Time is the most precious thing in this world. Make every moment count and live your dreams.
~See Lemons Productive
Random Observation/Comment #462: Be proud when you complete any project that takes more than 6 months of planning. That’s a substantial amount of time! It’s basically 2 semesters worth of normal college classes where you learn a quarter of all the education you’ll need to start working full time.
Why This List?
I think we often take for granted our completed work. You, as a person right now, is an accumulation of experience and accomplishments. Be proud of that and think of how you’ve made your mark in your own character and the lives of others. This reflection is meant to be healthy and inspire you to believe in your continuous abilities to reach a higher plane.
- This blog. What a journey it has been and continues to be about my life.
- Graduated from Cooper with 165 credits in 4 years
- Completed a Master’s Thesis on EHD Thruster Simulations
- Hosted a TEDx at Credit Suisse
- Traveled to 35 countries and met friends in most of them
- Yelp Elite since 2011
- Paid for photography in portraits, lifestyle, and interior
- Studied abroad in Japan and Germany
- Learned German and Japanese
- Started a company and got paid for consulting start-ups
- Completed an epic 30 day challenge
- Co-started a mentorship program with credit suisse and Baruch high school
- Mentored JP Morgan and Cooper toastmasters during their inception and for 4 months after
- Successfully delivered 6 major projects within the trading space
- Ran the internship programs and hired those interns as my project leads when they became full time
- Completed my CC and at least 4 CLs and ALB in toastmasters
- Wrote and published 2 books
- Wrote a full web comic
- Won a table tennis match against Edmund
- Built countless RoR prototypes and web apps
- Made lasting close friendships that I consider family
- Assembled a lot of ikea furniture
- Cooked a 6 course meal by myself for friends and family
- Made mastermind in DLD (and spent hours making the wires look perfectly straight)
- Raised over $3000 for St Baldricks and Charity:Water
- Grew a mustache (it’s an accomplishment for me)
- Shot a 91 in marksmanship
- Moved in with my gf and still dating her
- Deemed tech support by all my friends and family
- Got my gf to do a writing challenge with me
~See Lemons Accomplish a Bit More
Random Observation/Comment #461: Starting projects are easier than finishing them. I think we all just need to focus.
Why This List?
If you know me, then you know I have a lot of overlapping side interests. When these interests expand to a cool DIY project or even an in-depth start-up, I wind up writing lists and gaining a huge amount of positive energy that powers though the initial phases. Once the design and the brainstorming and sharing is done, we really just need to sit down and do it, right? Well, sometimes I get caught up starting the next project that doesn’t get finished or talking about other things that are fun to do. That’s why I have a list of 30 and this list wasn’t hard to make at all. I’ll probably eventually finish these.
- 2nd Epic 30 Day Challenge – set it up for last year, but wound up cooking instead
- Bad Idea Bears Travel Guide to Bad Ideas Travel
- Epic drug story from Fiasco at the Harlem apartment RPG night
- “You’re Pretty Fucking Awesome, Keep that Shit Up” hashtags / kickstarter
- Bedtime Moo story
- Love with an Expiration Date
- Dirty Plates
- 30 Day Challenges: Brief Battles Win the War
- Pragmatic Guide to Public Speaking
- TT Stats App
- 30 Day Sober Challenge – I am not very good at being sober
- 30 Day Vegetarian Challenge – Longest I did was 10 days
- Random Observation/Comment App
- Gifs memory mental map
- Digiweave Suggestions
- Cooking4Friends – somewhat replaced by kitchensurfing.com
- Recooperation – denied by alumni association
- Luxury delivery room service
- Stand up for passion @work
- #haikueveryday – 88 was pretty good
- Start-up owner manual
- Whiteboard ideas
- 30 Day Challenge organizer/community app
- Lessons Learned from bitcoin trading
- Pillow Blanket (I still really want this in my life)
- Yogoals (which is a WIP, but I haven’t written about yet)
~See Lemons Start Projects
Random Observation/Comment #460: Being badass seems pretty important in life. I think we should all strive to be badass – whatever that means to you.
Why This List?
I know what you’re thinking – what makes a person interesting? Well, I think a lot of things are interesting, so an interesting person isn’t really hard to find. In fact, I’m sure if I got to know you, you’d be pretty interesting too. It’s not about fame – it’s about seeing the world a certain way and changing the status quo. It could also be about being badass in your own way.
- Neil Degrasse Tyson
- Bill Nye (the science guy)
- Nikola Tesla
- Elon Musk
- Anthony Bourdain
- Tina Fey
- Stephen Colbert
- Destin from Smarter Every Day
- Bruce Lee
- Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
- Isaac Newton
- Robin Williams
- Russell Brand
- Zach Galifianakis
- Neil Patrick Harris
- Felicia Day
- Joss Whedon
- Patrick Stewart
- Michelle Obama
- George Carlin
- William Shakespeare
- Nelson Mandela
- Jackie Chan
- Carl Sagan
- Salvador Dali
- John Lennon
- George Clooney
- B.A. – you may not know him (or you probably do), but he definitely deserves to be on this list
~See Lemons Love Interesting People
Random Observation/Comment #459: It’s no hover car, but the future does have a pretty accessible tree of knowledge.
Why This List?
Thanksgiving always reminds me about mashed potatoes. I also sometimes think about Native Americans getting small pox. And family. Family and food. It’s all important.
- Good Health. No major issues with vital organs and no major ails.
- Optimism. Mentally healthy and mostly positive about almost everything.
- Great family. Supportive and nurturing. Always there for a chat and willing to give advice.
- Awesome signifcant other. She’s not perfect, but we make one hell of a team.
- Great friends. Dependable, fun, and interesting. Maybe everything revolves around travel, photography, boozing, and eating, but what doesn’t?
- Good physique. Not too overweight, decent looking in a mirror, and getting regular exercise.
- Employed. Dependable salary-based pay in this economy is fantastic.
- Balanced work-life. Able to work hard and play hard without feeling too stressed about either.
- Solid network. Beyond close friends, successful acquaintenances teeter the realm of being regulars and inspire me to keep going.
- Being a part of NYC Scene. Everyone aims to live in/near NYC and I’m happy to work here and make the NYC Scene what it is.
- Youth and minimal responsibility. It’s not immaturity, but rather the knowledge of how much things change with marriage, kids, and the abyss of debt.
- Education/degree. Thank you, Cooper, for engraining skills and thought processes that can be used across all industries.
- Travel experiences. Beyond the checkbox game of countries, I love new cultures and the worldly knowledge that comes from these travels.
- No Food allergies. It’s so important, I want to separate it from healthy. It would really suck if I were allergic to seafood or beer or mashed potatoes. Milk is okay.
- Energetic. Wake up and go! Adds to productivity and outlook.
- Debt free. Not paying off student loans (thanks, Cooper), mortgage, or expensive insurances.
- Healthy Friends/Family. Some may have their own issues, but we’re all healthy and relatively happy.
- Direction. Knowing my strengths/weaknesses let me point myself in the right direction to where my skills can help my community most.
- Upbringing. I feel very lucky my parents pushed me and my brother the way they did. Not really sure what it was, but I hope to repeat the same for my child(ren).
- Emotions. A bit meta, but I’m happy I can feel. I’d rather go through the rollercoaster of emotions than feel nothing at all. Maybe I watched too much Dexter.
- STEM. It’s more the thought process, but I’m glad everyone realizes the power of logic and practical solutions. Everything we know is built from these fundamentals.
- Lazy weekends/Staycations. Because sometimes you need to unwind.
- Table Tennis. I’m just glad this sport exists because it’s such a big part of my happiness.
- Coffee. I’d be energetic without it, but why?
- The Internet (Reddit). I am occassionally productive on this cute cat videos portal.
- Change. Every day is a new day and brings the will to change.
- Karma. Pay it forward. Thank you, strangers.
- Lessons Learned. Reflecting and getting smarter every day.
- Music. Somehow you know exactly how 15-year-old emo Clemens feels.
- Thanksgiving. One of my favorite holidays that just focuses on family, friends, and eating a lot.
~See Lemons Thankful
Random Observation/Comment #458: You’d be surprised at how much you can do in 15 minutes. You can probably make a list…
Why This List?
Jason Womack suggested this in his GetMomentum module around productivity. When you break your day down to 15-minute chunks, you can manage and complete medium-sized tasks within an uninterrupted time. It also provides an easy widget-like lift and shift flexibility with these tasks if you’re on the go and your schedule changes. It’s a productivity tip and I think it’s easier to use some mini activities that could get me inspired (and also fill up my daily commute).
- Write in my journal “Dear Diary…” (Once a day)
- Watch a TED Talk and leave a thoughtful comment (Once every 2 days)
- Call my parents for a chat (5 times a week)
- Prioritize my work day tasks (Once a day)
- Prioritize my work week tasks (done on Sunday)
- Write a postcard or Thank you note (Once a week)
- Finish a crossword (5 times a week-ish)
- Jog the Brooklyn Bridge (Once a week)
- Wish the birthday people a happy birthday (and hopefully also catch up randomly with them) (Every day)
- Grab a coffee with someone new at work (Once a day)
- Stretch and meditate (Once or twice a day)
- Read up on tech news (Once or twice a day)
- Read a getAbstract summary and take notes for a possible blog post (once every 2 days)
- Sync up with gf about the upcoming week of events and tasks (every Sunday/Monday)
- Text 2 or 3 old friends and catch up throughout the day (once a day)
- Write a restaurant Yelp review (Once a week)
- Write a summary email to management/team setting tasks and expectations (Once every 2 weeks)
- Catch up on web comics xkcd, SMBC, doghouse diaries (usually done Mon morning or Fri morning)
- Read a suggested story or two on Medium (it’s nice that they show the amount of time it’ll take for reading it too) (Once a week)
- Catch up on financials/stocks/bitcoin/dogecoin prices and trends (Once or twice a weekday)
- Watch a video on youtube (e.g. movie trailer, smartereveryday, rhett&link, vsauce, freddiew, random popular/viral videos) and research topic (Once or twice at nights)
- Beat Johnson in a TT match (oh, snap!)
- Send a catch-up email to a mentor (Once a week)
- Start/Continue/Finish a blog post (3 times a week, but now much more)
- Do the dishes / tidy up (Once a day)
- Review my Google Keep / Notes and complete any adhoc tasks (Once a day, but each tasks lasts ~15 minutes and may complete 4 or 5 tasks)
- Destress/Decompress (Once a day before sleeping)
- Run a common errand (quick groceries downstairs, cut up boxes to recycle, take out the garbage, send laundry out, put away folded clothes, clear fridge of expired stuff, feed Henry, prep cooking, shave/groom/teeth brushing, etc)
- Take a power nap (Not done nearly as much as I should)
- Day Dream – about anything and everything (More times than I should)
~See Lemons Break it to 15
Random Observation/Comment #457: When you want to do something, it doesn’t seem like work. In fact, there’s not enough time when you’re having fun.
Why This List?
There’s always something we want to do in the immediate and short term that leads to the obtaining of status, skills, knowledge, or material goods in the future. I want to focus this list on the actual actionable items that just take a bit of elbow grease and planning rather than the state of things that we want to be. These are the stepping stones that make dreams come true. Just go and do it.
- Create a Professional Photography Portfolio
- Implement a game with Oculus Rift SDK
- Create a consistent #coffeechat at work for photography
- Create an “Ignite” or “Stand up for passion” monthly speak up session at work
- Take a professional cooking class on a different cuisine
- Start a yoga/stretching routine so I can palm the floor (and heal my back)
- Complete another 30 day healthy challenge
- Start a MOOC on a non-tech and non-finance related topic
- Organize a surprise birthday party for a friend
- Organize an event around releasing lanterns/kites into the sky with candles inside
- Write a crossword
- Practice reading with emphasis and voice inflections by recording a chapter reading for an audiobook
- Create an android app that publishes random observation/comments
- Extend “You’re Pretty Fucking Awesome, Keep that Shit Up” to a hashtag or formal site for NYC and beyond
- Train for a physical challenge
- Learn a new photoshop technique that can improve photo edits
- Take a singing lesson
- Complete a full module on memrise
- Learn how to shoot/edit video
- Plan a trip for my parents
- Clear my digital clutter (I can probably write a separate blogpost about this)
- Take an improv class
- Take more portrait photos of friends
- Post more on reddit – try for front page
- Give a speech to inspire others
- Make something with my hands
- Put together a photobook to physically print
- Relearn reading Chinese
- Refresh my life by buying new business socks, v-neck under shirts, and boxers
- Take a NYC food tour – best ramen spots? best burgers?
~See Lemons Do More
Random Observation/Comment #456: Sometimes I think I’m in a movie. Part of me wishes it’s a romantic comedy with cliche catch phrases, but the cooler part of me just wants it to become a sci fi post-apocalyptic zombie film where I’m a sniper.
Why This List?
We all love getting lost in the story and growing with the characters. Good movies are like good speeches – they move us and inspire us to consider another perspective. There are good movies that have really badass special effects and no plot whatsoever, but I wanted to see the ones I remembered. I will refrain from giving personal explanations for each of these or else I’d be here forever.
- Forrest Gump
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Avengers
- The Terminal
- The Darjeeling Limited
- A Chinese Odyssey (Part 1 & 2)
- Lost in Translation
- The Matrix
- Book of Eli
- Leon the Professional
- Beauty and the Beast
- Star Wars (y’know, the good one)
- A Clockwork Orange
- Love Actually
- 3 Idiots (watched it with subtitles)
- Finding Nemo
- The Princess Bride
- Groundhog Day
- Moulin Rouge
- The Godfather
- Drunken Master 2
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Fight Club
- Office Space
- Shanghai Noon / Shanghai Knights
- The Dark Knight (the joker was so cool)
Looking back on this list, I think I’ve watched way too many movies in my life to only recommend 30. I think these are movies that I’ve seen more than 3 times and would certainly watch 15 more. I’ll probably make an alternative list of 30 for honorable mentions later.
~See Lemons Love Movies
Random Observation/Comment #455: If we were meant to stay put, we’d have roots instead of legs.
Why This List?
I’ve traveled to a lot of places, but I’ve never gotten tired of exploring new cultures and seeing more breath taking things. Even if the list of 35 countries becomes 135, I think I’d still revisit each place with a new motivation and sense of bewilderment. I’ve split this list into different types of travel: Relaxation, Adventure, Romance, and In Good Company.
To come up with this list, I took some from my archived previous lists and also just flew around on Google Earth looking for cool things.
- Roadtrip from East Coast to West Coast (over the course of 6 weeks or so)
- Thailand for beautiful beaches and adventurous wandering
- Australia for kangaroos and barbies
- New Zealand for hobbits and extreme sports
- Alaska to kill moose and hang out with bears on Kodiak island
- Japan again in good company
- Honduras / Roatan for scuba
- Belize for the jungle experience and scuba
- Costa Rica just because I’ve never gone and I’ve heard good things
- San Blas Islands, Panama from high recommendations
- Hungary to see some friends
- Greece for the coastline
- Portugal to hear real Portuguese
- Southern Spain (Seville, Grenada)
- Hawaii for rainbows and spam
- Peru Machu Pichu hike
- Laos to ride elephants
- Myanmar (Burma) because Wen said so
- Sweden to see attractive women (“that’s bullshit” ~gf)
- Finland to not understand anything they’re saying
- Denmark for the architecture
- Maldives just because it seems so badass to sail between restaurants
- Israel to visit some good people
- Jordan to ride some camels
- Cape Town South Africa
- Galapagos Island to see birds or something
- Poland because of three sheets
- Sicily for seafood
- Baja California seems gnarly
- Space. The Final Frontier.
~See Lemons Visit New Places
Random Observation/Comment #454: The brain is a fascinating thing. We can literally create images, emotions, and transport ourselves to different states just with a thought.
Why This List?
Happiness is that holy grail we all search for. It’s such a fleeting blip of elation that fills us with all this positive energy and positive thoughts. When things go bad, hopefully, we’re all able to do something or remember something that makes us happy. These happy memories make us smile and warms our heart because we remember those little things.
If you’re interested in writing something like this and need inspiration, I read something on lifehacker yesterday that speaks about the emotional vocabulary. Here, happiness is split into Joyful, Interested, Proud, Accepted, Powerful, Peaceful, Intimate, and Optimistic.
- Finding out I was accepted into Cooper Union while in Vermont
- My Dad patting my head and saying “lak jai” after graduating Cooper
- Not the actual first kiss, but the moments before it where I ran through multiple unrealistic scenarios in my head
- Burning my high school notes in a metal cabinet in the backyard
- Parahawking – Paragliding while feeding a hawk in Nepal
- Drinking my first Guinness with my Dad
- Taking the training wheels off my blue bike while practicing in the driveway with my brother
- The whole day of drinking scotch in Scotland with all the bears. I think that’s just a blur of happiness – especially hearing “But what are you doing here?”
- Cooking a pork tenderloin and hamburgers for my friends in Asbury Park
- Sharing rollerblades with my sister by only putting one on and gliding around on the deck
- Making my first wontons with my Mom (and her actually letting me do anything in the kitchen)
- Eating (what I still consider the most delicious meal I’ve ever had) a bowl of white rice, steam fish, and soy sauce given to me by my Mom after I had a terrible fever
- Seeing the sunrise on Mount Fuji even though I’m pretty sure I had hypothermia wearing shorts climbing that thing
- Going to Osaka’s Spa World and sitting under a large waterfall of hot water surrounded by naked strangers. So serene and peaceful.
- Seeing the quick moving shiny fish that darts around in schools while scuba diving in Grand Cayman
- Hanging out with the whole crew at Flying puck watching a Rangers game during a shoot out. I think the specific one I’m remembering is where Nash scored the winning point and everyone in the bar went nuts cheering in unison.
- Listening to Dream Theater’s The Spirit Carries On live surrounded by strangers enjoying the same moment. “After I die tomorrow, I’ll be alright because I believe that after we’re gone, the spirit carries on.”
- My Dad waking me and my brother up at 3AM to excitedly drive us all the way to Montauk to go fishing. I went from really sleepy to super happy instantaneously.
- Finishing my first challenge of the epic 30 day challenge making Thanksgiving dinner to all my friends and family
- Bringing champagne to all my friends in Aix
- Having my 21st birthday with Jake and his family in Vermont. I still remember my feet being sore from a full day of skiing and falling off mountains.
- Listening to hi-fi with my Dad in my favorite blue vest. I think I accidentally poked a hole in his speaker and I really never listened to music there again.
- Seeing my Dad fall asleep while I drive my first road trip to Pennsylvania
- Getting the best hug from my Mom at the airport coming back from studying in Germany
- Walking past a security guard at a fancy Osaka club with Chris saying we’re models and everyone in the club believing us (since we hung out with models)
- Finishing my first big speech to high school students and giving advice similar to what my tech teacher Tupot told me in High School. Whatever it was, it worked.
- The whole experience of the mind blowing Megu 17-course meal. The kobe beef sashimi changed my life as a foodie.
- Playing XBOX360 borderlands on dual TVs in Harlem for what I’m pretty sure was the whole day
- Realizing that I had just finished the last exam I will probably ever take at Cooper
- Realizing how much I love her and need her just as much as she needs me
~See Lemons Happiest
Random Observation/Comment #453: If you take a photo and don’t share it on the internet, did you really take it?
Why This List?
I’m probably going to make a full photo album of my favorite 2014 photos of all time, but I’m going to choose these 30 because I will use them for the cover photos for the next 29 lists and they also represent the story of my year. To me, these photos may not be the most beautiful photos I took, but they definitely make me the most nostalgic.
~See Lemons Love 2014