Day102 — Settling Down at Chautauqua

A Much-Needed Predictably Comfortable Day

November 14th, 2016

Alright, so it’s a new week. Back to the typical class schedule. By this point, we only have 3 or so weeks left. It’s crazy. Today I wanted to take things easy. Stay indoors, in my room, getting things organized. Sundays are usually my days for organization. But yesterday I was anything but organized.

So today I played catch up. The morning was about compiling videos. Uploading videos. Writing posts. Posting posts. Etc, etc. During all hands on deck we shared what we were grateful for. Perfect timing, because last night & this morning I was certainly in a grateful mood.

Had more free time this afternoon. Went through 40 or so emails. Did laundry (that was very much needed). And of course, took a nap. I was a little short on sleep last night so an extra hour of bed time is exactly what I needed. Shortly before class, I wrote an important email with an important decision:

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Hello Andrew,

I hope you are enjoying your time out in Florida with Eric!

I am emailing to inform you and the rest of the Watson team that I now believe it would be best for me & my growth to not attend Watson next semester. This semester has been completely transformational and I now feel adequately prepared to leave the safety bubble of the university & tackle the real world with a kind of courage that I’ve never had before.

I’m extremely committed to the growth and success of Watson as a new model for higher education and hope to continue to engage as much as I can as an alum of the semester program. I think we could find great collaborative opportunities between myself and Watson. If possible, I would love to live here in Chautauqua next semester, continuing to prototype FailUp at Watson & build meaningful relationships as I learn from and grow with this community.

I sincerely apologize for this change of mind considering the inconvenient effects it has on your admissions process. I hope this won’t be too disruptive and I very much look forward to discussing these ideas in more detail with you, Megan, Mohit, and Eric.

With deep gratitude,


— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Minutes later, I got an encouraging response. Andrew was happy for me. Happy to learn about the transformations at Watson & my readiness to tackle the world! Also, he said “for now, plan on living back in Chautauqua for the upcoming Spring :-)”

Wow, this is awesome. Another 4 or so months in this land of paradise, with these incredibly inspirational people. A decision is being made. And it feels like the right one. I want to stay here in Boulder, continue collaborating with Watson, and continue exploring paths related to entrepreneurship & mental wellness here. It’s making sense!

Tonight’s Ideation workshop was on communication, messaging, and pitching, both written & oral, verbal & non-verbal. The workshop was co-faciliated by our friend Galen (I attended his workshop on facing your fears from about a month or so ago & we’ve definitely built a relationship over the course of the semester).

This workshop was great, we went over key concepts about what makes a presentation sticky. A lot of research has been done in this area. We discussed a model that has been validated through extensive research.

The Success model. Simple. Unexpected. Concrete. Credibility. Stories. This made sense. We worked through these different aspects and applied them to our ventures. How could we incorporate these ideas? Next, we jumped into body language & pitch practice.

So 93% of communication occurs non-verbally. When we present, our body language is so so important. We were offered opportunity to pitch in front of the class so we could receive feedback. I took the opportunity. My pitches went well. Each one very different. I made them up on the fly.

The second better than the first. I had an element of surprise and it was engaging. Mostly positive feedback. I carry a lot of energy. And I’m big. So I have a lot of potential to use that powerfully. During my first pitch I swayed back and forth, which is a bit distracting. It’s all about being able to channel my energy.

Fun class. When pitching is involved, it’s really interesting. Returned to the room. Dinner. Emails. Blogging. Etc. Today was a good day. Nice to be in one spot experiencing a predictably comfortable morning, afternoon, and evening.

Lesson Learned Today:

  • Your body language is the most important language for communication

3 Things I’m “Greatful” for today

  • Andrew Lippi, he pulls miracles for Watson & makes everyone here feel very valued. He lives & breathes the values of Watson. He’s done so much good for so many people. Very grateful for Lippi
  • Galen, did a great job co-facilitating today. Also, I am really interested in the work that he is doing with Courage Club, it’s similar to FailUp in the sense that both work on addressing fears
  • Mohit, day-after-day he shows up with strength & commitment to the learning of the students. He has provided invaluable guidance for me throughout the Watson experience

Universal human hunger to be needed



Jog Blog