Kathie Lee Gifford is always up for the kind of playful banter that she and sidekick, Hoda Kotb, take on in the fourth hour of “Today” every weekday morning. This week's topics ranged from the usual features, on the co-hosts’ favorite things, to the faux pas of wearing socks with high heels, with recipes in between. This morning, October 10, had the feeling of an old home week for Kathie Lee Gifford, because favorite guest host, John Cena, was back at the cozy table for the first time in a long while, and he was considering some of the mid-life questions that come to everyone at some point, and how they are impacting his career.

No one can say that Kathie Lee Gifford holds back when it comes to giving her opinion, and although she's never been in the WWE or any professional Wrestling ring, she did have something to say about when the time is right to make career transitions.

Listening to LeBron

The career discussion was inspired by a segment of Lebron James’ HBO series “The Shop,” during which the basketball great invites guests from all walks of life to share conversation and a hair trim. Drake was the celebrity guest in this conversation, and the man who dominated hip-hop and R&B charts through this year lamented about not wanting to get “addicted to victory” or feeding fans something they may love, but that they have had enough of, and something that is not the best he can offer.

James interjected that any performer needs to surround himself or herself with honest people, who have been there since day one, who are willing to say “you need to take a lesser role or you gotta tank.” That truthfulness is critical to “gracefully bowing out,” in LeBron’s words.

John Cena reflected on his 16 years in professional wrestling, which is unprecedented for many of his contemporaries.

As much as the 41-year-old still loves the feel of his feet on the canvas and the thrill of rabid fans, he stresses that if he has the feeling that “I wasn’t on today,” more than once, it's time to consider an exit or alternative career. He also knows that the consumer, willing to part with hard-earned dollars, is the deciding factor for any performer or professional athlete.

At the moment, Cena is getting some backlash for growing hair for a film role over having his former traditional buzz cut.

Kathie Lee Gifford didn't quite agree that 41 was an age to slow down, but did agree that John could cut back on his average schedule of 300 engagements in the ring per year. “I've never seen a bruise on ya,’” she teased Cena. With no evidence of being “swollen anywhere” or any blood evidence on his body, she playfully questioned whether he wrestled at all. Some fans might agree. Still, Cena has used his public platform for many positive initiatives for diversity and youth, so perhaps he deserves a little slack.

When to leave

Kathie Lee Gifford simultaneously quoted “Our joy is non-negotiable,” with Hoda, and reiterated that what brings one joy has to be a vital consideration in any career transition.

She recalled her decision to depart as Regis Philbin's co-host after 15 years, and several Emmy wins.

It's now been more than ten years since she launched her “Today” run with Hoda Kotb, which she initially opted to give a one-month trial. The chemistry between the co-hosts certainly clicked, and Gifford remembers that while some fans were brokenhearted, others were glad. The people who mattered most in her choice were her family, and she still decides year-to-year, whether it “is better to be here, or is it costing them?” She counsels that family and those who matter most should be at the center of career decisions. Hoda feels those decisions more deeply than ever since becoming a mother to her beautiful daughter, Haley Joy.

Recent projects and personal interactions have opened new horizons for Kathie Lee Gifford, such as her musical collaborations with Brett James for her new movie, “Then Came You,” planned for release before Christmas. She might pass on trying wrestling, but she has truly discovered her creative passions with a fresh spirit and feels ready to embrace all the adventure that her future may hold.