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Friday, December 31, 2010

My Journey to my wedding

Where do I start? I don't really know. As I am waiting for my flight at Kigali airport, with tears in my eyes, I am thinking about the last few days. There are no words that can explain what I have experienced in this month of December 2010. As Phil Collins said, it's another day in paradise.

The person who said that words are powerful was so right. It took a few words from my then girlfriend, now wife (are you kidding me!!!!), to start a series of events that led me to this moment. She just said: “Honey, this long distance thing is killing me”. Having been in a couple of long distance relationships, I knew what she meant. This time, it was different. I had to do something, otherwise, this relationship would end up like the other ones. I had promised myself to do whatever it took to make this one work.

As I hung up the phone, I thought I had to move mountains. I had to find a way to meet her. Originally, my intention was to visit her in July 2011, however, this felt like a century away. I picked up the phone and called her to let her know that I was going to come visit her in the month of May instead of July (now, there was progress).

As I was sharing this story with Paul, my business partner (who knows a thing or two about long distance relationships), he just said to me: Why wait for May? Why not this Christmas? I was like, are you out of your mind? There is no way I can go because it was not something for which I had planned. It was out of the question or so I thought).

As Paul left, I thought: why not? I have learned that with God all things are possible. Why not put this project in His hands and let Him do His thing? Did he deliver? Big time!!! Things went so fast that I did not even have time to call close friends of mine. I hope they will understand.

I learned from Napoleon Hill that if we want to succeed in anything, we have to burn the bridges behind us. By so doing, the only way to go is forward. There is no turning back. How did I do it? I told my girlfriend that I was coming for Christmas. Now there was no way for me not to go. I gave her my word and I did not want to look bad. Did I mention that I had previously booked my flight to New York? The plan was to fly to New York, spend three days there, then return to Toronto to take my flight to Kigali to see my girlfriend. What about the means to do all of this? I will let you figure it out, but you need to know that even then I had no idea how all of this would play itself out.

The first thing I did was to request some time off at work. I got them right away. Not too long after a friend of mine suggested that I should use this opportunity to get married? I thought he was from another planet. Are you serious? No way. The flight alone is crazy enough, now you are talking about getting married? You must be out of your mind. As my friend was leaving, I thought: why not? I have nothing to lose. A quick phone call to my girlfriend and the deal was sealed (crazy, eh?). In fact, both her parents and mine were also on board with the idea.

With all the minute by minute developments I needed a place to stay. I am happy to tell you that my best friend in Montreal was of tremendous support. His sister, who lived in Kigali, was willing to host me (what a house! I thought I was in a palace). Also, by just spending a few minutes online I was able to figure out how to get a visa to Rwanda.

I called another friend who told me he could get me a good deal for the flight and needless to say I purchased the ticket. All these things I have told you happened in the space of two days after my decision to fly to Kigali. TWO days!!!! And I was not done yet.

I made a quick phone call to a great friend of mine in Calgary to let her know about the news. She was very excited and told me that she was sending me a package by Fedex and that it should arrive the next day at noon. Of course, I was home at noon. I opened the package. Guess what? She sent me, as a gift, the engagement and wedding rings, as well as my girlfriend shoes for the ceremony. Are you serious!!!! The surprises did not stop there. When I called to thank her, she said: My aunt has a business back home where she sells wedding dresses. I called her and there is one, already paid for, when you get there. She also sent me some cash as well. Yes, I know that this time you are all thinking that I am making this all up. She paid for everything!!!!

I made a quick phone call to my friend Richard, who had all the necessary connections to make the wedding happen. I told him that it would be a simple ceremony because this wedding was not initially planned. He told me not to worry about anything.

Check this out. Before flying to Kigali, I met on Facebook a longtime friend of mine who happened to be living in Kigali. What are the odds? He told me that he was on vacation and was more than willing to give me all of his time and to drive me everywhere.

After two amazing days in Kigali where I met my future family in law (these people are out of this world!!! Talk about a divine connection. I am simply blessed to have them in my life now), I took the bus with my fiancé (we were now engaged) to Burundi where both my mom and my friend Richard were waiting for us. Richard had found a hotel room for us. As we were checking in, Richard told me the name of the owner of the hotel. He was a close friend of our family.

On the day of the wedding, I woke up early, as I had to go out with Richard. At the hotel lobby, I met with the hotel owner who was so glad to see me after so many years. I told him I was getting married and he was happy for me.

The wedding? That is another blog

As I was returning to my hotel room after the wedding, the receptionist told me that the hotel owner wanted to talk to me. He left his phone number. Guess what? He told me that my stay at the hotel was free. No charge at all (at the expense of the Boss). I was speechless! Leaving the whole thing in God's hands was the best idea I had ever had. This was too much!!!

Do you want me to continue? The blessings did not stop there. Stay tuned.

Moral of the story? Do you want to get married? Start a long distance relationship and you will fly to Kigali.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Journey to Kigali

As I am writing, I am sitting in a luxurious living room in a nice villa, after a few minute walk in the garden. All I can hear are the birds singing and a few cars passing by. It was just yesterday that I landed in this beautiful country of Rwanda. What a week! Friday afternoon, I flew to New York, Sunday night I flew back to Toronto, the next day I was at the airport to catch my flight to Kigali via Brussels.

Wait a minute. They are calling me for breakfast. I will get back to you in a second.

What a delight! Where was I? Oh yes. My flight.

I landed at Kigali airport eager to be there. More than anything, this trip has been a confidence boost for me. I wanted to prove to myself that what I have been learning all these years works. I can do anything if I put my mind into it. The last few days have been surreal. What was I waiting for?

In a few moments, I will be with my childhood friends Jeff and Pacome. It's like a dream. I can't believe it. And tonight I will meet for the first time my future family in law (for many of you, this is a scoop). Stay tune for the upcoming attraction in a Theatre near you.

As I couldn't sleep last night, I found myself listening to audios by John Assaraf, a very successful business man and coach. Last month, I subscribed to his coaching programme, and the results are simply amazing. What I have learned is that the best investment that one can ever make, is the investment in ourselves. The outside world is just a reflection of what is going on inside of us. And if we want to change the circumstances of our lives, all we have to do is change on the inside. It is as simple as that. It may sounds too good to be true, but it is the truth. The beauty of all this is the peace of mind that you get. It is priceless

As my goal here is to relax, I won't take so much time to write. All I can say to you is that if you have a goal, go for it. It may seem impossible at the beginning, but a simple plan and and unwavering faith will get you there. Starting from next year (which is in a few days), I will share with you the action steps I took to make things happen, if that may help. It is a plan that I am going to use from now on, and the goals I want to achieve for next year are way over my comfort zone. Do I know how I am going to get there? Not at all. All I know is that I have a system that works. The proof? I am in Kigali, a trip that I made happen using the system I am talking about. For most of you, a trip is something simple. But for me, it is about how it happened. That is another story.

Moral of the story? Do you want to make things happen, take a trip to Kigali and you will enjoy a nice breakfast.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Journey to a new commitment

As the year 2010 is slowly but surely ending (is it really slowly?), for most of us, it is the time to reflect on what we have accomplished and what we would like to see happening in the year 2011

As far as I am concerned, 2010 was THE year. I learned so much, but I was also challenged a lot (thus the learning part). During this year, I finished writing my first book (the editing process is almost over), and I shared my stories with you blog fans with passion and sincerity . In the process, my Facebook friends went from 300 to over 1600 in just over a few months. Now I am always walking with my pen in my pocket just in case someone asks me for my autograph.

By the time you start reading this blog, I will already be in the sky flying to my motherland, after spending an amazing week-end in New York.I wanted to surprise my mom on her birthday, and to also spend Christmas with her.

Many of you will be surprised (maybe even mad at me) that I am flying to Burundi and did not even tell you. The truth of the matter is that I am more surprised than you are (how can that be?)

I have been coaching people, and some of them are experiencing great success in their lives that have left me speechless. I found myself asking this question: Did I really contribute to this person's success? Of course, I am very proud of this accomplishment, but it also made me reflect on my own life as another question came into my mind: Why am I not getting these kinds of results?

So, I decided to take my own coaching and make things happen. I made a decision that I will go back home for Christmas. As this trip was not originally planed, it was a kind of stretch for me. Using my own coaching, I made it happen in just four days!!!! How did that happen? Well, that's a story for another day.

In the process, I kept asking myself this question: How wise and effective is it to share one's goals with others? My response is that, unless we share our goals with others, we won't make them happen. It is that simple.

Therefore, my commitment for the next year is to share my goals with you. I will open my heart to all of you and at the same time allow myself to be vulnerable. In the last few days, I went way beyond my comfort zone and did things that, according to the norm, would be considered crazy, but I am glad I did. A hint? My trip is not only for my mom's birthday! That makes you wonder, eh?

Stay tune. I will share the rest of this story with you in the next year.

Moral of the story? Do you want to make a new commitment? Make sure you walk with your pen in your pocket because you may need to sign a few autographs.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Journey to the next step

Where do I start? I don't even know. It's been crazy the last few days. Now it's almost 1.30 am and I can't sleep. Do I know why? I don't think so.

Do you remember reading my blog “My journey to an amazing feeling”? If not, please read it before you proceed with this one (this is my plug for you to read my entire blog posts). Okay, are you ready now? Do you mean you did not read all of them? Come on! Go back and read. I have all my time. I can wait for you.

All right. I am glad you did.

There is something I said in my keynote presentation few weeks ago that keeps coming back to my mind. I said that all we need to know is where we're going, the rest is to figure out what will be our next step from where we are right now. It is a great concept, except that I was not using my own coaching. It is fun when you tell others to do something whereas you are not doing it yourself (I guess it came from the years I spent coaching basketball)

The last few weeks were almost boring for me. I felt I was going through the motion without any excitement. I didn't know why, until Paul my business partner challenged me to start a crazy project that is way outside my comfort zone (I won't tell you what it is, but stay tune, I will let you know few weeks from now...).

At first, I thought Paul was crazy. Then when he went home, I thought: “why not?. I have nothing to lose. All I have to do is to take the next step and see where it goes”.

All of sudden, I became alive! The energy went up (no wonder I can't sleep now). I took on this “next step” thing, and life became fun. Every time I go to sleep, I am just excited because I know that the next day will be full of surprises about what would be the next step of my project. Sure enough, the next step shows up (sometimes in an unconventional way). It is so cool. People often come out of nowhere to give me a hand (could it be a contact, an idea or just a few words of encouragement)

The project that I started just few days ago is about to be successfully completed (I can't wait to share it with you, and it will be free of charge). It is true. All we need is to live in the moment, just waiting for the next step to show up. And when it does. Just act and leave the rest to the Big Guy Upstairs. He knows where he is leading you. And the secret? I just let one of my mentors Mike Dooley (even though he doesn't know that he is my mentor) express it himself. He said: “Be careful of what you wish for, Patrick, not just because you might get it, but because in the wishing, you may reinforce its absence in your life. Better to give a great, BIG "Yeehaa! Thank you! Whoohooo!" in advance for having already received it, and act as if you already have. Whoohoooo!”

Moral of the story? Do you want to know what your next step is? Read my entire blog posts before you read this one. Too late, you just read it.

Always a pleasure


The Journeyman

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Journey to two stories

I participated in a communication's course last week-end. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. It was unbelievable! Do you know what was the emphasis in the course? Guess! It was communication in relationships! No comment! Lol

During the course, I reflected on two stories that I would like to share with you (free of charge of course). Here they are:

There was an old guy who was sleeping in his couch. His grandkids came over while he was sleeping and placed a piece of cheese under his nose. Soon after, the guy woke up and exclaimed: “this room stinks!” He went into the kitchen and said again: “This kitchen stinks as well, maybe I should go outside”. He went outside, but still the same smell was around. Finally, in disgust he shouted: “The whole world stinks”. Little did he realize that the scent came from the cheese that was under his nose.

Did you like that story? If not, I won’t share the next one. ..........Okay, okay, seeing that you insist, I will tell you the story.

There was a guy who had a dog that he liked a lot. One day, the dog was crying and making a lot of noise. Despite the dog's obvious discomfort the dog's master did nothing to calm the dog down. Not too long after a friend of the dog's owner came over and asked him why the dog was making so much noise. The dog master replied: “Oh, it’s nothing. My dog is just sitting on a nail”. His friend was shocked. He couldn’t believe it; so he asked the dog master: “why doesn’t your dog move away rom the nail then?” The dog master simply said: “Because it obviously doesn’t hurt badly enough”.

Let me guess, you're probably wondering why was I thinking about these two stories? Do you really want to know why? Well, because there have been some areas of my life that continually seemed to be not going the way I would have liked and because of this I blamed the entire world (like the guy with the cheese). The truth is that I needed to make certain changes in my life in order to see positive results in these areas. (unlike the dog sitting on the nail).

So I did, and one of the results was my change of status on Facebook. Did you see it? Lol

Moral of the story? Do you want to make significant changes in your life? Make sure there is no cheese under your nose when you wake up.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman