Right now, it’s like this.

I try to use the Calm meditation app every day.

If you’ve tried meditating, you know why I said: “try to.” Life’s already jam-packed, and there’s so much to do, finding 10 minutes to sit and be still is usually the first thing I scrap when I’m low on time. After more than a year of steady commitment to meditation, I’m still finding my way. Although, I’m now beginning to enjoy the journey. Being able to find my breath and ground myself in times of chaos or becoming a spectator to my thoughts are two of my favorite additions to my mental toolbelt. Today though, I am reminded of another appreciation I have, and that’s for Calm’s “Daily Calm” feature. At the end of each 10-minute “Daily Calm” meditation, there’s an inspiring and thought-provoking story that the narrator, Tamara, includes at the end. Here is today’s story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if life went exactly as we wish. If everyone did exactly as we wanted, and there was no traffic or loud construction, and the weather was always perfect. Unfortunately, rare is the day when we experience zero conflict. So in order to find peace, it’s important to become *flexible* to our circumstances.

I’ll share a brief story that speaks to this effort.

Early one morning, an intrepid traveler walked down a long and dusty road. Before long, he came upon a shepherd tending to his flock. The traveler asked, “What kind of weather are we going to have today?” The shepherd answered, “The kind of weather I like.” The traveler asked, “But how do you know it will be the kind of weather you like?” The shepherd answered,” Having found out sir that I cannot always get what I like, I have learned to always like what I get. So I am quite sure we will have the kind of weather I like.”

The shepherd shows to be open and flexible to what life gives him. By accepting what he couldn’t change, he practiced nonresistance. It was as though his personal mantra is “Right now, it’s like this.”

So the next time life throws you a curve ball and you wake up to noisy construction, or it rains on the day you’ve planned an outdoor bash. Try calling on that phrase, “Right now, it’s like this.” Do your best to bring a spirit of nonresistance to the situations you can’t change and challenge yourself to accept what is.

In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longboat, “The best thing you can do when it rains is let it rain.”

Announcing TechJobTrainingforAmericans.com, a new way to help America grow and scale

Today is the first day in a long journey toward helping bring more opportunity to Americans.

That’s why I’m excited to announce a new side-project of mine – Tech Job Training for Americans.

The goal of Tech Job Training for Americans:

The mission is to support people who are looking to break into the world of tech, so that we together, can transform the way America grows.

I’ll be developing actionable strategies and guides for people to follow to help them learn where their next big opportunity lies. There will be cultivated lists of free educational resources, raw guidance on ways to break into the industry, and more direction on how to get and keep a tech job.

 

Why am I doing this?

Over the past two months, I’ve had some personal transformations. I’ve left a tech company that I worked at for 6.5 years and loved in search of something more. A bigger challenge with a steep learning curve, and hopefully, a way to give back too. My fiance and I also traveled around the US for ~50 days, and we ended our trip with our wedding in New Hampshire.

Throughout all of my travels and for the past many months, one thing continued to ring true – America needs our next “kaizen.” If you’re not familiar with the term kaizen, it’s Japanese and it means “change for better.” Don’t get me wrong, American is excellent (hey, we’re still here and not in Australia – right?), but based on the travels around the entire United States, we saw way too many cities and towns that were once thriving and now barely surviving. We saw too many strip malls with broken windows, battered doors, and a general lack of vibrancy. Seeing this firsthand was a giant and jarring juxtaposition to my comfortable situation in Boston that was growing and thriving.

I want to help us create change. Consider this, over the past few decades China has gone from a manufacturing economy to a services economy. Until 2015, China was the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 10% over 30 years.they had year over year growth of 10% Their middle class has grown tremendously and continues to do so. This might be why you see so many people purchasing real estate in your area, and their streets have twice as many cranes as my hometown of Boston.

How did China gain their edge?  Their hard work ethic and ability to adapt to the changing world economy around them.

It’s time for us to do the same.

This is why I’m developing Tech Job Training for Americans. In my free time, I’ll be adding content which will provide education, direction, jobs, networking, and more. If you’re interested in helping – feel free to reach out via either “Contact Us” form on this site or that one. Or if you know someone who could benefit, send them to the website – or better yet – a link to the market research survey I’ve started.

Why tech training?

Technology drives innovation which helps companies grow, enabling people to grow too.

Right now (10/10/17), American wages are growing, unemployment is decreasing, jobs are being created, and the stock market is higher than it’s ever been.

However, if you dig into other economic metrics, they tell a different story; not everyone is benefiting from this economic growth.

What else is going on?

  • The median household income in 2016 was$53,130. Less than half of what the tech wages were that year. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMSI, and CompTIA; estimates for 2016
  • The average household income for the poorest fifth of households decreased by $571 over the decade that ended last year, adjusting for inflation.
  • Racial disparities also have increased. The bureau reported that the median income for African-American households has fallen by 1.6 percent since 1999. The adjusted numbers provided by the Economic Policy Institute pegged the drop at 7.5 percent. Source: US Census Bureau
  • Double-digit percentages of people are still living in poverty. 12.7% in 2016 – mainly stagnant, and higher than from 2007. Source: US Census Bureau
  • Mortality rates are climbing for middle-aged white Americans with no more than a high school education.
  • High-paying tech jobs are saturating major cities, leaving lop-sided cities. These uneven economies result in only people who can afford to live there work in tech and are beginning to lack diversity of people, work, or thought.

I’m not the only one talking about this. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was recently featured on Jim Kramer’s Mad Money and discussed the need for improved job training – and how it needs to be in technology.

According to Time magazine, Doctors and scientists have used technology to tackle problems that once seemed insurmountable. As well as the fact that technology can help save the planet, or destroy it.

Technology companies have disrupted too many industries to count including the tax cabs (uber/lyft), real estate (redfin), automobile (tesla), financial planning (mint/acorns), etc.

It’s time for us to educate our nation, develop new regulation,  and build new and powerful job training programs – which is the sole purpose of this website – to truly make America great again.

Three powerful videos for mental breakthroughs (& are all under 6 minutes)

Some of the best mental breakthroughs I’ve had in my life have come from the shortest videos I’ve found on YouTube.

Below are three videos which have had a profound impact on my life:

Try something new for 30 days – Matt Cutts
Time: 3 minutes 27 seconds

After watching this inspirational video, I was craving for the next month to begin so I could start my 30-day challenge journey. My first challenge was one which Matt Cutts recommended – the photo challenge. It was to take one photo a day for 30 days. Many of them I posted to my blog (yup, the one you’re reading now) with their location, my take, and why it was important to me at the moment that day. While it was pretty easy as far as 30-day challenges go, I began to feel myself growing.

At the end of the 30-days, I developed more awareness of the world around me, I found a passion for art, and I even found more confidence in myself. The life I now live, five years after first watching this video, is paramount to what it would be without the video. I’ve done the photo challenge, three Whole-30 challenges, a vegetarian challenge (turns out it doesn’t work for me), a new recipe challenge, a fitness challenge (I have now worked out basically 5 days a week for the past 4 years), and so much more.

This video not only led me to try a lot of new things in life that I wouldn’t have considered otherwise, but I also started a blog series around them, talked about the topic at many Toastmasters speeches, and even got to experience the fruits of my labors in different ways than I knew possible. For example, completing the fitness challenge led me to climb Mount Washington with several friends and train for a half marathon – two things which I never even considered with my realm of possibility beforehand.

 

How to start a movement – Derek Sivers 
Time: 5 minutes 41 seconds.

I loved this video so much. Not only is Derek informative, but his clever use of supporting video footage was exceptional.

This video inspired me to cultivate my own thoughts on the topic, found here, “The Unspoken Power of a Great Follower.”
 

Responding To Stress – Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski
Time: 1 minute and 30 seconds

If you’re alive, you’ve encountered stress. I found what matters most to me is understanding what stress looks like, how to deal with it, and the best yet -how to thrive from it. This short video delivers a huge punch when it comes to better understanding how your brain works under stress.