Originally this post existed as an email and not as a blog post. The Michael that I am referring to and talking with is Michael Bungay Stanier of BoxOfCrayons.biz.The reason for posting this on my blog is that I think it’ll help people realize what it is that I’m after and what my dreams are. Life must be an epic adventure.
Michael, here is a quick view of what goes on in my head on a daily basis. I’ll try to not over-elaborate, it’s quite hard for me so if you will just stick it out and you’ll see why I want to help you and your project so much. Here it is:
I had a hard time sleeping last night, so many thoughts running through my head, spinning, turning and developing right before my eyes. It’s as if I could almost see my future as a reality, much to the credit and words of Albert Einstein,
“Your imagination is your preview to life’s coming attractions”.
What happened this morning was almost magical. I woke up, checked my emails, and lo and behold, an email back from you concerning my Trans Canada Tour, and my want and need to help #EndMalariaDay. Your email back,
Thanks for this generous email and the amazing offer.
I’ve been sitting with it and thinking it through. While I’m very much humbled by the gift you’re giving, I don’t think I’m quite the right person to give it to. ‘End Malaria’ will have faded somewhat as a cause, and I think you might tie your cause – and the awesome bike ride – to another great person.
Do you know Chris Brogan? He’s very generous in the causes he supports, and he might be the perfect person to make the offer to. I can introduce you if you wish.
With all best wishes,
With this email came another thunder and roar of thoughts after completing the rest of my reading on Tweetdeck. A quick list of the people I follow are:
Keith Ferrazi, Seth Godin, Pam Slim, Daniella LaPorte, Copyblogger, BoxofCrayons (you, Michael Bungay Stanier), Chris Brogan, Jon A Cuff, Gary V, Mitch Joel and Navjit Kandola.
After reading your email, I checked out your website again, downloaded the 2nd of the two manifestos you have read it to completion and I re-wrote it to serve my needs in explaining what I’m trying to accomplish…
Side note: I meant to send you this email earlier but I got caught up with an awesome little app that Keith Ferrazzi tweeted about, Nexercise. I DL’d the app and let it rip, went on a 24 minute bike ride around Highland Park, the neighborhood in Dallas that I live next to. The bike ride helped to consolidate some thoughts and make them clearer about the mission that I’m on.
The night before I read Seth Godin’s blog entry promoting the book “End Malaria”, I was in tears. I wrote Seth to say thank you for his collaboration in helping promote the book. Here is the email I sent him:
Last week my brother made a post on Facebook that made me cringe, as a whole host of friends, family and others descended upon Francisco (my brother) to chastise him for an inappropriate comment. “All cops must die” it read. I hung my head and cried. I actually wept, wholeheartedly. I couldn’t imagine what in the world had possessed him to make such a foolish post. After making a few calls I finally reached him and he spilled out his story of the events for which he felt entitled to make such a claim.
For months now, almost a year I have been sacrificing time to read and develop a business plan. Sacrificing time at work, taking myself away from the daily grind of clock in, clock out… Go home, eat, sleep… Wash, rinse and repeat. I work in restaurants as a server and bartender and yes, it has been rough. I am guided by the hope that my reading and self education of being and doing something extraordinary will bring me out of this hole. And it has been, slowly but surely. Malcolm Gladwell, Napoleon Hill, Seth Godin, Keith Ferrazzi, Heath Bros (Dan and Chip) and a whole slew of others have been my inspiration.
What made me cry was the sinking feeling that my past decisions have left me unable to visit on a regular basis some of my friends and family. I recently sold my car to catch up on past due bills. And even though I live in Dallas, my brother in Denton (45 minutes away) we are rarely able to frequent each other and share time, which, taking into consideration his Facebook post, he is in much need of some guidance and help that I am unable to offer on a regular basis. Needless to say, the family situation has not been one favoring a more wholesome upbringing, for which I feel responsible.
Money it turns out, and a sinking feeling of desperation got the best of him. On the other hand, his failure to abide by certain traffic rules left him $1500 in the hole. For a recently enrolled college student, this was a huge blow as money that was once allocated to books has now been depleted. If only I had been more insightful and responsible myself, I think I could have been there to lend some assistance.
Waking up this morning and promptly opening my email over a cup of coffee, I find your daily blog post. “Fighting Malaria…”, bam! I’m hit once again in a very sore spot due to my past financial indiscipline that I am obviously still paying for. As I sign away the last few dollars I have (for now, for at least another week) for my own failure to abide by established traffic rules that have now turned into warrant status, I cried. My past decisions and irresponsible manners speak even louder as I want more than anything to help out with the cause for fighting Malaria. While I am unable to do as you have recommended at his very moment (purchase two books), please know that I am working and thinking as hard as I can on how I may remedy my current situation. Your plea will not go unforgotten. Your homepage speaks volumes to me, “GO, make something happen”. For all the words, time, effort and care that you have expressed in your writings… Thank you. I really owe you one. Cheers!
You know what the wonderful thing was that happened that same day? I came home, my girlfriend saw my puffy eyes and asked what was wrong. I told her how much I wanted to help out for an admirable cause, read a good book and feel so damn good about myself that I would not let anything stop me from becoming the person that I want to be, at the same time I help those close and dear to me reach their own potential and to be blessed. Minutes later she’s on Amazon purchasing the book for me. I read the whole book twice in one week, once for pleasure, as I cooed at how awesome all these people were for helping making “End Malaria” happen. I read it a second time to take notes on all the authors I thought I really connected with, and started following them on Twitter, reading their blog posts and trying to see how and when I can fit their sayings and teachings into my daily life.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”
So I really started thinking about what I want to do in life, some of the challenges that I want to accept and take on wholeheartedly. To make a difference, to be a role model (for my brother) and others. The fact that you, Michael, along with all the fellow writers that made time and effort for something you felt strongly for is the reason that I’m writing to you today, Ending Malaria.
I’m really trying to travel at the Speed of Seth.
In much the same way that you wrote and called David Allen about your self-published book back in 2005, I’m doing the same now, only I’m writing you. You mentioned in your email this morning that you were quite humbled by my offer, and you said that you were not quite sure if you’re the guy for the task. Also mentioned was the fact that “End Malaria” will have faded somewhat as a cause. Well, I have a few things to say to that. They came as thoughts from your manifesto, “At the Speed of Seth”.
1. While the book may lose interest, can we look for another way to fill the sails?
2. in the manifesto, the goal of “End Malaria” is to eradicate it by the year 2015. 2012 is right around the corner, that leaves us 3 years to get it done.
A couple questions for you:
How many millions of dollars do you think it would take to kill Malaria?
With all the great authors that made an effort and wrote a passage for your book, do you think we could ask them to charge one ($1) extra dollar for their book, ebook, subscription, DVD, etc to further help the cause? What if we just went to 5 of them? Seth, Danielle, you, Copyblogger and Chris Brogan? Between all these authors and entrepreneurs, some of which see sales up into the millions of units sold, don’t you think that would be a good start? How about talking with a few micro-distilleries for Gin and Vodka and have them donate $1 for every unit sold. Or get with a bar/restaurant to do a promo with Gin/Vodka and Tonic… quinine, malaria… Death to mosquitoes. I only mention this ’cause I’m a waiter/server at a restaurant in Dallas TX.
Ex: Death’s Door Gin and Vodka, inspired by the Death’s Door passageway between Washington Island and the Door County peninsula.
Shoot, who knows, there are so many ways to go about this I get carried away. Just trying to float some ideas out there and see what all kinds of solutions I can muster up.
To answer your question about the introduction to Chris Brogan, I would be delighted. If you think that’s the best way to go about this business, then let’s do it. I’m ready to surrender some/all control and have this idea go hog wild.
Sorry for the tremendous wall of text. I knew this would sort of get out of hand.
PS: If you’d like, I’d be more than happy to translate your manifestos into Spanish. I lived in Chile for 10 years and it’s my only second language. I got a degree from UNT (University of North Texas) in Spanish. Actually, I’ll just do it. I just had a small random thought on how it might be cool to reach out to a large segment of the population that can’t read your manifesto cause it’s in English. Stay tuned, cheers!