Beyond the Rhetoric

 
 
 

Applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Principles to Everyday Life

December 7th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Principles to Everyday Life

We all want to be happy, fulfilled, well-adjusted and stress-free. The challenge, of course, is figuring out how to get there and I don’t need to tell you that it’s a heck of a lot easier said than done. In an ideal world, the stigma surrounding mental health would be lifted and we’d all visit with a psychologist or counselor for regular checkups the same way we see the family doctor, dentist or optometrist.

Sadly, that’s not really the case, but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply some fundamental principles from psychology to help you cope with day-to-day life. I experienced an episode with my daughter last night at bedtime that really drove this point home to me. It’s all about shifting your perspective.

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A FlyOver Canada Christmas Special (Video)

December 5th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Christmas at FlyOver Canada

Feeling in the festive spirit and want to take the family on a different kind of holiday adventure? They’re celebrating Christmas at FlyOver Canada by taking us on a virtual journey across the country with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, culminating in a flight to Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole.

We attended a special media event late last week and I put together a short video with some highlights and my thoughts… including a s’more encounter with Buddy. And another Buddy.

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Sunday Snippet: Dan Harmon and the Story Circle

December 4th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Dan Harmon and the Story Circle

“Now you understand that all life, including the human mind and the communities we create, marches to the same, very specific beat. If your story also marches to this beat- whether your story is the great American novel or a fart joke- it will resonate. It will send your audience’s ego on a brief trip to the unconscious and back. Your audience has an instinctive taste for that, and they’re going to say ‘yum.'”

What does it take to make a great story? Is it when the storyteller is particularly adept at creating a large and complex world, like what we see in The Lord of the Rings saga? Is it when the characters are deep and well-developed, like what we might see in Forrest Gump? Or, at the end of the day, do all good stories effectively adhere to the same basic formula and we wouldn’t want to have it any other way? American writer Dan Harmon seems to think so.

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7 Positive Attributes All Successful Freelancers Should Possess

December 2nd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Successful Freelancers

I consider myself very fortunate to have found success in my career as a freelance writer. Over the course of the last eleven years, I’ve experienced my fair share of ups and downs. And I’m still here to talk about it. Freelancing isn’t for everyone and even if you think you have all the right pieces in place, it still might not work out for whatever reason. But you should stack the odds in your favor by having the right pieces in the first place.

In my journeys, I’ve come to recognize several common characteristics of successful freelancers. Do you have these qualities?

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What’s Up Wednesdays: November 2016

November 30th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Happy family

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the weekly speedlink on Beyond the Rhetoric is now going to be a monthly thing. So, here’s the first monthly version of What’s Up Wednesdays. It’s bigger and badder than ever?

Have you ever noticed that everyone on the Internet seems to steal from everyone else? Darrell Milton sure has and he’s tired of it. Memes are memes, but even in the interest of fair use, please remember to give credit where credit is due. It’s a Flaming Homer, not a Flaming Moe.

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A WinterGlow Long Table Dinner with Stanley Park Brewing

November 29th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Stanley Park Brewing #Winterglow

Seemingly overnight, Vancouver has grown to become a hotbed for microbreweries and craft beer. We like our beer. In particular, we like local beer, especially seasonal brews. That’s why I was so enthusiastic when Stanley Park Brewing invited me out for a special long table dinner event to sample their new WinterGlow Mandarin IPA. We braved the rainy Vancouver weather, arrived at Stanley Park Pavilion, and were promptly treated to our first pour.

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Sunday Snippet: Fidel Castro (1926-2016)

November 27th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Fidel Castro (1926-2016)

“A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.”

He served as Prime Minister of Cuba between 1959 and 1976, following up as President of the country from 1976 to 2008. All said, Fidel Castro was in charge for nearly fifty years. And during almost the entirety of his run, before handing power off to his brother, Castro was a thorn in the side of whoever was the President of the United States at the time. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 is perhaps the best known.

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My Happiness List (November 2016)

November 24th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

My Happiness List (November 2016)

Some people like to call it a gratitude list. They might even maintain some form of a gratitude journal. Some people might take this opportunity to give thanks, but we already gorged on turkey last month here in Canada. No, I think what I’m going to do today is borrow a page from Amber Strocel and call it a happiness list. It’s just so much more cheerful and positive, wouldn’t you say?

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