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On the Move!

On the Move!

I know most of you read my weekly posts to gain valuable leadership insights but there are also those who check it out to see what its going on in Shawn’s world. This post is a short update on the big move my family is about to embark on and what you can expect from the blog over the summer.

Several years ago, when living with a Maasai tribe in Serengeti in Kenya, a Kenyan friend mentioned to me that these people could move from their huts with everything they need and all their worldly possessions on the back of one mule. Wow, I thought, partly in jealousy and partly in sadness.

I have been thinking of my Maasai friends this week as I attempt to pack up my house.


Moving to Oxford, England, For One Year

Moving a young family of 4 overseas, to another continent, is no easy task for anyone. To make matters more challenging for us is that we don’t know where we will be heading after we leave England in a year. As daunting as the task of dealing with all our stuff is, I am starting to realize the hardest element of a move is the mental strain it places on you.

The biggest challenge is that we are trying to only move our family with what we can take on the plane. When you live in a 4-bedroom house with kids and a home office, it means there are a lot of decisions to make about your stuff.

The good thing is that it’s all only STUFF.


One thing I have learned or relearned from watching Syrian refugees flood into Europe and recently the devastating fires in Fort MacMurry, Alberta, is that stuff is only stuff. What is truly important to have is your health and your family. Fortunately I have tremendous health and am surrounded (literally and virtually) by an incredibly loving and supportive family. (Trying not to cry thinking about this…)


Take Your Own Advice

As I get overwhelmed with what to do with all our stuff (take, sell, give away, store, throw out…), I need to keep in mind what I told my kids the other day. When I was breaking the news to them that they could only take a couple toys with them to England, they were concerned. I tried to reassure them that what mattered most was that even though we may not have all this stuff, we will have each other and that’s the most important thing.


So. chill out Shawn, deal with your stuff the best way you can, get over it and focus on your family during this time of upheaval and chaos.

I know our year in England will be a wonderful adventure for our family full of exploration and learning but the mental strain I have put on myself makes me never to want to move again.

As you read this, I am probably heading to the Calgary airport with my family to catch a flight to Newfoundland. We will be visiting grandparents and friends in Newfoundland for a few weeks before we make our way to England at the end of July.

For those of you still reading, you are probably wondering why England for one year, and why not come back to Calgary? Well, Oxford will offer my wife an excellent opportunity to continue her medical training and this being the last year of her formal training, next year we will land in a location that provides the best opportunities for our family and her employment.

The Good News!

This move will have little effect on my business and the value-added content I bring you each week. The move may actually enhance my business potentially, allowing me to offer you more opportunities to take your leadership to the next level through more books, webinars and online courses.

Over the next few weeks, I will be taking some time away from business to spend more quality time with my family and successfully navigate the move to England. Don’t worry, my weekly blog posts won’t dry up. For the next few weeks, I will be publishing my ‘Best of the Best’ posts from the last three years. I have gone in and reviewed my analytics to find the most read posts. It is these posts you will see over the next few weeks.

For those reading in the Northern Hemisphere, I hope you have a wonderful summer and take the time to unplug and recharge.

I would love to hear the highlights of your summer plans. Let me know in the comments below.