Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tip#92: You Are Sitting On A Goldmine - 4 Movie Tips

You may be sitting on a goldmine and not even realize it. The key to recognizing your hidden riches is to see that getting stuck in life has great value. It forces you to pause and reflect. It is a secret key for you to discover something about yourself and your life experiences that has incredible value to yourself and to others.

Focus On Gold Not The Cold

This life path I chose, whether conscious or unconscious, has left me with many successes and consequences. And what I've been training myself to do during my current career transition is focus on the silver lining of every cloud I'd encounter. I focused on the gold and not the cold.

During my deepest depressions of my transitional years I realized I had the gift to use my creativity in writing, art or music to lift myself up. The results of that is now my goldmine because these powerful audio and visual tools can now be mined and help others who'd be eager to pay for these products. My motivational programs and my blog are just a few of these creations and I will share more as my journey continues.

My recent New York City trip inspired me to face my fears and get this gold out into the world, to get it into the great flow of helping others as well as the great flow of commerce. I had to see that the answers to my financial challenges were always right under me. And this gold will mean nothing if I continue to sit on it. The only one stopping me was me.

Look At What You Already Have

So stop looking at what you don't have and look deeply at what you do have. Be introspective and look at your path so far in life. Look at all your achievements. Look at the positive affects you’ve had on others. What is the gold in what you've done?

Look at your hidden gifts, skills and talents. See how you can be of service to others with your abilities. The classic book The Alchemist(see tip#79) by Paul Coelho is full of gold for the spirit. In fact the ultimate lesson of this story is that you are already sitting on the gold mine you seek. Another similiar story is the classic Acres of Diamonds by Dr. Russell Herman Conwell.

Here are some movie examples to get your mind churning about the gold already in your life.

The Family Man

In the movie, The Family Manstarring Nicholas Cage, it is a story about a single wealthy corporate executive who gets a magical chance to experience a family life. There is a pivotal scene where he is living this alternate life and looks at his wife whom he decided not to marry years before. His eyes fill with love and with an epiphany realizing the gold he had left behind. He discovers that all the gold and riches he had in his real life was not enough to bring him true happiness.

It's A Wonderful Life

The Family Manmovie is similar to this Capra classic, It's A Wonderful Lifestarring James Stewart. The gold his character discovers is in the multitude of supportive friends he had cultivated during the many years he could not follow his own dreams. He realizes he had many friends that were there when he was at his lowest and that can make you feel like the richest person in the world.

Peaceful Warrior

The Peaceful Warriormovie is jam packed with inspirational phrases that feel like finding golden nuggets. The producers wanted to fill the screenplay with as many of the powerful phrases from the original novel, Way of The Peaceful Warrior written by Dan Millman. The film ends up being so rich with simple, profound and uplifting ideas spoken by Socrates played by Nick Nolte. And later there are more nuggets shared by the young, aspiring Olympic gymnast Socrates mentors towards finding his true self and courage.

Freedom Writers

The Freedom Writersmovie is based on a true story of a teacher named Erin Gruwell, played by Hilary Swank. She develops a powerful method of teaching youths how to face and release their pains by writing down their anger and anguish. Each of the students begin to see the unexpected value of expressing themselves and sharing their feelings with one another. This becomes the gold that transcends their cultural diversities and gang related barriers. The Freedom Writersmodel is being taught today all across North America.

Thoughts and Ideas Are Gold

So remember that even your thoughts and ideas can be gold. Potential riches can take the form of sharing your knowledge and experiences. That can have great personal satisfaction as well as great value to others. And others may be willing to pay for your thoughts and ideas because it will somehow enrich their own lives or business.

In business this is called intellectual property. According to WIPO, World Intellectual Property Organization, intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

Let this inspire you to see the multiple values of your hidden strengths, skills, talents and gifts. See the value of your knowledge and experiences. Embrace your uniqueness and what you are meant to share with the world.

The first step is to recognize that the things you love and love doing has value beyond your current point of view. Be open to the richness connected to what you do naturally.

So start digging! Your goldmine is begging to be discovered.

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tip#91: Gifts From New York City, Part 3 - Thomas Crown Affair

Confidence is defined as:
freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities.

How amazing would that be to live your life everyday and anywhere knowing you are free of doubt. You would have no fear and you would enjoy life to the fullest! New York City had that confidence in the air. It was part of that testosterone energy vibe I wrote about in the previous tip#90. You could even taste the confidence in the quality of the city's tasty foods.

Delicious Menus

While on vacation in NYC I discovered that everywhere I ate was a delicious experience. I was satisfied whether I ate at a fine dining restaurant or a hot dog vendor. I found that the quality of the food was full of flavour just like the robust city itself.

One neighbourhood Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn had these incredible soft tacos that looked like a huge bouquet of flowers. It was overflowing with fresh avocado, cheese, tomatoes and roast pork. At $3 it was almost a meal! For brunch on another day we had fantastic omelets and chocolate French toast at a place called Chez Lola. Ahhh, the memories of the warm and moist chocolate French toast!

At night my friends and I dined on crispy thin crust pizza at a delicious Italian restaurant called Il Brigante in South Street Seaport area in lower Manhattan. On another night we had fantastic Thai food at a place called Sea in the popular Williamsburg area.

On my last day my NYC friend took me to the popular Meatpacking District where the character Samantha, from TV series Sex and the City, had a loft. I was brought to my friend's favourite French bistro called Pastis. It felt like I stepped into another decadent time and history in Paris.

I knew right away this could be a pricey venue. But when I looked at the menu I was still shocked to see an order of French fries for $7. Now I've had fine dining before but this was the first time I'd seen one of my favourite foods priced that high. That shock was a pivotal moment. I then became aware that my old habits of thinking (my money paradigms) were being shaken up.

Thomas Crown Affair

That initiate reaction made me remember one of my favourite movies, Thomas Crown Affairstarring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. This stylish, fun film featured Brosnan as the extremely wealthy Thomas Crown who sees life like a game. He has so much money that he doesn't think twice about enjoying it.

You see this confident attitude when Crown is betting $10,000 on a single putt on the golf course, losing and betting again casually for even higher amounts. You see it in the fine dining sequences and in how Crown indulges his decadent leisurely pleasures of sailing and flying his glider. There's a scene that sums up the results of his attitude when Russo’s character says to Crown, "You live very well."

There is also a sexy vibe running throughout the film, from the way New York settings are photographed to every hot and sleek outfit Brosnan and Russo wears! But the sexiness truly comes from the pure confidence their 2 characters exude on screen.

Freedom From Doubt

Freedom from doubt is a very attractive thought. Confidence is an attitude that oozes out no matter what you are wearing. It's not about external wealth but the inner wealth and strength of knowing. Confidence glows and can attract others to its radiance.

That confident attitude can also be seen in the movie, The Count of Monte Cristoafter the Count discovers his vast treasures (see tip#62). You can also see confidence permeate the characters of the Ocean's 11movie series especially Ocean's 13 as discussed in tip#70.

I would love to have the pure confidence of Thomas Crown knowing I could purchase anything that I desired. The paradox here is to achieve that confidence NOW as if you are already wealthy or already HAVE whatever you desire in life. As Dr. Phil says you must, "Behave your way to success."

Behave Your Way To Success

It begins with your thoughts and feelings to manifest your confidence. Exposing yourself to environments that test your current reactions and attitude will become mirrors of the thoughts you must change in order to attract what you want.

So that was a powerful gift being at Pastis in NYC that day. Those $7 french fries on that menu put a big mirror up to my current attitude that I needed to change.

As I am in the process of rebooting my career and business in motivating others my finances are clearly in a startup phase. But it won't be like that forever. I'll continue to "behave my way to success" each day as if I already have that financial freedom and confidence.

Confidence Goal

My goal now is to go back to NYC, walk into Pastis and not flinch at any price on their menu or any menu anywhere in the world. I will be more like my movie hero Thomas Crown knowing I could order anything I desired.

And I'll order a plate of those $7 french fries. Only I will see them as french fries first and not a price tag. And my new confidence will allow me to be open to the possibility that these fries could be the best damned french fries in the world and perhaps worth even more then the asking price!

So do your best to behave your way to success. Do whatever you can to build your confidence when it comes to money, career or life. Ooze that confidence. It's about enjoying every delicious moment you can.

And see the learning from the daily menus of your own life. Choose the dishes that will lift up your spirits now!

"Hands down, without a doubt, Pastis has the best French Fries in Manhattan."
Review from

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tip#90: Gifts From New York City, Part 2 - Crocodile Dundee

Frog In The Well

Imagine you are a frog in a well content to live out your life there. Suddenly one day a bucket drops down from above. You get in and then lifted up to the top of the well for the first time ever. There you see a whole new world you never knew existed. It's a world full of opportunities, abundance, new ideas, new sights and sounds and flavours to experience. What would you do next?

I felt like that frog in the well when I spent my first day in New York City on my recent vacation. Though I had been a handful of times since I was a kid, this time I was much more aware of the sheer magnitude and sheer density and volume of this incredible city.

It was a gorgeous sunny morning when I arrived by plane. I dropped off my luggage with my friends in Brooklyn where they immediately took me for a walk through their neighbourhood towards the nearest subway. We strolled by brownstone buildings ripe with history and full green trees dotting the avenues. It was a half hour walk that would give me a hint of the intense walking and exploring I'd be doing during my trip!

At the subway I looked at the Metro transit map and it reminded me of the vastness of NYC and the surrounding boroughs. I was excited. I had forgotten about the grittiness of the subway stations that was also part of the city's legacy. I took the train directly into Manhattan towards Union Square. Walking up into the thick of the city was when the energy truly hit me.

Suddenly I was in the massive flow of the Big Apple! The sound volume cranked up and I was in a sea of people, retail stores and skyscrapers that went on and on. The classic NY hotdog and pretzel vendors were everywhere. Plus there were other delicious aromas spicing up the air from specialty vendors cooking up lamb and chicken dishes with rice.

Crocodile Dundeeand Frodo Baggins

This explosion to the senses reminded me of the film, Crocodile Dundeestarring Paul Hogan. In the movie you got to see through Dundee's eyes of New York City's diverse textures and gritty culture and characters. For him it was a completely different vibe and landscape from his quiet, meditative outbacks of Australia.

But for me I felt more like Frodo Baggins and his adventures outside his home of the Shire from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The movie series opens with Frodo living in his peaceful countryside nook that soon pales to the loud contrast of the great lands he would encounter. It is the immense scale of landscapes and architectural immensities and the colourful characters Frodo experiences that would mirror my own adventures in New York City.

Law of Attraction in The Big Apple

Products, food and services were in such abundance that it was very quick to find whatever I was looking for. So I put the law of attraction to the test. One item I wanted to get was the amazing Peaceful WarriorDVD (see tip#69). In Canada it's being sold at an import price of about $30 after taxes. My gut told me I’d get a better deal in the States so I visualized purchasing the DVD for $15. Well within an hour of being in Manhattan I found it at a BestBuy for $14.99. Okay, so I was off by one penny!

I'm glad I trusted my gut because as an added bonus this store had one special DVD copy left that came wrapped with a free book of the original novel. What a gift!

It was also a paradigm busting experience to walk along 34th street and see one huge H&M store and another just down the same block on the other side. I was starting to see that there was a massive flow of abundance and commerce everywhere I went. It was like the air was filled with a strong confidence of a knowing that products and services would move quickly because there is an ongoing, ever present demand. People in NYC just expected it and the city delivers.

Testosterone In The Air

The closest analogy of this NYC vibe I was feeling came from my friend I was staying with who said there is more "testosterone in the air" then in Toronto. That strong confidence I mentioned had a permeating subtle form of aggression in it. Just enough assertive energy to help someone get what they want, say what they want and stand their ground when they wanted.

This proactive, tough, resilient energy was in the people all around me. It was in all the stores, parks and restaurants I entered. It was etched into all the buildings I passed that have survived for decades.

This was exactly what I talked about in tip#19 "Unleash Your Inner 007" at the start of this year. 2007 was the year I was going to unleash my inner tenacity and assertiveness to make my dreams come true. It seems perfect that the law of attraction has led me to NYC to give my soul a testosterone energy juice injection!

Absorbing The Gifts

My trip to New York City affected me deeply. When I returned home to Toronto it felt like I'd been away for 2 weeks. I'd only been gone 5 days. And I definitely crammed in a lot during that time because my body later reacted like I had a cold forcing me to slow down and recuperate.

I believe that the gift of this NYC testosterone shot was potent because I needed several days anyways just to collect my thoughts. I needed to relax, nurse my cold and see how I could apply this new proactive attitude and energy. As I sneezed and blew my nose I imagined I was blowing out my old limiting paradigms of money and abundance. I was making room for the new paradigms that will attract my goals for a prosperous career and life.

Overall this NYC adventure helped me visualize a massive flow of abundance and opportunity for myself. I felt recharged! I'm glad I chose to venture beyond my Toronto fence.

Find Your Energy Injection

You can benefit too if you venture beyond the invisible fences of your own life. New locations will help you visualize new possibilities, new options and new opportunities. They help inspire you to build that hunger in your belly and get motivated to do what you have to do to achieve your goals. Find that energy injection that will accelerate you towards your dreams.

A city like New York can stimulate abundant possibilities and reactivate your drive. What cities stimulate you? What places beyond your own neighbourhood make you feel revitalized? Is there a place somewhere around the world that is calling you?

You may be being called to a revitalizing energy source. Follow your gut and go to these places. Tap into the power generators within the lands you are drawn to. Recharge your batteries.

And if you feel you are like that frog in the well then break your routine and jump out for a little while. See other exciting realities beyond your own backyard.

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tip#89: Proof You’re On The Right Track - Big

Receiving tangible proof you are on the right track in life can be a great boost to your confidence. It's encouraging especially if you've had to take risks and make major changes in your life and career path. Following your passions is key for leading you to people who believe in you and what you can do.

As I've written before, my journey in rebuilding my life and career has been 7 years in the making. And the primary key I discovered that kept me going was to identify and live my passions. Movies were one of those passions and they've kept me energized and motivated. Showing people how to feel good again is another passion.

Passion is fuel as I mentioned in tip#86. The power of your passion has extraordinary benefits and they can attract others to you. Reactivating your passion became the core element of what I teach now.

A Call

So imagine how excited I was to receive a call from a producer working with a major ad agency and automobile client asking me to share what I know about passion. Imagine being interviewed for the value of what I love doing and teach in my new career as a motivator.

It started a few months ago when I was asked by MacLaren Advertising to be part of a unique series of online podcast interviews. Their client was GM Canada and this series based on passion and beauty was inspired by the new Buick Enclave. I went into a recording studio and was interviewed by Maie Pauts of CHUM LTD. originally of CFNY-FM. Since then I have been holding back telling anyone about this project until the interview was finally online. And here it is!

Click here to listen or download:
"Reactivating Your Passion"

This was proof for me that I am on the right track. Despite the hardships of change in my life this podcast recording only added to my self-confidence. And this will also initiate a chain reaction of opportunities because who knows who else will hear this podcast.

Here's a chance now for people around the world to listen to my motivational advice in the convenience of their own home. The recording is also available on iTunes which is another powerful resource. And yes on top of this exposure I got paid for my services. Ah, these are the things that make me feel like a kid on Christmas Day!

The Power In Playing: Big

Feeling like a kid is a big factor in identifying your passions. And adding to what I say in the interview about the importance of childhood passions, the Tom Hanks movie, Bigcomes to mind. Mentioned in previous tip#88, Hanks adult character is the result of his 12 year old version, Josh, wishing he were big. His wish comes true though his mind, feelings and attitude is still very much a child's.

However this becomes Josh's strength in his career as an adult. He continues to do what he loved to do and that is to play. Josh spends his spare time playing with toys in a huge toy store. There he is seen by the CEO of a major toy company where they bond and create the memorable, classic scene playing a duet on a massive foot piano.

Impressed with Josh's 'expertise' and 'knowledge' he ends up getting hired to test out toys at the CEO's company and getting paid very well. All he did was do what he loved doing. That is the simplicity of knowing what you are passionate about and living it and sharing it. Going back to your childhood is a way of re-igniting your passion.

Later in the film, Josh reverts back to a 12 year old child. But being hired for a job to just play was proof that Josh would have a successful career as a toy tester if he remembers to keep that alive when he actually grows up.

So remember if you are on a path currently full of changes and risk know that proof will come to let you know you are on the right track. Be open to unexpected gifts and encouraging signs, messages and people that come to you. You'll know when it arrives because the proof will make you feel good.

Remember to stay optimistic for people will be attracted to your positive energy and come support your journey. Remember that you have value and others will eventually see that value. Stay passionate because passion is also your fuel.

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tip#88: Gifts From New York City, Part 1 - Big

Unexpected gifts can arrive at your doorstep. And the best thing you can do is realize they can be connected to making your dreams and goals come true. It's the law of attraction in action.

I am writing and posting this entry while on vacation in the Big Apple. While the Toronto International Film Festival was in full swing back home I flew into the glow of New York City. I had received an unexpected ticket as a gift from friends who recently moved to Brooklyn. Looking back it is incredible to think I almost didn't accept this gift because of my financial situation and desire to stay put and follow up income prospects.

But landing here on the first day helped me remember the powerful, energetic vibe I remembered from my last visit 7 years ago. The Manhattan skyline sparkled in the morning sun when I arrived filling me with a juicy sense of excitement. I could feel my batteries recharging instantly. I realize now, as I write this on 4th day here, this was a much needed vacation. It also became a journey for shattering my old paradigms with money.

The Limo

Those old paradigms were tested right away the day before I was to leave. I planned to get to my 6:20am flight by taking the airport express bus for $16. But because it was a very early flight the earliest bus would cut my check in time pretty close. And I wasn't about to ask any friends to wake up at 4am to help me out!

So I looked at other options. Taxi was $50 and an airport limo flat rate was $44. I weighed the pros and cons of the convenience of the airport limo coming straight to my door and decided to book it for a 4:30am pickup. I looked at it as paying a little extra for peace of mind and the comfort of knowing I would get to the airport on time.

So there I was at 4:44am in the early morning darkness riding in the comfortable airport limo. Leaving downtown Toronto the Gardiner Expressway was empty and I was feeling great. Suddenly a large vehicle came roaring passed us and I saw it was the airport express bus I would have taken. It was like a scene out of a movie. I had to smile at the irony and of knowing that bus would get to the airport before us.

Did it make me feel any regrets for spending the extra money? Thankfully no. And I found there were none of the usual inner dialogues I'd have like "I should have done this" or "I should have done that." This was a new feeling and I liked it.

I realized this was the universe telling me my old habits of thinking were dissolving. I was suppose to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. And I did.


This reminded me of the movie, Bigthat took place in New York City. Tom Hanks starred as a 12 year old child who magically wakes up a grown adult because of a wish he made to be big. He later has an adventure in Manhattan and gets hired as a toy tester at a major toy company. There's a scene where he is riding in his first limousine and expresses his childlike glee by playing with all the buttons and sticking his head out the sunroof. He just enjoyed the ride.

Treat Yourself

I know my NYC ticket was a gift on a deeper level and am realizing it more every second I am here. I chose to not worry about money and just enjoyed the ride like Tom Hanks in Big. I'm seeing the incredible abundance of the Big Apple with wide-eyed wonder and will discuss these insights in the next blog tip.

So if you receive unexpected gifts accept them and treat yourself to where they could lead. Bring out the kid in you and see the delicious fun in the hidden opportunities that dropped into your lap. They can lead to new awareness and healthier habits of thinking.

"Not only is New York the nation's melting pot, it is also the casserole, the chafing dish and the charcoal grill."
Mayor John V. Lindsay

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tip#87: Things Change - Bicentennial Man

Some people do not like autumn because it marks the end of the summer. Trees begin to lose their leaves and the cold winter season approaches. But endings are part of the universal cycle and with endings there are always new beginnings.

For me September always marks a fresh return to work after having a summer break. There is something crisp in the air and the leaves start to change into its beautiful earthy autumn hues. Maybe I'm still conditioned by the school season we all grew up with but it's a conditioning I truly enjoy. I feel excited, re-energized and revved up!

Toronto International Film Festival

In Toronto, September also marks the annual Toronto International Film Festival. This year it has attracted big names like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jodie Foster, George Clooney and Cate Blanchett just to name a few. This is actually the first year in a long time that I paid any attention to the film festival news and movie releases. I feel a change in the air.

I used to attend the film festival full time every year and treated it as my holiday time. It all started in 1991 when I created illustrations for the film festival (then called the Festival of Festivals). Part of my payment was receiving a Gold Patron's Pass for two to see unlimited movies and gala screenings. Plus I received tickets to private parties in the evenings. It was great to share my passes with friends and clients. It was a big dream for any movie lover!

However that yearly experience needed to end because I started to go through the transition of finding myself. I needed to focus on my soul searching which took me away from things I loved to do. Plus, despite being surrounded by movie lovers of the film festival, I always wished I could share it with a soul mate.

So despite the exciting energy and glitter of film festivals I chose to dedicate my time to healing myself. It hurt a little to let go but things change.

Bicentennial Man (1999)

I recently watched one of my favourite films called Bicentennial Manwhich I've discussed before in tip#48. In many ways the film is a big mirror for my path in life and it always brings me hope that I will eventually accomplish all my dreams and goals.

Watch now: Amazon Prime

In the movie Robin Williams plays an android named Andrew who begins to display a unique consciousness and awareness. He had a deep drive to make sense of things and to improve himself. He develops a talent for making clocks out of driftwood and goes on to create artificial organs for himself that later benefits humans in need.

Bicentennial Manis about Andrew's journey of change, creating change and understanding change. And because he does not age he witnesses the death of those he cares about as time passes. Through death he learns about the cycles of beginnings and endings. As Andrew says throughout the movie, "Things change."


The fall also marks the anniversary of 9/11 and a time to remember how precious life is. And though nothing can compare with the death of a loved one life must eventually go on.

The changing seasons remind us that endings are necessary for new beginnings. The seasons remind us that it is inevitable that we put away our shorts and sandals and bring out warmer clothes for the fall and winter. And though this is the same season where flowers die we already know that by spring seeds will sprout and bring new life to a new season.

So look at your own transitions with the same hope that spring brings. Remember that new beginnings can only come from endings whether they be relationships, careers or old habits you must let go of. Things change.

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."
Stanley Horowitz

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tip#86: Look Forward To Something - Cast Away

Fuel for the Soul

In every day life we develop interests to pass the time. Little do we know the power these interests will have in sustaining us during difficult times of change and transitions. These personal interests will become fuel to keep you moving forward one day at a time.

I remember during the first year of my mid-life crisis there were days I didn't want to get out of bed. I had lost my sense of purpose so I thought, "What was the point?" But I had discovered ways of moving forward. One way was the Metro News daily newspaper which was launched that year in 2000 in Toronto. Getting up and walking to the corner in the morning gave me something to look forward to.


Entertainment Weeklymagazine also gave me fuel for my soul. I looked forward to going to a nearby book and magazine store each week to read up on the latest movies and what upcoming films movie stars would be appearing in. I could feel a sense of peace as I sat warmly immersing myself into the words and pictures of this magazine.


And when I didn't have the energy to get out of the house I had home resources I could count on. I had my favourite websites bookmarked so I could read more on the daily news and reviews on movies at and I even derived much inspiration from horoscope sites like and Sometimes it felt like these astrologists were speaking directly to me, urging me to keep going.

TV Shows

Of course the biggest motivators were the movies and TV shows I looked forward to on television. My weekly TV guide gave me a full resource of programs to keep me going no matter how low energy I felt. And those first few years of the new millennium were painful. I remember TV shows like Aliasand Survivorgiving me much fuel. Even syndicated shows like Touched By An Angelwere profound in filling me with such hope that I'll have to a write about the power of this series at another time.

Cast Away

There is a powerful quote from the movie Cast Awaythat I remember seeing during my mid-life transition. Tom Hank's character Chuck is stuck on a deserted island and wanted to end it all. He had lost hope even though his thoughts of his love, Kelly had kept him motivated. Chuck then had a revelation and years later, after he was rescued, shares his thoughts...

"I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that's what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail...

...And now, here I am. I'm back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass... And I've lost her all over again. I'm so sad that I don't have Kelly. But I'm so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"

Let that quote inspire you. And take the time to look at what you can look forward to. You can start by filling in this list of your favourite activities. Remember these simple interests have the ability to re-energize your spirit.

1) Favourite coffee or beverage:
2) Favourite newspapers:
3) Favourite magazines:
4) Favourite websites:
5) Favourite movies:
6) Favourite tv shows:
7) Favourite music:
8) Favourite: other activities (sports events, meetings, courses, etc.)

The added bonus to identifying your personal interests is it brings to light 2 important elements: They keep you going through rough times AND they will open your eyes to your passions and what you value in life.

Personal interests are your hidden passions and passion is fuel. So become more conscious of what you love doing. Keep your hopes and optimism fueled for your journey of self-discovery, your search for a satisfying career, your quest to make a difference in the world AND your desire to find out what you were born to do.

Remember you never know what the tide will bring tomorrow.

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tip#85: Find All Your Puzzle Pieces - The Bourne Ultimatum

When your life or career crashes it is like all the puzzle pieces of who you are get broken apart and scattered. But sometimes if you are not doing what you were born to do then this is a blessing in disguise. You may just be missing the central puzzle pieces for the big picture of your purpose here on earth.

My quest for discovering who I am and my purpose took many years. Though now I look back at the pain I endured and know deep in my soul it was all worth it. I learned to be resourceful in finding solutions, met amazing new supportive friends and found inner strengths to persevere during times of hopelessness. It was and is an amazing adventure.

Your quest to find the missing pieces of your life can be an adventure story too. Self-discovery can be seen in many movies such as Lord of the Rings Trilogy.The main character, Frodo found puzzle pieces to his hidden strengths and courage. And you get to witness the long and challenging journey Frodo endures to accomplish his task.

The Bourne Identity

Another powerful movie trilogy to inspire your journey stars Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity,The Bourne Supremacyand The Bourne Ultimatum.Damon plays Jason Bourne a man who experiences amnesia and makes it his quest to discover who he is and his purpose. His journey takes him all around the world.

During the first movie you see how lost and frustrated Bourne is to not know his identity. As the story unfolds you begin to see how resourceful he can be in getting himself out of trouble. It even surprises himself. In one scene, where guards are after him within a government building, Bourne doesn't shoot his way out. He just grabs a building map and a guard's walkie talkie to know where the chasers are and finds an escape route.

Bourne begins to exhibit amazing gifts and skills when others around him are trying to capture or stop him. His instincts just kicked in when needed. This becomes a great mirror for those searching for their purpose. The gifts and skills that come naturally to you is already a big part of your purpose.

Over the 3 films you see Bourne slowly remember who he is and that his mind was somehow fragmented. And as he puts his puzzle pieces together he begins to see that someone was responsible for his fragmented mind. Bourne's quest leads him through different levels of discoveries just like peeling an onion. Eventually he gets to the core individual of all his adventures and his search.

Crashing Is A Calling

For me this movie trilogy is a fantastic metaphor for what I discovered about my past and about why my life crashed in the first place. All the joys and pain you experience now is the result of events from your past. Your life crashing is a calling for you to go on a quest to uncover and discover ALL your missing puzzle pieces.

And if you take the challenge and find the courage to go on a self-discovery journey then the universe will applaud you. Your journey may take you all around the world or just to places within your town you've never been to. It will take you deep within yourself to find your inner strengths, skills and gifts. It will take you to your past to discover how those around you imprinted lasting impressions that fragmented the big picture of who you are.

No matter how traumatic or exhilarating your discoveries are these are your central puzzle pieces. Integrating painful as well as joyful memories of who you are may be what you were born to do. Your self-discovery journey may be why you are here in the first place.

So be inspired by Jason Bourne who persevered to collect all his missing puzzle pieces. Never give up even if it takes you years and around the world and back. Be resourceful and persevere. And one day you may look back and see that it was the journey and not the destination that satisfied your soul.

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tip#84: Choose A Path, Part 1 - The Matrix

There comes a time in your life when you realize you are not happy with your job or life. Perhaps you've had that itch for years but couldn't identify what was wrong. You just know there's a subtle unrest growing within you. Of course you can choose to ignore it or you could choose a path that changes everything for the better.

I am often asked what steps I'd recommend to someone wanting to live a more passionate, fulfilling life and I offer only what I've learned that couldn't be learned in any textbook. I learned of 3 important choices from the most prestigious school on the planet, The School of Hard Knocks!

The 3 Choices:

1) Half & Half:
Spend half your time (apart from your regular job) exploring what you love doing and other activities and interests you enjoy.

2) Dive In:
Let go of your old job, unsupportive relationships and even your home and follow your heart and gut all the way no matter what to uncover your true passions and path.

3) Ignore All The Above:
Choose to continue on the path you are on and be conscious you are compromising your inner desires, drive, passion and happiness at work, home, relationships, etc.

Feeling a big life/work itch you can't scratch will lead you to these choices. Most people in the world will choose #3 because it is simply the safest. And it is understandable especially if you have a family to care for and bills to pay.

But if that itch becomes overwhelming I usually recommend choice #1 because that is the easier path towards positive change. I went through all 3 starting with #3 then #1 and finally #2. Choice #2 is the gutsiest and full of risk as it can cause the biggest changes and turn your world inside out. And yet if you have the courage it can be the richest most blissful journey. You will discover what you were born to do.

The Matrix

That is the path I am currently on and there have been so many profound levels of happiness and self-discoveries I've experienced. It reminds me of Neo from The Matrixmovie when he chose the red pill instead of the blue pill to discover the truth of who he is and what the world truly is around him. These truths frightened him and could not accept it at first. But then he began to see his unique gifts and accepted his true path and greatness to help others.

Know that when you make either Choice #1 or #2 you will attract all the help you will need on those paths. Like Neo you will not be alone. Neo had Morpheus who was like a wise mentor teaching him how to release his fears and skills in the new world he chose. Neo also had the Oracle to help give him special clairvoyant insights about his future. So know that you will never be alone on a path towards finding your true self and life purpose.

Getting The Rug Pulled Out From Under You

Now there is one volatile factor that may feel like you were forced into choice #2 which I call "getting the rug pulled out from under you". This is the universe helping to kick your ass into doing what you were born to do. It's when everything you know and have is taken away from you so you can see your true path in life.

If this sounds like you then have no fear. You are not the only one. It happened to me and it happened to others. Look at other true life stories and movies like The Pursuit of Happyness.Chris Gardner became a hero in his own life when he overcame sudden poverty while caring for a toddler as a single parent. It was his passion for his son, his dream to be a stockbroker and the good people around him that helped him on his path.

So become the hero in your own life. Take charge and choose a more satisfying, passionate life. Think carefully about the 3 choices so you can make a conscious step towards the life you want to live.

Listen to other success stories of individuals you look up to and see the possibilities. And be inspired by movie heroes like Neo who are there to reflect your hidden potentials.

Related Tips:
Tip#84: Choose A Path, Part 1 - The Matrix
Tip#924: Choose A Path, Part 2 - Brooklyn

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007