Tag Archives: happiness

The Lollipop Moment

My daughter is in grade seven and just made house captain. She’s thrilled by this honor. Her teachers and peers say she was chosen not for her outstanding popularity or nor her ability to influence others by extroverted behavior. Her most outstanding leadership characteristics have been demonstrated every year since Kindergarten in her ability to take her own initiative and to lead by example.  Today, she showed me this TEDx video that truly resonated with me on the theme of leadership. My daughter is totally inspired by the concept that leadership can take light in the everyday, ordinary world.

It’s in the small stuff where one can make the biggest differences.  Leadership can thereby be found in every individual. It is in the art of these small, lollipop moments that the biggest impacts on people can be made. This is a good challenge for us all to regularly have our lollipop moments by giving them naturally without premeditation or agenda.






Take a Break! You Need it!

Gen Y Girl


I’ve been struggling with a really annoying problem lately and I don’t know what to do.

I’m tired… ALL THE TIME.

And I hate it!

Someone please explain this to me…

I’m a CrossFit junkie three times a week.

I eat pretty healthily (I hope that’s a word).

And I’m 22 years old!


So where’s all my energy gone?

I see people twice my age going out and having a great time and me…all I want to do is take a nap.

That can’t be normal.

In the three years that I’ve been working full-time, it’s almost like all the life has been sucked out of me.

I kind of want to cry.

But it’s not an unusual feeling, really. Research the negative affects of work and you’ll find the following:




And then we wonder why so many people are dropping dead from heart attacks.


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The Myth of Work-life Balance

Work to live. Live to work. We’ve heard that before.

Nigel Marsh is the author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” and “Overworked and Underlaid.” In this TED Talk video, Nigel has an interesting approach to the concept of work-life balance, and really gets down to the core of what is really important.

What would you do if you couldn’t be a rock star?

Have you ever contemplated a drastic career change? Sometimes the thought could be frightening or exhilarating. Jobs come and go. As well, specific responsibilities and the scope of some jobs change. What we want out of work also changes, with our values shifting as we get older. Are we all happy doing what we’re doing right now, this very moment? Could we think of doing anything else?

I was watching TV the other night, and caught the last 20 minutes of the classic 1984 mock ‘rockumentary’ This is Spinal Tap. This funny movie left us with many iconic pop culture lines such as “It’s like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.” and “Put it up to eleven.”
“Eleven. Exactly. One louder.”

Some of the best lines are at the end when they are running the credits.  The documentary filmmaker, Marty DiBergi, played by Rob Reiner asks the bandmembers “If you could not play Rock and Roll, what would you do?” Some of the answers are hilarious, but my favourite is the exchange between Marty DiBergi and lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel played by Christopher Guest at the very end. Start watching at 4:30

Nigel Tufnel: [on what he would do if he couldn’t be a rock star] Well, I suppose I could, uh, work in a shop of some kind, or… or do, uh, freelance, uh, selling of some sort of, uh, product. You know…
Marty DiBergi: A salesman?
Nigel Tufnel: A salesman, like maybe in a, uh, haberdasher, or maybe like a, uh, um… a chapeau shop or something. You know, like, “Would you… what size do you wear, sir?” And then you answer me.
Marty DiBergi: Uh… seven and a quarter.
Nigel Tufnel: “I think we have that.” See, something like that I could do.
Marty DiBergi: Yeah… you think you’d be happy doing something like-…
Nigel Tufnel: “No; we’re all out. Do you wear black?” See, that sort of thing I think I could probably… muster up.
Marty DiBergi: Do you think you’d be happy doing that?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, I don’t know – wh-wh-… what’re the hours?

I don’t know about you,  I just can’t picture Nigel Tufnel being happy selling hats. 🙂

Leave the Door Open

When I was little, I was taught about responsibility by owning pets. First it was goldfish, then it was lizards and salamanders that I picked up from the forest behind my house before I graduated onto hamsters, and then to dogs.

The hamsters taught me a lot about uncertainty.

See, they lived in a cage.
It looked the same day in and day out. That spinning wheel stayed in the same place every day. The cage always had two floors to it. They got food and water from the same spot.

They explored that cage every day as if it was new to them. As if that wheel was finally gonna break them free and that food finally going to taste that much better.

When I would open the cage door, to “set them free,” they ran – ran to a safe spot in their cage or that awkward place under the ladder where I couldn’t reach them. They dug into the wood chips. They hid. They flared their teeth at me. They became scared of leaving the same cage they were held captive in.

The only way they would come out was to wait. I waited until they calmed down, regained that sense of curiosity about their surroundings, and found the open door themselves. And there I would be, ready to pat and play with the happy little critters as they ran around our living room floor.

When I am introduced to new situations at work, new people, or new development distinctions, I can sometimes become that hamster – digging into my own jail and hiding in fear from what I don’t know.
The magic happens when I discover the newness “on my own.”
It resonates more with me.
I make it an adventure.
It builds up my confidence in handling the unknown.

When we want to set another person free, just leave the door open.

This guest post was written by Matt Corker –  International Operations Specialist, lululemon athletica

Matt Corker has a serious addiction to big ideas, bold goals, and strong communities. After working for the University of British Columbia in alumni and student affairs, Matt was drawn to lululemon athletica – a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company that creates components for people to live long, healthy, and fun lives. After working first in Leadership Development creating opportunities _MG_6446that empower their great staff to achieve their dreams and live a life they LOVE, he moved into a new role supporting the global goals of the company. Matt has a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resource Management and International Business from the Sauder School of Business at UBC and his MBA from the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. He has a strong background in leadership and development and a big heart for new technologies, inspiring minds, and giving out great high fives. More information about Matt can be found at http://thatsacorker.com.

What if Money Didn’t Matter

After watching this video, think about it thoroughly and share in the comments what you would want to do with your life if money didn’t matter.

Perks at Work

Yes, we’ve heard about company perks that big employers like Google and Facebook can offer their employees. But, what can smaller companies do? With limited budgets, it can be challenging, but offering attractive low-cost perks encourages creative ideas that will keep employees engaged and happy.

Some good perks to many employees are flexible schedules, telecommuting, and extra vacation days. Depending on the environment and culture, some employees enjoy the benefits of Take Your Dog to Work Day. There is also job sharing for new parents, or a paid day off per year to volunteer for a favourite charity. These are just some of the benefits that enable employees to work well and live well.

Many years ago, I worked at a company where the Director of our branch office did a lot of corporate travel. He racked up the air miles points, enough to be rewarded a long haul flight, and every year at the staff holiday party he drew a name out of a hat. I remember one year, the winning staff member was our long time receptionist who used the air miles to go on her honeymoon to the Caribbean. Although only one person really benefited from this perk, we all felt great about it.  It did wonders for morale.

A tricky thing about introducing a new perk, is the sustainability of it. When financial times are tough, sometimes it’s those little perks that go away first. It can be awfully hard to take back those pizza Fridays that everybody enjoyed for the past year. Outrage may occur, and companies don’t like being the bad guy.

That being said, it can be fun to change things up a bit. Replace one perk with another one. A great morale booster is a peer-led recognition system, whereas the staff nominates one of their fellow co-workers as a star employee for going above and beyond their regular work.  The company provides the prize – anything from a paid day off or gift cards. With a values-driven culture, the company should be in tune to their employees’ interests, and the awards can be highly personalized.

While going above and beyond the standard benefits can help boost moral and create a loyal workforce, keep in mind that it is not the dollar amount that matters. Taking a philosophical approach to values and culture, and the thought you put into it will create a culture of happiness and fun in the long run.