Who was your first REAL hero?

Hey there,

Happy Sunday to you! I hope your week was wonderful and that you’re a step closer to every single one of your dreams coming true – especially those of you who took those steps.

On this beautiful, blessed Sunday morning I’m really grateful for my good friend, Ron Lawson. As most of you know, I want to shoot my film this summer and trust me, if it takes a village to raise I child, it takes a takes a tribe to make a film and Ron has been one of the leaders of my tribe. Thank you, Rocket!

Who or what are you grateful for on this incredible morning? Reeeeeaaaaallly really grateful for?

I am also really grateful for Muhammad Ali. He was my first true hero and I’m really sad he’s gone.

What was your reaction when you heard the news that he had passed?

Some of you reading this are so young you barely knew who he was so you might not have even cared. Others of you are old enough to remember but still not old enough to care very much.

I get it.

I remember when Elvis Presley died my older sisters were devastated. I was really young when he was in his prime so the Elvis I knew when I became old enough to remember was this bloated train wreck. When he died I shrugged my shoulders and thought, “No surprise there. Hey, what’s for dinner?!!!”

I was too old for the whole Seattle-grunge movement so Kurt Cobain’s passing also did little to me.

I was old enough to experience the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, and their deaths rocked the world so I remember them vividly.

How old you were when John Belushi or Princess Diana died dictated how hard that hit you when you heard “the news.”

Same with Michael Jackson, David Bowie and now Prince.

For me, the passing of Muhammad Ali hit me really hard.

Before I began writing this I tried to fully understand why it hurt me so much.

I told myself, “Don’t start writing until you know.”

It didn’t take long to figure it out.

I loved him. I mean it. I really loved Muhammad Ali. He was my hero. My role model.

Not the boxer. Not the fighter.

But the man.

“I am the greatest!” He’d scream and taunt and shout. “I am the greatest of all time!”

Oh, he was brash and arrogant and cocky – qualities I don’t care for at all now but when I was growing up and into who I was and who I wanted to become, his cockiness inspired me.

His confidence in himself became something I wanted to find inside of me.

In his boxing prime, instead of sitting on his stool in between rounds he would stand and lead the crowd in chanting, “ALI! ALI! ALI!”

And we chanted right back.

Oh my, some of my greatest sports memories growing up were because of Muhammad Ali.

And I won’t even begin to express my feelings about what he did when he took his stand against the Vietnam War. Again, some of you are too young to know about this but check it out.

This is when he truly became the greatest. At least for me.

As I write this I’m listening to one of my other heroes, Bruce Springsteen, singing, “Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.”

We were all born to run and then fly by finding our purpose in life, our greatness, and bringing it forth, and then to quote Vincent Van Gogh, “Go after it with such passion and intensity it becomes spiritual in calling.”

To absolutely crush this life with our calling, our purpose and fly as high and far as we can possibly go.

That was Muhammad Ali.

He was my hero.

I DECLARE TODAY NATIONAL “MY HERO DAY” Who was your hero? Who inspired YOU to bring forth your gifts and greatness? Who made you better?

Please take a moment and share your hero with the rest of us on our Artistic Family Facebook page.

I really want to know so please do this and honor them on this very special day, the first annual National Hero Day.

Thank you Champ and sweet dreams, Jim

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