Here we are at the end of another busy summer. I’m writing from Ontario where I’ve spent the past 5 Chris Hadfieldweeks. London, Toronto, Guelph, Lochalsh, Kincardine and Kitchener kept me busy visiting friends, doing some work and having some fun.

3 Things I’d like to share today:

1. The Mindcamp Creativity conference was wonderful, again.
2. Making time to be with friends and family is important.
3. Life is a game of choose your own adventure. Choose wisely.

Here we go.

Creativity is becoming an increasingly important part of my life and business. It’s amazing to me that less than 5 years ago I didn’t know much of anything about the study of creativity and now I use it for decision making every day. It fits well for me because being creative is so important to me and I believe that my growth and training in this field have not only helped me become a better presenter, but also a better person.

It has introduced me to a number of amazing Creative Problem Solving (CPS) techniques that I now use to help others solve problems and perhaps most importantly it’s introduced me to an entire world of excellent people.

While reading Chris Hadfield’s book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, he talks about how even if he was preparing for a task that he might never do, the fact that he was learning was good. I agree. I feel that I’m at the beginning of my lifelong learning and am eager to see what else I choose to fill my brain with in the coming weeks, months and years to do the good work that I plan to do.


Months ago a Toronto colleague, Ginny Santos suggested that I create a 30 Day Challenge session for this past Mindcamp, so I did. It was a program that I had never delivered before and I’m so pleased that I ran it. It’s generated some very positive feedback and what’s been especially satisfying for me is how some participants have been sharing their progress with their new “challenges” with me on social media. Using social media is one way to hold yourself accountable with these challenges.

Russell Thomas wrote a wonderful article on his Mindcamp experience and was kind enough to mention my session there.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Come to Mindcamp. It’s the best few days you can spend in August near Toronto. Lives change up there for the better.

Having said that, this was my least “enjoyable” Mindcamp yet. Don’t get me wrong, I still very much enjoyed being there, but I came with some baggage and needed to work through it.

Through the generous efforts of a couple workshop participants, I had a breakthrough and was finally able to understand some of why I’d been stressed out recently. The reason – it turns out – is that I’d been feeling anxious about some upcoming changes due to my professional development. Even when things are really good, they can cause anxiety. But I’ve worked past that and am now ready for a pretty exciting Fall season in Calgary.

Much of this summer was spent with a friend of mine, Ryan Jeans. This character has a busy business bringing Ping-Pong experiences to people and events and it was my pleasure to collaborate with him at a number of events. I not only got to support this friends’ business efforts but also got to spend time with him and that – I believe – is the best gift one can give to any friend. Time.

Seeing friends and family in Ontario is such an important part of my life because I get energized from seeing these important people. I find that the work I do while on the road (at home) is meaningful and I get clear feedback that my presence is appreciated. It’s worthwhile on so many levels to see friends and family. Don’t miss your chance to do so while they are around.

While home I was reminded how technology can be stressful at times and put together the below video as a tip for how to deal with that.

It’s clear from today’s London Free Press that this is an issue that people need to be aware of.

After all, multiple studies have demonstrated a clear link between tech use and elevated levels of stress and anxiety.

The Canadian Mental Health Association says anxiety disorders affect about 12 per cent of people and cost the economy upwards of $50 billion a year.

page C4 Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Finally, choose your own adventure! Life! While I understand that everybody has their limitations due to everything from finance to family, I truly believe that this life really is a game of choose your own adventure.

Here’s a little video to that effect.

I’m ready for a busy fall season back in Alberta. If you found value in this post, please share it and / or subscribe for my updates either on this blog or my YouTube channel or both.

Stay tuned for some more upcoming fun around 30 Day Challenges.

Keep Tuesday evening, November 3rd open for an amazing event that I’m co-hosting in Calgary. It will be a networking event with a room of over 100 professionals who value human, face-to-face conversations. 


If you need help learning how to create, EDIT and publish videos using an iPad or iPhone, then click HERE and join us this Sunday.

As always, I’m happy to connect anytime. Please be in touch.

This month I’m visiting Ontario from Alberta for 3 main reasons:miniPongToronto

  1. To spend time with my sisters and mother
  2. To attend and present at Canada’s creativity retreat, Mindcamp and
  3. To support my friend, Ryan Jeans as he builds his busines bringing miniPong facilitated services to events around the GTA
Until today, I have already enjoyed some wonderful time with my family both at home and at the family cottage near Kincardine, Ontario.  I very much look forward to Mindcamp later this week, and have just concluded one of the busiest weeks of events ever with Ryan and miniPong Toronto.
To clarify – yes you read that correctly –  that’s miniature Ping-Pong. The week was so busy because we did 8 events in 6 days and I was doing the social media as well as videography and editing throughout.

What happens at a miniPong event?

A LOT of Ping-Pong! That’s what.
We set up these custom made miniature weather-proof tables in places where you couldn’t normally fit Ping-Pong and create a space for people to play and have fun. This works as a great compliment to events of all kinds – big or small – and is sometimes the event itself.

Day 2 miniPong Toronto Rogers Cup Video

The tables are 36 inches wide and 72 inches long and the paddles and net are the same as on an official table. Ryan has 20 years of experience in constructions and can build anything. He currently designs and manufactures these tables for his buisness himself.

So why the small tables?

The small tables are used so that people can more easily converse, play together, and connect. The smaller tables allow for more interaction and less competitiveness. This type of “Pop-up Ping-Pong” is a social enabler because you are physically closer to your opponent. It is a more intimate playing enviornment. Sometims there is the misconception that miniPong is just for kids. While children certainly love playing on the smaller tables the concept was inspired through adult play.

What were the 8 events?

5 of them were facilitated events at the 2015 Rogers Cup in Toronto from Monday to Friday. We were hired to set up the miniPong tables on one of the promotional courts and to create a place for people to play miniPong. Most of the time all of the tables were full and at times we had a line with a wait. Unsurprisingly Ping-Pong was a hit with this audience.

Day 3 miniPong Toronto Rogers Cup Video

Often people say that they are good at “real” Ping-Pong but unfamiliar with the small game however one can make the adjustment in just a couple of games. It is just as much fun as the full sized game if not more so.
Tuesday night was the weekly miniPong Meetup which is a free event for the growing miniPong community in Toronto at Mây Cafe on Dundas Street West.
On Saturday we facilitated a miniPong exhibit as part of Family Fun Festival at Regent Park.
Finally on Saturday night for our 8th event we brought the miniPong to a boat cruise for that went late into the morning.
Now that’s a lot of Ping-Pong!
This week we must have given out about 500 business cards / flyers and collected dozens as well.
Here is an excerpt from a book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan called, “The One Thing“. I was reading it today and it seemed relevant for me to share here. It’s a good read.
“Don’t fear big. Fear mediocrity. Fear waste. Fear the lack of living to your fullest. When we fear big, we either consciously or subconsciously work against it. We either run toward lesser outcomes and opportunities or we simply run away from the big ones. If courage isn’t the absence of fear, but moving past it, then thinking big isn’t the absence of doubts, but moving past them. Only living big will let you experience your true life and work potential.” p 92. The One Thing
I can’t remember the last time that I saw someone so passionate about something that they HAD to speak to everyone about it. Having known Ryan since 2012 he’s become completely obsessed with miniPong – his ‘One Thing’ – and it comes up in just about every conversation we have.
Although this can be a little frustrating at times it also impresses me because history has proven that it’s that type of entrepreneurial spirit and passion that brings big ideas to life. In the last two years this fellow has gone from playing miniPong on my kitchen table (in his house) to earning a living by brining multiple branded custom tables and experiences to:
Large scale concerts
Music festivals
Many random parties
Toronto District School Board events and schools
The Downsview Park Hanger with Human Moves
Sick Kids Hospital
Mindcamp Creativity Retreat
Professional speaking events
Nuit Blanche Toronto
Toronto International Film Festival
Pan-Am Games
And now The Rogers Cup
He has been interviewed by the Globe and Mail as well as a number of curious bloggers and there seems to be no end in sight.

Days 4 & 5 miniPong Toronto Rogers Cup Video

As this business continues to grow I am excited for my friend and colleague’s big success – past, present and future. As I continue to build my own dream career as a keynote speaker / performer it will be interesting to see how much more collaboration lies ahead for myself and Ryan. It does seem that I’ve got some of the tools that he needs to really launch this business on a bigger scale and certainly there is plenty of opportunity for me to meet prospective clients while supporting his excellent cause. We are currently in discussion about this.
But for now it’s off to Mindcamp this week! Time to incubate on this incredible opportunity.
Join us for a rally sometime. Beyond the laughter and exercise, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from the game of Ping-Pong. Myself or Ryan would love to speak to you about this. Connect with us!
We look forward to seeing you wherever miniPong pops up next!

Thoughts Become RealityThoughts Become Reality

On this glorious May 10th, 2015 a few friends and I visited the Lake Louise Ski Resort to play on their closing day. None of us had had more than 4.5 hours of sleep.
It started out as a bit of a frustrating day for me as I had an accident that rattled me. But I slowed down, caught my breath and got back up.

This made me think about how what you think about becomes your reality. At the time of the accident I had been worrying about my buddy Will who sometimes wipes out when he’s snowboarding when he’s tired.

If thoughts really do become your reality – as I experienced first hand – then why not use this technique for good? If you can control your thoughts, you can control your reality.


Welcome to my 30 day challenge. Here I’m hosting a video blog / diary to assist me in my writing process. The challenge is to do at least an hour of writing or working on my book every day for the remaining 10 of these 30 days. I can tell you that I have written almost every day until now but have not always been able to put in a full hour. Creating, producing and publishing these little video clips seems to take an average of 2-3 hours per day so that’s cutting into my writing time a little. But I’m OK with that because it’s the creation of these videos that is keeping me writing. Enjoy the videos and contact me if you have any questions. I’m available to deliver talks and workshops on creativity, innovation and Unexpected Connections.


30DAYSOFWRITING Days 11 – 20

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 21 – 30

Day 21 Work On Your Own Happiness

Even those of us who come across as super positive need to work on staying happy. My online presentation to the world is quite positive, but as we all know, what’s online is not necessarily representing the whole truth. I choose to share mostly positive news about my life and career experience because I feel that better suits myself and those who I am in contact with. But just because that’s what I show online, it does not mean that I never experience challenging times. I do.

I think that the reason I can maintain such a positive outlook is that I put some effort into it. I do my best to be as positive as possible when out in the world because I know how we can affect other people’s moods and thinking by how we act. Here is today’s video.

Stay healthy, stay happy.

Happy International Day Of Happiness!

Day 21 Work On Your Own Happiness

Day 22 Learn From Those Who Have Already Done It    

A talented professional. Andrea Menard

A talented professional. Andrea Menard

Today was another excellent and jam packed day of learning and sharing with the Fast Track group at the

Calgary chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS).  We shared all kinds of tips about social media and the speakers were fantastic. I look forward to next months sessions and had a really good time today learning all kinds of new good stuff.

This day went from 8am until 10.30 pm if you include the house concert / party after at Alvin and Darlene Law’s house so I did not do any writing today. I believe that I still moved my book project forward however by spending time with many published authors and learning from other professional speakers who are a few years ahead of me in my field.  Here’s my accountability video for today.

Day 22 Learn From Those Who Have Already Done It    

Day 23  Challenges Can Turn Into Satisfaction

As the writing continues, I feel that I was supercharged because of yesterday’s wonderful day of learning with the Calgary chapter of CAPS – the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.
Today’s writing was fun and satisfying. I’m finding that in general this project is becoming more fun and more satisfying. That just goes to show that big challenges can turn into satisfying experiences (eventually).

This is today’s video here from my kitchen.

Day 23  Challenges Can Turn Into Satisfaction


Day 24 Bridge Your Stories Together

There comes a point in the writing process when you’ve got to bring it all together. I was struck not only by the aesthetics of the +15 walkway in Calgary, but also by how I could relate it to the current stage of the writing process that I am in.

So that’s how today’s video was created. As I continue to go through all of my writing, I’m now moving material around into certain themes that will eventually evolve into chapters. In order to do this, some of what I’m doing is connecting the stories together. That serves as the message for today.

Day 24 Bridge Your Stories Together

Day 25 Feeling Overwhelmed? Double Up On Self Love     

It may seem counter-intuitive to take a rest when you are feeling overwhelmed by too much work or when there are far too many things to do. But experience has taught me that sometimes, that’s the best thing to do.

This morning my mind was racing as soon as I awoke so I decided to take it extra easy to solve this. It worked. In fact today, I did a meditation (this does not happen so often), I went to Yoga (also not yet quite a regular part of my routine), had a solid workout in the gym, did some reading and generally just took really good care of myself.

Once I’d done a bunch of those things I was perfectly relaxed and more productive than I would have been had I just raced into the day’s tasks. When I’ve done that in the past, I often run out of steam and feel disappointed when I don’t complete everything. Instead tonight I’ll rest knowing I did what I could AND I was able to take care of myself in the process. So the message for today is…

Day 25 Feeling Overwhelmed? Double Up On Self Love     

Day 26 Entrepreneurs Need Support

It’s excellent being an entrepreneur, but it’s not always easy. Use a tip or a trick, or a coach or a poach to help get the things done that you need to do.

Today was a day when I completely did NOT want to work on my book project. The weather was so sensational that I just wanted to cycle, read and relax. In fact I did all of those things but because of the 30 day challenge I also got my writing done.
As creativity requires restrictions I’ve found that this challenge has really helped me get much more done that I would have had I just scheduled a time every day to work on it I need these boundaries (rules) to get me to produce sometimes – even if it’s not always enjoyable.

Reminds me of being a teenager.

Thanks for watching today’s video.

Day 26 Entrepreneurs Need Support

Day 27 Be True To Yourself

It’s pretty easy to get worried about and caught up in what’s going on with the competition in just about any field. And while that’s certainly important for many reasons, when it comes to a creative process such as writing, I argue that it just might not be so important.

One of the things that I’ve learned through this writing process is that it’s more important to just be authentic and true to your self while getting all of that material out. You can worry about the competition another time. Until now, I’ve been my greatest competition at just getting this project close to done! So the message in today’s accountability video is:

Day 27 Be True To Yourself


Day 28 Take Risks  

I don’t know much about life but I know a few things. And one of those things is that you have to find the courage to take risks to get ahead. These don’t have to be incredible “life changing” risks, but they can be. I’ve found that some of the biggest risks I’ve taken have yielded some of the greatest rewards.  So on this 28th day of my writing challenge from the edge of Calgary today’s video says…

Day 28 Take Risks  

Day 29 Get Inspired  

While I confess that I have not done my writing today, I’m ok with that because I know how important it is to take a break and to do the things that serve your soul. For me, that’s snowboarding. I had not been to the mountains for 6 weeks and finally got an opportunity to hit the slopes.
Lake Louise provided exactly what we were after on this day. The conditions were great – considering this fairly poor season – and we had some fun. Taking these breaks can feed your creative spark making your overall production better.

Take time to do the things that you love to do in life no matter where you are in your career or challenges. As Ferris Bueler once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. Here’s today’s accountability video from the mountains!

Day 29 Get Inspired  

Day 30  – Love Life   

It’s Day 30 of my writing challenge and I believe that I’ve actually worked on my book project for about 20 hours this month. The goal was to put in at least an hour per day and I really thought that by just getting things moving I’d work on in much more than that, but that has not been the case.

Instead, the trick I did to just keep me going became the primary time consumer in this project – the creation of a video journal to document what I had done each day. Initially as my coach had suggested, the use of a video journal was simply to keep me writing and to keep me moving forward. But very quickly the video creation became the focus of the project. I was still able to work on the book itself almost every day but not consistently for an hour. I believe that if I was actually doing the bulk of the writing during this time then I would have been able to work on it an hour a day or more. But in my case most of the writing had been completed over the past 3 years and what I’ve been doing most of these days is just bringing all of that material together and getting it organized.

I’m okay with the fact that I put in a good chunk of time and effort to both the writing and the videos about the writing. For most of the videos in this challenge, I spent between 1 and 2 hours per day creating, editing and publishing each of them. This was quite a dramatic improvement from the videos in my recent 30LESSONSFROM30S challenge. In that challenge I invested on average 2 – 5 hours per day with the video creation / production. This 30 day challenge took me 34 days to complete.

So what did I ACTUALLY accomplish with this 30DAYSOFWRITING challenge?

  • I went through over 165,000 of online journal entries / previous writings on my account to draw out just over 45,000 of useful words for material for the book.
  • I worked with my coach to accomplish more than I had planned to.
  • I went through over 20,000 words of old blog posts for a further 5000 words of appropriate stories and material for my book.
  • After getting discouraged a couple of times had some great meetings with my editor who helped move me along and guide me.
  • I created 23 chapters / themes drafted that are ready for some editing!!
  • I completed a very rough manuscript!!!
  • I have an additional 30 videos on my YouTube channel which this past week surpassed 40,000 views.

Although there is still plenty of work left to do on the book project, I have a sense of completion with this challenge. It was a stimulating and challenging project for my mind.

So all in all, I’d say that this challenge was a success. But please don’t think that it came without it’s challenges. Because it did. On more than one occasion I very much did not want to do the writing that I had to do and I had to force myself to do that work. There were times when I also did not want to create a video as well, but I did so anyhow.

These 30 day challenges are time consuming but I’ve found that they consistently push me to accomplish more in a short period of time than I normally think possible. It’s helped me remain focused on one important thing for a full month and has allowed me to get properly immersed in the process.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this video series and wish you all the best with either your own writing process or your own 30 day challenge. I’d love to hear how it goes.  If you know of anyone who could benefit from this, please pass it along.

Day 30  – Love Life   




30DAYSOFWRITING Days 11 – 20

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 21 – 30


Welcome to my 30 day challenge. Here I’m hosting a video blog / diary to assist me in my writing process. The challenge is to do at least an hour of writing or working on my book every day for the remaining 20 of these 30 days. I can tell you that I have written every day but on 3 of those days I’ve only put in an hour. Creating, producing and publishing these little video clips seems to take an average of 2-3 hours per day so that’s cutting into my writing time a little. But I’m OK with that because it’s the creation of these videos that is keeping me writing. Enjoy the videos and contact me if you’ve got any questions. I’m available to deliver talks and workshops on creativity and innovation.


30DAYSOFWRITING Days 11 – 20

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 21 – 30

Day 11 Travel To Shape Your Life

I used to be addicted to traveling. I would get up and move to a new country at the drop of a hat. I once cycled across Canada with a days notice with a complete stranger just because I needed to shake things up. Travel has been a wonderful part of my life that has helped shape me into the person who I am today. I owe a great deal to the many individuals who have shared their life experience and helped make me learn how to become a better person.

While writing this book on Unexpected Connections many of my travel stories have surfaced. It’s become clear that traveling can offer an individual experiences and knowledge that are priceless. So in today’s accountability video the message is:

Day 11 Travel To Shape Your Life

Day 12 Use Your Voice Share Your Story

During today’s writing I couldn’t help but think about how important it is to share your story. It seemed fitting to make that the message for today’s video as I had the pleasure of attending the MoMondays event here in London.

As expected there was a huge crowd and the speakers were fantastic. I had a great time bumping into some colleagues and some new friends.

MoMonday’s is a great place to share your story. It’s been around for over 3 years now and I’ve been fortunate to speak on MoMonday’s stages in Toronto, Barrie, Buffalo and London. I hope that you enjoy the video.

Day 12 Use Your Voice Share Your Story

Day 13 Keep Going

Today was challenging. This project is challenging. I’m not as far along as I’d hoped by this time and it’s been getting frustrating. There are quite a few other things going on in my life besides this writing challenge so it’s tough to make the time. But that of course, is what makes it a challenge!

When things get tough, don’t just roll over and give up on yourself. As my father used to tell me, “Keep going”.

Day 13 Keep Going

BONUS MESSAGE – Juggling Is Like Life

Day 14 Missed This Day

As can happen from time to time, I overbooked myself on this day and regrettably did not do my writing effectively breaking the 30 day challenge. But to be honest, I really didn’t feel like doing the writing work and don’t expect I would have come up with much useful content anyhow. So I’ve forgiven myself for taking the needed break from it, and I put together a little video for Day 15 that explains where I am now.

Day 15 Ask For Help

Feeling totally overwhelmed with this project while working on other things in my business and life I really felt prepared to throw in the towel. But I decided to take my own advice, and just ask for some help. So I had a call with my excellent editor and explained to her how I was feeling and she really helped me out a lot!

Sometimes we just need to get things off our chest before we can move forward.

She gave me some practical next steps and really helpful guidelines on how to get my vast content into more manageable sections or (can you believe it?) …. chapter outlines!

This has given me the much needed boost to keep on going and here is my message for today:

Day 15 Ask For Help

Day 16 Find and Join Your Community

Tony Esteves Clown

Today’s festivities included a really enjoyable photo shoot with Cirque De La Nuit in Calgary. While having my (added) hair and makeup done by these talented professionals I thought about how this really is a community. I’m very fortunate to be a part of this community as I have been able to do some performing at some of their incredible shows.

Community relates to writing in that you must have a community of people around you to support you with such a big project. It’s just not something that you can do on your own. My recent discouragements have been short-lived because I’ve been able to build a community around this and am learning to ask for help when needed.

Keep on writing!

Day 16 Find and Join Your Community

Day 17 Get Your Story Out Of You

Just a short little piece today. If you have a story within you, be sure to get it out of you. Sure it might be a lot of work, or take a lot of time, but isn’t it true that the things we most value in life require some effort? You likely have experienced this with friendships, relationships and rewarding careers to name a few.

My story is about these Unexpected Connections. I experienced another one today and will touch on that tomorrow. Here’s my brief writing accountability video from today.

Day 17 Get Your Story Out Of You

Day 18 An Unexpected Connection 

Here we have an Unexpected Connection! I met Hugo yesterday and we’ve spent some time together during his brief visit to Calgary. He needed a place to stay and I had a place. I’ve learned some interesting things about his life and lifestyle and he’s learned about mine. We’ve created a new friendship and who knows what possibilities lie ahead?

That’s the power of Unexpected Connections!

Day 18 An Unexpected Connection 

Day 19 Hang In There 

Everybody gets discouraged from time to time with big projects that we work on. That’s totally normal. The trick is you have to learn how to pick yourself back up when you get discouraged. And one way to help with that is to remember that often really good things can follow really low moments. So the message for today is to just hang in there. Here is my accountability video with an Irish twist.


Day 19 Hang In There 

Day 20 Bumped Into a Friend in Japan

Today’s writing included going over some material from when I lived in Japan.  At the time I was an English teacher with the JET Programme which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to teach abroad.  I was there from 2002-2004 in Iwate Prefecture about 550 kms north of Tokyo. Although my village had just 7000 people in it and one stop light, I loved it. Those were the two best years of my twenties.

A highlight was being surprised by a very good friend who I had not seen in several years. He literally bumped into me on top of a mountain and that was the material that I was enjoying today. This stuff will make it into my book. Here is today’s video.

Connections were made and some good life was lived.

Day 20 Bumped Into a Friend in Japan


30DAYSOFWRITING Days 11 – 20

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 21 – 30


Day 1    I’m Getting This Book Done

Welcome to my 30 day challenge. Here I’m hosting a video blog / diary to assist me in my writing process. The challenge is to do at least an hour of writing or working on my book every day for the next 30 days. The first 10 videos are viewable below and for further videos please see these links:


30DAYSOFWRITING Days 11 – 20

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 21 – 30

I’ve already written thousands of words towards this book however have found myself stuck often with long gaps of weeks and even months without writing. In order to get past this I did something wise.

I got a coach!

In a recent coaching call, we discussed my recent video blog series called #30LESSONSFROM30s. In that challenge I posted a new video to my website every day for a month and shared different learning lessons from my 30s. It was a very time-consuming yet rewarding challenge.

She asked what it was that kept me going on this project and I concluded that it was the performance element. I greatly enjoyed producing and starring in those short videos and after taking a look at this situation through a Creative Problem Solving process concluded that I could again use video to help get my writing done.

The book is on Unexpected Connections – how we can shape and create our lives by connecting with people.

So here I’ll post a video every day documenting what I achieve in my writing process. Wish me luck.

Day 1    I’m Getting This Book Done

Day 2 Gathering Old Writing

I’ve been using for a few years now to capture my thoughts and writing. I found it useful to help keep me in the routine of writing as it always lets you know if you are on any kind of a streak. Much of what I’ve written there has been just like a brain dump, but much of it is useful material for my book.

That’s why I’ve suddenly jumped to 18286 words at the end of Day 2. In fact I wrote zero new words today. Today was all about gathering these old writings and putting them into categories. Everything is very rough at this stage but the encouraging thing is that I feel myself energized that I’ve committed to this project and look forward to whatever I get up to with it tomorrow.

If you are having troubles starting your writing project, do check out as it helped me a LOT with just getting content out of me. At the early stages it’s totally fine if most of what you write is not book-worthy. That does not matter to start.

On an unrelated note, it was announced on the news tonight that this has been the coldest February in recorded history here in London, Ontario. The average mean temperature has been – 12.7 C. Wow!

Here is today’s video about the writing.

Day 2 Gathering Old Writing

Day 3 Trust The Process

Today was the most satisfying day yet as I came across some material that I completely forgot that I had written. I was entertained and pleased that a bunch of it I’ll be able to use for the book.

Of particular interest today is a section on what my experience was like being evacuated while living downtown Calgary shortly after my move to Alberta. The Alberta floods of 2013 were extra-ordinary and that shake-up rocked many peoples’ worlds.

While we were loading the truck just a block away from the rising muddy waters, there were people everywhere. Most looked confused and irritated and were carrying bags and luggage. It was as if we had all been invited to parties around the city but had very little notice.

A tip that I’d like to offer anyone else who is part way through the book writing process or even just getting started is to trust the process. The most important thing to begin with is to write, write, write. And you need to trust that some of that material will be useful at some point in the future. There will likely come a point in time when you will be pleasantly rewarded for your earlier efforts once you go over your material. That is some of what I experienced today.

Now I’ve got 24,719 words of useable material compiled for my book and I’m looking forward to tomorrows discoveries.

After just 3 days of this, I can sense that there is some positive momentum building. Isn’t that often the case when we take on a project? During the thinking / planning stages the implementation can seem daunting or even overwhelming, but once it begins it’s not so bad (because you HAVE to do it). Sometimes it can even become fun.

What tasks have you been avoiding that could get accomplished with a challenge like this?

Here is my accountability video from today.

Day 3 Trust The Process

Day 4 Do Your Creative Work First

Getting a creative task done can be much easier if you bring it into your routine earlier in the day. One of my mentors gets up regularly at 5am to do a bunch of his creative reading, writing and learning before he starts his day job. I have not yet reached that level of discipline however I have seen better results in my creative work when working on those tasks early in the day.

This morning I got distracted with some skiing however still managed to bring the word count up by over 2100 words.

Here is my accountability video from today.

Day 4 Do Your Creative Work First

Day 5 Continuous Learning

When I found out at my CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) meeting last Saturday evening that our chapter president, Faith Wood was going to speak at the London chapter, I knew that I could not miss it.  She has been a police officer, a triage nurse and she uses hypnosis in many of her presentations! Her energy is contagious and I knew that I could learn a thing or two from her.

I was not disappointed.

Today I not only got to enjoy her jam packed, content and entertainment rich presentation crafted specifically for our audience, but I also had a chance to enjoy lunch with her. She was extremely generous with her time and with sharing really useful information for me at this stage of my professional speaking journey.

It doesn’t take a ton of effort to learn from the highly accomplished pros if you just ask.

Before all of this, I managed to get my writing done and now have over 30,000 words of useful material for the book. Wahoo! This calls for a celebration. So tomorrow I’m off to one of the best cities in the world – Toronto – to see some of my favorite people.

Here is today’s accountability video that’s keeping me writing.

Day 5 Continuous Learning

Day 6 Even When There Is No Time Do Your Writing

There really was no time in today for me to do my writing, but somehow I got some done! I did not put in the time that I wanted to (at least an hour), but I did get some work done on it. And despite not doing as much as I had hoped, I’ve been able to feel like I’m maintaining my momentum with the project. I’m over 33,000 words now – wahoo!

I know that it may sound impossible, but even when there is no time, DO YOUR WRITING! Here is today’s short video from the excellent Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.

Day 6 Even When There Is No Time Do Your Writing

Day 7 The Naked Truth.  Be Vulnerable

I don’t claim to be an expert author. I’m learning as I go. However some themes come up that I’ve heard from authors who I’ve spoken to along the way.

Today a good friend helped me get out of my comfort zone. That’s no small feat as I tend to like adventure and new experiences.  We visited the Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park north of Toronto and took our clothes off for the day. I think that the last (of only a few times) time that I was on a nude beach was years ago so this is not a normal occurrence for me.

But it was great!

The connection between this day and writing is that I know that you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable in order to create something fantastic. I believe that goes for quite a few more things than just writing.

Here’s the PG13 video from today.

Day 7 The Naked Truth.  Be Vulnerable

Day 8 Dare To Dream Big

Unfortunately it is not mainstream to dream big. There are far too many “real life” challenges that get in our way and it can be tough to find support to do so. But if we allow ourselves the opportunity to dream big, some pretty wonderful things can occur.

Of course not everybody in the world is going to be able to achieve their greatest wishes however I believe that we make a greater contribution when we are passionately chasing after something that we care deeply about. This can lead a person into other positive places even if they don’t end up reaching their big goal.

And sometimes, they DO reach that big goal after doing what it takes and paying the price necessary to make it happen. Here is my writing accountability video from today.

So as I surpassed 37,000 words on this writing challenge today I offer this advice:

Day 8 Dare To Dream Big

Day 9 Allow Yourself To Be Distracted Sometimes

Today I was given the opportunity to spend the day with another entrepreneur, Ryan Jeans. We brought his miniPong program to an elementary school in Toronto as part of their “Fit Fridays” program. It was a great day, but it kept me away from my writing. Fortunately some great things have developed as a result of today’s conversations. Good things can sometimes happen when you...

Day 9 Allow Yourself To Be Distracted Sometimes

Day 10 Get Comfortable

I don’t know about you, but I love coffee. I’ve tried to stop drinking it as the debate continues about weather a certain amount per day is good for you or not, but have decided to just let myself indulge. Enjoying a delicious coffee at a coffee shop is so much more than the coffee or the caffeine buzz alone.

While sitting in a cafe I get to enjoy anonymity while relaxing or working on whatever project I have at hand. Of course the project currently at hand is this book on Unexpected Connections.

Today I brought myself to my favorite coffee shop to do my writing. The White Squirrel coffee shop on Queen Street West in Toronto is the ideal space for me to relax, zone out and focus in on a task.

I believe that it is really important to be comfortable while you are doing any kind of work. This is so that you can stick to the work when those inspiring moments of flow occur and you lose track of time. Creating or finding such a comfortable setting can enable these situations.

So in today’s brief accountability video here’s the message:

Day 10 Get Comfortable


30DAYSOFWRITING Days 11 – 20

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 21 – 30

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.


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 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…


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.


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.


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 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.