Success Podcast Post

Do Hard Things with Darleen Santore

George Grombacher May 11, 2023

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Do Hard Things with Darleen Santore

LifeBlood: We talked about how to do hard things, how everything worth doing is difficult, the proper mindset for success, how to keep our purpose top of mind, the recipe for sustainable success, and how to get started on the path towards the life we truly want, with Darleen “Coach Dar” Santore.    

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Darleen Santore

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Well, this is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest Ron Paul for Darlene Centaur. Darlene, are you ready to do this?

Darlene Santore 0:09
Let’s go. I’ve been ready all morning.

george grombacher 0:11
All right, let’s go. Darlene is better known as coach DAR. She’s a licensed and board certified occupational therapist. She’s a sought after speaker, the former Phoenix Suns mental skills coach, her newest book is The Art of bouncing back, find your flow to thrive at work and in life anytime you’re off your game. Coach John, I’m excited to have you on tell us about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

Darlene Santore 0:37
You know, I do what I do, I’ll start there. Because it’s truly my sole purpose. I help literally awaken greatness, I help people raise the bar literally, to help them to level up in their world that they’re in and I started this whole journey. I’m an occupational therapist by background, I started out in the hospital taking care of traumatic brain injured patients stroke, spinal cord, and my background is neuroscience and neuro psychology. So all the neurosciences and cognition, human behavior. And I did that for many years. And in between that I had a stroke, which left me with a blood clot and I share this in the beginning because that was a catalyst because they told me when this happened, you could die any day. So that that literally was a a pusher for me to say, well, sugar, if I could go any day, let’s go change healthcare. That’s where my head where I’m like, Oh, we’re gonna go change the world. And I didn’t change healthcare, but I try.

george grombacher 1:37
What there’s, there’s there’s still time. Yeah,

Darlene Santore 1:39
that’s right. I ended up going back to school for business. And that’s where I was helping run some companies. But the thread throughout all of this was helping to pull the best out of people. So I, I’m still a therapist. I just took that outside of the hospital walls. After I’d run a few businesses. And I started my own practice in the middle of the recession in 2008. It started but really got rolling couple years after right in the thick of it all, because people were having a hard time saying how am I going to bounce back? How do I get through this? And I thought I’d help people overcome them when they were told they would never walk again to walk again. And they did because it was all a mental conditioning was your mindset. So now I just am. I still am a therapist, but I do mental skills work with CEOs, founders, leaders and professional athletes and helping them create their mental edge and where they want to go. Keep them sharp.

george grombacher 2:35
I love it. I think it’s fascinating. How when you look at athletes at an probably people top performers at peak performers at the top of their field. And I I was a tennis player when I was younger. And so you look at tennis players, it’s like, it’s amazing how the top player almost always wins. And at that level, the skill is pretty close. But how does one guy or gal almost win every single time it’s got to be what’s between their ears.

Darlene Santore 3:08
It is it’s very much the mental game. And this is true in all sports, just like you said the best that keep doing well or because a couple things. One is it is absolutely mindset, they truly believe that they will win more time to spend what they will lose. They’re not afraid of the losses, they get back up. But they are consistent and discipline to they are absolutely consistent. They do the mundane really well drill after drill after drill. And they will work on refining that drill. But also look at tennis when you see some of the best matches we’ve watched. And they’ve gone, what five and a half hours and you’re thinking that is true mental resiliency, because your body wants to give up so bad but it’s the mental will to stay in the fight.

george grombacher 3:53
So if the top performers are focused on that, so focused on that, what, what is to learn for regular people that are not necessarily in front of huge audiences, but I still want to do my best.

Darlene Santore 4:11
Yeah, well, I think it starts there. It’s being the person that when you walk in the room or you show up to life, you wake up in the morning, you wake up and you have to be intentional. How do I want this day to go, you have to be intentional about getting up to work out you have to be intentional about getting up to fill yourself with something positive. You have to be intentional about how you’re going to start a meeting, how you’re going to interact with people when you walk out of the room or on get on a phone call or it’s truly starts with the intention of wanting to add value and be the best that you can. When you start there. I promise you you’re already you’re already going to win more than most people because most are just getting up and going through the motions. So whatever happens happens, that’s not how we should be doing this. We should have absolute intention, taking a breath and saying okay, how do I want to show up? What do I didn’t want to do? How do I make today 1% better than yesterday, and you can even break it down. If you win the morning, it’ll help you win the afternoon, which help you win the evening, and then you’ve won the day. And then, you know, seek feedback, take inventory, sit back, whether you journal or you just reflect the end of the day, it was like, what were the wins? What are the losses? How can I shift to be better tomorrow, but you don’t have to play in a big arena to be great. You just have to be willing to put in the work, the effort, the attitude for it, the intention to want to be great at whatever it is that you do.

george grombacher 5:35
I couldn’t agree more. And I find it to be fascinating, and frankly, pretty depressing, that there’s so many folks out there who are just sort of being carried along by the current of life, and you know, just just kind of is what it is, and they’re not living intentionally. Why why do you think that is?

Darlene Santore 5:52
Well, because to live, to want to be better takes work and effort. And this, we are in a comfort crisis, we are truly in a comfort crisis that the easier it is, the better it is, so to speak, they think but actually, it’s going to hurt you. So you may not want to get up to the walk or workout today. But do that day after day, year after year, you’re gonna be dealing with some consequences of those choices. So if it’s better to put in the effort daily, even if it’s small effort, you will get compound interest on your effort. But people like to go the comfort route, you know, whether it’s difficult conversation, whether it’s your health, whether it’s your mindset, grow up being an entrepreneur, or even doing well at your job, you have to be able to put in the effort, but most comfort and as Monty Williams, the coach, the Phoenix Suns says everything’s on the other side of heart. We’re not going to get results through easy.

george grombacher 6:49
No, no, we’re not. Even though we’re so focused on life hacks, and, you know, take a pill to lose weight. That’s like the biggest piece of medication in the world right now. Which is not a surprise at all.

Darlene Santore 7:02
I know. I know.

george grombacher 7:06
And I think that do you think that people I think will intellectually understand that things that are worth having are hard, but maybe I’m wrong?

Darlene Santore 7:16
I think contextually they get it. But again, anytime you start to go into any discomfort, it’s our natural body that wants to back up. So I asked, I often put people in the cold plunge, including myself, because I don’t want to get in 39 degree water. But by doing it, I start proving to my mind that I could do hard things. When I’m starting to get into a difficult conversation where we have to talk through something, I’ll start it and say, Hey, this is going to be uncomfortable. But I know on the other side of it, it’s going to be great. I just did this for a whole company. And it was we did it was months of prepping to help them have a whole team meeting on something. But my gosh, it was so worth it. And the difficult conversation was hard at first, but it’s becoming easier because now everything’s on the table that needs to be discussed. So they can continue to grow to be a multibillion dollar company. So even in relationships, people think that relationships are so easy, it takes work. So it’s to humans that going on sometimes different directions. If you don’t think that you’re not going to have to put energy and effort and attitude and be intentional for relationship to be good. You’re crazy. If you think it’s just you’re gonna coast and it’s gonna be okay, parenting, you can’t just coast. You know, have kids take care of yourself today.

george grombacher 8:37
No, that’s not a that’s not a recipe for success at all.

Darlene Santore 8:41
About that, that’s when people actually are like, wow, we’re just gonna, you know, I

just wish we could coast it could be okay. You don’t develop greatness by coasting.

george grombacher 8:52
So you had this this terrible experience, which perhaps you look back on and you’re grateful for with with the blood clots? And how to go, okay, you know, I have a finite shot at this and we have one track around or one turn around the track kind of a thing. Yeah. Oftentimes, it does take rock bottom for people to snap out of it bad news or a diagnosis of some kind. Do you have thoughts on how people can sort of manufacture that instead of having to do it themselves and hit rock bottom?

Darlene Santore 9:23
Well, I think it’s the quote that we’ve all heard or if you haven’t, but it’s we’re all dying. We are all going to die at some point. My point is, is it like the clock is going backwards. Like we’re not getting extra time we’re getting less time on the shot clock here. So it’s truly trying to understand that we don’t none of us are guaranteed to go to 100 It’s unfortunate some babies kids, young adults, like we don’t know when the day is going to be where we are going to go. So that’s why I’m saying living with the intentionality of don’t wait till you get a scare. Make And now where you could go like the clock’s ticking, really, the clock’s ticking, you could even put a clock in front of you like a shot clock almost as a visual and it goes down for 24 hours every day. So you could see that you’re losing time every day. So that it sets a little sense of urgency. Like if you need that visual, put the visual, but it’s true. Like you have to create, internally some sense of urgency and mental reframe, to see that there is an infinite amount of time we’re going to get in because we don’t know. And like I said, I worked in the hospital, the patients I had, where people like you and I in a car accident happened change their whole life in an instant. So cliche, but make the most of your days because and also people are going to remember how you showed up in life, how you treated them, that the I hadn’t, I lost both my parents recently. And I’ve given both of their eulogies. And I said that everyone is a 30 for 30 in the making, which is the ESPN show, which I love, which no one got on 30 for 30. Because their life was easy. It was usually something they overcame. But that’s everyone that listens to this, you your movie and story will be played out. I hope it’s one you’re proud of.

george grombacher 11:07
Yeah, amen. So I can, you know, white knuckle it and run through walls, but it’s not sustainable. I can try and push myself. But I find that if I can create some kind of a compelling vision for the future that pulls me towards it versus me pushing, that’s a recipe for more sustainability.

Darlene Santore 11:29
Absolutely. I call that why power over willpower. I’d written that in the book, my book, The Art of bouncing back, I think it’s like principle four. And this is so important, because so often we’re trying to light a fire underneath us every day. That is willpower, it’s gonna give out at some point. But why power is when you have a fire lit within you, which is your force. It’s a source bigger than you. It’s your why it’s your mission. I mean, when a soldier goes into battle, they’ll say, soldier, what’s your mission, that soldier needs to know what his mission is, or her mission is in order to really life or death and make it through, we need to have a mission for ourselves. And that’s something that you could do in the sense of, if you had an anthem for your whole life. What would the anthem be What do you want to be known for and it’s usually a core value word. So mines greatness. Every day, all day I wake up doesn’t matter what job I have title, I have money I have, I could still awaken someone’s greatness. And my the CEO that I work with his is add value star every day I wake up, I want to know that I add value my wife, my the life of my wife, kids, when I walk into a conversation, anywhere that I add value, I didn’t want to subtract value, I want to add value. But that lets you lead with intentionality. It allows you to get up every day. And we’ve heard this before Simon Sinek is so good at talking about why. But when you reframe it and you look at this as this is why power over willpower, you cannot keep lighting a fire underneath you you’re gonna get tired, light a fire within you get your why get your own mission, understand why you’re waking up. And when you do it. I mean, I’ve been through not just one stroke, three strokes and each stroke, it was for sure. This wide power that got me back up.

george grombacher 13:21
So I think that that’s awesome. Why power over willpower such an important thing? And we need to remind ourselves, you talked earlier about setting the intention every day and revisiting that. Do you have just best practices or some ideas on how I can consistently remind myself and keep that whole whole mission thing front and center?

Darlene Santore 13:46
I tell people, they look at their phone all the time. Make it your screensaver, when you first start or having an alarm that pops up twice a day. Have it be something when your alarm goes off you and you go to shut it off. Or you could set your google home any of those things so that it says it to you. But habit. So it’s a reminder somewhere I actually have mine written on my desk.

george grombacher 14:09
Yeah, I think that the more we can keep that front of mind or top of mind or wherever it is that just front of face, I guess is probably the the appropriate term so that we can be intentional and keep reminding ourselves of that. Because it’s really hard. Like I have so much respect for athletes that were able to see it with Lebron James right now and Tom Brady, but also there’s a million different people that have been personally successful or successful in business that we can probably all point to. And it’s the consistency and the ability to keep doing it day in and day out. I think that that’s a it’s an amazing thing to keep motivated.

Darlene Santore 14:46
And everyone has that opportunity everyone has you don’t have to be LeBron or Tom Brady. You are you and if you are literally driven by something that continues to get you up which at the end of the day It’s all of our jobs. Truly. Our Thank you back for having this life today is doing the best with the day we have in front of us. Truly, it’s. So being your best version is probably the best mission like Am I my best version, because when you come trying to be your best version, you elevate everything around you. And if Imagine if everyone was operating, wanting to be their best version, we’d have better ideas, better run companies, better relationships, and we better parenting, everything. And I know life is not easy, and you get tired. But you have the chance to make this great or be status quo. It’s a choice every single day, I would choose greatness every day.

george grombacher 15:45
Yeah, yeah, I absolutely love that. And just that just that reminder that we have the opportunity to do that. And it is a responsibility and an obligation. And it feels like we’re so frustrated by what’s going on and the things that we see in the world. And we want to make a difference. When the reality is if you if we did what you just described, if you made yourself as strong as you can make yourself that would take care of everything.

Darlene Santore 16:12
It really would. And I want to say, you know, I asked one time, a mentor of mine who had been through World War Two, and I said, when that war was happening, do people still go to work? The people still show up? And he says, of course, I said, so in the middle of a world war, people still had to go to work, people still getting married, still having babies like life was still happening. He said, Yes, I said, Great. The reason I wanted to know this is because sometimes we think with all the stuff happening in the world that we’re supposed to shut down, we’re not we we the change we can create every day is by how we show up and with the people that are right in front of us. You don’t have to go to another country per se. But do what you can with the space in place and people that are right there in front of you. And it starts with you showing up being your best version. Because we’re always going to have challenges life’s going to go up and down all the time. Sometimes it’s going to be more severe than other years. But American history, world history, we all still bounce back. We all still continue.

george grombacher 17:13
Everybody still got jobs to do.

Unknown Speaker 17:15

Darlene Santore 17:16
yes. And the more we keep showing up, the quicker we’re going to get through things. And I mean, even during COVID When the companies that stayed agile, that pivoted on a dime to come back and say, Hey, we used to do this, but now we’re going to do this. They thrived. They thrive because they stayed agile. And rather than saying, we’re screwed, they said, let’s find a solution.

george grombacher 17:39
Here’s a great life available to anyone.

Darlene Santore 17:42
Everyone. It’s a choice. It’s a mindset, it starts with a mindset. You could look back in history. I mean, I look at the movie unbreakable, and prisoner of war and what he went through. And he continued to persevere through that. So yes, it’s open to all of us. It is a mental choice every day.

george grombacher 18:02
Love it. Well, Coach Doc, thanks so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? If they are part of a company? How can they bring you in to do workshops or speak? Where can they get a copy of The Art of bouncing back, find your flow to thrive at work and in life anytime you’re off your game.

Darlene Santore 18:22
So go to coach that has all of my information. LinkedIn is Darlene Sandor and on social media, I put mental fuel up every day. It’s at the coach dar you could find me there. And you could order the book, you can go on my website, or Barnes and Noble, or on Amazon. It’s called The Art of bouncing back.

george grombacher 18:45
Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did show coach or your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to coach co Achd Find her on LinkedIn under Darlene santoor de ar l e n s a n t o r e, find her on social media at the coach dar and pick up your copy of The Art of bouncing back wherever you buy her books. And certainly we’ll link to all those spots in the notes of the show as well. Thanks again coach. Thank you. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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