Target Locked: Aim For An Extraordinary Life with Tim Carlin
“Sometimes your greatest opportunities are those opportunities that other people are criticizing you for.” - Tim Carlin
What do you get when you put together an altar boy, a great swimmer, an army Colonel, a speed racer, a divine dancer, a financial planner, a versatile leader, and an author? -Tim Carlin. Tim is my guest today. He wrote the bestselling book called, An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life, where he shares how he was able to live an extraordinary life while being an ordinary man. Tim shares the 8 Principles that guided him through his journey. As we go through each one, we also hear of Tim’s funny and inspiring experiences that made the pages of his story more interesting. We also learn how being vulnerable and being of service contribute to our success. Your life can be incredibly wonderful. The key is to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Don’t miss today’s golden nuggets, and go live an extraordinary life!
02:35 Aim For Extraordinary
05:54 From Uncomfortable To Reinvention
11:58 Punch Above Your Weight
13:36 Discipline Is Freedom
22:11 Don’t Follow The Crowd
25:31 Ask For Help
30:18 Service To Others
40:07 Take Your Chances
You are an ordinary person meant for an extraordinary life! Tune in as @SfbaldwinOwens and Tim Carlin talk about 8 principles to live by to write your own dream life.
01:34 “In order to grow, we have to feel uncomfortable.” - Tim Carlin
07:05 “Reinvent yourself and find a way around the hill, through the hill, over the hill, above the hill to get on the other side.” - Tim Carlin
18:33 “Be open to being uncomfortable and making the best of a bad opportunity.” - Tim Carlin
18:44 “Make something out where nothing exists.” - Tim Carlin
20:53 “Nobody grows from a place of comfort.” - Shirley Owens
22:20 “Sometimes your greatest opportunities are those opportunities that other people are criticizing you for.” - Tim Carlin
28:20 “These building blocks of adversity and these challenges in your life and turning it into a positive is what we have to figure out. Ask for help.” - Tim Carlin
40:28 “If I didn't take certain chances and fail, I wouldn't be the person I am today.” - Tim Carlin
Connect With Tim:
Tim Carlin was a Colonel in the United States Army. He is a certified financial planner at V Wealth Advisors. Tim has been in service to others since age 10 when he served as an altar boy. He was a West Point graduate. Tim is a versatile leader with past responsibility at some of America's biggest companies, including PepsiCo, Conoco, Phillips 66 company. Living an ordinary life, but achieving extraordinary results. Tim shows you through job loss, family hardship, and a cancer diagnosis to prosper, serve and give back to others.
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Shirley Owens: My guest today is Tim Carlin. Tim was a Colonel in the United States Army, a certified financial planner at V Wealth advisors. Tim has been in service to others since age 10, when he served as an altar boy. He is a West Point graduate having commanded at the company battalion and brigade level. Tim is a versatile leader with past responsibility at some of America's biggest companies, including PepsiCo, ConocoPhillips, 66 Company, living an ordinary life, but achieving extraordinary results. Tim shows you through job loss, family hardship and a cancer diagnosis to prosper, serve and give back to others. Welcome Tim, I'm super excited to have you today.
Tim Carlin: Well, thank you for having me, Shirley. This'll be fun.
Shirley Owens: Yeah, I'm really excited because we've talked a little bit and we've both had a lot of hardships. I think that you don't grow from a place of comfortable, right?
Tim Carlin: Yeah. I think I mentioned that in the book that in order to grow, we have to feel uncomfortable. It isn't a good feeling at all, is it?
“In order to grow, we have to feel uncomfortable.” - Tim Carlin
Shirley Owens: No, not when you're going through it, for sure.
Tim Carlin: Not at all.
Shirley Owens: Sometimes I realized like when I was younger, I looked back at things that I went through and I think, how did I ever get through that? Or my kids would have never made it through that. And a lot of times, when you're actually in it, you don't realize how uncomfortable it is because you're just surviving getting through it. So we talked about that. We both had hip replacements, it's a little embarrassing because it's like kind of ages us a little bit. But when you don't have one, when you're just walking bone on bone, like you're just in all of this pain, you don't realize how good it's going to be on the other side, you just kind of survive each day and do what you gotta do to get through it. So I think that's kind of like a lot of things in life, that was just like one of my many trials. But tell me about your book. I didn't put that in the bio, so I really want to learn about it. Because what I know about you, it doesn't feel like you're ordinary. So tell me a little bit more about that.
Tim Carlin: Well, the book was from a perspective of being a very average person having to kind of work hard to experience, get uncomfortable and do different things, and eventually get what you want. So it's a little bit about resilience, a little bit about discipline, it's a little bit about delayed gratification and all of those kinds of help to let you live an extraordinary life just being ordinary. And that's really, when I look back on my life, I want it to kind of share some principles and I felt the book was a great way to do it.
Shirley Owens: I love that. So tell me about, I don't know, like what makes you feel ordinary? Did you come from an ordinary family? Tell me a little about your background.
Tim Carlin: I'm very ordinary. Starting with where I came from, my background is Buffalo, New York, which many of your listeners know is a very ordinary city. So I'm average as far as by intelligence per se or my athletic ability, there's nothing really that special about me, but that kind of gave me a little bit of a drive to maybe live life with a little bit of a scrappiness, or a chip on my shoulder to maybe prove the critics wrong. So in the book, I talk about getting bullied when I was younger. I talk about getting cut from the football team numerous times, and how do I get beyond that? How do I get to where I'm the person I am today? So a lot of what's in the book can be relatable to children today on what they're struggling with, and what we're struggling with.
Shirley Owens: I love that because in the end, it really is just like our story. Everyone has their trials, subjectively, not everyone has been bullied. I have, so I know what that feels like. And objectively, some people seem to have a way harder life than other people. And there have been times in my life when I wanted to just be boohoo. I had the hardest life. I had a way harder life than you, but we really don't know what other people are going through. I think that it's awesome too. I mean, I interview a lot of people who, I guess weren't ordinary or maybe didn't see themselves as ordinary. Like I've worked with a lot of very high achievers athletes that are super human, celebrities, all types of people that don't consider themselves ordinary. But I do consider that, like, I lived an ordinary life. I wasn't just really good at one thing. And so you do live like that, like I've got to show them, I'm going to show them that I can be better at this, or I'm going to show them, you know? So tell me about, I know that in your book, there are eight principles, and is it eight?
Tim Carlin: Yeah.
Shirley Owens: I think that's all I remember. So let's talk about each of those and how somebody in today's world, which was way crazier than even our world I think growing up. Just talk about, if you're addressing, say you're addressing a high school kid and they're getting ready to go out into the world, can you take these eight principles and maybe just talk about how you can go from being ordinary to extreme?
Tim Carlin: Yeah. I think, Shirley, one is getting uncomfortable. And in order for us to grow and learn, it just is uncomfortable. I mean, a lot of us out there today may not know quite what our children know. Our kids know about computers and technology. How do we do certain things with that? There's so much to learn in that field. I think forcing yourself to get very uncomfortable punching the wrong button every so often is the first step. And what that tends to do is lead to the next step reinvention. I think one of the things we all have to realize is our children and even ourselves, we're going to constantly have to reinvent ourselves. So in the book, there's a little piece about COVID in there because it's coming out during this terrible pandemic that we're having. We're going to reinvent ourselves as a country after this. And we're reinventing ourselves right now. So here's a young kid. When you go through a tough time and you can't get what you want because all of us are at that stage. At some point in our life, we're not going to get what we want. Instead of getting disappointed, or throwing a temper tantrum, or withdrawing or getting angry, the book teaches you how to reinvent yourself and find a way around the hill, through the hill, over the hill, above the hill to get on the other side. So I like that.
“Reinvent yourself and find a way around the hill, through the hill, over the hill, above the hill to get on the other side.” - Tim Carlin
Shirley Owens: I like that too. How many people do you think are uncomfortable?
Tim Carlin: No, I think I don't like to be uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable learning how to drive a stick shift at West Point in learning how to drive a car. So one of the stories in the book is learning how to drive, finally, when I was 21 years old. Now, you're smiling. Most of your listeners are going to smile and it's like you grew up on a farm. You may be driving at 10 or 8 years old on your grandpa, grandma's lap as she's driving or he's driving. Well, where I grew up being ordinary, I grew up in a duplex. A family lived above us, I lived below. We had five people for one bathroom. My dad was a police officer, my mom was a homemaker, very ordinary. My dad, in the course of growing up didn't necessarily have money to buy cars for us or pay the insurance. Being a police officer, he saw all the terrible accidents that kids reach so he didn't allow me to drive. So when I got into West Point, they didn't allow you to drive until you're a senior. So I'm a senior at West Point and I still don't know how to drive a car. And back when we were going to college or growing up, they didn't have signs that were driver's had signs that were non-discreet like they do today. Today, you pull up, there's a little sign that says--
Shirley Owens: Yes.
Tim Carlin: Well, when we grew up, there was a big flashing yellow banner or sign above the roof of the car that would blink--
Shirley Owens: Oh, I remember that.
Tim Carlin: Student driver. So I'm on West Point, and all these plebes, which are first year cadets at West Point, see this car drive up, and a lot of them are from the South and Midwest where they're driving at 8 and 10 years old on the farm. And this city boy, whose dad was a police officer, now he has to get in the car and learn how to drive. It was just an uncomfortable experience.
Shirley Owens: I cannot even imagine.
Tim Carlin: It was just crazy. I mean, your listeners out there are probably thinking, Oh, my God, they would be so odd in today's world while it was odd back then. So that's where I had to learn first how to drive. And to do that though, it was very uncomfortable because I didn't have any other way around it.
Shirley Owens: I love it. I think that's so cool. My son actually is getting his license today and he's 17 and a half.
Tim Carlin: I probably bugged you about getting it earlier.
Shirley Owens: I had a couple of friends who were killed in car accidents so I can't decide if it's his nervousness or mine, which has been worse. But my husband's like, he needs to drive. He needs to eventually try it. I think if I had my way, my kids wouldn't have driven until they were 21 either so I get that. But yeah, we're both about to embark on an uncomfortable today because I have to drive with him there and then let him get his license.
Tim Carlin: I'm so excited for him and for you, but that is nerve wracking because now he's on his own driving and you're worried about your children all the time.
Shirley Owens: Yeah. And his friends are already, most kids get their license on their 16th birthday so I can't imagine what you went through back then. I can see that that could be super uncomfortable.
Tim Carlin: What's really funny though, and to bring it full circle about how you have to get uncomfortable in order to grow. Now, I'm racing cars at triple digit speeds on race tracks all over the country. And I'm not a professional racer, it's really amateur. But there's other cars on the track going at high speeds, triple digit at times, and you're competing with one another. So going from not knowing how to drive and then all of a sudden being able to maneuver these cars at high speed on racetracks.
Shirley Owens: That is really cool.
Tim Carlin: Very interesting story about how to be patient, go through the pain and come out better on the other side.
Shirley Owens: Wow, that's awesome. So, okay. So uncomfortable, reinvention, you just talked about that too. You almost completely became something opposite of that. If you want to finish talking more about that or if you want to go to the next one, this is exciting to me.
Tim Carlin: Yeah. I think another one is to get uncomfortable, sometimes you have to punch above your weight, and what do I mean about that? Well, when my dad and I were young, we would go to the beach on Lake Erie and have a great time. And when he was teaching me how to swim, each stand about 15 feet from me and I'd swim underwater to him. One time, he kept moving back, and back, and back, and it felt my lungs were going to burst. I was wondering what in the world was happening, and then I saw the dirt from his feet moving as he shuffled in the sand under the water continually moving back. So I got mad and I said, I'm going to catch him and punch above my weight to get to him. And I finally tagged him, probably double the distance. And when you're a young boy, five or six, that's a long way to go. So I came up, my lungs were ready to burst, but it taught me a lot about persevering which gave me a chance to get into West Point, complete ranger school, and this is coming from someone who didn't even know what the boy Scouts were. My idea of camping out was playing at my school playground and then making snow angels on the grass, looking up at the sky when the street lights came on and then I knew it was time to get home.
Shirley Owens: Wow. Completely different. Okay, so uncomfortable, re-invention, what's number three.
Tim Carlin: Yeah, the punch above your weight, and then the next one is, discipline is freedom. What I'm saying is it involves delayed gratification or doing the same thing over and over again. So to get into West Point, I was average, I wasn't a good test taker. I mean, my grades were maybe B or B+ in high school so I wasn't this brainiac per se. I had to keep taking the SAT tests because the way the service academies work is they want a whole person concept. They want someone with some leadership, someone who's athletic and then someone smart. Well, my math or verbal, I forgot which one was a little lower than the standard they set. So I went to Kaplan to learn and kept going back taking the test over and over again to get better. And it took me about six times until I got into a range to where I was competitive to get into the school. Fortunately, they liked the tenacity and the ability not to take no as an answer so I was able to get accepted.
Shirley Owens: I love that. So persevering is huge. I realized punch above your weight was the number three, sorry.
Tim Carlin: Yeah. They're all kind of intermingled, they're in my head. But they're really some good principles to live by, which is kind of fun. I think another one was, along the lines of re-invention was actually, I went to Tulsa, Oklahoma to learn. I was transferred there for my job and I didn't know anyone. I was single at the time, and men don't like to dance, that's not really, generally speaking, what we like to do. So I figured in order to meet people, I had to learn how to country Western dance. I went and started taking country Western dance lessons and then started to go to the nightclubs. And my heart would beat through my chest as I would ask a lady to dance and try to use the steps I learned on the dance floor. I quickly found out though that even though I would make mistakes, the more I can learn, the more I became like George Clooney. I think ladies like guys who can sing, play a musical instrument or possibly dance.
Shirley Owens: Yes.
Tim Carlin: I learned how to dance, it was very uncomfortable. I struggled for the longest time, but it finally clicked. And the reason I tell the story isn't so much because it was a way to meet ladies to dance, it really opened up an opportunity when I was laid off in 2002, after the 2001 crisis whereby my buddy at the time Jack Ryan was out of Chicago, I was living there. A former Marine said, Hey, Tim, I just saw an advertisement to become a gentlemen host, you have to have good manners and know how to dance. Well, being a West Pointer, I think I had the manners down pretty well, but the dancing was the hard part. But what I did was, I kept learning how to dance different dances. So as I moved around the country with promotions, I learned swing, foxtrot, tango, waltz, rumba, all these different types of dances. So I interviewed for the job and got accepted. After getting laid off, I had this time in some resources where I could take a year off and I became a gentlemen host on board the Queen Elizabeth II Cruise Ship. The Queen Elizabeth II is the premier cruise ship at that time in the Cunard Line. And it was like a modern day version of old cruising where you would dress up every night in a tuxedo and a beautiful gown, and you would have afternoon tea and be very elegant. Didn't mean you didn't have fun and play in the pool and all that stuff, but when the sun went down, it became somewhat of a more throwback time back to the turn of the century and how folks dressed on the Titanic, and in how they interacted. I loved it, and my trip was completely paid for. And my job was to dance with single ladies on board the ship, teach them how to dance, or ladies whose husbands didn't want to dance. And it's a bonafide position. Everything was paid for, I had a regular state room and I met some wonderful people that I talk about in the book that had been through the Holocaust and different experiences. I wouldn't have been able to do this unless I got uncomfortable and learned how to dance way back in Tulsa, Oklahoma country, western two-step.
Shirley Owens: Wow, that's crazy. And that sounds like the funnest job ever.
Tim Carlin: It's just being open to being uncomfortable and making the best of a bad opportunity, whether it's getting laid off, or getting picked on, or anything of that nature. So the reinvention is always there in, how can I make something out of this?
“Be open to being uncomfortable and making the best of a bad opportunity.” - Tim Carlin
Shirley Owens: Yeah, it's funny because my same son that's getting his driver's license today is a ballroom dancer and great, he wanted to drop out of soccer. I make all my kids do some kind of a sport or something. They have to be involved in something. I put them in ballroom dancing for the first two weeks and he just was so upset with me for two weeks. I knew that it was going to be his thing, but he didn't trust me. So anyway, now he is an aid in three classes. He teaches the junior high kids as a senior. He is the head choreographer in the class, and he's been doing it for four years and he loves it. It really was a game changer. But Oh, my gosh, so uncomfortable for him. So completely uncomfortable.
“Make something out where nothing exists.” - Tim Carlin
Tim Carlin: Well, there's so much stereotype around it and it's not overseas, it's much more accepted for men to dance. Now, dancing with the stars came out and that kind of changed a little bit, the perception of ballroom dance. But to be a ballroom dancer, number one, you have to think on your feet, no pun intended. So it's very good for thinking ahead, and for choreographing moves, it's very athletic. I know very few amateur or professional ballroom dancers who aren't in great shape. And it makes you happy when you get to listen to that music, whether it's salsa, rumba or tango, you get to become a different personality and immerse yourself in that music. And when you're done, there's never been a time when you're not happy at the end of the session.
Shirley Owens: Exactly. And he was bullied and he struggled a lot in school, and that was kind of his thing that became his, he went from it being the most uncomfortable place to the stage being where he's most comfortable. He was one of the head actors in the school play, definitely gets the ladies, all of that. Now he likes stages where he is comfortable. So I love that we're talking about this because I think in my business, I always talk about, you can't grow unless you're uncomfortable. Nobody grows from a place of comfort. These conversations are so important to have because I think we all want to be comfortable. I've been working out for the first time since my hip replacement and it sucks. It is not fun for me but I keep thinking, you know what? I'm just gonna keep going. I'm gonna keep going until this becomes something that's comfortable. It is not comfortable, but I'm growing already. I'm committing to myself, I feel good that I'm making myself go and do it again. And being the older person there, and the most out of shape and all of that, it's just been such an uncomfortable place. But I know because of all the things that I've been through and everything that I teach that I'm going to, something really amazing is going to come out of it. Hopefully my body, but something amazing is going to come out of it, so this is great, all of this is so great. I'm super excited about your book and we're not even halfway through it yet.
“Nobody grows from a place of comfort.” - Shirley Owens
Tim Carlin: It's just funny because being uncomfortable, you're taking, it's physical uncomfortableness, it's mental uncomfortableness. There's just different types of being uncomfortable. So here I am, when I'm learning this dancing, I'm an army ranger, I'm a West Point grad, I'm in the combat arms, but yet I'm taking ballroom dancing.
Shirley Owens: Yeah. You're like a manly man, that's awesome.
Tim Carlin: Yeah. I think that brings me to my next point, don't follow the crowd. You don't always have to follow the crowd because sometimes, your greatest opportunities are those opportunities that other people are criticizing you for, or questioning you about.
“Sometimes your greatest opportunities are those opportunities that other people are criticizing you for.” - Tim Carlin
Shirley Owens: Yeah.
Tim Carlin: So my dad said, what are you ballroom dancing for? Why do you want to cruise ships? Well, he didn't understand the impact of what it was. He didn't look into the future. He was looking in the rear view mirror.
Shirley Owens: Yeah.
Tim Carlin: You gotta look forward. And in the end, once dancing with the stars came out and he saw the experiences I had on the cruise ship, and he had a whole new different version of what that was all about, it's just amazing. I will tell you one funny story on the cruise ship. I met this one professor of English and there was an open dance on the dance floor. Now, the dance floor is the largest dance floor on any cruise ship so it's a big dance floor. Think of the Marriott, when you're having a wedding, how big that dance floor would be? So I said, Hey, why don't we do a paso doble? And paso doble is a very difficult dance, it's similar to a Matador in a ball, if you can visualize that and how you're dancing it. And the professor asked me, well, do you know how to dance it? I said, no, I don't. But I think if you take a combination of tango, rumba and salsa and feel the music, and intermingle them long, as you follow my lead and I'll give you a good lead, I think we could pull it off. So they start playing the paso doble music, which is very strong masculine music. And we do this dance intermingling these other dances to make it look like a paso doble, and she follows me perfectly and we get a standing ovation when we're done. It was just an amazing experience that taught you the power of working together because that's another thing that dance teaches you. How to give and take and put on just a magnificent performance, combining different facets of your life in dancing. So that's kind of what we're doing as ordinary people. And this is what the book's all about because all of us could write the same book. There'd be different experiences in it, but it's taking these different pieces and combining them together in order to present a masterpiece.
Shirley Owens: So there's not a lot of conversation with me and clients, my husband, my kids lately about, like our world right now is kind of in this place where everything you see on Instagram, all kinds of social media is about me. It's like, you need to work on yourself. Everything is about yourself. And I feel like a lot is being left out about the power of one another, the power of two, the power of three, nothing alive on this planet is alive because it was by itself. Think about a tree, it needs soil, sun and water. I think that our world is kind of trying to move away a little bit from that. But I love when you talk about, you probably could have pulled that dance off and been fine, and maybe even still gotten a standing ovation, but it wouldn't have been that dance without that other person. I think leaning on other people and learning from other people. It's so important to sometimes be led. Sometimes they follow up and just really like being okay with not doing every single thing yourself.
Tim Carlin: Yeah. I agree with you. I think that willingness to give and take, and communicate, and it could be nonverbal communication. I write in the book where me and my wife go through some experiences, tough times to where we start drifting apart, how do we come back together? I mean, sometimes, a simple note can do it. Sometimes, a simple flower can do. Sometimes, a verbal thank you can do. And I think reaching out to others and asking them for help, what do you think? What's your opinion? I think men, generally speaking, we have a really hard time doing that. So another way to get uncomfortable as a guy, you guys do it great. I think the ladies have this to a certain extent is to reach out to your friends and ask, Hey, I need your help. Can I get your advice on something? Can I treat you to a beer, or a coffee, or whatever it might be, and really sometimes be vulnerable and ask for that help.
Shirley Owens: Yeah, I think that's super good advice.
Tim Carlin: So to that end, after getting bullied, I asked my dad for some help and I said, Hey, dad, can you teach me how to box? And he said, I didn't know how to box, Tim, but I can certainly introduce you to someone in the police department who can teach judo. So I started taking this frustration of getting bullied and started learning judo. I became pretty good at it to where it helped me become a really good wrestler in high school, which helped me get into West Point. So these building blocks of taking adversity and these challenges in your life, and finding something in your case, your son's going to be a tremendous ballroom dancer and teacher. And turning it into a positive is really what we have to figure out and ask for help.
“These building blocks of adversity and these challenges in your life and turning it into a positive is what we have to figure out. Ask for help.” - Tim Carlin
Shirley Owens: I agree. It sounds like everyone, you had all these experiences that could have held you down and it just like you made this choice in the moment to not let it hold you down and to become something bigger. I'm kind of getting it now. So you were ordinary. I'm like this guy, everything I read about him or know about him, he is not ordinary. So it's nice. It's good to hear that from someone like anybody that's coming from any walk of life, any situation can make it positive or negative. One of my kids the other day said to me, I think she's 12 and she's just very inquisitive. She says to me, you know the saying about the glass is half full, glass is an empty kind of thing. She didn't really remember what it was. She's like, I think you're the one that has the full glass and I'm the one that has the empty glass. I thought, it's probably because I've been through so much adversity and you've been a little bit spoiled, so maybe we need to mix it up a little bit, you know? And it was just kind of funny that she had that. But really, it's in that moment of adversity, which way are you going to go? And I think oftentimes, we don't actually realize that we can go up from there. Like we don't have to take it at that point and go down, we can move upwards. And I love that, this is so fun talking to you because you remind me a lot of me in that, Oh, well, I was just given this thing, and then I just decided to do this other thing with it, and now I'm really good at this other thing. It's nice to be able to be that person to have that. I think some of us, it's more natural. And some of us, it's not natural. So what would you say to those who are not necessarily natural? What's something that you could have, maybe a thought changer or some advice you could give that would have somebody today that is normally ordinary in their mind and they don't think that they can be anything else. What would be one word of advice that you'd give that they would be able to use today to maybe realize that they don't have to stay in that ordinary place?
Tim Carlin: Yeah. I think one way is, and you mentioned it, reach out to others, talk to others, ask for help, ask for advice. And then the other thing though is serving others. Sometimes, to not be ordinary, you can find a cause that you really believe in. Maybe it's the Ronald McDonald House for abused moms and women, maybe it's the pet project which helps abused animals, maybe it's helping the homeless. And then I think what happens is it opens up opportunities to really find your happy place. Because in those places of service, you meet some very ordinary, extraordinary people that want to help you because they see the potential, they see the goodness in your heart and they open up some opportunities for you. And I think that's really a big deal. I think that's one way just by giving back to others in a very ordinary way. From a good place to where you want to help this particular organization or person, I think there's good things that happen, and is the result of that, that being in service to others.
Shirley Owens: I agree. I think service is the very number one best way to get out of ourselves, to get out of our own issues, and to not be the victim, and not be the woe me kind of person. And it can start with little things, right? Like taking cookies to your neighbor. One of our neighbors we met, we just moved into our house about nine months ago, right before COVID hit. I can't remember what we went down there for, but just a few houses down. We walked, we went to our neighbors and we wanted to see their backyard, that's what it was because we're doing landscaping. So we walked into the backyard and right as we walked into their backyard, their daughter came in screaming, she has like a big slice up in her knee. My husband's a doctor. They look at him like, what do we do? And he's like, Oh, we could probably put that together. Well, I'm a mom of a lot of kids so I take over because this is what I do. I come home, I get the butterfly, I get all the cleaning supplies because we happen to have those, and go back and I put her knee back together. A couple of weeks later, I'm over there visiting her mom because we became really good friends after that. And it's so great, just by one thing of service. Well, I'm over there visiting her and she says, my daughter the other day, someone said, well, your knee just looks so good now. And she's like, yeah, my neighbor put it together. And they said, well, we thought her husband was the doctor. And she's like, yeah, but, Shirley, she just does a little bit of everything. Anyway, it was just kind of funny. Then all of a sudden in the neighborhood, we have a little bit better of a reputation which ends up serving us in the end. But we really just did what came natural. And that was just like, immediately, no matter what, we drop everything and just serve. And it's so important. You always just feel so good after that. I didn't even think about the impression that we would leave or not, but now we're really close to that family and it's super fun to just have that memory of the first time we met.
Tim Carlin: It raises your standard of living in your happiness quotient because now, your neighborhoods your neighbors, and you like them. There's a trust level there. I think the biggest thing we're fighting through today in our world is that trust. How can we get to a place where we're serving others and there's trust there? I just came back yesterday from a trip and there were so many opportunities to do some things. So for example, it started out where someone needed a dollar bill at the 7/11 as I was getting gas. So it's not a big deal, it's a couple of bucks, no problem. Then the next thing was, we were getting ready to get on board, it was Southwest and who goes first, you guys go first, no big deal, go right ahead. And there's that little spot where there's a little tension, the next little thing was someone didn't even know they needed help and I could just intuitively feel she was going to need help with her suitcase. So I said, Hey, can I get the suitcase for you so you don't have to worry. She was on the inside seat, I was in the outside seat and she's, Oh, that would be really helpful. So I think these little touch points of service to others, it doesn't take a lot of money, it doesn't take a lot of time, but if everyone started doing that type of stuff, exponentially, it makes the world a better place to be.
Shirley Owens: Because when you are in service of others, you're happy, you just are. And I think I've heard about this a lot on my shows, and people are probably tired of hearing it. But I just always talk about this story when my kids were talking about service and I was telling them that they need to serve each other, because when we serve other people, it helps us to love them more. So if we're upset with somebody, if they're fighting, serve them, because it helps you to love other people. We think that it makes the other person feel loved, which it does, but we forget that it makes us love more when we serve and when we're loving and serving. And I mean, what else is there? You just feel good about yourself, which raises your confidence, which gives you an ability to do more things, which gives you a more ability to serve, right? So it's just like this upward spiral.
Tim Carlin: I think being an ultra boy at 10 in walking, we had probably a half a mile walk, not a big deal, but in the snow in winter, it was, we didn't get driven. My mom didn't know how to drive and my dad was on duty so I'd wake up at 5:30, I'd walk in the snow, you could hear the crunch of the snow, you have to visualize this because I know in Phoenix, there's not that much. In Buffalo, we get 323 inches of snow in a typical year. That's more than Anchorage, Alaska if you could put it.
Shirley Owens: It's actually colder snow back there.
Tim Carlin: Yes. It's just a wet coldness instead of a dry coldness. But walking and then going as a young boy, and serving the priest at 6:00 AM mass, you just felt a sense of accomplishment to help the people get their communion. And that time we had like a little host, you didn't take it in your hand, it was taken on your tongue so I had to hold the little plate underneath so if it fell, it wouldn't hit the ground. But just the mere fact of the experience of getting up, walking in the snow alone in the dark, going into this big cavernous church that reminded me of a hunchback of Notre Dame and serving these people, it was just a great feeling that led to being a good paper boy everyday, that led to wanting to serve in the military. And I'm that thought of service since we're on the topic of being in service to others. I really think what would be really helpful for all of us, especially our younger adults, would be to serve in some capacity for two years. Maybe it's a mission if you're very faith-based, maybe it's helping the poor disadvantage to read and write, maybe it's helping farmers that are struggling to find better techniques, or maybe it's serving in the military. The reason I think that's so important is you get to assimilate with other people from outside your home area and you learn so much how to get along and how others live.
Shirley Owens: Oh, I've also heard that, Tim, how long it takes for you to kind of change who you are, that type of thing. So my husband served a two year mission for his church, and yeah, you just like you learn a new culture, you learn a ton of stuff. I feel like every high school kid should hear you right now because this is so important. It's so important.
Tim Carlin: The people who have read the book, actually, I think it may be Amazon's bestseller in the college, tips, category, how to get through college per se or tough time. And I think the reason you're getting kind of a fun kick out of this is the life lessons all of us fight through. How do we get through it? I think sometimes, a mom or dad, we can tell kids, but it goes in one ear and out the other. But maybe when you're reading the story, it makes more sense. And I start the book off with learning about King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. King Arthur was called [inaudible]. He was a very average ordinary young man when he was growing up and he asked for help in Merlin took this interest in him with special powers, and he actually became, by legend, King of England and united all of England. It's a great way of taking some of the principles in that book and applying it to your own life, whether you're an adult or a young adult and living a more satisfying, happy life.
Shirley Owens: Yeah. I love it. So is there anything, I always ask all my guests this, but is there anything that you regret in your life or wish you could do over?
Tim Carlin: Well, I always say don't look at the rear view mirror for sure. I look back and I say, if I didn't take certain chances and fail, I wouldn't be the person I am today. And the reason I took those chances and failed or had success was because that is what I was meant to do.
“If I didn't take certain chances and fail, I wouldn't be the person I am today.” - Tim Carlin
Shirley Owens: Yeah.
Tim Carlin: So I'm really looking back and I've asked myself that question. I have, I don't regret what I've done. I think I've lived a wonderful, extra ordinary, ordinary life.
Shirley Owens: Yeah. I mean, it sounds amazing. I love that answer so much. So tell us how we can get in touch with you, your website, what's the name of your book? I don't even think we gave the name of your book. And yeah, if you've got a copy, show it, that's awesome. Again, An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life. I love it. I love it.
Tim Carlin: Yeah. And it's on Amazon books, that is a way to get the book, I think you'll really enjoy it. There's some great reviews. And then I'm on LinkedIn and Facebook also, please feel free. All my contact information is there.
Shirley Owens: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I am honored to have you as a guest and it has been amazing. Thank you.
Tim Carlin: Thank you so much, Shirley.