Some of us go around life circling within the loop of our own comfort zones that we keep ourselves from truly experiencing life. Going against that is Alison Donaghey, a cause and effect strategist, speaker, radio host, and author. Alison believes in thinking the opposite and changing the world by accepting our part in life. Sharing the journey that made her arrive to this realization, she takes us into a life that spiraled into drug addiction and eventually going through it as she set up her business and became a success. Alison imparts great wisdom from the lessons she learned along the way, urging us to chase after the life we are set to live and make all the difference in the world.
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Think Opposite, Change the World with Alison Donaghey
Accepting Our Part In Life
Alison Donaghey is a radio host of The Alison Donaghey Show, author of the international bestselling book, Think Opposite: Using The Domino Effect To Change Your Business, Change The World, speaker, a cause and effect strategist, and will expand your minds in ways that you didn’t think possible. Her latest project is #MyPart, accepting our part in every single situation we find ourselves in, which brings us to a place of true empowerment, with the goal to see ourselves as part of the humanity as a whole. Rather than dividing into victims and victimizers, oppressed and the oppressors thus moving towards understanding the inherent value of everyone. My friend, Alison.
I’m happy to be here with you.
Alison is a doer. She gets things done. She makes things happen. She’s fun to be around. I was at the New Summit in Austin with her. We spent some time afterward. We have a little bit of interaction between us. She’s special in the way that she has compassion for people and has the desire to change people and for the better. That is what draws you to her. She’s got this sparkle in her eye and you know that she’s going to get it done. With that being said, Alison, tell us your story of how everything happened.
I would have to say I was probably an unpopular student around my teachers because I was always questioning everything like, “This didn’t make sense. Why did you say that last time instead of this time?” That set me up to move into the life that I had because I was always questioning, always wanting to see something from a different perspective. I found myself pregnant at twenty somehow. I was on the pill. I had no intention of ever having a child. I never thought I’d be a great mom. I found myself I had the day after I turned twenty. I found out I was working these dead-end jobs and I couldn’t make ends meet. I couldn’t get off welfare. For anybody who’s been on welfare, there is this controlling entity that is part of your every movement. Every decision I made was like, “Is this going to get back to welfare? Are they going to cut me off?” People who were trying to control me would threaten to report me for whatever. There was this constant state of fear on top of the lack of money and it was a horrible way to live. I thought I’d go back to school. I went to university and I got my criminology and I was working three jobs. I working a lot. I was on a full course load and life was crazy.
I met a guy and he said to me, “I can teach you how to paint.” He was a house painter and he said, “You’ll make more money. You’ll get to see your kid.” I was like, “I don’t need to know anything else. Sign me up.” I ended up moving in with him and the weekend before I moved in with him, he relapsed into drug addiction. He’d been clean for four or five years and he relapsed. He assured me it was never going to happen again. I had no choice. I had nowhere else to go. There was no safety net. I had no money. I moved in with him and then it was a spiral into his drug addiction. He was a drug user and life was horrible. I couldn’t see any way out. I couldn’t go to a women’s shelter because I wasn’t being abused. Welfare said, “Your life’s not that bad. Stay where you are. We’re not going to help you.” I felt every door was getting slammed in my face. In ‘99, he died and I thought, “What can I do?” I hadn’t finished my degree. I was working on it but I hadn’t finished it. I thought I would start a house painting company and I thought, “How hard could it be?” I started a business and it didn’t take me long to get off welfare because as most people know, you don’t make much on welfare. Getting off welfare was not a huge feat.Expand your mind in ways you didn't think possible. Click To Tweet
After my first year, I went back to university and I finished my degree. I got a Bachelor of Arts with Psychology and Sociology. I went and taught English in Italy and ran the business from there. I had an employee here and then I came back. Business kept getting better and I honestly never thought I would stick with it, but this is moving into our twentieth year. A couple of years ago, I gave a speech and somebody said, “You need to do more of this. Your perspective is different.” That’s when I started Domino Thinking and I wrote the business book. Now, I challenge people to think about what they think about.
You could have at any point decided to give in and not do anything. About me telling people that you’re a doer, that’s proof of it right there. How many pretty young women go out and start a painting company? Not many. I was in the contractor business for years and you could count on one hand the number of women contractors that I had here. I was thinking about something while you were talking. We never mentioned where you’re from. Can you tell people about where you live because it’s neat?
I live on the West Coast of Canada. I live on Vancouver Island. We’re north of Seattle for people who don’t know Canadian geography that well. It’s a beautiful island. It’s 460 kilometers long. It takes about five hours to drive tip to tip. Not that you necessarily would want to. There are some beautiful things here. We have surfing and we have whales, all sorts of things. Eagles are constantly flying by my window. There’s deer in the backyard. It’s a pretty special place. I’ve had our difference of opinions, but we’re at a place where we are accepting each other for what we are.
Have you ever thought about any of the epiphanies that you had to get you where you’re at? Expectations and epiphanies because I believe expectations or epiphanies are a precursor to expectations in our brain. We have epiphanies. Most people don’t act upon them, but the people that do they turn into expectations and then they move forward from there and start moving through and making it happen.
I always had an underlying expectation that I would do more. That I wasn’t going to have a life where I was struggling. That I knew I would eventually have the life where I could do what I want. I could travel when I wanted to. I could do the things that I wanted. That was always there. There were things like I was doing work for a guy who was an electrician and I said to him, “You own rental homes. You own a plane. You have your business. How did you do that? You’re an electrician.” He said, “Hire people. You’ll never make it if you don’t have staff.” I started hiring staff. There’s been an awful lot of advice that I’ve gotten over the years that have been light bulbs to me. I had somebody else saying, “If somebody complained, fix them first then move to the top of the list. Don’t ever make them wait for you to fix their stuff.” That was a huge core value that I brought into my business, which made all the difference in the world. It created a level of expectation for my clients as well because they expect my company to behave a certain way and we fulfill that.
That addresses customer relationships and that is a great philosophy. That was wise advice from his part.
A lot of the things that were turning points for me are simply because I was prepared to listen to people who knew more. I knew in order to have that life I expected for myself, I had to learn from people who had already done it.
That’s the catalyst for doing things. A lot of people look for inspiration and all kinds of things from people, but that all is inside of you. You’re the one who decides and controls what you’re going to do, what you’re not going to do. That’s based on your expectations and in your view of them because we see our expectations either in faith or fear. If you see it in fear, it stops everything. If you have faith, and in your case, because faith isn’t always about religion. Faith can be in you. It can be in a mentor, a parent, coach, anybody. When you have that faith in yourself, it lies within you. It’s powerful because you are capable of anything.
We have to be able to see it on some level. I have a huge amount of faith. I wouldn’t say I’m religious at all but the faith piece I’ve always had that. I always believed that things were going to work out. I always believed if I worked hard and did what I was supposed to do and learn the lessons I was supposed to learn that life would work and it did. That mentality is old-fashioned now.
Thinking back on my own story in my own life, it’s the thing that propelled me from being a little boy, abandoned and everything. I’m trying to figure out life and going and doing, creating. I always knew everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to be. I’m going to always be worried as even to the loss of my wife to cancer in 2006. It took me a little while to recover from it but in my head, I always knew that everything was happening as it was supposed to be. Moving on from it is what separates us all.We have epiphanies and most people don't act upon them; but the people that do turn them into expectations and then make them happen. Click To Tweet
Somebody said to me one time, “Things happen the way they’re supposed to, not necessarily the way you want them to.” I thought, “That is true.” She said, “If you turn left instead of right and you get an accident, you were supposed to get in that accident. You might not have wanted to, but you were supposed to. There was a lesson in all of that.” Sometimes we need distance from those lessons to understand where the gift is. There are things that I talk about now that I never would have been able to talk about had I not had the experiences that I had. Were they great experiences? Not always, but if they did give me the authority to speak about them now that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t had them. That is the gift in them is that I am able to connect and communicate with other people around some tough issues because I experienced them.
It’s called living. A lot of people, because of fear, don’t live. They don’t let themselves be exposed to different things. You can protect yourself so much that you become ineffective as a human where you can expose yourself to all this and use it as a learning experience and it will give you a knowledge base to move on and do what you want to do.
I was raised in a fear-based household. I was raised with that, “Don’t leave the country. Traveling is scary. Don’t trust strangers.” My sister used to check her bag seventeen times on the way to school because she somehow thought her shoes were going to jump out of it and she was afraid she was going to lose them. I grew up in a fear-based home and that was the lesson. I understand that my mother was probably more fear-based than my father was. My father was a little bit more of a free spirit and it was her way of trying to protect us, to keep us safe. It makes her very nervous that I have the life that I have.
That brings us to a point when protective parents protect their children to the point where it’s smothering, they don’t get to experience life. They get to be adults and not ever having these experiences. They have all kinds of problems.
The biggest problem is a life not lived. That is the worst tragedy I can imagine, apart from losing a child and all of those things. When we’re functioning through life and we’re putting in the time and you know those people who are, “I can’t wait for my shift to end,” you’re wishing your life away. You’re one step closer to dying every time you wish that minute past, you wish that hour past. It’s sad as far as I’m concerned.
I always have this feeling inside of me when I get complacent about things or I’m not doing and creating or having fun or whatever I’m doing. I always get the feeling that I’m missing something and I hate to miss things.
What is that? FOMO? Fear of missing out?
It’s me. No matter what it is, I want to be involved in it. I want to do it. I want to be a part of it. I want to have fun. Life is too short to go around being afraid of everything.
It goes by so fast and you can’t hit rewind. You can’t get past those days that you sat around and whined or did nothing or those months that went by. It’s not to say that sometimes we don’t need those down times. Sometimes we don’t need to sit in our crap so that we can work through it. I’m a big supporter of that, but when years go by or we stay in unhealthy relationships and we’re giving away our life to something that doesn’t fulfill us, that doesn’t make us feel better. That’s something we need to look at. We’re only allotted so many chunks of time. I used to say this to my staff, “If you’re going to live to be 80, you have sixteen chunks of five years. What are you doing? The first five years don’t count. You were a baby. The second five years probably don’t count, you’re five to ten. You have no real say over your life. Up to fifteen, you’re a teenager. You don’t really know and up to twenty. Your first four chunks of five years are gone and now, you’re down to twelve. You stay in a relationship that’s bad for five years or ten years and now you’re losing those ones too.” When you’re looking at your life and these chunks of manageable time, how are you spending that? How is that contributing to the end?
The other part thing, I said this to somebody. I said, “I am lucky because I’m older.” I said to him, “If I were to die tomorrow, I have done everything in my life that I ever wanted to do and I did it without regret.” I didn’t do it perfectly and I didn’t do it without controversy. I hurt a few people along the way in that, but I still not regret one thing because it always taught me exactly what I was supposed to be doing and gave me more fuel to live more. I will never give up. They’re going to have to burn me for me to give up.
Nor should you give up. This life is precious. We should fight to keep it. We’re talking about regrets. Everything I do or don’t do is always based on when I’m 80, will I regret it? Either not doing it or doing it. I’ve done some stupid things thinking I’m going to regret it if I don’t when I’m 80 and then I go, “I shouldn’t have done that.” I never would have known I shouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t done it. I measure everything. If I say yes or no to something, it’s always based on will I regret it when I’m 80? It used to be 60 but now that I’m pushing 50, I had to bump it up. Sixty seems a long way away until it wasn’t.We see our expectations either in faith or fear. Click To Tweet
My mother lived in regret. Everything she did was regret. It was because her father was wealthy prior to the Great Depression and then lost their fortune. She went to private schools and was privileged and all that. The depression hit and they lost everything. They went to nothing. That left such a mark on my mother. She could never get over it. She would always say to us, “If my father wouldn’t have lost that money.” It wasn’t my grandfather that lost the money, it was the circumstances. She could not get beyond behind it and get rid of it. It had a major effect on me because I can remember as a young boy twelve, thirteen years old saying to my mom, “Let up on that stuff because it doesn’t serve you.” I didn’t use those words, but she could never do it. I promised myself at that point I would never live with regret.
Maybe that was the whole experience, the way it was supposed to be. Had she not been that life, had that life made those choices, you would not have made the choices that you’ve made. It’s one of those things are with what they’re supposed to be.
Everything always works out. No matter how cruel and hard it gets, it always works out.
Often better than we imagined. I thought I was going to do something with my life and I had an expectation about being successful, but it didn’t look like this. I built and designed my house in 2012. I remember sitting in my old house. It was completely empty. It was me and my cat waiting for the vehicle to come back and I thought, “I never thought I would leave this house. I had been mortgage-free and I thought, “I’m going to stay here. I’ll travel and do whatever.” If somebody had told me five years prior that I would be leaving that house and building my own, I’d be like, “Are you crazy?” It never would have happened, but then these things happen. You follow the breadcrumbs and you create this life and you make these choices that take you to places that you don’t even know exist.
Isn’t that the beauty of it though?
It’s beautiful. I have a great life.
It’s the beauty of it. If it was planned out and manufactured, it would be so frigging boring that you’d go, “Let’s go party.”
I don’t do predictable well.
Tell me about this #MyPart. What’s going on with that? What are you doing with that?
I’m finishing up a course that I’m going to be offering and I’m creating a card game around it. I gave a speech called My Part and I talked about the #MeToo Movement and how we have to be careful because everything’s a double edge sword. I talked about when I was sexually assaulted in high school. It wasn’t until I understood how I contributed to that rape, not saying I deserved it, not saying I was to blame, not carrying any shame or anything like that. Objectively standing back and saying, “How did I contribute to this?” I did contribute to it. It makes people uncomfortable because nobody wants to hear that. I realized that I didn’t want to go out with that guy and I still went out with him. I went out with him for all the wrong reasons. When it didn’t feel right, I didn’t leave. I continued to stay. It wasn’t until I understood how I contributed did I become free of being his victim. I started exploring all of that. How does it work? Why does it matter? I realized that all of our actions, our choices whether we admit it or not. We can either make our choices with awareness or without awareness. When we own those choices that we make, we boost our relationship with our worth.
We are born inherently worthy. I say this all the time, “This little tiny sperm found this little tiny egg and made you. Somehow fought through all of that crap to reach that egg, beat out all the other sperm because if it hadn’t, you’d be somebody else.” By the nature of that, you’re a miracle. We’re born and then the world tells us that we’re nothing special. We need to be better. Our parents say, “Why can’t you be more like?” Our teachers say, “Why can’t you be more like?” Our partners say, “Why can’t you be more like?” We believe that we’re not good enough. When we can get to that place where we own all of our choices, it reinforces our relationship with our worth. When we get to that place, we are in a much healthier place and in a place of actual freedom because what’s happening out there is no longer relevant. It’s about all of the choices that we make.The biggest problem is a life not lived. Click To Tweet
How do forgiveness and gratitude fall into that? When I was listening to you, I was thinking, “Alison has forgiven herself for the actions, the choices that you’ve made.” You’ve forgiven yourself and gave yourself permission to move on and be grateful for it because you’re grateful for it.
I would not have had this life if I wasn’t able to understand how I contributed to it. Forgiveness is what you say and you totally nailed that. Forgiveness is always about our self, it’s never about the other person. When I’m able to forgive myself for the choices that I make, I’m honoring myself. When I honor myself, I’m recognizing my worth. Forgiveness is a huge part of it, then the gratitude comes. I’m not one of these people that practices gratitude. I don’t do 90 days gratitude and post them on Facebook every day. I have huge gratitude. I get that works for some people, it’s not my shtick. The gratitude naturally came when I was able to fully embrace and appreciate who I am.
People like you and I that have strong mindfulness about our past and our present and where we’re going. We don’t have to put up vision boards. We don’t have to put up gratitude boards and all those. It is in us and flows from us and is there. Having to do that to get to the place, what must have happened in their life that they haven’t gotten to the point where I am and stuff. I stop and I think, “It’s because my mind is always working.” What I was thinking is everybody’s not like me and God forbid I’m thankful that everybody’s not. It goes back to the individuality.
Sometimes what happens is that we believe we have to get that worth externally. If I am posting on Facebook 90 days of gratitude, on some level I am still needing the validation from the people who read it that I’m doing well. We can wrap it up any way we want. If we’re doing it to inspire people, that’s great. If you are doing it with full awareness, that’s fantastic. Carry on. If this is what works for you, it’s what works for you. My fear is that people are not doing it with full awareness. They are still trying to get their worth externally. They’re still trying to say, “I am grateful for my cat,” so that people can then say, “I’m grateful for mine, too,” and post all these great little photos and now you feel validated. I would like to see people get to the place that whether people like that you are grateful for your cat or not is irrelevant that you still feel validated within yourself. That is that shift from announcing it, making a show of it to just being it.
That’s a strong point because I’m not tech savvy in the computer. Even though I’ve got a pretty large social media following and everything and I post lots of fun quotes and all that stuff. I’m still old school. I’m pretty old school in a lot of my thinking. I don’t watch on social media what other people do so much. I don’t read a lot of other people’s posts. I do what I do but that’s how I am. I do what I do and if people love me, they love me.
That’s how you find your people. That’s how you find you by being you. You’re never going to find you by being someone else.
My happiness comes from satisfying myself. I will never do anything to hurt anyone else or anything like that. I don’t do things like that. It’s about being me. I’m strong into individualism and thinking your own mind and taking responsibility for your own actions. Be them good, bad or ugly or whatever, take responsibility for yourself. Taking personal responsibility is another way of forgiving yourself and living because I don’t stick my finger out. I never blame anyone else if it’s not anyone’s fault. If I have trouble with my kids, it’s because of me. It’s something that I did. If the car gets a flat tire, it isn’t because somebody threw something out in the road. It’s because I wasn’t unlucky enough to run over the nail that somebody dropped out of the truck.
Even if somebody did throw something across the road, you were still the one driving your vehicle. You chose to go that way. You hitting those nails were part of your journey and then when you’re like, “On some level, I’ve created this.” I talk about choices that we make and there are three types of choices. One is we know and we don’t care. “I’m going to text and drive and I know it’s bad and I don’t care,” and those are probably the easiest choices to identify. When you get a ticket from the cops, you’re like, “I know I shouldn’t have been doing that.” It’s hard to deny that you made a choice that wasn’t the best choice for you.
The other way is that we couldn’t possibly know. We leave the house five minutes later than normal. We end up at a red light because of it and we get rear-ended. You’re still part of that experience because you decided to leave the house late. You decided to stop at that red light? Did you deserve to get rear-ended? No. Does that guy still have to pay? Sure. It’s not about deserve or shame or blame, it just is. The third way is that if we took a moment to think, we may have made a different choice. That’s where a lot of our choices lie as well, but none of it matters because we’re ultimately responsible for where we end up. Everybody always wants to talk about choices, “I didn’t choose that. I didn’t choose this.” It doesn’t matter. On some level, you did and just own it.
One of the things I’ve always thought about because I’m a Vietnam veteran and I was in the Marines. We’d be going across the rice paddy or we’d be going through the jungle somewhere and the guy behind me would step on the same exact ground that I had walked on and he’d be gone because of a landmine or he’d be maimed because of a landmine or a bungee pit or anything like that. One of the things I always thought about is, “There go for me I but for the grace of God.” Why did he let me walk over that same ground? I’ve always struggled with it because a lot of veterans have survivor’s guilt. To an extent, I do. I don’t call it survivor’s guilt. I’m grateful that I was there at the time that I was and that I survived it. My faith is that God had another plan for me. He would take me somewhere else and it’s taken a long time. I’ve lived these 71 years come full circle. From where I wasn’t when I started and where I’m going and ended up is an amazing journey. It’s such a blessing when you look at it right and everything.Life is precious. We should fight to keep it. Click To Tweet
Much of it is crapshoot. You don’t know that if you step there instead of there, that could be the end or this could be a continuation. We don’t know. All we have to do is own those choices that we’re making to the best of our ability and then not squander them.
We could pull out of the driveway and turn left. If nothing happens, turn right and get run over by a semi.
My friend’s grandson got hit by a vehicle and was killed and you don’t know. As a parent, I can’t even wrap my head around that experience. I believe there’s a silver lining in everything and I can’t even wrap my head around what that could possibly be. It could be 50 years before anybody can do something and track it back to that moment and go, “That wasn’t a waste. That is why it happened.” I’m always looking for that. This is not a waste. There’s a reason for it. There’s something that’s going to come of this that’s going to be spectacular.
That’s where we’re so much alike. No matter what happens to us, it was meant to be. Own it and move on. Get to living.
Although, if anything happens to my kid, I’m not sure how much I would embrace that thinking. I would like to think I would and still hang onto some of it.
In my book, I talk a lot about expecting the unexpected because Vietnam taught me a lot about expecting the unexpected because we never from one moment to the other knew. Jump ahead many years when my wife had ovarian cancer and we knew that she had it, hope abounded that she was going to be fine and we were going to get through it. When you’re two came and we realized that nothing was working, none of the chemo was working, anything like that. We knew that she was going to succumb to it. She was going to die. The day that she died, I can remember it like it was yesterday. Losing a child is probably worse than losing a spouse, but losing a spouse was tough for me. Thirty-six years we were together and we had many good times. We had many rough times but we got through everything. We were always committed to each other and getting through anything. That was our mantra, “Get through it. We’ll be fine,” but when she passed away it devastated me. It leveled me. It took me a few years of acting like a jerk because after she passed, I wasn’t a nice guy. I drank massively and it was not a good sight.
There is a process, there is grieving, there is that space and time that’s needed. I don’t think we ever get over that stuff. We learn to cope with it eventually, but I don’t think the pain goes away. People are like, “When do you get over it?” I don’t think you get over stuff like that and that’s okay.
You don’t get over it. The blessing for me was is that she left me with many blessings because she’s said a lot of neat things about it. My kids came to me and said, “You’re dishonoring mom because you’re acting like this jerk and doing all these crazy things and all that.” Out of that conversation with my children, I went back out onto the lawn at the ranch and looked up into the sky and asked God what was going to become of me, like I did when I was nine years old. I heard that same old voice that I hear. What it said to me after Vicki died was, “I’ve given you all the tools, you just need to use them.” I got up and I started writing Expectation Therapy and that’s what came out of that whole thing.
When you think of the number of people you have helped by paying attention, by going through the process. By doing what feels right in your heart, what feels true for you and then honoring where that all came from? Your wife still gets to live and the good that you’re doing and the people that you’re helping is countless and we can never even put a number on that. It’s going to manifest in ways that we don’t even recognize or see or know that you can talk to somebody and think it’s hasn’t gone in or it hasn’t been significant. They contact you a few months later and go, “That changed my life.” How did that change your life? It was such a gift that you listened to that.If we knew how our lives were going to be, it would be so boring. Click To Tweet
It was hard not to listen to it.
You were still at choice and you still could have chosen a different way.
That is very true because a lot of people have those moments like I had and do nothing with them.
Think of all the people who said, “I invented that cup thing where you rip it off and tip it back so you can drink out of it,” but who acted on that? Everybody was ripping their lid, but nobody designed the lid to be that way until the guy or woman designed the lid to be that way. The trick is to be the person that designs the lid. Step into it.
It’s how amazing life is. It’s another way of how amazing life is. Do you have a radio show or podcast?
It’s a radio show. It converts to a podcast.
What do you do on that show? I want to hear. I know some of it but I want you to tell me more about your show.
I challenge people to think about what they think about. It’s quite philosophically based. I want to bring on guests were my listeners can say, “I never thought of it that way.” I want to create a safe space to hear a different perspective so that we can try it on and see if it fits for us. Not everything that my guests say is going to impact people or change their lives necessarily. I don’t think we examine our beliefs enough and I always end up every show with if you don’t question what you believe, what’s the point of believing in it? I want to encourage people and hold people capable of getting to that place where they can start questioning their belief. It’s changed my life having my show in ways I never would have anticipated.
I love challenging people’s beliefs. I don’t know if I’m into challenging people’s beliefs as to expounding my own beliefs.
That’s a double-edge sword. By doing it for yourself, you’re modeling it for other people and they can’t help but then do a little bit of what you do.
That’s what I want to do. I want everybody to understand the power of expectation because it is a really powerful tool to have in your tool chest.You would never find yourself by being someone else. Click To Tweet
It’s been a fun journey. I’ve been focusing a lot on men’s rights and feminism for the last several months. After I gave that speech, a guy reached out to me and he told me about when he was raped by his wife and put in the hospital. Some point during that conversation and I’ve listened to my show and I cannot pinpoint when it happened, which is indicative of a lot of things that happen in our life. At some point, I realized that I was looking at men through the lens of a woman. It wasn’t favorable to men that I had bought into parts of the second, third wave feminism which treats men like lesser citizens and not as complete beings. I thought, “I should probably explore this further.” I spent several months of having people come on my show talking about men’s rights and feminism. I read Warren Farrell, I read Rollo Tomassi. I’ve read or watched The Red Pill documentary and Cassie Jaye is incredible. She has a great TED Talk too about how we need to stop expecting to be offended.
I spent several months focusing in on that and because I gave myself permission to step back from being a female and trying to understand men, that I am a better female as a result of it. It’s been an interesting journey. I’ve had on people who talk about pit bulls and breaking down some of the myths around them like humanizing the dog instead of demonizing. I had on a professional BDSM sex master. I’ve had people talking about prison reform. I had a transgender woman come on talking about some of the questions that she’s been asked. I’m lucky I meet the most interesting people.
It’s because you’re so interesting. You can’t be around you and not want to get to know you. That was my feeling that just being around you is like, “I’ve got to meet her. I got to know her,” because you’re full of energy and vigor and all that stuff.
I love that you felt that way, otherwise we may never have connected the way that we did. You’re such an important person in my life. I’m grateful that the New Media Summit happened so that I got to meet you.
Another thing that happened in our lives that made it all possible. How have you navigated understanding the world better through all of these experiences?
Some days I understand things and other days I don’t understand anything, which is a normal growth process. It expands and contracts. We’re like, “I got it. No, I don’t get it.” Each time we go through this process, we become closer and closer to some self-actualization. It’s the curiosity piece too. I want to understand my world and therefore I will understand it throughout this expansion contraction. I’m still going and every day I’m getting closer and closer to understanding things better. Part of understanding things better is knowing that I’m never going to understand everything. The importance of being curious enough to want to, to challenge, to question, that’s the shortest route to learning.
What recommendations for books do you want to give us?
Anybody who wants to talk about men and women needs to read Warren Farrell, either The Boy Crisis or The Myth Of Male Power. Both of those are extremely powerful books in understanding how the double edge sword of feminism is super important. I finished reading David And Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. I thought that was super interesting and so far he’s brilliant. How often we will see our disadvantage as a disadvantage instead of seeing our disadvantage as an advantage. Me being on welfare, I had nothing to lose. I may as well start my own company. Not knowing anything about business could have been a disadvantage, but it was also an advantage because it didn’t scare me into not starting something. Often when we have this disability or disadvantage has given us a different way of coping with things. That book has been interesting. There’s Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz. She’s a wrongologist. It was fascinating. There are lots of books. Anything Simon Sinek, I love him. One day I will meet him. It’s my expectation.
I’ve got one I want you to read. It’s a quick read. It’s not hard. It’s on Oprah’s reading list and it’s called The Sun Does Shine and it’s by Anthony Ray Hinton. It’s a book about faith. Let me give you a little bit about this. He spent 30 years on death row in Mississippi. It’s a true story. He was committed for murder. He has never, ever said he was guilty. He says he’s innocent. He didn’t do it and that it would be proven at some point. At year ten, they told him, “You can get out of here if you only admit to it and sign a paper and we’ll let you out.” He said, “No.” He spent another twenty years in prison but his story of faith is so great. It’s a wonderful read. It’s not a big, long, thick book. It’s worth the read. You will find few people who are as committed to living their life. He was a young man when he went into prison. Thirty years later he came out and think of all the things that he missed like computers and cell phones and these things that we normally have and how everything has progressed. Every single day he had one hour out of his cell because he was on death row. He had one hour to see the sun. That was it for 30 years.
I will definitely get it. I will add that to my list.
That’s a good one to get. You’ll enjoy it. What piece of advice can you give our audience that will have an impact on their lives?
I want to remind people that they’re worthy. No matter what is going on in your life, no matter what you’ve done, no matter the choices you’ve made, no matter the situation that you’re in, you are worthy. If you can start to understand that in little small pieces, it will change your life. It will move you to a place of freedom and it will move you out of any area that you’re feeling like a victim and it will allow you to step into a life that you want because I promise you, you are worthy.
Where can people get ahold of you?
The website’s the easiest, DominoThinking.com. There’s a contact page on there. I answer all of my emails if anybody wants to ask questions or connect or whatever. I have a newsletter that goes out. People can subscribe to that if they want to. It’s a low key, no pressure, no selling. It’s thought-provoking things, connections to my radio show. After every guest, I have a challenge. That usually goes to the newsletter and it challenges people to do something. I would challenge your audience to do a list of areas that they think they’re spectacular with. I don’t care if it’s you like your hair or your kind to cats. Make a list of all of these things that make you pretty amazing and then every day keep adding to it until you start to believe in your own worth.
On that note, thank you. You’re always a delight to talk to. I want to spend more time with you so we can do this and help more people. That’s what it is about for you and me.
There’s some magic that we’re going to do in the future. I cannot wait to see that unravel. That is my expectation. I see us doing something cool together. Much love to you.
There is something special coming up. I already have it in my head but we’ll see. To our audience, thanks for joining us. I appreciate it. I know Alison appreciates you being on there. Have a great day. Enjoy it and live it. I like to tell people to become a doer and then do all over the Earth. Goodbye, people.
- The Alison Donaghey Show
- Think Opposite: Using The Domino Effect To Change Your Business, Change The World
- Domino Thinking
- Expectation Therapy
- The Red Pill
- TED Talk
- The Boy Crisis
- The Myth Of Male Power
- David And Goliath
- Being Wrong
- The Sun Does Shine
About Alison Donaghey
Alison Donaghey is a Radio Host of The Alison Donaghey Show, Author of an international best-selling book Think Opposite: Using the Domino Effect to Change Your Business, Change the World, Speaker, and a Cause and Effect Strategist and will expand your mind in ways you didn’t think possible.
Her latest project is #mypart. Accepting our part in every single situation we find ourselves in which brings us to a place of true empowerment with the goal to see ourselves as part of humanity as a whole rather than dividing it into victims and victimizers, oppressed and oppressor thus moving towards understanding the inherent value of everyone.
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