The Cottage

Having had the pleasure of visiting my close friend Chris (thank you so much CP) up at a wonderful lakeside cottage up in Haliburton I thought I’d write my thoughts since return.

  1. I need a cottage! It reconnects me with nature and puts my crazy “do,do,do” lifestyle in perspective.
  2. My dog loves a lake to chase sticks and balls in!
  3. We don’t eat so well when there are chips, pop and beer around all the time!
  4. The stress of the big city is palpable upon arrival beginning with traffic
  5. People in the country are so laid back, it’s nice
  6. Swimming in a lake is still an amazing experience after many years absence
  7. Cool nights by a campfire rule
  8. A nice nap in a cool cottage afternoon is a blissful experience with little to do or complete
  9. Playing cards with friends connects deeply
  10. We worry much too much about things we have little to no control over
  11.  Coming back from a short 3 day vacation, it’s hard to restart the momentum we had, the mental, spiritual and physical adjustments can take a few days
  12. I’ve already made plans to go to another cottage in 2 weeks, darn, I think I have cottage fever                ********************************************************************************************************

Transition Season

There you have it folks, the summer (beautiful in Toronto!) of 2011 is almost done! You can feel it in the crisp evenings, in the way people are dressing nicely for work, and conversations transition to more fall like subjects such as hiking, wool sweaters, school and back to “serious” work.  I hope the summer was good to you, as it was for me. Fall is actually my favorite season, with the leaves changing colors, Halloween, watching movies, riding the Dakar in the fall as long as I can til the slippery white stuff flies (shhh!, maybe it will forget Jthis year)!

I’m, actually happy to return to teaching at the college. I feel disconnected from the world in summers as I have too much time off (I know it’s tough!), probably more like no structure and place I need to be for 10 weeks! I really love teaching, I get to share some of my insights with (mostly sometimes) hungry young minds who still dream like it’s still totally REALLY possible. They think big and crazy (like I do!). Can you say the same? Do you still dream FULL ON, no holds barred? Or have you settled into a “comfortable” not too challenging rhythm. As comfortable as it may be, we need change and growth and new things to really thrive and live like it means something.

Remember, “This is not a practice life!”, we don’t get a redo, or “scene 2”. This is it! Live it like you mean it, like it counts, like you just thought you had terminal cancer and will die in 60 days. If you don’t love your life or are like, “it’s there, you know, not bad, etc”. If that’s what you say, get uncomfortable, take a class, go on a date with a dicey person, say something or do something bold. Don’t let your life fade to “average”. You weren’t meant for average, don’t even try it’s so unbecoming! So go out there live like you mean it, I DOUBLE DARE YOU!

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Three 18 Hour Driving Days : Totally Worth it!

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with a young (early 20’s) person about what they did on their week off. I was pleasantly surprised!

This person decided driving three days straight for 18 hours a day from Toronto to Banff with her boyfriend was an adventure of a lifetime! The fact that they would be in the gorgeous mountains for ONLY 3 DAYS would have stopped most people (including even myself truth be told, I’m working on it!). It didn’t stop them and they had a life-altering experience. Any of you who have been in that area will concur, it is world class, beautiful part of this great Canadian land. People fly from around the world to see Banff, it’s that incredible!

This was a great experience for this lovebird couple, I believe the boyfriend is from Australia or New Zealand. Either way those people know how to have fun and follow adventure! Crocodile Dundee?! Steve Irwin!? Passion and love of and for the adventure, pure and simple! It isn’t always pretty, comfortable or easy but darn doesn’t it completely change you every time you do something totally new. You grow in a new way and are better for it, in all your life areas!

I did tell this person and many around that this is what life is all about. These types of decisions (unpopular, illogical, uncomfortable, dangerous) are the ones that make us who we are.

I hate to sound like a bad “motivational speaker” (can I tell you how much I dislike the idea of “motivating someone”, motivation is from within, I can reframe and honor the client’s values, but they find their own motivations!). But the journey to get to the goal is part of the “JOURNEY” of the experience.

As pretty as those mountains surely were, I’ll bet the weird Chinese food in the dive bar/motel east of Estevan, Saskatchewan (or some other random event/location combo) will be more memorable. Those jokes and stories exchanged, perhaps the love strengthened made for a connection for life.

I know my two copilots on the driving trips to California and back would tell you we have a deep bond that was created on those journeys.

They say you can’t walk a mile in another “man’s” shoes. Trust me walking that mile next to and chatting and connecting is just as good, plus your feet don’t hurt!

This from Kathy at “ask.com” I love the two definitions:

 “During the time that Rome was the power in the known world, a roman soldier could legally require any one to carry his pack for a mile, Jesus suggested you carry it a second mile as a sacrifice, gift or to have a greater understanding if the others lot.

First Migratory Americans have been credited with the origin of the phrase suggesting you can’t really understand someone else unless you live their life, walk in their shoes so to speak!”

What unpopular, uncomfortable, illogical decision or journey awaits you? Take it and do it! Trust me the world will be a better place upon your return! I just booked two weeks to Argentina at Christmas to meet a mysterious, sexy woman, how’s that for living dangerously! I dare you, actually, I double dare you, do something crazy! Your life will thank you, I love and openly accept postcards!

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May the “Real” Meaning of Christmas Come Forth!

My definition (and hopefully yours!) of Christmas is unlike the media machine version of Cramer’s Mad Money, “BUY!, BUY!, BUY!” consumerism. Here are some of my thoughts on what Christmas means.

1. Connection/Reconnection to Important People to Us:  Family is a big part of that but let’s not forget friends, teachers, doctors and neighbors!

Most importantly though, is don’t forget yourself! You can’t be of any good for others until you take care of yourself, first.

2. Children:  Christmas is the greatest time (but shouldn’t be the only time) to revel in kids’ joy and delight at the spectacle. The colors, smells, tastes, sounds of Christmas are so delectable! I challenge you to “out-revel” and “out-joy” the kids around you, that would be a present to you and everyone around you, I know I will! Remember: “Try is a Lie!” and as Yoda says, “There is do and there is not do, there is no try”. Living full out is a gift you can give yourself every day!

3.. A time for personal and group celebration: To have fun and enjoy the company and presents. Don’t let your body and diet go out the window. Sneak in a salad daily, drink your green drink to stay alkaline and get enough rest. Then you will be the one who got the most out of this jolly but unhealthy period. More energy and vibrancy equals more good moments and being present.

4. Reflection: With less work and more free time, you should ideally take time to reflect on your “personal wins” for this past year (forget disappointments!). A “win” is any time you move the needle towards being your true self, helping others grow, pushing yourself further and digging deeper. Sometimes it means surviving a really difficult time with your dignity and purpose intact. Some years it means not slipping down into the abyss. If you feel like it create some general goals for 2012, don’t put dates on them other than “in 2012”.

5. Toss the New Year’s Resolutions:  They don’t work so avoid them. If it’s important to do in your life, you already know about it, there are 364 other days you can make the change to improve your quality of life (more connected decisions to your life purpose, saying “no” a lot more and not feeling guilty, refocusing on every moment and joy). Any goals you DO set must totally capture your heart, passion and imagination! If not, you are only checking off boxes and won’t succeed. Make 2012 the year you were true to yourself and your values, even if it was unpopular and difficult, that’s character. I challenge you to under (rather than OVER) schedule yourself in 2012, trust me obligations will never leave or decrease, you control time and can say “NO!”.

Enjoy the merriment and I’ll see you on the flip side.

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Back from Holiday Hell


Regular readers will confirm most of my newsletters are very positive and aimed at growth. I don’t complain much.

This week though I need to vent! I really hated the holidays this year. I won’t bore you with the gory personal details but I’m glad the holidays are over!

I was deluged with an overbooked schedule, too much concentration of family and issues don’t even mention the over-eating. Additionally the huge swath of 14 days (I thought I had) off felt busier than my normal busy weeks.

I don’t mind busy on my own projects, as that feeds me! Not so much on projects that depend on other people’s decisions or moods for task completion.

Remember: the definition of suffering is wasting precious mind energy on attempting to control anything outside ourselves.

Another annoyance was the fact I was trying to go down south solo over the break. Once the super-expensive ticket adds in the single supplement the price is north of $2,000.

I chose to buy myself the following things with the money I didn’t spend!:
Motorcycle Boots (this didn’t happen, but is now, April 26, 2012)
New motor for RC monster truck (new passion!)
Toaster Oven
Sunglasses (to replace last pair I wore for 4 weeks then crushed in my car’s trunk). (ditto boots)
Running Shoes (ditto sunglasses)
Self-Publishing fee for “Cobra in the Closet”
Pay creative designer for rebrand to new logo concept
“                                    “      website creation

As you can see, I won’t be sporting a tan but will have well distributed the “I would have spent” money.

How about you buy yourself some gifts if Santa wasn’t on course for you this year (mine was great btw!!!).

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What Catapults You Immediately into Your Most Brilliant Self?

        The particularly (unusually) mild winter of 2012 allowed me 2 days riding on my Dakar motorcycle. Oh the pure unadultered joy of riding a motorcycle (forget the cold for just a second, brrr!) was ecstatic for those 2 days. I just thought I’d share that because there are always activities that automatically catapult me into joy, flow and honestly give me my mojo back when it drifts away!

       Some of mine include running trails with my dog in the park, losing myself in Skyrim video game, my remote control monster trucks, writing, speaking, coaching, running men’s groups, a warm tender romantic evening with a partner you love, etc. As you can see I have many things that immediately shift my state to one of utter love, joy, empowerment, passion, appreciation and faith that all is well. When I feel that way, really amazing, innovative and intuitive ideas bubble up and are ready for exploration. What do you have or do that immediately launch  you to that space.

If you don’t have many, that’s your homework. Here’s a quick test: if you wouldn’t do the activity if I gave you 3 perfect health months to live, then it’s not a true passion! Forget costs, practicalities and self-created “thinking small” limitations, do what makes your heart sing. If you don’t know what does that, I challenge you to try one new activity per week for 8 weeks and then come and talk to me about living life as if every moment is your last. Before that, we both have some homework as I need as many of those activities too and practice what I preach by trying a multitude of new things and loving it!

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Your Job is to Ask!

       As this ridiculously mild March weather has made my apartment rather warm with the patio quarantined and barricaded for repairs. I set off to purchase a trusty floor mode fan at my local giant megabox home improvement center. As I visited one place, apparently their winter clearout was in full swing with no fans. Off to the second store where only one remained in a battered and re-taped box. Normally I would just fork over the $18 and head home. Not today though as my inner deal hound smelled a discount opportunity.

       My first reaction was, “You don’t want to be one of those people!”. You know, the never satisfied always looking for a deal, pain the you know what. Then the wise me chimed in and said, “No, the box is battered and bruised, let’s try to save a few bucks, this might be fun!” As I approached the customer service desk, I read the button on the lady behind the counter, “WE ARE EMPOWERED!”, so I asked for a discount.

As she grabbed the phone to call another associate, I asked her, “Hey aren’t you empowered?”  She smiled and said, “Apparently not enough!” After about 5 minutes and another associate I got a $4 discount on the $18 fan, an over 20% discount that I would have never gotten if I didn’t ask. I felt triumphant as I left realizing that in this life you get what you ask for not a penny more.

I challenge you this week to ask for more of your life, who knows it might be worth a lot more than $4!

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Exit Quantum Leap Coaching – Enter 2BFRANK

Exit “Quantum Leap Living”, Enter “2BFRANK Living”

             This will be the last Quantum Leap Living Newsletter as we are moving to our new 2BFRANK – umbrella of products and services, and of course website. Our new tagline is “Freedom to Stardom”. Identifying my ability to have everyone reach for their own versionof stardom.

Don’t shed a tear though, as you will keep receiving this weekly newsletter but it will now be called “2BFRANK Living”.

I’d like to take this opportunity in advance to thank the magicians behind the incredible work you will see next week on our brand architecture. I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I am so appreciative and humbled by the support the Universe has given me on my dreams.

Pete Widdis: Is the Marketing genius behind the 2BFRANK brand strategy. Pete has won numerous branding awards for Campbell Soup and speaks regularly at brand conferences. He essentially captured my “no holds barred, tell it as it is, authentic truth” philosophy and packaged it into something everyone will be able to understand and relate to. The word brilliant fails to describe him adequately. He is also a close friend, thx brother! If you want Pete’s info, contact me.

Zac Hobson:  Is the super-talented graphic artist responsible for the capturing of the honesty, power and vibrancy of the suite of services we offer. The logo below will be specifically for the newsletter. Thanks Zac, for a great effort and result! Zac’s website: http://hiyah.ca/

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