the scientificmind From the bright lights of NY to the coast of Mozambique

// Thinking Fast & Slow//

Its been too long since I’ve placed pen to paper but for the many reasons that I started this blog in the first place, its one of “those” pivotal moments in my life to reflect on some common things I’ve noted in my 5 Minute Journal:

1. Learning to appreciate those that perform every job, at every level, for every reason and pay imaginable. Working at Goldman making over six figures at the age of 22…not spoiled but “disconnected”. I sincerely respect those who have seen their own hell not because they’ve been hurt, but because despite it, they’re still standing, still surviving and frankly, the best people to hire.

2. On Point 1. Finding good people is amazingly difficult. In work or in life, there’s absolutely no time or emotional currency to waste on those that don’t show interest or have a zest for life & hard work.

3. Our society, myself a victim, has an addiction to engage in content as quickly as possible. Will the fight to go back to our “roots” get compromised with this rat race for commerce? Patience is no longer a virtue and this has created a divide between those who serve and those who receive. This begs the question “would you rather do it right or do it fast?” I am determined that despite making 50 bottles to now over 2,000 a week, every bottle gets the same amount of love & care as its predecessor. Delivery of happiness is serious stuff.

4. I love you, Bread. You get to tear it open and see the big, wonderful holes. You get to pull off soft, chewy bits of bread insides. You get to dip it in the sauce left on your plate. GOOD BREAD IS A TRANSCENDENT EXPERIENCE…especially after hours and hours of lots and lots of kale. Sometimes it #beets the skinny out of juice. Did I really just say that? I did.

5. Reliving those bartending days (but from versus to 8AM) I have forgotten that nothing replaces having someone in front of you; someone that you can touch and talk to, right in front of you. Nothing ever will. No app will ever change that hands down.

6. Remember names. Its one’s identity and is important.

“Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.” - Chanel

// The Perks of Being on Wallstreet//

In hindsight, the years spent in finance make up some of the toughest but fondest moments in one’s career.  The highs and lows combined with the meritocracy dissimilar to any other industry make it a love-hate relationship for most.  After a year off and experiencing a different field like development, more than ever I am thankful for this profession, its people, and most importantly, its lessons and applicability to the hard knocks of life.  

1. Risk is relative to price
The risk of loss, be it in investing or in life, is relative to the price or worth of a given decision. If you join the party based on fear of missing out or being alone, don’t be surprised when the music stops, you’re stuck with a huge bar tab and a hangover of bad decisions.  If you are acutely aware of consequences beforehand (e.g. drunk driving = jail) then protect your downside with hedges (e.g. get a “DD” aka Designated Driver).

2. Diversify your portfolio
With a plethora of choices available but limited resources, “asset allocation” is probably one of the most important considerations in life management.  Don’t put all your eggs into one basket – set yourself up so when life throws a curveball at you, you aren’t completely wiped off your feet.  It’s never a healthy scenario if you let one external variable be responsible for most of your returns or happiness.  Don’t let any one thing be your everything.

3. Timing can mean everything
It’s like going to Trader Joe’s on a Sunday at 5pm or meeting Romeo in a time of change.  If you get involved at the wrong time it’ll likely be an overcrowded or overly burdening experience and your exit, a stressful long one.

4. Forget sunk costs
Things inevitably change but knowing what’s in versus out of our control is important.  If something has fundamentally changed, the time or money spent previously should be rendered irrelevant.  Limit your losses by moving on and making space for something better.  When one door closes, another opens.

5. Limit making decisions based on emotions
Psychological pressures make people make bad decisions and throw good money/time/effort after bad.  Angry, scared, or under the influence, we often say or do many things we regret down the road.

6. No one likes desperation
In a tough environment when things aren’t going one’s way, the propensity to make foolish decisions is high.  Forced to go shopping or dread the thought of being single forever, effectively standards get dropped and weaker terms are accepted.  Know thy worth and remember the fiduciary duty you owe to yourself.

7. The “homeruns” are often messy and misunderstood 
Complex/hairy investments or situations can easily turn off the competition.  Personally, special situations like these are much more interesting and worth my time/resources.  The good-looking girl or guy at the bar knows they’re a hot commodity…yawn.

8. Create a set of values or principles to stick by
It’s in moments of immense pressure where we really see one’s character.  As crazy as it sounds, being ethical and staying grounded is not so easy.  The human mind is conditioned to suppress unpleasant memories and forget past lessons.  The whole “just one fry” thing is dangerous and more often than not you’ll eat the whole Big Mac meal, steering you off course and in the opposite direction of the (fit) person you want to be.  

9. Surround yourself with the right people
More obvious in the professional setting than not, one bad pup can be like polio – spreading and creating a toxic environment for everyone.  Regardless of your strength as an individual, you are not immune to a constant surrounding of bad influence.  Choose to deal with smarter people that are not just brilliant but exemplars of wisdom.

10. Do your best, have fun and enjoy the ride
We win some and we lose some.  What builds character is not avoiding mistakes – it’s how you choose to think and act afterwards. Call me an eternal bull but I do think there’s always something to be won from any experience, mistake or not, laying the framework to continually be better.

If we put these 10 things into practice everyday, sure, we may all be better off but things would also be, frankly put, boringly efficient.  It’s this irrational yet predictable nature in all of us that create opportunities, establish common ground with others, and form a rollercoaster-like world so fun to ride.  

(Final note: If you had a big question mark on the title, please read The Perks of Being a Wallflower – a great read for all ages.)

// Its Not Me, Its You//

I am truly in my element when the pen is in the right hand and the hot chocolate in the left.  Lately though, I’ve been acclimatizing to this 9-to-5-Monday-to-Friday schedule and been somewhat busy.  2012 Tree-hugger, please meet your counterpart, 2013 Corporate v2.   But this time around, it’s different; I feel somewhat disconnected in this increasingly connected albeit “developed” world.  This 1984-esque culture – its hard to drink the Kool-Aid at times.  Conformity has become much too fashionable for my taste.

Anyway, this is all aside from the Point.  Today I received a book, yesterday my 2012 tax return slip (thank you Mommy), last week a Hallmark card.  All for no reasons in particular except to show that someone wil always have my back.  I’ve realized that all my posts in the last year have been about Me, My view, My experiences but at the end of it all, it never is just about ourselves.  

I had an interesting conversation the other day, which triggered a thought: “Do we have the capacity and will to make more friends, meet new people?“  

I think we are extremely picky with who we allow into our bubble (as we should be), share matters of the heart with, be willing to give up a few hours of our precious weekend.  At some point during this 9-to-5-Monday-to-Friday thing and other important things like dishwashing and maintaining sexy (yes, I said it), the hurdle rate to impress has suddenly become onerous.  And vice versa, the effort to want to impress has slowly dwindled in our quick-fix-commitment-phobic world.  So while my initial impression was that I’d be all game – like a revolving door accepting any application – in actuality, I know that’s not completely true.  

You never Mother Theresa me through the hard times but rather face dump me into all things real.  You all fight your own battles, arise from rubble and the ditches of broken hearts, break and cut the hands from all the scraping of life’s glass.  You choose to bleed, pass on the Band-Aid, embrace feeling over suppressing.  That emotional authenticity, I spot and gravitate towards from miles away. 

Thank you for peeling the layers of my onion – to see and accept it all, from unquestionable intelligence (heehee) to all imperfections.  Please continue to stand by me, on top of occasional heaps of Other People’s Bull, because I want to do it in your good company.  Our acquaintance was never accidental and That, is the Point.  

So with that said, for those pending applicants – the doors are always open but know that I, have a lot of dishes to wash and that you, have large shoes to fill.

// Everything Is An Illusion//

in japan

“What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.”  

– Woody Allen 

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After two months of traveling through Bali, teaching yoga and diving in Nusa Lembongan. Forever mindful and grateful of the small beautiful things on this earth.   

“It’s a funny thing about comin’ home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize what’s changed is you.” (Benjamin Button)

A blog for those constantly searching for new ideas, questioning the status quo, and rediscovering oneself.