It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

Some time since we’ve talked about some motivation. Well, today I had a case of the un-motivation… and I was struggling to get moving even! I was just happy to lie in bed and do nothing…maybe scroll Facebook or Instagram… then in my self-sabotaging screen time ways, I came across an email from co-founder of Procabulary and my good friend, Mark England. The title was this: “High Level Tools (How to UnStuck your World)” here’s a link to Mark’s site – procabulary.org

In this email (and video) Mark discusses how to get out of the rut of negativity you’re in by simply adjusting how you frame your thoughts about your situation that you’ve found yourself stuck in. I won’t spoil the surprise, and I’d suggest you check his work out if you’re feeling like you’re stuck, if you want to be more productive or if you’re going through a transition in life. Procabulary has really helped me reframe the way I think about things.

That said, I put the phone down and grabbed Darwin’s leash, some water, Moneyball and headed out for a long walk. Where to? Wasn’t really sure, so I texted a friend and made some plans to meet up. I had the headphones on and since it had been some time since I listened to a full podcast I pulled up Tim Ferriss and threw on an episode. It was an entrepreneurial episode, as Tim often has those type of folks on as guest and I was tuned in and ready to learn.

The cofounder of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia had some wonderful insight.. and actually a great way of looking at things from a creative standpoint, so this one goes out to all my creatives reading.

SW²+WC=MO

What’s that stand for?

When you have a new idea to present to the world you’ll find some that Will love it, some that Won’t plus Who Cares? Equals Move On. Keep going until you find the people that do love your idea.

It was really quite fascinating and made some things click. Check it out

Tim Ferris Show #301: Joe Gebbia: Cofounder of Airbnb

Needless to say I came back in much better spirits and with more direction and a little fuel. Hopefully the next time you’re down, you’ll remember this post and come back too. Oh? hanging with Alicia was awesome too, we bounced ideas off one another and got to catch up PLUS a giant movie in the park was about to start. I chose to walk back home and start my laundry and meal prep. Pictures are on my Instagram story, give that a follow www.instagram.com/usetheschwartzy

Adult life.

Have a good sleep or morning, wherever you are. Keep on creating and you’ll find those that love your idea.

Boom. Go be awesome.

xo

M

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I’m taking a break from a pros/cons list I’ve started. I haven’t ever really, truly done one, but it’s working. And leaving my head a mess. It’s a list between my current situation, (only a week in mind you) and a new opportunity I was hoping for when I left Toronto in May… now it’s come through and causing quite the mess in my head.

It’s definitely a lot to think about. On the one hand, I am left to think this is just the pisces in me, jumping ship before the anchor is even out of the water. It’s a tendency I have… but could this one really be an opportunity? Perhaps I’ve just met things with super “untimely” timing? I do know that this current situation was never going to be a forever anyway… it’s all got me thinking in any case.

The name of the game was to reinvent the story I have lived for the past 3 years. Paycheque to paycheque, more and more debt and  I talk a lot of game about being healthy. That means much more than going to the gym though. It’s not just physical fitness not just the mental side, but for me especially – being financially fit. I need to work with a professional on that and make some serious investment to my financial health in order to stay off the streets. So a large chunk of the process I’m weighing goes towards what is going to set me up for at least the next two years of what I can do to earn capital and reduce expenses in an effort to turn this ship around for good and start rewriting that story.

Do I go to a market that has a higher guarantee of income and more flexibility and balance between the things that are important to me? Or do I go against comfortable, stick it out in a corporate setting in hopes of high earning potential in a role I’m not thrilled with and work to instil order to the otherwise carefree life I tend to lead? Do I alter the path slightly? Do I tough it out because that’s what I should do to break this whimsical cycle?

Part of me says “Strombo this one.” We don’t ever need to pick a lane. I like doing a lot of things and it keeps me from going crazy. Maybe this is a sign to let the music take priority for a while and we can build the empire on the side with more structure and stability…? It would allow for me to quietly build my brand up in the music industry as a teacher that also incorporates wellness into lessons.

The biggest thing I’m afraid of is what others think of my actions.

How funny is that?

Hey me: Put on your coaching hat and tell yourself what to do.

Thanks for listening.

xo

M

 

 

“You don’t have to worry anymore, we are in the right place now, Mickey.”

Mister D always had a way of soothing the anxiety and stress of all the unknowns. He was, in fact, born into it. Not by choice at all – we’re certain no one would ever choose that path – but he found himself on it with his partner in crime and he wouldn’t change it for the world.

He sleeps so peacefully. Like, no matter what is going on outside, all is fine inside. It’s a character trait Mickey admired of Mister D. A piece that’s been rubbing off on him lately.

Now, if he could just learn the art of sleep like D…

As they wander through the side streets off Avenue, Micky Madness and Mister D share a moment of awe cloaked in disparity.

“How did they get there, Misted D?” says Micky. “I mean, how can one afford the Beemer with full blackout tints, matte black 22″ rims, parked outside the brick inlay, 2 car garage, heated driveway in front, two story modern day castle…? Do you think they’re happy? Do you think if that hedge isn’t trimmed each week they lose sleep? Who are these people and how did they get there? Will we ever get there, D?”

D just stared back, concerned, but unsure of how to answer. His inquisitive eyes scanned Micky for any signs of sadness or anger. He knew how rough the past three years had been for the both of them. He certainly didn’t want to upset Micky. They had just arrived in this new place and he was enjoying the sights and smells of the hood. Instead, he just carried on forward with a softer stride, as if to say “it’s alright, man. We’re getting there.”

It’s a hard pill to swallow. But he knew that with patience, D’s instincts were right. It’s why they have come so far from the west. From comfort. A strange stagnant comfort. Micky gazed into the park off of Poplar Plains, as a fixed gear bicycle slowly climbed the gradual ascent and vanished into the unknown territory around the bend at the top. The smells of a new summer, full blown in the big city took over his senses. Barbecue, hot tubs, gatherings – all these shiny, happy people enjoying their lives and what they’ve made of it all. Fitting too, as the sounds were quickly muffled by the rushing sewer water   passing underground as the boys passed a nearby manhole. A reminder that even Royalty had real shit just below the surface.

But this was just another moment of nostalgia for Micky, reminiscing to the times as a young boy he dreamed of (and sometimes tried to execute) running through the streets and calling down to the Ninja Turtles much to his mothers chagrin.

“Do you think they even know we’re here?” Micky said, just loud enough for Mister D to look back with his ever-so-confident smirk:

“They sure will.”

 

Not everything is going to go to plan. You may not win everything you set out to do. You may fail.

I once heard “failure is a sign you’re trying…”

I also adopted this philosophy into my personal life recently:

“When you try, you will fail. It’s only an issue when you fail to try.”

So let this message resonate with you however it may. Maybe you’re an athlete, hellbent on winning first every time. Maybe you have kids and you share this mantra with them, consciously or subconsciously. Maybe they feel the need to always come out on top, with grades, sports etc… Whatever it is, just remember that it’s health to be okay. When you learn how to lose, you’ll really start to win.

Ever heard this: “once you learn to fall you’ve got it.”

I didn’t really start to trust myself on speed skates until I fell heading into my final corner of the mid season competitions in 2015. I was set to PR by at least a couple seconds. Instead, I lost focus and slammed into the padded boards, laid motionless until my body and mind processed what had just happened.

That was the only time I fell. Period.

Are you okay with just being okay every now and again?

Food for thought.

Peace. I’m off to Ontario now.

Much love.

Intro

With today marking the 151st birthday of this great nation I am proud to call home, I wanted to write a little bit and pay homage to my homeland. As many of you know, I’m on the road with Midnight Shine, playing drums and living my dream (or one of them!) as a professional musician. I get back home to Calgary in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow, spend a couple days getting my life organized and then fuel up, pack the Tiguan and rip across the country to make a new home in Toronto. It seems fitting that I tip my hat to the beautiful nation I’ll soon be driving across (again) in a few short days. I’ve had a few flights these last few days that have taken me to places I’d never get to see otherwise, so I’m just paying my respect back to the lands.

In The Pocket

It’s surreal. These whole last few months have been. I’m ecstatic to see what’ next, but before I get too crazy, I wanted to tie in a term us drummer use for when you just lay low, let the music speak for itself and just groove. It’s called being in the pocket. A lot of drummers have a hard time staying in the back. A lot of very talented drummers especially want to showboat, impress the girls or I don’t even know what else… but they have a hard time serving the song.

I like to think of staying in the pocket as being neutral. Coasting; not forcing anything to happen. No outcome is right or wrong, just an opportunity to explore and be adventurous. Much like in say, jazz or reggae… the jam happens, much like life. The song could go anywhere… and if you have the wherewithal to just loosen up your grip on the sticks of life, you’ll get carried the right way out of the bridge. Just trust yourself.

Outro

I wanted to take the time to thank Midnight Shine and everyone that’s a part of the team for trusting me with the sacred project. No matter what happens next I have a lifetime of memories and lifelong friends. I’ve had the opportunity to share the stage with absolute legends of the music industry like Blue Rodeo and Colin James, shared drums with childhood heroes Wide Mouth Mason and I’ve met some seriously awesome humans on this stint. I am ever so grateful for the opportunities, but also recognize that I earned them.

It’s amazing what kind of song can form when you learn to stay in the pocket.

Thanks for listening,

Happy Canada Day.

xo

M

PS. Here are some of the highlights from tour. For the full story, head to my Instagram account. Click the “tour” button and watch front to back the happenings on the road with Midnight Shine.  @usetheschwartzy

 

Why is everyone so fixated on failure?

The important thing to realize is that you will likely fail when you try something new. That is okay. What is not okay is when you fail to even try.

I hit a CrossFit box here in London this morning. A few things were ugly about that whole situation.

  1. I’m not very good at CrossFit
  2. It was balls early, 6:15am start time. For anyone in their usual environment that’s nasty, but for a touring musician, living out of a suitcase it’s heinous.
  3. While I enjoy exercise a lot, my eagerness can sometimes alienate others around me

As you can see, lots of room to fail.

And I did. By technical standards. Hell, my bench game is weak. No way around it.

Learn to Forget Things Quick

Todays Workout of The Day (W.O.D) saw us hit a ton of shoulders and chest, areas of opportunity to improve in my personal fitness game, so going in I knew I was going to be up against a lot. The last time I tried to PR my bench, 135 was about it for a few rounds of 5. So today, in trying to get my 5RM, I failed at 135. I’m okay with that. It’s a hole in my armour and I will spend some time working on my chest strength. Had I not tried I’d have never known.

Looking at Failure as Information

If we change our language from “pass/fail” to “gather info” regarding these kinds of situations, we allow ourselves the forgiveness to accept our attempt and problem “solve” rather than just problem “find”.

Par for the course lately. I’ve always gotten a thrill of being the underdog. Against all odds, somehow finding a way to drive the ship through all that pressure, adversity and overwhelming stress to pull it off. I’m playing my 4th show with Midnight Shine tomorrow in Hamilton. Coming off a less than perfect set in Webequie, I need to find the wherewithal to learn from the experiences I had in order to effectively course correct. In theory, each performance… each workout I hit bench… I’ll get a little bit better. That’s the key. 1%.

“Get Back Up. Get. Back. Up.”

Get knocked down 7, 8, 9 times? That’s fine. You just have to find a way to get back up 10. The innate ability to bounce back.

That’s just a characteristic I’ve always had. Grateful my childhood taught me that. My parents taught me the value of hard work and how important it is to outwork everyone else. Authentically.

If you are struggling. Ask for help. If you assume people know you’re struggling and you wait for them to bring it up, you’re doing a disservice to everyone. Check the ego at the door, ask for help.

Literally, I had the bar come down on my chest after 3 reps in my 4th set and Coach Jamie had to pull it off me. We then talked about locking the shoulder blades back and bracing the core and poof… whaddaya know –  I pulled of 5 on my last set.

I also need to know where I stand for performances. I want feedback so I can improve in areas that are opportunity to get better. Performance reviews are popular in organizations and the music business should be no different. So I’m looking for that.

Don’t Take Things Personally

With no squats on the WOD today, I had to rise up and work on the stuff I’m not so good at. It was great. It was authentic. Because I haven’t done rope climbs, I asked for a variation in order to work my way up to it one day. I was also asked to scale my push-up variations nearing the end as my body was just plain gassed and my technical form was starting to suffer. That’s great coaching. Nothing to take personally. My body was just toast at that point.

Be You

That ties it to my final point. One thing is for sure: I’m okay if I don’t fit in because I was who I am. I’m not okay with being on a path embossed with inauthentic motives. I wanna be me and when I’m not happy, it’s not worth it. Not the workout. Not the tourbus.

Just be you, bounce back and remember it’s a long game we’re playing. Have fun with it.

Ciao from the road!

xo

M