Dr. Rob Pennington – Bulletproof Mindset

Who said miracles are impossible? In the middle of a stick up, with nowhere to go, Dr. Rob Pennington took a bullet to the chest and survived to tell the tale. This inspirational story will change the way you see life.


I was shot in the center of my chest. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, you know. Car comes by kinda slow and the driver stops and gets out and I think he’s gonna ask directions. It happens in this area of town. He walks over and grabs me, that usually doesn’t happen. He grabbed me and somehow I was able to step out of his reach, he pulled out a gun, two other men jump out of the car and come around, and it’s funny what your mind does in these moments ’cause I immediately started thinking about when I was a kid and I used to get beat up sneaking home from school. And I thought, “Wow this hasn’t happened in a long time.”

And somehow I was just able to get out of his reach and I thought, “Okay, what does he want? “He wants to rob me,” is what I thought. I’ve got, I go through this little movie, I’m gonna say, “What do you want?” He’s gonna say, “Give me your wallet.” I’m gonna give him the wallet and that’s about as far as I got in my little movie, and I said, “What do you want?” and he just smiled and shot me. He shot me with a .38, which is a pretty good-sized bullet, hit me in the center of my chest.

Now the miracles are that the bullet stuck in the sternum. It didn’t enter my body. It grabbed my shirt and spun the material of my shirt and created wadding around the bullet and I didn’t bleed at all. It didn’t knock me down, and I think it kinda scared the guys ’cause they turned and ran back to their car, you know, kinda… Any of you who are old enough to remember the Superman theme song.

So there I am standing with these guys running away with a bullet in the center of my chest. Now, I wasn’t bleeding at all, it didn’t knock me down, but I knew I needed help, so I turned and went to the first house with a light on, I knocked on the door, and I said, “I think I’ve been shot.” and he said, “Come in.” He called the police, he called the ambulance, he called my family.

In the middle of these challenges, we’re overwhelmed, and we can’t see through to something new. You’ve all heard the phrase, you know, “When a door closes, a window opens.” And it’s hard to do that at the moment the door closed. Think positive, I’m, you know, seem okay. When we got into the ambulance, I’m thinking, “This is a great story.” Getting shot, from a professional speaker point of view, absolutely the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.

In the middle of these things, it doesn’t feel like that. I think it happens anytime anything is not the way we want it to be. When that happens, you have a tendency to hold your breath, tense your muscles, maybe have a little self doubt about how you’re gonna handle something, and then think negative and get serious. You ever notice that? You’re gonna learn how to recognize what I just described, what I call the Automatic Stress Reaction, and change it to what I call the Stress Management Response, which is just the opposite, so let’s practice real quick. Everybody take a deep breath, and on the out breath, relax. And then, actually, smile for no reason. So let’s practice that, everybody smile for no reason.

Now, while you’re smiling, keep doing it. Now, while you’re smiling, try to feel bad. Can’t do it, doesn’t work. There’s differences happening in the brain when you actually put a smile on. We tend to wait for the emotion to have the smile, but you can actually do it the other way around, so, you know, I’ve already done two steps in, what, three seconds, this is just reassuring yourself. Reassuring yourself, I’ve been practicing what I was just talking to you about for years before this happened, so I’m automatically, just out of habit, breathing, relaxing, reassuring myself, then think positive.