Hey, this is Mat Boggs, and this is Mother’s Day week, so I wanted to do something a little bit different and special.
If you’re a mom, feel a great big hug coming from me to you!
In honor of my amazing mother, I wanted to share a lesson that I learned from my mom, that completely changed my life.
When I was a senior in college, I was sitting at my desk, staring at an application for Medical School next to an application for Graduate School for Education on my desk.
You see, I was actually graduating pre-med. I had taken all my organic chemistry, my molecular biology, my anatomy–I was on a track to become a doctor.
I had taken my MCAT test — the admission test for medical school — I had all my recommendations from all the faculty to go to medical school. I had busted my butt the last four years so that I could become a doctor.
And yet, my senior year, something strange started to happen. I had this still small voice rise up in me and start telling me the word “teacher”, “You’re gonna be a teacher.”
Believe me, I resisted that voice as much as possible:
“What are you talking about, ‘teacher’? No, I’m going to be a doctor. That’s what I’ve gone to school for, that’s what I’ve studied endless nights for, that’s what I’ve sacrificed so many parties and going out, to be able to do well on these tests so that I can get into medical school. That’s what we’ve invested in is to become a doctor. So don’t talk to me about this teacher stuff, still small voice. Go away.”
But you probably know, as I discovered, when you don’t listen or pay attention to the still small voice, it doesn’t stay still and it doesn’t stay small. It starts to get louder, doesn’t it?
And so, that message was pounding away at me my senior year saying, “Teacher. You’re gonna be a teacher.”
And so this was decision moment for me.
I needed to decide what I was gonna do. I’ve got both applications on my desk and I called my mom, and I said, “Mom, I know that I have just invested the last four years of education on a track to become a doctor, and that you’ve invested over $100,000 in this education. Would you be mad at me if I changed paths at this moment? I feel this calling to be a teacher and I don’t even know what that’s about, but I think I maybe should become a teacher.”
And she said,
“Matt, I’m gonna give you the advice my father gave me when I was at a crossroads in my life.”
“What’s that advice?”
“The advice is: do what gives you life.”
And the moment she spoke those words to me I knew what the right decision was for myself. I could feel it inside.
And so I filled out the application for the Graduate School of Education, to become a teacher, and I crumpled up the application for medical school and I threw it in the trash.
Three weeks after I graduated, and right before I started my studies to become a teacher, my mother takes me on a spiritual pilgrimage as a graduation gift.
We go to India and spend two weeks in India seeing all the holy sites, and the Ganges River, and one day, the guide comes to us and says that we have an opportunity to meet with a real life yogi, and he will read our auras and tell us about our life.
So we said, “Sure, that sounds amazing.”
And so, the guide leads us through this small village. Imagine this, just dirt roads, these narrow corridors with donkeys pulling wagons full of cabbage pushing past us, and we’re finding our way. You can smell the fresh cooked curry in the air, in the kitchens of the houses that are cooking. And we finally come to this one house, and there’s a stairwell that wraps around the outside of this house and up onto the roof, and we’re gonna go meet with this yogi on this rooftop.
And as we’re walking up the stairs, we get to the top of the roof and I see this man all dressed in white, white hair, jet black skin, sitting in plastic Corona chair.
And I’m looking at this scene thinking, “Wait a minute. Why are all spiritual masters on a mountain top or a rooftop somewhere?” And instantly I became skeptical. Instantly my BS meter started to go off.
So I came to my mom and I said, “Mom, I don’t think I want to do this. You know, I just made a big decision for my life and I don’t want anything to throw me off my track at this point.”
She responded, “Okay, no worries. I will go and the other two people who were with us, and we’ll report back to you what we think and if we think it’s the real deal.”
So the first person in our group sits down in front of this gentleman.
They’re both sitting in chairs, if you can imagine. And the yogi puts his hand on their forehead and they close their eyes, and the yogi closes his eyes. He meditates there for a few moments, and then he opens his eyes and he reads that person’s aura. It takes a few minutes and that person comes back, and they are blown away. They’re just like, “Oh my gosh. I had all these colors. I had red, and purple, and yellow, and each color meant something. I got so much insight into my life. This man is amazing.”
Then, the next person goes, and she sits down and the yogi puts his hand on her forehead. He closes his eyes, she closes her eyes, and then he opens his eyes and reads her aura. And she comes back to us, “Oh my gosh, I was blown away. I had red, and blue, and green, and yellow, and each one meant something. I got so many insights and so many ideas. This man is amazing.”
And so, my mom goes and she sits down with this man.
After her reading she comes back and says to me, “This man is the real deal.”
So, reluctantly, I said, “Fine. I’ll go.”
I was still in pure resistance as I sat down in front of this man. I had my arms folded, I wouldn’t even close my eyes!
But he put his hand on my forehead for a few moments, then he opens his eyes and he says, “Okay. Your aura is yellow.”
And I said, “And…?”
He responded, “No that’s it, just pure yellow.”
You know, all the other people I was with had red, and blue, and green, and like all these different colors, and I only had yellow.
I immediately start regretting my decision. I’ve got aura envy, right? I’m feeling aura deficient already!
But then I said, “All right, fine. What does yellow mean?”
And he goes, “Well, yellow is the color of a teacher. What do you plan on doing with your life?”
And I got chills to my toes in that moment, and a lump in my throat, because I knew that that still small voice was part of my soul calling me to do what I know I’m meant to do.
And I told him, I said, “Well that’s interesting you say that because I actually just enrolled in the Graduate School of Education to become a teacher.”
And I’ll never forget, he smiles at me and he holds his hand out, and he grabs my hand and he says,
“Good job. Way to listen, way to listen.”
You see, I didn’t know, from that moment when my mom gave me that advice — do what gives you life — that our souls speak to us in a language of love and aliveness.
That when we do what gives us life it actually points us in the direction of our life path.
I never knew that by choosing to go to the University of Oregon that next year to become a teacher, that it was gonna perfectly position me to be with my grandparents right before my grandfather passed away and to witness their love story.
And that love story changed the entire trajectory of my life!
I thought to myself, “I want to have the kind of relationship my grandparents had.” And it gave me the idea for a book.
I never knew that as a college senior, listening to that still small voice, it would lead me to a major six figure book advance with Simon & Schuster, and to becoming a best selling author.
I never knew that it would lead me to, not just teaching 30 kids at once, but teaching 5 million people at once on the Today Show, and CNN, and Headline News. And not just once but multiple times.
I never knew that it was gonna lead to a major six figure speaking, teaching, coaching career where I was speaking and connecting with people all over the world.
I never knew the adventure that lay ahead of me by saying yes at that particular moment in time, to that still small voice.
I am so grateful for my mom and the guidance that she gave me, for taking a stand, for what wasn’t logical.
It wasn’t logical for me to become a teacher over a doctor at that moment. I had all my credentials, I was ready to go.
But for her to give me guidance to listen to my true nature, not knowing how it would all work out, but knowing that it would work out. I’m so grateful to my mom for taking a stand for my greatness, for taking a stand for me, and for being in my corner.
If you’re a mom, know this: your kids, they might not appreciate you immediately, depending on what age group they are. Right?
But your influence, your impact in your kids lives, will stretch out far beyond anything that you can measure, far beyond anything that you can imagine.
There will be many years, many experiences, where they either verbalize it to you, or internally they think to themselves, “I am so grateful for my mom.” They’re thinking about you.
And so, if your mom is around, if she’s alive, today’s the day to give her a call. Give her a message of love. Send her a note, a text, something to let her know how much she means in your life.
And if you are a mom, let this message be a message of appreciation for you, of how much you matter, and how much you’re changing, not only your children’s lives, but by means of them, the whole world. So feel my love today.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Now, in celebration of all the love during this holiday, I wanted to give you a free gift!