David Wagner, an internationally acclaimed hairstylist, entrepreneur, and “Daymaker,” is the owner of Juut Salonspas, the original Aveda salons. His best-selling book, Life as a Daymaker: How to Change the World Simply by Making Someone’s Day, has helped generate a worldwide kindness movement.
In this inspiring video interview, David, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, candidly shares how he faced his own mortality and how his cancer experience has changed his life.
DAVID WAGNER INTERVIEW (1 OF 2)
DAVID WAGNER INTERVIEW (2 OF 2)
In the above interview, David referenced a powerful story that he shared with me for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. Here is an excerpt from that profoundly moving story.
I was working in my salon when a regular customer came in to get her hair styled. I was surprised to see her since it was right in the middle of her five-week period between haircuts. I figured she must have an important social engagement that evening since she asked for her hair to be styled instead of just cut. “No, I don’t have anything special going on,” she told me. “I just want to look and feel good tonight.”
Luckily, I was able to fit her in. I was in a great mood that day and I was really “on.” I gave her a great scalp massage and shampoo like I always did, and then styled her hair. We had a blast the whole time. We laughed and joked and entertained each other. When she left, she gave me a big hug that lasted just a little bit longer than usual.
Two days later I got a letter from her. When I started reading it, I froze. She said she had planned to commit suicide that day, that she had come in to get her hair styled so it would look good for her funeral. She said she had changed her mind during her appointment, that I had helped her realize that her life could be better. She had gone home and called her sister to tell her what she was going through, and her sister had taken her to the hospital.
I was stunned. If you had lined up a hundred of my clients and asked me to choose the one who was considering taking her own life, she would have been at the end of the list. She was gregarious, she was outgoing, she seemed successful. I had no idea that she was in such a dark place. I was glad, and humbled, to have made such a difference, yet I also felt a little uneasy. I wondered what would have happened had I been upset or distracted when she had come in and I had just gone through the motions of cutting her hair.
That day, I began to feel an enormous sense of responsibility. How many of the ten to fifteen clients I saw every day might be in a personal crisis and in need of a little extra kindness and attention? Even if it was just one person a week, I realized what a big difference I could make. I resolved then and there to treat every customer like I had treated that woman.
Today, whenever I catch myself thinking only of my own agenda, I go back to the moment when I opened that letter. And I remind myself that days are made of moments, and how I choose to be in those moments is what’s going to determine the quality of my day, which in turn can affect the quality of someone else’s day. What it all comes down to is this: If you’re going to be there, be there. You might be somebody’s only angel of the day and you can’t take that for granted.
Click here to read a short testimonial from a woman who had lost her will to live but was inspired by David’s book to love, hope and embrace life once again.
UPDATE: David posted this wonderful message on his Facebook page on August 25:
Hello all, I just returned from Mayo Clinic and it appears that I am in full remission. I have a bone biopsy on Thursday to confirm but it looks good. Life is great.
A week later, on September 1, David posted this equally wonderful follow-up message:
I just heard back my bone marrow biopsy turned out clean so I am in full remission. Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes, it made a huge difference for me. We’re dancing at the Wagners.
A few weeks ago, I interviewed JUUT Salonspa Owner David Wagner regarding his battle with lymphoma and his Faces of Cancer project for our Business Builders e-newsletter. Our staff was really happy to learn a few days ago that initial tests show that David’s cancer is in remission, and we hope the positive reports continue. But, I can’t stop thinking about something David told me during that interview.
As we were talking, it dawned on me that his health battle coincided with the judging for our SALONS OF THE YEAR competition. His Edina, Minnesota salon was our 2008 winner, so we had asked David to serve as one of this year’s expert judges. I told him that I had no idea about his condition then, or would never have asked him to take on the task.
His response surprised me. “It’s funny you mention that,” he laughed. “I actually judged that competition while reclining on pillows in the backseat as my parents drove me to my first treatment at the Mayo Clinic. It was a long drive, and it took me almost the entire trip. I had my laptop so I could review the salons’ decor images, and my cell phone so I could tell my assistant my scores and comments.”
As my mind formed that mental image, I said, “Why didn’t you just tell us, ‘No.’? We certainly would have understood.”
Again, he surprised me. “Actually, it felt good to do it. Because my doctors were concerned about my exposure to germs, I only stepped foot in the salons a few times in the past several months and I was feeling pretty disconnected. Judging the competition helped me feel part of the industry that I love.”
It just goes to show you that you never really know what is going on in someone else’s life, nor how something you may do or say may impact them. Chances are that kind of magic happens in the chairs of your salon every day. It’s a lesson that David, as the author of Life as a Daymaker, has been teaching us for years. And, now I want to thank him for making my day with that story.
Click here to view all my posts about dealing courageously with cancer.
Click here to view all my posts related to my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything.
Click here to see all the video and audio interviews I’ve conducted.
Click here to see all my posts featuring David Wagner.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.