Mike’s Mailbag: Week 17, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Could I please have your attention… I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. And I need all of you to stop what you’re doing and read… The 17th edition of the Mailbag might be the best of 2016… Cannonball!!!

  • I’m not sure if any of you ever got into The Newsroom on HBO a few years ago but it is a modern day West Wing (I’m using that reference like I’ve actually seen the show but I trust Aaron Sorkin). The reason I like The Newsroom is that the characters are very real, intricate, and well developed. Perhaps most so, lead news anchor – Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels). He is an unbelievable character to observe, analyze and learn from. One of the best parts of the show is that while the characters are fictitious, all the news events the show covers are actual events (Gabby Gifford shooting, Mitt Romney Presidential campaign, Occupy Wall Street, to name a few). The opening 10 minutes of the pilot episode is in my books THE BEST OPENING TO ANY TV SHOW. Don’t believe me: check it out for yourself here. As Albertans, we are yearning for a strong leader to emerge and look up to. I think we could use a prominent journalist or news anchor like a Will McAvoy to start engaging political dialogue and hold our political leaders accountable for their words and actions, both provincially and federally. McAvoy is a big picture thinker who tells it like it is, which is a rarity in the “politically correct” society we live in. Side note: Jeff Daniels filmed Dumb and Dumber 2 and The Newsroom at the same time… That has to be one of the most incredible simultaneous acting feats of all time considering the polar difference in characters.
  • This is a fantastic TED talk titled, The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers, passed onto me by a colleague of mine (thanks Paige!). Adam Grant is one of the most renowned organizational psychologists in the US and I highly recommend reading his work. All you have to do is Google him and plenty will show up in your news feed. Because Adam is fairly young himself, he is very in tune with the Millennial generation and that’s what allows him to connect so well with his audience.
  • Tiga Tiga Woods y’all… Haven’t heard that much as of late, likely because he played his first 18 holes of 2016 last week. This ESPN feature titled, The Secret History of Tiger Woods (slightly lengthy but worth the double espresso), is an introspective look at one of the top 10 most dominant athletes in his prime the world has ever seen and his fall from grace. It’s kind of an eerie read to be honest to learn how eff’d up his life turned in recent years, completely unraveling in a downward spiral. Tiger isn’t hurting for money but his actual life, external of things money can buy, appears to have a lot of putting the pieces back together ahead of him. Read on…
  • This is one of the best perspectives on goal setting, or shall I say establishing and adhering to the “process” that you’ll find courtesy of an author I greatly admire – Ryan Holiday. For me personally in 2016, I’ve been developing a structure and process for achieving my goals and surrounding myself with the right team of people. I’m learning it is very much a continuous learning process that requires constant evolution and it will always will be that way, no matter where you are at in your life. I think it’s fair to say a lot of people struggle with goal setting (I certainly have in the past) and it is absolutely a learned skill and something that you must chip away at, respecting the process every step of the way. As my mentor always tells me “Intention doesn’t lead to performance. Structure leads to performance.” You don’t achieve your goals by wishing, you achieve them by taking disciplined action. This kind of action does not come without establishing a process that works for you, taking no shortcuts along the way, and then after a consistently putting in the work for a period of time, the results start to come. It’s not easy but nothing worth fighting for ever is.
  • I started watching a Netflix show titled Flaked, a Will Arnett creation, in which he is also the lead character in the show. I’m halfway through the 1st season and I’ve really enjoyed throwing an episode on with dinner. It touches on all things friendship, alcoholism, love, community and finding yourself. Worth checking out if you’re looking for an easy show to get into…

Song of the Week: A lot of Prince tributes have been posted and passed around the past week for good reason but if you’re trying to find his music on YouTube, it is damn near impossible, as he dearly protected his musical content from online streaming services. However, this absolute gem, courtesy of The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, slipped through the cracks with Prince playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” alongside Tom Petty and Steve Winwood. Thanks to my colleague, Mike, for this great find!

Quote of the Week: Life must be lived forward but can only be understood backwards.” – Will Arnett in Flaked

Last but not least, shoutout to Team Canada heading to Rio and their unveiling of Ice in Our Veins!

One Love,

Mike

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 12.05.05 AM

Advertisements

Mike’s Mailbag: Week 16, 2016

We’re cutting straight to the mustard this week!

  • Robert Greene, best-selling author of The 48 Laws of Power and The 33 Strategies of War, is very passionate about understanding what drives the human mind and the many variables that play into it. In this short clip, he describes how powerful and successful humans derive pleasure from pain. A lot of people shy away from exposing themselves to pain, whether it be physical or psychological, because it hurts and challenges one outside of their comfort zone. He uses the example of long-distance swimming and the anguish one often experiences in the moment but then the strength and euphoria post-swim having pushed through such physical and mental roadblocks.
  • You shake hands with three people and not even 3 seconds later, you realize you don’t remember any of their names… We’ve all been there and have felt the guilt and foolishness. What I often try to do to combat this is assimilate one’s name with a famous person’s name or a landmark that they remind of for whatever reason. That way, when I’m trying to recall their name an hour or day later, I use the power of association to help me remember theirs. At the end of the day though, Keith Ferazzi says it best in this article… That is, if you really want to remember people’s names, take a genuine interest in the people you meet and care enough to remember them all.
  • I have to thank my bud, Brett, in Toronto who puts out a similar weekly e-mail called The Beer List for this next article on the smartest building in the world called The Edge in Amsterdam. This building produces more energy than it consumes, collects rainwater to flush its toilets, and knows what you take in your coffee to name a features. Check it out here via Bloomberg…
  • I want to give a shoutout to another pal of mine, Jared, in Calgary for unveiling his slick new website – www.jaredpoplawski.com. Not only is it a cool interface, it’s packed with thought provoking material that he describes as “an exploration of business, psychology and learning“. I’ve already got it bookmarked for some reading this weekend!
  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the playoffs are in full swing and they are oh so good to tune into… Round-the-clock hockey on the tube and for Canadians, that’s hard to beat. For that reason, I thought I’d share two of my favorite playoff memories…
    • 1997 Playoffs. Game 7: Dallas vs. Edmonton. Todd Marchant ripping down the right side at Mach 9 (the Dallas defenseman literally falls because Todd is going so fast) and goes high blocker side on Andy Moog to steal the series in OT… God damn this was good.
    • CBC Closing Playoff Montage in 2014 to “The Show Must Go On” by Queen.

Song of the Week:Record Yearby Eric Church. Safe to say his new album will be blasting all summer long at the lake…

Quote of the Week: Empathy is a choice and it’s a vulnerable choice. Because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows the feeling.” – Brene Brown

I pasted a meme below that I came across at the studio this week… Fairly accurate if you ask me!

Game On,

Mike

FullSizeRender-1.jpg

Mike’s Mailbag: Week 15, 2016

Rise & Shine Mis Amigos,

We’ve got a special guest this week on Coffeetalk, Dr. Rick Nason, one of my favorite university professors and a man who fundamentally changed how I approach life. That might sound profound and it is, but hear me out… In a world where we are continuously taught to just fit or blend in, conform to the norm, groupthink, and to not risk being different for the sake of being wrong, Dr. Nason flipped this notion on its head.

Dr. Nason has a very distinct brand, evident of his signature bow-tie, long hair, and incredible knowledge and passion on which the subjects he lectures on. He often referred to a John Maynard Keynes quote in his lectures, “Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally” yet he seemed to buck the trend when it came to this quote. He drilled into our minds that you don’t necessarily need to be the smartest or most talented in the room to win or be successful BUT YOU HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT.

I’ll never forget when I read him back my own version of the quote in his office one day near the end of my time at Dalhousie “Rick – I’d rather succeed unconventionally than fail conventionally“. He responded “Mike – I think you may have Keynes quote backwards” and I cheekishly responded “Exactly.” To this day, I have never forgotten his life lesson on having the courage to be different, create your own distinctive brand, and embrace the challenges and opportunities that come with approaching your life in this manner. This is probably the single most important piece of wisdom I have taken with me from my university days, so thank you Rick.

Coffeetalk: Episode 4 with Rick Nason. Grab a coffee and read on!

  • If you’re like me and read a lot of articles, watch a ton YouTube interviews and TED talks, but really struggle to pick up a paperback, I have tried something new this week. It’s an app called Audible by Amazon. They have a free one-month subscription for audiobooks that you can listen to on your smartphone or tablet. I am now getting a solid 45 minutes of reading in on my daily commute via audiobook and am loving it. I’m listening to Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power“. Highly recommended to give this app a shot!
  • What’s the magic for cutting someone off in an important meeting? “Jellyfish”… Yep, you got it. “Jellyfish”.  Don’t take it from me. Take it from the many smarter individuals than myself at Harvard University who came up with this code word and frankly, I think it’s brilliant.
  • Did you know that the profits in the late 90’s from olive oil trafficking were comparable to the cocaine industry? Or that  Mafia’s have been created to control the olive oil industry? Seems crazy but it’s true. I bet you also didn’t know how much counterfeit “extra virgin olive oil” there currently is on the market advertised as such but does not meet testing standards… Have no fear, Evoolution Olive Oils is here! A buddy of mine in Edmonton, Mark, started these boutique olive oil shops in 2011 and they have four locations: 3 in Edmonton and 1 in Canmore. Make sure you’re only cooking with real thing and make a pit stop for the real thing.

Song of the Week: A modern take on a classic Eddie Rabbitt tune “Driving My Life Away” – Chuck Allen Floyd. This is probably the perfect highway driving tune.

Quote of the Week: As it stands, plan B is just to keep on given’er. Give’r: you just go and you give’r, you work hard… Ya that’s a plan right there.” – Dean Murdoch

Just Give’r,

Wilkesy

1013335_800589596635990_103675523_n - Version 3

Coffeetalk: Episode 4 with Dr. Rick Nason

Dr. Nason and I first met when myself and two other Dal classmates walked into his office five odd years ago to pitch him on the prospects of us starting the Dalhousie Investment Society (DALIS) and him championing our cause at the Faculty level. I won’t use exact words but he basically go told us to fly a kite. Somewhat deterred by his blunt nature yet keen to push on for some reason, we came back the following week with a modified pitch. These steps repeated themselves over and over for a period of time until he finally realized that we weren’t some flash in the pan leadership team and were actually committed to getting a student-run hedge fund off the ground. Little did we know, he was testing us the whole time. Fast forward a few years and hundreds of hours grinding out late night sessions in the Bloomberg lab and here we are… Trying to solve the world’s problems in Coffeetalk with my now friend, Rick.  Let’s do this!

Rick Nason1

Mike: To say you are a highly educated man is an understatement, evident of the two Masters degrees and two PHD’s you have earned. How did you break onto Wall Street and was that always your goal?­

Rick: First off I do have two master’s degrees, but only one PhD. I did most of the course work and the comprehensive exams for a PhD at Pitt but never started a thesis for my PhD in physics.

Ever since I was in Junior High I wanted to be a physicist. My goal was never to break into Wall Street until I got to Business School, and even then I was undecided between marketing and finance. The reason I started business school in the first place is that I by chance saw a magazine cover story in the library that stated that Wall Street wanted physicists. I looked at the article and talked to a few people and realized I had a better chance of being somewhat more successful in business than in physics. The jobs in physics at that time (and to some extent today) where few and far between unless you wanted to build bombs – which I did not want to do. My break occurred when I was able to convince a Senior Manager that my unique background in physics, academic finance, sales and as a tennis club pro was a unique but valuable combination of skills to have.

Mike: What is the role of a university business school… To educate or to prepare for the real world?

Rick: We do not have time or space for my full answer on this question. I believe the role of a University is to give students the skills and tools for life-long learning. If one is truly educated and given the skills and the inspiration to learn then they will also be prepared for the real world. Unfortunately – in my opinion – the current focus in education is on knowing things, and not about learning. Knowing things in my mind is a commodity. It is about how things are connected and more importantly about how things might be connected that counts. In the real world, and in real world business, things are messy and uncertain. Business schools however take the easier route of assuming out the messiness in order to provide nice clean answers. The answer to most real world business problems is “maybe”. For every business problem that has an answer, that answer will be useless at the next instance of creative destruction. By failing to recognize and deal with these realities, business schools are falling short of both educating and preparing students for the real world.

Mike: What subject matter(s) or skill-set do you think will be most in demand in 25 years’ time?

Rick: I think that (a) empathy, (b) accountability, and (c) the ability to connect the dots will be the most valuable business skills in 25 years’ time. The current fashion is to talk about data analysis and STEM skills. I believe these are simply table stakes. Computers and robots will make STEM knowledge somewhat quaint. However the person who has empathy, and in particular sociological empathy, which I define as understanding what drives a group of people rather than individuals or a collection of individuals, is the person who will be able to name their job and their price. This is why I have made a commitment to myself to read each of Shakespeare’s plays over the next year (albeit in a Modern English translation).

Mike: You are a subject matter expert on risk and complexity in the financial world. Seemingly, our banking system is becoming ever more complex by the day, perhaps too complex in the eyes of some. Should the everyday consumer be worried?

Rick: I think it is very important to understand the different between complicated things and complex things in the sense that a scientist classifies them (which is what my upcoming book is about). Complicated things are processes or systems that are governed by rules or laws, like the laws of physics, or the regulations of a system. Complex things are those that evolve naturally (emerge is the technical term) and do not have leaders or laws to guide them – things like videos that go viral or fashions that become the temporary rage, or even the financial markets. What worries me is that governments and regulators, in an attempt to be seen as doing something of purpose, are creating a lot of complicated laws to manage something that is complex. In my opinion it is the exact wrong way to deal with the issues of financial stability and economic progress.

Mike: What is the biggest mistake you see university students make when trying to land their first big job, whether an internship or full-time gig upon graduating?

Rick: The biggest mistake I see university students make is not taking the time to try and understand who they are, what they really like, and what their strengths and weaknesses are, and not asking themselves tough questions about what they are and are not willing to do to succeed (I am talking about work ethic, not moral ethic). I see too many students who are trying to live up to someone else’s ideal and not their own ideals. The only thing worse than not living up to your own ideals is not having any ideals, (or equivalently not making an effort to find out what your ideals are). The second biggest mistake – which may be related – is not having faith in their own ability. Increasingly I see more and more students who would rather settle for mediocre than risk an attempt at going for what they really want and perhaps coming up short.

Mike: What are 3 of your favorite books? Can be on any topic…

Rick: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. This was given to me by a professor in college and I go back to it every now and then when I need to get a simple slap in the face of perspective.

The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard Feynman and Robert Leighton. Scientific writing simply does not get any better than this. It makes you realize how small and inadequate your brain is compared to a renowned physicist like Feynman.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Not a great book in terms of writing, but a powerful theme and message. More people need to be asking “Who is John Galt?”

The Message by Eugene Peterson. A translation of the Bible that brings it to life no matter what your views on any given religion are.

(I was never that good at conventional math so I may have miscounted.)

Mike: What is one misconception and one truth of Wall Street (or perhaps Wall Street as we knew it) that you can confirm having lived and breathed that life for many years?

Rick: My experience is that “Wall Street People” are not greedy as most people think but instead they are extremely competitive. If the scorecard was kept in pebbles then “Wall Street People” would be lusting after pebbles and not money.

Mike: You have a free summer day in Halifax… What does Rick Nason do?

Rick: Rick Nason gets up and goes to the Ardmore for breakfast. I then go sit down at the lake that my house is situated on and feed the ducks for the afternoon while reading a book and enjoying a nice beverage, and a great Dominican product. Then in conjunction with my wife, we will host a barbeque and then relax around the fire-pit with friends and enjoy more fine beverages and fine Dominican products.

Mike: Pick 3 people alive on the planet to have dinner with. Who are they and why?

Rick: Mr. Mathews my Junior High Science and Math teacher. I have been truly blessed by having many great teachers and professors in my past (Dr. White, Dr. Shaw, Dr. Cohen, Dr. Dulin, Dr. Harkleroad, Dr. Sharp, Mr. Snodgrass, Sister Forsythe) but Mr. Mathews was the one who started my love of science and of asking questions and one cannot overestimate the positive influence he has had on my life. Unfortunately I lost contact (I do not even know his first name). Perhaps someone will read this and send me his contact info. I would gladly buy the dinner.

George W. Bush. Not necessarily because I was a fan, but he was the President during two big events in my life – 9/11 and the financial crisis of 2008. I believe that if I took an oath of secrecy that he would tell me – without any spin – what was really going on behind the scenes and what he really thought. I believe he would relish the opportunity to give his view since everyone else and their dog has written about these events. I believe that too much of what we read in the media is dumbed down to such a level as to be useless or trumped up (no pun intended) for marketing purposes as to make the message beside the point.

My wife. Because I still love her after 30 plus years and she is one of the few people on this planet who will put up with me.

Well there you have it folks… That’s 10 top notch questions with one of the best minds in the biz! If you interested in learning more about Rick’s views on the world, you can check out his TED talk here titled “Physics Meets Wall Street – Complexity in Business“. Tis’ always a pleasure, Rick.

1013335_800589596635990_103675523_n - Version 3

 

Mike’s Mailbag: Week 14, 2016

Top O’ The Morning Muchachos,

Theme of the week is quality over quantity and this edition is packing some serious heat… Let’s get cracking!

  • The third installment of Coffeetalk is here with a good buddy of mine in Toronto – Chris Snoyer. Guy’s got a lot on the go and is a fairly cool cat. We chatted about all things business, beer, and start-ups. Check it out here -> Coffeetalk With Chris Snoyer
  • This might be my favorite article of 2016 thus far, as featured in the New York Times. Packed with wisdom rooted in philosophy that has been around far longer than any of us writing or reading this Mailbag. “Concrete, defined plans for life are abstract because they are made for a self who is abstract: a future self that you imagine based on a snapshot of yourself now. You are confined to what is in the best interests of the person you happen to be right now—not of the person you will become.” – Michael Puett & Christine Gross-Loh.  Thanks for the heads up on this one, Dave!
  • The adage “living the dream” is thrown around pretty loosely these days but this guy, Sammy Schmidt, is literally living the dream. His dream. Sammy is a 35-year old amateur golfer from Minnesota that qualified for the Masters by clinching a victory with a hole-in-one on a par 4… Yes, that’s an ALBATROSS to close out a qualifying tournament victory in style.

Song of The Week: I always knew about this band by name but never really listened to them. That all changed a couple weeks ago cat-skiing when Stefan, an awesome skier from Switzerland, put Foals on the loudspeaker. They’ve been a fixture on my Spotify ever since. “London Thunder” – Foals.

Quote of The Week: “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” – Will Smith

Carpe Diem,

Wilkesy

Coffeetalk: Episode 3 With Chris Snoyer

Chris and I met on the flag football field at Dalhousie. Fast forward 6 years and ~300 pints later, here he is on Coffeetalk…

11144445_10152965738083525_2298647693935075103_n

Mike: You recently left your corporate job in downtown Toronto to become an entrepreneur. Tell us a little more about your new ventures…

Chris: Well, what was once a few ventures (including planting some seeds for a beer company) has become singular. All of my time is now being poured into a training app for the retail and restaurant space.  It’s called Spiffy, and it allows staff to complete basic mandatory training from anywhere, as well as optional training from vendors. For example, Sport Chek needs to teach Bob how to fit you for some ski’s, but Salomon wants to influence the sale of their products by ensuring Bob knows that their product is best for your epic cat-skiing trips.

With training content, a quiz, and payment all being delivered within the app, there is no need to bring the team in for a demo. Spiffy will reduce labor costs by allowing staff to train at home, and they’ll be much happier to complete it from their couch. A lot of this training today is completed in store, where corporate is trusting managers to convey the right message, and trusting their employees to pay attention, which why we’ve all had some lacklustre experiences in chain stores and restaurants.

We’ve just sent in some applications to US-based accelerators, and sent our pitch deck to our first potential investor. I’m really enjoying the hustle. I have to figure I’m doing something right if I’m excited to get out of bed every day, right?

Mike: What is another cool start-up that you’ve heard of or know that many will soon find out about?

Chris: For a laugh, check out Bernie.ai. It’s artificial intelligence for dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. The idea is that it will learn “your type” and swipe on your behalf. I don’t think it’s live yet, but it should be worth a laugh when it is!

For something more real, check out Kash. They’re taking on big credit card companies with a direct debit solution for retail (kind of like scanning your Starbucks app at the register). It’s a tall task, but it will save a lot of businesses a lot of money if they’re successful.

Mike: You are very much a people person that thrives in social situations. What approach do you take when fostering new relationships?

Chris: Well, first off, thanks man! I just try to never have a veil on. What you see is what you get. I apply the term “a rising tide lifts all boats” to my social interactions.  I love to meet interesting people, and love leaving the table knowing that I’ve helped them get closer to a goal – big or small – and perhaps they’ve done the same for me. There are always opportunities to help each other grow and prosper.

Mike: What is/are the biggest fault/s that many make (usually unconsciously) when building relationships, or networking as many term it?

Chris: Being selfish. Or worse, not doing it at all. Some people don’t commit any time or effort to building relationships. It’s often too late that people realize the value of relationships, so I’d suggest people get started (Hint: Read Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi)

Mike: Biggest piece of advice for university students on how to maximize their experience?

Chris: Advice… Differentiate yourself. Do you know how many Bachelor of Commerce or Arts grads there are in the world? A degree is never going to get you a job on its lonesome. Getting a degree is a check mark. In my mind, the two most important things to do is get involved extracurricular activities (like JDC and other case competitions) and start building your network. Doing one will help with the other, and they’ll both set you apart from the horde of graduates.

Mike: Who are your role models or thought leaders in life/business world that you follow?

Chris: I’m a big fan of Keith Ferrazzi (I know you’re in the same boat). I think the business world would be a better place if more people got past the small talk to learn what’s really important to another. I never miss an opportunity to drop a Wedding Crasher quote, so here goes: “people helping people, it’s powerful stuff”. I also think the whole Paypal Mafia is amazing. Guys like Peter Thiel and Elon Musk are awe inspiring. They have completely different thought processes than most of us, and that’s what it takes to have a real impact. Check out Zero to One by Thiel for a short, but thought provoking business read.

Mike: What are the 3 most interesting/entertaining Twitter or Instagram accounts you follow?

Chris: Hoodclips is probably the funniest, but lets not go there…

Mike: Favorite place to meet a few friend for a pint in Toronto?

Chris: Tried and true pub: PJ O’Briens.

Beer and fun: Pacific Junction Hotel. Good vibe, ping pong, and Deer Hunter. Winning combo.

A new find for me that has great cocktails is Rush Lane. I like a bartender who can hold a conversation and mix a mean drink. You’ll find that there.

Mike: Favorite coffee shop to post up at?

Chris: Best coffee in the city is Fahrenheit at Jarvis and Lombard. Best Barista is Mari Palhares at Portland Variety. She’s amazing – tell her I said hi if you stop by!

Mike: Pick 3 people alive on the planet to have dinner with. Who are they and why?

Chris: Man, this is hard. I’d probably put:

Peter Thiel – I like to spend time with uber smart people who can explain things in ways that I can understand. That’s why I hang out with you, Wilkesy 😉

Mark Cuban because I like a man who speaks his mind, knows what he wants, and makes things happen!

And Dr.Dre.

If you think Chris sounds like a decent guy or want to call him out on his BS over a pint at PJ O’Brien’s, surely he won’t turn down your offer. Drop him a line at chris.snoyer@gmail.com.

 

Mike’s Mailbag: Week 13, 2016

Goooood Morning Muchachos,

It’s been a great week getting back into a groove after Easter and carving out some “Mike time” as I like to call it. I hope you all have carved out time for yourselves this week as doing so will in turn help you to be a better companion, friend and colleague to those around you.

  • Starting off is a gem from a pal in Toronto, Chris Ackroyd, titled “You ALWAYS Have Time“. This piece resonated with me on many levels but namely because as a society, we always seem to be “too” busy with work, with school, with a romantic relationship to find time for other important people in our life, not to mention, personal time to reflect. It is all a matter of priorities but if we manage our time effectively, perhaps we are not “busy” but rather “productive” as Morgan Spurlock brilliantly points out in his own take on the subject. Feel free to drop a comment below with your thoughts on the topic. I know I’m not the only one with something to say on this front…
  • This is an article written about a kid named Sam from Calgary… But Sam is no regular university student that just goes through the motions and takes what is handed to him. When I saw this article come across the wire, I was really proud of Sam but also taken back a bit to my own university days at Dal, as my life changed the day I left home for university on the opposite side of the country. If you’re a parent and have a son or daughter struggling to “get after it” in university, perhaps introduce them to Sam via this article because he is playing his cards right. There’s more to university than just going to class and studying in the library. It’s about putting yourself out there, going out of your way to meet new people, taking risks, competing and gaining life experience. Sam and I met about two years ago and became friends largely as a result of the reasons I just mentioned above. His quote “The farther I go from home, the higher likelihood that I will have to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people and challenge myself” really resonated with me. Keep on rockin’, Sam!
  • This is a particularly interesting read for someone of any age, yet alone if you’re in your mid-to-late twenties… The title is rather bold and perhaps false or misleading, “Why Your Late Twenties Is The Worst Time In Your Life“, but a lot of the content within the article I think is fairly accurate. As twenty-somethings, we have a lot of passion but at times find it difficult to channel or apply that passion into something we love doing day in, day out. We tend to get so caught up trying to find our way and learning to be at peace with ourselves for the person we become. It’s a bit of a daunting aspect of life to zoom out on but one worth spending some time and effort reflecting on.
  • Tony Robbins and Tom Bilyeu, mono a’ mono, talking about all things personal growth and fulfillment. I really enjoyed the depth and gravitas this conversation went into. It gets particularly good at 34:00 minutes onwards… If you’re unfamiliar these two gentleman, they are very inspirational men on a mission to help those around them. This conversation is definitely worth tuning into.

Song of The Week:Fire Away” – Chris Stapleton

Quote of The Week: I went to some really powerful flow yoga classes this week and learned a lot from our instructor, Dawn. As we started class on Tuesday night, she brought up the notion that essentially “whatever it is you’re doing, make sure to continually push yourself to new heights but all the while making sure you save some of yourself so you have something to give to those around you. If you give up every ounce of energy you have day in day out to external things, you won’t have anything to give to the important people in your life.” Thanks for the great perspective, Dawn.

Adios Amigos,

Mike