Jeff RasleyMany have wondered if they have the power to change the world, but few explore how they would do it. In this episode of SuperPower Up!, we chat with Jeff Rasley who embodies the notion that absolutely one man can change the world. Jeff discusses how his work with the Boss Village Foundation helped the people of Nepal, India. He helped raise monies to create foundational systems that supported education, health and wellness. His ideology on becoming a better person for yourself, starts in the commitment to be of service to the world.

Photo by Jeff Rasley

Hello, everybody! This is Tonya Dawn Recla, your Super Power Expert and I am really touched today to have with me a remarkable man. You know he’s one of those people that we say he looks really good on paper I couldn’t even pretend to jump into the highlights of his very impressive resume in history.  But that’s not really where I want to focus today. I’m sure some of that will come up as we talk about his story. 

Well, what I find so absolutely remarkable and honest I’m very humbled by his approach to what he does in the world. And today’s episode is all about. Can one man change the world and I think that Jeff Rasley will absolutely embodies the notion that absolutely one man can and he’s such an inspiration and what he’s doing in the world in Nepal and you know my heart has just opened a little bit further in the short time that I’ve connected with him. I’m excited to share that energy and inspiration with you all today. And I’m going to warn you I think his story is going to trigger some of you because he is doing something and he is changing the world and so prepare yourself and if there’s anywhere where you’ve been feeding excuses or fears or anything else about why you’re not you know but listen and draw from him the inspiration that you need to move beyond that point because each one of us can take steps in that direction. Jeff without further ado I really want to welcome you to the show and I’m honored to have you here.

Thank you very much Tonya I am a little bit embarrassed by your introduction.

Well it’s very deserved, I appreciate your humility. And you know I’m not going to get into it.  I am absolutely blown away by the little bit of your story that you share with me so far so I am really honored that you’re sharing it with our guests today. But before we jump in we’ll tease them just a little bit longer and instead ask what are your superpowers.

Well I even again sorry embarrassed to say that I have superpowers and like I told you listen to some of your shows and the guest you had are very impressive, I understand how you use that term and how I respond best to it is by saying I don’t think I have any superpowers I think I just been willing throughout most of my life to use the metaphor you were talking in front of the other and try to move forward and make the world a better place than it was before I took the last stop.

Photo by Jeff Rasley

Well as I’m sure you anticipated I’m absolutely wanting to argue with you. That is a phenomenal superpower. And I’m going to tell you why and I want all of you to really listen to this I know through our membership base of my clients and everything else. We attract a lot of people who are waiting to understand they’re waiting to know they’re waiting to get knock over the head with this miraculous superpower thinking that you know the gates of heaven are going to open up and the Angels are going to herald it in and what Jeff’s talking about is usually how it happens. And it’s the most normal obvious thing that each one of us does that is actually our most powerful superpower. And Jeff’s willingness to put one foot in front of the other and I was telling him before the show I love his energy it’s such an understated Ryan to me of the tortoise and the hare story. And Jeff if I could be so bold I would absolutely call you the tortoise. I’ve been saying absolutely a lot on your show today. There is something absolute about you. But the tortoise in this story I mean I think he could do the voiceover for it. And it’s I mean it’s just the pacing is like that. To do that. And I think a lot of times especially in the superpower world we don’t honor that.

We forget that the one foot in front of the other the steadiness of that the perseverance of that determination it takes to put one foot in front of the other should be honored at least the level if not more so than we honor some of the more flashy demonstrative superpowers so that it’s that steadiness that allows you to build and build and build and allows for that impact to be to be so huge just like you wake up one day and it’s like oh look what I did.

Like, look at what I created. I think it may just be one of the most powerful super powers you’re talking about. Yes, Let’s share with people. I’m sure at this point they’re wondering who is this man and why is she so taken with them. Let’s share with them a little bit about your journeys to Nepal and some of the work that you’re doing there.

Sure. Well thank you. Well just heard before we were talking about the boss village foundation I first went in the hall just after I turned 40 and I did so at the behest of my wife because she was picking up on energy that was definitely not super power what we call a midlife crisis. I was hardworking attorney had two small kids senior member of a small law firm life was just very busy. And I’ve always loved to travel on lots of all sorts of different adventure traveling and that hadn’t for a few years. And so I came home she slapped down a brochure about tracking the Mt. Everest base camp trail in front of me on the table and said why don’t you go do this. And what she was doing issue is diagnosing how my energy is really being snapped and dissipated and spread too thin because of so many commitments I had. And I did, I went over to Nepal in 1995 I fell in love with the mountains and lived in Indiana all my life and we don’t have mountains here. But I just I fell in love with the spectacular beauty of the mountains. But even more so I really connected with the high mountain people. The people that most everybody’s heard of are the Sherpas and they live around Mount Everest but there are other tribes in that area and they’re all just lost. Sir Edmund Hillary called them the strongest you know and the kindest people in the world. They have this amazing strength and self-reliance and yet they’re so kind and generous and sweet to people visiting.

So I just I kept going back and for a number of years I was I was going back almost a year and learned how to do mountain climbing. And each time I would go back I would try to engage in some kind of Philanthropic Projects. Anything from taking close to an orphanage to providing books for schools and things like that. But eventually, I was asked by the owner of this trucking company that I was using when I would organize a group and we’d go over there and you know we used local guides and porters and cooks and so forth so this company is Kathmandu gotten to know the owner of it. And after my first expedition with this company he asked me if I would be willing to raise $5,000.00 because the village that it was from had a school that had three grades and they wanted to add a fourth and fifth grade so they need to expand the building and hire a couple teachers. And he said with $5,000.00 they could buy all the materials they needed and pay to teacher salaries for three years. And you know if you stop and think for $5,000.00 does all that it gives to classrooms to children and their teachers. I agreed and with other friends some of them in the Senate all and some never have never will go. I thought it was a beautiful little story I had told about this village. We raised the money and I visit the village that next year and had the most incredible travel experience I’ve ever had. The villagers were waiting for our little group and they literally covered the sunflowers there are about 250 villagers waiting for us.

Photo by Jeff Rasley

They’ve made a little arch that said Welcome in English which was garlanded with flowers and then every single villager was waiting to put a garland around our neck or put flowers in our hair and it was just such an incredible experience. I wanted to stay connected with that village which is called Basa and so I started talking with my friend Neeru who owns adventure trucks about it.

And the thing about most of the mountain villages back in the 90s had no running water no electricity so no lights no cell phone no radio no TV no modern conveniences. I mean people were living pretty much like Americans or Europeans or were five hundred years ago cooking and eating over an open fire so they’re breathing in carbon and smoke every day. Cataracts are rampant because of the smoke getting in their eyes so we just started talking about how we could turn Basa into a model of what we’d call culturally sensitive development where with the villagers we would ask them you know what would you like to improve the education the health the sanitation of your people. And we would work with you. I would raise them on the near you would put together a team of local people who would distribute the money purchased materials and we would engage in a series of projects to help the village in whatever way it wanted to be helped. But with the understanding that the villagers would have to do all the work they would have to own whatever projects we did and the. And then the projects had to be the ones chosen by the villagers not us because our idea was since Neeru lives in Kathmandu and I live here in the states we didn’t want to impose our views or our culture onto them. And we started doing that and we have brought electricity through that villagers themselves with the help of Engineer we hired in our fundraising. They built their own Hydro Electric plant carried all the materials from Kathmandu out to this remote village have built a water system a new school building. They have computers for the school. Modern materials. When I was there in 2008 the only materials they had for their classroom was a chalkboard and they’d run out of chalk. They taught simply by rote by teachers just giving them verbal instructions and now they have workbooks and manuals and so forth. And we were really at the point where we had pretty much completed what the villagers and Neeru and I had determined was turning Boston into a model of maintaining their traditional culture.

Photo by Jeff Rasley

But having these modern systems and things that were improved education health and sanitation because there were also toilets and what we call smokeless stoves also. Any way these series of projects and then in 2015 to devastating earthquake in Nepal and they knocked down many of the houses and the school and Basa. And for the last two years we’ve sort of focused on rebuilding the village but it’s complete and a group of us are going back this fall and we’re taking the LED lights as well as shoes for the villagers and the village kids. And we’re going to have a huge delightful party when we get there to celebrate the rebuild and village and also for my friends coming from the states to experience their lives and culture. All of that gave some picture of what you were looking for.

That’s just perfect. And we’re going to take a short break and when we come back we’re going to talk a little bit about you know how you can support what he is doing or how you can take some of his determination and perseverance and move into this motto. Adopting the idea of can one man change the world can one person change the world.

We’ll be right back. Stick with us.

Photo by Jeff Rasley

Thank you for joining us here even listening to superpower podcast we’ve been talking with Jeff Rasley about can one man change the world and I think if you if you if you if you don’t know the answer that you need to go back and listen to the first part of this of this interview Jeff and one of the things I really loved about what you’re talking about this idea of being culturally sensitive when I was in college I remember I went and worked in Mexico and the only reason I agreed to do that in the community that I did it and again no electricity no running water no one spoke English was exactly for the reasons that you mentioned are partially screened in a cultural communication and went on to get a master’s in critical race theory and so the concept of really being sensitive to what’s sustainable in an area as opposed to you know kind of the overlay in some of the other models that we’ve seen. And the group that I worked with was a bi national team for those exact reasons and in fact at that time shortly before that Mexico actually kicked out a lot of the mission groups like that because they weren’t attending to that. I really honor the fact that you took that approach. It’s so easy for us sometimes to think that we know what other people want or what they might need and so for you to involve that village speaks volumes to the way your true heart and soul lie in that. Two questions for you one. Any and you can answer them together separately but one how can people support what you’re doing and then and then the second one is maybe if there’s not a lot of ways they can support that. What advice would you give to people following in some of your footsteps as far as anybody like to support the book Sybil its foundation.

We have a website which gives instructions if you’d like to make a financial contribution which of any size are welcome. Just visit also on my own website offers all links to my own history and involved with the foundation and the website is you can go either those sites if you are interested. Happy to have you. We’re also happy to have people joining the foundation as members. When to get more involved as far as how what advice I could give to people who would like to I guess you could say you kind of step out of normal life. Trying to you know have had DROs or trenches that we get into where we’re just moving on you know trying to take care of our immediate needs to or to stay healthy. East, Rest just live normally if you want to grasp life more fully. It’s the first sort of basic ethical understanding that you ought to have is giving to others makes you feel good. It’s not just me saying this. There’s been plenty of psychological studies neuro scientific studies. It’s kind of a feedback system of selfish unselfishness. We feel better about ourselves when we are giving to other people. And so just taking that you you’ll be a better person. In an abstract sense it’s better about your soul. When you get out of your own self and extend yourself to see other people who can use your time and your talents. So that’s my starting point.

Photo by Jeff Rasley

That’s beautiful and to those who are listening who want to disregard what just saying because maybe you don’t see how you can make it to Nepal and you don’t know how you could you could do some of the things that he’s done. Look at your local communities there are always people who could use a helping hand or you know churches are phenomenal for that for a phenomenal for identifying people who could use support and actually having institutional ways to support that if that doesn’t appeal to you if you prefer more of a secular approach then you know you know look at local community nonprofits. They usually have a really good grip on what’s going on in the community and how you can help but there are always ways or methods local governments are a great way to get involved and to just ask questions you know where can you be of service. And I love what Jeff’s talking about it’s not just empirical like there is scientific proof that it can get out of your own way or start making it about yourself. There’s value in that not just for you but for the world also. You know we talk a lot here superpower experts about the you know the process of mastering your personal power and then moving into your superpowers.

And I haven’t been quiet about the fact that you don’t really move into those superpowers you don’t get to use them in any demonstrable and consistent way until you make that commitment to be of service. And I wasn’t always ready to say that I thought perhaps maybe that wasn’t for everyone or maybe just some people but I’m sitting in a place now where I’m pretty confident that you will not reach the height of your development and awareness and abilities including your super powers unless you choose to commit to be of service in the world to your community in some fashion something that takes you beyond your own personal growth. And the irony is that moving into that step is truly what solidifies and exponentially expands your personal growth. It’s quite ironic but I think Jeff is a great example of how that process works.

But all of that that it’s just a good thing to do. You know people need help and you can help them and sometimes just not monetary but time sometimes it’s just you know I remember we had a friend who you know picked a day of the week and on that day of the week that was when she kind of did reach out you know like checked in with people and say hello and said I’m thinking about you. There are a million and one ways to be of service and to contribute to the world. I suggest that you pick one and start doing it. Jeff I can’t thank you enough for modeling this. Do you have any last words of advice sir or any questions or is it just something you want to share before we have to close out the show.

Tonya I really appreciate you having me on.

Photo by Jeff Rasley

You were saying about there’s just innumerable ways people can be of service is true and not to be limited to be old enough to just stop. I just finished writing my 10th book. The subject was completely different than anything else. Something that’s been really bothering me since our last election 2016 or country is so polarized and so in you know political divisions seems more than just two people disagreeing about what the best way forward for unfreezes really hating the other side. I looked into a lot of research reading and wrote a book about how to encourage our culture to become more civil to be less angry. It was polarized to be more understanding. Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t make them your enemy. This is really something I’ve written about before but it was something that touched me when you find something whispers that touches you follow through on it don’t just retreat your safe place. Right, Fight to protest or for what you believe in.

Beautiful. I feel like you could probably talk for days about that topic. You know for it certainly I think that anger is convenient and it’s something that we honor in our society. Social media is really popularized the ability to stand back and have an opinion. And that’s one of the reasons why I love having guests like yourself on and it’s you know folks it’s undeniable.

You know what if you want a really valid measuring stick for where you’re contributing and how you’re being of service in the world I suggest you use just as that measuring stick. Not a bad person to compare yourself to if you’re looking at moving beyond some of your own stories and fears about being ready or is it time or not knowing what to do or anything else. I cannot emphasize enough. And I’m sure who’s cringing at the idea of me saying the as I can feel you from here. But it’s but it’s valuable that I felt that I do have super powers. But it’s valuable to have somebody to.

Photo by Jeff Rasley

It’s not comparing you the essence of who you are. Is it’s somebody to show your smaller pieces and parts that have a death grip on your own courage to say you know what are we doing that can’t we gather some books and send them somewhere can’t we gather some clothing and give it away. Can’t we do that. And sometimes that’s all it takes to shut down those little pieces and tell them you know I appreciate that you’ve kept this alive this long but you don’t need to run the show anymore. And so that’s the internal game of moving beyond the anger and the finger pointing the victimization and the blaming and all that stuff that just tapped into doesn’t surprise me that you that your life took that trajectory and you found yourself being vocal about that I think that once we have the courage to step into doing peace and really contributing we’ve earned the right to have a few opinions about some of the broader issues that we’re seeing because we know that it can be overcome. We know that it’s surmountable and we have the keys to do that. And we are obligated and it is our responsibility to share that. And I honor the fact that you’ve allowed your journey to move you into that space. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes you into some even more interesting spaces I think he’s been building up to a very interesting climax here as you put it all together and I for one am just excited to see what you do next with it. And I honor the work that you’re doing in the world. Thank you.

Thank you very much. I hope that we could talk again.

I have every confidence that will happen, you know to all of you out there as always we do appreciate your loyalty. Go out uncover your superpowers and change the world. Take care everyone.

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