warrior toughness

Warrior Toughness for Real Life with Navy SEAL Stephen Drum

Warrior toughness is the ability to make the correct decision at the right time, no matter how stressful, painful, or frightening that moment may be. This is not only achieved by rigorous discipline and training, but also a fine balance of body, mind, and soul.

Today we are pumped to have Stephen Drum on The Dad Edge. He is a combat-tested retired Navy SEAL Master Chief with 27 years of experience leading teams and executing mission-critical performance strategies.

Stephen tells us a 4-part process for developing Warrior Toughness that we can apply to real life. He reveals the surprising mix of performance psychology, mindfulness, and problem-solving that makes up the warrior mindset. He also talks about how we can organize the caring of our families while keeping ourselves adaptable and ready to pivot in any situation.

Learn to operate under pressure—day in, day out—no matter what life throws at you!

What You’ll Learn

  • Although Stephen admits he was a rebellious and difficult kid, his parents’ guidance set a foundation for making good decisions in adulthood.
  • Stephen reveals his experience with BUDs training and SEAL life
  • Fight like a warrior, and act from character.
  • How to have frank conversations with yourself about where you made mistakes
  • The qualities of a warrior mindset
  • Problem solving skills
  • Using personal sources of strength like religion, values, and belief to power you through tough situations
  • The powerful combination of performance psychology, mindfulness and meditation
  • Exercises to reduce stress and anxiety: visualizations, progressive muscle relaxation, recalibration breathing.
  • The 4-Part Process of Warrior Toughness
    1. Commit – fully invested in yourself and process
    2. Preparation – acquiring the skillsets you need
    3. Execute – how to make clear, composed decisions under fire
    4. Reflection – step back and check if your actions were aligned with your values
  • On motivation versus discipline—discipline is more important because we won’t always be motivated.
  • You must conjure a visceral picture of what the finish line looks like so you can reconnect to it when you fall off track.
  • Detaching from emotions to make the right decisions. For example, you can feel angry instead of becoming angry.
  • Where Stephen admits he has failed as a husband and father
  • How Stephen incorporates warrior toughness into his parenting and marriage
  • Establishing consistency in household—Approach things from process. Be deliberate. Detach emotionally from experiences. Provide structure.
  • Led, fed, and educated—How Stephen organizes the leading and caring of his family
  • How to keep the family unit informed and prepared during crises like Covid-19, yet remain focused and engaged in life.
  • Don’t be mired down by negativity and political bias. Instead, see where you can pivot and adapt in a rational way.


The 12 Traits of a Warrior Part 1: The Hard Traits with Chris Sajnog

12 Traits of a Warrior Part II: The Soft Traits

Raising Kids with the Dichotomy of Leadership with Jocko Willink

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Stephen Drum’s links



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Coronavirus is forcing our evolution as fathers.  We are all going to build a whole new set of superpowers.  And these superpowers are needed right now.  For many of us, we are multiplying our future ability to serve, exponentially.


Guest Speakers

Dr. Meg Meeker
New York Times Bestselling Author of “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” and “HERO”
Anthony Trucks
Former NFL Football Player and American Ninja Warrior
Aaron Walker
Founder of View From the Top and bestselling author of “View from the Top” and coming soon “Isolation is the Enemy of Excellence.”
Dominic Quartuccio
Bestselling author of “Design Your Future.”



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James Krause

Pressure, Perseverance, and Fatherhood with UFC Fighter James Krause

What does an ultimate fighter and a good dad have in common? UFC fighter James Krause tells us about perseverance and pressure and how he thrives off uncertainty and challenge. He also talks about being a father to his 2-year-old girl and how he came to adopt his little sister.

James Krause is an American professional mixed martial artist and entrepreneur, currently competing in the lightweight division of the UFC. He’s also featured on FOX Sports’ reality show, The Ultimate Fighter.

James Krause was born in Newport News, Virginia. His parents divorced when he was two years old. His mother moved them to Missouri where they lived in extreme poverty, sometimes surviving on only $400 a month.

In school, James was physically behind. He was small and got picked on a lot.  At the age of nineteen or twenty, he decided to try mixed martial arts. He didn’t get into fighting with the intention of competing. He wanted to learn how to defend himself and build confidence. He fell in love with the physical act and the fact that a smaller person could defeat a larger person.

You don’t have to be talented to be great.


James Krause says that people don’t succeed because they stop learning. People forget what hard work is and their lives become stagnant.

James never stops learning. He trains every day for the UFC, and he applies the same model to all aspects of his life. Including business, marriage, and fatherhood. He believes in intelligent repetition can allow him to accomplish goals much faster, but it takes passion to persevere. If you want to become successful at something, you must be willing to do it for fee. Hard work beats talent.

If you do something long enough and you just don’t quit, you have no choice than to become good by default.


As a fighter, James Krause is subjected to extreme pressure, not just from the challenge of fighting his opponent, but being in front of a live audience as well as on TV. How does he push through the pressure? James says uncertainty and challenge have become essential to his growth. The only way to deal with pressure is to continuously put yourself through it. Embrace and repurpose opportunity, and objectively look at the situation without emotions.


James Krause’s daughter was born two years ago. When his stepfather died of cancer and his mother ended up in prison, he also adopted his little sister who has been living with him for almost a year. It wasn’t something he and his wife planned to do, but they have been making it work. He looks at it from a positive perspective and thinks it’s one of the best things that could’ve happened to his little sister. Now that she is with him, she can become a much greater person than she would have if she had been raised by his mother.

Life Lessons for His Girls

James Krause never went through phases of drinking and partying in his youth. He feels he learned life lessons before most other people, so he expects more from his kids in advance. He says that some people are a product of their environment and won’t change, but he also knows that everything can be taught and everything can be learned. Being a genuinely good person also goes a long way. James believes that whatever you put out into the world, you will get back.

I don’t expect perfection, but I expect greatness.


Watch James Krause on The Ultimate Fighter
FOX Sports Wednesdays at 9pm CST



==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible


Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


James Krause’s Links




The Ultimate Fighter

Create an Epic Life

join The Dad Edge Alliance


Dad Edge Alliance