8 to 8

This week I tried something new. Ive been feeling like I haven't been working as efficiently as I can, especially as of late. A friend who I conveyed this to, advised that I try not doing any social/non-professional correspondence at all from between the hours of 8am to 8pm. This seemed like a simple enough policy to follow, but knowing myself I went ahead and deleted any app that wasn't professionally productive from my phone away. To give myself a little bit of insurance. Since this week is just about over, I feel like enough time has lapsed from me to be at least fairly certain of the soundness of some observations that I've made. There are a few.

To start, I had no idea there was this much time in a day! Monday alone was essentially one and a half times more productive than really any other Monday in memory. Aside from the social media/correspondence aspect, I found that all the time I spent consuming news or pods or music or youtube vids, was A LOT of time. There was just so much more space to do what I panned and to actually execute it within the day. Who knew?

Secondly, the ability to focus. Just focus. On a thing. One thing. And to get that thing done. And then move on to another thing. Imagine! I sort of knew that this was going to have a better opportunity to occur more under the circumstance, but still. To actually experience it made me wonder if I've ever actually given any one thing my entire attention. Ever. There has always been some sort of music, or ambient noise, or subconscious distraction. I invited the distraction, because it made me feel more comfortable. I'm used to the noise. But much more than before, its apparent that some (probably definitely most) comfort feels good, but isn't good at all. Work life, social life, all of college life... I never actually focused. Like really focused. I get it now.

Lastly, was the control. When I was consuming so many things during the day, they ended up dictating much more than I realized. All the news, and pods, and whatever else I let into my universe affected my mood and motivation much more than I thought. Not that these things aren't great to know or have or consume, but they are for the most part, things that I can't control. And whats more, they only distract my mind from the things I can control. Like this list of errands, or meetings, or paperwork that doesn't care what's happening anywhere else. I understand now how much allowing outside elements to affect you, even without your notion can be a detriment to your work. 

Basically what I'm saying is it hasn't been a bad week. All the things that I didn't know I didn't know, didn't matter. All the things I needed to know, I found out about anyway. Just not from 8 to 8. 

Inno

For the Love of Money, and Other Things (The Secret)

I love money. I mean, to a certain extent, we all love money. Some more than others and for various reasons. But when I say that I love money, I don’t mean in a sinister, money hungry, natural resource depleting kind of way. Im not even really talking about money in the sense of cash or numbers on a computer.  

Money (and all currency for that matter) is nothing more than trust. Trust that some good or service will be performed in exchange for some generally tradable value that can be used/redeemed for another service of good later down the line. I love that trust. Its pretty amazing when you think about it. That the whole world economy is made up of national economies, which is made up of local economies, which is made up of markets, which is made of transactions, which is made up of exchanges of goods/services for currency, which is made up of trust. 

So those trusted to have the best goods/services have the opportunity to make the most currency. The currency doesn’t care what the good/service is for or what it does. The subjectivity of the transaction is left to the humans involved. This is why money cannot be the root of all evil. Evil is the root of all evil. Money is just a fertilizer. It works just as well on the roots of good too. I’ll stop with the terrible extension of the analogy, but you get my point. Anyway, here is an even better explanation on how an economy works, narrated by Ray Dalio. He knows a little more on the subject:

And Another Thing…

I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction. Simply, it states that your thoughts become things and the things you think about most manifest in your real life via various conscious and sub-conscious triggers. And the way the mind works is independent of the sentiment of the thoughts one has. That is to say, that although being “Anti-War” and “Pro-Peace” have the same sentiment, they attract totally different energies. Simply because “war” is in the thought of the former, it attracts the very unrest that it’s meant to thwart. This is the very reason why utmost positivity is key. 

I suppose I more or less have always had a positive nature, but understanding this has made is very clear to me the importance of being cognizant of my outlook and how I spend my energy. And I have to say, IT WORKS. My personal formula for how to practice the law comes down to love for self, gratitude, and patience.

Love for Self

I think we all basically understand love in at least the simple form of accommodation/acceptance and effort to understand. To me, to love self is to do all those things for your past self and experiences. Being able to accept all mistakes, triumphs, and otherwise personal quirks of the past self, allow for the ability to accept self today. Because today’s self is the accumulation of all past experience. Acceptance of self is the definition of confidence. This is the start.

Gratitude

The practice of gratitude is to embrace and acknowledge all that has been given up to this point. To understand that there is always something to be thankful for and to focus on that emits the positive energy that attracts more. No blessing is too small not to be aware that it didn’t have to happen. 

Patience 

THE HARDEST one for me, patience comes in handy because it allows for certainty instead of worry about future wants, desires, and plans. Instead of freaking out about the thing that isn’t in hand yet, it prepares/ creates an energy and space for the universe to provide that want. This is also much easier to do when the focus on the other two pieces of the formula are in practice. 

In the few months that I have been doing this actively, new people, new opportunities, and possibilities have all come to me. My luck is way up! At the end of the day, positive people want to be a part of the positive energy and its really only the positive people that dream, believe, and get things done. 

Inno

Ps. "Survive the drought, I wish you well."

If This Then That, But So... What?

Over the weekend, my dad and I were discussing whether one’s destiny was his/her's to dictate or already chosen before manifestation. His (my father’s) stance was that there was a higher power that dictates the order of things and how much success/failure one experiences. My point was more that you can have the ability to manifest your own destiny based on the premise that If one decided not to do anything, nothing would happen. Based on that logic alone, I decided in my inFINITE wisdom that I was right and he was wrong. We decided to disagree, which I was ok with, but which also had me texting my admission of incorrectness later that night.

Im not sure if you have watched Interstellar, but very roughly, the basic concept is that there is conceivably a place in space somewhere that incorporates time as another dimension with physical properties. That being understood, time (in its physical state) can be manipulated with simple movement much in the way that we can walk from point A to point B. Imagine for example, walking from 2016 (located in your living room) back to 2000 (located across the street). I don’t want to give up too much more of the storyline, but this notion allowed one individual to send important information back in time to another individual who goes on to save humanity. A bit grandiose, but it still got me thinking about the conversation I had with my father earlier that day. After collecting my thoughts. I sent him this text:

If: Destiny = staring where you are, using what you have, and doing what you can,

Then: doing what you can and using what you have can be controlled

But: staring where you are cannot be controlled

So: some significant portion of destiny (where you start) is not in one's total control

I went on to explain that the success/failure one has is at least in some indeterminable part, due to some uncontrollable aspect of one’s life. And since the portion is not quantitative, there in no certifiable grounds to infer that it isn’t almost all outside of one’s control. Now I understand that the argument for the opposite can be made in much the same way, but…Interstellar was really trippy. Here seems like a great place to stop before my point becomes totally science fictional, so I will.

Happy Holidays

Inno

 

The Way Of The World.

As of late, there's been a general question on my mind. Normally when that happens, I ask my people what they think about my general question. And normally the response is somewhere along the lines of, "Please stop making me pause Walking Dead to answer your general questions Inno!"

Which is, you know, fair enough. Walking Dead is a very popular show. Mad Men, Breaking Bad… AMC has done really well in the last decade, I gotta say. Digression aside, the question still stands. 

And it’s this, Have things always been this way, and I wasn’t paying attention? Or is this a special circumstance/unusual times that we’re living in?

I ask because for a while now, things have seemed to be out of harmony. 2016 alone was full of losses. Prince, Bowie, numerous shootings, Brexit, and currently severe backlash in the aftermath of one of the most divided elections in our lifetime/ probably American history. We could go into how we feel personally about all these things, but chances are we can also just find that out by multiplying  the timeline FB thinks they know that we want to see by the average time spent on FB. I say that to say all of our opinions are on some level irrelevant because there is almost literally another half of the population who also feels they are 100% right. Besides, that’s not the question.

The question of things being the way they are in our country and on our planet for that matter, causes me to try to look back at our history and the cycles, we’ve experienced as a people in this system. I happen to be an economist by training and thus have been handicapped with the ability to really only ever truly understand via the numbers and incentives. I’ll explain.

Without going too far back into our collective history, (for fear of you losing what little interest you have left and un-pausing WD) let’s start at early 20th century USA. (I’ll make it quick, I promise)

This was an important time because it included a world war (very profitable) and the installation of the central bank (Federal Reserve). That’s really important because it allowed the country to get off the original gold standard and start to essentially become the gold standard itself. And that is important because it allowed us to have the currency of the world and control how much of it is in the market at any given time.

This experiment went well and not so well as the reserve figured out wtf they were doing. 

In the 20s (there was a war there) they didn’t print/lend enough money = Great Depression

In the 40s (there was a war there) they printed/lent well, creating many jobs = Greatest Generation

In the 60s (there was a war there) too much was printed/lent = Super inflation/mile long gas lines

In the late 80s = Greenspan era, when reserve basically just lends, but only to wall street, not necessarily main street though. 

I can only guess you’re bored out of your mind right now, so I’ll fast forward to the 2000s. All that lending that traveled from the reserve to big banks, didn’t reach the “people” so to speak. Greenspan essentially allowed the bankers to take risks (lend/trade irresponsibly) with no downside, because he’d bail them out if they went under (interesting precedent). What that basically did was destroy incentive for wall street to work for main street (savings and loans), and instead just take risks with main street’s money (no savings and very bad loans) with minimal consequence. 

That broken incentive (among a few other things) caused a bubble in markets, making it more profitable to increase debt and trade it than actually build wealth for the people. ('08 Credit Crisis anyone?) Pitting the money people against the blue collar people. A Class war with a widening gap where the middle class used to be. 

There are ONE MILLION THINGS I left out, but I think this provides minimal background so that we can return back to the original question with an understanding of how Inno’s brain computes. 

Basically, S#*t is F%&king F&$kitty F&*%ked up right now, I think we can agree. Economically, politically, and socially. But has it always been that way or is this a special F&*%ed? And either way, as a people, where do we go from here? 

I’ll let you marinate on that as you return to whatever regularly scheduled program you got going on. I do actually want your input btw. Im aware that other (many smarter) people think via different mechanisms. Please share your thoughts.

Inno

Ps: The fact the walking dead are not even close to the scariest thing about the Walking Dead is by far the scariest thing about the Walking Dead. 

Give It Your ❤

 

Earlier this week, I had to grab a Lyft quite early in the morning and subsequently had a very engaging conversation with the driver on the way to my destination. After hopping into the passenger seat and hearing a foreign accent in his reply to my salutation, I asked where he was from. He let out a small chuckle, before going on. Gerry replied that he was originally from Dublin, and… well, sometimes you know when a guy has a story. This was one of those times, so I asked him what his deal was and that’s when we started on a conversation that I did not expect to have early on a Tuesday morning.

He started with explaining his American origin story. He had been here a while, but spent the bulk of his time in Los Angeles. He was up here in search of some startup capitol (aren’t we all) for a business he’s trying to get off the ground. At this point, I’m assuming that it’s some sort of tech-based situation (which I love) and inquire further about the idea he’s trying to turn into reality.

Upon my ask, Gerry said that he was into designer jeans. Like he makes them. Sonas Denim. I can vividly remember now how much I did not see that coming. I was even more surprised when he readily pulled out a brochure featuring a model rocking his denim patchwork jeans in all their glory. This model showcased his jeans in the different color ways and patchwork designs. At this point he explained to me how the inspiration for the look of his wear came from experiences he had at Burning Man. I pretty instantly realized that I wasn’t going to fully understand the premise behind the particular design but that others who were also burners probably instantly would. Gerry interrupted himself to ask me if I had attended before. I replied that I had not, but had flickering plans to attend next year with my friend British Chris, who said he might. (From what I understand, Burning Man is a rather polarizing topic that seems to either attract or repel people for various reasons. I personally don’t mind the peculiarity of it all. Also, I’m sort of just fascinated by weird people.) I digress.

Before we got lost on a Burning Man tangent I knew we were headed towards, I got back to the topic of getting business off the ground. Parsing through the lookbook, I asked how he planned to make this thing pop. Who were the tastemakers? The blogs? Who are the core customers? Why would they care? Thinking more about it as he talked marketing/PR, I asked if there was a staple. Like an accessory piece that would be the basic go-to for a customer, not unlike the Kors watch or TOMs originals. At this point and without pause, Gerry pulls out this huge, round handbag with the identical patchwork look out from I’m not even sure where. While I’m silently trying to investigate whether I’m actually inside a popup shop on wheels, he explains to me that this bag (and the whole collection for that matter) is made with no animal products of any kind at that a percentage of each purchase goes to the benefit of animal welfare. A cause that his wife, an animal rights lawyers cares deeply about.

I mean at this point, I realized two things. First, that Gerry actually has two companies. One seasonal/ultra specific denim collection and one boho chic/environmentally conscious doggy carrier company. Second, that giant purse needs to become a carrier for small dogs immediately. Fashionable dog lovers with small dogs buy accessories for their dogs and in turn benefit other less fortunate dogs? WIN WIN WIN.

Before I get out at my destination, I tell all these things to Gerry, who seemed very receptive and even commented that he knew there was some serendipitous reason that he drove all the way to the edge of the city to give me a Lyft despite the fact that most of the morning business was downtown. Im not sure why he wasn’t downtown either to be honest, but I was just glad to get a ride and hear about the passion the guy has for what he is trying to do. I could care less if he actually takes any of my advise (probably smart not to), but I can tell he believes in it. I love that more than anything. He’s giving it is heart because you have to give it your heart.

Inno

Ps: Condolences to all the families that have taken a direct loss due to the happenings in Nigeria, France, and all over the world. For what it is worth, my ❤ goes out to you.

 ❤ ❤ ❤ 

"I, Inno focus on myself, on building the most influential businesses, giving the have-nots more access to the world’s resources, and creating value worth billions in the process."(x10)

Scott Adams is a cartoonist. More specifically, he is the creator of Dilbert, a comic that gained most of its popularity in the mid to late 90s. Scott Adams is also pretty widely considered highly successful, which is why Tim Ferriss interviewed him here, seeking to reveal some of the practices/routines Scott has kept in order to achieve his success. I liked this interview (and Adams in particular) because there is so little sense that the things he has achieved aren’t attainable by literally anybody. Adams himself said in a BI interview “You can’t control luck directly, but you can move from a game with bad odds to a game with good odds. The world is like a reverse casino. In a casino, if you gamble long enough, you’re certainly going to lose. But in the real world, where the only thing you’re gambling is, say, your time or your embarrassment, then the more stuff you do, the more you give luck a chance to find you. If you do one thing and stop, you didn’t give luck a chance to find you. You only need one thing to work.” Adams is just a guy who didn’t give up and didn’t mind the potential embarrassment or loss of time it took to be great. And because you can’t control who you know, or even what you know, but you can control how much you are willing to find out, I can’t but admire the commitment to the “gamble”.

Among the many things that they talked about in the interview, one practice that caught my ear especially was the routine Scott used to have when he was starting out, where he’d basically write the declarative sentence that he was a cartoonist over and over (15 times) to begin everyday. The repetitive nature and the seeing the words everyday made it easier to visualize and accept, even before it was a reality. I took that practice and decided I’d try it out. I figured it couldn’t hurt and the value of it working vs. the expense of energy to do it was pretty good. So everyday I write out “I, Inno focus on myself, on building the most influential businesses, giving the have-nots more access to the world’s resources, and creating value worth billions in the process.” ten times a day. It isn’t a short sentence, but each component is necessary. Let me explain:

I, Inno focus on myself

I get distracted. We live in a society of distraction if we’re honest. As time passes and technology advances, there are just more opportunities to basically waste time being distracted. Everything’s looking for our attention. There is this constant attempt at a grab for eyeballs to either sell stuff or advertise for other people to sell stuff to our collective relative public awareness. I find myself humming the melody to “Hotline Bling” all the time and I’m not even sure that I like the song anymore. Distractions are just everywhere, taking up mindshare. And more to my point, that mindshare we have is finite. Time to think, time to dream, time to plan, time to imagine, all come from the same limited pot. I personally want to spend less time being distracted and more time focusing on building things that bring value to the world.

on building the most influential businesses

I spend a lot of time thinking about pain points or challenges that we all as people have and share. Some are bigger than others but for the most part, they all tend to be issues that are in my face. Things like financial inequality and the fact that my generation doesn’t really save/invest as much as it probably (DEFINITELY) should, or that we really don’t trust the grownups “running” things because we can actively see them destroying our planet. Race issues, gender issues, gun regulation, drug regulation… I think about them all because they’re not easily solvable and because they will clearly be here a while. I think about these issues in terms of business because that’s what I understand best. It’s my understanding that all business is, is an organization wrapped around a product or service that is focused on solving a particular problem in exchange for commercial gain. And if I got that part right (it is very possible that I do not), then most if not all of the world’s issues can be solved and bring more opportunity to more people at the same time. The bigger the pain point, the bigger the solution. The bigger solution, the bigger the customer base/business. The bigger the influence. The bigger the opportunity to do well by doing good. You get the point.

giving the have-nots more access to the world’s resources

The way I see it, there are two ways to become “made” in this country:

1. You develop a solution for a few very rich people, which either helps them make more money or show off their money.

2. You develop a solution or even better, a platform that gives the masses the ability to create income for themselves and for you.

I have the capacity to admire anyone who is able to utilize either option, but have a special respect for an individual or organization that accomplishes the very rare feat of creating productive value for the masses and for themselves. Generally, using technology to lower the barrier of entry into an already established industry does this. That lowering of the barrier, whether it is based on startup capital cost or education, allows those who are less connected (which there are many more of) to organize, discover their power, and benefit from the strength of those newly discovered numbers. I personally understand real estate best at this point, but there are so many ways to challenge the way so many industries do commerce to benefit the few. So many. Neither option is an easy option. Both options involve an adequate balance of resilience and controlled insanity to pull off actual success, but hey…you know… F%&k it.

and creating value worth billions in the process.

Every part of this declarative sentence is placed in an order based on importance. This part comes last precisely because it is least. The focus, the building, and the giving come before because they are all the necessary components needed to actually create the value. I say “billions” because I don’t actually plan on retiring ever and this is much more than likely an amount I can look to seek as opposed to actually attain. Also, “trillions” is just outrageous. (Like, if anyone was ever to become an actual trillionaire in our lifetime, I just have to assume ALOT of people died for that to happen) The real point here is about giving more people the chance to create not riches, but wealth for themselves. I think that even in our capitalist system, it can be done.

Over time, what I write every morning will probably change based on my circumstances and frame of mind, but I have found that since doing it, I am able to better control what I allow into my consciousness to take my time. I mean, I still love Love LOVE vine compilations but I think more about what I want out of the time I have. Maybe you can try it too. For like a week. See if it changes anything.

Happy Veterans Day,

Inno

“Inno the kid” hated Sleep

 

“Inno the kid” hated Sleep

I’ve been having issues with sleep lately.

Re-reading that first sentence to myself, I realize that I should probably contextualize a little more with a reference to the history of my already relatively terrible sleeping habits. As a kid, I never liked sleep. “Bedtime” was the dumbest concept to me and I never got over the fact that I was supposed to go to bed just because it was time to. Looking back, it stemmed mostly from f.o.m.o (I was a pretty nosey kid), but still. I knew I wasn’t going to sleep, my parents knew I wasn’t going to sleep…who were we kidding really? Even up to now, I generally go to bed at about midnight, lie there till about 1am, wake up at about 5am, and lie there some more till the alarm (Kanye’s “Good Morning”) comes on at about 7am. This has pretty much been the trend for all of my adult life. That is until recently.

Recently, it’s been going to bed at about the same time, but waking up at like 4:30. WIDE AWAKE . To the point that I’m too wired to go back to sleep. (It is really disorienting to wake up when it’s still dark btw) I end up just getting up. I’m not really sure if it’s my metabolism slowing down or my mind speeding up, but whatever it is, I think I’m starting to realize more and more how much time I don’t have. Not that I don’t have time. I mean, we all technically have the same amount of time in a given day. I guess I mean specifically the priority of use with my time and more importantly, the delusion I’ve somehow become accustomed to that I can put things off till some other future time. Time that I’ve decided I can plan with a that is not actually promised to me.

I have so many half baked ideas and skeletal drafts of projects and initiatives, and trips, and things I “plan” on doing that are based on this delusional promise. But if they’re so important, how come I’m not just doing them? There is no proof that I will actually have tmrw. There is no proof l’ll actually have tonight, if I’m honest.

And if the success I have is the problems I solve, and the honor I have is the promises I keep, there is no more honorable success than the wisest use of my time. How I use it is my choice, like it has always been. And the importance I tie to it is the importance that it has. That goes for everything. Including this post.

I like to think “Inno the kid” knew this deep down and forewent more sleep than he needed because he knew it was a waste of time. But in all honesty, I just wanted to stay up with the grownups and watch Leno make terrible Clinton jokes. (Btw, did anyone actually even enjoy Jay Leno or was he just on? I would never hate on his success, but I don’t recall ever laughing…ever)

Anyway, I wrote as a reminder that nothing except NOW is promised. (K.I.)

Inno

The Man with the Big Heart/Billions in Change

The Man With the Big Heart

Contrary to most people in my immediate social circles, I drive a lot. Like, A LOT. Which isn’t all that bad. I don’t mind driving, in theory at least. There are so many pros. I get time to call my friends (many of which I know are at a desk and can’t answer, but will enjoy the very long winded, nothing-filled voicemail I leave) in the middle of the day, crush podcasts about all the various random things I’m interested in, explore and run around the bay as opposed to wasting time on the internet not doing whatever it is I’d be pretending I’m doing at a desk. But the one thing that I cannot stand is traffic. Traffic is the worst. I honestly don’t even get started.

(Getting started) The utter frustration of having gotten up from probably not enough “rest”, and the amount of pure energy expended to self hype for the day planed to conquer (but really just hope to survive), only to spend the majority of the beginning of it sitting in what is basically a cage, next to thousands of other cages, with other frustrated, caffeine filled worker bees is actually insane. The awkward eye contact when you look over at another driver at the same time. Inching along, especially when you know you’re late, and knowing there is nothing you can do about it. And worst of all, the dreaded full stop and its inherent signal that you actually would make more progress if you got out, left your cage, and walked to your destination . Needless to say, in between the calls to friends’ voicemails and pod refreshes, there’s ample time for the mind to wander. (This is a thing my mind in particular does well.) And the other day, I came to a realization with some help from a man with a very big heart.

In a moment last week, I was stuck in traffic staring at the various cars in my field of vision. I wondered about all the people inside them and what they were thinking, then about where they might’ve come from… where they were going. Much like the variance in the models, sizes, colors, and personal decals of all the cars, I started to draw parallels between them and the people inside them. Probably mostly all convinced that they were individual in their choices and distinguishable in their outlooks, but really deep down all going pretty much in the same direction and actually sharing that journey with everyone else here. Some drivers using a few different strategies, constantly switched lanes in a somewhat futile attempt to get ahead, while others who were less opportunistic kept a ’slow and steady’ strategy. Basically though, it all came down to the fact that whether we liked it or not, we were stuck with each other on this road for this set amount of time. Whether in a Benz or in a bucket, mini cooper or minivan, hummer or hybrid.. same road.

So as we all inch along, some jumping lanes trying to make up for time that’s already lost, others checking their snaps, and me trying to avoid the actual complete stop, all with our own issues and incentives, I begin to wonder in my way of wondering, Wtf are we all doing? Wtf is the point of any of this, of anything?? Then before I begin to get too deep into my own head, I look up.

…Oh yea.

I am not certain this man has a job. I am certain this man does important work.

Billions in Change.

You see this guy? His name is Manoj Bhargava. Looks like just a guy right? No big deal. I thought so too, Then I did a bit research on him. Turns out he was a math wiz as a kid (ok deal), monk for 12 years in his 20s (Reeves would like that), started 5-Hour Energy basically out of boredom (pretty big deal), is now worth about $4 billon (Very big deal), and is now actively working on ways to 1. Create unlimited/sustainable energy 2. Turn salt water into fresh water 3. Prevent illness outright (BIG F%&king DEAL!)

Anyway, here is a film about what he’s doing. I imagine he spends very little time daydreaming in traffic.

Happy (we made it to the end of) Monday!

Inno

No Typical Anyone/ For Berky

No Typical Anyone

A week ago today, I can vividly recall sitting in gridlock, cursing at myself because I was late to a meeting that I was not supposed to be late to and had not properly planned out how long it’d take to get there. (During the extra long dive, my mind wondered off into a pretty accurate analogy for life based on traffic. Perhaps a post for another time.) Eventually, I got to the location I was 37 minutes late to, where I wasted no time preparing myself to apologize profusely about my lack of punctuality. This meeting was with the owner of the scaffolding company we had contracted out to for a total exterior paint job for a property.

My worry wasn’t so much about being late per say, but more about the fact that my lapse was yet another broken promise to go along with all the other delays that had accompanied this particular project. Empty promises and unfulfilled timelines from other contract commitments had sort of trickled down the pipeline of this project and apart from the unavoidable reality that I was gong to make mistakes on my first project this size, I still just don’t like not being able to do something I said I would do. And of course to fortify my role as the butt some huge cosmic joke, the owner I was set to meet couldn’t even do me the solid of being indignant, and in fact was the most gracious and reassuring person about the whole thing. It was terrible.

I was reassured that I was one of the easier clients that have been dealt with in especially recent memory and that back at the office there was a binder full of former clients who never paid their bills let alone showed up late to a meeting. A mini rant ensued about older clients and creative attempts to chase people down and effectively having to more often than what should be acceptable, become a debt collection agency. Not feeling so bad, I asked how much was estimated to still be outstanding in debts. The reply was about $300,000. I immediately began feeling bad again. More explanations about how many more sites and jobs than just mine began to freely flow. At this point I had to take a step back and actually look at who I was talking to.

The person running this operation was a little, probably middle aged, Asian lady. In like size 5 construction boots. I then turned around to look at the pretty large group of guys taking the scaffolding down from the building, and looked back down at her. This is when I realized that this has quite literally got to be on of the strongest people I have ever met.

As she got more comfortable and started to tell me more about her business, it actually became both harder to hear her and easier to understand her. Her actual (super fast) speaking speed + passion + accent put me on this course of having to forsake words here and there for context and body language. But her wisdom was clear.

While she continued on with her stories about customers who got divorced in the middle of a contract she had with them on their building and how she had to deal with that mess, I began to just wonder about the real estate industry in general. When she was done explaining her dealings, I began to wonder out loud with her about why the industry we shared was on many levels so shady. We realized that with so many moving pieces, the developers, the contractors, electricians, plumbers, the city, the county, the state, the banks, etc, its just so many opportunities for not-the-most-ethical people to fall through the cracks, and reek havoc. Working in this industry, I can see how Donald Trump’s personality would be so highly successful in it. (That’s a loaded statement I let you unravel on your own time. A thought to chew on for the road perhaps.)

We also agreed that there has got to be a better way to go about business than the one we presently have. So many other industries have already been opened up and in turn re-regulated by technology. (Uber for taxis, Paypal for online payments) There’s got to be a better way to deal in ours as well.

Our conversation sort of progressed into other things like her interest in import/exports and the incremental progress of the lithium-ion battery. This lady was not a human being. And I mean in the kindest sense possible. She was all over the place and I’m really glad we were able to talk for the time we had, while her men took down the scaffolding and loaded it onto these huge trucks. She was a reminder that there is no typical anyone, and that everyone must make her own way.

 

Building looks great btw. And Im pretty certain basically no one our age needs scaffolding, BUT if for any reason anyone does… I know a guy (who’s actually a very nice lady).

 For Berky

On Monday October 5, UCLA lost one of its most inspirational faculty members and I lost one of my biggest/most significant mentors. I like to think each of us had a professor of counselor that would impact us in such a way that even after the qtr was over and we didn’t technically have to make eye contact with them again, we’d stop for a few minutes on campus and have a chat with them on the occasions we saw one another. For me that campus was Bruin Walk and that professor (basically screaming my name from not-even-that-far a distance) was Dr. Berky Nelson. I don’t even remember what we would talk about. Nothing really. I was just always happy to see him. He gave me a semblance to calm and home in a place that wasn’t really either of those two things a lot of the time.

If I ever managed not to have seen him for a while, I’d show up at his office in Kerchoff and hang out with him and his eclectic M&Ms figurine collection for a while. Just to talk. He always had some wisdom wrapped up in a joke for you to take come. And I appreciate his guidance much more now that I can look back at my time as an undergrad. A part from the courses of his that I took and the papers of mine he made me re-edit (ALOT), the time we spent is what impacted me the most.

“They dont care how much you know till they know how much you care”

He cared a lot. And Im so thankful that I got to learn even a little of what he knew.

 

RIP Berky

Inno


Zik is a Genius.

On my way to this lounge in DTSF called Hawthorn on Saturday night, I shared an Uber pool with some interesting strangers, and we got to talking. I asked the two fellow passengers what they planned on doing for the night, but it turned out they were actually done and headed home. The lady stranger who sat next to me in the back told me she was too old and couldn’t hang like she used to. At this point I asked her how old she was. (Which I know I’m not “supposed" to do, but I try not to adhere to dumb rules as frequently as possible.) After a beat and recovery from what I assume was a bit of awe at such a forward request, she replied that she was 35. I told her that wasn’t that old... she begged to differ…I let it go. 

Changing the subject, I asked them how they liked living in the city. They let me know that they all (including the driver) actually lived in Oakland. The conversation that followed, I found really interesting because they all sort of lamented about how the city had become too “stuffy", full of transients who only thought one way, drove up the cost of living, and priced people who were living in SF out to the East Bay. I, as the only actual native SF born in the car couldn’t help but notice the irony in people who aren’t originally from here telling me about how people who aren’t from here are ruining their home. (To be fair, I hadn’t mentioned where I’m from.) At this point though, I had to play devil’s advocate and ask a few more questions.

I asked why they all had come to the Bay Area in the first place. They all invariably replied that they’d come for the work, better pay, way of life, etc. When the stranger in the front mentioned that he had lived in New York, I asked if he saw the parallel between Brooklyn and Oakland. He said he did and then went on to talk about how BK is almost too expensive now. I then asked if they were aware that Uber had recently bought up office space in Oakland’s downtown. Of course they did, and especially the woman next to me thought that it was a shame that the increase in costs to live in the bay was only spreading. Perhaps she’d have to move farther out.     

I thought to myself, Am I the only one who realizes we’re in an Uber right now?. The company that was allowing us to be drive-free and paying another guy to drive us was the same one being complained about. What are we talking about really? It’s one thing to lament the rise in cost of living and the subsequent pricing out of people who once lived in the area, but it’s another to complain about a company we are the end-user of… as we are using it. 

By this point, we were parked in front of the lounge. It was my stop, so we said goodbyes and I got out. I left the car wondering if there are times I’m so wrapped up in something that I can’t take myself out of the situation mentally and witness how illogical I’m being. Im sure there are many. Im in my head a lot. Something to be aware of, I guess.

And here’s a pic of Zik. He never really gets too wrapped up in anything… a genius really.

IMG_3531.JPG

A Chill Sunday

Hey Guys,

How was the weekend? Good? Good.

The weekend was great. Since it’s been so hot (SF hot = not actually that hot, but we’ll take it) some of my people and I made it out to the beach yesterday. We decided at about 5pm to head out in and try to catch the sunset (at about 7pm). And even though the beach is only 20 minutes away, I’ve got to be honest... I didn’t think that we’d make it. If there are more than 5 of us, just getting out of the house can be an ordeal. It isn’t that we’re disorganized as much as we just literally can create fun anywhere. And it’s understandable not to want to leave fun, even if it’s to go have other fun somewhere else. But with drinks and blankets in hand, we made it in time and I’m glad we did. 

    Sitting on the sand, I got to think back on the weekend. On Saturday night, Char, Nicky, and I had our second gig. This time at a cool indoor/outdoor bar off Valencia called Revolution. This time it was from 9 to midnight, which is sort of a ridiculous amount of time to be given to some random guys with guitars, but I think it worked out. We ended up with a packed house, which is always something to be thankful for. We also had a pretty long intermission which is REALLY something to give thanks about because along with the more obvious need to chill with all the friends that came out, there was the end of the UCLA vs BYU game at the bar across the street that needed watching. (I try to operate under mostly logic in my life, but the affinity for sports, and especially UCLA sports is not really a thing I can use logic to explain. I know it doesn’t make much sense. Im ok with that.)

One thing was for sure though, depending on the outcome of that game during intermission, there were either going to be sad people buying drinks or really happy people buying A LOT of drinks during the second set. 

Final Score: BYU 23, UCLA 24. The second set was good time. 

Thanks Again to everyone who came out. Even you, very drunk girl who ran up during Free Fallin’ and thought she could sing way better than she actually can. You too are very much appreciated.  

    When the sun finally set on our very chill Sunday, we packed it in and went home to make pizza cones and watch Ninja Turtles. Great weekend. Let’s see how far I can stretch the good vibes into the week. 

 

Happy Monday!

Inno

Quitting Cigarettes is a good idea

Spent a bit of last weekend in San Jose, a huge city that isn’t actually that far away, but somehow feels like it’s harder to get to that it should be. For me. I was there to meet up with my friend Drew. We went to undergrad together and he was in the San Jose area to celebrate a friend’s wedding. We met up to discuss updates on an idea he’s building into a company. The idea/device is called Q-cig, but I should provide some more context before I go into the discussion we had.

  Drew and I met during my freshman year in college. He was a year ahead of me in school but we still bonded over among other things, the shared misery of being a pre-med student with basically no other friends in pre-med. (Our classes were earlier, felt longer, and I’m pretty sure the sun actually refuses to shine on south campus) After what culminated to being a stubborn three years of contempt for me, I eventually left pre-med, but in that time Drew stayed and is now currently in medical school at SC. 

    Even back then I admired Drew for his resolve and commitment to doing the work. I also found him especially interesting because of his qwerks. Like the fact that even though he totally understood the implications on his health probably better then most, Drew smoked what felt like a abusive amount of cigarettes. I was then and am now still a relativly “live and let live” sort of individual, but I never missed the opportunity to question him about this. How could I not? (Drew=Smarter than Inno, Smoking = Not Smart, Drew+Smoking=wtf?) Luckily and eventually Drew quit smoking, which is awesome, but even more awesome is that about a year ago Drew told me that had an idea, a mechanism, and plan to help other people who wanted to stop smoking to STOP SMOKING. This is when I first heard of “Quit Cigarettes” or Q-cigs.

    Q-cigs, is actually a pretty simple idea backed by a even simpler device. Drew explained to me that the pain point he's trying to address is the physiological component of smoking that other forms of cessation miss. There is a muscle memory/satisfaction associated with lifting a cylinder to the mouth, and even seeing smoke leave your face that stops being serviced during attempts to quit. What Q-cig simply does is replicate more vividly the experience of smoking so that the process of quitting for those who attempt is considerably smoother. Also, there is a whole social media component built to support individuals and cohorts through the process and to keep them cigarette free. I think its actually a pretty beautiful concept honestly. And though I’ve never been addicted to cigarettes, Drew the doctor in training who has, is UBER uniquely qualified to understand the scientific, physiological, and social aspects of the addiction. 

      Ok, Now that we’re caught on context, I can better explain the meeting we had in San Jose. Specifically, Drew was giving me updates about the progress of production, the social media platform, and funding. I don’t want to give too much away, but things are looking promising. Again, the idea seems great and all the aspects surrounding it are falling into place (hiring, operations, etc) but you never know until you know with things like this. 

    One thing I reiterated was to make sure that the focus of the crux of the company was continually readdressed. Its so easy to trip out on all the bells and whistles and features and add-ons and almost forget where all the resources most efficiently serve the actual core idea.

    I used WeChat, this super popular messaging app in China as an example. WeChat has essentially become the “everything” app in the regions it serves in that you can make purchases, talk to celebrities, talk to perfect strangers, and enter profiles of almost all other apps all form WeChat. And it’s easy to get excited about all the possibilities and opportunities that new features can provide, but focus on how WeChat and all other huge companies started is crucial. They were able to accomplish such penetration because of the fact that at their core they and everyone else understands the pain point they’re trying to solve. And they do it well. 

    Im more than sure that Drew knows all this. He’s well on his way with or without my advise. He’s chosen a problem that basically no one objects to and has a huge opportunity for doing well by doing good. It’s like Gates trying to eradicate Polio… NO ONE LIKES POLIO! You can’t lose! 

    Im just appreciative that I can help in any way I can. I gain more from his passion than he does from my not-so-sage-like reaffirmations of the obvious. Bottom line, Quitting Cigarettes is a good idea.

 

Happy Labor Day! 

Inno

 

 

A Mentor's Mentor/What's Going On?

A Mentor’s Mentor

Last week I met up with one of many mentors I hope to acquire over the next few years. He is real estate developer and lender in the Bay Area/Northern California. I hyped myself all week with questions and notes that I’d thought I’d use to interview him, but when I got there and we actually sat down, I didn’t use any. I was disarmed from my planned attack by his warmth and openness, which kind of caught me off guard. I mean, this guy is running an upwards of $200 million fund. I’m expecting to cram in as many questions as I could before he realized I’ve effectively stolen an hour of his day, but we went well over in time and the first question was asked of me. 

    I wasn’t really ready to go over my life story, but I obliged and then proceeded to hear about how it is that he got to the place that he is today. With stories including owning a successful carwash business and a stint as a pro basketball player, his journey was pretty wild and only reinforced to me that there really is no set way to get to where it is you want to go. Only the will to get there and the stamina to take the hits along the way. 

    Im sure it’s pretty evident to you (and me) by the lack of specificity in my recollection of the meeting that I didn’t take any of the notes I so “definitley” planned to take. But that’s ok. I find that they didn’t matter. What I took away from this that matters most actually, is that this guy opted to take part is an interaction with me for no other reason than he’d like to share what he knows. I suppose I may eventually be of use to him in the future, but there’s no guarantee of that. He just wants to help. He must’ve learned it from those who mentored him because realizing that made me want to help. 

    I told him i’d keep in touch and he told me to call on him whenever I need anything. I will. On the way back, I realized I need to find someone(s) to mentor and impart this very little knowledge I have. It's something on my slightly already too long "To Do" list that I will work on. It’s funny that the first thing I learn from this new mentor is that I don’t mentor enough. 

What’s Going On? 

In May 1971, “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye was released. It's a unified concept album about a vet who comes home from war to a country rife with fear, violence, and social injustice. The man himself is concurrently conflicted with PTSD and the inability to find work, causing him to turn to drug addiction and deep depression. All of this is done in 9 songs in “song cycle”, which means the tracks bleed into each other and sound like one long performance. 

    Because of it’s eerily vivid resemblance to our country today and the fact that Gaye even speaks about the impact of global warming (back in 1971), coupled with the fact that it’s basically sonically perfect, I think it's one of the greatest albums of all time. Its relevance today is kind of sad in a way. (Its relevance to me might be sad too, considering I had not idea the VMAs were yesterday.) Thankfully though, he does propose a solution. I’ll let you listen to find it. It’s sort of in our collective face anyway. We know, we know.

Ugo Knows

Ugo Knows

Had the chance to catch up with my people at a family gathering/bbq over the weekend. It was a great time. Lots of food (including the annual strategic battle over the ribs), drinks, very very bad jokes, and all the laughs. It’s always good to catch up to yourself through the people who know you, you know?

Technically, this was a going away for Ugo who is in the last stretch of her undergrad at LMU. (Really, it was just a reason to get together and be loud.) It’s crazy to think about Ugo’s progress as a person. She’s pretty much the youngest member of what I would consider our cohort and its been amazing to watch her grow into a person with thoughts and feels and opinions… She’s definitely smarter than me, which is cool because one can always use more of those. Anyway, this is a picture of her doing this thing she does, where she’ll stare at you until you stare back, at which point she breaks into dance: 


Oof, the anticipation of the bullets in the form of unamused texts headed my way…all the way worth it.

Happy Monday!

Inno

Ps. 

This post was short, so maybe I’ll do another later in week about how Instagram has impacted online shopping or something, I don’t know. 

Bye Bye Jon Stewart / On Your Own

Bye Bye Jon Stewart 

Last week we saw the end of what I pretty much consider the Sesame Street equivalent to my young adulthood, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Whether or not you agree with the show's politics, it’s hard to deny the popularity, success, and impact that it has had over the last 16 years. I can only hope that a platform I create, can one day foster as many success stories as this show did. Colbert, Oliver, Williams, Che, Munn, etc. To create value/success for others is the real key to longevity anyway. (I suppose an argument can be made for whether these people were on their way to success anyway and that this was more a pit stop than launch pad, but i’ll have to go off on that tangent another time.)

    While listening to an interview Stewart did with my audio auntie aka Terry Gross on Fresh Air from 2010, something he said caught my ear. When referring to his show production process, he mentioned that, "Creativity comes from limits, not freedom.” Cutting down on the options meant that a different kind of expressive freedom emerged. He was only referring specifically to his show production, but what he said induced me to recall how many times in life (including my own) I have seen situations where creativity prevailed in the face of restrictions, or oppression.

     Mr. Stewart from 2010 wasn’t wrong. Again, I understand that this comment when he said it, was only meant specifically for his show, but in my experience there have been several instances where people with all types of relative limits/restrictions learned to make do with creative solutions. (There’s that saying about that kid, Invention and his mom. I forget her name though.) Anyway, the belief that creativity is always there to help solve the seemingly restrictive is just a good thought to have, facing the week to come. 

 On Your Own

    A few weeks ago, I caught up with a college friend for dinner. We hadn't hung out since Euro Trip and had some considerable catching up to do. Im not sure how we ended up talking about it, but she mentioned a girl who lived in our dorm that had committed suicide the summer after our freshman year. I had no idea this even happened or who my friend was referring to until she pulled up a Facebook picture of a girl I instantly remembered. 

This girl seemed so happy and social and well balanced, like so many other people I know. I suppose that this is what’s bothered me most. That someone I come across could be feeling so down and I'd have no idea, with no chance to at least try to help. 

The feel didn't go away, so I wrote a song about it. I figure at the very least that if I put this energy in the air, it could reach somebody somewhere who needed something to get them by. The song is called "Oyo" (On Your Own) and is basically a reminder that no matter how hard things get, we all share struggle. All very individual struggles of course, but we share that there are crosses we bear nonetheless.  No one is alone in this. 

 

Happy Monday!
Inno

 

Ps. Nicky, Charlie, and I have a gig at the Ocean Beach Deli this Sunday night. It's free and the favorite faces will be there. Hopefully you can come too. Starts at 5 and probably ends when we run out of songs. 

 

Don’t worry, Nick and Char are much better musicians than I am. 

 

   


Oyo


some days are the darkest 

its this place in my mind 

the truth is the hardest part

because I fear what I’ll find


I try not to worry bout it

how I came and l’ll go 

All alone 

And on my own


V2:

People are hurting 

and i don’t know why

are we sure that this is working

or do we turn a blind eye?


I know that you think about it

how you came and you’ll go 

all alone

and on your won


Hook:

Heaven knows

no matter how far it is 

you seem to go

no matter how deeply problems

seem to grow


You’re not alone

or on your own


V3:

People are hurting 

People are hurting 

People are hurting 

we turn a blind eye


the truth is the hardest part

the truth is the hardest part

sometimes i just wonder about it

it is all the same where you go


Hook:

Heaven knows

no matter how far it is 

you seem to go

no matter how deeply problems

seem to show


we're not alone

and you’re not on your own


You’re not alone

or on your own

Hello Amara!

Happy Monday!

I hope your weekend went well. The weekend for me was a pretty great one. I didn’t actually get much work done, but some weekends should be that way I suppose. Luc Birthday brought many familiar faces to Golden Gate park, where we hung out and had some of the talks I love to have. One of which I can recall clearly enough to recount to you all. 

    I was in conversation with one of my favorites, Reeves Nelson. I don’t get to see him a lot as he plays basketball overseas, and is only in the US during the summer. Like many of my UCLA friends, we became much closer after having left UCLA. (The reasoning behind that is pretty lengthy, and probably deserves its own post at a later point) Anyway, we were talking about some of the books we’d read recently, at which point I mentioned "The Soul of Success" by Phil Jackson. I did so thinking that I would be able to impart some knowledge that I gained about mindfulness meditation and its benefits on him. I was incorrect. By the middle of the second sentence in his response to whatever gibberish I had blurted out, it was clear Reeves was much more advanced in the realm of mental/spiritual balance than I was. I remember thinking to myself that what was happening at this moment is why I love all my people. I referred to occurrences like this in “The Family You Choose”. That I’m always ready to partake in the mental aerobics that talking to my friends provides. At which point, I tuned back in to what Reeves was explaining about his philosophy. He went on to give me a gem. He told me to "chew" on this, a concept from "Henry David Thoreau and the Moral Agency of Knowing", that Eternity is not the expansion of time…but the dissolution of time. 

  …WHAT? What does that even… WHAT? He went on to explain that if time is understood indeed as just another human construct and eternity is looked at and broken down into moments we are currently living out, then the meditation is constant. That he was in meditation as we were speaking because he had trained his mind to take in every moment as it came and honestly digest today as a piece of forever as opposed to worrying about tmrw. 

    Reeves … is nuts and also one of the deepest humans I’ve ever met, who essentially had just dropped the mic on me in the middle of the park. We eventually moved on to other things and had a great rest of the day, but I’m going to be "chewing" on that one for a while. Perhaps you guys can too… and help me get through it.  

Inno

Ps. I went to visit the newest nephew (Jax-Arinze) and the brand new, week old niece (Lillian-Amara) on Sunday. They are wonderful and I am thankful for them for many reasons. Including of course the fact that if timed correctly, I will never have to look for a babysitter for my own kids. It takes a village, you know?

 Jax and truck Uncle Inno brought

Jax and truck Uncle Inno brought

 Amara w/ Uncle Tochi in her "Please no photos" stance (Patent Pending)

Amara w/ Uncle Tochi in her "Please no photos" stance (Patent Pending)

The Next Best Step

Ok, Let's start by saying, THANK YOU BASED GOD THAT IT IS FRIDAY. Yeezus christ! I thought this week would never end. There was the traffic, and the lines, and the bills and all the other first world issues that stack up at the end of the month, sworn to impede on you with their incessant... well, just inconvenience really. Ok fine, I'm being rather hyperbolic and should/will now stop complaining. Perspective says that it's certainly not the end of the world and there are certainly many worse things than having work and places to go with productive things to do. Things could be way worse and I should meet every challenge head on. Otherwise things may snowball out of and beyond my control... End up having a "meek week". (That one was for you Obi, enjoy) Anyway, the thing I actually did want to talk about today was an interesting and simple formula that we can all live by that I heard on one of the (definitely too many) podcasts I listened to over the week. It's called the next best step (or NBS).  

 NBS is basically based on the notion that our lives can easily become flooded with so many distractions and diversions vying for our time and attention. Potentially reaching the point that if there isn't the most solid clarity established in what we're doing, we can end up in a situation where we waste precious seconds, hours, years, lives not doing what it is we're individually meant to do while we're here. The proposed solution here is to be constantly asking what the next best step to make is. 

Broken down to it's most basic variables, what is life really but a series of small choices followed by steps. Sometimes we choose to do good, sometimes we choose to waste time, sometimes the choice we have to make isn't the the easiest or one we want to make at all. That being said, the steps we take are based on the set of choices we have and make. It behooves to make the best one we can every time. And especially when we feel a bit lost, it's essential to ask which is the next best. 

Im no pro at this either mind you. One time I spent approx 30-45min standing in the middle of my room with one shoe on, staring at my phone because I got sucked into the Facebook vortex, when all I originally wanted to do was check a notification. That "one time" was last night. Also, unlimited scroll may be the most sinister app feature of all time. 

That being said, I'm a believer that there are always ways to self-improve and thought this was a pretty useful way to look at doing so. 

 

Happy Friday!

Inno

Ps. Happy birthday Luc! (Murios?)

The Search Continues

On Saturday I was invited to a wonderful benefit brunch for The City Eats, an organization devoted to feeding/helping the less fortunate in the Bay Area. While searching for the bottom of our mimosas, a friend and I were discussing the concept of fortune. 

    What does it mean anyway? To be fortunate. Fortune (as with my opinion of many things) is so relative. How much of any of one's own personal fortune has to do with chance or timing? Trying to calibrate it out, I began to look around. Here, beautiful people were in a nice restaurant full of laughter, enjoying the day, and having brunch. (Im not sure how many languages even have a word for brunch.) So many unique personal journeys got everyone here into this room, in this city we are in, the state, the country, the world, the time that we are in... Before I buried myself in the avalanche that is my own thought process, the waiter came over and asked if we wanted more help with our search for the bottom. We did. We also eventually came to the conclusion that the true measure of one’s value is based upon one’s progress, not how fortunate he/she is. And this is the most important measure because it is the most personal. 

Who one is today and who one plans to be tomorrow is ultimately important as measured by who one once was yesterday. Yesterday’s self is the only one who knew most truthfully all the pains and triumphs it took to get to today. The only one who can truly work towards tomorrow with any real, clear sense of anticipation of what it’s going to take to grow. Don’t get me wrong, I can (and certainly do) reference those around me. And there is some value to that. But it’s done understanding that the comparison is inherently flawed. That comparing what I have to another doesn’t account for where either of us started, or the circumstances that occurred in our individual lives up to this point.

 After that great re-realization, the waiter came around again and we “agained” again. By this time conversation moved on to lighter, monosyllabic chats about places we want to visit (Phuket, you down?) and how much i’m missing basketball.

It’s crazy how much we seek considering how much we have. A world free of want.. we should all be so fortunate.  

 

Inno

The Family You Choose

So, how was the week? Good? Good. Mine? Well, it went pretty well. Can’t really complain. I’m starting to get a few compliments about the newsletter from friends I see around, to which I respond with a huge "THANK YOU!" Other than your real life feedback, I’m basically just a guy writing to himself about his random thoughts and then sending them into the sky. (Literally how my grandma would explain blogging) I like to think that I take my friendships very seriously, but who knows really? Its all so subjective. One thing I can say about my friends is that they are all great and better than I am. At something. Otherwise we wouldn’t be friends. In my mind, it’s basically the only reason to have friends. To learn (at the very least) how to attain some trait from them. 

Friendship is weird in that I’m not sure that it actually takes having any shared interests or commonalities to be friends. I think that’s a falsehood we establish for ourselves as older people to have a reason not to devote the energy necessary to invest in new/random friendships. (Either that or there’s just so much scarred tissue from living life up this point, that we don’t even want to bother with the risk) And I include myself in this shared pho-belief. I want to think we’ll be better friends if we both like the Warriors or …bacon, but will we? Does it even matter? Some of my earliest friends from WAY back (InnoBB aka Before the Beard) and I share almost absolutely nothing in common at this point. My parents just happened to put me in the same childcare facility that their parents put them in on a regular enough basis. And, since you kind of need somebody else to play Connect4… friends for life! But we don’t share any of the same affinities at all. Not religious, political, musically, recreationally, nothing. 

So that begs the obvious question, what makes someone a friend? All of the people I’ve met that I consider friends from the last decade (InnoAB) have come into my life at various points of my personal evolution. And depending on when that friendship started, the interest we might have originally shared is probably gone, yet the friendship remains. I can only conclude that it’s just a choice you make. You decide that this other person is allowed to be a part of your personal movie and that you will play a part in theirs. Their insights, their flaws, their legacy, their loyalty (or lack thereof) are all things you agree to make a part of your consciousness. Pretty profound when I actually think it out. The family you choose. I’d tell you to choose wisely, but if you chose me… let’s be honest, that ship has sailed.

Happy Friday!

Inno

Ps: To my friends…you are the best teachers.