I had the most interesting conversation this week with Brad Borkan. He co-authored the book, When Your Life Depends On It, about Antarctic explorers of the early 20th century. At first, I didn’t think I’d find this very interesting at all; I just wanted to interview him to talk about writing nonfiction.
But boy, was I wrong! Brad studied decision sciences and works during the day with a major software company understanding how businesses and people make decisions. He wrote his book as a study of how these explorers made so many life and death decisions – and stayed alive most of the time. And then he showed us how to apply those lessons to our own lives.
I think you’ll find this episode really interesting, just like I did! I hope you enjoy it. 😀
There’s a certain time of the day when the world slows down and you can’t help but wonder.
I experienced one of those times last month as my husband and I walked the beaches at sunset on Marco Island, Florida. As warm breezes gently reorganized the clouds in the sky, pelicans skimmed the waters in search of their dinner and children raced along the shoreline squeezing one last ounce of fun out of the remnants of their day, I wandered and I wondered.
Looking up into the sky, it was almost as if someone unexpectedly tapped me on the shoulder and asked me, Hey! Have you done everything that you ever wanted to do, needed to do in this lifetime—and have you done it well?
It’s funny how such a grand sunset can make one feel so small. It’s not like I don’t see sunsets at home all the time, I do. I live at the beach. But somehow, this one felt different. Instead of leaving me with warm and mellow feelings, this fiery red sky sent out a challenge—Wake up! Live a little more. Laugh a little more. Challenge yourself to try something different. Be the best person you can be. See the good in others. Stop whining about the petty things. Tell your friends and family how much you love them.
Wow! That was some unsettling sunset, and the best thing that could have happened to me. It made me stop and think and I felt somehow rejuvenated, convinced that I would not forget all that I had been inspired to do.
But by the time I sat in the airport for five hours waiting for a long overdue flight, watched two women get into a weird cat fight over who was looking at who, got on an airplane where nothing seemed to be working, moved from carousel to carousel in search of my misplaced luggage and finally collapsed in my bed at four a.m., I had forgotten everything. Until this morning, when I pulled this picture up and started thinking. I’ve got a lot to do before the sun sets tonight. I think I’ll start with a cup of hazelnut coffee and tell my husband that I love him.
I hope you too find an inspiring sunset of your own.
“This is a story about Monty Hall, the velvet-voiced, handsome host of Let’s Make a Deal. He passed away recently and it broke my heart because Monty Hall and I had a history.
I was a little depressed after I had my first baby and longing to get back to ‘the real world’ when I saw an ad: be a contestant on Let’s Make a Deal. Contestants were supposed to dress up as something funny but there was nothing funny about a postpartum mommy body so I went for the sympathy angle. I cut up a crib mobile made of fabric hearts, sewed the hearts onto a white hat and made a sign that said: HAVE A HEART, LET’S MAKE A DEAL. The neighbor watched the baby and I drove to Hollywood where two hundred people were lined up against a chain-linked fence outside the studio. They were dressed like alligators, killer clowns and French maids. I joined the fray just as a young producer trolled the line, pointing at people.
“You. You. You. That’s it for today. Come back another time.”
OMG! He didn’t pick me. There I was literally wearing my heart – okay, not on my sleeve – but all over me. I threw myself at him. I grabbed his sleeve. I begged.
“I NEEEEDDDDDD TO GET IN THAT STUDIO! I JUST HAD A BABY.”
He let me in.
Once inside, the producers advised us to make eye contact with Monty Hall. Check. No matter where he went my eyes bored into him. He itched, he freaked, he couldn’t figure out where the laser points of focus were coming from and he kept looking for the source. Then he saw me the crazy, desperate lady in the white hat with dancing hearts on it. I think he chose me just to make me stop glaring at him. I got all the way to the big deal and lost, but that was fine. My consolation prize was a two-week trip to the Bahamas and a thousand dollars. I went home happy. Monty Hall probably went home and had nightmares for weeks.
Fast-forward 32 years. Monty Hall is sitting behind my family and me in the theater. He is a little stooped, silver-haired, but still handsome. When my family goes to stretch their legs, I introduce myself and tell him the story that has become a legend in our family. He is gracious. He chats with me until the house lights dim. Before we take our seats, he asks:
“How old is the baby now?” As if on cue, my thirty-two-year-old son walked down the aisle. They shook hands. The house lights went down. We all watched the end of the play. I gave my son’s hand a squeeze. Life was good.
As if on cue, my thirty-year-old son walks down the aisle. They shake hands. The house lights go down. We watch the end of the play. I give my son’s hand a squeeze. Monty Hall walks out of the theater ahead of us and I never see him again.
The moral of the story is this: choose a door, any door but choose. What is behind that door will be exciting or surprising, charming or even challenging, but you will be better for turning the knob.
Monty Hall was behind two of my life’s doors. He made me feel lucky once and honored the second time. TY Monte Hall. I know that the door that opened for you not so long ago will be the biggest deal of all and you deserve that heavenly prize.
P.S. That is not me in the picture.
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