156 - Being Present - Transcription - John Laurito

156 – Being Present – Transcription

#156-Being Present 

John (Intro): I have been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good. After running companies small and large for the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic: What makes the best leaders so good? Welcome to Tomorrow’s Leader

John: All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dive deep on all things leader-related, related to leading you and other people. I am John Laurito, your host today and every day. So if you did not get a chance to listen to my last episode, that was my guest episode with David Duvall from Duvall and Company. I’m sitting at my gorgeous desk. I cannot say enough great things about this. It is unbelievable. It’s called The Live Edge Desk. And if you have not seen it, I’ve got the camera over there, so I can’t I can’t control it. But if you’ve not seen it, look at this episode on YouTube. The last one I did with David Duvall. Same name as the golfer. Yes. From the 90s against Tiger Woods. Different David Duvall. But he is a custom furniture maker. Wow. Just unbelievable. Live edge desk, which means it’s not like squared off. It is just truly the true piece of wood and it’s just beautiful. 

John: So every time I sit here, I can just get happy. I get happy. I like things that make me happy. OK, so onto the episode, a couple of things. First of all, these are a lot of fun to do. I know I’ve kind of interspersed guests recently, probably more than the solo episodes. I like to mix it up during busy times. I will tell you, it’s tough to keep this on schedule. I try to get them out originally Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And I’m apologetic to the fact of my lack of consistency with exactly the days that I get them out. 

John: But I try to get you three new episodes a week. Some weeks I do better than others. So I appreciate your understanding and flexibility. I got a lot of stuff going on, which is great. I love it. And all this brings new stuff that I can bring to the podcast, new episodes. And speaking of which, a lot of people, a lot of you have asked me, OK, well, now you’ve got one hundred and fifty plus episodes. Where do you come up with the ideas for all this? 

John: Truthfully, I do come up with ideas from working with leaders and seeing real situations. I mean, almost most of my ideas, most of the content, most of the topics that I bring to this show are based on observations that I have out in the world. And something strikes me and I turn that into a leadership lesson, or it’s in a conversation with one of the many great leaders that I get a chance to work with. And it’s an issue or struggle or challenge that they’re having or something that they’ve done really well that I love to bring to the show and share with other people. 

John: So I just literally and my phone, as I’m going through the week or the day, I’ll just plug in when I have an idea, know sometimes I’m driving. That’s not good, but I’ll plug in my phone, OK. Hey, I’m going to talk about this, you know, so I go to my list and that’s how I produce these things. So for those of you who’re curious about where these things come up with, and they just I don’t sit in front of the camera without an idea. I build them through the

week and then bang. But I don’t script. This is you know, it’s kind of off the cuff. I have some ideas and I go for them. So in any event, let me start with just a thought. 

John: So I was golfing recently with my dad. My dad is 86 about to turn 87. And by the way, he is a great golfer at 87 years old. This guy gets out there and hits the ball and I mean you know, drives it when he gets a hold of it. A good 250 yards. I mean, I know many 25-year-olds can’t drive it to under 50 yards. 250 yards. My dad gets out there at eighty, almost 87 actually in another month or. No. Yeah, another month he’ll be 87 and he drives it like 250. It’s unbelievable. In any event, he’s become a very great golfer and I love getting out there with him. So he and I were out playing golf. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful afternoon. 

John: And I just remember I for the first maybe five holes, I just my mind was on everything else I had. I was thinking about work. I was thinking about I guess I was thinking about all kinds of stuff that was occupying my mind. What do I have coming up? I got presentations coming up and workshops and this and then I got to prep for and I found myself really just not in the moment. And you know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there before where you’re just like in such a different place. You’re nowhere near in the moment that you’re in. And here I am, a beautiful golf course with my dad, who I love, 87 years old, playing golf in this rare time. And I just suddenly became very aware of the fact I was not in the moment. 

John: And thankfully, at hole five or six, I just snapped out of it, and I said I took stock in everything that was happening, you know, here I am with my dad, spending a great afternoon with them on a beautiful day, on a beautiful course, I started to look around of this course and it was a beautiful place called the Preserves at Jordan Lake in North Carolina. And, you know, it was unbelievable because nobody was around. You know, when you play golf, you get people behind you. People are friendly. Nobody. It was like we had the course to ourselves and it was incredible. And I just remember looking around and watching my dad, you know, swinging and looking around at the beautiful scenery and hearing the birds chirp. And I’m like, wow, this is amazing. And I just became so in the moment. 

John: And for the rest of that round, it was one of the best rounds I’ve had, not in terms of how I played, although we did play really well. But it was just so much fun. We afterwards sat down, had a beer. I mean, it was great. It was one of the best times we’ve had. And it just made me realize that there are so many times where we are so caught up in what is happening tomorrow or the next week or the next day or the next year or whatever or something that happened yesterday or last week that we were beating ourselves up about or were stressed about. And we forget to live in the moment. We forget what’s going on. 

John: And in many cases, what we are experiencing or should be experiencing is phenomenal. You know, I had this habit for a long time that I would go on vacation and I just would be so forward-thinking that on the first day of vacation, I’d already been thinking about, wow, I’ve only got seven days left. And the next day there were six days left, and there were five days left. And I’d be so focused on like I don’t even know why I did this, but of what was coming down the road that I forgot to just, hey, you know what? Put the blinders on, block everything else out and just enjoy the moment. If you’re on the beach, enjoy the moment. Listen to the waves, like actually listen to the sound of the waves. You know, it’s amazing when you block out certain senses, your other senses become so much stronger.

John: I was talking to Jeff, my brother-in-law, recently, and he was telling me he was listening to a movie that we had both seen called movie 43, a crazy movie. Wacky, wacky movie. But they’ve changed that long story. But the old version of it was great in any event. And he said he said something interesting. He said I was in the other room. I wasn’t watching it, so I was just listening to it. And he said because I was only hearing it, I heard a whole bunch of stuff I’d never heard before. Different lines and funny humor stuff. He said I somehow picked up other stuff because I wasn’t watching it. And it made me realize that you know, that’s true. When we focus and we reduce and close our eyes, for example, we hear the sound of the waves more. You know, we don’t necessarily when we’re looking at them. 

John: So, you know, that’s part of being present. You know, being in the moment is to single out your different senses, you know, maybe close your ears and just look at something and take notice of something and look at the trees and look at the leaves and look at the grass. I mean, look at all this stuff. I just you know, that’s I just forgot the importance of that stuff and how relaxing it is and how it just brings you in touch with everything. It’s unbelievable. And it just clears your mind and it just makes you enjoy life so much better. And believe me, I’ve been through different periods of time where I just could I felt like I couldn’t. 

John: I was never in the moment. I was never in the moment. I remember vividly a period of time. Now, this was self-inflicted because I was doing some weird experiment to see how little sleep I could get. And I literally went a period of, I don’t know, a couple of months or four months or five months getting on average four hours of sleep a night. And I don’t know why. I just don’t recommend it. Don’t try it. Don’t try this at home. It messed me up big time. But I did learn that your body does acclimate. You can truly function unless you sleep. Your body just adjusts. But what doesn’t adjust is your mind. So I actually stopped being overly tired, but my brain could not function properly. 

John: And that was one of the things I observed is I could not be in the moment. I remember interviewing somebody when I was running the Boston office of Ameriprise. I remember interviewing somebody and I got through the entire interview and I’m like, you know what? I don’t remember a single thing this person said. I can’t even I could not even recount a single thing that this person said and I had spent. I don’t know what it was an hour with this person. It was unbelievable. My brain just could not stay focused on anything that was going on in that moment. And needless to say, that did not contribute to my well-being. And ultimately, I couldn’t. You can’t do business. You can’t run a life like that. 

John: So my point is that you’ve got all these things, all these things in your mind potentially that can take you away from the moment. And my only message to you is, work and try really hard and do it right now even or do whatever you’re doing if you’re multitasking or whatever, just take some time to put yourself truly in the present block out what’s happening tomorrow or tonight. Block out the things that you got on your to-do list. So you gotta get down, block out that big speech, you got to give it a month, whatever, take it out of your mind and focus on what you are doing and experiencing and feeling right now. 

John: Look at the desk you’re sitting at. If you’re sitting outside of the chair, take note of the chair. How does this thing feel? What are you looking at? What do you hear in all kinds of stuff? Just be present at the moment. Next time you’re having a conversation with somebody, don’t you know when you’re sitting there having a conversation with somebody in

a restaurant? Don’t be looking over their shoulder. Look them in the eyes. Listen, listen to what they’re saying. It is unbelievable how much you can build a relationship and how much value comes from just being in the moment. 

John: There’s no other conversation taking place except the one that’s happening right here between you and this person. Block out the distractions, turn off the phone. If you’ve got an Apple Watch, don’t look at the Apple Watch during your conversation. It drives me nuts when people do that. I, number one, I just think they’re looking at the time and they can’t wait for my conversation with them to end or I realize they’re looking at a text on their watch. Well, I mean, do you want to live on your phone or do you want to live in real life, which is right here? I’m right in front of you. Hello. 

John: So my point is this was my day on the golf course, which was a major revelation for me that as much as I felt like I’ve gotten better over at it over the years, sometimes the more you have going on in your life, the harder it is to do. But wow, is it so rewarding when you figure out how to even do it in brief increments, brief periods of time if you have to, to get really good at it. But when you live in the present, fully in the present, it is unbelievable what happens and how you feel. 

John: So I hope this is valuable. If anything just gets the wheels turning and ask yourself, you know, am I truly in the present when you’re with your kids, are you truly with your kids? Are you paying attention to them? Are you listening to them? Are you asking them questions? You’re talking to them. If you’re with your wife or your husband, are you truly with them, or is your mind somewhere else or your body somewhere else? I mean, are you truly focused on them? And when you’re with a friend or whatever, I mean, that’s what being present is truly all about. So, again, I hope this gave you something to think about and more importantly, something to do. 

John: So in any event, I greatly appreciate your consistent listening. I get lots of feedback from all of you on different shows, different episodes, and topics that you found valuable. It means a lot to me. I will tell you when I hear from you, I cannot tell you how much it means 

to me because I’m used to doing live presentations. We get immediate feedback from people. Podcasting is totally different. I’m talking to a camera. I’m looking at a computer screen. I don’t see you. I don’t hear from you unless you reach out to me. I don’t even know everybody that listens because all I get is data. And some of you’re all over the world, which is kind of cool. 

John: But I’d love it if you reach out to me. Let me know who you are. Let me know your thoughts. Let me know your ideas on future topics, future guests, all that kind of good stuff. And in the meantime, share like subscribe and go down below and give that five-star review. I greatly appreciate it. Thanks, everybody. Take care. 

John (Closing): Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions, or inquiries, about having me at your next event, or personal coaching, reach me at john@lauritogroup.com Once again, that’s john@lauritogroup.com. Thanks! Lead on!

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