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The Gift of a Lifetime

Article by:
Shelley Whatmore EO Calgary
Shelley Whatmore
EO Calgary

I have been an EO member since 2002, and I thought I had experienced everything there was to experience in this wonderful organization. I have served as a Mentorship and Forum Chair for my chapter, served in a Forum Director role for Canada and have attended many once-in-a-lifetime events, including learning sessions, leadership summits and Universities. I thought I saw it all, but I was wrong!

A few months ago, I experienced an “Ah-ha!” moment that greatly impacted my life. While attending the 2009 EO Barcelona University in Spain, I received word that my beloved grandmother had passed away. It was surprising news, and it definitely brought my spirits down. That same evening, the University participants attended an exclusive concert in Santa Maria del Mar, a prominent cathedral and symbol of the Gothic Quarter.

As I listened to the beautiful choir, I reflected on my grandmother’s 97 years of life. She had lived a long and full life, and throughout most of it she was healthy, happy and always looked for the best in people. During this reflection, I realized how short life can be. Although I was on the other side of the world, I felt a sense of closeness with my grandmother. Sure, I was thousands of miles from my family, but I was with my EO family, all of whom comforted me and showed their support.

As I sat in the cathedral, intensely absorbing the moment, I realized how important it is to set personal goals. As an entrepreneur, I set goals all the time, but they always seem to be business-related; goals regarding business growth, marketing, expansion, network diversity, improvement of internal systems, etc. Sitting in the church, surrounded by my peers, I realized that my business is just a means to help me achieve my personal goals and fulfill my life legacy.

This was a monumental moment! Thanks to EO and the amazing University, I was afforded an opportunity to stop, reflect and listen. Whether it’s the friends I have made around the world or the amazing speakers I have listened to, EO has always been there for me. This organization has inspired me to commit to setting personal goals and making changes in my life that will allow me to leave my legacy. I couldn’t ask for anything more!​

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