Visiting my family in London, Ontario is something that I love to do, so I make time to do so often. Today, this VLOG stars my father as we got some exercise together.

Picture 5

When it comes to setting goals, you have a much better chance of accomplishing them if you have someone hold you accountable. That’s one of the reasons having a coach is so valuable.

This study also explains the value of writing goals down.

I hope that  you enjoy today’s 1 minute of life and don’t forget to spend time with your parents! Thanks for watching.

On an unrelated note, if you are at all interested in Neuroplasticity -the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life – check out this website: Lumosity. Here you can register to play some really fun games that The Scientists say will improve your memory and brain functioning. I’m hooked.

This week was an exciting creative ride as it was World Creativity and Innovation Week. I met so many people and learned a number of new things. I may write more about that later, but for today I’ve got a little video about what you can do when negative feelings start to feel overwhelming.

Down But Not Out Video

Down But Not Out Video

After inserting the video into this post, I saw how the YouTube image stabilization feature worked. While the image is slightly more smooth than the original, it caused some strange distortion – which I think is fitting for this post! Enjoy.

Back to the content. It’s simple. If you are feeling doomed, change your environment. Get


Don’t worry, be happy

outside, go for a walk, or treat yourself to a nice coffee or meal. While this might not be a permanent solution to your problem, it might offer you some instant relief. And if this little blog post helps cheer even one person up once, it will have been worth the time it took to create it.

Once you change your environment, it will be easier to snap out of that nasty mood…

And this will allow you to get back to being the fantastic Self that you know you are. (even if you hide it every once in a while)



AmericanoAfter an early meeting this morning, I found myself enjoying a delicious Americano in the Balzacs coffee shop at the Toronto Reference Library. Today’s creativity challenge included being playful so after some hesitation I decided to strike up a conversation with the woman sitting next to me.

I asked permission to tell her a little about World Creativity and Innovation Week and she agreed. This started a very interesting conversation that lasted for more than 30 minutes. It turns out that this individual works at a local University. This was of interest to me as I see myself presenting my highly interactive workshops at local colleges and universities in the near future. During our conversation, we spoke about the importance of creativity in education and shared resources.WCIWlogo

I shared: – a tool to help one write daily. I also told her about my positive experience yesterday and how I first heard about The Academy of the Impossible. This was a direct result of my creativity challenge which was to be curious.

I learned about:

Subtle Technologies which, “brings people together to promote wonder, incite creativity and spark innovation across disciplines”. Amazing! I have found yet another world to explore.

Something called Peer Scholar. It is described as, “a powerful online pedagogical tool that helps develop your students’ critical- and creative-thinking skills”. I’m interested.

When it was mentioned that she had heard of Mindcamp – Toronto’s creativity conference – through someone who she knew at OCAD, I immediately knew that she was speaking about Kristen Peterson! She is a creativity and innovation expert whom I also know and is the Program Director for the CPSI conference 2013 – Creative Problem Solving Institute. Never mind the 6 degrees of separation, this was just 1. WoW. I literally started a conversation with a complete stranger in a coffee shop to find that we both had a strong interest in creativity and knew the same person. Not only that, but I enjoyed a great conversation and learned about some new things that might move my career forward.

How many other people are out there who we are this closely connected to at all times?

Once the sun came out this afternoon it was time to play ping pong in public for my real ‘play challenge’. I thought that this would be a great excuse to hand out some more of the fantastic little cards that I had for promoting WCIW and to speak to more people about it. I was correct.

A good friend of mine, Ryan Jeans kindly offered to help. He and I play a shocking amount of ping pong and he brought all of the equipment necessary to set this up in Yonge/Dundas Square – Toronto’s Times Square.

Security immediately asked us to move as we did not have a permit to do this but Ryan’s  persistence allowed us to legally play on the sidewalk. We dressed up to be creative and playful, and to attract some attention. Knowing that we would be photographed, I made a sign with #WCIW on it to encourage people to explore through Twitter.puzzle

Several people joined us as we listened to music, played ping pong and laughed. It was worth the effort just to have done it, and to have created some more awareness about creativity. Through today’s activities, I spoke to over 30 new people about World Creativity and Innovation Week and encouraged them to look up the events in Toronto. More than just enjoying myself (which I very much did) I expect to benefit from learning about the new ideas and resources that I’m discovering through the people who I’m meeting.

Thank you vanGrey for the logistics support and to Heather Glumac for the photography. This was such a fun day!

Tomorrow, the creativity challenge is to get out of my comfort zone…. I wonder what I’ll get up to. What will you do?

Happy #WCIW


Today was a pretty fantastic Monday. I started by attending the kick-off event for World Creativity and Innovation Week Toronto at the Centre for Social Innovation. There, “Serious Play” facilitators including Jacqueline Lloyd sat us down to play with Lego as a means to assist the F-You (Forgiveness) Project. It went very well as the 60 or so of us were highly engaged and playing while answering questions and challenges.

I decided to take on the WCIW challenge which in Toronto encourages people to undertake a different specific task or action each day. Monday’s instructions were to get curious. And so I did…

Please check out my short WCIW Video Blog. By taking on this creativity challenge, I had to be curious, and I had to speak to strangers. While wandering the streets and speaking to new people, I learned about something called the Academy of the Impossible. Thank you Todd. At first glance, it seems to be an organization that is very much in line with my view of the world and I can’t wait to explore it. AND I was given a free calendar while spreading the creative word. Bonus.

What an immediate, useful result to being creative and curious!

To summarize the Toronto Creativity Week challenge I invite you to try this:

         Monday: Be curious

               Tuesday: Be playful

                    Wednesday: Take risks – break out of your comfort zone

                        Thursday: Look for unexpected connections or make new ones

                            Friday: Do it differently

                                 Saturday: Switch your perspective

                                     Sunday: Don’t stop at just one idea

Curiosity earned me a free calendar today.

Curiosity earned me a free calendar today.

Be creative this week! It could lead to some fantastic things or at the very least teach you something about your own creative abilities and potential.

Have fun.

I’ve been avoiding video-blogging for quite some time now. And the funny thing is that I actually feel quite comfortable in front of the camera. I used to have a principal agent when I was acting professionally, and I still do background work through two agencies today.

So why would I not want to video-blog? It seems so obvious that it would be good for my business and many mentors have advised that I use this tool. Well likely, that’s the answer! Have you ever had a thought, or idea that you knew would be good for you to implement, but for some reason you kept making up excuses to not do it?

My First Time Video Blogging


Often we resist taking the very actions that we know will help us move forward! It’s a fear thing, but don’t worry. You can get past it.

I hope that you enjoy my first short video blog post from this snowy April 11th morning.

There will be more of them…


hand-shakeUnexpected connections are happening around us at all times. I find this very exciting because to me it means that we are constantly surrounded with opportunities.

What is an unexpected connection? I define it as an interaction with a person or group of people who unexpectedly give you a message, idea or contact that could be, or lead to an opportunity. Far too often we don’t take notice of these connections, or play with them to our benefit. But it is easy to do so if we take the time to be present, slow down a little and see what’s going on around us.

The scary thing for some, is that this involves actually (gasp!) talking to real, live people!Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.57.46 AM

The book, “Superconnect” by Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood is about how networks operate and how we use them in our lives. They identify, “weak links” as the people on the periphery of our experience as opposed to, “strong links” – the people who know us very closely such partners, family members or immediate colleagues.

Koch and Lockwood explain that there can be great power in actively connecting with these weak links to move your personal or professional life forward. Stating that, when you engage with a weak link you gain access to their entire world of resources and contacts. Their world might be totally different than yours and could therefore be bountiful with opportunity.

Have you ever landed a job through a friend or an acquaintance that you did not know very well? It turns out that most of us have.

Who are the weak links in your life? With today’s technology, the chances are good that you have hundreds of them. Old colleagues or classmates; that person who you spoke with while in line, or someone who you surprisingly felt comfortable speaking with at the mandatory office ‘social night’.


I recently tested this while on a flight back from a conference last month in Florida with great results. I put down my book and started a conversation with the person who was sitting next to me. I had the intention of finding how this stranger and I could possibly help move each others lives forward. She is now a client of mine and is excited to help me build my career. Fantastic!

Now that is the power of weak links!

I’m not advocating stuffing your business card into every person’s hand that you meet. But I do recommend being more open to conversations with those people in your life who you wouldn’t normally take the time to speak with. Share your ideas and goals and ask questions. Listen. If you hear the statement, “Hey I know a person who…” when talking about what you do (or want to do), dig deeper. You might be amazed at what you learn.

Invite these unexpected connections into your life by being courageous enough to make a human connection and see what happens. Such events have already shaped your life in many more ways than you know.  Now that you are aware of them, why not see what opportunities you can help create?

Happy connecting.

Who might you meet?

Who might you meet?

Here’s a link to my “Improvise Your Unexpected Connections” workshop video.

What can one expect from a creativity conference in Sarasota, Florida? Like any creative endeavor, each individual will take away something a little different depending on where they are in life and where they are in their own head. For me, I put in effort to interact, I left the planet, and I took my own medicine.

This conference took place at the beautiful University of South Florida – Sarasota Manatee – campus. I love not only sharing my experiences of creativity conferences, but at them; mostly because I go to the events with high expectations and I always return with even more than I had hoped for.

Here’s how it works.

If you set the bar high for what you are going to experience at an event or conference and really believe that it will be worth your while, it will be. This is because your positive attitude contributes good energy to the physical environment that everyone can and will notice. You help create an over-all better experience for everyone. At the risk of sounding like I’m tooting my own horn, people have come up to me and said, “Your energy is fantastic”, and “Thank you for being here”. It is so satisfying to contribute to someone’s experience and we are all better equipped to do so than we think.

If you plan to be a spectator then you are depending on others to impress and entertain, but if you come with higher self-expectations and a willingness to be engaging and interactive, I can assure you will come home with much more than just another stack of losable business cards.

Isn’t it better to dream up amazing possibilities than to expect routine? I believe that we write our own script in this life, so why not make it interesting?

The opening ceremony of the “Florida Creativity Weekend X” was fun and interactive.  The organizers had me delivering “brain appetizers” to mingling guests while juggling. The message that I shared at the tables was that it’s sometimes ok to drop the ball in life and in business. After all, if you can’t become comfortable with making mistakes, it can be difficult to really move forward.

In the process, I was blessed to reconnect with some of the most creative people in the world who I had met last year at different conferences, including Joe Miguez, Karen Rudolf and Anthony Hyatt to name a few. I also had the pleasure of several stimulating conversations with the creative genius Win Wenger, author of The Einstein Factor—a brilliant book with practical exercises about utilizing your unconscious mind. A quick internet excerpt:

The-Einstein-Factor“New research suggests that the superior achievements of famous thinkers may have been more the result of mental conditioning than genetic superiority. Now you can learn to condition your mind in the same way and improve your performance in virtually all aspects of mental ability, including memory, quickness, IQ, and learning capacity.” I’m so inspired by this material and hope to attend Win’s annual conference later this year.

During the opening ceremony, Rebekah Marler, the founder of Spirit Driven Leaders delivered a touching and powerful keynote and had us all dancing by the end of it! I have had the pleasure of further conversations with Rebekah since the conference and look forward to doing some collaborative work in the US with her this year. This in itself is a great opportunity for me, and the conference had just begun.


At these conferences you have a chance to choose from several concurrent sessions or 1/2 day sessions. On the Saturday morning I opted to attend Art Emrich’s session. The title of his workshop, “Ignite Your Imagination with Theta Brain Waves” was intriguing to me, and this experience was fantastic. I knew that it was a little risky to attend this session as I was scheduled to deliver my workshop immediately after, but I’m a bit of a risk-taker, and I never miss opportunities to get to know my brain better.

Art gave valuable information about how the mind works and then facilitated a guided hypnosis session. I felt that I was in a trance state even before we officially started the self-hypnosis portion. Believe it or not, this was not the first time that I’ve been hypnotized, but I must tell you it was POWERFUL! I felt that during the segment called the ‘visualization’, his voice became quieter and quieter, and then I mentally left the planet. In my mind’s eye I was actually somewhere way out in the cosmos. It was so peaceful and truly the most relaxed I had felt in weeks. I don’t remember the details of the entire journey but what was so powerful for me was the feeling of connectivity to the universe that I had never before experienced. I felt connected to other planets, outer space and concepts much greater than myself. What a trip! I will explore this further…

Where I went when I left the planet

Where I went when I left the planet.

Once he talked us out of this process (which I believe took just 15 minutes), all 20 of us regained full consciousness. I felt a little dizzy but allowed myself to ‘awake’ more slowly than the other participants because I felt so incredible. The session ended after a discussion about the experience with the group, and everyone thanked him for such a unique facilitation.

Initially, as the room emptied, I could not get out of my seat. I felt comfortably heavy in my chair. But I had to get up because in just 15 minutes I was to deliver my focus workshop. How could I do that while in a semi-trance state??

I did manage to get up and to my room to deliver my session. I had a decent turn out and was initially worried that my audience members might notice that I was a little ‘spaced out’ (literally), but everyone was ready to learn and to play. To this date, I don’t know if I was still in a trance state or just highly relaxed, but it didn’t matter.

We did a 90 minute version of my “Juggle Your Focus” workshop and had conversations about embracing mistakes, focus, priorities and everyone made rapid progress in learning how to actually juggle.

And wouldn’t you know that it turned out to be one of the best sessions that I’ve ever delivered! By that I mean that I felt totally confident as a facilitator knowing that I was giving my participants some solid value and excellent take-aways from the workshop. Everybody received a juggling ball and wrote down what they planned to FOCUS on in the coming days as a result of the learning. For the first time, I did this for myself as well. I told the group that I would focus on slowing down once I got back to Canada. And now that juggling ball is a physical reminder of what I committed to during the session.

Since my return to Canada, my own workshop has helped me make decisions that have benefited me both professionally and personally. And while doing things a little more slowly, I’m finding that I’m cleaning the clutter in my life and getting more meaningful things accomplished. Sometimes we all just need a dose of our own medicine. Have you ever given someone fantastic advise that you couldn’t take yourself? What was that advice? Could you still benefit from it?


This reminds me of a fantastic activity that Mary Harvey took us through in her “Effective Icebreakers” workshop.  She shared super-useful and meaningful activities that we as teachers / facilitators can use in our own organizations. Her energy was fantastic and I learned so much in a short time. The remainder of the conference was packed with other stimulating and practical sessions that I am grateful to have been a part of on this very special weekend.

I suggest that the next time you have an opportunity to attend a conference or event, that you step up your level of participation. Consider taking some of your own advice. If this takes you out of your comfort zone, that’s a good thing because it will mean that you are growing. If this takes you off the planet, even better! Explore that! You will be rewarded with meeting new people who might be able to help move your life or career forward.

Or at the very least, you’ll help improve a new friend’s experience.

Live BIG.

Have you ever found a mistake turned out to be a blessing in disguise? There can be magic in mystery and sometimes there are forces working in your favour that you may not understand and or even resist.

This past week I went on a magical Journey. I attended and presented at the second Journey Creativity Retreat that was held at the mystical Joshua Tree Retreat Centre in California. It was stunning, stimulating and very good for me on so many levels. But I came very close to missing this phenomenal experience.

The Journey Symbol

Last Sunday after about a week of contemplation, my left brain concluded that I had to cancel the trip because I was feeling overwhelmed. It would be a financial challenge to attend as it was an unpaid presentation, Christmas was rapidly approaching, I had a taekwando belt test, my best friend’s birthday was coming up, I needed to finalize my Unexpected Connections Improv Workshop for that conference and I had an upcoming presentation at MoMondays in Toronto.

So on that Sunday it became clear that I had taken on more than I could handle and something had to give. After all, I’d already had the biggest year of my life as a result of my time in South Africa. Despite toiling over the agony of disappointing the organizers, it was the Journey creativity conference that I decided to cut out of my busy December schedule. I no longer felt that it would be the type of conference where I could generate business, and that was initially a major motive for applying to present.

For the first time in my life I purchased flight cancellation insurance. I have an allergy to insurance companies but for some reason had a feeling that the extra $25 would be worth it. So when I finally decided to cancel the trip, it seemed to make sense and I did not expect any problem. I was wrong.


And the ‘cancellation insurance’ only covers things like natural disasters or if the airline has to cancel the flight. A death in the family would also qualify me for the much needed refund.  It was my mistake for not checking the fine print – a common challenge for highly creative individuals. Apparently this is standard for cancellation insurance but it was new to me and boy was I disappointed!

Don’t dance with this guy

On that Sunday, once I saw the above notice, I fell apart. How could I have been so unprepared for something like this? This upset me because it triggered something that made me feel that I have little control over my circumstances. At that time, I really felt that it would be a mistake for me to go but had past the point of no return.

Once I conceded that I had to follow through with it, I decided to make the best of it. As I turned my attention to my upcoming speech on December 17th, I did not have time to look forward to the Journey.

I put all of my energy into this talk and was rewarded with a presentation that I was pleased with, and that had several audience members speaking to me after about how it had positively affected them. With the caring audience of over a hundred people, it was a highlight of the year for me. This is why I am alive.

On December 18th I made the time to celebrate Heather’s birthday with some friends and we had some fun. Just a few hours later, I was at the conference in Joshua Tree, California.

The conference organizers, Bill Olsen and Whitney Ferre opened the Journey Retreat with some introductions and announcements.

I consider myself a very open person, but for the first hour or so I had my guard up. I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. I could not get over how many stunning women there were in the group, and how much everybody was smiling and quite relaxed. It seemed to me as if all of these people had already come from some kind of retreat. What was my problem? This was a much needed pleasant surprise. Less than an hour of being around these relaxed, beautiful people, that guard came down and I was getting engaged in this experience.

The first thing that gave the conference huge value for me was in delivering  my Unexpected Connections workshop to an engaged audience.  Michael and Michelle – professional videographers – recorded my session. They are very skilled at getting testimonials from people who have enjoyed the presentations and I’ll benefit from the PR material that they’ll produce for me. Bonus!

In my first 3 sessions of this Journey, my energy had shifted from apprehensive, to accepting, to enthusiastic and I started to come alive. It was so incredible to have met this tribe of people and to feel instantly that I could speak to just about any of them about anything. The workshops on creativity and spirituality that occurred there, encouraged just that. It was such a safe setting for learning and experiencing.

The Journey world class presenters contributed to these wonderful new experiences:

♥ Awaking at 6.45am to do creative writing with Tim Hurson.
♥ Profound guided meditations and sensory stimulation with Tamera Christensen and Karrie Stafford.
♥ A mental shift with Joe Miguez.
♥ Practical, unconscious exploration through drawing with Jon Pearson
♥ A sensory experience called the “love bath” with Keith Kay and Tiffany Josephs, which was like a mental / physical / emotional therapy session with an excess of loving energy.
♥ Connections with new colleagues at similar stages of their businesses to share resources.
♥ Relaxation in the hot tub every night!
♥ Solid leads for some presenting work in the new year.
♥ An insightful walk through a labyrinth on a vortex with Bob White.
♥ Seeing auras and actually feeling energy for the first time with Nancy Smeltzer – profound!
♥ The beautiful soup that was our collective heightened state of consciousness on December 21, 2012.
♥ Amazing, deep conversations nightly with delicious wine.

There were so many new and incredible experiences packed into these few short days that it was glorious. The benefit to me both personally and professionally for having attended is immeasurable. How did I get here and how did all of this happen? Oh yes, I booked this trip by mistake!!!

I used to think that this spirituality stuff was not that important and that I couldn’t really matter for my business. But this past few days has taught me that I have an obligation to myself and those who I will help in this world to explore and use the unique gifts and abilities of my heart and soul.

I’ve always felt that there was something special inside of me that I could not explain in words, and this Journey confirmed it. Now that I’ve taken the first step to this type of personal discovery the portal is open, and I am starting to walk through it. I am extremely pleased and grateful for this experience. Now how can it get any better than this?

Franca and Karrie enjoy the flight delays

As we all know, the world didn’t end, so now it’s time to move forward. I strongly recommend the Journey Creativity Retreat to anyone looking to do some deep self-exploration or to improve their creativity.  The next time you come down hard on yourself for making a mistake, take a step back and breathe. Calm down and know that it might just be a very magical blessing in disguise.

I am determined to work in Alberta this February, and I will do so. That is why I was working at my new office this past Sunday. I was searching for conferences and events where I might make a good contribution. It’s late in the year to do this for February and the task is time consuming, but it still has to be done.

But the creative animal inside of me knows that this is not the only way to get business.

I needed a break, and cycled down to the Rogers Centre around 4 pm. Thousands of people had gathered from all over Canada to watch and celebrate the 100th Grey Cup. I don’t remember the last time I saw so many painted faces. There was a fellow playing the bagpipes, and abundant festive sounds. The fresh, crisp November air went well with the loud energy of the hordes of people. This year the game was to be the Toronto Argonauts vs. the Calgary Stampeders.

As I’ve often done on the day of major concerts in Toronto, I checked with the box office to see if any tickets remained. And they did! I could get in for $158!? I was not terribly surprised, but was intrigued.

Not a huge football fan, I was interested in watching the game, but had no big plans to do so. I sat down in the “Spot Coffee” cafe right across from the Rogers Centre with the intention of getting deeper into my wonderful book, “Reclaiming Higher Ground”, by Lance Secretan. But almost immediately, a thought came to me,

“How could I get paid to go see this historical event?”

I scribbled out two mind maps. The first one was based on ideas with this written in the centre, “Attend game to earn business in Toronto or Alberta”. To the right are the actual mind maps that I scribbled out while wired on glorious coffee. The second one provided the action and was titled, “What would I do?”. Moments after my pen initially hit the paper, I had a strong feeling that I would probably be doing this stunt. While writing down my ideas – despite the ridiculous feeling to start – I was provided with a positive feedback loop that I believe helped convince me to go for it.

The first step in the “What would I do?” mind map was to, “Ask people in this cafe their thoughts”. I did so, and immediately met my first possible connection. They suggested that I go for it as the risk was only about $200 vs. the unlimited potential gain. Agreed! I had my new speaker One Sheet with me, and one of the professionals there was interested. We are in contact and he may help me find some presenting work. Nice! So this confirmed it for me. Moments later, they saw me enthusiastically waving my plastic ticket in the window of the cafe. I was going into the stadium!

I raced home to prepare for the night’s events bursting with energy and excitement about the task ahead. I quickly changed into my orange suit, and covered up with jeans and a sweater. Equipped with glow-juggling balls, some cash and a stack of business cards, I was ready for action. I raced back to the Rogers Centre and got into gate 11 to find that I was sitting in section 136, and my “obstructed view” seat was GREAT! The only thing that I couldn’t see was the jumbo-tron. No problem.

I settled into my seat as the game began and thought, “Am I really going to clown around with this audience to earn some business?” The first quarter finished and Toronto was leading 7-3. This was good news, but I had not started my work yet.

One very over-priced beer later, I decided I’d better get to it.

My biggest fan

I made my way to the mens room to find a huge line-up and all of the stalls full. With an audience of about 40 football fans, I eventually got the confidence to strip off my sweater and jeans like a superhero to reveal the ridiculous one-piece – bright orange leotard. This thing completely covers my body and I got a few funny looks but unsurprisingly everyone left me alone. I was laughing.

Who does this?

Once I pulled the mask over my face I was in character and it was time to start the show. I started playing with the audience. Heavily photographed and juggling often, I walked down the aisles in unauthorized sections and nobody stopped me. I did some miming and played with kids and adults alike. The suit really does look ridiculous and as it was orange, many people assumed that I was a BC Lions fan. I rolled with it.

Before half time I had earned the business that I’d challenged myself to do and felt amazing! One fellow hired me to perform at some upcoming events.

Investment: recovered
Future opportunities: developing…

Nice job Tony!

For part of the second half I was right down at the 50 yard line. I felt like I was in the centre of the place. When I turned around and looked up, I could see thousands of people. I know that they were not there to see me, but I drank in the eyes who were watching me when I did some performing that night. Audiences this size bring me completely to life. I could get used to this…

My intention was not to busk for money while there, however some people insisted on throwing cash at me. I used to say no to money. Not any more. One fan even slipped $20 into my bag with which I treated myself to another over-priced beer.

This was a delightful event to be a part of for a number of reasons.

  • I got to see Toronto win the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto by a score of 35 – 22.
  • I got to achieve my goal of generating business in the most playful way possible.
  • I had piles of fun and met some great people from all over this amazing country.

The next time you have an impulse to do something a little “out-there” but hesitate, consider creating a mind map or a pros / cons list quickly. Before you know it, you might just find a positive feedback loop encouraging you to live on the edge and to go for what you already know you want to do. Who knows what unexpected connections it might create?

Use your creativity to search for work no matter what field you are in. It does not have to be a chore. You might even find yourself achieving practical goals in front of 50,000 screaming fans having the time of your life!

That’s what I call a good night of work.

Over the next several months I will be writing about unexpected connections. This is because increasingly, I am seeing how profound of an impact they’ve had in my life this year. Now I’m sharing this message with audiences so that they too can benefit.

With deeper reflection, I have seen that most of my life has been a series of unexpected connections. I’ve had a very non-traditional career path, with many ups and downs but the one thing that has been consistent, has been these little unexpected connections.
At times they may have come from a line in a book, or an inspirational quote. Most often they have been something that was said to me by a friend or a stranger. Most of the time I did not see the connection until days or weeks after the message was delivered.
Last week’s unexpected connection comes all the way from New Zealand.

Less than two weeks ago, I got notice that Wayne Morris’s planned 1st annual Creativity Challenge, got the official go ahead for April of 2013. Wayne is the director of Future Edge Ltd, a New Zealand-based consultancy that specializes in applying ‘whole brain’ approaches to leading, learning and creating. I first met Wayne at Toronto’s Mindcamp creativity conference in August 2012 and more recently at ACRE in South Africa. He and his colleagues had been planning this conference for several months, but this was the first official notice that I had received about it.

When I read the news that it was happening I was pleased. I knew how earnestly he wanted to host this major creativity conference. But despite some recent successes, I had some self-doubt welcome me back to Canada and while contacting Wayne, did not think that there was a chance that I could be a part of the upcoming conference. I thought to myself, “How could I have two amazing international conferences happen for me just 6 months apart?”. It seemed too big.

Despite my apprehensive email, Wayne’s response was simple, and provided the unexpected connection:

from Wayne Morris:       “See you in April then!”

“See you in April then??” What? This simple sentence completely changed my perspective. He obviously knew something that I didn’t.
That same night I trouble sleeping due to the excitement that I might somehow be able to make it happen for myself. The wheels were turning.

The idea had traveled in my mind from a distant unlikely scenario to a definite possibility in just a day. Fueled with enthusiasm and delicious food while visiting my loving parents, I put together a proposal and sent it off to Wayne…
… and the very same day, it was approved!
So I’ll be presenting at the 1st Annual Creativity Challenge in New Plymouth, New Zealand late April 2013. And I know that I have a lot to contribute and that it will be another wonderful time for both personal and professional development.

The next time you feel self-doubt creeping in, connect with people who you are close to and who support you. They very often will have a better perspective of your accomplishments and can remind you that you probably have more to offer the world than you think.

I’m loving this journey of unexpected connections. I just can’t wait to see what else comes up between now and then…