No Regrets

“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.”

~Alain De Bottom~

There is always some level of risk involved in getting out of your comfort zone, my recent trip to Croatia was unique on its own. Five months after starting a new position I requested a month off to go be with both my parent’s siblings who have experienced significant illness and my time was approved. It was also an opportunity for me to get the rest my body needed. In addition, I took the opportunity to meet two of my Linkedin connections in person. Family and friends in my circle tried to talk me out of meeting them and while I respected their concern, I stepped out of my comfort zone and followed my own path.

While not all meetings are safe, my humble advice is to use your judgment and trust your intuition. Be aware, be cautious, be observant and be safe.

“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.”

~ John Hope Franklin ~

Our human connection to people is one of the basics of living life. People we meet along the way can make us see things differently.

On April 28th I arrived in Zagreb, Croatia and had the pleasure of fulfilling a long-time wish of being able to “Thank” my mentor in person for his influential online mentorship. No hesitation….it was very exciting!

On April 30th, both Max ( Massimo Scalzo ) and I had the opportunity to meet Dennis and Ali Pitocco, during their stop in Zagreb. This meeting was preplanned prior to our respective journey’s. Afterwards Max and I exchanged our thoughts and we both agreed that the two of them have many things in the depths of their soul. Inner calm to embrace the world from an extremely positive perspective with the only aim of improving it. This is evident by the people Dennis has reached out to personally, those he’s touched and inspired.

People from all walks of life have joined and participated in one of his many groups on Bizcatalyst 360°. The combined efforts and contribution of others can certainly improve the life of others. I know for certain that I am one who has benefited from their inspiration. This is a legacy I believe we can all aspire to achieve in our lifetime and I Thank both Dennis and Ali for their vision to do so.

“The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart.”

~ Maryanne Williamson ~

It is no secret that my family means the world to me. They have always come 1st in my life and at times it may have been at the expense of following my own path. It is also no secret that Advocacy on behalf of others is something I passionately stand up for.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

~ Aristotle ~

Max and I were together for 3 weeks and during that time we had the opportunity to travel and meet many people within Croatia and Italy. We learned more about each other’s respective lives, decisions and career choices. Every face we encounter has a story behind it that allows us the opportunity to listen with the intention of understanding. Max is someone who when you meet him you just click with instantly. He has personality and class; he’s soft spoken, gentle and kind towards everyone he meets. His nature, intelligence, wisdom and humor are qualities that this world could benefit from.

Listening to Max talk about his life made me more aware of my own life choices. A few years ago, I made the decision to leave a long-term relationship. I cannot say that it was all bad, we shared a beautiful child together and somewhere along the way we lost a piece of ourselves in the process. Two people, two different journeys, each unique in their own way.

“We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.”

~John Dewey~

Learning about Max’s life and upbringing gave me the chance to bring him into my world so he could experience the love of a family, something he never received in his own. I am grateful to him for sharing his life and struggles with me. I think him and I created the kinds of memories you only read about in books.

Throughout history we have witnessed many great visionaries, visionaries who were ordinary people like you and me. Both Dennis and Max didn’t get their visions from what was outside of them but from their own internal drive of what felt right for them. Both are living examples of creating something bigger than themselves.

OBSTACLES are things that happen in life or what we do that sometimes goes differently than we expect but they allow us the chance to reflect, learn and grow. The one thing that remains constant is that the journey reminds us that we can create something bigger than ourselves.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

~ Confucious ~

One afternoon while we were visiting my mother’s sibling, my uncle brought out some photo’s. One of the pictures was that of my parents on their wedding day in Capua, Italy where my parents met and married in 1960. My mother had worked for an Italian couple in Bari, Italy before leaving to go to the refugee camp where my father was a police officer. Within 6 months of meeting they married and sailed across the ocean to Canada to create a better life for themselves and the children they would bring into this world. The irony of this is that the photographers stamp behind the photo was that of a firm that was located 2 doors down from a bank Max consulted at, as a young man. I remember Max telling my uncle “who would have thought that many years later I would be meeting the daughter of the couple in that photo.”

“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.”


The day this picture was taken was the 14-year anniversary of my mother’s passing and a day where Max and I took off to explore the coastline.

“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.”

~Wayne Dyer ~

Many times, we are afraid to let go of the perfect time or preconceptions of what others think and don’t allow the stirring within us to become our rising. Somethings have the possibility of causing us harm, but I believe what is more important is giving ourselves permission to follow the path that belongs to the uniqueness of our experiences and who WE are.

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”

 ~Jamie Paolinetti~


Suzana Matkovic
Suzana Matkovic
SUZANA has a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks. With the guidance of a loving family, she aspired to the best job of Life: Motherhood. People that know her journey will understand how this beautiful and tragic chapter forged her resilience and tenacity to bring her passions to life by being part of the change. Upon graduation in 84, she moved into an extremely successful 30-year career. Nonetheless, she walked away from it in 2014, in order to pursue something more personally meaningful. A School of Life that enabled her to meet people of different nationalities, cultures, races, languages and outlooks, is what she sought. She is an avid advocate and volunteer motivated to help others reach their full potential by raising awareness of numerous social issues affecting many and establishing a legacy for change. Suzana’s training and experience have provided her with a unique foundation from which to produce communication that is Significant, Relevant and Actionable. Her knowledge in sales/business development and marketing started in the early 90’s where she received numerous awards for innovation, customer satisfaction and quality management. She has worked in all business categories: Local Government, Manufacturing and Distribution, Logistics and Lumber Export. Some of the more notable products and services were sold into the Environmental Energy Sector and building products that represented Structural, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Architectural Engineering. In addition to Marketing initiatives for various NGOs and causes near and dear to her heart. All this was accomplished by a high school graduate with determination, vision and passion. She attributes her success to many wonderful mentors throughout her personal and professional life and the inner strength God blessed her with.

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  1. In my humble view, to experience, taste the world… it’s something very important in order to understand it and to understand ourselves. Sometimes in my view, we need.. or we should even ride in the “cattle truck” to understand ourselves and others… in order to get that famous (and hard) advanced degree from University of Hard Knocks… otherwise we risk seeing a one-sided reality. I think we have a right to live… to love… in its wider sense, and maybe we also owe a duty of living our time… for the life we’ve been given, and everything that comes with it. At the end of our rope… there’s a mirror… we are reflected in that mirror… for what we did… and especially for what we didn’t. In my humble view, that’s how our lives make sense to us… without regret. There are pleasant… and unpleasant stops… during the journey… but such is life…. live and learn… Thank you Suzana, thank you Dennis.

    • Great sentiment here, Massimo …. reminds me of the following words of wisdom; “I’m strong because I’ve been weak. I’m fearless because I’ve been afraid. I’m wise because I’ve been foolish.”

  2. There appears to be a number of us who graduated with advanced degrees from UHK- University of Hard Knocks. I wonder how many classes we took together….There is no wisdom greater than individual wisdom from experience because it is tried-and-true and authentic. Thank you for reminding me.

    • Kathleen, unfortunately some experiences aren’t so pleasant 🙂 but I agree, individual experience is tried and true and the best kind of experience. Thank you for appreciating and your comments. Cheers!

  3. Suzana Wow! what a great Article. It seems that you and I have walked a similar path in life. Especially the school of hard knocks. I got goose bumps reading your article. I never regretted my journey. I have had some great adventures, met great people and many people and places have touched my life. Thank you for sharing such a truly soul touch article.

    • Thank you Larry, what a ride its been….LOL, but I agree wholeheartedly with you, no regrets, many great adventures, experiences and people. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.” Thank you for inspiring us with yours.

  4. Congratulations Suzana, for this beautifully written article. You have poured your heart out with such finery that I could relate to an Opera showering us with its enchanting melodies, to no end!

    As always, I wish you nothing but the best of everything in life, LOVE included!

    3 Cheers!

    • “True, Selfless Love and Care Help Us Grow to Glory! True Friends, Devoted Guides and One’s Own Experiences along the way Help Pave the Way, right alongside Caring Parents!!!” Those were your words and you hit the target. Thank you Bharat as always, for your continued friendship, inspiration and love.

  5. To thousands and thousands Dennis is a source of inspiration… looking him in the eye means understanding his life experience and his great humanity. This happened to me when I met him and Ali, because they both share the same view of life. It was simply Great! Thank you Dennis! Thank you Ali!

    • Our heartfelt thanks to you and Suzana for carving out a slice of your invaluable time together to spend with us. We rise by lifting others. Thank you both for lifting us!

  6. Cindy thank you! I’m “Romeo”… You’re absolutely right… and so is Suzana. I might be wrong but I think that… well… should people discover and follow what they really are… they would be much happy in their own lives. I and Suzana did it, and… yes… as Suzana said… YOU MATTER! Thanks again Cindy!

    • Max, only God could bring together paths like ours. Thank you for being everything to my friend’s dream. This article will live FOREVER ! Much Love to you both. Gid says We All matrer. Love Rules!

  7. Exactly the way life is meant to be lived, my dear friend. Just received my ph.D from that same university. Lol. Now that I’m still standing, I’m moving forward from the school of hard knocks. God bless your beautiful journey of love. Listen only to your heart. Tell Romeo, I appreciate him through my best friends heart. God bless both of you.

    • Cynthia – Embrace who you are and what you have to offer this world! I can’t speak for Max or Dennis but I know both would agree “YOU MATTER.”

      “Larry Tyler said it best ”

      “The things of value we create in life are the things we give. It is how we live our life and what we did for others that live on within the people we touch is the value of what we leave behind.”

      God bless you too my beautiful friend.

    • Suzana said exactly what I have in my heart! Be AUTHENTIC… Be who you are… don’t pay attention to what the world want you to be… because at the end of the day YOU MATTER! Thank you Suzana… thank you for being who you are!

    • I know you are my friend. I am so blessed by your presence. Don’t change a thing…just Soar High! Much Love. Much Laughter!

    • And I am blessed by yours my friend. XO wherever you are in life is exactly where you need to be. You have the power within you to create anything in life that sets your soul on fire and I know you will. Love you back!

    • Great article Suzana!! It’s your life. It’s a journey which will allow you to know and appreciate your roots. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Thank you Vani, yes….roots are important, I thank my parents for their example. Thank you for appreciating my dear friend.