How I’m Going to Be a Better Leader

WOW. It’s been exactly one year since I posted on my blog despite constantly writing. I’ve done some recollections on how I can improve in life and I wanted to improve my leadership skills. Here are my ambitions for improvement:

1. CONNECT – Putting People First – Build strong relationships by listening, connecting with, and recognizing co-workers for doing 5-star work.

2. FAIR AND SQUARE – Treat people fairly and support them because the people around you are your teammates. Drop everything you’re doing to help someone, and you will receive that energy back.

3. WHAT & WHY – Ask yourself what the solution to the problem is and why. Make suggestions. Tell people what you like about what they are doing and how they could improve it versus putting them down and telling them how they can improve. You will manifest intelligence to those surrounding you that way.

4. THE SKY’S THE LIMIT – Properly train people through thorough detailed explanation – communicating on a meticulous level is key; then promote a 5-star people mindset to position others to feel empowered with greater responsibility – Be First Class.

6.  JUMP ON IT – When you see a problem, try your best to fix it immediately, then move on. Don’t point fingers, be quick to react, dwell on the past, or hold grudges. Move on, learn from it, and get better. If it happens again, keep supporting each other positively every time, and things will improve. This is how a championship team wins. Pick up your teammates.

7.  MAKE IT BETTER – Collaborate with others positively and optimistically. Don’t count out all the possibilities. Be a good listener and treat people with the benefit of the doubt that their knowledge is priceless in their area of expertise. If they aren’t in your area of practice and have ideas, take their thoughts as if they are the expert. Encourage others to participate.

8.  DATA DRIVEN – Rely upon data to educate and motivate people and to make intelligent business decisions. Numbers are behaviors, and behavior is energy, and energy tells a story. The more we understand the story of data and pay attention to it, the more successful we can be because we will make smarter decisions.  

9. IT’S GO TIME – Be organized, focused, disciplined, hustle, and work hard. Win the day.

10. BE REMARKABLE – Deliver 5 Star work by consistently being calm, courteous, sincere, honest, and reliable every day, not only for yourself but for others.

11.  LOOK GOOD; PLAY GOOD – Take pride in your professional appearance, behavior, language, and work product. If wearing a blazer is your thing, or if it is wearing a nice sweatshirt, if it makes you feel good, then use that as the power to perform your best. It’s like how Michael Jordan was better as number 23 than 45.

12. WE, NOT ME – We put the team’s interests before anything else. The success of others is your success and vice versa. Everyone is equal, and no one is better than anyone else on a team because you are all linked together. The strongest link in the chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

I think all of those 12 things reflect the leadership of David Hasselhoff in Baywatch. Maybe I should be more like Mitch. What do you think?

If you want to support my writing career, you can make a donation to my 
Venmo (username: David-Zosel). 

I’m Ready

It’s taken years of research, self-development, and failure to embark on the next phase of goals that I want to achieve. That would be to stop being all over the place in my head. You only need one iron in the fire to succeed, and when you have that one iron you should slowly add another one.

In order to do this, you need to educate yourself, research, network, and fall and get back up again.

What does it feel like when 1-2-3, 3-2-1, ABC, XYZ, do this and that, fall and get back up and down again mean to you? I’m sure some can relate. That is what is going on in my brain again, and that is better than nothing.

I hit a huge mental block in my life since 2014 and that block is sealed off, which is a positive thing. That block taught me fundamentals to build that have built a key to open this next door.

Now that I’m a little smarter and wiser I know how to be within myself versus outside of myself in an astral projected state of mind. This new phase of my life will be written out like a business plan and the scientific method will be applied to it.

For this to work, I need to keep centered, focus on my relationships and my current career.

Because 1-2-3 and 3-2-1 make beautiful dance moves.

My Newfound Joy.

Sometimes when new doors open, the old ones are hard to close. With significant life changes that occurred within the past two years, I’ve discovered different things that have made me happy, but I now have been put in a new dilemma where I have to slam the doors on the old ones.

My goals have now changed to become more realistic and attainable, and I have to do that by dividing them into primary, secondary, and tertiary goals like I have always done.

Closing doors has always been easy for me, but it’s harder to process certain emotions as I’ve matured and become more present in my life.

I write these down with this notion in mind: happiness is only temporary, but joy can last forever.

Joyfulness is waking up with hair in your mouth from the woman you love. It’s getting tangled up by two leashes by your dogs and feeling the purring vibrations from your cat when he melts like butter on top of your back. It’s taking pride in your house and embracing the responsibilities. Joy is finding out that you cherish every moment with your friends or family because you never know when you will see anyone again in this new COVID-filled world. It’s holding on tight to those fleeting memories and regretting you didn’t take a picture because you were too much in the moment.

I find joy in watching reality TV and exercising with my wife. Puzzles at Christmas, and singing karaoke on New Year’s Eve.

Doing DIY projects and fixing things with my two hands bring me great satisfaction. I can’t really escape how giddy I get when I go to the hardware store because I can take my dogs. I love taking my dogs everywhere and stuffing my cat in a bag whenever I have to take him someplace.

I feel so much weight on my shoulders. As I grow older, I need to be smart and strong for more responsibilities and life changes. Every day I need to work to get better at everything. Each moment in life is an opportunity to learn and improve. But why do I find joy in this? I feel alone, and I’m too scared to share that. I hate being vulnerable.

I’m so blessed in life. My family is healthy, and I have good days and nights. I have good relationships, and I get to sleep in a warm house with hot meals. Every day I’m thankful.

But why do I find joy in being more responsible? It’s daunting. I’m chasing things that I didn’t want to pursue years ago. But, those old things I once chased will always take me nowhere. It was and will always be a waste of time. Why are these new things, the new things that bring me joy, so scary? Why have I embraced them and loved them, yet am still scared of this newfound joy?

What’s in the past is over and the door is closed and what brings me joy is being in the now with my wife.

Joyfulness is kissing your wife good night. It’s creating a vision and working to accomplish it. I also find joy in prioritizing, planning, and executing.

Maybe I find joy in the poetry in life; the color it brings to the pallet. Then I find joy in the fundamentals; responsibility, prioritizing, planning, and on so forth.

Maybe I was painting the wrong picture of happiness, and now with this new door open, it is time to paint the portrait of joy?

Joy is a warm fuzzy sweater that isn’t yours. Any shade of grey or gold clothing or interior decor. It’s a black dog that hops like a bunny. Joy is that perpetual feeling of cleaning the kitchen over and over again because it never ends.

It’s laundry and beer with old friends. I find joy in building a bonfire for people to enjoy for five whole minutes.

I find joy in talking to old friends on the phone. Joy is when your wife calls you every day when she comes home.

Kaley gives me joy. Kaley times a kabillion.

My Vision Statement

I want to have a successful career to make an impact for everyone from co-workers, customers, and my family.

I want to start five businesses on the side that are turn key.

I want to build and grow my house with many more luxuries.

I want to create a diverse investment portfolio.

I want to have children and be a good husband and father.

I want to write more books.

I want to make more movies.

I want to be a youtube star.

I want to be a rock star.

I want to be an actor.

I want to be a Center in the NHL, Free Saftey in the NFL, a Point Guard in the NBA, and a First Baseman in the MLB. All at the same time.

I want to win. I want to win. I want a winning legacy in my family.

I want to help others and be a good person.

I want to be honest, respectful, humble, and trustworthy.

I want to improve on all aspects of my life.

I want to be a better friend to my friends because making an effort is worth it.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing career, you can make a donation to my Venmo (username: David-Zosel). 

Adulthood Journal – To Everyone, it’s okay. September 11th.

To all the people who beat themselves up or who feel lost, it’s okay.

You are entitled to feel the way you do. It’s okay.

Hey, Buddy. I know you’re feeling bad, but that’s okay because that’s the way you feel.

Just remind yourself that it’s okay to feel the way you do because that’s the way you feel.

Mental health disorders are not a challenge for an individual. It is an opportunity.

Tell yourself it is an opportunity to test your resiliency, strategic thinking, patience, and self-discipline.

It’s not your fault or anyone else’s fault that you have an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or any orders that come with dis.

Don’t be hard on others if they weren’t there for you. Some people don’t know what to do or aren’t strong enough to be there. It’s okay.

Be optimistic about your mental health situation. It is an opportunity to make lifestyle choices and to write your own life story.

That’s okay you feel that way because that is how you feel.

For one to rise with the opportunity towards those cards that are handed to you, it is up to the individual, you, to take those first steps and play those shitty cards to the best of your abilities.

Rise to the opportunity. Accept the opportunity.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing career, you can make a donation to my Venmo (username: David-Zosel). 

Adulthood Journal – December 2020 to February 20th 2021.

12/29/20 I’m engaged, bought a house, have a job and a dog, and a cat.

I’m engaged mentally and physically. I have bought and invested in my mental and physical health, and it is starting to pay off. I have a job that I can put all of my focus on, rather than being scatterbrained and stressed out.


There are a lot of exciting things happening at work this year. The most exciting thing outside of work is I’m finally getting shoulder surgery, and I’m also getting a puppy.

These will be significant life changes because pre and post-surgery are such mentally taxing things. My recovery will teach me great self-discipline, something that I’ve always wanted to master and improve my abilities to work through adversity through persevering.

This will be a big year for me. Getting married and mentally preparing myself to take care of a baby later down the line. For now, I can only control what I can, and that is taking care of myself, career, family, and growing my relationships. Most importantly, Kaley.

It is also an excellent reminder to invest in my health rather than coffee tables.


I am a creative problem solver. I delve deep into the situation and learn how to get to the root of the problem.

Collaboration is different from teamwork. Collaboration is the process of creating with other people. With my current position in my career, I need to balance teamwork and collaboration with others.

I must manifest my future and continue to do so.

I am responsible, thorough, and diligent.

To improve self-discipline, consistency is the first major step.

If the people I care about are suffering in any aspect of their life, I will make a strategic effort to help them. If they want it, then they can take it. I will not push anything that people don’t want.

I foresee myself in a lucrative life that is so dynamic and lucrative to the point where I can overcome anything.

We, as humans, breathe incorrectly. If you can breathe correctly, you can do anything. So, breathe through your nose.

I don’t know what it is with me, but I take forever to make decisions whenever buying things. It is probably because I think about whether it would be a good investment or if I need or want it.

I’ll leave stuff in my amazon cart for weeks until I decide to buy something.


I get shoulder surgery tomorrow, and I’m so nervous about the recovery process, not only for myself but for Kaley also. I don’t want to pressure her because there is already a lot of pressure to take care of someone when they have only one arm.

Man, I always have thoughts in my head on what I want to write, then I forget. Maybe, I should just run to my computer and type them.

After this surgery, I will slow down with every aspect of my life. My anxiety will go through the roof because of the slow one-armed pace that I have to be at.

It is always essential for me to mentally prepare myself for the mental states that I may be in with also considering the circumstance.

Surgery. One arm. Slow. Anxiety.


Be quick but don’t hurry. Slow down. David, you need to slow down. Just slow down. Work on the damn fundamentals. If you go 100 miles an hour to start, you will burn out. Just slow down. Get into a routine.

You just got shoulder surgery. Please, for the love of God, take everything you’re doing slowly. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Everything you do right now is a fundamental basis for your children, fiancé, future wife, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Create a strategic routine that you can try to follow good habits strictly. Then you can have the life that you dream of having with Kaley.

Right now, you will continue to build a solid foundation for a robust marketing infrastructure for this company. Then you will learn all the nuances of selling this artificial intelligence social media advertising platform. You will do this by taking baby steps. Rome was not built in a day, and that is what you are trying to build for you and Kaylee.

You will wake up and work out and shower tomorrow morning starting at 6:30. Make sure to do your shoulder exercises and to start off by going slow on the bike to get comfortable with your shoulder. You will dress nicely for work tomorrow, and you will sit at your desk all day except lunch, and you’re 20 minutes that you will get to lay down with your computer.

Tomorrow is the day that you will start taking baby steps towards creating and protecting your legacy.

Be quick but do not hurry.


Be humble. And work hard. And be slow and thorough.


It’s hard for me to sit and do nothing. But, after being seven months into my new job, enduring life changes, and finally getting into a rhythm, I can settle in and go back to participating in my hobbies.

ESPN’s “Be Water” is the Movie We Need Right Now.

There comes a time where we need an Asian hero. It doesn’t come often, but when it does, the world has never been ready. As a historical revolution enthralls our country, fighting for civil rights, social justice, and equality, ESPN’s “Be Water” is the perfect timely social commentary to remind us to be like water. When I analyze the film, it wasn’t about Bruce Lee. It was what he stood for, and the world that he came close to creating. The world he wanted is the one we are fighting to create right at this very moment.

Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul Jabbar

There were no Asian quarterbacks, movie stars, rappers, singers, and politicians that I had growing up for me to idolize.

Bruce Lee was the one true Asian American idol that I had growing up. His philosophies have influenced me to this very day. The self-discipline he portrays has always been something that I’ve wanted to emulate, and it has been an endless journey to achieve.

When the credits of the film began to roll, there were many takeaways that I had, many lessons I’d learn, and different things that I wanted to say. There was too much, and my thoughts became disorganized.

After two weeks of contemplating, I’ve concluded that it is quite simple: be water.

It was in front of me the whole time.

Bruce said that he didn’t believe in styles because it categorizes topics like race, politics, gender, ETC. Water has no style. Water is water; made of hydrogen and oxygen. Water can crash or flow. We are all human, not black, white, or yellow. We all bleed the same color, have 206 bones, and have one beating heart.

If we understand what it means to be more like water, we can accept each other in this scary world to find common ground. As humans, being water can help us create the world that we want because water moves together with a rhythmic flow. It can also crash, and we do not want to crash as a human race.

We’ve never done flowed like a river in the history of humanity. Now we are finally starting to do so by creating a world similar to what Bruce envisioned.

I’m proud that I had no choice.

Bruce was the only Asian American icon for me to idolize, and it was the best one I could have asked for. And with all the things I believed from him in my heart when I was young, his philosophies influenced me to want a better world, and now we are making the right one to live in.

Bruce Lee was ahead of his time, and now we are ready for him to show us to be like water.

I recommend you watching the film to learn more. I didn’t want to go into many details, because I was hoping you could watch it for yourself.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing career, you can make a donation to my Venmo (username: David-Zosel). 

a ballad for my friends.

And so the world has changed, for better—worse I can’t tell. The dreams I’ve made may change, and everyone’s habits might change as well. 

I am giving up a lot for a little. Friends to save family, family to save friends. It’s not big, it may be little spent— but what I do to help is to quell.

I may be wrong, it’s hard to tell.

The slightest of possibilities give me the greatest anxieties

I can’t live with the old normal. COVID-19 is horrible. 

Symptomatic or Asymptomatic, it’s true. Can’t take those chances. I couldn’t live with myself, knowing that it could be me killing someone I loved because I was careless by seeing you. 

Pain clogs my veins that I must give normal up because I love you all too much. 

These sacrifices I must make could mean I will not see you for a few years. Until then, I’ll drink fewer beers.

I may be extreme, but please know this was never meant to be mean. 

Somewhere out there Shepard drifts in his broken car, Remy Williams sings with his guitar, and Nigel Hemingway fights for social justice. I never wanted the world to be like this. 

Friends are what make the world connected, and there are other ways to face-to-face interaction. But, as I dream, our friendships will never lose traction. 

And so the world has changed, and I must change as well. And the memories we’ve made will now be made but unforeseen.

And most of all, wherever I may be, may my friends remember me. 


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing career, you can make a donation to my Venmo (username: David-Zosel). 

My Name is David, and this is My Michael Jordan Story.

Fierce rain fell that day upon my face as I got off the school bus. The Nike’s on my feet got soaked as I splashed through the puddles on the way to my Mom’s car. As I recall this day in my life when I was nine years old, my Mom had a big smile on her face more than usual. “David, Michael Jordan is going to eat at Aunty Lanny’s restaurant,” she exclaimed.

I screamed like a five-year-old does when they see an ice cream truck. I could only picture that my ears raised high, my eyes grew wide, and my nostrils flared at that very moment.

“Can she get me his autograph?” I asked.
“Lanny said she would try her best, but don’t be disappointed.”

My Mom always told me not to get disappointed, especially around Christmas time, which would be her way of deceiving me to believe that I wouldn’t get the present that I wanted.

“We have to go to Coach’s Corner to buy a card for him to autograph!” I shouted.

My tiny ninety two-pound Mom hit the gas pedal as hard as she could, jerking that stick shift as if she was a NASCAR driver in her 1993 Toyota Camry. Dashing through puddles and drifting into the Apache Plaza Mall entrance, she dropped me off, and I sprinted to the trading card store.

“Hey, Dave,” said Ed.

I’ve known Ed at this point for two whole years of my short life because his store was the coolest. He sold hockey, baseball, Pokemon, and all types of trading cards and nerdy stuff that I loved growing up as a kid. Coach’s Corner was the spot back in the day, and I loved it when my Mom would take me there after school.

“My Aunt said she would try to get me Michael Jordan’s autograph. Do you have his card?”

“Take a look in that bucket. There should be a few, maybe a holographic or two.”

My little velociraptor arms scurried through that bin like a Jack Russell terrier digging for a bone in the backyard.

“Found four!”

“Take ’em there, Dave,” said Ed.

I was not too fond of it when he’d call me Dave, or when anyone else did for that matter. But, he gave me free Michael Jordan cards, so he had a hall pass this time.

He gave me his signature wink and said, “If your Aunt gets his John Hancock, make sure to bring back one for me too.”

“Thanks, Edward.”

I called him Edward because that is what he got for calling me, Dave. Gosh, I don’t like it when people call me Dave at all. It’s not my government name, so call me David, damn it.

Butterflies occupied my stomach as my Mom drove through the rain to pick up my little sister at my Aunty Lanny’s house. As per usual, my sister cried once my Mom, and I got there because she didn’t want to leave her Aunty. Lanny told me we should go to her restaurant to meet him in person.

I was stoked.

The gourmet five-star French eatery was packed wall to wall. There was security everywhere.

Flash photography, cameras, and microphones you name it. After all, it was Michael Jordan.

I remember learning that this is what it is like to be one of the world’s biggest icons. Suddenly, he and his security guards walked by my Mom and me. I screamed so loud to the point where I don’t even remember what I said.

It was probably along the lines of desperately saying, “Michael Jordan, can I have your autograph? I’m your biggest fan!”

Michael turned around, looked at me, and pulled the cigar from his mouth. He whispered to one of his big security guards to open up so he could walk through to see what he had heard. The guards opened up, and he walked out of them like sunshine through a windowpane. When he saw that it was a kid, he laughed.

“Haha, you scared me for a second there. You scream like a girl. Haha.”

My jaw dropped.

He grabbed my cards and asked me what my name was.

I tentatively said, “Da-da-David.”

“My advice to you, play it, cool Dave. I saw you from halfway across the room.”

As he finished signing all of my cards, he said, “There ya are, Dave.” He shot a wink at me, and he and his security posse jolted, disappearing into thin air.

All I could remember is that he called me Dave. It ruined this memory for me. I hate being called Dave. There are very few things that grind my gears, and this is one of them.

Dave. Dave. Dave. Michael Jordan called me Dave. From that point on, he wasn’t my idol anymore and is why I have no major aspiration to meet anyone that I admire because they will ruin the figment in my imagination of what I perceive them to be.

What you should learn from this story is that I hate being called Dave more then I love Michael Jordan. My name is David, and my name is my name.

I wished that is how the story went. But, the last part didn’t happen. I was lying because it made for a better ending, and I wanted you to keep reading. I never met His Airness, but Lanny did or at least saw him at the restaurant.

But, I know for a fact that MJ would have called me Dave because all Boomers and Generation X’ers call me Dave when they meet me.

The chances were so slim that a four-foot eleven-inch eighty-five-pound woman would be able to throw her elbows up to get through a massive crowd of paparazzi, was going to get Michael Jordan’s autograph for me. She didn’t even know how to speak English at that time in her life and was a shy, soft-spoken immigrant from Vietnam, working as a busser. So, just the fact that she thought of me and tried to do something like that was extraordinary.

The real ending of the story goes as my Mom told me that MJ showed up to the restaurant, ate in ten minutes, and then immediately left in his limo. Lanny tried her best, and she ran after the limo for me in the heavy pouring rain to try to salvage the opportunity.

My spin on the story is better than the truth. But, as I was watching “The Last Dance,” the ESPN docu-series on the MJ and the ’98 Chicago Bulls, it gave me this flashback to this very day in my life. I have a memory of Michael Jordan, which isn’t something that most kids get to have. Even though I never met him or got his autograph, I do have a connecting memory directly related to him. And as I wrote this story, I could remember it one way or the other. Depending on my mood or state of mind when I tell it again, I’ll probably tell it one way or the other. Who knows?

And so it goes.

All from when I was a kid, I still have my “Space Jam” VHS and soundtrack, my nine-year-old pair of Air Jordan’s, my Michael Jordan jersey, and my Nike MJ Chicago Bulls basketball. But, the one thing I have and cherish the most is my story of how my Aunty Lanny ran after Michael Jordan’s limo to get me his autograph.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing career, you can make a donation to my Venmo (username: David-Zosel). 

Wearing a Mask is Having Other People’s Best Interest; A Notion We Have Dismissed.

Wearing a mask is more comfortable than being on a ventilator. Take that and chew on it during the following anecdote.

Walking along the roadside, a skinning 15-year-old boy stuck his thumb out in the sunny streets of South Minneapolis. A car pulled up, and not knowing who could it be, the shaggy-haired kid climbed in. They didn’t say a word. They pulled off as the sun rose. It was the summer of 1976, the bi-centennial of our nation, a time where a country’s heart pounded with electric pulses. That boy was my Father.

Fast-forwarding to today, picking a hitch-hiker up is absurd. Our best interest isn’t in other people, and only ourselves. The concept of wearing a mask is in everyone’s best interest. If it keeps others safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic, then it is a no brainer. Just do it, damn it.

The time where American’s looked out for each other now has faded. It sounded like a fable when strangers picked up my hitch-hiking Father to get to Hibbing, Minnesota, in 1976 to help his hockey coach, Jim Baxter, on his summer farm. My Father didn’t have anything to gain; there was no money involved in his work for Coach Baxter. He wanted to help someone because he genuinely wanted to help his hockey coach.

It is time to revert to those habits that our country used to have. The COVID-19 Pandemic has pulled most of us apart in a time where we need to come together. My Father got into the car with eight different strangers during his sojourn, and everything was fine because those people wanted to help him get to where he wanted to go.

It is time to knock it off and come together, so we can get to where we want to go.

It is a time where we need to step up, sew masks, and donate money and food. If we are unable to do those simple things, staying at home goes very far.

We need to all get on the same damn page.

My fiance has sewed over 300 masks to give away to people for free, using her unemployment checks to finance her effort to save the world. She is answering the simple question once asked by John F. Kennedy, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

We need more of that right now.

The generations ahead of us went to war and died at the hands of destruction to keep us safe, so my Father could hitch-hike to Northern Minnesota, and so you could be safe today by only having to wear something on your face. Stay inside and stay away from each other. It is simple, so we should choose to comply. Otherwise, even more of us could die.

If we all wore masks, we could keep our future generations safe like our grandparents’ parents did for us over 70-80 years ago. After all, wearing a mask is better than having to shoot someone in a war.

If we habitually became more thoughtful towards other people’s best interests through wearing masks, our future generations would adopt this mindset. And with that thought, my future great-grandchild will be able to hitch-hike to Northern Minnesota.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing career, you can make a donation to my Venmo (username: David-Zosel). 

James Hong, A legendary Minnesotan You Don’t Know About.

If you’re from Minnesota and grew up here, you know the legendary Minnesotans who have come out of the Star of the North. Prince, Bob Dylan, The Coen Brothers, Judy Garland, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Schulz, Sinclair Lewis, Garrison Keillor, Paul Molitor, and Charles Lindbergh are major icons in their respective crafts.

Hawaii Five-O' actor James Hong named grand marshal of Burbank on ...

If you examine his career, you’d be astonished. He is just as prolific as Bob Dylan. This man is as recognizable as a Charles Schulz cartoon, and his look is distinctive like Prince. He has an iconic voice and as hidden face like Garrison Keillor’s and has crossed oceans like Lindbergh. Chinese American actor, James Hong, is from Minnesota.

No Minnesotan’s have a clue.

Hong has played over 500 roles and has dubbed his voice for even more foreign and animated films since the 1950s. You would all recognize him from “Big Trouble in Little China,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Balls of Fury,” “Blade Runner,” and even so much more. When you rewatch “Kung Fu Panda” and “Mulan,” you will recognize his distinctive voice. But, you would never go and say, “Hey! That guy is Minnesota made! We are proud of that.”

It is perplexing to think that one of the most prolific and iconic Asian American actors has had almost zero recognition by Minnesotans in our recent history.

Hong is 92 and still works as an actor, which is impressive, considering he has outlasted other Minnesotan icons. But, no one seems to notice because of his talented abilities to blend in and stick out, then become so believable as an actor where you don’t recognize him again. This makes a genuinely great actor because that is what that craft is: to be believable. Whereas, when you see Josh Hartnett or Sean William Scott in a film, you see them playing themselves.

He graduated from Minneapolis Central High School and received a degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota, making him more Minnesotan then Bob Dylan.


Being half-Asian, this makes me proud. I felt it was my duty to honor James Hong, so this legend will never go unrecognized by Minnesotans through my collection of writings in my lifetime.

Thank you, James Hong, for being a pioneering presence for the small demographic of Asian actors in Hollywood.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing to create more content, you can make a donation to my Venmo