David Emerald is known for his take on how to take positive control in your life. Most thought of for his TED (The Empowerment Dynamic) program, he’s an expert in helping folks in all kinds of situations shift from feeling like “victims” to becoming “creators” of their own positive destinies.

So when a doctor told him he’d been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, one would assume he’d face the news like an empowered “creator.” But Emerald, who remembers the moment as if it just happened, said his response went something more like this:


“I was flabbergasted,” he says now, seven years later. “I teach and coach people around being the creator (of their own destiny) and there I was, feeling very much the victim.”

That, he said, is how overwhelming a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes may be.

While Emerald continued teaching his program, in his personal life and treatment, he slipped into all the things he taught others not to do: Instead of viewing his doctor as a coach and supporter, he looked at him to be a rescuer. And instead of working toward a place of positive movement, he felt himself deep in what he calls the drama triangle. In other words, he was far from practicing what he preached.

Enter Dr. Scott Conard. Conard, president of the North Texas American Diabetes Association, had seen Emerald in action at one of his seminars and had begun integrating Emerald’s TED concepts into his medical practice, particularly among those living with diabetes who are part of his practice. Finding himself in Emerald’s hometown, Conard headed to his house for a visit. As they talked, Conard shared what he was doing with TED, especially as it related to diabetes. Emerald could hardly believe his ears. He told Conard of his recent diagnosis, and shared his fears and stress, expecting perhaps some coddling. What he got, instead, was his own doctrine, given right back to him.

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