Listen to Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino's interview with Laura Berg on The Best Ever You Show: https://www.besteveryou.com/podcast/episode/fe37da55/laura-berg-thriving-life
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Laura Berg. I’m the mother of two wonderful children and have been married to my loving husband for over 20 years. The one thing that everyone who knows me will tell you is that I love to travel. I love seeing the world and experiencing new things so I’ve designed my life so I can travel as much as possible.
How did you get to be where you are today?
Hard work and taking chances. Whenever I want something, I figure out what I need to do to make it happen. I plan a little and then take action. Often, people get stuck in the planning stage and then never end up following through. I tend to jump in feet first when I want something. Most times it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. When things don’t work out, I try to turn it into learning experiences and move on.
Have you ever been fired?
Once. When I was much younger, I was backpacking in Australia and got a job as a live-in housekeeper. The family had two children and I thought the job would be more childcare than housecleaning. I was wrong. I am not a fan of cleaning up after others and the family clearly sensed that. They let me go but were very kind about it. Still, being rejected devastated me. I never wanted to experience that feeling again so any job I had after that, I gave it my all even if I didn’t like it.
What are your real passions?
Travel! All things travel. I love adventure and exploring new places. I typically don’t go back to the same place twice unless I absolutely love it. I love scuba diving and anything to do with water. I find peace when I am on, in or near water. I’m also a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Diving with sharks, climbing a mountain, jumping off cliffs, skydiving… give me adventure and I’m in!
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
I bet you can guess what I would do. Travel, of course. If money was no object I would go on crazy expensive trips like an expedition to Antarctica, diving the tectonic plates in Iceland or to see the polar bears in Northern Canada. My goal would be to experience all that the world has to offer.
Of course, I would also donate some of it to causes that are close to my heart. I would want to help single mothers who have left abusive relationships. When my mom left my dad, it was hard for her. There were a few people in our lives that helped, and their help meant the world to us.
What do you do to help others be their best?
I offer validation and a non-judgmental ear. It’s important to validate people’s feelings even if you don’t understand or agree with why they are feeling the way they are. You don’t have to agree with people’s choices to be able to validate how they must be feeling. If you validate someone’s feelings, they are more open to accepting your support, guidance or advice. If someone doesn’t feel understood, then they will close up and not share with you. I also share my own personal experiences with others. That’s why I decided to write Thriving Life. I realized the value of sharing my experiences with others because they can hopefully take the life lesson that I’ve learned and apply it to their own lives.
How do you help yourself be the best you can be?
I took a CBT course years ago and learned how to step back when I’m feeling down and analyze why I may be feeling the way I am. I often have to remind myself to do these exercises when things are getting to me because it doesn’t come naturally. It takes work. I also continue to take courses to better myself and listen to motivational talks that inspire me.
The most important thing I do is take care of myself. Even though I have a husband and children I still like to travel on my own. Getting away and reconnecting with myself is powerful. I come back a better mother, wife and human. Taking care of yourself is the biggest gift you can give yourself.
What do you like to do in your personal life?
My favorite thing to do is to scuba dive. I love how peaceful it is under the water. When I can’t travel, I like to explore my own province. I love to go camping and hiking. I love to take my paddleboard down to the lake and spend time on the water. I bought waterproof headphones so I can listen to a book while I’m on the water and escape into a good story.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I’ve decided to go back to school (again) to work on a thesis that I’m passionate about. My thesis is on how narrative therapy and creative writing can help adoptees overcome adoption related trauma. I started writing a fiction book loosely based on my experience as an adopted child. It’s a mystery/crime novel and writing it was very cathartic for me. The funny thing is I wrote an ending that I thought I wanted, that would be my happily ever after. Then I hired an editor to help me with the book and she said my ending is predictable and boring. She made a few suggestions that were very eye opening and intense. Her suggestions were like a slap in the face that made me realize something very profound about my view of what I thought I wanted. I don’t want to give too much away because I’m hoping this book will be published and you’ll want to pick up a copy and see what happens.
The thing I got out of creative writing was a breakthrough in my thought process. I thought my story went one way but changing my perspective gave me a new ending that made me feel at peace with my life now. I was awestruck at how healing creative writing can be. That is what lead me to want to research and write a thesis on the topic of using narrative therapy and creative writing to help adoptees.
What is a book or two that you recommend?
This may sound silly, but I love reading dystopian books. I love to escape from reality. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, really most of the popular dystopian books. I also like to read motivational and self-help books but sometimes I like to just turn off my mind and escape.
Please give us one or two shameless plugs.
People who are interested can follow my Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/lauraberglife and I am the author of the book Thriving Life - How to Live Your Best Life No Matter the Cards You Are Dealt
I share my life experiences on my channel. If you subscribe you’ll hear about any exciting future projects I’m working on. I’m going to share my experience of going back to school to research and write my thesis. I’ll let everyone know if my fiction novel gets published. I also share fun travel videos as well as parenting tips and advice. You can also join my Thriving Life Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/thrivinglife
What are some of your favorites? (books, websites, etc..)
I love TedTalks - https://www.ted.com/talks
My favorite podcasts are This American Life and My Favorite Murder. My favorite podcast for going to sleep is Nothing Much Happens.
My favorite narrator is Joyce Bean. I love listening to books on tape and I often pick my books based on her being the narrator. When my publisher told me my book was being made into an audio book I asked if I could have Joyce narrate it. You can imagine my excitement when I found out they got her to do it!
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because it brings me happiness (and allows me to travel). Life is too short to do something that doesn’t bring you joy.
What are a few of your goals?
I like to have one major goal in mind, accomplish that and then create another one once I’ve crossed that goal off my list. My next goal is finishing my novel and getting it published. I also want to dive the tectonic plates in Iceland even if I don’t win the lottery.
What do the words "Best Ever You" mean to you?
“Best Ever You” to me means figuring out what makes you happy, what brings you joy, and going after that. You can be your best you when you take care of yourself and understand how special you are.