Reflecting on 2015.
“There’s this thing about roads. They get overlooked a lot. Taken for granted. People don’t think enough about how you get some place. They’re too busy talking about where they want to go. But the road to anywhere is the place you’ll find the answers to just about everything. How they got there. Why they got there. The history, the passion, the things that matter more than all the rest of it put together. The road is where the stories are. The road never seems to end, but that’s exactly why it matters so much. Take a closer look at how they get there. It makes you realize where they’re headed means that much more.”
Before we move forward, before we go into this next year, it’s important to stop and reflect on the past. On the roads we have taken. On the roads we have traveled. On the roads we have created. On 2015.
2015 is coming to an end. This year was full of emotions. Emotions of excitement. Of sadness. Of fear. Of love. It was a long road, full of memories, stories, and many lessons.
Here is my road, here is my 2015:
Projects & Work
San Francisco Creative Consulting
I started 2015 off by traveling to San Francisco with a group of fellow students and a professor to work on a creative consulting project for Formica. We were tasked with finding a solution on how Formica could gain more millennial customers.
We researched and discovered insights. We visited amazing companies like IDEO, SEEK Company, gravitytank, and many more. We discovered solutions and pitched our idea to executives from Formica in Cincinnati.
Afghan Fulbright Scholars
In the Spring of this year, I had the opportunity to serve as a creativity mentor for a group of Fulbright Scholars from Afghanistan at the 2015 Fulbright Afghanistan Reentry Seminar on Creativity and Social Entrepreneurship held at Miami University.
It was an amazing opportunity that led to many discoveries, lessons, and stories. I learned of all the roadblocks and obstacles that these students had gone through not only to get an education, but to live.
They talked of going back to Afghanistan to transform and raise it out of the ashes that it was in. They want to change the world, and I know that they will.
They inspired me. They ignited the flame within my soul.
In the summer of 2015, I served as an internal entrepreneurial consultant for Mettler Toledo. My position was to provide a different perspective and viewpoint that focused on looking forward.
It was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to explore and learn about data and data analysis, while also allowing me to use my creative mind and creative problem solving skills to discover solutions for a variety of projects.
Finishing Junior Year & The First Half of My Senior Year
In 2015, I finished my Junior Year at Miami University, and I am now halfway through my Senior Year. In one semester, I will be saying goodbye to my home for the past four years.
It has been an amazing year. I am serving as a Resident Assistant for a new living learning community for Entrepreneurship students; all first-year students at Miami interested in Entrepreneurship are now able to live together in the same residence hall. I finished serving as Chief Executive Officer for a student-run, consulting firm, which I have been a part of since my first semester here at Miami, and turned over the reigns to my successor that will serve as CEO for the upcoming year. I was also actively involved in another student organization, Igoodea, which actively brings in speakers to discuss creativity and entrepreneurship and creates opportunities to explore, practice, and live creatively.
I’m excited for my final semester at Miami, and I’m excited to see where my road takes me next.
I dived deeper into my passion for entrepreneurship by being actively involved within the entrepreneurial eco-system around Miami University.
I continued to form relationships with students within Miami University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship. I started to mentor and guide first-year students as they began their entrepreneurial journey at Miami University. I served as a peer mentor for Miami University’s StartUp Weekend 2015. Lastly, I was able to be inspired and see the entrepreneurial community in action at Product Camp Cincinnati.
After StartUp Weekend, I began to revisit the idea I pitched the year before at the same StartUp Weekend at Miami University. I had pursued it a little bit afterwards, but all the pieces didn’t align. The team didn’t stick together. The timing wasn’t right. Things didn’t work out.
I realized something though. You can’t always wait for all the pieces to align. You just have to run with it. If the pieces align, the pieces align, but at least you’ll be ready when they do. It’s easier to continue running, than to keep stopping and starting again.
I was still passionate about the problem. I was still passionate about solving it. That brings us to now. That brings us to 2016. I’ll be writing about it shortly.
Creating Every Single Day
This past month I started a journey to create something new, every single day. I have been using Medium to post my creations. Anything from a blog post, to my Creativity Manifesto, to a video.
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself, what a man can be, he must be.”
Creating something every single day has kept my gears working. It has kept my creative mind running. It has fueled my soul, and it is something that I plan to take to an even higher level in 2016.
Here are my top posts in 2015:
Jun 28 We are all on a voyage.
Dec 2 What I learned living in Ecuador. (Featured on Social Entrepreneur Corps Facebook)
Dec 29 Don’t hide in your shadow.
Design Thinking Process and Methods Manual by Robert Curedale
The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At A Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna
Currently Reading/Up Next:
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
Lead With A Story by Paul Smith
Rising Strong by Brené Brown
The Startup Playbook by David S. Kidder
Travel & Exploration
I was able to see the Pacific Ocean and the west coast for the first time in my life. It was amazing. It was breathtaking. It was inspiring.
San Francisco was a city full of life, and I will definitely be going back someday in the future.
Need More in 2016
Exploring is definitely something I will be doing more of in 2016. 2015 lacked a lot of exploring, which hurt; it felt like my life was unfulfilled, so I am planning to explore a lot more this upcoming year.
Exploring is how you discover. It is how you learn. It is how you experience. It is how you live, and I can’t wait to see where I explore next.
Saying Goodbye to Man’s Best Friend
2015 was the year I said goodbye to man’s best friend. 2015 was the year I had to say goodbye to the dog I’ve grown up with. 2015 was the year I said goodbye to Sadie. She lived a good life. She had surgury for her back when she was about 4 or 5, and they said she wouldn’t live past the age of around 8. She lived long past that. She was a great dog. She was a great pet. She was a great friend. Rest in peace Sadie.
Family & Friends
2015 was a year where current relationships grew stronger. It was a year where new relationships entered. I met more people at Miami. I met people at Mettler Toledo. I met people from Cincinnatti. I met people from across the world.
Some through work. Some through social. Some acquaintances. Some friends. Some who I may see again. Some who I may not.
Relationships started. Some ended. Some grew stronger. Some grew closer.
2015 was a good year, and I look forward to seeing where both myself and my friends go next.
Some Of The Lessons Learned
- Your life is your life and only yours. No one can tell you how to live your life. Only you can discover what you are passionate about. Only you can discover what you want to do. Only you can discover why you want to do it. Take control of it.
- Do something every single day to move towards your dream. If you aren’t doing anything, you aren’t doing anything. It’s time to get up off the couch and start moving towards your dream. Your dream sure isn’t going to move towards you. You need to hustle. You need to run. Not two weeks from now. Not tomorrow. You need to start right now. Every single day.
- Explore. The world is a vast, awe-inspiring place. There is a whole world out there. Full of stories. Full of discovery. Full of people. What separates us, pales in comparison to what connects us. We are all people. We are all just trying to live and experience life. So go experience it. Go live.
- You will take wrong turns on your road. Get over it and try a different way. You’re going to fail. You’re going to get lost. You’re going to take a wrong turn in your journey through life. If you don’t, you’re not taking enough risks; you’re not living enough. Don’t give up when you end up in a dead end; if you do, you’ll just be stuck in that dead end. You need to stand back up, reflect on the lessons learned, and then start moving in a different direction. Any direction. You just need to continue moving.
- Trust in your gut. Sometimes our intuition is the only thing that can explain something. When you feel your gut. You need to trust it. That’s when the magic happens.
- Spread your wings and fly. It’s time to take action. It’s time to spread your wings and show the world who you truly are. It’s time to fly into the air, and go where you need to go. It’s time to do what you need to do. I can’t tell you what you need to do. Only you can. Whatever your dream is, whatever life you want to live, it’s time to spread your wings and fly.
- Follow your heart. Whenever you’re in a crossroads. Whenever you need to make a decision. Whatever you are doing. You must be following your heart. If your heart isn’t all in, you won’t be all in. Your heart will carry you through the obstacles. Your heart will carry you through the pain. Following your heart will take you to your dream.
- Many more lessons. Some small. Some big. Some that probably haven’t even hit me yet.
Here’s to 2015.
2015 has been a great year. It was full of life. It was full of emotion. It had laughing, it had thought, it had tears, and it had joy.
“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
2015 was a great year.
Here’s to 2015, but I’m just getting started.
2016 is up next, and I’m excited to see what roads lie ahead in my journey through life.
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I am on a creative journey to create something new every single day. A journey is always better when it’s shared with others. If you want to join me on my creative journey to create something new every day, please join me and let me know, so that we can share what we create with each other.
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