00:55:03] And we are constantly evolving this stuff. It seems to have really great results for guys who have PTSD symptoms. Uh, people who'd want to just reprogram their value sets and um, you know, I'm assuming like it happened to you at a certain point in your life.
Jeff [00:55:23] At some point in your life you're like, wow, I'm in charge of here. You know, I'm, I'm capable to do what I want to do, how I want to do, you know, I don't need to be in these certain boxes or I can create these certain boxes, you know, we'd call it adding lenses or removing lenses and adding veils and removing bales, you know, and just building up that perspective.
Michael [00:55:44] Yeah, no, it sounds amazing. I love how you say none of us are smarter than all of us. I find that a lot of guys I know and, and, and maybe you know, maybe I'll just say it as, as myself, there's a lot of guys from my, um, maybe my niche in business who have gone a route that was just sort of prescribed you this and you do this and you go to school.
Michael [00:56:10] And then you figure out what you want to do and you go into a career, you know, and, and in a way that's sort of easy because you're just kind of bouncing between somebody else's bumpers that they've, they've put on this journey. But then you get to a place and maybe it comes back some of the Maslow's hierarchy where you have an opportunity to step back and you go, okay, fine, I succeeded in that.
Michael [00:56:29] And, um, I've taken, you know, taking care of responsibilities to family, to finance, whatever those things might be. Now I have more time, more freedom to contemplate what's going on in the next season of life and maybe ask or challenge some of those bigger questions about breaking out of maybe what was prescribed.
Michael [00:56:51] Really doing that deeper work on, you know, what, what is, what is my purpose? Or what is it I want to leave behind? Or what is it that I want to provide value in doing or in serving over the next, you know, kind of acts. And so different ways to get there. But yeah, certainly I've been on some of that journey and it was one reason I was really excited to learn more about what you have going on with the, the trials is I think some people will hear about that and just be kind of all in for somebody who wants to maybe hear more.
Michael [00:57:26] We were limited on how much you can talk about here today on time. But is the robust human summit that you're going to host a way that people would get a, a deeper look at you and the rest of the cadre and what the trials would look like.
Jeff [00:57:41] Yeah. So the robust human summit a lot of people have been reaching out to us for information in this interesting time, um, on survival and thriving. So we decided to put together a program that kind of covers just about all your base needs. So sleep, water, food, movement, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Jeff [00:58:06] Oh, what, I won't brush through some of it. Um, interpersonal relationships, dynamics with children. Um, we've got about 10 different categories with people specializing in each one and it's going to be delivered in a way where, okay, in survival, this is what you need, this is how you do it. Here's some tips and tricks, you know, take water for example.
Jeff [00:58:27] What is water? Why do we need water? How does it, you know, etc. Etc. All the kind of science behind it. Why is it important to us? Okay, how do I get it in a survival situation? And then what's my best practices to thrive? Um, even in a normal world, right? You know, drinking certain water is not good for you, but there's things you can do.
Jeff [00:58:47] So it's kinda that, that, um, that information all the way down to movements and we're trying to cover as much as we can on the base needs of human beings. So that'll be available through the special forces, experienced.com or the special force experience on Instagram if people want to check it out.
Jeff [00:59:08] And um, I do, I like to think of it like this. Open-mindedness is one of the key traits to grow because your mind is open at your ego is allowing space to new information. And if you find yourself hesitant, you know, come check this out. Um, because it's, um, it's really good stuff.
Jeff [00:59:32] It's really great. It's really got good truth intention behind it.
Michael [00:59:36] Is that coming up here pretty quick because I know the trials start may one. So is robust human summit in parallel or, or proceeding that.
Jeff [00:59:44] All right. You know, I'll, I'll, I'll be honest here, Mike. I don't take care of the marketing, so I don't know the exact how that's gonna work. Okay. That's my wife who handles that stuff and she's not close by for me to ask. Um, I've been last little while we've actually started transitioning to homesteading lifestyle. So I've been spending a lot of time on that along with like managing other business aspects of my life and et cetera, et cetera.
Jeff [01:00:08] So I kinda got like chickens and rabbits and goats on the mind. A little less about those dates. It'll be available. Oh, you know what, that's not true. When tomorrow is today, Wednesday, whatever, Wednesday is the first, um, set will be launched and then each day there'll be another one available for people to find.
Michael [01:00:32] No worries. I will certainly confirm that with you. And and Jessica and, um, we'll get links to all this stuff up for this episode. I want to get it, I'm going to rearrange some things and get it out right away so that people can find out about this if, um, if they're tuned in and don't already know about you and where to, where to find you guys. I mean, you, you got so much crazy stuff going on in, in your background and what you've learned and what you're, what you're bringing to bear.
Michael [01:00:58] It's funny, as I was reading your, um, your resume, it just reminded me of this conversation I used to have with a, uh, uh, a buddy in the work world and the civilian work world who came from a tier one unit in the, in the U S military. And we don't, you know, we'd always great guy. We'd always invite him to go do stuff.
Michael [01:01:19] And uh, okay. Uh, you know, we're a group of us are going to go get scuba certified this weekend. You want to come along, uh, used to deep dive with a rebreather all the time. Like, all right, we're going to go to the climbing gym, it's going to rain this weekend. Let's go to the, nah, I used to ice climb in Alaska. Tired of that. He has kind of been there, done everything and I sort of, that's what I felt like when I was reading your thing.
Michael [01:01:42] But but you're so deep in so many ways beyond just the, the, the physical experience. Um, so I want to tap into that a little bit before we have to break Jeff and uh, come back to one place we started on this mission you have for, um, maybe catalyzing inspiring, leading and bringing men together to solve some of the world's bigger problems.
Michael [01:02:05] Um, so one question I have for you, uh, I recently had a guest on called Ryan Mickler. If you're familiar with him at all order of man. He's really tapped into kind of this manhood, Mo movement and um, he to ask what does it mean to be a man? Um, I, I'll spend that a little bit. What does it mean to be a good man?
Jeff [01:02:27] Yeah. That reminds me of, you know, being a good man and being great at being a man kind of timeframe. I guess for me it boils down to a word integrity. Um, integrity breakdown to your atomic structure, outwards into everything you do into your relationships and you know, living it authentically.
Jeff [01:02:49] I always feel like, God, don't ask me that because I just, what would be a good man to me is so different than other people. Obviously it overlaps. Uh, and I just, I live such a different life and I have different things afforded to me and abilities and capabilities at some light on how, but I would say, yeah, integrity for me is a big one.
Jeff [01:03:10] Being integral in everything. You know, in my word and what I do, being the, that that rock that my wife might need. Not that she's not my rock sometimes, but I'm giving her that space to be her best self and being intentional behind that because there's a difference between being stubborn and having um, you know, integrity laced with humility and honor that word that I feel is kind of long since passed and you know, people, they're honoring a lot of things that I don't believe they should.
Jeff [01:03:45] That's my own personal opinion. I think if people revisited that, that word, what do I honor? What, where's my line in the sand that, uh, I really have. And not just drawing it because it's one thing to just come to that conclusion, draw it, but understand where you came from, your, you know, the environment that shaped you to cultures that shaped you and where you want it to go before you do that.
Jeff [01:04:10] And then, you know, what's a healthy flexibility in that because like I said, you know, open-mindedness, exploratory natures and venture those in order to Tice those properly, you can't just be rigid in your position. You need to have those flexibilities. And then balancing those two things.
Michael [01:04:29] I really like that. It, it is crazy how you get down to this. I think you said rabbit hole maybe early on is uh, you start unpacking these things and okay. Where, where did that belief come from? And then, you know, you start backing that up or, or digging deeper and can really sort of question and put it back together in a way that you, you, you choose that you formed for yourself.
Michael [01:04:53] Let me throw a throw one other word at you. It's something you've, you've commented on that there is strength in vulnerability. Um, that seems to be a vulnerability. Seems to be a polarizing word with, with man man some, some say like, no, that's crap. It's weakness. And and other people say no, there's strength in that. So tell me more about strength and vulnerability.
Jeff [01:05:17] Yeah,
Michael [01:05:18] I guess men, I'll say man in particular need to heal their relationship with a lot of words we have out there. A lot of words have been tarnished. And vulnerability is one of those words. You know, vulnerability doesn't necessarily mean meek. Um, you know, that image of tears and you know, slow shoulders and you know, um, it just means you're able to put yourself in a position to expand and adapt and grow and you have to put your ego on the line.
Michael [01:05:52] A lot of the times, you know, you're, you, you don't, I don't think anyone has it figured out. And you if you look at timeline that well, it's going to change all the time, right? And you have to be open, vulnerable, too little nudges. Cause sometimes it doesn't feel good, right? That's the idea of the ego. He puts up his defense mechanisms. He's like, no, I don't want to change.
Michael [01:06:13] And it makes it painful cause our psychological systems are connected with our physio physiological systems. And it doesn't feel good. It literally doesn't feel good. The more you practice it though, uh, the better you become at it. And you know, that's not about like hoisting a board every opinion, thought and piece of advice that people have. It's just about being, okay, let me actually hear the words you're saying or let me actually see what you're doing and trying to express, bring it into my mind and see how I can incorporate that in a healthy way.
Michael [01:06:46] Uh, yeah. So in that I would say heal or initiative and vulnerability, because I'll, I'll say this like I did all the, the stuff that a lot of people would be like, Oh yeah, that's real manly and stuff like that. And what people don't know. Once you climb certain national lines, you have to be vulnerable. You have to be willing to put yourself in positions where you're going to fail to learn.
Michael [01:07:09] You don't want to do that on the mission, right. Or the, the important tasks that your government deems or whatever it is in life. That's not when you want to do you want to do it before there's real consequences. And yeah, I've remained flexible with it. Like, so your relationship with vulnerability. Yeah. I think that's really, pardon? Pardon? Parcel is, is uh, may not, may not be comfortable, but that's, it's almost kind of the point is getting, uh, being willing to do those uncomfortable things because of the growth opportunities that are there.
Michael [01:07:39] I've had a, uh, another friend of mine sort of half jokingly comment, Hey, you know, you're, you're, you're, uh, like a year into doing this podcast and you started with this self concept that that's a journey you've been on. But like, why is your podcast just full of Navy seals and religious guys? Well, that wasn't necessarily by design, but it's, um, th those seem to be a couple domains where people get tested into or evolved into or however it gets there of, um, of some of these deeper contemplations that we can take forward and apply in a lot of, a lot of places in life.
Jeff [01:08:17] I, I think I have, um, there's a, this is like, we could have a hundred podcast on this topic, but it boils down to one thing. Culture. Culture creates the brain, the brain creates culture and it's a symbiotic relationship that just keeps cycling back and forth, back and forth. Epigenetics, neuroscience is all proving this. And the reason these groups do is because they have really strong cultures, especially in the military world, in the tier twos and ones they remain flexible and adaptable.
Jeff [01:08:49] They have to be right. The, the quote unquote enemy is constantly changing. So they have to, it creates this culture of this relentless pursuit of excellence, changing of like keeping your eyes open, your attention systems like your reticular activating system. And those systems used to like soaking up information and taking really good, not just going on autopilot and like, dude, you know, so up all these useless bits and bytes, but looking for those details, those sinks to focus your attention on that help you adapt and grow.
Jeff [01:09:17] And then with religions and actually in the special forces one, there's also a laid out path, you know, that makes it pretty okay, if I'm walking this way on this path, I'm going to get to that point B. You know what I mean? Um, it's, it's laid out. It's, they're, they're tried true and tested algorithms for moving towards transcendence, which is the ultimate goal of something like, uh, uh, self-actualization.
Jeff [01:09:46] And a big portion of it is, is a, is a faith of some sort where you, you don't put yourself at the center of the universe, you know, you're part of the universe, especially in religions. Um, but also like, like in the military world, you know, you're part of a bigger organization that believes in serving your country, your flag, your nation, or generally the, the good ideals of mankind, humankind in general, right.
Jeff [01:10:12] Uh, uh, whether it's at home or abroad.
Michael [01:10:15] Mm. Yeah. I think two, two things you mentioned there that that triggered some thought or some understanding for me is, uh, when I, when I studied those things. So yes, study that I'm trying to learn from, haven't, haven't lived them, like you guys have but but one is suffering. You know, there's some element of suffering in both and and you've said that part of what you do is helping people understand the power of suffering for a tool and transcendence on the, on the physical and mental planes.
Michael [01:10:44] And then I'd also say intentionality. So there are a lot of pursuits in life or careers that don't require as much intentionality. Uh, or intentional focus on these kinds of questions. But in and organizations like religions, like, um, like military, a lot of time and study and money and investment has gone into how to build those cultures in effective ways that, that develop people.
Jeff [01:11:11] Yeah. The way we differentiate, we say conscious suffering and unconscious suffering, conscious suffering is just what it sounds like, right? You do it on purpose with intention, with as much knowledge and truth and tools as you have at that moment cause it's going to change, right? And that's what these, these, these units do.
Jeff [01:11:31] A religion is actually quite good at adapting and a lot of ways, you know, even though a lot of the teachings are old, but you look at like say Christianity, there's a lot of different books out there that have evolved with the times to come to, you know, where it is now. Uh, and then like you said, unconscious suffering. There's a lot of places that they don't really, you know, there's all kinds of psychology that goes behind it and like autonomy theories and all those things that they take away because they think that gets the most output.
Jeff [01:11:58] I disagree with that. I think any place that can give more autonomy to its employees from the ground up, we'll, I can't, I can't see it not doing better, but that's just me. Um, but yeah, the gist is suffering. You need, that's another word that we could heal the relationship with. You know, suffering. It's not fun. You're outside of your comfort zones.
Jeff [01:12:18] Um, but yeah, you can do it intentionally in the, one of the driving forces behind that is, is our brains run on the thing called terror management theory, which is this constant fear of death. It's deep down, right? Your body's trying to maintain homeostasis in this, you know, quote unquote hostile world. Even though right now, like I'm sitting on a cushion chair in my log cabin, you know, I don't need food.
Jeff [01:12:43] I don't need nothing. But deep down inside, those cycles are still running. And you know, the more you suffer and overcome, the more you step into the unknown, which is the antithesis of death, right? Like that's uh, not the antithesis, but like the epitome of it is the unknown. We don't know. The more you step into those unknowns and cycle through, the easier it becomes easier it becomes, and that's another thing about the cultures of the military and you know, some divisions of religion, like, you know, like the Templars and stuff like that.
Jeff [01:13:15] Is that suffering to transcend. And then once you have that formula and you repeat it because you could fall back into patterns of remaining in your comfort zones I you eventually come to accepting death as much as you can. You know, you don't welcome it in, uh, you know, it's kinda, you know, you picture like the samurai who he's been defeated he he's ready to die honorably kind of that I think you can achieve something like that without, um, you know, nobody, I'm not saying they should want to die or anything weird like that.
Jeff [01:13:52] Just a deep acceptance of it. And understanding that those routines are running. Um, it's not until you quiet the mind in some very interesting ways, you know, long duration fasts, um, isolation, you know, silent retreats, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, that you start to tap in. And that's what I was talking, that third level of contemplation, deep down where your base functions meet your brain that you start to see whole, like, my body is telling me that I'm hungry all the time.
Jeff [01:14:23] You know, hunger alone, just one driving force. It's like, okay, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta eat, but you don't see it until you quiet the mind. But then there's something really interesting happens and there's been some really interesting studies done on this is that the human brain, you know, it's the big higher functioning portions of the brain are able to control so much of that.
Jeff [01:14:43] And that's where you can start to control downwards in a lot of ways. You know, there's studies done, people live in a whole year without food, you know, you know, we're starting to learn so much more about these base functions and how to change and control. If you will or work with them, I guess is a better word.
Michael [01:15:03] Yeah, there's, there's still so much more to learn. I know you gotta run. Um, I gotta let you wrap up. We could talk about this stuff for a long, long time. So I got a lifetime. Exactly. Um, I don't know if this can wrap it all up or if this just, uh, we'll, we'll open up a whole nother future conversation or maybe done through the trials.
Michael [01:15:27] But what do you, what do you find, I mean, I, I think about this kind of with the kind of right now, most of the guys that you're, you find are working with you, um, w what holds most people back? Is there something universal and and that might be discovered through something like the trials or the process?
Jeff [01:15:49] So it's, I guess scientifically proven that people have a fear of growth. And I think that fear growth, this is like a hypothesis of mine is attached to that terror management, those, those cycles of the fear of the unknown, fear of the unknown, fear of the unknown. Um, and the key is don't people, you know, you sit at home and you're like, Oh man, I want a giant grandiose idea, whatever, insert it there.
Jeff [01:16:17] And that's daunting. But you could start small, you know, go put yourself in a small situation that puts you out of your comfort zone. Start small and then add to it. And I do it and you know, read, learn, develop all the things that you should be doing. But there's actually now it's proven that people are, they have a fear of growth.
Jeff [01:16:37] And I think, you know, be aware of how much your environment, uh, I have an equation that's kind of off a, a guy named Lewin and its expression behavior as a function of personality. Environment. Yes, SFU, we say personality plus environment equals behavior. You know, you can rejig it however you want, but if you look at how much your environment impacts your behavior and then programs your personality, put yourself in those environments, those sensory inputs that are going to encourage you to be out of your comfort zone.
Jeff [01:17:11] And that's, that's what growth did. And then he come back. And then, you know, you talk about your experience credible. Um,
Michael [01:17:20] super excited about the stuff you guys are doing. I don't know how, how soon you're going to see me at Kokoro or the process, but I think you may see me applying for the trials. I a, I'm amazed at what you guys are doing. I knew a lot coming into the conversation Jeff um, but uh, you know, an hour later, so much more kind of mind blown and a and and want to keep learning from you.
Michael [01:17:41] So I really appreciate you taking time today and uh, I know people are really gonna appreciate this, but something like, like 12 weeks with you and your, uh, in your cadre, uh, sounds like a great next step to get more.
Jeff [01:17:55] Oh, awesome. I look forward to everyone that, uh, is willing to take that step and super like, it's a lot of gratitude, Mike Pravin having me on. I really appreciate it. I appreciate the, you know, all the kind of people fighting the good fight, if you will.
Michael [01:18:12] No, I, I really appreciate you Jeff um, really powerful and insightful stuff. Um, thanks so much for making the time and coming on.
Jeff [01:18:20] Yeah, no problem.
Michael [01:18:22] All right. Yeah, great stuff. From Jeff to Patsy and hearing a little bit about what he and the team have going on. Look, if you are maybe that really subset of, of guys that's carved out for something like the special forces experience and looking for what, when may be one of the tougher civilian challenges out there, if not thee, then check them out.
Michael [01:18:42] I've got links to all this stuff in the show notes on the website to the episode which you can [email protected]stery.com slash zero five one or you can go hit Instagram at special forces experience.
Michael [01:19:02] If you want to check out Jeff and team they're on, on Instagram or just hit his website directly, the special forces experienced.com where you can also link to the trials and I would for everybody, go check this out. You know, young, old man, woman, whatever it might be. This is an eight days in the wilderness, but the trials applications for that are, are open now, and this kicks off May 1st 12 weeks.
Michael [01:19:31] There is the, the live and and the interactive component to it, but it is also self paced. So that one is very, very accessible in terms of, of finance and people in different positions in life. But the same idea of ultimately is Jeff says transcendence in mind and body and spirit.
Michael [01:19:51] So go check that out and learn more about about Jeff and Jess and the SFE cadre. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. So have a great week. Again, stay safe out there and look forward to next week with you here again.
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