Yep. I went and got a job!
Since winning The Biggest Loser, I’ve spoken in 7 countries and 40 states about my journey. The experience has been awesome, but a look at my life made me consider a change. I was ready to get back to my roots in Land Surveying and stay home for a while, choosing moments. All that time away changing others’ lives was sometimes at the cost of the very ones I loved most! My wife Darci, my son David, and my daughter Mary Claire are my family. I want nothing more than to see them happy, but at times I was barely seeing them at all! I decided 100 flights a year was no longer going to work, and it was time for a more stable situation so I didn’t miss their life.
What caused me to come to this conclusion? Looking at my life from different perspectives. When I was in Buffalo Gap, Texas at Shades of Hope Treatment Center, Tennie McCarty reminded me to hit the pause button when things get tough. So one day when I felt stressed about leaving when my family needed me to stay home, I hit the pause button. I just rested in the fact of where I was, what I could control and what I couldn’t control. I had signed a contract, so I had to go. What that moment caused me to do was amazing. Let me explain.
Moments are a matter of time
Our lives are made up of moments – moments of our life’s history. It is also made up of future moments. Where are we going to be a year from now – or even 10 years from now? I know I can’t control the past, so what good is it to worry? I can, however, control my future. So what can I do to change my situation now? What if I continue to chase my dreams like this? And what will that cost me?
These are all choices that I have to make, and I used Tennie’s advice to deal with it. I remembered back when I had a cassette recorder as a kid, and the buttons that were on it. There was a play button, rewind, fast forward, pause, and record. I decided explore how I could use these buttons to help me answer all of those questions. The following is what I discovered.
Pausing the moment
Hitting the pause button allows you to stop, think and feel. Sometimes we don’t take the time to do that. We bulldoze through our life, reliving the same situations over and over again. Just by pausing, you may see something you have missed. Have you ever heard “stop and smell the roses?” How many times have we pressed on without stopping, thinking and allowing ourselves to feel instead of stuffing feelings and moving on? Thinking things through can often lead to insight and peace with where you are right now, as well as whether or not where you are is what you intended or want.
Fast Forward to a future moment
By fast forwarding, we can see the possible results of our decisions. Instead of acting automatically I like to pause for a moment, and then fast forward to where I might end up, how I will feel, and who it will affect. “If I eat that cake, I’ll regret that decisions long after the thrill is gone.” Too many times we give up what we really want for what we want right now. Is this choice going to move me a step closer to my goal or perhaps stall me – or even move me further away? Darci once asked a recovered alcoholic how he had 4 years success with sobriety. He told her, “I fast forward to the next morning and how I will feel. I hate hangovers, and my day will be wasted. I’ll also feel terrible inside. It helps me choose not to drink.”
This is great to do, but choosing to live only for the future may also cause us to miss the opportunities of the present. Chasing your dreams and goals at the cost of the present moment comes with a price. In Ecclesiastes 1, it talks of all we do to strive, and when you finally catch your dreams that it was all chasing the wind. It’s the experience I want to savor– the journey – not the prize. For me, the Journey is the prize.
Rewinding to the past
Hitting the rewind button has benefits, but also can be dangerous. For a time after winning The Biggest Loser, I chose to live in the past. I was the Biggest Loser ever, and the world champion of something! That accomplishment was incredible, but it also came with a cost. I had to learn that is was not me, but it was an event. It did not define me, but was a great accomplishment. The danger of me continually hitting the rewind button to that moment could make me miss the current moment, and cost me the future I truly wanted. It is now time to move on with my life. I’ll always be the Biggest Loser, but I refuse to live in the past. If I continue to celebrate my past victory, I may miss the opportunity to create new victories.
From a different perspective, we may also be able to hit the rewind button to revisit a time of strength and motivation. We may need that motivation right now. Rewinding to moments of victory can inspire us to new heights, and remind us of just how far we’ve come!
Even further, if we continually hit the rewind button to revisit past abuse, pain or negative events of our life, it can cause us to re-create our “pit” and lead us to remain in it. Revisiting past events to remind us what we conquered is good, but we must be diligent not to create what we most fear and do not want.
Choosing to play
Choosing to play means stepping into your purpose – now – not in the future and not in the past. Where can we make a difference now? Who do we believe we are called to help? Who is most important to us, and are we choosing other purposes over them? Sometimes, focusing on making a difference in things at the cost of who and what is most important to us can cause us to miss our life.
When we record
Choose to live in the moment and make memories. Each moment we make important is being recorded, so we should chose to focus on making good memories. Choosing to make good memories and not bad memories is often a choice that we control. Sure, there will be memories that aren’t good and that we can’t control. And there will be choices we can make to create those positive memories that will propel us into our true purpose.
Choosing the moment
Choosing the moment is an important choice. And doing that means we need to first hit pause and stop, think and feel. Then choose to rewind to a past experience for strength, motivation and hope. Fast forward and think about the consequences of your choice, how and who it will affect, and whether it moves you closer to your goal or further from your goal. Don’t “chase the wind” at the cost of the moment. Your purpose is now, where you are. Not at some distant point in the future, or in a better situation. Choose to play right where you are, with the people God has put in your life, and in turn record great memories that will be stepping stones to what you truly want.
I’m choosing that right now. I didn’t crave going back into Land Surveying. I don’t hate it – I love it! But would it cost me my dreams? I kept telling myself that, and in turn I was costing myself my true dream – my family. My kids are going to get the father they need and deserve. My wife is going to get the husband she desires and craves. God is going to get the Danny that will change the lives of whomever crosses his path – whether it be in 7 countries and 40 states, or right here in front of me. I’m still going to travel and speak – only less. I’m planting myself here in Tulsa for now, and I’m fine with that!
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