2) What professional achievement/creation are you most proud of?
Publishing my first book, "Inside Passage: Living With Killer Whales, Bald Eagles and Kwakiutl Indians." Not for the royalties received, but for one single letter that made all the work worthwhile.
3) Whom do you admire most and why?
My wife and manager, Paula. The most positive, giving person; with an ever-present smile. I've learned, with ease, that the highest honor for a man on earth is to see the 'love light' in a woman's eyes; and to never do anything to diminish that honor. Paula inspires me to be the very best person I can be. It's no coincidence that the deeper we grow personally -- the more successful we are professionally. More than one meeting planner has remarked to Paula over the phone: "Wow! If you, the speaker's wife can genuinely talk so highly of him, I'm impressed -- for who really knows him 'for better or worse'?"
4) If you could have dinner with one person (past or present) who would it be? Why?
Henry David Thoreau -- in his cabin at Walden Pond. The Transcendentalist writer/philosopher has influenced my thinking greatly: (e.g.) "One person with courage is a majority." "In wildness is the preservation of the world." "Beware of any enterprise that requires new clothes."
5) What book are you reading now?
"The Soul of the World," edited by Phil Cousineau. A wonderful compendium of universal wisdom.
6) Your all-time favorite book?
"The Odyssey" by Homer. Odysseus was the original adventurer/questing spirit. He had an unquenchable thirst for direct experience; the "need to know" what lay beyond the limits of geography and human boundaries. A genuine "Action Hero." I often think if he were alive today, he would scoff at the lofty, near-worshipful importance some give to high-tech gizmos and gadgets ('Virtual Reality'!) -- seeing many of them as inducers of passivity; disconnecting us from active, sensual participation in life.
7) What advice would you give to one entering the world of professional speaking?
Find your passion and speak from the radiant heart.
8) What's next for your field in the U.S. and internationally?
The world is becoming increasingly mechanized/automated. Our human spirit feels stifled, unfulfilled. Themes of "Personal Adventure" and "Human Potential" are more needed and in-demand by audiences than ever before.
9) What is your wish for yourself?
To know this life as the awesome, miraculous gift it is. To fully realize every moment by breathing in the world... breathing out the self. To live every day as if it were my first and last upon this earth.
10) Your wish for the world?
That we realize that what is "outside" of ourselves originates within... We should give up our fight to subdue nature, understanding that the result is only imprisonment for ourselves. We are now our own "jailers" -- carrying keys to locked doors, instead of opening our unlimited minds. In the wild depths of Canada, an "uneducated" woodsman once showed me that mental power; the potential we all possess. After placing me in a state of light hypnosis (really my own "letting go" into self-realization), Will Malloff said he was placing a hot butter knife atop my bare arm. As soon as the metal touched flesh he immediately snapped his fingers ending the "trance" and said to grab the knife. It was stone-cold... but there on my forearm was "The Power of Suggestion:" a tiny burn-blister, perfectly formed in the shape of the knife.
Is it any wonder where cancer comes from? Or how man might really fly with wings of eagles? It's all within us to decide... how high or low we want to go.
"Michael, your book touched my heart. I read it and sat and stared at it for over an hour, then read it again. When my best friend came to town we talked about you and the book. Shortly afterwards his grandfather was put into the hospital. I spent several long weeks reading Inside Passage to him, even though the doctors told us he was unaware of anything, incapable of any response. He responded to your book. He opened his eyes, reached over and took my hand and tried to smile. He died less than an hour after I finished reading him your book. His last hours were spent sharing your great adventure, not dwelling on pain and fear. He slipped away after a squeeze of my arm, with tears of joy in his eyes. We buried him with my copy of Inside Passage. What you gave Grandpa and me will be cherished forever."
In adjoining files are brief articles for your enjoyment on many of Michael's varied adventures. Each story shows his unique ability to bring the adventure to you in words, while also revealing his love for Nature and the Environment and his strong desire to protect and preserve the natural world. Also included are interviews and articles written by others about Michael (as noted).
by Michael Modzelewski, E-mail: AdventureM@aol.com
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