Episode #278: Mitch Albom – Tuesdays With Morrie & The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-nine territories and in forty-five languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

His most well known book is Tuesdays With Morrie.  Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of Mitch’s time spent with his dying college professor (13 Tuesday’s), through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world. Now the best-selling memoir of all time,Tuesdays with Morrie began as a modest labor of love to help pay some of Schwartz’s medical bills. Today, the book has sold 16 million copies in more than 50 editions around the world.

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“Giving makes me feel like I’m living.  Taking makes me feel like I’m dying.”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of sustaining excellence:
    • Humility
    • They contribute to the world – “Morrie did the bravest thing I’ve ever seen.”
    • Howard Schultz – The last person in line to get a book signed.  After all of his employees
  • “Some of the greatest performers I’ve ever met are painfully shy: jazz musicians, Barry Sanders, Joe Dumars.”
  • Tuesdays With Morrie – “He was my college professor.  I had not talked to him in 16 years.  I saw him on TV talking about having ALS.”
    • Morrie – “I’m a teacher. That’s what I do.”
  • Why was it so popular and shared so much?
    • “Death ends a life but not a relationship”
    • “You can live within the hearts of people you help/touched.”
    • “You have to make time for those relationships while you’re here.”
  • “I write about living.  Death informs everything about how we live.”
  • “I try to write about reflecting on life.”
  • Why this theme?
    • “I liked listening to stories from my uncle growing up.  His World War 2 stories.”
    • “I spent so much of my youth myopically focused on career success.  For many years I thought how far can I get?”
    • “I wanted to explore what makes a better life?”
  • Supporting 47 children in Haiti — Taking two to college now.
  • “Giving makes me feel like I’m living.”
  • “Taking makes me feel like I’m dying.”
  • Being part of Sports Reporters on ESPN
    • Writers are critical thinkers and can be good on TV when thinking deeply
  • Core pieces of advice:
    • Be humble
    • Be curious – Ask questions
    • Don’t lose self in the field you choose.  Life can be brief.
    • “Find out who you are and what you value, and do that.”
  • Advice from a security guard:
    • Read the best books
    • Listen to the best music
    • Observe the best art
    • Surround self with the best people – Osmosis
    • Immerse yourself with what you value
  • The Learning Leader Circle — Apply
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document

I wanted to explore what makes a better life?”

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