About a week ago, I just stopped posting to social media. No warning. It wasn’t planned like some of my earlier off-the-grid exploits. There was just this urgent need to disconnect. And for the seven days that followed, I kept my phone off. (If there had been any type of emergency, I could have been reached through e-mail, which I was still checking sporadically.) When I rejoined the world, there were several messages across different social media platforms from people wondering if I was okay. I was fine. And my time out reminded me of something I’ve always struggled with: the art of rest. [Read more…] about Taking Time to Rest
What if I could get up a few minutes earlier to write? What if I met that one person who’d love me just as I am? Or what if I could get ten more likes on Facebook? What if I could just be more like…
What if has been ‘killing’ me lately. With the release of my next book now just three weeks away, doubt is creeping in and trying to have its way. I’m asking myself why it took so long to write this book? What bad habits got in my way? Did I have the right mindset? And while those questions may be important, there’s something else going on. I’m comparing myself to others — especially other artists who are farther ahead, and more successful — on their journey than I am.
The Comparison Conundrum
As a writer, it’s hard not to compare myself to others … even when I know I shouldn’t. But I want to be successful and productive. That always has me looking to others to see how they work and if there’s something in their routine and habits that may help me. What if I were like Somerset Maugham, who set a daily requirement of 1,000-1,500 words?1 What if I could be like Igor Stravinsky and work without a break from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm? 2
The thing is … I’m not Maugham, Stravinsky or anyone else. I’m me. And the best I can do is remember that it’s always been for me more about the journey than the destination. I’m doing the best that I can, with the time that I have, to focus on what matters.
Banish ‘What if’ from Your Vocabulary
Asking ‘What if’ is a sure way to let doubt into your life so it can have its way. It doesn’t change where you are or how you got there. It only makes you forget all that you have achieved and how far you’ve come. Remove it from your vocabulary to maintain control and focus on what matters.
Set your goal and get about the business of doing it. Don’t worry about how others are doing or what they think. Be yourself and enjoy the journey.
Do you ever find yourself asking, ‘What if…?’ How do you cope with the feelings that it evokes? Any strategies you’d like to share? Click Reply to let me know. I love hearing from you!
Coming November 21, 2019
When Scott Davenport moves into the university dormitory, it’s time to start over.
Free from his overprotective and ‘devout’ mother, he’s hungry for love and eager to chase dreams that are, perhaps, wrapped up in uncertain ambitions. Frustrated with the other students who don’t understand him and unable to ground himself in the new city he calls home, it’s a chance meeting with Troy Muir — his mild-mannered and attractive dormmate across the hall — that forges an unexpected yet powerful friendship. So close, so committed to each other, they can’t envision a future where they’re apart … until two life-altering events have them challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and themselves.
Raw and rich in emotion, Broken Man Broke is a thought-provoking coming-of-age story about identity and belonging. Lopés reminds us that not everyone sees us for who we are and that sometimes — amid the chaos threatening to destroy us — we’re not sure who we are or what we stand for.
Growing up isn’t easy. And Scott Davenport must choose: live his life or run away from it?
Raw and rich in emotion, Broken Man Broke is a thought-provoking coming-of-age story about identity, belonging, and purpose. Lopés reminds us that not everyone sees us for who we are and that sometimes — amid the chaos threatening to destroy us — we’re not sure who we are or what we stand for.
A powerful coming-of-age story coming November 21, 2019. Pre-order today!
What would you do if you were given a 5% chance of ever walking again?
Some people might give up. Rob MacDonald proved the odds wrong.
I met Rob last Saturday (19 October 2019) after participating in the International Friendship Run at the Running, Health & Fitness Expo that was part of the weekend events for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. When I’d signed up for the race in July, it was to check off another item from my bucket list. I never liked fundraising or asking people for money. In the past, if I had to fundraise, I’d set a goal that — outside of a few donations — I could cover personally. So, my plan for the Toronto marathon was to donate to a couple of charities, but not run for a team.
That all changed the day before the race when I met Rob. Here was a guy, who been given a 5% chance of ever walking again, about to run his second full marathon. Inspiring. Motivating. Empowering. I decided to join ‘Team I Will.’ The Toronto Rehab Foundation gave Rob a second chance. I’d love for you to learn more about Rob’s a story and how you can help. Read more here.
Making it Personal
I was in university when my grandmother was rushed to the hospital. She was in her mid-seventies (75 or 76) and had to have her leg amputated due to diabetes. The doctors weren’t convinced she’d make it off the operating table. But she did. I believe partly because of her unwavering faith, partly because she had a strong will to live. I spent time with her every day for the four months of rehab that got her out of the hospital. The dedication, training and encouragement from her rehab team gave her a second chance. While she chose not to walk with a prosthetic leg, she was still an active and outgoing person with a positive attitude. She knew the power of ‘I Will,’ and showed me I could do whatever I set my mind to with will and determination.
Getting it Together
I spent fifteen weeks training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The power of ‘I Will’ was never more present on those mornings when, at 5:15 am, I’d set out for a 30 km run. Or when it was raining. Or when, with the humidity, it was close to 38°C. Some runs were a struggle, but I told myself I could do it, to keep on keeping on.
On race day, I was excited, confident and nervous. Would my training pay off? I worried about tapering in the last few weeks because I wasn’t sure how not running as much would help. Could I really run 42.2 km? The most distance I’d covered during training was 37 km, and that run hurt. What if I got injured during the race? Would it sideline me? I didn’t want to be the person you sometimes see being treated by medics along the race route.
This was my first full marathon; I’d last run a half-marathon in 2010. When I registered for the race, I had to pick a finishing time so I’d start in the right corral. I arbitrarily picked 3:50. I had a three-tiered goal: 1) Finish, 2) Run the 42.2 km in under four hours, and 3) Aim to finish in 3:50. The more I trained, and after I’d joined a running group, the more I came to doubt myself. Seasoned marathoners hinted my goal was ambitious for a first-timer. Others readily shared horror stories of how their friends trained and trained, and then injured themselves two days before a race. I started to doubt myself. But during my runs, I told myself, ‘I will do this. I can do this. I won’t allow anyone else to limit what I can and cannot do.’
The Power of ‘I Will’
The gun went off and I started to run. For the first ten kilometres, I stayed with the pacer who’d get us across the finish line in three hours and fifty minutes before pulling ahead slightly. Maybe it was that race-day high, but I wondered if I could even come in a little under of my 3:50 goal. Even with my training, there were times during the race when I struggled. I reminded myself that just getting across the finish line was a win. And I had a moment, around the 32 km mark, when I wasn’t sure I could do it. That was when I started repeating to myself, “I will do this.” And at that point, the pain in my right foot hurt so much I wanted to stop. Every time my foot hit the asphalt, the pain shot through me. But I pushed on and said, “I will do this. There is no pain, only joy. Marcus, you’ve got this.”
And I did do it. I crossed the finish line, completing the race in 3:49:18.
As Rob told Team I Will at the post-race celebration, ‘I will…’ can carry you through any goal — physical, creative, professional — that you set out to achieve. Let ‘I Will’ be your mantra. Let it help you become the best version of yourself.
Are you struggling to achieve a certain goal? Can you take one action right now that would move you and your goal forward? What is it? Click Reply to let me know. I love hearing from you!
Nearly fifteen weeks ago, I signed up for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It seemed so far away at the time, almost surreal. What was I thinking? The most I’d ever run was 23.5 km, and that was only because I’d gotten lost! Did I have it in me to run 42 km? Could I train properly around my work schedule and jet lag? Was I committed? So many questions had me doubting myself. And now, with the race four days away, it’s down to the wire.
A Test of Nerves
In perhaps an odd way, the years of writing helped with my marathon training. It required discipline. Showing up every day to do the work wasn’t a choice but something I had to do. Didn’t matter how I felt, or if it rained or if temperatures hit 40°C with humidity. I ran. It required courage. The temptation to quit a new challenge is strong in the beginning, especially when I doubted I could do it, or thought everyone around me was better. But I dug deep to find the strength — mentally and physically — to push on.
It required belief. I would not let my inner critic rule the day. I wasn’t discouraged by the many, many, stories people eagerly shared about someone they knew who trained hard and then injured themselves just before the competition, or hit the wall during the race. No, I kept holding on to the belief that I can and will do this. For fifteen weeks, I’ve visualized giving my all and crossing the finish line. Yes, I’m nervous as it comes down to the wire but … I’m ready.
Down to the Wire
These final days leading up to the race for me are like a book release (which is happening soon, too!). I’ve already laid the foundation, done all I could to be a success. I don’t exactly know what’s going to happen the day of, except … I’m going to show up and give it my all.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment? What did you learn from it about yourself? Click Reply to let me know. I love hearing from you!
In my early twenties, I realized I wanted to be a writer. Not a writer who wrote just for the love of it. A writer — a bestselling author whose books inspire and stay with readers long after they put them down. And even though I’d been honest with myself and acknowledged my dream, I acted like someone who was ashamed of it. Who was I to want to be a writer? What did I have to say? And would people care or listen? That was the doubt speaking. And while I did write, I approached it half-heartedly, still believing that it was nothing but a silly dream. I suffered from the One Day Syndrome. “One day,” became my mantra. “One day I’ll make my dream come true.” [Read more…] about The ‘One Day’ Syndrome