Will Sullivan

A Peep In the Heart & Soul Of A Kindness Advocate Who Happens To Be Gay

A Peep In the Heart & Soul Of A Kindness Advocate Who Happens To Be Gay

Will Sullivan

Purpose-driven Leader, Kindness Advocate and Founder

About Will

Will Sullivan is a purpose-driven leader, kindness advocate, communicator, community builder, and the founder of aspiring better human. He has 25+ years of experience building successful large front-of-house teams. He is also a key member of the task force that successfully reopened NYC Cultural Institutions without issue.

Being a leader in an ecosystem which ultimately welcomed over 150,000,000 guests has taught Will much about leadership, hospitality, service, and most importantly, human kindness. Having the honor and privilege to lead thousands of colleagues is an amazing gift and one he truly cherishes. He is the leader who makes the impossible POSSIBLE, the insanity of high-pressure environments SANE and the team UNDERSTAND what they do matters!


Take home these learnings

1) What does being different mean?
2) Challenges while facing the society
3) Gifts of life
4) Ways we can spread kindness

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Episode Transcript:

00:04 Hey Will. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for being on the show next month, right? It's such a pleasure having you. 00:11 Great to be here. 00:13 Fantastic. And it's been quite some time that we have been talking to each other. And every time we talk about having you on the podcast, our conversations go in all different directions. And it's always, always so much fun interacting with you, knowing your life, the kind of work that you're involved in. 00:33 It's like, I've known you forever. We're two souls that somehow connected through the technology of today. 00:39 I absolutely feel the same. Absolutely feel the same? Well, let's take a dive, you know, you are born in New York City. And so how's it to be raised? In a city like New York, right? How has it shaped you, as an individual, 01:00 I suppose one takes their surroundings for granted. So I grew up here in New York City and one of the boroughs. As an adult or young adult, I wanted to live in the big city, I wanted to make a life for myself make a career in Manhattan. And I did that. And it's been decades, 30 decades plus, of living a life here in New York City. And I think what, how it shaped me most, and we can talk about what I do today. And what I want to be doing in the future, is that because I worked in the Hospitality Tourism realm, and welcomed over the course of my years at the Met 150 million visitors, and managed countless 1000s of people and volunteers. The I don't know how to describe it, other than the souls of the universe had kind of marched across me and absorbed a little bit of everyone. So for me growing up in New York was quite normal, yet quite magical, because not many places on Earth, can you be in a role where you welcome world and 02:17 blessing? Oh, absolutely. I can resonate with you 100%. Because, you know, in fact, my memory of New York is the Central Park. And I remember I got an opportunity to interview one of my mentors, Gary rancor. Forbes magazine, mentioned Gary as one of the top five coaches in the world. And my interview with him at Central Park is was one of the turning moments of my life because, you know, watching Gary, from the closest quarters, spending two days with him learning from him, understanding his life was so magical for me. And the interesting part about New York and and as you were talking about, I could resonate with that, because every second person come was coming there from a different nationality, different country in different color, different creed, different castes. And yet, all of us were melting at the same point called New York. 03:15 Incredible. Isn't it just absolutely incredible. And to be paid to do it and do never feel like never feeling like it was work just being thrown. And obviously, the Met is in Central Park. I crossed the park for years to go to work. So Central Park is somewhat my backyard, if you will, yeah. And a place where the world meets. And it's just I know, this isn't a commercial about tourism in New York, but it seems 03:47 like it seems like it would be as if we are promoting New York together. 03:54 Yeah, but it's been. 03:56 Yeah. So tell me about your childhood days. Well, the lessons to learn from your parents that continue to shape you today. 04:06 The I would say the number one thing that I learned was, you don't realize it when you're in the middle of something, or you don't appreciate your childhood when you're in it. But now as an adult, you look back, both my parents are gone. But when I think about the, the life that I had, and growing up, not in Manhattan, off this island, I'd realized the seeds for being kind, being courteous, being polite, just being a good person. We're we're really planted at the kitchen table, right? Like so many people. If you've been blessed to be born into a family where it's safe and loving and fun. That shaped me. So as I went out to the world, my biggest, you know, fans, my dad always worked in the city. So it was it was quite normal but my biggest Ben was probably my mom, just super excited that you know, her son gets to not only work in New York, but live in New York, meaning Manhattan. So it really shaped me. The last thing I would say, I've been doing much thinking writing and talking about this is that my mom was the youngest of nine. My my sister, brother and I were the kids, right? So you have imagine the youngest of nine with her own kids, everyone was older than we were. And everyone it was every Sunday at Grandma's house. And so I grew up in an environment of big, messy, complicated family. And my career turned into just that. I manifested large teams, crazy, good, crazy, chaos and enthusiasm for a crowd. So I suppose if it weren't for those early years, having kind nurturing parents, and up as part of this huge family, I don't think I would have been prepared to be in the hospitality business. 06:11 Thank you for sharing a few aspects. In fact, when especially you talk about being a kind person being a good person, I personally believe that being a good person being a kind person will never go out of fashion. 06:28 And it's needed more now than ever. Sorry to cut you needed more. Yeah, 06:31 absolutely. And there's the dearth of goodness in the world. But at the same time, it's because of goodness that the world exists. That's one part of it. The second part of it when you said, when you spoke about your mother well, and I think all mothers are the greatest cheerleaders, one can have. You know, I remember my conversation with my mother, I was just preparing how to juggle. And we committed one of our clients that we are going to teach you how to juggle as a metaphor for leadership development, we made a commitment, I came back home, I said, shucks, man, we just made it. I don't know how to do that. From morning till evening, I was preparing. And I was trying, and I was trying, and I was trying, and I was failing terribly. And then five o'clock in the evening, my mom came to the second floor where I was practicing to my room. And she said, God, wherever you put your eyes on, you do that. And I trust you. Because I know, you're going to do this as she turned around. Well, you won't believe that. She turned around, and I was juggling. I believe there is something magical in the blessings that you get from your mothers. And I personally believe that mothers are common. Mothers are common. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing. Yeah, thank you. And and I can talk about mother's throat episode. Right. But it's all about you right now. Well, when I personally believe that there are instances in our life that can change the trajectory of your life. And those moments, those episodes, they become the defining moments of your life. How about you? 08:30 I've had you know, I think about that, and I talked about that. A great deal. I've had multiple, right, you've got the personal revelations that you go through, you know, family, marriage, death, and then you have the professional. So on the professional side, I start there on the professional side, I came into the city, wanting to have a career and wound up working in super interesting places, big, big complicated businesses with with large teams. And I realized that was a leader. The moment we had massive layoffs at the 2008 2009. And I realized I had to deliver the news to dozens of people that they were no longer going to be employed. And that's heart wrenching. It was heartbreaking. And I'd realized that dozens of people were more than dozens of people. They were hundreds of people because it had an impact on their family and their friends on their communities. And so I realized when I was suffering through that, those who remained and those who we were saying goodbye to needed a human. They needed they just didn't need a manager or a director of Department had delivering hard cold news because it was beyond anybody's control what had happened with the financial downturn. And so I realized wow, I've been given this role and I became a leader because it's a privilege. It's it's not work. I always love the public, I loved my teams, I loved my colleagues. And then you, you take this shift, oh, Leadership isn't about you, you can bring something and you bring your personality and your style. But what people need most is an authentic leader who, who actually leads from their heart. And I'd realize, okay, I don't always get everything right. And I'm sure there's probably people would say, I got many things. Not right. But if you let your heart and that empathy guide you, you, you can do great things. And that was a career changer for me. Totally career changer. 10:51 And when did you pick up that kindness is important? Where did you pick up empathy? Where did you pick up? 10:58 Do not I'm not I'm not laughing at the kindness question. I, I always, I was an introvert. I was always very much aware of being different. And I was an observer. I was the guy who sat in the back of the class, I was the one in the room on the sidelines, I wanted to be invisible. And so when I was in a professional realm, having to speak in front of people leave people, you can't go into introvert, disappear, invisible mode. So you put on this persona. And the way I got to be able to do my job and perform was I needed to make other people comfortable. So I suppose I started to make people feel comfortable with the things that would make me comfortable. Umer chit chat, getting to know people, where are you from? Oh, what grade is your kid? The school? Oh, those sorts of things. And again, I took it from the kitchen table. My, my, my childhood, which was all about community, cousins, in law's neighbors, and it was a sense of people coming together. And getting to know one another. 12:19 So beautiful. You know, this is so fascinating. Yeah, so sorry to cut you short, well, but this is so fascinating that how our, the early days of our childhood, the early days of our development, how that has a huge impact on who we become as an individual. When I did hear you saying that, I knew I was an introvert. I knew I was an observer. I knew I was invisible. You also use the word I knew I was different. You know, when I'm looking when I'm listening to introvert observer, invisible. And then I knew I was different. You know, in my body, I experienced some kind of separation. What does that mean? You're saying that I knew I was different? What does that mean? So 13:13 growing up, I always knew I was different part of my coming into the big city was to find my life, right, find my career, find my friends, find who I was intended to be. And along the way, in my early years, I met my now husband. So I am, I've been an openly gay man for many, many years. And it's something that I never spoke about. And this goes to about changing. I just was I came in to do my work to be a kind person never really spoke about my identity. And then as the world started to change and catch up, if I'd realized, part of me being an introvert, part of me trying to be invisible, is I did not want to call any attention to myself. I just wanted to keep my private life private, because it was not me. It's here in the States for sure. It's it's totally devolved. And right now in the news, and you can see it's sliding back a bit. But we won't get into politics. So I started to realize, again, in my personal life, I was born this way, I was different. And I've known it since I was a child. And so if I have a platform, if I'm able to speak, talk to who I am and my identity and speak about my husband, I used to shy away from it. Now I feel it's important to talk about it, because I just happened to be a professional kindness advocate, a leader who happens to be gay, if that makes any kind of sense to you. And it's not a sin sort of this is who I am, accept me or not, it just is part of my being. And it's as much as you know my hairstyle, right? There are certain cards, we are dealt in life and certain ways that you you are. And so my, my journey, and my kindness advocacy is really I think comes from not only the lessons learned in childhood, but it really does come out of who I've been as a leader in my professional life, and who I am as a human understanding differences in people and cultures. And there's no one right way. So that was a long answer to your question. But you asked about how a defining moment in my career changing and I realized what a leader meant and what leadership is. And then, on a personal level, as the world started to change, I felt a responsibility to to talk more about or be open about who I really am. I never hit it. But I didn't talk about. 16:06 Yeah, thank you. Thank you Well, because on one hand, I heard you talking about that, how leading a team with kindness and laying off people with empathy. That was one of the defining moments of your life at the same time. At an age of five, you said, you knew that you were different. So as I'm just listening to you, a few questions are emerging for me. And I'm going to present it to you and I'm going to leave it to you. Which one would you like to play with? One? What were those early signs at an age of five or six that you could pick up? That gives you a clue that you could possibly be a gay man, as you grow up in your life, that's one second with that identity. Which I'm sure at one point in time was not easily acceptable to others. And people might look at you from a different perspective. Right? How did you deal with that? So two questions. Right. 17:09 Right. So knowing you're different, right? At the age of five, you don't you don't understand identity or gender or anything? Like God. entation Yeah, right, you none of that. But I just knew I was different from the, from my cousin's from my brother, from the neighbors, I didn't want to play sports, I didn't want to basketball, I was much more of a gentle soul. I wasn't the the typical, you know, out in the street fighting or playing sports. So I identified is very different. Then as you grow older, you realize, oh, I know, I'm different. And you just know, I don't know how to explain it, you just know. And I'm obviously growing up in the 70s and 80s. That was not something socially acceptable. You didn't You didn't talk about it. Now I knew in my within my family, it wouldn't have been a problem. But society to didn't accept that. We're in a society where did six a society accept such a thing here. And so you know, you can come to a big city, it's cosmopolitan. Everyone lives from around the world in Manhattan. And I knew that that's where I was going to find my life. I knew I was going to be able to. I know people don't like this this term, but I knew I could find my tribe, my community. And I was lucky. I found a beautiful career. And I've had a very long relationship with with the same guy for 35 years. Just wonderful. 18:46 Wow. Wow, bless you both. Thank you. Yeah, you know, well, today, when I think about that episode, I experienced some slap some kind of shame. Let me just share that with you. You know, the naive individual that I was. I didn't have this definition of that did something called being a gay man. I remember my first jobs where I encountered someone who was hitting on to me that was my first or the second day in my new job, and this guy would come and touch me at all the inappropriate places. And I could not understand that because I didn't have this understanding of what he was doing or the way he was interacting with me or the way he was giving me those catch up lines. Those pickup lines. And I will say so sorry, excuse me, so sorry, excuse me, and then he would do it again and do it again. And then I was talking to another friend of mine, his name is Akshay who happens to be in Dubai these days. I was talking to him. I said he know every time and I'm in the company of so and so. person, I feel something is missing. And when he touches me in the wrong places, I don't know whether it's by mistake or intentionally he's doing it. And then he told me about the entire concept. And I felt really angry. And next day when I was in the office in the moment, he tried doing that, I was just waiting for an opportunity when he would do something like that, and I would get him back. I went to him straight looked into it. I said, that was the last time you touched me that way. Stay away. And I experienced a sense of being guilty. Right, and I had this really sad. I don't know what the right feeling but disgusting feeling. And I was looking down at him. That was my first encounter. But I'm sure even Joe would have experienced. So situations like that. Absolutely. How was it to be in that moment? Because so, 21:03 you know, I'm sorry to cut you off. But I'm just thinking about the tolerance I grew up with, right. So identity and orientation, all of that. I grew up Catholic family, we were one Catholic family in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. And my mother's side of the family was Italian, my father's side of the, the family was Irish, right? Descendants. So So I learned from a young age, not everyone is the same. I grew up with this. People are different people believe different things. People have different religions, people have different ethnic backgrounds. And because of my parents, it was instilled in us, you have to be open minded and accepting. If you don't understand someone's religion, ask about it. If you don't understand someone's traditions for holidays, because they have from a different part of the world, ask them about it. So when when, definitely an early years, you you, you instinctually know, we're talking about who you are, it's just something that's taboo, doesn't exist today. Luckily, as much I'm sure there circles that it lists, but you just realize, and obviously, you're a kid, others pick up that you're different. And you're in a moment of, I don't know, I don't want to say bullying because that's too strong. But typical bullying, um, I guess I was just wired that, okay, I need to just move on from this. I am not, I guess, personally wired to stay in a dark place, or linger in those bad feelings. But I can tell you, people who are people who are stung by it, I am able to overcome that. And even my husband is Brazilian, right? And he isn't American born. He isn't, he doesn't look like me. And so you hit from that lens does nothing orientation, right. But through the lens of watching how people can respond to him, not being American, the the typical, 23:29 you know, white Christian male, that you would people who have long associated with power or being in control, you start to understand or you you process the world, do you see the world through there? And for me, personally, I understand what your story is telling you. Is it the story you shared? Is that people don't know? And how can you share your stories? So there's more understanding and there's more acceptance. So I guess I never lingered in a place of having my feelings hurt and I've certainly had my feelings hurt in many ways and probably more on other things or work related than anything else. But just coming through that and being understanding you're you're a wise guy or smart man, and you don't you probably have a saying for this but I think there's such healing that comes from forgiving your enemy you know when I don't have a saying that comes to my mind but if you show that kind of compassion now that doesn't mean you invite your enemy or or somebody that's wronged you into your inner circle, but if you let go of that, you you just live a better life. Don't hold on to that. Yeah, so I thank you for sharing that your story because your story is probably common right. Growing up your what society found acceptable I was very different. Yeah. 25:04 I mean, that was one of the chapters of my life and would love to share another chapter of my life as we move on, but will help me understand before we get to that. What are the day to day challenges that you got to experience when you started to share with people? Your identity. 25:24 It's funny, I never shared anything. So the challenges were such that I, I just, I don't know how to describe this. I just was even within my family, being with Manuel, all of these years. We just were people just knew. Well, lemon. Well, my nieces and nephews obviously just knew it was Uncle will and Uncle Manuel. So there was never the typical rally coming 25:58 coming out of the closet. Never ever lived as is. Yeah. So no, they keep on. What's his name? Right. We were talking about that. That Oprah Show we spoke about 26:18 our or maybe it was it was 26:23 Ricky Martin. Oh, yes. Yes. Yeah. So so. So what it means is that no, Ricky Martin episode happens with you. 26:33 I was the closest was, we'd always just lived our life. And we were always together. And it was just not something we talked about. It wasn't something you were, it was not anything that you're trying to hide necessarily. It just was like, well, it never came up, when's the right time for it to come up? And really, we started to discuss it openly. When my nieces and nephews were all growing up. And as they were getting up there were there were just moments where it's like, okay, let's just talk about it. And now we talk about it. But it wasn't a reveal. Right. And especially my nieces and nephews grew up in a time a day and age where like, Yeah, this is it's obvious. Yeah. And so when you start to see that society has changed, right. And the youth younger people have grown up with all sorts of, of role models and identities. 27:30 So when this is one topic, I'm sure there are people who know a lot about this, but at the same time, there's a part of our society, which probably would not have a lot of exposure to that. So what do you think? What are the myths associated with LGBTI community that it's important for us to unveil 27:52 it's really interesting that you asked about that, because I, I identify myself as part of the human community. Right? No one I love you for this. Right? That's right. No, my my company. 28:06 My My apologies. 28:08 Yeah. So so but it is very, very interesting, right? Because obviously, okay, you are an openly gay man in New York City, married long term, the two of you live your life, here and abroad, and you've done all these amazing things. People identify you with that community. But I've never been part of any sort of scene. My work has been my work. My husband's work has been his work. And we just happen to be a couple. Now what's really interesting, and I'll share this with you. And when my husband watches this, he'll probably kill me for sharing this story. But I jokingly when I left my former career, right? Someone said, Well, what are you going to do next? Well, and here I am. Now all these months later, I'm I'm speaking to you. And I speak to other people. I flippantly said to the person who asked me the question, oh, it's obvious. I am going to be the gay Oprah. And I thought it was very clever, because obviously, we spoke about this, I want to speak I want to share i i Just Oprah is a role model for those of us who like to tell stories, or be a conduit for other people to tell their stories, right? Yeah, get it. So my husband was like, why would you say that? Why can't you just be the next Oprah? Why would you why would you limit yourself? And I and I was taken aback a bit, but I understood what he meant because a label and this is where labels get dangerous, right? To label anybody a certain thing, because we're all we're all a mixture of everything that we've gone through. And and I don't know if there's an example of, of, of people that just live their life, I would say that would be For me, along with Manuel, where we just kind of lived and the world caught up to us. I don't know how that happened. We just found we were two souls who found one another. Our families meshed Manuel's family's been here, family gatherings and reunions. And so it's been one big mixture of a Brazilian American family, which has been great. But it just happened organically, if that makes any sense whatsoever with any without any Ricky Martin moment. 30:37 Yeah. So let me tell you. So here is well, let me just take this opportunity to introduce Well, once again, ladies and gentlemen you are listening to? Well, a communicator continued guy who happens to be a gay, 30:53 exactly. And happens to be bold, right? 30:59 To Be bold as well. So So will help me understand what are the other gifts that you have been blessed with in your life? What I hear you is what I hear you saying is that you have you have been blessed with a lot of empathy, kindness, treating human beings like human beings, were LGBTI communities absolutely from where now I'm really looking at is absolutely a wrong way of categorizing people. And that's the reason I think you run this community called aspiring human. So help understand what are the gifts that you have been blessed with, that you use today to be a source of code in the world. 31:38 I realized, another defining moment, or I realized during the pandemic, during the lockdown in this very room, I was representing the largest museum in the country. And I was part of a task force with other museums in New York City. And we the cultural organizations of this city needed to come together to figure out how do we reopen safely? And how do we take care of our staff and our public. And so it was five months in this very room, call after call and meeting and planning and scripting and trying to get all the information we could to reopen New York City, and the museum community was the first community to reopen New York. And so you do what you do, because you love what you do. And I have no problem talking. And I love meeting new people. And I think that started to change me. And so after we reopened and everything was was set, and we're still dealing in many pockets of the world, with with variants in the pandemic is not yet over the pandemic. If you have to look for a forum, maybe it's not very to say bright side, things shifted. And myself, I realized my gift was not to have all the answers and not to know everything. My gift is I love the collaboration process. Getting people that know bits and pieces, how do you get people together and share and debate and and from the heart. Decide what is the right thing to do for the staff first, and making sure the staff is safe to safely take care of your visitor, your guest your customer. And then you spend a portion of your life dedicated to that. And when things started to ease up in New York. That experience helped me expand as a human. And I. Now this is when you could stop recording and cut this all off. You can see I because you think I'm crazy. But I felt a calling to us to go out there get to step out of what was comfortable and familiar and known and people I absolutely loved working with. But something within me said there's a big wide world out there. 34:26 You're going to find your way. And you are going to find the answers go deep within. And that's what I've been doing the last six months or so. Let me do a call with you here today. Right? I'm talking about all sorts of things. And so I trying to use my gift of being able to talk. I love to do it to be able to connect and another C word is curiosity. I am genuinely curious. About people, right? If we had hours, I would be asking you about your family and your neighborhood, your favorite foods. And not because I'm trying to write a book about you, but because I love to get to know people, and what makes people tick. And that's, that's what aspiring better human. Again, something came in a dream. And a nod to all of the people I hired for years, because they were part time jobs. People come to New York, people come to Manhattan. They're aspiring dancers, singers, actors, lawyers, doctors, curators. And so what's this guy going to do? You're ending one career to go into the unknown, what should I be, I should be an aspiring better human, because we're never done. And if I can find other humans, certainly someone like yourself, who are interested in uplifting others, and being able to speak to things, and that is very different from what, you know, regular media is about right? Cable media here in the States, I don't know about where you are, is quite negative, the tone is always negative. But people are hungry for something positive. People want inspiration. And people want authenticity. So my gift is to be able to take every I've got stories, you've got stories, everyone has stores, how can I use my gift of loving to speak about my experience? How can I use that, to create a platform for other people to tell their stories? And so that's that that's my big goal and dream to be able to do that kind of speaking and employing people and how do you create a community of people who want to do good, and it doesn't have to be on the upper scale, like, I use that as a joke, but why not go big, if you're gonna, you're gonna ask for something. But you you, you can influence your own neighborhood, your own church, your own temple, your own mosque, your, your own circle of friends in school, if you can be a positive influence, and I don't think that's, that's, that's, it doesn't need to be big. It's big work. And it's a big deal to do, but it doesn't need to be. 37:33 So when we're talking about creating an impact, it could be your church, your mosque, your temple, your community. And you also use the word authenticity, hand on heart. If you were to talk about that something makes you cry today as well. That deep wound that you have been holding on to, which might be stopping you to go out in the world and create the impact that you would like to create. What is that one rule that you would like? What's the one wound that you would like to heal before you go out and be? That's a really good lighthouse. 38:10 I think I'm in the process of healing it. And I've been writing about it a great deal personally journaling. I'm a kindness advocate, right. I'm here talking to you about kindness. I want to spread kindness. But I'm reflecting on the things that would make me cry or you feel badly about, there have been plenty of times in my life where I have been unkind. And so instead of beating myself up about it, I try to learn from everything. So those moments where we're not the best that we can be right? We're not as kind as we can be. You share the story about yourself. You can't you can't let that stop you from evolving, right? But you can you can think about what made me be unkind. What made what what was there? What do I need to work on? So I don't repeat that unkindness? And so that that I think it's been the mind where I've been trying to understand it. Because of me, if you and I were had an argument, right? And you want to go back out. You sometimes bring up an argument that happened five years ago, you bring things up, why do you keep bringing that up? Why do you keep bringing it up? How many times did I tell you, but until you heal that hurt? Yeah, it's just gonna, it's just gonna keep going. And that's what I'm trying to work on. Yeah, no, I 39:39 think I think it begins from healing your own self. I can I can relate to that. You know? I told you right. So that was one chapter of my life. technischer another chapter of my life. Few weeks back, I was in one of the conferences where I came across To another gentleman. Now this guy, when I met him for the first time, I was talking to him and he said, Hey, sweet, hey, hottie. I could not understand that. I thought, what is that? Remember? Yeah, yeah. What does that mean a normal conversation going on? He said, No, that's not true hottie. And twice I could not understand that. So anyway, so we started the conversation and he said, Tell me more about yourself. And I said, Oh, I'm married. I've got a daughter, bla bla bla bla bla. Oh, shucks, I've already lost you is it? And I could not understand that as well. Few more pickup lines, the conversation continued. And during the conversation, I said, Yes, I'm a girl of hate pies like Brother Don't say this pie. He said, Don't call me pie. Don't call me brother. There's something wrong here. But anyways, now, my exposure to this world is very different from the exposure that I had them. This time when I started speaking to him. Out of curiosity, I just started asking questions, and he said that he happens to be a gay man. As Ah, now I can connect all the dots. And I totally need now I can connect all the dots. Is that what you meant? And he said, Yes. I said, shocked. So sorry, my friend. And I said this time I said, so sorry, my friend. I didn't want to say Brother, I did not want to wash off my hands from that conversation. Because this time, I could experience inclusion. I could experience love and care with him. And absolutely, yes. When I was leaving from that conference, I ensure that I go there. I met him, I helped him. I said, you take care of yourself. And he said, Okay, hottie. Okay, so here it is, I think. Yeah. So the journey that I'm talking about is where I was, where I was being unkind. To myself, I was being unkind to the other person where I created a wall of separation between me and another human being. And today when I was talking to him, when he said, Hey, hottie, I said, Hey, thank you. You found me interesting, right? Yeah. So that's when? Yes. When if you were to go back. And if you were to give a piece of advice to your younger self, what advice would you offer? 42:38 Um, definitely slow down. And, um, I was, I'm a recovering perfectionist, I would say, younger years younger, me, I was so driven. I was older 30 years ago than I am today. And my mentality, I, I think that I just, I wasn't evolved enough. I wasn't, I didn't grow enough. And life knocks you down, you learn different things, you'd have different disappointments and all of it just shapes you to who you are. What I would tell the younger me was slow it down. Don't take everything. So seriously, every plan you are going to make is probably not probably will not work out the way that you thought. And so often when I look back, everything turned out way better. So imagine, you start imagining a future for yourself, for other people for your company. And you understand you have this vision. But work towards it to be even bigger. Because if you can get to a certain point in your life and feel and appreciate all of your blessings. Imagine if you've worked towards it. And I would say younger, will probably wasn't fully baked, didn't understand or hadn't lived a life. All sorts of good, bad and everything in between. Yeah. And that's what makes us who we are. Right? You learn from everything, everything. You either win, or you learn. I believe that right? You win or you learn and the bad stuff is there because it's supposed to teach us something? Just how I see it. 44:37 You know, this reminds me of what Rumi said when he spoke about how yesterday he wanted to change the world. But today when he's wiser love to change himself. I personally believe and I have said this on on these platforms on several occasions that the world is broken. All of us are born in fractured and dysfunctional family. meets. And here you are, you're talking about kindness. Well, you have declared yourself as the kindness ambassador. What are the different ways Mr. Kindness ambassador that we can spread kindness in the world. 45:19 You just said it, you start with yourself, you're kind to the people in your home, you're kind to community, you're kind to the person at the bakery that you go to, you're kind to the bank teller. And it costs nothing to be conned, right? Hold back, right? I'm a big LinkedIn fan. And I use LinkedIn like communicate, I've connected with tons of people, like yourself, there's no reason to be unkind. If I post something, if you post something, if someone else post something, and you don't like it, there's no reason to go in there and start fighting with the person and don't like, don't follow me, don't kill you. And so if you can create that model of, hey, it's a big world out there. There's billions of people. And if if we could just start in our own community, if I could be nice to the neighbors in this building, if I could be nice to the people I encounter in my neighborhood, if I could be nice, and kind to my clients, right, that spreads out that's contagious. And so while it's a big lofty goal, to go out there and change the world and change leadership, how do we not know that there are young people, old people, any age people out there who believe in kindness that can grab the microphone, can run for maybe a political office could run a company, and leave having that example. In the business world, in the in the political world, or man, I mean, that's, that's talking about really big goals, but it can happen. Kindness is what the world needs. Most. You said it, we're fractured. And we've moved away from just treating each other with basic 47:15 dignity and humanity. Absolutely. You know, as they often share that kindness and compassion will never go out of fashion, as you said it being human will never go out of fashion. You could be an engineer, you could be a lawyer. I remember my conversation with my niece when she was going for her MBBS. And I told her that, you know, you are anyways intelligent, you will become a doctor anyways, that's not a question. 100 people in your batch would become doctors 1000s of people who become doctors on a year, every year basis? That's not a question. The question is, are you a good human being? Who happens to be a doctor? Right? And that's the question that I left her with. And today, every time she calls me up, she tells me about how she has been able to bring in more humanity, in every conversation with our patients. I feel so happy. I feel so happy. Well, it's been so much for your time. Thank you for spreading the word of love and compassion in the world. I think I can tell you with utmost conviction, that world is a better place because of people like you. 48:29 And back to you, my friend. Absolutely. And thank you for allowing me this opportunity to talk about it and share my story. Thank you so much. Well, have a fantastic day. Thank you

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