ARCHIVE: NEWSLETTERS [2019]​

(NOT-SO) SURPRISING ENDINGS

Life is full of surprises. How we meet someone. How we grow our career. How we build our companies. How we live our lives. Where we end up. It’s the end of the year and no matter how much we seem to plan, there is always a bucket full of surprises. Or is there?

WHY OFFICE FRIENDSHIPS MATTERS

A 2018 study in Future Workplace showed that 1 out of 10 people have no friends at work and more than half have 5 or fewer. That’s sad considering 70% of employees say friends at work are the most crucial element to a happy working life.

HOW DO I GET COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE?

Uncomfortable things can make us feel uneasy, scared and out of control. Fear seems to hang out with discomfort. How can fear be a good thing? Isn’t fear the opposite of joy?

HOLD ON TO PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN YOU AS WHO YOU ARE

Not the ones who reach out to you because of your title, company, age, gender or race.

The ones who are there to support you when others thought your dreams were too big or daunting.

The ones who were not afraid to give you critical feedback because they know sugarcoating things won’t help you improve.

EMBRACING EMOTIONS

Can you guess why he was crying while driving back home? This was the question a couple posed to their friends on a reality TV show as they shared about their journey of parenthood. The friends, also being parents themselves, did all the guessing – perhaps they had a fight, or a bad day, and many more. The couple shook their heads. Then someone made a point about how the guy tends to be emotional and how much he loves music, particularly children’s music. “That’s right,” said the wife. Then the TV host played the music. It was a children’s song full of positivity that told a story of a father and daughter relationship.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

Is it when you receive a coveted prize? When everyone in the street recognizes you? When you have a billion dollars? When you can go on a vacation whenever you like?

SAYING THANK YOU, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

How often do we forget to value the daily moments in our life until we lose it?

The access to power, clean water, safe home, and even wifi. We take too many of these invaluable daily accesses for granted until things fall apart. The days when you have to face broken AC, power outage, water-leaking ceilings, and wifi outage.

JUST A REVIEW

How often have you let opinions of others influence your decisions? I am an open-minded person but I mostly do things based on what I think is best.

THE SAND IN MY HAND

At first, it feels contradictory. The tighter I hold onto a cup of sand in my hand, the harder it is to contain it. Same with water. The harder I try, the quicker it leaves my grip. But it is easier to hold on to the mediums if I reverse my action.

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT AND DAZZLING

What does your perfect career look like? What about your perfect partner, a perfect friend, and a perfect life? Would it be a life without troubles, worries, and struggles? A happy ending that is great to share on social media?

YES, IT’S FREE AND CONVENIENT!

How many of us are used to relying on these free resources? How many of us want things to be easier and more convenient each day? I know the economist part of me understands how there is no such thing as “free lunch”. But from social media, apps, to news articles online, I do not have to swipe my card to access information.

THE COURAGE TO STAY HONEST

Today marks an important milestone for me as a writer and Founder of InnovatorsBox. This is our 100th newsletter!!!

This is big because when I first started writing and sending our newsletters in Spring 2016, I was scared. As someone who gets about hundreds emails a day, I wanted to make sure I was not creating another noise in this digital world.

WHO IS THIS FOR, REALLY?

I felt a dilemma as I reread Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. When you create something, who are you creating it for? For yourself or for your audience? Elizabeth shares that writing Big Magic was largely for herself and not just for others, and explained how that helped her bring out the quality she wanted and not just a well-marketed book.

TOO MANY CHOICES.

I thought that deciding what courses to take in school was one of the hardest choices I had to make due to all the options we had. All the classes we can take. And all the classes we may not take. But who knew buying even bread or yogurt could be this complicated with all the options we have?

I’M RIGHT 99% OF THE TIME

That’s how we feel especially in a heated conversation.

It’s fair, right? Since we would only say things that we know to be true and we have thought through carefully what this is before we said it out loud. And who is to say my opinion, perspective, and experience is lesser than yours or others….is probably the train of thoughts we unconsciously have when we think ‘I am right 99% of the time.’ But the math doesn’t add up. If we all think we are right, then where does that leave for a room of error?

ARE YOU LIVING FOR YOUR RESUME OR YOUR EULOGY?

What will you put on your eulogy? Whatever you write in your eulogy the truth is it will likely be very different from what you would write in your resume.

I’ve read articles on this topic a few times that intrigued me but the one that particularly rang close to me was the 2013 piece that Arianna Huffington wrote. “The eulogy is the foundational document of our legacy, of how people remember us, of how we live on in the minds and hearts of others,” said Huffington.

LEARNING HOW TO HEAL SO YOU CAN STAND UP AGAIN

Doing anything new is risky and scary. Even with calculated risk and good planning, you have no guarantee in the result. Yet without change, you cannot expect things to improve. And at times, despite your good intentions, someone will disagree and find faults in your actions. That’s old news, you may say. But how much do you know about how to heal your emotional wounds?

TAKE A DIFFERENT SEAT

Where do you usually sit? When you walk into a meeting, get on the bus, or when you attend an event? We are creatures of habits. We like sitting where we were before.

It’s where we feel comfortable, the view is what we are used to. That’s ok – but why not change it once in a while?

LANGUAGE MATTERS

How you say it. When you say it. And what you say. It all matters.

If you agree to support your team to be creative, how are you delivering that message?
If you want to encourage your team to take risks, how are you communicate that space and possibility to them?

WOULD/COULD/SHOULD VS DID

What could you do?
What should your team do?
What would you do?

What did you do?

Words matter. Actions matter.

What did you do and what will you continue to do in 2019? Here is a poem to reflect today.

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION THAT WILL LAST

Too often, we let go of our goals by the end of Q1. How do we break that pattern? What can we do better to make it possible for us to move mountains? We don’t know what we don’t know but perhaps we can learn a few things from our past.

LET’S MOVE MOUNTAINS IN 2019

A lot of things looked impossible until someone did it.

Marathon runners like Usain Bolt who disproves old science that there is a limit to how fast humans can run. Entrepreneurs like Walt Disney who made dreams a reality even if it cost him to be homeless and going bankrupt at one point. Youth leaders like Malala Yousafzai who reminds us there is no age limit to making a world impact.