Personal Development


Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

Chapter XXXIX –  Getting Back on Track 

I am Jude. Change is hard. It often seems that no matter how much motivation you begin with, what discipline you possess, or what habits you have established, you can lose your way. 

It’s so very easy to revert back to comfortable, hard-coded behaviors, especially when the universe places obstructions, adversity and distractions in your path.

I am no different. 

However, I am developing some strategies that have been allowing me to get back on track before I stray too far. They are simple actions that can limit your struggles when you get sidetracked, and they have almost universal application. 

My hope is that they can help you when you inevitably get sidetracked.

Remember your WHY 

I am continuing to define my ‘why’. I know it involves my ongoing growth and development so that I can help others Break Free from the self-imposed limitations we place on ourselves and live better lives.

I’m still trying to determine exactly what that means, but until I do I will continue to explore how I can best utilize my gifts to serve others. 

I want to increase my ability to inspire and uplift people. However, I also understand that if I want to give more, I have to be more.

This provides me with inspiration and presents a healthy sense of urgency to get my shit together when I lose my way. 

Whenever you get lost, your ‘why’ can be used to rediscover your true course. It’s an internal compass that directs you towards your purpose. 

Small Incremental Steps

Incremental change has become central to my mental and physical development. Taking small consistent steps towards clearly defined goals has been one of the most effective tools I have discovered. 

Whenever my personal development routine is interrupted, I renew my positive habits with small reasonable efforts that guarantee me some measure of success. 

Adopt the idea of consistent incremental change. It will lead to unexpected and extraordinary results. 

Photo by Miguel Luis on Unsplash


I am becoming more aware of my inner critic. I can safely say I don’t like this guy. Fortunately, his constant negative chatter is teaching me to be more cognizant of my thoughts.

The better I can recognize my thoughts and feelings, the more I can challenge internal criticism and self-doubt. 

It’s necessary to extend to yourself the same empathy, understanding and compassion you would offer to your best friend or favorite family members. When you fall short or fail to meet your own expectations, forgive yourself and keep it moving. 

Get out into Nature

Whenever I become frustrated or Iose my way, I get outside. There is something about being out in nature that rejuvenates me and provides me with peace.

The sights and sounds of the woods, the waves at a beach or simply being in your own backyard can center you and relieve stress.

It allows me to experience ‘quietude’ and provides inspiration. It connects me with something bigger than myself – and there is power in that.

I am always left feeling more centered and energized and that generally invigorates my mission to Be Better. 

Positive Connections

Connect with people who inspire you. Positivity is infectious. These individuals improve your mental wellness, attitude and overall energy. They challenge and motivate you to Be Better. 

They are especially invaluable when you stray from the path. They are critical resources who can help steer you back and illlminate the way forward.

Expect that you are going to lose your way. Everyone struggles. EVERYONE!  

When you do, remember to apply elements of my personal prescription. Refer to your why, demonstrate self-compassion, get outside, connect with people who inspire you and take small steps to get back on track. 

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting 

We are two weeks into the Get Unshackled Health and Wellness Program and so far so good. The workouts continue to go well and the participants have been engaged during the Zoom virtual sessions. 

Most importantly, they have been completely receptive to the focus on mindfulness and focused breathing.  

The program has truly been a blessing that is providing more benefits than it gives.

I am getting the opportunity to continue ‘coaching’ adolescents, exploring mindfulness and encouraging individuals to Be Better.

I am growing. Not to mention challenging myself physically. I am leading exercises that I didn’t think I would ever be doing again. 

The program is still accepting new participants at a reduced cost.

It is open to all adolescents regardless of their fitness level. We are committed to providing each participant with effective tools and strategies to support their physical and mental wellness.

It is our desire to motivate these youth to Break Free from any self-imposed limitations and encourage them to become better versions of themselves.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Please contact Jude Clyke at (902)957-0602 or Joanne Jarvis-Jordan at (902)305-6512 or email:

The sessions are held at Victoria Park. However, workouts are held at the RECC walking track whenever there is inclement weather. 

Everyone seems to be responding well and having fun so far. And that’s a beautiful thing. 

You Next Best Read –  Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis

This is not a book I would normally read. 

I have been focusing almost exclusively on personal development, mindfulness, business and coaching. However, it was highly recommended and won some prestigious awards.

And for good reason! 

It was completely captivating. The writing was smart and intelligent and it brought something unique to the typical plots involving animals with human intellect.

It leapfrogged over all of the other books I was reading and I finished it in a weekend. 

The Greek Gods, Hermes and Apollo make a bet about human happiness. They grant fifteen (15) dogs staying at a veterinary clinic the power of human consciousness.

The dogs instantly become divided between those who prefer their old dog ways and those who want to take advantage of their newfound increased intelligence.

The narrative threaded elements of Lord of the Flies with Greek mythology and man’s fundamental need for belonging. It also explored other deep, existential themes. 

Before I knew it, the idea of dogs communicating and considering complex emotions seemed somehow plausible and even more strangely, I was left reflecting on my humanity after reading a book about dogs. Ain’t that some shit?

I also appreciated some of the familiar references to Toronto streets, parks and neighbourhoods from my recent vacation. It created a uniquely Canadian connection.

And then I learned about the author. Andre Alexis was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and grew up in Ottawa. Say what?

If you are familiar with my story, you know that my father was born in Tobago, Trinidad’s smaller, more laidback sister island. 

Fifteen Dogs is one of the most successful Canadian novels of the past decade. It won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Canada Reads Prize, and became a global bestseller.

Additionally, the author has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth award, the Governor General’s Award, and the Toronto Book Award.

Bottom line, Andre Alexis is a bad brother. Can’t wait to check out more of his work. 

Positive Reflections – What’s Good?

It is truly a blessing to wake up every morning and experience the miracle of life. Yes it may sound dramatic and hokey when you hear it. but there is nothing more true. 

I was recently listening to a podcast that suggested that 160,000 people around the world die everyday. A quick google search revealed that it was actually 166, 279 – but who’s counting. 

That’s a lot of people. It’s  a stark reminder that life has an expiry date. Tomorrow is never promised to anyone. Time is precious. In fact, it is our most valuable possession. 

However, I don’t view this stat as particularly disheartening or depressing. In fact, it provides me with inspiration and a greater sense of urgency to pursue my passions and serve others. 

We have no idea how long we have left in this world. Consequently, we need to be grateful for every morning and all of the lived moments that we are privileged to experience.

What would our lives look like if we began and ended everyday with a mindset of grace, gratitude and equanimity? 

I personally believe we would value life differently and would be much more intentional in how we live and love one another.

I am choosing to focus on the infinite opportunities that life presents, not its ultimate outcome. Death will inevitably find us all. In the meantime, I am getting busy. I am committed to creating joy and pursuing fulfillment. 

I still have a lot of work to do and an undetermined time to do it in, but every day I wake up I have another opportunity to Be Better and to positively impact the world. It’s my primary focus. 

Everything else is only a distraction. 

Public Announcement

Lest we forget. 

The long overdue apology to the No. 2 Construction Battalion will be held in Truro, NS this upcoming Saturday on July 9th. The parade begins at 12:30pm and the Apology Event starts at 1:00pm.

In case you haven’t heard….

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) awarded the ‘France and Flanders, 1917-18’ Battle Honour to No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force in Ottawa, on June 1, 2022.

The announcement also included the perpetuation of the Battalion by The Branch of Canadian Military Engineers located at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.

The ‘perpetuation’ of No. 2 Construction Battalion will ensure that the identity and honours gained by this unit will endure in the armed forces and in Canadian history. That’s a big deal. 

This is a momentous occasion and I am thankful that a formal apology is finally being given to these Canadian heroes. I have also heard proposals to change the name of the T.A.A.C. grounds to commemorate the Battalion. 

However, I am hoping that this historic event leads to something more meaningful than a parade, a public acknowledgement and a potential name change. 

What if there was a permanent space to house some of the history, memorabilia and distinguished accomplishments of the Battalion and local African Canadian men and women who served in the Armed Forces?

And as if ordained by the universe, the apology comes at a time when there are serious efforts secure funding to construct a sustainable state-of-the-art community space dedicated to the experiences and identified needs of Black residents in Truro.

Something like that sounds like a much more meaningful outcome to me. Let’s make it happen. I am Jude. 

Photo by Stijn Swinnen on Unsplash


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