Life Lessons: Brian Postlewait

CEO of Mission Possible and 2011 Forty under 40 winner. We all have our own challenges and gifts

Brian Postlewait grew up convinced that he had to succeed in everything he did.

The CEO of Mission Possible, a non-profit organization in the Downtown Eastside that works with people affected by poverty and homelessness, grew up with a congenital facial deformity. Postlewait felt this isolated him from everyone else and led him to rack up achievements to compensate for being "different."

"Much of that was a drive to somehow overcome the differences that I presented to people out front, to somehow win them over, to prove that I was more than what first meets the eye," he said.

"That kind of drive produced anger and resentment within me, toward society and toward people."

But his outlook changed as a result of what he describes as a spiritual awakening in his mid-20s.

Through working with those afflicted by homelessness, addiction and extreme poverty, Postlewait began to understand that everyone is a part of the same world. Interacting with others, he said, is what causes real change from within.

"I had an encounter with something that was beyond myself that allowed me to see myself in a different way, to learn to love myself, and I think that gave me a new perspective."

Postlewait was able to move past his anger when he understood that he was not the only one in the world who was struggling, and that many people were hiding something just as desperately; the only difference was that what he was trying to keep hidden was on the outside.

His spiritual evolution continues, he says, thanks to the people he encounters every day through his work and on the street.

"When I see people that I meet in the Downtown Eastside, I'm not looking at their deficiencies and difficulties and disabilities. I'm trying to figure out their abilities, assets, capacities, talents and gifts, because I think there's something there that's hidden, just lying beneath the surface."

comments powered by Disqus

Also Read

More From BIV

Organizers at major festivals and the Olympics are ditching maps and brochures to invest in local companies making mobile apps to promote their events

Read Article

Michael Patrick Lathigee and Earle Douglas Pasquill perpetrated frauds, according to the BCSC

Read Article

Question | What challenges did you face as an entrepreneur and what have you learned from your experience?

Read Article

CBC to chop Vancouver staff despite being top dog in the city's radio market

Read Article

CRTC regulations making television a tougher business in Canada than radio

Read Article

Subscribe to our mailing lists

* indicates required

Newsletters

* You can modify your newsletter subscriptions at the bottom of any newsletter you receive.
×