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Lessons from the Chair

Andrew Petty is Dying

Release Date: 10/18/2021

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

For all of us intent on becoming the person we were made to be and living the lives we were made to live with guts, gusto, and abandon, this episode is a must-listen. 

30 years ago, Ryan Baker died a "little death"--little only in the sense that it didn't signify his final departure from this life. In every other sense, though, it was a death indeed, and it permanently divided his life into before and after. 

Ryan lives every day now with the physical results of that "little death" and the emotional pain that goes with it. And it's from that crucible that Ryan has acquired insights for living that all of us need to hear. 

Through the lens of his story, Ryan blows up conventional notions of "disability" to help us diagnose and treat our own disabilities more clearly, teaches us how to avoid victimy frames of mind and stay in the driver's seat of our lives, reveals the danger of expectations, and a whole lot more. 

 

Introducing Ryan Baker

Ryan is a native of California and, with his wife, Kelly, now splits time between California and Steamboat Springs, CO. He is a lifelong athlete, an innovator, a podcaster, coach, and mentor. 

30 year ago, at the age of 19, he suffered an injury of his 6th thoracic vertebrae in a relatively mild car accident. Though the accident was mild, the consequences for Ryan were anything but: He was instantly paralyzed from the sternum down, retaining function from his pecs up. He’s now lived much more of his life in a wheelchair than on his feet, and the lessons from that chair that he shares in this conversation are important for all of us to hear. 

Thankfully, we don't have to go where Ryan has gone to benefit from the lessons he's learned. This conversation challenged and encouraged me big-time, and without a doubt, there's something in this episode that can change your life, too, if you'll let it. 

 

Highlights & Takeaways

To get the full benefit and your own personal takeaways, tune in to the full episode. In the meantime, though, here are a few highlights and takeaways that stuck out to me:

  • Do for yourself what you’re capable of doing for yourself. Lean on others for help with the rest. When we insist on assuming full responsibility for what we can do, it will build self-confidence. It will be edifying to your soul.” When we succumb to self-pity and let others do for us things that we’re capable of doing for ourselves, we diminish ourselves and rob ourselves of the personal power that we’re meant to wield in the world. 
  • The danger of unmet expectations: “The biggest form of disappointment is unmet expectations...when you perceive your life as a series of unmet expectations, you’re setting yourself up for incredible disappointment. If we can respond differently to those unmet expectations and figure out how to turn them into something else or understand that the unmet expectation is really just a part of the plan and not hang on to it again…”
  • Don’t try to drive farther than your headlights will illuminate. Be content to travel the part of the path that you’re able to see, and as you do, more of the path will be revealed. 
  • Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes, and the most destructive ones reside within our hearts and minds. You may be physically mobile, but in what ways are you mentally or emotionally disabled through a failure of personal responsibility??
  • Life is hard and tragic. Press on courageously anyway. 

 

A few notable / quotable quotes:

  • One man's floor is another man's roof.
  • You have to be a disaster before you become the master. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Life isn’t happening to us; it’s responding to us...It's all about our response.
  • I don't want to walk again. (Wow.)
  • Every little step should be considered a small victory.

 

Making It Matter in Your Life Today

Ryan can't walk, but if you have ears to hear, he's more fully-functioning and alive than many of us that can walk. How's that for mind-blowing? 

Into what nooks and crannies of your heart and mind has Ryan's story shone the light of revelation? What victimy tendencies or lifelong patterns have been exposed? 

Your heart is speaking to you, calling to you to step out of the shadows of victimhood and complacency and into the bright light of the full weight of your existence. To step courageously onto the path uniquely suited to you so you can achieve the purposes uniquely available to you. 

Today is all you've got. What are you waiting for? 

Remember: you ARE going to die. But you’re not dead yet. So get after it! 

 

New to Andrew Petty is Dying?

If you're new to this show, visit andrewpettyisdying.com to browse the archive of past interviews with fascinating people and short, topical solo episodes--all designed to equip you with the mindset and the means to become the person you were made to be and live the life you were made to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. We flip the script by inviting our ancient foe, Death, to become an unlikely ally in our heroic journey to leave it all out on the field of life. Turns out, Mortality might just be the most potent motivator available--blasting us out of our ambivalence and complacency and into the fullness of our potential. 

Connect with me to learn more about how a powerful, confidential 1-1 coaching partnership or participation in a Graveyard Group can help you live even more courageously and die regret-free. And I'm excited to share that the first-ever women's Graveyard Group is launching soon, too! 

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

 

Connect with Ryan Baker

Email | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Website

Check out Wheelchair Lacrosse!

 

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