I got a lot accomplished today. I mean, I had a ton of screen time, but that was a necessary evil today. Searching for rooms/roommates and rental units in Toronto, posting and showing the home here in Calgary all day… it’s getting real. I also sold my guitar, bag and stand to a good kid that plays on my former University’s Football team (Go Dinos!)… I was actually really productive! And I trained a couple sessions in the morning. And meal prepped. And fired off the email to NMC et al… and so on and so forth…

Best part? Got to be beside Darwin the whole day! This was my office today.

I mean, look at that face.A76C3FF6-DC5A-4524-B77F-831B5B8EBB2A

It’s getting real now though, like I said. I’m now on my way out of the city I’ve lived (almost) my whole life… en route to a new adventure. Heck ya, today was productive!

As a coach and even sometimes as a friend…People ask me how to stay motivated when they feel like they haven’t done anything at the end of the day, notably Sunday. They feel like the day slipped away and then they get all anxious and stuff, can’t focus… and I oftentimes find myself reeling people in. Now,dopn’t get me wrong… It’s not like I am the gate keeper of productivity and happiness. It’s not like I have a secret button you can push. It’s not know “the way”, but I certainly know a way that works for me.

Try it out. The next time you feel that you haven’t done anything, try writing all the things you did down on a piece of paper.

That’s right. It’s that simple.

Write. It. Down.

Pretty rad, eh?

Go do something awesome this week. Keep it real, folks.

 

xo

M

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Okay, we have all been here before. Late at night, pull out the guitar…and … nothing.

What?!

“But this what I do.”

Nothing. No spark.

You can’t help but wonder what it is, pulling at every strand of self-doubt. Did I sleep funny? Maybe that pulled pork sandwich (or tempeh wrap for our plant based friends) had some funk to it… whatever the case may be. You’re just not feeling it.

Well, that does happen from time to time. However, for professional artists, that could mean sacrificing a paycheque or two. Not cool. Let’s discuss three effective remedies to kick that brain fog and get our performance back up to snuff so we can focus on doing what we do really well, creating music.

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    1. Reduce the screen time!
      We spend far too much time in front of time-wasters like Facebook,Instagram,
      Reddit and the like. If we took half the time we spent searching news feeds or watching cute cat videos as we did reading, painting, getting outside… imagine how much more effective our time on earth would be. The dopamine hits from hitting the like button and constantly being concerned about who is liking your posts and how many followers you have is an unhealthy way to live. I would encourage you to set a daily time limit and stick to it. No more than a couple hours. And shut ‘er down by 8 pm so you don’t screw up your sleep cycle. The anxious feeling we get from self-worth is heightened when we follow the social norm of online gratification, so remove yourself from that world and you’ll start to inspire creativity simply because you have more time to do so! Check my recent post about last weekend’s social detox I did here. Follow up post is in the works…images

 

  1. Move!
    • Seems simple, but activity has proven to excite the brain in areas related to creativity independent of mood. You can read the study here. According to the research, the study’s result show that exercise helped to improve mood in participants and also creativity independently. This is good news for folks who want to get out of “creative blocks”. My suggestion? Get up and walk around when you’re feeling a block on the creative flow. I’m actually hosting a clinic specifically designed to address inspiring artistic creativity through movement in Calgary. If you’re in town, check it out here! If not, that’s cool. Here’s the best warm up for getting some creative flow! Unknown-1
  2. Journal!

    Oftentimes I feel like garbage at the end of the day. I feel as though I haven’t done anything at all. Have you even been there? There is a really easy way to track how productive you have been. Keep a journal and just close the day down with some thoughts and points of the things you did. Over time you’ll start to see how (un) productive you were… that way, you can manage it. For most people, we don’t track things so while we think we’re doing productive things, we really aren’t. If you see this trend, you can work towards improving upon it. We can’t manage what we’re not tracking, right? So give yourself a chance. I also found it amazing how easy things came to me when I wrote them down as goals and took behaviours that’d be intentional toward accomplishing them. I compiled it all into a workbook journal to help others get their shit together. I am officially releasing it this May in Toronto at Canadian Music Week. If you’d like an advance copy, just let me know.  mike@mikeschwartz.ca

There you have it. Three cool little tricks of the trade for you to keep up the creative flow. For those of you that are into reading, my favourite book ever for crushing the creative roadblocks is called “The War of Art”Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. Get it.

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Ok my friends. I’m out of here for now. I’m going to keep up the post per day to see what topics and time stick for the remainder of this week. I’m working through some things and have some exciting news to post about in due time, but until then… I hope your day or night is great.

Ciao,

M

So we’re coming up to the close down of 2017.

All things come back full-circle.

Past predicts the future.

It’s all just information.

 

Remember these points.

 

I’ve had some incredible opportunities this past year. Started the year with a huge accomplishment. I wrote my first book. It’s called “The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle”. Start reading it for free: http://a.co/a8zSHGB

I did that in prep to a huge opportunity I received to be a part of the Mentor’s Cafe at Canadian Music Week.

And that went incredibly well.

Around the same time as I was locking that down, I landed a position with a company that provided an amazing perspective on a multitude of levels of my career and development and essentially my calling in life. It confirmed I was in my own lane, and this was the outside lane. The fast lane.

Not to sound conceded, however, not too many people can keep up with my pace. That isn’t always an advantage, as I’m often met with disappointment because of high, high hopes falling flat.

Fast forward to June – round two of some serious depression.

And everything I just wrote relates back to those three points.

  1. All things come back full-circle.
  2. Past predicts the future.
  3. It’s all just information.

 

I could have smelled the mental instability coming from a mile away. However, I buried it like I’ve done in the past. See? It came back full-circle. (However – I had another bout recently and figured out how to nip it in the bud… so I’m learning.)

MusicFit has launched. Almost officially.

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We have a wicked fun launch party January 13, 2018. Aptly timed. As it marks one year exactly that I was confirmed for the delegates pass at Canadian Music Week.

Check out the official press release…

Press Release MFLP

Get your tickets here –

https://www.eventbrite.ca/edit?eid=41293466871

Oh, I wrote an album of music. It’s in most of my promo music in my instagram videos or the early episodes of my podcast. Oh yeah… and I started a rad podcast. Check it out here if you haven’t already. ——> Podcast

And I started doing drum covers. I love music. Check it. 

Also. I think this is Sweet.

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The original group is back for the balance of 2017. wearethesweets.com

I really believe this group will make it. I want to make it with them. It’s just a different place I go when we’re playing. A buddy of mine said this the first time he ever saw me play drums for The Sweets, “You look like you’re having so much fun.”

And I am.

Amazing how so much can happen in just one year.

Full-circle. Put it out there. It will happen. Don’t take things personally. Don’t take them as wins or losses. Take them as just simple information on how to improve 1% the next time you’re faced with a similar situation.

Oh, also – Darwin is doing great. He says hello.

Here’s what the whole point of the Coles notes of my life in 2017 is.

I’m going to put forward a challenge for anyone that feels up for changing their lives for the better. You really can draw the things you want closer to you and make them more accessible. I won’t say that you can just think positive thoughts and they happen, you still gotta do the pushups… but envision what you want and it’ll happen. The universe is funny like that.

So here’s my 2018 goals. Publicly announced for you all to check in next year.

  • Start writing my 4th book, topic: a Mother Mother biography focusing on their rise, challenges with abuse, relationships and emotions. Working title “Climbing the Monkey Tree”.
  • CMW Panel Presentation and book signing
  • Yoga certification in June in India
  • Record with Garth
  • Learn to art
  • write another album
  • publish book 3 – the diary compilation of the depressed creative
  • Long-McQuade Store Tour
  • BreakOut West
  • Get office space/partnership with NMC
  • Have the band house
  • Australian Music Week presentation and panel

That should do, right?

So whoever is up for the challenge, post your goals. There can be one, three or ten. Whatever is good for you. Whatever is going to push you. I’m by no means perfect. I have slipped up. I also know that if I don’t write down what I want, I haven’t even given myself the chance to reach for it.

So – reach.

Manifest that shit.

Thanks for reading.

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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