Monday, December 15, 2014

Passion Party #536 - Danger and Courage

There is danger everywhere
and there is danger nowhere.
It takes a lot to be courageous
and all it takes is getting out of bed in the morning.
 
Danger and courage are not for someone else,
someone more courageous,
a big risk-taker with medals on her lapels.
Danger and courage is given to all of us
Life is full of danger
and living life to the fullest is a courageous act.
 
The fight-or-flight instinct,
the reptilian mind may want you to hide under a rock
or become invisible because it feels easy and safe.
It feels easy to play small, just punch the clock, just do the least to get by.
 
But if we must face danger
(and we must, every day)
it feels better to play by one's wits,
to play with courage and an open heart -
the courage to lead
the courage to accept my responsibility
the courage to choose my next action.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Passion Party #535 - Busy-ness and Worthiness

"Let's stop the glorification of busy.  We don't need to use our busy-ness as a measure of worthiness."
- Jennifer Pastiloff

We have certain addictions in our society
that are acceptable.
Its bad to be an alcoholic
but its acceptable to be a workaholic.
Being addicted to poverty is bad
but being addicted to money is good
(of course, who's to say how much in enough?)

In a way, we are addicted to "busy".
We worship at the Temple of Busy
and we teach our children Busy
We fill our time with Busy
and many of us get paid based on how busy we are.

"Busy" does not make you a better person, it just makes you a more busy person.
Perhaps the questions to ask are,
"Does my busy-ness add to the solution or add to the problem?"
and
"Does my busy-ness make me a better person?"
It is time to stop measuring worthiness
based on how busy the person is
and start finding time to ask the important questions.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Passion Party #534 - Another Year

There is no keeping up with it.
We can do our best to hold on
but the carousel keeps speeding up.
The excitement and fear
that you may be thrown off the horse
as we race around the track.
It is the home stretch now
rushing into the holiday season
holding on for dear life
take a deep breath
remember 20 acres of desert
the vistas and space
There is space for us all
and I have the choice to dismount
and just walk.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Passion Party #533 - The Biggest Regret

Life is short, a moment in time
and so you must grab the moments as they come.
 
A life lived to the fullest
will have few regrets.
There may be a wonder about
where other paths may have led,
but I have no regrets for where I am
or what I should have been.
 
I stopped "shoulding" on myself a long time ago.
 
My biggest regret
is that my Dad died in 1989, 25 years ago,
and I never got to tell him how much I really loved him.
There was a lot of pain and misunderstanding in our relationship.
I was the estranged son,
living 3000 miles away,
fumbling about, trying to find myself.
It was not until many years after he died that I learned the lessons he was trying to teach me.
 
Don't wait.
Tell the people around you that you love them.
Life is short, a moment in time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Passion Party #532 - Peace and Abundance

It continues to amaze me
 that what you think about you talk about
and what you talk about you bring about.
 
For years my wife and I have had our private morning affirmation,
"Our life is rich, our life is full,
another day of potential and opportunity!"
Often we say it in jest
or between gritted teeth,
but somehow
our lives have turned out to be rich
with potential and opportunity.
 
Last week, as I hiked in the Santa Monica mountains
looking out over the Los Angeles basin,
I realized I live in the center of peace and abundance.
 
Now, one can argue that L.A. is not a peaceful city - 
just ask any police officer here.
And I am not discounting the tens of thousands of homeless people
that inhabit the county of Los Angeles.
And yet...
I love the thought
I live in the center of peace and abundance
and I allow it to come to me, and through me.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Passion Party #531 - A Collaborative Community

I just set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
 
It is so "out of the ballpark"
that I can't even see how it can be achieved
but I know others have been able to accomplish it.
 
I have a vision of what it look like in the end,
and one thing I know
is that I can't get there by myself.
 
It will require character traits that I still need to develop:
Courage
Creativity
Persuasiveness
Vision
Teamwork
Resilience
Innovation
Trust
But most of all, it will require
a collaborative community,
united in the vision, trusting each other,
all working together to
make the dream a reality.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Passion Party #530 - Quarterly Goals

I love quarterly goals.
 
I love creating goals that are measurable and achievable.
It is so much more fun
than long term goals that I never seem to reach,
losing the weight
or having my first million dollars in the bank...
 
90 days is a good amount of time.
I can see the goal line
and I can easily make up an action plan
chunk it down
one day at a time
one week at a time
 
And if I set 3 goals for myself
in the next 90 days
and I take action on all three
but I only achieve one...
what a huge success!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Passion Party #529 - Failure and Endurance

We all face failure.
 
In the real world everyone does not get a trophy.
People keep score
and there are winners and losers.
 
Fear of failure can stop many a dream.
If you don't try, you won't fail
but you also kill the chance for success.
 
I went through the early part of my life
taking jobs that taught me what I did not want to do.
It did not feel like failure
it was more a situation of learning form my mistakes.
 
Over the years I learned endurance.
Life should not be a sprint,
its a marathon
and I want to be one of the people
that can run 100 miles;
then it is not about winning
it is about personal achievement.
When failure is just a lesson learned
then endurance is often the key to success.

*Come join me tomorrow, at Main Event Masters in San Diego
or
on Wednesday night at Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, CA

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Passion Party #528 - A Dream Realized

You would think after 7 self-produced and released jazz records I would have learned my lesson
but actually each experience has taught me different lessons.
 
This album started as a thought:
It would be great entertainment to have a jazz band fronted by three singers who could do Andrew Sisters-style 3 part harmony AND also sing in various solo styles.  The show would consist of an evening of jazz and blues, covering the history of vocal jazz styles from the '40s forward.
 
So the Jazz & Blues Revue was born, initially as a once-a-year special event.
 
Then after 4+ years of performing clubs and concert halls
there was another thought:
Why not make an album of this material that really captures the talents of this group?
 
This is not so easy.  A first-class recording of 13 songs with a 9-piece group including 3 singers would definitely cost time and money to produce and release.
 
In January 2014 I started researching the possibility of using crowd-funding to make this dream happen.
On June 1 we launched our Kickstarter campaign to raise $18,000 to make the recording.
On July 10 the campaign ended,
and over 250 fans had pledged over $20,000.
Two weeks later, with recording budget in the bank,  the band went into the studio and started recording.
Even after dealing with everyone's summer vacation schedules the tracks were all "in the can" by Labor Day.
On September 6  the mixing and mastering process began, along with designing the CD package.
On October 1 the final master, plus all the album artwork went off to DiscMakers, to press the album.
 
And now 1000 copies of the Jazz & Blues Revue sit in my garage, ready to market.
 
The official "Release Date" for the George Kahn Jazz & Blues Revue will be November 20
but NOW, on October 22, we get to share our dream with you with our CD Release Party.
I hope you can join me
in  this dream realized.
 
Wednesday October 22 at 8:00 PM (doors open at 7:00)
6725 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
                                                RSVP for best seats    Call 323-466-2210

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Passion Party #527 - Blessings

For this blessing of strength
 For this blessing of talent
For this blessing of passion
For this blessing of health
For this blessing of desire
For this blessing of intuition
For this blessing of creativity
For this blessing of vision
For this blessing of generosity
For this blessing of support
For this blessing of friends and family
 
an abundance of blessings
to carry me through this day

Friday, October 3, 2014

Passion Party #526 - Pain and Strength

Some times we are given emotional pain,
we can't see a way out
and we have to dig deep
to find a place of strength  to help us get through.
 
Some times we are given physical pain,
we have an accident
or our body gives out from "normal" wear and tear
life becomes depressing
we question carrying on.
 
Some times we seek pain
in the belief that it will motivate us,
pushing us towards a better life.
The pain strengthens  our resolve
and helps us focus on the pleasure to be found
when we get through to the other side.
 
If pain is the problem,
strength is often the answer
and we need to search inside to find it.
 
Or maybe pain and strength go hand-in-hand
pushing us forward
to a better life.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Passion Party #525 - Disappointment and Patience

We want what we want
and we want it now.
We want to be our own higher power
and we want to control
the beginning, middle and end.
 
But life has other plans
and these often include disappointment.
 
In the end
the amount of happiness we realize
and really, the value of our life
is based on
how we handle disappointment,
and if we have learned patience along the way.
 
As we learn to have patience
we also learn that
disappointment, like happiness.
is a passing emotion,
a chance to refocus, review and reflect
on what went wrong and what went right.
 
Disappointment loses its power
and patience often becomes
its own reward.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Passion Party #524 - Commitment

Why am I so scared?
 
Is commitment the first step towards success, or the last step towards certain failure?
You have all these ideas and plans, dreams and hopes
But to commit to one and not the other
to the song list
to the art work
to the project
to the assistant
to the art director
to the engineer...
 
Commitment involves TRUST
You are trusting the other person to follow through as well.
Commitment is rarely a solitary action
If you commit to a large enough goal
you will need the support of others to achieve it.
No man stands alone for long.
 
Last night I started to doubt my judgement
the closer I got to commitment, the more the doubt arose.
The "what if" and "maybe" reared their heads.
Now it is time to sit quietly
listen to that inner voice that brought me this far
to the edge of commitment
listen, look and feel,
and trust the decision.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Passion Party #523 - Count Your Blessings

"Count your blessings"
 
is something that your Grandmother told you
or perhaps you heard the expression when you were young.
 
But how many times do you
actually
stop
and count your blessings?
 
How many days go by
without realizing
how rich your life really is?
 
Today
even before I made coffee
I took a moment
and counted my blessings,
 realized the richness of my life.
 
Two pages later,
in gratitude,
I am ready to start my day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Passion Party #522 - Ask

I have to let you in on the world's most powerful and neglected secret to success and happiness:
Ask.
 This simple three letter verb requires you to take action, creates momentum and guarantees a result (not always the result you want or expect, but you always get an answer).
But the key to asking is in learning how to ask for what you want.
Here is a summary from Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen's book, The Aladdin Factor:
1) Ask with a positive expectation
2) Assume you can get it
3) Ask someone who can give it to you
4) Vague requests produce vague results.  Be clear and specific in asking.
5) Ask repeatedly.  As the owner of a company that I used to work for said, "The 'yes' is easy. When someone says 'no', that is when we have to go to work."
Today is the last day of our Kickstarter campaign.  We asked, and over 200 people said "yes", and we are now on our way into the studio to record our new album.
And it would not have happened if we did not ask.
http://kck.st/1pHBqzB