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Monday, February 27, 2012

My Journey to a Week of Celebrations

It has been a week of so many celebrations in so many areas. For movie fans, the Oscars took place this past Sunday, for Basketball fans, it was the All Star Week-end festivities, and for me, it was my turn to celebrate the Black History Month ( I was the Master of Ceremony at an event this Saturday).

This is the seventh time I have offered my services as an MC at the same event, and in each year it gets better and better. This year, my good friend Nicolas was performing and, as usual he did his thing and we had loads of fun. But for me, as you all know, the most important thing I pretended that, as the MC, I was very busy so as to avoid lining up for the food. Needless to say I was among the first ones to eat lol.

By the time I got home on Saturday, I was so exhausted that I woke up at noon on Sunday. Good thing that I had no other engagements for the day, except watching the NBA all star game and the Oscars back and forth. By the time I woke up today, I was ready to go to my workshop at 9 am.

On my way to the workshop, I started thinking about all the festivities of the week-end. The Oscars were celebrating the best in the movie industry, the NBA was celebrating the best in the game, and the whole month of February we are celebrating Black culture and heritage. Isn't that wonderful?

I started dreaming a little bit. How about celebrating every day? Celebrating what? You may ask. Celebrating life itself. In my opinion, life is a miracle. We really don't know what will happen to us tomorrow. How about ten minutes from now? Do you know what will happen to you? It could be something good or bad, but the fact is, we really don't know. Every second that we live is a precious moment. How about celebrating it? It doesn't have to be a big celebration, but I am learning to live my life, experiencing every moment as it comes.

Moral of the story? Do you want to fully celebrate your life? Just have some food and invite me, we will celebrate together.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Journey to a New Season

It has been a wonderful TV week lately. Between the “Linsanity” taking the sport world by the storm (and in the process crushing my Raptors) and Tony Robbins being a guest on an Oprah show, I had a blast.

For those of you who are not Basketball fans, maybe it is your first time hearing about the term “Linsanity”. It is simply a word that fans created out of the insane few weeks that the new Basketball sensation Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks has been having. This kid is something. It's nothing short of a miracle what is happening to him.

Out of Harvard (which is not a great Basketball school), Jeremy tried to find a professional team that could use his services. Luckily, the Golden State Warriors took him, but only for a short period of time. He got let go, and Houston took him for a while before cutting him as well. Out of desperation because of a lack of point guards, New York picked him for a 10 day contract, but sent him to the development league where he played just one game. He was called back by New York because of the tons of injuries in the team, the New York coach took a chance and gave Jeremy an opportunity to play. Oh boy, the kid became an overnight sensation leading New York to 7 straight wins, including a 38 points game against Kobe and the Lakers.

At this time, you must be asking yourself if you are reading a sport column or something. Enough of Basketball now.

Two days ago, I received a text from a good friend of mine telling me to watch Oprah's network on Sunday at 9pm. According to my friend, Oprah would have a friend of mine on her show. I started asking myself whose friend it was. I laughed so much when I found out that the guest would be Tony Robbins. My friend knows I am a big fan of Tony, so she made sure I watched the show.

After begging my wife to not watch her favourite show on Sunday, she agreed to let me watch Oprah at 9 PM. I have watched Tony so many times, but every time I get a chance to listen to him, I always learn something new . He is a powerhouse speaker with lots of energy.

He mentioned something on the show that caught my attention. He said that in life there are seasons. And every season is here to come and then to pass. Nothing is permanent. Oh boy, I needed to hear that. I am in a new season, and it is not very comfortable all the time. So to be reminded that this is not permanent was music to my ears.

Think of Jeremy Lin for a moment. He was let go by two teams, to be picked up by New York for just 10 days (talk about insecurity right there), which at first sent him to the development league, and called him back to the main team because of injuries to some players. Jeremy did not know that he was about to start a new season in which he would be a worldwide superstar. What a story!

So, if you are going through tough times, just know that it is for a season, they will come and they will pass. A new season is about to start, and everything you went through will be lessons you had to learn to go to the next level.

Moral of the story? Do you want to start a new season in your life? Just watch Basketball and Jeremy Lin will inspire you

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Journey to a Meeting with an Eleven Old Genius

This time I did not need Jim to remind me about writing my blog. I knew exactly what I was going to write about. But I took some time to process my thoughts. I can't stop thinking about Whitney Houston passing away. The world just missed one of the best in the history of entertainment. That's my opinion.

It's been quite a week! We attended a networking event last Tuesday, and a number of people we met showed interest in what we do and wanted to attend a series of events we had scheduled. Actually, I just returned from one of them and oh what a fun time I am having delivering the presentations.

Last Saturday, Paul, my friend Bonnie and I had an event early in the morning, and it seemed like the weather was not going to work with us. Nevertheless, we had a packed house in spite of the snow.

On our way to the event, Paul decided to go to the store and buy a light bulb and an airplane (not a real one of course. It was a toy). In my mind, I was like “what in the world is he going to do with these two items”?

Off we went to our meeting. After a few words by Bonnie and myself, it was Paul's turn to speak. I wanted to see what he was going to do with the two items he had bought. It looked like a slam dunk contest at the NBA All Star Game with players bringing their own props.

Paul asked us to go back into our past to when we were very young, let's say 11 years; (I won't tell you what I was doing at eleven...). Here is how his presentation went:

“Imagine you are eleven years old and you are in school. The teacher comes to you and ask you to pack your stuff and go home. He tells you not to ever come back to class again because you will never amount to anything. How would you feel?” Above all, how would your mother react?

Paul let us say what we thought and then went: “Do you know that Edison experienced something similar to this: when he was seven years, after spending about 12 weeks in school, Edison's teacher lost patience with him and called him addled. In other words, his teacher basically implied that Edison was very confused and would probably not amount to anything. Remember, he was only 7 years? But this did not stop Edison from being credited for inventing the first practical light bulb...” Paul then showed us the light bulb that he had bought from the store.

I knew about Thomas Edison's story, but the way Paul put it made us all really think and put ourselves in a similar situation. Kids are so fragile at a young age, and they all believe what we tell them. His teacher was wrong, but his mother was right. Yes, his mother believed in him and encouraged him to go after his dreams. We know that he failed so many times before inventing the first practical light bulb which he did by improving on a 50 year old idea. It's a good thing he followed his dreams - can you imagine if he didn't and you had to read my blog in candle light.

Now my question to you is very simple. Who are you listening to when it comes to your dream? Do you believe those who say to you that you will never make it? If that is the case, please stop and just listen to one person and one person only. Do you know who that person is? Can you guess? It'! Yes. Please listen to me. If you have a dream in your heart, please pursue it. Don't stop believing even when it looks like there is no way out. Keep going and you will get there. That's the Journeyman's prediction.

Moral of the story? Do you want to make it in life? Keep listening to me and you will buy a light bulb

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Journey to an Almost Forgotten Blog

I am heading to a meeting with our new business partner, my mind is already on our tomorrow's event (a big one), and all of sudden I hear my phone beeping. It's Jim. And I read: “are you posting your blog today?” Shoot. I had completely forgotten about my blog. Thanks to Jim, you are now reading today's blog. I texted him back saying that the blog would be ready in 45 minutes. That was before noon. Now it is almost 10.30 PM and the blog is not finished yet. That how busy I was today.

I must admit that I would have finished the blog earlier, but my wife found a way for us to watch back to back episodes of “The Mentalist” and I am writing during commercial breaks (yes I can multitask...). Plus, the Raptors are playing double overtime (and just lost)...

The good thing is that, along the way, I got inspired and now know exactly what I am going to write about.

After my text to Jim, a friend of mine (freshly arrived from Burundi) came at our house with a package for me, sent by my mom. I wouldn't say that the package was for me as 90% of the stuff were things that my mom sent to my wife. I am jealous now. I used to be the only one receiving stuff, now I am back to the bench (just like my Basketball years lol). My wife was happy, so I guess I am happy too.

As I was saying goodbye to my friend, he agreed to give me a ride to pick up some Goal Achievers promotional materials. On our way, he told me what he has been doing in Burundi (outside of his business activities). Just for the record, my friend is a very successful business owner, but above all he has a very big heart (no wonder he is succeeding). Do you know that for the last 4 months or so, he has been sending food to sick people in hospitals? He also has been paying for hospital fees for those who couldn't afford it. All of that using his own money, paying people to go to buy the food and cook it. I was like. Are you serious!!!?? Boy I was inspired.

I was aware that in Burundi, most of the times people who cannot pay for hospital fees are obliged to stay in hospital (even though they are no longer sick) until they can pay them. Some of them stay in hospital for months before they get out. Yes I know. It's crazy, but that is the reality. And my friend has been helping hundreds of them anonymously. Now he is at the point where he cannot continue to do it alone. He needs help because there are hundreds of people who need help.

We agreed to meet another time so that we could brainstorm on ideas of how we can get more people involved in this. Before I said goodbye to him, I asked for his permission to talk about this in my blog, maybe somebody would like to join us. He said yes, and here it is. Please do e-mail me at if you would like to join us and make a difference.

Moral of the story? Do you want to make a difference? Just give me a ride and I will mention you in my blog

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman