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John O’Leary welcomes Jodi Wellman on the Live Inspired Podcast to discuss how mortality can be a motivator to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Jodi Wellman is a positive psychology expert in pursuit of igniting others to lead a zero-regret life. As the founder of Four Thousand Mondays, Jodi shines light on the scarcity of time and how we have the power to lead squander-free lives with urgency and meaning.

With the average life expectancy being 80 years, we get roughly 4,000 Mondays in our lifetime. Today, Jodi joins us to share how her mother’s death jostled her awake, how we’re in control of how we spend our days, and the practical, small changes we can make to rekindle our passion and curiosity for life.

My friends, this conversation will help us get out of autopilot and build more vitality and meaning into our lives.

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  • As a child, Jodi navigated her mother’s diagnosis of bipolar and found it shaped her interest happiness, positive psychology and more.
  • Embrace the dark side of life. Life is full of ups and downs and it’s in the riding of those ups and downs that makes for a fuller, rich life.
  • Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life worth living.
  • “Memento mori” is a Latin phrase meaning “remember you must die”.
  • How do we not get to the end with drawers full of dreams? It wasn’t the passing of her mother that shocked her, but the bundle of regrets and the unfulfilled dreams that passed with her… and Jodi seeing herself in her mother.
  • The average person lives 80 years, or 4000 Mondays. In counting our Mondays, it allows us to be action-oriented in living our lives versus in fear or denial.
  • “Fear of death can sometimes be correlated to people’s perception that they haven’t lived life fully.”
  • The more we try to ignore the reality of death, the more it breeds greater anxiety in us.
  • Those who’ve faced a rush with death have sharpened priorities and increased gratitude for life.
  • Haven’t had a brush with death? Jodi encourages us to have visual reminders like tchotchkes or Post-It notes, or conversations with our loved ones about life and death to stop the mundane minutiae.
  • “It is critical to widen our lives with vitality and deepen our lives with meaning.”
  • Throw a wrench in your routine: Change your route to work, your workout or your Saturday morning routine to feel a newness that will slow the perception of time.
  • “We underestimate the impact of small things to even spark a little more aliveness.”
  • “Boredom is the luxury of those who have lost perspective on their impermanence.”
  • “The persistent anticipation of death is what puts a fine point on the purpose of our lives.”
  • Pre-order a copy of Jodi Wellman’s upcoming book You Only Die Once here.
  • Learn more about Jodi Wellman and Four Thousand Mondays here.

Did you enjoy today’s conversation? 

You’ll love my conversation with Ben Nemtin. Ben and three childhood friends started The Buried Life: a list of 100 things to do before you die. Featured on MTV’s The Buried Life, for every item on the list they accomplished, they helped a stranger cross something off their bucket list. Hear Ben share what inspired the bucket list quest and its impact on millions to thrive personally and professionally. Listen to ep. 336 now.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. 14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Confidence.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. I'm not attached to sentimental things.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Oprah Winfrey.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Life is short. Seize the day.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Go forward boldly.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. "Death twitches my ear; 'Live,' he says... 'I'm coming.” ― Virgil