Sides of the Hill

The grass may not be greener on the other side. Always scout the other side, just in case (if nothing else, enjoy the hike). If it isn’t lush, you can find another hill (really difficult for most people to do) or build irrigation to make your side of the hill greener. A bit of manicuring and watering goes a long way.

Earn Leadership

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...

You cannot snap your fingers and wake up a leader; you must earn it through the respect of people who might follow you. Good leaders earn respect on their own, without nomination or title inheritance. Strong leaders grow through decision-making in everyday life, in small groups and in situations where no one else stands up. Picking a place to eat and pushing solutions to problems are small decisions that, if successful, will help you build a full portfolio of respect. If not earning credibility enough to become the President of the United States, your immediate circle will at least look to you as a problem solver or for restaurant recommendations. Leadership and title come in many shapes and sizes, so it’s important for you to choose how you want to contribute to the world. You can lead few or many, intimately or anonymously. Earn respect by mastering your trade, making a difference or showing compassion for others. Demonstrate your actions in public. You cannot fancy yourself a leader until other people fancy you a leader first.

Stick Every Finger In A Different Pie

I’ve always been a proponent of keeping many doors open. By staying involved in several things at once, you maintain a diverse portfolio of opportunities that may lead you somewhere. Drew Moxon dubbed this “angel investing with time” – balancing a handful of personal energy investments on activities and projects in hopes that at least one will pay off the entire batch. No thoughtful gambler places all eggs in a single basket, right?

The risk, of course, is that you do not invest in one area of your life enough for a big win. Jack of all trades, master of none. You fail to specialize, focus and pour your heart into one great thing. I think mastery can work if you believe irrefutably in what you’re doing. If you don’t, you must continue to explore options until you find the perfect fit. Until then, stay involved. Perhaps you shouldn’t stick every finger in a different pie, but at least taste every flavor you can and give each one a fair shot.

The Nervous Compass

When butterflies show up in your stomach, consider the consequences. If none of the genuine outcomes of your choice are fatal, then follow your nervous compass and go through with it. If something makes you nervous, it’s probably a good idea. High risk can bring about high reward. If nothing else, you will face your fears and add to your list of life experiences. Trust your nerves to point you in the right direction.

Get Out of There

In a meeting you have no stake in? A social setting you cannot connect with? Around people you do not relate to? In a place that disagrees with your lifestyle? A job that fails to inspire you? Then get the hell out of there. Don’t waste time. Time is money (and more valuable than money). Walk out. Pack your bags. Just go. You have an important family obligation. Impending deadline. Death on the horizon. Get out. Move on. Be as polite as possible, but leave. Think of the things you could be doing instead – and go do them. The impact you can make on the world and your own life while doing those other things far outweighs the egos you rub sitting still. Looking back, those offended meeting attendees will understand and forgive you for it.

Time Heals Wounds. Or Bad Memory? I Forget.

An old adage: “Time heals all wounds.” Not necessarily true if the variables of your life do not change. Good luck trusting the clock to wipe away your woes if your environment, friends, job, problems, and goals stay the same. It’s easier to get over an ex if you never see him or her; it’s particularly difficult to get over the ex if he or she is your neighbor. Your woes won’t leave you alone if they live next door.

The solution? Mix it up. Try new things. Keep busy. Move your life forward. Let someone else break your heart. After all, new wounds help you forget old wounds. I slap mosquito bites for the very same reason (addressing bites directly with a scratch only makes the irritation worse). Fresh pain makes the old pain seem far less imminent and important. Before long, you forget the old pain ever existed.

With enough practice and endurance, you can learn to move on without inducing new pain. Mosquito bites go away faster if you ignore them entirely. How about a new adage? “Selective memory heals all wounds.”

Why Do Choices Scare People?

Most people hate too many choices, in part because they are afraid to make the wrong one. I enjoy choices and the analytical process of breaking them down (anyone who shares a fine meal with me will understand this). Sometimes, however, too many choices get out of hand – you end up narrowing them down to a select few personal choices of your own (when overwhelmed, my defaults for Thai food are Panang Curry, Pad Thai, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Tom Yum Soup). From a consumer-facing position, assume your customers are terrified by choices and help them make the appropriate one. A series of options, binary logic, or a game of twenty questions can go a long way for narrowing things down. If gamified, the decision-making process can even be fun. As a consumer, know what you like, why you like it, and be flexible enough to discover new choices based on the key components of things you enjoy. Either way, choices do not have to be scary. Be prepared to help people get through them or be prepared to get through them yourself.

Accelerating Forward By Dropping Stuff

Sometimes the most effective way to move on in your life is to let things go. Identify the people, places, and things that make you unhappy or hold you back. Surmise a life without them and calculate out how to get there. Throw away the trash, any relics that tie you backward, your toxic environment, or regressive relationships. Dump all the weight on your shoulders over the side. Only then will you truly feel free to take the next step in full. The more you let go of at once, the more dramatic your acceleration forward will be.

Like monkey bars on a jungle gym, you must let go of the old to reach the new. Empty your pockets, cut the ropes, and ignore the shouts as you leap forward. The only person who can move you forward is you.

Goodbye, Los Angeles

Dear friends, I am taking a long break from Los Angeles. By the end of this week, I will no longer live in this city. My drive to help shape the web has inspired me to relocate to a city with greater density in the technology sector. With my passion for the Internet and ambition to smooth it into the future of the entertainment industry, It finally makes professional sense for me to move on. Moreover, I have resolved on a personal level to pursue a complete change of pace. I am young, have little to lose, and eager to explore the world outside Hollywood. I need to mix life up a little to challenge myself and grow.

After leaving Alloy Entertainment, my time filled with personal projects, rest, interviews, the exploration of Los Angeles, and time with friends. Last night, we threw a little going away party and had a blast. I have made so many great friends here over the last five years and desperately love you all. Please embrace the marvels of modern technology to stay in touch!

Waking Up On the Wrong Side of the Bed

Day off to a rough start? Now more than ever, do something life-changing. Do that thing you’ve never done and were always curious to do. Shake your core. Pump the base. Immerse yourself in an amazing spectacle. Do it now; do not wait.

Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is the perfect excuse to live on the other side of the bed. Don’t be yourself. And love the change of pace.