Housekeeping: TY Vahe. Dude is on vacation basically, just quit his job and is traveling the world (Europe current). I didn’t even have to ask and he went and fixed my website. I didn’t even have to ask!!! So anyway, you can visit the site now without any scary warnings. TBH, I thought the danger-ness was kind of sexy.
Anyway, I just got back from a chill 3.8 mile run around the neighborhood. That run wasn’t that important though. The important run was this past Friday, when Rahul, visiting from SF, was in town for Thanksgiving. So in honor of Black Friday, we went for a chill 6.2 mile run all over the block. I showed him all the sights, like the house I grew up in and the house I live in currently. Lots of sights to see in my hood, clearly.
But it was also the first time I went on a long leisurely run with a friend, which was nice because it was less run and more intimate fireside chat. The sort of hour-long ketchup session that are just harder and harder to come by these days with the people who mean a lot to you, but you don’t see on a regular basis.
(Actually it was technically the second long leisurely run with a friend. That time Walter came to Poughkeepsie and we ran the rail trail all the way to the Hudson River—about 7 miles. But this was like last spring. So the run was hardly leisurely. I was too busy breathing to actually chit chat. And by the time we got to the river, I was too tired to run back to the car, which was parked at Gold’s Gym. So I had to call my dad to come pick us up. We’ve come a long way, baby.)
Talking to Rahul is always fun. We’ve had a lot of long, deep talks about life, about basically nothing. Which are the best talks, BTW.
Rahul fell in love recently, which is amazing. Like real love, the kind you see in the movies. And it’s like one of those situations that was pure happenstance. The movie Serendipity starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale (and also that doosh, Jeremy Piven).
Maybe that’s what it looks like if you just look at the moment in isolation. Rahul is just randomly somewhere and then there’s a friend, and this other friend of a friend and they just so happen to be somewhere, too and the two somewheres are actually the same place. Wow, so many stars had to align.
And yet, if you know Rahul, if you’ve known Rahul, it’s actually the sort of thing that’s been building up for years. Like, it was supposed to happen.
I remember many years ago when Rahul still lived in NY when he was working as a management consultant or something for some kewl hotshot firm.
And we were sitting on the couch at 111 Lex where he lived along with a bunch of our friends, Pawan, Praveen, and Kevin, if i remember correctly (who were my first post-college roommates, BTW—that was a grand ol’ time).
Rahul and I and the rest of the crew had just gotten back from some music festival. It was probably Electric Zoo or something.
So naturally we got into one of our long, deep convos about absolutely nothing.
But I remember this convo vividly. The theme was OWNERSHIP.
It’s what we badly needed, we both concluded. The main thing we needed to put us on the right track toward getting where we knew we wanted to go.
We needed more OWNERSHIP.
OWNERSHIP over ourselves.
OWNERSHIP over our lives and our relationships.
OWNERSHIP over our work.
The thing with Rahul is that it’s never long before he starts putting ideas into actions. It’s why I love and respect the guy so much.
Soon after, he quit his job and took a gig in SF. The baller that he is, he was working for YouTube.
But unlike other starry-eyed noobs (ie me) who go out West in search of fame or fortune or, you know, anything to fill the bottomless pit of emptiness, Rahul was going back home. NY was his SF.
Though he was leaving so many friends behind, he was going back to be closer with his family.
Of course, working for YouTube is cozy. It’s comfy. But it’s also complacent.
Everyone wants more.
But taking OWNERSHIP means doing something about it.
So Rahul quit and started his own company with his cousin Varun. (BTW, both Rahul and Varun have been huge contributors to the DONUTS running crew this year.)
In about 6 months they had their first product, their first sale.
It wasn’t long ago that they hosted an event for the Chan-Zuckerberg foundation. IDK if you’ve heard of that guy, Mark.
Today, they’ve got a well-oiled machine of a business, money in the bank, and worldwide expansion plans in the works. (By worldwide, I mean NY. Because NY, obviously.)
And so just as Rahul, having worked so hard for so many years to put his vision into action, has taken OWNERSHIP over all the aspects of life that he had promised to, that one day, hungover on the couch, talking to some skinny aZn bro—the dude finds love.
I mean, you can probably see why his finding love was always coming. It was in the cards. Written in the tea leaves. Destined by the stars.
It was coming because he figured out how to get it. Then he worked for it.
It’s like that saying goes, every overnight success story was years in the making.
The same can probably be said about love.
You can check out Rahul’s company here: BreakoutIQ
DISCLAIMER: This is not a template or strategy for your personal success. Everyone has their own path. The thing about OWNERSHIP is realizing that it’s about you and your journey and no one else’s. Realizing it and accepting it fully and unabashedly.
So one thing that a lot of people are talking about, have messaged me about is Bitcoin.
Because Bitcoin hit $10,000.
It’s exciting for me. For you. For people who own lots of Bitcoins.
But it’s also not that exciting?
I mean, I don’t want to be a party pooper. And believe me, I want to be really rich one day. (Like, believe it or not, even MORE rich than I am now, you know?)
But it’s worth saying, anyway. And I feel like a mom saying it.
But nothing that comes fast and easy in life is gonna really make you that much better. It’s not gonna make you better. It’s not gonna make your life better. It’s not gonna make you a better person. It’s not gonna make it any easier. And it won’t make you happy. It won’t make you content. It won’t quench your unquenchable yearning. Most likely.
If anything, it’s the kind of stuff that breeds complacency and bad habits. It’s the kind of stuff that deepens the chasm.
Shortcuts are always tempting and while you might end up where you want to be on paper, you’ll have missed the most important part of the ride.
All the steps it took to get there.
Because that’s what’s going to make you who you are.
So much of life is about the work, about the grind.
And then one day, you will get what’s yours, that reward for your blood, sweat, and tears. And that confirmation, more than the reward itself, will set you up for life.
It will wire your brain and your soul in the way that the universe intended.
You might even find a little peace.
That being said—I have a few friends that have gotten very, very rich through cryptocurrencies. And to many, they may look like they got lucky. Instant millionaires. But you should have seen them when Bitcoin was at $100. You should have seen them toil, believe, evangelize, and work. Back when no one else believed. Back when no one cared. Back before anyone was rich.
Like they say, every overnight success story was years in the making.
One final thing—which Vahakn shared with me the other day, a piece by his sister Sanahin, who is an artist and musician and writer living in Armenia. (If you’ve seen the DONUTS YouTube icon, you probably really like it. Well, that’s her work.)
The thing about hard work. The thing about doing what you love.
Sometimes you need to quit.
Sometimes you need to take a break.
Sometimes you need to give yourself space to fall in love all over again.
That’s something I just went through with writing. (I’m back now, as you can see, in part thanks to a little push from Pawan.)
For Sanahin, it was drawing. You can read her fabulous post here—about love lost and found. About love and about hurt.
But mostly about figuring out who you really are.
Top photo: Me, Pawan, and Rahul on a roof somewhere. The good ol’ days. (That outfit I’m wearing may not look kewl now in 2017, but believe me when I tell you that back in 2013, it looked even worse.)