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Q: Are you wild? A: Yes

Apr 11, 2011   //   by Ben Hollis   //   Ben's Blog  //  No Comments

I got it on higher authority that I’d best quit procrastinating already and start this bloomin’ blog. I’ve been loving my life for as long as I can remember and my aim here is to encourage you to do the same. With your sweet life. (Of course, you can love my life too. That would be fantastic. There’s more than enough love to go around, guaranteed.) So, you may ask, what’s the idea with this “W.I.L.D. Life” jazz? I’ll tell you. I co-created and hosted a very popular TV show on PBS called Wild Chicago. In so doing I became something of an expert on Chicago’s off-the-beaten-track secrets and delights. I also became an authority on all things wild. Back then I defined “wild” as having to do with the “natural habitat” of Chicago, the Chicago that lives and breathes beyond high rent districts, away from The Magnificent Mile (though no less magnificent), away from the hype and manicured image of the city as propagated by the tourism industry or City Hall itself. I wanted to take you into The Urban Jungle. Which is why I wore the safari suit, cargo shorts and pith helmet that instantly became my trademark. Now, years later, a new definition of wild is ready to burst onto the scene. You see, I’ve added “motivational speaker” to my creative offerings and promoting “wildness” is what I talk about. And as any self-respecting professional speaker will tell you, I needed to make a nifty acronym out of the word “wild” so that each of its letters would stand for something. (For example, “FINE” really means “Frustrated, insecure, neurotic & emotional.”) Anyway, my very talented and handsome writer friend Joel Becker served up a beauty to me on a silver platter. Are you ready? W.I.L.D. stands for “WHAT I LOVE DOING”! OMG. It was perfect. In an instant I saw with complete clarity something I’d known for years yet had never been able to articulate so clearly. It was this: what made the best of Wild Chicago the best was the passion my guests had for what they were doing. And it was my passion too. It boiled down to this: the core of Wild Chicago’s magic lived in my demonstrating my love for what I loved doing…which just so happened to be… showing and encouraging others doing what they love doing. So…what do you love doing, huh? How much of it have you done today? It doesn’t have to be your job or profession, though if it is, I hope you know how lucky you are. It could be as simple as walking in the park, playing guitar or making tuna salad. Or it might be designing skyscrapers, making new aps or trying to disprove the existence of God. Whatever it is for you, living The W.I.L.D. Life is about gently increasing the number of minutes a day you give to doing what you love doing. That goes for me too. And why am I doing this? Easy. It’s mine to do. And as I said in the beginning, I’ve got it on higher authority. I have to do this. Or else. More on that next time. Thanks for being here. Now go do something wild, okay? And let me know about it.

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