I remember writing my first essay ever way back in Grade 10. The essay topic was “life is a journey”. Did the teacher know at that time I was going to be The Journeyman? I doubt it. I don’t even remember what I wrote but my teacher’s remarks were that it was too long.
Life is really a journey and it is up to us to decide how we are going to take it. The good thing is that life has plenty of surprises. Throughout the course of my life I have learned to let go of expectations of how life unfolds and live in the moment.
Do you remember my blog from a few weeks back where I mentioned the movie “Evan Almighty”? I kept thinking about it since then. In the movie, Evan, a newly elected congressman, based his campaign on his slogan “We’re going to change the world”. Because people needed change, he got elected. He thought being a congressman was going to be a piece of cake until he started facing real challenges. It takes a great deal of work to change the world.
I took time to reflect on a few things when I was in New York last week (when I say time, I mean 20 seconds lol). At numerous occasions and in so many ways I have said yes to things without knowing what it will take me to accomplish them, and what it ends up costing me for being involved. Quite frustrating at first, but I have now learned to go with the flow although it might seem easier said than done.
Take the publishing of my book for example, I never had an idea of what it takes to publish a book. When I first had the thought of writing a book I thought it would just be sitting in front of a computer and writing my stories. I did that and a hundred pages later, I was done. I was pumped and super excited about letting it out in the world so people can read it, until the editing process started. I was like “are you serious??”. Does it really take this long? Yes it does. I have an amazing team of editors and we have fun doing the work, but we are not done yet. The good part of the story is that every time we go through it I just realize how great this book is (I say that because the author is a good friend of mine lol). Can’t wait to make it available.
This is one of the many examples of things I started without knowing what it was going to take to fulfill them. I must admit that at times I gave up because either the situation became unbearably hard to endure, or things turned out in a way I hadn’t predicted. Do you know why I failed? Because I was not committed enough. I had a back up plan in case things didn’t work. However, when I seriously commit to something, there is no way I am quitting. It may take years, but I will keep pushing until I get it done.
I started a business with my friend Paul in 2003. It has been 7 years with “no major results” but we kept working. For this particular instance I had no back up plan. I have to make it. Seven years of hard work (without any results) are about to pay off. I just know so. I can feel it. Do you know why? Let me tell you why.
Yesterday I went to deliver a speech on behalf of United Way Toronto. It was during a meeting of one of the top financial institutions of the country and the “top dogs” were there. To my great surprise, when I got there, they told me that they had made a specific request to United Way that they wanted ME as the speaker. How they heard about me, I have no idea. Good thing they mentioned it to me before my speech. I made sure not to disappoint them, and I did not (do you want my autograph?).
That made me realize I am on the right track. My name is getting out there.
My discovery is that when you set a goal for yourself and burn all the bridges behind you, you will eventually make it. There is no other choice.
Moral of the story? Do you want to make it in life? Just write a long and boring essay.
Always a pleasure