In this episode, I’m speaking with David Hennessey. Twenty years ago, David created a holistic personal development program called the WONDER Technique that has continued to evolve over the years. He has presented the technique at hundreds of workshops and seminars, and has recently created an online personal development program.
We don’t get into the specifics of the WONDER technique in our chat today but David takes us through a role play with lots of questions that we can use to find and commit to our purpose.
David has formal training in psychology and nutrition. He has traveled to over 20 countries and lived in three long term. His goal is to give the fundamental tools of personal development to everyone on the planet.
Your Challenge Invitation
Notes on PACT
Part of the pact with yourself is knowing your purpose, avoiding certain distractions, committing to certain actions and using certain Tools
Questions to find your purpose shared in the podcast:
Clues your life gives to you about what is your purpose.
- What do you dream about perpetually?
- What do you always want to learn more about?
- What would you do if you were unrestricted by time?
- What are you eager to tell others about when you learn about it?
Things to avoid to help you keep your focus on your Purpose:
- Negative influence from family and friends, keep your center
- Daily distractions that eat up your time and do not contribute to you acting on purpose
Commit to doing the following to live on purpose:
- Surround yourself with mentors
- Dedicate time daily to working on an action that leads to living your purpose more and more
- Commit to yourself that you will start living your dream by a certain date and write it down and sign your commitment to yourself.
Learn how to sleep well and wake up energized, learn how to focus and concentrate better, learn how to set effective goals and learn how to manage negative stress. Lots of resources for these tools at https://thewondertechnique.com/tools/
Contact and follow David at https://thewondertechnique.com.
You can connect with Damianne on the Changes BIG and small website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. You’re also invited to join the Changes BIG and small Facebook community.
Over time, it compounds. There’s that compounding effect where the more you do it, the better it gets.Tweet
Timeline of the Chat
01:18 – Why David Created The WONDER Technique
06:19 – The Evolution of David’s WONDER Technique
09:27 – A Visualization Exercise
11:49 – Using Visualization to Take Action
14:18 – Delayed Gratification and Tricking the Brain
16:32 – Delaying Instant Gratification
20:36 – Finding Your Purpose Roleplay
38:26 – The importance of commitment
56:10 – Invitation/Challenge
Find an activity that I really like to do and everything is going to be in sync.Tweet
- Sign up and receive David’s free gifts
- How to Find and Follow Your Purpose modules
- Jim Rohn’s website
- Why Sleep Matters by Matthew Walker
If you tell yourself you cannot do stuff, you’re actually telling yourself you can’t do it and you will not be able to create that reality.Tweet
Transcript of the Episode
Why David created the WONDER Technique
Damianne: [01:18] In reading your bio, one thing that stood out to me is that you went through a powerful journey yourself, which led you to creating the WONDER Technique. It came out of your own challenge and needing to rebuild your own life. Can you share something with listeners about what led you to develop this?
David: [01:36] Yes. And in fact for those people that are listening, our lives are not just one big change that can happen. Sometimes it comes in waves and it’s almost, to me, it’s almost like a spiral where we haven’t experienced and if we don’t learn from it, it comes right back around again and you get the experience again.
If you learned the lesson, it may still come back when you’re at a different level. Like you’ve moved up, you’ve learned that lesson, but it comes back, maybe disguisde a different way.
What happened was 20 years ago, over 20 years ago in fact, because I designed the WONDER technique 20 years ago, it was that my mum had two bouts of cancer. And at that moment of time, when she was going through this, I was going through a moment in my life, like what exactly am I meant to be doing? I was working at the time in a job that I was making very good money, but I wasn’t really sure that this was what I was meant to be doing. Well, we’ll get more into this kind of stuff today and in the talk, which I’m really excited about sharing.
And when my mum went to through the first bout of cancer that she had, I stopped working. I took the choice to stop working and spend time with her. Then she recovered from that. Then she was rediagnosed with another cancer. But the time I invested with her was a wonderful experience for me, even though that might sound strange, because I learned something that my mum pointed out to me, that I had the ability to make complex things simple.
When I went to her medical appointments, all different types of doctors, nutritionists, I was able to make it simple for her to understand what steps she needed to take. And time passed after she recovered, and I’m happy to say my mum is much, much older now and still very, very healthy. So…
Yes, and I mean, and it wasn’t because of me. I was only a small part of the experience for her recovery, but I think she started telling people that, you know, David seems to have a good way of explaining things, maybe you should listen to my son. And I started doing seminars 20 years ago, in 1999.
I started actually going out in front of people, but what I learned was the origin of the WONDER technique. I needed to make it easier for people to understand when I was speaking because I was actually, and still am, more technically introverted than extroverted. So I have to make things easy for me to remember so I don’t get super nervous and organize things but the beautiful benefit of that is that once you create images and acronyms that help you remember things, it actually makes it really easy for you to transfer the information to other people.
Damianne: [04:06] Right, and for other people to remember as well.
David: [04:09] Exactly. Exactly. So that’s what got the WONDER technique going. I don’t want to take up the whole podcast about my history but there’s a lot of stuff that’s happened.
I mean I had, just as a little thing for people to know, I had a rock climbing fall in 2014 that made it just virtually impossible for me to walk. So I had to recover from being not able to walk, but I passed through all of that in terms of using my mind and learning how to rebuild my body. And as Damianne you may know, I did a marathon in Athens, the Greek marathon.
Damianne: [04:39] congratulations!
David: [04:40] Yes, thank you. So I moved past all the challenges and my goal right now, even though my life still presents me with opportunities to learn, is to help people really simplify the process and remind them that personal development, which is really like the growth that we have in our lives, is very much a holistic approach. You can’t just say sit down and meditate, be more mindful and you got it. I will give just a little taste of this. If you are really hungry, if you’re really tired, if you’re very fatigued, you know, if you’re feeling a bit sick, it’s not so easy for a person to meditate and to be mindful.
There’s biological and biochemical things that impact our ability to psychologically function. So we have to look at things in a very holistic way. So I’m a big believer in reminding people about everything from getting fresh air, sunshine, drinking water, and how all of that comes together in your ability to develop yourself.
Damianne: [05:34] I think many listeners can probably relate to how we feel less patient when we’re hungry, for example, with ourselves and with other people often.
David: [05:44] Yes, and we make bad decisions often too, or decisions we regret.
Damianne: [05:50] Right, or that’s not the healthiest, for example, when we go shopping while hungry.
David: [05:53] Oh yes. Like who bought this stuff? Oh, I did.
Damianne: [05:57] As I listen to you speak, your language is very precise in terms of taking ownership basically for how you’re feeling, how you’re acting. It just struck me that even the way you talk shows that we have control to a large extent in the story that we tell, in the way that we perceive things.
The Evolution of the WONDER Technique [06:19]
So you’ve been developing, using the WONDER Technique for over 20 years and clearly there would have been some twists and turns, as you mentioned, because that’s how life works, that’s how challenges work, that’s progress. Would you say that there was a turning point or was there some point where things clicked for you in a different way?
David: [06:43] There’s actually two things that came, like I call the evolution of the wonder technique. I mean, it’s 20 years old now so it’s no longer a teenager but still growing. There’s two things that happened. One of them was around the time I was recovering from the marathon.
In fact, it started when I was still in Greece and this was my understanding, a very deep understanding, Damianne and for those people listening, of the power of my mind, how I could literally by my decisions, by taking 100% responsibility for my life even if something goes wrong in my life and you can always say, well, this person was involved. But if I take the power back into my hands and say, okay what can I do in this situation and just focus on that. But my goal is never to change anybody else; it’s to offer them information that they could potentially use. But I’m always working on myself. It’s an ongoing process. So what happened for me then was I realized that I could really set the tone of my life. And this will be around 2014, 2015, where I, pardon me, 2018, sorry. Two thousand fourteen was when the accident happened.
Two thousand eighteen, after the marathon which was November 11, 2018, I realized there’s something incredible happened here, not just me physically being able to do the marathon, but the fact that I finished it, because if I share just a little bit, I couldn’t run for two weeks prior to the marathon because I’d injured myself.
And what happened was it was not from running. You know what, sometimes you wake up in the morning and you slept the wrong way and you hurt your neck. Well, I woke up one morning on, let me go with my memory, it was probably around the 10th of October and my right knee was hurting and I didn’t know what was going on.
And I thought oh great, I’m going to be on a plane; I’ve got the ticket and everything. I was committed to going. So what I decided to do, because I didn’t want to, whatever happened exaggerate or make worst the injury that was paining me, I continued to walk, but I didn’t run. Now that’s the time when people actually do their finished training; I didn’t do that.
And what I did though was I worked through my mind and I really visualized myself finishing the marathon, not just participating in it. I looked at pictures online of where the marathon is in Athens, I saw the finish line from the previous year, and I literally not only dreamt about the experience, but kind of looked for feeling the experience, like how would I feel? And I’ve been augmenting that experience ever since then and teaching people how to do that. It may sound simple or may sound very difficult; it takes a lot of practice. However, over time it compounds; there’s that compounding effect where the more you do it, the better it gets.
Visualization versus Imagination
Damianne: [09:28] Yeah, it actually sounds quite hard for me. Are there people who have trouble visualizing because I feel like I might be one of these people who have trouble forming images in my mind.
David: [09:39] Okay let’s play something here. Okay. If I, say to you right now, imagine an elephant, right. You can visualize an elephant, right? Okay, because what you’re actually doing is you’re just pulling it out of your memory.
Damianne: [09:52] I wonder how other people bring up images though, because to me it feels more like, like an outline or that I’m trying to remember a photograph that I may have seen, or an article that I may have seen rather than it’s a clear image.
David: [10:08] OK. This is a very good point. When I say visualize, I’m looking for you to kind of, in whatever way works for you, to have a feeling for that image in your brain, because you might log it differently. So does a noncritical form. andI’m not saying you have to see an elephant, but it’s like, you kind of get a feeling as to, yeah, I know what you mean, David, right. Now that’s visualizing. If I say to you now, imagine an elephant would red spots. Okay.
You can kind of get a flash like an elephant, red spots, but you can start to imagine, you know, you can kind of build that in your brain. That’s imagination. It’s not visualization cause you’ve never, I hope you’ve never seen. I’ve never seen an elephant with red spots. But then what happens is once you’ve actually done the imagining of the elephant or the red spots, it then becomes part of your memory. Okay. And what I’m using here is that you’re building on that ability to actually see something that you haven’t yet experienced by actually working through that experience in your brain.
Damianne: [11:08] We’re getting a bit off track, but I feel like my elephant with red spots is a little bit hard to imagine. I can kind of get glimpses of maybe the elephant’s ears or the elephant’s head, like I can focus on parts of it at a time, but I have a hard time seeing a full elephant.
David: [11:31] Can we change it from the elephant into something I know you want to talk about, which will help people as they’re working in their lives to figure out their purpose. Okay. We’re running more into the idea of feeling as against a pure visualization and seeing an elephant, for example. We’re going to leave elephants over here on the side here.
Using Visualization to Take Action [11:49]
Damianne: [11:49] How is visualization helpful for making changes or achieving goals?
David: [11:50] Sometimes people will say to me that they’re interested in doing something with their lives, it could be that they just want to get healthier physically. It could be that they want to create a certain business. It could be that they want to have a certain relationship. It doesn’t matter what it is. And I say to them, you know, are you taking action? And in most cases, most people are not taking action. They’re thinking about it, but they’re not taking action.
So what I suggest to them, Damianne, is go into the future five years, 10 years, 15 years and imagine you have never taken action towards something that’s really important to you.
For example, I have said to some people before, imagine you feel that your health and wellbeing is not so great, your physical wellbeing is not so great, but you have children or you look forward to that moment of having children and becoming eventually a grandparent.
So you’re really going into the future and imagining what it would be like. Imagine if you went 20, 30 years into the future and your grandparent, and you couldn’t bend down to be on the floor and play with your grandchildren because you didn’t take care of your health and wellbeing now because it compounds negatively over time just like some things compound positively. And it’s sneaky.
Our health kind of goes, you know, we don’t realize that we’re not taking the time to be quiet or we’re not taking the time to eat appropriate foods or to be hydrated. You know, those things sneak up on us a little bit because we’re not always watching them, but they’re compounding. It’s like the snow building up on the ground or glass filling up with water drop after drop after drop. Eventually it does fill up.
Damianne: [13:29] Your nutrition background is showing.
David: [13:30] Yeah, but if you look at the idea that if people can do it, even just getting a feeling of, yeah, you know what I don’t want her to have that happen where I have grandchildren and I can’t do this.
Now it doesn’t have to be about children, but it’s just a good example for most people, because that is a real tragedy for a lot of people to realize that when they get older, even if you remove children from the situation, that they don’t have physical, mental clarity, or physical wellbeing.
Damianne: [13:56] So what I’m hearing you say is that in terms of visualization or in terms of using this type of technique, if you project into the future at some point far enough ahead that you can see what the detrimental effects could be of continued action without any change.
Instant Gratification and Tricking the Brain [14:18]
Actually that reminds me of a conversation I was recently having or something that I recently read, because I was trying to explain to a friend about why it might be so hard for us to do something that’s obviously the right choice, the healthier choice, the better choice in that way. And it’s because we’re not very good at delayed gratification because it’s instantaneous, it’s right now. And so we need to find a way to combat this instantaneous reward, kind of tricking our brain in a way to experience this negative impact of the action we would take right now, or how do you think it?
David: [15:01] Okay, I’m glad you give me the opportunity to speak because I don’t believe in tricking the brain because I think the brain’s too smart. We can’t trick it. Okay. Cause I know that there’s some people, I will give the example. Everybody tells me, go to the gym and work out. I don’t really like to do that, but I love listening to music. So I’ll go to the gym and I’ll listen to music while I’m doing it. And they think that it’s like tricking the brain to enjoy going to the gym. But in fact, the brain is like, this is not exactly what I really want to do. Find an activity that I really like to do and everything is going to be in sync.
So we have a battle that we may not necessarily be aware of because we’re trying to trick ourselves. But the key in for example physical activity is maybe it’s your friends that are going to the gym, maybe it’s your friends that are snowboarding. It doesn’t matter what it is they’re doing, but you need to find an activity that you’re really excited about doing. That’s going to have a great impact on you physiologically and psychologically. And I believe everybody can find an activity and some people don’t find it because they don’t frame it, like dancing is a physical activity. You know, some people don’t think about movement, all movement as being something that’s physically active.
I hike a lot and it is a great workout for my lungs and all of my body. That’s a side effect is the physical benefit. I don’t enjoy going to the gym. You know what, everybody does what they want to do but you couldn’t put me indoors in the gym on a machine. It’s just not something I can do. It’s not of interest to me. So I would have emotionally a negative state. Does that make sense?
Delayed Gratification [16:32]
Damianne: [16:32] Since we usually have a hard time with delayed gratification, what is the process that happens when we think about the future and try to project ourselves there either through feelings, visualization, imagination. How are we able to delay that instant gratification?
David: [16:53] That’s a great question. What you do is you find the motivation that will make you put aside the current gratification that you believe is important. You find that the longterm difference you’re going to make is worthwhile. There is a lot of emotional stuff involved in that.
You know, I can delay food but it’s a separate and emotional attachment that people have with food is just a whole different conversation. But we can, we can look at the idea when I do make these steps, I’m going to have such a better future. So this is worthwhile for me not to do this action right now because the longterm payoff is going to be better.
It’s a reverse and I understand what you’re saying. I mean, for a long time, I worked on delayed gratification from the time I studied it in university about this whole concept and how we live in a society right now, especially with social media, that saying everything is instant. But in fact, it’s not.
That’s the lie because there’s like the ten year rule, the 10,000 hour. For everything, when you look back at it, it does take action on your part. And it’s extraordinarily rare that people got the information over time. I’ve heard people say, somebody listening might correct me on this, but Mozart when he composed I think his first piece of music was like 16, but he’d been practicing since he was six. Like it wasn’t new for him to be composing music because he’d been deep in music for 10 years.
Damianne: [18:19] I think that for me anyway, and probably for a lot of listeners, that’s the rub. It’s where, how to find that motivation to be able to overcome the urge for indulgence right now.
David: [18:34] now I think it would depend on what it is that they’re going to do right now that actually does it really have a negative impact on them. I mean I love chocolate. Everybody listening, I like chocolate. Okay. So I eat chocolate, but I don’t think it’s going to have a negative impact on my health because of everything else that I do.
So for some people, they may have an attachment to the fact that if I don’t do this, then I’m going to end up down the road. But it depends on everything that you do. This is the holistic approach. You probably know stories and people listening to the stories of people that were marathon runners that died at a young age with heart problems, like what’s going on there, you know. But the amount of stress psychologically that he may have gone through, the fact that they may have done way too much physical exercise too frequently for the body to regenerate. It’s just, there’s a lot more to it.
So on an individual basis, people can connect with me and I can kind of bring the dots together to see if there is an idea that you think that I want to do this, but I also want to do this, right. You have to say is this okay, and in most cases there probably is a way of balancing things out depending on, unless it’s really self-destructive, which most people are not.
Most people are really working on the idea of achieving what they really want out of their lives. They just need a little bit of guidance or maybe an extra large amount of guidance.
Damianne: [20:02] That is the perfect segue. It took us a while to put this together between holidays, the change in priorities. So when I initially spoke with you, we talked about how you could help people frame their day to achieve their goals. But then yesterday, I made a suggestion that we could think about how to help people define their purpose. And you have generously done some legwork to be able to have a role play with me. So let’s get into that.
Finding Your Purpose Roleplay [20:36]
David: [20:36] Okay, this is going to be exciting. And for those people listening, just to give them an idea here, this is the first time that this will happen in a podcast. In addition, I’ve helped people work through the process of finding a purpose and activating that in their lives, but I didn’t frame it the way I’m framing it today.
Today, my goal, thanks to the request by Damianne, was to make it so that those people listening can make some notes as they wish and work through the process on their own. In addition, I already committed before we started recording this that I’m actually going to make a workbook and I’ll probably put a section inside the, no, I will put a section inside the WONDER Technique online personal development program on this exact topic.
But yeah, I wanted people to look at the idea first of all, when you’re working on your purpose, something that’s important, very, very important for you in your life because each of us is unique, every single one of us. There’s no one the same; even twins are not the same. Everybody is unique.
So you want to make a decision, in agreement with yourself that you’re going to look to find your purpose. And I’m going to encourage people to think of the idea by using a word because I’m well known for using acronyms that help me remember things. It also makes it easier to share. It’s the word PACT.
That’s going to be our framework that we’re going to put stuff inside of. And a pact is an agreement, right Damianne. It’s an agreement that you have with yourself. These are all fresh ideas within the last 24 hours that I’m bringing together in terms, not the ideas but the actual framework of the acronyms for people to listen to it.
Working through PACT to find and pursue your purpose [22:15]
David: [22:15] So we’re going to work through the process of a PACT, which first of all we’ll talk about purpose. We’ll talk about the idea A is about avoidance, things that you need to avoid when you’re working on your purpose. C is for a commitment that you’re making to yourself; that’s the C. And then T is the tools.
Now I’m hoping we can get through most of this, but I don’t know. It depends because I’m Irish. I tend to talk a little bit more. I call it a genetic issue, but I’ll do my very best to be precise as we work through. Now, I’m going to ask you a couple of questions Damianne. We’re going to start off with helping you find your purpose.
P in PACT [22:50]
David: [22:50] There’s actually, let me see here. There’s seven letters in purpose, and each one of them is a question. So I’m going to ask you the questions.
Damianne: [22:57] I’m nervous
David: [22:59] Are you ready? Okay. It’s like a quiz show. In fact it is a quiz show.
Damianne: [23:03] I know. I’m on the hot seat.
David: [23:04] Yes you are. Okay. So is there something that you perpetually dream about, something that you’re always thinking about? This can help you figure out what your purpose is. Is there something or several things.
Damianne: [23:19] Well, there’s been one thing. It’s kind of funny because I kind of joke about this, but it has also been a long term dream to have a little cafe/bookstore. When I was young, I used to think that it would be kind of in the countryside somewhere where everybody knew each other. They would walk in and browse a book and have a coffee and a baked good that I would have made, just a very limited selection but a very welcoming place for readers.
When I left teaching a few years ago, I told everybody that I was leaving to open my own bakery, which wasn’t really true. But in my ideal world, maybe that’s what I would have gone out and done.
David: [24:00] Okay. So you know, something that you dream about a lot. And I guess you still dream about this.Cause you just mentioned that right now. It’s something that pops up.
So to kind of jumped out of our conversation to those people listening, the first thing is to think about what you dream about, where your attention goes.
So the next thing is when you dream about those sort of things, or you might even role play them in your life. And you know what, I look for people when I talk to them about all the way back to when they were young. They might’ve been in their room in the evening or during the day playing. And when they get called for dinner, they just didn’t hear nothing. They just continued; they were lost. They were what I call, this is the U from purpose, unrestricted by time; they didn’t have any awareness of time. It was like, they weren’t concerned that they might spend three or four hours in this dream world.
Do you have that experience when you think about this coffee shop, you like to keep going the dream. Do you feel that you would like to do that? Maybe, maybe not.
Damianne: [24:56] I don’t think that I immersed myself in it for hours, but I think this dream involves being part of a community that enjoys reading and talking about books. And I could certainly lose myself in that activity, which is a component of the bigger dream.
David: [25:16] All of these questions that are part of the acronym for PURPOSE, for those people listening and for yourself Damianne, is to trigger in your mind. You answered the first one very quickly from perpetual dreams so you already have this idea.
Somebody might say, yeah, I never realized how important that was to me. The next one is regret not doing.
I hope this is a long time away, but when the moment is close to you dying, would you regret if you never made this little cafe with the bookstore, would you have regret?
Damianne: [25:49] My inclination is to say no, but a large part of that is because I’m an analytical person and so I think that there are many good lives one can have.
David: [26:01] Sure. Okay.
Okay. Every answer is great. And for those people listening, this would be for me like the WONDER Technique. There’s been so many times in my life, if I just made sure for myself, where I believe that if I didn’t take the time to share what I know, and that comes true to the WONDER Technique, I would be negligent in my actions in my life.
I could stop because it’s a lot of work to do what I do and I invest a lot of time and a lot of my personal money in the project that’s the WONDER Technique, but I’m willing to do that because I believe I have a valid message. So it is my purpose. I wasn’t looking for it; it kind of hunted me down a little bit. I worked on it a lot, so that’s just the idea.
Damianne: [26:41] As you say that, I think that sometimes, like for me, I think when we have a dream, like I’m achieving components of this dream in my life. So maybe it doesn’t look the same, but I create book clubs and make space to talk to Yes.
I cook and share what I make with friends. So maybe if I did none of those things, and it was a completely lost dream, then I would feel bereft, but I think that kind of connects to my idea that there are many good lives that you can live, that maybe in a dream there are, we can break it down into components, perhaps. I’m just thinking
David: [27:30] You You know what, this is a great answer. And I think it’s very helpful for people listening, because you’ve just described in your own way, like doing the podcast, hosting me on the show, you’re building community, which is the social thing you talked about. You’re not serving me baked goods right now, which is unfortunate, but virtually maybe, but you’re doing pieces of that and that’s important for some people to see because at some point I’m going to talk about this once we get to it with regards to how you work through your purpose.
Some people they get lost because they’re not making money in the project right away, or they don’t necessarily make enough money for them to live off. But actually there’s pieces of their lives where they’re fulfilling the experience, was what you just talked about. It’s actually in your life but not in the concrete way that you once imagined. Very, very interesting.
Yes. I hear you. And that’s actually going to lead into the next thing, which for some people they don’t like, it’s the idea would you do to work if you were not paid?
Okay. I definitely prefer to be paid for my work because I have children and everybody has expenses that lives in this world, regardless of what they’re doing. There is a draw on us financially. But would I continue sharing the WONDER Technique if I was never paid again. Yes, I would. I ask that question to you.
Would you, for example, go back to the coffee shop analogy with the library. If that was just something you funded on your own and you gave away the baked goods in that, would you want to do it now? You can tell me yes or no, but I’m thinking to the audience too, because in framing it in a different way, they might say I would love to create an application that does X, Y, Z online. And I will give it away for free because I want to have that impact. It could be like a safety app or something, right. That kind of way. So it’s just to not use money as the motivation.
Damianne: [29:15] Right. It would be great to make money but it, it brings me back to a story with my grandmother because when I was in elementary school, middle school, I used to buy candy and resell it. And I never made any money because I gave away the candy to my friends. Whoever wanted a candy, I didn’t want them to feel left out if somebody could buy a candy and somebody else couldn’t.
And so I’ve often thought about this and thought would I actually be successful at selling things in a shop if I felt like I had to give the other people who couldn’t afford it anyway.
David: [29:56] It’s a beautiful story. And in fact, my, one of my grandmothers used to do that. She had a store and she was notorious for giving away ice cream cones to children that would come in without charging them if they didn’t have the money like you, same thing. So that’s a beautiful thing because when we look at the world as being an truly abundant place and we’re not attached to I have to make that money and we can work on what is our purpose, in fact you do start to have money come from, not necessarily your business.
I have had this experience in my life where it’s not like the money will show up on the street, but money will come from a different direction that I didn’t expect. It could be for example I got a tax refund I never anticipated. I thought I was going to have to pay money, but I actually got money back and everything was cool. I was like where did that come from? It is almost like the gaps are filled in when you’re working on what you’re doing.
Damianne: [30:49] I keep hearing people saying that so it must be true.
David: [30:51] I find that when I allow it to happen, it sounds kind of maybe unusual to people, but be willing to accept that it can happen. You know, it is very much different from saying that’s impossible because I think if you believe no that’s impossible or I’ll never find my purpose, I’ll never find a job I like, I’ll never find a relationship, you’re actually telling yourself this. And how you speak to yourself [we’re not going to focus so much on that right now] is extraordinarily important.If you tell yourself you cannot do stuff, you’re actually telling yourself you can’t do it and you will not be able to create that reality.
I notice when I rock climb, if I don’t think I can do a route, I might as well not start. Even though I go and try and do the route, in most cases I won’t succeed because I’ve already told myself. I’m trying to go against it, but I’ve already created something that’s impeding me.
The next thing in our list as we work through here, I mean, we don’t have to go through PURPOSE because of the time. These are all just questions.
Do you want me to keep on going through purpose because there’s so many, there’s seven things? Or do you want me to maybe pick one more? What would you like?
Damianne: [31:51] How about this? I know you’re going to put the full module in your online program, but maybe we can have an overview in the show notes. But in the interest of time, let’s jump ahead and do one more Okay.
David: [32:04] This is the S in purpose. You’re a student always. You always want to learn about this topic. You just can’t stop learning. It’s like I want to know more about this.
Damianne: [32:16] Yes. No doubt.
The A in PACT [32:18]
David: [32:18] It’s a good obsession. We’re going to go into the next section cause that’s related to that. Once you find what you’re really interested too, and it’s really about you not having regret and always wanting to learn about it. We work on the next step here PACT. We’re moving into A, which is avoid, things you need to avoid getting you off track.
So I will ask the question to yourself. Do you ever feel anxious when you think about you want to work on this dream and maybe have a feeling that you’ve got the wrong motivation. Is there anxiety that blocks you?
Damianne: [32:55] I don’t feel anxiety about having the wrong motivation. Any anxiety is about being able to serve the people who may be interested in this venture. And so, for example, I was recently speaking to a friend about this; I don’t remember how the topic came up. And I said what if people came and they expected a barista style coffee, and I am not interested in making coffee at a barista level, but I could buy a good machine that could make okay coffee.
David: [33:27] So you’ve solved the problem already. Brilliant.
Damianne: [33:29] Yes..
David: [33:30] And that’s because you’re always learning about ways to solve them. Brilliant. Yeah.
The V in AVOID [33:35]
David: [33:35] So for those people listening, one of the things that I’m suggesting for anxiety, it could be many sources. It could be, you know what? I don’t think I’ll earn money by the way, or I won’t earn money from this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it. You turn yourself away. That leads into the V, which is voices around you, people that tell you you can’t do it. That can be very anxious for a lot of people when we have family and friends and other people that are telling us that no, you can’t do it. But it can also be that you just don’t have support from outside of family and friends. Let’s look a little bit later at this.
You see you really don’t have any support, but you have the belief in yourself. So you want to turn off the voices outside of you and keep listening to the voice inside of you. In psychology, we call this our locus of control; there’s an internal and as an external. You really want to use your guiding light from inside of you.
And that’ll leads now into the next thing, really quickly. Is your reason for starting this coffee shop with a beautiful bookstore attached to it because it’s a trend in society?
Damianne: [34:45] No books. Bookstores are going away.
David: [34:48] Brilliant.
Damianne: [34:49] Well, I don’t know. Maybe they are coming back.
David: [34:51] Great. This is what I’m encouraging people to avoid is just doing something because it’s a trend. It’s the O in avoid; it’s an outside trend; it’s what I should do. People right now are doing things because it’s time located, but it’s not from your heart. It can be valuable in society, but it’s not really what you want to do. You’re doing it because you think “I need to make some money; I should do this.”
Damianne: [35:14] I’ve had some of those and could not motivate myself to go for them.
David: [35:18] Okay. Okay.
I in AVOID [35:20]
David: [35:20] This is the I from avoid. Have you ever had the experience or had the thought, and this I’m encouraging you to avoid, that when you talk about this idea you have influence from family and friends who said that’s the wrong thing to do?
Damianne: [35:37] No, I haven’t really.
David: [35:39] The people who really tell us most times that we can’t do something is often the people that are closest to us and we listen to them a lot.
Damianne: [35:48] I have really good friends.
David: [35:50] That’s why. I’m blessed too but somebody listening might say, yeah, you know what, every time I come up with a great idea, everyone around me tells me it’s not a good idea and I kind of let it go. And then I find out that somebody else started that idea and I’m like, huh, I knew that was going to be a good idea, you know? And I think that’s true for some people.
If you don’t take action on what is your purpose, somebody else out there might be working on the same idea in their own expression. And they will do it because of the world really needs it; it needs to be done. The work needs to be done.
Damianne: [36:26] I think a lot of people may express anxiety for you or tell you that you can’t do something because they’re being fearful on your behalf, but that’s not really the energy that you need when you have this driving force to do some action, to make some service in the world. Several people have talked in previous interviews about the importance of curating, the people that you have around you.
And it can sound a bit harsh but at the same time, you can’t be fighting the people in your close circle as well as the outside world.
Building Your Circle [37:03]
David: [37:03] I like the word did you use, curating? I remember back in the seventies, Jim Rohn, who I suppose people listening may know Jim Rohn, maybe not. Some people know of Tony Robbins more that they know Jim Rohn. Jim Rohn was Tony Robbin’s mentor. So if you go back, Jim Rohn was the person who actually first said that I’m aware historically, “you need to pay attention to the five closest people in your life”.
That’s about curating in every dimension of your life.
Damianne: [37:30] In every dimension. That’s the part that I have been reading recently. People say it for health, and for wealth and now it seems to be on all levels, actually
.D in Avoid [37:42]
David: [37:42] Yes. You just kind of gently touched on the last one that will, in the interest of time, won’t go too deep into is the D for avoid, which is distractions. It can be I don’t have time to work on my purpose, I don’t have time to work on developing what I need to do.
But look at your life. Are you spending time where you’re, you know, the classic social media distraction. Maybe social media is helping you bring your work out there, but maybe you’re avoiding doing what you want to really do. And you’ll lose time because we don’t know how much time we really have.
I think people became more conscious with all the changes that are going on in the world right now that we don’t really know what’s coming in the future. If I may segue into the next step, which is to commit.
The C in PACT [38:26]
David: [38:26] Would you be willing to commit to yourself, Damianne, for the coffee shop idea that you would mark down on a piece of paper, the actual date when you will create that?
I know you’ve already talked about the idea that I’m already expressing it in different parts of my life, but would you be willing to commit in writing that I will do this by, and it doesn’t matter if it’s 10, 20 years from now, but that you would actually commit to yourself and then you sign it.
You make a commitment to yourself.
Damianne: [39:01] And that’s where the rubber really meets the road, isn’t it.
David: [39:04] It is.
Damianne: [39:06] No
David: [39:07] Okay.
Damianne: [39:11]I feel like I’m not ready to give this up entirely but I’ve been doing some things that I’m excited about, the podcast, book clubs, which are for leisure, but that have me thinking in ways that I haven’t thought about before. And in general, I know that when you commit to one thing, then you’re putting something else aside and I’m not deciding to do that right now.
Damianne: [39:45] Oh, that’s interesting because it feels like I am betraying that dream by saying this. It’s a very interesting emotion that I am experiencing in right now.
David: [39:55] Oh boy. People listening saying what is this David guy doing to you? But, you know, this is still, I mean, you’re having an experience which I validated it. You’re testing yourself. And this is the whole reason why I’m asking these questions.
Cause the next question was an obligation to yourself, which is, as I mentioned before in the past, we regret not doing. It kind of reaffirms the same thing. You know, if you ever do a psychological test, they ask the same question in two different ways. They’re think you’re not paying attention, but here again, the over-commit is about the obligation to yourself.
Now, I would say, based upon the conversation we’re having, and if I was having this call with another person, I would say, you already have portions of your dream. And you may say, I want to do this, but for whatever way somebody wants to frame it, the world, universe, whatever way you frame it, has a better plan and you’re doing it.
Damianne: [40:52] I’m still open to that. That’s what I am, and that’s also potentially uncomfortable because you could be, I mean this is an area that’s unknown. Maybe it’s a better plan, maybe it’s a worse plan, maybe it’s no plan. Who knows? But I think what I’m getting from this exercise too is about making conscious choices.
It’s not just going about doing the thing that you’re doing because you’ve always been doing it, but actually taking a moment to stop and think about what you’re choosing and what you’re not choosing. Where you put your attention means that you’re removing attention from somewhere else.
David: [41:39] For people listening, you may wonder this David guy, has he ever done this as well? In fact, yes. Without giving too much details cause I want to keep us on focus here, when I couldn’t walk, I started another business outside of the WONDER Technique, because I always have different ideas and a lot of people have told me over time that you could generate a lot of money from that other business.
The purpose of the podcast is not to talk about that, but I haven’t given it my energy, which is what you talked about. My approach to the WONDER technique, being a holistic approach to personal development, it’s not as specific. It’s not a niche market. Everybody talks about niche markets and they always say, David, if you just took one leg from the WONDER Technique and just focused on that, it would be easier.
But what I see longterm is that people need to see, how everything comes together. That’s most imortant.
Damianne: [42:30] It’s the holistic.
David: [42:32] I really want people to see how everything they do in their life can be brought together, that the approach to the WONDER Technique comes down to simple principles like we’re having a conversation right now.
If you want to build a relationship with anybody in your life, you need to continue the conversation. If you want to get solutions to challenges, and there’s a lot in the world and we have more of them, and the reasons why they’re not working out is because there’s not really a conversation, what we would call a conversation.
Conversation is a two way street where we interact. We don’t just hear the other person’s words; we actually listen to them. And that’s a huge difference. Hearing words coming from someone’s mouth and then turning around and even reframing it and saying, well, this is what you said doesn’t mean that you actually listened and fully understood what they said. I don’t know if it’s a digression, but something else there that we’re talking about.
Damianne: [43:24] It’s all related, right? The path to thinking about your purpose, to taking action, it’s often simple but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And I think people often think, Oh, but you said it’s simple. Yes. But don’t conflate that or don’t confuse that with easy. And that’s something I have to remind myself about often well.
David: [43:44] Yes. I know when people say to me, Oh, that route is simple to climb up. I’m like rock climbing, yeah. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And they say you’ve already done it before. I said yeah but that doesn’t make it any easier because you still have to be very focused and very intentional and be there in the moment or you’re going to fall.
So the next two to gently skip through commit is about surrounding yourself with mentors. The next one is the money issue. There’s two M’s is that some people will not take the step towards working on their purpose because they don’t have the money. A simple solution. to that is if you wanted to start a cafe or a bookstore, what you can do is volunteer your time to work in a cafe or bookstore to experience that. And why is that important?
Well, I remember a long time ago, one of my first girlfriends, she wanted to be a doctor. Now this sounds just amazing. We separated when I was a young teenager, but I met her years later and she finished medical school, but she never worked hands- on in a medical, like in a hospital and that she hadn’t reached that level yet.
She told me, David, I decided I didn’t want to do it because I realized I don’t like working people; I prefer doing research. And the sad thing about that was that she could have had the experience before then; she could have volunteered.
Some people say when I have enough money saved I will do this. Why not get a taste of it? I love when there are programs… I have friends who’ve got their children involved in a work study program. These are awesome ideas.
Damianne: [45:13] Before I studied teaching, I did volunteering in a school, in an actual classroom. I volunteered with elementary and I realized I do not want to teach elementary. That was sure and it helped me focus on middle school and high school, which was where I really felt that I connected with the kids and that I could make a difference there.
Maria Xenidou in one of my previous interviews, also talks about that same idea so people who listen regularly to the podcast may be familiar with the idea of asking somebody that you know, or somebody that you don’t know, if you could shadow them, if you could work for free for a little while to make sure that this is something that you really are interested in.
David: [45:57] And then look at your feeling. Are you excited about doing that volunteer work? It’s moving away from the attachment of money, but you’re really there because you really want to do it and go into that experience. And right now for people that are feeling lonely, that may be unemployed temporarily, hopefully just temporarily, this is a very fulfilling thing to do is to volunteer your time to help. It’s gotta be something that you can do even if it’s just listening to people. You can feel so good because what really makes us happy, I believe [this is one part of my philosophy] is when we help other people. When we get something for ourself, it’s great, but it’s very transient. But when we make a difference in someone else’s life, it’s just like, wow.
Damianne: [46:39] Not to be mercenary, but volunteering can also have the side effect of building your network, because we know that many people find jobs actually through their network and not through the listings. So I think if you do things, hopefully you’re doing things because you love it, because you’re interested, you have some pure motive.
If we connect it back to abundance, there are some ripple effects that do happen in terms of further opportunities for you either now or in the future. At the very least you’re building new skills.
For sure. For those of you listening, I only ever did speaking engagements in person for the last 20 years. And because of what’s going on in the world right now, I’m doing podcasts, which I never used to do. So it’s a whole new skill set for me. That’s the next part of this, taking the initiative, which is part of taking a risk in your life.
I and T in COMMIT [47:34]
You commit to stretching yourself to go with it. And the last part of the COMMIT is time commitment, that you have to be willing to take the time to work on it, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Somebody says I have a great idea, I want to write a book, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.
Take the time to write a paragraph each day, doesn’t have to be a chapter. And don’t get lost in the idea that I want to sell a million copies of the book. No, your purpose is you want to actually write the book. Bring it back to what you can achieve and work on it bit by bit.
T in PACT
We have completed the framework with the exception of the letter T, which is the tools. And this will be very brief for those people that are listening, Damianne, because I encourage people to recognize, and this is a large part of my work, that when you’re working on your purpose, you need to be cognizant of the impact of your sleep, your ability to focus, your ability to set very clear and defined goals.
Hold yourself to be accountable, to manage your stress. I mean, there’s more to it than that but this is all part of the WONDER Technique. The more I understand about sleep, and I’ve been digging deeper into sleep lately, about how it works, reading the science and that, it’s enormously helpful and very, very important for us.
I would go so far as to crucial.
David: [48:52] Yes. I remember Matthew Walker who wrote the book Why Sleep Matters. He said, you know what, if you don’t want to take the time to sleep, you’re basically going to die sooner. He’s that blunt because he wants people to sit up and say, hang on a second. And if you read his book or you get deep enough into the research that’s out there, people that are telling you the truth.
There’s some phenomenal information out there. So I learned and I share with people through my work about how your sleep is just incredible. What your body does during your sleep, whatever it’s doing rebuilding of your body but also the integration of your memory and our learning. You know, if somebody stops after this podcast and maybe they’re already asleep, but hopefully not.
But if they stop and have a lie down and sleep, they will retain a lot more of the podcast then if they go off and do something else that’s intellectually stimulating. I now understand why when I was going through university, even though I was having moments of fatigue because I had a heavy course load, that when I napped after studying something, I seem to remember it much better.
I didn’t have any idea why.
Damianne: [49:55] Actually, this is triggering the thought for me that often when I would be doing my math homework and it was really hard and I could not solve the problem, I would go to bed and in the morning it would seem so easy and I would have been struggling with it for hours the night before and had given up. We are habituated to pushing and fighting and going the hard way when we could sometimes give ourselves a literal break.
David: [50:23] I would like people who are listening, if there’s anybody who’s telling them to myth of, for example, Thomas Edison. People said, Oh, Edison used to just nap. The incandescent light bulb is one of the things that he worked on creating. He always said that he didn’t sleep more than four hours a night. And he used to be very anti sleep, but go online and look for photographs in the libraries in the US and you will find images in his library where he has a sleeping cot. He napped like crazy. Or in his workshop, pictures of him asleep on the bench.
There’s also a picture of him where, this is a classic one. I believe it’s Mr. Firestone of the Firestone tire company, I don’t know if Firestone is still around, and one of the presidents of the U S and Edison is in the same picture. He’s lying on the ground in a park sleeping while these two guys are reading the newspapers because when Edison had something, an idea he wanted to solve, he seeded it in his subconscious mind by napping.
So even though he told people he didn’t sleep much, he didn’t include that in the idea of napping, but a lot of people use him as an excuse for sleep is not important, but in fact it really is.
Some people talk about the idea that because of our circadian cycle, we sleep during the night and some tribes, people for many, many years, they always used to nap during the day at a certain period of time. And that’s cool. That’s in line with the two to four period of day two o’clock in the afternoon to four, where we feel a low energy. There’s a cycle.
There’s all those beautiful cycles in our lives. So when you get into it, actually, you can blow away all the myths and excuses about sleep. When people say I don’t need to sleep, I’m like, hang on, let me give you some and they’re like really? Okay, how do I get better sleep?
Damianne: [52:06] And there is, like you said, there is a lot of research about it. And the first time that I started thinking about how the brain works and its connection to sleep was when I took the course which is free on Coursera called Learning How to Learn. In it, the professors talked about how we have diffuse learning and focused learning and focus learning is when you’re working hard. And diffuse learning is what happens when you’re taking a walk and not even thinking about the material or sleeping, all of those things where the information actually gets integrated into your brain. So people who are curious, you can look through that course as well and find many great resources.
In addition, what was the book that you
David: [52:48] Why Sleep Matters?
Damianne: [52:50] Why Sleep Matters
So all of that will be in the show notes.
David we’re coming up on time.
David: [52:57] We are indeed because I live in a village here and I can hear every hour the clock chiming and I just heard it.
Damianne: [53:04] So as we finish up, if people want to work with you and they’re wondering what is this WONDER technique all about, could you give us a summary in a couple of sentences about what the framework of the WONDER technique is about and why it’s so helpful to people?
The WONDER Technique is truly a holistic approach to personal development. And what that means is it brings together both physiological and psychological principles that will help you improve your life. And I’m able to show people the impact of how sleep will allow them to work on their purpose, how their physical activity impacts their psychological wellbeing, how, for example, you’re better able to develop your goals based upon not only how you’re thinking but how you’re living, how everything crosses over and interacts. It’s not a very common idea.
Most people tend to break things into silos. I actually unify information together. So if they want to learn more, if I may share, when they go to thewondertechnique.com, it’s really the centralized home of my work online, lots of articles. I’ve got lots of really short videos, like two to three minutes explaining concepts and that’s on YouTube.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share there so people can get little samples and little bite sized things because, once again, that’s compounding over time. As I mentioned, there’s the online personal development course, which is super inexpensive. And you can go through as many courses as you want.
And then it gets more in depth. If somebody actually wanted to do one on one coaching, which I’m not telling them they have to because I give so much out on the other parts that they can actually work on a lot of stuff. And I believe that when people work on their stuff, Damianne, themselves, they learn a lot. But they may decide that they need me to help them, for example, work through this process. Some people might listen to this and say, gosh, I got my purpose; I know it, so they don’t need me. And that’s okay. I’m here to be a helping hand.
If you go to David’s website, there is a place for you to sign up and with that, you will get many great free resources from him, including…
David: [55:13] Oh yes, I didn’t mention that. Yes, thank you.
Damianne: [55:15] There are some inspiring quotes and there is a guide with some of the top myths or barriers to being happy in your life.
David: [55:25] You’ve got a good memory. You remembered all that. This is the mini motivational cards; there’s 10 keys to health and happiness. I do my very best and I hope I achieved this for those people listening. I really value not only your time, Damianne, but the people this thing I don’t write stuff with a whole bunch of fluff added to it.
I really want people to get the information so they can use it actually When I create the workbooks in that, it’s more about the action so that you can make a difference. So I might share an idea and then give an action step.
Damianne: [55:53] On that note, if somebody is listening, they’ve heard us go through our role play, what would you challenge or what would you invite people to do to help them achieve some clarity? If they only have five minutes, what’s one small action they can take.
David: [56:10] I think the biggest thing that they can do is think back, and if they can’t get the answer to my talk to somebody who was around when they were really young, what was it that I really loved doing when I was playing on my own or with friends? Because there’s a thread from the past all the way to this moment in time. And people have disconnected from it, but it will be there. For me, it was understanding things I’m making things simple.
Ever since I was a little kid, I used to take things apart physically, toys decomposed them to understand how they worked. So there is a line. It may not be obvious kind of like what you mentioned Damianne about the coffee shop library idea but you’re doing it expressed in different parts of your life.
People look back, they will see that there’s a line of intention throughout their whole life. And I asked people to take the time to just ponder this because it can be very enlightening.
Damianne: [57:04] And as a level up opportunity, if the answer is clear to you, then I invite you to do something to get some of that into your life right now if it’s something that you think can add value to you or to somebody else.
Wish of Clarity
Damianne: [57:20] I will end this interview with actually your words, David, because in one of the materials that you shared with me, one of the wishes that was stated there is:
I wish you clarity in all that you do.
And there were many statements like this, and I think that one is very applicable to our conversation today and to the topic that we’ve been focused on.
Are you ready to make a commitment to yourself and sign it?Tweet
Conversation is a two way street where we interact. We don’t just hear the other person’s words; we actually listen to them.Tweet
- Theme music by Rafael Krux. Inspiration on freepd.com. License: CC0
- Photos in this post provided by David Hennessey. All Rights Reserved.
2 comments on “Make a P.A.C.T with Yourself to Find and Pursue Your Purpose”
This was an excellent episode. Thanks for it. I purchased the book on sleeping 🙂 and also used the PACT system to analyze how I felt about the work I currently do. Good news is that I’m in the right place for me at this time. Haha. Seriously, though, this was very thought-provoking and full of great wisdom. Thanks to both of you for taking the time to record.
Wonderful to hear that you’re in the right place! I’d be interested in hearing what you think about the book on sleeping. It’s one of the things I’m working on changing at the moment. I don’t sleep enough!