After suffering from severe depression in her teenage and college years, Dannie De Novo decided to study happiness so that her baby daughter would never have to go through what she did. Now in addition to being a lawyer she is a happiness coach and helps people combat loneliness, depression and manage anxiety. Dannie has written a few books including Get in a Good Mood & Stay There, and regularly appears on podcasts, TV shows, and radio interviews. In this interview she shares some of the worst chapters of her battle with depression, what ignited her journey into self-development, and explains that happiness is a habit that needs to be maintained through effort and sacrifice.
Dannie De Novo
Get in a Good Mood & Stay There
The Dannie De Novo Podcast
A transcript of this podcast is available at lovethylawyer.com.
Dannie De Novo
Not too long ago, I was living the life that I thought everyone wanted to live. I had a good-paying job as an attorney, a husband, a house, and the most adorable baby girl. The problem was, though, that aside from the time I spent with my baby, I was actually pretty miserable. I was depressed but still functioning at a level of basic survival from day to day.
The scariest part about this for me was that, growing up, I had suffered a very hard depression beginning in my teens and lasting through my early twenties. Not knowing any better and simply wanting to be free from the prison of my mind, at age 19, I dropped out of college and consented to weeks of the tortuous “treatment.” I set out on a course to be like everyone else and live happily ever after.
Yet, I couldn’t have been more unhappy. I remember one evening, mindlessly stirring a pot on the stove, lost in my misery. My eight-month-old was sitting on the kitchen floor playing with some pots and wooden spoons of her own. Suddenly, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes, picked up a pot and a spoon and started mimicking me! I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I bent down and said to her, “Yes! Just like Mommy!”
And then, I fell to the floor. A crushing wave of nausea came over me and I was faint. It immediately became apparent to me that my daughter was watching me and copying everything I was doing, and what I was, in fact, doing was teaching her how to live a very depressed, lonely, anxious, unoriginal, and uninspired life. So, that day, I set out to learn what real happiness was because I could not bear the thought of my daughter ever having to go through what I had forced myself to endure for so long.
I started studying happiness at the level I had once studied law—the spiritual side, the neuroscience side, the health side—everything I could get my hands on. I stopped being like everyone else and crafted my life the way I wanted to live it. To date, I have 3 bestselling books. (I have one international bestseller, Get in a Good Mood & Stay There, which chronicles my first steps of pulling myself out of depression, dealing with anxiety, and finding happiness.) I speak internationally, and I am now a television expert on multiple stations nationwide and have done well over 90 TV news and talk show appearances across the country.
Musical theme by Joel Katz, Seaside Recording, Maui
Technical support: Bryan Matheson, Skyline Studios, Oakland
Audiograms & Transcripts: Paul Roberts
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Music: Joel Katz, Seaside Recording, Maui
Tech: Bryan Matheson, Skyline Studios, Oakland
Audiograms: Paul Roberts
Attorney at Law
Dannie De Novo / Louis Goodman - Transcript
Louis Goodman 00:03
I'm Louis Goodman. Welcome to the Love Thy Lawyer Podcast, where we talk to attorneys about their lives and careers. Dannie De Novo seemed to be living the American dream, a job as a well compensated lawyer, a husband, a house, and an adorable baby girl. She had suffered from severe depression growing up and recognized that on some level she was teaching that adorable young girl how to be a depressed human being. So she started studying happiness with the same intensity with which she had studied law. She's published three books, including Get in a Good Mood and Stay There. She's appeared on numerous television shows, radio interviews, and podcasts. Dannie De Novo, welcome to Love Thy Lawyer.
Dannie De Novo 00:55
Louis Goodman 00:57
Where are you talking to us from right now?
Dannie De Novo 00:59
I am in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Louis Goodman 01:02
And I understand that you grew up there and you went to high school there?
Dannie De Novo 01:05
I grew up here, went to high school here, left for college, came back for law school, and then, yeah, and just settled in. Been here for a while, it's home for now. Yeah.
Louis Goodman 01:15
Where did you go to college?
Dannie De Novo 01:17
I went to college at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, which is actually part of Drexel now. And the reason I was there was because I was a paramedic, I was a volunteer firefighter and rescue technician and thought that I was gonna go to medical school, but then life kind of took an interesting twist and turn for me in my teens and early twenties and sort of change a lot of things for me. But the world changed too, and so I think I probably ended up where I was supposed to be.
Louis Goodman 01:50
Well, what was that experience in college like for you?
Dannie De Novo 01:53
Well, college was difficult for me because I was incredibly depressed. I really did throw myself into, but my public safety career at the time because I felt like I was worthy then, I felt like I had something worth going to every day and a reason to live, and I was young and impressionable when 9/11 happened, and I saw a lot of mistakes that had been made and things that could have been done differently. Of course, that's very easy to say with hindsight and, and being the Monday morning quarterback. But I did wanna help change that and make it so that things were better for people. And so, I thought, Well, I'm not gonna do that with medicine. A really good way to do that is to change laws and to change policies and to change the way that we look at these things from that standpoint.
And so, I thought, well, that's, you know, being a lawyer is a great way to do that. And I was gonna go work at FEMA and I had worked at, at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and really thought that that's where my career was gonna take me initially. But of course, again, life has a way of directing you to different things.
Louis Goodman 02:55
I definitely wanna talk about your book, Get In A Good Mood and Stay There, but I wanna kinda work up to it a little bit. So, you said that you had some depression, that when you were in college, and then you went to law school, did you take any time off between college and law school?
Dannie De Novo 03:17
Well, I was kind of all over the place. So, my depression started when I was in high school and I thought I was sick. You know, I had been a high achiever like most lawyers are, and I was into competitive sports and other things like that, and all of a sudden I just wasn't really interested in anything. I didn't care so much about my grades. I didn't care so much about my friends or the things that I was doing, and I was tired all the time.
And so I went to my parents and I said, You know, I think I'm sick. There's something wrong with me because this isn't me. And at first they said, Oh, it's, you know, you're, it's a teenage thing. You're going through these changes and everything else and you're looking at the world differently. Just let it pass, but it didn't pass. It just got worse.
And so then of course I went to the doctor and they start running the tests and everything else and nobody can find anything wrong. And finally one specialist says, Why don't you sit down and just have a conversation with this one woman in my office who happened to be a therapist? And I said, I'll do whatever I need to do. I just wanna get better. I just don't wanna be like this anymore.
So I sat down across from that woman at 16 years old and I started to tell her what was going on and how I was feeling and she listened very attentively. And then she kind of sat back in her chair and crossed her arms and she said, Honey, you're depressed. And I said, Well, I don't, I don't even know what that means, but I don't think I'm depressed because I live in a nice house. I've never known poverty. I've never known violence. I have a horse. You know, I mean, my parents weren't wealthy, but I knew even at that age that I had a pretty good life, you know?
I was smart enough to get good grades. I had friends, so I said, You know, I don't think that's right because I just, you know, there's no reason for me to be depressed. And she just kind of shook her head at me and said, Honey, you're depressed. And I said, Okay, well you know, what do I know about it? You're the expert. I just wanna fix it. So what do we do next? And so she walked across the room and she picked up the phone and she called an MD and the next thing I knew, I was on medication for depression at 16. And Okay, great. So when does this stuff start to work? Well, it didn't. It just kind of made things worse and I had terrible side effects from it. And instead of getting better, I was slowly getting worse and slowly getting worse.
I managed to graduate and was ready to head out to a college, which I did, and now I'm drinking on top of taking antidepressants and all the other medication that I was on, which is not a great mix. Still managed to make Dean's list first year, not really sure how that happened, but somehow I got through it and then went home for the summer and I just pretty much crashed. And then when I went back for my sophomore year, I was there a few weeks, and it was to the point where I was so suicidal that I couldn't function, I couldn't shower, I couldn't dress myself. I was just, You know, laying in bed crying or not really having any emotion at all.
And I had to make that call to my parents and say, You know, I need you to come get me. And when they picked me up, the first place that I stopped was at the psychiatric unit back home. And I committed myself for two weeks because I was suicidal and I was pretty sure that I was gonna carry out something pretty awful if I didn't get some help.
Louis Goodman 06:25
This was in college?
Dannie De Novo 06:26
So yeah. So this was right after I had gone into college is when it really kind of got bad.
Louis Goodman 06:32
But you ultimately did something that allowed you to graduate from college? So what did you do?
Dannie De Novo 06:42
I don't know what I did. I honestly, I don't know. I spent the two weeks there and they let me go and, you know, it was a really eye opening experience for me, because here I am 18, 19 years old, talking about not wanting to live, and I'm in this full lockdown unit with these other women who are talking about getting divorced and being in abusive relationships. And one woman had lost a child and you know, I'm, I don't, I have no life experience. I don't, you know, but I just, I sat there and just felt guilty about being depressed now because I, again, what do I have to be depressed about? I just know I don't wanna live. These women are actually suffering.
And so, you know, they put me on more medication and I left after two weeks and I held it together for the holidays for the sake of my family. And then the first of the year, I crashed again, and I went back in and I said, Look, if you let me out, I'm not gonna make it. And I really don't wanna do that to my, to my parents. I just think that's a horrible thing to do to your parents. I said, But I also don't wanna keep coming back here and I know that I don't wanna live anymore, so you've gotta give me something else.
And they're like, they said, Look, honey, we've given you, we've tried every medication. We've, we've tried every, you know, cocktail of medications we can think of. You've been in therapy, like we don't have anything else for you. And I said, Well, we gotta come up with something. Because this is it for me this time around.
And, and so they say, Well, the only thing we have left for you is electroshock therapy. And...
Louis Goodman 08:09
Did you do that?
Dannie De Novo 08:10
I did do that. I did because I didn't...
Louis Goodman 08:12
Did it help?
Dannie De Novo 08:13
No, no, it didn't. What it did was it scared me enough to want, it made life so much more uncomfortable for me that I wanted to escape that part of it. And my, when I went to them and said, okay, I'm better. I don't need to go through this anymore because it was every other day, weeks of basically torture. I had lost all of my childhood memories. My body was physically breaking down. I just couldn't. It was so horrific I could not deal with it one moment longer.
And I said, Okay, I'm okay. Just, you know, I need to catch my breath. I'm good. I'm happy. I'm not depressed anymore. Let me out of this. And they said, Okay, well show us. Right?
So it was okay, get back into school, get a part-time job, start doing things that, you know, normal people are supposed to be doing with their lives. And I did all of that. And I got back into school and I eventually graduated, right. And applied for law school and got in.
Louis Goodman 09:09
Okay. So, between the time you graduated from college and the time you went to law school, did you take any time off or did you go directly from college to law school?
Dannie De Novo 09:17
No, when I graduated I went straight to law school from there.
Louis Goodman 09:21
And where'd you go to law school?
Dannie De Novo
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
Louis Goodman 09:26
How was that experience for you? Did you feel any better while you were at law school? I mean, law school's tough, you know? I mean, I mean, law school's difficult for everybody. And I think that a lot of people suffer emotionally in law school and...
Dannie De Novo 09:41
Yeah, I know they do. I know they do. And I think law school was just sort of an exercise and can I prove this to myself? Can I be like everybody else? Right? A lot of people had said, including my parents, that I was always asking these questions, right? Why does life have to be like this? Why can't it be different? Why can't we do things differently? And then, and everyone had said, Well, maybe if you stop asking those questions, you'll be happier. Maybe if you just go about life like everyone else, then you won't be depressed anymore. And I said, Okay, you know what? I'm gonna try out this theory. I'm gonna go be like everyone else. I'm gonna sit here and I'm gonna pretend like I like this and this is what I want for myself, and I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna study and I'm gonna go out on the nights that you're supposed to go out and meet friends, and I'm gonna date the way that you're supposed to date in your twenties and I'm gonna do all of this stuff the way that I thought you were supposed to be doing everything in.
And you know, lo and behold, I graduated and passed the bar exam and you know, next thing I know, I'm engaged, I'm getting married and I'm starting my career as a lawyer.
Louis Goodman 10:40
So what kind of practice did you have?
Dannie De Novo 10:42
Initially, I clerked for a judge at a trial level close to home, and from there I went into litigation with a couple of different firms. It was not suited to my personality. I just did not fit into the firm lifestyle. Probably because I was still really depressed as well and kind of ignoring it. And then from there I got into in-house work, which I really enjoyed and I kind of settled in there for a while. That's when my daughter came along and I was like, Okay, yeah, I can sit here for a while and, you know, punch the clock is, that's how I saw it, right. Because I wasn't really getting any fulfillment out of anything that I was doing other than being a mother. And, but that all came crashing down on me one day. And again, things change and twist on you very quickly sometimes.
Louis Goodman 11:33
Are you currently practicing law?
Dannie De Novo 11:35
Yes, I am.
Louis Goodman 11:36
And what sort of practice do you have right now?
Dannie De Novo 11:39
I do corporate work. When I sort of left my traditional in-house job, I retained a number of clients, and so I do it just through my own solo practitioner firm.
Louis Goodman 11:50
In the introduction to you, I found in doing some research about you, that you had this experience where you were observing your little girl imitating the things that you were doing and that led you to this revelation that she was doing the things that you were doing, and if you were being depressed, you were teaching her to be depressed. Is that an accurate statement?
Dannie De Novo 12:20
For the most part, yeah.
Louis Goodman 12:22
So can you tell us a little bit about that day and what you thought and how it brought you to starting to study happiness with the same intensity as going to law school?
Dannie De Novo 12:34
I could tell you everything about that day. I will never forget it. I was stirring a pot on the stove. I was making dinner. I was getting ready to put pasta in the pot, and I was just sort of mindlessly going through the motions of the day, not really present in anything that I was doing, which was typical.
I think it's typical for a lot of people we're on autopilot most of the time. My daughter, she wasn't even a year old, she's sitting on the floor of the kitchen and she has her little play bowls and spoons that she's playing with, trying to keep her busy while I'm making dinner. And she kind of stopped and she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and she picked up that bowl and spoon and she started mimicking me. She was stirring in her bowl like I was stirring on the stove, and it was very obvious she was trying to get my attention. You know, like, Look mommy, I'm just like you. And, she was my first child, my only child actually, and I'd never seen anything like that before. So I thought it was really cool. She was like a little human being finally.
And so I looked down at her and said, Yeah, just like mommy. And then I almost fainted on top of her. I thought I was gonna throw up. I had this crushing wave of nausea come over me and I sat down next to her on the floor, and that is the exact moment I realized that she was copying everything that I was doing. And it wasn't gonna matter what I said to her. It wasn't gonna matter what I suggested to her. It was gonna matter what I did. I was leading by example, and I knew that I was teaching her how to live a very lonely, unfulfilled, depressed, sometimes very angry life. And I knew what I had gone through in my teens, in my twenties, and up until this point. And there was no way, there was no way that my daughter was gonna experience that. There was no way.
So I made the promise to her right then and there that I was gonna learn everything there was to know about happiness and that I was gonna teach her that. Because I didn't think I could be happy. I didn't think I was wired for it. I just didn't think that I was that kind of person. But I figured I was smart enough to probably learn some stuff to teach her at a young enough age that she could figure it out, right?
Louis Goodman 14:31
What have you found? I mean, I think that most of us are looking for some level of happiness in our lives, and few of us have intensely studied that as something to look at in and of itself. So, I'm really wondering what you found that can put you in a good mood and have you stay there.
Dannie De Novo 14:55
Well, what I found is the formula is different for everybody, right? What makes me happy and what's gonna help me be in that mood and sustain that mood isn't gonna be the same thing that's gonna do it for you. What I have found more are the ways to get you to recognize those things that are gonna put you in a good mood and stay there. And it becomes a lot of exercises in being brutally honest with yourself to the point of being able to say no to people in your life, to not listen to outside judgments or societal judgments. To be willing to put yourself out there in ways that you wouldn't typically be able to do if you if you weren't actually seeking true happiness.
If you wanna be happy, you have to be brave, is what I say. And so it really requires you pushing outside the limits of comfort and probably being a little bit isolated for a period of time prior to getting over that hump and being on the other side of things.
When I started this journey, everyone thought I was nuts, right? Because it's one thing to go and read about religion or philosophy, but when you start really engrossing yourself in some of these things and setting alongside some of the gurus that I studied with, it was not well received by friends. It was not well received by people in the profession. It was not well received by my family. Everyone thought I was crazy, and they pretty much continued that opinion, I believe. I'm sure some people still think that, and that's okay. But at one point my little brother came to me and said, You know, Hey, what? What are you reading? What are you studying? Who are you talking to? And I said, Well, you know, this, this, and this, why?
Louis Goodman 16:31
Well, who were you reading? And what were you studying and who were you talking to?
Dannie De Novo 16:36
Oh, a lot of people. I was, I started out in places where it seemed right, because I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't really know the answers to this, right. I had grown up in the Roman Catholic church and I had prayed and I've gone to Mass and I still didn't have any answers.
But I started with religion. So, I started reading religion and I started reading philosophy and kind of branching out from there. And then I just kind of started on a search through the library to see what kinds of things would pop out to me. And I became really interested in the spiritual side of things, but not necessarily the religious side.
And I started reading people that made sense to me on some level, right? Because I think there's a lot of people out there saying the same thing, but the way they say it matters. And that's the first thing that I will tell people is there's a lot of people out there trying to give you help, but you've gotta find the person that resonates with you. Whoever says it in the way that makes sense to you is the person that you should start with.
And there was one person that I had found. His name was Bob Proctor and he just made sense the way he, he was articulating things like, it just made sense to me. And so I found out, I come to find, he was a very big name in the self-development industry and I was like, Well, this guy's never gonna talk to me. He's got, he's got way more important people to talk to than me, right? Little old me. But then I started going to some of his events and I started talking to him, you know, when he was off stage and he liked me and he kind of took me under his wing a little bit and gave me a little bit more direction and showed me some things about myself that I hadn't been able to see prior to talking to him, that I was spending a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and kind of playing the victim role in a lot of places in my life. And uh, that's a hard thing too, I think that's a hard thing to admit, right?
So, he's probably the first person that really shined that light in my face and made me look at myself, because it's a really hard thing to do, to look in the mirror and say, You know what, I'm not as great of a human being as I'd like to think that I am. Or that maybe, you know, my daughter may see me as. But part of being happy is about acknowledging those little pieces of you and loving them just as much as you love the pieces that you think are good as well.
So, that's kind of at the point in the story where my brother came to me and he said, You know, what are you doing? And I said, Well, you know, I'm working a lot with Bob. And I'm, I'm reading these other things and, and not reading these philosophers, for lack of a better word, and, and some of these older texts. And I do these exercises every day. I do exercising gratitude, I do meditation, and I do some other things. And I said, Well, why are you so interested all of a sudden? And he said, Well, I gotta be honest with you. You seem happy. And he said, I've never seen you like that before. And he added this part, which is what really got me, he said, And I was wondering if it worked for you, do you think maybe it could work for me too? And I said, Well, it's certainly worth a shot. Let's try.
Louis Goodman 19:31
So, at that point you realized that some of these things that you were doing for yourself, you could put out there for other people.
Dannie De Novo 19:41
Yes. Yes. When he started having similar results, that's when I was like, Aha! Maybe I can put this into language that other people can get and utilize and then, you know. Because my whole thing was, I don't ever wanna see anyone suffer the way that I had. It's just so unnecessary.
Louis Goodman 19:59
Now, how did all of this kind of fit into your practicing law?
Dannie De Novo 20:03
Well, it didn't fit well at the beginning. I had, like I said, I had a lot of friends that kind of didn't wanna have anything to do with me anymore because of the things that I was talking about. And you know, you start to realize that lawyers as a group aren't necessarily the happiest people. And when you look at the statistics and the profession, you know, addiction being very high, the divorce rate being very high, suicidal rate being high, you know, it's difficult evidence to argue against.
But you know, it's also a profession where you're arguing a lot and you are, you're always on the defensive and you're kind of always waiting for the next thing, and it's high stress, it's high volume, and so there's a lot going on. And so if you're not taking the time to step back away from that and just sort of be present in the moment, then you can get really sucked into that cycle of the next thing, the next thing, the next thing. And you know, this is hard, this is hard, this is hard, this is difficult, this is difficult. And just kind of go down a really bad spiral.
Louis Goodman 21:04
So would you recommend practicing law to someone who is interested in a career, someone graduating from college, thinking about law school? What would your recommendation be?
Dannie De Novo 21:14
It would depend on who they are and what they wanna do. I was teaching an undergraduate course in law at a couple different universities for a while. And so I would have a number of, these were probably juniors for the most part, a lot of them come up to me and say, I, you know, I'm really looking at law school. I wanna be a lawyer. Can we sit down and talk? And I'd say, Yeah, sure, let's, let's talk. Right? And so they said, Okay. And I said, Well, do you really like to read and do you really like to write? And some of them would say, No, I don't like that at all. And I said, Well, I don't know how much you're gonna enjoy law school or being a lawyer. And I said, You know, I think what you really need to do, and I would recommend this to anyone graduating for any profession, is go and shadow people. Not every day is gonna be enjoyable. Not every moment of every career is going to be enjoyable. But is this something that you're going to like doing? Because you're gonna be doing it a lot.
Louis Goodman 22:06
You have some business clients that are, you know, legal clients who you advise as an attorney. Do you also have people who you advise professionally for life coaching, for lack of a better word?
Dannie De Novo 22:22
Yes, I do.
Louis Goodman 22:24
So, how has that business gone for you, the legal business and the life coaching business?
Dannie De Novo 22:29
They're both spectacular because I think that when you are honest with yourself and you're willing to make sacrifices for the sake of your happiness and for how you really wanna live your life, it really opens up a lot of opportunity and a lot of things that you've kind of been closed off to because you've been stuck in this, again, in this cycle of being on autopilot or kind of, you know, stuck in a bad mood.
It's a habit. Once you get into the habit of being in a bad mood, then your brain is going to default to that bad mood every morning that you wake up, unless you do something consciously to change it. And I say that happiness is like going to the gym. You know, if you want muscles, if you wanna, you know, maintain a certain physique in any area of your body, you've gotta train it regularly. And if you're not doing that with your happiness, then it's not something that's gonna show up and stick around.
Louis Goodman 23:21
What do you think is the best advice you've ever received, and what advice would you give to an attorney starting out in practice?
Dannie De Novo 23:32
The best advice that I ever received, I think, is, I think there's two parts to it. The first is keep going. No matter what. You just keep going. The perseverance means more than anything else, as far as I'm concerned. And the second part is get over yourself, right? We're so caught up in our own ego and what we look like to everybody else instead of just worrying about ourselves and how, how we look to ourselves. Right?
I see so many people callousing over their hearts because of other things going on in their lives, and they, and they pay the price for that later on down the road. As far as starting out your career, I think, again, the advice stays the same is you have to know yourself and you have to know what you want your life to look like.
How do you wanna spend a typical day? What do you want your summer to look like? If you're gonna have children or not have children, Where do you wanna vacation? Where do you wanna spend your free time? How much time a day do you wanna devote to, you know, going to the gym or meditation or getting a massage, things like that.
I think you really need to be honest with yourself and sit down and say, This is what I want my life to look like. Because if you don't plan that out for yourself and keep that as a goal, kind of always on the forefront of your mind, then "the universe", for lack of a better way of putting it, is just gonna fill in those spaces for you and your life is gonna look like how you sort of let things happen instead of consciously trying to bring those things about for yourself.
Louis Goodman 25:01
My sense in talking to you is that you think that boundary setting is a really important thing. I don't know whether you would use that term or not, but that's what I hear you saying.
Dannie De Novo 25:14
Yeah. I think boundary setting is, I think it's more of sort of making a promise to yourself and keeping it and having the discipline to do that. What's your why? If your why is, you know, I wanna live in a big house and and drive a BMW, well, I mean, that's not gonna get you very far. You're not gonna feel very fulfilled. You're not gonna feel like you're connected. You're not gonna feel like you have a purpose and meaning in your life. You're just gonna kind of chase the money around until that doesn't do it for you anymore. And then what are you left with? And that's usually when people end up coming to me as the happiness coach.
Louis Goodman 25:51
How do people find you as a happiness coach? Where does that business come from?
Dannie De Novo 25:56
Well, I'm on TV quite a bit, and so between that and social media people sort of find me, but usually it's by referral.
Louis Goodman 26:04
What sort of recreational pursuits do you have? What sort of things do you do to kind of clear your mind from all of your work?
Dannie De Novo 26:14
I love reading about the neuroscience behind happiness, and so that's kind of my hobby a lot of the times, but I hike a lot. I have a dog and I like to take her out on hikes, and my daughter comes along too. I still ride horses.
Louis Goodman 26:28
Is there someone living or dead who you'd really like to meet? And if so, what would you ask them?
Dannie De Novo 26:35
Abraham Lincoln. He suffered greatly from depression and yet was able to turn his life around to the point of leading a nation and doing all of the remarkable things that he did.
Louis Goodman 26:46
And he was a lawyer.
Dannie De Novo 26:47
And he was a lawyer, yes. And a father, and someone who I believe still suffered greatly from depression throughout his presidency. And so I'd really love to know where he went internally every day making those decisions, having to deal with the things that he was dealing with, and still being able to function at the level that he was doing and where he, where did he derive joy from? You know, what was, what made it worth it?
Louis Goodman 27:14
Let's say you came into some real money, you know, three or four billion dollars. What, if anything, would you do differently in your life?
Dannie De Novo 27:24
Not a whole lot. Which is a good thing for me to see. And I would definitely travel more, I'm sure. But I think what I would be doing is trying to raise awareness about some of this stuff on a much higher level. There are a lot of people who are suffering really greatly, who think that there's no hope and we're just not doing a very good job of helping people out in a lot of respects. But obviously this issue's very close to my heart.
You know, people like me don't make it, right? I mean, I was, my behavior was out of control. I was very reckless. I did not wanna live. And so what happens is that if you're not successful with suicide, typically people get into addiction and other forms of things that are just very destructive, right? And people like me don't make it, but I did make it and I know it was for a reason. And so if I had the power of that kind of money, I would definitely be doing everything that I could to make sure that people know that there is help and that there is hope.
Louis Goodman 28:26
Do you think that people who are really smart, people like yourself, on some level pay a price for that intellectual horsepower and that it comes out on the emotional end?
Dannie De Novo 28:43
I do, you know, I think where I really got hung up for a long time is, I thought I was smart, right? I was like, I don't get this. I'm smart. I should be able to figure this out. Oh, and I'm also, by the way, I'm tough, so I should be able to muster up the energy to get through this. So yes, I think it's difficult when you're smart because you want to, you understand things on an intellectual level, but that doesn't mean that you believe it on a subconscious level, and until you adopt it as a belief, it's not going to turn into your reality.
Louis Goodman 29:15
Let's say you had a magic wand, that was one thing in the world that you could change the legal world or otherwise, what would that be?
Dannie De Novo 29:21
I think that's a dangerous question. If I had one thing that I wanted to change, you know, I think that's one lesson I've worked really hard at, is acceptance. I think if I would wanna change anything, it was that I just accepted everything and everyone as they are, and was still able to love all of those pieces just as they are.
Louis Goodman 29:43
If someone wants to get in touch with you. What's the best way to do that? Is there a website that people can go to?
Dannie De Novo 29:50
Yes, you can go to my website. It is danniedenovo.com. I am also on every major social media platform @DannieDenovo on all of them. Please reach out. Please feel free to send me a message. Look at the content that I have on my website. Let it roll around, see if it lands for you at all. But I'd love comments, I'd love questions, and I'd just like to engage with people who are interested.
Louis Goodman 30:14
Now your book, Get In A Good Mood And Stay There, is it available, let's say on Amazon?
Dannie De Novo 30:22
It is on Amazon, yes. You can get the link through my website or you can just put it in the search engine in Amazon and find all of my books there too.
Louis Goodman 30:31
Dannie, is there anything that you wanted to talk about or say that we haven't touched on or haven't gotten to?
Dannie De Novo 30:37
The only other thing I'd like to mention is just the fact that I'm seeing this huge uptick in anxiety. Obviously COVID was not helpful in all of that, but it's, I see it very much occurring in children, but also just in adults as well, and I really caution everyone to kind of watch their level of anxiety, especially parents.
Pay attention to your thoughts and see if you are the one in control of them or if they are controlling you, and if they are controlling you, then please get the help you need to stop that cycle so that you don't fall into the kinds of things that I had to go through.
Louis Goodman 31:10
Dannie De Novo, thank you so much for joining me today on the Love Thy Lawyer podcast. It's been a pleasure to talk to you, and it's been very enlightening.
Dannie De Novo 31:19
It was wonderful talking with you. Thank you.
Louis Goodman 31:22
That's it for today's episode of Love Thy Lawyer. If you enjoyed listening, please share it with a friend and follow the podcast. If you have comments or suggestions, send me an email. Take a look at our website at lovethylawyer.com, where you can find all of our episodes, transcripts, photographs and information.
Thanks to my guests and to Joel Katz from music, Bryan Matheson for technical support, Paul Robert for social media and Tracy Harvey. I'm Louis Goodman.
Dannie De Novo 32:02
I think lawyers become really good at lying to themselves. We're all really good at lying to ourselves, but when we come, when we become lawyers, we get really good at it.