The Promise of Self-Preservation


As the physical therapist strapped weights to my forehead pulling back, and weights to the stem of my neck pulling forward, he looked at me and asked, “How long are you going to keep hurting yourself?” 

It had been 6 months of intense fixing: chiropractors, yogis, personal trainers, physical therapists, and anything I could justify trying to keep getting on stage, save becoming addicted to crippling and numbing drugs.

It wasn’t just the body falling apart, it was my voice as well.

Coming off stage with nothing left, the pain was too much.  But at least the audience was entertained!

ENT’s, sticking cameras down my throat, let me know surgery would come soon to remove damage long ago done, and what I had put my voice through over 12 years of pushing the extreme limits of the human voice, was destroying my God given gift.

At 36 years old I was given a grim diagnosis – keep doing what you’re doing on stage and you will be dead by 50.

For one moment I’d like you to consider what is your great gift, and how you’ve utilized it your entire life to not only be successful in work, but also to engage friends, make people like you, and is all you’ve banked on for your future as well.

And now you’re being told you have abused it and will lose your Signature Moves very soon if you don’t pivot.

The Promise of Self-Preservation is simply The Promise to The One.

At some point I had to admit that it was worth it for me to become healthy, to not have to suffer any longer, and to adjust my life.

What in your life needs to shift NOW?

Perhaps you are burning the candle at both ends just to make ends meet.

Maybe you are doing the work of multiple people because your employer has no idea of the missing pieces.

Some may be in a relationship that long ago should have changed, ended, and whether it be someone you live with or just a friend on Facebook that needs to have a conversation that it’s over….

My friend, what are you doing to keep The Promise to yourself of health, dignity, self-care, and sanity?

This is a painful conversation to have, but you may be pushing yourself to such a degree that you will not last at this pace without a major change immediately.

I’ll never forget the discussion with my wife, and then my family, that I was done with a lot of things that had made me successful.

We had to sell precious parts of our life away, make adjustments that were so difficult and sad, and yet it all was necessary to continue moving forward while still allowing me to be a functioning person.

A casualty of this decision was to retire some of my Greatest Hits: Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Guns n’ Roses, and many others.  Once in a while I still try them to see if they’re still there – and wow, the suffering I experience is just not worth it.

Perhaps the most tragic was leaving behind the Jim Carrey working at Subway routine, considered by many my best impression.

Ever since my first show over a decade earlier I had ended with the Jim Carrey routine, throwing myself to my back, a guaranteed standing ovation at every show.

Now it was done, as it proved to be the most painful part of my act on my neck and body.

I have since recovered, have changed my career into a Keynote Speaking performance where only those acts that aren’t hurtful remain.  You can watch what the integration of impressions and content messaging looks like HERE.

But the question is: What do you need to STOP doing to preserve yourself?

Perhaps even letting go of that good thing you do now will help you discover the BETTER career and life that lies ahead?

I know it has for me – even though many people still ask what happened to the Jim Carrey favorite routine?

Well, for those that miss it, or never saw it, here it is from 2012.



What’s your Promise to YOU?


~ Jason 

Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world.  His primary message, The Promise, is the philosophy for “Becoming Legendary Leaders”, meaning every person in your organization is a Leader.  His presentations are intended to provoke you, not just inspire.  You will be entertained by one of the most celebrated performers of the past 20 years in Jason’s uncanny performance of music and comedy, while equally discovering your personal differentiator, uniqueness, leadership qualities, and how to improve workplace enjoyment while driving sales to legendary heights, called your Signature Moves.

Please click here to learn about how Jason Hewlett, Speaker Hall of Fame, introduces the opportunity for you, or someone you love, to have the gift of learning how to create a Career From the Stage and begin moving toward fulfilling a lifelong dream as a full-time speaker, performer, or entertainer.

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16 thoughts on “The Promise of Self-Preservation”

  1. I look forward to your weekly emails – they are so content rich. Today’s was especially inspiring and applicable. Thank-you.

  2. Thanks yet again for reminding me that sometimes you just need to slow down and take care of “me” especially for my family,.. That was my take away from this post.. We both work hard in our industry, you on stage, me offstage ensuring amazing entertainers like yourself has their message delivered while trying to have a good time…. Some shows are emotionally and physically demanding and can take a toll….. And your messages and blogs remind me rightfully so that I need to take care those that affect me directly, whether I’m on show site or at home to stay true to my promise not only to them but to myself…. Thanks to you for the reminder of what’s important in life whether it be in the now or what’s to come for tomorrow….. Always looking forward to our next show together to be reminded of that….. Stay true!

  3. You’re awesome Jason! As much as I loved your routines I’m glad you stopped the ones that didn’t serve you so you could go on serving the world with your greatest gift your message and soul.

  4. Thank you for this message. It resonates, because I am in a similar place. Recently diagnosed with Lyme disease and facing the inevitable changes in my life and career, so that I may continue raising my son and living a fulfilled life. Sometimes we must re-assess, re-align and re-evaluate our goals. Knowing that you faced a similar struggle, and were able to overcome, helps me cope with the changes that I face. Truly inspiring.

    1. Wow Yvonne, so sorry to hear this, but certainly yes you will get through it. We are given challenges that test and push our limits, and re-adjusting to it can make us stronger. It is so hard when driving in that direction, yet in the rearview mirror it seems so clear. My prayers are with you.

  5. Wow. What a story, Jason. That video takes on whole new meaning knowing the pain it was costing you. I’ll miss your Jim Carrey/Subway routine, but I’m glad you made the right choice for yourself! That you for being vulnerable with us.

    1. Thank you Dave. It is often challenging to face it and do the right thing when we are the ones that suffer, I find that really fascinating.

  6. This is a poignant reminder to me of the need for consistent self-care. I can do more good in the world when there is more of me to do it with. Thanks Jason, and thank you for preserving so much of yourself. You bless all of our lives with your heart and the other incredible gifts you bring.

  7. I remember you talking to us about this in our training. Your entertainment heroes like Michael Jackson and Danny Gans left us too early and I know you didn’t want to have the same fate. I was lucky enough to see the Jim Carey bit at Influence in 2016. Here’s to your health and healthy beard!

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