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Monday, January 25, 2010

My Journey to the Legend

I must admit that sometimes it is hard for me to find titles for my blogs. Again I am the one writing it, so I am the one to decide lol

I was on Youtube watching some inspirational videos (yes we all need some inspiration) and I bumped into a short video on an interview with Will Smith (I believe I will meet him someday and that it will be HIS pleasure lol).. The way he spoke was as if he was there talking directly to me. I was like “I think I have heard this somewhere”. At the end of his interview, he mentioned the book from which he got all his ideas. Before he even mentioned the name of the book, I already knew it. I found myself saying at the same time with Will: “The Alchemist”!!!

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is one of my favourite books. This book is so amazing that I have read it seven times already (“get a life” I hear you saying). Coelho talks about the concept of “Personal Legend”.. According to him “Everyone has a Personal Legend. This is your dream. Whatever the purpose of your life is, that is your Personal Legend. When you want something, all the world conspires in helping you to achieve it”. What a concept!

Hang on, the Raptors game is about to start. I will get back to you in two hours. Hope they win.

Here I am again. Guess what? I slept through the game and woke up very late....hmmm..I guess that's why my Raps lost.

Anyways. Coming back to the Personal Legend thing (by the way, that is the name of my radio show. Not promoting it, but I guess I am).
When I read the book, not only was I inspired, but I also looked back at my life and saw that “all the world had conspired in helping me to achieve what I wanted”. Here is just one example among many.

Ever since I was in the 8th grade the English language has been my favourite subject. At first I could not speak it in public (I was a very shy guy), but I knew all the Bob Marley songs, The Eagles, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie... (but I couldn't sing any of them, except in the shower). So often, on my way to school, I found myself speaking English and having a conversation with myself. I was a great public speaker except that the only public listening

Needles to say that at University, I gravitated to the English Literature department. I was very excited about this opportunity. But, after the first year (that I did twice), I was a little bit disappointed. It was not what I expected. Don't get me wrong. The courses were great, the professors were amazing (the reason I did the first year twice because I wanted to see them all again. - Not really as my friend Jeanelle would say).

Before I continue, let me stop for a little bit of a commercial break. A big thank you to my friends Emmanuel-Motivatorman, Paul and Jeanelle for your contribution to this blog. You have all conspired in helping me to achieve my goal of publishing it. A round of applause please! (please Jeanelle, don't be shy, the public is acknowledging you).

Ok. This time I won't stop till I finish it (the Raptors are not playing, and my sponsors have allowed me to continue with no other commercial breaks!).

My disappointment was not being able to have enough opportunity to practice the language. We were more than a hundred students in my class, and when the class was done, there was nowhere to continue practicing the language at all. I was born in a French speaking country, and there were not really many opportunities to speak English outside of the classroom.

I had to do something. I created an English club at the University. It had existed before, but there had been no activity for years. So I became the president of the club (Yes We Can!!). I found myself speaking in front of hundreds of students. I also created another club in the area I lived. We met once a week. I also helped create an English club at my former high school. We would meet on Saturdays.

I found myself speaking English six days a week. Impressive isn't it?

Before the end of my University studies, I said to myself. “If I want to keep practicing my English, I have to be an English teacher, at least for a couple of years. The only place I want to teach is at my former high school.” And then “all the world started to conspire in helping me to achieve what I wanted”. I was still helping with the English club at my school when the English teacher (who was my room mate at the campus) got a great job in a UN agency. It was an offer he couldn't refuse. He went to the principal of the school and told him about the job offer, and he also told him that he would like for me to take over as the English teacher. It was a no brainer. I had been helping with the English club for months and I could also be the Basketball coach for the school team (do you remember how great a coach I was? Lol).

So, for four amazing years I was the English teacher at my former high school where I met amazing people who became great friends over the years. The greatest surprise of all is that my sister-in-law is one of my former students (didn't I do a great job?). Now I do not have to find ways to speak English. I live in Toronto but now I have an accent lol

Moral of the story? If you want to find your Personal Legend, just read “The Alchemist” and you will soon become an English teacher..

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

1 comment:

  1. Another inspiring story Patrick! And your English is very good! You also have a great sense of humour! And you keep getting better and better whenever I see you give a public speech!

    Keep up the great work.