Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/28/20 –
What’s the difference between living and being ALIVE?
I’ve certainly had my times of just living, you know, kind of just going through the motions of life, and not really paying attention to the areas of my life I need to focus on to drive growth and change. I’ve had unfulfilling jobs, damaged relationships, a strong need to strengthen my spirituality, financial pressure, and a lack of commitment to my health—physical, mental, all of it. I believe we all go through these times, it’s part of life. I’m sure some of your readers are nodding their heads as they read this. For me, settling for that, well…that’s just living. On the other hand, being truly ALIVE is when you create the awareness and vulnerability to say, “You know, this part of my life is not the way I want it to be, and I’ve realized I can do something to make that different.” Being ALIVE does not mean everything is perfect, but you are working to make it better. Life’s too short to settle.
Your life was transformed more than 20-years ago by a near-death experience. Share your backstory.
Sure. When I was 28, a good friend and I were electrocuted when a metal ladder we were lowering and came into contact with a high-tension electric line. The surge of electricity killed my friend and me…only I came back. My buddy was a wonderful husband, dad, brother, and just a great guy. When I was “gone” I experienced my Soul, energy, Spirit—however, you might label it—joined with its source, what I believe to be God. When I came back I went through a real dark time, filled with regret, blame, guilt, and a lack of energy to move on. With the support of my family and friends, I was thankfully able to avoid another tragedy and moved through that tough time. It was the combination of forgiving myself for the accident, giving myself permission to move toward a fulfilling life—and trust me, this took years—and understanding that when my body stopped, there was a “part” of me that continued on. Now, every day, I work to be in touch with that part of me, people call it the human spirit, so as to do my best to support others on this journey called life. And that human spirit is hardly human. I know this.
Tell us about “Back From Heaven’s Front Porch.”
Yes, Back From Heaven’s Front Porch was the title I gave to my story when it was initially published in 2012. I used this title because the book is based on my real-life story, and one of my brothers and I were having a talk where I described for him my experience on the other side and that I had the choice to stay or return. You’ve probably heard others with near-death experiences describe it in similar ways. I told him there was a strong knowledge I had that there was further for my spirit to go. He said, “Well D, maybe you were just on Heaven’s Front Porch.”
When you generate Clarity, Inspiration, and Action. Please finish the sentence.
I believe when you generate clarity, inspiration, and action then you’re off to turning your vision into reality. The model of 5 principles that the main character in my book, Jake, is offered by some friends he meets is called jackrabbit, or jckrbbt® for short. When I lead workshops or deliver keynote talks I always ask the audience how many people have a reliable, consistent process for getting clear on their personal vision—you know, the things you want to do and create for yourself in life. The response is rarely over 10%. So no wonder many people get to the end of their year and when asked about it, they often respond with the “I couldn’t find the time to……” and then they begin to talk about all the things that should have been in their vision and reviewed at least weekly. My experience is when we do this, then we’re inspired to make it happen and do the work to determine the actions and focus needed to get to going and finished. Simply stated: It all begins with vision.
Your recent book, Back To Life; The Path of Resilience has reached the best-seller status in the e-book launch. Tell us about honest self-reflection and how it translates into your book.
Well, the entire story is based on my journey after my accident, and honest self-reflection was a vital part of it for sure. The main character, Jake, has to do a lot of work to see himself, his past, and his potential future differently. His journey takes him to Moab, Utah, where he meets a cast of characters who offer him ways to practice self-reflection, and they support him with their own stories of self-reflection. One of the principles of the jckrbbt® methodology is know thyself, and this is key for all of us to consider. The ability for us to continue to “look in the mirror” and see the ways we can improve and grow is so key. One of the main ways I perpetually practice this is by monitoring my thinking—my beliefs, and the resulting mindset—and working to shift my thinking where needed. A favorite quote of mine is, “It’s not about not having shitty thoughts, it’s about not letting them win.”
Share a few key points from your book.
I believe the key points of the book are the ones most often cited by the readers where they gained value, through the characters’ stories encouraging them to self-reflect. One of the most common ones is the power of vision, of imagining that picture of the future you want to create, then writing that somewhere, in your calendar or phone notes, so you can stay focused on it.
A second key point is the need for all us to begin practicing the jckrbbt® principle, be still, and gain the benefits of disconnection through meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, prayer, and other ways of quieting our mind. The origin of this principle is when I traveled to the Outer Banks after my accident in a very dark & depressed state. It was October and very quiet down there after the summer season, and it was then I learned that “It’s often in the absence of sound that we hear the most.”
The over-arching message of the book is that life is a wonderful journey, with its challenges, failure and difficult times, and it’s best not to place our energy on resistance when we need it for resilience. All of us can travel the path of resilience and move through the tough times to better days.
You are one of the most sought-after speakers working with Fortune 500 companies. Why are you so valuable to them?
Thanks Jules, I appreciate that. I’m thankful for the opportunity to speak with people within some great organizations. I guess my value to them comes to me through the feedback I get from them. It seems they like that I “slow them down” and create some space for them to think about the big picture—their life. They tell me they like my energy, authenticity, and ability to share stories that offer valuable lessons for them, and actual take-a-ways to begin experimenting within their own lives. It seems I plant the seeds of vision and inspiration, and create for them the focus and momentum to be making some cool changes in their lives, and experiencing their growth. The main topics I speak about are vision, focus, self-care, and the power of what we say to ourselves. I don’t show up to “tell” them anything, but rather to get them to observe their intentions, that what they want, in the light of their current thinking and behavior. For me, there’s nothing better than spending time with a few hundred people and hearing from them the value of our time together. I guess this is the reason I was sent back from Heaven’s Front Porch.
How are you changing the way people work?
I’ve been told I change the way people work by helping them realize, and stay conscious of the role of their work in their life. So many people have said work got way too much of their focus and attention, and that they were not taking care of themselves and their relationships. I support them in creating greater levels of fulfillment in their lives….and a fulfilled worker is a better worker for sure. I help them realize that I want them to hit their goals, get the promotions, make more money (if they want)…and to be sure that everything else comes along with that…their health, relationships, fun, and Faith. Our growth begins when we say something to ourselves that we’ve never said before.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by my kids as they set out to create their own lives. I appreciate the kind young people they’ve become. I’m always inspired by my brother-in-law, Bobby, who is living with ALS, and his wife, my sister, and best friend, Trish. Their love, courage, and Faith are wonderful to be around. I’m also inspired by the wonderful guests I have on my podcast, Back to Life, and their stories of perseverance and resilience; they’re truly amazing individuals.
Share your vision for 2020.
My vision for 2020 remains the same as before the coronavirus hit—focus on supporting people on their wonderful journey of life. I’m doing this through my speaking ( a lot of virtual sessions), my writing and new book, Back To Life, my podcasts, and my daily interaction with so many wonderful people. I’ve got some relationship, health, financial, and Spiritual parts of my vision I’m working on every day. And a long-shot in my vision is to have this story, Back to Life, made into a movie. Our middle son, Joey, and I have written the script, and I believe Jen Aniston would be perfect in the role of the former Wall street millionaire turned soulful bar/restaurant owner in Moab named Sammy. So, Jen, if you read this send me an email.
A must-read for anyone ready to get unstuck and chart a new path
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2020
Feeling stuck in life is one of the most frustrating places to be, and when I find myself in that place, it usually feels like I have blinders on and can’t see a clear next step for how to get traction again. Personal development books have helped me get perspective through a lot of stuck moments in my life, and “Back to Life” stands at the top of the list. Part of what I love about this book, which also makes it unique, is how the lessons are told in story format. It’s not just another personal development book with lessons and frameworks, but it’s actually incredibly entertaining to read since all of the lessons are shared through the story of the main character, Jake, and his journey back to life after a tragic accident. This is a book I’ll read again and again, and refer to any friends who need an extra dose of encouragement and perspective.
ME – its all comes back to me! My vision , my reality, my life!
Reviewed in the United States on April 21, 2020
Talk about a book that brings you back to center – to what matters most….me! As I read through this book it ALL related back to me…no, i didn’t have a near death experience physically – it made me wonder if i have lived my life the way that I want to live my life and the answer is NOT YET! Through Jake’s story I was able to understand the value of knowing what I want, what I need and what I want to be. Developing a vision is something I did immediately after putting this book down – I wrote a letter to me, telling myself what will happen in the remaining 8 months of 2020 and you know what…its not easy, we are in a very difficult season right now and because I want a better version of me for myself, my family, my co-workers and friends I will make my story happen and I am ready for whats next. Thank you Danny for your subtle kick in the pants to prioritize myself. Easy, motivating read that left me looking forward to evolving! You owe it to yourself to make time to read this great book!
Resilience..Now more than ever.
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2020
A wonderful story about life’s ups and downs and how one chooses to live and face these challenges every day. People come in and out of our lives but I truly believe there is a core group that helps us through struggles every day.. like our own “7”. I highly recommend this inspiring story to everyone who is trying to be “alive” and live life the best they can, but we can’t do it alone .Friends , Faith and Family.. And a perfect read when resilience is so important right now Peace.
“The unknown is often approached with both anticipation and anxiety.” – Danny Bader
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2020
Back to Life: The Path of Resilience serves a purpose for anyone, at virtually any time. But, in our current state of affairs, this book offers powerful messages of faith, hope, and resilience. The book’s characters are relatable. The jckrbbt principles are inspiring. In the end, you will find yourself uplifted and confident that, “It’s All Gonna Be Okay!” Read it. Share it. Once again, Danny doesn’t disappoint.