Saturday, August 31, 2013

How Thinking Well Can Make A Difference!

Thinking well isn’t something you do just because it seems like a good approach to take, it’s a way a of life you embrace and put into practice as much as you possibly can.  When you develop a positive mindset and adopt it into your way of being, it’s not easily abandoned when things don’t go your way.

One of the sayings I often find myself sharing with people is that, “I don’t have bad days, I have bad moments.”  There are some days when I find myself replaying this in my head over and over again as a reminder that my day or life for that matter doesn’t have to be defined by a mishap or series of unfortunate events.  It totally recognizes that there will be points throughout the day when things will go terribly wrong and we’ll come up on the short end of the stick but they don’t have dominate our entire being.

I think of my good friend Rick Sovereign as an example of someone who wholeheartedly embraces this positive mindset.  You see, Rick has been battling prostate cancer for the last couple of years and there have been several moments when things didn’t look good and the thought was that he would be lost to friends and family was a reality but throughout it all Rick continues to persevere and sees each setback as a minor hiccup.

The difference for him has always been his mental approach to each and every situation.

Although he's a pro golfer by trade, he has a deep love for the game of basketball and he cares about the growth and development of the game particularly in young people.  In fact, he and I first connected almost a decade ago when our daughters who were the same age were trying out for the same basketball team.  Our similar passion for the game brought us together and  we’ve been friends ever since.

He has always been super positive and credits it to the way he thinks.  As I write this, Rick is in the hospital with what he believes is Stage 5 cancer despite the fact that the medical professionals say that there are only four stages and that doctors have told him his illness has advanced to the last one.

I once remember Rick sharing with me how he learned how to "think well" which is a concept he cultivated on the golf course.  There are times when we have to deviate from the “plan” and do something different based on the set of circumstances we're presented with.  Every round of golf doesn’t go according to plan and there are always times where you'll have to deviate because you've hit into a sand trap.  We all basically have to work with what we've been given.

This is what he did continually did over and over again.  He broke both of his arms several months back when he was routinely climbing out of bed one morning.  You see, the cancer had spread throughout his entire body and as a result his bones had started to deteriorate and become weak.  Hearing him recount that ordeal so matter of factly has always stayed with me.  He said as he gave a slight chuckle, "Well Audley, this is just one more obstacle to overcome".

I should point out that this isn't the case of someone who is denial and delusional of his situation.  He totally recognizes that his mortality is in question and the treatments he receives will not necessarily cure him but instead prolong his life.  But for Rick, that gives him the opportunity to continue to positively influence those around him and teach the concept of thinking well to overcome any obstacle whether it be on the green, the basketball court or in life.

I'm blessed to have learned these lessons directly from him with my own eyes and its my belief that anyone who comes in contact with Rick walks away feeling equally as blessed.

Click here to read an article written about my dear friend Rick.

See you on the court!

Follow me on Twitter @TheAudman

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Collaborative Leadership in Community (CLiC) Program Graduation!

I recently had the privilege of being the MC/facilitator of a graduation ceremony for Collaborative Leadership in Community (CLiC) Program  which is offered through the Peel Leadership Centre (PLC).
The mandate of the PLC is to provide and facilitate learning opportunities for non-profit leaders and organizations, through programs, services, resources and events that are local, formal and encourage community engagement.

The CLiC program fits into this mandate because its focus is on developing or enhancing characteristics consistent with a collaborative style of leadership. This intensive 10 month long program allows participants to build strong leadership networks and provide a place for learning together about effective collaborative leadership practices.

It was a great celebration overall and I feel privileged to have been able to participate in such a wonderful event. At the end of the evening I left feeling inspired by the efforts and hard work put in by all the graduates to get themselves to this final point. However, as I shared with them in my message, the process of learning on the leadership journey is lifelong and there never really is a "final point".

I can't help but feel motivated to do more knowing that the Region of Peel has a new crop of leaders ready to make it a better place!

For more information on the Peel Leadership Centre or the CLiC program, please visit:

See you on the court!
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Most Important Bike Ride of My Life!

When I was a kid, I primarily grew up in the west end of downtown Toronto and pretty much did everything  that young energetic rambunctious boys did with the exception of one thing.

I didn't bike ride!

When I think back, it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  All my friends had bikes and the residential area I lived in was full of riders but for whatever reason I didn't gravitate towards it.
Or more accurately, I didn't learn to ride.  

Its something I've pondered about for many years and after some pretty deep thought and self reflection I surmised that part of the reason I didn't take up bike riding was because I convinced myself I couldn't do it.

It was as simple as that!

At no point did I try or come close to making an honest attempt to learn or had any concrete data to base my belief off of. I just told myself that it was something beyond me and so it was written.

How's that for the power of self talk??

I conjured this negative belief in my head and accepted the fact I wasn't a bike rider and that in turn became my reality.

I stayed away from the conversation of bikes, I avoided situations where I would have to be around bikes - it was almost as if bicycles didn't exist in my world.  Truth of the matter was the topic was a little embarrassing to openly admit which made easier to avoid talking about and being around all together. 

Throughout the years the idea of riding crossed my mind from time to time but it was more like a fleeting thought.

It was shortly after my 40th birthday when the thought of bike riding started to become more prevalent in my thinking and I slowly started to question my beliefs.

Why don't I ride?

Wouldn't it be fun?

How hard would it be to learn?

Challenging the things we believe or at least thoroughly examining them is an exercise that people should consider doing on a regular basis. Think of it as a form of spring cleaning.  At the very least, its a great way of keeping us honest to ourselves.

Riders Cycle & Board Inc.
After going through my own spring cleaning process and asking myself a few tough questions, I came to the conclusion that there was no reasonable explanation why I didn't bike ride and at this point the only logical thing to do was to learn.

So in late May, I purchased my very first bicycle from my childhood friend's shop and I embarked on a journey that had me wondering why I didn't take it sooner.  I picked it up relatively quickly and in no time I was zipping through the city streets like I had been doing it all along.
I developed what I referred to as the #AddictionToTheGlide syndrome and was constantly looking for reasons to ride discovering bike trails and areas of the city I didn't know existed. A friend once told me a story about how much comedian Jerry Seinfeld loved gliding on his bike through the streets of New York and the sense of freedom he had being out in the open air.  I can totally relate.

My infatuation with riding has lead me to what I call:

The Most Important Bike Ride of My Life!

After exploring several well developed bike paths throughout the city, I've decided to move on to my next challenge and embark on a seven hour bike trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake. NOTL is beautiful this time of the year and is nestled along the shores of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.  I've heard much about it and the scenic bike trails so I've decided to make the journey and experience it for myself.  

At the same time, this trip holds a great deal of significance for me and is much more then just checking out the scenery.  You see, I firmly believe that the limits on our potential only exist in our thoughts and we have the ability to do whatever we want as long as we believe it. I placed limits on myself for years until I finally realized how much of a mistake that was.  This trip will further reinforce in my mind that the things we believe to be true isn't always the case.

So as I make the 133 km (83 mile) journey, I urge you to think about the the things that you're holding yourself back from.

Ask yourself why or rather ask yourself why not?

See you on the court!

Follow me on Twitter @TheAudman

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