Podcast: Dr. John Delony Mental Health Expert with Ramsey Solutions
In this Champion Hope Podcast episode, we explore how to write a new story, the importance of sleep, nutrition, and establishing the small wins that you do every day that make a difference over time.
Are You Ready To Win At Work And At Home?
Jump Start Gives You 46 Prompts To Establish Quick Wins
Is it time for you to level up in life and live into your God-given design?
If you are like me you like to get straight to the point and learn the tools and tips. I have created a book for you that you can download for FREE called Jump Start: 46 Quick Wins for the Modern Christian Man and How to Win from the Bedroom to the Boardroom.
What Do You Get?
How to Lead Your Wife in Intimacy and Sex
How to Calm Your Anxious Mind
How to Design Your Life
How to Become the Dad Your Kids Deserve
How to to Say No and Get Stuff Done
How to Hear the Voice of God
Jump Start is a journaling-based book. You can get a print version on Amazon.
Unedited AI transcription below of the podcast.
Okay. Well, thank you, Dr. JOHN Maloney for coming on the champion hope podcast today super honored and humbled. Our roots go back to man as early as 1999. But my my earliest memory of you.
I think it was that freshman week at Lubbock Christian University. And you did the backpack talk of luggage and things and just leave your luggage behind. Leave your stuff behind. I did that. Yeah. Yeah, that was your very first 1999.
Dr. John Delony 4:30
I have no recollection of that. So it’s funny because I still give that talk now. And I thought I just rewrote it and made it all new. I thought I wrote it just a year ago. Turns out I’m just recycling 20 year old material. That’s embarrassing.
Lantz Howard 4:41
And nothing new under the sun. Alright.
Dr. John Delony 4:44
Wow, not even in my own. Hey, if that’s the if that’s the memory you have, that’s good. There’s people that would say, Hey, man, my memories of you are, aren’t super great for podcast, so that’s good.
Lantz Howard 4:58
You’ve recently wrote a book you’ve already said
Please join Dave Ramsey in the entree leadership and you know whole his whole host of brands and So congrats on that journey want to dive into some of your journey but but first I just want to give a shout out to your Instagram post this this morning and maybe we can talk about it for a few minutes specific specifically I just started laughing
that the processed foods and the artificial preservatives and colors that we add into all the stuff are barely more nutritious and the cheapest dog food
Dr. John Delony 5:36
was probably I probably am not being honest I but the dog food tells here right? At least the dog food came from an animal or a plant
Lantz Howard 5:44
so so while we’re on it for a moment, your huge mental health advocate anxiety is probably your your niche per se here that’s what you’re branded by. How is our current state of food and nutrition impacting our life?
Dr. John Delony 6:03
I think if if a couple of things one, there is a lot of hoopla and I get caught up in the hoopla I used to have spreadsheets dude that are embarrassing. Like I was like a beautiful mind like, just bonkers. I had spreadsheets of fad diets, I would try for 30 days and I got my glucose me all the stuff. And I have diabetes, I just want to know like what are these actually doing to my body. And then now as we’ve gotten into some more wearables and stuff like that you can I got this little kind of gadget, so I want to find out what the stuffs actually doing. To me. The reality is so much of it, we don’t know, I really don’t know and there’s some some of the some of the studies are just so garbage. And now we’re in a world where the manufacturers are just hiring their own scientists do their own studies and that way they own the results and they can shell the negative ones and only put out the positive ones and some of the positive ones are just it’s just bad science but at the end of the day, I know this to be true, we’re eating way more way more often and way more manufactured, not real food. And we are mainlining sugar and we are mainlining just a
you know, just like I was gonna say smorgasbord that makes you feel like an idiot we’re mailing a whole bunch of chemicals it didn’t exist 50 years ago or 100 years ago that we may not have the double blind study to prove x y and z but I know we all know that our bodies are designed to just the stuff and so I think we’re just playing whack a mole with our physiology and now the research is super clear there’s not really mental health or physical health those are academic bifurcations there’s really just health and when you push one Domino man just we’re all wired differently we’re all from different places our ancestors and we’re all have different genetic makeup man and when you push those dominoes you still fall and I just I just eating real food and slowing down in less food and being cognitive open and our bodies we just we’ve just sold that out
Lantz Howard 8:08
that that’s the theme for our month in my mastermind that I host and yesterday with the guys I had them rank themselves one to five and five different areas you know sleep stress nutrition What are because I’m going to leave this topic what are three things that you’ve done today to kind of combat the decisions you’re making to live a wholehearted Life to Live I don’t want to say carefree but what are what are nutritious decisions you’ve made actually today on on this day?
Dr. John Delony 8:45
Um, let’s see this morning. I was so I, I look at my you take one step after the other every day and your days become weeks and weeks to come month right? So you can make some tiny little decisions every day. The other side of that is you can those decisions are become a piece of a larger ecosystem. So I looked at that today was reflective of what yesterday looked like it was reflective of last Tuesday Wednesday I did a talk here for a mortgage company a giant mortgage company here in Nashville and then I jumped on a plane and flew to Houston to do an event that night in Houston. The next morning at five we were up on a plane to fly back and then I had two days where the shows and I got back on a plane and what to love to do an event that was four talks in 24 hours and then landed back was that yeah Linda back to a Monday night and then man Tuesday we were on it so now I’m waking up Wednesday and then or when this this thing comes out but I’m waking up Wednesday so I was highly usually I don’t eat breakfast or if I do it’s real high fat breakfast and that just gets me through and so today though I did sit down and have breakfast for college and and berries and some of nachos. I don’t know some yogurt from goats that slept in the bed or none somewhere on those. I mean, some of I mean, yeah, and, and then for lunch, I had a high protein, high fat lunch with, with no grains or any of that kind of garbage. And so it’s been attention about where I’m at today. And so I know today I’m going to be dragging, I didn’t sleep as well as I wanted to last night. And so I’m going to be in touch about my nutrition. So now once you once you make some life changes, it says I’m going to kick sugar on my life, I’m going to kick grains on my life, then I can begin to dial it in today, I’m going to need a little bit more and I’m not going to feel bad about I don’t eat breakfast. Well, that’s dumb if you need breakfast, eat breakfast, right? Or I don’t ever eat well Don’t be like that, right. But sometimes you got to swipe the whole desk clean before you start putting stuff back on. And then last time, being intentional about sleep, we went to bed, my wife was laughing. And we are such losers. I think the lights are off at like 920. Last night, we just went to bed early. And then this morning, I skipped the gym, and it was raining outside. And I live on a bunch of on some not a bunch on seven acres out here in the woods. And there was a meditative morning. So when sat on my front porch with my coffee, and I literally just breathed for an hour, and I didn’t work out and lift. And I’m a big proponent of lift and working out to be part of my day. And it wasn’t today. So some of it’s just dialing in on where you are today. When you live, what’s your whole picture of health look like? Those are three things there. Man. It sounds Hey, this is gonna sound stupid. It’s harder for me on most days to not work out. It’s hard for me to rest. And so some people, I’ve got people in my life I love it’s really hard for them to get to the gym. It’s not for me, it’s the other way, like today was a day I needed to rest and he’s gonna listen to your body.
Lantz Howard 11:36
But I mean, you’re the key you’re talking about is anticipating being able to anticipate intentionally. But also the key that you’re talking about is that the habits that you built over time, allow you to get back on track. I think a lot of times people get overwhelmed by even starting any type of goal, much less a health goal, because they get overwhelmed by the entire journey versus just looking at like today and you’re aware enough of like, Okay, I’m anticipating all my travel schedules, but I need to get back on track.
Dr. John Delony 12:08
Or like when I when I land that my team here makes fun of me when we land in a new town. And again, this sounds so diva cheesy, like it’s embarrassing to say it’s just but it’s being honest. I buy that when we land, the first thing I do is go to gym, I need 45 minutes or an hour to just blow all that travel out. I’m always late 100% of time late to the airport, and sitting around and waiting and flying hate flight. So there’s just a it’s just me hitting Ctrl Alt Delete on that day, and then we go down whatever event we’re there to do, but build that time into my schedule. Just I know, I
Lantz Howard 12:45
know, I get it. I mean, my wife and I just bought a Vitamix travel carrying case, because we’re like religious about our smoothies. We’re just religious about it.
Dr. John Delony 12:57
So I think it comes down to intentionality. Like, I could have been surprised that I was tired when I woke up on Wednesday. I knew last Monday that this upcoming Wednesday I was going to be tired, I can just look at my travel schedule. And I can be I can be in service to that or I can get on top of it. And be intentional about going to bed be intentional about
community time and be intentional about I’m putting my body I can eat it pretend like Oh, I didn’t know I
Lantz Howard 13:25
will probably come back to this this theme in a moment. So I want to go on your journey for just a brief second because I know let’s use Andrew Peterson’s songs at home and some of his language but you serving in the mental health capacity in the field that you’re in. A lot of people look at you today. And they’re like man, I could never be john Maloney who goes outside and stands in the grass with my shoes off and sit for 10 minutes and breathe and read my Bible like whatever right get outside and deadlift, you know, 350 pounds, whatever you’re doing these days
Dr. John Delony 14:05
Lantz Howard 14:08
But you know, like a lot of people kind of see where you’re at today. And don’t really know that journey away from home. So So kind of take us on that journey of your evolution of growth and the valleys and mountains that would be relevant, you know, for for our time today.
Dr. John Delony 14:28
Yeah, I think I’d go back, maybe two or three seeds that that are bearing fruit now 2030 years later is some parents I grew up and they weren’t perfect. Dad was a homicide detective and a SWAT guy. My mom wasn’t allowed to go to college. That was just the culture she grew up in. And so her first community college class was at 42 she finally got the courage just to buck the system. And she took a class and another class the next semester another class. And then my dad was a SWAT guy homicide detector. He’s a stud in the city of Houston saw some wild stuff. And then over a weekend, took a job in ministry, a large church in Houston. And then over time, my mom went from the sterile mom, she like worked in the craft room at a local church to, she graduated at 57 with a PhD and then became tenured as a professor at 63. And she’s 71. Now she just stopped being the department chair this year, she wouldn’t get on a plane before and now she’s flying and teaching at Oxford, in Wales all over the world. So I grew up with parents who gave who not only talk a lot of parents say, just follow your dreams, do whatever do what’s my parents just did the next thing that made the most sense. And the next craziest thing, so I got a moto model a picture for that. The second thing is I was raised in a, in a, in a culture of curiosity, less judgment and a lot of curiosity. So then if you don’t know something, go figure it out and go to the library. My mom’s library every week when I was a kid, we read like crazy as kids. And then as we got older, it was always wanted to go figure it out. And then most of my career has been at colleges. And, man, I don’t know much of anything, Lance. But you know, what’s cool is I got a lot of buddy, like, that dude’s got a degree in physiology, when COVID kicked off. This was cool. I don’t know anything about epidemiology. I got a friend who’s a cancer biologist, she knows way more than in so I don’t even have to. I’ve never had to Google anything I just asked my buddy who’s the Dean of a pharmacy school. So the whole I was grew up with, have some people in your life that you can go to, to ask hard questions. And so this idea of being curious, and I think a lot of folks get locked down and judgment. And I’m having mental health challenges, what’s going on, I’m struggling, I don’t sleep well. For me, the default setting was curiosity. Let’s even go figure this out. And then the third thing was I did grow up with a, I had some really remarkable friends and coaches who poured into my moving my body was it’s been a part of my life, since I was a teeny tiny little kid. I think I have a ADHD tattooed on my forehead, right. So I mean, I’m a card carrying member, and instead of some of the more modern pharmaceutical approaches, but I had two people encouraged different things growing up. And so that’s paid dividends as I’ve been, I’ve gotten older. So some of those habits are just instilled here. But as I faced my own mental health crisis, I’ve tried to accomplish and achieve love and accomplish and achieve worth through job titles and through salary numbers. And through any number of things. When you’re trying to when I was trying to just get to the finish line, instead of running the race. You cut corners, you exaggerate, make stuff up, I would say you’ve been there, because the goal is just to get to the finish line. And then what I’ve come to realize over the last 20 years of coaching and counseling folks and dealing with people in the worst of moments, and none of that stuff matters. It just doesn’t. And I know it sounds so cliche and cheesy. And my 18 year old self would laugh at me, but it doesn’t. And so then when I found myself not well, I was working at a university. And so I just took a counseling class and I took another one and took another one and ended up with another degree. That was never the goal. The goal was just to figure out what the hell’s going on. And then just kind of went down a rabbit hole there.
Lantz Howard 18:18
Interesting. So you kind of ran into yourself. Because you took one counseling class?
Dr. John Delony 18:26
Well, I knew I was real close to burn it all down. I got to a point when I was over so much stuff at the university, one of the verses I was working at, I had so many people working for me so many department, I could have not gone to work for a week or two. If I just answered my cell phone, no one would have even asked where I was because I was just everywhere. And then I was in hospitals three or four nights out of the week with students or you know, out drunk students, or sick students or students who passed to me just mass and then you’re dealing with crisis and trauma. And then you’re leading your own staff. And so you got to deal with their hearts and minds and dreams and wishes, hopes and fears and all that. And then we hadn’t been able to have kids for several years. And then suddenly, we had a little boy and my wife was a professor, and we didn’t, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to do any of that stuff. And we lived in grief for so long. And then suddenly you got a kid and you’re excited, but it’s weird. And yeah, my brain just said enough. And it manifested us. I had been on an MMA team for several years. And we practice from eight to 10 at night and so I’d get home all wired up and then somebody handed me this magic pill called Ambien that would just knock you out and suddenly five or six years later I can’t I can’t get in bed without it right? And so you’re not sleeping and you’re and it just goes on and on and on and on. And then one day I just got up that didn’t tell anyone where I was going and I drove to see a buddy who’s a medical doctor and I said brother, I’m not okay. And I started short, a long journey back spiritually, physically, emotionally, relationally everywhere, and it’s been it’s been a rebuild ever since.
Lantz Howard 20:01
Would you say it sounds like most of that’s probably the decade of the 30s. I mean for that, at that age, age bracket.
Dr. John Delony 20:08
Yeah. 26 to when I was in 26, is when I got my first higher ed job when I was over my head. When I was I was leading things that I was when I didn’t have the wisdom for 26 year old kid dealing with really complex sexual assault cases and tragedy, I mean, that those are tough. And I had some extraordinary mentors that walked alongside me during those things. But that was when it started. And then I had a ringside seat to watch an executive implode, and I learned Whoa, don’t do those things and don’t so it was, but that was the precursor on ramp to my 30s, which was trying to do it all. And, and not sacrifice anything.
Lantz Howard 20:48
But But what I want everyone to hear, and any, any probably have seen this to be true in your work, is that your story, right? That the context of it may be different. But the truth is, is that we all are on this path, and we’re all going to run up against ourselves. And we’re all going to have a decision to make, am I am I going to walk in truth and grace and try to figure this out. Or, as some would say, you know, typically around the age of 36, we hit this wall, and we can try to learn the lesson that God is trying to teach us. Or what happens most frequently, especially in men’s lives is that we don’t learn the lesson. And we continue the cycle over and over and over right build the business it crashes, build the business, I’m a millionaire crashes, build the business crashes. So if you’re going to kind of reorient to somebody that’s listening to this, like right there, they’re standing at that wall. And they know the decision to make and they know the journey back home is the journey that they need to make. How would you try to help someone reorient their lives to make that journey back home, right that Ambien moment? Possibly they don’t have all the friends that you have to call. But how do you how do you kind of guide someone through to this very pragmatic way of pointing them back home?
Dr. John Delony 22:12
I think the first thing is to recognize all of its hard. And the choice is not a difficult journey, or an easy journey. The choices, choose your heart, it is hard being 75 pounds overweight, and your knees don’t work, and you can’t get out of bed and you don’t feel like being intimate with your wife, and she doesn’t feel like you’ve been around and you’re grumpy. And you’re just watching video games, or play video games, watch TV. That’s hard life. And it feels simple. It’s not it’s miserable. And getting up every single morning, working out is hard. And so the choices you got choose your heart. And when you when I recognize there’s not an easy road, there’s not even taking your foot off the gas, you get hit from behind, you’re gonna get hit. And so choose your heart. The second one is you can’t do this by yourself. And you’ve got to have other men in your life. And so I think back to when I made the decision to get in my car and driving go see a doctor. The part of the story I don’t always tell was a year before that a buddy of mine who has some fancy pants Lord, we just started lifting weights together five more. And we did that for a year. And I didn’t think about it, but I just knew if I skipped he’d be there. And so I kept going and kept going and kept going. And I used to think it was the physical benefits and the discipline benefits some of that’s true. But really it was the accountability. And we talked about everything from marriage to kids to frustration to work to complaining to cheering each other on and that was part of it. And then I had another guy was a spiritual mentor. And the three of us met for Mexican food every Tuesday for a year and we talked about scary things if I didn’t know how to tell a group of guy a couple of guys Dude, I’m really scared about this. And that was from the economic when the economy was class had collapsed. And there was a lot of uncertainty in the university world because you couldn’t borrow one and it was a mess. And watch watching somebody who was a really remarkable and well well respected leader say I’m really scared I don’t know. That didn’t freak me out. That gave me a model for Ah, that’s what courage looks like. That’s a confidence looks like going into a situation with bullets flying everywhere and not feeling nervous, not feeling scared, not feeling apprehensive. That’s insanity. That’s not courageous, courageous is feeling like I might get shot and I’m going in anyway. Right? So it’s learning what those things feel like and then it was about having people in your life and making hard decisions and the hard decisions are not sometimes there I’m going to quit my job or I need to, you know, reimagine my marriage. often the hardest choices are, I got to put my running shoes on right now. I got to put the donut down. I got to go live. I got to not respond to this email until tomorrow because I’m pissed off right now. I’ve got to, if I look at my wife right now I’m gonna rage out. And I still have to tell her. I’m sorry for what I just said, I still got to go help with the dishes because it’s the right thing. I’m gonna make dinner. So it’s these things that feel so insurmountable. And then you’d be in the practice those little things. And it’s remarkable. You look up and it’s seven years later, and everything around you is different.
Lantz Howard 25:29
Yeah, thank you for that that was super helpful.
Dr. John Delony 25:34
I think they over sensationalized and often over spiritualize the journey.
Lantz Howard 25:38
It’s Oh, absolutely,
Dr. John Delony 25:39
it’s about get a carrot man, not a beer and or stop at one beer and do it once a week instead of once every, you know, 30 minutes to get it sitting down. And when you say, Man, I need a drink or I need to grab some Skittles. Just stop for a second ago. Why would I? What am I hiding from right? So it’s these little bitty moments. It’s not these often these big, grandiose Hollywood moments.
Lantz Howard 26:01
I mean, our comfort and complacency is literally killing us. You know, in the passive lifestyle. From outside looking in, it’s like, oh, man, that must be nice to do whatever they’re doing, right? But the comfort is, like a perfect example. Someone’s like day 14 of the 75 hard challenge right now. Okay, there you go. So super mindful things are happening like this morning, the girls are having their toast. doing our deal. I’ve got some new pumpkin butter yesterday from Trader Joe’s. And I’m like, about to put that spoon back in the sink. And I like look at it. And I’m like, man, I would used to like just lick that sucker, right? No big deal. Like I’m super healthy. But in the scheme of things, it’s like trying to take your mental awareness and your heart awareness to another level. Because all these little things make a huge difference over time. And
Dr. John Delony 27:00
here’s where I’ve gotten a received a lot of grace for myself, and it’s actually made me breathe deeper. And one of my goals is to pass this along with those moments right there like I’m about to just lick the spoon or and I committed to something that said I wasn’t going to we often moralize that or turn that into a character issue. And getting a neuroscience last five or six years has been really helpful for me in that our brains are designed to offload as much as possible to go to default to routine as much as possible and so instead of judging yourself when you’re about to put that in your mouth and go man you slob you wouldn’t You’re so unintentional you know just think I you can pause and go Ah, my brain offloaded that I need to be intentional about it. And it’s honoring this wild brain is trying to take in all these sounds and smells and colors and everything and process it all at once. And no, I do have control over my thoughts I do have control over my default settings I just got to even though I have defaults and that’s the same thing with rage it’s the same thing with getting like yelling at somebody or getting angry or skipping what all that stuff is if you can just be curious and not beat yourself up over it then you can begin to just change the dial on your brain a little bit and all catch up with endota
Lantz Howard 28:17
and that and what you’re talking about is that that perfection sets in that shame sets in for people that are aren’t aware to that level for sure. Are you good if I ask
Dr. John Delony 28:28
you a couple of coaching questions to dig into anything man wide open? All right.
Lantz Howard 28:34
What is what is john working on right now that but you’re just kind of hitting the wall right? I mean, it may not be a real wall but it’s like what are you working on that’s meaningful that you’re trying to pursue that maybe it’s a challenge right now.
Dr. John Delony 28:50
I would say the two biggest things that I’m wrestling with is if you had said what is my superpower I would have given you to one superpower is my ability to detach from a situation so that comes from years of crisis works up you can see blood and guts and brains and and there’s I don’t know how to describe it other than there’s just a shift that you can make and back out of it so you can be present be with somebody and not be overwhelmed by the second one is sleep. I’ve become pathological about sleep my friends have made fun of me for years about going to bed at 10 o’clock or nine o’clock or leaving the party just to go to bed and I for years they were they had their feelings hurt but and I just tell him the tomorrow’s will be more fun. If I sleep and then they’ve got you know that as these these wearables have gotten more and more precise. I’ve realized I am terrible at sleep. So I’m in bed a long time but I’m terrible. And as I’ve pulled the string on that and tray all the way back to childhood trauma. One of the reasons that that dealing with jolly dramas and dealing with Ongoing traumas and cumulative traumas is, I think I’ve been in fight or flight for 40 years. And when you’re fleeing for 40 years, I see a pattern in my life of chaos and of crap everywhere. And I’m always late to everything. So the last year so for me in this in this media ecosystem, the more books you sell, and the more radio shows you’re on, and the more talks you do, the more books you sell. And the more books you got to write and the more talks so it’s, it’s a machine, it’s a beast that you can ever feed. And for a guy who’s always just sliding into home, like, my boss didn’t like to travel with me in higher ed, because I was almost always late to the flights. And you can’t do that when someone’s paying you 10s and 10s and 10s of 1000s of dollars to come lead their event for the You can’t miss that flight, you just can’t. So it’s in my family’s got a plan. And I’ve got an 11 year old who’s looking a lot like his old man, and it’s making me like, Oh no, I gave him that I gave him that. So some of it has been the reverse engineering all the way back to finally dealing with seven and nine year old john. And some of that is dealing with what I think is the character issue of the time. And it’s disrespectful to other people. And what is the neurology in between those things, what’s the psychology and spirituality between those things. So that’s number one is dealing with some stuff I just haven’t dealt with in a long time. And the second thing is, the trap in this particular job is always the way here’s a phrase it a biology professor can go into sophomore year in college and ask their students Hey, what do you want to learn when he goes interested in bio biology. And they can say dinosaurs, they can say plants is a great, I’m gonna teach you all about dinosaurs of plants. And you could have a great class, you get great teacher, he vows the students would love it, they’d learned some stuff about chlorophyll and about, you know, the Jurassic age or whatever. And they would fail the med school exam, because you didn’t teach them what they needed to know. And so we’re in this media ecosystem. Right now we’re really in this education system, where the world’s just designed itself in the last five years just to tell us what we already know, and what we already believe. And we already think we want to know. And so there is no pressure to hear news that we don’t want to hear. There’s no pressure to hear news that are uncommon is uncomfortable for us. And so
I just know if I want this, I’ll go to Fox and I’m telling it that I go cnn if I want that I’ll go to ABC and Instagram just sends me anything that I already think it knows me better than I do. And Facebook just tells me what I want to hear. And so for me it is how do you balance trying to have a job, you want people to read your stuff. And at the same time, so much stuff in this in the mental health space out here is trash, it’s just garbage. It’s nonsense. And how do you tell people, here’s what you really need to hear in a way that they’ll actually want to hear it. Right? That’s become the hard part for me. And I’m just used to captive grad students for the last 15 years that they got to sit in my class. And we can walk through what you got to learn. And so it’s trying not to be tempted by so where the rubber meets the road there. I may get after somebody on on one of my shows, they call in and say I’m cheating on my wife and blah, and I may let them have it. Well, if that video does really good. I got somebody who works here that will tell me that video did great. And the temptation for me is is to yell at every caller makes every selection. Right? And so that may not be whatever you call it, me. And so it’s staying in, staying in, in this moment, even if it’s going to cost you views and likes and those are real dollars to nowadays. Stay in play a long game, like the long game is integrity in the long game is to be true to yourself in the long game is if this whole thing goes away. I’m still a good dad and still a good husband. And we’ll figure out what’s next is next. Right? That’s that’s a tough, tough season.
Lantz Howard 33:56
Absolutely. So, so playing the long game and then going back to the question that you’re asking yourself, I mean, it’s a common question I’ll ask and people that do counseling coaching, kind of know that origin story. So what do you learn about yourself? When you ask yourself that 678 years old, john, about one either possibly my presence doesn’t matter or I’m dishonouring myself or I’m dishonouring other people so what do you what do you actually learning from going back that is relevant to john today?
Dr. John Delony 34:35
I’ll be really honest, and you can just edit this out if it’s not a good fit for the show. Okay, I’m the React what I didn’t realize I was carrying. The narrative that I grew up with was this. JOHN, there’s a cosmic God who likes you. He loves you. But you said that bad word or you saw playboy under that one guy’s bed lives down the street, and I had to kill my kid because of you. And now I’m watching. And if you screw up, I will torture in Maine and earn you for all of eternity because that’s what you get. And if I was to take God out of that equation and put a neighborhood father in that equation, that’s trauma that’s abusive. And what I didn’t realize is how much that translated every other relationship. So I found myself doing whatever I possibly could to either a escape relationships or be whoever that person in front of me needed me to be so that they would like me. And that’s an exhausting, rudderless way to live. And so then you wake up, and you’re 30 or 40, and you’re looking at your little kid, and they can tell you no anchor, you don’t know who you are. Because I’ve been playing a game I’ve been running for 3040 years. And that’s not to mention, you know, whatever. Real Life trauma happens as a kid. So it’s going back and writing letters to my six year old self saying, You’re a good kid. And you did stupid stuff when you were nine, and you were nine, right? Or you were 18. And you’re an idiot, and you were 28, you’re 35. And you shouldn’t have said this, like this, or this joke wasn’t funny. And there’s a period of end of that sentence that happened. And the question The world needs now is not you don’t whine and complain and try to go edit something you can’t edit it happened. The world is now asking what sentence Are you going to write next. And so it is really almost this weird. Reverse Engineering, just going back and letting past John’s finally sleep. finally rest. And some of its been intentional with some intentional letter writing, some of it is being intentional about when my body starts to react to things and like, where where’s that come from? And that’s just being curious, right? Just I love the physiology of trauma. It’s been fascinating to experience it in real time. But it Yes, it’s being highly intentional, and some of that and is going through some old memories that are and I did not want to deal with, and you got to right, you got it, you got to dig the infection out.
Lantz Howard 37:22
So how does this apply to john, when he goes on the next trip with the Dave Ramsey? team, whatever you’re up to. And you’re realizing I’ve got to show up with my whole heart character matters. My presence matters because I need to honor them. Like, what’s that narrative? Like? What’s the kind of summary that you’re kind of trying to play out right now, that kind of helps you shift the new narrative.
Dr. John Delony 37:50
It’s two things. One, it’s there’s an old bobby knight quote that everybody wants, and I’m going to butcher it, but everybody wants to be the champion on game day. But that’s not where champions are made. And they’re made in the practice room a year in advance, right? So a lot of making sure my I am, my head is on right, and I’m in optimum shape to deal with my thoughts and with my actions is making sure my nutrition is right. And my sleep is right. And my marriage is right. And my relationship with my kids is right. And so all that stuff happens way upstream. And then when you land in a new town with a group of people, and you get off the jet, and you head up to the thing, man, I’m in a good mental space, I’m not good physical space, the idea that I’m going to fall off some wagon, it’s not even real, because I’ve done the prep work. It’s when you land somewhere in a new city, and you’re exhausted and you’re baked, and you’re fried, and you got to play some sort of role. And that’s when you’re in danger of slipping and falling and getting hurt, right, making bad decisions. And then the second thing is, I don’t fully have my head wrapped around this idea of what a brand is. Somebody here said it best The brand is who you are, what people think of you when you’re not in the room. And I do like that. But the idea of constructing an artificial brand and trying to live into that is insane to me, I don’t know how you can you can’t keep that up. And so the beauty of the organic nature of the way this thing started with me is like the brand is just that’s how I do it is yummy for good or for bad. And when I took this job, me and my wife talked about it, I’m just going to be as authentic as I can. And if it doesn’t work, I’ll have to look in the mirror and say they didn’t like me, and I’ll be okay with that. Because the other side of that is is playing a role in constructing some nonsense that at some point falls down. If you’re not truly congruent at some point that implodes or worse, you pass it to your kids and they got to deal with that. And so those are the two things when you you get way upstream and then man, I did an event the other night it was 1400 people there and I told him out the gate Nervous as I’ve ever been because it was a homecoming of I mean, it’s just a weird event. So just being honest and not trying to play something that you’re not, and people will go with honesty,
Lantz Howard 40:10
congruency integrity, and an authentic heart goes a long way. With a lot less exhausting, right? Oh, yeah. But But, but our culture is very pretentious, right? Whether it’s church, whether it’s organizations, like Instagram, like, right, we’ve set up our lives to be something that it’s totally not. And I think COVID has exposed that people are now having to run into themselves and begin to ask all these questions that we’ve talked about.
Dr. John Delony 40:38
Tonight. Yours mirrors tough, man. more stuff.
Lantz Howard 40:42
So thank you for for your time. I mean, the brand thing we could chase that for a whole nother while because prior to this, you weren’t really on social media. And one day,
Dr. John Delony 40:51
I had zero Dude, I never Yeah, didn’t exist. I was so stupid.
Lantz Howard 40:55
JOHN delone 200 followers who like where’s he been in Hollywood? or What is he up to these days? And
Dr. John Delony 41:02
that’s where I left? Yeah, when you and I left, that’s where I was headed. Yeah, it’s a it’s a weird ecosystem. And so the question for me is, how do you use something that I know both? The research tells me my personal experience tells me I’ve been watching students implode young people and their families for years. Who man How do you wade into that and be a steward of it and not let it take over and it’s been tough man. Social music demons, that stuff’s tough, and not unlike the spook you who like Bible demons, but like that sucker will get your soul and it’s tough. And at the same time, I don’t know 50,000 people, I don’t know a million. I know I like hanging out with five guys. I’ve hung out with the guy. I was in Lubbock, Texas this past weekend, and I hung out with the same dude I was in college with we just sat on his back porch. And I’m so I don’t, it’s a great vehicle to connect. But it’s not real connection. So it’s a great vehicle to trade information. And is when I begin to think that it’s connection that’s what I’m, I’m wrong, because it’s not when it’s I use it for a way to be clever, or trade information or to pass along funny jokes, then it’s fun.
Lantz Howard 42:14
Yeah, the story you’re sharing before, you know about the bobby knight, quote, often saying, champions on the outside are built with hope on the inside. That’s kind of my my mantra, per se. So thank you kinda for speaking into that. I don’t know if that was part of your plan. But
Dr. John Delony 42:33
well know that here’s the thing, the one most important spiritual mentors in my life seems Randy Harrison, he, he’s, he spent a year with me, and in a hard season for me. But one of the things he passed along that I continue to repeat this day is so often, sarcasm and pessimism, present themselves as wisdom, and optimism and hope, look foolish or look stupid. And so when people come in, and you ask, like, hey, how’s your weekend? And they just say, what do you see what’s going on over teas and tweets and see all the stuff? It’s all coming down? And we should like, sell everything and put in Bitcoin? Because it’s all fallen? Yeah. You just think that guy’s smarter than everybody else. And then when somebody else comes in, and she’s like, oh, man, my kids are healthy. And I was when I went hung out and air conditioner works, I think I mean, things are good sun came up, I just automatically think she’s naive and dumb. And that’s not truth. That is just the ethos of our time. And so Martin Seligman, I think, has the most important psychological finding the last 100 years, which is pessimism is a choice, optimism is a learned behavior, I can choose to learn how to be hopeful. And that sounds like a strange thing. It’s the same as you can learn desire in your marriage, you can learn to find somebody attractive, if that’s a choice you make. And those type of that flies directly in the face of the world we live in. And so yeah, I think there’s a powerful need to search and find hope, because we will find what we’re looking for.
Lantz Howard 44:09
But I want to honor your time. But yeah, we’re on another thread of that. Trying to flip the switch that that hope is a choice, and hope is the strategy. We often think that that hope is this passive thing. But going back to earlier part of our conversation is that that hope is sitting on the couch, and you’re down in the next beer are having the second class of whiskey in your life. Something’s got to change, and I’m putting on my sneakers out tomorrow morning, set my shorts out, and I’m going to do something, right hope is orienting to your life towards what you want. And I’m starting to pursue that.
Dr. John Delony 44:49
It’s that it’s, yeah, hope it has a mystical quality to it, then that shouldn’t hope is if I do this, take this next step. It Will, it will get me from here to there, right? That’s how and then you take that step and take the next step you take the next step. And hope is also was the Amos Tversky says, pessimism is stupid, because if it happens, you experienced it twice once, when you thought about it once when it came true, like what a waste of a way to live, I’m gonna hope that the things are gonna turn out right, and I’m gonna do my part and just leaning that way. Right. And I might break my ankle training for a marathon or I might try to plan a great romantic weekend for my wife. That’s a complete bust or I might try to hug my kid and the other morning Lance I, my daughter was Ed woke up early and I she was coloring is like 530 or six the morning and I was just walking by to head out the door. And I kissed her on the head and said more Baby, I love you. And she just shook her hair. And she says, I wish you never existed. I was like, that’s a lot. You’re five, what are you doing? And then she replied with all you ever do is try to kiss me and hug me. What did she say? She said, all you have to do is try to kiss me and hug me and tell me that you love me. I’m so over it. I can’t live like this. She’s five. And I looked at my wife’s like, I didn’t teach him that grad school. I don’t know what to say here, right? So hope isn’t naive and stupid people gonna mean to you that guy’s gonna cut you off. My buddy died the other day might I’m heading to a funeral. My aunt died yesterday. So hope isn’t naive. Where it is that the sun’s gonna come on tomorrow. And I have a decision to make. And I can walk this way I can walk that way. And that’s that simple.
Lantz Howard 46:35
Thank you. Thank you for being here. We’ll link to all the different channels that you’re on.
Dr. John Delony 46:42
Oh, man, thanks for what you’re doing. You’re putting out goodness in the world, man. Well, thank you had one thing like, let’s talk passion real quick. You got two minutes? Yeah, absolutely. Let’s talk passion.
Lantz Howard 46:51
Bring it for you.
Dr. John Delony 46:54
What do you think about it? Well, I’ve been having a conversation with myself about passion recently. So
Lantz Howard 47:00
yeah, so ask, ask me a question. I mean, maybe help my brain oriented around what you’re trying to
Dr. John Delony 47:07
do make a statement and you say, I think that’s stupid, or I agree with you. Okay, I think we have turned passion into a drug, and almost a burden. Because we’re telling young people, you got to find this thing. And they are growing up thinking it’s like an Easter egg that if they don’t find it, they’re gonna live this miserable life. But somewhere, their passion is out there. And then they tie passion to a feeling like I can only be passionate about things that feel so super good. And that feeling is all the time. And my understanding of my experience of passion has been, I’m really passionate about things I’m good at. And I’m really good at things that I practice. And most of the time, I practice things that I have to do, that someone has made me do whether I’m on a team, or that my job makes me do. And it becomes this repetition. And then I begin to lean into it. And then I find success. And then I reach out to mentors and coaches and I get better and better. And suddenly I love this thing. Versus seeing something from afar and saying I’m just passionate about this. It’s not. Does that make sense?
Lantz Howard 48:11
So So passion is perseverance. Absolutely.
Dr. John Delony 48:16
Yeah. Passion is the result of a lot of really hard work. It’s not the mythical feeling this spiritual high. It’s a It’s the result of
Lantz Howard 48:26
now. So Monday, I had pretty close to ideal day was with a guy from church, that I went to the fire department with what was one of the guys Fire Department serving as fire chaplain had a couple of coaching clients that afternoon. But that didn’t just randomly show up, right? I’m pursuing these these passions that God has downloaded upon my life, and I’ve been trying to faithfully move in that same direction. Two and a half, three years ago, I decided to do some Spartans. And all of a sudden, we had a trip get canceled two weeks from now. And I like look at like, Where’s the Spartan Race, right? But that’s passion, right? All of a sudden, like you do one and you’re like, Oh, I kind of enjoy this, but I’m going to kind of keep moving in that direction just to see what cultivates and grows in my life because of that.
Dr. John Delony 49:21
love to do and it leaves you open handed to Spartan races becoming father daughter races, which lead to coaching your daughter when she’s a lead, right? It leads to an open ended journey.
Lantz Howard 49:37
late October, we’re all doing a family Spartan minus my wife. So for girls, they’ve been training on Saturdays to do a Spartan Spartan I’m actually talking about is in Nashville. We surprise I’ve never been to Nashville. So
Dr. John Delony 49:52
come on, dude. be fun. Artists when you hear Yeah, what are you I’m gathering data on on Passion. Okay, it’s become a kind of a hot button with me. So appreciate your insight there.