3 things to tell you “about”, to best understand the perspective and intent of this site.
1st, about me.
From a professional standpoint, my linked-in profile highlights my 25+ years of experience in Silicon Valley as a sales & marketing professional for 5 different companies (in order of employment): ROLM, IBM, Siemens, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle Corporation.
From a personal standpoint, this blog provides an overview what I have learned over those years in the area of work/life integration through many varied experiences with each individual company culture. In addition, I have tried to describe how growing up on the beach in Southern California has influenced my views on life here in Silicon Valley (see Corona del Mar and Growing Up and San Onofre Surfing Club).
My overall purpose is to help and encourage those who struggle to keep it all afloat in this valley of endless work and non-stop demands on your time. I am very passionate about the need for balance and feel we are seriously in a state of crisis — where the increasing speed of change and degree of complexity, combined with 24/7 availability is making it extremely difficult for the average person to cope on a day to day basis. A simple example is that of a car being driven too fast for too long – eventually, something is going to break. Dr. Richard A. Swenson, M.D. summed it up well in his book Margin:
“If we are enjoying so much progress, why is everyone so worn out?“
And finally, my passion for helping people in the work/life integration struggle has led me to a coaching profession, where I am a New Ventures West certified Integral Coach® (see Integral Life Coaching). As stated on my home page, I do look at the world through the eyes of a Christian who believes the Bible is the true word of God. I want to be very up front about that. However, I do not believe my clients need to hold Christian beliefs to receive value from my coaching. It is simply the lens through which I view the world. And I do not coach only in the realm of work/life integration issues, it just happens to be a passion of mine that I enjoy blogging about.
2nd, about surfing & my Christian faith.
I was 35 years into my life before I stepped into a Christian lifestyle and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My walk with Christ has been a walk of growth and understanding of the plan God has for my life. He has not changed who I am as much as He has changed who I want to become. I have been blessed richly with a beautiful wife, two wonderful children, a thriving career and much, much more. But through the years of raising our family here in Silicon Valley while struggling to maintain my career and trying to stay healthy, God has led me on a path of finding rest through my faith. Jesus sums it up well in Matthew 11:28:30:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and my burden is light.”
As for surfing, well, let’s start by just saying I’m at my very best when I am in the water!
Part of the growth I have experienced since accepting Jesus into my life is to experience the great joy of being able to fulfill His plan for my life. For reasons He will surely make clearer to me in the life after, surfing has been a large part of that plan for as far back as I can remember. It is ingrained into my soul and provides me tremendous joy and fulfillment in life, as well as the best escape I know of when life here in Silicon Valley just gets to be too much, which it often does. Surfing for me is a way of escaping the high-stress environment of work and constant demands on my time, while also drawing me closer to God and his magnificent creation.
3rd, about dad (Jack B Mulkey)
Amazingly, the picture on the cover of this blog is the only picture I have of my dad surfing – taken at Malibu sometime around 1949 by Doc Ball, who was later labeled as “surfing’s first dedicated photographer” (original photo). Like so many of his generation, dad was not too big on taking photographs, and much more intent on enjoying what you were doing at the time. So we have very few shots of him in those early days at Malibu, but do know from his stories that he hung around with what was a very small crowd of post-World War II generation young adults who were experiencing freedom on the beach at Malibu beyond what any of them could have dreamed just a few years earlier while immersed in the war with Germany and Japan. In this picture, dad is riding a 10’9″ Bob Simmons Plywood Foam surfboard (called a Foam Sandwich). This surfboard was a major breakthrough from the Redwood Planks which could weigh in over 100 pounds. In 2009 this exact surfboard sold for $40,000 at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Action. A funny story — dad did not even know this picture was taken but ran across it later in a picture book at a party at Doc Ball’s house (a friend yelled out to him, “Hey Mulkey, your picture is in here!”).
Malibu was the place to be for young pioneers of a new emerging sport in Southern California, especially when summertime south swells swept up the coast. I’ll cover a little more of those early Malibu days in the prolog to describe the setting those young men who had survived World War II grew up in.
Dad was living out his life dream at 89 years young in Kailua-Kona, on the big island of Hawaii, when he passed away peacefully in his sleep, after spending a delightful Father’s Day with his daughter Terry (see Kona Jack) . This blog is dedicated to dad, for all the wonderful lessons in life I learned from him through the sport of surfing. They have served me well.