tiny little things


We all love big moments.

We love stories of momentous transformation. Rags to riches. Overcoming addiction. Massive weight loss. Finding the courage to walk away from an abusive relationship. Stories that make us pause and reflect on our own lives. Stories that give us hope. Adventures that give us as a reason to change.


Those momentous moments are extremely rare, and upon some analysis, often do so very little in our lives.

They bear no lasting impact. Produce very little change. Influence and move us to do nothing. Achieve a mouse’s fart of energy.

The momentous moments are very nice, of course, and we should pause once in a while, to reflect on them, but it’s the tiny little things, the insignificant moments in our life, that will have a deeper and more lasting effect on your life. Far more than you might care to believe or give them credit.

Those tiny little things.

Those tiny little decisions.

One less cigarette. One less beer. Or one less cup of coffee.

A small French Fry instead of the usual large or medium. A ten-minute walk. A quick and unimaginative text message, to someone who’s voice you haven’t heard in a very, very, long time.

Perhaps a new book. A new album you’ve never heard. A conversation with a random stranger.

How about distancing yourself from a verbal or digital confrontation? Turning away from complaining? How about being silent and not saying what you’re really thinking?

What about having a little patience with yourself? Giving yourself a chance to breathe. A chance to be forgiven. An opportunity to try again. A chance to rest. A moment to forget. A little instant to remember.

Trust the little things.

They come and go so quickly. They appear suddenly. Uninvited and they leave without permission or without uttering a sound.

But there is no need to chase after them. No need to be sad at their departure. Unlike the big moments we always gather to stare at, little things, come and go, all the time.

The next one is just around the corner.

The next tiny little moment, is practically at your beck and call. And all you have to do, is to decide, and go out to greet it. Embrace it. Reach for it. Find it.

You are the only one that can meet that moment. You are a tiny little thing too.

Don’t expect an invitation.

Don’t expect angels announcing any arrivals. Don’t expect the Magi, or the star from the East. But do expect greatness from yourself.

Expect it, because there is tremendous dignity in being who you are. Despite the fact that you’ve left some parts of your life a bit dormant, for a bit too long.

You’re a bit dusty, me thinks. A touch stale and musty.

It’s time for a change.

A little change. A tiny, calculated movement, towards something new.

No matter what you do however, remember, that there is always another chance. Another moment. Another turn. Another opportunity, and you don’t need a formal invitation.

No matter what you do, you can always return. You can come back, time and time again.

You can return to your life amongst the tiny, little things, and that’s because life has hidden her mysteries, in those tiny, little things.

So, have a beautiful day.

Full of insignificant tiny little moments. Unaccounted. Unobserved opportunities, that show you who you are and desire to be.

If the whole world is too big of a place, perhaps you can reveal yourself to someone you love. Someone that would really love to steal a moment of your time.

A moment of time.

Such a tiny, insignificant, little thing.


false humility


You’re as humble as they come. Humble to a fault. But at least you’re not like those other people, who are thumbing their way into heaven.

You’re different.


A realist.

Prone to sudden and unexpected gusts of optimism. Rare indeed, I agree, this optimism of yours, but with all the talk about climate change these days, how could you be any different?

You take great pride in knowing the truth. In understanding the world for what it is and as it happens. Unflavoured. Unseasoned. Just as it is.

You won’t listen to anyone. Because you already know.

You know exactly why you’re so miserable. Unsuccessful. Always tired. Pushing that heavy rock up the mountain.

You learned a long time ago that people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They’re just lucky. They’ve been given all the breaks. Given all their talents, while you were left wanting.



And they those people have armed themselves with a cunning ability to lie and seduce others, in order to get their way. To get what they want and couldn’t possibly deserve.

You’re different.

You won’t stoop to their level. You know you’re worth.

Your false humility won’t let you see the world the way others see it.

You’ve struggled. You’ve overcome much. You paid your dues. Faced adversity head on. Kicked life right in the balls.

You deserve so much more. So much more.

You can’t understand why things haven’t worked out. Why you’re not rich and famous. Why people are constantly blind to your genius and your ingenuity.

This baffles you. Frustrates you. Angers you, if we may be honest.

But through it all, you remain your quiet, hidden. Your best humble self.

And for what?

Is it worth holding on and dying with your illusions?

Is it important to be right?

To refuse to accept change?

You’re so afraid to fail.  You fear your future and you cry yourself to sleep, as you look back and can’t help but regret the past.

If you don’t mind me saying. Your ass is so wound up so tight, that with a decent lump of coal, and in a few unspoken minutes, you’re able to produce the world’s purest diamond.

You have so much potential.

So much knowledge.

You’re endowed with so much inner and outer beauty and grace. So much life and love yet to give, yet you abandoned your dreams long ago, by the side of the road, like a smoked, unwanted, discarded cigarette.

You need some divine arrogance in your life.

You need some pride.

This false sense of humility that you wear like a mask, disguising your unseen pride, will only lead you to an early grave. Long before it’s your time. Unnecessarily. Sadly. You will die of a broken heart.

It’s time that you sing your song. Write your verse. Bake that fresh batch of raisin oatmeal cookies.


Forget your humility.

Embrace your humanity.

Fill your mornings with dreams. Abandon yourself at midday to your plans. Spend the night learning and making mistakes, while you ponder how this all fits together.

There is a place in this world for all of us. There is a need for all of us.

We are an insignificant speck of dust, but an imperative grain of a vast desert.

Don’t waste your energy, proving the false reality, you refuse to let go.

It hasn’t served you well.

Stand in arrogance, and dare to be, who you once dreamed to be.


weekend quotable no. 59


“As a child my family’s menu

Consisted of two choices:

Take it or leave it”.

Buddy Hackett


Two choices.

Take it or leave it.

Do it or don’t do it.

Yes or no.

This level of childlike simplicity is the key to accomplishing everything.

We are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the many choices that push themselves upon our consciousness and demand our attention. We are easily frustrated by the seemingly infinite number of steps, we think we must understand first, before we can get started, or keep going.

We complicate things. We overthink things. We flinch.

I remember seeking advice from my friends, when I weighed a pudgy 337 pounds. I asked them, if I should weight train with dumbbells or exercise with machines. If I should perform low reps or high reps. If I should split my routine this way or that way. If I should exercise in the morning, or in the evening.

They had loving pity for me.

Look, they said.

Don’t overcomplicate things.

You’re fat.

You need to lose weight and as far as we’re concerned, anything will work.

Stop asking questions and do something.

Pick up any object within reach. Light or heavy and drop it on the floor. Bend your fat body and pick it up. Repeat.

Repeat until you get tired.

Do it every day.

That’s it.

Do anything. Do everything. Do something.

That is the menu of happiness.

Take it or leave it.


weekend quotable no. 58


“Truth that costs nothing is a lie”.

Kś. Jerzy Popieluszko


Like a piece of wood that burns in a fire to provide warmth for us, so it is with truth. Either we are willing to bear its demands and cost, or it is nothing more than a lie.

Lies are somewhat easier to embrace.

Easier to believe. Easier to consume. Easier to spread.

But truth.

Truth is the only thing, that lasts and endures forever.

But there is a cost for truth.


Truth rejects all short cuts and requires much time and effort. She requires constant failure. A perpetual, relentless effort of trial and error. Truth is very demanding. She requires living our lives, unapologetically, and meaningfully.

Truth will cost us much time.

Because life cannot be fooled. She knows the difference between speaking and asking, glancing and seeking, and between timidly tapping and knocking.

Life knows if you have insufficient funds. She knows if you are living your life on credit. She will not eagerly hand you the truth, like adults hand out candy at Halloween.

The pursuit of truth is a journey. A long journey. A journey that will cost you the inconvenience of time, and much enduring effort.

Don’t look at the cost. There is much to be paid if you’re living a lie.

Ask for truth, and she will reveal herself.

Seek her, and you will find her.

Knock and the door will open.

In time. With patience. And a little more time.


human leeches


Beware of human leeches!

Because they are dangerous and hungry. No matter of the time of year.

They grow restless often. They are tireless, so give this warning some thought, and let it become, your official happiness safety alert.


The people in your life, want to steal your time. Steal your enthusiasm. Sap your generosity. Abscond with your joy, and flee with your smile.

Stay alert.

Guard yourself against their misguided blood sucking traps.

Avoid them at all costs, if you can, but if you can’t, limit the time you let them cling to your skin.

I don’t believe that they consciously mean us harm. I think we vet our friends and colleagues well. We’re not blind or stupid. We’re not ignorant, or extend our friendship too. We don’t share ourselves with just anyone, so I think, for the most part, we’re very good at who we spend our time with. That doesn’t seem to be the issue.

The problem is, that most people have a habit of looking for and creating problems in their life. If they don’t see any, they invent them. They design new problems. Create immediate concerns. Entangle themselves in seemingly unsolvable dilemmas.

And they want you by their side. Their Doctor Watson, as they resume their role as Sherlock Holmes.

They want your blood.

They want it, and they will seduce you to help them.

It only takes a handful of innocent little questions or prompts, and you will suddenly find yourself involved, in helping them solve their self-made and often only imagined crisis.

They are not malicious, but swimming with them, and their problems, definitely is.

If you stay in that stale water for too long, or choose to swim in that river too often, you will grow weak, tired, and become colourless. You will take on problems, and make them your own. Problems that pose you no concern. Issues you will soon lose sleep over, but have no conceivable ability to ever hope to solve.

It’s a serious problem.

You have to protect yourself against these human leeches. They have a tendency hang on tight. They have a bad habit of seeking you out.

You need to treat them as you would a dead-end road. The sooner you turn back, the more time you can hope to redeem.

You can’t ignore them. That’s an unrealistic solution.

They are in your life for a reason. They are not bad people. They simply find a way to suck the energy and life out of your very existence.

You need to get them off your skin, for your sake, and their own.

Perhaps you need to find somewhere else to be. Eat lunch alone. Arrive late. Leave early. Bring work home.

Try to keep your answers short. Your temper long. Respect yourself and your time. Stay away from them, without being transparent.

Don’t engage their drams, it all too often only leads to gossip and misunderstanding.

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, either.

Sometimes you need to tell them exactly how you feel. Don’t be afraid to offend them. Don’t be afraid of letting them know that their concerns, are not your own.

Burning off the human leeches won’t be easy, but if you don’t, your state of mind will be worse. You’ll drown, in their pool of water.

Your life gives you plenty of concern. You have plenty of problems that challenge you to grow.

You don’t need any more.

Especially those shameful, dangling little blood suckers, that have no business being there in the first place.

Beware the dead-end street.

Check your body for leeches.


fail better


Toastmaster Speech

Title: Fail Better

Delivered on Wednesday, January 19th, 2018 (in Oshawa, Ontario)


“Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better”.

Samuel Beckett


Failure is such a natural act of being human, but you wouldn’t know it, based on how we run and hide from our mistakes.

Everything we do involves failure.

Everything we have ever done, that ever mattered, involved making a mistake.

I think as the new year begins, we need to get over ourselves a little, and learn to embrace our failures.

We need to fail better.

What do you think?

We were born helpless. Truly helpless.

It took a well-educated, extremely qualified doctor, to slaps us on our ass, because otherwise, we would not have had the wherewithal to take our very first breath.

As babies, whatever anyone put in front of us, we stuck in our mouth.

Big. Small. Sour. Sweet. Cold or warm. No matter. If we could reach it, we had a taste of it. Without fear. Without judgement. Without hesitation.

It went in our mouth.

We had so much to learn, so much fun, and failure was an acceptable risk.

No big deal. Like breathing.

Failure was fantastically fascinating.

We had no bladder control, and while our diapers helped a bit, someone had to be kind enough to wipe our posterior, every time we made a stinky.

Someone had to feed us. Burp us. Change us. Comfort us. Dress us. Move us. And put us to sleep.

We failed a lot.

We failed often.

We failed better.

It’s all we knew how to do. Mistakes were part of a whole, not the reason to give up, or never attempt something in the first place.


But what happened?

How did we forget how unquestionably happy we were, and in the midst of all that failure?

Sadly, we got educated.

We took in instruction to the contrary.

Our formal education happened.

We began to take guidance from our failures in the schoolyard, and we observed the consequences when others made mistakes.

It is there that we began to accept how wretched it is to fail.

How weak we are. How much we don’t know. How much we need. How much we have to change, in order to just fit in for a brief moment. So, we can pretend to be happy, and that everything will be fine.

But we were already happy.

We didn’t need to know what we know now.

So, what happened?

Schools were artificially inseminated in the industrial age.

They continue to be nothing more than an extension of the factory.

Schools were designed to create competent factory workers. I know a bit about this because I work in a modern one. A school system that has become a bit more modern and spacious these days, but at the core, still remains a sewer system for factory work.

Teachers college was called the ‘Normal School’.


Normal, as in right. As in what was needed at the time. What was desirable. What could be rewarded with a minimum wage.

Failure was abnormal. Making mistakes was wrong. Undesirable and punishable.

Is it any wonder we lost our happiness? Is it any wonder we have forgotten our childhood ability to fail?

To fail better?

But we can get it back.

We need to fail better.

A 30 second commercial during the SuperBowl in 2017 would have cost you $4.5 million dollars.

That’s $150,000 per second.

Money Magazine investigated the power and tangible reach of SuperBowl ads and they concluded that 90% of all the viewers had no intent of ever buying anything they saw in one of those commercials.


What a colossal failure and a waste of money.

But consider for a moment if your Doritos commercial did make an impact with only the mistaken, insignificant 10% of the viewers.

Let’s do the math.

About 115 million people watched the 2017 SuperBowl and so ten percent of that, would equal about 11.5 million people.

Now let’s assume that our Doritos commercial did the very least. Each person only bought one bag of our delicious Doritos, during the whole year, and they totally forgot we ever existed.

11.5 million people, buying a bag of potato chips, at $3 a bag, would give us a gross income of $34 million dollars. Once we figure out our practical costs, that’s still a lot of zeros.

Failure can have a huge payoff it seems.

The highest paid position player in Baseball earns between $20 and $30 million dollars a season and manage to have a batting average of above .300.

The minimum salary for a baseball player is $507,500.

On average the lowest paid position players have a batting average of .250.

As a way of comparison. If you went up to bat 1000 times and hit the ball 300 times, you would be signing many autographs and living the life. If you hit the ball 250 times, you may be looking for another job.

50 balls in play. 162 games in a season. That’s only one extra hit, every three games.

And each hit is worth $600,000.

You can double your salary, if you only hit one extra ball, one extra time.

So, let’s not hide from making mistakes, let’s learn to fail better.

We have to relearn how to fail. Get comfortable making mistakes. We need to embrace the quest to try and try again. Fail and fail again.

We have to become children again.

We have to learn how to fail better.

Fail better.

I’m too old. I’m too busy. I’ve tried that once. I’ve tried it a thousand times.

I’m not really athletic. I’m not artistic. I hate math. I’m a horrible speller. I can’t remember. I don’t like speaking in front of people.

Maybe when my kids are grown. When I retire. When I find some time. Maybe, after a bit more practice. Maybe someday. Maybe one day. When it feels right.

But what if they laugh at me?

And what if they do? Your attitude towards failure, is the biggest mistake of our life.

It’s not your actual failure that holds you back.

It’s your fear of failure.

So, let’s follow the advice of the wise, Irish playwright.

Ever tried.

Ever failed.

Try again.

Fail again.

Fail better.


for what?


For what?

Why do you work so hard? Sweat so hard? Stress so much?

For what?

Why do you do it?

For Money?

Expanding all that magnificent effort, so you can gather a few bills in one place, and watch them grow?

But it’s not really about the money, you say. You work hard to provide the necessities of life, and to do otherwise, would be utter foolishness.

You need all that money, to fulfill all your many physiological needs.

To quench your thirst and soothe your hunger. To keep your head out of the cold, and away from the rain, sleet, and snow.

These are basic needs.

Needs of safety. Needs of belonging. Needs of a self-esteem. Needs of becoming self-actualized.

And it’s a hierarchy, don’t you know. You cannot really get to the next level without having mastered the previous one. You can’t be fully human, unless you work hard, and sweat hard, and stress, oh so much.

Those are signs of progress. Wounds of respect.

And so, you give your life for a what. You fight and cheat for a what. You stay up late at night worrying about the what.

For what?

Motivated by it. Obsessed by it. Controlled by it. Overwhelmed by it.

But shouldn’t you think about the who?

Who, not what.

Shouldn’t you work hard, so you have the time and means to spend it with the people you love? But if the work you do, drives you crazy, makes you wake up before them, and return home after them, don’t you think it’s about time to ask why you do that work in the first place?

Don’t lie. Don’t say you’re sacrificing yourself for them. You’re not a soldier. You’re not a revolutionary. You bang keystrokes all day. You move paper from a to b. You pick through, looking for the best donut, before another, useless, and too all-consuming staff meeting.

Your children want their mother and father. They do, but they squawk like a hungry baby bird in a nest calling for supper, and demand all sorts of things. Things, if you work so hard to get, they will soon forget.

You wife and husband too. They want you. Not what you provide but who you are.

Your parents and grandparents, also want your company.

They want your time. They want to share their life with you, and in turn have an opportunity to bask in the life you’ve created.

It’s not the what that you should focus on.

It’s the who.

Who matters in your life? Who is in your corner? Who deserves your time? The best part of the day? Your most rested self? Your best self? Your unconditional self?


In the Kite Runner, Amir asks Hassan, if he would do something for him. Hassan answered, “for you, a thousand times over”.

How beautiful.

How perfect.

For you, a thousand times over.

Life demands that we work hard. It is our calling. Our responsibility. Our destiny.

But life doesn’t tell us why.

So, what will it be?

When you go to battle today, will you do it for a what or a who?


thank you


Thanksgiving isn’t something to be celebrated, for just one long weekend in October. Being thankful and grateful, should become an illustrious, daily habit. A rare practice to behold today for sure, but a habit we must all consciously nurture and embrace. We can’t make any difference otherwise.

I don’t think this is a matter of nicety either.

I’m not just being poetic.

Saying thank you, or expressing gratitude, in a multiple of ways, is one of the better and surest paths to happiness. It should be a lot more common, or at least as common as breathing, but sometimes, some of us have been known to go for days, if not years, holding on to things that sink us, instead of embracing something that helps us to fly.

Thank you.

It’s an expression of gratitude. An acknowledgement of someone else’s time and gifts. A way to let them know that they matter. Matter to you, and that their contribution is invaluable.

But why are we so miserable?

Who has defecated in our cornflakes?

Why are we happily fighting over tiny grains of sand, in our termite infested sandbox, and jealously guard it against the prying hands of others? Fighting and hoarding fistfuls of it, not realizing, that the world full of deserts.

There is no reason to be miserable.

It is a choice. A commitment. A lifestyle.

But no, you say.

Listen, you don’t understand my problems. You don’t understand what I’ve been through. You can’t appreciate the complexity of my situation.


But when was the last time you were grateful?

Grateful for anything? Pleased and thankful for everything?

When was the last time?

With all the grudges and tales of woe, you catalog and incessantly update so often, is it any wonder you never find the time? When will you let go? Let go and appreciate the things that you otherwise take for granted. The things that go unnoticed.

Are you a sorcerer? Did you somehow magically turn on all the lights in your house?

And how long did it take you to grow, nurture, and pick all of the Arabica beans you’ve ground, and which are now percolating ever so beautifully, ready to be sipped?

Did you start a fire this morning so you could have a hot shower? And how long did you spend molding and shaping your very own bar of soap? Lavender and camomile.

How many hours did it take you to forge and sharpen your razor?

How many flowers did you pick, to spray that lovely fragrance on your neck?

Perhaps you will agree with me, that there is much to be grateful for. Much to be thankful for. And that much of our complaining only sinks us. Removes us from ourselves and each other.

With all the negative chatter and endless complaining that is in our life, how do we ever find the time to see and reflect on the things that matter.

Thank you for reading.

It’s the least I can do.

Thank you for being one of the few people that encourages me to keep going. That supports my efforts. Encourages me to share my thoughts, which would otherwise go unspoken.

You have done a magical thing for my life and I am eternally indebted to you.

This is where you protest and say that you haven’t done anything, but you’re wrong. Without your eyes and without your kind words of encouragement, all of this comes to a quick and inevitable end.

So, thank you for reading.

Thank you for your patience.

Thank you for the journey so far.

I wish you God speed on yours.


standards of measurement


Our perverse desire to measure our lives, comes from a very deep sense of restlessness.

It seems to come from the baser part of our human nature. Leaving us broken and defeated, while the victor, satisfied, for the moment at least, takes his bow.

In time, the champion will fall too, and it doesn’t take too long, because after all, it all must, somehow, come unhinged and unravelled. The victor becomes a victim. A victim of their own success. Overcome with anxiety and fear. Overwhelmed by the overindulging standards of success, which in time, they can’t possibly hope to maintain.

And so, we dance.

We raise our hands, longing for our turn. We roll the dice, hoping for the right numbers to fall. We buy our lottery tickets, get the right education, land the perfect job, and we rub our rabbit’s foot, counter clockwise, of course, always counter clockwise, because, really, what else are we going to do?

How about nothing?

Not a single fucking thing.

(Yes, I said fucking, let’s move on).

You have to understand, once and for all, that you have nothing to prove.

There is absolutely nothing for you to do.

There are no standards you must master. Tests you must ace. Palms you must grease. Crowds you must please. There are no goals for which you must endure developing an ulcer.

It’s all make believe.

A nightmarish playground, where everyone is unhappy, because they are not somebody else.

You were given life.

Don’t dismiss it so quickly.



The ability to connect.

To be someone.

To make something; for yourself and for others.

You were given a little bit of time, so you can tell the people you come in contact with, what you think and feel. To tell the people you love, what they mean to you. To share your time with them. To laugh with them. To cry with them. To hug them. To remember them. Before you run out of time, or forget.

Life, can’t be measured.

It must be lived.

And being, can’t be won.

I’m not saying that being alive negates our need to work. That it abolishes our need to create or to do something with our lives. There will always be a time to learn something, to do something, to make something, and to sell something. There is plenty of time for all of that, but never, at the expense of living.

And that is the point.

Many of us are resolute to merely survive, so we get a chance to fight again. We lick our wounds, so that we can be well enough someday, to try again.

But life is not about survival.

Life is about art, and music, and poetry.

Life is like a dancer. Moving, jumping, and bending herself to the movements of the music, for no material gain, and for no discerning reason, except that it’s beautiful.

Life is beautiful.

It’s not measurable.

So, stop measuring yourself.

Stop trying to live up to standards, the next generation will ignore anyway.

Live a little.

Laugh a lot.

Be yourself.

Break your damn ruler.


weekend quotable no. 57


“Courage does not always roar.

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice,

at the end of the day saying,

I will try again tomorrow”.

Mary Anne Redmacher


We all need courage.

And some of us need it more than others.

Because for some, probably more than we care to admit, facing the break of day, is a blistering, grinding, daily routine of pain and struggle.

When by chance, they happen to glance in a mirror. Or when through circumstance, their eyes meet yours, they won’t see what they should see. Won’t see, what they need to see.

Instead, they will imagine and embrace someone undesirable. Someone else. A disgrace. An ugly, regrettable, expandable; disappointment.

They will hurl insults at themselves, because by know they have become a source of comfort. Words that could curdle milk and turn fine wine into table vinegar.

They need courage.

A lot of courage.

Not through a roar, a momentary rush of passion, but in the ordinary and quietest of moments.

You see.

They roar so much already.

They rant. They rave, about the unfairness of it all. Hands to the sky. Lungs full of air. Bitching and moaning. Doing anything and everything, to prove themselves right.

Courage gets lost when they themselves are prone to roar. It becomes just another booming drum. Another imposing gesture. Another failed promise. Another futile resolution. Yet another, abandoned moment, of epiphany. A gift unopened.

A map.


They need a whisper. Even if that whisper is broken and fragile.

They need a single ray of hope.

A friable, but graspable straw.

They need to know and hear that they have more time tomorrow.


To begin again.

To face their demons again. To have hope in the future again.

So, don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you were meant to roar for them.

Understand that you were born to whisper. No matter how small, insignificant, and broken you think you are, you are always capable of whispering something kind, and uplifting, to someone else.

Sometimes we don’t know why. Think it won’t matter. Think that it won’t make a difference.

But if we were to all whisper, not roar.

We would all find the courage, a thousand times a day.

We would all give each other another chance.

A chance.

At a new beginning and the dawning of a new day.