January 26, 1998
Westminster, California, USA
Last week, while waiting for my slides at the photo developer, I walked
across the street to an indoor rock climbing gym. Inside on the wall, I noticed a poster advertising a slide presentation by Walley
Barker. He is the dude who paid me $50 to carry his backpack to the
base of El Cap in Yosemite National Park. The show is tomorrow night.
I cant wait to see it!
Also last week, I went to an area
of town a short walk from here, called Little Saigon. Most of the signs there are in Vietnamese,
and a lot of the older people dont even speak English. These people
were brought over here after the Vietnam war. This is the largest
concentration of Vietnamese anywhere in the world outside of Vietnam.
While I was there, it felt like I was actually in Vietnam. Most of the
food they sold I had never seen before. Most of the stores were a
cluttered mess, filled with cheesey plastic statues of Buddha.
A few days ago, on my way to Interactive Ideas, the people who are
helping me renovate my website, I found a dollar on the side of the
highway. Feeling that it was good fortune, I gave it away. There is a
song that goes something like... "Love is like a magic penny... Hold on
tight, and you wont have many. But if you give it away... give it
away... you end up having more!"
It sounds corny, but I think it worked... because tomorrow, Im going to
see Superman! And Joan Lunden, and Zig Ziglar, and Bob Dole... and a
bunch of other famous folks! Marni and Warren bought tickets to attend
a "Success Conference" involving all these people, but Marni cant go,
so she gave her ticket to me. I almost fell on the floor when I found out that
the ticket price is $225 US!!! It is being held at the Pond, where the
Mighty Ducks play. On the ticket is a picture of last years
conference. The only people clearly visible, other than the man on the stage, are
Warren and Marni, sitting in the front row!
Well, it is now 11:41pm, and time for bed.
January 30, 1998
Westminster, California, USA
The Success Conference was fantastic! The stadium was almost full. Along
with Peter Lowe, the host of the event, there were two other professional
motivational speakers, Zig Ziglar, and Brian Tracy. I really enjoyed
Brians presentation. He is one of the best motivators I have ever
heard. Most of what he said Ive heard before, but his delivery was
entertaining and very effective. He suggested that people should plan every
day in advance, review and rewrite goals often, and treat everyone like
the most important person in the world. Zig Ziglar put on a good presentation also. He had few interesting quotes and facts. He stated, that people who immigrate to the US,
are 4 times more likely to become millionaires, than folks that are born here.
Joan Lunden told a funny story about a group of researchers, who were
trying to see if they could turn an optimist into a pessimist, and a
pessimist into an optimist. The researchers went to kindergarten class
and found a little girl that was always optimistic, and a little boy
that was always pessimistic. To test the kids, the researchers asked them questions. The little girl responded to her question, "I dont mind when it rains, because rain helps the flowers
grow, and I love flowers!". "I hate the sunny days! They make me sweaty!"
answered the little boy to his question.
The researchers knew they had the perfect "Guinea Pigs", and continued with the experiment, by placing the little boy in a room full of toys, and the little girl in a room full of manure. After leaving the
children alone in the separate rooms for a half-hour, they went back to
check on them. The little boy was sitting in the middle of the room with
his arms crossed, and had not played with any of the toys. "Why didnt
you play with the toys?" the researchers asked. "If I cant play with
all them, I dont want to play with any of them!" replied the boy.
When they checked on the little girl, they found her covered in manure.
"What have you been doing?" the researchers asked. "Well...", the little
girl responded, "with all this evidence, there has got to be a pony in here
Bob Dole was witty and humorous. He made fun of himself by commenting on
the fact that he was a loser speaking at a forum for success, and kidded
that his wife writes all his speeches. He put on a great presentation,
focusing mainly on honesty and integrity - which seems very timely in
the wake of the current sex scandal at the White House. He opened up
his speech with, "I know what you all want me to talk about..., so
lets talk about something else!"
Christopher Reeves appearance had the most impact on me. I think it is
ironic that tragedy struck this one individual in particular. Whether
it is fair to say or not, I dont think it would be as profound in the
publics eye if Pee-Wee Herman was transformed into a quadraplegic,
after falling off his bicycle. The fact that it happened to Superman, a
guy that could leap over tall buildings in a single bound, and who
has saved the planet on numerous occasions, just goes to show that it
can happen to anybody.
What is most impressive about Christopher Reeve, is his optimism. He
makes every normal persons problems look rather insignificant. He
cant even feed himself and yet, he is happy to be alive, and incredibly
optimistic about the future. He is truly a super man.
The special celebrity guest speaker was Charlton Heston - the acting
legend who played the lead role in many Hollywood classics such as Ben
Hur, and the Ten Commandments. Mr. Heston also spoke of the importance
of honesty, integrity, and good leadership.
Immediately after the Success Conference, I attended Walley Barkers
slide presentation on his ascent of Triango Tower in Pakistan. He has an
astonishing story, with captivating photographs, and yet, he remained
rather modest about the whole ordeal. He spoke of refrigerator size
blocks of ice being pelted down at them from above, and withstanding the
constant sting of freezing temperatures. It took Walley and his three
friends over a month to climb the 6000 foot wall. The line they
chose was a first ascent which they graded A4. When Walley displayed the
summit photos, he simply stated, "We were glad to reach the top". It seemed
like an understatement.
The presentation was held at Rockreation, an indoor climbing wall in
Costa Mesa. Afterward, I climbed a bit, then a guy named David drove me
back here to Marnis place. At 5am tomorrow morning, David, his friend
Patty, and I, are heading for Joshua Tree National Park to spend the
weekend climbing. Kodak has given me free film, and a slide processor in
Costa Mesa is developing my slides for free in exchange for advertising
on my website. Im sooo psyched!