be_who_youre_supposed_to_be

I’d like to share something I wrote for my kids.  But first you need to know something about them.

I love my kids.

I know… all parents are supposed to say that, but there’s an extra reason I love my kids as much as I do.  You see, I didn’t think I’d ever have them.

If you’ve read my first book, you know that at the age of 18 I was told I’d be lucky to live to see my 30th birthday because I was born with a very complex series of heart abnormalities. One of the most devastating things about that news was that I took it to mean that I’d never never have kids (something I’d always dreamed of doing).

How selfish would it be to bring children into the world when you know that you won’t be alive to help raise them?

But then I discovered something I call The Power of Mortality™.

I realized that all of us are always living under a massive cloud of uncertainty and we owe it to ourselves to Choose The Lives We Want – right now!

I felt reborn! I wanted to mark the occasion with some sort of ceremony so on April 15, 1994 I woke up before dawn and climbed to the lookout on the top of Mount Royal in Montréal. As the sun broke free of the horizon, I declared that I had no good reason to expect that I’d ever see another sunrise again.  At the same time, I pledged that I would make the most of any and every additional sunrise I might be given.

The photo below was taken on December 31, 2010 from the same lookout on the top of Mount Royal.

It was the first time I’d ever taken my kids there.

Kids I didn’t think I’d ever get to have.

In 2013 I wrote a blog post called “To My Kids”. The message is simple: Be The Person You’re Supposed To Be. Today I’m re-sharing that post because I realize I didn’t write it only to my kids.  It was to ME. It was also to YOU.

I hope you find it useful.  If you do, please please share it with anyone else who might need to hear it.

kidsTo my kids…

Be the person you’re supposed to be.

And here’s the thing about that… you have to decide who that person is.

Not just decide – but choose. Actively choose. Each and every day you have to choose to be the person you want to be.

Because if you don’t choose, the world will choose for you.

But this isn’t about the world. It’s about you. It’s your life.  You only get one and it’s happening right now, so choose the life you want.

And when you’re deciding what it is that you want, realize that you don’t need to have it all figured out. You don’t need to over-think everything. Just listen to your heart and let it guide you.

This next part may sound strange… but don’t listen to others when it comes to choosing the life you want.

Don’t listen to your friends when it comes to choosing the life you want. Friends come and go. It’s sad but it’s true. A true friend will support you and love you and understand, no matter what choices you make. If you ever make a choice that they don’t agree with, they’ll understand that it was YOUR choice to make. If they don’t understand that – then it’s time for you to let go of that friendship because you’ve grown in different directions.

Don’t listen to adults when it comes to choosing the life you want. We’re making things up as we go along and if you look around at the planet, you’ll see that we’re not doing a great job. Many adults will try to tell you what sort of life you want. They want you to buy their products or work in their companies and if you truly want to do those things, then go for it. But don’t make those choices based on what “they” say. It’s not their life – it’s yours.

And don’t listen to me when it comes to choosing the life you want. I’m your dad and I love you more deeply than anything. I only want the best for you. But I can’t say what’s right for your life. That’s for you to decide. And we all know I won’t be around forever. If you make your life choices based on my suggestions and guidance in an attempt to please me, where will that leave you when I’m gone? I may not agree with all of the choices you’ll make, but I know that they are your choices to make because it’s your life. I love you and I support you.

Speaking of not being around forever… You don’t have any guaranteed time on this earth either. So don’t, do not, waste a single moment on regret or fear. Accept that you’ll make mistakes – you’re only human. But promise me promise yourself that you won’t let those mistakes stop you. They’re only there to show you the life you don’t want and help guide you to the life you do want. Get in touch with your heart. Listen to it carefully – it will guide you well. Then make your choices and act!

Dare!

Dream!

LIVE!

And always remember… je t’aime!

be_who_youre_supposed_to_be