Enterprise.ing Rewind: The Power of Presence

Hosted By

Alana Muller

CEO & Founder
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Episode Summary

Host Alana Muller revisits John O’Leary’s advice in the “Celebrating Ordinary Heroes” episode. Discover how John uses “inflection points” to create value in everyday moments and learn a simple way to document them.

“If you ignore what you're doing, you also won't remember it afterwards. And your life is sacred… don't just look backward at the big ones. Look presently at the one in front of you, because this is the next inflection point. Don't cheapen that.”



Alana Muller 0:09
Welcome to Enterprise.ing, a podcast from Enterprise Bank & Trust that's empowering business leaders one conversation at a time. We'll hear from different business leaders about how they found success in cultivating their professional networks and keeping them healthy and strong. I'm your host Alana Muller, an entrepreneurial executive leader whose primary focus is to connect, inspire and empower community. We at Enterprise Bank & Trust thank you for tuning in to another episode.

Alana Muller 0:37
Hello, listeners. Welcome back to another episode of Enterprise.ing podcast. From time to time, rather than bring a new guest on the show, I like to go back and highlight previous guests to showcase ideas and concepts that they talk about and give you, our listeners, some tactical tips for putting those ideas to use. Today, I want to talk about presence. There's an old expression, "The days are long, the years are short." It's been attributed to various sources over time, but whoever said it first, next and last was right. Time does have a way of speeding by in a flash, leaving us wondering where it went. This is the case as parents, as professionals, as friends, as humans in general.

Alana Muller 1:19
I was thinking about this concept recently, and it reminded me of a very special episode of this podcast. You see, one of the greatest privileges of my career was the opportunity to record an episode of Enterprise.ing podcast in front of a live studio audience of nearly 300 participants. The special guest was John O'Leary, national bestselling author, speaker and president of “Rising Above.” John shares how his outlook on life was radically changed by ordinary heroes after he suffered severe burns from a childhood accident. Now, he inspires millions to become heroes in their own lives. Let's listen back to an excerpt from that podcast.

Alana Muller 2:00
There's a mathematical expression that you use a lot and so it immediately caught my attention. And I want to ask you about it. And so you talk a lot about the impact of what you call “inflection points.” And so immediately I see a mathematical graph, you saw something different, I want to ask you about that. So, what do inflection points represent for you? And how do we recognize inflection points in our own lives?

John O’Leary 2:22
So you can imagine we are interviewed occasionally on podcasts and I've never once been asked any of these questions leading up to this, but never, ever been asked by anyone around that. And it's a great question, because it's not about math. Inflection points are the moment in time that afterwards, everything afterwards is different. And that could be a divorce, it could be a bankruptcy, it could be a diagnosis, it could be an explosion in your garage at age nine… explosions. But what we have come to recognize in our own lives — it's not just the big moments, it's the little ones that seem randomly insignificant. So, if you're carefully looking back on your own life, you recognize it wasn't just the divorce, or the diagnosis, or the accident, or the explosion that changed your life. It's a series of seemingly insignificant events that take place afterwards and leading up to it.

John O’Leary 3:12
And so, in talking about the power of inflection points, I try to remind our readers and our audiences of not cheapening in any moment as they journey through their life. Because, I mean, there's a lot of brain study on this. But, if you wonder, like, "Why does time go faster as we age?" Have you ever wondered that? Like, why is it, "Oh, in my, in my 30s, it went slow... in my 20s, even slower. When I was a kid, a summertime was forever.” Remember that? When summer was 19 months long? Okay, what changed? Now a year goes by in two months. What changed? Well, what they're finding is, the more you do something, the more it goes into almost like auto-repeat, and you just ignore it all. So, you ignore the drive to work. And you ignore the family dinner, and you ignore the nightly rituals that you're part of. And if you ignore what you're doing, you also won't remember it afterwards. And your life is sacred. 280 friends and millions listening in, your life is sacred. And part of the realization of inflection points is, don't just look backward at the big ones. Look presently at the one in front of you, because this is the next inflection point. Don't cheapen that.

Alana Muller 4:17
Listeners, as I listened back to John's commentary, I'm reminded of how critical it is to simply pause and look around from time to time to really take account of what is happening in our world so that it becomes emblazoned in our memory. Special moments, important moments, life-altering moments, teaching moments. One moment that sticks out for me personally, was just before my husband Mark and I got married, nearly three decades ago. I recall that someone suggested that I pause throughout the evening, during the ceremony and the celebration that followed. Just simply look around and take in what was happening around us. She said everything would go by so quickly, and she suspected that I wanted to remember my own wedding day. It was true. At the wedding, we reconnected with family and friends from all parts of our lives. It was the confluence of our years leading up to that important event.

Alana Muller 5:09
I still feel lucky to this day that I was given such advice. It is those moments I still remember, those moments during which I hit the proverbial pause button and simply lifted my head up to take a look around. Even now at events, even on plain old normal days, I try to put this advice to practice. One way that I try to remember those little moments throughout the day is by utilizing a one sentence journal. A friend of mine presented this to me as a gift several years ago, and it became a regular part of my daily routine. The idea behind the journal is to simply document everyday life, so that I can look back years later, even months, weeks or days later, to recall moments gone by. This type of record of our days reveals issues and items of importance, trends, topics, etc. going on in our lives. It's a lovely cataloging of the way we spend our time.

Alana Muller 6:01
How about you? Do you have an approach to documenting those important moments and to ensure your presence? Whatever you do, stop, take a look around. Don't simply go through the motions of your life. Engage, be the conductor, direct traffic, write your own script, take account of everything happening around you and happening to you.

Alana Muller 6:01
That's what I have for you today, my friends. Thank you for being present with me today and for tuning in to Enterprise.ing podcast. And do yourself a favor, if you haven't listened to it already, go back and check out Enterprise.ing podcast episode 36, entitled, "John O'Leary on Celebrating 'Ordinary Heroes.'" I know you will be as inspired as I was by John. You can access it at enterprisebank.com/podcast, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. See you next time on Enterprise.ing podcast.

Alana Muller 6:58
Thanks for joining us this week on Enterprise.ing. Be sure to visit our website, enterprisebank.com/podcast, to subscribe so you'll never miss an episode. If you found value in today's program, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or telling a friend about us. Enterprise.ing: powering business leaders, one conversation at a time.

Alana Muller 7:23
The views expressed by Enterprise.ing presenters or guests are those of the presenter or guests and not necessarily of Enterprise Bank & Trust or its affiliates. All content of this podcast and any related materials are for informational purposes only. Enterprise Bank & Trust does not make any warranty, expressed or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and specifically disclaims any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information presented. Enterprise Bank & Trust is not under any obligation to update or correct any information provided in this podcast. All statements and opinions are subject to change without notice.