The time is March 2009. I am in a coffee shop with a friend of mine. We are talking about dreams and goals. My friend starts to talk about stuff that I have never heard before (I thought I knew it all lol). I ask her where she gets all of this stuff. She tells me that she gets all this stuff from a three day retreat that she did eight years prior to our meeting. What do you think I asked her? That's right. How can I be part of this?
Long story short, I did the three day retreat and my life has never been the same – and I mean in a great way. In the last two years alone, I moved into a condo in downtown Toronto (a long time dream of mine), I did a project to help kids in Mali (how can I forget this one?), I produced a documentary movie, I started a blog that is now read over five continents, I created a communication company that has allowed me to speak to hundreds of people, I wrote my first book, I traveled all over the US and Canada, I met celebrities and....I got married (another long time dream of mine lol)! Also, I am working on a deal that if it goes through, it would allow me to expand my business all over Canada - so hopefully it goes through. And finally, I am talking with a distribution company about helping them expand their business into East Africa. Pretty cool I think (don't you think?).
All of this because I learned during the retreat that I can create the life I want.
A few weeks ago I thought to myself “How about I do the retreat again? After two years, I probably would get a different perspective and maybe even create a new chapter of my life”.
This last week-end was the one. No phone, no TV, no Internet, no food (no way! Just kidding) for three days. The only difficult part was the “no phone” commitment (my only link to my special one in Kigali). She has been amazing. She allowed me to go even though she knew it would be hard for her (did I hit the jackpot or what?)
After these three days, I have this story to tell you.
A few years back, a young boy was about to finish grade school and he thought: if I get a chance to go to THAT high school I would be happy. He went on and attended the school he wanted and he was happy for a while. Then he thought: if I can make the school Basketball team, I would be happy. He ended up making the team but he was unhappy as he was on the bench most of the time.
In the final year of high school, he thought: if I can make it to University I would be so happy. Guess what! He made it and was happy for a while. Then he thought: if I can make the University Basketball team, I would be so happy. It took him three years to make it but he was on the bench most of the time, so he was not very happy.
As he was about to finish University he thought: if I can be an English teacher I would practice my English better and I would be so happy. He became a teacher and was so happy. Then he thought: teaching is good, but I would like also to work in a radio station. If I could get a job in a radio station I would be so happy because radio is my passion.
Guess what! Yes. He got the job and he was also a Basketball coach as well. Then he thought: if I could win a few championships as a coach, I would be so happy. He did in fact win over fifteen trophies in less than seven years as a coach. Then he thought: I have no more challenges now. I am not happy anymore. Maybe I can go abroad. If only I can go to Canada, this time my life would be complete. I would be so happy.
Funny enough, in 2002, he landed in Toronto. Then he thought: if I could get a job in a radio station, man, I would be so happy. I would never ask for anything again. My life would be complete.
Do you get the picture?
Or by the way do you recognize this guy?
Can anybody relate? We think that when we get THAT thing we have been working so hard for, we would be happy. Guess what! Happiness comes from the inside. How about being happy NOW in this moment regardless of what we have or don't have. And if you have absolutely nothing to be happy about, then be happy to be alive. This is what I came to realize after three days of being away from everything.
I am not where I want to be, but I am now happy more than ever because I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now at this moment. It is a great feeling. And it was great to be back on the phone again after three days of silence. My apologies to the 23 people who left me messages when I was away. Kigali had to come first. I will return your call in five days after I am done with my conversation with “The chosen one” as my friend Tony calls her.
Moral of the story? Do you want to be happy? Keep chasing your dream and you will spend three days away from your significant other.
Always a pleasure