Under the Desert Sky

Under the Desert Sky

At the center of the fight for public lands, lies the most stark, and arguably the most beautiful landscape in the continental United States - Utah.

Many think of the desert as wasteland - a place of death, nothingness. That is far from the truth - sure, there may be few trees, few lakes, and seemingly little wildlife in the desert. But when we look closer, we find that the desert is teeming with life, diversity, beauty.

Weekend in Montreal: Marché Jean-Talon / Jardins de lumière

Weekend in Montreal: Marché Jean-Talon / Jardins de lumière

Outdoor adventures are my favorite, but it’s nice to wander around a beautiful city like Montréal once in a while, especially when special events are taking place.

Every autumn, Montréal hosts “Jardins de lumière” or “Gardens of Light”. For two months, September through the end of October, part of the Montréal botanical garden becomes illuminated with lanterns and various Chinese mythology characters. The show is amazingly beautiful.

Making progress when corporate politics are strong.

Great ideas often fail.

When you’re working for a large corporation, that notion might be very familiar. It’s often hard to push through your ideas, to implement real change, to transform the organization for the better.

For every yes, there are a dozen no’s, for every win, there’s a dozen losses.

I’ve come to understand over the years, the only real way to make transformative change at a large corporation where politics run deep is to be willing to make compromises and to give up your ideas to someone else, someone who can implement them.

Making Compromises

Sometimes we have a vision for a product. To you, that vision might be a no-brainer, a clear path forward, a path that has crazy ROI in the long run.

Most of us have a tendency to take the all or nothing way. If my idea can’t be implemented, it’s a loss. If only we could shift our attitudes towards compromise, we could win so much.

The thought of compromising away 3/4 of your idea, meeting somewhere not-so-in-the-middle might seem disappointing, but it’s a way to make progress. If you have an idea and there is opposition and friction, be willing to accept losses and move on with whatever wins you can extract from that idea. 1/4 of a great idea is better than 0/4 of that great idea.

Giving Up Your Ideas

Sometimes a great idea in your hands might not be actionable, but if it’s pitched to someone in a higher position of authority, or someone in the spotlight, it might go a long way. Having the willingness to pitch your idea to the right set of people, and letting them take credit for the win is crucial in some circumstances when making compromises is simply not enough.

Forget the technical overviews.

Forget the technical overviews.

When I got my first job as a software developer 6 years ago, the on-boarding I received consisted of wiki pages, diagrams, keynotes, and many meetings to walk through various architectures and system diagrams.

I thought there had to be a better way, but as a junior developer, I wasn't sure.

There is a better way. 

Wild River Wilderness: Where Beauty is Pain

Wild River Wilderness: Where Beauty is Pain

21 miles is easy. Easy when you are hiking on perfectly compacted, rock-free, root-free trails of Yosemite, Glacier, or Olympic national parks. When it comes to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, 21 miles is a grueling marathon, an improbable, if not impossible ordeal even for seasoned hikers.

I took a bit of a hiatus from backpacking last summer so hiking the Wild River wilderness was my first backpacking trip since Glacier National Park two years ago.

The Wild River Wilderness is located at the northeast corner of the White Mountain National Forest, on the border between Maine and New Hampshire. It is very remote and rugged with but a few trails segmenting the wooded landscape. There are not a lot of campsites in the entire Wild River Basin, and only one on the Carter Range - Imp Campsite. 

It's almost 2018. Three simple principles for a year of fulfillment.

It's almost 2018. Three simple principles for a year of fulfillment.

We're constantly bombarded with ideas on how to live a better life. 

"Guide to financial success"

"10 things you need to avoid in your 20's"

"Top 3 billionaire habits"

Do these sound like familiar posts you stumble upon every couple weeks? Do you often get conflicting advice on finances, relationships, fitness and personal happiness from your friends, family and co-workers?

Here are just a couple of guidelines that could help you gain peace of mind in 2018.