Humanity is Creativity

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Humanity is Creativity

We are blessed to be living in an exhilarating era. Technology and its titans are single handedly shifting the tectonic plates of century old norms. With each passing day, we are no longer restrained to a single choice. We are encouraged to challenge the status quo. Deep down, we all yearn the essential need to be uncommon amongst a sea of average. Deep down we humans have an intrinsic need to be different, to be creative.

The world of commerce is and will always be ever evolving. But in our time, there is something brewing beyond economic waves. Something electrifying that is not only changing business models across industries, but forcing a sui generis way of leading organizations. A new way of thinking and conduct which cannot be reverted to old norms. A new way of connecting the dots, no longer in sequence but in an interconnected yet logical method. Gone are the days where entities exist in the tranquillity of market capital. For if they lay unexpressed in the endeavor to push their organizations and most importantly, the world forward, they will be abandoned. Lapsed in the race to push forward humanity, terminated by the very hands and capital that built them.

The Dilemma - Shadow of Ego

The same could be said about us. Those of us who are aware in the current state of our being. Aware in the choices we make in every moment, and aware in the message of comfort or discomfort we as humans feel in the heart. When we lay still, unmoved and dispassionate in our current state, we suppress and irritate the very nature of what makes us, us. This kind of suppression scars our intuitional need, to invigorate our life through the genius of innovation.

We are meant to be creative. Every human being has a gift to offer the world and intrinsically, we are gravitated towards our true calling. The dilemma in our hectic world is that busy schedules make us feel effective, but rather masking how effective we are in achieving our personal goals and calling.

In a loud world where too many things require our focus and attention at once, we lose touch with the true harmony of our existence. The music of creativity we once had in our childhood, distorts into a torturous tone. Today, we are bombarded with the blitz of distraction in every waking moment. Distractions that feed the ego. The cloaking ego, which acts as a body of sharp rocks positioned to sink our internal reference point at dark times. For when our internal reference point or self image becomes the ego - we seek the approval and acceptance of others. Drifting further and further away from our spirit, our true self and our real identity. The ego lives in the fear of its own shadow. It is the accumulation of our fears and self-destructive energy. In simple terms, the ego is our social mask. It is the role set forth by our own confines. The role we are asked to play, rather than one that seeks evolution, progression and creativity.

The ego is a primitive instinct. In the light, its shadows transform into pseudo figures of shame, guilt, and fear. It is only when we bring awareness in the presence of the shadow that we become the catalyst to it evolution. Attention in the current state with intent to morph the energy of the ego into creativity output, ruptures the restraints of our past conditioning. When we become aware in who we are, we become less judgmental of not only ourselves, but others. This liberates a vast amount of energy. Energy that in the past was used to feed the forever starved ego, which now can be channeled towards transformation of the self. Transformation of our dreams into physical form, through knowing who we are. When the internal reference point stems from the blossoms of our spirit - our true self - we no longer become constrained by obstacles. Obstacles which more than 90% are, imaginary.

It Takes Only One

Billions of us inhabit one earth. And metamorphosis of all we know the earth to be, takes only one mind. One to threat the conventional, one to proclaim objection to the status quo. Many before our time have done it. Many in our time are doing it. Will you stay tranquil in comfort of the familiar, or will you step into the unknown, and surrender to the creative mind that you have been gifted with. A mind that has the instinct to conduct the orchestra of our world and the universe.

There are 24 hours in one day, how many of those do you invest in yourself, your creativity and what makes you happy.

The dream for me is erasing the line between work and life. Where life becomes a self fulfilling prophecy of serving other humans using my creativity.

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My Friend; The Barber

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My Friend; The Barber

This morning as I rode the train to work, I took a minute to look around the car and absorb the expressive faces along on the journey. I thought about the complexity of everyone’s lives, including my own, and I found myself wishing I could sit down with each of them to get to know their quest from the time they were little, to the present. It is rare to meet someone who is confident enough to share their life story, but I am honored to be sharing with my followers the story of my friend and barber, Benson Lam. This is his story of perseverance & triumph.

I have known Benson since 2007 when we first met in high school, and to this day I am amazed by his ability to persist through challenges and remain positive. During the final year of his Bachelor's degree in Law, he and his family were faced with the abrupt departure of his father. Most would crumble at this situation, but he leveraged the dramatic life change as fuel to ignite his passion. Benson stood firmly by his family and commanded the responsibility of supporting his loved ones as the new head of the house, and provider. Balancing two lives at once both as a student in an intense program and as a blue-collar employee, he did what most people could not. He pushed through. Benson didn’t drop out of University, rather he successfully graduated and started his own business, with an exponentially growing client base.

Benson has been cutting hair since early high school out of his passion for the art and aesthetics and in April 2014, he decided to become a registered professional. Despite only recently deciding to attend school to train his craft, he has consistently been booked solid since the first time I tried to get an appointment with him. Makes you wonder: what if we all found our hidden talents? What would happen to our education system? Imagine a world where everyone did what they loved, and they were all exceptional at it!

At first I couldn’t understand how he was able to gather such a diverse and reputable client base. But after sitting for 45 minutes under his skillful hands, everything made sense. What makes him special isn’t just sheer talent, but it’s his value proposition to his clients and the ability to see far beyond the face value of what he charges. What makes him exceptional is a simple fact that he isn’t satisfied until the cut is perfect. He truly demonstrates duty towards his clients far beyond what I have ever seen in this profession - and I can guarantee that it isn't just because I'm his "friend". Every time I walk into his shop it's as though I'm a part of his family. I think everyone who enters feels like a distant brother. Another one of the many reasons that I keep going back there. Even if the client is satisfied, Benson invests time to make the cut phenomenal when most barbers would choose to walk away, favouring volume over quality.

When I'm in his chair, I forget his struggle. In fact, had he not opened up to me about his story I never would have guessed that his choice to be here working in the shop was the deciding factor between a difficult life for him and his family, and the successful life he leads today. Benson has learned how to make the responsibility of providing for himself and his loved ones, into a profitable and enjoyable career. That, is something that I truly respect and aspire to achieve myself.

Sometimes it takes an extreme circumstances to send us towards rock bottom before we realize where our true priorities lie and where our passions stem from. Be it money, work-life balance, status, power - whatever pushes you to get up and go to work each day, to me life is about self-discovery and continuous learning.

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Hero To Zero

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Hero To Zero

Our time spent in post-secondary institutions is special. Its a time of not only self-discovery, but a time to grow confident in our abilities. A time to reflect back on our high school days and re-strategize the image we project to society. A time to grow confident in our abilities, having the chance to specialize and hone in our interests. It is an environment where making mistakes and taking risks are the cornerstones of discovery and development. It is the sandbox to adulthood. University is an environment where a portion of our cohorts think and behave the same, while another challenges us to think and redefine our understandings. This has the potential to pave the way for friendship lasting a lifetime. Since my graduation, I was invited to two alumni events, and it's astonishing to see folks re-connect over the minuscule details of a night out over a decade ago. My university experience is undoubtedly one of the most treasured experiences I carry with me to this day.

My experience was nothing less than a thrilling adventure with a side of life skills that I wouldn't trade for the world. My role as a VP then President of the Ryerson Commerce Society gave me the opportunity to travel coast to coast and meet some of the most incredible people who shared a genuine vested interest in their schools. Many of whom I have the privilege of calling friends. In addition I was able to work alongside a high output team which was the driving force behind our society being awarded the best performing in the 2013 term. Nonetheless, there comes a time where we pass the torch to our successors and embark enthusiastically to the next stage.

The adventure eventually had come to an end, and a new era of reality was about to set in, and nothing could have prepared me for it.

From being the visible voice of over 8500 business students, to a cubicle tucked away in a corner, siloed by never ending spreadsheets and an environment where innovative thinking meant unnecessary risk. I felt worthless & underutilized. My once energetic personality was morphing into an anxious and apprehensive demeanor that my conscious despised. The worst part; the determination and hunger that once was my strong suit was now slowly being choked out. I felt like my ship had hit an iceberg, and as its captain I stood still, uninspired to save it. The old me would have been different. In a mere 6 months, I had gone from hero to zero.

The helping hand came from my family, friends and mentors. Without them, I would still be in the grave I dug.

The transition between post secondary to the working world is not easy. Some are unfazed by it, some choose to ignore it, while others with similar extra-curricular experiences like mine find it grueling, as the change is so drastic. Either way, there is a time where we step into the adulthood and reminisce of the days of the past, where freedom and risks was plentiful.

The Importance of Culture

Culture is an incredibly complex and important factor to an organization, as it is the linkage with its people. Culture makes the heart of an organization beat. Without its people lack ambition in their daily work. It is the reason why certain organizations thrive while others experience turn-over. It is what most of us transitioning out of post secondary miss the most. A culture where collaboration, innovative thinking, and calculated risks are the norm.

I was incredibly lucky to have a great deal of support from those around me. They lit my spirits at times where I felt the darkest. My heart knew that something was off about the previous culture I was entrenched in since the first week. It was a warning sign that I chose to overlook, but I shouldn't have. It was the great people around me that believed in me when I didn't. They were the catalyst and motivation for me find a culture that fit my values.

Never Overlook Your Values

The transition is hard because the business world is as diverse as the people in it. This makes culture a critical factor of an organization, and why people choose to make careers in some and jobs in others. Know your values, and know them well before picking an organization to build a career. The alignment of your values and organizational culture is the driving force behind motivation and hunger to move forward. And great organizations and leaders within them, want that. They want motivated talent to advance and carry on the work and legacy of the predecessors and the company. An interview is just as important to find what you want as it is to find the right candidate for the employer. I would tell my younger self from a year ago to never forget this principle.

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