Mental Toughness Podcast - TOUGH TALKS: Conversations on Mental Toughness

Conversations on Mental Toughness

Most of us never learned how to train our brains, which is why most of us needlessly settle, struggle and worse – suffer.  My name is Chris Dorris and I want to make Brain Training mainstream.

This is my podcast TOUGH TALKS:  Conversations on Mental Toughness.

I’m interviewing badasses from all walks of life, on what Mental Toughness means to them, and their unique approaches to strengthening their mind.

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TOUGH TALKS: Abracadabra! with John Patrick Morgan

ABRACADABRA! Do you know what that word actually means? I didn’t either until our guest broke it down for us in today’s “Magical” conversation.
His name is JP Morgan. He’s a Philosopher. Yeah, you heard it. A Philosopher. When’s the last time you met a Philosopher?

TOUGH TALKS: An Inside Look at the Mental Game of Ultramarathoning with Ryan Lange

WOW! What a special treat! We get the complete insider’s perspective on what it’s like to prepare for, execute and learn from a 100 mile Ultramarathon from the RaveRunner, Ultramarathoner, Ryan Lange!

TOUGH TALKS: Normalizing the Miraculous with Devon Bandison

Now, what if we were able to view life in such a way that the things that matter FAR more to us than being able to effectively change a channel on the TV could become equally “normal?” Like, the creation of our biggest visions and dreams for ourselves just became pretty normal.

TOUGH TALKS: The Unwritten Rules of Women’s Leadership with Helen Appleby

When Helen Appleby was a kid her dad told her, “girls can do anything boys can do.” But what he didn’t tell her about (because he didn’t know – because he was a man) were all the unwritten rules about being a woman in leadership.

TOUGH TALKS: Using Powerful Perspective to Turn Tragedy into Mastery. with Brian Bogert

Play this one in slo-mo, Folks. Really. Endless mic drops. I couldn’t take notes fast enough. I asked him to repeat himself about 15 times but wanted to do so about 45 times. Brian Bogert is our guest today and he teaches us how to be moved by tragedy into profound action AND how to avoid suffering by embracing pain. Buckle up!

TOUGH TALKS: Sex and Mental Toughness with
Dr. Amy B. Killen

What does Sexual Health have to do with Mental Toughness? Or, what does Mental Toughness have to do with Sexual Health? And which comes first? These are just a few of the several fascinating questions we explore in today’s episode of Tough Talks with our guest, anti-aging and regenerative medicine physician, Dr. Amy B. Killen

TOUGH TALKS: How To Double Your Income and Happiness by Focusing on LESS! with David Wood

If making way more money by doing LESS sounds appealing, then tune in. This is David’s THIRD appearance as a guest on Tough Talks. He’s just that good

TOUGH TALKS: You CAN Have It All!!! with Walt Hampton

Yes, you CAN have it all!

Walt Hampton is a former litigation attorney turned high-altitude mountaineer, ultramarathoner, author, speaker, and Executive Coach.

He has the highest vibe EVER! His enthusiasm is childlike and contagious. You CANNOT listem to this guy for any length of time and not feel PUMPED!

TOUGH TALKS: Are You Spiritually Malnourished? Dr. Daniel Harner

Dr. Daniel Harner is a former traditional Psychotherapist who has shifted to what he refers to as Psycho-Spiritual Mentoring. A couple of the things I love about Daniel is his genius and his ability to dumb it down for us.

TOUGH TALKS: Failure’s Not An Option! with Jeff Nyce

30 years as Commander and 4500 SWAT Operations in his career prepared Jeff Nyce to respond with infinite Mental Toughness when told he has terminal cancer and one year to live.

TOUGH TALKS: Why Cope When You Can Heal?! with Dr. Mark Goulston

Most psychiatrists want to push meds on people to treat their trauma. Not this guy. He wants to help folks activate their internal pharmacy to help them not only survive but to ultimately thrive.

TOUGH TALKS: About Face Yourself.
with Jason Flores

While on Holiday in Iceland in 2016, a blood vessel in Jason’s brain ruptured and almost killed him. It did partially paralyze him, but it sure as hell didn’t stop him from creating a life of service as a result of it.

TOUGH TALKS: Conscious Reggae! with Ryan Perez

This guy has been training his mind since 2003 when he was a competitive golfer. He has never had a job (unless you count the half of a shift he worked at a soft-serve yogurt joint) and instead has always followed his bliss.

TOUGH TALKS: RESILIENCE!!! with Dr. Taryn Marie Stejskal

She defines Resilience as the ability to allow any challenge to ENHANCE you.
She enlightens us to three myths about Resilience and clarifies the truth for us.
She also describes for us the 5 Practices of Particularly Resilient People (based on her research).

TOUGH TALKS: Psychic Downloads, Magical Creatures and Mental Toughness
With Colleen Gallagher

Want to learn how to do “Psychic Downloads” and access “Divine Intelligence”? I recommend you do, because by the sounds of it, skill sets like these can make life a helluva lot easier and simpler.

TOUGH TALKS: Connectedness, Guerrilla Warfare and Eating Live Locusts
With Ret Green Beret, Dr. Joseph E. Long

They say that The Green Berets are the smartest and most lethal fighters in the world. Our guest today is one of them and he’s here to tell us why connectedness, of all things, is critical to success in Guerrilla Warfare and in Executive Leadership (he has a Ph.D. in that, by the way).

TOUGH TALKS: Chainsaws, Tragedy Magnets and Mental Toughness! with Col. (Ret) Deb Lewis

Today we get to hear what Mental Toughness means from Deb Lewis, a retired Army Colonel who was in the first class at West Point that ever accepted women, survived the 9/11 attack on The Pentagon, and teaches people (predominantly, but not exclusively women) how to leverage stress.

BEST OF: Tough Talks 4!

This week we have put together another highlight reel from 9 more of our amazing guests who blessed us with their presence and amazingness on the show.

TOUGH TALKS: Borrowing The Mentality of Winners! with Dre “All Day” Baldwin

What if you didn’t need anything to be different in order to be a Micahel Jordan or a Richard Branson? What if you could simply CHOOSE to be that personality and act the way these winners act and create excellence for yourself from that way of being?!

TOUGH TALKS: The Loving Service Side of Mental Toughness with Meredith Bell

Some people use the term “soft skills” in reference to certain leadership competencies. Meredith Bell makes fun of that term. “There’s nothing “soft” about having the courage to have challenging conversations and proactively asking your people for their input on how you can more effectively lead them!

TOUGH TALKS: I’m Actually Interviewing a Psychotherapist! with Bea McKay

I don’t always make fun of traditional psychotherapy, but when I do, it’s usually because it takes too long.

Now I don’t know if she’s “traditional” or not, but our guest today is definitely a psychotherapist. And she gets results FAST. Which is what really caught my attention.

TOUGH TALKS: Cracking the Coconut
with Ankush Jain

Ankush is wizardly smart. And funny. He reminds us that stress is NOT our default state – that we must learn to stress ourselves out, in fact. And he teaches us how to begin the process of “cracking the coconut” or breaking open our faulty beliefs that would have us feel stress in the first place.

TOUGH TALKS: Busy is Lazy with Craig Gore

You heard it. He said it. “Busy is Lazy!”

Craig is a recovered workaholic turned Freedom Coach. He’ll explain what he means by all of that.

BEST OF: Tough Talks 3!

This week we have put together another highlight reel from 9 more of our amazing guests who blessed us with their presence and amazingness on the show.


This week I have decided to switch it up a bit by flying solo. In other words, our Tough Talks guest today is me. I felt particularly compelled to share with my Tough Talks Tribe some thoughts I’ve been having recently on the relationship between Mental Toughness Training (aka, Emotional Mastery Training) and racism.

TOUGH TALKS: Mental Toughness Marine Style with Robby Dinero

To Robby Dinero Mental Toughness is doing what needs to be done regardless of circumstance.
“Pain isn’t the problem,” he says. “Your thinking that it’s a problem is the problem, so suck it up!”

TOUGH TALKS: The Grace of Cancer with Veronica Villanueva

“Sweetie, you have cancer. Stage 4 lung cancer. And you have 6 months to live.”
That’s not an uncommon story. But the way that “V” chose to respond to it is a powerful lesson not only to anyone who is fighting an illness, but also to us ALL on how to choose to live – really live.

TOUGH TALKS: That’s When The Training Takes Over with USMC Major Alan Zygowicz

He was a Major in the Marines as a helicopter pilot from 1969-1974 and flew missions getting soldiers out of Vietnam in 1972.
He was a Special Agent in The Secret Service for 25 years.
He’s an expert at Gracie Jui Jitsu.

TOUGH TALKS: Life is Magic with Jon Dorenbos

Meet Jon Dorenbos. His father killed his mother when he was 12. And after doing the work to heal from that tragedy he has become a super successful professional football player, a master magician, a competitor in the finals of America’s Got Talent, and is a regular guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

BEST OF: Tough Talks 2!

It’s as important as ever to choose to consume content that helps inspire you AND that strengthens your immune system. Here’s some of that.

BEST OF: Tough Talks!

We’re at our 45th Tough Talks Episode!!! And you know what that means? You do know what any respectable podcaster does at the 45th episode, right? Of course, you do! Who doesn’t know that? They do a HIGHLIGHT REEL of the first 44!

TOUGH TALKS: Mic Swap, a Deep Dive into ALL-IN! and the Power of Decisions

So we turn the mics around today and have former TT guest, Jason Goldberg, do the interviewing. So CD is the guest today as Jason grills him on all things Mental Toughness. As expected, JG delivers with depth and humor.

TOUGH TALKS: What Will 40 Days In Absolute Silence Get Me? with Marieta Oslanec

Marieta Oslanec was bullied as a kid and eventually moved to The USA from Slovakia in her youth with $700 to her name speaking no English. Now she travels the world doing silent retreats to connect with The Collective Unconscious and writes books on how to strengthen your inner genius and uplift humanity and coaches Conscious Entrepreneurs and who knows what else cool?! I say we go find out!

TOUGH TALKS: Billy Woodmansee, the EnterTrainer

Billy is a relentless student of life who is completely addicted to his personal and professional and spiritual development. He is a high-viber and attracts amazing people into his life as a result.
He’s like a “Gym Guru.” Really. When he’s training his client’s, whether they realize it or not, in addition to their bodies growing more fit, so are their souls.

TOUGH TALKS: Prison Break, with Jason Goldberg

You in the mood for a good laugh, or 10? If so, you’re in luck, like an upside-down duck (that’ll make sense in a minute).
We have THE Jason Goldberg on the show today. Jason is an author, speaker, coach and rapper. Yep. He even opened for Wu Tang Clan. He also calls himself a Humorizer of Life. For good reason.

TOUGH TALKS: Hope Lewellen, Converting Tragedy Into Excellence

In 1989 she lost her leg in an accident at work. She was working as an aircraft mechanic and a 767 wide body was rolled over both her legs. She spent six and a half months in the hospital. Then she became a professional athlete and Paralympian. But only in three different sports!

TOUGH TALKS: Don’t DIS my ABILITY! with Joe Trevors

Meet Joe Trevors, firefighter turned Mindset Coach.
This guy was the badass tough guy who would make fun of you if you suggested he ever meditate or try “breathwork” and now he relies on techniques like these to heal his trauma.
He has a fascinating and refreshingly healthy perspective on turning some mental “disabilities” into superpowers.

TOUGH TALKS: Deliberate Inspiration with THEE Godfather of Coaching! with Steve Chandler

This guy is the best speaker I have ever seen and heard. And he’s won numerous awards for it. He’s also written about 40 books that have been translated into over 25 languages. He is funny as hell. Sneaky funny. You listen to this guy and you laugh as you learn. I am so super pumped to bring you THEE Godfather of Coaching!

TOUGH TALKS: I’m Home Wherever I’m At with Gary Mahler

He’s a peaceful warrior. That’s a really great way to describe him. He’s so quietly confident and sincere that you find yourself wanting him to cut into you with his supportive scalpel so you can free yourself from the dead weight of your false beliefs that hold you back.

TOUGH TALKS: You Don’t Have to Be Ruthless to Win, with Jonathan Keyser

Want to learn (or, more accurately speaking, remember) the greatest business model of all time (that doubles as the greatest LIFE model of all time?

If so, tune in for our guest today, Jonathan Keyser.

Professionally, JK was a typical ruthless dirtbag competing in a cut-throat industry doing whatever it took to win. Then he had an epiphany and completely transformed his approach to succeeding. And he did it through selfless serving.

It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened. His company is wildly successful and he attributes it all to what we’re about to discuss right now

TOUGH TALKS: The Greatest Human Superpower! with Darren Gold

This guy just blew my mind. I spent most of the interview taking notes!

He is a self-declared student of leadership, which straight out of the chute I ask him to define – and you’ll love his brilliant response.

We talk neuroscience, existentialism, and skillful self-delusion. And Steph Curry.

TOUGH TALKS: Wicked Tuna’s Capt. Marciano

Whether or not you’ve ever seen the wildly successful National Geographic TV show, Wicked Tuna, you’re gonna love our guest today.

Captain Dave Marciano, one of the show’s most recognizable stars, joins us today for a conversation on STAR WARS, evil bananas and Sponge Bob! Oh, yeh, and a little bit about the psychology of being a commercial fisherman.

You’re gonna love this dude!

(We may or may not have dropped a few F-Bombs, by the way, so…)

TOUGH TALKS: Stress Makes You Fat, Sick and Stupid! with Laura Jane Bolton

Stress is the #1 killer on the planet, and it’s not only emotional stress. In our dialogue, Laura explains how physical and even chemical stress contribute to our toxicity. AND, she gives us a couple real practical, simple and profound practices to drastically reduce that stress and detoxify so we can the badasses we are meant to be.

TOUGH TALKS: Francis Piché, Mindset Coach – Resilience

Join us in a conversation about how all of us are designed for excellence and let Mindset Coach, Francis Piche, take us through the 5 C’s of creating a bad ass life: Clarity, Conviction, Certainty, Commitment and Courage.

TOUGH TALKS: Garrett Richards, Converting Adversity Into Fuel

Garrett is one of the more humble professional athletes you can meet and he is also one of the most resilient. He has had several reasons to cave, but instead, he decides to take the “roadblocks” and use them as fuel from which to grow.

TOUGH TALKS: Sumukh Setty
Empowering a Generation of Leaders

He immediately astonished me because of his willingness to so confidently occupy a level of leadership and contribution at the young age of 19. I knew immediately that I wanted him on the show. You’re going to love his vibe, his intellect, his humility, his heart, his leadership and his passion/mission.

TOUGH TALKS: Ashok Thakur
Love Radiator and Magnet

“WHO is this raw mass of unbridled brown energy, seething with sweat and love, this oozing cloud of kinetic inspiration dripping with openness and laughter?

TOUGH TALKS: Carolyn Freyer-Jones
Executive and Personal Coach

In our conversation today, CFJ drops a handful of wisdom bombs that will definitely serve you in your professional and personal lives. For example: “Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s moving forward with it.”

TOUGH TALKS: Dr. Alison Arnold, Ph.D.
Mental Toughness Coach
Founder Of Headgames

How many people do you know that have spent 3 months in a Nepalese Monastery, then followed that up with another month in a Thai one, 3 weeks in The Amazon in Peru and another 2 weeks in silence at a California retreat to process it all? Oh, and who trains the brains of Olympic medalists and NCAA Champion gymnasts?

TOUGH TALKS: Dr. Fred Blum
Energy Rich Living – Episode 2

In today’s dialogue, we take a deep dive into what it means to be “Energy Rich” or “Energy Poor”

TOUGH TALKS: David Wood – Volume 2

We discuss the 4 reasons why most of us DO NOT live our best lives. He calls them the 4 Villians. And, naturally, we finish with the antidote – the 4 Heroes.

TOUGH TALKS: Stephen McGhee, Vol. 2
Leadership Guide, Speaker and Author

This week we have our first ever repeat appearance by a guest. We have the amazing Stephen McGhee back for Episode 2. And, I wanted to bring this guy back because he’s just so powerful and I wanted to have another conversation with him, but this time about the magic that he’s creating currently as a Leadership Guide, International Speaker and Author.

TOUGH TALKS: Dr. Fred Blum
Transformational Coach And Trainer

We’re going for a deep dive here today, folks, into the core of the human experience with a New York style Monk who has studied around the planet with great minds and mentors.

International Coach and Speaker

Are you ready to PLAY today?! Because that’s exactly what you’re about to do, and exactly what you’re about to watch me and today’s Tough Talks guest, David Wood, do.

TOUGH TALKS: Stella Reid, aka “Nanny Stella”

How many people do you know that have not only starred on a major reality TV show but have also been spoofed on South Park?!?! Well, I know one and you’re about to meet her. Her name is Stella Reid, aka, “Nanny Stella” of Nanny 911

TOUGH TALKS: Stephen McGhee
Leadership Guide, Speaker and Author

Who gathers a group of six NON-mountaineers, trains them mentally and physically for a year and then climbs the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere with them? For personal and professional growth reasons. Who DOES that?!

TOUGH TALKS: Kelly Noonan Gores – Writer, Director, Producer

One of the most important reasons to strengthen the mind is because of it’s instantaneous, inextricable and profound relationship with the body. In fact, with the quantity and quality of emerging scientific research these days on the mind-body relationship, I predict there’ll be a new, condensed word soon for “mind-body relationship” and it’ll simply be mind-body.

TOUGH TALKS: Mike Haynes
NFL Hall Of Fame

What an impressive guy, this Mike Haynes. And that he’s an NFL Hall of Famer is NOT the top reason why.

TOUGH TALKS: John Toomey
SVP North America Sales, NICE Systems

Our guest today is a man who definitely walks his talk when it comes to fortifying his mind and living powerfully. You hear it clearly in his language. This talk is chock-full of laughs and valuable takeaways. You’re gonna love John!

TOUGH TALKS: Taylor Stone Holistic Nutritionist,
Life Coach and former NFL Cheerleader

Taylor’s work far transcends (but most definitely includes) nutritional coaching in her work with women. She refers to herself as a healer (rightfully so) and integrates emotional detoxing and instilling massive self-love and confidence and exercise coaching in her efforts to help women get out of the victim mindset so they can own and create a life they love.

TOUGH TALKS: Angela Meryl
Model, Actress & Stuntwoman

It isn’t every day that I get to interview a famous Hollywood Stuntwoman! But I did today. Angela Meryl is our badass guest for this episode and we discuss the unlikely journey she’s had as a model/actress/stuntwoman.

TOUGH TALKS: Mike Garrick
Wholistic Wellness Expert

Wow! THAT didn’t go the way I thought it would. It went way better. Today’s episode of Tough Talks turned into an impromptu coaching session on making, keeping (or not) and learning from your (sometimes broken) commitments. And that wasn’t even our planned topic du jour.

TOUGH TALKS: Julie Bauke
Career Strategist, The Bauke Group

The vast majority of people polled report being dissatisfied with their jobs. Far from in love with them. And “job” is the place where most of us spend most of our lives. Our guest today is Chief Strategic Career Advisor at The Bauke Group, Julie Bauke. Julie is a no nonsense, self-proclaimed “Fierce Advocate” for not settling but rather for proactively co-creating your ideal vocation.

TOUGH TALKS: Adam Archuleta
Former NFL Star, Current NFL Host

Adam knew from early youth that he wanted to be a professional American Football player. That’s true for a lot of kids. But one of the distinguishing factors about Adam is that he skipped over hoping and wishing and got straight into deciding.

J’Lein Liese, Ph.D.

How has my life been impacted because of the world that I live in? How do I want to impact the world because I have lived in it? Dr. Liese is an international expert in leadership, strategy execution, communication, change management, and conflict resolution. She works extensively in acute-conflict areas. Most recently, in the Middle East and previously throughout Africa.

Chuck Bushbeck – Coach, Speaker & Author

Our guest for today’s Tough Talks episode is Chuck Bushbeck. Chuck is good ole’ North Philly boy, born and raised. He’s a former professional football player, current Life Coach, Inspirational Speaker, a Scout for the California Angels MLB team, Television show host, author and has written a soon to be released documentary, Quiet Toughness.

Chuck has defeated both cancer AND serious heart disease and he brings us some compelling stories of how he combined his own versions of Mental Toughness and mind control with western medical treatment to restore himself to perfect health.

TOUGH TALKS: Ryan Lange – Ultramarathoner

Get ready to be mind-blown by this cat. He’s an Ultramarathoner (not just your typical run-of-the-mill normal 26.2 mile marathon runner – he’s an ULTRA one). That means he does things like runs 240 miles in 86 hours and change. He runs 50 miles without ever stopping! And he only started running three years ago. Because he was fat. And got tired of it. And he’s 20. Years. Old.

TOUGH TALKS: Devon Bandison – Coach, Author & International Speaker

I like to think of Devon as the Queens, NY version of a hybrid of Yoda and Mark Twain. He is a lifelong student of the mind and a masterful storyteller. In our conversation today, he shares with us several powerful and accessible disciplines and practices that we can use day to day to strengthen the way we use our minds, create more joy and be more successful.

TOUGH TALKS: Jeff Ritter, CEO of Make the Turn

Jeff has always used the game of golf as a vehicle through which to teach people of all ages how to LIVE more powerfully. He’s a successful international corporate speaker, TV personality, master story teller, and author of the book, Your Kid Ate a Divot: 18 Life Lessons From The Links. He’s hysterical and insightful. And you don’t need to be a golfer to get a ton of value out of this dialog.

TOUGH TALKS: Vince Temperino VP, Sales at One Concern

In this episode of Tough Talks our guest was Regional Vice President of Sales at Cloudera, and currently is VP, Sales at One Concern, and big ass dream ranch owner, Vince Temperino. Vince loves discipline, not necessarily in the militaristic sense, but certainly in the “Let’s just go ahead and crush it at life” sense. Vince is so fun to listen to because he never lost his childlike enthusiasm and he brings that into everything he experiences in life.

TOUGH TALKS: Amy Slater of Amy Slater Consulting

Amy was a super successful Sales Team Leader/Executive with a very solid and safe income until the perfect catastrophe occurred. Because of her Mental Toughness, she was able to instantly begin to leverage her “misfortune” into her dream life.

TOUGH TALKS: David Earhart, President & GM, One Identity

I’m blown away by this man’s ability to choose peace amidst chaos.

TOUGH TALKS: Bill Giruzzi “Solving the Unsolvable”

Earth Day, April 22nd, 2040 will mark the End of All Human Suffering caused by our current way of life…

TOUGH TALKS: David Jack of

David has served as fitness guru for the Katie Couric show and as a top training adviser for Men’s Health Magazine.

We transcend typical exercise dialog and DEEP dive into his fascinating, super strong faith based take on what “Mental Toughness” really means.

TOUGH TALKS: Jon Hunter, Chief Revenue Officer at Micro Focus

Jon is a lifelong student of the mind, of historic leaders like Marcus Aurelius and is a practitioner of Tae Kwon Do.
In this interview find out why the Enterprise Software industry is the most competitive industry on the planet today, why it attracts so many former and current athletes, and why Mental Toughness is THE variable that will determine if sales folks in the industry make “lifestyle changing money” or go home broke.

Tough Talks on Apple Podcast