My interest in reading biographies of successful people led me to ‘Vita’ by Benvenuto Cellini, one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, having shared his life with such artists as Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raffaello et al. Of course I have nothing in common with Cellini, other than the fact that his name starts with C while mine starts with a B but are otherwise the same (sic!), and also the fact that we were both born on November 3, only 441 years apart! What I found interesting in his autobiography is his view on why more people should write their life story. He believed that those who lived a life of major ups and downs, with significant successes and failures, should record their story in an autobiography as soon as it feels right to do so, simply because it could prove useful for some readers in avoiding pitfalls while experiencing similar vicissitudes. He also believed that the story should be written in their own hand to avoid the embellishments and platitudes usually added by professional biographers or by hired ghost writers.
I was born in Libya right in the middle of WWII from Italian parents of very modest means. As a baby I was carried by my mother from bomb shelter to bomb shelter while running for safety, and then lived hand to mouth throughout my early childhood. I grew up with physical and psychological handicaps that portended a life of dependence on others. Then something happened, a signal of sorts, something that gave me hope as I watched the aftermath of wartime events unfold around me. Thus, I packed up and moved to a new country and a new culture to start all over again. I had no idea of what I was getting into. I was naïve but also confident that I would succeed no matter what. Thus, despite numerous setbacks, I always found a way to overcome impediments.
Several years later, after graduating in engineering and mastering two new languages, I moved up the ranks of a Canadian multinational and lived with a growing family in different parts of the world. I reached a high point as an international senior executive and then I started to slip and slide. Power had gone to my head. I climbed up again in different companies, as President and again as CEO, only to fall again till I was no longer marketable. I wrote this autobiography in the hope that it could inspire some readers to never let go and never compromise on achievable dreams, no matter how hard their realization may prove to be, but to do so without arrogance and with a sense of humility.