The Reason For Living Was To Get Ready To Stay Dead A Long Time (5022)

The title is a line from William Faulkner’s 1930 novel, As I Lay Dying. I don’t know if you believe in an afterlife or not. But the line Faulkner wrote during the 168 or so odd hours he spent writing this story, from the hours of midnight to 4 am over the course of six weeks, captures not only our imagination but our emotions. It’s not lost on me that 168 hours is also the number of hours in one week. Nor is it lost on me that this work was produced in 1929 while Faulkner while worked night shifts at the University of Mississippi Power House. I suppose keeping tabs on a power plant at night isn’t arduous enough work to prevent a writer from writing. But then again, perhaps nothing is powerful enough to prevent a true writer from writing. He’d just gotten married and was only 32.

I’m well past 32, but the line he wrote in the wee hours of one night in 1929 provides sober notions of what really matters in our life. And provides some sense of urgency about what we must do with life in this sphere.

In 2016 a TED talk was published featuring Robert Waldinger, the current director of a 75-year study on adult development. In the presentation, Dr. Waldinger, a psychiatrist, asks and answers the question, “What makes a good life?” I only take issue with the lack of spiritual considerations, but you should take about 13 minutes and watch it. Spoiler alert: it’s relationships!

It’s not money. Or fame. Or power. It’s people. It’s connection.

From a work perspective – and even a personal perspective – our lives are largely measured by the people in our lives. Those we surround ourselves with. Those who allow us to surround them.

“Memory believes before knowing remembers.” 

That’s another line from the novel. Brilliant enough to make me envious of Faulkner’s wordsmithing talents.

Leaning toward wisdom is hard work. Doable, but hard.

This is about living. It’s about living in a way where we have far more great moments than not. Where we’re impacting people by helping them achieve levels of success unlikely without us. Where our family, friends and other people we care about are positively influenced by us. Where encouragement is high.

I’m driven by two words: legacy and significance.

I don’t consider Faulkner’s words to be so morose.  I consider them challenging. Challenging us to get to the heart of the matter. To face the reality of why do what we do, or why we make the choices we make. Of all the things we could be doing instead of whatever it is we’re doing — we’re choosing to do this. Why?

Death is the end of life here. If we assume we’ll live to be 80 or older, it’s not a lot of time. You’re likely between the ages of 27 and 70. Maybe you’re younger. Maybe older. No matter. You’re either statistically ahead of the “death curve” or behind it. Meaning, you’ve either got more future in front of you than past, or you’ve got more past behind you than future in front of you. This timeline of life is always moving us further up the road toward the end. It’s our reality. All of us.

What Are You Doing With Your Time?

The crux of my work with CEO’s, business owners and leaders isn’t time management. For starters, I don’t believe in it. Not for myself anyway. I prioritize on the fly. Always have. I scan what’s happening and immediately (with speed) put the urgent and important thing up at the very top. Urgent but less important things tend to not be considered urgent for me. I have trouble labeling anything urgent that isn’t important. Illustration: I was out and about and my gas light came on. I pulled into a gas station and fueled up. The morning 38-ounce water bottle I had emptied was catching up with me. I had the urge, but the gas station was one of those cashier booth only kind of places. So I fill up and head toward home. By the time I got home it was urgent. Might not seem so important, but tell my bladder that. It was URGENT. And it was IMPORTANT. I guess somebody may be able to convince me there’s a way something can be urgent without being important, but I don’t live like that. So, I prioritize in real-time. Always have.

And I get stuff done, then move on. My objective is to fix it the first time, if possible. I’m not interested in patching it up so it’ll hold for a bit to buy me more time. Why would I want to come back and mess with it again if I’m here right now messing with it? It’s a point of view. You can have a different one and I won’t think less of you.

It all speaks to how we deal with TIME. I’ve just given you a glimpse of how I deal with it. It’s important for us to think more deeply about it because it’s all we’ve got. Our hours, days, months and years make up our lives. And the lives of the people who matter to us.

People.

What are you doing with your time and the people in your life?

I’m very involved in church work. The other day somebody asked me about that work and I told them how there are many young adults in my life (my favorite people). Right now, I’m completely focused on serving them to see who may be able and willing to one day serve in leadership. In short, I said, “I’m working really hard to grow future leaders.” First, I had to – and I still have to – invest in myself to become a better leader. And I do.

I spend time with myself. I spend time with other people. I’m much less focused these days on some specific work product as I am the people producing or helping produce the work product. Yes, the work product matters, but a funny thing happens when you put the attention where it can serve you best – on the people (and this includes yourself). The work product dramatically improves. Problems get solved more quickly. More permanently. Opportunities get spotted more quickly, too. And taken advantage of. People gain energy. And enthusiasm when we begin to understand that they’re the horsepower behind the engine that is our business!

We’re all gonna be dead much longer than we’ll be alive. That is, we’ll be on this planet for a brief time. The world will go on without us much, much longer than it will go on with us.

That’s urgency!

That’s important!

It’s also why the third leg of the trifecta of business building exists. Over at GrowGreat.com where I serve leaders I often talk about the trifecta of business building: getting new customers, serving existing customers better and not going crazy in the process.

Can we operate our businesses and our lives without losing ourselves? Can we live our lives and enhance ourselves? Can we live in a way that drives success higher than before…while at the same time finding greater joy? Yes, yes and yes.

“Memory believes before knowing remembers.” 

You have to think about it. Then you have to believe it. That it’s possible. And you’ve got to feel it deep down where you really live.

When you do, it’ll change everything. For the better. Your actions will be congruent to make it so. Lord willing, somewhere down the line, you’ll be able to look back with fond memories of how well you did. And it’ll happen because of the people you decided to give your attention to, and the people you allowed to give to you.

Craving Encouragement: The Hatching Of An Idea

Craving Encouragement began as just a truth unraveled by the realization that no matter who we are, or our station in life…every single one of us craves somebody willing and able to walk with us through our struggles. Not somebody who will cheerlead us with trite phrases – “You can do anything you put your mind to” – but people who love us, care about us and want to do whatever they can to serve us. It’s our universal craving for deeper connection and deeper encouragement.

Every human being craves connection. Perhaps introverts, like me, crave fewer, but deeper connection. Extroverts may lean more toward a wider variety of connections. Those details don’t matter so much. Mostly, what we all crave is a human connection with somebody who understands us in all of our context. That makes these connections valuable, but it also makes them rare.

We have many slashes behind our name. The various titles and roles we have. The struggle is compounded because finding somebody – developing a close relationship with somebody – who fully understands all these slashes is really hard. Harder still to find such a person who loves us enough to seek our very best — even if it means challenging us, pushing us and doing all the things necessary to encourage us through our toughest times.

Tough times are often made tougher because we’re unwilling to be vulnerable enough with people who care about us. It’s a protection thing. Fearful that we may be hurt, we avoid letting down our guard enough to allow somebody to encourage us. The surgeon capable of saving our life also has the capacity to do us harm. Trust…deep enough trust that we know the surgeon is working hard to help us, we willingly put our trust in this person. In a similar fashion, if we’ll be served by those willing to encourage us, we have to be open to the possibility, however remote, that we may suffer. The power to help also has the power to harm. We have to be willing to face both realities.

Sometimes we’ll be hurt. But hopefully, more often than not, we’ll be served. And be able to serve.

Have you ever hurt somebody you really love? Of course. We’ve all done that. Hopefully, not because our aim was to do them harm, but because we were careless, or ignorant…or just human! Craving encouragement is a valid desire. Examine the perceived intentions of the people who surround you. Not all the people who surround us are created equally. Look for the people in your life with the very best intentions. Look for the people in your life who you admire and love the most, and those who love and admire you.

Learn to encourage. It’s the quickest path to elevating your own reception of encouragement. It’s also the ideal path toward making a deeper mark on the world, by making a bigger impact on the lives of the people you care about most. Helping others is the reason for living.

Wednesday afternoon late, I lost a lifelong person like that. Here’s what I posted on Facebook about him, along with a photograph containing a line by poet Thomas Campbell. ” To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

Barney Owens left this world for the next late yesterday afternoon, Wednesday – February 20, 2019 around 5:15pm EST. He was a lifelong friend, confidant and mentor. The phrase in scripture that has always most reminded me of Barney is “a word fitly spoken.”

Proverbs 25:11-13 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
In settings of silver. Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold Is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear. Like the cold of snow in time of harvest Is a faithful messenger to those who send him, For he refreshes the soul of his masters.”

Barney was never verbose. With simple, straightforward Kentucky bred wit he’d always find words that would cut to the chase.

When I was much younger it was apparent we shared more than Faith. Barney was a reader and a pondering man. Studying at the feet of Edwin Morris for many years, I’d often smile when listening to Barney encourage me or challenge me using a phrase I’d heard Edwin use so many times. “I’ve been studying about that,” he’d say. Barney was a studying man. I wanted to benefit as much as possible from his endeavors.

He held a unique spot in my world – a man capable and willing to caringly challenge. Unafraid to tell me where he feared I may be going awry. Pushing me to study more. So many times he’d begin a sentence with one verb, “Think.” For example, “Think about…” and he might mention a verse of scripture (more likely than not) or something he’d been pondering during the many miles he spent behind the steering wheel. Barney Owens was thoughtful about the Scriptures.

People lament growing older because of the toll it takes on health and finances. Those aren’t at the forefront of my growing older. Losing mentors is proving the most challenging of all for me.

I’m working hard to be responsible and wise so I can pass it on. All the lessons men like Barney taught me. All the hours invested to serve me. To make me better. To make me however good I may be. I’m the product of the people who have surrounded me. My faults are entirely my own.

I’m a better man because Barney Owens was my friend. I loved him very much. And thankfully last Friday in a phone conversation, our last, we took the opportunity to express that to each other.

I’ll miss him very much, but I’ll think of him often. And I’ll remember the truths he taught me so I can teach them to others.

Getting ready to stay dead a long time means we have to make the most of each day. The Bible makes it clear that God created mankind and that He created us for His glory. The ultimate purpose of man, according to the Bible, is to glorify God.

Isaiah 43:7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Of course, the big question is, “How?”

Mark 12:30-31 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

There’s the reason for living. And if like me, you believe in a life beyond this one, then you believe being dead for a long time – dead physically – means spending eternity somewhere. Life here is preparation for a longer life elsewhere. Eternally.

It means putting forth a big effort to help others should become a bigger priority for us.

Do you want to show the podcast your support? Let me tell you how. Click here.

Thanks for listening.

RC

February 16, 2019 Saturday’s Smile

February 16, 2019 Saturday's Smile
February 16, 2019 Saturday's Smile
February 16, 2019 Saturday's Smile
February 16, 2019 Saturday's Smile
February 16, 2019 Saturday's Smile
February 16, 2019 Saturday's Smile

Help The Yellow Studio & The Leaning Toward Wisdom Podcast Get A Rode Rodecaster Pro

Now that Sweetwater has the unit, I’m linking up their E-gift-card link (you can enter ANY amount you want):
 https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/gift-cards/email

Use email: RandyCantrell [at] gmail [dot] com

The Reward – For A Special Leaning Toward Wisdom (LTW) Episode

• 10-minute Skype call with me (30 minutes if you donate $25 or more)
• The topic: tell me about a time when somebody really encouraged you in a meaningful way
• This will provide content for a special episode about encouragement
• I’ll include your name and any links you care to promote (or if you prefer, you can remain anonymous because I still want the stories)

It’s the power of others. And it includes the power of others to help the LTW podcast. Thank you for all your support!

Time For An Update Of This Website

I’m going to blow things up and reassemble them, hopefully with a much faster design with an intense focus on mobile experiences. My hosting service – purchased from MapleGrove Partners – is crazy fast and great. I love it. You should buy it if you’re looking for rock solid, inexpensive hosting that is ridiculously secure. I don’t get a single penny for recommending it, but you should buy it today!

But my site is bloated. It happens. WordPress is terrific and I’ve loved it for many, many years. However, things accumulate. Premium themes, even great ones, have limitations that require extensive plugins, unless you’re a hardcore developer/coder (I’m not). Page loads slow down. Queries pile up to the sky. Things don’t play as nicely as they once did.

So it’s time to blow it up and reboot with a fresh no-nonsense approach. Mobile users, which now accounts for 63% of web users with 37% consuming their content on a desktop. That was the last study I saw back last summer. I’m quite certain that the mobile number is rising and the desktop number will continue to come down.

When we’re on a mobile device we don’t stop to admire the pretty design. We simply want to get what we’re after. Minimalism works. Fancy doesn’t.

Brace yourself because I’m going for speed, speed, speed and ease, ease, ease for folks who visit this website. I won’t be posting anything until I get it done and I can’t promise the site will look like much of anything as I’m working the kinks out. I’m keeping it live instead of opting for some maintenance plugin. No need to make things more cumbersome than necessary.

I’ll be back as soon as I’ve got things mostly under control. In the meantime, if you’re not yet inside the private Facebook group, now would be a great time to join so you can keep up with what’s happening.

RC

Help The Yellow Studio & The Leaning Toward Wisdom Podcast Get A Rode Rodecaster Pro

Now that Sweetwater has the unit, I’m linking up their E-gift-card link (you can enter ANY amount you want): https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/gift-cards/email

Use email: RandyCantrell [at] gmail [dot] com

 

The Reward – For A Special Leaning Toward Wisdom (LTW) Episode

• 10-minute Skype call with me (30 minutes if you donate $25 or more)
• The topic: tell me about a time when somebody really encouraged you in a meaningful way
• This will provide content for a special episode about encouragement
• I’ll include your name and any links you care to promote (or if you prefer, you can remain anonymous because I still want the stories)

It’s the power of others. And it includes the power of others to help the LTW podcast.

Thank you for all your support!

February 9, 2019 Saturday’s Smile

February 9, 2019 Saturday's Smile - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM

February 9, 2019 Saturday's Smile - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM

February 9, 2019 Saturday's Smile - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM

February 9, 2019 Saturday's Smile - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM

February 9, 2019 Saturday's Smile - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM

February 9, 2019 Saturday's Smile - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM

Help The Yellow Studio & The Leaning Toward Wisdom Podcast Get A Rode Rodecaster Pro

Now that Sweetwater has the unit, I’m linking up their E-gift-card link (you can enter ANY amount you want): https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/gift-cards/email

Use email: RandyCantrell [at] gmail [dot] com

 

The Reward – For A Special Leaning Toward Wisdom (LTW) Episode

• 10-minute Skype call with me (30 minutes if you donate $25 or more)
• The topic: tell me about a time when somebody really encouraged you in a meaningful way
• This will provide content for a special episode about encouragement
• I’ll include your name and any links you care to promote (or if you prefer, you can remain anonymous because I still want the stories)

It’s the power of others. And it includes the power of others to help the LTW podcast.

Thank you for all your support!

What Would You Change About Yourself? (5021)

Denny Crane wouldn’t change one thing about himself. Alan Shore, James Spader’s character, asks Denny what he’d change about himself. Denny replies, “Nothing.” That’s why he’s one of the greatest TV characters of all time. Denny Crane epitomized self-confidence, but more importantly…he was completely comfortable, no, pleased…about who and what he is. Genius! I miss that show, Boston Legal.

It’s a good question though.

As kids we’d throw a ball at a buddy and shout, “Think quick.” So let me throw you a question with the same challenge, “Think quick!”

What would you change about yourself? 

I doubt I’ve got any Denny Crane types listening to my podcast. If I do, let me hear from ya! 😉

The entire self-help (ahem, personal development) industry is based on the truth that most of us (maybe ALL of us) would change something about ourselves. Sometimes we know what it might be. Other times we might be stumped. We just know this ain’t it.

Mostly, I suspect people are aware of what they’d like to change…they just aren’t sure how. I was taught, through books when I was still a kid, that successful people don’t obsess about how. They mostly focus on who can help them, and get very focused on what they want to accomplish. I confess that was hard for me because…well, I was a teenager. I didn’t have a network of people who could or would help me figure it out. Whatever IT may be.

“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I started reading self-help books when I was young. I don’t remember the first one I read, but it was very likely, How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I’m pretty sure I started reading them because I was curious about improving myself. Truth be told, I wanted to be better. Denny Crane moments didn’t often occur in my life as a kid. They still don’t. 😉

There are so many things I’d change about myself that I doubt an Excel spreadsheet has the computing power to database them all. And yet I’m comfortable – especially at this age – with who and what I am. I’m a walking contradiction like that, I guess.

Sitting here inside The Yellow Studio listening to an album by Francis King that came out last year, Ask For The Moon, I started thinking more deeply and specifically about it. “Asking for the moon” is tantamount to asking for something that is seemingly impossible. At the very least, it’s quite difficult. Are there changes you’d make in yourself that seem impossible? Or very difficult?

With Francis singing to me through my headphones I started thinking how making big changes – seemingly impossible ones – are most worthwhile. I started to think back to the books and my attraction to that section of the bookstores, SELF-HELP. So I pondered it, took a stroll through my bookshelves and concluded – perhaps incorrectly, I’m not sure – that Stephen Covey’s 1989 bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, may have been among the first to distill a variety of notions put forth by the self-help crowd. I’m not saying it was the first book to capture my attention or even the first content I seriously consumed and considered. Not by a long shot.

“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”  ― Steven Wright

My maternal grandfather had some books on a little table by his evening chair. Guys had evening chairs back in the day. Maybe they still do. I’ve not had a chair (that’s dad’s chair) since my kids were toddlers. I’ve only had one and that one was it. I’m so deprived, no wonder there are so many things I would change about myself? 😀

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  ― William Faulkner

The year before I was born, in 1956, Earl Nightingale produced an audio record entitled, The Strangest Secret. I know I’ve had a recording of that since high school. I’m fairly sure I first heard it while I was in junior high. I remember being in junior high realizing that all the self-help books I knew about came from the insurance industry. By the time I was in high school I understood that all the sales books were also written by folks in the insurance game. Earl Nightingale owned an insurance agency. I’d later learn that before he was 30 he read Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich. It changed his life and set him off on a career in motivation. By 1960 he had formed Nightingale-Conant with Lloyd Conant. Supposedly, the trigger idea for Nightingale was Napoleon Hill’s words that “we become what we think about.” This didn’t raise an eyebrow for me because I was trained in a Christian home where the Bible was read regularly. So from the time I was a child I knew the first part of Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh within himself, so is he.” I knew Napoleon Hill wasn’t the first to figure that out.

My quest to improve wasn’t likely driven so much by anything more than the notion that I can do better. I can be better. The truth that I’m not as good as I can be.

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”  ― Albert Einstein

It wasn’t driven and isn’t driven today, by any belief that I was pathetic, inadequate, wretched or weak. I’ve almost always been comfortable in who I am. But I’ve also always been dissatisfied with who I presently am relative of who I hope to be tomorrow. The feeling is more optimistic than pessimistic. Discontentment with today based on the hope of tomorrow has never seemed like some negative curse to me, but instead an ongoing challenge to constantly improve.

Kaizen is the Japanese term for improvement. It means “change for the better.” I was in the consumer electronics and was familiar with Japanese manufacturers (suppliers) like Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer. Korea and Taiwan manufacturers would come much later, by the way. I’ve heard Kaizen and Ichiban (Japanese for number 1) for as long as I can remember. Kaizen properly describes what I’ve chased.

Change For The Better

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”  ― Ernest Hemingway

I’m not saying I’ve achieved it. Sometimes I have. Other times I’ve missed dreadfully.

Now, back to the question that we’re trying to wrestle down…

What would you change about yourself?

Sure, it can be anything. Weight? Fine. Fitness? That’s okay, too. Your nose? Okay, let’s not dive too deeply into vanity issues. Weight and fitness are health issues that we should take somewhat seriously. Get a nose job if it matters that much to you. Just please don’t get duck lips, or all this other stuff done to your face or body. Side note: Have you seen this Netflix movie, Bird Box with Sandra Bullock? This thing is breaking records and I just don’t get it. For starters, it’s not that good. And if you can watch Sandra Bullock, who I always thought was very attractive in a natural sort of way, without being fascinated by whatever facial surgery she’s had done…then you’re better than me.

Let me ask you something. Does it make sense to you that the older we get – if we’re fairly consistent in trying to improve ourselves – that the list of things we’d change should get shorter? Yeah, that makes sense to me, too. So why doesn’t it work that way. Instead, for me, the list just seems to be getting longer. It’s like I should have stopped decades ago. While I was ahead.

The explanation is pretty esay actually. We get smarter and wiser over time. Years ago the list was crazy long, but we didn’t see it. We couldn’t see the many things that needed changing so we incorrectly thought, “I’m good.” No, we weren’t. Ignorance is bliss…and bliss belongs to the young.

I figure by the time I die my list will so long it’ll consume most of my free Evernote account.

Do you ever think you’d like to change something, then you do it…and feel like you should change back? Yeah, me neither!

Sometimes it’s not something I want to change permanently. Meaning, I’m not trying to change how I behave generally, but there are moments where I’d like to change my behavior situationally. So I do. And then I can be prone to think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.” It may not be that we’re jerks – that would require a permanent change, at least it would if we wanted to improve. Sometimes we’re temporarily jerks. It requires a momentary, hopefully, an instantaneously change. That’s what happens when we sincerely apologize.

I grew up being taught that “I’m sorry” means you won’t do it again. I get that sentiment, but I don’t agree with it. It matters what we’re apologizing for, of course. Not every transgression is equal. Neither is every apology.

If you cheat on your spouse that apology is much different than if you forget to carry out the trash, and they get angry about it. Restitution is different, too. The punishment fits the crime.

Cheat on your spouse and if you’d have them forgive you, then you absolutely better mean “I will never do it again.” Forget to carry out the trash and a sincere apology may mean you don’t intend to neglect it again in the future, but you’re not likely making such a strong commitment about the trash. Fidelity versus trash is no contest. Changes vary based on the severity – and the consequences – of not changing.

Continue to cheat on your spouse and your shameful conduct will destroy your home. That’s selfishness that avoids changing for the better. No improvement. Just selfish fulfillment of what you want.

Carry out the trash, but every now and again it slips past you…well, the consequences of that aren’t likely all that bad.

Are you committed to your own improvement?

I guess that’s really the question to be answered. And let’s define improvement as behaving with wisdom. It’s about being a good person. And it includes treating yourself in a morally upright way, and treating others well, too. It’s about an ongoing quest to become the very best person you can be. Selfishness ruins the quest. Always! Self-awareness fuels it. Always!

When I say it’s change for the better, that doesn’t mean it’s just better for you. An extra-marital affair may seem “for the better” for the cheating spouse, but it’s wrong on every level. But that brings up the subjective nature of better. It’s absolutely relative, but is there a commitment to ongoing improvement? Is it a sham or is it real? Do you really want to become a better human or are you just trying to fool people?

Be honest with yourself. Trust the people who love you to be honest with you. This isn’t work to tackle in isolation because you’re not going to always see things accurately. You’re prone to blind spots and biases.

Public speakers are prone to think they’re better than they really are. Recordings don’t lie, but people can still fail to perceive reality. A speaker with a number of annoying and distracting verbal crutches continues to use them. He’s unaware of them. Even listening to himself, or watching himself doesn’t show him what needs to be corrected so he can improve. Until somebody points it out. Then he has the opportunity to hear himself or watch himself in a whole new light. His awareness is the genesis of improvement.

USA Today had a story the other day that got my attention. It was entitled, From ‘Misery’ to marvelous: Kathy Bates credits ‘mindfulness’ for 60-pound weight loss.

Veteran actress Kathy Bates has dropped an impressive 60 pounds, but it wasn’t the result of any trendy dieting plan.

Instead, the star of “Misery” and “American Horror Story” told Us Weekly she dropped the weight through “mindfulness, just knowing when to push my plate away.”

Bates explained, “My niece told me this little secret — I guess it’s no secret, it’s a biological thing — that at some point when you’re eating, you have this involuntary sigh and that’s really your brain and your stomach communicating that you’ve had enough. The trick is to pay attention to that and push your plate away.”

The 70-year-old actress, who has been shedding the weight since last year, says it took a while to develop the ability to do that.

“It took a few years,” Bates said. “I would say you have to be really patient … I don’t like the word ‘willpower,’ but I like the word ‘determination.’”

Six years after undergoing a double mastectomy for breast cancer, the Oscar and Emmy winner says, “I have never been in such good health.”

Bates, who also cropped and dyed her hair dark last year, even expressed remorse for not doing it sooner.

“I feel like a completely different person,” she told Us Weekly. “I can move, I can walk. I just wish I had done it years ago.”

Kathy Bates got some helpful insights from her niece. A small detail that made a big improvement. Another person helped Kathy figure this out. Her niece couldn’t do this for her though. Kathy had to make up her own mind. Her improvement had to be her decision.

The story captured my imagination a bit by the tactic of paying close attention to the involuntary sigh. What involuntary sighs exist in our lives that we ignore? By paying close attention to them we may be able to improve. Without the knowledge of such a thing, provided by her niece, Kathy may have never known about it. Was it the key missing piece to help her drop the weight? I don’t know, but it resonated with her. She embraced it. It provided something she needed to make up her mind that she was going to make this improvement in her life.

Clicks and Sighs

Something just clicks. We stroll through life unaware of something until one day something clicks. It’s usually something small.

That’s a partial explanation of why there are so many diets and diet books. They don’t all resonate with everybody. You hear wild success stories from the people for whom that particular program clicked. Is there power in the tactic or strategy? Of course. To varying degrees, but the real power is in us. It’s in the power of a mind made up to change!

Whether it’s Kathy Bates listening closely to her body sigh saying, “Okay, I’m full” or whether it’s our awareness that we’re saying “you know?” too much when we talk — there are clicks and sighs that can help alter the outcome if we’ll be open to them.

It’s time we started paying closer attention with a goal of figuring out what needs to be improved. Not because others want us to change – that won’t likely stick – but because we want it for ourselves. Know there are people in your life who are trying to serve you well. Kathy Bates had a niece who served her well. But Kathy didn’t lose the weight for her niece. You won’t make whatever improvements lie ahead for anybody but yourself. Even so, other people can help you figure out the path toward accomplishing whatever you decide.

So decide. Don’t stand pat. Stop berating yourself and start improving yourself. We can all do more to become better. That’s what wisdom is all about. Doing our best to make sure we can get it right in real time as often as possible.

“Be wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so.” ― Dale Carnegie

Help The Yellow Studio & The Leaning Toward Wisdom Podcast Get A Rode Rodecaster Pro

Now that Sweetwater has the unit, I’m linking up their E-gift-card link (you can enter ANY amount you want): https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/gift-cards/email

Use email: RandyCantrell [at] gmail [dot] com

 

The Reward – For A Special Leaning Toward Wisdom (LTW) Episode

• 10-minute Skype call with me (30 minutes if you donate $25 or more)
• The topic: tell me about a time when somebody really encouraged you in a meaningful way
• This will provide content for a special episode about encouragement
• I’ll include your name and any links you care to promote (or if you prefer, you can remain anonymous because I still want the stories)

It’s the power of others. And it includes the power of others to help the LTW podcast.

Thank you for all your support!