How to ASK YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS to Keep Improving Every Day w/Randy WolkenOct 12, 2021
Welcome to episode 15 of the Mindful & Driven podcast! It’s all about how to not lose sight of what really matters whilst chasing your dreams.
Episode 15’s guest is Randy Wolken. He has been the President of The Manufacturing Association of Central New York for over 20 years. They are representing over 300 businesses with over 50,000 employees. It has been Randy’s passion to understand these businesses and provide them with the tools, people, information, and resources that they need to thrive in the global market.
He’s a graduate of the exclusive Westpoint Military Academy and to have held such a prestigious position for so long, speaks volumes of his ability to create long-lasting relationships. He’s shared some heart-touching stories today.
I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I’d love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels.
- You can find all my work and socials here: http://amardeep.co
- Download my free Anti-Burnout Toolkit here: http://antiburnout.mindfuldriven.com
- United for Global Mental Health: https://unitedgmh.org/mental-health-support
- Find more about Randy: https://www.macny.org/
- Follow him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randy-wolken-4280821/
- Follow him on Medium: https://medium.com/@randywolken
Topics discussed in this episode:
- How to ask yourself the right questions about your life and career.
- How to be more mindful about your goals.
- You’re a human being not a human doing.
- What questions can help you live a better life.
- Questions to ask yourself to find true balance.
- How to find balance in life and be more mindful about your career choice.
- Why it’s important to keep asking yourself questions.
- Introduction (0:00)
- The butterfly effect (1:36)
- Life balance as a constant struggle (5:07)
- Fostering relationships (8:45)
- The virtual life (15:59)
- A global village (21:48)
- Knowing who you are (27:00)
[00:00:00] Randy: That’s the most important thing is to figure out for me, it is who am I? What am I supposed to be doing right now? You know, and who am I supposed to be caring for right now? And that, that will change. I used to think that the older I got, the wiser I’d get in, it would just be easier. It isn’t and I don’t expect it anymore to get easier. I just expect myself to figure out a way to, as you mentioned, and I think this is, this podcast is going to be helpful in, you know, how do we have become more mindful of who we are and what matters?
[00:00:35] Amardeep: Welcome to the Mindful and Driven Podcast, where we help you to not lose sight of what’s really important whilst chasing your dreams.Today’s guest is Randy Wolken. He has been the President of The Manufacturing Association of Central New York for over 20 years. They are representing over 300 businesses with over 50,000 employees. It has been Randy’s passion to understand these businesses and provide them with the tools, people, information, and resources that they need to thrive in the global market.
He’s a graduate of the exclusive Westpoint Military Academy and to have held such a prestigious position for so long, speaks volumes of his ability to create long-lasting relationships. He’s shared some heart-touching stories today. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation!
Welcome, Randy. It’s great to have you on.
[00:01:15] Randy: Thank you. Thanks for having me on.
[00:01:18] Amardeep: So a bit of background about how he noted that it’s through writing away. Randy’s got an incredible background and he’s done so much during his career, and now what is trying to focus in a bit more, is how to to pass on these lessons and to help other people. And I’ve had a few conversations with him before and his stories are incredible. So I’m hoping we get a few of those today. The first thing I ask, all my guests, Randy. What’s some common advice you disagree?
[00:01:40] Randy: Yeah. Oftentimes you hear people talk about how they get ahead and that, that will require stepping on people, stepping over people, and I really come to understand that it’s really not a reasonable and actually not a productive path, that the individuals you’re dealing with you’ll be dealing with maybe for a lifetime, and so you need to take the long view and not the short view. And in, in many people I think would find it much more satisfying as well as more gratifying and would get further ahead if they treated in individuals like, like they’re going to be dealing with them every day for the rest of their lives, and that just changes, I think people’s interactions with each other. So.
[00:02:17] Amardeep: Yeah. And I think on that point as well, where the world’s really small. If you treat somebody badly, because for whatever reason you think that they’re beneath you or something like that, you’re damaging not just your relationship with them, but then so many other people too. And it’s the old classic trope of when people get into use and you see how people treat the person at reception, because it just tells you a lot about people and it’s, it’s obviously tough cause you don’t have time for everybody and we’ve got to make some prioritization, but there’s a way to do it. Isn’t it? And it’s like, you can say to somebody that I’m sorry, I’m too busy. I don’t have time for this. And that’s okay. But purposely trying to kind of step on people, like you said. It just doesn’t work out in the long run because it’s going to bite you back sooner or later and [unintelligible]. The other thing, it shouldn’t even be that consequences for yourself. It should just be like internally that you don’t feel good doing that.
[00:03:11] Randy: Yeah, no, that’s a really good point. I mean, I remember an incident with my, I was young in my current job and my mother came to visit me, she noticed that when the janitor had come in, she had come into my office and I was, you know, I talked to her and greeted her, as if, and then she was, I considered her a part of our team, she helps you make sure that the environment was clean and the young woman left. I remember my mother’s complimenting me and saying, you know, that’s really good that you’ve noticed her. Do you, just didn’t just look away, or it left an impression on me when I was younger, specifically in my career that, that, you know, what matters most is how you treat people. And I’ve noticed that that that’s one of the key to my successes. It’s actually been treating people with as much kindness as I can realizing that you don’t want people to step on you at the same time, and sometimes it requires you to be firm, but trying to be, find a way to be kind, really makes a difference. And it comes, it comes back around to help you, but at the same time, you feel good in those moments, like the set up for who you are and what you are, what you amount to versus just going with the flow.
[00:04:15] Amardeep: Even the perspective there of let’s say, by that simple act of kindness that you show people. It’s kind of a virtuous circle, right? If somebody takes a little bit of time out of their day, just to make somebody feel a bit better, then that person is in a better mood and more likely to do that for somebody else. One good deed, could then spark off a hundred others. You can have the bad way as well. Right? If you, if you treat somebody badly, then you’ve got them into a bad mood and then they feel negatively and they put onto other people. So I think sometimes you’ve got to think about like that greater effect that each action has.
[00:04:47] Randy: Yep. [unintelligible] say the butterfly effect. Right? What happens here will affect what goes on around the world. And we tend to be hyper-focused on all the things that we do and don’t realize that the, the second or third or fourth iterations of what we’ve done have an impact.
[00:05:04] Amardeep: So you mentioned that earlier in your career, when your mother came to visit you, did you find like, especially like when you started out, that you had trouble with your, like struggling for balance and trying to work out.
[00:05:14] Randy: Yeah. And I, I really think that life balance is going to be, at least for me, I think for many others, a constant struggle. If you’re trying to be successful, and I would define success as, you know, trying to make a difference. That’s the way I’ve looked at it in my life, then you’re always going to be challenged with what’s new what’s in front of you, what the opportunity is. So you’ll always be trying to make sure you’re getting to alignment, you know, taking care of yourself, taking care of those you care about, and taking care of the work that you’ve committed to doing. So I think sometimes people give the impression once you sort of figure out life work balance that will be in alignment. You won’t have to worry about it again, and I have not found that the case over my career, just about the time you find peace and maybe some life balance something intervenes, and then you have to readjust again. And that, that takes effort. So I don’t think it’s an easy task. I think it’s an ongoing task. And a lot of it has to do with the way in which you build routines into your life so you can refine the balance once you’ve lost it.
[00:06:11] Amardeep: Did you ever in your career have a point where it just really overwhelmed you and then you bounce back from that again? Do you have any stories around that?
[00:06:18] Randy: Yeah. There’s multiple times. Life will, we’ll give you a lot of hard things that you’re going to have to deal with. So multiple times in my life I’ve been up against what I thought was going to overwhelm me. You know, that feeling of many, many people get, at least I will get you sort of feel like you’re drowning. Like, you know, are you going to make it through the next day, the next sometimes even the next moment. Several of those hard experiences, I actually went off at a young age at 18 to the military academy at West Point, which was a high pressure school, but also preparation for the us military. I remember feeling drowning or feeling I was drowning. During that almost entire year, my parents were tremendously instrumental as well as friends to get me through that. But I think the hardest time for me is when my youngest daughter was seriously ill. And it was the time, first time in my life when the, the things that were going on around me, I didn’t have control over. And when you don’t have a sense of control and you love someone so deeply and you lose control, it really impacts you. And I remembered the chemotherapy and the years of difficulty, and you know, I wasn’t sure how I would get through it, but, but the reality was you, do you find a way you, if you, if you don’t give up, if you continue to look for ways to balance your life and to find people in your life, and that’s when I really learned just how important people, friends, just routine friends, are and how you need to be open. At first, I didn’t want to be open about my pain, and then it was like, well, I needed to be open about my pain so people could help me. I needed to not try to be self-sufficient. I, it was that I think those times I realized that throughout my life, when I wanted to be self-sufficient, generally speaking, I still was needing others, and I needed to understand that I always will need others. The good news story is she’s now 24 years old. She’s come through that serious illness. She’s a wonderful, beautiful young woman and we’re so proud of her. So even in the darkest moments and you’ll have them, you know, I’m now 57 years old, I guarantee I’m going to have more, but I’ve had a lot of years where you’ll have these significant challenges. The pandemic, after all this was a significant challenge. So if you have faith, if you continue to rely on friends, if you stay the course, you’ll get through it.
[00:08:36] Amardeep: I think that’s such an important point about the community aspect, right? And I think it’s something which has changed over time, I guess, within, especially within the Western world about this idea of having to be self-sufficient and that your strong and that your independent. Whereas you look at, for example, in Asia or even in the Mediterranean countries, the family unit is really important, the intergenerational side. And people have these gatherings often, whereas in, because obviously you’re in New York and I’m in London, that’s not as common. It’s kind of more spread out and everybody’s dotted all over the place and you don’t have that same like regularity in the people you’re seeing sometimes. And [unintelligible] because sometimes people want to have their own thing. They want to be their own people. But then they also lose out on something by not having that constant traction with the same people. And there’s people who really know the in-depth because they’re seeing each other every day or they come around to each other’s houses for dinner regularly. I think that’s just something which I’m consciously think to myself is that I don’t want to be that lone wolf. And it’s how do I foster this sense of community in my friendship groups and with my families so that I can have that, because like I said, it’s, when things happen, I can’t deal it, like there’s no, I could take all of the different mindset courses and everything I wanted in the world. I can’t deal with everything by myself. We’re social animals and it’s great that you had the people around you that when your daughter was sick, who could help you out and that you felt you could trust. Did you find that difficult at the beginning to open up or did the previous experiences mean that you felt quite open to be able to talk to people about some of the more raw moments that you’re having?
[00:10:22] Randy: Yeah. I did find it difficult. I’m a, I would call a thinker, data driven individual, and I had to come to grips with my emotions, being willing to share my emotions, which are neither right or wrong. If you, when you feel sad, it’s not right or wrong. It just is. And so that you have to give up the sense that you have to be on top of it all the time and you have to be perfect and, and if you show weakness that that will be a detriment. You have to open up and say, well, I’m a human being, you know, that’s one of the things I’ve learned over time where human beings, not human doings and yet generally speaking people worry about what they’re doing and not how they’re being. And it’s really, that’s what people are going to remember. They remember how we are as people. So yeah, it was difficult at first, because I had moved away. You had mentioned how our society has changed, when I grew up, I mean, I think it’s changed, you know, just, even in my lifetime, how people are more, more spread out, global, their entire networks have changed. When I was a kid, I had, you know, friends, I had a lot of relatives in the, in the area you grew up with them. I went to school with them. In fact, it was interesting when I was 18. I couldn’t wait to get out east, you know, and have my own life, and every year I make sure I go back and spend time with them sometimes multiple times because I miss it. I miss the intimacy, the routine that I once had. Luckily my family still lives in the general area. A lot of people move and they can’t even go back to where they call would call home. And so I think that’s part of, part of our, our desire and need is to build new community in a global. Which is an example. You know, you just doing this podcast with you, you and I have met each other. It doesn’t take that long. I think we’ve all learned in today’s world to actually develop friendships. You don’t have to live next to somebody. You don’t have to hang out with them for years, you can begin to develop a friendship early. And I think the key to that is, you know, allowing yourself to be touched by somebody else, allowing yourself to feel emotion. And it’s really not the utility of it’s, when you think about, you know, good friendships, it’s about they’re there for you. They share values that you share and those can be far away from you these days, given these tools. So these tools can be incredibly productive, but I also think they can be incredibly meaningful in, in building a more mindful and a more connected reality. I know my daughters who were younger than me, they, they have, you know, international friends. And as a kid, I never thought I would, I would have international friends, but that’s really the new, their new opportunities. I also think you need local friends. I think this is a really important or family, if you’re blessed enough to have them with you.
[00:12:58] Amardeep: I think an important part of that as well is going off topic and going away from the purpose of a call, because you must have the same thing, right? I have so many calls and it can start to feel transactional because this is the call. This is what it’s about. Whereas [unintelligible] call, which is that let’s just have a chat because that’s, when you get to know somebody, that’s when you get to become more kind of like a friendship. Whereas, if it’s just business meeting, business, meeting, business meeting, like life’s too short for that for me me. I could do that. Yes. I could gain opportunities and whatever from that, they just wouldn’t be as fun. Whereas having a chat with you now and having a chat with you before, that’s more enjoyable for me. That’s more like life to me.
[00:13:39] Randy: No, that’s what I said. That’s a wise takeaway, I think, in a world where everything’s high speed and faster. And I think the pandemic, at least in my life has increased the speed of my life by moving my life because of the need to do so online and virtual. You can do that really fast. I remember early on in the pandemic realizing I could have twice as many virtual meetings as I could in person meetings. You know, in a productive day might be five really good meetings and now I could do 10 or 15 if I really worked at it. But then I started to understand that there was no richness to it because it was really task driven and when you start to get to task driven, you don’t take the time, you don’t, you don’t have the pre-conversation where you ask people how their family is or how, how are they doing? Which is the thing we have to build into this virtual world of ours. This chat, as you mentioned. This getting to know people, this, giving them a chance to tell them what’s going on in their life, pretend to do that easier in person. I think know we’re just very visual people we can see when someone’s, you know, sad or we can see when someone’s hurting, we can say what’s up or how are you doing? And we can take that offline and I think we need to find a way to do that in these vehicles as well. ’cause that’s the part, people respond to. People are gonna remember how you, how you made them feel, not if you did something for them and if you’ve made them feel valuable and respected, then, then that, that’s what they’re going to remember. I think in interesting enough, I think in our virtual world, I’ve done it with you in multiple others now. In a virtual space where I, before I would have done it first in person, I still love, love the in-person interaction. Now you can even do that in these vehicles, as long as you allow yourself to be genuine.
[00:15:22] Amardeep: It’s kind of like not watching the clock is another thing I think as well, isn’t it there? They said, if you’re packing the meetings, then if you’ve got 15 meetings in a day, you need to make sure everyone finishes on time. So you get straight to business. Whereas, if you have that bit of that flexibility, this kind of the running and that’s okay. I think that helps as well.
Hi everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the episode so far. I want to take a quick break to ask you to check in with yourself. There’s many people struggling with balance and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s tips that my guests might share can hopefully help you along the way, but if you already feel overwhelmed or burnt out, it’s probably best that you ask somebody for help too. For some, this might be a friend or family member, while others might feel like they have nobody they can talk to. If you’re one of these people, check out the link in the show notes, it’s for United for Global Mental Health. They’ve got health plans all across the world, with people willing to listen on the other side. It’s important to let somebody know how you’re feeling. Now, back to the show.
Is there anything at the moment where, so you’ve adjusted pretty well as the virtual world, is there anything you’re struggling with in terms of your balance in this kind of new life? Are you going back to the office and in-person meetings too? Or are you now firmly virtual?
[00:16:29] Randy: No, I’m doing both and I think integrating a highly efficient virtual life into what I’ve learned was my inefficient practical life is a good thing. So I I’ve been going in the, into the office as much as possible so that I can physically see people. I’m going to, you know, safely going to lunch again, you know, with individuals. In starting to kind of put that part of my life back in while keeping the efficiency in this, in the depth and the breadth of the virtual life. So it’s been hard to integrate them together. It’s in some ways it was easier to be all virtual or all in person. It’s hard in my mind to get to do both because there really is a balancing act that goes on when you’re trying to do both. I mean, when you’re going to a meeting in person, you might run into traffic or you might have to linger a little longer because they’ve got a story they have to tell you, and I, and you, and I just talked about how important it is to listen to that story. You know, what’s going on in their life will be really impactful or what’s going on in their business or whatever else they want to tell you that wasn’t the meeting. So you need to give it some extra time, and then of course, that’s going to make you late for your virtual meeting because virtual meetings start on time. It’s just amazing how actual meetings people linger, like, ah, we started 10 minutes late. We’ll just, there’ll be fine. Well, first of all, meetings almost always start on time. It’s like, Hey, it’s 10 o’clock. We start. And if you’re five minutes late, you might miss the most important part. So it’s really, it is a clash of culture, virtual in my opinion virtual versus in person. But I will tell you that one thing that I’ve noticed coming out of the pandemic is how much people enjoy being with people. Again I, I find people linger longer, maybe they’ve realized that their tight schedules they were booking when they were in person was realistic and they needed to give themselves, as you mentioned, Some time for a little slippage. You know, maybe that’s a half hour, maybe that’s 15 minutes. It’s also, I’ve learned, you just gotta not book your time up. I mean, I had a very tight schedule early on. Part of it was pandemic driven cause you had a lot. I had a lot of things I needed to focus on, but now I’ve, I’ve let you know holes in my schedule exist. You know, hour and a half, two hours, so that I can, you know, do the things I hadn’t planned on doing or go longer and do things that, that I truly enjoy. And it gives by the way, if you give yourself more time and, you know, I don’t know, I don’t think it would be you know, you and I were struggling on how do I can best connect virtually here, you know? And you helped me through it. Well, my schedule was so tight. I would have had to do something different, but I had time and that’s one of the lessons I’ve learned is yeah, I can schedule tight if I have to, I have that capacity. I just try not to do it because life’s not very enjoyable, if it’s everything’s back to back.
[00:19:08] Amardeep: Why I’ve done now, so with the kind of system I use for booking Calendly, I purposely done it, say that it blocks off the half an hour before and the half an hour after the meeting. So nobody else can book a meeting in within half an hour. So it always gives me that time and say if the conversation goes over or even just having a bit time to take a moment to myself, to reset before going into another call. And I find that helps set much because when you go back to back calls, sometimes your mind is still processing what you were talking about in the last call, which isn’t fair to the person you’re now talking to because half your mind is thinking about the previous call. And that’s just one kind of tip I use or hack I use.
[00:19:46] Randy: Good hack. Yeah. I mean, that used to be my physical world hack where I would leave a space, right, between an after. I always found, I’ve found this true, we do a ton of interactions with company executives and other individuals, and we primarily do them as in-person meetings. So we would do about 300 events a year, and most of them were in person. Well, like 99%, we’re in person. And I always found the most useful parts of those events, were at the beginning and the end. I mean before we started and right after we got done, people would be most interested in having that conversation that was unplanned, but needed to happen, it needed to happen. So I think you’re right. Finding tricks and hacks, to give you more space will be helpful for me. I mean, I remember it’s a very popular book called Thanks for Being Late and that’s sort of my sentiment that I often don’t mind if someone’s late and or needs to be paused because quite frankly, that gives me that moment to catch my breath and didn’t realize that this moment is going to be just fine, even if it’s late and not the way I had planned it.
[00:20:54] Amardeep: Often in meetings, there’s a bit that, say it needs to be done, is quite short. Like it doesn’t need to spend that long to talk about that part.
[00:21:00] Randy: No.
[00:21:01] Amardeep: But the fun is the other stuff. Right. And that’s the bit that can go longer or shorter.
[00:21:05] Randy: Sure. I remember during the pandemic, we would have, kept a, really pushed our team, and I learned this in the military. You were sort of have to, when you have chaos, you need to build some routine into it. So we, we put all these virtual meetings in where we would still gather, and at first people say that’s just too many meetings. Why do we have to have them? I learned just by connecting, that that was the, that was the reason for the meeting. Even if we didn’t get a lot done or there wasn’t a strict agenda, it was like, we got to get, we got together virtually, you know, even if we weren’t physically together. And that, that really comforted people, that, that someone was going to be there tomorrow at their regular scheduled zoom meeting, and that they’d have someone to talk to someone to work through it with. So I think that’s one of my big lessons in the virtual world is you have to have routines just like we do in our physical world.
[00:21:51] Amardeep: What do you think is the ideal lifestyle you’d like to lead in say two years time once the pandemic’s over and things are more or less back to normal? What do you think is the right balance for you? Are you going to do more virtual? You’re going to try and keep it back to what you had in life pre pandemic?
[00:22:05] Randy: Yeah. To me the we’re not going back. There’s no back to normal. Yeah, I’m of the opinion that we’re going to be dealing with COVID in some, for the next few years, if not longer, and that there will be another global challenge and we have those already. Now, I guess the other thing we should learn is that almost all of the significant challenges will no longer be regional or local. They’ll be at least influenced by global and we are a global village. We’ve been saying that for years, but I think the pandemic is probably should have convinced us that the other issues we’re dealing with, extreme climate, all the other kinds of things that we’re dealing with are really global challenges. And we’re not going to solve them by ourselves. We’re going to have to solve them together. So, so for me, living into this new world is, is my biggest challenge. Not waiting for some sort of, you know, controlled or, you know, peaceful moment to sort of, you know, to arrive. I don’t think they’re arriving anymore. I, I can tell you categorically, and my life was much slower when I was a child and, and, and has been speeding up ever since, and I don’t think it’s going to stop accelerating. I now share this with people. I think our lives, and you can look at the, just the sheer volume of both information, new discoveries, new creations, innovations that are happening, the volume is acceleration. So the reality is we no longer accelerate to a speed and hold it. We’re constantly accelerating. The world around us, this never stops accelerating. That’s a phenomena we’re not used to, we’re used to getting in a vehicle and we accelerate to the speed. We hold it, or we declined, and stop. And well, the world’s not stopping what’s going on when I’m sleeping, something is being created and invented, you know, the other side of the globe, you know, that speed has never been faster. I don’t think it ever slows down. So that’s the case. If acceleration is our new normal, it then, then what are we going to do to sustain ourselves? How do we have a sustainable life? You know, for me, it’s all building a lot of new daily habits. I spent a lot of time on my, my habits that give me peace. My morning habits are absolutely critical to me. I have a executive coach I’ve had now for quite a while. In fact, that’s one of the things I would recommend to anybody. If you get a close friend who will be your coach or pay somebody. Like I do, because you, you can’t handle these things on your own. You need a routine to talk to somebody and, and, you know, so I’ve, I’ve learned that I’ve, I’ve got to be, I’ve got to work every morning to show up the way I want to show up. Despite what’s going on around me, the chaos around me, you know, has to not be what becomes me. It’s really interesting and difficult not to get sucked up into the chaos around you. So I have to get up every morning and reestablish who I am and I’ve learned from my coach Mark, he would say, you know, you’re in this role now as an executive and dealing with leaders and others in the space that you’re in. How you show up is going to be much more meaningful than what you’re going to say specifically in what the meeting’s about. It’s like, if you show up in a good place and you are who you call, you’re called to be, it’s going to be fine. Even if the entire topic move someplace else or the time, you know, maybe it’s now become a crisis, but you’ll be centered so that you can respond to what the crisis is in front of you and crisis management, I think is the hardest senior leadership skill that a person has to, has to come to grips with is, how do you manage the crisis? Because in those calm moments, in those moments that are light, you’ll be fine, but when you, when you’re in the middle of a crisis, when someone needs you to do something, The question is, will you be yourself? Will you be able to find that inner calmness so you can respond?
[00:25:57] Amardeep: I like what you say cause it’s true. I do think sometimes we can think about the future as if it’s going to be 30 years from now. It’s gonna be the same world as what we live in now. For most of human history, that’s been true.
[00:26:07] Randy: It has been true.
[00:26:08] Amardeep: You you’re a 20 year old, 30 year old, when you’re going to be 60, the world is pretty much going to be the same.
[00:26:14] Randy: Yes.
[00:26:15] Amardeep: It’s only in the last hundred, couple hundred years, but then even in the last couple of years, I just said it’s accelerating where like, I’m sure people, well 30 years ago, you didn’t think you’d have an iPhone. No, you wouldn’t think you’d be talking to me across the world right now. And it’s like, it’s really hard for somebody like me to comprehend, what would the technology be like in 30 years time? Because it will be so far beyond what we can imagine, because we’re not used to it because we don’t have any idea about all the different amazing things happening in the world right now. And like I said, all we can do is try to center ourselves and make sure that we’re in the right state of mind to deal with those kinds of issues, because it’s difficult to keep up. Do you think there’s like one mindset in particular, you think people can adopt that’ll make a positive difference in their lives?
[00:27:02] Randy: Yeah, for me, the most important thing is to spend some time, in a fast world, it’s to spend some time just knowing who we are. Who am I and who do I want to be in? Go back to that sort of solid base. It’s the one thing that’s, that you have, you have a meaningful amount of control over who are you and how do you present? Who are you and how do you treat others? The world around you will spin and it will go faster, and you’re right, civilization has never moved this fast and will continue to accelerate. So if we know that, then there’s no way we can keep up and we just have to understand, we can’t keep up. That’s a really hard thing for, for someone like me, who wants to control the future, or at least control the moment you know, to get my head around. Like I’m not going to deal with that. There’s no way I can know all the information I need or learn all the skills I need to have. It’s just not possible because the world’s moving faster than I can possibly catch up. So it does requires us to figure out, spend some time on who am I, what matters most to me, and to make sure I spend my time, at least some of my time doing those things to remind myself, this is who I am, and this is what I bring to the world. We’re all given unique gifts to bring to the world, but if we let ourselves get caught up in the chaos, we won’t, we won’t express. We’ll be driven by other people’s agendas will be pulled along by world events instead of just being us and, you know, and I think that’s what we’re, that’s the most important thing is to figure out for me, it is who am I? What am I supposed to be doing right now? You know? And, and who am I supposed to be caring for right now? And that, that will change. I used to think that the older I got, the wiser I’d get in, it would just be easier. It isn’t, I don’t expect it any more to get easier. I just expect myself to figure out a way to, as you mentioned, and I think this is, this podcast is, can be helpful in, you know, how do we, or become more mindful of who we are and what matters to us, and then try to do what we can in those moments, and then at the end of the day, pack it in, get some good rest, because rest is the thing I think people don’t do enough. Good quality rest, both downtime and sleep, and then let’s do it again tomorrow, you know? And, and the other thing I think people need is probably a greater sense of gratefulness because once you’re I arrived, when I started my gratefulness habit, which was over five years ago now, and I do it every day, I keep track of it. You realize, well, this life’s going to be okay. These are the things that I can really be truly thankful for. And given that reality, I can handle today’s challenge.
[00:29:37] Amardeep: Randy it’s been a pleasure to talk to you. Where can people hear more about you?
[00:29:40] Randy: You can find me on Medium and I try to publish articles that are from my own experiences and from what I hear from others. And so that that’s a, in many ways, that’s through our connections there. That’s how you and I met. You can also, I’ve written a book Present Future Leaders and it’s on amazon.com. If you’d like to read more details about me and you know, my life philosophy and then MACNY.org is the organization that I run and you can find, you know, I do twice a week blogs there, the Muslim forbes.com. So, so the reality is I think there’s a few places you can connect with me, and I would love to connect with people. I think the relationships that I have been able to, to get through and to acquires through writing, I just think they’ve been life-changing and it’s not my primary job, I do it because I enjoy it. Thank you. Yeah.
[00:30:31] Amardeep: And the final thing to finish up on, is what’s one small thing that’s brought you joy by recently?
[00:30:36] Randy: Yeah. One of the fun things here in, in upstate New York. I live in New York state, not New York city. So I live in upstate, which is more rural. My wife and I, we, we went apple picking. So we just took some time and we have something called apple fritters, or you may have had them. And they’re incredible. So they’re best when they’re fresh and hot, and and you just, we just spent the afternoon out in nature picking some apples, enjoying each other’s company. I always find that if you, you just got to find a moment, some moments to get away from the stresses that that will impact your life. So don’t hesitate to do those things that are really on your mind. You know, we do that every year. We’ll go out several times just for enjoyment.
[00:31:23] Amardeep:If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, I’d love it If you could leave me a five star review, it really helps get the message out further. Wherever you’re listening, it would be awesome If you could subscribe and share in your social media channels. If you want to see more of my work and advice, you can find all of the links in the show notes.
Thank you again for listening and I hope you have a lovely day.
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