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Today’s guest is Dave Hollis.
We go deep today talking about:
- Legacy and making the most of the limited time we have with our children
- Individualized parenting and how to connect with each of your children’s different personalities
- Tech boundaries with teens
- A dads primary role as parent, not friend
- Dave’s identity shift and how he navigated figuring out who he truly was in the midst of chaos, including the tools and habits he used
- Taking massive responsibility for your role as a husband in your marriage
- Healing and reframing core wounds
- Dave’s children’s book, Here’s To Your Dreams, why he wrote it, and the lessons that both dads and kids can learn from it
Dave Hollis is New York Times bestselling author of Get Out of Your Own Way, host of the Rise Together podcast, a health & fitness enthusiast and an online coach who works to inspire others to take control of their lives and create a future of fulfillment and purpose.
Dave’s history includes CEO of a media start-up, former president of sales & distribution for the film studio at The Walt Disney Company, a talent manager across film, tv & music and work in the publicity, research, and technology fields across the entertainment sector.
Dave’s philanthropy exists via the Dave Hollis Giving Fund where acting as an ally to the needs of children in foster care, teen homelessness and food insecurity have been a recent focus for grants.
A father of four and former foster parent to four more, Dave and his family live in Austin, Texas, where he drives a 1969 Ford Bronco named Incredible Hulk and has a mini schnauzer named Jeffrey.
Dave has sat on the board of the membership committee for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences of which he is a member, and on the boards of Fandango Labs, Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers, National Angels and his alma mater Pepperdine’s Institute for Entertainment Media and Culture.
Find Dave online at:
Unknown Speaker 0:00
You are the foundation of your family, you are the firm footing. They build their lives on. You carry a glorious burden and you never dream of laying it down. You carry it with joy and gratitude. You show up, even when you don't feel like it. You lead, serve, love and protect. You are a father. This is the Dad.Work podcast where men are forged into elite husbands and fathers by learning what it takes to become harder to kill, easier to love and equipped to lead. Get ready to start building the only legacy that truly matters. Your family
Curt Storring 0:59
all right, fellas, we're here for another episode of the data read podcast. This is Curt Storring, your host and today I am joined by Dave Hollis. We go deep today talking about legacy and making the most of the limited time we have with our children, individualized parenting and how to connect with each of your children's different personalities, tech boundaries with teens. A dad's primary role is parent not friend days identity shift and how he navigated figuring out who he truly was in the midst of chaos, including the tools and habits he used, taking massive responsibility for your role as a husband in your marriage, healing and reframing core wounds. And finally, Dave's children's book. Here's to your dreams, why he wrote it in the lessons about dads and kids can learn from it. Dave Hollis is a New York Times bestselling author of get out of your own way. He's the host of the rise together podcast. He's a health and fitness enthusiast and an online coach who works to inspire others to take control of their lives and create a future of fulfillment and purpose is history includes CEO of immediate startup former president of sales and distribution for the film studio at the Walt Disney Company, talent manager across film, TV and music and work in the publicity research and technology fields across the entertainment sector. Days philanthropy exists via the Dave Hall is giving fun we're acting as an ally to the needs of children in foster care, teen homelessness and food insecurity have been a recent focus for grants. He's a father of four and a former foster parent for more. David his family live in Austin, Texas, where he drives a 1969 Ford Bronco named Incredible Hulk and has a mini schnauzer named Geoffrey Davis out on the board of the membership committee for the Academy of Motion Pictures, arts and sciences of which he is a member and on the boards of Fandango labs, Will Rogers motion picture billionaires national angels and his alma mater Pepperdine Institute for entertainment media and culture. Guys, this was awesome. Dave was able to be very vulnerable and open and candid about everything he is going through as a parent and his journey through divorce, which was not something he ever envisioned nor wanted and how he was able to move through that successfully, what he's learned through that, how he has used that to develop his own identity as a man and a father. And I was just really grateful that he came on and was able to share all these things because I know, you know, he's written a children's book. And obviously, we'd love for you guys to check that out. It's actually really good. That's one of the things I got. And I was like, oh, man, it's got good pictures. It's not gonna be great book because, you know, they, they spent too much money on pictures. That's like, oh, actually, he's teaching lessons that are good for me and good for my kids. So I was actually really impressed. But the like, that was just a little snippet of this massive conversation that I think is going to be very useful to any dad and any man any husband, who's going through any sort of challenge. So really grateful for Dave in the work that he's done here. You can find Dave online at Mr. Dave hollis.com. That's Mr. Dave Hollis with two L's dot com his Instagram is the same Mr. Dave Hollis. And you can find his books get out of your own way and the new one here's to your dreams. Anywhere that you buy books. Here's to your dreams.com is where you can find the newest one. Anyway guys jump into this episode. Thank you so much for listening along. If you've been getting value, why don't you take two seconds hit pause leave us a review a rating so that more fathers who need this work can get it into their ears. Really appreciate you guys being here. Let's dive into this episode with Dave Hollis. All right, Dad's here for another amazing episode of the downward podcast today I am pleased to be joined by Dave Hollis, man. First of all, the first thing I have to say is my wife would be so jealous of your Bronco. What is the story with? Why are you an old school Bronco guy and like how do I go on?
Dave Hollis 4:06
Well, I wish that I had some like fancy backstory of Broncos being a part of my childhood and I want to recreate my childhood. No, I had a midlife crisis and
Dave Hollis 4:17
just sweet. It's just awesome. Yeah, I was I was at the time working in a corporate environment worked at Disney for 17 years. And when I hit my 40th birthday, I just started asking a bunch of these like really big existential Why am I here? Is this the best use of my skills? What is even life about kind of stuff? And when I couldn't find the immediate answer, I was like, well, maybe a 1969 Ford Bronco being rebuilt from the ground up will help me answer some of those questions and
Dave Hollis 4:46
Curt Storring 4:48
Man did it answer any of those questions or is it now just an awesome thing that you have? Well, I will for anyone who ever gets to the midlife moment or wants to answer the extended questions answer this question right up front. It takes
Dave Hollis 5:00
wildly longer to build a Bronco from scratch. And it is way more expensive than you could possibly imagine. I you know, I love that thing. I drive it all the time. And also it's not a conversation vehicle like you can barely hear yourself inside it sounds like a boat. And when you have built something and something goes wrong, right, I was driving home from having dropped one of my kids at baseball practice Sun gone down, headlights are on, headlights start flickering. I don't know what to do with with flicker in headlights outside of the fact that this is sometimes what happens when humans are building something from scratch. So beware, just beware that
Curt Storring 5:42
there's a large Okay, well, yeah, I was super interested to see that. I think that's awesome, man. And it's one of those fun things that it seems like you're at least aware of it just like it was a thing that happened. And we're all good. Now we'll move on. But the thing that I really wanted to ask you about is parenting, your situation, everything you wrote a book, which we're gonna get to, in this conversation. And the thing that came to mind was like, You got four kids, one of whom was adopted, you've been a foster parent, you wrote a children's book, you've got the Dave Hall is giving fun. Like, dude, all of this is about kids. What is the story here? Is this a lifelong thing that like, did you have a great childhood? Did you have a bad childhood? What is this, like just giving the service to children all about?
Dave Hollis 6:23
Well, I mean, number one, I grew up in an amazing household, my mom and dad, great people named after my father was the first of four kids myself, and I had in their model the way that you're supposed to show up well, and be present and intentional and take care of and love and see your kids. And so in some ways, I think it's, you know, to honor how I was afforded such a wonderful upbringing that I have a responsibility to try and show up well for my kids. But I actually think that some of the answers to the questions of why the heck am I here? And what the heck is it all mean? And what's it for, end up coming back to this conversation around legacy. And truly, like, at the end of the day, my legacy will be defined in so many ways by the kind of adults, my children become. And so I don't know, I've got 1415 10 and five, with 14 and 15, there is a real consciousness for the limited amount of time that I have left with them in this house in a way that, you know, just wasn't present previously. And so, really thinking about, Well, how am I going to make the most of the time that we have, and how are we going to intentionally Connect, you know, they're all just so incredibly different all for my kids. So different. But it requires, you know, this like, kind of nuanced approach to having some things and respect and decency and kindness, like the values that you want them to hold across the board, but also a pretty specialized kind of dad that each of them individually need, because they all ended up having something that's just a little bit different in either love language, or their kind of emotional needs, or the way that they respond to spending time versus physical touch versus whatever might end up being. And so I don't know, I just like I know, at the end of the day, there are so many things that had previously defined me from my job, or my marital status, or whatever else it might be. Being a dad to these kids is a thing that feels like it will be a constant for the rest of time. And so I want to do my very best to think about it through the lens of legacy. And think about it through the lens of honoring this great parenting duo that I had when my when I was growing up myself.
Curt Storring 8:42
Man that is so inspiring. And I love the word legacy there. That's something that we work on in my programs, becoming a better leader, so that you can leave the only legacy that matters, which for me is the same thing, man as a family. Like who are my kids going to be such that when they are adults, when I'm either a very old man, I've got great great grandchildren, or people know about my ancestors are going to be like, oh, yeah, they had that old guy. He was badass. Like he did all of these things. He was the one they all built on. He was the rock. Like, that's the only legacy that I want. I don't care if I've got a trillion dollars in the bank. I don't need my name on some science building in the university. It's like if people know that my ancestors are well adjusted love each other, and are just like amazing people. I don't know what could be better. Yeah. And I've also heard that thing about the identity like you said, like, tighten the marriage, tighten in the business, you tied it into like being an athlete. All those things, hopefully not, but all those things can go away. But even if your children went away in the most tragic circumstances, I feel like you'd still be a dad. Oh, like that's never going away. I love that. What does that lead to in terms of like, how you parent? Because I want to get into things like individualized parenting. You just mentioned, the intentionality. And just like teenagers, honestly, my oldest is almost 10 So we're getting in there but like, what sort of principles and stuff are you bringing into parenting that this awareness is letting you lead with
Dave Hollis 9:59
well, I'll start with the individualized parenting because I think for me if there was a thing I totally got wrong or just you know, wouldn't have picked up and What to Expect When You're Expecting book prior to becoming a dad, I just thought you were the same dad to all four kids, however many ended up having but the way that you are with one is the way that you are with another, the likes of one would likely be the likes of another and I just I couldn't have been more off I have. In my oldest son, he's deeply entrenched in musical theater has this amazing friend group, but a lot of his gifts come out inside of Performing Arts, my 14 year old is the sports person, every sport, any sport, he's in it, we've got a traveling baseball team that defines our weekends in a lot, a lot of distance often. But man, there's something about him becoming his very best aligned self, when he is holding the bat throwing the ball, whatever it ends up being my 10 year old is super creative. He is the one that if you had the choice between the screen, or as it was the other day, when I came home from work, making a chandelier out of yarn and bottle caps, right, like, he's the guy that's like, you know, working on something that it wouldn't have even occurred to the other three kids. And my daughter at five is the queen of the world. I mean, she, she is, yes, the youngest, and yes, the only girl but also is equal parts into dance and ballet as much as she is into her taekwondo class and taking over the universe. So what it means for me, though, an individualized parenting is as much as Yep, I'm gonna try and get us around a dinner table every night for dinner. And as much as there are, of course, going to be the communal things that we do. One on one time has been a super important thing for us in making sure that I'm connecting in spaces that tickle the things that they are most interested in that lean into their own sensibility or their own passion, so that I can reinforce that they're seen and that the person that they are, and the way that I'm trying to hold space for them to continue to become them self instead of who I'd hoped for them to be or who they need to be relative to their siblings, is something that's fostered. And so we spend, we spend time doing super different things, but on an individual one on one basis. So usually what will happen is, alright, it's a weekend, we're going to have a morning with one that an afternoon with another than a morning with another and then an afternoon with another. And just finding, it could be as simple as with my 10 year old who loves nature and creativity, we're gonna go out back, we're gonna go try and find three or four different rocks of a certain size to bring back in and do some painting on Okay, rat, that's not a thing that my kid who's into sports would be up for, I've got a pitching machine that by the garage, we might go up and throw some balls into the pitching machine and have some conversation about whatever it is, it's happening in his life while he's doing the thing he loves most swinging the bat. So I think I would just, you know, making sure that your kids are seen by you that you appreciate the individuality and that you're pouring into some intentional time around the things that make them who they are, has been a super important way for connecting. I mean, you mentioned teens, and I will say, you know, like the difference between 12 and 13, and 14 and 15 ends up being pretty dramatic with my older two in that they're, you know, they're more entrenched in their friendship circles, enabled now more than ever by technology. And the predisposition when they come home is to hermit. And so they'll come in head to the room, they'll come in, they'll be on a screen, they're connecting with their friends, instead of what previously was US congregating in a living room, watching something together, doing something together, even just having conversation. And so it does, in fact, require in this instance, space, right? Like, I can ask how you're doing and get one word answers all day long. But sometimes it's you know, sitting in a car and leaving the quiet space long enough that a conversation starts that wouldn't have otherwise if it felt forced. But also it requires something in kind of boundaries or rules to force interaction that wouldn't have otherwise happened if they weren't if they didn't exist. So we've got some pretty strict tech boundaries around when you can and can't be on screens. There's, you know, a time after which each night in the absence of screens, we're getting together in living room or sitting around the dinner table. And guess what, at the beginning, like any muscle, it's just not exercise. It's not a thing that maybe they're totally used to. But at a certain point, it does become something that creates some fluency and some regularity that just oh, this is what we do. And sometimes we'll watch a show. Sometimes we'll play a game sometimes we'll just sit and have a conversation. But creating that space and forcing a little bit of that interaction by I creating rules or some limitations on the distractions that would otherwise keep them from engaging, has seemed to work for us. And, you know, we'll see, as they continue to get older, I think I brace myself like, what's the next phase going to be? Like? We've just got kind of like, early teen thing, you know, as they start to date. I can't even think about it like what exactly, right. But like with everything, there's cycles. And, you know, as one kid is growing out of the previous cycle, the next of the kids are kind of coming right in, at least at this point, the older kids are giving a little bit of a here's what to expect when this next child rolls into this next phase, because now we've at least been through it.
Curt Storring 15:42
Yeah, and it's so funny you've been through before. And yet, it's going to be so different next time, because it gives you a different, it's like odd, you didn't do this already. But it was totally different. And, man, there's so much good in that, thank you for sharing all those things. Because a lot of times in there that I see a lot of things in there that I see, they're super impactful, like the one on one time. That's what I got my guys going through, like, every week, you got a book in your calendar, you gotta have it intentionally like that, because I've noticed the same thing, where it's like, you know, the first kid comes out when he was like, to his brother was born for me, I've got three boys now. It's like, oh, they're just all gonna love dinosaurs and cars, like, sweet, I'm just gonna get a whole bunch of them. And then it's like, Wait, why aren't you playing with these. So it starts so early. And now I just see it more and more, they're 10, seven, and two. And it's like, okay, you are great at this, but you have no interest in this and finding out who they are. I was talking to a guy called Ken curry on this podcast recently. And he suggested that after protecting and providing a father, his main role should be to help build the identity of the child, to who the child should be. And I heard you say something very similar, which is like I'm here to support them to becoming who they want to be, has not been something that came naturally. Because for me personally laying it all out there. I'm very controlling. And it's one of those things I have to work on. And I've only recently, in the grand scheme of things come to the understanding that like, Dude, you're totally right. I need to support them in the way that they should be going. Not the way I want them to go. So is that something you had to consciously work on?
Dave Hollis 17:03
Oh, yeah, I mean, the thing is, I coming into being a parent, like, I just figured, erroneously, that my kids were gonna be like I was when I was growing up. And so my oldest, right, like, when I had a, you know, a boy, first, all I could think of was will hit Little League, then we'll have our soccer games, and then we'll you know, it was like, I was looking to, in some ways, repeat some of the best experiences of my own childhood thinking that was just going to be the thing that he'd be into. And we got him in a uniform for baseball, got him in a uniform for soccer. And it was clear, he didn't like to play sports, he was not interested in being out there, you had, you know, like he was doing it. I think at the beginning, because of my excitement, for him to be doing this thing that I, I did myself and was hoping that he'd be excited about himself. And I think there's a point at which I had to almost grieve a little bit that this wasn't going to look exactly the way that I maybe had imagined. But I was very quickly able to transition from grieving as it were to celebrating, oh, it's gonna be different. But part of it being different meant that it also increased the level of difficulty for knowing exactly what to do next, because I had a playbook for what worked for me. But this wasn't going to necessarily be his road and supporting whatever that whatever it was that he got into, like, the musical theater experience for him has been so rad. He's just like, so great at it, it's where he's, he's just alive. And I didn't, I have never been in a musical. I've done anything in theater ever. And so like knowing like, how to be excited about or what to do was the thing that I had to learn. And so I think for each of the kids, the good thing is, I got that learning with my first so I you know, was fortunate then with each of the subsequent children to have a different kind of perspective on activities. For me, it was like, We will, we will spend time investing in your activities, whether it's with our time or our money, or whatever else it is, but it has to be because it's a thing that you are committed to that you really want to do. And if it's not going to be a thing that you're completely into, I'm not going to push it. I mean, I like to have my kids in like an activity a season as it were, whether it's like the summer season or winter season. Living team sports are good or activities generally are you know, good for social dynamic stuff and for growing but also, if you aren't like almost begging me to take you to practice because you're so into the thing that we're doing that's gonna be a no for me Dog. Like I just like I'm not interested in like pushing, you're putting someone into something now. Are there exceptions? Sure. I've got my youngest two right now in Taekwondo. And the taekwondo was a response to me appreciating that they needed something that taekwondo I think could offer For for them. And so I against maybe them having volunteered that it was a thing that they were excited about. I was like, you know, we're going to do ourselves some Taekwondo, right? It's going to teach a little discipline, it's going to keep you active, it's going to, I think, help build a little bit of esteem and having you work hard and seeing the cause and effect of hard work and results. There's some belts that you can try and work your way to, you might feel something as you acquire skill, and as you develop a little mastery are recognized for that, that acquisition. And at first there was like, Ah, I don't know. And it's something that of course, like, has grown on them. And it's become some that they're excited about. But I don't know, long way of saying I think, you know, if there's a mistake that I made, at the beginning, I was thinking that, Oh, my kid's going to just want to do the things that I did when I was growing up. And finding a way to really celebrate their individual passions, with activities, with social circles with whatever it ends up being that continues to bring out more of who they already are. That's been the thing that's been the most rewarding, and of course, is the thing that makes them feel the best.
Curt Storring 21:08
And you know, I do, I found it's so much less stressful to just be the observer and the guide her rather than like the guy moving the chess piece himself. Like, I would much rather just lean back. Okay, what are you looking for? Who are you? What do you need? Okay, here's the thing that I see that you probably are going to like, and I'll just support you along the way rather than like, same thing for me as like, Oh, we're gonna play hockey all the time. Like literally everyday, we're just gonna play hockey, they all hate it. No, it's the worst. But one of the things I wanted to get a little bit more of your feedback on was the boundaries piece with the teams and the tech. And I think this is an opportunity to dive into the specifics, in a sense, but I'm more interested in how you were able to set those boundaries. Because I've talked to a lot of parents who are like, Well, I just don't know how to get in there. And then they start fights, and then I don't know what to do, and there's no leadership, what does it look like in your family when you set boundaries? Whether it's this particular thing with the the phones and screens or anything else?
Dave Hollis 22:06
Well, I mean, I love I mean, my kids think we live in a democracy in this house. And we don't I of course, take, you know, the things that they desire and keep them on the list of things to consider when I'm trying to figure out what is actually best for them. But at the end of the day, I thought I knew it was best for me, and 14 and 15 years old, and I definitely did not. And it's a thing that I have to politely remind them, hey, I've got a little more perspective here, potentially, that you my best, you know, my desire for your best interest, and your desires are probably going to conflict sometimes. And that's okay. But because I care about your mental well being, you will not have access to social media period, like my kids aren't allowed to go on to Instagram, Facebook, you know, any of the social platforms, because I'm a 47 year old kid, and it messes with me. So I can only imagine how it might mess with a 14 or 15 year old is they're still trying to develop, that's just going to be a thing that we stay away from. But also as much as man, there aren't enough studies yet to really appreciate what the impact of all the access to screens ends up being on the way we develop. It feels like at least the study that's been done inside of this house, when my kids have more access to screens, they behave in ways that are somewhat disjointed. From the way I'd hoped for them to show up in the world, they're maybe a little less attentive, they don't listen as well, they don't follow through as well, there's a little less respect. And so creating some time blocks for we're only going to have an hour, you know, maybe it's a couple hours during the week, and you know, a little more access on the weekend. There's no tech time that happens after 8pm. That's just the rule if you want to live in the house. And so do I trust them to follow those rules? I do not because they are good kids. But they are kids nonetheless. And so I have you know, technology that actually turns their ability to access the internet or access their texting off at a certain time. And so when that time hits their phones or you know, useful for frisbee, but maybe nothing else, and at that point, it you know, again, it acts as a catalyst of okay, what are you going to do now? Okay, we might have to actually have a conversation we might actually have to pick up, you know, watching one of the shows that were binging, you know, whatever it ends up being. But it's, I think, just an explanation of kind of the why behind it. Hey, I want to make sure that I am preserving your mental health and explaining, hey, you know, I've watched this fantastic documentary on Netflix that was all about the kind of impact of social media and young minds and I engaged in a conversation with him like, Look, don't believe me? Fine. Let's believe some of of what is being reported in how of these social networks are trying to manipulate the way that we spend our time or think our thoughts or feel about ourselves so that in the dopamine hits that are coming at the frequency that they're coming, we want to ever put them down. I want to protect you from that. And if I didn't love, you could just stay on screens all the time. I think a little bit of, you know, my kids, I think I underestimate every once in a while, but they have an appreciation for deeper thought, my 10 year old is smart enough at this point to actually conceptualize that, if I care about him. And I understand that there's risk in him being exposed to something that I will actually, as a loving parent create a boundary on his behalf because of love. And guess what, you still gets upset about it. And that's okay, I get upset about all kinds of things. But if those things are put in place, because they're for my own good, I have to make peace with that. And they do.
Curt Storring 25:57
Yeah, that's brilliant man. And the first thing that I heard you say there is like, I'm the leader. And it's done in like, not a negative sense, not in a dictatorship, tyrannical, whatever. But it's like, there's not a democracy and therefore, like you are the leader, but your children need that. And this is what I've seen, as well as people like, Oh, I just don't want to get in like step on their toes. They need to make their own decisions. And that's fine. But I found permissiveness is not a good parenting strategy. They are not yet ready, like you said, to make all these decisions. Because we know how much you mess with us. Yeah, as adults. And so I think I love that stepping into leadership first. And then I've been very real consequences, which is like, you literally just can't do it. Like, you won't be able to use your phone. And then if you don't like it, then there's conversation after it's not my way or the highway just because it's my way the highway because I love you. And that man like that is the key piece of this whole boundary piece. I think, rather than control, which I know I have stuck into, in my previous less than ideal fatherhood moments. Yeah. So
Dave Hollis 26:53
I mean, I think control is definitely a pothole that I've stepped in. And we think a lot of parents step in. But I also think the most of the mistakes that I have made in parenting is when I was more interested in keeping my kids happy than I was in helping them become good people or, like, I, you know, not having the right boundaries, or not having a consequence, when a boundary is crossed. It has been one of those things where like, there's a short term out of just make life easier path of less resistance, but long term, it's trained this, oh, I, you know, I, the rules don't really matter. Because the last time I broke one, I didn't really get in trouble. And so I think the thing that I've had to continue to work on overtime as a parent is this reminder that it is not my job to be my kids friend. You know, like, it's as much as I do think of them as some of my very best friends, my primary role is not to be their friend, my parent primary role is to be their parent. And being a parent means that they are going to be unhappy with some of the decisions that you make. Because you know, as much as they'd hoped to be living at Burger King, where they get it their way, this isn't Burger King, this is the Hollis house, and I have a desire for you. Like my role as a dad, is to have them leave the house as the best most equipped human being, as they enter the world at 1819 20, whatever it ends up being when they leave the house. And if I don't do my job, well, then this idea of legacy is compromised, because I've left let them leave the house, not fully prepared. Well, how you get to prepare, prepared comes in hard conversations prepared comes in grounding. At times, we're taking phones away or having boundaries that if you break, there are consequences for and so it does make it harder as a parent, because there are days when I've had a long day, I'm just like, Yeah, I don't want to expend additional energy, having this little infraction, a thing that I have to have a conversation about, but trying to keep them in a state of integrity, hey, you're going to do what you say, you know, you got to do what you have said you were going to do all the time. That takes work. And I think the work is worth it as long as you keep your eye on the big prize as opposed to the short term pain of having to deal with it.
Curt Storring 29:22
Yeah, man, that's very well said. And I love that identity piece where it's just like, I'm their dad, I am literally responsible for so much. Maybe not all of it. They're their own people. We gotta throw God in the mix as well. But we are so responsible for how they turn out based on how we act, and so skimping on that like Well, I'm tired is the same thing as when you hit the snooze button and you don't go to the gym in the morning. It's just like that little bit of trust from them, but also for yourself because that lack of self respect starts to creep in like didn't do that last time. You are now falling out of integrity. And so I love that really solidifying your dad role as being the guy Who's supposed to launch them? Well, really? And speaking of identity, I'm wanting to get back into parenting. But I'm very interested in this. I know it's just not fun. And I'm sorry, I
Dave Hollis 30:09
know we're recording. No, it's
Curt Storring 30:10
all good, man. It's all good
Dave Hollis 30:19
yeah, got that red thing popped up in the corner. There we go. Sorry about that.
Curt Storring 30:26
No, that's all good. I was on a podcast the other day I was down to 1% Because there's a storm outside. No internet, no power. 1% I'm literally telling my testimony. I'm a new Christian. I recently I was telling my testimony. I was like, we're gonna die. 1% left boom, powers back on. And I get to finish this like, brush with the Lord man. It was intense. Anyway. Alright, we're back. I want to make sure we get back to parenting because there's more especially in relation to the book. But dude, I have to ask. And this is the thing that I asked your publicist, your your assistant, I was like, Can we get into this because it's going to help so many guys to hear where you've been and how you've got through it. You I think this is I can remember this a quote from an article or from you. But it basically you were battling through conditions, totally out of your control. As you from the outside went through this totally, like random, where did this come from divorce with your ex wife. And one of the pieces in that the reason that I'm coming here now is this piece of identity. I think so many guys can learn who they are before, you know, crap hits the fan, so to speak. And I'm curious if you just walk us through that experience and how you stay grounded how you showed up as a dad, how you built that identity outside of being your wife's husband?
Dave Hollis 31:38
Yeah, I mean, identity shift has been a theme for me for the last five or six years. I mean, even before the divorce, I'd had this I've mentioned this corporate existence, where for 20 plus years I worked, you know, had, you know, in big companies, business cards that had titles and had identified myself in so many ways. By the end of my time at Disney as a guy who worked at Disney. I left as the president of sales, I jumped in to do something in entrepreneurship. But that first shift, man, it was so jarring because there was predictability. There was something an ego, there was something in safety and security, that that identity. Now not existing, had me having to figure out well, what is you know, who am I now that I'm no longer who I've been. And the work of developing a sense of who I was. Now, instead of building a company, it was something that happened over time, but for anyone who's been through any kind of identity change, it doesn't happen easily. But it's not meant to happen easy. Um, I've got this quote, when I first started, my identity shifts, it says a ship and harbor is safe. But that's not what ships were built for. And I got it as this reminder that I am built for the choppiness that exists, as I continue to pursue purpose and calling that the big waves, they are a thing that actually will deliver me to a more evolved growth, you know, only existing inside of that choppiness of the water. And that I'm, I'm a ship that can handle all of that chop. But just because you know, you believe yourself to be able to handle it doesn't mean that it's necessarily fun. A couple years into the move from California to Texas, yeah, my marriage ended. And we'd been building a company for a couple of years leading up to our conversation, and it wasn't something that we'd had much conversation about. So the kind of the surprise of hate, this part of your identity, now is going to go away was again, a very jarring thing. And I think for me, you know, if I had been asked in just the handful of days preceding us really having our first and last conversation about divorce, what I would identify myself primary identity wise, and the answer was husband to her. And so now that this primary pillar of who I was was gone, I was left again to figure out well, who am I outside of this descriptor? I think for me, like so many things, you know, there. There's a story in the Bible of Lazarus who had to die to be brought back to life. Right? The story is only relevant because he had to die, to be brought back to life. And it provoked for me in that season, post divorce a question of like, well, what in me might have to die in order for me to be brought back to life. And for me, it was ego and certainty and identity and sometimes sanity. Like there were a whole host of things that had to die, so that from the ground, I could build myself back up. And so the questions that I started asking again, were like, Who who are you Dave, who were you before you became who you've become? Who were you before? You were a husband? Who were you before you were father, who were you before you worked at this company or did this thing Who were you Before he wrote a book, who were you, and you know, I can come back to like a child of God, you know, yeah, I do identify certainly as the father of these kids. But you know, outside of a descriptor involving anyone or anything else, I am, who I am, I am me. And so like developing a relationship with myself, where I can love myself and respect myself and have dignity for my actions, that's something that I have been working on in the midst of all of these changes. Because like anything, your identity can change at any time, if it's, if it's hooked to any external source. And so I want to continue to do the work. And I encourage anyone who's listening to continue to do the work of defining who you are, at your core, at your essence, who you are, irrespective of a descriptor of a boss, or husband or wife or father, you know, whatever it might be. Because the more that I get to know myself, the more that I have peace and being by myself, when I get comfortable with, how do I feel about myself, when I am alone, those kinds of things happen when your identity is less about who you are to them and who you are to yourself.
Curt Storring 36:14
Yeah, man, that's like being refined by fire comes to mind, right? It's like, you're just in it now. And you got to make your way through it. And I love this piece on identity, because I see a lot of guys in relationships or in business or whatever, who are still struggling with that. And it's like, Okay, here's the most extreme example, you know, you get this rug pulled out from underneath you, you're identified very heavily as the husband of your wife. And now you got to figure it out. Were there tools? Were there journaling prompts, or anything like that, that you actually did for the workpiece? I know, you already gave us a bunch of questions, which are fantastic. Was there anything else to that, and maybe one of the places to go is just being out in the world, as yourself, because I've noticed that my own identity is most significantly strengthened, when I'm just in the arena, getting hurt. And really like being in front of everyone being sniped at, I can find out who I truly am. So What other things did you do along that process to become who you are now and who you're growing into?
Dave Hollis 37:09
Yeah, well, the thing I did first was, draw as close as I could to God, there's a verse draw near to God, no draw near to you. And I don't know that I had an appreciation for, you know, how much God can handle or how much you, you know, can also handle when you are drawing near to some force that's wildly greater than, than you are. But I started, you know, like, I was overwhelmed, to be honest, at the beginning with trying to cast a vision for what future was going to look like, since it was going to so clearly be different than everything I've ever imagined. And so rather than trying to like see the rest of my life, or the next 10 years of my life, for the next one year of my life, I tried to imagine what 90 days in the future might look like, as I was continuing to kind of rebuild. And so I'd asked this very simple question, what Dave do you need in this season, to create some momentum to get closer to who you'd hoped to become to feel more hopeful? aligned? And I asked the question against five dimensions of health, what do you need this season for your physical health, for your mental health, your emotional health, for your spiritual health, and for your relational health. And for each of those things, I made a list of two or three things that I knew I needed very specifically at that point in time. And so like, you know, physically, it could have been, you know, about eating the right thing, or not drinking or whatever, you know, just to make sure I was fueling my body with the right thing, moving my body a certain amount of time. But I got specific in like the mental and emotional health side with like, I need to see therapists on a regular basis, I need to in my instance, I really wanted to understand why I was thinking and feeling the things I was thinking and feeling. And so I found those answers in books, I started reading a lot about why we think the way we think and neuroplasticity and how to change the way that negative thoughts are, you know, spending as much time and taking residence in your mind. But I made that list and that list of things that like don't call it 10 to 15 things that came out of those five different categories, became my daily routine became my short term goals became something that was me trying to engineer some new habits, so that I could in an in a season where I just didn't have a clear sense of necessarily what the full future looked like I can at least conjure what I wanted to have the next couple of months feel like and had the faith that if I could at least start doing these things that would create some momentum that I'd start to see that fuller picture once I was up and going.
Curt Storring 39:46
Right so it's all about like action at this point. Because I know that a lot of guys we work with we go big vision. You know, usually they're a little bit more settled. They have some stuff that they can draw on. But that opposite is also true when you're just in it. You're like man I If someone threw me in the arena, and I have to run, I can't think about where I want to be at the end of the race. It's like, what's the next step? And then there's action associated with that. And I think personally, action is the antidote to average to apathy to all these things. I'm hearing a lot of action taking here. Now, in regards to, like, relationship itself, I'm sure that there were blind spots on your end. And I know that this was not something you've talked about before, or you have talked about before that this was not your desire. You know, this is not what you wanted the outcome to be here. And yet, I think there's usually responsibility on both sides. And I'm curious if you have learned anything from this, that were blind spots that you can maybe give to other men who don't even know that this is coming, who don't want to be blindsided, who are knowing later, like, Man relationships? Not perfect? Did you learn anything about where you might have not been showing up? Or any lessons throughout the process? As you were digesting your own role in this?
Dave Hollis 40:56
Oh, of course, I mean, man, I have massive responsibility, I think there's always gonna be responsibility on both sides. I think what's interesting is, I was so inside of a bubble, as it were, that sometimes it takes something like the end of a relationship for you to actually be able to see it in a more objective way. And I think only because of you know, the relationship ending, but also time passage that you can actually then be gifted, the ability to really see oh, man, there were things that just didn't make it a great pairing like it doesn't, it doesn't mean that we've got to like laundry list the Oh, she did, or he did, you know, we had a great marriage, it lasted for 16 years. And as much as I would have fought to stay inside it for the rest of my life, it was only on the outside of it, that I can appreciate how much gratitude, I ended up having now for her courage to make a decision that I would have never made. And so there's, I think, you know, at the time, it just felt like the hardest thing in the entire world. And I was heartbroken and had so much grief for this vision of how I'd hoped for our family, to spend the rest of time inside of the same house with our vacations and our traditions and everything else. And also, we're both we were both gifted in some crazy kind of way, the freedom to fully become who we were meant to be. I mean, one of the questions and this is like a, you know, I don't know that I've talked that much about this. But one of the questions that was asked in the days leading up to our conversation was, Dave, do you think that you can be the man that God created you to be married to me? And that's like, whoa, the floor is gonna fall out from under me kind of question. And the reality is, I think I knew almost as soon as it came out of her mouth, that the answer was likely no, that there were things in relationship pattern. And there were things in me in some ways, kind of losing myself inside of an in service to the marriage that probably were going to keep me from fully becoming this most aligned version of who I think I meant to be on this planet. But I didn't want to admit that I you know, it was like that, who wants to admit that, but now that I can see it, you know, as much as Yeah, there were 1000 small problems, you know, there weren't, there weren't like big, huge, oh, my goodness kind of problems, there was just this recognition that, hey, we both deserve the opportunity to be all of who God created us to be. And that, you know, coming to a place of peace with that, and coming to a place where it can kind of hold it at the same time. Just so much appreciation and gratitude for what was and so much appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to let the rest of my life unfold the way that it will. It's not something certainly that happens immediately in the aftermath of a huge change and a big identity shift. But it is something that happens in Grateful, grateful that it does over time.
Curt Storring 43:55
Man, that's so thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate that. And it seems like it said identity identity piece again, a it's like can you be who God made you to be in this relationship like identity? So I guess the question that comes up to me is like, is this the thing that man like? Is it that the identity was not authentic? Not that you weren't being you not that you weren't being a good man. But it's like, is this the first time you felt like really truly like Dave then rather than a husband rather than whatever like, are you is this thing that was the issue?
Dave Hollis 44:26
I feel more like Dave. And I also feel like I'm just barely beginning to appreciate who I am. And like, even understanding some of the in like the intricacies of why I do the things I do and how I'm wired. I spent a decent amount of time this last week to journaling about this thing that like one of my very close friends and I were talking about this idea of a core wound. But every single one of us has something that lives inside of us as a as a core wound that informs is our limiting beliefs that informs our vices that informs our negative self talk and informs just like so many things. And the journey that we all are on is to either find ways to heal some of that wound, or understand the way that wound presents such that we can actually proactively cut off some of the negative reflexes that that wound tends to create, that don't produce us at our best, but don't have us, you know, showing up in a relationship, the way that we would want, or showing up for ourselves the way that we would want. That kind of those kinds of things, insights wise, are the byproduct of what ends up being the required work of rebuilding in the aftermath of something traumatic, like the end of a relationship in divorce. And so bizarrely, like man, I don't know that I would have ever gotten to a place where I'd had some of the insights feel sad that I couldn't have seen some of it when I was inside of the marriage. But I also am grateful that, you know, it's through pain, it's through crying, it's through feeling, the things that you end up feeling that you are afforded access to, or at a minimum, are given an invitation to access, it's a choice than if you decide to but you're you're afforded now an invitation to pull on the thread to figure out well, what is it about me? What is it about my past or my programming, or my family of origin? Or this this, you know, core wound, that I have not tended to? What is this core wound, and its relationship to my inner child saying it needs? And if I were to, you know, if I were to actually find a way to give myself some of what it needs, would it change the way that I feel would have changed the way I show up for my kids, but it changed the way that I mean, the biggest thing I mean, it starts it almost ends here, like how do I feel about myself when I'm by myself, right? When I'm living in integrity, when I'm keeping my word to myself, when my my values and my actions are aligned, tend to feel pretty great. When I deviates, when there's a there's some kind of dissonance between who I say I want to be and how I'm showing up, when I've said, I'm going to do something, and then I don't keep my word to myself, that's where the shame shows up. That's where the self doubt festers, that's where my confidence gets compromised. So you know, it kind of starts there. Because when I'm in alignment with me, when I when I like, you know, actually can like myself, I mean, love myself as the kind of, you know, aspirational goal, because of the way that I've lived in an alignment or in integrity with who I say I want to be, then my kids get their best debt, then my co workers get the best Dave, then the people that I'm trying to serve, when I write a book, whatever it might be, get the best of what I'm producing. Because it's coming from a place that's more fully love. It's just I am Love and Light, I am aligned, I am actualizing, this intention of a creator who put me here for a very specific reason,
Curt Storring 48:05
bro, I am so glad you touched on that core wound piece because this is like this is the deepest stuff. This is the stuff that for me, I have found in my life, the greatest gifts I have all, every single one of them grew out of the gardens of my deepest wounds. And it took being confronted with those wounds and it took going to look at those wounds in order to then work on them. And they'll be deeply, deeply grateful. Like for me, man that the core wound that I identified was dad left when I was three, mom had a very hard time with it. Because obviously, why wouldn't you? And then I was just alone. abandonment, I had to only trust myself. And what I realized in conversation with other men in conversation with a mentor, which is why Brotherhood is so important in this is that dude, I still felt like that three year old who just wanted his mom and his dad back. Yeah, I wanted someone to be bigger than me. And that was where so many of my patterns came from in relationship and self talk and confidence. And it was all that one piece. And it took me saying it out loud. owning it, noting it owning it. And then you have to transform it. You have to do some alchemy, you got to let go. You got to leave it behind. But do now I'm so grateful for the life and the pain that I've experienced. Whereas before I was a victim and what it took for me I'm curious if maybe the same thing has happened for you is I had to forgive. And that was the hardest I wanted. Forget I wanted to hear oh, hey, I'm sorry, Kurt, one of my mom, my dad tells me I'm sorry. I know how much it hurts but like, I just had to forgive him anyway. I had to forgive myself as well for acting out in that place. Anyway, do I really energetic about this kind of stuff, but have you dealt to work delved into forgiveness or gratitude around this stuff at all?
Dave Hollis 49:41
Forgiveness for sure. I mean, forgiveness isn't for the other person forgiveness is for you, you know not forgiving someone is like swallowing poison and hoping that you know they're going to be the ones that end up being affected by it. Like you know, it's not an easy thing to do but forgiving other people honestly the hardest thing I think for me has been forgiving myself because There are certainly times when I've given into drinking I've given into, you know, not showing up for myself, my patterns have led me into that misaligned state where I didn't feel great where I didn't love myself or my kids didn't get the best version of me, because of the way that those patterns pulled me away. That man, I'm, you know, anyone can say anything about me, I am way harder on myself than anybody else could possibly be. And so, you know, I have to actively work on compassion for myself, I have to actively work on forgiveness for myself, because I'm doing the very best that I can with the tools that I have. And I do feel grateful, like you say, for the way that some of that pain that I ended up, you know, like, either having shame for I have a hard time forgiving myself for that that pain has been a catalyst for breakthroughs and for learning and for insights about who I am and why I am the way I am. And that's, it's been beautiful. And so I do feel like man, it is all a journey. It's all in some ways, information, right? Like, we're all just learning as we go. But I feel grateful here at 47. I know myself so much more than I did 37. And it gives me some hope that by the time I hit 57, that I'm going to have even more hopefully, because of you know, having acquired that many more tools, and not because there's just a massive amount of pain still coming in this next decade. But I prepared myself at a minimum for this recognition, like pain is a guaranteed like there will be pain. And I will have to learn through mistakes, I have to learn through, you know, going through hard things. But in some ways, because of the gift of what these last three years have meant. And getting through what for me was the hardest thing I've ever experienced, in the end of my marriage, there's been so much good that has been produced, in large part because it was directly proportional to the amount of pain that I was exposed to. And so I think you can't you don't get the high high if you don't experience sometimes and have to learn from the low low. So I'm not I'm not looking to manifest the low. But when it comes, I do get the benefit of knowing that it means that there's also going to be some great learning and the bounce to the high when I actually get through it.
Curt Storring 52:17
And you can serve so many more guys now. Like I don't know if you've ever thought about that. But dude, you have now gone through the darkness that so many men find themselves in, and you being you, which is a creator, which is an author, which is like a guy with influence can be like, Hey, here's what happened to me, I wouldn't have been able to guide you through this. But now there's hope for millions. Like dude, that fires me up so much. And that's why I give thanks every single day for my wounds. Because it's the only reason I'm out here doing this in the first place. Yeah, right. It's helping other guys not go through what I had to go through, or helping them along the way. But dude, I'm fired up. Now I'm gonna go run through this. Let's go. But this brings me to the question that I was going to ask for. We got totally distracted on the amazing like core wisdom. That's so so amazing. You have got an adopted daughter. And then you got to single parents her, that's probably not what you expected. And yet you just came up with this amazing book. It's so sweet. And it's do the lessons in there. I was like, I've read a million kids books, like a million at least every single book in the library three times over. And they're like, Okay, they got the nice pictures. I'm like, okay, the story must not be very good, because the pictures are really good. I was like, Oh, dude, he's teaching in here. Yes. So I was fired up to realize it. Like there's a lot in that. And there's love. Do you want to just talk about like, why? First of all, why are you writing this book in the first place? Like you got normal books? You're like an influencer? Dude, you got like, all these things going on? Where does come from? What are you trying to do with it?
Dave Hollis 53:39
Yeah, well, it's crazy. Because, you know, around the time that I was writing, my first nonfiction book was called Get out of your own way. I was realizing that the idea of even having to write a book inside of like a self help or personal development is kind of a category exists only because we maybe don't learn capital T truths at an early enough age that as the world then starts to shape, what we think and how we feel about ourselves. You have to then buy those books to try and unlearn some of the things that you've been taught. And so I started doing this fun thing with my daughter, who at the time was two, called tee time, my daughter's name is Noah. And we started filming it. And I thought, you know, maybe I can condense some of these higher level adult themed, you know, personal development ideas, and make them at a two year old level so that she can actually understand what the heck I'm talking about such that maybe if they land and stick, she is a little more prepared to defend against the way that the world or other people or whatever social media might try to change the way that she thinks about herself or feels. And so we started filming the series, and people on the internet really liked it because it was really cute because as much as I like to make myself a good teacher Two year olds, three year olds, four year olds, five year olds, they don't actually have a capacity to understand every single thing that you're talking about, which makes it partially hilarious. But when the book came out, and it was a success, and the series was on, and it was working, and people are enjoying it, my publisher came and said, Hey, what do you think about writing a kid's book about this? tee time experience of yours? I'm like, Heck, yeah, let's do it. That sounds like the coolest thing. And so it's been a couple of years in the works in that, you know, no, and I get to do a project together. I always hoped that she would be as excited and into it as I was. And she has actually been more excited like asking, you know, what's the update? Where are the pictures we get, you know, and like the video of her getting to see herself on the cover of her book, for the first time is one of the My Favorite Things I've been thinking probably ever captured. Because there's this pride of being involved in a project, but also this pride of being able to see yourself on the cover. So the book is called here's to your dreams. And it's all about hopefully, the adventure and the fun and the great pictures, but also reminding young readers of their ability to dream that they need to kind of trust the dreams that have been placed in their heart. And it takes them through a little bit of how dreaming works, which is you cast a big dream, and then you start to second guess yourself. And then you have to go figure out how to, you know, make that dream happen. And you start down the path, and then you make a mistake, and then you learn from the mistake, and then you keep on going. And in this no one has a dream of building a ship. And she doesn't know how to build a ship tries to find someone to help has to learn how to do it on our own doesn't do it right the first time. When we finally get the boat ready, we get it out at sea. conditions that are unpredictable, show up like life will have happened and it starts to rain. And we got to figure out how to make it through. But it ends up being a story of Yep, permission to dream. Dream big, believe in yourself, resilience, tenacity, learning from failure and reframing it. So there are a lot of little lessons inside of it. Hopefully, it's also as you say, it all rhymes. So you know, hopefully, it's also a little bit of fun, and leaves the young reader and the reader, thinking a little bit about what it might mean to dream and believe in yourself. And I hope you know more than anything, I want my daughter to believe that she can do anything that puts her mind to. And I think the conceit of the book, the hope of the book is that the reader who finishes it believes a little bit more on themselves when they're done.
Curt Storring 57:29
Man, I am such a sucker for those writing books, by the way. And this was really well done because sometimes they're forced, as well as I find with the kids, there's always these books that try and teach lessons that are so forced. And I'm genuinely saying this to everyone listening. It is both a good rhyming book. And the lessons are just like part of the story. I wrote down like seven or eight things here. It was like having a dream trying things realizing you could do things yourself you're responsible overcoming obstacles, negative self talk, being supportive, becoming a leader, like dude, I took all of that. And and you know, here, here I am. I'm the dad. So Excellent. Excellent job, man. Thank you for doing that. And thank you for just being a light, bro. Because, dude, you're just leading. And I really, really appreciate that this has been an absolute joy. Where else would you like to send people if they want to learn more about you or get your books or anything like that?
Dave Hollis 58:15
I mean, I'm intermittently on Instagram these days. Mr. Dave Hollis is my handle. And if you want to check out the book, here's to your dreams.com. You can see it there. And if you order it, there's a bunch of fun little bonuses that come along with it. So I appreciate y'all for checking it out. Thank you, Kurt.
Curt Storring 58:33
Amazing. Yeah, man. Thank you. Pardon me. Thank you for coming on. I'm going to put all of that in the show notes. Dad.Work slash podcast as usual. Dave, man, this has been a pleasure. Thank you so much for the work you do. And thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.
Dave Hollis 58:43
You got it, brother. Thanks for having me on.
Curt Storring 58:45
Alright, peace. Thank you for listening to the dad work podcast. That's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between the weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I draw up a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast, but usually go a little bit deeper. provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dad work dot Kurt. That's da di W O RK dot c u r t. And please, if you have been getting something out of this podcast, if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage, your parenting or your life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify. leave a rating. If you have a few extra seconds, leave a quick review. That's the best way that we can get this work in the hands have more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world, one father at a time because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations. I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. I thank you so much for being here to listen until next week. We'll see you then.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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