Practicing Appreciation

Birthdays are the perfect time for reflection.

This year my goal has been to practice appreciation. Many of you know this already from tipsy moments when I keep telling you I appreciate you too many times :)

Here are 3 realizations I’ve had recently around this mindset of appreciation.

[Realization 1: Appreciating the Present is Powerful]

This year started with having no phone, having a broken phone that eventually died, and now having another broken phone.

In February I left my job at Salesforce and had to turn in my corporate phone that I had been using for the last 3 years. I went a week with no phone and realized my “normal” moments of constantly walking into poles, bumping into people, and forgetting to say thank you were very much technology driven because I was constantly plugged in.

With no phone, I found myself appreciating my neighborhood more noticing and listening in on my surroundings. I also made it a point to find something I admired about everyone I met and everything I was doing. I realized that I could take the cable car instead of Uber and was amazed that a cable car system from the 1880s was still serving my needs. I proceeded to get a new phone that I dropped into a field and then was ran over by a tractor. I then spilled a glass of whiskey on it and it slowly died.

Today I got a broken iPhone 6 that someone gave me that only works when it is plugged in. But I am grateful and happy about its brokenness because this allows me to be more present day to day. The world is here and it is yours to miss if you are not looking up.

[Realization 2: Self Love Allows Your Soul to Scale]

For years I have felt exhausted by large social gatherings because I am an introvert at heart. This year I was not feeling the idea of being at a loud bar or at a club popping Dom. I honestly just wanted to lie under the stars and have deep conversations with friends and I was a little self conscious when I proposed this idea.

Pic Credit: William Chung

Stargazing under the stars for my birthday turned out to be one of my favorite memories this year. My friends actually turned up to freeze to death with me in 50 degree weather in the Presidio with only the warmth of hand warmers. I realized that I did not need to be an extrovert to bring people together. I also did not need to be part of every conversation there. I found so much joy being outside under the stars observing human connection, deep conversations, and just doing something that felt so true to myself. Most people stayed for over 4 hours and we were finally shut down by the sprinklers attacking us.

[Realization 3: Micromovements Pave the Map for Macro Wins. Cherish Every Day]

Sometimes I wake up dreading the day and everything that is on my plate. However I remind myself that every day is a series of steps that test and help me grow into the role model I want to be for my colleagues, peers, and future kids.

In a funny kind of way I have started to gamify day to day life and this has made the journey more exciting and rewarding. I was bored one day and downloaded Kim Kardashian’s game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood which involves a player doing very silly tasks to eventually make it to Hollywood. Surprisingly I realized when I was playing the game, the mundane tasks were actually fun and relatively easy to do because I was present and did not have any fear, anxiety or worry about the future while doing them. Most importantly I was not afraid to fail. And hey, if Kim Kardashian can do it, I can hopefully too.

Living without fear and having the courage to do so has dramatically improved my life. At work, I constantly deal with people that are much more knowledgeable than me. Instead of comparing myself to them(which would take years to get to the same level), I have learned to invest in building in quality in everything I do and investing in areas where I can add the most value. Every day is a new, fun challenge, but one bad day matters very little in the larger roadmap of life.

I have never felt more lucky.

Thank you all for being part of my journey.

What would make my day is if you went out and appreciated someone in your life today.

If I have not seen you in a while or have never gotten to REALLY know you, I would love to connect over a walk/coffee so I can appreciate you. Please don’t hesitate to send me a message. I will always make time for genuine human connection :)