What is your “why” right now? During these unusual times when everyone is tasked to stay at home, today’s guest advocates dedicating time to understanding your life purpose and acting on ways you can still achieve it. Adam Markel interviews Patty Aubery, the CVO for GoalFriends and President of The Canfield Training Group. Patty shares strategies on how we can control our paths, re-integrate our purpose even more, and be more resourceful when handling change. For years, Patty has been overseeing the growth of the multimillion-dollar training company around the success principles of author Jack Canfield. In these tumultuous times, take advantage of the moment to reset and simply be grateful. Adapt to change and have new routines as a way of building resilience.
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Reintegrating Our Purpose And Adapting To The New Normal With Patty Aubery
I feel very blessed for this moment. The more I have time on my hands, I think that is one of the things that is truly a blessing that was forced on all of us is to have a little extra time. Time is a tricky thing. I believe that because we’ve made ourselves collectively as a world that is so busy. I know that culturally that’s different across different places and some of you may feel that’s true and some of you may not. I’m from North America. I grew up in New York and then moved to California years ago. People are so busy and we’ve been so busy. To have time on our hands and to use that time fruitfully in regards to how it is that we reset ourselves.
What’s the creative opportunity with that time for us to go inside, dig a little deeper, find out a little bit more about what’s important to us at this moment? What’s our potential? There are many places to go and more often than not, that’s a scary endeavor. I’m here in full appreciation for the time I’ve had and the ability to go into those places and explore. Some of that exploration for sure is without full clarity and some of it has produced these moments of tremendous gratitude. The kind of gratitude that produces even a physical reaction for me, which is to cry. I get my eyes water pretty easily. I’m feeling happy to be here and be healthy and have a wonderful person that I get to spend some time chatting with.
You will all get to experience her wonderful energy. She’s a vibrant person. I’ve known her for several years through an organization we’re both parts of and she’s truly a leader. This is a woman who has been helping. She’s changed a lot of lives and she’s run a company that’s changed a lot of lives and done some incredible work. As the President of The Canfield Training Group, Patty Aubery has not only overseen the growth of the publishing industry’s first billion-dollar brand. The Chicken Soup for the Soul brand is epic. She’s also created a multimillion-dollar training company around the success principles of author Jack Canfield.
Patty has expanded those live training and coaching programs to more than 108 countries around the globe. She prepared thousands of thought leaders and emerging thought leaders to become successful trainers to develop professional careers in the transformational field. She’s a #1 New York Times bestselling author herself. She’s the CVO of GoalFriends, which is dedicated to bringing her experience to women entrepreneurs, sales professionals, corporate employees through live events, retreats, women’s summit, speaking engagements and teaching audiences in small groups the principles of success and strategic career planning. What an incredible CV that is. What a beautiful bio. I ask you, Patty, what’s not written in that bio that you would love for people to know about you?
The one thing that’s not in that bio that’s important is during that time, even when you read it to me now, it sounds almost unreal. I was raising a family. We started in 1989 and just like in 2020, we’re experiencing some interesting times. 1990, 1991 was that first Gulf War. Here we are writing this book and we are so excited and we’re going to change the world and then the world dies on us. It took us about four years to publish that first book and then another year and a half to get it onto a list when we didn’t know what we were doing. At that same time, I got pregnant with my first son.
It was one of those defining moments in your life where this thing you’ve been telling all your friends about working on forever, they think you’re completely insane. Like, “What is that Chicken Soup thing? Stop talking about it.” Suddenly it’s like, “I’m pregnant.” My husband automatically thinks, “You’re going to stay at home and be a great mom.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? This is my dream.” That was probably the piece that a lot of people didn’t see was how do you raise a family, continue to build a business, be available and give yourself permission to ask for help. All those struggling with guilt, “Should I be doing this and should I be doing that?” All the things that show up for us as parents when we’re trying to build our kids’ future at some level. That’s probably the piece that was missing and it was probably the hardest piece of all.
It’s interesting, Patty, because the creative process is very much like a birthing process. I have not given birth clearly, but I’ve witnessed four births. I’ve witnessed that both beginning, middle, and end of that whole thing, how excruciating that can be, and how beautiful it is at the same time. There are some parallels between birthing a business idea, like Chicken Soup for the Soul or any other business idea that is very much parallel to what pregnancy is like. Am I going out on too far a limb to say it that way?
No. I wished building a business only takes nine months like it does to have a child because the older we get, the more we reinvent ourselves like, “Is it this hard the first time?” No, I don’t think you’re going out on a limb at all. It’s true and I think part of where we’re at in this world is on a positive note is that we do have more time like you were saying. There is more time right now to get clear and to figure out why you’re here. What’s your why? Is it important? Are you doing what you love? Where have we been settling? Our culture, especially in America, we’re so busy being busy sometimes we don’t even know why we’re busy.
The things that have typically kept us busy for most people right now are keeping us less busy. That additional time to use in some way. Let’s go back. It’s probably a good thing to talk about the way that book was birthed because it’s this massive success, but throughout that whole many years-long processes, there was no guarantee there would be any success at the end of the road. You were juggling yourself on new parenthood and your intimate relationship alongside being a parent to a project into a grown-up. Can you give us a sense of maybe some of what was going on then that might parallel what’s happening now? By that, you mentioned the Gulf War. I remember ‘88 or so was the top of the real estate market. We had a real estate bust of 5,000 banks.
If you can imagine, the people who are reading this that are about our age can remember this and maybe some are not, but 5,000 banks and S&Ls went bust in the early ‘90s. Real estate took a complete crap and people were very concerned. This is also a few years after Black Monday, the stock market crashed. When I got out of my undergraduate school, I went to UMass Amherst, which funny enough that Jack got his MA at UMass Amherst. I got out of there at ‘87 and the stock market crashed in the fall. It was the worst job market. Comparing then to now, the job market that anybody leaving school is going to come out to is very similar to that job market then. There were no jobs. That was it. You were dealing with stuff. What’s the comparison if you can make one between that time of uncertainty and this time of uncertainty?
They’re very similar on a lot of levels, although I feel like the world’s evolved a lot more for this one. Back then, it was the most devastating thing you and I had probably ever seen in our lives. What was difficult was travel was canceled. Nobody was going to get on an airplane. People were freaked out. All of our gigs were canceling and no speaking events. What we did then is what I would hope we would do now, which is look at, what can we focus on? The event is we have this war so how are we going to respond? Are we going to respond with, “That’s it. Close the doors, doom and gloom,” or are we going to continue to visualize what it can look like?
Are we going to have a crucial conversation with each other and talk about we need to take a pay cut across the board, all two of us? I was making $2 an hour for many years. We then focused on getting the book done and at some level, we were so far down the road with that book that we didn’t have any place else to turn. We also committed to doing it. In this world, it’s very similar. We can’t leave our communities. We’re wearing a mask to grocery stores. Businesses are falling apart. We’re in the training business, so we’re a luxury. Although right now in this world, it’s more important than ever to keep your head on straight.
We’re more mature now. We have a much higher overhead. We have way more team members. There’s a lot more risk now than there was then but we’ve somehow mentioned to continue to meditate. Every Friday we have a Happy Hour on Zoom with our entire team from 4:00 to 6:00. We have crucial conversations. We keep people updated on what’s going on. We go the extra mile for all of our clients to make sure that they are heard and seen. Normally, if I’m doing a once a month mastermind group, now I’m offering it weekly to keep people sane. I feel like as much as we are coming from a place of service back in that time, we knew Chicken Soup was a game-changer. No one else knew it and nobody believed it. We got turned down by everybody, but we were listening to feedback.
When Jack was out telling stories on the platform or Mark was telling stories and people were coming back and saying, “That was amazing.” We listened and we heard it. We created something from that. While we’re in this contemplative mode, it’s important to listen to feedback. I’m on Facebook a little bit more in my private groups with my clients asking, “What do you need? Is there anything I can do to help you?” I took my monthly calls to weekly calls with no extra charge. I’m trying to come from a place of service. We teach this little simple equation called E + R = O. The E stands for events. Right now the event is COVID-19. A lot of us without knowing that the R stands for Response and how we respond is going to create the Outcome that we have.
As much as we want to blame other people for anything, I don’t care if you come home and you’re in a bad mood and Randi goes off on you. That’s an event and a response. That outcome is going to be called, it’s not going to be a very good evening. When you choose intentionally how to respond, you might still get that outcome that you have a lot more time for. We get stuck in our stories a lot. When something happens, we have a knee jerk reaction and then we can’t fix it later. Sometimes we can, but in this world, I think it’s so important to remember that we can intentionally choose. For me, for example, this is the least I’ve worked in for many years. I’m normally on the road like you and a lot of our colleagues, six months out of the year or whatever it is. Plus I add to that, I broke my back weeks ago. I was the only one in quarantine. I was two weeks ahead of the curve.
You were having quarantine before that was a thing.
At least meeting quarantine. I could have visitors, but now I can’t even have visitors. Once I was able to get up and start to move around again, I was like, “What can I do?” I started to make a list of what am I incomplete. I go back and clean out my inbox. I would do a challenge on Facebook with my groups, “Let’s do a two-week challenge on who can clean out the most stuff. Where are your incompletes and messes that you never have time for?” Especially right now, the less chaos we have in our own lives around us. We both know Jim Bunch and he talks about The 9 Environments, but the calmer we can make our living space, the more or less we have to wake up with those little monkeys on our back that we didn’t get to, those undone things. For me, I’m just cleaning out closets, unsubscribing to emails, being of more service to my clients, spending some quality time with my 22 and 25-year old that I thought would be gone by now, but suddenly have reappeared.Listening to feedback is essential when you are in contemplate mode. Click To Tweet
We had an empty nest for a little while and now it’s filled up again. We were like, “What is going on here?” Even our youngest daughter, she’s like, “I’m cramping my parents’ style.” At the same time, I get to walk upstairs and see her engaged at the University of California, San Diego. It’s a lot of tuition dollars even in the state for that wonderful school. I’m getting to see exactly what she’s doing. I get to poke my head in on her Zooms and see her professor and all that they’re up to. We have dinner together every night, which is something that when she graduated high school, the last of our four. There was a bit of a morning for us. We were up for the new normal for sure, but there was also a little lamenting the fact that the last of our babies are out and we’re not doing that every night again and now all of a sudden, we’re doing that every night again.
Patty, we spent so much time in the human potential space that we know that habits are so powerful. We’re creatures of habit and we’ve got all these unconscious things that we do. This show is called the Conscious PIVOT because we’re making a distinction between the habit side of things and the ritual or the more intentional practices that you’ve got. I’d love for you to share with us some of the things that you do on a ritual basis or even things that people in your company are being encouraged to do for the purpose of building resilience. I’ll also want to get your definition of resilience as well.
Right now, resilience for a lot of people is probably surviving. For me, especially after breaking my back, it was a real wake up call. I fell at 3:00 in the morning and hit my head. It was a freak accident. I was getting up to go to the bathroom. I lay there like, “Is this it?” I had to start to look at giving myself permission to put me first for the first time in a very long time. That’s number one. It’s okay for us to take the time to meditate, exercise, write a gratitude list or a thank you note to someone or calling your parents or a friend you haven’t talked to for a long time. Try to do those things. I would say meditate every day when you can. If you can do Qigong, do it. Learning Strategies has a great program for that. Keep your energy flowing because our vibration is so important.
It’s a lot about that. I try to do that whenever I can. I am not perfect by any means, but when I do it, it’s a whole different ball game. Those things are important and what I put in my body is important. I noticed when my back got injured, I went vegan because I didn’t want to have any aches or pains or any inflammation. I remember I called my partner, Jack Canfield and I said, “I am the happiest person on the planet. I don’t know if it’s the drugs or the fact that it’s the food.” We joked about it, but it’s amazing when we take care of ourselves. How much less a big issue things are. This is a global pandemic, I get it. The healthier we are, the more grounded we are, the less it’s going to affect our energy. We are connecting and all of those things. They are small and seem little, but they add up to be massive. I’m trying to be mindful of that stuff.
I’m taken by the first thing you said, which was permission because we do a lot of research on resilience, speak to corporate groups, and do quite a bit of that consulting work. One of the things that we’d been saying for the better part of the last couple of years is that there’s a culture of exhaustion that’s used to be just North America. We were the workaholics. There are some places where they still aren’t perpetuating that. I was in Tokyo, Japan and they’re the most sleep-deprived country in the world. Only second to Singapore where I was a couple of months before that. The cost of exhaustion is massive. We’ve got this opportunity among other things to slow down, to reset.
I’m tracking this as I heard you say it and connecting some dots. Where we’re being told to stay in one place and yet a lot of people are still not giving themselves full permission to utilize this time for the reset, for the slowing. The benefit of being able to slow down so you can speed up so that you can build resilience before you need it. The fact is we might need resilience now, but this is not the last disruption, the last change, the last thing that’ll catch either us individually off guard or collectively as a world off guard again. What we’re doing now has a lot to do with what you said about giving ourselves permission to be put first.
When we were in Hawaii together, we were talking about a program that I have called Permission Granted. It was because events were happening and I was not responding with a choice. I was getting upset that women were seen and not heard and all these stories around men get this and that and the other. The fact was I had to give myself permission to show up, speak up, and be seen. I don’t know if I shared with you, but my mom passed away in 2012 and on her death bed, she said to me, “Please do not hide behind that man. You built this together and I didn’t raise a daughter to be invisible.” I went on this mission and the first few years weren’t so graceful because I had a lot of resentment, a lot of anger. I’m playing the victim card of, “Why am I not doing more of this? Why is Jack not noticing that?” or whatever it might be.
I finally got like, “I have to give myself permission. I should be an example.” Because of that, what I did to hold myself accountable was I created a yearlong program. I had to follow the program, which then 100 people are on. They’re counting on me to be the leader. I had to force myself into that new space because as much as this is the decade for women on lots of levels, I still believe that we don’t allow ourselves. It’s in our DNA on so many levels. To give myself permission to do it my way, to say what’s on my mind, to have a different style. I’m very authentic and transparent. I use the F-word more than most. It’s who I am and I’m a Valley girl because I went to San Diego State so I’m one down from your daughter.
Over the last year or so of practicing this permission process, I think it’s made it a lot easier for me because I would have felt like an alien had I not been ahead of the curve a little bit for myself in the situation. It’s been 40 years of work, hardcore. I started working at fifteen and I met Jack at 24. That’s 30 years of being in self-help where it’s eighteen-hour days and travel schedules that are crazy. You’re not seeing your kids or your family and all that stuff. As much as this is crazy, what keeps me sane is that we’re all in this together. How can we be of service to each other during this time?
What does permission look like for people that you’re speaking to now? Our audience is built, people who are mid-career professionals that are transitioning. Many women, a lot of entrepreneurs these days, people that had started side hustling before that was a term. For people that are going, “My new normal is I’ve got time and I want to utilize my time well. I’m somebody that at least to this point, has created my career, created my success, or whatever results I’ve got out of being productive and busy.” How do we reframe that or help people to see the creative opportunity that would exist now if, for example, they gave themselves permission to do things a little bit differently? That’s what’s being called out of all of us. On a universal level, whether you call it this is a God thing or this is something else, the world has to shift. It’s been given no other choice. What do we do with it is the question that separates the wheat from the chaff.
For me, when I think of all the major successes I’ve had in my career, it has always come through something big. Whether I’m in very deep meditation and I’ve been practicing strongly for a month, I download a new program or something like this happens. I’m grateful that I can be in this space. When we’re quiet and we let ourselves be, we don’t miss what the universe is trying to get at us anyway. Often it’s like, “I’m going this way.” It’s like that horse with the blinders on and all I can see is the finish line, yet there’s this giant gorilla over here going, “The finish line is over here. You’ve got to go right,” and we’re not paying attention.
This is a massive opportunity to look at, “What is my why right now? Am I doing what I love? Am I servicing the people I want to? Am I showing up for my family and my clients the way I’d want them to show up for me?” To be able to give yourself permission to just chill out. We’re all in this together. Tomorrow God knows what it’s going to look like. Enjoy the pieces that you can. In 2008, I was in massive real estate, markets tanking, and all that stuff. I use that same example. It was 2007 and I saw it coming. The event was I had a 10,000 square-foot house on the West coast of Maui that I had no business building. I was freaking out and I was in my stories and all of a sudden I’m like, “If I was consulting with a client, I would look at what is the opportunity that looks like an obstacle.”
I sat with that and then I was like, “I would create a retreat center.” All my self-thought came in, “You can’t do that. That’s selfish. It’s your house. You’re using it for the wrong reasons. Don’t make it about you.” All that stuff that we do. I went, “This could be a good thing.” That was eighteen retreats ago. I literally could have gone bankrupt very simply on that one. When the universe is forcing us into space, we must be as present as we possibly can and we have to clear our mind. That’s why mindfulness is so important. Probably you were at Mindvalley in Singapore. You listen to Headspace. Do things that you always said that you want to do, but you’re too busy to do. Take advantage of them now because the gift is in the presence. It’s not the present, not a gift, but it’s being present.Right now, resilience for a lot of people is probably surviving. Click To Tweet
When we are there, we see things we wouldn’t see. We notice things we wouldn’t notice. That’s how I’ve had to learn to live my life. At the end of the day, I use this analogy a lot with my students. I act like I’m holding up a glass box and I think I’m in control and there’s nothing in it. You drop it and there’s still nothing in it. We make up so much more than we need to right now and to be able to live in the not knowing right now, it’s a huge scale. A lot of people have a very hard time with that. The more you meditate, the more you eat well, the more you get some exercise, the more you hang out with people that are going to stay on the glass is half full side, it’s like survival on a lot of levels for that. You don’t want to be putting diesel fuel in your Ferrari. It’s not going to go very fast or anywhere.
The permission piece can even extend to how it is that we are dealing with those unknowns and with those uncertainties because the way we deal with it, most people deal with it as this worry. It’s this feeling of worry and worry is hitting in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the bathroom or it’s hitting the first thing in the morning or whenever it is. We all know what worry feels like. I used to think so I’d call myself out on this. You used to think that you can’t win without worry. Eighteen years that I practice law, I used to say it to myself. I didn’t believe I could win unless I worried. I called myself a professional worrier. That’s what people pay me to do. You don’t have to worry, I’ll worry about you. I will take on your bully. I will take on this issue, this problem and I’ll do all the worrying for you. When you get up at 3:00 in the morning to use the bathroom, you won’t be thinking about it. It will be me. I’ll be doing that. It’s a funny thing that in this book, 10% Happier, by Dan Harris.
There’s something like the cost of security is uncertainty. He puts that into the focus and then ultimately he calls that into a lot of questions. I think the permission that I’m suggesting people take away, among other things you’ve said is the permission not to worry and to give yourself space. When you talk about being in the present, a part of what interferes with simply being here now in this is that our mind is worried about the next moment and months from now. In the law, we would hear this sometimes in the middle of an oral argument or a trial or a deposition that somebody would object to the thing you said because they say, “It assumes facts not in evidence.” As you said, our stories, we assume a lot of facts that are not yet in evidence. To be free of that at the moment allows this creative space and space is creative. Permission not to fill our present moment with worry is one of those.
It’s easier said than done so let’s call that upfront. Here’s the reality. If you believe in quantum physics, the Law of Attraction, vibration, and energy, it’s all chemistry. It’s all proven at this point. Do you want to create a future that looks bad? Do you want to reinforce a negative future? Because fear is made up, it’s not real. From a logical standpoint, what I do when I get scared and I’ve had my share of hoping my lawyers losing sleep for me is I think about, “Is this going to get me closer to where I want to go?” The answer is no way. I have to do a shift and I have to consciously choose whether it means to go for a walk, call someone that can help talk me off the ledge or whatever it is. By visualizing a negative version of the future is not supporting you on any level. It’s a total waste of time.
It’s suffering, plain and simple. In Buddhist principles, there’s the central idea that everything is impermanent. It’s the Law of Impermanence. Nothing is going to stay the same and nothing’s going to be here forever, which is a tough thing to live with day-to-day, moment-to-moment. To be wanting things to happen, have great goals and aspirations, and all those things, but yet not hang onto them tightly because you’re violating this law of the world. Things are constantly changing and things don’t last. That saying, “This too shall pass,” is usually used in times like this or when someone dies or what have you, but it applies to everything.
You have a sunny day. Everything’s going your way. You couldn’t have it any better and yet that also is, this too shall pass moment. It’s that tenuous and yet it’s also that perfect. Patty, you are dealing with stuff as a company. You can be as vulnerable as you want. Where is it that you guys are as a team, giving yourselves permission to show up a little bit differently under the circumstances. Through an organization of your size, you’re able to show a path through others, not just the students or people that you work with. As an organization that’s been around a long time, you’re also a model for others. I’m curious what that looks like for you.
What we’re doing is the Happy Hour every Friday on Zoom from 4:00 to 6:00. On Saturday nights, one of the girls that work directly with me, she creates some game board or cards for humanity or whatever and does it on Zoom. The biggest thing is we’re listening. I have to look at all of the different styles that I have in my organization. They’re all a little different. We’re looking and appreciating those differences. I’m not finding myself irritated that someone’s not like me, but recognizing that they need something from me, whether it’s words of affirmation, a hug, or it’s a phone call after a call to say, “I’ve got you. Don’t worry about this.” We’re being transparent about the finances. We’ve applied for loans in case we need them.
Hopefully, we won’t need them. We’ve talked about if we did a pay cut, do we all just want to do a pay cut across the board instead of getting rid of someone? We are all in agreement. Jack and I have done this before. We’ve been here. We know what it’s like to not have a lot. When you look back at some of those times, they were the best times we ever had. When you think of the struggles when you’re younger, you’re raising the kids and you don’t know where that next meal is coming from or how you’re going to pay for that private school you want your kids to go to or whatever it is. I look back at those or some of the fights that we had. I used to say I’d go from one chicken coop to the other. It was insane. It was me, Jack, Mark and his wife and it was like crazyville.
I was saying to Jack one time and I’ll never forget, we’re meeting with our publisher and we’re in this Chinese restaurant in Vegas. He got up and he flipped the table over and all of our soups went all over us and he stormed out of the room. That was the response to an event that he didn’t like a minute before. They all looked at me like, “He’s yours.” He came back and he said, “That didn’t go very well.” Until this day, we laugh about some of the craziest, hardest times where we are the most frustrated or we thought we were struggling. We have to look at that and it’s important to go back and look at some of those things and remind yourself. We say celebrate your successes but I always say, you don’t have to brag about all the things that you’ve had.
Remember how you felt before you got it and how you felt after. How you were scared to death before and after. How maybe you went, “Yes, good,” and moved on and maybe you should’ve celebrated longer. We’ve all had milestones in our life. We’ve all survived different things. We just don’t ever take the time to celebrate them at some level, acknowledge them. That’s where I go. If I get into crazyville, I go back and think about, “That was interesting.” Someday hopefully we’ll laugh about this and if we don’t, we’ll be more consciously evolved and we’ll be better people.
Don’t watch the news. My husband freaked out one time on my neighbor and I said, “Honey, she’s a scared mother. Women, when they get scared, they freak out on you.” I was so mad at him the whole night, the next day he wrote a long email to her apologizing. That’s the kind of stuff that happens when we don’t take a breath first. We make everything about us. Have you ever noticed that? If something happens, “I screwed up. It must be me.” Either get passive-aggressive or I walk on eggshells or if I’m in a moment where I meditated that morning, I’d say, “Is there a story that we need to talk about?”
There’s a great question that I’ve been asking, which I’ll share. It came from a meditation practice and the question is, is this useful? This idea of whatever’s happening at the moment and you pointed it out when you can take a breath, for example. Your breath in so many ways dictates your thinking and you’re in your thinking then obviously dictates a lot of what you do with your body. It all begins with the breath. Even taking a breath and asking that question, is this useful? You could be in a full-on shitstorm in your head and it’s spiraling and getting worse and we all know what that can look like. The people that get in drawn into that thing.
They don’t even know they’re involved.
Of course not, except all of a sudden they’re 3,000 miles away, but they got a crick in their neck and it’s because of you. It’s a hack to stop that and arrest the cycle in its place because we’re all built the same way. We all do a lot of the same exact things. Right now, more than anything I would say, this is the advice that I gave my son, son-in-law when this was first getting started. They were collecting supplies and going to get their tenting equipment from REI and a lot of other stuff I won’t get into. This was a survivalist. I’m not criticizing anybody that prepared in that way. I’ll just point out one thing, which is that we manifested the shortage that we’re seeing right now. We’ve been through a lot of cycles up and down in the economy. Everything you think about. Patty, have you ever had trouble finding toilet paper in a store before? Has that ever happened to you?
No, I was going to go out and take all the toothpaste off the shelves and see if I can do my experiment.
Hoarding, which occurred. People hoard because they’re afraid there’s going to be scarcity and there was never any scarcity. We never had any trouble finding those basic essential things until all of a sudden people got it in their head that it’s not going to be there and then they hoarded it and now it’s not there. It created the exact scarcity that people were afraid of simply because they went into that place of reacting, not responding and mostly driven by fear. Before you say something stupid, I’m married 30 plus years, a breath before you speak is a good idea in relationships. It’s a good idea with your business partners, it’s connected with your kids. It’s also a good idea before you choose to do other things. I think that you pointed out the value of that. Things like asking certain questions like, “What is the creative opportunity presented at this time?”
Before we started this, I said to you, “We are doing a ton of virtual training.” I, in all honesty, having come out of that environment where you’re physically in the same room with people and you can put your hand on their shoulder. When they cry, you can hug them. I know Jack’s got a huge heart. I’m not a small-hearted guy myself. It felt like there’s no way we can create that transformation without being able to see people, touch people, whatever. I could not have been more wrong. We completed a virtual training for people that are getting on TED stages in the fall, not in the spring and it’s in 2021. I didn’t think under any circumstances that we could take them through the process if we couldn’t be there to give them feedback directly.
If I couldn’t watch them, see their body language, and have other people give them 360 feedback. I’m assuming facts, not in evidence. I don’t know why this came up, but it has because maybe many years of being a lawyer finally I’m leaning on that now. It’s like, “Where are you assuming facts, not in evidence?” Where if you didn’t assume those facts and you had a clean slate, you could just decide, “We can’t be in a hotel. How wonderful is that?” Not that I don’t want to go back to a hotel, but I’m good at not eating hotel food. I’m good not paying hotel bills. I’m good not having to travel to get there to be able to help people. There are almost no limits now to the way we can interact or assist in using this technology. I know Zoom has probably quadrupled the number of its users.
It’s true. I was present and it was before where everything was locked down but Jack didn’t want to be there because he’s older. I zoomed him into my house, which is around the corner. It took off a 14-foot x 14-foot painting and putting it up on the wall. I felt like he was more present for the participants than ever before. I was like, “Did you notice that? It’s like there’s nothing getting in the way for you when you’re doing that.” When we tell ourselves, “That could never work,” it’s like, “How do you know that to be true?” That’s what so many people do. It’s like, “That’ll never work.” It’s like, “How do you know until you try?” I say this to my kids, I’m sure you’ve said it a lot of times, “As long as you try something, you’re not failing. The only time that you can fail is when you stop and give up and don’t try anything at all.”The only time that you can possibly fail is when you stop and give up and don't try anything at all. Click To Tweet
As we wrap up, I want to ask you. Usually, I ask a person what’s one personal ritual that they have that helps them be more resilient? You can answer that if you want because I know the work that you’ve been doing for so long. We used to do this on stage too, we’d say, “What’s that one piece of advice you want to leave people with?” which is a big question, but I want to give you the flexibility to go anywhere you want with that. There are a lot of people who are leaning in, who are reading and are looking for, “I don’t have to have all the answers. What do you recommend that I do right now?”
I would say, eat as well as you can but the biggest thing if I’ve learned anything over being married and being in a business relationship with another person for many years is taking the time. Think about the first time when you ask your wife to marry her. You know everything about her and ten years in, probably some of those things annoyed you. Look beyond that person and look into that soul and be grateful that they’re a piece of you that you want. Jack is so anal retentive in so many ways. He crosses every T and dots every I. I used to be insulted by it. I would think like, “Do you think I’m stupid?” Then I started another company that’s just for women. I said to him, “Everything I’ve ever yelled at you for in 30 years, I have made the same mistake in three. I want you to know, I love you the way you are and never change.” It was a huge epiphany for me. If we were all the same, life would be boring and probably a shitstorm, honestly. While you’re with the people that are around you, while you’re in this place, remember that we all have different gifts and if we look for the gifts, we’ll find them.
Where is it that you can appreciate something with someone that you are maybe in closer proximity to or maybe somebody that you’re now not in proximity to. My mom and dad are both alive and well. They’re on the East Coast. They are 3,000 miles away. We can’t see them. My brother can’t see them. The grandkids can’t see them. That’s a great place to leave us is in thinking about appreciation. I know that my waking ritual every day has been the same for many years and that’s where I want to leave our readers, which is to remind myself, remind everybody that first of all, let’s wake up. That is a good ritual. That’s part one.
We all get to wake up and that’s physical and it’s more than physical because there’s this profound opportunity that we use what’s happening around. We utilize what is in old personal development training stuff. You utilize what is in the moment for whatever you can utilize it for. If nothing else, expanding awareness and expanding consciousness that we get to have. We’re aware of things now. Bill Gates gave a TED Talk years ago. It was prophetic. He’s famous and infamous for this talk where he talked about the pandemic to come. There are things that can be aware of that it’s only grace that allows us to have this moment to pivot in how we respond or how we prepare for things like this in the future. Awareness is wonderful.
The second step in the waking rituals is to feel grateful for something, which if you struggle with the morning and I know some people do. I used to have a tough time in the morning, especially when I was a lawyer. I hated what I was doing. I was miserable. I made stupid amounts of money, but I was unhappy. You put your feet on the floor and you feel anxiety as I know people do or dread even about what’s coming is an awful way to begin the day. It’s an awful seed to plant in the soil at first. I don’t have to remind myself so much about this anymore, but when you wake up, you can take that first breath of waking awareness and realize there are people in that very moment who are taking their last breath.
If that isn’t a humbling and somber moment, there is none. You can be grateful. We all can. Find something to be grateful for right out of the gate, the minute you begin the day. Lastly, the power of our words. What we tell ourselves inside is so powerful, what we say, the words that we speak. I’m not a religious person, but very spiritual. I’ve gone back to read and check out the Bible and people like Emmet Fox who interpret the Bible. I love that man dearly. I wish I had ever got to meet him. This principle, “Let there be light.” These are the first words in the Bible. It’s like speaking into existence.
That metaphor is powerful. What are the first words that come out of your mouth in the morning? I did a TED Talk on this topic of those words and my words are, “I love my life. I love my life.” People have asked me forever, “Do you always feel that way,” or “Do you feel that way every day?” I’m like, “No. I go through parts of the day where I’m just suffering like everybody is and yet what’s cool is that I’ll have a person like Randi, my wife who will hold the mirror up for me and ask me, ‘Are you loving your life right now? Do you love your life no matter what as you said in that talk?’” I want to stick my middle finger up. Do you love your life, Patty?
I do. I feel very blessed. I think we’re in an industry that is so profound, the more we learn about others, the more we learn about ourselves. It’s been years of amazingness from me.
Finding out more about Patty Aubery and her work with women and with men. All the things that you want to find out can be found out at PattyAubery.com. We’d love for you to leave us a review, subscribe if you haven’t done that. All of that is at AdamMarkel.com/podcasts. We’d love to get a comment and I respond personally. I’m sending lots and lots of love out there. Wherever you are, please give yourself permission. Permission for something that will nurture you and nourish your soul. Ciao.
- The Canfield Training Group
- Jim Bunch
- Permission Granted
- 10% Happier
- Bill Gates – The next outbreak? We’re not ready TED Talk
About Patty Aubery
As President of The Canfield Training Group, Patty Aubery has not only overseen the growth of the publishing industry’s first billion-dollar brand, Chicken Soup for the Soul®, but she’s also created a multimillion dollar training company around the success principles of author Jack Canfield. Patty has expanded these live training and coaching programs to 108 countries and prepared thousands of emerging success trainers for professional careers in the transformational field. She is a #1 NY Times bestseller. She is the CVO for Goalfriends, and she is now dedicated to bringing her experience to women entrepreneurs, sales professionals, and corporate employees through live events, retreats, women’s summits and speaking engagements that teach audiences and small groups the Success Principles and strategic career planning.