Episode 8 – Success Strategies from a Productivity Pioneer
Harold Taylor is the perfect example of how finding your voice can take you from growing up as a shy and sensitive child to nothing less than owning the stage. Harold has been a renowned speaker on time management making his mark by weaving together his keen sense of observation and humor. His ability to develop strategies along the way allowed him to successfully navigate our challenging world as a #fellowHSP
If you’ve listened to earlier episodes, you’ll know that I love to shine a light on successful fellow HSPs. I’m very happy to introduce you to Harold Taylor. If you’ve already met him, I’m sure you can imagine why.
Harold and I recently chatted for another podcast I have been hosting for two years, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professional’s (NAPO) show “Stand Out”. After 45 years as an icon in the industry, I knew Harold would have valuable time management and state of the industry insights to share. On this show though, I wanted to tap into Harold’s skills at navigating both work and life successfully as an HSP. You’ll hear how Harold always knew he was sensitive but he found out about the trait very recently. Harold shares some real gems about better managing both our professional and personal lives.
Harold Taylor has been an entrepreneur and major icon in the time management areas for over 45 years running Harold Taylor Time Consultants, Inc. in both Canada and the US. He has been a speaker and prolific author with over twenty hardcover books, forty e-books, over 250 articles, and over fifty time management products. He earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association. He is a fellow member of an organization I’m also proud to belong to, the Canadian Assocation of Professional Speaker’s (CAPS) and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1998. A past director of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Harold received their Founder’s Award in 1999 for outstanding contributions to the organizing profession. And how’s this for coming full circle? The Founder’s Award was later renamed the Harold Taylor Award and I’m proud to say I received it back in 2013. I hope you enjoy meeting an icon!
Enjoy our conversation as you’ll discover more about Harold and his strategies for a success life and career:
00:06:40 The benefits of sensitivity
00:09:13 Advice for speakers
00:12:45 Who do you need to be when you get an opportunity
00:16:46 Truth in humor
00:21:06 Letting go of limiting beliefs
00:26:11 Time management battlefield is no longer in the office
00:28:50 Elaine Aaron’s book
00:32:29 Creativity and nature
National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals
NAPO Podcast “Stand Out”
Harold Taylor Keynote Speaker – Collaborative Agency Group (Youtube)
Canadian Association of Professional Speakers
Learn more about Harold Taylor:
Harold Taylors articles and e-books
Harold Taylor Books on Bookboon
This podcast is hosted by Clare Kumar. As a productivity catalyst, highly sensitive executive coach, and speaker, Clare cultivates sustainable performance in busy professionals so they can keep making rich contributions in all areas of life and achieve greater fulfillment. She inspires leaders, professionals, employees, and entrepreneurs to respect humanity and boost performance through marrying productivity and pleasure. After all, why shouldn’t you have fun while getting things done? If you're a visual learner, we’ve crafted a version for YouTube as well.
Ready to learn more, or want to find out more about coaching with Clare or hiring her for your next engaging event? Contact Clare here.
Clare invites you to leave a review and a five-star rating wherever you listen to this podcast! Don't forget to tell your friends to listen as well.
Want to learn more about Clare and/or her guests? Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. And don't forget, everyone (including YOU) deserves a happy space. 😊
Song Credit: Cali by Wataboi from Pixabay
Production: Judith George: To Be Reel
Podcast Art Design: Sharoline Galva
Episode 8: Success Strategies from a Productivity Pioneer - with Harold Taylor
Clare Kumar: As you probably know, I want to bring you stories of highly successful, highly sensitive people, people that have an evidence of using their key elements of high sensitivity, the superpower side in their professional journey and towards their personal success as well. And so I'm delighted to introduce to you, if you haven't already met, the fabulous Harold Taylor.
Now I've known Harold for many years now. I followed him at first when I was joining the organizing and productivity profession. And this is back in the mid 2000. He's really been illustrious in both the organizing and productivity space, but also as a speaker. So when I had an opportunity to dig into Harold's YouTube collection, he is a really incredible example of bringing education and entertainment together. You're gonna love meeting him. Harold has an over 45 year business history. He's in his eighties now. And, you'll hear how old he feels. He's written over 20 hardcover books, including a Canadian bestseller “Making Time Work For You”.
He has 50 products sold in over 38 countries. Right now. I think he's on book number of 40 with bookboon, which is doing a digital books. So ever the prolific creator, he's also won numerous awards. Back in 1999, he was a past director of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.
Some of you may know me from that association and my work as the podcast host of “Stand Out”. Further to his receiving the award in 1999, in 2001, he received the Founder's Award from the Canadian association, the Professional Organizers in Canada. And I hold this organization dear to my heart. And also Harold, because in 2013, well, after the award was renamed in his honor, I won the 2013 Harold Taylor Award.
So this is proudly in my home. And that's just a little bit of our connection. So why Harold, why am I bringing him to you? Because he's just a wonderfully exciting example of [00:02:30] embedding purpose in your life, following your curiosity, standing in your strengths, and deliciously, creating valuable work for the rest of the world.
So, I encourage you to tune into this, this episode. You'll meet Harold. He's delightful. You'll fall in love with him, I believe, as I did. And, you'll probably learn a thing or two along the way. Enjoy the show.
Clare Kumar: Oh, Harold, thank you so much for joining me. I've followed your career and, it's been such a robust career. I mean, you've been an icon in the organizing and productivity industry, an icon in the speaking industry as well. And it really struck me that we were talking for the other podcast that I host that, oh my gosh, you indeed might be highly sensitive.
And so I've invited you to reflect on that over the past few weeks months. And right now, I'm really interested in this reflection on your really robust career to look at this trait of high sensitivity and the different ways it shows up - from the sensitivity we experience to the deep empathy, to that incredible emotional responsiveness and to that deep processing, which I can sense there are elements of throughout your entire career. And I wonder if you'd share with us some of the connections that you might have made after realizing that high sensitivity is a thing and it's been there all your life.
Harold Taylor: Yeah, well, looking back on, in retrospect, because I was unaware of it at the time, of course, that's the way people came across, you know, why they're, so critical of me and so on, because I was sensitive in that way, in that regard, as I say, even as a child, but I didn't know what was happening and as I got older and I got involved in working and stuff, I thought, wow, you know, I was able to pick up things I thought that others didn't seem to be aware of. And I thought, he'll never go along with that proposal. What are you talking about? He's saying such and such, he's just saying that to be polite right. And, and, and you get those kind of feelings from him. Like, you know, he's not really, hasn't got his heart in it or something. It's just, he's just using the words, you know? Make us feel good. Yeah. But I think he's got, probably got some other suppliers in mind kind of thing. Yeah. And that, that, I don't know.
I just thought it was everybody had that, you know, having empathy with some people I'm saying, wow, he must have having problems at home because, that there's something else on his mind that he's not certainly with us here at this, in this meeting and that kind of thing as well.
So, they happened and, myself, of course I was, you know, sensitive to how other people thought of me as well. And I know I started off being a very introverted child, very shy and reserved. And, as I got into, speaking, like you've seen my presentation on YouTube. I go, wow.
My wife called me a Jekyll and Hyde. She says, you know, I can't believe you. I mean, you're sitting at a party not saying anything. And then all of a sudden you're up there making a fool of yourself and people are laughing and having a great time. What?! and, they couldn't, you know, just thought it's not in keeping with your character, you know, because I was very, very shy and reserved or like, you know, introvert.
I was not out outspoken, you know.
Clare Kumar: Yeah. But I have to encourage listeners to check out Harold's videos on YouTube, we'll put a link in the show notes, for sure, because absolutely inspiring to marry the deep knowledge that you had, but in a really engaging way to help those messages translate and to keep that audience riveted.
Harold Taylor: Yeah, well that was actually purposeful because people said I joined NSA and CAPS and those organizations, speaking organizations and stuff, and picked up ideas and so on. And they said, if you're gonna do something, I guess this was in the states and NSA, find out what everybody else is doing and do it differently.
And, and so I thought, well, time management seminars to me are pretty boring, you know, cause you're just droning on and on and on I'm falling. And, so I thought, but how am I gonna get up there and be humorous? So, I would. That was when I got over my shyness, I guess, for that part, because I just rehearsed it in my mind.
I just thought. I can visualize now what I'm that I'm up there speaking, and here's what I'm saying. And I sort of went over my mind, again and again as if I was actually doing it. And, I think I was actually rewiring my brain at that point. You know, according to this is what the, the people in all these brain books that are behind me would be saying anyway, I'm rewiring it, but I was rewiring it.
For my presentation on purpose, I guess, you know, but then I started coming out more that way, you know, as I got into speaking and seminars and stuff, I became more confident and I thought, wow, what happened to this shy kid? Well, you'll see, at a party. I'm probably still sitting back in the corner, not saying too much, you know, even now, I don't, but then they say.
Harold. I hear you're a such and such. Tell us about the so, and so then I'd take over, you know, I come out and start speaking, so I could never do that before as a child, but I can, I can do it now. Yeah. I'm, I've got my confidence back, I think.
Clare Kumar: You're talking about an evolution too, and what I'm hearing is an alignment with a purpose.
Yeah, right. When there was purpose, there was motivation to then find a way to do this. And you developed a whole other way of being on stage or whenever you're connected to sharing something of value.
Harold Taylor: is that right? And the thing is I'm not conscious of it, you know, being, like I'm enjoying it.
You know, I don't feel I'm forcing myself now. Right. It's just natural. And then I get the feedback from the audience and they encourage me, you know, because they're laughing and having a great time, anything else? And they say, gee, I wish I could do that. Are you kidding? You know, I remember joining Dale Carnegie and I sat in the back of the room hoping they wouldn't see me, you know?
Yeah. And the big, big deal was when they asked me in business, when I was working for American standard, I went to a seminar, a speech and they said, oh, Harold, how would you like to thank the speaker, Harold? Well, you kidding? I don’t even know what he spoke about. I was so nervous and I can't do that, you know?
Clare Kumar: Yeah. So it's so interesting because you don't forget that moment where you were asked. Did you thank the speaker?
Harold Taylor: I did. Thank the speaker. Yes, yes.
Clare Kumar: Good for you. I remember still being six years old and being asked at the church choir to sing “boo boo be doop” to the Rubber Ducky song.
Oh. And I was like, no, no, no, no, no, I can't do this. I can't, I can't, I can't have my voice stand out. That's haunted me for far too long. It's like, wait a second. When you get an opportunity. Who do you need to be? And what do you need to build in terms of skills? Yeah. And comfort, and what do you need to align with to have that motivation to then I call it dancing through discomfort. Do you know?
So, I'm really curious about this because part of this podcast is around highly sensitive person empowerment and your journey from shy, introverted person to being still introverted but someone who can find their voice and use it really so well. Do you remember back to the motivation or what hooked you into “I'm actually gonna, I'm gonna crack this nut and I'm gonna be that different speaker on stage and wow”?
Everybody. I mean, the accolades and awards that you've won are, are numerous. So, do you remember what gave you the motivation to become different?
Harold Taylor: Yeah. I, I don't know if I do or not. It's just something that I, I really wanted to do. You know, I said, my God, in fact, I, my first business was association management, where we hired speakers to come all the time and I'd be hiring these speakers that come up from the states and charging $3,000 and $5,000 for a talk.
And that's a long time ago. Yeah. And I thought, my gosh, you know, I know one of the behavioral scientists, I don't wanna put anybody down or mention names, but it was, you know, Frederick Hertzberg and his motivation. I remember somebody saying, from the back of the room, Dr. Hertzberg, we can't hear you back here.
“I have trouble hearing you back here”, I think is what he said. And he just he's sitting on a stool and he said, “isn't that, oh, that's too bad. I, I have a hard time hearing you from up here too.” And I thought, wow, here's a guy we're paying $5,000 for us sitting there and being flippant like that too, you know?
And when I saw other speakers, I thought, gee, I could do that. You know, I taught at Humber College, you know, and I was okay there. So why can't I, you know, speak? So, I did, decide my golly, I'm gonna become a public speaker. So I started small. I was started with five people, you know, limited to 10 people or limited to five people.
Yeah. So it would be around the corner. And I read a few books on it and just speak, like you're talking to somebody, but you might speak a little louder because you know, you got. More, five people you're talking to or something that's about it. Yeah. And so I did that and it was a gradual process.
I didn't have too much humor at the start but then I did make a flippant comment or something they'd laugh, you know? And I said, oh, that's sounds kind of good. That's good feedback. So, I gradually built those things in. Yeah. And even that, that flagship, process where they, where I'm up there, you know, role playing a disorganized person.
Yeah. I would make a mistake and they'd laugh at it. And I thought, oh, next time I'll put that in.
Clare Kumar: So happy accidents happened there, did they happy accidents?
Harold Taylor: So I got involved in building this thing, you know. I'd say, hi, the wife and I, I had a wife and, and four kids…. oh five! I forgot about Jason. You know, that kind of thing. And, they'd die laughing because I'm, you know, I was so disorganized. I couldn't even remember how many kids I had know ‘cause that's, that's in keeping with what I was doing.
Clare Kumar: That's so great. Listeners really, you've gotta check out the humor, but it's striking me now as I, as we talk about humor.
So, you noticed, you were noticing things, the expertise in time management and productivity bringing all that to an audience. But I also think about this creativity around connecting dots because there's truth in humor and humor comes from connecting dots and presenting it back in a different way, I think.
Harold Taylor: Yeah. That's yeah. You have to see how people react and you know what they're doing and all of a sudden you see my God, you know, a lot of people, what they tend to do is, and, you know, I notice in a supermarket. The my gosh, look at 'em a changing line. Remember we used to have a queue for each one and they'd change and go to one line and then they they'd, you know, and, and.
And then another, person would open a cashier and they'd run over there or something, you know, and everybody, everybody would run over there. So they'd be back and next they'd be back four spaces still and so on. Yeah, that's right. And that's how I picked up all my humors, from what people are actually doing, and then I'd role play it myself as if I'm the fool, you know?
And, they're laughing oh, they say, you know, they're laughing and yeah, they do the same thing themselves. So, it did help me a lot, you know, being perceptive.
Clare Kumar: I think that high sensitivity is at play in connecting those dots. And then, you know, your personality and natural ability to express that just was cultivated.
And you, and you became, you became more comfortable. As a speaker weaving and all of this, the humor and the stories, and that response you were getting then was encouraging.
Harold Taylor: Yeah, that's right. Because then we're bonding with the audience and you know, they were with me. Yeah.
So, they were no longer saying, you’re last one picked for a hockey team and stuff like that. They wanted to pick me first now.
Clare Kumar: Right? What a transition. I love that. I love that it was a decision I'm like, I want this, I'm gonna go get it. You know it and a slow evolution. That's anybody's journey on building skills and becoming something more.
So, listeners tune into that because that's a gem right there, and, and I wanna harken back to, some of the challenges that you experienced, I mean, being picked last at school… I totally relate to that. I was not, you know, until I found tennis, a single sport, a single player sport, or if with doubles one other partner, but being the weak link on a team that was never somewhere I wanted to hang out.
Harold Taylor: No, that's right. I had some real drawbacks as a child, you know, like I remember for basketball, they used to have practices. I joined the high school basketball team and on practices, they'd say, okay, we're gonna have they call 'em skins and shirts.
So, the ones with. Um, you take off your shirts. You're the skins team and you're the sweat, the shirts team. Mm-hmm well, I have a, like, I guess still have it it's like a pigeon chest, they called it. I guess it’s from having rickets when I was a kid. Oh, they said it's either that, or it was when you were getting beat up by that other kid, you know?
But I found out later, every time I saw a doctor, he said, oh, I see you've had rickets. And, it's, it's normally in the chest deformed bone structure and it's mainly in the chest or the hip, you know? Ah, so I had in the chest and I was so self-conscious of that because one, you know, one chest bone stuck out more than the other.
And I, you know, I'm like this, you know, I don't wanna show up. Yeah. And I had. Oh, I was so sensitive of that. And yeah. whereas heck I, as I grew up, then I became more, more confident then I said, well, who, you know, nobody's perfect, you know.
Clare Kumar: Oh my gosh, this is so interesting. Yeah, because we can hold onto shame and feeling a long time.
My big hangup was my nose. I was just, I was sure it was huge. And my mom has a really robust nose as well. So, I was just, I just thought that's all that everybody saw was my nose. And then maybe my feet, which are also oversized. Yeah. I don't know something about my bones really long. I have the same size hands.
I'm five foot four and change. And I have the same length hands almost as my, my love who is six foot one. It's like, it's weird, right? But we hold onto those things and they can limit us. They can hold this back until we become confident. And I think there's an evolution in life, hopefully towards that.
And then we can really unleash and shine, right?
Harold Taylor: Yeah. Same with glasses. Oh yeah. You know, I had trouble seeing the black board and I'd sit in the front row in school and then she'd asked me, I still couldn't see it from the front. Right. And, and, she'd say, “Say, do you know the answer to this, Harold?”
And I said, “no”, you know, right? Or I guess at it or something. And, she thought that's strange. He's doing okay in his exams, you know? So, I guess she said, “Do you have, trouble seeing the board?”
“Well, not really.”
“But, why don't you get your eyes tested? We'll send you down to the nurse's office and you get your eyes tested.”
I found out I needed glasses, you know?
And so I'm so self-conscious, I wouldn't wear my glasses and yeah. And that kind of thing, cause I was hypersensitive that way. Yeah. Physically. Yeah, I'm four foot 11. Why can't I be five foot? You know, when I'm, in high school and I'm still not five foot high, you know? Oh yes. So, those kind of things really bother me physical things as well.
Yeah. And, and being sensitive to criticism, you know, And that was hard to get over too. Even when my, in my speeches, I think I mentioned it one time that, you know, if I got, a thousand people evaluating me and I got one that said something negative. And, that would bother me.
Clare Kumar: Yeah. I think that’s general human nature. We pay attention to the, to the one bad review, but with the highly sensitive person, deep thinking processes, we can latch onto that and slide into rumination, which can, can kind of bring us down.
Harold Taylor: Yeah. What I say now I look say, wow, a thousand people in this, and they're all pretty sensible people.
And this one guy is, is so, upset about something, or depressed or in a bad mood or something that he had to put, transfer it onto me and put down that I am a terrible speaker or something. He had to get out of his system, he'll take it on, on me.
Clare Kumar: So you reframed that person…
Harold Taylor: Yeah. “What do you mean I'm the one out of a thousand that's bad?” No, you know, if that person's the one out of a thousand, I got 999 in my favor.
Clare Kumar: So, now can you visualize 999 people cheering and one kind of cranky person in the corner… it's just really about where they are in that moment.
That's a beautiful reframe. It's interesting. I think, is it Brene Brown who says, “Don't take criticism unless you're in the ring.” So, you know, I think of, the speaking community, and I've been a member of CAPS now for about five years, maybe coming to six and there's feedback from people who are in the game that I will really listen to.
I'll be I'll. Going out, can you give me, you know, what might have been, right. What might have been something that could be more creative or landed better or have been more sensitive to the audience. But if someone doesn't know, too, then do you really wanna hold that feedback in high esteem? Maybe, maybe not.
So, you've overcome a lot of that. You're developed some reframing to deal with that sensitivity and minimize the hurt feelings that come out of it. What happens now today? Do you feel like you've evolved in your ability to handle the struggle part of being highly sensitive, the potential overwhelm to overstimulation, the overthinking piece of it?
Can you talk a little more about that?
Harold Taylor: Yeah, I think so. To me, it's more positive than negative, you know, like I've, and I don't want to say I'm more creative than anybody else, but, but I seem to pick up things. I can read a book on, on something like psychology and all of a sudden, Hey, that relates to time management, you know?
Yeah. Now if we did this…and I'm all doing that all the time, even with the. with now that I find out such a thing as HSP, I say, isn't that interesting? That sounds like a weakness of the executive skills because ADHD people it's been known that it's a weakness under executive skills, executive functioning mm-hmm
And so maybe that's this brain-based, you know, skill. Yeah, that they call emotional control is actually partly H S P. And if I can now develop that as I did the others, then I will get over this kind of thing, but I'm already over it. But I say that would be a lot easier way of doing it because I can, you know, sort of program my mind.
And I think what’s going in the time management field is the battlefield is no longer in the office, it's in the brain. It's not the interruptions. It's our inability to, to, to deal with the interruptions, you know? So we gotta manage ourselves and forget about managing computers and other people. So yeah, the control.
Clare Kumar: Yeah. The opportunity is to control what we really can control, but we've kind of given over to response, to being reactive rather than thoughtfully responsive. And I think in some cases, I feel like it's societal pressure for hustle culture. And I mean, Nir Eyal writes about in “Hooked” and then later in his book, “Indistractable” this relationship to technology and how they're designed to pull you. I mean, a book beforehand, I think when books and the printing press came out, people would've been like, oh, get that book out of your hands. I mean, my niece now she's coming to closer to 30 years old. And as a child, both my niece and nephew, their noses were in books and we would've thought, ah! And then it became the game boy.
And then it became the electronics. The book never reached out and said, Hey, come or read me. But now we have intrusive technology that we have to put the barriers on. Absolutely. So, there's structural things we can do, but it's also to your point about, you know, making a decision to go get something.
It can be, I think this belief that I deserve to have that deep focus time. Yeah. I'm going to put the bumpers in the bowling alley, the blinders on, and I'm gonna create that for myself. When you say though, you've developed your brain, you've overcome a lot of the sensitivity, were there specific things, other things that you did to build greater tolerance to those stimuli, for example?
Harold Taylor: Yeah. Well, I don't know, not consciously, I guess. Some I did really consciously, like I mentioned about the getting over the, the shyness and inability to speak. And so on, as you said, I had a purpose, you know, in order to do that.
Yeah. I'm not that bothered that much by if there's loud noise over there, it doesn't bother me, you know? Okay. I don't seem to have that characteristic. Um, it's more the, you know, the things I've been mentioning about the self-consciousness and sensitivity and yeah.
You know, awareness of my own, deficiencies.
Clare Kumar: I thought of that, you know, Elaine, Aaron talks about high sensitivity as being a development of the species to have this sensitivity, to be aware of things, but everyone can't have it. So, we are a subset of the population, but I think there's a next level in the highly sensitive community.
And I think you might be one of them. I think my daughter's one of them. Very
Harold Taylor: Very sensitive. Yeah, sensitive, but extroverted
Clare Kumar: So, well, I actually don't know…my daughter's introverted, I would say, but she has this incredible tolerance to stimulation in terms of noise. She will sleep through a fire alarm.
And I'm like, if you're at school, make sure a friend knows to wake you up if there's a fire alarm, because that noise doesn't cut through. She can also take a lot of visual stimulation and feels actually quite comforted in abundance and just a lot of visual things going on. I, on the other hand, feel calmer when it's ordered and I am, if there's extra noise, my brain actually shuts down processing.
I can't have two people speak to me and filter one. I just, I really, really struggle with that. So, I think there's like next level sensitivity
Harold Taylor: Or maybe I haven't, been in areas where there has that, you know? I was in manufacturing and you get a 300-ton press banging out bathtubs, you know, but then you can block that out. That becomes part of the background for me. It never bothered me.
Clare Kumar: That's fascinating. So, I recently interviewed Andrea de Paiva… she's a neuroscience professor for architecture. And she was saying the science shows that people that live beside airports, for example, they end up tuning the sound out, but physiologically in the body, there are greater stresses. It's stressful.
So I'm really curious about what we're able to actually minimize the physiological impact for, and I think, you know, returning to being centered and grounded and knowing how to bounce back. So, my thinking as the science shows up for me is that if somebody scratches their nails down a blackboard
Harold Taylor: That’s horrible. That I can't stand.
Clare Kumar: OK. Okay. You're with me on this one. No, that's one thing I can't stand. I, I don't think I'll ever stop going. Ah, but maybe I would be able to cultivate some skills to be able to stay in myself and minimize that.
That's what I'm curious about is, is how can we minimize negative physiological effects from this outside stressor? And I'm dead curious about that part.
Harold Taylor: Yeah, well, you know now that, you talked about it. It's stressful even though maybe it doesn't bother you, but it's bothering your body, your system.
Yeah. Yeah. And I find that one thing it's really improved me and everything, it seems, creativity and everything, is walks in nature, parks and nature walks. Yeah. Yep. And just being in nature. And of course I've read all the research on it too, and I've even written about it in terms of, you know, greenery in the office.
And so on, looking at, you know, a picture of nature. I have pictures on both walls there of this was a floral thing and that's a, a forest over there, you know? Right.
Clare Kumar: Right. I, I have to have a shout out to Tom Kuegler because he's somebody I just did a “LinkedIn Sprint” with and he just shared the picture above his computer is of a fight.
It's Connor McGregor, I think and there's a big fight. He said, “What art is in your office?” I'm like, oh, That's a painting of a Lotus flower, which is exactly the opposite. It’s a painting by my dad. And, for anybody watching on YouTube, you'll be able to actually see that, but it's, it's just like, wow.
What we have in our space is actually giving messages to our brain, those wall murals from the seventies where we had splashes of actual pictures of being out in the world in nature. They were actually, there were something to that. I think they're making a comeback in corporate spaces now.
Harold Taylor: Yeah. Well, even in, in your environment, like I've lived most of my life in, not when I was a child, but all my adult life I've lived in Toronto ever since attending Ryerson. I've been in Toronto for 60 years or more. And then I moved to Sussex, New Brunswick. population, 4,000, surrounded by cows and cattle and fields.
Clare Kumar: And, how does that feel?
Harold Taylor: Wow, it's amazing. I'm just soaking it up. Yeah. And I have been here now six years. This September I'll be here six years. Time flies. Time flies when you're having fun. It also flies when you're not having fun, so have fun. But anyway, I'm just soaking up the environment and I do a lot of writing and I've written more books in the six years that I've been here, then I have in the last 60. Just since I've been here, I'm up to now 40 eBooks since I've been here. I didn't get that many done in Toronto in, you know, in working at them. So, I feel I'm more productive here. That's amazing, even though I'm, even though I'm retired
Clare Kumar: well, so you bring me to think about as we talked about in the, in the pre-interview I think you've got, you've figured out a real recipe for a rich fulfilling life.
And one of the things that I noticed when we were talking was rich community in your life. So yes, a prolific creator along the lines, and following your interest and sharing your wisdom, but you've maintained and built and grown in a new place rich relationships. Can you, can you talk about the value of social connection for you?
Harold Taylor: Oh my gosh. It's amazing. The trouble in the city when you're living in a condo, you're lucky if you know the new person next door, our neighbor, you know? Yeah. I remember when I was married and had a house. with the family and we never got to meet the neighbors until the fence fell down.
And then we had a talk about building it mutually and stuff, and we got to be good friends with them. They’re actual people. But here, it seems in the small town, small community everybody's friendly. And I was really shocked when I walk, going to my walk cuz I walk a lot and not only would they not turn their head or ignore you, but they smile at you and say, oh, hi, I haven't seen you around. And, and they stop and talk to you, you know? Yeah. And I thought, wow, that's amazing. Yeah. And, and relationships of course are healthy. People live longer. You can almost, they say they can almost extrapolate that the more friends you have, you know, the longer you live.
And, I believe that too, I'm pushing 88. Now, you know, and, and, I feel like I'm, you know, in my forties, so it's great. So I joined the friendship club, yeah. As soon as I got here and worked my way to president, you know, so on as you do. Yeah. I joined the chamber of commerce and worked at the board of directors, got on as a board of directors and stuff.
And I did volunteer work at the sharing club, which is a food bank kind of thing. And, yeah. And just surround myself with people and at church, of course. And, you know, now I'm doing writing devotionals every week for the church. Yeah. as part of cuz of now I'm, I'm writing, that's one of my big things now is I love to write.
Yeah. Right. So, and it's just amazing, you know, there's yeah, yeah. so you're surrounded by people who, you know, are friends, you know, if you have a problem…
Clare Kumar: And do you think as a highly sensitive person and reflecting on the sensitivity….I realized recently after I left my marriage and I realized there was so much social connection that just came from the construct of being in family, more than living then on my own.
And I had to reestablish so much connection. I realized I had to. I had to design it. I mean, Dr. Vivek Murthy is the surgeon general in the US, the 19th and the 21st. After being the 19th surgeon general, he toured America and he wrote a book called “Together” because he noticed the biggest health issue was lack of connection. And I'm just thinking, this is just a spur of the moment question and we'll sort of end, I think with this question is thinking about the relationship to others as highly sensitive people and how that generally affects our wellbeing.
Harold Taylor: Yeah, well, I think it does for sure.
It's like you talk about, it's not something that's obvious on the surface, but it's compatible with your bodily functions, you know. I have high blood pressure. I think I’m on three, well, two medications, I guess, for it, in Toronto and here I see the doctor and after I've been here a year and settled and everything else, and he, he took me off one medication and said, you know, you don't need that.
And so on. Um, so I can see physiologically, I am in better shape now than I was before. Yeah. But I look the same, you know, same ugly my face. Nothing ugly. Talk about nose. I got a big nose too. You wanna see that?
Clare Kumar: Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah. Let's you turn left, like let's we'll have to do that's right?
Yeah. There you go. YouTube there. That's for you. They
Harold Taylor: call me Cyrano de Bergerac.
Clare Kumar: oh man. Harold. You know what? There was so much, so much in the way you live. That has inspired me ever since I met you. And that's why I wanted to bring you not only to the, the NAPO podcast “Stand Out”, but also to my listeners here in the Happy Space Pod community, because you've mastered some beautiful ways of living.
And I hope the listeners are really inspired by all that you've said today around. Embracing that sensitivity as a power, noticing that empathy, the compassion, turning it into action and, connecting those dots, unleashing that creativity and growing as a person to be able to really offer those gifts to the world.
So deep gratitude, from me and I'm sure all our listeners are celebrating as well. I wanna thank you so much, Harold for taking the time to spend it with me and share these nuggets.
Harold Taylor: Well, thank thank you. It's been fun, Clare.
Clare Kumar: all right. Enjoy. Enjoy the rest of your sunshine day in Sussex.
Harold Taylor: And, and whether you believe it or not, give me a good valuation, whether ‘cause I'm sensitive in that area.
Clare Kumar: You can count on it. All right. Thanks so much. Okay.
Harold Taylor: Take care. Bye bye.