Lee T. is 72 years old and was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He lived and was educated there until the age of 22. Married in 1970, they are still married today after 50 years. Lee went to medical school in Nashville and practiced internal medicine until retiring in 2013. They live in Nashville part time and in the Smoky Mountains part time. Lee's SA recovery began in May 1986 when there were only six or seven members of SA in the city of Nashville and surrounding areas.
The Buckets Project: I asked everyone the same question and recorded the conversation:Let’s talk about your perfect day - however you interpret the word perfect. Write down everything you want to do, then take a step back and split your perfect 24 hours into four buckets or priorities. Don’t think about money, reality or logic. Make it as perfect as you want. Don’t think of it as your last 24 hours either. Think of it as the same 24 hours you’d live again and again to experience a full life of happiness and fulfillment. -I’m a strong believer that the best way to get to know someone is through the struggles of physical activity. Starting with the years of triathlon training, Lee was the training partner that kick-started my love for the sport. Without him, I would never have signed myself up for such an event like the Half-Ironman 70.3 in Austin years ago. During that time, I spent more time with him than I did with my own girlfriend (now wife). Those long hours of training is where I truly learned what it meant to put in work for the things you want. Because of that, we have become the best of friends that are currently going through the toughest training of all … being a parent. Regardless of how we parent, our goals are still the same. We want to raise our children the best way we know how to, so that when they enter the world independently, they will be fully equipped to handle anything they encounter. We also recognize that we can’t do it alone. We can’t succeed in life without the connections we have with our friends and families. Through those relationships, we understand how wrong we can be, and that can prevent us from equipping our children the wrong way. That’s why we are still in each other’s lives – to continue to learn from each other and challenge each other.-ON PRODUCTIVE MORNINGS …Through these conversations, it has been my mission to walk away with an action item or resource to do more with my life. I read a lot of books and access many resources daily to expand my mind and lifestyle to a higher level. But, it was no surprise that Lee does the same, and he plugged in another resource for me to dive into. He provided an acronym so simple and easy to remember for me to start my morning off just right from “The Miracle Morning”. “… SAVERS is an abbreviation for what you need to do. For one hour, I would do six things. Divide one hour by six and that’s ten minutes each. It’s not that bad. It’s spiritual (or meditation), affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading, scribing (which is journaling). I do that for one hour every morning.” -ON TEACHING …We have much in common, but the desire to teach is a skill that hits home for me. I have learned much from people (like him), and for Lee wanting to continue that skill even without regards to money means that people like me will continue to grow because of people like him. We all have a purpose to share the knowledge we obtain with other people to help them transcend what they know to be as their full capacity.“After that, the rest of my perfect day essentially would be doing something that I love. My passions change a lot, but right now at a higher level, I’m just doing something that I love. Right now, I could see myself (if I ever got the point where I was in retirement and money wasn’t an issue) I could see myself being a teacher. Doing that and loving it … I enjoy teaching other people and instilling in them some sort of knowledge to see them grow. I enjoy watching that happen. I enjoy seeing people tap into their full potential. Everybody’s capacity and what they believe in for themselves is different.”-ON MENTORING … Not only being a teacher, but being a mentor is a goal of ours. In this case, Lee would love to mentor people to start and run their own businesses successfully. This is a huge task for most people. The odds are against you, but if you find someone like Lee who is willing to guide you and remind you to make better decisions, the probability of you succeeding with a small business sky-rockets.“I would want to grow small businesses here and there, then share those businesses with people. I feel like I can (more or less) give them the opportunity they need to grow and become an entrepreneur themselves. It’s not for everybody. There’s a reason why the statistic is one out of ten. There’s a reason why when you’re starting a business the bank won’t give you a loan, because the percentage that you’re going to fail is so high. I would love to give somebody that opportunity and give them that mentorship.”-ON FAMILY INCLUSION …I’ve yet to meet someone who is the perfect parent. But, I would like to think that all parents have the perfect intentions which sooner or later makes them the perfect parent. Lee’s intentions are not only to provide for his family but have them be included in how he provides for his family. That inspires me to desire the same. “When you have children, it’s everything that everybody says it is and so much more. It goes into this cultivating bucket we talked about – creating something that’s you. It goes so much further than that because the amount of love you have for that little person that you created (and your wife). It’s incredible. It surpasses your own family, your siblings, your mom and dad. I know this is high in priority. This is number one. This is how I make my decisions in my day. but at the same time, I only have so much time. If I had a perfect day, there would be no fighting for time. I would have more than enough time with them. My family would see me, and I would get as much time as I want with them. You know what? I would take it to an extreme. They would be a part of my hobbies and my cultivation bucket. They would be just as involved in my passions just as much as I am. Of course, they would have their own passions, but this is my perfect day.”-ON MEANINGFUL TIME …Quality over quantity. When it comes to spending time with the family, it’s not so much how much time you spend with them as it is how you spend the time with them. If you’re going to be with your family, be fully present with your family. No phones. No distractions. Just you. “One of our value points is dinner at home every night. I try very hard not to miss dinner. I can’t guarantee you that I’m not going to miss a dinner here and there because of work and business. Perfect day? I’m not going to miss dinner. The dinner table is where’s it’s, and we’ve made a point already before Austin (daughter) is old enough to realize it that we don’t have phones at the dinner table. If I get a phone call or message, we walk away from the dinner table. We take it from the dinner table, and we come back without the phone.”-This concludes the lessons I learned from this person who is truly a blessing in my life. With this archive of wisdom, I can always come back and re-learn from them the most important things in life – lessons you can’t necessarily find in a book. I hope you learned as much as I did from this conversation and continue to come back for more.