Friday, April 30, 2010

What are you entitled to?

A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

I am in the business of scheduling - all day I take calls, respond to e-mails, and speak to customers about either switching times, days or coaches, and more often than I would like, I am explaining how we cannot change our policy to suit their schedule.

I'm always amazed, but no longer shocked at the audacity of some who simply ask if we can forgo the rules to accommodate them. Some say it in jest but pause for a moment too long, while others brazen it out and hope for the best, overestimating their own self importance.

Nevertheless, there's usually at least one a week. What befuddles me is no longer that they ask, but that they believe they are entitled to us accommodating them at the expense of others. When did this become acceptable? Why do people think that we owe them?

The most common responses I receive are to do with either commitment or money. They've been with us for a long time or they have paid us a lot of money. My question is this, what makes one person's time or money more valuable than the next or so special that they feel they may disregard the policies and procedures followed by everyone else?

The answer, is nothing - everyone's time and money is worth the same. No one person is more important than another, and, no one is entitled to any more, or any less, than the person standing next to them.

~ Sasha

Thursday, April 29, 2010

ride for a cause....

by Jennifer J.

If you have been thinking of something fun to do on the weekends why not get out and start riding your bike. In just three weeks from now you could be joining the masses and participating in a good cause. On May 16th Westwood Cycles will be running an incredible event in the tri-cities area called WHEEL TO HEAL. It is a charity ride to benefit Eagle Ridge Hospital.

Not sure how far you could ride- no problem! This event offers something for everyone; there is an 80 k ride a 40 k ride and a 10k loop. This is the second year for this event and during the inaugural ride of Wheel to Heal over 50.000 dollars was raised for this fantastic cause. This year they are hoping to beat that amount.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.  ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

Bike riding is something that is not only great for the environment but also it is a great activity for to do with family and friends. It allows us to see so many amazing things in our city that we sometimes miss when we spend all our time in cars or on transit. Biking rates up there on the exercise scale as you can burn up to 1000 calories an hour if you are working hard. Riding a bike is a proven stress releaser. Regardless of if you are riding purely for pleasure or for a specific purpose, you will arrive at your destination feeling relaxed, energized and happier about the world and yourself. Plus, being out on your bike is just downright fun.

Innovative Fitness will have a large group participating in this fundraising event. The staff at Innovative Fitness has been working with two motivated individuals Brian and Marianne as they train towards the 80k ride on May 16th. The local paper has been tracking their progress with weekly write-ups. Why not join us and get out for an incredible ride for a great cause. Check it out

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.  Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man.  And (unlike subsequent inventions for man's convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became.  Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others.  Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.  ~Elizabeth West, Hovel in the Hills

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Start at the End

Ever ask yourself why achieving certain goals has been so hard?
Have you ever wondered why you aren't yet where you want to be career, family, or otherwise?
Conversely, have you ever looked back after a goal you set scared you and thought "well that wasn't so bad"?

Other than mental fortitude and work ethic, 2 key components of achievement that we'll discuss today are 1) how you set goals in the first place and 2) the skill and discipline of accountability and adjustments along the way.

1) Setting The Goal(s) Bullet Points

A) Chicken Before the Egg: Triathletes don't start swimming and reach a certain point before they say "I'm ready for Ironman". They get up at 4am and wait in line to register a YEAR in advance, pay for it, and when their butt is now on the line (especially because they had to plan on it seriously enough to commute to Penticton which means they've probably shared their goal) - they now must do something about it for fear of open public and personal failure.
B) Astronauts don't do your taxes: That is, you can't be all things to all people. Astronauts go into space, accountants do your taxes, chefs cook your dinner, and you do what you do best. It is one thing to have many skills, and even many formal roles, but if you are the jack of all trades, you are the master of none which means you aren't getting great at anything and you're not maximizing your natural talents. Start planning on getting great at one thing. Once you have Perfected the medium rare New York Striploin, you can cook while entertaining. Once you've done that, you can cook while entertaining and closing a business deal at the same time. The point is, trying to emulate someone like Richard Branson who has a multi-faceted business and personal life is not how you get there. Get there by being successful enough at one thing that you open up opportunities in parallel and even unrelated possibilities. That's how he and everyone else like him did it.
C) Rome wasn't built in a day: A deadline is crucial because it places a fire under our rears... however it should be a fire not massive amounts of C4. The accountability has to be realistic in that the goal must be achievable with hard work and smart planning. If even the most skilled of us with the best plan has no hopes of finishing in the time allotted or with the resources allocated, it's like we're asking Caeser to build the Colosseum out of popsicle sticks and to do so in 24 hours.
D) Vegetarians don't eat meat: Make sure the goal you are setting is your own. If your spouse, parents, teachers, or employer set firm expectations on you, but in your (properly informed) heart of hearts you know it's against who you are or what you want - work with them to come up with a mutually beneficial alternate, or have a solid plan B where you can do what you love that makes you happy and helps others.
E) You can't measure what you can't see: If there's no timeline, set of metrics, or a tangible method of assessing progress and whether or not you have achieved or are achieving your goal; it's not specific enough.

2) Reviewing and (if necessary) adjusting the plan.

You may have lots of experience in the goal setting process (and may have even better systems and methods than laid out above); yet if you don't come back to the plan often enough and at the right times - it's still easy to miss your mark.

You may have the right goal and the right plan, but circumstances, the economy, your own reality, and many other things can change, especially in the pursuit of long term goals.

The triathlete may break their leg 4 months before Ironman and have to change their plan.
The economy may tank in say, oh - late 2008 - and force business leaders to review their financial, growth, employment, and many other strategies.

The point is, in long term plans, you should have strategies broken into years, quarters, and months that flow logically and are well aligned. You should review at least quarterly for bigger ticket items, and weekly if not daily for shorter term goals.

It's all about engagement: be engaged in your own life and keep engaged in the process of making what you want your life to be a reality.

It doesn't happen over night, but it should occupy some of your time, energy, talent, and resources every night.

In retrospect, you may have already followed this in the past which is why some big undertakings felt easy; and times you didn't follow the system led to harder work than it needed to be or just plain failure.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

letting go of fear...

Letting go of fear..... by Jennifer J.

This was one thing I had to learn to do this past weekend. On Saturday morning a large group of us participated in an adventure race called SUBURBAN RUSH. We smiled through the torrential downpour of rain as we set out on our 30+ K journey running up a side of a mountain carrying our camel packs full of water and mandatory gear including a whistle and an emergency blanket.  We then rode further up the mountain before we came racing down on our bikes weaving our way through a muddy single track and bumpy switchbacks. Then there was a mystery challenge of naming different countries flags before we hopped back on our bikes for more of the challenging mountain biking. Being a novice mountain biker there were many points within the course that I felt like saying "there is no way I can do this" and wanted to give up. However that not being an option I found that the only way to make it through was to dig deep and tell myself I could do it and let go of my fears. The more I let down my guard the better I rode which in turn made my confidence increase. The race was challenging, exhilarating and took me well outside my comfort zone. 

We ended the race with scaling over a wall through a tire run then crawling on our bellies in a bunch of mud. The feeling as my partner  and I crossed the finish line was incredible and made me take a long hard look at what other things I am willing to try if I just let go of fear.

The possibilities of what we can accomplish are endless if we are just willing to put ourselves out there and try new things. Some of us may not try new things because we are afraid of failing or because we may not be the best at them, but the only way to know or to gain an experience is to set your goal, design a plan, execute your plan and go for it.

What would you try if you had no fear?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Show Some Commitment

When I heard that they were enacting an additional bit of legislation to ensure that they could suck the every last dollar out of British Columbians, it highlighted yet another hypocrisy that we can see from decision-makers across the spectrum. Whether it's the influence of special interest groups, a school board that doesn't want to remove snack machines of prepackaged and processed food because they're cash cows, or a government that is so worried you'll actually spend money on your own health that they can't tax, their true motives are consistently revealed.

So, I have some suggestions:

  • Tax fast and processed food. A lot. If I'm going to eat a Big Mac, take some extra money from me.
  • But then, use that money to off-set the cost of fresh meat and produce, so that it's not cheaper to go to Burger King than it is to cook up a healthy and fresh meal at home.
  • Gym memberships, sports-team registrations, athletic competitions - these should be tax-free. Or, at the very least, they should be tax-deductible. Sure, someone may not actually use the memberships, but do the losses on tax actually outweigh the potential gains by removing the obstacles that prevent people from exercising?
Regardless of whether or not these ideas could actually work, the important thing is that we actually start thinking of ways to make healthy living more accessible, more natural and more appealing to people - because as long as you can feed an entire family for $15 at McDonald's versus twice that for a nutritious and home cooked meal, healthy living is going to remain nothing more than an "ideal" for most.

"Act Now" indeed.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Work for It

Parents, friends and acquaintances may regularly tell you you're smarter than Bill Gates and can do anything you want. But I don't know anyone who hasn't benefited from a willingness to start at the bottom. Even Bill Gates began by doing odd jobs as a programmer.

Starting at the bottom builds character. It makes you hungry and determined. It's also a very good way to find out that you're not as smart as you think you are. And, it's the best way to learn. Because if you haven't figured it out already there's a lot more to learn out there. And you can learn it only by admitting you don't know it already, which means starting at the bottom.

Starting at the bottom is not about humiliation. It's about humility - a realistic assessment of where you are in the learning curve. And be honest with yourself. Learn what you're not good at and appreciate those co-workers who are.

You can't short-circuit the learning process. It takes time to get to the top, and that's good - because by the time you get there, you'll have learned what you need to know in order to stay there. Just shelve your ego, put your head down and bulldog forward, grinding it out. There is no better way to gain respect - and self respect than through hard work.

When what you want is out of reach, you keep climbing until you get it. And when you wok that hard to pull yourself up, it really means something when you get there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Many Layers Complicate Issues

It's been said that there are no good policies, and no bad ones - there are only policies with multiple pros and cons, and every group or individual must decide which outweighs the other... ultimately, this is what makes a policy good or bad.
Unfortunately, each groups interests along with our natural aversion to actually educating ourselves (since this would take time and effort) means that we rarely look at these policies and issues from any perspective other than our own. When this happens, we often see people "jump on the bandwagon", as they take their limited knowledge and narrow field of view, create a movement out of it and then bring along others in a civilized form of "mob mentality". Now, I'm not saying that this happens all the time, nor do I suggest I'm always guilt-free in this regard, but we all have to take a moment when we hear something in the media, and ask ourselves (before jumping to conclusions) whether or not we know the full story.
I'll use a current example in Vancouver right now. There is a huge group, calling themselves "Students Before Stadiums", who are protesting the fact that the BC government is spending hundreds of millions on the roof of BC Place, while the Vancouver Board of Education is $18 million dollars short of their own budget. Easy to get riled up in this situation, isn't it? The big, bad government spending money on something frivolous, while students are forced to sit in classes of 60, reading textbooks that are 30 years old because the poor Board of Education fights on their behalf....
Now, before I receive numerous emails condemning me for the above, take a breath and understand that I'm not saying I'm on either side of this debate... because I actually don't know all the details. Before I figure out if the Liberals are being irresponsible, I'd like to know how much revenue BC Place brings the province - because theoretically, the more money we have coming in, the more money we have to spend on things like education. Which is the next question - how much of the revenue that BC Place generates goes back to the public? And how has the Board of Education wound up $18 million dollars short in the first place? If they were a private business, they would have closed in failure long before they reach this point... maybe instead of continuing to run with a deficit, they should hold themselves accountable for the spending in the first place. And how much of the Board's money reaches the students themselves, in the form of teachers and supplies, versus how much of it is spent on top level administrative positions, whose salaries suck the money out before it even reaches the children?
You see, nothing is ever as black and white, cut and dried as it seems - and before we jump on any bandwagons, I think we all need to look at what brought it before us in the first place...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Five Steps to Your Weight Loss Goal

The Fitness Fantasy is in full swing right now with all of the couples working hard to achieve success and there are quite a few BC residents watching and even participating themselves. I have recently had the opportunity to have a few residents come in to our facility, having watched the Fitness Fantasy, signed up at home and now looking to work with us to take them the rest of the way. They will always ask if I can make any suggestions or have any tips to help them achieve their goals.

I was reading an article online yesterday, and I came across these five steps to create a strategy for your weight loss goals and I thought I would share. The most importance thing to remember is that in order to keep weight off, you need to change your patterns.

1. Program yourself for success: Set a very specific goal.
Remember that losing weight requires a change in thought and behavior, so set goals for your emotions and weight.
Don't just set vague goals like, "I want to lose some weight." Be specific: How much weight do you want to lose? How do you want to feel? Close your eyes and visualize yourself after you've reached those goals. Use this visualization to feel commitment and inner strength.

2. Get a plan.
Work out a detailed strategy because willpower doesn't work! To lose weight and keep it off, you must have a strategy.
Plan ahead: Get rid of your expandable clothes, stay away from fast food, and keep healthy food in your pantry.

3. Identify small, measurable steps.
Implement steps that will fit your lifestyle, not somebody else's.
Be sure to move toward a positive goal, not just away from being fat. Every step you take will bring you closer to being who you want to be.

4. Create a healthy, realistic timeline.
Where will you be in a month? Six months? A year? Fit your goals to your calendar, and stick to it.
Don't expect to see huge results overnight; take the time to change your lifestyle, and you'll change your weight.

5. Create meaningful monitoring and accountability.
If you know you have to report your progress to someone, you'll be more likely to stick with your plan.
"Go public" with somebody you trust. Find support when you need it, and celebrate your victories!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pass it on

"Experience is the best teacher... it gives the test first and then the lesson"

I love that quote and find it very true very often. What amazes me is that google search will turn up 26 million plus for 'parenting books' and 61 million for 'leadership books'. I'm not talking about the disparity and that there should be more research on parenting than on leadership (though perhaps there should).

What amazes me is that with 87 million hits on books geared towards leading others, we take for granted what we can teach others. I see it all the time... the parent is forced to work at 14; has to work there way through high school and University (including jobs they hate that team them the value of a dollar and planning for your future so you have a choice as to where you work); they get an education and put in their time. They work from the ground floor up, putting in unclocked overtime and doing whatever they can/ should to get ahead. They finally achieve the house/ the car/ the salary/ the marriage/ the kids...

and then they buy their kid a Mercedes at 16, don't force them to work, replace the car when the kid isn't responsible enough to care for it; ship them away to University (if they somehow have the grades) and then get them a 50K job to start with the family business...

...and then they wonder "with all the advantages you have, why are you so spoiled?"
or "why don't you care about the family business the way I do; you have had everything given to you" or other comments that denote the lack of appreciation, or acquisition of skills or values along the way.

Does anybody else see a disconnect here?

I am not saying don't try to give your kids advantages you never had. Every good parent wants to give their kids the best life possible. The disconnect arises in that the best lessons you've learned; the ones that have shaped your values and principals... shouldn't we see to it that our kids have similar experiences (or even better ones) that lead to the formation of their own values?

If experience is truly the best teacher, than coddling kids and protecting them at every turn, or replacing your time or your love with your money, simply won't cut it.

Give your kids the best you have to offer; patience, life experience, and an ear and advice after the fact when they go through the tough spells they inevitably will and should go through.

if experience truly is the best teacher - pass it on (the experiences not just your words).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Good day on the court by Cory M

It’s great to see the sun coming out again around Vancouver. This past weekend it was great to hear how so many people were able to take advantage of the clear skies and get outside to be active. Personally I love getting out and getting lost in a long run or jumping on the bike for a couple of hours, but I know that not everyone will immediately share my same passion. Some people have come out and simply stated that they hate running, and get bored too easy while doing it. An alternative motivator could be a team sport such as touch football, or hockey, or basketball.

Getting involved in a rec sports team is an excellent destination for a lot of people.  A lot of time it provides the competitive motivation that some need. It provides their purpose to be faster in the game or to have more endurance in the last few minutes of play, which then segues nicely into promoting their cardio training. Team sports provides an awesome social network that some people consider very important, and not letting the team down is another reason to stay in shape for the games.  A typical 90 minutes of basketball for an adult male weighing 175-190 pounds can burn anywhere from 800 to 1500 calories, and all without realising how hard you’ve been working. Two games a week plus workouts and a day of cardio... that sounds like a pretty stellar training program to me.

This weekend Innovative Fitness did it’s part by putting together a pick-up basketball game in Kitsilano. 13 people, coaches and customers alike showed up to Vancouver College Sunday morning and strutted their stuff on the court. We split up and played some 5 on 5 full court and rotated teams every 11 points. Kevin and Gary were trying to nail the outside game all day, while Raj and Jeevan were showing off their impressive lane driving skills. JD had several opportunities to show he could still dunk which he unfortunately wasn’t able to confirm, and me.... well I took pride in stuffing a 67 year old man. A real low moment for McDonalds everywhere I know. 

But the hour and a half that we were out on the court we were all laughing, joking around and I burned over 1300 calories!  

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Can You Hear it Coming?

"Man is not free unless government is limited." (Ronald Reagan

Just a few short weeks from now, the HST is scheduled to "go into action"... and I resent it. Not, though, for the reasons many people would think.

You see, it's not the tax that chafes me - truth is, I figure we're going to pay more tax sooner or later, in one way or another. Nor is this an "anti-Liberal" or "pro-NDP" position piece - I'm not interested is writing something that inflames the reader because of their political loyalties or leanings.

Nope. I'm just pissed off about how it's being brought in.

See, the government is supposed to represent it's people, speaking on their behalf because direct representation on all policies is impossible. Therefore, we elect individuals to represent us after finding someone that most reflects our beliefs and ideals, fiscally and socially. The problem is, when the individuals are voted into office based on misdirection and hidden agendas... well, then it invalidates the whole process. And this, quite frankly, makes me furious.

Firstly, let me be clear: I am 100% sure, despite what they say, that the Liberals not only knew they were going to bring in the HST but that they already had the plan in the works... and I'm pretty sure that they didn't let the voting public know about this because that would have seriously impacted their chance at winning. Why do I say this? Because when they were questioned about it point blank before the election, they answered "...a harmonized GST is not something that is contemplated in the BC Liberal platform..." - which, if you read it carefully, suggests that they wouldn't bring in an HST, but never actually says so. So now, when people angrily claim "You said you wouldn't bring in a harmonized sales tax!!" they can respond "No, we never said that...". Which is true. Smoke and mirrors, twisting words, political double-speak, and completely lacking in moral integrity - but true.

To make matters worse, I'm seeing an incredible swelling of anti-HST sentiment, and it's growing exponentially - which makes the situation even worse. Because clearly, the people who voted this governement into office are unhappy with this tax... and, as their representatives, this same government should at least be putting this question to a referendum before implementing it. Instead, they fall back on the plausible deniability of their statements and, with an exceeding arrogance, push through a policy that has polarized a province-wide movement of discontent. If the Liberals are so sure of themselves, what are they afraid of? Why not hold the referendum? Oh, right - because it costs too much. And they know better than we do. And - most importantly - because I'm pretty sure they fear that they'd lose.

I hope the recall goes through, and then I hope they listen.

Because in this day and age of policital apathy, the only thing that could lower our voter turnout even more is for a government to show that, in the end, our voices really don't matter.

So hold this government accountable - force them to do this properly. You know what? I may, in the end, vote "Yes" in a well publicized and properly educated process... or I may vote against it only to see it come into effect anyway because the "Yes" side wins.

Either way - I just want the chance to make the choice. For right or wrong, it's time for us to take the power back into our hands and remind the politicians that they work for us... not the other way around.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Toursit In Your Own Town

It's hump day.
Have you steered out of the rat race yet this week?

Today I am sending out an invitation; an invitation to defy the backwards logic that often dictates our actions and experiences.

The average person in Canada will live for 80.7 years according to CBC News (Feb 2010 stats). If the average Canadian goes on 1 holiday a year, and we (according to many sources) begin our earliest memories from 3-4 years old; we have potentially 76 holidays to maximize in our lifetime; many of which the destination, itinerary, and hotels are decided for us (at least until we're 18; and then, for many of us; again when we get married!)

The point is, many of us work through our days to save up enough money to 'feel alive' for a week at a time and then feel worse when we return to work.

Who is going to experience something for the first time today? I had less than an hour to work out this morning, but was still able to discover some mountain bike trails that I had never ridden (and I have lived in Calgary for most of my 33 years).

It doesn't take much... below are some tips you can incorporate every day to shake up the routine and open yourself and your mind to new people, new places, new experiences, and new perspectives...

1. Take a different way home
2. Bike to/ from work instead of driving
3. Go to a museum
4. Visit your city's tourism website; make a list of the activities listed that you've never tried but would like to, and plan 1 a week for the next several weeks (be sure to grab a few ideas appropriate for each season so we don't return to hibernation mode next winter)
5. Go to a different restaurant or coffee shop than you are used to; somewhere local, off the beaten path, that isn't a huge chain or advertised on tv.
6. If you have children, pack up the kids to Grandma's or their aunts house; and stay at a local hotel, including spa treatments, a massage, and a romantic dinner out just the two of you
7. Call that friend you keep meaning to but never get around to and plan some time together
8. Go on a small shopping spree. Decide on an amount you are comfortable spending, but that you don't normally allow yourself... go nuts and spend time making yourself happy.
9. make a list of all sorts of fun, free activities, that you can do as a family or with friends. Make a day of spending time with great people, getting fresh air, expending energy, and saving money.
10. Help others. Whether it's at a drop-in shelter, donating your time, energy, money, talents, or even your ear... do something to give to others and see how much you get in return.

... or you could let 4,208 Wednesdays come and go as you prepare for (maybe) 62 trips you call the shots on. Go on vacation, but remember to be alive the other 51 weeks of the year, and the 28,890 days you are not on vacation.

Play your odds and learn to love life while you are at home everybody. Go on a staycation soon!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

You Are in Control

In 1992, I began dating a girl that completely knocked me sideways. The entire build-up to the relationship was incredible, and the celebration dance that took place after our first real date was one that, thankfully, can (and will) never be repeated. So you can imagine, then, how I felt when - after only a few short months - I picked up on the fact that she definitely wasn't into it anymore (I came to call this my "Spidey sense" later - but more on that some other time).

Regardless, I went over to her house that day and we had the usual overly-dramatic conversation that accompanies the break-up of a relatively short relationship... no yelling, mind you, just the morose (and at times pathetic) back-and-forth when one person doesn't want to end it, and the other person doesn't have the nerve to just cut it off. I had to leave for a few hours at that point - I was working that night, in a mock-casino for charity in the character of Louie (a 1920's gangster, right down to the spats and fedora).

Now, none of the customers there would have cared less about my problems - so, of course, I put on the smile and forced myself to be funny, and charming, and above all else - entertaining. And while I drove home that night, I realized that pretending to be in a good mood had an unexpected effect... I actually was in a good mood. In that moment, I hit on a truth, something that has stuck with me ever since and which was summed up by a line from the 1999 movie "The Iron Giant": You are who you choose to be...

Life doesn't dictate to you - you dictate to life. The moment you start feeling like a victim, the moment you start allowing everything around you to direct how you feel/act/believe - that's the moment you begin to lose out on who you are.

You are who you choose to be.

Believe it.

Oh - and on a side note, I went back to the girl's house and we had a very, very ugly and break-up, full of groveling (mine) and loss of dignity (still mine)... so while, yes, I had a huge epiphany that day, it took a little time for the lesson to sink in. Don't beat yourself up too badly if you aren't able to make the change right away - but never stop trying.


Friday, April 02, 2010


There are two things that I have come to learn, common sense is not that common and good enough never is.

Every evening at work, after the last customer has been trained and towels have been rolled, we tidy up the training floor. For those of you that do not personally know me understand that the television character I am most similar to when it comes to cleanliness is Monica from Friends. I believe that everything has a place, and should be put in its place in a neat, and orderly fashion. And, every evening I walk by this one piece of equipment, that has multiple pieces and see it tossed in the corner where it belongs. And, every evening I stop and neatly stack the pieces in the corner.

Except for one night - it was a long day and on my walk to the door I looked down, saw the pieces strewn about and continued to walk on by. The person I was leaving with looked at me and said, 'Aren't you going to tidy it up?' I turned, and replied, 'Every night I walk by, stop, and tidy these up. I'm tired, I want to go home, and it's not that big of a deal,' and I continued to make my way to the door to leave. He looked at me, and said, 'It's a slippery slope, once you start letting the little things go, and it becomes easier and easier to settle for mediocrity.'

That night, we turned around, went back, and neatly stacked the pieces in the corner. Did we have to? No. Did it make a difference? Probably not to anyone else, but what I learned made a difference to me. Once you have given yourself permission to settle for mediocrity it becomes easy to convince yourself that good enough is okay. Good enough is never enough. To settle for mediocrity simple means you are willing to live beneath your abilities, capabilities, gifts and talents and what I learned that night was that I am not, the question is, are you?