Journal

Knee Pads for Uphill Climbing

I have many friends and colleagues that ask me for advice to help them figure out what to do with their lives. Most often than not, I’m perceived to have such a clear understanding of who I am and where I am headed in life. I do have to say that the road to where I am today wasn’t an easy one in fact it was an unpaved uphill dirt road. Yes, I am managing to continue to go through this path and I have fallen a few times and scraped my knee on the ground and even fell and rolled downhill a number of times. But, I’ve picked myself up and kept on moving forward with a bit more caution and a lot more tact.

I have a friend who has been looking for employment for quite some time. I’ve been coaching her and asking questions to spur thinking in order to figure out which path to take. Yes, it’s not easy to figure where you want to go and be in life. However, the first step is realizing that you’re clueless. This acknowledgment of cluelessness is important because its our baseline. Now take that cluelessness as something positive. It becomes our clean slate to write down everything you want to achieve.

You first need to set goals. You set goals by acknowledging where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. You want to consider money, career path, work/life balance, growth, etc if we are talking about career goals.

When interviews start rolling in — you can quickly eliminate those interviews that doesn’t meet the guidelines you’ve set initially. This is how you effectively learn to use your time that leads to a better return on your investment (ROI). The investment part is your time that could have been used pursuing other things that lead you closer to your goal. Some goals are short term objectives and others are long term. In fact writing down what you want in a job will help you determine if that position will help you achieve short term objectives and open doors for your long term goals.

Don’t let conditions dictate what you want to have or do in your life.

My friend isn’t too fond of her current job and is seeking a challenging one and she continuously interviews for the same type of job. She received an offer for a similar job and is concerned the pay is much lower but the hours and commute is much better. She needs help to figure out what to do…my advice was to refer back to her list of objectives and goals (she hasn’t written any). I mentioned if this new position helps her achieve her long term goal (possibly being closer to home she can spend more time with family) then its an easier decision to make. I asked if she knew what the pay was like before the interview and also knowing that she wanted a career shift I asked why continue to interview in the same field. She replied back to me that the commute is taking a toll on her. That’s when I said if her short term goal is to lessen her commute then she found her answer.

She fell silent and then retorted back, “well the pay is so much lower at this new job.” I then reiterated, “your trying to talk yourself into or out of something leaving me confused therefore I know you are confused.” I reinforce my message, “have you figured out what your goals are career wise.” She was silent once again.

If you have set a goal, you’ll realize 9 out of 10 times that many conditions should have no bearing on a decision. These conditions could be considerations but at times may not play a big part in making a decision. Don’t become a product of your environment. We are humans and because of that we have the ability to have the environment change to benefit us. What does that mean? Well that means if you have fallen a few times and scraped your knee next time put on some knee pads then climb up that hill or go a different route.

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Journal

A mile a minute…

I’ve been on a consistent drive mode. It’s that drive that has brought me to where I am today. I’m constantly driving, watching where I’m going and planning my next trip. I tend to work hard and work often and I do get massive amounts of work done. But, I’ve been learning its not about the amount of work that gets done its about what’s achieved. It’s about working smarter not working every minute.

My life which includes work, personal, social, physical, emotional – you name it, I try and devote time to it.

I spend a lot of time talking in front of hundreds if not thousands of people and talk about the importance of acknowledging where you are, creating a plan and taking control. I think I’ve lived thus far in control but I’ve never acknowledge where I want to be. I’ve been doing a number of things but what have I been achieving?

I do take pride in what I do and I do believe nothing is worth doing if you don’t give it your all. Yea I may need to slow down a bit but I won’t compromise my goal to succeed in life. I just need to ensure I’ve prioritized what’s important and that does mean I need to put on the breaks, place the car on park and just enjoy the view.

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Journal Travel Experience

On the Road…

This post isn’t so much describing my numerous business trips I take during the year. It’s particularly aimed at a road trip I took a couple years ago that really help me see myself in a totally different light. I had just completed my MBA and every inch of my body was itching to explore. I received a call from a friend who had decided it was time for him to move back to Jersey. I immediately flew out to San Francisco and we began our journey home.

What amazed me was how beautiful the Southwestern States were and to this day it beckons me to come kayak, explore, hike, camp and take that much needed step back. Ever see something you can’t explain but it just touches you. It grabs your mind, your soul and you feel this great overwhelming feeling that you are a part of this world!

The sky at dusk.

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Journal Travel Experience

Traveling once again…and um knowing Portuguese helps!

I spent the better half of Sunday traveling from SFO to BOS.  I left SFO without a hitch at 12 midnight and made it to Houston safely to catch my connecting flight.  Although, I came to find out my flight was delayed.  I eventually boarded my flight and began my typical routine of quieting the world with my Bose headphones and fingering through the inflight magazine.  Silence was interrupted when my Bose noise cancelling headphones could not cancel out the loud voices.  I take off my headphones and listen and watch as two girls, probably in their early 20s, loudly and aggressively speaking with a 70+ year-old lady.  The lady was replying in a different language very faintly and I can hear the girls talk louder and louder and slower as if that would make a difference.  Of course this situation is causing a traffic jam of eager passengers trying to get onto their seats.  I’ve always been curious as to why people speak really loud to someone who can’t understand the language as if yelling can translate their words.  Hmmm, well I think maybe our brains can read emotion and body language which is probably the universal language, that may be the reason why we S-P-E-A-K–R-E-A-L-L-Y–L-O-U-D and aNiMaTE our FaCEs!

When I realize the old lady was replying in Portuguese, I stepped in and asked if I could help.  So, yea I translated and apparently the old lady sat in the wrong seat in first class.  She tells me I don’t understand why they keep yelling at me and shoving their ticket on my face.  I helped her find her seat in the main cabin and she goes , “voce e um saint” but you speak really funny are you from Macau? lol. I was like no I just have really great friends.  Then it dawned on me I can have some Portuguese food in Providence!  There definitely is a reward for good deeds.

All in all I spent about 15 hours of my life flying into Boston only to spend an additional 2 hours stuck in Boston Logan airport traffic.  On a side note, BOS really need to redo their roads and separate airport shuttle traffic from the car drivers who find it necessary to stop in the middle lanes to wait for whomever they are picking up.

An hour later, I’m dropped off at the National car rental to pick up a car.  I love how with National you don’t have to speak to anyone.  You just choose a car, hand your Emerald card and drive off.  Yup, off I go to Providence or East Providence, to be exact.   I reach my destination, check-in and crash onto the comfy bed at the Sheraton and sink into a deep sleep.  I woke up with a stomach ache starving for food and remembering that this area has a big Portuguese population.  I had my mission — to go find some grub.  I drove around aimlessly without much help from my GPS as these roads  are just like the nightmare roads of Boston.  I luckily found the Riviera Restaurant and sat down with excitement as I haven’t had Portuguese food since June.  The food was good. It was much better than the one place I discovered in San Jose, CA but definitely not to the caliber of Newark, NJ Portuguese restaurants.  I had sangria, frango no churrasco, paella, camarao mozambique and topped it off with a double shot of espresso.  Yes, I did eat a lot at this sitting as I feared  it might be some time before I can get to have decent Portuguese food again.

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Relationships

The past is the past, present and future…

I’m on my balcony staring out onto the street.  I see and hear the occasional car zipping by.  It’s pretty peaceful with the cool Bay area breeze that feel like tiny icicles pinching my skin.  I stare out into the night sky at a great distance and focus my eye on a singular bright star.  This bright star reminded me of a book I read in 9th grade called the Chocolate Wars.  Well I hope that was the actual name of the book.  There was a quote I used to say often but now it’s lost in memory.  I start thinking of the times I’ve wanted to reinvent myself mentally, physically and emotionally.  You name it and I’ve tried it.  I start thinking in today’s age life isn’t as simple as moving on when there are so many ways to connect, reconnect and stalk those who you’ve met randomly or for a split second.

No matter how much I want to put the past behind, I realize that the past is such an important part of me that makes me feel complete.  I think every person we meet or connect with teaches us something about life and about ourselves.  They come in and serve us for a special purpose and then exit our lives.  Sometimes this exit is with a bang and most often it’s at a whimper.  This cosmic truth I think is integral in our growth as individuals but I wonder with the advent of all these different types of social media that we prolong certain relationships way pass its due date.  Could it actually prevent us from allowing strangers, “newbies,” to enter our lives and forge new relationships that will teach us and ultimately help  us become better individuals?

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Travel Experience

My staycation is turning into a vacation

Traveling is such a big part of my job responsibility and I do enjoy it.  It allows me to explore new areas, meet new interesting people and discover things about myself through the experiences I have at these places.

Well, with that said, traveling can get exhausting and is taking a toll on my physical and mental health.  I decided this time around to stay at home…which my friend Roz dubbed a “staycation.”  The first time I have ever heard that term.

The contrast which is ME can’t sit silently or steadily for long periods of time.  I need to move so my staycation has turned into a road trip vacation.  If you don’t know much about me then you don’t know how much I love road trips. I’ve done so many of them in the course of my life.  From Jersey to Montreal.  From NYC to Miami. From Central Jersey to Chicago and New Orleans once in a bye gone era.  The greatest of these road trips was one I had back in 2007 after finishing my grad school.  My friend Jae and I  drove from San Francisco to Jersey zigzagging north and south through as many states as possible.

Yes, I do spend a great deal of time on the road and what I should be doing is staying in and just relaxing.  Well, my desire to explore and expand my knowledge is making me itch to go up to Vancouver, BC.  I have family up throughout Seattle and an Aunt in Vancouver.  So the journey begins…

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