Showing posts from 2014

The Black and White Journey

I am little delayed here on this, but as they say ‘better late than never’. Music has always been my passion in many different ways. I love listening to music, I love playing instruments, I love dancing, and I love everything about music.
I will save my singing in the choir and dancing stories for another time. For now, I want to focus on playing instruments. When I was in 4th grade, music was one of the elective courses, and I decided to start out in the school band. My band teacher first put me on flute. I think learned the flute for no more than a month when he decided that maybe the clarinet was a better instrument for me. Clarinet also didn’t work out after about few weeks, so he transferred me to the school orchestra, and I picked up the violin. Learning and playing the violin was one of the best experiences of my life, and I genuinely regret not continuing with the violin past middle school / high school. We had a great teacher, Mr. Smith, who was devoted to music and he taught…

Robin Williams Park Scene from Good Will Hunting

So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the Pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right: 'Once more into the breach, dear friends.' But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, and watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd pr…

Mind Set and Discipline

I am not the type of person that likes to live in a routine. I like dealing with new things, taking on new challenges, pushing myself to do better. I think about this on a daily basis, not just once a month or once every few months. There are few things that have been consistently running in my head for few days about pushing myself to do better. 
The first one bring me back to me Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. It comes down to 'Survival of the Fittest'. Charles Darwin believed that animals that were most suited for the changing environment would be best fitted to survive. I think in today's world, this is a very accurate theory that applies to individuals, relationships, businesses, you name it. I want to call this the 'Survival of the Adept'' because I believe that people who have the ability to positively respond to change are the people that will succeed. Individuals have to be flexible, open to new experiences, and be able to respond and adjust…

12 Pieces Of Valuable Life Advice From The Greatest Commencement Speeches Of All Time

J.K. Rowling said that you must not fear failure, no matter how grim things get.Steve Jobs told graduates they must never settle.Conan O'Brien said that you must be willing to adapt to change and adjust your dreams.Robert Krulwich told graduates that they should not wait for opportunities to be handed to them.Oprah Winfrey said that you must learn to trust yourself.David Foster Wallace told graduates to never forget that they are part of a much greater existence.Stephen Colbert said that life is an improvisation, not something that can be figured out.Sheryl Sandberg told graduates to not over think it when life hands you an opportunity.Kurt Vonnegut told graduates that they must refrain from holding grudges.Ellen DeGeneres told graduates that true success is about being true to yourself.Neil Gaiman warned that success can be more dangerous than failure.Ann Patchett emphasized the importance of self-reflection.
Resource: 12 Pieces Of Valuable Life Advice From The Greatest Commenceme…

Dealing with Difficult Times

Over the years, I have become a lot less emotional than I use to be. Age may be a factor, but I think there are many other elements that contribute to this, including life experiences, choices, and circumstances. I have learned to let go, to constructively deal with situations, and to be resilient. The most important competencies I have developed are fortitude and resiliency.
I have been through a lot, and in good ways and bad, I have learned different lessons that contribute to who I am today. Sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for what I have overcome, how much I have achieved, and the potential I have. I am a strong, independent, and hard working woman, and I have the motivation, ability, and discipline to do whatever I set my mind on.
Here are some things I consistently find myself doing when I am dealing with difficult times: Listening to Music: I absolutely love music. I put in my headphones and disappear in another world when I am listening to music. The music helps me…

The 2% Mindset


Al Pacino's Inch By Inch speech from Any Given Sunday

I don't know what to say really.  Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble. Inch by inch play by play till we're finished. We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. One inch, at a time.
Now I can't do it for you. I'm too old. I look around and I see these young faces and I think I mean I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make. I uh....I pissed away all my money believe it or not. I chased off anyone who has ever loved me. And lately, I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror.
You know when you get old in life things get taken from you. That's, that's part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game life or football…

Sylvester Stallone's Keep Moving Forward speech from Rocky Balboa

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. 
But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. 
But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you, no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. 
But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a l…

Creative Thinking (TI Speech Project 8 from CC)

Competent Communicator Project #8 Get Comfortable With Visual Aids Visual aids help an audience understand and remember what they hear. Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and audience, and use them with ease and confidence.5-7 Minutes
Opening  Let’s start with a clean slate, and clear up a myth: “Creativity is not just art, it’s a way of thinking about anything and everything.” When you hear the word creativity, 99% of the time, people associate it with art, rather than a way of thinking.   Today, I want to spend some time talking about creative thinking, and how we can improve our creative thinking skills. Let’s define Creativity: read the definition from the slide Body Critical Thinking vs. Creative Thinking Seems like traditional left brain right brain I think when you are solving problems, making personal or business decisions, you have to utilize both parts of your brain to collate information and come up with a novel solution and look at things critically and creati…

Content Marketing (TI Speech Project 7 from CC)

Competent Communicator Project #7 Research Your TopicUse information collected from various sources, and carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples and illustrations. 5-7 Minutes
Traditionally, marketing was advertising…. commercials, newspaper ads, posters. In this information age, it’s more about ‘content marketing’.

What is Content Marketing? ‘Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and content to attract and acquire an audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action..Creating and curating content with the intention of impact consumer behavior.Content Examples: Blogs, Webcasts and Podcasts, Magazines, Websites, Microsites, and Online Communities, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Events, Newsletters, Videos, Mobile Apps, And more!86% of B2C marketers use content marketing and 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing.Examples
Whole Foods on Facebook: On their Facebook page, they pro…

5 Years in Bay Area

This month is officially my 5 year anniversary in Bay Area.
I love Bay Area. While I was living in Boise and Seattle, I visited Bay Area few times, and it instantly felt like home to me. I use to dream about how I would move to Bay Area, be a professional, live on my own, and enjoy life. Without a doubt, I have achieved that.
How I moved here is an interesting story. On Sunday, I drove down to Bay Area from Boise with Daena. The goal was to do a mini-vacation as well as some interviews, and we would drive back to Boise the following Sunday. That week, we did a lot of touristy stuff, and I had about 3-4 interviews that week.
On a Thursday, I had a phone interview for the marketing position with VSS Monitoring. On Friday, they called me in for an in person interview around 11 am. I interviewed with the Sr. Marketing Manager and the Controller since the CEO was not in office that day. I told them I was going back to Boise that weekend, and I would move to Bay Area if/when I got the job. 1…

Inspiration Within

For a quiet a while now, the Pintrest Quotes board has been my therapy for when I am feeling down, pain, hurt, or simply broken. Despite the priceless value of reading through quotes I have gathered on my Inspire: Quotes & Sayings board or in general, today I decided to look within and jot down some key learnigs:  Let your past influence you, but not define you. Be very selective in who you trust.Let time and patience do it's job. Everything happens for a reason, so do not dwell on yourself for anything. Be very comfortable walking away from things and people that bring you down.Let go.Eat and sleep peacefully. Don't get caught up in the little things. The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself.Your health and happiness depends on you and nobody else.Be passion and do things full heatedly. Hard work and preservation are keys to success. Never run away from your responsibility.Keep things simple, but significant.Anything and everything can be learned. …

Launch Objectives

Most of my time is occupied thinking about a big product/service we are launching in a few weeks. In the last few days in trying to prioritize focus, mindset, and goals, I have come to realize three key objective to launching a new product/services (order by priority):

1) Excellent Product/Service Delivery: It's critical that priority on is around quality. This cannot be scarified for anything. When you are a new player in the market, your customer's don't have much faith in you, and you have to gain their trust through delivery of quality. 

2) Money: Second priority is making money. If you have happy customer, money will continue flowing through retention and recommendations. Poor delivery will never lead to money, so it's better to get the quality to a standard, then focus on making money. 

3) Efficiency: Third priority is doing the above two efficiently. Delivering good product/service in a cost-effective manner. This relates to automating workflows, reducing timeline …

Emotional Equations by Chip Conley

I bought and read this book a while back, but I ponder around it every once in a while. I really like the concept of emotions turned into logical equations to define them and help us understand the underlying reasons behind certain emotions. The author uses Emotional Equations to create insight and perspective as well as happiness and success.
Some highlights from Part 1 of the Book:
Chip Conley is a CEO of a company called Joie de Vivre (French for Joy of Life), boutique hotels in California. If you are going through hell, keep going (Winston Churchill) We all need to come to understand that we can use our seasons of darkness as means to find new reservoirs of strength -- strength we didn't know we had. We all want a fully functional heart and mind.  The most successful business leaders are often experts on emotions. Humanity's common currency, emotions, is how we connect, even when we have little else in common. Our emotions even preceded our ability to put them into words. The emot…

Identity - Revisited, Again

There are many times that  I think about how my life has evolved, the choices and decisions I have made, and how it's impacted me.
Essentially, I have always think about who I am with this questions: "What do you want to be known as, What do you want to be an expert at or be known for as a person, What is it that should make someone come to you for advice because you are the best in that field?"
I originally wrote a blog post on identity in March 2009. At that time, I answered it with three main points: 1) Graphic Design 2) Dance 3) Volunteer/Fundraising Event Management
I revisited this topic in April 2012, and the answer at that time was: Business executive who can manage a business from inside out with focus on corporate strategy and development (M&A, Business Expansion / Growth, Organization Development and Management). 
I am revisiting this again today, and although it has not drastically it has changed, it has been modified a bit. Earlier this year, I wrote out a f…

Dance... Love... Sing... Live...

I have always been into quotes, and the very first quote I learned and really resonated with is the following:

Dance as though no one is watching you.  Love as though you have never been hurt before.  Sing as though no one can hear you.  Live as though heaven is on earth.  - Souza 
I just notices that I have two items in my room with this quote: 1) My music book and 2) Wall art I received as a present (pictures coming soon).
Looking back at my blog posts, I have written at least one or more time about each one of these items:  Dance - My dance journey and commitment to dancing  Love - Valentines day Sing - Choir songs from school Live - Create your life, then go out and live it

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's learning to dance in the rain.

Ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed dancing. It has always been one of my passions and hobby. Unfortunately, I didn't stay committed to continually dancing throughout my life. I don't think dance would have been a career for me, but it definitely is my primary hobby. 

My dance journey has been very fragmented:

I took dance classes and did performances as a child in school. I always did Garba, which I really enjoy as part of the Indian festival. In high school, I really wanted to join the dance club / class, but I didn't because I was too busy studying.  In my undergrad, I took few dance courses at BSU, which included multiple performances. In addition, I took a hip-hop dance class at the Meridian Dance Academy, which also involved some performances. As part of socializing and going out in college, I learned Latin dances, with main focus on salsa dancing.  I tore my knee caps and was on physical therapy, so I had to stop dancing for a long time. A year or so ago, I took …

Are you ready to tackle the world? Everyday!

Last week (May 17), as I was walking to the toastmasters class from front door to the classroom, I ran into the security guard I always see. Typically, you say one of the following in this situation:
Hello.. Good Morning How are you?
Instead, the guy looks at me, smiles and simply says "Are you ready to tackle the world?"
Being the person I am, I give him a big smile, and respond, "Everyday!"

Mornings and Two Ted Talks: Success and Near Win

In the past month, I have been waking up 30-45 mins earlier; not with the intention to take longer to get ready, but an intention to drink tea at home, watch/read some news, and appreciate the early morning. It's become one of the most peaceful time of my day. Drinking my milk tea, just relaxing, and preparing for a good day. 

Usually, I will watch news, but this morning there was just a lot of depressing stuff of the news, so I decided to watch Ted Talks, rather complementary to each other. I really enjoyed the second talk, which provided a lot of perspective of success and reaching our goals.

Ted Talk 1: 8 Secrets of Success by Richard St. John 
1) Passion 
2) Work
3) Good 
4) Focus 
5) Push 
6) Serve 
7) Ideas 
8) Persist 

Ted Talk: Embrace the Near Win by Sarah Lewis 
Success is a moment, but what we are always celebrating is creativity and mastery. 

Archer's Paradox: The idea that in order to actually hit your target, you have to aim at something slightly skew from it. 

Success is hitt…