Articles By Michael

Welcome Reader…

The job of a good storyteller, teacher, motivator, and wordsmith, is to blend a certain amount of life wisdoms, adventures with a positive twist that invite engagement and reflection, regardless of the number of words on the page or lenght of the story. This is my intention with these articles and a variety of topics I enjoy writing about published here, Michael

How To Disengage From Less Than Pleasing Conversations

In my hospitality seminar that I have created and will be launching fall 2022, offers the 10 Key Hospitality & Service Pillars that I adhere to in the art of service. One of the pillars is how to disengage from unwelcoming one sided conversations. There are two types of incidents that call for this trusted wisdom.

All of us in the profession of service and hospitality, are well aware that presentation and communication is key, and must be done with the utmost care, tack, diplomacy, and gracious humour at all times. That’s why I feel so strongly that this Key and Topic is vital in maintaining one’s professional graces in Art of service and in one’s daily conversations.

Often I will see colleagues struggle with these two listed in dept below as to not offend or how to manage and disengage from those less that inspiring or pleasing one sided exchanges. This has nothing to do with age or number of years of experiences in one’s industry in how to handle.

The first one; would be a coworker who loves to fill your ear with complaints and general dissatisfaction, we all have bad days but these types of individuals seem to thrive and function from that stance. I as I am sure you have no time for this once you realize this is their shtick, as we all try each new day and work shift to maintain and do our best, you need to hold that positive energy for your customers, self, space where you work and clients.

The most effective way to stop this from happening, is the following response. I would love to be able to listen to these concerns but I have a very busy day and must attend to a number of things. I suggest with no rolling of the eyes or letting them know your onto them, not that they would notice as it usually is all about them, take these concerns (complaints)  up with your manager or floor leader. I am sure they will be glad to assist you, take good care and off you go, end of story.

Number two; would be what I call the passer by, in the old days they may be described as time wasters, now this is not a regular or potential new customer or guest, a committed shopper or the truly interested in what you are offering be it in a hotel property or a retail store.

These are the folks that assume you have the time to listen to their long and I mean long nonstop story, that feels like ten lifetimes oy vey. A seasoned pro will know that this is happening within a few moments. I know I always do. This is not from being a bad listener, this is from the reminder that where we stand, we are here to be of service to our calling, our team, and the brand experience of our store and or hotel for our customers.

Cutting them off at the path is done with professional etiquette and grace. One simply says, oh how wonderful to see you, please excuse me as I must take this VIP call and meeting and continue enjoying our wonderful amenities and store while you shop or if hotel guest for your stay.

Then simply get busy in another area for a few moments, this does the trick in most cases. I offered this guidance to a newly pop-up shop when I witnessed this happening with the associates, they loved this most gracious and classy helpful tip, you would of thought I passed them gold, and all forms of wisdom in our business that ensures smooth sailing is gold.

In Closing

To all who continue to live these hospitality and service pillars, one thing that I have always enjoyed and respected within our shared industry is how the true professional adapts with grace, humour, flexibility, and style each new day and opportunity to welcome others.

Should you and or your company be interested in booking The Hospitality Talk & Motivations, the full details of the talk with rates and availability starting fall 2022, please reach out via this website.

Till next article have  a great day in the neighbourhood, Michael

Michael Alaska

Succeeding In The In Between

“Those In Between times in life are our great teachers and motivators” Michael Alaska

When we think of living in the in between. I am not referring to something you cannot actually feel or touch, as in how things work in the Matrix the movie. Succeeding in the in between in now time, is how we hold to our dreams, faith, and desires when no matter what we try towards creating the new, nothing moves forward or happens and this can go on for months, even years.

When faced with being in the In Between otherwise known by some great teachers and authors as a desert period in one’s life. What does one do, do you fold up your tent of ambition or desires and say what’s the use? I say we choose the masters way and embrace this time, that is not our past that we have outgrown and are now ready to say goodbye to, and it and most certainly not our future we are hoping for, that has yet to come.

When given the tools and helpful tips to proceed and navigate with trust for those extended quiet and non movement times. With these thoughts and awareness in mind. I have compiled a simple yet powerful list below based on my own experiences in regards to todays article, to assist all if you are in fact in the In Between.

As with all of my Articles By Michael featured here and upcoming motivational talks to be posted. It is my wish that this space, writings, and new inspirations add fuel to your own making of dreams and learning in our shared new now times, stepping outside of the box, and coloring outside of the lines fearlessly.

The Key Steps To Navigating With Confidence Through The In-between

Step 1: View all roadblocks at this time with a renewed perspective, as in a blessing

Step 2: Cultivating Patience and Faith as your guidepost

Step 3: Use this time to fine tune your dreams and intentions

Step 4: Choose what are you learning at this time from this experience, then master it

Step 5: Maintain a practice of mindfulness and other forms that empower the positive

Step 6: What Power would best suit you at this time?

Step 7: Read books / watch videos that inspire, encourage and valid on this topic

Step 8: In vision with the practice of creative visualization at least once per day for five minutes, seeing you in your ideal situation and positive outcome, hold this in your minds eye and then bless it with your good intentions

Till next time, travel well, learn lots and then share the good with others, this creates the good vibes that bounce right back onto your In Between time, that will assure your success on the other side of it, Michael

Michael Alaska @ Alaska Inc

“I Remember All Who Did Return My Call”

“Want to get things done, ask a busy person who is well organized and lives with passion”

I learned the value of being a straight up communicator from many great mentors and wise friends over the years, the importance of expressing gratitude with a handwritten note as I continue to do this day, as did Jackie Kennedy, its an act to paraphrase one of my favorite sayings that remains old school classy!!! As well as retuning all calls or Emails, regardless of the query.

We learn from the best who lead by example, years past when I would reach out to top CEOs in the fashion industry and those who owned the company with a request for a business meeting to promote a designer, idea or where might I pass a CV within their company. Most always answered directly and this has taught me, that they have great memories of who assisted them on the way up. This spoke well of their character and how they conducted business.

Professional etiquette is expected of anyone out here in the world who is actively engaged in seeking employment. It has been stated time and time again through the professional head-hunters, what companies and HR department expect from you as a job seeker.

Such as know a few things on the place and people you are applying to pre your interview, do a follow up, which I do not believe is always necessary, you gotta go with your gut on that one, and once you have had an interview, then send a thank you note, a real one sent in the post, old school does have its charm. Many who became my manager after hiring me always kept that card on their desk, they were surprised people still did this.

When you get to a certain place in your career successes, exploration, and professional confidence as I have through trial and error, at least at this point I can say. I did try and go after each new path with gusto, fortunately along the way I met many more than not, wonderful helping hands from all walks of life and worldly acclaim to share a hand up and their wisdom and encouragement.

Do I take any offence now when I reach out to others with a professional request and they go ignored on unresponsive?

No, not anymore I do not take it personally, for whatever reason and it is a choice not to respond, regardless of how much personal and professional assistance I may have shared with them. We all have our own lessons to learn, gaining power and true self worth and self esteem does not just come from being good at one’s craft, it comes from life lessons as we all master the game of life through different experiences and challenges.

If life has taught this successful entrepreneur and at times self employed business owner anything is this,  you do not need to waste any time or thoughts on, those doors that seem sticky, ignoring you and will not budge, go through the ones that welcome you and have the goodness to honour your gifts and talents weather master or beginner, this dear reader is how one becomes truly successful in the game of life, with a contented heart and worldly wisdom that you now get to share with others, as you choose to answer those calls and Emails, and lend a hand up.

Michael Alaska

Hopefulness, Acts That Inspire…

You probably do not start your day thinking or knowing, all your acts of kindness, positive support, and graciousness in our ever-changing world, brings HOPEFULLNESS to another. We really never know until someone tells us or we are in the quiet time of reflection on days off, away from the world, you get the message. You have made another’s day, without you really knowing it, with a kind word, a hug or giving a gift out of the blue for no reason.

Mother Teresa and her brave face of true compassion, with her courage and giving without looking to be acknowledged, is/was the real deal in hopefulness. She spread all of her light and chosen path with that radiance, that without words inspired millions to heed the call and contribute in this world with acts of kindness and giving, She and others like her, which we may not know of, continue to encourage all to bring that peace of hopefulness to all situations.

Last week in my own life and sharing of my writings, videos and photos on my Instagram page at Michael Alaska Official came such a delightful comment, that lifted my spirits in the moment with positive hopefulness, made by the lady Sue, she may call me sweetheart but she is the sweetheart with her kind words in person or left online.

My best friend and soul brother here in Vancouver Jose, who serves the world each day and week with his uplifting messages, wellness expertise and positive support for body, mind, and spirit, always inspires and gives me hopefulness, while cheering so many on and my own new projects such as this website.

Hopefulness this day resides inside of a life well lived and understood beyond what one may call a wise platitude, as in This Too Shall Pass and What Am I Learning From This Lesson that life has sent me. Good or bad, we have Hope when you can see it in the face of another, who perseveres regardless of challenges, a light that says keep moving, be Hopeful all is not lost in any moment of despair.

I have a Hopefulness that the website that I have created will attract the right individuals and or companies who will welcome and benefit from all of the newly updated featured services and writings, as well as the videos / photos that get posted on the IG, that they will bring some good and positive messages to inspire and motivate, how can I ask or even say this?

Well, I am surrounded by many wonderful faces of that very expression, who always try their utmost best and lead by example, and that dear reader is the real grace of being Hopeful and or knowing Hopefulness. Today as you go about your day and week unfolding, what and or who in your life has inspired you, to be Hopeful and to have a Hopeful attitude towards all?

Michael Alaska

All Work Is Honorable

One of the many reasons I enjoy and use LinkedIn for an industry profile. Is that it allows me to connect with others from a vast array of professional backgrounds and interest. It also offers a positive thread of great articles, inspiration, and wisdom quotes to empower others, its platform in my humble view, is one of the few that has not become a space for out-of-control social media madness.

This new article was inspired by a woman’s story she posted on LinkedIn a few days back, she shared of her courage, passion, and endurance in creating a life for herself, supporting her studies while working a day job at a globally named fast-food sandwich shop. A friend or in my opinion seems more like a negative nelly, shamed her while telling her, with all of her past degrees to be working in such a place. She was not able to find work in her field currently and we can all relate to that at different times.

This type of projected judgment does not enrage me yet does make one wonder if parts of society has lost touch with the value of knowing that all work is honourable, regardless of pay cheque amount, title, prestige, university degrees. I am from an era call it old school, that was trained in the professional hospitality industry, by passionate men and woman who took pride in being while raising families, what we call an industry pro as a waiter or waitress, now called servers. Who taught me so much how to value one’s profession, that remains part of my solid work ethic and foundation I still adhere to today?

I took pride when I was in between jobs in the past that were not part of my full talents, pay scale and professional achievements, but also did them with gratitude and a positive mindset for the pay I was receiving. Having lived long enough and have written in this space before, to know that the winds of fortune can change on a dime.

I regret today and I have very few, that in school when it was career day, grade 4 or 5. I was embarrassed to say what my father John did for a living. In layman’s terms he drove a garbage truck or as he told me to say, son tell them your father is a sanitation engineer. A class act he was with his old Hollywood good looks, charm, an OG boat size Cadillac, the ones with fins.

God bless that man, he acquired this position in our rural township, because he had started with his own trucking company and entrepreneurial ideas, picking up people’s garbage for 25 cents at each place per week, this included local businesses pre the township having their own sanitation trucks.

Yes he was a proud immigrant from the old country of eastern Europe. One who could not speak English, when arriving here in Canada at 5 years old and spent more than a few years in grade one because of this, eventuality like my mother and others of the post world war one generation, left school to get jobs to help support and care for their families.

When in between professional engagements in the past. I always held the faith that a new post would come, you learn this as you master the game of life, one thing in this world that guarantees great success is Attitude, which I believe is everything. Being an invited popular TV guest back in the day, to speak on fashion and trends, came to me while serving a make up artist in a up scale Toronto café.

Opportunities are everywhere to those that allow themselves to be positivity magnets, rather than throw in the towel of what’s the use. Scratch the surface of any truly successful person who has remained humble with real integrity, and I am not talking about outer worldly signs of success and riches, that may appear as glamour.

They will tell you, that all those trappings fade, but the heart of one who has the grace of endurance, willingness to try, hard work, integrity, and gratitude, will always rise to the top of their chosen fields and dreams with the tenacity of reinvention and flowing with the currents, not against them.

I shall leave you with this thought. If you were to look within your own circle of connections be it family, colleagues, or friends, whom would you say is the example of the main theme of this article? How have they inspired you to believe and know that all work is honorable and do you now pass it along to others?

Michael Alaska

“Influencer’s” old school and new, who inspired your life & style…

To begin this new article by Michael. I would pose this question? There is so much talk out in our world of social media and in the moment advertising about Influencers. So, the question to you is, who were some of your original influencers who contributed to your life in the positive? Be it for a career, a style of dress, communications and or how you would like to be known out in the world?

Often when we reflect on this term Influencer, it may be a teacher, it could be one’s mother who had great style of dress and speech, a favorite aunt, uncle or even an older sister and let’s not forget the power of TV, books, movies, writers, and live theatre. These people that I speak of, to be a positive influence in one’s life, need not be famous or wearing the latest designer collab, or have a personal IG handle, that gives then the social media clout to be known as an influencer.

For myself, it would be from the world of old Hollywood. I use the term old as in the original Hollywood studio system and those great black and white movies, the film noir with the over that top yet embracing expressions from the screen, usually the star would be a gangster or someone who rose to the top from rags to riches by wit, glamour and a personal style that captivated. I guess the word I am looking for would be charismatic, in being one of the original influencers of the day or from a by gone era, which as we know in fashions history and language will come around again.

We do get influenced everyday, this is up to the individual in how you desire to let in and adopt certain styles, media, fashions, and communications. With so much choice, the influence now may stay for a one day, one month or as I prefer them to be long lasting with substance. Contributing to what you may already be interested in, adding that special touch and flare that gives you a much-needed ah ha moment or two.

We cannot judge a book or an influencer at face value, we are drawn to certain people, places, and situations as it presents some form of truth and originality. There will always be something for everyone on life’s menu to choose from. Earlier influencers in my life were a few insightful teachers that I was fortunate to have, who saw within me, a kid that belonged in the big cities of the world, with other creative souls who can walk freely, shine with like mindedness creatives, and strength in community until you find your groove.

If you are lucky to meet a few good mentors in magic as I like to call them along your path, that share their wisdom with style, grace, and a welcoming warmth. Then your halfway there in finding your own voice and style that influences. It happens naturally over time and through the bizz of living as you know me to say within my daily conversations and writings.

Be bold in the driver’s seat of your life, choose what works best for you, be the Real Deal that you would have liked to have met along the way, be it within a career path or life adventures, this to me is the most prominent influence you could hope to grasp, share in the positive and be.

Michael Alaska

A Few Of My Favorite Motivations that Uplift, Inspire & Heal…

Here are some of my favorite motivational and inspiring quotes, words, and passages that I have found to be extremely helpful in mastering the game of life, how to play it with integrity, style, and the ability to take risk through encouragement.

They have been gathered over time from more than a few wise teachers, writers, and came to me out of the blue and through people I admire and respect.

“Finance your faith” Not Fear

“Let it be enough,” as in just what you have and where you stand, live, and work this day, your life as it is, this inspires acceptance not settling

“Fortune favors the bold,” my fav when knowing its time to take a risk in action and words

Words have power to create magic, the positive or the opposite so use wisely

Its not what you give to another or what or how you say it, that will leave a lasting good feeling, it’s the energy behind the words and act of kindness

A grateful heart has a way to open doors and attract abundance

Never mistake a gentle man as week, it takes great compassion, fortitude, and strength to walk this life in this way

Dreams are with us to be lived and had, they are there in our thoughts and emotions for a reason

Money comes and goes, don’t freak out when the bank account is on empty or with little funds, again, trust and learn to flow with the ebb and flow, like the tide kids, it always rolls back in and so will the cash

Know when its time to pick up your bed and walk, as in heed a new call

Your choice, will you share worries, fears, or wisdom, you choose how you desire to live and make an impact

To all those wonderful writers, thought provokers, teachers both spiritual and other, soul family, friends and trusted work colleagues who have contribute to this wonderful list of day-to-day inspirations, in the creation of a life worth living large, I bow to each with heart felt gratitude and honest praise. Michael 

Michael Alaska

Michaels New York Stories…

“In life there are places and people who impact your life in the positive, in becoming who you are, New York remains one of those treasures”

New York city has always been a very special place to me. I hold New York and my connection, the times, the places, and the amazing people that I have known who influenced this young kid of 16 who took the bus to New York from Montreal with my then friend Eddie. It would be years later that trips to NY came with town cars, limos, stays at the Plaza and meeting the famous close up and from a far.

Trip number one, only the beginning, how many can say they had a taxi ride in a traditional old school New York checkered cab by the popular and very famous for her wit and style Fran Leibowitz, who back in the 70, s was only one of two-woman cab drivers in Manhattan. Who dropped off Eddie and I at the Howard Johnsons in time square after a night of clubbing in the village?

2) Meeting my wonderful uncle Claude on my second trip who had the best digs on the upper east side, East 61 and the Park, classy as he was, who introduced my sister Deborah and myself to the real Manhattan, Claude and I became close over the years, he had a lot to teach me and show me of the ways of the world throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, until he passed of AIDS like so many of my peers, friends and lovers from that era.

3) Walking past Elaine’s many days while staying at my friends Kathleen’s at 92 & Lex, the famed eatery of the famous, such as writers and celebrities of the Day. Elaine was a character and a true self-made New Yorker, with tenacity, wit and not afraid to give the unappreciative of her café the boot hands on. As nervy as I am, I regret not going in and introducing myself and asking for a job. I think we would have got along fine. To know more about this legend, google the Elaine Kaufman of Elaine’s New York.

4) Paper magazine Joey Arias who had a column called Chit Chat With Joey in the 1990.s, I was such a fan of the magazine, it was what Interview magazine once was, a treat to be introduced to him by Carmen owner of the popular Erbe spa on Prince street and spend an afternoon with this admired true to life real deal character, Drag artist performer, famed for his channeling Billie Holiday and to visit the Paper office and receive a signed copy of a magazine.

5) Introducing myself while on a work scouting trip to the designer Oscar de la Renta at a Saks 5 Th Ave event, the main store up town as in, Oscar so nice to see you again and then passing a CV, now that took nerve, I never did receive a call though there were a few hang ups with a New York area code on my dial up phone from that time.

6) Walking with adored gay Uncle Claude in Central park, still one of my favorite’s parks in the world, and Claude pointing out Andy Warhol up a head strolling with two gentlemen, New York is and or was the centre of the world, where all are welcomed and all can reinvent themselves no matter what background, if you’re interesting and interested, have the goods, you are invited to become one, a New Yorker.

7) This is another fav New York highlight, with my Robo Cop money, afforded me to treat myself to a deluxe suite at the Plaza hotel on Xmas day, met at the airport, LaGuardia always my airport of choice back then from Toronto by a driver and town car, its was very home alone like the movie complete with bouncing on the bed and having room service and watching that movie, then a stroll up 5 Th Ave with light snow falling along streets of New York on Christmas day eve, a true memory.

Michael Alaska

We Do It For The Glamour Or Do We?

The old saying, “we do it for the glamour” can still bring a few laughs from trusted colleagues in the know, when your deep in the weeds of a stressed filled busy time at your work. Many jobs or lifestyles from the outside, can be viewed or desired as glamourous but looks as we all know can be deceiving. To prove a point and to really get the flavour of this new article, ask any over night success with true longevity and they will tell you it took ten years or more.

All that may look glamorous or wonderful from the outside looking in, has taken that professional in their chosen field much stamina over time, commitment to learning, personal discipline and usually a good number of years out in their field of their chosen industry to master their craft to make it look effortless, done with professional ease at all times.

Like great actors on the stage, you rarely see them sweat unless its in the script, we never know what is going on behind the scenes, that makes it all flow and to feel seamless and inviting. This is what separates the novice from the seasoned pro in action.

I have always been drawn or was it my professional fate or interest that kept and attracted me to working with large crowds, places that are popular and busy, meeting and working with hundreds of people at a time.

This comes from my work in hotels, being on the front lines at Canada Place Peer welcoming all the disembarking passengers off of their cruise and those getting on, flying the friendly sky’s as one of 16 flight attendants on a jam packed Lochhead 1011 with seating up to 400 passengers from Montreal to Paris, being the Host in a popular jazz bar in Toronto. I guess you could say I am built and wired for this type of nonstop action and work rhythm.

It does take a certain type of mindset and individual to do the work that our luxury retail and hospitality industry invites us to do, the daily and moment by moment opportunities to make someone’s day, solo and as part of a respected team and colleagues, while at the same time contributing to the long-term goals as a whole unit for your company’s continued successes and profitability.

The glamour comes after a job well done, when you know you have succeeded and did your best, when you feel good within and can pat yourself on the back and say, good job, we did it again. The glamour from being an international flight attendant came after many long flights and works days, satisfying and navigating many request, inflight stresses and at times difficult in-flight managers, yet found it inside yourself to do another job well done and you now have a 3 days lay over in Paris in a glam hotel room. One of the reason you took the job was to see the world and complete one more career dream.

The glamour again came after many 17 hours night shoots in winter working on the Robo Cop TV series, then on your day off you are invited to be a guest on a popular TV interview show so you check that off your box of interest and the pay that allows constant trips to New York and an actors union card.

These are the perks that make you feel good, that your work reputation now transfers onto a solid CV with great life skills, making you a well-rounded professional who can be proud of what they set out to do in the face of obstacle’s and more than few setbacks and challenges along the way. Let’s not forget the nay Sayers and the ones who tried unsuccessfully to block your path up the mountain, yet you remained Polly Anna positive through it all, very learning of water off a ducks back, to quote a previous article.

Dreams are with us as I have written before to be lived and brought out into the world, they do not lie and if your dream comes from a sincere intention, that contributes to the good of this world on some level or many, then they certainly will give you great satisfaction when achieved, and at times the glamour of knowing you did it all with integrity, humour., courage and grace, now that’s timeless glamour you can be proud of, with a full rounded worldly style that has created a respected resume for life and work.

Michael Alaska

Its Not Personnel Until It Is… The Water Off A Ducks Back Theory

Perhaps the title of this new article could include in the second part of the title, its not personnel until you let it be. Water off a ducks back, let it slide. I have heard them all as I am sure you have. Trusting you have been out in the work field and life for more than a minute.

I remember the water off a ducks back saying said to me, after I was trying I find my wings pun intended as a new flight attendant from a very wise and supportive flight director Natalie. I heard that saying more than a few times over my two-year career in the skies as a professional F.A. flight attendant doing international flights. That was a enough for me, though I was very good at, I knew after my first 18-hour day and over seas flight, a no thanks. That I would be better off serving in the Art Of Service on the ground.

In my career now in luxury services and hospitality it is much easier To Not Take It Personally, whatever the situation or circumstance may be. It could be from a complaining customer that has no validity, or an unwarranted projection from an always unhappy colleague. Yes kids in our line of work as professionals, one’s workday or even work week can be ruined until you understand how to maintain your positive energy and power regardless of the situation, both professionally and personal, as to my way of knowing they are one in the same.

Like all of my articles and life wisdom research that is done for my own learning and exploring. I still like to ask others in my current work and place of day-to-day business, how they mastered the water off the ducks back theory and how not take it all personally? When the workday waters get choppy and not clear.

The most recent response that added to my query on this topic came from our stores GM Ryan, who is respected by many, through his acts of great leadership, his warmth and kind hellos to all of his employees. Never to busy or high up to not stop and ask how you are or give a praise for a job well done. When I poised the question to him after witnessing him dealing with a challenging situation. How doe he do it? Each time without allowing any of what I would call less that thrilling exchange be it a client or colleague, effect or ruin his workday joy.

Michael came his reply, I decided many years ago when I was managing another store, to no longer allow another to ruin my day or to take it on. It just happened, and this would be after many years in the bizz, mind over matter once again. It did take me the same amount of time and many career successes, learning and challenges within the service, helping and hospitality profession to finally find my duck to just swim with the flow, not against it and to not take it personally.

When we do take the crappie stuff on, the unfair stuff personally, or let another’s bad mood get under our skin and effects us, then we are sliding down a slippery slop that can takes days to recover from. No one wants this, work in these new now times can be hard enough with day-to-day stresses, yet until you get to that place like GM classy Ryan after much learning. Yes it can be a less than pleasing place to experience those difficult exchanges. Yet when you do, the rewards are long lasting and worth the learning.

As in anything in life, all can become personal because we care, because we are on the ball humans who love our work in service and have hearts and emotions that guide our ship. We are not robots for god sakes, so kiddo until you get to that place of mastery with not taking it personally, cut yourself some slack. We do what we can in any given situation given our best work selves and personal selves, as they are one in the same or need to be.

Not all ducks learn to float and swim at the same time, but boy when they find their flow in the work world, it’s a joy to witness another who maintains their grace, dignity, humour, and warmth amongst all type of workdays, the good and the not so good. Give your duck a hug today and yes do not take all in this life so personally, its not all about you as a Buddhist master would teach, knowing that, should offer more than enough solace and inspiration to keep you growing forward, no matter what a new workday may bring.

Michael Alaska

“Happy At Work Happy In Life,” Motivations That Inspire Contentment   

Do not let the title of this new Art Of Service motivation article fool you. When I speak about happy at work and life. I am referring to the one who knows through learning, that life truly is what you make it, it is darn near impossible to be happy and worry free all the time. We have all of our emotions for a reason professional and otherwise, that and as life goes on I feel they are one in the same, I mean we do take our personal selves to work with us, yes?

As I use to teach in my former empowerment seminars that I would host at the YWCA, yes I am living proof in the build it and they will come philosophy. I enjoyed the whole process of creating, hosting, and facilitating these seminars. I would teach that pre moving on from most situations and this does include one job to the next, love where you’re at.

That may seem like a stretch as in going into the wise Zen mind territory but it does work and it sure makes the day go smoother, especially if you’re standing in a job, place, or professional role that you’re not thrilled with. Success when this happens is most certainly a mindset.

Its not just a practice of being mindful that fills my art of service tank to keep shinning in all my welcoming greetings, VIP events and assisting those whom I respect and work with. The practice of gratitude goes a long way as in ya get what ya give, this is so true in how to master the game of life and all circumstances for the better.

Each new day we can give ourselves a choice to be where we are in joy/contentment/gratitude or complete hell. Who in their right mind would choose to stand and count the clock as in dreading every moment? This does not bring the blessings only more tiredness if repeated over and over again, the mind is very powerful while taking no action to remedy.

When a colleague out in the field of sales and or service continues to say I am tired as their response to all that is happening in our workday. I do not make light of this, as there are many reasons one feels drained or exhausted, ah hello two years+ of Covid anyone, my reply during those early covid madness times then and now remains, who is not these days.

Find your joy is one quote, do what brings you joy and the rest will follow, as in money and the whole nine yards. So, one has to do some soul searching to find their joy or what motivates and gives them joy at work. For me, it’s the many opportunities to be service creatively with words and action, even on those crazy off the rails full moon super busy Saturdays, the times I can truly be of service and help make someone’s day, this includes my coworkers and all clients.

Sometimes our calling finds us when we are not looking. You may think you do what you do out of financial need or limited choices, education etc. Perhaps viewing where you stand as a service professional, with a new outlook, would show you the many times you have been happy at your work and not just on pay day, and this place where you stand, became your calling as you just did what you did, and the accolades added up over the years as you became the master of your craft.

Happy at work, happy in life is not just some whoo whoo bumper sticker or quick office platitude found on a poster in our new now times. Life is what we make it, and as one matures both professionally and personally, you find this out once you have had a few heart breaks, successes and failures. The happy in this case then comes from always getting up with a positive hopeful attitude regardless of one’s circumstance and we begin again, as in hello world next adventure where to. Thank you for stopping by Articles By Michael.

Mask On, Mask Off???

Mask on mask off, that is the new question and all of the positive reflection, wisdom, and social commentary that this new article implies by yours truly.

So here we are in the bold fields of our extra new now times spring 2022. I choose those words New Now Times well over two years ago when describing our world, as it changed over night, not just in the blink of a global eye, but in a time that became a first in our shared history since time began.

At times at night when I am out front of my building in the quiet of the evening, when all is peace close to Stanley park here in Vancouver. I reflect on the same level of quiet that was with us if not more so, you could hear a pin drop back then when we first went into a lockdown here in our fair city with all of its nature charms and constant challenges as times change.

Wondering if others reflect and remember that time in their own way, that time of not knowing, that time of a collective hope pre any type of Maga lockdown madness or where the name Karen came to describe a form of public crazy, that may or may not have been there with us in the isle of our stores and life pre covid?

The banging of the pots and pans out of our windows city wide, horns a blowing out front cheering on our esteemed front-line workers, all of them and to this day the banging of pots and cheers may have subsided but I say bless each and everyone of you. That stayed the course in the face of the unknown and remain so.

As humans, we are not known for our joined patience, we cannot blame an individual for lack or social charm, grace, compassion on having little or no patience and faith. We can look towards our society as a whole starting way back twenty or so years ago, that faster was better, the let’s get it, make it, and sell it quick world.

The younger of you may not even know of a time where communications took weeks to receive a letter, we had to wait till we got home to check our land line phone message machines to receive an awaited call. Say what you will and yes I may have been one of the last ones to give up my pay as you go burner flip phone, that others in their kindness would call vintage, as if in worry I may be offended by not having an iPhone, late to the party that I was.

Would we now see more grace and calm patience if we were twenty years ago or more, beyond all of the demonstrations in regards to what covid has brought to the surface with all of the different protest. We can view it as a needed reason, but it was not the reason or cause for all outward protest as in please let’s not have to wear a mask.

The social issues go deeper than that and many of those protest whose time had come, was needed to uncover certain falsehoods, and I am not talking about any medical advice, that was needed for all of us to maintain some form of inner peace amongst all the uncertainty that this new global virus brought to our doors.

I ask you here, how have you changed in the past two years? Did it add to more self reflection as in how you wanted to now live your life? Many I know and worked with used it as a wake-up call to pick up their beds and walk, walk away from relationships, all types and this included jobs whose due date had long expired.

I find it strange now as we all adapt to a whole other level of the new normal as the old one kids will never be back. The cats out of any denial bag so to speak, as in if we were not awake before as to what our neighbours on the other side of the world or next door needed, we most certainly know now as it needs to be.

As the saying that became popular during the early days of covid shutdown, we are all in this together is to have any true meaning. Then we must grow forward with an even greater sense of compassion for all and this on-going unfolding process. As we are now told, OK mask off, no more vaccinated passport to go here, there, or anywhere in most cases.

Mask off Mask on, what is each person’s comfort level despite what all the many sources of popular news feeds and social media will tells us. It comes down to this, respect what your gut, your intuitive self tells you to do and at the same time, let us all continue to respect those that choose to have the mask on or not on. It’s a personal choice and social comfort level at this point.

Perhaps the mask and all its stands for, as in what the Mask can or could prevent will stay with us for many lifetimes to come. It does take a little courage to keep on keeping on in the face of now its OK now its not, as in put the mask back on or off. I choose as we go forward and some days and weeks as I work out-front in the public, and not always easy to do, yet I continue to stand and live from a positive mindset and hopeful outlook, being from a linage of many survivors that lived through numerous wars and injustice.

Yes as we all now have learned the Mask can only and will do so much. Just as our own will and faith filled determination that there will come a day, where this question and all of it implications will not matter. Till then, make your choice from a place of empowerment never fear or false claims. This will serve you well be it Mask on or Mask off. Thank you for stopping by Articles By Michael.

Michael Alaska

Calm In The Eye Of All Workday Storms…

When all hell breaks loose on a busy Saturday with unexpected increase in foot traffic into your workplace be it luxury retail or other. The well seasoned art of service professionals’ radar will start to increase, as if by organic nature to be prepared, to once again be the calm professional grace in the eye of the storm coming, or soon to be in your store.

This radar I speak of comes from being in the Bizz for more than a few years, we develop it through not the easy times in service but those trying times, add a dash of a crazy full moon, a dollop of let’s just say, folks not being themselves and this can include your usual trusted colleagues who have reached their limit with what I call post, ongoing and during Covid extended madness.

Stress can take its toll and express itself in many forms, it can show up in many ways, through people and in the energy of one’s work environment. We can all go crazy together joining in the anxiety or take a moment or two to tune out and revamp your inner service gage to remain on calm, clear headed and the positive, do not forget your humour. I find setting an intention pre entering the store where I work keeps me on track, as to why I am there and how will I contribute to the brands on going success, profitability, and memorable impactful service of the positive kind.

These traits to remain positive with a healthy shared sense of humour did not arrive over night on my professional path in service that now includes more than a few career successes in luxury retail, VIP events and hospitality. You master the game of life and where you stand by the doing and learning. Its those trying challenging times and rocky seas, that makes the best sailors who know how to navigate with the grace of flexibility and endurance.

One of the best compliments one can receive in our industry, is when an onlooker, a regular satisfied client or colleague, takes a moment to tell you, that they know what you do in the eye of the extra storms that they witness on those short of staff days, you name it, challenging customers and circumstances, crazy busy times, you make it look so easy and seamless in your service. This alone was probably one of the best recognitions I received throughout my vast career in professional service.

If someone is being out of control, not making sense with there demands, regardless of who they are or how they present themselves. In their mind, it is all real, it can come from entitlement or perhaps they were always of the Karen persuasion (used as reference only) as in I want it yesterday.

Well Kido who does not want it all yesterday, whatever it may be. The wise Master never caves to the excess rush or unfiltered energy and free-floating stress that is now in your workplace, this can be from a full moon. Yes you read that right. When I had the privilege to be a luxury doorman complete with traditional stance and top hat. I would interview passing policemen whom I got to know on my luxury store beat. Did things get crazier for them on the full moon and they all said yes. So there, now you know, there is something to it, hmm yup, sage anyone?.

Being the calm in the eye of all storms does take some skills and mastery, yet it is doable. I prepare myself each day the best I can in mind, heart, and body as I serve from the heart. A kind man is not a weak man, it’s the very opposite.

Am I prepared for anything that may come down the tree of a what was supposed to be a regular workday? Most times yes, if Covid madness and our global temperature of changing times, energy and fortunes has taught me anything, that and being over 29 years old.

Expect the unexpected, be prepared and flow in the Zen of it all without resistance and over judging, will see you through the tight spots. The very best you can do for yourself, your team who are just as sweating it out as you are, and your work environment, on a workday or work week that is flying off the rials, is to maintain your grace, your wits and humour, do not ever join the circus that may be unfolding tempting as it is at times.

Michael’s top ten tips: to contribute and assist with safe passage and calm Zen in the eye of all storms that blow in out of the blue…

1, Stick with the winners that day, not the complainers, you need ever ounce of positive energy and mindset at this time

2, Ask for back up

3, Get support from those that know how to give it to you

4, More water breaks, fresh air, walks around the block, and healthy snacks or the sugar ones

5, Do not take it all so personally, its not my stuff kind of T Shirt Mantra moment, this too shall pass

6, I will not say breathe because if you’re at work you are breathing

7, Start saying positive words to yourself, saying words that are the opposite of anger and crazy, as in mind over matter

8, Have a good laugh, by this I mean, create a funny story beyond the circus of crazy, most service people have great senses of humour

9, Communicate with empathy and tell a good story to deflect the madness, do not over promise, most folks do respond to all communications, such as letting people know its going to take some time to care for their request, acknowledgment and compliments go a long way, the clients and customer is always number 1, not always right, work from that angle

10, Last but not least, you got this!!! Let your body and mind lean into all of your best accomplishments in professional service and career path

End Note;

I did my research on the job for this article, as well as interviewed a wide range of professionals in the field of service and client care, from my local large chain grocery store favorite cashier who I bring treats to, service people love treats and need them, friends in the TV film industry, the health wellness sector, and in my adored industry of luxury retail.

I salute all of you, as we grow forward together contributing each day and each act of service with the best care and passion we all know how to do and love, less storms and more calms, I assure you.

Michael Alaska @ Alaska – Inc

The House Of Creed, Timeless Liquid Style

“Perfume follows you; it chases you and lingers behind you, it’s a reference mark. Perfume makes silence talk” Sonia Rykiel

The noise always knows, scent with sensibility. The first professional job that I enjoyed and exceled at in luxury retail, was that of a classy promotional representative with Cartier fragrances. This was back in the day, pre what many department stores and now drug stores would make popular by having perfume demos on mass in the isles.

The time that I speak of, our key job role as fragrance educators and in store promo ambassadors was to be welcoming, charming, share samples and be knowledgeable about the benefits and elegance of the products, to encourage and promote all to become fans and potential buying clients of the fragrance.

In those years I worked as an independent promotional consultant for all of the best luxury fragrance houses Cartier, Perfume d’Orsay out of Paris, Hermes to name a few. I was and remain a fan for such unique and one of kind fragrance houses like Annick Goutal, Santa Maria Novella I learned from the best in the business who knew their stuff, old school OG style that has served me well to this day in our industry.

I remain in awe like having a good suit made for you or being fitted by a professional Taylor, being in the presence and learning from a consult with a professional fragrance advisor is a worth while, time well spent and knowledgeable experience, from those who have honed their craft and love to share their passions for fragrances.

Now we come to my new love of many years The House of Creed. I believe it was Holt Renfrew always the front runner in style, service, and luxury, who were the first to carry Creeds and introduce to our Canadian market.

Prior to, we only read about Creeds in Vogue, W and Vanity Fair when they opened there first New York flagship store. Firmly of the belief that I am not fully dressed and showtime ready for the workday and life, if I do not have my favorite motivator of a few spritz from Creeds Bois Du Portugal, a classic made even more popular by Frank Sinatra, a one of kind style man himself.

Creeds remains in my books, a pure breed fragrance with a classic linage, legacy and heritage that offers more than a one time feeling or passing fantasy, but a daily compliment to add to one’s confidence, positive vibes out in the world.

Holt Renfrew Vancouver offers all of this and more, shared by the delightful and always professional, a master of her fragrance and Creed’s craft, Diana. She is the real deal with all of her many clients and the Vancouver go to expert for Creeds, done with such tact, warmth and natural charm, the sign of a true professional who loves what they do.

Till next time; I look forward to welcoming you, treat yourself this day or week to some scent motivation to give you that lift, as we continue to adapt and navigate our new now times. For new weekly inspiration by yours truly in the Art Of Service, stop by, give a view, follow or a listen to the Michael Alaska Official on Instagram weekly posted video series, one per week usually posted on Tuesdays.

Michael Alaska @ Alaska – Inc

Crossing The Bridge, A Resume Of Constant Change And Goals Achieved

I put the word resume in the title as the past few months I have been creating and updating a new CV for all of my professional work, creativity, and a new website to be. For years I thought I was out of step with the constant career changes brought on by my own desire to challenge myself and go after what I wanted. To master more than a few professional fields that included the airlines, hospitality, luxe retail, VIP events, TV film and as a motivational speaker.

This constant change on one’s resume is no longer questioned or frowned upon, it’s the norm but at one time let’s say up until five years ago, you were suppose to on paper anyway stay with a company or career track for years, again not anymore, more than ever this rings true in our new now times, so one more time I was a head of my time.

Though in the past in professional settings and interviews, I could tell they the persons interviewing me were truly curious how I did it, switch tracks and did well in so many industries that garnered great references and accolades. To the point of, in one of my last interviews with a well known Canadian high end jewelry company pre my joining Gucci at Holt Renfrew. How did you do all this, how does one do this? As they reviewed my resume and credentials. My reply was simple, welcoming, and direct as is my way, you just ask, try, and go for it and believe in yourself along the way, period.

I am always ok being a head of my time or the odd time I fall behind, like being one of the last ones on the planet to do Email get a computer and adopted an I phone. We cross the bridge that’s in front of us, it will either be a positive invitation for change, a wish that has come true, a needed push or an escape hatch. When this happens, get on it, do not linger or sit in the middle of the bridge, your job when this is happening, is to cross the bridge to the other side, where a new adventure or an open field of new creative freedom and possibilities awaits.

Is it ok to linger in the middle of the bridge for a little longer pre saying goodbye to certain people, places, and habits? Yes it is, I use to describe therapy, life coaching, certain respected and trusted 12 steps groups as a bridge, these are bridges to wellness and greater sanity with empowerment and self discovery. We do not stay stuck in the middle once the healing takes place, we then take the show on the road and point the way for others when asked.

So many bridges in my own life invited me to the other side for greener pastures and yes at times, leaving people, love, and places behind. The great thing about bridges when built with a solid foundation you can always cross back if you forget something. Still, it was always about full steam a head, lets get across with no looking back. We build bridges to either invite or walk away from, they are with us in this life for a reason.

One of the major bridges I had created and worked towards was when leaving my life as a professional waiter, that’s what we were called then. I had done it all, Truckstop, fancy, five-star, white glove, private clubs, the best hotels, you name it and I did it all by the age of 27, learning from the best and working alongside some very special amazing individuals and mentors. Those years taught me how to communicate with others, be friendly, organized, fast, detailed, use intuition and be adaptable in a moments notice, with humour and good cheer. To become what I considered the real deal pro in service and hospitality. Hence my creating articles and popular hospitality seminars in the Art Of Service. I learned at 13 from the ground up as a dishwasher in my first job, then onto busser then Jr waiter, then waiter extraordinaire.

Bridge number one brought me into the world of luxury, sales, products, VIP events and service for a good many years, my service background came in handy and helped me rise to the top as a top seller and motivator in the world of luxury retail, fashion and style. From there a new bridge with professional credibility lead me onto the TV and modeling film world, lunch TV talk show guest. Landing the coveted role as Robo Cop photo double for TV series 1 out of Toronto produced by Skyvision Entertainment.

I was ready, was I scared crossing over into a new area like TV with little professional training, yes but back then I choose to live by that popular book and life philosophy, feel the fear and do it anyway. It was my personality I later leaned helped the Robo crew choose me, to be a good match to the lead star. That I would not badger his ego but compliment and calm during many 17 hours night shots in the freezing cold, we got along famously.

What could I do, my own ambition, truth and desire lead me to a new bridge, I could not stay in the middle once mastered where I was, then a new path would open up and call, to walk across again into the new, that new was the airline, it took 5 try’s, and interviews with different airlines over a three year period, but I got in, thank you Air Transat and I was around the age of 38, 39, so age dear friend and colleagues crossing bridges creating new dreams is never a factor. Skill, positive energy with mindset, and a willingness to walk out of one’s comfort zone and a few angels along the way will see you through.

Now we arrive at 2022, trust me, all of my bridge crossing and world travels just did not happen in a straight line, there were many challenges and dragons at the gate that had to be slayed with courage, self kindness, and more than a few real friends and supporters cheering me on. Bridges do need to be crowded, the biggest lesson and life wisdom I can share is this, ya cannot take everyone with you as you cross more bridges, learn the art of Feng Shui as in decluttering not just your living space but your friendships and colleagues.

Those who will, will do, those who cannot usually judge and try to stop or block others. We then walk fast the other way, from wasting valuable bridge crossing time on that type of people pleasing or trying to convince the nonbelievers and what will people think etc. etc. etc..

If you think you can, you most likely will, if you think you cannot, you will not. Mind power combined with faith, attitude of gratitude to contribute to the good in this world, and the spirit of the true adventure samurai of grace, will be your navigating compass and bridge guide. No bridge in site to your dreams, do not panic or be dishearten, create your own or find others who enjoy building new pathways as you do. Then as if by magic vola, yours that is uniquely you appears in front of you. What are you waiting for? Take the invitation and start crossing this new bridge.

Michael Alaska @ Alaska – Inc

Dreams Do Come True, Not Always As Planned

Let’s call this new art of service article, new motivations by Michael. We all know the expression made popular by movies, T shirts and other forms of communications, “if you can dream it, you can be it.” I like to add my own tag line to read, dreams do not lie, you have them for a reason.

A dream goes beyond a goal, a set goal may assist with your intention to create, attract, and do the homework needed to have your dream put in motion. It does take work, tenaciousness, risk, desire, positive faith in self and a willingness to try, when the path is blocked or not clear, we create a new one and remember the art of patience and timing is everything.

Is being a head of your time a bad or good thing? Only you can answer that one, yet when you arrive to soon as I did many years ago, when I pitched one of my first ideas to the head of programming at City TV to have a gay male style guru type of talk show, under the guidelines of Fashion Therapy my then consulting company.

This was 20 years before numerous makeovers shows now shown worldwide and queer eye for the straight guy. What did I learn from that? The one take away from the meeting, was when asked are you ready for that level of public acclaim and exposure?

I was not, still needing to fly under the radar a bit and gain more personal and professional experience. Nerve and confidence go hand in hand, luckily I had a wise industry pro sitting in front of me who took the time to ask the right question, thank you Denise Donaldson, always a class act who gave this up and comer a chance to hear my pitch. I now do the same when I can to others new to our industry, its what we do pass it along.

My dream from that time years ago, one of them did come to pass and not exactly in the way that I had planned, as so often is the way life and the universe works. This was when I was fully emersed in the fashion/style/music/film scene out of Toronto, working with many who were at the time and remain the best in the bizz, and others who became very well known for their creative talents.

Being professionally photograph gave me a model’s portfolio while working with industry professional such as Helen Tansey, Lillian Swab, Corby Banner to name a few, who all encouraged this budding model to go for it, try and become the dream I had set in motion.

Taking my modeling portfolio with great character acting shoots on the road. New York, Paris, and Toronto. To all the top agencies in the industry. I was determined to have my dream to be the classic male model in the pages of Details, The Face, and Humo Vogue magazines.

Eventually all these self paid promotional trips finally paid off after all agency’s said no, you’re not a model you’re a actor, you’re this you’re that. Most were gracious and kind with positive referrals. Oy vey, still with one good head shot and a short CV sent in high gloss red folder to a well-known TV casting agent via a contact from a friend. The call we all wait for as a pathway to our dreams did came. Jane Rogers casting who was casting for a new TV show Robo Cop the first TV series.

I was finally going to have my wish of being well known as a model, yet this model on the set of Robo Cop wore a 100 lb fiber glass suit with a Robo shield on my face as I became the well loved, always hitting my mark driving the Robo cruiser as the acclaimed photo double for Robo. Not bad for a kid from the backwoods who had a dream and a lot of nerve chosen from 300+ hopefuls for the gig. Later told, that my promotional material landed on the top of Janes desk and not the slush pile, that my promo packaging presented well and worked with the DV red glossy holder.

So, my dream came to be, yet not as I saw it or planned, but it did happen. From there other dreams came to pass. I did land a great agency that got me work as a model, catalogue and one billboard and new paths then opened up along the way. Scary yet exhilarating till I found my footing in new settings, becoming a successful entrepreneur, playing in the big leagues, while staying in my lane with integrity, humour and keeping it real, classy as I am known to say, one of my favorite ways of expressing something old school yet in tune with the times.

Dreams do not lie, there are with us for a reason. Reinvention is the name of the game in our new now times. Our job is it figure out the best path for us and enjoy the ride and learning along the way. To many times we do not pinch ourselves as a positive reminder to enjoy the moment pre rushing onto the next dream, as it may not come again or in the way you had planned. This is one of the best ways to navigate and master the game of life as I see it. Yes I d have a few new dreams that are in the works, so stay tunned for the future launch of Michael Alaska website.

Michael Alaska @ Alaska – Inc

The Eagle Always Rises Above Storm Clouds

We can find inspiration in many places; we can hear words or a saying that just hits home. The home of where we live, this is our essence, our heart, emotions, and our creative desires. While watching a popular show called Were Here, the base of this show is about three well known drag queens, who go to small rural town in the USA, set up shop with a few of the locals who want to experience being in drag, express themselves. then put on a show for the community.

The shows intention is to have a positive influence within these communities they travel to, usually there will be a very small population of gay people, the shows drag queens want to up lift, validate, and assist those who do not fit any mold, to feel loved, lifted up and supported. As we the viewing audience is getting to know one of the locals. who an out lesbian with discernment in this small town has agreed to do male drag. We hear from her how she lost a leg and an arm in an accident as a driver drove into her on her motorbike. I loved her on site and reminded me of many fabulous on of kind ladies I met on my travels, she was sharing how one of her tattoos on her arm and shoulder was a large eagle flying above a storm cloud.

Here is where she explained why she got it. Eagle always fly way above the storm cloud and coast, they allow the wind beneath them to float them until the whirling winds and storms pass. This hit home, on a few levels and as a wise metaphor, instantly I was loving this brave soul even more, who fought her way back to recovery to walk again and create a new life. Inspiration always finds us when we are attuned to hear, desire, and attract it, the eagle has always been and remains one of my favorite and honoured totems and their message of freedom, follow your own flight path.

Where in your life this day do you need to sore? To fly way above any storms clouds and know they will pass? They always do, our job is to seek the wisdom amongst the changing winds. Not always easy when you’re in the thick of it, we each have our own storms clouds, sometimes, they come in the form of a light gentle breeze that offers us a slight nudge, then we can get at times without a reprieve by larger blowing winds of change uninvited.

If the storm is brewing and it certainly is in different parts of our world that effects everything. One’s personals evolution and life lessons can feel like storms clouds at times, top that along with our environmental energies we are all feeling across the globe, where the energy then intensifies all the winds of change and our day to day. Can certainly test the graces, wit, and power of the most faithful, wise, and strong.

Coming in for a landing and a reprieve. May this story and these words remind you to fly above those storms’ clouds, knowing it will pass, the eagle always lands with grace and confidence. Trusting all parts of spirits plan and one’s own evolution and flight patterns, even when the way is not clear, rising above and gliding with the wind, not against.

Michael Alaska