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Carpe Diem Connections

Carpe Diem Connections

By Yvette Francino
Using Agile Philosophies to Live a Happy, Productive, and Meaningful Life
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Season 4, Episode 3: Dan Jaworski competing in Kona Ironman after getting early-onset Alzheimer's diagnosis
Short introduction of Dan Jaworski, who is participating in the Kona Ironman after receiving an early onset Alzheimer's diagnosis.  Full YouTube video available here: Blog post: When Dan Jaworski received a devastating diagnosis and a recommendation from his doctor to move forward on his bucket list, he knew what he needed to do. “Within hours of my diagnosis, I contacted Sarah Hartmann at The IRONMAN Foundation. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to race Kona on October 9, 2021” The month of June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. You can read more about Dan and his inspirational story here. His attitude of resilience and strength is the same “Carpe Diem spirit” that I saw in my friend Craig Dunham when he was faced with an ALS Diagnosis. It’s the reason I started Rather than ask for money, Dan asked for 140 names – one for each of the 140.6 miles of the race – of others who are battling Alzheimer’s and related diseases. His list of 140 names, along with notes and tributes are listed on his site. And despite not asking for money, he has currently raised over $70K in donations for the Alzheimer’s Association. Gratefully, I don’t currently know anyone personally suffering from Alzheimer’s, but I certainly understand the devastation and fear most people would have in the face of such a diagnosis. Dan’s optimistic attitude, his drive, tenacity, and resilient spirit will most certainly work in his favor in the coming months, both in his training and in his overall health. Let’s follow his lead! Whether it’s participating in an Ironman, writing a book, or repairing a relationship, don’t wait. Follow your dreams. Carpe Diem!
June 21, 2021
Season 4, Episode 2: Interview with Baroness Susan Greenfield - Plasticity and the future of Alzheimer's
In this episode, I interview Baroness Susan Greenfield, a renowned neuroscientist about Brain Plasticity and the Future of Alzheimer's. Blog Post: YouTube Video: I’ve been looking forward to my interview with Baroness Susan Greenfield since I heard her speak at the Douglas Adams Memorial lecture in March. Besides being a world renowned neuroscientist on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, she’s an interesting and entertaining speaker! She’s the epitome of what many of us yearn to be: highly intelligent, funny, and working on unraveling some of the biggest mysteries of the mind, including the meaning of consciousness. She also is an entrepreneur. In 2013, she co-founded Neuro-Bio, a company that develops diagnostic tests and therapeutics to help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. In our interview, I asked Dr. Greenfield about her views on a cure. She mentioned the recent FDA approval of the controversial Biogen announcement of a drug claiming to slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s. She expressed more hope and optimism about the approach and drug under development at Neuro-Bio. Though not available to the public yet due to regulatory phases, Dr. Greenfield indicated that, with fair winds, it might be “two years away.”
June 12, 2021
Season 4, Episode 1 - Retrospectives for Learning
One of the Agile "ceremonies" is called a Retrospective. This is a time in which we reflect on "What went well" "What could be better" and "What we want to do differently going forward." In this episode, I use my podcasting experience as an example of how to ask these questions to learn and improve.
June 04, 2021
Season 3, Episode 10 - Meaning with Shirley F. Rivera
In Season 3 we are talking about the 10 Keys of Happiness defined by Action For Happiness. The 10th and final key is Meaning. Shirley F. Rivera is a trained Ikigai Tribe Coach and talks about what ikigai is - what motivates us to get up in the morning.  We explore the topics of meaning, purpose, and ikigai and its relationship to happiness.
March 09, 2021
Season 3, Episode 9: Awareness with Becky Burns
This season we are talking about the 10 Keys to Happiness as defined by Action For Happiness, with the 9th Key being Awareness.  I'm rejoined by my co-host from Season 2, Becky Burns, who talks about her journey with Self-Awareness.
March 09, 2021
Season 3, Episode 8 - Emotion with Meghan Baskerville
Summary: In this episode we're talking about Emotion, the 8th Key to Happiness as defined by Action for Happiness.  My guest is Meghan Baskerville, a Communications major who I met through National Days Calendar's Ambassador program on social media.  In this episode we talk about about how emotions can be impacted by social media. Blog Post: The 8th of the 10 Keys to Happiness, according to the Action for Happiness Website, is Emotion. My guest on this week’s Carpe Diem Connection podcast is Meghan Baskerville, a 29-year-old Communications student. I met Meghan virtually as part of the National Days Ambassador program. Meghan is always supportive, friendly, and celebrating every day. Her pictures on social media are fun and spunky and her natural smile is contagious. Meghan has lost over 100 pounds in the past year and she’s documented her weight-loss journey on social media. In this podcast we talk a bit about social media and how our emotions are effected by others reactions or comments. Come join us on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook group and let us know your thoughts about how social media affects your emotions and happiness! I know that will give me a happiness boost!
March 07, 2021
Season 3, Episode 7 - Resilience with Nic Friedman of ALS Never Surrender
Summary: In Season 3 of Carpe Diem Connections we're talking about the 10 Keys of Happiness as defined by Action for Happiness.  On this episode we talk about the Resilience of Steph Courdin and his work on ALS Never Surrender.  Our guest is Steph's son-in-law, Nic Friedman, who took over as CEO for ALS Never Surrender.  Nic describes the app that's being used to gather over one million data points of patient data from patients in clinical trials.  Blog post: Resilience is the trait that my friend, Craig Dunham, demonstrated, despite a diagnosis of ALS. It’s the trait that most inspired me to live with what I think of as a “Carpe Diem” mindset. This week on my Carpe Diem Connections podcast, I talk to Nic Friedman, CEO of ALS Never Surrender, and son-in-law to Steph Courdin. I got involved with the ALS Never Surrender non-profit a few years ago and was inspired by the founder, Steph Courdin, who gathered a group of colleagues and volunteers to create a mobile app that would collect valuable ALS patient progression data. ALS patient, Steph Courdin, empowers research teams and inspires me to be resilient and live fully In this week’s episode of Carpe Diem Connection, we’re talking about Resilience, the 7th Key to Happiness, according to Action for Happiness. Steph’s son-in-law, Nic Friedman, tells us the moving story of the history of ALS Never Surrender. As Steph noted in this video, though his app wasn’t able to save him, it may save the world. Though Steph lost his battle with ALS in 2019, his work carries on through his family and the volunteer-run non-profit ALS Never Surrender. Tune in to this special episode of Carpe Diem Connections to hear more about the amazing progress that’s being made. The unedited YouTube video interview with Nic can be found here. We end with a reminder to live every day as Steph did – with intention, resilience, and a sense of awe and wonder at each sunset. Join us on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group and share your stories of resilience.
February 28, 2021
Season 3, Episode 6 - Hannah Kane on "Direction" (Goal-Setting)
Summary: This week we're exploring the 7th Key to happiness: Direction. Each week I'm talking to a guest about one of the 10 Keys of Happiness as defined by Action for Happiness. This week's guest is Hannah Kane from Portland, Oregon. Blog Post: We are on Week 6 of Season 3 on Carpe Diem Connections. This week we are talking about “Direction” (or Goal-setting) which is the 6th Key to Happiness according to the 10 Keys to Happiness on the Action For Happiness Website. Goal setting is one of my favorite topics and is definitely something that keeps me feeling happy. I use my background as an Agile coach to work in small iterations, celebrate, and improve my skills as I’m accomplish goals. My guest this week, Hannah Kane, also has a background in Agile, and on this podcast we talk about how we can stay motivated to accomplish our personal goals. Hannah’s unique Scrum Your Wedding site is how we originally met. This is a great example of how we can use an Agile framework in our every day life. Hannah and I both love themes and play and we talk about how if we make the “journey” of achieving a goal fun, we will stay motivated. In the end the journey is as important as the outcome. Hannah also talks about the importance of anticipation when working towards a goal. You can find the YouTube video of my discussion with Hannah here. Check out Hannah’s wonderful site: Come give us your thoughts on goal setting and connection on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group.
February 22, 2021
Season 3, Episode 5: Trying Out Travel with Kelly Bates
Kelly Bates from Travel Souly talks about Trying Out - the 5th Key of Happiness from Action for Happiness.
February 14, 2021
Season 3, Episode 4 - Award-winning podcaster Klaudia Mitura on Awareness and Mindfulness
Summary In this episode, I talk to the award-winning podcaster from the podcast, &Happiness., Klaudia Mitura. We talk about the 4th Key to Happiness as defined by the Action for Happiness: Awareness.  We talk about the practice of Meditation, Emotional Intelligence, and using mindful meditation to help lessen pain. Blog Post: The thing I like most about hosting my Carpe Diem Connections podcast is the connections I myself make. It’s like a scavenger hunt to find fascinating guests — and I have this great big World Wide Web to look for them. I hit the jackpot with the guest on my podcast this week, Klaudia Mitura. She’s an award-winning podcaster herself of the popular podcast &Happiness. One morning I asked Alexa to play a Happiness podcast for me and she played this one! Klaudia and her co-host, Kitty Newman use the letters of the alphabet as prompts to do a deeper dive into different types of Happiness. Theme-nut that I am, I was immediately hooked! It was clear, after listening to a few episodes, that Klaudia knew not only a lot about happiness, but about the science behind our emotions as well. I was thrilled when she agreed to be on my podcast, talking about the 4th Key of Happiness as defined by Action for Happiness: Awareness. In this episode, I question Klaudia about the practice of meditation. Being a bit of a skeptic and a person who definitely does not want to spend time thinking about nothing but my breath, I’ve been slow to fully embrace meditation, despite its constant recommendations in happiness literature. Listening to Klaudia about her thoughts and explanations was enlightening. We also talk a bit about the practice of Emotional Intelligence and practices besides meditation that encourage being present and mindful. Tune in and let us know what you think on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group. Or, if you prefer, view the YouTube video of our Zoom interview. And don’t forget! This month is Carpe Diem Day and I’m hosting contests! Come play!
February 07, 2021
Season 3, Episode 3: Exercise with Fitness Coach Sarah Schwallier
In Season 3 of Carpe Diem Connections, we're looking at each of the 10 Keys of Happiness as defined by Action for Happiness. This week we talk about Exercise with Fitness Coach Sarah Schwallier.
January 31, 2021
Season 3, Episode 2: Wendy Chalmers Mill talks about Relating
We're talking about the 10 Keys of Happiness as defined by Action for Happiness.  In this episode we chat with Wendy Chalmers Mill about social connections.
January 24, 2021
Season 3, Episode 1 - Giving with Reddit Gift Exchange
We start a new Season of Carpe Diem Connections in which we'll be talking about 10 Keys to Happiness as defined by Action for Happiness.  This week, I'm talking to Kelly Guyon who was my "secret Santa" for the Reddit Card Exchange. You can see the video interview on YouTube here:
January 18, 2021
Joy and Technology
In this final episode of 2020 and of Season 2 of Carpe Diem Connections, we explore the topic of Positive Technology. We are following along with Ingrid Fetell Lee's Joy Makeover and discussing the episode in which she talks to Pamela Pavliscak a positive technologist.
December 27, 2020
Finding Joy During the Holiday Season
In this episode, Becky Burns and I talk about Finding Joy during the holidays during this challenging year. We discuss some ideas for creating alternative traditions including celebrating Kwanzaa during the final week of the year.
December 19, 2020
The Joy Makeover Spinoffs - Joy and Food
Join us for the next episode of Season 2 where we do a deeper dive into joy following The Joy Makeover found at
December 11, 2020
Joy and Things
This week, co-host Becky Burns and I continue our deep-dive into Joy.  We are discussing topics from The Joy Makeover and this week we talk about how order and decluttering might help us find inner peace and joy.
December 05, 2020
Joy and Money
Do you find more joy in spending money on experiences or things? Tune in as we continue with topics from The Joy Makeover, this week discussing the relationship between joy and money. You can find the Joy Makeover at
November 28, 2020
Relationships and Joy during the Covid19 Holidays!
This week Becky and I continue exploring the Joy Makeover where the topic is Joy and Relationships. We talk specifically about ways to connect with others during this 2020 holiday season where we're probably doing Thanksgiving a little differently this year due to Covid 19 restrictions. You can find out more about The Joy Makeover at If you'd like to participate in sending cards to isolated seniors, check out:
November 21, 2020
The Joy Makeover Spinoffs: Time and Joy
We're participating in Ingrid Fetell Lee's, "The Joy Makeover" and this week, we're discussing our thoughts on Joy and Time.   Find The Joy Makeover at: This week we're discussing Time and Joy based on the video that Ingrid has with Laura Vanderkam. Download a free Time Makeover Guide from Laura's website. Join the discussion in the Carpe Diem Connection Facebook Group:
November 13, 2020
Finding Joy in the midst of Election Anxiety
Rebecca Burns has agreed to be my co-host as we talk about Finding Joy.  I've become enamored with Ingrid Fetell Lee and her recent Joy Makeover workshop. She offers a workbook and a very interesting set of interviews, digging deeper with topics about things such as how our joy is affected with 11 different topics starting with time, money, and relationships. Becky and I do our own deep dive into these topics and add a few more that are particularly relevant for the times or for us.  For example, this week, we'll talk about Joy and Politics since the election is causing so much anxiety for so many people.  As I write this, the vote is still undecided.  Please join us in the discussion at the Facebook Group: Carpe Diem Connections or you can email me at
November 06, 2020
Rick Davis - Author of "The Furnace of Leadership Development"
Rick Davis from Impactus speaks about the importance of Integrity in leadership. Rick is an author, speaker, and trainer, and wrote, "The Furnace of Leadership Development." Impactus: The Furnace of Leadership Development: Full YouTube video: Blog post:
November 01, 2020
Amy Sargent from Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence
Amy Sargent, Executive Directory from the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence, describes what Emotional Intelligences is all about and how understanding more about ourselves and our emotions can be life-changing and lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. Here's a link to the next free 1-hour workshop on Coaching Emotional Intelligence.  Each participant will receive a Social + Emotional Intelligence Assessment just for attending.  Here’s the link: . Here is contact information to find out more | | 303-325-5176 Link to full YouTube interview with Amy: Blog Post:
October 25, 2020
Aparna Saligrama - Quiet Value Woman
Aparna Saligrama recently started a new network called Quiet Value Woman: An intellectual lounge for women.  In this episode, Aparna talks about her community and her motivations behind creating such a network. Full YouTube interview can be found here: Quiet Value Woman Website: Quiet Value Woman Facebook Community: Blog Post:
October 18, 2020
Jonathon Stalls from Walk2Connect and Intrinsic Paths
Jonathon Stalls talks about his journey as an artist, first walking across the country, and later forming Walk2Connect and Intrinsic Paths. Jonathon continues to share his art and explores ways of walking and connecting with others. Full YouTube interview: TEDx Talk (Life at 3MPH): Walk2Connect: Intrinsic Paths: Blog Post:
October 11, 2020
Patti Ashley - Authenticity Architects
Dr. Patti Ashley, a licensed Professional Counselor is the creator of a unique process called Authenticity Architecture designed to help you create your authentic self and live your best life. You can find out more about Patti and her many services and offerings at Blog post about this episode: Full YouTube interview found at:
October 04, 2020
Carlyn Shaw - Strangers to Friends
After a diagnosis of MS and the deaths of two good friends, Carlyn was at a crossroads. She wanted to find people like her, but this was in 1997, before the days of social media. She created "connection cards" and discovered the beauty of strangers becoming friends through shared stories.  You can see the full YouTube video with Carlyn here: Carpe Diem Day Blog Post: Strangers to Friends Website: Strangers to Friends Facebook Group:
September 27, 2020
Interview with Jennifer Fields from Thriving Solo
Jennifer Fields, a writer and coach, talks about her coaching practice, helping singles live their best lives. So often society sends us messages that we need to be paired up, that we can feel like something's wrong if we're single. Jennifer works to break down that old stereotype, helping people live full lives, regardless of their relationship status. The full YouTube Interview with Jennifer can be found here: Thriving Solo Podcast: Blog Post:
September 20, 2020
Rebecca Mullen of Altared Spaces Talks about 3 Roles Between Partners in a Marriage
Rebecca Mullen from Altared Spaces is a master certified life coach. She typically coaches people through transitions but this month she's preparing for her dream class: Habits for Happily Ever After. Rebecca talks in this clip about the 3 roles partners play in a marriage... that of a partner, that of a friend, and that of a lover, and how understanding these can really help strengthen communication with a marriage.  See the full YouTube video here: Blog Post:
September 11, 2020
Lawrence Coburn talks about the new app, Twine
Lawrence Coburn, co-founder of Twine, talks about the new app that fosters deep meaningful conversations between two people.  Tune in to see the full Interview on my YouTube Channel: Blog Post: YouTube Video: You can check out the twine app by going to:
September 05, 2020
Pamela Gail Johnson - Founder of Society of Happy People
I'm thrilled this week to talk to Pamela Gail Johnson who founded the Secret Society of Happy People (no longer a secret!) in 1998.  Now you can find a community of happy people and join yourself at  There's also an app (SOHP) where you can track 31 types of Happiness. Be sure to sign up for the SOHP newsletter and participate in Operation #SmileStarter for August - Happiness Happens Month! Tune in to the full YouTube video here:
August 28, 2020
Tom Johnston Interview
Episode #2 is an interview with Tom Johnston of Ageless Explorers. Full YouTube interview can be found here:   Blog post can be found here: The Ageless Explorer Facebook page can be found here:
August 22, 2020
Just Do It!
This is the first episode of a new Podcast: Carpe Diem Connections, a podcast about living life fully and fostering deep social connections. I was inspired by my friend who had ALS to live fully every day. I'll use this platform to talk to others who write, speak, and have interest in positive psychology, and leading a full and happy life.
August 16, 2020