Mark Wales is the creator of Kill Kapture, a line of military inspired leather jackets, and the CEO of The Younger Heroes, a non-profit aimed at easing the experiences of veterans’ families. Mark believes that maintaining a sense of purpose is essential for attaining personal and professional success.
Mark developed an interest in the military during his youth spent in Western Australia. He can trace his interest back to the first images he saw of the British Special Air Service (SAS). What Mark saw in those images was his first glimpse at a sense of purpose. The men and women of the SAS represented hope, courage and freedom to Mark–from that young age, he knew what his goal was. He wanted to be a part of the Australian SAS.
Mark didn’t lose sight of that goal as he climbed through the military ranks. During his time within the military he had a very defined sense of purpose. Mark knew what he was doing, he knew why he was there and he believed that he was making a difference in the world.
After two tours of Afghanistan, Mark was ready for a change, however. He felt that he had done his duty and he was ready to take on a new challenge. He decided to apply the discipline and determination that he had developed in the military and apply these traits to the world of business. Mark’s hard work paid off; he eventually gained entry into a top American business school. From there he moved on to a job in the corporate world, at the highly-respected management consulting firm, Mckinsey and Company.
The ambition, work ethic and dedication that have pushed Mark to relentlessly pursue his goals throughout his life and led him to try his hand at other pursuits as well: he has been a contestant on Survivor: Australia and can now add fatherhood to the list of roles.
Here’s how Mark stays afloat with so much on his plate.
“Eat well, rest a lot, exercise a lot.”
Mark has developed some habits that ensure that he continues to optimize his daily dynamism.
Following his stint in the military, Mark was diagnosed with PTSD. His therapist outlined measures to aid resilience: eat well, rest often, exercise. Mark believes in these tenets and attempts to live by them.
He forces himself to wake up early, then he exercises to get warmed up for the work day. Mark believes in social workouts–he joins classes such as crossfit or boxing to keep his motivation up.
He bookends his day with healthy habits: he lets his body wind down with no screen time thirty minutes before bed.
He periodically takes time to check in with himself and asksf if he is on the right track. If the answer is no, it’s time to reassess and correct course.
“Take it in, have a think about things–prioritize thinking time.”
Mindfulness is something that Mark takes very seriously. To him, the concept of mindfulness means maintaining perspective. Mark has made the mistake in the past of being too hard on himself. He’s realized now that it’s good to take a step back and reassess; to be grateful for what you have and to ask yourself if you are doing something meaningful with the time that you have left.
“Have the discipline to do the little things that in the aggregate mean a lot.”
To Mark, resilience means having the discipline to do the little things that in the aggregate make a huge difference to your daily well-being and performance.
It also means maintaining a sense of purpose in your work and your life. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, how will you see your way through the bumps in the road?
Finally, resilience means perseverance– Mark believes that learning to hang in there and not give up is a skill that trumps other qualities when it comes to attaining success.
Mark’s Questions for Kyō:
- What is the thing that you’re willing to go to the end of the earth for?
- What is the successful endpoint for this endeavour?
- What are the steps that I need to take to make this dream a reality?