Month: June 2017

If Your Life Was a Book, Would Others Read It?

You are the protagonist of your own novel. The main character with ambitions, goals, and intertwined friendships that are unparalleled. Although you have character flaws and lapses of judgement, your book is written solely about you and the personal connections, friendships, and families you’ve accumulated or been born into.

Take a step back now, close your theoretical book and place it on the shelf in front of you. Instead of a shelf, you’re on a busy street in New York City and no one seems to grab at your book. Individuals pass by without even acknowledging you or your story.

This is sonder.

By definition, sonder is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

This is a sobering reality as to just how small you are. Your tendencies and normal day to day activities are only directly observed by yourself and those with which you come in communication with. More often than not, even those whom you come in communication with at work or passing by in traffic, have no idea about anything you’re facing. No clue on how your ambitions are fleeting as you sit behind your steering wheel. No idea that you still have desires to be an astronaut or a teacher or a firefighter.

I noticed this phenomenon as I’ve been in and out of airports for the past few months and the immediate tendency I exhibit in taking comfort in my cell phone. I deter from social situations because in my mind I want to lay low, but, it’s my excuse to find my bubble to stay safe in. Those that I know, those that know me, those that care about me and vice versa. I find safety and solitude in knowing what is going on around me rather than examining individuals whom I’ve never met nor will encounter ever again.

It’s a strange reality observing that others have ambitions and goals and lives outside of what you are seeing. They travel and visit far off lands for vacations stemming from the same airport you leave from. When you acknowledge that others have individual motives and lives outside of your own, you quickly realize just how small you are. However, regardless of how small you are, you have the innate ability to impact others stories and become a part of their narrative just by being present.

Wishing you an amazing day and an even better weekend.

*Side note short video in the comments below that I love on Sonder

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

The Subtle Difference Between Goals and Habits

When I was younger, I always insisted on writing my goals out. I want to achieve this by a certain date, accomplish this task within the hour, get to this level in my career. Write write write. Daily goals, yearly goals, goals I wanted to achieve later on, just always goals.

The issue that came from this was how I scheduled my time. I always tried to segment daily activities into hourly allotments that I never could fully achieve. I was asphyxiated by own devices. I disappointed myself when I could not meet deadlines and felt stressed that work was not calibrated to the way in which I had written it down. When I allotted 15 minutes for yoga and meditation and only could get 6 before having to take a phone call, my goal was changed and my mindset was disrupted.

This is where habits come into play. Habits form when repetition occurs. Constancy in day to day actions that become a natural tendency in one’s life. When altering my mindset to adapt into habits rather than vying for goals, I now could see that much more was able to be accomplished. It is an indefinite work in progress, but one I find extremely helpful when becoming more productive in my personal life and my business life.

An interesting aspect I found with habits is that when you break it down to its smallest level, you often work beyond that level. For example, I have created a habit of flossing at least one tooth a day. You might be saying, “Brant, you dumbass. Dentists recommend that you floss your teeth, not your tooth.” However, through creating the habit of flossing one tooth directly after I brush, I have inadvertently flossed all of my teeth after. You see as humans, once something is already present, we are more likely to complete it. I wouldn’t throw away my floss now just because of the fact that it’s already out. However, the habit of just flossing one tooth has actually lead to my increased oral hygiene.

Think of a process or a way in which you could apply this to your personal life, school life, or professional life and how quickly it could change your productivity.

 

Wishing you the very best. And as always…

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

I Got Denied From My Dream Job

“We’ll contact you by Tuesday and inform you of the status of your application.”

I woke up Tuesday morning nervous, excited, apprehensive and just ready for the news that would encapsulate my future.

I fidgeted throughout the day on my phone anxiously refreshing my email and making sure the ringer for my cell was turned all the way up. Every hour seemed to carry on for longer than 60 minutes and every ding increased the desire to hear the results.

It’s funny though, throughout this lack of clarity, I feel as if my mind spoke to itself and I was very in sync with what the answer already would be. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew in the back of my mind it was unlikely that I had nailed down the position. After four rounds of interviews, I wasn’t sharp. I had lost my touch and I knew going into the fourth round, I was vastly underprepared in comparison to past situations.

As every thought crossed through my head, my pocket vibrates.

 

*RING *RING

Brant, this is ____ from xyz company, how are you today? I just wanted to reach out and thank you for coming to our open house and interviewing with us here and giving us your time. We have opted to pursue other candidates for the job. I wish you the best of luck moving forward.

*CLICK

 

For the sake of this company, I want to exclude any and all names because I garnish great respect for them as a whole. I had run the scenario through my head about four hundred times too many, so I had already prepared my response to the call itself. At first it’d be the anger, then it’s the sadness, then it’s whatever else you can think of to counter the lack of an offer. However, none of that happened in my situation. I was at peace.

I am unapologetically me and stand true to who I am as an individual. I am not one to bend into company desires because I bring a specific skillset and personal culture that I know is true to who I am. Could I have done better in the interview? Absolutely. I walked out knowing exactly where I faulted and missed my cues. When looking at it from a macroscopic lens, however, I understood that I faulted because I did not bend my individual self to what they wanted from me. I faulted in underpreparing myself.

My advice to many of you is this, you may miss out on the thing you want most, you may be disappointed in yourself and furious with the company, you may feel worthless because they didn’t pick you, but understand this, you have worth. You have a purpose. You have the ability to do things far greater than you can imagine. I am so thankful for the opportunity to hear no. I was far too spoiled for a long time in just hearing yes. It gave me a confidence that had to be broken down. It provided me with an opportunity to look at myself and redefine who I am as an individual and think of exactly who I wanted to be. I guarantee from this day forward, that company and any other that may say no, will bite their tongue when they see me next. It is not vengeance I seek, but it is knowing that I am just getting started in perfecting who I am. Although it’s not there yet, I am a proud work in progress and admit my faults. I know people most often share just their successes, but even men like me fail too.

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham