normanlear

What I learned from Norman Lear

When it comes to hearing inspiring people talk, I’ve seen a lot of really incredible people over the years. Truth be told, I’ve never quite had the experience like I had last week.

My dear friends, founders of Creative Visions, Amy and Kathy Eldon, set up an intimate conversation between John Turtletaub and Norman Lear.

Norman Lear is known for his story-telling talents as a Screenwriter, film and television Producer (responsible for shows like Allin the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, The Facts of Life….and so so so much more) and his ability to impact equality through the arts.

But what I love about this man is who he embodies as a human being. And I’m confident after experiencing him, it’s the reason he just celebrated his 100th Birthday. Ya’ll, he walked out on stage!!

I can’t even begin to describe the surge of energy, laughter, truth and heart-felt connection I felt throughout my whole body as he answered each question ever so presently and candidly. I walked away so grateful for this experience because it gave me confirmation on what I’ve suspected all along

*BEING NICE* is a key ingredient to success and living a healthy long life despite most of the world dismissing this quality. 

 


The word *nice* I find gets overlooked.

It’s the quality that I worry feels too light, maybe even weak, and not special enough. Yet, I often find myself in conversations w/ my husband at the end of the day saying something like, ‘if we can just raise nice boys’ I’ll feel like I’ve fulfilled my motherly duties.

As Norman put it, *nice* is the quality that slows us down. Right there, is the challenge.

Who the heck wants to slow down?!  Yet, it’s the quality that has us look up from our phones, smile at a stranger, hold the door open for others, say please and thank you. It’s also the quality that, when we’re in argument with our partners, has us *think twice* about our words in an attempt to fight fairly, and not attack one’s character.

Beyond that, it’s the way of being that fosters being generous with our time, energy and money, empathetic to others situations and compassionate towards ourselves and others when we experience disappointment.
It’s the very quality that allows others to feel seen, appreciated, and acknowledged. Most importantly, connected to ourselves and others. From there, doors open. The impossible becomes possible.


Imagine a world where each of us are 5 degrees *nicer* than we currently are? What would you experience MORE of in your life?

Norman also confirmed for me that laughter, or call it fun, has to be a part of every day.  Norman’s pretty confident that the reason he hit the century mark, is that he has prioritized JOY in his life.

If there’s one theme I hear all the time from my coaching conversations, it’s “I want to experience more joy, levity and laughter.”

I observe people being resigned in one part of their life. It looks something like, “I don’t have a choice. It’s just how it is.”  If you’re craving more laughter, then take a look at your life where you feel you’re at the mercy of your circumstances. Once we get clear on where we really are, we can wake up and consider another choice.

We can never have another Norman Lear, but we can learn from everything he’s put on this Earth while he’s been here.

The lesson to show up as our most alive selves, messiness and all, to be *nice* always, and to prioritise joy. And guess what? It’s contagious.

Much love,

 

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