Thursday, January 12, 2017

My 3 Words - 2017

Explore Minimize Challage

I am finally getting around to posting my 3 words for 2017. I have been doing this for a few years now and I find it an enjoyable experience. Thinking about the year in terms of words instead of resolutions works better for me. Resolutions seem to be too easy to blow off. The words help me frame the year in an easier way.

Never heard of 3 words? Well it was started by Chris Brogan in 2006.

To help me stay on track I write each word on post it notes for my home office and I write them on my white board for the times I am in the main office.

Here's my 3 words from 2016:


Looking back I could have done a better in all 3 areas, but I did make some head way so that's a good thing.

My 2017 3 words:

Minimize: It's time to start minimizing my life. This applies to all areas; business, personal, home, physical and mental. I have way too much clutter right now. I plan on streamlining everything so that I can live in a more enjoyable state. I am going to focus on living a more minimalist life.

Explore: I am going to look around my surroundings instead of just passing through. I have always been so focused on getting to where I am going I don't always take the time to live in the moment and explore what's around me. This applies to exploring new business opportunities and methods.

Laugh: Wow, I used to laugh a lot. I had a lot of fun in life. Over the years things got more serious and I found myself not having as much fun. Well it's time to stop taking things so seriously and enjoy life to the fullest.

There they are, this year's 3 words.

Did you do 3 words for 2017? I would love hear them.

Friday, January 8, 2016

3 Words - 2016

It's time to write about my 3 words of 2016. This is always a fun way to start the year and it works better than setting a resolution that you won't follow through on.  

Chris Brogan started the 3 words deal back in 2006. It's easy and it works this way: you choose 3 words to help you shape the coming year. See really easy

To review 2015, my words were: 


For the most part I did pretty well with these. At times all three of these were a challenge, but that makes this exercise so worthwhile.  And just because I'm moving to three new words by no means am I going to stop focusing on last year's words.

Here are my 2016 3 Words, in no particular order:

1) Begin: Get started! Man I come up with lots and lots of ideas, concepts etc, but I never really ever actually do anything about it. This year I am going to BEGIN. I will jump into a few of these ideas and just go and see where it takes me.

2) Question: I'm going to ask more questions and gain more knowledge. I used to be better at this and in my younger years. 

3) Calm: Stay calm! Sometimes it is so hard for me remain calm. I am going to live a calmer, peaceful life in 2016. Meditation has really started paving the way for this.

There you have it, my 2016 3 words. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

My 3 words for 2015

Well it's January 9th and I am finally getting around to writing about my 3 words for 2015. I love this exercise and have done it for a few years years now. If you're not familiar with the 3 words concept, it was started by Chris Brogan in 2006, you choose 3 words to help you shape the coming year. 

So since I'm already 9 days late writing this I'm sure you're thinking procrastinate is one of my 3 words...nope that one is too easy and hey I don't procrastinate, too much.

3 words
Here they are, in no particular order:

1) Gratitude: I chose this word because I need to be more grateful for the wonderful people that I have in my life. I find that at times, especially when I'm a little down, I forget just how lucky I am. So in 2015 I am going to focus on being more grateful and showing more gratitude to the people I love.

2) Present: As in live in the present moment, not the past or the future, live for the now. I have wasted so much of my life worrying about things that have happened in the past that I have no longer have control over. Likewise I've spent a lot of time thinking about the future. For example, tomorrow, next week or next year will be better. No more wasting time, I'm going focus on today, this moment. No more "time travel" as James Altucher puts it.

3) Health: In 2014 I underwent a radical diet change which among other things, forced me to give up my favorite beverage: BEER. Yep, I gave up beer.  And lots of other stuff that I absolutely loved. Basically the Doc took away all of my favorite menu items and told me I had to change. It was and has been tough, but it has also been life changing. The process has made me realize that I also need to get healthier in other ways as well. 

There you have it my 3 words for 2015.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Setting Goals and Visualization - How my 8 year old did it

the winning jump
The winning jump
Last week I went to watch my daughters regional track and field meet. She was selected as the only one to represent the Grade 2 girls in the standing long jump. She also made the 4 x 100 relay team.

I was able to catch her standing landing jump event (missed the relay unfortunately). The participants were given a few practice attempts and I noticed that she was jumping very well. Once the event started she was flying. Her 3 jumps were great and she easily won the the Grade 2 Girls standing long jump by a significant margin.

I was obviously very proud of her accomplishments, however I did have a few questions: What goes on in the mind of an 8 year in an event like this? Did she just jump and hope for the best? Or, did she have a specific goal in mind before she jumped? If any of you have an 8 year old you know how hard it is to get any information out of them.

Wow! I was not ready for the answer I got. It absolutely floored me. She said "Daddy I just looked at the crumpled piece on the jumping mat (the crumpled part was approximately 150 cm out, you can see it in the image) and I knew that I had to jump past it". Really? No way. Yep, that's what she did.
She noticed in the practice rounds that she was the only one getting past the "crumpled part" and she set out to jump past it. She set a goal, visualized it and then tried to accomplish it. Hearing this made me even prouder of her accomplishment.

This exchange has definitely made me think about my own goal setting and visualization techniques. It never ceases to amaze me what we can learn for out kids.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My 3 Words for 2014

What it's Jan. 28 already! I've been meaning to write my 3 words for 2014 for...well about 28 days now.

I love the 3 words for the year initiative. I was introduced to this through Chris Brogan's blog  and I believe he started it.

I did my first one last year. For the most part I was successful, although I could have completed more projects, but hey who can't say that.

So here they are (in no particular order):
Morning by the lakeWrite: I want to write more. I really enjoy writing, but I can always find an excuse not to write. I'm not great at it, yet, (and that may be why I don't do it enough) but the only way to get better is to do it more. So in 2014 I am going be writing more.

Empathy: I have been continually trying to improve in this area. In doing so I have been reading a lot on the subject. This year I want to put it into practice. Although this will take some adjustments in my mindset it will be well worth it.

Positive: Staying positive has been something that I have had a trouble with in the past and the small steps I have taken to be more positive have had a profound effect. A few years back I came up with a plan that would forever alter how I start my work week: 52 Mondays. By making Monday an awesome day, the rest of the week is awesome. I am going to build on that to become more positive not only in the work life, but most importantly at home as well.

There you have it, my 3 words for 2014.

Have 3 words for 2014? Share them below.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Take the time to change a life today

Change a life...Now!

Today is a great day to take the time to change a life. Each day I have challenged myself to try to go out of my way at least 3 times to change a life. Usually I have this accomplished by noon, but some days are harder than others. More than 3, sure keep them coming.

The key is to go out of your way to help someone out. It can be something as small as opening a door or something complicated like helping to solve a business problem. Doesn't matter if it is big or small it is truly rewarding to help someone out.

Great thing about changing someone else's life is that it changes yours as well. 

Give it a try, you'll be glad you did. Change a life today...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Flexibility, Honda Canada and Twitter

A few weeks back I had to take my Honda in for an oil change. I like to take my car to the dealership to get this done. Lakeshore Honda has a fast lube, quick lube or whatever they call it. Anyway I know what you're thinking 'dealership for an oil change'? Yeah, so what I like them, it costs a little more but I feel better about it. I once had a really bad experience with a quick lube type place, dude "forgot" to tighten the nut on the oil pan. Needless to say I had no oil a few days later.

So back to this story, when they were checking my car it turned out that my battery was shot. Yep a 3 year old battery done, kaput, needed replacing. The kind gentleman who runs the joint informed me of my misfourtune and gave me a price. I hummed and hawed about it and decided to get it changed. It then occurred to me check my warranty. It stated that between year 2 and 3 Honda covers 50% of the battery cost. Cool, I don't think I have had this car for more 3 years.

I had the guy check my warranty and guess what? Yep, I was TWO DAYS passed the 3 year mark. I said, dude come on 2 days. He said his hands were tied but I could check with service advisor at the dealership.

I walked over to the dealership and spoke with the guy there, great guy by the way, and he said... you guessed it... nothing he could do, but he gave me a number to call at Honda Customer Service. I did mention that I have leased through Honda for 8 years, didn't matter. To paraphrase, he had no flexibility on warranty issues, company policy. 2 DAYS! $50. Wow.

As you can imagine I'm pissed. Not about the $50, but about the lack of flexibility on the 2 days. I decided to tweet to see if that would help:

I then called Honda and got routed to some guy in warranty, who was not really very nice, and told me that I was talking to the wrong guy and that there was zero flexibility with warranty issues. He went on about how if they did something for me they would have do it for others etc blah, blah etc. I don't care about that, I care about me and my 2 days. 2 days is not 2 months. A $50 battery is not a $5000 transmission.

I finally ended speaking the guy who I was supposed to and he was very abrupt and not really very compassionate to my plight. In the end he did offer a $50 cheque for my troubles, but did say he was doing me a favour (or something along those lines). I was satisfied, not happy, but satisfied.

My issue was with the process and my awful customer experience. How could a company that I have paid lots and lots of money to for over 8 years, one that I was really, really considering for my next vehicle, care so little?

What next? I did what any good consumer in 2013 would do, I Tweeted again about the my absolutely awful customer experience and how it was handled:

I guess they were monitoring Twitter, because within 10 minutes I received a message to call them back as they had reviewed my situation. I was shocked and called right away. The rep mentioned that he saw my Tweet and that I wasn't too happy with him.  I explained that it wasn't just him it was the whole experience. Well, they had decided to refund me the entire cost of the battery plus installation. Wow! That was awesome. I was very impressed:

This all could've been avoided had they been just a little flexible, give me my $50 warranty for the battery and I leave the dealership happy. But by treating every situation the same and not trusting their employees (at the dealership) to do the right thing, they ended up having to cover their assess and make it up to a long term customer.

At least they saved the situation, and I am once strongly considering Honda for next vehicle.

Is your company flexible? Do you give your employees the abilty to make decisions? A consumer shouldn't have to make things public on Twitter before they get satisifaction.

Well there is my long winded stroy about how Twitter helped me get results and helped Honda keep a customer.

And by the way the cheque that was going to take 4- 6 weeks to arrive, came yesterday.