4 Lessons Learned from Suicide

Silence is not the answer. It’s time to talk openly about suicide.   I have spent the last few months traveling to several communities to discuss this prevalent issue of suicide, and I wanted to share a few of the lessons I have learned. 1. Ask the tough question, “Are you feeling suicidal?” Pay attention to the guts. If you think there is a problem then there probably is. At that point it is important to ask this difficult question. Yet, I think we fear asking the question because we fear the response. What happens if the person you care about…

How I Made A Living Doing What I Love

Last week I was reunited with Ray Reshke, the man responsible for starting my speaking career. At the time, I was only a few months into my recovery from a gambling addiction that damn near killed me. I attended various Gamblers Anonymous meetings in Edmonton, and repeatedly, I was the only young male in attendance. Knowing that there were other young men just like me that suffered in silence, I was motivated to make some noise. I turned to google and quickly found the Problem Gamblers Resource Network, a small non-profit organization that focused on educating society about this prevalent…

World Mental Health Day: Be Kind. Always.

Recently, I was teaching my son how to drive. I suspect many of you have been there as well; white knuckled as you grab onto that OMG handle praying for safety. Anyway, we are merging onto the highway at a snail’s pace, and I notice that a truck is rapidly approaching. In no time the driver is right behind us. Growing impatient, the man behind the steering wheel leans on the horn.   He aggressively rides our bumper until we finally get onto the highway. After revving his engine he blows by us and flips the bird. Nice. Now, I could…

10 Years Sober and Proud

Today marks 10 years of sobriety.  I am emotional even writing that. The reality is that nothing in my life would be possible without my sobriety. Nothing. I would not be blessed with a beautiful wife, four incredible sons, and a home not a house. From day one my wife, Tanya, said we were moving forward, not backward. She was (and always will be) my rock. I want to share 3 key lessons that I have learned along the way. 1. Use Your Voice in Times of Need Silence has never equalled strength. Staying behind closed doors can make us…

3 Life Lessons While Watching My Son Fight For His Life

Early June, 2018 my wife, Tanya, and I discovered a large mass in the stomach of our six-year-old son, Malcolm. The situation progressed rapidly, and what transpired over the next few months was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. It’s one thing when you are the person facing a particular battle, and it’s quite another when you must helplessly watch someone you love fight their own battle. The lessons I learned were numerous, but I want to share three.   1. Never minimize your pain Early in this experience I struggled to put a voice to my…

You Were Born Resilient

You were born resilient, and you were born to fight. My latest book Born Resilient: True Stories of Life’s Greatest Challenges has received criticism over its title. The argument is that we were not born resilient, but rather that resiliency is a skill we must acquire. I don’t dispute that, but don’t tell me you didn’t come into this world with a resilient and fighting spirit.  You came into this world kicking and screaming.  If someone chokes you what is your immediate reaction? You fight. If someone puts your head under water, what do you naturally do? You fight. I…