Monday, August 23, 2010

Passionate Choices!

We all need passion in our lives!

As we wander through the short period of time that is our life, we make hundreds of thousands, or perhaps even millions of choices. We make so many choices in a lifetime that at the time just before our passing, we have forgotten all but the most significant of them. We remember our choice to marry and to whom; we remember our first job and what lead us to it; we remember our first drink of alcohol; we might forget our third lover and our second lover but we will always remember our first and last. The majority of our choices simply evaporate into invisible vapor like the morning dew.

The choices that are not easy to make are the most significant of all. Those choices are also the most difficult to reverse and the most heartbreaking when we recall them at the end of our lives. The hardest choices always involve our greatest inner passions. When we fail to follow our heart and pursue our true passion we create unrelenting regret and self-doubt. In time, one passion may be replaced with another, but we will always recall the passions we left behind and make excuses for our decisions not to pursue them.

We all have a personal vision that we dream of. That vision may change occasionally as the years pass, but as we drive down a highway or lay in bed sleeplessly at night, we are often consumed by our personal vision. We see ourselves as singers, musicians, policemen, fishermen, writers, millionaires, or kings. In our vision, we can be beautiful, handsome, sophisticated and bold. We imagine trysts with beautiful women or handsome strangers we meet in passing; we imagine ourselves achieving an award for great work we did on our latest work project or as the coach of our children’s volleyball team. We envision ourselves winning a lottery or inventing something great. We might use our imaginary fortune to purchase a huge house in any country we choose, with a view of any vista we wish to see. Our personal vision is always better than the life we live because until we reach the age when we are mature enough to understand that we have reached our maximum potential, we want what we do not have. That is the nature of mankind and it is what created the world as we now know it. Many of the personal visions of the millions of people before us have become reality. If none of our forefathers had pursued their personal visions we might still be living in caves.

Human beings are humble, yet vain creatures. Despite the natural tendency of most people to avoid being significant above all others, we all need to be accepted and acknowledged from time to time. We need to be patted on the back and told that we are good, or even that we are the best at something. A desire for acknowledgement consumes some people to the point that they make themselves universally disliked. Their overwhelming positive feelings for themselves often create negative feelings in others. And yet, there are people who are so afraid of attention from others that they live a life of misery…frightened that they may be singled out for praise, all the while yearning for it more than life itself. Both types of people need positive reinforcement and both need to be acknowledged and loved.

Bears, spiders, birds and fish feel neither arrogance nor greed; neither pride nor hate; neither embarrassment nor disgrace. Only humans have emotions that are stimulated by communication with others of their own kind. Only humans can make a serious impact positively or negatively on members of their flock with a look or a sigh. Only humans can make one of their kind a success or a failure with just the will of a quorum. An alpha-male wolf must enter into physical combat with all comers in order to rule the pack. There is positive energy in the fight but fortunately that model will not work for civilized human beings. Thanks to our intellect, we are able to find other ways to create positive results, without violence. We have the ability to move beyond instinct and use reason in order to transform palpable negativity into a positive result. Positive passion is what separates animals from human beings.

Always remember that as you follow your personal vision, another is following his and it is probably dramatically different from yours. Just as you cherish your vision, his vision must also be allowed to live. Everyone’s personal vision is different and you must not try to force yours on someone else. Never allow the negativity of anyone, no matter how important they might seem, destroy your dream or pull you from the path you have chosen. Never attempt to dissuade others from their own personal visions as you will risk breaking their spirits or losing them altogether.

You cannot be passionate about something for which you feel no passion. You will never be truly successful with a mate you do not love and you will never be successful in a job you do not like. You will never achieve satisfaction with pure negative energy and you will not motivate others with constant negative reinforcement. If you think positively and exude positive energy while passionately following your personal vision, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams and achieve happiness beyond your imagination.

In my personal vision, I see myself as a writer; an author of books on leadership. I have pure positive passion for my vision and while you are reading my book you are helping me reach my goal. My vision has materialized and I thank you for that.

I hope when you find your own personal vision, you will follow it relentlessly. Chase it like your life depends on it. You will never regret that choice.

All the Best!
Wayne Kehl

This article is the "Afterword" in my book, "A Passion For Leadership" which is available on Amazon.com in book form and soon to be available in Kindle Format.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My last 9,000 days!

This is the foreword to my book, "Getting Along With People Is EASY!"

As I kneeled to thin out the dead stalks in the rose bushes near my back gate today, I felt a twinge in my back. As I stood up to shake off the twinge, I felt a pain in my right thigh and stiffness in both knees. At that moment, I mumbled silently to myself, “Is this what life is all about?” I realized at that moment that I was feeling my age and things that seemed easy to me in my youth would slowly but surely become more difficult with the passing years. Eventually, one by one, things that I have until now taken for granted, will become impossible. The aging process will progress resolutely until the day of my ultimate passing from this wonderful life. Loss of youth is frustrating but not nearly as daunting as the final curtain and the realization that when my life-light goes out, all that will survive are the memories others have of me. Since I can’t hold the curtain back forever, I want those memories to be predominantly pleasurable for those who outlive me.

If I live to the age of eighty, I will have lived slightly more than twenty nine thousand days. At this moment, still assuming I will live until I am eighty, I have approximately nine thousand days left. It is at this point in one’s life that almost involuntarily, a grand reassessment begins. I know what I have done so far in my life and I know which bits of it added value to others, and to myself. I am aware of the good that I have done and I am grudgingly conscious of the bad. In this last third of my earthly existence, I wonder what my future purpose is. What shall I do? Should I become a recluse and hide from all of the problems of the people who annoy me? Shall I spend the balance of my earthly sentence thinning roses and mowing the lawn, oblivious to the world outside…or, alternatively, should I become a supporter of causes that help other people while working tirelessly to make the world a better place? All have their benefits and all appeal to me in their own unique ways. The wonderful glory of these options is that I have choices. I can do whatever I want. That is the beauty of being human and living free.

One choice I have made is to awake on every one of my last nine thousand mornings with a smile on my face. Every day I have had until now has been a privilege and every day I have from this day forward will be a precious gift. I have come to the irrefutable conclusion that I cannot keep my smile alive without the help of other people. If the folks in the world who are going to join me in my last nine thousand days do not share my dream of daily happiness, I will fail. When you have only nine thousand days to live, you tend to want to make the best of them. With that in mind, I intend to make sure the other folks on my nine thousand day odyssey, only see the best of me. If I get along with them, they will want me to be happy. If they enjoy my presence, they will do everything they can to make me smile. If I make their lives as pleasurable as I possibly can, they will reward me with kindness. In short, selfishly I intend to get along with everyone I meet. It will take a modicum of extra effort, but it will be worth it. The alternative is not getting along with other people, but that surely will not bring a smile to my face…or theirs.

Life is all about options and choices. I choose a life of fulfillment and joy. I choose getting along with people… I choose happiness! You can too!

Wayne Kehl

Hey folks! I succumbed to the powers of the internet and published my book, "Getting Along With People is Easy!" on Kindle. You can get the e-book edition here for $5.99. And remember you don't need a Kindle reader to read a Kindle book. You can easily download an app for free that will allow you to read it on on your laptop, PC, Ipad, Iphone or what have you. All the best! Wayne