BONUS EPISODE: Mitch Albom’s beloved professor Morrie Schwartz once said, when you have a terminal disease as he had, you find out really quickly who your friends are, and how important your family is. Guest Dr. Phil McGraw joins Mitch Albom to discuss who he keeps close and how he chooses those he spends his precious time with. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SUBSCRIBE: https://www.mitchalbom.com/tuesday-people/ See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The last class of my old professors life to place once a week in his house,
by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed, its pink leaves the class men on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was the meaning of life. It was taught from experience. No books were required if many topics were covered, including love, work, community, family aging, forgiveness and finally, death. The last lecture was brief. Only a few words a funeral was held in lieu of graduation, the last class of my old professors. Life had only one student. I was the student that would be the ideal happy purse.
I hear she threw himself shall also those clear everybody out until you listening to the Tuesday people podcast, I'm your host Mitch Album the Tuesday people podcast is heard every Tuesday and just like my visits with my old professor Moorish Schwartz each week we take on on subjects that critical to having a meaningful life, and we explore it and today we're going to explore that topic with an old friend of mine, who you probably know best as Doktor Phil from the Doktor Phil TV show, the number one afternoon Talk show in America to me, he's just fill Mcgraw and a friend of mine and he's sitting here with us right now. Build thanks for spend a little time. Others here, thanks for having me, I'm proud to beer, you hand go back, a long ways and probably normal twenty
ears and I've. I've. I've witnessed your extraordinary growth in the fields of IRAN and in television, and so today's theme which of sort of following the idea of using the old expression. You are what you eat. If heard that, well I also believe you kind of are who you eat with he now spending time I would go visit Morey, I used to bring him food every Tuesday and it really wasn't until probably the eighth, ninth tenth Tuesday, that he admitted to me that all this food that he was always so delighted for that I would bring he could need any. Because of the ale, but he allowed me to continue to bring it to him and I continue
bring it to him every Tuesday, because it was part of our ritual funeral spending time with each other, and I think one of the things that people are challenged with and want to think that he talked to me about was the only have so much time in this earth. You got to make choices as to who you spend your time with and who you surround your world with. How do you determine who gets your time at this point in your life But you interesting that you say that, because I am a strong believer in is something I call continuity of identification continuity of de what I mean by that is I always consciously actively try and stay connected. With who I was in the past, I mean all the way back to my first remembrances like it, for for five years old, eight, nine years all ten, eleven, twelve all the way through, because, as I said
here today, I'm still the same person that I confess Remember, standing out in front of a little. Frame house in the middle of homo when I was five or six years old and we grew up the very poor added veal poor. Your poor, you don't know you're right. I because everybody else Europe is far too early, looks as I think you do a pretty good. I think everybody's. Although they will you don't know so I thank you for me. Way of being in personality, and my father was a really bad alcoholic in cliche, it may sound kids of alcoholics grow up very independent you learn to rely on yourself instead of some one else, so I've always been a real loner in my life we moved almost like we were military, but we were removed every three years so I was always the new kid I will go. The first
third grade and then about the time you would make friends you move as a new kid in the four hundred and fifty six right, then you move several then you move. That was always the new kid, so you didn't ever have any law term friendships. Send them with an alcoholic father which makes you be really independent. You become very self reliant and I decided pretty early on if I was to be alone. I figured wasn't a bad person to do it with so They had learned to get along with myself in your company. Was me myself an idea because a lot of I was that's exactly what it was, but one things I noticed is in again. This came from my time with Morey. He said to me
You know when you have a disease like this, you find out really quickly who your friends are and how important family is, because you can have a lot of friends. People used to go to dinner with their not come on over two o clock in the morning to bang you on your back to get the phlegm out of your throat, so you don't choke to death his only a handful of people. You can count on to do that. So now feel Mcgraw has a million people. One hang out What's your acid test for people who you will even do that with no you're exactly right and very, very. Careful it shouldn't be this way, but you live out here and when You do what I do you really. You do get into a bit of a siege mentality that the terrible way to think about it. You really do have to be careful who you let in
the gate literally who you let inside the gate and who you let inside your life, because people that have access? What they need in order to exploit is access. There never around, you is harder for them to sell a story to a tabloid or to make some, claim or whatever I dont give people the benefit of the doubt that was raised that you do was raised in the Baptist Church, Hellfire brimstone gods, gonna get you guys you gonna get. It is just a matter of win, but I was taught that you give people the I feel the doubt. You look for the good and people I believe that at all really think that is the most insane proposition that you could ever imagine nor do assume that people are bad yo to me what you do you meet someone and you began to gather data and then what You have enough information to make an informed decision. Then you make it
form decision about that person and you make those decisions the same way. You learn about yourself. You want what somebody does and in based on those observations you make attributions you assign traits and attributes to that person based on your observations of what they do. I have people that I trust one hundred percent at level one and zero percent at level. Two like. I have people there, trust a hundred percent as tennis buddies. I trust him a hundred percent to show up every time they say they will to be a good sport to play hard to who not argue, overlying calls or cheat or be a bad sport. Britain slammed the ball around or whatever addressed him percent to do that? They show up bia goods for play. A good game have a good time. Do I do?
this. Whether more do I go to their home where they come to mind. That's never happened, but at the level of tennis, Buddy trust moderation Well, what's the matter you get in the level two level to you Learn about your tennis buddy, by the time you spend time with them, then yet to hear them talk about their family, you get see how they interact with their children may be of your kids, come to pick him up or something or you list. To them, talk about their jobs, their family, their life. We see them go through it, they have in their family or challenge your whatever you and now you have new data so you say: ok, this isn't about hidden a ball and shown up on time, you get information about their values. And you say this as someone that I would take the sherry more of my life with my belief is, I trust, other people really as a function of how much I trust myself.
To be able to deal with whatever it is. They do about an error what time is just a little small single engine buzz around airplane from a guy, and To say he was a crook does not do him serve as every line I were so crooked. He had to screw his socks on this guy was bad news and buddy of mine. How can you do business with this guy? You know these crookedest, Alex Hind leg. How could you do this with you? How do you believe in He says I said I don't. I don't trust him one bit, I trust myself to be able to deal with him. I trust I myself do not rely on anything. He says. I trust myself to verify everything. He says. I don't trust him at all.
I assume the wings we're gonna fall off this airplane until I x rays spars and find out that they will address myself to be able to deal with. So it sounds like you. Ve got very good internal radar and you check it frequently and you make sure that nothing gets too far, and so have you been burned. Over the years. He really was your one example without names, obviously or anything, but is there some you could share with us. Allow give your name after supper. Here's your phone number I have been in. They say that good judgment comes from experience. Inexperienced comes from bad judgment. I had somebody workin for me thirty years ago that embezzled hundreds of them dollars from me? She looked like me. She had like five boys in every time that
The door was open, she was there, they ran requires she was in the choir Asgard. She looked like at me. She sounded like a beat but whole time. She was working for me, She was embezzling money and found out by strangers. Corker fate in the world I found out about it in a really learned, a good lesson. You collect data, verify check, checked, but sure yeah and pretty good read of people, but I burned on at one? How the movie meet the parents with Robert near still here any has herein the circle of trust, in the serpent you're out at a circle of trust and they certainly Traviata and certainly trustworthy. As wide as as his family and while it was a comedy, I always
that will you know I know a lot of people who operate kind of on that principle, that there is a very small circle you get in. That line will forever be no off limits to certain people, so fulfil Mcgraw, where's that circle of Truscott drawn and who gets in mine is kind alike, Maslovs Hierarchy of needs at level, one it's pretty big level to its get smaller level, three get smaller and then get into real vulnerability, and real openness and disclosure and transparency. It's pretty small is much beyond your family. Yes, but it's a small group after ten. Twenty years of known people know that I have friends that, as the old saying goes, would take a bullet for you re a me. I've got friends that I can call at three o clock in the morning and their pulling. Her clothes on as their say, hello when they see as we like you,
Golly did need somewhere along the way and on the same way, within its like foxhole buddies. You ve been to work together and I know the people I value them greatly in. When did you sit down. You know they're gonna be standing here beside you like more alluded to friends of those people you're coming in the doorway. Nobody else has gone out right now, I'm very blessed to have several of those kind of people in my life. The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground upon which people stand now. It is in the family, nobody not much of a fire or in the workplace toys r US support you if you that support for love and carriers concern family I remember much, would you say
the people who are listening to us that they need to spend more time significant out of time cultivating and making sure that they see those fields of the handful of people, because What are the things I've noticed in life is that you know everyone says why I got it only a couple people I trust with foxhole whatever. Then you said, when was the last time you talked to them about a year ago, when I was at an end, and you realize you're always assuming that there We therefore you, but you bending your time with a lot of but who aren't gonna be there for you if you really looked at like while, who am I gonna, ask in my hour of need when I, when I get that bad prognosis or diagnosis, whatever, whose I be: am I really putting the timing with them to get it back, and the answer frequently is: no? Can you talk about that about how people choose
I cannot tell you where the litmus test is for me. I think about it. This way it's like if I went out into a pasture, you ve been to my house, and you know how rough terrain israeli because we live in the canyon and it is really wild. Around there, but if I went out into the canyon- and I cut out an area out there and cultivated it and put a garden and out there if didn't go ten that guard. Every day could be swallowed back up into the term. In a matter of weeks, trying right, if you didn't every day, chop the weeds back and water. It might end it seriously with this swallowed back up into the canyon induced a matter of weeks. You ve got to tend it. If you, to my- can leave this for a year and come back and be the way it was just that way you can assume I can leave this for a year and come back and be the way it was now. There are some friends. I've got it baby
see him for a while and within five minutes to get we're right back like we had seen each other yesterday. But In the main, I think you have to be willing, invest in the relationship and invest your time. I said, there's a litmus test for me: real easy way somebody else. You take care of ethics it for You do all the giving you're always do for somebody else. You taken care of ethics it via handled. It should do this, but you all you have a real relationship. When you're willing to receive. You're willing to? Let some one do something for you, because you you're giving up control you're, allowing some one to do so. Sing for you, which means you're being vulnerable, trusting yeah you're lying somebody do something for you, which means you can kind of feel in debt. It or you can feel well. You know this is a
a two way relationship its equal footing. That to me is what I know. I have a real relationship where Oh, let somebody do something for me. I know I've taken up are you down, and this is a real relationship and those are the ones that are in that circle, where give an get at the same time and those people, even though we live in different parts of the country, I'll bet nodded. He could ten days goes by that we don't talk to each other. We certainly email each other, but I mean actually talk to each other or get together one way or another cause. We all travel around and stuff, but you have to make investment in it right or its get swallowed up like that voting on your long. You know Chip Babcock these first amendment lawyer reach live in Dallas now in Houston, these one, those people in my life. We probably talk weekly, he's, probably at my house
monthly and I'm in Houston, and we get together down there on a regular basis. We we actually make it happen. Ivy another friend build also from down. You know he built a house out here. So we can hang out and be together. Land would not have first amendment guided coincidentally, in Atlanta here, he's just in time for who are in that scenario for yeah, I guarantee you. I could send a mass he's, one of those guys in the middle of a Supreme court argument and they would say justices. I haven't aren t you. I could send a mess, it's one of those guys in the middle of a Supreme court argument and they would say justices I haven't, urgency Anita Break for five minutes. They called her. What do you need to know that? Because they ve done it? So this leads me to a question that I think is very pertinent for a time and you ve set it out beautifully those guys that you can call him until the Supreme Court trial sounds to me like the polar opposite of Facebook. Friends,
and yet we live in a country where many people evaluate their own self worth feeling about their own value in the world and how Are they aren't how love they are? How beloved they are. By how many likes they get, many retreats of an instagram photo. They get the rest and I'm sure, with your show, when the guest who come on- and you see you see Phil many forms of unhappiness on your show. I marvel at you. I said deeds of before we. Art, and how do you even have the energy to cut through the rest of the day after doing through shows us? It's just sad. Sometimes you have to give in if Selma guys, these people are suffering so much don't you feel One of the reasons allow the price who's that you end up talking about on the show orb rampant are because we're putting our faith in our trust in in what we think is a community which is are thin. It's paper thin, it's it's! It's it's
Digital, even the word itself. You know. Human beings are not digital numbers or digital, but you have a did. Community that you are connected to and you really not connected at all that way. You talk about how much that plays in people's unhappiness. It's a fictional world it's beyond just being digital, such an allusion. It's like the competition shows in singing. They say you can vote ten times on four different apparatus so ill somebody can get like forty votes. It could be one weird kid in his grandmothers basement, it hasn't seen the sun in three years. A push. You get a forty votes. While we love only people love me, no one, kid that hasn't seen certain remoteness, decide.
The vote on you and he might be part of a faction weary joined up and they agreed to vote for the worst right. It's a joke, you don't know, it's terrible and I've seen the tragedy of people that have actually taken their lives because of. I were bullying taken. There lies because all the sudden people started. Robbing them they lost followers, your people didn't like their post or they criticise them or started actually Cyber Boeing and by saying, oh, everybody each you. Why don't you just kill yourself and some of these young people actually do that, because they are not equipped to handle and contextual eyes that kind of input. I think it's a very dangerous thing, and you have always said that I'm never
afflicted with the problem of having the need to be loved by strangers. I've just never had the need to be loved by strangers. I don't get that. Don't want people to watch this of course, I do do. I want him to like it little our wish. Everyone, America loved it, but but it is something worth is not decided change who I am. I don't feel like I'm a better person if My show gets a higher rating on Tuesday that it did on Monday, and I don't feel like I'm the worst person to get slower already on Wednesday that it did on Tuesday the same person Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I do as good a job. I can all three days and now you might get up see. Well. This should induce well today in any look, look and say: well, you were pre empted through half the country because some breaking news to me in your bad person. Show there were, but people would get really down about that. I think that's terrible. Those are real relationship,
Why do you think so many people in this country have turned to the value of virtual Unity to get their self worth low demand, I mean think about your people usage about the crazy cat, lady on the corner, there's a reason that the crazy cat lady lives with fifty cats. She doesn't have to talk to them. She doesn't have to get dressed, then go to dinner with them. She doesn't have to carry on a conversation about politics or anything. You can stay in a robe and slippers and shaken Ray I, too am at that level. We'll get on the internet with these relationships. It's the same reason: people have these love affairs with people on death row. They never have, actually engage and perform and interact it's safe, so you can have
They used to be pen pals, but now it's on the internet. You can engage with someone like that and you never have to really have human contact. You never Look somebody in the eye. You never have to carry on a real conversation or Para meal for your friend or goes stay in a three hour evening. Were you walk around the museum where you go sit in a park and talk, you don't have to do that, its or being hospital room when somebody sick thither- I guess you can just but then, when you expected back in return when you need it, the most now when you die, there's nobody there, nobody there and tweeting out like I'm in the hospital. I feel terrible, getting back a bunch of sweet tweets? I hope you ve hope you feel better here, give back much harder mode. Yeah yeah, anything less put those under your pillory right boy that will really make you feel good bliss in it. Internet is good and bad. They call it
It's great and so many respects right at your fingertips, search engine, the wild wild web up search references as a matter of seconds our children. We know what a librarian great and so many respects right at your fingertips, search engines mean you. Can pull up most obscure research and references as a matter of seconds our children. We know what a library, if they know it's a big building Books don't know, but by the same token, disturbingly high percentage of children encounter A predator within minutes of being on the internet, the hidden groomed and oh, no, it is pros and cons, but it certainly is no substitute for real communication, real human contact and real interpersonal skills and I think, as a result is just like for years I dictated hospital records when you dictate for years you're, spelling erodes
when you are on texts and emails, your personal skills, he rode hi, we are kids, aren't learning some of the personal skills. There's no eye contact is no human contact because it's all over the internet. That's that's the negative! Well, you know you. Really sit and eat with somebody who you're on the internet with, and I think it goes back to where we began about you know who you choose to sit and spend your time any with. I remember my folks grown up never allowed us to have radio television anything else on when we ate at the dinner table and everybody had to be present at the dinner table. I know we didn't eat until everybody was there. My dad was gonna be late from work. We wait until I came home someone else out of school, actively waited till the cable and every now and then in. I was a kid. Say you now. Can we just turn a tv on overnight in the den when people had dens and we can
people. I still to this day, if I care about somebody, I'm eating with them and sitting in Eden were round table like you, and I are out right now and we're looking across it. Who we are and who we were around that table. I still to this day, if I care about somebody, I'm eating with them in sitting in eating, round table like you and I are out right now and we're looking across it and for years is used. Always that come on when you come, they allay will put the feedback on you feel this other, but you know who you trust to Sydney with and spend your time with is, is a reflection of who you are. One of the things that I want to say is I've worked with people over the years when I was in practice, are working with groups. I would sometimes have people working on developing their social skills and all have them do different sort of things.
What are the most meaningful things that I ever would give people an assignment to do is before I see you next time. I want you to break bread with a stranger just in some way it go them all, go somewhere and just break bread. The stranger and it could be a simple, is sharing a lifesaver. You'll, see, down on a bench. So, like a lifesaver lack any stay there. While they do it or going under about your somewhere and say you can buy a cup of coffee or somethin could be some older person or some peer whatever and is right red with somebody and converse while you're doing it and in variously people came by
I can tell me that was one of the most meaningful things I had ever done that it broke down barriers that they set out. All things have ever done. You causing me to go. Do that was why the most meaningful things I've ever done in his net strange well, simple exercise, dashi lie about who you are well, I'm really appreciative that we were able to sit with you, and I ask all of our guests who come on the programme. One question that I asked more before we let you out of here, because I found a very instructive how he answered and, of course he was dying and was down to his last days in and I said to him. Ok, you get one day to be healthy, again got all your faculties, everything's working you get out of this chair, you could figure, but you got to. For hours and then that's it you're perfect day? What's in it for film Mcgraw? Thank God, you ve got all your faculties
a large. You know I think area. Panada good, shall, if you know what's the perfect day, what are you doing you get up and take me through it and has it in well. I hate to sound cliche, but I would spend it with my family and never met a man said on his death bed. He wished he had spent more time at the office surely wouldn't be anything associate with work, but my perfect day would be to take Robin J and Jordan and go problem. To the Cayman Islands and the boys, and I love to the scuba dive and it the most unusual environment, you can get in on this planet, because it's zero gravity and it's so peaceful and so beautiful in terms of colors in different kind.
Creatures and staff and in between dives, you have to have a surface interval and we would just hang out on the boat up there and just look at things and talk and share and stuff like that. Her and the robbers not big on boats so she's, watching from the door waving the then we would go back and get her and they have done when I on a beach and watch the sun go down and there's a point at which it hits the horizon and it dangerous colors in that one instant and it's just kind of a magical time, and that's how I would spend that day. That's a very
Humbling time. You really feel the magnitude of the earth. When you see that son hit the careers and in a moment I was gonna heavenly yeah, there would be more perfect day sounds like a good one air does. I can maybe you ve had a few of them in your life, which I feel can't thank you enough for being part of the Tuesday people community here and for helping us in the early days of his pipe casting a great friend me, a great friend of this show in and to stay, but really good person filled. And now you are, as Jimmy Brethren once said, I was considered at the highest compliment. Forget who is talking about, but it doesn't matter your friend behind my back here and you're like that, and people should know that about, even though your blushing Agatha can see you
blessing as I say that, but it's true- and I thank you for being a friend to us and sharing your thoughts with the our community here. While I take that as a compliment, you mean it and it means a lot appreciate you having me on. It said Tuesday, people and the Tuesday community that were forming here. I'm your host Mitch Albom. We thank you for joining us today, thank you for listening to Tuesday people to be part. Our conversation joined the to say people community. At we, Tuesday people, dot, com subscribed to our podcast, so you don't miss an episode and share it with your friends. We look forward to you with us every Tuesday, because after all, we're Tuesday people.
Transcript generated on 2020-01-24.