Author and licensed counselor and family therapist David Dennis sees a "pandemic of pity" (self-pity to be precise) and a "virus of victimhood" engulfing society. One of the reasons why, he suggests, is that people tend to focus on the pain of the past, rather than on the potential of the future.
Drawing upon decades of counseling thousands of people - as well as his own life experiences - Dennis distills his "take dominion" philosophy on life into four core attributes in his new book, Gameness: Land on Your Feet, Not on Your Feelings.
"Life is uncertain, unfair and oftentimes unpleasant - for all of us," Dennis said in a recent interview. "It's about learning how to see things better, even if you can't see better things."
Dennis knows a thing or two about the power of shifting his perspective and setting a more positive course for his life. After his father's premature death and his mother's downward spiral into alcoholism, Dennis was removed from the only home he'd ever known by Child Protective Services. Years later, his mother died in a housefire of her own making. The trauma was overwhelming.
Through a newfound faith in God and an education in marriage and family counseling, Dennis was able to find a healthy detachment from his past trauma and start seeing his life as a potential to be realized - not a problem to be solved. His personal and professional journeys revealed much about change, growth, purpose and, of course, gameness, and he shares what he learned between the covers of his book.
Gameness is divided into four sections, each of which takes a deep dive into four defining characteristics of gameness and the choices people can make to live according to these attributes:
- Upgrade Your Perspective: A Never-Quit Mindset
- Fulfill Your Potential: Resoluteness to a Purpose
- Tackle Your Problems: A Fighting Spirit
- Master Your Performance: The Will Required to Act
These aren't academic concepts to Dennis. He has lived them, refined them, and now, he's sharing his valuable insights to help readers unlock the life-changing possibilities of developing a mindset of gameness.
"We will live each day in the face of adversity that demands something of us," Dennis said. "It's this universal truth that makes gameness life's most important attribute."
Dennis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Eckerd Connects, one of the nation's largest nonprofits providing workforce development, Job Corps, juvenile justice and child welfare services across the country. He has earned certifications as a licensed professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, and childcare administrator. He holds a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and a master's degree in marriage and family counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Becky, live in Clearwater, Florida. They have five grown children.