“Trading Up” – Talk summary

Lancer Leadership Conference 2019


Thanks so much for having me. This was the most heartfelt and vulnerable talk I think I have ever delivered, and I appreciate the opportunity very much. I hope you enjoyed it and found it valuable in some way. It was a thrill for me to plan and deliver this talk, and I hope to be back to Windsor U soon. 🙂

Key Concepts:
  1. Approach determines outcome.
  2. Perspective determines approach.
  3. Curiosity determines perspective.
  4. Failing to develop yourself – and your perspectives – to their absolute fullest potential is an act of betrayal against your family, your community, the people to whom you have a responsibility to protect, your benefactors, yourself, and any divine beings you may believe in (as it is likely you also believe each human possesses a spark of the Divine within). Do not spit on the gifts you have been given by remaining wilfully ignorant and imperfect, or by casting blame instead of improving. Over time you will become isolated, miserable, and frozen by your own actions.
Resources & Further Reading:

Some of these are intentionally provocative and meant to challenge the easy perspectives that the system sells you. Don’t waste time trying to infer about what my perspectives and opinions might be – get busy on developing your own lines of thinking.

  • “The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money” – Bryan Caplan (link)
  • “Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry” (link)
  • “Annaleise Carr on CBC National” – Norfolk County YouTube (link)
  • “The 3 Tricks That Made AlphaGo Zero Work” – Hackernoon (link)
  • Dante’s Inferno: Circle 9, cantos 31-34 (article link)
  • “Millennials, Boomers & The Leadership Gap” (article link)
  • “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” – Gottman Institute (link)
  • “LĂ©o Major, DCM and bar” – Robert Fowler (link)
  • “Hacked Emails Actually Prove Clinton Adviser Neera Tanden Is a Truth-Telling Hero” – New York Magazine (link)
  • “WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left” – Politico (link)
  • “Forget the FBI cache; the Podesta emails show how America is run” – Thomas Frank link)
  • “The Education of Millionaires” – Michael Ellsberg (book)
  • “The Secret of Luck” – Derren Brown (link: YouTube video)
  • “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story” – Arnold Schwarzenegger (autobiography)
  • “I. Analog Iteration” – Zachary Strong (me! – link)
Minor Correction:

In WWII, Léo Major served with Le Régiment de la Chaudière. He then served with the Royal 22e Régiment in the Korean War.

Je me souviens.

1. Virtuous Nonbelievers
2. Lust
3. Gluttony
4. Greed
5. Wrath
6. Heresy
7. Violence
8. Fraud
9a. Treachery against family
9b. Treachery against community
9c. Treachery against guests
9d. Treachery against benefactors
9e. Personal treachery against God (refusing to improve to your fullest potential)

Do I stress you out?
My sweater is on backwards and inside out
And you say, “How appropriate.”
I don’t want to dissect everything today
I don’t mean to pick you apart you see
But I can’t help it

And there I go jumping before the gunshot has gone off
Slap me with a splintered ruler
And it would knock me to the floor if I wasn’t there already
If only I could hunt the hunter

And all I really want is some patience
A way to calm the angry voice
And all I really want is deliverance

Do I wear you out?
You must wonder why I’m relentless and all strung out
I’m consumed by the chill of solitary
I’m like Estella
I like to reel it in and then spit it out
I’m frustrated by your apathy

And I am frightened by the corrupted ways of this land
If only I could meet the Maker
And I am fascinated by the spiritual man
I’m humbled by his humble nature

And what I wouldn’t give to find a soulmate
Someone else to catch this drift
And what I wouldn’t give to meet a kindred

Enough about me, let’s talk about you for a minute
Enough about you, let’s talk about life for a while
The conflicts, the craziness and the sound of pretenses falling
All around, all around

Why are you so petrified of silence?
Here, can you handle this?
Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines?
Or when you think you’re gonna die?
Or did you long for the next distraction?

And all I need now is intellectual intercourse
A soul to dig the hole much deeper
And I have no concept of time other than it is flying
If only I could kill the killer

And all I really want is some peace, man
A place to find a common ground
And all I really want is a wavelength
All I really want is some comfort
A way to get my hands untied
And all I really want is some justice…

“All I Really Want” – Alanis Morissette (1995)