PR 252 | Producing Success


Producing success in your life is less about the tasks that you need to do and more about the decisions that you need to make. Moving on from an emotional pain that happened to you in the past is a decision. It’s a decision to find success in the future. We all have the power to turn every loss into a lesson. No one probably knows this better than Darryll Stinson. Darryll is an author, speaker, and spiritually-directed business coach that helps athletes and heart-centered entrepreneurs grow their businesses and change more lives using his integrity marketing process. Today, he takes the time to talk with Adam Markel to share his life experience of overcoming addiction, childhood rejection, mental illness, depression, and multiple suicide attempts to produce success in his life.

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Producing Success In Your Life With Darryll Stinson – Replay

Darryll Stinson is an entrepreneur, pastor, speaker, and suicide survivor. Having played defensive end at Central Michigan University, Darryll attempted to take his own life in 2011 due to an athletic career-ending injury. Through a second chance, he came to believe that his life mattered and began the arduous journey of discovering what his identity and purpose were outside of sports. In this episode, we discussed the power to turn every loss into a lesson, how gratitude is a strategy instead of a core belief of ours, and how to utilize the power of uncertainty. Enjoy.

I am feeling lucky to be here. I was meditating and feeling tremendous gratitude for the fact that I was given this day. That gratitude started to extend in all directions. I started thinking about all the things that I’m grateful for at this moment and being given a day to explore, to see unfold, to witness miracles potentially, and most likely, in my experience, there are many miracles around us. We are not always paying attention to them but they are always there. I even went back further. It’s one of those days where my own spiritual side started to poke me a little bit more in the nicest of ways.

I was feeling gratitude for being born into a loving family that was not perfect. Nobody’s family is, of course. Some of our memories of those dysfunctional moments in our families can be tough and harsh even but a family that I never doubted loved and wanted me. I know that’s something that a lot of people can struggle with. We don’t always feel wanted in places. I felt unwanted in places too. It’s just not my own home, which I feel grateful for.

I am thrilled too, not only that I get to spend time with each other but with a great guest. He’s somebody that I’m meeting for the first time through a mutual friend. It’s cool for me. It’s exciting to be making this gentleman’s acquaintance. I’m going to read a little bit about his bio, and then we are going to dig right in as we always do.

Darryll Stinson is a thought leader in athletic transition. As a dynamic TEDx speaker, hip hop artist, pastor, and certified John Maxwell coach, he shares his life experience of overcoming addiction, childhood rejection, mental illness, depression, and multiple suicide attempts to produce success in his life. Darryll played defensive end at Central Michigan University from 2008 to 2011, where he supported his team as they won a MAC championship and became the 23rd nationally ranked team.

He founded Second Chance Athletes in 2017, a holistic athletic transition company to help athletes who are passionate about creating their legacy and increasing their visibility, impact, and revenue. When he is not working, he enjoys rapping, reading, entertainment, music, sports, and spending time with his wife and three beautiful daughters. Darryll, you and I have that in common. We have both got wonderful and beautiful wives, and I’ve got three daughters as well.

Maybe you can teach me some pointers.

What I could teach you about daughters might be able to write on a matchbook cover. It’s loving them and loving them and sometimes leaving them alone. It’s a wonderful bio. I don’t normally read so much of a person’s bio but I felt every word there was important. What’s one thing that’s not written in that bio that you would love for people to know about you?

It’s something that’s even hard to put in words, and that is how deeply I care about helping others walk in their purpose, reach their full potential and be happy.

I’m going to dive right into that statement. Why do you think it is that you care that much about?

It’s similar to the way you started off this episode talking about gratitude. Sometimes gratitude is a strategy instead of a core belief of ours. It’s the thing we do because we know it helps produce success. It’s scientifically proven to mathematically increase your likelihood to be successful. To me, it’s not a strategy. It’s part of my DNA and my core.

To drive that statement home, I always say this, “I am living the life that I tried to end.” For that, I’m eternally grateful. Knowing that I have been through seasons of my life where I experienced so much pain that I couldn’t see past that pain into a brighter future. Now that I’m living in that brighter future, I deeply desire to help other people see beyond their pain, failures, mistakes, and the lessons that they are learning into a brighter future and live that out and experience it.

It would be helpful for all of us if we knew that the pain that we were experiencing at the moment was part of a season. I’m living on the East Coast with my wife. We are empty nesters. Our three little birdies have flown, and we have a son as well. He’s a completely different animal than our three daughters. We are experiencing this new and different freedom that we’ve had in a lot of years. Being from California, we don’t see the seasons. The physical seasons and changes are more subtle than they are where I am in the Northeast.

What do you make of that? The idea was that if we could somehow know that this was part of a season like, “I’m in fall. My pain, my discomfort, my questioning, my feeling like I’ve fallen off the faith truck a little bit here is okay because it’s the season. It will pass because you don’t expect fall, winter or summer to last for more than a couple of months.” What do you make of that? Do you think that there’s a way for us to have a greater awareness or maybe even live more seasonally than we do?

There are no losses, only lessons. Share on X

I got a few thoughts on that. The first thing is something not to do. Don’t guilt yourself into doing it. Don’t do it because you have to because it won’t be authentic. You won’t wrap your mind around the mindset shift and change that you need to experience. Do it authentically and convince yourself.

I’ve read a quote, and I’m going to butcher it a little bit but it said something like this, “Worrying about tomorrow never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only robs it of its joy.” It’s some proverb or something. Somebody smarter than me said it a long time ago but it’s true. In our minds, we think worrying about it is somehow going to fix it or make it better like, “If I worry about tomorrow, tomorrow I will be better.” It doesn’t work that way. The way that we recognize that it’s seasonal and that we have a positive outlook on our future is about remembering our past.

Say more there, and thank you for the quote, which I don’t believe you butchered. If you did butcher it, it might be better as it was when you said it. That’s a killer quote. Continue on your path, and then I want to circle back to the conversation about worry.

My path is, and aside from clinical depression, when we have circumstantial depression, we are down because we don’t know how tomorrow is going to work out or how today is going to work out. It’s because we are looking forward to when we should be looking behind. Typically, when a person looks in their past, they look at all the mistakes they made. They look at all the failures they have. They look at what they should have done right. They look at all of that but I’m suggesting that we look at the past to see and remember how we felt the same way that we feel currently.

I’ve never met a person going through a tough time who has never been through a tough time. We forget that I felt overwhelmed. I felt this season was going to last forever. I felt like I was never going to make it. I felt like I was going to die. I felt like this embarrassment or this failure was going to be the end of my career, my future or my family, and it wasn’t. You live to fight another day. If you could remember that you have been through worse, through it, through struggle, and you’ve made it out on the other side, it’s remembering what you have been through that helps you develop the grit and perseverance needed now to keep moving forward.

I was going to ask you for your definition of resilience but I feel as though you gave it to us. How would you define resilience then?

Resilience is a decision to keep going when nothing in you feels like keeping going. I use the word decision intentionally because sometimes we think it’s magic. It’s willpower. You’ve got more mojo than I’ve got. You make a decision, “I’m going to bounce back from this. I’m going to get up from this. I’m not going to let this failure define me. I’m going to take a lesson from this failure, rejection, pain, and success. I’m going to keep being resilient moving forward.”

The point of decision is the head of the pin. It is the point of power.

PR 252 | Producing Success

Producing Success: Gratitude is scientifically proven to mathematically increase your likelihood to be successful. Don’t let it just be a strategy, make it a part of your DNA.


Here’s the thing. That’s why I said, “Don’t guilt it.” You have to authentically decide, “Enough is enough. I’m moving forward. I’m not going back. I’m not going to hang my head another day. I’m going to look for the positive in the worst.” You have to make that decision. The moment you do that, it increases your awareness. More opportunities are available to you. You start to see things, and you are going to find whatever you are looking for, so why not look for the best?

Maybe another few words on the power of a decision are worthwhile. I want to circle back to what you said about looking behind or in the past. What I love about that is it’s counterintuitive. Often, we were being told, “Be present and stay in the present. Don’t look behind. Don’t look in the past.” Often, when we are looking in the past, we are looking at our mistakes, etc.

At the moment when you decide, “I’m going to be resilient, I will rise above, bounce back or give myself a break. I will forgive myself.” What a pointed decision that is the moment you decide, “I’m going to forgive myself.” Let alone forgive others but forgive yourself. It’s in that moment of making a decision that the past disappears. When we talk about decision-making, we are talking about stuff that’s happening invisibly.

These are soundless words that are being formulated inside of our heads. Our mind says, “I’m done.” This is my point of decision that’s happening without a sound. At that moment, you made that decision. It doesn’t matter that 60 seconds ago, you had a thought like, “I can’t go another minute. I can’t live another second.” A second later, your mind has the capacity to simply decide, “Scratch that, erase that.” That moment of decision obliterates the path that led to it. Say more about this idea that we can look to the past but reframe the past so that it does empower us to make better decisions in the present.

There are no losses. There are only lessons. A loss is only a loss if you put a period where you should be putting a comma or where you try to close a chapter. I do a lot of work with addiction recovery because of my story and things like that. People come in with trauma, childhood pain, and all this stuff. I tell them this, “You mean to tell me that you are going to go through sexual molestation as a child, being introduced to drugs at the age that you should have never been introduced to drugs, being without a father in the home, being abused, abandoned, broken, betrayed and not take something from that experience?”

You better take wisdom, lessons, power, strength, grit, tenacity, and resilience from those pain experiences because that is what makes the struggle worth the result. Nobody works out and goes through physical pain without expecting a physical result. Why go through emotional pain and not expect emotional results? We flip it when it’s emotional. We think that life happens to us. If we process, reflect, and evaluate, life happens for us.

That’s the ultimate reframe. You are right. The idea of being a physical cost that produces a physical result, we get that. If you do the workout in the gym, you are going to get jacked. At least set your expectation that someday, there’s going to be a physical transformation of your body because you’ve gone through that. Emotionally, we don’t think about the toll we’ve paid emotionally and that there are emotional fruits on that tree. If you are looking and you can see them, then you can benefit from them but you don’t recognize them.

What if people who experienced the most pain and rejection are in a position to make the most impact? What if it’s not the smartest person? What if it’s not the studious person? What if it’s not all A-student? I’m not saying that they won’t make an impact but what if the emotional pain that people have been through is not evidence that they don’t matter, fit in, and belong but it’s evidence that they could be some of the greatest. If you don’t believe me, ask Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Michael Jordan. These are people who experience extreme rejection. Even in moments of celebration, attacks from the media, attacks on characters, and being told they are crazy. Yet, these are people who changed our society.

Worrying about tomorrow never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only robs it of its joy. Share on X

People gain this ability to impact others in a way that you wouldn’t say, “I want to have a big impact in the world.” It’s like, “You are ten years old, and you want to have a big impact? Absolutely.” The next period of your life is going to be enormously painful, a pain that you can’t even anticipate or wrap your current mindset around.

When you are done and that season is over, you will be in a position where you are jacked emotionally. You are jacked and ready to share with people you can relate to now. You can lead and help because you understand pain. Whereas if you have gone through that same season and you are always the captain of the team, people love you and look up to you, and everything always goes your way. What do you know? What growth emotionally have you gained through that experience to be able to meet people where they are in their season of pain?

There’s a difference between knowing and believing. People know what we are talking about. I don’t think people believe. I don’t think they are convinced. When you believe in something, there’s no hesitation. When you believe there’s a purpose beyond your pain, you will search through that pain until you find that treasure. When you know it and don’t believe it, it’s just theory. It’s not tested. I submit to people, find out. If you’ve got a lot of trash, go find the treasure beneath the trash. If you’ve got a lot of baggage, go find a blessing beneath the baggage.

I’m thinking to myself, “Somebody should be writing this stuff down,” but then I went, “Darryll is a rapper, a TEDx speaker, and a pastor.”

It’s not just a theory. It’s an experience. I talk about it in my TEDx Talk Overcoming Rejection. I say, “The thing that made people reject me as a child is a thing that makes me successful as an adult.” Until I reflected, processed, and reframed, I thought I was a liability instead of an asset.

When we say about belief in the power of what you believe, that’s the reframe. For people that are reading this for the first time or you’ve read that word, reframe and maybe have a different sense of what it might mean. To me, it means what you said, “You can adopt a belief. You can create a belief.” Beliefs aren’t something like your genetics, and you are stuck with them. You can change and use them for the power that they hold.

Let’s go back to this idea of looking into the past because that was subtle. It’s an essential reframe that people can look to their past instead of trying to ignore your past, which works to some degree if you manage to stay present. I don’t know how to stay present for more than a few seconds here or there. Often, we are looking in the rearview mirror or forward ahead. I do think there’s tremendous value in being at this moment. When I’m in gratitude, I’m at this moment. To look back, what’s the value or how can you use your past as a way to deal better with your present?

There are two things we are going to do with our past. We are going to learn and unlearn. If I had to put emphasis on something that is more important, it would be unlearning. Here’s what happens usually, and I will cover it from a pain perspective because I know that’s the place that people avoid the most. It’s the place where we have been hurt. It’s when people didn’t invite us for drinks after work. It’s when somebody forgot to send you a happy birthday gift. It’s when the father didn’t show up. It’s when you thought you were going to meet your sales goal and didn’t meet your sales goal. It’s all those painful moments that we tend to want to avoid.

PR 252 | Producing Success

Producing Success: Resilience is a decision to keep going when nothing in you feels like keeping going. It’s not magic, it’s a decision to get up and keep on going. Don’t let your failure define you.


If that happened, I’m going to ignore it and move forward. Borrow it from athletes that that is the worst thing you could ever do. No athlete has a bad game and doesn’t watch the film. No great athlete has a bad game and doesn’t watch the film. We as individuals have bad experiences and never watch the film. When you watch the film, that’s when you learn and where you unlearn.

Here’s what we think, normal people, not to say normal people like you are less worthy if you think this way. That’s not my point. I mean, there’s an elevated thought pattern. Let’s say this in a way people can get it because I want people to grasp this. When something happens to you, we want to avoid it. We want to think that by avoiding it, we don’t have to deal with it, not realizing that it still comes into our future with us. I always say this way, “Unprocessed pain becomes ill process pain.”

In other words, we don’t process it and think that because we don’t process it that it’s not doing anything to us. What happens is we start to make wrong conclusions, “I didn’t make that sales go- because I’m not good enough, and I don’t need to be in sales. That person didn’t say yes to marrying me because there’s something wrong with me, and I’m not worthy to be married to.” We make these irrational conclusions because we never process the pain. That’s why in my TEDx Talk, I talk about when rejection happens, you can see it as protection or projection. Projection is when someone projects their insecurities and fears onto you. It’s a reflection of how they feel inwardly about themselves.

Since they are critical of themselves, they are critical of you. When I got teased when I was a kid for being a black kid who “talks White,” which means proper, I thought that something was wrong with me. I internalized it. In retrospect, as I drew from the past, I learned that those kids were projecting their fears and insecurities onto me. They didn’t know how to be anything other than what everyone thought was cool or popular. They didn’t know how to be their unique selves. Since they didn’t know how to be unique, they tried to make me conform.

It’s different for each one of us. I had to unlearn that there was nothing wrong with the way that I talked. I developed this belief that who I was wasn’t enough to be liked or loved by others. I had to unlearn that belief. We are focused on learning or moving forward. We read self-help books. It’s the number one category in the bestsellers. We want to learn. Here’s what I’m suggesting, how about you go back and unlearn some lies that you believed?

You said something about an exercise. I’ve done this when I’ve led seminars myself, where we had people write a letter to their former selves. Pretend that you are an 80-year-old person who’s gained all this tremendous wisdom, and you are good. You are alive, well, and made it. You are in a place where you can look back and realize that everything led you to where you are. Dr. King said something along the lines of, “Much of living is like walking in a dark staircase. When you get to the top, you can look back and see how all the stairs were ordered perfectly, which leads you to where you are.” Along the way, you couldn’t see it. There was a lot of uncertainty and fear.

If you could go back and speak to your younger self, whether that was your 12, 26 or 45-year-old self, that’s worrying as many people now. We are in a season of great worry. We worry always but where we are at present, there’s a tremendous amount of additional worrying. All the statistics that I’ve read about the increase and the incidence of anxiety, depression, the suicidal thoughts that are having more frequently for people.

In June, statistically, 1 in 4 of 18 to 24-year-olds had considered suicide. Can you imagine that 1 in 4 of that demographic had considered suicide in June? That’s the environment. That’s the context that we are living in now. If you could go back and speak to that younger version of yourself and say, “You are going to be okay.” I’m not saying it isn’t a rocky road or you are not going to have a wild ride, a great adventure, an amazing journey but know one thing. You don’t have to worry nearly as much as you are.

Don't just ignore the pain and move forward. No great athlete has a bad game and doesn’t watch the film. Share on X

What I can tell you is this version of you. Later on, it was just a season. That’s what you said, Darryll, which I thought is a beautiful way to look at the past and to be able to see that if you were able to get through that thing from the past, what you are obsessing, worried and upset about now, there’s a good chance that you are going to be able to get through this as well. Is that what you meant? I don’t want to create it out of my words because you did a great job of articulating it before.

It’s true. The simplest way to say it is you are going to win if you don’t quit, and you have to believe that. You asked the question about, “What would I go back and tell my younger self?” It’s an interesting question because it’s a question that I thought deeply about. Here’s usually what people answer, and they come up with all this stuff that we only can cognitively understand as adults. It’s all this deep stuff that I’m like, “My brain wasn’t even developed enough. I was trying to figure out how to put on my pants. I couldn’t tie my shoes and stuff for bunny ears.”

My daughter was going to kindergarten. That’s where things changed for me. That’s where I started to feel peer pressure, to get made fun of, to not feel included. Up until then, life was peachy. When I got into the public school system, things started to go down. I’m like, “What can I say to her to help her get it?” I said, “No matter what happens, I want her to have hope.”

I wrote this song with my daughter. It’s called We All Need Hope. When you ask what I say, I will tell you what I said. My daughter goes, “We all need hope. This is for the kids who don’t know that all they got to do is hold on. You know we all need hope. This is for the kids who don’t know that all they got to do is hold on.”

I say, “Hold onto your faith. Don’t let nobody take it, and if they talk about your clothes, don’t even let it faze you. If they talk about your looks, don’t even pay attention. You aren’t got to listen. They are entitled to their own opinion. Here’s what I discovered. It’s the people who talk bad about everybody else. They do it to feel better about themselves, haters. Just be you, and don’t you worry about a thing. The storm is going to come but dance in the rain. Keep your head up because life would try to push you down. Every smile is just a frown turned upside down. Count your blessings. You’ve got the power to turn every loss into a lesson. Quit stressing because bad days don’t mean that you’ve got a bad life, and sad days don’t mean that you’ve got a sad life. Bad days don’t mean that you’ve got a bad life because you still got hope. You know we all need hope.”

It’s out there for free for listening pleasure on YouTube and all that stuff because I feel like we do all need hope. I wrote that in a way that elementary school kids can understand and adults can still resonate with it. At the end of the day, that’s what we are fighting for. It’s hope. We don’t know if we are free to hope because we don’t want our hope to be deferred.

We don’t want our hope to be disappointed. We don’t want to have big dreams and fail. We don’t want to believe in a brighter future, and then there not be one. What did we do? We worried, stressed out or we quit. That’s why the suicides and depression happened. If we could know, hold on, and know that we are not alone, the world would change.

I never do this but I got to do this. We got people reading this. What’s the name of the song that they can search for on YouTube?

PR 252 | Producing Success

Producing Success: What if people who experienced the most pain and rejection are in a position to make the most impact? The emotional pain is evidence that they could be some of the greatest.


It’s called We All Need Hope.

Do you have a YouTube channel as well?

I do have a YouTube channel. I need to post more consistently. On this topic, I did a Live with Chris Gronkowski, and we launched a mental health challenge on Suicide Prevention Month. That’s on there, and you can hear us talk about mental health and the importance of physical fitness and how that impacts your mental health and things like that.

I have a buddy who’s tight with logic. We were working on collaborating on something because my TED Talk was all about how I used to wake up in the morning to feel that pain to start the day. That was a contributing factor to my living with a lot of anxiety in a particular season in my life. I made some changes and started to see things differently. I started to wake up, put my feet on the floor and say, “I love my life.” I started with a different belief and how important it is that we look at what we are and what we believe.

As you said, “Learning new beliefs or things is one thing.” To examine what you’ve already learned or have been programmed to think, believe, and unlearn some of those things, that’s a concept in the book, Pivot, that I wrote some years ago. It was all about this concept of unbelieving and how important unlearning is. I vibe with that.

Logic is known for a number of things but one of his hip-hop songs is The Suicide Prevention Hotline. The traffic to that hotline has gone up by 8,000% since that song came out. People need to know that it’s okay. It’s nothing unusual about what you might be feeling. It’s not only that you are not alone, not unusual, it’s normal and all that stuff but you are going to be okay.

If you could be your older self for a minute, transport like Star Trek your ass to the future and look back and go, “I’m going to be fine.” To use your words, “Look at me, I’m stressing but I don’t need to be.” It’s okay to be concerned. You should be serious about things that are going on in your life, especially things that aren’t going the way you want them to. There’s a difference between being conscious, alert, attentive, awake, aware, and stressed out. Maybe you could say a little bit about that distinction because that’s a fine line between worry and something more empowering.

I get it. There’s going to be the person out there that’s like, “I might get evicted tomorrow.” That’s a true concern and worry. It’s like, “Am I supposed to not worry about it and tell myself I’m going to be okay when I got to pick up my stuff and move out and move my whole family and find a place to live or go live with grandma or something like that?” That’s not what I’m saying. There’s a difference between living with wisdom and in fear. Fear is the difference because when you are worrying and worrying in fear, that’s bad territory. When you are thinking, concerning, and strategizing, that’s wisdom. You calculate the street before you cross the street. You don’t sit there and go, “I’m going to get hit,” because you will never take a step.

When you believe that there's a purpose beyond your pain, you will search through that pain until you find that treasure. Share on X

You will never step out in the street at all.

I don’t believe any of us are commissioned to live in fear.

Nothing that’s worthwhile in my experience in life comes without the price of it being difficult at times. It will cause you to be looking for greater understanding. If you are a faith-based person, if the spirit is something that’s on your heart, and I don’t mind saying God but it doesn’t have to be God. If you know there’s something more that you are wanting to experience and seeking even, you are going to have these moments where you are totally lost and confused.

Fear is one of those because even in the Bible, where the fear of God is talked about and where it’s represented in various shapes and forms, it can be fear in the sense that when we think of fear, is it something I’m supposed to be afraid of? It can be something that you have reverence for. Fear of walking out into traffic is not about not walking out. It’s not a fear of touching a hot pot.

It’s reverence for the heat that you don’t touch it with your bare hands. You pick it up with a thing. You don’t step out in the street when the trucks are moving past. You wait until there’s a space. It’s reverence and respect. Even that word has got a bad rap because everything gets thrown out with that word. Whereas there are certain respect and reverence that is important that we have for things that you could call fear if you want.

You are right, and that’s the right perspective to have. It’s having respect for the fire and having respect for the power of a thing but it’s not living in fear because the thing has power. That’s why one of my favorite quotes is always as I guest in a lot of time on podcasts. They say, “What’s your favorite quote?” I always say it’s this one, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate but it’s that we are powerful beyond measure.” We gravitate towards those things that seem to be more powerful than us, our bills, our circumstances or whatever obstacle we need to overcome but deep down inside, we know we are greater than that thing that’s in front of us but we are just afraid to do it.

I don’t know what it is about it that is scary. The idea that you are powerful beyond measure. What is it about that that there’s a spark of divinity in us that scares us at the same time?

Comparison. We spend too much time comparing ourselves to other people who aren’t called to do the same things we are called to. We are a Ferrari comparing ourselves to Maserati, and we think something is wrong with us. That has nothing to do with it. We are different. We are a bird, and we are comparing ourselves to an alligator and think there’s something wrong with us. It’s all comparison. That’s why suicide and depression rates are going up. Social media gives us more opportunities to compare. I heard somebody say that I was depressed. No, I was happy until I went on Facebook. You started seeing everybody’s highlights reel.

PR 252 | Producing Success

Producing Success: Nobody works out and goes through physical pain without expecting physical results. So why go through emotional pain and not expect emotional results?


I didn’t realize how miserable I should be. I didn’t recognize it.

That’s what it is. People know that they are gifted or something but they discount their gifts because they compare theirs to others. Even if everyone in the world were singers, which we are all not, I wish I could sing but can’t.

I sing, nonetheless. I love to sing. I sing publicly too as crazy as that is. There’s a movie out that’s called The Way I See It. It’s this guy, Pete Souza, who’s got a crazy Instagram account where he’s constantly posting pictures from his eight years as the Chief Photographer for the White House during Obama’s administration. He’s with President Obama 24/7 and has unlimited access. He’s got all these photos that he posts on his Instagram account. He did a movie about it. It’s out.

There’s a place in that movie where he’s talking about how it is that these pictures are conveying something non-verbally that we’ve got to pay attention to. He didn’t even believe that he could tell the story. He was the guy behind the scenes. He’s not the singer. He’s the guy who’s photographing the singer, and now he has stepped out. It’s that Marianne quote for him because after his gig there ended, he’s not happy with what he’s seen in the world at the moment. He said, “I’m going to become political. I wasn’t. I was behind the scenes. I’m behind the lens, not in front of it.” Now, he’s the guy who stepped out into the spotlight and is doing some remarkable things.

Let me say why I love that because there’s some beauty in what you said that I want people to get. It’s one of the things that are in our purpose discovery process that we walk people through. It’s this question, “What frustrates you?” Oftentimes what frustrates you is evidence that you are called to be a part of the solution to that problem. Here he is watching the problem feeling like, “Can I do something?” The answer is if you notice it, it burns in you, and you are passionate about it, go for it. It’s calling out to you because there’s something in you that can be part of the solution to that problem.

To the people that are frustrated by stuff, it doesn’t have to be politics. Everyone always has a degree of frustration with politics. It’s the thing that you can’t shut up about because it irritates you. I can’t stand bad marketing copy. It gets on my nerves. Especially when I hear it because I think of all the money that’s being wasted that could be spent doing good for the world if somebody would understand how to tell the story via words, it’s because I’m a marketing expert. If there’s something in my makeup that’s natural to me, that makes me frustrated with that problem because I’m supposed to be a solution to that problem. I want people to get that. That’s a powerful story that he’s watching this and now feels this compelling pool to be a part of a solution.

This conversation to me could go on forever because you and I could go from one rift to the next. Is there something on your heart that you want to share that’s going on for you now? I started the show with what was on my heart. Interestingly enough, it dovetails with a lot of your history. I felt that was coming up. Is there something coming up for you now that you want to share?

You touched on this, and I wanted to say it. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to come back to it. Let me say it in my words. When I studied successful people and my own success, here’s what I noticed. Success is less about the tasks that we need to do. It’s more about the decisions that we need to make, which is why I launched my podcast called When I Said YES!!!. It’s because the moment I said yes to my faith and my future in a psychiatric unit was the moment that everything changed for me. It’s like that Keystone Habit that James Clear talks about in The Power of Habit. It’s that habit that unlocks the rest of the other habits. It’s that decision that unlocks the rest of the other decisions.

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When people start thinking about moving their lives forward and becoming better in all areas of their life, don’t overthink the process. Make the decision. If we can simplify success to finding your next yes, we will be a lot further faster. We won’t sit there in analysis paralysis anymore. There are a lot of people that are binge-listening to podcasts and are in analysis paralysis. I love podcasts. I listen to a ton of them but do so with the goal of making decisions.

Now that I have been exposed to this information, what am I going to do with it? What decision am I going to make? If you want to know what your next yes decision is, it’s typically the thing that you have been putting off for years. It’s like the book you are supposed to write. It’s the song you are supposed to release. It’s usually attached to the part of you where you are the most vulnerable.

I was talking to a business coach, and he’s phenomenal at coaching business. I’m learning a lot from him in the coaching business. I can’t tell you, 7 or 8 figures. He makes a lot of money but does a great job helping his clients make more money, produce results, and have a happier life. I’m talking to this dude and start asking him about his story.

I hear that he has this past story where he has been molested as a child, and he’s a dude. I hear him talk about it. I see him be more passionate about that story than he is when he shares his business results, which are great. I heard that and said, “I think you should speak more.” That’s his yes decision. He’s in his comfort zone and making an impact. To me, my greatest fear is not failure. My greatest fear is being successful at the wrong thing.

This dovetails nicely into a conversation or part of our conversation about uncertainty because a lot of people stick to the status quo, the devil they know. They do that because uncertainty is unbearable, the pain of not knowing. I’m throwing this right in your lap, and it’s a hot potato. How do you leverage the power of what is uncertain? Is there power in uncertainty that is leverageable?

I try to take every negative and make it positive. It’s in my nature. It’s hard for me to look at the negatives.

Let’s not even think positive or negative things. When something is uncertain, we don’t even know. In the midst of this pandemic, we’ve got enough distance. There’s enough yardage behind us that we can look back and go, “There are people who’ve made their fortunes.” I know that my son-in-law’s internet marketing businesses and Zoom have blown up. There are businesses that this was a catalyst for great prosperity, wealth, and everything.

There are businesses that have been sidelined, others that have been gone and driven to bankruptcy. Top companies, gyms, restaurants, chains of things, and stores that have been around forever, hundreds of years, are gone all at the same time. We know that the uncertainty about the future is like, “Is the pandemic ending? Is it going to come back? What’s the future going to look like? Will it ever go back to what we knew before?” All of those things, and you go, “That’s the uncertainty ahead.” It poses the opportunity for both people to be happy about it and for others to be not in the same place. What I’m asking you is, what’s the power in uncertainty? Is there power in the uncertainty itself?

PR 252 | Producing Success

Producing Success: Success is less about the tasks that you need to do and more about the decisions. When moving forward, be better in all areas of your life. Don’t overthink the process, just make that decision.


Uncertainty makes life interesting and makes a great story. Everybody loves the Rocky story. Nobody wants to be Rocky in the story. I get it. I remember the pandemic hit, and I’m a speaker. I lost 80% of my income in about a week or two but after people saw that it wasn’t coming back and it started with postponing, and it went to cancellation. I’m like, “What am I going to do?” That’s a big hit. Especially considering that my pastor’s salary is only a certain amount.

It was the same for us. We had every single gig within a month that was either postponed or canceled. That was a good-sized chunk of our future income.

That’s why I said you got to view every negative as a positive because uncertainty is neutral like money is neutral. It is not bad or evil, or evil or good. It’s what you do with it. It’s what you do with your uncertainty that makes it good or bad but what people tend to do is make it a bad thing, “Things are uncertain. Now, I’m going to worry and drink.”

Take domestic violence. I read some statistics. It went up 22% since the pandemic. We are doing the wrong thing with uncertainty. Here’s how I reframe it. I get excited. I’m like, “This is fun.” Let me give you this mindset because people think I’m crazy but I’m like, “Every game-winning shot you ever saw in basketball came in moments of uncertainty. The most exciting play in sports is on the birth bed of uncertainty.”

This is great and motivational. It’s inspirational even better but now let’s get tangible. I’m pressing you here a little bit. I’m not diluting the importance of people being able to say, “I can embrace this uncertainty because I can be excited about it.” Is there something more than we can say about it?

If you could talk to your younger self, the younger version of you, and say, “Remember that time when you were uncertain. That uncertainty created all that fear, worry, and anxiety inside of you. Take a look back at the history. Flip back the pages and see. You were okay. The world was okay. Everything evolved to where it needed to go and to be so that we could get to where we are now.” We are still okay. Pinch, “I’m still alive. I’m still breathing. I’m still smiling. I must be okay. I must be all right. I know tomorrow the world is going to fall apart. I got it. Tomorrow is going to be a dark day but I’m okay now.”

We always think tomorrow is going to be the day or next week, before the election, after the election. Who’s going to be on the Supreme Court? Who’s not going to be? We are always going to be looking ahead and saying, “Dark times ahead, except not so much.” I’m a little older than you. Not maybe much. The one thing I know for sure, looking back at my life, and having seen the Great Recession, having seen 9/11, having babies around the time when the world was coming apart as it seems, and a number of other things that go back further.

I was born in the mid-‘60s. I don’t remember what the Civil Rights movement was like then. I don’t remember the assassination of Dr. King and the two Kennedys. I don’t remember those things, even though I was alive during some of them. I remember Nixon resigning and doing us the service and not making us evict him from office.

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I remember what it was like in the late ‘70s when things were difficult. My parents couldn’t buy a house. Inflation was high, and interest rates were 18%. You can’t buy a house. Those were tough times. Reagan comes in. People are opposed to him on and on. The wall comes down, and Mandela is freed but 5,000 banks go bust in the late ‘80s, and the real estate market crashes. We go through a recession in the early ‘90s, every one of those times.

AIDS happened. AIDS was a scary issue in the ‘80s. Every single one of those things was such a time of great uncertainty. Yet, we are here. We evolved. Things changed. There were fortunes made, and people’s lives were rich. We didn’t stop laughing. Comedians didn’t stop having things to poke fun at. Music has thrived, and more genres of music.

We haven’t run out of melodies. We haven’t run out of lyrics. That’s the truth of it. That’s not, “It will be okay because we can have faith.” That’s in the record books. That’s like being an athlete, and you want to know how you did last year, go check out your stats or whatever it was that measure your performance. It’s right there in the book. I went off on a sermon there a little bit.

I told you there was a preacher.

What do you do to keep yourself resilient? I know people love to know about your rituals.

If people are reading, they are going to get a huge gift because I know what you are asking me, and I know people that are saying the same thing because I used to say the same thing. I get it but give me the practical. Let me tell you the shift that I’m trying to help people make. To me, the abstract is practical. It’s not the other way around. It’s the harder thing that makes the hard thing easier. Let me give you an example because I want people to get this.

I love what a wordsmith you are.

It’s not a wordsmith. This is real.

PR 252 | Producing Success

Producing Success: People are doing the wrong thing with uncertainty. When uncertain times hit, that’s when you get excited. The most exciting play in sports is on the birth bed of uncertainty.


You love language. You respect language. You use language as a tool. I’m reflecting that back to you. That’s delightful.

You want to be the best basketball player of all time. You have to put in the hours. You dribble the basketball. There’s no shortcut around that. You want to live a better life, a more fulfilled life. You want to make it through uncertainty. You want to build more resilience. You have to develop your subconscious. There’s no shortcut.

I can give you a mathematical equation of how to turn $1 into $2, that is not going to work in every situation. You referenced the sports example and said, “This is in the history books.” You said that the album is recorded, and I almost cut you off and said, “Yes. Before the album was ever recorded, before it was ever in the sports history book, it was a thought. It was abstract.”

When I tell people that belief is the first thing and they go, “I get it, but tell me the pragmatic thing.” I’m saying, “That is the pragmatic thing.” That is the hard thing that makes the hard thing easier. If you want to be one of the 1%, the top percent, if you want to make it through and stop stressing out so much, stop looking for the tangible writing on a paper thing and start developing this. The most important thing about a person isn’t what they did. It’s how they think.

It’s no accident. I’m reading this book called Around the Year with Emmet Fox. I discovered Emmet Fox. I want to give credit where credit is due because I’m not a fan of some of the gurus in thought leadership. It was many years ago that I’m flying to Singapore for a speaking engagement. I’m reinventing my career path at this moment. I’m transitioning out of being a lawyer into being a public speaker and someone that’s teaching mostly business principles at that time. I’m reading Awaken the Giant Within. I believe that’s what it was. It was by Tony Robbins. It was a big fat tome of a book, and a lot of research went into that. He did a phenomenal job with that book.

There’s a tiny little footnote, which I will give myself a little credit for here. I followed up on this tiny little footnote about this thing called The Seven Day Mental Diet by Emmet Fox. What you said about your thoughts that this is the horse. It’s not putting the car before the horse. This is the horse or your thoughts every waking and non-waking moment of your life. I read that seventeen pages, this tiny little pamphlet called The Seven Day Mental Diet. I will put the challenge out there to anybody reading this. Get that pamphlet. You will not find anything tougher in your entire life than to go on that mental diet. I say no more about it because when you read it, you will understand why.

I became a lover of Emmet Fox. He’s a metaphysician. He was a renaissance human being at a point in history when we were in a great deal of pain. A lot of pain in the world, two World Wars he lives through, and as a spiritual guide and all that thing. In reading a passage from his daily readings, he was talking about the Temple of Solomon. There are biblical references. It’s a spiritual text but it’s not religious and proselytizing. It’s always about things to do tangible, meaningful things and important things in our lives. That was the passage that was all about the Temple of Solomon. It was about right thinking.

Righteousness in the Bible is often thought of as judgment like, “You are the Holy One or the righteous one. Anybody who’s not righteous is somebody that is in danger.” That’s not my interpretation. That wasn’t Emmet’s interpretation of that word. Righteousness means right thinking. What we ought to be afraid of, and maybe the only thing we ever need to have reverence and genuine fear, is wrong thinking. FDR said, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” It’s wrong thinking. That’s the issue. For all of us, in any politics, health, relationships, money, finance, and business we are dealing with, it’s always wrong thinking. That is the first domino.

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It’s what you said. That’s the thing we’ve got to focus on. That’s vigilance, daily practice, and attentiveness to that one thing. If you do that, pay attention to your thoughts, be vigilant about your thoughts, and seek and be grateful for cultivating the right thinking. We know what right-thinking is. You don’t look at a person and judge them in any way, shape or form. We know what it means to judge your brother or sister. That’s wrong thinking.

We think wrongly all the time. We do judge people. We judge ourselves. We are quick to anger and do other things. I don’t want to get too far-field with this. I will say, “I couldn’t agree with you more that as a ritual goes for resilience to be able to be resilient, learn how to leverage and create power out of uncertainty. The first thing that we’ve always got to look to is our own thinking, and what can we do there? Darryll, I have enjoyed talking to and meeting you.

Me too. I enjoy talking to and meeting you. I appreciate you normalizing a mental health conversation. If you have ever been to a church and everybody is sitting down, you don’t want to be the one person to stand up. That’s what the mental health conversation is like in the world now. If you talk about depressing thoughts, you are like the oddball in the room. You, using your platform to normalize that conversation, I appreciate it and for the work that I do. I hope everyone reads this and makes a decision that will change their lives.

I already know that you are one of those people that others can look to help them and gain clarity. Every day can be a bright sunny day, and it can still be difficult. We all have that. My TEDx Talk was all about those four words, those waking words, “I Love My Life.” Do you have any waking words?

I like “I love my life.” I say that all the time. Even in bad, I said in uncertainty. Everyone at the office was stressing out and I was like, “Let’s go. We are behind. We are losing money, and we’ve got to lay people off. Let’s do it.” It’s not being insensitive to the lives but this uncertainty and challenges make life interesting. I love my life. Those are my words.

The thing you said, it’s a comma, not a period, no matter what.

If I resonated with anyone in any type of way, reach out to me at Let’s connect. I do so much now that if it resonates and you are supposed to reach out, just reach out, and we will figure it out. We will go from there.

We have been doing something with corporations for a number of years. Hundreds of companies and thousands of employees that we help to establish a baseline for their own personal resilience, mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. This is something new to us that we are going to put out there to the general public as opposed to the companies that we have been doing this for. You go to You can spend three minutes filling out an assessment. It’s the same assessment we have been sharing with companies and organizations for a number of years.

You will be able to get your free results and find out exactly not only what the baseline is, the score in other words but what it is that you do to make small changes like Darryll was saying. Some things you might want to learn and consider unlearning. All that will be in the free guide that we will send you, the resource book, and the analysis of the results of your assessments.


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About Darryll Stinson

PR 252 | Producing SuccessI’m an entrepreneur, pastor, speaker, and, most importantly, a suicide survivor. I played defensive end at Central Michigan University from 2008-2011. I attempted to take my life in 2011 due to a severe career-ending back injury. Through a life-changing experience at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, I got a second chance and came to believe that my life mattered. I began the arduous journey of discovering what was my purpose in life.

After five years of research, meditation, workshops, and cross-examination, I found my highest (unique) purpose, and built a life I love waking up to experience each day. I became passionate about helping others, specifically athletes and entrepreneurs change the world by finding their (unique) highest purpose and building thriving careers and businesses.

I’m the founder of, a holistic athletic transition service for current, former, and forgotten athletes. You’ll see my core beliefs and info about my amazing family below. Thank you for taking time to visit my site. I know you’re reading this for a reason, and I can’t wait to discover what that reason is.