The Big Idea
Today is the best day to take action.
Questions I Answer
- How does regret help me?
- What if I want to start something new?
- How do I get my kids to move out of their comfort zone?
- How can I cultivate intentionality with my kids
Key Moments in the Show
[01:27] How it’s really going with leaving social media
[06:11] How your “backpack” helps you see that this is the time for action
[10:05] Quick activity to us regret as a powerful tool to move into your future
[12:35] How living on purpose looks for my own kids (and how I cultivate that for them)
[18:50] How your past helps reveal who you want to be
[21:16] What it means to change your identity (and why it has to happen throughout your life)
[25:20] The three ways of thinking that affect all our actions
[28:37] How every one of us is instrumental in changing our world
[30:35] A big reveal of what’s coming next season
Hello. Hello and welcome to the Intentional advantage podcast. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton. This is episode 256. It also happens to be our final episode in the season. We have been, we’ve been diving deep. My friends, we have been really diving into on purpose and what that really looks like to live on purpose. You watched this season as even,
I truly stepped into living on purpose with making that big decision. All those weeks ago, I made the announcement back in November, that I was getting off of social media, which was a really big, really big audacious decision to make as a business owner, as a podcaster, as an author. And yet it rang true for me. It really felt aligned.
And I know you’re probably wondering how I’m feeling now, now that I have officially left social media. I’m no longer on Instagram. I’m no longer on Facebook. The any communities I’ve had on those platforms have been closed. And I have to say, if I were to give you one word to describe how I feel, it’s free, liberated, just so open and able to do more of what I truly want to do.
I think what was so shocking to me is how much it was taking up. Not just of my time. It was taking up a big amount of my time, thinking about social media planning for social media posting on social media, all of those things, but the bandwidth in my brain and the way it was making me feel that has been truly liberating.
And I think what’s fascinating is the conversations I’ve had with so many other, other women who are running their businesses or who are authors or who feel that obligation to be on social media, even if they don’t have a business because you know, their family has these expectations. And I think that’s what living on purpose is about letting go of other people’s expectations of the obligations that we feel,
the things that we do, because we think we are supposed to, or that we should be doing when in truth, when we live a life that feels aligned, that feels true to us. We’re able to do so many more amazing things. And I have to say, I have loved how many of you have sent me notes and emails letting me know you’ve been replying to my,
to my emails that I send out each week. Just telling me how much it’s meant to you. I’m going to share one of them with you really quickly, because I think this, this just showcases why I’ve made this decision. I got an email from Anne. I’m going to leave her last name blank just in case she doesn’t want to share it.
But this is part of the note I got from an just a few weeks ago. She said, Tanya, I’m not sure how many of these replies you get to see. She was replying to my newsletter. I’m not sure may these replies you get to see, but I thought I’d send one. Anyway. I absolutely love this post. And the word post is in quotation marks.
Now that you’re not on social media, it’s somehow makes me feel closer to you. Like I just got an email from a really good friend and then Anne went on and, and talked about a few other things, but yes, and I get to see these emails. My team responds and they take care of a lot of that inbox, but they save all the emails I get,
they print them out and they hand them to me or they forward them to me. I see all the emails and it is like getting an email from a really good friend. And that’s what I was looking for because I truly wasn’t feeling like I was deepening the connection with so many of you on social media. I wanted that to happen in a more genuine way.
So I’ve really made an effort to change up how we’ve done the newsletters, how we’ve done the emails. So they do feel more personal. So they do feel like more behind the scenes and a true glimpse of what I’m going through or how whatever we’re talking about on the podcast applies to things that have happened in my own life. If you have enjoyed any of my books,
it’s kind of like a little story, you know, like, like I write in the books. So if you’re not getting my emails, I would definitely recommend doing that because they are a lot of fun. And I really do love sending those out. So Tanya dalton.com/email is the way to connect with me and get on that email list to feel like you’re getting an email from me every week at email,
from a good friend. And, you know, just to give you a heads up at the end of the show, I’m going to be sharing some other big changes I’m going to be making so I can live more on purpose in my own life. So I think you’re going to definitely want to get on that email list. So let’s, let’s go now,
let’s go ahead and dive into let’s dive into the show because I want to talk about the season that we’ve been in. I always talk about why right now is the right time. You know, I think everything that we have been learning all season long has led us right here to today. It’s time to take action. You know, if you were waiting for a sign,
this is it. You know, you’ve probably heard me say in the past, there’s no magical sign where the Rainbow’s part and you know, all of a sudden everything becomes magical. If you’re looking for that still though, this is it. This is your sign. That right now is the right time to do the thing, whatever it is you’re dreaming about.
You’re desiring, whatever it is you want right now is the right time for you. You know, this season, we talked about this whole of all the knowledge you’ve gathered. We talked about unpacking your backpack. We talked about that back in, I believe it was episode 249, where we talked about how to set the right goals, that we, we all wear this backpack on our back through life.
And we don’t realize we’re wearing the backpack because it’s on our back. And we can’t really see it. Well, what happens is we go through life and we gathered together knowledge and failures and lessons learned and expertise and all kinds of things that we just keep popping into our backpack and the backpack the whole time is behind us. So we’re just kind of,
you know, grabbing it, put it behind us, and then we keep moving forward. And we don’t really take the time to realize how much we know what an expert we are, how just absolutely well-rounded our knowledges. And you have to take off your backpack. You have to unpack the backpack. You have to physically take off the backpack, unzip it and take everything out and just lay it out on the floor in front of you.
And when you do that, you’re going to be shocked. There is a lot in your backpack. I don’t care how old you are or what your life has looked like. There is a lot in your backpack, things you’ve learned about all different parts of life things you’ve learned about relationships, romantic relationships, familial relationships, friend, relationships, there’s things that you’ve learned about your industry that you’re in.
There are things that you have learned about how the world works. There are things that you’ve learned about a million different things. Take all of that out and take a good look at that. And that’s what I would love to challenge you to do today or this week, or at some point it’s just, just to give yourself, I don’t know, 15,
30 minutes to just start listing out. What are some things in your backpack? What are some things you’ve forgotten about that you’ve learned or that you’ve done that, you know, it’s so easy for us to remember the things that we didn’t do well that we forget about the lessons that we learned from them. We forget about the things that we’ve gathered because of that and the things that did go well,
boy, those just get pushed to the back corner of that dusty closet. Don’t they, we don’t take time to really celebrate and remember all the good things we’ve done right now is a perfect time to do that, to just take out your backpack and take a good look at all the things that are in there. Especially if you have something in mind that you’re wanting to do,
especially if you have a vision or a goal or a dream or something you have been waiting to do take out that backpack because you’ll start to see patterns in there. You’ll start to see things that are like, oh, that would really help me in moving forward. I can promise you, there are things in that backpack. You absolutely forgotten that were there that are going to help you in moving forward to wherever it is you want to go.
And the truth is that backpack’s not just going to be full of flowers, lollipops, rainbows, all those good things. It’s going to be filled with some hard things, but, you know, regret. Isn’t a bad thing. What I find interesting about regret is regret is literally the one emotion that we will do anything to avoid. We can, we can handle frustration.
We can deal with resentment or jealousy or anger, but we will do just about anything to avoid regret, but that is such a powerful tool. It really is because we can push against regret to get to resilience, because if regret clarifies what we want to avoid, we can flip it on its head and we can discover what we’ve learned and what we want to attract in the book in on purpose.
And this is on page 56. I asked this question, how would it feel 12 months from now? If everything we regretted was turned upside down, we would feel the opposite of regret. We would feel resilient, satisfaction, fulfillment. Isn’t that what cathedral thinking is all about looking at our future and finding those things that bring satisfaction that bring happiness. And in the book I share this exercise,
take a piece of paper, divided into two columns. And I actually have this in the free reader’s guide that goes with on purpose. So you have it there and you can print it out or you can do so on a blank sheet of paper. So take a piece of paper, divide it into two columns in the first, write down the regrets as you unpacked your backpack.
What were the things that you regretted? I want you to list them out and then write the exact opposite on the other side of the paper. So let’s say it was worked, worked late every single night. Well, the resilient part would be okay, I’m gonna start leaving work by four o’clock at least twice a week. Right? What have you regret was how angry you stayed at your friend after an argument?
The resilience would be focused on forgiveness and letting go of whatever it is, right. Or maybe your regret is I haven’t spent enough time with my kids. Well, the resilience would be the opposite in the other column would be calling a family meeting to brainstorm activities. After all a relationship is two sides, your side and the kid’s side, come together and decide together what it is you want to do,
push against that regret and build into resilience when you know what you don’t want. It’s easier to see what you do. And that’s, that’s just part of what we talk about in the book on purpose. Let me share with you what this has looked like in my own life. Well, not even in my own life. I want to share with you what it looks like in my son’s life in Jack’s life.
You know, I really worried about him getting his Eagle scout, you know, achieving the Eagle scout rank in boy Scouts. Jack started about boy Scouts and I think it was kindergarten. So he’s a tiger scout. And then, but he was in Scouts all through school and he made it all the way to life scout, which is right before Eagle scout.
And it was right before the pandemic. And it was one of those things where John and I were so worried and concerned about him, regretting not making Eagle scout, that we pushed it. And we talked about it and we were like, okay, we gotta do this. We gotta do this. And he didn’t have any fire for it. Didn’t have any real true desire for getting it done.
And I had to let it go, oh, I had to let it go. Which was hard because I, I really was concerned that a, he would regret it. And it’s such a great thing to have on your resume. That is such a mom thing to think about. This will help you when you’re 45 years old, right here, he is the kids like 17,
18 years old. He doesn’t give a shit about his resume. So anyways, he does, he makes a decision. He comes to us and he says, I’m not going to do Eagle scout. And I was disappointed. I was devastated. It’s maybe the right word. I was like, oh, okay. But I had to let it go because I had to realize and recognize this is his journey,
not mine. Right? So I gave him the space and I said, listen, I want you to think about why you’re not going after this Eagle scout thing and what it is you, you really need to do. If you’re not going to spend this time on Eagle scout, what do you want to focus in on? And he said, mom,
I really want to focus on my confidence. I want to focus in on who I am and what I want to be. This is what you talk about all the time being true to who you are being aligned. I don’t really feel confident in myself. And just to give you a little background, Jack is my super shy. He’s my nervous Nelly.
He’s my kid who has been nervous about college since the age of 14, he has stressed about it. What if, what if I don’t know where I want to go? And what if I don’t know what to do? And what if I can’t figure out what majors to do? He’s also my really, really quiet guy. When he was in preschool,
the teacher came to me around Christmas time around the holidays. And she said, does he talk at home? And I’m like, oh, he talks all the time. And she said, he doesn’t talk at school because he’s just a really quiet kid. Right. He’s just really shy. And so he said, you know, I want to work on,
on my shyness. I want to work on feeling confident. And so I said, okay. So instead of working on the Eagle scout, he made the decision. He wanted to work on that. So he and I worked together to build up his confidence. We did some exercises and activities. We got him some help to really dive into feeling more confident with himself and in his own skin.
And here’s what I think is most amazing. He took this idea of wanting to step into confidence and he did it wholly and fully the fifth day of college, literally on day five of college, I got a series of text messages from Jack where he said, Hey mom, guess what? I have signed up with a personal trainer. And I was like,
what? This is my kid who is not athletic, has no interest in athletics ever. He said, I got a personal trainer. That’s one of the things at high point, which is where he is, is you can use a personal trainer for free the kids who are learning exercise science, they get credits for it. And the other students get to have a personal trainer.
So he said, I got a personal trainer. I was like, wow, that’s, that’s amazing. And he said, and, and I said, what else? He goes, and I auditioned for the, for the play. And I said, you did. And he said, yes, but my music didn’t work. So I had to sing without any music.
And I said, well, how did it go? That must have been really frightening. And he said it was, but I did it. And I’m really proud of myself. And one more thing. And I, I, at this point, John and I are just like, our jaws are on the floor because we’re like, who is this kid?
Right? He says, I said, well, what could this possibly be? And he said, and I’ve decided I’m going to run for class office. I’ve decided that I want to be a part of the student government. I’m going to campaign. I’m going to go meet people. I’m going to push myself out of my comfort zone. My kid who didn’t speak a word in preschool until January until the whole half of the year was over,
is now telling me that he’s going to go and meet kids and introduce himself and run for, for student government. So I said, oh, okay. Yeah. What do we need to do to help you and support you? And he’s like, I think I got it, mom. I’m confident. I said, okay. And the best part of the story is he did it.
He stood outside the dorms. He greeted people. He talked to them, he went and he did. They call it a dorm storm where you go to a dorm and you put flyers on the doors and you introduce yourself and knock on doors and meet people, the kid flourished. But if I had pushed the whole Eagle scout thing, if I had been so hell bent on him,
not ever having any regret, I don’t think he would be where he is right now. As the, you know, as an officer in his student government for his freshman class, as someone who is now joining clubs and activities, he had to make his own way. But he had to push against the regret of not being an Eagle scout and what that might look like.
He had to push against me, his mom, which is kind of frightening. Let’s be honest for any 17 year old kid. But this is the thing is out of regret. We can build resilience when we, when we truly decide what it is we want and we go for it completely, we can start living a life that feels meaningful. That feels amazing.
I think that is really the lesson I received from Jack, from being able to watch him as he moves forward. So that’s what I want you to think about today. I want you to think about that backpack and what’s in there. There’s going to be some not so great things. There’s going to be some creative pain, something we definitely talk about in the book that creative pain births us into something new.
There’s going to be hidden gifts that you forgot were even there, but take the time to really dive into that backpack and see who it is you are and where it is you want to go and don’t wait. Don’t feel like, well, this is something I can do some day. Maybe when the kids get older or maybe when I stopped working, or maybe,
maybe whenever, right? I want to encourage you to do it. Now. Life is far too short to wait. I talked back in, I think it was episode 2 46, the episode on taking a stand where I, I talked about, I used to say that making some of these choices was like turning a cruise ship. That was a very slow controlled kind of wide turn.
And I’ve learned from my own regret, from my own lessons that sometimes you need to take a sharp turn. Sometimes it’s taking the wheel and taking a sharp, right? And really stepping completely into whatever it is. You are desiring, whatever it is you want. Sometimes you got to get off the bike to fix the bike. And that means taking that sharp turn,
that quote. Sometimes you got to get off the bike to fix the bike. That’s something I heard from Ellen Marie Bennett. Who’s the founder of Hedley and Bennett aprons. And I love that whole idea. It fits in this with this idea of unpacking the backpack. You got to get out of your own way, right? You gotta, you gotta stop.
Whatever it is. You’re doing. Take a good look at where you are and you can’t do it if you’re in the thick of it. So choosing to take an intentional step back, unpacking the backpack, getting off the bike so you can fix the bike. I think Ellen Marie Bennett will be a fabulous guest. And I’m working on getting her onto the show maybe for next season because her insights like this,
I think are really poignant. But that was something that I have said numerous times since I heard her say that sometimes you have to get off the bike to fix the bike. Are you on the bike? You want to be on? Are you on the path you want to be on? And if the answer is no, don’t say, well, I’ll do it someday.
Today is the day to do it right now is the right time. And I’m not going to say that something that’s really easy to do. You know, it means oftentimes changing your identity. Chapter two of on purpose is all about choosing your identity because it’s so important that you make that decision, who it is you want to be just like Jack made the decision.
I don’t want be an Eagle scout. I want to be something else that meant he had to push up against me, right? And the identity, not only that I had for him, but the identity I dreamed of for him. And that’s what we have to do when we’re making some of these choices. Sometimes we have to change our identity for ourself.
What I think is really interesting is, is this, as we think of ourselves as one identity, if I were to say to you, who are you, you would identify yourself in a certain way. But if I gathered together 200, 200 people who know you, some people who knew you really well, some people who know you kind of well,
and some people who just know of you perhaps, maybe in your world or they’re in your office space, or they’re your industry and you don’t, you haven’t maybe directly met, but they know of you. If I pull together 200 of those people, every single one of them would have a different identity for you. Every single one of them would identify you differently.
Even your family members would probably identify you differently, right? Maybe the way that your, one of your parents identify you would be different than the way your spouse or your best friends or your kids. So the truth is we don’t have just one identity. We have all these identities that show up within us and it takes awareness. It takes intentionality to really notice who you are showing up as each and every day,
who you’re showing up as from hour to hour, you know, that’s one of the things, and this is an activity that I have started doing for myself is we all have these identities that we have for ourselves. Sometimes I’m the identity of the, the procrastinator. That’s true. I know some people are surprised when they hear that. I sometimes procrastinate,
but we all do. Sometimes I have the identity of the person who is, is laser-focused. Sometimes I have the identity of the person who works out. Sometimes I have the identity of the person who doesn’t want to work out. And so what I’ve started to really do is having some awareness of what identity I’m showing up. As when I have a thought,
like I get up and I’m like, Ugh, I don’t feel like doing any exercise today. I think to myself, oh, who’s showing up there. Who is it? That’s in my head. What identity am I right now? While the identity I am right now is the person who believes that she doesn’t like exercise because that’s a way that I identified myself for a very long time.
Somebody who didn’t like exercise, I’m not interested in being that identity today. I’m going to send you to the back of the line. And I would like to bring forth the identity of the person who feels good after they exercise the person who truly enjoys Pilates. And I bring that identity forward. And I decide to identify that way in the moment. And then I think,
okay, if I’m a person who identifies as I love the way I feel after I exercise, let me be that, let me embody that same thing. If you are a smoker, do you identify as a smoker? All right, when that smoker identity comes forward, let’s send them to the back of the line and bring forth the identity of the healthy person.
You are aspiring to be. We get to choose who we are. That’s the biggest secret in life. You get to choose your life. Life is a series of choices. Sometimes we forget those choices are there. Sometimes we forget. And just the, the busy throws of our everyday living, that we have opportunities. And sometimes it just means thinking about things differently.
But the truth is you have to believe in your greatness. You are not born thinking that you can’t, that was not even on your radar. When you were a child, when you were a baby, the world was open, the possibilities were endless. You didn’t have that opportunity to even say you can’t, otherwise, you never would have walked. Probably that first time you tried to watch the first time he tried to stand up,
I guarantee you fell back down, maybe bounce your head, right? But you try it again. And again, and again, that same you that decided that you could ride a bike. Even though you skinned your knees more times than you could count, even though you fell a thousand times, you decided that you could ride a bike. Let’s tap back into that identity of who we were as kids.
When the possibilities were open, you have three ways of thinking. I can, maybe I can. And I can’t choose which channel you want to turn on. Choose which way you want to think, because that channel of I can, is there inside of you tap into that, remember who you were before that whole heaviness of adulting came over you, right?
All those opportunities, those things you believed in yourself, those things that you believe were possible that could happen in your world. Let’s tap into that. Achieving your potential means believing I can. And that’s what I want you to remember. And moving forward in realizing that right now is the right time, whatever it is you dream about success is not something that you just check off your list.
It’s not a destination. Success is a daily action. It’s about making a choice to not let the past define you because then we end up experiencing it again. And again, it’s about seeing the problems, seeing the regret, seeing the things that have happened to you and moving beyond them. It’s choosing to see that you can, you can accomplish anything that you dream about.
You can have a life on your own terms. And when we do that, when we live a life on our own terms, not only does it encourage others around us, there’s this beautiful effect called the halo effect. That happens anytime we take on new habits, anytime that we are doing anything in our world, that affects those people around you. So have you step into that,
knowing into that, believing into that identity of, I can guess what else happens? Your friends, your family, your kids, your coworkers. They began to be inspired. They began to believe I can too. So when we take care of ourselves, when we step into our greatness, that is one of the greatest gifts we can give others in our world.
Not only does it allow us to share our gifts with others, but it also allows us to encourage them through our example. This is something that I’ve said time and time again. When people talk to me about, you know, women in the workplace and what it looks like, you have an opportunity. You have an opportunity to influence the world, our children,
our grandchildren live in. When you step into living a life on your own terms, you role model for your daughter, what a woman is capable of you, role model, what it looks like to chase after your dreams and you role model for your sons. What a woman is capable of, this is how we affect change. This is how we get a new dynamic,
a new paradigm for our world, where our daughters and our granddaughters don’t have to deal with the same stuff that we do, where we can truly decide to step into our greatness. That’s what I want you to leave this season, knowing, understanding, and really internalizing. How do you want to live? Choose that and step into it fully, go back through some of these episodes where we talked about the keys to achieving your dreams,
how you can set goals with impact, having the courage to reset what metrics you’ve been playing to as false gods, go back and review them because all of this has been a roadmap for you. Get the book, get on purpose because it walks you through it. And the, and the discussion guide is truly designed for you to create your own map of where you want to go and how you want to get there,
because living a life on your own terms is so incredibly important. That’s what I want you to know. That’s the gift I want to give to you. That’s the gifts that I wrapped up in the book on purpose for you so that you could truly see what you are capable of. So when it comes to living life on your own terms, no,
that sometimes it means you got to make some shifts. And the start of the show, I, you know, I alluded a little bit to that, that there was going to be some shifts in the show. And I have to tell you, I’m really excited about them. And I’m excited to share them with you just really quickly here in the last couple of minutes that we have together.
I have decided, first of all, our next season, I am on fire for, I am so excited. I’m going to go ahead and tell you what our next season is, because I’m so excited about it. It’s on taking ownership, really stepping into having ownership over your life, ownership over your story’s over your boundaries, over even your email and your calendar.
We’re going to be diving into ways that you can feel more ownership, more in charge of your own life. So it’s as always, each season is a continuation of the season before it’s really about stepping into how are we going to make this happen? Now is the right time how we can make that happen. One of the changes I am making to the podcast is we are going to be moving to every other week.
So we’ll have a show and then we’ll have a week breather and then we’ll have a show and then we’ll have a week breather. So every other week there’ll be a brand new podcast episode. I’ve been doing this podcast every week for 256 episodes, which is a very long time. And one of the things I’ve discovered is that when people discover the podcast,
or even if they’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, they’re like, I want, I don’t have time. I want to go back and I want to revisit old seasons, but there’s not time. This is a perfect time to go back, giving you that breather, to integrate what we talk about on the show. That’s the other thing I’ve heard from many of you.
A lot of times we will give you action items or, or thoughts about what, what you can work on to really integrate a lot of what we talk about, giving you the space to make that happen, giving me the space to make the shows even more impactful, to get even better guests. That’s what I am really excited about. So what I’m planning to do at this point is the show will come out every other episode or not every other episode,
every other week. And on those off weeks, I’ll be sending you emails. Sometimes the emails will be an activity. Maybe it’s a meditation. Maybe it’s just a tip or an idea. Maybe it’s something to dive deeper either into this episode that we’ve had before or the episode coming, or maybe just something to get you thinking. So you’re going to want to get on my email list because I promise we never spam the email list.
It’s always full of things that I truly believe are going to help you. So if you haven’t joined my email list, go to Tanya dalton.com/email and let’s connect. Let’s email each other like good friends do. Okay. Tanya dalton.com/email. And one last request for you. As we close out this season of on purpose. If this show has helped you, if it’s opened your eyes or changed your thinking,
whether it’s this episode or any other episode, will you share it with a friend? That’s the best way for us to truly make this movement happen, to really change the way that women look at their everyday lives to realize they can live each day on purpose, living a life that’s true and aligned to them. So you can snap a screenshot. You can text it to a friend.
I just ask that you send it to one, maybe two friends that would mean the world to me. And truly that is how we get this conversation going, how we make it even bigger, where there are people in your world who understand why you’re making the decisions you’re making. That will be incredibly powerful for you. And I have to be honest,
I will really appreciate it. This is how we make a difference. This is how this podcast grows is from you helping to spread the word. So as we close out the season, this is what I want you to remember. You were designed for greatness. You truly were. And when you decide to step into your greatness, when you choose that right now is the right time.
That’s when you’ve got the Intentional advantage.
**Please excuse mistakes as this transcript was made using AI.
Tanya Dalton is the best woman keynote speaker on the topic of productivity, time management, finding balance, and goal setting. She is considered one of the top female speakers and productivity experts. She speaks to corporate audiences and entrepreneurs getting them inspired and motivated to take action.