“Call Me CEO” is your master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership, and finding YOUR perfect balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship.

Have you ever wondered how you can own your past and move forward with your future? In this episode, Camille welcomes Dr. John Delony, co-host of The Ramsey Show and author of Own Your Past Change Your Future, and the leading voice on mental health and wellness.

One of the things that has been consistent throughout is that you cannot outrun the stories that you are born into. You’ve got to deal with it.

— Dr. John Delony

Dr. John Delony shares his advice on dealing with trauma and how to start healing both for yourself and for your kids. He talks about the strategies you can use in decision-making to help you deal with anxiety and make real connections that will develop into healthy relationships as well as some useful parenting tips.

The greatest gift we could give our kids when it comes to handling trauma, dealing with trauma, healing from those things is to give them a model of what that looks like.

— Dr. John Delony

If you’re interested in learning more about how to deal with your own trauma or how to deal with children who might be struggling, listen to this episode to hear Dr. John Delony’s advice on how you can take the first step into owning your past and moving forward.

I want people to understand that wherever you happen to be, tomorrow could be a little bit better. And you’re worth the work, whatever that looks like.

— Dr. John Delony


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One thing we all have in common is that we all experience trauma. Whether they're big pieces of trauma or just little comments we've kept with us throughout our lives, it's holding you back from relationships that you deserve and those relationships cannot only be with other people, but with yourself. Today, we're going to dive in deep with Dr. John Delony who has two degrees in helping you overcome the hard and moving forward to create a wonderful future, so let's go.


CAMILLE [0:35]

So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.


CAMILLE [0:54]

One thing that we all have in common is that each of us has trauma that happens in our lives. How do we deal with it? How do we own that past and move forward with our future? With today's guest, Dr. John Delony, we're going to dive in deep and help you heal. Bonus, we're talking about kids too.

Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO and this episode is especially unique because I very rarely interview men. But if you've been here for a while, you know that I interview men from the Ramsey team. I absolutely love them. My husband and I have done the debt-free solution. We've been big fans of the Ramsey team for years.

So, today is extra special because Dr. John Delony is on with us and he has just released a book called Own Your Past Change Your Future. And I love what it has to offer because it talks so much about creating an environment for growth and also accepting bad things that have come in the past and moving forward with what you can do as your move forward and what you have power over. So, Dr. John, what do I call you? Dr. Delony?


My mom named me John, that's the best way.

CAMILLE [2:10]

All right, John. Thank you so much for being here today. I can't wait to dive into this book and everything that you have to offer.

JOHN [2:16]

I'm so grateful, Camille. Thank you for your hospitality.

CAMILLE [2:18]

First, I'd love it if you introduced yourself a bit. Tell the audience where you were born and raised, about your children. We talk about kids on here, so feel free to introduce your family and we'll go from there.

JOHN [2:29]

So, I was born and raised in Houston and my family was a little unique. My dad was a homicide detective and a SWAT hostage negotiator growing up. And then, he always volunteered with youth programs and always supporting people there in the community. And about halfway through my life, he did this wild left turn and became a youth minister. He started serving the youth programs at a large church here in Houston.

And my mom grew up, she wasn't allowed to go to college. And the ethos was you've got a role to play in society and that's your one role and you stick with it. And at 42, the age of 42, she gathered up the courage and with the support of our family and she grabbed a machete and, like all great women do, she headed off into the woods. And she took one community college class. And then, the next semester, she took one more. And then, after that, she took one more.

42, her first community college class. At the age 57, she graduated with her PhD and she worked at Enron along the way. And now, she's in her 70s and she just resigned from being the department chair of some fancy university. And so, she's had this wild back half of her life has just been extraordinary and awesome.

And so, I grew up with two metamessages, which was if something's on fire, you go in. That's the job. You go in and you can do anything. And it's never too late. You're never too old. And I didn't just hear that in words, I got pictures of those words. I got examples of that, which was great.

So, then fast forward, I've got two wonderful maniacal little kids. I've got a 6-year-old daughter, Josephine, and she is a human hurricane who I love, love, love. And my son is 11, almost 12. And he's in 6th grade and she's in kindergarten. And my wife, she has been a world-class renowned researcher and professor. She teaches teachers how to teach kids how to read. That's the best I can explain what she does. And now, she's an author and she's taking master Gartner classes, so we're always reinventing ourselves in our house, so it's a lot of fun.

CAMILLE [4:34]

I love it. It sounds like my kind of people. And I need to talk to your mom. She needs to be on this show. That's incredible.

JOHN [4:40]

Yeah, she's awesome.

CAMILLE [4:40]

Now, you talk a lot in your book about working with youth and kids specifically. And I think that that's something, I have a son who's turning 14 in just a couple of weeks, and man, it is so crazy. I'm a teacher and I worked with youth, yeah, whatever, but no, when you're the parent of that teen, it's like welcome to the Wild West, it is so, so crazy.

And I really appreciated in your book that you talked about being that frontline of university students who are dealing with trauma of all different kinds and helping them navigate that. And so often, I've been sharing parenting tips and all of the things for parenting the last 10 years on a family blog that I did before I started this podcast. And it was easy to talk about how to nap train your child and breast feeding versus bottle feeding and sibling rivalry, whatever. But then you get to the year of teens and real trauma, and it's not my story to tell. It's not my place to share that.

So, I would really love to hear your perspective because in this book, you talk about little Ts and big Ts of trauma. How can we, as parents, with our dear teens who are going through real struggle help them navigate that with everything? There are so many different ways that could go. So, that's a really loaded question.

JOHN [6:11]

I love it.

CAMILLE [6:12]

Just give us some advice. You have so much experience.

JOHN [6:16]

I appreciate that. So, I'm going to start with a total left field aside, okay. We'll pretend we're pausing the podcast and now, we're just two parents of middle schoolers, okay. This is awesome. I just read this maybe a year ago and it's Ethan Kross's book, I think it's called Chatter. And he's at a university in Michigan.

Here's one of the major takeaways. He studies the little voice in your head. I don't know how you study that, but that's what he does. But here's what he came up with in 30 seconds. There's a neural network that runs, I and us and we, and it is directly tied to our fight or flight. And when fight or flight isn't activated right, when we have a traumatic response, our body spins it up. And it's ready to go, our frontal lobe, our thought, our critical thinking goes off. But when we have thoughts about them and others and what they should do, it's a totally different network. It's not activated to our fight or flight.

So, I can give advice to people on my show all day about their marriages, about their kids, and then I go home and my kid says something to me that threatens my identity and my brain goes, "blegh," and I'm out. So, there you go. And now, you can give yourself some grace and peace, man. Having your own kids is different.

So, I think to reverse engineer your question, the greatest gift we could give our kids when it comes to handling trauma, dealing with trauma, healing from those things is to give them a model of what that looks like. Most parents are operating under the idea that I don't want to do anything in front of my kids that's going to scare them. I don't want to cry in front of them. I don’t want to pull my daughter aside and say, "Hey, this happened to me in middle school and this boy didn't listen or this happened and then this happened" or "I don't want you going there and I know that's uncle so and so." But mothers think, "I don't want to do that. I don't want to put my daughter in that situation that happened to me. That's buried with me."

And what happens is we rob our daughters, we rob our sons of, "But mom's strong and she's brave and she's beautiful and she's connected and her voice matters." Now, and this happened, so if something happens to me, which inevitably, I have a picture of what healed looks like or healing looks like. It's giving your kids the gift of weeping in front of them, of saying the words "I'm sorry, or I changed my mind or I thought this was a great idea, it was a disaster. I overrode the whole family. We're all going to eat here in this place that's terrible. This is all on me." And it's giving your kids a picture of what healing can look like and the journey healing takes.

I think most trauma that kids experience nowadays, nowadays is such a mess and so we can pull the last couple years out for a second, we've got the big T stuff. And you've probably talked about this on your podcast. The big T is the divorce, it's the car wreck. It's when your school counselor came and got you when you were 10 and brought you in and said, "Hey, your dad has had a heart attack and he's dying." Big T, that's the sexual abuse, the physical abuse.

What I didn't understand was the trauma can be both acute, it's big and it can be cumulative and it could come in really small doses over time. So, the way I like to teach on this is we all carry a backpack. And some of us are born out of the gate with bricks in that backpack. Dad didn't show up, mom didn't want us, mom and dad had addiction issues and they're fighting. So, we get bricks just out of the gate.

And big T traumas are like somebody dropping a cinderblock in our backpack. But you're 11 years old and you walk down the stairs and you're ready to go to school, then your mom sees you across the room and she says, "Oh, honey, that shirt makes you look pudgy. You want the boys to think you're pretty. Let's go change that shirt. It's not pretty." And you're 11 and you say, "Okay, yeah."

And it's not registering as much, but that's a pebble, that's a rock in the backpack. It's not a brick, but it's a rock and it happens over and over and over, over the course of a lifetime. And when you get to be 25 or 35, the weight in that backpack is the same. It's the dad who stares who stares at his phone more than he stares at his 6-year-old daughter and she keeps thinking to herself, "What is it about that little box that dad loves more than me?" And she'll spend the rest of her life solving that question.

And those little T traumas add up and add up, so then you end up being 34 and somebody says, "I have identified you as the next leader." And your first thought is, "I can't. I'm not good enough for that" or somebody says, "Hey, I'm thinking about asking you to marry me." And your first thought is, "I'm not lovable or I need to lose 30 pounds" or fill in the blank.

And so, trauma hangs on us. We carry it around with us forever and ever in the form of stories and the form of biology and I think our life's work is pulling the thread on those stories and saying, "Where did I get these stories? The ones I was born into, the ones I was told. And then, what in the world do I do next? How do I change my family tree? How do I live differently starting today?"

CAMILLE [11:36]

I love that. I think that there's so much is that curiosity piece of unpacking that and seeing what is it within myself that is making this believe it to be true when it really isn't necessarily true? It's just that lens that you've given yourself or those stories.

And one thing when I read that in your book about the cumulative trauma, my son actually came up with a cumulative raspberry seed where he said, "Mom, have you ever done something wrong and it might be really small? And at the time, it didn't seem like a big deal, but if you're eating ice cream and all of those seeds start coming out, they really start to bother you and they can create a brick with all the little seeds that build and build and build."

And he said, "It's like I have a friend who's holding me down for little mistakes that I made, but that's not who I am anymore, but it's a cumulative seed." And I thought, that's really insightful. And so, when I read that in your book, I'm like, he's right in line with that way of thinking that those things can compound, but we can also break them apart.

JOHN [12:43]

Another gift we can give our kids, if they can feel the gap between their feeling sand reality, so your son feels, "This friend of mine makes me not feel like myself. He doesn't make me feel good." And he's instantly able to pull apart, "That may not be me. Maybe that's them." And if a kid can do that, what a gift their parent has given their children. That's a great tool that he'll carry with him forever. Kudos to you, that's awesome.

CAMILLE [13:12]

Thank you. One thing we have going for us is open communication, which I'm so grateful for which ironically as a child, I kept journals like crazy. I'm the family historian because I would write and write and write. And so, I did write down some traumatic things that happened to me in my junior high years that I thought, as a kid, I don't know if I'll ever share this, thinking, this is so bad, this is whatever. But as a parent, now I pull out those journals and I'm like, "Hey, bud. I know exactly what that felt like. Guess what happened on this day?" And I hand over that really scary journal and I'll say, "Read this."

JOHN [13:50]

That's brave. That's awesome.

CAMILLE [13:53]

It was, but you know what? Parts of it really surprised him how relatable my experiences were to his own. It wasn't just, "I get it. I know what you're feeling." It was actual physical evidence of something which I had never imagined what a gift that would be years before, but it really has allowed for us to have really honest conversations in a perspective of what an 11, 14-year-old eyes or brain might think.

Now, boys and girls are different, so we don't think the same. But it has been helpful. So, I'm curious with the unpacking trauma and working through creating true connections and also rewiring those thought patterns. What would you say the best tool has been for you in rewiring thought patterns for success when you have those voices telling you you're not good enough?

JOHN [14:48]

If I had to outline a tool, I would say it's the decision-making tree. And that decision-making tree starts with, "I cannot make any good decisions without other people in my life, period." And that's a full stop, exclamation point, not even period. We cannot do life alone and I have to have a group of people around me that I can ask, "Hey, am I seeing this the right way? Am I looking at this the right way?"

And second one and this one's hard because it sounds counterintuitive, it sounds insulting, it sounds privileged when you say it out loud, but I think it's important for all of us to state it, and then sit with it for a second, "I have to decide that I don't want this anymore." And that sounds counterintuitive. Who wants to continue being anxious all the time? Who wants to continue thinking about abuse? Nobody wants that. And our brains are trying to keep us safe and it remembers that story, so it's going to continue to remind us over and over and over again, so it doesn't happen again.

And I have to decide I'm worth being loved. I'm worth loving again and that means I'm going to have to take some risks. That means I'm going to potentially get hurt again and that's okay because I wasn't safe then, but I'm safe now. So, I have to decide I'm not going to have an identity of somebody with fill in the blank disorder or fill in the blank some tragedy that happened to us, the worst thing we ever did. With a culture that's obsessed with defining us by the worst things that ever happened to us and our survivor status and it's important to own those stories.

The whole book is called Own Your Past, you've got to own those, but then you've got to put that brick down and say, "What comes next?" And that's where most of us get stuck. We just say, "This is our destiny. This is who we are. The path's laid out before us and let's go on about our days and try to squeeze a laugh in a moment here on Netflix." And we've got to set that stuff down and say, "I'm going to build something here.

CAMILLE [16:54]

I love that. I think our youth especially and everyone dealing with these last few years and our society in general, I feel like there's a pandemic of anxiety and depression in a way it hasn't been before. What would you say are the best tools for moving out of the state of anxiety and depression? And I know that people, yes, that support group, what else would you say or have you seen has been especially for youth?

JOHN [17:27]

It's really important for me when people are dealing with, let's take anxiety. Depression's its own monster. But all anxiety is is a fire alarm. It's a smoke alarm in your kitchen. And we've created an ecosystem and this is the last 25, 35 years of, let's solve for the alarm that's ringing in the kitchen, so we call some pastor or a couple of friends and we grab a bottle of wine and a casserole and a counselor and we crawl up on a ladder and we duct tape a pillow around that alarm to try and shut it down. Or we go get a psychiatrist and we take the batteries out of the alarm.

The alarm isn't always the problem. In fact, it rarely, rarely is. That's just telling us the house is on fire somewhere. And if we don't deal with what's going on in our relationships, in our ecosystem, if we're not safe, if we're not connected, if we're out of control in our lives, our alarm's just trying to get our attention, so it's really like putting duct tape over your gas gauge on your dashboard. It doesn't make a lot of sense.

And so, what I want young people and elderly folks and everybody in between, when you're anxious, when your anxiety is spinning off, step back and ask yourself, what are these alarms trying to tell me? And for most of us, it's that our bodies have found ourselves disconnected. We are super connected online. We're connected to 1,000 friends on the internet, but we have nobody to help us change a tire on our driveway. We've got a lot of friends on the computer, but no real humans in our life, especially in the last 36 months.

I'm plugged into what I call the tragedy machine. Our brains are not designed to handle every trauma. They're not designed to handle a war that is being livestreamed right now. It can't handle that. It has no mechanisms for that. And so, it starts rattling. It can't function with the lack of sleep, without movement, being plugged into video games all day.

And so, most of the time, I want to start looking at somebody's ecosystem, at the way their life is being conducted. Where can we give you some peace in your body like sleep, like turning the screens of, like hanging out with real people doing real things. Where can you laugh? I'm just going to take you out of the accelerated math class this semester and you're going take a regular because it's not worth it. We're playing the third-year game here and you can figure that out later. That's one from my own house.

CAMILLE [19:57]

Me too, actually.

JOHN [20:00]

I want to have those type of conversations. And if we put the fire out, most of the time, the alarm turns itself off. The alarm goes off and by the way, I don't want to have no anxiety alarm. I don't want to have no anxiety. It's important because if I need it, I want it to ring for me. When it comes to depression, somewhat similar. Although depression has got some different biochemistry to it, obviously reach and connect with your kids and find ways to connect.

Sometimes, that's writing within a journal. I'm going to write in it and leave it on your bed and your job, you can write 1 sentence, you can write 5 words. But you got to write in it and leave it on my bed and it becomes a way to communicate. We're going to have screen-free dinners. We're going to do some things in our house. We're going to be intentional about it. And that means as a dad, if I have a screen-free dinner, that means I have to put mine down too. And we have to go outside and just kick a soccer ball and be boring.

But we're going to get back to that humanity and often, not always, but often those alarms begin to take care of themselves. And then, if they don't, there's some seasons when anxiety alarms are just buzzing at everything. The depression takes off on us, and man, you've got to go see a professional. You have to have the courage to go do that.

CAMILLE [21:13]

Yeah. I love that analogy. I've never heard it put quite that way. I really like that. Now, one thing I mentioned before we started this recording was, I get asked a lot by women, how do I make friends and how do I make real connections? And that's something that you speak to quite a bit in this book. And what was interesting was you were saying that that's often the case for men too that we're filled with so many online friends, and yet we are lacking those true connections that really fill us up. So, I want to segue into that a little bit. Tell me about finding true connections and what you have found is a good formula for that.

JOHN [21:52]

This is probably my favorite question and I never anticipated this is going to end up being my life's work, but I think it is. I've become somewhat single-minded on what I think is the great demon of our time, the great enemy of our time, that's loneliness. The most disconnected generation on the planet's history and we've created a world for ourselves that our bodies can't exist in. And as the great Terry Real says, 30, 40, 50 years ago, women were told for the first time in Western history, rightfully so, your voice matters. Doing research for this book, I found out when my parents were married in 1970, it was not until 1973 that my mom was allowed to get a checking account without my dad signing it.

CAMILLE [22:43]

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JOHN [23:29]

That's our life. That's my mom's lifetime.

CAMILLE [23:30]

That's not that long ago, yeah.

JOHN [23:32]

It's a few years ago and Terry says and I love it, women were also lied to. They were told the same lie that men were told, which is you can do all of this by yourself. You don't need anybody. And so, we were talking before my research is into folks who made it, doctors, lawyers, fancy pants, preachers, college presidents, those that people in their community look to for guidance and their mental health.

And what we found is it's dismal. It's awful. And I believe it circulates around this idea of the higher up you move up the ladder, the more influence you have, the more money you make, the fewer and fewer people you can afford to have in your circle. And your brain screams for connection. It screams for help and we try to solve help with more stuff, with more money. We try to run from it with achievement.

And what I've seen over the last 15 or 20 years as the work world has appropriately begun to shift and become more inclusive, it hasn't become more inclusive in how do we do business. It's become more inclusive with inviting new people to the table, but the rules are still the same. And so, we're starting to see women's alcohol consumption go up. We're starting to see women have pain disorders that are going up. Their bodies are rattling too and they might rattle a little bit differently, but man, everything circulates around connection, period.

And I took this job with Dave, one of the last questions, we're negotiating salaries and all those stuff, I asked Dave Ramsey, "Who do you listen to? Outside of this company, who speaks into your life?" And if he had just said, "My wife, she'll tell me," I probably would not have taken the job because I know enough to know about how CEOs end up. And instead, he said, "I've got this group called the Eagles Group and we meet every whatever and we have been for the last 12 years. And I've got a group of pastors that I meet with and I've got this group over here." And I remember going to the parking lot and I called my wife and I said, "Dave and I are going to disagree on a lot of stuff, but I trust that guy because he listens to other people." And that's what ultimately, I was like, "I'm going to take this job."

So, when it comes to what do you do, I think first, you have to take an inventory of your friendships, your connections, your relationships. I have shared a bed with the same woman for 20 years. I said that in probably the most awkward way I could. I've been married for almost 20 years. And there's been seasons where I know she loves me. She's my best friend on the planet. And I've been deeply and profoundly in love with her.

I've found myself lonely in a crowded room. I've found myself lonely on my own dinner table that is here with my family. I've found myself lonely at work. And a lot of loneliness starts inside of me and sometimes I've had seasons where I step back and say, "I've never hung out with my guy friends, not once in one month, two months, three months." I've just been going and repeating and going and repeating and my body's starting to try to get my attention. I need other people. Grief demands a witness.

So, I've got to have other people to talk about the good stuff and the bad stuff and the hard stuff and the really dark stuff. I got to have people who are with me. And so, I wish there was a less duh way about this, but if you want to go make friends, you have to decide, I'm going to go make friends and I'm going to take a risk. As Dave Perell says, all relationships are a risk. Your marriage is a risk. Your kids are a risk. Your friends are a risk. You got to take the risk. You're worth the risk. And at some point, they're going to be worth the risk.

And you've got to go first and you've got to be hospitable. You got to say yes to adventures. You've just got to put yourself in a position knowing I have to quit smoking. I've got to quit doing meth. Those two things are similar to I've got to go make friends. And the rest of my life can backfill.

And by the way, it usually can't be your spouse because many leaders turn their spouse into a garbage bin. They just dump the days and trash in them, "I can't believe so and so said this." And that person isn't designed to carry your garbage. They're carrying their own stuff. So, getting a group of people that you could sit with and be with is everything.

CAMILLE [27:41]

Yeah. I love that advice. I think that too often, we try to have our spouse fill the cup of all the different elements of our life that we need filling and men can't fill the women's side of cup that I need and women can't fill the side of my cup that I need as a partner and a spouse that work as a friend. And so, I think that that's been one of the best ways that my husband and I have had a stronger marriage is by allowing ourselves time apart to fill up that cup of being with your buddies and being able to relate and talk and strengthen ourselves so that we have a biter side of ourselves to get to the marriage and to the family and to ourselves.

And as you were talking about being lonely, sitting at your own dinner table and those different things, I think a big part of that is investing time in ourselves where we can really love the skin that we're in and that takes courage too. I think a lot of times, women especially avoid that time it takes to invest in themselves because of guilt or because they think they don't have time, but it's essential to being able to rise above it, yeah.

JOHN [28:55]

You don't have time to, that's exactly right. And there's something really incredibly important about boundaries. And I think the cornerstone of boundaries is saying out loud, "Here's what I need. And here's what I actually want with my one tiny precious reckless life. Here's the things."

And women are especially shoved to the margins and said, "Okay, that's cute. You make sure everybody else is okay. And then, if there's some space left, you can put your needs down there at the bottom and we'll get to it." And everybody ends up in ash when that's the cultural ethos. And so, it's incumbent on the family system, on a great partner, and somebody looking in the mirror saying, "You know what? My needs have value and I have value. And they're worth saying out loud and they're worth communicating to my partner. They're worth communicating to my kids and coworkers, etc."

And I know this sounds so pie in the sky, but I think as we begin to look in the mirror and see what we can reclaim, what we can do next, saying those needs out loud, and then backfilling boundaries around is critical for making friends, making connections, and developing healthy relationships.

CAMILLE [30:05]

Yeah. I love that. I'm going to pivot this conversation a little bit because typically my interviews are very introspective, so I'm going to turn the table on you a little bit and ask you what are your goals? This was your first book. Is that right? Am I getting that right or is this your second?

JOHN [30:21]

My second. I had a book that I wrote on anxiety a few years ago, yeah.

CAMILLE [30:25]

That's cool. I'll have to check that out. What I was going to say, what is next for you as far as the mission of you said that loneliness is something you're going to be talking about and connection. What is it that you hope to do moving into the future with your career?

JOHN [30:41]

That's a great question. How honest do you want me to be?

CAMILLE [30:43]

Very honest.

JOHN [30:44]

A cool stock answer or the truth?

CAMILLE [30:48]

I had Christy Wright on my show when she was in the middle of trying to decide what she was doing, but she didn't tell me what was really going on, so please.

JOHN [30:58]

I will tell you the truth. So, one of the great blessings of my life is for most of my career, I've been the youngest guy in the room by a decade.

CAMILLE [31:09]

Congratulations. That’s a good place to be actually, yeah.

JOHN [31:11]

It's been cool. It's been one of the great privileges of my life. And I've got to see people "win." Get the big promotion, make more money than their brains knew how to compute. I've got to see it happen and I've got to watch people implode in those, everything. And one of the things that has been consistent throughout is that you cannot outrun the stories that you are born into. You've got to deal with it. You cannot outrun hurt from relationships that you haven't healed or completely ended. You can't achieve your way.

So, often, I'll tell somebody like, "Hey, I'm going to get this vice presidency." And I'll tell them, "Your dad's not going to call. You're not going to get the resolution that you're thinking. Get the vice presidency. We need you as vice president. You'll be great at it. It won't heal. It will give you some space and some privilege to go get the healing you need, but in and of itself."

And so, here's why I tell you that. At 16 years old, I was working at Burger King. I was pretty good. I worked my way up to Burger King manager. How do you like that? That's right. I learned early on people would come in either really dead-eyed. They just zoned out. They had unplugged from life or people would come in kind and generous and normal. And people would come in real hot. And I learned at 16 years old, it takes about five to ten seconds to really make somebody's day with a simple, "How are you?" and some eye contact and smile. And I can ruin somebody's day in five to ten seconds.

And that was the scenes that became I just want to be a guy who, to quote a close mentor of mine, people are a little more peaceful after they spent time with me than before they got there. I want people to understand that wherever you happen to be, tomorrow could be a little bit better. And you're worth the work, whatever that looks like.

And here's where that's great for me. I've been a dean of students at multiple universities. I've been a dean of students at a law school. I'm not even an attorney. There's only three of us in the country that had that job that weren't lawyers. I've been a Burger King manager and now as my 11-year-old son likes to make fun of me, "You're just a YouTuber dad." So, right now, I'm on the internet.

When it comes to career, what I've decided to do is hold that very, very loosely because I found my life's mission and purpose, which is to sit with people when things are on fire, light their cigarette for them, and then grab their hand and help them stand up, get everybody dusted off and let's take the first next wobbly step. And so, if I end up doing this in writing 10 more books and we have a great fun career for 20 years, that would be a blast. I'm living in a glitch in the matrix. This is a hilarious fun job. I laugh almost every day.

And if I get fired tomorrow, then I'll be sad because the money's great and I get to go on some cool trips and talk to some cool people. I won't be able to talk to people like you, Camille. And then, in a few days, I'll be like, "Remember that time we got to go to this thing?" And I'm going to go find something else. I've been a high school teacher.

So, I hold that position so loosely because I've seen people give everything for it and come up shallow at the end. So, now it's about purpose and finding meaning and finding peace and making sure that I'm connected to relationships in deep and meaningful ways. And then, wherever we end up, wherever the boat takes us, that'll be great.

CAMILLE [34:43]

I love that answer. It has been such a pleasure to interview you today. You've definitely left me with more peace and I hope everyone that listening too. Please tell our audience where they can find you.

JOHN [34:53]

You can find me on the internet. I didn't have social media before I started this job.

CAMILLE [34:59]

This is new. You're doing great.

JOHN [35:01]

It's hilarious. I appreciate it. You can find me at @johndelony on Instagram and you can go to www.johndelony.com to buy the book and do all the stuff. And I co-host The Ramsey Show with Dave several times a week.

CAMILLE [35:14]

Very cool. Thank you so much.

JOHN [35:17]

Thank you so much. I appreciate you.


CAMILLE [35:18]

Thank you so much for tuning in today's episode. And I want to thank Station Park for being our sponsor. One thing that I love about Station Park is that it is the perfect place to make and keep connections with your families and those that you love. Take time for your health and your body as they have many places to work out as well. There's Lift Station Park. There is HOTWORKX and there's also the Bodybar. Any time you take time for you, you are taking for your family's health. Because when you're healthy, it helps your family be healthy as well.

Thank you for joining today's episode. I hope you enjoyed it and if you did, please subscribe. I would love to hear from you. If you want to message me on Instagram @callmeceopodcast and/or @camillewalker.co. You deserve a wonderful future and I hope that you'll check out Dr. John Delony's book and I'll see you next time.



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