To some, Leon Logothetis' story might seem totally off the wall. He left his job not once, but twice -- first as a successful broker in London and then later as the head of a production company in Los Angeles -- in favor of traveling the world.
The catch? He did all of that traveling while relying on nothing but the kindness of others.
Sounds crazy, right? But, the inspiration behind Logothetis' journey is one that far more can likely relate to.
Finding a Sense of Purpose
"On the outside, materialistically, I had everything I could want," he explains of his life before this drastic change, "But, on the inside, I had nothing that you'd want. I was very depressed, very disconnected. I had no real sense of purpose."
When he left his role in London in order to travel the world for the first time, he was inspired by the film The Motorcycle Diaries -- a romanticized version of a motorcycle trip that Che Guevara took in his youth.
"But, life isn't always linear," Logothetis says, "So, I ended up back in the corporate world for a few more years running a production company in Los Angeles."
It was during that time that he felt the urge to change his life again. "I had a moment walking down Hollywood Boulevard when I saw a homeless chap with a sign that said 'kindness is the best medicine.' Something about that sign struck me," he shares, "I found myself doing all of my old behaviors and realized I wasn't connecting with people anymore."
Traveling the World
Logothetis knew he had to make a change. So, he left his job with one key mission in mind: He would travel the world on his vintage yellow motorbike relying on nothing but the kindness and generosity of others.
"The aim of the show was not just to rely on kindness, but to give kindness," he says, "Kindness is a two-way street. The show is an attempt to inspire people to be kind on a moment by moment basis."
Throughout his journey, Logothetis had numerous experiences that illustrated the impact of kindness. But, there's one in particular that stands out to him.
"I was in Pittsburgh and I ended up chatting with this homeless chap," he says. Not knowing that he was homeless at the time, Logothetis asked to stay with him for the evening -- a pretty standard practice when your only currency is kindness.
But, despite the man being homeless, he told Logothetis that he could still stay with him, and that he'd feed him and protect him. "I ended up sleeping on the streets with Tony," Logothetis says, "True wealth is not in our wallets, but in our hearts. If a homeless chap can be that kind, why can't all of us?"
Of course, a trip like this is sure to be enlightening. But, when I asked Logothetis about the one key lesson he learned from the experience, he has an encouraging and inspiring reminder for all of us.
"It's not about the big things, it's about the small things," he says, "How we interact with each other matters. How you show up at Starbucks matters. How you drive matters."
"Think of the greats like Gandhi, Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., or whoever your great might be," he continues, "They started small. They started by making a commitment to changing the way that they live, and it grows from there."
Logothetis is quick to acknowledge that not everybody is going to kiss their paycheck goodbye and hop on a yellow motorbike the way he did -- and, that's fine. Instead, he hopes that The Kindness Diaries inspires people to realize that how they show up moment to moment still has a profound impact.
"The message is not the adventure," he concludes, "The message is that each and everyone of us matters and has the potential to be kind to others."