Success Podcast Post

Becoming Unstoppable with Alden Mills

George Grombacher February 5, 2023

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Becoming Unstoppable with Alden Mills

LifeBlood: We talked about becoming unstoppable, how to successfully and sustainably live today, choosing to focus your attention on beneficial things, and how to overcome limiting beliefs, with Alden Mills, former Navy Seal, Inc 500 CEO, coach, speaker and author!

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Alden Mills

Alden Mills

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:15
white blood. This is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Alden Mills Alden. Are you ready to do this? Oh, I am fired up, George. It’s an honor to be here and Happy New Year, Happy New Year. Let’s go all done is in a Olympic Festival row where he became a Navy SEAL commander went on to become an inc 500, CEO and award winning author, speaker, coach and consultant. I bet you’re a great dad and husband to Alden. Tell us a little bit about your personal life some more about your work, why you do what you do? Well, let me tell you right there, the dad is by far the biggest challenging leadership opportunity there is. I’d like to think I’m a great dad. But I’m reminded all the time, I’ve got lots of areas of improvement.

Alden Mills 1:03
But when you ask about like, why I do what I do, it really does kind of come back to being a dad. When I thought about writing my first book, which of my old English professors would have thought I was crazy, because I don’t think I ever got an A in English.

Unknown Speaker 1:20
It really became focused on my voice. And when you become a parent, you really, you know, your lens of life changes. And it really made me think about, okay, if I’m going to write a book for my boys, what would I want to help them do? And what I really came up with was I wanted to help them be unstoppable at going after their dreams, not following the father’s footsteps, not, you know, be what they want. The parents want their kids to be, be the best versions of themselves. So it’s a roundabout way of answering your question. Hey, Alden. Why do you do what you do? I really went on this path of helping others be unstoppable. Right about the time I had my first child. And my wife had the first job. I now four. And that started back in 2003.

george grombacher 2:19
Well, excellent. Well, I certainly appreciate that. I’ve got two boys myself. And I can attest to how your view of the world changes, certainly, and how incredibly rewarding and challenging it is.

Unknown Speaker 2:32
And yeah, a high, high opera case on the sea for challenge.

george grombacher 2:37
Yes, for sure. So you’ve got so much wonderful practical experience, and in being unstoppable in your own right and working hard and reaching high, high high levels, and they’ll help you a lot of other people to do that. I myself, and a lot of the people that that are sort of in my sphere. It’s it’s frustrating time, we look out and we’re constantly hearing about terrible things that are happening in the world in our own country things we’re frustrated by, how do you counsel people to manage that to deal with it?

Unknown Speaker 3:16
I will start with a story. And the story goes back to when I finally had the opportunity to walk through the front door of Navy SEAL training in Coronado, California. And I’m going to abbreviate the story because we have a short time together. But there was this character with a deep accent that sounded like this. And he goes, you want to know the secret of making it through SEAL training. And you know, of course, we’re all standing there 122. It’s like, hey, we want the secret. And he goes, Well, it ain’t complicated, is hard. But it ain’t complicated. You see, you just have to decide and point to is temple, what you’re going to focus on? Are you going to focus on the pain of training? Or are you going to focus on the pleasure that training will provide you now he goes on for a little while, but at the end of it, he says, You know what my job is, is to create a conversation and hear a conversation that’s going to drive you to make a decision. And I use that as a reference point for our leadership abilities. We all have that conversation. You don’t have to go through Navy SEAL training, right? We have the conversation every single day, the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed and we probably have it while we’re asleep. And that conversation is what I call the first level of leadership. And the first level of leadership is how you lead yourself. The second level is leading others which would be team and the third level is that Leading culture. And I think of those in concentric circles, like dropping a pebble into a calm still pond. And that Pebble is our action. And the first level of influence or the sphere of the ring is our leadership of ourselves. And then that ripples out to how we lead teams, and then the team’s actions ripple out to the culture of the organization that the team is associated with. So when we come back to dealing with catastrophic events, or the negativity bias of news and all these things that are so easy to get an absorb our attention away from what we can really control, I bring it back to it really comes down to what you decide you want to focus on. And are you going to focus on the misery of it? Are you going to focus on hey, what can I learn from this? And if you really peel it back, the difference between those that succeed and those that don’t, the very first thing is where they put their focus on what they can control. And ask yourself, Hey, is it helpful? Or is this hurtful to me? Is it helpful? To every time I watch the news, I come away feeling like crap? And oh, my gosh, there’s nothing I can do about Ukraine. Okay, maybe you could donate or something like that. But for the most part, are you going to be able to impact Putin’s decision? Most likely not? Are you going to be able to impact some political party? Maybe on a fringe, but no, for the most part, what you can impact? Is the next action you decide to take right now. The next focus on well, for every negative, there is a positives. Which one do you want to focus on? And oh, by the way, the positive rapper, it comes in a different rapper than the negative. So you know, warning, George, I could go without you even asking me a question. A couple of hours on this topic. And I, I really enjoy the conversation. So that’s it, you know, in, in the shortest nutshell I can give you. That’s what this is about. It’s about focusing on what we can control our thoughts, our focus and our beliefs. And I think of them in the loop.

george grombacher 7:36
I love it, too. Great story. And of those 120. So men, I’m assuming perhaps women, how many have made it through? How many internalize that advice from that wise, wise person?

Unknown Speaker 7:51
No, that wise, wise person, by the way, is he’s in my he’s getting a front row seat in my next book called unstoppable mindset. And he’s instructor half but in the character, and the reason why he was instructor half, but his left butt cheek and been blown off by rocket propelled grenade, be it. And he loved to tell us and he could do more with his habit than we could with our full butts, right. And the reason he was giving us that conversation, is it was at the end of seven weeks of pre training, where we were going to now take exactly the same physical fitness tests that we had already taken three times just to get into the front door of SEAL training. And then when we got in the front door seal training, we had to take it a fourth time, the first day, we were there. And now after seven weeks of more training, by now seals to class up for the rest of training, they make you take it a fifth time. And so the real question to ask is, well, how many people pass that test in all of them and pass it four times? We started with 64 or 122. The class graduated 12 originals. I was not an original. I got rolled back and got moved into the next class. And so I think out of all of our class of 181, I think we had about 15 total that graduated when we had 120 to

george grombacher 9:30
speaks to the challenge.

Unknown Speaker 9:35
Yeah, I really liked that story. Because here’s somebody that is giving you there’s lots of layers to that story. There’s the anticipation of pain, you know, the anticipation and pain can be worse than pain itself, which then creates a negative hypothetical, in your mind like oh my gosh, he’s talking to me like this and if it’s going to be this hard already, and and I don’t know if I can Do that. And I don’t even know if I should be here in the first place. Maybe I shouldn’t even pass this test. And so I will be up on stage. And I’ll tell people like, look, we had half the class decide not to pass the test that they had already passed four times before. You know, people, there’s this wonderful mystique about SEAL training. And some of it is rightfully so that, you know, there’s a physical challenge to it and all, but the greatest challenge is between our ears. And by the way, that’s the greatest challenge for all of us. Like, you don’t have to go be a Navy SEAL to learn these things. But you do have to put yourself in uncomfortable positions, to test those limiting beliefs that we all have. And that’s the hard part. Right? The the internal challenge that goes on between our ears, and the internal leadership of that conversation that we have with ourselves, because how we lead that conversation becomes how we lead others, because everyone else is having conversation too.

george grombacher 11:10
So failure to address those internal beliefs, those limiting beliefs that I think everybody has at least one or two, on to whoever knows how many Sure, if we don’t do that, we’re probably going to keep making the same mistakes, we’re probably going to keep struggling, any gains that we make will probably get back.

Unknown Speaker 11:33
There’s that level? Absolutely. And by the way, play that out one more step, we’re going to keep struggling, we’re going to keep making the same mistake, eventually what’s going to happen is we’re going to tell ourselves, Well, I can’t do this. And the real struggle, are the real negativity of limiting belief that we get ourselves stuck in that loop. You know, people would define that loop as insanity, right? Doing the same thing, expecting a different result is that limiting belief sets a new limit for us, and says, Well, you know what, I’ve now decided I can’t write a book. Because every time I sit down to write, I tell myself, I suck because an old English professor told me I sucked all the time. And I never got higher than a B. And I can’t write complete sentences, therefore, I can’t write a book. And now all of a sudden, the limiting belief becomes our ceiling. It becomes like an anchor that tells us no, we can’t do that. No one else told you that. But you decided that in that is where a coach is helpful. Where books can be helpful to help you come up with tools to override, in read, program, the limiting belief into an empowering belief.

george grombacher 13:03
That makes a lot of sense. I don’t get to keep hitting that ceiling over and over and over again, eventually probably going to give up because you know, at some point, it’s like forget it, I’m exhausted by this and working with somebody else a coach or, or been meant mentored through a great book or something like that will help me to like realize, oh, wow, I probably got some kind of belief going on that I need to examine and rewire and change.

Unknown Speaker 13:30
Well, to be honest with you, Georgia, that’s why I’m here with you. Your Podcast, to me represents a place where people could be listening right now and saying, you know, feeling stuck. But what George and all of them are talking about? Yeah, that helps me I get that I see it. And that’s why I’d spend time to talk with folks like you that I think are really in the same path of helping people unlock and activate their potential. Because so much of that is being hindered. I do lots of Navy, metaphors. And I think of ourselves as our own ships, captains. And we have our own little boat. You can call your own little boat, your body will call it your skills, your capabilities, and we’re designed to be at sea at sea would be being in motion. And if we’re not careful, we’ll stay at rest in the safety of familiarity of a harbor, we know. But what you really want to do is push that boat across the horizon. And when you push across a horizon metaphorically or literally speaking, it gets scary because you lose landmarks. Right? You lose sight of land and when you start to lose sight of land. That’s when those demons are doubt real. We come knocking. And I think of them in our metaphorical ships expedition is they come in three different areas. One, the actual idea that Yeah, I think I’m gonna leave this harbor and try and write a book about sneeze there. Number two, I’ve just lost sight of land, I’ve decided I’m, you know, I’m amending my book and it’s terrible and it’s not going well. And, you know, now I’m, I’m halfway across this new ocean to my new island, but I can’t see it yet. Maybe let’s call that island, a published book Island, right, but I’ve never been there before. And now I’ve tried and I’ve had multiple false starts, and I’m starting to convince myself, I’m a failure, I can’t I can’t write a book, right, that’s the next round where the demons a doubt, fear, which is what we’re battling, is trying to convince them to stop doing this, stop putting yourself out, there’s, there’s too many risks to run. And then eventually, you get this one more Dawn, but you don’t see it. And it’s the darkest before dawn, when you’re thinking, I just can’t go on. I’m gonna, I gotta, I’m gonna give up. And, you know, in SEAL team, they call that it’s darkest and coldest, before dawn. And that’s the place where you have to dig your deepest. And so we have those three challenges. In they stack on each other, as we start to decide to bust through that limiting belief and goes do something that’s new to us. And I think of that journey, like getting in our own little boat, and crossing an ocean to a new destination.

george grombacher 16:55
A little bit. Is everybody capable of that?

Unknown Speaker 16:59
Yes. Yes, yes. Everyone is capable of that. And this isn’t like, you know, people like oh, you got to be a born leader. Oh, really? So when you do 23andme, do you get the leadership gene? I mean, did you do 23andme

george grombacher 17:17
Never have, but I did

Unknown Speaker 17:18
it. I didn’t get the positivity gene, I didn’t get the leadership gene, I didn’t get the success gene. I didn’t get the innovation gene. You know, that’s because there isn’t any of that. And so if you can already figure out where I land is squarely in leadership is a journey that we all learn. We’re all leaders, we’re all leading ourselves. Like I lead myself to be on this podcast with you. You lead yourself to create this podcast to reach out to me and others to say, Hey, I’d like to see a vulnerable participate. Now how many people will follow you that’s different conversation. And I will argue that the people will follow you dependent on how you lead yourself. So all leadership is personal, involves your own inner work. I don’t care where you are in the Myers Briggs test or some personality spectrum. You’re a leader. And the more you learn to lead yourself, well, the more you learn to lead others.

george grombacher 18:27
I love it. How is it? How is having conversations like this with with your kids

Unknown Speaker 18:42
can be really rewarding. My boys will listen to some podcasts, they have read my books. I’ve had them sit in the audience for some of my speeches.

Unknown Speaker 18:57
And sometimes they’re like, Hey, Dad, will you speak to my team? And I’m really cool. I’d be honored to speak to your team.

Unknown Speaker 19:06
And they love me when I speak to their team, but they don’t always love it when I just speak to them. And when I’m speaking to them, I really have to pay attention to trying to teach through story versus telling what to do. And making that transition to Hey, you guys want to hear a stupid story about when I was your agent? Something I did? Yeah, you did a stupid story, stupid stories. And I’ll sit down and tell them a stupid story. You know, something I did? Because we’re all imperfect, and we all do stupid stuff. And the more we can kind of remember that we too are stupid, and did stupid things. And by the way, we still do stupid things. And we learn from it. Sometimes Sometimes we don’t. And we do it again, that becomes part of the stupid story. I find that is my best way to make the connection.

george grombacher 20:11
My appreciate that. That makes a ton of sense, sometimes. Well, and how about you personally? Taking your own advice? How’s that?

Unknown Speaker 20:21
Yeah, you know, I have, I struggle like everyone else. I have gotten situations where I’m exhausted, depleted, depressed. And because I am still on the journey. I keep pushing, I keep wanting to have new experiences. You know, I recently climbed the tallest peak in South America called Aqua Gaga. And I came off that peak, and I was like, hi, I feel really exhausted. And I felt like my heart hurt. In full disclosure, I’m 54. And I, it was a long expedition, and it’s 20, almost 23,000 feet. And then over the summer, I collapsed while I was working out and turned out, I had a heart infection and had heart failure. And, you know, that’s been a whole new obstacle to deal with. And a doctor who read my book, looked at me, and he goes, Well, you’re gonna need you right now. And, and he was right. So the leadership journey doesn’t end I don’t think of it like, oh, once I’m a Navy SEAL. That’s all I need to do. Or once I was a CEO, this or invented that it’s no, this is a journey that has no destination. And we keep learning along the way. And I hope for everybody that’s listening out there, that they don’t look at life, like, Gee, I can’t wait to retire. I think you look at it, like, gee, what’s my next challenge? What’s my next chapter of my book that I get to write. And, you know, when you come up with something like dealing with heart failure, you start thinking like, you know, the object is not to arrive at your gravesite in a well preserved body. I want to wring every last cent out of this body, I would like to make it last a long time and not have to have a heart transplant. But those are that that is a struggle I deal with. Absolutely.

george grombacher 22:46
Well, I appreciate you sharing all that. I appreciate all of your work and wisdom. And thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage? Where can they get your books, all of it.

Unknown Speaker 22:58
They can come to be and they come to be I’ve got an unstoppable mindset course that I’ve just finished. It’s going live and my books are there and we got some I published some be unstoppable. Being sign up for the newsletter, it’s free. And I do a lot of discussion on how to be unstoppable every couple of weeks.

george grombacher 23:27
Love it. If you enjoyed the if you enjoyed this as much as I did show all the new appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to be Check out the unstoppable mindset course check out the books, check out all the blogs that Alden has been working on and get signed up on the newsletter and follow all things Alden mills and become unstoppable yourself. Thank you again

Unknown Speaker 23:53
on. Hey, thank you, George. Here’s making this our best year yet.

george grombacher 23:57
Amen. Till next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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