Podcast Special Guest, Dustin Aho

Dustin Aho
Episode 39

What's the definition of "passenger-seat driving?" Join host Japhet De Oliveira as he sits with guest Dustin Aho for an open and honest conversation about challenges, expectations, limits, leadership and faith.
Libsyn Podcast
"My definition of faith is making life choices with a lack of certainty. Because once you have full certainty, it's no longer faith."

Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. Join your host Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, welcome friends to another fantastic episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. I'm really excited about our guest today because I've known him for many, many years. We've actually done lots of work together before. We actually work together now, but worked together on lots of other projects. So this is actually an exciting podcast for me as well. Before I introduce him and ask for his name, and he's smiling right now and so we'll get to hear a little bit about him, I just want to explain to anybody who's brand new today what's going to happen.

We have 100 questions and it gets a little bit more vulnerable, a little bit more open towards the end. And our guest gets to choose where they want to go inside the list. I'm going to start with the first 10, and then they're going to go with the rest of them and decide where they want to go. So without any hesitation, let's dive in with the first one here. Why don't we start with your name? And does anybody ever mess it up?

Dustin Aho: This is a tough one right out the gate. So my name is Dustin Aho. And so a lot of people do mess it up. I went through college in the south and every single roll call was a complete random situation on what I was going to get for my last name. I won't go there because this is a clean podcast, but I could give you a few examples of what we're talking about. We're going to keep it clean here.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's really good. That's really good. Dustin, what do you do for work?

Dustin Aho: So right now I am the operations executive for the Well-Being Division of Adventist Health. So what does that mean? Pretty much it means I have lots of meetings and my calendar is really, really full and I do lots of emails back and forth. But no, in all seriousness, I have the privilege of working with a team of people that get to wake up every single day and think about how do we make well-being improvement accessible to all, and what are the next great ideas that are out there that we could bring together to be able to improve well-being for individuals, organizations, and communities?

Japhet De Oliveira: And now you've done this for just a couple of years, right? There's been a bit of a change.

Dustin Aho: Yeah, just about two years in March. So between a year and a half and two years at this point.

Japhet De Oliveira: And before that you were doing something else.

Dustin Aho: Yeah. Before that.

Japhet De Oliveira: You used to be my boss.

Dustin Aho: Well kind of, sort of. Is anyone ever really Japhet's boss? But anyway, we'll just leave that here. For about three years prior to this role, I spent three years as the mission executive for Adventist Health in some form of capacity. And as the mission executive, my role was kind of two faceted. I oversaw the nonprofit health system, Adventist Health's community benefit strategies, and what we called our mission identity work. Mission identity, spiritual care, all of that for Adventist Health.

Japhet De Oliveira: Brilliant, brilliant. So moved from that space there, but still a deep passion for it. And now moving us all into the world of well-being.

Dustin Aho: Yeah. You know, I've found in my career, and this gets a little off the question, I've reinvented myself about every three years. That for some reason has been my historical journey. And to some degree it creates to quite a bit of stress. In other ways, though, what I find it allows me to do is take about half of the language I already know really well and forces me to stretch and learn new things. And so it keeps things interesting and it keeps me growing. And I think in this day and age, if you are not willing to reinvent yourself as an executive, you are going to find yourself in tough times pretty quick because of the pace of change that's happening right now in the world around us.

Japhet De Oliveira: For those of you who don't know Dustin, Dustin is actually not only a global thinker, but he is a world traveler. He's lived in different countries. He's very, very sharp and very quick. And so this is actually going to be a fun, fun experience today. Let's dive into a few of these other simple questions here before we get into the 11 to 100. This morning, drink of choice? Do you always begin your day with water, with coffee, with tea or with one of those liquid green smoothies?

Dustin Aho: Whoa, those are the choices, huh? So I usually wake up and I try to drink a glass of water right out the gate, a glass or two to wake me up. I've recently started, again, returning to the gym in the morning first thing when I wake up. So I try to get some water right as I go. And then when I'm done with the gym, I'll usually do some form of a protein shake. And then coming out of that, I am a big fan of the coffee beverage, and I often find myself drinking a cup of coffee throughout the morning. So yeah. I have a lot of beverage situations going on early in the morning it seems.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. That's pretty good. All right. And tell us where were you born?

Dustin Aho: I was born in New Hampshire, a little town called New Ipswich. Actually, no. I've messed that up. That's where I grew up. I was born in Peterborough, New Hampshire and I spent the first seven years of my life in the New England area.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, good, good. And so when you were a kid living there, what did you imagine you were going to grow up to be?

Dustin Aho: You know, a lot of my friends always chose early. They were, "I want to be a doctor." "I want to be a fireman." "I want to be a soldier." "I want to be a policeman." I've never really known what I want to be when I grow up, ever. And I say that today. I still don't really know what I want to be when I grow up. And so I've never really had that picture for my life. And I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, but I never really set that path for myself.

Japhet De Oliveira: I like that. I like that. Always changing, always adapting, always thinking of something brand new. If they were to describe your personality, would some say that you were introvert, extrovert and would you agree?

Dustin Aho: I think I would be described by almost everyone as an extrovert. And I would agree with that statement.

Japhet De Oliveira: Right. And then-

Dustin Aho: I've accepted it and I know who I am.

Japhet De Oliveira: No denial there. Would you say you're an early riser on a late night owl?

Dustin Aho: Neither. That's the strange thing. So if I were just left to my own devices, I'd be about a seven o'clock in the morning guy. I wake up about seven o'clock in the morning. And it's a significant frustration to my wife that I'm about a nine o'clock in the evening fall asleep on the couch guy. So I'm about nine o'clock fall asleep, while she's watching a show on TV. And then I have to force myself, which I attempt to do, to wake up prior to about 6:45 or seven.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, good for you for that. All right then. And this morning, when you forced yourself to get up, what was the first thing that you thought of this morning?

Dustin Aho: "I don't want to go to the gym," was the first thing. No, my daughter was up about six, seven times last night, and so when I crawled out of bed at 5:45 this morning, I thought, "Man, I've got a really good excuse." That last night I was awake so much, maybe I shouldn't go to the gym. And then I thought, "I really need to go to the gym because I've got a full day of work today. And if I don't, I'll be dragging all day long."

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, well done, well done. Some motivation for all of us. We should do that. All right. Here's a leadership question. Are you a backseat driver?

Dustin Aho: Am I a backseat driver? I would say no, I'm not a backseat driver. But for most of my career, I have been a lead from the second seat position. So I find myself in a second seat, supporting advising role. And then I very quickly find myself in a leadership role from the second position.

So I wouldn't call myself a backseat driver. And I think if you talk to anyone that works for me, they would tell you I'm actually a relatively poor manager. I don't manage well. I trust my people to lead and to take charge of their body of work. But I also don't just sit back in my second position and not step into a leadership role.

So maybe I'm a passenger seat driver. Is that a thing? Not a backseat driver, but a passenger seat driver.

Japhet De Oliveira: We'll adopt that. We'll adopt that. Yeah.

Dustin Aho: If that's a thing then that's what I am.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. That's good. All right. So that was really easy. Now we dive into 11 to 100. You get to pick the number. Obviously, it gets a little bit harder, more open. And so where, Dustin, would you like to go?

Dustin Aho: Let go to 50.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. 50 it is.

Dustin Aho: We'll start with 50. And then do I get one more chance to shoot? Like if we want to hit the last?

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, you get to go up and down all over.

Dustin Aho: All over the place.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. It's your journey. Yeah, absolutely. No editing. So it's just beautiful. Here we go. Share about who has influenced you professionally.

Dustin Aho: Yeah, that's a great question. So I've had what I would call four mentors. I think a lot of people in their lives like to claim bootstraps. You know, "I grabbed myself by the bootstraps and pull myself up." I'm not a bootstraps guy. If anyone were to look at me and say that I have seen any form of success, it comes down to four individuals.

I was over in Africa, Tim Gillespie, Pastor Tim Gillespie found me, offered me a job, offered to mentor me. I spent the first five or six years of my professional career working for Tim. And he gave me a great amount of opportunity.

I went from there to Randy Roberts. Randy Roberts gave me the opportunity at 27 or 28 years old to be the executive administrator of Loma Linda University Church. And so he gave a young person way too much leadership opportunity and gave me the opportunity to run with that.

From there I encountered Scott Reiner, who gave me a shot, a church administrator, to step into healthcare, completely untried, completely new domain, and gave me the opportunity to lead mission for a large health system and mentored me along that way.

And then the fourth one is Ben Leedle. He gave me the opportunity to mentor under him as I made the step from nonprofit healthcare mission leadership into what I would classify more as a startup build division leadership. And Ben has been the fourth mentor in my life teaching me the ropes of more of a for-profit startup growth type of enterprise. So I would say those four leaders have each taken a risk on giving me an opportunity to lead. And actually much of what drives me is wanting to honor the risk that those leaders have given to me.

Japhet De Oliveira: I love that Dustin. Actually, I agree with you 100% that I think everyone has done something because somebody else has actually helped them. And to give credit to them and honor them. That's fantastic. That's beautiful. Thanks for sharing that. That's beautiful. All right. Where'd you want to go after 50?

Dustin Aho: Let's go to 60. Let's keep jumping by 10, see how far we go.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. When in life have you felt most alone?

Dustin Aho: I think I've felt most alone, ironically, when I'm the most surrounded by people and busy. When I really get into what I'll call the grind of life. You're in it, and you're grinding hard, and you continue to reach for help in ways that you think you're reaching for help. And everyone is looking at you saying, "That guy's so busy. That guy's doing so much and caring so much, he's got it." You know, he's making it happen and it's going, and everyone else is so busy. And then you just find yourself one day sitting there on your front porch feeling like the weight of the world's on you, feeling like you reached out for help, but nobody heard.

And so I would say it's happened a few times in my career where it's just like, I look at my calendar every day and it slammed. The amount of expectations on you are through the roof. You've got stuff going on in your personal life. And it's just like, "I can't lift this anymore. I can't do it anymore." And the activity around you is just full speed and full pace. So it's this strange situation where you would think that you're not alone, because everyone's with you. But at the end of the day, if you feel like you can't keep up, you're alone because everyone else is just as busy as you are.

Japhet De Oliveira: So 60A: What would you say to someone who actually feels that they actually are in that space? Because I know a lot of people that I think are actually in that space.

Dustin Aho: Yeah. I think there's a couple of things. First of all, don't rely on nuanced asks for help. I think many of us when we're in that space, being vulnerable and declaring I'm in trouble is scary. Especially from a leader. I'll just tell you from a leader it's really scary to say, "I don't know if I can keep up and I'm in trouble right now," because you think that those around you are going to write you off at that moment.

And so I think I'd have a couple of pieces of advice. Don't hint at asks for help. Ask. Identify the people in your life and ask for help. That's the first. The second is some people may write you off. It doesn't matter. You don't need those people in your life anyway. If the people that you reach to help see that you reaching is a sign of weakness, then those aren't people that you should be reaching to anyway. And so don't worry about what their perception of you is.

And then I'd give a final piece of advice. I found myself in a leadership position very young. And Randy Roberts actually sat me down one day and he said, "Dustin, you're young, you're in a leadership position. Let me just tell you something. Leadership is lonely. It's very lonely. You've got to make decisions that you can't tell other people why you made those decisions. You're going to have people second guessing every single decision you make. It's lonely."

And so I found myself in a leadership position young. And when that happens to you, you feel this constant pressure that you need to stay ahead of the curve, right? Like whatever term you want to use, golden boy, wonder child. Whatever term, you kind of adopt that. And then you put this pressure on yourself that I have to stay ahead of the curve. And the older you get, the harder it is to be ahead of the curve, because there's just a lot of people when you get into your thirties and forties that are really strong leaders.

And now you find yourself forcing yourself to try to be ahead of whatever this fake curve you've created in your head. And you can find yourself standing alone in the middle of nowhere wondering how did I get here? Who do I reach to for help? And how do I get out of this position? And it really tough spot to be in. There's no question. And so I've found myself in that position a couple of times, and I've had to reach to those four mentors I shared in my last question.

I've been very vulnerable with them. I've reached to them and said, "Guys, I'm in trouble. I don't know what my path through this is. I don't know how I keep going. Can you help?" And I've had four mentors that have not seen it as a sign of weakness, and that have stopped everything on their calendars to engage. And that's been life changing for me. That was a really long answer to a relatively simple question.

Japhet De Oliveira: Not that simple, but actually really good. I mean, and for all of our listeners, this is the depth and the kind of person that I know. And I appreciate you sharing that, Dustin, because I think there are a lot of people who really can look like they've got it all together, and have the appearance that everything's going okay, but can feel really alone in the midst of a lot of things going on. So hearing that's good counsel. So thanks for sharing that.

Dustin Aho: Yeah, of course.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. Where'd you want to go after 60A?

Dustin Aho: 70.

Japhet De Oliveira: 70, all right. Tell us about one thing that you are determined to accomplish. Only one thing, Dustin.

Dustin Aho: Be a good father. There's something about having kids that changes everything. I have two kids. My son Caden is five and my daughter Sidney is three. And like I said, I found myself in leadership positions in various careers, early, young in life. And much of the early part of my life was about me just quite frankly. It was about me. It was about my leadership role. It's about me stepping in as executive administrator at the university church. And then me moving my family because I got an opportunity at Adventist Health.

So we moved from Southern California to Northern California. And a lot of my life, even for me was about me even though I didn't realize that at the time. Then I had kids. And all of a sudden, as a father, my life is no longer about me. Life is about my kids, right?

How do I create a good life for them? And I'll just tell you the trap you can fall into as the primary breadwinner and executive in the family, is I've got to prioritize work because I've got to generate the revenue necessary for my family. Right? And what I'm learning, actively learning, is that's not the definition of what a good father is. I didn't say that my job was to generate enough cash flow so that my family could do whatever they want to do. What I said is I'm determined to be a good father and that's going to mean tough decisions as it relates to me.

And so I would say that's a learning for me that I'm actively in the middle of right now. Like I've got to say no to certain things at work so I can be at my kid's soccer games. And I've got to do things differently that might hurt my long term career and my personal growth, because that's not my top priority anymore. My kids, and my kids knowing that they're number one in my life, that's top priority. So that's a tough one. I'll just own it. And I'm in the middle of it right now. But if I'm going to do one thing in my life, that's what it's going to be.

Japhet De Oliveira: That takes tremendous perspective to be able to arrive at that. And most people when they arrive at the later stages of their life will all conclude the same way as you. So to realize it early is better.

Dustin Aho: Let me be clear. I'm not saying I'm there yet. I'm trying. I've made that conclusion in my life that that's what I'm going to do. I still got a ways to go because I still find myself... The other day, my son came to me and said, "Dad, I just want to spend some time with you. And you're always so busy." And that right there, as a father that breaks your heart. Like my son believes I'm too busy for him. Like I'm not achieving what my number one goal is. I've got to do something different. And so I still fail on it all the time. But I'm trying. You just keep trying, keep fighting.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. It's real. It's real. That's good. All right. Where do you want to go next?

Dustin Aho: Let's go to 75.

Japhet De Oliveira: 75. All right. Do you remember the very first item you purchased with your own money? And if so, what was it and why did you buy it?

Dustin Aho: This is a great question. I cannot remember the very first thing that I purchased with my own money. I can remember one of the first things. This is burnt into my memory and I'll kind of tie in into some of the others. So I had spent the summer working and I had earned my own money. And I went back home for... This is an interesting story, by the way. I went back home for the summer and we all went out to eat for my dad's birthday. We sat down for dinner, and the bill came and I decided I was going to pay for it, which in my family, that's not what happens. My dad takes care of things. Right? So I sit down and I pay for it. And I just still remember to this day it flustered my dad so bad.

I mean, he was so confused by this thing, like "Where did this payment come from?" And I said, "Well, I paid for it." And my dad was so flustered by it. I remember he looked at me and said, "Well, it doesn't really matter. It all kind of comes from me anyway." And I looked at him and I said, "Dad, you weren't the source of all things money in life." Like there are other sources of money in life. And it was just this kind of burned-in memory that the first time I bought something for my dad with my own money, he could not get his head wrapped around the fact that maybe it came from a place other than him of some sort.

And so kind of when you ask the question, that's what strikes me, is that. So anyway, I remember that was one of the first things I had spent my own hard earned money on was my dad's birthday dinner. And it just confused him because it was like, that's not how this works.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's great. All right. After 75?

Dustin Aho: Let's go to 80.

Japhet De Oliveira: 80. I know you're going to like this. How would you like to change in the future?

Dustin Aho: I'm probably going to give you an unexpected answer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. Yeah.

Dustin Aho: I think I need to stop expecting so much of myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself in a bunch of different ways. Right? I put a lot of pressure on myself to be successful. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be able to handle whatever is thrown my way. And I take on too much, frankly. I take on too much and I push myself right to the edge. And then I see myself beginning to crack. And if I'm not careful, I take that out on the people closest to me, my family, my coworkers.

That frustration boils over on those around me. And really the source of it is the fact that I expect myself to be able to do it, and to be able to take it on, and not fail. And I think in the future, I need to give myself more breaks, quite honestly, and recognize that I can't do it all, and I'm not going to be successful at it all. I'm going to encounter pretty significant failures in my life, and that's OK. That's OK. And that's, frankly, a tough shift for me. That's a really hard shift for me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you think that hard decision is in part due to also you understanding even more who you are and what you can bring? Is it because you are actually even more confident about who you are and so doesn't hurt that much, or?

Dustin Aho: I don't know, I mean. So I'll just tell you the honest truth. The last year has pushed me right to that brink again in my life. I mean, I've moved three times in the last year. I've taken on a massive home remodel. I stepped into this whole new body of work, which has been a pretty significant learning curve for me as the operations executive for the well-being division. And in the midst of COVID, I think, as an extrovert like we talked about, the social isolation of working from home has taken its toll. And I've found myself believing if I can just put my head down and grind my way through it, I can make it all happen.

And, you know, I've pushed myself to the brink in the last year, and I've realized I can't keep at that pace and survive. I mean, I'm going to burn out quickly at that. So I think, unfortunately, I wish I could say to your question, that the realization that I need to give myself more breaks comes from a place of greater confidence. I would say, like most things, it comes from a place of seeing the edge and it terrified me. And I realize that I can't see that edge that much. I've got to find a different path.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. That's really good. Thanks for sharing that. All right. We're still good. We're still good. Where do you want to go next?

Dustin Aho: Anywhere you want? You jumped. Let's go 90. Let's go 90.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. Tell us about how you overcame a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Dustin Aho: I think if you've listened to this last 20 or 30 minutes, 20 minutes of our podcast, I think this concept of an insurmountable obstacle, you'll realize that I don't see those. So when I say I need to give myself more breaks, or I need to understand I'm not Superman and I can't take on anything, I would say that's a definition that I don't often perceive insurmountable obstacles. I perceive that with enough grit, I can get through it and I could make it happen.

And so I would answer your question in a couple of ways. One, I am very much a believer of you don't have to have the full answer. You just got to take the next best step, right? You take the next best step. You remain positive in the solution, or the end state you're hoping to achieve, and you don't worry about having all the answers to get there. That's the first piece.

The second piece that I would speak to is I've learned over my career are nobody is smart enough to find the solution alone to some of life's biggest challenges. Let's take the challenge we're looking at right now. We're looking to essentially disrupt US healthcare by going upstream and driving community-based well-being solutions. This is hard work, and we don't know what the answers are, what the solutions are.

So what I've learned is I need to check my ego, put my need to be the smartest person in the room aside, and surround myself with the best possible talent, way smarter than me, way more gifted than me. And then my job is just to run as fast as I can to try to create time and space for them to do what they're best in the world at.

And that's the way I've taken on significant challenges is get the best possible people in the room. Don't be threatened by them, understand that we offset each other's flat spots. Don't believe they're going to take the spotlight away from you. And then do everything you can to enable them to be successful and stand them up on a pedestal.

That's been my leadership strategy. And what I've found is you're able to attract some pretty phenomenal talent around you, that you think, "How in the world did this person end up working for me?", if you're just willing to support them in doing what they love and be best at. And so it's about the team. It's about enabling the team. And it's about realizing that you get a group of committed really, really smart people together and you can take on some really big challenges.

Japhet De Oliveira: Maybe Dustin, you are more of a Jedi manager than you imagine.

Dustin Aho: You know, full transparency with this group. You brought up a quote. You asked me a question where you said, "Are you just more confident because you're starting to understand what you're good at." And I've actually been really struggling just over the last six months. I don't really know what I'm good at. I mean, I don't claim to be an expert in any particular area. I've told a few people this. I said, "My greatest strengths are people like me, people want to work with me, and people like being on my team."

So I'm able to assemble pretty phenomenal teams of people and be able to manage interesting personalities and go get things done. But when it comes down to am I the smartest one in the room? Never. Am I the strongest expert in the room? Never. Is there one particular area that I'm the most gifted in? Very rarely. I'm good with people. That's what it comes down to. And that's kind of what I like doing. I like people.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That is good. All right. We have time for two questions. Last two numbers. Where do you want to go?

Dustin Aho: I want to go to the end of the list. You know this is coming. I want to go 99 and 100.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. All right. Let's go in that order then. Number 99, what is the most difficult truth that you've ever told?

Dustin Aho: I can't do it. When I started this, just our conversation together, I shared with you a lot of the positions I found myself in as a leader. And there's been about two of these, two I can think of particularly, in my leadership career where I've sat down with one of those mentors and essentially had this conversation. "I'm about to crack. I am right at the edge. And if I don't make a real change soon, I'm going to burn out before I'm 40."

And that's tough for someone that's, as I've described in this podcast, for someone that has built a lot of self identity on the ability to get things done. The fact that you got to sit there and say, "I don't think I can do it. I don't think I can keep this pace. And I'm starting to break things in my life that are not fixable, family, health."

That's the hardest truths that, forget telling someone else. Everyone knows me. I'm a pretty open book on stuff. That's the hardest truth I've ever had to tell myself, that if something doesn't give and doesn't give soon, I'm going to break things that I can't fix.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, that's really good, Dustin. I mean, look Dustin, I think this is actually again, brother, this is one of the things that I think is a testament to your character, to you and to your depth and to your leadership. It does take a lot. It takes a lot to have the courage to admit, because like we've mentioned here, I mean, just in this brief moment, it's easy for people, right, to skip. It's easy for people to pretend. But to pause enough to be able to say, "Hey, I actually need some help," that takes a lot of strength, a lot of courage. And it will be better for the long run for all those who can do it.

So good word, Dustin. Good word. All right. Last question, Dustin. Question 100. Tell us about one question you just don't want to answer.

Dustin Aho: Man, you really saved a strong one for the end. One question I don't want to answer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Dustin Aho: Does it all really matter? And this is a question... I spent a number of years in pastoral ministry, and at the end of the day as a pastor, the question of, is God really real? Is it all just a pile of nonsense? And how do you know more than I know? How do you know as a spiritual leader and a pastor? What have you seen that I haven't seen? And the answer is not much.

And then you go into healthcare and you cast this really big vision of we're going to transform the well-being of communities. And at the core, you sit on the other side of this podcast and you say, "Dustin, how do you know that you can actually do that? Are you just throwing millions of dollars and a lot of people's energy towards something that just really can't be done?"

Those are the hard questions to answer because the true honest answer is, I don't know. But the definition of faith, the Dustin Aho definition of faith, is making life choices with the lack of certainty, because once you have full certainty, it's no longer faith in my opinion.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's right.

Dustin Aho: So I committed an awful lot of my life in pastoral ministry without the certainty of, is it all real. But I have faith that it is, therefore I live my life in a way that fully pursues that faith.

And now I've chosen to live my life in this work of well-being that, Dustin, can you really change the health and well-being of communities across a country? And can you really disrupt the way US healthcare functions?

And the truth is, I don't know. I don't know if we can actually go and do that. But I have faith that it can be done, therefore I will commit my life and I will commit my work trying to make that vision a reality. And I think that's the hardest question when you're put on a stage like this and say, "Okay, guys, let's take all of the noise away. Can you actually do what you say you can do?" And the question is never as simple as, "Yes." And if the answer is, "Yes, we can do it," then my response is "Oh, I don't know. I don't know. But is it not worth trying?"

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful. That's beautiful. And that's a fitting end for our time here as well, Dustin. Dustin, I love it. I love it. Thank you for taking the time to share stories and experiences that actually shaped you into the incredible leader that you are, for encouraging us to have faith, to have some hope, to try the impossible, because that's what we're called to do. So that's really good.

I want to encourage everybody who's listening as well to continue sharing your own stories and experiences as well. Because when you do that, you actually not only share, you actually also change who you are and you change the world around. Continue to become people who actually just deliver hope everywhere that you are. God bless you, look after you. Thanks so much, Dustin.

Dustin Aho: Thank you, Japhet. Appreciate it.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story & Experience Podcast. We invite you to read, watch and submit your story and experience at AdventistHealth.org/Story. The Story & Experience Podcast was brought to you by Adventist Health, through the Office of Culture.