The “Love Fest” continues! Yep, I had YET another incredible spinoff experience from TEDx Stanley Park just this morning, and believe you me, it’s a doozy…! But first, a little pre-amble to set the stage:
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post called “How to Live Life On Your Terms – etc.” which described how writing this blog has exposed me to some very interesting people, all rebels who’ve turned their backs on the traditional “9-5 hamster wheel grind” in order to create unique (and awesome!) lifestyles defined by their personal definitions of what “success” is. I have to say that the amount of positive feedback I got on this post was pretty amazing; people really seemed to resonate with the idea that they could actually take control of their own lives the way these folks have, and some even asked “how” to begin such a life changing process.
In the post I pointed out the first step; being if you find someone particularly interesting, then simply ASK them questions. It’s really that easy; in fact, that’s how I got to meet all of these amazing folks myself! Even better, when I did approach them, every single one of them was both receptive, and very generous with their time and knowledge. Usually I connected with them first by email, then maybe Skype or a phone call; Heck, a couple of times I got really lucky and was able to meet them in person – very cool!
“So”, you may be wondering, “How did you know these strangers would be open, kind, generous and over-the-top awesome enough to entertain your questions?” That’s easy – I happen to believe that it’s these exact qualities that give them the courage, power and strength to live life on their own terms; and understanding this, I also believed that’s why they are happy to talk to me – or anyone – and answer our questions, and share their wisdom in order to help us be successful as well.
If this all sounds good, but still a bit scary (“What me? Approach a stranger? Are you kidding?!”) it’s really not; in fact, duplicating/creating their similar (& amazing!) experiences only takes two steps:
First we must start a conversation; and once it’s started, we must ask good questions that can help us understand the journey they are on – both the good and the bad – so we understand their story, fully and completely. And those times when these stories resonate with us, we can extract clues and ideas on ways we too, can emulate in order to make similar changes in our own lives – you know, in case we ever choose to do so.
And trust me when I say that once we get these conversations started, there’s no telling what spinoff they will have for us! Why, just this past Thursday I had another such experience; one that was incredible, and that actually had it’s genesis almost a year ago – last August, to be exact. Here’s what happened:
If you follow this blog you’ll know that a few years ago Paula and I travelled to Peru where, on a train to Machu Picchu I met the remarkable Lewis family comprising of Dad “J.D.” and sons Jackson and Buck. After a 3 hour riveting conversation about their philanthropy work in twelve countries in twelve months, I promised and committed to meet up with the guys again, only this time it would be on their home turf in North Carolina.
Honouring my word, last summer (about 20 months later) I hopped on a couple of planes and flew clear across my country, and then down a bit to his country in order to spend a couple of days with the Lewis family, before heading with J.D. (and 21 of his acting students) way up in the mountains of Ashville, N.C. to participate in “The Artists Weekend”; this would be three days of self-discovery, hardcore goal setting and some serious life direction. To say this weekend was life-changing is like saying Starbucks is a coffee shop. I mean, it was off the charts in all aspects, and the people that I got to meet there were really remarkable as well. (More on that amazing experience here)
Anyway, one of the concepts J.D. introduced was all about how having faith in things working out was half the battle; and that worrying about things really does nobody any good, nor helps in any way. Then he talked about a little book that really expanded on this idea – “E-2” (E-Squared) by New York Times Best-selling author Pam Grout, and recommended we all read it sooner than later, and do the fun little experiments inside to prove these theories to be true.
I was so intrigued by this endorsement that the moment I got home I jumped onto amazon and ordered it. Once it arrived, I began reading it; and was immediately hooked on the ideas and philosophies outlined in E-2. Pam’s approach is very unique and cool – she writes with a lot of humour, but stays grounded in her message. Best of all, she has readers do little experiments to prove that the universe is (a) in charge, and (b) will listen to you if you ask with an open heart and mind. Here’s the post I wrote about it.
Anyway, I quickly learned that this stuff really works, and changed my approach to life to demand what I want shows up someway, some how; and by the way, so far it’s yielded me some pretty fantastic results! Paula and I make a joke (not really!) every time we need something by saying “We’ll just E-2 a parking space”, or “We’ll just E-2 the $8,000+ we need to go to India”, etc. and guess what? IT ALWAYS WORKS. Yep, we always get the “rock star” parking spots right out in front of our destination; and in case you hadn’t heard, we made it to India all thanks to an “E-2” influenced monster tax return! Just in case it’s not obvious, understanding and subscribing to this incredible philosophy (I’d go as far as saying “giving into” this philosophy) is step 2 in living life on your own terms.
Which brings me to this awesome spinoff experience I mentioned earlier. When preparing for my recent TEDx Stanley Park speaking opportunity, I was very nervous, to say the least, but thought I’d best turn to the power of E-2 to bail me out, which it did… On three separate occasions! I was so blown away by it, I wrote a post describing my experience. Once I finished, I thought “Hey, this is pretty cool – I should tell Pam Grout about it!” which I did… and yesterday morning – much to my happy surprise – she replied to me.
I got a lovely email from Pam asking if she could share my story (Hmmm… let me think… Hmmm… YES!!) and Boom! 10 minutes later she sent me a link to her post, which is here. I couldn’t believe the speed, generosity and kindness which she executed this… okay, that’s not true. I couldn’t believe the speed for sure – man, Spiderman couldn’t have moved faster! But the kindness and generosity? Of course I could – because as mentioned, that’s how remarkable people to questions and/or requests from others. Awesome.
My point is this: If you ever read a great blog post, or an interesting book or a cool magazine article and think “Boy, I sure wish I could ask that person a question or two” understand that you probably can – but only if you take the first step and actually ask them! In fact, this tactic works for just about anything, as long as you are willing to do it. And no, it’s not scary, not one bit.
But once you do ask and get the ball rolling, and stay open-minded, and then keep on asking questions and acting on the answers, no telling what amazing experiences you will have, or incredible people you will connect with – just like what has happened for me. Seriously, who’d of thought that by sitting on a certain train seat in Peru three years ago would have set in motion the chain of events that lead me to getting an email from one of my favourite authors? I know who… E-SQUARED Thinkers!
So a HUGE shout out to Pam Grout for her kind endorsement! (and also for calling my blog fabulously!) And just in case you haven’t read it yet, get E-2 and it’s baby brother E-3; then go out and get all the good stuff that the universe has in store for you as well!
And with that I’ll say “Cheers!”; now go out and enjoy what is bound to be a HUGE “E-Squared” weekend chock full of good times and super-sweet blessings!