Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host Scott DeLuzio and now let’s get on with the show.
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast today my guest is Jody Wellman. Jody is the founder of Four Thousand Mondays, and she created that as a way to help others. Not take life for granted or feel like they’ve squandered their time and to feel totally alive. And she’s also an assistant instructor in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and she’s here to discuss how we can make the most of the Mondays that we all have left.
So welcome the show, Jody. I’m glad to have you here.
Jodi Wellman: Oh, thank you very much, Scott. It’s a pleasure to be chatting with.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. So why don’t you tell us a little bit more about [00:01:00] yourself and your
Jodi Wellman: background. Hey, well, I’m happy too. So I spent the first 17 years of my career in kinda the typical corporate setting.
And I was ready to stab myself in the face by the end of it, but I didn’t know what to do. Have you ever been there right where you’re, you know, You just know you’re not happy with what you’re doing, but you don’t have a great destination to get to. And that can be incredibly troubling. And so I ended up working with a coach and figured out that I was gonna get into leadership coaching and development.
And so that was about nine years ago, and it has been such a great ride working with leaders and teams and I, as I say, like normal people too. But what happened is in the last four years, I’ve taken a switcheroo and I’ve really committed to my brand called Four Thousand Mondays, which by the way, spoiler alert, is that we roughly get Four Thousand weeks to live and hopefully more, But you never know.
And the idea is how do we make the most of it? And so in these last four years, I’ve really, [00:02:00] excuse me, doubled down on. That philosophy and that brand, and the more work I do around speaking in keynotes and working in workshops and working with people around this idea of time ticking, like let’s live like we mean it.
That has become more of my emphasis, which has just been delightful again to kind of do the work that you feel really lit up to do. Yeah, I love that
Scott DeLuzio: mindset that. The clock is ticking. We only have so much time. There’s only so many more days available, or weeks in this case. I guess if we’re talking the Four Thousand Mondays, right?
There’s only so much time available for all of us, and why not make the most of the time that we have left? Right. And I’m imagining that’s kind of the gist behind all of this is that you’re looking to just really optimize whatever time we have left, whether it’s two more Mondays or.
2000 more Mondays, whatever the time happens to be.
Jodi Wellman: Right. That’s so, such a good way of putting it about [00:03:00] optimizing our time because I think it highlights most of us, you know, we wanna do that, but we’re busy and we have got a, you know, there’s just a ton of priorities that are competing and sometimes we kind of, to be honest, like take our eye off the wheel and we end up getting, as I like to think, Well, I don’t like to think of it, but it’s true.
We get stuck in autopilot and we come these really highly functioning zombies where we just start sort of succumbing to the routine and the habit, and nobody intends on this happening, but I don’t know about you. Have you ever figured, like you got to the end of a month and you’re like, What happened in the month?
Like, what did. Or even like this, the seasons I, you know, units of time are very useful. That’s how we think of things as humans usually. What did I do this summer? You know, Or what did I like the year? Like, did I, what did I even do this year? And Covid, we all get a free pass, right? Covid just suck the life out of us.
Let’s just like forget [00:04:00] those that time. But now that we’re able to emerge again, it’s like, Oh, we have to learn how to live again. And I think that this is where I want us to feel no shame. I mean, I am the biggest homebody ever, and I will absolutely live a very zombie like lifestyle in a hurry. But you have to actively flick the switch back to on, not autopilot, but I don’t know, real pilot to really embrace life.
Do you that you get into a.
Scott DeLuzio: Oh, for sure. Yeah. And I’ve had days where, or not days, but I’ve had, those groups of time, seasons, months, whatever, where it feels like you’re just doing the same thing day after day after day. And it’s just in this rinse and repeat cycle mm-hmm. Of everything that you’re doing in life.
Kind of on autopilot. You wake up in the morning, you eat breakfast you go exercise, you go to work all these things. You just do. And it’s just like in a very structured routine. Yeah. And I wonder how many of us [00:05:00] have ever thought of things like this where we say to ourselves, at the end of my life, will I be able to say that I lived?
80 years or however many years that we ended up having, or did I live one year, 80 times where we just go on repeat over and over and over again. And so that’s, one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on is because I like this idea of, really making the most of what we have available to us.
Because if you’re doing that, One year after another. It’s just the same thing. You go to the same place on vacation every summer. You go visit the same relatives for Christmas. You go do the same thing every single year. You’re just, you’re stuck in that pattern. Right. So how do we make the most of all this?
Jodi Wellman: Oh yeah. I just love what you’re saying. The rinse and repeat stuff. The idea that like on one hand There is of course something to be said for a little bit of ritual, and there are some sweet things that [00:06:00] come from, Oh, this is what we do on Christmas morning, or to celebrate Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate, right?
Sometimes rituals can be special all for them, but where I think that this can sometimes push the envelope for some people is that I want people to. Interrogate their routines and their habits because it is that slumbering sort of existence. We get into, like you described, you wake up, you eat the breakfast, you do the work you do, and you know, a lot of these things are good, healthy things that keep the, the, the trucks like we wanna keep things moving.
And I’m not advocating that we have these really fantastically sparkly, crazy amazing days every day because all that’s exhausting. What I am thinking is stop and interrogate your habits and say, What am I doing that is actually dulling the edges? What are the things I’m doing that are just on the zone out that I could actually spark and spice up?
Like what? And I’m a fan of [00:07:00] picking one thing at a time. Cuz anything more than that, I don’t know. It’s just not sustainable. We got too much on the go. What if it was picking one thing, right? Like what it was, Pick what if it was picking breakfast or the workout? What if it. Shaking it up, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently become interested in this notion of like the vacation lifestyle.
Most of us long to be on vacation, and yet most of us, you know, unfortunately, we leave a lot of vacation days on the table, at least in the US culture and which is just so sad. And, but yet, you know, we live for vacations and so what we’re doing is really postponing our existence until we go on vacation for a week and then, or until we retire.
But when you do the vacation, what’s the stuff you love? I don’t know about you, but on vacation, I love the idea of going out for breakfast. Like there’s nothing better than an amazing omelet at a restaurant. I don’t know. And yet, in the life that we live day to day, like we’re not making an omelet most Tuesday mornings.
Right. But what about shaking up the routine to say, Honey, [00:08:00] do you wanna go tomorrow morning at like 7:00 AM to go for an omelet that diner down the street? Do you wanna go and like what? Like is that’s gonna blow your mind of your routine for the day? And I know that this is, it sounds silly, it sounds subtle.
Oh, I’m the first to admit it. But those are little things when those things add up over the span of a month. And if you do, maybe. Kind of quirky, different, just change your routine, different stuff. Switch your workout. If you normally do the same thing or the same two alternating workouts, try restorative yoga or go try a kickboxing class or go, you know, do something different.
That you create this sensory experience in very different ways of being alive. That is what wakes you up to the, that’s what wakes you up to living. And that actually increases your feeling of aliveness.
Scott DeLuzio: And when you do things like even just changing up your exercise routine or going out to breakfast, when you normally just have coffee in a bagel at home or something like that.
When you change that up [00:09:00] think about a month ago or six months ago, pick a date, Any date back that, that far? Yeah. What did you do for breakfast on that date? You’re not gonna remember that. Right. When you go and do something that’s a little bit outside the norm, going out to eat for breakfast, you’re gonna remember that six months from now, you’re gonna remember that a year from now.
And so you know, if you’re doing that with people who you enjoy being around a spouse, a family member, other friends, other people like that, you’re creating these memories and it just, Creates a more fulfilling life, I would think yes. Going, you know, down the line as you’re looking back on life and you’re thinking to yourself, what did I do with all of this time that I had available to me?
Yeah. You wanna fill that with some of those fun things. So going out to breakfast is not gonna be fun to everybody. They’re not gonna enjoy that the same way that you do. And that’s fine, but there’s something else that that person will enjoy that they can go and do and [00:10:00] discover just how enjoyable that is to just go out and spontaneously do something like that every once in a while.
It doesn’t have to be an everyday thing, like you said. Cause that you’re right. That would be exhausting.
Jodi Wellman: It’s exhausting. And like you said, the reason it stands out and we remember it is because it’s different. And so we can’t. Logically and we can’t even, it defeats the purpose of this If every single day we shake everything up, because then it’s just a total whirlwind and it’s not special because it’s different.
But I think we alternate what is special and you are so right that it is totally relative to each and every one of us. Like your version of an amazing thing to shake up in a day might be just totally a turn off to your next door neighbor. But that doesn’t matter cuz you know, do we to each their own?
But what might that be? You know, there’s this some of the research I do is I ask people where they fall across a couple spectrums. And so one is around vitality, which is where I look at that. Like we widen our lives by adding in more vitality. And that is the fun and the pleasure and the experiences.
[00:11:00] And we, I say that we deepen our lives by adding in more meaning, and that’s that sense of purpose we might have and that connection to others. You know, connecting to something bigger than us, et cetera, et cetera. And the research consistently shows this is pre covid, during covid, after covid, all around Covid, doesn’t matter.
More of us. So 41%, the majority are in a category called meaningfully bored, which means that they’re okay-ish on meaning, but where they know they’re missing is on vitality. So they know that they want a little more of. You know, like Jude, Viv, like, like a little more excitement or a little more of something new and different or some kind of a road trip, or take me on an adventure.
Something that feels, you know, those are the things we often associate with feeling alive. Like, you know, whether like, Going out for a walk in the rain or staying up past [00:12:00] midnight. Oh my goodness. Or trying a totally different type of Thai food for dinner or all the, you know, going to Vienna, like the things that we put off, we put off, we put off.
We want more of that. Right.
Scott DeLuzio: And you know, one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on this podcast is because I’ve heard from so many different veterans that when they get out of the military they find themselves isolated. Yeah. Sometimes it’s their personality. They get out in, into the world and they don’t like the people that they’re around and they just want to just be a hermit and trap themselves away in their own home and not be interacting with other people.
Or they definitely aren’t making the most of their lives when they’re doing things like this. Right. Yeah. Those are the people who I kind of want to talk about now is, you know, what can we do to. Gonna kick them out of this funk and get them back out into the world and [00:13:00] experiencing things and enjoying life as opposed to just existing.
Jodi Wellman: Yeah, that’s such a good way to put it. It’s sad and it’s true. And so I I work with through clients and or through friendships, a lot of veterans and or people in other situations that have found themselves in, you know, what I will call according to these quadrants that exist when you take a y axis and a and an X axis and there you have for that version of the dead zone, right?
Feeling a little bit like I’m kind of lacking on meaning. And I’m lacking on vitality. Or even they may feel that there is some meaning, right? Cuz there’s an enormous amount of purpose that I think comes from serving the country. And that can be a residual feeling of meaning that will over spill, which is fabulous.
But that lacking in the engage, engaging in life, the feeling of, I’m not really participating. I quite frankly don’t want to get up and out, but I kind of know, I feel like I. Could or should. And so this is the conundrum of inertia [00:14:00] and we know this, but it is also the experience of that lack of engagement will compound.
And in my experience and in research, it’s that. Oftentimes we need to, number one, what I call diagnose the dead zones. So identify the number one domain in life that is fulfilling, particularly flatlined and a domain. What I mean by that is it could be like friendships, it could be your health, it could be your sense of fun and recreation.
It could be your love life, it could be your sense of spirituality. Your physical environment, like literally the space around you that you live in and family life, et cetera. And for most of us, some of us feel like, ah, it’s all crap depending on the day, but let’s just pick a veteran returning back home and feeling that sense of social isolation and not like a lack of desire to even get engaged.
And what I notice is if diagnosing the first thing is, Yeah, you know what? I feel like it’s, the social [00:15:00] thing feels funny to me because I don’t wanna do it, but I kind of deep down know I need it. And I’m gonna quote, actually, one of the founders at the School of Positive Psychology, which is a branch that’s 20 years old in psychology, which is the scientific study of what makes life worth living.
This is my area of e. The Chris Peterson’s, one of the founders of the field, and upwards of 20 years ago, he said this quote that I find profound. And it was, There may be no happy hermits cause you said the word hermit a minute ago. And I’m an introvert. You know, there’s nothing better to me than like a quiet night at home with the husband and the cat.
Like that’s good. And I have to actively schedule and plan social interactions. That, funny enough, every time I come home from a social interac, Nine times outta 10. It’s not often, but when I do, I come home and I feel like that was good. I dunno why I dread these things. That was kinda fun.
And so that actually is the exercise is looking at the calendar and identifying if, for example, the social part is something that’s lacking, it’s to [00:16:00] say How can I look at my month, this fricking 30 day calendar? How do I stop and say what’s, what are one or two things I could do in this month that in some way make me feel connected?
And it’s actually pres. And I always say that I resent this, but we all wanna live the feeling of like having an astonishing life. Just feeling really good about the life we live, right? Whatever that looks like. Again, relative to each of our needs and wants. But unfortunately, they don’t happen to us.
We have to make the effort. We have to. This is unglamorous, but we have to think about what might that look like, and then we have to actually plan it and schedule it into the calendar or else we’ve got good intentions that just wash away with every month. That just literally ticks away. And so it’s scheduling it.
Okay, I’m gonna go and I’m gonna hang out with the guys on Friday, the 21st. Okay. It’s booked all. I can be a hermit until then, but then when I do that, that’s gonna help me feel engaged again. And so it’s a literal [00:17:00] decision point of is do I think I wanna have more engagement, even if I don’t really want it, do I need it?
And then plan. And then literally scheduling it in. Scheduling in, fine. We’re gonna do a road trip on this date. Okay, I’m gonna have a Zoom reunion with the guys from my unit on this day. Like whatever that might be. But scheduling it sounds. It sounds ridiculously simple, but it’s a step that we often overlook and it’s, that’s the secret to a life that feels full,
Scott DeLuzio: right?
And so when you start doing these things and you put it on the schedule, sometimes, You gotta push yourself out of outta your comfort zone because like you, I’m the same way. I’m pretty much an introvert too, despite the fact that I have this podcast, I talk to people every, so often on the podcast big social interactions like, going to concert or anything like that.
Like that to me is just, Nope. I’m good. Like it, it’s too much. But you kind of need to push yourself outta the comfort zone because if you never go and do it, [00:18:00] you’re never gonna do it. And you’ll never have those experiences either, right? And so I think once when you start doing those things, That are not comfortable right now.
Mm-hmm. , they’ll start to become a little bit more comfortable and then you’ll maybe even get to a point where you’ll want to do it more and more.
Jodi Wellman: You have just hit the nail in the head. It is, it’s a little bit like strengthening a muscle. Or whatever the metaphor we can use.
Greasing the skids like it does become easier and become now provided that we find some value in it. And I, I feel the same way. So it can be the same with so social activities is huge. Another whole category that I think is ripe for the picking is around like, getting interested in hobbies. Again, remember those things we had as kids , like remember you used to go and do, I don’t know, go and play soccer on whatever night.
The opportunities we have to be a, again, more planful as adults cuz it’s just not as easy unless, for example, there’s a client I’m working [00:19:00] with where he’s like, I wanna get back into the trombone, and he blew the dust off his old instrument and started playing again. Fine. Hey, whatever floats your boat.
For many adults it means registering for a class or engaging in something that’s like a, I need the structure. So, okay, I’m gonna go and there’s an eight week. Learn how to do pottery thing, or there’s an improv thing, which is like a two session, two Saturdays in a row. That might be kind of cool. Or, wow, I could go and do this, Learn how to run a half marathon thing, which let’s be honest, there’s a side effect to some of those things, which is a nice thing, which is sometimes they are social and you can end up kind of chumming with, you know, the person next to you at the pottery wheel or whatever in the running group.
That’s good. But oftentimes it’s just a matter of getting your brain switched into something which psychologists call flow, which is that state of absorption, you know, which is magical. And it’s when we’re just swept off our feet by being in the [00:20:00] zone and we’re just, you know how, like for some of you it might be rock climbing or running or painting, Or is there an activity by the way that you do that you just feel like, When I do this, I lose track of time, I’m swept up in it, I love it, and I just, all of a sudden I’m like,
Scott DeLuzio: Is there anything?
Yeah, it, yeah, there’s, there are definitely things like that. I do painting where I’ve literally, I sat down one weekend I sat down in our house. I started painting. Hours have went by and it was right around lunchtime maybe I sat down, hours went by and my wife came over and was like dinner’s, just about ready now.
And I’m like, Where the hell did the afternoon go? Because like, I didn’t even realize all this time had gone by and I just kind of got lost in it. Mm-hmm. and it was interesting that you brought this up the way you did because there was another time separate instance where I was actually doing some painting with my kids, and afterwards my wife came up to [00:21:00] me and said, You know, you seemed like you were really happy while you’re doing that.
And I was like, Yeah, I was. And it was kind of like a strange feeling because, I had just never. Dove in and done that kind of stuff, you know? Yeah. And, and it was interesting.
Jodi Wellman: Oh, okay. That anecdote is everything, because that to me is like our job in life. You know? We have to make our way through, you know, And then we think, well, let’s make our way through and actually enjoy it, and then go, Well, how do we do that?
What’s like your operating manual? You are now super clear. Painting is one of probably several things that delight you, and then the answer of course is this is the answer to the test guys. It’s like, how do you arrange your life so that you just get to do that more? And for many of us it means trying to find that thing.
So people listening right now to you might be like, Oh dude, like I wish, like what’s my thing? What’s the thing I get lost in? And I say, Hey, let’s ratchet down the pressure and just be like, Let’s just try a bunch of stuff. Because passion and interest in those types of things, sometimes [00:22:00] you just gotta sample some stuff, you know, like.
I thought I was gonna love archery. I took like five archery lessons, didn’t love archery. That’s okay. What’s next to keep trying it? Like if there’s an interest that might be kind of cool. We just owe it to ourselves to give it a shot, not just once, maybe twice. And then see if it catches fire and we want it to catch fire.
And if it does, then that’s great. And then just how do you, like, how do you organize your life to paint a little more often? Right? Like that to me again is like back to the schedule. How do you make
Scott DeLuzio: it happen? Right. And I, I think that’s one of those things where it needs to be something that I do intentionally put on the schedule and say, Okay, today I’m going to sit down and I’m going to, you know, take an hour or two or whatever the time period is and just paint, you know, set a timer and let it go off.
If I have something else that I need to do, then okay, set the timer, it’ll go off, and then I’m done and I move on. Yes. And that way it’s not like I’m totally. Blowing a [00:23:00] whole day on, on that where I should be taking care of other responsibilities. Right? Yeah. Like I have a job, I need to work at some point?
So, there are other things that I have to do. Mm-hmm. , this is something that I might want to do. Mm-hmm. and yeah, I think I just would need to schedule that into the calendar. You know, I live and die by my calendar. If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not gonna happen.
Jodi Wellman: Totally. Yep.
And you have an idea that’s like, this would be really, I would love to do this to get to do more of it. And that good intention is, dare I say, pointless, unless it actually transitions into the schedule. And that sounds like what you’re willing, like you said, I’m gonna make it more intentional. Why not sprinkle our lives with more of the stuff that we know we.
Right. Like these are just simple hacks that we’re trying to find and ways to make our ways through some tough days. And so I actually work with people. I say, write down a list of 30 things that make you happy. And the caveat is that [00:24:00] 25 of them have to be totally doable without, you can’t say, for example, Oh, I love going on cruises in the Mediterranean.
Okay, well thank you. But what about something you could maybe do this week? You know what I mean? Right. Simple stuff. , Some clients have said, Okay, I love watching like little animal videos on YouTube, or going for just a quick walk around the lake with my dog, or sitting and stretching and just stretching out my hips or making an amazing dinner that I’ve never tried before with Saffron or whatever it is.
Then it’s just a matter of, you just kind of go, Well, if this is the stuff that really delights me and it’s silly, sweet, simple stuff, how do you just find it, like peg it in? Mm-hmm. , how do you say? Like, Like I look browsing through bookstores and for my husband, that’s the idea of like a slow tortures death.
And so I need to not do it with him. I just need to, Well, and I honestly, I’m saying this right now, I don’t remember the last time I browsed through a bookstore, and that to me now feels like. An opportunity. I just have to find a way [00:25:00] to do that because if I know what makes me really happy to do, why would you not?
Like, why would we not do these things? We just have to identify what they are. Cuz usually we’re not that clear on what those things even are. Sitting down and writing out 30 things that might kind of make you happy is actually harder than you think, but do it
Scott DeLuzio: I think the biggest thing is identifying some of those activities or whatever that would.
You happy? And that list of things is going to be different for everybody. Nobody’s gonna have the exact same list. Yeah. And yeah, maybe you’re gonna have a few people depending on how long the list that have a few similar things on it. But most people’s lists are gonna be somewhat different.
Yeah. And. It’s really just identifying those things and then making those things a priority so that you can actually experience those, the things that make you happy. You are, feel like you’re living a fulfilled life. Right. And that’s, I think the gist of this whole this whole conversation.
Jodi Wellman: Right. Well, you just made me remember there. I don’t wanna gloss over this because it sounds simple, and [00:26:00] yet I actually admit that a lot of clients that I will work with, if they’re looking to kind of spice life up and live more fully, whether it’s wide or deeper, both, whatever, I have to be honest, when I quote unquote, you know, assign that task of the 30 things or whatever, however many, it can actually cause more anxiety in people because it can actually trigger for us that feeling.
Oh man. Like first of all, nothing makes me happy and then what’s wrong with me that I don’t even know what makes me happy. And then, oh my God, like it causes this sort of catastrophizing thing. And I would just say, you know what, Pause for a sec. There’s another exercise which is known as like positive mental time travel, and it’s an, I think it’s an easier waited kind of cheat.
This one. And it’s to go like, think of a time in your life when things were feeling really great, You’re feeling great, you’re feeling alive, things were happy. Doesn’t matter when it was, what era, what was going on. And if you stop and kind of forensically analyze, like, you know what? That was working out back then.
I felt strong, like I felt really kind of [00:27:00] energetic and I don’t know, I had some like definition in my arms or something or you know, I was actually, I was hanging out with my friend, those guys that I no longer hang out with anymore. And maybe I could rekindle that or maybe it’s that I was painting all the time back then, or it was that I was learning, like I was in college and it was, I was absorbing knowledge and I was like drinking from the fire hose of life and it was amazing.
Okay. All we have to do is just pick apart these clues, like what made you feel really awesome and alive then, And then what about replicating part of it? And maybe it means trying that workout kind of thing again, Or maybe it means rekindling those friendships or mm-hmm. going back to the paint class or trying what, you know, like, like let’s not reinvent the wheel.
Go back to the stuff that you did find pretty great and see if that makes you feel alive.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, that’s I think a great way to, to look at it. And according to the calculator on your website, which [00:28:00] by the way, your website is absolutely hilarious for anyone who is looking to go Find out more about what we’re talking about today, go to fourthousandmondays.com.
It’s Four Thousand spelled out. Not the numbers. fourthousandmondays.com. It, to me, it’s absolutely hilarious. It’s, thank you, not too in your face. But if you pay attention to the little things and the graphics you’ll find the little bit of humor in there. And I know a lot of people in the military and veterans especially appreciate, Some dark humor and there’s some of that here cuz what really what we’re talking about when you think about this whole conversation, we’re talking about how to optimize the rest of our life between now and that finish line, whatever that.
Finish line may be, it’s gonna be different for all of us according to your website, I have about 2034 Mondays left. And so I’ve used up, I’m almost at that halfway point of my allotted Mondays, Right? . Yeah. And so this realization to me makes me think, Okay, what have I done so [00:29:00] far in my life? This first half.
Of, of the game, if you will, , what have I done in the first half and how do I make the second? Even better. Huh? And what can I do to make that better? You know, for myself, for my family, for other people? You know, what can we do and how is this going to change my outlook on life going forward?
Jodi Wellman: Oh my gosh. I just love meeting up every word you’re saying and cuz that Okay. I’m really glad, like, that’s the intention of the calculator is to motivate us, not to make us feel like wah, like, you know, we, we already know like our time is limited is ain’t news to. But the intention, and it’s based in this whatever, if anyone cares, the scientific idea called temporal scarcity, that when we are really super in tune with the fact that something that we value is rare or it’s like a limited time only situation that should and could spark this feeling of, oh my gosh, I wanna make the best use of it now.
And the way you put it, I haven’t really heard it that way [00:30:00] before. It’s like, cuz you are in and around equal haves. Hopefully your second half does go longer. My grandma lived for 5,300 Mondays, so that’s pretty rocking. There you go. But it’s this thing of intention, like you’re getting back to, it’s like, how what do I wanna do to be deliberate, to make this remaining time as sounds to me like wide and deep as possible?
And that’s magical. I mean, that’s the whole point.
Scott DeLuzio: Right, and so after coming to this realization that there is a finish line, I mean we all knew it, but it’s not something we really think about all the time. We don’t think about when am I going to die? We don’t think that way all the time.
But we all have that end date, that expiration date, if you will. So what would you suggest that we do to. Get started, is it just as simple as what we were talking about before? Just make that list and just start tackling that list. Is that really as easy as it is?
Jodi Wellman: Well, there are so many options and yes, what we’ve talked about so [00:31:00] far absolutely are really great tactics.
So like identifying what makes you happy and finding a way to whittle that into the schedule. One of the other things that I think can be. And it’s just based on the weirdness of us humans. How we are psychologically is this, It’s this concept called prospect theory, and it’s that we’re more motivated by what we have to lose than what we have to gain of equal value.
Okay, So put differently. We tend to be more motivated by doing this exercise about imagining if you were on your deathbed, what you might regret, rather than just simply stopping and saying, What would make my life amazing. Okay. That’s just the way we are. So let’s do this. Like imagine that it’s the unfortunate hour you are on the deathbed and.
You are reflecting back and you’re thinking about all that time, all those amazing. And so for you it would be like, what was that 1012? I don’t, I forget however many Mondays that you’ve already [00:32:00] lived. Well, that’s more than that. But let’s not get, let’s not get hung up on the math.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, yeah.
Somewhere around 2000, some thousand in that ballpark. Let’s go with that.
Jodi Wellman: So when you think. All the time, all the experiences, the ups and the downs. Is there anything that gives you that little tiny twinkle of regret? And usually, just to be clear, our regrets are more often felt about the things that we didn’t do in life.
The regrets of omission rather than regrets of commission. So it’s more about the missed chances and opportunities. Is there anything that if you did pass away tonight that you would. Damn it. I didn’t do X, Y, Z. Is there anything that comes to your mind?
Scott DeLuzio: Man, I’m on the spot here. You knows off the top my head.
That’s a tricky one to come up with, but I’m sure there are some things right now I’m not really coming up with anything, but I can see how what you’re saying makes sense because there have been times in life where I’ve done things. [00:33:00] That it was that like people say, the fear of missing out or FOMO like I don’t wanna regret not doing this thing, going on this trip or meeting up with these people or going to this concert.
I did those things. I didn’t wanna regret not doing it. Yeah. May not have been top priority right then and there. Yeah. But knowing. A year from now, 10 years from now, I’d look back and be like, Man, I really wish I did that. That’s, that was the motivation that got me off the couch to go and do that thing.
Jodi Wellman: Right. Okay. Can I ask you, this is so cool. When you would go to the thing, the trip, the concert, the whatever, how did you feel when it was over and you were coming home? Did you ever wish you hadn’t gone? Or were you glad you did go? What?
Scott DeLuzio: No, I can’t ever, I can’t imagine. Any of those situations were ever a time where I was like, Ah, man, that was a mistake.
You know? Okay. It always worked out where I was like, you know what? that was good. I enjoyed,
Jodi Wellman: Well, I do, I’ll be honest, I’m really glad that’s your answer cuz it really helps bolster the point [00:34:00] that that that we do sometimes need to be a little more aggressive. With the getting down to the business of living.
And so I like the way you’re talking about this. You make a choice to engage in something so you won’t regret it later because it is true. Research is clear that when people get near the end of their lives, so hospice patients typically regret not participating in their life a little more. Research also shows that people who have not fully participated in their life, they actually have more anxiety about.
And so the reverse is true that if they have, when you get to the end and they say that people near the end when they have a feeling of, Man, I like, I live this life. I’m dying empty. I’ve done the things I wanna do. Yeah, maybe not everything. I didn’t get to every corner of the world, but I did so many great.
They tend to be so much more at peace with the [00:35:00] process that’s about to unfold, which is the, you know, last right of passage, death than those who feel that angst of I didn’t get to do those things. I didn’t write the book or I didn’t go on that traveling trip. The thing with my buddies that, or I didn’t make up with my brother or I.
Embark, I didn’t start that business or all the, you know, some of the things we long to do. Sure this is an exercise that can be valuable because a lot of our regrets, if these are things that we are contemplating that we haven’t taken action on and you think you might feel something funny about it on your deathbed.
Well, bingo. Now’s your chance to course correct that regret in the making because right now’s the chance. For example, if it was, I’ve always really wanted to write that book or my memoir, or I’ve wanted to learn how to play the piano or learn how to speak Spanish. Like these are even just, you know, simple, fun things in life.
But it could be, they could be deeper and more meaningful things like I always really wanted to get involved in my [00:36:00] community and work at a volunteer over at the shelter. You can do it right? So like this is the cool part, is that it’s not too late. This is the kind of thing you can take action on and it just requires one simple step that will make you feel fabulous today.
And so, for example, if it is that I wanna, I do wanna do the volunteer thing. It means after you listen to this podcast and it’s over, you go Google and you get a phone number where you get an email and you acquire, you just simply whip off a, Hey, I’m curious to find out what it takes to volunteer on Sunday morning.
Boom. You know what’s gonna happen? Your perceived life satisfaction will soar because you did that. Or maybe it’s texting a friend that you’re like, Dude, I haven’t, We haven’t. It’s been so many years. I’ve been thinking about you. Do you wanna get together maybe for beers? Like what’s going on? Or maybe it is about going online and registering for that massive open online course.
You know, tons of amazing universities have free open online courses Now register for whatever the thing is you wanna learn about thermodynamics or, [00:37:00] I don’t even know what else, like, do, like, just go and do it. Just do one take one step in that direction. And that is the feeling. There was a buoyancy associated with, ugh.
I’ve made a commitment to living a little more fully and maybe that class hasn’t started yet, but Damnit, I’m doing it.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And in. Initial step that I’m doing it because you registered for the class or you started whatever it is that you’re doing. Even just texting a friend to meet up for beers next week or a month from now, or whatever it is.
Yep. You’ve done that thing and now that, that just triggers something in you that’s like, Okay, I’m doing something now. I’m now I’m actually making. A change totally in the direction that I want to move in. And that’s, I guess that’s really all what it’s all about here, is we’re trying to just add more to our lives.
And I know a lot of [00:38:00] the listeners are gonna be able to relate to this. Having lost people serving overseas. That’s just the nature of. Combat and war. It sucks. It’s terrible that, good people are taken too soon. But when you think about those people, you think their number of Mondays was drastically shorter than any of ours?
Yeah. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to live the full Four Thousand plus Mondays that, each of us on average tend to get.
You start thinking about that. Like if you’re gonna just sit there on your ass at home doing nothing with your life mm-hmm. , like how much of a slap in the face is it to that person who sacrificed themselves to give you that next, however many more Mondays you. Wow. In your life, you know? And that’s the way I think of it is, you know, I, I lost my brother in [00:39:00] Afghanistan and I feel like if I’m just gonna sit around wasting away, then his sacrifice, as far as I’m concerned, was for nothing.
And that’s, Not okay with me. And so I feel like I owe it to him to live a life that’s worth living, that I can look back on. And at the end of the day, I could say, Yeah, you know what I’m proud of all the things that I’ve accomplished and was able to experience.
Jodi Wellman: You just blew my mind. That is so profound.
You took Memento Mori, which is a lot of, this is the work we’re talking about. It’s the old Latin phrase that means, remember, we must die. You’ve just taken it to a totally different level a meaningful one. And do you hear that from other veterans by the way, that there’s almost a sense of duty to live life because they couldn’t the following?
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, yeah, for sure. And especially when it comes to volunteering and. [00:40:00] Other kind of service that you might do, whether it’s with a nonprofit or just helping out at a veteran’s hospital doing something that gives a sense of meaning to.
The loss that we’ve experienced and it mm-hmm. helps us kind of wrap our heads around it a little bit. I think
Jodi Wellman: mm-hmm. . Yeah. That’s fascinating. There’s, you know, a ton of work. I don’t study a lot about grief or bereavement per se, but I do know just from the work that I do in this field of death that there is a bit of a transition that can happen after a grieving period occurs.
Or it’s intertwined. It doesn’t need to be in stages. I know it’s not super linear, but where there is that wake up call, that kind of curve vicariously, right? So maybe you know, you or some of your. Comrades may have had experiences where your life was on the line, and that’s traditional kind of quote unquote, oh, you know, brush with death where it’s, wow, I live to tell the tale and now I see how precious life is, I’m gonna do this life [00:41:00] justice.
So that’s like, that’s garden variety. Awesome. Crappy scenario that gets you though to live with intention, right? What you’re describing all the second scenario is having a brother die, having a friend, having anybody that you know and care about pass away and have that be a motivator is it’s a, I think it’s a more poignant branch of what we’re talking about and I think it’s beautiful.
Scott DeLuzio: Thanks. Yeah, for sure. And I hope that some of the stuff that we’ve talked about today will register with some of the listeners who might find themselves stuck in that rut where they know there’s life to be lived. They know there’s stuff to be. It’s just, they’re stuck and they feel like there’s, they don’t know what to do, what that next step is.
And that’s I think really the reason why I wanted to have you on this podcast is to talk about this to help get people and get them out and give ’em a kick in the pants to get them out and do the things that will make them live a [00:42:00] life that’s worth living. And so I do appreciate you taking the time to come on.
It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today. I love this conversation. I love the topic. I wanna give you the opportunity, I know we mentioned the website, but if you wanna talk a little bit about that and anywhere else that people can go to get in touch with you and find out more about how many mo, more Mondays that they have left in their lives.
Jodi Wellman: Well, thanks for that opportunity. And it’s just been a total pleasure chatting with you. You’ve given me. So much fodder for future conversation and blog posts. I’m already taking notes about things that I wanna explore more. This is great. Excellent. And I can be found, you’ve already said it, at fourthousandmondays.com and so there are some resources there.
Free downloads of things, the calculator, if you don’t wanna do the complicated math. And and yeah, if anyone wants to reach out, just a chat. But yeah, fourthousandmondays.com And thank you for this chance to chat.
Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on [00:43:00] Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.