The Big Picture

Now imagine the pitter patter of little toddler feet bumbling down the hallway. A baby out on a journey! Everything about that journey is glittered by the newness and amazingness of everything around us. This carpet feels funny. That wall makes a sound when I touch it. But that feeling fades with time, unfailingly, as we begin to conquer the tasks that hadn’t once seemed so easy. To maintain that amazement state we crave to conquer more and more difficult tasks. And with time our mind aligns with the way we spend our time, climbing higher on the staircase than ever before or learning how to roll forward on the floor. A wonderful process blossoms as we make our way through a system designed to both challenge and represent our desire to continue learning. But for some reason this blossom’s loss of color begins when we decide in our minds to get a job. What is a job? Is it a socially decided upon way of converting human energy into economic energy? And economic energy for the sake of what? To provide us with more presents? Presents, we all know sometimes, just don’t cut it. What we’ve always been looking for lies behind the only place one would never consider looking for. The place behind the Irises is indicated by the entrance to the now. Only in the now do presents become presence, an all becomes a one.



I Found My Purpose

For the last few weeks I have been mentally preparing myself for the hospital bed I sit in now. By no means should this be alarming, because it was an elective tonsillectomy I chose to do based on my American Doctor’s recommendation. Last year I had strep throat far too many times to be considered normal, and since I have been here in Korea I have come close a few times if it had not been for my immediate action and regiment of excessive sleep. Nonetheless, this surgery represented something to me in my mind; it was a physical representation of the mental transformation I have been going through as of late.

Two years ago I held a position in my business fraternity under which I decided to get a team together to start a charity golf tournament. At first, many people advised me against it, saying it would be too difficult and was likely to fail. Regardless of what they said, however, I could not shake the feeling deep inside me that told me it was what I was supposed to do. Thankfully, the people whom I had selected for the team were the right ones, and if it weren’t for them, it was not have been as successful as it was. Fittingly so, one of the members of that team, Alla, went on to plan the second tournament, and one of the active helpers from that tournament, Megan, now happens to be planning the third. All things are connected.

Now, when I first decided I wanted to go to Korea after I graduated, I received a similar reaction from those around me. Lots of skepticism, some anger, and disappointment from those close to me. Many people advised against it, thought it would hurt my career in the long run, and saw it as a risky experience at best. However, there was a very similar feeling deep inside me that told me it was what I must do. It felt like my heart was telling me I needed to go. And since I have been here, it has been one of the most amazing experiences of my whole life. It has been both humbling, spiritual, eye-opening, and enlightening. And now, I have that very same feeling again… My heart is telling me what I must do.

A wonderful friend and mentor of mine, Alex, was the first person I mentioned this feeling to a month or so ago when it came to me. I told him that I wanted to be a public speaker. He has had extensive public speaking experience himself and gave me some great advice. One of the way he suggested I start, once back in San Diego, was to speak to kids. The teachers are usually open to having speakers, and the kids are usually a very challenging audience. He said, “If you can speak to kids, you can speak to anyone.” I mulled his advice around in my head for the following few weeks but it wasn’t until last week’s lesson about self motivation that I realized the connection between his advice, and what I am doing now. Not only am I speaking to kids… I am speaking to tired, over-worked kids in a language that most of them don’t understand about a topic many of them don’t even want to learn about! And yet, it has proven successful thus far.

So, from this hospital bed that I sit in now, I was compelled to sit up and write this. Perhaps again it was my heart that told me to do so, and forever I will heed it’s call. I never could have known what this experience had in store for me before I came here, and in fact, I certainly never guessed it would have been this. But now that I know, I will follow this step until the next step becomes obvious. When I get back to San Diego, I will start public speaking. I don’t know how or about what, all I know is why. Because I have learned to listen to the language of my heart, and it hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Short Video: Marshmallows, Children, and Success

So I know that this may sound a bit contradictory to my previous blog about persistence, but I believe that they actually intertwine quite well. Have a look at this 6 minute video and let me know what you think!

THE TAKEAWAY: From the start, we have it in us. Self-discipline can go a long way.

Be Unreasonable: The Boat Needs Some Rocking

In my last post I left you with one of my favorite quotes:

“The reasonable man spends all his time adapting to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”    

George Bernard ShawMan and Superman (1903) “Maxims for Revolutionists”

Today, I wanted to discuss it a bit more in depth. Maybe when you read the title you thought, “why would I want to be unreasonable?” And you’re right in thinking so, because the word UNreasonable has such a negative connotation in our society. But, thats precisely why I like it.

The negative connotation given to the word unreasonable comes from the basic idea that being reasonable is the best way to live. Think about it, from a young age we are told that we should go to school, get good grades, get into a good college, work hard, get a good job, settle down, and have a good family. But what if you want to live a GREAT life? I never once heard anyone say, “Work hard in school young man, so you can get a great job.” I hope that even in reading that you can hear how odd it sounds.

So why does society do this to us?


Well, unfortunately, if they didn’t teach us to strive for good, all hell would break lose. This is because if everyone was “great,” then that would be the norm. And if that were the norm, then greatness would lose its meaning. This is an interesting paradox because greatness implies standing out, rejecting the status quo, and being abnormal. So how could we make being abnormal… normal? You guessed it… Its impossible.

THE TAKEAWAY: The next time someone tells you to be a bit more reasonable, maybe you should question their motivations. Are they trying to stifle you? Or are they just trying to make sure you don’t rock the boat? Perhaps deep down, they themselves were too afraid to rock the boat and want to see you do the same – misery does love company.

Every single one of you has greatness inside of you, so don’t be afraid to let it shine. For if you do, you will give those around you permission to do the same. The world needs you.

Persistence is the Key: Turn for Success

In some of my psychology classes we discussed how certain personality traits directly affected people’s lives. Of the “Big Five Personality traits,” Openness to experience often led to more risk taking, conscientiousness usually led to longer lasting relationships, and agreeableness led to more empathetic and optimistic lives. But what interested me most was how someone’s personality could correlate to their overall success in life. Now, I understand that success is a rather loosely defined word, but I think for the sake of the point I would like to make here, I’ll leave it open to your own interpretation.

When I was in high school, my basketball coach, none other than the great Craig Ellegood (aka “The Goods”) used to tell me “Persistence is key! Persistence is key!” Being the less-than-level-headed kid I was, I usually tuned him out, not even really giving him a chance to explain. But, seeing as I am a bit more level-headed now, I see how valuable it was. Lately, I have been struggling to start a small company and began to tell myself the very same thing. I finally saw the connection between my psychology classes, my business, and the words of “The Goods.”

So today, I would like to explain exactly why that is, and how you can integrate this concept into your lives; hopefully to achieve your own self-defined success. Persistence is the steadfast continuance of a particular attitude, purpose, or course of action. In other words, it is a result of the internal refusal to give up on that which you are trying to do. When I hear the word persistence I think of the used car salesmen who won’t leave me alone. Although annoying, it is necessary for him to be successful because if he did not persist, he would never make a sale, never be able to pay his rent, and essentially cease to exist. In this instance, his persistence is his survival. Giving up is NOT an option. 

Now what about success on a larger scale? Not to undermine the used car salesmen occupation, but for the sake of this blog lets look at it on a more grand scale. How could persistence contribute to one’s success in becoming the President of the United States? Well, think of all the work one would have to do to get to that point. Think of all the meetings, discussions, fundraisers, debates, campaigning, editorials, interviews, and sheer number of hours that would need to be put in to get there. How could ANYONE do it without persistence?

THE TAKEAWAY: Persistence is key. It is the single most important contributor to success because in order to accomplish anything, you must REFUSE to fail. The dichotomy of failure and success then makes it obvious; if you don’t fail, then you must have succeeded. So I challenge you to do this: figure out what it is you REFUSE to fail at… write it down… stick it to your bathroom mirror… and watch yourself succeed. Turn the ignition. 

Persistence is key for success

Persistence is the key

I would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes, and a segway to my next blog post:

“The reasonable man spends all his time adapting to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”    

George Bernard ShawMan and Superman (1903) “Maxims for Revolutionists”


Will Smith truly is THE MAN- Here’s Why:

The following video is a compilation of clips from interviews Will Smith has done. It is organized into some of the key points he talks about including his definition of success, what it means to be truly great, and how to have faith in everything you do. I have honestly never felt as inspired after watching a video. Please take the time to do so too, you will not regret it.