#81: Spite, with Stef Marcinkowski

Can spite be a positive force in your life? We chat with graphic designer Stef Marcinkowski, who says the urge to “prove the critics wrong” pushed him to improve his work, and kept him going through months of online flamewars over his webcomic Sarah Zero.

We mention:

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#80: Positive Struggles, with Ellen Carol

Singer Ellen Carol always has a lot on the go, whether it’s recording with her latest band Sammy, acting on stage or biking cross-country with her dog for charity. But a recent foray into starting a retail store sent her into a tailspin. This episode, we chat with Ellen to find out how she got back on track, and how she finds the time for all her endeavours.

We mention:

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#79: Taking the Leap, with Trevor Shaikin

Just do it. Follow your dreams. Don’t waste another day. We’re bombarded with these messages all the time. But what is it like to actually make that leap? For Trevor, the experience was a rocky one — while his journey to India was indeed life-changing, reintegrating into his life back home was the real challenge.

Here is the video we take issue with. 

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#78: The Dark Side of Passion, with Sam Waldner

We’ve discussed passion plenty of times on this podcast, but we’ve always treated it as a good thing — something that drives you to pursue the important things in life. But passion can be destructive, obsessive, addictive. We talked to addiction counsellor Sam Waldner about the dangers of the dark side and how he uses photography to channel his clients’ passionate impulses in a healthier way.

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You guys, I've been painting for a show that I put up today. The past two weeks I've been plodding through your archives. They're great! I've been really enjoying the project, even the old episodes! But I'm noticing the last post was about a month ago. Are you stopping creating podcasts?

Anonymous

We’re definitely not stopping, but are taking a bit more time with each episode so we can polish and structure them more with our new format.

A new episode is almost ready to go, and we’re in the midst of producing the one after that.

#77: Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship is about doing what you love and doing it right. Eric tries out a definition based on three key elements: A passion for continuous improvement, experience, and quality and attention to detail.

We’d love to hear from you on this topic. Where is the craft in what you do?

We mention:

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Attention Surplus Outtakes - Year 1 and 2

Almost every episode of Attention Surplus includes a short outtake at the end. Since we’re about to start our third year of recording, we decided to compile our favourite outtakes from the first two years of the show.

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#76: Money vs. Happiness

Our topic this week, suggested by Ellen Carol, is the tension between money and happiness. Happiness, it turns out, is hard work. In fact, Sean says the question shouldn’t be “Do I love doing this?” but “Is this work worth it?”

And we talk about some of our “roads not taken” — like political science and juggling — and living for experiences rather than things.

We mention:

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#75: Stuck, with Byron Bignell

This week we discuss being stuck with Byron Bignell. He was “stuck” for over 18 years. Sean sat down with Byron to talk about being “stuck” and how to approach getting “unstuck.”

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Note: We ran out of time in our episode and weren’t able to share all of the treatments Byron explored. While connecting with people was the start of his turnaround, he attributes a lot of his recovery to participating in a trial of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. We include this in case any of our listeners are suffering from clinical depression or know someone who is looking for additional therapies to explore.