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Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into the Real World by Maria Shriver

Balance reDefined Radio Episode 54

Book Bite Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into the Real World by Maria Shriver

(The following is the transcript of the podcast.)

[00:00] Hi, I’m Connie Sokol, a national speaker, bestselling author, program founder, and mother of seven and loving it. I’m reaching and teaching 1 million listeners to live a purposeful, organized and joyful life. You can too. So let’s go.

[00:16] Welcome back to Balance reDefined. It’s Connie Sokol and thanks for joining me again for wonderful things. And today I have a fabulous book that is for the book bites and it is hysterical. It’s an older one and it is one of my favorites. It’s Maria Shriver’s 10 things I wish I’d Known Before I Went Out Into the Real World, and it is actually an expanded version of her acclaimed commencement address for the College of Holy Cross and it is fabulous. She goes through with such candor and wisdom and just her voice. It’s fantastic. So I’m just going to share with you a couple of little gems, but believe me, there’s many, many more in there.

[00:57] So the first one, you know I like to jump right in. The first one she says is be willing to fail. And we know that to our toes, right? But sometimes you know it in your brain, but you don’t really agree with it in your heart. You think, yeah, yeah, I get that, but that’s for other people because I can’t fail on this, right or you don’t start something because you’re so afraid you’re going to fail and it’s going to be humiliating and it’s going to cost time and energy and money and all of those things, but it is a package deal in life. It just is, and especially if you’re trying to move forward on something that matters most to you and is really one of those passion, purpose things, you’re going to fail in some part of it, in some fashion.

[01:35] But I love this, she talks about, she finally got this job to be the co-anchor of the CBS morning news and she said that was thrilling at the time to get equal billing and equal compensation with the co-anchor, which at the time it was Forrest Sawyer. She was thinking, I am on my way. This was like being a member of the elite club of women anchoring the national morning shows. I mean this was like she has hit the big time.

[02:03] So here they were and they were doing their thing and it was going great. And then income, the reviews, and she was saying, I’m trying not to pay attention to them, but how can I not when the following is in the Washington Post and here it is:

[02:18] “Forrest Sawyer is partnered on the program with Maria Shriver’s hair. Shriver doesn’t look as if she cares about anything, to the answers, to any questions except where’s my brush? She sucks in her cheeks and deflates her face looking a little like one of those cartoon characters who got slipped, a dose of alum.”

[02:34] She says, all righty, it’s going to be personal hair reviews. This is what we’re up against. Oh, and she said it was like going down a churning Whitewater river on a tiny little raft. But that was the ride that she had set out for and it was great, but she said at that time and during this experience, she said it was crazy how it affected her because there were three different executive producers and there were three different agendas, three different concepts for how to fix the show, and then every time they turned around they wanted to change them. Have you been there before?

[03:10] So they were like, “your hair’s too long, cut It. It’s too distracting. You should be blond.” “Your eyes are too there.” “You’re just too much in the morning “and getting all of that really “constructive” feedback.

[03:21] So here she’s going at it, she’s given it everything she’s got and she’s getting turned around every two minutes of “you should do it this way, you should do it that way.” Ever been there? I have. And especially when you don’t know yet, you don’t have that sure footing of who you are because you know enough to know you’re not an expert in what you’re doing. So you are listening to these “experts”, so-called, and you are thinking that they know better than you do. Have you had that? And it’s going back to trusting your gut.

[03:52] So meanwhile she’s going through this experience and I can totally relate to this. In fact, I talked to a friend of mine, I do TV and I was talking to a gal that I know and she does a different channel and I had a chance to talk with her and it was wonderful.

[04:04] I said, “tell me what are some of the difficulties that you have being on TV and she said, “you know, I get the viewer stuff all the time. I am working my heart out and I’m getting things like, your earrings are awful. Did you get an a wind storm this morning? Your hair’s terrible.” That’s what she’s getting. And I could totally relate.

[04:23] When I’m doing my segments, I am pouring my heart out. This a hard one. Learning of books I’ve read and trying it in my family and working things in my life and, and oh the experiences and I’ve liked bearing my soul and then I get a thing of, hey, really cute dress, where’d you get that? Now I love a good dress, don’t get me wrong. And I want to ask people the same thing, but it would have been so lovely to say or hear really, really loved that segment.

[04:48] I was touched by it and where’d you get your dress? Right. But no, and so it’s not like they have to love me, but it was like respect that I put out all of that energy and didn’t just see the dress. So anyway, turns out as they’re going along. They did the, covered the royal wedding between Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. They did amazing. They had excellent live interviews. They came back from London. Everybody was congratulating them on such a great job. And then later on in the afternoon by fax, you can see how old this is, by fax they find out that their show is canceled. Can you get over that? They find out by fax that would be like text today. “Hey, awesome job in London covering that was amazing with stellar. It was incredible and your show’s canceled.” Unbelievable. Like seriously unbelievable.

[05:35] However, you’ve probably had that experience. So they are told they’re cancelled and in essence they just look at each other and say, game on. So this is what she says about it.

[05:46] She says, “for me, getting canned made me fearless about my career. It gave me the strength to follow my gut, to be myself on the job. In fact, I think I did of my best work on the morning news after we got canceled, she said we had just one final month on the air and during that month I didn’t care about anything that the powers that be had to say about my work or what we were doing. I was free to be me on the air and I felt great about it. If Forrest and I were interested in an interview subject, then we interviewed together. It was a no no on the show, but we didn’t care if an interview went great, we let it run. Over time we were more natural and we ad libbed more and we heard from plenty of people who couldn’t understand why the show was being nuked. Neither could we.”

[06:32] I love that learning. Can you hear that? It made her fearless. Maybe, maybe in your current job, your current situation, the current relationship, occurrence, thing that you’re dealing with an issue. Maybe it’s not about you living in fear. Maybe it’s about being fearless. Maybe it’s about saying, you know what? If this is going to tank, it’s going to tank. I’m going to be fearless about making this work. I’m going to do what my soul says I need to do to make this successful. I’m just going to go with it. In fact, you know as I’m saying this, I can’t even believe this. This is happening to me right here in real time. There is something I have been wondering about of me, an aspect of what I’m doing to pursue, and this is exactly for me.

[07:15] I need to do this to move forward. Fearless in that aspect of if I want this to succeed, I’m going to go with my gut in the way that I think I need to do it without wondering and asking those so called experts. Wow. I hope you got something because I got something. Whoa. Okay. I’m feeling good.

[07:35] All right, so moving on. What I loved is this helped her to live brave, to be brave, to do the brave thing. The other thing that I love is that she learned that it was okay to be kindly naive. She talks in here about those executives. You know when things would come out and say, oh Maria Shriver’s not expected to last long on the show. She would go to them and say, where did they get this? We’re doing great. I’m not planning going anywhere and the executives, she said, acted keyword being acted like they didn’t know what it was, and she said, I learned for myself, people can lie to your face, and it shocked her. I’ve had the same experience. Have you? It has absolutely shocked me and more than once that, especially the person that is lying to me, but the fact that someone has lied to me, to my face just absolutely crazy, but these are the things that we learned, right?

[08:26] And this is all about growing up and growing into ourselves and it’s all part of the package deal. I love this last thing that she says. She puts a little lesson at the end of each chapter and she says,

[08:38] “Before I failed, my work was the focus of my life. It’s where I put all my intensity, intelligence and effort. Never again will I make that mistake experiencing how suddenly I could lose my job, how quickly I could be replaced, how easily the workplace went on without me, made me determined to quit identifying myself through my career. Today, my work is a big and fulfilling part of my life, but it’s not who I am.”

[09:02] That is so true. And I learned that for myself and in fact, in an opposite way, that being married and then ultimately divorcing after 25 years, which was just heartbreaking. But I learned that while I had had occasion, many, many occasions for me to receive the response of being suppressed in the things that I felt that I really was my calling and I really needed to be doing, you know, albeit at being very balanced and doing it with my left toe.

[09:33] But I was so grateful at that moment when I turned around and looked back on those 25 years that I did not, not do those things that I did not give up speaking to women and sharing good and insightful things that help them live their lives happier. I did not not write books that I did not give it up, that I did it at three in the morning and four in the morning while my kids were sleeping and it was worth every sacrifice because I would have regretted. I would have not been able to respect myself had I given up that key piece of who I was simply because somebody else told me to. So it’s something to consider.

[10:13] The second lesson that she teaches his children do change your career and they do. My career, if you can call it a career, is motherhood. I love being a mom and I’m mom and ____. I also have four other careers, if you want to call them that. I call them passions and purposes. They’re these beautiful things that I know and feel compelled to do.

[10:35] I speak, I write, I’m a best selling author and I’m a national speaker and I’m a media personality and a program founder. I do all of those things and I don’t do them all the time and I don’t do them all at the same time, and I do a lot of them with my left toe and with really great help. But I still feel compelled to do these things. But my kids come first. My family comes first in my family, always has come first. I would parcel out the little bit of energy that I had, I would streamline my life and I talk about that, organize my life so I could, I could save 26 hours a week and I used that time to be able to do the things that I needed to do without interrupting family life and making it a positive so that my kids would be involved in a positive way in that as well and others who chose to be a part of that.

[11:20] So children do change your life and your career. She said, but one of the best is stories that she shares in here is that she is going to interview Fidel Castro, right? Communist leader, he’s since passed on, but she talks about getting this interview. It was the biggest deal, the executive producers, everybody had worked super hard on this. They get there, they get ready for the interview and he sick. Can’t do it. Next Day, wait around and he’s still sick. Finally he comes in and says, “I am not going to be able to do this until Saturday”, — I think it was — “I’m just not doing well”. And she said in the back of her mind, she is freaking out because it’s her daughter’s first day of preschool and she’s like, I can’t not not be there in her mind.

[11:59] Right. But here’s the interview with Fidel Castro, right? And she’s like, oh. So he says to them, I could do it Saturday morning, and she blurts out, I can’t. I’ve got to take my daughter to preschool. It’s her first day. And she said, my boss kicks me under the table and then has me go outside and says, “Are you nuts? Do you know what it’s taken to make this happen?”

[12:21] And she’s like, just say I know, but I got to be there. So long story short, they come back in and they talk with them and she tells him the reason why. And he basically, he pauses and then he says, well, can we do it then Tuesday? And she said, perfect, sounds great. So they end up actually doing it the next Saturday and all was well. She said it was actually one of those fascinating interviews that she had ever done and all as well.

[12:49] And interesting side note, she said when she met back with Fidel Castro and the first thing that he asked her was, “how was your daughter’s first day of school” showing that dictators can actually be pretty smooth. So anyway, I thought that was fabulous. And she said that’s what she has stuck to his, those things in her soul that she knows is right to do, and I have had that same experience.

[13:13] In fact, all the way along, probably almost to an nth degree. I have made what I do has to be family first. But you know what? I am reaping the benefits because, because I had to make it family first for my soul and also pressure that I got, but for my soul first I got so organized and I use my time more effectively and efficiently than most anybody else that I knew at the time.

[13:38] So I could get more done in three hours than most people could seriously do in three or four days, and I’m not joking here. And that’s because I also had divine help. You know how that Einstein time principal, it can expand time and all of those things and God can make the way? Well, that’s exactly what happened. I mean, I could literally do five hours of work and an hour, maybe hour and a half and it was good that it was crazy awesome. But that’s because when you go value based first, you really do see the miracles and that’s what we’re looking for, right? We know we can’t do all this on our own. We’re looking for those miracles to help us through and that’s why I still have a family first policy. My core team, my support team, the coaches, we all do family first and this is how we roll.

[14:22] We use several applications. We do the box, we do the Marco Polo, we do text, and we work it. As we’re doing carpool as we’re doing, going to the science fair, we check in, we send stuff, we delegate, we send it from our phone, we go hit the restroom and we’d send something that needs to be sent. We do whatever it takes so that it doesn’t take over our lives.

[14:42] We want to have that time and focus on our family and that’s a beautiful thing. No regrets. That’s what I’m looking for because I know what she talked about as much as I feel that what I do in helping women and families is my calling and I’ll be doing this to my last breath, it still does not take precedence over my core family. So I love that point.

[15:04] And the last thing that she talks about is you need to develop yourself and your life continually.

[15:12] She says, “Do not look to your spouse. Do not look to others to create or do your life for you because it’s up to you to develop and create that life.”

[15:22] It’s you who’s going to stand at the end? She doesn’t say this, but I’m paraphrasing. It’s you. There’s going to stand at the end of that life and turn around and say, what do I think about this? Is this the life that I wanted? Is this the life I wanted to live? Is this a life of meaning and purpose? She says, um, she starts the book off with the question, what do you want to be when you grow up?

[15:41] And she said, you know, “I had really wish I’d known there isn’t just one answer to the question. What do you want to be when you grow up? Because it turns out I grew up to be a hard driving career woman in my twenties, a wife and mother and my thirties and all that, plus an author in my forties. I’m grateful I’ve gotten in touch with the part of us that’s teachable and renewable, fresh and growing. We can reinvent ourselves and find a whole new world out there or a whole new world within ourselves over and over again.”

[16:11] I love that. Sometimes I talk with women, they feel like, oh, it’s too late for me. Oh my kids are grown. There’s nothing left for me to do. Or Oh no, I have lots of little kids. It’s just not my time right now. And I say to them, you are always a woman. So make the time, whether it’s five minutes, 15 minutes, whatever you need to do in a given day, acknowledge your self. Acknowledge who you are. In the scriptures it says, love your neighbor as yourself. Would you ignore your neighbor? Would you never talk to them? Would you never validate who they are and the joys and the successes that you want for them?

[16:46] No.

[16:47] If you are being a good neighbor, that’s exactly what you would do, and that’s what you are to do for yourself. So I invite you today to learn from this wonderful book, Maria Shriver. It’s 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into the Real World. It is a keeper. I have dog eared, I put sticky notes, I’ve underlined. No one gets to borrow it because I’ve got personal notes in there. It’s one of those kinds of books and I know even though it’s a little bit older, it is timeless. It is great. Great stuff.

[17:15] Hopefully you enjoyed and got something great out of this today. Comment below if you did subscribe to more podcasts, if you love this kind of stuff. This is my book bite series, so anytime you see a book bite in the title, that’s exactly what it is.

[17:27] It’s giving you a little taste of what that book has to offer and as always, if you want more of me or content stuff to getting your life and make a difference, go to conniesokol.com that’s s-o-k-o-l.com and as you do, you can get my newsletter for great updates, releases, news content, TV segments, all of that, and you get a free book the first time you signed it can’t be beat and you can also get the latest and greatest on anywhere. I’m going to be the programs that I’m offering, the latest programs that will help you actually make a shift. And it’s been phenomenal what we see with these women. I mean all kinds of women, single moms, regular everyday women, women who are married, women who aren’t women with children, women with only one child, a woman who’s even in a care center and who was making breakthroughs on her personal life plan and out of bed for the first time in years.

[18:18] I mean, we’re talking, it’s amazing. So if you want some change in your life, check it out. Conniesokol.com, got free masterclass as you can check out, get some good stuff while getting to know me a little more before you go. Hmm. I want to take that jump. So as always, remember, make this the year you get Balance reDefined.

[18:35] Hi, I’m Connie Sokol and thanks for listening today to balance redefined. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe and if you liked it, get even more Life Shifting learning with my Instagram page where you get the deep thoughts, fun facts, daily inspiration, and private moments. Join me today at socal_Connie.

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