Chris Toplack | Blog
Chris Toplack, London Ontario, Voice Over Artist Canada, Voice Over Canada, Consulting London Ontario, Voice Over London Ontario, Podcaster, Podcaster Canada, Toplack,
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The Dawghouse – “A Modern Day Cheers”

A good friend of mine treated me to a belated birthday lunch at Dawghouse on Sunday. The atmosphere was extremely friendly with customers laughing, smiling and conversing with each other. I instantly felt at home. Our waitress was very personable and made our experience even more enjoyable.

I ordered the Marmaduke burger (a 12 oz burger patty topped with cheese, bacon, fried onion rings, and thousand island dressing) along with sweet potato fries on the side. The burger itself was well cooked and massive! As a foodie who often orders sweet potato fries, these were among the best I have tried in recent memory.

The prices are also extremely reasonable as our bill was less than $30. 

Not only will I return to the Dawghouse, but it has instantly become one of my new favourites.

8.5/10

Visit their website for more details!

www.dawghouse.ca 

 

 

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Living in the Past

George Carlin once asked, “Why do people watch their own home videos? They are watching things that they have already done! Stop living in the past!”

He makes a valid point that has always had a lasting effect on me. Why do we live in the past? Perhaps it has something to do with personal comfort or the fact that the past was a much happier place than the present day. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, living in the past on a regular basis can be considered unhealthy.

This topic came to the surface after a recent conversation with an old acquaintance. He had obtained a great deal of success within a short period of time and was riding high. He had an outstanding job, a stunning condo and a luxury car.  His life suddenly came crashing down after his company folded. He often discussed reinventing himself and moving in a new direction, but instead, hung onto everything he lost and ignored his potential. He spent so much time in the past, that he forgot to focus on the present and plan for the future. He refused to move on which lead to a personal and professional stalemate. In one of our last conversations, I brought up a philosophy that I readily follow. 

“You learn from yesterday, live for today and grow for tomorrow.”

Apparently he took this to heart and has reinvented himself. I received an email from him just yesterday thanking me for that little piece of advice.

While a trip to the past may be full of joy and vivid memories, remember that it should only be considered a temporary vacation. If life is a photo album, you should focus on filling the remaining pages and making them count.

 

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Smile

During my break at lunch, I stopped by a grocery store to take a look around and see if there were any good deals available. I popped in, browsed around but unfortunately left empty handed.

I noticed a man in his mid-30’s struggling to carry groceries to a car. Bags and cans were following all over the place. I immediately offered my assistance. As it turns out, he was patiently waiting for his Aunt who was getting her hair done. He went ahead and took care of her grocery list as a way of helping her out. He was extremely grateful for my help and thanked me repeatedly. It became apparent that he suffered from a form of Down Syndrome, but his beaming smile told the real story. We briefly discussed the oddly chilly weather in May, hockey and how thankful he was to work for his parents catering business. He was just recently hired and so proud of his success. “I’m so happy to feel like such a major part of the family,” he proclaimed.

He was also very complimentary of my tie, belt and sunglasses. He told me that I looked “cool” and that he wanted to be just like me. Humbled, I left him with a comment that put an even bigger smile on his face.

“I appreciate the compliment, but I wish I could be just like you. You smile like you mean it, have a lust for life and truly value everything you have. I could learn from you.” He smiled, shook my hand and said. “It’s always nice to make a new friend. Thanks for talking with me and keep smiling!”

And guess what? I kept one on my face for the remainder of the day.

“I was smiling yesterday, I am smiling today and I will smile tomorrow. Simply because life is too short to cry for anything.” – Santosh Kalwar

 

 

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Why Your Employees Keep Leaving You

Are you currently a manager or have been in the past? If you answered yes, I don’t need explain just how stressful your position can get. One of the most difficult aspects to deal with are employees who decide to move on. In many cases, you are held responsible for their exit. Here are three reasons as to why they leave according to a Florida State University study.

1. You don’t communicate your goals: It’s quite difficult for employees to meet your expectations when they have no idea what to expect.

2. You have failed to make a personal connection: Managers are often bogged down by the everyday grind and there’s not a lot of time for small talk. But if you don’t spend any time interacting one-on-one, the employee won’t feel like a crucial part of the company.  

3. You have created a negative company culture: A manager should be willing to take responsibility when things go wrong. They should also resist the urge to criticize employees in front of the rest of the team. This is a sure fire way to literally suck the life out of your workforce. 

 Additional Information Provided By Interprep


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Getting Over Mistakes

None of us are perfect. Whether they are major or minor, we all tend to make mistakes on a regular basis.

But are you able to get over these mistakes? That’s the real challenge.

I came across an excellent list courtesy of www.healthylifect.com and decided to expand upon their points.

• Know that you are not the only person who makes mistakes.

As I previously mentioned, none of us are perfect. Michael Jordan missed basketball shots, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple and even Wayne Gretzky missed the net. Even the best of the best have days when they are humbled.

• Understand why you made the mistake: Were you careless? Hurried? Not thinking?

There’s always a reason for a mistake. Instead of beating yourself up over it, or denying the blame, you should truly think about why you made it.

• Think positively and realistically about how bad the mistake really is.

Is your mistake so bad that the entire world will declare war on you? I highly doubt it. In fact, we tend to blow these mishaps out of proportion.

• Don’t obsess and replay the mistake over and over.

There comes a place and time where you need to get over the hump and walk away. Obsessing over a mistake is not healthy and can have some very negative effects on the mind and body.

• Don’t define yourself by your mistakes.

Define yourself by what you have to offer and your accomplishments. Mistakes can be improved upon and converted into a newfound strength.

• Learn from the mistake.

Make an effort to never duplicate the same mistake. Whether it’s through note keeping, patience or asking for assistance, learn from the past.

• Seek help. If you have difficulty getting over the incident after considerable amount of time, consider seeing a therapist.

You should never be embarrassed to ask for help. These are trained professionals who are willing to help you find solutions. 

 

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A Bucket List

Just the other day, a colleague at work popped into my office and asked, “Chris, do you have a bucket list?” I was initially surprised by this question, but responded with a definite “yes!” After we conversed for a few minutes, we parted ways and I was left compiling a list in my head. Before I continue, I should define exactly what a “bucket list” is. 

  • A list of things to do before you die. It comes from the term “kicked the bucket.”

Here are a handful of the most popular bucket list items 

  • Break a world record
  • Go skydiving
  • Travel the world 
  • Own a business
  • Become a millionaire
  • Ride a hot air balloon etc etc.

As I reviewed my personal list, I was reminded of an old quote.“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” Don’t ever be afraid to set your sights high, as all dreams are achievable through dedication and determination. 

My main “Bucket List” item: That somewhere down the road, people will share stories about the individuals that have touched their lives and these same people will say out loud, “They were good, but they were no Chris Toplack.” 

 

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Easy Ways to Save Money

Let’s be honest for a second, we could all be better at saving money. I didn’t start learning how to properly save until many years ago when I moved away from home and had to learn to depend on myself. It was a wake up call, but one that taught me many valuable lessons. Learning how to effectively cut back on my spending habits was perhaps the most important of all. Here are a few tips that have always worked wonders for me.

Don’t Always Depend On Your Credit Card – It’s easy to spend money when it doesn’t immediately come out of your bank account. Several weeks later, you receive a bill in the mail and realize that most of those purchases weren’t even necessary. I only use my credit card for fuelling my car. This tends to keep my Visa bill under control. 

Pack A Lunch – Dining out for lunch certainly adds up in a hurry. By packing a lunch on a daily basis, you could easily save $20 a week.

Create A Budget – Excel is perhaps the most useful tool in creating an organized, easy to follow spreadsheet. Start with a weekly budget and ease yourself into a monthly budget. 

Avoid Impulse Purchases – My impulse purchases tend to be food, clothing and colognes. Although the task itself can be rather difficult at times, I attempt to avoid each of them altogether. Therefore, I will not be tempted to make an unexpected purchase. 

Distinguish Between Needs and Wants – You may want that brand new shirt from your favourite store, but do you really need it? Ask yourself this question with every purchase that you make. 

Make Your Own Coffee – I know, I know. It tastes much better at Starbucks and Tim Hortons, but brewing your own blend at home will save you a great deal of money in the long run.

Pay Your Bills On Time – Paying your bills on time will cut back on insanely high interest rates and late fees.

 

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Signs You Are Watching A Bad Movie

After a long day at work or school, do you ever make a bowl of popcorn, flop on the couch, put your feet up and throw on a movie? This sounds like quite the relaxing evening. Unfortunately, it could also be an evening full of regrets. 

Signs you’re watching a bad movie courtesy of msn.com 

  • It comes “from the makers of Scary Movie”
  • J-Lo is looking for a husband
  • A male and female swap bodies
  • Gerard Butler is American
  • It is post “Dreamgirls” and Eddie Murphy’s in it
  • It stars someone from “Wayne’s World” who isn’t Mike Myers
  • It has the word “ninja” in the title
  • Guy Ritchie is directing Madonna
  • It’s a sequel you’ve never heard of..
  • Adam Sandler wrote and starred in it

 

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