Mountains and Valleys, Ordinary to Extraordinary

Erik Seversen on TesseTalks podcast

Mountains and valleys, ordinary to extraordinary is a theme that thrills anthropologist Erik Seversen. Erik spotlights the essence of feeling fulfilled and purposeful. Describing himself as ordinary he admits doing extraordinary things, especially after being told he would not be able to do something. He learned to confront his fears and embrace the possibilities and gifts in less than ideal situations. “Challenges are what makes life good. Challenges do make us who we are. Fear is a team effort. Faith wins over fear every time, whether we are in the valley or the mountain top”.

“Mountains and valleys are both stepping stones to shape our lives. Movement in our lives and achieving paradigm shifts is very much related to our mindset. Whenever something bad happens, I always ask myself, what’s the positive? What do I see that’s the positive, where is the gift? “

“I’m just an ordinary person who early on chose to do things that people said I couldn’t and ended up writing my first book just for fun, which was titled “Ordinary to Extraordinary”.  We don’t have to be anything really special. What matters is choosing to do extraordinary things. I ended up doing things that people said I couldn’t over and over and over again.”

When Erik, backpacked from London to Africa, he found himself in some really frightening situations.   One incident that stood out for him was getting into a taxi to cross from The Republic of  Benin to Lagos, Nigeria and being confronted by a security guard.  

“He pulled me out of the car, stuck the tip of the machine gun inside my mouth.  The barrel of the gun was still warm.  I’d been speaking French two months. In shock, I said, “Je suis un touriste”. ‘You’re a spy!’, the security man said.   After a some reflection, he said, ‘Ok I don’t think you are a spy.  You are American and I like Americans because they give me gifts’.    With that he put my hunting knife and my tent in front of me to say, you take one and I’m going to keep the other as your gift to me.   I kept the knife and gave him the tent”. 

“In Lagos, I was left with no money, no place to stay and as it was a Sunday, no banks were open.   One of the passengers in the taxi was really kind to me.  He took me to a family friend he had not seen for five years and left me with them.   I never saw him again.  For three days, I experienced the inner circle of a lovely family and witnessed beautiful scenes in Lagos.   In the big picture, the good made up for the bad tenfold. I met so many beautiful people on that trip.  That allowed me to continue that warmth and connection with people.  I left Nigeria with a sense of kindness of that family. Part of the success was the wonderful people I got to meet along the road.” 

 I had a dream to go to UCLA.  I went to see the school adviser who said to me, “you’ll never get into a school like that”.  So, I decided to go to community college.

At this point, I had recently read the book from Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.   I decided to go to Africa.   I couldn’t afford the trip, so, bought a ticket to London.  I hitchhiked through Europe to Gibraltar in Spain, took a boat across to Morocco, over into Algeria, down through the Sahara, down through Nigeria, and Cameroon. I made it as far as what was then Zaire, now the Congo. Along the way I made connections and I learned to speak French. 

I did get into UCLA, and I ended up graduating with top honours. 

Erik’s parting words of wisdom

  1. We need to embrace being uncomfortable. 
  2.  We’re better when we work together. 
  3. We can go so much further together than we can individually. 
  4. Things work out. 
  5. Find the gift in whatever situation you find yourself.   

Erik Seversen is an anthropologist, an adventurer, a TEDx Speaker, bestselling author, book consultant.  He has attracted almost 30million followers on YouTube.


00:00:00 Paula: Welcome to “TesseTalks” with your host, Tesse Akpeki, and co host me, Paula Okonneh, where we share with you top leadership and management strategies. This has continued to be a journey of discovery, where we are learning that leadership can both be personal and professional. So we hope you, our listeners, will continue to walk with us in this adventure. Our theme for today’s show is “mountains and valleys, ordinary to extraordinary”. And our guest today is Erik Severson. We’ll let Erik introduce himself.
00:00:42 Erik: I am so excited to be here, Paula and Tesse. This is a wonderful, you both do so many wonderful things, so I appreciate being here. For me, as you mentioned, the ordinary to extraordinary, I’m just an ordinary person who early on chose to do things that people said I couldn’t and ended 00:01:00 up writing my first book just for fun, which was titled “Ordinary to Extraordinary”. And it’s just about that, that we don’t have to be anything really special about us other than choosing to do extraordinary things. I grew up in a middle income, middle class family and ended up doing things that people said I couldn’t over and over and over again. And part of the success of that was the wonderful people I got to meet along the road and you are now part of that journey. So I’m really happy to be here with you guys.
00:01:29 Paula: We’re grateful.
00:01:30 Tesse: I think we are blessed and honored to be with you, Erik. You know, you graciously and generously had a conversation with me. One of the things that struck me was your authenticity and your vulnerability. And you know, I’m really curious about, you know, your journey, your pathways and your trail that you have searched for meaning and purpose. And that’s what I felt when I talked to you from the bottom of my heart. I called Paula and I said, Paula, I’ve met this wonderful, amazing guy. You know, it wouldn’t have been so,
00:02:00 it was our time past midnight, you know, a bit weird, but I couldn’t let it wait to the morning. So what, you know, searching for meaning and purpose, what pathways and trails have led you to this power, this energy that I’m feeling?
00:02:14 Erik: Yeah. So early on, I, like I said, I wasn’t, you know, average middle class family and I didn’t get very good grades. And one of the first times when I was really questioned myself was, because I was a C minus student, up until my junior year in high school. And then it decided I wanted to become a college professor. And all of a sudden I said to myself, college professors don’t get C minuses. And I started getting A’s, and sure. I studied a little harder and I paid a little more attention, but really it was a mindset shift more than anything. And then, so when I was getting ready to graduate, all of the seniors had a half hour counseling session with the counselor at school to decide upon options for school. And my brother was a really good student. My sister was. My brother during the same, he’s
00:03:00 three and a half years older than me. And I remember he came home from his counseling session with arm loads, full of brochures from all of these schools around the country, and he ended up going for, to Stanford undergrad and he got his MBA for Harvard. My sister also did really well. So I was really excited about this meeting and the counselor walks in and she looked at my transcript, and again, the first half is C minuses and she says, Erik, what do you want to do with your life? And I said, I want to go to UCLA. And she said, you’ll never get into a school like that. And she pushed herself away from the desk and walked out. And I’m sitting there wondering if she’s getting brochures to smaller schools or something. And she never came back during that whole half hour. And so now I’m trying to leave the room, but I’m choked up. I didn’t, you know, trying to not let the office people know that I’m crying in the room for 30 minutes wondering if she’s going to come back after she just told me I could never get into the only school I wanted to go to. And so then I thought, is she right? But I didn’t listen to her. I applied to UCLA and I didn’t get in. And that’s when I thought
00:04:00 she is right. But that thought was so fleeting and I decided, no, she’s not. I’m not going to listen to what she said. Even when UCLA did reject me exactly like she said. So I decided to go to community college. I went and I kept getting straight A’s, but I thought I’m still probably not going to get in. I knew more about schools at this time. I’m still probably not going to get in unless I do something radically extraordinary. And so I thought, you know what? I’ve always liked, you know, animals, you know, zebras and giraffes and lions when I was young. And I recently read the book at this point from Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart. And I’m like, oh my gosh, this book does not tell the same story that my high school history class taught. So I want to see it for myself. So as a way of doing something radically different and answering this question, what is Africa really like? I decided to go to Africa, and I couldn’t afford it. I was, I got, had no money, my parents had no money to help. So I mowed lawns for eight months and I still couldn’t afford to get to
00:05:00 Africa. So I bought a ticket to London, and I hitchhiked all the way down through Europe to Gibraltar in Spain, took a boat across to Morocco, over into Algeria, down through the Sahara, down through Nigeria, and Cameroon, and I ended up in CAR. Actually I made it as far as what was then Zaire, now the Congo. And that was all just because I had to complete something radically extraordinary if I thought I wanted to make the goals I had. And in the end, after two years of community college and that experience in multiple countries, hitchhiking through Africa, I did get into UCLA and I ended up graduating with top honors. So that was kind of full circle. But you know what? Maybe I’ll talk about it a little bit later. It’s not like my life all of a sudden became perfect. I didn’t know that once I got to UCLA, I was suffering from imposter syndrome. I just didn’t know what it was.
00:05:48 Tesse: Wow. Paula, I am in awe. I have to take that. As I’m thinking about what Erik just said, I’m going to pass to you. I’m in awe. 00:06:00
00:06:00 Paula: But you know, Tesse, you and I have a kind of similar experience with our math journey.
00:06:05 Tesse: Yeah.
00:06:06 Paula: I mean, we used to fail, so math was just one of those things, apart from one plus one being two, nothing else made sense. And I remember a teacher telling me that you’re not going to make it in this math class. And I went home and told my mom and she got me a tutor. And guess what? Similar to you, Erik, I got my BSC in mathematics. I’m a mathematician.
00:06:28 Erik: Wow. See, it’s amazing. You did something extraordinary when somebody didn’t think you could.
00:06:33 Paula: I remember when I said that to him, well, after I graduated, he was like, so when you, as you were telling that story, my mind was just going, wow, wow. This is how human beings can keep others from achieving what is actually out there for them.
00:06:49 Erik: Absolutely.
00:06:50 Tesse: You know, and you know what occurred to me when you told that story, Erik, was that maybe your kindness and your warmth emerged from
00:07:00 treating others the way that you wanted to be treated, not the way that you were treated at that time when the woman walked out. Because I can remember when we connected on LinkedIn and the video thing that I just thought I had known you all my life because your warmth was incredible. And I’m sure that other people experience that from you as well, that you have this incredible way of really seeing and being with people, feeling people. You know, I feel you, you feel me in that kind of emotional connected way. You’ve got it. You’ve got it.
00:07:31 Erik: Yep. And I think a lot of that developed. It’s kind of like this cycle, this cycle that feeds on itself, because of the travel. Because when I was hitchhiking down from London to get, let’s say just the first part to getting from London to Spain to Gibraltar, that was, it was, you know, frightening, you know. Every single person who stopped to pick me up, you know, I had to, you know, introduce myself a certain way and, you know, be cautious at the same time. And, you know, so I was nervous during that time, where am I going to sleep at night? I
00:08:00 slept in park benches. I slept other places. When I got down to Africa, I walked many large stretches. Sometimes I would walk 60, 60 miles in a row. And so sometimes between villages and maybe it’s getting to be getting to be dusk and I’m approaching a small village and I don’t know how they’re going to accept me. If I went in there and said, hey, my name’s Erik. I’m from America. I need a place to sleep, and you got something to eat? That would have not gone well at all. Instead, I very politely approached. Usually children would run out first and they would just be excited about some crazy strangers in their village. Then they would, you know, walk me into the village and I would find somebody and often it would be a, you know, if a school teacher. There’s even the tiniest villages usually have some school teacher who spoke French at least, and, I kind of learned French along the way and made connections. And I would basically ask, is it possible for me to stay in your village with you? I had a tent with me and always, almost, they would 00:09:00 either let me sleep inside one of their huts, or they would let me put my tent in the village. They would always give me food. I would always offer something and almost never did they take anything. So repeatedly, I had to be really vulnerable as I’m approaching different villages and needing to survive because of them, ultimately. And I found, like you said by putting warmth out first, people were really easy, easily to accept that back and help me more than I even imagined. So, I mean, I had, I met people who owned two chickens and they would slaughter one just so that they could feed me that night because they had a stranger there. It was so beautiful and not, not everything was great. I had multiple times, you know, bad things did happen. You know, I was hit, I had rocks thrown at me. Other things did happen. But in the big picture, the good made up for the bad by tenfold. I met so many beautiful people on that trip, and that kind of 00:10:00 allowed me to continue that warmth and connection with people that you and I made our first conversation.
00:10:05 Paula: Wow. Yeah. You are one amazing person. Definitely more courageous than me. A million times over.
00:10:16 Erik: I didn’t know then, there was a lot of naive. I, knowing what I know now, I would not be able to do the same trip I did, but I’m glad everything worked out well. But it was way more gnarly, dangerous. It was way more on the edge than I even knew then. I just turned 20 years old when I went and did that trip. But I’m so thankful that I was able to do it because it did shape who I am.
00:10:43 Paula: So, as you were talking, I was thinking of the phrase “realistic optimism”. And I know Google defines it as the ability to balance out negative and positive things in situations and circumstances and people. My question, so as I listen to you, so what does that
00:11:00 mean to you?
00:11:01 Erik: That’s such a great question, Paula. I’m going to actually talk about a story that happened in Africa that led me to the answer of this. So like I said, not everything was perfect. I couldn’t cross the border from Benin into Nigeria without a car, and I was on my foot. And so I couldn’t hitchhike across either. And so I got a shared taxi that was going to take me into Lagos. And the border crossing was kind of a nightmare itself. They stole some money from me as they were counting my assets. They, it was tough border crossing. Then I’m in this shared taxi and it’s me and five other Africans in this tiny little car. We’re driving in the first checkpoint. They stopped, they get me out, they search all my stuff. They wanted a little bribe. Next checkpoint and not even a mile later, they searched my stuff. It was really, really rough. Third checkpoint, people in the car started arguing in a different language that I didn’t understand, but they were really arguing big time when we were approaching the fourth checkpoint, I think it was fourth, and that I didn’t know what they’re arguing about until we got close to
00:12:00 the checkpoint. And they were arguing because the cab driver had said, this is enough. I’m not stopping at this next checkpoint, because it was taking almost an hour every time. So he, instead of slowing down at the checkpoint sped up and that didn’t go well at all. One person ran out and threw a spike board in front of the car. Another guy was running, shooting his gun in the air. And this time it wasn’t politely asking me to get out of the car to search my stuff. They put the gun to my head, pulled me out of the car, gun at my face, and he said, and I’d been speaking French now for, you know, two months. And so just in shock, I said, “je suis un tourist”. And now the common language in Nigeria was English. And so he went into a rage and he said, I speak English to you, why don’t you speak English to me? You’re a spy. And he actually stuck the tip of the machine gun inside my mouth. This is the same guy who just shot it. The barrel of the gun was still warm as he stuck it inside my mouth. And I was just, absolutely petrified as I’m frozen at this, this gun in my mouth. And I’m looking, I remember two things. I’m looking for blood on the floor to wonder if this has happened before.
00:13:00 And I was weird thought that if he pulls the trigger, the ricochet or the recoil of the gun is going to chip my teeth. It was so bizarre, such a crazy thought in this moment of panic. And in the end, he’s you know, he finally lightened up a little bit and then after about an hour, they already at this point had my whole pack out unpacked in front of the myself, me between the two of us in the hut. And he said, you know what? I don’t think you’re a spy, in fact, I like Americans because they give me gifts. And he put my hunting knife and my tent in front of me to say, you take one and I’m going to keep the other as your gift to me. And so I, and I had already had a knife pulled out on me. So I knew I didn’t want, and I pulled mine back. And so I pulled my knife and he took my tent and then, that we’re start getting into the car. And then as we’re driving away, they flag us down again, literally made me get out and set up the tent to show them how to use it before we left. We get into Lagos now, so this is the full day. So this is 10 hour journey just from Benin to Lagos, which isn’t that far. We get into Lagos and I’m
00:14:00 getting really scared as we’re getting into the central city, where we stop was just this dirt bus and taxi mini bus park. It was really an uncomfortable vibe for me. Didn’t seem very safe. And then the cab driver walks around to the back, my packs in the trunk, he says, give me 30, 000 CFA. And I looked at him and so he wanted a bribe to just get my pack out of the back of the trunk. And I looked at what I had and I only had 15, I give it to him. He opens the trunk. I get my pack and I’m standing there kind of in somewhat shock. And one of the guys who was in the taxi was walking away and he turned around and looked at me and he started walking toward me and he goes, what are you going to do now? Cause he saw everything of the whole day. I said, I’m going to go to a bank, exchange some money and get out of Lagos as quickly as I can. And he shook his head and he said, today is Sunday, the banks are closed. I haven’t seen my family in five years, but if I don’t take you home with me, you’ll be dead before morning. And so he started walking with me. I had no choice but to follow him. He 00:15:00 started walking home and then he had a different idea and he knocked on the door of a friend he also hadn’t seen in five years, his neighbor’s house. And he explained the situation and they welcomed me in and he went home. I never saw him again. And I spent three wonderful days in the center of Lagos with this wonderful family. It was a man, wife, and three young children. They told me stories. They cooked. I couldn’t eat enough. It was, you know, it was just such wonderful food. And he ended up, just the two of us, taking me into Lagos. He helped me exchange money the next day. And so for three days, I had this beautiful, beautiful scene in the inner circle of this lovely family in Lagos. And you know what, this is where I’m answering your question. Things work out, that’s where my motto, things work out came to be. Because I would have never had this wonderful experience with this family if I wouldn’t have had the machine get in my mouth, if the taxi cab wouldn’t have tried to rob me or get a bribe to get my pack out. All of those things caused the beautiful three
00:16:00 days with this family and I’ve never forgotten that. So whenever something bad happens, I always ask myself, what’s the positive? What do I see that’s the positive? And I thank God for things that even bad things that they happen. I say, I don’t understand yet, but I thank God that this happened because I know something good’s going to come of it. Things work out. And it was all because of that experience.
00:16:21 Paula: What a story. It took my breath away. So many times I was just expecting when I know I’m seeing you and that means you survived it. But still, I didn’t know what the next sentence would be. I mean, did they beat you up? Did they? Oh my God. But as you rightfully said, the end of the day, you really enjoyed the family that took you in because of those experiences. If it had probably been smooth sailing, you might not have appreciated them to the extent that you did.
00:16:49 Erik: Yeah, I would have never even met them. I would have left Lagos and didn’t even know they ever exist and I would have never seen the beauty of Lagos.
00:16:57 Paula: Yes. Yep. So are you in touch with them? I’m so 00:17:00 curious.
00:17:00 Erik: No, I’m not. I actually have notes from this trip. We moved recently a few years ago and I found all these notes that I took from my trip and I found addresses and things like that. So it would be interesting now to actually look to see if I could find them again, because that would be wonderful. We exchanged letters for a number of years and then it became fewer and fewer until especially when I got into graduate school and other things I didn’t. But yeah, that would be, that would be wonderful to connect again.
00:17:27 Tesse: You know, Lagos is such a place that you can connect, even if not with the people who know the people, because that’s what it’s like. And Paula, that’s a story that Erik told me that moved me, that moved me to call you so late and at midnight. Because it was the gift, the gift in situations that are not good. You know, and Erik, this leads me to another kind of question I have in mind about your thoughts on suffering and pain, because, you know, particularly now, there’s so much, I call it chaos, 00:18:00 mess, othering, you know, we call it in the UK, we call it culture wars, there’s just so much and, It hurts. It really hurts. And I thought, you know, an anthropologist like you and someone who has been through so much, what are your thoughts on pain and suffering? And where’s our hope?
00:18:16 Erik: So that’s such a great question. And one of the things I’m going to say, start with the big picture. The big picture is that I realize that I can’t, I don’t control how things work. There’s a plan, a universal God plan bigger than mine and I just have to do the best I can in my little space. And so I put all of my energy into being as good of a person in this chaotic environment as I can, and hope that that’s one little tiny piece that makes it easier for other people. Maybe even, you know, help other people be an example to other people. And not only that, but recognize when I need somebody else to be an example for me
00:19:00 so that I can learn from them as well. And so the big thing is I try not to think I can control the big picture. There’s a person upstairs where it’s responsible for that. But for me, I just try to be the best I can within this chaotic environment. And also fear is a big thing we so much with fear right now. People are fearful of so many things. And I also realized that fear is one of those things that we either accept and, you know, take defeat or let it defeat us. Or we internalize fear as making us smarter. If I see a tiger, for example, or a lion, we’ll say an African theme. If I see a lion close to me, for sure I want to be scared that that lion’s going to chase me because I’m faster, stronger, sharper. So when we do feel fear, so many people become paralyzed. But I think it’s best to remind ourselves that fear is a positive thing for us. It’s making us be able to make decisions quicker. It’s making us stronger if we need to be or faster, if we need to be. And so I like people to try and embrace their fear 00:20:00 more. I recently did a Ted X talk about fear, and that was my point was we’re so individualistic. We talk about all the chaos around us, but in reality, a lot of us, particularly in the Western cultures are very individualistic. So fear, we try and handle as an individual burden where I lived with the Wayana Amerindians in South America as my research for anthropology. And I lived with them in the jungle for six months. And I realized for them fear is a team effort. It’s not an individual burden. So it lessens that burden for each and every person. And so my goal is that we can learn from them and treat fear as a team effort. I know you and Paula, Tesse and Paula, you guys have a support team. I bet if anything big happened in either of your two lives, it wouldn’t be quite as bad because you have the support of the other person. And that’s what’s so important, is that we remember that we need to be vulnerable and accept help when we’re facing fear or 00:21:00 other things that make us uncomfortable.
00:21:02 Tesse: I listened to your TEDx talk, I loved it. And I listened again and I listened again, and I loved what you said about the fear and also the hospitality, you know their kindness in that and it reminds me of this saying which says “fear as false environments appearing real”. You know, it really is often it’s what we have to counter that, we have to know your stories are awesome. Paula, your thoughts.
00:21:29 Paula: Yeah, about fear. I mean, I remember the first time you and I heard the acronym for fear. You know, another acronym I’ve gotten for fear, which made me laugh. But you know, but it’s realistic as well. “Forget everything and run”. That sometimes is the way that we look at things, because I’ve been, recently I’ve been looking at a lot of National 00:22:00 Geographic. I switch about the animals, you know, in different parts of the world and I see, oh my gosh, I said to myself, I’m so thankful I’m a human and I don’t have to survive in the jungle where, you know, it’s survival of the fittest. The predator can be someone’s prey and vice versa.
00:22:15 Erik: Yeah, right, right.
00:22:16 Paula: And sometimes I’m talking to the screen and I’m looking at the squirrel and of course I can see the lion or, I mean, predator approaching and I’m like, must you eat this acorn right now? Run!
00:22:26 Erik: Right. And one of the things with fear too is I think people fear being uncomfortable. And I strongly believe that we need to also embrace being uncomfortable. Like you said, Paula, we don’t live where, you know, in the jungle where it’s survival of the fittest in that way anymore. But I think we’ve almost gotten too comfortable not being uncomfortable. And so we talked about rivers, I mean, valleys and mountains. I climb mountains as my hobby outside of work. And so, and when I go spend 00:23:00 three weeks on a mountain, It’s miserable. It’s so the altitude makes me nauseous. I vomit all the time. The food is horrible, it’s hard to keep down the exertion. The mental and physical exertion is just over the top. However, that’s why I do it. It reminds me that I can do difficult things and it reminds me how easy it is when I’m sitting in my chair at home in Los Angeles, not doing those things. And I think I encourage people to try and put themselves in places that make them uncomfortable because it does remind us that we, things are really easy and we need to appreciate that.
00:23:33 Paula: Absolutely. And you know, as you said early on, we were talking about that story of how you were, you spent three wonderful days with a family in Lagos, but you would never have met them if these other things hadn’t happened. And we just talked about fear. So is there a message that you can leave for our listeners before we, you know, we go off air? I mean, we talked about acronyms. What about the metaphor, for example?
00:23:58 Erik: Yeah. Well, my biggest message I think 00:24:00 is that, I think people need to remember that it is a community effort, particularly fear. We’re better when we work together. And I think that that’s so powerful. I’ve got a friend named Kirk Rau that you know, each of us, let’s say I can go here, he can go here mentally. But the two of us together, we just build off of each other and we can go so much further together than we can individually. And so I, and that’s why I love situations like this, where I find colleagues that to work with, even got Tesse, who is in the UK, you’ve got you, who is all of who’s in Maryland, but we’re able to collaborate. And that’s so wonderful. And I think it’s good for all of us.
00:24:38 Paula: Yeah, great. Absolutely. Tesse, we can’t hear you.
00:24:42 Tesse: No, I’m kind of like moving my mouth and saying not much, but it’s just like the, you know, the acronym for team “together everyone achieves more”. And I just think that collaborative, that cooperation, you know, the synergy of us together, rather than us apart, 00:25:00 I always believe in it. And Paula, you know, and Erik picked it up that without you in my life, It would have been a very tough, even a tougher last three years, because having you as my friend made that fall not so hard. It was hard, but it would have been harder if you weren’t there.
00:25:17 Paula: I think it goes both ways, because you’ve been extraordinary. Talk about ordinary, extraordinary. That’s been you, so.
00:25:26 Tesse: Thank you. And Erik has been from the ordinary to the extraordinary. This golden thread running through. It’s leaving us and I know with our listeners, it’s leaving us with that kind of bridge of hope. The bridge of, you know, knowing that we can climb valleys and be at the top of the mountain, and we can be at the top of the mountain and that’s great. And then we can be in the valley and have each other. And whether it’s a mountain or it’s a valley, we can still be the ordinary to the extraordinary on that journey.
00:25:56 Erik: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. And I think 00:26:00 that the mountaintops are better being in valleys. If we had a magic pill that made life, I think I’d be bored after a shot. The challenges are what makes life good. We doesn’t always feel good sometimes when really difficult things. And I’ve had really difficult things in my life too, but those challenges do make us who we are.
00:26:19 Paula: And I think we’ll close on that. Those challenges of what really makes us who we are. Absolutely. So, and so again to our amazing audience, we want to say thank you so much for tuning in. We ask that you head over to “Apple Podcasts”, and I would have said Google Podcasts, but they’re changing that. So, they’re going over to YouTube Music. We also ask that you can also check us out on Spotify or anywhere else that you listen to podcasts. And we ask you to please click subscribe. And if you liked what you just heard, who wouldn’t? We ask that you write us a raving review. If you’ve got any questions or topics you’d like us to cover related 00:27:00 to leadership and governance, please send us a note. And remember your note could be personal as well as professional. And if you’d like to be a guest on this show, please head over to our website, which is “” to apply. Thank you, Eric.
00:27:19 Erik: Thank you, Paula and Tesse, for having me. This has been wonderful.
00:27:23 Tesse: Thank you, Erik. From ordinary to extraordinary, this has really been extraordinary.
00:27:28 Paula: It has.
00:27:28 Tesse: Thank you.