Originally published at https://www.mensjournal.com on February 1, 2021.
Looking back on my past 20 years, I now understand that the influence of those around me has been the foundation of my success. I’ve been the fortunate recipient of being surrounded by more capable, humbly confident, respectful, growth-minded everyday warriors in pursuit of the same goal: continual improvement. At times it was almost like osmosis — by mere proximity to these warriors, I became better in every facet of my life. From a 130-pound Marine Private to a 200-pound Tier One operator and now an active business entrepreneur — my success is very much a result of their impact on my life.
Choose Your Tribe Carefully
Beyond the effects of self-improvement, I had a tribe. And everyone wants and needs to be part of a tribe to which you have a sense of esprit de corps — that feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty. A word of caution — a tribe can work both ways. Belonging to the U.S. Army Special Forces community can create a sense of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty; as much as belonging to MS-13 or ISIS does. Make sure you choose a tribe that stands for good and influences people in a positive manner. A great quote from an unknown author reinforces this:
If you hang around 5 confident people, you will be the 6If you hang around 5 intelligent people, you will be the 6If you hang around 5 millionaires, you will be the 6If you hang around 5 negative people, you will be the 6
Your Tribe Will Change
In life, you may shift between multiple tribes and that is okay — people evolve, people change goals, people move jobs or locations. What is important is that you are intentional about the people you surround yourself with. When I left the SEAL Teams and moved to Austin, I didn’t know anyone. I felt tribe-less and knew I needed to engage with people until I identified my next circle of everyday warriors. It didn’t happen overnight, but I eventually found a group to call my own. Most of my current tribe doesn’t reside in Austin, but regardless of distance, we engage weekly if not daily. That’s the beauty of social media and electronic communication — if used correctly, it can be an effective tool to create and foster positive relationships and interactions.
When I talk about each of my tribe members, these everyday warriors, I instantaneously start smiling and bragging about each of them. I feel humbled to be associated with them. In many ways, I take more pride in their accomplishments and success than my own. I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight a few of the Everyday Warrior tribe members:
- Lisa Jaster: Mother, West Point graduate, and the third woman in the history of the U.S. Army to graduate U.S. Ranger School…at the age of 37, no less.
- Kirk Parsley: Former SEAL turned Navy doctor. Renowned expert in human performance and sleep.
- Glenn Cowan: Former Canadian Tier One operator and successful venture capitalist with an unwavering positive outlook on life.
- Melody Schofield: Competitive Crossfitter and 3x American Ninja Warrior Competitor.
- Rob Jones: Former Marine and double amputee. Paralympic, who ran 31 marathons in 31 days.
- Chris Frueh: Renowned psychologist and behavioral scientist, who personally helped me through my darkest days.
- Dean Stott: Former UK Tier One operator, who despite suffering a career-ending injury, has become a record-breaking explorer and adventurer. Best-selling author of Relentless.
- Rick Kadets: Former Marine and one of the most talented artists and photographers I’ve ever met. The guy is always trying something new and never stops smiling.
- Dan Luna: Retired SEAL and Tier One Operator. Always in the pursuit of knowledge, when Dan isn’t finishing his Doctorate at USC, he serves as a human performance coach.
- Nick Shaw: CEO of Renaissance Periodization, one of the most effective and scientifically sound diet and fitness training companies I’ve worked with. Former competitive powerlifter and body builder.
- Rich Diviney: Retired SEAL and Tier One Operator. Human performance and leadership coach. Author of “The Attributes: The 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance.”
Find Your “Everyday Warrior Tribe” in 2021
Why introduce them? Because 2020 has impacted us all, even the aforementioned leaders. COVID, quarantine, and even the presidential election have physically and emotionally isolated us from one another. However, we are taking action to change this. To put an alternative, positive, and healthy message out there.
In 2021, our tribe is excited to embark on this journey we call the ‘Everyday Warrior Initiative’, to tear down the physical or metaphorical walls that separate us and start building up one another. If you, like us, consider yourself an everyday person with a genuine desire to pursue a life of impact and continuous improvement, we’d love if you would join our tribe and kick-off 2021 in an unprecedented, life-changing way.
Visit Mike and his tribe at theeverydaywarrior.com for more information on the Every Day Warrior Initiative.