Can you imagine applying for 86 different jobs before getting hired somewhere? Now imagine after all that waiting, the one opportunity you have available is for a janitorial position.😳
What about if your dad was paralysed when you were 9 years old in an industrial accident, and then you were bullied throughout high school for your nationality while you lived in a foreign land? Identity, persistence, character, how one STARTS again… all this and more in this weeks remarkable episode of the podcast, The Sam Thiara Story! 💪🏼
Sam Thiara is a professional who has created a personal journey as a speaker, storyteller, author, educator, mentor, coach, entrepreneur and community activator.
His goal is to engage individuals, teams and organizations so they are at their optimal. Added to this are the 45+ non-profits he has worked with. He seeks to help people realize who they are so they can go on to do great things. He recently launched a book, ‘Lost and Found: Seeking the Past and Finding Myself’, where he went in search of his ancestral roots with a faded photograph but also learned about his own personal identity.
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Sam Thiara | Identity, Lessons to Be Learned, & How One STARTS Again in Life | Season 4 Episode 67
Hello friends. I'm David Pasqualone and welcome to this week's remarkable episode of the Remarkable People Podcast, The Sam theorists story. When you listened to this episode, you're going to hear Sam. Sam is a keynote speaker for TEDx conferences. Sam is a university professor. Sam has written books.
Sam does consulting and coaching. Sam has all of these alkaloids. He has degrees in business and he's the man that took 86 rejection letters before he became [00:01:00] a. Yeah. So you were going to hear so much about Sam and about learning how his life, how God just had a path for him. And it doesn't seem like a lot of this stuff would be quote unquote.
Good, but it worked and he has a great attitude. So he's going to teach you have the right positive mental attitude. He's going to teach you three keys to life lessons. He's. He's going to share with us acronyms, like starts, they're going to help us better ourselves and grow. And it's not only going to be entertaining to see Sam's journey of seeing his dad become a paraplegic nine and, you know, stepping up to help the family.
How in high school he started getting picked on for his nationality and then it sends him into a deep dive to identify who he really is. But you get so much more. So like most of our episodes, they go deep. They go, why keep listening? Don't you shut it off. Halfway through. There could be a gym almost at the end that changes your life.[00:02:00]
So I'm David Pascoe alone. You're about to hear our remarkable friends. Sam story listened to our couple of our sponsors that support us. That means they support you. See if you can support them and then check out this episode of the show. We love. And we'll see you in just a literal second.
And you believe that we're in season four of the remarkable people podcast, it's been such an honor and privilege. I'm so thankful to God. I'm so thankful for you. I'm so thankful for our guests and then we can all grow together. And at this time I know you're thinking, why is he talking about this during the sponsor?
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She can help you with whatever your situation is or at minimum point you in the right direction. I've personally used Pam in the past to buy homes. She's been fantastic. We've gone to church together. We've worked together in varying capacities. We've been in marketing groups together. We've gone to church together.
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That's it. Now enjoy this remarkable.
Hey, Sam, how [00:04:00] are you today, brother? Hey, doing well. Thank you, David. Oh, thank you for being here. I am excited about our interview today and I just told our listeners about you in the intro. So at this time we're going to get on with your story, man, where you're from, how you grew up, the good, the bad, the ugly of your life.
And then we're going to transition to where you are today and where you're going. So after you help us learn to grow and give us practical steps to also overcame what you have, then we're going to try to help you hit your next milestone or benchmark sound good. Hey, that sounds wonderful. Awesome, brother, then let's start, man.
Where were you born? Where were you from? And what was your upbringing? Yeah. So I was born in a town called south Hampton, England and south Hampton sits right on the coast in Southern England. And at the age of four, I wound up you know, hopping on a plane with my parents. And we moved to Vancouver, Canada as an opportunity was [00:05:00] available.
You know, my father thought Canada seemed like a beautiful place. Actually. What was really interesting is my parents are from Fiji islands, which is just near Australia, New Zealand. And then they, my father wound up going to England because he thought there's some good opportunities there. And in England they decided, okay, now we're moving to Canada and we never moved away from Vancouver, Canada ever since grew up in a beautiful part of the west coast.
And, you know, we've got an abundance of. Wildlife and trees and just wonderful seasons and just made my life here in Vancouver. That's awesome. Now, would you say your childhood was quote unquote normal? Was there any trauma or is there any kind of like, wow, we lived in an elite expectation life. I mean, what was your childhood like overall?
Yeah, I mean, I grew up like any other child and went to [00:06:00] school. I would come home, go out and play with my friends. However, when I was nine years old, I still remember the day very vividly. I came home, my aunt was there and she made me a cup of tea. And she said, before you go and play with your friends, I just wanted to let you know, your dad had an accident now as a nine-year-old.
I still hold this vision of the accident where my father's car rolls into a ditch and he walked. Actually instead he had an industrial accident and he became a paraplegic. And I write about it in a book that I published at nine years old, you don't even know what paraplegia is, let alone even be able to say the word, but what it did was it just totally changed our life.
Now, some people may say, you know, your childhood got robbed. You wound up having to take on so many tremendous responsibilities at the age of nine, because it was my mom, my brother and I, and not a lot of family at that [00:07:00] time, but we still wound up my brother and I still wound up hanging out with friends and going to school, but there were more responsibilities thrust upon us.
We had to start doing obviously more chores and, you know, learn about you know, how to deal with. Paraplegia and my father father's disability, but the thing was that I never looked at it as a negative situation. And I, and I learned this at the age of nine. We, as a family, never, never dwelled on it was good or bad.
And obviously it wasn't good, but it wasn't also bad because what we decided was if we looked at this as a bad experience, it was going to pull us into a vortex. And my father wound up going to rehab and, you know, confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. But equally at the same time, we never [00:08:00] looked at the 1000 things he can't do.
And the main one being could never walk again, but we focused on let's do the 5,000 things we can do. I mean, and he was a carpenter and a craftsman. So he wound up teaching me. Woodworking electrical plumbing just all of these small things that you could do around the house. He and I actually also built a bedroom suite together, which I still have.
And fortunately, he's still with us as well. That's fantastic. So things that you pick up yeah. You learn as long as you're willing to learn and be open to these experiences. It's it's the opportunities and the learning is there for us in life. And that's the right attitude in the healthy attitude. Did your family always have that positive mindset or is that something you learned through this experience of paraplegia?
I think we, I think that we had it, but we never [00:09:00] realized it until the situation emerged and it came face to face and confronted us and. But we, we made a decision and I remember my mom was going to re you know, quit her job and start looking after my dad and our doctor I'd have to say very wise, man told my mum don't quit.
He said, if you quit, he's going to depend on you for everything. But what we need for him to do is become independent and do things on his own. And then as a result, my mom continued to work and my father wound up, you know, looking after the household, he, you know, even he would drive his car with hand controls.
We had an elevator at the house, which was a novel item because my friends would want to come over to go up and down the elevator in our house because you know, whose house has an elevator. But what we wound up doing is, you know, really focusing on, you know, let's move forward from [00:10:00] this and let's not.
Dwell on this. And I remember having a conversation with someone who said, yeah, it's really terrible. What happened to your family back many years ago? And I said, actually, it's not terrible. And she goes, that's a such a terrible thing to say, you've been. And I said, no, no, it's not terrible, but it's not good.
Our hand was dealt. And as a result of this I have to move forward. And, you know, David, even to this day, it brings me to where I am and it's, it's resonated throughout my life because my parents are still around, but they're aging and they have some difficulties and problems with health. And then equally at the same time, my older brother and my only sibling has advanced forms of Alzheimer's and he's only 60 years old and we've had to confront and deal with that.
But I've told myself it's about here's the hand that's been dealt with. We have to just, you can't hope, pray or wish for anything else. This is our reality. Let's [00:11:00] move on. Wow. That really is such a healthy mindset. But at the same time, it's so hard for many of us to adopt that. And to think that way, because we have a tendency we want to blame, or we want to dwell, like I know myself, I've had stuff happen to me in life.
And some of this stuff, no matter how terrible it was, I just picked up and shook it off. And there's other things that it's, I still to this day haven't shaken. So what tips do you have practical steps for our listeners say, okay. Like you called it a four text. I wrote that down. Like, for those of you listening, you have no idea what we're doing, but for those of you watching, you'll see my head, keep popping down.
I'm writing. You, you talked about, you'd be pulled into this vortex and this, this valley, this depression, whatever you want to call it, how do you recommend listeners start changing their mindset? No matter what they've been dealt what's happened to them, what people purposely did to them. How do you recommend some steps to get out?
[00:12:00] Yeah. Yeah. And I think one of the most important pieces of this is the fact that you have to take ownership of this and don't let the situation control you. You can control the situation. And I remember coming up with this, my friends who know me, always say, Sam, you're so full of acronyms. And I said, you know, there's an acronym that I came up with that helped me and helps me, but it also helps others.
And. Starts in other words, the acronym is starts for mental health. And it's something that I found has always helped me start. So the, the S stands for support. We need to come up and create a supportive environment. T stands for trust. Once you have a supportive environment, trust establishes, the third piece is appreciation.
So that's the a of starts and appreciation means that when we're going through challenging and difficult times, we [00:13:00] forget to appreciate the things around us. Now, how do we appreciate is through the R, which is reflection. In other words, start thinking about things from a, a much different perspective than the obvious that's around you.
And the second T is for talks. We need to have healthy conversations with the people that we trust. And then the last S of starts means strength. After all of this, we all emerge from a position of strength. So we need to create support, trust, appreciation, reflection, talk strength. And this is something that I can reflect back on throughout my life, as things go in a certain direction.
Well, that's one way to deal with it, but overwhelmingly I think the way that I've always held it is I control the situation. The situation doesn't control me. [00:14:00] And I think that's a mindset that we need to absorb and to hold within us, because it can be an overbearing beast. But when you say Nope I understand, and you make that statement.
I understand here's the situation. Now I'm going to start moving it into my quarter. You can't change the circumstances. I can't change my brothers all Alzheimer's or my parents are aging or my parent, my father's paraplegia, but I can change how I'm going to deal with the situation. That's the way I would say, well, let me ask you a question.
This is something that for people who are super positive and have the right mindset, I've always wondered this in the first guest I've asked that I can think of in 70 episodes or whatever we're at early on Alzheimer's, that's kind of just life. That's not a specific person, right? Your dad's accident, you know, that might've been caused, but it wasn't [00:15:00] intentional.
Yeah. All these things that life, and you could have a tsunami come in. Those are all kind of like natural uncontrollable things. But do you feel the same approach works for people who've been harmed? Like. A woman is raped by a man that was an intentional harm, you know, a spouse cheats and another spouse that was an intentional harm.
Someone robbed you and stole all your belongings. That's an intentional harm. Do you feel like it's a separate process or there's an additional component to forgiving someone and getting through an intentional harm versus natural disaster? Yeah, I've been I think that, you know, that's a very good point and I appreciate the way that you've brought that up, because again, those are traumatic situations that have been imposed upon a person that, you know, again, they had no control over that situation.
[00:16:00] I, I can say it's very difficult for that person. To forgive someone for what the, the harm that they caused them. For example, here in Canada, we just found out that residential school system against first nations, they found a mass grave of 215 children and at a residential school here and how, and there were numerous residential schools.
How many more of this happened? This farm was, was put upon all of these first nations families. Well, how do we move forward now? And you know, I guess part of it is needing to understand those situation that has emerged. That's been imposed upon you, but equally at the same time, if it's possible. And I can't say.
Wholeheartedly because I haven't encountered that type of situation that you've described that I can't really put [00:17:00] myself in their position to say, yeah, just get over it and forgive them because that harm is, is very deep. And I think that by having conversations with people you've lost that level of trust with people.
And how do we gain that back again and maybe starts as a way, but equally at the same time that I personally feel that that that will always be with them. And, you know, it may rise at different times and surface at different times and we have to respect and appreciate. It's easy for us as observers to judge.
And oftentimes when I'm teaching my class, I tell people you may, as an observer, judge, someone it's right or wrong, good or bad. But let's look at it at a much more deeper and realistic level. The person who's gone through this trauma, we don't need to tell them anything. We need to listen to them. [00:18:00] And that's, I think what's critical.
I don't think we listen enough. I think we're there to try to fix people's problems or you know, have you thought of this or try this? I personally think that what I need to do is just sit and listen and, you know, David I've had people approach me. I mean, I have three to eight conversations a week with people and I've, and some of the conversations are very difficult where people have contemplated suicide.
People have told me about you know, some deep secrets that they've held and you know, that they've been carrying this burden and I don't judge them, but I listened to what they have to say. I need to help them unload this burden, but it will always be with them. Yes. And for those listening, like we mentioned you know, Sam's a TEDx speaker, he's a professional, he does coaching and consulting and all these great things.
But what he's talking about right there is [00:19:00] very true. And I found in my own consulting practice, a lot of times we're working with CEOs and their problem isn't in the board room or in the office, it's in their own head space, in their own heart and in their home. So you, if you're looking, I'm pointing to the camera, me, Sam, all of us, we have to be at peace with God at peace with ourselves, and then at peace with each other and everything really falls into place.
And like God says, love, God love thy neighbor as myself. All right. So you do agree with me that there is, and you don't have to agree with me, but in my mind, there's a difference between being able to just jump back up from a natural disaster versus an intentional harm. And I've worked really hard in my life to forgive.
Those intentional harms, but man, it's just hard to forget. And then you have the people who judge you that are like, oh, you know, you're not forgiving them. And I'm like, I do forgive them, but the trust is gone. Their respect is gone. It's like, but how do you not? How do people not see [00:20:00] that? So I'm thinking they've probably never gone through the trauma in their life and their.
Judgemental. So it's like, then I get angry and want to smack them in the head. Right. So now I got a new sin in my life, but the sangria and sin not, I don't hit them, but I want to, yeah. So, okay, Sam, so go on. So now in your life, you're growing up, you have a great childhood, you guys moved to Vancouver, your dad has this industrial accident, and then your family learns to adapt and overcome.
And you're really you, you, like you said, if I didn't point it out, you were having a good life. I had a great childhood. Right. So pick us up from there and to where you're transitioning through life and what you're learning on your journey. Yeah. And so as growing up, I mean, I'm not the person you see before to back in you know, especially high school.
I have to say high school was not a heyday for me. It wasn't the best of times I was awkward, shy, and quiet. And you know, one of those individuals that just sort of blended into the backdrop and background and never to be seen or heard [00:21:00] and, you know, Encountered bullying. And it, it really impacted me in a certain way where I, as an individual, I was, you know, always growing up as I thought, a Canadian and played road hockey, you know, hung out with my friends and all that.
And then when I got into high school at grade eight there's a grade 12 student, a football player who, whenever he saw me would just hit me for no reason. And he said, well, I just don't like your kind. And I was like, what do you mean I'm Canadian? And he was like, no, you're, you're Indian. And I just don't like your kind.
And you know, it just sort of made me wonder, like, you know, how could somebody be this way or treat people this way? And it suddenly, like I said, and this happened to a fair bit, and then thankfully he graduated, but there were other times where, you know, you get bullied because of any number of reasons.
And I told myself at that [00:22:00] stage that I'm not going to be a bystander in life. I am there as an advocate for people. And I even remember because I was awkward, shy, and quiet. I went to see my counselor and basically was happy to tell him that, you know, I was graduating and that I was going to go to a local college and he looked at me and he said, Sam, I don't know.
Maybe you might want to rethink your plans because I don't know if you're going to fare well in that environment. Now my marks weren't really bad, but they weren't really great. They were just sort of middle of the road, but it was more of the personality. I had awkward, shy, quiet. He says, I don't know if you're going to farewell.
You may want to rethink your plans. Now I had already submitted an application to my local college, but I was going to apply at other places. But then I thought now, you know, what do I now withdraw my application? 'cause here's somebody who said you're not going to do well. Well, I thought, [00:23:00] you know what?
The college isn't going to accept my application because this person said I don't fit in. So I thought, nah, leave it alone. And maybe I'll see what else options I have. Well, a letter arrives in congratulations. We look forward to welcome Ewing, welcoming you in September. I just remember sitting there going, like, what do I do now?
I thankfully, well, and think of it this way. I was this close, like literally very close to withdrawing my application, but I thought, okay, I may as well just go. But the first semester I went to college imposter syndrome. I felt I don't belong here. Somebody told me that you don't belong here. And I, and it just seems.
You know, what am I doing here? I shouldn't be here, but at the end of the semester, my marks were all right. They weren't the best, they weren't the worst, but I was all right. And I did another semester. And then I wound up applying to university. I got in [00:24:00] and I was like, okay. And again going through university, and this is where I think I started to open up.
And part of it is from a cultural aspect, a other part from a personal aspect of bringing up my personality. But I mean, I'll just give a quick, fast forward that I graduated university and sitting at graduation. I said, man, I can't believe how wrong that person was. And then later on, I went years later, got my master's and now I teach at university.
I can't believe how wrong this person was and how close I was to walking away from what was rightfully mine. But what was interesting about this is in university. And so growing up where I was in north Vancouver it's predominantly a Caucasian population. There was literally just a small handful of kids that were of minority visible minority.
But when I got to university, I suddenly was embraced [00:25:00] by people from my cultural background and it just opened up a huge avenue of wanting to learn more about my cultural upbringing, because I was British. I was Canadian, I'm Indian and Fiji and by my parents, but I really was disconnected to my Indian roots and same with my Fiji and roots.
And it started to open up my eyes to, wow, wait a minute. There's this diversity piece that. I think that I can now hold. So that took me all the way to university and you know, it, university was definitely a better place than what my high school experience was. Yeah. Cause all our appeal are like-minded, you're all there by choice.
You aren't just forced because you live in the same block. Right. I hated high school. I hated every minute of pretty much kindergarten through 12th grade. It, I wasn't a school guy and I like you, God has a sense of humor. I ended up teaching at a college as [00:26:00] well. So it's like, isn't it funny how the people told us we'd be nothing.
And then we're, we're teaching at a university. It's just amazing. So let's rewind that. Because there's listeners now who have been told their whole life they're worthless. They're no good. You're never going to make anything yourself. Or maybe they have the imposter syndrome and they're thinking, you know, everybody thinks I can do this, but I can't.
And that's a lie, but what do you, what advice do you have for them? How do they break free and get at least like you said, at least try it, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Actually, it's interesting because my second TEDx that I did was activating the voice within to be louder than the noise around. I think that there's a lot of this noise of people telling you what to do and how to do it.
And that part of the reason being is we haven't taken the time to really understand who we are by knowing who you are. You now have some level of confidence that you're able to now grasp [00:27:00] this and start moving forward. So what I would ask people to do is instead of listening to the noise. Start seeking out the champions and enablers, the people who are there to support your journey, who aren't going to tell, but instead are there to say, how can I support your journey?
What is it that's important to you, but there's some heavy lifting that's required by the individual who is seeking. In other words, how do you find the voice within and instead of the noise around? So that's where I think it's really important for that individual to be active in listening to what's important to them and pre-start pursuing the voice within, or the way that I always describe as there's this horizon beyond, but it's a painted horizon.
And the painted horizon is where people around. You want you to go, but it's not your horizon [00:28:00] until you find the horizon within. It's really hard for you to go to this horizon beyond. So find those champions and enablers, the people who are there to support your journey. And this is a commitment I have made to my classes.
I teach to anybody who's there is, I'm here to support your journey. I'm not here to tell you what to do. And it's interesting because people see me as what I call well, they come to me, they think of me as a monk sitting on top of a mountain with this beard and an orange saffron robe. And, you know, David comes to me and says, you know I don't know which direction I should go.
And I said, David, you should be a podcaster and this will help many people in your life. And you're like, yeah, that's a good idea. I'm going to go that direction. I call myself a monk, but I'm a difficult monk. In other words, the monk, you see. Is within yourself. My job as a difficult monk is to ask you questions so that [00:29:00] you realize what matters to you and the direction you need to go.
And I think you need to find more of those difficult monks in life who are going to challenge you and ask you these question. Yeah, I agree. I believe that we all have the truth inside of us. It's just a matter of listening and digging down. And a lot of times facing reality now facing the truth, facing what we don't want to believe or facing what we've been told.
We shouldn't believe. I agree with you. Usually in the mirror, you quiet and be still, and you find the answers, the holy spirit through you and you just move forward with and you're always be well. All right, well then you made a comment and I, and I made a comment about TEDx. We have listeners from over 81 countries around the globe and we have a great community, but not all of them.
Are there professional realm quickly, just give a definition. What is TEDx? Because some people have no idea what we're talking about, but from the professional realm, that's a big deal. Just so you guys know. Yeah. So the [00:30:00] actual Ted conferences are. People that have stories to share and lessons that they, that they feel they've lived or fax information, any, it's a place where it's a gathering of people who want to get insights.
So then TEDx is a franchise of the main Ted conference and TEDx is, are done all around the world as the places where people go and they're able to experience either as a speaker where they share different stories. So my first TEDx was on storytelling and it's about how do you discover the extraordinary out of the ordinary?
And the second TEDx I did was activating the voice within to be louder than the noise around and people walk away with. Insights practical tools, but even as an audience member, they're not there to just silently sit there. It's about activation and getting people to activate. So [00:31:00] TEDx provides a forum of dialogue and discussion and a place where ideas and thoughts can be shared.
Awesome. Thank you, Sam, for doing that. And that these are things that are sometimes local, sometimes internationally broadcast. Sometimes you can see replays online, but TEDx is, are usually what's the word, man? My mind just went blank, but no, not a franchise. I'm going to say they're vetted. They're like the speakers are vetted.
They're not just people standing up there. They're people who are like, they say it, they live in. They have results from teaching it, their students have results from teaching it. So it's an honor to be a TEDx speaker. So yeah. I just want people to understand like that the frame of reference and the Sams not just credentials, but respect in the community.
So let's go back to one more thing too. And this is like, I believe there's one race, the human race. I have friends from all over the world. I believe culture is a huge difference. I believe there's nationalities and [00:32:00] nations and there's pride and that's great. I think it's healthy, healthy human competition.
You know what your background is in my background is me and my friends tease each other all the time, you know, because there's stereotypes and a lot of stereotypes are true, right? So I'm Italian, my I'm American, I'm Italian, and that's where my heritage goes. But in new England, I grew up outside of Boston, in a town called Milford mass, but the whole mentality in new England is literally when they meet you, they're like, oh, Pascoe home.
Oh yeah. Casino. Oh, where are you from? And that's the question? Or they'll joke. They know where you're from. And like, oh, you're an Irish kid. And like, you're like, no, I'm Italian. Like there's a screw in with you. So one of the first conversation breakers in new England is where are you from now? You said, where you grew up.
You're like I'm Canadian. Yeah. So on that side of the world, would it be considered rude? If somebody said, Hey, Sam, what are you, where are you from? [00:33:00] Yeah, actually it's interesting. And this is why I wrote my second book called lost and found, seeking the past and finding myself because. I grew up, like I said, Canadian, the way I describe it is think of a, a Duck's egg rolling into a Swan's nest and the Swan hatches it.
And when that duckling emerges, it looks around and sees the Swan. It sees the other swans and it starts becoming a Swan, but eventually it sees its reflection in the water. And then it looks at the others and say, wait, there's something different about me. And, you know, I think that's the, that's the way I could describe what my life was like.
I grew up as a Canadian and you know, then you suddenly get beat up a couple of times because, you know, you're you look different. And then what I realized is from a cultural aspect, people would ask me, so where are you from? And I'd be like, well, born in England, raised in [00:34:00] Canada. They're like, no, Your, your parents, what part of India are they from?
I'm like, actually they're from Fiji. And then people are like, yeah. And then they're like, wait, are you Indian? And it's like, well, my grandfather's came from India. My ancestors are from India and they're like, oh. And then others will be like, you're not Indian you're Canadian because they say that you don't act like what an Indian would like from a cultural nuances and things like that.
And I've even had people say, you know, where are you from? And I said, well, born in England, raised in Canada where they will be like, what part of India? No. No. Where are you really from? And I'm like, I dunno how to answer that from S street, man, I grew up two blocks away from you. Yeah, there you go. But what I found is, so my life was there's an Indian platter.
It's called a Tali and it's it's a platter, but it's segmented with different types of foods. So in other words for me, my Tali was British Canadian, Indian and Fijian. And no matter which crowd I was running [00:35:00] with, that's the one that I would be playing. But I went to India back in 2004 to search for my ancestral roots, with just a photograph and very little information.
All I had was just a, you know, this faded photograph. And little else. And partly Sam, actually, I don't want to interrupt you, but I'm going to interrupt you because I want to ask you one question that ties into this. Yeah. I mean, it, I'm not seeing it to be politically correct. Cause I don't believe in politically, correct.
I think people are snowflakes these days and they need to toughen up right. Flat out. I think if you're going to cancel me because of something I say, then you're close minded when you're saying you're open. So period, my listeners know where we're coming from. Sure. But there's one race, the human race, but there is different cultures.
And as you got older, you started seeing that, Hey, I'm different. And there was something inside you that was driving you to learn your culture. That doesn't mean you weren't proud to be a Canadian or [00:36:00] proud to be British, but there is some that are ancestral roots. I swear God puts in us because I know when I went to Italy on vacation, I never felt better.
I never slept better. I performed at a higher level. I mean, it literally was like something in my genetic code was unlocked. And I talked to one of my other buddies who was adopted. He never knew where he was. I was in the military was deployed overseas. He's in this little country and the dudes eating writings and like feels great.
And he's happy, never felt like the way in his life. Then he comes back 20 years later, finds out that's where all his Ancestry's from. Literally he was three miles away from like his hometown. Well, okay. So I do believe that there's something that's genetic and DNA, whatever you want to call it, God led inside of us.
But what was it that took you from the transition of where you are [00:37:00] to, I'm going to find this I'm going to search? What, what was that transition like for you and how did you start and get into your journey? So other people can't do so for me, it was, there were two things that were really important. The first thing was that, you know, nobody really put stock in this.
People are living in the here and now, but. The ancestral piece was not important to them. And for me, it was just a fine thread that was left. If I don't do this and it skips a generation, our ancestral roots are gone forever. And you know, I've always said for me, I thrive in ambiguity, uncertainty, give me something complicated and difficult.
I roll up my sleeves and that's what I enjoy. So all I had was just a faded photograph, very little information. And I thought to myself, okay, this is a challenge. I need to take this on because of the ancestral [00:38:00] piece, the thread that was, that was there. The other part was my father. He's done a lot for me and, you know, through the struggles and the trials and tribulations, and I really wanted to do something for him.
So I decided that this was one thing that I could do cause he's never been to India. And I needed to. See if I could find this and I went, it literally was looking for a needle in a haystack, but not knowing where the haystack was. Yeah. Where's there. The population in India now is over a billion, right?
Oh, it's like 1.7 billion, small, small haystack, easy. And the information we had was very limited, but what was really interesting along this journey, because it took me about a year to prepare for this. I was asking people who were near this place. So our village name is what we knew it as is called it's six.
It sits six miles away from a post office or the town of Garson code in a district called Hersha output. Okay. So that's what I have. So I [00:39:00] started asking people from Hershey, outboard, or even people who knew Garson Goodwill, have you heard of the village to DOD? And they were like, Nope, never heard of it, but more importantly, why are you even searching?
Like. There's a good chance. You're not going to find this village. There's also a good chance that, you know, if you find the village, you may not get a good reception. And it's like, all of these blocks were put in front of me, these obstacles. Well I look at it this way. I was like, fine. Don't help. So a day before I left my step cousin in Fiji sent me an email and he basically said, look, I made it to God-sent good.
Didn't find the village. But the village name is Genotti and I thought shadowy Genotti that sounds very similar. Couldn't find Gianotti. But I found a place called . It sounds very similar. And I asked my father, what do you think? He says, actually, you know what? That may be a place that you need to go.
Cause it sits six miles from, gosh, sancha. But we went to India and it was great. I mean, [00:40:00] I really embraced the, the whole aspect about it. And what was interesting, what resonated for me was the term tourist and traveler. A tourist only wants to see that place, but they don't want to experience. So they want to see India in all its magnificence, but does not want to experience the poverty.
Me, I, whenever I travel, I want to be a traveler. I want to experience, I want to see what it's like, don't shield and hide things from me. So I went to India and I got to see the Taj Mahal, amazing structure, like pictures do not do the place justice. I went to the golden temple, which is the holiest place for all Sikhs.
And I'm not really a religious person, but I had a spiritual moment there. And it was also then finding this. And I went in search and it was a difficult search. The first day we went to this place in John Doley with all this [00:41:00] anticipation of connecting and it wasn't the right place. And you, now you think to yourself, the 1.7 billion people, my village is somewhere here and I'm, and I feel like I'm close the next day.
I just told my driver. I said, forget what everyone has told us. Let's just drive to Goslin cut. Let's just ask people and sure enough people were like, Nope, never heard of it. No, I think you're in the wrong place, but good luck in the search. Ideally, and ultimately in the end though, somebody said, wait, should not, it's actually six miles up the road this way.
And I write in my journal, here we go again, like as in, okay. I've gone through the setbacks. Let's give it a try, but I'm not prepared. I mean, I'm prepared for the worst that this isn't it. And then we, weren't going to find our village. We, we drove to this place. And actually, can I ask you a question too?
Was there a point in your [00:42:00] journey you're just trying to seek truth and find answers, but when you're asking questions like that in a foreign country, you could literally be set up to be robbed. Are, you know what I mean? Was there any threat or fear or did you feel pretty comfortable? Cause you had a guide?
Actually we had the guide with us and he sort of seemed to be our protector and you know, we, I can speak the language to some extent, my wife is actually fluent in it. I'm conversational, but we let the driver do all the maneuvering with regards to the conversations. And that's how we were able to get to this place.
And it took us to an Archway and there's this old man sitting. And he basically is looking at this and we give them the picture and I'm like, it's a faded photograph. He, this guy's like 90 years old, seems like he fell off a charm bracelet. And you know, just a basic, you know, that type of old man and, you know, just you think to yourself, there's no way this guy could even see the people in the picture.
It'd be, it's hard to even make out who they are. [00:43:00] He said, no, I think the house is up this way, but it doesn't look like this. And he came with us and I just remember walking up to this house again. And after many times we've had setbacks and 10 people came out and they all sort of looked at this picture and there's one lady with a white shawl, looked at the picture and said, that's me.
Who are you? Like, I was able to actually find my grandfather's house, you know? And it was just this journey. That's crazy. So who was that? So it turned out that my grandfather being the second in the family was not going to inherit much at the farm. So oftentimes in our culture, the second born joins the military, the police government travels the world.
And so this was my grandfather's older brother's side of the family. That's how close this was. So they had heard about us, but they didn't know who we were. And it was [00:44:00] a reuniting of an entire ancestral line that had actually been missing. And what was really, for me, this persistence piece is I went to India and I took Ziploc bags with me with the idea that this was something that I was going to do.
It was to find my grandfather's village because then I went out into the fields and I scooped up dirt. And I brought the dirt back to back to my father. So he actually has the village with him. And you know, so now a lot of our family members have these Curio boxes with the family's dirt from our village in there.
So it's a, it's an epic search. It's more than just you go there, you know, have a picture, find a village and a story. There's, there's a lot that's poured into this book about the cultural side, the flavors, the sounds, the, how I was feeling. [00:45:00] And if I may, David, one thing that really clarified for me, and this was that's why the book is called lost and found seeking the past and finding myself, I went seeking for the past, which was reuniting with my ancestral roots, which is what I did, but it was also about finding myself because it earlier I described this Tali, which is a platter and segment a dishes where I am British Canadian, Indian and Fijian, but my realization.
And I write about it in my book is instead of looking at my life as a Tali and segmenting my life, I'm an Indian rice dish called kitchen and a kitchen. He is you know, basically it's like an omelet. You basically just, you know, go to your fridge. Whatever's there. You sort of mix it all up. And in kitchen, it's a rice dish with vegetables and you add your spices and flavors to it.
But I realized, I went to India, seeking out my Indian roots or, you know, being Indian David. I was always Indian. That's [00:46:00] what my realization was. So that's why it's lost and found seeking the past and finding myself because of the realization of finding myself was equally as important as now finding that.
It's so good. And I started chuckling. If somebody saw me smile, when you said, you know, you have dirt on your family, I'm thinking, man, most people don't want any dirt on their family. And you've got the real dirt, the legit dirt. That's so awesome. And I want to ask you another question. I don't want to be ignorant or offensive.
It's I've had friends from India and they explained to me that when they got married, it's not like America where the standard and marriage, you take the husband's last name, something like the father's first name became your last name. When a child was born. Do you know what I'm talking about? Because the reason when I triggered is because I'm thinking to myself to find someone in America is hard enough, but now you're switching first names and last names and middle names.
I'm like, that [00:47:00] must be like a nightmare. So what, what is that? And how does it work? And did that affect your search? Yeah, no, because in our culture, in the thing to think about India is it's not homogenous. In fact, India is such a diverse country. It's got hundreds of languages and dialects and equally at the same time, multiple religions it just depends what part of India you're exploring and looking at in our part.
Nope. It, the idea is that the woman would take the husband's family name and that's actually now, which I'm looking at, and I actually appreciate is that's actually changing. Now. Some of the women are saying, no, I'm keeping my, my family name and you know, families are accepting it and whatnot. Still a lot of work needs to be done.
But in, in my part of the. It's just whatever the family name is that the person will adopt that now in certain cultures. And I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I believe in Muslim [00:48:00] culture, maybe that's where, you know, you would take that name. But again, I'm not a hundred percent sure because I'm not quite familiar with that faith.
Okay. Yeah. There was a couple of my friends and they were separate, totally separate experiences. And they were just explaining like, if the name was John AEMO's, then the child would be like Amos and then the wife's last name. And it was like this chain that kept going on and I thought, wow, you're not using a, what does that answer?
your.com buddy, that's going to be tough to track. Totally. So all this journey, how did it change you and what did it do for you? Like you said, you found yourself and you found you already there. Explain that. How did it impact Sam's. Yeah, the way it impacted is the fact that it made me realize that couple of things.
Number one that I'm a traveler, not a tourist. I want to experience life. I want to experience other cultures. I want to learn more about what I call stories. One of my favorite [00:49:00] quotes is everyone's life. As an autobiography, make yours worth reading. We are living stories. And I think what we need to do is listen to other people's stories.
It made me realize that, you know, I can have multiple different flavors and cultures within me. And instead of segmenting, just to embrace the fact that I am this individual who comes, you know, with all of these amazing experiences, cultural life experiences. But to embrace them all. I think that's the biggest lesson that I got.
That's awesome. Now for people out there who, whether they were adopted or whether they just did the parents died young, they know nothing about their family or they want to learn more. What would you recommend the steps for them to start this journey? Yup. Part of it is I always say, look at where your feet [00:50:00] may land.
In other words, the realization is, even with me is I may not find my village, but I am in a place and accept the fact that, you know, I'm in India. And this is where my ancestors came from. Then I went up to the Punjab, which is where my direct descendants are from. And even if I didn't find them, I'm in a place where this is where my ancestral roots come from.
It may not be the pinpoint like I found, but, you know, Except the fact that maybe sometimes really it's just a matter of like, like you mentioned, when you went to Italy, it just felt right. It felt like home and embrace that and appreciate that. So, you know, you may not be able to accomplish what I set out to do and I was prepared and it wasn't going to be disappointing, but also at the same time, you know, you may go in with one idea of what you're seeking and, you know, everything is focused, but I went in with an open [00:51:00] mind and that's how I was able to actually unlock not just the village, but Olin, but also who I am as an individual because I was open to that to say, okay, and being very reflective and appreciative.
So anybody who's going out there to seek, just know that if you get to the place where your ancestors came from the country, let's say for example, or the, the place in the world just feels right. Embrace that. And just say, you know what? This is where I meant to be. This is where I may not have found the exact location, but you know what?
This is a place my, my ancestors have been to, or that I can connect to. And I think that's the most important part. I think that's great advice. And for myself, I have that Traveler's heart. I don't want to just be a tourist and a window shopper. I like I'd love to like move to every country for as long, you know, [00:52:00] I can only live so many years, but I'd love to live places and I'd love to stay there and be part of the culture and not to be insincere shallow for selfish reasons, just, just to enjoy it.
But like, I've always wanted to go to India. I've always wanted to go to it. Like I want to go to almost every country for different reasons, but I would say like, India is in my top three right now. I just have this strong desire to go. I have so many friends from. Yeah. They all seem like just sweet, humble people.
And I just, I don't know, man, there's just something inside me now. I know I have no DNA from India, but man, there's just something that's drawn me to that culture. Sure. And that's, that's the most important thing. And I just want to read you just a small quote that I have that just gives you the essence of the journey I took.
Yeah. Please do travel. Isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts. It even breaks your heart, but that's okay. The journey changes you. It should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart and on your body. [00:53:00] You take something with you. Hopefully you leave something good behind.
And that was by Anthony Bordain. And I think that when I read that quote, I just was like, that's my life. That's the way that I, I love to travel. I want to engage. I want to meet people. I want to experience, but equally I want to share. Oh, absolutely. So let's do this and let's transition into you just went through your story.
So from your birth through today, is there anything we missed that significant that you want to communicate that will help our audience or something we haven't mentioned yet? Is there anything we've missed before we transition to where Sam today and where you go? Sure. I just wanted to add that, you know, this whole piece of understanding who I am, as opposed to what I was like, everybody else, what am I going to do?
Especially at graduation from university. And I still remember sitting at graduation at a university saying, okay, the next step [00:54:00] I walked across the stage shook the hands of the dignitaries. And when I walked off the stage at giant virtual door slam behind me and everything familiar to me was behind that virtual.
But I sat down and I said, okay, now I'm going to start applying for jobs. Cause that's the next thing that is logical and rational to do because I graduated university with a degree in business and political science. And the idea is that, you know, with that mentality going forward, I was like, okay, who's lucky to get me.
Cause I have a degree in business and political science, a killer combination. So I started applying for jobs and back then you had to write letters or type letters, hand delivered them or mail them. And I sent 10 of them out, 12 of them out. And about a week and a half later a letter came back, opened it up.
It was from one of the companies that said, sorry, we don't have a job for you, but good luck. And I thought, no problem. I'll just send more letters out, which I did. And the more letters I sent out, the more letters came back. [00:55:00] And what I have here are my 86 rejection letters. When I graduated universe. These are the people who said we don't have a job for you.
We're not sure what you're looking for. Good luck, 86 rejections. And I will tell you every single letter was a nail in my coffin of self-confidence, but eventually I got a job and it was business political science. So people think, okay, government work, entry level. I said, exactly. I was a janitor mopping floors and emptying rubbish bins in a hospital.
Okay. But I never looked at it as a negative. I said, okay, wait a minute. Here. I am degree on my wall and I have to move forward. And I remember three life lessons that actually still carries me to who I am today. And I've embraced them ever since the first lesson my father said, I don't care what you do.
You make sure you do the best job possible. So do you know what? At the end of my [00:56:00] shift, there was no floor cleaner and no rubbish bin lifter. The second valuable life lesson I learned was there were times I would get on the elevator with nurses, doctors, and administrators, not all the times, but there were times I just was ignored because you're a janitor and not a professional.
And we have nothing in common. They never took the time to try to understand my story. So this is why I do three to eight conversations a week with people to help them in their journey, because I know what it feels like to be ignored. And I never want someone to feel that way. The third valuable lesson is the fact that there are lessons in anything and everything that we can do instead of looking at it as good or bad, what am I learning?
And that's in anything we do, there are lessons to be learned and I reflect on these letters. Now, David, if one of those letters would have materialized, I would not be with you today because my life would've gone in a different trajectory. I now embrace [00:57:00] those letters as rejections. And the second part that's important is many of these companies no longer exist, but I still do.
I outlasted these companies and that's the resilience that our people will, will show as well. And it brings me to a quote that I've embraced and that I live, which is obstacles are the necessary bricks on our road to success. In other words, don't fear the rejections, don't fear, those pieces learn from it and emerged stronger, but we need the obstacles.
You're not going to have a hundred percent of the victories. So know that the obstacles are there and they will help you get to your successes. They are part of the ingredients towards your success. Oh, well said I couldn't agree. More Sam. Going back to your valuable three life lessons, basically, if you were, if like, if I'm repeating them back to.
You learn, do your best from your dad. [00:58:00] You learn from the janitorial position, respect all people and listen to them. They have value. And then there's lessons to be learned in everything we do. So embrace whatever's going on. Totally. All right, listeners, you got that? Go back. Listen to it again. If you're driving, listen, if you're not write it down, help stick it in the brain.
All right, Sam. So where are you today and where are you headed? How can we help you get your next benchmark or goal? Yeah, no, I've, I've, I've got five things as a guide and direct me in life. Servant leadership, story, sharing, activator, igniter, champion, enabler, and a community do gooder. Those five things become my foundation and anything that I embrace or want to do has to hit five out of five.
So. I'm an educator at university, and I get an opportunity to share stories and try to help people in their journey because I teach organizational behavior. It's more than just theories and [00:59:00] concepts. It's about helping them realize the purpose in their life. I'm an, I'm still a writer. You know, besides the books I've written, I'm still going to be writing more.
I'm a blogger where, you know, I've got about 170 blog posts about these stories and life experiences to help people in their journey. I'm a speaker and I like to share at keynotes and workshops to help people again with the journey. And also I'm a mentor and a coach. I mean, I've, I do about three to eight conversations a week.
It's been about 5,000 to date because it's, it's important to be there to guidance, support these. And the one piece that's a bit separate from all of this is my outlet. All of these things I've just shared with you help to realize what my purpose is in life, but I've also embraced woodworking because to [01:00:00] me, that's the outlet where I really enjoy being there, working on making woodworking projects like tables or boards, you know, shelves.
But the act of doing it is therapeutic because I'm sending, but this is where thoughts and ideas are emerging from. And I highly recommend people, especially during this pandemic, find your outlet, find something that engages you, whether it's yoga, cooking, art, woodworking, it doesn't matter. Find an outlet because you'll see that this really helps.
Create that creative space in your brain and in your mind to help you you asked where I'm planning on going actually just carrying on as long as I've got those five things that are important in my life. And I encourage people to come up with five things that you're not willing to compromise because it's life and career, not just career.
It's just about continuing on with this [01:01:00] act of fulfillment and, you know, continuing on to support people and helping people in their journey. That's what my purpose. Well, thank you. And going back to the outlet, if you're like busy and run down and you're working, working, working, working, I highly recommend you listen to Sam and find an outlet, find a hobby.
And like yours probably meant extra too, because your dad, you said, was into carpentry. So there was more of that heritage and special in that lineage. But I mean, I know myself even just working out last week, I felt so sick that I thought, what is going on with me? What do I have, do I need to go to the doctor?
And I'm like, dude, you haven't worked out in three years, get your fat lazy self to the gym and go work. I literally walked in two days last week, feeling like, do I need to go to the doctor? And then I left feeling good. And then now every day, since then, you know, for a week I'd been working out and I'm just like, I just need this outlet as part of my life.
[01:02:00] Cause it helps me just de-stress and it helps me feel better. And what people don't understand is now that I've distressed and feel better. Yeah. I took a two hour trunk start to finish by the time you change drive to the gym workout, come back shower. Okay. You okay. It's two hours, but now the rest of the 22 hours are more productive.
So is that how you're feeling with the. Oh man. Yeah. Like it's like, I just go into my garage and just when I purchased would, I mean, right now I'm just making different things and then all of these people are like, man, that's, that's some pretty cool stuff you've just created. And but it's also made, like it's not manufactured in a mass produced way.
Every piece is unique. Every piece has you know, a bit of a story where the tree was from some of it. I know where some of the trees are from you joined it together and all of a sudden you have this natural butterfly in this wood because you've, bookmatched it. And people are like, man, that's fantastic.
So I [01:03:00] really, it, part of it is whether someone reads my book and just, you know, says, oh my gosh, I love the journey or buys, you know, one of my woodworking projects and says, man, I just need to have a piece of this in my house because it's just, it comes from a place that was done authentically. Is the best feeling.
Okay, man, you just triggered something in my brain. I'm kind of a weirdo, but you just said how you have the different pieces and how they come together. Yep. Have you taken a piece from Brin, a piece from Fiji, a priest from India, a piece from Canada and made one project yet? Not yet. But that would be awesome.
Yeah, it would be because it really brings it together. But the interesting thing you've just said though, is something I do. It's about the connectedness. Right. And I'm going to share something with you and this has become such a powerful tool. And it's one that I actually see a [01:04:00] transformation on people's faces.
When I share this with them. So I carry with me jigsaw puzzle pieces. So you can see there's one piece right here, but this is what people feel like. They feel like a single piece of a jigsaw puzzle. They don't know where they fit in. They don't know, you know what the bigger picture is in life, but this is what they feel like and break before your eyes.
I'm going to make it extraordinary because instead of focusing on this, we focus on the satchel and I tell people, if I give you a piece of my jigsaw puzzle, do you realize my puzzle is now permanently incomplete without you? Do you realize how important you are to the completion of my puzzle and David, I see the transformation on their face.
You know what the most amazing piece. I hear from people saying it's taped to my mirror every morning I wake up, it reminds me, someone said I was important. It sits in a Curio box that they have in a special place. It's traveled the world. People have it in their wallet [01:05:00] and they see me and they say, look, I still have it where they frantically seek me out saying I lost the puzzle piece and I feel disconnected.
I want to be connected. Could I get a piece I've given over 5,000 pieces in the world today, just to remind people how important they are and how important they are to me. Oh, that's a beautiful and just so inspiring. Awesome man. Well, Sam, it's been a pleasure. You truly are a remarkable friend.
Anything you want to discuss before we close up this episode, any kind of special offers, we'll put a link in the show notes to, you know, your website, your books, but anything else you want to cover before we take. Just the fact that, you know, I just want to reflect back on my signature tagline, everyone's life as an autobiography, yours worth reading, you are a living story.
Everybody who's listening is a living story, and I never want people to feel that they're not interesting [01:06:00] if something is important to you, it's worth sharing. And the fact that you are a living story and you have an autobiography I want people to realize how significant, magnificent and important they are.
And in days we may not feel that, but know that you are an individual who has worked through, you know, stuff you've celebrated things, start reflecting and appreciating what you've accomplished in life. And you'd be amazed at what you know, the magnificence you've actually accumulated that's right. I really would like to share with people.
Well, thank you Sam, for being here today, you truly are remarkable guy, ladies and gentlemen, all over the world. We love you. You are special. If you want a puzzle peach piece to remember that, reach out to samurai either way, one of us will get it and initial the back and send it [01:07:00] off to your right. If you need anything, let us know, like you said, Sam's a coach and a consultant.
If you want some inspiration, reach out to him if you've liked this episode, if you know some of your help, please share it, subscribe to our YouTube and the podcast. But the main thing is we're just here to help you grow. Sam's here to help you grow. So let's do it together, right? Like our slogan says, don't just listen to good information, but do it each day.
Repeat it for. So you can have a great life in this world and the attorney to come. So I'm David Pascoe alone. This is our friend, Sam have a remarkable day, our friends, and we will see you soon in another episode. Ciao.