Fighting Fire with Fire – Dave Albin
Hey guys, I am excited for this interview, but I did wanna let you know there are some tough things that are discussed at one point, some drug use, an attempted suicide, some gun violence. I just wanted you to know so that you have the opportunity to skip the episode if you want to
it’s a great episode, so I hope you join us, but definitely not at the expense of your mental health.
Miriam: [00:00:00] Okay guys, I am so excited to introduce you to Dave Albin. He’s someone I have actually been really looking forward to having a conversation with partly because of what your current business is right now, fire Walk adventures, but also partly because you spent 20 years with Tony Robbins and anybody who knows anything about self-development and growth and business growth and mindset knows Tony Robbins
welcome. I can’t wait to see where we go today.
Dave: Yeah, my pleasure. It’s, I’m excited to be here. This is, Good deal. Okay.
[00:00:35] Dave’s Fire in His Life
Miriam: So I know you have like this incredible story and the story, you
know, goes from maybe high to the lowest of the lows and then coming back up, do you mind just giving us some of your history and then we’ll get into where you’ve been and what you’re doing now?
Dave: Sure. So when I was born, I, I was born to a single mom mom was hardworking. She was [00:01:00] Rosie the Riveter in World War ii.
She helped build airplanes. She worked for McDonald Douglass, and she also worked at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, which is right down, you know, on Hollywood Boulevard. And so when I was born, she also had two other sons. Both different fathers, and so it was just too much. It was just, I, I, I was way more than, you know, she could handle, so she put me up for adoption.
And who would’ve been my aunt and uncle? My, my biological mother’s sister adopted me at the age of five. And so then I moved in with them. I moved from Hollywood. They lived in Long Beach, California. And when I was around 11. They told me that I was adopted. . And shortly after that, things changed because my dad had sworn off drinking when they adopted me at five, and now I’m 11.
And right after they told me they both started drinking. And so that sh that changed and altered everything. [00:02:00] You go from. Now being told these aren’t your parents and now they’re drinking and they’re acting out. So things got really bumpy, if you will, at around 11 years old. And I became fascinated with what happened.
You know, I had this beautiful childhood, you know, we used to go camping. We went, I was in Southern California. , we’d go to Big Bear, we’d go to Yosemite, we’d go to Lake Arrowhead. We went to all these really cool places and all of a sudden, boom, it just kind of came to a screeching hall. So I took a fascination on with alcohol because I was watching these two really cool people who were supposed to be my mom and dad turn into, you know, not such nice people.
And so I tried alcohol at a very young age. Well, I had no. I mean, literally the first time I drank at a very young age, I, I, I was an alcoholic. I, it just took over. I mean, I, it was exhilarating. It was just, you know, it was like pouring rocket fuel into your blood
it just took over with all that, well, the alcohol, you [00:03:00] know, Got me into, into drugs. It was a gateway, no doubt about it. And I got into hard drugs pretty, pretty quickly. Well, to fast forward all that I didn’t get sober until June of 1988, June 8th, 1988. I woke up that morning and I couldn’t. I was done.
I just, I, I couldn’t, I couldn’t imagine living another day as painful as I had been living over the last couple of years. The emotional pain, the physical pain, the spiritual pain, I was done. And I, and the only thing I thought was to end this is put a, put a bullet in your head and it’ll stop. I knew that, I knew this pain would stop.
And so, and can
[00:03:41] Substance Abuse Fire
Miriam: I interrupt and ask really quickly, how, how many years had you been abusing substances at that point?
Dave: So I was, what? I was in my early thirties and I had been, I had been drinking and doing drugs since I was 12. So close to 20. Close to 20 years. Right. And, and, [00:04:00] and, you know, and when you’re doing drugs like that, You’re in that environment, you know, like Tony Robbins likes to say, you know, we are who we spend time with, and you better be really careful who you decide to spend time with because you will become who you spend time with.
Well, when you’re around drug dealers and pimps and prostitution and guns and violent, that was my peer group, right? Yeah. So that, that morning, June 8th, 88, guns in the mouth ready to pull the trigger, and I was married to a woman who had three kids. They were my stepchildren. And I thought, you know what?
This isn’t fair to them. Cuz when you pull that trigger, yeah, your pain goes away. But what about them? You’re in their basement, their house as well, and they’re gonna see, yeah. Now their pain starts. Their pain starts. They’re gonna have P T S D. Now, I didn’t know that at the time, but I know now that’s what would’ve developed.
Sure. And so now I’m kind of wrestling with it and I said, well go outside and do it. Go walk out into the woods. But they still would’ve had to deal with it. Right? It would’ve permeated through school. Oh my gosh. You know, these [00:05:00] kids father killed themselves. You know, and, and so really what it became was a moment of compassion for them.
And I thought, all right, so well now what are you gonna do? You know, I’m almost upset at them because I can’t kill myself. And I called a little organization, some of, I’m sure your listeners have, have probably heard of called Alcoholics Anonymous, and that was it. I, I, I called, they sent somebody to come pick me up.
I went, I went to four meetings on day. . Literally I went to a 1230, a four 30, a six 30, and an eight 30 meeting. So one meeting turned into a week, turned into a month, and they gave you a chip. They gave you a medallion for that, right?
And then a month turned into two, then three months, and then six months, and then a year. And, and then, you know, I picked up one, I don’t know if you can see it but that one there says 34 years. Wow. And I’ll pick up one. This year and June for 35 years. Wow. So what happened there was [00:06:00] that opened me up, you know, not only are you working the 12 steps, which put your life back together, I had also kind of opened me up to the personal development industry.
Tony Robbins and Fire
Well, I had a lot of insomnia. In the beginning cuz it was rough. Cuz when you’re coming off cocaine and heroin and alcohol all at the same time, I’m gonna tell you right now, it’s not easy. And I was up late one night. Like I, like I was a lot. I had in som. And there he was the man himself Tony Robbins Young, Tony Robbins. Really, you know, RA he’s talking about this.
And we’ll do more to a Was was this on tv? Is that what you’re saying? Yeah, no. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Late night tv. Okay. It was, it was an infomercial was what it was. And you know, he was really enthusiastic. And actually I was like even mad at him.
[00:06:42] Pain and Pleasure
Dave: Like, what a jerk, how, how can you be this positive about life? Right? Because I was so miserable and he talked about pain and pleasure, right? That we’ll do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. And I went, well, I’m in a lot of pain. And then he said, you know, the two, the two motivating factors in everybody’s life is that we’re [00:07:00] either motivated out of inspiration or desperation.
And I went, wow, I’m pretty. Yeah, and I bought, and I bought his program and, and it came on little white things called cassette tapes, and and I, and I got ’em. I unwrapped it, I plugged it in and I did, I went through the entire program and I did everything that man asked me to do. Then I read his book and then I loaned the tape program to a friend of mine and who was also an aa.
He had about a year and a half on me. He was about a year and a half ahead of me and. He called me seven years later and said, Hey, Alvi Tony Robbins is coming to town. W we can go see him live. He goes, dude, you got me into this. Let’s go see this guy. Calls me back an hour. And he said, done. We pick up the tickets that we’ll call. Here’s what they told us to do. Number one, bring snacks. You’re gonna spend a lot of time in the room. Number two, hydrate. Drink a lot of water.
Bring a Good Attitude
Number three, bring a [00:08:00] good attitude. And number four, be ready to play full out. I said, Dan, how much was the ticket? He said, 700 bucks, . I said, I’ll play full out, don’t you worry. Yeah. And this is, I’m ready to hang up the phone. He goes, oh, oh, oh, oh, wait, wait, wait. By the way, guess what? We’re gonna be doing a fire walk.
I mean, literally when he started to say that, it was almost like everything just slowed down. Yeah. And I remember. We’re gonna do what? And my brain’s going, no, Uhuh ain’t gonna happen.
Miriam: Yeah, so let me, let me interrupt you for a second because I wanna hear about this piece, but I wanna give a little bit of background. I know what you’re talking about, but not all our listeners do.
So before we get to the fire walk, what were named three things that were in Tony’s tapes or the books or whatever, that helps you get your life on track because self-develop. Is like a river and you can step in it any place [00:09:00] along, you know, wherever you are in your life, it’s gonna pull you forward in a couple different ways.
What were a couple things that took you, from what I’m gonna assume, your life was in total chaos with all this drugs and everything. Yep. You’re starting to get off the drugs, you still don’t know the right people yet, blah, blah. Tell, gimme a couple tips. Self-development things that took you from chaos to less chaos.
We are the Architects Fire
Dave: Wow. That’s really a great, great stopping point to ask those questions. No one’s ever done that. I think the first one would be, I learned early on that what doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you. Okay. Which, which was number one. Number two was we are who we spend time with. Yeah, for sure. And then number three was, why don’t we get what we want?
And the answer to that is there’s a story that we, that we, that we make up along the way, right? Because everything that happens to any human being on this planet, we create a story [00:10:00] in and around whatever that was, whether it’s good or bad. Yeah. Right. So some people, bad things happen. They create a bad story.
And so the bottom line is that, you know, we’re the architects of that story.
Miriam: So what was the, in a sentence, what was the story you were telling yourself at the time.
Dave: You know that I was, you know, I got kicked outta high school. I was stupid. I had never amount to anything. It doesn’t matter. I’ll never get out of this.
Miriam: And you were living U up or down to that, down to that story?
Dave: Yeah. Oh yeah. I, it, it had
e everything that I was living is what I told myself. Yeah, it totally, and a lot of it makes sense and a lot of it wasn’t true. Of
Miriam: course. No, of course not. But it’s what you believed and so then it’s what you lived out.
[00:10:43] The Firewalk Conference Fire
Miriam: Okay, so hang on then. So your buddy gets you these tickets and $700 back then. I don’t remember. I think it was probably a lot of money. I’m pretty sure Tony charges something like five or $7,000 for these conferences now, which was probably comparable. That was a lot of [00:11:00] money. So now you’re going in, going, yeah, I’m gonna play full out.
Okay. You’re gonna play full out. Take us back to the conference and the fire walk.
Dave: All right. So we get there. It’s the day of the event. Yeah. And we, and we we get, we take our seats at around two o’clock in the a. So Tony takes the stage at around two. Well, the next thing I know, it’s after midnight and, and, and, and as he’s getting ready to take us out into this giant parking lot.
I’m with 3000 people. Yeah. So there’s a lot of people there, right? Well, as he’s getting ready to take us out into this giant parking lot, he says, take your shoes off. And I’m like, uhoh. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. I’m not doing this fire.
So, and as he gets you ready to go out there, he gets you to start chanting.
Right. So everybody’s going, yes, yes. Yeah. And so when you’ve got 3000, 3,500 people chanting, it’s intense. And they’re all doing it walking out there, right? There’s a giant [00:12:00] fire over here in the corner.
Fight or Flight
It’s just massive. It’s been burning all day. And so what they did was, is they would take wheelbarrows over to the fire and, and the coals burned all day and they render, they burn down, then they load them into, into a wheelbarrow. Then they would take a wheelbarrow and they would pull it in between two lanes of sod of grass.
Right about oh three feet wide, maybe 15 feet long, and then they would take a flathead shovel and they would just shovel the coals out onto that grass. Sure. And that’s what you, that’s what you would walk on? Yeah. Well, in addition to the chanting, he’s got African drummers, right. So it’s like, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun dun, dun dun.
And you’re like, you know, your brain is, you’re fried. Yeah. You’ve got no references for this. Your brain is just full. You know, fight or flight and it’s, it’s intense is all I can say. Well, remember, I’m not gonna walk, so what’s my strategy? I’ll just go hide out in the [00:13:00] back. Now I, now I’m dealing with the other times in my life where I ran from fear. I let fear take things away from me, or fear control me, right? So what’s it gonna be? Forget everything and run, which is what I’m doing. Or is it gonna be face everything and rise?
I’m going to the back cuz that’s what I’m used to. That’s my pattern that I’m running and it’s not a good strategy. . And the reason this is not a good strategy is Tony’s people know where all the cowards are . And so here they come.
You’re Not Alone Fire
They come looking for us because I wasn’t alone. I can tell you that. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure. And here comes this guy out of nowhere and he gets probably 20 feet from me and he makes eye contact with me and he gets a little closer and he looks in, he kind of leans in a little bit very calmly, and he goes, are you okay
And when we’re not, okay, what do we say? Oh yeah, I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m good. Oh yeah. All good here, buddy. You betcha. Never been. Right. I’m outta my [00:14:00] mind right now at this point. And so he asked me a question. He said, well, are you gonna walk tonight ? And I was like, absolutely not.
He goes, Hey, that’s cool. That’s not a problem. We don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to. And I went, wow, okay. I like this guy. He’s my ticket outta here. And then he asked me a question that changed my life forever.
And the question was, well, wouldn’t you at least like to watch? And I said, well, I’m thinking, yeah, I’d like to watch these idiots burn their feet off. This should be pretty enter. And I said, sure. He goes, well, you’re not gonna be able to see anything from way back here. And he is right. I, there was a hundred yards between me and where they were, the lanes were, and where they were actually walking.
Getting in Line Fire
And I had nothing but a sea of 3000 people in front of me. I couldn’t see anything. So he said, well, you’re not gonna be able to see anything from back here. You’re gonna have to, you’re gonna have to get in line. All right. . [00:15:00] Now in his defense, he was telling the truth. Yeah. Because I couldn’t see anything and I wouldn’t be able to see anything.
So I got in line thinking, I’ll just get in line. No big deal. And I saw them and they were walking on fire and my brain is like, what?
In? What, how is this possible? What’s going on? What, what’s wrong with these people? I mean, my brain’s going nuts. And the next thing I know, this guy comes up and he whispers in my ear and he said, he knows when you’re ready. When he says, go, you go. And I remember thinking you didn’t get the memo, pal. Let me tell you where you can go.
[00:15:39] Keep Your Eyes Up
Dave: I’m not doing this. Yeah. And so I just, and all of a sudden I’m watching and I’m watching, and. I look down and there I am. Yeah, I’m at the front of the line. My heart’s beating outta my chest. I’m looking down. You can see the coals on the grass. They’re bright red, glowing. [00:16:00] There’s a wheelbarrow there. You can feel the heat coming off, and there’s a trainer standing at every lane for guys like me, and I’m staring into the abyss under these calls, and all of a sudden the trainer goes Eyes.
And I went, oh geez. Yeah. Okay. Eyes up. Well, yeah, I’m in a room with Tony Robbins for 10 hours and guess what he teaches you? Keep your eyes up. Don’t stare at what you fear. You wanna look to the celebration in, so the outcome that you’re looking for to break through, breaking through that fear. And my eyes are up and he goes, squeeze your fish and say, yes.
And I went, yes. And he went stronger. And I went, yes. You know, I’m kind of like, what, who is this guy? And then he got in my face and he screamed at me and he said, screamer. And, and now I’m ticked off, right? And I threw my hands in the air and I screamed at the top of my voice, yes. And he goes, go.
And I took off. [00:17:00] And so they positioned two guys at the end of the. And they stop you. They’re like, stop, wipe your feet and celebrate. If those guys weren’t there, I would’ve walked all the way to Albuquerque at that point, right? Cause you’re in such a mm-hmm. in such an incredible state. And, and here’s what’s interesting.
And so next thing I know, I thought I burnt my feet. It felt like I burnt them and I looked at my feet and they were dirty, but they weren’t burnt. Hmm. So I just walked on Cole’s for that are a thousand degrees. I was successful at it and I had no clue how I did. None. Zero. And I could get into all kinds of science and technology and physics and all this kind of stuff.
And to this day, having done this now for, what, almost three decades, I, I don’t know. I just don’t know, and I don’t even, right,
Miriam: so, so pause for a second because our audience doesn’t know that. Then after this, at some point you started to work for Tony and you were his fire guide. Like this became your job at a certain point in time.
[00:17:59] The FireWalk
Dave: [00:18:00] And of course I don’t know any of that at in the moment, right? No, I just know I’m standing with 3000 people and I literally started interviewing people. I. They gotta, people have gotta be burnt.
And so I started asking people, Hey did you, did you walk? Yeah. Did you get burnt? They’re like, no, no, no. Everybody said no, but here’s where it got really interesting for me was the next day when I came to that event with 3000 other people that all fire walked the night before, it was the most unbelievable.
Connection humanistically with a group of people that I’d ever experienced in my entire life. Yeah. And that includes, that includes playing sports, the camaraderie of all that. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. People
Miriam: would, well, you guys faced your hugest fear and you did it and it bonded you.
It bonded us, yeah. Because here’s, here’s what was happening. People were laughing, they were crying, they were telling their stories, and it was all in and around that. That fight or flight [00:19:00] moment when they decided to walk and, and they did it right? So that’s what intrigued me. What’s going. That if that brought people together like that, unlike anything I’d ever saw or experienced, I wanted to know more.
Yeah. And so what I found out, Tony uses a lot of volunteers and I found out later, after the event I could get an application, fill it out, send it in, and they might approve you to come crew, cuz Tony will use 300 people.
So I did that, and then the next thing I know, that was in 95, and by the time 96 rolled around, I got hired as a subcontractor because I had a security background and I had a military background. So they brought me into help with his celebrities. Next thing I know, I’m, I’m on the fire team. And then in 2003 Tony brought me in and said, Al we’d like you to take over all of my fire walks [00:20:00] globally.
But I homeschool my kids. No, my kids, my family are more important. Period. That’s, that’s non-negotiable. And he, he spoke right up. He said, oh wow, I missed that.
He said, well, what if we pay to have them travel with us? Would that help? And I’m like, well, yeah, of course it would.
Where’s our first event? And I said, Sydney Australia. And so that’s how we started literally, you know, their first event. And then, you know, they went everywhere. They went to Hawaii with me. They went to London went to Europe. They, we went all over to United States. And I just want to go on record saying that Tony and his wife Sage who he married later in the process during all this, treated my family like gold, They loved my kids.
And then we just went along and I, and it was just, you know, event after event, after event, after event and celebrities and just all over the world and, you know, it was spectacular. It’s a dream. I mean, you know,
Miriam: [00:21:00] What kept it from getting boring to you? Because sometimes when people do the same thing over and over and over, it gets boring.
What kept your heart in it?
[00:21:09] Fulfillment vs Failure
Dave: Because it’s, And this is what a lot of entrepreneurs miss, right? They achieve at a high level, but it’s not matched with fulfillment. And if you don’t match your achievement with fulfillment, it’s failure. And I learned that early on. Right, you can make all the money in the world.
And I got news for you. That doesn’t mean you’re successful. It doesn’t mean anything. It just means you got a, on a bunch of money. But how do you feel inside?
Getting to Google
And so, I mean, and I, and I continue to do that to this day. It’s, it’s one of the coolest experiences anyone can. To see people raise their self-worth, raise their self-confidence, raise the belief about themselves, cuz I don’t know of anything else on the planet that changes a human being in the powerful state that fire walking does.[00:22:00]
And that’s why, you know, and, and here’s where this starts to get interesting, right? In 2014, I’m driving down the road and my phone rings right. And it’s Google and Google wants to hire me. If you’re not under any contractual obligation or non-compete, we’d like to talk to you about hiring you to do a gig for us in Mountain View for 148 of our executives.
And you know, what’s your budget for this? And they. This. And I went, okay, I can work with you guys. there were enough zeros on that one that allowed you to do it. . Right? .
So, and can I ask, at this point, were you still working full-time for Tony or had you guys parted ways at that
Had I had tapered off a little bit, but I was still with Robin’s research. Mm-hmm. Yes. Mm-hmm. . Okay. And then, you know, so the next thing I know I’m on an airplane headed to, to, you know, San Mateo. You’re a high school dropout. You’re, you, you thought you were dumb and stupid and you do weren’t gonna amount to anything. And all this [00:23:00] limiting beliefs and that story that we talked about earlier that I had created. And the next thing I know, I’m standing on stage in front of Google.
Fixing Company Culture
Yeah. And the next thing I know I’m at NASA. And, and I’m in front of, you know, astronauts and then I’m at Notre Dame, and then I’m at Virginia Tech, and then I’m at Remax and Heineken and the eo, the EO organization and this on and on and on and on and on. And so it, it, it just, it, it built mo, it built momentum.
I was really the only guy that could bring that level of intensity of a paradigm shift experience you know, to a company, cuz you know what CEOs get it. Most of them, most, most top entrepreneurs know that what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you. You wanna bring a bunch of people together and play Jeopardy.
Great. You wanna bring a bunch of people together and play golf, you know, for, for, you know, for these corporate meetings. Great. But that’s not gonna change anybody. No. And right now, as you, I’m sure you’d agree, [00:24:00]
we just went through the biggest, you know, we got ripped. For all kinds of different reasons.
Right, right. Mask wearing, not wearing masks, vaccines not getting vaccine political. I love Donald Trump. I hate Donald Trump. And it just tore people apart within companies. Yeah. And so I’ve had conversations with CEOs and I’m like, so, you know, you got a lot of dissension going on. Yeah. How are you gonna fix it?
They’re like, we don’t know. Yeah. And I’m, and I’m, I’m here to tell you, if you don’t fix it, guess what? It’s gonna cost you production. Because if you can take two people that hate each other and they’re not working together, harmonistically, their production’s gonna go down.
[00:24:39] Transition to Dave’s Company
Miriam: It’s not gonna work at all. Lemme ask this transitional question about good. I mean, really, Tony, obviously, he doesn’t have a corner on the market on fire walks, but he’s the one who made it a thing. Why was it okay for you to go and do this with other companies or how, I mean, I don’t know. I know since Covid, [00:25:00] he’s moved a lot of his stuff to entirely virtual and stuff like that, and so maybe it’s not that he’s not doing it in person, but.
It seemed from your bio that you went with this blessing. So, and you know, you developed your own company doing this and obviously it’s doing really well. A lot of times I think there is Enmity between people within companies because someone feels like someone stole something from them or you know, took their ip.
There’s non-competes all of this stuff where it’s like, Hey, this is mine and now you’re taking it, but I’m not under the impression. That’s what it was like. So how, how did that transition happen? I think that’s just important as my listeners are, you know, working with people, trying to work with people, trying to work with ideas and these sort of things can destroy friendships.
Dave: First of all, great question and you’re absolutely spot on. Tony certainly doesn’t have, you know, an edge on the market [00:26:00] when it comes to fire walking cuz fire walking in and of itself has been around for hundred.
Where Firewalking Came From
They’re, it may even be over a thousand years. The Tahitians. Yeah. Go look at the Tians fire wire. They do fire walking, fire handling, all kinds of stuff. The people of India, oh my gosh, you wouldn’t believe them. They do fire walking at a level that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen here in the west.
So, you know, and the Indu Europeans, before they went into battle, they went, they had fire walking.
The Polynesians, the Hawaiians, the Native American Indians. I live here in the
Appalachian Mountains in the northwestern part of the state of North Carolina. So I’m very close to the Tennessee and the Virginia border. And, and a lot of this area up here was inhabited by the Cherokees. They fire walked up here.
So, you know, again, Tony learned from an individual who taught him how to do fire walking many, many years ago. And so it wasn’t like he’s the guy that [00:27:00] l figured it out. He learned it from somebody else who learned it from somebody else who learned it from somebody else, right? So there’s nothing new in the world as they say.
It’s just recycled for. And that’s really what, what happened here, and that’s what I did with it. I took it to another. I, I brought in, well, tell me about the Cherokees. How did they do it? Tell me about the Ians, how did they do it? Tony Robbins only did it one way. Sure. High, high energy, you know, peak state and, and go across.
Right. If you wanna see what it looks like, go Google Oprah’s Fire Walk and you’ll see exactly how it’s taught at a, at a Robin’s event. But I don’t do it that way.
[00:27:43] Being Different
Miriam: And let me pause you for a second because I think the point that I’m interested in is what was the conversation like between you and he where you’re like, I want to do this on my own.
I wanna create something different. I’m grateful to you, blah, blah. You know what I’m saying? [00:28:00] You manage to preserve your relationship and yet create your own company. And that’s something that’s very different.
Dave: Well, and because I did it in a way that was congruent with
what he teaches from the stage, right? Because I had a group of people that worked with me who were like my assistant captains, who could take over my position just like that, no problem.
And, and that’s part of what I convey to him. Tony, you’re in good shape. I’m not leaving you an lurch. You don’t need me anymore. Yeah. You see that guy and you see that girl and you see this, you see these people, any one of them can take over this fire walk. Yeah. And, and they, and they’ve learned everything from me.
Which I learned from, you know? Right. It all got passed down. Right, right. So you’re in, you’re in good shape. I’m not leaving you. And you know, we had a really long conversation. We talked for hours in the green room about all kinds of things because, you know, we were together at nine 11. We did a big fire walk there.
Going His Own Direction
And, and so, you know, all the people’s lives and I mean, we [00:29:00] had a really good. Yeah, I mean, it was fun. My family got to go with me, right? So I was a very, very, very blessed guy, and I got. Be in a position to be able to facilitate something that is literally probably one of the most life-changing experiences any human can experience on this planet.
Yeah, right, right. You can jump out of a plane, but it’s not like fire walking. It’s just not No, you can go.
Miriam: Yeah. So let me interrupt and ask what made you want to go. Your own direction, like as you were doing it. Good things. I love it. My family, Tony’s awesome, blah, blah. What made you want to do it on your own?
Dave: Because it was time for me to, to, to create my own legacy. Yeah. The Dave Alban Fire Walk Legacy. Yeah. Not the time. It’s time for you to fly.
You know, it’s like, it’s like knowing, it’s like being a professional athlete, if you will, and knowing when to leave. Yeah. Knowing when to go. It was my time. Yeah.
Miriam: Yeah, there was a deep knowing. That’s what I hear you saying, you’re your soul kind of knew and [00:30:00] it was time.
Miriam: I’m sure there were tons of connections because of Tony and whatever, but it, what, how long would you say from inception of your business to present day did it take to get it really to take off? And I mean, when Google’s calling you, that’s a thing that helps.
That helps. It does. I did two gigs for Google. I went back the following year and two and, and after. And by the way, we did a glass walk.
And so they were graduating and so we did the, we did the glass walk because I won’t do a fire walk during the day. Gotta be done at night. I have to see the color of those coals.
It’s a safety issue. So we did the glass walk.
Well at the second one we did for Google, two of the executives set me down. Well, they were sitting, I was sitting at the table with them at lunch, and they basically said, Hey listen Dave, we’re not here to try to tell you what to do, but you may want to consider [00:31:00] doing this and taking this out to corporate america.
Because I can tell you right now, there’s no one else out here doing it at this level. Yeah, yeah. And we know we’re Google . Yeah. So, you know. That’s awesome.
The dominoes have fallen perfectly and so I knew Yeah. And I, and it was all those things, right. Everything in my life. That it ever happened to me, brought me to that moment when they said, if I were in your shoes, this is what I do.
Yeah. And so that makes sense.
[00:31:28] Why Does Firewalking Work?
Miriam: Yeah. So I don’t know if this is you know, like magicians can’t share their secrets. But I’m wondering if you’re able to share at least a little bit of why it works, that people don’t get cut walking on the glass or they don’t get burned walking on the coals. Or, I’d even saw some of the things on your website where, you know, the, I don’t know what it’s called, but the arrow test, the arrow to the throat and stuff like that.
Yes, that one. Can you explain to me a little bit about It’s, it has to do with [00:32:00] mindset and then a whole bunch of other factors.
Dave: It goes back to what I learned, that first question you asked me, what doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you. If you don’t, if you don’t face fear and deal with it, it’s gonna deal with you the rest of your life. It will continue to lie to you.
It will continue to take things from you. It will tell you that you’re not worthy, what? You’re not smart enough, you’re gonna get burnt. I mean, all those things don’t get married. You know, it’s overrated. Have kids. Oh my gosh. I mean, it’s just on and on and on. And so again, the, the fears we don’t overcome become our limits.
Mm. Period. Yeah. And that’s just how that works. So the fire itself you’ve gotta believe, and here’s the thing, when you go out there to that fire, you better give it it’s full attention.
If you think you’re gonna go out there and you’re gonna take this ego and you’re not gonna pay much attention to it, and you’re gonna talk at it and scream at it.
But I wouldn’t recommend you do. Because I can tell you I’ve seen guys do that [00:33:00] and they take about that second step and they are high step in it, or they jump off the lane. So you gotta believe, right? I think Henry Ford said it best, right? If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.
You’re right. Either way, you gotta go out. You gotta be in a peak state. You have to focus. Hundred percent right now. Don’t think about what happened yesterday or tomorrow in that right now. Stay in the moment, just like Eckhart Toll teaches in the power of now. You wanna stay right there in that moment.
I’ll show you the Tony Robbs. You know, it’s high intensity. It’s kind of like, it’s like an MMA fighter coming into the ring, right? They’re just not kind of walking in going, okay, I’m gonna go kick his butt now. No, it’s not like that, right?
they’re like intense, right? And so all those chemicals are firing off in their brain, so that’s one way to do it. High intensity physiology will get you across, but the Cherokees don’t do it that way. The Ians don’t do it. That. [00:34:00] They basically, they’re looking at this as an element. They’re respecting it, they’re loving it.
Respecting the Fire
They know without fire, life doesn’t exist. So they give it, they honor it with that. And so they just put their hands up, they put their, they put their eyes up and they completely submit and they just walk across it and it’s beautiful. They just mo, you know, some people like the high intensity, they walk really fast, right?
Thinking that’s the I That’s the idea to do it right? Nah, no, you can. You can just take your time and walk right across it. And if you’re loving the fire and respecting the fire and honoring the fire, you just walk right across it. Yeah.
[00:34:42] Honor and Respect
Miriam: So what does that mean in terms of your life? What does it mean to honor and respect and keep your eyes up and your shoulders back in your life?
Dave: Physiology is. You, you know, how you, how you posture, how you hold yourself, how you talk, how you move, how [00:35:00] you communicate. You’re, you’re sending messages to yourself and those around you. So it’s very, very important in terms of the physiology and how you move and what you say to yourself. I teach this all the time in my seminars.
I’m like, you know what? You better be really, really careful what you tell yourself, because if you tell yourself that you suck and you’re not smart, man, it’s one of the worst things you can. Because you start to believe that. You have to believe. One of the things you have to believe is for you to be, for any listener right now to be on your podcast listening to this, do you know what it took for all of us to be here right now?
And here’s what I mean by that. What were the, what were the odds mathematically, what had to happen for you to be alive right now listening to this podcast? What were the chances? What were the odd. Well, right, cuz you got a mom that’s over there and a dad that’s over there. They’re the only two people outta 6 billion people that could create you.
Write a Better Story
Right? How many eggs did mom drop in her lifetime? [00:36:00] Well, there’s only one that can create you and dad’s like, whoa. I hoped. Okay, dad, you did, you know, you contributed a group of swimmers, let’s say a nice way of saying it. And, and how many swimmers were in that group? Well, if you, if you talk to an O G B Y N, you’ll get a number somewhere around 60 to a hundred million.
Yeah. So you were in a group of 60 to a hundred million and you got there and you broke through. You were one in 600 or 60 million. So again, mathematically, what does that look?
Well, and I’m not even bringing in your grandparents, your great-grandparents, and your great-great-grandparents. The miracle of life is a miracle. Y you’re about one in 400 trillion. So the decisions you make now rise you up in, in the future generation, just the way it works.
So, you know, [00:37:00] with that said, you know, again, you wanna change your life, change your story. Write a better story.
I’ve got a guy that I love. His name is Eric Wyer, and Eric’s a cool dude. Put him in a kayak. You had a see him. He’s a nutcase man. He can go down any river you throw him into, put him on a mountain bike and he can mountain bike, just about anything.
In addition to that, he’s climbed the seven highest mountains on seven continents skies. This dude’s, he’s, he’s a dude, he’s a bad dude, and he’s got something physically wrong. He’s blind. He’s blind. He climbed the seven highest mountains on this planet. By the way, I tell this to all my audiences and, and once I tell him that, I’m like, I don’t wanna hear your excuse because it’s not true.
You made it up. How can a, how can a blind guy ride a [00:38:00] mountain bike? Like you’ve never. How can he navigate a kayak down the Colorado River, you know, in the Grand Canyon? How can he climb the seven highest mountains on earth? And he did it blind. What kind of a mindset do you think he has?
[00:38:18] Story You Tell Yourself
Miriam: Yeah, I was gonna ask, what’s the story he’s telling himself?
Dave: He, he had a great father who told him, dude, the only limits you have are yours. Whatever you tell yourself. So you can do whatever you want.
Same thing here. Elon Musk, like the guy, hate the guy. He said, you know what, I believe I could shoot a rocket into space, bring it back down through the atmosphere and land it on a barge in the middle of the ocean.
Really? Really? Elon? I mean, so you know what I. Never underestimate what a human being can do. Never underestimate what a small group of people can do to change [00:39:00] the world. Indeed. It’s pretty much the only thing that ever has, and that’s kind of where we are right now in our society. We need people to step up.
We need people to go, I’m not listening to the mainstream media. I’m done. I’m over that. I’m not doing it. Yeah.
Miriam: This has gone so many interesting places. Of course, the show notes are gonna have, how to get ahold of you, how to, you know, find your company if they wanna hire you for a fire walk for a corporate event, all of that’s gonna be in there. What would you like to leave people with?
Dave: Well, I’ll I 2023 is probably gonna be my last year. I announced that back in December. So, you know, if you wanna hire me you better get a hold of me fast because
I’m sure. So that’s, that’s just that part.
You know, the, the, I guess the. You know, I think the thing that I like to leave with people is like, look, stop looking for [00:40:00] heroes and be one.
Create Magical Moments
Miriam: Ah, now I love that. Woo. That’s a quote right there. Stop looking for heroes and be one and be one. You know, we can each be the hero of our story, not only to ourselves, but to the people our lives touch.
Dave: I’ll add one more little piece, and that is look for ways to create magical moments. Yeah, and I’ll, and I’ll give you a really quick example. So every year the Girl Scouts come out and they sell their cookies.
So basically what I do is I walk up and I go, Hey girls, well look at all the cookies you got. You’ve been selling some cookies today.
In fact, I wanna buy $200 worth of cookies. But there’s a catch. And she says, okay, what’s the catch? And I said, the catch is I don’t want the cookies. Here’s what I’m, here’s what I’m proposing.
I want you to take the cookies, I want you to take the girls, I want you to call an old folks home, and I want you to call the director. And say, Hey, here’s who I am. I’m with the Girl Scouts. We got [00:41:00] cookies, I got the girls. If you have some people there that have been forgotten and they don’t get any visitors anymore, the girls are gonna have some questions and some cookies, and would like to send them over to your facility and help brighten their day and create an absolute magical experience for not only the girls, you know, the Girl Scouts, but for the, for some of your residents.
Connecting with People
Ahh. And it’s, now, think about what you just did. You know, we all know you throw the rock in the water, it’s in ripples. Think about that. But see, once you start doing things like that, , guess what helps you? Do you start looking for other ways to create magical moments? Yes. I like to connect with people at Walmart.
I like to connect with people that are in service industry, whether they’re a server in a restaurant, or they work in a grocery store or, or whatever. I look for ways to create magical moments. So you ask yourself, and, and this is one other thing that I’ll leave you [00:42:00] with Tony. Ask a quality question.
You’ll get a quality answer. You know, how can I go to Walmart today? Create a magical moment and enjoy the process. Your brain goes, oh, okay. Let’s look for that answer. You know, sometimes I’ll go up to the check. And, and, and I’ll say, gosh, I don’t know what candy bar to buy. And, and I’ll look at the cashier and I’ll say, what’s your favorite candy bar?
She’ll say, oh, I love Reese’s Peanut butter cups. Great. I go in, I grab two Reese’s Peanut butter cups. I pay for my order, close that out. Then I say, Hey, I wanna buy these and I pay for that separately. And I say, give me two receipts. And she gives me two receipts. And then I take the bag of the receipts and I hand it to her and I walk away.
I love it. I love it. Dave, why do you get two receipts?
Why don’t you just throw the peanut butter cups in the other so that, so one receipt, one receipt goes in the bag and the other one went with. So that way they have their own, their own receipt. So they can’t say that [00:43:00] they didn’t buy it. Yes. Okay. That makes sense.
Yep. Ah, very good. Dave, thank you so much for an amazing interview. This was so much fun. I love what you’re doing. I love that. Just your life was turned around by some key moments, and I love that your life intersected with mine, so it’s really good. Yeah.
Dave: Thank you. Thank you. Me too. Fire, fire, fire , fire, fire
Full audio episode found here.
Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.
All Leave Better podcast episodes can be found here.
Music by Tom Sherlock.
If you are curious to know more, please contact me!
As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.