Natasha Milatovic

Natasha Milatovic
Episode 65

Join host Japhet De Oliveira in this episode as he sits down with his guest, Natasha Milatovic, for an insightful conversation surrounding the longevity of education, starting the day with a green smoothie, the meaning of success, and loving fully.
Libsyn Podcast
"My dad, in one conversation, told me that you can lose everything in life, everything except education … He said, 'You can lose your health. You can lose your friends. You can lose your family, anything but education. Through every educational effort that you do, you grow because that's something that you do for yourself.'"

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: Welcome to the Story & Experience Podcast. I'm so delighted to have a new guest here. This is actually late afternoon at Adventist Health Glendale, California. So the sun has really risen outside. It's beautiful. But the guest here who is shining like the sun with an orange bottle next to her from Adventist Health, glowing, is ... You're going to love hearing from her.

So if you're new to this podcast, let me tell you how it works. We have a hundred questions. They progressively get more complex. She's smirking a little bit right now, and she knows that she gets to choose where she wants to travel inside there. So with that hand raised ...

Natasha Milatovic: I want to point out-

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh really?

Natasha Milatovic: The orange bottle is a water bottle.

Japhet De Oliveira: It is.

Natasha Milatovic: Thank you very much.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's true. That's true. Just in case. Just in case. Well, let's begin with the first question then. What's your name, and does anybody ever mispronounce it?

Natasha Milatovic: Natasha Milatovic is my name. And yes, it's an Eastern European name, and it gets mispronounced all the time. I actually, when I came to this country back in the day, had to change how I spell it so that people would say my name correctly, Natasha. So I had to add the Hs.

Japhet De Oliveira: At the end.

Natasha Milatovic: Correct. So yeah, now people say it-

Japhet De Oliveira: Has it worked?

Natasha Milatovic: It's worked. The problem, though, gets in that my driver's license that's spelled correctly does not necessarily match what's out there, and so it creates sometimes a confusion. But if I don't do it, people will say "Natasa Milatovick." That's not it.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, no, no.

Natasha Milatovic: That's not it.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's not it.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, Natasha, what do you do for work?

Natasha Milatovic: What do I do for work? You ask me what I get paid to do.

Japhet De Oliveira: That could be one thing.

Natasha Milatovic: That could be one thing. Yes. So I just make a difference in the lives of our employees who take care of our patients, honestly. So I am in the background creating strategies, implementing strategies, making sure our people are taken care of, because the more that we take care of our people, the better care they'll take care of our patients. And I work in human resources, and I always tell my teams, "That's your job. Your job is to take care of every single individual that comes here."

Hardly ever anyone comes into HR because they want to say hello. They typically need something. There is a need that we take care of, and it's a special need. It's always a personal need, so it matters.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes, it's true.

Natasha Milatovic: I always tell them HR is selfish because it's all about me. It's all about me as an employee, as a leader, you name it. So we are the ones on the other side who take care of it so that you can turn around and go do your job, your very important job, worry free.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. Now you just finished ... and maybe some of our listeners know this. But you just finished your PhD.

Natasha Milatovic: I finished my doctorate in organizational leadership, yes, Pepperdine University. It was a great journey.

Japhet De Oliveira: You enjoyed it?

Natasha Milatovic: I loved it. I'm what you call a lifelong learner, and here's a story for you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah, great.

Natasha Milatovic: It's written, actually, the preamble of my doctorate. But when I was a little kid growing up in Eastern Europe, my father was a pediatrician. My mom was a nurse, so hence I am in healthcare. I mean, I grew up at the dinner tables where they would talk about the patients and the doctors and the nurses and all the gross stories that the kids would tell you, their gross stories. I grew up around the dinner table with that, so very used to all of it.

And so one day, I was a rebellious teenager at ... I don't know ... 15, 14, 16. My dad, in one conversation, told me that you can lose everything in life, everything except education. And when I was, like I said, 14, 15 or 16, I thought he was just weird. That didn't make any sense to me. What does that mean? And he said, "You can lose your health. You can lose your friends. You can lose your family, anything, but the education through every educational effort that you do, you grow because that's something that you do for yourself."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic.

Natasha Milatovic: And so you know what? That stuck with me. That literally stuck with me. And with every degree that I have taken, I found that to be true. It's like you're a changed individual. Every experience like that, for me at least, has changed me, changed the way that I see the world, that I look at the world. It's been an incredible experience. And of course, the later you go in life, you have family and kids, and with my doctorate degree, kind of passing that on to my kids.

And the best part was the defense was we're just coming out of COVID, so it was online. So therefore, my children could be there. So my husband and my kids were there and some guests, and they've watched me talk about being vulnerable, watched me go through that experience, so defending my dissertation in front of the panel and everybody else.

And I will never ever forget my son. I have a son and a daughter. My son was just in awe. In his face, he was just-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful.

Natasha Milatovic: ... in awe. My daughter had this beaming like, "Wow, Mom." And of course, so they’re about to go to college, and so another selfish motive there was, well, I'm going to go to school. They're in school. So we could all complain to one another about homework.

And it just worked. It just worked.

Japhet De Oliveira: That’s great.

Natasha Milatovic: But you know what, though? That moment, that moment will ... Life is full of moments like that. That moment they will never forget, and that's what I'm all about. I've always been about creating experiences for my children, and that's one of those experiences that they've had. And they're very proud of me, so it just made it all worth it.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really inspirational for them.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Mom did this. We got a tall ... a high marker to reach.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes. So love it.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's fantastic. Well, hey, great. So let me ask you, in the morning when you get up, do you drink coffee first, water, tea, or liquid green smoothie?

Natasha Milatovic: So I have a green smoothie that I do drink in the morning ... that's kind of funny you said that ... that I made, one of those good for you after you get up and before I have my coffee. So that's my-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's your routine.

Natasha Milatovic: That's my routine in the morning, yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. You alluded to this, but where were you born?

Natasha Milatovic: Where? Serbia, Belgrade, capital of Serbia, Eastern Europe.

Japhet De Oliveira: Fantastic.

Natasha Milatovic: Beautiful country.

Japhet De Oliveira: Fantastic.

Natasha Milatovic: Beautiful.

Japhet De Oliveira: It is, actually. I've been there a couple of times.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes?

Japhet De Oliveira: And yeah, yeah, food's pretty amazing.

Natasha Milatovic: Food.

Japhet De Oliveira: The community. Yeah, it's pretty fantastic.

Natasha Milatovic: Food is amazing. I'm a really amazing cook too. You can't grow up in a place like that and not being able to cook, so funny story there. We don't have microwaves. I mean, even today, you go there, no, people don't believe in microwaves. That's not good for you. It's all from scratch. There's none of this stuff that we have here. So when I go-

Japhet De Oliveira: We're ready for space.

Natasha Milatovic: So when I go back to visit, it's always that, oh, I can't warm up my cup of water, those little things. But we have a microwave at the house here. My husband laughs at me because I just-

Japhet De Oliveira: You very rarely use it.

Natasha Milatovic: I don't really use it, never need it. He does, though. I don't. So yes, but good food. So yes, I'm a good cook.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, that's fantastic. That's good. When you were a child in Serbia, what did you imagine? I mean, with your dad being a doctor and your mom being a nurse, what did you imagine you would grow up to be?

Natasha Milatovic: So a wedding planner.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really? Really? No? Are you kidding?

Natasha Milatovic: Yeah. It was that or a pharmacist.

Japhet De Oliveira: Very close.

Natasha Milatovic: Very close. Yeah. We used to play a game as a kid. Of course, now, growing up in that family, my dad would always get samples of medications, and the salespeople would always come and this and that. And so they would throw away the sample, but we would keep the box. So we had the whole-

Japhet De Oliveira: Pharmacy.

Natasha Milatovic: ... pharmacy at the house. There was a playhouse. You know how others played with dolls and things? Well, we played with-

Japhet De Oliveira: With empty drug boxes.

Natasha Milatovic: ... empty drug boxes. You would come in to get your medication, and then I would know what's for what. And I would talk to my dad. He would say, "Well, somebody comes with that. You pick that up." So it was the best game. Yeah, but yeah, no, yeah, I think, a long time ago, some movie wedding planner and thought, "I'd be good at that."

Japhet De Oliveira: That would be good.

Natasha Milatovic: I would be good at that. I don't know. I've always been good with people. I started my career as a recruiter in HR, and once a recruiter, always a recruiter.

Japhet De Oliveira: Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. Want to work at Adventist Health.

Natasha Milatovic: That's what you call people people, people's people.

Japhet De Oliveira: Poor Natasha.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's brilliant. Personality wise, if someone was to describe you as extrovert or introvert, what would they say, and would you agree?

Natasha Milatovic: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes, yes. Yeah, uh-huh.

Natasha Milatovic: You can guess, so very comfortable around people, so definitely an extrovert. People who describe me as authentic. And I've always been authentic.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's true. That's true, which is very helpful in the world that you are in, I mean, dealing with people all the time. Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: Yeah, very authentic. I've got a great deal of empathy and just love people, love helping people. And see, that's where the love for HR came, by the way. I started when I was in college. I got a job. So I was a foreign exchange student, and there was an opening in this office on the campus of Pacific Union College. And it was called the personnel office. So because I was on the student visa, I couldn't go and work in the Starbucks and the grocery stores, whatever the other kids were doing.

Japhet De Oliveira: You'd work on campus.

Natasha Milatovic: I could work on campus. And so what's personnel office? It's an office job, and I needed money. So I go in there, and I remember there was a room full of students applying for a job. Well, out of about 15, to cut the very long, very entertaining story short, I actually got the job. And I thought, "Oh, that's interesting." Here I am, coming from another country.

And so I started, and I fell in love just with helping people. I was on the road to be a lawyer. It was going to be the pre-law and all of this, and then all of a sudden, I'm like, what is this job? I can actually do a law part of it, but I can do other things. I can talk to people. I can really help them. And that's kind of how I got into HR.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's amazing.

Natasha Milatovic: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: And I wouldn't do anything else. I mean, and I think God was good. I think I found a career, Japhet, and that's the key here, that you want to find ... That’s what I tell my kids. You got to find a career and not a job, because if you do find a career, you know that statement, you'll never work a day in your life? I mean, I still get up, and I want to come to work. And it's really, really good. And when the day comes that that's not the case, we're going to have some other thoughts, but I still do. And that's because my everyday is different, and that makes it just different and exciting. Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. Habits, a little bit about your habits. Are you an early riser or late-night owl?

Natasha Milatovic: So I'm definitely late night and definitely not an early riser if I can help it.

Japhet De Oliveira: If you can help it.

Natasha Milatovic: If I can help it. And then my green smoothie and then a cup of coffee ... Don't talk to me before that coffee. It's probably a smart choice to make if it's very, very early.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: But yeah, no, I'm definitely late.

Japhet De Oliveira: So then this morning when you woke up, what was the first thought that went through your mind?

Natasha Milatovic: This morning? Oh no.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh really?

Natasha Milatovic: Yeah, I have to strip to bed. It's time to wash the sheets. Isn't this Wednesday today? So I had this plan, and yeah, so that was the first.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that was the first thought.

Natasha Milatovic: Honestly, that was the first thought this morning. Oh, I got to put it in the washing machine, so I can dry and make the bed again by nighttime.

Japhet De Oliveira: I know. I know.

Natasha Milatovic: There it is. That was, I think, the first thought.

Japhet De Oliveira: Those are the routines we have, all of us have. Yeah, no, totally. Leadership question, and then I'm going to hand it over to you to pick numbers and see where we go. Are you a backseat driver?

Natasha Milatovic: No. So I am not. I am not, and if I need to be, I am a front seat passenger.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. Hey, that's good.

Natasha Milatovic: And I will help the front seat, the driver. But I've never been that. They say there's two theories out there of leadership. They're born, or they're made. I can have a whole hundred-hours podcast around one or the other-

Japhet De Oliveira: We'll do that next, yeah, yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: ... one or the other. But I'm one of those that you have something innately in you. So as a kid, as an example, so my parents, we talked about them being in healthcare. Back in Europe, it was funny. During the summers, it was so great for us as kids. They used to be a physician and a nurse in a summer camp, and it would be two weeks down at the Mediterranean. It was this beautiful camp on the beach where the local schools-

Japhet De Oliveira: I can imagine how terrible it is, yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: Well, yes ... where the local schools would send the kids, the two-week camp. So what happened was then my dad and my mom would split. And so he would do two weeks as a physician, and then she would come in and do two weeks as a nurse with another physician because there was a health office staff for the camp. So us as kids ...

Japhet De Oliveira: Went for four weeks.

Natasha Milatovic: We went for four weeks and so spend my summers at the Adriatic coast down on the Mediterranean and near Dubrovnik, which probably a lot of your listeners would know, and it's gorgeous. It was just absolutely great experience. So in that, there was a lot of camp counselors, and this is how I think my mental journey started. These camp counselors, I always was one of them. I was always leading the groups. I was always organizing the people. I was always doing that. It just came to me-

Japhet De Oliveira: Naturally.

Natasha Milatovic: ... naturally, correct. So I was always one creating the fun.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes. Yeah, yeah. No, I hear you. So did you know early in your life that you were a leader?

Natasha Milatovic: Yes, I think so. And there's one moment in my life that sticks out where we were coming back from one of those camps, and it was one of those where my dad was the second two weeks and my mom was the first two weeks. So we were flying back that time, and I remember the airport. Now, I was a little older at that time, maybe 14, 15, and we were coming through the building, so landed, coming through the building. And so I was in the back hanging out with my buddies, the friends. And so my mom made a comment after we got in the car. She goes, "That was kind of strange not to see you leading, not to see you first, first sort of out of the gate and making sure that everybody is coming through." And I thought, that's weird that she said that, but it's-

Japhet De Oliveira: She's saw it in you first, yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: But it stayed with me. She goes, "I was wondering whether you stayed over there." And my dad was like, "What do you mean? I brought all the kids home, one, two, three." And so my mom was like, "She's always though ... these other two, yeah, but she's always the one that's doing this." And I think about that moment a lot. Yeah, must have been probably 14 ...

Japhet De Oliveira: That's a great conversation.

Natasha Milatovic: ... back then. Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: So I think so. I think it's been there for me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good, good. Well, we are at the point where you get to pick a number between 11 and 100. Where would you like to begin?

Natasha Milatovic: At 100.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. Okay. So far, I've only had one other person ever do that. All right, okay, great. So question 100, Natasha, tell us about one question that you just don't want to answer.

Natasha Milatovic: One question that I did not want to answer in this podcast?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes. Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes. Who's my favorite child?

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's good. That's good. That's good.

Natasha Milatovic: Kids, if you're listening, I don't have a favorite.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah, yeah. That was an answer, right? That's good. Hey, that's good. 100. So where do you want to go next?

Natasha Milatovic: Well, that was easy.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: I don't ... 99.

Japhet De Oliveira: 99, all right. What's the most difficult truth you ever told?

Natasha Milatovic: So probably talking to my daughter about navigating the life she has with the special needs that she has. So early on, it would just have to be about, "So here we are, and how do we do this?" And so I have learned that sugarcoating doesn't help and that we just face things head on. And I'm glad I did that early on because right now, she's a very independent lady, and so it's been a great experience watching that. So definitely, I have had many moments of what you would call sharing a difficult truth.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Do you take that philosophy with a lot of things in life?

Natasha Milatovic: I do.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: I do. I tell my kids all the time, the truth will always serve you better because you don't have to remember what you made up or talking around doing, "Let's do this. Let's do that." So I've always been about telling the truth and being straightforward about it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: So yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good wisdom. Good wisdom for everyone listening.

Natasha Milatovic: It's served me well.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. No, it's good. It's good. All right, that was 99.

Natasha Milatovic: 98.

Japhet De Oliveira: 98. I wonder if there's a pattern.

Natasha Milatovic: Let's do the 90s.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, let's do it. Let's do it.

Natasha Milatovic: Because, by the way, your audience should know, I don't know these questions, but I understand these are the hardest ones. So we might as well.

Japhet De Oliveira: They are. They are. All right, 98, what is one great thing that you're capable of achieving?

Natasha Milatovic: Love. I love. When I love, I love fully. I love fully.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That is good. And it's good to know it.

Natasha Milatovic: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: You want to get into a good corner with me. You really do because then you would be a winner. I kind of create that space with people.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. Do you want to continue just going down?

Natasha Milatovic: 97. Let's do the hard ones.

Japhet De Oliveira: 97, all right. Hey, could you tell us about a time when you did the actual right thing?

Natasha Milatovic: The actual right thing? This morning, I had my smoothie before I had my coffee. That's a right thing to do.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that is. That is.

Natasha Milatovic: Yeah, that was just from this morning, and then I did put my sheets into the washer. I'll tell you that.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good.

Natasha Milatovic: I feel very accomplished. That was the right thing.

Japhet De Oliveira: At the right temperature?

Natasha Milatovic: The right temperature.

Japhet De Oliveira: The right colors?

Natasha Milatovic: Right colors. I mean, we're all set there.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Natasha Milatovic: So there you go. It could be this morning.

Japhet De Oliveira: That is definitely a right thing. That's good. All right, what about this one here then, 96?

Natasha Milatovic: Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: If you could tell us the last time that you cried.

Natasha Milatovic: What's today?

Japhet De Oliveira: Today's Wednesday.

Natasha Milatovic: Well, so last night was a Tuesday night. I was watching a procession for Queen Elizabeth. And it's just the legacy and watching the people in Scotland and in Ireland. I just feel it, just feel it emotionally. So they interviewed some ladies, and there was a woman who brought her daughter. And the daughter's little, and she said, "I wanted my daughter to be here because one day, I want to tell her about a great woman that has done this for 70 years." And I'm all about empowering women. I mean, I look at my daughter and, like I said, the story that I've shared about my schooling. I just think I love empowering young women. I'm a big mentor. I've mentored many. I've led many. I just think it's great. So yeah, I definitely had tears coming down my face, just watching the emotion around this historic event that we're witnessing right now.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it is interesting. You think about all the historical events that we've been part of in our lives, and they're significant moments.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes, and did you know that yesterday marked 40 years that Princess Grace Kelly died?

Japhet De Oliveira: No.

Natasha Milatovic: Remember Grace Kelly?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Natasha Milatovic: … and so she married into the monarchy. Monaco ... She was a princess of Monaco in France, and she died a beautiful woman. She died in a car accident, but 40 years. She was another big royal European icon, so I just got reminded of that yesterday. So yeah, anyway, so those were my tears. And my tears were just relating to people getting emotional.

There was that one scene that was just so eerie, the car driving onto that street really slowly with the entourage and then the people on the both sides of the streets. And so the anchor said, "We're just going to not talk now. I want you to hear the silence." And you didn't hear anything. You can hear the pin drop. And I think it was in Scotland. And it's like, they're fun people. I mean, it's always-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah, the Scots are, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: Yeah, right? Scots ... There's always noise and great, so that was just incredible. So I had tears last night over that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Deeply respectful.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes, absolutely.

Japhet De Oliveira: Beautiful. All right, 95 then. Tell us about ... I think you're going to love this. Tell us about how your faith and life intersect.

Natasha Milatovic: All the time.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: I've had an event in my life that some would say, "How can something like this happen to someone like you?" And I would say to them, "If God wasn't there, probably, other things would've proceeded to happening that would utterly change the course of my life or where I'm at now." So I believe in the plan.

And here, I'll tell you a little story about it, just one story that comes to mind. I took my daughter to a physician, to a doctor at one of many doctors visits, and he was pushing this surgery. And my daughter was, at the time, probably 10. And so he was giving me all of the reasons why I shouldn't wait, and I thought that I should wait because the medicine will progress by the time she might need to do this. And she might not. So there's always been that she might not, and we've kind of lived in this land of hope for a lot of years.

And so he said, "I don't know what else to tell you, and I don't know how else to talk you into this." And I said, "Don't worry about it. I'm just going to pray." And so he said to me, "Well, I don't know where prayer's going to get you." And I said to him, "Well, that's really sad to hear from you, but thank you." Went back into the car. My daughter, who's now in her 20s, remembers every single word of that conversation, and the fact that I told this doctor that, how are we going to pray? And he said, "Where's he going to get you?" Mom, you told him.

So my faith has been really strong. And like I said, there's those who would question to say, "I don't know that I would believe in anything after things happen right in your life." And it's like, well, but if God isn't here, I think everything has got a plan.

Japhet De Oliveira: I like that.

Natasha Milatovic: I do think we need to do our part, and that's what I tell people. You got to do your part. But I think faith is what really keeps me. And by the way, faith is why I'm here for Adventist Health. I mean, I can talk about God freely. I can talk about ... In any of our hospitals, I can go and just be comfortable and just be one with great people.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, and I've noticed that you do that, Natasha, when you call these systemwide meetings, and you always invite somebody to begin with a foundational thought and story and prayer. And it sets a really good tone.

Natasha Milatovic: 100%, 100%.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it's worth the time.

Natasha Milatovic: Exactly. Exactly. We're all human, and we got to share with one another. And that's how that happens, the power of a lot of people in faith.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. All right, 94, I mean, you're doing exceptionally well, and so I'm just going to continue here with 94. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Natasha Milatovic: World hunger.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: Yes, world hunger. Living here, they constantly tease me in my family because I learned how to make just enough for us and not have leftovers because nobody ever eats leftovers. And I always say, where can we take this? Where can we take the leftovers? So we volunteer at food banks and cooking for people on holidays. I mean, anytime there's any opportunity out there to donate, to donate the meat, donate this, donate the food. Growing up in Eastern Europe, you appreciate it.

Here's another good story for you. So I think at that time, maybe I was in US for a couple years, so you get used to the standard here, which I think many people take for granted, really sadly. So I went home after a couple years and wake up in the morning, and on TV, they're announcing that the bakeries are on strike. What do you want? What do you mean, the bakeries are on strike? So in my head, "What are we going eat?" I mean, no bread?

Japhet De Oliveira: Bread is important.

Natasha Milatovic: Bread is important. So I go there. I'm like, "Dad, Dad." And I'm going to say, I was in my 20s, so I wasn't a kid. And I'm panicking really sadly. And what are we going to do? And you know what? He looked up at me and said, "So what? There's potatoes. We'll eat potatoes."

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Natasha Milatovic: And so he said, "Are you concerned about that?" And I'm like, "No." I thought to myself, "That was really silly." But I'll never forget that. So what, there's no bread? We'll eat potatoes. So again, growing up in a different country ... and you see, I just think, yeah, hunger would be the one thing.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, in order and sequence, this is actually a great question for you. It's the final question for our time because our time's run out. But it's 93, and it is, paint us a picture of success.

Natasha Milatovic: Success for me, for the world?

Japhet De Oliveira: You get to choose.

Natasha Milatovic: Could you rephrase that? For me, personally, success is joy. I think having joy in life and anything that I do is most important, and just really being healthy, keeping up the health. So that's it, being joyful. Stay healthy. Everything else comes. Everything else is workable. It comes through. So as long as I get up in the morning and I am able to pause, enjoy ...

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good.

Natasha Milatovic: That's how I define it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Natasha, thank you so much for sharing so many of the great stories and experiences that shaped you into the leader that you are today. And it's been a pleasure, absolutely.

Natasha Milatovic: Absolutely. Well, thank you for surprising me with this podcast. And I'm always happy, always happy to-

Japhet De Oliveira: We'll have to clarify that surprise sometime.

Natasha Milatovic: ... chat with you. Yes, and I just want to point out, these were hardest questions, I guess. But it was my pleasure. This was really fun.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's great. That's great. Hey, for everybody who's listening, just want to encourage you to do the same. Connect with somebody. Ask them questions. Listen. I grow. Everybody grows. You will grow, and God will bless you. You take care. Thanks so much.

Natasha Milatovic: Bye.

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