October 8, 2020

Racing the Grim Reaper

Racing the Grim Reaper
You're the job. Aphorisms and quotations by motivational speaker, Jacques de Villiers

If you missed out on the last Salon, We’re walking each other home. Check it out here.

Let’s Do This!

  1. Racing the Grim Reaper
  2. In Sparta
  3. The Dan Sullivan Question Redux
  4. Rise and Kill First
  5. Happy Birthday, Bruckner
  6. When Does Science Become Spirituality?
  7. Never mind …
  8. Dear Apostrophe (a love letter)

Racing the Grim Reaper

Racing the grim reaper by writer and motivational speaker, Jacques de Villiers

“We’re all just walking each other home” – Ram Dass

You know that I write legacy stories, don’t you?

It’s all rather wonderful because I get to hear stories by people who are infinitely more interesting than me, and they’ve packed more experiences into their pinkies than I’ve done in a lifetime.

It’s also all rather sad. Most of the people I write stories for (or about) are over 70. I typically get hired by their children who want to capture a life and want to share memories with their children.

It occurred to me that by the time I’m in the picture, it’s a race to get the story out before the Grim Reaper walks them home.

Sometimes I get to them before they’re walked home. Sometimes I don’t. Three weeks ago I was on a Zoom call to Australia with an enigmatic, eccentric, interesting and razor-sharp intellect. He wanted to tell his story, and he wanted me to help him write it. Today, I got a text from his sister-in-law to say that he died yesterday. He was 75.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to their grave with the song still in them. Henry David Thoreau (Walden).

I’m not sure if there’s a lesson here. If there were one, for me it would be that I shouldn’t waste another minute and that I should write my story soon. I’m, after all, racing against the Grim Reaper and losing.

It’s too late for me, but may not be too late for you: go and sit with your parents and grandparents. See them. Hear them. Listen to them and transcribe their story on your heart. They did, after all, write you into their story so that you can write your own magnificent story. They sacrificed for you and love you more than you’ll ever fathom. Go now … love them back.

If it is too late for you, like me; author your story to bear testament to those that wrote you into the world, and through your words, deeds and actions, let them be known.

In Sparta

In sparta. Spartans. Warrior culture by Jacques de Villiers, inspirational speaker

In most cultures men/women can choose their career … be it an architect, lawyer, doctor, policeman or whatever.

In Sparta there was no choice in the matter. As a newborn son, if you survived the scrutiny of the magistrates and were deemed fit, your only job for the rest of your life was to serve in the military.

If you were judged physically unfit, you were taken to the wild gorge at Mount Taygetos, and left for the wolves. Your mother neither wept, nor protested.

This concept of ‘you only have one job’ resonates with me. Read more.

The Dan Sullivan Question Redux


In the last Salon I said that The Dan Sullivan Question was the best sales book ever. I pointed folks to an Amazon link. It appears that there is only a hard copy of the book. I have the E-Book, but that appears to have been taken off the e-shelf quicker than books exposing the Illuminati. I have the summary version if you would like to read it. Just pop me a note and ask for The Dan Sullivan Question and I’ll be sure to send it to you.

Rise and Kill First


If you’re at all interested in how Israel came into being and the role of Mossad in its survival and thrival (I know that’s not a word), then this is the book for you.

I was in Teheran in 2011when Mossad assassinated an Iranian scientist on his way to work. Not a great time for a westerner to be there, I’ll tell you that much. But, I’m here now and that’s a story for another time.

Interesting fact. Since World War II, Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world. During the presidency of George W. Bush, the USA carried out around 48 targeted killing operations. Under the presidency of Barack Obama, 353 such attacks were carried out.

Happy Birthday, Bruckner


This is my brother, Bruckner. He turned 69 on 5 October. I’m going to visit more!

When Does Science Become Spirituality?


Now, here’s a thing! When do science and spirituality meet, or interface? When does science become spirituality?

Way back in my hippie era, where everyone was a peace-master and wearer of baggy, multi-coloured clothing, protesting on the steps of the UCT Campus Hall or St. Georges Cathedral and listening endlessly to ‘Hair’, was de-rigueur – I read a book by Fridjof Capra called ‘The Tao of Physics’ that explored the possibility of science meeting spirituality. Capra was a nuclear physicist who researched theoretical high energy physics, and spoke about his epiphany in digging deeper and deeper into atomic physics – to quarks and quasars – and realizing that ultimately what was on the ‘other side’ was spirituality the “direct, non-intellectual experience of reality”. Radical stuff in those days!

My question to you all – is this – “Have we come any closer to a deeper understanding of this, yet – some 45 years later?”

Steve Johnson – Scientist

More resources:

Never Mind …


Another influential language tip from the hypnotist, Max Kaan. Never mind …

This is a great pattern interrupt. Regardless of where the conversation is going, when you say “never mind”, you are able to direct the conversation back to where you want it to be. “Never mind, that the price is competitive, never mind, the two-year guarantee, it’s our same day repair service that wins hands down.”

Dear Apostrophe (A Love Letter)


The apostrophe and I are great friends. by Tiffany Markman. She’s not over-sensitive (unlike the semi-colon); she’s just a simple creature with simple needs – and two key contributions to the English language.

We began our collaboration some 30 years ago. In those days, she’d regularly forgive my misuse of her good nature. Then we became allies. And now, as the rest of the world continues to abuse her, I have crafted a token of my love, understanding and support. Want to see it?


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Jacques de Villiers is a legacy writer and author of What If Hollywood Doesn’t Call? A Fractured Monk’s Guide To Enlightenment.

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