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Monday, September 27, 2010

My Journey to Another trip to New York

Here I am again in New York. I just started another series of four trips in seven months in the Big Apple. If things go as planned, I will add another trip to San Diego in February, a trip that will come handy as it will be freezing in Toronto (I would make an excellent weatherman).

We got to New York early today, and boy is this city alive! The traffic is crazy and people are everywhere. Our room will only be available at noon and my fellow travelers are going for breakfast. I decide not to go so I can write this blog. You blog readers are so important to me that I can afford to skip breakfast (you don’t see me, I am writing so fast so I can join them before I die of hunger lol)

This trip comes at the right time for me. I needed an escape. Although I know it will be a busy week-end, at least I know I will be focused on one thing. The last few weeks felt as though I was part of “Cirque du Soleil”, overwhelming but fun week indeed. I made sure to keep my commitment about being in shape (twice a week in the gym and basketball on Tuesdays).

I thought I was doing good regarding my “back in shape” program until I met a great friend of mine in the subway yesterday. He gave me a 15 minute lesson on nutrition. I am far from being a healthy eater and my friend’s lecture made me feel like a loser. When it comes to eating I am always open to opportunities. A few times ago, pizza deliverers were my best friends (I think I know all of them by names lol). I know all the Chinese restaurants in my area (and they deliver too lol). I know it takes a commitment to get back in shape but I am up to the challenge. I am afraid my pizza friends will feel like I left them hanging, but they have to look for other customers.

What was funny about my conversation with my friend is we never talked about nutrition before. We grew up together, we went to the same high school, we were on the same basketball team, then we met again here in Toronto. Every time we meet, our conversations are always reminiscent of the great memories we share. Why was this time different? I didn’t even know he was an “expert” in nutrition.

Then I remember reading somewhere “when the student is ready, the teacher will show up”. I bet I wouldn’t have met him, had I not made a commitment to get back in shape. He was there to bring me up to speed and I understand now that exercising without proper nutrition is almost a waste of time.

Think about your own journey when you met the right person at the right time? People who were there just for a purpose. I am sure there are plenty of them. Were they there just by coincidence or have you “created them? I may be wrong, but I think there is a Big Guy upstairs who is waiting for us to make a decision so He can put those kinds of people on our path. My daily prayer is to be one of those people that He is sending each and every day so that YOU can achieve your goals.

Do you want to hear a secret? When I started to write this blog, I had no idea what I was going to write about. Words and ideas started pouring as I was writing. Isn’t that cool? I think I did OK, don’t you think?

Moral of the story? Do you want to meet the right people at the right time? Start ordering pizza and they will show up.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Journey to a Cool Realization

Last week-end I took some time off. It was so cool to relax and do nothing (if you call “watching movies” doing nothing).

On Saturday a great friend of mine came to visit me and we spent many hours together. When I told my sister in law who was coming, she laughed and said: “it is going to be a great meeting between two intellectuals.”. I laughed a lot and I was also honored as my friend is such a brilliant guy. Every time I am with him, I always learn something new.

As it has been a long time without seeing each other, we took time to catch up a little bit and he asked what I was up to. He knew almost everything about me as he is a great fan of my blog. There was really nothing new he was going to learn from me.

However, as I was telling him my stories, I realized something. I have been creating my life the way I wanted it without even noticing. Here is an example

1.In 2008 I decided I wanted to be a professional speaker

2.The same week, my coworker introduced me to Toastmasters (she did not know about my decision to become a speaker)

3.Two weeks after, another coworker told me that United Way Toronto was looking for speakers (since then, I have made over 45 speeches for them)

4.Through Toastmasters, I was connected to a company that trains people to become professional speakers (I went for a training in Dallas Texas in March 2009)

5.My very friend who visited me on Saturday asked me to be the MC at his wedding last year

6.The cameraman at this event saw me do what I do best and asked if I could be the MC at his engagement party

7.Three other invitations to be the MC came from people who were at this party including two for fundraising events

8.From one of these events, I was connected to BANA, the organization that put together the convention in Montreal this year (I guess you know who was the MC at this event too)

9.Few weeks ago, I met Phil Tailor who is the founder of Goal Achievers International. He works with a group of professional speakers and helps them to achieve their goals (I officially joined the group last week)

10.The list goes on and on

I just realized that me deciding to be a speaker made people and circumstances align themselves to help me achieve my goal. Wait until my book comes out. You will read plenty of these kinds of stories.

Moral of the story? Do you want to achieve your goals? Just set your goals on what you want to accomplish and you will be invited at weddings.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Journey to a commitment

One of the commitments I made and that I need to accomplish before the end of this year is to get back in shape. I think it was about time I do something about it. I have been in Canada for 8 years and in those 8 years I have gained 55 pounds. Don’t you dare laugh at me. It sure isn’t because of lack of discipline, besides I have my reasons, number one being my retirement from the game of Basketball lol (see Charles Barkley).

I remember sending a picture to my mom two years ago and she couldn’t tell which one is her son (I was with some friends in the picture). Funny moment. She sent me an email the next day saying “That’s a nice picture. You must be the one who took it because I didn’t see you”. I had to explain I was the one on the far left side, she couldn’t believe it.

I had hoped that working on my book would make me shade a few pounds (by the way, my editors and I are putting some serious work in this. I never thought it would take this long). What an illusion! My best bet is hitting the gym now that my shortcut plan failed. Fair enough I have access to the gym in my building but hardly ever make it there.

I started gradually by playing some soccer games. I scored 4 goals in my second game (should I join Chelsea or ManU? You decide lol). Two days ago, I played some Basketball and I did some walking yesterday. In October I will climb the CN Tower, and in December I am running an indoor marathon (check me out in the 2012 Olympics in London).

I made these kinds of commitments in the past but it didn’t work out. Do you know why? Because I was not accountable to myself and I didn’t have anyone to be accountable to. Things have to change now.

It has been two weeks that me and my friend Diego have started a cool system. From Sunday to Thursday, we call each other at 10pm everyday with a list of things we have to do the next day. Then the next day we have to report to each other that we did every single thing on the list, and make another list for the following day. We committed to each other to make no excuses and be sure to accomplish what’s on our “to do list” on a daily basis. I have to tell you it’s working fine.

We have accomplished so many things in just two weeks it’s not even funny. One of the things on my list today is writing this week’s blog. Good thing I am doing it, otherwise Diego would kick me. At the same time you are benefiting from it as you are reading my blog.

I figured that having someone, a friend, a coach or any other person to report to is very helpful. Otherwise we would all be part of the biggest nation in the world. It’s called procrastination.

Moral of the story? Do you want to achieve big goals? Find someone to be accountable to and you will lose weight.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Journey to a last minute speech

If I were to choose a theme for this week, I would call it “last minute week”. Everything was done at the last minute this week. . I had been planning my days so well for quite some time now, but this week has been quite an experience
Yesterday I had no idea what the topic of this week’s blog would be, and my very efficient editor (whose name I won’t mention because she likes to keep her privacy) sent me a reminder that it was the blog. I was honest with her that I had no inspiration at all. A few suggestions from her and I was ready to go. However, I did not get to work right away so my ideas flew thick and fast and I ended up losing them.

Today was another “last minute” event again. I was scheduled to be the chair of the Toastmasters meeting, and 24 hours before the meeting I was not ready with my agenda (what a well organized chair I was!).
Fortunately the president of our club came to my rescue. She agreed to be the chair provided I be the speaker. I immediately said yes, but still had no clue what I was going to speak about.

Our Toastmasters meetings run every Thursday from 1 to 2pm. Up until 12:30 I had little to no idea what would be the content of my speech. All of a sudden an idea hit me and there I was, a few minutes later, speaking in front of an audience.

A few minutes before our meeting, I noticed a new guest at our club. I went to him and said hi. Right away, I knew he was not an “ordinary” guest. There was something special about him that I can’t describe. He had laying on the table in front of him a book titled “Set Yourself on Fire: How to ignite your passions and live the life you love” .The title caught my attention and I asked if I could have a look at it. He said yes. Guess what! He was the author of the book. What a great surprise. Of course I bought the book and he signed it for me.

As we were about to start our meeting, I asked if I could speak to him after and he agreed right away. I went on to deliver my speech and our special guest was both impressed and inspired (his own words).

It turned out our guest was none other than Phil Taylor. Phil Taylor is a multiple-award winning speaker, trainer, and internationally recognized authority on communications; sales, team performance, entrepreneurship and goal achievement (don’t think I am describing myself. He is another fellow celebrity). He is also the founder of Goalachievers International Inc., a global organization devoted to empowering individuals and organizations to achieve extraordinary results in all areas of one’s personal and business life. On top of all this, he is running for Mayor of Toronto (too bad I had no camera on me. I wouldn’t mind having a picture with him lol).

Didn’t I tell you I knew there was something special about this guy? As we wrapped up our Toastmasters meeting, I had the privilege to talk with him for about 15 minutes. He asked me a question I was eager to hear “tell me about your goals in life, and how can I help you?” I said to him “I am glad you asked...”. Guess what? He is going to help me achieve them. Him helping me will be a no brainer as I am working on doing exactly what he is doing right now, except running for Mayor (if I do that, there will be no competition at all lol).

Moral of the story? Do you want to meet a world class achiever? Do everything at the last minute and you will

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman