Bruce Pulver is an author and motivator that moves and inspires people to change their attitudes through his motivational writing. As the author of the bestselling book, Above the Chatter, Our Words Matter, Bruce’s words inspire and encourage people to reframe their thinking by starting each day with a positive intention. In addition to his very popular TED Talk, Bruce conducts workshops and seminars across America and trains companies and executives on the transformative power of words and intention.
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Well, Ron, thank you so much for having me. And you’re the first person who’s actually used my stuff on me. So I’m humbled.
Well, when I read your book, actually, a year or so, a couple years ago, now, it had an effect on me. I mean, I now think about words when I say them, you have made an impact on the way that I speak to some people, even my wife who reminds me sometimes of your book, and when I say something to her, she wants me to break that down, but I want to know for our audience, how did the book come about, you know, the backstory for the book? How did it all come about?
Well, sure. And thank you. Thank you for having me. And I’ll spend a couple minutes talking about that, Ron. So let me go back to the very beginning because this is an important part of the story and an important part for the listeners maybe to understand, so when we get to the kind of the common or the current aspect, kind of understanding. So the day that I was born, which was back in the early 60s, when the medical technology was nowhere where it is today. My mother when she went into labor with me suffered what’s called a dissecting aortic aneurysm during labor, which means that the blood that flows away from the heart, which is in the in the aorta, and outward, it burst and started internally bleeding in between the inner walls and the outer walls of the arteries. Well, that doesn’t sound that big a deal today, but back then the longest survivor was 72 hours of having this traumatic situation during labor. I was we were 30 minutes from the hospital and if she would not have fought, there’s 30 minutes to get to the hospital. It was over for both of us. But fortunately, we were at a hospital in the northeast associated with Yale University Medical Center, and there were two surgeons visiting from Tulane University who had just perfected and were up teaching aortic valve replacement surgery.
So those surgeons were brought over to the hospital when her obgyn they delivered me. She then plunged into a 60 day fight for her life in during four surgeries. She emerged. She survived, and she lived until I was 22 years old. During that process during those years, I was raised by a mother who was so grateful and was so thankful For every single day that she had my father, who was the silent patient in this whole situation. He was a wordsmith as well. He loved poems. He loved plays. He loved plays on words and puns. And I was raised in a house with a very thoughtful father, and a very energetic and positive mother, which I realized later, was not the norm. I mean, I just knew what I knew, because how I was raised, but what changed everything for me, Ron, which kind of gets us to the book was I had gone through life with that as my sort of my two jet engines, a real positive expecting things work out, well. You just keep working, everything’s going to be okay. And then about, you know, seven, six or seven years ago, after working in a corporate position and being what I thought was incredibly successful and you know, signing contracts and building customer relationships. I had a plan That ended. So I was basically terminated as part of a downsizing in a company. And I call that my BAM moment. And when that happened, my mother’s positivity and my father’s love of words, forged together in one instance. And I woke up the morning after this layoff with some word, a word pounding in my head that I just wrote down. I wrote down this word similar to the way that you use Bruce, when you introduce our show today. The word for me was strong. Bruce, you need to be strong, and I just looked at it. I wrote it vertically, Ron, and the letters became stand tall, remain optimistic, now, go for it. So what I did was that day was I tried to find something to generate some strength, strength for my family strength for myself and straight for my future. I’ll fast forward and say that process a new word. Every single morning came to me. I will say what they do Buying download 420 consecutive mornings and I wrote them down. It was a journal. Then it evolved to now we have to do something with it. And that ultimately came a book. So I’ll stop there because that’s pretty much the backstory that is.
That explains how you got your love of words because your father, you said was a wordsmith. But Bruce, we have had the biggest BAM moment of our lives in the last six months. I mean, billions of people have had a BAM moment now. So, how can we use your book and words to to reinvent ourselves maybe to overcome what we’re going through?
Wow. That’s a great question. And thank you for asking that. And what I will say is that I have found a way not to turn this off. Right now to say it isn’t an issue, not to say we don’t have to face seems like it’s a magic pill. But I do believe that a lot of it starts with the conversations we have with ourselves. And the conversations we have with others drive our thoughts, they drive our actions, and ultimately they drive our outcomes. So what I back up and say is that we really have a choice on how we decide we want to approach the situation. Because we are faced with that it’s circumstances of the situation their conditions. They don’t define us unless we let them so I truly believe that how we use our words how we speak to ourselves with the yes I can attitude versus a woe is me attitude. Even in the especially in the hardest times. And a lot of us I think are facing struggles that maybe we haven’t struggled before. Maybe things were fine things were comfortable, comfortable enough not to change. thing, but now we’re forced into it. So I would just I would step back, I would find some time to pause and try to think of things in a, what can we do perspective? Versus Oh, there are so many limits on me today.
Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my remarkable interview with Bruce Pulver!