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How did you come to do what you are doing today?
I mentor because it makes a difference in the lives of the people I work with. I have always believed that my life is formed by what I can learn and the gifts I can give to others. Having spent a couple of decades thinking about how unthinking behaviors can make a life more difficult and how to overcome them, I can now help others do the same. Mentoring just seemed to happen for me. I seek out people who are determined to change their lives – and to do the heavy lifting necessary – or more often they seek me out. Every journey starts with an understanding of how hard the work is going to be. Each one brings celebrations and setbacks. But those who persevere come to live lives that are a glory – a testament to the potential in us all.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
That brings me to my second passions – raising money to support cancer research. For decades, I have been organizing fishing trips. I enjoy sharing my love of fishing with friends. During one of our regular Cabo ﬁshing trips, my brother Tom suggested we ﬁsh in a tournament to beneﬁt leukemia research. He was rather insistent so a bunch of us decided to enter with him. While none of us won, it was a great day out on the water with my brother. After we returned from Cabo, I gave the tournament little thought until less than a year later when my brother died. It was then that I learned he was suffering from early-stage leukemia and his insistence that we ﬁsh in the tournament made more sense. So, we started the Tom’s Team tournament in honor of Tom: doing two things he loved most – raising money for a worthy cause and trying to catch the big one.
I split my time between mentoring and managing Fishing Cures – a 503(c)3 non-profit organization that raises money to support cancer research.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
That’s easy – the benefits that others get from it. For me, nothing is more rewarding that watching the sun come up for someone in need. Neither money nor fame comes close.
Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?
My life has been formed by Buddhist thinking. I’m not sure why. I am a New Englander who has traveled the world. But the ideas of service, compassion, living in the present, making a difference and helping others are central to my life.
Can you share some wisdom with our readers?
Procrastination is the life killer. You can spend years – and sometimes decades – avoiding doing what you know needs to be done. Most often that happens because you try to do it on your own. Maybe out of shame or guilt – or a feeling of inadequacy. But it is all such a waste. Time is what we have and only a limited amount of it at that. Humans are social animals – we help each other. It is the great strength of our species. Find someone who can help you shut down the procrastination – make the commitment – stay with it – get on with your life and claim the person you were meant to be.
Can you share something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
My mentoring clients will tell you that I am a hard ass. I am constantly telling them that “it’s your life and if you don’t care, why should I?” But I am always there for them to work through the lows and celebrate the victories. I take the same approach to raising money to support cancer research. I often tell potential donors, “watch your wallet because I’m going to take as much of its contents as I can and send it to some PhD looking for a cure.” For me, life has a purpose and I work towards it with determination and focus.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I believe that every life has unrealized potential and that the meaning of life – the very reason for our existence – is to tap into that potential and claim the life we were meant to have.
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