Hi. I’m Andre. I am 45 years old.
My history is no different from the average guy. And I think that is why it is relevant to tell you a little bit about it. Because I hope it will prevent some of you to fall in the same holes that I did.
You know when you start in life the only data you have about it is what other people say. We seek knowledge from the authoritative figures in our lives: parents, teachers, family, friends… And when you see most of those people singing the same song, you tell yourself “that’s life”. And you emulate what you see.
Skip the early years; I got out of University, body like a Greek god. My Bachelor in Economics in my pocket. The world was mine to take… And what did the authoritative figures I followed back then were singing? “Go to school and find a good job”. That is what I did. I wanted to work in the corporate world. I wanted to be a business man. I got into the corporate world and I’m… a cubicle slave. This does not happen overnight
I met a wonderful woman. We got married, got two wonderful kids that are my life, a house, car and a dog. The American dream. And the debts that goes with it. And when you need the pay check to make the minimum payments to your debtors, that is when you start the path of slavery. You sell yourself for that pay check. Work late at night, during the weekends because I needed to please management. One has to keep his job you know… to pay the bills Then I started to pile fat.
And from one job to another in my career, I never really took time to value the assets of my most important client: ME! Then I divorced, moved on, new home new career all that jazz!
Training here and there. Never serious about it. I have no time for training. You know the drill don’t you? You’ve been there or are here now. Or you’re on the verge to be. I knew all along that something was missing. I didn’t know what it was at first. You know when you’re about to leave home and you know you are forgetting something but just can’t seem to know what? That’s the feeling. And then it dawned on me! I’m missing me!
Where is Andre? The young chap that wanted to travel the world, meet interesting people. Fight with alligators and capture lions in the wild? I had forgotten myself. The next quarterly finance report got more important to finish and polish than reconnecting with the true me.
It took me 20 years to realize that believe it or not. Twenty years of singing the same song as everyone else around me and not knowing that this was not my song. Stupid isn’t i? “This would never happen to me” would you say to yourself? Think again. I said it myself too. Not knowing that I was slowly, silently slipping down the hill.
Do you know the allegory of the frog? A frog is placed into a cauldron. The temperature of the water is nice and the frog is happily swimming. Then you turn on the heat. The water is slowly getting hot. The frog likes it. It’s becoming warm and nice. The water gets hotter. The frog senses that its getting hot but its so nicely warm.
And it’s getting sleepy. And before it’s knows it. The frog gets cooked. Moral of the story? Slow changes however bad to us, can over take us without even knowing it.
So I decided that this was enough.
On July 2011 after a noon run, I subscribe to the 10 Km from the Montreal Marathon. This is it! I committed! I had to run it now. Two months before the event. Not much time to prepare but that’s that! And I did it!. Now I won’t tell you my time. But I finished it. And this started the flood gate of my change. I read about John Goddard and his life list. This man took a pen and sheet of paper when he was in his youth and he decided to list all the things he wanted to accomplish on this Earth before he leaves.
He came up with a list of 127 thinks to do. That went from going down the Nile River to learning languages to milking a poisonous snake! And he vowed to never cross anything from his list because there is no goal that is stupid. That includes his youth’s dream of playing Tarzan in a movie.
It fired my inspiration! I sat down and recollected all my youth dreams, and the ones I have now. And I made my own life list. I came up with 53 things I want to do before I leave. Not as impressive as Mr. Goddard, but it’s to content that counts not the length.
Will I succeed? I don’t know. But just as I did for the Marathon. I commit myself to my body and my mind and my dreams. Either I will succeed or crash and burn. And what the hell! Did Steve Jobs stopped and said to himself “Wait! What if I fail?”
I’m telling you all of this because I am a someone who believes that anyone can get in shape, get healthy, get things done beyond one’s wildest dreams and be happy. And have fun while doing it.
As per Mr. Goddard. He left us on May 17th 2013 at the venerable age of 88 years old. I don’t know what is written on his tomb. But this should be something like this: “Here lies John Goddard, 1924 – 2013… I lived!”
For myself. I will paraphrase a part in Atlas Shrugged. My best book ever read. Once I die and meet all the people I’ve known, family and all in the heavens (if such thing exists). The one thing I want them to tell me when I arrive is: “Well done!”
How about you? What makes you vibrate? What’s on your life list? Dare to start one? And share it!