Matt Mosteller is a senior executive with Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.
I like to say I live a life filled with ‘everyday powder’ in a magical mountain state, but as we all know, life is not like that. It is not like a snow globe, with free refills of fresh snow to ski at the shake of a hand. For skiers, that is a dream land. Real life has ups and downs.
We have to work hard at it, but I do use ‘everyday powder’, as a moniker for establishing my ‘slopes up’ mindset every day to find the best chance for a good ski run. Living the ‘everyday powder’ life takes extra effort and planning, but also helps me focus on doing good.
Let’s unpack the ‘Everyday Powder’ mentality and hopefully some of these ingredients can assist in shaping – or as I say in skiers terms, ‘leaning into’ – how we could share kindness and serve others throughout our community in a better way each day.
Life is not getting easier for most of us. Given all that is going on – a climate crisis, economic issues, social divides and inequalities – unfortunately life will likely only get tougher moving forward.
So, let’s gear up. In my case, put on ‘‘goggles of goodness’, to remind yourself that you have to serve compassion to others, continuously strive to do better and make it a priority to share joy. You must focus on nourishing your ecosystem even more. Again, let me emphasize it is tough. Sometimes you feel like every step runs into a roadblock, whether it be economic challenges, feeling slighted, angry, maybe even blame or other difficult emotions. But letting the negative thoughts rule or your ego take centre stage will only diminish the circulation of good energy and lessen your ability to inspire others at any moment.
You can choose the turns you make. In your day-to-day existence, there are two things you can control – how you frame things and your attitude.
Again, this takes work to not become bothered by what you perceive others think of you or overcome with doubt and fear. Keep it simple, remind yourself that you are the one who can make your own turns. With this mindset, you will usually find some good in everything that is going on – like discovering a secret stash of powder turns late in the day on a favourite trail.
Everyday ski area work is built on serving. It is this duty of care provided by who employees – starting with guests arriving in the parking lot, a simple hello, seeking small ways to serve – that may help others. When others may be carrying too much, open doors for them. Make that chairlift load a little smoother, provide them tips on where to go today, pick up trash at the end of the day, help push someone who is stuck, check on fellow skiers who have fallen to ensure they’re alright, pitch in and assist in every way possible. These small acts of kindness tend to snowball into a great atmosphere for everyone.
This duty of care applies in all we do, in every action we take, every decision we make. It is bettering your people, your community and the environment. And if it is not, then put this in your sitzmark (an old-school term for divot created in the snow by a fallen skier). No matter whether you walk into your home, your community or into the office, how does it start? Are you one who checks in and asks others how they are doing and are genuinely concerned with their life and well-being? Or do you slide right on by, thinking your time is more important and that what you have to do matters more? Let’s give more and take less.
‘Everyday Powder’ is sharing flakes of good with everyone in your path, making smooth turns down the slope, spreading that toothy smile and joy.
Turns get better with practice over time. Some days are better than others, and there will be days that will be stormy. But if we keep in mind that the days will get better, if we keep making turns, then we can get through any storm. Each day you are making turns, you will get better, so put the work in and continue to dig into those snowy curves.
Après ski matters. Social time after a day of skiing is vital, be sure you check in regularly with those in your life and try your best to share honey, not vinegar, with them. Those you nurture will also be there to help in your time of need. So don’t be afraid to ask for help, your friends are the ski patrol of life, ready to rescue you and return you home safely.
This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about the world of work. Find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab and guidelines for how to contribute to the column here.