Tag Archives: Choices

Who is That Coffee for?

I recently told the Barista at Starbucks that my name was Bob when they were looking for a name to write on the cup.  It started when my friend Len started doing it because the Barista always got his name wrong (not sure how you can screw up Len).

My deviant Starbucks behaviour gave me a thrill.  I was Bob the Americano drinker.   It was fun to be called someone else, to live another coffee life, to make up another story, and try on another name to see how it fits for a while.  Perhaps next time I’ll be Donald (as in Donald Draper)  and live the life of a high powered 1950’s ad man (even if it will only be for a few moments). 🙂
Who would you be to the Barista next time?

What’s your name? 🙂

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A Step Back to Simplicity

“In response to people saying you can’t go back say well what happens when you get to the cliff and you take one step forward or, you do 180 degree turn and take…one step forward which way are you going? which is progress?” – Doug Tompkins (Founder of North Face)

Movies are great.  They move, transform and build on your imagination.  Last night I watched the movie 180° South and it inspired me to write again.  The film is about Jeff Johnson and his journey retracing the epic 1968 adventure of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia.  It was easy to get awestruck by the great cinematography however it was the will, drive and passion of every single character in the film that caught me and my own imagination.

In the movie, Yvon said, “the hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex.”

Tomorrow is Monday and for many, it is one of the hardest days of the week.  Mondays are usually met with a laundry list of commitments, scheduled events or activities and filled with many things that exhaust us before we even start.  Sunday nights are often sleepless for me for many of the same reasons.

As a challenge to myself, I am going to simplify my life this week.  No TV after 8pm, I will read, write or have conversation with my family or even play a game.  I will not schedule anything for me to do other than be at home.  I will wake up in the morning and focus on the moment and not the day ahead of me.  I will take a 180 degree turn and walk back to simplicity.

I will blog within the week and release the results of my week. 🙂

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Challenging 7 Billion People

Challenging 7 Billion People

Today was a day of celebration and a day of growing concern for many others as the 7th billionth child was brought into the world.  The media labelled it as an honorable milestone while others called for action against world poverty and hunger in the light of continued global economic challenges.

I marked today’s milestone with concern.  Not from poverty or hunger but from something just as basic – how do we get along with each other?   It’s an obvious fact that as the population grows, less and less will become available to us all.  However something we can all find in tremendous abundance (if we work at it) is patience, compassion, compromise, empathy and above all, love.  Like no other time, humanity needs to embrace each other and share.  We can no longer close our door, pull down the drapes and turn off the lights.  In order to survive we need each other.

This growing sentiment is taking many forms today.  The Occupy movement is moving across the globe with tremendous speed with their message to “take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.”  The middle easts’ Arab Spring has resulted in civil uprisings causing the fall of regimes.

I mentioned to my wife on the way into work this morning the that world “was ripe for something.”  I don’t claim to know what the world needs or what it is ripe for, however,  there is a desire for change in our midst and how that change becomes reality will depend on how well we see each other as partners in this greatest challenge.

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Living Dreams

My posts are infrequent but my thoughts are constant.  One of those thoughts that keep coming back to me hit me while I was running yesterday.  While running westward and watching the sun set below the Rocky mountains I realized how easy it truly is to live a happy and full life.  It all comes down to perspective, attitude and recognition of the perfect ordinary moments in our lives.

The simple words of Martin Luther King Jr. – “I have a dream” back in 1963 came to me and I thought of my dream.  The dream was grand, and the dream was perfect and the dream was simple and it went something like this:

“I have a dream that I can become the dad my children look up to. I have a dream that I can become the husband that loves and supports unconditionally. I have a dream that I can accept and learn from the experiences of my parents. I have a dream that I can become a best friend to my brother.  I have a dream that I can live with passion, honesty and integrity with everything I do.  I have a dream that I can love life, capture its wisdom, harness it, share it, learn from it and contribute to the lives of others.  I have a dream.”

I came across a tune other day that helped me to appreciate the fact that I am living my dreams.

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How to Save a Life

I scan news headlines everyday. It beats listening or watching to the gloom and doom on radio or TV. I can choose when and how I want to be informed. I came across a story that struck a cord in me the other day.  A 7-year old boy was suffering from a rare disease and needed a bone marrow match. As a result, a bone marrow swab clinic was being held at a nearby university. There was no question, I had to make this in hopes of helping this child or someone else (apparently your screening is entered in a worldwide database).

In this ‘perceived’ busy world and busy life, we quickly and easily forget how precious life is and what truly is important. As I referred to in an earlier blog when I was in perfect silence – I realized that living without the moments of pure “silence” takes us away from the perfect, true and honest moments – the ones with perspective. Reading that article put me back into the perfect silence – where my perspective was clear and my purpose of going to the swab clinic was unwaivering.

I went to the swab clinic and I may save a life one day.  Not bad for wisdom in the moment and taking action when inspired by perspective!

For more information on bone marrow donations you can go here to One Match.

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Second Chances

I mentioned before that I don’t believe in luck but I do believe in the power of choice.  I believe that at every moment of our lives we can choose to be genuinely honest with ourselves and those around us.  The more we choose to live genuinely, the greater fulfillment we get from our lives and the closer we get to living our life purpose (“There’s no higher purpose than service to others” – Dan Millman).

The passing of a close uncle of mine this week has left me with a sense of loneliness.  Loneliness that he has moved on but happiness for having witnessed him live a genuinely loving life.  A life  purpose fulfilled. 

At times of grief, families and friends get together and for a few moments all congregate for the purpose of remembering a life.  This can for some however, be a time of sorrow and regret. 

I read an article this week from an absolutely fantastic magazine called Ode Magazine called “Buy Now, Pay Later…Be grateful for all life’s second chances.”  I have attached it here:

Buy now, pay later – Be greatful for all life’s second chances

The message of the article told me to never feel like it’s too late to live genuinely, to listen to the voice inside you and to act upon it when heard.  There is much in the world we cannot explain and there is much more we probably cannot fix however we can choose to try, in whatever way we can – this is what I tell myself tonight.

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Blue Monday? Seriously?

I wore a blue shirt to work today….

Little did I know that it was also Blue Monday.  I guess the Blue Monday thing has been around since 2005.  


Little did know I was supposed to be depressed today!  Thankfully I have this important new holiday to remind me :).  I had to Google this to find out what it was all about.  Wikipedia states that Blue Monday is ” a name given to a date stated, as part of a publicity campaign by Sky Travel, to be the most depressing day of the year.”  Check it out here.  The date was supposedly determined by a mathematical equation.  The doomed Monday falls on the Monday of the last full week of January – (whoever told that it was today was wrong :))  In case some of you math gurus want to see here is the equation:

\frac{[W + D-d] T^Q}{M N_a}

where weather=W, debt=d, time since Christmas=T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions=Q, low motivational levels=M and the feeling of a need to take action=Na. ‘D’ is not defined in the release, nor are units.

I heard a great phrase yesterday – “you see the world as you are”.    Each of us can see, experience and act upon the world around us as we feel at this very moment.  This is why positive thinking is so powerful (there are tons of books on the stuff – just check out your local bookstore for proof!). 

So when you wake up, go to work and someone tells you “hey, its Blue Monday” (even if they got their Monday’s mixed up) just think they must be talking about the weather! 🙂  Let’s make the choice on how we view the world today instead of the calendar telling us.

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Leaving Footprints

….while we may be crossing the river our footprints will always remain on the other side….

I heard this the other night and it brought a flood of all the life decisions I made – good and bad (well not  all of them).   This time of year always puts me in a frame of mind where I reflect on those choices and decisions that has made the life that I live.   My wife, children, friends, where I live and where I work all result from the millions of choices I made everyday till this moment.   I don’t believe in luck but I do believe in choice for every moment.

A few weeks ago I travelled to Montreal to visit my uncle who I have admired and respected my whole life.   He was dying but his life was very much alive.   It was probably one of the most difficult and beautiful moments of my life when I hugged him and told him that I loved him.   His life, honesty, love and most importantly, his choices have left footprints on the other side of the river, footsteps that I follow.  

Knowing that my journey (and those of others) is a shared journey,  leaving footsteps for some to follow and some to witness is a comfort.   I am thankful for the people in my life that have let me witness their footprints.

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The Spirit of Giving…Always

I heard on CBC radio earlier this week that the CBC annual food bank fundraiser was targetting $1 million dollars this year.  Many non profit organizations depend on these large campaigns to fund them throughout the whole year.  While I thought that this was an amazing goal for such a great cause, what happens throughout the rest of the year?  

So the budget is addressed for many of these organizations, that helps.  Nice work. 

But what about the spirit of giving that started it in the first place?  What about the good will and extra politeness in traffic – allowing more yields than we usually do?  What about the increased patience we give to our in-laws during the holidays and over Christmas dinner?  What about the extra tip we give to our hair dresser or barber?  What about the extra time we spend with our kids and enjoying their company?   What about the get togethers with our neighbours and friends?  What about the gifts we exchange with those we care about and appreciate in our workplaces?  What about the gifts and notes to teachers and caregivers?  Are all these part of that annual giving campaign? 

 It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of our busy lives (I should know, I haven’t blogged for a month!)   However, lets make a habit of being nice, of giving, loving and thanking everyone around us.  Perhaps trafffic won’t be as bad, family dinners will be more tolerable,  going to work will be a joy, hanging out with our kids will be fun and those that we love and care for will ALWAYS know how you feel about them.

I know what my New Year’s resolution will be this year, thanks to the spirit of giving.

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As a project manager, milestones are usually at the top of my mind.  The other night at a hockey game (please see earlier post on sports) I witnessed a significant milestone for Craig Conroy of the Calgary Flames.   Craig played his 1000th NHL hockey game on Oct 28, 2010.  For those of you interested, click here for some footage on Craig’s milestone.

That night as I was standing with almost 20,000 other fans applauding Craig’s accomplishment, it got me thinking about what a milestone really is.  I was wondering why do we place so much significance on an even number – like Craig’s 1000th game or with wedding anniversaries or birthdays?  We place great significance on a targeted number – like an even 40th birthday or a 25th wedding anniversary but what about the days in between?  What about the small victories and accomplishments we achieve by simply being a husband, dad, son, friend or employee? 

I am very happy for Craig’s career milestone and in no way diminish that great achievement of 1000 games.  I too have those celebrated proud moments like my 10th wedding anniversary later this year or the birth of my children, however I want to celebrate those milestones and accomplishments that I achieve every single day by being a husband, dad, son and friend.  Here are a couple of my celebrated milestones today:

  • I have been alive  for 38 years, 7 months and 6 days
  • I have been happily married for 3601 days
  • I have been a father to a boy for 1992 days
  • I have been a father to a girl for 1175 days
  • I have been a friend to someone everyday of my life for as long as I can remember

These are some of my milestones and I celebrate them today.

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