In twenty years of globetrotting, speaking across 34 countries, one of the single most life-changing moments for me came when I was on my Infinite Possibilities book signing tour that had just reached Portland, Oregon.
An hour before heading over to the Bagdad Theatre, I went for a walk to shake off some pre-event jitters. In the twilight, I came across a homeless woman, sitting cross-legged on the sidewalk, head down in a book, reading by streetlight.
She didn’t look up (phew!) so I kept on walking… haunted by Kahlil Gibran’s words in The Prophet, “It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked…” I wrestled with what to do for two blocks… before going back to offer her the only bill I had, a $20.
She lit up, yet to my surprise, I saw in her eyes that this homeless woman was actually a homeless girl, no more than 18.
Speechless, I feigned a smile and walked away, while the voice in my head shouted out, as if pleading:
“You don’t have to live like this! You are powerful! You have options!”
Now, to each their own, and perhaps her choices made her happier than I will ever know for myself, but I couldn’t help thinking:
“She hasn’t yet been reached, she doesn’t know of life’s beauty and our power…”
I suddenly realized that most people have not been reached…
By the time I returned home, I hatched a plan: Create a simple program based on my new book that I’d deliver in shelters, prisons, and to anyone who would have me, completely free. If I found traction, I’d make the program replicable and teach those interested how to do the same.
Today, 12 years later, there are thousands of Certified Infinite Possibilities Trainers (IPPIES!) in 42 countries… delivering this program to friends and family, in jails and halfway houses, and some are taking it to more affluent audiences for a fee (royalty free for life). Others have used the material to start or augment life coaching careers.
Every one of us has found that “We teach best what we most need to learn!” (Richard Bach, Illusions)
The joy of serving others is the real deal.