I first met Mary nearly 10 years ago when I serendipitously sat next to her at an entrepreneurial women’s conference in Utah. It was sheer luck, as neither of us had strong ties to the organization hosting the conference. We simply shared the same attitude, something like “Hey, you never know, perhaps I’ll meet another interesting woman who is an author and speaker as well.”
It’s fascinating how some of the most meaningful connections you make in life develop from an aligning of the stars that you could not have forced to have happened had you been an Olympic-level weightlifter. Such was the case with my friendship with Mary. She has served as a “life sherpa” for me in so many ways—while going through a rough patch in my marriage, when getting divorced, at the peak of my writing and public speaking days, and providing support when I decided to “begin again” in Portland, Oregon, where I had no ties or connections. Of course, as the universe would have it, Mary soon found herself a grandmother and where would her granddaughter be living? Portland, Oregon.
I share all of this because how I met Mary and the way in which our deep friendship has evolved over the past decade serves as a real-life example of the power of the strategies Mary discusses in this episode.
What I hope you will take away from this episode is Mary’s nuanced list of insights on how to create a life rich with joy and harmony. The underlying mental models she uses as sieves to filter the endless choices we face each day will help you ensure that the way you spend your money and your time are in aligned with what matters most to you.
Manisha’s Top Takeaways
- The perils of chasing fame and what to focus on instead.
Despite having been a frequent Oprah guest, Mary never forgot that that kind of “success” was nothing compared to the satisfaction that comes from using your work to make a real difference in other people’s lives. [3:45]
- Dramatic life changes can bring dramatically unexpected joy.
It’s the rare person who wouldn’t find it at least somewhat terrifying to “chuck it all in and totally and completely change directions.” Yet this was the exact sort of dramatic action Mary undertook when she sold her home to travel the world. From Mary’s experience, we see that a scary jump can result in a renewed sense of peace, joy, and contentment you couldn’t have imagined before. [10:15]
- When you feel overwhelmed, stressed, alone, or sad, this mantra will lead you to the antidote: #ConnectionCreatesBalance
I love this quote and call to action from Mary: “When you can’t keep up, when you feel overwhelmed, it’s time to ask yourself, ‘to whom or what do I need to connect?’ In today’s 24/7, always-on world, we’ve never been more in touch and less present. Mary’s powerful question can lead you to make some very dramatic—and therapeutic—changes in your life. [8:00]
Other Major Topics
- The most powerful financial lesson Mary’s father taught her, and which enabled her to make dramatic shifts in her life. [1:30]
- The mantra that helped Mary decide what to do or where to go next on her trip-without-a-plan around the world. [13:15]
- The three stages of life Brighton Jones CEO Jon Jones has identified as being a game-changing mental model [23:00]
Resources Cited in the Episode
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