Bravery Manifesto

To have my chin up even when I don’t know where I’m going
To listen because I’m heard
To help because I’m able
To be excited for others because together, we’re powerful
To share because I’m privileged
To laugh at myself because sometimes things just happen
To be okay with maybes and I don’t knows
To more quickly adapt because this is the quickest path to growth

Solo Travel Learnings: Bravery and Honesty

I just came back from a 5-day solo trip in Beijing. I learned a lot about myself during this trip. Most remarkably, I learned the importance of bravery and honesty.

Traveling alone, I quickly realized how tough it is to make one’s own decisions. I had to determine if people were trustworthy, restaurants were clean, and areas were safe. Back home, these decisions are far less complex as I have access to varying perspectives from family, friends and mentors.

I began to use my senses and emotions to guide me in my decision making.

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Dreaming Large Thought Exercises

Background

In Junior High, I dreamed of being in the NBA. I was probably the shortest kid in the entire school but that didn’t stop me from dreaming large.

I carried my basketball with me everywhere I went. I even practiced dribbling while in the bathroom. I showed up on the court every day and improved very quickly. I remember going from last picked always to first picked 80% of the time within 3 months.

This dream faded early on in my teenage years. The societal pressure of “choosing something practical” drowned my vision.

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Rapid Growth

For every single observation there are an infinite number of explanations.

Through rapid testing we can discover the minimum effective dose for continuous growth. We have to:

1. Select the best possible hypothesis. It’s too early to presume failure. Our intuition is driving us towards a single explanation for a reason. Our best bet is to run with it. It’s detrimental to demand 100% certainty now.

2. Test this hypothesis. A lot of the work lies in this stage. It’s a series of experiments tying back to the principle validator, the hypothesis. If we discover the hypothesis to be falsey, we have not lost. We’ve eliminated a bad apple.

3. Rinse and repeat. The chunk of the work is here. Through every previous experiment, we’ve opened new doors of perception that empower us to make even better hypotheses. How can we grow?

Four Minutes of Gratitude Challenge

I challenge you to take 4 minutes of your day to say thanks. I guarantee it will set a positive foundation for the rest of your day. Close your eyes and look inwards or write in a journal.

Be thankful for your health, the love that surrounds you, your support figures. Food, warmth, lodging. The hardships you’ve faced and conquered. The task you recently completed.

When we take something for granted, we’re devastated when we lose it. When we can count our blessings we appreciate the smell, taste and texture of every moment.

Entity vs Incremental Intelligence

What you believe about intelligence has a huge impact on how you deal with failure.

Turns out that if you believe intelligence evolves with hard work, you’re more likely to have a desire to learn. You’ll persist in the face of failure, embrace challenges and listen to criticism. This is called incremental intelligence.

By believing that intelligence is fixed and unchangeable, you’re more likely to have a desire to look smart. You’ll avoid challenges, give up quickly, see effort as useless and ignore feedback. This is called entity intelligence.

Doesn’t incremental intelligence sound a lot like what every successful person says in an interview? That’s because those that hold this view are more resilient.

It’s your civic duty to adopt the incremental theory and share it liberally. Praise yourself, your loved ones and colleagues on their effort. Entrust in them the importance of hard work so they can develop perseverance. Your creative voice and theirs is needed.

Starting a Start-up: The Right Attitude

Today was my start-up’s official moving day. I’ve moved cubes and desks in my corporate career before – In retrospect that was a cake walk.

The last two days consisted of a lot of packing, pulling, water breaks, pushing, lifting, water breaks. Thankfully, the heavy lifting was taken care of by movers. However, all the fragile items (and there were a lot) came with Mark, co-founder, and I.

By mid-afternoon our cars were loaded and we were on the road to the new facility. We pulled in by 4:30pm and quickly unloaded everything.

I knew another late night ensued but I wasn’t bothered by it. I was physically tired but I still had a ton of mental muscle left. In my previous corporate gigs, late nights were plenty and always defeating. Yes, I got free dinners and cab rides home but those were meaningless. I wasn’t empowered enough to tolerate the late nights. Continue reading “Starting a Start-up: The Right Attitude”