If you scroll to the bottom and press play on the two videos you will have fire and outdoor sounds while you read for a more real all-around effect!! Pretty cool huh?
You can also listen to it instead via the video at the very bottom. It has a different voice for each character. You might like this.
Author and speaker Willard Tate’s interview with Jason- A Strong Life Built to Last
I am sitting at my desk in the small office inside Moody Coliseum putting to paper an amazing story of courage and love. A story of a strong life built on a strong foundation by a strong man. Over the past few decades my mind has joyfully recalled a student I had way back in ’97. I taught a class called Life Learning Skills at Abilene Christian University and this student was in my early EARLY morning class that started before the school even opened up. I did the class this way to teach the kids that being early was the easiest way to be different in this world and this student was always the first one there to shake my hand and say good morning. His name was Jason. I have always wondered what Jason was doing these days and what had happened to him. He is a hard person to forget that’s for sure. I just couldn’t stop remembering him and the speech he gave one day. Back at home one night in the warm Texas air, as I rest outside in my hammock, I would often visualize from memory watching him as he gave one of the best presentations that ACU had ever witnessed in a coliseum filled with about 7000 students and parents. It was a rough and real sharing of his soul that was so transparent that the style was a bit unfamiliar to the attendees. It shocked yet moved them like no other presentation ever had. This was amazing to witness because I remembered talking to Jason about choosing an “A” in my class(in my class you could choose your own grade based on what you were willing to do) as he didn’t want to do the 2 small presentations required to get an “A” because he was scared. I had told him he could not have an “A” if he didn’t do the presentations. Only two years later he was able to give a speech that gave me the chills because it was hard evidence of a life changed. He was a changed man and I wanted to see what he was up to today. I had searched long and hard for Jason. Why did I want to find him you ask??? Because I just knew that what I would find out about him would help thousands of people here at the school. I knew that if I was able to find him, interview him, and bring his story back to ACU that it would bring a fresh start to so many.
It was no easy task to find him as he is a very private man, and that is something that hadn’t changed. He had always been one who would steel away to his quiet privates times. Eventually…….through a friend of a friend, I found a name of another man who was in contact with Jason. They told me that this guy was a cherished “mastermind” partner of Jason’s. I didn’t know what this meant but it sounded interesting, further fanning the flame of desire to meet him. I called the man with great excitement and anticipation letting him know I was looking for Jason and wanted to interview him. Sure enough the man knew where he was but respected Jason’s privacy saying that they worked in harmony together and Jason treasured his privacy. He told me that he would have to contact him prior to giving me the information.
A week later the man called me in the late night hours as I slept, he told me that Jason would love to do an interview but only under two conditions………..I had to fly to Washington State and interview him sitting next to the outdoor fireplace he called his office and it had to be on July 4th. I agreed immediately and began to set up the details of my trip to Jason’s special office the next morning.
On July 4th, I left Abilene, Texas on the first flight out to interview Jason about what he was doing now. I was nervous because I had no clue what he had been up to, what he had accomplished, or even if he was successful. I couldn’t find anyone who knew or was willing to tell me but I just knew from my experience in 1997 that he was a winner, that he was a powerful man who accomplishes everything he sets his mind to. I knew it was going to be nearly a miraculous meeting. Maybe this story could change some of the lives of the students at ACU who couldn’t believe yet. Believe what you ask???????? In themselves, in something bigger for their lives, in God, in a changed path. I knew that’s what Jason stood for.
I stood before the front door of Jason’s home completely calmed by the power of the peaceful silence that his majestic landscape resonated. It was as though I had entered another world where strife didn’t exist. Simply driving through his gate onto his property brought peace and soundness to my soul. I could hear small dogs barking inside as I knocked on his massive front door when suddenly I felt a quite presence behind me. I turned and saw a handsome, extremely fit man with a tender smile on his face. It was obviously Jason because he was wearing an worn thin shirt and cargo shorts just like he did in Abilene. As he reached his hand out to me he gently commanded, “Come on ’round the house man, welcome to my office.” As we walked on the moss boarded flagstone path that Jason personally hand laid, his back yard opened up into a perfect vision of serenity and wonder. A gentle breeze touched the leaves of the native shrubs and trees that seemed to reach out toward us on our short trek around his home. I couldn’t believe my eyes and had to ask him how he got this lush kingdom? He smiled with grace and told me that it was the master key principles…….you get it…….an idea, to a strong mental image, to an obsession, to work, to habits, to achievement! I didn’t really get it but I clearly saw proof that what was in his mind was a vast treasure store of imagination. He led me on into his magnificent office which was set under a huge wooden beamed structure that blocked the sun. There, next to the impressive stone fireplace was two chairs for our interview with a small table for his work. It was interesting to note that he had an extremely old looking tattered copy of Og Mandino’s “Greatest Salesman” with a book mark that appeared stained which contained odd shapes and colors. Next to this book was three worn out binders, an Ipod, and a toy compass.
We finally sat down in unison after Jason gave me a big hug and told me he loved me and thanked me gratuitously for the wisdom I had imparted to him back in ’97. Jason rested easy, for a private man, and I could almost sense his inner soul of peace as we absorbed the warmth of the fire and living landscape for a few moments in silence before the interview. Jason spoke up as he peered off into the distance saying, “Willard, I always keep my promises so I am going to do that right now because I promised myself that I would give you a gift when you came to meet me. I actually wrote this promise down 8 years ago. Here’s the folder that I had in your class back in the day……..it has all the comments from all of your students that blessed me when I was doing those presentations I didn’t want to do. Do you remember that”? I couldn’t believe my eyes, it actually was an old half torn three ring binder that he had taped over to keep the notes from the students protected. It was stained and sun bleached but it was over 20 years old. “I thought you would appreciate this and I also want you to know that I have achieved every single last goal that I wrote down in that class plus many MANY more since that time. You have blessed my life and I can only hope that this gift will bless you Willard.”
“Oh my”, I exclaimed, “what an amazing gift Jason. I remember you well from that class and then the speech you gave in the coliseum. Man that was something that speech! I was sitting in my back yard in the hammock, just like in my book “How to get what you want and want what you get”, and I wondered what had happened to you. It looks like things are going well for you….yes?”
“Oh yeah Willard. I remember that special book and have kept it close for all these years. I still practice many its principles since they are in MKMMA also and I wish I had started the 15 minute “sit” that you talk about in the book way back then. Things are most wonderful in my life these days. The most amazing peace is in my heart and I have learned over the years that I am ok with myself. It’s not that my achievements or accomplishments aren’t amazing to me, it’s just that this solid foundational peace that I live by where I trust my decisions is the most precious thing that I have ever gained. My trust in myself, God, and others has truly allowed me to live a life full of dreams and aspirations come true, full of health and vigor, full of people who truly love me and help me give back”.
“So, Jason, what happened to you after you left ACU. I remember you were really on a new pathway in life?”
“Well Willard, I’ll tell you this. My life, since I left ACU, has had some very adventurous ups and downs, high mountains and low valley’s……….and I have made the decision to forgive myself and others for those adventures. Of course I experienced much pain and hurt and joy but I didn’t know how to think of it back then but I do now and I am thankful for each experience. Because each of those experiences brought me to a cross-roads. I got divorced, I left the family business,…….I dove into my own hero’s journey you see. And when I did my mentors and helpers turned up quickly. I found a course called MKMMA, I discovered network marketing, I met Ryan the mastermind fellow that you talked to prior to meeting with me. That’s when my life became!”
Only the soft wind blowing the flames of the fire could be heard in this powerful moment, “What do you mean your life…….. BECAME”?
Jason crossed his leg and ran his fingers through is hair when he spoke, “What I mean is that my life became what I wanted it to become. It was at that point in my life that I learned how to set my own sail by listening to myself and God. It was the point where peace flooded in and trust in myself exponentially grew. You know…….that’s all I wanted in the end Willard, and I got so much more.” His eyes gleamed with a proud look of gratefulness.
“I can clearly see and FEEL your peace and strength, but what is this SO MUCH MORE you speak of?”
Jason chuckled with a special twinkle in his eye and as the fire crackled with it’s own life said, “HAHAHAHA, the so much more part………..ah yes……the so much more part is the STUFF. HAHAHAHA. In the beginning of this MKMMA journey I deeply desired true health and autonomy. I got both and became a highly trained endurance athlete. I have finished too many marathons and ultra-marathons to count, I have stayed at a healthy weight for years and years because I have never stopped keeping my promise to make healthy and wise decisions all day every day. While becoming this special kind of athlete I also began to fiercely guard my mind from the naysayers and doubters. Before too long I wasn’t even noticing them anymore and I was living a self-directed life full of power and contentment!” Jason stood up briskly and shouted with GREAT enthusiasm, “I ALWAYS keep my promises, I do it now, and I can BE what I will to be” Mixed with glee and vengeance, the eco of his voice through his lush landscape sent shivers down my spine. I could see he meant what he said.
“Wow those are some word to live by aren’t they?”
“They sure are, and I sure do!” Jason said shaking his head as if to let me know that I really didn’t fully comprehend how truly important those words were to him.
“So is that all of the MORE you told me about”?
“Oh no Willard, that’s only the beginning you see. That was only in the first 6 months. I set out on a path of masterminding with my friend Ryan and we built a real estate empire that produces a passive income that I couldn’t even dream of until I learned how to imagine and dream properly. This lead me to meeting other great business people who wanted to work with me. At this point it became nearly effortless to make money and get people to come along side of me because I had a servants heart full of love. I had a reputation for being honest and fair to everyone. They trusted me because I trusted myself and I laid it all out for them in transparency. Friends abounded in my life and my relationships grew deep and strong. At the same time I found out about MKMMA I also found out about network marketing. Now this was a bit slower because I had no knowledge at first and I didn’t know how to do it, but I built habits of learning and actions that would quickly lead to becoming a coveted people builder in the network marketing industry. I became a master at getting people what they wanted in order for THEM to live the life of THEIR dreams which created another passive income stream that my family has enjoyed for years and years even up to this moment. Even as we talk together money is coming into my bank account because all of the assets my habits set up over the years. And as you may have guessed, I do my work from this chair next to this fire place which is situated in the most beautiful landscape I could ever dream. I mean this is the dream Willard. And in fact I did dream it!”
“So what are you going to do now Jason? Are you done, are you going to finally rest?”
“You have missed the point Willard, why would I be done when all I have been doing all these years was feed my spirit real truth allowing the spirit of love, power, and a sound mind that is within me to bless those around me. Yes I have done the work, but it was the habits I set up years and years ago that continue to this day moving me in the direction of the bliss God called me too.”
Jason stood up noting the end to the interview. He placed his hand upon my shoulder and quietly whispered, “Willard, come meet my friends.” He lead me out of the grand structure that contained the fireplace into the shining sun which fed his deep green lawn. “Come over hear” he said leading me to a small patch of ferns that hid a cove of flagstone across the lawn where an old wooden cross sculpture stood in the company of a Japanese Red Blood Maple . The cross was hand fashioned from old beaten mossy wood from what looked like a downed tree and tied together with course rusty bailing wire. In the small cove rest a large sitting boulder where we both sat………then Jason said, “You see them, do you see my friends?” I looked closer at the cross and noticed an ancient looking faded picture of Jason appearing to be in his early 30’s and a small mirror. I said to him with great pause…………”I don’t get it…………”.
“Willard, that picture is the past me who built these habits I now live. These thoughtful habits created this dream for me. That mirror is the future me that I am helping right now as I create new and more wonderful habits as I talk and share with you. And that cross is the great spirit that is full of life within me……that God gave me. EVERTYTHING IS OK. I WOULD NEVER QUIT THIS WONDERFUL ADVENTURE.