Monday, September 17, 2012

Starting Something That Matters

2 years ago I quit everything: A relationship, a lease, a great company I had started... everything. I quit what I knew and I set off on a Global Volunteering Adventure.

I left a city, friends, family and girl that I loved. At first, I wasn't even completely sure why, I just knew I had to. Finally, it dawned on me why I felt the need to leave:
I left so that I could start something new... something that mattered. Something that would be worth telling my grand kids about. 
And now, 2 years later, 'something' has come to life. It's called MovingWorlds and it's a movement to accelerate social innovation and impact around the world. It's not a company, its a socially driven organization that has one measure of success: Leaving the world better than when we found it. Our work is just beginning as we pick up momentum as we approach launch, and I'd be grateful for any support you can provide... even small things like:

  1. Taking our SHORT SURVEY to understand if you want to travel and volunteer internationally
  2. Liking us on Facebook
  3. Reading and commenting on the MovingWorlds Blog
  4. Following us on Twitter
  5. Coming to the Social Innovation Fast Pitch in Seattle to cheer us on
And if you have 71 seconds, check out this video highlighting what MovingWorlds is all about...

Monday, August 27, 2012

11 Easy Tips to be Insanely Happy

Money can't buy happiness.

But it turn out that a few simple behavior and attitude changes can.

Eric Barker just wrote a great post titled 'Here are the things that are proven to make your happier". I highly recommend reading his full post on happiness, but here are the 11 tips that he explains in greater detail:

  1. Practice Gratitude | Every day, write down things you are grateful for
  2. Do What You Are Good At | Use your signature strengths as much as possible. This is why starving artists are happier in their jobs.
  3. Spend As Much Time As Possible With People You Like | Share the highlights of your day with your friends, and do it as much as possible. You WILL regret not doing so
  4. Many Things Are Better Than Money | Wanting money leads to unhappiness. The happiest people make 50-75k per year.
  5. Give | 'Tis better to give than to receive. Volunteering turns out to be the most selfless way to be selfish.
  6. Savor Time and Reality | Focusing on enjoying the limited time we have on this earth is happy practice.
  7. Strive | Set ambitious goals and strive. You are happier when you are busy and mastering skills increases long term happiness.
  8. Be Optimistic | Yup, keep dreaming. "Thinking happy thoughts, giving hugs and smiling sound like unscientific hippie silliness but they all work"
  9. Sleep and Eat | Being tired and hungry makes you unhappier.
  10. Frequency Beats Intensity | Stop thinking about how to reduce bad, and instead, increase the good. Specifically focus on little daily pieces. Happiest people have little joys everyday. That big vacation or promotion won't make you happy. Seeing friends everyday will.
  11. Avoid Life's Most Common Regrets | And don't worry about potential regret at all, it's way worse than you think. Here are the most common regrets: 
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
More more details on each point, I highly recommend you read the full post here.

And quick - what is one thing you can do today to start being happier? I'd love to hear about it in a comment below...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Wedding, Funeral, Anniversary, Homecoming, Birthday, and Reunion

I think it was the busiest 9 days of my life, at least from a personal standpoint:

  1. My parent's celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary
  2. A dear and close friend got married
  3. My brother returned home to visit whom I haven't seen in over a year as he lives in Indonesia
  4. My girlfriend's mother celebrated her birthday
  5. It was our ten year reunion for high school
  6. And a close family friend - an uncle figure in my life - passed away from cancer

That's a lot for just over 1 week, and the swing of emotions were indescribable, and impossible to put down on paper. But somewhere a midst the hustle and bustle, I found some clarity in a single important life lesson that I feel is worth sharing:

The only thing you have now are memories of the past, and people to create memories with in the future. 

I prefer focusing on the latter.

Or as one of my mentors and dear friends always says "we must give up hope for a better past".

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Now Is THE Time

You know what one of the most popular excuses is for NOT doing something?


It seems that almost everybody is "too old" or "too young". Sometimes this excuse wears ugly disguises... Half the people can't get the job they want because they "don't have enough experience" and the other half are either "too experienced" or "too close to retirement to bother to think about it".

Age is not an excuse, it's a gift.

Birthdays are not a celebration or a curse, they are reminders that you should be doing exactly what you've always wanted to do.

It's time to find a new excuse other than age and experience. And when you can't it, it means that there's nothing left to do but to do it. Now.

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