About Mark Smith
Mark Smith “Curator of a Bigger Vision Within,” Mark Smith specializes in speaking from his personal experience of trials and tribulations in life.
Smith served as Vice President of the Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association and was a former Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment facilitator for the Department of Labor. In those previous roles, he used his gift of sharing words of perseverance and helped individuals push forward through adversity.
Currently, he is a nationally acclaimed award winning STRIVE (Support Training Results in Valuable Employees) trainer at the Center for Urban Families in Baltimore.
With his podcast “The Process,” he outlines and breaks down SITUATIONS we all go through and offers insight on methods to weather the storms in life. Known for his clever use of acronyms within his messages, Smith gives listeners a way to remember key points as we GROW FORWARD. Mark’s vision statement of “Your Why is Greater Than Your Situation Which is Part of Your PROCESS,” gives us the perspective that we are always GROWING.
- Comfort is the Casualty of Growth 04:37
- Words Lie, Actions Lie, Consistency Doesn’t Lie 07:19
- Building a trail is good for you. 11:43
- Know the difference of circle vs cage 18:08
- Being busy doesn’t mean being productive 21:53
- I thought equals I’m wrong 25:06
- What is a laugh? 27:32
- Rain is the greatest of all weather events 30:26
- What is FREE 33:15
- TIME 38:12
Mark Smith – I thought, equals, I’m wrong
[00:00:08] Diana White: Hello? And welcome to 10 Lessons Learned, where we talk to leaders and luminaries from all over the world to dispense wisdom for career, business, and life in order to make the world wiser lesson by lesson.
[00:00:23] Diana White: My name is Diana White, and I am your host for this episode.
[00:00:26] Diana White: Our guest today is Mark Smith. Curator of a bigger vision within Mark Smith specializes in speaking from his personal experience of trials and tribulations in life.
[00:00:38] Diana White: Smith served as Vice President of the Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association and was a former re-employment services and eligibility assessment facilitator for the Department of Labor.In those previous roles, he used his gift of sharing words of perseverance and helped individuals push forward through adversity.
[00:01:01] Diana White: Currently, he is a nationally acclaimed award-winning STRIVE, which is Support Training Results In Valuable Employees trainer at the Center for Urban Families in Baltimore. With his podcast, The Process, he outlines and breaks down situations We all go through and offers insight on methods to weather those storms in life.
[00:01:24] Diana White: Known for his clever use of acronyms with his messages. Smith gives listeners a way to remember key points as we grow forward.
[00:01:33] Diana White: Mark’s vision statement of your why is greater than your situation, which is a part of your process, gives us the perspective that we are always growing.
[00:01:45] Diana White: Welcome, mark.
[00:01:46] Mark Smith: Thank you Diane. It’s a pleasure. Pleasure to be here with you today.
[00:01:50] Diana White: I’m excited to have you here. Oh, I will tell you this, I use acronyms ad nauseum. I love analogies, I love acronyms. And as soon as I saw that about you, I was like, okay, this is gonna be a great episode.
[00:02:05] Mark Smith: it helps paint a picture, you know, from my perspective and, you know, we’ll talk about.
[00:02:10] Mark Smith: Sure. When I first got started, I said, dare to be different. So let’s just.
[00:02:13] Diana White: There you go.
[00:02:14] Mark Smith: Let’s just set. Just there to be different.
[00:02:16] Diana White: Dare to be different. So I’m gonna do something different right now. Well, it’s different for you, but our listeners and viewers know, what would you tell your 30 year old self?
[00:02:27] Mark Smith: We only got a short amount of time. I would just tell, I, I would, Tell, young Mark to take the blinders off. I truly believe the weight of the world comes at the feet of our elders. And instead of thinking that you know the world the way that it should be done, listened to those who’ve walked before you because they’ve set the path, they set the stage, and they really don’t want you to make mistakes.
[00:02:52] Mark Smith: just listen more, listen more,and talk less. Would probably definitely be something that I would tell the, the 30 year old mark.
[00:03:00] Diana White: I think that stems from, I don’t know if you had this growing up in your family, that whole children should be seen and not heard, you know? Yeah. some of that.
[00:03:09] Diana White: there’s a nugget of truth in that because if you listen more, You learn what the elders are talking about,I love that.
[00:03:17] Mark Smith: That’s for sure. I would listen to, you know, I’d go back and think about when I was a kid, I would listen to my father, who was a huge Cleveland Brown fan.
[00:03:25] Mark Smith: Him and his friends would be in the basement, and I would park myself right before at the Landing to listen to everything that they said. And I find myself now, when I write and when I speak, I think about, I tell stories that equate to some of the things, the lessons that they were. subliminally saying and want me to hear and engage and kind of, make life a little bit easier for me.
[00:03:46] Mark Smith: But so definitely take those blinders off, take the earplugs off, and just really pay attention and apply.
[00:03:52] Diana White: And, and I would say for our listeners and viewers that are maybe of a, of an age where you’re, you really, I feel like it doesn’t matter what age you are, you still have some elders to listen to, but
[00:04:05] Diana White: if you’re of a certain age and you’re trying to figure out what do they have to teach me, I know in my personal experience, there are many times where I listened, I just put in the back of my mind, I cataloged it. And then something happened and that lesson came back forward and it just clicked and it was full circle.
[00:04:24] Diana White: So give it a chance. Don’t discount it, file it away in the back of your brain. I’m not gonna date myself by using the word Rolodex, but file it away. You never know when it may come back. Well, let’s get started with those lessons.
[00:04:37] Lesson 1: Comfort is the Casualty of Growth
[00:04:37] Diana White: Lesson number one. Comfort is a casualty of growth.
[00:04:43] Mark Smith: Man, I believe that we all, we’re creatures of habit for all intents and purposes. We, you know, I always say that, I get dressed the same way. I drive the same way to work. I pretty much have a routine or a pattern or what some people call a habit. I used to tell everybody all the time if a sniper wanted to get me, they know how they find me on the way to work.
[00:05:06] Mark Smith: They know which way I’m going, the time that I’m going, you know, because we all do that. But there has to come times in life where we do things a little bit different or, I like to say things happen in life to, to make us do things different. And I always equate that to, back in 2018 when I was a career development specialist working for a nonprofit school.
[00:05:28] Mark Smith: and I did the traditional, things. A normal day went in and, give a message to the guys and girls who are getting ready to graduate and go on to their careers. And I come back into my office and hear my, my, campus president knock on my door and tell me, I, I need to see you. And like all of us, man, you know, we get that rush in our heart thinking we’re gonna get fired.
[00:05:48] Mark Smith: What did we do? What did we do wrong? And
[00:05:50] Diana White: This is it.
[00:05:52] Mark Smith: Yeah, this is it. So, you know, we go into the office and we find out that, they’re closing the school. They announced right then and there that the school was closing their doors, but not just in, in three weeks, four weeks, a month, a year. They’re closing today.
[00:06:05] Mark Smith: So I, I got, yeah, I got so comfortable in my position that I quit growing. I quit learning. I got complacent and that was the wake up call that I needed,to do, to go on to, to do some other things, to challenge myself, to reinvent myself, to move from, you know, move from stagnation to progression.
[00:06:24] Mark Smith: So, yeah, sometimes when we get too comfortable, it’s time to kind of force ourselves to grow, force ourselves to do something different. So we maintain that edge and we stay sharp for whatever comes our way.
[00:06:36] Diana White: I love that. I love that. I think about how when I talk to founders and I teach them how to do a SWOT analysis, w S W O T, and I always talk about the fact that, strengths and weaknesses are internal opportunities and threats are external. And I think with a lot of us, what seems to happen is we do the work, we get the education, we market ourselves, we get the job, and then we go. I used my strengths to succeed, and then we forget that we really need to assess those opportunities and threats on a regular basis.
[00:07:12] Diana White: For our personal and professional lives. Right. For growth. And so that, when I read that lesson, that resonated for sure.
[00:07:19] Lesson 2: Words Lie, Actions Lie, Consistency Doesn’t Lie
[00:07:19] Diana White: Lesson number two. I love this one. Words lie, actions lie. Consistency doesn’t lie. I’m wanna read that one again. Words lie, actions lie. Consistency doesn’t lie.
[00:07:37] Diana White: Talk to me about that.
[00:07:39] Mark Smith: Well, I had to learn a long time ago through, through the blessing of my grandfather that. You have two options. You can either show up or you can be all in, be present in the situation. And so many times I’ve found in the younger Mark, the 30 year old Mark, I um.
[00:07:58] Mark Smith: I did what I just needed to do to get by. I said the things that I needed to do just to appease me. I talk a lot today about living transformational versus the way I used to live as being was living transactional. So I talk, you know, I go back and think about the things that I said and did just to get the things that I wanted.
[00:08:17] Mark Smith: How is it gonna benefit me? And then I did, then I took it a step further. I said, but wait a minute. I can do something for you. And I’m still gonna get what I want. So I can tell you that you’re great. I can tell you that I really love your product. I can tell you that this is the greatest thing in the world.
[00:08:34] Mark Smith: I can actually take your product and carry it around with me and put it on my desk and say, Hey, this is great. I love it. This is what such and such made, but am I truly being consistent in my messaging and any and everything that I do? Are you living a life of who you truly are? Or are you living a life for somebody else?
[00:08:51] Mark Smith: Not who you truly are. So I, you know, I talk a lot about that with the men and women that I facilitate and work with. I tell ’em, you know, you can show up at a job and you can get and tell them,your employer anything and everything they would wanna do, but your employer’s gonna be making sure every single day that you are gonna be consistent in what you do.
[00:09:10] Mark Smith: And my wife, used to laugh at me all the time when the first time I said this, she said, well, mar honey, what do you mean by words Lie actually, Just like consistently doesn’t lie. I said, I can tell you when you first wake up in the morning, you, your hair is phenomenal and you look beautiful. You wake up and you look just like Beyonce.
[00:09:27] Mark Smith: I can tell, I can go in and I get you a cup of coffee and say, you know what? I, because your hair looks so good, I’m bring you a cup of coffee and I’m going to get you flowers, my actions. But am I doing this every single day? To let her know that regardless of how her hair looks, she’s still beautiful.
[00:09:44] Mark Smith: No matter if I bring her a cup of coffee, bring her a cup of water, bring her a cup of juice, or honestly, and if I don’t bring her anything, she first wake up. My actions, but am I being consistent in who I am every single day? And I think that’s a lot, that’s a problem with a lot of people in life. they do what they need to do to get by, which I’m not knocking, that’s what anybody does, but we’re all gonna be measured on the consistency that we have, the consistency that we display.
[00:10:10] Mark Smith: My employers, individuals that know me, they know what they’re getting from Mark. Mark doesn’t deviate. He’s the same today, tomorrow. And to, I don’t get too high. I don’t get too low. I stay mid-range. and just to make sure that I can con, I don’t wanna say I can control, but I have a grasp on what I’m gonna have to deal with on a consistent basis.
[00:10:31] Mark Smith: So, yeah. And I, that’s all, that’s what that’s about for me.
[00:10:35] Diana White: And I’m glad that you brought your wife into it, right? Because I, if you hadn’t, I was gonna say, This is something that is for your professional life and for your personal life. That consistency should be across the board with everyone you interact with.
[00:10:53] Diana White: extremely important because I’ve seen a lot of instances where, There will be, spouses, partners of successful people, and that successful person portrays a personality and an image to the world. And that significant other, which for all intents and purposes, should be the most important person in that person’s life.
[00:11:17] Diana White: They say, that’s not the person that comes home to me. And that is heartbreaking. And so when I read that lesson, I was like, I hope that it, it applies to everything. It’s applicable to everything, and it sounds like you practice what your preach in every facet. So happy to hear that.
[00:11:35] Mark Smith: Thank you.
[00:11:35] Diana White: and you know what? Tell your wife Beyonce. She did wake up like this. That’s right.
[00:11:43] Lesson 3: Building a trail is good for you
[00:11:43] Diana White: All right, lesson number three. This one I love too. Building a trail is good for you. Now, I think that there are a lot of people out there that really don’t understand. They don’t understand what that means to build a trail. What is that? So tell me about it, Mark,
[00:12:01] Mark Smith: in I’m not gonna date my age, I’m just gonna say years ago.
[00:12:05] Mark Smith: many years ago. my first job, I worked for a organization in Columbus, Ohio called Youth Conservation Corps, Y C C and Diane, I want you to think about the concept of this. You had to, this was Aug July, late July, first part of August in the Midwest. So you can imagine the heat and hu not so much the heat.
[00:12:27] Mark Smith: Cause you know the humidity was off the charts. Yeah. So at 14 years old you had to volunteer and hope to be chosen to work outdoors for a youth conservation corporation. And I did it because I wanted to, not only did I want to be involved in and try to do something to give back from my community, but my coach, football coach at that time suggested that all of us do it.
[00:12:52] Mark Smith: All of us get in the habit of giving to working in the community and giving back. So they only selected 13 people to do it. My particular assignment was to take, go to a park. And they were building a walking trail that, for the public, a two mile walking trail, all they had gave us was a shovel, a rake, a wheelbarrow, and,some,calamine lotion.
[00:13:18] Mark Smith: That’s it. That’s it. That’s all you had. My, my point of why I bring that up and talk about building a trail is because we had to go through and clear a path. To build a trail in life. And that job taught me so much about what we do growing up, not so much building a trail or walking path. We are clearing brush, clearing debris, clearing negativity, clearing the things out of our life to help us live our best life.
[00:13:45] Mark Smith: And all of us build that trail or are attempting to build that trail of success every single day. It’s just how you How you embrace it, how you immerse yourself in this opportunity or the challenges that you have. Those trails are consistently being built within mentally and physically that we do every single day.
[00:14:04] Mark Smith: So I tell everybody that this, that at 14 years old was probably the most powerful, meaningful job that I had. Now, I, if I only I, I say you, everybody says, if you only knew then what you know now. That job really shows me,the power of one working together. Because all you had was the, well by the, it was 13 of us started, only six of us finished.
[00:14:26] Mark Smith: Wow. So the power working together, the power of relying on your brother and your sister to be there with you and the power of direction because you show blueprints. the supervisor only showed us one time, and then that was it. You need to get it done. And the power of perseverance, because you gotta do this every single day.
[00:14:43] Mark Smith: This was a six week job, and you didn’t get paid unless you completed the whole six weeks. So I did that every single day, six days a week, not five days, six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM every single day. And that’s the most valuable lesson that I, that. I learned in my life about clearing away negativity, clearing away obstacles, clearing away, different things or situations that we all go through in life to get to a better place mentally, physically, and spiritually.
[00:15:16] Diana White: And so, mark, in your opinion, how important is it? And at what age should a youth experience an epiphany like that? Should a youth go through something that challenges them? Like yeah, that it obviously has stayed with you to this day.
[00:15:36] Mark Smith: it goes to back to where they’re raised.
[00:15:37] Mark Smith: I, I would say that, you know, my father really worked until he passed away. He worked for 30 plus years at a manufacturing plant. You know, my mother is a educator at a, what was an educator, retired educator at a university, but they taught me the value of working.
[00:15:52] Mark Smith: You’re not gonna get anything free, nobody’s gonna give you anything but. Take advantage of the opportunities to, to learn something every job that you have. And I go back, you know, and I be, would be remiss to say that I got it then, you know, it took me till I was probably 40, 40 plus years old, 45.
[00:16:13] Mark Smith: Before, before, before I’m not ashamed to say I’m 58 years old. I’m proud to be 58 cuz there’s plenty of individuals, who aren’t blessed to make it that far. Yeah. so it took a while for me to really gravitate and say, Hey, you are learning something all along the way. But to answer your question, I would like, I think it’s value in all of our young people working 12, 13, 14, doing something that is teaching them the importance of the dollar.
[00:16:39] Mark Smith: Teaching them the importance of working hard, teaching ’em the importance. I mean, we, you always have to work together with somebody. No job is independent even as a C E O. You are depending on somebody else to get things done for your company to run. So you need to have the understand the value of working, working hard, consistency and n being able to push through when you really don’t want to.
[00:17:04] Mark Smith: Sometimes.
[00:17:05] Diana White: I agree. I, you know, I was 14 when I got my first job, and. Being that young and I don’t recommend that for everyone, even in my life. My daughter, I always told her I worked so hard so that you could focus on school. So I didn’t have her work when she was a teenager, but for me, I. it actually helped me shape my own personal work ethic.
[00:17:28] Diana White: You know, I, by the time some kids were getting outta college and getting their very first jobs, I had been working four years. And for me it was, I. I don’t care what you’re doing, I don’t care what you’re doing. I know my own personal work ethic because I have cultivated this for so long.
[00:17:46] Diana White: Gotten the feedback from leadership team members for so long. I already know what I bring to the table even at that early age. And so I do think that it’s important and even if it’s not a job, if it’s a project, if it’s a project that you’re working on with a team in school,I think kids need to be exposed to that early and often.
[00:18:07] Diana White: So I’m happy you said that.
[00:18:08] Lesson 4: Know the difference of circle vs cage
[00:18:08] Diana White: So, number four, know the difference of circle versus cage. Now I’m intrigued. Tell me.
[00:18:17] Mark Smith: it all starts with being, a person of self-esteem. You know, I’m, I talk a lot about the fact that I, although I played excelled and did very well in sports, I didn’t know who my own identity. So I relied on the praises and the accolades and the, self-assurance from others to make me feel good.
[00:18:40] Mark Smith: All along the way, these individuals really didn’t have my best interest in heart. They wanted something from me and or they were looking for looking, at me as a paw in their own game. And so often we find that we do things just to appease others because we want to be liked.
[00:18:58] Mark Smith: And it’s really not what that’s about. So I talk a lot about identifying, and I needed it. I needed to identify who is really in my circle, the individuals who gonna be there with me no matter what. And individuals who are in my cage, the individuals who are holding me back, the ones who don’t wanna see me prosper, the ones that are telling me things to do and I buy into it knowing it’s not gonna lead me down the path of progression only, rejection.
[00:19:23] Mark Smith: So, I, I. I, I had to learn that lesson the hard way, in high school and college and in my young adult years, you know, following the crowd, going with individuals who, I just wanted to be, with them. I felt accolade to say I associated with X, Y, Z when X, Y, Z really didn’t care about me and couldn’t care less about me.
[00:19:42] Mark Smith: So, I, as any message that I could tell anybody is truly understand that. Who is with you all the way. you’ll find out sooner or later they will uncover who they are and what their agenda is. But you know, the most important person that, you can love is yourself. The most important person you can love is yourself.
[00:20:02] Mark Smith: I tell everybody, a lot of times I ask a question, what’s the most valuable piece of furniture you have in your house? And guys and girls will tell me, man, my refrigerator, my tv. I tap the guys up. I know I love my TV too, but however, you know, I’ll tell ’em, you can in today’s technology, whatever, you watching tv, you can watch it on your phone.
[00:20:21] Mark Smith: Individuals will say, you know, their kitchen table. Well, you know what? You can eat on a box. You can eat on the floor. I’ll say the bed, you know, many of us have slept on the floor before. My point in telling them this or going through this exercise is tell ’em that the most valuable piece of furniture they have is their mirror.
[00:20:36] Mark Smith: Because once you look in the mirror, you can run from a lot of people, but you can’t run from yourself. So you have to build the self-esteem, the awareness to be comfortable and loving who you are, you, we’re all created and different. We’re all created unique, so it just has to get to that point. Tough.
[00:20:53] Mark Smith: But we gotta get to that point that we truly respect that individual man, female, who it is that we’re looking at when we first wake up in the morning.
[00:21:03] Diana White: I think that is one of the most powerful statements, if not in the show, at least in my episodes, because I know many people who spend a lot of money.
[00:21:17] Diana White: To have stuff around them that they can look at. In lieu of looking at the mirror, they don’t even wanna look in the mirror. They wanna look at the stuff, they wanna look at the cars in the garage, they wanna look at, you know, the game on a 90 inch tv. Mm-hmm.Everything to avoid looking in the mirror.
[00:21:35] Diana White: and it’s not because they don’t like what they see physically. Because usually, you know, if you don’t like what you see physically, that’s just a doctor’s visit away. Right?
[00:21:45] Mark Smith: Absolutely. That’s right.
[00:21:46] Diana White: It’s about looking into your eyes and Seeing worth.
[00:21:50] Mark Smith: That’s right.
[00:21:51] Diana White: That is amazing.
[00:21:53] Lesson 5: Being busy doesn’t mean being productive
[00:21:53] Diana White: Lesson number five, being busy doesn’t mean being productive. Woo. Doggy
[00:22:01] Mark Smith: Man. I, that, that’s a lesson that, that’s a lesson that, I think everybody needs to embrace. You can surround yourself with so much to do. Do you know there’s only 24 hours in a day and we pretty much can fill it up with so many things to just pick and choose our mind and pick and choose our way.
[00:22:19] Mark Smith: But really taking the time whether I’m, you know, I’m a big proponent of writing things down and I’m a processor, so I sit and really think about A. What am I, what do I want to do? B how am I gonna get there? C, what are the obstacles that are gonna come in my way? D, what happens when I get there?
[00:22:39] Mark Smith: What is my next move after that? So really putting things together, in a systematic type way versus being over here. I know I have to do this. I know I want to do this. I know I wanna go clean this out. I need to, I want to go do this. No, you have to be strategic about the things that you do. One of the greatest things that, that my dad used to always tell me all the time is, son, you better learn how to play chess and forget about the game of checkers.
[00:23:03] Mark Smith: And anybody that’s listening and everybody knows chess is a strategic game, you’re consistently making moves to get to the places and levels that you truly want to go. In the game of chess, of course, you’re going to try to capture, capture other person’s, king.
[00:23:17] Mark Smith: So just because you jumping around, moving around doing this, going there, doing that doesn’t mean that you’re being productive. If you can’t, at the end of the day, write down what, several tasks or even one single task that was not just not finished but completed. Big difference between finishing something and completing something if you can’t write that down.
[00:23:39] Mark Smith: And guess what? You’ve just been busy all day. You haven’t, you have not, made that effort to be productive and got the things done that you needed to get done.
[00:23:48] Diana White: All right. viewers and listeners, if any of you are humbled by this statement because you see yourself in this statement. Understand that Diana is right there with you.
[00:24:01] Diana White: I was humbled by this statement because I fall into that trap of, I, I feel like I’ve done so much. But all I was doing was being busy. Nothing was accomplished and I wasn’t being strategic. So everybody, I’m right there with you on that too. But once you know better, you can do better. We can change.
[00:24:22] Diana White: We can change.
[00:24:36] Affiliate Break
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[00:24:45] Diana White: Lessons Learned with Audible. You can find your favorite lesson while at home or on the go. Once again, that’s audible trial.com. slash 10 lessons learned all lowercase for a free 30 day trial. The link will be in the show notes.
[00:25:02] Diana White: Let’s welcome back Mark Smith and continue with lesson number six.
[00:25:06] Lesson 6: I thought, equals I’m wrong
[00:25:06] Diana White: Lesson number six. I thought equals I’m wrong.
[00:25:12] Mark Smith: Oh, man. Um,
[00:25:15] Diana White: Let’s go.
[00:25:16] Mark Smith: Oh, wow. growing up in, In the Midwest, football is huge. Ohio is a hot bed for football. And again, I was blessed to be a good athlete and able to play the game that I love so much. And coached for years after I got done, I had a one specific coach in little league football.
[00:25:35] Mark Smith: Little league football, right? Nine years old. 10 years old, named Wayne Mixon. Coach Mixon would tell us all the time that you need to understand in life where you’re going, understanding in life. Now I’m nine and 10 years old and I’m like, coach, I’m going to the restroom. coach, I’m going to McDonald’s after practice coach.
[00:25:56] Mark Smith: I’m going, that’s not what he meant. Yeah. And what he was saying to us is that you need to be sure. Of what’s going on. So when we would, in practice or anything like that, when he would ask us, well, why did you do that? what’s wrong with you? What were you, what’s going on? And we would say, coach, I thought, and he would cut us off immediately.
[00:26:14] Mark Smith: I thought equals I’m wrong. I thought you should know. And if you’ve done your homework and you’ve done your research and you’ve tested everything prior to, then you know what the next steps are in life. You know what you need to do. You know who you need to connect with. You know who your partnerships that you need to align with.
[00:26:33] Mark Smith: So having that type of thing, and I’m, I used to kill my kids, on that. But dad I thought … oh I know, dad. I know. I thought equals I’m wrong. I’m wrong. You’re right. You’re right. And they would turn a walk away, come back, you know, dad, here’s what I’m meant to say. Here’s what I know.
[00:26:49] Mark Smith: Here’s what I know. So again, it’s just that redirection of self-assurance. I’m making sure that you are truly thinking ahead and you have the knowledge and the foundation and, validity and things to back up what you’re talking about as well.
[00:27:02] Diana White: And I think I’ll add one more piece to that, especially when it comes to, you know, instilling this in your kids, it forces them to be a better communicator.
[00:27:12] Mark Smith: It forces them to think of other words than I thought. It forces them to use a robust vocabulary to get across to you their thought process. Sure does.
[00:27:24] Diana White: And that’s amazing. That’s amazing. I thought equals I’m wrong. I love it.
[00:27:32] Lesson 7: What is a laugh?
[00:27:32] Diana White: Lesson number seven. What is a laugh?
[00:27:36] Mark Smith: It is the the cleanser. It is what life is about. It’s about, you know, you can tell a lot of, a lot about a person in their laugh.
[00:27:46] Diana White: Yeah.
[00:27:47] Mark Smith: you can feel if they are, if they got a lot of stuff inside of them, you can feel if they truly are happy, carefree, you know, and I do that a lot.
[00:27:56] Mark Smith: I, you know, I’m a. Big joker, I’ll go tell somebody a joke and just listen. I, in the, one of the trainings that I do, I give the, some of the men and women a contract. And the contract is a joke contract. So every day they need to come in and they need to give me three jokes. I don’t care.
[00:28:14] Mark Smith: I, I tell you, you just need to gimme three jokes. And then what it does is it also makes, not only does it make me laugh, It puts them on task, but it makes everybody else in the room just lighten up and have a good time and just relax. So, I mean, a laugh tells a lot about a person and life is too short not to laugh every day.
[00:28:35] Mark Smith: there’s so much. So many things that we should, we take for granted that we can’t take for granted, because again, it’s about your own enjoyment and getting the best outta life that you possibly can. Now, has it always been my view, or have I always felt that way? Of course not. I’m continuous to work in progress.
[00:28:52] Mark Smith: We all are, you know, we’re all striving to get better. But one thing that I do know and I learned at, you know, at a relatively middle age, is that, man, if you can laugh, really laugh hard, All the time. It’s amazing. Think about this. what happens when you blow on a baby’s stomach? They gut laugh, right?
[00:29:13] Mark Smith: They gut laugh. that laugh is so amazing, that laugh just, they just turn beat red or blush or, and they can’t stop laughing. They’ll just keep laughing and laughing and it makes us laugh. That’s the type of laughter that we all need to have and experience at least once a day.
[00:29:29] Mark Smith: You gotta cleanse your body. You gotta cleanse your spirit. You gotta cleanse your mind and what better than a great laugh.
[00:29:36] Diana White: Truer words have never been said. I’ve always said laughter is the best medicine. and I’ve also said that, you know, when you talk about the differences in, demographics, I’ve had people tell me, Diana your, you’re humor.
[00:29:50] Diana White: Humor is a tad dark, but I believe. When you’ve gone through certain things As a community, a culture, a family. And if you can get through on the other side of it and laugh, somebody else may say, wow, that’s, how can you laugh at something that’s dark? But sometimes for me, it’s the sheer joy that I survived in that makes me laugh.
[00:30:14] Diana White: and if you’re a close, if you’re a close-knit family of friends or blood relatives, that laughter is shared and contagious. You know, that’s for sure. Oh, that was a very good one.
[00:30:26] Lesson 8: Rain is the greatest of all weather events
[00:30:26] Diana White: Number eight, rain is the greatest of all weather events,
[00:30:31] Mark Smith: Man.
[00:30:32] Mark Smith: We have an old saying, well I did an old saying, in Ohio and and it’s if you don’t like the weather, stick around, it’s going to change. I mean, everybody’s said it, everybody’s heard it and It rained it seems like. 60% of the year. Now, I, left Ohio and moved some other places and I realized that what it’s doing, what rain is doing is it’s truly clearing debris.
[00:31:01] Mark Smith: It’s trouble out of our lives. It forces us to sometimes sit still and pause Now. That can be deadly sometimes for some people sitting still because, you know, we all know sometimes when we’re not in the right place in mind, overthinking causes problems oror kills joy. But also rain does give us a time to collect our thoughts.
[00:31:26] Mark Smith: You know, there,Les Brown once said, when you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are. So it sometimes that just that moment for us to pause, let that rain come down, let our, let us regroup our thoughts, let it wash away the negativity sometimes that we have, let it give us a chance to get ourselves back together before the sun comes back up out, and we go back out with the sun with a smile on our face.
[00:31:52] Mark Smith: I embrace it. I used to, you know, I used to tell my wife all the time, I hated rain because I le I left Ohio. Move, moved to other places, then moved to Arizona for a while and we all know it. 13 days a year. 13 roughly 13 days a year, you gonna get some rain. Other than that, boo. It suns up. You no, four o’clock in the morning, boo suns up.
[00:32:11] Mark Smith: You don’t, you have no, you don’t see rain. Don’t really, don’t get to embrace the rain. So now back in the east Coast, Man, I love it when it rains. I get a chance to really unwind. I think of, you know, what is it, what are you teaching me, father? What are you telling me that I need to work on today?
[00:32:27] Mark Smith: what are you saying? What need to be cleansed or what, who can I share a message with to help them cleanse something that’s going on in their life? So rain is a great thing. We, embrace it, enjoy it, and utilize it to help clear your path as well.
[00:32:41] Diana White: I think it’s also sub subconscious too. I know I’m gonna have some viewers and listeners that comment and say, not me.
[00:32:48] Diana White: It’s not everybody. When I say this, that’s true. It’s not everybody, but I I’ve not found a person yet that even if they don’t like that it’s raining because it’s stopping their life. They love the smell. Aft when the rain starts after it stops. They love that smell,
[00:33:06] Diana White: it’s purifying. And I think that is not just air. I think that’s also within our soul too.
[00:33:13] Diana White: So you’re 100% right.
[00:33:15] Lesson 9: What is F R E E?
[00:33:15] Diana White: Number nine, what is F R E
[00:33:19] Mark Smith: I am,a great proponent and write again on acronyms. So I used free a as kind of like a, I don’t wanna say a coming out. But it’s also, it’s a statement. it’s really a statement. And I ask everybody, what is your definition of free. Being free? what is your true definition of being free? Is it financially free?
[00:33:40] Mark Smith: Is it a relationship free? Is it, you’re free to do whatever you wanna do? what is free? And then they, what I found out is that a lot of people equated to something. Versus themselves. So for me, I had to understand that free was finally releasing everyone’s expectation, finally releasing everyone’s expectation.
[00:34:03] Mark Smith: Being okay with being okay with me. Not worried about what you think of me, not worried about, anything else that’s going on. Being okay with understanding the principles of what I’m supposed to be doing. Understanding that it, you, what you do does not, is not gonna affect me. I have a mission.
[00:34:22] Mark Smith: I’m on a mission. I’m driven. I know where I need to go. And it doesn’t matter what you think about it, it doesn’t matter if you like it, it doesn’t matter If you don’t like it, that’s okay. You’re, you have the option to do it or you don’t. So not allowing anybody else to get into my ballgame that I don’t put in my ballgame not allowing individuals.
[00:34:42] Mark Smith: Quote unquote, in that cage again, allowed me to release everyone’s expectation. Finally, that’s free, and I hope that everybody is getting working on or on taking the appropriate steps to get to that point, or it doesn’t matter? you need to be comfortable and happy with the individual that you wake up and you see that’s free.
[00:35:05] Diana White: So, so I can share with you absolutely how much this resonates with me. So I’ve had trauma in my life. Who hasn’t, right? And it took me many years to get to the point where I can be in true happiness with myself. Without feeling guilt, because I always felt like, How can you truly be happy?
[00:35:30] Diana White: How can you truly be content when these things have happened to you? You should always carry that albatross, that cross. You should be carrying that. You shouldn’t have a moment of real joy or happiness because then you’re gonna negate everything that happened to you. And it took a long time for me to say that was then this is now, and I deserve.
[00:35:55] Diana White: To be happy. And content. And love myself. That was my freedom. That’s when I found my freedom. Series. It’s a powerful thing.
[00:36:03] Mark Smith: Yeah. I wrote a series, in the process, season three, and I called an entitled, the whole series of messages. Why Not me?
[00:36:10] Diana White: Why not me?
[00:36:11] Mark Smith: Why not me?
[00:36:12] Mark Smith: You know, I’ve gone through so many different things,in my life, you know, personally and professionally. And I’m speaking, you know, from myself, same as you. I’ve gone through so many things. So why, you know, why not me? Why don’t I deserve the happiness, the peace, the joy and love within, you know, I, you know, not again, I told everybody my age, 40 years, 40 years of my life before I can actually, what I say, sleep well.
[00:36:36] Mark Smith: 40 years. That’s a long time. That’s a long time. I mean, you asked earlier, what would I tell the 30 year old man, 30 year old was just waking up? 40 year. When I got the 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40. That’s when it set in. That’s when I realized, wait a minute. There’s some change. You need to remove that word transactional and move to transformational.
[00:36:58] Mark Smith: That is the only way, Mark, you are going to move into the latter part of your life, the latter part of your existence, and be the person who you’re called to be free.
[00:37:08] Diana White: Yeah. You know, that whole. That whole trope of a midlife crisis, right? I do believe something happens to you when you get to a point in your life where you realize, I’ve got less days ahead of me than I have behind me, right?
[00:37:22] Diana White: That’s right. there’s an epiphany that happens there. Does everybody go out and buy a sports car? No, not really. But that knowledge that you know, I can’t double, I can’t double my, when you’re 30, you can say, oh, I’m gonna live another 30 years. You know? When you’re 40, you may even be, I live another 40 years, right?
[00:37:42] Mark Smith: When you started to get past those I’m not living to a hundred and six, you know what I’m saying? who wants to really, who wants to?
[00:37:49] Diana White: Right. So, so I have got, there’s, there are no, there are not more tomorrows that I can say. I’ll. I’ll be the person I wanna be then. I gotta do it now.
[00:38:01] Diana White: And all of your lessons kind of lead to that. And I love it. And we’re gonna end, well not gonna end, but we’re gonna end on your lesson number 10, and I got another question for you.
[00:38:12] Mark Smith: Sure.
[00:38:12] Lesson 10: TIME
[00:38:12] Diana White: Lesson number 10, it’s not even a lesson, listeners and viewers, all it says is time.
[00:38:20] Mark Smith: I learned the most valuable lesson.
[00:38:22] Mark Smith: And I have a poster of it and I wrote a series on it on time, and I believe that time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. But once you lost it, you never get that 86,400 seconds. That’s what we all having in a day. 86,400 seconds.
[00:38:44] Mark Smith: You never get that back. So what are you doing with it every single day? How much do you appreciate the fact that you get to wake up? How much do you appreciate the fact that you get to,to open your eyes and see how much do you truly appreciate that you have a meal that you can eat? How much do you appreciate that you have an opportunity to.
[00:39:07] Mark Smith: to see somebody shake their hand or now we be a little careful still. We still covid still out there. How about right? But how much time do you really get, how much do you really get to appreciate all the things that you have had opportunity to do? I mean, you said it right there. I mean, I do. I do live by that premise that I got more years behind me than I do ahead of me.
[00:39:28] Mark Smith: So what am I going to do with it every day? I said, always said that I’m going to do three things. Impact, empower and and talk about positivity. That’s what I’m gonna do with my time and I ask everybody else to appreciate what you have. Cause it can be done. All of us know somebody that has been gone in the instant.
[00:39:45] Mark Smith: You know, you’ve had a conversation with somebody in the morning and that night they’re no longer with you. And I’ve experienced it with my father who passed away and literally 30 days after I seen him and we had the most amazing time in Las Vegas. So you need to really embrace the fact that 86,400, once you lose it, it’s gone.
[00:40:05] Mark Smith: It’s not like you can’t carry that over. You can’t go to, you can’t carry that over like a bank account. You can’t withdraw on it. You can’t do anything. It’s done. once that clock is over, it’s over. So embrace every moment that you have. Live it with peace, live it with joy, live it with the ones that you love.
[00:40:24] Mark Smith: Be happy about who you are, where you’re going in the direction that you strive to be, and just be the best that you can be while you have the time.
[00:40:33] Diana White: Whew. I have nothings kind, sir. I have nothing I that, that needs nothing. It just. Viewers and listeners play this back several times. Take the snippet, cut it, play it every day.
[00:40:52] Diana White: That was one of the most valuable lessons.
[00:40:56] Diana White: All right, so Mark, you’ve got some powerful lessons that you’ve brought us today, but with growth comes the shedding of old beliefs, old protocols, old systems. What if you had to unlearn.
[00:41:12] Mark Smith: That,
[00:41:13] Mark Smith: you always get a second chance. You, I’ve had to unlearn that you always get a second chance. you don’t get a second chance. Sometimes the first time is the most important time that you have. You cannot. Opportunities don’t come over and over again. Every opportunity should be treated with, like, it might be your last opportunity.
[00:41:37] Mark Smith: I ca I, I refuse to, believe or learn or embrace the fact that I’m gonna be able to do something next week. I can’t do that anymore. I have to pay attention to what’s in front of me with a plan of what do I want to do next. you know, my wife and I, we sit down once a month. Once a month, and we outlined, have we completed the goals that we wanted for the prior month, and what are we looking forward to?
[00:42:06] Mark Smith: We sit down in January, new Year’s Day. New Year’s Day. We sit down and we outline our vacations and what we’re gonna do for the year. When we’re gonna see our grandkids and we got grandkids in Texas, in Arizona, and in Florida. When are we going? You know, are we going for one? Cause we, you know, we wanna be fair.
[00:42:23] Mark Smith: So we may hit one, you know, one, for their birthday. Cause we can’t go to everybody’s birthday. You know, what vacation or what vacation are you or her? And I gonna take what, you know, we have two great friends. What vacation do we gonna, what are we all gonna do together one time? So it’s about embracing and knowing that, you know, you can’t.
[00:42:42] Mark Smith: Put things off anymore. You have to be intentional. You have to be direct, you have to be focused. You have to be driven. And it,you can’t wait anymore. It’s not gonna happen. you gotta be, I like to say the word intentional. You gotta be intentional and understand that, that tomorrow’s not promised.
[00:43:04] Diana White: So your wife, you and your wife, In the business of running your family. You sit down strategically, yearly, and quarterly to reassess. The direction and the goals for your business of a family. I really want people to understand how powerful that process and that practice is, because we do that.
[00:43:33] Diana White: For our lives, our careers, our education. We do all of that for, you know, if we’re in a job, every once in a while we’ll brush off that resume, reassess it, see if we need to update it. You know, if we are gonna go out there and find another job. How often do we go back to our household and sit down and intentionally with our family, say, let’s plan and strategize the year.
[00:43:58] Diana White: where have you been? You should have been one of the first guests kind, sir.
[00:44:02] Mark Smith: It’s made a difference. I all, I can tell everybody it makes a huge difference. It’s, it is. There’s direction, there’s planning, there’s purpose. I mean, we get up. No, we have a calendar that we have that we jot down how many days it is till we get to leave.
[00:44:16] Mark Smith: How many days it, you know, we know, right? Hypothetically, we’re going in February 13th, we’re taking a trip. You know, so we’ve been strategizing what, when we’re gonna do, how everything is gonna go, who’s gonna keep the dogs. I mean, all these things are outlined in planned. So you get a chance to enjoy life.
[00:44:35] Mark Smith: You get a chance to enjoy your vacation, you enjoy, regroup, recharge, reenergize, and just have fun. it, it just have fun. I would tell everybody life. It’s too short not to have fun, and everybody has the capability to do it in their own capacity. It doesn’t take a lot of money. And I’m gonna tell you, we’ve had some trips to where we hiking.
[00:44:58] Mark Smith: We’ve gone hiking, you know, and had the bo the best. That was a planned trip. Planned trip next week. No, we, we’ve, we, I’m close to Virginia, so we can drive to Virginia, go to the caverns for, you know,3, 4 hours away. Come right back. And it had the best time of our life. So it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
[00:45:16] Mark Smith: It’s about that memory. It’s about building a memory. It’s about sharing an experience. That’s what life’s about. So make it happen. Everybody make it happen.
[00:45:27] Diana White: All right, before we exit out, I wanna thank my guest, Mark Smith, for sharing his lessons with us today. Mark, tell us where can we find you? Tell us about the podcast, please.
[00:45:40] Mark Smith: Thank you. The podcast can be heard on any of the platforms. It’s on iHeartRadio. it’s called Mark Smith, the process, any of the,Spotify, iHeartRadio, apple, Amazon, you can hear it all there. I have do ever a radio show. My radio show is entitled The Process. It’s carried by star 1 0 7 fm, which is in Columbus, Ohio every Saturday, 10 o’clock eastern time.
[00:46:02] Mark Smith: I also am heard on, legend 1 0 7 Radio out of Tampa, Florida on Mondays at 9:00 AM as well as W G L R O. In Houston, Texas on Thursdays at 10:00 AM as well. go to my website, the process, mark smith.com. Send me an email. Let me know how we connect. If there’s any, take a listen, take a look and listen to some of those acronyms.
[00:46:24] Mark Smith: You know, I, you know, we talked about one of the things that we all go through and that’s, I talk about growth, right? Growth for me stands for Gradual Reminder. Obstacles Will Test Hope. That’s growth. That’s growth. So enjoy the messages, enjoy the acronyms, and, but most importantly, given an opportunity to apply it.
[00:46:42] Mark Smith: Give you, give yourself an opportunity or as I think both of us agree. Give yourself permission. Yes, give yourself permission to apply the things that are being given to you so that you don’t have to go through. I implore you don’t. You don’t have to wait 40 years like I did. You don’t to sleep good.
[00:46:59] Mark Smith: You can sleep good tonight. You can sleep good tomorrow for the rest of your life. Just enjoy your life. Embrace the time that you have and just be good to yourself and your family. Those are those around you.
[00:47:11] Diana White: That’s why we call this 10 Lessons Learned. Oh my goodness. You have been listening to 10 Lessons Learned.
[00:47:17] Diana White: This episode is produced by Robert Hossary, supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. Please tell us what you think of today’s lessons. You can even email us at podcast 10 lessons learned.com. That’s podcast at the number 10 10. Lessons learned.com.
[00:47:37] Diana White: Go ahead and hit that like button, subscribe and turn on a notification bell so you don’t miss an episode of the only podcast that makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.
[00:47:48] Diana White: Thank you, Mark.
[00:47:49] Mark Smith: Thank you, Diane. I appreciate it.