This Sustainable Life


486: General Kip Ward, part 2: Not flying by choice, and smiling about it

Ep. 486

A retired General doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to. What he does, he's going to do for his reasons, not for trends or as a dilettante.

Kip committed to a challenge many consider unreasonable and impossible (I know because they tell me): avoiding flying. As a General, he's held the fates of a nation and hundreds of thousands of troops in his hands. When he speaks about his experience, I hear him speaking at a life level.

He spoke about his many opportunities to fly for business and pleasure, but not taking them. He could have. Besides his choice based on his motivation, he could have flown.

He didn't. Yet he shares the opposite of complaints or feeling left out. How is that possible?

He describes handling the commitment with his wife, his conferences, what he learned from the pandemic, how it connected to his legacy with the future, and how he made it work.


He speaks about service and helping your team and teammates achieving more than they would. Is helping our communities not what we want to do regarding our shared environment?

If we do our best and enable our peers to outperform their best, isn't that our best way to achieve the best results we can? We can't change the past, but we can do our best and help others do their best.

Systemic change begins with personal transformation.

More Episodes


506: I lost $10 million on September 11, 2001. Here is what I learned from those who sacrificed and served.

Ep. 506
Sorry for the slow pace of this episode, but just before recording I looked at the firehouse across the street from my apartment, the small plaque naming the firemen who died trying to help others, and the flowers people put there for them, which led me to lose it as I started recording.I've never considered the changes to my life meaningful in comparison, despite my losses being greater than anyone I know who didn't die or was related to someone who died for the obvious reason that no material loss compares. Not even close.But twenty years later, it occurs to me that not communicating about the loss and what I learned from it doesn't help either, because when faced with a huge material loss---I lost about ten million dollars and the future I'd sacrificed other dreams for---we can choose to give up or we can choose to find our values and live by them, if not the fleeting material stuff.In this episode I share what I live for, what in part I learned from the firefighters who served that day, the servicemembers who enlisted for years to come, as well as from others who lost. We can prevent far greater losses than September 11, than the Holocaust, than the Atlantic slave trade in conserving and protecting our environment.I choose to devote my life to the greatest cause of our time, in helping the most number of people from the greatest amount of suffering of any time.If you'd like to help, we who choose to serve, could use your help. But we don't have to enter towering infernos. We eat vegetables instead of takeout, live closer to family instead of flying to and from them, have one child, and learn to lead others to enjoy the same. Contact me if you'd like to join.