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.

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

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

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.

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

Lucy & Ethel in the Chocolate Factory Video

December 19, 2010

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

Superman a Bad Role Model

September 8, 2010

Don’t try to model yourself after Superman. He is super – and you are not. Superman was born powerful – and you were not. Superman is near perfect and you are probably not. Superman has only one weakness – one issue – Kryptonite. How many issues do you have?

Don’t try to be like Superman. It is an easy trap to fall into. It is a no win situation. You would never measure up. All he had to do was to arrive on earth as a baby through no effort on his own and instantly he was super.

Batman – a Better Role Model

Batman is a better role model. Why? Because, he is more realistic. Batman is human with human weaknesses, fears and faults. He has suffered the range of physical and emotional pains. At one point his back was broken by a powerful foe – and still he struggled to fight his way back as the protector of Gotham City.

Batman has no innate super powers. He is what he is because of his knowledge, dedication and training. Batman developed his skills.

Both Superman and Batman are comic book heroes. However we can learn from them.

Our real life heroes are more like Batman than like Superman. Real heroes are the underdogs. Regardless of their circumstance they overcome obstacles through learning, persistence and creativity.

Success comes not from divine birth. It comes from vision, effort and skill development. Be prepared to deal with the odd joker who challenges your mission.

George Torok

Canadian Motivational Speaker

Canadian Business Speaker

Who Owes You?

August 26, 2010

Do you have a list (mental or written) of people who owe you?

When something good happened did you respond with “That’s about time.”?

Do you have hopes and dreams that depend on someone else doing things?

When asked about the status of your current project do you respond with, “I’m waiting to hear back from…”?

Are you waiting for your phone to ring?

Do you believe that the world owes you one?

If you answered yes to any of the above then you have a problem – and no one can help you except you.

The first thing that you need to accept is that no one owes you anything. No government, company, organization, friend or family member owes you anything.

The only one who owes you is you.

You owe yourself to get off your duff and do something to get what you want. And when it doesn’t work the first few times, you owe yourself to try again – and again – until you get what you want.

Who owes you? Only you!

George Torok

Motivational Business Speaker

Muhammad Ali – the Greatest!

July 17, 2010

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
Muhammad Ali

A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.
Muhammad Ali

Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
Muhammad Ali

At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.
Muhammad Ali

Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.
Muhammad Ali

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Muhammad Ali

Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life.
Muhammad Ali

Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
Muhammad Ali

Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.
Muhammad Ali

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
Muhammad Ali

I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.
Muhammad Ali

I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.
Muhammad Ali

I figure I’ll be champ for about ten years and then I’ll let my brother take over – like the Kennedys down in Washington.
Muhammad Ali

I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.
Muhammad Ali

I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
Muhammad Ali

I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin’ hell, but as long as they ain’t free, I ain’t free.
Muhammad Ali

I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.
Muhammad Ali

I never thought of losing, but now that it’ s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.
Muhammad Ali

I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.
Muhammad Ali

George Torok
Motivational Speaker

Motivational Movie clip

May 22, 2010

It might be cliche but here is an entertaining motivational movie clip. The theme is highschool football and the message can relate to anyone who has ever given up too soon. (That includes me.)

George Torok

Motivational Business Speaker