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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