Total Pageviews

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Journey to New York City

Believe it or not, this is the first time that I am writing a blog about a place I have never been to. But I am not worried about that because, in a couple of hours I will be on a flight heading there. Just looking at the map to see where I would be staying got me so excited. It is just a couple of blocks away from Madison Square Garden, the Mecca as Basketball fans call it. I will make sure that I have a camera with me and a pen just in case I meet people who would like to have my autograph (or the other way around). I hope to meet Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert so they can get to know a little about me, before I am invited to be on their show to promote my book (yes I heard MLK speech “I have a dream”)

The reason why I am going to New York (one of 4 trips I will take there this year) is to particiapte in a leadership course (yes we can) that will go up to October. To tell you the truth I have no idea of what to expect from the course other than what I read; I was also inspired and excited after seeing the boldness and leadership skills of the instructor. I read the promises of the course and saw how bold a leader the instructor was, it got me so excited. However, I have taken three courses from the same place and one of them resulted in me doing my first documentary. I guess this one will result in me moving to Hollywood, what do you think?

While I was thinking about it, I was amazed how life itself is a surprise. We really don't know what to expect from life. Everyday I run into surprises that make me appreciate every moment that I live. Do we really know what will happen tomorrow? Other than that I expect that tomorrow will bring me good stuff (do you remember the big wife I was talking about a while ago? lol), there are really no guarantees.

As I was leaving my office yesterday (yes I do work sometimes lol), I bumped into one of my former students. He is here in Toronto visiting. What are the odds? I think the last time I saw him was in 2002. Back then, if someone would have told me that I would meet him in Toronto in 2010, I would have told him that he/she was crazy. But here we are, a couple of years later, having a great time together in Toronto.

It's a good thing I was nice to him. If not, my guess is that he would have not been happy to see me (I would have probably hidden from him).

This is the reason why I really do my best to treat every human being right because I never know where I might meet him or her (especially her, lol) later. As you know, what goes around always comes around, a good deed is never in vain. And there is a Guy upstairs taking notice and He will make sure that there will be a return on investment. Trust me on that one.

Moral of the story? I really don't know. Just wait until I return from New York and I will tell you how many fellow superstars I met. I hope you are one of them.

Special message to the one who is reading my blog from Dubai

Always a pleasure


The Journeyman

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Journey to a wonderful lesson

As I am finishing up a fully loaded busy week, I can't help but think about a wonderful lesson I learned this week. I learned that my blog really rocks. Just kidding.

I was on the phone the other day with a great friend of mine, and she (yes it's a she) was telling me about her day and how life is good. She told me that a good friend of hers came to see her, seeking moral support as he was missing his parents who were very far from him. As my friend listened to him, as she always does with everybody, she was praying for some kind of inspiration to find the right words to say to her friend.

She came up with a pretty cool answer. She simply said to her friend: “I really understand your pain. You do miss your parents. And you should. But think about those people who miss their parents but who cannot see them anymore because they are no longer alive. At least yours are at a phone call away.” Her friend had no other words to add. It was so true.

I was so moved by my friend's answer because both her parents are no longer alive. I know she misses them but cannot talk to them. She was the right person to talk to for those kinds of questions because she has a story to tell.

My lesson did not stop there. Yesterday, as Paul and I were helping our client to apply for government grants, he began to share his story with us. In 2004 when I met him for the first time, this gentleman had nothing. He used to walk miles and miles, many times in the cold Toronto winter, as he had no money for the bus fare; however he always kept a personable smile on his face. Now, a few years later, this person is overbooked for his concerts, and very soon will be heading to the USA as his cousin, a very (I mean very) well known international artist, wants to work with him on some music projects. (I won't mention his name of course because my celebrity friends like to remain anonymous lol).

As our client was sharing his overcoming story, my friend Paul said: “I don't think I would have overcome that”. Knowing Paul very well, I know he can overcome any adversity, but I was hearing something in his voice saying “I am so thankful that I did not have to go through that”.

What I learned from my friend and my client is that I should be thankful for what I have, as little as it may seem, because somewhere on this earth,someone is praying for what I am seeing as little.

I am so grateful for the life I am living. I am not where I would like to be, but at least I can breath, I have a family that loves me, I have wonderful friends and I am good looking (just kidding.Well that’s what my mom says lol…). For those things I am so thankful and I am looking forward to a great future.

Moral of the Story? Do you want to learn a lesson, keep reading my blog and you will find out that it rocks.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Journey to the Ultimate Gift

Last Thursday I was so inspired to write this blog but I did not do it, and now I have to recall everything ( you can say that I was the king of the biggest nation in the world: (Procasti)nation lol).

Why was I inspired, you may ask. I was attending a four day conference and was inspired by the great food we had for lunch. Just kidding (maybe not).

We had keyote speakers, for each of the conference morning sessions, who were very inspiring. The one who inspired me the most was Dr. Richard Heinzi, founder of Doctors Without Borders, Canada (needless to say that I took a picture with him so that I could brag about it in my blog, lol). This guy has been in over 100 countries helping people. This has been his passion since he left medical school. We could see that passion in his eyes as he was telling his stories. He almost cried when recounting his involvement in the first free elections in South Africa. There he witnessed a 80 year old handicap Black woman cast her vote for the first time in her life singing “Mandela, Mandela, now I can die in peace”.

While listening to Dr. Heinzi, I couldn't help but think about the movie “The Ultimate Gift” (yes, it's another movie blog). Those who do not know anything about this movie, you are missing a lot (this is a free advertisement for the movie producer). I won't tell the entire story, but it is about a very rich guy (not me, another rich guy) who was about to die and decided to give away his wealth to his kids (many of whom were not happy with what they received. Maybe they were thinking about free lunch as it was my case at this week's conference). To his rebellious grandson, this rich guy left a video he recorded before his death..

As you may have guessed, his grandson was mad (he did not expect to receive much from his grandfather as he was the crazy guy of the family). In the video, the grandfather promised him a gift that he called the ultimate gift. However, before receiving it, he had to first go through a series of tests that the grandfather designed for him to experience consecutively. Failure at anyone of the tests would result in him receiving nothing. What a concept! I won't talk about the tests otherwise you would not want to see the movie.

I will only talk about the last test. The grandfather asked his grandson to think about a dream of his own. Something big he would like to accomplish, and then go out and make it happen. After thinking about it, he said “I don't have any dream of my own, but I can certainly help other people achieve theirs”. I won't tell you what happened next because I know that, after reading my blog, you will run and rent it, or even buy it.....

Why did I talk about all of this? Well, because I felt the same way while I was listening to Dr. Heinzi. I have been blessed with this great privilege of listening to other people's passions and sometimes helping them (in my own way) to make their dreams happen. Just the other day, I was with my friend Diego and, by the time I left him, it was 3 AM. All we talked about was our passion to succeed in life . I also know that Diego will succeed, because he is already successful (I just earned a free drink at Ngoma Lounge).

My radio show is all about interviewing people talking about their own passions. I can tell you that it has been a fun ride since I started the radio show. The people I have interviewed are the ones that keep me going. Sometimes when I feel a little bit down, all I have to do is listen to them and the motivation returns . The guy I had on the show last week told me that his dream was to see one day people in hospitals being healed from listening to his music. Wow!!! That is the ultimate gift I have received in my life. Listening to people who have great passions and get inspired.

Moral of the story? Do you want to live life with passion? Just go to conferences where they offer free food.

Always a pleasure


The Journeyman.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Journey to what is written

As I was waiting for my flight to Toronto from Ottawa, I couldn't help but smile at what has been my life for the last couple of weeks. Ottawa was great. I met people that I haven't seen, for about 10 years, others for a couple of months. It is always great to meet with old friends.

I went to Ottawa for a conference and I had dual duties. I was one of the speakers as well as participants. My presentation was scheduled for the first day, so I got to enjoy others' presentations (as well as the free food and nice hotel room. I went just for that lol). The response to my presentation was great and while I was getting this great feedback, my mind went back 7 years ago.

Yes, it was seven years ago that I met my friend Paul. It was a fall night of 2003 when I saw this guy on the subway platform waring a nice blue jacket. I went to him and just said:"nice jacket". The guy smiled and we started chatting a little bit. He mentioned that his passion was to help people to start their own business. As I was new to Canada, I thought that this guy could help me achieve my dream. Two days later, we were sitting in a coffee shop talking about our respective dreams.

Over time, Paul and I became business partners. We wanted to achieve the same things. It was no brainer that we were meant to work together. The first thing we did was to write down on paper what we would like to do. The list went on like this: Radio and TV production, Event Planing, Projects in Africa to help kids, Public Speaking and helping people to start their own business. Did I tell you that none of us had the expertise to do all of this? Yes I had been working in a radio, but TV? No chance. Paul was still taking some courses and had some experience in client relationship management. That was it.

For a while, nothing happened (or so it seemed). All we did was meet on Saturdays to have breakfast together (Paul paying of course) and talk about our future, how we were going to change the world (at that time I did not have any change in my pocket, but talking about changing the world!!!)

Seven years later here I am, part of expert speakers at a conference in Ottawa. For the last month alone, I spoke at five different events, helped a client start his own non for profit organization and started the process of applying for government grants. Last year I went to Mali as part of a project to help kids (projects in Africa?). Currently, I am working on a documentary of the Mali project (is that TV production?) and it has been two years since I have been hosting my radio show on Fridays and Saturdays (I think this is called radio production). For the last five years I have been part of a team that organizes events for the Black History Month, and now I am helping a client to prepare his concert to be held in August this year (my guess is that this is called event planing).

How all of these things came together is a mystery. All we really did was write down our dreams and goals without having any expertise at all. My friend Paul is now a Business Consultant for the Federal Government (talking about Mister Big Shot) and to think that it was eight years ago that Paul had made this one of his goals, having no experience in the field at that time. Eight years later it's no longer a goal but a reality. Now, when we meet, we just laugh at what is happening to us. Was that easy? Are you kidding? I have never been that challenged in my life. But it's really worth it.

Moral of the story? Do you want your dreams to come true? Just write them down and you will fly to Ottawa.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman