Episode #27 – Dr. Don MacDonald – The Underdog Curse

“On one side of the spectrum, you’re addicted to being the underdog, and on the other side of the spectrum you’re adverse to being the underdog, which, either way, slows down your growth process. What if you’re an adaptable underdog? Which mean you’re willing to try new things that you’re not very good at but if you’re really good at things, you’re also ok with that so you don’t sabotage your success.” – Dr. Don MacDonald

Dr. Don MacDonald is a practicing chiropractor of over 20 years, success coach, author, and a world-renowned speaker.
Through his own life experience of “people-pleasing” and self-awareness, together with the challenging physical manifestations he witnesses as part of his chiropractic practice, Don was inspired to share his message in his book The Underdog Curse.
The Underdog Curse causes you to sabotage your own success, be brought down by old habits and held back from genuine happiness. After spending most of his life trying to kick his own underdog curse, Dr. Don now spends most of his time trying to help others with the cure to this purpose-destroying pattern.
As you’ll learn in this conversation, through ongoing self-improvement, training and influential relationships, Dr. Don approaches physical care with more complexity by looking at the root of illness and injury and the connections with our mental and emotional health; not simply treating conditions and symptoms.
Together with his wife Brandi, Don speaks to business owners around the world and their employees about the importance of creating healthy environments and the impact of stress on our bodies.
Don delivers a powerful message about the mind-body connection, self-care and ultimately living your life in alignment with your authentic self with no regrets.

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Show Notes

  • [02:15] Patrick introduces us to his long-time friend and today’s guest: Dr. Don McDonald.
  • [05:17] Listen in while Patrick and Dr. Don catch up and have a great conversation.
  • [05:55] First, what is Dr. Don’s elevator pitch?
  • [06:45] A bit about Don and his business as a chiropractor for over 20 years.
  • [09:00] Don shares his experience of growing up in the small town of Grande Cache, Alberta, his dreams of moving to the city and how he got there.
  • [11:20] Mentorship provides the propulsion Don needs to take off and make his move to Edmonton.
  • [12:47] What was the compelling reason that pushed Don to make those choices at a young age?
  • [14:36] Don talks about how his physical challenges through basketball inspired him to pursue the chiropractic field.
  • [16:21] But the pursuit wasn’t purely driven by “being a chiropractor”. Growing up working in the family business also drove Don’s interest in business.
  • [17:27] Discovering not only what to do, but who to be and who he wants to surround himself in the space of his business.
  • [19:47] The power Don and Patrick found in their mastermind group to continually challenge each other and up their game.
  • [20:25] The work doesn’t stop for Don, only now the focus has shifted to self-improvement and elevating his personal game.
  • [21:11] Don shares the influence and his experience of working with Dr. John Demartini and the 50 shades of grey he was introduced to (no, not that 50 Shades…]
  • [23:15] The unfolding of how Don approaches his chiropractic work in both body and mindset.
  • [24:45] “How people think can affect their spine”. Dr. Don takes a fascinating look into this statement from the top down to explain our body-mind connection (chicken and the egg).
  • [28:16] Don gives us a further look at why exercise is so important to a healthy brain.
  • [29:48] Don talks about the chronic stress response that builds in some of his clients who are working hard as business owners and how essential it is to transition into self-care to prevent disease.
  • [32:15] Chronic stress affects men and women a little differently and how we release it is also different.
  • [34:53] “It’s not the weight we carry that harms us, it’s the way we carry the weight”. Don expands on Patrick’s quote to talk about stress, our adaptability and the physical manifestation.
  • [37:20] Don gives us some insights into what inspired him to write his book and what the heck the underdog curse even is!
  • [40:31] How did Don see a way to break down the underdog curse and find some malleability in the black and white spectrum?
  • [41:43] Digging a little deeper, Don shares the factors that shifted his need to rely on his underdog mindset.
  • [43:40] The powerful defining moment of how that shift occurred for Don.
  • [46:25] Don describes the lessons he learned from a close friend with ALS which showed him where his ego was rooted in his practice and how he could change his approach and better care for his patients.
  • [49:30] Don goes back to connecting the links of our physical challenges and our brain.
  • [51:35] Tuning in to the messages our bodies are sending as an opportunity for self-reflection and changes that may need to be made to keep us healthy.
  • [54:57] Did Don’s journey and evolution of personal development produce a fall-out with those close to him?
  • [57:55] What has Don learned about himself in how he needs to show up in his relationships which he didn’t realize before?
  • [61:20] Don talks about his business and the environment they create as a team within his practice.
  • [62:43] Don shares the fundamental message he wanted to deliver through writing his book.
  • [64:28] Don and Patrick explore the truth that empty goals and comparison will rob you of enjoying the process and living a life that is meaningful for you.
  • [67:20] Don and his wife Brandi travel the world to talk to business owners and chiropractors about these health impacts and provide a framework for creating a better-quality environment.
  • [68:46] The kitchen-sink theory of stress reduction.
  • [69:37] Don shares Brandi’s context for her lectures – educating chiropractors on how to empower their patients and help them feel inspired about improving their own health.
  • [71:10] Don’s biggest failure and impactful forks in the road, which turned out to be blessings in disguise.
  • [73:50] How does Don define success?
  • [74:52] What would today’s Don tell his 16-year old self?
  • [75:30] Don describes his morning routine and the benefits it has given him to maintain it.
  • [76:54] In sharing his workout routine, on Patrick’s prompting, Don dives a little deeper into adrenal fatigue, how and why it shows up and how you can determine if you are at the effect of your stress.
  • [80:17] The importance of our self-awareness around our health and the positive steps we can take to feel and function at a better level.
  • [81:34] Let’s hear about Dr. Don’s dietary regimen.
  • [83:03] Patrick synthesizes the conversation today and the valuable insights shared.
  • [84:26] Patrick throws out the rapid-fire questions: favourite swear word, Don’s alternate profession, what he hopes to hear at the pearly gates, weirdness scale, what he’s not very good at (and he wrote a book!), the motivation behind his cleaning habits, favourite tune and favourite movie.
  • [87:15] Don’s great gratitude.
  • [88:21] Don sneaks in a final piece of gratitude for Patrick.

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