The Madness of My Mind

August 14, 2008

What if Santa wasn’t Santa?

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

Hey there everyone!

 

I was thinking this week about how lucky we are to have Santa as Santa.  He’s that one guy that doesn’t call in sick on the big day. It sucks when someone has to replace the person we depend on for the job doesn’t it?  For example, do you remember when you showed up for your doctor’s appointment only to find out that your regular doctor wasn’t in that day?  It didn’t feel nice having a stranger’s finger up your ass did it?

 

You don’t have to worry about that with Santa Clause.  Of course, I’m not suggesting that Santa Clause would stick his finger up your ass.  What I’m trying to say is that he never takes a day off. But what if he did?  Who would replace him?  I got to thinking about that question today and here is where it took me.

 

What if it was…….

 

  1. Tom Cruise?  If he filled in for Santa, we’d all get the Dianetic ten step program to overcoming holiday depression.
  2. Avril Lavigne? We’d all get her latest single entitled “This song is just like my last song except for the fact that I don’t scream the chorus. This time I yell it!”
  3. George Bush?  We’d all get an American dollar bill.  What a cheap bastard!
  4. Owen Wilson? We’d all get a bottle of Tylenol.  Actually, he’s a pretty generous guy, he’d probably give us a couple of bottles.
  5. David Hasselhoff?  We’d all get his latest book entitled “How to headline in Europe. The tighter the jeans, the bigger the crowd”
  6. Hilary Clinton?  We’d all get her Political Agenda entitled “I was cheated on by a president so why shouldn’t I be president….duh?”
  7. Snoop Dog? We’d all get a bizottle of gizin and jizuice!
  8. Brittney Spears?  We’d all get babies for Christmas.
  9. Michael Vick from the Atlanta Falcons?  We’d all get a gift certificate for a free rabies shot.
  10. Conrad Black?  Well, I guess in that case, we wouldn’t get anything at all.

 

And these are just a few reasons that I’m glad Santa doesn’t take a day off.

 

So, here is my question to you during this holiday season.  Who is someone in your life who never takes a day off from loving you? Whoever it is, why not give them a call or drop them a line to let them know that someone else filling in just wouldn’t be the same.

 

Much love,

 

Stuart    

 

What do you know about your friends

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

The Madness of My Mind

 

This week I want to challenge you.  I want you to think of someone right now that you consider a good friend. And please don’t read any further until you have thought of that person.  Try to think of a friend that you know fairly well.  Ok, here we go.  I want you to answer the following questions in relation to the friend that you just thought of.

 

  1. What is your friend’s favourite food?
  2. What does your friend like most about you?
  3. Where was the last place that your friend vacationed and what was one of the highlights of their trip?
  4. What is something in this lifetime that your friend absolutely has to do?
  5. What does your friend like about their job?
  6. What does your friend dislike about their job?
  7. When your friend was a kid, what did they want to be when they grew up?
  8. What does your friend think about the current state of the world?  Are they excited about the future or are they frustrated by all the problems the world faces?
  9. What is one of friend’s favourite bands or singers?
  10. In terms of career, where does your friend see themselves in ten years from now?

 

If you can’t answer at least eight of these questions with exact certainty, there is a good chance that you have lost the art of powerful conversation.  Most people in this world are simply reiterating statistics about themselves to each other and are missing out on the beauty of connection.  And then they go to bed every night and wonder why they feel as if there is something missing in their lives.  And what is friendship, if you don’t even know who that friend is?

 

If we don’t know our friends, then we probably don’t know our families, co-workers, lovers or that person the serves you coffee every day. 

 

Human beings are the greatest form of entertainment, knowledge, insight, love, laughter, inspiration and creativity and yet we don’t tap into these things because we don’t talk to each other anymore.  Instead, most of us AT each other.

Much love,

Stuart

 

Tooth pulled

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

Hey there everyone,

 

This week’s newsletter is jam packed with stuff, so take 180 seconds to give it a read through and see what sections resonate with you.  If you like it, pass it on.  If you don’t, print it and burn it.  Preferably outdoors!

 

Near the end of the newsletter, you will get the chance to learn about some cool things that are soon coming up in the city that you might want to check out. By the way, the Art of Powerful Conversation Workshop was amazing last week.  It sold out and the crowd was amazing!   The next one is on Wednesday, February 20th.

 

So, it’s midnight and I’m sitting at the computer writing this newsletter after a very long day.  In twelve hours from now I will be having my last wisdom tooth taken out of my mouth.  That’s right, I’ve had three of my wisdom teeth taken out at separate times.  I guess the big teeth in the back of my head are the only things in this body that have any wisdom.  About eight hours after having my tooth yanked, I plan on playing soccer.  Ironically I had dinner with a friend of mine tonight who happens to be a dentist.  When I told her of this plan she asked me if I was crazy? That’s when I said “how would you know, you’re only a dentist?”

 

Intellectually speaking, I realize that my decision to play soccer tonight might be about as smart as lobbying for gay marriage in Saudi Arabia, but that’s not the point.  The point is that as I sit here, my intention is to play soccer tomorrow night.  And after my party with molar madness, I will do everything in my power to make that happen.  At 7pm, I will make a decision.  If I can’t play then so be it. 

 

But what I’ve noticed is that most people wouldn’t even consider this option.  They would just assume that they can’t and so they wouldn’t.  But hell, there have been women who have given birth in the middle of a field without pain killers and then walked themselves in bare feet to the closest hospital.  Surely a little pain in the back of my mouth doesn’t compare.

 

So what am I trying to say to you specifically?  I want to know what you talk yourself out of before trying.  Is it a hot lover you want to sleep with, a country you want to take over or a famous person you want to slap?  If so, then do it! 

 

Ok seriously, most people only go after the things they are absolutely sure they can get instead of taking a stab at the things that they may or may not achieve.  If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that life is a lot more enjoyable when you attempt the seemingly impossible.  There is no greater satisfaction then discovering that impossible is only a word created by people that never tried.  The majority of the people in this world compete with each other to lead the normal life.  The “outrageous” life is easy to get because there is hardly any competition for it.

 

Much love,

 

Stuart

 

Something to do this summer

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

Hey there everyone,

 

As many of you know, each week I take the time to send you a message that is designed to be inspiring, thought provoking and once in a while life changing.  Sometimes I send them as a video and sometimes you get them in the written form. 

 

Well this week, I’m going to take a break from my usual format and share a simple thought that crossed my mind.  In truth, most thoughts that cross my mind are simple!

 

I was sitting here thinking about what I’d like to write this week and while I was doing that I was looking out the window.  What I saw was a beautiful sunny day that was inviting me to come out and play.  And that’s what summer is all about isn’t it?  The warm weather draws us out of our hibernation and into a new sense of rejuvenation.  Of course, my readers that live in climates that are hot all year round may not know what I’m talking about.  If you live in a hot climate and want to know this feeling, stick your head in your refrigerator for about five minutes and then walk outside.

 

So, with this said, I’ve decided to make a list of all the things I think you should do this summer.  Too many people let their summer slip by and before they know it, it’s gone.  I am making this list with the intention of making sure you get the most out of your summer.  Print it out and check it off as you go through it. And as usual, please pass it along to others who will enjoy this newsletter too.

 

Things you should do this summer:

 

Swim in a fresh water lake.

Ride a roller coaster.

Sit around a campfire singing songs.

See at least one concert. (Buy the tickets today)

Have a picnic with friends. (Set the date and invite them now)

Attend one outdoor festival.

Read at least one book.  (Ideally outside)

Get in your car with a map and someone you love and drive without knowing where you are going.

Go to the drive in movie theatre.

Eat ice cream in a small town.

Go strawberry picking.

Watch an outdoor play.

Make a bicycle your only form of transportation for one day.

Attend at least three BBQ’s.

Go skinny dipping.

Take a “tourist” tour of your own city or town.

Hike through a forest.

Go antique shopping.

Play any game with children.

Eat food from a garden.

Pot one plant or flower and find a nice spot for it in your home.

Throw away three things.

Get ride of clothes that you haven’t worn in a month.

Run, walk, skip, bike or crawl for a charity of your choice.

Cut one bad thing out of your diet for two months.

Watch the sun set.

Watch the sun rise.

Take a dog for a walk.  Borrow a friends dog if you have to.

Join a drum circle and play without worrying how you sound.

Learn something new. (Dance, craft, language, history, etc.)

Join a club. (You could easily be signed up by the end of the day)

Swing on a swing!

Make a sandcastle.

Do a few laps on a go-cart.

Buy fresh cut flowers for someone once a week.

Have drinks with colleagues after work.

Eat breakfast by a body of water.

Build something.

Create a silly scavenger hunt with friends.

Watch a dance recital.

Attend an art opening.

Drive in a convertible.  (Rent one if you have to)

Get your family together for a small reunion.

Visit a farm and find out where your food comes from.

Read the paper in the park.

Call in sick at least three times and then pamper yourself for the day.

Eat candy floss.

Paddle boat.

Have a drink with an umbrella in it.

Go on a wine tasting tour.

Sit in a library for two hours and randomly skim through books on the shelves.

Watch fire works.

Dance at a street party.

Watch children play a soccer game.

Play Frisbee on a beach.

Go to a sweaty karaoke bar.

Look at the stars and picture where you want to be in a year.

Get at least one sunburn.

Listen to late night radio on a porch.

Invite someone to dinner that you haven’t seen in over a year.

Take one yoga class.

And most importantly thing you should do this summer is add to this list!

 

I guarantee that if you do everything on this list, you won’t feel like the summer passed you by.  Please feel free to share this with others.

 

Much love,

 

Stuart

 

Something…Everything

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

Hey there everyone!

 

Well the New Year has arrived and as usual I don’t feel any different then I did on December 31st!  Although, I must say that I am doing well at keeping to my new years resolution of not drinking alcohol during the month of January.  Then again, that wasn’t as much a resolution as it was a direct order from my doctor!  Ha!

 

This year I really want to test myself to see what I’m made of. After learning that Volkswagen wouldn’t let me fill in as a crash test dummy, I decided to try something a little less risky. 

 

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I have decided to take singing lessons.  Yes, technically, I have sang on stage in the past, but compared to acting it is something that puts a little extra sweat on my forehead and a little more shit in my pants.  So next week, I will be standing beside a trained singer, wearing diapers singing my heart out.  And who knows where it will go?  It’s a question that neither one of us can answer, and that’s the beauty of it all. The ending is irrelevant.  The beginning is everything.

 

Folks, this year I want to ask you to do something.  Not something specific…anything…and in the process give yourself everything.  Don’t let yourself analyze whether you should or should not do something.  Just do something new without knowing where it will end with the intention of having everything to gain.

Much love

Stuart

 

Do something you love to do

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

Hey there everyone,

 

So I was out with some friends on Saturday night having a bit of a catch up session. At one point in the evening a group of women celebrating a birthday asked us if they could share our table as seating was limited.  We obviously obliged and within a few minutes found ourselves chatting with our newfound friends. 

 

During my conversation with one of the ladies I discovered that she worked in advertising.  She told me that she didn’t really love her job, but that it was good enough for now. At that point I asked her what she would want to do if she could have any job in the world and she instantly said that she would be an interior designer.

 

The second she said this to me, I thought to myself “Then why the hell aren’t you doing that?”  When I asked her the original question, I expected her to say that she would want to be a doctor saving lives in Africa, or a musician on the road on a rock band or a clothing designer living in Paris.  If she said anything close to that, then I would have understood why she wasn’t living out that dream, although I still would have thought that  she could do it if she wanted to. But, instead she said something that was easily attainable, which is why I was so confused.

 

I used to think that people didn’t change because the thing they wanted to do would require a drastic sacrifice, but lately I’ve been noticing the exact opposite.  Lately I’ve realized that many people don’t change because change isn’t part of their vocabulary.  They don’t change even the smallest things because they have been led to believe that any change, no matter how small it may be could lead to disaster.

 

Well for those who believe that, allow me to give you the best advice possible.  Change those things that you know you need to change and if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would then change back. 

 

The human mind has the ability to imagine a million worst case scenarios of what could happen if we made a change.  The mind also has the ability to imagine a million best case scenarios of what could happen if we made a change.  It simply comes down to  which scenario you want to believe.

 

Here’s what I do know.  When I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a business degree, I wasn’t encouraged to start writing musicals.  It just felt right to do it and so I did.  And in the process some of my worst case scenarios came true, but my best case scenarios came true as well.  It just so happened that best case scenarios beat out the worst case scenarios, which is what I’ve found always happens when you do something you love.

 

So…….. DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE!  Myself and millions of other people who have done something they love are right behind you supporting you the entire way.

Much love,

Stuart

 

Best foot forward

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

In life, everything is a decision.  Whether it’s choosing between two apples at the grocery store or choosing a person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, it’s all a decision.  In fact, even when a person doesn’t make a decision, they have still made a decision.  Not deciding is a choice.  For example, if someone asks you to choose between door number one and door number two and instead of going through either door, you remain standing on the spot, you have still made a decision.  You decided to not move.

When a person comes to the realization that everything in life is a decision they gain great power over their future.  And then you say, but what about the people who get cancer, who get hit by a car or those who are unexpectedly broken up with by their lover?  They didn’t choose for that to happen!  That’s right.  Some things in life happen without choice.  Things that are beyond our control, but these events do not shape our lives.  It is how we decide to respond to these events that shape our lives.  For every person that gives up on life after a horrible tragedy, there is someone who has faced the same circumstances and then created an amazing life.

Our decisions dictate everything.  What intrigues me is the inconsistency of the decisions people make.  More specifically, I am amazed at how many people in this world are willing to put their best foot forward in the beginning and then choose to half ass it after they get comfortable.  You often see this in relationships.  In the beginning of the relationship, both partners make the effort to get dressed up, smell nice and they both go out of their way for each other. Then six months later, both partners are not making the same effort and then wonder why the relationship is deteriorating.  I see this with many of the actors I hire.  During the audition process they are willing to do anything to get the job. I could ask them to sing for six hours straight and they would do it without thinking.  If I asked them the same thing six months later I often hear excuses or complaints about how tired they are.  And these actors wonder why I don’t hire them again.  

And you see this in the service industry.  During the first month, the employee gets dressed up, they work extra hard and they go out of their way for the customer.  And then often a few months later, that same employee isn’t dressed as nicely, or isn’t as friendly with the customer and doesn’t seem to clean up the way they used to.  And then that employee wonders why the job isn’t as fun anymore or why they aren’t making as much money as they used to.

Life isn’t complicated.  You get out what you put in.  That’s the most exciting thing life has to offer.  If we want the best, all we have to do is put in the best.  It’s not rocket science, it really is that easy.   The universe is listening to you all of the time, 24 hours a day.  If you decide to not give it your best then the universe says “ok, she’s not giving her best so don’t give her the best”.  

The people who have the best relationships are the ones that put in the same effort during year two as they did on day one.  The actors who make it to hollywood are the ones who put in the same effort on their last take as they did on their first take.  And those in the service industry that make the most money, who enjoy their jobs the most and who get the best opportunities are the ones that treat every day like it’s their first day on the job.

Pick the life you want and decide to have it.

Much love,

Stuart

 

I dare you

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

Right now, I can’t even tell you how badly I want to say something that will make you say,  “Holy crap, I never thought about that before?”  La la la la la!  How about that?  Does that work? 

Ok, let’s get right down to the heart of the matter.  Somewhere in the last six months I got an idea to write this letter.  I can’t really remember when the idea hit me.  It may have been while I was turning left onto Queen Street or while I was folding my underwear.  Who knows?  All that matters is that your eyes are moving across this page because of an idea – more specifically, because I decided.  Stop rolling your eyes!  Let’s keep going.

What did you think would arrive in your inbox?  Were you hoping that I might send you something for free?  Good news!  You are getting something for free.  It happens to be the product of my mind, which may or may not be a good thing.  It’s like a coupon for vanilla yogurt, you will decide whether or not you want to use it. 

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that there is a great deal in life that I don’t know, but here’s what I do know.  I know that you are in control.  You may not be in control of things such as losing your job, catching a disease, being hit by a car or hearing the words “I love you”.  But, you are in control over the reaction you have to anything good or bad that happens in your life.  From there, you create either good or bad things in your life.  I know it’s painfully simple, but why make it complex if we don’t have to?

Could you do me a favour?  Imagine what each and every living thing on this earth is doing right now.  Picture it in your mind. Birds are flying, people are playing poker and flowers are budding.  Hundreds of languages are being spoken, millions of emotions are concurrently being experienced and billions of signals of the brain are firing across the planet.  And then we have you.  There you are in this moment, reading this letter. What if I could snap my fingers and eliminate you from that big picture?  What would happen?  We both know the answer to that question don’t we?  Nothing.  Well, I guess more specifically everything.  Everything that’s happening in the world right now would continue.  Seasons would still change, condos would still be built and bad reality television would continue to be made.

Ok, so what if I could snap my fingers and bring you back into that big picture as quickly as you were removed?  What would happen?  We both know the answer to that question don’t we?

So what is it?  I dare you.

Much love,

Stuart

 

The banana

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

Hey there everyone!

 

So yesterday I was in London, Ontario because I had an eye appointment.  Since this happens to be the place where my parents live, I decided to swing by for a beer, a chat and some dinner.  It’s what we children do best isn’t.  Yes, I am 34 years old, but we’ll just ignore that for now.

 

As I was getting ready to come back to Toronto, my dad asked me if I wanted a banana for the road.  I laughed and reminded him that I was stuffed after the huge meal we just had, but thanked him all the same.  Then my mom asked me if I wanted to take anything to drink incase I got thirsty in the car.  I looked up from tying my shoes and told her that I was fine and appreciated the offer.  Then, just before I walked out the door, both of my parents insisted that I take the leftovers from dinner.  It took me quite some effort to convince them that I’d never be able to finish it this week.

 

I finally made it to the car and as I turned onto the highway, I felt that warm feeling of unconditional love.  Our parents desperately seek ways to give us everything they have and everything own. And it’s all done for one reason only.  Because they love you.

 

Somebody in this world loves you so much that they would be willing to give their life to you.  I encourage you to join me this week in taking a moment to send some of that love back to that person.

 

Just like you, my parents get this newsletter every week, so I’d like to take a moment to thank you mom and dad for the 34 years of unconditional love.  I realize that I didn’t take the banana, or the drink or the leftovers, but trust me when I say that I walked away with everything I need.

 

Much love,

 

Stuart

 

What would love do?

August 14, 2008 by decideshow

 

This week I’d like to share with you something I once read. Some of you have read a book called “Conversations with God”. It’s a book about a man who gets pissed off at God one evening and starts asking him questions about life.  Eventually God replies. Now whether or not you believe “God” is actually talking to this guy is irrelevant.  What’s relevant is whether or not the answers make sense.

 

To me, it made perfect sense, which is why I read seven more books from the series.  And out of thousands of profound pages that I read, there was one thing that “God” said that stuck with me.

 

Here it is….

 

“What would love do?”

 

Think of any big question that has crossed your mind in the past year.  Should I stay at this job, should I tell this lie, should I move to that city?  For a second, forget about what you should do and instead ask “What would love do?”  If you ask that question you will always get the right answer.

 

I decided to go one step further with this and instead of just asking what would love do, I asked what would fear do?  When I asked that question I once again got the right answer.  When I face a decision and ask “What would love do?” and “What would fear do?” I arrive in a place of silence between the person I am and the one I could be.  And that’s when I know what I need to do.

Much love,

Stuart

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August 14, 2008

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