The Twist – Chubby Checker – music video

March 30, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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.

Scare Yourself to Inspire Yourself

January 31, 2012

It scares me just to watch this video of these teenagers rappelling down the side of this waterfall – and it looks incredibly exciting.


Be Clear on Your Purpose

January 25, 2012

Why are you doing this? Ask that question of yourself before you invest your time, money or effort. Clarify the purpose of each meeting, program or decision before you commit.

Why are you making this phone call? Why are you attending this networking event? Why are you investing in this marketing idea? Why are you spending time on this administrivia?

Before every meeting, clarify the purpose and time limit. Your meeting will be more productive and people will be more willing to meet with you. For example, I almost never return a phone call in response to a message that states, “Call me”.  My first thought is, “Why?” What would be the purpose of my return call?

Many rules and policies have lost their purpose.

If you find that people are answering your question about purpose with “We’ve always done it this way”, then you know that they are overdue to seriously address this question.


This is part of the Top 10 Tips to Make 2012 a More Productive and Profitable Year as originally broadcast on the radio show Business in Motion on 93.3 CFMU by your host, George Torok. To listen to the 30 minute radio show, visit the Business in Motion podcasts.

Fail Fast, Fail Often, Fail Cheap

January 17, 2012

Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Look at failures as lessons that help you move forward. No particular mistake or failure should be the end of the process. The only decision that you might make that ends the process is the one to quit. Consider mistakes as a cost of growing. Claim your return on that investment by learning from each stumble.

Unfortunately the schools have taught us to avoid failure. The emphasis is on obtaining high marks instead of the learning process. Instead we need to seek success and be prepared to manage the failures.

We tend to learn more from our failures than our successes so if you want to learn faster – fail more often. If you haven’t failed in recent memory then it might mean that you are playing it too safe. For example, if no one ever complains that your price is too high, then it’s too low.

Fail cheap. Don’t bet the farm, because you could lose. Always consider the downside of every venture. Do what you can to diminish the pain.

Thanks to Jim Estill for this powerful advice. I’ve heard him say it often and every time it resonates with me.


This is part of the Top 10 Tips to Make 2012 a More Productive and Profitable Year as originally broadcast on the radio show Business in Motion on 93.3 CFMU by your host, George Torok. To listen to the 30 minute radio show, visit the Business in Motion podcasts.

Fail More Often

December 28, 2011

Success is on the other side of failure.

If you want to be successful, you must first be willing to fail along the way. Depending on your goals you might need to fail many times.

Author Jim Estill offers this advice to success seekers, “Fail, often, fail fast and fail cheap.”

I believe that failure is a significant stepping stone to success for two reasons:

1. If you are naturally gifted and only do what you are good at you will not appreciate the success that you achieve.

2. Most of us will stumble and fail along the way to success. It’s the stumbling and failures that guide us.

The key is not be be discouraged by failure – inspite of what others might say. Accept failure as part of the process. Consider the number of people who continue to buy lottery tickets even though their bid for the big prize “fails” every week.

Apply that same devotion to the important goals in your life. Laugh at failure and work on your next move.

We learn more from failure than we do from lucky success. Don’t set out to fail but do accept it and move on. Perhaps your goal list for the new year should also include the goal of constructive failures.

If you want to find more success keep discovering new ways to fail forward.

George Torok

Keynote Speaker

Canadian Business Speaker

Superman is a Lousy Role Model

September 18, 2011

Superman is not a good exampleIf you had to pick a superhero as a role model who would you choose?

If you chose Superman you might be setting yourself up for failure and tremendous disappointment.

Why might you be tempted to choose Superman as your idol? Well, he is perfect. He is all-powerful, all knowing, always wins and always does the right thing. If that is your standard you will always feel inadequate. How can you hope to compare?

Superman is the strongest guy on the planet – maybe even this side of the galaxy. Comparing yourself to Superman is like comparing your net worth to Bill Gates and wondering where you went wrong. It is just not worth the pain.

Superman is invulnerable. Nothing, with the exception of the rare element, Kryptonite can hurt him. It’s not fair. All kinds of things can hurt the rest of us. And I’m not just talking about bullets, bombs and missiles. Falling down the stairs can put you in traction for weeks. Fender benders can send us to the hospital. My buddy is allergic to bee stings. Even peanut allergies can kill some people.

Superman never gets sick. No common cold for him. He wears glasses in his secret identity as ClarkKent. But he doesn’t need them. He’s never had the mumps or measles. No embarrassing pimples for Superboy. You will never hear of Superman suffering from diabetes or cancer. It’s just not fair.

Superman can fly. I wish I could fly. But flying scares the heck out of me. I’m not sure how I would handle it. Again I lose. Damm that Superman.

Superman can see through things with his x-ray vision. Just imagine how that power might have helped you write your school exams or avoid buying that lemon of a car.

Superman has super hearing. If you could hear what other people are saying you would know the right price to offer, the magic words to say and the perfect card to play.

Superman has incredible endurance. The guy doesn’t tire. He can fly around the world or run around the world within minutes. I remember how many hours it took and how much it hurt to run my marathon. It’s just not fair.

Superman has a few enemies and some people who hate him. But he knows who they are and he is capable of dealing with them – physically, mentally and emotionally. My enemies are few, and people who hate me are few – but many people who don’t even know me seem to be out to destroy me mostly through their ignorance. I am powerless to ferret them out. And when I discover them they don’t seem to tremble at my might. Not fair.

The Fortress of Solitude. I want one. How do I get one? And what realty taxes does Superman pay for that prime real estate?

How did Superman become super? Easy. He was born on another planet.

What kind of message is that to send to our children? You could be perfect if only you were born on another planet. You were born on Earth so you don’t have a chance at greatness. Talk about being born with a platinum spoon in your mouth – like Ken Thompson or Donald Trump. Sure they both made some millions – they both started with millions. I know people who started with nothing and still have nothing. That makes them even.

So is Superman a real hero? No, he is a fantasy. I love Superman – the imaginary hero. But he is not my role model. I know better.

Superman is too perfect. Superman is too close to – dare I say – God. How can you model yourself against God? The Greek, Roman and Norse gods showed human flaws. It’s a lot easier to identify with them than with Superman.

Superman is a wonderful comic book superhero but a lousy role model. I think that Batman is the better “superhero” to choose as your role model. He has no god-given powers, only discipline, determination and skills.  He turned a tragedy into his good-doing. That is a true hero and a better role model.

When you are looking for superhero inspiration, look to Batman instead of Superman.

© George Torok has no super powers. He is a professional speaker who was a shy student. He learned, developed and honed his presentation skills to superior ability. He coaches and trains business leaders to deliver million dollar presentations. Visit to learn about his programs.  Call 905-335-1997 to arrange a speech or training program.

Change the Questions

July 15, 2011

If you’re not getting the answers you want – change the questions.

I heard this valuable advice from Joe Calloway. Let’s look a little deeper into this gem. I agree that asking the right question is much more difficult than answering the question. Asking the question determines the perspective, responsibility and value of the answer.

Smart people ask smart questions. Stupid people ask stupid questions.

Don’t buy into the myth “There are no stupid questions.”

The reality is that there are stupid questions. If you want better results, ask smarter questions.

For example:

If you have been asking, “Why won’t anybody hire me?” change the question to “What can I do to get hired?”

If you have been asking, “Why is business slow?” change the question to “What can I do to improve my business?”

If you have been asking, “Why do I feel so down?” change the question to “ What can I do to feel excited about my possibilities?”

If you don’t like the answers – change the questions.

Bold But Not Brave

July 4, 2011

I’ve never considered myself brave. Bold maybe, but not brave.

What’s the difference?

Brave always meant to me doing something that placed my life in danger. I don’t believe that I was brave. I probably placed my life in danger without intending to. That might have been foolishness.

Bold. That was different. Bold meant challenging norms, facing embarrassment or public failure.

I’m often bold. I often state my opinion even when or especially when it is contrary to the group think. I’ve done things that others might have considered brave but I only considered bold. I backpacked around the world at the age of 20. I quit a good corporate job to become an entrepreneur.

Maybe you don’t need to be brave. Just be bold. Do or say something against the norms.

George Torok

Canadian Motivational Speaker


Pain & Hope

May 26, 2011

Pain and hope might be two sides to the same coin. Both necessary parts of our life – like Ying and Yang.

Pain reminds us of yesterday. Hope draws us to tomorrow.

Pain reminds us of past struggles and failures. Hope paints a picture of future success and joy.

Pain can depress us. Hope can excite us.

Pain immobilizes. Hope activates.

We all have our share of pain dragging us down. When it does, flip the coin.

Wherever there is pain – there is always hope on the other side.

Flip the coin and enjoy the hope.

George Torok

Hope, Vision, Action

May 20, 2011

Strangely, those were the inspirational words of advice from Frank O’Dea.

Why is that strange?

His life journey took him from multiple rapes as a child to teenage drunkeness and skid row pan handling on the streets.


At one time the only hope he had was to receive 99 cents to buy a cheap bottle of wine.

His hope grew and he was able to beat that demon. He became a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Listen to his story in this radio interview on Business in Motion.

Frank O’Dea interview.

Read more about Frank O’Dea.

George Torok

Motivational Buisiness Speaker

Stop Trying To Be Perfect

April 19, 2011

It’s a waste of time and repeatedly frustrating because you will never achieve that goal. You will never be perfect. It’s not your fault. It’s just not possible. Instead strive to be better. Set a series of achievable steps. That will reward you with an ongoing stream of successes. They might only be small successes but even a small success is better than failure after failure.

Some say that Edison failed ten thousand times before he invented the light bulb. My guess is that he viewed each experiment a success because he eliminated another false possibility.

Success encourages your confidence. Small successes generate the desire to reach out again and be better.

Real life is not a report card. It’s not about getting A or 100 percent because those yardsticks are not measures of real success. That’s just school stuff.

Instead of chasing perfection, chase one small success after another. That’s more practical and rewarding.

I know many successful people but no one that’s perfect. Successful people get comfortable with imperfection. They focus on success.

George Torok

Motivational Business Speaker

Host of Radio Show, Business in Motion

Give what you want, and you will get more

February 23, 2011

If you want more people to like you – like them.

If you want others to be nice to you – be nice to others.

If you want to receive more kindness – give it more often to others.

If you want to be respected by others – demonstrate your respect for others.

If you want more understanding – be more understanding.

If you want to feel more lucky – be more grateful.

What Hurts You Now?

February 20, 2011

What will it take to make that pain go away?

Sometimes it’s time. The loss of a loved one or the healing of a wound.

Sometimes you need to focus on the goal and ignore the pain. Like preparing for an exam or training for a marathon.

Sometimes you need to change what you are doing and stop banging your head against the wall. A job, career or relationship that is not working.

The tough part is knowing the difference and selecting your path of pain relief.

Destination vs Journey?

February 17, 2011

 The Fallacy of Goals 

I rode my motorcycle to Port Dover. I’ve been there many times throughout my life but it was my first trip by motorcycle.

I mapped out a route that would avoid the logical roads that I would take by car. I wanted to get away from the traffic.

Of course it took me much longer – almost two hours. I stopped a few times to check my maps. I took a wrong turn and had to back track.

When I arrived I toured the town then stopped for lunch. Munched a burger and fries at the Port Dover landmark “The Arbor” then strolled around.

My visit to Port Dover lasted about 45 minutes then I headed back on the same route. Total time out was about 4 hr 30 min.

Later when I related my journey to a friend he laughed about the curious time imbalance. That’s when I realized that it was never about the destination. That was just a goal of convenience. It was the journey that thrilled me.

It’s not that setting and chasing goals is bad. Maybe it’s a Maslov hierarchy thing where achieving goals meets one level of need and enjoying the journey is a different level.


Or it just might be the musings of a middle aged guy too infatuated with his motorcycle.

What do you think?

George Torok

How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?

February 4, 2011

Probably one or two minutes. If you are really good, you might hold your breath for up to three minutes.

Breathing is critical to life.

Motivation is critical to growth. You need motivation every day to get up, get going and fight for your share.

You probably don’t think much about beathing or motivating. Yet they are both critical to your life.

Remind yourself to breathe and motivate yourself every day.

Happy New Year

January 19, 2011

It doesn’t matter how bad or good the last year was, I always believe that the new year will be better.

I think that is the best way to start any new year. First believe that it will be better. Then do what you can to make it better.

It’s a two step process. You need to do both. Hoping and praying is never enough.

George Torok

Ecstacy – Cold Wind in Your Face

January 10, 2011

Skil HillI love to ski. So you can imagine my ecstasy over my first day of the season on the slopes. It was wonderful as I rediscovered my skiing skills which had been dormant for 10 months.

My friend and skiing buddy, Wayne, was equally excited about our first day of skiing.

However, while we rode a chairlift up the hill we felt the biting wind which was especially chilling on our faces.

My inner voice was thinking, “Damm that’s cold. Maybe we should quit early”. Apparently Wayne was thinking the same thing. That makes two voices screaming “quit”.

Sounds like an easy decision.

No, because another voice was saying, “You came here to ski. It’s too early to quit.”

What could we do?

We skied to another slope facing a different direction. It was less windy. We waited a few minutes at the bottom of the hill to warm up. Then we rode this chair up the hill. It was less windy and all of our voices were singing in harmony – “Let’s go skiing”.

We changed our position, took a brief break and encourage each other to continue skiing.

No challenge or pain is permanent. It might feel devastating at the time. Take a break.

Change your position, perspective or approach and the pain becomes history.

George Torok

Motivational Business Speaker

Canadian Motivational Speaker

Set Attainable Goals

January 2, 2011

Nothing wrong with dreaming big. But allow yourself some wins first, even if they are small wins.

If you want to run a marathon, first you need to get a pair of running shoes, get out the door and run around the block.

Dream big and set a series of attainable goals that move you forward.

George Torok

I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas – video

December 23, 2010

This silly and light song has got to make you smile – and maybe dance a bit.

Enjoy Your Christmas – smile, laugh & dance

George Torok

Motivational Business Speaker

Lucy & Ethel in the Chocolate Factory Video

December 19, 2010

I Love to Laugh: Mary Poppins Video

December 19, 2010

Laugh with Mary Poppins.
Laugh for no reason other than just to laugh.

Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog: Music Video

December 18, 2010

Christmas can be depressing for some but…

December 17, 2010

It’s not about what you don’t have. Be thankful for what you have.

Music can be uplifting. Enjoy these music videos.

Build on Your Strengths

November 9, 2010

Your strengths define you.

Friends like you because of your strengths. They tolerate your weaknesses.

Companies hire and promote you because of your strengths. They might fire you because of your weaknesses.

Your strengths describe your personal brand.

Your strengths make you unique and memorable.

You win because of your strengths.

You can motivate yourself with your strengths.

It’s too easy and a mistake to overlook the power of your strengths. That’s who you are.

Write your strengths down so you can remind yourself when you need that motivational boost. For a special boost ask your best friends to describe your strengths.

Build on your strengths.

George Torok

Motivational Business Speaker

Canadian Motivational Speaker

Run a Marathon

October 5, 2010

A friend is running his first marathon in less than two weeks. He asked me for my advice.  I’ve run two marathons (42 k) and five 30k races.

Below is what I said.

John Stanton (founder of the Running Room) says,

“The first third is easy, the second third is like a long training run and the
last third is why you get a medal.”

My addtional words were:

Don’t worry about your time – just keep moving.

See a strong image of you crossing the finish line in your mind.

If you trained well, your body is ready. The real test will be what goes on
in your mind.

If you are running a marathon soon I hope that these words help you.

George Torok

Motivational Business Speaker

Marathon runner George Torok

Marathon Runner, George Torok