Tag Archives: Passion

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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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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Is embracing your inner Schmuck a wise idea?

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This past week I learned one fundamental about myself, there is a lot of pent up aggression I don’t tend to release, and when it doesn’t get exposed too often it builds and builds until there is just an explosion. And when I share this aggressive side, people are a little taken back. They become so accustom to the “Nice Guy” part of me, that the aggressive behaviour I share with the rest of the world every once and a while becomes a turn-off.

So begs the question, is it healthy to embrace the inner “asshole”, does it pay to be nice all the time? Humans are humans, we are a chamber of emotions. We can lock up a majority of the negative emotions for a greater part of our lives but does it do us any good? And is there a healthier way of expressing it?

Often times my frustration comes from people’s lack of understanding of who I am, I strongly believe that I am a futurist. A person who is a head of the times. I get frustrated when I have so many ideas swarming in my head and have a need to express my future plans with people or share what is happening around the world and people just don’t get it.

I often turn to alcohol, to numb my brain from all the ideas that I want to be able to work on just so I don’t get too far ahead of myself. And I am able to freely express them. But with that comes the darker side to my personality, the side I spent all week ignoring and kept locked up. Then, there is this tipping point, where it becomes an explosive amount of energy.

Before I use to be worried about what I would find on my phone the next morning, who did I text, who did I call? Now it seems to be a different pattern of “OH God, what did I share on Facebook!” or “What person did I message on Facebook that I alienated a friendship with. Sometimes, I just have to laugh at the shear ridiculousness of my personality.

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There’s no point in complaining or feeling bad after the fact, and, I don’t like playing the “Blame it on the alcohol abuse” the evening before. All you can do is forgive yourself and move on.

Truth is, everyone is like this. No one will admit it in person to you, because we disguise our personality behind walls like Facebook. We want people to love us, and know how to play up a character. Then there are those that just use social media to vent, there is no positive side other than sharing things they love but for the most part creating rants through FB Status updates. And we become accustom to their personality online, mean while they are actually really nice in person.

And you can say “I don’t do that” or “What you see is what you get” but you know that would be a lie. Lets be honest with ourselves here for one second. We are human, we have emotions that need to be expressed. We have anger, we have happiness, we have sadness and all of these and countless more needs to be expressed. Don’t go hating on yourself for saying something out of anger want to express it in fear of not being accepted.The more you share, the healthier emotionally you get.

Finding ways to share it that is not abusive to other people is the important part, don’t worry about how ridiculous you might look. Or how other people will perceive you to be after posting something. If they judge you based off of words written on a social site, they are really judging themselves. “Judge not lest ye be judge”

I don’t make any apologize about not censoring myself, it is just the way I choose to live my life. And some will subscribe to my lifestyle while others will not. It’s learning how to accept my behaviour, when it becomes untamed. Don’t think for one second that I am “That person” because my personality tends to fluctuate within a matter of minutes and that’s the way I’ve been, and continue to be.

This week, was just one of those weeks, I had a lot to celebrate for, and by over indulging in bad habits I might have over board which just simply brings out a different side no one is use to.

Do you ever get like this?

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5 Things I wish I knew in college as a creative

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I learned in my college years at Mohawk College as a Television Broadcasting student the past few weeks. And had many conversations with highly engaged community driven creative individuals and I can’t imagine what the future for creatives in the city will be like in 5 to 10 years down the line.

The industry is changing very drastically even from a month-to-month basis that it’s hard to know how everything in the digital space will pan out. I’m not going to write something like Television is completely dead. It really isn’t, but how we consume our media has drastically change.

Our society has slowly changed, we no longer have valuable family time on a Friday night, watching Family Matters, Full House, and Whose The Boss. We no longer sit down at 6pm & or 11pm to watch the evening news… why would we? We’ve checked out our facebook, twitter feed and got the news updates as it is happening in real time. It use to be normal just have one single television set in the family room where we could all congregate, and then, it became normal to have a television set in every room of the house… okay, I’m exaggerating, perhaps one in each bedroom, plus a family room.

But as the digital age progresses, fewer people are watching “television” the way we use to think television should be watched. A majority of television consumption is now through our Smart phones, Tablets, laptop and desktop computers. We are also consuming media in shorter lengths of time because our attention span as dwindled down right to the core. If it doesn’t capture our attention within the first 30 seconds you’ve lost the audience. If you’re not a die hard fan of the concept why do I care to watch it in the first place.

So with all that being said, I wonder what kind of education is being programmed into young idealistic minds today to shape the future of tomorrow. Are they learning about the importance of content being produced and know why we create with an idea of cross platform purposes. Are they merely being taught the basics of video production or other technical aspects that would go into storytelling or finally are they being taught to think in new innovative ways, and think beyond the box we tend to put ourselves in.

So with that being said, I comprised a short top 5 list of things I wish I knew when I first got started in College.

1.) Networking, biggest favour to yourself is getting out in the community and network with other creatives, bring your friends, along with you too, force them into it if you have to!

Networking at events such as Creative Exchange, anything by Factory Media Arts, Cobalt Connects, get out there now, even if you’re just starting out and have nothing to show, it doesn’t matter. The skills you develop by actually interacting with people that are doing something in real time will go a long way with your professional career.

And you never know, you might just end up with a job with a simple handshake and a smile. Find the grassroots networking events, Startup Drinks comes to mind, which is a great networking event that happens once a month that will allow you to easily break the ice, but be consistent when attending. Once you do that, bring a friend, then they feel comfortable and may know another individual that might consider it of value to make connections. That is how we grow together as a community and build long lasting relationships with our peers.

And if at all possible, if you see something missing and you think the creative community could benefit from, build your own networking event. Reach out to the people you wish you could see more of at networking events, never get bogged down being and be an island only to yourself and a select few. The more individuals you know the more opportunities are then created for you to grow not only as a professional but as a person as well.

That’s what I ended up doing over the last year, after I attended my first Web Series meet up in Toronto, I fell in love with the energy that flowed through the space. It was something I was already passionate about so it only made sense to me that I wanted to bring that energy to the Hamilton Creatives.

And don’t be afraid to take the lead, and be a leader if you have to, even if it’s not widely accepted in the beginning. The more you work on building your connections the more people get to know what you’re up to and trying to accomplish.

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2.) If you’re not on social media, start now! And I don’t mean just the usual suspects (Facebook and Google) I mean twitter, Linkedin, even instagram. Use them to build your digital presence, another fellow Mohawk Grad actually brought this up. And after thinking about it, it was so true. You don’t have to have a company twitter account, it is more about getting into the process of interacting with again your community, building trust online, and creating engaging conversation.

Just make sure when you do sign up for twitter, you make your user name as simple as your first and last name. Try not to make it too crazy. The friend I spoke of which most of you reading this probably have seen his tweets, has gone through a few name changes and the only reason for this is as he continues to grow his following on twitter he has changed his work place at least once or twice and with each time he does, he merely changes the end of his twitter handle to reflect the company that he might be working for.

Linkedin, another great way to build relationships and potential leads for future job opportunities. Again, regardless of work experience, start building your professional connections now! It will make the transition process of being a student to a professional a whole lot smoother.

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3.) Take a business course: I would have loved to have more of an intensive class within the 3 year program that talks about the aspect of being a creative entrepreneur. For those individuals that have a passion and drive to build their own business. To be able to learn more about team building, managerial, sales, marketing side of production services. And the knowing what a reasonable rate is for the line of work that you’re doing. Obviously it will vary depending on the situation, a team of one won’t charge the same price as a team of 5 or 6 individuals as a company so that is a must to take into the consideration.

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4.) Development of boundaries: In other words, don’t ever let anyone walk all over you and take advantage of your skill sets as a creative. There is a statue of limitations on proving yourself in the industry and get away from the “It will be a great demo reel piece.” Knowing how much your time is worth, how much your equipment costs and your educational background. You are not a ‘starving artist’ there is no such thing, you just have to develop the right mindset as a creative well in advance before you dive in.

I can tell you through my experience, I spent almost a grand total of 14,000 dollars on getting all of my equipment. I saw it as an investment opportunity, and I haven’t regretted that decision yet. I also spend money every time I go out and buy a new external hard drive so I can properly archive and maintain raw footage just in case if I have to go back to something.

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Now going back to education, if your in Television Broadcasting, you’re using industry leading, cutting edge equipment that probably costs more than anyone is willing to admit. You’re trained in the art of storytelling, knowing what drives a great emotional piece that psychologically compels the viewer to share. You’re using equipment has to be properly taken care of and update and software that costs a pretty penny, unless of course you do it the old pirate way.

So knowing where, when and why you’re setting the boundaries is key. This isn’t a hobby class you’re taking this is your professional career and people have to understand that but most of all you have to understand that. And you might have to say no to projects you really want to take on, but, if you say yes all the time and especially with little to no pay being rewarded it will be that much harder to break later on in life.

5.) Follow your passion: This one is probably the most important of them all. Follow your passion, passion & enthusiasm will set you apart from everyone else. Never let the industry drain your passion to the point that you become jaded. The minute that you come across like that, get out of the way.

And there is a big difference between being realistic and jaded, even when your realistic you still have enthusiasm but if you’re jaded you just rip apart anything that someone new wants to try. And it becomes more pessimistic view on the world. Never let someone else’s path derail you from yours.

Even if they have 30 years worth of experience behind them, the fact is, times are changing. What might not have worked 10 years ago when they first tried to implement the very same idea, could have a completely different impact on how it could work now. Be mindful of these individuals, and stay true to your passionate side, keep the imagination alive and be open to endless possibilities, hang on to that as tightly as possible!

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And my final thought for all of the above is always stay true to yourself, never try and pretend to be like someone else! Be as real as possible. You don’t need to impress anyone, you just need to be you! Let your passion shine through your work like the golden sun breaking through the clouds of a stormy day.

Love and cherish every minute that you spend filling your head up with knowledge and truly empower yourself to be the best creative individual you can be.

– Cheers Michael

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5 things to be grateful for

Today was a great day of self reflection, after doing my morning post I took some time to meditate. It was very relaxing and a found myself in a very peaceful state of mind. I also started watching a bunch of different documentaries about the startup culture in the US, particularly how immigration laws make it difficult for entrepreneurs who move from over seas to the states in order to start a business.

Even if they were creating jobs that would employ 100 employees of Americans in the process they make it very difficult to start anything, I find that to be fascinating since I’ve always stated that North America was founded by immigrants. Now all of a sudden we close the doors and don’t let anyone in? It was a very good documentary regardless. One particular startup had to shut down his already up and going startup and lay off American employees to go through the process of getting a work visa. It’s bizarre.

Here is the link below of the video definitely worth the watch.

I also got into watching the BBC documentary on Steve Jobs, he is the most amazing person when you see his entire life story unfold on screen, it’s getting me very excited to watch the new film about his life ‘Jobs the Movie’ due out August 16 in theatres. I think Ashton Kutcher by the looks of the trailer will play Steve Jobs role very well. Personally probably will be my favourite movie of the summer!

And of course I did a few facebook posts, and tweets about stuff during the course of the day and that was pretty much my day in a nutshell, very relaxing and gearing up for a week of busy work and getting projects done and shipped out there.

I also reflected a little bit about my life on all the things that I am grateful for, and the list is absolutely endless if you really start to think about it you can rhyme off item after item, one by one. There is just so much we take advantage of knowing that it’s just there that we don’t pay enough homage to them.

Here are a little list of things I am grateful for:

1.) I am grateful for life, particularly my life, it has been an unusual journey of self-discovery, something that while there are things I wish I could go back and change in actual fact, things are just the way they should be. Firmly believe that things do happen for a reason, and while you might not know what that reason is right away just have faith that everything was meant to be as it is and should be. I am also particularly grateful for my natural artistic abilities. Something I discussed in the previous blog with the bible quote. It has always resonated something within me about that. And how many of us choose to live a life where we aren’t using our talents to it’s full potential. And lastly about my life is I am eternally grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had so far in my life time. And had a chance to work on some amazing projects with great people!

2.) Family, we take advantage of family so much in our life because we are surrounded by our family all the time. But when our family starts to disappear, and members of our family grow older and move on creating new families, we lose touch with them. It’s sad in a way but it’s always a beautiful thing when that sense of togetherness comes back for a BBQ or just simply hanging out for the sake of hanging out. And during tough times in our lives family is very important, that supportive feeling can be an awesome and uplifting feeling to have at your side.

3.) Friends, I’ve gained friends, I’ve lost friends, and I forged new friendships with people, that is the name of the game. I find that the quote about friendship is very much true…

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I will also add not just ‘real’ ones but people you can count on when in need, people that won’t lie to you just so it benefits them in the end. I would rather hear the truth from a real friend then hear a lie from a fake friend. But even the ones we weed out of our lives as not important to us, do teach us something. Even if it was a bad experience, it can be a humbling realization that humans will be humans and we must take them as they are and not what our idealistic views of how a friend should be like. Some friends were meant to only stay in our lives for a short period of time and when they leave it opens up room in your heart to let new and more exciting people to come in.

4.) Emotions, I am completely grateful for having the ability to freely express my emotions. Regardless of the type of emotions they are, even sadness, pain, and heart ache. Without these emotions we would never know what it feels like to feel in love, happiness, and fulfilment. It also makes you aware just how alive you truly are. I would not want to go day after day only feeling one emotion, even if it was happiness. I don’t think I would every feel right if I walked around with a smile 24/7 for the rest of my life. I need to have that personal struggle in my life to know how strong I am. I need to have the ability to express sadness when I need to, to show I am an emotional human being.

5.) Humbleness and Humility, sometimes we get very high and mighty on ourselves and can prove to be a detrimental, there is nothing wrong with pride. Only if you have the ability to be humble about your pride, and willingness to share a piece of vulnerability in humility. Sometimes life isn’t going to be this picture perfect life. You will fail more times than you will succeed at life. But the important aspect to remember is to never give up, no matter how many times you want to throw in the towel. Especially if your vision is as important to you as the air that you breathe. You will find away eventually, as long as you keep attacking from different angles and never get stuck on one particular thing.

I think from my point of view, I am just blessed to have so many wonderful things in my life, things that individuals take for granted and never seek gratitude to have that in their lives. I welcome pain and suffering just as much as I welcome love and happiness because I know good things never last but neither do bad. It’s part of the roller coaster of life.

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We can’t hide from pain, we can’t escape suffering, it’s better to develop natural coping mechanisms that will help you rise above your discomfort by working through it all to better understand yourself and understand the world we live in. But as we get better at understanding and knowing we will not know everything there is to know about life, the more you will risk and take more chances and when that happens life is a beautiful place.

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The most powerful weapon human kind has, the power of choice.

A few days ago I had a few meetings to go to and a few things to sort out with my life, probably one of the better days I’ve had in a little while. I noticed something about myself when I started talking to someone about some of the stuff that I’ve done in the past and what I am looking forward to do, I get really soft and silent when it comes to certain subjects but very loud and animated when I discuss things about community and just in general certain stuff I am passionate about.

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It’s very strange what happened, I wanted to ask to get into this certain program that will help me develop what I want to develop in my field of video production and storytelling, but that’s not what the weird part. The weird part came after when someone sent me an email to a link to the very same program I was looking for more information on, which brings me to the conclusion that this is something I need and must do.

I might have to sacrifice a few things in my life at the moment but I am prepared to take those sacrifices on to continue to build what I would call my legacy, sounds a little bit vain, I know but having an ego is not necessarily a bad thing to have in life. It just means you know what you want, and the image you want to leave behind. And this is merely one part of the legacy I wish to leave with the rest of the world.

These blogs of course are apart of that, making sure I document every step leaving my footprint upon the world and making sure people know, I was here, and I am never to be forgotten. The other most powerful moment of the day was having a conversation with a young creative entrepreneur I met just about a year coming up this August. He is two years younger than I am, but he has this passion and drive and ideology towards life in him that I’ve never really seen before at a relatable level. We talked about his project which is this festival he started and how I come to cross paths with him called “A mid-summer nights dream”.

This is something I captured of the day event festival.

His outlook on life was very refreshing to see, a majority of individuals I meet or are friends with are slightly older than I, and there for have become jaded by pursing something new and with a sense of purpose. That I really enjoyed my conversation with him. His story about struggle and not knowing if the festival will be a success or not but something told him inside of himself to just do it and keep going. “Push on through” as he said things happen during the right time and place it is suppose to happen.

Needless to say he is very excited for this years festival and I to am as excited because I watched his progress and seen how much effort and work he has devoted himself to this festival that it will pay off in droves. I think the festival will have a bigger turn out than last year now that people who were there are helping to spread the message. And I think it is the best time for a festival like this.

You can see it, within the past two artcrawls in Hamilton even for the summer the amount of people that are out and about exploring James St North which is the centre for not only Hamilton, but Hamilton’s Art & culture community. The last artcrawl almost felt like supercrawl which only happens once a year and they shut down the streets, there was enough people and energy that fills James St N that warranted that to happen so people could freely walk down the street rather than a sidewalk.

The exciting growth in Hamilton’s Arts community grew organically, and that growth and excitement is now hitting a huge turning point in how art and culture can revitalize a city.

The third most thing that happened to me on that very same day was a friend of mine took me to a bar and I very suddenly realized that they had karaoke, which again gets me going sometimes when I want to express that side of me. Nothing like belting out my favourite songs to sing to unleash the musical creativity in me. Since I don’t play any musical instruments Karaoke and singing to me are the next best thing I can do to satisfy that need.

Karaoke Playlist: Frank Sinatra – My Way, Bobby Darin – Mack The Knife, Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire, Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World, Jerry Lee Lewis – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going on, AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

Afterwards my friend that I was with said to me that she didn’t realize I had the range of music, and I was a renaissance man of talent, which often goes unnoticed. This made me smile, because this is how exactly how I feel about me and my art. A few of my idols as artists such as Michelangelo, or Da Vinci were best known for a wide range of talents and I always transplanted that idea in developing my creativity. So needless to say I feel like I’ve done something right now that people are starting to take notice.

It is important to me not just as an artist but as a human being to be able to freely explore the endless pool of abilities that God has given me, and I’m not much of a religious individual, I grew up catholic but I find organized religion to lose its purpose when you have agendas that have nothing to do with a calling from a higher power. I do believe in God, I just don’t believe in the catholic church. I don’t believe in going to a place of worship every Sunday especially since God and the spirit of God is all around us and surrounds us. I believe in celebrating in my own way and I think God would want us to do that.

“For qit will be like a man rgoing on a journey, who called his servants3 and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five stalents,4 to another two, to another one, tto each according to his ability. Then he rwent away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and udug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now vafter a long time the master of those servants came and wsettled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and xfaithful servant.5 yYou have been faithful over a little; zI will set you over much. Enter into athe joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be ba hard man, reaping cwhere you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here dyou have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You ewicked and eslothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 fFor to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And gcast hthe worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place gthere will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 25:14-30

This bible story always stuck out in my mind when I think about talents and abilities, and finding purpose within your talents to be able to share with the rest of the world the gift that which you have been given. Never fear your abilities, realizing that you have so much to give, and the more you give freely of yourself, the more ye shall return by the grace of God.

I am more of a spiritual human being rather than a God fearing individual, so hope you didn’t read into this as if I was just that. I am open to the endless possibilities that can and will only be discovered after departed from this body and where our souls go afterwards. And if you don’t believe in anything like that I certainly hope you’re making the most out of your life if you think that this is the only thing we have to look forward to.

I am eternally grateful for having this kind of mindset that was nurtured within me, to be humbled by not knowing what might happen after we pass on, but appreciating all religion’s just as they individual belief systems. My favourite religion teacher once said to our class “The secret is just to do and be good, if you do and be good with your life that’s all that matters”. And I believe that to be true. Just do the best that you can with your life and not be afraid. There are no right or wrong answers just experiences. So go and experience as much of life as you possibly can. Be good to your neighbour and fellow man/woman. And love as much as you can with out fear of being hurt in the process, because even in pain there is always a reason and I believe with all my heart and soul that you would not be given a bad experience you were not meant to handle.

Best part of being human is our ability to adapt and gain strength even during our darkest moments, the human spirit will always prevail.

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