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Prepare yourself for the uncensored, nothing held back, no BS reality of how business and life really work. Doberman Dan is off the chain.
Dan: Good to be back here on Off The Chain. Good to see you, J.R. Good to see you. How are you doing?
Jonathan: I am fabulous. Glad to be here with the canine crew.
Dan: As am I. And I might have a bit of surprising news. This will be, like we were talking earlier, I've learned to never say never, but I'm considering this my farewell episode.
Dan: Yes. Making some major changes here in the world of Doberman Dan, major business changes, and and and part of that involves figuring out what to do, what not to do. It's almost like starting over. It is starting over, a whole new market.
Jonathan: You still haven't figured out what you want to do when you grow up, Dan?
Dan: It’s time I figured out what I want to do when I grew up, so in the process of figuring that out and many things are going bye-bye. Sadly this podcast is one of them. I've enjoyed it and I hope that you, dear listener, have gotten value out of it. And I hope to leave you today with something that you will continue to get value out of and maybe listen to over and over again a hundred times.
Jonathan: While you cry.
Dan: Yes, while you're cry and miss me.
Jonathan: Curl up in a ball and cry and miss Doberman Dan. I can see that.
Dan: So, I had a dream the other night.
Dan: No, not one of those dreams, you perv. This dream basically scared the hell out of me.
So, here's what happened in the dream, to be totally clear “in” the dream. I died and went to a giant waiting room [03:00], and there I was anticipating my audience with the big guy for my final judgment. And the waiting room, by the way, looked a lot like Ocala, Florida. I guess that's why they call it...
Jonathan: Yikes, you're already there.
Dan: Exactly. Maybe that's why it's called God's waiting room. But, in this giant waiting room, there was this enormous, panoramic, 3D holographic projection monitor thang and no matter where I walked this monitor followed me, like showing the video snippets of my life from birth up until the very second I died. And no seats at all in this ,by the way, not one. Can you believe that?
Jonathan: You're not going to stay for long.
Dan: Well, that's a good point. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere. I couldn't figure it out, but maybe that's it. I wasn't going to be there very long, so no need for seats.
Anyhoo, after viewing video snippets of my life from birth through my death at age 30, my current age, age 30—that's a complete lie. I’m 31.
Jonathan: [crosstalk 04:15]
Dan: Anyway, this thing showed me these video snippets of my life. Okay, I'll reveal the big secret. From birth until age 54.
Dan: I noticed a recurring theme in all these video snippets. Throughout that entire time I’d selected heroes and tried to emulate them. One of the first was—no, I'm not...trust me, this is not a joke. I'm not trying to be funny—one of the first was Keith
Partridge. Remember that guy? The fictional lead singer in the...
Jonathan: The Partridge Family?
Dan: Yeah, The Partridge Family from the ’70s, totally dating me. So, that's my first hero that I can recall. It’s why I started playing the guitar. So, I was actually feeling pretty good about that one, even though I was only seven years old at the time. I grew my hair out and had a reasonable facsimile of Keith Partridge’s beautiful flowing mane, and aged seven. So, I went down to Henry's Music and Barberton. OH, owner known, or, at least it said on the side owner known as Happy Hank. Went down there to see Happy Hank about guitar lessons. He immediately shot down my dream saying, “I've never seen a seven-year-old with the persistence to learn guitar.” So, I was like, Screw you Crappy Wank, as I started calling him after that, and I taught myself guitar.
I bought a book and taught myself guitar, and, really, after just a few months I'd equaled Keith Partridge's guitar abilities, and I don't know if that's... That's maybe not saying a lot about me at the time. It's not like Keith Partridge was a virtuoso [06:00] guitar player. It wasn't bad. So, seven-year-old kid, a few months I equaled my hero’s abilities, and so it went one hero after another. A lot of them were guitarists and then there were others. Some were later in life, were trainee officers or decorated veterans on the police department I met. Then came the Amway phase and all those Diamond Direct Distributors—they became heroes—and then the discovery of direct response marketing thanks to Dan Kennedy and all the heroes in that world I tried to emulate.
And, interestingly, I also noticed another recurring theme throughout this little video presentation after my death and that was this: I was constantly frustrated. No matter how much I grew as a person or however much I learned during these various hero emulation phases, I was never happy. I constantly compared myself to whoever was the best of the best and whatever I was trying to accomplish, and in my eyes, I always came up short.
For example, in spite of the really remarkable growth I'd made as a self-taught musician, I always thought I sucked, always, because my standard comparison was guys like Allan Holdsworth, Pat Martino, Scott Henderson, Pat Metheny, all the A-list guys, the jazz and fusion players, the crème de la crème, so to speak, the guitar royalty, and that was my standard of comparison.
And, actually, rumor has it that DNA testing recently revealed that Allan Holdsworth isn't even mortal, for the love of God, man. That guy was just not...it was unreal. He couldn't have been mortal. Even one of the best guitarists in the world, John McLaughlin, McLaughlin thinks he sucks compared the Holdsworth.
So, no matter how good I was in whatever field of endeavor I pursued, I was never good enough.
For a few years when I was young and idealistic, I even tried to emulate Jesus of all people. I mean, talk about setting yourself up for failure. And as you've seen in pretty much every episode of this podcast, I fell way short of that goal.
Anyhoo, back to my dream.
So, there I was watching this big-ass holographic monitor showing scenes of my life and, all of a sudden, a portal opens out of nowhere. St. Peter floats out of this portal and says, “Your next, dickweed.” Yeah, St. Peter called me dickweed and he looked just like Louis C.K., I kid you not. Louis C.K. was St. Peter. The chocolate chip, anchovy and jalapeno pizza I ate right before bed while watching Louis C.K.’s [09:00.3] Shameless might have had something to do with that.
But, anyway, so there I was, in front of St. Peter, in front of should say, Louis C.K. as St. Peter, and the time had finally arrived—dun-dun-dun! Judgment Day. So, with much trepidation, I trod my way through the portal to finally get my audience with the big guy and find out where I was going to spend eternity.
Now, when I got there, what do you think God asked me? Well, I can tell you what he didn't ask me. He didn't ask, Why weren't you like Jesus? Why weren't you like Bhagwan Krishna? Nor did he ask, Why were you not like Moses? He didn't ask, Why weren't you like Muhammad? He didn't ask, Why weren't you like Joseph Smith? Why weren't you like Buddha? Why weren't you like L. Ron Hubbard?
Have I covered all the major ones there? I don't want anybody to feel left out. I think I covered them all.
Anyhoo, he never once asked, Why weren't you like Allan Holdsworth, John Coltrane, Scott Henderson, Pat Martino, Mike stern, Pat Metheny, ad infinitum all my heroes? Nope.
The only thing he asked was, Why weren't you Daniel Charles Gallapoo? Oh, fudge. But I didn't say fudge—movie reference there.
So, there I stood, speechless, which, as you know from this podcast, that rarely, if ever, happens. Never is this guy speechless, but there I was. I had just...I mean, for good reason, I had just received the saddest epiphany of my entire life. I went to the grave with my music still inside me.
Then, that big, panoramic life monitor materialized again and showed me every instance in my life when I said stuff like “I can't,” “that's impossible” or “he/she/they—the proverbial they—won't let me,” or “I'm not good enough,” or “I’ll try.”
Dan: Yep. And just then an orb of light descended from the hand of God. It floated towards me and it slowly enveloped me in pure white light, and at that very moment I came to the divine realization that I was equipped from the very instant of my conception, equipped [12:00] with everything I needed to accomplish all the dreams I had dreamed or really could have ever possibly dreamed, no matter how impossible they might have seemed to my limited mind at the time.
And, then, just like that, [zway - 0:12:15.5], with the white light was gone and at that point I was all alone, surrounded by nothing but pitch black and total silence, sentenced to an eternal damnation of thinking about nothing but the gifts, talents and potential I had squandered during my lifetime, and even worse, all the thousands or possibly millions of people my fear and inaction had affected—and, at just that exact moment, I sprang up in bed and sobbed and really spent the next two days crying every time I thought about it, which was quite frequently.
I mean, really, can you imagine anything thing sadder? You spend your entire life putting off the things you really want to do, settling for less or much less than you really want, dreaming big dreams and then always finding excuses as to why you can't accomplish them, always letting life getting away what you really want. Then, on your deathbed, just before you check out this earthly existence, you're given a profound revelation, a revelation that reveals a much different truth than you believed your entire life. The scales fall off your eyes and you see clearly for the very first time. You see that you were always equipped with everything you could have possibly needed to create any life you desire, and all those barriers that held you back were nothing more than just illusions created by your own mind.
Sure, in the past you would have had glimpses of your brilliance, but you always just quickly squelched them. I mean, after all, there was school to attend to or you had to go to college; you had to get a job; there are bills to pay; there were kids to take care of and all that daily grunt work that occupied most of your waking hours. Dreaming dreams just wasn't practical. That's what you were taught, at least.
In fact, you probably felt guilty about letting your light shine. I mean, after all, who are you to think you can excel? That's not how you were programmed when you were young, right? Instead, you were taught, either by word and/or example, or meticulously engineered programming, you were taught, Don't show off to your siblings. Don't show off to your friends. Don't show off to your classmates. Keep your talents hidden. Don't let the world see the fruits of your hard labor. Don't be a showoff. In the Midwest, if you're up in the Midwest like me, Don't get too big for your britches. You'll make others less gifted and less disciplined than you feel bad. [15:00.2]
But, now on your deathbed, for the first time ever, you see the truth—you've lived less than one percent of your potential, and the most startling revelation of all, you’ve let the clock run out on your life without ever truly living a day.
Now, take a deep breath. Close your eyes and let that one sink in for a minute. When you reach the end of your life and you're wondering if it's all been worthwhile, if you've had any meaningful and lasting impact on anyone or anything, you'll finally measure what really matters—did you do everything you possibly could with the gifts you were given?
You see, I don't believe the goal in life is to, quote-unquote, “arrive”; to attain some end goal and then rest; to amass some predetermined amount of money; to accomplish a career goal and retire. Basically, all the stuff we're told will make us happy, all that stuff, I'm here to tell you I followed that plan for decades and accomplished a lot of it. The promised happiness never arrived and, if it arrived at all, it only lasted a day or two at most, in some cases literally hours, stuff I’d desired for 30 years—“stuff” is the keyword there, material stuff I’d desired for 30 years—have been on a dream board for three decades. The happiness lasted a couple of hours.
Listen. The pursuit of all that, call me crazy, but I don't believe that's your calling. Your calling is much grander than that. It's defined and fully use your own gifts.
Yeah, listen, I've been thinking about this a lot. Let me see. 45 years or so, I guess. And I had a crazy thought. What if I showed up as my best self all the time, the person I was created to be, the person I was supposed to be before the world programmed it out of me, the atman, my Self with a capital “S”? What if I committed to fully finding and using my own gifts? So, ask yourself that question. What would happen if you approached your life with that attitude?
Now, all right, here we go J.R., talking about pissing people off. Now prepare yourself because at this point I'm taking off the gloves. You know those spiritual beliefs of yours, the ones you claim are the cornerstone of your life? [18:00] You know the stuff I'm talking about, the dealy bop that has that big-ass book that says stuff in it like “I can do all things” and other statements like that proclaiming your power. Yeah, that one.
I'm sad to say that 99 percent of the people who claim to believe that, well...actually don't believe that. Sure, they give it plenty of lip service, but they don't truly live it. In my book, that makes them a fraud, but nobody wants to hear that, do they? Nope. It's attacking the delusions they hold most dear, and, yes, dear, dear listener, they're nothing more than delusions if your actions don't match what you alleged to believe.
By the way, it's called cognitive dissonance and, in the best case scenario, it creates a life of quiet desperation.
Now, the good news is you can change that today or at least you can start the process of changing it today. You don't have to wait for Judgment Day before you experience the profound revelation of your potential, because that's what you have little old moi for.
Sure, I’ve realized I'm probably not the messenger you expected or probably not the messenger you wanted even. I don't deliver the most politically correct messages and I'm definitely not an eloquent orator or pontificator, but, listen, if you're waiting for an angel, well, you're going to be that dude who only gets this revelation on your deathbed like I did in my dream. So, right now, I'm all you’ve got. Consider me the Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of angels, and just so you know, I'm not leading by lip service. Nope. My dreams scared the hell out of me. Well, that and the realization that I've got more days behind me that ahead of me. So, I made a commitment to live this, man. I mean, damn shame, it took me a half century to finally get it, but better now than how it worked out in my dream, right?
So, as of today, I'm cranking my little Marshall stack to eleven—another obscure movie reference there—and I'm going to play my little heart out, the music that only I can play. And if it you'd let me, today I'd like to help you do the same, because you only go through this life once, so you might as well be the world's best. That's a quote from Marty Edelston, the founder of Boardroom Inc.
Now, listen, don't go get your panties in a bind there, sweet cheeks. I know I'm spending a lot of time on this because, I mean, quite honestly, there's nothing more important. Nothing, you hear me. And, [21:00] listen, I may not know you personally yet, but based on my many years of life experience, I believe I know a lot about you. I imagine you sense this huge unrealized potential in yourself, an extraordinary level of success you know you can achieve. And I also imagine you worry about falling short of achieving this ultimate success you really desire.
If I'm right and you do feel that way, you are on the threshold of what could be the greatest discovery of your life. It's a discovery that will remove the barrier between you and that ultimate success that you so desire that you just sense that you can achieve, and this can get you into what I call your convergence zone.
So, here's my revelation and I believe it will be your revelation, too. I've figured out what held me back all those years and I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts it's the same issue holding you back. So, you're paying attention. I hope so, because this is groundbreaking stuff.
You want to know the thing that held me back for so long from the joy of fully using my gifts and living a life of abundance? Here it is. I'll say it in past tense because I've learned the power of affirmations and affirming things, so I want to say this in the past tense.
I had a limited tolerance for feeling good. Author and psychologist, Gay Hendricks calls it a ULP—upper limit problem—and, really, it doesn't matter if you're a pauper, a homeless person living on the street or a billionaire living on the French Riviera. We all have it.
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So, when I hit my upper limit, here's what happened—preprogrammed subconscious encoding embedded into that squishy gray matter between my ears, it always kicks in and does whatever it takes to get me back to homeostasis, and sometimes [24:00] it does it in the strangest of ways and sometimes even in ways that seem like they would be impossible, but it always does whatever it takes to get me back to homeostasis.
God knows where this comes from. I mean, you could die trying to figure that out and it will probably a total unproductive use of your limited time on this planet, so no need to waste time dredging up garbage from the past you'd probably rather forget. I mean, after accepting that you have an upper limit problem, your only mission, should you choose to accept it—more movie references there—is to reprogram it. That's it.
It's not to whine and point fingers and blame others and lament the injustice of this cold, cruel world. Nope. Once it's been brought to your attention, the only correct response is to take personal responsibility and fix it.
So, how do you fix it? Well, by asking yourself one simple—am I willing to increase the amount of time every day I feel good? Simple enough solution, right, J.R.? I've kept you quiet this entire time. Sounds simple, right?
Jonathan: Sure enough.
Dan: But, listen, make no mistake about it—this is radical stuff. Exploring where your most deeply held beliefs reside and then evaluating how those beliefs are or, in most cases, are not serving you is something that really the 99 percent of the people never do, because it's hard work, man, damn hard, and to be totally transparent with you, I'd rather plop my cute little, perfectly symmetrical white bootay on the couch and watch movies. But if it's even remotely possible to feel good all the time, live an emotionally fulfilling life and experience abundance in love, money, contribution to this world, don't we owe it to ourselves to find out how to do it or is this the woo-woo, feel-good rantings of another pseudo-psychology, “law of attraction” evangelist? Hardly.
I mean, really, if you've known me for even a short period of time, then you know I'm one of the most pragmatic dudes on this planet. In fact, I've publicly made fun of those airy-fairy, “law of attraction,” name-it-claim-it guys because their stuff doesn't work. It should work. In fact, my recent little foray into quantum physics [27:00] confirms it should work, in theory, at least. The problem comes from that nasty old cognitive dissonance we talked about, because, you see, I can recite “law of attraction” drivel day in and day out for decades. In fact, in years past, I did. But when it comes down to who's going to win, the positive affirmations, the money chance and the “every day in every way, I'm getting better and better” stuff versus the preprogrammed, subconscious encoding embedded in your brain, your programming always wins every single time.
So, that's why it's time to get introspective and ask yourself, Self, How much love, fulfillment and abundance am I willing to allow? And how am I getting in my own way and keeping myself from experiencing that? And after years of observation and introspection—and, actually, more recently, working with a really kick ass coach—I discovered that the number one thing holding me back from everything I've ever wanted or could ever possibly want was this: It was the fear of owning my full potential and personal power.
Why? Well, and I quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
[― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"]
That's a quote from Marianne Williamson. Have you ever heard that one. J.R.?
Jonathan: First time.
Dan: Pretty powerful stuff.
So, should you decide to always show up as your best self, your Self with a capital “S”, and move forward in that power as the self-preservation and/or maintaining the status quo thang, your [30:00] existing program is going to attempt to sabotage you by foreshadowing these fear-inducing mental pictures of financial ruin and losing, people rejecting you and other all these other disasters that you're sure will beall you.
This makes total sense to me now, because I figured out a little known secret in psychology and that is this—Maslow was wrong. Do you know Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Jonathan?
Dan: Okay, the little pyramid thing where the bottom level is physiological like food, water, shelter, warmth. The next level is security, stability, freedom from fear. Then you’ve got belonging, love, the next level, self esteem. Then, you have the highest level, self-actualization. Good old Abe, Abe Maslow—yes, we’re on a first name basis, me and Abe—smart guy, but I gotta tell you, I figured something out that's shocking. Abe totally missed the mark. The base of that pyramid, the overwhelming human need even more important than food, water, shelter and warmth, actually, is the need to stay in your comfort zone.
And when you stop to think about it, this makes total sense, because your comfort zone is a known factor and fear is always about the unknown. It’s programmed into us, because many years ago, who knows how many years, millions of years ago, back when humans were not at the top of the food chain, that fear is what kept us alive, but we haven't had to worry about getting eaten by saber-toothed tigers and T. rexes for a really long time now—yes, yes, I had them growing up when I was a kid and Barberton. That's how old I am—but they haven't been around in a really long time. So, that programming is just not serving us in any practical way at all, but yet it persists.
So, whenever you're in unknown territory or even just think about venturing into unknown territory, that now outdated self preservation programming kicks in, and it causes all kinds of weird thoughts and fears and self-sabotaging behavior. I've overcome it a lot of times in the past with just the pure brute force of my will and I gotta tell you, man, it was utterly exhausting. When you're muscling through like that, in the very best case scenario, the process is just anxiety-filled, emotionally painful and sometimes even physically painful. In my case, it really was [33:00] physically painful. The worst case scenario is gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, stark raving terror, and for me most of the time was the latter.
The good news is that this phase is only temporary. Once you're fully engaged, once you're in your convergence zone and moving forward, fear is banished, but that all “put your head down and muscle through” method is brutal, man. Not a lot of folks can do it.
So, luckily, I found a better way and it was birthed from an experience I had as a young street cop more than 30 years ago, and this will totally...this will date me even more, talk about obscure references. Jonathan, have you ever seen that show from the ’80s on TV, T. J. Hooker, starring William Shatner?
Dan: Remember that? In the very beginning, Heather Locklear—there's a bad guy run away—Heather Locklear tosses PR-24 baton at him, and it gets tangled up in his legs and he falls down, and they arrest him. They could do all these miraculous things with that PR-24 baton. That was that baton with a 90-degree side handle like somebody ripped off an old ancient martial arts weapon and patched up and sold it to police departments.
We were issued those in the academy. I thought I had a magic wand until I tried all that, those fancy moves, and had my ass handed to me on the streets, and none of that stuff works in a real street fight. It’s like all of it’s just defaulted to holding it with two hands like a baseball bat, wailing away with it that all that fancy stuff didn't work. That damn thing was so long, like when you walked around with it on your belt, it's always beating you in the leg and the knee. We all just left them in the car, not a good place to leave it when you needed it.
So, the Police Department found a solution. The Dayton Police Department issued us all with they call an ASP, which was one of those collapsible metal batons. You ever see that thang?
Jonathan: Oh, yeah. I want one.
Dan: The thing is, like, eight inches long when it's collapsed, but you whip it out —talking about the baton, you pervert—and it expands to a full 24 inches.
Jonathan: The baton.
Dan: Yeah, the baton. Thank you for clarifying that. So, anyway to qualify to carry that bad boy, part of the test was you had the last three minutes in the ring with three red men against you. If you've never seen it, that's these guys in this full-body, padded suit, including helmet, and it's you and your ass against these three guys. And that doesn't sound like very long, does it? Like, three minutes fighting three red man.
If it doesn't sound like very long, you don't understand Einstein's theory of relativity, like when you say three minutes with someone you love feels like [36:00] less than a millisecond. I'm going to tell you three minutes with three red men whose only mission is to take away your weapon, take you to the ground to pummel you senseless, three minutes feels like a frickin’ eternity. I got battered and bruised and knocked down. I saw stars. But, man, I fought the entire three minutes with all my might and never once that they couldn't take my weapon from it, but I’ve got to tell you, to this day, I have never been more exhausted and that's saying a lot because I am so vain—I probably think that song is about me—but that I used to do those brutally masochistic, literally squat-till-you-puke bodybuilding workouts. So, to say I was never more exhausted in my life from those three minutes, just that tells you how brutal that was.
So, here's the question—how did, at the time, little 5’6”, 140-lbs., soaking wet me make it when more than half the class didn't?
So, the big secret is this: Breathe, because your initial instinctive reaction when you're faced with a fight-or-flight situation like that is to hold your breath or, actually, breathe very hesitantly or very shallow, and that also comes from that outdated programming that used to serve us but really now only is doing us harm. It's a fear reaction and knowing how to manage it can take you from victim to victor.
By the way, that breathe secret, it's the second most important secret I discovered that allowed me to win every fight on the show. I won every fight I ever got into on the street. Well, actually, there's a two-part secret to that. I learned to keep breathing and I learned if you take away your opponent's ability to breathe, he can’t fight any longer.
Dan: That and, actually, the number one secret to me winning every fight was I could call 500 other people on my radio to ensure I'd win that fight. I thought I was going to lose or I was in the middle of it and I was losing, I could just whisper one word into that radio and 500 uniformed people would be there as soon as they possibly could to make sure I won that fight, but, okay, so that's not a secret. Everybody has. That's not a secret I have any more.
But understanding how to use this breathing secret, it'll not only save your life. It's like the big breakthrough that stops self-sabotage and can allow you to enjoy all the abundance and success you desire, because, see, the reaction you have from the threat of a fight-or-flight thing, a physical altercation or during an actual [39:00] fight, it's the exact same physical reaction you have when you decide to step outside your comfort zone to accomplish a new goal.
That's why most people just immediately step back into their comfort zone. It's normal, man. It's your brain’s natural reaction, trying to keep you alive and safe from the saber-toothed tigers and the T. rexes. So, very, very few people can break through this physically debilitating effects of fear. I mean that literally. The effects of fear can literally be physically debilitating and so few people can just break through that would sheer pigheaded, stubborn willpower. I did it, but that was before I discovered the secret I'm about to share with you today, and that way it’s just mentally and physically exhausting.
So, there's a better way. The best and healthiest way to break through this fear barricade is to turn it into something else, something that has all the power of fear—because fear is powerful. Don't get me wrong—but it uses that power in a positive way, and that's turn it into excitement.
Your big breakthroughs are going to come when your fear gets transformed into the clarity of exhilaration, because, you see, the exact same mechanism that produces fear also produces excitement. In fact, the physical sensations you feel from both are actually quite similar. The only difference is fear is excitement without the breath.
So, you can transform any fear into excitement. Then, that fear barrier that stops you, it just automatically becomes greatly diminished or disappears entirely in the ideal response, and then you perform this fear-to-excitement transformation by doing exactly what I did to win my fight against the three red men, and that's breathe.
Thee opposite of this also holds true, by the way. You can turn excitement into fear by holding your breath, by not breathing or by breathing really shallow, because when you're scared, your brain tries to get rid of this feeling. It's like it's the old, outdated program you inherited. It thinks it can get rid of it by denying it or ignoring it, so it uses holding your breath is a physical tool of denial. I really don't understand what the original physiological reason is behind this, because, I mean, really, it never works, but the less breath you feed your fear, the bigger it gets.
So, when I feel fear, I use an old bodybuilding trick I learned from the iron guru, Vince Gironda. It was something he used to teach his trainees to help them recover faster between [42:00] sets of exercise, and the process is simple. It's take deep breaths in through your nose and then exhale through your pursed lips, and you don't pause between inhalation and exhalation. It's all one smooth, continuous, circular motion.
And I've added a little Doberman Dan twist to the Gironda breathing thang and that twist helps me stay in the present, because, you see, I think it's inherited from my dear old mom, but I'm a worrier and, really, worry is just imagining negative things in the future. Right? And it's kind of hard to do that while your mind is in the present. In fact, if your mind is truly in the present, it's impossible to do that. So, I stay in the present by focusing all my attention on my breathing and I've tried several different ways of doing that.
I've done it by counting backwards for 50 or 100 during each pairing of inhalation and exhalation or I mentally say a word on each inhalation and exhalation, like I'll say, “I. Am. Here. Now. I. Am. Here. Now.” I mean, whatever works for you, right? Nowadays I say two Sanskrit words. One, I observed my breathing. I don't force it. I just observe my breathing and say one Sanskrit word upon inhalation and one Sanskrit word point exhalation. I learned it from Paramahansa Yogananda, by the way, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi, great book. You ever read that one, J.R.?
Jonathan: Not yet.
Dan: Life-changing for me, so I'm using some of his stuff in my breathing to stay in the present.
And, by the way, don't pretend the fear isn't there. That just doesn't work. Instead, just stay in the present and feel the fear. Acknowledge it and the present. Don't let the fear take your mind, venturing off into the future, imagining all these bad things that could happen or you think are going to happen, because that's exactly what fear wants you to do. Just keep breathing. Stay in the present and feel the fear. Do that and, really, soon your fear will turn into excitement. Keep doing it; do it more; keep doing it and your excitement turns into exhilaration, and when that fear-to-exhilaration transformation starts to happen, then, and only then is it okay to let your mind wander from the present to the future, so now that the fear is no longer in control, the imagining won't be negative.
So, when you perform this mental alchemy, as I call it, of transforming fear into exhilaration, go ahead, imagine your future. Think. I mean, think about the goal, that goal or whatever you're going to do that initially caused your mind to react with this fear. Keep feeding this newfound excitement with your breathing, while you let [45:00] your mind play, play with the possibilities of what your life would be like after you've successfully accomplished your goal.
Listen, this might sound simple, but almost every successful person I've known and studied has used some form of visualization. In fact, a lot of historically famous people have talked about it. And I bet...yes, I know, this is probably the 999th time you've heard this advice, isn't it? Right? But here's the thing—very few guys do it. They hear it. Very few do it.
Now, the ladies for some reason don't seem to have much of a problem with it, not as much as the guys, which is just more proof that they're smarter than us. But, actually, most everybody does this, by the way. They do the detrimental version. They visualize the future and think about all the bad stuff that could possibly happen or they think or they believe is going to happen. It's called worry. And, listen, since you're already experienced with the process, why don't you use it for good instead of evil? But the most successful people in history have revealed that this is one of the biggest secrets to success. So, why aren't you doing it? Actually, I think I know.
It's because it's why I didn't do it for the longest time. Most guys are just too macho, man. They think it's corny, woo-woo, self-help crap. Listen, why do you care if it's corny? It's done inside your own damn head, so nobody but you is going to know you're doing it.
And, listen, even if you've half-assed tried this in the past, I highly doubt you've done it like I just taught you. You probably did it while fear was still present in your noggin, in your body, whatever. I mean, that's like trying to put out a raging fire with a glass of water while you're simultaneously dumping gallons of gasoline on it. It’s no wonder it didn't work.
Visualizing your future after you've done this fear-to-exhilaration process, “that” is what will give you a newfound energy and clarity. I mean, isn't it exciting to approach your goals from this newfound position of power? Right? And pretty simple, too. But I'm going to tell you, simple, yes. Easy? No. Worth it? Hell yeah.
Now, sadly—I'm a realist—most people are never going to comprehend the profound importance of all this. In fact, Jonathan, there's probably somebody listening to this right now thinking, Stop the woo-woo BS and get to the real money-making stuff, dickweed.
Jonathan: You think?
Dan: Yeah, I do. First of all, [48:00] listen, when Louis C.K. as St. Peter calls me dickweed, it’s funny. When you say it, hmm...not so much.
Secondly, for the love of God, man, for the love of all things good and holy like apple pie, puppies and your grandma, this “is” the money-making stuff.
Listen, I've been in this entrepreneurial thang for four frickin’ decades. I know crazy successful, A-list copywriters, multimillionaire entrepreneurs and even recently an honest to goodness billionaire. Also, on the other hand, I know scores of B- and C-level copywriters, and entrepreneurs. I mean, all living hand to mouth, always just barely eking out a living month after month, year to year. And to be completely frank, when I think about it, really, almost 90 percent of the entrepreneurs I know are forever stuck in this eat-what-you-kill grind with no hope of anything better if they don't change something, which few ever really do.
So, you want to know the difference between the wealthy and fulfilled, and the hand to mouth crowd? It's this—the people stuck in the eat-what-you-kill trap, only do the, quote-unquote, “money-making stuff,” and they're constantly and much to their detriment constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest, what I call BSB. It stands for “bright shiny bullshit.” They're always looking for the next, quote-unquote, “online magic money button” that's going to allegedly cure all that ails them; fix their business; fix themselves; make a ton of money, which they think is going to fix them, even though, I mean, they all really know there's no such thing as that magic money button.
Now, on the other hand, the A-listers, the multimillionaires, the billionaires, they know none of the, quote-unquote, “money-making stuff” is going to produce the big breakthroughs and the truly huge successes without equal or more focus on the most important part of the whole deal, and that's mastering your inner game. It's the one constant success factor amongst all the high-level PWMs, as I call them—players with money—I've ever met.
So, listen, what I just revealed “is” the secret to getting everything you desire. What I just revealed “is” the money-making stuff. So, go forth, use it and prosper.
And I've enjoyed doing this podcast for you.
Jonathan, I appreciate everything you've done for me and the Canine Crew, so thank you. I want to say that publicly if I haven't before.
Jonathan: Thank you, brother. It's been a pleasure.
Dan: And I will [51:00] leave you with one last thing. I believe in you and I love you.
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