In this episode of the CIVILIAN STRONG podcast, you’ll hear from Tyrell Mara on building an Olympic class mindset.

Tyrell is chasing an Olympic dream and will compete in discus at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and is constantly refining how he thinks and how he trains in the pursuit of being the best he can be.

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • Tyrell’s Unconventional Path to the Olympics
  • How you can use Sport as a Vehicle to Push Your Boundaries
  • Accelerated Learning by Throwing Yourself into the Deep End
  • How to Use Reflection & Getting Out of Our Comfort Zones as Tools for Growt
  • Journaling as a Source of Power
  • Overcoming Overwhelm, Burnout & Lack of Motivation: The Reset
  • How to Get Rid of Energy Sucks
  • The Difference Between “The What” and Your Why
  • Iterative Goal Setting
  • Tyrell’s Goal & Vision Setting Process
  • What the Road to Greatness Looks Like
  • The “Hell Yes” or “Hell No” Question
  • The Core Question to Ask Yourself Every Day
  • Morning VS Evening Rituals & Finding What Works for You

And more…

Beast mode!

Show Notes:

Follow Tyrell’s journey via his website: http://www.tyrellmara.com/

Learn more about his Olympic dream: http://www.tyrellmara.com/olympics/

Help him fund his Olympic dream: http://www.tyrellmara.com/ask/

Connect with him on snapchat via user id: tyrellmara

And reach out to him on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TyrellMara

Hear more about his pursuit of the Olympics and being a world class performer:

Chasing the Olympic Dream from Moonrider Productions on Vimeo.

Full Transcript:

Adam: Hey, Tyrell, thanks for taking the time tonight, man. I’m really glad that you could make it on the show.

Tyrell: Thanks for having me. I’m equally excited to be here and have a great conversation.

Adam: Cool. Cool. Yeah. So, we talked offline and we’re finally able to connect to a time up for, you know, to shoot the podcast episode. And, you know, I guess one of the first things that I wanted to ask you about is your training for the 2020 Olympics. I mean, when did you decide to start that journey and so forth? You know, what does the process look like so far?

An Unconventional Path to the Olympics

Tyrell: Yeah. So it’s kind of been a life in the making, in some ways. So ever since I’ve been about five years old, I think like many other people, right? I just saw the Olympics for the first time, I think, and I just said, “I wanna do that.” Like that is something that I wanna put on my list.” You know, for the context perspective, I’m training in track and field and throwing discus. And that’s kind of the, the goal, right, is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, to be throwing discus for team Canada there at the world stage.

But I went through this process through…you know, over the course of the last six or seven years of trying to identify how can I do it, right? How can I…? This Olympic dream was still in the back of my head since I was five years old. And the belief that I could do it, the belief in myself, was as strong as it was 20 years ago. And then I started having this conversation with myself in terms of, “You know, what’s the vehicle that’s going to get me there?”

And we’ll get into, you know, my back story a little bit but at the time, I was playing basketball in NCAA Division I down in the States at Portland State and, you know, kind of working my way towards the Canadian men’s national team. And then I realized that, you know, unfortunately, our men’s basketball program hasn’t qualified for the last few Olympics. So that really wasn’t a good vehicle.

And then I looked at bobsled and, you know, trying to go that route for Team Canada and then rowing. I actually made the Canadian National Development Team and kind of had a track to go and do the 2012 London Olympics, and just determined that that really wasn’t the right choice. And then a couple years ago, the timing was just right. And I had thrown discus in high school and competed at a national and world level. And despite not really putting a lot of time into it because I frankly just didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t like it when I was a little kid. And I was stubborn and loved basketball and all those things but my parents made me do it year over year.

And, you know, I won national championships and then I quit when I went to play basketball down in the States. My track coach at the time, said, “You know, Tyrell, if you really wanna do a sport that you’re good at and you can really achieve something amazing, let me know. And like when you’re ready, let’s, let’s pick the discus back up and let’s go to the Olympics.”

Tyrell getting ready to throw the discus. What a beast!

And so almost 10 years later to the day, I called him. And his, his son, who is now my head coach, this is Coach Richard Collier and Garrett Collier, who are both pretty infamous in the athletics world in Richmond just outside of Vancouver. And we basically said, “Let’s do this. We have five and a half years.” I went to them saying, “I wanna go to the Olympics. That’s the only reason why I’m throwing discus. I’ll be perfectly candid. If you think I’m crazy for saying that, let’s not even get together because I don’t wanna waste your time. But if you think that I have shot, let’s sit down and talk about this.” And that was almost two years ago.

Adam: Wow.

Tyrell: Yeah.

Adam: So, I mean, immediately what comes to mind for me is that, you know, my perception of an Olympic athlete is that they start… You know, they’re born and then they are immediately thrust into whatever sport they’re going to do. And then they do it for the next 16 years and then they go when they’re 16 years old or, or whatever, you know? Like is, is it more common than, than maybe I’m aware of that you would try, you know, different sports to get there?

Tyrell: I don’t think so. I think your, your, your assessment and kind of observation is pretty accurate. And in all fairness I kind of had a look at both of those tracks. Like what you just described was not life in basketball and I, kind of, was in the cookie-cutter path to go and do that. And discus was an interesting one, right? Because I think, you know, if I were to ask my late coach, who passed away last year, Richard who was my coach growing up. Had I committed as much energy and attention to discus, had I done basketball, you know, for those 15 years when I was really young and middle school and high school and then through university. My guess is that he’d say I’d be a lot closer to that world stage, you know, if not having already had the opportunity to go to the Olympics given that… You know, if I look at all of the Olympic sports, this really is the one that takes every single physical and probably mental component of like, kind of, my strengths and weaknesses and really weighs in terms of the strengths.

So if you look at the sport of discus, you know, you have to be strong. And so, you know, I’m 6′ 6″, 250 pounds and have been an athlete whether it’s CrossFit or basketball for the last 20 years of my life. I kind of have that strength base and I’ve continued to use it. The way that I have observed it is you have to be extremely coachable and you have to have this malleability of your technique.

My observations of the sport of discus so far is that it’s, you know, maybe 30% physical and then 70% technical. Meaning that you can be as strong as an ox. And if you can’t dial in this really graceful but yet aggressive and violent technique of the discus throw, you don’t have a chance. And if you have a better technique, you actually probably will out-throw a lot of guys that are stronger.

So this ability for me and my coach to have this really, really tight-knit relationship, you know, over the five years and over the next four years. And for him to be able to coach me through the technique kind of at hyper speed. Because I think you’re right that I’m… You know, and my coach mentioned to me something a couple weeks ago. He said, “You know, like every time you go in the gym and lift, like warm up, cool down, take care of your body. Like we can’t afford a single injury on this path.” Because you know, I have a number up on the wall that I try and change every day. And it basically reads, you know, “1,359 days, 1,358 days.” Like every day is pretty precious because I’m putting myself up against this challenge that I think I can achieve but, obviously, it’s very aggressive.

Adam: Wow. So that countdown is to…

Tyrell: To the opening day of Tokyo.

Adam: Wow. That’s incredible, man.

Tyrell: Yeah.

Adam: So, I mean, I think that’s really fascinating, you know, that you were on the path with basketball and then that didn’t work out. You know, and then you switched gears. And, you know, hey, if you didn’t like throwing discus when you were a kid, I don’t think anyone would hold it against you, you know, that you, that you gave it up in favor of a sport that was way more fun for you to play. But that’s just tremendous. So now you mentioned CrossFit a bit. So, you know, how does CrossFit factor into your training?

Tyrell: Yeah. So I mean it doesn’t any more but just to kind of pick up on something that you mentioned, which is… I guess it, kind of, speaks to if you look at the athletic pursuits in my life. And this idea for me that, you know, from a really young age, and I think for good or for bad, I told this story in front of like a group of track athletes that I was speaking to last weekend. Of, you know, basically being thrust, like hurled, thrown, into the deep end of life and the deep end of athletic life when I was, 8, 9, 10 years old because I was pursuing this big goal. And from that age, you know, what I realized was what I’m doing is so hard. Like it felt so challenging to the point where, you know, as an eight-year-old or as a nine-year-old and, kind of, just feeling totally out of my comfort zone. I was like, “Man, I can’t do…I’m not gonna survive. Like I’m gonna die doing this.” Like, you know, you get into the fight or flight mode.

Sport as a Vehicle to Push Your Boundaries

But what I realized out of that was that sport for me is just a vehicle. It’s just simply a vehicle and a way that I can push my, you know, mind, body, soul, and spirit to learn at an accelerated… Like, you know, really it’s learning at an accelerated rate and then taking all those learnings and dumping them back into every other area of my life. So basketball was a great example of that. And then in between basketball and discus was this kind of gap where, you know, in one part of my life, I was exploring. And I probably didn’t even recognize that until looking back at it now but I was exploring all of these Olympic options. I was, kind of, setting up the path for whatever my next big, hairy, audacious goal in the world of sport was gonna be. But while I was doing that, I stumbled across CrossFit. And I had heard about it while I was playing basketball and just didn’t have the time.

And it wasn’t the right time for me to go and check it out but then I started doing it. And I just realized, “Holy cow, I love this.” And I still to this day, have fallen in love and still love the sport of CrossFit and, you know, how challenging and painful it is. But also, you know, the, the real holistic, I think, physical, mental, emotional, benefits of it. Like I do my best career in leadership work and thinking typically after I’ve done a really hard CrossFit workout. But, you know, interestingly enough, like I don’t really do a lot of CrossFit now anymore because it, kind of, undermines or sabotages the discus training that I’m doing. But I’m very grateful that I had that sport in my life for about three years because my strength numbers went through the roof, right? And it basically fast tracked me to a place where that 30% or 40% strength component was a, like a green check mark by the time I had stepped into the ring for the first time. And…

Adam: Right.

Tyrell: …I can guarantee that wouldn’t have been the case if I wasn’t on such an…And I mean, again, the context for the sport of CrossFit is that I had spent… The only reason why I was doing the CrossFit was because I basically saw this group of athletes and, more or less, built a team of, of six to eight athletes within a gym. And then painted this picture on the wall to say, “You know, you guys, all of us together, I think we have a real shot of going to the CrossFit World Championships.” And so we spent three years really competing with Canada’s and the world’s best athletes trying to do that. So I was, putting, again, putting myself in a pretty intense training environment but I came out the other side getting ready for discus. And, just looking back, being really grateful for the base of strength that I had built. And then, also, just being exposed to what I think is a really effective sport, both mentally and physically.

Accelerated Learning by Throwing Yourself into the Deep End

Adam: Very cool. So it sounds like you like to throw yourself into the deep end of the pool, so to speak.

Tyrell: You nailed it. Yeah. Exactly.

Adam: Okay. I mean, and, you know, has your experience been that that’s a better way to learn?

Tyrell: So I think there’s a few precursors to, you know, the conversation of the deep end.

Adam: Okay.

Tyrell: Oh, for me, a lot of it has been sport. Like I look back and I just think, “I’m so grateful for how hard I was pushed and how hard I pushed myself because I think it taught me to think about what are the values that I hold that are really important in my life? For me, whether it was, you know, signing my NCAA Division I scholarship or when I looked to work with, you know, people in the leadership work that I do or in the technology world. I’ve always really spent time to think about, “Okay. What do I really care about? What do I want in this experience? What do I want to get out of it? How do I wanna to show up? What are those, like, underlying core principles that must be true in order for me to thrive?”

How to Use Reflection & Getting Out of Our Comfort Zones as Tools for Growth

And, you know, I would probably take the stance that, in general as a society, we don’t take enough time to have those conversations with ourselves. And like literally just stop and think about, you know, “What are we doing? Why are doing it? Is it aligned with our kind of deepest beliefs and passions?” And I say all of that because once those things are in place then hell yes. Throw yourself head first as far into the deep end as possible.

You know, another precursor is as long as you have that support network, that tribe, around you. Whether it’s, you know, your spouse, your, your friends, your family, your parents, to support you when you, inevitably, hit the wall or hit the obstacle that’s in your way. I honestly think that is… The most fruitful learning opportunities we can achieve are when we are miles outside of our comfort zone.

Adam: Wow.

Tyrell: And to be perfectly honest, I think that’s why you don’t see as many people out there saying, “I think I can chase an Olympic dream” or, you know, like “I think I can feed a million people or a billion people.” Because those, those ideas, right, those big, scary, crazy, audacious ideas push us. Like they force us to get so uncomfortable with the status quo, with our safety zone that I just think a lot of people don’t wanna venture out into that unknown.

Adam: Mm-hmm. Yeah, being uncomfortable is tough.

Tyrell: Yeah. And, and, I mean, I think it’s a learned skill, as well, to a certain degree. So, you know, that’s something that, more and more, I’m working with, you know, young, younger business leaders or aspiring athletes, or people like entrepreneurs. And just, just having conversations to help see where, you know, I can, kind of, maybe kind of guide them. Or just have a conversation and ask the question, you know, “Could you jump a little bit farther over there?” Or, you know, “Is this area really serving, you know, the, the bigger impact that you wanna have? And could you actually take some energy from one part of your life and invest it in an area where you’re a little bit less comfortable. But the impact that you’re having and the learning opportunities are much greater because it’s much more aligned with, you know, who you are and what you wanna to get out of life?”

Adam: Wow. So it sounds like you’ve done a lot of, sort of, personal development, introspection, really exploring your values. Is there anything else, other than values, that you would say that you’ve really delved into to try to kind of get this foundation right?

Tyrell: I mean it’s probably looked a lot different in every chapter of my life. And whether it’s been, you know, values in some chapters, and that’s probably… You know, to be perfectly honest, I think that’s the chapter that I’m in right now is really trying to re-evaluate what those are. But I’m insanely introverted just by nature, by my personality.

Journaling as a Source of Power

So one thing that, you know, is a blessing in a disguise is from a really young age, like maybe, again, eight or nine years old, about the time where… And I can talk about some of those early dives into the deep end, I mean, into, like way outside of my comfort zone. But at the time when that started happening, for example, when I was 12 years old, I was shipped off to Philadelphia for about 6 weeks to live by myself in the housing projects of Philadelphia. And travel around with the basketball team to get my first AAU and college exposure. This was like a prerequisite to competing and earning an NCAA Division I Scholarship.

Adam: Okay.

Tyrell: And that experience was… Like I cried myself to sleep for weeks on end. And at the same time, I started journaling and I think journaling was a really good tool for me. Just, you know, being introverted and holding a lot of thoughts in my head to start asking myself and answering those really deep questions. “Why am I doing this? Like why am I hitting the wall over and over again? And for some reason I’m willing to get back up and, and hit it again.” You know, it’s not necessarily always been in the context of values but I think it’s always asking myself the deepest question.

Overcoming Overwhelm, Burnout & Lack of Motivation: The Reset

So I’ll just give you one more example really quickly because it’s very timely. About three weeks ago, I, I essentially fully burnt out. Like I crashed and burned. And, you know, this is after the culmination of my… And we’ve talked about this before. Like, you know, the career and the teams that I’m leading at BuildDirect, as well as my discus training, as well as being, you know, a husband and a father ends up… You know, I have these really high energy, 14 to 16-hour days every day of the week. And then it just so happens that on top of that, we’ve, Tash, my wife and I decided to sell our place in Vancouver and look for some place outside of the city with a little more room. So we had to add that to the complexity.

I just ended up hitting the wall, like the mental and emotional wall and I got really sick. And I was in bed for a week but mentally, I also just completely burnt out. Like I had no drive, no desire and I had no clue where it went. Like I literally spent two days angry at myself because I couldn’t get like that, I don’t know, that kick in my step that I have every single day.

And so I wrote down on, on massive pieces of paper basically. Like I’m just looking at them right now. And, you know, the first big, kind of, box that I have is priorities. So like, you know, “In my life right now, what are just the literal priorities that I have?” The second one is just writing out my values, like I mentioned earlier. “So what are the things that I really want to have show up in my life day after day, regardless of the circumstance or environment that I’m in?” The third one, which has become more and more of something that I think about is cognitive load, right? So, “Where am I spending the most energy, either consciously or subconsciously, holding concentration, or energy, or focus around the different things in my head, right? So where am I spending my cognitive load, my cognitive energy?”

And then the last two questions that I ask myself that, again, I think like these are great questions that we should be asking our self every few weeks or every quarter. “What are the things that I’m doing today that is sucking my energy?” So things that are a part of my life and whether I want them to be or not, they are, they take a lot of energy out of me to do. So one of the things that I wrote down was like financial management. So, you know, my wife owns a small business. I run essentially a small speaking practice. And managing the whole financial side of that business, it just ends up like I do it. And I, I know how to do it but it takes, it consumes way too much of my energy or not really contributing to my values or my priorities.

And the very last thing that I wrote down was, “What do I love about what I’m doing right now?” You know, and I literally wrote all of this stuff out. And then I started to have these conversations with myself about, “Okay. How do I start off-loading more of that stuff that’s sucking my energy? And how can I actually double down on some of these things that I’m stating, in some cases, for the first time?” Like, “I really love this aspect of my life.”

So, I think going through practices like that and I titled that at the very top “The Reset,” right? Just like hitting the reset button on the things that we really deeply hold and can pretty easily get lost in the rat race of life. I think, especially today, it’s just worth, you know, whenever we have 5 minutes, 10 minutes, a couple hours, to go back and do deep dives on ourselves.

Adam: So that’s just super interesting. I’m already thinking, “You know, man, I’m gonna have to put this on my phone and re-listen to you and take some notes.”

Tyrell: What was amazing to me… And sorry, I’ll just share…

Adam: Yeah.

How to Get Rid of Energy Sucks

Tyrell: Because, you know, so this type of practice, right, I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, pretty much…

Adam: Wow.

Tyrell: …exactly 20 years. I started writing down goals and, and values when I was about eight years old, nine years old. It amazes me and I was shocked after I did this, this process, this kind of white-boarding practice. That there are things that showed up on that sheet that I had no idea were in those buckets before I wrote them down. So things that are taking up, you know, cognitive energy that I’m stressing about, that I’m losing sleep over, that I did not consciously acknowledge. And I didn’t create the space for those things and address them before I had actually sat down and say, “Okay. What’s really going on? Like am I really giving, you know, 98% of all of my best energy and my best impact to the things that are most important in my life? Or is some of that energy slipping and it’s kind of getting sucked up by something over here. Or it’s falling into, you know, a cognitive effort around paying off my loans, or some debt, or some financial things.” Or, you know, moving was a really big piece, like, like buying and selling a home.

Previous to this, I had just kind of written it off. Like, “Okay. Like we’ll go through the process. We’ll sell our house. That’ll be no big deal. We’ll buy a house.” And going through this process, I realized, no. Like there’s of emotional energy caught up in that, right?

Adam: Mm-hmm.

Tyrell: Like tons of conversations, tons of big, massive, huge life-changing decisions. And so, it’s amazing to me that after 20 years of doing this, I learn every single time. I’ve kind of put the pen to the paper, so to speak.

Adam: That’s very, very interesting. I think, you know, something that I’m curious about is what do you think the importance of or the benefits are of doing this regularly? Yeah. What do you think those are?

Tyrell: Well, I mean, I think it’s interesting. I don’t know why the first thing that jumped into my head, when you were saying this… And I mean, again, I know you’re right in this world as well, right? In the business world, we’re writing up business plans, and setting goals and objectives, and aligning with the vision and the values every 90 days. Sometimes in some instances, and like in our company, we were doing that every 45 or 60 days, right? We were doing these deep dives on all of these things that are important to the health of the business. And yet, we do… I think the question that you asked is perfect, right? Like why, why should I be doing this in… Like why should I be taking time to think about myself every 45 days?

You know, if we’re doing it in business and we’re not doing it in ourselves and with ourselves, to me that’s a pretty big red flag because if I were to flip that equation around… You know, for me, if I look at the business that I’m in, and the world that I’m in, and the impact that the teams that I lead have. I know that every single person on that team, including myself, have to be showing up fully, right? Like I know that our team is gonna do our best work when everyone, you know, feels like they’re coming to work and what they’re doing is really important. That they have purpose in the organization, that they… You know, just all of the safety and the things like, you know, the kind of basic Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Like all of those things about ourselves have to be taken care of before we can really reach high performance or optimum performance. And I think if I were to boil down anything in my life, it’s that’s all I’m striving for. And that’s probably the biggest common theme. And, you know, I talked about sport being a vehicle beforehand. I’m trying to use like all of these different stimuli in my life as a vehicle to reflect, learn. And then understand okay, how can I be at a little bit higher level of performance and then a little bit higher?

And I think that, that whole process comes with us intentionally taking time to think about the decisions we’re making. And, you know, how our values are showing up in what we’re doing or, or not showing up and what that feels like. And so, you know, I guess I’m answering in a really long way. I kind of think it’s everything, in a lot of ways.

Adam: No. No. That’s good. You know, I asked in part because I spend a lot of time or I have in the past. I think I’ve slowed down on it recently, which is, you know, writing down my goals. You know, I plan out the year, do goals for the year. And then I kind of, you know, look at them every week or every couple of weeks and then adjust. And then I also do a lot of planning of my days.

But sometimes I find myself getting caught up in just planning out my days and it’s all tasks. And for me, I, I find if I don’t revisit, you know, the goals and, sort of, the vision for my life. If I’m caught up in task mode, I start to feel pretty disconnected. I’m like, “Why am I doing this?” And it becomes more of a drag. So I guess, yeah, I was just curious to see what you were thinking?

Tyrell: Yeah. So, I mean and I can 100% relate. And I think as my life gets more hectic and more busy, it’s almost like I end up getting caught in that like operational mode more and more. Where it’s like I wake up in the morning and before I even think about, you know, like, “How can I show up and change the world today?” I’m already thinking about okay, like, “I have this meeting at 7:30. And I’m gonna need to say these three things and set the context like this. And then I’m, you know, meeting with my team at 8:30.” You know, like I’ve gone right past why I should care about any of this.

The Difference Between “The What” and Your Why

And what I really clearly heard you just described was the difference between the what and the why. So, you know, like the list is what are we doing? Like what are we doing every day? What are we doing every quarter? What are the really important buckets in our life. But without being able to anchor that back to the why and, you know, like, “Why are we showing up every day?” For me, anyways, in my life, as those two paths become more and more separate, I think, to be perfectly honest, I get in a case like this, where I totally, you know, mentally and emotionally burn out like I did a few weeks ago. And then I have to really go back to the drawing board and kind of bring everything back to okay, “Why, why are you doing this?”

And over the past, you know, four, five, six weeks, what were the things as you got further and further away from that why, that why statement, getting up and, and asking yourself why or, or giving yourself some kind of statement around that. What were the things that were able to creep in as you were too focused on that 7:30 meeting and that 8:30 meeting, right? And I go back and I realize, “Oh, there’s all these things that I’m thinking about and spending energy on. That don’t actually align with, you know, like my purpose and my truest, kind of, values and passions in life.”

I mean, at least in the networks and the, kind of, communities that I’m in, the subconscious need to never stop seems really, really, like at an all-time high. You know, like that, we live the busiest lives in the world. And we don’t have time to stop and like you said, ask, kind of write down the things that are really important to you. Write down your goals. And I think also, write down the list because the list will give you a really good litmus test of how close are those things to the things that you said are really important. And, and if they’re not that close, then what changes can you start thinking about making?

But I also think one thing, just on your point is it’s gonna look different for everyone, right? And this idea of how do we stay in a reflective state? Or how do we incorporate this idea of continuous reflection and continuous learning into our lives? And I truly believe that we have to find tactics, and rituals, and cadences that really add value to our lives because otherwise, we’re not gonna keep doing them, right?

If you’re being told by your boss, or your mentor, or your coach that you need to write down, you know, five things that you’re grateful for every day. But that doesn’t actually resonate with who you are, you know, and your style, and your personality and all those things. You know, the chances of you sustaining that over a long period of time is really low.

Iterative Goal Setting

When you started talking, I was thinking back to, again, this idea that I’ve been setting goals for a long time. But I look at how I set goals and, kind of, the goal statement papers that I write now. They are almost night and day different from how I set goals 5 years ago and how I set goals 10 years ago. And they’ve just evolved as a function of like how these documents, how these living documents… I mean, I do, kind of, big annual goal-setting sessions with Tash and our family.

You know, how can they continue to serve me instead of just being this artifact that we write down because we’re told to? How can we build these things in a way that continue to fill us up and help point us, kind of towards our own North Star? So I think that’s been an interesting observation on myself is that I continue to tweak my own practice. Whether it’s, you know, reflecting and writing goals and my kind of vision and value statement or it’s my own, like, daily practices. I just keep tweaking it and keep tweaking it. And, over time, I keep the things that stick and the things that really add value. And I just let go of the things that seem like they’re good ideas or I’ve been told they’re good ideas but just don’t really fit in terms of what I’m trying to accomplish.

Adam: Yeah. It sounds iterative. Yeah.

Tyrell: Yep, absolutely.

Adam: Right? If, if I’m saying that properly.

Tyrell: Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly right.

Adam: You know, that’s really interesting to me because I think lately on a personal note, the whole goal writing process like I’ve grown tired of it. You know, I still wanna get thoughts down on paper or into a document and I find that that can be energizing. But I am looking at different ways of doing that. Not necessarily goals but things that I wanna do, achieve, become, etc. So they kind of sound like goals but maybe not written in the way that I would normally write them, maybe written more as a story like… So I think I’m kind of playing with that, as well.

Tyrell’s Goal & Vision Setting Process

Tyrell: Can I share with you what, kind of, the structure of my 2016 goal paper was? It’s fairly short.

Adam: Yeah.

Tyrell: I can keep it fairly short but just to give you…

Adam: Absolutely.

Tyrell: And this has been an exploration just for myself because I think exactly to your point, like I was the same way, right? And I think after you set goals with, you know, my, it was my family. I have two younger brothers who are both extremely successful in sports and now are, kind of, off on their own paths, and my parents, right? We did this every single year for, you know, 15 plus years. And I was the same way. I kind of got to the point where I was like… You know, and it’s still valuable. I knew that there was value in it, right, because of, because of how much I had accomplished from it already. But I also felt that, for me, it wasn’t quite mine. I didn’t quite own the process.

So today, you know, I have a much more organic process but I’m kind of staring at the document right now and it starts off… It doesn’t even mention anything of goals at the very top. It just basically says, “Tyrell Mara 2016 vision.” And then I have three sentences and these are as I think about, “Okay. What is 2016 gonna look like?” And for me, a year is, is a really long time. And so I feel like I’m being very speculative at this point but it’s very interesting because I’ve done this for three years now, this. It’s kind of like a context setting. Like what is the theme or the chapter of 2016 going to be like? So this is literally word for word the three sentences that I wrote.

So, “2016 will be the transition of many small, seemingly different puzzle pieces into significant movement and force,” is the first one. The second one is, “Organizing the inertia of flow as kind of a thought.” And then the third one is really a statement. And, again, it speaks to some of the things we’ve already talked about tonight. “Step up. Play big. Extreme work. Extreme rest.” So after that kind of statement… And that’s all it is, right? So if I do, if I do nothing else when I open up this document, you know, a year from now, or two months from now, or whenever and I read those three statements. I’m already feeling like, “Okay. Like’s there’s something very emotional and visceral there for me in life. It’s timely.”

So then I do have some, some kind of clear, standard, structured goals. Every year, I only pick three focus areas. So, you know, this year I have athletic, career, and personal. And I typically write between three and five goals for each that are, you know, kind of more traditional SMART goals like time bound. They’re achievable, measurable, things like that.

And then one thing that I added maybe about five years ago was this idea of peaks and valleys. So I, I look back at 2015 and I observe what are the biggest peaks or things that were surprises, things that came completely out of left field that I am just so grateful for in 2015? And so, for example, in this one, I wrote. You know, I started at, kind of, a philanthropic club at, at BuildDirect and originally, it was just me. You know, I was mentioning before this, I was running for the Ronald McDonald House. Like I was just asking my colleagues, “Hey, do you guys wanna go cook dinner for the kids and families at Ronald McDonald House because it’s a way that we can give back to our community?”

And in 2015, that thing just blew up and it took on a life of its own within the organization. It was nothing that I ever, ever expected but it was kind of this idea that it was like a glimmering star in a year where I hadn’t set it as a goal. So I think it’s really important for us to acknowledge those. And then the valleys are, you know, the things that didn’t go well, the things that we failed at or that stand out as very painful parts of our lives.

And then at the very bottom of the document, I just have fairly simply, you know, my life’s BHAGs, my life’s big, hairy, audacious goals. Which is, you know, obviously a very small list, Tokyo 2020 Olympics being one of them.

And then what I like to do every year is actually take some of, almost exactly what you said was start writing more of a story or a narrative. So I just called them 2016 themes but I look at career. Okay. What are all the things that I wanna accomplish in that bucket? And then I actually write it as, you know, “This is what it’s gonna look and feel like to step into that new accomplishment of those goals.” So it’s more worded as like a story versus actually bullet-pointed goals. So, you know, it’s literally just over one page long and this to me feels like the most that I would ever wanna do with goals.

And it has enough structure that it feels like, “Okay. I’m being really intentional with some of these goals. “But then it has enough connection to my emotion, and to my psyche and like kind of the deeper things that are going to keep me moving over the course of 2016 that I can really come back and connect to it over and over again.

Adam: Wow, man. That’s great.

Tyrell: And I’ll send this to you after and you can share it on the podcast, as well.

Adam: Excellent. That’s excellent. Yeah. I’ll include a version in the show notes so people can just download it after they listen to the episode. So that would be great. Thank you.

Tyrell: But I think you’ve hit something really important there is that there is… And, you know, I do a lot of work with some of the teams at Lululemon. And they have a huge, huge value, vision, values, and goals, and legacy culture, which is incredible. But I also know that they have… You know, there’s burnout at times in terms of, you know, setting your, your 6-month goal, and your 12-month goal, and your 2-year goal, and your 5-year goal, and your 10-year goal. Like it can get a little bit monotonous and repetitive. And that’s, I think, exactly what you mentioned and getting out of that. Because I do think there’s, obviously, tons of value in this but we have to be able to own it ourselves and own the process and the journey of just setting goals in and of itself.

Adam: Absolutely. So, you know, going back to, this goal of making the Olympics five years… Five years out, you set this, this goal. I mean that is a long time to be dedicated to something.

Tyrell: Yeah.

Adam: So, I mean, in addition to this process that we just spoke about, sort of, how you… You know, your one or two-page, sort of, vision and, goals and, and context for the year, are there other mental tools that you use to stay on track like on a daily or weekly basis type of thing?

Tyrell: Yeah, definitely. Again, another thing, I’ll just voice it because it popped into my head. And maybe we’ll table it for a later or a future discussion over coffee but…

Adam: Sure.

What the Road to Greatness Looks Like

Tyrell: …a post that I wrote a little while ago was this concept or this idea that like there’s no such thing as overnight success, right? Like I think we live in this culture of, you know, I see all these people doing amazing things and they’re so successful. Like, you know, this five-year goal, yes, to me, it feels like a lifetime and some ways, it is. And it’s painful, and it’s gruesome, and excruciating, and dark, and lonely, and all those things.

But I think every single story that I read of people who have accomplished truly great things have gone through the exact same path over a lot of times not 5 years but like 10 years, or 20 years, or 30 years or 40. Like, you know, really, really long roads of attrition and being able to survive and persevere over those. So, you know, I just think it’s important to call that out because anything that is worth doing and, you know, is truly great in life is, takes time and energy and all of that but anyways. I mean I think that’s a separate conversation in terms of…

Adam: Actually, that’s a good point. That’s a very fair comment because I think to be fair to you, you mentioned earlier that, you know, you were eight years old when you thought about the Olympics for the first time or was it younger?

Tyrell:I was five when I started to think about the Olympics and eight when I intentionally set this goal around, you know, playing NCAA Division I basketball. Which, at the time, I mean either no athletes or, you know, one or two Canadian athletes a year were getting to do basketball players. So that, like, yeah, that’s so great. But for me, that’s my best example of a goal that took almost 10 years to actually accomplish.

Adam: Yeah. So, definitely I don’t wanna treat it as if it was just a five-year. I mean, you’ve been working on this for a huge amount of time.

Tyrell: Yeah. Yeah. It definitely is a five-year intentional push, right? Like I’m architecting my life around…

Adam: Sure.

Tyrell: …being able to accomplish this. I mean and that, in and of itself, feels like a really long time. But I also am, you know, aware that if I’m able to achieve this goal, it will feel like one of the greatest mountains that I’ve been able to climb in my life. And then I’m also conscious of that in the same perspective that the people who have conquered truly incredible and huge mountains like, you know, the Martin Luther Kings and Nelson Mandellas, and even Barrack Obamas of the world have had much longer and much harder journeys than that.

So I mean, I’m mindful that, hopefully, I can continue to build on these five years and pursue bigger, and bigger, and bigger goals. And, you know, eventually, continue to have a positive influence on more and more of the world, which is ultimately really, kind of, the reason why I’m doing a lot of this, I think, in the first place.

Adam: That’s really cool, man. It’s funny. I thought you’re gonna start talking about like various mountains. And I was, and I was gonna say like, “Oh, like I know this guy that climbed Everest, you know? I can introduce you…”

Tyrell: That’s right

Adam: But yeah, yeah. Martin Luther King and, I mean, that’s a whole other level of life, right, and of the game?

Tyrell: Exactly. Yeah, the game. I love it. Exactly. That’s exactly right.

Adam: Yeah but that’s cool. This is something that I, kind of, wanted to ask you, you know, towards the end. I mean, it doesn’t really matter what the order is but, you know, given how busy you are, you’ve got a full-time job, you’re a father, and you’re training for the Olympics. You know, do you have time to think about anything else?

Tyrell: Yeah.

Adam: You know, what comes after or down the road? Or do you just have to keep focused like very present day?

Tyrell: Yeah. I had to let out a big sigh because this has become a little bit of a thorn on my side, to be perfectly honest with you and…

Adam: Okay.

The “Hell Yes” or “Hell No” Question

Tyrell: I, mean because exactly that. If there’s one thing that I’ve done really well over the past year and a half as, as I’ve learnt what this Olympic road, you know, this climb up the mountain is gonna look like. You know, this, this concept of “hell yes or no” has become really clear in my head. So if I can’t say, “Absolutely, 100% hell yes. I will not miss it for the world to any opportunities or decisions in my life,” then it’s a no, hands down. Don’t need to think about it twice. It’s given me this incredibly streamlined, focused life. And, you know, you mentioned the buckets right there.

And at the same time, there are two areas… I’m only getting more clarity on this probably over the last week. So these are things that have been, kind of, floating around hovering right on the peripheries of the hell, yes. So I’ve kept kind of one foot in. One is this pursuit of philanthropy. And I don’t really know what that means, other than it feels really, really important to me. So I mentioned a while back this idea of having a goal, of helping or feeding a million people or a billion people. That, to me feels very like… That’s the kind of question that is in the very, very back of my head.

And the second one, which is even more current, is, you know, I’ve been really, really fortunate of being able to connect with, and work with, and collaborate with a lot of incredible people in the city of Vancouver who are essentially very like-minded. So in the, you know, similar age kind of demographic. Like, you know, the Gen Y leaders of the City of Vancouver, getting to know more and more of them.

And I’ve realized for the first time what it feels like is happening is we’re starting to collectively… You know, we’ve all built these really thriving, small sub-communities within Vancouver. Whether it’s in the entrepreneurial space, or the fitness and well-being space, or the adventure and outdoor space. And, organically, we’ve been coming together more and more as small groups. Like, you know, 10 to 20, 30 people and asking, “What’s next? Like what’s the next step as us?” Not only as leaders in Vancouver but also, you know, in my opinion, I think the next generational leaders of the City of Vancouver?”

And to me, that feels like an incredibly interesting and timely conversation to be a part of. And so going back to this idea of, you know, like how do I bucket or like where do I put those things? And those are probably the only two things that I’d say I’m really devoting intentional time and, and like both time researching and having conversations and meeting new people. But also time actually just thinking, thinking more and more about what’s my long game in terms of being able to serve a really, a really impactful, philanthropic purpose in my life?

And then what’s the long game for serving a really impactful leadership impact in my generation and my demographic? Even to the point of like, you know, all this…everything that’s gone on with the, the U.S. and the elections and that whole process. Like for the first time ever, I mean probably like a lot of people. But I’m not only deeply curious about that system in the United States itself but like I am insanely curious about how Mayor Gregor Robertson elected as, you know, an elected official and as the Mayor of Vancouver? Like these are questions that I’ve never really asked myself before but I’m feel like I’m starting to connect those dots.

And I know that, you know, over the next five years or the next four years, I’m not probably gonna take too much action. But I can certainly start thinking about what the puzzle pieces will be. So that, you know, year one post the Olympics, there’s some opportunities to start pursuing what I think will become potentially my next big hairy, audacious goals but…

Adam: Cool.

Tyrell: …I mean, yeah, to come all the way back, it’s, it’s probably being really intentional with, with… Because you’re right. It’s literally the minutes, you know, the 20 minutes that I commute from my office to track practice. And then from track practice back to the gym and then from the gym back to the office that I get to either think, listen or, you know, talk. Like I record audio notes as I’m thinking things through. But those are like my opportunities to learn things. And then I try and be really, really focused and intentional about the buckets that aren’t those core three where I’m investing like cognitive time and energy.

Adam: Wow, man. I, I love it. This is great…

Tyrell: But it also means, I mean, like there’s a million things that I still have to say no to, right? Like I guess…

Adam: Yeah.

Tyrell: …like the kind of the flat-out answer is that, you know, you were sharing the experience of you guys going up into the northern part of the providence. And, and hunting and being out in the wilderness for, you know, like weeks at a time. And to me, when you were telling that story, like I was almost drooling. That seems like such an incredible experience to be that remote and that disconnected. And, you know, and that’s frankly probably something that I’ll never get to do in the next four years or probably a lot longer. I’m just by nature of, you know, the path that I’ve chosen. It is what it is but it’s an intentional sacrifice in some ways.

Adam: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. I totally get it. I read today, I can’t remember what it was, what the context was but someone was quoting Warren Buffet. And he said:

“One of the differences between people who are good and people who are, you know, world class or excellent is that the world class say no to just about everything.”

Tyrell: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Adam: Right? But it’s just…

Tyrell: Yeah.

Adam: …a few things that they say yes to so.

Tyrell: And I think it’s so hard, right? This goes back to this kind of central thesis that I was talking about in this presentation, is that it’s so hard, right? It’s so, so hard to be world class. Like there’s two contrasting thoughts in my mind, right? One, and I said this to… I was like speaking to this group of, you know, 10 to 20-year-old track and field, like the next track and field athletes in Vancouver in the City of Richmond. And I said, you know, “I truly, truly believe that each and every one of us as human beings has an opportunity to be world class.” And I mean like literally one of the best in the world at something that we deeply and profoundly believe in.

And at the same time, it is gonna be, you know, if you do that take that risk and you do take that jump, it will be the hardest and most excruciating journey you ever go on.” And, hence, that’s why I think when inevitably we set goals and we go out, and we strive for these really great things. And we hit that huge, intimidating, you know, towering-over-you, laughing-at-you wall, almost all of us almost all of the time choose to, you know, throw our bag on our back, turn around and, and go home. Because it’s like it’s incredibly hard, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually like every single domain of our human beings.

Adam: Wow. Man, I had so many questions. You know, actually, I didn’t have a super long list but every time you say something, I like come up with even more questions.

Tyrell: Like I can speak really, really high level or quickly to the mental…. I mean I, kind of, totally derailed that question, I apologize.

Adam: No. No. No. No.

The Core Question to Ask Yourself Every Day

Tyrell: But I think for me, this has been a really fun and interesting exploration of… Again, it goes back to like one of the… Oh, I think one of the core questions that I’ve been asking over the last few years as my life has gotten more and more intense and demanding. Is, “how do I squeeze every single ounce of energy out of my, you know, body and my mind every single day? And then, you know, conversely, how do I feel it to give me the most output every day?”

“how do I squeeze every single ounce of energy out of my, you know, body and my mind every single day”

And so that is like one of my most exciting pursuits and there are a lot of little things. I just wrote a post for like a little outlet called “Pursuit.” And I was trying to highlight like, you know, the five things that I do on a daily basis that have fundamentally changed… You know, I’ve changed my performance on a daily basis. And we actually talked about this the first time that we grabbed coffee. Because I noticed halfway through that meeting that my phone was buzzing in my pocket. And I could feel in real time my concentration in our conversation being totally hijacked and derailed.

And so, you know, something like turning off all of our notifications that are… For me, turning off all of the notifications from a mental perspective, from a cognitive perspective, that’s honestly made a huge, huge change. Like I don’t get any push notifications on my phone except for texts and calls from Tash and the same thing on my computer. Because I just think that we’re in this like… We are all so addicted to those little dopamine shots that the buzz or the little notification, the one beside, you know, the Facebook icon. And every time we see those, they completely derail our focus and our concentration. So, you know, something like that.

Morning VS Evening Rituals & Finding What Works for You

You know, I’ve been writing, recently. I think the idea of a bedtime or an evening ritual is really important. Because, you know, regardless of how and where we’re performing during the day, this idea that it really is more… It’s not necessarily about how hard we’re training in something. It’s about how effectively we’re recovering.

And a friend was mentioning to me the other day that like, you know, you can’t really over-train but you can really easily under-recover. So for me like the idea of sleep, and really high sleep quality, and enough sleep is one of the things that it’s like a Holy Grail. Like I won’t mess with that at all.

So, typically, when I get home, you know, if it’s around 8:00 or 8:30, as much as I can, unless I know that there’s something pretty serious going on at work, I will turn my phone onto airplane mode or not airplane mode but do not disturb mode. So I literally know it won’t buzz, or beep, or flash. I won’t check email for the rest of the night. And then I’ll slowly kind of go through this process of just like staying connected with Tash, you know, spending some time with her, sometimes getting to, to put Olia, our little daughter to bed. Like, you know, I’ve been doing Wim Hof breathing, which is like a…

Adam: Cool.

Tyrell: …a breathing meditation exercise. And then I take 10 minute ice baths…

Adam: Wow.

Tyrell: …in combination with doing that. And that, for me, it just feels like my mind, and my central nervous system, and everything goes from like on super speed, which is the speed that I’m operating at during the day. Down to like, you know, the lights dimming and my heart rate slowing down. And I can, kind of, turn all of my thoughts inward a little bit. And then from there, I, kind of, pretty quickly transition into bed where I write one day.

Every day, I just write one page. I just journal anything. Like I’ll just write something to fill a page. And then at the bottom I have a little place where I write, “Gratitude.” And I have three bullet points, three things I’m grateful for every single day. And that process takes all of three to five minutes. Like it’s an incredibly small investment of time. But just that small, little ritual, the quality of my sleep has gone up like 10X. And then, you know, obviously, by that, I get up at 5:30am the next morning and I’m ready to turn on and to go so.

But I think, you know, the interesting thing had you asked me that question three months ago, I was doing almost the exact opposite. I was getting up at 5 in the morning. And I was doing, you know, tons of head space meditation, like guided meditation. Doing Wim Hof breathing, doing journaling, doing some yoga, like spending an hour or an hour and a half before I went into work.

Again, like I was saying earlier, I’ve just kept tweaking, and tweaking, and tweaking and trying to figure out what things really, really add value. And for me, Wim Hof and ice baths for some reason just like hit the spot. As well as spending five minutes just doing a little kind of meditative reflection on the day.

Adam: That, that’s really cool. I just interviewed, you know, a few weeks ago a guy named Scott Carney. And Scott just wrote a book called “What Doesn’t Kill Us.”

Tyrell: Nice.

Adam: Yeah. It’s coming out in January. He’s an investigative journalist and he flew to Poland to basically debunk or discredit Wim Hoff. Because he heard about this guy and he was like, “Oh, this guy…” Oh, actually, just to preface too, is that Scott, that’s kind of what he does. It’s like he exposes charlatans and then he writes books about them. And so…

Tyrell: Wow.

Adam: … he thought he was gonna go write this book and, and blow this guy out of the water. And he actually did this. This was like four or five years ago when Wim wasn’t really well known over here. Like now, he’s, like, gained major fame, right?

Tyrell: Huge, yeah.

Adam: And so he went over and spent seven days with Wim and it completely changed his life. Like it took him down this whole other path. Like he became a believer. And, you know, and he said to the guy…You know, he’s got his pros and cons and things that are good and bad but it exposed him to this, way of, you know, meditation and breathing. And then took him down a path of extreme sports and obstacle course racing and all sorts of things. But it was just really interesting to hear you bring him up because, you know, I’ve just been reading, “Becoming the Ice Man” and then I’ve just been learning about him so that’s really cool. And just to get back to the, sort of, question around routines, you know? So are you saying now that like you have an evening routine but not so much a morning routine? Was that kind of where you were going with that or…

Tyrell: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s exactly right and I never really… You know, interestingly enough, right, like I read, all of… I love studying high performers. Like I think that’s one of my favorite… All the books that I read are… I’m reading Warren Buffet’s “Snowball” and Phil Knight’s “Shoe King” and, you know, all of these, these high performers. You know, the world’s elite have some kind of morning ritual. Like that’s one of the thing that, you know, all the five things that the most successful people, blah, blah, blah, posts say.

I kind of had told that story to myself for some reason and so I did it. I think what I realized was that it just, at least for me, for right now, especially because my training and work days don’t end typically until 8:00 or 8:30 at night. And, you know, that’s typically starting around 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning…

Adam: Wow.

Tyrell: …from the work perspective. But I just realized that like just because that idea of having a ritual in the morning is true for someone else doesn’t mean that it’s the best, optimal solution for me. So, I mean, just in honor of my own belief that like… And you said it earlier, right? The iterative, mental practice and improvement, the idea that like just always continuing to hack away at like… You know, hack at myself and try different approaches. I just started trying, “Okay. What if I become a little bit more intentional in the evening as I’m winding down? Especially because, you know, so many of like my hormones, and endorphins, and everything are firing really late into the night? Maybe that will help me get better sleep?” And maybe one day I will have a morning ritual. To be perfectly honest, again, it’s really interesting because I only made this realization probably three mornings ago.

I was asking myself, like “Why aren’t you doing a morning practice anymore? Why aren’t you doing a morning ritual?” And I was kind of challenging myself. And what I honestly think I realized and we can test this. We can test it in like three months, is it’s because our kitchen where I would normally, you know, make a nice just espresso in the morning. And kind of sit down and start doing some of my meditation is right beside our daughter’s room right now. So I think I actually have some anxiety and fear around getting up at 5:30 and knowing that if I can get out the door and, kind of, get myself to work early, I can potentially let Tash and Olia sleep for like another two hours or two and a half hours. Because Tash, my wife, like, you know, runs a prep-food cooking business, also takes care of our daughter full-time. Like she’s a freaking super hero and she runs our whole household. And that two hours of sleep is really important.

So there’s kind of a guilt complex for me of getting up and potentially, you know, and, frankly, selfishly, waking Olia up and starting their day at like 6:00am because I’m choosing to like meditate in the downstairs living room. So I actually think… I don’t know why I stopped but I feel like that’s part of the reason. But the bigger reason is that for me, winding down and getting really, really high quality sleep, I think, is net, net more effective.

The other thing, to be perfectly frank I think is I love getting into my work’s offices like two or three and sometimes four hours before my team gets there. And then I can do a combination of a bunch of things. I can get ready for the day, get, you know, the work for my teams ready. But like if I need to journal, or I wanna write, or I wanna, you know, get a blog post out, I can spend that quiet time kind of really reflecting and doing that kind of stuff. But I say we can test it because we’re moving out to the valley, you know, into a bigger home, like I was mentioning at the very beginning. So when, when the bedroom is more than three feet away from the kitchen, I’ll see if that theory is actually true or not.

Adam: Yeah. Fair enough. Well, I mean, it sounds like you’ve really dialed it in. And you’re always testing things and, you know, you have to do what works for you. So that makes total sense to me. I also really like the fact that, yeah, it seems like all we’re hearing about lately is morning routines. But you’re like, “Screw that. I’m going an evening routine and that works better for me.” So that’s great.

Tyrell: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. You just nailed both of the things, right? Like, A, it has to be something that adds value. Like actually makes a difference in how we feel, how we show up, the energy we have. And, B, if it accomplishes that goal, make it whatever the heck you want. You know, if you have a, a five-minute train commute, meditate and say ohms under your breath for five minutes on a train, if that’s the biggest opportunity that you have to, you know, charge and fuel and get going then that’s the perfect environment, right? It doesn’t have to be a certain place or a certain time. But yeah, you know, we tell ourselves these stories because we read these things. And I think the intent underneath the practice is the key part, right?

Adam: Very, very cool. Listen, Tyrell, we’ve been at it for about an hour. And I feel like I could talk to you for two more. You know, but I wanna be, you know, respectful of your time. I think I’m gonna have to invite you back on the show, man. You know, we’ll give it some time. You’re a busy man. But, man, I just have so many more questions for you. I wanted to get into your training and your head, you know? But this has been fascinating, absolutely fascinating. And, you know, going back to our conversation in the coffee shop, a big part of Civilian Strong is mindset.

And I think what you’ve done today is you’ve just really gone into, what a high performance mindset looks like. I mean, you’re thinking about, you know, what’s taking up mental energy. You’re not just thinking about goals and how you’re spending your time but you’re thinking about all the little things that interrupt your thought processes. And I really mean it when I say I’m gonna have to go through this and really take some notes because this was great.

Tyrell: Yeah. I think, you know, when I first heard of… You know, well got to meet you and heard of Civilian Strong, like it was like it resonated immediately and… You know, because I think it is me, right?

Adam: Yeah.

Tyrell: Like you are identifying me and, and my goals are, you know, really long and they’re, big for my own life. But I’m essentially just like every other person that I walk by on the road, at least from my belief and my perspective. That we all have this insane, this huge, massive capacity that, you know, for some of us, we’re trying to tap it completely. And like, you know, I, I feel like that’s a big part of what my life is all about. And still like, you know, just in this conversation, I’m acknowledging to myself that, “Man, I’m learning like every single day, every single week, new things about myself.”

But then here’s also people who…and I think a lot of people who don’t necessarily know where to start. I mean I think we’ve gone through this conversation that shows that there’s so many layers, starting with like, the big, scary, uncomfortable questions of like, “Who are you? And what do you believe in? You know, what are your values?” Through to, you know, like, “How focused and intentional is your energy or is it being kind of manipulated and hacked via the dopamine side effect of social media,” etc., etc. And like that is gonna have a huge impact on your performance.

So like those are almost opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of types of questions but they all go back to this central thesis, which I think you’ve nailed it. Like, you know, how do we become better? How do we do things that we truly wanna do? And they may be, you know, seem crazy and audacious but we think we can do them. And then, you know, how do we equip ourselves to be that Civilian Strong effectively? I mean I just love it.

Adam: Cool. Cool. Well, man, this has been great. I can’t wait to get this edited and published so that we can share it with people. If people… Now, I don’t know. Do you wanna leave…? Like do you have a blog, or a website, or anything like that that people can have a look at, if they wanna to learn more about you? I was going to say do you want people to get in touch with you. But I’m guessing that there’s… You know, probably the answer is no but do you have a blog or anything like that?

Tyrell: Tyrell: I would, yeah. So I would love for anyone and everyone… I guess three ways. The first one is to visit my website, tyrellmara.com. And that’s the best place to learn, kind of, about what this Olympic journey looks like, to learn more about that and my blog is there, as well.

Adam: Okay.

Tyrell: The second one is anyone that’s listening that has a question, I always, always, always ask people to friend me on Facebook and send me a message. Because I love cultivating conversations and relationships there. That’s become a really good medium for me to build, you know, a community of people who are interested in these same things.

And then the third one is let’s use your show notes as an opportunity for people to ask questions as well. And I think that can get more tactical down into some of the things that we talked about. So potentially wherever this ends up getting posted, let’s also use that as potentially an area.

Adam: That’s great. Listen, man, I wanna thank you again for your time. And I’m looking forward to whenever the next interview is that we do. There’s so much more to talk about.

Tyrell: Absolutely. Yeah, thanks. Thanks so much for having me. I’m speechless, clearly, of what Civilian Strong is today and what it evolves into in the near future. I think this is a movement I’m pretty excited to continue to watch and a relationship I’m excited to grow with you.

Adam: Great. Thanks again, man.

Tyrell: Cheers.

Have questions for Tyrell? Leave them in the comments section below!

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