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Aug 15

The Death of Robin Williams Reignites Deep Emotion for the Champion of Life

Posted by nlajoie VIP     0 Comment(s)    Add a Comment  comment-icon.png

August 15, 2014

Nineteen years later, after I’d seriously thought about committing suicide for many years, strong emotion still rises to the surface. The death by a "possible suicide" of one of my favorite actors, Robin Williams, who was funny and for me a positive image in this world.  I didn’t feel well all day...without even knowing it, I awoke without the desire for work and when I heard the news, it just blew me away and I cried several times during the day. It's been 2-3 weeks that I wonder what’s in the air, and sadly Robin William did not win the race of life and cross the finish line. His death is likely premature and I send my best wishes of courage and light to his family and friends. A HERO is no longer of this world, but I hope he will make us smile from above.

I cannot speak for Robin William and all others who are in distress or who committed the Act, but for me over the past 19 years and all my work with my coaching clients and participants in my lectures, to analyze the suicide from my personal point of view:

1 - Without dreams, it is not possible to Survive:

For me, the pain inside was so deep, it took 2 passions to save my life. I played volleyball 2 - 3 times a week and practiced piano 1-1/2 to 2 hours per day to fill the emptiness I felt. I couldn't explain it, even though I exceled at school, music, sports and had a good family. No-one understood me or even took the time to listen to me. I felt guilty about being unhappy and became more and more isolated.

2 – Non-Judgmental Listening is Essential:

Usually, people listen only in one ear and try to fix the problem, give advice, cheer or tell you: "it's not really that bad and there are people far worse off than you!" Although they mean well, these are not helpful things to say, at least, not in my case. Even recently, when I spoke about some problems that I encounter, the dilemma that I had and the steps I need to cross, nobody understood me and think I was negative or complaining for nothing! It's human nature I guess. And I am not talking about people who complain all the time, who are the victim and that do nothing to alleviate their pain - it is another story. I was like that until the age of 25, so I know how to recognize the difference... In many cases, even with all the data of the extent of the problem, it is very difficult to judge people and understand their state of mind. The only thing we can do is to listen without judgment.

3 - Loneliness Kills:

Whether it's literally, physically or emotionally, with disease or the death of our dreams, loneliness makes us all die slowly. Feeling alone is surely one of the growing plagues of our society, with all the focus on electronic communications, social media, TV, this must be addressed to increase human contact, hugging, looking in the eyes and direct communication if we want to turn the wheel the right way. In my lectures, even in Africa, between the diplomats and the “regular” people, I conduct an exercise where people must connect to each other by touch, and I still get plenty of positive feedback and few negatives. People need recognition, contact and a sense of belonging. If we don't have it, it can result in drug-taking, alcoholism, sex, overeating or in my case, sports and music to numb the pain.  It was way better that being part of a street gang.  I thank heaven that my loneliness was fueled into positive outlets. 

4 - Mental Illness is a way to hide the real problem:

Whenever I hear that mental illness may be the cause of a suicide, it makes my ears burn. Yes, there are cases, but not all, and I'd love to see those statistics. I was far from having a mental illness and was taking "Zoloft" medication in 1995, when I consulted a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Being medicated seems to be the norm these days, but in fact, it is an evil soul, an evil living that grows more and more, especially if it is swept under the rug or if there is no support or even sometimes without any reason. I hated my job as a secretary, while I had studied to become an actuary and my goal was to travel around the world. I had to "fit" in a small box while I had ideas of and therein lies the problem. If one does not realize its full potential and stifles its dreams, it's like dying slowly. Watch and listen, even people diagnosed with mental illnesses that only heals the surface problem, it never goes to the root source or prevention until the problem gets too big.

Even if celebrities like Robin William, Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and from Quebec, Dédé Fortin, Gaétan Girouard, etc. appeared to have lead exemplary lives, still they decided - or were suspect – to being removed from life. When you have emptiness inside, you cannot explain it. I was lucky I turned on the TV that night, where Janette Bertrand discussed this issue, when she said: "You can do it, but before, you should call at least one person.” And this is what I did. I called my mother and she listened without judgment, and this saved my life. I subsequently changed my work, became an entrepreneur, read books, attended lectures on business and motivation, fell in love in 1996, and slowly from 1995 to 1999 broke through this hell. The emptiness inside really disappeared in November 1999 when I first discovered Annie Marquier’s workshop 'Awakening of Self' at the Institute of Development in Knowlton. Therefore, seeds began to germinate in me - I wanted to give lectures to help people with this affliction in the future.

I knew that the suicide rate rose by 30% in the last 10 years, but these latest statistics* left me speechless: "Recently self-harm has been taking more lives annually around the world than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. In more advanced countries, only three causes of death steal more years of life expectancy, according to data prepared last Spring by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. It is quite hard to believe and distressing to see these statistics.

Through all the tough times and trials in life and over the years, I became an expert on how to "Win the Race of Life at 180mph, overcame the obstacles, smashed walls, achieved the impossible without too much support, but there are moments where it seems that all is not correctly aligned  and everything goes wrong! The more I work on large projects, the closer I get to my mission and to helping people around me, it seems that I encounter roadblocks and major problems and that nothing moves as quickly as I would like.  I share my own story here, because I know that many people feel the same way but that no one dares to talk about it.

When I started giving lectures in 2007, in order to achieve my life’s mission, my focus was to share my story, talk about suicide in schools, give conferences/performances to those groups of people who were depressed, suicidal, abused women, etc... But you know what? Only 2-3 people have called me after an email campaign of about 300 e-mails. I could not believe my eyes! Even organizations do not address this topic due to bureaucracy, and others do not want to broach such a painful subject. In addition, I was asked: "Are you an intervener in suicide or are you a teacher?" My answer was no but people can learn from my experience and I am ready to give my lectures free for organizations like yours or the schools". But it was in vain... It is only when two experts in marketing repositioned my message to be positive to be, Win the Race of Life, Dream about your Successes, Become an Expert in your Industry, that I started to have success.

Now I have my "Keep Dreaming Keep Living" Foundation, whose mission is to help people to never give up and realize their dreams and now, I give lectures around the world, although ironically, not enough in Quebec, my home province. It is very difficult to understand... I am sure that there are far too many people who are going that route (or thinking of suicide), and when you feel like this, you are not looking for solutions to get out of it. I've never called a crisis line and much less go to seminars. Sports and music saved me life, passion and my dreams. When I was 20, schools had begun to cut sports, music, painting, arts and extracurricular activities and I said loud and clear: "they understand absolutely nothing and 15 years from now they will wonder why the suicide rate and the dropout will increase.” This is exactly what happened and we look for superficial solutions, whereas it is necessary to return to the root of the problems. In my opinion, this is the same issue with "attention deficit", society has become too slow for some and they try to stifle their creativity, while many become entrepreneurs in this world!

Since 2007, my dream was to create a week around the world against suicide and depression, with concerts, workshops, sports, music, and anything that is connected to build dreams for teenagers and their parents. A kind of "Woodstock" where I would be the "Janice Joplin" of the event... As you can see, I still have lofty ideals, but because people are more interested in money, 'business' and how to become a millionaire, we decided to create "Teen CEO show" (, a TV reality show for teens from 13 to 19 years old, who can learn the business, along with how to develop the champion mindset, the secrets to achieve high performance and that all starts within oneself! A blend between 'Oprah Winfrey' and 'Donald Trump'!

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