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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Flophouse in Morocco - Purpose

It all started in Tokyo.

I had been dreaming for nearly 10 years of going back to school. But the time was never right.  I looked at brochures, I consulted web sites, I talked to people who had done it, but there was always something else going on at work or at home that had me shelving my dream and soldiering on.  

Then one day I realized that, by default, I was on what Ferriss calls the Deferred Life Program.  This is when you tell yourself the following, "Some day when I get rich/am successful/get promoted/the kids go to college/I retire, I will go back to school/travel more/start my own company and it will be a fine adventure."  

In the interim, of course, you churn in frustration waiting for that magical day when you can stop living your practical, responsible, comfortable existence and do the things you've always wanted to do.   In Tokyo in 2007 I decided to stop dreaming and start doing. 

So I applied and, to my astonishment, was accepted at the Temple University Japan MBA program in Tokyo.  I was having the time of my life when another opportunity presented itself and we moved back to Paris.  But I was not about to give up.  After getting over the reverse culture shock I went looking for another program so I could continue my studies.  One of my professors in Japan suggested the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees International School of Management.  I met with the Dean, Tawfik Jelassi, and a few months later I was back in school.  

At the end of 2010 I had only two classes remaining and I thought it would be a shame to finish up my coursework without taking advantage of the fine network of sister schools that ENPC has all over the world.  So I asked to take my very last class at the Ecole Hassania des Travaux Publiques in Morocco (EHTC).  Dean Jelassi gave his blessing and Said Dhaibi of EHTC made all the arrangements.   Monday morning I flew out of Paris and Monday evening in Casablanca I was being welcomed by Professor Stuart Chambers and the participants of the EHTC Executive MBA program.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world;  the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
George Bernard Shaw

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