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Interview with Richard Machowicz


Richard "Mack" Machowicz is a Navy SEAL (Teams One and Two). He is also a host of Spike TV's "Deadliest Warrior" and author of "Unleash the Warrior Within." A warrior is usually a practitioner and not a philosopher -- not all good doers are good teachers -- and that is what separates Mack from the rest because he is both.

During our interview, we felt the intensity. We felt the drive and energy. We felt the battle being won before it is fought. As opposed to the countless TV and magazine advertisements that tell you how to look and smell like a person of character, Mack has the gravitas to show you how to BE one.

Read on for our special interview below, but more importantly, check out Mack's website NDCQ (Not Dead, Can't Quit) to continue the journey of becoming your better self. On page 98 of your outstanding book "Unleash the Warrior Within," you quoted Sun Tzu. The concept you chose from The Art of War was it is better to cause the effect than be the effect being caused. We call this creating your own tempo and it's an excellent selection from The Art of War. What else did you find useful in Sun Tzu's book?

Richard Machowicz: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is a blueprint on how to succeed. Do not overextend yourself. Focus on what’s measurable and concrete. If you have weakness, ally yourself with others. Do the work. Do the homework. Create the effect. You define goals as targets. You wrote that the best targets are those that are critical and has the most effect on your happiness. In other words, you are not only required to do it but also want to do it. On the other hand, you also said sometimes you don't have to like it, you just have to do it. (Richard Marcinko, founder of SEAL Team Six says this often.) How do you motivate yourself doing what you don't want to do?

Richard Machowicz: Happiness isn’t about the accomplishment but about gratitude. You can be in a horrible situation but if you’re grateful for the sun and the breeze, then you’re happy. It is about earning, creating, and paying the price. In fact you would feel empty and hollow if you give up. You consider fear as one of the biggest barriers to success but it is like dense fog you simply walk through, putting one foot in front of the other until you are in the clear. How refreshing! Does that mean you also need faith in addition to planning?

Richard Machowicz: Faith is earned through action. Hope is a lottery ticket. If a knucklehead like me can do it… From Army SS ranger to Navy to BUD to SEAL Team to FBI. It’s a series of actions. We like your concept of "verbal-influence conditioning". It is self talk to motivate yourself, to counter the negative self talk we often say to ourselves. What are some examples you can give to our readers that have helped people?

Richard Machowicz: The dialogue you have with yourself or internal language depends on your internal compass. The US military wants SEALs who are internally motivated. You take on one thing at a time. You stay on target. You move forward like time, aligning with the universe. The mind is fundamentally a language muscle and is most powerful. Realize the bad things you say to yourself and the effects that has on you. Shut up, hit the next target, and move forward. You have to the power to dictate the communication. You are now host of Spike TV's "Deadliest Warrior" and was host for Discovery Channel's FutureWeapons This is direct testament to your last chapter on never growing complacent. How do you push yourself outside the comfort zone? As an aside question regarding "Deadliest Warrior" last season, do you agree that Sun Tzu would've lost to Vlad the Impaler?

Richard Machowicz: There’s a difference between vanity and pride. Vanity is believing you are better than other people. Pride is earning it one action at a time, and is defined by what you are doing now. I am always being built and not going to stop. I want to be a better father and husband. Whatever I do, it has to be for the right reason and in the right place. There has to be value, clean and positive.

Honestly I don’t agree that Vlad the Impaler can beat Sun Tzu. We simply love your VCR (Verbal Command Request) "Not dead, can't quit." In fact that was what attracted us to your website Tell us more about your online community, which we are also a member!

Richard Machowicz: I want to challenge myself to grow and not interested in dying. I am interested in what I can do today. Not dead, can’t quit. Pay the price. Pay attention. This is true whether I’m a parent, SEAL, friend, or businessman. Vincent Tran, a precocious 13 year old who is fascinated by all things military, wants to ask you: “Did you do well in school?”

Richard Machowicz: It was a roller coaster. I was on the honor roll up to seventh grade but was in special ed by the eighth. I went to a southern Baptist boarding school and was held back a couple of grades. You can say I was out of control. But by high school I was back and became a solid B student. Nobody I knew went to college. I went to boot camp at 15 years old. Then I had the realization that I am the cause of what happens in my life. I became motivated to become a SEAL and so I wanted to live up to be a SEAL. My advice to Vincent is to ask himself what is HIS vision. Be it NOW. Be, do, have.

[End of interview]

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