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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Journey to the Plan

Our baby is now six months old. Time really flies. It has been a real joy to spend time with her and see her grow daily.

I have received a number of positive comments about my last blog. I am glad you liked it. Let go and let God is a principle that I am learning to embrace. I have read about it a number of times, and I thought I was doing it, but I don't think I had totally released control until recently. How did it happen? So many things happened at the same time that led me realize that I had to let it go. One of them is the experience of my good friend Emmanuel Lopez a.k.a Motivatorman.

About a year ago, I met Emmanuel just to catch up after my summer in Africa. Emmanuel and I have been friends since 2005, and ever since we made a tradition to meet regularly to talk
As we were talking, he shared with me that he was going through one of the toughest moments of his life. From our previous conversations, I knew things were not easy for him, but he always kept a positive attitude about everything.

I don't remember the rest of our conversation that day, all that I can recall is that we agreed that I was going to help him get back on track. I didn't know that we were about to experience a heck of a ride together.

The plan was simple. We first talked about his goals. What he wanted to accomplish for the next three months. Once done, each Monday, he had to e-mail me his plan for the week, and on Friday we would discuss about the results he had produced that week. My role was to hold him accountable and make sure that he did what he said he was going to do, and offer him some coaching if needed. I knew that by him focusing on the tasks at hand would create a good momentum towards achieving his goals.

For an entire year we never missed a week. Along the way, Emmanuel experienced a number of breakthroughs as well as disappointments. But he kept the course

Some things started to happen. At first it was about me helping him. Then it became helping each other, as every week he would tell me inspiring stories about how things were unfolding for him. Now I was looking forward to our Friday conversation just to hear one more time what he had to say as I desperately needed inspiration myself.

And then, about three and a half weeks ago, the amazing thing happen!

It was during our Friday call. As we were sharing about our experiences of the week, I mentioned to him an e-mail I had received from a minister. The minister said that many people create plans and ask God to bless their plans, instead of going to God and ask Him about His plan for them.

When Emmanuel heard that, he shouted: “That's it! That is what I am going to do! Instead of me sending you my plan for the week, I am going to ask God about His plan, and each Friday I am going to send you the results of my activities”.

It was as simple as that. I was curious to find out what happened.

Now it has been three and a half weeks since that conversation, and what happened ever since is simply a miracle. It is breakthrough after breakthrough. I am seeing a life being transformed before my eyes. Every one of Emmanuel dreams is happening at a speed that he has never seen. As I am writing now, Emmanuel is in New York (a trip he never thought he would take), and I am sure he is promoting his just released book. For five years he was trying to publish his book, and the very first week he asked God to handle everything for him, his book is now on How cool is that? Check out his book at

Emmanuel really inspired me and his story came to me at a time I really needed to hear something like that. Did I decide to jump as well and let God handle my things? Not right away. Something else happened. That was the trigger. You might be wondering what happened. That will be the subject of my next blog. So, stay tune.

Moral of the story? Do you want to publish your first book? Just have no plan and you will go to New York.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Journey to a Week Off

It has been over three years that I post my blog every week. Last week is the only week that I did not do it. It is not that I had forgotten, I did it on purpose. I just wanted to take a week off lol

I was thinking that nobody would notice, until I got an e-mail from my friend Jim asking me: “where is this week's blog?” I guess I have one big fan lol (thanks Jim)

I also met a couple of people this last week-end who congratulated me about the blog saying that they really enjoy reading it. One of them even said to me: “if I were you, I would thank God daily for giving me such talent”. I felt like a million bucks man

About two and a half years ago, I was helping a friend of mine to put together a series of concerts. We did an amazing amount of work and things were going according to the plan. We got a number of sponsors, we had also a lot of support in the community.

As the concert was approaching, something unexpected happened. I lost my USB key on which I had all the work that we had been doing for months. I couldn't find it. I search everywhere but it in vain. I couldn't believe how careless I had been. As I was desperate to find it, I decided to let go. There was nothing much I could do. If I was to find it, it would come to me effortlessly. If it was lost forever, then I would have to start the work all over again.

A few weeks passed. We kept working. I even forgot about my key.

I took a trip to Kigali later on. As I got in my room the first night, as I was unpacking my stuff, I heard a noise. Something fell down. I was wondering what it was. Guess what! It was my lost USB key that fell out of one of my shirt's pocket! It was right there in front of me. I couldn't believe it. I lost my key in Toronto, just to find it in Kigali. All this time it was in one of my shirt's pocket. It was so funny.

Why did I tell this story?

Have you been working very hard on something for a long time and it seems that you are not progressing, or you seem to be stuck and nothing seem to work? Maybe it is time to let go and let God. Release the control to a higher power and you will be amazed how, at the right time, things will fall into place effortlessly and you will be shocked how easy it was.

I know. It is easy said than done. But with practice it will become easier and easier to let go. Try it and you will see. But you will have to completely let go. Don't stick around to see how God is doing it. Just let it go and do something completely different.

I am going to leave you with this poem by Lauretta Burns

Broken Dreams

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.

But instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,
“How can You be so slow?”
“My child, He said, “what could I do?
You never let them go.”

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Journey with My Blog

It was with surprise that I learned from my friend Emmanuel that reading my last blog about him really made his day. I was just sharing what has been my experience with him, but I didn't know that it would have a great impact on him.

I started writing my blog on October 16, 2009 (yes, it has been 3 years!!!), and I haven't missed a week ever since. I have been late posting it, but I haven't missed a week. I will take it as a huge accomplishment on my part (standing ovation for me please...)

To tell the truth (not that I was lying before), I did not want to publish my posts at first. What would people think of me? That was my fear. Or, would people even read them? That was another one. It took me several weeks before I could post them on my Facebook page. I have never looked back. I must admit that it took every bit of courage that I had to put myself out there. I had to accept to be vulnerable, and understand that, once the story is out there, it won't belong to me anymore. It was subject to other people's interpretations and perceptions.

Thankfully, the responses have been overwhelmingly positive (almost twenty one thousand hits on my site). The comments have been so positive that sometimes I wonder if it is for me. I have also received not so positive comments, but I took them as lessons on how to improve my writings (knowing that we cannot please everybody)

Another thing I have to admit (yes, it is my confession day), is that I do not have the inspiration to write all the time. Sometimes the story comes as I am writing already. Thankfully, I managed to write every week.

Did I share everything? Far from there. I think that the best stories are yet to come. I would like to tell them once I am on the other side of the river (if you know what I mean...). You will be shocked, and that is an understatement (am I a good salesman or what? Lol). Coming soon on a computer near you.

This is an opportunity to thank you all for your encouragements and comments. You are the reason I keep writing. However, I must say that I have been the one who gained the most from my own writings. Writing has been a therapy for me, and my blog has opened doors for me that would not have been there otherwise. Thank you

Moral of the story? Do you want to start your own blog? Just write it and do not post it for weeks.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Journey with Emmanuel

I have been friend with Emmanuel for years now. I call him the Movie Guru. He lives and breathes by movies. He even has a blog called “Movies that Motivate/The Adventures of Motivatorman”.

I have a weekly talk with Emmanuel, and very often we share about what we learned through movies. This guy can watch at least ten movies a week. It's hard to keep up with him.

One movie caught my attention last week. It is called “The Change-Up” with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman.

One drunken night, two friends admit that they wish they had the other's life. Mitch (Reynolds) thinks Dave has it all: a beautiful, loving family and a high-paying job at a prestigious law firm. But Dave (Bateman) thinks Mitch's stress-free life without obligation or consequence is the real dream come true. The next morning they wake up, hungover, in each other's bodies, and proceed to freak out! With time not on their side, Mitch and Dave comically struggle to avoid completely destroying each other's lives before they can find a way to get their old ones back.

It is a hilarious comedy, but the movie made me think about a thing or two. So often we wish we could have other people lives (I wish I had the life of Bill Gates...), and we tend to forget that there are other people who wish they had the life that we have. How about being thankful of what we have? That would be a great idea, I think

There is a scene in the movie when Dave is about to be promoted as a partner of the Law firm and they were showing a slide show of his professional career and his family life. Mitch who was in Dave's body kept saying “I don't deserve this”. He was feeling so bad because he knew he had nothing to do with Dave's success. The lesson I learned from the scene is that, yes I want to have Bill Gate's life, but I am willing to pay the price he paid to get there? Success has a price, and many of us are not ready to pay it.

I also learned that, being in other people's shoes can help us understand what they are going through, therefore avoid judging them. We really don't know why people do what they do. Maybe getting their perspective on things can help us be better friends and have compassion. That would make the world a better place to be.

Moral of the story? Do you want to be inspired by movies? Have a weekly talk with Emmanuel and you will wish to have the life that I have lol

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Journey to My Old Passion

For us Basketball fans, we have been enjoying some NBA games, but the intensity is not there yet (I guess we will have to wait until the play offs). I didn't think the Raptors would have a slow start given the fact that they won so many games in pre-season. But again, that was pre-season. Now the serious stuff is happening.

There is also high expectations from the Lakers fans now that they have a bunch of Superstars playing together. Their management doesn't play games though. They just fired the coach after only five games into the season. I was shocked when I heard that. I mean, it is an 82 game season and the coach is fired after only five games!?!! They don't mess around.

A few weeks ago I was doing some homework that my coach Charlie gave me, and I was surprised how coaching basketball was coming back all the times as the one thing I miss the most doing. I have been involved with the game for almost twenty seven years (now you have an idea how old I am), but coaching has been the most fulfilling part of all. I really miss it. No wonder it was coming back again and again in my thoughts.

Just the other day, some friends came over at our house to see our baby. As we were chatting, one of them said that he was approached by a school asking him to coach their Basketball team, but he had to turn it down because he could not find the time to do it. I was like “are you serious!!!”. I have been looking for that opportunity for weeks now! So, he is going to ask if they still need a coach. Boy, if that goes through I would be in heaven.

That is how powerful a thought can be. When we think about something (good or bad) over and over again, that thought can attract other similar thoughts; and before you know it, that thought can manifest itself into physical form (hey, I didn't come up with that stuff. I read it somewhere...). Have you thought about someone that you haven't seen for a while, and then, bam! You get a phone call from him or her? Your thought attracted that person.

I mean, what are the odds? For weeks I have been thinking about coaching Basketball again, and this friend of mine just came up with an opportunity! I don't know if I will get it or not, but the simple fact that there is a possibility got me so excited man!

Can I guess something? That project of yours that you have been thinking about starting (yes, that one that you are about to give up...). My guess is that you haven't been thinking about it long enough. Try some more. Before you know it, that simple thought will attract another one, and an other one. Then, you will meet people with similar dreams. You will start sharing your ideas, and very soon, that guy with bunch of cash in his bank account who does not know what to do with it will hear about your idea. He will make you an offer that you won't be able to refuse....Bam! Your project will become a reality.

Maybe I am dreaming a little (or maybe not). Just something to think about. (Here I, talking about a thought again...)

Moral of the story? Do you want to make your dreams come true? Just think about them all the time and you will be coaching Basketball.

Always a pleasure

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Journey to the Movies

It's been a quite interesting week. First, I caught a cold last week, by Wednesday I was doing better, ready to go play Basketball, just to find out that my wife was getting a cold too (I know, I's my fault). Next thing you know, our daughter caught it too. Back to square one....

We are now almost a hundred percent, thanks to a week-end of rest. Yes we did rest. I brought seventeen movies (yes you got it right, 17 is the number) from the library, and now we are down to four movies to go. We have watched comedies, action movies, you name it. I don't remember the last time I watched so many movies. What else could we do? We didn't want to go out there and spread what we got.

Our daughter is almost five months old now. I have learned that it's at that time that babies want their parents full attention. She has been making funny noises just to get our attention, and when we look at her she just smiles. It's hard to watch a movie when she is awake, but she is a real joy though.

Almost all the movies that we saw were a reflection of this quote by James Cash Penney: "I am grateful for all of my problems. After each one was overcome, I became stronger and more able to meet those that were still to come. I grew in all my difficulties." The main characters had to face difficulties that, at the end made them stronger (sometimes nicer) people.

I heard a song, I think it's Peter Tosh who sang it, saying “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but no one is willing to die”.The way I see it, if we want to succeed, we must accept to pay the price. And the the bigger the dream the bigger the struggle (the bigger will be the victory as well).

You may be facing difficulties, but keep the faith. Celebration time is coming.

Moral of the story? Do you want to win in life, just watch seventeen movies in a week-end and you will write a blog
Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Journey with Bonnie

Last Friday, our friend Motivatorman came to visit us (special invitation from my wife). We had really good time (that of course included great food). As it was time for him to go home, I decided to walk him out to the Subway station. I didn't know how was the weather outside and I put on a light jacket. Result? I have been under the weather these last two days. My productivity has been close to nothing.

Even though I was not a hundred percent on Saturday, I went to do a 3 hour presentation about networking. The house was packed and we had people following us on video from Ottawa and Sudbury. It was great fun.

I can teach a thing or two about networking, but I have met people who are masters in the matter. One of them is my friend Bonnie Chan. She is a master networker (does this word exist, or I just made it up?)

I met Bonnie last year at a networking event (where else would you meet Bonnie?). Right away the connection was made. She knew me thanks to a mutual friend and she said that she had heard a lot of things about me. Right then she made me feel like a million bucks.

I met Bonnie again later on in December at an event that my friend Jim put together. We talked some more. I mentioned to her that I was looking for a place to move in, and she told me so much about where she lived that I was sold right on the spot. A few weeks later we were neighbours. She was among the very first people who met my wife when she came to Canada and they have been friends ever since.

Along the way, we decided to work on a project together, which was to start a coaching group in our area. I was going to be the facilitator and coach, and she would be the one putting the group together. She did that in a heart bit. She also took care of all the logistics. What a blast we had! When it came to put together my wife's surprise baby shower, Bonnie and Aaron her husband (who is now our accountant) took care of us by offering us the party room at their place.

If you are an entrepreneur here in Toronto and you have never heard of Bonnie, I can tell you that it is a matter of time. You will definitely meet her because she is everywhere.

Do you know what I have learned from Bonnie? How to make genuine connections with people. You meet Bonnie for the first time, you just feel it. She is a people person. No wonder she is succeeding in all her projects (and she has quite a number of them). Her new project is a networking bootcamp. You can check it out at

It is hard to succeed in life without the cooperation of other people. More importantly, it is key to have the right kind of people around us. I am so glad I met Bonnie.

If you have people who make you feel special when you are around them, cherish them. Make sure to let them know how special they are. Bonnie is special to so many, I just let her know how special she is to my family.

Moral of the story? Would you like to learn how to treat people right? Just contact Bonnie and you will move in our area.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Journey to A New Season

It's been over ten years now that I am in Canada, but I am always amazed by the season changes. A few weeks ago, I was doing some work cleaning the front of the house (leafs were everywhere). I was proud of my job until, a few minutes later I came back to the place I was cleaning to find out that there were more leaves on the ground than before. What a waste of time!

Everywhere I go, trees are changing colours. It is a beautiful scene, but I know that in a few weeks there will be no leaves at all. Trees will have to wait for months before they can have their leaves back. That is how it is.

I think that, as human beings, we are like trees. We go through seasons. During some seasons, we also lose our leaves. These are pruning seasons. In my opinion, the difference between trees and us is that trees don't complain about season changes the way we do. They wait patiently until next season. During winter, when we look at the trees, they seem to be lifeless. Are they really? There are stuff happening underground that we don't see. There is life in them.

It is the same thing with us. There are moments when nothing seems to be working, but behind the scenes, it is working even though we don't see it. It can be frustrating at times, but when we understand that it is only for a season, we can wait patiently for things to change. They always do.

Unlike a very successful 2011, the year 2012 has been a year in which, most of the times, I learned what not to do (if you know what I mean). More than once I found myself against the wall and hoping for a miracle. Sometimes miracles happened, some other times they were denied their visas lol. I also made tons of mistakes that I hope I won't do again. I know it could be worse, that is why I am still thankful.
I am “the glass is half full” kind of person, so I try my best to focus on the positives. The birth of our baby has been the highlight of the year.

The other highlight of the year came yesterday. My wife went downtown to visit her friend and I spent my evening with Skylar. I knew she would come back home late (that is what happens when she goes to see her friend) but not that late. I thought she might had been busy signing autographs as she was looking so hot when she left home lol

When she finally got home, she shared with me what happened. There was a long delay on the Subway. They were even asked to go out of the station to wait for the bus (which took forever to come). She was standing next to a guy who started complaining about all those delays. “Delays are not a bad thing” she started explaining to him. “When they happen, it is for a reason. We don't know why they happen, but they are a good thing. They are there to teach some lesson”.

Her travelling companion's mood started to change. He later shared with her about what he does. He owns a convenient store but business seems to be slow. “Keep going. Have faith. Everything will be ok. Don't give up. You will succeed if you don't quit”, she said to him.

When my wife told me the story, I was so amazed. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was so proud of her it's not even funny. She looked at me and stated: “I think I am ready to be hired as a coach”.

I couldn't agree more.

We have been through a lot this year, but I can say that what she said to me last night is simply amazing. Was she always like that? Sometimes yes, but most of the times no. That is what a pruning season can do if we keep a good attitude. We learn to have faith and keep believing no matter what. My wife has just graduated, don't you think?

If you are experiencing delays in your life, if nothing seems to be working, just know that behind the scenes, it is working even though you don't see it. You are growing into a different person. Hopefully a better one.

Moral of the story?

Do you want to enjoy delays? Just hire my wife as your coach and your mood will change.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Journey with Skylar

Once again I have to find an excuse why I did not post my blog yesterday. What can I say? I am thinking of a few reasons why, but the one I am thinking about the most is that our daughter is four months old today (is that a good enough reason?)

I am writing from an Internet café, on my way home from a presentation that I just did at a job fair. I know that by the time I get home, there will be no time on the computer. Our daughter now dictates our schedule lol

Yesterday was one of those days. I had planned my day with a number of items on my to do list, especially people that I would call, then I got a emergency phone call. My wife had to go out to give a hand to a family that needed  help. I had to stay home with Skylar. This had happened in the past, so I was confident I can keep everything under control. Oh boy, little did I know what was coming next.

At first she was calm, nothing to be concerned about, I even promised some people that I would call them shortly. Then she started her things. Whenever she is hungry, or when she wants to sleep, she just cries. I guess that this is how all the babies are. So she started to cry. I thought maybe she was hungry ( Maybe she is like her dad when he is hungry lol).

I gave her some milk and she was fine, just for five minutes. Then she started to cry again. I tried to make her sleep but in vain. As we had started to give her same cereals a day prior, I thought I could prepare some. And this was my first experience doing it. I saw my wife feeding her the day before, I thought it would be a piece of cake. Man! The food was all over her face, all over my face, on her clothes and on mine as well. I was trying to feed her while she was crying. What an experience!

Somehow I managed to make her sleep, and ten minutes later, she got up and there she went again, crying some more. Boy! I wanted to call my wife, my mother in Africa, my mother in law, 911, you name it.

About an hour later, she was sleeping again. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep as well. By the time my wife came back almost at midnight, I seemed to have everything under control. My wife was proud of me, but I did not tell her what I had gone through to have the baby under control. I guess she had an idea of what happened when she saw baby food all over my face lol

I looked at my wife with admiration. I just simply realized how good she is with Skylar. It's only after going through with what seem to be an easy job for her that I understood how hard it was. I have been guilty of taking her job for granted without realizing how hard it can be to be a mom taking care of a young baby.

Sometimes we are quick to judge people without knowing what they are going through. It is only after having been through challenges that we can understand those who have been there before us. We also take for granted people in our lives, but it is only after they are gone that we can see their real value. It took some hours alone with my baby to understand how valuable my wife is in the education of our baby. I knew she was doing a great job, but now my respect for her just went throuh the roof.

Moral of the story?

Do you want me to take care of your baby? Just leave me alone with the baby and I will have baby food on my face.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Journey to A Great Thanksgiving Week End

It is always fun to enjoy a long week-end. For some people it is an opportunity to do things that they did not have time to do, or visit friends and family members that they had not seen for a while.

 That is what happened to us this last Saturday. A friend of mine had extended an invitation to us a few weeks ago to go to see him and his family and stay overnight. We did not know that he had done the same with some other families as well. It was a great surprise when we got there. After a while, other guests started to come, before we knew, the house was packed. It was so great

I don't know where the tradition came from, but I think that whoever thought about having a Thanksgiving day was right. In my opinion it should be a daily thing to be thankful. However, most of the times, it is easier said than done. Facing daily challenges can take away the focus on the blessings. I heard someone saying that energy flows where attention goes. Whatever we give energy to, grows. If we focus on the blessings, they will keep coming to us. The same thing can happen when we focus on the challenges.

One day, I attended a seminar and the presenter gave us a great exercise. He asked for someone to volunteer for the exercise. He asked him to name everything in the room that had the colour blue. He started by his blue shirt, five minutes later he was still pointing at blue stuff.

Then the seminar leader asked him this: “when you were naming all these blue objects, did you see anything that was brown?”. We were all surprised by his question. Of course not. We were looking for blue objects. While there were plenty of brown stuff, we did not pay attention to them because we were looking for something different. Then the seminar leader looked at all of us and said: “Now, let's say the blue colour represents the challenges, while brown is for blessings. Don't you see that if you focus on the one, you miss the other?” All this time, our friend was focusing on the blue (the challenges), while brown objects (the blessings) where all around us.

 I learned my lesson. Energy flows where attention goes. We all go through difficult times. It's part of life. However, there are also blessings all around us, but we do not seem to notice them. Let's all count our blessings. There are so many.

Moral of the story? Do you want to count your blessings? Just invite me and my family and we will stay overnight.

Always a pleasure


The Journeyman

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Journey to Niagara Falls

A few weeks ago I received a call from my friend Courtney asking me if I would be available on September 28 (which was this last Friday) to attend a conference at which he would be speaking. Courtney is such an inspirational speaker that I wouldn't miss this opportunity. So I said yes. My friend Jim (a.k.a Mister Connector) would be there as well.

It was a two day conference, but I was there just to listen to Courtney (who by the way just published his first book) speaking about his favorite topic which is Financial Fitness. He did a great job and I learned so much from him. He was the last speaker. After that, it was time for fun. The conference organizers knew a thing or two about having fun. A huge bus was waiting for us downstairs. Destination: Niagara Falls

 About twenty four of us got into the bus. They had told us that they would be playing a movie on our way and we were excited about it. Do you know why? It was Mr. Bean! For those of you who have watched Mr. Bean, you know what I am talking about. They ended up playing another movie, but frankly, we did not need any movie for entertainment. Our driver was such a funny dude. We laughed all the way from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

 I knew it was the right kind of people to be with when we got there. Our guide asked us this question: “Do you want to start with visiting the falls, or would you like to start with dinner?” I heard twenty four loud voices saying: “Dinner!!!!” I knew I was at the right place at the right time, with the right people. I won't say much about the food. It was out of this world. My wife often says that for me, any food is always good food, to which I always respond the same way. For me, quantity always comes first. The quality can wait lol. Fortunately. It was both quality and quantity.

 After dinner, we went outside to watch the fireworks. It was spectacular (almost as good as the food lol). We had so much fun man! Time went so fast. It was almost 11pm when we went back to the bus. As promised, they played Mr. Bean. I watched only the beginning and I fall asleep. Jim woke me up later when we were already in Toronto.

 That was my Friday. Two days prior to that, I went to play Basketball after an entire year without touching the ball. That's the thing. I have been so busy with different things that the word ”fun” was outside of my vocabulary. In less than a week, I had combined 3 of my favorite things: Travel, Basketball and Food (I should have started with this one).

 Let's work hard for our goals and dreams, but let's do not forget about fun. Do you know why? Because success is not about the destination. It's all about the journey. Why not enjoying it. What have you done for fun lately?

 Moral of the story? Do you want to have a week of fun? Just play some Basketball and you will eat great food in Niagara Falls.

Always a pleasure

Patrick The Journeyman

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Journey to A Great Lesson

It has been quite an eventful week. Actually it started last week when a friend of mine invited us to visit him and his family. That was the first time we actually went out, the three of us, other than to the doctors' appointment. It was a blast. Of course there was great food involved.

 I have started working with a coach. Her name is Charlie. It has been a few weeks now that I am working with her, and I have started seeing the results. The first result is actually is something intangible, but yet essential. She helped me define exactly what I want and in details. It was challenging at times, because there are things that I hadn't thought about yet, but I am glad I did.

 Two days ago, I received a call from a longtime friend of mine. Actually, he is one of my best friends. He lives in England. We do not talk as often as we used to (he is a father of 3 kids, and I have one...), but when we get a chance to talk, we can talk for hours just to catch up. As I was sharing with him what I am discovering about being a new dad, he reminded me about stuff that he told me long time ago about having a family. It did not make a lot of sense at first, but now that I can totally relate to it, it does really make sense back then. But it does now. I guess timing is everything. He taught me a lot of stuff, and I am so thankful. He has 3 kids, and has a great family. I think I can learn a thing or two about being a parent.

 The lesson I learned is that if I want to learn something valuable, I'd better learn it from someone who has done it and succeeded. I can learn from my own experience but it would take a long time, I would rather learn from somebody else experience. My challenge to you is to find a mentor, someone who is where you want to go, someone who has been tested, someone who can show results. I am on a quest of mentors, hopefully I will be able to find great ones.

 Moral of the story? Do you want to find a great coach? Just invite me to dinner and I will give you mine.

Always a pleasure
 Patrick The Journeyman

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Journey to Our Daughter's Three Month Birthday

Time really runs so fast.It's been three months that our baby was born. It seems like it was yesterday.

Before that, the only time I held a baby in my arms for more than five minutes was 31 years ago when my younger brother was born (this is to show how ready I was to be a father...). The first week after our daughter was born, I looked like a zombie. After six sleepless nights, I knew something had to change. We needed to find a system that could work for both my wife and I.

I can tell you one thing. My wife is a trooper. Being a newcomer in Canada is quite a big challenge by itself (trust me.I worked with newcomers to Canada for over 7 years. I know a little thing or two about what they face). Add to that carrying a baby and all the fun stuff of being a wife and living for the first time in her life away from her (wonderful) family. It's not an easy thing to do. You can also add teaching her husband how to cook stuff other than pasta. She was exhausted too.

Now, three months later, I look like a professional who's been working with kids for years. I can do everything in a heart bit. My food taste like real food, I can wash the baby, change her diapers,and have fun along the way. Just this morning, I was at the library and my first instinct was to go to the children section. What a lifestyle change! (do they give Nobel Prizes for that? I think I deserve one). I feel comfortable now.

Looking back, I can only laugh how I was struggling with all the changes. It was really tough. Now, whenever I am about to lose my nerves when the baby can't stop crying, I look at her, and she has her disarming smile (she changes her moods so quickly like Canadian weather lol) and I can't help but smiling too. It's a pure joy.

Just the other day, I was sharing with my wife how I heard from Bob Proctor that there is a Law of Rhythm. Life has phases. We can be up, and the next thing you know, you're down. The key is to recognize where you are and know that there will be another phase coming, and not fight what is. Three months ago, it was tough to be a new dad, now it is pure joy and the struggle has been replaced by smiles. I love it.

So, if you are in a phase of struggle, just say to yourself that this too shall pass, another phase of your life is coming. It's a Law. We cannot remain at the same place forever. That is good news, I think.

Moral of the story?

Do you want to learn new things? Just get a new baby and you will learn how to cook

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Journey To Toronto International Film Festival

This is a premiere for me. I am posting my blog straight to the blog website without editing it. And I know that you were waiting for this one yesterday. My bad. I don't know if in some parts of the world it is still Monday (for me to justify that I am not late posting this blog).

I am in fact writing from a computer provided for the Industry delegates at the Toronto International Film Festival. Yes I am one of them as an Assistant Producer of a movie that is about to be shot in South Africa. How I got in here is another story.

Being part of the festival is something special. I just met great movie producers, and as they were mentioning the projects they have been working on in the past, I am just amazed to even being part of the discussion. I am talking about Oscar winning movies. It's crazy. My only hope was to meet Will Smith, but I guess that will have to be for another day lol

Funny enough, as I was doing my homework yesterday given to me by Charlie my new coach, she asked me about my childhood dreams. I had a few dreams as I was growing up. At six years old, my dream was, by the year 2000, to be a teacher. As a young teenager, my dream was to become a TV and movie producer. Later on I dreamt about working in a radio station.

Let's check. In the year 2000, I was an English teacher at my former high school and working as a radio broadcaster in the evenings and weekends. My first job in Toronto was Project Manager of the first French speaking radio station in Toronto. And now, I am part of the Toronto Film Festival meeting with movie producers!!!! Maybe the dream is coming true, what do you think? I am in shock!

I have only 15 minutes on this computer, so I just wanted to check in as I am heading to the next event.

Keep dreaming, there is a Guy Upstairs making sure that those dreams will come to pass. And, as it has been my experience, He works in mysterious ways. I can't believe I am part of this Festival!!!

Moral of the story?

Do you want your dreams to come true? Just be in a Festival and you will have only 15 minutes to work on their computers

Always a pleasure


The Journeyman

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Journey to a busy long week-end

Back to back this week-end I went to bed almost at dawn. Thankfully it was a long week-end, I was able to catch up with my sleep today. A friend of mine had asked me to host his wedding reception as the Master of Ceremonies and I said yes. It was this week-end and we all had fun. At the wedding I met people that I haven't seen in over ten years. It was so great.

Last Friday, my friend Emmanuel Lopez a.k.a Motivatorman came to visit me at my place. It was for work, but he also wanted to see our daughter (now she is what people want to see...Am I jealous of her? Lol). Then we decided to have a walk at the park. We sat there for almost an hour talking about different subjects, including our favorite one: Movies. It's funny how two people can watch the same movie and each gets a complete different perspective.

The movie that came into the discussion was Kevin Costner's “Field of Dreams”. It is a fantastic movie about an Iowa corn farmer (Costner), hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields. The voices were saying “If you build it, he will come”. Against common wisdom, he decided to destroy a big part of his farm, sacrificing his corn, to build a baseball field. People thought he was crazy, his wife Annie, was skeptical, but she allowed him to plow under his corn to build the field.

For a while nothing happened, and He soon faced financial ruin (by this time, I know that you want to hear the full story. Don't you?).

It is a must see movie. That is all I can say.

For me, the movie is a great metaphor. Most of the times we hear “voices” in our heart to follow our dreams, but we decide not to listen to them. They seem to be illogical, they are against common sense, and above all, they are way outside of our comfort zone. What if I fail? What would other people say? Those are common questions that we ask ourselves.

Some others decide to do something about it, but find themselves facing insurmountable challenges, and decide to give up. Very few really move forward in spite of the obstacles, and those are the ones who become our heroes.

What was interesting about the movie was the fact that Costner was obeying the voices without understanding why he was doing what they were asking. He took them by faith and faced the unknown. It was challenging at times when he faced temporary defeat, but he was rewarded big time at the end (of course, I won't tell you

He built the baseball diamond, and for a very long time nothing happened. He thought it would happen immediately but he was wrong.

That is the mistake most of us make. I thought my dreams were going to happen overnight. I have been waiting for ten years now. Yes, there have been successes here and there, but the big one has taken a very long time man! I didn't know I had to fight this hard. I didn't know I had to face mountains, I didn't know I would cry more than once. I didn't know I would have my back against the wall so many times. The list goes on and on, but still, there is no regret at all. Do you know why? Because those dark moments are those who make the victory so sweet.

J. K. Rowling said once that failure is very important, we do not speak about it often, and success is the ability to resist failure or to use failure to achieve success. Most people never try things for fear of failing. Rock bottom is a place where you have nothing to lose, therefore, venture about anything to achieve success. I couldn't agree more

Moral of the story? Do you want to watch a great movie? Come to visit me and you will be inspired.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Journey With Paul

It was almost 9 years ago. I was on my way home after a long day. While on a Subway platform waiting for my train, about ten feet away, I saw a gentleman in a blue jacket and decided to talk to him. I didn't know how to start the conversation. I simply went: “Nice Jacket!”

That little sentence has lead to 9 years of great friendship with Paul my business partner. We have been through a lot together. I remember him helping me register my first business. I was so excited that day that I couldn't contain my joy. I looked Paul in the eyes and said: “Just watch. We are going to change the world”. After these many years, I don't think we have changed the world yet. Just the other day, I was laughing with Paul saying that before changing the world, our job has been to Lol

With all we have been through together, one story is still stuck in my mind. It was in 2004, and there was nothing to show for after months of hard work. Paul, being a huge soccer fan (and average player lol) got a job offer as a manager of a soccer club. That was one of his dream jobs at the time. He successfully passed the interview and was offered the position. To my surprise, he decided not to take the job. I was stunned. How could he let this opportunity pass by? Do you know why he decided not to take the job? Well, it was because of the vision we had together. Can you believe that!!! He gave up his dream job to work with me while I had nothing.

I can go on and on with hundreds of stories. But I will just share this one:

We had a presentation this last Tuesday evening. Paul and I met on Monday evening so that he could help me rehearse my presentation before sharing it with our guests on Tuesday. I had something in mind, but Paul thought it was not enough. He challenged me go dig deeper into my stories and share them in a way that I had never shared before. It took me a while to get his point, but once I got it I was ready to share stories that I had never shared with anyone.

Among the people who attended our event were some close friends. They were shocked to hear what happened in my life these last years. I was able to connect more with the audience by opening up and sharing what I had been hiding for years. It was not an easy thing to do, but I am learning to do it more, thanks to Paul.

He is really a true friend. I will never take him for granted. I hope you won't take your friends for granted. Take time to appreciate them, above all, let them know what they mean to you. Cherish them while they are still around. They are a treasure which can be hard to find.

Thanks so much Paul for all you have done for me.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Journey To a Networking Event.

A few months ago, I received an invitation to a big networking event here in Toronto. I said yes right away but I wasn't a hundred percent sure that I would be there, the reason being that it would be on my birthday. But after all, I thought that it was not a big enough reason for me not to show up as I was not going to celebrate my birthday anyway.

So, last week, with hundreds of other business owners, we were gathered at the Ontario Place for a networking bash. It was a great event. I told Jennifer, the organizer, that she did all of that just to celebrate my birthday. She laughed, but, in a way I did celebrate with all those wonderful people (especially when there is food involved).

As I was standing at our table, a gentleman came over from a corner, as if he had something important to tell me. He asked me to join him where he was. I immediately went to him. His face looked familiar but I couldn't remember where I met him. He looked in my eyes and just said: I don't know if you remember me, but I was at your event in May last year. I heard your speech and I was so inspired. Your story was simply amazing. Keep doing what you're doing.

The guy came just to tell me that. I tell you what! He doesn't know it maybe, but that guy made my day. Do you know when you start doubting yourself (yes, it happens to me more than once lol), when you are thinking that, maybe you have made a huge mistake, and somebody comes and tell you those kinds of words!! Man, it was a breath of fresh air. Funny enough, about ten minutes later, a lady came to me and said: I heard your story last year. You inspired me a lot. Keep doing what you're doing. You are on the right track.

This time I was not doubting anymore. I felt I could fly man. Those two conversations were worth every penny we invested in the event. They brought me back to life.

You see, I have realized that in every dreamer's journey, there comes a point when nothing seems to work. Where every effort we make, it seems that nothing is moving. That's when so many people give up. If that hasn't happened to you, just wait and you will see. But those are great moments if you understand the reasons behind them

Just this morning, I picked up one of my favourite books, namely Bruce Wilkinson's book “The Dream Giver” (if you haven't read it, it is a must read). He beautifully summarizes the dreamer's journey in these terms. He says that Dreamers:

1. Become aware of a personal dream or calling, and then decide to pursue it.
2. Face fear as they leave a place of comfort.
3. Encounter opposition from those around them
4. Endure a season of difficulty that tests their faith.
5. Learn the importance of surrender and consecration to God
6. Fight the giants that stand between them and the fulfillment of their dream
7. Reach their full potential as they achieve their dream and bring honor to God.

Bruce Wilkinson ended this part by saying that the good news for every dreamer is that each stage or obstacle along our journey is intended not to block our dream, but to help us break through to the fulfillment God promises.

So, if you are pursuing your dream, maybe you can relate to the paragraph above. The key is not to give up when the going gets tough. Keep believing, keep the faith and we will see you at the top.
Moral of the story? Do you want to live your dream, just invite me at your event and I will inspire you as I was inspired.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

PS: A shout out to my friend Courtney Caroll for publishing his first book "The Financial Fitness Blueprint"

Click here for more information.

Proud of you my man!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Journey To Sudbury

The month of August is so full of celebrations that I would need a special software to manage them all lol.

Let's see. August 6 was our one year wedding anniversary, August 7 was my wife's birthday, August 8 was both my 10 year anniversary in Canada and 4 years as a Canadian citizen, and this coming August 15 is my birthday (and of course I won't tell you my age, but I am expecting your gifts).

How do you celebrate all of that? How about a trip? That wouldn't be bad at all.

Four times in July I was asked to conduct a series of workshops for French speaking professionals. It was so much fun. When they told me that I would do the same thing in Sudbury, I immediately said yes. So, this last week, it was both work and pleasure as I took my family with me to Sudbury Ontario. It was fun.

Up to the last minute we did not know if we would drive, take the train or fly to Sudbury. We were at Toronto Airport when we were told we would drive after all. Thank God we did. We had so much fun on our way, with Justine (my co-facilitator) driving and making us laugh all the way to Sudbury. Our daughter was so calm all along. The only time she woke up was when she was hungry. Great timing as the cops asked us to stop for a check up. Nothing to worry about. Few hours later we were in Sudbury.

The hotel bed was so comfortable that I do not remember the last time I slept this well. I wanted to move to Sudbury right then.

I left the hotel early in the morning as our workshop was scheduled to begin at 9.30 AM. My wife and kid stayed at the hotel for some extra sleep. They would join us later as it was my time to speak after Justine did her thing. Did I mention that our presentation was happening at an African food restaurant? I couldn't wait to finish my presentation as I was smelling some nice stuff in the kitchen.

As I wrapped up my speech, I went to check my wife in the audience to see how she and the baby were doing. I was hoping for a standing ovation from her (as it was her first time hearing me speak), and she just went: “You spoke so loud that you woke up the baby...”

I guess the standing ovation will come next year...

I won't mention the African food. You don't have twenty four hours to read. It was simply magnificent. My wife says that any food is good for me (which is the truth...), but this food was out of this world. We even brought some for the road. You know that in terms of food I am always open to opportunities. And for me it is always about quantity first lol.

Right after lunch, we hit the road back to Toronto. Three hours later we were home, and the baby started crying. She did not cry for two days, now that we were home, she started doing her thing. Go figure.

It was after an hour of rest that my wife said to me. You do really help people. You should get paid a lot of money to do what you do.

That simple sentence was worth millions of dollars for me. It was the validation from my loved one that I am doing what I am supposed to do with my life: helping people. I can tell you that it is not always easy, but those kinds of words are what I need to keep on going. Words of encouragement are worth the world for me. Yes, I would like to earn more doing what I love to do, but getting my family on board is worth everything. I guess it was good karma, as I was checking my e-mail when we got back, somebody had asked me to do another presentation in October (to which I said yes). September is already booked.

My question to you is this one? What does really drive you? What are the things that keep you going when it's tough? Once you identify those, keep them in front of you. They are your fuel. Once we know why we do what we do, the how doesn't really matter. It will come at the right time.

My family plays a big role in my life, and I am glad they support me.

Moral of the story? Do you want to celebrate with me? Don't ask my age, but please do send me your gifts on August 15.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Journey To The Olympics

Yes I know it's past midnight and I am late posting my blog. But in some parts of the world it's still early. Then I am not late after all (that is my story and I will stick to it).

I also know that, by reading the title of this blog you may think that I am writing from London where the Olympics are happening. I wish.

I am enjoying the Olympics like many of you on TV and Internet. But it is really fun to see how athletes are showcasing their talents on the world stage. How about Usain Bolt and Phelps? We are witnessing historic figures. That is my opinion.

As you may have guessed, my main thing is Basketball. It was funny to see players from Tunisia asking Kobe for an autograph after the game. It looked like they were just happy to be there. Forget about winning the game. Poor Nigeria! They were really swept by Team USA. Melo scored 37 points in just 14 minutes. Team USA broke all the records in that game. The US coach was so pleased that he gave his team a day off before their next game, which was Lithuania. Guess what! Lithuania gave the US their biggest challenge so far. It was a really tough game. The US won, but they learned their lesson. Now they just won against Argentina.

Enough about Basketball. Why in the world did I share this story with you? I think I want to force all of you to become Basketball fans.

Seriously though. I think I can relate to Team USA. I have been in situations when all seemed to work perfectly. Everything I touched turned into gold (like the Nigeria game). It made me so proud that I thought I was invincible. Little did I know that the next phase of my life would be so challenging (like the Lithuania game) that, the successes I had in the past seemed to be distant memories.

Challenges are good though. My experience has been that, those moments show parts of my life that need to change. It can be really ugly to face our flaws, but, trust me, when you do, it is really liberating. Those are though, yet humbling moments. They taught me how to forgive myself when I make mistakes, above all, asking for forgiveness when I hurt others. It's a tough pill to swallow, but challenges prepare us for the next victory. The proof? The US just won over Argentina (which is a great team). Facing a tough Lithuanian team got them ready for their next opponent. And they won

So, if you are facing tough challenges. It's a sign. It's promotion time. Get ready to celebrate.

Moral of the story? Do you wish to win in life? Just watch Basketball and you will get a promotion

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Journey to A Great Story

As I am browsing through my library looking for the next book to read (yes, a little inspiration can always help), I pick up a few books for the next few days. I have read them all in the past, but I wouldn't mind reading them again.

Have you ever read a book or seen a movie for the second or third time and it seems as if it was the first time? You see details that you did not see the first time you read it? That happened to me when I picked Dr. Wayne Dyer's book “Your Sacred Self”. The first time I read the book was in 2004. I read it again a couple of times a few years later, but this time it was like the first time I ever picked it up.

Do you know why I bought the book in the first place? Because of a story written on the very first page of the book. Do you want me to share it with you? Are you sure you want to read it? I hope Wayne won't mind me sharing it with you. It made such a huge impact in my life.

Get ready. Here it comes. It goes like this:

“Imagine this scene if you will. Two babies are in utero confined to the wall of their mother's womb, and they are having a conversation. For the sake of clarity we'll call these twins Ego and Spirit.

Spirit says to Ego, “I know you are going to find this difficult to accept, but I truly believe there is life after birth”. Ego responds, “Don't be ridiculous. Look around you. This is all there is. Why must you always be thinking about something beyond this reality? Accept your lot in life. Make yourself comfortable and forget about all of this after-birth nonsense.”

Spirit quiet down for a while, but her inner voice won't allow her to remain silent any longer. “Ego, now don't get mad, but I have something else to say. I also believe there is a Mother.”
“A Mother!” Ego guffaws. “How can you be so absurd? You've never seen a Mother. Why can't you accept that this is all there is? The idea of a Mother is crazy. You are here alone with me. This is your reality. Now grab hold of that cord. Go into your corner and stop being silly. Trust me, there is no Mother.”

Spirit reluctantly stops her conversation with Ego, but her restlessness soon gets better of her. “Ego,” she implores, “please listen without rejecting my idea. Somehow I thing that those constant pressures we both feel, those movement that make us so uncomfortable sometimes, that continual repositioning and all of that closing in that seems to be taking place as we keep growing, is getting us ready for a place of glowing light, and we will experience it very soon.”

“Now I know you are absolutely insane,” replies Ego. “All you've ever known is darkness. You've never seen light. How can you contemplate such an idea? Those movements and pressures you feel are your reality. You are a distinct separate being. This is your journey. Darkness and pressures and a closed-in feeling are what life is all about. You'll have to fight it as long as you live. Now grab your cord and please stay still”.

Spirit relaxes for a while, but finally she can contain herself no longer. “Ego, I have only one more thing to say and then I'll never bother you again.”

“Go ahead,” Ego responds impatiently.
“I believe all of these pressures and all of this discomfort is not only going to bring us to a new celestial light, but when we experience it, we are going to meet Mother face-to face and know an ecstasy that is beyond anything we have ever experienced up until now.”

“You are really crazy, Spirit. Now I am truly convinced of it”.

Isn't that a great story? I hope you enjoyed it.

Moral of the story? Do you want to get inspired? Just pick up one of your old books and I will tell you a great story.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Journey back to 2004

This is one of those late blogs. I know you were anxious to read it. Yes, I kept my Monday promise (aren't you glad I did?).

The last few weeks have been really crazy. I can't lie and say that I was not challenged. It came down to one thing: rest. Yes, if I wanted to remain sane, I had to rest. So, for three and half days, I was away from everything: phone, Internet, work, friends...Otherwise, I couldn't come to my senses.

It was also a time to reflect about where I am and where I want to be (yes, challenges seem to change me into a philosopher...). I slept a lot, but sometimes the baby did not allow me to do it the way I wanted. I now have a lot of catching up to do as I broke some promises about things I was going to do, but didn't. Hope you will understand.

Back to my reflection. Over the week-end, I was thinking about what I was able to accomplish, as well as my challenges. I have to say that 2004 was my most challenging year. As, Napoleon Hill said, every adversity brings an equivalent blessing. I agree with him, but it is hard to think about that when the road is tough. It is only when we look back that we are able to connect the dots, thus understand that the challenges were blessings in disguise.

One single day in 2004 will forever remain in my memory. It was September 1st, six months had passed with no sign of light at the end of the tunnel. I was hopeless. I did have any single penny in my pocket, worse, I did not see any one coming soon. I was working on a project that was failing day by day in front of my eyes. Somebody had given me an office for my work, but this particular day, I couldn't go simply because I did not have the means to do so.

Early morning, I woke up but couldn't even get off my bed. What for? Helpless, I did one thing that I have learned to do ever since: I prayed. My prayer was simple, yet sincere. I just said: “God, if you are out there, this is the time for you to show up. Otherwise, there is no way I can do this. Now the matter is in your hands. I am going back to sleep. If you need me, you will let me know”. Guess what? I went back to sleep.

Five minute into my sleep, the phone rang. The voice was a very familiar one. It was a lady working at a place I had been volunteering for two years as a English-French interpreter. She just went: “Patrick, are you available to do some translation work?” I said yes, hoping that she won't ask me to do it right then, as I had no bus ticket to get there. What followed was simply amazing. She said: “There is a lawyer who has been looking for an interpreter, and he is willing to pay for the work”. Did you hear that? That was a song that I was longing to hear.

Long story short, she gave me the lawyer's phone number, who came to pick me up (lucky me), gave me some work to do for a couple of hours, then paid me enough to cover a month worth of transportation...This was a miracle.

All of this was done before noon. After cashing the cheque, I remembered one thing. Do you know what it was? Guess!. I remembered my prayer earlier in the morning. Did He deliver or what? In fact He never stopped.

Moral of the story? Do you want to overcome challenges? Just go to sleep and somebody will call you.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Journey to A Month of Fatherhood

Our daughter is today one month old. We celebrated it by the regular doctor's check up. Once again she is fine, she gained weight and she is still beautiful (and I am not bias lol)

It's been a month of numerous adjustments in our lives my wife and I. The first week was crazy. After five days of three hours sleep a night, I thought I was going nuts, so was my wife. We had to adjust and we found a system that works for us. It's good that I work from home most of the times, otherwise it would be hard for my wife to manage it all. Now I really do have an incredible respect for single moms.

Yesterday was one of those nights when my wife couldn't sleep. In the morning, it was my turn to take care of the baby so that my wife could sleep a little. As I was putting the baby to sleep, I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. It will take a while before it sinks in that I am a father.

After spending a month with the baby, I can tell when she is hungry, when she needs sleep, when it's time to change diapers (that is the obvious one lol), and when it's time for fun. She has a way of communicating her needs, and of course as parents we have to address those. Sometimes, she doesn't get exactly what she wants, like when she is crying when we are putting her in a car seat before heading out. We know it's the best thing for her, even though she is crying, we do not back down. We do what we got to do.

As I was holding her in my arms today, I started thinking. There is nothing I cannot do for my child. Whatever she needs, I have to do whatever it takes to make it happen. All she has to do is ask (in her own way). Even though sometimes it hurts, I do things for her to protect her (the car seat...). She often cries when it happens, but it is for own benefit. One day she will understand. There are also things I cannot give her, as she would need to grow up for her to have them. All of this is done out of the love I have for her.

As I was thinking about all the above stuff, an “aha” moment just flashed in my mind. What if God is doing the same thing for us? All we have to do is ask and He will provide everything we need. Sometimes we experience things that hurt (the car seat), but it is for our own benefit and protection. Some other times we ask for things but don't get them, and all that God is saying is: grow up!

All the above things are done out of the love He has for us. Is that cool or what?

Moral of the story? Do you want to experience an “aha” moment? Just ask for things. If you don't get them, the message is clear: grow up!

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Journey to a Dream Come True

I had quite a busy week-end but it was really worth it. I had really fun doing what I love to do, maybe too much, as I came home rushing to give a hand to my wife. She was really exhausted. My absence at home this week-end was felt.

In less than a month from now (on August 8 to be exact), it will be ten years that I am in Canada. What a journey! As Steve Jobs said once, it is when we look back that we are able to connect the dots. Now when I look back, I can see how everything that I went through had lead to this moment. It hasn't been easy at all, but it was worth it.

Ten years ago, I thought I was Superman. I am telling you, I was very confident and full of pride ( it was my way or the highway). If you were me, you would feel the same.

Let's see.

At the end of my high school I said that I wanted to study English at University: check. I did that. Before the end of University, I said I would be an English teacher at my former high school:check, I did that. I wanted to work in the media: check. I wanted to win championships as a Basketball coach, and seven years later, my team had won over fifteen trophies: check. In September 2001, I made a decision that on August 15, 2002 I would be in Canada and I was here on August 8: check. Once in Canada, I said to my friends that if I don't work in a radio station I will never work in Canada. Six months later I was the Project Manager of the first French community radio station in Toronto. This time, I KNEW I was Superman. Little did I know what was coming next.

In the month of March 2004, I decided to quit my job so that I could follow my dream. I wanted to do a big concert in Africa to help kids. Did I say that I had no savings to fall back on? Remember: I was Superman. I didn't care. The next nine months were humbling moments for me. What used to be Superman was now his shadow. The project failed, and I found myself with no money and no job for quite a long time. Something had to change. I had to change.

I had to figure out what went wrong. Thankfully I found a good job that I enjoyed. I decided to dedicate myself to serious growth. I had to grow mentally and spiritually (that was my biggest weakness) as well as my network. I decided to invest all my money into my education. I read thousands of books, attended hundreds of seminars. I was so hungry. I knew my chance would come eventually. I learned to pray, I learned to be patient, challenges had humbled me. I was no longer Superman, but I knew where the real strength was coming from. I am still a work in progress, but I am no longer the same person. In fact, the journey will never end.

At the end of 2010 things started to move drastically. I found the woman of my dreams, I found the people to help me achieve my dream, after seven years in my wonderful job, I decided to jump again into full time business. This time it felt right. It took a leap of faith, but deep down inside of me I knew I was making the right move. The business came with its challenges, but I was ready to face them. This time I knew I was not the one fighting. I had God on my side. In fact, He had been with me all along, but I didn't know it. I thought Superman did not need God.

A few months ago I met a couple at a networking event that Paul (my business partner) and I attended. Now, they are our new business partners, and , oh boy, things started to shift in a big way. We just started our new company called Unleashed Possibilities Inc. The company's vision is to be the leading personal training company that empowers individuals to transform their ideas from a thought to a reality.

Guess what! This week we are launching a coaching program that took us an entire year to put together. We are so exited about it. It is really a dream come true. For those of you who are here in Toronto, I am sending out my personal invitation to our first open house this Wednesday July 11 at 7 pm. Click here for more information

On August 8, I will celebrate my ten years in Canada looking forward to the next ten. I came just by myself and now we will be a family of 3 to celebrate. No other better way

Moral of the story? Do you want to live your dreams? Just think you are Superman and you will become a coach

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Journey to a Film Festival

Very hard to focus on my writing while watching Tom and Jerry on TV. I have to wait until they go to the commercial break for me to proceed writing. It's a hilarious show and it never gets old.

A few weeks ago, my friend in Montreal put me in touch with a movie script writer who just won an award for her movie script. Unfortunately she could not be in Toronto to receive it (she is in Asia for the moment) and she asked me if I could represent her at the movie festival. I said yes, and that's where I was on Friday. It was quite an experience. A group of young actors were reading the script as I was capturing everything on a computer hooked to the Internet so that my friend could follow the event live on Skype. I love technology.

After the festival, I had a couple of places I had to go to before going home. It took me the whole day before I could head home. Almost every ten minutes I would call my wife saying that I am on my way and asking how was the baby doing (oh yes, now I am inquiring about two people...)

It is very rare now that I am not home for an entire day. I have organized my schedule in a way that I am home most of the time. It is really the total opposite of how I used to be. For years, I was only home just in time to watch my two favourite TV shows from eleven pm to midnight before going to bed. How about traveling? From the summer of 2005 to April 2011, I took a trip at least every sixty days (sometimes I traveled 3 times in a month). Now, the last time I took a trip was seven months ago, and I was flying from Burundi after spending four months there.

It's quite a big change, don't you think? The funny part is that I don't miss traveling (I guess I am no longer the Journeyman).

Everything started to change when a former co-worker and friend told me this: “Very soon (I hope) you will start a family. If you keep your schedule the way it is now, I am afraid your family will suffer. You'd better start changing your schedule now before the family comes, otherwise you will have trouble raising your kids, and it will be hard for you to change your schedule drastically when the family is there.”.

What she said made sense for me. So, I slowly started to change things here and there. I was no longer committed to many things at the same time, my extensive traveling started to diminish, and I was even home, most of the times at eight pm. That was long before getting married. Now, I have no problem staying home for longer periods because I am used to it. I do not regret it at all. I love spending time with my family, and our daughter is just a beauty. Last time she fell asleep in my arms as I was holding her, and I thought it was one of the best things that had ever happened to me.

Why did I mention all of that? Just because I want you to get married as well...Just kidding. Seriously though. If you think about the goal you have right now, can you think about changes you can make BEFORE the goal can become a reality? I think you can. Start preparing for the time when you will finally hit your target. How will you be spending your time? What kind of people will you be with? How will you feel at that time? If you start feeling the same right now, if you start now to behave the same way you will behave the day you will reach your goal, it is just a matter of time before reaching it. That has been my experience.

Moral of the story? Do you want to be successful? Just go to a film festival and you will change your schedule.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman