Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

The following is a short speech I gave a few weeks ago, that I wanted to share here as there is a good lesson in it: Keep practicing, and find the fun in failure!


Imagine being shy. Very shy. I understand that might be hard for some of you, but that was me.

Well.. unless you were a close friend. But that was hard to become when I was too shy to talk to you.

Imagine being shy because you don’t know HOW to talk to people. Because you had NO confidence in yourself, and having no people skills you just annoyed those people whom you DID talk to.

Because I found I made more friends by not talking to people; which says a lot considering you NEED to talk to people in order MAKE friends!

But I had a DREAM… of being able to talk to people. I had a dream… of being able to talk to girls.

In such situations, we have a choice to make. we can either stay as we are and live the same life, or we can change; and by changing, change our lives.

All I had to do was learn some people skills, and then more importantly, practice them. But practice isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do… especially when the thing to do terrifies you! I mean, we are talking about speaking to people here!

Do any of YOU have anything you want to get better at, but fear stops you from practicing? I heard public speaking fits into this category for most people.

Well, I wasn’t even thinking about the fear of public speaking at this point.. I had to get through speaking to one person first!

I knew that practice wasn’t going to make me perfect (it never does, no matter how much we like that saying). But I knew that by practicing, I could get better. I knew that by taking action, my fear would start to go away (there IS truth to the saying that action conquers fear).

I wasn’t going to let the fear of failure hold me back, What I discovered, is that on top of learning from it, it can be FUN to fail; especially when we get to talk about it later!

Because here I was, super shy… no confidence… and no girlfriend…

But.. I HAD THAT DREAM of being able to talk to people …and eventually to girls.

So I started to practice; I went out and started saying hi to people.

Just imagine how hard it was at first; especially when they responded and said something back. I had worked up the courage to say hi; not to actually have a conversation yet!

But I continued to learn, and I continued to practice. And I eventually started saying hi to girls; including the post office girl!

Picture this, you are going to the post office once a month, and there is a girl that works there who is gorgeous!

She gives you a big smile when you say hi! You had read that it’s good to compliment people, so you do. You tell her she has a great attitude and really nice smile… and It works! She has an even bigger smile, and she thanks you!

All this practice is working out! You are getting somewhere! Unfortunately you haven’t practiced enough yet, and don’t have the confidence to think you have a chance with her.

Here I was, in just that situation. Except here is where I probably did something you wouldn’t do. YOU would have surely either asked her out or walked away. Although I had the dream of getting a girlfriend, which probably showed on my face as I continued to speak, I asked her a different question. Leaning on the counter, with her not knowing anything about me, I asked “Are you open to other ways of making money?”

Ladies… if a guy that you don’t really know, that appears to be coming on to you, asks you that question… what are YOU going to think???

Well, from the expression on her face she thought the same thing. We had a good laugh after I explained what I was really talking about; I am looking to help people be more successful after all, but I definitely wasn’t getting anywhere with her. Bad first impression I guess 🙂

This situation was an epic fail by most definitions, but it was hilarious! It was also a great learning experience in the process. It showed me that smiling and complimenting people DID work, and that accidentally leading someone to think you wanted to pay to sleep with them DOESN’T!

But I still had that dream.. And I continued to practice. I continued to go out and talk to people until I eventually met another beautiful girl with great attitude. I was able to talk to her without sounding like an idiot and I had the confidence this time to ask her out. I got that girlfriend I was looking for!

… well, not the one I was looking for since in the end she wasn’t right for me and I had to brake up with her.. But it was proof that I was better at talking to people due to all the practice!

I’m going to keep practicing and I will keep improving. I will either get the results I’m looking for, or create many more fun stories in the process. Just ask me sometime about the girl who recently wanted me to marry her on our 2nd date!

What do YOU want to improve in your life? How much are you willing to practice?  How much are you willing to have fun?

Don’t worry about looking like a fool. Most people are too busy worrying about what you think of them anyway. And if you DO look like a fool, not only will you grow and learn from it; you will also have a great story to tell when it’s over!

If you are willing to go out and practice every chance you get… you will create stories of your own.

If you are willing laugh through your failures, you will eventually smile through your victory!

A while ago I made a list of my top 100 goals and dreams, explaining the importance of keeping your focus on your dreams in order to accomplish them.

Last Sunday, one of those dreams came true!

I almost feel guilty, as I don’t believe I did the necessary work that I planned to in order to accomplish it – but if anything that makes the following saying even more true; you get what you focus on.

Anytime I’m talking to people about dreams, I always give an example of some of mine; and I ALWAYS talk about wanting to go to a sandcastle competition. It may not have been my biggest dream, but the pictures I’ve seen of them looked so cool that I had to show them to other people!

I’m visiting my uncle in Los Angeles with some of my family, and when we were trying to decide what to do when we were here, it was one of the first things I thought of; Which just makes sense since I talked about it all the time. I searched to see if there was any in Los Angeles, but no, it wasn’t going to be that easy. I wasn’t going to limit myself to the city of Los Angeles however, and found one only couple hours away in San Diego!

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LaRonde - Flash PassI got involved in a conversation the other day when someone was talking about LaRonde; Montreal’s amusement park. The discussion ended up veering to the price of admission and what the park was doing to earn to earn a greater profit. At this point one of my coworkers started to say that it wasn’t right that you can get special passes to jump a head of the line and not have to wait.

The conversations started down the path of it not being fair, but knowing who he was talking to, he quickly changed it to him not liking this ‘legal’ line jumping to be done around other kids because they wouldn’t understand. He quickly came to realize why it was fair, if not right in this circumstance, but only after seeing what is not normally seen; which is part of what I want to share here.

As is usually the case when it comes to economic issues, the problems start at the same spot; not seeing the whole picture, but only looking at what is happening directly in front of our eyes. In this case, what is seen is one group of people getting preferential treatment that another does not have access too. It is allowing those with more money to be able to cut in line. The question is then asked (negatively) “What gives them the right? Why should they be allowed? They should have to wait like everyone else!”

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Turn The Page, How to Read Like a Top LeaderI’m in the middle of reading “Turn the Page: How to Read Like a Top Leader” and have come to some realizations; one is that I’m certainly not reading enough, and for everything that I have read, I could have gotten more out of the books.

I’ve learned that reading is so important to our future, because when we read the right books, we are getting the life experiences of the author in the amount of time it takes to read a book. Success then becomes less trial and error, and more about leveraging the success of those who went through struggles before; about being mentored on what we should  and shouldn’t do.

You are where you are because of who you are; if you want to be somewhere else, you have to become someone else. This thought has come to me often throughout my leadership journey, as it has been said and taught in many different ways. I’ve learned that when we aren’t reading or listening to someone, we are talking to ourselves; this means we are talking to ourselves with the mind that got us to where we are. When we are reading, we are shutting ourselves up and listening to someone else with good information. This works for listening to great talks on CDs too, but I think reading takes it even a step further, and you get more out of what is written because you have time to think about what is written and reflect on it.

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Last Saturday night I had blast with my friends by organizing a dream session. This is where a bunch of people get together and brainstorm and share what they want there future to look like. As I discuss on my top 100 goals and dreams page, this is super important if you want to achieve greatness. As many leaders have said, if you don’t set goals, you’ll hit them with amazing accuracy!

What was great about this group of friends is how on a Saturday night, when most people are out at bars, watching the hockey game, or some other activity that will give them pleasure for the moment, this group was working on their future and what will give them pleasure for a lifetime. This is one of those things that makes you stand out from the crowd and be above average.

It was actually even more fun than when I used to go to bars and watch hockey games. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Bruins; but when they won the cup 2 years ago, even though it was fun being in Montreal as a Boston fan, it didn’t do anything for my future. It goes without saying that this future includes being able to go to every Stanley Cup final game, and Olympic Hockey medal round game.

What we did instead was plan our future. Most people spend more time planning their 2 week vacation than they do planning their life time. (more…)

Near the end of high school a friend of mine had a pool party. It was a nice sunny day and I was 16 or 17. It was a perfect recipe for disaster when you consider how little we know at that age. I had great marks in physics, but you wouldn’t think so after what you read next.

I was a kid who liked to have fun joking around, the kind who would hide in the bushes or behind walls and jump out to scare you (that part is still in me). On this occasion I saw balloons lying around that weren’t blown up yet, and had the brilliant idea of using them to make water balloons to throw at people.

This proved to not be so brilliant when they didn’t break; only after it hit the pavement beside the pool did it break, and only if it hit hard enough. This was also the first clue that made what I did really dumb. (more…)

thumbs upI was approached by a gentleman at work yesterday, and was told I had to stop telling people I’m awesome. At first I was a little taken aback; thinking here is one of those guys who is always negative and can’t stand other people being in a good mood.

In any good book on leadership or personal development, it will go through the importance of having a good attitude, and how important it is to respond with something extraordinary when asked ‘how are you’ or ‘how’s it going’. It will also point out how some people will not be completely receptive to this, and we should not let it bring us down.

So now when someone tries to put down my awesomeness, I have a lot of fun!

I was told that I have to change what I say, because when someone refers to the word awesome, my name always comes up. He tried to you use this as a negative about me, but how would you like to have your name tied to the word ‘awesome’? I thought that was awesome!

He then explained to me how I was misusing the word and that I couldn’t be awesome. I told him if he preferred, I could start being amazing, great, super, fantastic or even phenomenal with him, but I wanted to know what was wrong with being awesome. (more…)