Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What will I teach my kids?

I will teach my kids life isn't fair and with that, there will be more than less occasions where they will not be treated equally.
  • Someone will get the job ahead of them because their dad knows the owner. 
  • Someone will make the team before them because their parents lobby harder.
  • Someone will pass judgement on them because they are un/athletically inclined.
  • Someone will stereotype them based on the color of their skin, and their friends on theirs.
  • Someone will judge their faith and beliefs if they don't line up perfectly with theirs.
  • Someone will question their intelligence being they are 'just little boys'

I will teach my kids that none of the aforementioned will likely be in their control. 
How they chose to react to it, will be.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When individuals outgrow their team.

Cliche football analogy I realize, but this happens all the time in sport, business & life. If it has not happened to you in a management position yet, rest assured it will.
  1. individual is welcomed, embraced & empowered into a system
  2. receives the mentorship & guidance, and then suddenly.... 
  3. begins believing their own hype & press
  4. becomes smarter & better than the team mates, coaches & systems.
  5. throws them under the bus.
....and it all ends the same way. Sometimes there are things you can do to prevent it & sometimes there are not. This was a decent overview of what could and should have been done along the way from people who are/were very smart.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Death by Profit.

I had the chance to watch a recent documentary produced by the BBC called The Men Who Made Us Fat. Little in this documentary was surprising vis a vis, our obesity epidemic was, is and will continue to be fuelled by profitability.

Food & diet:
  1. profitability by governments to encourage mass farming movement creating cheap fructose to be the food additive de jour. 
  2. profitability by food companies to capitalize on the reduced fat movement, by swapping in sugar & more dangerous additives (mid to late 80's)  
  3. profitability by food companies to capitalize on organic food movement, which if you had a half a brain in your head you'd realize 'organic', by it's definition couldn't & shouldn't be mass produced
Health & fitness:
  1. opportunity for the fitness industry to become a billion dollar / yr industry selling miracle cures & dreams 
  2. evidence showing the direct correlation between the heath & fitness boom and the obesity epidemic  
  3. profitability by research after research after research confirming the problems, yet stopping short on sustainable solutions.
 All of the above can & has been vehemently denied.  What cannot be denied? The statistics.

My reality is that I'm IN this. I'm not hopping on some bandwagon, talking out of my ass.  I see, hear, debate, endorse and lobby for change. I lay awake at night thinking about the future of health of our kids, communities, province & country specifically trying to come to terms with 5 things.
  1. How a few people at the top (of an organization, of a government) can stifle any hope we have at fixing this very fixable problem. 
  2. How ignorant we chose to be (on mass) with respect to believing what we're being told / marketed. 
  3. How uninformed we chose to be when it comes to the health & well being of ourselves & our children.
  4. How complicated we chose to make things which, at their core, are actually not that complicated. 
  5. How reluctant we are to implement any sort of regulation (government) or accountability around our practices.   
History is not on our side. We will wait until we've hit absolute rock bottom before we take action to remedy a crisis. Until then, "it's not my problem" or we stand behind the fence criticizing / idolizing / ostracizing 'fanatics' like David Suzuki, Jamie Oliver and Paul Watson who've got the fortitude and tenacity to make a difference. 

It was time to DO SOMETHING about the decline of our health & wellness... a decade ago.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Conforming to the look.

Had a lengthy conversation with a good friend on the topic of plastic surgery last week. It was interesting to hear the perspective relating to woman, from a woman and learn about the various forces & pressures at play that lead to the decision to and/or not to embark on the procedures. Sheer coincidence, I came across a news clip on the same topic from Frances McDormand who seemed to share the same views.

As a male, I can't accurately hypothesize about how I would feel or what decisions I would make. I generally advocate doing things that make you feel good or better about yourself. With that, I also agree it can become a slippery slope and wonder about the forces that drive the decision to have repeat procedures. What's really going on here? After more thought & discussion, I came up with five conclusions, not specifically relating to plastic surgery and woman, but society as a whole through this example & lens. 
  1. We've become shallow. We formulate decisions and project judgements on things that don't matter at the same time as dismissing important things that do.
  2. We've become less confident. Strip away the bullshit bravado, we spend a great deal of time being "educated / conditioned" to think, act & behave according to a prescribed norm. That's not how to gain confidence.
  3. We're a product of dysfunction. How can we gain confidence, if it's not being modeled on a consistent basis during the formative imprinting & learning years? Dysfunction normally begets more dysfunction.
  4. We're programmed to tune into headlines & highlights so think that's what we're supposed to be doing too. We spend time ON the present, but are we really maximizing our learning IN the present or is there always something better around the corner?  
  5. We tend to sacrifice the magic and beauty of who we are, for the unknown allure of who we think we're supposed to be. In doing that, we take ourselves further from authenticity and what made us great in the first place.
Back to my limited experience in working with many woman, I saw & listened to some of the insecurities, fears & pressures relating to what many described as a loss of identity. It's unfair, it's unfortunate and I would not trade my beer drinking, jean wearing, stomach extending simple man's life for it. Ever. I think society can be hard on a lot of people, but it's particularly hard on woman.