Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kevin Hall & the Story of 4,000 Men

My favorite speaker at our iCreate teen event on February 5th was definitely Kevin Hall and I've been thinking a lot about his message since then.  His commitment to the kids was visible that day and I'm positive the contributions he made will be felt for a long time.  First, he simply gave of his time and it was really evident how interested he was in their dreams and how much faith he had in their aspirations!  Second, he gave everyone a copy of his book Aspire! Discovering Your Purpose through the Power of Words.  This is such a giving gesture, especially since I've read the book.  I hadn't had the opportunity to enjoy it before the 5th but have since read it cover to cover!  This is one of those books that can shift the way you see and live life!

Several years ago I was on a plane from Los Angeles where I lived, headed to Salt Lake City to visit my family.  There was a man in the next seat who quickly engaged me in conversation.  He reminded me of my dad in a lot of ways, but at the time my own father-daughter relationship was very strained.  I didn't usually spend a lot of time chatting with strangers on flights but a paternal interaction lacking in the usual negativity was a rare thing and at that time.  He was very caring and I sensed a genuine concern from him.  Eventually he brought the conversation around to a book he carried everywhere with him:  The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  He told me it had changed his life and wanted to give me his copy.  He said he'd purchased the book dozens of times and always ended up giving it away to someone.  aI read a bit of the book but eventually it landed on my bookshelf to be ignored for a while.

Skip forward to fall of 2005, I had just left a very toxic and abusive work environment, was working a very very part time job, going through a complete career change, unable to support myself or my son, going through a painful divorce and drifting through life.  Really I was right on the edge.  One day, by chance, I picked up the book that was resting so patiently on my shelf and it changed, and really saved, my life!  I believe Kevin's book has that same potential to change lives.

At this time, several of those kids are reading Kevin's book and understanding the amazing concepts on whatever level they can.  I'm so excited by that prospect!  There are also a lot of those kids who have put that book on the shelf.  But it's still there, waiting, holding all that potential transformation.  And it belongs to those kids, already in their hands.  That, to me, is huge.

One story from the book that I loved: his story about 4,000 retired executives.  The gist is that Dr Gerald Bell asked 4,000 retired executives with an average age of 70, one simple question: If they could live their life over again, what would they change or do differently?  The overwhelming majority of these men said they would carve out goals earlier in life!  I think of all the people I know who end up in jobs, homes, even relationships, by default!  This happens because they never took the time to clearly define exactly what it is they want in life.  Having clear goals prevents this sort of drifting through life.  With goals we can intentionally create the life we choose!  I'm curious, who out there intentionally creates the life of your choosing and who goes with the flow, ending up wherever life sets you?  And for those of you going with the flow, I'd love to hear if this is a conscious choice or a default setting?

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