Meet Henri Ferguson - Lifelong Learner

The first day of my crash course to becoming a Yoga Instructor went very well. I haven’t done much yoga practice in my time and was quickly reminded that it is quite challenging and that I am definitely going to be sore by the time Friday comes around. I wonder how many people arrive to work on the first day with a suitcase full of clothes, their computer, and day pack all in hand? Well that was me yesterday. Just another typical Monday morning; time to make the transition into a new working environment, new challenges, new co-workers, new housing arrangement, all over again.

Week Seven - Yoga Instructor 026I was asked recently what skills I find to be the most consistently necessary through my jobs so far. I think that I would have to say ‘Transitional Skills.’ More on that in a post later this week, yet first I want to tell you about an amazing talk I had with Henri Ferguson, an incredible man and Yoga Instructor at Lotus Soul Gym, the Yoga Studio in Edmonton, Alberta where I am working for Week Seven.

I arrived at the studio around 11:00am. A class had just finished with no other classes scheduled for the afternoon. Henri greeted me warmly right away and we ended up talking for over two hours. We discussed One Week Job and the learnings I am taking away from it, all the different careers he has had, how his life has led him to his current career at the age of 57 as a Yoga Instructor, and how we can positively contribute to the lives of many simply by helping one person.

One of his career decisions really stuck out for me. He owned a catering business and had built it to the point where after 7 years it was doing $1 million worth of business each year. But, he and his partner were burnt out and came to the realization that their happiness was more important than their material wealth. So, they sold the business. Henri moved to the Cayman Islands in his forties and became a scuba diving instructor. He said that when he looked down at his first pay cheque with an hourly wage of $5.85, he couldn’t have been more happier, and that he would have framed it… had he not needed the money.

He spoke of how we must have realistic perceptions as our perceptions manifest to become our beliefs which then in turn become our truths. In this manner we are continually setting our own barriers, our own limitations. When we can come to the realization that the only thing preventing us from achieving a certain outcome is ourself, we suddenly then become capable of anything and can glimpse our true potential.

It was great speaking with him and I am happy that he was willing to share his experiences, insights, and wisdom with me.

It was also quite empowering to see somebody with such diverse and rich life experience genuinely excited about what I am doing, about my future, and to hear him say, "Sean, you inspire me.. I can’t wait to see what you are doing in 20 years, because you are going to do some amazing things in your life."

It was truly touching and I suppose adds to the mounting responsibility I seem to be creating for myself. A responsibility that just might take me more than a 'One Week Job' to suffice.

If you are ever in Edmonton, I encourage you to drop by Lotus Soul Gym to take a class with Henri and meet him for yourself. Also, check out his poetry here.