Alden tells us about how he became a SEAL and how SEAL teams develop such strong teamwork . . . hint . . . be selfless! He also offers some great inspiration for life and growing your career
First Exposure to the Outdoors
I discovered rowing because I pretty much discovered every other sport that I wasn’t good at. You know everything that involved a ball and hand-eye coordination just didn’t seem to get this kid to score any points for his team. Running was not a real fit for me. I’m a big guy, I was big kid then and the idea of sitting down and going backwards for long periods of time kind of worked. As for how I discovered it I still to this day remember it. My parents were driving me around I ended up going to boarding school and we were driving up the Housatonic River and I came around a corner and saw these two long sleek boats in the water. I’d grown up by the water and I was like that’s it, that’s cool. It literally was like an aha Wow and that I think I can do. I rowed through high school and rowing ended up getting me an invitation to the Naval Academy. I rowed through all four years at the Naval Academy.
Things we talked about
from a “self ish” mindset to a “self less” mindset
Climbing Mt Rainier
The idea about being always on is the mindset of “all in all the time” and how do you pick yourself up when you’ve failed again and again or all your head wind seemed against you. The hack that I’ve always used and it came about at a young age when I got diagnosed with asthma was, and this is coming from my mom. She would just pull me aside and just read me the riot act about my limits are up to me. The hack that I started coming up with was what I call making an outcome movie. The outcome movies I ended up relying on, in particular going through different elements of SEAL training like hell week we’re understanding the consequences or the outcomes of both the positive and the negative. Either succeeding or failing. The outcome movie that I usually made was not a positive one it was the negative one. I seem to find more power from the negative you know. Everyone talks about the positive piece, visualize yourself getting your diploma or during the trophy presentation or the bonus but it was the negative side that inspired me the most. And the negative side for me was creating a movie in my head where I would visualize myself going back to my hometown and hearing people that really weren’t my friends saying I told you so, you wouldn’t make it, quitter. That was kind of level one and then what made it worse is that I didn’t visit my parents because I really cared about my life, and having them my son quit but we’re so proud of him, like oh god you know I let them down right and then the final deepest level again was someone I care about even more. Of course I wasn’t married, I didn’t have kids but I wanted to in the future. I visualized at some point later in life showing my future kids this is why dad quit and don’t you do what I did. I created these movies and I would create these movies not just for kind of physical dark days but also the mental and emotional dark days, that’s my hack.
The other thing that I have for folks when they ask, I end up coaching some people from time to time. And you know they’ll say hey you know how do I get to get into this seat or how do I go up the corporate ladder and the thing that I really tell them about is first connecting with their being their authentic selves. What they really are inspired about and you know when you go out and in the corporate world or the entrepreneurial world, whatever world that you want to go hike and play in it really comes down to your energy your attitude your inspiration and passion. There’s plenty of apps out there to teach you everything under the Sun but but there isn’t anything that’s going to teach you about really being yourself and having the guts to say hey this is what I really love. I mean you’re a great example Rick here’s somebody that’s gone out and created a podcast you have awesome photography you got all your hands in all kinds of different things. If somebody is like hey I love the outdoor space and I’m not sure what I want to do next and I know this probably isn’t a job for me well I can tell you right now you better be an absolute rockstar and give it all you have and be all in all the time in the job you have so when the next opportunity comes along you created an option to make your pivot and go to the next place. You have to create those options through the excellence of your current work.
Other Outdoor Activities
Be Unstoppable by Alden Mills
The Diamond Cutter by Geshe Michael Roche
Apps, Tools, Podcasts
Polar heart rate monitor iTunes
60beat Heart Rate monitor iTunes
Connect with Alden