Military Task Force
episode 85 | Sep 13, 2022
Law Enforcement/Military
Personal Growth

Ep. 85: JTF2 Special Forces Sniper and Pathfinder

Shaun Taylor spent his time in the Canadian army as a sniper, pathfinder and in Canada’s elite special forces Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2). This is an inspirational episode, exploring what it takes to operate at the highest level and how to turn adversity and failure into wins.
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[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader and this it's the silver core podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with a skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years. And we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content we provide, please let others know by sharing, commenting, and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for.

[00:00:40] If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at

[00:00:54] today's guest is a entire Canadian special forces JTF, two sniper. Dollars the limitations presented by recording a podcast remotely into that end. We've been trying to coordinate an in-person discussion for quite some time now. So here we are another milestone for the Silvercore podcast recording its first, both audio and video on location podcast.

[00:01:16] Welcome to the silver core podcast. Sean 

[00:01:19] Shaun Taylor: Taylor. Outstanding. Thanks so 

[00:01:21] Travis Bader: much for having me. This is amazing. Thank you so much for having me into your home. This is a beautiful place that you live in. In fact, I'm a little envious of the, uh, the city you're in and we're gonna be checking it out right now. I think, uh, maybe a move might be in order in, uh, in the not too distant future.

[00:01:36] Shaun Taylor: We'll see. Well, let, well, let me know. I'll be pleased to point you in the right direction of a moving company. 

[00:01:43] Travis Bader: excellent. Excellent. So, you know, I was talking with and he brought your name up and he had so many great things to say about you. And, uh, you really came onto my radar at that point. And I started watching your social media and you have been sharing some really cool stuff there, stuff about your background lessons, learned some positivity, uh, insights on things that you've seen and encountered that you can share with others.

[00:02:11] And that was one of the big things that really motivated me to want to meet with you. You are obviously very intelligent. You're thoughtful about what you put out. You're, uh, you're come across as very kind and compassionate and all under this exterior of a warrior, which is some, a really neat dichotomy.

[00:02:30] And. I also understand that you are working on a book as well. And I thought maybe we could have an opportunity to talk a little bit about what that might be without spoiling the, uh, the plot and maybe delve into a few different areas there. 

[00:02:44] Shaun Taylor: Sure. Uh, well, thanks for saying that. I mean, that's a very, um, generous and, and thoughtful, um, opening sequence on, on certainly on me.

[00:02:56] I'm not sure I deserve all that praise. Um, but, uh, in respect to S Lewa, uh, yeah, he's the man I loves he's. He's an awesome dude. And, and, uh, everything that uh, I'm doing right now is, uh, partially. Um, because of S and his sound direction and his, uh, leadership in respect to just trying to do things better on social media, be more positive, be a little more thoughtful as a leader, perhaps.

[00:03:28] And, and so I'm just trying to follow in his footsteps a little bit. I would say that's, uh, that's pretty 

[00:03:33] Travis Bader: neat. You know, I'm watching the lives that, uh, people are affecting around them both positively and negatively. And we had a discussion prior to recording here about some of the negative things that people can do that affect other people's lives.

[00:03:46] And the ripple effect that'll have when it comes to the positive things that people can impart. Uh, I'm looking at, like, for example, right. Nows is doing, uh, mental health walks. I think they're once a week or what's that? Yeah. Every 

[00:03:59] Shaun Taylor: Sunday or every second Sunday, but certainly on the Sundays for sure.

[00:04:03] Travis Bader: Right. Uh, I haven't got out to one yet. I probably should. I'd really like to, I just, you know, gotta find the time to do these things. But that was in, um, In response to some, something that was negative that had, had, had happened. I remember it was on Christmas. I was talking with him and like, how you doing?

[00:04:22] He's like, not too good. I'm like, what's going on. Right. And he relays a story about somebody who's having a difficult time who, um, uh, really should be reaching out to others. And I was having difficulties with mental health. Luckily everything turned out well for this individual, but, uh, shortly thereafter sub says, you know, I'm, I'm gonna just use social media.

[00:04:43] I'm gonna reach out through that. And I'm going to use that to, uh, uh, have people, um, if, if they want to talk, if they can DM me, if they want to, if there's something I can share from my background, that might be helpful, we'll use that. And that kind of morphed into, you know, maybe just meet in person.

[00:04:58] Maybe there's something that we can do. And I have a feeling that what he's doing and the commitment he's putting it in the regularity of having these mental health walks is probably gonna have a ripple effect where. Other people in other locations start doing the same thing. 

[00:05:11] Shaun Taylor: Yeah, for sure. You know, uh, one thing abouts is he he's a true leader without a doubt.

[00:05:19] And he, he's a bit of a visionary as well and where this mental health walk goes ultimately is anyone's guess. But even if it went nowhere, it's already gone somewhere. Right. And so I, what I love abouts is, um, he got something in his mind and he started executing against it. And, and now the rest will take care of itself.

[00:05:43] And not just in the small localized aspect of the left coast or Vancouver area, it's, it's much larger than that. As soon as he pulled the trigger, it, it was across Canada in, in some way. Right. And, and, you know, um, we're both talking about it right now. So it's, it's touched us in its own little way. And I.

[00:06:07] Of course, I'm chatting with a number of guys on the regular and it's touched them in a number of ways. And so ultimately what it turns into is probably less important than what it's already done. 

[00:06:20] Travis Bader: I agree. I agree. And that was one of the areas that, you know, we're talking before, I'm looking at the different podcasts that I've done, and some I've had some phenomenal people on.

[00:06:32] But when you hit those keywords, uh, Xas X, SBS, JTF two, you put these little keywords in all of a sudden it opens up the, the podcast to, uh, the search algorithm for people who might be searching for it. And it opens up the, uh, the spectrum of people who might be listening to it. So, uh, you are in the process of doing something very similar.

[00:06:53] You're sharing positivity, you're sharing your life experiences. You're talking about, uh, difficulties and overcoming them, how you spent time coaching, high level athletes to, uh, on both physical and mental conditioning. And, uh, I think given your background. What you've been through, not only helps lend credibility, but it helps lend exposure that, um, it really helps get your message out there.

[00:07:18] Um, I would be interested in talking a little bit about your background and then kind of working that into what you're doing now and where you see yourself going. 

[00:07:30] Shaun Taylor: Yeah, sure. You know, the one thing that I will start off with saying is you're right. Um, my background does lend credibility and I'm hesitant to say that.

[00:07:44] In fact, I was struggling to say it, as I said it and, and it's because it's a relatively new realization for me. Uh, I've been told this a number of times that, uh, my background lends credibility to some of the things that I say, but I, I, I struggle with that idea. Mm-hmm but it's true. It does. And the, the titles that I carry.

[00:08:10] Um, they do have a larger reach than I thought they would or should, but it is what it is. And so I'm not trying to duck any of those titles, but I'm trying also not to capitalize on them either. I'm just trying to be me. And as it turns out, some people are interested in that. And so that's a good thing.

[00:08:33] So I'm 

[00:08:33] Travis Bader: curious, uh, I have my own, uh, thoughts as to why I P but why the struggle about, uh, Leaning on the background in order to help propel the, uh, the positivity to propel what you're doing right now. Mm-hmm, , 

[00:08:48] Shaun Taylor: that's a great question. I, I think there's probably no, one's asked me that question. So thanks for that.

[00:08:54] I, I think there's probably two reasons is I'm kind of real time processing an answer for you. And the first one is easily understood. And that is, uh, if, if I'm speaking specifically about JTF two, when we were coming up in that system, it, we were so under the radar that, um, you know, it was an entirely different beast of, uh, keeping it quiet mm-hmm and so anything that we did or have done, I've, I've kind.

[00:09:28] Put it as part of my DNA to never discuss that or never use it in a way that is exploitative. Right. I, I would, I would never do that. Right. And so the system in a sense, um, has developed the reality for me that I just don't talk about it a lot. Mm. Uh, if that makes sense. Oh, 

[00:09:51] Travis Bader: it totally does. And that, that would be my gut reasoning.

[00:09:54] Why you would mm-hmm have some hesitation. 

[00:09:56] Shaun Taylor: Now the second part, um, is because my nature, I, I struggle between, um, things that I've accomplished and talking about the things that I've accomplished, because there's a line where depending on the audience that you're talking to, where the more correctly, the person in front of.

[00:10:16] Some of the things that I've done in the past would seem a little crazy or a little, um, almost unbelievable. Sure. For, for lack of a better term, an average person mm-hmm who has not used to these kind of crazy things. And so I've, over the years, I've tried to tell a tailor too. And, and oftentimes I'm the other person on the receiving end.

[00:10:43] Their eyes are a bit buggy and they don't, they don't believe it, perhaps they don't believe it. Right. And so I I've just learned not to talk too much about some of the things that I've done or, or some of the, uh, things that I've seen more correctly. And, and perhaps, uh, that is a part of me, uh, part of my DNA.

[00:11:04] I'm not sure, but to your point, I'm learning. Over the last little while through this social media process, that I've gotta find a better balance between telling a story without telling too much of the story, I suppose. Yeah. 

[00:11:18] Travis Bader: That's a, you know, some of the, there's some authors out there, I forget what Andy McNabb's real name was, but right.

[00:11:24] But he, he was one of the first guys that came out writing in immediate action and bra Bravo two, zero, and a few other books, man, that guy's a storyteller, right. That's right. Like, and he can, he can tell a, a spin, a good yarn without giving away a bunch of stuff. But I think he came under a whole ton of heat as well during that process.

[00:11:42] And now it seems more normal normalized for people who have gone through a special forces root to be able to talk about it afterwards, but it's still got that. Um, Uh, I, I think there's gotta be a social stigma associated with it as well. 

[00:11:58] Shaun Taylor: I think so. And you know, I don't wanna, um, create a conversation around perhaps some of the teams that are out there versus the teams here in Canada.

[00:12:09] I, I, I'm gonna try not to make that comparison, but to your. Specific point about, uh, Bravo two zero. Um, I do recall this may or may not have happened. Mm-hmm and I'm just gonna say that. Sure. I do recall, uh, allegedly I do recall one of our guys, uh, PO possibly heading over to the UK to possibly, uh, deal or, or work with another organization in the UK and coming back with a Bravo two, zero book signed by Andy and, uh, and he just put it right up in my face and said, check that out.

[00:12:44] And I was like, what? Cuz I really enjoyed the book when it came out. It was one of the forerunners of that almost mystique, um, story. And so, you know, These kind of early front running books were phenomenal for, for what they did. They, they kind of created a entirely new world for some people mm-hmm . Um, but in those early days, I think the pacing of the release of information was a lot more appropriate than it is.

[00:13:19] Now. 

[00:13:19] Travis Bader: I can appreciate that. Now, talking about front runners and for runners, you were a part of a team that essentially were the, um, where JTF two started. If I'm not mistaken, you were, you helped create what, uh, JTF two is now. Yeah. 

[00:13:37] Shaun Taylor: And, and I'll, I'd like to reframe that, uh, I, I didn't help create anything other than I was a part of something, so, right.

[00:13:44] Um, Yes. I, the term I believe is plan holder. Okay. And so that indicates someone who was there right from the onset, right from the beginning of the teams. And, and I was very privileged and, and it was an honor of course, to be part of that process. And when it all started off, when JTF two kicked off, it, it wasn't really, I didn't notice JTF two at the time.

[00:14:11] I'm not even sure it had a name at the time. Mm. When it all kicked off, we kind of didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. I do recall in, um, when I was in the regular military, there was a memorandum outside of my commanding officer's, um, headquarter building. And I looked at that memorandum, uh, pinned on the wall.

[00:14:33] And I generally read along the lines of, we can't tell you. It you're gonna be doing, we can't tell you where you're gonna be doing it. And we can't tell you how hard it is gonna be, but if you're interested sign here and I was like, I'm, I'm all about that. And, you know, probably stupidly and, and, and very shallowly considering the, uh, what I was getting myself into, but I was all about that.

[00:14:55] Yeah. So that, that just spoke directly to my soul. And so I was all in, and, and in the early days we didn't know where we were going or what we were gonna be doing or how long precisely. Mm. And, and I wouldn't, now that I know, uh, I wouldn't have changed a thing of course, but at the time it was quite a leap of faith, if you will.

[00:15:21] Yeah. 

[00:15:22] Travis Bader: Oh, I can appreciate. Well, how old were you? 

[00:15:24] Shaun Taylor: I was, when I got badged into the team, I think I was about 29 years old. 

[00:15:31] Travis Bader: Okay. So, uh, you've been at that point, you'd been with Canadian armed forces for, for some time. And 

[00:15:37] Shaun Taylor: yeah, I was, I was relatively qualified, uh, to put my name in the hat, to maybe have a try at getting on the team.

[00:15:45] And I think I had some things working in my favor for sure. Uh, I'd already faced a, a reasonable amount of adversity through a number of specialty qualification courses. Actually this one being one of them, the Pathfinder course is, uh, no one is a tough course. And so I was also sniper qualified and, and being a army sniper.

[00:16:07] There weren't too many of us at the time. And so that was of great interest, I suppose, to the formation of the team. And you know, not to get too far ahead of myself, you've kind of gotta pass selection before you start building a team as it were so. Um, you know, I, I wanted to be part of it, but I wasn't sure what I was gonna be part of.

[00:16:32] And as it turns out, it, it, it was being part of an amazing tier one, uh, team, for sure. 

[00:16:39] Travis Bader: So, uh, going through your Pathfinder training, what, what did that encompass? 

[00:16:45] Shaun Taylor: Yeah, that's, I think it's loosely referred to as one of the hardest courses in NATO, certainly at the time. Uh, I'm not sure how it stands now.

[00:16:55] I'm sure it's still extremely difficult. Well, I'm sure, certainly one of the hardest, if not the hardest course in Canada, mm-hmm at the time. And so what it was, it was being run at the Canadian airborne regiment, uh, in UA and the course lasted 70 days. And there were no days off every day was a course day where you were, um, facing the fury of some very focused directing staff who were there to ensure that you belong there.

[00:17:29] We had a very extremely high attrition rate. I, I'm not sure if I can kick out the percentage, but it was extremely low pass rate. It the course was fairly brutal just to give some general statistics, I would say on average, over those 70 days, I was getting about three hours of sleep per night or in a 24 hour cycle.

[00:17:52] We'll call it cuz there was no day and night per se. Okay. Maybe about three hours in a 24 hour cycle. Some, some cycles, you know, two or three days you might get 10 minutes of sleep kind of thing. Wow. Uh, if you were getting longer sleeps than that, it was usually on a, like a CC one 30 Hercules as you were flying from one spot to another spot to jump out at that spot.

[00:18:15] So you might get some rack on the plane. Mm. Um, but even then, uh, the directing staff were there to ensure that you were working through your patrol planning and so on and so forth while you're on the bird. So not a lot of sleep and in respect to calories or food, um, generally speaking, we were working on approximately one imp per day.

[00:18:39] And so normally that, uh, a regular. Infantry soldier, as an example, would be getting at least three imps per day. We were at one imp per day. And, and that meant, so for lunch, I'd be looking forward to my pack of sugar. Yes, there, there wasn't, there wasn't much, uh, in the way of calories. So, you know, just using those two simple statistics to give an indication of how hard the course was, you were always, uh, lacking sleep and you were always lacking calories and the workload was unbelievable.

[00:19:18] The pace was, uh, so. Hard. Mm. And the stressors, the command stressors, you were always in a role, uh, whether it was the patrol commander, the navigator, the signaler to this, that, or whatever you always had stressors placed on you. And you were always under a watchful eye and the standards were extremely high.

[00:19:43] There was no room for error. And if you made a minor error, that was one strike and you got three. And so you were, you, you were always facing heat. And so what does that mean for the human body? Well, when I started the course and finished the course, I lost nearly 25 pounds of muscle over the course of 70 days.

[00:20:07] Wow. Because you had to eat your body essentially, right? Uh, we were, you know, would not be uncommon to. 24 hour cycle moving through, uh, through the Bush, uh, with always your, your RAC was always over a hundred pounds. And, um, on top of that, you had your combat load that said, or so all in all to make it long story short, it was an extremely difficult course that, um, if you passed it, it was notable.

[00:20:37] And I think more for me anyway, what was more important than, uh, doing the course or passing the course was after the fact year, two, seven years to this day, I can still look at that course and think, man, Th there's not too many things that I am gonna face that were harder than that. So it established a good baseline for me as I went towards JTF two, where I thought, man, this is really hard, but I think maybe I had a harder moment on the Pathfinder course or et cetera.

[00:21:14] That 

[00:21:14] Travis Bader: framework is fantastic. Yeah. So malnourished, uh, lacking sleep 70 days. Did you think 

[00:21:23] Shaun Taylor: about giving up? Sure. Yeah. Um, and you know, the not never, ever thinking about giving up in the sense of, I quit out outta here. Right, right. I thought about giving up in the sense of, you know, we were also extremely dehydrated.

[00:21:42] We were limited to water. And so listen, the, the program in 1987 was fairly diabolical. Right. And I would suggest that there. Is no way that program could run today in a modern military. Just, just not because some of the things that were done, uh, in respect to the limitations that were, um, put on us, uh, in food, water, sleep and so on.

[00:22:08] So forth. I, I don't think it would fly today. Right. And so there was a time when I was so, um, dehydrated. I had no water left in my one canteen for that day. Hmm. Uh, that I started formalizing or, or imagining what would I give up? What body part would I give up? just for maybe five minutes of sleep and, and maybe another sip of water.

[00:22:34] And that body part was, you know, a significant body part . So I never, I was never interested in quitting, but I did have, uh, several moments where I just thought, well, this is outrageous. Mm. 

[00:22:48] Travis Bader: What was it that would push you to drive through? Because if the attrition rate rate was relatively low, a lot of people were dropping out or being kicked out.

[00:22:58] Uh, there's something in you that could see that finish line somehow and see yourself. Uh, completing it as not an impossible Herley Herculean task. What was it that drove you to continue? 

[00:23:11] Shaun Taylor: Yeah, that's a great question. And, and I think, I didn't know it at the time, but I know it better now, given that I've faced other more, um, adverse, um, scenarios.

[00:23:23] As I moved on through my military career at, at the time in my Pathfinder, of course, I'd faced adversity for sure, in a number of other things. But the Pathfinder course was really the was a, a whole new level of adversity. And so what I was doing was two things. I was relying on my, my natural stubbornness mm-hmm um, I I'm just gonna do it.

[00:23:47] Right. That's what, that's what runs a lot of my life. I, I call it stubbornness. Some people call it grit, some people call it other things, but I just think of it as being stubborn. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but the other part was. I didn't really know what the next day would bring. And so I compartmentalized my, my 70 days alls I had in front of me was what was in front of me that day or that hour, or that next five minutes.

[00:24:20] And I just simply had to. Stand up and do that thing. And then 10 minutes later, I'd be doing something else and whatever that something else was, I would do my best. And so compartmentalizing my way through the 70 days, you know, on day 33, you don't know what's gonna happen on day 55. You, for me, I just would stubbornly keep doing my best.

[00:24:46] And as it turns out, you know, I think it's probably an analogy for life. You can Pathfinder your way through life by just facing some adversity and doing your best in the moment and not worrying too much about what tomorrow brings folks on being your best right now. And, and tomorrow will take care of itself when it shows.

[00:25:08] Travis Bader: Yeah, that's great advice. And being able to compartmentalize these things, everything in its whole might be overwhelming, but right now, right here, I can take care of this next five minutes. I can do five 

[00:25:19] Shaun Taylor: minutes. That's right. And you know, if, if on day one I could have understood the entire 70 days and, and the fullness of it, man.

[00:25:30] I, I don't know what I would say on day one as to whether I wanna proceed today. Two mm-hmm . I, I, I wanna believe that I would say bring it. Mm. Uh, I, I I've got this, bring it, but it was a, it was a full 70 days. And, and, uh, I think it's kind of helpful to not fully understand what you're gonna be putting your body and your mind and your soul through, uh, sometimes.

[00:25:57] Yeah. 

[00:25:58] Travis Bader: Well, was Pathfinder training a requisite to sniper training? 

[00:26:03] Shaun Taylor: No. No it wasn't. Mm. Army sniper. Required a number of pre-certification, but it didn't require Pathfinder. So they were really two different sort of paths. I would suggest mm-hmm as an infantryman or as a airborne soldier, uh, one would be a Pathfinder, as an example, would be more focused on deeper reconnaissance or we'll call it behind enemy lines for lack of a better term, uh, first in, uh, sort of sorting out.

[00:26:38] The drop zone or the landing zone, or what have you, and setting up that, and then setting up roots to the objective, getting eyes on the objective, looking for secondary and so on and so forth. Mm-hmm, a lot of moving parts and a lot of sort of personal movement. And as a Pathfinder, you would be an asset that is a force multiplier.

[00:27:01] So you'd be operating independently. Generally speaking, sometimes you'd be on a two man team, but more often than not, there was so many things to do that you had to just bust a move as fast as you could. And as, as tactically, as you could to get as much done, and then you're onto the next thing mm-hmm and you're reporting to a much higher level.

[00:27:22] And so you're, as you're moving on the ground, you, you are, you're making a lot of affecting a lot of change. Mm-hmm whereas a sniper. again, you're an independent mover, but your, your responsibilities are more surveillance and, and you can change the battlefield for sure. Mm-hmm but, uh, in a completely different way than a Pathfinder would, uh they're they have some similarities, but they are two different paths for sure.

[00:27:53] Travis Bader: So you've had those under your belt. You're looking for the next challenge. This thing who knows what it is. Okay. This mysterious memo comes up and you're like, I'm all in. What did it look like after that? What, what was the process of building with the team that you ended up being with? 

[00:28:09] Shaun Taylor: Mm, so first of all, selection, um, was held out in the Ottawa region and because the team was just, it was the inception of the team.

[00:28:22] There wasn't any information out there at all about what selection was you, you know, did, did you need to be able to fly and hold your breath? who knew? I mean, no one knew. Right. And so you were really entering into the void. Uh, you stepped. Into the unknown and you operated in the unknown on a daily basis, actually on a per minute basis.

[00:28:49] Now I, I believe at this time, it's reasonably well known that selection has, is a reasonably set process that has a number of things that have to be accomplished. And it's quite a test mm-hmm and, and the, the men who pass or the men who don't pass, it's never for, it's never for reasons such as, um, oh, you just couldn't do enough pushups or, oh, you just were.

[00:29:20] You ran too slow. Right? It's far more than that. And, and the question, uh, that I'm sometime is asked is, well, why did this guy not make it? And, and why did you, bro, if I had that answer, , it's, it's a process and it's a scientific process and it uncovers enough about a person that they, the system as a whole feels comfortable in bumping them onto the next step.

[00:29:51] Okay. There are several steps, of course. So entering into selection. I didn't know what I was facing because no one knew what we were facing. It's a bit different now. Hmm. So that process was fascinating to me. It was amazing. It was a beat down and, and it was, um, it was illuminating, I would say. Mm.

[00:30:19] Illuminating is a good word. Because as an individual, the spotlight was on you for all of your flaws and all of your strengths. And it was illuminating to me as an individual, not just for the directing staff who were observing my mistakes. Um, it was, it really kind of shine a spotlight within myself of, oh my goodness.

[00:30:46] I can't believe I just did that. Is that even me? Why did I do that? Or as the stressors built and as the sleep deprivation built and so on and so forth, and because you're exposed to so many things, all of your fears, all of your weaknesses as when you're in those moments, um, if, if you are operating at a high enough level, you can get a pretty good sense of.

[00:31:13] A version of who you are in a way that you've never seen before 

[00:31:19] Travis Bader: sleep and lack thereof can do some very funny things to people. What did you learn about yourself through that process? 

[00:31:29] Shaun Taylor: Um, Hmm, so many things. Yeah. I think that I, I, I would wish for every soldier in the Canadian armed forces to be exposed to a process like that, a selection of some form, I think it would make every soldier, a better soldier, but more importantly would make every soldier a better human because.

[00:31:59] if, if you, as humans, we all have ego. Sure. And sometimes our ego is a bit inflated or artificial or incorrectly calibrated as to our ability to execute against that ego that we think we are mm-hmm . And so the selection process is, is strips away all of the facade of what you think you can do and helps you understand a lot better, what you are capable of as a person, as a human being, not as a shooter, not as a mover, not as a thinker, but the, what you do in the moment when, uh, times are tough, 

[00:32:48] Travis Bader: right?

[00:32:50] When the chips are down, what are you made of 

[00:32:53] Shaun Taylor: that's right. What, not only what are you made of, but, um, The kind of higher level processing that is required in tier one, whether you are capable of, of stepping out of the chaos that is occurring, not only internally, but in the immediate bubble, all around you stepping out of that chaos and processing at a higher level so that you are more strategic rather than just simply tactical mm.

[00:33:26] Travis Bader: Or emotional or, and, and I can see a selection process being put in place to really help weed out those who might be, uh, mentally not at the same level as, as others might be to be able to deal with those stresses. I don't know if that was as big of a, um, consideration. I'm sure it was a consideration, but I don't know if it was as big of a consideration in the early days of special force units.

[00:33:53] Um, I would think that nowadays that that's plays a, a huge role is making sure that the person's mindset is such that they're going to be able to be useful in a long term sort of way. 

[00:34:06] Shaun Taylor: Yeah. I, I think, uh, you raise an excellent point there and, and in the early days or the inception of JTF two, I'm sure there was a, a wizard behind the curtain who knew what was going on, but it certainly wasn't me.

[00:34:23] Right. And, and as a, uh, operator, uh, as an assaulter and then a sniper and then moving on to team leader and so on and so forth within all of the roles that I, uh, played. I think there was so much going on that you were busy enough just doing what you had to do. I, I never felt that I was so capable of doing it all so well that I could step out of that role and observe things at such a strategic level that I could start considering.

[00:35:00] Who's the wizard. And, and what does the wizard know that I don't know. How is all of this, all of these moving parts? How, how is it all working as well as it works? Or where are we going next in the sense of as a unit? So back then, I'm not sure if that existed, perhaps it did. I just didn't see it, but I think.

[00:35:24] Um, on two points, I do honestly believe that, um, the, the unit is an amazing organization and that all of the early road bumps have all been ironed out. And I also think that comparing myself as an operator or the operators that, uh, started off in the unit, I would argue that an operator today is possibly twice as good as what I was at the time.

[00:36:02] And, and I think that. Quite a, quite a, a big thought, because back then I thought we were pretty good. yes, I really did. I mean, we were, we were the cream of the crop as it were within the army. We were the first, uh, skimming of the cream and, and they pushed us as hard as they could and turned us into what they turned us into.

[00:36:25] And I thought we were real good at what we did, but nowadays I think that the processes that are in place not rudimentary as we were back then a very sophisticated and nuanced process that is wrapped around those operators. I think that they are far better trained, far better educated. I think that they're just better, uh, qualified humans.

[00:36:49] Uh, as they step onto that start line, nevermind. Once they cross the finish line 

[00:36:53] Travis Bader: that's what was it? Newton? Who said the reason I can see, where I can see now is cause I stand on the shoulder of giants. That's right. So I would really hope that as time goes on, that people are learning from those mistakes and building back better, but you're also gonna find a different type of person.

[00:37:10] I would think that that comes in maybe. Um, I look at, uh, so my father was on the first E R T for Vancouver and helped set them up. And I, and I look at, um, the, uh, the training programs that they put into place that we'd never fly now and the things that they would do, which would be maybe viewed as safety, third, as opposed to safety first.

[00:37:36] Right, right. And, um, mind. And when I can hear some of the old timers complaining, they say, well, people need a special course and certification just to breach a door, whereas we just do it right. Well, may, maybe there's a reason why maybe I think so. Right. um, the, uh, the type of, um, person that would get into it then might be a little bit different than the type of person who would get into that sort of a thing.

[00:38:03] Now, operationally, I'd have to agree with you. I mean, just constantly getting better and better. I'm wondering as we get new technology and resources, uh, does that change a, uh, a unit much, or would be just a fundamental grit, uh, mental attitude, uh, ingenuity, um, that the forefathers had in putting things forward, sort of Trump, any sort of, um, uh, technologies or new kit that could come into place?

[00:38:35] Shaun Taylor: That's a great question. And I've given a little bit of thought and, and. Funnily enough, it's a relatively recent consideration for me. I would say over the last year, I've given it a much deeper consideration. First of all, I would like to establish that whether it'ss, whether I'm carrying a space, laser or a spear at a baseline level, if you're an elite, uh, warrior we'll say, or elite operator, you've you've, your baseline has to be good to go.

[00:39:04] You you've gotta be pretty squared away, or you've gotta have a bunch of, for lack of a better term, I'll call 'em special qualities in order to, to operate at an elite level. Now, whether it's a spear or a space laser, um, I think those are, uh, layers that are added onto that baseline. And so I'm going to use a personal.

[00:39:32] example or I'll use myself as a case study for lack of a better term. When we were coming up on the teams, the weapons that we had, we didn't have lasers mounted to them. Uh, it was, it was a big deal to get a, uh, sure fire or get a, a flashlight on, on your, uh, on your weapon. And so we, I, I was taught to shoot and, and I was already a real good shot, I think, before I went to the teams.

[00:40:00] But certainly after I went through the process, I was, as we all were, I'm not singling myself out. We are all extremely, extremely qualified to do the job. Mm-hmm . And so we were all good shots, but we're all good shots off iron sites. And so the, um, The four point MVGs or night vision goggles with lasers and this and that.

[00:40:27] I mean, those are excellent tools, but strip those tools away. And at a baseline level, an elite operator is still an elite operator and they can do the job with a sling shot or with a space laser. Mm. Now comparing my era to the modern era of tier one, I would say that they have a number of tools, tools that I wouldn't even be aware of.

[00:40:52] I would, uh, suggest, but all of those tools are simply there to facilitate the task at hand. They are there to move the needle in a, in a way that we couldn't have done in the nineties, but at the end of the day, the job would still get done. It would just be done, um, in its own unique way, but it's always gonna get done.

[00:41:18] Travis Bader: Interesting. What was the rest of the makeup of your team? Like, because I would have to say as I go through my head here, every single person that I know who I'm either spoken with or friends with, or interacted with, who is, uh, would be considered a high level in, in their position, whether that be, um, um, police or military, um, tend to be kind compassionate, um, softer spoken, not the typical who raw type of a, um, individual gungho, uh, sort of attitude that.

[00:41:59] Hollywood would have you believe these people are, is, are you, am I just attracted to those kind of people who seem to have their ego so squarely in checked? Or is it the fact that these people who are able to, um, comport themselves in such a way, tend to make for better, uh, high level operatives? 

[00:42:17] Shaun Taylor: Mm, I think, I think as you move down the path towards special operations, or as you, uh, pursue that more elite level of operation, the reality is you face a lot of beat downs, the amount of adversity that you are subjected to, or you must subject yourself to, in order to move to that next level is.

[00:42:42] abnormal. Mm. And so in all of that adversity, if you show up with a big ego, it's gonna get crushed. Mm. I mean, you, there is just no way around it. You cannot retain a massive ego and just Bumble you way forward to tier one. Mm. You, you get crushed out of you because you have to face all of your flaws. You have to face all of your mistakes.

[00:43:09] Uh, there's a, a good friend of mine, Tim Turner. What's up Tim and, um, he's a, he's a army sniper as well. And, um, we've had a couple of laughs. In fact, while we're out at operation, Peus jump on Vancouver island this summer, Tim and I were talking and, and we're both in full agreement that the army sniper course, which I did before JTF two was even a twink in anyone's eye.

[00:43:36] That course is so difficult on many levels, but one of the things that stands out in the sense of difficulty is the amount of failure that you have to face. Mm I'd never faced that amount of failure before. It was so regular to fail in various aspects of that course that it, it, it was the course that started normalizing failure for me.

[00:44:03] Interesting. And up to that point, I hadn't really faced that level of failure before I things I don't wanna say things came naturally to me because that would be a, a misstatement mm-hmm , but I, I always did really, really, really well in everything that I did up until the sniper course where I was failing.

[00:44:26] And it was shaking me a little bit mm-hmm , but through that process of so much failure, it, then normalizes failure and. I became comfortable enough with failure that I started after the sniper course to begin pursuing failure. And now my, my, my regular pattern and has been for decades now is to pursue failure.

[00:44:51] Travis Bader: Interesting. So I, I guess from a training perspective, you gotta be really careful. Like you can train people up to just to be rabbit dogs who will bite anything that moves to be so beaten that they're timid and cowering in the corners. If failure is such a normalized thing, um, there's gotta be a, a very tricky psychological balance here between making a winner out of somebody who's constantly being beaten down and failing.

[00:45:20] Um, and now that you actively seek out failure, I should only imagine it so that you can find your weak points and work at that. Yeah, 

[00:45:27] Shaun Taylor: that's it precisely. And the. As I'm speaking to you about it right now in real time. I'm, I'm, you know, considering the subject in real time, and I'm trying to give you my real time answer.

[00:45:40] And, and you're making me think about things in, in unique ways. So you'll have to bear with me if it's not a very clean message. but I would say this, that it, we weren't taught how to move through that process. So on, on the sniper course, as an example, all of those failures it's on you. Mm. And you had to figure out a way, and there was no manual.

[00:46:06] There was no self-help book. There was no mentor to kind of pat you on the shoulder and give you a hug and say, I know you're struggling, but don't worry about it. Because a few years from now it's gonna be really beneficial. Mm. And so you just had to back then, and I'm not, I, I don't know what it is like now, but back then, you had to figure it out.

[00:46:28] And you had to carve a way forward that you could continue to be successful for lack of a better term in on the path mm-hmm . And so I'm not sure if that was a good way to learn, uh, or, or there's better ways to learn, but it was the way at the time. 

[00:46:49] Travis Bader: I think it takes a special person to be able to learn from that.

[00:46:51] Cuz I think there's a lot of people out there that'll get beaten down and never get back up mm-hmm and they'll carry that with them. It said Latin saying Tre right light from darkness. Um, the person who can see that light from the darkness, like a friend of mine, he says, you know, has same fellow who says he grades his mental health based on how he climbs.

[00:47:10] If he's, uh, unable to do harder pitches, he knows he's gotta step back a little bit and uh, do a few easier pitches. Because his head's not firing in the way that he kind of wants it to. He says, um, when it's stormy out and it's just miserable and he's out in the Alpine and Alpine touring and his skis, uh, he knows that he'll bunker down to build a little snow shelter.

[00:47:35] And the next day is probably gonna be some of the best skiing that he's ever seen. It's gonna be a Bluebird day. Right. But having the ability to see that, or at least somehow visualize that success in your mind or what it's gonna be like is gonna be better. I think a lot of people have difficulty with, um, what advice would you give someone else, or what advice would you give your younger self with your accrued knowledge over the years in being able to deal with adversity or deal with failure?

[00:48:05] Shaun Taylor: Mm that's a great question.

[00:48:09] Certainly one thing. And I'm gonna use this sniper course as an example, to make my point. one thing is you have to figure out how to be the best version of yourself in the moment, all the time, irrespective of the challenge in front of you. So whether you're making your coffee in the morning or whether you're facing the hardest hardship you've ever faced, figure out how to do your best in real time.

[00:48:38] And so even when things are going completely sideways, as long as I'm doing my best, even in the full sideways moment, I know that 10 years from now, I won't have any regret as to what I was doing, as things are going sideways, where I have my most regrets is when I'm being a bit lazy when I'm not doing my best.

[00:48:59] So if it's going sideways and I'm kind of half assing it a little bit, I know that 10 years from now, I'm gonna look back and I'm gonna think, man, that was lazy. Or man, I could have done better. Or man, I should have woulda, coulda. I never think that. If I'm doing my best in the moment, because if I'm doing my best, I'm, I'm literally doing my best.

[00:49:22] And, and it's based on all of the extenuating circumstances around me. It's based on all of the variables that I'm taking in. And it's based on all of my experiential solutions that I'm putting into play in that moment. As long as I'm doing my best, I'm good to go. It doesn't mean that it'll be a successful outcome.

[00:49:40] It just means. I won't have any regrets in the future. 

[00:49:44] Travis Bader: How do you stop yourself? When you start going down a path, maybe invasive thoughts are coming in. You're feeling like you're tired, you're hungry, you're angry. Something's going on. I'm I'm sure. You know, even just going in traffic, some people are subjected to road rage or, or different life difficulties.

[00:50:02] When do you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to just stop yourself and say, hold on a second. Am I doing my best? Am I trying my best? Am I making the best decisions? Am I thinking about this in a way where I'll be proud later on to look back? Do you ever find yourself in a situation where that becomes clouded or 

[00:50:17] Shaun Taylor: is it always?

[00:50:18] I do. Okay. And, and perhaps on a regular basis. Mm, certainly more frequently than I would like. Mm. And then, uh, but I think that's part of being human. I I'm not a robot I've been accused of being a cyborg from time to time , but I am not se and, and, and I think that's part of the human condition. Um, we are, we all have flaws.

[00:50:43] We all make mistakes and we don't always do things. Right. And, and I would argue that I, I do a, a poorer job of it than other people that I know, but as long as I hang onto the fact that if I'm doing my best, then that's my best. And it using your example of traffic, like sometimes in traffic, I'm, I'm done with traffic.

[00:51:09] Mm-hmm, , I'm over it. And I'm pretty frustrated with the people who don't know how to drive or the people who are cutting in on a line or the people who are doing this, that, and the other thing, the people, and if I've gotta do something as simple as enter into a bit of box breathing, Now it's in my control.

[00:51:28] I've got things that I can do to reel back the frustration of them not being able to drive. And so if, if I kind of let it UN unspool in front of me and not take any measures to control the things that I can control such as my box breathing or my own emotional, uh, moment that's on me. And so it, it really comes down to, am I doing my best or not?

[00:52:00] And as long as I'm doing my best, I can still be frustrated. , but I should be more frustrated with myself if I'm not doing anything to offset that frustration. And if I, if I'm frustrated and I'm doing my best and I'm doing everything that I can to be my best now, there may still be some frustrations involved, but if I can't change those, then I just move through it.

[00:52:24] Travis Bader: Mm. So I know what box breathing is, but some of the listeners might not. Mm. Do you wanna explain 

[00:52:30] Shaun Taylor: it? Sure thing. So I, if you think of your breath as a box, so breathe in, uh, breathe in for four seconds. Hold it for four seconds. Breathe out for four seconds. Hold it for four seconds. Breathe. Hold breathe out.

[00:52:46] Hold. Now I say four seconds. It could be five seconds. It could be two seconds. It could be eight seconds, whatever you're most comfortable with in the moment based on either your, uh, experience of practicing that or how you feel in that moment. And if you can't box breathe, then you can switch to a, a, a more I'd.

[00:53:06] I call it almost like a two dimensional breathing where you breathe in, uh, for four seconds, and then you let it out for four seconds. I think it's far less about the, uh, protocol or the specifics of a timing of breathing. And it's more about switching into a more present sense. So you are actively focusing on controlling yourself in the moment through the simple observation of I'm switching to breathing.

[00:53:39] Now mm-hmm , it's just. Flicking a switch on a protocol of you owning your real time moment. 

[00:53:46] Travis Bader: Are there other things that you do to be present? I know some people they'll say I'll just concentrate on the color, right. And I'll look at that color and I'll notice how it fits in or doesn't fit in. Or it just, uh, a noise.

[00:53:58] That's something I would do quite a bit. Um, and I do with my children. They're angry, they're upset. There's something going on. Typical emotions that people have as they're growing up and I'm talking to them and I say, did you hear the plane outside? Well, no, listen, can you hear the cars? Well, I do now help with the fridge.

[00:54:19] Can you hear the fridge running? Right. And that process of just stopping and listening. Can really, and I'll do it myself. I'll, I'll use listening as one of the things to be able to help, uh, be present. Are there other things that you do 

[00:54:32] Shaun Taylor: yeah, though, and that's good advice to your children and to yourself and, and it's, I think it's good advice for anyone.

[00:54:39] What I do do when I'm feeling the moment when, when. Things are getting a bit, uh, sideways or a bit chaotic or a bit much we'll call it. Mm-hmm . I try to expand my 360 degree sphere, uh, to a point which it'll sounded a little kooky, but I'll try to expand my awareness of not just what's all around me, but in the room over there, I'll try to feel the room that I can't see into, but I will try to feel a much larger footprint around me than a footprint I can hear or see or touch.

[00:55:15] And so if, if I'm being honest and, and I, and if I'm really, really feeling a moment, I'll try to sense my backyard. Mm-hmm or the tree line over there, which arguably is impossible. Or is it, I suppose it all depends on how much you've done it in your life and right. And how much you've really expanded your.

[00:55:40] Awareness of what you're capable of or, or literally expanded your footprint. 

[00:55:45] Travis Bader: See the, I like, I like that explanation. I'll do something similar. Let's say I'm really angry. Um, and you're feeling, and you're in the moment, I'll try and say, how does that manifests itself physically within me, right? It was my stomach.

[00:56:02] Feel like it's tied up. Does my throat feel tied up? Am my, are my muscles clenched? Right? Or what, what am I feeling you. Find a center line to what I'm feeling and I'll try and concentrate on that. And then I'll look at the edges, meaning I'll start going out, like are the sides of my body feeling that outside my body?

[00:56:19] Like, how big is it around me? Is this, is this feeling? And then I won't try and change it. I'll just try to, non-judgmentally explore it and take a look at maybe the edges, the edges, where I don't feel that it sounds perhaps like a similar sort of thing, trying to feel in the other rooms where, where you're at.

[00:56:37] And I find if I try to change it, I'm not helping myself. Right. If I explore it, nonjudgmentally like interesting. Right? Like, and maybe in a cyborg robotic way. Right. Uh, but you try and strip that emotion out of it and explore the, uh, the perimeter of the edges. The natural Bri byproduct of that is you become a little bit more centered.

[00:57:02] Shaun Taylor: I think so. And, you know, I don't want to categorize that as something that is, is a tool that is only used when you're feeling the moment mm-hmm . Um, I think it's something that you can do constantly. And let me give you a good example, perhaps when I was coaching high performance, um, ultra endurance athletes, 24 hour solo mountain bike race.

[00:57:29] 24 hours of, of mountain bike racing and you know, no sleep, no stop. It's it's constant. Mm-hmm you're racing for 24 hours. Uh, you, you take food as you're racing, um, et cetera. So one of the things that I would have my athletes do, because it's something that I would do is we had, I would ask them to run an internal diagnostic and an external diagnostic as they were on the bike racing, 18 hours into it.

[00:57:57] What's your internal diagnostic. And that means you've gotta run a, a routine within yourself so that you can, um, check in with your emotional state. Uh, why are you racing in that moment? Do you understand your, why still clearly, or have you deviated from your, why are you now in a race within a race? So the race within a race, being that guy.

[00:58:25] Up on the horizon who kind of flipped you off as he went by. Are you now racing him? he he's. He's so unimportant in respect to a 24 hour racing event that you cannot afford to get emotionally distracted by someone who flipped you, the bird as they sped by, by the way, they're on a team. So they're only doing one lap, so they're fresh as a Daisy Uhhuh, but now you're wanting to chase that guy down cause he gave you some attitude.

[00:58:53] Mm. So internally you've always gotta be running that diagnostic and externally you've also gotta run that routine. So the, how are my hands and my gripping, my bar too tight. I'm at, what's my water status. What's my X, Y, and Z. So as you're moving your energy system around internally and externally, it has to be a practice.

[00:59:13] It has to be a process that after a period of time becomes normal or natural or a sub-routine that you don't have to keep triggering every one minute or every five minutes, you have to be present with yourself. Not just as you sit at a table as we are right now, but as you're executing hard tasks, that should be so distracting that you can't.

[00:59:42] Do an internal and external diagnostic, but at what point do you start becoming better at running an internal and external diagnostic in moments where things are tough, right? You gotta start somewhere. Right? So start today, start yesterday, working on an internal and an external diagnostic to better understand who you are in the moment right now.

[01:00:04] And in those moments, when things get tougher, of course, yeah. 

[01:00:08] Travis Bader: Now, or never was a time and it never, never . And it is never too late to stop and regroup. And that was a piece of advice that someone gave me a long time ago. And I thought that was a good one. Doesn't matter how far down you are on a path it's not too late to stop, regroup and make a different path for yourself.

[01:00:28] Shaun Taylor: Yeah. And you know, I think, uh, that's an interesting, uh, observation because. It, you know, that's one way of framing it, but how about this way? Um, it's not that you're at a, a branching point junction where, oh, I've gotta go left or I've gotta go, right. The path is the path. Mm. And the path is a straight line in, in, in an academic sense.

[01:00:49] You're, you're on a straight line. It's just that life tends to weave and wind and up and down and, and sometimes a little backwards, but the path is, is linear. It's you progressing, but as we see it, we're at all of these branching points and, oh, I've gotta make this hard decision and oh no. What do I do now?

[01:01:07] But really you're always moving forward. As long as you're your, your, your mindset is I'm pursuing forward momentum. Always. 

[01:01:19] Travis Bader: We were talking a little bit about, um, Sort of road rage. And I remember reading a study once about, uh, the correlation between the size of the place you live in your city, your town and the, uh, prevalence of road rage.

[01:01:34] And they said, once, if you live in a small town, somebody cuts you off, you know, like, oh, that's Edith, she's probably drunk again or whatever. Right. That's, somebody's out there. That's right. That's right. You can, you can humanize that other person. And the response is different. You get past that into a much larger place.

[01:01:54] And all of a sudden, it's just a bunch of faceless people and you're not looking at the individual. You're looking at the action of what happened. And quite often people are looking at it like the person's doing it against them. So I'm looking at that analogy and I'm thinking of somebody who's coming from a tier one background outside of that.

[01:02:13] Um, You when you're in there and one of your mates does something silly and you're like, oh, that's, that's just them. Right. And you can accept them for what they are. You come out of the army, you come out of your group that you're in and you're out into the big wide world. Do you find it difficult to, or did you find it difficult to, um, uh, make those human connections?

[01:02:39] Yeah, 

[01:02:40] Shaun Taylor: 101%. All 

[01:02:43] Travis Bader: right. like, I figured you would, but I figured it framed it that way. 

[01:02:47] Shaun Taylor: Just. I found it, I don't wanna say unimaginably difficult, but I found it extremely difficult when I left, uh, JTF two, um, you know, I was wearing my black, uh, outfit and high speed, low drag. Uh, I was a worn officer. Uh, you know, it was, it was kind of a big deal, I suppose, in the grand scheme of things.

[01:03:11] But then that evening I was standing at the Ontario police college as a civilian signing in as a use of force instructor to do that thing. And, and man, nobody knew what I, what I'd done or what I'd been up to, or, or knew anything about me. And, and so I kind of felt like I went from a million miles an hour to about three miles an hour.

[01:03:34] Mm. And, and then a year later, Uh, after I left the Ontario police college, and now I was fully a we'll call it a veteran or a civilian, or basically a nameless faceless person, myself wandering down the, the sidewalk, man. Nobody knew, uh, anything about me or what I was about. And, and that was kind of a strange time for me.

[01:03:55] It was a bit of a disconnect because, um, I felt like I had, uh, a lot of skills. I felt like I had a lot of this, that, or the other thing, but, uh, I couldn't talk to anybody about it. Mm-hmm of course it's not like I could lean over and say, uh, so this is what I used to do. Do you get any pro tips? Uh, so, so it was an unusual time for me, for sure.

[01:04:19] Um, and, and I think. And I, I, I might not have done an amazing job of working through that process. I just did my best without any guidance or without any self-help books or without a, what do you do when you get out of tier one from a secret organization that, uh, formally doesn't exist kind of thing, you know, there, right there, there was just no pro tip.

[01:04:43] So I just kind of did my best as I focused on forward momentum, but, um, over the years and more correctly over the decades, and it's only been fairly recently that I've come to the real realization of the point that I'm gonna make now and it, and it goes back to what I just wrote down there. And that's the sniper course.

[01:05:07] So you'd asked me, uh, a little earlier about kind of what did I do or how, how would you work through that? Or we're talking about failure and et said, or so. There's a number of things that I would do when times got tough or when I had to move through that failure rate or how to continue being we'll call it successful.

[01:05:28] Um, but one of the things that I didn't mention that is so important, and perhaps I didn't understand it at the time as well as I do now. And that is man, the guys around me. So the other snipers on the sniper course who were also facing all of those failures, who were also proceeding ahead and were there on my left and right.

[01:05:54] And, and there were all facing the same struggles. We were all moving together as a team. And even as guys failed on the course, because they're extremely, extremely tough shooting standards, even as guys dropped out, um, You, we were all learning together and evolving as a, as a organism towards success. And so when I left the teams or when I left the military, uh, I didn't have that same organism mentality where like-minded people were focused on excellence and were hard charging ahead with a, a mission purpose that wasn't as common in the civilian workplace, as I did a handful of careers, but now.

[01:06:45] Today as I sit here and over the last little while, I've been able to reflect back on all of that and realize that even today, as I'm answering this question, um, I'm, I'm partly reflecting on the good men and women before me, that I worked with who, uh, in this conversation I'm representing that they found ways to be excellent and they are still excellent human beings doing excellent things.

[01:07:12] And, um, it was because of the men to my left and right that I tried to do my best. I'd have done my best anyway. Right. But them being next to me was a higher responsibility for me to really pull up my socks and, and pull that load, not just for. But for the bigger team around me, that even the team that I didn't see at the time, I just wanted to bear the extra weight on behalf of those around me.

[01:07:47] And it draws the best out of you. Isn't that 

[01:07:49] Travis Bader: interesting how human nature is such that the, um, not the fear, but the, uh, the disin inclination to let other people down, uh, exceeds our own mm-hmm we might be prepared to let ourself down, like, am I gonna go to the gym today? Or am I gonna work out today? Nah, but you gotta meet your buddy.

[01:08:11] Well, I don't wanna let them down. They're waiting for me to come. Okay. I guess I'm gonna get out of bed and go to the gym. We're gonna go, whatever it might be. That's difficult. Isn't that interesting? It is. 

[01:08:19] Shaun Taylor: But I, I don't think it's a universal, um, phenomenon. I don't think it's every human. Okay. Feels that way.

[01:08:27] I think that every human can feel that way. It, I believe it comes down to whether they've been exposed to what it means to be in a high performance team. Mm. Now let's pretend for a moment as a thought experiment that, uh, you know, high school student comes up through high school and they don't play any team sports at all.

[01:08:47] And, uh, when they leave high school, they don't get any hobbies. They don't join any other teams. They're not in a bowling league or whatever. Uh, they just simply don't operate in that space. And so now who, who. what is their higher calling? They've only got themselves. So, so how do they interact, uh, to better understand that you should perform at a higher level for those around you to support the, the larger team around you?

[01:09:16] Well, if you weren't raised in it, then how do you understand that? I, I don't think you can. Mm, you, you certainly can't learn it through watching Netflix. And so, uh, for me, I was lucky coming up through the system through the, through my career path that not only, uh, was I, uh, taught it, uh, directly through osmosis.

[01:09:41] You understood precisely why you were there. It wasn't about you. It was about the team. Mm. And so, and I'm not just talking about JTF two, the team I'm talking about every subunit that I was involved in, every small team that I. Uh, I, I was a part of you were there for the team, not for yourself. And so I felt it always, all of us raised all of our boats simply by the fact that we were looking at all the boats around us, trying to stay up with the other boats and do our part to ensure that those boats, and it was a constantly raising situation as a small team.

[01:10:23] But you, you, you can't do your best if you've only ever been an individual. 

[01:10:31] Travis Bader: I agree. I agree. There's only, there's a limit to where you can go when you're only looking out after yourself. And I, I think I've talked about this before with others. It's um, you know, everyone says, well, you gotta work on you first.

[01:10:43] Right. I'm getting my me time in, right. Or whatever it might be, I think to a degree, maybe that's good, but you don't. I think when you are of service to others, or you put yourself in a position where you do have a higher calling or something else. You are not only, uh, representing yourself better, but you're helping others.

[01:11:04] Um, people who are having difficulty with, uh, mental health, let's say it. They're like, well, I gotta gotten some me time and I gotta work on me. Well, I find quite often that those individuals will get so wrapped up into themselves that they can't see anything else outside. And the second they start working outside of themselves is when they start coming together.

[01:11:24] Shaun Taylor: Yeah. And, and, you know, I'll use as I like to say, I'll use myself as a good bad example. um, I can use myself as an example in, in this instance and suggest that, um, you know, there was a time in my life and, and not too long ago where I was a little more focused on me rather than focused on the world around me.

[01:11:47] And, and that was because I was struggling with PTSD. Um, and, and I didn't know, I had PTSD. In fact, when I left the team's PTSD, wasn't a award. And so when I transitioned out of the, uh, JTF two, uh, my paperwork existed, uh, The back of a match book kind of thing. I didn't do anything. I didn't see anything.

[01:12:09] Never saw counselor never saw anything, never did anything. Mm. And so basically, as I sit in this seat right now, I I've kind of bumbed my way forward. Uh, if you will. So PTSD was an unknown thing to me, but when I got formally diagnosed with it, not too long ago, the great thing about that for me anyway, was say what?

[01:12:33] It's got a word and it's called PTSD. Awesome. Now I can sink my teeth into that. Now I know what I can execute against. And as is my way, uh, I started voraciously researching a path forward so that I could do my best. And, uh, speaking with people as I tried to do, who were wiser than me, which isn't hard to find.

[01:12:57] Um, and so I, I really decided to. Um, learn more about mental health and through that process of learning more about mental health, I bumped into characters like OI and that that exploring a larger world around me helped me understand, uh, a number of things. The first one would be. I'm not unique, nor are you, nor is anyone that we know mm-hmm , there is so much commonality from person to person in respect to, uh, mental health struggles.

[01:13:38] Mm-hmm mental health challenges. And, uh, it doesn't matter what uniform you wear or not. Mm-hmm , it doesn't matter whether you, uh, never leave your basement or not. Mm. None of those things matter. The reality is the commonality within the human condition is mind blowing mm-hmm . And so what to do about that?

[01:14:02] Well, as you've already stated, The tendency is when you're focused, just purely on yourself, you can kind of get lost in the white noise. The minutiae of, I don't wanna say woe is me. Mm-hmm , but you can really focus on the negative aspects. I agree of, of life and, and sure. You know, I'm, uh, there's probably a pile of people out there that can focus just on themselves and keep it all positive and, and, and rainbows and, and unicorns and, and so on and so forth.

[01:14:37] But I haven't met a whole lot of those mm-hmm I would suggest that a better way to do things is to try to be of service to something larger than yourself. And. Trying to help others is how I started my career being of service to others through the military. And, uh, that kind of became part of my DNA.

[01:15:00] And, and through the other careers that I've done, they've all been in step with that trying to be of service to others. And, and it's what I'm doing today. I'm just trying to be of service to others. And well, what does that mean? It, it means, um, seeing a world larger than just myself. Mm. And so one of the things that, uh, I've found, not just for me, but for a lot of people that I talk to, they make massive improvements in their life.

[01:15:33] Once they realize that they are surrounded by other people that they can interact with and become more awesome for it. 

[01:15:44] Travis Bader: You said that you didn't realize that you had PTSD. I think that's interesting. Mm-hmm I think that's interesting because I don't think you're alone in that sort of an area. I think there's a lot of people out there that might have suffer from, uh, one level of mental health or another on we're all gonna be at different points on the, on the scale here.

[01:16:06] Uh, but for people to understand what it looked like in somebody else might help them say, hold on a second, I'm seeing the same things or I'm having the same issues. Uh, I think the more that people are able to normalize and talk about these things, the more benefit it is for everybody. And when you talk about the human commit edition and the commonality in between you're right, I've talked to people, who've been diagnosed with PTSD, who don't come from a background of, of, uh, serving in police or military or fire, what have you, but based on their life experiences and their upbringing and their own human condition, they've, they've reached this diagnosis.

[01:16:48] what did it look like in you? What, how did you come to realize that you were, uh, dealing with PTSD? 

[01:16:54] Shaun Taylor: Mm that's a great question. And, you know, I think first of all, I should establish that my path would be unique from everyone else's path mm-hmm , and we're also unique in our path, but to bring it into more of a common terminology or common framework, I, I suspect that we all, as humans struggle from time to time.

[01:17:18] And so it would be a case of, for how long and how deep, uh, as a person struggling. And so for myself, I didn't, again, I didn't know the term PTSD. Mm. And it's, it's kind of a funny, not funny, but kind of funny story um, so my sister-in-law Irene, uh, came to Rosalyn here and was staying with us and. I came downstairs one morning after, you know, getting up at whatever time.

[01:17:52] And as I came down the stairs, she said, good morning, how are you? I said, good. How are you? And she said, how'd you sleep? I said, ah, you know, so, so what do you mean? And we kind of entered into that conversation of, so why didn't you sleep well? And, and I hit her with the classic, uh, just a bit of a nightmare.

[01:18:08] Oh yeah. Uh, what kind of a nightmare? Ah, no big deal. Um, well, you know, how often do you have nightmares every night? Mm uh, well, how long for the last couple of decades, right? Every night you've had nightmares and it chirp chirp, chirp. And so over the course of a five minute long conversation and my sister-in-law basically, I'm sure she was set up by my wife 

[01:18:34] Travis Bader: here.

[01:18:34] It comes out , which is 

[01:18:36] Shaun Taylor: a good thing. Sure. Totally is. It's a good thing. And, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Um, but. Through that conversation. I thought to myself, yeah, I suppose I've just been getting on with getting on and I've found a way to, uh, work with it or, or, um, still be a functioning member of society, still doing good things, still executing to the best of my ability and et cetera, I've done pretty well, but I gotta step outta myself for a second and realize if I can strip out some of these limitations such as not having nightmares every freaking night and not having my deep and REM sleep cycles constantly compromised and et cetera, cetera.

[01:19:33] Um, if I can work on that, then where would that take me? And what I had effectively done is. I'd normalized my, my nightmares, uh, to such a degree that they'd just become a part of me. Right. And, and, and it's not that I'd lost perspective on how I could do things better. Perhaps. I just, I, I didn't, maybe I didn't wanna face the fact that I was struggling to some degree because I, I was, I'm used to winning, right.

[01:20:10] Of course not losing. Right. and I chase failure, but I don't want to fail. Right. You know what I'm saying? Right. So the dichotomy of trying to live my best life and, and while maybe not wanting to face some of the things that would be down and dirty and gritty, which. Which is, uh, almost hypocritical since I've based a large chunk of my life on pursuing adversity or grittiness, but I maybe I just didn't want to deal with, uh, for it's a terrible term, but I'm gonna spit it out there because it'll make the point.

[01:20:47] I didn't wanna deal with my own weaknesses, but it wasn't weaknesses. It was just the life that I was living in the moment because I hadn't processed some of the things that I needed to process in order to. More awesome. Mm-hmm and you know, what more awesome means getting freaking good sleep every night.

[01:21:05] Totally. Which I do now. And so when, when sh it's not that she challenged me, but when she brought up this subject of Sean, you know, that that's not normal. Mm. Um, while I mentioned it to my family doctor, who I would see like once a year, and she said, what? And so we went into a conversation that turned into then about.

[01:21:27] Hours worth of conversations back and forth over a number of sessions where my awesome family doctor, uh, said, Hey, you know, we should take a look at this. We should maybe get it formally diagnosed. And, and then I was into, um, uh, B, C O SSI, if you know anything about them. Um, and, uh, spoke with a, um, psychiatrist mm-hmm , uh, over the phone, uh, on a, because this was during the pandemic at the start of the pandemic.

[01:21:56] And so during that, uh, uh, virtual conversation with her, uh, over a number of sessions, she said, Hey, look, uh, straight up PTSD. And I was like, whoa. So that's what it is. Cool. Interesting. And then my life got better really 

[01:22:15] Travis Bader: in which 

[01:22:15] Shaun Taylor: way? Well, because as soon as I had a label for lack of a better term, then I could learn more about it.

[01:22:23] Once I started learning, I started figuring out ways to do it better. And speaking with my family doctor and, and I'm not a guy who's ever done meds. Uh, I don't, I'm not into opioids or anything like that. Right. In fact, if I get banged up, I don't even like taking a Motrin or an aspirin. I just like to, I like to do it naturally.

[01:22:43] I don't, I don't, I've never done steroids. I like to do. I like to own my own path. I agree. And so, um, she recommended, uh, a medication to me. I was like, forget it, Andrea. I'm not a medication guy. Right. I'll never do that stuff. And over the course of, uh, um, a couple of, uh, back and forth, she. It's called prin.

[01:23:05] It is as common as aspirin. It's simply for high blood pressure, but one of her, uh, one of her friends, an associate who'd done a, uh, study on combat veterans in combat nightmares had suggested that there could be some positive outcome from, uh, this drug called pren and how it might strip out some of the nightmare aspect.

[01:23:28] And I was like, okay. Uh, and I bit down on my mouthpiece and I said, I'll give it a try. Okay. And that's the first me that I'd ever take. And, and that's the only me that I take. Yeah. Um, from, um, big pharmaceutical. And here's the thing, man. I, it, it's Sean. Hey, young Sean. You're such a jackass. um, here's the thing that the first night, bam gone really that quick.

[01:23:53] I like that. And, and, and I've never. Really had a nightmare since, uh, maybe one or two, that's it over the course of some time now. And listen, if I had a, a time machine that I could punch back two decades and start taking PreOn guess what I'd be taking really PreOn. And so, you know, what does that speak to?

[01:24:17] It speaks to my, um, not just stubbornness, but my stupidity of, of not accepting, uh, a little bit of medical intervention when, uh, it could have made a humongous change in my quality of life. I'd be a better person right now, uh, for it, if I could have taken prin two decades ago. Wow. Um, and, but at the time the person that I was before I took prin.

[01:24:48] Well, that was still me still making the best decisions that I could, right. Based on trying to be the best person I could be chasing awesomeness. Mm. Um, I made those decisions with good faith with myself. It wasn't cuz I was trying to, um, uh, I, I, wasn't trying to be my worst self. No, totally not. But at the time not taking anything made sense to me and at the time not talking about what I was struggling with, made sense to me and at the time having nightmares every night made sense to me.

[01:25:22] And so I guess one of the points I would be making is I I'm, I was I'm I'm a confident guy. I'm used to be, I'm used to running my own program. I'm I'm used to being independent. Uh, I'm used to some level of success in anything that I do. I like to run my own program. And if I could have just listened over the years to some good advice, predominantly from my wife, do who, who by the way is freaking amazing and, and, and saved me probably a number of times from my myself.

[01:25:59] Uh, not that I have any suicidal ideation or anything like that, but just kind of kept recalibrating me. I'd probably be way off the rails, if not for her, maybe. Um, but I'm not because she managed to like a little guardian angel, keep me on, on, on a good Ford positive path, but listening to my sister-in-law the right person at the right time at the right moment in that millisecond, my life changed for the better.

[01:26:30] Isn't it 

[01:26:30] Travis Bader: funny how we can get advice from one person and we take it differently than if we got it from somebody else. Correct. 

[01:26:36] Shaun Taylor: And, and not always. and, and by the right person, it could be the wrong person, just the right person at that time. Right. And, and, you know, it could be a person sitting on a bus bench mm.

[01:26:47] Waiting for the bus. Mm. And they just say the right thing at the right time. And you never see that person again, but they change the course of your life in a big way. If you can be 

[01:26:58] Travis Bader: open, that's it. I think you have to be receptive to it. You have to be open. Yeah. Yeah. I can think of two examples in my life.

[01:27:04] Just minor things. When I was a kid baseball, keep your eye on the ball, keep your eye, the ball. And I'm swinging. I can't hit it swinging and I can't hit it. Finally, someone says. Just watch the ball the entire time it comes through and watch it hit your bat and leave. Oh, that's what you mean by keep your eye on the ball.

[01:27:19] Right. Just a little bit of a reframing. Now I can hit the ball or, and I remember I was on a, a youngster, I think it was 12, 13 years old. I was doing a, a six week course at cadets and we at camp and I was dicking around like in 

[01:27:34] Shaun Taylor: Vernon. In Vernon. Yeah. Yeah. I did, uh, six weeks in Vernon, myself. Oh, did you really?

[01:27:38] Travis Bader: Yeah. Army cadets. Yeah. So I, I did, um, uh, several years there doing, I think this was a, uh, a rifle course. First time they had a, um, um, uh, a rifle course set up strictly and I moved from, they placed me in alpha company and he said, that's the one you want to be in. Cuz you're doing good. Right. And I know I wanna be in the rifles.

[01:27:56] Right. And so then they transferred me to Bravo. Like you're not listen, I want to be suit rifles. So anyways and there I was, uh, goofing around. I wasn't on that course. It was a previous one. And um, I. This guy comes up and he was a, a captain. He says, Travis, what are you doing? Oh, you know, just doing, doing the typical thing that I do.

[01:28:16] Right. And he says, well, if you're doing it, why, why not? Wouldn't it suck to do this course. It's been six weeks of your life and fail and have to recourse. Well, yeah, that totally suck. So if you're not gonna fail, why don't you just be the best? Right, right, right. Or try to, and that's the same thing that everyone in the past has said, you know, try your best, do your best, go away to do it.

[01:28:38] But for whatever reason at that time, that was a big life change for me. Okay. If I'm gonna put my time in and put my energy in, I'll try to be my best at it. So, but you have to be receptive and the right person. 

[01:28:49] Shaun Taylor: Yeah. And, and, and the right person, as I said, could be, could be just a random person sitting on a bus bench.

[01:28:57] But I would suggest, I would argue that it's rarely, that. And more correctly, it's often a person that you respect mm-hmm . And so one of the reasons that I find myself doing, um, social media nowadays, trying to do my best in, in a sense, or even this podcast right now is as we're talking, I'm trying to do my best just to be authentic and natural.

[01:29:25] But at the same time, I've got this veneer or this overarching theme that is constantly running through my, through my peanut. And that is, I gotta figure out a way to be able to, um, loosely inspire someone else out there to carefully listen to what we're talking about right now. And that is, um, not just do your best, but when, when, when it feels right when the right person says to you, Hey bro.

[01:29:58] you got this, but I know you got better. So go make a mark in the world. Mm-hmm however it's explained to you. Um, if, if you hear it, then execute against it. Don't don't let it blow by like leaves in the wind. I mean, yes. You, you, when you feel it, yes. Reach out and grasp it and hang on for the rest of your life.

[01:30:19] Yes. No matter how wild the ride gets, because that's the beautiful, uh, that's the beautiful journey. 

[01:30:25] Travis Bader: Yes. I, and I, you know, that's something in my life, just from a, a gut level, I get a gut feeling. I should do something. The second I get that feeling. I have to execute on it. Mm-hmm I know in the back of my head, if I don't, there's a reason why I had that feeling, whether I was conscious of that reason or not conscious of the reason I have to now move forward.

[01:30:46] Likewise. If somebody comes up. It makes a suggestion like you do, I'm gonna have to sit down really hard and analyze do I think there's value to that suggestion? And if there's a little bit of me that thinks there's value, okay. I'm gonna have to execute on that. Um, 

[01:31:01] Shaun Taylor: yeah. You know, you, you you'd said to, to me that when you're in cadet camp, someone said, Hey, well, you know, just do your best.

[01:31:08] I recall, uh, no names. I won't mention any names or what phase of my mil military career. It was, it was quite early. Um, but someone was barking at me barking at me, hard, uh, with a lot of F bombs as my name was dropped in between F bombs. Right. And, uh, was explaining to me in no uncertain terms that, um, I needed to get my act together and I needed to demonstrate my best effort.

[01:31:35] Mm. And if I did then good things would come of it. And if I didn't, then I would be off that course. Mm. And man, it was explained to me in a way that made sense at the moment. Right. And, and this is what my young military career mind took as the simple message, man. If I can do my best, maybe I'll be my best.

[01:31:58] Right. And, and that led to, you know, a lot of courses that I did, I'd be top candidate, uh, simply not because I was better than anyone else. It's just that I got it in my head that I had to do my best to be my best. And, and generally speaking, that would be the outcome mm-hmm , uh, you'd be topping a course or you'd be top through your, whatever.

[01:32:23] I, you know, the numbers aren't that important, but. What is important is you would see your best version of yourself at the end of that process. But that only came about because on the daily, I was executing against the task in front of me in the best way that I knew how, and over the course of a week, a month, a decade, the, the outcome was you were something that you could be proud of, I suppose.

[01:32:52] Travis Bader: So had that not happened in your early career there, and let's say no one else was able to get that message across in the same way. Would you see your life unfolding rather differently? Like, was that certainly I think so. Yeah. 

[01:33:03] Shaun Taylor: Yeah. I think so. But you know, the, the reality is, and, and to kind of reverse engineer your question, right?

[01:33:10] Um, it was inevitable that that moment was gonna happen, right? Because I'd put myself into a environment that. It was always gonna happen that I was always gonna be faced with someone who was going to challenge me in a right way for me to have a right outcome. Mm. And that, that wouldn't have happened if I would've, I don't know, chosen a different career, uh, where I wasn't surrounded by strong, competent, capable leaders.

[01:33:50] Mm-hmm if, if I would've gone down a different route, I wouldn't be the person that I am today. Mm-hmm , uh, because I wouldn't have been challenged in the same way. And I think what is important in that, uh, statement is for any young man or woman that's listening to this right now, we're, we're older, I suppose.

[01:34:08] Sure. If you're, if you're finding yourself where you're not challenged right now by your, uh, immediate surroundings, Maybe it's time to go find some people who will challenge you that aren't in your immediate surroundings, and I'm not suggesting you gotta start a new hobby or a new martial art, or you've gotta move to a new country.

[01:34:30] I'm just saying, start following people who are inspiring right. In, in a challenging way where you realize that there's levels to the game and that your baseline performance, though. Good can be better, right. 

[01:34:47] Travis Bader: Can always be better. It can always be better. Funny. Yeah. Um, you talked about the term PTSD is what you said when, you know, the term PTSD came to mind.

[01:34:57] Uh, I think it's one of these things that I've learned talking with others, the DSM, what are we on five now? I think 

[01:35:04] Shaun Taylor: it's five, five point, whatever. 

[01:35:06] Travis Bader: Right? So the term PTSD changes with time. It does, uh, and it devolves, as people are trying to get a grasp and they're trying to label these things and. Some people will clinging to labels in a way that's very productive.

[01:35:18] They say, okay, I can see this. This is good. And I can put a box around it. I can recognize when something's happening. I can make adjustments. And some people will clinging to labels and say, well, that's just me. That's my PTSD. And there's nothing I can do. I think there's, um, two very different types of personality types there, but it's really important to find the one that's gonna bring you to a more proactive level of awesomeness as you put, put there and you talked about meds.

[01:35:45] Um, and I know some people said meds, keep keeping me away from 'em. Other people say, no, there's a place for them. Uh, it's another area where I can see, uh, a lot of stigma. I don't want anyone to know that I'm doing meds. I don't, whatever I might be. Right. Um, I'm no doctor, but I would think that, uh, There's a time and place for meds, perhaps they shouldn't have the stigma that they do.

[01:36:13] Maybe there's a, when they talk about chemical imbalance, uh, I don't think anyone can qualitatively quantitatively say what the proper balance should be, but there is places where they can help. But I think that people still need to have, it's like going to physio. Okay. You're seeing the doctor, you got your surgery, you got your meds.

[01:36:32] You still have to have a process that you're working on physically and mentally. So you can get to a point of normalization where you don't don't have, don't have to have that. And normal is, is what, right? Like what is normal, if you're happy, if things are clicking in your. as abnormal as you might be if you're fitting in with your surroundings and others, and you're happy.

[01:36:54] Awesome. That then that's normal. Agreed. So a few, a few different thoughts on it. I don't really know about the med one though. Uh, I I'm with you, I'm in the same boat. Why would I want to do medication? Why want to alter my, my, my mind in a certain way, but I, there are some that would argue very strongly against me on that 

[01:37:11] Shaun Taylor: one.

[01:37:12] Yeah. So I'm gonna touch on that in a sec, but I want to go to, uh, a little bit of a different area that you raised and rightfully so, and I'm so thankful that you brought it up as a point of that conversation. And it was initial frustration of mine. When, when I started, um, becoming more involved in the, the mental, uh, mental health space, mental wellness, uh, in specifically with veterans, uh, first responders and law enforcement.

[01:37:44] now I'm not suggesting that this is, uh, widespread or, or it's, it's really common, but there is a, there is an element of, uh, that demographic that is struggling with mental health, where they have chosen to take on that label of, well, I've got PTSD and every day is, is night marriage. Right. And, and they've they've, and, and I'm not taking anything away from them, however long they've been in that, in that space.

[01:38:17] Um, you know, they're, they're doing whatever they're doing, but what I've found with some folks is they've, they've latched onto that title of right. And, and, and then that becomes 

[01:38:31] Travis Bader: them. Right. And it should never become you. You are not your correct condition, 

[01:38:35] Shaun Taylor: correct? Correct. And, and further to that point, They now gain some level of satisfaction with being that guy.

[01:38:45] Right. And it's a sick kind of, it, it's a, it's almost a perverse right. Approach to, uh, mental health where they're struggling with their mental health, but they're embracing the, the struggle as a good thing, rather than something that they need to work through to become a more awesome person. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I've spoken with individuals.

[01:39:13] I know of individuals who are continuing to slip backwards because they are not just latching onto the negative aspects of their mental health, but they are they're, they're, they're embracing it. It's it's their identity. Right. And they, they can't move beyond that negative identity because. It makes them feel good to be that person.

[01:39:41] Uh, it makes them feel good to be that guy or girl who is struggling so hard. And, um, man, I just, if anyone's in that position, I just wish they would listen to what I'm about to say. And. you can do better than that. You there's no need to slide backwards continuously. And if you can't see the, the necessity to move forward in a more positive manner for yourself, then start seeing it for the team around you.

[01:40:12] That is amazing. What, what better way to make yourself better than to try to be better for others so that they can see how much improvement you're making on the weekly, monthly, yearly decade path forward. You could be an inspiration. If you just in the next millisecond, flip it all on its head and start focusing on being a positive guiding leader, rather than staying immersed in that negative quagmire of a negative self identity.

[01:40:49] Travis Bader: That's almost like the perfect place to end a podcast too. that's that's amazing. Um, was there anything that we should be talking about that we haven't? I know we, we touched on your book there. I'm I'm looking up at my one camera and it's, uh, blinking at me for some reason. I'm wondering if it's reading the smaller card instead of the bigger card.

[01:41:10] So I'll, um, yeah, we'll, we'll make an adjustment if we need to Jack. 

[01:41:16] Shaun Taylor: Um, oh, there, there is. When you, we were. Talking about medication. There's one thing that I would like to add to that as well. Um, I also have a medical prescription for cannabis, so CBD and THC. So I'm on medical grade, uh, CBD and THC. And what I found for myself is that, uh, medical grade C B D makes a huge impact for me.

[01:41:44] Um, the endocannabinoid system, if, if you know anyone out there has never heard the term, I'd suggest you look into it. Um, there's certainly a lot of positives to cannabis. Mm. And for me, uh, in respect to, uh, inflammation or, um, you know, I, uh, I, I did have some. Physical trauma when I was in, on the tubes blowing up and stuff.

[01:42:10] And so I find that, uh, my brain fog is significantly reduced because of C, B, D, and THC. And, and I'm not like a, I'm not like a hippie that's partying up. Like there's no Tamora. I use it specifically. And, and with a science minded approach towards, uh, CBD and THC, uh, uh, on a minimum basis for a maximum effect throughout my day throughout my life.

[01:42:36] And so if, if someone out there is considering ways to either improve their mental health space or mitigate some of the negative thoughts that they're having, that is an option for, uh, interesting, a certain demographic. 

[01:42:51] Travis Bader: I know another tier one fellow who went over to Costa Rica to further explore, um, psilocybin and, and, and different effects on, uh, of the mushrooms and stuff for the, for the use of, uh, Uh, PTSD mm-hmm and, um, actually gave me a book to, uh, to read through and educate myself, which I think we mentioned before the podcast, I got about 30 books on the go right now, all of them at different places.

[01:43:17] Some might start in the middle, some at the beginning, I'm somewhere in that book. So if he's listening I'm, I am making my way through that, but, uh, 

[01:43:25] Shaun Taylor: well there, so I, I too believe in that as well. And, and I've been down to south America for a number of variety of reasons, work and pleasure. And, and while I was down there, I, I got involved in, in a, uh, experience, uh, with iowaska and San Pedro cactus, uh, that was quite beneficial, uh, a unplanned thing and probably less structured than it should have been but, uh, you know, that's an entirely different story sure.

[01:43:52] Itself, but in respect to psilocybin, um, I have, um, I won't say experimented, but I have considered it. Uh, in a, in a number of ways over a period of time. And so I have microdosed psilocybin over the last. Nearly 20 years, certainly last 15 years, for sure. Yeah. It's been helpful. Uh, it's very helpful.

[01:44:16] Interesting by, by microdosing, if anyone's listening out there, uh, I mean like 0.2 grams of, uh, psilocybin scaled out on a very precise measurement. I'm I'm not the kind of guy who throws caution to the wind when it comes to these kind of things. Right. Um, I, I think that they're for the right person at the right time under the right conditions.

[01:44:38] I think there's benefits to plant medicine, for sure. 

[01:44:41] Travis Bader: That's interesting. Cause I always thought that the idea behind that. I, I remember reading an article and they said if a person was knocked unconscious and they were given the psilocybin and then they're woken up afterwards, would they have the same positive effects that they're finding in these studies, if they didn't actually experience anything?

[01:45:04] And the answer was no. And that these people actually needed. Was it the set and the setting? I think they right. Set setting. Yeah. And they needed to have that experience in order to have the positive effects later on. 

[01:45:16] Shaun Taylor: Um, yeah. Yeah. I, I, I, I think you're right. It you're, and you're right to raise the point.

[01:45:21] I don't believe it's, you cannot just simply Bumble into this thing and, and flip a coin. Now it's heads, then I'm gonna go with this dose instead of that dose. And it's gonna happen right now instead of plan tomorrow. There it's something that should be treated with due caution. Mm. Uh, but it should be considered as a positive, rather than a negative.

[01:45:44] And to think of it as a positive, you have to consider it more fully rather than just, uh, well, let's see what happens.

[01:45:54] Travis Bader: oh man. Okay. Um, Maybe your book. Did you want to touch on that a little bit? 

[01:46:01] Shaun Taylor: Sure. I can touch on it. And, and I will start by saying, first of all, that the book kind of came about, um, unexpectedly and it was because S had come into Rosalind so that we could meet and hang out a little bit. And through a process, we ended up recording for over the course of seven days.

[01:46:25] Uh, uh, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, we recorded 25 hours of audio on a number of subjects leadership and this, that, and the other thing. And, uh, SEP says there's a lot of gold in. and, and I mean, anything that sub's involved in is gonna have gems. So , um, and at, at the end of it, I said, so what do we have here?

[01:46:46] Because I wasn't really clear on what we were doing and per se mm. And he said, this is a book that you're looking at. And I said, okay, that's cool. Um, and so since then, uh, there has been a, uh, transcriber involved and there has been an editor involved. And as you know, the process takes some time. It does.

[01:47:08] Yeah. I've, I've done a book myself in the past and an unrelated field, which, uh, is important. And so the, the process takes time. Here's where I'm at with it right now. And, and perhaps said is at the same point as well. We, we were gonna talk this week, but we haven't got around to it since I came back from Europe.

[01:47:27] Um, In my opinion, whether it turns into a book or whether it turns into a cartoon series is, uh, is less important to me than the process. And so those 25 hours of audio recorded material were extremely important for seven. I, to not only gain a, an extremely strong relationship just as you and I are doing right now, when we first started recording this.

[01:47:58] And now as we come towards the end of it, our relationship is better because we've shared some moments together. We've in real time. Yes. Got to know each other. Yes. Well that's what seven Andi did over those 25 hours of recorded material. I, I think of him as a brother right now. Yeah. From another mother.

[01:48:14] For sure. He's an awesome dude. He is, but I wouldn't have thought. Uh, pre 25 hours of, of, of that recorded week. And so, uh, I'll go to the ends of the earth for that guy. And, but I couldn't have said that before we shared all of that time together. So what, what will it turn into it's anyone's guess? But what it's already achieved for me is, is a home run that's for sure.

[01:48:41] And so perhaps it will be leaked audio in conjunction with some visuals. Uh, we'll see where it all goes again. It's unimportant to me where it goes. I know a lot of people are, are really tugging on my sleeve and saying, when's the book. I gotta read the book. The book's gonna be awesome, et cetera. And perhaps, and I'm not sure when, but if it doesn't turn into a book, uh, make, make no mistake, EV it was worth every minute and good will come of 

[01:49:12] Travis Bader: it.

[01:49:13] I really like that approach, not just to a project or making a book. An approach to life. Yeah, 

[01:49:19] Shaun Taylor: for sure. And, and by the way, one of my central themes throughout my life, uh, actually since, um, I joined the military is turning things into tenure programs or tenure projects. And when I turned 52, I started a tenure project called BJ J and, uh, I'd been doing martial arts.

[01:49:39] Till that point for about, I think 32 ish years or something like that. And, uh, so yeah, 32 years, I'm now plus 40 years of, uh, martial arts. Wow. But when I turned 52 that week, I tied on a white belt in BJ because I was gonna start a new project. And how I frame things is it's a 10 year project. I'll see where this goes.

[01:50:00] I'll give it my best effort. And at the end of those 10 years, I'll, I'll reassess. Now I know how it's gonna go. Mm-hmm as it does with all of my projects. Yep. I'm 12, I'm 15, I'm 18 years into it at that point because man, if you put yourself into something, if you commit to something somewhere along the way, you'll realize the value of commitment and you'll realize why you committed to that thing.

[01:50:23] And then the rest takes care of itself. 

[01:50:26] Travis Bader: Sean. I think that's a great way to wrap it up before this light keeps blinking. I'm sure it's, it's getting faster and faster. It must mean something. 

[01:50:33] Shaun Taylor: It does. it means we're we're reaching peak awesomeness peak. 

[01:50:37] Travis Bader: Awesome. Thank you very much for opening up your home.

[01:50:40] Thank you so much for being on the silver core podcast. I really had a great time chatting with you. 

[01:50:44] Shaun Taylor: It was all my pleasure. Believe.

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