[00:02] Bobbi : Welcome to UnYielded: Thriving No Matter What, where we talk about how to make your next chapter in life your best chapter. I’m your host, Bobbi Kahler, and I believe that the best is yet to come back. I’m excited to share today conversation.
It is about tapping into our innate courage to transform our life and continually and intentionally evolve towards our ultimate self, the one we were born to be.
Here’s why I think this conversation is important. Transformation requires stepping out of our comfort zones, facing our fears, and taking bold actions to create meaningful change. When we embark on that journey, we open ourselves up to new possibilities, experiences, and personal evolution, which leads us to personal fulfillment, happiness, and a greater sense of purpose. And I have to say, I think it’s a never ending journey. In this conversation, you’ll hear an inspiring story about finding yourself through tragedy. I want to point out that no one makes it through life without tragedy or trauma. And some traumas and tragedies might seem larger than others, but there is absolutely no value in trauma comparison. I read one definition that said that trauma is an event that disrupts your life. But this is not a story about sadness.
This is a story about connecting with your deeper, truer self. Some things that you’ll learn number one how to not be trapped by your tragedy. Number two, the power of having a mantra to guide you. Number three, one question that has the potential to change how you see yourself. Number four examples of tapping into your innate creative genius, which most of us are not that good at. And number five how to connect with your truest self. Now, a little bit about my guest before you meet him. His name is Clint Hatton, and he has trained over 8000 leaders with a track record for creating energy, delivering dynamic content, and giving audiences the tools to transform their lives immediately and live big, bold and brave. Clint helps humans unclutter their thoughts, clarify priorities, and create actionable plans that empower them to become their best version. He was awarded the 2017 Distinguished Leadership Award as a global influencer by I Change Nations and is the author of the book Big, Bold, Brave How to Live Courageously in a Risky World. He is a deliriously happy married man of 20 years and the proud father of three boys. Clint, welcome to the show.
[02:56] Clint: Hi, Bobbi. I am so excited to talk to you today. I’ve been looking forward to this.
[03:01] Bobbi : I have been looking for it, too, and you’ve got a very compelling story. So let’s just jump right in. Do you want to share a little bit about it?
[03:09] Clint: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I’ll be 58 this year, so probably like a lot of people, once you’ve gotten to that stage, which we’re not old, but there’s a lot of ways I could go. But I think where I’ll start is just where we are today. And then we can kind of jump in from there. But I’ve been a really blessed person in many ways. I’ve had a lot of great experiences, but like anyone that’s listening to this, we’ve had some gut punches in life as well. So I’ve been married for a little over 20 years to my beautiful bride Amarillis, and she’s my best friend. Love being married, so lots of great things I could talk about with that, for sure. And I’ve also been a dad to three boys and have had just an incredible time just being a dad for all these years, and certainly one of my favorite things to talk about with that. It also brings up the greatest gut punch that we’ve ever experienced. And so my oldest son, Gabriel, was, all of our kids are unique, right? We love all our kids.
[04:14] Bobbi : That’s right.
[04:15] Clint: All of our kids are gifted in their ways, and that’s certainly true with mine. With Gabriel, I guess we’ll use the phrase go getter from a very early age, very verbal, really high level communication skill, even from really kindergarten on. I mean, it was really fun. And yet at times it was a little challenging, too. I like to joke, anybody that’s had teenagers knows once they get to that age and they think they know everything and they start talking back to you, that’s a challenge. When they’re doing it at like six, seven years old, that’s a whole other thing. You’re like, whoa, time out, don’t expect that. No, you’re not ready for that. I’m just giving you that part of it. Because he had a really strong will and knew what he wanted, and so if he didn’t get it, that was a whole different thing. Oh, no. But ultimately, when he was about eight years old, he went up into an aircraft with his Uncle Danny, a small four seater plane, and yeah, and he just I remember when he got back from that, he was just lit up. I mean, he just loved it. We can all relate to that. Not necessarily flying in a plane, but just something that just injects us with this passion. Right? And so that’s what happened. And he started saying, at that point, I want to be a pilot, I’m going to become a pilot. So we thought, that’s great. And he’s eight years old, so didn’t think much about it. And you just kind of expect over time it to be a whole bunch of different things. That’s right, Bobbi. That’s not what happened. It’s just not what happened. He hung on to that. Now, he had other interests, but that was his main passion, his main focal point. And so ultimately, what ended up happening was by the time he got in high school, some opportunities began to open up. Because I was a pastor for many, many years, I was a pastor for over 17 years. And when he was in high school, that’s what we were doing, and not too many people get into that for the eight figure income, right? So we weren’t making millions of dollars, but some opportunities opened up for him to actually do two things. One was our school district here, where I live in north Dallas at city called McKinney, actually has a four year educational aviation program.
[06:28] Bobbi : No way.
[06:29] Clint: Pretty unique. Yeah. I still to this day don’t think there’s many of those across the country. And we just happened to move back here at the time when they were kicking this thing off. There was one thing just, okay, great, because that was free. And then joined a club as a freshman in high school that was at our local airport. And in short, it was put together by a gentleman named Kevin Lacey, who actually in the aviation industry, is kind of a legend. Some of your listeners may actually know who he is because he had a show, I think they’re still playing replays on Discovery Channel called Airplane Repo. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. He literally repo every kind of aircraft you could think of. So very interesting man, but he had a love for teenagers. So with Kevin’s club, he actually began to get opportunities to work on planes, learn more about the actual flying and maintenance of an aircraft. And by the time he was 16, he actually soloed before he even had his driver’s license, which was a weird experience as a parent.
[07:34] Bobbi : I don’t really think that’s going to be the first thing they take out for a spin.
[07:37] Clint: No, he had a permit, so he was able to drive a car with us, but he hadn’t gotten his actual license yet. But anyway, so he soloed at 16. Ultimately, you have to be 17 to get your license in the United States. So at 17, he studied the exam, passed it the first time, took his check ride and got his license and began living his dream. And we were so excited for him, for his future. Several months go by, of course, at that stage, and not because of his age, just a new pilot of any age. It’s all about the hours, so you’re just flying every opportunity you get. And that’s what he was doing. And then on September 23, this was 2019, he was doing just that. He had a friend who attended the University of Arkansas, which is a few hours north of us, and she had asked, actually her mom had asked, can you take her back to school? So she was here for the weekend and they knew he’d like to fly, and so she wanted to just get back to school quicker, not miss classes, just something that simple. And of course, he was like, yeah, of course. So he flew her up there and they landed safely. And he had several other friends that attended school there, so he said hello to a few people, jumped in his plane and started heading back. And about 20 minutes out of Fayetteville, he ran into an unexpected weather system. The NTSP would ultimately rule that he suffered from spatial disorientation, which Toby Bryant’s Pilot much more famous story. Obviously, that’s what happened to him. And he was in a million dollar helicopter, and so he flew into the side of a mountain and lost his life. And so that’s the understatement of the world to say that radically shifted our life really quick. Wow. So that started us on the journey that we’re on now, Bobbi, and just some of the things that I’m doing and that we’re doing as a family to continue to honor the life that he lived and live our own.
[09:34] Bobbi : Yeah.
[09:36] Clint: Wow.
[09:37] Bobbi : Man and so he was only 17.
[09:39] Clint: Right. He was three months shy of his 18th birthday when it happened. So not quite 18. He had already graduated from high school because he graduated a year early. And we were fortunate to at least have that experience and a couple of other really beautiful things. And I think this ties into our conversation because obviously what I’m describing is incredibly painful and we still experience pain. It’s only been three and a not quite four years. And I’ll say this right up front, Bobbi. We don’t ever expect the pain to go away. And frankly, that’s not even something, obviously, I said. I’m a pastor, so I’m a Christian, so we do pray from that perspective. We don’t pray for the pain to go away, because for us, that just represents the love we shared with our son. So pain is a very real thing. We all experience it. And when you lose a loved one, that pain stays with you. But in the same regard, we also took some steps very early on that have allowed us to focus more on the way he lived life, rather than get trapped in the pain of the tragedy and allow that to steal from all of our futures.
[10:54] Bobbi : That’s right. Okay. So I’m really curious about something, a few things, obviously, because I’m a curious person, but you said you don’t pray for the pain to go away.
[11:06] Clint: Right.
[11:07] Bobbi : And yet so many times when someone goes through a loss or any kind of tragedy, they’re like, I just want the pain to go away.
[11:14] Clint: Right.
[11:17] Bobbi : So why do you not pray for that?
[11:19] Clint: Yeah, that’s a great question. And I recognize, and I’m always very sensitive when we talk about stuff like this on a podcast, to recognize that everyone’s experience is a little bit different. Experiencing grief is a little bit different. So I’m just going to say up front, I’m not trying to imply or say that our way is the only way, but I would like to answer that question, describe to you how it’s been helpful for us with being a pastor for 17 years. I do think I had an advantage in certain ways, and here’s what I mean by that? Not with the pain. No one has an advantage with dealing with pain, ever. I don’t care what your experiences are. However, what I did have an experience with is I’d worked with people and families for over 17 years, and many times, unfortunately, that did include someone losing a loved one. I’ve been in hospital rooms as the family gathers and someone passes away right before our eyes, and lost children in childbirth. Stillborn, that’s just part of what I did, being involved in people’s lives, in those really difficult and sometimes tragic situations. And so the advantage was only that I have seen over the years how some people have done certain things that seem to have healthier, long term results as far as living the rest of their life. And then, as you know, many don’t make it. Marriages often end up in divorce when it’s the loss of a child or families completely splinter. I want to start with that, just because I do feel like that was an advantage, at least in that regard. And so what happened was we won’t get into the night because it was a very long night. We actually, I’ll tell you this much, we knew he went down at about 08:15 p.m. On a Monday night, and then it was a hellish night. Confusion, misinformation, trying to find out what actually happened to him. And really, we didn’t get the final, final word meaning call from the corner until 03:30 A.m.. So it was a very long night.
[13:30] Bobbi : Very.
[13:30] Clint: And so with my two other sons, who at that time were only nine and 14, we had let them sleep through the night. We didn’t want to wake them up and have them go through the same hell we were going through. So when they came out at about 730 in the morning, of course, at that point, we had to address what had happened. And at that time, also, my mother in law and father in law that live about 45 minutes from us, they were here in our home as well, which was a very strange sight. So the boys knew, and they could sense because we’ve been weeping the whole night. So, I mean, it was very obvious, even to a child, that something’s not right. So what happened, Bobbi, is I sat with them and I said, Listen, boys, we have two choices. We can choose to allow the pain of this tragedy and all that comes with that. And again, we still experience pain. We’re not separating that right? But if we get trapped in the pain, so then where we’re constantly focused on how he died, and that’s all we ever think about. And the loss, and that’s all we ever think about, that it’s going to change our futures for all of us, that we’re not going to live the life that I believe we were each created to live. But there was a second choice, and that’s what we decided to do. And so we said, we’re going to choose to live. And what that meant choosing life was gabriel was just shy of his 18th birthday, but, man, he lived. He was adventurous. He taught himself I don’t know if I said this already. He taught himself guitar, he became an amazing photographer. He graduated early, which I did mention. There’s just so many things he did. He attacked life. And so we just made an agreement as a family and I said, we’re going feel pain for sure, but we’re going to live like he lived. Whatever that looks like, that’s how we’re going to do it as a family. And I do think it’s important to point out that with that, there was a second part of that conversation to deal with the pain.
[15:28] Bobbi : Yeah.
[15:29] Clint: And that was I said, we can’t know what grief is going to be like for all four of us and how it’s going to feel from day to day. There’s just no way you can’t predict. But here’s what we are going to do. We’re going to do it as a family and we’re going to do it openly. Now, this was critical, especially now that I’m almost four years removed. I’ve had a lot of conversations like this both on interviews and in private with therapists and psychiatrists and people like that. And this decision was probably the strongest one we made early on. And so I told them, it doesn’t matter what the emotions are, they’re all okay. That’s right. So if you guys need to cry, we’re going to cry. And by the way, when I say that I’m not talking about the parent to the child and that you guys need to do this openly, but especially as the dad and the man, if I’m feeling sad or if I’m feeling not going to cry. I’m going to go hide in a corner somewhere so nobody knows that then I can reappear as this strong guy. That wasn’t what I’m talking about. We meant all four of us, openly in our household. We don’t cuss as a habit, but I even said that to them. I said, even if you get so angry that you feel like you need to cuss because of your grieving, then you need to know there is no penalty for anything. We’re just going to go through this together. So we set that tone that morning. Now, Bobbi, we haven’t done any of that perfectly. We’re not perfect people. So it’s messy trying to live through that. Right. But it was a compass that we set and we have done it very consistently. So whenever we’ve gotten off the track, we just recalibrate and we go back to, no, listen, we need to talk, we need to go through this. And one of the things that entails and then I want to bounce it back to you to see what you’re thinking right now is rageous conversations. That’s what I call them because there are times when you’re going through deep loss or pain, when maybe I’m going through the day and I’m feeling pretty good for the day because we think about them all the time. You don’t need a trigger when you lose a loved one, but some days are better than others and you’re feeling good about things. Maybe I see my wife kind of carrying herself. Like, you can tell when you look at someone, they’re feeling a little heavy, and a lot of people are afraid to ask that question because they’re afraid they’re going to trigger the other person and or they’re afraid they’re going to trigger themselves. Right. But we knew to do this as a family, that had to be okay. Not just okay, we had to be aggressive is kind of a strong term, but to a degree, aggressive about it. And so we did that. There’d be times when we’d ask each other, we just kept it simple. It’d be like, hey, how are you doing with Gabriel?
[18:18] Bobbi : Yeah.
[18:18] Clint: And sometimes it’d be okay today, and then other times the person because it could go either way. It wasn’t just her. It was sometimes her asking me. And I would go from thinking I was feeling okay to just weeping immediately, but then we would talk it through. And those were some processes that we still actually practice today that I think have been really healthy.
[18:41] Bobbi : Yeah. And I think that that can be hard for other people because I think that I’ve had other people on that have talked about grief, and it takes whatever it takes, and it never completely goes away. You learn how to carry it. You learn how to you know what I mean? But a lot of times other people are so uncomfortable with our discomfort or our pain that even if they notice, they don’t want to ask. Or it’s like, look on the bright side or something that it’s not helpful. So to be willing to be in that space with someone is, I think, an amazing gift to give.
[19:25] Clint: Yeah, it is.
[19:27] Bobbi : And it can be uncomfortable because no one wants to see pain. No one wants to feel pain, but really, none of us make it through life without having some pain along the way.
[19:39] Clint: That’s exactly right to your point. We experienced that, and I’ve talked to an awful lot of people now over the last few years that have lost someone. Even just yesterday, I did a talk in front of several hundred people and had quite a few come up to me afterwards that had had a similar experience, and they almost all describe exactly what you just did. And that is that even some of your deeper friendships, people or even family members, can they begin to distance themselves from you because they just don’t know what to do with it. And I want to encourage someone listening to this right now. Obviously, you need to use wisdom for the circumstance. There’s probably certain settings that it may not be a good time to ask someone the question if you’re sitting down with your coworker, getting ready to start a board meeting. That’s probably not true. But there’s other times. And what I’ve discovered is with rare exception, and that exception is those who unfortunately decided very early on to just bury their pain and don’t want to talk about it with anybody, including even their own family members. And I have talked to people like that and I’ve never heard where that has ended well, not once. But the vast majority, when it comes right down to it, they actually want to talk about their loved one. And I think we talked about this right before we got on this. And it doesn’t always mean it’s going to be heavy either. It doesn’t mean it’s always going to involve tears. Often it’s a great story of just a fond memory and you laugh about it or something quirky about their personality or whatever it happens to be.
[21:19] Bobbi : Yeah, absolutely. But it’s a release valve, right? And we’re talking specifically here about losing a loved one, which happens. And I also think that life has different traumas, different tragedies. Absolutely. I had someone on my show, she was an early guest and she was actually the victim of a home invasion by her neighbor and she was shot multiple times.
[21:46] Clint: Oh, my gosh. Wow.
[21:47] Bobbi : Unbelievable stuff. And her name was Jenny. And one of the things she talked about was we all have traumas or tragedies that we go through. Some are bigger, some are smaller, but that doesn’t matter. It’s still a trauma. Anything that disrupts your life is a trauma. One of the things that she talked about is how we compare traumas and we’re like, well, mine isn’t as bad as Clinton’s or Mine’s not as bad as Jenny, so just buck up.
[22:14] Clint: Right.
[22:14] Bobbi : No, a trauma is a trauma. If it disrupts your life, you have to deal with it. You have to go through that process.
[22:23] Clint: Yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you said that because that’s such an important thing to note. Even yesterday when I gave my talks, I always say that, and I mean it. And that is please don’t compare whatever pain, whatever loss you’re experiencing or trauma that you’ve had, it matters.
[22:44] Bobbi : That’s right.
[22:45] Clint: And your pain is real and you deserve the same amount of uncalled attention or compassion, help, compassion, whatever, as anyone else. There is no hierarchy of pain in my opinion. And again, you don’t compare certain things. I wouldn’t compare losing my keys to losing a child to ridiculous extreme example. But when it comes to pain, you’re right.
[23:12] Bobbi : Yeah. One of the things I loved your profile and your website and everything, is you talked about living like Gabriel and how that kind of became a mantra for you. And then also, I think this is related, but not staying trapped in your tragedy?
[23:33] Clint: Yeah, absolutely. I’d love to share how that started. We’re going to go back to that first morning because it just so happened the way our story has unfolded, that there was a few things that happened that morning that, even though we probably didn’t recognize it at that time, because we were in the midst of just utter shock and awe. I call the first year. I call the first year. This is just my description. The first year, for anybody that’s suffered a major tragedy, especially if you’ve lost a loved one, is the shock and off phase. Because over the course of the year, you’re having birthdays and other milestones and things that it’s the first time that person’s not with you. Right? So it’s kind of reliving that traumatic experience over and over again. But that first morning, what happened after we had the discussion about just living our life like he lived and then how we were going to grieve, I got contacted by a couple of different news agencies. One of them was our local NBC Dallas affiliate. And she asked me, hey, we’re going to do a story on this. Would you like to do an interview? And of course, again, this is the morning of we’re a complete train wreck emotionally. And my immediate answer was no. And then she said something. And of course, your listeners, I want you to hear this because I’ve already told you what we had already talked about. And so then she ends up saying, well, I have to do the story. My assignment, if I do it without you, I’m just going to be reporting on his death. If you’ll do it with me, we can talk about his life and the way he lived, and you can include anything you want, your faith, whatever. And so my initial conversation with the boys was kind of ringing true with what she said. I didn’t say yes. We hung up and had a family meeting to talk about it. And it was actually I had two father in laws here, and one of them was the most surprising. He says, I think this is the first step of you choosing to live and talk about his life. And so we did it. So the interview itself, total blur. Still to this day, if I didn’t have the video segment that she played later, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what we talked about. But somewhere in it, I said, he lived big, bold and brave. Don’t remember saying it, but when she played the segment that night, and we did watch it that night first, she did a beautiful job. We were very grateful with way they portrayed the story with the footage that we gave him. But then at the very end, instead of using the part where I had said it, she closed the segment with saying, and his parents encourage you to live like Gabriel, big, bold and brave. And Bobbi when I heard those words back to me, I just immediately knew there was something to that, and there was life in it. And so initially, just to be very clear, because ultimately, a couple of years plus later, it would become the name of my company and the name of my first book, but it wasn’t that initially. It was just a family mantra, and it was just a phrase that we used on occasion. We didn’t go up and down the halls every day or every week chanting, Big Bowl Brave. It wasn’t that kind of false bravado type of thing, but every now and then, when things were tough, which they were, then we would remind ourselves, we’re going to live like Gabriel. Come on. Big bowl, brave. And we actually had a couple of people that knew that we had said that it hadn’t become a thing, but just knew that we had said that to each other. Actually created a couple of things. One guy is a woodworker, and he created this woodwork that says, Big Bowl Brave. So my middle son loved it. Still hanging in his room, but I love that part of it because it doesn’t have to be a phrase, but it was so incredibly helpful to have something that we could hold on to and something tangible. In this case, it was a phrase, but something that we could constantly recalibrate and remind ourselves where we want to go with our life so we don’t get trapped in our trauma.
[27:43] Bobbi : Yeah, having something simple, a simple mantra like that is so powerful because it’s like a vision statement right there. It’s a compass. In a way.
[27:56] Clint: That’s exactly what I usually refer to it as, a compass. So, as you say, that because I think that’s what it does. It just redirects us, because, again, we’re not doing any of this stuff perfectly. And we’ve had where we had an entirely bad week and okay, hold on, big bold brain. I ended up we don’t need to get into this. But I was 54 years old at the time, never had a tattoo in my life, and I had kind of a vision for a tattoo. So I had this Big Bull Brave tattoo before any of this other stuff existed as well, before the book, before any of that stuff. And I did that largely because I wanted to be reminded of life. This tattoo doesn’t I don’t think of death when I look at this tattoo. No. I think of the life he lived, the inspiration that my son was to me. And then I think and I’m reminded constantly, and, listen, I don’t want anybody to think, you need to get a tattoo, and if you do, that’s great.
[28:50] Bobbi : That’s not your point.
[28:51] Clint: You don’t need it. That’s not the point. The point is not the tattoo. But for me, it was something that I wanted to do to express that, to have and there’s a. Story to it, which we don’t need to get into, but it means a lot to me. It’s more than just the phrase. It kind of tells the whole story. And it was just something to remind me daily of, okay, big Bull Brave. Big bull brave.
[29:11] Bobbi : I love that. I love the mantra and the power of that. So I’m curious, and you can take this either way, but what were some of the shifts that you guys made to live Big Bull Brave and or what are some things that people can do, our listeners?
[29:30] Clint: Yeah, I think we can tie those two things together really easily for each of us. I think it’s important to recognize that everybody’s different. Right? And I’m not even talking about the grieving side of it. I’m just talking about passions, gifts, all that kind of stuff. So we knew even that first morning, that the individual expression of what Big Bull Brave would look like is going to be different for all four of us. The very first one that actually happened, and it happened very rapidly, was my middle son, Joel. In short, he was a freshman in high school. He was a football player. That was his big thing. Now that’s years ago. He’s getting ready to go to Oklahoma State, go Pokes in the fall, and he’s more business oriented now, so the football days are behind him. But at that stage, football was a real expression for him of his passion. Well, the news of letting him know that Gabriel passed away was the Tuesday morning. Right? Because it happened on Monday night. Tuesday morning is when they knew, well, the next day was their freshman homecoming football game.
[30:37] Bobbi : Oh, man.
[30:38] Clint: So we actually sat with the boys that Tuesday morning, the day before that, and invited them into deciding what they were going to do regarding school. Because that’s the thing, as you know, about tragedy. Tragedy happens. We’re in the midst of it. We have to deal with all the emotional and traumatic experience of it. And yet it’s still a Monday or Tuesday, still a war comes on school day. That’s exactly right with Joel. I said, listen, you can make a choice, and we’re going to support it, but I just need to know, what do you want to do? If you want to take the rest of this week off of school, that’s totally fine, and do that. If you want to go back, then you can go back, but let’s talk about it. And he didn’t even hesitate, Bob. He literally looked at us and said, I’m going to school today because I’m going to play in that game tomorrow, and I’m going to play for my brother. Now, for a lot of people, that probably sounds maybe even ridiculous, but again, remember, we’re talking about what’s important to you and what’s your passion. So what ended up happening was he went to school that day. We met with counselors for those may be wondering, did we just send him off? No, we sat with the principal and the counselors and made sure that he was going to be okay if he needed to go somewhere. So we got all that in place, and ultimately he ends up playing in the game. Well, we show up. And it’s already very surreal because, first of all, it’s a freshman football game. Now, my son attended a six A Texas high school, which six A is the biggest division. So you go to a varsity game, you’re talking 1020, sometimes 30,000 people. Freshman games, even at that level, are typically only about 50 people. It’s not a lot of people, but word of gotten out quickly. And so there was an extra 100 people there that were just there for Joel and had signs and all this stuff.
[32:41] Bobbi : Yeah.
[32:42] Clint: So it was already very surreal with the trauma and everything being not even 24 hours old or barely 24 hours old, but that was his big bowl. Brave and I won’t take your listeners through the whole thing, but we had what was really kind of a storybook moment. He was a running back, he was very fast, he was a good player, so we knew he had the capability of having a good game, but just with that weight, which was self imposed because he’d said he’s going to play for his brother. Right?
[33:10] Bobbi : Yeah.
[33:10] Clint: We just didn’t know how it was going to go. And literally, his first carry, he broke a 40 yard touchdown. Everybody went nuts, and he had a great game. And after the game, he just talked about, I know my brother was with me for him for a few years. That was his expression. My youngest son was involved in martial arts when Gabriel passed away. Still is. And so he chose that as part of his big, bold and Brave, and he actually got his first degree black belt at twelve years old. He’s now 13, working on his second degree. Wow. So for him, that was his expression. And then for my bride, we both had again, I use the word courage a lot, and so that feeds into my coaching and speaking and everything else. So I talk a lot about courageous conversations, and so my bride and I had a bunch of them. We talked about the way we spent our time. We had been pastors for many years and had thought about doing some other things, but never had the courage to do it, and who we hung out with and where we spent our time and what we had fun with, and what things did we not do that were adventurous because of money or something else. We talked about everything. And she had had an artistic talent from the time she was very little. So it’s not like this totally came out of the blue. She always tells people, yeah, I used to draw as a kid. Well, no, I drew as a kid, stick figures.
[34:39] Bobbi : Struggled to draw stick, right?
[34:42] Clint: Yeah.
[34:45] Bobbi : Oh, my God. They’re terrible.
[34:47] Clint: Exactly. So when I see some of her early drawings as a kid, it’s like, very obvious. Girls got some talent. Right? But painting was very new, and so, ultimately, she ended up becoming a painter, and she wow. Now is recognized. She actually was invited to do a very big international show here in Dallas and is really doing amazing job with that. But so art, and just especially the way she does it, because her art, it’s abstract, and she loves color, and she does a lot of different things with depth and textures, as far as that goes. But there’s always a story behind why she created what she did. She actually journals what she’s feeling as she does it. And so when she gives it to a client, whether it’s a commission piece or something, she already created, there’s something very personal for that person. So it’s really been a massive expression for her of living big, bold, and brave. And then for me, we kind of already talked about that a little bit by speaking and coaching and, of course, writing the book.
[35:54] Bobbi : Yeah. So, number one, I would love to include a link if she has a site for her work, I would love to include that in the show notes, because I’m very curious.
[36:02] Clint: Absolutely.
[36:05] Bobbi : All right. When we think of those four examples, your two sons, your wife and you, was it a turning to a deep passion? How would you categorize that?
[36:18] Clint: Yeah, I’m glad you asked that, because for me, my belief system shapes a lot of my worldview and the way I see certain things. And one of the things you’ll see on my website and I truly mean this and this isn’t only for someone who’s a Christian. I want to make that very clear for everybody’s listening, but the statement that I make is, I believe three things about every human being on the planet. I do believe we are created. So that may be a sticking point for some, but I do believe we are created so I believe we are created to be courageous, meaning it’s already in us. That’s a whole other topic. I believe we were created with a creative genius, and I believe we are created to be compassionate. So we’re going to bounce back to creative genius. I believe that each one of us sincerely have a creative genius in us that was given to us by the creator, and that there’s a uniqueness to it, and that if you can learn to tap into it, that you can change the world. Your world. Right. And so I think when we talk about just being creative, that has a lot to do with it. Because when you look at for Joel, people don’t necessarily think of football players as creative, but he was very creative in the way he played the game, and the way he moved and did certain things with Liam and martial arts, there’s a degree of creativity in that. Especially people who are familiar with martial arts will know what I’m talking about. Martial arts is very layered with a lot of different elements, including character development, different things. And then with her art, of course, most of us think of art, music, writing. Usually when we think of creative, we think of that, right?
[38:04] Bobbi : Yeah.
[38:05] Clint: But creativity goes so far beyond that. And so I have a friend, for example, murals may go that’s creative, but I think it is. He’s a forensic accountant. Now, for those of us who don’t love numbers, that’s like, what put me to sleep, right? But man, what a creative gift that he has to be able to look at the numbers and accounting of these big. He actually worked for the United Nations for a period of time as well. To be able to look at these very for what we would all say is very complex things and literally be able to creatively dissect it and come up with creative solutions. And so I think that’s true whether you’re a mom or dad or you can name anything you want to name, our creative genius comes out. And so going back to the context, what we’re talking about here, I think that was a part of it, is that you need to embrace what your creative genius is. You may need some help. You may need to talk to a coach. You may need to interview some friends and ask them, hey, just tell me, do you think I’m a creative person? And that sounds funny for some, but the truth is, what I’ve discovered is a lot of people, their creative genius, it comes to them so naturally, and they just do it without thinking that they think it’s not a thing. Everybody around them yeah, it’s so true. Or that everybody has it. So it’s not really that big of a deal. And so I think when you learn to do that, it’s a catalyst in life in many different ways. And for us, it was also a catalyst to help us move through tragedy and keep living our life and keep pointing towards the future.
[39:54] Bobbi : Yeah, I can completely see that. I love the idea of reaching out to people around you because I totally agree. A lot of times I think we’re blind to our own areas of genius. I had a friend that put it this way, our giftedness.
[40:11] Clint: Yeah.
[40:12] Bobbi : And I always loved that. Okay, real quickly, so they can just reach out to people around them to say, hey, what do you notice? What should they ask someone?
[40:23] Clint: Yeah, actually. Okay. This is actually new for me too. This is a tool in my tool belt that I didn’t have probably a month or two ago. I’d never thought about it in these terms, but I have a mentor, and my mentor was asking a group of us. There was a collective group of us, kind of a mastermind kind of thing. And the question was, what do you do? It’s what we ask everybody, right? We always ask everybody, what do you do? And the premise of this question came from him first, talking about my mentor, very successful in a certain arena. And for a few years, going years back, he interviewed over 1000 multimillionaires, including some CEOs of companies that if I named them, you would know who they are. They’re global companies. But the reason why he brought this up is he said, I asked every single one of them this question, and not one of them could answer it. Not one. And his point for saying that is not that they didn’t have an answer, but he said their answers were always super generic, buzzwords and nothing that distinguished them from anybody else. And we know what that is, right? Yeah, it’s like as a coach, I help people. Great. Okay, cool. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get off on a rabbit trail there, but I wanted to set context. So what he said was, okay, here’s what I want you to do. Your project this next week is you need to interview at least three of your clients, and you need to ask them, what do you do? Don’t shape it. Don’t steer it. Just say, what do you do? So I end up doing that because I do speaking. I do speaking in a corporate environment. I do speaking in a church environment. And then I do the coaching. And even that I can do coaching in a group environment or an individual environment. So I decided, okay, I’m going to interview three people about my speaking, and I’m going to interview three different people about my coaching. And so that’s what I decided to do. And man, Bobbi, it was such a great exercise, and it doesn’t have to be about business. You can do this with your friends or family. Obviously, you’re going to do this with people that you trust are going to tell you the truth and that they’re healthy people. Right. Let’s just kind of throw that in there. You don’t want to ask the person who’s a critic of everything on the planet. They’re probably not the right person. That’s right. But it was fascinating because what was interesting to me is it wasn’t like what I heard back was completely out of left field, and I had no clue what I do. But the depth of it and the way I actually made different people feel, even the words, I was blown away because especially on the business side of things, I very intentionally chose very different clients, different backgrounds, gender, ethnic, what I knew about their stories, I did that very purposely. And even some of the words that they use were the same verbiage. And I was like, wow, that is amazing. And so back to just us as a human being? Yeah, absolutely. If you’re married and you’ve got a good relationship with your spouse or you’ve just got some good friends, ask them. Just say, hey, you know what? I just want to ask you without any pretense, you tell me about me. What do you see in me? And just leave it at that and let them talk. Right. Don’t stop them. Let them get as much out as possible and you’ll learn things about yourself that are going to encourage you. And in some cases, because we are talking about creative genius, I think you’re going to recognize some things about yourself that may surprise you.
[44:14] Bobbi : Yeah, I can completely see. I did a similar activity once, and it was another guest who had shared something similar, and his was I think it was from the book The Calling or The Call. And it was to finding your calling in life, something like that. It was to ask people, why do you call me? What do you call me for? And it was like, wow. And again, I picked different people, and it was very similar in their responses. And I’m like, wow, that’s really cool. So I love gathering that type of information. Okay, so one question, kind of off the wall, but if you’re willing to go along here and then we’ll always.
[44:52] Clint: Ready to go off the wall.
[44:53] Bobbi : Good, because that happens a lot here. Okay, so you’re 58, that’s what you said, right?
[44:59] Clint: Almost, yeah, almost 58. I got to just stick I’m only 57.
[45:02] Bobbi : Yeah, okay, well, I’m 57 too, and I think that a lot of times we get ready for our second and third act in life as we get to be about this age. How can someone who is maybe thinking about that transition or in that transition, how could they apply this either the creative genius or the big, bold, brave, how could they apply this to find maybe what’s next?
[45:31] Clint: Man okay, so as you can imagine, that’s a pretty layered question. There’s some simple things you can do, but it’s probably a pretty complex question all at the same time. So I’m going to start with this. I have a resource, a free resource that I would like to make available to you and the listeners. And it’s just a PDF form, so we can just stick it in the show notes. It’s my five steps to making courageous decisions.
[45:59] Bobbi : Love it.
[46:00] Clint: And the reason why I say that is a lot of times to do what you’re talking about, it does require first, it requires asking yourself courageous questions. That’s right. It always starts with the best questions. Right. And so what I would say is bringing my son back into this just for a second, only for this purpose. When you lose a loved one and it doesn’t have to be a child, there is something about that that brings to the forefront very rapidly that life is a vapor, right?
[46:36] Bobbi : Yeah.
[46:37] Clint: Even I had grandparents, one grandparent lived in 95. Still long enough, it’s still a vapor, right?
[46:42] Bobbi : That’s right.
[46:43] Clint: And so if you allow it to do that for you, right, if you don’t get stuck in your pain and bury everything, then it can actually be an inspiration. So we’re both 57, right? One of the things that happened, because it’s all been the last few years is I began to look at everything I was doing, including, like I said before, the things we even did for fun and stuff like that. And knowing that listen, you and I aren’t promised past this podcast. Nothing’s going to happen to either one of us, right? But once we cut this thing off, we have no promise. And so for me, that became another catalyst that made me value every day a little bit more. But not just value time, value how I’m going to spend the rest of that time. And so that’s why ultimately, for me, for example, we had a church, a small church that we were doing during this whole thing. I set that down in January. For me, again, I’m a Christian, I’ve been a pastor for many years. I still do those types of things. I still talk in churches. We still help the people in our church that we’re a part of now. So I didn’t lose that part of me, but I changed the focus of how I spend my day. And that’s why I decided to get into transformational coaching and doing speaking on different fronts, because I wanted to be able to help and reach everybody that wanted me to help. Right. So that was a big step, though. That was a huge step.
[48:08] Bobbi : That’s a huge step.
[48:09] Clint: I’d done that really, because I said pastoring for 17 years. I was in a support staff role the five years previous to that. So really, I’d worked in a church for 22 years. That’s a long time.
[48:19] Bobbi : That’s a long time.
[48:20] Clint: So it took some courage. It did. It took some courage to step out and say, I’m going to do it. But that’s what we’re talking about here. So I think the simplest thing I would start with is sitting down. And I think this is true about anything with individuals, most people, the most common question I ever get, and I bet you it’s the one you get too, is it may be phrased different ways, but what is my purpose? What am I here for?
[48:44] Bobbi : Oh, my goodness.
[48:45] Clint: Right? Even very successful people, I think people who feel like they’re unsuccessful think it’s only them. No, people that are highly successful, or at least we look at them that way. Same thing. And so a lot of that boils down to we never slowed down long enough to ask ourselves these courageous questions. That’s right, who do I think I am? What does bring me energy? What are the things I actually really love to do. And so you just sit down in a quiet space, and you can do it different ways. You may want to go ahead and come up with some questions first, just so you don’t feel like you have to think of everything when you’re ready to do this. But you can also do it on the fly, where you just write out these questions, and then you just start answering them with sincerity to yourself. Right.
[49:36] Bobbi : Love that.
[49:37] Clint: So then once you’ve done that, that’s where this five step thing that we don’t need to talk about may be helpful. Then there’s a process you can take to help you decide what to do with those things now. And do I need to start a new business? Do I need to get help from my marriage? Right. Maybe I’m in a very mediocre or dysfunctional marriage, and I don’t want to get a divorce, but I also don’t want to keep living this way. Well, chances are pretty good it’s probably because you both have been stuck in time and haven’t had some really tough conversations and then made some steps. Right.
[50:12] Bobbi : Love that.
[50:13] Clint: Analyzing, if I could say it that way, who you are today, what you’re doing today, and then who you really want to be, and comparing the two and seeing, am I my authentic self? And then taking some steps along the way, which I think is always going to include, by the way, other people in some form as well. I think you can’t do it entirely alone.
[50:37] Bobbi : Yeah, completely agree. Completely agree. And thank you for doing that on the fly, because what’s interesting, whenever I have a question that comes up like that Clinton, I’m always thinking, okay, there’s something that was in my head. There was a reason that I asked it. And you mentioned the thing about realizing that life is a vapor.
[50:56] Clint: Right.
[50:58] Bobbi : Your grandparent passed 95 when they were 95. My dad passed last November, and he was 89. Right. Rich, full life. It was hard. It was hard. And it still hits me, like, out of the blue, everything will be fine, and all of a sudden, something comes back, and it’s like, absolutely still can’t believe he’s gone. And most people are like, 89, man, that’s great. And it is. And he was only sick for the last, like, maybe month of his life, on and off, but still, I thought he’d be here another ten years. Absolutely. And it makes you realize how fast time goes by. So I’m glad I asked the question, and thank you for playing along with it.
[51:35] Clint: Yeah. Just because of what you just said. Let me add one other quick thing, too, is how you spend your time with your relationships that matter, the ones most important to you. In these last few years we have spent because we have some family. We’re in Texas, in the Dallas area. We have some family in Florida. We have some that’s only about an hour from here, so they’re a little bit easier. And then we have a group of friends in different places, and we have been much more intentional to spend time with people that we love since this has all happened.
[52:06] Bobbi : Yeah, I can imagine. And I think that’s what we remember at the end.
[52:11] Clint: That’s right. Wow.
[52:13] Bobbi : All right. I want to respect your time, and of course, we’re right up against it, but where can people learn more about you and find follow you and all that kind of stuff?
[52:22] Clint: Yeah, well, I’d love for them to follow me on Instagram. I know not everybody has that, but it’s just at Clinthatten. But then for speaking and the book and all those different things, you can just go to Bigboldbrave US. And for the sticklers, I know it’s us, but I really believe we’re collaborating today. I believe everything really seriously, everything we do significant on this planet is going to be a collective effort. So I chose that domain very intentionally. So Bigbullbrave US and I should point out, because we probably have some international listeners too, but anybody who wants to get the book super easily, especially if you’re out of the United States, Amazon, or any other online retailer, that’s perfect.
[53:06] Bobbi : And I’ll put all that in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your story and also your journey. I appreciate it.
[53:15] Clint: Yeah. Thank you, Bobbi. I appreciate you having me on, and I love your demeanor. I love your spirit. It’s been a joy.
[53:21] Bobbi : Thank you. A couple of days ago, I was listening to one of my earlier episodes, and I was reminded of the core reason that I started this podcast to bring hope, knowledge, and assurance that we can all be happy, fulfilled, and successful. Now, that’s a journey, and it’s filled with choices and inner work, but I believe that it’s worth it. And I truly hope that this podcast is helping you on your own personal journey. So I just want to say thank you so much for tuning in and subscribing. And by the way, if you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to hit that subscribe button so that you never miss another episode. And today I’m going to resurrect something from my days of doing leadership training with high school students. I used to end every presentation with Bu Be Great, and I want to resurrect that here because I think it applies to all of us, no matter what our age is or where we are in life. So I hope that you have a great week and that you be you be great.