joe de sena

Joe De Sena on How to Teach our Kids Work Ethic and Mental Toughness

Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan Race, bases his company on the foundation that we, as humans, cannot really reach our full potential until we have gone through struggle. It’s what he calls “purposeful suffering”. Coming from a childhood where he had to learn, on his own, how to make it, Joe De Sena firmly believes his success has come from this purposeful suffering philosophy.

As we’ve seen many times before on the GDP, some of the greatest success stories have come out of a poor upbringing or incredibly challenging circumstances. But there are lessons to be learned from these situations.

Joe De Sena on an “Attitude of Gratitude”

We are the creator, not just the product of our environment. Teaching your kids that their circumstances do no define them empowers them to face obstacles they will certainly come across in their adult lives. Instead of being a victim of circumstance, help your child, and yourself, adopt an attitude of gratitude. While the situation may be difficult, find the growth opportunity.

Joe De Sena on the value of “Delayed Gratification”

Delayed gratification. Joe tells a great story of how his desire for greater things helped him turn down opportunities for instant gratification, and thankfully, his actions paid off. By showing our kids that putting off an immediate want for something greater, we are giving them the gift of patience and teaching them to plant the seeds for their future goals.


Enough said. The success stories on the GDP are not from overnight successes-those are few and very far between. The true successes, the ones that get to the marrow, are those that are had from great sacrifice and tenacity. When we teach kids that they can conquer obstacles they did not think they were capable of conquering, we provide opportunities to build their self-confidence and lay the foundation for them to reach their full potential.

Of course, these lessons take time to teach, and we may need to learn them ourselves, first, but they are critical for survival in this world. Instead of handing our kids everything they desire and protecting them at every turn, give them something greater: the inner power to reach the best version of themselves.



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Connect with Joe De Sena

Joe De Sena Book Spartan Up!

Joe De Sena Podcast

Joe De Sena Website Spartan Races

Thanks for checking out this week’s podcast on How to Teach Our Kids Work Ethic and Mental Toughness with Joe De Sena.

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  1. This is my first time listening to GDP podcast and I cannot think of a better episode to begin with. I am a huge fan of Joe DeSena and his life and it was awesome getting into the details of his at-home life. The episode was incredible and I look forward to many more episodes.

    1. Michael-thanks man! You will love all episodes from Ep 46 to present! Thanks for the support man! – Larry

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