Be intentional about making connections

Written by Mathieu Yuill

January 05, 2021

January 5th is my dad’s birthday. Unfortunately he passed away a handful of years ago unexpectedly but he left me with a trove of great lessons.

I was reminded of a great lesson he taught me the other day when my oldest son told my wife and I that he wanted to purchase Microsoft Flight Simulator. It brought me back to a memory when I was doing a lot of tech journalism and I had the opportunity to interview Hal Bryan, the community evangelist for Microsoft Flight Simulator X in 2006. My dad had retired several years earlier and translated his love of planes into flight simulators. I asked the PR rep if my dad could come along for the interview, the agreed and he joined me for the 1/2 hour interview.

Everything was going pretty normal as these interviews go and around the 20 minute mark my father nudged me and asked if he could ask some questions. This caught me off guard but Hal sprung at the chance to speak to a real fan. The spoke for the remaining 10 minutes and then for a further 30 minutes!

Something incredible happened in those 40 minutes. My dad talked about that conversation for years to come and I heard from the Microsoft representative that Hal also spoke about it and remembered the conversation fondly. Such a short moment but it was a connection that made a lasting impact.

Science tells us the cure for depression is simple: it’s connection. After the year we have had in 2020, we are longing for connection. In the video above, I encourage you in different ways to make connections. It might be what makes 2021 your best year yet.


  1. Aretta Hagle

    How well I remember watching your Dad at the computer playing with his flight simulator. Not sure I heard about the story you just related but I agree that making connections is so important.

  2. Ann Peachman Stewart

    Your dad was great at making connections through humour, too. 🤣

  3. David B

    Thanks for sharing. Really like the Depression/Connection analogy. Gonna remember (*steal*) that one!

  4. brian Mitchell

    Matt thanks for sharing this information anout your father on his birthday.

    I will use this!!

  5. shawn anthony

    Well done Matt. Your unconventional approach continues to move mountains.
    Clearly your Dad was a charismatic guy … like his son.

  6. Ken Park

    Great video in honour of your Dad. John was a great man, who created a rich legacy. Thanks for sharing this, and encouraging us all.



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