There is an audio version below.
After a 12-hour flight from Seattle, I was happy to walk into the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, France. It was Thursday, November 12th. I got a cab because sometimes I’m too lazy to go through the hassle of the train. It’s an hour drive from the airport to central Paris. The drive is pretty scenic as you get to see a lot of Paris, and it’s outskirts.
My first destination is my favorite, the Eiffel Tower. I got out of the taxi and looked up. The Eiffel Tower is a breath-taking site and never gets old. I spent two hours touring, taking pictures, talking to strangers, and recording video. It’s then a requirement (personal) to walk up the steps to the viewing area of the Tower–it’s about a few blocks away.
That’s where I took this picture: 20 hours before terrorists destroyed moments like this for so many people. I was leaving the Tower to explore other sites, and I turned around to the sound of laughter from young children. It was as if time stood still and people just relished in the moment.
I then took a taxi to the Arc de Triomphe, which honors soldiers who fought and died for France during several different wars. I would go on to see some places Tanya and I toured while we visited Paris in 2013. I took some time away from touring to enjoy a meal in a little café while writing. This café was a mile away from where one of the attacks happened.
I wrote some words in a few articles and in the #NaNoWriMo novel I’m writing. I was in Paris for a 12-hour layover on my way to Tel Aviv, Israel. I had left Paris 20 hours before the attack happened. When it did, I was with friends here in Tel Aviv. My phone blew up with messages from friends asking if I was still in France (Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t help).
It’s scary to think that I left right before this. It’s scary to think that someone was planning this while so many of us were enjoying such a beautiful city. It’s sad that there are people who want to hurt others in this way in the name of whatever twisted logic they use.
I hesitate to write this post because I don’t want to come off as overdramatic—I don’t want to be disrespectful to those who lost loved ones in the attack. I’ve had a few days to think about everything and have one message that I need to get off my chest.
Life is Short
If I had died in the attack, I would have died ready. My family would be covered financially and I have systems in place that will keep Tanya from having to work. She can grieve without worrying about money. I chased and accomplished my major life dreams. I still have big dreams, but the major ones I started chasing four years ago have been accomplished.
For most of my life, I couldn’t say these things. If I had died four years ago, it would have been full of regret. Today, I’m ready to meet Jesus with a full heart and life. It feels weird to write this to you, but it’s my truth and I don’t ever want to be fake with you.
Yes, we know life is short, but do most live that way? Are you living that way? You don’t have to do what I do. You don’t have to travel, publish books, or consult companies. Those are my dreams and each of us has different goals. But, if you aren’t living yours, I hope you’ll realize life is too short not to do something about them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about personal development. It’s true that all of this starts in your mind. You have to start with a mindset of belief in yourself and what’s possible. You must have a determined mindset that allows you to overcome a fear of failure. Easier said than done—I know.
I wouldn’t be here today (in Israel) if none of this wasn’t possible. I was a bread delivery driver from Wisconsin who now speaks all over the world. I didn’t win the lottery or get some lucky break. I didn’t leave a six-figure corporate job and hire some big named coach. I built this dream from scratch and so can you.
There must be a greater WHY. This can’t be about travel, money, or fame. This can’t be about having an online business. It has to come from a burning desire to spread your message. All of the rest will fall into place after that. The greater why is the secret sauce. It’s what people connect with and follow. Chase your why and change lives.
What’s your greater why?