It's Bodine here.
I've been wondering whether I'd even be able to share this story. But my wife, who is also my business partner, insisted. And, truth be told, her suggestions are almost always correct . . .
I WAS INVITED to be the after-breakfast, opening keynote speaker at a conference of plumbing & heating contractors -- a much more lively audience than you might first assume. I really enjoyed being part of their gathering.
They asked me to share my favorite information, a powerful method I've organized for creating desired results.
In the first part of this method, as I share it in my keynote speeches, I ask everyone in the audience two fundamental "activating questions:"
1: From this point forward in your life, what do you truly want to create?
2: How good can you stand it?
I went on to share the rest of the method in the brief time allowed; and closed with some interactive entertainment that ended that breakfast portion of their conference on an enthusiastic upbeat note. (Yes, I felt like I had "achieved my mission" as the opening speaker for this group.)
So I was feeling really good as I stepped off the speaker's platform to mingle with the audience as they were gathering up their belongings to move on to the next session on the conference agenda.
A woman approached me with an energy that told me she really wanted to talk to me in some personal way. (This is no surprise to any speaker who has just managed to "connect" with an audience.)
Little did I know I was in for the surprise of my life.
She asked me to step out into the hallway. And then she asked me to step around a hallway corner. Of course, now my curiosity had really kicked in. "What is this about?," I was thinking to myself.
Once we had some measure of privacy, as she had intended, she softly grabbed both my hands and said, "I've been recently diagnosed with a terminal cancer, and I only have six months to live. And I came on this conference trip with my husband to plan my own funeral."
She was now in tears, and I felt them coming on for myself, as she continued, "But after hearing your talk I've decided I'm going to go back to my hotel room and plan out what I want to do with the rest of my life instead!"
She hugged me with a full wrap-around of her arms, and whispered in my ear, "Thank you so much." Then she turned and walked away, around the hallway corner.
I couldn't move. I couldn't even think.
As you probably know, "verklempt" is a Yiddish term that means "overcome with emotion." At that moment I was about as verklempt as a person can be.
By the time I walked out to the main hallway, she was gone. And I realized she didn't even tell me her name.
But that hug is still resonating within me, and will continue to do so for some time to come. And I've had so many deep realizations from that experience.
Without ever really admitting it to ourselves, we all have only a limited amount of time left. And it is up to us to choose what we really want to do with that time.
And that kind of choice has more power in it than we ever imagine.
Bye for now.