Volume 6, Issue 2, February 2007
A WAKE UP CALL - AN ACT OF LOVE
February 14th was my 59th birthday and I am happy to be on this side of the grass. Many of you are about to be shocked at what I am about to reveal in this edition of the Caravan. Let me go back to just before Christmas in order to give you an update.
The week before Christmas I had three episodes of pain in my chest and on insistence of family and friends, I went to emergency to get it checked out. Now keep in mind that I have never been in the hospital overnight or had any major problems since coming into this world in 1948. Well that little visit revealed that I might have heart disease so more tests were done and it became clear that I had a blockage in one artery, so a trip to Hamilton was arranged for a minor procedure to put in a Stent in one of my arteries. This is done through a small puncture in the groin area and the next day I am home and good to go. Leave it to me to have to go all the way. They found that not only did I have a 95% blockage in a main artery, but that where it was could not be fixed with a Stent. I was now scheduled for open-heart surgery for a bypass operation. This was done on February 6th.
Here is where the wake up call comes in.
I had always thought that I was in pretty good shape and that I took care of myself, except in the last year, I did let things slide. I stopped eating properly and gained 30 pounds. I guess this exacerbated the slowly growing blockage that had taken years to build up. I had always had high cholesterol, but did not think it was a problem, as I thought I was looking after myself.
But of course in the back of my mind, I knew I was letting things slide. You have all been there. I will eat better tomorrow. I will start back at the gym tomorrow. I will not watch as much TV, starting tomorrow. Well sometimes our bodies and the universe give us that wake up call.
I could have died with a heart attack. I could have died on the operating table. I could have had a stroke either at home or on the operating table.
I thought my life had changed when I was on a DC10 flying into Sydney Australia in 1990 when we had to do an emergency crash landing. But I can tell you this for a fact; it has changed drastically because of this last wake up call.
Being that this occurred on the eve of my 59th birthday which also happens to be Valentine's Day is quite telling. Valentine's Day is the day of the heart and the day of love.
As I lay in the hospital bed preparing to undergo a 4 to 6 hour operation, I had a lot of time to thing about life past, present and future. I realized that I had a fantastic life and that if it was time to go to the big motivational stage in the sky, there were no regrets.
Then I had an epiphany. I loved my life! I loved my families (birthed, extended, inherited, married into and chosen)! I loved my friends! And most of all, I loved myself and it was time to show it by looking after the most precious gift I was given...ME!
For those of you who are planning on changing the direction you are going, don't wait until tomorrow, do it today for tomorrow may be too late. There are too many current loves to nourish and too many new loves to discover.
So if you have not had that wake up call yet, don't wait for it because it may be too late. The gift of life you were given is too precious to throw away.
In my seminars I talk about the River of Life and how a 2% incident will hit us everyday. Well this was my 2% incident so I can’t sit and yell at the rock or give up because it is too overwhelming, all I can do is set myself up and be proactive to make sure it won’t happen again. I am in control of what happens now.
I got out of the hospital on February 12th and am doing fine.
Peace, Love and Happiness
By Pierre R. Ouellette Hon.B.A., LL.B.
For the last couple of years I have been a guest lecturer at Brock University for students interested in International Entrepreneurship. I plan on devoting the next several Sidebars to that topic with a particular emphasis on the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility.
What follows is a brief case study that I used in this year’s talk. I hope to use it as a reference point for some of my comments on this subject.
CASE STUDY - Your Canadian company has been chosen as one of four finalists in a competition to supply advanced communications equipment to the government of a country in Northern Africa. The other companies are from India, China and Russia.
Your local contact is a business man in whom you have a great deal of confidence with respect to his knowledge of local business customs and for his network of contacts. You know you would have not made the final list without his advice! In a private meeting between the two of you he advises that his ‘cousin’ is part of the government’s selection committee and that he is prepared to speak to him about your bid. He alludes to the fact that the ‘cousin’ has two children attending XYZ University in Canada and is constantly complaining about the cost of the special meal program at a place called Joe’s Bar & Grill. At that point he simply leaves the conversation hanging.
What considerations would you address? How would you proceed?
If you have an early take on the issues raised in this Case Study please share them with me at Pierre@CooperativeAction.com
Quote of the Month
Submitted by Brodi Mouradian
You miss 100 % of the shots you don’t take.
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