Saturday, February 5, 2011

What's Your Latitude?

In a previous post I alluded to a concept I developed during my treatment that has the potential to touch every living being on earth.

I would like to give you a sneak peek behind the curtain of what I plan to launch this month and hopefully work on in some capacity for the rest of my life.

First a little background:

When I was lying through a long scan or feeling crappy recovering from chemo I would close my eyes and project myself to a place I love from life until the scan was over or the nausea went away. For me it was playing each hole of Augusta National Golf Club. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Masters Golf Tournament with my Dad more than 10 years ago and the place just floored me.

So, while I was being zipped through MRI/PET/CT tubes or fighting off nausea on the couch, I would be mentally lost in each blade of grass on every fairway or smelling the azaleas and pines of Augusta’s landscape. Not only did I play some awesome mental golf, but this exercise literally made my 1-3 hour scans fly by.

The underlying positive emotions I felt were what helped me through some of my longest tests and toughest recovery periods.

About halfway through my 8 month regimen I realized that we all have that place in our head we go to in day dreams or times of stress. A place with a nostalgic pull where we can conjure up good vibes in a heartbeat. While the physical location of these places differ from person to person, the underlying positive emotions are constant.

It was about that time that my wife and I took a trip up to my aunt and uncles’ lake house near Madison, WI and were remarking about our love for the latitude that runs through Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and northern New York where my wife grew up.

After the next week’s chemo session I had my “ah ha” moment on the couch in my family room where I connected my thoughts and found the word to describe the place I was going to in my head:

My... Latitude

If you stop someone on the street today and ask them to define the word “latitude” they will either say the horizontal lines on a map or something along the lines of freedom to work outside of traditional constraints. Well, I have a new definition for you:

Lat•i•tude (noun):
  • Your Latitude is the place where you find the most peace and joy...
  • It is the place where you mentally escape when you are stressed...
  • Your Latitude is the place where you are at your best...
  • It is your favorite place on earth.

It is my goal to redefine this word and help people identify and share the emotions associated with their Latitude with loved ones, friends, and strangers. Right now it's through word of mouth and social experiments I am creating on Hopefully someday it's through Webster's dictionary or the Google equivalent...

By increasing the number of instances of positive human interaction through sharing our Latitudes with each other we can shift the balance of energy in the world and make it a better place. This common bond among humans can connect us all.

And I will work the rest of my life in pursuit of this goal.

I leave you with some famous, highly motivating words from Jerry Maguire:

“Who’s coming with me!?”

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