After Thoughts

“You can hand over your keys or your life. Make the right choice.” After Thoughts.

Back in 2000, I was the manager of my high school hockey team. It was the first year we had a team and I wanted to do anything I could to play my part and support. I managed the team with my friend, Jennifer Cheney. She was a loving, caring, funny charismatic girl with a smile that made you feel at home. The kind of girl that shined her light so bright when you spoke to her she made you feel like you were the only one around. The team would practice early every morning, so I would swing by her house and pick her up before school, then we would head over to practice. One day that all changed.

My dear friend Jen was in a horrific accident and was killed. It was the other driver who decided to drink and drive. He planned to get drunk that night. Actually, he planned to get wasted. I entirely believe he never once thought about the lives he would be putting at risk and about how many lives would be changed forever. Our community came out in droves of support for Jen. It rocked my life. Death is always around the corner yet it never gets easy. As a high school student navigating a life altering experience I became lost in the confusion of her death. I couldn’t understand how this could happen, even more so why? I made a pact with some friends and myself during this time period that I would never drink and drive. Thinking about it now 17 years later I am still affected by this loss. She left an impression on me that saved so many lives years later.

I never thought I would play a part in a film such as this. It’s a film created by some students of Livermore. It highlights drunk driver awareness and is now getting national attention. After Thoughts has been nominated for the All American High School Film Festival and will be showcased in Time Square later this year. With over 2000 submission from 50 states and over 40 countries, the film was selected for the Jostens category which is “teens taking a stand against societal issues.” I cannot express how proud I am of everyone who played a part in making the project happen. Last year I sat in a classroom and met the high school students who had the seedling of an idea and the fire of a pack of lions in their eyes.

It was impressive. They showed the stamina and dedication to changing the world and they have. This film continues to get picked up and watched, and now it will get showcased internationally, in turn saving the lives of millions, touching the lives of billions. As a creator and artist, we never know what piece or work is going to be the one that others notice. It can be painful sometimes putting our work out there not knowing what it’s going to do. We have our hopes, our dreams, our goals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will happen. We never know how one of our creations will touch people until it does.

Some of us in life never get the opportunity to hear how much we play a part in others lives. Between work, raising kids, trying to feed mouths or worry about our bank accounts, we tend to lose track of time and how much others mean to us. Then one day someone comes to you and clearly says,

“You changed my life. I’m not sure words can ever explain how much you mean to me and how much I love who you are and what you do, you inspire me.”

The way I see it, we all live on this earth for such a short time, we fight, we claw and we strive for what we want in the future, but it’s appreciating what we have now that really matters.

To the team of After Thoughts: You have left an impression on me and have been an inspiration to all of us in this community and world. There is no telling exactly what this universe has in store for you going forward, however, you can hold your head high and with great confidence knowing that you created a film that is leaving a lasting impression on all who watch it and pay attention. Thank you for allowing me to play my part in this project and thank you for saving my girls and families life. Good luck in New York and what ever happens, keep going!

Check out the short film After Thoughts

#TeamAfterThoughts #DigitalLegacy #Besomebody

The Pressure Our Children Feel

When I was a kid I was told I was going to be gay. Why? Because I walked on my toes, had a stuttering issue and chose to be friends with the girls in my class (as opposed to boys.) I guess looking back now I’ve always had more of a connection with sensitivity and empathy as opposed to the masculinity boys/men are supposed to have. I grew up playing baseball and was in a band but could most of the time care less about sports.

In my twenties, I enjoyed watching the NFL and occasionally going to an MLB game not because I really cared about the sport but more so because of the experience. Over the past several years I haven’t actively watched sports games other than the big Super Bowl or World Series. To be honest I care more about the food and drinks and family than I do about the game. I used to wonder why I didn’t tend to connect well with the men in my life then I discovered myself at age 30 with two girls and a wife that didn’t need me to be a “MAN” they needed me to be their dad, father, husband. They needed me to a human that they could connect with, tell a story to, share a hug with, someone who could and would communicate love and caring for them. This to me is what it means to be not just a man but also a positive influence in their world.

This is what is missing in our children’s lives today, a connection; it’s not the only thing but a big part. The chance for them to connect and be who they want to be and express what they want to express, without negative criticism from others is important. Sometimes their ideas or feelings come out before they are entirely ready like an egg waiting to hatch and it takes others points of view to allow it to come into clarity. We as parents and community leaders should be there for that clarity. There is a difference however between constructive criticism and negativity.

When I was younger, I received my fair share of verbal abuse some of which I continue to battle with every day. Somewhere between the “gay” comments and the “are you stupid?” arose a burning desire to care for others, which I entirely appreciate. In life, it’s almost as if we learn more from others about what not to do as opposed to what we should do. Since I’m not a psychologist or therapist I have no clue on why we do what we do but based on our past experiences. When it comes to this subject I can only state what I went through. Because of this, we choose to raise our children with constructive words and lessons as best as possible. We are not perfect and do falter some days but we also know everyone does. That is the part about being human, forgiveness and loving others, as long as you continue to love and spread your light and inner genius the universe has a way of working itself out.

I met Ashanti last year and he is one impressive dude. If you have children or work with them take some time to watch this movie, it will give you some perspectives on students and children today. The Mask You Live In

Girls: We love you. Mom and dad. #DigitalLegacy

The Sunday Reality

I appreciate, love, and thank the people who have inspired and motivated me over the years, especially those that have helped our family. When I began this journey I had a vision unlike any other. Over the years this vision, goal, dream, success has formed and reformed itself several times over. Sometimes-in full focus but most of the time, very foggy and mirage like, being a father, husband, family member, business owner, teacher, a creator is never easy. Most of the times it’s scary as shit. Walking away from something that I was entirely comfortable doing when others are depending on me is crazy. Yet I did.

Sometimes we feel like we have to “act” strong or “play” fearless however that never leads us in the right direction. We tell ourselves “we know what to do”…most of the time. “We know what to say”…most of the time. “We know how to feel”…. most of the time.

Yeah right. We don’t. I don’t. Most of the time, I am searching for the courage to be authentic. Most of the time, I am negotiating between the line of safe and down right jumping off the cliff with no parachute and weights tied to my feet. I feel like those of you that know me, know which direction I would go …most of the time.

Then there’s being vulnerable.

This word HAS TO BE one of the most important words in the dictionary just behind empathetic. Vulnerability never comes easy. I’m talking the downright, stripped naked, running through the streets during rush hour traffic VULNERABILITY. The kind of vulnerable that builds a feeling of nausea in your belly, the gut wrenching, toes curling, nail biting vulnerability that one gets when we are at the breaking point of change. Vulnerability. That’s hard. But I strive for it. I sometimes get writer’s block, tongue tied, frustrated as shit when my thoughts are not vulnerable enough or when most everything I create is crap. Yes, it happens, even as I post this right now, I am searching for ways to relay this even more vulnerable than the one sentence before. Do you hear me? “Breath,” I say, “it’s going to be ok.”

Once again I want to say THANK YOU for being you and teaching me what an awesome generation we live in. What a beautiful time period we are alive in, it’s especially awesome when anyone can wake up and post a message of love and solidarity for the whole world to see and allow that message to change just one person’s life.

My purpose in life is to positively affect a billion people while helping them achieve their goals, always knowing it is not me that is going to actually touch the billion, because of social platforms, I may inspire the ONE that creates, loves, designs, lives, discovers, chooses to affect the billion. Hey, if you think that’s crazy? I think it’s worth a shot. If this inspires you please hit the share button for others in your network to be inspired as well. Make it a great day! Keven. #DigitalLegacy

To The Digital Family Tree

“Hey there, you too? I wanted to let you know something…”

It’s never easy.
You know, saying goodbye.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to the single person you loved the most.
The one you thought you would spend the rest of your life with, not the rest of their life with.
It’s never easy to one day say goodbye then wake up the next morning, trying to figure out what to do now.
It’s never easy to keep the smile long enough to make it to the store and back without anyone seeing you cry.
It’s never easy to ask WHY?
Death is one of the most traumatizing things that can happen to us and yet we find the strength to carry on.
Through faith and love and the support of others you…we,…can survive.
The memories that we will all carry on for the rest of life will allow them to live on for eternity.

Pain? Pain comes and goes, never entirely.

A Friend of mine told me: “to play it safe and to be in the middle is the worst place to be.” And I agree.

Just a moment.

ONE DAY the people that surround you will no longer be here. ONE DAY every single one of us will no longer be here. In a flash, we’re all gone. It’s been quoted that “remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Death Is Very Likely The Best Single Invention Of Life. It Is Life’s Change Agent.”

Knowing your death will ONE DAY happen should be enough to move you into living the best possible life you can.
I’m not just saying being alive I am saying actually LIVING. Being awake, Being authentic, Being present, listening to your intuition, loving others, allowing others to love you, discovering your passion, discovering your purpose, Truly LIVING.

Hey…. no pressure though, as long as you keep moving forward, and you never give up…I mean it NEVER GIVE UP.

After today you will get hit with troubles, you will have your own pains in life, you will sometimes feel like you shouldn’t get your hopes up, but as long as you continue on the path that you started and you can see your goal or vision ahead of you even when there is a fork in the road or it looks like a mirage, you will succeed.

ONE DAY near the end of your life my belief is that you will wake up and get the opportunity to ask yourself “Do I have any regrets?” and your answer will be “NO”. You will be able to say “I lived the best life I could, I tried everything I wanted to try and gave it my all, even when it wasn’t easy, and there are no regrets.”

That is the life I would like you to live. As you go on with the rest of your life, simply remember it is not going to be easy if you live your life for others, but I promise if you live the life you and only you were meant to live then it will be a life worth living.

Remember the wisdom of the ancient Chinese seer who observed: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And it is taking that step today that allows you to master the art of living.

#digitallegacy #digitalfamilytree

Big Idea Fest 2016

Last week I attended “Big Idea Fest 2016” (BIF2016) presented by the team at the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME).  I did not know what to expect but I was eager to find out. After spending 3 days with the group, I can say “if you were not there, you missed out on some beautiful discoveries.” Don’t worry too much though, you have a year before the start of Big Idea Fest 2017!

Between the action collabs, workshops and presentations, it’s really tough to say what the most exciting part was, so I am just going to stick with All of It.  I heard several conversations of how “it was all so exhausting, but absolutely worth it.” I do know tears were shed and lives were transformed. After the first day, I personally walked around with a knot in my stomach that felt very much like high anxiety because of the networking involved, but after some inner-space searching, I realized it was huge feelings of empathy. I submersed myself in the process and was empathetic to the students that were at the event for what they are enduring in school. I was empathetic to the teachers I met for their desire to win the battle for their students. I was empathetic about the amount of work that we have to do, to be the leaders and change agents in a society that is always telling us “WE ARE WRONG.”

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The group reviewing the hard work!

You know in my daily process, I laugh when I have tough conversations with people about school, life, relationships, education, politics, and society as there’s always an after conversation with ourselves that wonders, “Was I too harsh? Did I say the wrong thing? Was I disrespectful?” Then I get the phone call or message from another person concerned about if they stole my passion or desire to keep going. Cue the laughter now, because my response is echoed much like a broken record;

“I appreciate your concern, but hell no you didn’t steal my passion or desire, because this isn’t about us.”

@kevenhempel with @lavendercourage and @misspollock

This doesn’t happen at Big Idea Fest though. The tough conversations are met with respect for each others views, even when they are different. It’s like that old stretch armstrong doll, no matter how hard you pulled his arms or stretched his body, he always went back to his original shape. He was a little stressed here and there… but not broken.

Seriously, it’s about something greater than us. It’s about our children, it’s about our society, it’s about changing the world for generations to come. It’s about changing our world today.

BIF2016 taught me that no matter how lonely I often feel in the world, blazing out a path to a brighter future, there is an army of fighters alongside me. They are my team. They are the trailblazers that when told “NO” smirk and move on to the next person. Then when told “NO” again, like a boxer getting their tooth knocked out from a quick right hook, do it anyways. Yes that is us. We are todays innovators who are not scared, and will not back down to others concerns. Here we go “Knock, Knock, special delivery…..”

Dear Madam/Sir,

Please be aware we will respect your opinion, however if our belief is big enough at the time on what is the right thing to do, we will listen to your concern and do our own thing. Why? because that’s who we are. That’s how change is made. We are big thinkers, the dreamers, the doers. Let me take a moment and remind you of Peter’s Law #20 the creed of the persistent and passionate minded. Law 20 states:  “If you think it is impossible, then it is…..for you.”

Respectfully signed,

The Crazy Ones.

(In regular life we are the outcasts, but at BIF2016 we are normal.)

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Big Ideas Fest 2016 brought hope and comfort for those of us that have felt like the world today is a scary place. (I’ll just leave that right there.) To the rest of the world that was not at this event….be prepared. We have been armed with a new way of thinking. We have been trained over the past couple days on how to be on the offense and not to worry too much about the defense. We have mind melted and been allowed the ability to disconnect from our technology. This has created a wealth of knowledge and ability to allow our big ideas to percolate like a fine brewed coffee.

Soon enough, we will be ready to serve a scolding hot cup of joe to our educational system, we will now be empowering the people with the products we build, we will be empathetically listening and searching for ways to plant other seeds within our broken data driven reports. We will infiltrate our sometimes demeaning and balloon deflating processes and procedures to breakout of the status quo. So be prepared.

To the team at ISKME: THANK YOU for all your hard work. Thank you for your dedication to putting on such a wonderful event. Thank you for the attention that was paid in allowing moments of greatness to be discovered. Most importantly thank you for putting your life on hold for a moment, to allow “our” big ideas to germinate and spread to the rest of the world.

To the universe: The soil has been tended, the seeds have been planted, the water has been poured……next comes the redwood forest of change. See you next year! Peace, love and education, stay positive people.

The Top 5 Things I Do Everyday To Stay Motivated

Since my purpose in life is to positively affect a billion people, while helping them achieve their goals. I am giving you my top 5 things I do everyday to stay motivated:

Number 1:

Remove the negative. That’s people, places and things. I hear it all the time, I am stuck in my day being around negative people, how do I get them to change their ways? Well first off you won’t ever be able to change them. You must change yourself and be positive. They will either see it for themselves or they will no longer be in your life. Period. That is just how it goes.

Don’t let others -negatives- drain you of your positive vibes.

Number 2:

I state what my purpose is several times a day out loud. Literally. Words are words unless stated out loud and written down. Once you put it out there, we begin to manifest our true intentions for being here. Calm your inner space to allow your purpose to find you.

Number 3:

I take a moment for myself everyday. Whether it’s meditation, listening to a song I have stuck in my head, or a place I want to go. I take a moment for myself without any distractions. I become fully focused and consumed by that one thing and I go at it full heartedly. Cellphone off, conversations away and just focus on that one thing. It’s funny while I do it, time stops and nothing else matters but that one thing for myself.

Number 4:

I have discussions with other people that are motivated. People from my inner circle, my digital family tree, who I know think similar to myself (but also very different) in the positive and motivating way. This is an important step to staying motivated to achieve your goals.

Last but not least….Number 5:

I constantly read and learn. Sometimes it’s a book a week, other times it’s a chapter a day. Whatever it is, I am always learning and growing my mindset to be prepared for when I reach the next level of my life.

That’s it. There are 5. There are other things I do everyday to keep me motivated but these are the top 5. If you would like to know more. Feel free to give me a call and we can chat more about setting a time for your official “Goal Call.” Which is a 28 minute phone call or video call to assist you in achieving your goals in life. Cheers and make it a great moment!

PS: If you’re looking to change your life right now…sign up here to receive access to an accountability coach for three months free. Literally it’s free for three months. No catch. Well I guess the only catch is when you do sign up, your life and thinking will change, so say goodbye to the old you.

P.S.S.

Want to find out more about what I have been up to check out the following links:

Keven Hempel

Idea To Launch In 366 Days

HOS Business Center

Now go make it happen…….

It’s Time For A Change.

Thank you for being part of this exciting new pilot that HOS is offering to invest in its members’ personal and professional development! We are teaming up with an innovative coaching company, Ama La Vida, to provide you with tools, resources and inspiration to be constantly improving yourself as a professional, entrepreneur and, well, person. The pilot will last 3 months – here’s how it works:
Click here to start your free 3 month trial. Just simply add the membership to your cart and check out. Don’t worry! You can cancel at any time, before or after the 3 months

Get started on improving yourself and your life! Each month Ama La Vida has a theme, and the eCoaching tools and resources support that theme. This month is all about the gift of gratitude. This November tool will help you understand gratitude’s impact on your happiness and well-being, and you will go through a process of identifying and expressing gratitude in your life.

Once you sign up for the membership, start the Gratitude Tool of the Month here (this can also be found at any time in your dashboard on the top right side of the screen once you log in)

You will be paired up with an accountability partner to keep you on track. Sometimes you know what’s good for you (like going to the gym), but you need someone to make sure you do it (like a gym buddy). You and your partner will keep each other accountable for making those changes in your life that you know are good for you.

Make it a great moment!

Why Do We Resist Therapy? Session 2 of 3

It’s been a wild week of work and play. As we speak looking at the 4th quarter of 2016 we are running almost around the clock at 7 days a week. Thanks for taking the time to catch up on our conversation….Enjoy!……….

Keven: When do you get time to educate yourself Teri?

Teri: Ha Ha…I wait until the kids are in school. I feel like with the kids, the weekend goes so fast then it’s Monday! I guess I am learning from others as well. I have time to read websites and article though.

 Keven: Do you use Facebook as a way to educate yourself?

Teri: Yeah. Sometimes. I can read an article or share it. Therapy is one of those services that we have to be entirely open to listening. I can come to the table with everything but that doesn’t mean the things I have will help my client. I sell a service of self-care and a non-judgmental ear to bounce off ideas, throw in opinions or researching about what they’re going through.

 Keven: Connecting the dots?

Teri: Yeah whatever those dots might be. Sometimes we are building what is happening as they are saying it and as we are going through it. We have to get into the elevator shaft with them and figure out how far they can go? Are we going to low with things? We never know really so we have to calibrate that as well. We have to be cautiously aware and always connect with the client and the client has to connect with us as well. You can generally tell if, you pay attention, if the person you are speaking to wants to go there.

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Keven: How much of your clients communication is non-verbal?

Teri: 50% of the room is nonverbal. That is why Skype is hard. I can’t see their body it’s not ideal. Fist quenching or quivering. Sadness comes up as they are saying something but their body is saying some thing else. Like they may not be realizing they just made a fist when they are talking about their parents. That’s important during communication to watch that with others.

Keven: What are your thoughts on ideas and what it can do like a seed? How do you try to leave the client?

Teri: Any minute in the session if we plant an idea or a seed I trust that it is just going to sit there. I usually don’t revisit it unless there is something really fruitful there. They may not be ready for it. The mind is a powerful thing and they will take it where they want it. We always want them to walk away and leave feeling comfortable. Feeling like they are O.K. That is important for anyone to do that even outside of therapy.

We need to make sure we are zipped up so we don’t immediately show the world where we are most vulnerable.

Keven: So what you are saying is, we have our normal lives, we do our normal things but yet when there are clients that go see a therapist it’s important for them to “zip up” and have some closure?

Teri: Yeah it’s important whether it’s in therapy or not. Like if you are having a fight with your significant other and then you have to “zip it up” to go get the kids from school, it’s the same thing. We have to learn how to not be in denial, not forget about it, but know that we can hold that somewhere and still keep doing life.

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Keven: Without there being closure to it?

Teri: Yeah! Right! Then come back to it. So it’s not sweeping it under the rug, it’s not saying “oh we forgot about that.” If that is happening then someone has to be the one that pulls this back out and says “Hey we need to get some closure here, lets talk.”

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you found it fruitful. Stay Tuned for Sessions 3 of 3 in the coming weeks, where we get into the discussion about Social Platforms and Technology.

To contact me go to www.hosbusinesscenter.com and click the contact page

 To contact Teri Sorkin M.A. MFT for a trial session go to http://terisorkin.com

Your Love.

 

Often times in life we become severely imbalanced with our significant other. Whether that is in the relationship or the current professions, raising the children or having friends. Whatever the situation, know that it takes work to stay connected and not feel disjointed.

You both may not see it as this way and it may take some quiet conversation to combine your love together to make it work. Either way, understand if you don’t pay attention there will be a falling out cause and effect. I believe the same story can be told with almost all things in life. #ideatolaunchin366days

Sensing The Darkness

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As I wrote in my blog post earlier this week titled “I Am Not Going To Make Your Party As I Am Going Blind” I will have no vision for 48 hrs. At the same time I will also experience a social account takeover. My daughters will be Facebooking, Instagramming, Snapchatting, Storytelling and Tweeting events, photos and videos throughout the two days. Should be either interesting or super annoying. I will have absolutely no light entering my retinas for 48 hrs. I will essentially enter a “visual isolation.” I wonder what it will be like? Just take a minute and cover your eyes from allowing any light in. Listen to the sounds, feel your heart beat, wiggle your toes for one minute….now try for 48 hrs. It’s going to be a wild ride of emotions, submission and a fully immersive experience. Oh boy. Did I also tell you I will be going grape picking on Saturday morning? This may turn out to be a pretty funny show!

When I researched how many senses we have here is the best explanation I could find:

“The point of all this is that it is harder than it might first appear to put a definitive figure on the total number of senses that humans possess. At some point, it becomes just a bit arbitrary. So here’s my list of nine human senses, which may be a little longer, or shorter, than yours:”

Vision
Hearing
Smell
Taste
Touch
Balance
Temperature
Proprioception (body awareness)
Pain
This insert above was taken from a guest post from John M. Henshaw. Find the rest of his article here How Many Senses Do We Have?

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During my research on some sites I seen up to 20 senses being explained. For me the intention here is to get an understanding of what other senses will be heightened when I remove one of the strongest senses I have. Heck maybe I might even discover a sense I didn’t know I had. Then again after all this, maybe I just get 48 hrs to be messed with, rested on, driven around, and waited on. Who knows? It could be a long 48 Hours…

The count down begins…..

If you’d like to follow along with my adventure this weekend check out my site at Idea To Launch In 366 Days or find me on Facebook (keven hempel), Instagram (@kevenhempel3), Snapchat (outofmyhands) or Twitter (@kevenhempel)

One more thing: I am also a hobbyist life hacker. If you are interested in finding out ways to better navigate through this thing we call life, Download the #besomebody app and find me to book an experience to achieve your goals.