People of Value, Value People

Last week I was having a conversation with a young lady who invited me to be on her podcast. She knew of my experience on the Miracle on the Hudson, but was more intrigued on the “why” I do what I am doing.

I told her that would be a great question to ask me on her podcast as there is one general reason I am doing what I am doing, but there are distinctions around that reason that I haven’t revealed. I asked her to dig a little into that question during our interview.

If you heard me speak, I would share a story about when I had the privilege to escort General Norman Schwarzkopf. I asked him a question, and he answered it, but it was the follow-up question I asked when I learned the real story.

When we got to that question in our interview, she took my advice and asked me the follow-up question.

I shared the story about when I got to the triage center at the NY Waterways Port Imperial. I had been in the 36 degree water for over 7 minutes and when the EMT’s put me on the floor, they stripped me of all my clothes and all I had left was my watch.

Later, at Hackensack Palisades Medical Center, the American Red Cross and Nikki Mederos gave me some clothes to wear the next day. I share that when you have nothing, no clothes, no friends, no money, no food, nothing, and someone takes care of you, you have no agency, but you receive grace.

She asked me, “What is agency?” I told her it’s not like an agency that promotes you; it’s when you feel like you have control over your actions and whatever consequences that may result.

I told her that the moment when you experience having nothing is when you realize how fortunate you are for your life and what you have. Many people in the world are not as lucky as I am. My mission is to fulfill my promise to my mentor in May 1997. Still, the why behind it is to use my resources to help eliminate human suffering, in whatever form that may present, physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially. Now you know why I identify with the Red Cross so closely.

This mission is more significant than me. I told her what the EMTs and hospital workers did for me that day was like what is written in Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you took me in, I was naked, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me.” That day, I had nothing, no food, no clothes, no money, and had hypothermia, and they provided for me.

Grace is fueled by gratitude.

Gratitude is giving thanks to something bigger than ourselves. When you give gratitude, you incorporate what I call ” The Gratitude Advantage.”

The Gratitude Advantage sustains hope, makes you resilient, and gives you agency. When times get tough, and there will be a moment in everyone’s life when it will get tough, you need every advantage you can get. By giving gratitude, you stay hopeful and resilient and feel like you have control over your actions.

I told her anyone can write a check, and that is important, but it’s when you give your time back to the community that you are giving it to the least of your brethren, and you give hope, resiliency, and a sense of agency.

I told her everything I am doing, my new book ” The Limitless Life, my magazine, ” Moments Matter,
my workshops, my speaking, and swimming for our military heroes are focused on the mission and helping those who may feel down, marginalized, or hopeless, and providing a pathway to resolve the past and create a flight plan for their future.

As we enter the holiday season, into the season where there is miraculous redemptive excitement, ask yourself, “What are you doing for the community?” How can you give someone hope, resiliency, and agency?

One of the greatest gifts you give is to tap into your resources and help somebody resolve their past to create a compelling future.

As Tony Robbins shared in my book From Turmoil to Triumph,

“My mentor Jim Rohn got me to realize the secret to life was to work harder on myself than my job or anything else because I’d have something to give people. Having a mentor is essential, as is getting the right one; they will inspire you to achieve more than you ever believed you could.”

Invest in yourself so you have more to give someone else. That is the secret to turn whatever turmoil you may have experienced into triumph and start down the pathway to having a limitless life, and it starts with giving gratitude. Because

Grace is fueled by Gratitude.