Maura Sweeney Join Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
Subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:
Introducing Maura Sweeney
Maura Sweeney is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots Business podcast.
If you go back and listen to episode 473 of Join Up Dots you will hear an open and frank discussion with Jim Sweeney.
During the recording he spoke passionately about his amazing wife and the work she was doing, so its with delight that we now have her on the show.
So lets give you a bit of background formation about her, and what she is doing on life.
From the early part of her career she was in the words of one of her friend “Groomed” for success.
She was setting out on a path towards being a lawyers
As she says “The master plan (which certainly sounds good on its surface) would entail my following in my late grandfather’s footsteps to become a New Jersey lawyer. For a girl born in the late ’50s, it was somewhat ambitious and even professionally affirming.
How The Dots Joined Up For Maura
There were just two problems: 1) I didn’t want to practice law and 2) I didn’t want to live in New Jersey.
Though I could have easily articulated the second (negative) goal, the first negative goal was a bit more complex. Why didn’t I want to practice law? Simply put, I had neither passion nor vision for the profession. When laid against my inward leanings, it translated to me as a solitary, rigid and uninspired career.
Despite trying to please those around me and stay true to the instruction manual that would get me to this supposed life goal as a New Jersey lawyer, I became increasingly dis-spirited. The more I moved through the law school process the more “dead” I felt.”
And haven’t most of us felt that at one time or another, simply going through the motions.
Waiting for each weekend to free us up from the life we are living?
Well today’s guest has done just that and now calls herself the Ambassador of Happiness, on a mission to help ignite the worlds on personal happiness.
She has books, podcasts, courses and the worlds biggest smile to share everywhere?
So does she think that she could have gone through the Law degree and found some kind of happiness in the role, or did she need to do a 360.
And where is her greatest source of happiness now she is surrounded by it?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Maura Sweeney.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Maura Sweeney such as:
How she recalls being told as a five year old that she would be lawyer when she was grown up, but actually deep down knew that she wanted the job of sharing ideas and passions.
Why the true power for starting a business is working from the process of Give, Give, Give.
How she remembers being half the way through law school, and feeling heavy with feeling of impending doom.
How there is something about the inner dream which is the real life support system for the outer dream.
Maura Sweeney Books
How To Connect With Maura Sweeney
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Maura Sweeney Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:27]
Yes, it’s David Ralph. Coming from the United Kingdom. I tell you what, one a week of bad weather Wait, you don’t want to go into my shoes. Now don’t go into my shoes at all. But it’s been a bit problematic. So just the fact that I’m doing this today inspires me, this is like a weight off my shoulders. And as long as when I say hello, how are you? The persons at the other end? We’re good to go. So hopefully we’re gonna get a shout out today, because this is one I’ve been looking forward to because if you go back and listen to Episode 473 of Join Up Dots, you’re here and open and frank discussion with a gentleman called Jim sweet And now during the recording, he spoke passionately about his amazing wife and the work she was doing that is with the light that we now have on the show. So let’s give you a bit of background information about her and what she’s actually doing in life. From the early part of her career, she was in the words of one of her friends groomed for success, she was setting out on a path towards being a lawyer. And as she says, The Master Plan, which certainly sounds good on its surface within town, my following in my late grandfather’s footsteps to become a New Jersey lawyer, but a girl born in the late 50s, it was somewhat ambitious and even professionally affirming. Now, there were just two problems. Number one, I didn’t want to practice law. And number two, I didn’t want to live in New Jersey. So I could have easily articulated the second negative goal. The first negative goal was a bit more complex. Why didn’t I want to practice law simply but I had neither passion nor vision for the profession. When laid against my inward leanings. It translated to me as a solitary, rigid and uninspired career, despite trying to please vote. is around me and stay true to the instruction manual that would get me to this supposed life goal as a New Jersey lawyer, I became increasingly dispirited, and the more I moved to the law school process, the more dead I felt at having most of us felt that at one time or another simply going through the motions, waiting for each weekend to free us up from the life we’re living. Well, today’s guest has done just bad. And now calls herself the ambassador of happiness. Yeah, get her on a mission to help ignite the world on personal happiness. She has books, podcasts, courses, and the world’s biggest smile to share everywhere. So does she think that she could have gone to the law degree and found some kind of happiness in the role? Or did she really have to do a 360? And where is her greatest source of happiness? Now she’s surrounded by it. Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Maura Sweeney. How are you? Maura?
Maura Sweeney [2:53]
David, Ralph, thank you so much for having me on. I am doing great and maybe your listeners will Want to know that the former New Jersey has been enjoying the past several decades living in the sunny state of Florida, the place I used to dream about is a little girl. So thanks for having me on.
David Ralph [3:11]
It’s lovely to have you but come on more. You wake up every day. It’s glorious weather. There’s a load of English people walking around getting burn. Going to the theme parks. Isn’t the Florida the kind of place you want to escape from?
Maura Sweeney [3:24]
You know, the funny thing we live in Florida, but it’s not like we live like the tourists in Florida. In fact, I’ve only been to Disney I think two or three times when I had to go with my in laws, it wouldn’t be a place of my choice. I love warm weather. I love sunshine. I love sand and palm trees. And the big thing for me, David has been this way since I was a child. There’s something that I love about being around warm water, even if I’m not in it. I’m near it. And my husband and I live on the west coast of Florida. So we’re on the Gulf of Mexico and there’s literally something down here. That feels right. It was something I dreamed about. And I’m happy to be here love going to travel visit other cities, but I’m very happy living in the sunshine state.
David Ralph [4:10]
So he probably zipped over and ran you a nice warm bath. That would be ideal for you with it.
Maura Sweeney [4:17]
No, because I’d rather be outside in the ocean where it’s warm baths now, they don’t really do it for me, because I could do that up north. But I love you know, it’s funny, I guess I knew as a young child, what I liked, and what resonated with me and what excited me and I think I spent a long long time working more and more incrementally toward living outwardly those things that I felt like I loved internally. Hey, that’s pretty nice. I do today.
David Ralph [4:46]
Well, yeah, but that is so I suppose it links up all my shows. And it’s one of those things that you kind of thing. Why the bloody hell Can’t we see it? Why as humans can we not see the things that we love doing because we’re not being passive From there’s something there, you know, we’ve cut to the chase here more because that is it, isn’t it really, if you love doing something when you’re not getting paid for it, try and find a way to be paid for it.
Maura Sweeney [5:12]
I couldn’t agree with you more. And doesn’t that run totally contrary to everything we’re taught, especially in the Western world, USA, everything is about the almighty dollar, bigger, better buy, buy more, buy more stuff, which really ends up incarcerating people into oftentimes, careers and lifestyles they really don’t want. And my whole thing is find out first what you like, what’s right for you, and then find a way to create that as a means of a lifestyle and a life income. And we’d be surprised how many things people acquire that they don’t want. So that’s been my philosophy on life. It’s been a slow one. But I hope as people read my things or follow me, they’ll be able to connect the dots in their own lives. faster.
David Ralph [6:01]
So let’s take you back in time as we like to do on this show. So you you’re training to be a lawyer. Was there ever any part of it that you thought? Yeah, this is gonna be good was it that once you got into it you thought, hang on I didn’t fancy this but most of us will have this idea of status and kudos and go on to careers that only once were in boom, do we decide that we don’t like them? Will you that same kind of person?
Maura Sweeney [6:27]
That is said it’s so it goes right to the heart of who I am. When I was little. I was told I was going to be an attorney, just like my grandfather, and he passed away when I was like five and a half years old. I remember him love the man. He was a you know, very big for what he did. And yet, I really did not have a desire to practice law. But what I will share and I think you’d like to know this is that when I would go sit in his law office, he was busy meeting with all of his clients, and I Was mesmerised by his legal secretary, not so much the secretary. But the work she was doing. She was working on a manual typewriter. And she was producing official documents. And here I was, even before I could read, I pull up my seat right next to her and watch everything she was doing now, David, I thought I saved her. How do you do these things? How do you make these copies? And I was mesmerised and amazed by the ability to write something in a formal fashion that would be duplicated, triplicated, whatever, and put out as an official document that other people would read. That was my earliest recollection of what I loved. But I’ll give you several others, right? No, no, no, no more.
David Ralph [7:45]
I want to stop you on this because, trust me, what was it been what was it about her? Because that sounds a pretty boring task that she was doing. So what was it that fascinated you so that you still feel that passion today?
Maura Sweeney [7:59]
You could feel You could hear it in my voice, right? Yeah, it was the knowledge that this woman rather than writing something with her hands, I mean, we don’t do that very often we don’t write with pen and pencil anymore. But she was writing on a machine. And the documents she was creating were official, they were on a different kind of paper. They were being duplicated and triplicated. And they were going and they were remaining somewhere to be read by other people. And they were literally being set forth as established thought, established facts. Now, here I am a preschooler, but I was making all these connections. There was something about the written word, and its power that’s so attracted me or maybe I would call it the authority of the written word. This again by a little child who didn’t even know how to read
David Ralph [8:54]
words or was it ideas and communication, that ability to channel your thoughts? bought into a format. To me that would seem more it because at the moment you’re talking, and I know that you’re enjoying this conversation because I can feel the passion coming through you. I imagine you will feel that same passion. If you’re writing a blog post, I think with you, it’s about that communication and the fact she was putting words down, which we’re then going to go off and other people were going to read. I reckon that’s it, don’t you?
Maura Sweeney [9:24]
Absolutely. I was going to use the same words. It was the ideas. It was the conveyance. It was the communication that would be remaining somewhere that other people could see or could read. And I found that so fascinating, captivating, and attractive. And I think to David, no, I know this. I was a dreamer. As a young child, I literally saw the world in my own dreamland, and it was a great world and it was a happy world and it was a unified world. I was a dreamer. And when I saw this title, brighter I must have and what it could do, let’s say, I must have made a connection to say this is a way that I could broadcast my thoughts and my ideas to a greater audience. Now did I know exactly what they would have been back then? Probably not. But I knew that there was such a connection, I could still look back at it and smile. And yes, everything I’m doing today, whether it’s podcasting, writing blog posts, speaking publicly doing YouTube videos, any form or writing books, whatever doing my my, my foundations of happiness course. It’s the idea of being able to take my ideas and put them somewhere permanently so other people have access to it. I love it.
David Ralph [10:47]
Well, I can tell I can tell you you’re not just the ambassador of happiness. You’re not the ambassador of full on happiness. It sounds like every pore if I came over there and gave you a squeeze, I’d have happiness bursting Hold on. To me now, how do you take that passion, Ben, because I know so many of the listeners out there will be going well, good for her good for her. She loves putting ideas down and communicating. But how do you make money from it? Did you go on a journey of discovery? Was it simply easy from the beginning? Or have you built it up?
Maura Sweeney [11:20]
The second, I have built it up. You know what? Number one I could hear people out there saying Yes, she’s the ambassador of happiness little flighty. I will tell you this, number one, following what makes you happy takes courage and commitment and tenacity, because what you’re really doing is you’re learning to be true to yourself. But to answer your question more clearly, David, when I started my blogging, I actually started as a YouTube video personality, asking people reflective questions, to inspire them to think about what they like and what their value systems were from the inside. But as I started writing my blogs, I remember this, I wanted to write about things were important to me, ideas that would inspire others that I found inspiring myself. And I did everything for free. And you know how many people looked at me thinking, Oh, you’re writing about happiness, and you’re doing things for free when everybody around me had money as their main goal. I wanted to get David as much influence out there in the world as I could for free. And that’s what I’ve done. And I will also tell you this and this is good for any listener today. When you follow those things that are your true interests, curiosities, passions, persuasions, and when you apply yourself to them, and you have a long term, let’s say a business model in mind. You won’t get daunted and you won’t get frustrated early on and give up. What you’ll do is continue working and expressing yourself and challenges challenging yourself to get better. And to improve what you’re doing. And so in my case, I was giving out all these books, and I still am I podcast, I blog. I have videos, whatever. It’s all free. It gets out there. But the long term was with the acquired influence that I was originally seeking. What came from it was a certain level of credibility, and from the credibility comes affluence. Does that make sense? Oh, waiting. Oh, I know you’ve been you’ve established yourself, can you come and speak? Can you do this? And that’s exactly how it’s worked.
David Ralph [13:40]
Now, I know exactly what you mean. Because there is I think there’s a trend that’s running through the internet now, which I don’t remember seeing two or three years ago, maybe it was there, but but it seems to be, give, give, it seems to be give, give, give and then give again. And so people are sharing their best information. And I remember about a couple of years ago, I was listening to a guy. And this was when I just started Join Up Dots. I was finding my way. And he said, always the things you’re most precious about, give it away for free. And I used to think, why would you do that? Why? Why would you give away the thing that you can make money from? Usually you keep that. And now two years later, I think to myself, yeah, absolutely. And I do five day free training courses on podcasting, where I will teach people happily how to do a podcast, really nuts and bolts, and at the end of it, they can happily just walk away and take all my knowledge with them. But it comes back to you. And once you realise that and all the listeners will have to go on a journey to realise that because you do start off with me, me me, but once you get to give give give, it is like laying in a bath full of a rocket power. Maura, what do you think?
Maura Sweeney [14:55]
I agree with you. I agree with you. It’s almost like the more you exercise in games. Have your ego in a sense, or your sense of it’s all about me, tends to go away, and you start to connect with a greater community around you. And you know, there’s something in the process, you end up getting bigger. Isn’t that funny? It’s like you start Embracing the World. But then conversely, the world starts embracing you. I really say, David, we’re on that we’re in the midst right now of major changing paradigms. You know, you look back, nobody used to do anything in the past without getting paid for it. And you’re right on the internet so much is free. But what I’m finding is that all that I have I’m doing for free only helps fuel the things that are also contributing to my business model. And, like one of these things. It’s so exciting for me in the past year, I have been to six different countries, and I’ve spoken over 12 times in six countries. I have been covered by their national press. I’ve been on foreign TV. I’ve been invited to speak at leadership conferences, university and MBA programmes. American embassy outpost You have no idea how happy that makes me. And yet there it is. It’s it’s I’m literally becoming this ambassador of happiness but happiness meaning I am there to inspire others to live out of their out of their truth out of their inner bigger self and to express it. So I’m doing everything I love. I’m sharing it. I’m inspiring other people empowering other people, and I’m having on increasing levels. entities invite me to come in to be a keynote speaker. So it all sort of works well together.
David Ralph [16:40]
Well, I’ll tell you something frightening more, you sit down and you lock the doors and windows, but I’m coming over to Orlando to speak. In February next year. I’ve been invited to come across and it blows my mind really, but a country like America would contact me and ask me to come across but You only get to that point by putting yourself out there. And if I only released 2030 episodes, then you know you would never be discovered, but that we’re coming up to 600 It’s a big key in a big door. So yes, I’m gonna come over to Obama land, or maybe Trump, or Trump land or whatever it’s gonna be about. And say hello to them is an exciting time.
Maura Sweeney [17:24]
Isn’t it fabulous? It’s fabulous. And you know, you made an excellent point. You said you’ve done 600 episodes. There you go. Let for whoever’s listening today. And this goes back to what I said before you keep up with it. You keep pursuing what you’re interested in, and I even heard you say you were still trying to find your own way. The fact that you are still at it, when you might have started out with 6000 or 60,000. Other people maybe starting to dabble in something you claim to do. And yet you stuck with it. You kept with it. And in the process, you sort of You make room for yourself and you get yourself out there most people, most people quit. And I think a lot of people quit because they really not connecting so much with those things that they really do like or are looking for ways to continue to pursue those things that they’re really interested in. Congratulations and you better call us before you come over here because we’ll have to make sure we see you.
David Ralph [18:22]
Absolutely we go to Disney World together when that’d be good.
Maura Sweeney [18:26]
I just got finished telling you Disney is not my favourite place I’ll see outside Disney.
David Ralph [18:31]
I’ll tell you what, as you know, it’s the sort of that the happiness kingdom. I’ve had some of my most miserable days in Disney, where the kids have been so tired and grouchy that you just sort of drag them around thinking why the hell are we here? This this was supposed to be a nice time You know? So yeah, this Disney is not all it’s cracked up to be it probably good for two adults to go. But don’t take kids leave kids behind. If you’re going to Disney. That’s the way they do it. Well, let’s play some words. Now that’s going to take a seamlessly to the second part of our conversation. And these are the ones of the American actor and comedian Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [19:04]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [19:30]
That’s really apt for you, isn’t it?
Maura Sweeney [19:34]
Yes, it is. And, you know, interestingly, I heard or watched that clip in the past couple of weeks. And it’s, it was so compelling, it’s profound. You could fail at what you don’t like doing so why not pursue those things you do? Like, wow, it’s funny. It’s like that is so real in life. And let me add something Further to that. And this goes back To what would have happened to me had I just finished law school and gone ahead. When we pursue what we don’t like, we are literally working with gravity. We are trying to pull our lives forward by carrying a heavy load when we don’t like something when something doesn’t resonate with us or feel like it, it invigorates or charges us, us us up. Everything we’re doing is almost an energy depletion. And that’s what I felt when I was midway through law school because I thought I don’t have 40 years and need to do what I can’t stand or what what, what’s not giving me energy. But conversely, David, when we start applying ourselves to things that really ignite us from within, it becomes our own sense of wonder and curiosity and desire to excel, that we end up instead of dealing with gravity. We end up working with this additional, internal almost magical element That lifts us up like helium. And I don’t even know how to describe it. But I will tell you this Harvard University has done a seven year study. They call it the happiness advantage. And it shows that when you are happy doing what you’re doing, you will actually perform better. And I did that in court in my corporate career and leadership. It works, follow what you love, and if you’ve yet to figure it out, know that you can, as long as you continue along that path. So definitely agree with that expression there.
David Ralph [21:32]
But well, you were just talking about what’s the state of flow and certainly I feel about I felt it just recently when I was asked to do a virtual presentation to people, and I was quite reluctant because I like doing get up on stage presenting. But I didn’t really like the thought of looking into a webcam and present. It just seemed a bit off to me. It was like a hybrid that didn’t quite gel. And yeah, as I was doing it, I thought to myself, this is brilliant. I love doing Nice, this is absolutely great. And at the end of it, I went for a walk with my wife. And I said to her, I actually feel like I could just like leap and fly off. And I spoke to my friend who is called flow coach. And he teaches people to get into that state. And he said, Yeah, that was the best example of what being in flow is.
Maura Sweeney [22:20]
I just lost after you said flow coach, or what you said,
David Ralph [22:23]
Yeah, that’s it. He is the flow culture. And the interesting thing about you, Maura, and this is a compliment, but it could come away as an insult as well, is when I went over to your site, and I looked around, you actually look older. In the old days, you look younger now, which is a compliment, and I hope it doesn’t mean you know, the wrong way. But I was looking at those pictures of you going through law school, you you look something like 60 and now you’re at 30 is a totally Benjamin Button thing you’ve got going on.
Maura Sweeney [22:54]
Well, are you kidding me? I’ll take that as a compliment. You know what you are right David? When I was little, I felt so heavy. And that picture thanks for referencing it. Because that was my mid point. As I was thinking to myself, Oh my gosh, I’m halfway through law school I am halfway toward doom. I look so old because I felt so heavy. This was what was going through my head every single day. I felt because again, I was trying to do what my family expected of me or let’s say society, but especially my family. I felt like I was carrying a cadaver of myself on my shoulder every day. And what you saw was somebody who had almost not totally succumbed to an outside world’s expectation, and I did I looked so much older and here I am. That was what 1982 and here in 2016, no Botox By the way, I feel so much more alive. I feel like I found my youth. And it doesn’t mean I don’t have wrinkles or anything, but I feel so invigorated. free, so creative, the very things that I used to dream about as a child, I didn’t know how they’d work themselves out, I am absolutely living today. So when I’m sharing my blogs, or my podcasts or my public speaking or trainings, I am sharing that, don’t be afraid step out, be your bigger self, be the person you are on the inside, because that’s where the flow comes from. That’s where the pump comes from. That’s where the creativity comes from. And, frankly, this is almost a selfish thing on my part, I really do want to see a better world. And the better world happens when every single one of us steps out into our bigger, more authentic self.
David Ralph [24:43]
Now, when I was talking to your husband, Jim, back on episode 473, I remember distinctly talking about the entrepreneurial path where you put all your efforts into something and it just doesn’t pan out. It just doesn’t go how you want it. And that’s they have almost more Learning how he got himself back up. And he said, I am much better at it than I used to be. And because of that, you know, I’ve got my wife really helps me because of that, you know, she she is she doesn’t have that state of mourning, she just brushes herself down and goes again. Now, is that always just a personality trait or can you develop?
Maura Sweeney [25:23]
Yes, I will tell you especially even in my life, I have developed it when I was a little girl, too. You know, it’s funny, I own the the trademark now for ambassador of happiness. When I was a little girl My grandmother used to call me waterworks. I was always crying. I felt like I was either not free or I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do. I wanted to go out I wanted to see people. I wanted to dance and instead I felt like I was this little prissy little girl and had to stay home, play the piano, you know, and be good in school. And so it was that early feeling of being very constrained constraint drifted and conformed, that made me almost feel victimised. But I had to learn that I could stay in that mindset, David or I could rethink, rethink, rethink, rethink the way I was going to see this change my thoughts change my patterns. And so now you look at me many decades later, I’ve had lots of practice. And I have learned in life, we can either see ourselves as victims, which really stops the flow, or we could flip it around and say, wherever I am right now, is providing me with a touchstone or a catalyst to some kind of a benefit. And I am going to tell you, this is decade’s worth of experience, but I live it and I know it internally affect some of my hardest things in life are the things that have so steeled me and so made me the person I am today and the happy one.
David Ralph [26:49]
But when you was at law school, what you’re talking about now is quite easy to achieve in some ways, because you know, you’re on your thing. It feels good. You’re enjoying it. People are liking your work. But of course, for the listeners out there, they’re going into jobs that they don’t like they’re doing commutes, but they don’t want to do. It’s a job. So for you to say that the hard times give you something to take on for future life, and I do agree with you totally. They’re gonna find that very difficult to believe. How can they get their mentality to the point but when it is really crappy, they can see the gift in it.
Maura Sweeney [27:24]
Okay, you know what, and I could so relate, I remember for five years, I was in a corporate job, I would spend 12 hours a day usually was sometimes an hour and a half a day in the car, or sometimes two hours a day just getting to and from work. It was, it took everything out of me. I was in leadership management. And it was in an industry telecom that I really wasn’t interested in, but I was the leader. And some days I used to say to myself, Oh, my gosh, am I this slow learner that I’m still here, but here’s what I learned David, the the elements, the practices, the The challenges that I went through helped me grow in ways that maybe I didn’t grow as a child. They gave me skill sets on how do I learn how to operate with people? How do I establish a positive working environment? How do I overcome difficult times? How do I work through conflict with people? I look at all of that today. And I think, Oh my gosh, every single thing from my past experiences in life I call on today, you know, because I have a sales background and a management background. I can walk into any room, even if I’m not welcome. I can pass through any door. I am used to people saying no, I know how to create a sense of community and commonality. So every challenge that I went through in my past, when I had to do them over and over and over again, became my benefits today. So there may be people that think they’re doing something very Monday that may realise at some future date, that whatever skill they didn’t like, is going to come in great handy. And it’ll be like, wow, I have it in my tool chest. I wouldn’t have asked for it back then. But I’m so glad I have it. Now, people shouldn’t overlook any so called negative experience they’re going through because even when they’re tough, they end up toughening you and stealing you for something bigger and better to come in your future.
David Ralph [29:28]
I was talking to my mate the other day, JV crumb, the furred who is a businessman in America. he’s a he’s a multi millionaire. And he’s now creating a conscious movement to empower teenage entrepreneurs to great stuff. And he always post things on his Facebook page, and it was grateful Wednesday, I think it was and he said, What are you grateful for? And I said, I’m grateful for the last 20 years of wasted experience, but I now realise was just training. It was just training for me. And he said, Absolutely, he said, Thought that so much of my life was on the wrong track. But actually, I was on the right track going in the wrong direction. So I was gaining knowledge over time. But once I decided to get off and go in the right direction, I’ve got the skills. I do find it fascinating how we all had this, but unless you’ve got that right mindset, that right, let’s achieve mindset, you’re not going to gain that.
Maura Sweeney [30:23]
Oh, David, I love that you’re in training. I totally, totally agree. And, you know, something, this is when you talk about mindsets. Bottom line is this. And this is for any listener today. Every day you are going through a challenge every moment that you’re in a challenge, you have to ask yourself this. Am I seeing myself as a victim? Or am I seeing myself as a beneficiary, if you see yourself as a victim victim, you’ll be disempowered and you will literally play out the role of a victim. But if you choose and that’s where happiness is a choice if you choose to think You know what I am a I am a beneficiary, that very thing you’re going through, will transition itself into your benefit. I said to my husband, this is very funny. I said Jimmy, and all the time and all the work, we’ve done all the things we’ve had to learn after we closed our previous computer for him and decided to be entrepreneurs, I said, you realise it was like, we started as our own interns. There were so many new things we had to learn. Yes, so many new systems. But you know what’s so great about it, David, we’re now CEOs. And we can look back and think you know, what we started as our own interns. We were working for free. We were working hard. We worked overtime, we had to figure things out. But you know what, we’ve occupied just about every position in our own company. And look at the strength that now gives us look at the level of expertise. This is something that’s replicatable by anyone, anywhere when you see it through the right set of eyes. Or the right mental lens,
David Ralph [32:03]
when I was going through a rough time through Join Up Dots for those reasons, as you say, and this is a solo enterprise, so I had to learn how to do everything which became the skills that I now training podcast is mastery because I teach people how to run a show on your own, doing the right stuff and not the stuff that you think you need to do. But anyhow, as I was in my dark point, I remember listening to a podcast called by Nerdist. And this guy, Chris Hardwick. He was saying, Wow, we’re going off to speak to Paul McCartney. He said, five years ago when I started my podcast in my marriage, I couldn’t believe this. I couldn’t believe it. It would be such a dream. But here we are. We’re going off to do a podcast with Paul McCartney. And I found that was so inspiring. But I he started off in a Garret. B it took him five years, and he still in all of the success he was getting, you know, it was still a dream to him. It was doing Amazing. And that really helped me through my dark bit. And I think about that a lot I’ve been where I am now to where I was even a year ago is weld apart. But a year ago when it was really, really tough, I was still not going to stop. There was no way I was going to stop. There was something in it pulling me forward. And I think when you get that feeling of, Okay, that was a really crappy day, it’s 20 hours a day, I’m going to go to bed, and then you wake up and the first thing you think about is what you were doing the day before. That is a great clue, isn’t it? Where when you go on vacation, and you’re an employee, and you’re doing your best not to think about anything about work at all, but it’s also an indication that you’re on the wrong track.
Maura Sweeney [33:43]
Yeah, very good point. Very good point. I agree.
David Ralph [33:47]
That’s why I’m a podcasting legend. You see more and that’s why you see, I come out. I come out with these things.
Maura Sweeney [33:55]
too. Me too. You know, there’s one thing I’d love to touch on. You open up each one of you episodes with this. You say, you know, we’re little we have this amazing outlook, we’re loaded with dreams. But later on in life we settle, the more we could connect with those dreams. It’s the fat and you know, you said you were going through dark times we’ve all been there. And if we’re not there, well, I don’t know, maybe we’re delusional or we’re not honest, I don’t know. But it’s something about the inner dream that keeps the dream alive. And that’s another decision we have to make. Even when we have to maybe reposition the dreamer a little bit or, or change or adjust a little bit what we’re doing so that we, we get in that right flow. But it’s that dream that does keep us going. And it’s so exciting. And you know what, imagine a world where every one of us does pursue our own dreams, we would end up seeing everybody show up with their giftings with their abilities with their talents, they would literally write in the world and help everybody brighten their own world in the process. It’s just it’s inspiring. I’m so glad you do what you do because you were getting your own fuel by interviewing people like me and and others JB Crum, who, by the way I know from this area, not too long ago, and he’s from Tampa originally. Yeah, it’s great to hear people here were like idea. People were Dreamers. And we want to almost bring other people into that realm. So that in the process, we are creating that mindfulness environment that other people say, you know what I could step into that dream too. And even if I today, don’t have all the confidence, maybe if I’m having a dark day, I can still tune into somebody, and they can remind me to hold on to my dream and see it until it’s birthed into a reality.
David Ralph [35:45]
So do you have the belief as I do, but a dream is just the starting point towards the real dream? Did you find that once confidence comes in, and that personal belief of what you’re achieving, you start to think bigger and better bolder. And that is actually where your destiny lies.
Maura Sweeney [36:03]
Yes. And I was only thinking about this again yesterday. You know, for some of us, we may have a dream, but our reality like, but our current day speaks the opposite of our dream. So to get ourselves even there, we need to constantly practice it’s like taking small baby steps, or repeating, repeating repeating something new so that we’re bringing ourselves out of an old mindset or experience level. And we are gradually moving into a new environment. And for me, do you know something somebody asked me? I was probably 10 years ago more, if you could totally dream, what would you be doing? And she said, You need to say this. And you know, and I said, I said, If I could do what I really want to do, I would be one of the most influential people in the world. I said, Not that I want to be king of this or president of that. I said that I would love to be the individual that could be in the country. Have heads of state heads of media heads of education, heads of movements, and be in their company and ask them questions and influence them who are going to, in turn, influence thousands and millions. And you know, the funny thing is I look now and I think it’s funny all the places I’ve been, and all the company I’m in, and the places I get invited to be that person of influence, but it comes progressively and it comes day by day, exercise by exercise, step by step. And then we start seeing ourselves more as occupying the dream, rather than just dreaming about it. It’s like we take a thought, and we turn the thought into a tangible reality. And for me, and I’m you may say the same thing, and I’m sure others do too, is that it’s a progressive work, and then the bigger it gets, maybe we find that there’s levels beyond that and levels beyond that still, and it’s all fun.
David Ralph [38:00]
Well, let’s play some words now from a lady who I think is going to be an inspiration to you. And as you was talking about what you want to become, she popped into my head. He is Oprah,
Oprah Winfrey [38:10]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. But what is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [38:41]
Now, if you take those words, and you take Jim Kerry’s words, and I would love to play them back to back because I think they are the absolute blueprint, you take every step, and then you do another one, and then nothing will define you. You just have to make a decision to move forward in the direction of doing something that you love. That’s really isn’t it?
Maura Sweeney [39:02]
Absolutely. And you know what I loved when she said the next right move Gina how I find my next right move is that I’ve done this for the longest time. I remember doing it my corporate job because I didn’t always know what was I going to do next. I would make sure at the beginning of every day, early, early, even if it meant I had to get up extra early, I would take quiet time for myself. I needed that time to be in the silence, to be able to listen. Now some people say they’re praying, they’re meditating, they’re journaling, but or listening to their own soul, their inner soul speak. And because I’ve always believed in this, listening to what your inside persons telling you first and foremost, it is from that quiet space that I would get rid of all of the external because you know, every day there’s lots of stresses, there’s lots of messages, and there’s lots of you should do it this way. You should do it that way. The whole world is telling you what knew and how to do it better. And to get and carve aside private quiet time to hear from a source that will remind you of what the next right move is. And when you know the next right move, and you know it internally and it’s your move nobody else’s, but yours. And sometimes it’ll come with just the right timing. You can literally move mountains. I’m telling you, you can move mountains because it comes from inside, and it’s your right move for your life for your dream and where your destiny supposed to take you. Very powerful.
David Ralph [40:39]
Right. Okay, so I’m going to put you in a position Mora and train you forward five years. Now, would you be still the ambassador of happiness in five years, or will you be the Empress of happiness? how’s it gonna change?
Maura Sweeney [40:55]
You know, I think the title of Ambassador I love because when I think of an ambassador Think of a messenger and emissary who brings good news to other people. So as far as being the interest like first put the put the crown on my head, I don’t know if I really need the ground, I’m happy, throw it on me take it off, it doesn’t matter. But the idea of being an ambassador of happiness, I five years from now, I’d still like to be the ambassador of happiness. I would just like to be much more integrated, let’s say with the structure of culture, society, government and various other elements that put together a global community of people that expect to contribute and set the want to say the blueprint for a better world where people can grow into their best without harming other people. That’s where I want to be and I know I will be to
David Ralph [41:56]
you, you know that 100%
Maura Sweeney [41:59]
I just It’s like it’s within the I don’t know how to say it, David and again, you know, I’m in, I’m a midlife woman, I started early on as the little girl lying on the ground on the grass in front of my house looking at aeroplanes thinking, I want to travel the world and meet all of my friends, and wanting to be able to write things. And I as much as I didn’t want to be in law school, I have a very sincere interest in foundations of government, foundations of money, foundations of society and culture. And so when I tell you everything that comes out of me, it’s what I made up. It’s the fabric of everything I’ve ever had an interest in. And all I do is keep following and exercising everything I love. And I know society is changing greatly right now. And I expect to be a voice within the greater culture and a voice of great influence and for good, so yeah, I just know it.
David Ralph [42:54]
And if we sort of take you back when that that foundation that you build your career on You don’t get a better foundation than law. Do you? That’s what we all have to live by. So you you were in a kind of right place, but you were in a kind of the wrong Commodore in the right place.
Maura Sweeney [43:11]
You know, very good point. I don’t have to tell you even though law didn’t float my boat so to speak, I learned so much in terms of how a legal mind operates. Yeah, I learned so much from that. And then there was someone else who’s heard me speak several times, or had me speak several times, who said, you know, funny thing about you more is that even if you did have to stay in New Jersey, even if you did end up as a New Jersey lawyer, she said you would have found a way to make it work well for you. And you know why? Because I would have found a way to express something from within myself and express it outwardly to the world. And I did the same thing like in corporate leadership. It wasn’t that I was interested in the telecommunications industry, but I use my leadership position to find, develop, promote, excellent people create atmosphere. So you see, it’s almost like you could be knowing what your skill sets are. And you could be in a slightly different venue. But boy, the closer you could get to all the right venues for all the things you want to do, the more on target you are. And sometimes it’s just it’s just a process. And Tony me,
David Ralph [44:23]
I imagine you as a kind of hippie really is weird that you went into law as like the ambassador of happiness instead of happiness. I could quite imagine you if you weren’t going through the law being sort of suppressed by that being quite happy to be sort of just floating around dancing on beaches, just enjoying yourself.
Maura Sweeney [44:42]
You know, this is so funny that you’re saying this because when I was little, I wanted to learn how to dance and I wanted to fly everywhere and I was a free spirit. But do you know when I graduated from high school, secondary school, I you know, people would be voted like, cutest Best Couple best, yes, best that I got voted most dignified. That was like the most awful thing because that how do I want to say this nobody in high school wants to be voted most dignified. That was such a picture of everything I was conformed by my family and environment to be. So when you say like, I’m really this hippie, I am very happy. I’m very free. I love meeting different people. If you want to know where I’m happiest, it’s when I’m around a completely diverse group of people with all different backgrounds, all different thoughts, I flourish, but I was one of those people brought up inside the box. And so I think that’s why I’m so happy today because I’ve truly applied myself to being true to my inner leanings. And I know that it’s where I get my joy. And then my joy is here to overflow so that other people could connect with their joy their and their authentic life, too.
David Ralph [46:00]
Well, let’s bring on Steve Jobs who created this whole show. And then I’m gonna ask you the question that we’ve been leading up to, what was your big doc? Here, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [46:09]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [46:44]
So when you look back over your life more, did you have a big dot where it all came together? Or was it just a series of dots? What would you say?
Maura Sweeney [46:54]
You know, let me tell you what is what was coming to mind as I was listening to Steve speak There was this dot I was a junior in high school. My parents wanted me to go to Georgetown, Georgetown University, which was where my grandfather’s lawyer attended. And I was I remember being in the car with them going down to an interview in Washington DC. And I said, you know, I’d really like to apply to their, oh, their school of Foreign Service. I said, You know, I love the Spanish language. I said, maybe I could become a an ambassador to South America. And they said, Oh, no, you should really go, you know, prepare yourself for a future in law. You know, a crazy thing. I ended up becoming I went to Boston College. Instead, I ended up as a pre law major. I had a second major in Spanish, but look at me, I would have been 16 back then. I’m 58 now. I am now the ambassador of happiness, not to just South America. I’m not answering to the United States government. I don’t need anybody else to give me permission to go somewhere with my little bag of goodies. News messengers messages. I am myself. I’m bringing my own words, my own ideas. I’m doing it globally. So I’m going to use that as my.so. I didn’t, I was slightly askew from the dot. But the crazy thing is here I am several decades later, it’s like I had a background in media. And yet I’m on Huffington Post, I have other other want to say like online places that are taking my content and they’re, we’re repeating it. And it just it amazes me how frequently that belief or that desire I had to be this good news Ambassador into foreign cultures and into other places where I could positively impact culture has happened in my 50s. But my whole goal you hear me saying this throughout the show, is even though I’m here today, I am here and it’s taken me a long time, slow track. I want people to hear me and tune in to some of the things I learned, so that they’ll be inspired to move more quickly. And we’re in an era today, David, where people can move more quickly into what they want. Oh, absolutely.
David Ralph [49:09]
That’s why I created this show. I created the show, funnily enough, and I didn’t realise this until recently, as much for my two kids. So they could see their dad creating something that they can sort of mimics and they don’t have to go off and do 25 years in an office in London like I did more than the world. But the fact that I get emails and tweets from people across the globe, a lot of lovely ladies, they seem to connect with me. It’s a good place to be more I can get the ladies following me to say, you know, they’re in inspired to go for something they’re not sure what it is, but they’re sort of working through it. I think it’s, it’s, we need you. We need me We need more people to not just go the world’s rubbish, terrorism’s, terrible, blah, blah, blah. And like the Bad News Bears. We need to be out By just sharing the good stuff and be happy, and if it makes us look shallow or try to win, let’s be shallow and try it because it’s a better place being like that.
Maura Sweeney [50:10]
I enjoy happiness over sadness and sorrow. I’m telling you, I, it’s definitely a better choice. I’ve had a couple of experiences wallowing and feeling overwhelmed in tough places. But making a choice to look and focus in on the dreams on the things that we do have power over the things that we can, that we can move forward in. It’s so it’s just empowering and it makes us happier. And it makes other people around us feel happy and more empowered as well.
David Ralph [50:42]
So just before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic that we’ve been leading towards, to everybody out there, no matter what situation they’re in, what relationships are in, what dark clouds are over their head, can they all start making decisions and get a kick ass life or is it too simple But
Maura Sweeney [51:01]
of course they can. And you know, the answer is yes. But you know what the big thing is everybody and this is where other people can’t do it. You may have the show you people may be listening to you when they talk. People need to realise that they and they alone have an internal place of authority. And unless they’re willing to occupy that seat, to make decisions, to make personal commitments, and to step out in that regard, they won’t get there. So it ultimately comes down to what does this mean for you? Or are you willing to make that commitment? And are you willing to step out, no matter where you’ve been? I’m telling you, I find that some of people’s backgrounds can be so off the mark seemingly, and yet those very elements when put together appropriately through the right lens, become there fast forward movements to success.
David Ralph [52:00]
Absolutely couldn’t have said it better. Well, this is the end of the show. And this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young more, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because we’re going to play the theme tune. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [52:29]
With the best of the show.
Maura Sweeney [52:46]
That’s adorable. What would I What advice would I give to my younger self to words, David, I would tell my younger self to dance sooner. Dance sooner for me that Reality award that that’s how I specifically say it, but everybody knows what their dances in my life I really did want to dance and didn’t learn or start learning how to dance till I was almost 50 years old. I knew when I was two, I wanted to learn how to dance and everything in my environments that I couldn’t, and I put it off, put it off, put it off. The moment I set myself to dance was the moment that I again reconnected with something I so loved as a young person I spent for too long David watching older people, so called experts tell me what to do. So here it is, Dan sooner whatever your dancing life may be do it sooner.
David Ralph [53:41]
Great advice. Moreover, what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Maura Sweeney [53:48]
The number one best way they can do a Google search on the ambassador of happiness or more Sweeney, but easy go to my website. It’s my name Maura emison marry a You are a followed by number four and letter you Maura for you calm because whoever you are, I am for you and for your best life.
David Ralph [54:11]
Go over there because it’s a great read. And even if you want to look at that photo of when she got really old when she’s young, that’s that’s a good thing to look at as well. I spent a lot of time going really, really is, are they not? Are they not the wrong way round? Well, Mo, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again, when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. More Sweeney, thank you so much. Now all the way through, but I know she’s the ambassador of happiness. I couldn’t stop smiling. She was so full on she was so engaged she was she was he literally it was like a bouncing puppy in front of you. Is that right to say to a lady a bouncing puppy? If that’s an insult more I do apologise but it’s a compliment is a compliment you You just made me happy to be around you. And I think that’s what life is all about. That’s hopefully what you get from these shows. But it’s an engaging conversation from somebody who loves doing it. And more often than not, we go to places and Samantha sales we people that aren’t like Maura aren’t like the kind of people that really have found their thing, and it gets shut down. So please start looking around. And if you are surrounded by people that you think are the negative Nellies, then start looking for people to feel their place because it does make your life a lot better. If you want to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, really appreciate or send us an email tell us about where you’re listening to the show. And I will personally respond to you as I do to everyone. But the bottom line is, thank you so much for listening, and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Cheers, bye bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you were wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life, head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.