Motivation: The Alchemist Inspires Pharrell

When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.The Alchemist

Earlier this week, Pharrell sat down with Oprah and spoke about his solo success, from being a band geek from Virginia to one of the most talked about solo artists to date. This year is hands down his year. Although the interview had its high points – from him crying while watching others remake his song “Happy,” to discussing his own stance on gender equality – nothing resonated more for me than his life’s philosophy inspired by Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist


And it changed my whole life because I realized all the people who conspired to get me to this place. It will change your life… you have to be unafraid to dream and be even more brave and gallant about blue printing what you envisioned. You gotta be brave about that. And wow, it became clear to me.  – Pharrell on reading The Alchemist

And it’s true. It is so fucking true. The idea that the universe conspires to help you achieve greatness is so profound and apparent. He and so many people alike, Jay-Z, Will Smith, India Arie, are the living embodiment of this philosophy. It is not about their celebrity status, money, record deals, or abundant resources. Those things are so small and trivial in comparison to the dreams they wanted to achieve and from what they demanded from the universe.

We can all achieve greatness and it starts with the simple desire to just be. Be better. Be great. Be our dream. That is all it takes. Make a decision and own it. If you desire something more from yourself and feel like you can be at the pinnacle of greatness, the whole universe will move and allow you to be just that.

Twitter: @yellowxpistol

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Lunar Eclipse #BloodMoon (GIF)

The best Lunar Eclipse 2014 GIF I've seen
The best Lunar Eclipse 2014 GIF I’ve seen

If you were like me and burning the midnight oil last night, you likely ventured outside to see what social media was talking about: a rare lunar eclipse that also earned the trending hashtag #bloodmoon because the moon would look red. As you can see above, in the best GIF I’ve seen (shared by Manu Ginobili of all people), the timelapse of the moon’s transformation is simply beautiful.

On the cool Lunar Eclipse photo scale, the GIF likely beats out my distant Instagram photo, but falls behind the Snapchat I sent people at 2 in the morning. Hey, I couldn’t get a better picture. It was cold in Chicago… having just snowed. *quadruple checks calendar*



Also shared via Manu Ginobili: this amazing #Spurs #Selfie
Also shared via Manu Ginobili: this amazing #Spurs #Selfie

TED2014 Edward Snowden: Taking Back The Internet

Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. Chris Anderson interviews, with special guest Tim Berners-Lee.

“Your rights matter,” he says, “because you never know when you’re going to need them.”

Abundance – Angel Wisdom

Focus on what you love to do, and invest wisely in your time and money. You are now ready to begin creating a life you love, doing activities you love, and experiencing the joy of living in abundance. The energy that comes back to you when you make a meaningful contribution to the world around you is a reward for it allows you to grow spiritually, open your heart, gain compassion, and live a valuable and rewarding life.

Use the energy from a successful experience to help you create more of what you desire for yourself. Remember the feelings you felt from your past when you were on top of the world, wild with success and feeling great personal satisfaction. Stop for a moment and let that feeling grow even stronger. Feel the satisfaction in your body, mind and your heart. Then get quiet and imagine yourself amplifying that energy. Imagine those feelings are growing like a spiralling energy vortex starting within you and growing larger and larger until it is beyond your physical body. Envisioning that you are increasing those feelings of satisfaction and happiness added with your intentions to have more good things appear in your life are all that is truly required.

Affirmation: “I choose to live an abundant life. I appreciate myself and give thanks for a wonderful life.”

And so it is.

You are dearly loved and supported, always, the angels and guides. [Playing With The Universe]

Gensler ‘Dialogues’ Discussion Recap

I jumpstarted my morning by braving some light snow flurries today (March 20th…) to attend a panel discussion curated by world-renowned architecture firm Gensler at their offices in downtown Chicago.

The discussion centered upon ongoing developments in the active lifestyles of college students, especially in the area of the increased focus on wellness in the workplace. In other words, studying how incubators, co-working spaces, and classrooms can contribute to the well-being of the changing life of a college student.

This was very intriguing to me because I was constantly recalling upon personal experiences of working in college, and even in high school, during the discussion. I even reflected that in the four short years since graduating college that the presence and popularity of incubators and co-working spaces are much higher than when I was in school. I did seek out a coffee shop back then from time to time to escape my non-naturally lit studio apartment so that I can work in a more productive setting, but today these spaces are becoming common, high-energy meet-ups for collaborating. I personally enjoy 1871 at the Merchandise Mart — an incubator that balances communal and solitary workplaces and is an example of how the built design’s focus is becoming more aware of the occupant’s wellness.

The esteemed trio on the panel all brought different perspectives to the conversation — Cristina BanksDavid Schonthal, and Lisa Currie, MSEd (see full credentials below) — and they each have direct, day-to-day experiences with college students that lead to their understanding of their behavior. Banks and Schonthal are both professors (Banks at University of Cal-Berkeley, Schonthal at Northwestern) and the latter acknowledged trends like students in liberal arts programs working with a more well-rounded area of expertise versus students in business programs. The seclusion to different majors in business school is part of the college lifestyle that Schonthal wishes would be more open to overlap with other programs in colleges because he’s seen first-hand the value of co-working spaces. Working from 8 or 9 different lenses, as the diverse liberal arts students do together, as opposed to 1 or 2 is a universally greater perspective to approach a problem.

Banks had a couple of great points of analysis on the relationship between students and universities. For instance, students approach college as a stepping stone to get a job in their career path over learning something new for pure fulfillment. Universities enable this by putting too much emphasis on getting assignments done and she wishes there was more of an effort to link concepts to experiences (like Currie’s example of the Northwestern Dance Marathon for charity). I was resonating with this point of view that I actually felt during high school, when I was just trying to get assignments done to get the grades to get into a college. I hope more faculty members unify into this direction to create more of a shift into having personal experiences to learn concepts and lessons.

All in all, it was a great discussion that I hope if you’re reading this spurs some thought into your current well-being in the workplace. After all, the first question we were all asked was to “Think about your first workplace.” Basically, what did you like? Dislike? And what would you change?

It’s only natural that Gensler curated the panel discussion, which is right in line with one of the firm’s most progressive outlooks: wellness in design. Today’s discussion was part 2 of Gensler’s Dialogues with Gensler 3-part series: Well-being on the Academic Campus. You can stay tuned to, their Dialogues publication (a very engaging visual read), and here on Gowhere as they turn-around more photos and discussion on their website.

Cristina BanksPhD, Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces, a global center for research of employee health and well-being, and Senior Lecturer at the Haas School of Business teaching Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management.

David Schonthal, Clinical Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Kellogg School of Management and co-founder and partner at Fusion Ventures, an investment and advisory firm focused on growing startups in the early stages of development.

Lisa Currie, MSEd, Director of Health Promotion and Wellness at Northwestern University, whose work focuses on leading campus-wide initiatives and creating environments that support healthy lifestyle choices. With a background in college student development, she has a particular interest in the impact of culture and social media on health behavior.