Mike’s Mailbag: Left Foot, Right Foot.

Hola Amigo,

Fill up your cup of joe and let’s go.

What I’m Reading / Watching:

  • If Self Discipline Feels Difficult, Then You’re Doing it Wrong by Mark Manson. I’m still going to be reading this one a few times this week as I haven’t fully unwrapped  and digested it for all its worth. Why? Because the topics of self acceptance, self denial, self worth, and shame are confusing as hell for most of us to actually comprehend and put into words. They are topics that thrive in the dark, hiding out in the corners of our mind only to rear their heads out at the most inopportune times. As such, it’s going to take me some time to fully understand and comprehend my own experiences with them. Perhaps I’ll check back in on this one in a few weeks in “What I’m Thinking About” section. The good news is that as Manson breaks down in his own unique style, if you can come to grips with some ugly truths, the freedom and sense of gratitude on the other side is 110% worth it. Forewarning – Mark’s writing style is not for the easily offended and contains language your Mother might call into question.
  • What MDMA Therapy Did For Me by Tucker Max. This is is a long but extremely interesting reflection on a type of therapy that I did not know existed. I’ll let you draw their own conclusions about the substances mentioned and validity of outside the box treatments. However, what really resonated with me was Tucker’s revelation on his transition from a warrior to a builder. You won’t find this reflection until well into the read but if you make it there and are a leader in your own right, I think you’ll really find his revelation powerful.
  • Being a music guy, I am all kinds of fired up for this new Netflix documentary on the life and times of the legendary, Quincy Jones. Nominated for a record 80 Grammy awards and bringing home hardware 28 times, this should be a treat.

What I’m Thinking About:

I was on a late night heater at work last week and had my Spotify on shuffle. A song that I hadn’t listened to in a while came on – “Devil’s Whisper” by Raury. Halfway through the tune, there was a certain lyric that stopped me in my tracks, “Cause the people going nowhere are the ones that are flexin’“.

I went from being completely dialed in with the sound of background music merely a beat to keep me in rhythm to analyzing what Raury was trying to say? Truth is, I’ll never really know.

But if you’re asking me, it was a solid reminder that the “showy” ones – the ones flexin’ – are probably the ones going nowhere fast and / or masking an insecurity they’ve yet to deal with. These kinds of people are hard to miss – they’re flexing in the mirror at the gym when you look up between sets, posting manicured photos of their life and “desired” lifestyle, but really, they’re on a hamster wheel in search of external validation.

Don’t be led astray amigos by the noise around you. Stay true to yourself and your inner convictions. Stay humble. Work so hard that your life is naturally emblematic of who you are and you don’t have time, nor feel the need, to portray someone you’re not. It’s pretty easy to get sucked into all kinds of rat races but really, the only race we’re running is the one with our self. All we have to do is put one foot in front of the other.

What I’m Listening To:Nightmare” – Carmanah. This is a Vancouver Island based band that I was introduced to this week.

Words I’m Pondering: Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four hours sharpening the axe” – Abraham Lincoln.

With Gratitude & Fire,

– Wilkesy

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Mike’s Mailbag: The Pursuit of Performance or Happiness

Hola Amigo,

Fill up your cup of joe and let’s go.

  • Kaitlyn Osmond Fight to Skate Again. This is an insanely powerful clip of an athlete I’ve always known about but frankly, never knew much about her story.

    Unless you’ve had a failure that has literally taken what you know away from you, you don’t understand how hard it is to convince yourself to get over the mental blocks, the fear. You don’t understand how alone it feels and how much you want to say that you’re fine when you know that you’re not. There’s a lot of fears that I had. It got to the point where I was questioning why I was still skating and putting myself through that. But then I go to competition and realize how much that pain and torture was worth it. My body knows that I’m happy with it. I’ve done everything I can do.” – Kaetlyn Osmond. ** Bonus points if you can name the arena in YEG this was filmed in. Safe to say many Mailbaggers have scored a few here 🙂

  • Free Solo – a National Geographic documentary about Alex Honnold free soloing what is considered the most impressive wall on earth. The center of the rock climbing universe. Find the biggest, baddest big screen you can and tune in. While the documentary focuses on the climbing, one of the deeper story-lines the film explores is the fundamental difference between humans who live their life in pursuit of performance versus those in pursuit of comfort and happiness. In my experience (and the film’s), this dynamic often plays itself in romantic relationships. I found it really interesting to watch this dynamic play out between Alex and Sanni…
  • If this isn’t the greatest hockey commercial of all time, I don’t know what it is! Kicking it back to 1998 with nothing but Labatt’s Blue and the Canadian spirit that lives inside all us all.

What I’m Pondering / Struggling With / Grown From:

The power of impermanence. The impact of the two letters “im” on the word “permanent” are a lifeline like no other. If you find yourself in a tough headspace or life has decided to give you the short end of the stick for longer than you’d like, it is very easy for your patience to go out the door. Often times, you expect change / results / to feel a different way immediately. You want the pain, discomfort, and struggle to just go away and magically feel better. However, life just doesn’t work that way.

That’s where impermanence comes in. And it came to my rescue many a times in 2018.

Remind yourself, nothing is permanent for good or for bad. Let’s say you’re flying high and opportunities & great people are abundantly attracted your way, be grateful and continue working hard to immerse yourself in situations where luck can find you. On the contrary, if you feel stuck, don’t define your entire being by how you feel in that very moment. Emotions and feelings are fleeting. They’ll pass. They’ll only define you if you let them.

Tough times don’t last. Tough people do” – Robert Schiller (Nobel Laureate). Remember that, amigos.

Words I’m Pondering: “Nobody achieves anything great in the world by being happy and cozy.” – Alex Honnold. Man, this hit me in the face like a 2×4 to the side of the head. My head is still ringing…

What I’m Listening to: So Free” – Bahamas

With Gratitude & Fire,

– Wilkesy