Dan is CEO of an international communications company, Hall of Fame Speaker, named one of the Top Ten Motivational Speakers In The World, University Professor, and New York Times Best-Selling Author of 34 books.
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- The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success – Dan’s book
- The Art of Significance Radio Show – Dan’s Radio Show
- Connect with Dan on his website
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3 Key Points:
- Use pain as a signal to grow.
- Get your focus in the present – what matters is now.
- Connect the dots.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:14] – Dan knows JLD’s system of productivity, discipline, and focus
- [01:39] – Productivity is connecting the dots of who, what, where, and when
- [01:48] – Dan shares his tragedy
- [02:20] – He was paralyzed for 14 months and saw 16 of the best doctors in the world who told him we would never get better
- [02:29] – Now that Dan has recovered, he has realized he was asking the wrong questions
- [02:43] – He asked the doctors how to get better when he should have asked himself WHY?
- [02:59] – As a football player, Dan realized not every game is designed for a touchdown
- [03:09] – People always think they have to succeed on the first try
- [03:37] – “Pain is a signal to grow not to suffer”
- [04:11] – As a veteran, Dan looks at PTSD not as a disorder, but an injury
- [05:03] – Dan is where he is today because he understood the significance of productivity
- [05:14] – Discipline is making every day a revenue day
- [05:29] – “Goals are only an excuse for the game”
- [05:54] – The tough times are part of winning the game
- 06:36 – Dan’s latest book is The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success
- [08:16] – Every day you should connect one more dot
- [08:30] – Focus – right now matters
- [08:45]– “You can’t always control what happens”
- [09:25] – Connecting at the highest level is Dan’s area of expertise
- [10:08] – Begin with the “WHY” in mind
- [11:00] – We must be willing to pay any price to associate with extraordinary human beings
- [12:23] – 80% of America’s workers hate their jobs
- [12:41] – What would happen to productivity if entrepreneurs inspire their employees to love what they do?
- [12:56] – Figure out how to create value
- [13:25] – Dan has connected with JLD more than any other guest he has had in 3 minutes – they are planning a tour together to inspire soldiers who are in combat
- [14:31] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: After Dan had his injury and doctors told him he wouldn’t get any better, he received an invitation from the Kansas City Royals to come try out
- [17:19] – The Zig Ziglar tape Dan listened to inspired him to start doing things again
- [17:34] – When Dan got better, he started to speak to high school football teams
- [20:23] – Dan heard Zig Ziglar was coming to town, so he positioned himself backstage and told Zig he had saved his life
- [20:42] – Zig allowed Dan to pick him up at the airport and rive him to his hotel
- [21:05] – Over the next 45 minutes Dan gave him his program and speech
- [21:09] – Zig flew Dan to Dallas the following week to speak to his company; the next week Zig sponsored Dan and Dan attended a speaker’s association; and the week after that, Zig invited Dan and his home to Texas
- [23:03] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Comparing myself with others”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Do something right now”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “To focus on the core values of the US Military”
- 26:42 – The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success is the best book to start with of all of Dan’s books
- [30:18] – Dan believes every single person has a conscience
- [30:36] – We all know what’s right and wrong
- [31:47] – Remember 2 things – “you can always catch the string again” and “you don’t have to obey people who hold you back”
- 33:07 – Connect with Dan on his website
Dan: Yes, I am.
John: Yes. Dan is CEO of an international communications company. He’s a hall of fame speaker and has been named one of the top ten motivational speakers in the world. He’s a New York Times bestselling author of, count them, 34 books. Dan, take a minute, fill in some of the gaps from that intro and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life.
Dan: I love being on your show. You change the world.
John: Thanks, Dan.
Dan: You know, blindsided by how to fill in the blanks. Well, I was born in 19 – I’m just kidding. What we gotta understand is I’ve scoured your website, your philosophy, your Wikipedia, and I think I know the John Lee Dumas system of productivity, discipline, and focus. And because you were gonna interview me on this magnificent show I decided to kind of connect my words and my experience to your three words to answer those questions and to answer this fill in the blank challenge.
So productivity, in my mind it’s about connecting the dots of what, who, where, when. I played American football for 13 years until one day in practice the dream ended, the coach blew the whistle, we had a tackling drill, we were 15 yards apart and we collided in a brutal head-on collision. My helmet crashed into his helmet, my right shoulder was smashed into the cutting edge of my fiberglass pads and we slammed to the ground. And when [inaudible] [00:01:27] got off of me I had compressed my seventh cervical vertebrae, I had severed what is called the axillary nerve in my right deltoid and I’d suffered a grade level two concussion.
So my eye drooped, I had loss of speech, I couldn’t talk anymore, my right side was paralyzed, and my arm dangled at my side. Fast forward, I stayed paralyzed for 14 months. I went to 16 of the best doctors in the world and every one of them told me I would never get any better. And now that I’ve recovered, I’m asked the oddest question, so what took you so long? And I really believe that the reason why I stayed paralyzed for 14 months, not just physically but emotionally, is because I was asking the wrong questions. I was asking the doctors how to get better when I should have been asking myself why. And once we answer why, figured out the how-to is pretty simple.
So I started asking myself, what did I learn from my football experience? And this is the best way to fill in the blanks, bro, because as a football player I realized that not every play is designed to score a touchdown. And if that’s not an entrepreneurial aha moment, I don’t know what is. We always think we have to succeed on the first try. We always think we have to do this and do that and not start at the entry level position in a company. If every play is designed to set up another play, which is designed to set up another play so that you can ramble for 30 yards and score a touchdown, then we also have to put into that equation our tough times and the times we fail and the times we get knocked down.
Believe in one of my favorite quotes, pain is a signal to grow, not to suffer. Once we learn the lesson the pain teaches us, the pain goes away. So in life there’s no mistakes, only lessons. So to fill in the blanks, I stayed paralyzed because I was asking the wrong questions. And when you ask, why do you play football? Well, it teaches me to get back up and go again and because of you and I, our background in the military, and our love for veterans, PTS is a serious deal. But it was always called post-traumatic stress disorder and now the new technology and the science and the medicine behind it is it’s not a disorder, it’s not a syndrome. And we have to look at it as an injury which means we can recover from an injury.
And I’ve broken my body up so many times that what I’ve discovered that fills in the blanks is that if we go through the proper steps of rehab, as entrepreneurs, if we actually are disciplined enough to take the necessary steps regardless of how many times we fall down, Chinese proverb get knocked down seven times get back up eight, no matter what happens in our lives, if we dedicate ourselves to productivity, your first of three words, connecting the dots of what, who, where, and especially why, then every single time that we get knocked down, we realize that that is just one of the plays that’s setting up another play which is setting up the play that will eventually score the touchdown. So what we’ve got to understand is that I am where I am today because I understood the significance of productivity.
Your second word discipline. Well, my take on that is that we need to make every day a revenue day. So most people tell us to set goals and I’m a maverick just like you, I try to look at the disruptive side of the status quo. And I disagree that we have to set goals. Goals are only an excuse for the game, John. We play the game in between the goals. And that’s why I’m talking about things I’m talking about. Therefore, we need to learn to enjoy playing the game and most importantly enjoy preparing to play the game. And that’s why we go – we reiterate full circle now, not every play’s designed to score a touchdown. And this means that the bad times, the tough times, our greatest disappointments are part of winning the game.
So as I report my story as a speaker, I love to admit to my audiences that my injury is clearly one of the best things that ever happened to me. And I don’t want them to misunderstand me. My injury wasn’t one of the best things that happened to me, my accident wasn’t one of the best things, but what I became, what I learned about priorities in life and who I became as a man as a result of going through this setback clearly makes it one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
Long answer to your simple question, bro, but my connecting the dots and filling in between the lines helps us come to my final book of the 34 and that’s my latest book called The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success. And I did the talk show circuit just like you’ve done and I did the book tour. And the most frequently asked question was how did you come up with such a provocative title, The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success?
And my final answer to your simple question is I came up with the answer – I came up with the title because of a conversation I had with a football teammate. He was drafted into the National Football League in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles. After two years with the Eagles he’s traded to my Oakland Raiders. After four years in the NFL playing at a superstar level, one day he walks out of practice never to play again. Why? He loved being a football player, but he hated playing football. He loved the celebrity perks and the fame and fortune that allowed him to live this life we call successful, nice car, nice title, nice salary, nice perks, nice vacation.
Because his inner voice and his true purpose in life was misaligned with who he was and what he did for a living, he would never enjoy this life we call significant, which you are enjoying, which I am enjoying, and therefore my buddy would have died with his music still in him. So every entrepreneur listening needs to understand that we honor you, that at some point in our lives we’ve got to put our foot down and stop waiting for some company to give us a gold watch and tell us when we can retire and how much money we’re able to make.
What we have to do, in your three words, productivity, discipline, and focus, discipline, make every day a revenue day, which means every day we’re figuring out a way to connect one more dot on the productivity side knowing that not every day is designed to score a touchdown or to land us the job of our dreams.
And that brings us to your third word, focus. And two things come to mind, focus, time. Today you’ve never been this old before, and today you’ll never be this young again so right now matters and every right now matters, which means – and I love quotes, I write quotes and I link them together – which means no matter what your past has been you have a spotless future, which means you can’t always control what happens, but you can always control what happens next. And in my mind that connects your three powerful words, productivity, discipline, focus. I am now ready for the next question.
John: Dan, you are the type of guest that literally makes me wish that Entrepreneur on Fire was a two hour show because I know that every minute of those two hours would just be filled with value bombs. But one thing I am kind of curious about when it comes to you is you have a lot of areas which you’re incredibly good at, but what do you consider the one area of expertise? What are you best at in this world?
Dan: Great question, John. I think it’s connecting at the highest level, figuring out a way to influence the affluent. It’s called the place of entry. And if you really wanna make sure that you make your dreams come true and don’t die with your music still in you, what we have to do is plot out our destination. Now I’m not saying that we begin with the end in mind. I love Covey, but that’s a limiting belief because when you begin with the end in mind it forces you to focus on a destination that’s impressive and therefore we do our best and try our hardest to manage people and reward results. But then once all of a sudden we achieve the destination then we’re lost. We’re like now what do we do?
I suggest that we begin with the why in mind which allows us and inspires us to focus on a journey that’s important so we manage expectations and reward effort, which means the goal is to become better today than we were yesterday. And that helps us focus in on your third word focus, John, because if we’re cognizant of time that no matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future, we must also be cognizant of people. And people are the connection. We become the average of the five people we associate with the most which means if you hang around with five broke people you’re gonna become the sixth. If you hang around with five negative whining people you’re gonna become the sixth.
I love analogies. If you put a hard to catch horse in the same field with an easy to catch horse most of the time you end up with two hard to catch horses. If you put a healthy child in the same room with a sick child most of the time you end up with two sick children. Moral of the story to be disciplined, healthy, and significant, we must be willing to pay any price and travel any distance to associate with extraordinary human beings. Not just belly to belly, John, but on the internet, on a radio show, on a podcast like yours. The reason why you have such religiously loyal listeners is because the value you create on a daily basis which substantiates what we’re talking about.
So I think my greatest quality is figuring out how to connect at the highest level. And the way we do that is not to say what can you do for me, it’s to understand that wealth flows through you not to you. I was sponsored in the National Speakers Association way back in ’82 by Zig Ziglar. He mentored me for 30 years in the art of motivational teaching. He’s famous for the couplet. If I say wealth flows through you not to you and then add to that Zig’s famous line which means you can get anything in this life that you want if you’re willing to help enough other people get what they want, then the opening line in connecting at the highest levels, networking, influencing the affluent, is how may I serve you. How can I help you turn your goals and dreams into reality?
And once we create value, we turn the entire workforce in the world upside down. You see, research shows that 80 percent of America’s workers hate their jobs. Think about it, John, most people hate their jobs. They only think – they think they’re only – excuse me. They think they’re paid by the hour when in reality we’re paid for the value we bring to that hour. They only look forward to Friday instead of Monday. What would happen to productivity if we just simply inspired our employees and each other to love what we do? Transforms into our personal relationships, which transforms into our desire to volunteer in our communities, and the world’s better.
So what we have to do is figure out how do we create value. And the way we create value is to have an entrepreneurial mindset which says how can I find a niche, how can I fill that niche with what I can do, and then most importantly how can I do it through service before self which you’re famous for because of your background in the Army.
John: Wow, I mean, Fire Nation, Dan’s superpower is connecting with people at the highest level. You heard him say it a couple times. I’m here to repeat it because I’ll tell you what, he connected with me more in our three minutes, three minutes, pre-interview chat than literally any of my previous 1,792 guests have, and that includes Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, you name it. I mean, Dan and I were planning a tour together to inspire soldiers who are in combat right now after talking for 90 seconds. I mean, think about that. I mean, I’m not somebody that says yes to anything quickly, in fact for me I say no to pretty much everything I can because I believe that I have to say heck yes if it’s gonna be a heck yes.
But this guy had me agreeing to an overseas tour after just talking to him for mere seconds. I mean, that’s a superpower, that’s amazing. We can learn so much from where you’ve been and what you’ve done, Dan, and what you continue to do every day to serve. And I kind of wanna learn more about your past and it’s easy to talk about the good times, it’s hard to talk about the bad times, but I know for my listeners we learn a lot from the stories of the struggles of the worst moments that people have been able to survive and get through and improve upon. So what would you say your worst entrepreneurial moment has been to date over your entrepreneurial career? Tell us that story, Dan.
Dan: You know, John, I think it’s something that all of us can resonate with and that is when we get an opportunity of a lifetime and we’re not prepared to take advantage of it, those opportunities lost haunt us for the rest of our lives. And we all know, especially the elderly, they will remind us we don’t regret what we did do, we regret what we never did. And so I could make a – I could give you a laundry list of the opportunities lost because I was not prepared. And so maybe I can just go back into my past a little bit to talk about the significance of connecting the dots to validate what I’ve been talking about on your show.
May I just shamelessly throw in there that my website is danclark.com and if you click on receive free gifts and training you can join my tribe and get all kinds of stuff because I believe we become the average of the five people we associate with the most. And with my radio show I definitely wanna put you on the spot, on the air, on your show to agree to be on my show because you’ll be the greatest guest I’ve ever had.
John: I agree.
Dan: But let me just quickly just connect the dots and go way back. So after I got hurt playing football 16 doctors told me no way and I had an invitation tryout by the Kansas City Royals as a baseball pitcher coming out of high school and I was a right-handed pitcher. So in one moment in time, my entire dream, what I thought I was going to be as a professional athlete was taken away from me and I hit rock bottom, understandably. And everybody came to my rescue.
And one great friend, he was vice president of the University of Utah where I’m an alumni of, Norm Gibbons brought me back a cassette tape to listen to by a “motivational speaker” by the name of Zig Ziglar and I’d never heard of him. I thought well, his mom ran out of names. So out of curiosity I listened to it and he changed my life just by simply telling stories that I could resonate with. That’s why your show is so powerful because you focus in on people’s stories, John, not just some technique or seven habits or 12 steps to this. You actually answer the questions that we all seek the answers to.
I teach public speaking and I have an online course, three courses actually, on how to become a polished, professional speaker or public speaker and every person listening to your show, every person that reads one of my books, every person that listens in an audience when you and I are the keynote speakers, we crave the answers to three questions. No. 1, why should I listen to you? It’s the credibility piece. Have you done it? Are you currently doing it? But No. 2 is the most important question and that is can I do it too with my limitations, with my weaknesses, and with my strengths? So we have a credibility piece, we have can I do it too, that’s the possibility piece. And then we have the usability piece which is okay, what’s the system? Where do we go from now?
And so what happened with the Zig Ziglar tape was he inspired me through a story that said I can do it too. Now fast forward. I decided that I could become better, I could recover. And as I started to get better I was asked to speak to a high school football team, yeah right, entry level position, free speech, everybody thinks you gotta start at a six figure income. No. Walk in the door of your passion and purpose. I spoke to a high school football team and their coach had multiple sclerosis, he was in a wheelchair, golf cart looking thing, he eventually passed away. Suddenly I stopped feeling sorry for myself because I hung around with him.
I spoke before seven of their eight football games, they won the state championship and I started learning the power of emotion, that reason leads to conclusions but it is emotion that leads to action. I also learned the significance that every play doesn’t necessarily – it’s not necessarily designed to score a touchdown because I understood that the time to win the game is not on a Friday night in high school or Saturday in college or Sunday in an NFL. The time to win the game, as we all know, is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
It’s the days before, it’s the preparation, which means under pressure you don’t step up your game, you succumb to the level of your training, preparation, and practice which means pressure’s not something that’s naturally there, it’s created when you question your own ability. And when you know what you’ve been trained to do there’s never any question, there’s never any pressure. So I decide I’m going to pursue this motivational speaking career not by accident, but by purpose.
So I talked to the high school principal and I said things have been going well with the team, would you ever consider bringing me in as a high school motivational assembly? He had me speak to the student body, it went well. I spoke to five other schools because he called the principal. The next year I spoke 13 times in 13 schools while I was in the management program of what is called the sports mall. So I was pursuing a career, but I had this idea and I was making a difference, not just to living, I was making a difference. And because I spoke at 13 schools I thought I was on to something.
So I made an appointment with the Utah Board of Education, seven people unanimously voted to sponsor and endorse my high school assembly program. And I made an appointment to speak before the Utah State Legislature at the Capitol building. I gave my 45 minute high school assembly, got a standing ovation, they voted unanimously to fund me to speak to every single high school in the state of Utah, $100,000.00 contract. They renewed that contract the next year to speak to every high school and junior high in the state of Utah, 170.
So you can imagine I’m making some serious money and all of a sudden I find out Zig Ziglar’s coming into town to do one of those positive mental attitude, PMA rallies. So I find out Zig’s coming into town. So I position myself backstage when he gets through giving his motivational speech and I said Zig, you literally saved my life. I hit rock bottom, I had suicidal tendencies, my life unraveled, it was so brutal, and I wanna take you to dinner. He says I’m coming back to town in three weeks, call Lori Majors in my office, set it up. All he allowed me to do is pick him up at the airport and take him to the hotel.
It’s a 15 minute drive and by the time I drop him off at the hotel he goes, Dan, is there any place I could see or hear this high school motivational assembly you’ve been telling me about? I said yeah, I’ve rented a small ballroom off of the foyer of the hotel because I had slides and a narrative and the whole deal. He laughed that I had that much confidence. And in the next 45 minutes I gave him my speech, my whole program with the slides, little movie clip video. He stands up, tears in his eyes, gives me a standing ovation, I’m crying. He flies me down to Dallas, Texas next week to speak to his company.
The next week he sponsors me in the National Speakers Association, we meet in Chicago for ten days. The next week he invites my wife and I down to Texas to his Born to Win seminar, five days that transformed our lives forever in our relationship. And there he introduced me to somebody who introduced me to Nancy Reagan, who invited me into the Reagan White House to take her Just Say No program to all 50 states. So between 1983 and 1989 I spoke to almost 6 million teenagers in high schools in all 50 states. And then in 1991 I made the full-time transition into the corporate arena where now I focus in on motivational leadership, on team building, and on safety.
And that’s why I was inducted into the National Speakers Hall of Fame and have been named one of the top ten motivational speakers in the world. What’s the message to your entrepreneurs? Connect the dots, productivity, discipline, focus. Connect the dots, make every day a revenue day. And more importantly, focus in on time and people and then plot your course. Don’t begin with the end in mind, begin with the why in mind and eliminate your limiting beliefs so you can do exactly what you did. I should be interviewing you, John. When I read up on you, you are the poster child for what I just described.
John: Well, there’s gonna be a time and a place for that, Dan. I can’t wait for that conversation to happen on your show and we’ll definitely let Fire Nation know about that because I think it’ll be an epic, conversation that we have there. And I’ve been furiously taking notes, Fire Nation. Like, I literally have a page of notes from this conversation. And that’s why I love, by the way, of being a host of a podcast like this because Dan, you are episode No. 1,793. Now what does that mean to me? That I’ve had 1,793 mentors who I’ve been learning from just like you have, Fire Nation.
If you think that I’m just sitting here asking questions, I’m sitting here learning just like you are. And the fact that I get to have these conversations with people like Dan, you know, this is what keeps me getting up every single day, having amazing conversations, and then sharing them with you. And if you think that Dan has been dropping value bombs thus far you would be correct. And if you think they’re going to be stopping anytime soon you would be incorrect. So we’re gonna go thank our sponsors, be right back, don’t you go anywhere. Dan, we’re back and I have a question about you being ready to rock the lightning round. Are you ready?
Dan: I’m ready.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Dan: Comparing myself with others.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Dan: Do something right now. Growing up my dad always said you know enough right now and have enough skill set in your toolbox to take action right now. Too many people are sitting around wondering if the glass is half empty or half full, they’ve missed the point. It’s refillable. Thinking positively or thinking negatively doesn’t fill up the glass, the pouring does. It’s easier to act your way into positive thinking than it is to think your way into positive action. It’s not the sugar that makes the tea sweet, it’s the stirring, it’s the process. Do something right now with what you know and what you have.
John: Dan, you’ve been doing great things for a really long time. What would you say is a personal habit that’s allowed you to do this?
Dan: To focus on the core values of the United States military, loyalty, excellence in all you do, respect, how about duty, how about honesty, how about integrity, how about personal courage. You know those from your Army background, the United States Air Force, which I’m mostly involved with, has just simply integrity first, service before self, and a commitment to excellence in all you do. Those are more than just words.
On October 23, 2010 I had a chance to soar to the edge of space in a U2 reconnaissance plane. And because it’s a classified mission I can only tell your listeners that at 70,000 feet above the Earth’s surface you see two-thirds of the state of California. At 80,000 feet you see mapped outlines of America and at 90,000 feet you start asking yourself deep eternal questions like are we more than mere mortal beings living on a small planet for a short season? What’s it really all about? And I’m looking around, for over four and a half hours I sat in the sounds of silence looking at the curvature of the Earth, gazing into the endless blackness of space wondering what in the world is this about.
And this is the message, bro. When we landed I realized that the most significant thing in our world is to figure out a way to make our lives matter so we do not die with our music still in us. And so regardless of how much money we make, regardless of how much fame we achieve, at the end of the day the idea is to make everybody else around us better. So they always leave us – even on a radio show, even on a podcast, saying I like me best when I’m with you, I wanna see you again. I like me best when I’m with you, I wanna see you again. And if you did it, I can do it too.
John: That just gave me shivers and Fire Nation, if it didn’t give you shivers then check your pulse because something’s going on there. Dan, you’ve written over 34 books, which ones should Fire Nation start with? I mean, we’ve been listening to you; I’ve bought into everything that you stand for and everything that you’re sharing with this world, where do we start?
Dan: The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success. It’s published by Penguin/Random House, I’m really proud of that book. Forward by Jack Canfield. I was the primary contributing author to all the Chicken Soup for the Soul books so you know I’m a storyteller. I’m a gold record song writer; I’ve got some gold records in country music which means you know I understand the process in taking an entire experience and distilling it into a three minute and 40 second song so every word pays its own way. I love the editing words, the editing process that every word must pay its own way.
So The Art of Significance has consolidated steps, it has real life tools that will benefit you for a lifetime. And what I did in my maverick, renegade ways, I identified the 12 most common principles of success that we’ve all purchased in our own little psyche, that we’ve all bought into in some way, that have actually created limiting beliefs, like begin with the end in mind. And I’ve replaced each of these most common principles of success, which are debatable, with what I call the 12 highest universal laws of life-changing leadership.
And so the book, The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success will actually allow you to take yourself to the next level, not because it’s expected by others but because it’s demanded of yourself. And so for example, the law No. 1 is obedience. And the way I state it, replacing the principle of success that’s now obsolete, practice obedience beyond free will agency.
So if we have a moment, what I always share is a story and a parable and the story that illustrates that first law, the law of obedience, which kind of sets the stage for the rest of the other 11 laws in The Art of Significance. The story is a father is in a park flying a kite with his little son and the dad says to his little boy, what holds the kite up in the sky? And this little guy says the wind. And his dad says no, the wind doesn’t hold the kite up, the string does. And this little boy scratches his head and he says daddy, the string doesn’t hold the kite up, the string holds the kite down. And his dad smiles and says if you think so let go of the string.
So the little guy lets go of the string and sure enough the winds blow his kite wherever the winds decide to take it. Little guy kicks in gear, he starts chasing the string all over the park, finally steps on it, holds tightly onto the string and sure enough the kite climbs back into the blue, cloudless, windy day and becomes what it was supposed to be, the kite.
So metaphorically the kite represents our dreams, our goals. The wind represents an opposition in all things. Are you serious? Yeah. In order to appreciate the light we must have the darkness. We must have justice to appreciate mercy. We must have sickness to appreciate health. We must have death to appreciate the sanctity of life. There’s an opposition in all things. The string represents the rules, the governing principles and these 12 highest universal laws of life-changing leadership that we must commit to obey if we want to control our dream and our goal and withstand all the opposition.
As an entrepreneur, what are the oppositions? Lack of capital, negative support from family and friends, ah, you should never do that, go get a real job. We can list all of the oppositions, but what we have to understand is that when the little kid let go of the string that symbolizes his succumbing to the temptations of the world, the negativity, the fake news, all the things in our lives that hold us back that especially talk entrepreneurs, risk-takers, out of our good, clean, pure, powerful, positive dreams. But then the reality sets in.
I believe that every single person born into this world was born with a conscience. We have an inherent ability to discern right from wrong, truth from error. And if you don’t believe it ask a teenager if you had you for a child would you be nervous. And they all look at you like wow, I wouldn’t even be – I would have been grounded since I was DNA. We all inherently know what’s right and wrong. So I believe that every person born of this world was born with a conscience, our ability to discern right from wrong.
And so if somehow we could put together a group of your listeners and we all walked into a room and the room was so stinky, so smelly, so repulsive that our eyes started to bleed and our noses started to ring, you realize if we stayed in that smelly room for ten minutes suddenly it wouldn’t stink anymore. We would become desensitized to that smell and it would become the new normal. How many times are we allowing ourselves for that to happen in our day by the people we talk to, by the movies we watch, by the music we listen to, by the fake news and the relationships of people who are always dream busters instead of dream builders?
And so the little kid in the parable of the kite, once he realizes that he should have never disobeyed and let go of the string, his conscience kicks in, which means he’s running after the string. And now what does he discover? Once he steps on that string and commits again to holding tightly to the string, he can now control his life.
For anyone listening, as we conclude our time together, bro, anybody whose life is unraveled remember two things. No. 1, you can always catch the string again. No matter how many times you’ve let go of the string in your personal relationships, how many times you’ve had financial failure, you can run again and catch the string. And most significantly, No. 2, the kid now learned that he had been obeying his dad. Too many of us obey people. We allow them to hold us back. Now he understands that he no longer has to go to the park with his dad.
And any time a colleague, a friend, an associate, a coworker whispers let go of the string, let’s take longer for lunch, we don’t have to come to work on time, whatever the case may be, he knows that that’s a bad influence. Get away from me and now he commits to obeying the 12 highest universal laws in my book, The Art of Significance, because he says so not because it’s expected by others but because it’s demanded of himself. And now he knows that the goal is to obey the highest laws.
So if you want to be a successful and significant entrepreneur, if you want a forever relationship, you know that happily ever after is a day-at-a-time proposition, then you will obey these 12 highest universal laws. And I detail them in my book The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success. And you can touch base with me and join my tribe on danclark.com, click on receive free gifts and training and you’ll start receiving all kinds of stuff. I have story of the week, I have joke of the day, I got so many things. And I really wanna just make a difference. I have to say it’s an honor, John Lee Dumas. What a stud you are on every level.
John: Dan, this is why I do this, brother, because I get to meet people like you and continue to up level my game. And Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I mean, hello, you’ve been hanging out with DC and JLD today. So keep up the heat and if you head over to eofire.com and just type Dan in the search bar, his show notes page is gonna pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz, time stamps, links galore.
If you haven’t already, pause this interview and gone and got The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success, what are you waiting for? I’ve already done it while Dan was talking and I was still paying attention and I was buying his book because it’s gonna be incredible. And I am also gonna be checking out danclark.com, I hope you do as well. The joke of the day is something I’m already looking forward to. I’m sure it’s pretty funny. And, Dan, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, brother, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Dan: Thanks, John Lee Dumas. Love you, brother.
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