A Healthy Outlook

Posted by Tom Locke on October 6th, 2019 filed in Business, General, Life
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At a recent film conference in Dublin, Ireland, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by motivational speaker, Georgie Crawford.

A cancer survivor, she shared her life changing story with us.

She readily agrees that life isn’t fair.  However, she is quick to point out that self pity is a dead end road and is a proponent of Tony Robbins’ axiom that “Life happens for you”.

In her dissertation, she pointed out how she, like many of us, was totally career-oriented, taking her health for granted and falling into the trap of letting stress run her life.  Needless to say this caught up with her.

On her road to recovery, she did three things:

  • Made a commitment to developing and maintaining healthy habits
  • Adopted a daily exercise routine
  • Focused on becoming aware of herself and her surroundings

She soon took to heart what Gerry Hussey, a performance psychology consultant, preaches:

“If we don’t make time for our health one day, we will be forced to make time for our illness.”

After her recovery from cancer, Georgie Crawford left her hectic journalist career position and started podcasting.  To hear her, check out her Good Glow Podcast – she has quite a following.


Liking Yourself

Posted by Tom Locke on August 22nd, 2019 filed in Business, General, Life
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Are you the kind of person you would want to be friends with? Spend time with? Work with? Work for? At the end of the day, we have to at least like ourselves.

So, how can we achieve all the above?  Well here are 3 easy steps we can all practice:

  1. Do The Right Thing – this requires you to be authentic by being honest and loyal with your actions and words in such a manner that garners respect from others.
  2. Be Positive – this focuses on you being nice to yourself as well as others.  Heck, if we talked to others the way we often talk to ourselves, we’d have no friends at all.
  3. Make Time For Yourself – it is a noble thing to live our lives and/or take care of others.  However, we should also put some time aside to indulge in ourselves  – we earned this time and should enjoy it.

In following the above, there is a good bet that you will expose yourself to a couple of by-products:  happiness and contentment.

Letting Go

Posted by Tom Locke on August 1st, 2019 filed in Business, General, Life
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Want to reduce your stress level?  Then, let go of stuff.

What plagues too many of us in the present is usually regret from the past or a concern about the future – things we can’t change or control. If you let these things go, you will live with less stress and anxiety.

Respect and appreciate the past, be excited about the future – but, live in the now.  Make your next decision your best one.

Be Careful What You Ask For

Posted by Tom Locke on July 4th, 2019 filed in Business, Humour, Life, Music
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A colleague of mine was over at my place the other day and noticed I had a jukebox.

We played a few tunes and then he shared with me that he was a big fan of a Canadian rock band from the late 70’s and had connected with the former lead guitarist via social media.

My colleague’s wish was for the band to get back together again and through correspondence and the building of trust with the former lead guitarist, he persuaded this band member to confidently reach out to the other former members to see if they would be interested in getting back together.

Lo’ and behold it happened.  The band reunited, practiced for 9 months and subsequently played to a sold out crowd and a standing ovation.

The response to the band has been nothing short of fantastic since.  And the band has now persuaded my colleague to be their manager!

All of a sudden his wish/dream has become somewhat of a nightmare and he feels a little overwhelmed in trying to learn what a manager does, offer guidance/direction and balancing this new found, non-paying initiative with his full time job and his family.

The Art Of Small Talk

Posted by Tom Locke on June 7th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, Life
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Small talk is generally defined as conversation about things that are not of any great importance.  The topic of weather is a great example.

However, when one focuses small talk on a subject that is of interest to the one who is being addressed then it can be of value.

Dr. Justine Coupland is an expert in the field of sociolinguistics, which is the study of language in relation to social factors. In her book, Small Talk, she provides comprehensive analysis of the powerful and positive effect that small talk has in social interactions. She writes,

“Small talk cannot be dismissed as peripheral, marginal or minor discourse. Small talk is a means by which we negotiate interpersonal relationships. This is a crucial function with significant implications for ongoing and future interactions.”

For me small talk is an art that allows one to connect with another via a subject of interest and is actually a subset of listening.  It also assists in setting the table for engagement.  Successful leaders use small talk with sincerity.

A Trick To Being Happy

Posted by Tom Locke on May 24th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, Life
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In actual fact being happy is a state of mind that you have the power to choose.  For example, if you decide to wake up in the morning and be grumpy all day, there’s almost 100% chance you will succeed.  However, if you choose to be happy that day, you have given yourself the opportunity to indeed be happy.

To increase your chances of being happy everyday, you might want to consider sharing this emotion with others by making them happy.  Happy people are often the people who make others happy – one of the best methods/tricks I know to keep a smile on my face and my life in balance.

The Blame Game

Posted by Tom Locke on May 17th, 2019 filed in Business, History, Life
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I was somewhat taken by surprise the other day to read some correspondence from a CEO who began complaining about his company’s performance by pointing the finger at his suppliers and shareholders.

As Marilyn Paul points out in a recent article:

Where there is blame, there is no learning. Where there is blame, open minds close, inquiry tends to cease, and the desire to understand the whole system diminishes. When people work in an atmosphere of blame, they naturally cover up their errors and hide their real concerns. And when energy goes into finger pointing, scapegoating, and denying responsibility, productivity suffers because the organization lacks information about the real state of affairs.

As the great basketball coach John Wooden put it, “You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes.”

Accountability and believing in yourself are what it takes to be successful.  Moving forward in this vain you will find success and will encounter like minds who see the value in you.

It is not always easy.  If you don’t keep going to the plate, you will never hit a homerun.

Being Better

Posted by Tom Locke on May 10th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, Life
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For me, being better, is a state of mind marked by achievement.

To do so, I focus on daily activities I choose to participate in and, in most cases, have control of.

Here are four of them:

  1. Honouring your To Do list and checking things off accordingly.
  2. Do things when you are most energetic and alert.  Corollary – you will relax better.
  3. Whatever you choose to do, do it – e.g. exercise, eat right, learn something new.
  4. Give that little extra. Engage the challenge of “just one more thing”.

If you follow through on the above, you will win the day and will feel better for it.

Reliving My Youth

Posted by Tom Locke on April 12th, 2019 filed in Business, Humour, Life, Music
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I have just returned from Southern Ontario, an annual trip that saw me suffer through another Blue Jay opening day loss.

However, last weekend, I had cause to drive to Windsor, Ontario and follow up on an old rock band that was playing a sold out reunion after 39 years.  This band and their story are key components to a documentary pitch my production colleagues and I are making to CBC.

In short, the concert was a blast and I was pumped.  The group was fantastic and energy from the audience made me feel like I had gone back in time to the late 70’s/early 80’s.

The capper for me however, was visiting a local establishment, The Thirsty Butler, which was across the street from the concert venue.  It was there that I saw something I had never seen before, the promotion of the drink of the evening named after the band – TEAZE.

Check this out!

The Teaze Drink

The Teaze Drink

Marketing & Product Integrity

Posted by Tom Locke on March 24th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, Humour, Life
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A couple of weeks back I was watching a segment on a local news program about products designed to creatively introduce manners to young children.  This segment inspired me to go to the website of the person who was interviewed to find out more about her products and how one would use them to interact with kids.

I reviewed the products and subsequently made an online purchase with the goal of giving them to my two grandchildren at Easter.  My grandchildren are 5 and 3.

Upon receipt of the product, I received a very timely, well constructed, personal email from the founder of the company.  It was an appropriate blend of good marketing and product integrity.  She said:

I want to thank you for ordering from my company, Manners&Co.

I created my products to be engaging and fun for kids. As a teacher, I understand the importance of interactive learning!

After a year of designing and testing, we finally launched our TableMAT and TableTALK products last month. I am overwhelmed by the wonderful reviews and support.

I want to ensure you are completely satisfied with your purchase. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I want these products to make a positive difference for your children and your family; I’ll be happy to assist in any way I can.

She concluded her email with tips on how to best use the products.

I have a very good feeling about the products and my daughter is very excited about my grand kids receiving them this Easter – hopefully they will replace the “high” from the chocolate I won’t be giving them!