What I've learned so far from traveling for 18 weeks. Part 1
Its been 18 weeks months since I left home on this journey of my lifetime. It's called Project:SoulFam and it's my grand experiment with life.
Many people thing that you have to have it all figured out before you can make a difference in the world. They say things like, “I’ll donate when I pay off my mortgage. I have no energy to give because I'm tired from work.” I’ve always had this feeling that there must be more to life than just working for money so that you can do what you want after the money comes.
For the past 18 weeks, I’ve been traveling all around the world, waking up everyday with one question that steers my to-do list: How can I serve?
How can I help more people? How can use the gifts, talents and resources I have to help more people?
This journey has literally taken me around the world and back. I’ve slept on 30 different couches, homes, air mattresses, tents hotels and hostels - all donated or supported by people who believed in this mission and wanted to support it. I’ve been to nearly a dozen states in America and 6 countries. I’ve traveled by foot, bike, cars, plane and trains thousands of miles.
I raised $5000 for refugee relief efforts. I volunteered in the heart of the refugee crisis in Lesvos, Greece.
I did talks for students in Canada, Periscopers in Califonia and spiritual seekers in Ireland.
I interviewed dozens of refugees and help share the stories that mainstream media doesn’t tell. That led to me becoming an advocate for the refugee crisis and helping a small town on the west coast of Canada raise $60,000 to sponsor a refugee family.
We crowdfunded my first book on Kickstarter.
I was invited to lead meditation workshops at two retreats: one on a cruise ship to Mexico and another in Ireland.
I met hundreds of people along the way and every single one taught me something profound about life. (I can’t thank you all enough. Thank you.)
Right now, I’m in Birmingham, UK working on The Soul Of Humanity book and producing Global Meditation Scope - a movement of Periscopers live-streaming meditations around the world I founded back in August 2015.
As you can see, I worked on numerous projects and causes. It's been a whirlwind. The way I decide what to work on is through my big question - How can I serve? Where can I help?
Project:Soul Fam is all about How far our ripple effect can reach if we focus on giving, sharing and loving more.
This is part 1 of a 2-part series where I’m ecapping what I’ve learned in this journey and how it's change how I live, lead, create and serve.
1. We are all part of the ripple effect of miracles.
Whether we do smallest act of kindness or a dedicate your whole life to serving others, it all adds up. In Greece, I saw how this intricate network go volunteers and donations would keep refugees warm with dry clothing. Independent volunteers came from all of the world to help. This means they were attached to a big NGO like Oxfam or Red Cross. They were ordinary people who saw the tragedy in the news and jumped on a plan to help. Some of these people ended up quitting their jobs back home and selling their cars to stay and do humanitarian work full time. Others could only stay for a few days a few weeks to volunteer. Together, they helped to feel, clothe, guide and care for hundreds of thousands of refugees.
Personally, I enjoy dedicating my entire life to helping people and that’s led me to be more entrepreneurial. However, I have the utmost respect for people who choose to work in 9 to 5 jobs, but still use their vacation time to serve others instead of sipping martinis on the beach. It all adds up and every bit we do to help another adds to this never ending ripple effect.
2. Let others help. It helps everyone more.
When I first started on my journey, I needed to get from Toronto To San Francisco to speak at the legendary Summit Live. I could have paid $400 to buy a ticket, but I considered this option through my filter: how can I serve more? I considered another option. I put out a call to my online community that I needed a few places to stay across the country and I wanted to host donation-based meditation events to raise money for refugee relief. People began to step up one-by-one. I spent 15 days couchsurfing in 9 homes across America from New York to San Francisco. I’d never met any of my hosts in real life before. I only knew them from live streaming Periscope.
I saw clearly that when I asked for help and got more people involved, more lives were touched. I was no longer talking about inspirational topics to people from a screen, I was sitting in their homes and having heart-to-heart conversations. It took some faith on my part to stay in the homes of strangers but I trusted my gut and was able to reach more people.
3. Live in a constant state of gratitude.
As I couchsurf in people’s homes, drink their water and use their electricity, I’ve learned to live in a constant state of gratitude for everything. I don’t take anything for granted anymore because everything I consume is the result of someone’s kindness and generosity. Even if you’re not couch surfing like me, we can always remember that someone helped to produce everything we use. This allows us to appreciate everything we have in life - including the WiFi that allows you to read this article and me to post it online!
4. Have Faith In Humanity.
Throughout this whole journey, in everything I do, I do my best to help others and someone always seems to help me in return. (I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect in this department, but I am genuinely doing my best to help others.)For example, my boots broke down and a few weeks later someone else gives me a new pair. I gave my sweaters away and when I was cold, someone gave me another one.
Deep down, I know now - without a shadow of a doubt - that if I were to lose everything, I would be okay. Before I took the leap myself, I was prone to believe in a survival-of-the-fittest world. Now I’ve tested the waters and I know there are good souls in this world and people who will go out of their way to help you. I choose to be part of the ripple effect of humanity and as a result, I believe in the good in humanity. I know it exists because I am apart of it.
Check back soon for Part TWO of this blog series on Project:SoulFam.
If this inspires you, be sure to check out Funded & Flow. We're breaking all the rules and releasing my online program on a Give What Feels Good basis (you set the price!). Click here to learn more and be inspired to embark on your own great adventure.