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Carpe diem. Seize the day. These words are easy to say, but how do you do it? Grand gestures or huge acts of service can seem overwhelming. You get stuck in your head and wind up not doing anything.

Thankfully that’s not the case. Small actions can make a tremendous impact in your life and the lives of those around you.

In this episode, mindset and business coach Kevin Breeding and I discuss why the little things are a big deal, the importance of authenticity, and why you should take risks in life.

Show Highlights Include:

  • How misguided ideas about seizing the moment cause you to miss out on what’s most important (2:07)
  • How to seizing the moment helps you create lasting family relationships (2:25)
  • Why “tiptoeing” through life only leads to deathbed regret (4:28)
  • Why overlooking the little things drains your life of meaning and impact (6:30)
  • How to meaningfully connect with your loved ones, even if you’re halfway across the world (7:04)
  • Small ways to make a huge difference in your community (9:40)
  • Why the scariest goals are the only ones that get you what you want out of life (12:03)
  • The profound life lessons you can learn from senior citizens (12:51)
  • How to crush overwhelm when confronting your biggest goals (14:00)

Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Click here to get the first chapter of Dr. Rick’s best-selling book, Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout, for free.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to “How You Living?” a transformative podcast featuring best-selling author, inspirational speaker and minister, Dr. Rick Rigsby—and, now, Dr. Rick.

Dr. Rigsby: Hello, everyone. Dr. Rick here. Thank you for joining us on this particular podcast episode of How You Livin’? I am always grateful when I have my guest, Kevin Breeding, in the studio. Kevin is a great speaker, incredibly successful entrepreneur, and a corporate coach all over the world. Kevin, thank you for having time for us today.

Kevin: Man, it's good to see you, Rick. Good to be here.

Dr. Rigsby: I always love it when Kevin comes. He's a recurring guest, and you will discover over the next few minutes that this man has a tremendous amount of wisdom. Guess what we're going to talk about today? [01:01.9]

Kevin: I want to hear.

Dr. Rigsby: What if I were to tell you that in the same paragraph, I'm going to put the late great Robin Williams’ character with the great poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Kevin: Okay. Right, I’ve got to hear this.

Dr. Rigsby: It's about seizing something. Back in the ’90s, a great movie came out. It was a phenomenal movie called Dead Poets Society. I know that the majority of folks have seen it. If you haven't, just imagine a teacher that inspires like nobody's business, and he would say this phrase over and over, “Carpe diem. Carpe diem.” Seize the moment. Seize the day. Seize the opportunity. Years earlier, Ralph Waldo Emerson said an opportunity missed is an opportunity lost.
We want to talk today about seizing the moment. Kevin, some initial thoughts.

Kevin: I think one of the challenges that so many people fall into whenever they think of seizing the day or seizing the moment, they think that that means that it has to be something big or something grand. That actually kind of psyches us out and we miss the opportunity that you can seize something that might feel small, but it's important. [02:14.2]

Dr. Rigsby: That's really…

Kevin: Yeah, a great way to do that is for your spouse or for your kids, you make sure that you seize the moment that they never walk out the door in the morning before you hug them and say I love you.

Dr. Rigsby: Wow.

Kevin: Just the power of that every single day, it may feel like a tiny thing. You may think they don't want to get a hug, they don't want to have that interaction with you. They do and they'll remember it forever. So, it doesn't have to be big. It just needs to be important and it needs to be important right now.

Dr. Rigsby: You really add a great perspective because there is real power in getting some wins in those small moments of life. Your thoughts cause me to think about somebody I met a week ago. They had lost a child. This person was born with a birth defect, struggled all through their lives, made the best their lives, and the child died as a teenager. [03:01.9]
I was talking to the mother and the mother said, “These days, here's my goal, to get up, to brush my teeth, to make my bed and to put one foot in front of the other.” Is that not seizing the moment?

Kevin: Yeah, you know what? It absolutely is and that's where you have to remember that it is the important things that you have to pay attention to. For her, it's that healing, and every one of those days, that first step will get a little bit easier and a little bit easier and a little bit easier, and that is both us growing through it and also some grace being applied. I mean, you know from just your own personal house, it's something where the critical detail that you've got to remember is that you never stop moving forward.

Dr. Rigsby: Yeah, that's a good point. Let's expand this just a little bit with a quote from one of our great guests and one of our dear friends, Dwight Edwards. Dwight Edwards made this comment once as we think about seizing the moment and it's firmly planted in the back of our minds. [04:03.8]

Dwight Edwards said that most people live quiet lives on their way to a certain death. Actually, he said it this way. Most people tiptoe through lives on their way to a certain death.

Kevin: Wow.

Dr. Rigsby: That's a life that doesn't sound like a lot of seizing is going on. My question to you is this. Why do we not seize moments? Are we scared? Are we fearful? What's the deal?

Kevin: I think part of it is that we get scared or we’re uncertain, but I also think it comes back to this idea of thinking you only seize something that's big or great. I'm reminded, you know my wife, Susie.

Dr. Rigsby: Yeah.

Kevin: And I lovingly refer to her as “The Smoking Hot.” I decided when we married, and this was both of our second time around, that I wanted the marriage to be different, to be better, and that's a big, huge goal. But the way that we decided to focus on that is at least once every day, finding a way to communicate to her in a special way. [05:08.2]
It doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be flowers. It doesn't have to be a big, long love letter. It's just a little something every day that says, You are important and I am here.

Dr. Rigsby: That is so good. I couldn't help at the time of this podcast. We've just watched the celebration of life for all those folks that died on the helicopter with Kobe and Gianna Bryant, and during the emotional celebration of life ceremony at the Staples Center.

One of the things that Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant's widow, said about her daughter affectionately known as Gigi, is that Gigi would kiss her mother every morning and would kiss her mother every night. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it sure is now. And one morning Vanessa Bryant woke up and texted Gigi and said, “Did you forget to kiss your mother this morning?” and Gigi’s text back was “I kissed you while you were sleeping and I didn't want to wake you up.” [06:09.6]
You talk about seizing a moment in a little way that now, with Gigi in heaven with her father, Kobe, has to be a healing huge moment, and what you're talking about is this. Little things can have such a huge impact, can’t they?

Kevin: Totally. The thing is that it has to be genuine. It has to be authentic. It has to be heartfelt.

Dr. Rigsby: Yeah.

Kevin: There are days, because I know your travel schedule is crazy, but there are times where in the morning where I'm just in sort of quiet meditation and reading. I'll just be prompted to say, I need to encourage Rick today, and so I'll just grab my phone and say, Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're well and I hope you're safe.

Dr. Rigsby: Yeah, and that means so much.

Kevin: And it's important to just kind of keep, especially to the folks that are in that inside trusted circle that you really want to go out of your way to create little moments of authenticity. It’s that seizing. [07:02.5]

Dr. Rigsby: Little moments of authenticity. Are you up for a challenge? We didn't talk about this before. Let's do something. Let's give our audience some examples of little moments of authenticity, and I'll do one and then you do one. You want to go for it?

Kevin: All right, shoot.

Dr. Rigsby: All right, so imagine this, friend. Here's one. I love getting a handwritten letter where somebody has to look up my address or somebody actually has to lick a stamp and put it on an envelope, or somebody thinks about me in that way, and I probably get maybe one, maybe two, maybe three a year. That is something that is so doable that speaks volumes when compared to a text or an email. Your turn.

Kevin: I go back to the Smoking Hot. We have a phrase that we use and it's not every day, but it's often, and it's just a simple text that simply says, How might I serve you today? [08:02.1]

Dr. Rigsby: Wow.

Kevin: And it doesn't even mean that I need anything, but it's that she's asking. She's saying in all the business that she's got going on, How can I make your day better? That's powerful.

Dr. Rigsby: That's good. Here's one. I want you to look around your neighborhood, friend. Look for a need. Look for a need, and especially perhaps a need from somebody that may be struggling to meet that need. I'm thinking right now of a fence that you can see that needs to be painted. I'm thinking about somebody perhaps in your neighborhood that’s maybe elderly.
Let's stick with that latter one. Let's say there's somebody in your neighborhood that is elderly. What about buying a bag of groceries, placing it on their porch, ringing the doorbell and running away, so they have no idea who it is? Does that fulfill your criteria of a moment that captures the essence of what you were saying? [08:59.8]

Kevin: Absolutely. I mean, it could be as simple as, and I know this happens fairly frequently, that you're in the line at Starbucks for coffee and you just say whatever the total is on the card behind me, put it on my card, too, so that way when that person drives up, you're already gone.

Dr. Rigsby: I love it.

Kevin: And you just have a way to say, You know what? I don't even know you, but I want you to have a great day.

Dr. Rigsby: I love it. I love it. How about this, folks? How about just randomly looking at somebody the next time you have breakfast, just looking around the restaurant and telling your waitperson, That couple there, that man there, those teenagers there, bring me their bill and don't tell them who it is. Give me another one.

Kevin: It's an interesting one. Here, recently, Susie and I have started taking ballroom dancing lessons.

Dr. Rigsby: How fancy.

Kevin: So that when we do it on a Friday night, so we go to a restaurant afterwards, it's one of our favorites here in town, and we've decided that we're always going to sit in the same section. So, the bartender that's working in the sort of bar area comes over and we've learned his name, and we remember and speak to him specifically from the last week when we’ve been there. [10:02.1]

Dr. Rigsby: Oh my goodness.

Kevin: Just that little action, he didn't even have to introduce himself. We'll just say to him, calling by name, How has your week been?

Dr. Rigsby: Wow, I like that.

Kevin: Just that little action.

Dr. Rigsby: This is for all you college students, my next one. Our youngest child just started college this year and he was home for the weekend. Now, when he first started college, he came home way too much and now he's completely gone to the other end where we never see him. And so, you can imagine our delight when he came home for the weekend and I said this to our son. I said, “Daddy needs you to call me at least once a week. I don't care where you are and I don't care where I am. Will you do that? I need to know that you're okay. I need to hear your voice.” And he goes, “Sure, Dad, I will.” That's a moment. That's a moment.

Kevin: Yeah, that's the thing that I think is important. If you stop and you're trying to come up with an idea, rather than trying to out-think the next thing, you just ask yourself, What would be important to me? What would be meaningful if somebody just said, I see you. I hear you. I understand where you are? [11:10.2]

Dr. Rigsby: Yeah, absolutely, and so I think that we have given people some real things to think about that seizing the moment doesn’t necessarily mean big. Oftentimes, it's those small little moments that really count.

Now, let's say you want to do something big. There's nothing wrong with that and I give you this as a moment in time that blew me away. I remember watching the American that has logged the most days in space, over 300, and she splashed down sometime early in 2020, and when they interviewed her, this is what she said. “Pick a goal that scares you. Do something that scares you.”

I've been thinking about that. I'm not ready to publicly say what mine is, but you talk about carpe diem, you know what? Here it is. Whether it's big or small, Kevin, do it. Go for it. [12:09.5]

When I go to visit people and senior citizens facilities, senior and adult living centers, I usually encounter two types of people, true story, either people that are thrilled and excited and happy about life, or people who are angry and frustrated and down over what they perceive to be unwarranted, unmerited circumstances. And I will ask myself often, Rick, which one do you want to be? Right?

I've never in all the times that I've gone to visit people that are about to go home about to pass away, I've never heard anybody say, Man, I am so glad I went for it. This is what I hear people saying. I wish I would have done more. I wish I wouldn't have been more scared. You know what they're saying? I wished I would have seized more moments. [13:04.3]

Kevin: Yeah, completely. I always look at it this way. With big goals, with giant dreams and things that you want to do, you want to have those things. You want the things that scare you, but you always go at it with a glance in the morning and then come back to the process. What do I need to do today that gets me from here to there, from here to there? Because that swing for the fence all at one time, it's such a lightning strike of a chance that all happens at once.

It's always the phrase that says success is where opportunity meets hard work and you've just got to have that opportunity where you are doing everything you can do that day to make it a reality, but recognize that it's days of success one after another that ultimately get you to the big goals.

Dr. Rigsby: Bradley Cooper was in this movie a few years ago titled Burnt. I don't know if you saw that movie.

Kevin: I remember it.

Dr. Rigsby: He's trying to restore his life. It's a movie of redemption and you have this unbelievable Michelin-trained chef. I mean, he is a Michelin chef, award-winning. There was a line in there that somebody shared talking of Bradley Cooper's character and the person says, When people eat your food, don't you want them to eat it? And he goes, No, I cook so that people can stop eating.

What if you were to find a moment big or small? I like the small ones actually. But what if you were to find a moment that would cause you to stop eating, that would cause you to lose your focus momentarily, that would cause you to wake up at 2:30 in the morning, that would cause you to go, Whoa, this is something else? I mean, it's those moments, Kevin, right?

Kevin: Yeah.

Dr. Rigsby: And when we get so busy, and I think point you've been driving this entire podcast, when we become disillusioned by the fact that it has to be grandiose, that it has to be big, we tend, I think, to squelch the power and the adventure and the value of those little moments. [15:10.2]

Kevin: Correct. Yeah, if you don't think of it in daily moments, you end up condemning yourself, because you're looking at how far away from your goal you actually are when, in reality, the way to get to that goal is to focus on how far you’ve come since yesterday, how far you’ve come since last month, since a year ago, and paying attention to your progress, not the distance left to go. That's the successful momentum as to how you can seize the moment and ultimately the day.

Dr. Rigsby: Friends, I promise you, this is not a lecture by L. Ron Hubbard on metaphysics. Trust me on that. But what we're trying to do is trying to help all of us capture a moment every day that adds value to our lives. That's really what we're trying to do, seizing the moment, seizing the day and realizing that, from time to time, those moments will be big. For the most part, those moments are going to be minute. They're going to be small and it's really up to us. [16:10.4]

I have to share this with you. I know we're just about out of time. It's 17 minutes now, but here's what I would encourage. I would encourage my students at Texas A&M to do this and they wouldn't look at me in a strange way, but I would still have a smile on my face.

Why is it that we walk through the puddle when we're kids and avoid the puddle when we're adults?

Why is it that every meal, we eat? Can't we dine once in a while? I've been with prisoners who have learned how to dine in confinement because they're free.

Why is it that we depend on some clown in a closet in Chicago to write our mother's day card for our mom when we have this wisdom and this imagination? [17:00.0]
Seizing the moment can literally transform our lives and it can be done, like you have said today, in very small ways. Kevin.

Kevin: I think that's the takeaway. It is to look for the important. Look for the authentic.

Dr. Rigsby: Yeah.

Kevin: That's where the real strength and power is.

Dr. Rigsby: Look for the important and look for the authentic. That's where the real strength and power is.
I hope our four boys are listening to this podcast because their mother, my wife, insists on a homemade card every Christmas, every birthday, and every Mother's Day. To all of you, seize the moment.
Brother, Kevin, you are great. Your insight is invaluable.

Kevin: Thanks. Thanks for allowing me.

Dr. Rigsby: I just feel so encouraged, I want to do something in a small way that has power and that has value, and so thank you for enlightening us.

Kevin: I’m glad to be here.

Dr. Rigsby: And this is Dr. Rick. Before I go, where can people find you? [18:03.1]

Kevin: Thanks. The easy thing is you go to KevinBreeding.com, and for all your listeners, just because I want to do a special gift of appreciation, you go to KevinBreeding.com/Rick and there's a little free course there, and it’s sort of some mindset tools and things that you can use to help reset your day.

Dr. Rigsby: That's awesome, brother.

Kevin: Cool.

Dr. Rigsby: Thank you, Kevin.

Kevin: Thanks.

Dr. Rigsby: This is Dr. Rick thanking you for joining us today and asking the most important question I can ask of you this day, and that question is how you livin’? We'll see you again soon.

Are you ready to make an impact in your world right now? Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Dr. Rick wants to give you the first chapter of his bestselling book, “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout,” absolutely free. Just go to www.RickRigsby.com/FreeGift to get the print or audio book right now.

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