What does it take to become an extraordinary human being? In this episode, you will learn that it has everything to do with being authentic, which means figuring out your purpose in life. “You can be anything you want to be” sounds like a cliché that’s too good to be true until you meet Dan Clark. Apart from being a prolific bestselling author and top-ranked keynote speaker, he is also an athlete, a musician, screenwriter, songwriter, and mentor. How does he manage to do all that? Listen to him spill some life mastery tips as he converses with Dhomonique Murphy from the comfort of his house.
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Becoming Extraordinary: Authenticity And Purpose With Dan Clark
I hope you are doing well. We have a special treat for you. We’re in Dan Clark‘s house. Dan, welcome.
Thanks, and welcome. It’s no coincidence and it’s more than serendipitous. We become the average of the five people we associate with the most. Dr. Jim Rohn, one of my heroes and one of my mentors, he was famous for saying that. He also said something intriguing to every podcast and that is, “Formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune.” As a journalist, you’re always in search of the new story, the new validation of the right method, the new inspiration to motivate the world and change it one person, one story, one podcast at a time. I honor you for that. To throw me in the mix, it’s a natural consequence because I’m on that same orbit. If you can visualize my hands, my left hand is doing a clockwise circle and my right hand is doing a counterclockwise circle.
Every often my fingers touch, they collide. This means I believe in human orbits and divine rendezvous, which means everything happens for a reason, but it’s our responsibility to determine what that reason is. If we wanted to determine what that reason is and we can discover it, it’s amazing how people are put in our path for a reason. That reason is to think bigger, play bigger, live bigger, and generate enough energy and vibration to change the world. It’s an honor for me to be on your show. It’s an honor for me to meet you, but it’s natural for you to be in my house because you bring in like energy, like vibration. When you leave, I will like myself better because you came into my space. I love it. I love you. I honor you and this is exciting. I am excited to be a part of your life.
I honor you as well. You are a dear friend. You are amazing at what you do for our audience. Dan Clark has done it all. I probably should start by saying, what have you not done? Dan Clark has 40 books, a New York Times bestselling author, international bestselling author, keynote speaker. He’s called one of the top ten speakers in the world. Dan, you’ve talked to more than six million people on six continents and that’s just a fraction of what you’ve done. You’re an athlete, a musician, a screenwriter, a songwriter, a dad, a granddad. You have many things going for you that I am amazed, honored and humbled to be in your presence. How do you do it all? How do you make this happen?
You believe life is a journey, that we’re a work in progress. You let your readers tell you what your next book should be. Hundreds and hundreds of pathetic songs that I wouldn’t even share them with my mom, but I do have some gold records and country music. I think the answer to your question can be derived from my experience as a songwriter because if you worry about what other people think, you probably never write your first book or write your first song. “I don’t know if this was good enough. Will anybody like it? Will anybody learn from it?” You have to be true to yourself, true to your message, true to your soul. You have to figure out a way to live in integrity and total authenticity and those are big words but they’re real.
When I asked my audience, “How many notes are there in music?” most respond there are seven notes in music and they only count the major notes: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Au contraire mon frère, in the year 1685, the famous music composer in Western Europe decides he wants more options. He’s the guy that put the black keys on a piano. If you look at the 88 keys on a keyboard, there are seven white notes and five black notes, a total of twelve notes in music, and those twelve notes duplicate themselves every twelve notes down the 88 keys of the keyboard, which is called an octave. What does that have to do with you, your question and your show? Everything. Every single song was written with the same twelve notes in every genre. The only difference between one song and another song is the order in which the twelve notes following the timing and spacing between the notes.
The question of the day is what’s the difference between a hit songwriter and a lousy songwriter? They have access to the same twelve notes. What’s the difference between a great and amazing banker and a lousy banker? They have access to the same interest rates in the same economy. I drive 45 minutes one way to the bank and never once I’ve ever asked what the interest rates are on my loans. If money becomes the topic of conversation, it means the presentation is weak and the relationship is not existing. It can’t be about that. What’s the difference between a great dad and a lousy the dad? We can plug and play any scenario in our lives.
The fundamental question reveals the fundamental answer. What’s the difference between a hit songwriter and a lousy songwriter? Passion, creativity, and imagination. You’ve heard me say, “We must be willing to pay any price and traveling a distance to associate with extraordinary human beings.” What’s an extraordinary human being? Someone who triggers more passion, creativity, imagination, and innovation. We leave saying, “I like me best when I’m with you. I want to see you again.” What we learned from music is that we have to be true to ourselves and what keeps us songwriters motivated and true to our message, true to ourselves is the dream to become a platinum-selling recording artist or a platinum-selling songwriter. To be a platinum-selling songwriter recording artists means that we sell 1,000,000 copies. How does that keep us motivated and focused?
There are 320 million people in America. You can tick off 299 million people and still go platinum. You don’t have to be everything for everybody. Be you. Find why you’re here on this earth, find your talents, and be realistic. I’m 6’5”. I’ve lost 41 pounds since I got through playing football, but I’m still tipping the scales at 235. I love horse, I love horse racing. I could never be a jockey. Get my dreams straight. You hop on the horse and the horse loves them on their back and they win the race. When I hop on a horse, the horse always looks to me like, “Why are you here? I should be riding to you. What’s this deal?” Let’s be realistic in our dreams, our goals and our ambitions, but make sure that we believe in our purpose and why we’re doing what we’re doing.
What is your purpose?
To change the world. To have people leave me saying, “I liked me best when I’m with you. I want to see you again.” To write a song that would keep someone from divorcing their loved one, or killing themselves in completing their suicide. To create magical moments and customized content that relates to the audience. If you’re nervous before a speech, if you’re nervous before an interview, if you’re nervous before anything, it means It’s about you. If you’re excited, it means it’s about the audience. It’s about other people. I’ve taught public speaking at the MBA level at universities for many years.
I teach my students two things: seek to bless and not impress. If people leave you, impressed with you, you blew it as a speaker, but if they leave your audience, if they leave your convention, if they leave your meeting, if they leave your speech impressed with themselves and the power that they possess to become more of who they already are, then you’re an awesome communicator and you’re truly a motivator. The second thing I remind them is that you don’t prepare a speech. You prepare yourself to speak. I take a lot of pride in not teaching people what I know. I teach people what I live. I teach people who I am and that puts me in a situation where I better not fall off the wagon. I better be true to myself, true to my message and remember that I am the message.
How do we find our authentic selves?
By figuring out what your purpose is. I’m a man of faith and if you believe that there is a greater purpose than to live 60, 70, 80, 90 years and then die and that’s it, that’s a pretty shallow existence. If you believe that there’s a soulmate out there that somehow there’s one person that God has created for you. That is the most arrogant belief system I’ve ever heard in my whole life, that there’s one special person. You can fall in love with more than one person. You have to find your purpose and your true self and then attract that kind of true person to you. I have funny stories and comical stories that have profound messages about relationships, about selling out to a woman. Changing my hairstyle, changing the color of my shirt, my cologne in high school to get a girl to fall madly in love with me.
After two weeks, I was sick and tired of being her. I was born to be me. I gave the pictures to my sister. I threw the cologne away. I felt bad that the trash cans in my neighborhoods stuck bad. Dogs within 30 miles of my home had total brain damage. I’ve knocked on her door to take her out and my cologne smelled bad, flowers were dying on the doorstep. After two weeks, I got sick and tired of being with her. I was born to be me. The profound question is you get divorced before you get married or do you get divorced after you get married?
What’s the right answer?
Too many people say, “I outgrew him. I outgrew her.” I’m like, “What you did is you sold out trying to be popular for the moment instead of respect it for a lifetime.” Instead of you being your authentic self, you went bar hop and you went to a gym and you don’t even like to exercise. Your dream is to save up for liposuction and a tummy tuck and yet you’re in there in your spandex trying to impress someone you can get a date. Once you land that fish, once you marry that person, suddenly you don’t have to be cool anymore. You don’t have to put on a show anymore. She wakes up one morning, “I didn’t know you burped every morning for 50 minutes. What’s going on here?”
I call that the representative. You’ve got to be you.
You fell in love based on fiction and fantasy instead of fact. When you finally land the fish and tie the knot, then you decide you don’t have to be cool anymore and you realize you don’t have your core values intact. You haven’t agreed on the most important things. Let’s talk for a second. An important young lady in my life was a famous singer-songwriter. She’s written songs with some of the greatest and most prolific songwriters and artists in Nashville and country music. Every time she goes to Nashville, she’s a celebrity. Everybody wants to write to her because she’s a word monkey. She can whip out awesome hit songs. Consequently, she would go to Nashville as a nineteen-year-old. The lead singing bad boys of the band would fall in love with her and I’m old, but I can’t still figure out how hormones work because somehow, she would also fall in love with these lead singers’ bad boys of the band.
As a conservative counselor, a conservative friend, I felt compelled to give her some counsel. I said, “At some point, don’t you think you ought to pause long enough to make sure you’re getting what you want? You have everything you need to get what you think you want but at some point, don’t you think you ought to pause long enough to make sure you want what you get so you don’t die with your music still in you?” My wonderful counsel fell on deaf ears. It was like water off a duck’s back. Then I had an epiphany one day, I said, “You’re like a dog chasing a car.” She says, “What?” I said, “If the dog catches the car, what’s she going to do with the car when she catches it? Let it drag her down a road she did not intend to go and leave her emotionally or perhaps physically beat up in a heap on the side of the road in divorce because their core values and their lives and their inner beliefs never coincided.”
They always collided and she sold out to get what she thought she wanted at the moment. “He got a hot bod. I love his voice. He is sexy on stage. Can he sing that ballad? He rips that guitar neck. This guy is awesome.” All of a sudden you bring children into the world and he’s a lousy dad or he has no compassion. It’s all about him. He never listened to, “What about me?” We have over 50% divorce rate in America. Sixty-four percent of divorce rate in second marriage, 72% divorce rate and 3rd marriages, and 90% divorce rate in 4th marriages. A geographic relocation isn’t going to solve anything no matter where you go. There you are. Country Music comes to the rescue. We have got to be authentically real, which begins with our belief system and our core values. What do you believe? Where did you come from? Why are you here on Earth? Where are you going when you die? Who are you taking with you?
What matters most is what lasts the longest and in this superficial monetized materialistic world, at some point, we’ve got to stop and do more than meditating. We’ve got to get in tune with what we believe, why we believe it from whom did we learn it? Can we change it as at a higher truer belief and get on with living life to the fullest because we’re all going to die? If that’s all there is to life is 60 to 70, 80, 90 years like we’ve talked about before. I don’t buy into that. I live on a higher plane with a higher purpose, which changes my moral code. My North star is real to me. I think everybody needs one at some point in their way, but there’s still a North star that we all look to in the heavens. We can agree on that North star and then find our way to that North star using our right method to you.
We’re hungry for more. We don’t have a lot of time on this show, but I know a lot of people are going, “Wait. Don’t stop. Tell me more.” Where can people find out more information? You have books. Let’s talk about some of your books.
My books are available on Amazon, but I have a new website that we’ve launched, DanClark.com. When you go on there, you can snoop around. You can watch videos of some of the people I’ve interviewed and the lessons I’ve learned. There’s also a library where you can buy the online courses that I’m proud of. According to Warren Buffett, you can increase your value in the marketplace as a professional by 50% by becoming a great public speaker. One of the online courses that I’m proud of, it’s available and you learn at your speed, it’s called Speak Like A Pro. Everyone needs to learn how to tell good stories, how to make your stories funny, provocative and emotional so people remember them. That program is available. You can upgrade it to private coaching calls with me, which allows me to guide you through that public speaking course that I’m proud of.
I have leadership courses, two of them, which especially as an entrepreneur, it’s like an MBA online for anyone who wants to take themselves to the next level. In my library, on my website, I have my book. You can get any one of my books from my website and request me to sign it. My music page is also on my website. You can click through, get to my music page and you can listen to any of my tunes and download some of my hits and see what they mean to you and how you can share them with friends, especially in a romantic evening. I have a set of posters. I have all kinds of stuff on my website. One of the things that I would like to do is be invited into your circle of influence as a public speaker. That’s still my favorite thing to do. In our remote economy, I’ve taken a lot of pride in being able to deliver virtual keynote losing absolutely nothing in translation. I’m dedicated to preserving that live experience in the comfort of your own home. It would be an opportunity for you to gather together some people in your business.
Be the hero at work and bring me in as a keynote speaker at a live event or a virtual keynote. I can also do online training, which I love to do. I did a three-hour online training for executives from Coca-Cola bottling. My show is called Power Players, where I interview people like you, people who focus on the three Ps: Passion, Preparation and how and why they continuously Pursue that passion. They reveal their secrets to success, their systems of significance that transcend gender, transcend race and most importantly, they transcend time. Instead of focusing on all the things that make us different, why are we different for Millennials, Gen X and some Baby Boomers. Let’s focus on what makes us the same. I’ve identified what I call the Twelve Highest Universal Laws of Life. Changing Leadership illuminated in my book, The Art of Significance: Achieving the Level Beyond Success. It’s been translated in Chinese. It’s been translated in Japanese. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff in Japan and I challenge all of you to join my tribe.
You can find me on Instagram and please like me on Facebook and my Facebook Live. I come on every once in a while. Look for my podcast, my Facebook Live, my fan page and Twitter, but most importantly, I’m launching several podcasts in the near future to give myself a chance to eliminate my interest and curiosity and others who are power players like you. Thank you so much for having me on your show. Now that I’ve gone public, it’s important for you to also be on my show.
I would be honored to be a part of anything that you put your name on. We love you. Dan Clark, you are an inspiration to this world. Thank you for what you do.
Thank you much, Dhomonique. We love you. We honor you.
For our audience, DanClark.com, check them out. There’s so much wonderful information. You won’t be disappointed.