Monthly Archives: September 2013

Thoughts on Relationships & Dating

“We don’t always need advice. Sometimes all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand.” via Marc & Angel

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Relationships have been on my mind for a number of months now, it wasn’t until one of my favourite female bloggers came out with, “Addressing the Divorced Elephant in the Room” that I felt compelled to do so. This blog entry came from Team Liz & Kit. I enjoy their style of blogging because they really have opposite lifestyles at the moment. They have interesting female perspectives on a lot of different topics. So definitely check out their blog… after you read mine of course 😉

I thought I would dig deep for this one or at least as deep as I care to divulge. Relationships or should I say dating, to me is a cruel unusual form of punishment these days. I don’t think dating in itself is cruel, I think technology has really done something to society that takes the personal out of being personally responsible.

One would only hope that if you were dating someone that they would not, could not, end a relationship like this…

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But apparently this is becoming part of how we treat and deal with individuals on a daily basis. And for some reason I’ve grown to be disappointed by all of this, perhaps because I’m very attached and open to all aspects of my emotions. A tad bit old fashion. After all I do believe in opening a door for a lady, sending flowers, and writing poetry about how much seeing a certain look in their eyes lights up my world and when females smile, in this, child like way. Well it just makes me want to melt.

Technology was meant to improve the way that we live, but, should not be how we address our personal responsibility to one another. Out of mutual respect towards each others feelings. Regardless of the fact that perhaps there is no respect, there should be at least common decency. It seems like we’ve openly become this society that avoids pain and hurt like the plague. Which is all well and good, but really, it only serves your purpose and not the other. This type of selfish act, depending upon how attached the other person is to the relationship is, takes away the necessary steps to actually cope with a relationship gone wrong. It leaves them empty inside, struggling and looking for answers in all hours of the night and using “Wiki-Help” and their fabulous & insightful cartoon depiction to get over someone. Which by the way, I for one believe that is a slap in the face of human emotions.

So with all of this in mind, dating, relationships have become so strange to me. I love, the ideal relationship, the kind you only find in romantic comedies. Or if you went to any old age home and you asked your grandparents how they met the love of their life. But these days I find those stories to be to far and in-between. Not to say they don’t still exist, but it seems like you have to go through a couple mini long term relationships just to find the “one”. And thats heart breaking, and what is even more heart breaking to me is I don’t have the high school sweet heart story, or college love story, to tell my future kids about. Those are the relationship stories that have so much hope and filled with history.

The only stories we have is, “I tried e-harmony because I was too busy to have a personal social interaction with someone, so I had to do an impersonal match with someone on another screen instead of finding out about the person the old fashion way of asking questions and getting to know them personally” … Too long? Perhaps.

Again just another way technology doomed us all, and in another few years, we won’t have to use a site to find a match you’ll just be matched at birth like some other countries have been accustomed to.

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I am not 100 percent sure where dating & relationships will go in the near future, all I could say is I hope it has some retro feeling to it. It’s difficult, people are so judgemental and make a decision based upon what they see and not what they feel. And what they feel is something that grows over time. But our time is so precious and busy we don’t really appreciate those moments that make time stand still, the moments our parents felt probably every second they were together.

I hope I am wrong, and if your single & reading this, I hope you discover your storybook love story in a way that best represents what you want.

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Perhaps the true conclusion to draw from “A true love story never ends” is simply it never ends and never really has a beginning either, we merely go through experiences during the course of our lives to find out what truly matters to us the most. Mutual love, respect, honesty, loyalty & always infinite in both receiving and giving. And it doesn’t matter how long it takes, how many different ways you do it, or how you get there. What matters the most is that you’re there. And at that moment you too will receive the kind of love story only shared in movies regardless of age, demographic, or circumstances.

So, What do you think about relationships and dating these days? Leave a comment!

Be well to one another, and as always, Be Legendary.
– Michael

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The Universe is Your Stage so we Ignite our Souls

Sunday September 22nd 2013, I experienced something I don’t think my mind will ever let me forget.

I always wanted to attend a Poetry Slam, and, it has been increasingly been on my brain over the last year to go to one. However, between other obligations and just life in general prevented me, until this night, September 22nd 2013.

Guided By the Spirit

A little back story on poetry and I, I use to write a lot of poems when I was in High School. In fact I became involved in a poetry community where I would post some of my latest work on a board and got some pretty amazing feedback from it. As I grew older I simply stopped. Periodically, I would write, but not as much as I did before. I went through a very troubling time, where I just hated anything artistically & creatively I had done. And as I grew more and more depressed realizing I was not like everyone else… in a fit of rage I tore all my work into pieces and threw away almost 10 years worth of emotions in a single evening.

I would eventually regret my decision to do so, realizing I should have not turn my back on the one thing that eventually would mean everything to me.

Sunday September 22nd, 2013 I attended the Hamilton HYP Poetry Slam, held at Baltimore House. I knew, I just knew I was going to be writing about tonight, and probably a majority of individuals probably won’t be able to begin to understand but I do hope it makes some sort of sense to people reading this.

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First off, I will begin by saying that all of the poets involved in the Open-Mic & Poetry Slam were absolutely amazing. Not just because their poetry was amazing, just to go up in front of that microphone regardless of the poetry reading themselves, displays a lot of courage. Public speaking is the most well known fear and phobia a individual can experience, people would rather die then get up and speak thats how bad it is. So for those individuals that got up on stage on that faithful night of Sunday September 22nd 2013 at Baltimore House Cafe, I applaud you, for that.

Secondly, aside from getting up on stage in front of an audience, pouring something you have written about your emotions. Deep feelings of sadness or thoughts & views on society, in a world where we are only taught to think and feel a certain way and if your views don’t mesh with everyone else you’re considered an outcast… but you, you stood up for what you believe in, spoke your mind, through rhythm and rhyme and told your story… is a source of inspiration for others.

Finally, the energy level that came shining through, the sense of passion displayed within every single word you spoke and breathe you took to let the emotions settle, took my breathe away. I could feel my heart beating faster with each line you read upon that stage, may you make note, words do truly effect us all.

But my experience did not stop there, what came during each of the readings I can not begin to put into words. There were times during each one of those readings, where my eyes would focus and re-focus between the poet and the backdrop of the stage at Baltimore House. And I kid you not, as it defocused upon the backdrop I saw your true self upon that stage. The beautiful most immaculate souls these eyes ever did see.

I saw the fiery courage within the voices, the power and strength of an individual, in which, one would only assume was weak just at a glance. I saw the beauty within a person and the confidence of a warrior ready to do battle. It was right then and there I knew I was meant to attend this amazing event. To experience what I experience and share what I saw with others.

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You see most people go through their entire lives not knowing who they truly are. They get trapped in this idea or vision of who they think other people believe them to be. But when you embrace something so pure as what I saw that night, you can not hide the beauty of your soul.

We grasp on to ideals and adopt them as our own, listening to what society tells us through media and pop culture that this is the ideal lifestyle you want to live. That you should look like this or that. You should run with this crowd because they are the most popular. And we believe in it, we believe in it so strongly we stop at nothing to fit in and we lose ourselves in it.

We deny our true self, but, if we only pursue and listen to our hearts you know it is not who we were meant to be. We end up feeling empty inside, so we fill our lives with meaningless objects & drama that creates stress in our lives, so much so, we caught off our ability to breathe. And all the things we think we want in our lives end up owning us, instead of us owning life.

And all of a sudden we are working just to maintain this lifestyle, but if only we gave ourselves more and surrendered it to the will of the universe, our inner spirit, will we then become whole again. And with that, that is the true meaning of life and that is what I saw up on stage that faithful Sunday night.

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A Journey of 1000 footsteps

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-tzu

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This past weekend was filled with the wondrous gift of friendship and insight, followed by the gift of giving, and, that gift was then given back to me with a warm feeling of admiration and love. With the icing on the cake, Sunday being a day of knowledge and self-reflection. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend in my entire life.

And as Sunday drew to a close I concluded with writing in the final page of my journal I’ve kept for the last year. I’ve kept a written journal of my thoughts since I’ve been in high school. Close to more than a decade of thoughts written in books, it’s been a great source of inspiration to me to go back and see how much personal development has occurred within the span of 10 years, yet alone the last year, which, has been proven to be a year with the most highs and lows in my entire life.

I’m not 100 percent sure what in my life possessed me to keep writing a journal for so long, but I was reading the biography of Benjamin Franklin, and it seemed less “childish” to keep a journal of your thoughts. Ben wrote about his daily activities, experiments and other parts of his life as did Da Vinci, I believe its a great way to monitor personal growth and can be a great source of inspiration for future generations to come one day. I’m glad that I did and continue to do so, never know when they will come in handy.

It’s also great to see how life is full of highs and lows. I can smile to see how excited I was during certain high points in my life and learn how much emotional strength was created by working through my low points. And just how long did it take me to bounce back each time a low point occurred, and how did I do so and to whom was I with during a time of need.

I’m not going to write about how perfect I am. I’m not going to tell you every single relationship was a positive one and never ended badly. I’m not concern with how it might appear to other people as they read this. Truthfully, I am perfectly, imperfect. I have my faults and my weaknesses in life and I acknowledge what they are. We try so hard to be what everyone else wants us to be and we hold this image in our mind that if we don’t possess certain qualities, look a certain way or act a certain way that people will just not care about us anymore. I like the blunt honest truth, I am that I am, and acceptance has put me that much closer in-tune with myself, to then be able to work on my weaknesses in life. To understand relationships better and attract more wealth not just in possessions but spiritual. (Yeah, I’m one of THOSE types of people, sorry.)

Getting back to this past weekend, the greatest gift you can offer someone is your time, time well spent is time laughing and sharing in fond memories & creating new ones. And just the ability to share happiness with each other can instantaneously alter another persons path, as happiness & positivity is infections. Needless to say I am excited, I am filled with joy by the friendships that are in my life right now. And I wish I could just go on top of a mountain every single morning and shout out how grateful I am for all of them. And I guess this blog could be considered my mountain, but don’t take your friends for granted. Let them know how much they mean to you as a person, for real, it’s the most painful experience to wake up one morning and realize things aren’t how they were before. So appreciate them, not in what you say, but in what you can do, without anything in return.

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Which brings me to another kind of friendship that I do love to have in my life, a person that you might not see them every single day, or week, month or even years but still find ways to communicate. They are there in your heart in some way shape or form, they might not tell you but just how much of an impact you, being you, has had on them.

Some of these friends drift away, gone off to do their own thing for sometime but something always draws you back into their lives. It could be a life event, or someone who is just willing to take the plunge to make an effort to reconnect because they miss that feeling you gave to them, but something draws you back to the essence of their being.

And the magic happens when that time in-between, never even really happened, you just picked up where you left off. You might have grown, experienced different things but you still remember that feeling you got from being around that person.

Friends are like stars they come and they go but only the true ones glow

So what does all these have to do with the above quote at the very top? Everything! Friendships are very important to a persons success, people have the ability to uplift you or drag you down to their level. So choose your friends wisely my friends, You want to surround yourself with individuals that are optimistic, not pessimistic. You want to have friends that believe in possibilities and not just be satisfied with how things are. And lastly you want to be around people that have the same sense of purpose and passion as you do. People that want to be there to share your excitement, challenge you to do great things with your life and can help them do the same in theirs.

I will leave you with this great interview with LeBron James, NBA superstar, who credits his success in the NBA to the friendship he developed before his success.

Be Brave – Be strong and Be Legendary
– Michael

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Top Three Networking Opportunities in Hamilton (September)

So as early morning approaches, and waking up to the sounds of crickets filling the air I thought I’d take the time to write a blog. I have two other blog ideas going but as I was on my way home today, seeing a bus filled with wide eyed impressionable minds excited about starting a new year at McMaster University or Mohawk College. I thought I’d take a minute to introduce some events those students might be interested in going to.

It’s never too early in a school term to get yourself out there to some of these networking events happening in Hamilton, and as I look at my calendar I keep of all these events I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by just how many events there are. Some I come accustomed to going on a monthly basis because I love the social interaction I have with them. Some I know and feel obligated to go as you never know what opportunity might come by going.

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So I thought I’d compile a list of 3 event/networking events happening in the city that I feel as a creative individual or entrepreneur should attend and why.

Startup Drinks

This is actually a fitting one, not only is it coming up really fast but it’s also just a great way to ease into your month of getting yourself out there. I think I’ve been attending Startup Drinks for about a year now. I don’t think I missed one yet. It is not because it has my favourite word in it… You can hazard a guess which word that might be! But truthfully it is the individuals, like me, that go out to Startup Drinks on a regular basis. It ranges from Developers to Graphic Designers, Lawyers to Game Designers. You name it, they will probably be there.

My favourite part of Startup Drinks is the discussions that happen, some will pitch you ideas, some will come just to introduce themselves but one of my favourite conversations happened just last month. Entrepreneurs discussing how Yoga and Meditation can help create a balanced lifestyle which is not really something that is discussed often enough. When you tend to go to other networking events, it is a lot of “pitching”, I remember when I first starting going to events oh how nervous I was, and scared to talk about myself especially when I know the other person is judging me by how I dress, how I present my ideas, how I act. Meanwhile still waiting for their opportunity to speak so they can talk about themselves. Finding Startup drinks, to discuss topics such as like how each individual handles stress was to say the least a stress reliever to know that others feel the same way.

Startup Drinks isn’t like that though, there is no agenda to it, no formal address from a speaker, it’s just a group of people gathered in one centralized location discussing matters that sometimes do not get addressed. I highly recommend anyone that is interested in starting to build a networking presence to come out to Startup Drinks, you will meet individuals that you will see at other events but have an opportunity to greet them with no-pressure environment. As they say, first impression is key, and when there is already pressure on hand how will one truly get to know you in the end?

Startup Drinks is happening:
Thursday September 12, 2013 (monthly event)
At Winking Judge on Augusta St.
And starts at 6pm and goes until late.
http://www.softwarehamilton.com/startupdrinks/

Creative Exchange

Now, on the other side of the spectrum, Creative Exchange I love to attend, again, I only have missed one or two over the past year due to the fact that there was way to many events to go to. Go-Hamilton-Go! In all honestly while for a person like me that I try to attend everything is a nightmare… it’s great to see so many different types of events out there to suit your needs.

Creative Exchange is a monthly networking event for Hamilton’s creative class, it is organized by the city’s Film & Television office. This one does follow a routine, but I do enjoy that routine. They allow you to openly address the group, introducing yourself with usually a minute pitch and explain what you do, and what you’re hoping to get out of being at the event and from the Hamilton community. You’ll also get updated on what is going on in Hamilton’s Film and Television world as well as any other sort of news that might be taking place in the creative space.

There is always a great turn out of highly respected creative individuals to create an engaging conversation with, and as always a great opportunity to meet someone new to Hamilton that is just excited to be apart of the Hamilton Creative Community.

While this is usually a monthly event, I’m not 100 percent sure when the next one will be, no formal updates have been made just yet however, Creative Exchange has been spending the last 6 months working on a Music Strategy plan after the Ontario government announced its plan to invest 45 million dollars to help cities like Hamilton to promote their music industry.

So, why should you attend their open house? You will be able to meet the very same individuals who come out to a normal Creative Exchange Networking event, plus be introduced to some of the movers and shakers of Hamilton’s Music Scene.

Now you’re saying, but, I’m a photographer, or videographer what does that have to do with me? It has everything to do with you, the Music Strategy plan will include everything from marketing and promotions to the musicians themselves. Pretty much anyone or any company that will be or can be involved in helping promote the scene should and needs to be included.

To find out more check out the link below!

The Creative Exchange Music Strategy Open House is happening
September 24th 2013 at Tourism Hamilton (Visitors Centre)
from 6pm to 9pm.
http://filmhamiltonontario.ning.com/events/hamilton-music-strategy-open-house-2nd-event

Innovation Factory’s Lunch n Learn

This is a different kind of event, I’ve been to a few so far and I’ve always learned something new in the business world. There is usually a formal networking part while you enjoy a nice lunch. And then a speaker discussing a certain aspect of business. I enjoy going to them because it allows me an opportunity to see people in the startup space that I don’t normally get to see at Startup Drinks.

Here is what will be happening this month from Lunch n Learn

“All About Franchising
Please join iF on Tuesday September 24, 2013 for a unique learning and networking opportunity presented by KPMG. Enjoy a free lunch while Ash Vasdani (McDonald’s) offers his insights into franchising. Do you own a business that could be franchised? Are you looking at buying into an existing franchise? Or, are you just interested in learning about franchising? If so, this Lunch ‘n Learn is for you! Ash will discuss franchising as a growth strategy, the motivations, benefits and opportunities for both the franchisee and the franchisor when entering into a franchise relationship, and shares his experiences with different types of franchise partnerships.
Our Lunch ‘n Learn events are a great way to get out and network while enjoying a free lunch, and learning something new! Please forward this to all of the innovators you know.”

If you want to see more about Innovation Factory’s Lunch n Learn check out their website.

And there you have it, this is merely a taste of what is happening. There are more events happening in the city and new ones being created by awesome community leaders every single day. So I’ll leave you with this, as we become accustom to social media to interact with individuals and stay within our own comfort zone you lose sight of what it truly means to be human. Fear of the unknown challenges us to grow beyond expectations. And real life social interaction helps develop the foundation of human communication.

It’s very easy to say how we feel online, but it is another thing to be able to speak eloquently in person to express our ideas and our dreams. You can stay within your core inner circle or you can grow your inner circle beyond measure. Start now, build your connections and relationships. You never know what opportunity might come your way just with a simple introduction.

Stay Legendary,
Michael

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