"I was just going to call and ease my guilt," Mitch says. But one meeting turned into weekly conversations. "I found myself, on those Tuesdays, slipping back into being the person that I had been when I was a student. I had my perspective about being a busy workaholic. He has his perspective about a 78-year-old man. He would say, â€˜You will get to where I am.'
Mitch recalls an important lesson he learned from his friend. "Morrie would always say to me, â€˜There is nothing if you don't have a solid marriage and family.' I really took that to heart. If it's an important event, I try to make sure I am there, and I never would've done that before."
"That was the biggest lesson to me," Mitch says, "when he said, â€˜Death ends a life but not a relationship. You better invest in that relationship if you want to be remembered after you're gone.' And I do."
"All of a sudden, I was sitting with him, and I was a student again, and he didn't ask me how much money I made, and he didn't ask me about how much I accomplished in my career," Mitch says. "He just wanted to know how I was, and what I was feeling, and did I have somebody in my life? And I sort of said to myself, how did I change so much? How did I go from who I used to be to who I am now? And I wanted to come back to be reminded of who I had once been."
"Well, he changed the way you define success, right? He said, â€˜If you do things for the right reasons, good things are going to happen to you.' And you questioned whether you were doing things for the right reasons," Dr. Phil says.
"Yeah, and I saw how many people came back to him in his life again, and the people he had touched, and it wasn't because he was famous, and it wasn't because he was rich. It was because he has spent time with them. And I began to realize, you know, you can write a lot of books, and you can make a lot of money, and it's all going to go away if you die, and it's not going to keep you company in your final moments. And I saw how many people kept streaming in and out of that house, and I said, â€˜You know, he must've done something to invest in all these people, to get them to be there at the end, and who's going to come visit me " People from work or my editors? I don't think so. I think it's time to prioritize and put more investment in the people in my life,'" Mitch explains.
"It helps give my own life meaning," Jonathan says. "It's a wonderful legacy that I can follow."
To enter to win a signed copy of the 10th anniversary edition of Tuesdays with Morrie, go to mitchalbom.com.