Cathy and Todd revisit Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (1989) and discuss how each habit can help us improve our relationships with ourselves and our loved ones. They also explore why a paradigm shift is the key to reducing anxiety and enhancing our understanding of others.  For the full show notes, visit

  • (00:00:00) Introduction: Aligning with Stephen Covey’s Principles
  • (00:02:07) Everyday Parenting: Putting First Things First
  • (00:06:00) Joining the Zen Circle: Community and Synergy
  • (00:10:26) Family Mission Statements: Begin with the End in Mind
  • (00:16:38) Empathy in Daily Interactions: Emotional Deposits in Relationship Bank Accounts
  • (00:20:40) Reacting vs. Responding: The Power of Being Proactive
  • (00:24:25) Control and Choice: Understanding Your Circle of Influence
  • (00:27:14) Questioning Time: Prioritizing What Really Matters
  • (00:30:06) Crafting a Family Vision: Aligning Goals and Values
  • (00:40:06) Emotional Wisdom: The Principle of Think Win-Win
  • (00:42:26) Interdependence in Family: A Nod to Think Win-Win
  • (00:44:54) Emotional Intelligence in Parenting: The Undercurrent of Effective Habits
  • (00:48:12) Understanding Perspectives: Synergize for Better Outcomes
  • (00:52:00) Being Flawed and Beautiful: Sharpen the Saw for Self-Improvement
  • (00:54:11) Continuous Self-Improvement: Another Look at Sharpen the Saw
  • (00:58:37) Pre-Conference Activities: Synergize in Action
  • (01:00:00) Wrap-Up: Connecting the Dots with Covey’s Principles
  • (01:02:00) Final Thoughts: Implementing the 7 Habits in Parenting
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Revisiting The 7 Habits

Episode 730 of Zen Parenting Radio provides a compelling exploration of various facets of human psychology, family dynamics, and personal growth. Hosted by Todd and Cathy, the episode offers listeners a blend of experiential wisdom, research-based insights, and real-life anecdotes. The episode commences with the hosts sharing the Zen Parenting Radio motto: “The best predictor of a child’s well-being is a parent’s self-understanding,” setting the tone for the rest of the discussion.

The Notion of Time and Self-Understanding
Early in the podcast (00:02:07), Cathy talks about the DMV and arranging a driving test for their youngest daughter. This moment serves as a practical segue into the challenges of daily parenting, reminding us that self-understanding begins with acknowledging the mundane tasks that shape our lives. Todd further delves into the philosophical nature of time at 00:27:14, suggesting that “time doesn’t exist,” challenging listeners to reconsider the urgency often associated with parenting decisions.

Emotional and Practical Aspects of Parenting
The hosts discuss a range of topics that address both the emotional and practical aspects of parenting. For instance, at 00:10:26, Cathy delves into the concept of family visions and mission statements. She argues that these tools can help families navigate complex emotional landscapes and align their values. This theme of emotional intelligence is also evident when Cathy shares a personal story about her father’s slow driving after a stroke (00:16:38), emphasizing the need for empathy in daily interactions.

Mindfulness and Reaction
One of the most impactful segments comes at 00:20:40, where Todd explores the space between stimulus and response. Borrowing from the wisdom of Stephen Covey, Todd encourages listeners to pause and think before reacting. This notion of mindfulness is elaborated further when Todd talks about the “circle of influence” and “circle of concern,” urging parents to focus on factors within their control.

Choice, Control, and Perspective
The theme of control is a recurring topic in the podcast. At 00:24:25, Todd discusses the delicate balance between control and choice, highlighting that while we may not control external circumstances, how we respond to them is a choice. This sentiment is reinforced at 00:48:12, where Todd discusses the importance of understanding perspectives, exemplified through the metaphor of a tattoo.

Emotional Resilience and Interdependence
Cathy and Todd bring emotional intelligence back into the conversation at 00:42:26, discussing interdependence and belonging. Cathy appreciates the language used by author Jennifer Wallace in this context, and how it dovetails with Stephen Covey’s views. Todd also shares a personal story about his grandmother’s meals (00:40:06), revealing how emotional resilience can be built through routines and traditions.

Continuous Improvement and Personal Growth
At 00:52:00, Todd describes human beings as both flawed and beautiful, urging listeners to embrace their imperfections while striving for improvement. Cathy echoes this sentiment at 00:54:11, sharing that reading and writing are her tools for “sharpening the saw,” a term borrowed from Covey, indicating her commitment to personal growth.

Pre-Conference Activities
Towards the end of the podcast (00:58:37), Cathy mentions that they are hosting additional activities before the main conference. She leads a women’s group, and Todd leads a men’s group, emphasizing the importance of gender-specific conversations in the broader dialogue about parenting and personal growth.

Episode 730 of Zen Parenting Radio offers a well-rounded, thoughtful exploration of the complexities of human emotion, the intricacies of parenting, and the path to personal growth. By weaving together elements of philosophy, psychology, and real-life experience, Todd and Cathy provide listeners with a valuable resource that can guide them in their journey towards better self-understanding, empathy, and ultimately, a more fulfilling life.


ZPR#730 – Revisiting The 7 Habits Full Episode Transcript – DOWNLOAD

Todd: Here we go. My name’s Todd. This is Cathy. Welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. This is podcast number. I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget 729. No, 730. 730. Hmm. And then next week is 731.

Cathy: And that’s, that’s Dr. Solomon?

Todd: Dr. Solomon. Okay. So we recorded that last week. Uh, but today we’re going to talk, uh, first I need to Say our motto, um, why listen to Zen Parenting Radio?

Todd: Because you’ll feel outstanding. And I always remember our motto, which is the best predictor of a child’s well being is a parent’s self understanding.

Cathy: I have to say something funny. So Todd is busy today because he’s got to travel today and we’ve got all these things going on. And I told him this morning that I had a dream about him last night that he was like running in front of me with earphones in and I was just chasing after him going, you don’t have to do it all.

Cathy: You don’t have to do it all. What do you think about that? Today’s a good

Todd: example of me trying to do

Cathy: it all. No, well, and it’s in, you know, it’s one of those things where I know that everything you’re doing, it, it’s about our family. You know, it’s like you just had to go help Skylar, you know, you’re helping your dad.

Cathy: You’re like, it’s not as if you’re choosing things that are, are unimportant. It’s just sometimes it’s just funny. It’s just funny that in my dreams, I’m chasing after you.

Todd: Well, here’s the thing. There’s days when I’m a lazy person sitting on the couch watching football. Love it, right? Can we not call you lazy?

Todd: No, no. I’m going to call it lazy. You can call it your word. I’m going to use it as my word. I just think it’s called relaxing.

Cathy: Pleasure. Enjoyment.

Todd: Enjoyment. Right. Lazy. And. And it’s like, it takes all my energy to like, go to the grocery store and get turkey and strawberries. On those days. On those days. Yes, yes, And then today I woke up Because we eat turkey and strawberries.

Todd: Yeah. Well, that’s what my That’s what we get for lunches. Um, but then today, like, I don’t know, my stupid body. I love my body. Yeah. But my body woke up at 5am.

Todd: Me too. Frustrating.

Cathy: You and I. Did I wake you up? No. Okay. And then, um, I, oh, I had to get on the DMV website to, um, have our youngest daughter take her driver’s test and then took her license.

Cathy: She’s got her license, everybody.

Cathy: Clap it up. Hold on, let me clap. Our youngest daughter is now a driver. So we have. Three children and three drivers.

Todd: Yeah. When we started this podcast, we had no drivers. They were very far away from driving. Um, and then so, and then I need to produce a show. I want to possibly have lunch with you and then I got to go and then I got to pack and shave and shower all within like the next two and a half hours so that I can go to the airport with my dad.

Todd: My dad’s going to Florida and I’m flying down there with him. So, uh, it’s just weird. Like some days are crazy, like crazy. And other days aren’t.

Cathy: And we sometimes pack it in like, yeah, for sure. We look, we’ll look at a calendar and be like, oh, we can do it that day because this is at 12, this is at one 30, this is at two or three.

Cathy: But really it doesn’t work in reality.

Todd: It works if everything goes according to plan. Exactly. Which doesn’t happen.

Cathy: It doesn’t, doesn’t happen.

Todd: So today, so today, um, I’m going to first play this. Okay.

Cathy: Killing me. You gotta let it go.

Todd: No, we’re never letting it go. We’re going to play it at the Zen Parenting 2024 in January.

Todd: It’s

Cathy: just, first of all, we figured out, did we already talk about how there’s, they say N E S T L E S and there really is no S on the end of Nestle? Yeah, but it’s just a good rhyme. Yeah, I know. But that’s wrong. I know. Like they did it wrong. Right. Um, so anyway. Yes.

Todd: Um, so I want to say that. And then I had something funny.

Todd: Um, I’m going to quote Cathleen Kasani Adams here for a second. That’s me. Um, this is a quote from you on the front porch last week. Oh, great. You ready? Okay. This is, I’m going to try to say it how you said it.

Cathy: Okay.

Todd: Uh, I’m going to the hot, I asked you if you’re going to the hot yoga class. Okay. And you go. I’m gonna have to think about that. I’m thinking, no, you like thought for one quarter of a second and it’s because you’re not a fan of hot yoga classes. You like regular yoga classes don’t make me

Cathy: hold poses for 10 years

Todd: in, in done, in a room that’s like 99 degrees.

Cathy: Yeah. I mean, and I, you know, I used to do hot yoga and I’d get migraines and headaches and remember. I just still think about that one class we did in Seattle. We went to such a hot yoga class. We came out, there was like steam coming out of our heads. Unbearable. It was. And so my point is, is I love yoga and why, and for those of you that love hot yoga, more power to you.

Cathy: Enjoy it. This is not a condemnation of hot yoga. It’s for me. I like regular yoga. I like vinyasa.

Todd: So, um, it’s just funny. Like I’m gonna have to think about that. Now I’m thinking no. And I just wonder, were you actually going to think about that? Or were you just saying that?

Cathy: I’m better at realizing that that’s not what I think, because you were going sometimes I’m like, we’ll go together.

Cathy: And And then, but I don’t wanna go. Yeah, Todd likes to do certain things I don’t like to do and vice versa.

Todd: So I’m gonna play the Nestle song at, uh, the Zen Parenting 2024 Connect Teen. Um, and if you haven’t gotten your tickets, get ’em now. If you wanna see the lineup, go to the link. In these show notes and you can even see a little montage of all the different people we’ve had at our Zen Parenting conferences in the past.

Todd: Um, and space is limited. So if you’re thinking about it, make sure you get your tickets now.

Cathy: A bunch of people bought tickets this weekend. I don’t know what happened. I posted something on social media. So maybe that, you know, and I, I always say something in my Zen Parenting moment, but I don’t know.

Todd: Um, and a quick, uh, Zen Parenting, uh, was coming up.

Todd: In the next week or so, um, microtalk, separation, divorce, differently wired families, loved ones dealing with addiction.

Cathy: Wait, you gotta like switch gears. People don’t know what you’re talking about. This is Team Zen.

Todd: Team Zen. That’s our 25 bucks a month and it is a, what’s my little thing? He always starts with the money.

Todd: I know. That’s what I’m most interested in. No, but. Okay. Join the circle.

Cathy: Join Team Zen Circle.

Todd: It’s a Team Zen membership platform. It’s an app with Zen Parenting Radio’s complete parenting content collection plus live talks all in one place. Yes,

Cathy: it’s everything we do on one app.

Todd: And you get warm fuzzy socks from us as soon as you, unless you’re out of the country.

Todd: If you’re out of the country, maybe I’ll send something different to you electronically.

Cathy: This is what I will say is one of the things we do on Team Zen on our app and on our, you know, within our community is every month we have an expert speaker. And, um, the next, like, three or four, um, people that we have coming in are amazing.

Cathy: Um, we have three major authors, major books that are coming out and you have to go to… Well, actually… Should we share?

Todd: I’m sorry, I was doing something else.

Cathy: Oh, I was just going to say, do we want to share all the, the authors that are going to be our guests on Team Zen? Uh, sure. Okay. Go to, go to the app. So we get their names, right?

Cathy: The dates, right? Dana Abraham. She, she wrote Calm the Chaos and her book came out last month and she is our guest in this Stifelman. Stifelman. Stifelman. Everybody probably knows her. She wrote, um, Uh, Parenting with Presence. And then another one that’s really big.

Todd: Parenting Without Power Struggles.

Cathy: Parenting Without Power Struggles. She’s great. Parenting with Presence. We’ve been in a lot of virtual communities with her and she is our November speaker.

Todd: And December is Dr. Robin Silverman.

Cathy: Dr. Dr. Robin Silverman has a podcast called How to Talk to Kids About Anything. And she now has a book coming out called How to Talk to Kids About Anything.

Cathy: And then in January, it’s not really sponsored by us, but I’m interviewing Shefali for Glenn Bard Parent Series. So that’s going to be kind of like our quote unquote, um, you know, guest speaker that month. And so we got a lot of things, like I sometimes look at Team Zen and I’m like, this is rock solid.

Cathy: Yeah, it is. Like, I think this is really good.

Todd: But anyway. So today we decided to go back into the archives of personal growth slash self help. We went way back. 1989, I think, is when this came out.

Cathy: That’s when I graduated from high school. I think it’s 87, Todd.

Todd: You could be right. I’ll double check. Um, Stephen Covey, he’s the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Todd: And I want to just play, because he has a very kind of distinct voice. Mm hmm. Very soothing. For those of you guys who’ve ever heard him. And this is just some random part in some talk he gave, but. He wanted to commit suicide. And Frankel pressed him. Why don’t you? He said, because if I pre deceased my wife…

Todd: It would make her so unhappy and miserable, and I love her so. That alone gave him meaning to survive. I think he’s talking about Viktor Frankl. And he would constantly ask the question, what was life asking of you? Um, I just love his voice. It’s, it’s very distinct. And sometimes when I’m listening to somebody’s ideas, it’s good to hear their voice also.

Todd: I do it with Richard Rohr a lot, whenever we play Richard Rohr stuff.

Cathy: Yes. And he’s a lovely man. I actually, I had a job in the nineties, um, at a university here in Illinois and I, um, would like put together like events. That was my job, which is so funny to me now because that’s, I mean, I guess I still put together events.

Cathy: Of course you do. It’s not that crazy. No. Um, but Stephen Covey was our speaker and I got the opportunity to introduce him and to sit with him. I was like 25 years old. 26 years old, and I was already such a self help person that I was just enthralled, um, and just loved listening to what he had to say. And I, and the sad thing is, I’m skipping way ahead, but he died because he got into a Bike accident.

Cathy: I believe that’s correct. I just, I, and he was wearing his helmet. I remember reading about him being like, this can’t be real. Like this guy who was so like alive, alive. And so he, he, to me, he was like Wayne Dyer to me. And again, Wayne Dyer had a more spiritual slant. Um, but Stephen Covey had a little bit of that.

Cathy: Um, and you know, I used to, he, he, um, he blended his Work with Franklin, um, Franklin.

Todd: Yeah. It’s always Franklin Covey.

Cathy: So it’s Franklin Covey. They came together and they used to, everyone will remember from the nineties, all the Gen Xers that like there would be these pictures on the wall that said like success.

Cathy: Mm-hmm. . And then it’d be like a picture and a quote. And they were in like every office. Yeah. And then they also sold like planners. Sure. Remember the Frank Franklin Covey shops. So anyway, Todd and I. I always have been such a big fan and I decided this semester for my college class, um, that I was going to use 7 Habits, which is really the opposite of what I do.

Cathy: I usually get a brand new book about research. Like last semester I used Think Again and the semester before that I used Daniel Pink’s book and so on. I’m always using the most current. And I wanted this semester, I wanted to focus on a book that holds up. And we’re talking about. Family this semester, like it’s sociology of the family, which may sound strange, but these, it’s why we’re talking about it on this show.

Cathy: These seven habits are not just business oriented. These are life habits. These are ways of interacting with people that. I, Todd and I think apply very well to family and we actually even had the family version of this book. Because remember we made a family vision statement. Seven habits of highly effective families.

Cathy: Families. Um, do you remember our family visions? Our mission statement?

Todd: I remember us doing it. Yeah. But I don’t remember what it was.

Cathy: And it was really clarifying. Yeah. Like we really, it, it very much helped us. And that’s one of his, um. Uh, Behavior 2.

Todd: Yeah, that’s… Or Habit 2.

Cathy: Under Habit 2. But anyway, so Todd, go ahead and start us off.

Todd: So, um, I, just to give everybody my experience of this book, it’s probably the, either this or Rich Dad Poor Dad was probably like the very first kind of self help book I’d ever read and I really loved it and I fell in love with it and then I started getting into Wayne Dyer and some more spiritual stuff, hmm.

Todd: And I just kind of, I felt like 7 Habits was a little too, um, basic? Not basic. Business? There just wasn’t enough heart to it. It was too practical, which is crazy for me. And now that, you know, I haven’t read this book in 20 years or maybe 25 years, now I’m, I’m, I’m just… preparing for today’s podcast, I’m realizing how amazing it is.

Cathy: And how heart centered it actually is.

Todd: And how heart, so I’m, I’m doing it through a completely different lens. So.

Cathy: And you know what Stephen Covey would say, that’s a paradigm shift. Yes. That’s what he talks about in the whole first introduction is how, when we shift the way we see it, everything changes.

Todd: Well, maybe it’s funny. The one thing I do remember with at least a certain amount of clarity about that book, I think I listened to it. You know, you’d like get the tapes from the library, you bought the book on tape or whatever. Maybe we’ll talk about the paradigm shift of what I remember from that. I don’t know if you’ve read that, that part lately in the book,

Cathy: because I’m teaching it right now.

Todd: Um, but I, it’s just, uh, it’s refreshing to go back to something so [00:13:20] old and be able to kind of, um, Implement it in a way that I don’t think I could have 30 years ago.

Cathy: Revisit it through a new lens. And, and that’s, and part of the reason that, you know, um, that I think we’re wanted to do this is because to me, again, you know, when it comes to things like books and self help and like personal growth, it’s up to you whether or not you decide it’s good.

Cathy: Todd and I don’t get to decide for you that this is good, but for me, I, I think these things hold up. Yeah. I really, because most books I go back and read, I’m like, either this is outdated or they didn’t have this information yet, or it’s too myopic, like it’s too focused on one topic. And this is really broad.

Cathy: And it really, um, you know, it’s, it’s interesting because my class, my students were like, which version do we buy? Because there’s been so many versions. you know, updates to this book. Um, you know, I think it’s, it’s, it has its 30th anniversary or something. So, you know, it’s just a revisit.

Todd: Um, so habit number one, and it’s funny, I’m going to like, even maybe not rank, but say which ones I think are more important, maybe for, through the parenting lens.

Cathy: Before you start with Habit 1, Todd, and I already mentioned the paradigm shift, but that’s really the basis of this whole book, is the whole idea of a paradigm shift is, um, a change in someone’s perspective. So instead of focusing on, um, changing the things around us, We change the way we see things. Now, there’s nothing wrong with changing the things around us if we need to, but sometimes just the shit, like, I remember A Return to Love, which was Marianne Williamson’s book.

Cathy: See, I’m going way back with all these books. She actually said that a miracle is a shift in perspective. Like we think a miracle is things change around us in this way that is like spiritual or is some, some almost paranormal, like things just change. But a miracle is actually when the way you see something shifts.

Cathy: So your perspective on it allows you to have more freedom. And I think something that the reason why this is important is that I think that’s what Todd and I have been. That’s kind of always been our goal with Zen parenting is we don’t come in and say, Hey, do this, say this to your kid, you know, they should be involved in this.

Cathy: You should focus on this. Do this 10 minutes a day. We don’t have any of that. It’s more about open your eyes. your mind to what’s possible. Like if you, you know, the most basic thing, like you had a son and you were really excited for him to play baseball and he’s not interested. And instead of like forcing an issue that you think it should be this way, and this is what I expected, and this is my dream.

Cathy: You open your mind to this person who has. other dreams and other realities and other gifts. And you learn from this person and you become bigger and, and bolder and more aware because you’re learning from this kid and supporting them and who they are. So that’s a paradigm shift and that happens every day with our kids.

Cathy: It doesn’t have to be as specific as what I just shared. It’s like, we thought we knew something. Then we realized we didn’t know everything

Todd: Well, and I think the one that he talks about in the book is, I think he’s on the train or a bus or something. Oh yeah. This is huge. Great story. And, um, he’s noticing that there is a man with a, with his children.

Todd: Mm-hmm. and the children are really restless and really causing rambunctious Yeah. Some disruption for strangers on the, uh, Um, the train or whatever it was. And he, Covey, I think if it’s a personal story, and I think it is, he just found himself doing what most of us would do is like, dude, get a handle on your kids, judging and all that other stuff.

Todd: And then I don’t know how it happened, but, um, maybe he’s ended up talking to the man and the man said, I’m sorry, uh, we just came from the hospital or something and their mom just passed away. Yeah. So think about that. Obviously, if you’re a normal human being, your heart just, like, goes out to this family and everything that these kids are doing no longer bothers you.

Todd: As a matter of fact, instead of you wanting to, like, put them in time out or whatever that is, instead you want to, like, embrace them, love them, support them. Yet nothing changed other than information that helped you. interpret or shift your perspective. The behavior is the exact same. Nothing changed.

Cathy: And this is very similar to This is Water, you know, David Foster Wallace’s This is Water lecture about how, you know, when you’re standing in line, For, you know, the grocery store or wherever and you think you’re in a hurry and you think that you should, people should hurry up and that everybody around you is annoying.

Cathy: What if you shift your perspective and you recognize that maybe the person who’s like using all the coupons in line and taking a long time, they’re literally, they lost their job and they’re really trying to make ends meet or they’re taking care of a spouse at home or a sick child. And if you start, or…

Cathy: you know, I think this one actually came from Wayne Dyer, but the, you know, if you’re driving and someone in front of you is driving really slow, um, you know, what if you really, what if you like thought of that person as someone who maybe had gotten to an accident and they’re a little more scared to be out on the road and you had more compassion for them?

Cathy: You know, what I always think about, Todd, when there’s a slow driver is I just think about my dad because my dad You know, he, he was able to drive again after he had a stroke, but he, he would only drive in town and he’d drive pretty slow. Um, and he, you know, this was a few years after he had done rehab and everything, but he was a different driver.

Cathy: And I just think about that. I would want everyone to be respectful of him taking his time. And so if there’s somebody really slow, I’m like, this is like your dad. So. Anyway, paradigm shift.

Todd: Um, so that’s a paradigm shift. And I will include the link for the This is Water Fish video. Good. It’s nine minutes, so it’s kind of long, but it is just a wonderful example of paradigm shifts. Absolutely. Um,

Todd: so habit number one, be proactive. And for me, that just means take control of maybe not your life, but how you experience life. Cause there’s a lot of things out there that we don’t have any control of. Um, illness, um, Bad days or, you know, strangers on the street cutting you off like you, but, but instead like take active participation in how you interpret life.

Todd: That’s what it is for me. Yeah.

Cathy: I think it’s basically it connects to what we always talk about, which is you can react or you can respond. And, you know, I would say for the last two or three weeks, there’s been a few things that have been thrown our way, Todd. Um, we actually listened next week to our talk with, uh, Dr. Solomon, cause she just basically did therapy with me, um, cause I was having a tough day. And, you know, and this happens all the time. This, you know, when you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or not, like things get thrown your way where you’re not expecting things or you are disappointed or whatever it may be.

Cathy: And you, you have a. There is a space between, which is Viktor Frankl, you know, the React Respond thing to make a choice of how you want to experience what’s happening because you can’t keep it from happening. It happened, but are you going to look at it through the lens of, um, you know, I deserve better.

Cathy: This shouldn’t have happened. I’m going to be mad at people or things or, be reactive to people around me or am I going to figure out how to respond and this is um, that’s proactive. Like you, you have to think about these things and practice these things ahead of time because when crisis hits, it can be very simple to go in reactivity.

Todd: Well, and if you are listening to this, odds are you are a parent and if you’re a parent, that means you have kids who are unpredictable by design. Yeah. Um, and I think the quote from Franco is between stimulus and reaction, there is a space, there is a space. And in that space lies freedom. And within that freedom gives you the ability to, to choose your response or something to that effect.

Cathy: And you know, one of the things that really is helpful to me when it comes to this topic is that, and I think Todd will attest to this, especially in the last couple of weeks with unpredictability is I just need to say it all out loud. And I always, you know, what I say to Todd is, I just need you to understand.

Cathy: Understand why this bothers me. And if you understand, and it’s not even about him, but if, if Todd can understand and validate like, yeah, that’s hard for you, or, or of course that makes sense, I can, I’m still, it doesn’t make everything okay, but I can sit with it. Mm-hmm. , I think when I can’t sit with it is when I feel like maybe somehow I’m out of my integrity or that something that I can do something about it or that it shouldn’t have happened or.

Cathy: This person’s a bad person or, you know, like I have all these and if I can really just talk it through and find a space for it in me and Todd can say, yeah, that makes sense. Um, or a therapist can do that or a coach or a best friend.

Todd: And that makes sense. Does not necessarily mean I agree. No, not at all.

Todd: That’s important. Um, so as we go through these habits, um, I just want everybody to kind of think of them all through the lens of parenting or through their own experience. Because if it’s just us talking about the, really try to personalize all these things, like how is it that you either are or are not being proactive?

Todd: Or how is it that you are actually letting a stimulus be your response without having the time to pause and create your, you know, the way you choose it. The other thing he talks about in habit number one, which I think is important, the difference between circle of influence and circle of concern. Yeah.

Todd: Do you want to talk about that?

Cathy: So basically what you’re talking about is the things that we actually do have, um, the ability to manage and the things that we have no control over. So for example, if I wake up every day and believe me, I am concerned about climate change, but if I wake up every day and I’m crying about climate change and I’m stressed about it and I’m giving myself an ulcer about it, I can do certain things, but I can’t control the world.

Cathy: You know, I know people right now who are concerned about the election in 2024, which I am too, but I also can’t do a thing about that right now. Like, it’s not, there’s no, I have no circle. I have no influence over that. So there’s no point in me having, you know, a stomach ache about that today.

Todd: Well, and I feel like just from a parenting perspective, um, I think it’s really hard to really figure out what we have influence over.

Todd: I know. Because, or even control. Mm-hmm. , like there even, there’s a difference between your circle of control. And your circle of influence, maybe how our kids behave at school or when they go out with their friends, maybe we have a little bit of influence, but we have zero control over that.

Cathy: No matter the age. Like sometimes we, you know, when we talk about young kids, we’re like, well, we have control when they’re young. We really don’t. When they’re, I mean, think about when they’re infants. You’re not like, it’s bedtime. Go to sleep. Like they have their own schedule. And we, so Todd, just those words control versus influence and then influence becomes even more important.

Cathy: I think. in the teenage years or in the adolescent years because they really are going out and making their own choices and we just have influence.

Todd: So I want to spend a little bit, a little bit more time on this because it’s important because I actually try to do this a lot in my own life and then I, I have this worksheet for my, when I coach these guys because most of the time when we’re stuck on something, we’re spending way, way too much time thinking about something that we have no control over. So I have them draw a vertical line down a sheet of paper and on the left side are things that are in your control and on the right side are things that are not in your control.

Todd: And these are just a few of the kind of prompts that comes. These are the things that are not in your control. My thoughts. Right? Even that, we don’t even have control over our own thoughts. Oh no. They just come up. Our thoughts just come up. Yeah. Our feelings. Our feelings are connected to our thoughts.

Todd: Right. And, but what we do have control is the ability to, to let our feelings be expressed.

Cathy: And also to acknowledge, like, I, I feel like my thoughts have created a lot of feelings in the last couple of weeks and that I’ve been trying to be really compassionate. Like, well, of course this makes you upset, even though a lot of the things you’re thinking aren’t necessarily true.

Cathy: The, the thoughts keep coming and so it makes you, there’s a compassion in here where like, and I love that you’re saying this is out of your control because I think this is a little different for people. Like I would think they’d think, well, I got to think differently. I got to feel differently. It’s really, again, it’s not reactive.

Cathy: It’s responding to when these thoughts and feelings come up.

Todd: I’m going to give you a few more. They’re more practical. What I don’t have control over is rush hour traffic. No, you don’t. What do I have control over in regards to traffic? When you leave. Exactly. I don’t have any control over the weather.

Todd: What do you, what do you have control over? Uh, what you wear. Perfect. Uh, I don’t have much control over aging, illness, or death, but what do we have control over?

Cathy: Taking care of yourself on a day to day basis in basic ways.

Todd: I don’t have any control over who likes me. But who do I, what do I have control over?

Cathy: Um, how I feel about myself and how I treat people.

Todd: Exactly. And it goes down. I mean, I can go down 20 other examples, but you get the gist. We, I sometimes spend way too much time in other people’s business and not nearly enough time in my own business. So it’s really important.

Cathy: Yeah. [00:26:40] And it’s, I think that’s. That can be, that’s the challenge, right? Which is why we start with this one. Um, the last two things I’ll say about it is there is like, you know, this is exactly what Todd’s saying, but there’s a personal responsibility piece to this. This is like, we are responsible for ourselves. Not in the way where we blame ourselves for everything.

Cathy: Like, if we get sick it’s not like, I did it to myself. Like, things happen. And, but we then, once we are sick, we are responsible for taking care of ourselves, asking for help. So we got to be really careful when we’re in self help when it comes to personal responsibility because we don’t want to be like, I brought it in.

Cathy: That’s very culty and that is not, don’t do that to yourself. Um, and then there was one other thing. Um, oh, just about, uh, and Todd will love this. This is, uh, you know, it’s about goals. Being proactive is if you are, if you have goals or if there are. You know, meetings that you create or appointments that you have.

Cathy: Be proactive in how you are going to make sure you follow through. Sweetie, are you saying you want to have more meetings? I don’t. I am not a fan of meetings ever. Um, and, but there is something like take responsibility for being proactive is, again, there’s a personal responsibility piece. If you have a meeting, show up for it.

Cathy: Be there on time. If you can’t, text the person. Let them know you’re going to be late or cancel. Let them know that you’re going to reschedule. It doesn’t always mean, like, sometimes I, and again, Todd, you’re so good at being on time, but sometimes you’re so focused on it and you have been doing a really good job of lately, just in the last couple of weeks, you’ve had to cancel things because of family stuff and all.

Cathy: It’s not about that. You’re always going to show up because life is too unpredictable, but you’re really good at calling people and saying, listen, here’s what’s going on. Let’s reschedule.

Todd: You know what else was interesting? What? And I haven’t talked to you about this yet. So we went to Iowa city on Saturday, Iowa.

Todd: Football game. It was myself. I’m actually wearing my shirt. Go Hawks. Go Hawks. And we were with, um, some of our best friends. Yes. And Skylar had one of her best friends. You and I have one of our best friends there. And we had a whole bunch of logistical things that we had to do that day. Oh my gosh. Pick up sandwiches for the game, get coffee before we left, check into the Airbnb, and I was the one before the tailgate.

Todd: I was the one pushing our agenda that day. I don’t know if you noticed that. Did you notice I was pushing our agenda? Very much so. Like moving things along. Yeah. I think if I would have let you guys do that, I don’t think we would have gotten there before halftime. What do you think?

Cathy: Um, I think there’s some truth to that.

Cathy: When you and

Todd: Manisha get rolling, time doesn’t exist.

Cathy: Well, I think I could, you know, I’m just going to say, yes, you might be right. Like, that could be, it’s true, we might have been late. I think I’m too far the one way. I think the piece is though, I really don’t care. Like, I’m glad I was there for the end. I wanted to get to the tailgate early.

Cathy: I understand, and I’m glad that we, well, the tailgate I wanted to get to too, because my, my, some of my best friends from college were there, and I didn’t want to miss that, and you know what I love, what I love now, sorry, this is just a quick note, I love knowing my friends. My best friend’s kids. That’s so fun.

Cathy: I agree. Like I, and I always have like, this isn’t new, but to know them now, cause they’re all growing up and they’re like such interesting people.

Todd: I think it’s a huge, uh, me growing up. I loved my friend’s parents and they loved me. And then I’d walk into the house and I’d grab a piece of pizza. They’re like our kids.

Todd: They’re like our kids. And, um, I think it’s a really understated, underappreciated. Piece of relationships is our friends, kids.

Cathy: It is. And you kind of always have that in your town when you know your, your, you know, your kids have friends or whatever, but then to extend it out to your best friends from like college or high school and to know the, you know, their kids and to be, to just in not about knowing them.

Cathy: So they. They think of you as a mom, but just knowing them as human beings. Like I walked away from the week and being like, I loved being with all those kids. So anyway, side note, let’s go to number two, Todd.

Todd: Number two, begin with the end in mind. What does that one say to you, babe?

Cathy: Well, begin with the end in mind is like have some perspective on what you want in the long run, like this is begin with the end in mind is where the whole idea of having a mission statement comes in, because if you’re clear about who you are, what you want and what your values are, it makes it a lot easier to make decisions. So having like Todd and I, if you guys go to the Zen Parenting Radio website and you scroll down, you’ll see our vision, our mission, our.

Cathy: Pillars, which are self awareness, mindfulness, compassion, and connection. So we basically know that every show is somehow going to be connected to those pillars. And I think most of the time it’s all four. Like usually we’re discussing all four. So, if you have clarity about who you are and what you’re doing, it makes it easier to say yes to things, say no to things, um, to make choices about what your goals are.

Todd: Um, our vision, I don’t have it memorized, I’ll be very honest. Oh, I don’t either, Todd. Um, making the world a more civil and compassionate place by doing what By doing work we love with people we care about in a way that is aligned with our values, personality, and lifestyle. What’s interesting about that is, although I don’t have it memorized, I do feel like we, that we are in alignment upon what we do and what we’re striving to, to, to get.

Todd: Striving to.

Cathy: Yeah. I, the, the, I remember we were writing these and the one that, like the lines where I was like, we have to say work we love because there is a difference between work that other people think we should be doing and work we love. I remember being like, we have to be very distinct. And also, the last sentence, there was something where I was like, um, it doesn’t matter.

Cathy: I like our vision.

Todd: I think our mission statement needs some work. Okay. Let’s hear it. To use experience, research, pop culture, and humor to evolve and explain self awareness and mindfulness. Period. That’s great. Okay. Reflective and respectful discourse is offered through the use of, and then we go on and talk about everything we do.

Todd: And I like much, so it says reflective and respectful discourse is offered through the use of podcasts, conferences, presentations, community screenings, group work, individual work. It’s way too much. We just got to like find one word for all that stuff. You know, through, through our work, reflective and respectful discourse is offered through our work.

Cathy: Yeah. I like, I think we should change it. We’ll talk. We’ll talk. Yeah. I think we were probably, because we wrote that, I don’t know, like eight years ago, and I think we were probably more in a marketing mindset, right? Like we were trying to like, trying to tell everybody what we said.

Todd: Um, anything else about beginning?

Todd: I think for my, so my take is, um, yeah, you have, you have to know where you want to go. If you wanna get there, wanna get there.

Cathy: Well, and also the other thing is, is, uh, his thing that he asked you to do besides the mission statement is think about your funeral. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. What do you want people to say about you?

Cathy: Um, I have unfortunately had to write a few obituaries. My parents died and, um, your mom died. And, you know, we’ve had people that we love very much that I’ve had to write. about them. Um, and I, it’s been really interesting to like pull from people’s lives and be like, these are the things that I know people, like when I think about my mom, I knew that it would have the word kindness in it.

Cathy: Kind, kind, kind, kind. And with my dad, he was like, um, I mean, I used, he was obviously very kind and he was very brave and he, what’s the word? Like where he was always like evolving to the next level, you know? And, and, and it was like, You, you really, what you do in present, what you’re doing now is how people remember you.

Cathy: There’s no, like, people will remember me for that one day I had. People remember your, what you offer consistently. And there is, you know, we’re talking about habits and the, so the two things I think of is. Um, this is really the same thing, but Oprah, I remember, did this talk about she went to a friend’s, uh, dad passed away and she went to the funeral and just the amount of people that spoke about this person, not that Oprah needs to like raise her game, she’s already amazing, but she was like, Oh my gosh, that’s what I want.

Cathy: I want to live a life where people, and it’s not, that’s what I want. Let me tell people to talk about me this way. You don’t manufacture. You gotta live it. You live it because you want people to see that in you. You know, you want people to know that’s your character and your values. And it’s not about, and then the, the, the thing about, um, I wrote about it in my book, um, Bronnie Ware’s, um, essay and it turned into a book about the habits of the, um, the, the things that people who are dying say.

Cathy: You know, the hospice nurse, the hospice nurse. And she was talking about, you know, on deathbed regrets, basically. And they, I don’t have them all memorized, but the core of it was, I wish I wouldn’t have worked all the time. I wish I would have been with people. And the big one was, I wish I would have been myself.

Cathy: You know, we have this one opportunity in life where we are. We came into the world a certain way. We’ve had certain experiences. And to be anything other than who you are doesn’t make any sense because this is it. You know, it’s that, uh, there’s this, this is in Mark Nepo’s book of awakening, and I’m sure it’s a parable or a story that he pulled from, but you know, the whole idea of, you know, I’m, I’m using the imagery of going to heaven, you know, whether, whether or not you believe in that, but the gist of it is, you know, when you get there.

Cathy: You know, and you say, God, how did I do? And if God were to say to you, great, but why, you know, if your name’s Susan, like, why weren’t you Susan though? Why were you everybody else, but Susan? I gave you Susan, be her. So it’s like one of those, um.

Todd: We could do a whole podcast on the top five regrets, but I’m just going to read them all.

Todd: Sure, go ahead. I wish I’d had the courage to live truer to myself, not the life others expected of me. Yeah. So once again, we’re at parenting and I think a lot of parents get tripped up by Creating a life for their kids. Yes. Thank you. Number two. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Yep. I could probably.

Cathy: Sweetie, I’m chasing after you in dreams. You don’t have to work so hard.

Todd: I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Another one I could probably use some help on.

Cathy: You do a great job with that. Oh, thank you. You do a great job with that. Thanks, babe.

Todd: Uh, number four, I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Todd: I got no issues there. I’m good at that. Uh, I wish I had let myself be happier. Yeah.

Cathy: Like I actually today, I’ve been in a really good mood today. Lots of, we just had a really great weekend. A lot of wonderful things have happened with my kids in the last day or two. And I, part of me, I was in the shower and I’m like, well, you shouldn’t be so excited.

Cathy: Like I was being like hard on myself about being happy. I’m like, what the heck? I am going to be happy. And you have that voice in your head that tells you to tone it down. And I think it’s like, I know exactly where that voice comes from in my, my history, my family history. Um, but I, the, I don’t want to wait for the other shoe to drop.

Cathy: I’m getting, because it will, because life doesn’t always feel good. So it’s like, I’m just going to enjoy it and be in a good mood.

Todd: Habit number three, put. First things first.

Cathy: First things first. This reminds me of my Aunt Peg. Um. Remember, this was, like, she loved this.

Todd: There’s this tool called the Eisenhower Matrix, and he has four different quadrants.

Todd: Yeah. And the upper, I think it’s the upper left, it’s urgent and important. Mm hmm. Those are the things that we should do. First things first. Uh, Quadrant 2 is, it’s not urgent, but it’s important. That’s stuff that you need to plan out to do. Quadrant number three, it’s urgent, but it’s not important. And, and if you can, that’s something that you probably want to delegate if possible.

Todd: And then finally, Quadrant number four, it’s not urgent, it’s not important. That’s what you got to eliminate. Yeah. Don’t do those things. And I think I, it’s so funny how some of his words come back to me. He’s like, that’s doesn’t mean don’t ever watch TV. No. Because TV could be important to kind of recharge your battery, fill it up.

Todd: So connect with people. Yeah, it just connects. So, uh, it’s not. And the other thing I want to mention is that these first three. Are in the umbrella of independence, right? And then the next four, I think are inter or interdependence. So anyways, anything you wanted to say about that?

Cathy: Um, yeah. So first things first, I always think about, uh, we, we use this a lot and he’d remember he talked about the big rocks.

Cathy: Yes. Big rocks. First, big rocks first. And so we say it all the time. It’s like we’ve had to pack the car a lot lately. And Todd’s always like big rocks first, you know, you put the air mattress in or you put the big bags in first and then you go from there or big rocks can also be, um, emotional. Like let’s deal with the big issues that we’re experiencing right now and then deal with the little things like big rocks doesn’t have to be literal.

Cathy: Um, I think that, let me see, um, there are a lot in first things first is about time management. But Steve, Stephen Covey really didn’t believe in, um, you know, figure out how to allocate time in a very specific way. A lot, you know, a lot of time management is about, you know, wake up and do this for 30 minutes and do this for 20 minutes.

Cathy: And it’s very, it becomes very tight and controlled. And what he believed more in is be clear about what’s most important to you and do those things like instead of make it a time, you know, like on the clock thing, make it more like figure out a way. to do the things that mean the most to you. And instead of like, there’s a few things every day that I’m like, if I, you know, do yoga or meditate or [00:40:00] spend time with Todd or take a walk or, um, read a book or do some writing, that means it’s a good day for me.

Cathy: Like, I love those things. If I end up getting on my email or, or doing, you know, doing a bunch of petty stuff during the day and I don’t do those other things, at the end of the day, I’m like, I didn’t like today as much. So it’s like, I, you know, we have to be very clear about what means the most to us.

Cathy: Okay, go on, Todd.

Todd: So, uh, habit number… Four is called Think Win Win. Yeah. So I think he says that there’s Lose Lose. Uhhuh. . So let’s say you and I are in a discussion argument. Mm-hmm. and I don’t know, let’s say it’s about what are we gonna do this Friday? Mm-hmm. and I want to go get pizza and you all wanna go get veggie burgers.

Todd: Mm-hmm. . Uh, a lose lose would be, I don’t know, we both get spaghetti or something. Who knows? Whatever it is. So, like, we both feel worse.

Cathy: We both, we both don’t get what we want.

Todd: Lose win is I get my pizza, but you don’t get your veggie burger. Right. Win lose is the opposite. Right. And then win win is, okay, how do we figure this out where we’re both happy?

Cathy: We go get me a veggie burger and you get your pizza.

Todd: Yeah, go to Cheesecake Factory where the menu is 14 pages long.

Cathy: Well, and you know, this, that’s a really interesting one because I think families always struggle with meals with the family. I don’t struggle with it as much as Todd does. I, I grew up as a latchkey kid and I fed myself all the time.

Cathy: You get very excited when you’re on your own. Oh, I love being on my own for dinner so I can just focus on myself because for 20 years I’ve been focusing on other people. You know, like I’ve been having to be like, what will everyone eat? When are we going to get it? What time will everyone be home? It’s never, I can’t get.

Cathy: So there’s a lot of win lose. Yeah. Where I can’t really have or do what I want. And then on the same, at the same token, sometimes we try and do win win and you end up driving to three places to get food. And that feels crazy too.

Todd: Well, I don’t have to do it anymore because two of our kids are out of the house, but I’m talking about transparency.

Todd: Like that’s not a story I’m very particularly proud of. Cause I think that, and the story is. I would sometimes literally go to three different restaurants. Yeah. And I think there was one time where I went to four different restaurants. No, did we really? Because we had a family of five and that’s like, it’s like embarrassing and ridiculous, you know, like.

Todd: And I go back to my own childhood where my poor, wonderful Norwegian grandmother would cook this terrible meat with baked potatoes every night and I would be so sad about having the same damn meal all the time.

Cathy: Well, let me go back. I don’t want to dig. I know we’ve got a few more here, but you just said it’s so embarrassing.

Cathy: It is. Why is it? To who? Who are you embarrassed?

Todd: Because… Like, what’s the embarrassment? That my kids should be more flexible, and I’m giving them, I’m reinforcing this idea that they can get what they want when they want, how they want. Okay. That’s why it’s embarrassing.

Cathy: Even though it was only occasional, we didn’t do that every night.

Todd: Certainly didn’t do it every night, but for my taste, we did it a little too often.

Cathy: Well, and again, it’s just interesting, I think the reason I’m bringing this up is not just for you, Todd, it’s for people listening. The emotion that Todd experienced when that would happen was embarrassment, and embarrassment makes us want to shut it.

Todd: Well, I was mad because I had to go to four different restaurants. But then if somebody’s like, Oh, how was your parenting day today? I’m like, well, I went to four restaurants to feed my five family members.

Cathy: But the emotion was still embarrassment. You were still, Oh, Oh, sorry, that was my coffee. There was, and again, I, I’m not criticizing your feeling.

Cathy: What I’m talking about is that, cause that’s told there’s the things I’m embarrassed of. It reflects poorly on you then, but then the way you’re going to respond to the girls is Like a guilting way because they’re making you feel as if you’re doing something wrong.

Todd: I probably would internalize that and not even tell them I’m so annoyed because I have to go to four different restaurants.

Cathy: And do you think they wouldn’t know?

Todd: Um, yeah, they probably figured it out.

Cathy: Yeah, and that’s the thing is that’s kind of what we mean about what you say versus the energy you hold. And, and that’s interesting because there’s things that are embarrassing to me too that sometimes I have to be like, why is this embarrassing?

Cathy: You know, like, you know, silly things like Todd, you know. If I’m like, Todd, I don’t know if I should go there because I haven’t put on makeup or I haven’t showered today. He’s like, why would that? be a problem for you. I don’t know. And I have to be like, why is that a problem for me? Like, why does that bother me?

Cathy: And so this is just an interesting, you know, digging into emotions. But, um, I would also, you were just saying before that starting at number four, we’re talking about interdependence. We’re talking about relationships. Exactly. Which interestingly, last week we had Jennifer Wallace on the show and it was a great conversation about her book, Never Enough.

Cathy: And she talked about how interdependence is really the key to everything when it comes to helping our kids understand that they matter and belong. And so, you know, and again, I, I love Jennifer Wallace’s language. She used the word mattering and belonging and brought up all this research. And I love that Stephen Covey’s book from, you know, 30 years ago was saying the exact same thing, right?

Cathy: We, I love when things come full circle again. Um, so if, is there anything? No, go to habit five. Well, can I just say one thing about win win? To adopt a win win mindset, you must cultivate the habit of interpersonal leadership, which we know. And this involves exercising these traits. Self awareness. Which we talk about all the time, Imagination, Conscious, so Consciousness, and Independent Will.

Cathy: And I just love that, again, it comes full circle. Okay, go ahead.

Todd: Number five, and I think this, for me, is the probably the most important. important of the habits, like this should be habit one, but I know that the way he framed it, he wanted to be independence and then interdependence, but habit five is seek first to understand than to be understood.

Todd: Correct. I think very few of us, including me, rarely did. It does that. I think we’re wired to defend our position before we really want to walk in the shoes of somebody else and, um, you know, it’s listening and I think most of us are, including me, I’m, I’m a better listener now than I was 10 years ago and hopefully I’ll be a better listener 10 years from now than I am today, but it is, if I can only do one of these habits, I feel like, If I can, if I could just snap my fingers and be an expert at any of these things, it would be habit number five.

Todd: I think my life would be less drama filled if I could do this.

Cathy: Yeah. And really it’s, you’re talking about listening, but it’s empathic listening, you know, it and the ability to empathically listen means you’re open to what the person is saying. And, and,

Todd: and be influenced to change your

Cathy: mind. That’s it, is that it goes back to the paradigm shift.

Cathy: If you are just listening to someone like, yeah, keep going. Yeah. Finish your statement. Okay. Now me again, then you’re not listening. You’re just. You’re just pretending to listen until you can get your point across. Empathic listening is the potential for a paradigm shift, where you can see someone’s perspective differently.

Cathy: Seek first to understand. He doesn’t just say seek first to listen. Yeah. Seek first to understand. Then you… Can be understood. And I feel like people, you know, I’ve, I’ve said this before, but I teach communication in my, uh, college classes. And when I, when I tell them we’re gonna talk about communication, I always like say, okay, what do you guys think I mean by this?

Cathy: And they think I’m gonna have them give a speech or learn how to say things. And I’m like, no, we’re just gonna talk about listening to me. Communication, especially if you’re a social worker, which is what I’m teaching, is the ability to empathically listen. Yeah. And I just think that that’s, That’s really hard for people.

Cathy: I mean, and Todd, you know, there are certain people that I, um, get triggered by in life. And when I am going to see them or be with them, I really, before I’ll go, I’ll make a point to myself, like, okay, I’m going to be an empathic. I don’t use this language because I’ll just be like, I’m going to do better at listening.

Cathy: I try to set an intention. So my ego gets a little in check before I get there. I usually do about. Like 65 percent well.

Todd: I knew I was about to get into a heavy conversation with somebody that’s in my life and I knew it was going to be a tough one and I knew I didn’t want to have it. in my house, because there’s too many distractions, it’s too familiar.

Todd: So I went to the picnic table across the street, and it was a nice day, and there’s trees surrounding me. And that was me being, okay, I really need to be as empathic as I can be. That’s good. And, um, that’s just a, that’s a little bit of being proactive. Like, because I could have… If I would have been distracted entering this conversation at home with all these other distractions to set up to set up for me to fail.

Todd: Yeah. Um, so anyways, that’s what I did.

Cathy: Yeah, exactly. And, and I know when, and when I say triggered by it, I don’t mean these people are like bad people. I just mean sometimes the things that they say I get really egoic or I’ll be like, I already know that. Or, you know, or I’ll be like, you’re, you know, in my mind, I’m like, you’re wrong, you know?

Cathy: And so I have to go in and remember to be a better listener than usual. I have to be like, Really turn it up a notch with the listening. And then, you know, there’s less reactivity. It works. Like I said, 65 percent of the time, sweetie, what does he say? 60 percent of the time, it works every time.

Todd: Uh, habit number six, synergize, which I don’t remember anything about this chapter and it’s just like, you know, be a team player, but I, this one kind of bores me to be honest.

Cathy: Well, what if you thought about it this way? Synergize. Yes. When he’s talking about a business model, he’s talking about in an organization or wherever you’re working, take into account everybody’s skillset. Listen to what they have to offer. Um. Allow them to, to come in and make a difference, have space for that, and then, you know, bring all those pieces together and you’re going to have a better team.

Cathy: So think about how that affects a family.

Todd: I think it’s good advice. Oh, it’s funny. Let’s talk about that because if I’m a team leader at a company, I think synergize is really important. Uh huh. But with family.

Cathy: No, listen, you’ll love this. You’ll get this. Family is, it’s not about you let your five year old decide the rules of a house.

Cathy: It’s that you’ve got, we’ve got three daughters. They’re all very different. They all have different perspectives on things. We create space to allow all those perspectives to come in. We, the way we talk about things is we allow ourselves to integrate some of the things they’re teaching us. We create a model of respect where.

Cathy: All of our daughters, you know, it’s not that they’re always, you know, they, they argue and they do all that. But the modeling we’re trying to do is you don’t have to agree with your sister, but can you see her perspective and you don’t have to have her life experience, but can you understand why A, B and C is important?

Cathy: And you start to like bring in everybody’s perspective into your family and it becomes you allow for it. Like I’m, there are families I’m working with, um, you know, right now who they’re still struggling with things like. You know, the way that you are or the things that you do, we don’t approve or, you know, the way that you dress, that’s not how our family dresses.

Cathy: Like there’s still these really basic things that people are trying to control instead of understand and allow. And I understand, you know, if parents are like, well, my kids. trying to get a tattoo and they’re only 16. I, I understand limits and boundaries, but you can also understand why that kid wants a tattoo.

Cathy: You can also understand, you can talk to them about it. Like, tell me what you want and what you’re going to get when you’re 18 or, you know, whatever your rules are.

Todd: I think the goal is if, if you can honestly say that makes sense. So let’s talk about a kid wanting a tattoo. Like I’m not a tattoo guy. I actually think tattoos for the most part. I just don’t get it. Like I think our skin is such a precious thing to paint. It just isn’t my jam. Okay. Okay. But I think the goal for me, let’s say our kid calls us up later today and says, I’m getting a big tattoo on my shoulder. My goal would be to really try to understand why she wants that tattoo and really try to see it from her perspective of all the benefits of what a tattoo gives to somebody.

Todd: And that doesn’t necessarily mean. I want to get a tattoo, but can I see it from her perspective?

Cathy: Well, and that’s the thing is like, you don’t want a tattoo, but I would hope you don’t judge people who get tattoos because 90 percent of our family has tattoos.

Todd: Well, it’s not that I, I’m more thinking about, and this is where it gets weird because there’s, um, whatever, there’s somebody walking down the street and their, their whole left leg is full of tattoos.

Todd: I’m just like, there’s total judgment there. Like, what are you doing?

Cathy: Well, probably because they, the, and again, I don’t know because you’re talking about like someone that we don’t really know, but tattoos can be a stabilizing force for somebody. There can be messages and foundational principles and, and experiences they’ve had that they want to integrate and that they want people to know, and that they want to remember or imagery that helps them be powerful.

Cathy: And so for that, I just don’t feel like we have a say in what, like, I, and again, I don’t have judgment about people with tattoos.

Todd: Let me be clear. I know I don’t have a say, but I can have an opinion. You can’t. The more tattoos somebody has in their body, the more likely I am to say, That does not look pleasant to me.

Cathy: Well, and then what my hope would be for you is that if someone started to tell you about each of their [00:53:20] tattoos, you’d realize how supportive, inspirational, meaningful these are.

Todd: I don’t even get to that point with them.

Cathy: So, and that’s the thing is you’re, you’re just being honest about like, I have a judgment, but I bet if you were to sit down, you’d be like, that makes total sense.

Cathy: Like I think about, you know, some of my favorite people who have, you know, my best friends who have tattoos. And a lot of times it’s things that they have written to remind them to stay power, you know, to, to breathe or to remember somebody who has passed or to have a quote that inspires them. I, I was so ready to get a tattoo when I was 25.

Cathy: I just didn’t end up doing it. Cause my, my friend, Megan and I, we were going to do it. And then we were like, we don’t know what we want. So I’ve always thought I’d eventually get a tattoo. I just haven’t figured it out.

Todd: Did your mom get one when she was like 60 something?

Cathy: Your mom got one like three years before she died.

Cathy: And your sister has a bunch. My sister has a bunch. Most of my, every, my family has them, you know, and then it’s funny because it goes to the extreme. Then one of my daughters has, so, and then my oldest has a lot of piercings, you know, she loved her ears pierced in like a million different ways, but then my middle daughter has zero piercings. She doesn’t wear any jewelry. She doesn’t wear any rings. She doesn’t even have ears pierced. She wears, she doesn’t wear nail polish. She just doesn’t like anything like that. And so it just can be really interesting instead of this is how people should be to really allow people to express themselves because it’s really, when it’s organic, it’s really, um, What’s the word I’m looking for? It helps you know somebody better. Yeah. It’s personal. Yeah. Okay.

Todd: Last but not least, sharpen the saw. Habit seven. Yeah. And for me, that just means keep doing your work. Like you never, you never get there. We’re never like, Oh, I get it. I’m now Zen or I now, I now am an expert at the seven habits of highly effective people.

Todd: There’s no such thing. Because we’re human beings who are flawed and beautiful all at the same time. And I just need to keep doing my work.

Cathy: Well, and just because you said now I’m Zen, just so everyone knows Zen is an idea, but it’s not something you can become. Like I don’t know if people understand that, but I mean, if you want to use it generically, you can be like, Oh, I’m feeling Zen.

Cathy: That’s fine. You know, it’s, everyone can use words the way they want to. You don’t have to listen to me, but I, when studying Zen, like the, you know, cause that’s a, an idea, a concept, a. It’s a story, a parable, an understanding, a paradox. It’s not like someone becomes Zen. Like just, I’m just saying that because sometimes people use it in an interesting way. Sharpening the Saw is about focusing on your physical, um, you know, health, your social emotional health, your spiritual health, and your mental health.

Cathy: And if you can do that through Zen. You can do one activity, like say you’re a runner, you may be able to cover every base, which is running. You know what I mean? Like some people find that to be a very spiritual, mental, you know, you can, you can, and for some people, they do a lot of different things. It could be a book, it could be reading, it could be walking.

Cathy: It doesn’t matter. It depends on what you want. But I always loved sharpen the saw because that’s what’s so fun for me is the, um, you know, the ability to continue to learn something or how good it feels to take care of yourself. Yeah. And, and sometimes when I say that, how good it feels to take care of yourself, I don’t mean just exercise.

Cathy: I feel like people get too focused on that kind of stuff. I just mean how good it feels to even sit down sometimes and be like, this is for me, you know, like I’m going to take care of myself. I need to rest. That’s why I don’t like the word lazy because I think sometimes we just need to. Relax. So, what’s your favorite in Sharpen the Saw?

Cathy: Like, what do you enjoy, when you, when you think Sharpen the Saw, what do you enjoy doing the most?

Todd: Um, it’s, for me, what’s coming to me, I didn’t know you were going to ask me that question, it’s the day to day experience of investigating my own, uh, reactivity. Yeah. I love that too. Like, wow. I’m getting really pissed right now.

Todd: Why am I getting so pissed? What’s happening? What can I, how can I look at this different? Um, and that’s, that’s it for me. And most of the time I don’t work on myself. Most of the time I’m in autopilot, but for the times that I’m like, okay. Whatever judgment I have about whoever happens to be in front of me, there’s some disowned part of me that I have not yet really investigated and come through.

Cathy: So, well, and I would say I’m very similar to you. I would say I like to notice my reactivity to something when I get, I, um, I’ve shared this before, but I sometimes have this feeling of like complete terror, and I know that it’s old and it, it, it, It connects itself to different things. Like, it’s not one thing.

Cathy: I’ll just be terrified about, like, and I’m making this up, but this is how crazy it is. Like, Todd will be like, I’m not going to go to the grocery store today. And I’ll be terrified. And I’ll, and I have to be like, what am I, what’s going on? And I have to like trace it back to what do I think is happening right now.

Cathy: And I appreciate that. I don’t enjoy that process. I appreciate it. And then what I love is being able to have the paradigm shift in my mind where I get the release where I’m no longer terrified. And sometimes when I am still afraid, how I can walk through it. That’s when I’m most proud of myself is when I’m having a difficult experience and I’m able to keep going like, well, then I’m going to go take a shower or I’m going to call a friend or I’m going to, I keep going rather than succumb to it.

Cathy: Um, and I’m not talking about like, if you’re tired. Go to bed. Like, that’s not succumbing. I’m talking about that. I believe that what I’m feeling is right. I, I instead am like, that’s when I’m most proud of myself. That’s a sharpening the saw for me.

Todd: When all feelings have value. Right. If you allow them to be expressed and then take the lesson from them afterwards.

Todd: Right.

Cathy: So, and then on the basic level, my sharpening the saw is I love to read and I love to write. So if I’m doing those things, I feel like I’m growing.

Todd: Yeah. I don’t particularly like to read or write.

Cathy: Do you want me to do math? What are you doing? I

Todd: don’t know. I don’t know what I do.

Cathy: I do. I think you’re, you are very curious.

Cathy: I think you’re investigating all the time.

Todd: I am. It’s just, I like books with short chapters. You listen to a lot. I listen to a lot. Yeah. I consume a lot of information. It’s just, um, it’s not typically the same way. You’re an auditory learner. I am. And visual. I like to read.

Cathy: YouTube clips. Yeah, you like YouTube too.

Cathy: What were you gonna ask me?

Todd: Um, I sent you that blog by Morgan Housel and there was a piece on it about, uh, writing and reading. I forgot what it was. I read it. You know, but there’s something that had to do with what we’re talking about, but I don’t remember what it was. So,

Cathy: um, well, I will just say, I’m so glad I know we covered this fast, but I think it really will be fun for people.

Cathy: If you enjoyed this discussion to go back and read this book and you might find things you don’t like, like, you know, this is an older book. So there might be ways he says things that may not be gender. Um, you know, he may not be thoughtful about gender or he may not be thoughtful about sexuality or heteronormative.

Cathy: Like, I, I, there may be things where it’s not as current as it should be. Um, and I totally get that. Um, but I think that the big concepts, uh, are really, um, interesting to revisit. I think that they are very energizing.

Todd: Three things. Yeah. Uh, buy a ticket to Zen Parenting 2024 in January, what’s the dates? 26, 27.

Cathy: Um. If the, right. Oh, and something you wanted me to mention, Todd, about the, the, uh, Zen Parenting 2024 is it’s. All day Friday and all day Saturday, like Devorah, I think is our first speaker and she goes on at like 12 or 1. So a lot of times, historically, we’ve started on Friday night. This time we had so much content that we wanted to focus on with teens that it starts on Friday during the day and goes through Saturday.

Todd: and emailed. Everybody’s done. Yeah, we have to. Um, yeah, the welcome on the 26th is at one o’clock. Okay. So,

Cathy: so everybody knows. But we have things before that. That’s true. Like I’m doing a women’s group and you’re doing a men’s group, so really we have pre conference stuff too.

Todd: We should probably adjust our website because it doesn’t talk about that.

Cathy: I know. Well, that’s because we hadn’t figured, we still have details we need to figure out.

Todd: Yeah, we’re gonna have the details. We’re gonna. So, buy a ticket. Uh, try Team Zen out. Get some fuzzy socks thrown your way. And then lastly, our partner since very day one is Jeremy Kraft. He’s a bald-headed beauty painting and remodeling throughout the Chicagoland area.

Todd: 6 3 0 9 5 6 1800.

Cathy: He came over the other day and fixed my sink in like did two seconds.

Todd: Avid Thanks, Jeremy for thanks fixing this thing. Thanks Jeremy. Thanks for listening. Keep trucking everybody.