When I first heard Jake Schick speak as an intro to another more credentialed speaker, it felt like I’d stumbled upon some unnamed lyric master fronting for an anemic main act. Jake is an Iraq veteran whose story has been told and retold. Through my work with Honor Courage Commitment, I’ve had the privilege of knowing Jake beyond the horror of his war wounds. Jake is smart, funny, with an intensity that fills a room even when he’s silent. Despite a body that was blown to bits, this man is whole. Being the one always searching for ways to hold myself together, I asked Jake, what are the top three things that keep you going?
Jake, always on the clock, texted me this from a wedding ceremony (sorry Jake, busted!). Granted it was a Catholic ceremony, with a bit more time to think than most. His response was so profound, I didn’t want to muck things up by adding my own words. Along with Honor Courage Commitment, here is Jake’s credo, unedited, straight from his phone:
“The 3 P's
Principles: If you live your life according to the principles that you truly believe in, you will find that it's much easier to love yourself. Chaos tends to rapidly find those that stray away from their principles. Once you've learned how to quickly get back on the path once you've gotten out of your lane, it's much more conducive to your overall happiness.
Passion: Everything you do, you should do with passion. If you're not passionate about something, it's not worth your time. We all too often waste time on mundane things that are in no way, shape, or form relevant to who we truly are; this is a recipe for disaster. Living with passion gives us purpose.
Patience: This one is the most difficult. We have become a society obsessed with instant gratification. We are, by far, the most spoiled group of people on this planet. Patience is something that we seldom put into practice. That is the trick, we must consistently practice patience, because when we want instant gratification, we lose out on the abundance of joy that life provides.
One thing that I've learned is that controversy can be the most influential teacher to us all. Every time I've experienced controversy, I've learned from it. As a result, I've got character. This is a saying that I came up with a while back, ‘From controversy, comes character. Which way you go with that character, well, that's up to you.’
Through all of my trials and tribulations, through all of my pain and suffering, I've learned this; life is, without question, worth living. So live it according to your principles with overwhelming passion, and always remember, practicing patience will save you from yourself. “
Thank you Jake, not only for being the guardian of the gate, but sharing the wisdom gained from your experience.
This blog came about from a frantic set of messages sent to meet a June deadline for my Psychology Today blog. I asked people to give me their top three methods for coping, as well as the things that trip them up in daily life. Over the next ten weeks, I’m going to share these stories (given people will let me share them). Thank you Jake for leading the way!
Julie's Top Ten for wellness can be found on her website: Adult Top Ten.