Present, Present, Present (391)

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Mike Malatesta talks about the power of presence in this solo episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast. He shares his experience attending a private school and how the teachers taught him the importance of being present, which he didn’t fully understand until many years later. Mike encourages you to put away distractions and give full attention to whatever it is that is in front of you.

If you’re having a conversation, attending a special event, spending time with loved ones, or just spending time outside, take the time to be present in that moment. Mike believes that being present in the moment is the most valuable present we can give to the world.


Quote from the episode:

“Your presence is so uniquely you and your attention is the most valuable thing that you have to share with anyone.” – Mike Malatesta


Check out the video version of this episode below:

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Episode transcript below:

Hey everybody. It’s Mike, and welcome back to this solo episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast. And today, I am going to be talking about a seven letter word of the English language. The word is present, p r e s e n t. But what I find so unique about these seven letters arranged that a certain way is that there are three distinctly different meanings to those seven letters. So one meeting is present. Like, I’m here. Another meaning is present, like a nice gift. And a third meeting is present as in great speech. I was inspired to do this up so today because today, the day I’m recording this is the one-year anniversary of a commencement speech commencement address that I gave at Brookfield Academy in Brookfield, Wisconsin. And one of the things I talked to the students about during that that adjusts was this whole notion of being present. And I first became sort of a fan of this word present when I was in high school. And I went to high school at a very good private school called Piscible Academy. It was started in seventeen eighty five, so it goes way back way way way back. And there was really no reason that I should have been at that place. I’m exaggerating a little bit because I was there and that means I was supposed to be there. So I always tell people, hey, if you’re in the room, you were supposed to be in the room. So there’s no impostor syndrome, there’s no this and that. But when I’m a kid, and I’m going to the school, where none of my friends went, so I didn’t wanna go there. Wasn’t in my neighborhood, so I didn’t wanna go there, had to get on a bus. I didn’t come from the same type of neighborhoods that the kids at this school came from. We didn’t drive the kind of cars that the kids who went to this school drove or their parents drove, at least until they were sophomores or whatever and got their own got their own cars, and it was just a different world, and I was very anxious about that world. And I remember I would my armpits would sweat every day. I was bad. And I would try everything and I couldn’t do anything. Fortunately, I was able to get past that at some point probably becoming comfortable in the school, but it took a long time. But anyway, while I was at that school for all four years every class, the teachers would read call your name out and do attendance or roll call. And when they called our name, we were only allowed to say one thing. And that one word was present. We weren’t allowed to say here, we weren’t allowed to say yo, weren’t allowed to give a thumbs up or peace time. We weren’t allowed to do a little one of these head things that you do. Like when you see somebody, you know, weren’t allowed to do any of that stuff. The only thing we were permitted to do was respond with the word present. And I have to tell you that I just didn’t get it. I didn’t get it. What do you mean present? Why present? It took me a long time to figure this out but the reason that they wanted us to to respond with presidents because they did not care if we were here. You know, they were thinking like anybody can be here. And it’s too easy to be here and somewhere else at the same time. Being present, that is different. Present means that you’re an active participant, that you’re ready for every lesson, for every conversation, and for every opportunity or at least hopefully you are. And the other thing about presence and being present is it’s really the most valuable present that you have to present to the world. You’re like, I did that. Worked all three of them in. And the reason is that your presence is you. It is so uniquely you and your attention is the most valuable thing that you have to share with anyone with the world and especially with whomever it is that you are talking to or engaging with right this minute. And I know it’s hard to be present. I struggle with it, you struggle with it, everybody struggles with it. But you know what? It’s been my experience that the people who work through that struggle who put the phone in their pocket and on silence, who put all the distractions away, who look you in the eye, not all the time, but look you in the eye and listen to what you are saying. The people that can do that, those are the people who have the biggest impact on me, on you and on everybody that they meet because they’re giving you something that’s the most precious thing they have. And people respond really really well to that. So next time you’re sitting down with someone, next time you’re on the phone with someone and I know that I’m going to get caught not being present. So this is a work in progress for all of us. But the next time we’re sitting down and next time we’re on the phone with someone, the next time that someone is interested enough in you for you to be present for that and give them that gift back? Just do it. And see how much of a difference it makes to you, to them, to how you feel about yourself, to how your people respond to you, and ultimately to how much of a difference you can make in someone’s life. So thank you for indulging me on the little discussion and word play on the seven letters that spell present and present. All with different meetings. And I appreciate you focusing and giving me your presence as you listen to podcast today. I always appreciate you investing your time in this podcast, and I wanna make sure that I give you some value for that time. And I hope I did today. If I did, please consider sharing the episode and until next time, please also maximize the greatness that’s within you maximize the presence that you have to give to other people, make your future your property. Something that you are very, very proud to own.

Alexi Cortopassi

Alexi Cortopassi

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