CalgaryHello and welcome #30LESSONSFROM30S

I’m in the home stretch now having created 25 videos about learning lessons from my 30s in each of the last 25 days. This project was inspired by another professional speaker who is a few years ahead of me in the field. He challenged me to use more video in my business.

As a bit of an extreme character and fun-fanatic, I decided to indeed get more video on my profile by creating a new video in a new location every day for the #LAST30DAYSOF30s. I’m just days away now from turning 40 and this project is a celebration of where I am at this stage of my life both personally and professionally. The entire YouTube playlist can be found HERE.

I hope that you enjoy these short videos and that you learn a thing or two along the way.

Sincerely,

Tony Esteves

Day 26 – Finish What You Start.

Way back on Day 7 of this 30 day challenge an Irish version of myself shared a message about how a great way to tackle things that you’ve been avoiding is to JUST START. And while I still agree that’s true, it’s no good if you don’t finish.

So today I offer some advice on finishing tasks. Here are a couple of great articles that explain how changing your to-do list into a “why-do” list can be helpful. This is a technique that I use in some of my workshops that has helped some of my clients so I thought it would be a good message to share towards the end of this video project. It’s a good reminder for me to finish this mammoth project.

Take a look at this great article from Psychology Today called, “Influence Yourself With a ‘Why-Do’ List”.

Thank you very much for watching.

Today’s lesson:

Finish What You Start.

 

Day 27 – Practice Daily Gratitude.Five Minute Journal

Learning how to practice gratitude has been a wonderful learning lesson for me in my 30s. It helps bring the things that you want into your life, into your life. I’ve found that it also allows me to get through my day more relaxed and grounded.

The best thing that I’ve found to help me maintain a regular gratitude practice has been the use of the book from FiveMinuteJournal.com. It’s available as a book or an app and is simple enough to keep the most distracted of us practicing gratitude. Enjoy!

Today’s lesson?

Practice Daily Gratitude.

Day 28 – Fly After Your Dreams.IMG_5635

Today I had the thrilling opportunity to spend some time with a friend of mine who is a pilot. When Will arrived in Canada a year and a half ago, he had done some flight training and now he is a commercial pilot. Join us in the clear skies over Cochrane, Alberta as we have a nice chat about what you need to do to fly after your dreams.

I believe that we have the power to make dreams come true, but there’s always a price that has to be paid. The real question becomes then, “Are you willing to pay that price?” It is clear that Will has been willing to pay the price necessary to accomplish this dream of his.

Thank you Will for the glorious day in the sky and for giving me control of that aircraft several times today. It was an adventure on my 30 day challenge that I know I’ll enjoy well into my 40s.

Today’s lesson:

Fly After Your Dreams.

 Day 29 – Nourish Friendships.

As this 30 day challenge winds down I have the honor of having friends visiting me from the UK, the US and Australia to celebrate the big 4-0 with me. We’ve all got the same passion for playing in the snow and months ago this seemed to be a good time to put together a trip.

It’s friendships like these that I can thank many of the greatest times of my life for. No matter what country we live in, or where we are financially or professionally – these friends amongst others – somehow seem to come together for special occasions. It’s wonderful. Do we all get to all of the events? Of course not. But we all care enough about each other and the shared experiences that we’ve enjoyed while traveling or working abroad, that we feel it’s worthwhile to keep in contact.

Nourishing friendships does not mean that you need to remember every birthday or call once a week. It just means that you put genuine effort into keeping in touch with those who you care about the most.

I’ve been rewarded with some wonderful friendships that I expect will last my next 40 years and I hope that you have friendships like this as well.

Today’s lesson:

Nourish Friendships.

 Day 30 – The Final Day…

The message that I’ll share here will come soon. I’m writing a brief note here as I know that tomorrow presents the most challenging agenda yet in order for me to create, edit, and post a video. For tomorrow is the beginning of my snowboarding birthday trip and we will be at Lake Louise by 9am.

I’m not certain that by the time we get to Revelstoke, BC tomorrow night I’ll have WiFi or the energy to conclude and summarize my thougths about this project here.

So while I am certain that I will have a video on my YouTube channel tomorrow night, yet I’m not certain I’ll post anything here, I’ll just say that it’s been an absolute exhausting and wonderful pleasure to create these videos this month.

Now let’s get out and play and see what this beautiful decade holds…

Sincerely,

Tony Esteves

Day 30 February 5th, 2015 – Love Life

It’s 1:28am and I’ve now finished my 30 day challenge! I have successfully posted a new brief video to my website every day consecutively for the past 30 days. And I’m proud of myself!

I’ll likely write more here next week, but for now I must just say that it’s been a pleasure and I greatly appreciate you coming along for the ride. Maybe you will take on a 30 day challenge and let me know how it goes…

If any of these videos have had an impact on you, please let me know.

Today’s lesson started off with a theme around boundaries, evolved into authenticity and ended with some thanks to one of my creators.

I hope that you enjoy.

Today’s lesson:

Love Life!


 

  • Days 1 – 5 please click HERE.
  • Days 6 – 10 please click HERE.
  • Days 11 – 15 please click HERE.
  • Days 16 – 20 please click HERE.
  • Days 21 – 25 please click HERE.
  • Days 26 – 30 please click HERE.

 

 

Rob Gregory Photography

Rob Gregory Photography

Hello and welcome to my 30 day challenge. Here I’m posting a new video every day for the final 30 days of my 30s. I’m sharing learning lessons and insights from my unique experiences so far.

The videos are short and succinct. I hope that you enjoy! I welcome your feedback, thoughts, suggestions and ideas regarding this project.

 Sincerely,

Tony Esteves

 

Day 21 – Manage your debt. Don’t run away from it.

Few people get to go through life without experiencing some form of debt. Some people live their entire lives in debt and it can be incredibly stressful. One of the most important lessons that I learned in my 30s was how to manage and overcome debt. I can’t stress enough to anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by some kind of debt that it IS manageable, but you have to learn how to manage it.

Today’s lesson?

Manage your debt. Don’t run away from it.

Day 22 – We Should Know Each Other.

Last night I had the privilege of attending the 149th “We Should Know Each Other” event in Calgary. Mark Hopkins has been generously hosting these parties in his apartment for the past 7 years! He has brought literally thousands of people together with the intention of just getting to know each other. Imagine that?

We spoke about this in today’s first video (created last night) and I believe that he’s done a wonderful job of creating this opportunity for so many people to create unexpected connections. Check out Mark’s TEDx Talk or join the Facebook group for more detailed information about

Than you Mark for all that you have done and I look forward to seeing how WSKEO evolves.

Today’s lesson?

We Should Know Each Other.

 

Day 22 – Bonus Video – Talk To More People

My longtime friend and room-mate, Rob Gregory and I have a few things in common. We both really enjoy meeting people, like helping people out, and enjoy speaking to people in situations when it’s unconventional. The closest place that I could find for this was the elevator in my building.

While most people tend to look down, or up at the numbers or out the window in elevators, Rob and I make a conscious effort to speak to people for those brief moments. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • It can break the ice
  • Often you meet really interesting people
  • It can give everyone a sense of relief that the awkward silence in the elevator is over
  • It can be fun
  • And yes, it can at times be awkward, which is also fun

I challenge you to speak to more people in elevators in your life and see if any unexpected connections arise. Just yesterday through an elevator conversation I connected two complete strangers and likely got one guy a job as a chef!

Thanks Rob for being the ever patient room-mate and friend that you are with all of my bizarre work in creativity and for participating in this video.

Today’s lesson?

Talk To More People.

Day 23 – Teach What You Need To Learn & Listen More

These lessons go hand in hand for me as I’ve learned many things as a teacher and facilitator in my 30s by teaching them to other people. This listening thing is something that I’ve struggled with due to my never ending enthusiasm to share stories and tales of my unique life with anybody who will listen. I know that I’ve made some progress in this area over the past decade but still have work to do.

Everybody can benefit from listening more.

Thank you for that lesson Chelsea. It was very kind of you to point this out to me.

Today’s lessons?

Teach What You Need To Learn & Listen More.

Day 24 – Trust, And Learn When To Say No.

Today I was very fortunate to attend The Habit of Trust workshop that was hosted by Ila Edgar of Big Change Inc.  Throughout the day she took us deeply into discussions about trust.

One of the most noteworthy things that came up for me was when we started talking about “no”. Many people – myself included – are brought up throughout our careers to feel unable to say no to our employers or other people in our lives. But it turns out that there are a number of ways in which you can manage this. You can tactfully say no, negotiate, say yes but ask what needs to be dropped in order to fulfill the new task or ask for further information. This is something that I’ve improved upon in my 30s that has allowed me to have greater control of my life.

Today was a refreshing reminder of the power of NO. Thank you Ila for the excellent facilitation and the meaningful dialog that you created today.

So today’s lesson:

Trust, And Learn When To Say No.

Day 25 – See Family As Friends.

I’ve been very fortunate not just in my 30s but my entire life to have a best friend in my amazing, talented, funny, super-positive twin sister. She and I have always supported each other and as adults have really become great friends.

Of course not all siblings are so lucky. We feel that even when there are tensions, it’s a good idea to think of your family members as friends as that support comes in very handy with the challenges that life brings to us.

Thanks Twin for being my #1 fan and unending supporter.

Today’s lesson?

See Family As Friends.

 

  • Days 1 – 5 please click HERE.
  • Days 6 – 10 please click HERE.
  • Days 11 – 15 please click HERE.
  • Days 16 – 20 please click HERE.
  • Days 21 – 25 please click HERE.
  • Days 26 – 30 please click HERE.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to #30LESSONSFROM 30s

Welcome to my 30 day challenge. Here I’m posting a new video every day until I turn 40 to share the most important lessons that I learned in my 30s. I’m calling this project #30LESSONSFROM30s & #LAST30DAYSOF30s.

I hope that you find the lessons valuable and entertaining. Please check back here daily as I’ll continue to post a new video every day until February 5th, 2014. I welcome your feedback on any of the videos and if you find something that you particularly like, please share.

Sincerely,

Tony Esteves

 


Day 20 – Go travel.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting a foreign country and spending an extended amount of time there? There are a number of different ways that you can do this. You can study abroad, get a working holiday visa or just backpack around to name a few.

In my 20s and 30s I made the very wise decision to travel. Today’s video references a story from some adventures in my 20s however the message fits for my 30s as well. I’ve been fortunate to have had my life shaped by some wonderful people who I met while traveling. I can’t overstate the positive impact this has had on my life both personally and professionally.

Traveling taught me more things than I can mention in such a short post, so I’ll invite anyone who’s interested to know some of the benefits to shoot me an email. I’d be happy to talk about it.

Today’s lesson?

Go Travel.

Day 19 – Clean your clutter.

One of the most important things that I learned in my 30s yet still have troubles with sometimes is to clean out the clutter. This applies not only in work spaces or closets or in the car, but also in your head. I find that when I’m able to live more tidy, my mind feels more tidy and that makes getting things done easier.

Speaking of getting things done, I must mention this website that I visit often. It is called Lifehacker.com. There you can find all kinds of interesting tips on productivity, gadgets, software and a bunch of other neat-o things.

Today’s lesson?

Clean Your Clutter.

Day 18 – Look after your mental health.

My 30s were at times quite turbulent. About half way through, some family members and close friends advised that I seek some professional help for some issues that I was dealing with. Initially, I felt attacked but once I found a therapist who was a good fit for me, I started exploring my inner mind and emotions.

It’s been a wild ride, but I can not speak highly enough of the countless benefits I’ve experienced from talk therapy. There are all kinds of different things that one can do to get help if their life is beyond frustrating. The most important thing to do is to know that it’s ok to ask for help.

Today’s lesson?

Look after your mental health.

Day 17 – Eat, Exercise & Sleep!

It’s a funny thing to think that so many of us could forget to do things like eat, exercise and sleep properly once we begin to get comfortable in the adult world. But it’s so important that it’s one of the main lessons that I have to share from my 30s.  Often leading a high-octane life can be addictive and it can require some strong reminders to settle down and take care of oneself.

Today, Will and I smashed out some Ping-Pong and chatted about his perspective on the 30s as he’s only just arrived here. He shared his thoughts around taking care and getting some rest. Thanks for the insights Will.

And we had a few good rallies as always.

Today’s lesson?

Eat, Exercise & Sleep!

 

Day 16 – Get Ready For Change.

ChangeChange happens and there’s no avoiding it. So you might as well adapt to it, settle in and have fun with it. See if you can spot how many changes I underwent through the production of this video today.

Today’s lesson?

Get Ready For Change

 

  • Days 1 – 5 please click HERE.
  • Days 6 – 10 please click HERE.
  • Days 11 – 15 please click HERE.
  • Days 16 – 20 please click HERE.
  • Days 21 – 25 please click HERE.
  • Days 26 – 30 please click HERE.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to #30LESSONSFROM30s

Hello and thank you for checking out this project. This is Tony Esteves about 1/3 of the way through my 30 day challenge. The challenge is to post a new video with a lesson that I learned in my 30s on this website every day until I turn 40. That’s how it’s come to be know as the “Last30DaysOf30s” project.

Day 12I took this challenge on as a very experienced professional speaker – Vince Poscente – recently challenged a bunch of us to use more video in our businesses. I love 30 day challenges so this started. It has indeed been quite a challenge until this point but also a great deal of fun. It turns out that I will have attracted an additional 1000 + views to my YouTube channel by the end of all of this, and I think that’s pretty cool.

I hope that you enjoy the videos and the lessons that you will find here and if you do, please feel free to share.

Many thanks,

Tony Esteves


Day 15 – Be totally authentic.

Ah we are half way there! 15 videos have been made in 15 days, and I’ve got 15 more to create. Wish me luck…

How real are you with the people you connect with on a day to day basis? Do you always tell the truth? Sometimes? Depends?

One of the most important lessons that I learned in my 30s came from Dr. Lance Secretan. I was very fortunate to attend one of his retreat trainings in Caledon, Ontario in 2012. That 2.5 day session was based on his book called, “The Spark, The Flame and the Torch” and it was incredible.

There were many pieces of learning from my time with our small group, but perhaps the most important to me was the lesson about authenticity. I had until that time, been carrying around quite a few little lies with me and learned that there was really no need to do so. Not only did this offer me  relief but it taught me a new way to interact in the world – authentically. I think that this is something that all of us can improve upon and have found there to be great benefits from being more authentic which is why it’s one of my messages on this journey.

Today’s lesson?

Be totally authentic.

Day 14 – Say YES more often.

How often do you say yes to new opportunities? I believe that we live in a society where “no” is the default answer to many situations and because of that many people miss amazing opportunities.

With a little sense of adventure and a desire to travel, I said “yes” to many opportunities in my 30s and it allowed me to have some pretty wonderful chapters of life.

Because of daring to use this little 3 letter word more often than some in my 30s I was able to:

  • work in Uzbekistan for a major logistics provider
  • obtain a management position in Ukraine
  • study and perform improv acting (where I really learned to say “yes, and…”) in Toronto
  • cycle across Canada
  • move to beautiful western Canada to enjoy our stunning Rocky Mountains
  • begin my dream career as a professional presenter and speaker

Some of these “yesses” were inspired by Danny Wallace’s book, “Yes Man”. An entertaining movie about this true story was created and starred Jim Carrey. I recommend them both.

Today’s lesson?

Say YES more often.

Day 13 – Get coached.

Getting coached was one of the smartest things that I did (and continue to do) in my 30s. I am a coach myself, yet I have a coach. It’s so helpful to have someone to hold you accountable to do the things that you know you should do.

Today’s video comes from one of my favorite Calgary coffee shops where many coffees have found me and many thoughts of mine have been thought.  It is located in Kensington and is called, “Higher Ground”.

I enjoyed such a coffee visit with Trent Schumann who is also one of my mentors. He is the director of Experienca and Mountain Quest and has delivered his programs all over the world. These companies bring team building experiences to corporate audiences and I’ve been very fortunate to do some work with and learning from Trent.

Today’s lesson?

Get coached.

 

Day 11 – Take a break.

Today’s message comes from Lake Louise, Alberta. It’s a brief one.

Day 11 comes after Day 12 due to my having been lost in time during yesterday’s video creation on the snowy slackline. It’s a good thing that “Done is better than perfect!” (seee Day 1 lesson)

So for now, take a break!

Often when we get immersed in projects or work that we are passionate about we can lose sight of our own needs and forget to take proper care of ourselves. I’ve certainly experienced my share of that in my 30s. As this 30 day challenge has been quite a time consuming project, I thought I’d take advantage of the message about taking a break on this day while I was giving myself the day off to go snowboarding. Thank you Ally and Mihail for the great day and for being a part of today’s message.

Here’s a link to a blog post on this subject from a kayak on the Bow River back in 2013.

Know your limits, and if you don’t yet know them, notice them once you figure them out. Be good to yourself and even if you think you can’t afford to…

Today’s lesson?

Take a break!

Interestingly, this is the 40th video that I have posted on my YouTube account and it comes at a time when I have just under 40,000 views on my channel. It seems that this number 40 is coming to me from all directions! You are welcome to do so Forty. Come and get me!

 

Day 12 – Surround yourself with people who do the things that you want to do.

I’ve now been living in Alberta for about a year and a half and have been blessed to meet and connect with some wonderful people. The mountains are quite compelling and it turns out that I am not the only one out here who likes to play in them.

Throughout my 30s I seemed to gravitate more and more to people who did the things that I always dreamed of doing in my life: cycling, snowboarding, traveling, running, etc. Earlier on it often seemed that those were things that I’d like to have in my life, but for some reason, I couldn’t.

What I learned in this decade is that in order to bring the activities that you want into your life, you need to spend time with people who already do those things.

Thank you Amanda and Will for being a part of today’s fun on the snowy slackline.

Today’s lesson?

Surround yourself with people who do the things that you want to do.

Further reading can be seen on this subject by an earlier blog post that was also produced on the slackline in Calgary.

 

  • Days 1 – 5 please click HERE.
  • Days 6 – 10 please click HERE.
  • Days 11 – 15 please click HERE.
  • Days 16 – 20 please click HERE.
  • Days 21 – 25 please click HERE.
  • Days 26 – 30 please click HERE.

 

January 16, 2014 – Day 10 – Ask for help.

What kind of life changing connection could you make in a coffee shop?

There was a day in 2013 when I overheard a conversation at another table in a coffee shop and decided to say hello. It turned out that the two people speaking were holding interviews for a new dining hotspot. Having recently moved to Calgary, I hadn’t planned on working in another restaurant, but after a compelling introduction to the concept and the plans that they had for this place, I had to jump on board. It didn’t hurt that it was to be located 350 metres from my flat.

The restaurant is called, “Briggs”, the food is exceptionally good and very reasonably priced.

The floods of 2013 only slightly delayed their opening date, and boy have I had a great time there ever since. Initially I was apprehensive to work in hospitality again as I’d made some pretty big strides in my facilitating and presenting career up until that point. But since getting over myself I have been able to enjoy a vibrant work environment, multiple opportunities to improve my storytelling skills, an active social life, the flexibility to leave the province whenever a presenting opportunity arises and even the occasional new client.

I’d say it’s been a pretty good fit for me so far. Further to the above benefits, I’ve learned a lesson in hospitality that I’d struggled with previously in my personal life. I learned how to ask for help. With the supportive encouragement of the general manager Cory Gaudette, I eventually learned how to do this and have found that this new ability has transferred nicely into other aspects of my life. What a bonus!

And what an Unexpected Connection over a coffee it was that led me here.

Today’s lesson?

Ask for help.

January 15, 2014 – Day 9 – Be spontaneous.

Call today a Throwback Thursday as I reflect back to that time when I joined a complete stranger on a cross country bicycle tour. It was 2008 and I needed a change. This new friend from Couchsurfing.com arrived on my doorstep in Toronto and offered me an opportunity to join him on his trip.

To his surprise, I did.

CyclingOn May 27, 2008 we departed Toronto for Vancouver. This challenging journey allowed me to push myself beyond my own preexisting limits to arrive in Vancouver 41 days later. Despite the challenges, we had a wonderful time. I returned to Ontario from that trip empowered to enter a new chapter of my life with confidence.

It’s this type of spontaneity that I feel is the spice of life.

Today’s lesson?

Be spontaneous.

January 14, 2014 – Day 8 – Celebrate Ideas.

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending a Meetup. Meetup.com is a wonderful online place to meet like minded people offline. These people enjoy the same things that you do. There are thousands of groups in thousands of cities around the world. It’s helpful for when you are traveling AND for when you just want to meet new people in your own city. Check it out.

Tony Esteves TEDXIt was a TEDx Calgary Dinner Meetup on this evening that I attended. I’d joined this group a few times before. This group meets in person to do discuss the ideas that we’ve seen come up in some of the amazing TED Talks from TED.com. If TED is new to you, be sure to visit this website. There are hundreds of talks from experts in all fields sharing their expertise. It is a  wonderful way to gain access to some of the greatest thinkers thoughts of the day.

I find this Meetup to be a very worthwhile way to spend an evening as I consistently meet interesting people and make new connections.

Both TED Talks and Meetup have had a big impact on my 30s which is why I mention them both tonight.

Why not celebrate ideas as part of this challenge? While today there is some criticism that TED Talks are becoming more and more just a source of  “edutainment” some of the videos I’ve seen on TED.com have had a deep impact on me and I thought that was an idea worth spreading.

Thank you.

Today’s lesson?

Celebrate Ideas

January 13, 2014 – Day 7 – Just START.

One lesson that I really wish I knew going into my 30s is today’s. I’ve often put things off because they seemed overwhelming or impossible to complete. But some experience has taught me that in fact the hardest part really is just starting whatever it is that needs to be done. This creates an opportunity.

DogIf you can convince yourself to just START the task at hand without thinking so much about how big or challenging it is, you will often find that it’s more manageable than you thought. That is how I got myself back into the gym in November of last year. Try it out!

This is my neighbour’s dog. He’s adorable, so I thought I’d include him today.

Today’s lesson?

Just START.

Cheers.

January 12, 2014 – Day 6 – Explode your creativity!

Tonight’s lesson comes from my monthly Creative Problem Solving Think Tank. This is a think tank that has been inspired by Dr. Win Wenger and was the fourth in the Calgary series.

Creativity Think TankThere are hundreds of ways to solve problems using creativity but to date I’ve found that these techniques are the most amazing. This is because you get to use your own visual imagery and unconscious mind to solve problems. This allows you to get past your own inner critic and to surprise yourself with your own insights.

Participants solved some of their own problems and worked on bigger issues that we came up with together.

I feel that my life has been greatly enhanced since attending my first creativity conference – Mindcamp – in 2012, and believe that everyone can benefit from exercising their creative abilities.

Tonight’s lesson?

Explode your creativity!

To view the videos and lessons from Days 1-5 please click HERE

To view the videos and lessons from Days 11-15 please click HERE

 

Welcome to #30LESSONSFROM 30s

Hello and thank you for checking out this project. This is Tony Esteves on a 30 day challenge. The challenge is to post a new video with a lesson that I learned in my 30s on this website every day until I turn 40. That’s how it’s come to be know as the “Last30DaysOf30s” project.

I took this challenge on as a very experienced professional speaker – Vince Poscente – recently challenged a bunch of us to use more video in our businesses. I love 30 day challenges so this started. It has indeed been quite a challenge until this point but also a great deal of fun. It turns out that I will have attracted an additional 1000 + views to my YouTube channel by the end of all of this, and I think that’s pretty cool.

I hope that you enjoy the videos and the lessons that you will find here and if you do, please feel free to share or subscribe on the right side of this page for monthly updates.

Many thanks,

Tony Esteves

  • Days 1 – 5 please click HERE.
  • Days 6 – 10 please click HERE.
  • Days 11 – 15 please click HERE.
  • Days 16 – 20 please click HERE.
  • Days 21 – 25 please click HERE.
  • Days 26 – 30 please click HERE.

 January 11, 2014 – Day 5 – Create unexpected connections.

This afternoon I had the pleasure of attending a party for a friend of mine who had just moved into a new place. The lively atmosphere reminded me of how many connections happened for me during my 30s in such social situations.

It’s a pretty simple concept. If you spend time with people, you learn what they are about, you find out what you have in common, and the opportunity to move each other forward personally or professionally is created. This is what I call the power of unexpected connections. Check out this short video to see more.

Today’s lesson?

Create unexpected connections.

Thank you for watching.

January 10, 2014 – Day 4 – Invest in yourself.

Thank you for checking out this blog. I’m delivering a different message from my 30s every day for 30 days and today’s lesson comes from a CAPS meeting. (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers).

At the time of the creation of this video, the room was a buzz because we had just enjoyed the first part of a superb presentation from a world class innovation catalyst, Toni Newman. She electrified us with a ton of useful innovation information that was tailored to the room full of professional speakers. As the current President of CAPS National, I shouldn’t have been surprised to be so impressed. Her presentation reminded me and supported the message that I’d like to share now.

I’m here today because I’ve invested in myself. I’ve joined CAPS in a learning capacity at this time by taking their Fast Track program. This teaches emerging speakers more about the business of professional speaking. Early in the course, I can say with great confidence that this program is going to leave me a much better version of myself and with fanatical focus about what I will do with my speaking career.

Today’s lesson?

Invest in yourself!

January 9, 2014 – Day 3 – %10 through the 30 day challenge!

Today I found myself talking about love at the top of the Calgary Tower. But not love in the romantic sense. More so as it relates to how we take care of ourselves.

Parts of my 30s were rushed with a lack of balance between work and life. Now at the end of this decade I think I’ve got greater control over this and feel that it’s a message worth sharing.

Thank you Luna Ivana for your unknowing and serendipitous contribution to my video today. Your words matched my thoughts perfectly this morning.

Today’s lesson?

Love yourself.

January 8, 2014 – Day 2 – Do What You Love To Do.

Today we took the day off and headed to Lake Louise for some inspiration in the mountains. It was a stunningly beautiful day where we talked about how revitalizing it can be to take time for yourself during this busy life.

Don’t you find that you are more productive during the following days after doing something for yourself? Try it! And let me know the results.

There is an earlier post on this from last year in my blog. But for now, please enjoy this short video from Lake Louise Alberta.

Today’s lesson?

Do what you love to do.

Thank you for watching.

 

January 7, 2014 – Day 1 – Done is Better Than Perfect.

Welcome to my 30 day challenge! As I will turn 40 in a month, I’ll post a new video here every day for the next 30 days including this video from today. This was shot in the beautiful Devonian Gardens in the Core shopping centre in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Each video will include a lesson that I learned from living through my 30s.

Today’s lesson?

  Done is better than perfect.

I hope that you enjoy. See you tomorrow.

January 6, 2014

Coming very soon! (as in tomorrow)

Here I will be creating and posting a 1 minute video every day for the next 30 days! These 30 days mark the countdown to the end of my 30s. As I’ve seen a few things and done a few things along the way, I thought I’d have some fun by sharing a little more video about my personal and professional experience to my blog and to celebrate the countdown to the big 4-0. 30 day challenges are fantastic, though challenging. More about this project can be found on Twitter with #30LESSONSFROM30s and #LAST30DAYSOF30s.

Please subscribe on the right of this page or check back regularly. I’ll be doing some fun stuff here this month, honest.

Mountains

  • Days 1 – 5 please click HERE.
  • Days 6 – 10 please click HERE.
  • Days 11 – 15 please click HERE.
  • Days 16 – 20 please click HERE.
  • Days 21 – 25 please click HERE.
  • Days 26 – 30 please click HERE.

 

Dr. Win Wenger

Dr. Win Wenger

For the past 3 months a group of Calgarians have come together to learn and use the extra-ordinary creative problem solving techniques of Dr. Win Wenger. After studying directly from Dr. Wenger in May of 2014 to become a certified “Project Renaissance” facilitator I was given the opportunity to start such a think tank and finally had the opportunity to get it going this past October.

It has been one of the most satisfying projects in my professional career to date. Here is why:

  • I’ve witnessed participants discover insights that they didn’t expect to find
  • There has been positive feedback on how their insights tend to keep coming several days after the workshop in part by using their Idea Butterfly Nets
  • I’ve had further opportunities to improve my skills as a facilitator
  • The new learning about Win’s fantastic techniques as I teach them
  • I’ve contributed to building a new community that is now well positioned to tackle  problems together (and that’s what we will do)

Everybody has problems and challenges that they’d like to solve. What happens in these sessions is so special because most people do not inherently know how to solve problems using their unconscious minds. However, once exposed to the powerful techniques so generously shared by Dr. Wenger, it is true that anyone can gain insights from using their own visual imagery and unconscious minds. It’s just wonderful to guide someone from a place of skepticism to a place of joy and insight with these processes.

Join us in Calgary on January 13th at the Visual Imagery Creative Problem Solving Think Tank if you’d would like to to learn some very handy, simple tools to solve your own problems as we begin to address greater issues together. It will be a very interactive and productive 3 hour evening event.

My deepest gratitude goes out to Dr. Win Wenger who sincerely offers his vast body of research and work to the world for the greater good of humanity. It is my honor to offer my support by hosting this think tank. Please contact me if you’d like to know how you can support him.

A creativity think tank matters because it enables people to better utilize and experience their own creative abilities.  In this safe space people solve not only their own problems and develop their ideas but are given the opportunity to become part of a community of people who genuinely want to make the world a better place.

For me it has been a full and wonderful year of living and learning and I intend to reach and help many more people do the same in 2015.

Happy, safe holidays!!

Thank you for reading these thoughts of mine.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 4.16.46 PM

This past weekend I had the honour of performing during the opening ceremonies of the 5th annual Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival – WickFest. This is the largest women’s hockey tournament in the world and included 80 teams.  The opening ceremony happened on Thursday, November 27th at Win Sport’s Canada Olympic Park. The special guests included 5 time Olympic gold metal winner Hayley Wickenheiser, Olympic gold metal winner Natalie Spooner, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Axe Capoeria, Seven-time CCMA Award winner Dean Brody and me??!! …just to name a few.

Hayley Wickenheiser Tony Esteves.jpg

Tony Esteves & Hayley Wickenheiser

I was also given the opportunity to facilitate two of my “Joy of Good Focus” workshops using jugging and put in a few hours as a volunteer. It was a jam-packed weekend full of hockey, activities and laughs. It was super-fulfilling for me as a performer, a facilitator and as a volunteer.

How did I get this great opportunity?

I got it from another Unexpected Connection. About a year and a half ago during the Alberta floods I did some volunteer work with the flood relief. On one occasion I joined a group through an excellent organization called Deliver Good. It is an organization that, “Matches people that have stuff with charities that need stuff.” Amazing! That June day I jumped on a bus with their team to High River. This recent opportunity came from the people who I met in that superb organization. Just a few weeks ago we had lunch and Deliver Good founder, Robb Price suggested that I get involved with Hailey’s event.

And so I did!

Unsurprisingly, it was wonderful. I was so impressed with these 11-18 year old girls in my workshops. They were the most confident, assertive young women that I had ever seen. Certainly much of that comes from their experience playing on a team.

It seems that these players have already learned one of my mottoes, “Play to learn. Learn to Play.”

As any performer will tell you, there is a certain high you get while performing your art. On the opening night I delivered a glow-in-the-dark juggling show (video coming soon) to an upbeat song called, “Hey Now – Arty Remix”. It’s difficult for me not to move when I hear this song so the glow-show is more like a light-ball dance than juggling. Although it’s definitely juggling. This feeling of euphoria was not the only benefit I gained by working this event. It was an opportunity to share the stage with some superstars and world class athletes and for me to showcase my performance to an audience of over 1000 people. It’s this type of exposure that often leads to further new connections and business in the weeks and months to come. So it continues…

The entire weekend was inspiring for me. I spontaneously started doing interviews with some of the parents and players. During one interview the excitement of one parent was excellent. She seemed almost overwhelmed with joyful emotion for how phenomenal the entire event was. Her feedback was that it was so well organized and the Olympic facilities were stunning. What an opportunity for these girls?

This tournament hosted 80 teams from all across Canada including the Yukon, the USA and even Mexico.

Opening ceremony performance

Opening ceremony performance

There were another 50 teams who wanted to be there. I’m sure that this wonderful event will not only continue to grow but will continue to shape and define women’s hockey. I feel that this event really does help young women develop as a player and as a member of the community.

Excellent job everyone!

Thank you Hailey Wickenheiser for your generous time, effort and kindness for creating such a meaningful event. I saw you repeatedly surrounded by people after your autograph and although you always had someplace (likely places) to be, you were patient and took the time to sign those shirts and books.

A big hats off goes out to Robb Price, Ceilidh Price and Trina Radcliffe and all of your wonderful efforts and staff from Deliver Good. It was such a pleasure to be a part of this event. You and your team did a fantastic job and really created memories and experiences for hundreds of girls this past weekend.

Unexpected Connections can come to you in so many ways. They might happen instantly or – as in this case – you might benefit months or even years down the road.

Keep your mind, eyes and ears open when meeting new people. Think about how sharing some of your life experience and expertise might be of help to them. You never know when a new connection could help shape your career or personal development.

Love LIFE!

 

Amanda on the slackline.jpg

Amanda Gallop’s first day on the Slackline

When was the last time you got introduced to a new hobby activity or sport?

As a child this could happen daily. As an adult I have found that it does not happen very often at all.

Recently I got introduced to a new sport and as can be the pattern for many new things, I resisted trying it. It is called, “Slacklining” and I was encouraged to try it by a brilliant Dutch fellow named Tjitze Postma.

Slacklining is a sport that was invented by rock climbers decades ago and has gained rapid popularity in many cities around the world in recent years. It involves tying a 1″ or 2″ thick line between two trees or anchors and then balancing on it. Advanced ‘slackers’ will bounce on it, do yoga poses and all kinds of tricks.

On an August evening in Ontario I found myself in Mountain Equipment Co-op deciding if I was going to buy one of these Slacklines before having ever tried it. Initially I was not planning to make the $85 investment but once Tjitze offered to buy it for me and to donate it to the Mindcamp Creativity conference I came to my senses. If this guy felt so strongly that I’d like this sport that he was willing to buy the equipment for me, I thought I’d better give it a go. In the end, we split the cost of the line and agreed that we would donate it to the conference next year.

Later that week, I got to try it for the first time and as he had told me, I loved it. I felt instantly drawn towards this sport because it forces you to become grounded, to focus on the present moment, and it’s challenging.  It has since become a wonderful part of my life.

Check out this brief message from the Slackline video below.

Because the sport is such a visual spectacle, many people tend to approach and ask about it. The learning curve is quite quick, and this social element is one of my favorite things about it. It is a very easy way to meet good people. As a result of playing with this back in Calgary, I have been introduced to the Yoga community here – which is something that I’ve appreciated for years but until last week had only tried a half dozen times or so.

I have now done Yoga the past 4 out of 5 days! I’ve also been introduced into Acro-Yoga which is a more advanced and acrobatic type of Yoga that I can see myself really enjoying in the near future.

There have been things that I’ve seen in other peoples’ lives that I thought for some reason I’d like to have in mine, but just never got around to actually doing. Has this ever happened to you? Perhaps it was something that you thought you didn’t have the time or money to explore. Truthfully, most of us have thoughts or ideas around the person who we would like to be compared to the person who we currently are and there are ways to bring the two closer together.

In my situation, I felt the familiar resistance to trying something that I was being told would be good for me. The solution was that I allowed myself to feel a little uncomfortable, and tried the new thing anyway. It’s totally normal for new experiences to make us feel uncomfortable not only if they are good for us, but I argue especially if they are good for us. Change equals growth and growth usually comes with some discomfort.

Who is shaping your life?

Who are the people that have had the greatest influence in your life until now? Are you living the life that you want to live? If not, why not? Why not allow yourself to explore some of the new things that some people in your life have already offered? If you can’t remember any offers, why not seek those interests out on your own?

Think Healthier. Live Healthier.

I’m not suggesting that we can completely re-vitalize our entire lives by adding a new activity to it, but I am suggesting that by doing so you will open the door to many wonderful new possibilities…

Thank you Tjitze Postma for introducing me to the Slackline and to Kris Lapenskie for taking the video footage.

A night with the circus

A night with the circus

This past Friday, I had the honour of performing alongside about 45 other artists and performers from across Canada. The event was called, “Mecanique” and this was a show that was created by Le Cirque de la Nuit.

This is a troupe of artists who I got introduced to by having a conversation with a a total stranger. Yet another unexpected connection. A long time friend, Rob and I got speaking to our waitress at our local Calgary pub. Her name was Ashley.  She casually mentioned that she does some performance work with the hula-hoops and this led us into a conversation about performing arts. When I mentioned that I do some glow-in-the-dark juggling she suggested that I audition for an upcoming show.

I did and they hired me!

That show was back in February of this year and it was called, “Arniko“. It was the first time I’d been done up with professional makeup in years and it was one of the best performing experiences of my life to date. They were so well organized and professional. The decorations and costumes were sensational. It was difficult to tell who was part of the show and who wasn’t because EVERYBODY dressed up to the theme of the party.

This past weekend I enjoyed my second time performing with this amazing troupe.

 

Cirque de la Nuit Promotional Video

 

So what happens at a show like this and why does it matter?

Magic happens!

I know that performing is a side of me that provides great joy for me and that I do with ease. While on stage dancing, juggling, clowning or doing anything physical, I can get lost in what I call the “performers flow” and I feel completely present as I make my contribution to the spectacle.

Because I have learned how important it is to remain true to oneself recently by doing what I love, I know that performing in something like this has great benefits for me.

I believe that this matters because when you find whatever it is that gets you into your flow state, you become more open to opportunities. And isn’t that really what life is when you simmer it down? Opportunities that we act on or pass up? If you believe the basics of creativity then certainly it makes sense to have as many options – or opportunities – as possible. I’ve been fortunate to see this manifest new relationships, new professional opportunities and new experiences.

Not only have I fed my soul, but I’ve allowed myself to gain further exposure to other people like me! Other professionals who also like to put on a costume, create an experience and put on a show.

Special thanks to Ashley Victoria, le Cirque de la Nuit and Bass Caravan for welcoming me to this wonderful community so warmly.

So as I invest more time and energy finally getting to know some of these other amazing artists – many of whom live here in Calgary as I do now – I look forward to enjoying the benefits of expressing myself artistically despite my own hesitations at times.

You don’t need to join the circus to express yourself. That’s just how it’s recently happened for me. What is your stage? What is a way that you could more effectively express who you really are and what you have to offer to the world?

Play with that idea for a little while and let me know what you come up with…

And on a side note, if you find yourself in Calgary this week, why not come to my Visual Imagery Creative Problem Solving Think Tank? Here you’ll dance with insights and improve your creative abilities. I believe those things will make it easier for you to be a little closer to who you really are.

Enjoy the view!