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Extreme Esteem
The Evolution of a Column

"Think of it as your weekly pick-me-up, with no caffeine added. Each week in Life, Murray will provide thoughtful and practical insights and advice to help build your self-esteem and uncover your true potential."

(Original introduction to Extreme Esteem as written by Cahn Hahn, former Editor of Central Alberta Life - February 09, 2004)

The Extreme Esteem column appears every Monday in the Central Alberta Life and Tuesday in the Red Deer Advocate.

Red Deer, Alberta, CANADA


The columns have evolved considerably over time (as have I as a writer and facilitator.) Here, you can witness the evolution of the Extreme Esteem column in terms of style, content and approach:

Column Number One: Energy Leeches (February 09/2004)  

The other day, a friend told me he’d come to a realization.  Certain people showed up in his life only when he was feeling disheartened or negative.  Why did they show up – was he sending out an invitation calling them home?  All people come into our lives for a reason – to provide us with a message, a lesson or an insight.  Negative thoughts and actions attract negative people and situations into our lives. (Continue)

Column Number One Hundred: Always Do Your Best! (December 22/2005)  

When I was a kid in school and brought home news that I had fared poorly on a test, mom would always ask me, “Did you do your best?” Sometimes, I could honestly answer yes; other times I would hang my head, kick the ground, and admit that I hadn’t done my best. (Continue

Column Number Two Hundred: Cut Them Some Slack! (December 29/2007) 

“My car was a filthy mess,” he said, “so I went the car wash. The line was long and the car wash was packed. The full sign came on every time a vehicle approached the door. Of course, once you’re in the line you’re stuck. I had so many things to do and was getting frustrated. (Continue)

Column Number Three Hundred: Resistance (November 08/2010) 

How could a child be anything but perfect? As Laura sat in the near darkness watching her four-year-old son sleep, she was plagued with questions. Recently, Laura had received results from a battery of tests carried out on her son. The assessment was conducted to find out why his physical and emotional development was not in keeping with other children his age.  Almost from birth, there had been indications – hints, if you like – that something was not quite right. (Continue)

Column Number Four Hundred: Moments of Insight (October 13/2012)

Like a radio suddenly tuned into a frequency, a moment of insight is a burst of clarity where before there was only static. It is the proverbial “A-ha!” moment. It may provide us with an instant of discernment, set us on a new path or maybe turn our entire world upside-down. (Continue

Column Number Five Hundred: Moments & Milestones (September 30/2014)

“Life is a journey, not a destination,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. The phrase came up in conversation a couple weeks ago. Another birthday had come and gone and with it the obligatory reflecting back over the past year. Many things had changed – roles, relationships and even employment. As I read each card and opened each gift, I began to think about the life-changing moments and milestones that had brought me to this point.      

Column Number Five Hundred Twenty - 10th Anniversary Column (February 18/2015)

A few years ago, I tried an interesting experiment. I sent an email to a different person each day for a week telling them what I liked best about them, how they inspired me and the valuable life-lessons I had learned from them. Some people were confused by my emails while others wondered about my motivation. Most people, however, were grateful and gracious. 

Column Number Six Hundred: The Illusion of Perfectionism (August 31/2016)

I think most of us would agree that having high standards is an admirable quality. When we strive for excellence, we demonstrate a strong work ethic and a commitment to quality. The most successful people in the world (athletes in particular) strive to reach improbably high standards – often beyond what might be considered possible by the average person.  


Lorne (READ)    The Dream (READ)

Get out of your own way (READ)    Perceptual Shift (READ)

Whatever we master... (READ)    Fruits of Open-Mindedness (READ)  

The need to be... (READ)    Reinterpreting the Past (READ)

Hope (READ)    I'm here and you're safe... (READ)

Fear VS Love (READ)    Lucid Living (READ)               
Column Number Seven Hundred: Time for Change (June 20/2018)

I was at the bank the other day applying for a consolidation loan. After answering a series of questions, it was time to visit the dreaded Credit Bureau. I was a little nervous, but the Bureau showed a respectable credit score and a long history of payments made on time.