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Where There's Smoke

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Where There's Smoke

Brett Gajda and Nick Jaworski

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Where There's Smoke explores self-development through the filter of current events, pop culture, and experience. We surf the zeitgeist through an array of audio clips, quotes, concepts, and conversations. In the spirit of The Daily Show and This American Life, we throw everything into an audio centrifuge that separates “what” from “why”. You walk away with insights and actionable solutions to improve your business, relationships, and almost any area of your life.
 
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Sadly, my grandmother passed away this week at the age of 99. You might remember her from episode #49 of WTS: Can't Get There From Hair (Acceptance). She was a force and I hope you take a few minutes to listen to what she has to say. Article written in 2019: https://tntribune.com/mother-of-the-year-a-tribute-to-mrs-verleon-h-s-grant-age-98/?fbclid=…
 
It is December and any show worth its weight in gold (or frankincense… or myrrh) has a Christmas episode - and WTS is definitely with its weight in tree resin. This episode comes to you in the form of two audio gifts. We even wrapped them and put them under the tree for you. We hope you enjoy them and, perhaps, even take away an idea or two that he…
 
What is Halloween without the trick or treating?That is the question that started the journey of this episode. A lot of our traditions over the next few months are going to look different this year. Not just Halloween. It’s unlikely that celebrations of US Thanksgiving, Diwali, Hanukkah, or Christmas will have the same gatherings of people they hav…
 
Halloween is coming up and that means Halloween movies and TV specials! To celebrate, Nick explores one of the earliest and most famous Halloween specials - It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. An often overlooked element in that show is the fact that Linus must be sincere in order for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. But, what does it mean to be sin…
 
The world is grappling with a lot of tough issues. Issues that are nuanced and layered. Issues that don’t necessarily have a right or wrong answer. Issues that demand dialogue for progress. And yet we seem to mostly be doing something else. This week we are talking about talking. Debate vs Dialogue. Nick revisits an actual debate, and both Nick and…
 
Is it true that one man's shame was the cause of the AIDS epidemic in North America? Nick's new show, Shame Rules!, is available today and this week we're giving you a sneak peak. To hear the rest of it, subscribe to Shame Rules! wherever you listen to podcasts. This link will provide you with links to some of your favorite podcast apps: http://sma…
 
This week our episode is inspired by the life of Chadwick Boseman. We challenge ourselves to look at how we are showing up in the world. With all of our fears and doubts and distractions, and over corrections and under corrections, and at times just plain laziness or indifference - how many of us manage to consistently show up in our life? For ours…
 
Rate & Review Shame Rules! right now: https://smarturl.it/jjuoz0 New episodes of Where There's Smoke return on Friday, September 25! New episodes of Shame Rules! premiere on Friday, October 2. Wanna free Shame Rules! bag? If you want to get your very own Shame Rules! bag or help with the launch in other ways, then visit www.shamerules.com/launch. S…
 
“Change is the only constant in life.” Heraclitus said that back in 500 BCE. It was true then, and 2500 years later, it is still true. That said, there are times in life when it feels like we are in a more intense period of change. As we release this episode, it is June of the year Two Thousand and Twenty AD. We’ve got a pandemic that is still very…
 
This week, as the world continues to reckon with race and equality after the murder of George Floyd, we try to understand what an ally IS... and what it isn't.Brett and Nick both hold up a mirror to look at their own actions (or lack of them). And Nick has a conversation with Holliday Philips, who recently published the article ‘Performative Allysh…
 
Life moves pretty fast and, if you're not careful, it's easy to be swept away by it. (How's that for a mixed metaphor?) Anyway, today's episode asks several important questions: What would it mean to slow down? What does it mean to be mindful? Is it even possible anymore? What does any of this look like? To help us answer these questions, Brett tal…
 
This episode is a riddle, wrapped in an NBA championship, wrapped in a chance encounter, wrapped in privilege, wrapped in mashed potatoes, washed over by the ocean, and inside of a critical message for our world about humility. Our journey starts with a celebration and a question, and ends with a celebration and a question. In between we hear from …
 
It's our first new Where There's Smoke episode in two years! Pliny the Elder said, “The only certainty is that nothing is certain.” In a world where nothing is certain and so much is out of our control, what options do we really have? Should we fight? Do we give up? Or is there something else? In this episode we move from a tragic accident, through…
 
Author Frank Herbert once said, “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” In this final episode of Season 4, Brett & Nick take a look back and ask “What is the story of Season 4?”, “Was it a success?”, and - most importantly - “What’s next?”. Thanks for listening. We love you. We’ll see you next time. * * * Get our ne…
 
If you could tell the world just one thing, what would it be? And, what impact might it have? This week, Nick explores that idea through the music of The Beatles and shows that you reap what you sow. (Spoiler alert?) Also, Brett goes straight to the source for some wisdom that we all need to hear. Get our newsletter and updates by joining our maili…
 
This 48 Hour Challenge is going to be classic. Literally. But what is classic? How do we define it? Is there a Classic version of you? And if so, what can the Classic You teach the Current You? Once again, we gathered show topic suggestions from our audience, threw them into a word randomizer, and made a show in 48 hours. And we think the results a…
 
Integrity is defined as “a state of being whole and undivided”. It is a simple concept, and yet at times, living it can be some of the hardest work we will ever do. This week we hear from Matthew Schueller about an important journey in his life - it’s his journey to integrity. We know that it’s a story with themes that can resonate with everyone an…
 
Expression is the process of taking something from a spark of an idea through to existence. And, while there can be moments in that process that are truly amazing, it can also run us through the ringer - several times over. So, what is required of us to press our expression out into this world? Is want enough or does it require something more? This…
 
We’ve all had a time or two (... or three…) where we’ve shared a secret that wasn’t ours and it comes back to his us square in the face. Sometimes, before you even think about it, you’ve let something slip out of your mouth and immediately cringe - just wishing you could jump into a 15-second time machine so you can pull those words back into your …
 
The 48 Hour Challenge is back! We gathered show topic suggestions from our audience, threw them into a word randomizer, and ended up with “self-acceptance”. From there, our challenge was to research, write, and record a brand new episode in 48 hours straight (including sleep). Did we do it? Well, give it a listen and find out. Along the way we talk…
 
Jim Cuddy has been making music with Greg Keilor for 40 years. For the last 34 of those years, they have made up the songwriting duo for one of Canada’s most beloved and best-selling bands, Blue Rodeo. Brett sits down with Jim to talk about that partnership along with the challenges and benefits of a long standing collaboration. We explore what col…
 
In the 1976 movie Network, upon being prompted by news anchor Howard Beale, people in cities all over the USA get up, open their windows, and yell, “I’m mad as hell as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”. It is now 2018 and people still seem mad as hell - only now, instead of yelling out our windows, we have the internet to amplify our rage…
 
What would it take for this to be your best year ever? That said, what is a year? Is it the days between January 1st and December 31st? Or is it any 12 month span of time? And does it even matter? Are cassette tapes coming back? Could Nick rock Steve Harvey’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve outfit? And why is it essential to recognize the difference between…
 
What does it mean to explore in a world where everything’s been found? That’s the question posed to Brett by Bassam Tarazi - author, entrepreneur, adventurer, and friend of the show. Bassam participated in The Mongol Rally which is plugged as “the greatest motoring adventure on the planet” - a 10,000 mile intercontinental car rally, from London Eng…
 
We’ve heard it countless times before: “Beautiful minds inspire others,” “Time to inspire,”, “Get out there and inspire people”, or simply “Be inspiring.” But, despite all of what the people and posters hanging on office walls say about inpiring others, rarely does anyone tell you how to do that. How do you inspire others? Communication is a linchp…
 
We are getting tragically hip this week with a story about a band, a country (Canada), and all the people in it. But, this episode is really about everyone, everywhere. So, regardless of who you are, where you live, and what listen to - there is a message here for you. Just listen and see. Plus a #WTSbumps. And the announcement of WTS contest - wit…
 
Halloween is coming up and that means Halloween movies and TV specials! To celebrate, Nick explores one of the earliest and most famous Halloween specials - It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. An often overlooked element in that show is the fact that Linus must be sincere in order for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. But, what does it mean to be sin…
 
Have you ever heard of The Golden Rule? If you have, you may realize that while it sounds nice, it has a pretty significant flaw in it. In this episode, we expose that flaw and go on an exploration to try and fix it. We are joined in this journey by author, speaker, and fellow podcaster Gretchen Rubin. Her new book, The Four Tendencies, provides us…
 
It’s easy to see that the world has a lot of problems right now. But as the saying goes, slightly paraphrased, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing’. And we don’t feel that anyone who listens to this show is interested in doing nothing. So, in our first show of Season 4, we decided to tackle that little…
 
Where There’s Smoke is coming back in September for their Fourth Season! In this episode you will hear all the details - launch date, frequency, etc. But first, Brett and Nick seem to have slightly different views on how exactly to launch this new season. It is not a problem unique to them. Often we can find ourselves struggling in decisions and bo…
 
This week, Nick asks himself AND the listeners a hypothetical question. If you have an answer or a thought that you'd like to share, visit www.wheretheressmoke.co and leave a Speakpipe message. To help get you in the mood, Nick presents the first two acts from his first podcast, One Degree of Separation. These segments are now three years old, they…
 
Succeeding at something isn’t just about having a good idea. That’s part of it, but there’s so much more. This week, we are talking about strategy - and breakfast - but mostly strategy. How do you take the idea you have in your brain and turn it into a successful endeavor in the real world? And when we say “business” we mean any kind of endeavor - …
 
Two holiday vignettes make up this week’s episode: First, Brett peels back the veneer of the joyful and festive holiday season, to acknowledge that sometimes … Christmas sucks. But, what if that’s actually be a good thing? If you are feeling a bit blue this Christmas, or know someone who is, then this segment is for you. Then, Nick chimes in with a…
 
How much of who we are is influenced by where we are? And what do we do if we feel our environment is draining us, instead of charging us? A year and a half ago, Brett moved from San Francisco to the suburbs of Toronto, and lately he’s wondering - well, actually he’s worried - if his new environment may be having a negative effect on him. So he set…
 
Mahatma Gandhi never said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.". But … that doesn’t mean it's not an accurate statement. This week, we explore what we can do to make a difference through service. We hear from author and speaker Jon Gordon; education leader Jim Kielsmeier; former Peace Corps Director Aaron S.…
 
We don’t know if you’ve heard yet, but it’s Election Day in the United States of America. And that is causing many people just a bit of anxiety. So today, rather than release a new episode, we thought we could provide you with something calm, short, and packed with a smile or two to help you relax on a day that is often VERY long and stressful. Thi…
 
What does it mean to be certain? Which comes first: judgement or reason? What is the difference between our differences dividing us or empowering us? And what does any of this have to do with riding an elephant? This week Nick & Brett explore the concept of certainty, as it exist in everything from our political climate, to our businesses, to our c…
 
The US Presidential Election is weeks away, and while Brett and Nick initially thought they wouldn’t address it in the show, it eventually became clear there was no way around it. After all, the whole premise of Where There’s Smoke is to take pop culture and current events, and wrap it up into a conversation about self-development. And the current …
 
It’s the Season 3 premiere and Brett and Nick are asking: “Is stress really THAT bad?” To help them unpack this question they are joined by health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, Kelly McGonigal. Kelly’s most recent book is The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good At It. Brett and Nick ask: What if eve…
 
So much of our life is going from Point A to Point B, and it is about execution, deliverables, and responsibilities. And there is an absolutely a place for that. However for our sanity, and our success, it is also important that we take breaks. And these breaks provide us with much more than just a rest - they are an opportunity to reboot and reset…
 
Eventually, we’re all forced to turn around and face the truth. In today’s episode, Nick shares a truth with Brett that he is having a hard time accepting and together - with some very special help - they try to get a handle on it. Where There’s Smoke is approaching the Big 5-0 (this is it’s 49th full episode), and we are talking acceptance. Plus, …
 
Do a Google search for ‘How Do I Find My Life Purpose’ and you will find a slew of articles and videos claiming to help you discover your purpose in 7 minutes … 5 minutes ….3 minutes...and even “less than 5 seconds”. But is there even a such thing or is purpose about something else altogether? Joining us is Drew Daywalt, author of the children’s bo…
 
Our first ever 48 Hour Challenge! We took suggestions from our listeners and this week we were assigned trauma. We’ll explore some of our own traumas, uncover what causes it, how we can cope with it, and even how we can thrive from it. And through it all, we are reminded that no matter our circumstances, one powerful element remains.Plus, a new WTS…
 
All time is indeed created equal. Where it becomes unequal is in how we choose to spend it. This week’s episode started with 87 hours - 87 hours that Brett spent with his son, Radek. And those 3.5 days turned into an exploration of Quality Time: What is it, how do we create it, and why is it so critical to all of our relationships. Joining us in th…
 
Criticism seems to be running rampant in our world these days. This week, we ask some important questions: Why do we seem more interested in tearing others down than building them up? What is the deal with this plague of criticism in our world? Why do we do it? And what does it cost us?Then we turn our sights to the alternatives to criticism. How c…
 
It's Single-Tasking Day and we’re taking the chance to talk about all things related to “focus”. We thoroughly explore multitasking and single-tasking while trying to understand what these habits do for our efficiency and our health. Plus, we also get to the bottom of who started Single-Tasking Day in the first place! We also speak with cognitive n…
 
This is the second episode in our examination of truth and lies. This week we’re exploring the lies we tell ourselves. Why do we do that and how can we figure out when we’re doing it? We talk to Dr. Cortney Warren, author of the book Lies We Tell Ourselves: The Psychology of Self-Deception. She talks with us about self-deception and how to combat i…
 
In honor of the return of Serial, this week we’re looking at Truth - well, truth and lies. Sometimes we lie for good reasons and sometimes we lie for bad ones. Which is which and why does it matter? Also, Author Scott Berkun also talks to us about The Myths of Innovation. Note: This is part one of a two-part episode. Make sure to come back next wee…
 
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