An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, television host, and motivational speaker, Joan Lunden has been a trusted voice in American homes for more than 40 years. For nearly two decades, Lunden greeted viewers each morning on Good Morning America making her the longest running female host ever on early morning television.
Lunden continues to be one of America’s most recognized and trusted personalities which has made her a sought-after speaker for events across the country. As an ardent health & senior advocate, Lunden has testified before the Food and Drug Administration advocating mandatory mammogram reporting and the Congressional House Ways and Means Committee advocating for the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Lunden is the host of the Washington Post Podcast series, Caring for Tomorrow on the future of healthcare. She also hosts the PBS television series, Second Opinion with Joan Lunden, premiering January 2021. Additionally, Lunden has become the ambassador to the Poynter Institute’s MediaWise for Seniors program which educates individuals over 50 on media literacy – separating fact from fiction online.
As a part of the sandwich generation, Lunden’s demographic is far-reaching. She is a mother of 7 including two sets of teenage twins. Like many Boomers in America she has juggled being a working mom while caring for an aging parent, and brings this experience to her role as the spokesperson for the nation’s leading senior referral service, A Place for Mom, a company helping caregivers and families find the right care and resources for their loved ones.
Lunden also encourages Americans to ensure that they have adequate medical insurance coverage to protect their health and wellbeing as spokesperson for the Assurance Medicare Advantage program.
One of the most visible women in America, Lunden has graced the covers of more than 60 magazines and book covers. Lunden’s newest book, Why Did I Come into This Room: A Candid Conversation About Aging quickly became a New York Times Best Seller.
In June of 2014, Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. An eternal optimist, she turned her diagnosis into an opportunity to become an advocate and help others. She chronicled her experience in her memoir Had I Known. Lunden continues to interact with American’s daily on her website, Joanlunden.com as well as her social media platforms.
Lunden has served as national spokesperson for various organizations such as the American Heart Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, American Lung Association, American Red Cross, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Colon Cancer Alliance.
Joan Lunden’s books include Why Did I Come into This Room: A Candid Conversation About Aging; Had I Known; Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregiving; Growing Up Healthy: Protecting Your Child From Diseases Now Through Adulthood; Wake-Up Calls; A Bend in the Road is Not the End of the Road; Joan Lunden’s Healthy Living; Joan Lunden’s Healthy Cooking; Mother’s Minutes; Your Newborn Baby; and Good Morning, I’m Joan Lunden.
Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman.
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the no limit selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:35
Hello, everyone. Today I have the pleasure of having Joan Lunden. With me here today, Joan, welcome to the program.
Joan Lunden 0:41
Oh, it’s great to be here. Thanks for asking me.
Umar Hameed 0:44
One of the hardest things to do when you’re writing a book other than writing it and going through the editorial process, which is like horrible and demeaning is coming up with chapter titles that would actually get somebody to start leaping through and by the book, and I think you’ve done the best job ever. For example, not only is my short term memory bad, so is my short term memory, which is hilarious. Friends, a therapist you can drink with. And last but not least, sometimes I laugh so hard tears run down my legs, and the books about aging. So what made you be so creative just on that element?
Joan Lunden 1:20
Well, I think I’m one of those people that when I am looking at a book and trying to decide if I want to read it, this is more in the self help kind of a realm, I look at the table of contents,
Umar Hameed 1:32
Joan Lunden 1:33
and look to see if that kind of invites me to want to read that book. So I’m very, very, you know, always like concentrated on those table of contents. And, you know, I to be very honest, when I started writing this book, my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to be funny enough.
Umar Hameed 1:52
Joan Lunden 1:53
I knew I couldn’t write a book about forgetfulness, and hot flashes and leaky bladders without a sense of humor. But I didn’t really consider myself like, you know, the, the jokester of the class.
Umar Hameed 2:05
Joan Lunden 2:05
And, and as different, you know, telling jokes is one thing, but being finding humor in life, and the travails that we all go through. That’s different. And as I sat down and started this book, I, I needed to kind of allow myself to think that way. And in order to, in my opinion, to be successful in this book, and the more I did it, you know, I always say courage is like a muscle you have to, it’s strengthened by use. And
Umar Hameed 2:34
Joan Lunden 2:35
Yeah. And so the more I did it, the more I got comfortable with it. My husband, though, would come through the room, and he’d say, What are you writing about today? And I said, pretty much leaky bladders.
Umar Hameed 2:43
He left immediately
Joan Lunden 2:46
say that you can’t see your leaky bladder. I said, Oh, honey, the name of this chapter is I laughed. So hard tears roll down my leg. And he arched eyebrow like, yeah, are you sure you should be doing this? But that’s what connects with the reader, in my opinion.
Umar Hameed 3:02
And I think what’s interesting is that, if you have that in your heart, and you write something that isn’t that people can sense it. But when you write what you’re feeling, you find your audience.
Joan Lunden 3:12
Authenticity is like a magic potion. And it’s, it’s, it’s not abundant. In today’s world, everybody lives in this world that they kind of create, you know who they are on social media. And when somebody comes through, and you really feel that they’re being authentic, and almost a little raw and an opening themselves up, that is just incredibly inviting. And I’ve done that in a lot of my books, but never like this book, this book. You know, maybe it’s part partly aging Umar, I think you do come to a point in life,
Umar Hameed 3:54
You get wiser
Joan Lunden 3:55
more, yeah, you’re more comfortable with life, you’re more comfortable with who you are. You’re not worried about what everybody’s gonna think of you. Because you’re going up that ladder, and you kind of give yourself permission, your brain says, kind of like, what the heck, go ahead and say it, you know, you’re all you have to do is connect, and nobody, nobody calls you on it everybody loves it.
Umar Hameed 4:16
And if you try and be funny, and you’re not, all those jokes fall flat. So I was at a wedding pre pandemic, and the priest that was supposed to do the sermon, it was a Catholic Church, 300 people and this priest comes up and he says, I just want you to know that I just graduated from seminary, you know, like two months ago, this is my first wedding. And I’m really nervous and 300 people in that audience fell in love with him because he wasn’t doing pacifically he was just saying, This is what I’m feeling. And when you connect with who you are, you connect heart to heart.
Joan Lunden 4:48
Umar Hameed 4:49
And it was a perfect example of that.
Joan Lunden 4:50
Yeah. So raw honesty.
Umar Hameed 4:53
Let me ask you, there was something that I had read that you were asked once by a Hollywood Reporter when you were coming back to the show. You know, what’s it like coming back to the show as a senior citizen. And the reason I asked you that is thi,s is sometimes people create a label just by them doing it, all of a sudden, you start to sometimes grab onto it and hold on to it, even though you don’t want to. So tell me what that experience was like, and how did you shut it out of your mind?
Joan Lunden 5:18
Well, it could have been possibly the catalyst for Finally, dig be diving into this book. You know, I had been, you know, good morning america for 20 years. But for the last 10 years or so, I’ve been doing some special correspondent work for the today’s show. And I had done this series for them that I really was excited about. And it was about the importance of friendship, and that human bond.
Umar Hameed 5:43
Joan Lunden 5:44
And I was really excited about this series, and they had me go out and do a lot of publicity for it. But when I called in for the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, I mean, there was this young guy that answered the phone. I mean, I, I could tell just by his voice, I would never have guessed that his first question to me, was, what’s it going to be like, going back to early morning television, Miss Lunden, as a senior citizen. And you know, I mean, fine. On paper, I am, really, I just never been called one or probably never really thought of myself as a senior citizen. And the idea that this young guy had probably googled me, saw
Umar Hameed 6:25
Joan Lunden 6:25
my age, and then was doing this interview. at me, as though I was this. I was, I don’t know, his description of an older person. And I, it left me, you know, after I hung up thinking, you know, when did I sign into this like category where, you know, I it to me, that category could mean, not as relevant, doesn’t have as many opportunities open to you, has been, like, all these different things. And that’s what I felt that he had in his head when he did this interview. And so that’s where I started really thinking about examining this concept of age, and how we are so married to it in western civilization. And, and it’s, it can be very limiting, you know, that you could take five women who are all 65, and one could be a marathon runner. Another could be a triathlete. Another could be a total couch potato. But the way the world will describe those five women is it
Umar Hameed 6:28
Joan Lunden 6:31
the five year old woman, and it’s probably the least
Umar Hameed 7:37
Joan Lunden 7:37
relevant, descriptive phrase that you could use on any of them. And, you know, you read the book. So you know that I started out by talking about this trip, I took my my teenagers on to Morocco. And we were coming back from a, you know, camel ride in the Sahara, and we were driving along and this and our drivers saw a group of sheep herders. He pulled over the side of the road, and he jumped out of the car, and he called him over and he asked them, if we could go into their tent, you can see their tent, you know, a few hundred yards off the road, and they said, Fine. So we all got out, we went in, and he was interpreting, and they were telling us about how they live this nomadic life, that there are no clocks, no calendars, no anything. They, they really just go by the sun and the moon and the stars and the seasons. And when it gets the season changes, they, you know, wrap everything up, put it on a donkey, and like they head off. And I looked at this, you know, weathered woman that seemed like she was the only woman they’re the matriarch. And I asked her how old she was. She had no concept of what I was talking about. None. I mean, they’re born out in the desert there, there’s no birth certificate, I got back in the car. And I thought, Wow, so when the time comes for her to pull down that tent and wrap it all up and put it on a donkey, she’s not going to say, gee, am I, you know, too old to do this? She’s just going to do whatever, you know, life needs her to do.
Umar Hameed 9:08
Joan Lunden 9:09
Yes. And it was the the idea of that was so green. And you know, that’s, I never could forget that. Like, why are we so tethered to this number?
Umar Hameed 9:22
So it’s kind of interesting that with the products of our environment.
Joan Lunden 9:26
Umar Hameed 9:27
And part of our environment came from, you need to do a 70 hour week than it was a 40 hour week, but it was your productivity and everything was judged by the time and the clock when we were like farmers, none of that mattered. But let me ask you this, who was the first person that you came across that allowed you to think about aging in a different way, like somebody that you’ve seen and gone? Hmm, that person is young at heart, they just act that way. Was there a particular person that was a somebody that made you rethink what aging was like because you were part of this system that thinks 65 is old.
Joan Lunden 10:00
Well, I mean, I would have to say it was the woman on the desert, quite honestly, she’s the one that really
Umar Hameed 10:06
Joan Lunden 10:06
that this was a catalyst for this like, I mean, I don’t mean to be dramatic, but kind of an epiphany. And you know, we can grow up, or certainly, you and I did, we grew up in a time, and probably still happens today, where we hear our mom and our dad say, oh, help uncle Charlie out of the chair, he’s retired, he’s old. Now he needs help slow down. And Harriet can’t walk that fast. And we had those out probably hundreds, or more hours of programming kind of running in our brain as we become adults.
Umar Hameed 10:43
Joan Lunden 10:43
And if we allow ourselves to listen to that, the danger in that is that it can become a self fulfilling prophecy. And we can expect, literally expect to start declining and deteriorating.
Umar Hameed 10:59
Immediately upon hearing that, what’s interesting is the way beliefs work is when there is an important event, we meaning making machines, we look at that event, we make meaning of it, and it goes in our unconscious, and it starts guiding us from there on and those subtle things that we hear. So I bet you if we got a group of really vibrant fit senior citizens, 100 of them, you and I were on stage, and I had to flip charts when I was going to use red pen with and you’re going to use the one with a green pen. And we said please complete this sentence, old people are and somebody would say motivated. And you would write down motivated on your flip chart and ask the question again, somebody else would shout something else out that CMB would be positive. And I guarantee 100%, after about six or seven positive attributes from a group of people that are active and amazing, then people would start saying stuff like our waste of space, can’t do anything. Because those beliefs are society’s beliefs that even though they’re defying it, it’s still in their psyche, because their parents, uncles, the aunts, the teachers, every single image you look at it is of young, vibrant people and people that are older are not. And that’s why I love your book, because you approach it from a place of humor that allows people because this is a everyone listening, Joan and I are seeing each other over video conferencing but I’m holding up a pen and I’m holding it like with a death grip, that had you come at the subject that was preachy, or just data people hold on to their belief like this pen, you can grab it away from me. And what your book does is that it loosens the grip on reality and allows them to have the possibility,
Joan Lunden 12:33
yeah, that you know what,
Umar Hameed 12:35
maybe I can go for a walk, or maybe I can start doing this. So thank you for, for writing that.
Joan Lunden 12:41
Oh I love hearing that. You know, there is a process as you’re writing as to how you’re thinking, you know, as those words go down on the page, or on your laptop, as we now live. And I always envisioned as I was writing, that I was sitting on the edge of a bed with a bunch of girlfriends, we’d gone away on a long fun girls weekend. And I was talking and I was saying and guess what else I just found out I was researching why we have expanding waistlines and I found out that after you have no more estrogen, so you’re not in childbearing years, your body realizes that and it migrates those fat cells to your abdomen. So it’s not just that we ate too many toasty toes last year. I mean, when I would learn things through my research, I would be so excited. I couldn’t wait to share them. And if you can get it down on the page with that thought process.
Umar Hameed 13:42
Joan Lunden 13:42
Umar Hameed 13:43
that heartfelt emotion.
Joan Lunden 13:44
Yeah, people receive it the same way. You know, I don’t know if you know, but I was the daughter. I grew up the daughter as a daughter of a doctor that was a surgeon specializing in cancer back
Umar Hameed 13:58
Is that him in the background?
Joan Lunden 14:00
Umar Hameed 14:00
There’s a picture back there.
Joan Lunden 14:01
Yes, yes. And it was at a time Umar where there was no chemo, there was no radiation. You know, there was just surgery. And they were they were surgeries that you know could take a woman’s entire front area from the collarbone to the world, because that’s all they could do. I actually remember overhearing a conversation. I wasn’t part of it. I was just in the room. And my mom was asking my dad about a friend of hers a doctor’s wife. And my dad said yes, she has cancer. She has breast cancer but don’t say anything. We’re not gonna tell her. You know why upset her. There’s nothing we can do about it. That’s what it was like back then they didn’t even tell the woman. And you know, I would we would go out and about all the time and I was constantly seeing people come up to my dad and hug him and say thank you for saving my wife’s life for, you know, my, for thanking for saving my life and I always said, Oh my god, how could I want to be anything but that,
Umar Hameed 15:10
Joan Lunden 15:10
I always thought it was going to be a doctor. And my dad was unfortunately killed in our private plane, he was returning from speaking in a big cancer convention. And then, you know, I was only 13 years old. When I was going out way to college that summer before college, I went to work in a hospital that he helped to found and build. Sure, I was so sure I was headed toward medicine. And I found out that I just was not going to have scalpels, and needles in my future. So
Umar Hameed 15:10
Joan Lunden 15:43
I had a pivot, but I always had it in my heart, that what I wanted to do was to help other people live healthy. And I think it might have always been a little regret in the back of my head that I didn’t live up to that. But I, you know, when I left Good morning, America, I got my first laptop. Believe it or not, we never had laptops. We never had a goal. We never had email. People actually wrote us letters, we got boxes of letters. And I started my website and it just you know that I remember the gentleman who was kind of designing it, he said, you want to call it something I said, Yes, Joan wants healthy living. And it just like came out. And everything I’ve done since Good morning, America over the last 20 years, has been in that lane has been in health, dissemination, health information dissemination. And oddly, when I got diagnosed with cancer, that was like kind of a gift from heaven, believe it or not. I know people sometimes think that that’s weird. But it was this opportunity that got dropped in my lap. That said, you can pick up the baton and carry it to the finish line. You can you have this unbelievable, unique opportunity to actually carry on your dad’s legacy. And go out, share your cancer battle, learn as much as you can share that information and you’ll help other people. And you know, it certainly changed the trajectory of my career. In a wonderful way. It’s like I got the most important assignment ever in my life. And
Umar Hameed 17:21
Joan Lunden 17:21
you know, at the end of the day, at the end of my life, if that’s what that little dashes for, I’ll be okay with that
Umar Hameed 17:28
a happy life. So here’s a couple of things. Thank you for sharing that story. I believe every single human being on planet Earth has a purpose in life. And most of us don’t know what it is. And I think you articulated yours was very much to help people.
Joan Lunden 17:40
Umar Hameed 17:40
and you just did it in different ways. When you were on Good Morning America, sharing stories and ideas, you were doing it and you’re just doing it more on point when it comes to health and wellness. And so a that so you’re continuing what you’re meant to be doing.
Joan Lunden 17:40
Umar Hameed 17:51
And the second thing is the reason the universe or God or whatever you happen to believe we have these other 7 billion people is to teach us lessons. And you gave an example of that Bedouin woman in the desert, you said, you know, that was like meant to be meeting for that one insight, and then you going to that hospital, and that experience, just basically going maybe not the right path, and then getting cancer that could have been devastating, but seeing it as a lesson. And that’s one of the things in mindset and aging is going Hmm, what is the universe trying to teach me is trying to teach you to get out of the wheelchair and go out there live life.
Joan Lunden 18:31
Absolutely. You know, I think that there was that same with age comes wisdom.
Umar Hameed 18:37
Joan Lunden 18:37
It’s almost that there’s a point and it’s probably at different ages for different people that you come to, that is this point where you allow yourself to kind of pause and step back and reflect it’s almost like this inherent need to
Umar Hameed 18:55
Joan Lunden 18:55
look back at your life. And, and it’s a good thing to do, because it can make you much more appreciative of the your life well lived and of all the challenges that you’ve been able to navigate and make it to this point. But people need to remember that when you pivot, you need to pivot back and look forward. And by reflecting, you can sometimes say to yourself, and I think this is one of the most important questions. Am I the person I want it to become? Not just,
Umar Hameed 19:25
That’s a brilliant question
Joan Lunden 19:26
I mean, not just, you know, what dreams did I accomplish, because those can quite often help guide you. Because now when you’re in your 60s, it’s not like you’re gonna die at 70. Like in yesterday’s world, you could live to 95 or 100. So you need
Umar Hameed 19:41
Joan Lunden 19:42
plan for that later life. And that pivot is really important. But you know, that is one of the questions that I suggest in the book that you ask yourself is, did I become the person that I hoped to be like when you’re that when you come to the end of your life and someone reads that eulogy of you would you know, I asked everybody to, I give them the challenge to write their own obituary and their own eulogy. But imagine that they’re up there talking about you. What are they saying about you, not just that you’re a broadcaster? What kind of person were you? Were you always there for your friends? Were you a compassionate individual? Did you always bring light into a room? Whatever you would like for them to be saying, You have until now, from now until then, to work on that.
Umar Hameed 20:36
Joan Lunden 20:37
I really think it’s an important question that we all need to ask ourselves.
Umar Hameed 20:41
Absolutely. Yeah. What’s interesting is when the US was losing the Vietnam War, not that we ever wanted. When Montgomery came and took over the effort, everyone was despondent, all his generals, and he made them write an obituary. And when they wrote, their obituary says, Okay, now that the fear of death is over, let’s figure out what we need to do.
Joan Lunden 21:01
Umar Hameed 21:01
So the second thing that came up was, this is not my creation. I stole it from someone, but I wish I could let you know who said it. But it was the three stages of man, you believe in Santa Claus, you don’t believe in Santa Claus. And you are Santa Claus?
Joan Lunden 21:14
Oh, I love that. That’s great.
Umar Hameed 21:16
Despite there was, you know, when you figure out, you know, who’s the person I’m meant to be? That’s when you’re actually being Santa Claus. And you’re connecting with family and friends and the world and doing what you’re supposed to be doing?
Joan Lunden 21:27
Well, it’s like that wonderful question. It’s not, life isn’t about creating yourself, but finding yourself. And I think that really, is difficult when you’re in your 30s, and your 40s. And even into your 50s. Because you’re running through life so fast. You’re, you know, you’re and like, for me, for a working woman, you’re answering to so many different needs, to your family, to your kids to, you know, your boss and to, for me for the public. And it’s just like, you can’t stop and ask yourself these. What existential questions? Or at least we don’t seem to do that?
Joan Lunden 22:04
We don’t, we should.
Umar Hameed 22:05
Because I think we should I live in massive ways. Because once you figure out why am I here, you can fine tune your career to it or find another career that makes your heart smile. And but yeah, but when you get more time on your hands, you can do that, right.
Joan Lunden 22:19
And look, I mean, I’m, I’m still so incredibly busy. I’m probably almost as busy as I was, you know, doing Good morning, America is just at different hours of the day, and we’re civilized, but it is somehow there comes a time as you age. To me, this is the silver lining of aging, where you’re not running to keep up. You somehow, even though you can still be incredibly busy and fulfilled and challenged, somehow it just is going at the speed of life instead of always seeming like you’re running to catch up with life. And it’s
Umar Hameed 23:00
Joan Lunden 23:01
comfortable way to live and it’s a it allows you to really be much more reflective as a person, much more appreciative of a person. I mean, I just find life. I when I drive my drive to work, which of course I’m not going to my office right now during this time. But when I make that drive to my office in the morning, it’s like about a 15 minute drive through beautiful Greenwich, Connecticut with the trees, and I’ll see the light coming down through the trees, and how gorgeous it is. I’m telling you, I would not have noticed that in my 30s and 40s. I would not have like, looked at it and appreciated just the sunlight coming through the, through the beautiful trees. And I love being at that point in my life.
Umar Hameed 23:48
You know what’s interesting is I’m gonna tell you a little anecdote, then get to the point, I was interviewing this professor of sales at one of the universities and he was talking about his current crop of students. And I was thinking entitled selfish kind of group of folks. And I was about to say that and he’s describing them and this is what he described. He described them as being the most dedicated, hardworking, self driven group of people that he’s had in a long time. And then what hey hey, hold on a minute. Why? And he says, well, when they were seven years old, six or seven, we went through the financial crash in Oh, 708. Yeah. And they saw their parents losing their jobs, losing their homes, and those kids have the Depression era mentality.
Joan Lunden 24:29
Umar Hameed 24:30
And so. So I thought, okay, that’s interesting. So the reason I bring it up as we’re going through a pandemic, and kids that are older are probably not going to get it as much kids that are six or seven that are seeing mom and dad at the table.
Joan Lunden 24:42
Umar Hameed 24:43
Doing hobbies, baking families, the most important because up until now, you know, if you ask the average person, what are the most important things in life, they would say, family, work, friends, and that was bullshit because reality work was everything. They weren’t noticing anything. pandemic has forced us to slow down and kind of go. Ah,
Joan Lunden 25:05
Yes, absolutely. I think you are right on. Just even, you know, I keep hearing from different people that they have, like walked through their home in a different way. Because we normally just is the roof over our head, but we, we rush in and have dinner, go to bed rush out and now they’re wandering around and all of a sudden they look down and say, Wow, that carpet is 18 years old. Maybe I should change it. I mean, there’s a little bit there, their sensibility. I think our sensibilities are different right now. And certainly the family unit, you know, then, and with my, my teenagers in the house now for teenagers to set
Umar Hameed 25:53
Joan Lunden 25:53
of twins, and they’re all remote learning. They’re on those devices all day long. And in their rooms. And, you know, I said, I’ll say to them, I want to play a board game tonight. And they look at me like I’m, you know,
Umar Hameed 25:53
Joan Lunden 25:57
awkward, rocker but when they get into it, and you get them out, like if you insist, and you could show them, you can usually like, bribe them with an iTunes card.
Umar Hameed 26:21
Know your audience.
Joan Lunden 26:22
Yeah. But when they get into it bribery works. By the way, with teenagers. You can get them I remember, one time I was taking I, we were on a trip and I said we’re going to go out to this island, and we’re going to, you can’t like pull the boat up to the beach, you’re gonna have to get out and like walk up to the beach. So you can’t take any technology with you. And they said, then what are we going to do, like, we’ll just be bored. And I looked at him, I said, that is our end goal. To be bored on an island beach. And you know, it’s just, it’s a mentality. And I worry these days, because I’ll walk into my daughter’s room is 15 at any time in the afternoon after school’s over, and I’ll start talking to her and she’ll say just just just so you know, I am on FaceTime with so and so. And they leave their phone there. And it’s on a FaceTime. And they are hooked up to another person. And I so worried that they don’t know how to be alone. And that’s important, in my opinion.
Umar Hameed 27:26
Absolutely. I think it’s essential because we have three faces, we have what you alluded to earlier, we’re so busy trying to look amazing for the Joneses, the Facebook version of us, that’s the illusion, then we have something worse, which is the delusion who we think we are. And then there’s the authentic us. And you can’t find the authentic us unless you have that alone time and some techniques to kind of go, Oh, this is
Joan Lunden 27:49
Umar Hameed 27:50
who I really am. And once you discover who you are, you don’t have the delusion anymore, you get to be who you are. And when you get brave enough, this is what you show the outside world and we come back full circle to being authentic, those rare people that we come across that you go when this person’s onstage with 10,000 people or he’s in a hotel meeting a total stranger on the elevator. It’s the same human being.
Joan Lunden 28:11
Yeah, well, you know, you heard my reactions delusion. Whoo.
Umar Hameed 28:15
Joan Lunden 28:16
And boy authentic Ah,
Umar Hameed 28:19
and yeah, visceral.
Joan Lunden 28:20
That’s a, that was a visceral response. But that’s really what I’m talking about. I, you know, I don’t look at aging as something that’s awful. Because I’m experiencing it as something affirming and relaxing. and allowing myself to ponder more about life and about me, things that I wouldn’t have been inclined to do is I can blame it on just the fast paced life, but I just wasn’t inclined to do it. In my younger years. In fact, you know, I, I have just the most incredible system here of all the video tapes of me and all the pictures of me when every celebrity and every Olympics and every inauguration. And as I look at them, sometimes I think I apparently remember the moment.
Umar Hameed 29:14
Joan Lunden 29:15
I can’t even like, recall the the minutiae of that moment in time. And it’s my only regret is that, you know, yes, my life was unbelievable. I just went from one exciting point in history to another, but they happen so fast, that you can almost not recall the wonderful amazing minutiae that was all around you. And when you get to this, whatever this pivot point, this wonderful silver lining of ageing, it kind of lets you dig down in those memories and, and try to, it’s not reliving, but it’s it’s being appreciative of what you’ve gone through in your life.
Umar Hameed 30:01
Before we part company, can I take you through an exercise?
Joan Lunden 30:03
Umar Hameed 30:04
So what you’re going to do is you are going to make a fist with your left hand like this. And when I tell you, you’re just going to press the knuckle on your index finger firmly. Don’t do it now, but when I tell you, you’re just going to go like this and press firmly like that, when I tell you.
Joan Lunden 30:20
like this? I’m gonna do, am I doing it right,
Umar Hameed 30:23
right at the tip of the knuckle,
Joan Lunden 30:24
at the tip of the knuckle. Okay,
Umar Hameed 30:26
so it’s a very precise spot.
Joan Lunden 30:28
Okay. All right.
Umar Hameed 30:29
That’s called the gesture.
Joan Lunden 30:30
Umar Hameed 30:31
Okay, good. So you were talking about your dad? And do you have a particular memory, a specific memory with your dad, where it was just a really amazing, rich moment? Do you have one of those?
Joan Lunden 30:41
Oh, I mean, there’s, there’s many,
Umar Hameed 30:43
many but one specific
Joan Lunden 30:46
it was like at breakfast, when he was talking to me in Spanish, he spoke a number of languages. And just you know that, I know, you can do this baby doll because then
Umar Hameed 30:58
Joan Lunden 30:58
it’s all mean.
Umar Hameed 30:59
So what I want you to do is just take a deep breath and let it out for moments. And I want you to go back to that moment as best as you can. And just be at the table seeing your dad, when you see him not good, then I want you to hear what he’s saying. And then notice we’re in your body, you feel that loving feeling. And with your hand, that’s the point you want not the first one I want you to imagine you have a volume knob, that clockwise or counterclockwise can turn that feeling up and crank that feeling up so it gets stronger. So it starts feeling your body starts radiating from your head down to your toes. Now press that knuckle with your finger, press it firmly for about three seconds. And then let go and then crank that feeling up just a little bit more, a little bit more, and then press that knuckle again. And one last time crank it up just a little bit more. So it’s just radiating throughout your body and beyond. Press the knuckle one last time. Excellent. Open your eyes. Come on back to me. And I’m going to show you what I did there in a moment. So feeling pretty good, right?
Joan Lunden 31:54
Umar Hameed 31:55
So what I want you to do is think about a particular time you were late for a meeting. It was something important you were late, it kind of makes you feel not so good, right?
Joan Lunden 32:02
Umar Hameed 32:03
Okay, so take a deep breath. Let that feeling go. And now I want you to make the fist and press the knuckle and notice instantly that amazing feeling comes back in your body.
Joan Lunden 32:10
Umar Hameed 32:11
So anytime you need to feel that loving feeling with your dad, you just need to press that knuckle it’ll instantly come back wherever whenever you need it.
Joan Lunden 32:18
I love that.
Umar Hameed 32:20
Joan, thank you so much for being on the program. It was a joy having you and your listeners I one thing I know for certain is that your two sets of twins are going to think about aging totally differently because you’re vibrant and you’re making a difference in the world.
Joan Lunden 32:35
Thank you so much Umar.
Umar Hameed 32:37
Umar Hameed 32:42
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