Author hopes book makes a difference

Born in rural Saskatchewan, Langenburg to be precise, it is no big surprise Guy Scholz is an avid fan of curling, hockey and the Roughriders.

“The Zen-like sport of curling got in my blood real quick,” he wrote in a bio for Amazon. “And the violent beauty of hockey captured my imagination. Driving down those icy roads also taught me to pray at a young age (the spirituality beginnings), and those endless miles caused me to dream big dreams.”

He has had some success in that regard winning more than 40 bonspiels in Canada and the United States, as well as, a USA National Arena Curling Championship in 2014.

Along the way he became an ordained minister, certified social worker, an award-winning sports journalist and best-selling author.

He has written three books about curling, Gold on Ice: The Story of the Sandra Schmirler Curling Team; Between the Sheets: Creating Curling Champions; and Between the Sheets: The Silver Lining. The latter two, co-authored by Olympic silver medallist Cheryl Bernard, have been used by the Canadian Olympic teams in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

“Guy’s books and articles are really life-skills materials using curling as his primary metaphor,”said  George Karrys, CEO of The Curling News.

On June 6, Scholz unveiled his new book locally with a signing event at Coles in the Parkland Mall. The Masterpiece Within is co-written with American model and actor Claudia Church.

“How it started was, I developed a one-year program for five colleges here in western Canada so the book is kind of a template from that and that was to encourage and empower people to develop positive life skills,” Scholz explained.

Meanwhile, Church, whom guy had met through her sister about 15 years ago, was on a similar path.

“She’s been in the entertainment world as a model an actor, a singer, the whole bit and she’s had a ton of rejection just because of that industry, but she’s had a lot of success too,” Scholz continued.

“She was one of the older models, 17 years in the industry, so she would often talk to the younger ones, Pretty much everything [in the business] is about finances and the physical, they were getting nothing on the emotional, the mental, even the spiritual side, so she developed a whole program for them.

“It was cool to see what she had and what I had and how they mirrored each other.”

It took them nearly a decade, but they got the book out.

Self-help is a crowded space, but Scholz believes their effort stands out.

“If you read a lot of motivational or leadership or self-help books, a lot of times you get theory, theory, theory, theory and you might get a few examples, but we almost story people to death through personal examples or people we’re associated with, or even when I was a counselor, we didn’t use people’s names obviously, but we used examples from that,” he said. “Both of us are really into pop culture as well so we used movie examples, sports examples, music, the whole bit, but both of us are big readers, so we tried to use a lot of ancient wisdom as well, marry it with pop culture, make it relatable to people.”

He claims it is a proven methodology.

“We tested it in some universities, high schools and junior highs and churches as well, from my background,” he explained. and it’s just very well received and people just seem to be excited that we’re doing a book around it as well, so we can give a presentation, usually on part of the book and people have something they can take home and read with it.”

A lot of what is in The Masterpiece Within is nothing new, Scholz admits, but it is worth repeating in as many ways as possible, he believes.

“We interviewed 11 hundred people and one of the things that seemed to come through over and over again was people are always waiting for something,” he said. “And I’ve talked to seniors in their 70s and 80s and they’re still waiting for something.

“I believe we have to learn how to live in the now. I don’t think it’s easy to live in the now, and I’ve had friends say I’m pretty good at that, but for me it’s a conscious decision, probably every day, to do that. It’s not something that just comes in our DNA, maybe for the odd person it’s that way, but I think all of us have to make that conscious choice to live in the now and to make things happen.”

Throughout The Masterpiece Within, Scholz and Church as provide exercises people can use toward finding fulfillment, whatever that means. Scholz said it is very important to realize, it is focussing on internal expectations that will ultimately help people find their bliss.

“The external ones are the ones we’re bombarded with,” he said. “Even when we were growing up we were bombarded with it, but I think with this new generation, it’s in their face like never before.”

Finally, he said, if there is one thing he hopes people will take away from the book is that the secret to fulfillment rests on making a difference. Not everyone can be rich and famous and powerful, but every little bit counts for a lot.

“The last section of the book is about making a difference and that’s something we wanted to underscore right from page one until the end, is that our lives are here to make a difference,” he explained.

“Some things I like about Claudia’s background is that she’s in the entertainment world and she’s had some success, so people know her in certain fields, and her thing is, and mine is too, let’s make a difference in our sphere of influence.

It might just be your family, your community, your cricket club, you know, whatever, but let’s be people who make a difference in [other people’s] lives, whatever that might be.

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