The hardest part

December 15 2014

The terror, the fear. The realization this is the moment that separates good from greatness. Your chance to succeed, to make your dreams real. The do or die.

Your stomach churns and your heartbeat quickens.

The leap.

You’re not alone.

The school boy entering his first class.
The athlete poised at the starting block.
His first college exam.
Her investor pitch.
Signing the contract.
The alarm goes off.

You’ve felt this before.

You survived.

You moved on to the…

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The best gifts you can give

December 08 2014

Time.

For others and for yourself.

Give yourself the time and space to reflect and just be. No expectations of what should happen or what must be done.

We get so caught up in the day-to-day, making lists and checking obligations. We forget to step back and see, “How lucky am I? How did I end up like this?” It’s important to count the steps you’ve taken and recognize the…

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Autonomy (I will teach you to be rich and have a perfect body and find the love of your life)

December 01 2014

There is one faucet wheel left in the kitchen. When you turn the water on or off, it drops with a loud CLANG into the tin sink. I’ve offered to have it fixed. “It’s not our house,” they say. I’ve been living here for just over one year; they’ve been here for seven.

I live among the people I work for (and with). Not only have I…

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Tips for college freshmen, relevant to you

November 24 2014

MAKE FRIENDS. WITH PROFESSORS.

Supervisors, bosses, managers, religious leaders. Someone who has been assigned a higher rank than you. Regardless of qualifications, we’re taught to defer and do what they say. This can be intimidating.

Unfortunately, power dynamics build chasms in relationships, relationships that have the potential to dramatically influence who we are and what we become. When someone is standing on a pedestal of authority, it’s easy to forget people are people….

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No one has it figured out

November 17 2014

A large number of Nepalis work or study abroad.

Recently I found myself speaking to a young man preparing for his first year of college. He was scared as hell, understandably so, leaving behind his family and everything familiar to attend college in Louisiana. This would be the first time he traveled outside Nepal.

I was 17 when I left the cornfields of Longmont, Colorado for Manhattan’s…

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The paradox of our age

November 10 2014

I found this printed on a banner hanging in a teahouse in Nepal.

We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense;
more knowledge but less judgment;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicines but less healthiness.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet our new neighbor.

We built more computers to hold…

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Anger is fuel

November 04 2014

“If there is no night, how can there be day?” one of the monks once asked me. Anger is a part of life. As is jealousy, sadness, rivalry, shame, disappointment.

You won’t rid your life of pain or suffering. Negative experiences are a part of it all. What you do during these moments is what matters.

You don’t have to become slave to your emotions; in fact, you can…

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7 steps to finding happiness

October 27 2014

1. Put yourself in the position of opportunity. Go where there is more.

2. Do what you’re good at.

3. Big goals are great but don’t become so focused on them you can’t reroute if necessary.

4. Focus on the now: does your heart sink or flutter? Is there a rock in your stomach when you head to work?

5. What is taking you away from your present experience? How…

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On beginning, career change, and empathy

October 23 2014

The following is derived from an interview. For the full article, click here

How did you begin Project Exponential?

MW: I was living in New York City, bored out of my mind after finishing my masters at Columbia University and working in their admissions department. The creative in me wasn’t satisfied, and the realist in me knew I couldn’t afford to stay in Manhattan on a social worker’s salary….

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Make today uncomfortable

October 20 2014

The most memorable moments involve some sort of discomfort; the greatest achievements celebrated because they’re a result of sacrifice and trial. Think: marathons, diplomas, childbirth. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s Everest ascent. Malala Yousafzai. Countless others.

“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” – Napoleon Hill

Don’t shy away from the difficult. When you find yourself struggling, uncomfortable, even angry, run…

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