I’ve been podcasting for 5 1/2 years with most of the interviews taking place virtually.
It has its benefits with the flexibility of scheduling around a full-time job but it can lose the connection of being in the presence of someone and feeling that energy.
So, when I get to meet my guests in person, either during the interview or after, it hits home for me.
I’m making a deeper connection than just an interview. It’s a bond we have for the rest of our lives.
Some people I’ll never speak to again.
Others become peers and we support one another.
And some become friends.
Recently, I got to meet Adam and Kathryn Fraser of the Adventures or A+K (super cool people!) who joined the Just Get Started Podcast in 2020.
They travel around in their Sprinter Van, visit National Parks and other local hot spots around the country, and document their journey through their blog and YouTube channel. (https://adventuresofaplusk.com/)
After all these years trading messages through a phone and talking over the internet it was refreshing to see them up close.
To give them a hug, share stories, and trade some laughs.
Figs O’Sullivan is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Emotionally-Focused Therapy practitioner, and commander-in-chief for the top-rated therapists in San Francisco.
Born in Ireland to students of the human experience and now raising two children with his wife, Teale, in Hawaii, Figs has met as many different kinds of people as he has therapy methods. And yet, what he discovered about how humans heal was incredibly simple.
And often really, really difficult for people to achieve without guidance.
We uncover neat experiences.
We discover new opportunities
We are wowed by new people.
Unfortunately, one of the more difficult things in life is to accept that these don’t always last.
That although we might create great memories, these moments pass by.
That shouldn’t make us sad. It should give us hope.
Hope that more will be around the next bend.
Hope that we will continue to recognize these as they present themselves.
Hope that as we grow so will the value of the experiences, opportunities, and people we encounter.
We could be sad that the moments are ending or we could be grateful that we had them at all.
We choose our path. What happens on it is sometimes out of our control.
All we can do is embrace the moments that come our way because we never know how long we have them.
On a mission to spend 1 hour, 1:1, with 10,000 different people, Rob Lawless has met over 5,200 people from ~90 countries in the last 7 years.
He’s shared every one of their stories to his Instagram, @robs10kfriends, catching the attention of media like On Air with Ryan Seacrest, the Kelly Clarkson Show, and the TODAY Show.
Meeting everyone from CEOs to celebrities to students to everyday people who’ve overcome extreme circumstances, he’s also inspired others to go on their own journeys of connection in Boston, Toronto, Germany, India, and Ethiopia.
Since taking his project full-time in July of 2016, he’s found financial stability through speaking at universities, companies, and conferences, and going forward hopes to become a professor of connection, helping students learn from each other rather than a textbook!
The best relationships in life have one clear thing in common.
There is a complimentary toolset that each person brings on the journey.
No one person is better than the other. Sometimes the tools one person has will be used and other times it’ll be the opposite. Oftentimes, the tools will work together to create something useful and generous.
If we think about relationships this way and work to keep them balanced then we’ll be better served as we deepen the connection and forge ahead.
We can certainly take our toolset and go along the journey alone but that doesn’t appear to make for the most fun and exciting adventure.
Those moments need to be shared and we should strive often to seek out those people to share them with.
Episode 275 features Jon Vroman, Founder of Front Row Dads, which has become a diverse group of 230 dads from 12 different countries who share a common bond of choosing to put family first as they grow their businesses.
During the episode, Jon mentions a great resource to pick us is 15 Commitments to Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer: Buy it here
Jon Vroman founded Front Row Dads because he wanted to win at home and not just at work.
Over the last 5 years, Front Row Dads has become a diverse group of 230 dads from 12 different countries who share a common bond of choosing to put family first as they grow their businesses.
The mission of Front Row Dads is to help men deepen their connection with their children and build a family legacy that they’re proud of.
Outside of the podcast, live events, and online summits, FRD has a highly engaged membership that supports each dad in aligning with his family values and staying committed to the most important people in his life.
Jon has been featured on Today Show and Inc.com for his work in helping others “Live Life In The Front Row™”. He’s been requested to speak for the US Navy, Vitamix, Dove, Keller Williams Realty, Entrepreneurs Organization, and many others.
As the author of the #1 bestselling book, The Front Row Factor, he shares inspiring stories, compelling science, and life strategies that challenge you to explore your values, establish priorities and reconnect to a higher purpose and deeper meaning within your life.
In 2005, Jon founded FrontRowFoundation.org, a charity that helps individuals who are braving life-threatening illnesses, to experience the event of their dreams, from the front row.
We are either a part of that change or we are fighting against it.
Our body changes as we age but if we’ve been focusing on fitness and healthy eating, that change is quite delayed. If we haven’t, we start to feel those effects compound over time. Building healthy habits early on and sticking with them help form a foundation for us to live each day by.
When we go through a breakup or loss, that change is hard, but if we’ve been focusing on our self-reflection inward then we gain a different perspective on the situation. We start to be comfortable with who we are and that others compliment us. They do not define us. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. It can just suck much less.
When we lose a job, the same thing happens. If we rely on this job so much to keep up our lifestyle and identity then when it ends we are broken. It’s because we haven’t put in the work to recognize our strengths and give ourselves room to maneuver if need be.
We may not always be in control. We can’t control aging, we can’t control if someone breaks up with us, and we can’t control a job loss or a myriad of other life events.
But we can control if we are prepared for them.
We can control if we’ve taken proper measures to mitigate increased risk or pain.
We can control if we are willing to learn from each experience.
It starts by gaining better self-awareness. It starts by asking ourselves simple questions.
What really makes us happy?
Is this the right “fit”?
Do we need that new “toy”?
Are we okay if this doesn’t go our way?
Do we feel we have a great support system?
Asking simple questions about the foundations of our life offers a glimpse into the crystal ball and whether those will crack under more pressure or hold us upright to weather the storm.
Strong foundations lay the groundwork to build upon and allow us to take chances and be okay if it doesn’t work out.
We need to ask ourselves, today, what is our foundation built on, and are we confident it can hold up to the fiercest storm we might encounter?
As we think back about our best memories, they are always simple and we are normally surrounded by others.
I think about the moment I found out we were having a baby.
I think about the first moment I held him.
I think about playing golf with my son.
I think about falling in love.
I think about pick-up football games with my friends.
I think about sitting in my grandmother’s dining area and having a conversation with her.
I think about playing video games with my brother.
I think about my first CrossFit competition and being around my team.
I think about all of these memories and so many more and what they might have in common.
We need to go back to 1st Principles thinking. Break down our finest memories and happiest moments. What are the simple building blocks that made them what they are?
These are some things that come to mind.
If we can do things that hit one or more of these buckets then we are going to have the opportunity to create many happy memories and build an unbelievable life for ourselves and the people around us.
Seek to do more of those things and happiness will inevitably follow.
The Happiest Place On EarthBrian Ondrako2022-07-17T09:09:34-04:00
It’s been 3 years since my wife and I got divorced. Funny how that much time has passed. Funny to think what we could’ve changed to make it work.
A lot of things for sure.
But, then again, it was probably the right decision. We were both unhappy.
Why stay in something that you are “lukewarm” about, at best?
But that’s what we do as humans. We sort of just settle in for what feels comfortable. We do whatever we can to hold the walls up around us in order to eliminate the abrupt pain of it all caving in at once.
We fail to recognize that having the walls cave in can allow us to rebuild a stronger foundation from the ground up. We can create a more solid structure that is long-lasting.
It doesn’t mean we have to run from every bad situation but it could mean that we have to take a hard look inward on why this is happening in the first place.
What have we done to get here? What have we done to cause this situation? What has been out of our control? How can we change for the better?
Change is really hard. I remember the time between getting “separated” and then actually leaving the house we built together. Those 5 weeks transitioning to leave the house and officially, by legal standards, become separated were brutal.
I cried a lot.
I was heartbroken.
I was depressed.
I was sad.
But then, I wasn’t.
Sure, I can be sad that we weren’t madly in love like many years prior. I can be sad that our son has to be a part of a co-parenting situation. I can be sad that the happy moments we had together would be clouded by this decision we made.
But that’s all a matter of perspective. I had the choice to be happy or sad.
So I chose to be happy.
Everything ends at some point. That’s the rub of life. It all eventually ends. Our situation ended just a bit more abruptly than originally planned. Our story just took a different direction down the wandering path.
But, I’m happy I had those moments with her. I was madly in love, and I know she was, too.
I’m happy my son gets to spend time with each of us individually and grow a stronger bond. He gets to grow up going through some shit. That’s only going to make him more resilient.
I’m happy with all those moments of happiness, laughter, and fun we had together. We had some great times. But I’m also happy for the less-than-desirable moments, too. Because, as I reflect, it’s made me grow as a person and be a better version of myself. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to go through hard times to figure that stuff out.
Life is never easy but if I’ve learned anything it’s that negativity and pessimism almost get you nowhere. I’m sure someone can tell me there is some utility to it but not much that I’ve seen.
If we can take every situation, no matter how dire, and work our way to see the sunshine and rainbows then we have a much better chance of finding the happiness inside ourselves and using that as fuel to power us forward.
It’s hard to get there when we think the world is always giving us a bad hand to play.
Once we accept that we may not have played the hand correctly then it can make it much easier to respect the outcome and move on.
It doesn’t mean we forget about the past as those moments and experiences helped define who we are, good or bad. But it gives us the opportunity to use those moments and learn from them.
We have the opportunity to start anew. Not from square one but from much farther ahead because of the wealth of knowledge we’ve gained through all of it.
Be open to change. Be receptive to it. Embrace it.
Eyewitness accounts and memory recognition can be some of the foggiest and most unreliable pieces of information when time elapses.
When in doubt, get everything on “paper” and have it confirmed.
Business contracts, project timelines, payment agreements, etc.
We become too nice and don’t want to ask for these things because we feel it’ll add friction to the relationship or slow the process down.
What we fail to recognize, and this is true for other things as well, is that delayed gratification is more valuable in the long run than the initial warm and fuzzy feeling of a “handshake” agreement.
Inevitably, there will be a time when that contract, email chain, or otherwise needs to be brought back into focus. It becomes much less stressful to utilize those agreed-upon terms than the perceived frustrations or difficult conversations we’d have to have upfront.
Write everything down and get everyone to agree with upfront on the terms so that there are no question marks when a disagreement ensues. That is the worst time to try to agree on a course of action or confirm what we remembered we discussed before.
Often, everyone’s memory starts to get a little fuzzy.
After his life as a consulting actuary to Fortune 100 Companies, David built the world’s largest coaching business, becoming #1 on Google for “life coaching.”
Discovering that Shiny-Object-Syndrome is an epidemic among high performers, David coaches rock-star business owners to double revenue, achieve more in less time, and be a more extraordinary entrepreneur, partner, parent, and leader.
If you enjoyed this interview you may also like my first interview with David on the Just Get Started Podcast –David Wood on Episode #144
There are definitely times we need to be alone. Sometimes we need a breather from everyone else. Disconnecting from the world can be healthy for our mental state.
But, we shouldn’t hang out there too long. There are tremendous benefits from being around people who are on our side and support us. We all strive for belonging and we benefit from being able to converse with people that can listen and help us when we need it.
But, ultimately, we have to take the leap and ask for that help because most people may not know that we need it. That can be the hardest thing to do. Asking, reaching out a hand, being vulnerable. We think it makes us look weak but it can be one of the most courageous things we can do.
Next time we are scared, helpless, or feeling off a bit we have to try and take a leap of faith and be courageous. Phone a friend. Ask for help. It’s amazing how quickly they’ll jump to be there for us.
In these circumstances, the opportunities that can come from working as a team far outweigh anything we can do alone.
We hear slogans like “Taste the feeling”, “That’s what I like”, “They’re Gr-r-reat” and hundreds of other slogans in marketing ads across the world.
But, we can all agree, none of these products as well as a host of others are very healthy. So while their slogans may be clever and get us thinking and feeling a certain way, the results paint a vastly different picture. What we get by consuming these products is far different than the message we receive.
We have to keep this in mind as we build new relationships. In early encounters, people may talk a certain way and present a picture of themselves that differs from what our intuition is telling us. Dig deeper and look at the actions versus the words coming out of their mouth.
How are they treating us and others? Does their story add up or are there holes? Are they playing games?
We all try to make a memorable first impression but some people can be deceptive in their approach. Be sure to look behind the curtain and not always take the words someone is saying as fact. They may be hiding something.
They may be selling us a brand that is quite different than the product we end up receiving.
Actions Speak Louder Than WordsBrian Ondrako2021-09-21T11:36:50-04:00
We bring people into our lives for various reasons. As time passes and growth happens there may be people that end up not being appropriate to share our time with anymore.
Sometimes it is easy to discover the destructive ones but often times we are incapable or unwilling to see when the writing is on the wall.
As relationships progress it’s often important to ask questions about them.
Questions such as:
Do they reach out to me consistently or only when they are lonely or need something?
Can they share advice and insight in a constructive manner or are they always talking down to me?
Do they talk about themselves or their problems constantly and rarely ask how I am doing?
Are they present in my time of need or only when convenient for them?
There is only so much time to go around and spending more time with fewer people might not be a bad philosophy as support systems become more important to get us through the hard times.
Deep not wide is an approach to consider in these situations.
As the saying goes, “We are the average of the five people we spend our most time with”.
Choose people that fill up your cup and you theirs. Life is too short for the alternative.
Depreciation – a reduction in the value of an asset with the passage of time, due in particular to wear and tear.
We think about depreciation as assets like our cars losing value over time but we might consider this with our relationships as well so they don’t do the same.
Our best relationships continue to grow and evolve as long as we are putting the right time into fostering that relationship. They become more valuable and lead us to be happier in them.
If we neglect them then it’s almost certain it will lose its luster and the flame will go out.
Times change and people change. We change. If we are not continuing to communicate with our partner, family, friend, colleague, etc on some sort of regular cadence and make an effort to make sure the relationship is intact then there is a good chance it will slowly deteriorate without us even knowing it.
Then, we get to a spot where we all have probably been, there is no value left in the relationship to make it worthwhile to continue.
Before we ever get to that point we should consider asking ourselves this question occasionally, “How am I committing to this relationship and making it valuable to the other person”?
Although we can’t control the effort the other person puts into the relationship, at least we can be confident that we’ve given it our all and made it clear that we wanted to be in it for the long haul.
This month I would be celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary.
But we didn’t make it much past year 7.
In a strange way, I still celebrate that day and spend time thinking about the past.
The good times and the bad. The ups and the downs. The lessons I wish I knew then but only learned much later.
The outcome may not have changed. Different people with different values may not have worked out if we played it back 100 different ways.
And that’s why I reflect.
It’s okay that it didn’t work out.
I still cherish the time we had together. The early days were really fun. I was in love and I know she was, too. We’ll always have that time etched in the archives of our story.
It was a big part of my journey to get where I am today. I’m more grateful than heartbroken.
I don’t look at divorce as a failure. In fact, it could be considered a win. We both have the chance to learn and change. We both have the chance to explore new horizons we might not have ventured into. We both can use the past as a lesson to help in the future.
The story of “us” looks different than it did 10 years ago and just because it might not have the fairytale ending doesn’t mean there can’t be a silver lining to it all.
So, cheers to whatever you are celebrating that has been a big chapter in the story of your life!
Had a great interview with Dating Coach Cora Boyd on the latest installment of the Just Get Started Podcast. I got in touch with Cora through the Next Gen Community and it was neat to talk with someone running something different than a tech or product company to change things up on the Podcast. I think you all will get a lot out of this episode and really enjoy the dialogue!
I lived abroad in Europe and Latin America for several years, which was monumental for developing my interpersonal and cross-cultural communications skills.
I’m fluent in Spanish.
I have personally conducted interviews about dating with over five hundred people.
I’m originally from Washington, DC, I spent my formatives years in New Orleans, and I’m now based in Seattle. I coach in-person clients in Seattle and phone clients all over the world.
I moonlight as a comedy and burlesque performer.
I spent a year studying the psychology of happiness under Tal Ben Shahar, creator of Harvard’s most popular course in history.
I worked for two years as a top matchmaker for a national matchmaking firm founded by Elle Magazine’s E. Jean Carroll (author of the world’s longest running advice column) through Stanford’s StartX accelerator.
I studied liberal arts and psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans, and graduated magna cum laude with top honors.
I regularly write thought pieces on love, sex, and dating for various publications.