Novak Djokovic wins Wimbledon

Today was tennis’ Super Bowl across the pond and it pitted two living legends of the game against each other in an epic, 5-set Final. Novak Djokovic prevailed 6-7 6-4 7-6 5-7 6-4 over Roger Federer, winning Wimbledon for the second time in his career, his 7th major win overall, and he takes over as the world’s new #1 ranked player in the ATP. The match, that ESPN’s Greg Garber writes is an “instant classic”, was nothing short of brilliant as the quality of play never faltered and featured many magnificent winners of all kind, from both players.

One of the endearing qualities to tennis is the mental fortitude required to play the sport at a high level. After all it is just you on the court and the game brings about many life parallels to endure head-on. Both players were prime examples today of overcoming adversity. Federer rallied back from a Championship Point and had to break Djokovic numerous times to survive the 4th set and force a deciding 5th. With the momentum Fed’s way, and the adversity now Djokovic’s way, the champion spoke about how he remained and recharged mentally going into the 5th set. This post-match interview below was amazing as Djokovic conveyed how he “tried to be in the present moment and be aware of the occasion…” later telling the Tennis Channel that, “My convictions were greater than my doubts.” He even details what he told himself during a restroom break before the 5th set, which I can imagine, even somewhat humorously.

This interview and Djokovic’s performance in the last set was a firm affirmation about living in the present moment and amazing to see played out and well-communicated by Djokovic just moments after the emotions of winning. If you’re even of the most casual of tennis fans, you can hopefully appreciate and gain inspiration from these lessons played out on the Centre Court grass this afternoon.

(Lastly, peep some of the sweet images from today.)









Single tear by Roger Federer as Djokovic dedicates the win to his fiancee and future baby boy.
*praying hands emoji*
*praying hands emoji*



The Beckhams attended too — how come I think that color combo on the dress really works? #Fashion
The Beckhams attended too — how come I think that color combo on the dress really works? #Fashion

Design for Well-being: Teaching Resiliency

This morning, I attended the third and final installment of Gensler‘s ‘Dialogues’ Discussion series on Well-being on the Academic Campus. The series has provided many different angles on the relationship between design and wellness (as I previously covered last March) and today, Alex Lickerman delivered a lasting impression with his look into his program at the University of Chicago on resiliency – a skill he says is not one we’re merely born with, rather one that can be developed.

Before I recap more of Lickerman’s presentation, I must note that it was strengthened by the context of the discussion prior. Together, the room of about 50 attendees firstly agreed that the leading communal health issue facing college students is mental. Students, both college and high school, deal with more stress, anxiety, and depression today in the social media age.  To give some context, one of many metrics comes from Newsweek, who cited this year that, “according to the American College Health Association’s most recent annual national survey, 30 percent of college students reported feeling ‘so depressed that it was difficult to function’ at some time over the past year.”

We then heard a retail perspective from one of the three panelists, Denise Scarpelli, Market Pharmacy Director of Walgreens about how the pharmaceutical giant has revamped their store design since 2009, holding local focus groups to guide design decisions to improve the well-being of consumers and employees with, for example, healthier meal choices near the entrance. The second panelist, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, discussed how our city is implementing design and technology to further establish a hierarchy on the streets for pedestrians first, noting 1.5 million Divvy bike rides in the past year alone (and imagine if we didn’t go through Chiberia.)

This discussion of looking at wellness through retail and urban context was then driven home to the individual through Lickerman’s talk of how resilience can be learned. He offered insight into one of the ideas promoted and available to University of Chicago students: the Acceptance & Commitment Theory (ACT). The theory, in essence, encourages facing feelings of pain with acceptance rather than evasion and then work with an improved ability under this awareness to achieve one’s goals.

Think to yourselves, how much energy does it take to avoid pain? It works, but Lickerman says it’s that substantial suppression that is the issue. For example, the anxiety that many young adults feel when asking a girl out is easily minimized if you just avoid the pain by not asking her out (this example may or may not have hit home to me, hah!) But now with Lickerman’s program, students are learning at a formative age to be aware of these feelings and act toward them instead of away. This is a life lesson that I feel we all learn at some point, as evidenced by a resonating feeling within the room of “Wow, I wish I had something like that in college!”. It’s true though, and that’s why we all had the “light bulb moment” recalling a personal experience in our own minds of when we faced pain head-on and grew from that action. After all, Lickerman said studies have shown an increased ability to achieve goals with the approach of facing feelings with acceptance, which thereby increases your resilience to deal with life’s undoubted obstacles with each experience.

Lickerman hopes for an improved integrated space at the University of Chicago that combines counselors and medical personnel together so they can more easily share intel, while still working individually. The design would also directly effect the well-being of the student if it also provides a comfortable and inviting environment, a point Choucair noted as the first emphasis of the city’s various Public Health initiatives.

It is gratifying that companies, cities, institutions, and architecture firms like all of the above are progressing with a focus on the relationship between design and well-being. In fact, it is mindsets like these that make a powerful, yet broad proclamation from none other than Kanye West earlier this week that “the world can be saved through design,” reign true. If you take something out of this post, hopefully you too can feel the support of change happening in future designs for the benefit of your well-being. Or an added awareness to accept and withstand pain, and then diffuse its emotions in your next action. Or the knowledge that one time in college, I didn’t ask out that beautiful girl. I’m sure something will stick (ideally, the first two points.)

The panelists (left to right in the photo):

Alex Lickerman, MD Assistant Vice President for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of Chicago and author of The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self (Read a sample chapter! I like how it starts.)

Denise Scarpelli Market Pharmacy Director at Walgreens Co. leading Walgreens pharmacy operations and sales strategy for nearly 250 locations in Chicago

Bechara Choucair, MD Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health and a champion of key initiatives that promote healthy living environments across Chicago

Jim Carrey commencement speech

All there will ever be is what’s happening here.

This one-minute clip of a recent Jim Carrey commencement speech has been making its viral rounds this week and I watched it live up to its empowering hype. Carrey stresses to live in the present moment and do what you love, with the video closing on a lesson learned from his father that drives it home. Simply sit back, watch, and absorb. #Truth

Unrelated, yet another Jim Carrey tidbit in my news feed today… the new Dumb & Dumber To poster! Can. Not. Wait.



Optical Illusion Hallucination

This video has been carefully designed to create a strong natural hallucination.

(Use full screen and HD for better results.)

Music: ‘Victory’ – Album MAY – by Alexander Blu

Power and Serenity of the Focused Mind

A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.

– Bruce Lee

It was this quote, as seen in, of all places, the Damian Lillard cover story for SLAM not too long ago that introduced me to this video. The video was sent to Lillard by his trainer to maintain and improve his mental toughness throughout the season. It pays off in moments like this.

I uncovered the video and Lillard story while researching for the NBA 1st Round Soundtrack piece I wrote earlier this week. While it applies for Lillard in crunch time moments in a basketball game… A. we can draw parallels to moments in our jobs or lives to remain at a place of calm and focus, and B. there is even more depth that unfolds in this video than I saw in my introduction.

One of my favorite quotes from the separate narrator occurs at about the 2:20 mark, and expands on Bruce Lee in the previous 2 minutes.

A calm person having learned how to govern themselves knows how to adapt themselves to others. And they in turn reverence your spiritual strength.

The more tranquil a person becomes, the greater their success, their influence, and their power for good.

I’m all about tranquility and balance so this part of the greater whole really resonated with me to look within and improve upon this strength that’s already there in all of us.

In closing, watch also because, Bruce Lee. 6 minutes of scenes from Enter The Dragon provide the visuals, with Lee speaking on the intro/outro and the narrator in between. The music too, is epic. Perhaps it’ll be as transformative a watch for you as it was for me!

BONUS: This video just so happens to sync perfectly with Maksim’s new episode of Indigo Minute earlier today 🙂