EP49 Seven Generations of Change
[00:00:14] KC: Welcome to The Business of Life Podcast. My name is Keith Callahan, your host and I’m excited to talk with you today. I’m excited to share with you what I’ve titled 7 Generations of Change. And I’m actually not going to reveal what the title of that means right away because we’re gonna get into it as we go through this podcast episode today and as we sort of go on a little bit of a journey together.
And I wanna take you back to a time in my life when I had to make a decision. It was probably, I shouldn’t say probably. It was the hardest decision of my life and prior to that, if you haven’t gone through and you haven’t listened to Episode 21, it’s sort of my story and you can listen to that episode but I’ll give you the abridged version. Basically it’s, “Keith used to drink a real lot, hit rock bottom, started therapy, cleaned himself up.” Alright? And when I say “really a lot”, listen to that episode, it was a really, really, really lot.
So anyways, I go through and I get myself cleaned up and I was with my wife the whole time that I was getting myself cleaned up. So when I first went to therapy, my wife and I were dating. She was the one that suggested that I go. And after we had been dating for a while, I had gone to therapy, we had started a spiritual path, I had started to find a connection with god that I never had before. And my wife and I were about to get married, and three weeks — it might not have been exactly three weeks, but it was a month or two before our wedding, just call it that. I called off our wedding.
So I called off our wedding month or two before it and as you can imagine, it was an extremely painful thing for my wife to experience. And what had happened is, leading up to the wedding, I had been having these feelings that, this questioning, this doubting, and we all — everybody’s heard of that. Nervousness or jitters or whatnot. But I had learned this technique and what the technique was is that you look in a mirror, and it’s a clearing technique.
So you look in the mirror and I would say like whatever it is, whatever piece of me that is having resistance, help it to come to the surface and help me to let it go. So I was doing this mirror work and I had done this before, I had understood how to do it. We were a few weeks, or a month or two before my wife and I were about to get married, and I’m doing this mirror work. And all of a sudden I get like this huge strike. This was like my come to Jesus, my ‘ah-ha’ moment, right?
I had this huge just overwhelming message that said, “Don’t marry Amy.” And just going back, like thinking back to that it was such a painful, painful thing to recall right now, for two reasons. The first reason is that there was so much pain that she went through because of that. And for the second reason, I didn’t wanna call off this marriage. There was no part of my mental body that wanted to call off this marriage, but it was something that was so deeply inside of me that I knew it was right.
Like there was no denying it that I can’t do it, like I can’t do it right now. And I didn’t know why, I didn’t understand and it scared me. And I remember being so scared, and I remember telling her and I was like bawling, crying, and she got so angry and rightfully, right? Like so upset and we were living down in Charlotte, North Carolina at that time and it was so traumatic that we both wound up leaving that are. We had no intentions on getting back together.
We were still connected because we were in the same spiritual communities, so we would still see each other all the time. But we were living together and I had just broken off a wedding, like you can imagine the hurt, the pain that she was going through and same for me. Even though I was the one who did it, I didn’t want to do it. Like I really, really, there was no part of me that wanted to do it.
And I didn’t understand, it was like the first time that I had really like had that direct communication with, you know, some people call it God or Buddha or Allah or Jesus or intuition or spirit or universal energy. Like whatever it was, I had that and I had that connection there and I knew it was right, but I didn’t wanna do it. So fast forward, Amy and I are still in the same spiritual community, and we both were like, it was over, it was done.
Like we both dated and neither one of us entertained the thought of getting back together. But we were also both very in love with each other. As harsh as what I did to her was, she still loved me and even though I did that, like broke that marriage off like at the last minute literally, I loved her. I did not want to do that cause I loved her so much. And so anyways, we’re in this spiritual community together and it’s a community where we were together almost every single week.
So I would see her almost every single week and we would go away each year to one of our ceremonies, it’s called Sundance, sort of the highest, holiest ceremony in our spiritual way of life and we go out to South Dakota every year and we go out to South Dakota and we pray out there on the Rosebud Reservation. And this particular year, there was just, it was about three years later and again, Amy and I hadn’t even entertained anything, there was just this magnetic, just this overwhelming love between the two of us.
And we were being very conscious not to flock to each other, but it was like this, you know we’re away for two weeks together and in South Dakota, we’re camping out there, it’s a tenting situation and it’s also a high ceremony so there’s no like — like sexual energy is supposed to be ignored. And it wasn’t even sexual, it was just like this love and the two of us just wanted to be together.
So we kind of went about the week, and we used to drive out from Massachusetts to South Dakota, and I remember on the ride home, like literally every pit stop, Amy was in a separate car, her and I were in two separate cars. It was a group of like five or six of us. And like every time we stopped, Amy and I would just like gravitate towards each other when we got out of the cars. And there was just this magical, just love. Like love brought us back together.
We ended up, when we got home, I dunno which one of us called the other? We went on a hike and we talked about how we have felt for each other and we got back together then. And now, married, four kids later. And there reason I wanted to start by sharing that story, I had done all this personal work, I had done all this work, I hit rock bottom and did all this work to heal myself, to heal my life, to just become the type of husband, the type of father, the type of mentor, the type of leader that I wanted to become.
And the reason that I couldn’t marry Amy at that time, and I didn’t understand this and Amy didn’t understand this. But the reason was is because I did all that work while I was with her, and I needed to do the last pieces of it alone. Because it was always, she was my safety net, she was there. Like I went through when I stopped drinking and I was having anxiety and depression and all this stuff, but I did it all and I did it with her.
And I needed to go through, I needed to do it alone. And I didn’t understand that at the time, but afterwards, three years later when I had those three years alone to grow into the man that I needed to be to be the best father, to be the best husband that I could be, that’s the type of intervention that our intuition, that god, that whatever you wanna call it, that’s the type of blind faith that changes lives.
And it did, it totally changed our lives. Because I could be sitting here right now doing this podcast, but doing it a lot different as a divorced father, et cetera, right? Because if I didn’t have that time, I wouldn’t have been able to have the emotional stability to stand on my own, by myself. So I wanted to start with that story, and you know, what is the story? What is the Seven Generations?
Here’s the deal, I believe that the things that we do in our lives, the changes that we make in our lives, the improvements that we make in our lives, the things that we work through, the things that we have to go through, the person that we become, I believe it’s too hard to do just for you. I really do. I believe that if you have this huge thing that you have to go through and it’s just, you’re going through it to go through it. You’re going through it because you want to become better or whatever, I think it’s hard.
Here’s the way that I look at it. Like if you change something that has always existed within your family, maybe there’s the rumor within your family, the belief within your family that depression runs in the family, anxiety runs in the family. All these different things run in the family, right? You understand what I’m saying, you understand like how that goes and how people — that becomes a deep seeded belief, right?
But if we change that, if we make changes, if we change that our family’s always been a blue collar family and we just, like it’s not in our cards to be well off, it’s not in our cards to be successful. If we change that, we change that not for ourselves, not for our kids, but for the generations that come after us, for seven generations. And I remember when I started to learn about this, when I started to learn about this seven generations concept, I started to get really deep into our spiritual path.
And the spiritual path that we follow is not easy. When we go out and we pray, we pray for a weekend. We’re going away for weekend retreats, we’re going away for two week retreats in the summer, and you know we’re going with three or four hours of sleep at night. It’s a very intense, very, very powerful spiritual path and I believe that whatever we’re doing in our lives, whether it’s a spiritual path or whether it’s work or business, or whatnot, or family or love.
Like whatever it is, we can’t just do it a little bit. The change comes through repetition over, and over, and over, and over again. It comes through time and intensity, right? So did I want to be a certain type of husband, a certain type of father, a certain type of man, a certain type of leader, a certain type of mentor? Yeah. That is who I wanted to become. That is what I wanted. And you know what? Part of getting to that, I had to call off a wedding a few weeks before we were about to get married.
That’s not an easy thing to do, right? But so many of us, so many people, they want the results, they want the actions, they want to be the leader, the mentor, the best father, the best wife, the best husband, whatever it is. But it’s not about the things you want because you cannot do the things you want without becoming the person you need to become in order to do those things. I wanna repeat that one more time, I really want you to listen, take this into your bones.
You can’t do the things you want to do, until you become the person you need to become to do those things. And when I talk about the seven generations, when it affects seven generations, that to me is something that’s going to fuel me. A lot of people talk about a “why” right? Like they talk about you have to identify the real reason why you’re doing something. For me, when I think about, you know when I think about the business that I built, it was hard. It was hard, hard, hard work. No way around it.
But here’s the way that I looked at it, I looked at it in this way; the business that I built gave me freedom of time. So here’s the number one thing that I focus on in my business, I focus on creating passive income. What’s passive income? Passive income is income that you get paid whether you work or not. You write a book and the book sells over, and over, and over. You get paid for work you did one time, that’s passive income.
The business that I built, the business that I focused on was about creating passive income. And I wanted to do that for one reason, one reason only. The money was awesome and you know we make an insanely crazy income now with this business. But money is not going to be the end game for you, that isn’t what it’s about. Freedom of time is what it’s about. I have tons of friends that are doctors, lawyers, all these big professionals that have these massive pay checks, but they’re not able to do what they wanna do because they don’t have the time to do it.
When I was building my business, I wanted to create freedom of time for one reason and one reason only. I wanted to be there to watch our four kids go through the different phases of life. I wanted to see my kids when they first smiled. I wanted to see my kids when they started to discover their hands and their feet. And then when they started to learn to crawl and started to learn to walk.
I wanted to be there to hold the bike seat and watch them fall and skin their knee and get up, and help them, and love on them. I wanted that. That’s what I wanted in my life. That’s what I wanted. And here’s the deal, I wouldn’t have been able to create the business that I created had I not understood that it was gonna give me the freedom of time, but it’s even deeper than that. I created the type of business that I created because it gave me the freedom of time.
That freedom of time allows me to have a different relationship with my children than is common in the United States, because let’s face it, most families in the United States, most families who especially are listening to this podcast, working husband, working mother, right? Or a single parent. And we don’t have the time to be able to spend with our kids. I wanted that, I wanted it so bad, and I wanted to be able to send my kids to whatever schools they wanted to go to, I wanted to be able to buy the house.
A big thing for my wife and I was a family home, like a home that is just, it has that family feel, right? Like I didn’t want a flashy home or anything like that, I wanted a family home. A home that’s warm and cozy, and we’ve been able to do that. But all of that creates a life, the life that my children are going to have is different than the life that I had, right? And that’s the only thing we can strive for as parents, did we get it a little bit better?
Generation after generation, right? Cause our parents, that’s what they were striving for. Was it a little bit better than the previous generation? But it doesn’t stop there. The changes that you make as a human being, the changes that you make in your life, the lives that you affect, whether it’s with your children or somebody else that you’re mentoring or you’re loving on and it really affects their lives, it doesn’t stop there. Because the changes, so my kids are growing up very differently than I grew up, right?
Those changes, the way that they’re growing up is now the baseline for how they’re gonna raise their children. So the changes that we make, the things that we do in our lives, the decisions that we make, as crazy as it is, that little listening to the intuition decision and making the decision not to get married, to be single for three years, to become more empowered, to become a man that can stand on his own two feet and didn’t need my wife to lean on, that’s not just going to affect my life. It’s going to affect my life, my children’s life, and the seven generations down the line.
So when you’re going about your life, when those tough things come up, that’s what we’re doing. It’s not about you. Sometimes we get so caught up, so focused about “me, me, me, me, me”. It’s about affecting the seven generations that are going to follow. And that goes for your kids, maybe you don’t have kids, that goes for the people that come into your life that you touch. And I wanna share a quick story.
I heard this story probably about six months ago and I remember listening to it, I was driving in my car and I just got like literally I had to pull over because I was just crying when I was listening to this story and it was just so powerful. So it was this boy Stephen, and Stephen had just moved to a new school. And I’m gonna tell this story in the first person, right? So I’m gonna tell this story about Stephen from a first person standpoint.
So this boy Stephen had just moved to a new school and I’m gonna share my experience with him. So I was, we were both freshmen. He was new at the school, I had never seen him before and we were in the halls like at the end of the day. And you know, it’s kind of crazy in the halls, high school kids, the day’s just ended and it was one of these halls where the lockers are in the hall.
And I just noticed Stephen, like I was walking down the hall and I noticed him because he was kind of this goofy kid, and I hadn’t seen him before and he was literally like had books on the ground, and books in his arm and he was trying to pick them up and he was dropping them everywhere. And I dunno? At first I thought, “This guy’s kind of dorky, or whatever.” But I decided to go over and help him.
And he had dropped a book and I had picked it up and handed it to him and he looked at me with these eyes. I’ve never seen anybody look at me that way before. He just looked at me with these eyes of like “thank you” but it was like deeper than thank you, it was just, I’ll never forget that look. So anyways, I wound up chatting it up with him a little bit, and we wound up walking home from school, and it turns out we actually lived in the same neighborhood, Stephen and I.
So yeah, it kind of went on. It became our routine. We would walk home from school together, we kind of became friends and as the years went on Stephen became really popular at school and he became one of those kids that, he became real good looking and all the girls in high school wanted to date Stephen and he wound up playing football at the school and he did really well. And there was times I actually had a little jealousy towards him.
When I met him he was this dorky guy, but he turned into this amazing, bright, intelligent, good looking, athletic young man. He actually, he wound up being the valedictorian of our class. And at this time I was sort of getting a little sad, Stephen was going to be going off to college at Yale and I was going to be going off to school at Duke and we’d both done really well. And it was right before the valedictorian speech, we were sitting in the audience together and Stephen was gonna have to walk up and give his speech.
And right before the speech I like put my hand on his shoulder, I could tell he was nervous, like he was nervous about going up there and he was nervous about giving the speech. And I put my hand on his shoulder and I kind of grasped him a little firmly and I said, “You’re gonna do awesome man. Just take a deep breath, you’ll do awesome.” And he gave me that same look again. This just look of “thank you” and he said, “Thank you,” and it was just deeper than that.
So they called him up and they introduced him as valedictorian and he went up there and he started talking about the, you know, this is the time when us as seniors in high school we get to thank those people that really touched our lives. And he started how we all, our parents have brought us into the world, and nurtured us, and supported us. And you know he was thanking his parents and then encouraging us all to take the time to thank our parents.
And then he really went into the teachers and all that the teachers had done to help to mould us, to become the men and women that we are today. And thanked the teachers. And he said, “You know what high school’s really about though, it’s about those friendships even more so than our parents, more so than our teachers. Like we have each other and we went through this together. And those relationships and the people that we’ve come to meet, like they’re people that we’ll never forget.”
And he said, “I want everybody to know here, like as we’re moving on and we’re all going someplace else that the most important thing you can ever do in life is to reach out and lend a helping hand to someone else.” He said, “When I was a freshman, I’d just moved to this school and I had a real hard time at another school. And my parents actually moved me to this school because I had had such a hard time at the other school. And after a few days here I was getting bullied just like the other school, kids were picking on me.
Then one day I decided to, I was cleaning out my locker and I was just fumbling around with my books and books fell on the ground and everything, and a friend came over and someone I had never met before who became a really close friend of mine. And he came over and he picked up one of the books and he handed it to me. And at that point, just from him helping me out, I was clearing out my locker that day because I was gonna commit suicide.
And I didn’t want my parents to have to go through the extra trouble to clear out the locker. They were gonna go through enough. And my entire life is different now, that’s a part of my life that’s in the past. But I wouldn’t be here delivering this commencement speech if it wasn’t for a stranger at the time, who all he did was help me. He lent out a helping hand, he picked up a book and handed it to me. And then we wound up walking home together that day and talking.”
As I was — so this is me in real time, Keith talking now. You know I’m listening to this story and I’m like bawling on the side of the road and even telling it now I’m just getting emotional because that’s what it’s all about. The love we have for other people is what it’s all about in life. And that’s how seven generations are affected. Because the love that boy had for Stephen, and you know some people will call it it’s not even love, it’s just a helping hand. That’s gonna change the next seven generations of Stephen’s family, right? That one incident.
And we never know when it’s gonna be. We never know when it’s gonna happen, but if we’re living our lives with a powerful reason to do it, for me it’s always been about — it’s been about two things. It’s been about living like up to my potential, like really, really up to my potential. So there’s nothing inside of me that feels like I could’ve given more, been more, become more. I want that, I want that for my life and I want to be the best husband and the best father. I want to pass that on to my children, right?
That is a life worth living, that is a life that gives us the power. So really bringing this all together, really honing it all in, what is the seven generations all about? The seven generations is about something bigger than you. Whatever it is that you’re doing, whatever it is that you’re fighting for, know that if you go through with it, if you get to the finish line, if you make those changes, if you become the person that you’re looking to become, it’s not just ending with you. It affects all the people that you touch and the people that they touch, and the people that they touch.
It’s that ripple effect. That’s why I’m doing this podcast. This podcast is literally a passion project for me. We make no money, we lose money on it every single week. But if I can touch just one person, if I can change just one life, if I can influence somebody in some type of positive way to make a change in their life that then goes and affects seven generations down the road, think about it like that guys! Think about it. That’s the power of the change we can make.
So whatever it is that you’re doing in your life, wherever you’re going, whatever you’re big, beautiful, bold dream is, even if you don’t have clarity on it, just understanding the power that you have to make change in this world, that’s such an amazing, amazing thing. I love you guys, so grateful to be able to bring this podcast, this message, these teachings that I’ve had the honor of being a part of and learning on my journey.
So thank you. So much gratitude, so much love, and we’ll see you next time.
[00:30:06] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the Business of Life Podcast. Apply what you learn today and you’ll be one step closer to creating the life you love to live.