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You Matter . . . IT Doesn’t

I got on ZOOM about five minutes before our time of 12:00pm, April 1, 2020. No, this is not an April Fools’ Day joke. By the way, I don’t like April Fools’ jokes. I was excited to speak with fellow author, speaker and educator Bobby Petrocelli. I asked him to tell me a couple of things on his heart that he might want to talk about that day.

Bobby Petrocelli is passionate and wise, and I knew I’d have questions.

Right away, Bobby mentioned his book, YOU MATTER . . . IT DOESN’T. He told me he wanted to talk about the WHY behind the IT. I knew where he was going with this because it’s right up my alley. I composed myself and started with a prayer…

A Talk Show is BORN!

During my interview with Petrocelli, it dawned on me that I needed to do a YouTube channel dedicated to inspiring conversations, and here we are. Just like that, the show is created. Now I just need to figure out how to make a YouTube talk show.

This is a good time to figure it out, because nothing much is happening, and I have time. The COVID-19 pandemic has us all struggling with social isolation. Schools are closed, many people are out of work and obviously my speaking schedule is on hold.

It’s during times like this where you have time to create new ideas that might take off. We can choose victim or victor, right? I love Bobby Petrocelli. He’s a great man and an amazing speaker. We’ve known each other for many years.  When I get a chance to interview him, I get excited. He’s inspiring and knowledgeable. He’s a man of God and cares about youth and families. He cares about people.

Find out more about Bobby HERE.


What is IT?

The IT represents the result of something. Bobby talked about his wife being killed by a drunk driver when he was 24 years old. The IT is his wife was killed by a drunk driver. The WHY is what we don’t often talk about. Among other things, the IT leaves us angry, hurt, resentful, and broken. We end up going through life carrying this feeling because we don’t move past IT.

WHY did IT Happen?

The WHY is behind the IT and gives us the answers we are looking for so we can move forward and cope with whatever happened. The WHY takes us on a journey to understand what needs to be understood. If we don’t ask questions, we are never healed through whatever pain we are going through. IT happened and we can’t change it, but we can change how we grow, cope, and move forward in a healthy way. For Bobby, he was prepared as much as anyone can prepare for something tragic like this. He said, “If we don’t ask the WHY then IT will dominate your life,” and he wasn’t going to let that happen. Bobby is a man of faith – a strong man of God. Right away he right away talked about forgiveness…

He didn’t say that he condones wrongdoing.

Forgiveness is for the person doing the forgiving. He knew that he had to forgive this man who was two times the legal limit, driving while intoxicated when his wife was killed. Forgiveness was his first step in recovery. Amazing! He was 24 years old and he knew he had to forgive, when most people would have been angry at the world.

Bobby wasn’t.

I asked him about this.

I had been prepared for something like this,” he said.  I’m not exactly sure what Bobby meant, because who can prepare for something so tragic – but I knew it was his faith in God. It was also his ability to have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset – even at 24. I’m telling you; Bobby Petrocelli is an inspirational man.

Is What You’re Being Asked to do IMPOSSIBLE?

The above question is something Bobby asks his audiences.

You have it, whatever it is, so let’s build on it,” he said.

Bobby talked about how we have what it takes so let’s learn. Let’s be open to learning and engage in the process every day. I was thinking, don’t be the victim, be the victor. We have a lot in common, but he’s so much better at speaking about it.

You’re never asked to do anything impossible. You can choose to walk away, or you can choose to saddle up and figure it out.

Petrocelli: 10 Seconds

IT happened, but Bobby was not going to fold.

10 Seconds got him through this.

“It’s not one day at a time, like so many people say. For me, I couldn’t think of the next five minutes. I had to break it down to 10 Seconds. For me it was 10 Seconds at a time.”

I was at my worst at 16 and again at 22. I can still remember those days.

At 16, I wasn’t listening to anyone. I had a fixed mindset. At 22, I knew a little better and was very close to my grandparents. My grandmother used to say to me, “Jeff, take it one meal at a time. After dinner, go to bed, and just wake up for breakfast.

That was my 10 Seconds at a time. The thing here that I want to make clear is that it’s not that things get better with time, but it’s what you do with that time where things get better. Sometimes, it’s just putting space between a thought and an action. It’s being grounded, present in the moment, breathing and just knowing that it will be okay.

Success: Patterns, Habits, and Routines

Nobody is better than anyone else, but some people have a routine and they’re driven. They wake up on time because they go to bed at a set time. They don’t waste hours on their smartphones, doing things that don’t matter. Successful people have a purpose. Their IT is their success. They’ve created patterns, habits and a routine to accomplish the goals they’ve set for themselves.

What is the WHY? That differs from person to person, but one thing is certain: Everyone has been knocked down in life. You have a choice at this point. You can stay knocked down or you can get back up.

Bobby got back up. He knew he needed some things in his life to be right in order for him to cope through his loss.

You are a result of your patterns, habits and routines – your attitude, friends, and commitment to a GROWTH MINDSET.

Your Friends are The ROOTS, LEAVES, or the BRANCHES

I got chills when Bobby started talking about Tyler Perry’s Madea – Let Them Go.


I love this skit and it is so right. Your friends are either the roots, the leaves, or the branches. Watch the video and understand this analogy. So true.

What Works For You

The first thing to do is to engage in the process. Choose a growth mindset. Don’t be a victim. Go from IT happened to understanding WHY it happened. Then, it’s HOW CAN I . . .? How can I be better at this or that? What can I do to be can I be a better person? How can I move forward with love, compassion, forgiveness, and be healthier? It’s about being present in moments. Now. Not yesterday or tomorrow. Not even in five minutes, but here and now.  Within these moments, what productive thing are you doing that works best for you?

Bobby puts it this way: “Is what I am doing making me better or hurting me?”

For Petrocelli, that question made all the difference, and helped him toward a healthy outcome. it was the moments where he would ask if what he was doing was helping or hurting him towards a healthy outcome. He set a growth mindset.

Here are the very simple and true bullets I took from this part of my conversation with Petrocelli:

Very simple and true.

Be Still

Be present and know that in stillness great things will happen.

You’re One of a Kind

Self-Esteem. Stop focusing on being beautiful on the outside and look within yourself and know you are one of a kind. There is nothing or nobody else like you.

Don’t Rob Yourself

You have a gift and you need to use it. Don’t let what is so special about you be robbed because you’re not seeing what is special. Self-esteem again. Know you are capable and beautiful and have a growth mindset.

Find the ROOTS on a TREE as your Friends

You want friends that aren’t there for a season. You want friends in your life that are invested. Surround yourself with people who are there to plant seeds rather than pick the fruit. Let them go if they’re not in your life for the right reasons.

Remember: YOU MATTER . . . IT DOESN’T.

There is a WHY to why we are broken, rejected, abandoned, or hurt. Don’t choose to carry this pain with you through life. Develop a growth mindset. Figure out the WHY and ask the HOW questions.

Remember, forgiveness is for you. It’s not for them.

Choose love. Choose you. Choose Growth.

Check out Bobby Petrocelli at As always, I am at

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