What would you do if you had everything you ever wanted, everything you'd ever worked for, if you had paid all your dues, if you've sacrificed everything you needed to make your dreams come true, and then realize that maybe it's not for you.
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e339-listen-for-the-secret-to-being-fulfilled-with-dj-dramos-mental-health-podcast/#show-notes
What would you do if you had everything you ever wanted, everything you'd ever worked for, if you had paid all your dues, if you've sacrificed everything you needed to make your dreams come true, and then realize that maybe it's not for you.
In today's episode, my guest is DJ Dramos, who you may know from the breakfast club. Now, if you know his story, you know that he's no longer with the breakfast club. One of the most syndicated daytime morning radio talk shows in the history of the radio. This conversation was really powerful because I think one thing that happens so often in someone's journey in this held true for Dramos is that we think we have everything that we want. And then, when we listen to ourselves and figure out how to build what we want, we finally have it. Sometimes we discover that it's actually truly the journey that fulfills us and not the destination.
I am very excited to have this conversation with him today because it is enlightening for me, and I hope it will be for you. And I hope, if anything, it'll give you some inspiration to move towards creating the life you want to have and being the hero of your own story.
So, without further ado, my friends let's get into the show.
Learn More About Dramos at: https://www.dramos.com
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Michael: Hey, what's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest Dramos, who is the host of the life as a gringo podcast, what is up my man? How are you today?
Dramos: Man, Michael, I'm good, bro. I'm feeling amazing, I'm really excited to talk with you, man. I know you're doing a lot of really great work over here, so, I'm excited to kind of see what we end up diving into and I'm just appreciative that you you're having me on the show and we get to have this conversation together today.
Michael: Yeah, man. It's absolutely my pleasure. For those who do not know you tell us a little bit about your backstory and how you got to where you are today?
Dramos: Yeah. I think for me, man, it all just starts as like a kid who loved music. Right? And I think music has kind of been my north star in life, you know, keeping me outta trouble when I was younger and keeping me focused and learning about, you know, discipline and all those different things, you know? So, for me at first it was, you know, being a musician, playing in bands and all that kind of stuff. And once I kind of transitioned out of. For me, it was then what's the next thing, you know, I kind of tried to quit music at that point, you know, like anybody who has a real passion for anything, you can't quit the thing that is always kind of constantly calling your name, the thing that has been there for you during the dark times, during your mental struggles that we all go through growing up, you know? So, I was trying to find different ways to kind of keep music in my life. And that's where, you know, DJing came along and I picked up DJing and that was one of the greatest things that that ever happened to me, you know, from there, I began to just meet an incredible network of people that, were so gracious to kind of bring me into their world, and that leads to then like getting started in radio, you know, and getting in an opportunity to like run the boards after somebody, you know, fell asleep for like 10 minutes and they had 10 minutes dead air and then they needed to find a new body to put in that position, you know, and I took that chance and you know, fast forward to that, I get to now DJ on the radio from that opportunity, I then got to be a producer on the Breakfast Club that the nationally syndicated radio show, the breakfast club, you know, which is a huge platform.
And then from there, you know, them embracing me, you know, kind of allowing me to be a bit of a fourth mic on the show and to kind of grow myself as a personality and then, you know, dabbling in different other radio stations and things like that. And then you kind of fast forward to where we are now, where I got to a place where I just wanted more. Right? I wanted to really be doing something with my work, to be saying something with my work, I didn't wanna just, you know, rubbing elbows with celebrities. I didn't want to just be talking about pop culture. You know, I wanted to be an advocate for my community. You know, I saw what the breakfast club was doing for the black community in this country and I was so inspired, like how can I do that for my people? You know, how can I be a voice for Latinos here in this country? You know? So, that began to happen for me, that kind of spiritual awakening of wanting that to be my purpose and really make sure that I was using my platform for something bigger than just kind of stroking my own ego.
And then that led me to the opportunity of getting my own podcast with iHeart media, you know, and that partnership allowed me to do podcasting full time to really focus on this craft of building a community and being a voice for Latinos born in this country, who oftentimes you know, don't feel like they fit in anywhere. You know, that's kind of the bit of my story is that I never felt like I fit in with my friends, you know, growing up, you know, I was the one kind of Latin kid in our group of friends but then when I would go back to Puerto Rico or my family's from, they would call me a gringo, you know what I mean? They would make me feel like I wasn't one of them because I didn't speak Spanish very well, you know? And I wasn't up on some of the cultural things that many of them grew up on because once you become first, second generation, those things kind of begin to disappear a little bit, you know?
So, I realize that there's a lot of people like me and we're not really being heard in media, so that's where the life as a gringo podcast comes from. And that's kind of been my work is being somebody who speaks to those Latinos, you know, born here in the states, living here in the states, who kind of feel like they exist in a gray area and don't really fit in anywhere.
Michael: Yeah, man. I resonate with that in such a way I'm biracial. So, I can't speak to being Latin in any way, but like, I understand that place of just being like, damn, you know, I don't fit in anywhere, like, where are my people? How do I make this thing work? And, you know, growing up and in childhood, that was an especially hard man, because, you know, between getting picked on and fighting, I've been in like 200 fights in my life, and where do you fit in this space? Right? And then one day, and I don't know if you'll resonate with this one day, it dawned on me fuck fitting into this space, make this space. And I'm wondering if that's been your experience too?
Dramos: Yeah, I kind of look at it like I found my authenticity kind of traveling down this road, right? This awaken that I began to have being at the breakfast club and then really like dialing in, like, but who am I speaking to? Who do I feel like I represent? You know? And once I started to acknowledge kind of this burden that I felt like I carried, you know, once I acknowledged the most embarrassing thing that people used to hold against me, the fact that I was too white for my family, but I was you know, other when it came to everybody else, you know, and that was something that I held that embarrassed me, I was always trying to prove myself to people. And once I began to embrace that and speak my truth, that's when the doors like, kind of started to fly open for me as far as career opportunities. And that's when I got that connection with people that I had been searching for so long. It really was like that, you know, M and M and eight-mile type of moment, you know, where he's in that last rap battle and he takes away the ammo that his enemy would've used on him, he embraces all the negative things that his enemy was about to use on him, you know, and he uses it to empower himself. And I kind of feel like that's what this has been for me.
Michael: I’m gonna ask you a question that might sound a bit strange. But where does the courage come from to do that? Because I believe that so many people, they have this thought they're like, I don't fit in. I want to go create the thing. I want to build this, but, you know, fear stops them. How do you navigate that, man?
Dramos: Yeah. It's definitely. It's not easy, it gets easier, but you still have that voice in the back of your head that's like, oh my God. So, and so's gonna hear me talking about this and I know they're gonna have this response to it. You know, like my friends back home, who might be like, oh, so now you're like Mr. you know, Puerto Rico type of thing and it's like, you kind of have to understand that you're going to get that backlash. I think for me, I kind of just like threw myself in the fire during the pandemic. So, I would do these daily Instagram lives, you know, and I would do like a daytime talk show. I would call it quarantines in the afternoon and I would do Instagram’s first ever daytime talk show. Right? And we were doing it and talking about random things and then, you know, the whole thing happened with George Floyd, you know, his murder and that's when the show kind of took a turn where I really began using it as a platform to advocate and speak about important things. And little by little, you know, seeing people resonate with some of my feelings and things like that just started giving me a little bit more of that security, a little bit more of that comfortability to start expressing more and more of myself and that's where I began to get comfortable, you know, and it was just, again, throwing myself kind of in the line of fire in front of a live digital audience and seeing what the reactions were. And when I started seeing that people were resonating with it, you know, they were fucking with my message, it just empowered me to keep doing even more. And then I think even I'd say the last step to that was I did this retreat called the Hoffman process this last year in December and it's a really powerful, kind of personal growth retreat and they have you dig into so many different things about your childhood and all these, you know, burdens and traumas that you've been carrying around.
And I realized that I have had a pattern of kind of minimizing myself, you know, for people to make them comfortable, and with the Hoffman process, I was able to kind of breakthrough that was like the last layer and now I feel like I can truly kind of live authentically, you know, I mean, even if it's like in my podcast, I talk about a lot of self-help type of things and giving people advice. But at the same time, I'm not pretending to be perfect. I'll get on there and be like, hey, I was having like a really shitty week where I just felt really depressed and you know, I would've never used that, the word depressed to describe myself a few years ago, you know, especially in the Latin community, the idea of therapy and talking about therapy and all that kind of stuff is never done.
You know? So, all of these different things that I'm talking about kind of created this comfortability in myself to really live authentically. And again, it's an ongoing process, there are days and, and topics that might feel harder than others, but you know, all that kind of stuff just putting myself out there little by little, made me more and more comfortable each day.
Michael: Yeah. And I resonate with that entirely because when I first started this show four years ago, like I had put out a couple episodes and then I ghosted on it for a minute and then I sat with it and I thought to myself, wait a second, what is the real purpose of this? Why I create Think Unbroken? Why have the conversations, why the experts, why the people like you to come on and talk about real life? And I realize somebody has to be of a voice. You know what I mean? And I felt like taking up the mantle on that would do two things for me.
One, it would give me the ability to share my truth, but two, I knew that over time it would build confidence. You know, I rewind, I look at the experiences of my life and there were so many times where I just felt I have no confidence like you I'd keep myself small, and I think so many people do.
So, what I'd love to start with and dive into a little bit deeper here is, you know, folks listening of the Unbroken Nation, these amazing people that are trying to create this massive change in their life. And maybe they hear us and like, yeah, I get that, man. I feel so small every day. Like, what thoughts do you have about that?
Dramos: I think first and foremost, don't beat yourself up about it. Right? I think we have this sort of thing that happens when we do something that we don't like, or we feel like is lesser than us, we shame ourselves. Right? We have this negative talk, that we talk to ourselves in a way that we would never talk to anybody else. And I think, you know, that's the first thing, you know, you have to understand that, you are not broken, there is not something wrong with you, you know, you're just acting out a pattern that you were taught somewhere, some way, you know, and sometimes it helps to view yourself as like a child, you know, because you would never most rational people would never be disgusting to a child as far as like saying, you know, disparaging things to them or wanna hurt a child. Right? You wanna, you know, take care of a child cuz you understand the beauty and innocence in that child. Right? So, I think that's the start, you know, is just not shaming yourself when it comes to these things, you know? And then I think you have to kind of think about the life that you wanna lead, you wanna live a life that is worthy of you because we're all and able to do amazing things, you know, just takes us kind of being able to tap into the different sides of ourselves and kind of push against some of the narratives that we've been taught, you know? And at the end of the day, anybody that you meet that may want you to be smaller, may try and make you feel smaller, that doesn't want you to show up as your full and authentic self. Like that's not somebody that's meant to be in your life. Right? And you have to get really okay with that. You have to be okay with the fact that some people just are not meant to be in your life, and it's not up to you to try to convince them to like you to try and convince them to want you around.
You as yourself is enough. And if it's not for that person, it's okay to move on from that, you know, but don't make yourself smaller just to, you know, appease somebody who really doesn't hold much value in your life. When you really think about it.
Michael: Yeah. I mean, that's spot on and I've spent so much time, especially over probably the last five or six years, just looking at the environment that I'm in and asking myself, does this serve me? Right? Do these people bring value to my life? Does it make sense I'm in this situation? Am I in alignment with my values? And I think so many people get caught up and they're like, yeah, but they've been my friends for 20 years and I'm like, but they're doing the same shit you guys did 20 years ago, right? Like where is the growth here? Jay-Z has one of my favorite quotes of all time. People around you saying that you changed, why didn't do all this work to stay the same. And I think that so much of this journey in the willingness to be like, I've done this work, I don't want to be who I was yesterday anymore. I think in that, unfortunately, or fortunately, I guess the way that you look at it, there are people who are going to be removed from your life. Have you handled that? Cuz I think so many people get caught up in that and they're just like, I just can't, they've known them forever, but how do you decipher whether or not you're making the right decision in that moment?
Dramos: I think you have to first and foremost dedicate yourself to a life of growth. Right? I think that is, if you really broke down the name of the game, when it comes to life in general, it's all about evolution, right? Like we shouldn't be the same person we were 10 years ago. Right? Like we should have learned something within those 10 years. And as much as you'd love to take people with you, if they're not on the same journey as you have to kind of let them go their own path. Right? And there's something beautiful about that and that doesn't mean it's forever, maybe at some point in life, they will, you know, stop going to the bars every weekend, you know, with the idea of just wanting to hook up with girls all day or something like that, like that's something I've had to, kind of come to terms with that. You know, same thing, like you said, my friends are doing the same shit we were doing in our twenties, and not much has changed for them, and I'm not here for that anymore. I'm looking for something more out of life.
Now that doesn't mean that God forbid something bad happens to them. I'm not gonna be here to answer their call, you know, of course, for my friends who I've shared a lot with, they always have that, but it doesn't mean I have to keep them in my circle on a regular basis. Like I used to, you know, I have to kind let them go off and do their own path and if our paths never cross again, it wasn't meant to be for us to have a lifelong relationship. You know, it's just like a romantic relationship. I mean, how many people had, you know, middle school girlfriends or high school girlfriends? Right? I don't think most of us are pining over like the girl that broke our heart in fifth grade. You know what I mean? Like we recognize that was an elementary school relationship. Like, you know, I don't know that person anymore, you know, my life is drastically different than it was in fifth grade. And you kind of have to look at it that way with certain friends. You have to get clear on the life that you want and anything that doesn't align with that is at the end of the day, holding you back. And that means people as well. So, while it's difficult while, you know, of course it's not an easy decision or an easy process to kind of go through. At the end of the day, you have to have a dedication to becoming a happier, far more evolved person and a more fulfilled person as a result.
Michael: Yeah. I totally agree, and being willing to allow yourself the space to be happy which I think so many people miss the boat on and they look at their life and they go, I'm miserable, I should be miserable, I will stay miserable and I'm always seeing myself, well, you know, there is a level to this where you have to make decisions where you have to put yourself in incredibly uncomfortable positions to learn about who you are. I mean, even yourself, like, think about this for a second. You're on arguably the biggest radio show in the country and you make a decision that it no longer serves you. Right? What was that like for you? Cause I want people to understand this because I think we get so caught in the moment of being like, oh, well this is everything and then you realize like maybe it's not, but people don't transition. How did you do that? What was that like?
Dramos: Well, it was hard. I mean, it's probably one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made, you know, because there are so many X factors that go into it and to be perfectly honest, it was an opportunity that changed the course of my life forever. You know? So how do you walk away from the thing in your life that has had the biggest impact on it? You know, in a positive way, my life is drastically different because of the breakfast club, the people I met and the opportunities that I received as a member of that show. Now with that, I had to get honest with myself, you know, and as much as I'm a growth mindset person, it was something I wrestled with for, you know, the better part of a year before finally pulling the trigger and making that decision.
I mean, honestly it might have even been, a little bit more than a year, the pandemic kind of prolonged some of the ideas I might have had but it took me a while and I really just had to be really honest with myself and be really self-aware, you know, that it was no longer bringing me the same amount of joy that it did when I first started there, I was no longer as present to the job, to the room as I was when I first started there, you know, it really became this thing that I was counting down the time until I got to leave and go home. You know, now on the flip side of that, you start getting kind of your ego in the way and your own personal self-doubt where you're like, well, listen, is anybody gonna care who I am? If I'm not a member of the breakfast club? Will the opportunities dry up if I'm no longer a member of the breakfast club, you know?
And then even on a personal level, it’s like, how there's so many peaks that your ego is loving these pats on the back that you're getting from being the dude at the breakfast club, you know, being able to take pictures with celebrities and everybody's like looking at you, like, yo, you're that guy, you know what I mean? You're killing it right now. Right? And then to say, you know what, I'm gonna walk away from all of that. It wasn't easy. I really had to get my ego in check, I really had to think about the life that I saw myself living and the breakfast club was no longer a part of that. You know, I wanted to evolve in my career, I wanted to be able to use my voice, I felt like I had something to say. I felt like I put in my thousand hours and I was ready to do it. And I had to kind of take a bit of a blind leap of faith like if I devote my time to pursuing what I really want in this world, you know, life will begin to open that door for me. And lo and behold, you know, it did in the form of a podcast and a lot of other things and at the end of the day, it's the greatest decision I've ever made, but it was incredibly difficult and it's definitely one that I struggled with, for a while, for all the reasons that I mention.
Michael: Yeah. I mean, and of course it makes sense. There's this analogy that the very thing that sets you free is the very thing that keeps you imprisoned. And I think that there's so much truth to that, I look at I share with this audience quite frequently, the moment I wake up and I say, I don't want to do Think Unbroken anymore, it's gone. I mean, it's like with the energy, the effort, the time, the money, all the things that it takes to run this business. And I love impacting lives, there's nothing that brings me more joy than when I get messages from people who say, dude, that podcast changed my life, that book that wrote saved me, like whatever that is. But I have to reconcile the truth that we have to put ourselves first as individuals. And I know that's a really hard pill for people to swallow because we're always told, well, be second, don't be first, make sure that you take care of everyone else, and I've always shit, how do I take care of you, if I'm not taking care of me?
Dramos: And it's we're taught that is selfish, right? But the reality is like, if my cup is empty, I have nothing to give you then at the end of the day. Right? So that's what we have to remind ourselves of. And I think that in life we are getting like fed this, this societal pill that we're supposed to like be at the same job forever like the idea that anybody comes out of college stays at the same job and then retires at that job is like nonexistent these days. Right? You know, I don't think, it a works out in a financial sense where it makes sense, but also, I don't think we, as humans are meant to have the same exact day, you know, five days a week over and over and over again. Right? Like we want change, we want variety, we learn something, we wanna then go and throw ourselves in that, you know? So, I think we have to be okay with that, and if one day, you know, down the road, you decide to not do the podcast anymore, there's no shame in that. Right? You fulfilled your journey and you fulfilled pursuing the thing that you had as an idea, and you got everything out of it and gave everything that you had into it and now it's time for the next project, the next purpose, the next thing that you have your mind fixated. And I think that's kind of how we have to start looking at life. I look at its kind of as look at these like tech CEOs and different people like that, you know, most of them, if you look at like people who are career CEOs, they hop around from company to company, right? They don't stay at the same company, you know, they might have had success with X company. And now it's like, okay, I'm gonna go now and help Y company get to that same level. Right? Because that is like the norm in that world, they're just chasing after the thing that they enjoy doing the most, you know, and I think that's kind of what we have to view our lives as it's not just as one thing, we stick to the same path forever. We're allowed to have ebbs and flows and changes and I think that's what makes a happier and more well lived life.
Michael: Yeah. Agreed. And you said something I think is really important that I think people may miss in passing, so I'm gonna come back to it. So, there's no shame, there's no shame in walking away and that's so true, especially if you, like, I put in the effort, I did the work, I made the hours, I did it when I was tired when I was exhausted, when I was hungry like a thing and people get caught up like, and I used to get caught up too, be like, I can't walk away from this because of X. And the older I get, the more I'm like, you need to walk away because guess what, you're gonna fucking die. So, you should probably go live life in accordance with what brings you joy in fulfillment first because I found that the more risk that I take the greater reward that I reap.
And like, honestly, sometimes it takes 10 years to get that reward. Right? There's something really powerful about not beating yourself up, not shaming yourself, not guilting yourself, because you decided to walk away that's careers, relationships, hobbies, I mean, like I remember I started building Legos one time, I was like, this ain't for me, I'm out. Right? I think that's okay. And I want people to understand the truth behind it. I love what you said. You're supposed to evolve. What does evolution look like for you? Like if you were really to like put a pin in it, what does that mean?
Dramos: I just think, its consistent growth, right? Every day, a little bit better, you know, and I've been of really kind of journaling on this recently, like the idea of goals, you know, because I know from personal experience, we have these goals that we set out, we achieve them and then it ends up not feeling as amazing as we thought it would or the great feeling, you know, is very much fleeting. And then you're left feeling the same exact way, you know, and it's like this hungry ghost that we keep on trying to feed, but we never get there. So, I've been kind there, you know, re-looking at goals and just looking at them, you know, as like an analogy, like to me, a goal is really just a flashlight to illuminate, you know, your path in the dark.
So, the goal is not the end all be all, it's not the mountaintop, the goal is just something that helps you continue on your journey. You know what I mean? And that's to me, like when you talk about evolving as a human being, it never ends. And that's the beauty of life, like my potential to evolve and become more of a fulfilled and well-rounded and a more intelligent human being, all of the above like that has no bounds. So, I want to utilize my time here on this earth to grow as much as a human being, as I can, you know, to evolve as much as I can, to me, that's what makes life so joyful, it's not about like this destination, it's about this constant path that we get to go on to making ourselves better, you know, each and every day and I think that's the, the beauty of it all.
Michael: Dude. I love what you said about goal, being something to illuminate, illuminate the path in the dark, that's incredible. I've never thought about that, but that's so true because that gives you like this massive north star, it gives you a direction. I'm so about goals this audience knows, I've said that word 8,000 times on this show, but it's true cause without goals I feel like you're just swimming in the ocean with no destination and I'm like, I'm not trying to out here.
Dramos: I was just gonna use an example like that, of something that I'm doing right now. So, I've been getting into real estate. So, I'm looking at my second investment property right now. Right? But I love this property, I want this property and the goal is to buy this property. Right? But at the end of the day, what this property in my mind has done for me is it made me stop dragging my feet on filing my taxes, it made me create a financial plan for the rest of the year like it made me set in motion, things that I probably wouldn't have gotten to as quickly had I have not had this goal in mind. So that's the way I look at it. Right? If this house ends up not being something that I end up closing on and somebody else gets it, whatever the case maybe it doesn't change the fact that I'm now further ahead than I was prior to setting this goal. And that's kinda the way I look at it. You know, again, it's not about obtaining that goal, it's about all that happens when you set a goal in mind for yourself, all of the advancement that happens when you're thinking to something, you know, because the reality is if it's not this house, I now just put myself in a position for another investment when it comes along. You know what I mean? So that to me is the beauty of a goal it's now made me, far further in my life right now than I would've been had I have not, you know, set that goal for myself.
Michael: Yeah. A hundred percent. And you're gonna learn about yourself in the process which I think is one of the most fascinating aspects of it. So, I'm getting ready to run my first marathon in May and I'm like, I've never done this shit before, but guess what? I know that there's resources, there's the internet, there's friends who have done it and I'm like, go and do the thing, put in the work, discover who you are in the process in a deeper way. And then on the game day, you'll find a way to get it done. And I think that's the most important thing about this is goals become these beautiful markers. I'll tell you this, when I cross the finish line, that will not be the moment that I celebrate, because for me, it's about the journey. Am I showing up every single day? Am I doing the work? Am I doing what I said I'm gonna do? Cause dude, I've accomplished some amazing goals in my life. I never celebrate.
People are always like, why don't you celebrate when you do that? Cause I'm like, it wasn't about the goal, but it was proved to myself that I can do it and put in the effort, and that's where this really beautiful transition of life comes into play where you start taking like this massive ownership over your future. Because I'm gonna go and do this damn thing, period.
Dramos: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and on the opposite side of that, why do you see so many entertainers who quote unquote, have it all we find out are incredibly depressed, you know, sadly some many have taken their own lives, right? It's because they obsessed over, over reaching this mountaintop and thinking that that would be the thing that solves the problem. Right? And we've all done that, I've done that. You know what I mean? I thought that when I bought my first home and I was sitting in it and I realized, wow, this didn't change much for me inside. You know, I I've done, I've been a part of that as well. We all do that, but you have to understand again, that the goal is not the answer, because that is one finite thing, it's a fleeting moment and it can't sustain the amount of pressure you're putting on it to solve all of your problems. Right? The only thing you can do is get better each and every day.
And just like you're saying about that marathon, like the beauty of it is man, even if you didn't show up that day, you're literally probably in better shape than you were before deciding to do that marathon. Right? You know, more about your body, you know more about your probably diet and nutrition than you would've had you have not set this goal. You know, more about marathon running from the studying that you did from the interviewing friends who have done it before, right? Like you are a far more evolved person as a result of just setting this goal. Like, you know, so much more that at some point in time is probably gonna come to your advantage. You know, that you're gonna be able to use this information in life and that's the beauty of it all.
Michael: Yeah. A hundred percent. And in that, one of the things that I think is really incredible, you'll learn that even that goal's probably too small. I'm sitting here and I'm thinking to myself, damn dude, I should did triathlon. Right? Why am I aiming so low? Why is a marathon good enough? And that's something that you just start playing this mind game with yourself as you go, as you get deeper into these things, but on a long enough timeline what'll happen and this has been my experience. I'll sit and I'll look in, I'll go wait, that was not nearly as much as I could have accomplished, cause just in the same way that we're told to be small, we think small and you're like, I wanna buy a property. I'm like, why aren't you buying 20?
Dramos: Yeah. 110%, like, cuz you're gonna start like once the ball starts rolling, like it's all about momentum, right? I think life is just this consistent momentum, it's like football where it's like, you know, they always tell the running back, just keep moving your feet. Right? Like when you're on the goal line, they're trying to shove it in, the key is to just keep moving your feet, you just can't stop moving an object that goes in motion, stays in motion type of thing, you know? And it's all about just building that consistent momentum, and bigger and bigger goals. And once you knock that one down, like you're gonna feel fired up. Like you said about man, I should have done a bigger fucking goal at the end of the day. And that's the beauty of this thing called evolution as humans. You know what I mean? Like we're constantly surprising ourself and these things serve as an amazing reminder to our limitless potential, as long as we choose to visualize it and then take action.
Michael: Yeah. And human potential truly is limitless. One of the things that I do when I'm thinking about what I want to build and create, I just go, did anybody do it? Has anybody ever done this? Cause I promise you if they've done it, you can too. And I know people are gonna hear this and they'll be like, yeah, but I don't believe that, that's cuz you have not put in the fucking work yet and if you're willing to dedicate. Also, I would caveat that you probably don't actually care that much, you probably just think it'd be cool to do, and then you don't execute. But if you're willing to put in that work, like you can do in like, dude, you were on breakfast club. Think about that for a second, how much rock work did it take to get to that moment?
Dramos: Well, let me tell you something because what you're hitting on right now, like people always be like, that's the one thing people be like, oh, but you had your reasons you got a podcast was because you're on the breakfast club. Do you know what it took to get to the fucking breakfast club? I used to drive to the work to my $8 an hour job at guitar center, like 10 years ago, listening to the fucking breakfast club, you realize that. So, like the path to getting there is so ridiculous and the amount of work that it took to getting in that position, like, and it's not by chance it's because like that word, I just said, work, taking advantage of opportunities. Like I would take every DJ gig that was thrown my way, it didn't matter if it was a, a freaking, you know, a christening, a baby's christening at some random house in long island, New York. You know, or if it was like at a bowling alley, I would, and you know what that led to? Me meeting people who happen to work at the radio station. Right? And then, you know, what happened with that? Every time they would invite me out, I would go to every single thing they would invite me to for two years, then what that lead to somebody fell asleep. And what happens is like, yeah, we're looking for somebody. And then I throw my hat in the ring and then, you know what they tell me, but it only pays $15 an hour and at that time I had another job that was paying me $25, but I said, you know what? This has the longevity to get me where I wanna be $15 an hour, I'll take it. Right? And again, from midnight to 6:00 AM by myself at the radio station, not meeting anybody at that time, no networking to be done at that time, I would be there and I would sleep on the floor and then I would hang out throughout the day. Oh, do you need help recording the video for this interview? I got you. You need me to do this with you? I got you. What does that lead to? Oh, this show is looking for a producer, not the breakfast club, a conservative talk show that literally went against everything I believed. Right? But I was a professional and I sat there and they were like, this probably isn't the place for you but because I made that impression of a hard work and a professional that then led to a recommendation when the breakfast club needed somebody. Then even getting the breakfast club, I was in another studio, I wasn't even with them in the same damn room at first. Right? So, I literally was looking at them through a glass, I wasn't a part of that conversation at all. Then somebody fucks up and then my name is called, but we're talking about years and years and years of a process just to get there, you know? And then just to lead here at this point that I'm at in my life, you know, and it's all just a process. And again, like, I love what you said that, a lot of people don't actually love it. Right? They just think that it would be cool to do. There are a lot of people who would love to be able to sit in that chair that I sat in at the breakfast club and be next to DJ envy and look across you at Charla May and look across at some other celebrity than Angela Ye, they would love to do that, but do they really be okay with putting in the years that it took to getting in that chair? I highly doubt most people that were gunning for my job after that were willing to put in that type of table work.
Michael: Yeah, there's an amazing quote from John Maxwell who has written some of the greatest leadership books of all time. He goes, people want to be where I am, but they don't wanna do what I've done.And it's so true. I mean, even with this show, I think to myself, I want to have the number one mental health podcast in the world. It's gonna take me seven years and thousands of episodes and millions of minutes of interviewing to get there, that's the fee. What are you willing to pay to get there? You know, everyone knows this. I always ask the question. What are you willing to do to have the life that you want to have? And if the answer is anything short of no excuses, just results, it's not going to happen. And look, I wanna be clear cause I don't hear you as someone preaching from the pulpit saying, oh, I'm better than you, blah, blah, blah, I hear what I want to translate and make sure people are clear on is that you sacrificed luck only comes to the fucking prepared. I've never met anyone in my life who got lucky, who was not ready?
Dramos: Absolutely bro. I am not exceptionally talented. I don't think at any of the things that I do, am I above average sure. But you know what it was? showing up every single day and the shit that I wasn't great at, I was willing to put in the time to learn every single day. Right? I proved myself as somebody that they could rely on at the end of the day I don't know who this quote is attributed to, but you know, they always say that hard work, beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. Right? When I talked about my band at the beginning of the show that I was in, I was the least talented musician in that band. But you fast forward now, man, over 10 years and I'm the only one who still works in the music and entertainment industry. And that was just because of my work ethic, just because I wanted it that badly. And I was willing to learn and to ask questions on the things that I did not know. You know, I'm not sitting up here as somebody who thinks he's, you know, the greatest to ever do what he does. No, I'm just somebody who again, put in his thousand hours and didn't complain about it was happy to do it because I always, you know, kept in mind the long-term goal. I wanted to make a living doing the thing that I love. And I didn't care how long it took me to get there. As long as I got to one day be able to enjoy my life every day, doing the thing that I love to do.
Michael: Yeah. And I love that man. I would rather make $5 an hour being happy than 500 an hour being miserable. And I've done that, man, I work corporate America, super young, you know, which I got lucky, you know, no high school diploma, no college education, but I was prepared and I landed a fortune 10 job and I was miserable, I hated my life, and then I went and said, I'm gonna build my own business. And I struggled, and struggled and struggled. And to some extent still do, cuz I'm not a billionaire yet. Right? But I think about like the truth about it is, you know, you've gotta be willing to assess like, what do you want? Because man, I just, I think about this every day you're gonna die. Like, this is all gonna be for nothing if you go to work every day and you sit at a fucking desk and you get into traffic and you have no hobbies and you have no goals and you don't put in the effort and you're not trying to show up and you blame the world. You're gonna die and this life is gonna be unlived. And I think that's probably the most tremendously detrimental and saddening thing about the world we live in right now.
Dramos: Yeah. I think that, it breaks my heart because I know that it doesn't have to be that way. You know, I know for me growing up, I saw my dad do that exactly what you're talking about. I saw him sit in an hour of traffic every morning to get to work and to go home an hour of traffic. You know, I knew that his highlight of his day was being able to go on his lunch break. You know what I mean? And my dad is an incredibly intelligent human being who was capable of doing far more than he ended up doing career wise, you know, but he gave into a bit of that fear, you know, that he grew up with, a product of a single mother raising three kids and really the idea was just survive, survive, survive. Right? And unfortunately, you know, he allowed himself to kind of get into that, that mindset, which, you know, I do agree, you know, we all have responsibilities, but it's not something that I wanted to recreate for myself. You know what I mean?
I recognize that my parents aren't wealthy, but I have a level of privilege that they made those sacrifices that I know at the very least I can go live in their basement if I need to. Right? And that's good enough for me that, that's a good enough fallback plan that I can sit here and go a hundred miles an hour at my goals, knowing that I don't wanna recreate the same patterns that my dad, you know, fell into.
Michael: Yeah. I had somebody tell me something real. I was in Miami last weekend for a conference and we're back and hanging out, having dinner and one of the guys goes, you know what the worst-case scenario of being entrepreneur is? I go, no, he goes filing bankruptcy. I go, yeah, I guess he goes, I filed bankruptcy three times and what's crazy, dude, he's worth 500 million dollars now. And what that tells me is that you got to be willing to see what happens and that changed my perspective on so much. I was like, damn, I never thought about that before cause really, it's kinda like, and this is not financial advice,let's be very clear about this, it's kind of like a get outta jail freak hard to go and chase your dreams.
Dramos: Well, I mean, what I take away from that story is, it's about being able to just continue taking another at bat. Right? Like having another chance to hit the ball,like that's what it comes down to eventually at one point you're gonna get a piece of it. You know what I mean? Like you're swinging enough times, you're gonna get a piece of it. I think the problem is that many people, they might take one swing, they might take two swings and they're just like, fuck it. I'm never gonna hit this. Let me move on to, to something else. And that's the problem, you know what I mean? It's like you can't allow your losses to dictate how you live your life. I mean, I'm sure we're all familiar with that quote that Michael Jordan has where he's taken. Like, I don't however many what, 700 potential game winning shots. And he's only made 150 of them, right? Like, that to me is the ultimate way to view your life.
You're talking about the greatest of all time is acknowledging that he's failed more than he's succeeded, but that never stopped him from attempting to succeed. And that's why he is the greatest or considered to be one of the greatest, because he just kept getting up. And once they lost that game, he was ready for the next one if it came down to it, he was taking the shot.
Michael: Yeah. And he's the greatest, so let's be clear about that. I wanna make sure. I think about this so often and in your spot on, you know, sports are a great analogy for it. You go look at Gretsky, you look at Elway, you look at, you know, Michael Schuck or whomever it is, man, all these guys do is lose. Right? Like they lose all the time. Jordan has lost so many freaking times, right? But it's about you get up and you keep going, you take the L's, you learn, you grow and you go and you try again. And I hope that people will take away from this is, you know, looking at their life and recognizing the truth that trying again is the way that you get to what you want,because I'm sure in your journey to getting where you are and launching this podcast and now starting to do this thing on your own, fell every single day, all the time, and that's the thing, like be okay with it.
Dramos: I mean, I had so many instances where I was talking about wanting to do content that spoke to American born Latinos in this country that, you know, I felt like we weren't being served by the Latin television stations or the Latin radio stations, nor were we completely being served by the, you know, American ones and there was this in between area that I felt like we could hit. And I was getting turned down all the time when I pitched that idea, you know, uh, I would first start pitching into radio program directors and they would just be like, well, why wouldn't you just listen to the Spanish station if you wanted that?
And like, they just wouldn't get that. Like, somebody like myself who doesn't speak fluent Spanish, doesn't know what the hell is going on there, but does enjoy some of the music. And there has to be a happy median and there's a huge audience for that, you know, and it wasn't until I made this pitch to iHeart the podcast network that it finally all clicked, but I had been pitching ideas like this for the longest time I had been going through various iterations of myself as a personality and the type of content I wanna put out and things like that and failed tremendously throughout the course of that, you know?
It is just about getting up each and every time, you know, after you fail and not having that fear of what happens if I fail again, you know, you kind of have to have that, amnesia, you know, I mean another sports metaphor. It's like what makes a great quarterback, you know, one who can throw the interception, but the next time they get the ball, they can drive it down, feeling at a touchdown, right? Like that happy amnesia doesn't matter, that they fucked up before, all they care about is what is next. Right? And that's like what the people like the Tom Brady’s of the world are so great at doing, you know, he doesn't care how crappy of a first half he had like, he's ready and he's showing up as if it's a brand-new game in the second half and is ready to do something.
Michael: Yeah, dude, a hundred percent. Man, this conversation's been absolutely incredible. Before I ask you my last question, can you tell everyone where they can find you?
Dramos: Yeah, absolutely. @DJdramos on all social media's and then of course the podcast is everywhere life as a gringo, if you wanna check that out.
Michael: And of course, we'll put the links in the show notes for the Unbroken Nation to go and lurk at and learn from outside.
My friend, thank you for being here. My last question, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Dramos: Man, for me, it's healed. You know, I think that's what the word I would say is, you know, I'm a healed human being, I've gone back and found those other parts of myself that I left behind, the inner child inside of me that was ignored for far too long, you know? To me being somebody who is unbroken has come to terms and not only come to terms, but found a way to love each and every part of themselves, the parts that other people can appreciate, they could still look at it and find some sort of love in themselves for that. And I think that is what it means to be unbroken to it, to love yourself enough, to be unafraid, to show up authentically as yourself each and every day.
Michael: Brilliantly said my friend. Thank you again. Thank you for being here. Unbroken Nation, thank you for listening.
Please like, subscribe, comment, share.
Tell a friend.
And Until Next Time.
My friends, Be Unbroken.
I'll see ya.
Best known for his tenure as a Producer and 4th chair on the nationally syndicated radio/television show The Breakfast Club, Dramos is a proud Nuyorican who has impressively stepped out from the shadows of his National Radio Hall of Fame co-hosts, and carved out his own lane in the entertainment industry. Proving to be a jack of all trades; Dramos has garnered attention DJing prominent nightclubs throughout the country, hosting his weekly podcast “Life as a Gringo”, as well as being an on-air radio personality on the legendary Z100 in New York and hosting his own television show which airs weekly in 40+ markets across the country via LATV.
Armed with a “purpose over paycheck” mentality, Dramos uses his platforms to deliver honest and raw commentary on the state of the world; with the ultimate goal of being a positive influence and advocate for his community. From pop culture to the many injustices that plague the Black and Brown communities, Dramos continues to prove himself to be a well informed, and much needed, unapologetic voice for today’s media.
Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.
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