Dr. Relly Nadler: Today’s show features Dr. Don Kennedy. He is the author of, 5 a.m. and I’m Already Behind, so we will ask him about that title and that book, I’m sure many of us feel that way, you wake up that early and go “Ooh, how am I going to get through the day?”
Well, Dr. Don Kennedy is a board-certified family physician, he’s an author, a professor, a lecturer and a certified coach. He is recognized around the world as an expert on longevity, smoking cessation and then we are going to hear more about this smoking Bahbit™ program that has helped hundred beat the nicotine addiction but also just about habits in general. So, we will get him to generalize this around any of the habits you may have; Could be procrastination, clutter, could be a variety of things we all deal with.
Dr. Kennedy is a diplomat of the American College of Family Medicine, holds an MBA from Stetson University and he has been a staff writer for Life Now Magazine, has spoken for companies such as Merck, Young Life, Rotary International and Pfizer.
He has a radio show, You are the Doctor, and it was the first interactive program of its kind.
In his book, Five AM and I’m Already Behind, was written to teach the need to change now, not later. It’s a story about Mike and he uses a workbook format to teach us about the Bahbit™ System. We will have him explain that. Dr. Kennedy has used it to create a media change to improve the health and stories of thousands of patients.
So, Cathy, welcome to the call.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Hi, it’s so great to be here and I’m delighted to meet our guest today, Dr. Don Kennedy because I have lots of bad habits and I’d like to change all of them at one time. Although I know that’s not possible.
Like many leaders in many organizations, I also know that I am the heartbeat of my family and when I’m at work the heartbeat of an organization.
That’s where we come in on why we do this show, what we like to teach all leaders about themselves so they can get better, be better and help their organizations get better. We know that leaders are truly the heartbeat of their organizations and most leaders really do underestimate just how much influence they have on others and as a result, they can underperform.
As we are going to learn today, just doing a few things differently we are going to change and improve our performance and our organization.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Let me add a few more things about Dr. Don Kennedy. Don, welcome to the call.
Dr. Don Kennedy: Hi, how are you?
Dr. Relly Nadler: We are doing great. Let me just say a few things and we will zero in on you.
I mentioned your book, Five AM and I’m Already Behind, and your radio show, you’re a member of the National Speakers Association, and you have recently partnered with Mark Victor Hansen, who we know as the author of, Chicken Soup, or co-author to eradicate nicotine addiction by taking the smoking Bahbit™ program to groups worldwide. Also, you were raised as the son of professional bull rider and Dr. Kennedy’s story is a remarkable testimony to the willpower of personal change. He is happily married and a father of four, two grandchildren and is an avid surfer.
I met Don at a speaker’s boot camp, and I was very excited about what he is doing and what he speaks about and what he promotes in his vision.
I’m so glad you are willing to join us on the call.
Dr. Don Kennedy: Thank you so much, Relly.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well, it’s a pleasure to have you here and I can tell you’re going to be a very energetic and enthusiastic guest.
So, I will try to talk fast so we can give you more air time but we are really excited to know more about what you have to share given, kind of, where you are going in the current life that you have, but I know that you got here by having some truly influential people in your life and thinkers that have influenced you.
So, can you share a little about who shaped you in this wonderful world?
Dr. Don Kennedy: Well, you’re right. I think when we all, for the listeners, go back to those roots, especially those roots that created our thought and habits and for emotional intelligence – all those emotions that drive what we do.
So, if you go back, at least my early life, my father was a professional bull rider but he was a simple man. I think that it was his strength in just simplicity. It was the things were either, a lot of folks out there will understand, hot or cold, black or white. That was the way it was. It was right or wrong. His life was simple, he did one or two things and did them well and he was happy without overeating, without smoking, I’m sure during his early bull rider days, I can’t say about any alcohol. If I look back that my father was a very simple man that led a simple life and wasn’t driven, especially those old days as a bull rider – they made no money, they were driven by the love of the show.
The story goes how many of these guys, and you have to laugh because of what they did, they would use multiple names to ride the bulls because there weren’t enough bull riders. So, what they do is they put them in three of four times so they get three or four rides.
Dr. Relly Nadler: So, they come in as different identities, okay.
Dr. Don Kennedy: Yeah, it was the same guy but, you know, they all knew what they were doing but it was a show for very little money.
So, when you go back to that influence, it was, kind of, if you look at the simplicity, you look back and say, “gosh, you know, it was a little crazy, didn’t make much money but boy he had a great time.”
Dr. Relly Nadler: So, how did you go from at least some of those roots and then to go to school as a medical doctor. How did you get interested in that, and what led you to?
Dr. Don Kennedy: Well, I grew up with my mother after my mother and father divorced and I’ll give you a little history there. I was only six years old and I spent summers with my father in California but most of my life I was raised by my mother, who was a waitress and we moved some eighty times up until I was 16 years old. So, we were pretty much on the road just living with my brother and sister and
making it day by day. I had a million jobs, and I know a lot of the listeners can relate to those survival techniques and I’m sure that shaped the way I got to medical school which was just by sheer persistence.
In those early days, that’s what you did. If you had no money and you didn’t have anybody giving it to you, you either swam or you didn’t.
I took up surfing, and I’ve surfed my whole life and as a matter of fact, one of my new books coming out, probably next year, will be about the lessons of surfing because that was a lot of strength and survival and I thought that was kind of fun because I can relate that to people’s lives.
You asked me the influential people, I think late in life it has been more recently, and I know a lot of folks know Michael Gerber, he is a friend of mine and he at seventy-two years old is still building companies. He said something to me, I want to relate that and I knew we were going to be talking about that today, I thought it would be fun to relate what he said to me when I was fifty-four years old.
He said to me, “Don, this is what I want you to do. I want you to find out what’s impossible and then go do it.” Now, I’m not a kid and I had already been through medical school, which they told me I couldn’t do
So, if you ask me that question, influential people and thinkers, hey, they are the people in our early life and people in our later lives. A lot of people though never find an influential anything later in their life because their life gets so cluttered and so busy that they get stuck, in what they love, in the same old habits, and then all of the sudden, the times gone.
Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s so powerful.
So, for you, we asked a question about early inspiration and I’m so glad you brought that in about later inspirations because I think we have a lot of folks who are the boomers and other ages and they are thinking, “okay, where is my inspiration.”
So, here you are, from Michael Gerber – Go find the impossible and go do it.
Dr. Don Kennedy: That’s right.
Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s great.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well, you know, I can resonate with what you were talking about earlier, with the love of the show because both of my parents were in showbusiness.
So, I came from a background where you learned to do what you did because you had a passion behind it but along with that came, and I’ll just say this out loud, a lot of bad habits that you, kind of, took with you because you were eating at irregular times, you could be drinking until all hours of the night. Both of my parents were drinkers and smokers and they died at a very young age as a result. Both to lung cancer and stroke/cardiac arrest.
So, these things that we call passions in life can catch up with us.
Dr. Don Kennedy: You know what’s interesting is; I’ve practiced geriatric medicine and have been doing that for twenty-seven years I’ve done surveys with my patients over the years about simple questions, I always like to ask simple questions. I actually put a page in the room once a month and ask a simple question. One of them was what has been your passion in life?
I think that in today’s world, the business world, the leadership world. The word passion has been, kind of, bruised a little; Chase your passion, find your passion, create a business with a passion, create a leadership team with passion.
Ever hear that, Relly?
Dr. Relly Nadler: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Dr. Don Kennedy: It’s almost as if we’re forced into the world of our passion, or somebody’s passion.
I have taken surveys of patients later in their lives – 60s, 70s, 80s – People who have done that. I’ve asked them, “Okay, what’s been your passion? What’s your passion?” And, you know, they can’t answer it because passion isn’t something that you can just invent, you can look for it. It’s not. One year it might be one thing, one year it might be the next but I’m not so sure that in our busy world, our technological worlds, the world that is now, that is global, that people take enough time to even see what it is that they are supposed to be doing. That turns them on, that makes them get up in the morning.
Because, most people, if you ask them – they can’t tell you why they get up, they tell you that they get up.
Dr. Relly Nadler: They have to get up but there is not something that is driving them.
This reminds me of, and I know you are going to get into this, just our fast-paced world of just having that time and I was, just my younger years when I was traveling, really spending about a half hour in a foreign city saying, “what do I want to do today?” And, having that luxury of having that half hour, to say “what do I want to do today,” most people don’t have time or the reflection to say, “what’s my passion, what do I want to do?”
Dr. Don Kennedy: Well, absolutely, those folks who are listening now, know who they are and they are most of them.
A point I want to make is; it doesn’t go away. I mean if you’re busy and you’re so behind and you’re cluttered and you’re not getting there and you’re waking up in the morning thinking about last week’s work trying to get caught up on today, which will never happen. They need to know that, generally, later on it’s not going away. Your life is going to be the same toward this retirement, after retirement, it just is part of our lifestyle. People wait so long to make those changes and all of the sudden they are blowing out eighty candles on a birthday cake and saying, “wow, that went fast.”