Do you want to “own it”, get fit, and succeed in your goals? Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It shares valuable lessons from former pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page.
Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It by Diamond Dallas Page
I just finished reading former professional wrestler’s bio/sales pitch book “Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It” by WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page. I bought the book through Amazon.com and read it in about a week.
In the late ’90s, I took an inexplicable interest in professional wrestling. I watched the high octane performances and scripted dramas on TNT and other cable shows. It was all great fun, and I came to know all the main players from Hulk Hogan to Steve Austin. I even took in a live wrestling match in Salt Lake City in 2000. I was delighted when I saw my favorite wrestler perform: Diamond Dallas Page. It’s difficult to pinpoint Page’s appeal, especially to me. Except to say that he was simply the Every Man character. In him, I found elements that resonated strongly with me at that time in my life. I have always been a fan of DDP.
The focus of “Positively Unstoppable” describes Page’s journey to and development of DDPY – what he tags as “Not your mamma’s yoga”. It’s a series of exercise routines designed to increase strength and flexibility with little to zero impact on joints. It relies on dynamic tension, movement to elevate heart rate, and yoga-inspired positions to improve mobility and flexibility.
What “Positively Unstoppable” has to do with Jack Gets Fit
I learned that DDP had created a program for fitness and weight loss. I got this book to see what useful information I could take away and adapt to my own program.
DDPY has built a tribe in the weight loss community. This is because the program has produced remarkable results for people who were seriously overweight and suffering. Some could not manage even to stand, let alone walk, lift weights, or engage in aerobics for exercise. DDPY enabled them to begin improving mobility by degrees, offering exercises they could do without even getting off the couch.
What interested me the most is that these were all “real people”, and few of them were spring chickens. Page is in his 60’s and still fit and flexible after years in a tough contact sport. Many of the people his program has helped are older, like me, who have tried and failed diet and fitness programs aimed at a younger demographic that has more energy, stamina and are quicker to recover. This was a program someone like me could do. So I wanted to learn more about the philosophy that created it.
There are tons of testimonials for the program and how it has helped them. But my purpose is to give my impressions of “Positively Unstoppable” and what I took away from it.
Very much “your mamma’s” self-help book
I will say that in my view “Positively Unstoppable” doesn’t bring a whole lot to the self-help conversation that is new or revelatory (nor does DDP claim to do so). His rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches story is the archetype blueprint for nearly all personal improvement stories.
Page doesn’t teach you to “own it”, or construct a menu for you in how to build self-assurance. He shares from his own life experiences and you can find inspiration there. The narrative is engaging and you are drawn into the insider details of Page’s raw and rowdy persona. But he doesn’t uncover any diamonds that can’t be found in other sources. What Page does brings is the proof that if you embrace his philosophies you can succeed. There is no road map in “Positively Unstoppable”. Just a story of the journey.
Its the messenger that matters
For me, the difference is not in what Diamond has to say, but the fact that it is him saying it. As I said, his character has always resonated with me. I not only appreciated his authenticity throughout “Positively Unstoppable”, but I could also see my own journey in parallel to his.
Page grew up facing various difficulties including dyslexia. Overcoming these challenges he built a career on his strongest talent: his personality.
I overcame my own difficulties, including stigma around wearing glasses. I built a career on my strongest talent: my memory – an ability I developed to hide my near-sightedness for years.
We both had a “now or never” moment to follow our passions
At the age of 35, Page entered the world of professional wrestling. Other than his schtick and some level of fitness, he had practically zero experience in the arena he was entering. He was coming in at a time when most men his age were retiring, or being forced to leave after a career of battered bodies and injuries left them unable to continue.
At the age of 37, I entered the professional culinary industry. Other than some home cooking practice and management skills, I had practically zero experience in this business. I came in at an entry level at an age where others in the industry were working their ways out due to chronic injury, burn-out, down-sizing, and moving up.
Diamond not only survived his time in pro wrestling, he thrived. He became a star. DDP rose to become a champion in a sport where the scripts are written by others and tied to the fever of the fans. He did it by never quitting or short-selling his dream, even when a back-breaking injury nearly ended his career.
I succeeded in a field where the flash is often praised over substance. I made the career I wanted without quitting or short-selling my dreams. Even as repetitive stress injuries and changing work culture have made the career more challenging than ever.
When a door closes, remain positively unstoppable
Another thing that I liked about this book was that it showed DDP is a person who can change gears. He can redirect his energies when the circumstances call for it. He doesn’t give up on his dream or goal, but he’s not glued to the methods of getting there.
It took me a long time to begin to broaden my view and understand that there are many roads that lead to the same goal. I have learned that just because one way doesn’t work, that is not the end. If you stay focused and committed, you will get what you want regardless of circumstances.
Upon choosing to become a wrestler, the skills that served him as a club promoter got him the unlikely break he needed to get the attention of the wrestling industry.
When I decided to change careers mid-life, the skills I had earned gave me the slight edge I needed to make people pay attention to me and put me on an accelerated course to reaching my new career goals.
At first, they wouldn’t hire him as a wrestler. So Page grafted into the business as a manager/promoter. He learned from mentors and pros and stuck to his dream until they gave him a chance to wrestle. He continued to build a career as “The People’s Champion” even while the story-line creators for WWE refused to advance him.
I focused on learning from the experts and put myself under the tutelage of very accomplished chefs. I shortened my learning curve and rose through the ranks by putting my career first and my ego second. Not everyone liked or respected me. Not everyone gave me the chances I deserved. I’ve been underestimated and underappreciated many times. I never let it get me down for long. I rewrote my own script when the one they offered didn’t suit me.
Be the author of your own story and get what you want, not what others just offer
DDP refused to let others control his destiny. He set a goal for himself to win the WWE Championship within 5 years or less. 4 years, 4 months, and 14 days later, he did exactly that.
On the course to my own career, I set definite timelines for myself. I vowed to become an executive chef within 5 years and did it in 3. I made a date to be part of a management team so I could get a holiday bonus from the company. 1 year later I was on an all-expense paid vacation to Hawaii. The point is this book reminds me that by focusing on what I want and staying positive I can achieve anything I’m willing to set my mind to.
In addition to being positive and choosing what to respond to, Diamond also makes it clear that part of success is owning your choices. You are not what happens to you; you are how you chose to respond. Own, or take responsibility, for your responses. Don’t blame others or bad luck, own your mistakes. Your thoughts are under your control, own your mindset. Look around you and own your circle of friends. Own your story.
Of course, none of this is new. Some of this goes all the way back to Buddhism and Stoicism. But DDP presents it in a down-to-earth way that seems so matter of fact that anyone can understand it and implement it. That, I think, is what makes it so accessible. Especially to people who may be new at finding ways to change their paths. The hardest part of my journey was learning that I was responsible for every situation I found myself in. I had to own my actions and my lack of actions. I still learn that hard lesson daily.
After a devastating back injury in the ring Page was told by world-renowned specialists that he would never wrestle again. But Diamond refused to believe that. DDP began building his own recovery method. Pain prevented him from training the way he was used to. So he pursued a path completely outside his comfort zone.
His wife at the time was into yoga and since he couldn’t do anything else in the way of exercise, he decided to give it a try. He found out that a regular practice, attuned to his need for zero impact and increased flexibility, made it possible for him to recover from his injuries and return to wrestling – even to win a championship belt on three occasions.
He was certain what he was learning could be adapted and embraced outside the yoga world. So he developed a series of workouts that have kept him fit and healthy into his ’60s.
The rise of DDPY
He shared what he believed in. Even with people who were likely to dismiss it before trying it. The power of his personality and the authenticity of his relationships with people convinced the most unlikely into converts. He quit doubting the value of what he was doing. He moved to see it grow into a program that helped people he cared about.
When his new program showed promise as a way to continue his post-wrestling career he steered into making that happen. He made videos and wrote books while other wrestlers attended conventions and signed autographs.
A philosophy of never quitting
Early on, it seemed his business venture was going to fail. He had no more money to invest in his dream. But he followed unconventional paths without the certainty of where they would lead.
This doesn’t mean he didn’t quit doing what wasn’t working. He pounded against doors, not brick walls. He took uncharted paths when roads closed. When a door locked him out, he climbed through a window. He never quit, even when he couldn’t see the way forward.
Crafting a positively unstoppable mindset
The mindset of Diamond Dallas Page has probably been the major factor in his continued success. Anybody can get lucky and succeed for a little while. But it takes an attitude of relentless positivity to keep overcoming disappointment, failure, and resistance.
DDP lives with a naturally positive mindset. But there were periods where the struggle nearly swallowed him. He found himself beaten down with a sense of hopelessness at times. He could hardly get out of bed during those days. Page lived in the 10% mindset, focusing on what had happened to him, not on his own ability to choose his reaction.
Yet, through the power of positivity he rebounded again and again.
Why admitting to failing matters
Personally, I like hearing that side of the story. A lot of “change your life” books gloss over the author’s stumbles, or leave them as unrelatable. I can’t connect with someone who says “and believe me, I’ve had tough times”. But I can relate with a guy who takes me to the time he nearly lost all his money investing in his dream. Or when he couldn’t get out of bed, mourning the end of his marriage. Or the time he faced disappointment with himself for not standing by his instincts and doing what was right. These examples resonate strongly with me and as a result, make me believe that his methods can lead me to my success.
Diamond lets you taste, feel, writhe in his pain, his despondancy, and his fear. You know that you are hearing the words of someone who is where he is today not just by luck (although he notes the times when luck and preparedness meet) but by hard stripes. Through it, he remained positively unstoppable in his optimism that as long as he could draw breath, he could author his own life’s story.
What I got out of “Positively Unstoppable”
I am on a journey back to health and fitness right now. There can no longer be any missteps on my course. I have to own my mistakes, own my choices, and own my story.
“Positively Unstoppable” reminds me that mindset and positivity are just as valuable in the weight loss battle as exercise and dieting. I didn’t focus in on the specifics of DDPY workout routines, but I may in the future. Especially since the DDPY Performance Center in right here in Atlanta.
But for now, I’m going to pay as much attention to my mental state every day as I do to my weigh-ins and blood glucose measurements. Because it is within me to accomplish this. And when I have lost weight and regained my health, watch out – I will be positively unstoppable.
This post is not an endorsement, and I received no considerations or payment from anyone connected with this book. ddpyoga.com was kind enough to provide me with their media kit, which is where I got the images for this post. I don’t claim any ownership of the images and everything in this post is my personal opinion. All images are presented with the intention of Fair Use. I have affiliate links on this blog and I may collect a small payment from Amazon.