Reboot Podcast Episode #86 – How Have You Lived Your Life? – with Parker J. Palmer

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.

Episode 86 // June 28, 2018


Parker J. Palmer

Parker J. Palmer

Writer, Speaker, and Activist

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Episode Description

Aging, the continuous passage of time, is a journey upon which we must all embark. As life unfolds before us, we may be naturally drawn towards a state of inquiry in attempt to discern the purpose and meaning in our soul. For many leaders, the draw can be to gaze upon external outcomes as a manifestation of our life’s meaning, allowing our worthiness to be derived from our relationship between mean and end. But what if we were to allow ourselves to abandon the question, “Does my life have meaning?” and instead consider, “How have I lived?”

In this episode, Jerry is joined by speaker, activist, and friend of the Reboot Podcast, Parker J. Palmer, author of the On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old. Over the course of their conversation, Jerry and Parker contemplate the insights they’ve gained in the process of aging, the power of living life with kindness and gratitude, and the importance of remaining open to being human together.

Parker J. Palmer on Twitter | On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old | Czeslaw Milosz’s, Love | #14 – Shadow and Leadership – with Parker J. Palmer | #42 – Building Relational Trust – with Parker J. Palmer

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Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“I think age is a great privilege. Not very many people get to make it this far in our world. And I think with that privilege, comes, for me at least, a sense of responsibility about investing myself in life, on behalf in support of other people, and of course, that all comes back, to me in life-giving ways.” – Parker J. Palmer

“Reaching out to younger people is a very important part of living well as an older person.” – Parker J. Palmer

“I’m looking at everything afresh because I’m realizing I don’t get to see it forever, and I want to see everything that’s there in its truest and richest, and loveliest, form.” – Parker J. Palmer

“I think it’s so important to strip away all of those screens and filters and assumptions that have probably been limiting your vision for a very long time, your vision and your action. And just start again. Begin again.” – Parker J. Palmer

“You have an infinite number of do-overs.” – Jerry Colonna

“The question of meaning is one that all of us must answer for ourselves.” – Parker J. Palmer

“Life will break your heart if you cling to that means-ends thing too tightly, because life is way too complicated to predict what’s gonna happen when we toss a certain piece into the maelstrom and then wait at the other end of the tube, hoping and anticipating that that result will come out as we predicted.” – Parker J. Palmer

“Am I giving myself to something that’s worth giving myself to? Is it life-giving” – Parker J. Palmer

“Can I hold even defeat or disappointment or despair in a way that becomes life giving for me and ultimately for others.” – Parker J. Palmer

“In the long run, we’re setting ourselves up for failure when we adopt a standard for ourself – not only for our work but for ourselves, around what you rightly call worthiness, that is inherently self-defeating.” – Parker J. Palmer

“There’s enough forces in the world that wanna defeat me in living as fully as I can that I don’t need to contribute to those forces myself.” – Parker J. Palmer

“I refuse to conspire in my own diminishment.” – Parker J. Palmer

“Day by day by day, am I making choices that are life giving for me and other people? Or am I making choices that involve me conspiring in my own diminishment?” – Parker J. Palmer

“I think all I can control in my life is my intentionality. But I can do that only by maintaining a high degree of self consciousness and honest self-honesty around what my intentionality is.” – Parker J. Palmer

“One of our master arts as human beings is self deception.” – Parker J. Palmer

“It makes me see this point in the horizon where indifference and acceptance, true radical acceptance, actually converge, and, while it may be a struggle for my ego to give up my belief in my specialness, the liberating side, for me, is that it allows me to give up my belief in my awfulness at the same time.” – Jerry Colonna

“And one of the things that I see, looking back, which I so much value, is this intricately woven tapestry of life, which consists of many, many, many, many threads…we all are pulling threads behind us as we go.” – Parker J. Palmer

“When we deny the dark thread, we close ourselves off to the tender mercies.” – Parker J. Palmer

“When we put our pursuit of purpose and meaning through the filter of what is the outcome by which that will be measured, what is the external output, we are, in effect, denying the threads that actually exist.” – Jerry Colonna

“One of the great wounds in our world is people feeling unseen and unheard, and to see them and hear them is the easiest and one of the most rewarding things we can do.” – Parker J. Palmer

“We’re all in this together, and that’s good news.” – Parker J. Palmer