We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have. In the tradeoff between timeliness and timelessness, choose the latter. The zeitgeist rewards timeliness, but your soul rewards timelessness. Work on things that will last. Inside each of us is a little ten-year-old child, curious and pure, acting on impulse, not yet caring what other people think. Remember what you were doing at ten, and try to get back to doing that thing, incorporating everything you’ve learned along the way.

Jonathan Harris’ essay on Navigating Stuckness is a beautiful summary of what it means to be a maker.

(via offscreenmag)

What a great reminder. I think there’s a groundswell of people who are looking for timeless things to balance out the swirling speed of the world. 

Things that last often signal the things that truly matter.

Giving up

Give up the conception of what your life is supposed to look like. 

Instead give where you can. Follow opportunities. Say yes.

Follow your gut, your intuition.

Listen, and get to know yourself. Be gentle. Come to love what you are, the good and the ugly.

Give up the idea of what you’re supposed to do. Take the road less traveled. The things that you were supposed to accomplish by age 30? Are they really yours?

Take action from your center. Let actions come through you. Take time to listen to clues that dot your journey.

Stop buttressing fear with every action. Your life is not a study in risk management. It’s important to take care of yourself and avoid harming others and become overly dependent on them. It’s not pleasant to be homeless and broke.

But beyond that, live free. Free of what you should be doing. What “success” is supposed to look like. What accomplishments needs to line under your name. 

The mountain is yourself. Not on paper.

Trust that you were put on this Earth for something, a purpose greater than yourself.

I don't want to change the world



"I want to change the world."

Everywhere I turn these days, I hear that phrase.

There are over 2.9 billion google search results for “How to Change the World.”

Startups dedicated to conscious living and meaningful work are popping up left and right.

The ambition around this…

"In this I’ve realized that “changing the world” was never the right aim. My innate desire has always been to embody my message."

Over the past year, this has been one of my realizations, too. As I look towards 2014 and ponder what it means to embody my message and my truth, here are three thoughts that quickly popped into my head:

  • I want to learn how to cultivate deeper connections between people.
  • I want to lessen a sense of loneliness in a world filled with superficial promises of belonging (e.g. technology).
  • Build a better food system and redefine our relationship with food.

I’m not sure what to do with these things yet, but they have occupied my mind for quite some time now, surfacing to the forefront of my consciousness from time to time.

But do read Michael’s post at Get Storied. It’s great.

What we focus on in life defines our experience in it

The world is an amazing place, but how often do we truly take advantage of it?

Think about it. Most of us sit in our chairs for 8-10 hours a day, inside, in front of our laptops. How are we supposed to experience the wonders of the world by doing that?

How many connections wither in our life because we focus so much on pushing forward, climbing the company ladder, or even just rushing to thing after thing even though it’s not really resonating with you?

How many of us ignore our gut instincts in favor of our brain telling us what we “should” be doing.

Doing without reflection and introspection is what make us miss this amazing world.

When was the last time something took your breath away?

You are already complete

Today on a walk, an insight came to me. It said, “You’re never complete. And that’s OK. You have to take one day at a time.”

It’s so true.

You are already complete. You have everything you need. There’s only growth and learning because we’re all meant to change. You take one step at a time, one day at a time.

But listen to what the rest of the world is telling you.

"You’re not good enough."

"You’ll only be happy when you get this job."

"You’ll feel complete when you found THE One."

"If you be like this / buy this / master this skill / make X amount of money, then you’ve reached the apex of your life."

Where does this chase end? It will only leave you depressed, sad, frustrated, unsatisfied, and unhappy.

I can speak from experience because I’ve went through this. I’ve told myself repeatedly,

"You’re not good enough to do this."

"You don’t have enough experience."

"You need to save enough money or build up your network first."

The end result was that I was never happy because I was never happy with my self or the progress I was making. There was always more to do. More to achieve. More to learn.

I was always trying to escape the present moment because I wasn’t “there” yet.

How many of you have thought this? For me, I’ve come to realize that the source of this mindset came from feeling like I wasn’t good enough - to do the things I want, to pursue a certain lifestyle, to talk to certain people…on and on and on.

Let’s reverse it.

What if you thought that you are fully complete in this moment? That you welcome new lessons into your life each day? That you’re open to being more aware of why you feel what you feel?

If you stopped thinking that you need to “arrive” at some destination and you need that to feel happy, what would you do differently? How will you see the world differently now that you’ve released yourself from your own obligation?

Let me say this to you: You are complete in this present moment. You are worthy of self-love and I love you.

True motivation can come only when you’re content in the present. Accept and embrace change and grow one day at a time.

I’m no where near perfect. Don’t put me on a pedestal. I still go experience these feelings of inadequacy a lot. I still beat myself up for little things, and I still feel the yearning to fix myself/make myself better because I don’t measure up to other people or I haven’t “arrived” yet.

But I’ve learned that if you take a deep breath everyday and be at peace with where you are in life, you will feel happiness. Daily.

BRYCE DOT VC: Most People Won't


From an interview with designer/artist/soul searcher Elle Luna:

So I was using Uber all the time in San Francisco, even though I hated the design. And then I went to the Crunchies awards ceremony and at a post-ceremony event, where I was in a ball gown, I saw the CEO of Uber, Travis…

Good reminder. I need to focus on following through on some things on the personal side. I absolutely loved Elle Luna’s interview on The Great Discontent (one of my favsies design blog!).

She’s an inspiration.

Growth - Brian K Balfour: How To Become A Customer Acquisition Expert


To read about how other professionals became experts in their craft sign up for Startup Edition #23.

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

I started my career out as a “product guy.” But about 4 years ago I realized that product was a small piece of the startup puzzle. I became fascinated with…

This is awesome, awesome resource for growth/digital marketers. That’s why Startup Edition is one of my favorite email newsletters I still subscribe to (after I purged most of them).

If you want to learn to become a better digital marketer, this is your go to source. Thanks, Brian!

You have to build meaning into your life, and you build it through your commitments, whether to your religion, to an ethical order as you conceive it, to your life’s work, to loved ones, to your fellow humans.

John W. Gardner (via heif)

It’s your values and incorporating them into every area of your life. It’s about being congruent and aligned with them.

  • Reblogged from heif

Alex's Tech Thoughts: Startup Generalists vs. Specialist



Early-stage startups these days are made up of a bunch of generalists. Non-technical and technical alike, companies in their infancy need people to do many things. Most people that do “many things well” are generalists. It’s like the age-old question of whether you’d rather be really good…

Having experienced this recently, I agree that you have to specialize in something, otherwise you end up jumping from startup to startup.

That’s why I think recent grads will benefit the most at a early-stage startup, from the standpoint of learning as much as you can the first few years out of college.