I’ve been wildly blessed with many mentors in my life, from a brilliant judge who shaped my character through his fine example during my 20s to the co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak to the wonderful guru Deepak Chopra [who has been encouraging me over many years].
Perhaps the greatest influence, though, has come from my father.
...for 54 years he served our community as a family doctor.
...for decade after decade he helped those in need.
...for year after year, he’d offer wisdom that illuminated my path.
People who “win”, in the sense that they craft gorgeous and fulfilling lives for themselves, also build a community around themselves, filled with strong bonds with neighbors, friends and loved ones.
When I read of the lives others have lived, I’m offered clues on what’s most important in life. Obituaries of lives well-lived actually share consistent themes, I’ve discovered. Family. Contribution to community. Kindness through small, simple acts. Love.
I’ve yet to read an obituary that says “he died peacefully surrounded by his banker, his stockbroker and his accountant.” No, the good ones all speak of being close to loved ones and of the impact the deceased had on the world around them.
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If you want to be inspired, connect with your loved ones. When my father turned 75, we had an amazing family dinner, and this is a man of great wisdom who I adore and respect tremendously along with my mother. And when my dad turned 75, I said,"Dad, what is the single most important thing in life?" He looked at me, smiled, replied in one word, "family". And if family is the most important thing as you get older and wiser, why not have the wisdom to make it the most important thing now? Those conversations with your family will inspire you. And with my family, I try to become what I call a perfect moment creator.
I had a conversation with someone the other day and he was getting ready for a trip. And I said,"You know, this is one of the mindsets that's important to me. I try to see myself with my family as a perfect moment creator. So every time we do a trip, I go the extra mile to set up these experiences that are unforgettable." And again, I'm a lot about research. There's a lot of good research that says what's most important to your family are experiences versus things. What's the most important to our happiness according to research are not things but experiences. And so he went on a trip and then he said to me, "You know, that one insight allowed me to go the extra mile. We did these things we never would have done. And it was one of the best trips we've ever had." So be a perfect moment creator with your family.