After decades of helping others make radical transformations in health and fitness, Diamond Dallas knows what is really holding you back from profound life change. He has watched countless people take ownership of their lives, physically, mentally, and emotionally—and he has witnessed, time and again, the precise instant when a real and massive shift occurs in a person’s attitude. In Positively Unstoppable, he brings his understanding of what really moves people to change and own their lives. It begins when we discover what we really want, and then commit to follow the steps that will turn that goal into a reality. Regardless of where we are at in our lives, it’s possible to have a breakthrough.
Filled with lessons from Page’s life that share his own struggle to find his calling, overcoming one obstacle after another, Positively Unstoppable is a bible for anyone who needs to be re-inspired to follow their dreams and take real action towards the things that matter most to them. Page’s gift of authenticity has helped him motivate those who may have lost hope, because he truly understands the incredible power of self-belief.
Page includes powerful transformation stories, goal-setting guides, as well as a sample workout, eating plans and delicious gluten-free, non-GMO recipes from his wildly popular fitness program, DDPY. Positively Unstoppable is your roadmap to getting “unstuck” and taking the steps needed to create a healthy, magnificent life.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Positively unstoppable: Living life at 90%
You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them. —Michael Jordan
If you knew that your success was guaranteed, what would you do?
Seriously, think about it.
Or try it this way: What would you do if you knew that you couldn’t fail?
If you say, “I’d be thin. I’d have a better job. I’d have the most amazing love life,” that’s cool. But you’re not answering the question. I’m not asking you what you would be, or what you’d have—I’m asking what you’d do.
Doing means taking action. Doing means putting in the work. What is the work? For starters, answer the question: If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
Got something? Good.
Now, write it down. This is vitally important. Don’t just think it, ink it.
Write. It. Down.
You didn’t bring a pen? You didn’t know there’d be a test? My friend, this whole thing is a test. This book, your life—it’s all work. It’s a constant series of challenges that will force you either to change or to stay the same. Like every important test, this one is pass/fail. Either you grow, adapt, and evolve or you stagnate, wither, and wake up tomorrow the same person you were when you thought it was important to read this book because you wanted to change your life.
Not to judge, but to me that last option sounds really depressing.
Obtaining your wildest dream, from my experience, requires working harder than you’ve ever worked before. So even though I’m telling you to assume that whatever you dream up as your ultimate goal is possible, without a doubt, don’t expect it to happen by sitting on the couch thinking about it. The problem most people have is that they don’t believe enough in what they really want, so they don’t do the work required to get it.
Not willing to do the work? Maybe buy one of those books about how all you have to do is just imagine good things often enough and unicorns will start crapping rainbow Ferraris on your lawn. But take a second before you do anything silly, and try imagining something right here, right now.
The first step toward owning your life is believing that you can do anything. Because before you can honestly define what you want, you’ve got to believe in yourself. If you can’t take it that far just yet, try simply telling yourself. “Okay, it’s not going to hurt me not to be completely cynical for a second.”
You can play the devil’s advocate all you like, because I love to take people who don’t believe they can do this or that and ask myself, “How do I convince this person?” See, that’s the difference between you and me right now—I know you can do this.
The more you hear something, the more likely you are to start to make it your own, because: Repetition is the mother of learning. So understand that there are some things I’m going to tell you again and again, and then probably a couple more times.
If you say you can’t, imagine for a moment that you can. Maybe you don’t believe in yourself. Maybe you’re in a situation where you think your life can’t change. There’s no shame in that. I’ve never known anyone who hasn’t been there. So, if that’s where you’re at, take this step and suspend your disbelief.
For just one moment allow yourself to believe that you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to do the work.
Yeah, there’s going to be setbacks. Yeah, the work will be hard. But just for now, take a breath, and pretend you can do it. There are going to be voices in your head saying you can’t, and we’ll deal with them in a minute, but right now give yourself a break. Pretend you can do this—it won’t hurt. It’s doing whatever you’ve been doing that hurts. Otherwise, what brought you here?
So, tell me. What you would do? What do you want? These are the things that define you.
Identify them and write them down.
Right about now, you might be getting pissed off at me because I’m pushing you. You might be saying, “Whatever. You’re Diamond Dallas Page. It’s easy for you.”
Please. All I can promise is that I won’t bullshit you, so please do me the respect of not bullshitting me. My whole life I’ve been very successful at identifying and achieving what I want out of life. It’s not because I’m blessed, it’s because I’ve always been dead-serious about putting in the work required. It’s not magic; it’s work. It’s never easy. It never has been, and I never expect it to be. Even now.
My mom was just seventeen when she had me, and by the time she was 19, she’d already been married, divorced, and had three kids. When my parents split up, my brother and sister went to live with her. But it wasn’t long before she had to leave them with my grandmother in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, because she needed to move north to Livingston, New Jersey, to try to make more money to support them. Me, I went to live with my dad when I was three. Why? Let’s just say that mini-DDP had too much energy.
There was no way my grandmother could have handled my infant sister, my 1-year-old brother, and a wild man. The only problem was, my dad was a wild man, too. This isn’t a tear-jerker—my dad was a fun drunk and every night after work he’d hit the bar till closing time. I never stayed in one place too long. I spent time living with my uncles, my aunt, my stepmom at the time, her uncle . . . I bounced around like a pinball. Back then my dad couldn’t even spell the word “father,” let alone be one. So on my 8th birthday, my dad finally brought me to join my brother and sister at my grandmother’s place.
It killed my dad to have to give me up that day, but he knew I needed some family structure. That was the last time I would see or even talk to him when he was sober for the next ten years.
Now, I’m sure there are plenty of therapists who will tell you how much an upbringing like that can damage a kid, and I’m not saying they’re wrong. But I’ve always felt kind of lucky because being brought up this way helped me to learn from a very early age that life is 10% about what happens to you and 90% about how you react to it. I didn’t have words for it at the time. Hell, I couldn’t even read or write yet. But what I did have was a gut instinct that drove me to be flexible in new circumstances. I just felt this need to be adaptable, to improvise when things felt weird, scary, or just different. Rolling from town to town, family to family, something different was always going down.
Whenever I was suddenly thrown in with a new group of people and I didn’t know how long I’d be living where I was living, there were moments when I felt abandoned and left out. But no matter how much it hurt, I never focused on it for long. For me, the most important thing was knowing that there were always going to be new people I’d get to meet and know. I became an expert at fitting in. It was like a survival instinct. Because if you weren’t adaptable, you sat in the corner.
No one puts DDP in the corner.
From there, though I didn’t know it at the time, I was learning the first principle for owning your life. For me, personally, owning my life starts with not listening to the people around me when they say things that could stop me from believing in myself—when people bring you down with what I call “emotional gravity.”
For instance, when I was at my grandmother’s house, that side of the family would constantly talk shit about my father. And whenever I went to stay with my father’s family, they would talk shit about my mother. I’m like every kid—I’m nine, ten, eleven, and I realize there’s something wrong here. They’re my parents, and here are all these people judging them. I learned there’s his story and there’s her story, and then there’s what really happened. Negativity can have a pretty powerful effect, if you allow it to.
He’s worthless . . . She’s a bum . . .
To me, my father was a god at that time. And my mom? I didn’t get to see her that much, but I really loved her, you know? I wasn’t going to judge her. As a little kid, hearing both sides of the family talk crap about my mom and dad, I knew I had to figure out how to cope. And the coping mechanism was no secret potion. I simply realized that I would have to learn to shrug off what everyone was saying and not get pulled into that shit. That was the beginning of my self-parenting.
Of course it burned me to hear their crap, but the more I noticed it pulling me down, the more I paid attention to when that dragging sensation would come over me, and the more I learned to control it, I could turn it around and use it.
Eventually, it became nonsense background noise to me. He’s garbage . . . She never did this . . . He never had that . . . Blah, blah, blah. By the time I was ten I knew I could take anything any of those people were saying and shove it right back in their faces, but I didn’t need to. I understood—I got it. When people were putting someone else down, they were really talking about themselves, because they felt like crap. Really, it had nothing to do with anyone but themselves.
For a little kid, that kind of knowledge was a powerful tool. And even though most people figure it out by the time they’ve grown up, they don’t often figure out how to use it. The ones who learn to use it, though—the ones who use other people’s negative energy as fuel—they’re the ones to watch.
A lot of people need a pat on the back for reassurance. They don’t make it as far as the people who can take criticism or be told they’ll never make it. The people on top, the exceptional ones, are the people who hear, “You can’t do this” and they tell that voice to fuck off. Especially when that voice is their own.
So many people think of themselves as prisoners of their situations. That’s the mindset of failure. They’ve been programmed to be walking victims. The first key to breaking free of that mindset is to understand that you’re reprogramming yourself. I want you to really hear that, so I’m going to say it again: You’re reprogramming yourself. Whatever’s happened to you in the past—whatever anyone’s ever done to you—your life belongs to you now. Your mind is all your own. So own it.
Most people don’t. Most people never will. Whether it’s weight, the job, the husband, the wife, even a basic belief in oneself—most people start with “I can’t.”
And they stop there.
“Yeah, I don’t know if I can do that.”
“I don’t believe I can get in shape.”
“I don’t think I can get that job.”
The easiest thing in the world is “I can’t.” Physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually—we’re always ready to default back to lazy. There’s nothing to be afraid of when you’re being lazy, being cheap with yourself, because you’re already living in fear. It’s cool, though. Keep doing what you’ve been doing and you will never be in danger of creating anything new that will challenge and change you. Nothing will happen at all. That’ll be fucking amazing, right?
Then, at last, you try. I had no idea I could accomplish so much of what I’ve done in my life, because I’d never done any of it before. But I believed. Even with no hard evidence, I believed. It was often a case of “Fake it ‘til you make it.” There’s nothing wrong with that. It sure as hell beats “Sit still until you fail again.” Suspending your disbelief, faking it ‘til you make it, that’s not lying to yourself. Lying to yourself is doing the same unproductive thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
Lying to yourself is saying, “I can’t.” How do you know you can’t? You’re the one telling yourself you can’t—and when have you been right before? Hell, have you ever really tried? Try saying “I can” to everything, just for a day, and see how you feel. This is what I’ve done for most of my life, and trust me—it works. It’s way better to be wrong once in a while saying, “I can” than being right all the time saying “I can’t.”
I remember when I was in Iraq in 2003 to see the troops. I was at an FOB (Field Operations Base) that was way out on the outer perimeter and the major in charge said to me, “DDP, you can drive a tank?
My reply, “Yes, sir, I can drive a tank!”
Guess what I was doing ten minutes later? Driving the tank like a madman. What a hell of an experience!
People can say whatever they want about professional wrestling, but like I said, the one thing that always stands true is that you can’t fake gravity. We all deal with gravity every day. Emotional gravity, that is. You know what I mean. When someone really wants to pull you down the person often succeeds, right? But the truth is it’s never really what the person says that pulls you down. It’s how you let what the person says affect you that does it. Because rarely can anyone create more emotional self-doubt and feelings of failure in your life than you can for yourself. If you’ve never really thought about it that way, then you don’t know how to fix it. It’s time to stop allowing emotional gravity to control your actions.
The fact is, people set themselves up to fail before they even begin. It comes down to that inner dialogue. That voice. Hell, we’ve seen it in cartoons: the angel on one shoulder, the devil on the other.
Years ago, I was working with the singer Carnie Wilson when she wanted to get her weight down. This is a woman who sold 12 million albums with Wilson Phillips, but you would never know it from spending time with her. She never talked about her three number 1 singles or her six Top 20 hits. What she would say, over and over like her own dead-end mantra, was, “Oh God, I’m the shits!” And, “I’m the queen of the excuses.” Like, she had already written her own story of who she was. But so many people do that. And you need to understand where that comes from. I would say to Carnie, “Stop saying that shit about yourself! Give yourself a positive mantra.”
Table of Contents
Foreword Mick Foley ix
Chapter 1 Positively Unstoppable: Living Life at 90% 1
Chapter 2 Failure is not an Option 18
Chapter 3 Bang! Get off the Couch 29
Chapter 4 Your History Is Not Your Destiny: Moving Beyond Your Setbacks 45
Chapter 5 Own Your Environment 65
Chapter 6 The Unlikely Story of Diamond Dallas Page 84
Chapter 7 The Power of Believing 101
Chapter 8 Finding Inspiration from Desperation: The Story of DDP Yoga 122
Chapter 9 Anyone Can Do DDPY 150
Chapter 10 Own Your Food Choices: Decide What Goes Into Your Body 195
Chapter 11 Staying on Track: Tools for Success 243