- Having a clear vision and purpose is essential for inspiring others to follow you and support your goals. A clear vision and purpose provides direction and motivation, and helps others understand why you are doing what you are doing. It also helps you stay focused and motivated, and provides a sense of meaning and fulfillment.To develop a clear vision and purpose, you need to take the time to reflect on your values and what you want to achieve. This might involve asking yourself questions such as:
- What are my values and beliefs?
- What is important to me?
- What do I want to achieve in my life and career?
- What impact do I want to have on the world?
Once you have a clear understanding of your values and what you want to achieve, you can develop a vision and purpose statement that captures the essence of your goals and aspirations. This statement should be clear, concise, and compelling, and should provide direction and motivation for yourself and others.
Once you have a clear vision and purpose, you can share it with others to inspire them to join you on your journey. You can share your vision and purpose through your marketing and communications efforts, as well as through your interactions with others. By sharing your vision and purpose, you can inspire others to believe in your message and follow your lead.
- Being passionate and enthusiastic is an important way to inspire others to get excited about your ideas and projects. When you are passionate and enthusiastic about what you do, others can feel your energy and excitement, and it can motivate them to take action and get involved. Passion and enthusiasm are contagious, and they can help you connect with others and inspire them to believe in your message and follow your lead.To be passionate and enthusiastic, you need to have a deep love and commitment for what you do. This means having a clear understanding of your values and what you want to achieve, and being driven by a sense of purpose and meaning. When you are passionate and enthusiastic about what you do, it shows in your words and actions, and others can feel your energy and excitement.
To show your passion and enthusiasm, you need to be authentic and transparent. This means being open and honest about your experiences, challenges, and successes, and sharing your passion and excitement with others. You can show your passion and enthusiasm through your body language, tone of voice, and the way you communicate with others. By being passionate and enthusiastic, you can inspire others to get excited about your ideas and projects, and motivate them to take action and get involved.
- Being authentic and transparent is an important way to inspire others to trust you and believe in your message. When you are authentic and transparent, you show others that you are genuine and real, and that you have nothing to hide. This can build trust and credibility, and inspire others to believe in your message and follow your lead.To be authentic and transparent, you need to be genuine and honest in your words and actions. This means being open and honest about your experiences, challenges, and successes, and sharing your thoughts and feelings with others. Being authentic and transparent means being vulnerable and showing your true self, even if it means exposing your weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
To show your authenticity and transparency, you need to be consistent in your words and actions. This means being true to your values and beliefs, and being consistent in the way you communicate and interact with others. By being authentic and transparent, you can inspire others to trust you and believe in your message, and motivate them to follow your lead.
- Being positive and optimistic is an important way to inspire others to see the best in themselves and the world around them. A positive and optimistic attitude can be contagious, and it can help others see the opportunities and possibilities instead of the challenges and obstacles. When you are positive and optimistic, you can inspire others to stay motivated and hopeful, even when they face setbacks and challenges.To be positive and optimistic, you need to have a mindset that focuses on the good things in your life and the world around you. This means looking for the silver lining in every situation, and choosing to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Being positive and optimistic means having a positive outlook, and believing that things will work out for the best.
To show your positivity and optimism, you need to be consistent in your words and actions. This means staying positive and optimistic, even when things don’t go as planned. By being positive and optimistic, you can inspire others to see the good in themselves and the world around them, and help them stay motivated and hopeful.
- Being persistent and resilient is an important way to inspire others to persevere and overcome obstacles. Life is full of challenges, and it’s easy to get discouraged and give up. But when you are persistent and resilient, you show others that you are willing to keep going, even when things get tough. This can inspire others to do the same, and help them stay focused and motivated, even when they face setbacks and challenges.To be persistent and resilient, you need to have a mindset that focuses on the long term, and is not easily discouraged by setbacks and challenges. This means being willing to put in the hard work and effort, and staying focused and determined, even when things don’t go as planned. Being persistent and resilient means having the courage to keep going, and the determination to never give up.
To show your persistence and resilience, you need to be consistent in your words and actions. This means staying focused and determined, even when things get tough, and continuing to push forward and pursue your goals. By being persistent and resilient, you can inspire others to persevere and overcome obstacles, and help them stay focused and motivated.
Tag Archive for: Inspiration
Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? If so, you’re in good company. The number of entrepreneurs starting their own businesses has never been higher and continues to grow yearly. But what exactly is an entrepreneur, and how are they different from everyone else? In this blog post, we take a closer look at the life of an entrepreneur and uncover 10 interesting facts about them that might surprise you!
So, do you want to become a successful entrepreneur? If yes, here are the ten interesting facts to know and get inspiration. If you’re ready to become part of the entrepreneurial world, let’s dive right into unlocking these secrets! Read Details Here!
Interesting Facts About Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is an excellent way to escape the traditional 9-5 job, turn your idea into business, and streamline your financial status. Today’s article will highlight the top ten interesting facts about entrepreneurs. Read on!
1. Self-Made Entrepreneurs Become Millionaires
Research shows that 88% of millionaires in the U.S and Canada are self-made entrepreneurs, and 12% inherit money. So, entrepreneurs have the ability to become millionaires if they follow the rules of entrepreneurship and business and work diligently to achieve their goals.
Moreover, entrepreneurs who build and run their businesses with the right strategies are likely to become more successful. It’s possible to make money from your passion, and those who do often become the most successful. You have to put in the effort and energy.
2. Entrepreneurs are their Own Bosses
Entrepreneurs want to become their own bosses. According to Guidant Financial, 26% of entrepreneurs want to achieve financial and corporate freedom. About 23% of entrepreneurs want to pursue their dreams and passions, and 19% become the core motivators to streamline their businesses.
In addition, entrepreneurs want to work on their own terms, pursue their ideas and passions, and strive for success. They don’t stick around with one specific job, and they have the ability to bounce around various industries to find success.
3. Entrepreneurs Love Canada
Although every country has its rules, regulations, and policies for entrepreneurs, research highlights that entrepreneurs love Canada because it ranks third among the G7 countries. According to the GEM report, many factors influence entrepreneurs to start and run successful businesses in Canada.
Additionally, Canada is the second most attractive country for entrepreneurs due to its friendly and open attitudes toward foreign investors. Plus, the country provides excellent business opportunities because of its strong economic and business environment. Moreover, entrepreneurs can access various funding programs, tax incentives, and financial benefits.
4. The Power of Freedom
Entrepreneurs have the power of freedom to their businesses effectively, reliably, and cost-effectively. Your goal as an entrepreneur is to achieve your goals and develop a brand reputation.
Remember, the sky is the limit. The only limitations are the ones they set for themselves. However, you can establish the parameters, set the tone, and continue running a successful business.
It’s essential to be free from the binds of traditional jobs, enjoy your journey, and develop a business model that works for you. Freedom is the ultimate goal, and the best way to get it is by being an entrepreneur. You have the power to make your own decisions, create a business plan, and develop effective strategies.
5. Great Sense of Accomplishment
As an entrepreneur, you can enrich yourself, make substantial efforts toward your goals, and run a successful business. Although you will face various challenges, your commitment to hard work can give you a tremendous sense of self-worth, self-reliance, and self-esteem, encouraging you to achieve your goals.
It’s essential to understand that the journey of entrepreneurship isn’t easy. However, if you stay focused on your mission and remain persistent, the results can be rewarding. Entrepreneurship isn’t just a job or a career – it’s a journey providing an opportunity to experience great accomplishment.
6. Female Entrepreneurs are the Future
The Women Business Enterprise Council reports that women own 40% of businesses in the United States. Female entrepreneurship is on the rise and has increased by 114% in the last two decades. So, women play a critical role in improving entrepreneurial economies.
Furthermore, female entrepreneurs are leading the way in creating better products and services that positively impact their communities. As a result, these businesses provide job opportunities for other women and encourage innovative ideas. This trend will continue to grow in the future, with female entrepreneurs leading the way to greater success and growth.
7. Higher Life Satisfaction
Unlike employees working in various companies, entrepreneurs have higher life satisfaction rates because they have opportunities to turn their ideas into actions, run profitable businesses, build brand reputations, and achieve financial freedom.
Moreover, entrepreneurs enjoy greater freedom, self-fulfillment, and autonomy than regular employees. They are in control of their lives, take calculated risks, and build their dream businesses. As a result, they have higher life satisfaction rates than those employees.
8. Higher Returns on Investments
Entrepreneurs are world-class CEOs and financial managers. Latest reports and analytics show that entrepreneurs in Canada and the U.S run technology companies to generate higher returns on investments. Studies highlight those entrepreneurs starting and running technology corporations generate 35% more ROIs than other companies in other industries.
It’s essential to understand that entrepreneurs are risk-takers. They have the potential to make great profits from small investments in their businesses. As a result, they generate higher returns on investments than any other industry or corporation. You can be a part of this success and make your mark in the entrepreneurial world.
9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Good Mental Health
Although a study by UC Berkeley highlights that 72% of entrepreneurs experience mental health conditions, successful entrepreneurs take care of their mental health, practice self-care, have a morning routine, journal out of their bad feelings, take breaks, practice meditation, and maintain a balanced diet.
Additionally, they have a strong support system and surround themselves with like-minded people. They also have an optimistic outlook, constantly work on their craft, use affirmations to boost their confidence and morale, and focus on their goals. All of these things help them stay mentally healthy, as well as keep their businesses running.
10. Entrepreneurship is on the Rise
There are over 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide. Entrepreneurship is rising because it allows people to start and run successful businesses, gain a better market understanding, and develop profitable brands. Countries with friendly policies will see a whopping economic improvement in the coming years.
It is also gaining traction due to people’s desire to make an impact, leave their mark on the world, and create something meaningful. The rise of the digital age and a global market has made it easier for entrepreneurs to start their businesses and also increase their customer base.
These are some facts about entrepreneurship that are important to consider. If you are thinking about starting a business, you should take these into account. With the right strategies and principles, you can achieve success and make a difference in the world.
Entrepreneurs create new products and services, provide employment opportunities, accelerate economic growth, and support the government, public, and private sectors to improve the socioeconomic climate of a country. They are the reason behind many entrepreneurs’ successes and the solutions to global problems.
It is important to understand that entrepreneurship takes hard work, dedication, and resilience. But with the right mindset and proper planning, you can become a successful entrepreneur in no time. So go out there, make your mark, and create something meaningful.
What is the definition of an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is an individual who takes on the risk and responsibility of starting a business, usually with the goal of making a profit. They typically create new products and services, provide employment opportunities, and support economic growth within their community or country.
What qualities do successful entrepreneurs have?
Successful entrepreneurs have a good understanding of the market, are risk-takers, have good mental health, and are driven by their goals. They also have strong networks, use affirmations to boost their confidence and morale, have an optimistic outlook, and are constantly working on their craft.
Why is entrepreneurship on the rise?
Entrepreneurship is rising because it allows people to start and run successful businesses, gain a better market understanding, and develop profitable brands. Additionally, it is gaining traction due to people’s desire to make an impact, leave their mark on the world, and create something meaningful.
What are the top ten Canadian podcasts to follow and listen to daily or weekly? Check out this post to get the list of the best podcasts!
Podcasts are an excellent way to learn something new or get yourself entertained. There are hundreds of Canadian podcasts available online. However, choosing the best one based on your interest is daunting and time-consuming. Today’s article will list the ten best Canadian podcasts. Read on!
1. Thoughts of the Day with Hannah and Jay
The podcast is ideal for women who want to improve their lives. Hannah and Jay discuss mindset, fitness, lifestyle, and nutrition for women, allowing you to improve your physical, mental, and social life.
2. Flourish: Live an Inspired Life
Flourish is a must-to-listen podcast in Canada if you want to improve and maintain positive self-development. The podcast also benefits parents looking to positively influence their children’s lives, minds, bodies, and hearts. This podcast aims to learn personal development and raise healthy, happy, and successful children.
3. More Money
Do you need financial guidance or want to increase your wealth? Look no further than More Money, a podcast by Jessica Moorhouse will give you financial literacy and money-earning tricks.
4. The Secret Life of Canada
The Secret Life of Canada is the best podcast hosted by Leah-Simon Bowen and Falen Johnson. The podcast is about untold Canadian stories, including myth-building stories, love tales, resistance, and war stories of the past. It will help you learn unconventional history.
5. Worth The Hype
Worth the Hype, hosted by Jenna Macchione and Sarah Munro, teach you how to streamline your personal and business life and become more mindful and ambitious. Sarah and Jenna discuss the latest health and fitness strategies in each episode.
6. Canadian True Crime
Canadian True Crime is another best podcast hosted by Kristi Lee. The podcast talks about the true-crime cases in each episode and gives you details of investigations, court proceedings, and interviews with criminals. Lee has an excellent grip on storytelling to keep you on the edge of the seat.
7. The F Words
Natasha Koifman and Taylor Kaye host the F Words, a podcast that discusses topics starting from the letter “F.” The hosts discuss the film, fashion, fun, family, food, and more. The weekly podcasts have thousands of listeners, particularly women, to learn about different topics.
8. Sandy K Nutrition
Sandy K Nutrition is an excellent podcast for people looking to live healthier lives in their 40s and 50s. The podcast discusses everything from aging, hormonal imbalances, exercise, nutrition, and holistic approaches, allowing people to improve their lives and stay healthier.
9. Canadian Love Map
Canadian Love Map is a podcast about untold stories, including love, curiosity, loss, discovery, family, crime, etc. Nancy Regan hosts the podcasts and invites people to share their stories from different parts of Canada.
10. The Freedom to Live Podcast
The Freedom to Live is a weekly podcast that helps you learn about lifestyle topics, education, research books, medicine, financial health, quotes, advice, tips, etc., to live a healthy and productive life. The podcast is worth listening to if you want to live a meaningful life.
The Honest Talk Podcast
At The Honest Talk, we interview North America’s most influential and inspiring women. Our guests are famous TV hosts and journalists, entrepreneurs and business leaders, and politicians. Hosted by recognized entrepreneurs and leaders Jennifer Stewart and Catherine Clark, The Honest Talk podcast does things differently. We engage in real, honest conversations about the experiences, challenges, aspirations, and lessons shared by our amazing guests. We create a forum that leaves women feeling connected, inspired, and motivated in their careers and personal lives. Check them out. https://www.thehonesttalk.ca/
Learning new things about your life, interest, and hobbies require you to leverage various resources, including podcasts. However, podcasts are not only about education but also entertainment. Until Next Time!
- Article based on personal opinion, experience and research.
- Photos from Unsplash & canva.
Not every kid after high school wants to go to college or continue their education further. Some of them are more tempted to join the workforce right away and find a good job in something they like and would like to learn.
Regarding myself, for instance, I decided to study and work in construction, our subject for this article. See, here’s what happens when you finish high school, we all, or at least most of us, make the mistake of “following the trend” and what pays the most, disregarding what we would love to do and what each one of us, as an individual, is good at.
So, in this article, we will be focusing on the pros and cons of construction as a career, and 5 lessons I learned from working in it.
To begin with, as for construction, you need to be at least 16 years old, pass the provincial qualification exam for the trade covered by the application, successfully complete the health and general safety course for construction sites and have a high school diploma.
However, for most construction labour jobs, a high school diploma is the minimum education requirement. Moreover, trade school teaches you ways on how to become a skilled construction worker.
You’ll learn how to use certain equipment, read plans, tools, heavy machinery and how to drive boom lift machines. Some domains demand long training, like electrician schooling, for instance, takes up to about 9 months in class and 4 years to complete, with 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training each year of your apprenticeship. My first experience in construction was a very cold Monday morning in Montreal Canada. I was shocked, on one hand by the weather, on the other that I couldn’t wear my winter coat because it made it impossible to tie my tool belt around my waist. I learn later that most people wear two layers of hoodies, and that’s the typical winter coat for a construction worker. It was a contract for the city of Montreal, a library for the city of Pierrefonds in West End. As I enter the construction site, I could see the building didn’t even have walls or windows installed. From there, I knew this was going to be a long ride to get to know this domain, but all challenges were accepted, so why not, and spring was about to come shortly.
At this library, I had the chance to be there from the start to the end of the project, it gave me 2 and half years of experience in construction and that was my favourite job site, I learned everything there. My first work partner was Michael, he was 63 years old, he started to work as a tinsmith at the age of 16 years old, that’s all he knew, but he was the best I’ve ever met in the field. For you who don’t know, a tinsmith is someone who is a worker who makes or repairs things of sheet metal such as tinplate.
My first lesson came from Mike, he taught me to always be aware of everything going around me if I don’t want to get hurt. There are more than 100 people on a big commercial job site, such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, elevator mechanics and more. With Mike, we were doing everything from installing ventilation systems to assembling runs for other workers. He taught me how to read a plan, which is very hard to understand the first time because it’s not a plan designed only for you, but for the whole site, and you got to understand every quotation and measure very well so as not to get stopped by a wall or pipeline from somebody else’s work, and Mike only explains once, if you weren’t listening, that’s your problem. Louis was my second work partner; I would share the day with him sometimes when Mike didn’t need my help. He was the best teacher ever because he would make sure you understood well before letting you go. He taught me how to work correctly, to take my time no matter what, because in construction it was harder to redo a job than to just do it once. He showed me how to be fully equipped with clothing and tools, and how to sign up for advantages and insurance. My second lesson was to be patient on everything and never rush.
My first construction site was my favourite and I thought every job site was going to have the same environment and work ethic. It was totally the opposite of that, I never had the chance to be in a great team like the first one and learned again like that. I was, most of the time, getting transferred from job site to job site and that was something that bothered me.
Sometimes mother nature has other plans for you, and that’s where my third lesson will help you be prepared the most. One day, on a hot humid day in Montreal downtown, we were renovating Holt Renfrew Ogilvy; it was really one of the most challenging and demanding sites ever. Most of the stores and offices were still open during the renovation because we were working per section of the building. That day we received 2 full 53” foot trucks full of equipment ventilation docs, ladders, plan tables, isolations, rods, suspension equipment and boxes of tape and glue. We were three apprentices and we all had the same task to empty this truck before lunch. It started to pour rain, not even 15 minutes in and one guy had to go back inside to help the others. We ended up being 2 guys to unload both trucks in the rain, and I always look a day before on how the weather is going to be and by doing that you get to bring more clothes to the job or at least be more prepared, however, on that day I was totally wrong. By the time we finished the wet unloading marathon, I was drenched from head to toe and had to continue the rest of the day like this, there was no easy way I could go home and come back in time, lunch break was only 30 minutes and that was the time it took me to get home.
The fourth lesson in construction always has extra clothing because you never know how the day is going to be.
In the fifth lesson, you got to have your own tools on you. Nobody really likes to share their equipment because equipment gets stolen, I learned that the hard way. At first, I didn’t have a tool bag, it takes time to assemble the right equipment because most of them were expensive and you always have a limited budget.
Most people think that because you finish at two o’clock in the afternoon that your job is amazing. However, waking up at four in the morning, being the only one getting ready to go to work and knowing that at six am it’s time to go to work until two o’clock was tiring physically! During your day, you’re going to walk kilometres of distance along with moving and lifting heavy equipment all day. Most of the time I was working alone and in tough environments, sometimes working at night, doing demolition, working underground and not seeing daylight. It was a lot of things that I didn’t know about and day by day I was losing interest in the job and staying there only for money wasn’t the best route to take. At the end of the day, I was always exhausted both physically and mentally due to the hours I was spending driving and working. I wanted more and knew I was capable of more; a better lifestyle was the only thing I had in mind. Also, on a site, even a minor slip or fall can cause serious injury. While work sites are much safer now than ever before, dangerous work conditions are still something you must always keep in mind before choosing construction work as your livelihood. Construction is a very broad term, and the pay scales will vary depending on the type of construction job you are doing, as well as your skillset. However, compared to other labour jobs, a construction worker can expect to enjoy an excellent paycheck when there is work. Construction is a very broad term, and the pay scales will vary depending on the type of construction job you are doing, as well as your skillset. However, compared to other labour jobs, a construction worker can expect to enjoy an excellent paycheck when there is work. In general, many trades allow you to earn $50,000 or more after you have enough experience. Also, if you own your own business, work for a successful company, or serve in a management/supervisor role, you can earn even more. Another advantage to working in construction is that for many trades, it’s easy to enter the trade and start a career with almost no experience. For many trades, you can start as a labourer, work hard, learn the trade over a few years, and progress in your skills, position, and salary. Many contractors in trades like carpentry, remodelling, and more, are looking for people that are hard-working and willing to learn. During your first two years in construction, you’re going to get tested by the more experienced individuals, depending on your team and company as well. You’re always going to be the one chosen for ‘cleaning day’, which happens to be every Friday, empty the garbage’s in the employee room, empty the Forman truck every morning when he brings material, arrange the storage room daily, isolate the vents with a special glue, and this is all probably what you’re going to be doing for a while from Monday to Friday.
Therefore, you have to be patient no matter what the circumstances are and whatever they throw at you. It’s hard to adapt at first, but after a couple of months, you’re going to get your chance to install and work with the others. If you do good, you’ll probably never do these old tasks again. This is my full two-year experience in the construction world and my first taste of life and adulthood. I learned a lot in those years, I was only seventeen when I started. Being interested in construction helped me fix stuff around the house and being handy; builds character and helps you mature faster. So, for every young man that doesn’t know what to do after high school and wants to experience this field, you will not regret it no matter how it ends.
“The Camino has no religion, no gender, no colour, no bigotry, no misogyny, no racism. It is a human journey for all who want to do it.”
Camino Frances, also known as The Way of Saint James, is a 775 km pilgrimage across northern Spain.
On March 26, 2016, I packed two small bags, boxed up my bike and hopped a plane to Paris. Lugging a clumsy bike box through the narrow Parisian streets, I took a train to Bayonne in southern France, assembled my bike and rode 5 hours to a town in the Pyrenees mountains called Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, where my journey on the Camino began.
The Camino is a secular pilgrimage frequented by people of all faiths, including those with no religious beliefs. On my journeys, I have met people of all genders, ages, sexualities and abilities.
Some of the most common reactions among those who have done it are, “The Camino changes you”, “You’re not the same at the end of the Camino as when you started,” or “The Camino helps you know yourself.”
I didn’t come to find God. I came to find myself. I travelled inwards while also conquering raw outdoor spaces.
The Camino is a human experience where we are all walking together and helping each other along the way.
I saw people carrying each other’s’ bags, some getting bananas for each other, some carrying each other.
Lina Nahhas is a Palestinian-Canadian woman and founder of the Sameness Project who coined the term ‘sameness moment’. As she describes it, The Sameness Moment is when you look into the eyes of another human being, and all preconceived notions about culture and identity melt away so you see them as they truly are.
This explains beautifully what it felt like to be a pilgrim among pilgrims. I saw people helping each other all the time. People would go out of their way to help complete strangers. I saw some carrying others when they were too tired or broken to keep going on their own, sharing their last banana or going out of their way to find water for others.
It didn’t matter what we were – Catholic or Protestant, Muslim or Jewish, man or woman, gay or straight – there was no division, there was no we/they, no rich/poor. There was only one thing: we are all human on a human journey together. People were lifting one another up, all the time.
The following is a short story of help on my Camino.
The German Woman
I chose to go on a part of the trip that most pilgrims skip: the road between Burgos and Leon. As there is not much to do along this route, I wasn’t stopping for many breaks. At one point, I ran out of water. I had biked for 4 hours straight and reached a part where there was 35 KM left till the next stop. I was getting dehydrated and needed water. I even considered drinking from a puddle on the road, but I kept it together, talking myself into being okay. I paced myself and kept moving, trying to expend as little energy as possible.
The last 10 km had me worried. I was lightheaded and felt like passing out. Out of nowhere, I saw a woman looking around. I stopped and asked her for water. She gave me a bottle and I guzzled it down without thinking until I realized there were only a few sips left. I asked her if it was ok to finish it and she said yes.
I finished the water and thanked her, gave her a hug and asked her if she wanted company for the next 7 km. We walked all the way there together.
I learned all about her and the reason she was walking. She waited until we reached the hostel and then ran to the water, as I did. That is when I realized that she had given me all she had. I felt so blessed and, for that brief moment, I had so much hope for humanity.
The Jewish American Woman
I’m a proud Canadian, but as I mentioned, my origins are Lebanese. Growing up in Lebanon, you don’t hear much about Jewish people. When I moved to Montreal, I had my first bagel, I ate smoked meat and I made friends with Jewish people, I owe a lot of opportunities in my life and career to my Jewish friends. Sameness. The more I mingled with these people I had been discouraged from mingling with, the more I understood that we shared the same hopes, dreams and aspirations. Even the same worries and concerns.
I met a Jewish woman from the US on one of my Camino journeys. She was so friendly and we enjoyed each other’s company so much that I decided to stay behind an extra day with her.
Halfway through the day, I started to feel sick and realized I hadn’t eaten since the day before. She gave me some of her food to eat. It was a cheese sandwich and only after I finished eating did I realize it was all the food she had. I never got to thank her, but I’ll never forget the kind gesture and great company. It was because of her selflessness that I was able to finish my journey.
The next time you catch yourself falling into ingrained beliefs or stereotypes about any group of people, think twice about it. Ask yourself where your beliefs really come from. Share a meal with that person you think you know so much about. You don’t know anything about anyone until you have a conversation with them. Drink some water, break some bread, communicate and that should open your mind. Otherwise, keep your opinions to yourself.
The Spanish Guy
On day 10 of this trip, I was approaching O Cebrero, 1500 meters above sea level, in the province of Castilla y Leon. I ran into a guy who seemed to be quite the athlete. At that point on the mountain, I was unable to continue biking. I had to get off and push my bike up. The guy came over and offered to help push my bike. I looked at him, unaccustomed to having a stranger offer help out of nowhere. I almost asked him why, but then, I really did need help.
Now there are two things that surprised me about this moment. The first was how this guy knew that I really did need help. The second was how utterly selfless his move was.
After living in North American cities, you do get to be more hesitant about trusting just anyone with valuable possessions.
But, this wasn’t North America, and this guy wasn’t just anyone. He was a fellow pilgrim.
After almost 30 minutes of him pushing my bike uphill, I asked if I could take over. To my third surprise, he replied, “No, you have done enough. You look tired. I will push your bike to the top.”
We arrived at the top of the mountain, went to a restaurant and I even had to argue with him to at least let me pay for his meal.
I’m much more accustomed to people turning away when they see a homeless person on the street corner or someone who needs help. People who don’t hold doors open for others or give up their subway seat for the elderly. I’m used to people being so self-absorbed that they have no idea what a difference they can make with even the smallest act of kindness. And, after working in the competitive world of marketing agencies, I’ve been on the receiving end of backstabbing and betrayal where people will do anything to get ahead.
But there is so much more to be gained through simple acts of kindness.
Takeaway: Concentrate on the things that make us all human together, rather than the things that make us separate. Look for sameness to connect, not difference. We are all so much more than our religion, culture or gender. We can relate on many levels if our eyes are open to them.