The real challenge when only you believe

March 20, 2017
Don't believe the nay sayers

Don’t believe the nay sayers


Believe in Yourself

March 13, 2017
Believe in yourself

I think I can, I think I can

So you had a bad day…

March 6, 2017
Bad things happen

Bad things happen to everyone.

You are as Lucky As You Believe

March 1, 2016

Imagine that you lost your job. Do you feel lucky?

Luck is more a matter of perspective than it is the roll of the dice.

If luck is a matter of random chance then mathematically every one of us is equally lucky. Whether you think you are lucky or not is irrelevant. The real question is how lucky do you feel. Because, the way you feel, will determine your approach, actions and outcome.

Consider the passengers of the plane that crash landed on the Hudson River. Were they lucky? You can imagine that there were moments during that scary nightmare that they cursed their luck. Yet after the perspective of reflection they considered themselves extremely lucky because they survived without injury. If you are someone who is afraid of flying you might consider yourself lucky for not being on that plane.

If you or a loved one has faced a fatal illness you can probably remember times when you demanded to know why you were so unlucky. After the recovery you might be thinking about how lucky you were. If that person perished – you might be thinking about how lucky you were to have known them.

If you have recently left your job involuntarily – it’s natural for you to not be feeling lucky. Perhaps a perspective shift will spotlight your luck.

Why are you lucky to lose your job today?

If you lost your job today, you have a lot of company and help available. Today it’s socially acceptable to tell your out-of-work story. Lucky you!

I entered the workforce in 1979 just as a recession was brewing. I lost my first job in 1979 and my second in 1980. My first reaction was shame and embarrassment. I didn’t let anybody know, especially family, friends and neighbours – all the people who might have helped me. From 1979 to 1983 I had eight different jobs, sometimes two at the same time. I was supporting a young family with two children. The third child arrived at the end of 1983.

You could say that I was unlucky. One company went into bankruptcy three months after I joined them – not my fault. And some of those jobs were horrible – long hours, tiny pay and jerk bosses. Mortgage rates were skyrocketing to 18%. I felt lucky when we locked in a five year mortgage at 14%.

I was lucky that I was willing to be adaptable, to tolerate the jabs to my pride and do whatever I needed to do to support my family. I was lucky that the bills were paid and we never went hungry. I was lucky that I believed that persistence would pay off. I was lucky that I decided to be bold. One job came after 6 months of my follow-up. Another, after a year of follow-up. One job was the result of a creative resume that my predecessor had stored in his desk drawer. Just luck I guess.

Of course looking back at my apparent bad luck, I think, I was lucky. That taught me the lessons to build my own business and write my bestselling book on personal marketing.

Recently the news quoted an individual who lost his job after 28 years. He was complaining. Meanwhile I was thinking, he was lucky – for 28 years all he had to do was show up and perform the same job every day. How lucky can you get?

You are lucky – if you chose to be.


Fear Is Real and it’s Not your Enemy

February 15, 2016

Understand fear.

You are not alone. We all have fears that we don’t care to reveal. Fear is an emotion and hence irrational. Emotions are irrational, illogical and intangible but they are still real.

We humans experience many different emotions. That includes love, hate, anger, greed, guilt, pride, compassion, lust, hope…

All are intangible and impossible to measure on any scale. Yet, our life is directed more by emotion than by any other thing. Our motivation and direction is most often guided by our emotions.

Of all the emotions we feel, the strongest is fear. You might not like to hear that but fear is the most important emotion to our survival. Fear resides in the Amygdala of our brain. That is often referred to as the Lizard brain. Why? Because it is at the top of the spinal cord and even lizards have that minuscule brain. Higher evolved species have that plus more developed brains.

The thoughtful question might be, “Why are most species equipped with the emotion of fear?” Because fear is the prime motivator for survival.

Perhaps you’ve heard a motivational speaker command you to ignore your fears. Why is the speaker telling you to ignore the strongest emotion you have? That’s funny because motivation is about emotion. Is the speaker suggesting that you ignore certain emotions while embracing others? Why? Clearly a motivational speaker doesn’t speak logically.

The speaker might even be so bold as to proclaim that fear isn’t real. They might even spout the acronym that FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. That might sound cute. The motivational speaker might feel clever. But it’s nonsense.

Perhaps you’ve heard a motivational speaker or therapist command you to ignore your fears. They might have proclaimed that Fear isn’t real or specifically that your fear isn’t real.

That first statement would be a lie and the second would additionally be insulting and insensitive.

Fear is as real as any other emotion. It’s also the most powerful emotion. It’s the most important emotion to our survival.

We don’t need to live our lives in fear. We simply need to accept our fears for the illogical and powerful forces they are. When our fears seem to disrupt our progress then we need to take the time and consider the rational to manage our fears.

Acknowledge, respect and manage your fears.

Mustang Sally – Wilson Picket music video

May 2, 2013

William Tell Overture – Rossini music

April 26, 2013

Born to be Wilde – Stephenwolf – music video

April 16, 2013

Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis – music video

April 16, 2013

Boogie Woogie – music video

April 3, 2013

The Twist – Chubby Checker – music video

March 30, 2013

Twist and Shout – The Beatles – video

March 24, 2013

These Boots are Made for Walking – music video

March 16, 2013

Motivational Sunset – Pelee Island

March 12, 2013

Motivational sunset Pelee Island

Curious How Life Repeats

February 27, 2013

At the age of 22 I declared that I only wanted to do two things with my life.  I wanted to ski all winter and ride a motorycle all summer.

Instead – marriage, family, career and business took over my life. About 30 years after that initial declaration I finally got back to those two pursuits. Now either of those activities are the best part of my week

It might have taken me a lot longer than I expected – but I’m doing what I love to do.

I don’t have enough time to…

February 22, 2013

Time Passes on Motivational Speaker blogMost of us have probably said that more than once. Sometimes it’s used as a polite way to avoid doing something we don’t want to do – like meeting someone or visiting a relative.

 But sometimes we use that phrase as an excuse for not accomplishing our goals.

 The questions you might ask yourself are:

 Do you want to have time to…?

 How much time would you need to start…?

 What could you do less of or stop doing to free up time to…?

 Change your perspective to recognizing that you have enough time. You’re just using that time for something else right now.

Time passes at the same speed no matter what you do. The choice is up to you. What do you want to have done once time has passed?

My Generation – The Who – video

February 16, 2013

Motivation to Start Moving or Keep Moving

February 14, 2013

Motivation is about motion.

We need motivation to start moving. That might be a change we need to make. that might be a good idea that we need to stop dreaming about and act upon. We need to start moving.


Push that stone up the hill

We need motivation part way through to keep moving because we might get discouraged. Part way up the hill we start to feel pain or doubts. That’s normal. But if it was a good idea – we need to keep moving.

Your motivation always comes from within you.  Sometimes it might be triggered or fueled by outside factors. But it’s what’s inside you that channels that energy.

If you want to be motivated – motivate yourself and be more willing to be motivated.

By the way, have you noticed that we don’t need to be motivated to stop moving. That seems to come too easy.

Move or don’t move – it’s up to you.

Ask a Retired Person How They Keep Busy

February 9, 2013



Retired person might motivate you


Gary, one of my neighbours is 71 years old.  He made a point of telling me that. He looks good for his age and I guess that he is proud of that.

What impressed me more was his activity.

Gary started working one day a week at the small company where his wife works. He was hired to prepare small value quotations in response to prospective queries. The boss restricted him to $2,000 jobs yet Gary managed to help the company win a $75,000 deal.

Gary decided that the business needed a website so he convinced the boss to let him build one. Gary wasn’t a web designer but he had worked in the printing business so he understood design and promotion. Now the company has a 50 page website – thanks to this old guy. How ironic.

Gary spent much of the past summer sailing remote control boats. These aren’t motorized. These are miniature sail boats controlled by remote control. He’s been building models since he was seven. And yes he is a life-size boat sailer as well. I was amused to learn that this old guy arranges sailing meets with his retired friends via email and online forums.

He told me that he wants to do some more skating because he used to play a lot of ice hockey as a child.

Archery is another of Gary’s pastimes. He has several bows. He prefers to shoot the old-fashioned way – “without all the technology of the compound bows that don’t allow you to miss”.

So how did I originally meet Gary? He is a motorcycle rider, like me. We first connected while looking down the street and noticing that “Hey you ride a motorcycle too?” We started by comparing stories about motorcycle routes. And yes – he still rides his bike. (Me too.)

71 years old and active!

Gee, I hope I will still be so active.

That was an inspirational conversation. I was cold while standing outside to chat. We were both outside to shovel show.  I attacked the rest of my snow shovelling chore with more vigour.

Imagine that the date is December 31, 2013

December 30, 2012

You are reflecting on the events of the past year. Assuming that the year went perfectly, finish these sentences.


You did…

You got…

You received…

You helped…

You won…


You achieved…

You created…

You built…

You enjoyed…

You completed…


You resolved…

You fixed…

You cleaned up…

You started…

You organized…



Spend some time thinking about each of those sentences. You might have more than one ending for each.


After you’ve done that answer the following question for each outcome:


What did you do to make that happen?


19 Tips for Success in Your Life

December 26, 2012

Powerful tips here. I’m not sure of the source. I like these tips and will expand on each in the new year. Happy New Year to you.


A long time friend emailed me these little instructions for life. Since it nicely wraps together thoughts on influence, I thought you’d appreciate it. Urban myth cites the author as the Dalai Lama. However, from what I could determine the list is actually extracted from a much larger one featured in Life’s Little Instructions Book by Jackson Brown and H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Enjoy!


  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others, and Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

The Mayan Calendar Ends on December 21

December 17, 2012

Mayan calander Of course it’s only a calendar. Every calendar ends. Then we get a new calendar for the next year or term.

The calendar year 2012 is ending soon. It’s a good time to review the past year in terms of your actions and success. The two are intimately connected.

Here are some questions that you might ask yourself about the past year to help you prepare your actions and success for the next calendar year.

List your successes – big and small.

What did you do to encourage those successes?

What factors outside your control contributed to those successes?

What did you learn?

List your failures – big and small.

What did you neglect to do that contributed to those failures?

What were the factors that were beyond your control?

What did you learn?

Future ACES Annual Conference Empowering Students

November 10, 2012
Future ACES

Future ACES

Future ACES is a nonprofit organization that runs a weekend conference for young teens to enhance their confidence, shape their character and develop their leadership skills.

I’m delighted to speak to the students each year about how to develop their public speaking skills. I’ve spoken seven times over the past nine years. It’s challenging speaking to teens – especially when my usuall audience is composed of mangers, professionals and executives. Talking to the teens has made me a better presenter because I had to adapt my style to be more flexible and interactive.

Speaking at Future ACES is rewarding becuase I’m impressed with the good work that they do for students – and I’m glad to contribute to the betterment of our future leaders.

These teens come from a mix of cultural, racial and economic backgrounds.

As an instructor it’s my responsibility to teach and inspire them. Yet, I leave with an renewed sence of motivation every time. It’s curious how helping others can pay us back with renewed motivation.

Angry or Happy – Your Choice

October 18, 2012

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~  Abraham Lincoln

 When my daughter was about nine and preparing for school, she stomped her feet angrily and declared, “I hate static cling!” I laughed out loud, struck by the absurdity of this disgruntled pronouncement and I gave her a hug, “Static cling doesn’t care if you hate it. Being upset and angry at static cling will in no way change how it behaves. There is no use being upset. The question is, what can you do about it?”

Getting angry at something you can do nothing about is a waste of time and energy. It just makes you look foolish. The real question is; what can you do about it.

Wayne Vanwyck


Motivation: How to start your daily run

October 9, 2012

Running for successI run because I feel better after the run.

I don’t think of myself as a fitness nut even though I’ve run at least two full marathons (42 k) 6-30 kilometer races and several half marathons.

I just think of myself as a runner. I’m not a jogger. That sounds like a hobby. I’m a runner. I’ve been running since high school when I joined the Cross Country (aka Harrier) Team.

 Some day I will learn why it was called the Harrier Team.

The point is – I feel much better after I finished my run.

That means when I start my runs I don’t feel well. I run early in the morning which means that often it is rainy or cold.

Often I don’t want to walk out the door.

Occasionally I have crawled back into bed.

But, I’ve never regretted the days that I’ve run. The pain is always short and the joy is what I remember.

Start Your Day with Motivation

October 3, 2012

Some days it might be more difficult to get out of bed.  Especially with the colder weather, it feels so good staying under the covers.

What can you do to start the day with something other than the guilt of “must get to work on time”?

Try these postive statements:

I feel good about —————–

I am thankful for —————–

I will help —————— with their ————————

Three simple positive statements to start your day.

Confidence is the Real Currency of Success

September 25, 2012

You can not succeed until you posses the confidence to succeed. You must believe in yourself. (Yes I know that sounds cliché but it is true.)

You need the confidence to sign up. You need the confidence to drive yourself to prepare. You must have the confidence to believe that you can win. You must have the confidence to compete when family and friends doubt you. You must have the confidence to believe that you belong in the room with the other contenders. You must have the confidence to fail and get up again. You must have the confidence to work past the pain that screams stop.

Business, sports, or even social venues the same analogies apply.

Just think of all the scary things you would attempt if only you believed that you would succeed.

If you want to succeed, you need to find more confidence.

What can you do to feel more confident?

First, give yourself permission to have doubts. That is normal. A person who has no self doubts might be insane. But, your clients and competitors don’t need to hear your inner voice.

Second, give yourself permission to strut even when you might not feel that confident. If you look confident – people will believe you are confident and treat you accordingly.

Third, build small wins that make you feel good. Keep a record of those successes to boost your confidence because confidence builds on confidence. You don’t go from zero to 100 in one step. It’s a series of steps and wins over time that build your confidence.

Fourth, be willing to fail. Don’t bet the farm on long shots. Instead take small risks that test your abilities as compared to the competition. Enjoy the wins and learn from the failures. The failures also prepare you for the uncertainty of long term success. You need the failures to teach you to heal quickly.

I believe that your realistic appreciation of failure can be your biggest boost to self confidence.

The more self confidence that you feel the more you will push yourself. The result of that will be two things – more failures and more success.

If you are willing to live with that mix of results the better for you.

Are you ready to forgive?

July 25, 2012

Sometimes life can be unfair to you – and you might need to forgive. Life was unfair to Orlando Bowen. Listen to his story.

Muppets Perform Bohemian Rhapsody

February 20, 2012

Imagine the Muppets and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. That has to excite you.

We Are the Champions video

February 13, 2012

I’ve always found this song from Queen uplifting. Curious that one supporter of the Hamilton Around the Bay 30k Race played this every year for the runners.