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Monday, October 27, 2014

My Journey to a Change

I haven’t been on this earth long enough to claim that I know a lot, but the little I know has shown me that people do change. Who I am now is not who I used to be. Am I getting better as I age like it is the case for wine? I really don’t know.

I remember many years ago as Paul my business partner and I spoke about what we would like to create in the future, he told me that I would be the front man of our company, and he would work behind the scenes.

He kept his word for a long time. I can assure you that he made me look good on numerous occasions while he did most of the work. My job was to go out and present; I had a very good deal.

That was a few years ago. I guess I did a very good job at presenting our stuff (at least that is what I tell myself). Well guess what happened a little over a year ago? Paul went out and got his coaching certificate and now he is presenting workshops with me and coaching as well. I think I inspired him lol.  He even did an entire presentation the other day by himself.

Now don’t get me wrong, Paul is a very good presenter. He has done this at his job before on a number of occasions. But somehow, he decided to be the behind the scenes guy in our company (maybe he thought I was the good looking one between both of us lol). People do really change and now he is the front man.

In fact, we are preparing to host a workshop on Saturday November 8th. As usual, Paul is doing all the work, and I am getting ready to look good again thanks to him. This time, I don’t think I will look good for a long time as he will be doing most of the presentation. I think I went from being the front man to being a cheerleader for Paul lol. People do really change.

If you are in the Toronto area, you are invited to this workshop as well. Click here for more information

Seriously though,if you are in a relationship with someone (could be professional or otherwise), please allow them to be who they are. Allow the relationship to evolve without any hindrance, because people do change. At least, that is what I learned with Paul.

I am looking forward to seeing you on Saturday November 8 but please register as soon as possible because seats are very limited and it is almost 50 percent booked.

Moral of the story? Do you want your life to change? Come to our workshop and you will meet Paul. You will be doing all the work while I look good lol
Always a pleasure
Patrick
The Journeyman

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Journey With Richard

You might be wondering who the heck is Richard.
He is a gentleman I met a while ago when I was participating in a training program for coaches. For two days, I was part of a class where we learned how to customize our coaching approach when working with new immigrants to Canada. The training was amazing and I am looking forward to the next part where we will be assigned a person to coach for 6 months.

During the first day of training, they told us they would bring somebody to share a story about how the coaching program had helped him to find his first job in Canada. Richard was the guy.

He was well dressed, he was funny and he was ready to share his story.

Richard has been in Canada for only five months now. He was a very successful professional in his native country and also had experience working in many Asian countries. He was very successful before coming to Canada.

When he started to share his story it didn't take too long to realize that his first days in Canada were very tough. I won't go into details about what he shared with us, but I was moved to tears. It was a very inspiring true story.

At the end of his presentation, he shared that before coming to Canada he had a plan (he showed us his very impressive plan). Guess what? Despite all the challenges he went through, he recently hit his first goal in less than five months in Canada. He is a man on a mission. I was very much inspired.

This brings me to the reason why I am sharing Richard's story with you.

You see, the entire training was very good for us (and the trainer was amazing). But hearing Richard's story was something else. I can't stop thinking about it, which leads me to this question: what is your story? What are the three moments of your life that you credit for making you the person  you are today?

If you stop and think about it, you will be amazed how your life can be summed up in a few "events" that led to where you are now;  and when you share your story with someone else, you have no idea how impact full it can be.

My challenge to you is to share your story with somebody and listen to his or hers as well. Not only will you find that you have many things in common with that person, but you will also be an inspiration to him, or her. Richard was my inspiration, and I am glad I was there to listen to him.

Moral of the story? Do you want to have a plan for your life? Just tell your story and you will meet Richard.

Always a pleasure

Patrick
The Journeyman

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Journey Back to Montreal


I recently returned from a three day trip to Montreal where I hosted an event organized by "Ishaka", a Burundian traditional dance group from Ottawa. This is the second time that these ladies have asked me to be the MC of their event.

The trip was also an opportunity to get away from the usual and get a little bit of rest.  The event was phenomenal. It was close to perfection. The group's preparedness, their professionalism and their excellence made me feel proud to be Burundian. I have hosted many events over the past years, but I have never experienced anything like this. I had the opportunity to work with backstage producers, sound engineers and stage managers...It was a blast!

The beautiful Theatre Outremont was full to capacity and the crowd was really into it. The music and the dances were well performed by the young ladies with their beautiful smiles. I could tell they were having fun.

As I arrived early to the venue for the rehearsals, I was moved to tears while watching them perform a Burundian traditional dance over Bob Marley's song "One love". Wow! It was something.  When the real show was about to wrap up, my good friends Nicolas and Kijanya performed a song accompanied by the famous Burundian drummers. Man, I can't stop thinking about it. It was a great moment.

From what I could see, these ladies took their passion very seriously. They worked long and hard and asked for help when needed. Most of all, they worked perfectly as a team with no ego involved; and if I am not mistaken, this is the recipe for success. Find a passion, work hard, have fun while doing it, be humble to ask for help when needed and shoot for excellence. Ishaka does it, and they do it so well. 

Thanks a lot ladies for your inspiration. You made my day on Saturday!

Moral of the story? How about you tell me?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Journey with Cecilia

 
It was almost four years ago when I met Cecilia for the first time. I was part of a coaching and training program where Cecilia was one of the three people who were assigned to me for coaching. The program was set to last seven months and included four trips to New York.

By the way, did you realize that I am back to blogging again? Yes Jim, I am back...

Now back to Cecilia.

During the seven months I spent working with Cecilia, I developed a friendship with her that is still there after four years. While I was trying my best to help her, she ended up being the one who inspired me to become a better person and a stronger leader.

A few weeks ago, while speaking to her on the phone, she mentioned to me that her business was thriving and that she was dealing better with life's challenges.  She was in a very good mood and I was happy for her and her business.  What she went on to tell with me during that conversation really surprised me; she told me that my coaching had impacted her life for the better. You see, during our seven month long coaching sessions, we had a phone call scheduled for every Monday at 5pm. Even to this day I can remember her telling me every time, “Patrick you are awesome."  Do you know why? Well, its because every Monday at 4:59pm, her phone rang. It was me calling her and I was never late. What she doesn’t know is that I had set an alarm for 4:55pm to remind me about the call.

Nevertheless, what mattered to her was that I was never late. It is something that inspired her so much that she started to implement it in her life and business. For me, it was something simple, but which had a huge impact in Cecilia’s life.

Now, Cecilia tells me, even her children are aware of time management. They are never late. Cecilia’s clients know her as a business woman who always delivers on time and for this they respect her.  Cecilia has raised her standards so high that everybody around her has to conform to her way of working and doing things. How cool is that?

I almost had tears in my eyes while listening to Cecilia share all of this with me.  You have no idea what a positive impact an encouraging word can have on someone; and on this day, I was the someone that Cecilia's words positively impacted.  I will admit that sometimes I doubt myself and have second thoughts about things; in fact, there are things in the past for which I feel guilty  but, when someone tells me the kind of words that Cecilia told me, it is like a fuel of new energy. I can go on for one more day. That is what it takes. Press on one more day.

Thank you Cecilia.
 
Moral of the story? Do you want me to have a good impact on your kids? Just set your alarm for 4:55pm and I will give you a call.
 
Always a pleasure
 
Patrick
The Journeyman.

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Journey to a Weekend Retreat


Have you ever been in a situation when you feel you want to get away from everything?  A place that is far away from the everyday routine, away from the noise, a place where you can calm down and....listen?


This has been my case for some time, but the opportunity never presented itself until this last weekend.



It was a long weekend here in Ontario last week, so it was perfect timing.



Why did I want to get away? You may ask. Simply because I wanted to get some direction. Without getting into the details, I will tell you that I was so angry last week. It doesn't happen a lot, but when it happens, I can get REALLY upset.‎



I was in a situation in which I felt I was unfairly treated and I was not even given a chance to explain myself (in my opinion). I couldn't understand; It was really unfair and there was nothing I could do.



As I was riding on the train going home with my daughter, with my mind wandering all over the place, this guy came near the door where I was standing; he was about to step out of the train.



As he past close to me, I could see that he had a tattoo on his arm.    The message on his tattoo said "When one door closes, God always opens another door". I was like "you got to be kidding me". The message came at the right time for me. I looked at the tattoo guy and I just wanted to tell him "dude, you just made my day", but the train door opened and the guy was out of my life lol.


What are the odds?

Over time I have become accustomed to those kinds of messages. A number of years ago (ten years to be exact), I was going through very tough times. I remember that day vividly. It was the first day of the month and I was wondering how I was going to pay my rent. Nothing seemed to come handy. I remember sitting on the bus, feeling sorry for myself. The bus came to a stop. I looked outside through the window and all of sudden I saw this message on a big billboard: "Talk to your landlord". I was like "this is nuts!!".

Right then, I picked up the phone and called my landlord. I asked her to give me some time before I could pay my rent. She said yes right away. I was like "Thank you Jesus!".

I believe we are being guided. If we pay enough attention, there are signs everywhere to direct us in the right direction. It could be a book we bump into, a friend calling, or even a "misfortune" that comes into our lives to close one door. As Bob Marley said «there is a natural mystic blowing through the air. If you listen carefully now, you will hear".

Moral of the story? Do you want to be guided by signs? Just take the train, and you will meet a guy with a tattoo.

Always a pleasure
Patrick
The Journeyman.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Journey to a Few Days Off

 
 
One of the things that I enjoy a lot (other than good food) is to go to sleep when I am completely exhausted. I like when I go to bed so sleepy that in a few seconds I am snoring (apparently I do).

That was the case this weekend. I was so busy last week that by Friday I looked like a zombie. For more than two years, my daughter has pretty much dictated my schedule (especially in terms of the amount of sleep I get daily), but this last week it was the opposite. Since I commute daily to outside of the city, I woke up very early each morning, dropped my daughter at the daycare and immediately after proceeded to my final destination.

When I went to pick her up at the daycare, they told me that Skylar was sleepy all day long. Needless to say that by Friday, my daughter and I were in the same situation. The only time we did not sleep was when we attended church on Sunday. We slept every other time during the weekend.  My wife could not believe the number of hours we spent sleeping. She said: “You and your daughter are really from Burundi”. She thinks that Burundi people sleep a lot (she is from Rwanda). I think it’s funny.

Guess what, at 3 O’clock in the morning on Monday, my daughter and I were fully awake and with no intention of going back to sleep.  So, as it has been her habit, she asked me to play her favourite song. She has a passion for gospel music. So I did. By 4.30, we went back to sleep. Guess what woke me up at 7 am? I heard my daughter in the other room shouting “amen!” I thought she was at church or something. I guess the gospel music is playing a big part in this, what do you think? She is only two years old by the way.

I think that we are so lucky that our daughter listens to that kind of information at her early age. You could see her sing those songs with her eyes closed. It’s so good to see. No wonder she is always in a good mood. Last week, we were in the train when a lady came to sit near to us.  Skylar looked at her but the lady was not looking at us. My daughter decided to grab her attention by tapping on her shoulder. The lady turned to see who touched her, and when she saw it was my daughter, Skylar just offered her a high five. The lady could not stop laughing for the entire trip. Skylar made her day!

In that moment, I was reminded that that it doesn’t take too much to inspire or positively impact other people. A smile, a high five or a simple hello could be more than enough to bring light into somebody else’s life. Granted, when it comes from a two year old, it can have more impact, still, we can do it too. Next time we meet, don’t be surprised if I give you a high five. I learned it from my daughter.

Moral of the story? Do you want to make people around you laugh? Just call me and I will ask my daughter to give you a high five.

Always a pleasure
 
Patrick
The Journeyman
 
 

    

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Journey to a Few Questions

I have had a few questions in my mind. I am glad it’s only a few questions unlike the Brazilian soccer team that was crushed by Germany (are you kidding me??).

As the questions kept popping in my mind, I did what I always do in search of inspiration; I went back to the texts that changed my life a few years ago. Every time I read it, I learn something new. It never gets old.  I am sure you will enjoy it as well. I know many of you have read it before, but I have no doubt that it will inspire you as if you are reading it for the first time. It said that the author is unknown, but whoever wrote it, he/she was really inspired

Here it is
"Everything Happens for a Reason"
Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.  You never know who these people may be (possibly your roommate, neighbor, teacher, fraternal brother or sister, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger), but when you lock eyes with them, you know that at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower, or heart.

Everything happens for a reason.  Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without the small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight flat road to nowhere.  It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience, help to create who you are and who you become.  Even the bad experiences can be learned from.  In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to when you open your heart.  If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things. Make every day count.

Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen.  Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to.  Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you.  You can make your life anything you wish.  Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.  Most importantly, if you love someone tell them, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.  

And finally, enjoy looking forward to learning a new lesson each day and enjoying the journey
 
Moral of the story? Do you have a few questions of your own? Just watch the soccer world cup and everything will happen for a reason.

Always a pleasure
 
Patrick
The Journeyman

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Journey to a great training session

Once again I am writing this blog using my phone. It is not the most convenient way to do it, but what can you do? We are at the mercy of technology now.

I am on my way to help a couple that I am very close to who are in the process of moving into their new home. It has been a long-time dream of theirs, and I am so happy for them.

A few days ago, I attended a leadership training at my church, and I am so glad I did. It was one of those moments when you are in need of motivation and you happen to be at the right place at the right time. I went home with a new sense of purpose and ready to serve whenever I can.

By the way, I am listening to the radio on my phone and this particular channel decided to play tunes from the eighties. Now I am listening to UB40's "red red wine". Do you remember that one?

Anyways, back to my leadership training.

The trainer, who has become a very good friend of mine, had a very interesting definition of servanthood. He said that it is like when you have your hand burning and you have only one blow of air left. As you are about to use the only blow of air you have left to appease your burning hand, somebody comes to you crying for help as his small finger is burning. You have only one blow of air left, and you decide to blow on the other person's small finger while your entire hand is burning. With no air left in you, you then cry out to God to heal your burning hand.

I thought the analogy was funny, but it was also true.

I cannot begin to count how many times people have come to me asking for help when I also had urgent and desperate matters to deal with as well. What I found funny about these times is that almost one hundred percent of the time; I found solutions to their problems but couldn't seem to find any for mine.

Now it's Michael Jackson's "Man in the mirror" playing. Great song.

I couldn't help but take notice of this analogy especially because this was the second time I heard this kind of a story. A few years ago I was speaking to a well known music producer when he told me that whenever he worked on another person's music it would always be a great success, but when he produced his own album no one seemed to be interested. 

My guess is that we are the kind of people who were born to serve and who find pleasure in seeing other people succeed. I also believe that it is a great way to sow a seed that (figuratively speaking), once it grows, will produce great results at the appointed time. It is this appointed time that I patiently wait for with great expectation.

Moral of the story? Do you want to serve others? Just do it before your hand burns.



Always a pleasure

Patrick
The Journeyman

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Journey to the Left


I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to write this blog and forgot what I was going to write. I can count at least three times that the idea came into my mind and ten minutes later I couldn't even remember the idea.

Maybe it had to do with me being consumed by the victory of the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals. What a show! I have never seen such a selfless team demolish an adversary with such ease. It was an amazing show. Sorry Heat fans; maybe next time.

Now back to my story. The idea came to me (numerous times) while I was feeding my daughter. It seems like she doesn't need my help anymore. It felt like she was telling me  “give me this stupid spoon so I can feed myself”. Of course she did not say these exact words, but that is how I felt.

Being a proud father with a potential legacy of a daughter who enjoys food as much as her dad, I couldn't resist giving her the spoon.

While she fed herself, I noticed that she used her left hand. I thought I was mistaken. I tried to take the spoon and put it in her right hand but she just shouted “mine!!”, and put it back in her left hand. Is she left handed or right handed? I really don’t know (this will come in handy many years from now when she starts playing basketball).

All I knew was that only a few minutes later, her dish was empty.

The left hand story got me thinking. I remembered how, a long time ago when we were kids back home in Burundi (a very long time ago according to my wife lol), parents and teachers used to beat up left handed kids while telling them that they were not normal. We had to all use right hands, because “everybody” was doing it. Kids had no choice other than to conform.

Isn't that funny? Those parents and teachers didn't know that it was a brain pattern that made the kids left handed or right handed, and that there was nothing abnormal about it. But for some reason parents felt that they had to be like everybody, or else...

Don’t you think that this is how our society works today? We all have to conform to the norm, otherwise there is something wrong with us. This leads me to two quotes that made my day today.

Here they are:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”.
“Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well.”
couldn't agree more with these two quotes. What about you: do you agree or do you disagree?
Moral of the story? Do you want to be unique? Just eat your food with your left hand and you will meet Gandhi.
Always a pleasure
Patrick
The Journeyman

    

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Journey to the Daycare

As we prepare to celebrate our daughter’s second birthday, I am amazed at how quickly she is growing up. Since she was born, I have taken pictures and videos of her (I think I now have hundreds of them).

While on the subway on our way to her daycare, whenever I want her to keep quiet, I would give her my phone so that she can watch her own videos. I am amazed how, at almost two years old, she knows how to use a phone. She knows where to find the videos; if she does not like one of them, she knows how to switch to the next one. It’s simply incredible. She can do stuff with the phone that even I don’t know how to do.

If she is not using the phone, she simply starts to sing. She sings so loudly that people on the subway can't help but watch and laugh  (I think she is the next Celine Dion). As soon as we get off the train, she begins greeting everybody that we meet with a high five while continuing to sing. It’s quite a journey; and what I have shared with you is only what happens during our morning journey to her daycare.

She is so excited to see me when I return to pick her up in the afternoon.  As soon as she sees me, she stops all that she was doing and runs towards me shouting “daddyyyyy”. She is so excited to see me until we get to her stroller. That is when she starts asking me “what do you have for me today?” I better have something, a snack or anything; or otherwise I am in trouble. In terms of food, she is really like her dad. As soon as she finishes her snack, it’s singing time again, until we get home.

Just the other day, on our way to church we passed by a homeless guy who was begging for money. She saw him and offered him the biggest smile I have ever seen, and she offered him her usual high five. I was amazed!

She is only two years old but she is teaching me many lessons.  I didn't realize how much she had grown until I looked at her pictures from last year. Isn’t it the same for us? We go through life, sometimes complaining that we haven’t reached our goals, until we look back at where we were a year ago. It is certainly the case when it comes to me. I am not where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I used be (especially last year).

Her loud and innocent singing on the subway always amazes me, because she doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. She sings regardless of who is there, and people love it. I wonder how would people perceive an adult who did the same thing? My guess is that people would think there is something wrong with him or her. But when it comes to my daughter they view her as expressing her joy with no fear of being judged. I wish I could do the same.

How about the homeless guy? She doesn't even know if he is homeless. She just smiles at him and gives him a high five. In my mind, I am judging the guy, but she is offering him what she has: a smile and a high five. If only I could do that with everybody.

I can go on and on, because I am learning from her constantly. Like her way of asking me “what did you bring for me today?” It is a reminder for me to always go boldly and ask for what I want. Two days ago, I was rushing to get to the daycare on time, and I did not pass by the store to get her snack. Well you probably guessed what happened; I got into serious in trouble.

As I am write this blog early in the morning, I can’t wait for her to wake up so that I could learn one more lesson from her. Maybe today I will take some singing lessons. That would be really tough for her as I am a hopelessly bad singer.

Moral of the story? Do you want to learn life lessons? Just go to the daycare and you will eat some snacks.

Always a pleasure
Patrick
The Journeyman

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Journey of Two Years

Basketball fans, are you ready for the NBA finals? I am so excited to see the Spurs have revenge over Miami (I know I am getting into trouble here from the Heat fans).

The San Antonio team has been on the top of the game for almost two decades. I can’t help but admire the way they do things. If you are only a regular fan of the game, you must admit that they play beautifully, though less flashy. It is going to be a great series. Wait and see.

In just a few days, our daughter is going to celebrate her second birthday. It has been pure joy seeing her grow and take on her own personality. In fact, she is into singing all the songs she has been learning at the daycare. Although she understands everything we tell her, she is only able to speak a few words.  Her favourite word is “mine!!” I guess she heard me so many times using it to refer to my food lol

The other day I was changing her diapers (yes, it is something I have learned to do) and she didn't want me to change her. She only wanted to keep playing with my phone. She was so focused on her game that she didn't want anybody to distract her. Normally, she is calm when I change her diapers, but that day she was very agitated. Nevertheless, I had to do it, which she did not like at all. She started to cry.

Her crying did not stop me; I kept doing it because I knew it was in her best interest.
I guess you can probably tell what I am going to say next: sometimes we go through things that make us “cry” because we don’t like them. But, most of the times, if we really look at it, it is in our best interest that we experience these situations. All I am saying is that it's something to think about.
 
I think I just broke the record for the shortest blog in almost 5 years. Short and sweet is what my business partner called it.
 
Moral of the story? Do you want to learn a good lesson? Just change the diapers of your daughter and you will celebrate two years with me.
    
Always a pleasure
Patrick
The Journeyman

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Journey with Heather


y Journey with Heather
 
I recently spent the last few days in Ottawa with some amazing leaders. I was there for a conference, and it was an opportunity to meet some of my old friends that I haven’t seen for a while. It was also a well needed change of scenery which came at the right time for me.
 
She was one of my mentors about twelve years ago when I came to Canada. Heather and the other mentors I had took the young boy I was and turned him into a man. I admired Heather so much for her tough skin and her “whatever it takes” attitude. She was an inspiration to me.
 
In 2009, we lost track of each other and we did not keep in touch.
 
Years had past without knowing Heather’s whereabouts. So it was a pleasant surprise when earlier this year I received an e-mail from her asking me if we could meet up. I immediately agreed. I was really looking forward to meeting her after so many years without seeing each other. We had a lot of things to catch up on.
 
Our first meeting was a delight. We laughed so much while talking about our years in business together and our numerous trips to the US.
 
She told me about her passion to help young women who went through numerous abuses. She had been mentoring a number of them, and now she wanted to do it in a more formal way. She asked me if I would help her. How could I refuse such an offer? A few months later,” Mirror Mirror Women Mentoring Program” was born.
 
“Mirror Mirror Women Mentorship Program” is a Not-For-Profit organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The idea of creating the organization was born out of the need to empower women particularly those who have been victims of sexual, physical, cultural and emotional abuse, and who face a number of challenges with their self-esteem and self-condemnation.

I haven’t seen anybody as determined as Heather. She is out there meeting people, working tirelessly to make her dream come true. It is a true honour to work with her.

This is my shout out to all of you who would like to make a difference in young women lives; Heather needs your help.  Heather is the real deal. Reach out to her, partner with her and you will never regret it.
Moral of the story? Do you want to make a difference with Heather, just contact her and you will laugh a lot while making an impact.
 
Always a pleasure
 
Patrick
The Journeyman.
 
 
    

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Journey of an Elephant

It’s been quite an interesting week in many ways. More downs than ups, but everything is a matter of perspective. Don’t worry, the sequel is over. This is not another new perspective story.

My body is still hurting a bit from the physical effort of last Saturday's Basketball game. I guess the age is catching up. We won with a huge margin; hopefully the San Antonio Spurs will do the same.

Hey Jim, yes the Journeyman is back. Thanks for your enthusiasm. I realize that after my little vacation you are way out front in the page views competition; that being said I will catch up to you very soon. So watch out!

I heard a story of a small ant which was on the  back of a big elephant. As the elephant was riding along, it came across a small bridge. The ant was still on his back. Unfortunately, the bridge was not strong enough to hold the weight of the elephant, so it collapsed. The good news is that the bridge was not high enough so the elephant was not hurt with the collapse.

The ant which managed to remain on the back of the elephant after the bridge collapsed shouted: did you see what the elephant and I did? We just destroyed a bridge!

Do you think the ant weight had anything to do with the bridge being destroyed? The elephant did all the work, yet the ant wanted to take credit for the “work done”.

This story was a strong lesson in humility for me. How long have I tried to take credit for a result when I knew I had little to do with the result? Yet, I would proclaim loud and clear that I was the man!!

Life has a way of bringing us to a place where we have no choice but to gain a new or proper perspective.  Here we go again with perspective. Humility is something I learned the hard way. I was lucky enough to learn the reason why “bad” things were happening to me. Here is the reason why.

And you shall [earnestly] remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and to prove you, to know what was in your [mind and] heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
Your clothing did not become old upon you nor did your feet swell these forty years.
Know also in your [minds and] hearts that, as a man disciplines and instructs his son, so the Lord your God disciplines and instructs you.
So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and [reverently] fear Him.A)" style="">(A)
 
I was humbled indeed
 
Moral of the story?
Do you want to ride on a back of an elephant? Just be humble and you will cross a bridge.
 
Always a pleasure
 
Patrick
The Journeyman

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My Journey to A New Perspective: Part 3

Hollywood has its own sequels, and I am creating mine called "My Journey to A New Perspective". Don't you think that I got the timing right as the new Spiderman is out at the same time as my sequel? I hope my new sequel will have the same success as Spiderman at the box office.
 
I am writing this blog on my way to a wedding where I am Master of Ceremonies. I hope I am finish by the time I get there; especially now that I am trying to get use to my new phone. Yes, I have a new phone. The phone company told me that they are no longer using old models like my phone.  I had to get a new one. The good news is that the new phone comes with two months of free service. I like good deals.
 
I don't know if you had the chance to hear it but I so enjoyed the speech Kevin Durant, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, gave when he well deservedly received the award for Most Valuable Player of the Basketball season. It was a very emotional speech that made many people cry. I have to admit that I was one of them. Click HERE to view the speech.
 
I never knew about the tough times his family went through as he was growing up, raised by a single mother. I have seen his mother numerous times cheering for him at the games, but I didn't realize the enormous part she played in his life. No wonder KD said in his speech that she was the real MVP. When he tearfully said those words, no one in the room was sitting. She received a huge standing ovation from everybody.

Do you know what's so interestingly funny about all of this? It was just on the eve of the speech, that OKC got his butt kicked by the LA Clippers in game one. The next day, inspired by their best player’s speech, Oklahoma came back stronger than ever. Now they are leading in the series.
 
Here is another thing I learned: our tough times will be used to inspire others. I am looking forward to the day I  get to be on the other side. Maybe my troubles will inspire more than one.
 
Moral of the story? Do you want to be part of a Hollywood sequel? Just keep reading my blog and I will meet you at the box office.
 
Always a pleasure
 
Patrick
The Journeyman.
 
 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Journey to A New Perspective: Part 2

Didn’t I tell you that I would be back? Well here I am; I have kept my word.

Now I am going to share something with you on the topic of keeping my word.....actually, I will return to that so stay tune.

First of all, I am still recovering from the heart breaking defeat of the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs. What a series! I have been watching the NBA for many years (of course I won’t tell you how many years, because you will get a hint on my age), and every Playoff series is always better than the previous one. The Raptors put the City on the map with their performance, but the fans were off the charts with their show of support. Cold, rain, traffic, nothing could stop them from coming to celebrate their team in the streets of Toronto. It was simply unbelievable. Now my eyes are on the San Antonio Spurs, my favourite team to win it all.

Wait and see.

Now let's return to the topic of keeping my word.

A few years ago, I completed an intensive training program at one of the top personal development training companies in the word. What I learned was extremely valuable even though sometimes I felt like I was training to be in the Marines. It was intense.

One of the things they would say was that “without integrity nothing works”. They defined integrity as “honouring your word”. In other words, if you say you are going to do something then you must do it. When you miss your mark (which happens to all of us), you have to restore your integrity and put a plan in place so that it doesn't happen again.

I had the opportunity to be part of the coaching team, and instead of it becoming easier it became even more challenging.

I remember being late one day for our 6 o’clock coaches meeting. It was so embarrassing. The funny thing is that I was in the building way before 6 o’clock, but someone asked for my help to fix something, and I agreed to help; unfortunately, I forgot to check the time on my watch. Needless to say, I ended up being 30 seconds late for the meeting. Now to most people being 30 seconds late is no big deal, in fact, many might say that I was still on time. Well, the reality is that as far as my coaching group was concerned I was late and being late was a big deal! Remember: I gave my word that I would be there at 6 o’clock sharp.
You should have seen my face, in front of a dozen of coaches, with all of them looking at me without saying anything. I knew exactly what I had to do at that moment: I had to restore my integrity in front of everybody.

Looking back, I can honestly tell you that I learned a great lesson from this experience. Would you like to know why? When I reflect on my past, most of the times to probably all of the times when I got myself into trouble it was because I did not honour my word.  I did not do what I said I would do. Even now, I still have  to restore my integrity with a number of people. Let me tell you that it is easier said than done, but I pray every day to have the strength to deal with it. Keeping my word and restoring my integrity when I fall short of keeping my word are a couple of the things I was reminded of during my hibernation.

Stay tune for more to come.


Moral of the story? Do you want to avoid being late for 30 seconds? Keep reading my blog and you will restore your integrity.