How To Go Be Brave with Leon Logothetis
By Yuresh Shayzer
July 04, 2023
In this episode, our guest is Leon Logothetis. He is a global adventurer, TV host, motivational speaker, and best-selling author. For over a decade, he's traveled the globe to over 100 countries to highlight the good in humanity. Documented through his best-selling books and TV Shows, Leon works constantly to inspire the world with his message of Kindness and Hope. This is best shown through his series "The Kindness Diaries," now streaming on Discovery Plus.
[2:30] Why should I listen to you?
I was a broker in London, seemingly successful but deeply unhappy. Inspired by a movie about Che Guevara, I quit my job and embarked on a worldwide journey, relying on the kindness of strangers. From hitchhiking across famous landmarks to driving a yellow motorcycle around the world, I embraced the unpredictability of life. Along the way, I discovered the power of kindness and gave unsuspecting Good Samaritans life-changing gifts. My adventures were documented on Netflix, and later I wrote a book about bravery.
[6:00] What was the life-changing gift that was getting delivered to people?
Each person's experience is unique. For instance, while in Pittsburgh, I approached a man and asked if I could stay at his house for the night. He sadly informed me that he was homeless. Feeling embarrassed, I was about to leave when he unexpectedly offered me shelter, food, protection, and even clothes. I accepted his kindness and stayed on the streets with him. This encounter with Tony transformed my life, teaching me that kindness is invaluable and our true selves reside in our hearts, not our wallets. Inspired by this experience, my crew and I provided Tony with an apartment and supported his dream of becoming a chef. These individualized acts of kindness shape the meaningful impact of our production.
[7:10] How can someone else have their own epiphany?
The epiphany that ignited my journey began many years ago. I endured relentless bullying without ever revealing my truth to anyone. However, there was one teacher who consistently looked into my eyes and told me she believed in me. Her kindness left an indelible mark on my heart. Witnessing her acknowledge my pain inspired me to empathize with others and heal myself simultaneously. As a naturally adventurous individual, the movie I watched combined adventure, goodness, and kindness in a way that resonated deeply with me. It triggered a realization that I didn't have to confine myself to my current circumstances. Instead, I could venture out, forge connections with humanity, and let my own humanity radiate while embracing the radiance of others. It was a profound and beautiful awakening.
[9:30] Where do people who haven’t met humans with kindness find that experience?
That's a profound question. In Alice Miller's book, "The Drama of the Gifted Child," she emphasizes the importance of having a witness in our lives. A witness who can acknowledge our pain, our joy, and our true selves. Having such a witness gives us a chance to navigate life more successfully. However, for those who don't have that witness or kindness in their lives, I would suggest actively seeking it out. Look for someone you trust—someone who genuinely comes from the heart. For example, if you struggle with alcoholism, attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings where you can find understanding individuals. If possible, seek therapy and connect with a therapist who truly sees and witnesses you. Even if financial constraints arise, some universities offer free therapy sessions with trainee therapists. The key lies in taking the initiative as adults to find those who can witness us and truly see us for who we are.
[12:16] What was the catalyst for writing your book?
For me, bravery encompasses speaking our truth, sharing our pain, and ultimately standing in our power. While acts like going to war or saving someone from a burning building can be grave and courageous, the true essence of bravery as a human being lies in vulnerability. I had a transformative experience of this when I was 15 years old and enduring severe bullying. Although no one was aware of my suffering, I reached a breaking point where I had to express my truth and be vulnerable. I approached my mother, had a heartfelt conversation, and revealed the extent of the bullying, seeking her help. At that moment, two outcomes were possible: she could have ignored my plea or taken action. My act of bravery was speaking my truth, and fortunately, my mother took action by changing my school. While it didn't solve everything, it brought about a significant shift.
[15:50] In your opinion, why should we not share our truth with unsafe people?
You've raised an important point. There are individuals, whether knowingly or unknowingly, who seek to diminish others. It is crucial not to provide them with fuel to do so. When sharing our truth, whether it's an emotional truth, a career-related truth like wanting to quit a job or a relational truth like considering a breakup, it is essential to confide in safe individuals. By doing so, we protect ourselves from potential harm and ensure that our vulnerability is respected.
[17:03] How does someone get past a bad moment?
Writing everything down in a personal journal, which you call the truth Diary, can be a powerful tool. This journal serves as a safe space where you can express your thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment or scrutiny. It's a private space for you to unload and process what's going on in your life. When facing challenges in relationships, for example, if you find it difficult to muster the courage to have a conversation with your partner, begin by addressing it in your Truth Diary. This act of expressing your truth in the journal can help facilitate clarity and emotional processing. Once you've written and reflected on your thoughts and feelings in the Truth Diary, you may find it easier to approach the situation in real life.
[19:55] How does somebody build up the ability to be more brave or start that process again?
You don't have to quit your job or undertake extraordinary feats like circumnavigating the world on a yellow motorcycle. It's about embracing small acts of bravery that align with who you truly are. One of the bravest things you can do is to buy that truth journal and start writing in it. It may seem like a simple action, but it holds the potential to ignite profound changes in your life. Once you begin writing in the truth diary, you'll notice shifts occurring within you and in your external circumstances. Gradually, you can take further steps. Share your thoughts and feelings with someone safe, confide in them, and let them witness your journey. You might even choose to share aspects of your truth on social media, allowing others to support and encourage you.
[27:37] How do you teach others to show up and be brave?
Maya Angelou once wisely said that people may not remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel. To embark on a concrete path of bravery, it starts with speaking your truth, as I mentioned earlier. One of them is learning to say "yes." Often, it can be challenging for us to say yes and embrace new opportunities. Similarly, learning to say "no" when necessary is also an act of bravery. Another step is immersing ourselves in the outdoors. You might wonder how going out into nature could be an act of bravery. But remember Maya Angelou's words. By disconnecting from our phones, we reconnect with our humanity. We tap into the essence of who we truly are, unburdened by the distractions of Instagram, Twitter, and the chaotic news cycle.
[41:30] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
That I will show my heart and soul to many people and make them realize that they are loved and important and not to ever give up.
[10:23-10:26] Find someone who you feel kindness comes from their heart.
[13:40-13:43] Bravery is reconnecting with oneself.
How to connect with Leon Logothetis