Unlocking Adversity With Sean Bacon


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Episode Overview:

"Unlocking Adversity With Sean Bacon" is an inspiring podcast that explores the human experience of overcoming challenges and adversity. Hosted by Skot Waldron, this episode features personal journeys, lessons learned, and strategies for navigating adversity. Sean's compassionate approach fosters a safe space for vulnerability and growth, offering listeners valuable insights and practical tools for overcoming their own hardships. With a focus on resilience, positivity, and the power of the human spirit, "Unlocking Adversity" inspires listeners to embrace their struggles as opportunities for growth and transformation.

Additional Resources:

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Skot Waldron (00:01.326)
Sean, you are awesome. I'm just grateful that you're here.

Sean Bacon (00:06.334)
Grateful to be here.

Skot Waldron (00:08.59)
You, um, I don't know. I think the last time we spoke, I was like, okay, you do this and this and you did this and this and this and this and this and this. And I was like, what in the world have you not done? And so, um, anyway, I want you to tell my people. Like what you've been doing and how you transitioned into what you're now doing.

Sean Bacon (00:35.582)
I started off, I was a 12 year Canadian Armed Forces veteran. In that time, I had the privilege of being a paratrooper. I was an instructor at the Military Police Academy. I taught use of force, firearms, tactics. I went back to school as a massage therapist. Did that for a few years. Kind of tripped into this. It's funny coming out of the military, not a lot of people wanted to hire me.

There was a bias or an angst to hiring a veteran at the time. There was another veteran that hired me and it was in physical training. He knew my qualifications and a lot of what I do is it's between the ears. Training a body is not that hard, but training a mind takes effort. And so that's basically what I did. And then I met my mentors through accident. They saw me doing what I was doing and saw that there was an application in the corporate world.

And I do come at it from a very atypical way. And I've been very blessed and fortunate to have great mentors and teachers and guides throughout my military career, my law enforcement career, and then of course, now through my corporate career. So to be honest with you, I love what I do. I love what I did. I loved being a paratrooper. I loved being a part of that culture. It was fantastic. But I love what I do more now.

Skot Waldron (02:03.15)
How many jumps you got on you?

Sean Bacon (02:06.254)

Skot Waldron (02:08.622)
Did your parachute never ever not open?

Sean Bacon (02:11.26)
I can't say that that is happening because I'm still here.

Skot Waldron (02:14.894)
Okay. I didn't know like you fell from so far. Then you landed in a bunch of trees and then survived somehow. I didn't know if you had some epic story like that. I was just prepping you for that one. Okay.

Sean Bacon (02:20.734)
No. No, nothing like that. No. Actually, I just did a podcast lately and they asked me what my craziest paratrooper story was. And it was, we were doing an exercise getting ready for a bigger operation. And I was attached to a group called Pathfinder Platoon and these guys are extreme. They are amazing.

You know, like you could have 60 people go on course, you might graduate seven. You know, they're very high end, high advanced reconnaissance. They build drop zones behind enemy lines, that kind of thing. And then they're ghosts, 80 pound packs. And I got assigned to them and I was scared because I didn't want to let them down. I didn't want to underperform. And we're going to do a jump. And then something happened with the pilot and the whole plane banked.

on the starboard side and I was on the starboard side and I was second in the door and the guy ahead of me, Joe, was in the door and the plane banked and he falls out. Just falls out and I look over at the jump master and he goes, green light, go. Boom, we were out. And so instead of having this big, beautiful drop zone, we had this tiny corner of a drop zone. I almost landed on a farmer's house. And yeah, that was the craziest I think I've ever done. So.

Skot Waldron (03:45.966)
mean, I had a plane bank one time and a passenger plane over, you know, we're coming out over Vegas, over the Rockies or something. And I almost freaked out myself though. And I didn't have an open door and like falling from this thing uncontrollably for a minute, you know, and just like, so anyway, I can't imagine that's, that's pretty insane. Pretty insane.

Sean Bacon (04:09.15)
Now paratroopers have, you that's you volunteer paratroopers volunteer to be paratroopers. No one forces you to be a paratrooper. And that's drilled into you when you go to jump school, you are a volunteer and you voluntarily jump out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft. And that takes vulnerability and it takes courage. I've never seen people as vulnerable as paratroopers because they face their fear. I have a fear of heights and

You still jump, you make the choice to jump out of the door. And I realized you cannot take a half step out of a door. You can't do a half step out of that airplane. You have to commit to the jump. You have to literally commit to the void and trust. And all these levels of trust come into play. Like I can, I call them my five levels of trust as of a paratrooper. You got to trust your equipment. You got to trust your training. You got to trust your mission. You got to trust your tribe.

And then lastly, and most importantly, you got to trust you. Because once you're out the door, it's all about you and your equipment and getting to the ground safe. And I carry that with me to this day. And you meet a paratrooper and there's this culture, doesn't matter what country they're from. And there's a culture between paratroopers of this can do, take on the impossible attitude. And then that courageousness of jumping out of a perfectly normal airplane that can land on its own. So.

That was my big takeaway from it.

Skot Waldron (05:40.172)
So you dropped a couple of really interesting thoughts in there. Um, so I, I went on a, I served a mission trip for my church and you know, they ask you when you, when you go to like, you dedicate your full self to this thing. Okay. Like you're in the space. Um, there's not a lot of contact at home. Like it's very, you leave it and then you go to this thing and you are there for the people you're there for the service. That's what you're doing.

I had a very hard time with this. Okay. I had, I was like, and I felt it, especially the, you know, it was a couple of years that I'm out there and I really felt it in the beginning. Like I felt like I didn't want to leave that life behind. Cause I had friends, girlfriend music, like soccer, like all kinds of stuff I was doing school, everything I was doing. And then I had this other foot and this other thing.

Um, and I really felt the tension. I felt like I couldn't give a hundred percent to either one because I was there straddling that thing. You said you can't take a half step out of a plane, but I felt like that's what I was doing, you know? And I felt the consequences of that. And until I was able to commit, I felt a pull and I felt this, like this.

Sean Bacon (07:02.558)
And there it is.

Skot Waldron (07:11.214)
in me. Is that what you're talking about?

Sean Bacon (07:15.55)
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, look, think of anything you choose to do in your life. You have to commit to it. It comes down. When you truly choose to do something, your body rewires itself. It goes. Your brain rewires itself. It goes. Because you've committed to the choice. It's very clear. But when you are in a dispute with yourself, I'm half in, half out. Well, you've there's the half in there. It's called half assing it. And you've done it. OK, so.

When you do commit to a choice, you're all in. But when you're not there, it is a complete disruption to who you are, your harmony. And we've all encountered that where you're, eh, do I really want to do this? I don't know. It was a very dear friend of mine recently. We served together in the military police and paratroopers, a guy named Andre Vallee, an amazing human being. And we reconnected after years. And he gave me this philosophy and he goes, if it's not a hell yeah.

then it's a hell no.

and that takes away the disruption of the metal. Because how often do we get talked into things of, yeah, I guess I could do that, sure. And you hear the language, I guess, sure. The most noncommittal answer is sure. Can you fly that helicopter? Sure. Can't land it. But sure, why not? I think we need to be more, take more ownership of our choices. If it's not a hell yes, then it's a hell no.

Skot Waldron (08:35.726)
Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Skot Waldron (08:45.486)
Mm -hmm.

Sean Bacon (08:48.19)
and be okay with either one of those. Because we often try to keep up with the Joneses or don't want to let people down, so we say often yes when we don't mean it. So that choice and that commitment, I mean, if you think about resolutions, New Year's resolutions, if you actually look at the word resolution in it is resolute.

And if you are not resolute, then you should not be making the promise.

And if you look at authenticity and we talk about trust and we talk about building trust and ownership and accountability, well, how can we ask for any of those things if you're not going to give it to yourself first?

End statement. Full stop. And we're often trying to keep up with what society wants from us or our families or our friends or even our own self -imposed expectations of what we could be, should be, or maybe. No, no, no. Take out the shoulds, the woulds, and the coulds. What can you do? What will you commit to? Just by changing the language changes your mindset.

So anyway, I'll get off my soapbox, but I can tell I'm a little passionate about it.

Skot Waldron (10:08.622)
There's a lot of oughts and shoulds. We call them the oughts and shoulds of life. You ought to be this way. You should be doing this because you are this because you're in this role because of this. And then my whole thing, this whole thing I call unlocked is because people don't have the permission to do those things that they're built to do or understand, first of all, the things they were built to do.

Sean Bacon (10:11.794)

Sean Bacon (10:17.118)
Mm -hmm.

Sean Bacon (10:29.084)

Skot Waldron (10:36.878)
And then have permission to be those things that they were built to do. And like, we were all designed to be something and to do something. And when we're so busy focusing on what other people want of us, expect of us, then we don't give ourselves that permission because we don't feel like we have the permission from other people. And I think that's one of the biggest disservices we can do to ourselves and to others is like withhold that permission to do that thing.

Sean Bacon (11:01.726)
Yeah, I agree. You know, we're always looking for permission from others, you know, and seeking that permission to do these great things or even to get away with something even, okay, or to make an educated risk or to make a decision. We look for that permission from someone else first, but how often do we give ourselves permission?

Okay, give yourself permission to be uncomfortable. Give yourself permission to fail. Give yourself permission to not get it right. Give yourself permission to try greatly and fail greatly. But often we will quit before we fail.

And actually, it's funny about that because, and I've said this many times, people don't choose to fail, but they do choose to quit. You can get everything right, still fail. And the beautiful thing about failure is that lesson, that gorgeous golden nugget of lessons in there that you can't get in any other learning.

Failure is the ultimate teacher. However, we will quit. We will choose to quit before we fail because we don't want to look bad or we don't want to lose face or we don't want to seem diminished. And then when you do choose to quit, usually what follows it not always, but usually excuses and blame.

Sean Bacon (12:19.582)
Okay, here's a great example. I got asked and every year I do something that's that scares me that that makes me uncomfortable. Because I can't sit here and talk about it and teach it if I don't do it myself. I believe in leading from the front.

at least as often as I can anyway. And I got asked to do this event called Everesting 29 -029. And what it is, is this event that goes through the United States and just recently in Canada, where you have to climb a mountain repeatedly until you hit the accumulated elevation of Everest, which is 29 ,029 feet.

And when my buddy and I, and he invited me, it was a gift to me for my 50th. Apparently he doesn't like me very much. But no, it was a tremendous gift. And we were going to do it together. And then the pandemic hit. We couldn't do it in the United States. We tried again in the United States. Same thing. It was the border issues and the pandemic and the COVID. Then all of a sudden it opened up in Whistler, BC. Boom, we're in. Great.

It's eight ascents of Blackcomb Mountain.

Sean Bacon (13:41.342)
I got into my fourth ascent and the weather's changing, it's getting dark. We start at five in the morning, it's dark. Already in the fourth ascent, it's getting dark again. You have 32 hours to complete it. And I'm just past the first aid station. And I can hear, I felt my left Achilles go pop. Felt like a guitar string. And I've already injured that particular one once upon a time in the military. So I was like, okay.

So now my ascent time is drastically slowed down, drastically, and the weather's changing, it's getting dark. And I get to the next aid station, I said, I think I'm hurt, I just need someone to check it, maybe tape it, I'm willing to keep going. And of course, what happened was there was no one to check it, and what they did do was say, oh, no, no, hey, keep walking off, you're gonna be fine, just keep going, just keep. I was like, okay, so I'm not gonna get what I need here. And as I started climbing up, I started realizing I am hurt.

and I knew that the support sciences station was at the top.

And I had to dig in. And I knew I couldn't fail the ascent because that's where the help was.

So I get up there. I get on the table. This athletic therapist, no, physiotherapist from the States was checking me out. And she goes, is your foot normally this color? I said, no, no, it's not normally that color. She goes, yeah, you're done. I stayed and supported my teammate through his remaining ascents, but I failed. I failed. End statement, I failed. But I learned in that failure that when the chips were down,

Sean Bacon (15:24.286)
I could still climb the damn mountain, even injured.

And not just because I had no choice. I mean, I could have just found the next aid station, went, I'm out, I'm out. But I wasn't going to quit. I had to fail. I had to push that boundary where I could not move another centimeter. I had to fail. And I'm proud of that failure. It taught me more about me than if I had completed the whole thing. And does it bug me that I failed? Absolutely. It bugs me that I failed. But I, every time I'm attacking something now, I remember that I can keep going.

So that's where failure is the most beautiful gift you will ever give yourself. But how back to permission. How often you give yourself permission to hit that boundary, to look, to be fragile, to be humble, to be embarrassed, to be vulnerable, to be out there.

Skot Waldron (16:19.182)
You speak about adversity, at adversary. You speak about adversity quite a bit. Um, as you just did, uh, it's kind of an integral part of your coaching model and the things you do. Why do you feel that's so essential to unlocking potential in people and like what we're all meant to do. So you learn something about yourself on that ascent, um, on the.

Sean Bacon (16:22.558)
That too.

Sean Bacon (16:30.428)

Skot Waldron (16:48.812)
You know, multiple ascents. What did you learn? Why do you think that adversity is so instrumental in unlocking who we are?

Sean Bacon (16:58.718)
Well, you know, it's interesting. Adversity provides learning that nothing else can. It tests your character, it tests your body, it tests your mind, tests your spirit. The thing is, when you look at the adversity of people behind us, our fathers, our grandfathers, our grandmothers, our great grandmothers, our great great grandfathers, the people behind us, and you look what they've been through and you go, oh my God, that's amazing.

I mean, my maternal grandfather immigrated from Portugal by himself two years ahead of his wife and children. Back, no computers, no, you couldn't pick up the phone and call her. Okay, it was airmail letters.

And what every generation has done is we say, constantly say, and I've heard it, that you will make your children's lives better than yours.

that you will never do a certain thing or put them through a certain thing that you had to go through because it was uncomfortable. It was adversarial. And in doing so, we've deprived them of that beautiful scar tissue that builds us into the people that we are, that can rise above conflict and adversity and problems and self -doubt. See, we lack that adversarial scar tissue.

Sean Bacon (18:26.27)
And we almost overprotect the next generation. We'd wrap them in bubble wrap and treat them like a Fabergé egg.

And we're doing that generation a disservice. When I work with athletes and 1 % of my business is still athletic, the beautiful thing is there's a physical and a mental component. I can actually create an adversarial event, put them through it, and show them the benefits of getting through it, both physically and mentally. They can see it's an instant outcome. However, non -athletes, corporate people, business people, leaders,

It doesn't matter who you are.

to put you through a mental adversity, that's way worse, to force you to look at something you do not like. And if you notice things right now, if we don't like it, we automatically hate it. We automatically get polarized. You're either with me or you're against me, and there's nothing worse in the world. We've lost the ability to have a Socritarian debate, to have a little bit of intellectual discourse.

So that's why adversity is important. We have to have adversity in order to grow to our full potential. That's why I choose to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And you hear this phrase often in the military, or the other phrase we love, especially in the paratroopers, is embrace the suck. Okay? When it's raining, hell yeah. You know, when it's snowing, hell yeah. You know, it's horrible, okay, baby, this is it. You know, we go to the opposite.

Sean Bacon (20:01.502)
When you look at the Special Forces or Olympians or you look at people at these high elite levels of whatever they have done, the adversity they went through to hit that point makes them who they are that allows them to continue to perform at that level. And we always seem to admire people that break the boundaries. We admire the people that created Google or we admire the, you know, it doesn't matter.

pick with a guy invented Facebook or it just, it doesn't matter. We admire it, but we won't do it. Okay. So people, I've heard many parents say, you know, if you fall, I'll catch you. My poor daughter, if you fall, I'm going to let you fall down, but I'm the firsthand that's going to help you back up. And that's really hard as a parent.

to watch a child fall down and knowing that the lesson they're gonna get is gonna be powerful, but the pain they're gonna feel is gonna be real. That's really difficult. It goes against even my nature and I deeply care about my children. So when I work with people, yes, I create adversity that they need to get through so they can get to that point beyond where they are. And there's only one gate and only one gatekeeper and that's adversity.

Skot Waldron (21:27.662)
And we are naturally wired to avoid it. We are brain, our brains are wired not to dive into that stuff because that means I'm going to die soon, maybe. And, you know, and our brains are like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Like that goes against my whole programming, this whole dying thing. Like I am not built to do that, to let you die. And, uh, so when you think about that,

Sean Bacon (21:39.998)

Skot Waldron (21:55.886)
Why do you think we're so resistant to change? Why do you, the people that you coach are, why are they so resistant to change? Why are they not wanting to disrupt their comfort circle? They're like bubble of like comfortness, you know, like what is it? Why don't people do it?

Sean Bacon (22:12.19)
You nailed it. Comfort. People are comfortable. No one wants to stop being comfortable. And nothing will make you more uncomfortable when things are out of your hands. That's why I get a kick out of the weather. The weather's always been in, it's been as unpredictable as it's ever been for like, you know, since the earth was the earth. Okay, go ahead, predict it. Knock yourself out. We're getting better at predicting it. But to be honest with you, it's going to happen. So what's the number one thing we complain about?

the weather, the thing we can't control. Or politics, number two on the hit list. Politics, I can't control it. Yeah, well, at the end of the day, we're constantly trying to control things. And there are things that are beyond our control. We love being comfortable. We adore it.

How many of us, there's a lot of people out there that are willing to be uncomfortable. You see it all the time, people doing Ironmans or triathlons, or they'll do the ice plunge, or the next big fad, or whatever. People are willing, they're excited to try, but on their own terms. Okay? On their own terms. Otherwise, they're very happy being comfy. Okay? I guarantee you that my former athletes, or my former soldiers, or police that I used to train,

Yeah, I'm probably not their favorite person in the world. But to say that I'm proud of them and what they've achieved and that I was a piece of that journey, damn straight, absolutely. The thing is, though,

We've become very prosperous as a people. And I'm saying that as a first world nation, of course. Because as a soldier, and you get to travel, you get to see other cultures, we are very lucky. We are incredibly privileged. And I say that in the best possible way. It is a privilege to live in this country. It really is. Because I've been to countries where if you have an opposite opinion, you're going to disappear. OK? Or.

Sean Bacon (24:16.542)
You have to go down and get water. It isn't just coming out of your tap. Or you do have to leave the house to poop. Okay? Or you do have to, you can't just go to A &W. Okay, it's not gonna happen. Or, gee, I'm craving Thai food tonight.

Here we can get anything we want on tap.

Sean Bacon (24:39.518)
And I think that's made us a little soft. Now, am I glad that I live in this country? Absolutely. Am I proud to be Canadian? Absolutely. However, if we do not take the time to assess and figure out how to invest and how to make things better, and better means adversity, then things are not going to get better. They're actually going to either stay the same or worsen because we're so comfy.

And the problem is right now, if we could just get to the communication piece of discomfort and have an intellectual discourse that we disagree on and still have a civilized conversation, I think that's the number one place to start is we need to listen differently, respect differently, communicate differently. We start there, we can start changing adversity on a bigger scale. My 25 cent opinion.

Skot Waldron (25:30.83)
I often, well, it would now, no, it's at least 35. I'll give you 35. Yeah. Fair enough. Fair enough. I often tell people and I have this statement in, in my, this is a commercial break, unlocked my new book, a 52 week guide for the intentional leader. If you haven't heard about it yet, you can get it on Amazon, wherever you want to go. So in my book, I have this quote.

Sean Bacon (25:37.598)
Well, before taxes.

Skot Waldron (26:00.558)
Um, it says, uh, you know, if you're comfortable off all the time, you're probably mediocre because the comfort zone is lined with defensiveness and excuses for why you should stay there. Our first instinct is to avoid that discomfort. And so when we, people ask us to be uncomfortable or move us into the realm of discomfort, we make up excuses or we get defensive about, Hey, you know, I'm not good at that thing. I, I'm, that's not my realm. That's not my thing.

Right. Or, um, yeah, I'm busy or yeah, I don't have time for that. That's my favorite. I don't have time for that. Like, Oh my gosh, it drives me crazy. So those types of things, I mean, keep you the same. Like you said, mediocre. I just, I just stay this way. And then I complain that I'm not advancing. Then I complain that I'm not getting a race or then I complain that I can't find any other good people around.

Sean Bacon (26:37.79)
Mm -hmm.

Sean Bacon (26:45.79)

Skot Waldron (27:00.238)
Right. Cause I'm probably hiring mediocrity if I'm also mediocre. Um, I don't know. It's like just my 35 cents. Is there.

Sean Bacon (27:07.678)
Well, there is a theory on that. When you have a fear -based leader, a person that it's, you know, they're fearful they're going to be supplanted or surpassed, they will hire to their own level of incompetence. And thus, you now have a silo, they'll hoard information, hoard communication. They won't be collaborative, they'll be highly defensive. And they'll only bring in people that aren't a threat to them. One of my mentors once told me,

If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

Take the time to bring in the very best in whatever field that they are in into your team and let your team, true diversity in thought and profession and execution.

now you have a team that you can take the leash off and they will do extraordinary things because they will challenge your ideas. They'll even challenge the way you wanted to do it because we all have an idea of how we want it to happen. But sometimes it's those other voices that come into choir into harmony that allow us to see it differently.

So or to do it the same, but just slightly in a different frequency. Who knows? At the end of the day, though, we are not engaging the best people. And we're often now, especially societally speaking, are polarized so much that we're galvanizing to only people that agree with us.

Sean Bacon (28:33.502)
Period. We're at a point now where if someone disagrees openly, they'll get fired. Where's the psychological safety in that?

I mean, I want you to disagree. I gave up 12 years of my life so that we can disagree, so we can have freedom of speech, so that we can have... I often will take the devil's advocate position, the opposite position in a conversation, even if I agree with you, just to have a better conversation.

Skot Waldron (29:04.398)
Oh, my wife and you would not get along. I mean, I get along with my wife, but she hates it when I do that. I tell you, man. I'm just like, no, I totally get it, but I'm going to argue this other side. She's like, oh my gosh, why do you have to argue with me all the time? I'm like, I'm not arguing, I'm debating so we can both be more educated about the topic.

Sean Bacon (29:07.614)

Sean Bacon (29:22.526)
and challenge ourselves. I have some colleagues in the UK, in Birmingham, and they're both PhDs, they're both very learned men, they're lecturers, and to have a dialogue with them is actually an exercise in civility and discourse. Because they will actually say, they'll listen, and they'll go, well, I would argue, and then carry on with the argument. So they are telling you right to your face explicitly,

Skot Waldron (29:24.398)
and challenge yourself.

Sean Bacon (29:51.838)
Well, I'm going to argue with you now. I would argue that. Pause. Then there would be a pause, a listen. Okay, I hear you. And then they'd paraphrase. I hear you saying this. However, I would challenge. Pause. And there's this sort of format that goes on. And I sit there and go, wow, that's really effective. It's a little funny, but it's really effective because they're actively listening to each other.

They're not putting their emotional state into the debate. And that's the funny thing is that when we become emotional, we're using the wrong part of our brain. We get an emotional hijack or an amygdala hijack. We go to fight or flight. We double down on that emotional state versus disengaging from the amygdala going back to your prefrontal cortex where we can now have a strategic or tactical or operational debate, intellectual debate.

Skot Waldron (30:45.87)
But why are we doing that? Why are we retreating from that?

Sean Bacon (30:54.174)
Well, you don't want to, one is fear. Okay, absolute abject and end of statement fear. But no one wants, I'd rather have people agree with me, wouldn't you? For the moment someone disagrees with you, people now are taking it more as a personal attack on them and their belief system. We've now gotten into belief systems and truths and gotten away from facts.

You can have five different people and have five different truths, very authentic. Very authentic truths to each and every one of those five separate people that are completely in contradiction with each other. But a fact is immutable, it's evidentiary. But you'll often hear arguments, well, this is my truth, well, where are the facts? See, and that's when you hear intellectuals argue they'll often bring in the facts.

and then they'll debate it on that level. We as human beings, societally often argue emotionally. And then we watch those emotions escalate. And when you have an emotional escalation, we accelerate. That's why aggression and aggressive conflict escalates so fast. It goes from a few words to, what the hell happened? Shots fired. Because we don't take the time to slow it down, take a step back, time and distance.

We often have a saying when I used to teach firearms, slow is smooth, smooth is fast. So why not apply that too?

Your self recognition of your emotional state that emotional intelligence starts with you. Hey, I'm angry. Why am I angry? It's okay to be angry. It's not there's no problem being angry being angry. But why are you angry? This bothers me. Okay, great. Why does it bother you? Is it because you're wrong? Is it because it challenges your thinking? Does it is it because you're right? You just don't you don't you might be a little inadequate not wanting to

Sean Bacon (32:54.494)
someone challenge it. It could be a thousand different reasons, but at the end of the day you have to look at you first, authentically at you, and going, why is this bugging me? When I hear people say, I'm offended, okay great, thank you, now what? Well, you have to do something about it. No, I don't, actually. Uh, you're offended means it's you, you're offended. Ask yourself why you are offended, and then let's have a conversation about that.

When I find myself being offended and I make this running joke that I'm an ex cop with a name like Bacon, you can't offend me. Okay, I've heard everything. That's not true. I get offended. But then the first thing I do is I don't lash out at the person that's done the offending. I go, okay, so why did that offend me? What about me doesn't like that? And what can I do about it? Where's the conversation in this?

versus the expectation and the yeah, expectation is a good word as any is. Where's that expectation that somehow everything's got to change because you're offended? How did we become so special?

A lot of things offend me. But at the end of the day, it's about harmony, it's about collaboration. Okay, why did it offend me? What can I do about it? What can I change? What can I change about me? What can I change about the situation?

That's growth. There's more discomfort. There's more adversity. But because we have this inherent laziness towards it, no, no, period. That's just my truth. I've had that said to me a few, but that's my truth. And? And now what? What? What are we gonna do with that truth?

Sean Bacon (34:37.758)
Okay, there are people that I do not agree with, but I highly deeply respect, deeply respect, I don't agree with at all. Okay, but we've lost that ability to separate those two things. You can disagree and still highly respect someone. And I don't want you to always agree with me. And I don't want you to, you know, pander to me and say, oh yeah, you're absolutely right. No, I want you to disagree with me. Bring it to my table. Let's have a chat.

but are we listening effectively without that emotional compromise?

And I find that that's often when I'm dealing with people, I have to think about how the person hears me. How often do we think about that? How is this person hearing me?

So when I work with people, especially in adversity or mental toughness or resiliency or disruption, it always comes back down to communication. It always does. And I got the best job in the world. I'm a professional provocateur. I get to poke the button. I have the best job in the world, professional shit -disturber. But I get to poke the button. OK, so what part... And then ask the question, the obvious question. Be explicit in asking it. So what part of that bugs you?

Sean Bacon (35:56.318)
So I think if we can get to that point where we're listening to each other differently, you're going to see a lot of conflict pull down. But that's a big ask, isn't it? It's a big ask to ask a lot of people to listen differently, not to put in their biases. And biases are just your experiences. That's it. You have one bad experience, therefore everything is bad on that thing. Meet one bad cop, they're all bad cops.

One inadequate doctor, oh, they're all stupid. You know, one bad politician, mm -hmm, okay. But you get my joke, you get the idea. That's what happens to us. We kind of wrap everything in one big little gift and put a big bow on it and say, that's the way it is. It's not the way it has to be.

Skot Waldron (36:41.966)
I hear a lot of stuff you're saying like, cause it's easy. Like it's a lot of the, like, if I have this one train of thought and I just guide, glide on that thought and I don't have to change my thinking or think about how to debate you, then it really just becomes easy. Like I can just stick to that and I just say that's my truth and that's it. If.

Sean Bacon (36:46.428)
Yeah, because it's easy.

Skot Waldron (37:08.91)
I hire people around me that are not pushing me to be better. Then it's just easy and I don't have to worry about it. Yeah. I mean, if I just kind of put my hands up in the air and just say, that's just the way I am. It's easy. Yeah. You love that statement. Don't you? I mean, it's, it's like a lot of the things you're talking about are just like people that are just used to, they've either grown up in a culture of easy.

Or they just like it and they just want to stay there because they don't want things to be hard.

Sean Bacon (37:47.934)
Well, that's fairly normal. I love it when things are easy. No, I love it when things are easy. I mean, come on, who doesn't? You know, hit the easy button. But I think it behooves us to grow as human beings. We need to challenge ourselves. We need to challenge our thinking. We need to. And we need to challenge our own inadequacies of when we're disagreed with. We, you know, it's not an or, it's an and.

Skot Waldron (37:54.508)
Easy button? Yeah, for sure.

Sean Bacon (38:18.27)
I think at this point in time, we're in this remarkable time in history where we have a lot. And I think we take a lot of it for granted. And if we do not take the time to help each other, to grow as people, to become stronger, to have more resiliency.

Sean Bacon (38:45.502)
We're headed for a place where it's going to be forced upon us, meaning that nature will take its course and put us through something where we're going to have to grow. Period. COVID was a great example of that. Okay, the pandemic, great example of that. Okay, bang, something happens and then some really bad leadership choices happened globally. And we had to deal with it. And nobody was happy. And a lot of people were scared. And now we're on the other side of it.

We're still talking about it. Because guess what, ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, the next crisis is just around the corner.

And we as human beings need to grow. And the best place to grow great human beings is in our youth.

That's where you want and by the way, there's a lot of great organ sports, organized groups that help grow children into becoming tremendous adults is highly underrated.

Sean Bacon (39:51.806)
So that's my 25 cents. I mean, and I feel free to disagree with me. Feel free to throw it back at me. I'm always open to it. The thing is, if you're going to become more, you got to do more at the end of the day. You got to you got to be willing to put yourself out there. This year, my challenge, the thing that makes me scared, the thing that I'm challenging myself with is I'm moving to Portugal. I'm not getting a house. Oh, yeah, I got a house here, house there. No, no, no, I'm moving.

My wife, my dog, me, gone. And I'm scared. Absolutely frightened and excited. And that's how I know I'm in the right zone. I'm one part excited, one part scared. Same thing as jumping out of a plane. One part excited, one part scared.

Okay. Believe it or not, the military is a really good example of how we train people, program and condition and train people to rise above themselves, to take on greater things, to put themselves in a place that boot camp by itself. Although there's obviously much harder things. You come from all corners of Canada, get dumped for 10 weeks in this one spot and then with strangers and you got to figure out the way of doing things, how to work as a team, how to communicate differently.

how to dress differently, how to hold yourself to a different standard, how to press your clothing, how to polish your boots. You have to learn. And there's, I think personally between you and me and a fence post, I think, and this is a very unpopular thing to say is, but I think it would behoove us that everyone served three years, but the government then supports that service with good education, support, but three years?

Three years to learn to be uncomfortable and grow beyond yourself and to serve something greater than yourself, I think would behoove us really well. By the way, that was as controversial as it gets, okay?

Skot Waldron (41:43.854)
I, I, I, I would, are you Canadian? I'm just kidding. I was just like thinking, you know, I agree with that standpoint. Um, again, you know, doing the service thing with the church, I think. So I look at it as like, Hey, choose something to do. Right. Whether it's military, whether it is some kind of church service, whether it's some humanitarian mission that you're on. What?

Sean Bacon (41:48.862)
I am Canadian.

Sean Bacon (42:10.59)
Yeah, I agree. Yeah, absolutely.

Skot Waldron (42:13.39)
Whatever you do, I, you need to step out of yourself because you've been that now for 18 years. It's all about you. And what are you going to do now to serve in whatever capacity that is? And, uh, I think that's a brilliant idea. I love it.

Sean Bacon (42:29.374)
Yeah, I think service is powerful. And you're right, maybe it's not the military. You're absolutely correct. It just happens to be my bias. But serving something greater than yourself is an act of mental toughness. It is a place of true growth and where you get to meet.

Sean Bacon (42:46.286)
huge range of people that you wouldn't normally get a chance to deal with. And it teaches you something differently. It teaches you your community is bigger than your neighborhood.

Skot Waldron (42:57.55)
that it does.

Sean Bacon (42:57.566)
So, and that it does. Anyway, I really appreciate being here and you've listened very, very well and I appreciate you for that. And just thank you very much for the opportunity.

Skot Waldron (43:07.95)
Man, you dropped so many good words of wisdom here. I want to know, um, cause I know you have other words of wisdom to drop on us. Um, this is episode one of 50 that we're going to do together. But, but like, um, what, what books should we pick up right now? You mentioned one, me earlier, um, way of the peaceful warrior, but I'm not going to let you get out on, you know, make it too easy on you by saying that one again.

Sean Bacon (43:20.382)
Okay, sure.

Sean Bacon (43:34.654)
That's fair. Yeah, Way of the Peaceful Warrior is good. I reread it. It's just absolutely fantastic. But the two books I go to a lot is Just Listen by Dr. Mark Goldston, forensic psychiatrist. It's a tremendous book about active listening and listening differently and communicating at a better level. The other one is Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell. And God rest his soul, he's probably the best leader.

I've ever seen, I've had the privilege of listening to him.

Sean Bacon (44:12.382)
The insights aren't just military. They're not just political. He has this real human factor that he brings to it that can be applied to everyday life. Mine is dog -eared. It's got tabs in it. I still go back and refer to it. So those two books, top of my shelf.

Skot Waldron (44:31.342)
I don't know if this is just, uh, the universe or whatever. Mark, um, Goldston was a mentor of mine. He, yeah, he, um, I still have our, he just passed away in December. Um, yeah, you didn't know he'd, uh, it was very, he went for a procedure. He had cancer, um, went in for a bone marrow transplant and had some complications from that and passed away like New Year's Eve.

Sean Bacon (44:37.724)
No way.

Sean Bacon (44:44.126)
What? Oh my god.

I didn't know.

Skot Waldron (45:00.814)
literally and crushed me crushed a lot of people in the community. Um, gave so much to the world. I still have our meeting on my calendar and I'm not taking it off. I said, that is my time to learn from Mark, whether he's here or whether he's not to read his stuff, watch his videos, whatever I can learn from Mark. Brilliant man. I love that you mentioned his book, honor him and appreciate everything he did. So.

Sean Bacon (45:24.126)
Yeah, absolutely. Oh yeah.

Matter of fact, his book, when I do executive coaching, those two books I mentioned are mandatory reading. And because that's how valuable they are. And that's, I mean, each of us have something like that in us that we can provide to the world. Marx was that and it was prolific that we each have something. And I'm proud to be able to refer to those books. So, yeah, get out there, read it. Trust me.

Skot Waldron (45:53.87)
That's cool. That's cool. Hey man, where can we find out about you? What do you want us to do? Um, website. I mean, what, what are we doing?

Sean Bacon (46:03.358)
Yeah, I have my website, website www .dynamic -shift .com and please feel free to check me out on LinkedIn. A lot of what I have is there. And otherwise, just reach out to me. I'm always happy to hear you.

Skot Waldron (46:19.598)
Beautiful. Dude, I knew this was going to be good. I knew it. You were so fun to talk to in our initial call and, uh, I knew this was fun too. So maybe we'll have some more fun. Maybe I'll have to go visit you in Portugal sometime. All right, buddy. See you, Sean.

Sean Bacon (46:30.942)
I think you should. I think you should. All right, brother. Take care.


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