Capital Investment Advisors

#202 – Tweaking Your Anxiety Settings with Dr. John Delony

We live in a 21st-century world, and our brains haven’t quite caught up. They’re designed to look out for the Saber-toothed tiger, not a million dings and beeps from smartphones. It’s no surprise that anxiety is a massive problem in modern-day life.

But Dr. John Delony says anxiety isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just an alarm system to keep us safe, and we can learn to tweak the settings.

John is a two-time bestselling author, holds two PhDs, spent over twenty years working in crisis response, and now hosts The Dr. John Delony Show on Dave Ramsey’s network.

John says that despite the good intentions of innovation, we’ve designed a world we just weren’t meant to live in. Trucks do the heavy lifting, air conditioners keep us cool, and algorithms decide what we experience. Our ancestors had to adjust to life’s challenges, and that’s what kept them healthy and connected. It’s easier to become overweight when you don’t have to move. And it’s harder to form a community when you can sit inside alone all day.

Many of us are less happy and more anxious, and John knows how to help change that. He helps people navigate tough decisions, improve their relationships, and accept that they are worthy of happiness. I know I could use some of that. And I’m pretty sure you could, too.

Read The Full Transcript From This Episode

(click below to expand and read the full interview)

  • Wes Moss [00:00:01]:
    We live in a 21st century world, and guess what? Our brains just haven’t caught up with that. They’re designed to look out for the saber toothed tiger, not a constant million dings and beeps from our smartphones interrupting us every couple minutes. So it’s no surprise that anxiety is a massive problem in modern day life. But doctor John DeLoney says anxiety isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just an alarm system to keep us safe and we can learn to tweak the settings. John is a two time bestselling author, holds two phds, spent over 20 years working in crisis response, and now hosts the Doctor John DeLoney show on Dave Ramsey’s network. John says that despite the good intentions of innovation, we’ve designed a world that we just weren’t meant to live in. Trucks do the heavy lifting, air conditioners keep us cool, and algorithms decide what we experience.

    Wes Moss [00:01:03]:
    Our ancestors had to adjust to life’s challenges, and that’s one of the things that kept them healthy and connected. Today, it’s so much easier to become overweight, as an example, when you don’t really have to move. And today, it’s harder than ever to form a community when you can sit inside alone all day long on your smartphone. That leaves many of us less happy and more anxious. And John knows how to help change that. He helps people navigate really tough decisions. He helps people improve their relationships and helps people accept that they’re worthy of happiness. I know I could use some of that, and I’m pretty sure you could, too.

    Wes Moss [00:01:47]:
    I’m wes Moss. The prevailing thought in America is that you’ll never have enough money, and it’s almost impossible to retire early. Actually, I think the opposite is true. For more than 20 years, I’ve been researching, studying, and advising american families, including those who started late, on how to retire sooner and happier. So my mission with the retire sooner podcast is to help a million people retire earlier while enjoying the adventure along the way. I’d love for you to be one of them. Let’s get started. John.

    Wes Moss [00:02:19]:
    I am. So I actually want to even start this right out of the gate, because I basically was like, I quit after going through all your stuff. I was like, I can’t compete with this guy.

    Dr. John Delony [00:02:31]:
    No. I was like, I knew you have. I quit. You have, you have friends. I don’t have those. So good for you.

    Wes Moss [00:02:37]:
    I was like, this is, like, the best. You have the best content in so many different ways. I was like, I’m like, I can’t compete with this dude.

    Dr. John Delony [00:02:47]:
    Trust me. You can. You can.

    Wes Moss [00:02:50]:
    So starting out the retire sooner podcast today, doctor John Deloney. And you know, when you do a deep dive into John’s work, there’s so many things that are so good about it and so interesting, too. So I was immediately, as I’m going through his kind, I listened to like 15 of your shows and your clips and read not 100% of your book, but a big chunk of it. And I thought, I can’t even compete with this guy. Your content is so interesting and you’ve got a lot to offer on the thinking around money and the anxiety around money, but it’s way beyond that. You go into all these different marital questions. I’m going to just go out of the gate here and this is going to be like the spiciest part of any retire sooner episode.

    Dr. John Delony [00:03:40]:
    Oh, let’s get super spicy. That’ll be fun.

    Wes Moss [00:03:42]:
    I feel totally alone. These are titles of some of Jon’s YouTube. I don’t even know if these are YouTube clips, shorts, whatever they’re called, but they’re somewhere. And there’s a reason. You’ve got like over a half a million subscribers. Some of these are watched like a million times. I love my preteen but don’t like her. These are all John.

    Wes Moss [00:04:04]:
    These are all John. These are clips of your show. These are all titles. I left the Mormon church, but my husband hasn’t. And by the way, these are the.

    Dr. John Delony [00:04:12]:
    I chose the least interesting titles.

    Wes Moss [00:04:17]:
    I overheard my husband saying I’m not attractive. What should I say this one? I regret leaving my wife for another woman. These are all questions that you get on your show. Again, here’s an unspicy one. My mom had an affair with a catholic priest.

    Dr. John Delony [00:04:35]:
    Yeah. So you, that one was a doozy, man.

    Wes Moss [00:04:38]:
    I guess maybe talk to our show. We’re going to get to anxiety and particularly around money. I know you’ve talked about that. You’re part of Ramsey solutions, so you’re part of a money team. But you do spend a lot of time talking about anxiety and other. I guess you tell us because you go way beyond money.

    Dr. John Delony [00:04:59]:
    I’m just a mental and emotional health nerd. And I was minding my own business, talking to a bunch of college students and their parents in a small theater at the university here in Nashville. And Dave Ramsey’s executive vice president was dropping her daughter off and she said, I’m going to hire that guy. That’s literally how this happened. And so I’ve just spent 20 years sitting with people when the wheels have fallen off I was a dean of students at various universities for my whole career, and so I just sat with people when the wheels fell off, man, and figure out what we’re going to do next. And now, as my 14 year old likes to say, dad, you’re just a lame youtuber. That’s what you are now. So I don’t know what we’re doing, but I don’t have, like, a great pitch other than I don’t know anybody who’s not going through something right now that they would rather not talk about.

    Dr. John Delony [00:05:51]:
    And we don’t have a culture where we are allowed to talk about hard things, and most of us are alone, and we’ve outsourced everything to those stupid phones, and so we got nobody. And that’s the gig, man.

    Wes Moss [00:06:02]:
    So you studied psychology, so you got your doctorate in that. Before you went into education, you were dean for a number of years.

    Dr. John Delony [00:06:11]:
    Yeah, my first PhD was in education back in 2010. And then what I just saw over the first decade and into the second decade of working with college students and their families was, man, the issues changed dramatically from, hey, what classes should I take and what. What I want to do when I grow up to, hey, I’m thinking about taking my life. And, hey, my son. You helped my son with his anxiety disorder and my daughter with her issue. Do you mind if I swing by your office, fly down, and you talk to me and my wife? And so it. I quickly was out of over my head. I didn’t know what I was, you know, so I ended up getting a second PhD in counseling.

    Dr. John Delony [00:06:46]:
    And the quick differential is a PhD in psychology is often the study of people, and the counseling is the study of how to work with people. So, yeah, it was just, I needed to sit down and help people in real time. I didn’t have a lot of time, man. Someone sat down in my office and said, I don’t want to be here anymore. And what? Ready? Go. Right? Yeah.

    Wes Moss [00:07:03]:
    And you’re like, wait a minute. Over my head. I need to go get some training around this.

    Dr. John Delony [00:07:07]:
    Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

    Wes Moss [00:07:08]:
    Talk to us, our audience, a little bit about how the world has kind of evolved quicker than our humans have been able to evolve with it. And it’s like, we’re almost like fish out of water that creates all this anxiety. Explain what you mean by, like. Explain that.

    Dr. John Delony [00:07:24]:
    Yeah, that’s a. That’s a great way to put it. I. The way I say it is, we’ve just designed and created a world all with, I think, pretty good intentions. Of course, there’s always idiots everywhere, but I think it was all good intentions. We just designed a world that our bodies can’t live in. They aren’t designed to live in. And so, man, we have created trucks.

    Dr. John Delony [00:07:43]:
    We don’t have to carry heavy stuff anymore. We just put it in the back. And we created air conditioners so we can live 72 degree life inside and then in our cars and then in our offices. And our bodies never have to be hot and they never have to be cold. And I, you know what I love? I love leather seats in my car and comfort. Oh, my gosh. Can you imagine, like, riding across the country on a wooden bench being pulled by a horse? Like, that’s awful. So it’s all been great, except those were the things that kept us alive.

    Dr. John Delony [00:08:09]:
    Those were the things that gave our body, our bodies designed to be under stress. Our body’s designed to be hot and it’s cold and to have to move up and down through the fractals. And so it’s designed for hard things. It’s designed for small tribes of people who will give their life for one another. It’s designed for not chaotic, it’s designed for one tiger at the. At the cave. Not endless dings and clicks and bells and whistles and emails. And it’s all coming down and news, 24 hours news.

    Dr. John Delony [00:08:36]:
    It’s not designed for that. And yet I want to know where every threat’s coming. And so I keep checking my stupid phone. I keep checking my stupid phone. My body just doesn’t have an ability to metabolize all that cortisol, man, so it just, it implodes, right? And so we’ve created this chaotic world and anxiety is not a. We talk about anxiety as though it’s like a hoodie we put on or like a disease we got. It’s not, it’s just your body training anxiety.

    Wes Moss [00:09:01]:
    Ooh, yeah, he’s got it, right?

    Dr. John Delony [00:09:05]:
    I have it. No, you don’t. It’s. It’s a. It’s an alarm system inside your body. Just saying, hey, we’ve identified. You’re probably not safe. Ta da.

    Dr. John Delony [00:09:12]:
    That’s anxiety. And the big challenge is why did all of our alarms go off at the same time? Well, we’ve created a chaotic, crazy world.

    Wes Moss [00:09:19]:
    That’s what you’re saying here, is that we, to your point, your analogies, like we’re used to saying, we’ve got this one tiger, let’s combat that. But not 100 tigers a day. And we essentially, by being pinged by our phones and not being able to turn off the news and then social media, it’s just. It’s kind of a 24/7 which brings out the anxiety in all of us, is, I guess, where we live right now.

    Dr. John Delony [00:09:46]:
    Well, it’s just your alarms are going off 24/7 right. And now we’ve met, we’ve moralized it. If you don’t care about that small group of people over, like, halfway across the entire planet and what their plight is, it’s cause you’re soulless, you shouldn’t exist, you shouldn’t be a person. How could you not care about every. And we just are not designed to carry that sort of pain. We don’t have the capacity for it.

    Wes Moss [00:10:13]:
    Let’s talk about money. I wanna start with some money anxiety. You talk about this thought around agency and that money, you can do this, you can make all these math decisions. That kinda makes sense, like, oh, it makes sense sense math. But then. But your brain continues to know the reality of what you’re getting yourself into.

    Dr. John Delony [00:10:35]:
    Yeah. So if you just step back 30,000ft, just for a second, just look at the system we’ve set up for ourselves. My granddad and his dad, the way you trapped somebody, basically, they were like, you turned a person into a rental property. Passive income, where they’re always going to be. They’re always going to be yours. And giving you money is to get them in debt. Like the. That was a.

    Dr. John Delony [00:11:01]:
    That was a tool to grab people. And now it’s a. It’s a. You’re nuts if you tell somebody to pay cash for a used car. You’re just. You’re crazy. Right? And so I think we forgot how our brain works. And there’s a part of our brain that is scanned in the environment 24 7365 for threats.

    Dr. John Delony [00:11:21]:
    And if your brain knows that if you say just the wrong thing and in this cancel culture world, your boss has to let you go because the HR committee voted that you’ve got to go. Your brain knows that you lose your cars and your house and you can’t feed your kids. Your brain would be failing you if it let you sleep all night. In that scenario, it would be failing you if it let you stop and have a deep, emotional, intimate relationship with your. Whoever you’re married to. It’s not time for sex. It’s not time for sleep. We are at war here.

    Dr. John Delony [00:11:56]:
    They’re going to take our house. Right? And so the idea of. I don’t care what the math is. If you have a position where you have shifted your retirement strategy for a short season or for me and my wife, it was a long season. We didn’t make a lot of money, so it was a long season. But now your brain knows, no matter what, they can’t take your house, they can’t take our home. They can’t take our cars. You invested in education, so they can’t take your earning potential.

    Dr. John Delony [00:12:21]:
    Right? Or your capacity to do something. Now, you can jump off the deep end and do some really wild things. Your risk profile shifts. And now I can go do that thing. I can quit my job that I worked 20 years to get and become a podcaster, take a risk, because I don’t owe anybody anything. And ten x your income annual, right. And you change everything about your family tree, but only because you do it in the right way.

    Wes Moss [00:12:46]:
    So, for you, again, this is the retire sooner podcast. And we’re always helping people have the position of economic freedom a little sooner. Maybe it’s six months sooner. Maybe it’s a year sooner.

    Dr. John Delony [00:12:59]:
    Way sooner.

    Wes Moss [00:12:59]:
    Yes, way sooner. And your fund and one, essentially, I think there’s our formula for being able to retire sooner. On the financial side, there’s only five things, and one of them five lifestyle, five financial. One of the five financial that we found that correlates to higher levels of. We call it happiness, but really, it may just be peace of mind, and that is being able to retire essentially without a mortgage. I have a study that shows that we did, some of our research has shown that as years to pay off mortgage go down, happiness levels go up. Now, I don’t know if happiness is the right word for that. Maybe it’s just our anxiety is going down and our.

    Wes Moss [00:13:45]:
    And our peace of mind is going up. So, for you, from a financial standpoint, the way you think around, you think about this is much more around getting out of all debt to lower that anxiety. Is that kind of.

    Dr. John Delony [00:14:00]:
    Well, I track with you 100%. Where I would double click is, I think chasing happiness, the pursuit of happiness, is actually what’s killing us, because happiness is a feeling, and I am not happy when I have to tell my wife, hey, we’ve exceeded our budget for going out this month. We got to figure out something to eat at home. That doesn’t make me happy, but it does bring me peace. And so there’s a difference for me between happiness and joy. My quick anecdote for that is my granddad died. He was a world war two vet. He fought Nazis.

    Dr. John Delony [00:14:33]:
    He raised four amazing kids in a 900 square foot home. Right? He died at 93. During his funeral, my son at the time was two or three, and he saw we were all. They were playing taps, and we were going to put the rose on the casket. And my son got out of my hands, and he ran up and climbed up the casket and put a rose on himself. And it was the fourth generation of Deloney male. And everyone started crying. It was this beautiful moment.

    Dr. John Delony [00:15:01]:
    And was anybody happy? No. But was everybody joyful? Yes. Cause that was right. You know what I mean? It was a long life lived. All the friends and family are there, being honored by his country with the music. His fourth generation, the last male Deloney, two years old, climbs up there and drops her. It was, that’s joy.

    Wes Moss [00:15:18]:
    You make me cry.

    Dr. John Delony [00:15:19]:
    That’s joy. It’s not happy. Nobody’s happy, right? So I want somebody to consider. Just think about rolling over in bed and not having a mortgage. And when I think about if my mom. My mom is in her seventies, if she came to me and said, do I want to have another $500,000 that’s going to be in a payout as a part of some sort of ira product or no one can ever take my home. I want no one to ever be able to take my mom’s house. Let’s start there, and let’s figure out the back end, right? Because the back end feels like I’m adjusting between, hey, no, you got to get that car fixed.

    Dr. John Delony [00:15:59]:
    You can’t get a new car. Versus, hey, you got to move into the basement. And those are like. I think we get stuck in the math sometimes, and we don’t go through. Let’s give our bodies peace. Okay, we can’t take the house now. We’re good.

    Wes Moss [00:16:10]:
    What about this thought around? We purchase. Americans purchase our way to peace. And by the way, marketing is part of that. Is marketing is so damn, so damn good in America.

    Dr. John Delony [00:16:21]:
    It’s amazing.

    Wes Moss [00:16:22]:
    It’s like the mad men were really good, and then they got even trickier with social media, and now they’re almost impossible to ignore.

    Dr. John Delony [00:16:30]:
    Oh, dude, you want to. You want to have your skin crawl? Sit in the room with those tech and the neuropsych guys. They’re terrifying, man. And now they throw AI into it, man. They were scary before, and now the computer’s like, no, we know. It’s awful. It’s wild. I think we’ve had to do that.

    Dr. John Delony [00:16:46]:
    I think it has shifted because we’ve created the loneliest generation in human history, and I think we don’t have security and safety through a tribe anymore. We don’t have aunts and uncles and cousins. And you live with us. Come stay with us. We’ll make sure you got food. You broke your arm. We’ll take care of you. Your kids are always going to make sure we don’t have that anymore.

    Dr. John Delony [00:17:08]:
    So the only path to neurological safety is. I got my own house. Right? Which. So, on its face, it’s insane, but I think it’s. It’s the. Making the best of a terrible situation we’ve made for ourselves.

    Wes Moss [00:17:20]:
    Wait, is that why we’re. You think. Why are we so lonely? Why are we lonelier today than we’ve ever been?

    Dr. John Delony [00:17:25]:
    I mean, I think there’s 500 reasons to it. I think it’s. It’s moving to the suburb. Everything from. From geography to architecture to an architecture meaning there was no air conditioner, so everybody had a front porch. You had to. And that meant you waved to everybody as they walked by. And then we screened them in, and then we got air conditioners.

    Dr. John Delony [00:17:43]:
    We closed them up. Then we put our porches on the back. And. You can’t walk through my house. I don’t know you that well. But instead of, oh, that’s Susie. She votes the wrong way. But she’s real funny and she always brings pie over.

    Dr. John Delony [00:17:57]:
    Now, that’s just that lady with a sign in her yard. We hate her. Right? And so some of it’s architectural, some of it is just simply technology. Some of it’s too busy. Some of it is. We’re so insecure. We’ve outsourced our happiness to our kids and their athletes performance. And so we chased nine year olds all over the state with travel.

    Dr. John Delony [00:18:14]:
    I mean, we just created chaos. And then we tried to salvage it with. I still have long text threads with my high school buddies, with lots of memes, and we call that community. It’s not. It’s not. That’s just. What?

    Wes Moss [00:18:25]:
    That’s just communication. It’s not communicating.

    Dr. John Delony [00:18:27]:
    I’m just. I’m just communicating with you. I’m not connecting with you at all. Not in the physiological way, not in the way. We know this 80% to 90% of communication is nonverbal. And we put it. We just outsource that 10%, and we call it good. That’s insane.

    Dr. John Delony [00:18:41]:
    Think of this. I could text my wife a hundred times today. I love you. I love you. You’re so beautiful. I’m so glad I married you. I’m giving her data, but I’m not the things that make her body go, oh, he loves me. Is when I walk in the door and she feels my warmth when I hug her, when I clean up, pick up my underwear, right? When I do those things that are human, and there’s skin to skin contact, when my hand touches her face or the back of her neck, then her body goes, okay, I’m safe.

    Dr. John Delony [00:19:09]:
    The data doesn’t help. And, dude, we’ve done that with every relationship we have. Professional friend, church. Everything has gone online, and our bodies are just falling apart at the seams, man.

    Wes Moss [00:19:20]:
    I want to ask you about your money journey, but I want to just stay with this topic right now. I mean, realistically, what. What can we do about it? What should we do about it? And is it easier said than done? So what do we do about that?

    Dr. John Delony [00:19:38]:
    That’s actually the million dollar question. And I’ve really tried to mine all the data, all my own personal experiences, the people I talk to, and here’s the two things I’ve come up with. Drum roll, please, because these are earth shattering. Number one, be weird. Number two, go first. That’s it. That’s all I can. And number three would probably say, yes.

    Dr. John Delony [00:19:58]:
    Here’s my analogy. I started. I was the dean of students at a law school, and I’m not an attorney. There was three of us in the United States that were dean of students of law schools that weren’t attorneys. And they brought me in to help the mental health of these young law students who were. I mean, just law students in general, were not doing well across the country. Their mental health was in the toilet. And I came home day after day, week after week, telling my wife, who and her PhD is in pedagogy.

    Dr. John Delony [00:20:23]:
    So she is.

    Wes Moss [00:20:24]:
    What is that?

    Dr. John Delony [00:20:25]:
    She studies how to teach and how people learn. She’s way, way smarter than me. And so I would come home every day complaining, these students don’t know how to do this. They can’t do this. They don’t know how to talk. Whatever. And one day over dinner, she just leaned over and she smiled, and she goes, hey, I’ve been thinking. I have an idea for you at work.

    Dr. John Delony [00:20:41]:
    And I was like, what is it? And she goes, you should quit. And I said, why? And she goes, clearly, your students are just too stupid for you. You’re way too smart for these guys. And obviously, she was making fun of me. And I got kind of quiet because she was right. And she goes, or another option is you could actually be a teacher and start teaching them the things that you think they need to know to be successful. And so we started human 101 stuff, and it was transcendent. It was amazing.

    Dr. John Delony [00:21:09]:
    So I tell you all that to tell you we’ve just entered into an era where over the past ten to 20 years, we have lost the skill of sitting and listening with somebody. We’ve lost the skill of hearing somebody tell a story about how they’re hurting, and we don’t have to solve it for them. They’re not stupider than we are. They don’t want that. They just want us to hear them. We don’t know how to sit in other people’s pain. We don’t know how, you know, we don’t know how to do. We don’t know how to celebrate with other people.

    Dr. John Delony [00:21:34]:
    If you walked in and were like, hey, you’re not gonna believe this, man. My kid got the part. Everyone be like, okay, my kid got the part. We don’t even know how to cheer each other on anymore. And so did we used to. Were we better?

    Wes Moss [00:21:44]:
    So you’re saying that the last 20 years, we’ve lost. So were we better at that in, like, the fifties and the sixties?

    Dr. John Delony [00:21:49]:
    Not even that long. Here’s how I know. My dad was a homicide detective and a SWAT hostage negotiator for half my life. Then he quit over a weekend and became a youth minister at this giant church that we attended in Houston. And I remember him telling me, you’re not going to understand what I’m saying right now, but I’m your minister now and your dad, and you’re not going to be able to hear me at all. Good luck. I want you to find some men in this church that you trust, and I’ll point you in the direction. Cause I’m your dad.

    Dr. John Delony [00:22:19]:
    So fast forward 25 years. We had miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage. And then I was supposed to go get an appointment to go get taken care of at the doctor, and I didn’t. And then all of a sudden, my wife ends up pregnant. And that’s my daughter, who’s eight now. Josephine, she’s a human hurricane, the light of my life. But when she was born, I picked up the phone and called those men, and so they. I couldn’t wait to tell them, and I knew they couldn’t wait to hear it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:22:49]:
    Now it would be like, all right, dude, you know? Right? Like, we don’t have a capacity for that anymore. I don’t got time for that. What’s the Roi on this conversation? Why don’t you just text me, right? We don’t have time for it. And so it’s up. It’s the nineties. This is not back in the good old days. This is just a minute ago.

    Wes Moss [00:23:05]:

    Dr. John Delony [00:23:05]:
    And now our kids don’t know how to. You give a kid feedback. My mom just retired as a professor. She’s a professor. For ages she retired. She said, I got tired of having college students parents call me and ask why. I gave them feedback, negative feedback, on a paper. She was a literature professor.

    Dr. John Delony [00:23:23]:
    She’s an english professor.

    Wes Moss [00:23:24]:
    College parents.

    Dr. John Delony [00:23:25]:
    College parents. And it was like, I just got tired of, like, I have to give you. You wrote a not good paper. My job, as your professor, is to say, hey, this isn’t in the real world. This is gonna get you fired. Here’s how you fix it. And the mom and dad wanted the grade. They wanted the grade.

    Dr. John Delony [00:23:39]:
    And so we have a group. We have a generation of young person that doesn’t know how to do it. And so instead of being mad and throwing a temper tantrum like I was doing back at the law school, I’m okay, then we’re gonna. We gotta learn. And the only way we can learn is Easter. We have. At my house, we have. I call it the group of randos.

    Dr. John Delony [00:23:56]:
    It is. It is a hodgepodge of people that my wife and I like. Who’d you invite? Who’d you invite? And this year, one of the people I just invited, I met. Met her at a comedy club. She was a comedian. And her name is Carolyn Xavier. She’s all tatted up. Showed up out.

    Dr. John Delony [00:24:12]:
    I live out in the woods, and I was like, you’re coming to our Easter party. And she’s like, can I bring my son? And I was like, yep. And, dude, she showed up. We had a blast. Ended up. She grew up next to somebody. It was wild. But imagine how weird that is for her to have some mental health podcast guy be like, you should come to my house in the woods.

    Dr. John Delony [00:24:30]:
    That’s how horror movies start. And to have a group of people at my, you know, from my church, whatever. And, dude, it was amazing. And so we all were weird. We went first. And I think we just have to realize this. The choice to be lonely is the choice to die early of countless maladies. Heart disease, brain disorders, stroke, anxiety, depression.

    Dr. John Delony [00:24:54]:
    We can just go on and on and on and on. It’s killing us. We are netflixing ourselves to death. And so go make friends.

    Wes Moss [00:25:01]:
    Go make friends. So that’s. Is that part of your. When you’re saying be weird, is that.

    Dr. John Delony [00:25:07]:
    Just ask the guy, hey, you wanna go get a drink? Just ask them. Hey, man, I don’t know how taxes work. Could I go buy you lunch and you teach me, like, I don’t know how to do retirement stuff. You clearly do. You listen to Wes’s show like, you know how to do this. Can you, can I go buy you a drink and you teach me how to do this? What a gift. What a gift you would give somebody to say, hey, I don’t know. Can you help me instead of going to a forum somewhere?

    Wes Moss [00:25:30]:
    We keep hearing that inflation is coming down. But the past three years, the common man inflation gauge is still up over 20%. That’s necessities like food, gas, utilities and shelter. How can you possibly keep up? Well, one option is income investing. That’s using a combination of growing stock, dividends, bonds for more cash flow, and other areas that can be a hedge against inflation. Look, inflation is tough. Let us help you overcome it. Schedule a time directly with our

    Wes Moss [00:25:58]:
    Dot. That’s your dot. So we’re talking about depression. We’re talking about anxiety. The way you put it, is that it? Literally, we all have it. It’s just like, that’s just normal. That is humanity.

    Dr. John Delony [00:26:10]:
    It’s a smoke detector. That’s all it is.

    Wes Moss [00:26:12]:
    We all got the smoke detector. How does that manifest into depression? Does it go into asking you in a little bit of a counseling sense?

    Dr. John Delony [00:26:20]:
    Yeah. I mean, counseling. I consider depression and anxiety on the same trend line. But the way, the simplistic way I would say it is, the alarm is, hey, look out, look out, look out, look out. And at some point, your body says, I quit. I’m pulling the cord on this thing. This is never going to change, and this is your fault. Let’s stop it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:26:40]:
    Let’s just pull, we’re pulling the string so I can’t get out of bed anymore. That’s your body saying, this is the best place for, the safest place for us is to not exist and let’s shut it down. And so I think it’s knowing that both sides of that are just your body trying to keep you safe. And occasionally it goes off the deep end. And so you need some significant psychiatric help, some medical help, some therapeutic help. Of course. I’ve been down that road.

    Wes Moss [00:27:05]:
    Yeah, you seem like the last guy would ever be depressed in the world. But we all get some level of this. What happened with you? Where was your, tell us about a time when you were kind of mired in that.

    Dr. John Delony [00:27:17]:
    It stems from. I’ve tried to track all the way back a, some childhood abuse, b, I’m not from my family, and b, some, I had a. I watched my dad, who was a. Like a, like a police officer, like a homicide attack. A hardcore cop, have to mow lawns on the weekend. Cause he didn’t have any. We didn’t have enough money, and we had three kids. They shared one car.

    Dr. John Delony [00:27:38]:
    It’s not like we had a big place. And I wrote about it in one of my first book. I remember my dad putting the ATM card in and knowing there’s no money in there, hoping that he wouldn’t get the rejection one. He would get the $45. Overdraft.

    Wes Moss [00:27:52]:

    Dr. John Delony [00:27:53]:
    And as he tells the story, a woman who. He had helped their daughter, in the middle of the night, who happened to be the assistant store manager, came over and cleared it and said, hey, sorry, sir, there’s a problem with the register. Let me fix this. All right. Your card’s good. And she totally covered for him. And he carried those out. So in my house, I grew up seeing if that’s what the public thinks of public servants.

    Dr. John Delony [00:28:14]:
    I want nothing to do with that. I’m going to go solve this insecurity and this angst in my home and this chaos in my house by making a whole bunch of money and becoming so titled that you can’t touch me. And that just meant I said yes to everything. And I jumped jobs, and I looked for every promotion, I tried to get every raise. And I was always working three jobs. I was dean of students and a professor, and I was doing a side gig over here, consulting with whatever. And eventually my body said I quit. And then also I had a son.

    Dr. John Delony [00:28:42]:
    I didn’t know how to be a dad. I didn’t know how to be a husband to somebody who had. I didn’t. I didn’t know how to do any of those jobs. I just knew, okay, I can help my family, not by being a compassionate, connected husband or by being a connected father. I don’t know how to do that. I’m clearly doing it wrong. I’ll go make more money.

    Dr. John Delony [00:28:56]:
    That’s how I’ll help my family. And so I just worked more, and then eventually my body just says, screw you, man. I quit. I’m out. I can’t do this.

    Wes Moss [00:29:03]:
    You’re like a red. You’re redlining. You redlining?

    Dr. John Delony [00:29:06]:
    And I ran out of gas. That’s it, man.

    Wes Moss [00:29:08]:
    And what happened, though? What did you kind of just shut down for a while?

    Dr. John Delony [00:29:13]:
    You’re a finance guy, so you’ll get this. I had calculated, beautiful mind style, dude. I had spreadsheets. I had all sorts of things before algorithms existed. I’d built, I just had mapped out after the 2008 and nine recovery, as they started recovering back, we were the way they were. I just created this path where, oh, this all ends. They’re gonna have to nationalize housing because the whole thing’s gonna fall over. They just propped it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:29:38]:
    And I was crazy. I was out of my mind. And I had sold my house and moved my family into a residence hall so that I would not be held liable when this thing imploded. I didn’t wanna be. I mean, dude, I was nuts and I was a YouTube conspiracy theorist before that existed. That was me.

    Wes Moss [00:29:57]:
    So you believed it and you took action on that. I mean.

    Dr. John Delony [00:29:59]:
    Oh, bro, I took action. And I remember. I remember now with the CFO of $150 million company, and I mapped it all out for him. He was a friend of mine. And I remember saying, I’m going to cash all this out, I’m going to move all this. And he looked at me and said, I don’t, I don’t understand what you’re doing over here, like, with my plan. And he just goes, don’t do that. Like, don’t, don’t cash out, don’t sell out, please don’t do that.

    Dr. John Delony [00:30:21]:
    And I, hey, here’s the deal. A PhD in education, I’m a mental health guy. I walked out of that and I stood outside his office and I thought to myself, he didn’t see it. He didn’t get it. It’s all coming down. And so my big moment was I was walking across the campus where I lived to my office, and by that time, I was over so much stuff. And I think that’s the big illusion. People think crazy people are like, you know, hearing voices and running down the street.

    Dr. John Delony [00:30:46]:
    Dude, I was in a suit, man. And I would kept getting promoted all this time. I was good at my job, and nobody, nobody knew. They knew I was electric. And I turned around and got back in the car, and I drove 3 hours away and met with my buddy, who’s a medical doctor, and I scared him to death. I said, I’m not okay, and this has to stop. And he says he still gets goosebumps to this day for that, for that meeting. And he was a friend.

    Dr. John Delony [00:31:06]:
    He sat with me for two and a half hours. And that started. That was step one on the road back.

    Wes Moss [00:31:13]:
    I got little goosebumps there, too.

    Dr. John Delony [00:31:14]:
    It was a lot. It was a lot.

    Wes Moss [00:31:16]:
    Yeah. So now you’ve made a lot of, you’ve made a lot of progress. I mean, it’s been that’s a long time ago.

    Dr. John Delony [00:31:21]:
    That was over a decade ago.

    Wes Moss [00:31:22]:
    Yeah, that’s a long time ago. And I totally see. I think that it’s hard. It’s almost impossible to argue for anybody listening. Maybe not everybody, because I know that the watching of the news went down a lot. I think in, like, 2020 after. Or maybe it was the year after COVID, when we just. We definitely took it.

    Wes Moss [00:31:44]:
    We hit the brakes on the news, right. Ratings for, I think, CNN were down, like, 70% at one point. So people just.

    Dr. John Delony [00:31:51]:
    No, the people are still listening. It just moved to Rogan and Tucker, and it’s moved offline into social media. So you traditionally.

    Wes Moss [00:31:59]:
    So you think we’re still consuming just as much?

    Dr. John Delony [00:32:02]:
    Yeah, the noobs. I mean, the numbers I got yesterday, in fact, was the YouTube now is bigger than all of the news sources, and so people are still consuming like crazy. They’re just not consuming it at nightly news. They don’t trust them anymore. Nobody’s telling the truth in those platforms, and so they’ve just wiped them off. And I think, unfortunately, now there’s no breaks right now. There’s. You either have a tech company trying to censor something, trying to play referee, or you just got, like, some dude in a trunk somewhere in the back of a car with a secret YouTube channel telling you where the real stories are, right? And you’re like, all right, dude.

    Dr. John Delony [00:32:34]:
    Like, bitcoin’s not even real, man. You gotta buy more beanie babies. And you’re like, all right, cool. And what do you do? And so it’s. It’s decentralized, which we all thought was gonna be cool, but now there’s no breaks, man. So.

    Wes Moss [00:32:47]:
    Okay, so we’re getting hit just as much as we ever. You go through six choices, daily choices that help, I guess, combat this. Can you walk us through that a little bit?

    Dr. John Delony [00:32:59]:
    Yeah, pick a couple of them. I’ll pick a few of them. Cause all six of them, people start to roll their eyes to the back of their head. But the first one is choose reality, dude. Most we live in, we call it the attention economy. It’s not, dude, it’s the distraction.

    Wes Moss [00:33:11]:
    Look over here.

    Dr. John Delony [00:33:13]:
    Most of your listeners don’t. Well, your listeners may be different. Most people listening to my show would. If I said, what’s your net worth? They could not give me that answer. They would know that number. They don’t. And they’ll say, I don’t even want to know, man. I don’t even want to know.

    Dr. John Delony [00:33:25]:
    And so we just netflix the next series, comes up. They’ll tell you when the next episode of, you know, like, the bachelor’s gonna drop. They don’t know how much is in their retirement account and how much extra, how much, like, credit card debt they have. So we don’t know the state of our marriages. We don’t understand stuff. The second one is so it’s like.

    Wes Moss [00:33:43]:
    Pull your head out of the sand. When you’re face. Reality is like, pull your head out of the sand.

    Dr. John Delony [00:33:48]:
    We’ve heard the phrase the body keeps the score. Your body knows you don’t have enough for money for retirement, whether you want to admit it or not. Your body knows. Your nervous system knows that your wife is two inches from you on that couch and 2000 miles away from you. Relationally, your body knows.

    Wes Moss [00:34:06]:
    And you may rationalize it, but your body knows.

    Dr. John Delony [00:34:09]:
    That’s right. Or when your teenager comes in and slams the door, your brain can go, or your frontal lobe will go. All those teens. Your guts know. Your nervous system knows. My kid’s not doing okay, and I don’t know how to bridge that gap. And it will. Your body will shut you down.

    Dr. John Delony [00:34:25]:
    It will shut you down. And if it doesn’t, it’ll medicate itself with chaos theories and conspiracy theories. It will get that adrenaline. It will get that cortisol pumping because that’s how it stays functioning. And so you got to choose reality. What is the state of your job? What’s the state of your marriage?

    Wes Moss [00:34:42]:
    You just brought up something I’ve never heard before, which is. It’s almost like, how do conspiracy, let’s say conspiracy type theories, why are they so popular and so prevalent? And you just answered part of that is that it gives. There’s a certain adrenaline that it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:34:58]:
    It gives you purpose in life. We are so untethered, dude. We think about it. During COVID we knocked down every societal pillar we have. We pulled. We. We don’t trust the government. We all kind of thought the government’s probably kind of, you know, they got our best.

    Dr. John Delony [00:35:12]:
    There’s crooks. It’s the government. But they’re. They’re trying to keep us safe. Education. Like those teachers, they really love them kids. And, you know, my doctor, man, my doctor, all doctors go to med school. They’re all real smart.

    Dr. John Delony [00:35:24]:
    They all know the same stuff. And overnight in churches, like, at the end of the day, they believe in Jesus and they’re going to save us. Right, bro? Overnight. It’s like, dude, we don’t trust the government. We don’t trust schools. Our doctors are trying to kill you. Those teachers are trying to kill them kids, either by making them wear a mask or not wear a mask. And the churches got political on one side or the other, and so they sold, dude.

    Dr. John Delony [00:35:47]:
    Overnight, we became completely untethered, and now we’re so desperate for community, you know where we find it. Hey, I saw Bigfoot. Oh, yeah, I believe you. Right? Or the earth isn’t round. We’re so desperate for connection and then purpose. And those conspiracy theories fill both those in a pretty profound way.

    Wes Moss [00:36:05]:
    Man, you talk about choosing freedom. Let’s talk about that. How do we choose that?

    Dr. John Delony [00:36:12]:
    That’s everything from calendar to clutter to buying things. During my research for the book, Dawn Madsen, she goes by the minimalist mom. She introduced me to a japanese minimalist, and he said this quote, and, dude, my eyes almost rolled through the back of my head when she told me this. I’ve just lost his name, but he’s there in the book that every inanimate object in your home is having a conversation with you all the time. And I was like, okay, whatever. Are you going to sell me essential oils, too, dawn? Right? Like, okay. And I walked into my basement, and I have this basement that’s. That’s all mine, right? It is.

    Dr. John Delony [00:36:48]:
    All my guitars, my hunting stuff, my libraries, because I’m just a nerd. All my little health and wellness, my red light gadgets, all the stuff. It’s all down in my little basement area. And I got real quiet, and I was like, ooh, talk to me things. And listen. At first, it was funny. One book, the rows of books were like, are you just never gonna read us? You’re just gonna be stupid? And I was like, no, I’ll read you. Seriously.

    Dr. John Delony [00:37:15]:
    And then the guitars on the wall were like, remember when you used to, like, be good at playing guitar and used to, like, play out and have a band when you were cool? Remember that? Remember your wife fell in love with you? Where’d that guy go? I just started quietly listening, and they never shut up. And then I went upstairs, and the dishes were like, oh, you’re gonna be that husband. You’re just gonna walk on by? Because I guess your wife doesn’t do anything, so she could probably do these, too, huh? You can be that. You’re gonna be that guy. And then my clothes were like, oh, remember when you used to actually lift weights and you could fit in us, and now you can’t, like. And so I realized, oh, my gosh, all our crap is talking to us all the time? And so it became, I’m not a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination. I’m more of a maximalist. I’m more of a prepper.

    Dr. John Delony [00:37:55]:
    But I don’t need all the stuff. What are we doing? What are we doing? And here’s the deal. Very simple. My granddad lived in the great depression. He. He kept balls of string because there was nowhere else to get string. They straightened nails. That’s all they had.

    Dr. John Delony [00:38:09]:
    And then my dad, who was told no every second of his life, was born in a generation. My dad’s 75 now, 74, where they had this awesome new invention called credit. And, dude, just, well, we’re going to mail you a card. You can buy it later. And he overcompensated, bought everything. And now I’m in this world where it’s abundance and, ah, like, geez Louise. And so freedom is from stuff. Freedom is from a calendar where if you have a calendar that you missed the first meeting by ten minutes on Monday, your whole week falls over, which is my life right now.

    Dr. John Delony [00:38:37]:
    Freedom from dude, the bank, Toyota Motor Company, and I love Toyota. That’s all I drive. They’re not going to be the person who tells me I have to go to abusive boss tomorrow, but if I have a car payment, I do. I got to go because I told them I’d pay. I said, hey, I’ll drive your car home and I’ll pay you back. And I told that bank, hey, if you let me live in this house now, I’ll pay you back. And so they’re like, cool your butts getting up and going to that abusive boss tomorrow. Your boss is going to that job.

    Dr. John Delony [00:39:05]:
    It’s killing you tomorrow. You’re not going to stay at home and deal with that sick kid or take care of your wife, who your relationship is crumbling. You’re going to get your butt in that office. And so when we talk about choose freedom, I want all of us to look around and say, what are the things, the hobbies, the habits, the financial obligations, the can’t say no to the in laws boundaries, right? Who is running your life? And the cool thing about your body is when it realizes you’re in the backseat of your own life, it will sound every alarm you have, because you’re not safe. When you get back in the front seat, no matter what kind of treacherous thing you’re heading into and it knows you’re driving, it stops being anxious. You look at Navy Seals. Those guys are my dad. Homicide.

    Dr. John Delony [00:39:45]:
    Like walking into a SWAT situation, he was nervous. He was never anxious because they trained, they were ready, and he was making the call. He was in the driver’s seat of his own life. And so if we get back in the driver’s seat, man, 15 years it took me and my wife to pay off everything. 15 years. Once I started with a plan, and that’s the Ramsey solution. Like, once I started on plan to pay off our debts, not only about anything, to choose freedom there. I’m not anxious about it anymore, man.

    Dr. John Delony [00:40:10]:
    And you just follow the plan. It’s cool. It sucks. It’s annoying. It drives me crazy, but I’m not anxious about it. That’s peace. And where.

    Wes Moss [00:40:17]:
    And maybe this is in mindfulness of kind of six of your daily choices.

    Dr. John Delony [00:40:21]:
    To help lift his mindfulness. Yeah.

    Wes Moss [00:40:23]:
    A non anxious life. Is this where we kind of turn off phones? I mean, do I need a flip phone?

    Dr. John Delony [00:40:31]:
    No, that’s a separate conversation. But absolutely, yes. Here’s what mindfulness is. It’s not like a dude on a cloud sitting crisscross applesauce with no electronics. That’s not mindful. Mindfulness is simply how far can you extend the gap between what just happened to you and your response to it? That’s mindfulness. That is the guy cutting you off in traffic before that finger fires up off your. Like, can you just take half a second before you grab that candy, before you grab that cigarette, before you respond to your wife, before you hit that kid, can you just extend that gap? And so meditation is getting rid of electronics for a season or for a while or for during the day.

    Dr. John Delony [00:41:12]:
    That is medit. That is mindfulness training. That is just helping you extend that gap so that somebody says, hey, you suck. All right, man. Have a good one. Right? Like, I’m going to go home because my life’s pretty good. I don’t need to respond to that. A non mindful response is, oh, yeah, you.

    Dr. John Delony [00:41:30]:
    Now I’m in a thing. Right now I’m fighting somebody in a bar for no reason, and I’m too old for that. So mindfulness is just. Can you extend that gap before you go? Respond before you reply to that email, before you reply to that Twitter, that. That twitter thing, before you change the channel, before you pick up your phone and start swiping, before you cash out of your retirement, how far can you extend that gap? Slow down.

    Wes Moss [00:41:54]:
    Have you ever done the. Well, I guess we all did this because it wasn’t that long ago before the iPhone came, or it wasn’t that long ago, right? It’s what? O seven, I think the iPhone. So it wasn’t that long ago, but have you gone back to that, or you just have a kind of scaled down smartphone?

    Dr. John Delony [00:42:11]:
    I keep thinking of an iPhone.

    Wes Moss [00:42:13]:
    You do?

    Dr. John Delony [00:42:13]:
    Yeah, I’ve got an iPhone. I went to a flip phone about seven or eight years ago, and, man, it was kind of. Here’s the way I described it to my wife. It was like going to Mexico and saying, screw everybody. I’m talking in German, right? Like it didn’t matter. So everybody talks via text. My boss, my friends, my wife, everybody. And so I was sitting there at a stoplight going, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, b.

    Dr. John Delony [00:42:40]:
    Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click. And I realized, oh, I can’t do that. Right. When. When you sent for. When you. When the old phone bills back in 2006, they charged you per text. Like, you were very judicious with your text now.

    Dr. John Delony [00:42:54]:
    That’s just how. So it’s like, that’s the language we speak. And so I. Unless they could come up with a smartphone, like a flip phone that you could talk into that would text it for you, that would be cool. But short of that, no, I mean, I have an iPhone. I just. I’ve got some. Some tips and tricks that I use at home with it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:43:10]:
    But the biggest one is my social media is on a separate phone, and that phone stays off, and I have to go through a couple of steps to turn it on. And so it’s like getting rid of all the alcohol in your house, and you have to get in a car and drive somewhere. And so there’s at least a few hurdles before you make that next wrong decision.

    Wes Moss [00:43:27]:
    I was going to ask you about that, too. It’s, you know, vices and addiction and things that go along that are supposed to help with anxiety, but they really kind of hurt anxiety. Maybe just give us your ideas about that.

    Dr. John Delony [00:43:43]:
    Well, so addiction was a sin forever, and as a way to stop moralizing it, we turned it into a medical condition and called it a disease. And I think what ultimately is happening in the literature is it’s an adaptive strategy that keeps you alive. And so I quit asking people, why are you drinking? I used to be. My question, why won’t you stop drinking? To my question now is, man, what in the world is going on in your life that this is the best way your body figured out how to survive? Why do you keep work? Why do you work 100 hours a week? Dude, what is. What are you and your body hiding from, man? Like, what are you trying to get? Your dad’s not going to call. He’s not calling. He’s not going to tell you he’s proud of you. That call will never come.

    Dr. John Delony [00:44:29]:
    You can’t buy your wife’s love. You can’t. And if you can, then she’s not a great partner for you. Like you need to have that conversation, right? So I think addiction. I used to tell my students that the worst part about cocaine is it works. It works. It’s amazing until it kills you. The worst part about alcohol is it works until it takes everything from you.

    Dr. John Delony [00:44:47]:
    And so I look more at addiction, and by the way, working 150 hours a week is this. Your body’s hiding from the same thing as alcohol, right? It’s the same thing. Sex, all of it’s the same. You’re just hiding. And so I have a lot more compassion about addiction because addiction works until it doesn’t. So, man, what. What are. What is your body trying to protect you from? That’s a much more interesting question.

    Wes Moss [00:45:12]:
    Now, let’s talk about relationships. You mentioned this thought that your body knows if you’re two inches from your wife, but she’s 2000 miles away. What’s the role of that daily anxiety on relationships. Cause you do a ton of relationship stuff on your show.

    Dr. John Delony [00:45:30]:
    Yeah, that’s about me. That’s mostly what the show has turned into. It becomes, in relationship circles with counseling nerds, we call it the sick dance. My body recognizes that my wife is having to create a life of her own. Because I’m radioactive, because I’m anxious all the time. And when it makes us all the time in my house, I start talking about conspiracy. I talk like, what about this? And, hey, did you hear about this? And this guy might get fired. And then all sudden this.

    Dr. John Delony [00:45:59]:
    And that’s it. Burns my wife out. And so she has to create a pocket of space inside of our home that’s full of two kids and three dogs and a bunch of chickens and a crazy husband. So you’re in the woods.

    Wes Moss [00:46:10]:
    That’s right. Yeah.

    Dr. John Delony [00:46:11]:
    Yeah. There’s banjos everywhere. I mean, it’s. Yeah, we’re in the woods. But she has to create a pocket of space, which might include putting her headphones in, listen to a podcast, which might like, hey, I gotta go upstairs and work. And she said writer, so I could go, right? And that sounds my alarms. Oh, she’s leaving you. Cause I got abandonment issues.

    Dr. John Delony [00:46:27]:
    So she’s leaving you. So it sounds the alarms a little bit louder, and I get a little more anxious, and I start spiraling watching a little more YouTube and I eat a little more junk food. And so I just amplify it. The way she described it was I was like being married to a taser. I was so hard to get connected to because everything was so doom and gloom, or my body, like, my heart rate was ten or 15 beats high than it should. Like, it was just always fight or flight, and it makes it impossible for her. So we’re asking spouses to wade through that electric fence in order to grab our hand on the other side. And I get it when they say, I just can’t get shocked anymore, and it makes the electricity harder.

    Dr. John Delony [00:47:07]:
    Right? So the worst part about anxiety was this. That I found when I was writing that book is that when you’re anxious about something in your body and you avoid it. So here’s one of my things. I got so freaked out about the economy back in 2008, 2009, because I realized, oh, that’s a thing that can take everything from you and you can’t do anything about it, right? And as a control freak who came from a wild house, that was like, man, I’m going to control every variable. I’m going to get every degree. I’m going to make all this money, and no one can touch me. Oh, no. There’s this thing called mortgage backed securities that can go away, and it takes everything.

    Dr. John Delony [00:47:43]:
    You’re done. And so every time I would walk by a stock ticker and there was a red arrow pointing down, oh, you.

    Wes Moss [00:47:49]:
    Would get freaked out, dude.

    Dr. John Delony [00:47:51]:
    My stomach would drop. My heart would start beating. My stomach would get all that warm feeling as though I’m about to get in a fistfight in an airport, right? And it was my body going to fight or flight, and it would do it all the time. And what I learned in the neurological research is when you’re. When you avoid. So what I do, I stopped. I stopped watching the news. I started avoiding that.

    Dr. John Delony [00:48:13]:
    What that did was it gave my body what it wanted. And so it actually reinforced and made the anxiety response stronger. It made it louder. So when you’re anxious of something and you avoid that thing that you’re anxious about, your body goes, oh, sweet, that worked. That kept us safe. Double click on that, put a gps pin in that, and next time, let’s double it up a little bit, because that worked. And so it actually reinforces and makes your anxiety stronger. The only way to be less anxious is to head directly through the damn thing that’s killing you, that you have to go right through the middle of it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:48:46]:
    And I couldn’t do that by myself, so I had to get a counselor. I had to get a doctor. I had to get some people to walk with me. But you have to go through it. And then when your body learns, oh, that didn’t kill us. It quit sounding the alarm. It’s like, all right, you’re driving. That’s cool.

    Dr. John Delony [00:48:57]:
    I just want to make sure you were. Make sure you’re driving.

    Wes Moss [00:48:59]:
    So this, so this is why, for you, choosing reality is kind of.

    Dr. John Delony [00:49:05]:
    It’s the starting line. Step number one. It’s the start of the marathon. You can’t run a marathon unless you know where the starting line is.

    Wes Moss [00:49:11]:
    It’s not avoiding it, it’s going through it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:49:13]:
    What are the state of things? How much money do I owe? How much money do I have in retirement? It.

    Wes Moss [00:49:19]:
    Is that the thing, if you think about how you’ve kind of transformed over the last decade and a half or so, can you point to one most important thing that helped you with that? Or is it learning that you’ve got to go through that anxiety? Or is it getting out of debt? Like, what, what is your top number one or two?

    Dr. John Delony [00:49:37]:
    The number one was. So I worked with, while I was working at the law school, I also worked with the victim services, a crisis team. I had a patrol car and I would run crisis response with police department in the city where I worked. And I would get a text message. I was on call twenty four seven. I get a text message and it would just say 1087 and an address. And 1087 was the police code for someone, the deceased, someone had died. And occasionally it’d be like a.

    Dr. John Delony [00:50:04]:
    I think it was a 1015. I don’t remember all the codes now, but there was a domestic dispute or something. But I would show up to a house knowing someone in there is dead. I don’t know if that’s a two year old. I don’t know if that’s a 17 year old. I don’t know if that’s a 97 year old. Here we go. And from those calls to all those years, 20 years working with students, a student coming in sobbing, my dad just died.

    Dr. John Delony [00:50:24]:
    My mom just left my dad. I’ve, I want to take my life. I just got embarrassed because I was the only kid of this skin color. I got. I got humiliated because, like, whatever, I was on the margins for whatever. We always, every single time, all those different conversations of hurting people, we always landed on the same question, what are you going to do now? No matter what trauma, what crazy thing I found myself in, we always landed on the same question, what are you going to do now? And that was choosing reality. That was the starting line for me. And so I started with my own anxiety in my own.

    Dr. John Delony [00:50:59]:
    What are we going to do about this? We got a kid and we got another kid coming. All right, what are you gonna do now? Oh, I need to make a will. Oh, I need to sit down with my buddy Todd and my buddy Craig and actually walk through my finances and see where we are, like. Cause it’s not gonna get done for you. So. Oh, dude, I’ve got some. Starting to get some chronic health issues, man. I need to sit down with a doctor and actually go down a rabbit hole because, like, what are you gonna do now? What am I gonna do? Like, and that question has been a guiding light for me.

    Wes Moss [00:51:26]:
    Yeah, it does make sense. I mean, I just think about the avoidance.

    Dr. John Delony [00:51:30]:
    I think about this, like, you and your wife, like, I don’t know if you’re married, but.

    Wes Moss [00:51:33]:
    Yeah, I’m married. I got four kids. Yeah.

    Dr. John Delony [00:51:35]:
    Okay, you and your wife, you and.

    Wes Moss [00:51:36]:
    Your wife still married. Unless she’s. Yeah, exactly.

    Dr. John Delony [00:51:39]:
    Let’s get the text message. But that’s, I mean, that question’s so instructive. All right, so I’m pissed off at my wife. We are getting sideways. What am I going to do now? Am I going to, am I going to hide? Am I going to be immature? Am I going to go watch a football game? Or am I going to sit down and say, I’m sorry, let’s fix this. What am I going to do now?

    Wes Moss [00:51:56]:
    You know, I think it’s 100% relevant if you’re thinking about this journey around financial freedom and economic freedom. It’s 100% accurate to say as we’re avoiding it and we don’t want to think about it. And we know it’s a huge problem because most american, 90% of Americans don’t really. We know 50, 60% of Americans have zero plan whatsoever, zero savings. And part of that is environmental and part of that is not necessarily because they haven’t planned. And the reality here is that in order to get into this retire sooner journey, you gotta be able to face it. And what are you gonna do now? And so I think it is so relevant just for our audience, no matter what stage you’re in. And by the way, no matter what stage you’re in, I found too, people think they’re kind of 50% short.

    Wes Moss [00:52:44]:
    So they have a million. They’re like, I need to get to two. Or they’re always 50. I have 5 million. I need to be a ten.

    Dr. John Delony [00:52:52]:
    Well, but that’s why what you do is so valuable that’s why I call a coach. I’ve. I’ve got a smart vester that I. I call him like, hey, am I good? And I talked to him a couple times a year. He’s a friend, but talk to him a couple times a year. And here’s most of our conversations. Hey, man, what’s up? Hey, you’re going to get an email, like an automated email about the state of your return. Don’t open it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:53:16]:
    Just hit delete because you’re going to freak out Deloney and you’re going to call me and want to move everything to gold and nickel. And you’re an idiot. Just delete the email because it’s auto. It’s coming. And he puts a thing on his calendar to call me when he knows his system is going to send me an automated email, and the other one is me calling him. Hey, we just run all my numbers real quick and make sure I’m good, and I’ll get a text message, text message back. He probably doesn’t even run them, but he texts me back and he goes, hey, I looked at everything. You’re great.

    Dr. John Delony [00:53:42]:
    You and your family are good. And it’s just this quick. It’s kind of like a little kid when they’re young and they run out into the playground and they always stop and they’ll look back. I just want to see if I can see mom. Can I still see mom? Can I still see dad? I see dad. All right, I’m gonna go out further. That’s all I’m doing. And.

    Dr. John Delony [00:53:58]:
    But that started with. Okay, what are you gonna do now? You come from a home with money and security. What are you gonna do now? Blaming them doesn’t help. My dad was a great man. He still is. What are you gonna do now?

    Wes Moss [00:54:09]:
    Before we get to sub, I just wanna get a couple examples from, from your show to our audience. Cause they’re fascinating, but the what? Before we do that, I just wanted to go to this concept about you are worth being well, because you were just saying you grew up with some money insecurities, like so many Americans. And people struggle, I guess, with their own worth. But I want to get your take on you are worth being well.

    Dr. John Delony [00:54:37]:
    Yeah, it’s twofold. Number one, I think one of the great illnesses of our time is that we answer the question, what are you worth with a number? It’s. It’s. It’s so gross, man. Like, just sitting around having a bourbon with a bunch of dudes. Like, what are you, what are you, what’s your worth? What’s your worth? The answer to the question, what are you worth? Is, who do you love and who loves you every time? That’s. That is. The answer to that question is not a numerical question.

    Dr. John Delony [00:55:04]:
    And so with when, as a culture, we’ve defined our worth as a number. And as you said, 50%, 60% of people have no plan. They’re paycheck to paycheck. Right? What was that? The latest stat was a while, like, what, 60, 70% of Americans can’t come up with $400 cash or whatever? That number. I mean, it was wild. So if that’s the metric, then people think that I’ve got no worth. The second thing is, and this is the more insidious one, I think we all think we are such a burden. We have outsourced.

    Dr. John Delony [00:55:36]:
    Think about this. I don’t know if you’re a churchgoer.

    Wes Moss [00:55:39]:
    But it was just Easter, and I went to church.

    Dr. John Delony [00:55:41]:
    Congratulations. There was probably a greeting committee at that church. Like, that’s an assigned role. Now what are we doing? We have to assign a group of people the role of saying, hi. We don’t ask our neighbor for sugar or eggs. We just instacart it. We just, like, uber eats it. We don’t get a, hey, man, can you take me to the airport? I know that sucks.

    Dr. John Delony [00:56:01]:
    And it’s a 05:00 a.m.. Flight. I know. We just uber there. So we’ve professionalized, we’ve outsourced human interaction because, dude, I don’t want to bother them. And all the psychological research says if somebody has a purpose and a role, especially in their community, it’s a gift. And so the greatest gift I could give my neighbor is, hey, can I borrow a couple eggs? That’s a gift to them, because they can go, yeah. Here’s a great example.

    Dr. John Delony [00:56:27]:
    I live out in the woods. My neighbor is a 75, 76 year old farmer. He’s lived there forever. Hundred year old, 150 year old family property. My driveway is a long gravel driveway. When it rains real hard, it washes out, so it gets these big divots in it. Well, one day, he, on his tractor, leveled the whole thing for me. And I sent an envelope with my son, envelope of cash over there.

    Dr. John Delony [00:56:50]:
    It cost me a have somebody come out and do that. And he did it for me. So I sent. I didn’t put a $1,000 in there, but I put a chunk of cash in there for him, and he sent it back, and he said, no, sir. And when I saw him down doing something on his brother’s, property. He said, hey, I don’t, don’t ever send money to my house. I was like, yes, sir. And he said it in a way that, you know, like, I’m a young guy.

    Dr. John Delony [00:57:11]:
    Yes, sir. Right. Well, the next time it rained, he did it again. So I had, it was deer season. I sent a whole bunch of venison. My wife made this sourdough bread. She had some pickles that she had canned, and I forgot there was one or two other things in there. And I took it over there with, with my son and said, hey, I just want to say thank you.

    Dr. John Delony [00:57:29]:
    I can’t. I gotta. I can’t let you do that for free. He saw that he stopped doing his chores, his farm chores. He was all sweaty, and he came over and he got all choked up, and he gave me a big hug, and he looked at me and said, I’m your neighbor. And it was like, good man. I’ve missed it. I have missed it.

    Dr. John Delony [00:57:48]:
    I was trying to turn a relationship into a transaction. And so at the end of the day, that idea. Hold on.

    Wes Moss [00:57:55]:
    He was cool getting the venison, but not the cash.

    Dr. John Delony [00:57:58]:
    It. You know why? Because I gave him my time. I gave him my family’s garden. I gave him some of our food. So the deal is, we don’t even think we’re worth the time it is to go exercise. If I don’t, I’m not even worth the time to fix my marriage. I’m not even worth the time to call my real, my real estate guy to say, I need to move. I’m not worth that.

    Dr. John Delony [00:58:17]:
    I’m not worth it, dude. It just is what it is. I’m just going to get older and fatter. My knees are going to hurt. It’s just going to be what it is. And so I think all life change, whether it’s, I want to change how soon I can retire, I want to get out of debt. I want to do all these things. It all starts with, dude, you have to believe you’re worth even the effort, because it’s going to be a lot of efforts, gonna be hard.

    Dr. John Delony [00:58:34]:
    You’re worth that effort, man. You’re not a burden. And I think starting from there is the, is the starting line. That’s the, that’s where the gun goes off. Because if you don’t have that, man, what are you doing it for?

    Wes Moss [00:58:45]:
    Yeah, it’s a fuel in your, you need your own. It’s the fuel that you need in your tank.

    Dr. John Delony [00:58:49]:
    Right? All right.

    Wes Moss [00:58:51]:
    As we wrap up today, I want to just ask. You know, I go through, I was looking at your old clips, your new clips, your most popular clips, and you have such wild. I mean, you’ve almost turned into, like, the. The doctor drew, the doctor Ruth, the all in one, all in your show.

    Dr. John Delony [00:59:15]:
    That’s some great company, right? Yeah.

    Wes Moss [00:59:18]:
    And I guess the. But a lot of this goes back to relationship. These are relationship issues. And there’s a lot about husband and wife, and maybe it’s about either infidelity or lack of trust, or my husband did this or my wife did that, and then I feel totally alone. I hate my kid. I love my kid, but I don’t like my kid. If you were to break down, if you were to think about your advice, that ends up getting the fundamental bedrock of your advice, that probably relates to a lot of these same questions. What does it come down to often?

    Dr. John Delony [00:59:55]:
    Or is it.

    Wes Moss [00:59:56]:
    Or is it, what are you going to do next? Or is it. That is the root of so many of these problems people are calling you with? Is it anxiety?

    Dr. John Delony [01:00:04]:
    No. I think we have a culture that’s over pathologized, every negative feeling and emotion. And so when a guy goes to work and his coworker is beautiful and hilarious, and she laughs at all his jokes, and she remembers his birthday, and his wife, who’s taking care of his three kids, forgot or was like, oh, tonight, it’s gonna be so fun. And suddenly, for the first time in a long time, he feels alive and his heart starts beating a little. He gets a little spark back. We think we’re broken. We think something’s guilty. With us.

    Dr. John Delony [01:00:40]:
    The guy feels guilty, and there’s nothing wrong. I am somehow dysfunctional, and you’re not. You’re not. So we’ve pathologized. No. It is totally normal to be attracted to someone who thinks you’re funny and who is beautiful and kind and great and smart and brilliant and accomplished. You’re crazy if you’re not attracted to them now, what are you gonna do? Right now, you have to be wise, right? And you might have to ask for a transfer. You might have to stop telling jokes.

    Dr. John Delony [01:01:08]:
    You might have to leave your personal stuff for you and your wife. Or maybe you have to ask yourself, why don’t I feel alive at home? And what role am I playing in that? And I’m gonna go sit down with my wife. Let’s go to a weekend intensive. Cause let’s get our spark back. Cause that tells me I’m still capable of an inner fire. Let’s go. Let’s go figure that out. And she might say, I’m not doing it.

    Dr. John Delony [01:01:26]:
    And now you gotta deal with that, right? And that’s the choosing reality. That’s the. She’s right there. I’m all in. Well, I’m not right. And so all I have to say is, most people think the moment they have a thought, the moment that they do the thing, that they can never come back. And so I think the show, for me, is about redemption. It’s about, hey, there’s nothing wrong with you.

    Dr. John Delony [01:01:47]:
    You screwed up. Let’s go fix this thing. And most people have nobody they can sit down and be totally honest with. They just can’t say. They can’t. There’s no one they can just say, hey, man, I think I just blew up my whole marriage. I don’t know what to do. And I think the show is popular.

    Dr. John Delony [01:02:02]:
    I used to think it was popular because I was so smart and I had my great. My great answers. Wes, nobody cares about my answers. Here’s what they are into. They’re into. They’ve never seen somebody compassionately talk to somebody who just blew everything up or had everything blown up. And so it’s what I think is attractive about the show is the interaction, not the advice. It is.

    Dr. John Delony [01:02:26]:
    It’s the back and forth.

    Wes Moss [01:02:27]:
    I mean, your father was a youth minister, too, right? I mean, it’s really. You’ve got a compassion like a preacher to some extent.

    Dr. John Delony [01:02:34]:
    Well, he was a SWAT hostage negotiator. So when someone was going to jump off a building or kill themselves, they sent in my dad. And his. His shtick was the all shucks guy. Like, he was. He would have a t shirt and some jeans, and he’d be like, hey, man, and what’s your name? Tell me about your kids. That was what he did. So he was extremely skilled at that.

    Dr. John Delony [01:02:53]:
    But, yeah, it comes from a place of, hey, let’s take. Let’s take all of the heat in this room, all the way down. It’s just you and me sitting at a table, having some nachos. We’ll figure this out. We’ll figure it out. And, man, if you give somebody that, that’s such a gift. Right?

    Wes Moss [01:03:08]:
    All right, we’re going to let you go. I know you got to run, and we so appreciate your time and your wisdom.

    Dr. John Delony [01:03:14]:
    Dude. Wes, you’re all, hey, this is one of my favorite interviews, man. I appreciate it.

    Wes Moss [01:03:17]:
    I knew this one was going to be good.

    Dr. John Delony [01:03:18]:
    I appreciate you a lot, man.

    Wes Moss [01:03:19]:
    You’re the best. You really are, man. I really, really. I think you just keep helping a lot of people.

    Dr. John Delony [01:03:25]:
    Yeah, YouTube.

    Wes Moss [01:03:25]:
    And you know, I’m sure if my advice on this podcast is you can just unsubscribe to mine and just subscribe to John’s.

    Dr. John Delony [01:03:35]:
    No way. You’re awesome, Wes. Appreciate you brother.

    Mallory Boggs [01:03:38]:
    Hey y’all. This is Mallory with the retire sooner team. Please be sure to rate and subscribe to this podcast and share it with a friend. If you have any questions, you can find dot. That’s dot. You can also follow us on Instagram and YouTube. Youll find us under the handle Retire Sooner podcast and now for our shows. Disclosure this information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only and is not to be viewed as investment advice or recommendations.

    Mallory Boggs [01:04:05]:
    Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no guaranteed offer that investment return, yield or performance will be achieved. Stock prices fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and dramatically, due to factors affecting individual companies, particular industries or sectors, or general market conditions for stocks paying dividends. Dividends are not guaranteed and can increase, decrease, or be eliminated without notice. Fixed income securities involve interest rate, credit inflation and reinvestment risks and possible loss of principal. As interest rates rise, the value of fixed income securities falls. Past performance is not indicative of future results. When considering any investment vehicle, this information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors.

    Mallory Boggs [01:04:49]:
    Investment decisions should not be based solely on information contained here. This information is not intended to and should not form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax or investment advisor before making any investment tax, estate or financial planning considerations or decisions. The information contained here is strictly an opinion and it is not known whether the strategies will be successful. The views and opinions expressed are for educational purposes only as of the date of production and may change without notice at any time. Based on numerous factors such as market and other conditions.

Call in with your financial questions for our team to answer: 800-805-6301

Join other happy retirees on our Retire Sooner Facebook Group:


This information is provided to you as a resource for educational purposes and as an example only and is not to be considered investment advice or recommendation or an endorsement of any particular security.  Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee offered that investment return, yield, or performance will be achieved.  There will be periods of performance fluctuations, including periods of negative returns and periods where dividends will not be paid.  Past performance is not indicative of future results when considering any investment vehicle. The mention of any specific security should not be inferred as having been successful or responsible for any investor achieving their investment goals.  Additionally, the mention of any specific security is not to infer investment success of the security or of any portfolio.  A reader may request a list of all recommendations made by Capital Investment Advisors within the immediately preceding period of one year upon written request to Capital Investment Advisors.  It is not known whether any investor holding the mentioned securities have achieved their investment goals or experienced appreciation of their portfolio.  This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax, or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.

Previous ArticleNext Article