Dear Mr. Cornell,

We’ve never met, but I wanted to let you know that you had a tremendous impact on my life, and this is a letter of thanks for all that you have done for the world.

It’s a shame that you are no longer with us, and it’s a wonder how many more lives like yours will end far before their time before we take notice and do something to help. Like, really help. I get it. I really do. I can only imagine how incredible the pressure must be in the place that you were. To have overcome drug abuse and addiction multiple times, that in and of itself is commendable. But as I’ve learned, that’s only the first step.

It’s unfortunate you weren’t given an outlet to express yourself after all the rehab. Or maybe you were, but you weren’t comfortable for some reason in expressing anything to anyone but your music. And we all had no idea. The turmoil inside your soul must have been a nightmare. It’s unfortunately that while everyone saw what Chris was on the outside; cheery, un-phased, recovered – they never thought to dig deeper and to ask you how you were really doing. Maybe you would have just told them what they wanted to hear anyways… maybe not. I like to think that if someone genuinely made a connection, I might have had a chance to thank you in person. Yeah, you were a legend. But everyone deserves an ear… maybe that’s all you needed. Someone to confide in. A professional shoulder to lean on. Someone to listen to you for more than Spoonman or Like A Highway.

To close, I hope to have a fraction of the impact on the industry and other musicians as you have had on my life. In a positive light, your passing has inspired me even more so to make a stand and pursue my dream of bringing an end to these tragedies in the music industry. Far too many die young and this is a great tragedy to world. Music touches the soul. Your songs and stories and musical ingenuity have inspired so many and will last a lifetime. So while we say goodbye, this is an unfortunate lesson that we can all use to reconsider how we approach proactive care. Depression, anxiety, stress, abuse, addiction… they’re all very real reminders that we are all just human…

Thank you for all of your work and passion to the craft. You will be missed deeply. Rest in peace.

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What the eff is up with New Years?

Too often I find that people can’t wait until the New Year to make changes. Be it, lifestyle – you know? Diet and exercise… “I’m going to work out!”… -cough, cough-

Or maybe they’re going to start a new ambition such as learning a new language or reading more or simply just devoting more of their time to friends. Whatever it is, I struggle to understand why the heck they need to wait for an arbitrary day in the calendar year to make the switch.

I am here to make one thing very, very clear.

Why wait to do what you can today, tomorrow?

People simply can’t wait for tomorrow, the new moon, next week, Friday…etc etc… and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I’m certainly not saying I’m removed from it. I was that too, guilty as charged. However, over the course of some deep soul searching this season, reflective of my past two or three years, some friendships gained and strengthened, others completely written off, a thriving career in sport ripped away from me, forcing me into a ton of debt and sub-par living situations my health and my dog and a broken marriage and life that was completely flipped on its head – all these things due to events and circumstances out of my control. What have I learned? Well, even though things happen in life that may be completely out of your control, you’re in complete control of how you react to those situations. That mindset has been a game changer for me.

What’s this got to do with New Years? Well, if you’re still stuck on the “resolution” bus pay close attention. I have news – if you’re waiting for the new year, simply another day, an external force to help change your outcome, you’re being trolled along in the human condition.

Don’t fear failure… it’s only experience.

Set your own expectations each and every day. Build upon positive daily habits. Identify areas of weakness for you, address them, recognize them, but don’t focus energy on shit you’re no good at.Try hard at everything you do and don’t worry about missing the mark. Mistakes happen. Treat each one of them as a lesson, an area to learn and grow from. I believe that if you’re not making mistakes you’re not trying hard enough. Don’t fear being wrong. It’s okay. Basically nothing in life except driving into oncoming traffic is irreversible. And, whether you admit it or not, 9 times out of 10 you have a choice. Even when you think you don’t… you do. As my pops told me when I started playing some serious stick-puck, “don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. That’s something I live by.

Be active, eat well and keep your head straight. Without all three in top performance you are not at your true maximum capability. And even then… you probably aren’t. That’s okay, because lifestyle is about progress. It’s not all about perfection.

While my holidays have been a rather difficult time, managing the past and doing my absolute best to quell the depression and maintain some sense of inner peace, I have got one thing to be incredibly thankful for: my health. Without an able body I wouldn’t had the ability to help my friends move. Without proper fuel in the machine I wouldn’t be able to get up with energy to think of ways to afford life and drive forward though all the adversity, and without time to myself each morning and evening I wouldn’t have had the strength in my mind to persist. It’s amazing to have a few close friends and family stick by my side, many people don’t know what it’s like to battle mental illness and hell, often times we don’t even know we are waging that war ourselves! I’m happy to say I’ve conquered it, but little bits this time of year seep back in like when a shitty ex-girlfriend’s CD she lent you 4 years ago pops up on shuffle just when you were over it… that’s basically where I’m at right now.

-spoiler alert, cryptic spoiler alert…-

Sure, I might have to sacrifice a little in order to help grow an empire behind the scenes, but I figure that’s a small price to pay short-term in the long-term game of life. There’s always a choice and I’m choosing to do things the right way in order to be able to come back to my goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Takeaway – keep your health as your priority. At the end of the day, it’s the only thing you’re taking with you when you leave this place so make sure it’s a finely tuned machine. Sure, I have a ton of cool things that are happening in the upcoming few months, but they wouldn’t have been there had I told myself “Tomorrow”. I was proactive. I encourage you to be proactive too and toss the resolution mantra aside in favour of just building on what you’ve got and progressing daily. One step at a time. So, hi 2017 – you’re nothing special. You’re another day. I’m still going to work just as hard each and every day, and you’re not the reason I’m going to be successful. I am.

On that note. I want to take my puppy, Darwin for a walk. We stayed in ate pizza and a beer and watched the Flames for New Years. Today we walk and hang out. He’s my bud. Do what you love and love what you do. Puppies are great examples…

Make today your absolute best! Become a better human, TODAY!

K, sweet, good chat.

SCHWARTZ