Interview by Kristen Noel, October 22, 2016, Rhinebeck NY
Photographs by Bill Miles
If the car is in park…you’re not ready.
~ Mike Dooley
Kristen: Mike Dooley, you are certainly not in Florida anymore.
Mike: Nor in Kansas.
Kristen: But you are such a great sport to bring your warm Florida-blood into this rainy fall weather for our cover shoot.
Mike: Well, it happens to be the peak week of leaves changing colors, so I couldn’t be in any better place. It’s great to be here, rain and all.
Kristen: I want to start by thanking you for making the time to chat with us — taking the time from your world travels, product launches, speeches, workshops — and of course from sending out those daily messages to a current following of 700,000+ ‘Tutters’.
Kristen: Let’s go ‘Tutters’! Even my manicurist knows who you are.
Mike: Are you kidding?
Kristen: She always asks me, “Who are you interviewing next?” When I said, “Mike Dooley,” she lit up and said, “Wow, Notes From the Universe, TUT.com.”
Mike: Oh my gosh. That’s so cool.
Kristen: There you go. You’ve made it.
While you are a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and entrepreneur with an official title ‘Life Adventurer’ — I feel what’s most interesting to talk about is the story behind the ‘Life Adventurer’. I want to talk about the man behind the messages — and by messages, I’m talking about the Notes from the Universe, which you have, remarkably, been putting out for 15 years! That is a story in itself.
Kristen: Before we get into all of this talk about the Universe, I wanted to reel it back. As I was researching, you stuck me as quite an enigma. I was thinking about it in a right brain / left brain, traditional / non-traditional, corporate world / spiritual vortex, feet on the ground, maybe a little bit woo-woo kind of way. You said that you were raised in a relatively traditional way, but at 13-14 years old, you were asking big questions.
Mike: I’ve always kind of been drawn to the fringe, and I’ve always wanted answers, although at 13-14, I wasn’t really trying to figure out the nature of reality — but I was thinking about stuff like time, infinity and space.
Kristen: That’s big thinking for a teenager, don’t you think?
Mike: You know, it wasn’t really so bold. I mean, in addition, I was trying to find out about Big Foot and UFOs — stuff that has always hinted to me that there’s a lot more going on than we really have the pulse on. I wanted to know that stuff. I would get books on hypnosis and hypnotize the neighborhood kids. It was silly.
Kristen: Were you using your powers for good? [laughing]
Mike: I didn’t know any better. I was just dabbling and I do remember some fleeting conversations with my mother. The big question was about God and Hell. I wanted to understand how there could be such a place in this amazing world.
How could God not be able to see beyond the fact that virtually any and all sins are born of mass confusion?
How could God not see the circumstances of someone’s life that contributed to their actions? God could surely recognize that, and thus there couldn’t be any such thing as Hell. How could anything not be of God, by God, pure God?
Kristen: Like you, I was raised in a traditional Catholic upbringing, so there was a lot of dogma that we had to unpack, right? You started asking your mom these questions, and you’ve stated that she began to feed you some books. Was there a specific event where it starting to connect for you?
Mike: I don’t know why I was always so curious about those things, but I don’t think it’s that unique, really. In a way, the dogma was almost a gift, because for any kid who’s thinking a little bit there are such glaring contradictions. I joke that I escaped. I am not a Catholic today, or of any religion, but the dogma was so ridiculous, so insane, that there’d be a ‘devil’, and ‘hell’, and that God wasn’t able to rehabilitate people, and so on.
Kristen: And that you were condemned to a fate.
Mike: Oh yeah, and that you’d be tested, judged, and sentenced by what, a sadist?
Kristen: It just never made sense to you?
Mike: It was bothersome. Then, on my own, it got me wondering about time, space, God. That’s kind of where my mind went, and then I had a mom who was amazing, a big reader, and a best friend kind of mom.
Kristen: It’s great you were having these conversations at that young an age.
Mike: Even then, she was at a loss for furthering the conversation, but she agreed. But on Sunday she still made me go to church.
Kristen: At least there was a space created for you to have those discussions, which is more than you can say for a lot of people.
Kristen: You did continue on a traditional trajectory, because you went on to college, a corporate job, and became an international tax specialist. As I was reading that it got me thinking of the juxtaposition of frat parties and big spiritual talk. How did that all work out for you in college?
Mike: For me, it was always about the practical. I never was pursuing spirituality for spirituality’s sake. I had no interest in doing anything of service. To me, I really had a bad vibe regarding that version of service. Coming from the church, they’d say put the needs of others before your own, which even then, to me, was counter-life, counterproductive.
We didn’t come here to live for other people, and I hold to that to this day.
I’ve warmed up to service, but I call it ‘selfish service’. I do it when I want, because I want, because it’s exciting. The idea of planting an idea, like a seed, in someone’s soul, or their heart that will one day, eventually, give them new thoughts, a new life, that will bear fruit, that will ripple out into improving other people’s lives. There’s nothing more intoxicating than being of service when you’re ready, and once you’ve taken care of things at home.
How can I have the most rocking life? I want to be rich. That was my perspective then. There’s nothing wrong with rich, and certainly nothing wrong with fun. I wanted to have fun. I wanted the girls to like me.
Kristen: Did you have fun in college?
Mike: I was an accounting major, [laughing] and it was so not natural for me. It was like torture, but I did have fun. I was in a fraternity and I did party. It was all the conventional things that one would hope for. But freshman year was a turning point as I was yearning for answers. I started to wonder: Why isn’t everybody talking about this? Why isn’t everybody wondering the same things as me? Instead, everybody’s on the treadmill.
I would go to prayer groups, even though I wasn’t inclined that way. I would go to the New Age bookstore. I would go anywhere looking for answers, and that’s when mom sent me a book, The Seth Material, dictated by Jane Roberts.
Kristen: Was your mother on that same path?
Mike: She was not at all, except that I think she thought that the church was extremely hypocritical. She had her issues with it, but yet we still went. She didn’t wonder as I wondered. She tried to help me with my questions to some degree, but because she was a huge, voracious reader, and I hated reading (still do for the most part), she was open to being a receiver of new ideas. I got this book in the mail from her with a Post-It note one the cover: You must read this. She would send me books by Louise Hay, Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions.
These books, especially The Seth Material, confirmed my own inner suspicions and conclusions that I had drawn: Time is a totally bogus, illusionary construct and God is in all of us. Although, we get off track and people do some hideous things, everyone is doing their best.
At first, I didn’t read the book (The Seth Material) — all I saw was this strange lady in a trance on the cover. I thought mom had lost it. She said, “This lady goes into a trance, and her husband takes longhand dictation, and it doesn’t even need editing, and bam, they produce book after book after book. You should hear what Seth has to say.” I was like, Okay, stop everything. This is not right, mom. This is just the kookiest thing I ever heard in my life. She said, “Forget the source. Read what Seth has to say about reality, about consciousness, about the power of our thoughts, about the before and afterlife realms, and why we chose to be here.” I was like…
Kristen: [sarcastically] Okay, mom….
Mike: Yes, but then I did read it. It just blew my mind, confirmed these ideas, and then created dots I never could have formulated on my own. It was literally the answer to all of my pining and pain at the time.
Kristen: Did you feel isolated? Did you have other people that you could speak to about all of this?
Mike: I felt like I was on the outside looking in and that everyone but me knew what was going on — that I somehow didn’t get the instruction book. Everybody at college seemed to be so hip and cool — and I was just faking it.
Kristen: You did kind of walk between the two worlds in a way?
Mike: Totally. But then I recognized, Okay, so our thoughts become things. It’s an illusionary world; we get what we think about, our words give us wings. This is how I’m going to live a rocking life.
Kristen: You are famous for three words: thoughts become things.
Mike: Well, thank you. I’d like to think that’s true. I’m sure I’m not the first person that said thoughts become things, but I’m the first person I knew of, and I’d never heard it from anywhere else.
Kristen: But you were living it before you were saying it.
Mike: I still say in my books now that I know very, very little about very, very little, but I know enough to know that I am the eyes and the ears of God, as we all are. That my thoughts become things, that I’m here by choice, and that I can live deliberately and create consciously for the rest of my life.
I’ve been working at mastering that since I was an 18- or 19-year-old freshman at the University of Florida. But I told myself that first I have to get out of school and get past these bloody accounting exams.
Kristen: Why go through the accounting exams? Why become a tax specialist?
Mike: Well, I think there was enough sense in me to not think that, “Okay, the Universe is going to live my life for me.”
Kristen: This is an important point, because this is where I think people sometimes get caught up thinking the Universe is going to take care of everything while they sit by waiting idly. How do we pair the magical thinking and action steps? How do we align the dots?
Mike: There’s a lot of old-school wisdom about taking action, and being the early bird, although it goes too far. There are enough worms for all the birds and opportunity never stops knocking — contrary to that painful notion that it only knocks once. What if you missed it? What if you slept in? What if you were hung-over? Your life could be curtains because of that mistake. The reality is so much more lenient, and loving, and embracing. It’s a reality we have to stoke, we have to program, and we have to make it happen. There’s the phrase, something to the effect of pray and move your feet.
Too many people might think, Well, I’ll let God do it, but God put you here to do it.
Yes, our thoughts do become things, but the best analogy I’ve come up with is GPS navigation. Step one, have an end result. In that instant, the system knows how. You know what you want, the destination. Define the what, the end result, not the how do I get there? Don’t insist on the cursed ‘hows’ — how your dream will come true. Let divine intelligence figure that out.
Kristen: Give us a specific example of how someone would go about this. For example, lets say, the dream is to publish a book.
Mike: Okay, so define your dreams in terms of the end result. You want to get very, very clear. First of all, either you’ve got to have something to say, or you’re a storyteller. I don’t know of any other reason why anybody should write a book. It should not be for the money — or that you want it to be a bestseller. I would caution that you’re hinging your happiness and your definition of ‘success’ by whether or not Oprah and five million people buy it. That’s not really fair to you. Do it because it excites you, because you’re passionate about it, because you love the creative process.
Once we’ve found an end result that you’re in alignment with, then get really clear on what it’s like on the other side of the fence. Come at it from the point of having already written something that thrills you, not that thrills the world.
Create a picture in your mind of the finished product — the book in your hand. You can feel the weight of the hundreds of pages. Imagine thumbing through it. Recall the discussions with the editor about various passages, design layouts, etc.
Kristen: You’ve been through this fourteen times now.
Mike: Yes. Then, you imagine hearing congratulations, or receiving a surprise email from somebody who was affected by your work. You see your book at Amazon.com. This is before you even put pen to paper or power up your laptop.
You see yourself at a book reading, a book signing, speaking from the platform, taking it even further. That’s a great example of going beyond the dream. The only way that you can be in a world beyond the dream is if the dream came true. Define the dream in terms of the end result, and then define your life afterwards, which implies that the dream came to pass. This is a super powerful exercise.
Step two, like GPS navigation, if your car is in park, the system is designed and wired by geniuses to not to help you, because you’re stating that you’re not ready.
Kristen: I love that, if the car is in park…
Mike: …you’re not ready. You can’t have a dream, champagne and caviar, bestselling book, and then be doing nothing about it. You have to do something about it. The instant you put your car in gear, the whole system flies into action and you are guided to the right path.
But most people don’t put their car in gear because they don’t know how their dream will come true. You’re not supposed to know how!
That’s too much for the human mind. Your mind is meant to assess what you like or don’t like in your life. Create pictures around it so that you get past the lions, and tigers, and bears — living a life where the dream has already come true. Then, the system knows exactly how to get you there. It’s already considered every road, detour, alley, speed limit, and traffic delay. It knows, but it won’t speak to you until your car is in drive, and then there is no wrong way.
Kristen: Why are we getting so tripped up?
Mike: Oh, there are a million and one great, understandable reasons. We need to have a lot of compassion, and a lot of patience with ourselves — not always the easiest things to do. You and I, for example, were raised in the dogma of Catholicism — taught that we were born broken, sinners that need to grovel and seek redemption for the rest of our lives and walk a narrow line that no human being could ever walk. We’re absolutely steeped in this by the time we are a young adult.
Right away, that is working against us. But I cherry-pick the Bible big time. Anything that gives you comfort, empowers you, enables you — go for it. The story of the prodigal child is one of my all-time favorites, because it reveals how on a dime, your entire inheritance can be restored — the instant we ask the hard questions and clue into the truth.
I do know that tomorrow’s a blank slate, that I can write my own ticket. When somebody gets that, they bypass all the dogma.
Kristen: When did you know that?
Mike: I came to know this while still in college. I wasn’t going to abandon my degree in accounting. I intuitively knew, as I think we all do, though we sometimes kid ourselves — nothing’s going to happen unless I go out there, and knock on doors, and do something. I wanted to leave college with an accounting degree so that I could ultimately be a wheeling, dealing, freestyle entrepreneur — global domination, baby!
Kristen: How long were you practicing accounting?
Mike: I was at Price Waterhouse for six years.
Kristen: Did it light you up?
Mike: I respected the accounting profession immensely. I have the highest regard, particularly for Price Waterhouse. I learned so much. It was a great experience, but no, I never felt like, I really love this profession; however, I loved the people.
Kristen: There was this whole other side of you.
Mike: Yes, but by the sixth year I was feeling, I’m going to die here.
Kristen: When did you finally say, okay, enough is enough?
Mike: After six years working in the field, travelling the world and just feeling like this is so not who I am. I remember thinking, Look, no one’s coming along and saving me from this ivory tower. I’m going to force the hand of the Universe, and I’m just going to quit.
I had just been promoted to manager, and they could hardly believe that I turned in my resignation. No one believed that I really didn’t have a plan. I had no idea what I was going to do next. I just figured, I’ll move back to Florida, where I grew up and where some family was, and there I will be recognized for my awesomeness. That didn’t happen. [laughing]
Month after month went by. I was sure it was the biggest, worst decision of my entire life. Finally, my mother tried (and succeeded) talking some sense into me. She said, “Look, your little brother, Andy, just got out of art school, and he’s getting royalties from t-shirt companies, and you’re the unemployed CPA. Why don’t you guys team up and launch your own line of t-shirts, do the trade show circuit.”
Kristen: This was TUT?
Mike: We launched TUT, and then mom joined us.
Kristen: TUT stands for?
Mike: In the beginning, it was just the name of our logo guy. Everybody said, “What does it stand for?” We said Totally Unique T-Shirts, and everybody laughed. Then, we evolved into selling all kinds of other souvenir items, so it became Totally Unique Thoughts, because all of our designs had words, poems about life, dreams, and happiness. Now, twenty-five years later, it has evolved into The Universe Talks.
Kristen: When and how did that happen? At some point, you had taken over, right?
Mike: The t-shirt business came about kind of against our will, because nothing else showed up, and it was better than doing nothing.
Kristen: Was it better than accounting?
Mike: At first I had my doubts, but then it took off. We had an amazing ten-year run. By the end of the ten years, the trends were declining. We had bought my mother out. We said, Let’s just liquidate. Once that was done, it took six months to wind it down. And then I was like, What have I done? What am I going to do with the rest of my life? I was almost forty years old.
Kristen: Life wasn’t so magical at that point.
Mike: Life was not magical. This was the dark night of my soul. It was really bad. No career momentum. I didn’t want to go back to corporate, didn’t want to go back to entrepreneurial. What other realms are there?
Kristen: That’s one of those critical moments where you stand at a crossroads and when decisions can be made out of fear. Fear could’ve easily led you back. You could’ve said, “Okay. I tried this thing. It’s not working, and it’s back to corporate America for me.”
Mike: Well, I have to admit, I did polish off my accountant’s resume. I was totally lost.
Kristen: The Universe was probably screaming out to you, “No! Come back!”
Mike: No one would give me an interview and the whole process made me nauseous. I was like, Look, this isn’t who I am. I was willing to risk my life savings to give this a shot.
At that time, I really craved inspiration, so I started to put my own Post-It notes, or Louise Hay quotes, around my house. I remember thinking, I wish I could get an email, unexpectedly, at different points of the day, perhaps when the walls are closing in, to say, Stay the course, thoughts become things, dreams come true. Then I thought to myself, you know what…I’ll send those out!
We had a small database of people who had signed the guestbook in our retail stores, so I had some email addresses. Remember, this was about 1999 or 2000, so email and the Internet were a novelty. We had dial-up connections back then, but it was adequate to create a webpage that supported sending out free emails. That wasn’t going to pay any bills. Frankly, I was terrified. I was literally praying at the side of my bed, Catholic-style, every night during this period.
Please, show me the way. I want to be happy again. I had this dream of wealth and abundance, creative, fulfilling work, international travel, and I was going to do what I could with what I had from where I was. Everything I did failed, but it coalesced into setting me up to act on a suggestion to do a joint venture launching a self-improvement audio program (which was a joke, given where my life was at the time). We launched it and soon, I was selling it to my peeps.
Kristen: Fake it until you make it.
Mike: Yes. My partner couldn’t sell it for his life. He bailed, left me with the program on my own before we had even finished the first recording. This was after a year of sending out free emails and failing at everything I did, from pedaling my resume to internet shopping carts.
Kristen: However, you somehow stayed the course.
Mike: I was desperate and scared for my life and thinking, How did this happen? Am I going to lose my home? What if I can’t figure this out in time? I just hope I’m not deluding myself. And I hope that a tunnel will show up soon, that I can look for a light down the end of it. It was bad.
In hindsight, you can look back on the trail you’ve tread and see that there was just miracle after miracle after miracle. While treading you see nothing. It’s all just bad. Nothing makes sense. You self-doubt. You worry, but you stay the course, just like GPS navigation. The car has got to be in gear. You might be driving for hours, destination unknown — but you have to go on faith. And when you get there you realize that every turn was spot-on perfect, couldn’t have been better.
In life, you don’t know that you’re on the right path until the dream comes true, which means it could be days, weeks, months or longer.
You could be on the verge of quitting because you don’t see results. It’s essential to keep showing up so the tide can turn and the pendulum can swing.
In my case, I feel like the Universe would have said, “Mike, I got your prayers. I see you on your knees. I’m going to send the reinforcements — but it’ll be about two or three years.” If I had heard that I would’ve been like, What? I can’t wait that long!
Kristen: What happened to instant gratification?
Mike: There were glimmerings of hope after the first eighteen months. I had started to feel like the audio program might work out. It was about two or three years in when I literally realized, Oh my God. This is it. I am living the life of my wildest dreams. I’ve got an Internet company. Products are now selling. I’m giving speeches. I’m traveling the world. The database is ballooning.
I remember thinking, it seems like yesterday I was badmouthing my life and complaining to my mom that I hate speaking, and asking, When are things going to change? It wasn’t until I heard somebody similarly complaining to me about their life that I had this epiphany as I thought, Wow, that sounds so familiar. That was me not long ago.
Kristen: Did you start shifting the things you were saying to yourself?
Mike: I was always working on that, but I have to confess that I was a worrywart, operating in fear, and I would have these ugly fantasies of losing my home.
Kristen: Okay. Let’s stop there for a second, because I think that speaks to the collective human experience. I think that a lot of people that are reading this can relate to that place. Perhaps they know, “This is my passion. This is what I want to pursue, but all that chatter is what’s bogging me down.” What do you say to that?
Mike: What served me really well is that I do not believe that you have to know what your invisible, limiting, self-sabotaging beliefs are. Conversely, if you go on that wild goose chase looking for what is invisible — you will be bogged down, overwhelmed and in need of a team of people to figure out what’s ‘wrong’ with you. You’ll start making stuff up that wasn’t even wrong.
Kristen: In effect, you are reinforcing it.
Mike: Right. You’ll say, Well, it must be that I wasn’t worthy. It must be that thing mom said when I was seven, when dad smacked me across the head, and when this, or when that…etc.
You do not have to know how you got where you are. Where you are is never who you are.
You’re infinitely more. What matters is figuring out how life works. I know that I am a creator. I knew I wasn’t there to be tested, judged, and sentenced. I just need to work those dreams more and do what I can with what I have. Show up, go outside of my comfort zone, and nothing is going to stop me except death.
Kristen: You have come to this remarkable place. Do you have hiccups?
Mike: I have challenges. We all have challenges. They are these great, divinely inspired invitations to be even more awesome than you presently are. When you get that, you can roll with them. I don’t have depression. I don’t have bad moods that last more than a day. They show up once every six months.
Kristen: Did you have them previously?
Mike: I never had clinical depression, but I was bummed out with where my life was, and I was angry, and I was very prone to bad moods, and extreme impatience. I still have stuff, but it’s minuscule, just part of the many other wonderful things about me.
Kristen: Does that feel like a different person?
Mike: Yes. Now, it’s with the fondest of my memories that I recall ‘old Mike’ in the house sweating because he wouldn’t run the air conditioner, because he was afraid he’d burn through his life savings. I think fondly of myself staying the course when it seemed so pointless.
Kristen: You weren’t parked. That’s the most important thing, right?
Mike: I wasn’t parked, and that is so key.
Kristen: Let’s talk about the Notes from the Universe (daily inspirational messages) for a minute. We all get bombarded with things. My inbox blows up every morning. I’ve got a lot that comes in, and I unsubscribe to an equal amount, but for fifteen years you have been putting these messages out. They have been coming into my inbox for as long as I can remember, and are delightful. That is testament to the car not being parked.
Mike: I’ve always tasked myself, even in the beginning, even when I was doing it for only 36 people on my list. I always thought, Mike, you better write something, and it better be good, or this is going nowhere. I never thought, Well, I’ll just dream, and I’ll write, and the Universe will connect the dots. The initial emailed Notes from The Universe would often take me 6-8 hours to write a little, teeny paragraph, and I hated that. Then, they’d be good, and I’d be like, Yes!
Kristen: They’re good, because you love them. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think that you’re still very passionate about them.
Mike: I am.
Kristen: If you didn’t love them, we wouldn’t love them.
Mike: So many people will ask, “What’s the marketing behind it?” My response: Just be your own best version of awesome, and everything else will fall into place. To do that, allow a little woo-woo, mix in a little logic, and a little blood, sweat, and tears. Go to functions, conferences, go to some websites, do some research, read some books, print some business cards. Get out of your comfort zone, and you can’t fail.
I’ve always been into reinventing. The Notes From The Universe has been a constant and they’re still free. Now there are 14 books, 4 world tours, DVDs, and video courses, training programs, certification programs. I speak in jails. We raise money for charities. We have raised over a million dollars.
Kristen: Your body of work, and basically everything that’s coming out of TUT, is really dedicated to sharing this message, and to empowering others.
Mike: To say I’ve dedicated my life is kind of flattering, but it sounds more noble than what I feel like I’m doing. I want to have fun. I want to make a difference. I want to do it my way. I’m going to use a little logic and intuition to make these roads blend and dovetail, so that I can achieve all of these objectives, because it’s fun, and because it’s what I want to do. The day it’s not, I won’t want to do it, and I won’t do it. I’ll find another way.
Kristen: We would feel it, though. We would feel it in the messages, right? Don’t you think, that there’s got to be this authenticity that comes through?
Mike: Yes. Totally.
Kristen: How do you feed yourself? What supports you?
Mike: I like feeling like I did a good job. It’s not always fun getting to that place. The different talks I’ve given, a lot of in-house presentations, my books, they’re hard work preparing for your time on the stage, or the printed finished manuscript, but that’s still what floats my boat the most — doing good. I don’t mean doing good in the world. I mean doing a good job.
Part of it might be ego gratification, although I don’t really need to hear it from other people. I just need to know that I really hit that mark. That is one of the biggest thrills, and experiments, and adventures of my life, aside from being a newlywed and now a father to a 2 ½ year old.
Kristen: I wanted to ask you how that has changed your life, your business, and your vision for the future?
Mike: I don’t think it has changed my professional ambitions of doing great work and helping connect dots for people. I’m more sensitive now because I have this daughter who I dote over and blows my mind every second I’m with her. I’m home way more than I’m away now.
Kristen: This fills your well.
Mike: Yes, totally, and I hope I fill her well. I think of how fortunate I’ve been in my life with loving, guiding parents. The majority of people in the world don’t have what I was blessed to have. I’m super mindful of that. I want to help.
I can help foster the development of programs, either through my office or through my certified trainers, that will reach children, that will reach inmates, that will reach every walk of life.
The majority of the world doesn’t know these truths that we know: that life is beautiful, that we are powerful, that we’re loved and adored and have never been judged.
People don’t know that. They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They feel like bad people. They feel like they’re not good enough. They just don’t know the truth, that they are the eyes and the ears of God. That’s my message, and that’s the best I can do to help, in my own little way, to make it a better world, so that future generations have more truth, more guidance, more possibilities.
Kristen: What is your dream for your daughter and her generation?
Mike: Well, a lot of it would be very conventional. I would begin with wanting her to be highly responsible. I would like her to be self-sufficient. I would like her to be happy and joyful, more than anything. I believe it takes a village. We all have to be involved. We have to carry our weight. We can’t slough it off to our parents, or to the Universe, or to Tinkerbell. I’d like to say, Roll up your sleeves. Let’s do this. It’s awesome. It’s fun to be alive, to get your hands in the dirt.
I want her to have a really strong sense of her ability to live the life of her dreams and to make a difference in the process. Because whether or not you’re a teacher, or an author, or a speaker, or a facilitator, every single person makes a difference in the world. They make the greatest difference when they follow their heart, and they do their best, and they live responsibly, and thereby, they enrich the lives of their immediate family, and the ripples go on for ever and ever. I want her to be one of those people who does her best to live a passionate life, no matter what she does.
Kristen: I often say to my son, who is sixteen-years-old: Pursue what you love.
Mike: You cannot sit on the sidelines and wait until your dream job comes to sink your teeth into it. If you don’t know where your passion lies, fine. Assess your options, choose the least sucky, and go and be your all. Then, your passion will appear.
The other thing that I feel a yearning to put into the mix of what I’ll share with my daughter, beyond the conventional, is a huge spiritual awareness that everything is God, everything is special, everything is magical — bring that into work, responsibilities, showing up, and knocking on doors.
Kristen: Don’t you think our children remind us of that?
Mike: Now, I do. I don’t want her to forget, like we did.
Kristen: Mike, you were blessed to have a mother who created this sacred space for you to explore possibility. And now, with the work that you’re doing and the things that you’re creating and putting out into the world, you are doing just that for others. This is a great legacy.
Mike: I’ll let my descendants worry about that. I’ll be onto new adventures.
Kristen: Thank you for sitting down and having this adventure with us today.
Mike: Thank you. This has been fun! You’re doing awesome work.
Kristen: Rock on, and don’t park the cars!
Mike: No parked cars, not around here.