[Will in Leavenworth WA]

Good Will Report

Will Chen's Monthly Newsletter
Issue 38 | January 2010
1.425.301.9652 | will@willchen.ca
Print Version | Archive | Bookclub

2010, a New Decade

[New Year at New York's Time Square]2010! Another new year, in fact, a brand new decade!

Perhaps you have reviewed 2009, maybe even looked back the last ten years, and looked at how much you have grown, both physically and mentally. When I look back, I realize it is in the last ten years that I have graduated from high school, completed a Bachelor's degree, and moved onto two full-time jobs, as well as investing in real estate as a business. In terms of hobbies, I have learned to sing and dance, I discovered the joy of connecting with people through board games; I delved into snowboarding, even tried skydiving a few times; and most recently, challenging myself to speed-solving Rubik's cubes.

And it is now that I am most reminded of what a psychologist once said to me, "What is important is who we are rather than what we do, that's why we are called human beings and not human doings." I have gone from a boy who most wanted validation and fitting in, to a journey of discoverying myself and loving myself, creating joy and fulfillment in life (and death), and, in my own way, inspiring others to find the same in themselves.

Julie and I have had a few late night conversations about how we came to be together, and we believe it is that we are both on the journey of discovering ourselves, which allows us to constantly grow and better ourselves. I am excited about continuing on this path, and I believe 2010 will be a great year!

On Death...

[My first tendem skydive pic.]I have been listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer's audio book, How to Be a No-Limit Person, in the car when I am driving. The book compares the "neurotic person" -- who is negative, lives in constant fear, feels limited and unfulfilled -- to the "no-limit person" -- who is positive, confident, and believes anything can be achieved.

In talking about living in the present, he asked if anyone in the audience has had a near-death experience, or has had a loved one pass away. I immediatedly went back to an experience I have rarely talked about when I was learning how to solo skydive.

I get the most nervous when I am sitting in the little Cessna that takes about 6 skydivers way up into the air. As I watch through the little airplane window the ground slowly float away from us, my heart starts pounding excitedly. It was going to be my second jump by myself, after experiencing tandem skydiving, I decided it was a worthy challenge.

Tandem skydiving was a great experience. We had a luxurious King Air which took about a dozen of us up to 12,000 feet. The door opened, the air noise very suddenly filled the plane, and I could feel the air flowing, I don't know in or out. As I crouched down at the door, I hesitated, maybe I wasn't ready for this! But it was too late, my instructor, who was strapped to my back, pushed the both of us out. At first I was disoriented, and then I looked at the ground approaching me rather slowly, and realized I could die. As my life passed through my head, I started to calm down and the floating sensation was exilerating! The freefall lasted only a minute, yet I have never felt so alive in my life! A perfect butt landing later, I couldn't wait to get back up.

After extensive ground training, my first jump was very successful. Work was getting busy so I knew I couldn't go through the full training to be certified, yet I knew I could come back for this, the second solo jump. I watched the person in front of me get ready for his jump; he seemed very calm, maybe he was little pale, perhaps he was trying to calm himself. He followed through with his instructions and jumped out of the plane. Maybe the instructor looked down at him a little longer than usual.

The plane had to circle around to the same spot for my jump. I took a deep breath in... and got ready for the door. Before the door opened, I was told to get back to my spot, we were aborting.

I remember during ground school my instructor said, "It's most disappointing when I have to land with the plane." I suppose I was going to have my first experience then. We landed, I got off the plane, and my friends on the ground each came running to me with big giant bear hug, "Thank God you are all right! We thought it was YOU!"

I called my friends that night and said, "I am so thankful that you are here, in my life!" I knew it was a big lesson that the Universe wanted me to learn. I completed my second skydive a week later. We sang "American Pie" on the way up to 5,000 feet, and tears filled my eyes, singing this will be the day that I die...

So Dr. Wayne Dyer went on to talk about how the people who had to face death tend to change their lives, after the experience. It is a realization that our time is short, and the experience reminds each of us that the time is now to live in the present. So many of us live in terms of the future -- when I am rich, when I am old, when I am good enough, I will do what I want to do. He suggests that we consider, "If I only had 6 months to live, what would I do?" And have the courage to make the change and go after those things you really want to and love to do, perhaps only as soon as you are ready... now!

"The past is history, the future is a mystery; this moment is a gift, that's why this moment is called the present. Enjoy it." -- Allan Johnson

2395 readers since 2 April 2007.