Cynthia covey haller purposeful retirement Cynthia covey haller purposeful retirement
Podcast 419

419: Live Life in Crescendo Toward a Purposeful Retirement with Cynthia Covey Haller

Today, I'm speaking with Cynthia Covey Haller. Cynthia is an author, teacher, and speaker. You may recognize her name from her contributions to books by her father, Stephen Covey, best known for writing The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, or her brother, Sean, who wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make.

In our conversation, we delved into her book Live Life In Crescendo: Your Most Important Work is Always Ahead of You, which she co-authored with her father Stephen, and was published posthumously as his final book.

We talk about the life lessons Cynthia learned in the Covey household, how to live life with a perennial sense of purpose and play to your strengths, and how having some stress in your life isn't necessarily a bad thing and can actually improve longevity.


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In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:
  • How Stephen Covey truly lived his values–and proved it to Cynthia when he brought her along on a speaking tour.
  • Why people like Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, and Julie Andrews embody what it means to live in crescendo.
  • How to shift your priorities, focus on your strengths, and spend more time doing what you love–especially if you’re rebuilding in the wake of a professional or personal tragedy or loss.
  • The unique value of “eustress" and how good stress helps to stay driven and ambitious even in retirement.
  • Simple ways to make a contribution, even if you don’t want to be a mentor or influencer.
  • Why it took over a decade after her father passed for Cynthia to finish Stephen’s final book–going from inspiration to millions of copies sold.
Inspiring Quote
  • "I’m living in crescendo. I’m not going to be in diminuendo. My greatest work and contributions are not in the past. They’re ahead. What can I do with my life to put it back together and still contribute and have a happy outcome and how I see myself in the future?" - Cynthia Covey Haller
  • "Distress is not helpful. Distress is a killer. But stress isn’t so bad. You’ve got to have some stress (eustress) in your life to accomplish things and a purpose helps keep you alive." - Cynthia Covey Haller
Interview Resources
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Read the Transcript

Casey Weade: Welcome to the Retire with Purpose podcast, where it is my mission to deliver clarity and purpose and elevate meaning in your life. And we do that in a couple of different ways here on the podcast. It’s not just about IRAs and 401(k)s and all those acronyms, all that financial stuff that while is very, very important as you do your retirement planning, it’s also about the softer side of life and retirement. And we bring you a lot of guests and conversations around those variety of different topics that are going to impact you in this phase of your life.

If you’re new to the show, I want you to know what to expect. Every single Friday, we get together with you in short form and we discuss a trending topic in the financial planning space, typically, that is covering an article or a blog post that our team has mined throughout the week and put in this email that you get every single Friday. For articles on trending topics, we pull one of those out. We take a deep dive on Fridays. And if you’re not familiar with that resource, you have to get it, you have to get yourself signed up. Because not only you’re staying up to date on the latest trends, which we know that we have to in this stage of our life, but you’re also going to receive all kinds of other resources. We have an amazing toolkit that we’re going to provide you with. We have all kinds of other webinars we’re going to invite you to and educational resources that’ll be right there at your fingertips.

And one of the things that you have the opportunity to do as a Weekend Reading subscriber is co-architect our interviews. We reach out to you prior to these interviews about a week prior and say, “Hey, what kind of questions do you have for our guests?” And I like to pull those questions into the conversation when appropriate. And also, if you’ve never signed up before, we’re going to send you a free digital copy of my Wall Street Journal bestseller, Job Optional. So, just text us the key letters WR to 866-482-9559, we’ll get you signed up.

So, let’s get to our interview today. Today, we have Cynthia Covey Haller, and she is an author, teacher, and speaker. You probably recognize that middle name Covey and there’s a good reason for that. I know, I myself am really excited for this interview. It’s quite a privilege to be here with a member of the Covey family. Actually, Cynthia has contributed her writing to several books, notably, The 3rd Alternative by Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make by Sean Covey, most recently. And what will be the focus of our conversation is the co-authored book that she had, Live Life in Crescendo: Your Most Important Work Is Always Ahead of You, written by her father Stephen Covey and published as his final book posthumously. They explore what it means to live life in crescendo. So, how do we live life in crescendo? We’re going to talk about that today, get louder and louder, right, to enrich the lives of those around you with the belief that your most important work and contributions are always, always still yet to come.


Casey Weade: With that, Cynthia, I’d love to welcome you to the show.

Cynthia Covey Haller: Thank you so much, Casey. I love your title of Retire with Purpose. What a great motto and purpose that you have with people who are going through this stage of life.

Casey Weade: And it’s always amazing to have someone like yourself that’s really living it, really living it, really living that second half of life or that third half of life, however you want to frame it, with such a great purpose. And I know, a lot of that, I’m sure, was supported through the memory of your father. And well, I could make this whole conversation about what it was like growing up in the Covey family and because the curiosity is killing me, but I know the focus of our conversation today has to be around living life in crescendo.

But I do have one thing that I think does have a lot to do with the topic of this book and living life in crescendo in general. Your father supported his beliefs that people are more important than things, and life is about contribution, not accumulation. And it’s great to say, it’s great to hear, it’s great to think; however, boy, in our society, that’s easier said than done. And I wanted to know, what did Stephen do to really act on this, to set a good example for you and the other eight siblings that you had?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Well, you’re right, there are nine of us. So, it’s a little wild and crazy growing up. But we were blessed that, even though there were so many, my parents did a good job of giving us individual attention. And if I can illustrate this maybe with a story, Casey, it just kind of shows my father’s character and what he tried to instill in us as well as my mother. But when I was 12 years old, I was invited to go with him on a trip to San Francisco, where he was speaking. And it was something that we took– I’m the oldest of the nine kids. And so, it was my turn, I was the first one. And part of the fun was talking about it, every day, it seemed like for a couple of months about what we were going to do in San Francisco.

And I went from Salt Lake City. I’d never been to San Francisco, and my dad was telling me all about the famous trolley cars and how magical they sounded to just go up and down the hills on these steep, steep hills in San Francisco. And so, we had the whole time planned. After he would be speaking, I would just hang around in the hotel and wait for him to be done and meet him in the back of the room. And then we would go ride the trolley cars all over town. We decided to go to some of these great department stores and buy an outfit for me for school, and then we’d take a taxi to Chinatown and get some Chinese food, which we both loved. And then we would take another taxi back to the hotel, so we could swim before they closed it. And then we would watch The Late Show and have a hot fudge sundae, have room service.

And so, we thought, for a 12-year-old, this was amazing and I was looking forward to every minute of it. And so, it was going according to plan. I was in the back of the room waiting, and as my father was making his way toward me, in a 12-year-old’s mind, tragedy struck, he ran into one of his college friends that he hadn’t seen for years, and they embraced and were so excited to see each other. And I heard the guy say, “Oh, I came to this conference knowing you’d be here. And my wife and I would love to steal your way tonight and go down The Wharf and have some seafood and have a great night and catch up.” And I hated seafood. I heard my dad say, “Oh, I’m here with my daughter.” And he looked back at me and said, “Oh, she’s welcome to join us too.” And if you can imagine, I thought, oh, I just really wanted to spend a night talking to some old person I didn’t know. And I could see my trolley car going down the hill without me, like my night was ruined.

And my dad seemed so excited and happy to see him. And he said, “Well, Bob, I will do that. That sounds like so much fun. But not tonight. Cynthia and I have a special date planned. Don’t we, honey?” And he winked at me. I saw the trolley car come back into view and he grabbed my hand and we were out the door before I think what happened. It kind of choked me up. And I said when I got outside, “Well, but dad, that’s your friend. I know, you told me stories about him and how it funny was. And I’m sure you’d rather go with him tonight. That’s fine if you want to do that.” And he said, “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss this date for anything. And you hate seafood. You want to get some Chinese food? Let’s go catch that trolley car.”

And so, looking back, I’m in my 60s, I’m looking back on my childhood. That experience was kind of representative of my father’s character, of what he valued, of what was important. It taught me about keeping your promise, about putting first things first, and caring about relationships more than anything else. And that night, I was a priority and I felt it. And so, my parents were like normal parents, they made mistakes and things. But I think that they kept trying to live what they believed and they put the relationships of each individual child ahead of a lot of things and it meant a lot to us.

Casey Weade: Yeah. And it’s so hard, especially when you’re in that area of life, you’re in your pinnacle of success where he was and to still hold those values, know what your values are and make decisions. It’s easier said than done and it’s beautiful to hear that example, and there’s nine of you, and one of the things you said that he made each and every one of you feel that you were special. So, this story that you tell, I’m guessing there’s at least nine stories just like that.

Cynthia Covey Haller: I write in the book that each one of my siblings could tell a San Francisco-type story of where they felt valued and they were a priority and their relationship really mattered. And that made a difference to us with our confidence and with our self-worth and how we thought we would fit into our family and into the world. So, it was important.

Casey Weade: It’s so easy to get caught up when you’re achieving so much in life. And so many of the families that are listening, so many of those that we work with are in that stage of their life where they’re winning. It’s oh, yeah, look at how well I’m doing. A lot of them are in the peak of their earning years, and it’s often hard to step away from work when you’re making more money than you ever thought possible. And it’s easy in our society that society has kind of taught us that the most valued things are things. They’re our net worth. And so many of those that I meet are struggling with kind of getting off of that treadmill and starting to really enforce what’s most valuable to them in life, but they’re kind of stuck using that net worth as a scorecard for their success in life. What do you say to them?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Well, my father always taught, make sure your ladder isn’t leaning against the wrong tower. Your ladder of success isn’t leaning against the wrong thing that he believed that success was being successful in your most important roles in life, the roles that matter the most to you, and usually begins with the family role of a father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, uncle, and where you can have influence in someone’s life. Important roles in your family, important roles in the community, maybe in your neighborhood, in your church, congregation, in your profession as a manager, whatever you are, be successful in your most important roles and the rest will follow. You may or may not get financial success. But as he always said, nobody on their deathbed wished they spent more time at the office. The deathbed material that he studied showed that people, what they talk about at the end of their life is their relationships or the lack of them. That’s what really has value and that’s what you take with you.

Casey Weade: Well, this idea of living life in crescendo, this was his last big idea. And it kind of came at a tumultuous time in his life. And I’m assuming the whole family, with many not recognizing some of your mother’s health issues, and then Stephen struggling with dementia, how did those health issues really help you connect and embrace this idea of living life in crescendo?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Sure. Just to go back a little bit, my father adopted Live Life in Crescendo as his personal mission statement the last 10 years of his life. And he did that because people were always saying to him, “When are you going to retire, Steve? You’re in your 70s. You’re still speaking, writing. You’re still doing all these things. Why are you doing this?” And he thought, like, “Wow, I still have a lot to contribute. I’m not done.” And at one time, I made the mistake of asking him, “Hey, are you going to ever write anything as great as The 7 Habits?” And he was like, “These things, I wrote that in 1989. What have I been doing these last 34 years? I mean, I still have put out other books that have, first things first, 3rd Alternative, The 8th Habit, which is find your voice and help others find theirs.”

So, he didn’t believe the musical symbol of a crescendo, as you know, it goes like this. It starts at one point and then expands outward. And if you’ve ever heard a crescendo at a concert, it’s fantastic. The music grows and swells and grows louder and more powerful, more energy and it fills the arena, where the opposite symbol is diminuendo. And that may start really strong, but it lessens and it grows softer and it eventually just stops, comes to an end.

And so, this idea of living in crescendo means that regardless of any age or stage of your life that you’re in, regardless of past failures or past successes, you still have important things to contribute. Your greatest work still and your greatest contributions still could be ahead of you. So don’t think, well, I peaked, that’s it, I’m done. Because once that happens, you will decline. And he believes that a lot of people die prematurely because they lack purpose in their life anymore and don’t make any more contributions.

Casey Weade: It’s beautiful and it’s so encouraging to so many. And yet, it’s so challenging, which is why there’s so much value in the book and all of the principles that have been listed in there to help us and this crescendo mentality that utilizes these key principles to guide you through each part of what you say, the four parts of your life. I mean, we’re talking about parts of your life, and the book’s kind of broken down into these four different parts. How do you view life stages as a whole? And where do these parts fit in?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Well, we did break it down into four stages, a midlife stage where you wonder, “Am I as successful as I thought I’d be? I’m 50 years old. What have I done? Have I made a name for myself? Have I been where I thought I was going to be?” And I’ve got stories and examples. I forgot to say that at that point, when I insulted my dad by telling him, is he going to do anything else? He asked me, he said, “Could you take this material, this crescendo material, and basically write it? You could interview me. I’ll give you my ideas and you write it and fill it with examples of people who are famous or non-famous, well-known or ordinary people that live in crescendo, so that people can see, oh, this is what we’re talking about in the different stages such as the midlife stage.”

And then there’s a pinnacle of success stage, which is like Jimmy Carter, I mean, the President of the United States at one point. And yet, he didn’t get re-elected. And imagine his options going back to Georgia, he could do like a lot of presidents, just build a library and give expensive speeches. But Casey, what are the Carters known for? I mean, we just did one pass away. What’s the legacy of the Carters? It’s contribution, it’s habitat for humanity, it’s Carter Peace Center. It’s all those things that they continued to go.

So, truly, even though they were at the pinnacle of success, the President of the United States, you’ll be more well known for his post-presidency, what he has contributed. After that, his greatest work was still ahead of him. And so, the pinnacle of success, you still have more to contribute, then there’s life challenges. All of us have faced really hard things, maybe a divorce, a death of a loved one, serious health issues, things that are real setbacks. How are we going to respond to those, to the things that happen to us? Is that going to be what does it say and we don’t contribute anymore? Or do you keep going and realize this is a phase in life and I still have great things to contribute?

And there’s so many examples in the book. Nelson Mandela at 71, getting out of prison, if you can imagine, after so many years in Robben Island in South Africa and you’d think, “Gosh, he’s 71. What can he do?” And yet, four years later, he’s elected as President of South Africa and dismantling apartheid. And his greatest contribution was still ahead when he spent all those 29 years in prison. And yet, he still had so much left to contribute.

And then the last phase, I’m just telling this real quick because I know you’re going to ask me some other questions more specifically, but the last phase is why, really, he wrote the book and this is with your podcast is, what are you going to do with the second half of your life? Your most important contributions are still to come as you’re in your 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, if you will allow it, if you have a mindset and a perspective that you know what? I’ve had this whole life of success or maybe it hasn’t been successful, but what am I going to contribute going forward from this point?

Casey Weade: And I think we can all find ourselves somewhere in these four stages of our life, no matter what our age is. Of course, there’s midlife and then there’s retirement. But I think it’s easy to feel that we’ve reached the pinnacle of success, no matter where we find ourselves in life quite often, and we’re always going to face life’s challenges. So, I want to make sure that this isn’t dismissed by someone that’s 25 or someone that’s 35. I mean, this is valuable stuff for anyone at any stage of their life, especially be prepared for the biggest challenges that are going to be ahead of all of us, even if we felt we already went through those challenges.

But for many that are listening, they are in that midlife stage, and this is why this is such a relevant conversation to them. And I want to ask a very general question about that. Why do you see some individuals experience this midlife crisis or what you refer to as fermata and others not experiencing it? What do you see the difference in the attributes of those two types of individuals? Or maybe everybody goes through it.

Cynthia Covey Haller: It kind of seems like most people experience some sort of, maybe it’s an identity crisis for a little bit of time that you wonder, “Am I successful? What have I really done?” And it really does matter how you measure success. And as I said before, how my father would measure it is, how are you doing in your most successful roles. He actually would have people write their obituary about what they would want to have said at their funeral and what qualities they value, what contributions they would like to have made by the time they die, what relationships and what things are most important to them. And then, with that in mind, get to work and make a change.

One of my father’s, my favorite analogy is he says, “If you’re driving a car and you’re looking constantly in the rearview mirror, you’re looking behind you, you’re looking at what you left behind, meaning your past failures, even your past successes, how far are you going to get with your car? You’re going to end up in a ditch pretty soon because you can’t keep glancing over your shoulder or look in the rearview mirror. You’ve got to look ahead at what’s to come.” And so, maybe you did have a failure. Like, we tell a story of a man whose business just kind of blew up. He was an owner of a company, a construction company, and eventually, he was pushed out by his partners. And at 47, 48, he doesn’t have a career anymore. He’s got to start over. He’s got four kids to support and decides, “What am I going to do?” He decides, “I’m not finished. I still have a lot to contribute.”

He’s always wanted to go be a lawyer. So, he changes complete careers and enrolls in law school at 47, the oldest student in the class by, like, double. And he said one day, he pulled into the parking lot, five in the morning going to law school. And it’s pitch black. It’s in the middle of winter. And he feels a feeling of doom just come over him and depression, thinking, “What am I doing? How am I going to do this?” And he determines, “I’m not going to look in the rearview mirror. I’m not going to look back. I’m looking forward and I’m looking ahead at what I can do.” And he says, he thinks, “I’m going to see this through.”

And in the next two and a half years, he pushes as hard as he can going around and graduates at 49, the oldest in his class by far and, at 49 and 50, sets up a new law practice and within a couple of years, has more business than he can handle. So, you’re going to have setbacks in career. You may experience a divorce, which is devastating, and one of the hardest things I understand to go through. But you’ve got to decide, “You know what? I’m living in crescendo. I’m not going to be in diminuendo. My greatest work and contributions are not in the past. They’re ahead. What can I do with my life to put it back together and continue and still contribute and have a happy outcome and how I see myself in the future?” And you’ve got to work to bring it about.

Casey Weade: It just sounds that it’s also redefining and reprioritization of those most important roles. Maybe the important role that you had before isn’t the most important role for this next phase. I’ve seen this with friends that went through divorce where they had said, “Well, my identity was I’m a husband. My most important role is I’m a husband. And now, I’m not a husband anymore. So, what do I do? How do I move forward?” And that close friend redefined himself as his most important role being a father. And those are the types of things that I see being very successful, but sometimes take a lot of time, and it can be challenging to go through this process of reprioritization and really identifying each one of those roles.

And I think a question that we had from one of our Weekend Reading subscribers, it embodies this confusion and challenge that people face. Stacy reached out to us and she said, “With so many options to keep us busy in retirement, hobbies, active lifestyle, travel, how does someone make the shift from doing things for themselves to serving others, and then align their skills and expertise with the appropriate organization to make an intentional impact?” I see that question as, I get to retirement, I’ve got so many options. I’m having so much fun. I think it’s, oh, I’m having so much fun doing all these things. But I know there’s another thing that I could do that’s going to be more impactful and more meaningful, but oh, I really do like to golf and I really do like my pickleball and I really do like my time at home and watching TV. How do we make that shift from identifying those most important roles and reprioritizing our life to make it more fulfilling?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Yeah, that’s a great question. I agree with you, Casey, that this time of life, the second half of life, which we’re calling it, is the most exciting and can be the most productive because you do have so many options. My father always thought it was a false dichotomy to have on one end keep working and the other one retire. Like, those are the only two choices. But he said, the third alternative is make a contribution. And so, you can leave a 9 to 5 job or your career, says you could retire from a career or a job but never retire from making meaningful contributions in the lives of others. So, people love golf. They love to travel. They love to do that. That’s great. Do those things that you enjoy, but then, detect your purpose.

This is from Viktor Frankl, who is one of my father’s idols or heroes because he’s the one that suffered in the Nazi camp. He wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, that great book that’s so inspiring, where he realized that they can take everything from me. They can take my family, my choices, my ability to live how I want. But the one thing they can’t take from me is my ability to choose how to react to what’s happening to me. And he had the wherewithal to be in being tortured and being in this prison and could see himself in his mind’s eye, speaking in Vienna in Austria, where he’s from, to students in the future about what he was suffering, what he was going through, and developed what he’d called logotherapy years later. But he had a vision of, no, I still have things to contribute and envision himself doing that. And so, he challenges us by saying, “Detect your purpose.” He says, “You don’t invent your mission, but you detect it within yourself.”

So, I would say to someone who’s in a stage that they’re deciding what they’re going to do, think about, be still within yourself and listen to your conscience. What needs do I see around me? What am I good at? What skills have I acquired over a lifetime of running a business and raising a family, of being part of a community, of being a leader? How can I apply that to the community around me and my circle of influence, the people that I’m around or that I can impact and start small, and it can grow into something huge?

One woman, who retired at 77, moved into a small town and her goal was to spoil her grandkids, just to be near them. She hadn’t lived close by them at all. And so, she enjoyed time with her family, which was wonderful. But then she looked around her and realized that the literacy rate in her town was so low, even for adults, that there were many adults that couldn’t read well and the illiteracy was super high in her town. And so, she used what my father called R & I, resourcefulness and initiative.

And as kids, we used to hate hearing that because we couldn’t make excuses. You’d come home from school and say, “I hate my math teacher. I’m flunking math and it’s my teacher’s fault.” And he would say, “Well, use your R & I, make it happen.” We’re like, “No, no, it’s really my teacher’s fault. He’s really bad. He doesn’t help us. He’s not friendly and he’s not a good teacher.” “Well, it’s up to you. R & I meant change classes, get a tutor, ask for extra help, do whatever you can. It’s your responsibility. Make it happen.” And so, we hated hearing that, but we knew there was truth in it. If we wanted to have our heart massaged, we went to my mom, and she’d do that. If we wanted to know the truth and really get going, you’d have to go to my dad. So, they were pretty well balanced.

But anyway, this woman, Hesther Rippy, used our R & I and went to the town, the mayor, and said, “I need one room to help teach kids how to read,” and just went to all the council and started really small. And years later, the Hesther Rippy Literacy Center was founded. She impact, she and volunteers thousands and thousands of adults and children through her desire to just bring out some reading skills in others. And her goal was to just be quiet and retire and enjoy her grandkids. But the challenges in this book is what unique skills and talents and things do you have when you look out word and see the needs around you? How can you meet those in some small way? And pretty soon, it will be a domino effect and you’ll be amazed at how much good you can do.

Casey Weade: I’m curious to know how you think about this, your most valuable asset being time. And as we go through our lives, I feel that we go through our lives. If we’re CEO, we’re running a business or we’re just in a position that restricts the amount of time that we have, we have to be so intentional about how we’re spending our time. Every minute of every day, we have to account for, know where we’re going to be, what we’re going to do in order to accomplish our goals. And then we get to this stage of life where, ah, I can breathe, I don’t have to pay attention to my time anymore. I can wake up when I want to wake up. I can go to bed when I want to go to bed and do what I want to do when I want to do it. And then time becomes ever more fleeting because we no longer have to account for it. So, when there’s more expansion of that time, we’re less likely to pay attention to it and less likely to pay attention to those most important things in our lives and actually build them into our time, our schedule, our most valuable asset.

Cynthia Covey Haller: That’s a great point. Dr. Selye, who we quote in the book, this psychologist called that retirement disease. He said that the purpose, I mean, the reason for it, the antidote for retirement disease is purpose. Like, you’re describing, you have stress in your life while you’re working, while you’re raising a family, while you’re doing all of this. And there’s two kinds of stress, there’s distress and there’s eustress, E-U-S-T-R-E-S-S, eustress. It’s a Greek word which is helpful stress. He said, “You have to keep some eustress in your life. You have to keep some eustress so that you feel like I have to get up, you have a reason to get up in the morning. You’ve got a purpose.” Those people, my father observed, who retired and just like, like you’re saying, I’m done, I’ve got no schedule, I can sleep in, I can do what I want, you can have some of that. But if your main day is leisure and no purpose or contribution, pretty soon, your body will break down and your mind a lot quicker because you don’t have that helpful stress, that eustress that motivates you to get out of bed.

And with the idea that how can I make a difference for someone today? What? I’m working on this big charitable drive, a food drive in my neighborhood. We’re collecting food and clothes. We’re helping with the blighted area. And there’s a reason to get up and to contribute. And if you cut that out, when you retire pretty soon, you will find very little purpose and meaning in your life at all. Pablo Picasso said the meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. And that phrase, meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose to give it away is kind of the mission statement of this book, that people who are involved in serving others and then making contributions will be happier, will live longer, will be healthier because of their overriding purpose, which gives them the eustress and the desire to change and to make a difference and to keep living in crescendo instead of been there, done that, I’m done.

Casey Weade: I feel like we get it wrong in the medical community a lot here regarding stress. We say, “Well, stress is the number one killer in the United States.” And I often have said this to my coaches and other people, my wife knows this, when I’m not stressed, I’m stressed. If I don’t have a little bit of stress in my life, I have a problem and I’m going to have a major psychological issue if I don’t actually face that. And we say, well, is it the number one killer in the United States, stress? Or is stress one of those things that’s actually one of the number one things that leads to longevity in our lives?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Well, like you say, distress is not helpful. Distress is a killer. Too much stress and pressure when you feel like you can’t breathe and you’ve got so much anxiety, that’s a different kind of stress than the eustress we’re talking about. And in Live Life in Crescendo, we talk about a longevity study that it was an 80-year-old study on 1,500 kids that they followed, that these professors from Harvard and Stanford followed through their lifetime, and they interviewed them every so often to see how they lived, who lived happier and healthier lives and what the factors were. And one of the findings was stress isn’t so bad if you’ve got to have some stress in your life to accomplishing things and a purpose that helps keep you alive.

Another one was that happiness is a result, not a cause. In other words, you bring your own weather with you. You’re not like, you’re happy or sad depending on the weather. You’re in a good mood when people are good to you and things are going well, that my father always taught in the 7 Habits that you have to be proactive. You’re the master of your destiny. You’ve got to take control of it despite what’s happening to you. He always said, you, the circumstances aren’t– I can’t think of the exact phrase right now, but the idea is that you are a product of your proactive decisions, not of your circumstances. So, you’re a product of what you decide to bring about. And this is what that Longevity Project found.

Another thing they found is that physical exercise is important, to enjoy it, that sharpening the saw, that was his 6th habit, sharpen the saw, keep doing things that renew you and your life and, during retirement, you have time to exercise like you want. You have time to go on long walks and time to take good care of yourself. In this phase of life, you actually have more time, more money, more wisdom, more experience, more connections than you ever have in your whole life. So, what are you going to do about it for the better good of society?

A couple more things that I learned is stay involved in meaningful work as you get older. I used the example of Julie Andrews, who at 62, had throat cancer and couldn’t sing anymore. And she said that she had an identity crisis like you were saying about your friend. She’s a singer. She’s an actress. But now, that’s taken from her. So, what would be her response? Is she going to live in crescendo or diminuendo? And she decided, she said, “At first, I went into a depression because I felt like I’d lost my whole identity.” And then she said, like in The Sound of Music, where God closes the door somewhere, he opens a window. She decided to look around her, and she and her daughter went on to write children’s books. She said they wrote a couple of bestseller series called The Very Fairy Princess that became bestsellers for young girls. And she said, “This introduced me to a whole other audience, a generation of viewers that I’ve never experienced before.” She said, “If I hadn’t had that happen, I would have never known the pleasure of writing and entertaining young children.” And so, she’s known as a famous actress and a singer, but that’s not all. She’s also a contributor for children’s books, for writing now. And she said that’s giving her a new identity and great purpose.

And then the last one, the Longevity Project determined, is that you have to have a strong social network. A lot of people, my father would say as they get older, their circle of influence is this big and usually, it decreases. Sometimes they shut themselves off. They don’t extend as much as they do because they’re not required to at work or with people and they shrink their circle of influence. And he said that’s when it should actually expand. So, just a few ideas of doing that during the stage of life.

Casey Weade: Oh, if I could put a bow on that, my biggest takeaway, I think we’ve gotten it wrong. The goal is not a stress-free life, it’s a eustress-filled life, right?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Yeah, that’s good.

Casey Weade: I absolutely love that.

Cynthia Covey Haller: Eustress-filled life with purpose.

Casey Weade: And when you think about all those things that you talked about and the examples you’ve been giving, I think, for some it’s hard for them to see themselves in that position. Maybe they just don’t have that personality type. You talk about expanding your circle of influence and expanding these social circles, and they go, “I don’t know, I’m not that kind of person. I’m an introvert.”

And I think a question that we had from one of our subscribers, Gary, kind of embodies that. He says, “Are there different approaches to live life in crescendo for different personality types, for example, extroverts and introverts?” Besides mentoring and staying in a leadership role, how else can someone that doesn’t really feel comfortable in that position or has a completely different personality type that doesn’t really attach themselves, so that identity to being a mentor, having a circle of influence, how do they really handle all of this guidance for themselves in the way that they view themselves?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Great questions from your viewers, from people that are sending these in. That’s a good question. And I would say what Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can with what you have, where you are.” We’re all not going to be Nelson Mandela’s. We’re all not going to be huge leaders, like Carters or other people, Michael J. Fox, for example, think of him getting Parkinson’s, that huge setback and how he has handled this approach for research for Parkinson’s. But most people are, like you said, some are introverts and they don’t see themself in a big, huge role. So, do what you can, where you are with what you have means you start maybe with your family. You look around and see, is there someone in your circle of influence, in your family that is struggling from an addiction, that has low self-esteem? Someone, a daughter or someone in your family that’s going through a divorce or through a health crisis, what can you do to help them in a small way?

One woman was challenged to help in her community by a homeless advocate. She raised her hand and said, “But I have a fixed income, and I’m 80 years old and I don’t get out a lot. How can I possibly make a difference?” And this advocate said to her, “Could you donate one can of soup every week?” And she said, “Yes.” She said, “Well, think about a single mother opening up a can of soup to feed a couple of hungry kids at night so they don’t go to bed hungry. Do you think that would make a difference to them?” “Well, yes, I do.” That woman contributed from that point on one can of soup for the next five years, feeding hundreds of people. So, something small.

Another person, another woman, it’s actually my aunt. Here she is, she’s in her 80s. You think, what can she do? How can she make a difference? Well, she knits. She heard that my daughter was going to Romania to work in an orphanage. And so, she made 60 pair of slippers for her to take and just knitted them, and a couple of wall hangings, beautiful bright colored wall hangings that my daughter took to Romania. She gets there to the orphanage. And it’s just the walls are bleak. There’s nothing on them, nothing to stimulate the kids or to look at. She put these beautiful wall hangings up, and then she passed out these beautiful slippers, warm slippers that are homemade from someone on the other side of the world who doesn’t know them, someone in their 80s. One little 10-year-old girl got the slippers and held them up to her and said, “It was my birthday last week and I didn’t get a present. This can be my present.”

Think what contribution that this shy lady in her 80s who knits, made to people on the other side of the world she’ll never meet. And so, it’s common and it’s easy to say, I’m ordinary. I don’t have a lot of money. I don’t have unusual talents. What can I do? But this book is full of examples, who are people like that, who do small things and make huge contributions. You don’t have to be extraordinary to make an extraordinary contribution.

Casey Weade: That’s beautiful.

Cynthia Covey Haller: One last example, a couple who retired, one was a chemist, the other was a doctor. They retired and had so much time on their hands, sitting around their apartment, looking at each other, watching TV, and thought, “We can’t keep doing this.” And so, they both love music and they would buy and find old musical instruments and took repair classes on how to fix them up and gave them to the school district, literally contributing thousands of instruments in a 10-year period for a poor school district that didn’t have those. What a contribution. Just using your R & I, resourcefulness and initiative, and make it happen within your own circle of influence, even if it’s small, even if it’s your family or your neighborhood, looking across the street and seeing a lonely neighbor who’s a shut in. What difference would it make to that person if you walked across the street and offered to mow the lawn? If you took home a warm loaf of bread, if you just befriended them, that makes a difference. That’s not going to make the news, but you’re going to change a person’s life little by little, one person at a time.

Casey Weade: And a big part of this book is focusing on that circle of influence, expanding that circle of influence. And we had a question from Bruce that I want to tee up this question, and I think it’s a really valid one. When we think about our circle of influence, especially if we’ve been in a personal growth track most of our lives, maybe we’ve listened to Jim Rohn and I think Jim has maybe thrown a wrench in this for some people. I see it showing up here in Bruce’s question. You know what did Jim say is that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, right? I mean, it probably is his most famous quote of all time. And so, Bruce says this, along those lines, he says, “What are the steps to creating a circle of influence? How do you decide if the influence will move you forward rather than sideways or backwards? And to me, that goes back to the Jim Rohn quote, well, if I start to spend a lot more time with these people that are struggling, isn’t that going to pull me backwards? If I’m the average of my five closest friends, now, I’m spending more and more time with people that maybe aren’t the best influence on me and I’m just being the best influence on them. I’m just really curious what a Covey would have to say about all of these things kind of coming together.”

Cynthia Covey Haller: Yeah, another good question. I guess if you’re spending time with drug addicts and drunks and people that aren’t making good choices, that could maybe tear you down. But I think that, if you determine to be proactive enough to have an end in mind of making a difference for someone and you go about it person by person, I think you could lift the group. I think, my father would say, “Be a light in their lives.” Of course, you don’t want to get dragged down with destructive habits, if that’s what’s happening. But on the whole, I think that you would lift the group through your initiative and through suggesting a project to do together or something that could help them have more vision.

My father’s definition of leadership, I think, is pretty unique. He describes leadership as seen another’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves. And Casey, if you think about, maybe I could ask you, can you think about a person that believed in you when you didn’t believe in yourself and made a difference in your life? I bet you have a name or a person that would come to you. Tell me about that. Did you have somebody that you feel like made a difference? When you didn’t believe in yourself, did you have someone who did?

Casey Weade: Yeah, I mean, it still happens to this day, right? I work with my mentors and my coaches on a regular basis, and they’ll see something in me that that I don’t see and then they’ll bring that out in me. But I will say, one of the things that I see with my mentors and my coaches that I’ve worked with that are able to inspire me is that they already have figured this out for themselves. And they have their own voice and they have their own calling. And I don’t know that they would be able to provide that to me without already having that definition and that confidence within themselves to pull it out of others. I think the risk here in going out and coaching drug addicts or alcoholics is the influence that they may have on you if you haven’t defined your voice in your calling for yourself already. I think we have to be careful of putting the cart ahead of the horse.

Cynthia Covey Haller: That’s a great point. That’s the 8th habit, find your voice and help others find theirs. You have to have your own identity first. And maybe the person that’s asking this question, they do have to determine, what do I believe? What are my values? What do I stand for? What do I want to see happen? And then they’re able to influence if they’re secure about that rather than going out into a group and trying to figure out who they are. You’re right. My father had this kind of mentor in his life that he was in a service opportunity and he had a lot of responsibilities but didn’t see himself as a leader at all. He was a little bit shy when he was younger. He spent three years in high school on crutches and wasn’t able to do any physical activity hardly. And it forced him to develop his mind. He went into debate and things and it kind of changed his trajectory of his life.

But this leader, when he was only 20 years old, asked him to go and train older people and to be a leader in a lot of different areas. And he didn’t see himself like that at all. But his mentor, the president, who was over him said, “I know you can do this.” And so, he trusted that and went out on a limb and did that and found that he had an ability to teach and inspire that he never knew about. He was going home after he was going to the service experience, and then he was going to the Harvard Business School. And the goal was to go home and help his family run a family hotel. It was Covey’s Little America that was in Salt Lake City that they since have sold years ago. But he was going into the hotel business and he found his voice. He found, he told his dad at Harvard, “You know what? I don’t want to go into the business. I want to teach. I feel like I have a gift to teach and inspire through words and through speaking.” And it totally changed, it gave him a career. It gave him his identity and trajectory of his life changed into, he believes that teaching and mentoring is one of the greatest gifts that you could give another person. So, that was a good point, that you do have to have your own base. You have to be solid and know who you are and what you’re about before you can be an influence for good on others.

Casey Weade: And I can already hear the inspiration coming through as people are listening to this and now, they’re inspired. They want to do something. They want to take action. And what do they do next? Let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about the steps that they can go through in order to create this in their lives and act on this inspiration. You offer some ideas, some steps, if you will, to help adopt this crescendo mentality in the second half of life. And why don’t you walk through this kind of step by step? We have need, vision, resources, resourcefulness. And let’s start with that first one, need and conscience.

Cynthia Covey Haller: Right. Okay, this is something everyone can do. Listen to your own conscience. Be quiet within yourself and introspective and write down what needs do you see around you. And as I said, start with your family. Start with somebody that’s struggling with an addiction or low self-esteem or just needs someone to believe in them and to support them at their games and activities. You look around your community. Is there a lot of poverty? Is there a lot of homelessness? Is there an education issue?

One man, Mike Mason, who was actually number four in the FBI, had a great career, and he was one of those ones that would be interviewed on TV. And he was literally the fourth man from the top of the FBI. And he went into a forced retirement after so many years, they retire you, and he sat around on his porch and thought, “I’m going to go crazy doing this.” And he looked around his community and saw– this was in the South, he saw that there was a bussing issue. There weren’t enough bus drivers. And he applied to be a bus driver.

And the guy that interviewed him made it to the top and he called him and said, “Do you realize you’re overqualified? You’ve been in the FBI and you’re applying to be a bus driver.” And he said, “We’ve got to get past the idea that there are no unimportant jobs. What could be more valuable than contributing to the education of my community by helping children get to school safely and to support them and show that this has value.” And he said something interesting, “I continue to progress in my career,” when he took the job, continue to progress. He’s living a crescendo. He’s not getting the big bucks or the fame, but he’s taking care of a need that he saw and he’s driving kids to school. So, need, look around you and see what’s the need that I see that I can meet. Listen to your conscience and write down, how can I meet this, and start small in a small way.

Casey Weade: Yeah, starting small and getting rid of some of those assumptions, saying, “Well, that’s too complicated. I’m not going to do that.” Or “Yeah, I don’t really have experience in that area. I’m not going to address that.” Just get all those things out on a piece of paper, write the needs that you see around yourself. And then we get to number two, vision, passion.

Cynthia Covey Haller: Okay. Yeah, vision and passion, it says in the Bible, “Without vision, the people perish.” You’ve got to have a vision of where you’re going. You got to look bigger than what you see. One homeless advocate said, tells the story of a man coming up to her in a rehab center, a drug rehab center, and said, “You probably don’t remember me. But do you remember years ago, there were six of us that were homeless people that were outside, and it was freezing? And you went into a department store and bought us all a pair of warm gloves.” He said, “My self-esteem was very low at that point, but I looked at these gloves and thought, a total stranger bought you one pair of gloves. You must have some meaning. You must have some value in your life. You must mean something.” He said, “That gave me the push to put my life back together.” He said, “I’ve kept these gloves since then to remind me that I do matter, that people matter and people care.” Just a simple act, buying a pair of warm gloves for someone. That’s a vision of seeing someone in a different light than how they are than someone that’s addicted to a substance or someone who has failed in their family or in their business.

Creating a vision, believing them, giving some sort of leadership to them that you’re not done, you don’t have to live in diminuendo. You have had years of failure of maybe addiction, but there’s plenty of stories of people who have overcome great obstacles and have gone on to do wonderful things. You can be one of those people. Share your passion and your vision with them so that they, too, believe it.

Casey Weade: So, we look around, we see the needs that we’re surrounded with, that way on our conscience. And then we spend time thinking about what our vision would be for those different needs that we see around society that we’re surrounded with and create a vision around what we want them to ultimately look like. And then we start to put this in practice. We take a look at how we can possibly do that through our resources and talents.

Cynthia Covey Haller: Right. Resources and talents. Make a list of things that you’re good at. They don’t have to be extraordinary. It could be that you’re thoughtful, that you’re caring, that you feel compassion toward people. Maybe you’re good at organization. Maybe you’re good at problem solving. Make a list of your own unique resources and talents. Do you have connections in the community? Maybe you were very successful so you could help get a project going in your town because you know people and you maybe have money, maybe you can pour money into a project and your time.

Everybody has certain resources and talents, and people usually downplay theirs and think, “Oh, I’m just ordinary. I can’t make a difference.” But story after story, ordinary people change the world. And as Mahatma Gandhi says, “You’d be the change in the world. You’d be the person that will make a difference in change.” And then the last one is what we talked about, use your R & I and make it happen.

Now, we say that to our kids. They hate it too. Use your R & I, make it happen. Don’t blame people. Don’t say my job’s a dead-end job. I hate my boss. My boss is unreasonable and hard on me. Well, R & I, use your R & I. Quit your job. Find a better one. Talk to your manager. Change positions. Do whatever. Do whatever it takes. You’re responsible for your own future. And it’s easy to blame circumstances and people, but that doesn’t get you anywhere. That might massage your heart and make you feel like you have an excuse, but if you truly have the crescendo mentality, and that’s what we’ve been talking about this whole time, is the perspective and the mentality, like a pair of glasses that you put on. It’s a new perspective that you look at everything at every phase of your life, at every challenge, at every setback, at every opportunity. You look at it with a crescendo mentality, thinking, “Okay, am I going to live in crescendo or diminuendo? I’m at a crossroads right here. How am I going to respond to what just happened to me? Keep in mind the future, the vision of I still want to make a difference. I still have important work and contributions ahead.” So, use your R & I and make it happen.

Casey Weade: That’s a beautiful story of inspiration, but practical knowledge in order to put that into use and really make a big impact. I often say, I mean, this is a generation of retirees that’s the largest generation in history. And the opportunity that’s here to make a massive impact has never been greater. We’ve never had a generation at this stage in our life with more experience and knowledge and wisdom to pass on to that next generation. I want to ask a couple of wrap-up questions as we bring things to a close and you’re on the Retire with Purpose podcast. So, I’d love for you to define for yourself and for the audience. What does that phrase mean to you? What does it mean to retire with purpose?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Well. I’ve had in crescendo to bring this book about. I’m in my 60s. I published a book with Simon and Schuster at 65. My dad has been gone for 12 years. It took 10 years to bring it out. And so, he has instilled in me the desire that, as I get older, expand my circle of influence, do more to contribute to the lives of others. I’m doing podcasts and speaking and expanding that as much as I can, trying to spread this idea and this hope that life can still be great and still be. In fact, I agree with you, Casey, what you’re saying, I mean, you’re younger, so you’re still in a career, but you have the perspective, the crescendo mentality perspective or, paradigm, as my father calls it, that your greatest contributions are still ahead, that you’re in a trajectory that keeps expanding and growing, and you do that in retirement. You said, retire with purpose. I’ve taken up pickleball. Have you ever played pickleball?

Casey Weade: I have. I got it handed to me by a couple of 70-plus guys.

Cynthia Covey Haller: I’m telling you it’s supposed to be the fastest growing sport in America. Do something new. Live in crescendo means and retiring with purpose means keep learning. Start a book club or continuing your book club. Join a service club, join the Rotary or Kiwanis or some service organization. Analyze, take a half a day, go somewhere beautiful, like to the beach or the mountains or somewhere alone, and write out your vision, what you want to do for the next 10, 15 years and where you see yourself. By the time you pass away, what are your things that you would love to have said about you and to feel like you left as a contribution? You can’t take money with you. You can’t take titles. You can’t take fame, all those things. They just sit on the side. They don’t go with you. But you can take contributions in other’s lives. You can leave a legacy of good for people to follow. You can take important relationships and things with you that were meaningful and leave them for others to follow.

As an example, like my father has done for me. And as you said, in the book, at the very end, we tell about three things that happened to our family that we had to live a crescendo. Sometimes people think, if you write books or speak or something, that you don’t have problems and you don’t have things that you face also. But we’re a normal family that has gone through many setbacks as well and we experienced them. With my mom’s help, she always had been the Energizer Bunny and had been able to do everything and she had back surgery that did not go well and left her in a wheelchair the last several years of her life. And she had the option, living crescendo or diminuendo, and she decided I’m the matriarch of the family. My father was gone by then and toward the end of that, and she got us together. She called everyone on their birthdays. She would play tricks on people on April Fool’s Day, celebrate. She’d get my brother and his kids to deliver Saint Patrick’s Day cookies to neighbors. She did what she could with what she had and she continued to expand and bless her family. She lived in crescendo and inspired all of us.

And then the second example is my father. Some people don’t know, I wrote about this in the book, we decided as a family to make that public that at the end, he suffered from frontotemporal dementia, which affected his vision and his passion for life. And all the things, all his talents and skills that he had he was known for were taken from him. And how are we as a family going to respond to that? We realized he was living in crescendo till he couldn’t do it anymore. I think he realized something was happening to him and he did what he could. I think that’s why he asked me to write this book for him and to take these ideas and get them out there.

So, his legacy lives on through me, through these ideas, through our family, and through these principles and 7 Habits and 8th Habit. And the last one, which we think is the capstone habit, live life for crescendo. Your most important work is always ahead of you. It was not only his mission statement, but he firmly believed that it was so much a part of his life that he wanted to keep contributing. And he felt like the way that I can influence, be an example to my family is not just to love them and serve them, but to let them see a person who is making a contribution as far as he can to our family, past our family, beyond. And that’s living in crescendo.

And then the third story that I just would tell briefly would be that right after my father died, my niece died from effects of depression. And this was devastating to our family also. And my brother, thinking about it, someone told him, well-meaning, but told him, well, you’ll always have a hole in your heart because Rachel has died. She was 21 and the oldest child of oldest daughter. And he said, “You’ll always just have a hole in your heart. That’s how it is.” And he thought about that and thought, “No, I’m not going to have a hole in my heart. I’m going to grow a muscle there. I’m not going to just have this big hole.” He decided, “I have three choices. I can let what happened destroy us, it can define us, or it can strengthen us.” And he chose the harder option is to have it strengthen them by doing what he could to help other girls that suffer from depression, deep depression.

And Rachel loved horses and found her voice when she was riding horses. And so, some girls came to him after she passed away and said, “Rachel took his horseback riding and really helped boost our spirits and did a lot for us when we were down and really inspired us that way.” And so, he and his wife established Bridle Up Hope. It has three parts. It’s equestrian training. I guess there’s a lot of healing with horses, working with horses. So, girls from the ages of 12 to 21 who have depression and anxiety would go through an equestrian training program. The second part is that they learn life skills and they all receive a copy of 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens that help them navigate. It’s like the 7 habits for adults but this is for teenagers that help them deal with life’s ups and downs. And then the third component is service. They give back to others and take away from looking just myopically their problem and expand it to others.

So, that was 11 years ago. Over a thousand girls have gone through Bridle Up Hope in Alpine, Utah. There’s also several other locations. One of them is in the Ukraine. Just was established in the middle of the war. They are suffering so bad over there. They said, some women and children, younger teens were raped and had horrible things happen to them and their self-esteem was so low, said, “We need to bring that up more than we need food.” And someone gave their ranch with horses on it. And there’s girls that are going through Bridle Up Hope in Ukraine right now, as well as in 12 other places. So, just an example of just determining to live in crescendo despite a life-changing tragedy, something awful that happened. Now, thousands of lives have been blessed because of Rachel and what they determined to make good out of something really hard that happened. So, sorry, I’ve been talking too long.

Casey Weade: No, that’s great. All of those stories are just so inspirational and so impactful. And you mentioned the word habit quite often throughout this conversation, which makes sense, right? And I can say, I’m a believer in the compound effect. And it’s this obsession with what we do every day, the littlest things, our habits throughout the day, the things that we do, our routines that we carry with us. And given that I’m sitting here with you, Cynthia, and with a father that was the author of one of the most influential books in my life and so many others, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I’m curious, yeah, I’d like to ask this question of some of my guests. One or two, what’s one of your strangest or most unique daily habits that you have?

Cynthia Covey Haller: What are my strangest habits?

Casey Weade: Yeah.

Cynthia Covey Haller: Oh, I don’t know my strangest habit. We were kind of taught to envision the day, envision the week, what we wanted to bring about. To create your own, my father would always say, carry your own sunshine, carry your own weather with you. Don’t be a product of what happens to you, your product of your proactive decisions. So, I would say, we’re big on vision of where I want to be and how it could change and if things happen to you, determining how you’re going to respond. So, that’s journaling, being introspective, listening to your conscience.

Casey Weade: Something that you do every day that’s part of your daily or weekly habit where you’re looking and putting together a vision for your day or your week. What’s that look like?

Cynthia Covey Haller: Goal planning, trying to plan ahead of what you want to bring about, what you’ve got something big coming up or something that you want to have happen, breaking it down into bite-sized pieces and kind of– my father had a habit of writing an extra cycle in the morning while reading inspiring literature, to him, it was the scriptures he would read in the morning that would set his day, and doing things that cause you to look beyond what you see, giving you a vision of how things can be. So, yes, we were taught to make affirmations kind of for yourself. I am this kind of person or mission statements, what you’re about. In 7 Habits, everyone’s challenged to write their own mission statement, a personal one, which was live life in crescendo. It changed from other ones. As we mentioned, that was the last 10 years of his life.

He had other ones before that. So, we created our own personal mission statement, a family one, what you’re about. I bet you have something like that, Casey, you’ve got this Retire with Purpose. I’m sure you have a motto or a creed or something that guides you. I think those are really strong reminders that you put somewhere you can see. Well, I was writing this book, and I had so many obstacles. And I’m writing at two in the morning and thinking, after the ninth year, it took 10 years. And I’m thinking, what am I doing? Am I ever get this published? Is this this ever going to happen?

My father had this vision, and before he passed away and before he had dementia, I said, “It’s your baby. You take it and you get it out there.” And I could feel him like breathing down me, “Get it done.” And I had all sorts of inspiring quotes and ideas in front of me on the computer that I’m not going to let stop me from completing it. And it was miraculous how it came about. 7 Habits was the same thing. It was rejected. We’ve got rejection letters from all sorts of famous publishing houses that you’d know that said things like, “Oh, there’s nothing new here,” or “we don’t see any value in the 7 Habits. We don’t think this has anything new or exciting.” And finally, Simon & Schuster took a chance on it. And 40 million copies later, it’s a success. But it wasn’t without struggles, too.

Casey Weade: Let’s see if we can make that 40 million in one copy and continue to add to that. I want to get this book out there to as many people as we possibly can. And it is impactful. It’s going to make a positive impact in your life. So, if you’ve never written an honest rating and review for the podcast on Apple Podcast, I encourage you to do that, because when you do, we’re going to send you a free copy of Live Life in Crescendo: Your Most Important Work Is Always Ahead of You. So, write an honest rating and review over on Apple Podcasts, and then just shoot us a text. You can text us the keyword “Book,” B-O-O-K, to 866-482-9559. Then we’ll send you a link. So, provide your iTune’s username. We can verify that review. We’ll get the book out to you and in your hands for absolutely free. That’s our commitment to you. And Cynthia, thank you so much for joining us. It’s been an honor.

Cynthia Covey Haller: You’re wonderful. I love what you’re doing. I think you’ve got a unique mission about you to inspire people in this stage of life, which, as my father said, is the greatest opportunity you have to make a difference in the world. And you’re part of that. So, I appreciate you having me on. Thanks so much.

Casey Weade: Thank you. Cynthia.

Cynthia Covey Haller: Take care.