2015 Year in Review: Top 10 Mailbag Articles

1. Don’t Care About People, Care For People – Chris Ackroyd
2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** – Mark Manson (reader discretion advised – not for the faint of heart)
3. Is Helicopter Parenting Ruining Our Children – Emma Brown
4. Life Lessons From a Navy Seal – William H. McRaven (access article through Google)
5. Advice To A Young Man Hoping To Go Somewhere – Ryan Holiday
6. Brad Wall on Canadian Energy Landscape – Max Fawcett
7. Don’t Feed The Bears – Jim Clifton
8. Don’t Waste Your Time Being “Busy” – Morgan Spurlock
9. How To Set Yourself Apart From Generation-Y – Chad Howse
10. The Secrets of a Master Networker – Tahl Raz

* Wildcard Pick: Unravelling Truth: Part 1 – Chloe Leonard


2015 Year in Review: Top 10 “Thought Provoking” Pieces

1. Wanderers – The Most Amazing 3 Minute Clip You’ll Ever Watch
2. Stuart Scott – Gone But Never Forgotten
3. Oprah’s Perspective on Tackling Life
4. The Chinese Farmer
5. 100% Accountability. 0% Excuses.
6.  A Sign That Every Interesting Cafe Should Have…
7. Selfie Sticks: What Is Wrong With People?
8. Matthew McConaghey Speech: Keep Chasin’
9. Harvard MBA Commencement Speech: The Next Obama?
10. Strong Is What You Have When You’ve Used Up All Your Weak

*Wilcard Selection: [Excerpt I wrote in Week 50] With 2015 nearing a close and 2016 right around the corner, I’d like to take a second to explore the notion of introducing a certain element of inconvenience into our lives. You might say “whoa, hold on, why would I want to do that” but hear me out…

You see, the more cushy and comfortable we make things for ourselves, the easier it is to take the easy road and retreat back to bad habits and tendencies. Conversely, the more we push ourselves outside of our bubbles of comfort, the more zest and energy we will derive from life as a result of keeping things fresh. To some, it might be taking the stairs up to the office every morning instead of the elevator to get the juices flowing. To others, a 6am spin class on Monday mornings to start their week or 50 pushups before bed every night. Perhaps it’s as simple as saying hello to five strangers a day to see if the conversation goes anywhere.

Inconvenience isn’t easy but can be worth it when in the right dosage and tackled head on. As one of my mentors always tells me, “Mike – Intention does not equal performance. Structure is key to get results.

With that in mind, what elements of inconvenience do you mix into your life or aspire to in 2016?

2015 Year in Review: Top 10 Inspiring Video Clips

1. The World’s First Bilateral Hand Transplant
2. Tom Brokaw Explains Canada To Americans
3. Stephen Brunt Closing Olympic Video Essay
4. Angel Collinson: The Greatest Lines Ever Skied in Alaska?
5. 1000 Musicians Play Foo-Fighters “Learn To Fly”
6. The Craftsmanship of Hand Made Scandanavian Knives
7. The Most Inspired Haka Ever?
8. Migrations: Combining Nature & Big Mountain Skiing
9. God Made a Farmer
10. Make Hockey Happen

2015 Year in Review: Top 10 Mailbag Quotes

I’m a big quote guy, no two ways about it. And the more you look at your favorite quotes on a daily basis, the more you’ll find yourself personifying them in your actions.

Regarding #1, I think it is an extremely powerful construct of words. We’re all going to lose the people close to us in life at some point; however, how many of your close family and friends know how much they mean to you while they’re still alive and kicking? If someone means a lot to you, tell them! Never under-estimate the power of vulnerability, especially when it comes to building trust in a relationship. With that in mind, here are the Top 10 Mailbag Quotes from 2015:

1. “If you admire somebody you should go ahead and tell ‘em. People never get the flowers while they can still smell ’em.” – Kanye West

2. “Aim for respect, not affection. Keep your hearts of gold, just make sure your spines are made of steel.” – Maureen Sabia

3. “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right. Your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention” – Conan O’Brian

4. “They’re collecting ‘likes’ as opposed to engaging. It’s not a numbers game. But that attitude isn’t inherent to online relationships. To some extent, people have used the Internet as an excuse to be transactional and hide from real relationships. People have blamed technology and said it’s made us less relational and more transactional. But [if that’s the case], that’s your own damn fault. It’s up to us how intimate, candid, and vulnerable we want to be in this medium.” – Keith Ferazzi

5. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Bob Schiller

6. “We tend to steer our lives in the direction of the lessons we need to learn.” – Don Campbell

7. “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

8. “The more vulnerable I am, the less vulnerable I am” – Mike Cullen (colleague of mine at Ferus)

9. “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” – Napoleon Hill

10. “In your life there will always be those who judge you. There will be those who judge you who don’t have a clue who you are, or what you are really about. There will be those who judge you who aren’t living to their fullest potential themselves. And there will even be those who judge you that know you best just because they may envy your drive, or the road that you are on towards success and happiness in your life. In the end, most people will judge you, so instead of worrying about what people think, do whatever may make you the happiest in life.” – Anonymous

* Wilcard: I was given this card on my birthday a few years a few years that went like this on the front… I have kept it close ever since.


2015 Year in Review: Top 10 Mailbag Songs

  1. First” – Cold War Kids
  2. Make Me Wanna” – Thomas Rhett
  3. No Diggity (live)” – Chet Faker
  4. Can’t You See” – Marshall Tucker Band
  5. Cause I’m a Man” – Tame Impala
  6. Baby Be My Love Song” – Easton Corbin
  7. Somewhere In The Country” – Tebey
  8. River” – Leon Bridges
  9. Into The Wild” – Wrabel
  10. Wiser Time” – The Black Crowes

Find this playlist and others on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/mwilkesy/playlist/4eBqYIXngOiG1vKR23uM3s