The Dead Man Talking Tour is a series of speaking engagements on the subject of life priorities and how to make room for them in our busy lives. In my presentations I use humourous anecdotes from my past and draw from my personal experience with cancer. To book a presentation for your event, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At age 27 I found out that I had chronic mylogenous leukemia. The doctors gave me a 40 to 50% chance of surviving. Later I found out that it was more like 20%. The disease got crazy aggressive, crazy fast and I spent the next year dangling on a thread of uncertainty.
And as terrifying as that was—and as brutal as the chemo, radiation and bone marrow transplant were—dangling on that thread did give me a new perspective on life. It opened my eyes to what really matters in life. I’m alive and cancer-free now when the odds told me I should be a dead man. I’m filled me with a resolve to make sure I make the most of whatever time I’ve got.
On one of my first nights in the hospital I made a list. It was a list of 118 “Reasons to Fight”; a list of all the great and important things I didn’t want to lose. More interesting than what was on my list, however, was what wasn’t.
Society’s modern indicators of success—lots of money, a big house, fast car or prestigious job—weren’t on it.
Instead, it was filled with items like my family, friends, sunsets at my grandma’s beach, going for hikes, tobogganing and watching for shooting stars. Experiential riches, not material wealth, dominated my list.
Of course, so did things like guacamole, bagels and cream cheese, hummus and Mom’s spaghetti sauce. But come on, by that point I was already so sick of hospital food that you better believe they made the list.
This is the main message of my presentations: we don’t have a lot of time, so spend it well.
It’s about identifying what really matters in our lives. It’s also about finding ways to make room for those priorities in our uber-busy schedules by practicing good work-life balance.
If you are interested in booking me as a guest speaker at an upcoming event, please send me an email at email@example.com.