My First Exposure
to Evil

Jim Loehr

Watering at the cemetery, lush trees—evil awaiting.

I came face-to-face with evil at the impressionable age of 16. It was my second summer working for a cemetery and crematorium, a job that would help me earn the $200 I needed to buy my first car, a used 1949 Ford Coupe with well over 100,000 miles.

My first summer of cemetery work was tough but manageable. I watered the grass for large plots filled with every conceivable type of gravestone--small to large, simple to ornate, cheap to very expensive.

The cemetery was lush, with endless lines of old trees that often provided inviting cool shade for me as I worked. I came to know every inch of the lots I maintained.

Reading the inscriptions on the gravestones helped fill the time. The size and ornamental detail of the monument were always far less moving to me than the words etched on them: kind ... loving ... faithful ...integrity.

Even at 16, I couldn't help but wonder what words I would like inscribed on my grave, to represent who I had been while I was here. Though I made all of 90 cents an hour, I found working in and among graves to be strangely rewarding--until the following summer.

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Jim Loehr is a legendary pioneer in the field of human performance. An elite tennis player himself who still competes nationally in USTA events, Jim created the field of Mental Toughness training with his revolutionary study of elite pro players. He has been one of the most influential voices in tennis and tennis coaching for over 30 years, and is the author of multiple best selling books. He has expanded his influence far beyond sports with the creation of the Human Performance Institute where he and his staff have worked with hundreds of leaders in business, law enforcement, and military special forces. For the last decade he has also directed an academy for junior players helping young people learn what winning in life really means.

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In is new best selling book, Jim Loehr argues that winning with character is the only way to win. The book draws upon two decades of work with Fortune 500 executives; world-class athletes such as Monica Seles, Dan Jansen, and Eric Lindros, as well as other high achievers at his Human Performance Institute, and reveals surprising insights about achievement and motivation. Loehr finds that the blind pursuit of external achievement often results in emptiness, addiction, and, ironically, poor performance. It's not really about what you achieve, he argues, it's about who you become as a consequence of the chase.

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