March 2012

Making lemonade

by Fabrice Calando on March 23, 2012

Making lemonade

Change comes in two flavours. Good and bad. That’s it. Good change — like finding a new job, buying a new house, booking a vacation — is quite welcome. Naturally, bad change isn’t. The first reaction is to fight to keep the past alive where things were safe.

After getting stabbed, I spent a lot of energy worrying the guy was going to stay in jail for a long time. Writing letters, getting phone numbers, visiting police…

Of course, it serves no purpose. We spend a lot of energy preserving the past after unwanted changes. It’s a natural reaction, but it’s ultimately useless. Preserving the past, to avoid a new reality is futile. That’s why the past is the past, the present is now and it dictates the future. [Side note: Temporarily holding on to the past is healthy if it leads you to accept what’s happened]

By far the best thing I did after the stabbing, wasn’t to write letters or get angry. It was to write a simple blog post. I got to hear from people saying it changed their habits. It made them safer — walking in groups, keeping their iPods off and increasing vigilance. Not only on that street corner, but where ever they go. In a small way, that post allowed me to accept the past, start moving on and help my small part of society grow.

Focus on tomorrow

When change happens you have two choices — fight to preserve what was or fight for a chance to transform and grow. Only one of them really prepares a stronger tomorrow. There’s an opportunity to not only change yourself, but also those around you.

There’s always an opportunity to make lemonade, no matter how bitter the lemons appear to be.

(Photo credit: Erich Ferdinand)


A call for speakers

by Fabrice Calando on March 21, 2012

Fabrice Calando

Would you like to speak at Social Media Breakfast Montreal (SMBMtl)? Now’s your chance!

The Social Media Breakfast was started in August 2007 by Bryan Person in Boston. Since then the event spread to over 40 cities including here in Montreal.

The event is a huge success.

It started in December 2009 and I remember attending what I recall was the second SMBMtl at Bside bar (a bar at 8 am!) to listen and converse with Mitch Joel. Since then then there have been more than a few world-class speakers, including:

The event has also grown-up and moved from the bar floor to La Bistrote where Chef/Owner Dana Elsliger serves some of the greatest breakfasts you’ll ever eat.

I was lucky enough to both speak and attend the event. It’s been a great opportunity professionally as well as personally. It was there that I met and solidified relationships with Mark, Adele, Sebastien, Karima-Catherine, Ray Hiltz and many more.

Your turn

I’m now thrilled to be able to help Jeff Taylor keep the SMBMtl rolling. Along with Luis and Andrew from KAI Design we’re helping promote, organize and find speakers/sponsors for the event.

And that’s where you fit in.

If you’re interested in presenting or sponsoring the event, drop me a word!

See you soon!


Hack Your Life Project: Healthy mind, healthy body

by Fabrice Calando on March 19, 2012

Hack Your Life Project | Healthy mind, healthy body

I’ve been wanting to wake up earlier. This past week was dedicated to testing out options that should make it happen and make it stick. The process isn’t quite over, but it’s on it’s way.

Testing options allows you to find the best way to change a behaviour. Going “cold turkey” rarely works. When was the last time you met a smoker for who quitting cold turkey really worked? Testing allows you to play around and tweak different elements to determine what aspects are easier to change and where you’ll need to work at it. A “cold turkey” attitude relies on one big motivational push. It’s not that it can’t work, it’s that it’s that much harder to tackle one big item. The first time you fail, the whole is harder to keep on track than the element.

#HYLP Challenge #12: Healthy mind, healthy body

Healthy mind, healthy body is a saying that gets thrown around a lot. Quite simply, to be well-rounded, humans need to stay health physically and mentally. One feeds off of the other. Of course, our lives get busy — there’s work, kids, blogging, house hunting, groceries, family obligations, commutes. While they’re all important, they take away time from you. Time you need to focus on your physical health as well as the mental.

This week will be about finding that time. Setting some moments aside to focus on physical health as well as mental health.


This challenge couldn’t have popped up at a better time (does that even make it a challenge?). Ever since everything changed, I haven’t been able to workout and my new schedule has made it harder for me to read. Part of last week’s challenge was exactly that — getting back on track.

It’s is quite self-explanatory. Health isn’t simply a physical thing, it’s mental as well. It’s not about the bare minimum it’s about being complete.

Past challenges

If you’re new here, on the first week of January I started the Hack Your Life Project. Each week I challenge myself to explore the details of the programmable system that is my life and stretch its capabilities, as opposed to most of us, who only prefer to learn the minimum necessary. I no longer want to breeze through my life, but take control of it.These are the past challenges:

  1. Hack Your Life Project | Get rid of excess clothing
  2. Hack Your Life Project | Turn off the electronics
  3. Hack Your Life Project | Hello stranger
  4. And then…everything changes | The happyness metric
  5. Hack Your Life Project | Do
  6. Hack Your Life Project | Weekends and evenings
  7. Hack Your Life Project | Take a break
  8. Hack Your Life Project | Be decisive
  9. Hack Your Life Project |Set your limits
  10. Hack Your Life Project | Give a fuck
  11. Hack Your Life Project | Test your life


Missing out

March 16, 2012

No matter how many members Facebook has (close to 1 billion), it’s not uncommon to meet someone who doesn’t have the time or doesn’t see the the value of being active on various social networks. To be blunt, if you resist social media, you’re missing out on great opportunities. To hide behind (legit) concerns of […]

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The kids can’t write

March 14, 2012

Current generations will often say about younger generations something to the effect that kids can’t write. They write in SMS language: C u L8tr lol ? kk r u ok? going 2mro c u thr And so on… The brevity of mobile phone text messages and the instant nature of communications have made it that […]

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Hack Your Life Project: Test your life

March 12, 2012

I spent this past week looking for a charity. Not a charity to simply donate to, but something to support when and where I can. I think apathy is one of the biggest roadblocks to hacking your life. To put it simply, when you stop caring, you give up and that’s when you get in […]

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March 7, 2012

Humans are notoriously bad at determining what we can control in our lives. Things you don’t control: The weather The other person’s mood The stock market The car in front of you in traffic The result of the hockey game (unless you’re a player or coach) The other person’s intentions The other person’s reaction How […]

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Hack Your Life Project | Give a fuck

March 5, 2012

Sometimes “no” is simply the best answer. It frees up time to do your best work and, in the long-run, that’s when you’re the most helpful. What I like about last week’s “just say no” project is just how much it brought to my attention those situations where “no” is the way to go. What […]

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Passion at its core

March 2, 2012

Unexpectedly ask someone what their passion is and they’ll answer something like: “I don’t know, I don’t have a passion” “My family” “I play soccer, so I guess I’m passionate about that” Passion is a very hard thing to pinpoint. Some people are lucky and find it early on. Others take a while to find […]

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