Wait, how many years of experience?

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.

Not me.

One of the most frustrating parts of life is the clear contrast between what is attainable via instant gratification, and what is not. One side, we can get music, Netflix, and a cute date at the touch of button. Boom. Voila. Minutes, even seconds, and we’re in.

Unfortunately, this approach does not apply to two rather big parts of our lives: building both relationships and your career (highly recommend Simon Sinek’s latest talk where he takes us through this trek). For this bad boy mini-post, let’s talk about the latter.

It is my (admittedly stubborn) belief that many fields are far from rocket science. Rocket science is certainly rocket science, but for many, especially in the constantly changing digital world, experience matters less and less. It’s so so so so so incredibly frustrating when you see the work, recognize the work, and think you can do the work (yes, this is THE most cliche overzealous Millennial belief, but yes, it needs to be said). Fundamental problem with this belief is that not too many current employers agree with it.

There is a common hard threshold for X+ number of years with the qualitative takeaways from those X number of years. Now, this is not ideal for many of us, I think for now we have to soak it in.

While thinking about how to expedite the learning significantly, I thought of a question that we can ask mentors or leaders or managers in your field. I think:

What parts of your X+ years of experience are most necessary to your position today?

It can be the general gist of this, but basically we’re trying to figure out which parts of this particular industry or job you must learn while getting tangible experience. The beauty of this answer is you can either 1) get those years of experience to learn Y or 2) focus everything you have on learning Y because you just found out what Y is.

It’s a win-win…

Now, back to my emoji game…

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The Bank Account Dilemma

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.

That’s my hand.

My bank account isn’t the sexiest of late, and even though I know why (short-term salary sacrifices for long-term growth), it still is a rather hideous site. Okay, not hideous, but far from Napa Wine Club membership. Yikes, that’s such a ridiculous California thing to say.

Point is, I usually don’t get discouraged about the old bank account. I can still maintain my apt in San Francisco (somehow, someway), pay for one round for the table (as long as they’re are five or less people), and occasionally buy a new sweater I may wear twice. These are all dandy, and I’m grateful for each. Where the poop hits the fan at this stage is when the trip ideas start coming into the group threads. New Orleans for Mardi Gras? “Down.” Seattle-Vancouver? “Legggo.” Coachella? “YAS.” Italy? “Why not?” and so and so forth. Our initial response is almost turnt all the time. We’re fired up. What kind of crazed not-living-life-to-the-fullest-not-heeding-drake’s-words kinda person would say no to such glorious ideas?

Well, unfortunately, that fired up response, for many, leads to a two-week later (yes, we pushed off some answers) response of “Wait, how much is this going to cost?” And this inevitably leads to your 😳 or 😔. Yep, “this is brutal” may also find its way into the conversation.

For better or worse, we are not at the peaks of our careers (unless you’re a professional athlete — seriously is there any other profession where it’s universally known to peak in your 20’s). This mountain will certainly have peaks (that nice bonus), but we’re not at the peak. So we must, well, sacrifice. Contrary to popular belief, we shouldn’t spend like we’re at the peak, when we’re not. We need to save, conserve, hustle, etc, etc.

BUT wait, what about FOMO?

What about our 30 year-old friend telling us how badly he wants to be back in our shoes?

What about the unfortunate futuristic sight of us looking back on what we DID NOT do but SHOULD HAVE (the most blasphemous words in the English language)?

I definitely don’t have all of the remedies, yet…What I try to remind myself is that FOMO leads to actual Fear. I’ve never seen a positive result from FOMO, so let’s immediately scratch that.

As for not missing out on anything, well, that’s up to your subsconscious (yes, our conscious will still second-guess everything). Don’t drop 2K going to EDC despite never having gone to a music festival, when your infatuation with Thai food and recent Thailand Kayak search prove you’d better spend your money on that SouthEast Asia trip.

It ain’t fun, easy, and certainly not winning over dates when your bank account lacks a few of the 0’s you’ve dreamt about (And on the left side of the decimal). But if you’re smart, go on four Bumble dates per month instead of eight, take a layover to Mexico instead of nonstop, and buy a Groupon massage instead of the hot-shot Ritz Carlton you snuck into — you will get through it and get to that GREEN CHEDDA MONEY CASH before you know it…

Still too many all caps…

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Stay Mindful in The Current Political Climate

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.

SF needs better beaches.

It’s a mess out there right now. A complete bloodbath on everything we value and as a result, our sanity is at risk. Besides our sanity, how about our time? It’s so easy to read every cringeworthy article, watch the horrible press conferences, and follow every Tweetstorm. It’s important to stay cognizant of the news, absolutely. Get involved, without a doubt. But, we also need to maintain our sanity or we’re going to lose all ability to function in the Resistance.

I think many of us are still figuring out our place within the Resistance, how to make sense of all of it, and what time of night to log off social media. To lighten the burden, we need to remember that we, Millennials, are used to craziness in our personal lives, I mean, it took an hour to figure out our brunch spot last week! As such, the best way we deal with that craziness is a somewhat similar to the method to handle this craziness: mindfulness. That’s right, mindfulness. Mindfulness will help us stay sane and alert. It will allow us to stay aware, yet avoid spiraling out of control. Most importantly, it will get us off Twitter.

Don’t think too many of you are in the mood for a lengthy morning bun, so I thought I’d just list them off (maybe, just maybe you could fill in the blank with keys I missed). The following are fool proof ya’ll and in no particular order:

  • Write in a grateful diary
  • Fall in love
  • Download the app Freedom
  • Get involved in your community
  • Have sex
  • Practice yoga
  • Meditate (Calm over Headspace)
  • Laugh until you cry
  • Do improv
  • Read a fantasy novel
  • Watch HBO’s Entourage
  • Go on long runs by the beach
  • Spend more time with friends & family.
  • ____________

Phew, it was therapeutic just listing off the therapeutically mindful ways to stay sane in Trump’s America. We can do this, fam, but it ain’t going to be easy. We’ll grin, pull our hair out, argue with coworkers for no reason, lose hope, lose even more hope and find immense confusion at every personal & macro level. By practicing mindfulness through your own formula, you can ease that sour burden just a twang.

Just a twang…

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How to Build The Empire

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.

Resembles the wolf pack.

Alright, alright, alright! This post is about FRANNNNDS! We all love our FRANNNDS. Whether it’s a bad date or an overly expensive bar cover (I forgot cash), our friends will be there to support us through it all. While relationships bring uncertainty, friendships bring stability. There is no guessing game with your squad (except for your one buddy’s questionable choice to play Drake at every single pregame). They’re here and a part of your burgeoning young professional network, or as I like to call it your empire.

Now, I’ve been very, incredibly, wonderfully blessed during my first couple years in the Bay Area to find amazing friends. On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve heard a few #firstworldproblems of some of my peers in other cities stressing how annoying it is to find someone: “I do not want to go on Bumble BFF…ever again.”

So how can you avoid Bumble BFF? Here is what I recommend to start building that circle of trust, the OG squad, and eventually, the empire:

Always have one ongoing class/club

It could be a coding class you hate, a foreign language class you’re failing, or even Improv — find one ongoing, 1x a week activity outside of work.

Roommates best be from different schools

Look, we all love our college friends, but they will always be there. When you room with 1–2 others from different schools, you instantly gain two entirely separate networks just within your apartment!

Throw a massive birthday party and invite everyone

This is a no-brainer. No event can bring in all of your “we’re friends, but I never see them” friends like a rager of a birthday party. Make it happen.

Shoot the “yo, been awhile. what’s good?” text once a week

Look at your Facebook friends within your city and you’ll notice so many people you haven’t seen in “a minute.” Just shoot the text to catch up, and you won’t regret it.

Join the massive yuppie Facebook group in your city (like this one)

The forward-thinking of brunch-frequenting urban app-swiping (insert another buzzword) young professionals will start a Facebook group for like-minded people. Most of the posts will be about housing (still a pretty good use case), but it doesn’t have to stop there. Great way to meet peeps (or post your Mannequin Challenge to increase #reach).

Go to that family friend dinner you don’t really want to go to

Sometime, your parents may intervene in your social life despite being on a separate coast. It could even be forcing you a (Gasp) Shabbat dinner, an awkward coffee meetup, and you’ll be prodded to go see that family friend you never really loved in the first place. Only one answer here: go.

Find a group in your company far from your department at work

I joined a Toastmasters group at work, where we give fun speeches and spiels on practically anything. There is NO ONE on my team at these meetings (thank the lord). Big or small companies, find a group. No groups? Create one.

Plan weekend trips with 15–20 people

Our weekends are blitzes in the R-Dubbs, which is why the best time to get to know someone might be for an extended weekend trip. Instead of three pregames with that person over a one month span (roughly 8 cumulative hours), spend the weekend together (a whopping 48 hours)!

Classpass buddies

Whether you really have a crush on your Vinyasa teacher or you’re just trying to work on that Downward dog, Classpass affords us wonderful opportunities. Unless you really need the solo run to schmooze with the teacher, yoga is better with friends.

Alumni events actually don’t suck

When you instantly delete or deny the invite for the latest Alumni event, you are instantly becoming that guy too cool for school. I’ve been that guy, and it sucks. Seriously, it’s a no-brainer to try and hit up these alumni events (Did I mention most events have free booze?).

Say hello to the stranger at the bar

No lie, one of my closest friends is the result of one of my other friends simply saying “what’s good?” to him at the bar. Who would have thought you could pick up friends at a bar?

Follow those steps, and you are well on your way to the Marcus Aurelius reign in your city. Empires are not built in a day, but with the right amount of group threads, “bro calendars,” and wide variety of greetings (I recommend the bold “hey, what’s going on?” over the critically acclaimed “hey, how are you?”), you will be on your way.

Just going to close with typing the word “Empire” one more time…

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Master of None: Revisited

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.

The legend.

So I rewatched Master of None over the weekend. As I said in Brunch Media’s first ever blog post , it continues to be the best televised description of modern relationships. Seriously, I cringed at the scene brushing your teeth next to each other, yelling over Rotten Tomatoes rankings, and most importantly, stressing about your future. Master of None’s depiction on 2017 romance might as well be a documentary on typical urban dating-app swiping Millennials. Truly amazing.

I could list endless relatable quotes, scenes, outfits from the movie, but that would take you into your 9am meeting to finish reading.

So here are a few of my favorite quotes just from the last two episodes alone:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

No description needed, the scene is powerful, song incredible, and book noteworthy.

“Time in our life to do crazy shit is winding down.”

I think I heard this line five times on Saturday night alone. This is a constant subconscious thought for many of my urban Millennial peers. Six years left in my 20’s, five years left in my 20’s, and so on, so forth. It’s a scary realization that can either cause a newfound spirit of “YOLO” or overthinking the future.

“Shouldn’t you be at 100%?”

Are we ever 100% sure with anything? Absolutely not. When Dev, Aziz’s character, freaks out over Rachel’s “70%” sure remark — we clearly know the feeling. Whether it’s our job, relationship or the dilemma over bottomless mimosas, I don’t think we’re ever fully onboard. Nothing is perfect, and we all share this belief. Once we come to terms with not being alone in this situation, it’ll help lighten the stress when it all turns into a mess.

“As you get older, the road becomes clearer. Less excitement”

It’s true, it’s true, team! As much as we brush it off, it’s impossible not to think about the routine stages of life: go to college, work, get married, have kids, grow old, etc, etc. This is the predetermined path the world has allotted for happiness. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m on board — I think creating a family is the ultimate human legacy (I mean, we’re all just organisms after all). With that said, I don’t like this outlook. We should and MUST be able to find the excitement at every stage. We knew college would end in four years (well, some of us), yet we maximized every part of the experience (see I’m Schmacked video). I try to tell myself that everyday.

“Long term relationships are tough. You can’t just expect a big, roaring fire right away, right? You know, you can’t put the big logs in first. You start with the small stuff. Kindling, all right? Then you add that, *then* you put in the big logs and *then* you have a roaring fire. And that’s a good relationship. But be careful, sometimes kindling is hard to find, you know? Good wood. So, don’t take it for granted.”

Wooooo, this is the doozy. No relationships are straightforward. All are ambiguous campfires you try to support with the right balance of S’mores, logs, and fuzzy PJ’s. Some may start fast, lose steam, pick up again, only to flail out over the horizon. The key in modern relationships is to be able to deal with the expected ambiguity, plus the adversity that comes along with it. If you create the foundation, brace yourself for honest/open communication, then, you should be well-equipped to maintain the fire. If the open communication is frowned upon, or worse, shunned, well, you are looking at a red flag among red flags beginning with “self” and ending with “ish.” In a relationship, both of you need to be willing to put in the effort to make it work (aka not freak out when things go astray). If it’s not going that way, well, there is a fire extinguisher over there.

“I don’t know how long I’m going for.”

At the end of the show, we see Dev decide to take off for Italy. When asked how long he’s going for, you see his well-thought out response above. It’s a powerful statement, and speaks to all of our internal “fuck it, let’s travel the world for a year” mentalities popping up every so often. We only have one life, so why force it into societal pressured timeframes? Dev leaves us behind in America ailing with our “what if” personal thoughts.

As you can tell, I LOVE this show. Obsessed, obsessed, obsessed. If you haven’t seen it before, you need to make it happen. If you have, you also need to make it happen and brace up for Season 2’s release later this year.

On a final note, I believe no media brand (cough cough) has yet to hit the ball out of the park with regards to authentic depictions, self-validation, and relatable Emojis for modern urban Millennials. If it happens, I have a feeling our favorite meal will be in the title.

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What to do when you hear “I Don’t Want a Relationship”

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.

“We need to talk”

A common question some people ask me is what to say when you hear early on while you’re dating someone a few scary words: “Just so you know, I’m not looking for a relationship right now.” It’s certainly no slouch of a phrase to say, and immediately may cause a couple internal gasps, a bathroom break, and a string cheese from the fridge. Things were going so well, you think, then this explosion of a bombshell. Well, it happened, and it’s hard to make sense of it. While on one side, you respect it. You’re telling me where I stand and not playing the passive aggressive BS we hear from time-to-time. I respect it, reminds me of my not-so-passive aggressive home on the East Coast, and gives me something to work with. THANK YOU!

But on the other side, you start questioning everything. Well, if she really thinks that, then what’s the point? Why would I continue with something doomed to draw me in deeper and potentially hurt me more? Or maybe she’s in denial? Or being defensive? Contradictory? Facetious? Ridiculous? Funny? And so on. See, you don’t have the faintest clue what is in her mind at the time and that makes this hard to deal with.

This happened for me before my last relationship started. The initial drawback happened, it was tough, and I moved on. Then, she reached back out genuinely with regret, eager to try to make us work, and how she now appreciated the potential. It worked, we got back together (even though I mentioned the flip-flops gotta stop), and it turned into a great experience. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one second-guessing.

I think it really can go either way, sometimes, people are kind, honest people, who generally don’t want you to get your hopes up. Then, there are others who may just be scared, understandably, because well, relationships, are a HUGE deal. You’re literally sharing your life, bed, Panasonic toothbrush, room temperature choice and Netflix & chill suggestions with them. One of those alone would freak anyone out used to being single or just got out of a relationship — yup, pretty much everyone. If this is the case, you just have to be empathetic and try to make it work. Keep the fire going for a few more weeks, Netflix & Chill at least two more times, go out with each other’s friends, hit up an EDM concert or two…and then, whenever your “then” is, if it’s still the same situation, and you want someone all in, it’s important to move on, as hard as that might be (find good friends who see the situation objectively).

Just give it a chance…

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Yes, I’m ready to fight


I’ll admit it; I’m a late bloomer to the political involvement & social justice movements. Sure, I cared, read the news, and argued my opinions with friends, but I never actually took the proactive steps to get involved.

But then, I started to Tweet, and Tweet often about the wide range of issues with this country and world today. The Tweeting was fun, especially with the latest GIF, but then the followers (okay, my friends & family) started lambasting me with the “Stop Tweeting and do something about it.” Initially, I’d go with my favorite response “Yeah, but I love talking and schmoozing” or some variation about digital discourse. They started to respond with “🙄” and then ____ (that’s right, getting ignored). So I realized how cheap, effortless talk is today. It’s the bane of the social media era, we (myself included) believe our long Facebook posts that always start with “I usually don’t post about politics but…” will create the change we want. It’s the classic, instant gratification seeking Millennial belief that will actually get us nowhere, I’ve now come to realize.

This realization led to me joining the Women’s March on Saturday (probably my first ever march) in the pouring rain, chanting, protesting, singing, yelling with hundreds of thousands of people — one of the most profound human experiences of my life. It became addicting to join these passionate people fighting for what they (and now we) believe in. I’m hooked, addicted, and ready to keep the momentum. I even signed up to join Swing Left, an organization focused on communicating with people in swing districts. So not only do I get to volunteer, I still get to schmooze with people who disagree with me — jackpot. Who would have thought I’d be able to use words as my weapon?

I always thought getting involved in politics and social causes would be this huge operation I’d have to plan months, if not years, in advance. Nope, it’s actually a few clicks, one hashtag, and two events away from getting real.

I’m tired of seeing how fucked up our government is. I’m sick of common sense “issues” still getting debated. I’m sick of Tweeting, but not doing.


The Paradox of Our Journey

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.


“Stay Committed In Your Decisions, But Flexible in Your Approach”

That’s exactly what I try to repeat to myself when I flounder around with my career path decisions. I get the quote, I really do, but how does that bring accountability to the wrong decisions we make? Is there a such thing as a wrong decision? How would I know? What’s been rattling my ear lately is the open path in front of me, and all of us for that matter. It’s both a blessing (yay, no more credits to complete!) and a curse (wait, both of those jobs look awesome!).

It’s easy for us to take a job, or move to a city, and go to a brunch — but how do we make sure “right” substitutes for the “a” in all of the above. Quite frankly, this one is tough and I don’t think it’s easy to grasp. On one side of my shoulder a voice (very smooth, articulate, basically the maitre’d at an underground jazz bar) is saying stay committed to your dream destination and follow the journey that takes you there. On the other shoulder, a voice (incredibly shrill, distasteful, basically the lunch lady serving meatloaf) is telling me to pay the bills, build a career for a reputable organization, and the “Ego” for thinking the former can be a destination is an enemy (cc @ryanholiday). Both voices have merit, and even the former voice may ebb and flow with the latter from time to time.

The point is, it’s really difficult to figure out the path for us. Yes, we create our own destiny, and yes, we slowly hone in on the specifics by crossing paths off the list, BUT I think all of us fret about reaching age 30 and looking back on a decade of complete wavering, no foundation, and our overlooked DNA for the wrong paths.

Okay, there is a lot to process there so let me break it down. If we have 100 different route options we think will take us to our destination, how do we figure out the right routes? Sure, we can talk to mentors, research, ask the right questions, yada, yada yada. I get all of that, but what I don’t get is the impending doom for going off track. I take an analyst job to pay the bills tomorrow, I’m miserable in a year, and then I’m another year off the path. Or is off the path just my path? See, that’s where it gets tricky.

As you can probably tell by now, I’m coming to an important crossroads in my own life. I’ve come to certain conclusions recently: what I want to do with my life (you reading my blog is 1/10 of the answer to give you some perspective), how the instant gratification I get in my Netflix selection are not doable career-wise (no choice but to put in the time), and how the world forces don’t give a shit about what I want to do with my life (yes, only I can make it happen), but I’m certainly in flux for how to get there. This “flux” causes me to worry, which I shouldn’t, and overthink, which I also shouldn’t. It takes us back to the microcosm of the entire life trajectory: a path versus the right path. How do you balance opportunities with the path you chose…if the opportunity takes you off path from the goal?

More I see it, it takes me back to the opening quote: develop my destination, but don’t hold onto it if opportunities take me off the beaten path. A new destination may appear, not necessarily less sexy or desirable, just different. At that point, we only one choice: embrace it.

On this bad boy, for my few but voracious readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How do you balance placing trust with the journey versus proactively ripping the journey apart to get what you want (which may push you even further from what you want)?

How do you maintain your destination as the journey ebbs and flows along the way?

How do you stay committed in your decisions, but flexible in your approach?

More on this topic to come…

Sporadic Summarizing Thoughts on President Barack Obama

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.

This guy is cool!

Alright, I’m going to try my hardest to not get teary-eyed recapping Obama’s legacy after just watching his remarkable Farewell Address. I could fill out pages, probably books, with compliments to heap on that man: classy, convicted, resolute, intelligent, fervent, inspirational — you name it. I could do that, but I’ll let every mainstream media outlet do that, so I thought I’d add a personal element for just how much Barack Obama meant to me personally: profound, not revolutionary.

Barack Obama impacted all of us in different ways. We each carry our unique passions, fears, attitudes leading to a diverse outlook on a legendary public figure. For some, he may have influenced our decisions to enter politics, social affairs, community work. For many, he may have forced us to think twice about leadership, motivation, and humility.

Even within that subgroup, Barack Obama’s influence on us may be different. For me, the answer is clear: his presence. The way he conducted himself both on and off the screen. His charisma is, quite frankly, unrivaled. As an extrovert with drabbles of charisma (the only horn-tooting here), I was consistently blown away by Obama’s dynamic personality. What a fricken personality this guy had .

This man had class — the way he treated visiting Presidents and the High School Janitor with the same dignity, respect, and interest. I think we all (even you, my introverted friends) can take notes from that play — all people deserve our time.

This man had flair — it would seriously be difficult to think of too many entertainers, musicians, and actors (you know, the ones where charisma is their job) with more of that natural rhythm, the integrity, the charm of Obama (funny enough, he was the only non-traditional comedian featured on Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”).

This man had skills — when speaking in front of audiences, how could you not fall for the subtle jokes, the patience, the eloquence displayed exuberantly every time? Like Jerry Seinfeld performing standup, Stephen Colbert hosting his show, or Greg Popovic in the locker room, Obama and the stage behind the podium was his playing field…and boy did he play.

This man defied the odds — It’s crazy to me how Barack Obama is a human just like you or I. He certainly eats, I’m sure he poops, and by all means, sleeps (well, most of the time).

Alright, let’s backtrack a second (sorry I couldn’t help the “poop” joke). I need to say it again: Barack Obama is one human being. His impact feels much bigger than one single man, right?

Well, for all of the followers, the policies, the treaties, the bills, the mentees, none discount the number of profiles for Barack Obama’s Twitter account: one. That’s right, even Obama just as easily could have lived a conventional human life. He could have made different decisions, not necessarily worse, but just different. He could have lacked any conviction whatsoever this was a path for him. He certainly could have. But he didn’t — thanks to an unmatched inner management & belief system (you know, his mind). This powerful system could not allow his mind to fathom a typical life with the typical experiences and the typical impact. This system made all of the difference. This sytem certainly willed his way to the road less traveled.

Better yet, it led him to the road almost never traveled; becoming President of the United States just might be the most atypical human experience there is (I’m sure the % of humans in the world who have been this is .000000000000000000000000001%).

An atypical experience for an atypical man that could have just as easily turned out typical.

Barack Obama’s existence as one person like you and I has to serve as motivation. He’s not a superhuman, yet he quite literally changed the world. Folks will think “aw shucks” do you know how hard it is to become POTUS? Well, Barack Obama is living proof (especially to you Gen Z’ers) it’s not impossible to be President of the United States. Same goes for a CEO of a major company, director of a transnational nonprofit, Olympic swimmer— it’s just really, really, really, really, ridiculously difficult. Still not impossible.

What Maggie Rogers’ Life-Changing Moment Tells Us

The Morning Bun: Quick blurbs with a fresh take on our young professional lives that we would probably share over mimosas…if it were not a weekday.

Sub in Joe’s Jeans and that’s me

Another day, another pop culture story I’m embarrassingly late to discover. This time, it’s the discovery of Maggie Rogers by Pharrell Williams (and soon thereafter, the world) in the Masterclass Youtube video. I was surprisingly deeply moved by the video, not just by her magnificent voice, but the reaction of Pharrell, of her, the teacher — the intangibles. To witness someone’s “big break” happening in real-time is truly a treat. When we read Wikipedia pages for some of our most iconic figures, we typically read about that one role or promotion that changed the game. That was the launchpad. This helped her turn a corner. Etc. Etc. We get the dialogue, but rarely the image, or even the video for this significant event. Lo and behold, Maggie’s serendipitous big break in front of soon-to-be millions of viewers was truly breathtaking. Seeing Pharell’s bewildered look as the song progresses takes you to Maggie’s eyes — how can you not feel immense happiness for this extraordinarily talented young woman inching closer to her dreams? It’s impossible not to.

I really believe in life-defining moments. I believe in them. I believe in epiphanies, powerful events, game-defining relationships, wondrous accomplishments standing above the pack as impactful in your life. Watching Maggie’s personal moment shows us is that even in an awfully cynical world, magical outcomes still exist. Fairytale endings are not completely fan fiction. If we put in the work, set ourselves up for that big break, and develop the conviction, it could be inevitably just around the corner. But only if you believe it’s close…and then get Pharrell to cry.