When you find your passion, people will hate you.

July 31 2014

“I think your passionate about your work and I know it turns people like me off.”

The message pinged in my Facebook inbox as I was going to sleep.

Maybe because I was in a particularly fragile state — two days in bed with high fever, my arms and legs raging with sunburn, pimples dotting my face, constipation, tension high with continued visa struggles, pressure…

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Acceptance and a face tattoo

July 28 2014

Last night I had a dream I got a tattoo. It was a big black tribal symbol winding down the side of my face and neck. Sometimes my hair would hide it, but no amount of accessories or clothing could conceal its dark lines. I spent most of the dream trying to come to terms with it and accept the fact I had this thing permanently etched onto my skin.

I’ve sat with…

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The psychology of wanting what you can’t have

July 21 2014

There’s something out of reach, and your mind is focused on it like a laser. A job, a relationship, a sum of money, a status. Whatever it is, it is unavailable, and you know it. But that doesn’t stop you from dreaming about it.

Your brain has tricked you into thinking this is where the rewards are. A tasty cocktail of novelty, desire, delayed gratification, and dopamine has you convinced this is what will…

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5 questions to measure success

July 14 2014

I’ve been thinking about the American Dream and how we’ve come to define wealth and achievement. I’m turning 30 soon, a benchmark to pause and reflect on life’s work and progress.

Yet the ways in which I was taught to measure “success” don’t seem to apply to me.

I don’t own a house or a car. What I do own fits into a duffle bag. I sleep under a mosquito net. My…

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Microactions

June 30 2014

It’s easy to focus on big issues. They’re the blaring, obvious ones, and they make for easy complaints. Small actions can be more difficult to identify and require more brain power and attention.

More industries are understanding the value of these details and the importance they have in long term change. We’re seeing this trend with the rising popularity of “micro-” vernacular: micro-lending, micro-movements, micro-grants, micro-lancing.

Over time, small actions…

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Lessons on working for free

June 23 2014

For almost one year, I’ve volunteered my time serving a group of people I’ve grown to care for immensely. While I’ve sacrificed a lot, I’ve been granted much more in return. Some key takeaways:

1. Let excitement be your guide.

Excitement is an internal barometer letting you know you’re on track. If you’re not excited to get to work, you’re in the wrong place.

There was a time I…

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The numbers in your bank account mean little.

June 17 2014

If you hate your job, you cannot afford to stay one more day.

Over half of college graduates accept jobs that aren’t in their preferred industries (Bureau of Labor Statistics). People are bored, tired, and return home cranky and angry. Distraction comes in the form of stimuli — alcohol, drugs, buying things, selling things, gambling, eating, checking out in front of a screen.

You’ve invested too much in yourself —…

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You have three seconds.

April 15 2014

In three seconds, your story has to align with my needs.

The only reason a person who doesn’t know you is interested in you is because they’re interested in themselves, and they want to know how you will help them.

Your proof is your obsession. Your work shows me whether or not you care.

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7 sins of crowdfunding

April 04 2014

My recent indiegogo campaign has elicited a flurry of emails from people looking for support and advice on projects of their own. I’ve attempted a few fundraising efforts — one that failed, one that supported inner city kids (and got me to Everest Base Camp), and another that had me running the 2011 NYC marathon (never again!). I’ve noticed a few patterns surrounding the psychology of asking…

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Fear and two choices

March 13 2014

Everyone has moments of panic.

If you don’t experience fear and anxiety from time to time, I’d wonder what kind of life you’re living. You’re probably not doing justice to your capabilities and talents or testing your limits. But this post isn’t about that.

I want you to pay attention to what you do AFTER those moments of panic and fear.

You have two choices:

1. Press on. 

Step on the gas and move…

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