Six years ago today, I received my last email from Ruben.
“I love it! This was the perfect way to end this story! Thank you, Amanda!”
I sat back in my chair and cried at the legacy this man left and the powerful way we had decided to conclude his parable.
The rest of the parable is a series of conversations between Ruben and Coach that not only demonstrate how to restructure and systematize a business, but the power of a guide who knows how to ask the right questions, wait silently for the mentee to find their own answer, and then fill knowledge and competency gaps as needed.
But the epilogue…
That’s the piece he signed off on, probably knowing full-well that I bawled my eyes through the last edit.
Ruben calls Coach to tell him he has cancer. And Coach, without missing a beat, compassionately asks him what strategy he’s going to use to eliminate it. Ruben thanks him for all of the guidance that had put him in the position to walk away from his business [without losing it] to fight the cancer.
Then he gets on a plane — this time for a family vacation before treatment starts — and meets a young man.
“Hi, my name is Bill.” The young man sitting next to me was dressed well but looked a bit frazzled as he introduced himself.
“Can I ask you what you mean by that statement you wrote down on your notepad?”
I looked down at the very first words Coach wrote years ago: “Begin with the end in mind.”
“Sure, but can I ask you a question first?”
“Yeah.” He beamed with curiosity.
I kind of liked this young man’s spunk.
“Do you own a business?”
“As a matter of fact, I do, but can I get your name?”
“Yes. My friends call me Coach.”
[taken directly from Know Your Next Move by Ruben Estrada]
Yep, the story ended the way it started.
But this time, the upside-down hero had become the powerful mentor who could face any challenge.
This is why I am launching this book TOMORROW —
on the anniversary of this magnificent messenger’s passing.
- The Message that Started All This: I took everything that I had learned in Psychology and Education classes at the university, combined it with what my dad had taught me about the subconscious and the self-image, and alchemized it into a new approach to parenting. Why? Because I had learned the dangerous power of well-intentioned-but-not-true/helpful words and messages, and I wanted my son to get truer, more powerful messages.
- My Personality: I call myself a story junkie for a reason. Epic stories in the form of books and movies are just about as important as water, air, fire, and earth for me. Yep, even more important than dark chocolate. Why? Because those who write the stories START WITH AN END IN MIND. They are trying to communicate a message that they believe is important for our culture to remember and embody and evolve.
- My Everyday: The last conversation Ruben and I had about impact — shared in the last chapter of my book — changed me at the DNA level. And it’s taken me five years to get to a place where I could begin to articulate and embody it to any degree at all. Even in the last month, I realized I needed to get a job at Whole Foods to finish rewiring this truth into my nervous system: “I am impact. It’s not what I do or how or where I do it. It’s who I be. I create change in people’s lives simply by noticing and reflecting back the divine light within them. And I can do that anywhere, at any job, in any format.”
[Guess where I’ll be tomorrow, when my book is launching? Can’t make that shit up, people.]
- My Business: Every time I ask someone, “Why does this message matter to you?” I hear a story that makes me tingle from head to toe. We are HARD-WIRED to use story to understand our reality, evolve it, and then leave the legacy of what we have learned for those who will come after us.
That’s what Ruben did.
That’s what I hope to do with this book that launches tomorrow.
That’s what I plan to help others do until The Wind guides me otherwise.