Ep 13: Dan Cerrillo on Mental Toughness & How to Live a Good Life

Ep 13: Dan Cerrillo on Mental Toughness & How to Live a Good Life
Download file | Play in new window | Recorded on | Speakers: Dan Cerrillo, Seth Spears

Dan Cerrillo is a retired Navy SEAL who spent 15 years leading people to safety in some of the most dangerous hot spots and war zones in the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and other high-risk locations. 

Some of his roles in the SEAL Teams include security specialist, breacher, sniper, counter surveillance, and BUD/S Instructor.  Dan medically retired in 2005 after suffering blast injuries during a hand-to-hand fight with an Al- Qaida fighter in Sadr City, Iraq.  

Since his retirement from the Navy, Dan has worked in executive security protecting some of the biggest names in business today, including Paul Allen and Sergey Brin. 

Dan is the founder of Spartan 7 Adventure, an organization that teaches high net worth clients and organizations leadership, communication, offensive mindset, and advanced situational awareness skills developed by Navy SEALs. 

He is the chief of staff for American Addiction Centers, and leads their veteran treatment program, helping former military to break addiction cycles and lead happy, productive lives. 

Dan is a Board Member for the Navy SEALs Fund and an Ambassador for the Navy SEAL Foundation. He volunteers his free time coaching football at Lipscomb Academy near his home in Nashville, TN.


  • “My problems aren’t their problems. Their problems aren’t my problems. Make seven people smile today.”
  • “Work is work and home is home.”

Topics Discussed:

  • How the Navy trains SEALS to deal with adversity 
  • Why mentoring is the most important part of leadership
  • Dan's story of addiction, family failure, recovery, and transformation
  • Why family means everything to him
  • How he trains executives through Spartan 7 Adventures
  • How nature and the outdoors has impacted his life
  • Why doing hard things is a constant motivator
  • His most memorable outdoor experiences
  • How Dan's motto of "make seven people smile per day" has impacted his entire life
  • Why slowing down and appreciating people is so important
  • How Dan almost died multiple times as a SEAL and what he learned from the experience
  • Why he always carries a backpack and what he keeps in it at all times
  • Why a morning routine is the secret to a successful day
  • Dan's 10-10-10 philosophy: 10 minutes for her, 10 minutes for him, 10 minutes for intimacy

Resources Mentioned:

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