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“Game Changer” turning struggle into success

Bill FoxBy Bill Fox/Columnist

A while ago I wrote about having to go to the Apple store in Markville Mall to get my wife’s iPhone 7 repaired and I used my son, Brendan Fox’s “game changer” to try to make the best of a bad situation. You too can use this guided contemplation tool to quickly lower stress levels, to make efficient use of life experience, and to turn pain into power.

Game changer has been used by Gold Medal Olympic Athletes such as John Morris the two-time gold medal winning curler. The process has also helped business people to become champions of business, and it’s been used to help people get through their biggest challenges in life. A York University professor is now teaching game changer in his course as a result of meeting Brendan. So there are three primary thoughts that serve us in the face of adversity: what’s good about this, what can be learned, and how can I make it better?

The longer we spend ruminating before processing these three thoughts, the more we get worn down physically and mentally. Game changer is all about how to quickly process those three thoughts, to end the suffering, fear, and anxiety and to be at your best.

So let’s try it. Think of one current stress or challenge that is stressing you out now and complete as many answers as possible for each of the three game changer questions:

  1. What’s good about this? Be specific, and list as many examples as you can. If you can think of nothing, then at least consider all the positive possibilities, like the potential for the situation to improve, or the potential for you to improve. Make it clear why your example is a good thing; don’t make vague or general statements. In my situation I explored the Markville Mall for the first time and found the biggest chocolate milkshake I have ever had, and my wife ended up with a brand new iPhone 7, as hers could not be repaired.
  2. What can be learned? What are all your learning opportunities surrounding this issue? What you can learn about the problem? What can you learn about yourself? Give specific answers on what can be learned, and avoid general or vague comments. For myself, I could not believe how stressed I was that we could not find a closer place to repair her iPhone and that once there, we had to wait four hours for an appointment to see a technician. Regardless, as it turned out, her phone could not be repaired, and we did explore a car dealership right inside the mall.
  3. How can I make it better? List as many ideas as possible. If you can’t think of anything more to make the situation better, then start to think of ways you can improve your ability to handle the problem. For example, you can always improve your mood by listening to your favorite song, eating good food, or exercising. Well, we did discover Pickle Barrel restaurants and had a nice supper and I put thousands of steps on my Fitbit!

After answering and contemplating the three questions, how much does your problem stress you out now?  Has it improved? What action steps can you take based on the ideas explored? How can you keep yourself accountable to carry these action steps out?

If not improved, then spend another five minutes harvesting more ideas to each question. Go over the top 3 action steps, and make a specific and detailed plan on them, and carry them out. Try to address limiting beliefs, or myths about life that may cause you to be “blocked”. Usually these are the selfish preferences we have about how we think life should go.

I’m not a “game changer” expert, but might forward your comments or questions to my son, if you contact me at