Top 3 Strategies for Google Wave (thus far).

three steps white door by limonada.

Photo Credit

I finally got Google Wave and all it took was a post.  Anyways here are my three strategies:

  1. Be Selective With Invites. Don’t just invite your best friends.  You only have eight invites, and to make the most out of Google Wave you want people who (a) Have a willingness to use it, and (b) Will USE IT.  I haven’t given mine all out yet (still have three more), but the ones I have sent were to people I collaborate with in someone way and/or have a demonstrated interest in “Web 2.0”.
  2. Have Ideas. My friend James started a Wave to discuss/critique his latest song, and Linda has started a book club Wave.  I’d like to start a peer-mentor Wave or something network (always) related.
  3. Have Fun. These first days with Google Wave were like the my very first day of school.  I was just trying to figure out how it all worked and where I fit.  Most likely I’m not alone in that.  However it has been fun figuring out ways to leverage this new tool, and seeing the direction my friends are taking it.

That’s what I got so far!

//A.J.


Top 8 Reasons I Am Thankful (EVERYDAY).

I’ve finally woken up from my Itis induced post-Thanksgiving nap.  I’m still a little groggy but couldn’t pass up the obligatory Happy Thanksgiving post (my friend Linda ,of Curious Notions, has three).

So, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Here are my top eight reasons to be thankful:

  1. My health. There’s a line in Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen, “Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.”  I may not understand it, but I am thankful each day for it.  I decided (last night) I would run 12 miles this morning.  I got up and knocked it out in 1 hour and 49 minutes.  I know at some point my body will not align with my will, whether through age or accident, so each day that I have my health and full capacity is a blessing.
  2. My family. In times of inner-doubt I can think of no greater refuge.  Whether through outward expressions of their love and confidence in me (for as long as I can remember), to indirectly letting me know they have my back, I am fortunate to have them.
  3. Friends and Friends that inspire/motivate me. Second to my family, I am thankful for having a great circle of friends across the states and abroad.  You are the company you keep.  Through their words and actions they make me strive to reach my full potential.  Also they hook you up with Google Wave (thanks David!).
  4. Life Time Fitness. I am an active gym goer.  I wouldn’t call myself a gym rat, but behind my study I probably spend a fair amount of time there.  Life Time’s staff is friendly and I’ve enjoyed all the gym has to offer (note: this is an uncompensated review).
  5. Living in Austin. Need I say more?  I love my city, more so having spent undergrad and law school out-of-state.  A lot changed in those eight years, and I enjoyed seeing the growth in spurts when I came home for holidays and the summer.  In this past year-and-a-half since I’ve re-settled home I am discovering Austin, making new friends, and reconnecting with old ones.
  6. The people who read my blog (and leave comments). THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  A friend said, “When you have blogs you start seeing your life through a ‘can this be blog post fodder’ lenses.”  Put another way it makes you examine your daily life purposely.  I definitely have been doing that, and I am m extremely thankful for all who take time to read what I post.  Especially those that leave comments.
  7. DVR. This bit of tech has freed me from the tyranny of commercials and network/cable programing schedules.
  8. Endless curiosity. I can’t study at Barnes and Nobles because on bathroom breaks I always end up distracting myself picking up a random book on business, poetry, philosophy, etc.  However, when time is available, I enjoy exploring the random thoughts or interests that pop up in my mind.  Intellectual wandering may be the apt description.

Again, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

//A.J.


Google Wave, I WANT THAT!

The wave ZOOM by afsilva.
Photo Credit

Every morning the pre-k’s in my mom’s school let out a collective “I WANT THAT!” in response to every toy commercial Nick Jr. airs.

I know because I hear them from my office (mom’s classroom being our garage converted into a classroom right of a catalogue).  Even the ones who can’t talk mange to get out mixed up sounds essentially stating, “ditto!”

I used to think how funny it was, and how I never acted like that as a child.  Well if I didn’t at age 4, I realized today at age 26 I do.

I WANT Google Wave.  What does Google Wave do?  How it will improve my life?  I don’t know.  As my friend Steven said “no one knows what it does it’s just cool and has potential.”

Right he is (possibly)!  I want it because everyone else wants it.  Does this make me childish?  Probably.  But I know I’m not alone.  As much as adults like to think we’ve grown past childish behavior, we all have our moments.

So Google, thanks for making me feel like a child again (I guess).  Now how about someone send me an invite!

//A.J.


Sunday Reflection: Invictus, the Unconqured.

In law school I had this poem framed on my apartment door to read everyday before I went to class.  It is as relevant now as then.

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley, Invictus


Try and Try again, With a Smile.

Reading Peter Bergman’s post, “How Not Achieving Something Is the Key to Achieving It” on the Harvard Business blog, reaffirmed my feelings on networking and goal breaking.

It was like getting a cold bucket of water splashed on my face!

Bergman discusses his experience during the early days of his consulting business, trying to land an account with a particular individual, and the repeated attempts to get face time, encompassing numerous re-scheduled lunches and calls, over several months.

The “cold water moment” occurred when I read this part of the post:

“Here’s what I realized though: if I could avoid reacting to my feelings of frustration or hurt, then the cost to me of rescheduling the meeting was a two minute phone call with Fred’s secretary. And the upside was potentially enormous.”

Right on.  A lot of us hit that wall, I have anyways.  We just want to give up after the second canceled lunch or missed phone call.  It sucks.  I’ve given up a few times when I should have just called once more, or twice more, or as many times as it took!

I always (try) to remember that networking, while social, is business.  It’s more personalized, and hopefully genuine (read: Not brown nosing), but it’s not the sandbox either.  Also, unless you are just THAT abrasive, no one is going out of their way to avoid you.

Back the post, Bergman also discusses Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, and the 10,000 hour rule.  For those not familiar, it’s the idea that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours (obviously “raw” talent and other factors can affect this but you get the idea).

This leads to the crux of his post, that “[A]nyone can do anything.  As long as three conditions exist”:

  1. You want to achieve it
  2. You believe you can achieve it
  3. You enjoy trying to achieve it

On these three points he states:

“We often think we only need the first two but it’s the third condition that’s most important. The trying is the day-to-day reality.”

The tie-in to the 10,000 rule is that you will only get better, at whatever it is your trying to do, by DOING IT, and enjoying doing it in the face of obstacles.

There are a lot of things I want and believe I can achieve, but want and belief are mental states.  It’s easy to dream, but it’s another thing to live out that dream.  Trying requires physical action, which often can be the hardest part.  That first, actual, step towards a goal.

I found Mr. Bergman’s post a great refresher for staying on the grind and not letting obstacles impede you.  Check it out.

//A.J.

“And if at first you don’t succeed
Then dust yourself off and try again
You can dust it off and try again, try again
Cause if at first you don’t succeed
You can dust it off and try again
Dust yourself off and try again, try again…”

Try Again, Aaliyah


New Addition: Interviews

thinking head by pupilas gustativas.
Photo credit

Brainstorming new content ideas over the weekend, I decided to add an “Interviews” section.  I feel fortunate to be in the company of some incredible people, who through their actions and accomplishments both inspire me and fuel my ambition.  And I’d like to share them with you.

Starting things off, Marion Brooks (of TANY Sports fame) provided the FIRST interview.  He’s a great friend and an asset to my professional and social circle since I’ve come back to Austin.  Expect big things from him!

//A.J.


Chasing Solitude

“You should go some place after the [Texas] bar,” my mother said over brunch.  Immediately I said “Marfa, TX.”  My parents looked a little confused, I think because they were expecting someplace coastal, not 500 miles from Austin in the middle of nowhere West, Texas.  But nowhere looks pretty good right now.
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I think because I’ve forgotten what it’s like to come home to silence, and maintain that silence for as long as I chose.
Mother then asked, “by yourself?”  Me, “most likely, maybe, probably, who knows.”  Time away would be good, with someone else, it depends.  A lot can happen in four months.
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I read a GQ (or another men’s glossy) article a few months ago about a writer who totally cut himself off from the world by booking passage on cargo ships.  It’s not as extreme as it sounds, but definitely something I will consider down the road.
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Right now though this is where I want to get away post-Bar, the Thunderbird.  I like their Tbird Retreat described as followed:
Soak in the West Texas inspiration. Write, photograph, dream and build. Stay any day and we’ll include unlimited sessions with our vintage typewriter, bottomless supplies of paper, a Lomolito camera, a turntable and all the vinyl you’d want, bicycle rentals, and daily (and frequent) coffee delivery to your door.

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It’s been one year and seven months since I’ve come back to Austin, the longest I’ve been home since I left for Wake Forest.  The difference between now and then, besides law school loans and increased maturity, is that there is break from home.
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Home was once a place to stay for holidays, or summers, which in my mind were like extended-vacations.  Now it is all there is.  Not that I have any reason to complain!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being back, in more ways than I thought.  I’m just still adjusting.

//A.J