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Book 328 - A Year of Magical Learning

Reflection Title: The Power of Mantra’s!

Book – I’d Like to Play Alone, Please: Essays by Tom Segura

Book Description:

Tom Segura is known for his twisted takes and irreverent comedic voice. But after a few years of crazy tours and churning out podcasts weekly, all while parenting two young children, he desperately needs a second to himself. It’s not that he hates his friends and family — he’s not a monster — he’s just beat, which is why his son’s (ruthless) first full sentence, “I’d like to play alone, please,” has since become his mantra. In this collection of stories, Tom combines his signature curmudgeonly humor with a revealing look at some of the ridiculous situations that shaped him and the ludicrous characters who always seem to seek him out. The stories feature hilarious anecdotes about Tom's time on the road, including some surreal encounters with celebrities at airports; his unfiltered South American family; the trials and tribulations of parenting young children with bizarrely morbid interests; and, perhaps most memorably, experiences with his dad who, like any good Baby Boomer father, loves to talk about his bowel movements and share graphic Vietnam stories at inappropriate moments. All of this is enough to make anyone want some peace and quiet. I’D LIKE TO PLAY ALONE, PLEASE will have readers laughing out loud and nodding in agreement with Segura's message: in a world where everyone is increasingly insane, sometimes you just need to be alone.


This book was hilarious.

I had literally no idea who Tom Segura was before I purchased this book. I’ve never heard of the man before in my life. I purchased this book off of the title alone. I’d like to play alone, please just sounded hilarious and something that I can resonate with. It made me curious what it meant and where it came from.

It turns out, this phrase is the first full sentence Tom’s oldest son spoke to him one random day. Tom loved it and it has become a bit of mantra for Tom and his life to remind him things that he values as well. Hell, it is so important that he named the title of his book after it. It clearly means something and drives some form of emotion in him to get into a certain from of mind to act.

This got me thinking about the power of mantras and ones that I lean on in my own life to propel me forward and get my mind into the right state to act.

Mantra’s have been a key component to propelling this journey forward and keeping me focused on my mission and purpose and reminding me of what I value most. I say them often to remember the lessons we’ve learned and incorporate them into my daily life so they become a part of me.

On the tennis court, I constantly remind myself to “not worry about outcomes”. I tell myself “clean slate” after each point whether it was good or bad. Then I tell myself, “Smile and Just Have Fun” to remember why I’m on the court in the first place.

When I’m at work running from meaningless meeting to meeting and I’m exhausted, I remind myself that I “don’t run for trains” and it relaxes me and gives myself permission to be a little late, grab a fresh cup of tea, or use the bathroom.

When I’m talking to my myself or the team I lead about the importance of balance, I make sure to remind us all to not forget to “always put first things first”.

But the most important mantra that launched this journey from its inception and continues to propel me forward each day is WWED (What Would Emilia Do)!

This is the question that I asked myself on April 22cd, 2020 after I found myself lying in bed and not wanting to ever get up again after returning home from the hospital without my daughter and knowing that we’d never see her alive again. As I was sitting in my bed while my wife cried next to me and staring blankly at the wall. I was stunned, hopeless, and had no intention of ever moving from that spot ever again if I could help it. I magically heard a voice ask me, “What Would Emilia Do?” after sitting there for hours and I knew immediately what that answer was, we fight!

I got up!

The most important lesson Emilia, my soul teacher, ever taught me was you never quit on something you value in this world. She valued a chance at life and did everything she could to spend as long as she could with us in this world. I watched her endure more than you can ever imagine, and she still wouldn’t quit. Even after we made the decision to pull her off life support, she still wouldn’t quit. Watching her fight for what she cared about most in this world is something I can never forget.

That is why the mantra, WWED compels me to act each morning. It makes me think of her, reminds me of how strong we are as humans, and forces me into motion toward the things that matter most to me in this world.

Just this morning, I woke up STRUGGLING. I AM TIRED! I had a late tennis match, which I lost, and didn’t get back until 11 pm. My body hurts, my brain is drained from a few tough weeks of work where we’ve been balls to the wall to finish out the fiscal year, I’ve taken on more and more projects for living for 2, and my wife is stressed out about her life and constantly pressing me to do more and more with our son. Everything inside of me wanted to pack it in this morning and stay in bed. I’m not kidding. I tried to tell myself that we were going to take it easy today. No YOML, take a light walk, and coast. I don’t want to write, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to go on a run outside in the cold, I don’t want to learn something…I just wanted some rest.

Then I said to myself, WWED? I got up and I got to work because that is what Emilia would have done. If it is something you care about, you fight, endure, and never quit. There is nothing I care about more in this world than my purpose of Living for 2 each day and spending time with Emilia…and here we are, writing this reflection.

This is how this journey has endured and will continue to endure until the day I die.

Mantras are incredibly powerful if they actually mean something to you.

Question: What mantra’s power your purpose?



What is The Year of Magical Learning? An Introduction

YOML Podcast Discussion - Coming Soon

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