Mike’s Mailbag: Why The Best Things in Life Are Backwards

Top o’ The Morning,

Grab a cup of joe and let’s go!

  • Have you ever thought about how to shorten your refractory period of emotional reactions so that your mood doesn’t turn into your temperament? And subsequently, that temperament turning into your full blown personality? I certainly hadn’t… If you’re struggling to pull yourself out of your own headspace or current reality and into a better one, I can’t recommend this Impact Theory clip of Dr. Joe Dispenza enough. “The best way to predict your future is to create it… not from the known but from the unknown. What thoughts do you want to fire and wire into your brain? … Your brain is no longer a record of the past. Now it’s a map to the future. You can’t wait for success to feel empowered. You can’t wait for your wealth to feel abundant. You can’t wait for your new relationship to feel love or your healing to feel whole. That’s the old model of reality of cause & effect. Waiting for something outside of us to change how we feel inside of us.”  Dr. Joe Dispenza. Let this clip percolate for a few weeks and let me know any reflections or thoughts you have down the road… Here is the whole interview if you’d like to dive in further.
  • A top shelf read courtesy of a regular mainstay of the Mailbag, Mr. Mark Manson. This one titled Why the Best Things in Life Are All Backwards.
  • No Dickheads – What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About Building High Performance Teams by Tess Sloane. Great read on what is arguably the most successful sporting team in the world.
  • Awesome Sportsnet feature on Canada’s best swimmer, Penny Oleksiak. Judging by this video and her new training regime, I would not want to be in the seven other lanes at the 2020 Olympics when Penny is in the water!
  • Zero NHL franchises on Forbes Top 50 Most Valuable Sports Franchises in the world.

Song of the Week: Vino & Vinyl: Vol 15 – Route 19 Blues. If you like the cut of this playlist’s jib, there are 14 others to tune into…

Quote of the Week:“It might help some of you to think of yourself as moist robots and not skin bags full of magic and mastery. If you control the inputs, you can determine the outcomes, give or take some luck.” – Scott Adams

Make it a Great Friday,

Mike

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Mike’s Mailbag: Braving The Wilderness

Gooooood Morning,

Jumping right in…

  • A few months ago, I embarked on a road trip down to Seattle for the World Specialty Coffee Expo. On my way down, I listened to Perennial Seller (mentioned last week). On the way back, I listened to Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging by Brene Brown. Brene is an absolute powerhouse and trailblazer for mankind. I have a ton of respect for her. She dives deeper on the subject of vulnerability, shame, empathy and courage than anyone and is able to articulate her research in a very matter of fact manner. While some gents reading this may have had a spouse or girlfriend send you one of her TED talks in the past and you may have thought “nah, this vulnerability and empathy stuff isn’t for me.” If this is/was you, I’d encourage you to rethink your decision. At one point in time, this was me. Here is a good video to start with: “Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count?“. There’s plenty of material once you get rolling…
  • I’m in the midst of reading a book by Scott Adams. He is a very wise man and in this book, he lists all of the cognitive bias listed on Wikipedia. Scott thinks they are very useful to familiarize oneself with, even if on a very elementary level. Down the road, I’m going to take a deeper dive on the book but will leave you with the interesting list of cognitive bias to chew on…
  • A one-woman band. Multi-instrumentalist. Call these unbelievably talented ladies what you will. They are both incredible artists and play all of the instruments, loop them together, and sing over top. It’s done live and is all kinds of awesome to watch! Like seriously awesome…
  • Leafs / Islanders fan or not, how can you not love Johnny T? Class act and world class athlete. His farewell letter to Long Island after signing with the Leafs via The Players Tribune.
  • Quick clip of Nick Foles, backup QB turned Superbowl hero with a few words on embracing failure in an era of the highlight reel.

Song(s) of the Week: On the subject of cover music, I’m going to test-drive a new once per month feature called Five Cover Friday. 5 songs for the price of 1. Take a listen and then you’ll realize what a steal of a deal this is 🙂

  • Tennessee Whiskey” – Chris Stapleton live at Austin City Limits (George Jones)
  • Crazy” – Ray LaMontagne (Gnarls Barkley)
  • If I Needed You” – Mumford & Sons (Townes Van Zandt)
  • Bang Bang” – Kaleo (Cher)
  • Take Care” – Florence & The Machine (Drake & Rihanna)

Quote of the Week: “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked” – Warren Buffet

Happy Listenin’,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: The Kananaskis Revival

Gooooood Morning,

I hope everyone had a patriotic Canada Day long weekend celebrating the great nation we call home. While the world and our country is flooded with all sorts of chaos and irrationality on many fronts, there still aren’t many (if any) places I’d rather live.

  • If you’re an entrepreneur, thinking about starting a side hustle, or simply curious about what makes certain music and books get more popular with time (while the majority fade into abyss beyond their initial release), you might be interested in checking out the book, Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts by Ryan Holiday. I’ve listened to the audiobook 2x over to take notes the second time around. To me, Ryan is a voice of reason for the Millennial generation and is a brilliant mind well beyond his years. “People claim to want to do something that matters yet they measure themselves against things that don’t. They track progress in microseconds and likes, not years.” – Ryan Holiday
  • The Kananaskis Revival. It’s here and its real. I attended a business conference, 55North, in Kananaskis a few weeks ago and witnessed the rebirth of one of Alberta’s true Rocky Mountain gems. The golf course(s) are in mint condition and looking better than ever. Pomeroy Lodging (an Alberta based lodging company headed by one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40) purchased the hotel and has invested a great deal of time, thought, capital and effort into transforming the lodge into a beautiful, modern oasis in the middle of the Kananaskis Valley. They also took a page out of the Scandinavians playbook and built a 50,000 sq foot Nordic inspired spa that is all kinds of cool. I’d highly recommend (re)checking out the revival of this Albertan gem on the edge of the Rockies!
  • Most know Matthew McConaughey as an actor from Texas that:
    • a) likes to take off his shirt off
    • b) likes to barbecue
    • c) creates really good movies
    • d) However, he also happens to have some really interesting insights on how to live a life worth living. I’ve been chewing on his message the past couple weeks and thought I’d share it with you… One of my favorite quotables “don’t drink the Kool-Aid. It tastes sweet but you will get cavities tomorrow. Life is not a popularity contest. Be brave. Take the hill. But first answer that question… what’s my hill?” – Matthew McConaughey
  • A close friend of mine sent this Toronto Life article to me titled “A Restaurant Ruined My Life” in the early days of my entrepreneurial journey last year. It is an extremely gripping account of one man’s journey into opening a restaurant and the immense hardships it caused him, his family, and life in general. Refreshingly honest to the point of giving you chills…
  • Last but not least, has anyone tried this cool clothing startup, UNTUCKitThe Ideal Shirt For The Untucked Man? If you’re like me and require a collared shirt big enough for your upper frame but aren’t blessed with height on your side, leaving a dress shirt untucked with jeans resembles more of a night gown. UNTUCKit is opening their first Canadian store in Toronto this fall. Fun fact: Brad Richards was their first brand ambassador in NYC. ** While I don’t usually touch on fashion in the Mailbag, I’m a big fan of entrepreneurs identifying niches in the market that are pain points for consumers at large. This is a prime example.

Coffee of the Week: If you’re a fan of cold brew coffee but aren’t a fan of paying ~$5.00 for a cup (that’s often loaded with ice), try making your own cold brew at home. It’s surprisingly easy once you have the right materials, is a lot cheaper, and lasts a long time if properly stored. The beauty of it is you can take the concentrate and add ice cold water or boiling water if you fancy a hot cup of joe to start your day. This is my go to foolproof method for making cold brew.

Song of the Week:Sit Next to Me” by Foster the People. A friend of mine got me hooked on this jam over Canada Day weekend. If you’re a fan, check out their whole Sacred Hearts Club album.

Quote of the Week: The things we are striving for are just the bait. Struggling to get them forces us to evolve and it is this struggle towards personal evolution with others that is the reward.” – Ray Dalio

Happy Stampedin’,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: A Cautionary Tale About Entrepreneurship

Gooooood Morning,

Happy (almost) Canada Day Weekend!

Over the past year, I have learned a few things about entrepreneurship, relationships, and life in general from running my own business. I decided to write about it and chronicle some of my biggest lessons learned…

Driven by a thirst for entrepreneurship, I left my corporate job on my own accord last year to launch a coffee company and simultaneously build out a fast casual restaurant concept for the downtown business professional. This eye opening experience exposed me to a whole new arena of business fundamentals and principles in action.

It is very difficult as an entrepreneur, especially a solopreneur, to process ideas in a formalized manner and reflect because time is never on your side and you’re constantly putting out fires. Ultimately, I launched one business and advanced the larger of the two concepts to the 1-yard line but decided to take a knee.

I want to share some overarching lessons learned from dipping my toes in the waters of entrepreneurship. None of my reflections are specific to an industry, nor do I consider myself an expert on entrepreneurship. I’m merely a guy that left my corporate career as I knew it to captain my own ship as an entrepreneur.

This is what I learned…

Full Article Here via LinkedIn: A Cautionary Tale: What Few Tell You About Entrepreneurship

Go Canada,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: The Scenic Route to Alaska

Goooooood Morning,

Apologies for missing last Friday, twas’ a busy week so we’ve audibled to Monday morning. Let’s put a little jump in your step to kickstart the week…

  • DISRUPTION Magazine. This is a new, hot off the press Canadian publication and is one of the best reads to get your fix on how disruptive technology is impacting the world we live in. The content is extremely relevant and explained in a way that allows even the non “techie” to digest and comprehend. I would highly recommend tuning in and spreading the word to other friends and colleagues inclined to stay sharp in this realm.
  • Do you have these 5 “super-skills” for the future? According to Fast Company, arming yourself with these will help you thrive in the evolving workforce. Agree or disagree?
  • This next interview is bold, humbling, and revealing. Dr. Michael Gervais is one of the world’s eminent sport psychologists and his recent interview with Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory is raw, rugged and packs a punch. The first time I tuned in, I was hook, line and sinkered. I hit replay and took notes. Michael’s words (and Tom’s) may fall flat on some (you may even flat-out disagree) but to others, his words will strike your heart and mind like a lightning bolt. If you’re seeking growth in any area of your life (personally, professionally, in relationship, etc), this video is worth every second of your time.
  • Love Gary Vee or hate him, I’ve come to realize that he has some pretty insightful things to say. At first, his brashness and tone didn’t really resonate with me. But once I got through some of the smokin’ guns and cliches, I realized he puts out some really solid content. This two-minute clip on rationality in business is one of my favorites.

Coffee of the Week: Interesting look as Bloomberg open the kimono on 5 tricks Starbucks uses to seduce you in their shops. No interior detail is left to chance…

Song of the Week: A great tune to start your Canada Day roadtrips -> “Coming Back” by Scenic Route to Alaska

Quote of the Week: “Sometimes you need life to save you from what you want, so you can get what you need.” – Tim Ferriss

Make it a Great Week,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: The Last Refuge of the Misfit

Gooooooood Morning,

Grab your morning cup of pipin’ hot joe, we’re going to jump right in.

  • In America, the professional kitchen is the last refuge of the misfit” – Anthony Bourdain. We lost a living legend this week. A man who brought people sitting on their couch around the globe through his culinary adventures and cultural curiosity. In a world that strives to be politically correct in all instances (perhaps to a fault), thank you for staying true to yourself and being a misfit in and out of the kitchen. The world will miss your unapologetically brash yet genuine nature. You’ve inspired us all. Rest easy, chef.
    • I would say that the angriest critiques I get from people about shows are when I’m drinking whatever convenient cold beer is available in a particular place, and not drinking the best beer out there. You know, I haven’t made the effort to walk down the street 10 blocks to the microbrewery where they’re making some fucking Mumford and Sons IPA. People get all bent about it. But look, I like cold beer. And I like to have a good time.” – Anthony Bourdain in an entertaining, no holds barred Thrillist interview
    •  A thought provoking reflection and important reminder about the lessons learned from this week’s unfortunate passings via The Globe and Mail
    • One of Anthony’s classic literary gems… His food essay to The New Yorker titled, Don’t Eat Until You Read This.
    • Last but not least, some raw insight into what outsiders might consider “the pinnacle of successin business and how/why things aren’t always so peachy on the inside.
  • Tom Brady. The GOAT. If you haven’t seen the mini-documentary Tom vs. Time, I would highly recommend it. It’s a raw glimpse into Tom’s life off the field and brings to light his unwavering commitment to greatness. If you ask me, watching the weird and wacky things Tom does to prepare himself to shine under the lights is all kinds of awesome.
  • As you might be able to tell based on frequency of articles featured, I am big fan of Mark Manson. His raw, brash, satirical introductory paragraphs can scare off the faint of heart but if you can get past his wild vocabulary, Mark’s insight into the shittier parts of life is refreshingly on point. He dives deep into the parts of life that few other authors and bloggers dare and does so in a very practical manner. Real life isn’t lived through an Instagram filter of glamour and perfection so why should the world of self help articles? Keep on rocking in the free world, Mark. This read, The Four Stages of Life, won’t let you down. And if you care to share what stage of life you’re in (or trying to transition into), let’s grab a coffee and chat about it. Coffee is on me.

Coffee of the Week: If you haven’t been to The Colombian in Edmonton, it is my favorite new shop in the city. The owner, Santiago, is an awesome guy with an even better back story, dating back to his roots and coffee heritage in Colombia. He roasts all of his coffee on-site with his partner in crime and wife, Kristin. They dial in a perfect medium roast every time. Nestled in the heart of Glenora, the best part is, the staff are all super friendly and love helping you pick out a great cup of joe. A sour free zone in more ways than one is my kind of place!

Song of the Week: Feel It Still” – Portugal The Man

Quote of the Week: “The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great.” – Paul Angone

Rise & Grind,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: The People’s Champ

Goooooood Morning,

Extending a warm welcome to a few new Mailbag readers this week. Glad to have you aboard! Let’s get right to it…

  • Why swim in red, shark infested waters when you can find blue ocean to do the same? Seems like a pretty obvious theory… But have you ever thought the same notion can be applied in business? While there are some notable exceptions, a lot of successful new businesses and technology startups thrive in blue water, not by entering the dense, dangerous red waters full of top-of-the-chain predators. Great article by Inc. that features a Calgary based business that has since expanded to Edmonton.
  • Building on last week’s introduction to the lesser known perils of social media… At face value, the thought of an app or platform to share photos of one’s life with family and friends is pretty harmless. Heck it’s a great idea and medium to stay connected with one another. But what happens when these apps become more than just a simple platform to share photos? What happens when many users become obsessed with creating the perfect “highlight reel” of their life? Well, as it turns out, it’s having a pretty significant impact on society’s collective headspace. This interesting montage of a world leading brain expert, ex-Silicon Valley engineer and Facebook executive, along with a few other prominent thought leaders paint a pretty interesting and frankly grim picture of its widespread effects. I’ve been pondering the comment about social media’s effect on newer generations ability to achieve medium and long term goals having grown up in a world full of instant gratification. Are there any quotables that stick out for you?
  • This next video is all kinds of awesome and courtesy of a new Mailbag reader, Scott. It captures raw footage of the first time a world class music producer listens to an unknown artist for the first time (in a really cool new online learning platform, Masterclass, if you’re not familiar). The non-verbal reactions between the two musicians’ are really interesting to watch. I was never a huge fan of this song to be honest. That changed after watching this video…

Coffee of the Week: As I try to build more of a community among Mailbag readers, I want to introduce you to a relatively new friend of mine in Toronto with big dreams and an even bigger heart. Cody originally read about my coffee business a while back via a similar weekly note as the Mailbag (my friend Brett’s version, The Beer List), as Cody also shares a love for the freshly roasted good stuff. Low and behold, Cody became the first and only sponsored 4th Line Grind athlete (**apologies for the short term nature of that deal pal) on his quest for qualifying for Ironman Kona. The holy grail of triathlons.

My favorite part of Cody’s story is that he did not grow up an athletic kid. His mantra is “No talent. All hard work.” A few weekends ago, Cody and I did an 85km ride on the David Thompson Highway, west of Nordegg, into the Rockies. We rode together for the first 5km, then he said “Wilkesy, I’m going to pick it up if you want to try and stay with me“. Within 10 seconds, GONE. Not that it’s that hard to lose me on a road bike but I mean he was gone! Uphill, into a stiff Rocky Mountain headwind. I hammered out the remaining 80km solo and proudly waved the flag of a weekend warrior. Cody is racing this weekend at Ironman Eagleland in Cambridge, Maryland. He has a wickedly fun Instagram account, @thefulldiary, that is fun to follow along. He posts some awesome training and race montages on there and often finishes off his weekend training sessions with a token pint (like a true triathlete). We opted for some Freehold Brewing’s Big Chutes Lager post ride if you haven’t tried their suds. A couple great lads Matt and Tavis started this company and proudly tout their awesome branding, Alberta by Choice. Good luck this weekend Cody! Your Mailbag crew will be cheering you on from coast to coast, coffee in hand.

Song of the Week: People’s Champ by The Arkells. I would’ve classified myself as a middle of the road Arkells fan prior to hearing this. Then I watched the music video… What a jam and premise for a tune.

Quote of the Week:Experience is a hard lesson because the teacher gives you the test before you learn the lesson.” – Vern Law

Rise & Grind,

Mike

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Mike’s Mailbag: Back in the Saddle

Goooooood Morning,

Long time no talk mis amigos! Tis’ been a while since we last convened on the ‘Bag… Safe to say a lot of life has been lived on both ends. What is shaking in your neck of the woods?

I was recently e-introduced to someone in a semi-professional context as “quite possibly the most interesting 20-something I know”. Now, I don’t know if this is a compliment, a subtle dig, or simply resemblent of the somewhat unique path I’ve taken the last 14 months of my life. I went from suiting up everyday selling energized fracturing solutions to driving across our great nation to moonlight as a caddie at the #1 rated course in Canada (so much so it’s featured in the Lotto 6/49 commercial), while living in an ocean-side trailer with no Wi-Fi or cell reception (“patio” view below). Then one sunny summer morning in early August, my caddie loop was cancelled last minute so I posted up in the local coffee shop to work on my coffee business plan. This particular morning I was working on sourcing the supply of my coffee beans. A few hours into working, in walked a woman from the side door of the cafe that more than caught my eye and long story short, I went and introduced myself to her. Turned out she was from Calgary and on a solo cross Canada adventure of her own. 10 days later, we embarked on a 3-week road trip down the eastern seaboard, into the southern US, then ventured back northwest finishing up in Denver. Less than a month later, I finalized my partnership with a small local roaster in Calgary and started my own coffee company (having written much of my business plan in my Wi-Fi “less” trailer and at the local coffeeshop). What’s the old Steve Jobs adage “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever“? It certainly rang true for me looking backwards…

Fast forward to now, I’m back in Edmonton, my hometown and proudly touted as the City of Champions (even though the wooden sign entering our city from the south hasn’t seen a coat of paint or facelift since Mess’ hoisted the cup back in ’90). Wink wink, nudge nudge, Donny Iveson and council.

There’s no telling the route a rejuvenated Mike’s Mailbag will take in 2018 but I can assure you it will be entertaining, thought provoking, and authentic (even if to a fault). What I’m hoping to do moving forward is take our online community of Mailbag fans, readers and contributors and find ways for us to meet face-to-face in brick n’ mortar environments, from coast to coast (see “Flaked” Trailer here for modern day paradox of community, a-ha moment @ 2:08).

  • The 3 Levels of Self-Awareness by Mark Manson
    • This might be my favorite article of 2018 so far. Whether or not you appreciate Mark’s writing style (apologies in advance for the profanity), he speaks his mind which is rare in the politically correct society we live in. If there’s one skill/character trait that becomes increasingly important as one grows older (in every element of life – personally, professionally, in relationship, etc), self-awareness could very well be at the top.
  • Principles For Success Mini-Series by Ray Dalio
    • Five years ago, the majority of Ray’s following primarily consisted of the finance community at-large. Since amassing an astronomical amount of personal wealth through his hedge-fund, Bridgewater Associates, Ray has found more fulfillment in finding ways to give back and share knowledge rather than continue to solely pursue financial profits. He championed the idea of radical transparency within Bridgewater’s corporate culture (which we’ll surely get into down the road) and prior to becoming one of the largest contemporary influencers on LinkedIn, he published a free downloadable PDF titled Principles. His following has grown exponentially since taking this PDF and transforming it into a full on book. He has since pared down these concepts into an easy to watch mini-series on YouTube. Regardless of age, occupation, interests, I highly recommend taking 30 minutes to tune in.
  • Denzel Washington on Social Media
    • Interesting thoughts on the prevalence of social media by Denzel Washington. More and more media coverage is coming out criticizing the social media engines of Silicon Valley for their intentionally addictive products’ effect on the true well-being of society. It’s easy to believe and get caught up in the hoopla about how “connected” we are as a society in a technological sense but is at the expense of actually being connected to those around us in a real, tangible manner? I’m going to explore this topic in depth in the coming weeks but will simply plant the seed this week.

Song of the Week:Slow Burn” by Kacey Musgraves. Her new album released earlier this spring, Golden Hour, is one of my favorites so far this year.

Java of the Week: This is a new addition and will spotlight favorite shops and entrepreneurs from coast to coast, fun facts + myths, among other things. To kickstart things, “Blinded By The Light… Roast”, might be of interest to you as you wonder why coffee tastes different at different shops you frequent.

Quote of the Week: “If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success?” – Jerry Seinfeld

Rise & Grind,

Mike

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Mike’s Mailbag: The Legend of the Mull River Shuffle

Hola Amigos,

I hope you all had an awesome Canada Day with your friends and family!

This Mailbag is coming at you straight from the Dilly Dally Cafe on the corner of Vernon and Quinpool in Halifax. I tee-off in 2.5 hours for my second round of the Nova Scotia Amateur and it’s suffice to say, round 1 results unfortunately did not meet my expectations. It was one of “those days” on the golf course and humbling to say the least. I was pretty bummed after the round, somewhat embarrassed to be frank, as the two guys I am playing with are players. Both on university on golf scholarships, one to Queen’s and the other to Waterloo.

It was tough to take in stride but sometimes when a fear of yours is realized, it’s actually refreshing if you look at it through the lens of a stoic philosopher (ie. there is no good or bad. Just the lens in which you interpret the event). It can actually be very freeing for a fear to be realized that your just not as good at something as you once were or think you are. That’s the case for tournament golf for me at the age of 27. I think I’m done with it.

It’s a case of perspective. If I shoot 79 in the tournament, I’m going to be disappointed with it and feel like I left shots out on the course. Yet, if I’m out on the links with my buddies and shooting any score under 80, I’m one happy camper and we’re having post round pints, no doubt. I want to be a glass half full kind of guy in life and tournament golf requires such precision and meticulous preparation, often at the expense of other important aspects of life. There is ZERO room for error and mental lapses in tournament golf. Breakfast balls and mulligans don’t exist. If you’re not fully committed 24/7 to honing your golf game, it can often be chalked up to luck if you play well in a tournament. Thus, it’s almost setting yourself up for failure.

I love the game of golf and I’ve realized that because I love the game so much, it’s time to move on from serious tournament golf. As they say, “golf is a good walk… spoiled”. I can’t wait for many spoiled walks in the future with good friends, family and colleagues!

After this humbling round of golf, I took a spur of the moment road trip to Wolfville to check out Acadia University’s campus and hot tamale, I was blown away with how beautiful the Annapolis Valley is! I went full tourist and just followed road signs which led me to Annapolis Cider Co. (amazing tasting cider that you can order by the case online), Luckett Vineyards (picked up a bottle of Black Cab – all of their wines can be ordered the case online), Just Us Coffee Roasters (learned how coffee is grown and roasted), the beautiful fields and vistas of Grand-Pre (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and last but not least, Cape Split Provincial Park. I didn’t have time to do the 5-hour hike there but I will definitely be making the trek back there to do so with my buddy, Murdoch, in a few weeks. I’ve attached some pictures from my cruise below!

I capped off the night catching up with a few old university pals Carlisle, Dan, Warren, and Graham for pints sea-side on the boardwalk . It’s always fun catching up with pals down the road and learning about all the interesting things they’ve been up to. Our conversation was so dialed talking being in your 20’s, exploring, and trying to take the road less traveled. Dan and Carlisle are both very competitive sailers and that’s a sport I know nothing about so I loved hearing about their trials and tribulations on the open seas! Golf and sailing are timeless sports that bring the old and young together, so we had a good time exchanging insights.

I’m only going to share two articles with you this week and they are top shelf.

  • Every year on his birthday, Ryan Holiday writes a reflection on what he’s learned throughout the year and how he can turn that knowledge into wisdom to share with others. He just turned 30 and his new reflection is golden: http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2017/06/how-to-live-a-full-life-and-leave-nothing-on-the-table-by-30/. My favorite bullet points are #15, #22, and #36… What are yours?
  • This is a pretty cool insight to the life of Josh Fechter, as written by Manu Goswami series #UNCONVENTIONAL. My favorite anecdote is “To anyone out there that feels like they have not found their passion, Josh wants you to see this story as a testament to the fact that you don’t have to rush to find you “passion”. Instead of focusing on building a lifestyle around work, build your work around a lifestyle you desire. Josh has had friends who have made tons of money but still feel lost when it comes to defining their purpose. For them, they have built a lifestyle around their work as opposed to flipping it and peering at every opportunity through the lens of their lifestyle.” Pretty cool message if you ask me -> https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/unconventional-josh-fechter-manu-goswami

Quote of the Week: “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle

Song of the Week: There’s a group of ~12 caddies who are all pals and we do our best to take in the local Cape Breton culture. We’ve started a tradition of attending the Monday Night Square Dance in Skye Glen (about 15 minutes from Mabou). ~300 people of all ages come from around the county to join in the square dance festivities, on a Monday night of all days… Every week of the summer! It is an absolute hoot and the Rankin Family wrote a song called the “Mull River Shuffle” which is the river you drive along to get to the square dance. This probably isn’t the pump-up song you’d expect to listen to but when you get a crowd of Cape Bretoner’s stompin’ the dance floor to this jig, things really amp up!

Keep on Fighting the Good Fight,

Mike

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Mike’s Mailbag: What Does Your Paradise Feel Like?

G’day Mates,

Without further adieu…

  • Billy Bob Thornton, known as Coach Gary Gaines in my world (Friday Night Lights), with a really raw anecdote about his life before he was rich and famous. I don’t know much about Billy or pass any judgment on his personal life. Moral of the story, this clip really resonated with me. More specifically, Billy saying “don’t ever let your dreams die. That’s what keeps an artist alive and keeps people in general going. Sometimes sitting on the floor on Motor Avenue with a powdered doughnut and a cup of rum seems like paradise.”Is this specific situation sitting on the floor what Billy or other people aspire to? No, probably not. But for Billy, he was living his dream and inching his way closer to becoming a successful actor; thus, the journey felt like paradise. For many, myself included, “paradise” does not equate to sunny beaches and suntanning on yachts. It is driving towards a set out goal and having an innate sense of purpose for living. That’s what I’m chasing…

    The road to success, whatever that looks like for you, is not paved with comfort and requires sacrifice. It forces you to “cut the slack” in your life. To dial back to the basics of what your mission requires and ridding yourself of a few comfortable amenities you may have been used to in a past life. The beauty is, in exchange for doing so, an invigorating wave of conviction, clarity, and purpose rush through your soul. An innate feeling that money cannot buy. A feeling that wakes you up in the morning; without an alarm clock.

    “If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice.” – Jay Samit.

  • As many of you know, I’m a terrible reader of paperback books. I absorb and sift through a lot of content; yet, much of it is not through printed press. But this book is different. “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday is a one-page read every morning that translates timeless stoic philosophy into modern day prose. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking to shore up some bad reading habits like myself!
  • This is an amazing 3-minute clip of drone footage of Nova Scotia… Definitely worth checking out if you’ve always wondered why people love the Maritimes!
  • Very positive, thought provoking advertisement by Heineken
  • With the prime summer months on the horizon and the potential for a few long days on the patios, weddings and late nights around the campfire, the next day isn’t always something we look forward to.However, I was given the heads up on a product called RecoverORS by some golfers from Chicago a few weeks ago who had late nights at the pub and early morning tee-times the next day. It is a oral rehydration packet that you stir into water and voila! Order on Amazon, shows up a few days later. For those of you, who like myself may have a few “I ain’t as good as I once was but I’m good once as I ever was” – Toby Keith-esque nights, on the horizon this summer, I’d welcome you to give RecoverORS a try!

Quote of the Week:No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.” – Jay Samit

Song(s) of the Week: The tuneage is high on vibes right now so I thought I’d share a couple mainstays:

Carpe Diem Amigos,

Mike

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