Category Archives: relationships

Interview Those You Love (Before They’re Gone)

Several years ago I lost both parents within 5 weeks of each other.

Among other things, I had a bunch of things I always wanted to ask them Things like, where were they when the landed on the moon? When Kennedy was shot? How did you overcome your business challenges? What did you fear most as a parent? How did you overcome your heartattack and get back into the workforce? What would you do differently as a parent?

….and many many more things. I wanted to ask them about their school experience more, other relatives, family details, etc.

Then recently I came upon this, and I wanted to share, I think it is something we never thinks about but we should.….

http://brendonburchard.tumblr.com/post/98560312858/interview-your-loved-ones-before-theyre-gone

From Brendon Burchard….

Full Transcript:

How do you honor people?

If you have loved ones who you’ve lost or you have people in your life right now who you just admire greatly, who are helping you out, who are influencing you in positive ways, how do you honor people?

In our society, especially in the Western culture it’s so much about giving them gifts, pay increases or sending them stuff.

But I actually want to talk about a different way that you can honor people that a lot of people from our audience who know this story always find meaningful. I think it would be so phenomenal an experience for your family members and for you in the future.

Maybe you know the story and maybe you don’t, but in 2009 on Mother’s Day, my dad was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He’d been a pretty healthy guy, played racquetball and went bowling all the time, played golf and he was happy and healthy. But he woke up on Mother’s Day and he was walking down the hall of the house and my mom saw him drifting a little bit and said, ”What’s wrong with you?” He said, “I’m out of balance and it hurts here on my side.”

They went to the doctor and the doctor said that’s weird your spleen seems to be enlarged and they did a bunch of tests and found out he had acute myeloid leukemia.

It’s the kind of leukemia you definitely don’t want. You don’t want either, but that one is the one that tends to take people’s lives quickly. Dad went through a couple rounds of chemo and unfortunately they weren’t helping. They wanted to put him on a course of the third treatment but it was clear it wasn’t going to work, that would decimate his body, and he made the choice to go home and be at our house with Hospice care until the disease took him.

So, from diagnosis to death we had 59 days with dad and that was it.

I feel very lucky for those times. I had an amazing relationship with my dad as did my family. I love him so much and it was something that’s taken this many years to shoot a video about, because I used to not be able to control any of my emotions and I didn’t speak about it that much on stages for a long time, because it was such a huge emotional toll.

One thing I was happy about that I was able to do during that time is when we knew it was bad and that we might lose him, I happened to be away traveling… I was teaching a seminar to a few hundred people and he called to let me know the second course of chemo hadn’t worked and they didn’t know how long he would have. They were constantly saying, “You have a week left, a week, ten days, three days.” It just took his body so fast because what happens is the stem cells aren’t creating the white cells correctly and the white cells start hampering the body’s ability to function. They’re mutated with leukemia and it takes over your entire body just that fast.

I didn’t know if I would get to see him again or if I could get out there fast enough, so I asked him, “Dad, can I call you and interview you? I want to ask you some questions and record it.” He was in the hospital and just recovering having gone through the chemo and he said sure. I just didn’t know if I would get there fast enough. I called him back and used a free conference calling line, which you can Google and find that allows you to record. I called him and recorded it.

I asked him 30 questions or so about life and I’ve posted the link to those questions [click here to get the interview guide] and I’ve formatted it in a way where you could ask anyone in your life these questions. It’s just about getting to hear them talk about what’s important in their life.

  • What did they learn when they were young in adolescence?
  • How did their mother or father influence them?
  • What did they learn from their parents?
  • What did their grandparents want them to carry on?
  • What do they want you to know after they’re gone?
  • What do they want your brothers or sisters to know after they’re gone?
  • What values do they want to teach?
  • What do they want you to remember when the times are dark?

Just advice from this person that you love.

It was my dad, and he gave unbelievable advice. I would say from everything I own in my life now, this is the most treasured thing I have is this recording of Dad, just him talking about life.

It took me a long time to be able to listen to. If I listen to it, I completely get emotional about it, but at the same time I find it empowering and inspiring and it connects me back to him. It’s meaningful to me, too, because while you’re watching me on video now or listening to me in whatever format, in growing up, my dad, his generation just didn’t have any video. I don’t have that much existing video of my father at all outside a wedding, so this is one of the few remaining recordings I have of him.

It was a two-three hour conversation that really inspired me. One of the things he said in there is the reason I’m shooting this video. I asked him what he wanted his kids to always remember and we were talking a lot about it and he just said a few things, these seven things he was always telling us in some way or another throughout our lives and he was demonstrating. He’d say them, but he kind of strung them together in this thought and I keep returning to it over and over again. His seven legacy statements for us were:

  • Be yourself
  • Be honest
  • Do your best
  • Take care of your family
  • Treat people with respect
  • Be a good citizen
  • Follow your dreams

Those seven things, which were really his values and who he was in so many ways, and he said a lot of amazing things during the interview, but those things I carry with me and I’ve perpetuated over and over. I’d tell his message to all of my audiences. I’ve shared that on a quote card on my Facebook pagebefore and it literally got 40k likes in a week. I don’t know how many times it’s been shared now, but literally hundreds of thousands of times been seen by millions of people and it stunned me.

It reminded me that one of the best ways that we can honor somebody is to carry forth their values but not just to communicate them, not to just live them or have them, but to share with other people.

Maybe you had a grandparent who inspired you and you should tell people about that grandparent and what they told you about life and how to live a good life.

I think there isn’t a lot of conversation, amazingly, in our culture broadly and at an individual level about what it takes to live a good life.

People don’t talk about that as much anymore. Personal growth in terms of an industry seems to be declining, because now people can just get something for any time and everything is so immediate, less people reading books and that genre, less people engaging it seems like.

I’m blessed to have so much of a wave in this area of personal development with this YouTube show being so successful and my Facebook thing taking off and email list exploding over the past couple years. I can share with you that what makes those things meaningful is trying to share meaningful advice with people, meaningful insights and I think you can do that.

I think there have been people who have inspired you and the more you tell their story and tell people explicitly and directly, this is what they taught me the more we carry forth the legacy of those before us for future generations, the more we become standard bearers of what a good life is because if no one’s talking about it and if no one is communicating values as much anymore, we start to lose that.

And I think what’s happened is generation after generation has failed to hold the line of high standards in humanity.

We’re getting more and more lackadaisical with “anything is okay” and celebrating idiots on television, angry people or the smart bitter comment that jabs at somebody versus talking about what it takes to be a good person.

What does it take to live the ideal life? Obviously I’ve dedicated my life to that. This whole thing is about living your charged life. What would that feel like?One of the things to live a fully charged life is to honor the people in your life. I encourage you to interview them and completely steal my interview form and call someone you love and interview them. I think you’ll be surprised at some of the things you’ll learn and some of the tidbits they’ll give you, you can remind yourself. I carry them around in my wallet. I think about these things because they give a guidepost of behavior everyday to live up to, to live into your highest self; to live into those ideals and values.

There are lots of ways to honor someone. If they’re still with you, sometimes it can be as simple as calling them, taking them out to lunch, sitting them down, looking them directly in the eye and saying,

“I just wanted to spend a few minutes with you sharing how you’ve impacted my life. I just want to spend a few minutes with you telling you why you made such a difference for me. I want to share with you the values and maybe you never told me but I just see them in you, there’s something… Your strength and positivity or, your hope or your belief in me. You might not know it but it carried me through days that I didn’t think I could make it through. What you have told me I’m going to carry forth. What you help me do I’m going to help more people do.”

It’s in that perpetuation of goodness that we hold the line of the best that is in humanity, and I encourage you to do that.

It can be as simple as writing a letter to someone and professing to them, this is why I love you, care for you and admire you.

It can be as simple as shooting a video and sending it to them saying, “Hey, I just wanted you to know the impact that you’re making and I’m going to carry it forward.”

The number one way to honor someone is to carry their voice and values forward everyday through your behavior and explicitly through stories and advice and guidance of other people.

I think that’s the ultimate way to honor people, more than the fanfare of a fancy gift or if you have a great employee and giving them a raise, but to really celebrate somebody’s words and their noble character and what they have to share with other people, that is a magical way to make a difference, to perpetuate the goodness in humanity and to celebrate and honor someone who’s made a difference in your life.

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Like this episode? Please share it with others. Let’s inspire others to live a fully charged life. The interview guide referenced in this video can be downloaded free here.

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Feeling stressed, tense, worried?

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You know, we’ve all been there in one way or another: we’ve been tense and focused on money, maybe stressed, maybe short with our spouse, maybe short with our kids….and in that moment when we’re stressing about money, we’re missing the world around us.

You know what I mean when I say “That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach because you feel like you have to worry about running out of money at the end of the month.”

I’ve been there, then back on “top”, then stressed again, a few times in my life.

I heard a funny thing the other day; someone was saying how they thought ‘rich people’ always think about money and ‘rich people’ are all shallow.

Maybe some are shallow, but in my experience and from what I read, when you had enough money to pay the bills and to live in a decent way, you’re NOT thinking about money much at all. When you have enough to cover the bills, you can think about fun things, about things that you WANT to do in your job and career, and things that you can do for or contribute to others – you can choose to enjoy life a little more.

When I was struggling with income and bills, and when I observe others that have the same struggle to pay bills and meet their obligations, they think about money all day long.

There is a great book that I highly recommend called “Bridges out of Poverty”. It helps explain how people struggling in poverty are constantly thinking about how they are paying the bills, food on the table, tires on the car, utility bills, etc.

Even if we aren’t at the poverty level, we can sometimes have some traits of the poverty mindset……we worry about money, about paying the mortgage, about our jobs, etc. This never creates a good feeling inside, does it?

Again, as someone that has been back and forth, here is some wisdom that I’ve learned from a few others and I believe that it really can help:

  • Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want – instead of focusing on the bills and lack of cash, focus on the things that you really want, the freedom, peace of mind, better health, better relationships, enjoying life, security for your family, etc.

  • Watch your self-talk- we all talk to ourselves and ask ourselves questions throughout the day. There is enough negativity in the world, don’t add to it by bringing yourself down. I was someone who beat myself up for many things and once in a while still do – if you do also, STOP. Reflect on accomplishments, look for references why you’re good at something, ask yourself questions like “Why do I deserve this?” and “Why am I so lucky?” instead of things like “Why can’t I earn more money” or ‘why is this such a struggle’ or ‘why don’t I ever win anything?”

  • Have a vision – ok maybe your life isn’t where you want it to be now and you want to improve – almost everyone does….create a vision. It doesn’t have to be a major complicated thing – something as simple as some bullet points or a paragraph or two is fine – create a simple story of you as you want to be – make the story in present tense as if you already have it – as if you are already “THERE” and you’re looking back on today, when you are struggling. Make sure that in the story you talk about how you’re proud of the steps you took, the hard work, the good attitude, and how you changed for the better. Remember, tell the ideal story of your life as if it is already done!

  • Enjoy the present, live in the moment – when we worry about the future or fret over the past, we miss moments and experiences right in front of us. I recall a time when my wife and I had time alone and I sat there worrrying about something that never even happened. Another time I recall worrying about something and basically ignoring my daughters when I had a free day with them. We all lost and nothing was gained. Take a moment to look around, be aware, and live today’s life. Things can happen in a moment. Look for miracles. You gotta celebrate life’s moments no matter what. There is no rehearsal.

  • Here’s something that can be the toughest for any of us – do the above each and everyday. We can all do things for a while or on occasion, or here and there. We have to ask the right questions, focus on the good stuff, reflect on our vision, and enjoy the present every day! We all must take action – even if they are just baby steps each day. Ask, ‘what thing, regardless how big or small, can I do today?” You don’t have to spend long on it – but at least 5 -10 minutes. Can you turn off the TV, put down the phone, or walk away from the computer or ipad for 10 minutes if it makes you better?

Remember, people with much less smarts, ability, education, opportunity have done great things, contributed, made money, helped others, and been successful , you have the ability, you have the power inside, you just need to take action.

http://www.onewebstrategy.com

😉

Simple Stuff

SimpleStuff

(Simple Stuff are a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

As far as I can tell, Jim, worrying about anything at all is a pretty good indicator that one has begun thinking that their joy and prosperity will somehow hinge on pending physical events, other people, or angry green Martians. Can you imagine?!  Phone home,  The Universe (Mike Dooley)

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  • Quick Relationship Tip: Remember: you are repeatedly training your nervous systems (and your partner’s nervous system) about how you feel about each other, no matter what you do. If you keep looking at each other in stress, you will start to associate each other with stress. If you look and act with each other in anger you will associate each other with anger. So be playful, loving and forgiving with each other – then you will associate love and happiness with the relationship 🙂 – Tony Robbins

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6 questions successful, high-performing individuals ask themselves. http://youtu.be/02Bzjj1eeeo Summary:
1. Presence: What level am I in this moment in terms of my emotional and physical vibrancy and presence?
2. Psychology: Am I living my truth – am I being who I know I can be and interacting with others as my best self?
3. Physiology: Am I rested, fit and hydrated?
4. Productivity: What is my mission today – what must I accomplish today to progress my life?
5. Persuasion: Am I demonstrating bold enthusiasm when I seek to influence others?
6. Purpose: How can I serve greatly?

From Brendon Burchard

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“A man arrested for shooting at the White House says he was upset over U.S. marijuana laws. Man, if only there was some way to mellow that guy out.” — Stephen Colbert

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Everyone is lucky, few are prepared.– Michael Dooley

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“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

🙂

Words To Live By : Giving – part 2

(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)

In the part one of this Giving, I talked about Giving in a different light than most people think of, perhaps. I spoke about in business and in life, that we should consider giving more value upfront without an expectation of receiving. I talked about how a business person can give all sorts of value up front before a client ‘buys’. Many new online, and established offline businesses do this with success. In relationships, sometimes we hold back and wait for the other person to give or open up. I profess that we should give, be open and reach out first. (We may get hurt but there is a much better chance we’ll connect)

In this post, I wish to address the main thoughts about giving – and the benefits…..

…. Giving Back is Good For You

Being altruistic, or reaching out to help others, not only benefits the person being helped, but practicing altruism also has many benefits for the person doing the helping. (university studies also show that if someone observes the act of giving between two others, they receive some of the same chemical and emotion benefits)

Altruism is an unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It is a generous way of expressing gratitude for all that you have been given.

Reaching out a hand to lift someone else up is one of the greatest gifts for the heart. The gifts that one receives from giving back and from reaching out to help others are immense and priceless.

There was an online article from OPRAH Magazine that says, “We have become very strange in this country about giving away our money. We only  seem to be able to do it unconsciously. Dropping the loose change into the  charity jar at the convenience store. Telling someone to keep the change because  the untoward jingling in your pocket may disrupt the afternoon staff meeting. As  soon as we start thinking about making a donation, we start thinking of reasons  not to do it. Money’s too tight at home. The person to whom we’ll give it will  spend it unwisely. The buck in the envelope is just a drop in the bucket. Oh,  Lord, the problem’s so big and my wallet is so small. The modern reflex seems to  be that the worst thing we can do for a problem is to “throw money at it,” even  though very few problems ever get solved for free. ”

Talking to friends and clients, and being aware of my own thoughts, I admit that this is true in many ways.

I read about an interesting event…. Over a recent holiday season, a  management group in Rhode Island gave its employees money on the express  condition that the employees then give it away to someone else in need. The  company then asked their employees to share the stories of their charity at a  company meeting.  There is a spark of the collective consciousness in that, which heartens  not only those people involved in the transaction but those who hear the story  and pass it along. There is something like art there.

Another article suggests, “When giving away  your money, it helps to think of it as more than bits of paper and scraps of  metal. That’s not a $20 bill you’re slipping into the envelope there. It’s a  bagful of flour. It’s soup or a blanket or a bottle of medicine. That handful of  quarters is a handful of rice.”

You can even make this art out of raw  self-interest. Giving away money can be the most selfish thing you do. With a  father and four of his siblings dead from the same disease, I can look at the  check I send to the Alzheimer’s Association and see something that is every bit  as therapeutic as any new therapy that money may help create. I see new drug  trials, and respite care, and a light against enveloping darkness. (reference: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/The-Benefits-of-Giving-to-Charity#ixzz2S9C26DtP )

Volunteering has always been viewed as good for your soul. Now it turns out that it’s also good for your health and your career. Recent research conducted by Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National & Community Service reveals that charitable work literally makes the heart grow stronger. Individuals with coronary artery disease who participate in volunteer activities after suffering a heart attack report a reduction in despair and depression, and that, in turn, rives down mortality and adds years to life. It’s also true that those who volunteer have fewer incidents of heart disease in the first place. (reference :Benefits of Giving Back, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, 12.22.09, http://www.forbes.com)

There is a children’s book that should be a must for all high school and college students to read and re-read. IT IS CALLED – Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud

It speaks on the simplicity and greatness of giving and how it affects all those around us. I know that I constantly need to work on and improve my giving – both monetarily and volunteering.

At the very least !

Give someone a smile, a pleasant thought, prayer, blessing. If you see someone crabby, grouchy, rude, or whatever, instead of silently judging him or her, send some positive vibes, a prayer or a good wish their way. Give them a smile or a kind word.

🙂

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