Meaningful conversations from the heart of your creative spark...

Join us as we explore the thought provoking themes surrounding CreativeMornings Cleveland's monthly breakfast lecture series. Excerpts of the lecture are book ended by meaningful conversations with attendees and speakers alike.

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End ft. Jim Kukral

| S:1 E:19

What is an end... but a beginning? In this episode of Wake Up Call we explore the theme, “End.” Whether a TV series, job, or relationship -- most things come to an end. What do we do then? Find out what our community has to say.


Mallory Abott:
The first thing that came to mind was Lost. Are you serious?

Jim Kukral:
Six feet under.

David Moss:
Amazing.

Jim Kukral:
Best ending of any series ever.

David Moss:
Amazing show.

Mallory Abott:
Oh, Dexter. What?

Tammy Wise:
Mash had a rather dramatic ending. Remember? They lifted off in the helicopter, and I think I hated it.

David Moss:
Hi, I'm David Allen Moss. Welcome to another episode of Wake Up Call. Today our theme is end. Our featured guest today is Jim Kukral, and we'll hear from Mallory Abott toward the end of the podcast. Our first guest that I'll be sitting down with is Tammy Wise. But first, a word from our good friend.

Thomas Fox:
Hi, I'm Thomas Fox with CreativeMornings Cleveland. We're thrilled to have Evergreen Podcasts onboard as our official podcast partner. Evergreen Podcasts is committed to producing the best original content and engaging shows. Right now you're listening to Wake Up Call, recorded on location at the monthly CreativeMornings lecture series. Enjoy.

David Moss:
Good morning, Tammy. It's really awesome to have the publisher of Freshwater Cleveland sitting here with us. When we're talking about an end, it could have a happy ending. It could have a sad ending. Which do we remember more?

Tammy Wise:
Wow, this is how we're starting the conversation?

David Moss:
Do one of them affect us more than another? It's sometimes difficult to talk about.

Tammy Wise:
Right. To answer your question, I think that the sad memory lingers with you longer than the happy.

David Moss:
Yeah.

Tammy Wise:
With happy, you get that burst, that adrenaline, that pure joy that can lift you, but for some reason, it can disappear very quickly. And the sad can just-

David Moss:
Hold on.

Tammy Wise:
- carry. Yeah. Carry with you.

David Moss:
I tend to agree with you there.

Tammy Wise:
Yeah.

David Moss:
Why do you think that is?

Tammy Wise:
I don't know. Does it hit a deeper emotional chord within you? Sometimes sadness is associated with death, and that's so final. And how do you get rid of that?

David Moss:
Emotion is a powerful force in our lives, and Tammy's right to ask the question. When it's a negative emotion, how do you get rid of that? Many people would argue that being emotionally connected and aware is what living really is. That's what makes it all worthwhile. But when something ends, be it a relationship, a job, a death, a chapter in life you weren't ready to end, what then? Where do we go next? How do we deal with the negative emotion that often comes along with that ending? Let's say you had a business and you had some partners and things just went off the rails.

Tammy Wise:
Which I did. I had a business and I had a partner, and we split.

David Moss:
Yeah, yeah. And you know what? That's an end that's also a beginning.

Tammy Wise:
Yes.

David Moss:
But when you're in that moment, there's a couple of things going on, and maybe you can talk about them. You have the psychological investment. The sweat itself is a thing. And then you have just the change. It really thrusts you into this state of flux. An end really is not static is kind of what I would like to talk about.

Tammy Wise:
Right, right. Well using a, being a business owner, analogy, I can say that I thought I was a doubles player, but I turned out to be a really good singles player in tennis, because I do like tennis. So that end in that relationship did turn out to be a very good opportunity for me to grow as a person, and take on something that I didn't normally think I could take on.

David Moss:
Right. Again, it's this sudden catalyst, but maybe there's always a blessing in some kind of ending.

Tammy Wise:
I think so. It's really based on your personality, so as an optimist-

David Moss:
Mm. Glass half full?

Tammy Wise:
Yes, always. When you're thrown a curve ball, you are... A lot of sports analogies. Sorry, I'm not-

David Moss:
Let's just go all analogies. I'd like that to be the podcast. All analogies.

Tammy Wise:
Where did that even come from? I don't even think I've ever said that before. I think if you are the type of person that really takes a situation, almost any situation, and tries to flip it on the side and just really think, "Okay, what is the outcome that I can make so this is a positive situation?" I'm always searching for a positive, or a blessing, or even a gift in any opportunity.

David Moss:
We've all heard the glass half full language, and the saying that it's the journey that counts. But Tammy says she's always looking for the positive or the takeaway from the experience. It kind of takes some of the negative power away from endings, doesn't it? The change in perspective is key here. It makes us the active party. We're asking, "What have I learned? What can I make into a positive?" Tammy says, "What is the outcome that I can make?" An end or perceived negative experiences is then no longer a thing that has happened to us. Now we're an active part of the situation and can have a hand in what happens next. What attracted you to stepping up and kind of sharing some of your thoughts about your political adventures, and just the whole idea of the end? Is there really an end, or is it just a beginning? It's a fluid thing. It's not a static thing. Would you agree?

Jim Kukral:
Yeah, it's a fluid thing. I mean, everybody, entrepreneurs, anyone in life, you have a beginning and an end to something. It's about how you react to the end, how you move forward with it, you know? Entrepreneurs love to fail. That's what I am. There are a lot of people though who can't handle failure, who just stop. Right? And they make the end the actual end.

David Moss:
Right.

Jim Kukral:
And that's the difference between happier people, and the more successful people, in my opinion, is that they don't get stuck in the ending. They start new beginnings when something bad happens to them. And that's kind of what I write books about. I write books that are business inspirational, teaching people how to deal with failure, and how to get up and be successful again, because we all fail.

David Moss:
This is Jim Kukral. He was the guest speaker at CreativeMornings Cleveland on this day. And did you hear the language he just used? "They make the end, the actual end," Jim says. Again, we are an active player in the scenario. We have the ability to make the end something else. Now, I don't think anyone likes to fail, but Jim seems to think we need to get a little more comfortable with it.

Jim Kukral:
You got to learn how to fail, and usually an ending is a failure.

David Moss:
Right, right.

Jim Kukral:
That's probably the biggest thing, and a lot of people are not into that. Nobody wants to fail. Nobody is interested in hearing something they did that wasn't done well, but the truth is we do it every single day.

David Moss:
Yeah.

Jim Kukral:
I actually like endings, because they are the new beginnings. Unless it's something great, like you're just having a great trip in Vegas and you don't want to go home.

David Moss:
You just see that end and you don't want it to come.

Jim Kukral:
Yeah.

David Moss:
Yeah, yeah.

Jim Kukral:
And usually, typically when something ends that's bad, there's two ways you can look at it. The first is, "Boy, that destroyed me. I'm going to crawl into a hole and not open the door, and not talk to anyone for the rest of my life."

David Moss:
And I think we all know people and friends and family that have done that, and it's really hard to watch.

Jim Kukral:
And it is, and a lot of them have clinical depression, right?

David Moss:
Yeah.

Jim Kukral:
I'm not discounting that people have medical issues, but if you're not clinically depressed and it's just your brain holding you back because you felt you failed, then there's a way out of that, right?

David Moss:
Maybe it's helpful to think about the differences between learning how to fail, and how much different that is than accepting failure or defeat. It's not really helpful to internalize the negativity, is it? Some people are driven by failures, so I guess that can work, but most successful people who live balanced lives would suggest turning that negativity into something positive.

Jim Kukral:
It's about climbing out and starting new. The whole political thing for me, like I said on stage just now, almost broke me to the point where if I was clinically depressed, I don't know what I would've done. Fortunately, I've not, and I was able to crawl out of it. But I'll tell you what, it took me about a year. I was bitter for about a year for all the people that didn't vote for me, against all the people who did all that stuff against me, but then I... My friend J.B. Glossinger, who's Dr. J.B., who runs a site called the MorningCoach, he said, "Jim, it's a poison. You're waking up every single day worrying about what people are saying about you that doesn't affect your life. You're thinking about negative things. Let it go."

David Moss:
Yeah.

Jim Kukral:
His point... I just did a podcast with him. He's like, "Jim, I want you to consider something. There are people literally spending time and energy today's world creating petitions to rewrite the ending of Game of Thrones."

David Moss:
Yeah.

Jim Kukral:
Because they're so upset.

David Moss:
They can't accept it.

Jim Kukral:
They're so upset that game of Thrones was not done right. What time and energy could you be putting in on something positive in your life as opposed to really worrying, upset that Daenerys got stabbed? I'm sorry. Spoiler if anyone hasn't watched it. I mean, honestly, and he's right.

David Moss:
And one final suggestion from Jim. It's a bit of a mind trick, but it works.

Jim Kukral:
Start looking for yellow cars. Once you start opening your brain to the positive things that are happening in the world, you will start interpreting them and manifesting them more. If you start looking for yellow cars as you're driving down the road, you're going to see them more. That's just how our brains work. So anyone listening to this, if you want to make some improvements in your life, look up the yellow car phenomena, and frankly just start looking for more of the positive things in your life and you'll start to see them more.

David Moss:
You're listening to Wake Up Call. We'll be right back. At Evergreen Podcasts, we love great stories and great storytellers. We also know that life is busy. That's why Aaron Calafato's podcast, 7 Minute Stories, is perfect for those of you that feel just like we do. Unique people, interesting thoughts, life questions, and more, all in a compact format that works for all of us. New episodes every Thursday. Take a listen and subscribe. 7 Minute Stories, because a lot can happen in seven minutes.

David Moss:
You're listening to Wake Up Call. Welcome back. Our final guest is a special one. Her name is Mallory Abott. Mallory has a very different relationship with endings.

Mallory Abott:
I am not afraid of endings at all. Unlike most people, I have been facing endings my entire life. I was born with a congenital heart defect for which I've had several open heart surgeries, and at this time, I'm 28 and I am facing a heart transplant. I actually get to go meet one of my surgeons later this afternoon for the first time, and I'm officially going to be listed in mid-August here in Cleveland at the Cleveland Clinic. And I am now launching a nonprofit to benefit young girls and women with chronic illnesses, specifically those in need of organ transplants really, and just raise awareness for how important organ donation is. And I have time to do this, finally, for the first time in my life. I no longer work. I can't anymore. I lost the ability to work because I'm so sick, so I am launching a nonprofit from bed. It's pretty awesome.

David Moss:
Okay. Well, you're here now and you look vibrant, and there's a spark in your eyes, and I have like three or four questions.

Mallory Abott:
Yeah, go ahead.

David Moss:
But one's specific to you. How long is that wait? You get on the list-

Mallory Abott:
With heart transplants, it's not like a kidney where somebody can just donate one to me. Unfortunately, somebody my size, my blood type, good health has to die in an accident where they're going to be brain dead and able to give a heart, and they have to be an organ donor. They have to be near Cleveland.

David Moss:
There's no telling how long.

Mallory Abott:
No. My doctors hope that once I'm listed, within six months.

David Moss:
Coming face-to-face with the end of something, and that something being your life, well, that's completely different than what most of us have experienced when we talk about endings. Without the ability to stay positive and motivated, Mallory's condition would be absolutely crippling. But she's built up a little bit of an immunity to that kind of worry and fear of the end. And now she's trying to spread that positivity and outlook onto others facing similar challenges.

Mallory Abott:
What I want to do with this nonprofit is take a group of young girls and women who have these chronic health issues, and teach dance classes for them that are easy for them to do. Whether they're struggling with endurance, which is a big issue of mine, or whether they are in a wheelchair, or amputees, anything like that, and take choreographers around with me who are specialized in these things. Help them out, use it as a way to make sure their mental health is on board. I would also like to bring people with me who can help these women get a good career for their health. I just fell into a career that was not good for my health. I loved it, but that's something that people who are sick really struggle with. They don't have direction in being told this is what you should do for your health. This is what you should do if you can't work anymore.

David Moss:
This is a path that might be better fit for you.

Mallory Abott:
Right. Confidence is another big thing. I've had blue skin my whole life. My hair has started, not so much falling out like you would if you were on chemo, but it's very thin. It used to be long and blonde. I've taken long-term medication for 15 years, so I wear a lot of wigs, things like that. I've really embraced myself through this. I've had photographers come on board, and it's really taught me that just because I'm sick doesn't mean that I'm not beautiful. I've got a huge scar down my chest. That's a big problem for especially girls with cancer. They just have no confidence at all.

David Moss:
Maybe what people don't realize, and the people that get really caught up in an end, an end of a relationship, an end of a partnership, we all go through these things. We get caught up in that, and it feels like the breaking point, like "That's going to be it for me," or "My life is never going to be the same." Well, yeah, it's not. It's going to be different. But you've turned it and turned it and turned it, and every time you hit a breaking point, you said, "Nope. Get up back on the horse, and I'm going to do something closer to what I'm here to do. Closer and closer."

Mallory Abott:
Oh, I guarantee you that I'm going to make this happen regardless. I don't even know if we've talked about how I launched this to begin with. I competed to be on the cover of Inked Magazine recently, and I did not get the cover, but I guarantee you I probably will be on the cover very soon. I don't say, "Okay, it's over just because the competition is." I did very well.

David Moss:
That's great. Mallory is drawing attention to her nonprofit in that way too. Let's help her get on that cover.

Mallory Abott:
My Instagram name is @mallorybarbie. M-A-L-L-O-R-Y Barbie.

David Moss:
And on top of all we've heard from Mallory, she drops another heavy story on us. But like the yellow car theory that Jim told us about, she's found a way to be hopeful.

Mallory Abott:
My ex-husband left me right before I went into heart failure. I feel like my heartbreak literally caused my heart failure. I'm also really hoping that all the heartbreak I've faced in my life no longer exists at all, because it's a new heart, right?

David Moss:
The big one for me, waking up one day, maybe sicker than I ever was. Lost my vision, just lost all kinds of body mass, and something was going wrong. And I was 35 years old and I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. My pancreas just stopped working. I remember the first thing that hit me was, "Oh, does this mean I can't drink a pint of orange juice every morning?" And thinking what a sad reality that was. But it was much bigger than that. But I think it changed me, and maybe this conversation today is all about outlook, and how you choose every day what your outlook's going to be. And when you have a low, it can feel like an end. And I do think that you can take these kinds of setbacks and it becomes more of an awakening. It kind of opens your lens to all the possibilities. That silver lining, like what Mallory talks about. It's a real blessing. You can overcome just about anything, and it's powerful.

David Moss:
When you take from your painful experiences, your endings and failures, and you grow from them, learn, press on, reinvent yourself, the end really can become another beginning. It can be about the journey. Our response to failure can be shaped by the perspective we choose to have. All these struggles, we can choose to see them as blessings in disguise, even though they can be very difficult. They are still blessings.

David Moss:
Wake Up Call is a production of Evergreen Podcasts, a proud member of the Front Porch Media Network. Special thanks to executive producers Joan Andrews and Michael DeAloia, producer and audio director Dave Douglas, account manager Connor Standish. Thanks to Toubab Krewe for the use of their song Rooster, available on iTunes. And if you would, please like and review this program. It really helps. Learn more about this and other podcasts from evergreen@evergreenpodcasts.com. Wake Up Call. Ideas that crow.

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