Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Belleville, The Beautiful City


I recently attended a concert at the Empire Theatre in downtown Belleville to see the East coast sensation, Jill Barber. The theatre was the perfect setting for this pre-Valentine’s Day show full of fantastic love songs. At one point in the evening, Jill gushed “Belleville, what a romantic name for a city.” This comment was received with mocking laughter from the audience, much to the surprise of Ms. Barber who questioned “Did I say something funny?” I, too, was a bit surprised by the reaction. In truth, Belleville is a romantic name for a city. Do the locals really have such a hard time seeing this city as beautiful, or romantic for that matter?

Focusing on its potential, Belleville has been encouraging and supporting development through many projects such as the Waterfront trail, improving the heart of the city (thank you BBIA) and the new library to name a few. Yes, the latter received some local criticism from the hockey fans looking for another arena; rumour has it your needs will be met soon. This city offers some impressive architecture in the downtown core and is the setting for some really fantastic restaurants. We are grateful to Capers for their social nights, Earl and Angelos for its upscale experience, a new bon vivant L’Auberge de France, and to the staple favourite downtown Dinkle's/Paulo's; and the list goes on.
I offer a thank you to those Bellevillians who share in the knowledge that we are a beautifully romantic City, and who do their best to support Belleville in living up to its name.

Eat well.
Live well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Play Super Mario Bros at work…

…and get paid to do it.

Well, that is the reality for some, but it could be for all. How you ask? Simply put some ‘flow’ into your work. Flow is the state you find yourself in when playing your favourite video game. I have personally been in this state many times as I used to love playing Super Mario Bros, and I must admit, I enjoyed it for hours! Can you imagine if your work day felt like that? You wouldn’t feel like you were working at all.

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, former head of the department of psychology for the University of Chicago, is best known for his research on this notion of flow. In case you have not played Super Mario Bros, or Jumpman Jr. (added for my sister) or whatever new game is on the market, let me explain. Under the influence of flow you will experience clear goals, clear concentration and pure focus. You will lose track of time, have personal control over your work (or at least feel as if you do) and you will experience a balance between your ability levels and your challenges.

The key is to find your flow at work. A few steps to get you started;

1. What really makes you happy? Yes, you do know, make a list. If you are having trouble, ask your mother what you liked to do when you were five. This is a great place to start.
2. Identify the positive aspects of your current work and focus on them.
3. Do the things that make you happy most – this sounds easy but a few of you are asking what to do about the parts of your job that you do not like. You need to change the way you look at those tasks; know that they serve a purpose. (See the movie The Razor’s Edge when Bill Murray is washing dishes with a guide in India whilst in a boat)
4. Use your breaks wisely. Go for walks or runs, visit with people who leave you with good, positive energy or find a comfy chair in the library near the fire place and read a good book (You may feel the urge to nap at said library; I encourage it!)
5. Keep looking for a better position and consider it professional development.

If you are not enjoying your job now, how long are you planning to wait before you start?

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
Maya Angelou US Author and poet (1928- )

For a different perspective see a fellow blog...

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Ramblings post Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible'...

We possess the perverted desire to have others validate our worthiness – we are, unto ourselves, unable to justify our own self worth. We thus look to and rely on the evils of modern day; e-mail, phone, the number of friends in our Facebook, to measure our seed in life’s hierarchy.

Love yourself.
Trust yourself.
Pay that forward.