"Part of the mystery of walking is that the destination is inside us
and we really don't know when we arrive until we arrive."
John Francis has a remarkable personal and professional story. He is an intelligent man with a warm and gentle spirit that I personally find engaging and attractive. I'm profiling him here, however, not necessarily for his vocation within the environmental field; that is noble in his niche. More importantly, here's a man who has silently and literally walked into his calling only to discover the importance that going more deeply into who he is requires change, release, and willingness to leave the past behind and to step into the present and future in spite of the risks of losing one's known identity.
This video featuring John Francis on TED is compelling – a 20-minute peek into a man making a difference based on the strength of his convictions, yet recognizing how his strength had become a prison. Toward the very end of John Francis' talk, you'll learn life lessons about the On-Purpose® process that is always underway in our lives.
One day in 1983, John Francis stepped out on a walk. For the next 22 years, he trekked and sailed around North and South America, carrying a message of respect for the Earth — for 17 of those years, without speaking. During his monumental, silent trek, he earned an MA in environmental studies and a PhD in land resources.
Today his Planetwalk foundation consults on sustainable development and works with educational groups to teach kids about the environment.