White Board Wednesday: Find your PASSION

Written by Poojitha

Happy Wednesday folks, today’s theme for our white board Wednesday is passion. I am sure all of us have an idea of what passion means however there are many of us who lack it in the work we do. As Oprah Winfrey said “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you”. To some individuals passion in their work comes naturally and to others it may be something they have to develop overtime. In either case, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have passion because true happiness comes from doing the work you are passionate about.

I am passionate about the work I do

I am passionate about the work I do

To be passionate is to be authentic to yourself and when you do something that you love you get loads of energy. It sometimes surprises me of how many people there are out there who remain dissatisfied with their jobs. They hold no passion in what they do but they simply have to do it to earn money. Can you imagine waking up every morning and having to go to work which you absolutely loathe? By the time you come home from work not only are you tired but also unsatisfied because you haven’t done anything which makes you happy. On the other hand if you have a job which you cherish, then imagine how different your life would be? Doing something that you are passionate about makes you jump out of bed and look forward to the day ahead. In this case, what you do makes you energized, excited and motivated rather than leaving you tired and unhappy.

I love teaching others!

I love teaching others!

Passion not only makes your day-to-day more rewarding but it also builds inspiration, courage and confidence within you to do great things. It opens up the doors to a wide range of opportunities and brings excitement to one’s life. When you are passionate you are continuously striving to do more and learn more to reach your full potential. In addition, having a passion also benefits people around you as you spread your positive vibes and inspiration among them.

I believe in inspiring others to make positive change.

I believe in inspiring others to make positive change.

On an end note, realizing your true passion may or may not always be obvious. To some people realizing their passion comes easily and to others it may be something that they have to develop or scavenge to find. Whatever the case might be, it is important that one takes the time to realize their true passion. To those who are trying to find their passion, below are a few tips to get you thinking:

1. Find what you are good at
What are your talents, gifts or skills? What do you enjoy doing? Are there certain qualities for which people repeatedly acclaim you?

2. Find what excites you
Is there a hobby, job or volunteering position that excites you? Is there a part of your job that excites you?

3. What do you spend hours reading about?
This is probably the best predictor of you passion. Think about a list of things which you always crave to know more about and spend hours for this purpose.

Brainstorm a list of ideas for the above three aspects and see if there are any qualities of yours which overlap in all three aspects.

"And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, Keep Looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.

“And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, Keep Looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.


Motivational Monday: Trivia Challenge

Written by Shannon KHappy Monday!

Here is a quick trivia game for you- give yourself a minute and see how many questions you can answer.

  1.  Who are the first three Canadian Prime Minister?
  2. Who was the first man on the moon?
  3. Who is the world’s richest person?
  4. Who is on the Canadian $100 bill?
  5. Who were the first Canadian Nobel Prize Laureate?
  6. Who won best actress in a leading role at the Oscars (2015)?
  7. Who won best actor in a leading role at the Oscars (2015)?
  8. Who is considered the father of microbiology?
  9. Who invented the mechanical movable type printer that started the Printing Revolution?
  10. Who is the longest serving American President?

Now check your answers at the bottom of the page. How many did you get right?

Reset the time and try this second round of trivia.

  1. Name your first three best friends?
  2. Who is the first teacher who inspired you to chase your dreams?
  3. Who continues to inspire you to make the most of everyday?
  4. Who can make you laugh until you cry?
  5. Who would you drop everything for if they needed help?
  6. Who would drop everything for you if you needed help?
  7. Who can you go months without seeing then when you see them it’s as though you haven’t been apart?
  8. Who was the first friend you made at the University of Guelph?
  9. Who knows how to cheer you up even on your grumpiest days?
  10. Who do you call when you just need to be listened to?

Much easier right? While the people in the first round of trivia accomplished important things and have had an impact on your life in some way or another, it’s the people highlighted in the second set of questions that really matter. They are the ones to look up to and be thankful for the role they have played in your life!

1. Sir John A Macdonald, Alexander Mackenzie, Sir John Abbott  2. Neil Armstrong 3. Bill Gates 4. Robert Borden 5. Frederick Banting and JJR Macleoad 6. Eddie Redmayne 7. Julianne Moore 8. Louis Pasteur 9. Johannes Gutenberg 10. Roosevelt

Motivational Monday: Notes on the Blackboard

Written by HeatherHave you been up to the Student Life department lately? The contributors of The Leadership Office spend a lot of time on the third floor of the UC, and one of my personal favourite things about the department is the blackboard that sits behind the front desk. This board is always decorated with an inspirational quote, and I’d like to share this past week’s quote with you for Motivational Monday.

I recent quote on the student life blackboard, 'The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling..." -Fabienne Fredrickson

A recent quote on the student life blackboard, ‘The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling…” -Fabienne Fredrickson

So there you have it. Thank you to the wonderful people in the Student Life department who help students like myself discover and cultivate their passions!

Whiteboard Wednesday: Inspiring Others

Written by Remy

People have different definitions of leadership. I want to focus today around the theme of inspiring others. As the “Lone Nut” Tedx talk has shown us you cannot be a leader without followers. So how do you get your followers… you inspire them! Make them share your passion and energy.

I inspire others

I inspire others

The particular student in the picture is a bundle of energy. Ashwin is the incoming president for CBESA and can be found cheering at the top of his lungs and jumping into any situation with the most outgoing and friendly attitude. Part of his charm is being so welcoming. The first thing he will do is stick his hand out to shake yours. As a leader, this is an action helps to create an intimate connection with your followers.

I am passionate about the work I do

I am passionate about the work I do

The passion that people have is contiguous. Think about any famous speech you have heard, Martin Luther King, Obama! They all speak with a passion that makes you believe in their cause. They rally the troops together with their spirit. You just have to be so passionate in your work and then you will make others want to help.

I care

I care

Some leaders do this unknowingly by just caring for others and passing on their kindness. I remember an RA during my first year helping me when my door got vandalised. Her kindness and caring inspired me to want to be an RA and to help others when they were having a rough day. These little moments that we can take for granted like in the Lollypop Moment Tedx talk, and have a ripple effect with creating new leaders and followers.

I wear orange when a lot of people wear black

I wear orange when a lot of people wear black

And to the person who marches to their own beat… yes, you inspire people as well! You make me question what I am doing. You make me question the norms. This type of leader is what we need to be critical thinkers and to create change. Look at Thomas Edison, he thought a little different, questioned a little more, and kept on doing what he was doing because it made him happy and it was what he was passionate about it.

“if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”.

“if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”.

So what I want to leave you with is this quote “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. We all have the capacity to inspire others. Chances are you are already doing it. Keep up the good work and keep making those positive impacts.

Motivational Monday

Written by Remy

Here is a great short clip from Dead Poets Society.

“O Captain, my Captain!”

We each need to find our voice, stand up, and salute those who inspire greatness in us!
Robin Williams in this movie inspired his students to follow their hearts even if it was against the grain. Who is your “O Captain, my Captain!” ?

Motivational Monday: Riddle up!

Hey gryphons!

Here are some riddles to warm up your brain this Monday morning:


Q1: What has 13 hearts, but no other organs?

Q2: Why did the boy throw butter out the window?

Q3: Which month has 28 days?

Q4: What starts with a P, ends with an E, and has thousands of letters?

Q5: What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?


Scroll down for answer



A1: A deck of playing cards.

A2: He wanted to see the butterfly

A3: All of them, silly!

A4: The Post Office!

A5: Short!


Don’t Work for Praise, but Be Generous in Your Delivery of Praise

Written by Shannon K

We have all heard the phrase below:

Work for a cause not for applause. Live life to express not to impress.

Source: Pinterest

We often times reinforce to leaders that the recognition and applause given should not be the sole motivating factor. There should be a sense of passion, and drive behind what you are doing that the recognition is an after thought.

Despite this idea and concept of not working for praise, strong leaders know that praise and recognition can do wonders for the moral, team dynamic and overall team experience. No matter how minimal the recognition given is, it is never unappreciated.

As a leader you can sometimes get caught up in providing constructive criticism. We all have different strengths and talents. This diversity usually makes it easy to identify ways that you would have done things differently and potentially achieve a more desirable outcome (also known as the “next time maybe we could try….” feedback)


That being said there is still a role for recognition and praise in addition to constructive criticism. There is a fine line between providing others with a correct ratio of positive feedback and constructive criticism. A report published in the Harvard Business Review found that the ratio of positive to negative comments for the highest performing team was approximately 5.6! This means that for everyone one negative comment (whether that be constructive or not) there were six positive comments and recognition, which contributed to the productivity of the group.


How does this all relate back to our idea of everyday leadership and Whiteboard Wednesday project. One of the main reactions that we got when asking people to write on the whiteboard how they were a leader was usually a pause and a reply that was along the lines of “I have no idea….”. What was interesting was that when two friends were approached when the one was stumbling over what to write, the other was already listing off the potential items of how they see their friend as a leader.

She is a leader because she is always willing to listen

She is a leader because she is always willing got help out





Ultimately part of being a leader is being able to identify the good in others and most of us do it naturally, but it is the next step that is some times missing. Now that you have all these wonderful things you have identified about people, LET THEM KNOW! When someone is doing a good job, let them know. When someone has really been instrumental in accomplishing a certain task, recognize them for it. When someone has stepped out of their comfort zone to task and risk, recognize their efforts regardless of success or failure.


It is one thing to be aware of what others are doing well, but it’s another thing to have the guts to say it. To sum it up, don’t work for praise but be generous in your delivery of praise!