Calculate Your Bucket Age

Calculate Your Bucket Age

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Welcome to The Bucket Podcast — a series of interviews that features an eclectic mix of people who all share one thing in common — they’re all going to die. But does being aware of that change the way they live? That’s the question host and The Bucket founder, David Abend, asks them in a fascinating collection of stories that explore the concept — and value — of mortality-based living.


19. Jodi Wellman: Four Thousand Mondays

How many Mondays do you have left? And how are you going to use them? That’s what Jodi Wellman wants to know. Jodi is the Founder of Four Thousand Mondays where she dedicates all her Mondays to helping people live a squander-free life. Unafraid to take on the Grim Reaper himself, Jodi combines her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology with her 25 years as a Certified Life Coach to realize that life is short and you can’t waste a minute of it. In this podcast, Jodi talks about her vision, her unique approach and even her new book, “You Only Die Once”.



David: Hi, I am David Abend, Founder of The Bucket and your host for today’s podcast with Jody Wellman. Jody is a speaker, executive coach, and assistant instructor in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Jody’s TEDx Talk called “How Death Can Bring You Back to Life” has over 1.3 million views. And, this is impressive, Jody. It was the 14th most watched TEDx Talk released in 2022 out of 16,000. Wow, that’s impressive. Jody is also the founder of “4,000 Mondays”, which is the main reason we got together today and author of the Soon to Be release book. You Only Die Once. How to Make It to the End with No Regrets.

Welcome Jody. Thanks for talking with me today.

Jodi: Thank you so much for having me here, David, I am excited to chat about all things you know what.

David: Yes. So, I guess my first question for you is, why did it take so long for us to find each other? We, we have our own different ways of going about it, but our missions seem to be very similar — using mortality as a way to help people reduce deathbed regrets, or as we call them, DBRs. So tell me how you got here.

Jodi: Yeah, well, first of all, I feel the same way about how is it that we’re traveling on this sort of a, we’re on like parallel paths, just sort of just a couple miles apart, but we, at some point we did have to overlap in this way, right?

David: Yeah, definitely.

Jodi: For me, It took me a minute to get to this point, to make this my reason for waking up every day. I did the corporate thing for 17 years and then did my own work with executive coaching and leadership development for 10 years, and I just kept pushing this cauldron bubbling idea aside thinking, well, how do I make this work in life without weirding everybody out around me?

Then I just realized after studying at the Positive Psychology program that you alluded to in my intro, like, oh, wait a minute, there’s a way I can do this. And it feels legitimate and it feels empirically based, which I don’t know why, but that mattered to me. And wait, I want to wake people up in this way more than in the other ways I had been trying to do before.

David: And so, so what started the idea for you? Like what, how did you get there and say, this is something I want to do and not have a regret that you didn’t do it?

Jodi: Like most things, you know, it’s this confluence of events. My mom had died when she was in her late fifties, and that really woke me up to this notion, not so much that life was short, funny enough, unfunny enough it was more about how, oh my gosh, we maybe have the potential to die with a crap ton of regrets stuck inside of us. Cause that’s the way I perceive my darling wonderful mother dying with a, with a litany of things that she wanted to do and didn’t.

David: How did you, how did you know that? Is that something she told you?

Jodi: Yeah, great question. Combo. So I knew she had talked a lot about the writing she was doing, but she didn’t have the nerve to send it out to publishers, for example. Or that she had these business ideas and there was always a new thing she was going to try, but then she lacked the confidence.

Some of it was the money that she lacked, but mostly just the confidence to, to launch the things. And so when cleaning out her place after she died, it was just one drawer after the other and file folder after the other of stuff that she dreamt about and didn’t pull the trigger on. And that weighed heavily and, and stuck with me. And the reason it stuck with me, like most things in life, it’s stuff that bugs you about maybe other people or whatever. It’s ’cause you see it in yourself. And I knew, okay honey bunny, you know, you’ve been talking a big game about, you know, leaving your corporate job and yet there’s a lot of talk, no action over here.

And I just had that sinking feeling of I don’t want to be an all talk no action kind of life. You know? So that was a big part of it. And as I alluded, like studying it for me really woke me up to it because I’d been squirreling away notes and quotes and little research snippets, and I had a Word document and a journal.

I had all these areas that I was putting away all these ideas and ideas for workshops and, and I just, again, didn’t know how I could actually make this thing fly. And then when I studied it at Penn, it really helped me to feel more confident and informed. And then it was just, oh, well now I’m changing my life.

Like now I can’t not do this. I can’t not change my life to do this. And, that’s exactly what happened and I didn’t anticipate that that would happen. But let’s call it a calling, you know, or my own awakening.

David: So maybe because we are both so into each other’s ideas, maybe I forgot have you say, what is your idea? What is 4,000 Mondays?

Jodi: Eerily, fantastically aligned with you. 4,000 Mondays is the work I do, and it’s based on the notion that we do have roughly just 4,000 weeks to live,  and using that — and I picked Mondays on purpose because Mondays have lots of feelings attached to them usually. Like, if I joke, like if I had said 4,000 Fridays, everyone would’ve just said like, rock on, I don’t care. Like life’s good on a Friday. That’s no big deal. But Mondays help to highlight for us, when we think about how many we have left. So like right now I have, you know, 1,881 Mondays left, i.e. weeks left. And when I think about Mondays, it does this. Do I want to wake up and do the thing I’m doing every week?

Do I want to — am I doing the things? Am I doing this life justice? So it’s my platform to be able to, you know, blog and speak and write about how time is ticking. So let’s get on with the business of living.

David: Yeah, yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s a great idea. We, we feel the same way. So I want to talk to you about this whole idea of mortality as a motivator.

What I’ve found is that there are some people who really get it and they dive in with both feet, but there are others probably more, of these people, that use both feet to run as fast as they can in the other direction, is that something you’ve noticed?

Jodi: You know, it’s really funny. My response is not so much, and part of it admittedly, is because I don’t know who’s choosing to delete my email. Like if a friend forwards them, one of my articles, for example, they do a Monday blog post. Obviously 4,000 Mondays, it’s not a Monday. I don’t know if they’re just saying, Nope, don’t want to talk about this. When I’m in a workshop, for example, I like to think of it like I’ve kind of got a captive audience and I see a captive, like, ’cause many of them are like literally sitting there and it would be weird for them to leave.

But nobody has actively left a workshop. And part of it is the way that we both talk about it in a way that I think can be disarming. Right. So we’re not trying to be very morbid or dour. We’re trying to be inspiring about it, and, and the way I do it is I doodle the grim reaper and I, I swear, and I make it irreverent.

And so I’m trying hard to make it accessible to not use both feet to run. I’m trying to keep like, well, what if we just put one foot in the boat here and play with me, and I do this thing where I get people to count their Mondays, and then I check around the room, you know, in a keynote or a workshop like. You know, if they don’t want to share their actual number with me, and most people are actually bizarrely open to sharing their math, their number of Mondays left. Yeah, I get feedback about some people feeling like, Ooh, this feels superstitious. I don’t want to, I don’t want to go there. But usually they’re willing to play in another way, which is like the deathbed regret conversation.

Okay. Fine. If you want to do the math, I get you. Right. Well, I’ll still, I’ll still work with you. Does that mean that we start talking about the things you long to do that you’ve been putting off? That’s something we can, we can access usually like, but you’re, you’re, you find that that many people head for the hills.

David: Yeah, but some of it’s been on purpose. Some of it’s been, you need to jog people into that state of mind that you have only a limited time left. You know, our audience is in their fifties, sixties, seventies. And it’s amazing when we ask them, we have our Bucket Age where you take your statistical life expectancy and subtract your age, and that’s how many years you have left on the planet statistically.

I am shocked at how many times people, the look in their eyes when they see that number. It’s something they hadn’t thought about. And then it becomes, some people don’t want to talk about it and some people really get into it. I think what you were just talking about how you’re disarming is really what I noticed about everything on your website.

And in the book excerpts that you sent me you’ve got a left brain and a right brain approach. So for the right side of the brain, your tone and style is so disarming and it’s just plain funny. Was that something you realized you had to do to make the message more palatable, or is that just who you are?

Jodi: I think it’s a default setting for me. Like I. You know, I, I get everybody I work with to do the VIA character strengths.  So it’s, it’s a free, really, really well researched character strengths assessment. And for me, you know, zest and humor are always up there. Like if I, I just find the amusement in most things. And so inevitably I’m gonna start from the point of. Isn’t this ridiculous that we’re all working really hard to love our lives and yet we’re all careening towards complete and total oblivion, or well whatever you believe happens after we die.

Yeah, I’ve always found that to be thankfully a little bit amusing. And then and, maybe to your point, David, because I was afraid about how to make this work, like especially in corporate environments, which is where I lived for so long, and did you know my work? I was, I told myself a story that they’re not gonna want to talk about this, and that’s just a limiting belief.

But the way around that for me was, oh, well what if I just make it, you know, a little bit goofy is that that’s gonna, that that’ll help me get my foot in the door. And so, ironically maybe that, maybe that isn’t good for some groups, but, yeah, I can’t not see it from a little bit of an absurdist point of view.

David: Well, it that complimented by the other side of the brain, which is this applied positive psychology and the data and the, the science to it. I think that is what makes it so powerful.

Jodi: Well, thank you for saying that. And it delights me that, uh, I could have just gone off of the, the idea of it being a sort of a philosophical approach and I still would’ve found it intriguing and wanted to help people.

I kind of say that that my mission’s like to wake the F up, you know, before we do in fact die. And I just find it extra juicy that there is a bunch of, there’s just a bunch of evidence behind it that we do need. I mean, we just know this inherently, right? Intuitively, like we do need deadlines to get on with things.

So I like mapping to that, tracking that in research and applying that, yeah. I find it just bolsters the argument to get on with it.

David: You were kind enough to give me a sneak preview of your book that’s coming out soon. And one of the things you talked about was the connection between happiness and preventing deathbed regrets. That with few exceptions, happiness is a choice. And I love the way you call bullshit on the way people kinda have a tendency to kind of see themselves as a victim. Like, I can’t do this because of that. And certainly there are real challenges that people face. But that’s not always what’s holding people back, right?

Jodi: Yeah. Yeah. It’s such a good point. You know, I’ve always found the research interesting that we believe that our circumstances are what prevail and that keeps us down. And or, you know, genetics is a really big part of whether or not we’re gonna be starting. Our starting point is gonna be from, you know, chipper or down and out.

So thanks mom or thanks dad for that. Or not. Thanks. But up to 40% of our experience in life is just about our intentional activity, about whether we make a decision today to say, you know what? I have always wanted to go check out that fricking botanical garden and I haven’t gone yet, and I’m just gonna put it in the calendar. I’m gonna go and do it on Friday afternoon. Like these are just choices that we can make that, and I say things, it’s funny, I always catch myself still, like I give silly little examples. That one actually wasn’t even super silly. A silly one could be. Like a, like a way. You’re gonna spend five minutes between meetings, you know, if you’ve got a break of five minutes before your next Zoom call or whatever, you have a conscious choice, again, back to being intentional about your happiness, i.e. your experience of being alive, i.e. how you spend your Mondays, or for you, your Bucket Age, that I might give an example that seems sort of inconsequential, right? Like what? I’m gonna sit and read a little bit of a part of a chapter in a novel? Or I’m gonna go and stand outside and deeply inhale and smell the air, or I’m gonna go and look at the birds in the tree.

What, what good does that do? And yet, this is where again, I find it reassuring from research that those conscious moments that we can tune in to life and be deliberate about how we spend that time rather than just checking another email. God, I love definitely knocking off emails. I mean, trust me, I’m always tempted. But that’s another example of how don’t underestimate that that impact of that small thing can be a little bit of a game changer for the next hour of your life. Which again, all we’re doing is just collecting hours to make up a day, to make up a week and month. And then next thing you know, we’re dead.

David: That’s right. I think people are good at finding obstacles and reasons that prevent them from making changes. I know I’m good at it. I think that if you look at where you are now, you’re providing guidance to people that are trying to overcome regrets that they might assume that it’s been easy for you, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, right?

Jodi: Yeah. I have squandered, I, I’m very deliberate about the word squander because I like the notion of living a squander free life in comparison, which is the trap I think we have, which is where we are either in the most innocuous way, just whoop letting time pass us by because we’ve just gone into autopilot and all of a sudden it’s how did it get to be New Year soon versus, you know, doing things in our lives that are actually problematic. You know?

So I had a decade that I squandered to eating disorders. Where I see now with clarity beyond that point of like, oh, you were trying to cope with life and some stress in just a super unhealthy way, but acknowledging that life passed me by in a lot of significant ways during that time, you know, in ways that I know I could have been clued into way more, uh, healthy coping mechanisms, but also just a lot more life.

And, and I, and I’m so hyper aware of how much struggle there is out there, you know, that people are just trying to find ways to. Make it through their days and get through some tough times. And we’ll find ways to do that. And many of us do it in ways that aren’t healthy, whether it’s through some extra drinks at night, you know, or excess shopping or fill in the blanks really.

And we have that sinking feeling, I think many of us, even if it is over work, like, like committing to work because sometimes that provides that sort of comforting feeling of satisfaction of a job well done and our identity. And believe me, I love that. I lick my lips at that, I love that. And sometimes that just all of a sudden crowds out all the other stuff in life that we could be doing that are on people’s bucket list. One of my greatest fears, David, and that I want to just wake people up to is this notion about, I’ll get to it. Like, I’m busy now with work. I know. Fine. I’m going. I’m going through the motions and yeah. So I don’t really love that, but, oh man, I’ve got life ahead. I just finished a session, and I don’t do a lot of one-on-one coaching anymore, but I did just have a session with a woman who’s gonna retire in five years and the risk for her, of course, and she’s so fabulously self-aware that her parents are very aging, her husband’s older than her and is aging. And this idea that are we putting our life on hold? To do the cool stuff later. And I, I’m gripped by fear even saying this, that could we all see that stuff might happen beforehand, either with your parents, with your spouse, with you, with life, and that’s where we might squander things in ways where we’re deluding ourselves into thinking we’ll have the time later. You see that all the time, right?

David: Well, that’s another kind of one, another way we overlap in that.  I am actually writing a book called “When I, I Will, how we Cheat Ourselves Out of Life”. So it’s all about the, when this happens, then I will do that. And it’s exactly what you’re talking about. It’s, you know, part of that, those obstacles that we make up. But it’s hard. It’s hard to get motivated. And it’s hard sometimes to look at these obstacles as maybe not being real. One of the things that I read in that excerpt was the stapler story. I love the stapler story. Tell everyone about the stapler story.

Jodi: Okay. I will, I will. And I think a couple people might relate. So. There was a time in my corporate career where I was disenchanted, so, you know, I kind of had already made up my mind that I need to get outta’ here. But of course, I had like zero plan and also not a lot of confidence on how to do that. And so this call came to light one day where I was working at my desk, and this is back, you know, old fashioned days in the office. And I was working away and I had some pages and I was stapling and I, my, my stapler ran out of staples. Well, okay, but. Okay, well now what do I do? And I got up and I went to the store room and I got the box of staples and I took a row as you do, and this is not riveting, but I reloaded the stapler and I used that in the moment as my moment to say, I better not be here by the time I go through this row of staples and I even checked on the box, I was like, okay, this puppy, this row has like 200 staples. Oh, I’m gonna be outta here. Oh yeah, I’m gonna be outta here by then. And then I go on my merry way, which really is code for like, I did jack shit. I did nothing to actively get out, like I kept waiting to be recruited out.

I kept waiting for like this new, better version of life to be handled to me on a silver platter. It didn’t happen. And so then, you know, about a year later, here I am stapling more stupid pages together, and my stapler runs out, and that feeling is coming over me right now. That feeling of, oh, like I, here I am again, and I’ve done nothing about it. Like, quite frankly, shame directed inward of you’re still here, and that it’s not even a sneaking suspicion, it’s an overwhelming slap in the face sensation of you’re squandering and you’ve done nothing. So I go and reload the stapler and this time I’m like, oh, oh, oh, I am not gonna be here by the time that, and I did it again a year later ’cause it took me roughly a year, I don’t know why, for the staples to run out.

And it just a super visceral example of how I had good intentions, but I just didn’t have, I didn’t take action. And again, that’s the passivity that we can go through life. Something you said a minute ago made me realize, this idea about how, like back to this book you’re writing that I can’t wait for, the things we wait for these contingencies, right? Like when I’m not as busy or when I retire, when the kids are outta the house, or, you know, don’t you think that many of us were just sort of afraid to start living like we mean it? Do you see that?

David: I see it more like people don’t know how, I don’t know if they’re afraid, and this is, could just be semantics. Are they afraid or confused or they don’t know how. But I think that it’s hard to define and I think that that’s what I really like about what I read, which is you’re not, you don’t just have a philosophy in your book. You have a process. And so there’s a lot more for the reader to do than just read. And so that must have been very intentional and to help people, if you want to call it uncertainty or not knowing how, or whether you want to call it fear. Yeah. This helps them get over the fear because it’s a process.

Jodi: Well thanks for noticing that. That’s probably the coach training beat into me about having there be a plan. I like the way you worded it. I do agree that the how is really the biggest stumbling block, I think there’s a quote about how  man is the only animal who needs to be encouraged to live. And, I’m terrible about remembering who actually said that — they deserve credit. But I think we, if there is a process, does it make it easier? Absolutely. Is there still fear about – cause I think for many of us, if it means changing a job or changing a relationship or changing where you live. We like homeostasis. cause it’s comforting even when it’s the comfort zone that’s smothery. I love comfort. Like, give me a fleece lined life and I am happy until it does feel a little like it’s constricting. And so it’s all the more reason why I think the work that we do together, independently, but it’s the same thing, is this notion of like, we do need encouragement. We do need to, you know, it’s more than jus, yeah, book the trip to go to the Croatian coast and make the time to do it. It’s also about, it’s okay to come outta your shell.

It’s okay to break your, your routine of being in your whole hum job that you don’t like, but somehow it’s comforting. Right? That’s just a bizarre feature of being human.

David: Let’s go back for a second to what you’re talking about with a fear. I’d like you to talk about that a little bit more in terms of, if you’ve got this dream that you want to do. This deathbed regret that’s coming and you want to stop it? What, what are people afraid of?

Jodi: Yeah. For many of us, there is a change that’s required to make that happen. So, I’ll use an easy example, which doesn’t require a ton of change. It’s just planning like. Oh, right, I do want to book that trip, but I’ve just been putting it off, putting it off, and wow. Now if I actually book it for the spring of 2025, what’s in the calendar? I’ll go, great. All I had to do was get my act together and book it. But some other things in life have implications and like my example of the stapler story about I am not happy in this job and I would, if I was on my deathbed today, I’d be kicking myself on all, all over for not making a change in this job sooner.

But we are afraid about what it’s gonna take to initiate the change. ’cause it will elicit all sorts of scary bits in us, right? What if I’m not enough? What if I don’t get hired? What if I’m not the cat meow in the next job? What if my status isn’t as high? What if, what if? What if we get caught by the traffickings of success? So that’s one example. Same thing about feeling like you might be in a going nowhere relationship. Or feeling like that, that niggling feeling many of us have is like, isn’t there more in life? Sometimes that will elicit, and this is getting big psychology here is the fear some of us have of, well, what if I make the change and I move to, you know, the, I move to Portland and my life actually isn’t feeling that much better.

It’s all that, all that it’s cracked up to be. You know? Or what if that thing doesn’t pan out and I don’t. Feel everlasting happiness. And so sometimes we’ll hold ourselves back because we’re, we’re outsmarting ourselves. Because we’re afraid that maybe we’ll be disappointed and we’re just trying to protect ourselves. And yet it does take courage. Courage to me comes back to the predominant theme in living a life worth living. Is it? What about you gave it a go anyway? What if you go to Portland? And you pack up and you get a place and you give it a go. And if it still isn’t doing it for you, okay, well then you might also need some therapy, but you might also need to do some other things that will require courage to, to move again, you know, or to try the next job or to, you know, go and try the next business that you want to launch.

’cause the first one, maybe it didn’t do it for you, and that’s okay. But life is a sort of sandbox to play in and try and have different versions and chapters rather than just. I’m sort of stuck.

David: Yeah. And I think that there’s the potential fear, the potential downside of something is more frightening than the reality of the, the disappointing life you’re living for whatever reason. And people can’t make that step. It’s interesting that you talked about the marriage because our most popular article is one about, it’s called “Jumping Ship, How to Get Out of a Dead Marriage”, and it’s popular I think because people are in this situation where they might not be happy, but they’re afraid.

This is the fear you’re talking about. They’re afraid of, you know, the financial security that they might lose. The community that they might have, the relationship with their kids and so it’s, it’s really, that’s where I really get what you’re talking about in terms of the fear.

Jodi: It’s such a good example and I love how you can back that up with that article. You’re reminding me of a line, my dad, I love him so darn much, and yet I just shake my head every time he says this line. The thing about, well, you know, half a loaf of bread is better than no loaf at all. Ooh, that takes my breath away ’cause that’s this notion of settling, right? Yes. And, and a life worth living, an astonishingly alive life as I profess, like the, the anti-squander free life is like not settling for long, you know, and Right. And that’s where, back to having that courage to, to give it a go to, try something that may in fact rattle you. And the discombobulation is not comfortable initially, but think about all the people that you know who have made some kind of life change. And they could be minor changes. Like sometimes, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s a minor change of like this is, we’re not talking about like breaking up a marriage and declaring bankruptcy and all this other stuff.

It could be about changing your routine so that I’m gonna go to the gym on Wednesday nights. And, but wait, like I like my routine and I don’t know how that’s gonna fit. Like these are just even the minor things that we do not like necessarily adjustments. And yet it just takes like people who have made minor and major changes.

I am going through, I’m scrolling before I say this statement out loud, I’m doing a little accuracy check. I think this actually fully fact checks that I can’t think of someone who is, who is regretted making, taking the plunge. Making the adjustment. If it’s in service of trying to live wider as I like to say, or deeper, then it, dare I say, I don’t know how we can really go wrong.

Because for most people, even if, like I said, you make the change, and I’m gonna go back to my fabricated Portland example. Even if you did the thing and you packed up and you went to Portland in pursuit of a life that you’d be proud of, and that just makes you feel more alive and you realize, the weather here sucks and you don’t want to stay then it’s funny ’cause that flavor of regret is far tastier than the flavor of regret you would have by not even trying to go to Portland at all. And so I really haven’t met people who’ve been like, I try to live wider and deeper in it sucked and I’ll never do that again.

David: Right. In fact, our managing editor who wrote that article had this opportunity, her husband got a job offer in Hawaii. She went through the fear like, do I want to do this? She went through a lot and, you know, her fear was, what if this doesn’t work out? And it didn’t work out and it was one of the best things she’s ever done. And it turned into this adventure and then other things happened.

So it was. It didn’t work out. And yet it just, like you’re saying, there’s no regret there. The regret might’ve been not going, and you know, of course that’s, that’s the stuff of college commencement speeches about people don’t regret what they did. They regret what they didn’t do, but it’s, it’s so true. That’s why it’s a cliche.

Jodi: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I like what you’re talking about. These are like the fabulous failures that like led your life onto the next course. That was really, like you said, an adventure. Or for some people I find adventure, it makes them squeamish. Okay. So just the next part of the path and chapter that they get to write, that’s part of the thing that leads them to the next thing that might edit and move on to the next thing. So, I love this. Yeah. You’re jacking me up over here. I’m excited.

David: I can’t wait to read your entire book, but I’ll, I’ll tell you something that I noticed you, so you, you gave me the introduction in the first chapter, I think, and so I went through it. But the, what struck me the most is I got to the end, and I don’t even know if you meant to do this, but you have all the references, all the citations at the end of the book, and in that pdf there are over 170 footnotes referencing articles, websites, and data that back up everything you write about. And I’m not talking like articles from People Magazine, you know, I’m talking National Academy of Sciences and American Psychologist. There’s a lot of there, there in that book, and I think that is so important.

Jodi: Thanks for, for saying that and noticing that’s the nerd in me that really does like to kind of dork out with it being something that, that feels substantial and, uh, is it necessary? No, I think we can talk at length for the rest of our lives about just the encouragement of it and the motivation of it, and. For some people I think that they do like that, you know, some, like, there’s a ton of research on regret. For example, you know, Dan Pink and others have done tons of work there.

And I love that. I love that we can draw on studies of how, how we behave to better our own course. Wait a minute, I want to be more like that, or I don’t want to be like that. I think that that’s useful.

David: Yeah. And so when someone signs up for one of your workshops or classes or coaching sessions. It’s not just a kumbaya bullshit kind of thing. There’s, there’s a real curriculum.

Jodi: Righto. Yeah. I, I’ve become enamored by this framework of thinking about living life. You know, not just longer, you know, longer might be great, but the idea about living wider and deeper and having ways to assess that and having ways then to act action, plan that so wider is correlated to living with more vitality, having more pleasure and experience and the fun stuff in life. The hedonic part of wellbeing and then living deeper is the dimension of having more of a sense of meaning and purpose and connection with others. A little bit more of it, what’s called Eudaimonic wellbeing.

And so when you can look at your life in a framework, I do find it very helpful to use that as a starting point to say. This is where I’m feeling super alive and like, well, the positive psychology practitioner in me is like, then do more of that stuff. If it’s already feeling alive to you, how do you turn the dial up? Great. And then I always call it diagnosing the dead zones. And so using the framework to say for example, you know, Hey, I feel like I have enough meaning in general my job, you know, provides meaning, but I go home at night and I’m just so bored. Or I have that feeling like I kind of want to be learning how to, I don’t know, do pottery or something, but I just am not doing it. I’m feeling bored. That’s been lacking in vitality. And then that provides a bit of a starting point to say, well then what would might be one thing you could start to do in the next, you know, 12 days of your life to do something about it.

Researching a class nearby you or watching YouTube videos to see, does it really jazz you up or is it, you know? So I do like the framework to help diagnose and then do.

David: So you offer courses, you offer workshops, coaching and stuff like that, I’d love to hear about some of the follow-up that happens with people after they’ve done it. And do you get these stories from people about how they did make a change?

Jodi: Oh, that is the reason why I’m living. Well, no, I mean, other than having a lovely husband and cat and so on, but that’s my professional reason for waking up is that it is through the feedback that, for example, in a recent workshop with a team, on the break, so we did a morning thing and we talked about living wider and deeper and possible regrets people might have…after the break, a woman comes back and announces to the rest of her team that she just registered for an intensive learn to speak Spanish like by going to Mexico. Like she registered, she booked the trip, she booked the plan. Everyone, of course is looking around and then of course it gets hyper competitive on that freaking team.

But anyways, so then they’re all registering, right there being, I just registered for the sketching class or whatever. But seeing like that’s all I need is that whole thing about if one person in a workshop does something that helps them to embrace life and suck the marrow from the bone and okay.

That like, then I’m like totally fine. Up until like, that takes me the plane ride home. I love it. Again, less one-on-one coaching, but as I do it. I get to see and experience, and I do use their stories with their permission without their names usually how they are using their own, like our conversations and plans to actively embrace life.

And, you know, again, this recent client I’m working with was very aware about how she’s putting her life on hold, using that language. And she, you know, had a pretty minor cancer scare a couple years ago that it ended up being fine, but that for her was a bit of an awakening point, which unfortunately, you know, many of us need that, um, near-ish death experience.

Like, like you, I’m familiar with your story near-ish to go, whoa, wait. It just helps put in perspective the, the finite nature of our days. But this notion of, I’m putting things on hold, but I know I don’t have a ton of time left and so I’ve done these five things — and some of them are as minor as like I reconnected on a text chain with a friend. They just, they just kind of fell off. ’cause that’s what we do. We get busy and we have good intentions, right. But reconnecting, booking a key trip to Montana and recommitting to like making a new recipe every, you know, month. Something fun that just uses the spices in the back of the drawer as just, these are minor examples.

But again, this is stuff that makes her and many other people feel like I am, I’m alive again. You know, I’m using my senses quite literally, especially if you’re dealing with cooking, that I’m experiencing things. I’m getting more out of my days than I was before. ’cause all I had to do is become conscious that I wanted more and make a plan to do it right.

David: Yeah. No, that’s great to hear. So I was excited to talk to you and ask you questions, but was there anything that I didn’t ask that you’d like to talk about or do you have any questions for me?

Jodi: Oh, great question. Well, maybe a two-parter. Number one, yeah. In the sort of like the, the summation of this idea about, about death, like the countdown for you, your Bucket Age for me, how many Mondays do you have left. This idea of befriending the grim reaper? Not doing, as you said earlier, running with two feet away, but. Going towards that light not too far into the light, but like enough to, enough to kind of say, yeah, you know what? I need this constant reminder. And I, and I wish it wasn’t constant ’cause we’ve got better things to do, but we need to regularly remind ourselves, regularly do the countdown, regularly do the wow.

That’s right. I am not gonna be here forever. And in light of that, like what if I did have one year left, what would I do? We have to constantly play those mental games with ourselves. So go towards the grim reaper  — go buy the Grim Reaper a drink. I’m just super curious how doing what you do on the daily, um, how does it impact you personally?

David: I’ve got a bad answer for that, which is I need to do it more. And I come up with my own excuses and my own reasons I haven’t done more. And so I need to take my own advice in a lot of ways and I need to not refill another stapler. That’s kind of where I want to go with The Bucket and you know just jump in with both feet completely.

But it’s a constant reminder. You mentioned it in the book, the Memento Mori, that helps regardless of whether I actually do anything today. It’s a constant reminder to do something.

Jodi: Yeah. I, I love, thank you for your candor. And I, by the way, I’m looking right in your eye. I’m right there with you. ’cause I’m working on an article about how I’m just a raging hypocrite because like, there’s this funny notion that because we like to talk about this and encourage other people to live like we did and bucket list the rest of your life that somehow we’ve got it all worked out when like, right?

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I think part of the reason that we’re so passionate about this is because we know how. And fabulously human we are, that we keep going back to that, I call it a default setting back to the comfort or back to the autopilot. So we do this because we know we need it too, right? Yeah. So yeah, like high five to like being real. I mean, yeah. We, I need, I need the Momentum Mori reminders just as much as the rest of us, man. So we’re, we’re, we’re doing it for ourselves too.

David: That’s great. Um, so how can people find out more about “4,000 Mondays” and maybe order your book and where can they go?

Jodi: Thank you for asking. Pretty much.

Jodi: Well, thank you for asking. Everything can be found In terms of the stuff I do and blog and then the book has its own tab to be ordered. I think that you can only order a maximum of 29 copies on Amazon, which, you know, that’s limiting. But anyways it’s some all available there.

David: That’s great. Um, well thank you so much for talking with us. Thank you so much for talking with me today. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and it’s lived up to all my expectations.

Jodi: Thank you. This has been time well spent. So good.