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How to Change the World

Andrew Petty is Dying

Release Date: 08/09/2021

End-of-Life Planning: Why You Should Do It Now, and How, with Michelle Mathai show art End-of-Life Planning: Why You Should Do It Now, and How, with Michelle Mathai

Andrew Petty is Dying

Do you have a plan for when you die? Do you have a plan for when your loved ones die?  In 2001, Michelle Mathai was just two years into her first foreign service post as vice consul in Auckland, NZ. She and her parents were on a farewell trip around the island in anticipation of Michelle's imminent departure for a new post in El Salvador. In the blink of an eye, the trip turned tragic when their car, with her dad at the wheel and her mom in the back seat, careened off the road and into the mercilessly icy current of a glacial river. As water rushed in, Michelle was able to kick out the...

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Suffering, Surrender, and the Leap of Faith: How to Find Freedom on the Other Side of Letting Go, with Carrie Chown show art Suffering, Surrender, and the Leap of Faith: How to Find Freedom on the Other Side of Letting Go, with Carrie Chown

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do you need to let go of? In her teens, alcohol became Carrie Chown's refuge from emotional pain. By her early college years, she was firmly in the grips of alcoholism. Carrie worked hard to keep everything looking shiny on the outside, but inside she wanted to die. Then, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension as a college junior and was told she had two years to live. Ironically, it felt like an answer to her prayer to die.  In June of 1999, Carrie summoned the will and the courage to get sober so she could begin an IV treatment the following month. Remarkably, she survived...

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What Do You Do?: A Tool for Understanding Yourself Better and Finding Your Unique Path in Life show art What Do You Do?: A Tool for Understanding Yourself Better and Finding Your Unique Path in Life

Andrew Petty is Dying

“What do you do?” We’re all familiar with that question. It comes up naturally when we meet someone for the first time in a social setting. Its usual purpose is to learn what someone does for a living to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.  In this episode, however, we’ll REpurpose this old question in a new way to help you know yourself better and discern even more clearly the paths in life for which you’re uniquely made. It will become a new tool in your ongoing quest to live YOUR life with guts, gusto, and abandon.    My Answer to “What do you...

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Have Time, or Time Will Have You: Escape Regret and Create a Life You’re Proud Of show art Have Time, or Time Will Have You: Escape Regret and Create a Life You’re Proud Of

Andrew Petty is Dying

This episode is a wake-up call, a call to get back in the driver’s seat of your life, a call to become the boss of your most precious nonrenewable resource: Time.  Because if you don’t have time, Time will ultimately have you. And you won’t like the results.    Guilty as Charged How many times have we heard someone say, “I don’t have time,” or “If only I had more time,” or said something like that ourselves? I imagine we’ve all done it. I sure have.  If we’re honest, sometimes we trot out statements like these like badges of honor in an attempt to show...

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Rites of Passage: How Reviving Neglected Rituals Can Set You Free, with Amy Musson show art Rites of Passage: How Reviving Neglected Rituals Can Set You Free, with Amy Musson

Andrew Petty is Dying

What place do rites of passage have in your life?  In this episode, my special guest is MY coach Amy Musson, and we explore why rites of passage matter and the surprisingly harmful consequences of neglecting them. It turns out that there's more at stake than you might have thought--if you've ever given rites of passage much thought at all.  If you haven't given them much thought, then you're not alone. I think most of us in the materially affluent Western world today have largely neglected meaningful rites of passage. Emphasis on "materially affluent," by the way, because, as Amy and...

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The Making of The Alpinist's Marc-André Leclerc: A Transformational Conversation with Marc-André's Mom, Michelle Kuipers show art The Making of The Alpinist's Marc-André Leclerc: A Transformational Conversation with Marc-André's Mom, Michelle Kuipers

Andrew Petty is Dying

"If I've learned anything in the last three years, it's that life and death are so much bigger than us. You embraced life and love with all your amazing energy, which still reverberates. You are still with us on walks in the forest, on windy ridges, in a sunlit moment after the rain, in the love, laughter, and music of your friends and family. You are there in dreams that seem more real than waking moments. Everyday I think of you on your timeless flight. I love you with all my heart, and miss you more than words can say." Michelle Kuipers wrote this heartrending caption for an Instagram post...

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How To Make the Most of Today: A Simple Framework show art How To Make the Most of Today: A Simple Framework

Andrew Petty is Dying

How do we make the most of today? This episode is short and sweet, banged out somewhat hastily during the current season of curveballs I mentioned in the previous episode–but banged out with love and goodwill toward you, my fellow traveler along life’s winding path, you who are waking up to the reality of your Mortality and courageously embracing it to live with guts, gusto, and abandon.  So today I’m gonna give you what I’ve got and pray that it reaches the hearts of those who need it most. And what I’ve got is a simple framework for making the most of today–the only day...

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What to Do When Life Throws You a Curveball: Notes from the Field show art What to Do When Life Throws You a Curveball: Notes from the Field

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do we do when life throws us a curveball?  On this podcast, we’re equipping ourselves with the mindset and the means to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. Growing in our ability to respond to life’s inevitable curveballs requires both evolving our mindset and upgrading our means. And as we get better at responding to life’s curveballs, we increase our capacity to live with even more guts, gusto, and abandon.  In this episode, I’ll draw from my own recent experience to share with you what I’m learning in real-time about what to do when life throws us a curveball. ...

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Ignore at Your Own Risk: How Your Relationship with Death Affects Your Quality of Life, with Dr. Frederic Tate show art Ignore at Your Own Risk: How Your Relationship with Death Affects Your Quality of Life, with Dr. Frederic Tate

Andrew Petty is Dying

What is your relationship with Death?  It may seem like an odd question, but your answer to it has everything to do with your quality of life. My guest on this episode shares actionable insight into this relationship so that we can optimize our quality of life.    Introducing Dr. Frederic Tate Dr. Frederic Tate is a fascinating human with a perspective on Life and Death forged in the crucible of end-of-life care. A trusted friend connected us, so I knew Frederic was someone I should get to know. And I took an immediate shine to him from afar when I learned that he grew up in the...

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What Do You Want?: A Path to Purpose and Fulfillment, with Chris Slota show art What Do You Want?: A Path to Purpose and Fulfillment, with Chris Slota

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do you want?  It's a simple enough question at face value, but it can be far from easy to answer. Many of us have never truly tried to answer it. Many of us have never been aware that it was important to do so. And many of us are a lot better at knowing what we DON'T want.  Failing to answer this question can lead to surprisingly harmful consequences--but answering it can put us on a path to unprecedented purpose and fulfillment.  Don't just take my word for it, though. In this episode, my guest, Chris Slota, gives us unfiltered access to the remarkable personal...

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More Episodes

If environmental armageddon doesn’t get us first, then a hostile nation’s plans for global domination will. Maybe the Republicans will sink the ship and all hands will be lost. Or maybe it’ll be the Democrats doing. What about AI--the potential for hyper-intelligent machines to take over the world and eradicate or enslave humanity? You thought COVID was tough? Just wait until the next super virus is unleashed by nameless, faceless, malevolent forces plotting our demise even as we speak. 

Take your pick. There are no shortage of dire, doom and gloom scenarios to choose from these days. And the media and the internet serve up heaping quantities of it onto our psychological plates if we get in line for the 24/7 buffet. 

I’m NOT saying, BTW, that there aren’t genuine reasons to be concerned about the state of the world. There are--and, there always have been. In the modern digital age, though, it’s possible to be aware of most of the challenges facing the world--or, at least, the existing portrayals of those challenges--and to be aware of them most of the time. That’s infinitely more knowledge and awareness than any one of us can hold well in our hearts and minds or possibly act upon. And if we’re not careful, it can lead us to despair, despondency, and inaction. 

Where does that leave us, then? What CAN we do? 

Good questions. 

How do we change the world?

 

It’s Simple, Actually

I’m not going to bury the lead here. Let’s get right to the point. 

To change the world, simply be the best “you” that you can possibly be. 

Profoundly simple. And FAR from easy. If it was easy, more of us would embrace it and live it out. 

It’s also far from a new idea. “Be the change you want to see in the world” is a statement derived from ideas that Gandhi put forth. As is “if you want to change the world, go home and love your family”--that one derived from Mother Teresa’s way of thinking. Today, in his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Jordan Peterson sounds a similar note when he exhorts us all to “get our own house in perfect order” before we criticize the world or, by extrapolation, try to change the whole world. 

It’s not a new idea, but it seems to be one that needs to be revived in our hearts and minds these days. We forget. And we get swept up in the myriad of massive global concerns and take our eye off the ball right in front of us--the only ball that is really ours to carry. The ball of our One and Only Life, our unique path, and the purposes we alone can accomplish along that path. 

We need to return to this simple idea and double-down on it in our own lives. As Natalie Niksa said in the previous episode, “we’ve lost our way because of all the shiny objects.” And in returning to this priority, we’ll revitalize our personal power, passion, and purpose and reduce our sense of paralysis and powerlessness in the face of all of the world’s woes. Then, we can really get to work, right where we are, with what we have.  

 

Breaking It Down 

But what does it mean to “be the best you that you can possibly be,” and how does that actually change the world? 

It means taking radical responsibility for yourself. It means working your ass off to discover and express your unique self as fully as you can and bring your unique gifts into the world. It means dreaming the dreams that exist only within your heart and doing your damndest to fulfill them. It means doing the work to become the person you were made to be and live the life you were made to live. It means working your ass off to be the best spouse, partner, parent, neighbor, and employee, employer, or entrepreneur that you can be. It means dragging yourself over the finish line of your life utterly depleted AND utterly satisfied because you left it all out on the field. 

For some, those efforts will yield global recognition and impact. For others of us, our efforts will only ever be known among those closest to us. 

Guess what? The scope and scale of our impact is irrelevant and, frankly, none of our business. 

It’s not even knowable, in fact. We have no way of knowing how much of a difference our life will make--now, and in the years and generations to come. Our lives ripple into eternity, just like those before us ripple into ours. 

 

Keep It Positive

Make no mistake, though: There’s no such thing as a neutral or no-impact life. 

We don’t get to control IF our life will make an impact or know how much of an impact we ultimately make, but we do get to influence what KIND of impact we’ll make. Will it be negative because we shrank back, didn’t take full responsibility for our One and Only life, and failed to show up--and our absence was a loss for those who needed us to show up? Or will it be positive--not because we showed up perfectly all the time, but rather because we did our very best to simply show up, to bring the best of ourselves to this fleeting life, day in and day out? 

Carl Jung said that the greatest burden a child can take into adulthood is the unlived life of their parent. 

In a slightly sillier context but with no less relevance, in the Lego movie Ninjago, Lloyd the good ninja tells his dad, the movie’s arch villain, that he ruined his life. To which his dad, Lord Garmadon, replies, scoffingly, “How could I ruin your life? I wasn’t even there.” 

 

But How Does It Change the World? 

If all of that at least makes a dent in understanding HOW to “be the best you that you can possibly be,” then that leaves the question of how it actually changes the world. 

When we take responsibility for being the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be, then we change ourselves. When we change ourselves, we change our world--the little part of the world that we call our own. Our family life changes, our work life changes, our community life changes. Then, as our world changes, by definition the world changes as the ripples move outward from us at the epicenter. 

Change your life...change your world...change the world.

That, my friends, is how we change the world. 

 

Buckle Up, Buttercup

The good news is that it’s so simple. Our primary focus becomes simply evolving ourselves. As I said at the beginning, though, it’s far from easy. There’s no journey more challenging. But there’s also no journey more completely satisfying and worthwhile. And if you’re looking for more purpose and meaning, this journey will fill that cup to overflowing. 

So buckle up, buttercup, and get to work becoming the best you that you can possibly be. 

And remember, you are going to die. But you’re not dead yet. So get after it!

 

I Can Help

Maybe you’re thinking something like, “how do I know if I’m becoming the best me that I can be? I’m not even sure who I am to start with.” The good news is that who you are, the person you were made to be, and the life you were made to live are discoverable. I can help you with that. 

Find me on Facebook, Instagram, or  LinkedIn, visit my website, or email me

BTW, this episode pairs well with episode 036, The Global Fish Pond Crisis, because it essentially offers a solution to the Global Fish Pond Crisis. If you haven’t checked out that episode, and this one was meaningful to you, then I encourage you to do so. 

I’m so glad you tuned in today. Don’t forget to follow this show, and I’ll see you next time on Andrew Petty is Dying.

 

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