Mailbag

Subject: Re: Hate U Back

Amen brother! Love everything you had to say.my family voted for Trump and it baffles my mind as to why. It actually just makes me feel very sad. I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t want to bring children into this world. I really hope that he is elected out of office sooner than later and we can attempt to love one another. I live in California in the capital and I sometimes wish to move to a small town where I can focus on the Earth instead of all the fast paced rude mean spirited people around me.

Anywhoot, on a happier note, can’t wait to listen to both songs.

Thanks! Have a wonderful day and thanks for having the guts to speak your mind. ❤

Peace and love,

Martina Turgeon

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Subject: Re: Dear Boomers: I’m Not the Guy from Steppenwolf

I remember when you first got on Spotify you were linked to his. I am under 35 and (kinda) know who Steppenwolf is. I didn’t know that was his name until then though. I hope they fix this for you though. I’ve been listening to “Hate U Back” a bunch since you put it up. I stand by what I said in my initial listening that it may be my favorite song you’ve done. I’m currently playing that playlist. Hope all is well!

Mackenzie Murray

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Subject: Re: My Tombstone Trip

John,

As a historian I’m overjoyed to hear that you were not the least bit interested in the history of Tombstone when you arrived and were completely converted when you left. That sounds like an amazing experience and I enjoyed following along on Facebook. I have a deep respect for your parents marital longevity and their dream of a family compound. Please pass my congratulations to them for what it’s worth.

Regards

Chris Ragen

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Subject: Re: My Tombstone Trip

Isn’t it funny how you think something is going to be boring,  but when you actually see it for yourself or go there yourself. It amazing. I bet it was pretty quite then the city noise. I love the silence. To step back and enjoy the beauty of mother earth. To see the stars at night without all the city lights. I always enjoyed visiting my grandma’s ranch. To top it off going nuts because I have no signal on my phone! I’m glad to hear you had a good time. It’s always nice to get away for awhile and to be with family. Now back to the hustle of city life. Take care and always enjoy reading from you. Keep it up🤘

Anita Gray

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Subject: Re: A Gun is a Guarantee

Perfection.  I’m anti-firearms (well, except bbs), but I tend to stay off the soapbox about it.  In reality, the criminals – or anyone, really, if they hit up a gun show, or know someone – will still get their hands on them.  But this guy, with a fairly recent record of VIOLENT instability, was somehow able to pass the checks and buy it at a store.  Someone said that the Air Force failed to log him into their database accordingly, but I don’t know the source of that statement.  But FER FUCK’S SAKE – just how batshit does one need to be at this point, to keep them from legally acquiring firearms???  I feel like a goddamn criminal on the rare occasion I have to purchase a product with actual pseudoephedrine at this point.  A high school, movie theater, A FUCKING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, and now a church, and this is only a small representation.  We are a seriously fucked up society when it comes to guns, and a gun in the home is by no means a “guarantee.”  Jim Jeffries, a crass comedian of all people, has put it plainly and simply.  Check him out sometime, just for that bit.  Common sense in this country is far from common, it seems, and it makes me sad.

Heather Sheive

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Subject: Re: A Gun is a Guarantee

Good article/essay! Can’t argue with that.

Jim Wood

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Subject: Re: Art is Going to Save Us: My First House Show Tour Recap

Good afternoon ,
Just wanted to let you know that i enjoyed this “blog” , if that is what people still call them. Hope all is well, good to read that you are always pushing forward. I wish you all the best,  always.
Until next time
Jay Neely

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Subject: Re: Don’t Mess With My Routine—What’s Yours?

..sounds like a good routine.. wish mine was as organized and personally fulfilling.. i’m a 9 to 6.. five days a week.. couple hobbies.. minimal socializing.. personal maintenance, kind of guy.. i enjoy the updates.. thanks.. good to hear what’s happening..

Darwin Morris

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Subject: Re: I’m Breaking Up with You

Omg! Hahaha you had me going! I was about to say “wow I could just copy and paste and send to my ex!” 😂

Sonia Reyes

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Subject: Re: Thank you/Happy new year

John,

Thank you for the email. I’ve been working/traveling a lot in these past few months, and now that I’ve got a minute to actually reply to an email of yours, it feels good to be kept in the loop about your future plans.

I’m planning on taking the same course as you in the coming year: I’ve taken enough time away from Music, and it’s made me stir crazy. I’m going to knuckle down, write, and start putting out my own music. I’ve sat in the background long enough; it’s time to take the spotlight, I think.

I’ll keep in touch with you, and send you song demos if you’re curious as to what I’m doing. I say this because I value your opinion as much, if not more, than you value mine. You’ve been at this way longer than I have, and you have a good ear.

Thank you again for the email. Look forward to seeing you soon, and I hope the new year brings you success.

Best wishes,
Brett Caton

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Subject: Re: Thank you/Happy new year

Hey John, the holidays were great except for getting sick. Hope they were good to you and yours. I’m excited for the year to come, learning new music and hopefully get better at recording it. I’m also looking forward to seeing you play some music live. Take care

Jeff Walker

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Subject: Re: Thank you/Happy new year

Hey John!

So sorry for the late reply. Our holidays were great, but I’m glad it’s over with! It’s kicked my ass with all this hustle and bustle that I’m just now getting a weekend for some ME time! Hope you all had a great one too. 🙂

Sounds like you and the band are going well and I’m looking forward to see what you all have in store. I’ve also gone ahead and signed up with your Patreon. Definitely, let us know what your tour plans are if you get a chance to head this way and we’ll get you set up somewhere.

Thanks for the well wishes for Chris’s new band too. He’s been a nervous wreck from not playing in almost 10 years, but he’s been great and is excited. I’ll be on the lookout for some new music from you guys and any other news.

Wishing you well and hope you reach your 2018 goals! Talk to you again soon,

Lucy Eckels McCord

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Subject: Re: Welcome/Thank you

Hey John,

Thanks! I’ve had the privilege of knowing Steve for decades. The way he explains how you guys are working on this project with quarterly meetings and such, it gives a perception of professionalism beyond almost every band I have met. You have plans and goals, not just dreams. That is wise!

I can go on and on with the platitudes, but the real world beckons…

I hope the best for you all! I look forward to the future of the real John Kay!

Jason Cloutier

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Subject: Re: Say Goodbye to Rock and Roll

Check out Harry Styles new solo album.  There’s some surprisingly good rock tunes on it.  Who knew the kid from One Direction may bring rock back to the millennial gen?

Lori Hildebrandt

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Subject: High and Alone Feedback

LOVE IT! It gave me November Rain vibes. My fiancée said he could see some of our friends at the comic shop listening to it, so I think I’ll play it for them and see what they think, too – hopefully get some interest generated.

Unrelated, I sent you a text last week but don’t know if you ever received it; if you didn’t, basically it was just me saying that Aaron and I would like to offer you all our home to sleep in when you all come to Huntington. I can cook for everyone. We have a nice hot shower, a couch, loveseat, and Queen air mattress that’s as tall as a bed. Saves you all money and gives you all some good home cookin’ out on the road. Understandable if you all have other plans.

Hope you all are keeping warm out there!

Brittany Feury

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Join the fan club: Become a Bullfighter

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: Spotify Artist Page
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2018 John Kay, All rights reserved.

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The Right Stuff: First Who, Then What

The Right Stuff: First Who, Then What

I’m very excited and I want to share it with everyone! 🙂

This past Saturday was our band’s fourth quarterly meeting, and we all agree it was the best one we’ve had yet.

Every 90 days, the band meets for a full day to make sure we’re all still on the same page in regard to our vision, review the progress we made (or didn’t make) toward our goals in the previous quarter, discuss and solve our key issues, decide and assign what needs to be done in the upcoming quarter to move us closer to reaching our goals, and reward and recognize each other for adhering to our core values as a group.

When we conclude, everyone rates the meeting on a scale from 1-10. The goal is to have every meeting be a “level 10” meeting, and no meeting below an 8 (Saturday’s average was a 9).

Prior to the meeting, we had a short rehearsal to run through our entire set of songs. We’ve been working hard on the tunes, getting them dialed in, everyone practicing on their own time, rehearsing and honing for almost a year now, and Saturday we had our first guest attendee, one of the Bullfighters.

After we finished the last song, I asked him, “So, if we did what we just did in front of a room full of strangers who paid money to experience it, do you believe they would feel that they got their money’s worth?”

“And more. Definitely.” He continued, “I’m kind of blown away right now, actually. I didn’t know what to expect, and you guys really have something. There’s a magic. It’s obvious you’ve got the right people on board.”

The right people!

Our guitarist, Brandon, echoed that sentiment in our meeting when we went around the room asking each person what they believe is working in the band: “I think our relationship as a band and with each other is obviously working.”

Until this group, in every band I’ve been in or a part of, the members were chosen based on talent, proximity, and availability (and not always in that order).

This time around, I looked at myself first, examining my own strengths and weaknesses, paring them down to the seven core values I hold as a human being which subconsciously—now, consciously—guide my decision-making and performance in all areas of my life.

Experience has taught me the hard way that no matter how talented someone may be, how close they live to where we rehearse, or how open their schedule is…if they don’t share my band’s core values, they can’t be in my band, and I shouldn’t join theirs. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

Understand: first who, then what—I originally read this principle in Good to Great by Jim Collins, and it is echoed in Traction by Gino Wickman.

“First who, then what” is about getting the right people on the bus based on shared values, and put in the right seats based on their unique abilities—the ideal is to have 100% of people who want to get on the bus say “I don’t know where this bus is going, but I trust the driver and the other people on this bus enough to get on and help get us where we all want to go, together.”

But you’ve gotta have the right stuff to get on the bus.

The people with the right stuff share our band’s core values. They fit and thrive in our band’s culture. They are people we enjoy being around and who make our band a better one to be in.

And each of our members is operating within his or her area of greatest skill and passion inside our band, and the roles and responsibilities expected of each team member fit with his or her unique ability. (Everyone has a unique ability. The trick is to discover yours.)

Because we all share values and operate within our strengths, we experience never-ending improvement, feel energized rather than drained, and, most of all, we have a passion for what we’re doing that presses us to go further than others would in our areas.

Our job is to hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize all of our people around core values and unique abilities. That’s the way to build a band with all of the right people in the right seats.

By creating an awareness of our core values through our quarterly state-of-the-band meetings, performance reviews, and a three-strike rule, the people that don’t fit won’t last until the third strike. Some don’t even last until the first. Instead, they leave on their own, because they know they don’t fit. What this process does is smoke them out—there is simply no place for them to hide (in fact, we’ve already had a few casualties).

No matter what line of work we’re in, life is much easier for everyone when we have people around us who genuinely get it, want it, and have the capacity to do it.

I can’t wait for everyone to experience the incredible results that come from harnessing all of our band’s combined talents.

Shows will be announced soon.

The best is yet to come in 2018! 😀

P.S. Our band is looking to expand within the next 90 days! We are currently seeking two female members to perform backup vocals along with some simple percussion; tambourine, shaker, bells, etc. If you live in the southeast Michigan area (or know someone who does), have a quality voice, and share our seven core values—sacrifice, measurable growth, accountability, reputation for excellence, time, energy, and respect—please feel free to reach out to me at bgvox [at] therealjohnkay [dot] com to schedule an interview.

P.P.S. If you’re putting a band together—or any business, for that matter—keep two important points in mind (from Traction):

  1. Be careful what you wish for, because you’ll get it. If you want to grow, you have to understand that not everyone is going to be able to keep up and remain in the same seat forever.
  2. Keeping people around just because you like them is destructive. You do a disservice to your organization, to everyone in it, and to the person. People must add value. This may sound cold, but to the degree people are in the right seats, everyone is happier, especially them.

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Join the fan club: Become a Bullfighter

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: Spotify Artist Page
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2018 John Kay, All rights reserved.

I’m Breaking Up with You

I’m Breaking Up with You

I can’t do this anymore.

We’ve been together for years, and I have loved you more than you could ever comprehend.

But I now realize that our relationship has been toxic from the get-go, and I don’t see any signs of it changing anytime soon.

You have a dark side which cannot be ignored, and it’s time I call you out on it…

First of all, you’re insidious. You may distract me (and countless others) with your sweet exterior, but at your core you are poison.

Second, I find myself strangely addicted to you, like a drug. Just thinking about you makes my endorphins go wild. And like a drug, once I’ve had a taste of you, I can’t get enough, I need more and more. I lose self-control. It’s unhealthy, to say the least.

Third, even though I try to stay away, you are almost unavoidable. You seem to be everywhere I go, whether it’s my parents’ house, a grocery store, a gas station, even at my therapist’s office.

Bottom line: you are a Siren. You call to me with promises of joy and happiness, and in the end you deliver nothing but sabotage and pain.

But no more.

This letter is my way of tying myself to the masthead, to hear your call and be able to ignore it, to sail on. Because every single time I come back to you, even if it’s just one day, you let me down.

I want everyone to know your true nature so that when they see me with you, they’ll knock me back to my senses. They’ll speak up, knowing that by being with you I am doing myself actual harm, not just psychological harm, but emotional harm and (especially) physical harm, too.

The real problem here is that you’re always going to be a part of my life, and I don’t foresee anything that will change that fact. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’ll be there. At birthday parties, you’ll be there. At family reunions, friendly get-togethers, and more, you’ll be there. Even if I don’t want you there, someone is going to bring you around. It never fails.

You’ve got a lot of fans, to be sure, and there’s no way they are going to shut you out just because of the way I feel about you; they love you, and they don’t see you the way I do, because to do so would require such a radical shift in their lives that it would be too painful to change, even though you are already causing them untold pain and suffering, a certain amount of which they are aware.

But no matter how anyone else feels about you, it’s time for you and I to break up.

Because I’m done hating myself for spending time with you. I’m done feeling like a piece of garbage they day after we are together, with no motivation to do anything other than be with you even more. I’m done looking at myself in the mirror and seeing the effect that being with you has had on my body, even if it’s just for a weekend. I’m done with the emotional and psychological roller coaster ride you take me on when I try to deny myself of you.

Most of all, I’m done trying to blame you for my problems, because at the heart of it, it’s my fault for allowing you to get the best of me. I’m the one to blame.

So, it’s become obvious to me that the only way this is going to work is if I stay as far away from you as possible, and let the world know I don’t want to be with you any longer.

Well, here it goes…

As of January 1, 2018, I officially renounce sugar in all of its processed forms, including, but not limited to: refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, malt syrup, lactose, maltose, carbitol, galactose, maltodextrin, and any other name the lab techs come up with to try to trick us into thinking something isn’t sugar, when it is.

We’ve had some good times, sugar, but it’s over.

Consider us broken up.

“Sugar’s ‘Tipping Point’ Link to Alzheimer’s Revealed”: http://neurosciencenews.com/alzheimers-glucose-neurology-6151/

“Sugar in the diet may increase risks of opioid addiction”: https://theconversation.com/sugar-in-the-diet-may-increase-risks-of-opioid-addiction-85313

“Sugar Rots Your Brain”: https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/news/sugar-rots-your-brain-285482

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Join the fan club: Become a Bullfighter

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: Spotify Artist Page
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2018 John Kay, All rights reserved.

Don’t Mess With My Routine—What’s Yours?

Don’t Mess With My Routine—What’s Yours?

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

In studying history, there are numerous examples of, and testimonies from, successful people who, in addition to waking at the same time each day, adhere to a consistent morning routine which works for their lifestyle.

And if one truly values time, they allow room to maneuver, because life can be unpredictable.

What I do…

  1. Wake at 7:00
  2. Start working at 7:30
  3. Coffee at 8:00
  4. Jump rope and exercise from 10:00-noon
  5. Work from noon-7:00 or 8:00
  6. Dinner at 7:00 or 8:00
  7. Read or socialize from 8:00-10:00
  8. Wind down from 10:00-midnight
  9. Sleep for a minimum of seven hours

Every. Single. Day.

No matter what.

Yeah, it looks boring on paper. But within rules…there is freedom!

For starters, I use the word “work” to mean “acting with intention.”

This means some weeks I do work seven days, but I generally work five so I can spend more time with loved ones and friends, or simply recharge my batteries. It all depends on what is happening in my relational world, what needs to get done from a traction perspective professionally, and my energy levels as a result of honoring those two.

But my morning routine doesn’t change. For a few reasons…

By sitting down to work first thing in the day, I tap into the creative energy provided by the Muse of my subconscious, which was just fully engaged for seven hours (I dream nightly). As a result, I usually produce my best work in the morning.

While I generally drink my blended coffee instead of eating breakfast—intermittent fasting promotes a better metabolism—a couple days a week I’ll switch it up and have a full breakfast of bacon and eggs with spinach, onions, and avocado.

Jumping rope for 20-25 minutes every day is my “keystone habit,” the one thing I do daily. It ensures I get my physical activity in for the day, and I find it meditative—by the time I’m jumping rope, I’ve used my brain creatively for at least two hours; my jump rope time is my opportunity to empty my mind.

Finally, when it comes to exercise, my workouts are varied: Sundays and Wednesdays are the same—a combination kettlebell and push-up workout—but I exercise different muscle groups on Mondays and Fridays. After jumping rope on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I train in Wing Chun Do, and each class is unique, focusing on different techniques and applications. Because of this varied schedule, I don’t get bored with my exercise program.

Everything I do beyond noon each day either involves being creative or honoring my relationships, and I do my best to maintain a healthy balance of both.

Bottom line: I don’t prioritize my schedule. I schedule my priorities.

This is not my idea. This comes straight from Stephen Covey’s bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He calls it “putting first things first.”

So I recommend that if you don’t already, put first things first: make a list of your top priorities at the beginning of each week, schedule them accordingly, and commit.

Making and adhering to a schedule doesn’t mean a person is rigid. It means they value their time and the time of those whom they care about.

Understand: You are the architect of your life.

Don’t let anyone mess with your routine.

You are the programmer.

Write the program.

Run the program.

You’ve got this.

Get after it.

Today.

Now.

Go!

😀

P.S. Everybody’s got one, so what is your routine? Tell me at blog [at] therealjohnkay [dot] com.

P.P.S. “Don’t Mess With My Routine” on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/275TkDZqnuF1GtxjdNHubm

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Join the fan club: Become a Bullfighter

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: Spotify Artist Page
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2018 John Kay, All rights reserved.

My Tombstone Trip

My Tombstone Trip

I didn’t think I was going to have such a good time!

I was expecting to experience a certain amount of boredom, because I’m not really interested in Tombstone lore, especially compared to my father. Boomers grew up in the golden age of westerns, with cowboy movies and TV shows galore.

Around a decade ago, my dad was sent to Tucson for a work project — he works in tech — and he decided to check out Tombstone on a day off, since he’d never been there, but had of course heard about and seen it on the screen.

He became enraptured.

After that first visit, my dad has returned to Tombstone almost every year, and not just for sightseeing; he discovered a group of historians, researchers, and authors who meet annually for what they call the Tombstone Territory Rendezvous, always around the anniversary of the infamous 1881 gunfight at the O.K. corral with Wyatt Earp and company.

The “TTR” group plans each yearly summit around a certain topic or subject matter — this year’s focus was centered on “Law and Order” (DUN DUN!) — and individuals give presentations and illuminate new findings about the real history of the town and its cast of characters, not what we see in movies.

My dad was welcomed into the group, becoming friends with the TTR leadership team and its most respected members, and has since contributed in many ways to their efforts, from designing a book cover for an author from Australia, to creating and managing the TTR website, and even designing this year’s official TTR Law and Order t-shirt.

All of this is to say, Tombstone is now a huge part of my father’s life, and he wants to share it with his family. Prior to this year’s trip, he had brought my mother and brother with him twice each. This year, he brought the whole family, including me, my sister-in-law, and his 3-month-old granddaughter.

Now, you have to understand, I love my father, and I especially love that he has found something which brings him immense joy and pleasure, a group of friends with a shared interest; his eyes light up when he talks about it.

But at home, when he talks ad nauseam about the town and the group and the information and the research and the minutiae and whatnot, it’s hard for me to remain attentive. I’m just. Not. Interested. At least, not in the way he is.

And because of my lack of interest, my going along on the trip felt almost like an act of fealty instead of a desire to experience what he loves so much. At a minimum, I looked forward to seeing my dad among friends and interacting socially, which doesn’t happen often at home — my folks hardly ever entertain guests, and are mostly homebodies.

So, I told myself that no matter what I knew or thought I knew, or how uncomfortable I may feel, I needed to immerse myself in the week’s events, assimilate myself in the group, embrace any boredom if and when it came, and, most importantly, simply enjoy spending an extended amount of time with my family.

What transpired was nothing short of magical to me.

The trip was a week long. My folks had arrived on Monday, and my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and I arrived on Wednesday. Upon our arrival, we were surprised with the announcement that my mom and dad had renewed their wedding vows after 37 years of marriage.

On Thursday, the presentations began, which started at 9am and ran until 7pm, with breaks for lunch and dinner. The topics covered ballot box stuffing, critical events leading up the O.K. corral gunfight, the gunfight itself, the reasons the McLaury brothers (two of the gunfight victims) were in Tombstone to begin with, gunfight dynamics and bullet ballistics, and more. The night concluded with a reenactment of a court hearing, in which my father portrayed the prosecuting attorney.

Were there lulls in the process? Of course. But they were few and far between, spaced out enough to keep me focused.

And I got involved, asking questions and offering insight of my own, based on my outsider’s perspective, which ended up impressing the group (their words, not mine).

Friday, we traveled to Bisbee — home of Doug Stanhope — to visit the sites of the Bisbee Massacre, which resulted in the legal hangings of five men, and the lynching of their ringleader. When we returned to town, we were treated to a ballet version of the O.K. corral gunfight, in which my dad acted as Morgan Earp and danced ballet! (Seeing my dad pirouette was worth the trip on its own.) The night ended with a court reenactment of the Bisbee Massacre trial, in which I was volun-told to be a member of the lynch mob.

On Saturday, my sister-in-law’s birthday, we traveled to Willcox, AZ where my parents had purchased some land to be developed for housing. They had bought the property sight-unseen, and this was the first time they were going to visit it. It was a very emotional moment, resulting in the decision to purchase even more plots surrounding their original buy — their dream is to have a family compound for all of us.

When we got back from Willcox, we attended the wrap-up banquet with the TTR group, at which the group was effusive in their praise and compliments toward our family and our participation in the activities. (The leadership team is also interested in perhaps having me work with them to help grow the group and attract a younger demographic.)

After breakfast on Sunday, we said our goodbyes and visited Boot Hill Cemetery on our way out of town. We traveled to Tucson and spent a few hours at the Sonoran Desert Museum. I thought it was going to be a big building with a bunch of artifacts and displays and whatnot. It turns out that it’s a living museum, with both indoor and outdoor attractions, and we could have spent three more hours there and not see everything it had to offer.

Leaving the museum, we checked into our hotel, freshened up, then went out for family dinner at El Charro, which, according to reviews, is touted as the best Mexican restaurant in the United States. It did not disappoint, and the prices were more than reasonable considering the quality and the generous portion sizes. I highly recommend eating there when in Tucson.

As I type this, we are cruising at 39,000 feet on our way home. In retrospect, I really needed this trip. I haven’t taken a vacation since 2011, and it was rejuvenating to unplug from the hustle for six days.

Plus, I’ve been so busy working that I haven’t been able to spend any time with my 3-month-old niece since she was born. I was concerned that she wouldn’t warm to me because I’m a new face.

Quite the contrary: Not only does she smile every time she sees me, I was able to give her mom the best birthday present ever, the highlight of my trip…

I made my niece laugh for the first time in her life.

It’s the little things that make life wonderful. I wish for you to feel the same joy in your world as I felt this past week.

Now…I’m back to work!

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Join the fan club: Become a Bullfighter

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: Spotify Artist Page
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2018 John Kay, All rights reserved.

Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

According to the last person who unsubscribed from my mailing list, I have a problem: I’m too negative.

I don’t normally follow up with those who unsubscribe, but this was an exception. This particular person is someone I met during my Koffin Kats days, a wonderful human being who is kind, generous, and supportive of my endeavors. They joined my mailing list just before my days with KK were over, and interacted with me regularly.

And then, just after I sent my last blog, they unsubscribed. So I had to reach out and ask why.

They informed me that “it all started back when you made a few comments on FB about your time/feelings towards/experiences with the Koffin Kats. I was really disappointed to read some of the disparaging things you wrote. I unfollowed you on FB at that time because I felt like it there was a lot of needless negativity there and I just didn’t want to see any more of it. You are totally entitled to your feelings, they are yours and therefore they ARE valid. I would never say otherwise. It just wasn’t something I was interested in seeing.

“More recently, your email/blog post about Nelson Ellis’s passing felt like a platform that you used to complain about sensing your own mortality. There was so much negativity in it. As well as the previous email regarding the band mates who abruptly severed ties with you.

“Please understand John, I’m not here to say that any of this was wrong on your part. You have an incredible way of expressing yourself, and you are entitled to your feelings and opinions. It’s not my place to say that any of it is ‘wrong’ or ‘not valid’ because they are your thoughts and opinions. You own that shit and no one can take your freedom of expression away. There’s just a LOT of negativity saturating these emails and I have a really hard time digesting it.

“I desperately need to be surrounded by uplifting things. Music, listening to my kid laughing at the crab in Moana for the THOUSANDTH time, stupid memes.. anything!!! And lately (because their frequency has picked up) your emails are more of a source of frustration. I know I could just NOT read them.. but I like knowing what’s been new with you and what you’ve been doing. I truly hope things are better with you than how they are often sounding.

“I sincerely hope you understand that I mean no ill towards you whatsoever. I’m just doing everything I can to keep my eyes fixed on the lighter side of life… cuz there’s a huge scary dark side to it all, and it’s suffocating…”

This hit me like a ton of bricks.

I thought that showing my warts and being honest about the hurdles on my path was the way to truly connect with others, but it seems to be driving people away.

The fact is…my life is great. Yes, I experience setbacks from time to time, but for the most part, everything is fine.

But in a strange way, I’ve always felt that I should play down how good things are, because they can end at any moment, be ruined by some unforeseen event or situation.

I haven’t written anything since receiving that email because I knew that the next thing I wrote would absolutely have to be about that email, and I’ve been scared to let it out.

Well, here it is. I’m afraid.

I’m afraid that when I mention something good that’s happening, it will end or be ruined somehow.

I’m afraid that if I communicate my vision for the next ten years, it won’t come to fruition.

I’m afraid to introduce the people on my team, lest they end up leaving.

I’m afraid to say how happy I am, because the pattern of my life is such that when I talk about something good, it ends.

I don’t want what’s happening in my life right now to end.

And I feel that if I speak publicly about the good things, then the evil part of the universe — It, if you will, dear friends and neighbors — will conspire to eradicate them all.

But I must, because my “negativity” is driving people away.

Fine.

(deep breath)

I have a great house in a wonderful neighborhood, with a backyard I can mow.

I have a beautiful woman in my life, and we have designs on getting a dog soon.

I have a growing family, and have begun to reconnect with family members I haven’t seen in years.

I have been training in Wing Chun Do for just over a year, and am a few months away from being an “advanced” student.

I’ve got two new songs in production, and one being mastered right now for public release.

I’ve got a great group of people learning, practicing, and rehearsing my music in order to perform and tour.

I have amazing fans all over the United States from Portland, Maine, to Los Angeles, California, who love my music and can’t wait for me to come to town and play for them.

I have a clear vision of where I want to be in ten years, and I am making the necessary sacrifices and taking the calculated risks to get there.

Guys and gals, I want you to know that if you’re still reading this, or any of my musings, I appreciate you. I get dozens of emails after sending these out, and though I don’t respond to all of them, I read every one. I love hearing from all of you, and staying up to date on your happenings.

Whatever your opinion of my music, writing, podcast, etc., I want to hear it — I’m not just creating for the sake of creation, I’m creating to make an impact on others, to improve people’s lives.

So if you feel my content is focused too much on the negative, say so. I’ll listen.

But I promise, from here on out, I will endeavor to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative,” as my mother always says.

Is that cool with YOU?

P.S. Downplaying my strengths has been a pattern of mine for as long as I can recall, and I had an epiphany regarding this subject in my latest podcast with Cody Hawken.

P.P.S. If you met me during my Koffin Kats days and want to know the REAL story of why I’m no longer in the group, message me privately.

P.P.P.S. Everything’s fine.

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Join the fan club: Become a Bullfighter

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: Spotify Artist Page
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
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Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2018 John Kay, All rights reserved.

The Text Message Break-Up

The Text Message Break-Up

Has it happened to you??

I ask because it’s happened to me too often, most recently with two would-be band members.

I’m not trying to put them on blast, but…they’re both on my mailing list, so I may get some blowback.

I still love and respect them, it’s just amusing to me at this point that two people whom I’ve known for years — one since we were in middle school together, the other for whom I produced an EP over a decade ago — would say, in so many words, “I quit,” via text message.

We had our first band meeting back in March, and everyone was on board, we were all on the same page. Our first rehearsal was during the second week of April, and it went quite well.

A couple of days after that rehearsal, the former recording client messaged me, saying the band wasn’t what he thought it would be. The other didn’t return to any rehearsals, and after two and a half months (!!!) finally messaged that he couldn’t continue on with the group due to family and work, two issues we discussed at length prior to his initial involvement.

Since that first rehearsal, I haven’t seen these two gentlemen, although I see them posting on Facebook all the time.

What it all comes down to, regardless of what industry one is in or what type of job needs to be done, is something called “GWC.”\

“GWC” stands for Gets it, Wants it, and has the Capacity to do it.

The former recording client got it, and had the capacity, but didn’t want it. My good friend from school got it and wanted it, but didn’t have the capacity in his life to do it.

In order to build a great team, everyone has to get it, want it, and have the capacity to do it. There are no exceptions.

But why break up via text message?? Why not call me? Were they afraid I’d try to talk them into remaining with us? Did they not want to hurt my feelings? I may never know because…

We are living in an age where it is easier to not have the difficult conversations required in life.

People would rather email than meet up, would rather text than call, rather “ghost” somebody than say what’s really on their mind.

I hate fence-sitters, and I’d rather hear “I hate you” than nothing at all. At least I’d know where I stand.

Why is everybody so afraid to say the hard thing?? The truth will set us free!

At this point in my life, I’ve learned that nothing is permanent. Every relationship, job, event, belief, etc. has an end somewhere down the line, it’s just a matter of when and how.

Some things end badly, but not all things, and things don’t have to end badly unless you make it so.

Needless to say, the two would-be members have each returned to their own personal status quo. They are content and happy with their lives, and the stress of embarking on a new and different musical journey is no longer weighing on them.

Moreover, they have both been replaced by members who share the core values of the group — sacrifice, measurable growth, accountability, reputation for excellence, time, intensity, and respect.

Everyone is happy.

Still, I would have appreciated a phone call.

Wouldn’t anyone?

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Join the fan club: Become a Bullfighter

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: Spotify Artist Page
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2018 John Kay, All rights reserved.