Esperanza Spalding on Letterman

This was a few months ago. But I’m glad to know that she’s hitting the mainstream. She’s seriously the best music find I’ve discovered this year. Hands down. Has an excellent voice, great stage presence and a talent of the first order.

A story about my tennis coach

Story

I’m always talking about him, because he’s truly an astounding person. It was great to see him recently and of course, he omitted this outstanding honor to cap off an amazing career. He’s a humble guy, though.

In any case, the story was interesting and it’s just great to google him and found something so super. I still say my high school tennis team story would make a great screenplay. :)

The Deepness Conundrum

The pressure to find meaning in everything we say is all around us. Whether it’s at work amongst our colleagues and superiors, at home with our friends and family or online with our net associates, it seems that everyone is always looking for tasty morsels of wisdom. It can be hard to keep track of it all, much less know if anything you’re saying actually makes any sense.

It drives some of us to start blogs to flesh out our thoughts and confirm whether or not we actually know what we think we do.

It can be a difficult thing to put yourself through, always trying to figure out what others are thinking, seeking feedback from whoever is willing to give it. The pressure can be unnecessary and will often cause you to chase false leads and pursue ideas that aren’t what you want, simply because you want to give the things people say equal weight.

I decided to start treating people’s thoughts and comments like currency valuation. Not all currencies are worth the same thing. Neither are unsolicited or deep thoughts from people who offer their opinions. Some you weigh equally with your own thoughts and insights and others, you value like the Zimbabwean dollar.

I find it very helpful to get feedback from other people. But I also find that it can often distort my own ideas and at certain times, turns into static cling rather than content with actual meaning and value. If I’m not careful, I can allow it to distract my priorities and send me on a wild goose chase trying to reconfigure my plans unnecessarily.

I’ve gotten better about it over the years in entrepreneurship and in life, but getting distracted by outside influence won’t go away and it won’t be something you can always ignore. I’ve just tried to learn that prioritizing and toning down the need for feedback on things where your gut, experience and intuition should lead the way, are the key to being true to myself and accomplishing more.

And I just realized, ultimately, that you just can’t be deep every day. Even if you want to be.

Karina ~ First Love

Karina

Karina Pasian hit the pop scene with the decidedly weighty departure from the teen bubblegum world with the single 16@War, uttering the line “Ain’t no daddies where I’m from, it’s just mad mothers…”
Signed to Def Jam before Jay-Z left, Karina is backed by strong production, few cameos and a good voice and background pianos that make it sound like the label is trying to pitch her as a younger version of Alicia Keys.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. The album starts off with a fresher, pop feel to it and starts to slow down towards the end, giving her a chance to show off her talents on a variety of tracks.

The debut release from the young artist lacks depth, but each track is pretty well produced and Pasian more than holds her own vocally. Standout tracks include Baby Baby (featuring the usually loathsome Lil Mama), Slow Motion and the title track First Love.
A strong debut by an artist who is a fresh shot in the arm for the R&B scene.

[rating: 4]

Stop watching the clock

I like to have time to do particular projects I set out to do in a day. So when I look up at the clock and see that it’s later than I’d like, I sometimes get discouraged. I usually start a mental loop of all of the things I wanted to do, how I didn’t have enough time and how it’s frustrating to me.

But then it occurred to me that I needed to stop watching the clock. When you let a clock rule the creative process, you’ve already lost.

Instead, I try to prioritize:

1. Think about what you want to do.
2. Plot small signpost goals along the way.
3. Focus on meeting your goals, rather than beating yourself up about what didn’t work right.

It might not always work as I intend, but I find it’s a good way to refocus myself on the things that are important, which makes me more productive in the end.

Blogging imitiates reality

So I write this post and then a few weeks later, magically, I get notice that Web Editor and I are being moved to a newly created area within the IT department on campus, called Web and New Media Services.

It’s actually a really good change and no, I had nothing to do with, nor did any of my blogging I bet. But I’ll take it. Not so much for anything related to my personal situation (It’s an instance where I liked where I was and like where I’m going…and nothing really changes about my role other than what building I go to each day) but, it’s a good change for the cause of recognizing the increased importance of the web on campuses. So I’m all for that.

Here’s the description. Continue reading

Love In The Time of Twitter

The post has nothing really to do with romantic love, unless you consider loving what you do to be romantic.

It can be so hard, in this post-millennial, winner-take-all, credit-crunched society to really take the time to stop and assess exactly what you want out of all of this when it’s over.

I mean, I think we all have things that we’re trying to accomplish; all of us have goals that we want to reach at various points of our lives.

If I could boil down the three things that confound me on a regular basis, it would be as simple as:

1. Why am I doing this?
2. What do I really want to do?
3. How am I going to do it?

Happiness never factors into why I choose to do the things that I do. Or at least, it never did until now.

I realize that trying to rush down the yellow brick road of going to the “best schools” and stretching yourself to get the “best job title” that will make you “more money” and get you “more prestige” is a foolhardy exercise for me.

I think we all have to recognize — to reach a point — where we can wake up and just be plum happy and satisfied with where we are, while continuing to strive and reach for all of the things that we decide are important.

I think college is a tricky time, because you’re meeting all of these eclectic, diverse people. You have deep conversations, learn tons and are able to network and grow organically. Then you’re faced with a world that’s not really ready for you and are basically left to figure things out. It’s not so much that it’s “hard” as much as you constantly find yourself in a battle wondering the “right” way to go about things.

It all boils down to:

1. You should wake up and do what makes you happy. Every day.
2. All of the hard work in the world, still might not be enough. So don’t put all of your eggs on one basket, because sometimes you might fall down.
3. Be honest with yourself. Even when you don’t want to. It’ll make things a lot easier.

I think that it can be really easy to get caught up in imagining how life was “supposed to be” when you were a kid. I know, when I was young, I always assumed my parents would live in the same house that I grew up, that my grandparents would always be around the corner and that things would be pretty much as they were forever. Then as I grew up from teenager to adult, everything changed. My grandparents died, my parents moved and got divorced and things just became different. It’s life, we all have stories of our own that have molded our experiences.

What provides the most comfort for me, moving forward, is knowing that everything I seek to accomplish is within my grasp. That even when it seems like nothing works, that there are barriers everywhere and no book can really give me any insight into what I should feel or ought to do; when no friend can provide the “right” advice and religion doesn’t provide the salve to the wounds that you need…it seems you can bring it all together by thinking about what I’ve accomplished to this point.

No one can really tell you what you want for yourself, you have to just know it. I don’t think that part is hard, I think what challenges us is believing that we can do it. To know that you are indeed good enough.

Well you are, so stop waiting and just make it happen. Even if you don’t know how. Which reminds me of something that my friend’s brother said to her last year:

“I like that you always start things completely from scratch, and once you decide what you want to do, you don’t let anything stop you. Not even practicality, or the fact that you have no clue what you’re doing.”