87: Are you Changing or Evolving?

Are you changing or evolving? Learn the difference from the original “Evolution of Dance” performer and international speaker Judson Laipply. He takes us on his journey and into our own journeys of evolving in our lives.

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Judson’s BIO:

Judson Laipply M.Ed., CSP, is an enigma wrapped in an anomaly contained inside a quandary. Which means he’s not easy to describe. Combining comedy and content, Judson has been speaking and training audiences all over the world for the last 20 years.

He’s been seen on the Today Show, Ellen, GMA, Oprah and more. He is the world’s first YouTube Celebrity as his “Evolution of Dance” video was the first video to ever hit 100 million views and has well over 1 billion impressions. He is a husband, an Ironman Triathlete, and an avid Cleveland sports fan.  

Links to Judson:

Books Judson recommends:

Mike Domitrz:
Welcome to the Respect Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Domitrz from mikespeaks.com, where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions, and the US military create a culture of respect. And respect is exactly what we discuss on this show, so let’s get started.

Mike Domitrz:
This week’s guest, many of you have seen him in action. He is inspirational comedian Judson Laipply, is the world’s first YouTube celebrity. That’s right, numero number one celebrity on YouTube. He’s been speaking and performing for 20 years, resides in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Thank you Judson Laipply so much for joining us.

Judson Laipply:
My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. It’s good to be here.

Mike Domitrz:
Absolutely. You and I first met, I believe, at what the time was called a Bacchus and Gamma conference, I think-

Judson Laipply:
Wow.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah, like 13, 14 years ago. We were both there, which for listeners, that’s a conference, at the time, I think it’s changed its name now, for campuses that address alcohol, drugs, sexual assault issues, and peer education, and how to do that. And that’s where I first saw you do your thing.

Judson Laipply:
That’s crazy. I guess I wouldn’t have realized. I thought we would’ve met at one of the NACCAs. I didn’t realize that we had met at one of the Bacchus’.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. First I think it was Bacchus. We could’ve again at NACCA, that’s for sure.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah, now for our listeners, I hyped it all up there, but they might not understand what I’m referring to. So let’s start off with that first. You are literally YouTube’s first celebrity, their very first viral video. So Judson, for those who don’t know you by name, they would know you by the millennial. So I’ll let you explain further. What took you to fame?

Judson Laipply:
It was a video of a dance routine that at the time, and actually still to this day, is kind of the finale of my main Keynote. I talk a lot about change and evolving, so I created this thing called the Evolution of Dance, which is the last 60 years of popular dance moves all in one, at the time, back in 2006 when the video took off, six minute routine. And currently sits at about eight minutes depending on the age range of the audience itself.

Judson Laipply:
So I was just lucky, at the right place, right time. I actually put up the video on YouTube so I could get an embedding code to copy and paste it into my MySpace profile, so that my dance video would appear on my MySpace homepage. Because at the time, I wasn’t even allowed to be on Facebook because I wasn’t in college anymore. Nobody was really doing YouTube as a platform for broadcasting. It was, at that time a video sharing site that allowed you to send a link via email, as opposed to sending an entire file of a video to somebody that you wanted to share a video with.

Mike Domitrz:
I love how much we’re aging ourselves right now.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah.

Mike Domitrz:
Myspace and Facebook. That’s right, a lot of people don’t realize, Facebook at first, you had to have a .edu. And it was only on certain campuses, and those of us who were working in the campus world would know of it, but we couldn’t use it. So, that is so weird.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah, it’s like a secret place that everyone was talking about, but we were unable to do. And then you’re like, “Ooh, maybe I can find a school that would just give me an edu address”.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. Judson, this thing took off. How many million in the first year? And then how many million today?

Judson Laipply:
In the first year, it was somewhere between 70 and 90 million. Unfortunately, also because YouTube was so small, I wouldn’t say small at the time it was just so new, they didn’t have all of the analytics and all the tracking that they have. So I don’t have an accurate exact count. But I do know in the first six months it was about 70 million. And then it now sits at about 305 million views.

Mike Domitrz:
Just amazing. And that’s just of your version. You know that others have copied you on their pages. Right?

Judson Laipply:
Absolutely.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. And so that doesn’t show up in those numbers.

Judson Laipply:
On YouTube, where it was really easy for people to take your video and repost it.

Mike Domitrz:
Right. That’s what I’m referencing. Exactly.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah. There was one point in time, I think I went on once and looked and I found over a hundred of my actual video on other people’s pages, and I think the most views I’d seen, one was up around the 30 or 40 million view count, that somebody else had gotten people to come watch on their page.

Mike Domitrz:
And so when you hit this kind of celebrity, I think what’s unique in your story is that it’s very much like the Hollywood stereotyped actor. They’re cast typed into this role. People see you as the dance guy, but Judson, you do more than that. You speak about that. And when I first saw you I thought the same thing. I thought, “Oh, he’s the entertaining speaker”. But you have so much more. You actually grew up in a world of self help and development for yourself.

Mike Domitrz:
I want to dive into that because I think it’s really cool for people to understand there’s so much more here, in addition to the Evolution of Dance. Not that there needs to be, but there is. That was the end of a speech that you were doing because you were really into development and sharing that. So can you give a little background for our listeners?

Judson Laipply:
Yeah, absolutely. It’s kind of like you said, it’s that you get pigeonholed. So on one hand there’s a part of you that grows a little frustrated with it, but in that same breath, you realize also how grateful and thankful you are that you had something like that, that does propel and get you a lot more exposure than you possibly could.

Mike Domitrz:
Oh my gosh. Yeah. How many of us would love to say, I mean outside of you-

Judson Laipply:
Yeah, exactly.

Mike Domitrz:
… “I have a video with 300 million views”. And what would people pay to get that?

Judson Laipply:
Yeah.

Mike Domitrz:
Right?

Judson Laipply:
And that’s why it will never be a complaint factor.

Mike Domitrz:
Right.

Judson Laipply:
But there are times where, and I think sometimes from a self-respect standpoint, I sometimes might rely on that too much as well. And I think I’ve spoken about this before in other venues. The running joke is there’s going to be a day when my doing the dance is going to go from funny to sad, and I just need to make sure that I’m aware of that and I’m not holding on. Where the applause offer, “Oh, that was amazing”, to, “Oh, good try. Good try”.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. And you and I talked about that in Toronto, back in September. We were there for the weekend. We briefly discussed that. You said, “Hey, I’ve got to evolve as this happens”. And that’s what I don’t think people realize. You were never just that. It’s just, you became known for that.

Mike Domitrz:
I’d love to back up because I’ve heard you share the story in the past of how you listened to tapes of self-development when you were in high school. Can you share with us how that happened?

Judson Laipply:
Yeah, absolutely. My parents were big fans of a gentleman named Zig Ziglar, a woman named Mamie McAuliffe, Norman Vincent Peale, Earl Nightingale, and my parents got into that world of self-development, personal empowerment. My father was a teacher, my mom was an entrepreneur. She ran her own shop in the small town that we grew up in, in Ohio.

Judson Laipply:
So they surrounded me with some of those messages. And I think when you’re that age, there’s a natural tendency to reject things like that, that are going on around you. But I remember my parents would be listening to it in the car or I would see one of their books and I would just pick it up and I started reading some of the books. Whether it was because of a conscious choice that I made, whether it was just because it happened to be at that time, a lot of that information started soaking in and I really felt that I was able to see the world a little clearer than some of my friends were in high school.

Judson Laipply:
And I don’t mean that from an, “Oh, I’m better than you”, standpoint. I just mean it that sometimes I think as you develop a self-respect for yourself and you start figuring out the path that you want to travel in this world, there are a lot of things that are out there that are very easy to get distracted by. And especially nowadays, there are millions and millions of entities that are trying to take your attention away because they earn their money by getting your attention.

Judson Laipply:
So when you have that respect for yourself and when you really figure out what it is you want to do, you start to see the world a little clearer and things that are not going to help get you to the next spot. So I was reading OG Mandino, Zig Ziglar, all of those books while I was in high school. And that kind of set me on the path to find more books and teachers and the self development world that would continue to help me all the way through, up until this day even.

Mike Domitrz:
And for listeners, please know you can get all those books still today. Those are classics you’re naming there. I love Og Mandino. I mean, all three of them are powerful but such … So you then go to college and you start speaking.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah. I was a good speaker in high school, as far as, I did not get nervous in front of a group. I’m the prototypical clinical definition of a third child in a family that was fairly normal, in middle-class life. I was seeking attention as a young child all the time. So I was always hamming things up. I was always in front of the crowd. So whenever there would be a group project, I would jump in and be like, “I’ll present”.

Judson Laipply:
And everyone else would be like, “Fantastic. Here’s all the information. You go present it. We’ll do the work and then you present it”.

Judson Laipply:
So I did that in undergrad and then I got involved in Bacchus and Gamma while I was an undergraduate, which again is a peer education network. I was a peer educator on campus, went to this event in Orlando, Florida as a sophomore in college. We’re sitting in a room for a regional meeting, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and Illinois. And they’re like, “Does anyone want to run for the national board?”

Judson Laipply:
And I’m like, “Well, what do you have to do?”

Judson Laipply:
And they’re like, “Oh, you have to give a three minute speech. And then if you get elected, you have to come to two meetings a year, where we’ll fly you in, we’ll pay for your travel and put you up in a hotel. And then we have meetings about helping the organization move forward”.

Judson Laipply:
And I was like, “I’ll do it”. So I went out in the hallway, they gave us what speech we’re supposed to do. I walked in and gave a speech and got elected. And that really helped propel me because then, as a representative of that organization and that national position, I would go to other schools and do presentations. I would do presentations on campus. And while it wasn’t necessarily the content that I was creating, it was content that we were researching, and then we were using studies and other people were preparing the content. It really helped give me more experience in front of a crowd.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. It’s incredible. And today, you perform and speak all over the world for some of the largest organizations, corporations in the world. What’s the message you’re sharing today?

Judson Laipply:
The main message that I share today is everything changes, not everything evolves. And the difference being, are the things that we’re doing, are the things that we’re paying attention to, are the things that we’re allowing to take our time up actually making us, our organization, our family, our community, our world better? Because everything changes. We can just sit there and do nothing and you’re going to change. And sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in thinking about change and all those things that are going on, as opposed to saying, “Okay, are we working towards a better version of what exists now?”

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. And I love that because if I do nothing, I will change. I will become unhealthy.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah. You’ll become unhealthy. And you can get all scientific and break it down to a molecular level that, every moment of every breath that we take, we’re inhaling oxygen and carbon dioxide and all those things, and our bodies are changing and things like that. But it’s so easy to not move forward and just kind of, “Oh, you know, things are going pretty good”.

Judson Laipply:
The hard part in the world of self development is humanity is very rarely an absolute. There’s very rarely anything that is 100% true. That if you say you can never do this, or you have to always do this, or the only thing you can do is this. There’s always an exception to the rule, and we are very defensive by nature. So we always try to find that little tiny exception, so that we can then justify not doing something.

Judson Laipply:
You don’t have to be reading a self help book every single day, every single moment. It’s okay to take some time to go on a vacation and relax, re-energize and just be. But overall, we really need to maintain focus on moving forward and getting better.

Mike Domitrz:
I love it. And we’re all about respect here. How does respect integrate into the work you’re doing?

Judson Laipply:
I think a big part of it starts with respecting yourself. One of the experiences that I had with the video, that it can relate to and a lot of people experience online is when the video was going crazy and it was going up by the thousands, every second, I would sit around sometimes because it was such a unique experience, and just hit the refresh button on the webpage and watch it jump by 40 or 50,000 views.

Judson Laipply:
And the comments were flooding, flooding in. And 99% of the comments are great. But if you know anything about psychology, where there’s this thing called negative bias, which is we tend to focus on the negative. And there were a lot of comments that were negative, that were people making fun of me or what I was wearing, or I had highlights at the time, which I kind of make fun of anyways. So you go with the idea of what are you focusing on. And one of the things that I talk about in my shows, and I think overall in life is that struggle is not a bad thing in life.

Judson Laipply:
If you’re struggling and you cannot think of any way out, and you’re really struggling with all of the world around you, then I think there’s definitely times where we need to seek help and we need to reach out to people. But sometimes when you’re just struggling because something isn’t super easy, there’s a little bit of work that you’ve got to do into it. That’s really a positive thing because that means you’re challenging yourself and you’re actually growing.

Judson Laipply:
We evolve most in the chaos of things. We evolve when we struggle. We don’t evolve when things are repetitive and we just do the same thing over and over again. And so when you have respect for yourself, you can let go of some of those things that we don’t have control over. You can let go of some of the negative things that people might say around you, because we can never control what other people say. And then you maintain that focus on yourself in saying, “Okay, these are the things that I need to do in order to move myself forward”.

Mike Domitrz:
I love that. Is it just a let go? Like, “Hey, I’m going to let go. That’s their thought. That’s not mine. I don’t have a right to dictate their thoughts”. What’s the process for you to and let that release happen?

Judson Laipply:
That’s a part of it. I think the other thing too is finding people who respect you for who you are and to maintain some of those relationships, so that if there ever is a time that you really are feeling completely surrounded by negativity and completely surrounded by disrespect, that you can go to those people and find some support from them.

Judson Laipply:
And it’s kind of going back to that whole thing of what do we have influence over in our life? We have influence over the decisions that we make and the choices that we make. Yes, we can say that our psyche is influenced by the things around us and the things that happened to us when we were younger. And there is definitely a space for some cognitive work and some help from a professional to help work through some of those things.

Judson Laipply:
But when you’ve got some of those things taken care of and you’re trying to let go of some negativity you’re trying to do, the best thing you can do is say, “Okay, what now? What choices can I make now to continue going after the things that I want, at this point in time in my life?”

Judson Laipply:
And it sounds really, really simple and it sounds kind of fluff in a way, but neuroscience has proven that the ability to just ask that question aloud starts to change a little bit of your brain chemistry by lighting up your prefrontal cortex and drawing away some of the emotional energy, the electrical energy that’s going to a different part of your brain, that kind of stays in that emotional realm of, why me? Why me? Why is this happening to me? Why are they saying this about me? Why, why, why?

Judson Laipply:
It’s unfortunate because we now live in a world where anyone can say anything to anybody and have it broadcast to a lot of people. It used to be, if you thought something bad about somebody, you might tell your closest friends and that would be all. And maybe it got around through the grapevine, but now somebody can go post something and broadcast it to the entire world, whether it’s true or not. And I think that makes things much more difficult for us to be able to navigate through the waters of this world and not let those things affect us.

Mike Domitrz:
What are some ways in your work you’ve experienced that? Where you’ve seen disrespect?

Judson Laipply:
When people have opinions, I think they’re less careful to take a pause before saying those things, because we’ve become so accustomed to broadcasting our thoughts via social media, almost instantaneously.

Judson Laipply:
While there’s no definitive reason one way or the other. Things like reality TV, love it, hate it, call it a guilty pleasure, whatever you want. But if you watch the progression of those styles of shows, they’re full on drama shows now. They’re not even reality anymore. They call them scripted series within the actual context of the world that they live in. They’re not called reality shows. They’re called scripted series, where they put people in positions that they know are going to be difficult and they’re going to get angry and they’re going to scream and they’re going to yell. And that behavior becomes somewhat common, and people just think, “Oh, that’s the normal way people react to each other”.

Mike Domitrz:
Right.

Judson Laipply:
“It’s fine for me to do that”. And so I see it a lot because whether it’s working with a corporate event, people will say, “Oh, this person just said this out of the blue”. Or, “They didn’t like my idea, and instead of coming up with alternative here, they just tell me that I’m stupid or that idea is stupid”. We see a lot of people that are that way, when it comes to working on teams that are the constant negative Nellies or all the different buzzwords people have from them, that they don’t ever offer up anything of positivity. They just cut down everybody else’s idea.

Judson Laipply:
And figuring out, if you’re a leader in an organization of some sort, how you can get through to that person to get them to give constructive feedback, as opposed to just dismissing things instantaneously, or figuring out a way that we can talk about what’s wrong with this idea and why do you think this idea won’t work, not just call it a stupid idea. Because it’s becoming so much easier for us to just cut things off before we actually get into discussion. In order for me to be right, you have to be wrong.

Mike Domitrz:
It’s judgment instead of observation. Right?

Judson Laipply:
Yeah, absolutely.

Mike Domitrz:
Huge, huge difference there in how that works.

Judson Laipply:
Assumptions instead of assessments.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. Very, very, very true. And so with that, you have an example of a respect story involving tiger woods and makeup. So you have my curiosity. What is this?

Judson Laipply:
I had a very unique event happen to me. And I remember at the time, just thinking it was really funny. And the more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize, we all have wants in life. There are things that we want. You and I both want more exposure. We’re not famous. We’re not an A list celebrity. So I was on the Ellen DeGeneres show, and this would have been back, probably in I think 2009 timeframe, before tiger woods had, had any of his issues and had come out. And he was on the same day that I was on.

Judson Laipply:
So they filmed his segments first, before they filmed mine. Even though when you watch the broadcast, I went first at the opening, and then I was a closer. But they filmed his so he could be there for the shortest amount of time possible. They were going to cart him off to another show to film another show and he was doing that. So he’s out there onscreen, talking with Ellen, sitting in the chair. And his face is to tone because he had just come in off the tour and the lower half of his face was tanner than the upper half of his face. And it was quite visible on the screen, way more so than in life.

Judson Laipply:
And the executive producers are yelling down to the makeup artists, “Go give Tiger powder. You have to go powder his face. You have to go out there and make it look more uniform”.

Judson Laipply:
And so during the break, she goes out there and she approaches him like, “Hello, excuse me, Mr. Woods”. And she holds out the powder and he just puts up his hand and he’s like, “No thank you. I don’t want any”.

Judson Laipply:
So she kind of just slunked back to the back of the production stage, and then the producer comes down and he’s like, “Why didn’t you give tiger any powder? Why did you not give him any powder?”

Judson Laipply:
And she’s like, “He didn’t want any. I asked. I went to him and he said he didn’t want any”.

Judson Laipply:
And they both kind of looked at each other and they were like, “Oh, well, all right”. And I just remember thinking to myself like they could have turned to me before my segment and been like, “Hey listen, we’re going to put clown makeup on you for this segment because we think that would be funny. Are you okay with that?”

Judson Laipply:
And I would have been like, “Absolutely. Do it up. Let’s go”. Because at that moment, I really wanted to be on the Ellen show. And sometimes I think we get caught up in life, we want things from other people or we believe that being around other people or being loved by a certain other person is going to give us something. And so we’re willing to compromise some of our own self respect in order to get that.

Mike Domitrz:
Oh, I think it’s a great story because we do think, “What do I have to do? Whatever I have to do”. Where he’s sitting there going, “No thanks”.

Mike Domitrz:
“Well it could help you”.

Mike Domitrz:
“That’s all right. I’m good with who I am”.

Mike Domitrz:
Now, that doesn’t mean Tiger Woods didn’t have self-esteem or respect issues, but it was just in that moment, no big deal. While we’re sitting there going, “I’ll take the makeup. If makeup is going to make me look better, I’ll take the makeup”. How we can fall into that.

Judson Laipply:
I would’ve been afraid that they would not let me go on the show.

Mike Domitrz:
Right.

Judson Laipply:
I wanted to go on the show so much because I believe it’d help my career and I’d get to say I was on Ellen, and all those things. Tiger was actually on the show. He was on the show to promote a new video game, which means he probably didn’t even want to be there. He is, in a way at the time, probably bigger than Ellen. So Ellen was really happy to have him on the show.

Judson Laipply:
You ask people a lot of times, I know you see this in your work, why do people stay in bad relationships? If someone’s treating them poorly, why do they continue to do it? And I think sometimes it’s because in their mind, they don’t have a level of self respect because they want to be in a relationship so bad, that they’re willing to change and compromise on some of their own principles because they believe that being in a relationship is going to fulfill them or make them complete or some of those types of things.

Judson Laipply:
And I’m not saying that’s everybody. I just mean sometimes we’re willing to compromise on our own self respect because we think we’re going to get something more out of a situation.

Mike Domitrz:
Oh, that can be part of it. A big part of those situations are so much trauma and harm has been done to the person that they think this is the best it gets, that this is all I have is an opportunity. But you’re right. In lesser cases, it can be, I’m hanging on because I want to believe they’ll change and I’m not respecting my own values and beliefs.

Mike Domitrz:
Like you said, it’s the soggy potato chip theory. Right? Which is famous in psychology. I’d rather have a soggy potato chip than no potato chip. But no potato chip’s actually better. So it’s hard for people to understand that concept.

Mike Domitrz:
When you talk to an audience, you talk about relationships sometimes. That can come up. Love and respect, what role do they play with each other?

Judson Laipply:
I think all of human emotions are intertwined with each other. I think it’s possible to have love without respect, but I’m not sure if it’s possible to have respect without love.

Mike Domitrz:
So can you think of an example of where you could have love without respect?

Judson Laipply:
I knew you were going to ask me that. And I’m not sure. I guess maybe you can have respect without love, but when it comes to an actual loving relationship that is mutually beneficial for most both people. I started my career working with a gentleman, talking about relationships. And I remember, one of the things always is that a healthy relationship elevates both people or everyone involved in that relationship. And sometimes unhealthy relationships are one or more parties trying to lift up another party the whole time.

Mike Domitrz:
Right. They’re purely a support role.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah, it’s a support thing or there’s an unbalance there. And that doesn’t mean that there are times when you’re unbalanced in relationships. That’s part of what I think makes relationships great, is you can go through periods where the other one is supporting the other one. But if that’s the way it is all the time, then that might not be the healthiest of things. You probably actually really do, in relationships of closeness and love, I think you have to have respect in order to love somebody else.

Judson Laipply:
But again, I guess I’m talking in circles in a way because I think there are times in life when we can love someone and have lost respect for them. But we can still love them as a human being, as a member of our family. There are many people in life who have to cut off someone because that person is in a bad situation or has done something really, really bad, or made some decisions that they don’t agree with and things like that. And it doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t love them anymore.

Mike Domitrz:
No, I think it’s a great example because I may have lost some respect for you, but I still respect you as a human being. And so the level of respect I may have for you can be hurt, can be damaged, but I’m still at a basic level of respecting you.

Judson Laipply:
It’s sometimes in the ability to separate a person from their decisions and their actions too. You can respect someone as a human being and still have love for their dignity as a human being, but have no respect for the choices that they have made or the actions that they take.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah, that happens. In your own journey, along this path, because you’ve had such unique path, can you think of a time where you had a major struggle that taught you about respect? It could be for yourself, it could be for others.

Judson Laipply:
There have been some times when people have questioned some of the phrases that I’ve used or some of the things that I’ve said. I’ve changed some of the way that I’ve said things on stage, when my first response was, “Oh, that’s just petty”. But then I thought about it some more.

Judson Laipply:
So for example, when I first used to start introducing the dance in my shows, I would get ready to do a dance. And I introduce it in my shows to kind of set up low expectations. And I say, “Oh, I was sitting with some friends and we came up with this idea for a dance. And I was like, Oh, that’s, there’s a problem with that.

Judson Laipply:
And they’re all like, ‘What?’.

Judson Laipply:
I’m like, ‘Well, I can’t dance'”.

Judson Laipply:
And what I used to say in the very, very early days is I used to say, “Oh, well I’m white”.

Mike Domitrz:
Oh.

Judson Laipply:
And that got a laugh.

Mike Domitrz:
Right.

Judson Laipply:
This is back in 2000. This is 2000, 2001 before a lot of … And somebody approached me once, and it was a person that I knew and respected and they were talking about that. And I initially was like, “Well, that’s not …” And then the more I thought about it, the more I realized even though I don’t think that’s a big deal at that point in time in my life, because I don’t think I had been experienced enough and exposed enough to the rest of the world to understand, whether you call them non stereotype comments, when we think they’re not being stereotyped can still reinforce … Non-negative stereotype comments can still reinforce negative stereotypes.

Mike Domitrz:
Absolutely.

Judson Laipply:
And I think that was something that I really didn’t grasp at that age. I was probably 24, 25. I got defensive because somebody came up and told me what I should or shouldn’t do. And I remember that very, very specifically. And I talked to a couple of other people and finally I talked to someone and they were like, “Well, I understand”. Because yeah, it is funny because you’ll hear other people say that a lot. “White people can’t dance”, or, “White men can’t dance”. And that’s a fairly common funny thing in Hollywood and stand up things and things like that.

Judson Laipply:
But then what it also does is it helps create that same divide because there’s a separation there that, “Oh, if you are this, then you must be this”. And the more we can get rid of those types of phrases and those types of comparisons, I think we’ll continue to move forward in evolving our own culture, so that we don’t ever get caught up and just say, “Oh, because you are blank, then you must be blank”, or, “You have to do this type of thing”.

Judson Laipply:
So that was definitely a moment where I really had to take a step back and question, why was I saying that? Why was I getting defensive about it? And then realizing it didn’t really even make a difference in the context of the show anyways. Now I literally can just say, “Well I can’t dance”. And that does the exact same thing.

Mike Domitrz:
And that’s the beauty and where we started this all today, which is the difference and change and evolution. That change that you made reflected, actually an evolution of you.

Mike Domitrz:
And I know I went through the same things. There were times where you get feedback and you come off stage and you’re like, “How could they possibly take it that way? What?” You’re like, “What are you thinking?” But our frame of reference is only ours. And so our privilege shows up in that moment and we’re not aware of it. And we have to step back and go, “Oh my gosh, that’s what I did in that and that wasn’t my intention”. But that doesn’t excuse that it wasn’t my intention. I need to evolve that, for the sake of the whole reason I’m in this room is for the audience. It’s not about me, it’s about the audience. So I need to evolve for the audience. And I think you gave a beautiful example of us looking in the mirror and going, “I’ve got to evolve”.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you’re right. I think the big difference, that we have hopefully grown into is the ability to recognize that and to work on changing that, versus, I think there’s a lot of people in this world who would then refuse to actually do any self reflection and then do anything to evolve. They’ll just say, “Well, they’ll get over it”.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. “That’s their problem, not mine”. Well, you’re the one leading the conversation. It should be your problem, if that’s the case.

Mike Domitrz:
Now, Judson, you have a few books that you absolutely love. Illusion of the Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman, The Spirituality of Imperfection, Ernest Kurtz and Catherine Ketchum. What about these books do you love?

Judson Laipply:
Two of them are very, I don’t want to say popular, but they’re probably more well known than the third one. Illusions of the Reluctant Messiah is a book that I’ve read at the right time, and the same thing with Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I read them when I was like 19 years old. I was still in the self discovery phase of who am I? What do I believe? What do I want to do? What do I want to add to the world? And they’re filled with lots of reflective comments. I don’t know, have you read those before? Have you heard of those before even?

Mike Domitrz:
Well, I’ve read Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I have not read Illusion of the Reluctant Messiah. I know of it, I have not read it.

Judson Laipply:
So Illusions is great because it’s a really, really short book too. And I like story books as far as parable form, that’s why I liked Og Mandino so much.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. That’s why I love Og Mandino, same reason.

Judson Laipply:
That book was really good because within that book, one of the people there receives a handbook for a Messiah, is what it’s called. And whenever he opens it up, a phrase appears. There’s nothing in the book. But when he opens it, a phrase appears. And so there’s all these little phrases throughout the book, and I can still remember to this day that one of the ones that sticks out the most in my mind is, “You’re never given a dream without also being given the ability to make it come true. However, you might have to work for it”.

Judson Laipply:
And that’s one of the main focuses of that. I think that helped me at that moment in my life because we have so many things that we want, but a lot of times we’re not willing to do the work that might be required to have that. And that kind of went in line with what Zig Ziglar used to say. As a young child, I would hear that, “You can have anything in life you want, but you can’t have everything”. and you’re going to have to make decisions along the way to figure out what is it you really want. And those are the things that …

Judson Laipply:
We see so many books and so many self-help authors or speakers who say, “Oh, you can have it all. You can have it all. You can have it”. I don’t really believe you can have it all. I think you can have a very healthy balanced life, full of a lot of amazing things. But realistically speaking, you cannot have it all because there’s just too much going on in the world. You know the world is too big a place.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. You have to choose.

Judson Laipply:
Yeah. So you’ve really got to choose and then you might have to work for it.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. I love that. Now The Spirituality of Imperfection sounds a lot like The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown. That’s a book I do know. What is The Spirituality of Imperfection?

Judson Laipply:
So The Spirituality of Imperfection was a book I stumbled on, probably 15, 20 years ago. And it’s a parallel book, which means it’s kind of two books within one. One, it’s based around the founding of AA. Now I am not a member of AA. I’ve never attended a meeting. Being involved in Bacchus and Gamma back in the day, I always remember that they used to have Friends of Bill W. was always on all of these. They had a meeting every night. I literally was like, “Who is Bill W.?” And then somebody had it explained to me that that is one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, and so if you are an addict and you want a meeting, there’s a meeting every night at this conference. The Friends of Bill W. let you know that, that’s a meeting you can go to.

Judson Laipply:
And I remember picking up this book, and it’s a combination of exploration of parable stories through different religions over time, along with the founding of AA. So one of the founding tenants of AA is surrendering yourself to a higher power, not necessarily a specific deity or a specific religion, but surrendering yourself and saying, “I cannot go this alone. I need help”.

Judson Laipply:
So, what this book does is it explores the founding of AA, but then also along the same way, it starts exploring all these different religions and some of their different beliefs, and some of the stories they use, these short little parable stories to help show what some of these things are meaning. You can read great philosophers and you can try to dissect all that information, but I don’t know if there’s any better way than a parable, or a proverb, or a short story, or something along those lines that conveys that meaning to us. You can pass a lot of wisdom through a short story or a proverb. That book is full of them, so it’s full of nothing but stories and talking about philosophy, but then also talking about the founding of a AA itself.

Mike Domitrz:
I love it. Thank you so much, Judson, for sharing with us, your own evolution and helping us evolve at the same time.

Judson Laipply:
My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Mike Domitrz:
Absolutely, and for our listeners, you know what’s coming next. That’s question of the week.

Mike Domitrz:
Before I answer this week’s question of the week, I’d love to ask you a question. Would you please subscribe to this podcast? The Respect Podcast with Mike Domitrz. By subscribing, you can make a huge impact.

Mike Domitrz:
Now you might be wondering, Mike, how does my subscribing to your podcast make a huge impact? Well, here’s how. For every person that subscribes, it raises the rankings of the show in the search engines. So for people who care about respect, like yourself, when they’re doing a search for podcast, they’re more likely to find this show, thus providing an awesome opportunity for us to spread more respect around this world. And all you do is hit subscribe under your podcast.

Mike Domitrz:
Plus, the second benefit is by subscribing, you automatically get every episode right into your phone or whatever device you’re listening to the podcast on. It happens automatically, so subscribing also makes your life easier.

Mike Domitrz:
Now, let’s get into this week’s question of the week. And by the way, you can always ask your questions of the week by joining us on Facebook and our discussion group. It’s called the Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Go there on Facebook and ask whatever questions you would like me to answer and/or address in this segment of the show, and then listen to each episode to find out when your question is included.

Mike Domitrz:
This week’s question is, Mike, when you’re working with large organizations, whether it’d be associations or corporations, what’s a common mistake you see them make when it comes to respect? And one of the most common ones I see, it’s both from leadership and management, is when you ask them, “Give me some great examples of how you respect people in the workplace”. They always tend to tell me about all the different forms of recognitions and acknowledgements they have for people in the workplace. Which, if you’re with somebody in that workplace, you might receive an acknowledgement or recognition, maybe once a day, maybe once a week, maybe once a month or less. And so we get caught up in thinking, “Oh, respect is about acknowledgement”, versus understanding respect to something I should feel 24/7, not that one moment of the day where you acknowledge good work I did.

Mike Domitrz:
Respect is much more about how you feel valued in the workplace, how you feel seen in the workplace, when you’re not being given acknowledgements. In fact, I would argue that a workplace that is truly built on respect needs way less special acknowledgements and awards because everybody feels valued in what they do every day, in every moment because you created such a wonderful foundation of respect in the first place.

Mike Domitrz:
Do you know what I would love? I would love to hear your answer to this week’s question of the week. So would you please answer what your answer would have been if you were asked that question today on the show? All you do is go to our Facebook page. We have a special group where we have these discussions called the Respect Podcast Discussion Group. So the Respect Podcast Discussion Group, and share with us what would your answer have been to this week’s question of the week. And, if you take a moment, post us a new question for future episodes. What question would you like to hear me answer on an upcoming episode? That’s all done on Facebook in our special group, which is the Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Can’t wait to see you there.

Mike Domitrz:
Thank you for joining us in this episode of the Respect Podcast, exploring work, love and life. And this episode, like every episode is brought to you by our organization, the Center for Respect, which you can find at centerforrespect.com. And of course you can find me your host, Mike Domitrz at mikespeaks.com. Thank you so much for joining us.

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