By Casey Grey
It's so easy to see other people's blind spots and so hard to see our own.
Do you have people looking out for your blind spots? People you trust and respect and who you know have your best interests at heart? People who will tell you the truth even if they know it's going to hurt (but only for the short term)? People who will challenge you knowing that you will get stronger? People who will cry with you? People who will help even when it's inconvenient?
Remember, it's not one person who can be all of this for all aspects of your life.
And not all advice should be treated equally.
You may take relationship advice from your friend who has been in a relationship for 20 years and who is still madly in love but you shouldn't take financial advice from the same person if that person is still living paycheque to paycheque.
Build your team of advisors and, more importantly, get on a team of advisors.
I just stood up in a room full of about 60 people and cried...
I couldn't hold it in. When my mouth opened up, the water works began. I don't know how long I stood there speechless, trying to regain my composure, but it seemed like a lifetime.
I stood up to share how the last 3 days at the Montreal M1 Event had impacted my life.
Prior to me standing up, we had recently done an extremely powerful exercise.
Each person, including myself, took turns walking down a hallway with our palms up, chin parallel with the ground and eyes closed. As we walked forward slowly, we repeated the words "I am" out loud. While we did this, the other tribe members whispered words in our ears such as "You're Powerful", " You're a Leader", "You're confident", "You're a Great Husband" and so forth. As the person whispering, it was their job to whisper what they felt that person needed to hear.
What I realized, and I what I finally got out in front of the group between my tears, is that we all need support. We all need help.
Independance can only get you so far.
When you have a group of people behind you, supporting you, helping you, picking you up, cheering you on, encouraging you and pushing you beyond your limits, the possibilities are endless.
I have found those people I have been looking for.
The best leaders have a service mentality.
People who are willing to do whatever is required for whoever is on their team or whoever is around them.
Do you stack the dishes in a restaurant for your server or do you wait for them to grab everything themselves?
Do you clean up after yourself at the gym or do you leave the weights all over the place?
Do you leave your hotel room in a good state when you leave it disastrous?
This weekend I have the pleasure of surrounding myself with dozens of leaders who are are here to serve. People who are taking action to make themselves better and who are also here to serve those around them. To help in anyway you can.
I'm proud to be a part of this community.
As parents, we want the best for our children.
We want to give them more opportunities than we had.
We want to create those same great memories that we have.
We want them to become the best version of themselves.
Luckily for me, I am married to the brilliant Natasha and she has put a lot of time into understanding the development of the brain and what's important for a growing child.
The public school system, for example, works for some but not for all.
The classes are often too large, the teachers are often overworked without the support they need, the days are filled with overstimulation and the kids are forced to learn a certain way.
Like I said, this works for some... It worked for me... Sort of...
In fact, like I've said before, "I went through the public system and I turned out fine..." to which my business partner replied "who said you turned out fine?"
That being said, there's a reason I did not go to university. I'm not a sit-down-read-this-and-do this-paper learning type of person. I like to do. I like to learn through taking action. I like to "learn on the fly".
In either case, today is much different than it was 30 years ago. The options for our children are endless. You know what's best for your child and if you are determined you will find the perfect fit for your child. The tough part as a parent, though, is that what's best for our child may not be convenient for us.
Perhaps the public system works perfectly for your child. Perhaps you chose to home school. Perhaps you have them in nature school. Perhaps you travel the world with your child. Perhaps you found a private school or boarding school.
For Natasha and I, we found Polaris School and Centre.
Is it convenient for us? No.
Is it best for Sullivan right now? Heck yes!
It's a place filled with love, attention and thoughtfulness. The kids learn through play and stay connected to their bodies. Natural light, wood toys and many hours outside are a must. Their interests are naturally pulled out. Their imaginations are allowed to run wild.
As I often say, our kids do what we do, not what we say.
If we do what's best for them instead of what's convenient for us, what will that teach them?
If fact, what does that teach our own minds?
When I was growing up, sports were a huge part of my life.
Baseball and basketball were my "go-to" sports. I played basketball often with my friends but baseball came much more naturally to me.
It wasn't until recently that I really realized the impact that sports had on my life.
They taught me the importance of team.
They taught me the impact hard work, dedication and commitment could have.
They taught me how to focus.
They taught me how to win and, perhaps more importantly, how to lose.
They showed me the power in having just one person believe in you.
In looking back on my childhood, I can't remember one game that my father missed. If he wasn't coaching the team I was on, he was in the bleachers cheering my team and I on and complaining about all the bad calls the umpires and refs were making.
The crazy part... He made it to all my brother's and sister's games as well.
Some of my greatest childhood memories were on the baseball field and basketball court.
It was not until I spoke with David Gourlay that all these memories started flowing back to me and I realized how much of an impact sports had on me.
It was not until that conversation that I also realized how fortunate I was. Not only to have a father like I do but to also have the ability to play sports the way I do. To sprint, throw, catch, hit, dribble, shoot, block, slide, jump, deak and everything else that's required to play these sports.
I'm embarrassed to say that I took all of these things for granted.
Luckily, there are people like David in this world who have not only realized this but have decided to do something about it.
Thanks to David and The Miracle League of Ottawa, Kids who are far less fortunate than I was now have the ability to create some of those memories I have. They can cheer their team on from the dugout, hit the ball, round the bases and celebrate their wins.
Something that was seemingly impossible is now possible thanks to some amazing human beings. It's no wonder they call it The Miracle League.
I invite you to listen to David's story and hope that it inspires you to take action on your dreams.
In films, transitions are an important part of the experience. They bring two separate parts together in a way that the creator wants to portray.
Outside of films, I have come to realize the importance of transitions in my own life.
For example, I find it difficult to transition directly from work to having a conversation with my wife about anything that is non-work related or to transition from work to playing with my son. My brain seems to need time to switch from "work mode" to "husband mode" or "father mode".
Similarly, when I go on vacation, it takes a few days before I start to relax.
Or when I go to bed. I can't transition from working on the computer to sleeping instantly.
If you are transitioning to a new position, there will also be time required before you get into the new rhythm.
And if you are retiring... Well... That's a pretty big transition...
Whatever it is you are transitioning to, give it the time it deserves.
The transition will set the tone for the next scene in your life.
Do you rely on others to make you happy?
Do you rely on circumstances to make you happy?
Is your happiness easily lost to unexpected and seemingly negative situations?
The truth... If we're honest with ourselves...
We are the only ones who can make ourselves happy.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it."
If you want to take control of your happiness, I suggest you check out Mindfulness FX.
When you make a decision, do you think of the short term implications or the long term?
For example, what do you wear today? Personally, I like to keep it simple. However, that could affect the impression I give off. That's why I'll put more thought into it for events or important meetings.
What about food? What you eat may not affect you today but what about tomorrow, next week or next year? What you put in your mouth today will affect you at some point and that could be good or it could be bad.
What about your mindset? What you watch, what you listen to and who you surround yourself with may not affect you today but continue to do the same and see what happens in the long run. It could be the difference between being on the street, owning a multi-million dollar company or being a monk. You get to choose.
But what about something much larger than us? The environment.
It's no surprise that climate change is happening. It's all around us. The environment is changing.
It's easy to think what we do as an individual won't make a difference but I beg you to rethink that mindset.
Leading by example is the ONLY way to promote change.
Will what you do today have instant effects on mother nature? No. But it will help the future generations. It will help your kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Here's the thing...
Planet Earth was here long before us and will be here long after us. If we choose not to cooperate, it will simply eradicate us and start over.
Planet Earth is playing the long game.
I recommend you take a few minutes to watch the video below to which I have no affiliation. I simply think it's a great video that needs to be shared.
Never underestimate the power of community.
People coming together for one common purpose.
Share your ideas.
Spread the word.
Ask for help.
Look for feedback.
Put yourself out there.
Leave your ego at the door.
Great things are never accomplished alone.
"The quality of your work is really good and we're really happy with everything that you are doing. We just don't think we should pay for this..."
That's something I heard from a client recently.
One thing I have learned over the years is that most people do not understand business. They only want to pay for what they believe is valuable and value varies from person to person.
People are happy to pay for what they see but they don't want to pay for what they don't see behind the scenes.
If you saw that your phone only costs $50 to make, would you pay $1,000 for it?
The truth is that there's a lot more to that phone than just the $50 to make it. The resources it took to get to that $50 phone is what needs to be made up in that $1,000 price tag.
Unfortunately there's a cost to doing business. However...
Businesses are what keep our economy going.
Businesses are what allow me to write this blog or make my cup of coffee.
Businesses are what allow us to purchase homes or rent homes.
Businesses are why we can walk to the corner store and buy dinner for our family.
Businesses allow us to live the lifestyle we currently have.
The next time you purchase some "thing" or service, understand the blood, sweat and tears that went in to getting it to you.
As a fellow business owner, I have a lot of respect for anybody who brings a product or service to the economy. I understand what it takes.
And I still have a lot to learn...