S7 Ep05: How to Build Resilience

Marcus Smith

This week on The WarriorU Podcast, Trent and Bram are joined by extreme athlete, coach and motivational speaker, Marcus Smith. Drawing on his experiences completing some of the world’s toughest athletic challenges – including completing 30 marathons in 30 days just nine months after a catastrophic road accident – Marcus delves into his definition of resilience, and provides powerful advice for developing mental toughness. By the end of the episode, you will understand how your environment and subconscious dictate your ability to persevere.

A Glimpse of the Guest

Name: Marcus Smith

What he does: Through his health and fitness business, InnerFight, and his motivational talk, ‘The Ultra Mindset’, Marcus helps people to reach their peak potential, with a clear vision of making lives better, encouraging greatness and pushing people beyond their perceived limits. After a life-changing road accident in 2019 that left him fighting for his life, Marcus went on to complete 30 marathons in 30 days – after just nine months of recovery time! A former professional rugby player, Marcus has shown uncompromised resilience throughout his career, completing a range of mental and fitness challenges, including running the Marathon Des Sables – a 250km run across the Sahara – and accomplishing a triple ascent of Mont Ventoux, which is the Tour De France’s hardest climb.

Marcus online: | @mjd_smith |

Food for Thought

‘I believe that we came from the earth and modern society is actually pushing us away from our natural habitat. So much of our behaviour is programmed in our self-conscious from things that have happened in our life, and have now become normal.’
– Marcus Smith

Top Tips from this episode

Your environment influences everything you are ? If you can change your environment –– from your social media feed to what’s in your pantry – you can re-wire your self-conscious and become more resilient. ‘So long as I can understand why someone behaves in the way that they behave; understand what is happening in their subconscious mind that forces them to behave in the way that they behave, and if they let me change the environment that they’re in and let me reprogram their subconscious, then I can make them mentally tougher.’

Life isn’t linear, so stop expecting it to be ? Life has ups and downs, and how you perceive and respond to those challenges defines your level of resilience. ‘We need to have self-awareness. We need to know there’s going to be ups and downs, and life is not linear. We all know that – so why are we always expecting it to be linear?’

Resilience as an operating system that you have the power to manipulate ? Ask yourself: ‘What do I do when things get tough?’ and make sure you are happy with your answer. For Marcus, the definition of resilience is: ‘The ability – physically, mentally and emotionally – to keep going; to pursue your goals, no matter what gets in your way.’

Don’t consume media and expect your life to change ? Too many people read a book or listen to a podcast, and expect a magic bullet for uncompromised motivation and mental toughness. Instead, take away two or three tips that resonate with you. ‘Do you pick up a book and expect to get 250 pages of gospel? Or are you happy to read a book, and get one absolute bit of gold?’

Episode Highlights

Motivation versus discipline: Marcus talks through the intersection of discipline and motivation, and the sacrifices that have made his life and career achievements possible. For Marcus, expecting to feel motivated every single day is delusional. Creating a life you are passionate about ensures you are excited most mornings, but sometimes discipline needs to take over. ‘It takes the discipline to sit down on a Thursday or Friday afternoon and map out your next week or the week after. A lot of people are just too scared to do that.’

What makes a good coach and leader: Marcus discusses simple changes in language and environment that have helped his coaches get the best out of the people they lead. The key? Empathy and understanding for why someone is behaving the way they are, and individualising your leadership techniques as a result. ‘A good coaches’ responsibility is that every single person leaves their class as a little bit better human being.’

Top quotes:

[36:51] ‘You can separate mind and body, but you can put the two together as well.’

[39:14] ‘People are too soft and people are giving up too easily. It’s about looking at life and going ‘yes, I can do that’. And not looking for excuses – because if you look for excuses, you’ll find them.’

[48:22] ‘When you are leading people, your job is to serve those people. To bring them forward with you and to make them the best they can be, and then you become the best you can be.’


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