Pushing Vs. Encouraging

Posted by Tom Locke on August 11th, 2017 filed in Business, History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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In reflecting back on my upbringing, one thing I always admired about my Dad was how he supported me in the various sports I played.

He really understood sports, especially baseball, which was and still is my favourite. My Dad never openly criticized me or pushed me but did not shy away when I asked for his advice on my play.  His observations for the most part were right on and were presented in an honest, positive manner.  There was never any pressure.

I wish that had been the case for some of my peers and some of the young kids that I coached and umpired for over the years.  I truly believe that their parents had great intentions but got caught up in “Johnny excelling” at all costs as opposed to “Johnny enjoying”. It was as if they were living their dreams vicariously through their children.

In June of this year, we lost one of the true characters of baseball, Jimmy Piersall. Piersall played 17 years in the major leagues and was always in the newspapers because of his on and off field antics.

In 1952, his second year as a regular in the major leagues, he was admitted to the hospital for “nervous exhaustion”.  Today his condition is recognized as bipolar disorder.

With the desire to share his medical condition, in 1955, Piersall released his book ‘Fear Strikes Out’, co-authored by Al Hirshberg. It became the subject of a 1957 movie version with the same title, in which Piersall was portrayed by Anthony Perkins and his father by Karl Malden.

Even though Piersall eventually disowned the film because of what he saw as its distortion of the facts, including over-blaming his father for his problems, the film was very impactful.

My Dad got me to watch this film on TV in the mid 60′s. He sure got his point across about encouraging your kids instead of pushing them to be better and better.  If I could have reached into the TV during the film and punched Karl Malden in the nose, I would have.

Over the last 50+ years, I have seen a few“Karl Malden’s” on the sports fields and in arenas and I don’t hesitate to go up to them and politely ask if they have seen the movie, ‘Fear Strikes Out’.  And on three occasions I have been subsequently thanked by those who viewed the film.


The Miracle Mile Lives On

Posted by Tom Locke on August 4th, 2017 filed in History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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Monday August 7th marks the 63rd anniversary of the Miracle Mile, the most memorable event of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games held in Vancouver, B.C.

It featured England’s Roger Bannister and Australian John Landy who became the first two runners ever to break the four minute mile in the same race.

Many of you are probably aware of this, especially if you have hung out with me these past 30+ years here in Vancouver.

However, did you know that this race is also connected to a 50th anniversary this year? That anniversary relates to the September 1967 unveiling of a bronze statue of the Miracle Mile at Hastings Park in Vancouver.

Statue Unveiling

In addition, the following commemorative medallion was handed out at the “Statue Dinner” on September 26, 1967.

MM Birk's Box

Amazingly, Charlie Warner (now 88), the photographer of the famous Miracle Mile shot, was not aware of the existence of this medallion.

You can imagine his reaction when he received one thanks to a colleague of mine who came across one while attending to her late father’s affairs.

Here’s Charlie with the medallion in front of his replica of that bronze statue from 1967 and his award-winning photograph from 1954.

Charlie & 1967 Commemorative Medal

Positive Health Wellness

Posted by Tom Locke on July 28th, 2017 filed in General, History, Life, Technology
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Thanks to technology, the world has gotten smaller … so much so that international interaction has become commonplace.

Last month I received an email from a lady in Australia who had been browsing my blog and came across one of my 2016 entries on technology.

The lady was the Content Editor for Positive Health Wellness which is based in Australia.  She went on to share an article they had posted about technology and health:


At Positive Health Wellness, their mission is to provide a wide variety of resources for people who are enthusiastic and passionate about being positive and healthy – recipes, reviews, health and wellness tips as well as helpful videos.

Their goal is to be the ultimate one-stop destination for anyone that has an interest in being positive, healthy and well.

They cover everything from dealing with the pressures of social eating to how you can make healthy decisions for you and your family.

They strive to maintain a truthful and unbiased collection of knowledge, both in original content, product reviews and tips, as well as curated articles from other top websites that offer relevant content.

They are on my radar now and I visited their site monthly.  Check them out … you may just find something of value.


Live In The Moment

Posted by Tom Locke on July 19th, 2017 filed in Business, General, History, Life
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To a large degree our peace of mind is predicated on our ability to live in the present.

No matter what happened yesterday or last year or what may or may not happen in the future, the facts are that we are in the present and always will be.

Per Richard Carlson, PhD, in his book, ‘Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff’:

“We allow past problems and future concerns to dominate our present moments; so much so that we end up anxious, frustrated, depressed and/or hopeless.  On the flip side, we also postpone our gratification, our stated priorities and our happiness …”

To combat this we must bring our attention back to the present.

Mark Twain may have said it best, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

Practicing keeping your attention on the present is an art; but, for those who do, it has paid them great dividends that include a sense of achievement, self worth and contentment.

Hooked On A Feeling

Posted by Tom Locke on June 22nd, 2017 filed in General
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Over the years I have written a number of entries on one of my favourite subjects – happiness.

The bottom line about happiness is the fact that it’s a choice - your choice, whether to be happy or not.

From time to time I receive some great insight from San Diego-based Lee Silber (www.leesilber.com), an amazing author, keynote speaker and overall good guy.

He recently put out a mini book, “Hooked On A Feeling”, that offers ideas of simple things you can do in order to make you feel better … or as I like to say, “happy“.

Lee says in his book:

When we are asked what we really want (or want more of) we will often say things like, have more money—make that a ton of money—have more time and less to do, to love and be loved, own a business or write a book, travel, lose weight or get in better shape, become famous, give back and make a difference, own a bigger home and a better car, and the list goes on.

What do we really want? A feeling. Think about it. What does having a ton of money mean to most of us? It means we feel more secure and have less to worry about. We will feel more comfortable. More money means we have more freedom to do what we want. It means we will feel more confident and be respected by others. More money means we could do things for others which makes us feel good. I think you see where I’m going with this. What we are chasing is a feeling.

And, as Lee points out in his book, chasing this feeling is not reliant on money. In fact the ideas he puts forth, that we all can employ, take a minimal amount of time and are fun.

Want to get “Hooked On A Feeling” then send Lee an email at leesilber@leesilber.com. Furthermore, go to Lee’s site (www.leesilber.com) and check it out all his books and ideas – you will be happy you did.

Friends & Time

Posted by Tom Locke on June 14th, 2017 filed in Business, History, Life

Last month I had the pleasure of attending a reunion of Deloitte alumni who had began their careers in Toronto with this accounting firm in the 60′s and 70′s.

65 people showed up and I knew at least half of them.  Some I had articled with and some I used to report to.

It was like old home week and as if time stood still – especially when the stories started coming out surrounding our early days in our careers.  Embellished somewhat thanks to time, everyone found themselves smiling and chuckling about something or some story they hadn’t thought or heard about for 40 years.


For me, working for Deloitte, Haskins & Sells (as it was known when I joined) was very special.  It was my first full time job and launched my career by providing an opportunity to join the staff of one of our clients.  This career move subsequently found me moving to Vancouver and get involving with the film and entertainment industry – I never looked back.

However, this journey through time reinforced one thing – that being the fact that the people I connected with in my early days with Deloitte in Toronto remain my friends. And that’s saying a lot given that I have lived in Vancouver for 32+ years.


Every year I fly back to Toronto and go the Blue Jay home opener with many of the alumni.  And like this reunion, these get-togethers are priceless.

As many of us enter our autumn years, spending quality of time with friends and family has become Job 1.  And what a great job to finish off a career.

True Leadership

Posted by Tom Locke on May 11th, 2017 filed in Business, History
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True leaders are admired as they have the ability to engage others.

And as Dwight D. Eisenhower pointed out:

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he/she wants to do it.


Going With The Flow

Posted by Tom Locke on April 28th, 2017 filed in Business, Life
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Challenges and problems are part of life.  However, when we see these as potential sources for opportunity and growth, our mindset becomes a positive one.

Challenges and problems can also teach us to be gracious, humble and patient.

I think Robert Graham, PhD, a consultant on stress and happiness, summarized a pro-active approach to challenges and problems the best.  He suggests:

“… if you spend less time running away from problems and trying to rid yourself of them – and more time accepting problems as an inevitable, natural, even important part of life – you will soon discover that life can be more of a dance and less of a battle.  This philosophy of acceptance is the root of going with the flow.”


Putting Things Off

Posted by Tom Locke on April 2nd, 2017 filed in Life, Music
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The last month has been a challenging one.  In five different instances, I had a friend and/or family member be unexpectedly faced with a serious health issue.

In talking with them all, one thing came out – life is too short and we should not put anything off we wish to do – especially those things that put a smile on our face.

In an email from a close friend, I read these words:

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of “I’m going to,” “I plan on,” and “Someday, when things are settled down a bit.” 

Sound familiar?  For another take on this, revisit Harry Chapin’s ballad “Cat’s In The Cradle” from 1974.

Rugby Sevens – More Than A Game

Posted by Tom Locke on March 17th, 2017 filed in Humour, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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Last weekend, I attended the Rugby Sevens tournament here in Vancouver.  What a blast.

Watching 14 extremely fit human beings ( 7 per side) go all out for 14 minutes (length of one game) was something else.  Strength, agility and speed became a given while watching these athletes.  As you got more into the game, you could see the strategy unfold.

But that was not all you could see.  The crowd was unbelievable.  Garbed in all kinds of costumes from “bottles of beer” to “Ninja Turtles” to the “Pope”, you could not help but shake your head and smile about the fan creativity.

In addition, the crowd, although loud, was not unruly, playing a key role in the positive atmosphere that surrounded each game.

I can hardly wait until next year.