In this episode titled “18 = LIFE a, Reflection” I want to stop and smell the roses and have some coffee to reflect on where I have been, where I am at and where I am going. Its time to stop, breath, show gratitude for how far I have come, what I have accomplished and offer thanks and appreciation for those who have helped me get there. From cancer to Covid to the Shining Brightly book being published, paid motivational speaking, launch of The Shining Brightly Podcast Show and helping many people via my Survivorship Coaching, I have accomplished a lot, and more is still to come. Yes, I am still playing basketball, finding my “happy place” as much as possible! I check in daily on my personal scorecard for family, faith, fitness and finance and still have much work to do. Be grateful, life up yourself, then lift up others and join me in the Shining Brightly movement to make the world a brighter and better place each day.
Website - https://www.shiningbrightly.com/
Podcast - https://shining-brightly.captivate.fm/
About the Host:
Howard Brown is a best-selling author, award-winning international speaker, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, interfaith peacemaker, and a two-time stage IV cancer survivor. He is also a sought-after speaker and consultant for corporate businesses, nonprofits, congregations, and community groups. Howard has co-founded two social networks that were the first to connect religious communities around the world. He is a nationally known patient advocate and “cancer whisperer” to many families. Howard, his wife Lisa, and daughter Emily currently reside in Michigan, and his happy place is on the basketball court.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/howard.brown.36
LinkedIn - https://wwwlinkedin.com/in/howardsbrown
Instagram - @howard.brown.36
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Welcome to the Shining Brightly show. I'm Howard Brown author speaker, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, international peacemaker, and yes to time stage for cancer patients, survivor and advocate. Each episode will take you from resilience to hope and a whole lot more. Because shining brightly does make the world a better place. Be prepared to be inspired.Howard Brown:
Hello, it's Howard Brown. Welcome to the shining, brightly podcast show. So glad to have you. You get me solo today. It's an important important episode here. This is number eight teen. And what does a teen mean? Well, in the Bible, the numbers one and eight stand for new beginnings and abundance, that equals success. So 18 is an important number. Now in Hebrew, it actually stands for the word chi, it's spelt like Chai, CH A I, and that equals life. And boy, am I blessed, grateful and lucky for life. And we all are. So I'm just gonna do some reflection today. Because you got to stop and smell the coffee and show some gratitude and appreciation for where you're at. And I am truly truly grateful for where I'm at today, one because I'm alive, but to because I've made some major accomplishments over these last few months and for years, and few weeks. So let's celebrate that. It's time to celebrate. Well, I gotta tell you, if you go back to 1989 and may 24 coming up. That was my bone marrow transplant from my twin sister CJ brown generous. And without that I'm not here. So that is always miracle number one. Okay, surviving stage for non Hodgkins T cell lymphoma.Howard Brown:
My life came to a halt.Howard Brown:
I got lucky medical technology, my team, my mom and dad as caregivers. It got me back on my feet again. And then I had to take it the rest of the way I moved to California, I worked on my mental toughness, I worked on my physical strength, my emotional well being, I was getting confidence and going back to work. And I found my happy place because it's warm in California, I got to play basketball a whole ton. And that's what was really cool because that built my physical toughness back. And I actually started to volunteer in the community, in the Jewish community. And karma works in strange ways. But I met my wife Lisa, and we got married. We got married may 24. I'm sorry, July 24 of national that 1994 and shutters on the beach overlooking a sunset. It was incredible. It was awesome. So we started our life together. And then we ordered sperm from the sperm bank. And miracle number two, our frozen kids sickle Miracle Girl Emily was born on August 20 of 2001. So this is great. I got my life back. 26 years I got to do business startups, Silicon Valley. And lots of volunteer work big brother to instill and things are great. Things are great. We moved up to the Bay Area. We learned to just love it there. Wine Country is great. Monterey is great. That community is great. And it's Silicon Valley in the late 90s. Oh my god, that was just a blur. And it's in my book. Oh my god, two plus two equals 200. So just absolutely crazy. Then we moved the family to Michigan. My twin sister CJ says I'm moving to Michigan and her three kids, Lisa's from Michigan. And I wanted and we wanted Emily to grow up with family boy, it's a lot cheaper in Michigan as well. So we ended up moving to Michigan in 2005. And that was at the time that my startups planted Jewish and then circle builders started in 2006, which are online communities for faith. And things are going well. I'm feeling good. I were settled into Michigan and Emily is about four and her cousins are four and six and it was just really great, great place to live. And we made it our home. And that's that's the point. So unfortunately, at age 50 I go in for my physical and say it's time for your colonoscopy and then I wake up on June 4 of 2016. Yes, coming up on seven years of my diagnosis of stage three colon cancer. And Colorectal cancer is no joke. I went in for a surgery and had two different colon resections. I failed chemos I failed clinical trials.Howard Brown:
Ah, it was awful. AndHoward Brown:
a year later metastatic stage four I'm at a soccer championship for Emily in Frisco, Texas above Dallas. And my doc says you got to go in and get checked. And they thought it was my gallbladder. But it wasn't. The Cancer had spread to my liver, my stomach lining and my bowel. And then things got dark, not good. My God, I looked for help. And I found that help in a place called colon town. I'm actually wearing the jacket. And bowling town gave me that help because I started to look for Hail Marys. And that Hail Mary was a surgery called cytoreduction high pack hyper intrapreneurial chemotherapy, and they cut me open and this is May 18 of I'm sorry, May 13 of 2018. And they put hot chemo in me and spun me around like a rotisserie chicken. And so I've had a lot going on in those years now, these last seven years. But from cancer to COVID. Right. We couldn't get out we were restricted. I already was restricted right. With a compromised immune system. And funny story, right. David Crump sees me, bald. I look awful. You heard that on stage four. He doesn't know if I'm gonna live or die. No one does. I don't even know that. And, you know, we're living in a digital space. Remember? 89? No cell phones, no computers. My dad got a book on cancer. In The Digital Age. We've got Facebook, people are checking in with me. They're praying for me. They're cheering me on. Our neighbors are bringing us meals and protein shakes and Emily's school is bringing us cleaning supplies. And David takes me out for a bagel and coffee. I thought it was going to be about a half hour it ends up being two hours. And because I always have to go the bathroom a lot. In between those David writes on a napkin 10 chapters, he says you gotta leave a legacy. Leave a legacy to Emily and Lisa, your family. I was like, Oh my God, no way. I'm daunted. I'm not a good writer. That's, that's like scared of heights. I'm not going to do that. This is gonna go check in with Lisa. So I did she started laughing. She's like, you're gonna write a book? Oh, my God, no way. And I said, Well, you know, life finding cancer writing books. It's a team sport. If you get the right team, you can do it. And so I called David back the next day. And I said, I have only one request. He said only one most potential authors have a lot more. I said, Nope, just one. I said, if you'll allow me to record the most influential people in my life, over zoom, I said, I'll write a book with you. I said, we'll take those transcripts, we'll make them into drafts, those drafts will become chapters. And then at the end of that, we'll get a manuscript, he looks at me and says over the phone over zoom, I think and he says, I gotta get back to you. We've never done that. And I said, okay, because he back in a day or two, and he's we're going to do it. We're going to have to be very diligent and meet every Wednesday, for a year, for a couple hours. And I said, Okay, I'll commit to that. And this is a hybrid publisher. So we're business partners here and producing the book. And it was an incredible experience. I got to walk back my life. How many times do you get to do that? I got to discuss in detail, my buddy Bertha bhootish. In Chapter One who moved from Lithuania to this country and her story, and her lessons, oh, my God, if you don't read chapter one of my book, go online and get it and do it. Because my grandmother is teaching me about what's called hesed. In Hebrew, that means kindness, live a life of kindness, who doesn't want to be kind, right? We should all be kind. And then she said, You got to learn about sadaqa, which is the justice of giving. Right? It's what we can give. And I emphasize that in my book, what we can give, not what we can get. And it was a story about me finding a quarter and having to put it in what's called the to sadaqa box or Jewish piggy bank that you give to charity and give to others and help others.Howard Brown:
And then there's a lesson of to Kuno Lum,Howard Brown:
okay, have you lift yourself up, you lift up others and we heal this world. There's a lot of brokenness in this world. Okay, there's also a lot of negativity and that's that that is reality of this world of school shootings and politics and wars in the Ukraine. and violence, and just bad stuff. And I don't choose to ignore it, but I don't choose to maximize it either. It's all about goodness. And that's the side, we can bring goodness. And that's, that's the theme of shining brightly, we shine brightly each day for ourselves for others. And we do make this world a better place for our communities and for the global community at large. That's, that's the point of living a good life. And so being resilient, which is like a muscle and building that up when you come from darkness, such as a cancer diagnosis twice for me, but it doesn't just stand for health, it's in life in business, we all get knocked down. And we must get back up again, again, and again. Let that sink in for you. While we move on, and the book is finished, and it launches on Amazon, there's 901 steps to build a book. And the last number now no one has pressed the green button to let it go out on amazon.com. Well, we did that on September 27. It was real. People could buy my book, the hardcopy, the soft copy the Kindle, you still can go to shining brightly.com Or go to Amazon. And it's doing very well. And I won an award. This this past year, the most inspirational international impact Book Award, most inspirational book, that's pretty quick for our newly launched book, and I'm grateful for that. That means it's actually the message is getting out. And when you write a book, that's, that's what you want. You want people to hear your stories.Howard Brown:
And that's what it is.Howard Brown:
Oh, and I gotta tell you, I got a chapter on basketball, because it's my happy place on backplane. I'm feeling good. I'm not as fast as I was, but I can knock down that three. And my multifaith basketball game is awesome. That's where I feel no stress. So go find your happy place, cooking, traveling, hiking, yoga, meditation, music, I don't care, go find it and go there as much as you can. That's that's the point, right? That's what you got to do. So then I had to go get my speaking credentials. So I joined this group out of Toronto called Speaker slam. And I am packaged up. I have a speaker one sheet, I have a sizzle reel a hyperreal. I have speaking on stage to prove that I can speak. And in front of all of the live audience I interviewed on with them stand on ABC TV 15 and talked about my book, what a great interview that was. And I'm doing podcasts like crazy. I'm interviewing as a guest. And now February 15. The shining brightly podcast is out. And I have guests coming on. And the show talks about all sorts of topics, but we always leave with inspiration. And check it out. You can go to shining hyphen firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can see them all and this is number 18. So it's really cool. So I'm excited about that. So I'm checking in on my scoreboard here. And then you should too. And I'm about to head off to Boston today to go to this iconic Alliance, this live event. And we're hosting it at my home court at Babson College, they needed a location and and they chose Babson so I'm really psyched to get back on campus. I love that place to change the whole trajectory of my life. Yes, thank you Marilyn Schneider for helping me transfer to Babson in 1985. And so that's really where I learned how to become an entrepreneur. Well, you got to check in and so my friend Chris Whitehead says where are you at? With family? They fitness and finance? Well, I gotta tell you, I got to see Emily graduate high school, not guaranteed. And then this last December 18. She graduated the University of Michigan summa cum laude. And then she moved right out to Missoula, Montana to start her career. We launched her. We built a match which is a good person, and she is a reporter at K Pax eight. Mountain News in Missoula, Montana. We're so proud of her. We tune into the app at 730 for the 530 Missoula newscast, or at 12 midnight for their 10 o'clock newscast to see her on air a couple times a week. It's just great. She's living her best life. She's hiking, she's snowboarding, she's doing her thing. So beautiful. That life that yet that miracle girl living her own best life. So and Lisa and I, we're getting back we get not a cancer zone. I think we got to add a little more romance that's on me, although I did buy flowers for the Passover, but got to do better. And we're trying and my faith now. My faith is still there on wavering mental toughness, belief in myself in my team and others. How else did I get back up from cancer not once but twice. How often By putting things back on track, by faith, by human resolve that resilience withHoward Brown:
hope, on wavered. I hope you can catch a little of that too. Because it's important. Otherwise,Howard Brown:
it's dark. It's depressing. You can get sick could not feel well.Howard Brown:
Now I help others try to do that, too. We'll talk about that in a second. How's my fitness, I'm in great shape, playing hoops again, biking, hiking, now that the weather's getting better here in Michigan. So I think I'm feeling pretty good on that resolve. I could eat a little bit better probably. But I'm feeling good on that that side of things. Now, finances, God Man, we just got life came to a halt emotionally, physically,Howard Brown:
financially, and in relationships. Twice.Howard Brown:
And probably lots of other times in, in work, and in family, but especially now in business, I got to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, version two dot O.Howard Brown:
And I'm doing it.Howard Brown:
So the book came out. Speaking is started paid speaking, gigs. The podcast is out. The brand is building. This shining, bright, remove bright brightly movement is underway. And now it's time to actually get paid for speaking. And I'm doing survivorship coaching. What is survivorship coaching? Survivorship coaching is helping people get back up again,Howard Brown:
getting to move two steps, or 20 steps forward from where they're at. In family, faith, fitness and finance.Howard Brown:
That's what we're doing. And I'm helping others do it. And I am their guide, not a doctor. I'm not a psychotherapist, I'm not a nutritionist. I have lived experience. So yeah, I'm a life coach. I can help get you moving forward, getting in the right direction. And that's what some people need. And that's what I needed. And I have coaches and mentors. It all stems with mentorship. Mentorship is leadership. I learned that at Babson and I practice it every day. Anyway, so things are going really well. I'm so excited. Actually. I feel great. And now you got what am I going to do about it. And my job now is to shine brightly for others, including myself, but to shine brightly lead by example. So I've proven that I can lift myself up and you can too and I do and try and walk the walk and talk the talk to lift up others every single day. And then we do become that force multiplier for good and positive change in this world.Howard Brown:
It can be done. I'm going to put on my shining brightly glasses. The shining brightly spotlight on reflection, taking time today to be grateful. I got there and there's a whole lot more to come.