Tag Archives: thought of the day

Thought for the Day: Building a Foundation

Building a Foundation

My thought of the day is based on a conversation I had with someone over the weekend. When you’re down in the dumps and feeling in a rut, that’s the hardest time to think about your future – but it’s the best time. I think of it like creating a building. You dig the hole to place the foundation. The deeper the foundation, the stronger the building.

So, while you might not NEED to feel bad to build a foundation for the future, if you’re down in a hole, you might as well get started on laying a foundation for a bigger, brighter, taller future.

While I’m not in a big hole, lately I’ve been in a bit of a pot hole. I’ve decided to make the most of it and am taking serious steps to make for a better future. As a side benefit, building that foundation for a better future does wonders for helping to lift you out of that hole.

Define your Endgame


I had a bit of a realization tonight. It’s not a complicated one, but it’s still a valuable one for me.

I tend to be unhappiest with my free time when I feel that I am wasting my time, and I feel like I am wasting my time when I’m not moving towards any of my personal goals.

This isn’t to say that I can’t enjoy a quiet day of reading or relaxing out in the sun. However, today I had a change in plans that left me with a few free hours that I hadn’t accounted for. For the first hour, I did nothing with the time, and my agitation dramatically increased as a result. Then, I finally clued in as to why I was annoyed, and changed gears and got some stuff done.

I think I need to connect more frequently with what I want my endgame to be – what I want to be the end results of my actions. I recall when I used to do orienteering as part of scouting. It was a good idea to take your bearings occasionally and make sure you were on the right heading. I think continuing to define (and evolve) my endgame will be a key to keeping on the right heading and getting to where I want to go.

Let’s face it, we live in a world with constant distractions. It’s would be incredibly easy to spend every night doing nothing (often in the form of keeping a couch warm while watching television). There’s nothing wrong with enjoying TV, but if it’s not helping you towards your goal, maybe you and I should be turning our televisions off, checking our bearings, and getting back on the right heading.

What tools do you use to keep your focus on your goals? Is it a vision board, a rigid to-do list, or something else entirely?

Thought of the Day for Work: Getting out and Learning


As part of my ongoing exploration of career growth and learning more about myself, I’ve decided to try and get out and learn more after work.

Frankly, it amazes me all of the talks and learning opportunities that are offered after 5pm in Toronto. Yesterday, I had the chance to attend DevTO, an organization for Toronto developers and people working with (or interested in) technology.

It was a free event, and they gave out food, so I didn’t even need to buy dinner. The net cost was only a few hours of my time, but the benefits were incredible. I got to listen to two talks from interesting people in the field of technology trends and open information, and I had the opportunity to meet a number of other fascinating people and enjoy some great conversations.

DevTO puts presentations up online as well, so you can learn even if you can’t make it to an event.

So, my first time time to DevTO was a success. I’ll definitely be going again. Do you attend any events after work where you live?

Thought for the Day on Happiness and Feeling Good

I had a theory when I started this website about the relationship between my physical condition and my level of mental fitness. That’s one of the reasons that I experiment so much with things that increase my energy and physical fitness.

Today was a great example of that for me. Mentally, I felt great, but I felt sub-par physically. And, while it didn’t happen immediately, the physical state gradually started to outweigh my mental state until I felt less than great overall.

I find thoughts like this fascinating, as I frequently suffer from VERY mild weather headaches, ones that I hardly notice, but they just impact my focus slightly. I often ignore these minor physical aches and pains, but I wonder how much they impact my sense of well-being and my decision-making ability. I know that a stabbing back ache impacts me seriously, but how much does a minor soreness impact my ability to function at my best?

This line of thinking is leading me to ponder redesigning my experiments. I design them at a week each, but I’m finding that those experiments don’t lead to me fundamentally changing my life. I’m wondering about strategies that would lead to longer-term changes, and a better sense of physical well being.

How much do you find small aches and pains impacting your ability to function in day-to-day life?

Life Lessons from Flo Rida

There was no post yesterday because I was lucky enough to win tickets to the launch party for Blackberry 10 (and a pretty sweet new phone). It was a fun night, and there are lots of happy thoughts to be found in it about reconnecting with friends and such. There were also lots of crazy fun things that happened.

The craziest part of the night was that I learned a life lesson from the musical guest, Flo Rida.

(If you don’t know who Flo Rida is, here’s his Wikipedia page)

Flo Rida was the surprise musical guest of the night. So, none of the people in the room really knew he was coming. I imagine this is quite different from a standard contest, where everyone has purchased a ticked specifically to see him.

So, Flo Rida entered. The room wasn’t hostile, but it wasn’t terribly excited. There were a LOT of people holding up phones and videotaping the show, but they weren’t dancing or shouting and singing along. It would have been easy for Flo Rida to put forth a mediocre performance for a mediocre crowd. But instead, he gave it 100% energy. It was obvious that he was singing, dancing and performing his heart out up on that stage. He even got out into the audience and started dancing with people. He and his performing group worked up quite the sweat.

By the end of the show, the crowd weren’t all rabid Flo Rida fans, but they were definitely warmer. A number of people had started dancing and singing along too.

So, by giving his performance a full and honest effort, Flo Rida might not have won over the entire room, but he did get a lot of respect and he made a few extra fans.

That was my life lesson and it was my thought for the day: even if you might not win, give it your all anyway. Winning isn’t always a either/or situation. Sometimes you can have a host of small wins that add up to bigger ones in the future. Those fans that Flo Rida made might show up at another of his shows in the future, helping turn the small victory into a bigger one.

Are you giving mediocre performances to the mediocre crowds in your life? Is there anyone you could dazzle by exceeding their expectations?

Also, I’ve been reading a bit more on yoga these days. I think I might head back to practicing more regularly. Here is a thought from my friend Cheryl on one of her favourite yoga mantras – Aham Prema.

Thought of the Day for Work: Hitting the Reset Button

Well, if you’ve been following along my blog posts from last week, you know that it was a tough one for me.

Last week was a bit of a comedy of errors at points, and now that it’s Sunday night, I need to be able to turn that around.

I’ve found that one of the best talents to have in life is your ability to hit the reset button – to let go of all the feelings associated with a past week and start fresh the next week.

Through far too many mistakes, I’ve discovered that I am often my the architect of my own problems. My mindset self-sabotages me as I go forward because I don’t let go of what’s happened.

So, on this Sunday night, my goal is to learn from my mistakes and then let them go. I will approach this new work week with an open mind and open heart. I’ve always found that to be the best way to approach life in general (and the way to have the most interesting adventures).

Do you have any rituals to start a work week? How do you leave behind a tough week and start fresh?

Thought of the Day – Everything in Moderation

It’s realizations like this that help reinforce my belief that the universe has a highly developed sense of irony.

For the last week or so I’ve been really enjoying the fact that I’m busy and productively occupied.

However, it seems that when I get busy, I forget to balance it out by taking care of myself. This week was no exception. I was busy writing and working, swimming in a sea of incredible opportunities while eating poorly and getting nowhere near enough healthy sleep and exercise.

Yup, ignore your body enough and it punishes you.

So, this weekend I’ve been working harder to take care of myself again.

Next week I’ll even go back to my happiness experiments. I’m planning on a combination experiment involving 2 previously successful ones to see if the benefits scale up appropriately.

So, it’s a bit of a tough realization to get hit with the fact that I can undermine my own success through neglecting my own health like this, but hopefully it’s a realization that will lead me to change!

Thought of the Day: Be a Moving Target

Think back to your days of youth playing dodgeball. Is it easier to hit a person who was standing still, or one that’s moving?

The person who was moving was ALWAYS harder to hit.

So, you need to ask yourself, in a crazy world where things can be flipped on their head on a daily basis, what are you doing to stay ahead of the curve and to keep moving?

Quote for the Day

Sometimes, I find that having an inspirational quote is a key helper to staying on the top of your game. This leads to my quote for the day.

It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.

Isaac Asimov

Lately I’ve been facing a few challenges.

First and foremost, what to do with my next experiment!

Second, my course at Coursera. Even when my class is free, I still get caught up in distractions.

Third, it’s been a few months since I’ve been to hot yoga.

So, boldly facing my challenges, I’ve been planning my next experiment, and studying like heck for my course.

My experiment is the easier part. It seems sleep has proven to be a key to many of my bad habits. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I snack more when I’m sleep deprived, and I spend more on snacks. Sleep deprivation, amongst it’s other sins, is not a good thing for my health, weight, or finances!

As to the studying, I need to get off the blog and hit the books again! Being a student is more work than I remember!

Thought of the Day: What would you say if the world was listening?

Have you ever heard of the listserve?

It’s something that’s been amazing me recently. A lot of people got together and are all on the same list. Every day, someone gets the chance to send an email out to the entire list, which is currently over 21,000 people.

Okay, 21,000 people isn’t the whole world, but it’s an impressive number all the same.

So, the thought of the day is, what would you say to 21,000 people?

I haven’t been chosen to send an email yet, but I have had a chance to witness some amazing things. Some people share things that make you laugh, others share things that overwhelm you or inspire you. Sometimes, it’s just a shared recipe.

A part of me is excited to think that I might be randomly chosen one day to write to all those people, and another part of me is terrified.

We shall have to see what the future holds!