by Contributed - Story: 104131
Dec 6, 2013 / 5:00 am
Dec 6, 2013 / 5:00 am
Recently I recorded a video series for my keynote speaking business. It was called from Faith to Future.
In one of the episodes, I talked about the concept of using hard work to get out of a difficult situation. While I was recording it, I was thinking about my grandmother.
Like many of your grandparents perhaps, she has lived through some tumultuous times. Born just at the end of the First World War, she grew up with very little. Happy, but with little reward. In that era, friendships meant everything. Material objects held lower value and the concept of struggle was commonplace.
She lost her first husband when my Father was a little over a week old. That was during the Second World War. She moved in with her mother but at that time, two women could not live together because the war effort required women to work in the munitions and aircraft factories of the Midlands.
It was while she was working on one of the aircraft that she received a proposal of sorts from her second husband. Albert Bates asked her in a typical Midland fashion “What’s up m’duck?”. After a brief conversation he gave her some money and told her to head down to the Registry office and buy a marriage license. I guess nobody knew how much time you would have to enjoy each other's company, particularly when you lived in Coventry so as the saying goes, strike while the iron is hot.
Finally, after she married, she was able to bring my father down to the Midlands and raise him as her son.
I have had a very close relationship with my Grandmother. We have done a lot of work together. My whole family is used to working hard and as I look around, I wonder whether hard work is a vanishing art!
I talk in my keynotes about the concept of working smart. Many books have been written about using other people’s money instead of your own, about making money by doing very little from other people’s efforts. In my Grandmother’s younger days that would have been viewed with disdain. Today it is commonplace.
The desire for instant gratification and “smart work” is so prevalent that we often confuse priorities. While I haven’t always been able to abide by it, it is wise to “dig your well before you are thirsty”. Perhaps we need to reinvigorate the concept of “hard work”. I witness too many people not showing up for work because they don’t feel well or they have something that hurts.
I don’t think my Grandmother took many days off work, I don’t think there was a choice during the War effort. Could plain old fashioned hard work be something that is changing in this new world?
by Contributed - Story: 103649
Nov 29, 2013 / 5:00 am
Nov 29, 2013 / 5:00 am
Recently, people have been asking me about my recent Stand Up Paddle adventure around the entire Okanagan Lake. Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote with a link at the end to the complete article - enjoy!
My stare is fixated on the water in front of me as I wonder if this is what an LSD induced trance feels like. I am mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of patterns appearing on the surface, constantly changing and distracting me from my task. The silence was deafening and I found myself for a brief moment, lost inside my inner cortex, deep within a complex web of electrical pathways and synapses. The patterns were continually morphing into yet another “trip” inducing screen-saver right in front of my very eyes.
All of a sudden, I caught myself and regained my balance just before I fell off my paddleboard to get another soaking!
I am on Okanagan Lake, and this is the penultimate day of my latest adventure, the first one in Canada for a long time. Typically I travel overseas to climb mountains, scare myself racing motorbikes or cars through deserts or generally have a lot of fun doing what some people deem to be slightly crazy.
This time however, I was in my own back yard. I have lived in Peachland with my family for 12 years now. It is a place I love to come back to as I travel the globe in search of more donors for our charity. We have a “lazy” acreage in the hills above the lake, it is a quiet respite for me to be able to recover from the most recent adventure. It never takes very long before I turn the whole house into mayhem again, planning the next adventure.
I had explored some of the local lakeshore in the past but to my knowledge nobody had paddled around the entire perimeter of the lake before on a paddleboard. It never was my plan either, but now I find myself here, somewhere between Naramata and Peachland heading for the ominously titled Rattle Snake Island. The steep cliffs on the east shore tower above me as I admire the reflection in the mirror calm water today. Even more ominously, Rattle Snake Island is rumoured to host the underground home of the rather shy but reportedly large Ogopogo, our domestic equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster. Thankfully, there has been no sign of the Ogopogo for the past few days on our trip.
This adventure started about a year ago. I met Peter Dodenhoff, a local Paddleboard instructor and enthusiast. I introduced myself and asked if he knew any paddleboarders who would like to accompany me on a swim around the lake (nobody had done that either)! I needed some “outriders” to keep boats away from me as I attempted to be the first person to swim around the lake. I had never tried paddleboarding before and so Peter suggested I come out and give it a try before I commit to swimming.
My first real paddleboard experience was an unexpected downwind run in a Force 6 wind from Peachland to Kelowna. I have no idea how many times I fell in. The freak winds came out of nowhere at the same time as some idiot had dropped a cigarette but in a parking lot 500m from my house and sparking the biggest fire Peachland has seen in many years. As I looked back and saw vast amounts of smoke spewing onto the lake in a fiercely strong Katabatic flow, I could only wonder if my family was okay and hope that when I finally got to Kelowna, I would be able to contact them somehow... for now I had to focus on surviving the next 13 kilometres in what appeared to me to be gigantic waves!
Interestingly after that slightly epic paddle, I was hooked. Out of that experience was borne, the SUP4Life. A charitable paddle adventure around Okanagan Lake together with my new friend, Peter Dodenhoff.
For the rest of the article, follow this link http://markjenningsbates.com/stand-out/
by Contributed - Story: 103155
Nov 22, 2013 / 5:00 am
Nov 22, 2013 / 5:00 am
I was looking for inspiration for this week's column when I met somebody who said to me Vancouver has a band called “Doorknobs”. Interesting, I thought and I asked what kind of music do they play, I like the name... “No, Vancouver has banned door knobs!” Well that was a little different. Something had just come over the newswire apparently and Vancouver is banning door knobs.
As it turns out, this was in fact, not the correct assumption. Somebody in some office somewhere in the world has actually studied door knobs quite a lot. So much so that they have recommended they be banned. Vancouver as it happens has the ability to do just that by controlling its own building bylaws whereas most municipalities are not in the same position. Vancouver it turns out is the first community to create this rather strange bylaw that will prevent any buildings built in the City to have no door knobs. Not just their either, everybody’s homes. In my mind I was still thinking that the door must swing in both directions and have kick plates at the bottom and I wondered if the savings for not having a door knob were enough to offset the cost of triage for all the broken noses that will be walking into medical clinics.
Silly me. It turns out the levers are in, and knobs are out.
It wouldn’t all be so ridiculous if it wasn’t for the fact that on November 19th, it was World Toilet Day (I had no idea about that either).
I think very few people knew anything about World Toilet Day, me included. The sad thing is that it is incredibly important that we all know about World Toilet Day since 2.5 Billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation. Every 20 seconds a child dies because of water borne diseases. In reality, very little money was probably spent on World Water Day.
By contrast, somebody somewhere has decided that as we age or if we are physically challenged, we cannot get into the loo because we cannot grip the handle, or at least we are not going to be able to. It makes me wonder how my great grandparents ever managed without levers! The money spent on researching, discussing and eventually implementing a bylaw to ban door knobs to your loo seems incredibly out of proportion to the time that should be invested in discussing sanitation solutions for almost 1/3 of the planet!
If you want to find out more about World Toilet Day, take a look here: http://worldtoiletday.org/
If you want to donate to a charity that is working hard to fix the problem, look here: http://www.rally4life.org
by Contributed - Story: 102581
Nov 15, 2013 / 5:00 am
Nov 15, 2013 / 5:00 am
I think we are all aware that winning is a habit. Do you remember that person at school - always on the honour roll, a permanent fixture on all the top sports teams and to boot, given a place on the Provincial or National team also? Like you, I always wondered what drove those types of people to an uber-competitive lifestyle.
What I have learned in my own endeavours is that winning has a lot to do with consistency. We can get thrown off course a little by reading the headlines about a person getting an award or winning an event. In reality, you don’t have to win anything to come first.
Okay, so that sounds a little confusing, but follow my train of thought here.
At the end of the day, we all have an objective to achieve something. Whether it be our personal life, a goal for a relationship or an athletic endeavour. The one take away I want to leave you with from this article is that consistency is the key. Now importantly, with consistency you create a habit, and remember the first paragraph - winning is a habit.
Consistency in the way you train, prepare, the amount of time you dedicate to a project and the amount of research you commit to, all create positive habits.
What consistency leads to is a culture of improvement. It can be viewed a little like a gym membership. With physical training, the commitment to the routine, the consistency, is more important than the intensity of the occasional work out. Winning is the same. Consistently applying the same principles over and over again can help you win your objective.
My experience in rally driving is what created the basis for this article. On two occasions I have won the Western Canada Rally Championship and yet, I have never stood in first place on a podium for a race. Many, many times I have come second. Am I frustrated. Not really because I understand the power of consistency. I know the limitations of my vehicle and my skills and I know I can battle for second. I have to be lucky to get first. The great news is that if I consistently place second I can win a championship... how cool is that. If you are a REALTOR® or a sales person in any industry, do you realize that you can win major national awards without ever being recognized in your office on a monthly basis. That is right, you too, can win big by coming second!
Read more The Accidental Journey articles
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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