John Israel is teaching people how to change their lives by changing their conversations. It all starts with being genuinely thankful for our experience of life. John shares how curiosity and appreciation lead to empathy and compassion, and how this cycle enables us to connect with anyone, build better relationships, and improve the entire experience of life for ourselves and for those around us. Enjoy this special Thanksgiving episode with the amazing John Israel!


Q: Tell us a little about your early lesson learned about the power of gratitude with your Cutco customer, Cynthia.

  • There are some lessons you don’t get to unlearn. My big lesson with Cynthia was to treat people as more important than profit.
  • Your business, whatever it is, is profitable because of the people who do business with you. Without them, there would be no profit.

Q: You speak about the relationship between compassion and connecting with people.  Can you speak to that concept for us?

  • The word, “appreciate” comes from the latin word “appretiare” which means “to appraise” or “to put a price on”. When you appreciate someone, you’re showing them their value.
  • Look at things from the other person’s perspective. Everyone has layers to who they are.  Ask yourself, “what is their life really like?” Or “what are their biggest goals and dreams?” Or What are their biggest problems that keep them up at night?”
  • Pause and ask yourself, “what are they going through right now?”
  • Curiosity is the precursor to appreciation. And appreciation is the birthplace of empathy. And when we have empathy, we start to develop compassion.  And when you have compassion, you can literally connect with anyone.

Q: In our first podcast together you said something that I want to expound upon.  You said, “the best way to change our experience in life is to change our conversations.”  Can you go into that a little more for us?

  • Jon Vroman says, “our experience in life is dependent on the relationships that we have.” But what dictates our relationships? Our experience inside of a relationship is commonly related to the conversations that we have.
  • The more positive, future-forward conversions we have the more energy those relationships bring to us.
  • It’s been said that we’re the average of the 5 people we hang around most. What if there was the ability to impact our relationships positively and to change it? By simply changing the conversations we have, we will change the experience in that relationship and thus change your experience in life.
  • When working with negative people ask yourself, “who loves this person and what do they love about them?” You can also dictate the time you spend with a negative person by taking control of the questions that are asked.
  • (DAN) I’ve heard of the Losada Principle which describes the significance of 5 to 1 positive to negative interactions in a relationship. The closer to 1 to 1 you get, the more likely the relationship is to fail.

Q: How are you creating a structure to be able to consistently be appreciating; to consistently be positive and having good conversations?

  • What if it was your job to find something good about people?
  • I learned that one of the greatest need that human beings have, but commonly don’t voice, is their desire to be seen and to be seen for our greatness rather than our weakness.
  • People will work 8 hours for a paycheck, 10 hours for more pay, but they’ll work 12-18 hours a day for a vision where they feel valued.


  • When we develop curiosity, it leads to appreciation, which leads to empathy, which allows us to create a new vibe with the people around us.
  • Happy Thanksgiving!



Show Notes provided by Carlo Cipollina.

To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!

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