The passing this week of self-help author Wayne Dyer has shaken and saddened the world.
He influenced millions, inspiring them, educating them, being a light for the road ahead.
He wrote forty books, recorded numerous programs, and spoke to millions.
He changed my life, too, way back in the early 1980s.
I borrowed his books and cassettes from the public library. I watched him on television.
He was brilliant in articulating principles I had not heard before.
He was one of the first great living teachers in my life.
I still remember him talking about the difference in scolding a child, and scolding a child’s behavior.
They were two different things.
The child was never wrong, but their behavior might be.
The first audio program I ever heard of his was How to Be A No-Limit Person from Nightingale-Conant.
That was probably around 1980. I was still struggling but deeply searching, too.
Wayne’s program helped me rethink my own life, including my beliefs and behaviors.
He helped awaken me to inner powers and renewed optimism.
He helped get me through the dark night of my soul.
I also learned book marketing from Wayne.
I remember the story of him quitting his job in 1976, loading a station wagon with his first book (Your Erroneous Zones) and traveling the country for an entire year, going on every radio or TV show that would have him as a guest.
It was old school door-to-door marketing.
He was relentless and persistent in sharing his message to the world.
When he returned home, his neighbors said, “Hey, while you were on vacation, your book became a bestseller.”
Obviously, he made it one.
I never met Wayne in any formal way but we spoke at the same event for Hay House in Austin a couple of years ago, and I saw him once years beforehand.
“The next time you are contemplating a decision in which you are debating whether or not to take charge of yourself, to make your own choice, ask yourself an important question, ‘How long am I going to be dead?’ With that eternal perspective, you can now make your own choice and leave the worrying, the fears, the question of whether you can afford it and the guilt to those who are going to be alive forever.” – Wayne Dyer
We were walking along the beach in Maui, going in different directions, and I said hi to him.
He paused long enough to acknowledge me, but I kept walking.
He was with a friend and I was focused on my walk.
I’m certain he would have stopped and chatted, as I sensed his humbleness, serenity and friendliness.
But the moment passed.
And now Wayne Dyer, age 75, has passed.
I regret that I didn’t stop my stroll long enough to share a few words, and to thank him in person for influencing me, too.
The world will miss Wayne Dyer, but they will never forget him.
His contributions will live forever.
As will our love for him.
Thank you, Wayne.
You did well.
PS – A news report of the passing of Wayne Dyer is here: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/self-help-pioneer-dr-wayne-dyer-dies-75-n418556