Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In a Space of Freedom

"We have to create.
It's the only thing louder than destruction."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Protect Your Dreams

The sobering truth is that often times the people closest to you will try to convince you otherwise. Detach yourself from negativity and run full force into the horizon that is your dream!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happiness Hit Her Like a Bullet In Her Mind

Whether your dearest friend has cancer, you're drowning in debt, or your fears, doubts, and worries are gripping you from moving forward, one of your arsenals to combat the interminable commotion of life is optimism.

In the recent blog post A Richer Life by Seeing the Glass Half Full by Jane E. Brody from the New York Times, Brody poses a paradigm shift in the definition of optimism. The more traditional definition of being optimistic is often thought of as, "...avoid negative self-talk. Instead of focusing on prospects of failure, dwell on the positive aspects of a situation."

I think this definition still holds weight but instead of just thinking positive, the more progressive definition encompasses an element that focuses on moving forward: "...rather than giving up and walking away from difficult situations, optimists attack problems head-on. They plan a course of action, getting advice from others and staying focused on a solution."

So, you can tell Darth Vader to back off and quite frankly, the dark side doesn't have cookies. Through a solution-oriented approach and fully equipping yourself with a strategy that even Yoda would be proud of, you might find yourself turning your face to the light and letting your shadows fall behind you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Zuckerberg Syndrome

Writer: Jennifer Chan |

Picture this: I spot Mark Zuckerberg in the cafeteria line at Facebook's previous HQ in Palo Alto on Thanksgiving eve 2011. My adrenaline spikes and pupils dilate as I witness the living legend grab a red tray and casually fill his plate with dinner. He proceeds to walk towards the dining tables, slowly scanning each table for a place to sit. 

By this time, I'm like a deer caught in headlights and can't take my eyes off of him. I elbow my Facebook engineer friend, who I was visiting, and urge him to wave down Zuckerberg to dine with the both of us. 

My friend instantly becomes Shy-lock Holmes. Meanwhile, I am still paralyzed by the fact that the man who redefined the social network is less than a ping-pong table away from me. I thought frantically about all of the ways that I could find an excuse to grab his attention or “bump” into him (accidentally of course).  I started to feel like a little girl at an ‘N Sync concert: hyperventilating, anxious, and ready to knock out anyone who stood between us.

Long story short, Zuckerberg ate his dinner alone at his desk. I was puzzled that the man who made the world a more open and connected place did not have anyone to sit with. It felt like high school all over again.

I have noticed this with myself and others: Why is it that we can be Facebook friends with someone yet become incredibly awkward when we see them in-person? Why is it that we can cultivate vicarious and impersonal friendships through a social media network, but can’t work up the courage to communicate with the actual person?  What ever happened to the art of conversation!  

Perhaps online mediated communication is leaving us so verbally handicapped that we can’t help but choke at the thought of a real conversation.  Even I admit, I sometimes think in terms of not words.

Next time you’re going to text your friend to meet at Starbucks, call them instead.  Next time you’re going to set up a Facebook chat, make it a video chat.  Be an advocate of human social interaction.  And for gosh sakes, if you see Zuckerberg, say something.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mentors Make the World Go Round

I recently had lunch with an old professor who wrote my undergraduate recommendation letter for University of the Pacific. We had not seen each other for over three years. Our conversation picked up where we left off, like the seasons never changed.

Sparks flew as we had a meeting of our minds and the energy cultivated enveloped my soul. For a brief moment, the world was at peace as we shared our fears, hopes, and dreams.

It was good to see my old professor, friend, and more importantly, mentor. There are a handful of key people who have pierced my life in an unrelenting way with their wisdom, understanding, and love. For this, I am forever grateful.

Photographer and Creator: Tam Tran

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Your Character Is Everything

"I have attended many funerals in my life and I conducted almost 200 of them. I never heard in a funeral that this or that person has made a lot of money or is politically very strong. They never discuss that. In a funeral, people discuss how this person was very kind, or very gracious or had character and integrity. People want to deal with honest people. For some people who are not kind, not thoughtful or gracious, their funerals are very short because nobody has anything to say. So I learned from the funerals that we have to plan our funerals when we are very young. Plan your funerals, start early, by being kind, smile, and be gracious to others."

— Jon Huntsman