E#52: The Last Episode: Wisdom that Matters to You
This is a episode is how to leave a list, quotes and memories on things you find meaningful.
(This is the core of the transcript from the podcast. The Intro has been removed and some areas improved for reading ease.)
Well, this is the 52nd episode. I started the podcast a year ago, with the goal of doing at least one episode a week for 52 weeks. My friends asked me, "what's your goal? What's the endpoint? How many listeners do you want to have? How do you know you are successful?” And my response was, "when I've completed the 52 episodes, I'll feel I've been successful.” The goal of each episode was to provide some knowledge, insight, or interview people that shared valuable and useful information. I knew along the way I'd also develop the skill to communicate and articulate myself better on camera - something very foreign for me.
Through the journey, there were times where I thought, "why should I continue? Is anybody listening? Is there anything worthwhile or useful that I’m sharing? Is it helpful? Coincidentally, whenever I started to think this way, I would get emails about a particular episode that I just did, or I'd run into someone who found a little golden nugget in what I shared that week. People would say thank you for taking the time to do the podcast. It was meaningful to them and that was meaningful to me.
How do you know you are successful?
It was very helpful and encouraging to know that the effort and expense that I was putting forth was valuable and helping someone. The second reason I continued was that I had in fact made a commitment to myself that I would do at least 52 episodes and then decide what I would do in the future with the podcast. Barring a major emergency, this was a commitment that I could stick to.
Another reason was that I wanted to interview people that were doing important work and who could share essential teachings or perspectives.
The final reason I didn't bother to quit was that I always wanted to leave a video of any teachings, ideas, values or viewpoints for my children. Many of us set up wills and other safety measures for our children or the future generation, but we don't always set up life lessons or perspectives we've learned. Things that will truly benefit them. Perspectives that can guide them. Mistakes they can learn from. As my father always reminded me, a smart person learns from his mistakes, a wiseman learns from the mistakes of others.
I know I would have loved to see a recording of my mom or dad speaking on tough areas such as money, relationships, conflict, fears, overcoming mistakes, how to be resilient, what books or people inspired them and so forth. Even just a written list would have been so valuable to me.
Has there been anyone in your life - your dad, mom, grandparent or role model - l that you wished you had a record of their teachings or idioms? How valuable would several moments with them be if you had a chance again? I don't think there is a monetary value you can put on that kind of tangible memory.
Has there been anyone in your life - your dad, mom, grandparent or role model - l that you wished you had a record of their teachings or idioms?
Leaving, logging and listing our wisdom, ideas and perspectives behind is so much easier since we have the technology to do it quickly. There is a certain magic to video that captures the nuances of a person’s personality. I always thought that even though my children are not watching or listening to this podcast now, when they get older and eventually when I'm no longer here in this world, they and their future generation will have the opportunity to see what I was thinking and what values I stood for. It hopefully will inspire, influence and inform their life .
This is a great thing for all of us to do and I want to share with you a fun exercise that you can do to convey your life's work and experiences. You certainly don't need to start a podcast to do this. Essentially you write out, or video tape, a list of ideas, quotes and books that are meaningful in your life. It can be short or longer with explanations if you prefer. I’ll share with you some examples.
Start with creating a simple list and grow it as you come across more things that inspire you. The goal is to create a list of 100 items over a comfortable time frame. It shouldn’t be onerous but rather fun. Team up with a friend to help increase accountability. Here are my examples. Customize the style to what fits you best and is complementary to whoever you are sharing this with, if anyone at all.
Leaving, logging and listing our wisdom, ideas and perspectives behind is so much easier since we have the technology to do it quickly.
If you always choose to do easy things, you will lead a difficult life. You need to do difficult things so you know that you can overcome them and endure them. If you don’t, then when hard times come, and they will, you will suffer tremendously and what may appear hard may actually be quite simple to many other people. Struggles are a natural part of growth and so expect and invite difficult, sensible challenges.
Err on the side of more. I use this when deciding what to do in an ambiguous situation such as how much food should I buy for a party. I'll buy more so that no one is left hungry. If I think a project will take me two days to complete, I make sure I give myself three or four days just in case it takes longer. If I think someone has made an error, I will fall on the side of more compassion and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Know the difference between giving up and failure. This speaks to the idea that you may be passionate about solving a problem, but the solution you are pursuing may be a dead end. That dead end doesn’t mean you’ve failed but rather you’ve gained an opportunity to learn what doesn’t work. Look at failure as a teacher and not a destroyer.
I won’t explain all of them. Here are 9 one liners as examples.
Money is a tool to keep score.
If you can't do little things well, why would you be trusted to do big things?
Courage is the ability to venture into something meaningful even though you are scared.
The opposite of what I believe in might be true. (modified from Ken Burns, Award Winning Documentarian)
Don’t argue- discuss.
Do not correct a fool, or he will hate you. Correct a wise man and he will appreciate you.
Listen with the intent to understand, not with the intent to reply.
If you are bored and alone, you are in poor company.
Shame and guilt are the most intense emotions that can move people to action or inaction.
Never shame anyone.
You make your habits and then your habits make you.
Create a morning routine.
If you always choose to do easy things, you will lead a difficult life
You can also include favorite quotes or phrases that mean something to you.
In terms of what's happening right now with racism and violent acts against black people and other minorities. I think of something that Will Smith has said
"Racism is not getting worse, it's getting filmed." These eight words create a simple phrase which expresses so much about what’s happening in the world.
I'm also a big fan of Mark Twain who really knows how to use language to convey a point. I could list many of his witty quotes. Here’s one: “Man was made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.” Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. One final one from him, sounds like something my dad would have said “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
You can list books that have influenced you, views on money, relationships, work and fun things, or experiences you’ve learned on vacation. Start your own treasure chest of memories and idioms. You’ll also look back on them for your own nostalgia and reference. This task is not as onerous as a diary, which people can find hard to do.
As you travel along and if you hear something that resonates with you, open a tab on your phone, send yourself an email or simply write it down. Eventually you’ll have your collection. There are so many good apps you can put on your phone to keep organized. You don't need to do a big production with videos, your phone is plenty. Make a video and email it to a separate email account.
Man was made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
It's not necessarily just monetary things we want to leave behind at the end of our lives that matter but the wisdom,memories and audio visuals that can do so much more for the next generation. Let this be a composition of your life story. We all have things in our lives that guide us or influence our behaviours. Let others remember that too.
That is what I wanted to share this week. Eventually, this podcast series will come to an end, and there will indeed be a last episode as there will be for all of us. What we leave behind can have a lasting effect and positive influence long after we are gone.
Thank you so much for listening and may you and your family be well.
I hope this served you in some way, if you've enjoyed listening to this podcast, please share with a friend or colleague and subscribe to us Apple podcast, Spotify or your favourite podcast app. And if you goto the TheIntrovertedDoctor.com and sign in there, you’ll get my weekly emails about the podcast episode that’s coming out.
I'm Dr. Lalit Chawla and thank you so much for listening.
I would love to hear any comments about this podcast and what would you like to hear in future episodes?