Is life better because of you? Are you aware of how your own life is better because of others? A blog conversation between Robert V. Taylor and Ginny Hutchinson. Ginny is the Co- Author, along with Cathy Haffner, of BETTER BECAUSE OF YOU.
RVT: Since first reading Better Because of You, I have become more mindful about the relationships in my life. I’ve become intentional in telling someone that my life is better because of them. Is this what you hoped to create for your readers?
GH: Thank you for sharing how our book has impacted you. Our hope is that Better Because is a helpful reminder to readers about all seven facets of their life – health, wealth, wisdom, work, play, others & service. Depending on what areas may need tending or polishing, we’ve found our readers share varying viewpoints.
RVT: You say that the book is about making life “just a little better”. That’s quite a contrast from the books that promise to change or transforms lives. Can you say more about what “a little better” means to you?
GH: Cathy & I believe in taking life in small, bite size pieces. Taking one step at a time and focusing on small interactions each day, help make life a little better and gradually improve the quality of your life for you and for others. For example, as a mountain climber, I can easily feel overwhelmed in reaching a high peak. However, if I break it down into preparation, practice hikes, gradually get stronger climb and keep moving steadily toward the goal, I enjoy not only the view at the top, but the journey along the way. The same principles apply to life.
RVT: Was there some circumstance in your lives when you thought of this book with wisdom and hope for ordinary, everyday living?
GH: Cathy & I are self proclaimed “rat racers.” We’ve enjoyed a tremendous amount of blessings in our lives and both were Fortune 100 executives prior to founding Better Because. Each of us faced a time in our life when we could have either had – A Mid-Life Crisis or A Mid-Life Awakening. For me, it was hearing the His Holiness The Dali Lama in Seattle speaking about compassion and action that struck me. After that moment, I vowed to re-think where I placed importance in my life decided to gain a more balanced approach. A similar epiphany struck Cathy during a similar timeframe. As it turns out, we quit our jobs on the same day, and from our long-standing friendship of 25 years, decided seek ways to inspire ourselves and others.
RVT: Who was the first person to tell you that their life was better because of you? How did it impact you?
GH: The first person who mentioned their life was better because of me was my friend, Aaron. He’s a close and cherished friend and sent me a note immediately after we published our book. He purchased 25 books and explained how he wanted to spread his appreciation not only to me, but other friends and colleagues in his life. Since then, Aaron’s bought over 100 books and says he gets more joy back with every book he gives.
GH: There are three things that Cathy & I believe help fuel our spirit. Firstly, Happiness is contagious. Research has proven being around happy people helps you be happy. It’s that simple. Second, looking up. Looking up for us offers a new perspective – spirituality, faith, hope, Nature, and looking up to people we respect. Third, sharing Better Because … stories. By sharing why you are “better because” with someone else has a tremendous impact for you and them. Every time I do this with my family, friends, co-workers or students, I literally feel better!
RVT: As people respond to Better Because of You with stories of their own you are encouraging the art of storytelling and finding meaning and purpose in stories – our own and those of others. Has there been a story that has surprised you?
GH: One woman called and purchased a number of copies of our book for her ‘gift closet’. She planned to give our book to her nearest and dearest girl friends. A few days after later, she emailed me with a surprising story never expected. Her son, at college, called to say a close friend of his committed suicide and he devastated. At a loss for words, she remembered words of wisdom from Better Because of You and shared a poem on Death (page 26) by David Hawkins. The poem helped them grief together and hear comforting words to help them mourn their loss. Cathy experienced two sudden deaths of young people in her family. The section on Death has helped us both cope with losses in our lives.
GH: One of the stories that surprised me was a high school student who mentioned, “I’m better because of my hardships and struggles.” I thought this was quite insightful that she’s better because life is hard. She described recent athletic injuries she faced which were debilitating and how she now views life and her health with more appreciation than ever before. Remembering that life is a series of circles, spiraling up and down and that feeling down is okay. The key is to learn from the down or dark periods, which can often lead to higher highs!
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