Happiness & Loose Ends

blog Feb 28, 2013


Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post about happiness and I want to expand on that with a couple of thoughts.

I still contend that one of the biggest impediments to achieving success is the fact that it’s sometimes a lot simpler to make ourselves happy in the short term. Unfortunately, that short term happiness hurts us in the long run. When I say short term, I mean things like getting a drink with friends or buying an overpriced item in the window when you know you can’t afford it.  By doing this, you are asking the rest of your life to compensate for your indiscretions.

I have also been thinking about what successful people do. The more I think about it, the more I realize one of the things they do is they have a list of things that they need to accomplish, and they tackle this same list over and over again. Their list might be revised from time to time, but they pretty much stick to it. I didn’t realize this until now.

I am really focusing on my list....

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A Choice to be Happy

blog Feb 14, 2013

I have been thinking a lot about happiness and to tell you the truth, I’ve been happy all my life…but not this happy. For about a month I’ve been thinking about happiness and my conclusion is it’s easy to be happy in the short-run, but if you want to be happy in the long-run, it’s work.



Usually what makes you happy in the short-run hurts you in the long-run. Putting that yummy, scrumptious chocolately mmm-mmm good cookie in your mouth makes you happy. Charging one thousand dollars on your credit card makes you happy. In the long-run, however, it only puts added stress in your life.

In no way, shape, or form am I depriving myself of what I love. I love to shop, I love to eat great foods, I love to go to Vegas, but right now I am focused on being happy in the long-run. Not putting a Band-Aid on my feelings.

The Hard Part

It’s difficult to let go of your old habits and your old Band-Aids, and it’s easy to feel better right now. My...

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blog Jan 31, 2013

On New Year’s Day I came home from dinner in Santa Monica, got into bed early, and was disappointed by yet again another Lakers loss.

With a minute to go in the game, I hit  the DVR button on my remote and started scrolling down, noticing that there was  a recorded episode of 60 minutes. I hit play and all of a sudden I saw a story that really hit me in the heart. I saw that doctors came up with a robotic arm that can help the disabled. I watched the story and was flooded with emotion about the possibilities for my life.

The story went on to show a woman who had virtually no movement below the neck control an arm with nothing more than her thoughts. At the end of the story, a doctor working on this project said the magic words. “This will help cerebral palsy.”


I was never the person who constantly longed for a cure or even to get better. My focus has been always to work within the confines of my disability to make my life incredible, but seeing that...

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It’s Time

blog Jan 17, 2013

Last year was one of the best years of my life. I got married, I found out I’m going to be a father in July, I traveled, I grew as a writer, and I’m about to finish my second book. There is one more thing that I have to do: get my work out into the world.

Right now, my books are sitting on my iMac and on Kristi’s Macbook Pro. I love what I did last year, but it’s time to put everything in gear. Although I love my position in life right now, there have been two fears keeping me back. The first was that I had not achieved the success I originally envisioned for myself and my company. There were incredible pockets of success, but I could never gain the momentum that I wanted. The second fear was whenever I imagined something for my life, I imagined it as a non-disabled man and there was always a let down.  Even getting married I could not whisk Leslie off to a B&B up the coast.

Over the last three years, so many of my dreams have come true. And it has...

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Looking Back at 2012

blog Dec 21, 2012

There’s a lot to say about this year.

2012 started with my best friend and I sitting on the balcony in Hawaii. What a way to ring in the new year. This year was mostly a year of reflection, writing, and love. If 35-year-old Sourena told 25-year-old Sourena about what happened, well, 25-year-old Sourena would fall out of his chair. I took many vacations. I went to Hawaii twice, the Philippines once, Frisco twice, Tahoe, and don’t even get me started about Vegas.

On September 11th, after I came back from my bachelor party, Leslie arrived…and two months later, we were happily married.

I also had the pleasure of hanging out with my cousin, who I had never met before. She came with her boyfriend from Italy, and they were here for three weeks.

In the last month, I have been thinking about my career more than usual. Here’s my conclusion: Speaking is dear to me. It’s more about excitement than anything. Yes, I want to make a good living. Yes, I love helping...

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Winding Down

blog Dec 06, 2012

As I wind down the year, I am already looking towards what I want to do next year. Boy, do I have a lot of plans. Part of this journey is relearning what I already know. It is very important to get what is in the back of my mind into the forefront. I have been watching videos on how to get a book out. I am in Arizona when this blog is published meeting with multiple speakers. I am digging through what I wrote trying to see if there’s something I forgot about.

There is a lot of stuff that I like, but there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t like. There’s stuff that speaks to me and stuff that, frankly, I don’t get. What I have learned is that if something does not make sense to me, I ignore it. While it’s good to have opposite viewpoints in our lives, too many will often give to confusion.

Along this unique journey, I am trying to keep an open mind, use my instincts, remember my mistakes, and hopefully, I will have a great 2013.

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Thanksgiving 2012

blog Nov 22, 2012

I know I said that I would only blog every other week, but this week is exceptional because I don’t want to break the tradition I started back when I was blogging for USC.

This year I had an awesome year. Here are a few things that I am thankful for, in no particular order:

  • Leslie coming all the way from the Philippines.
  • Traveling – I have spent around fifty nights in hotels.
  • My best friend Patrick, who has been my partner in crime for twenty-eight years.
  • My friend Jay Lavender who flew all the way from the East Coast just to help me speak at USC then flew out here again for my wedding.
  • My parents. Enough said.
  • Time Warner Cable for making a deal with DirecTV.
  • DirecTV for making a deal with Time Warner Cable.
  • Netflix.
  • All my friends.

These are just a few things I’m thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tempered Self-Awareness

blog Nov 15, 2012

Through all my years of writing, I have become very self-aware. My process as a writer is something like this:

I start off by focusing on my raw emotions, figuring out why I feel the way I do. I then think about my friends, movies, other situations—whether politics, business, etc.—and then I write. A classic example is my concept on overcoming obstacles. I first looked at the fact that although I have made strives, and made my dreams come true, the fact is that no matter what, the issues I face never really went away, nor will they. Then I looked at other people and saw a trend.

The problem with this is I’ve become hyper self-aware. I know myself too well. I have an overwhelming understanding of my emotions. The chasm between what I have and what I don’t have is getting wider and wider, and I don’t like it. When I was a teenager, I understood that I could not drive, but it was okay because I was hanging out with my friends.

I try so hard to have a good...

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A Dreamer

blog Nov 01, 2012

I am a dreamer.

In every sense of the word, I am a dreamer. My dreams are very sexy. My dreams drive me every day.

Many people think of dreams as something that happens to them, but I think that dreams are something that you should chase with everything you have—all your emotions, all your resources, and then some.

The issue that I have is that I imagine life in two parts. In one part, I am normal. I have all the faculties that a good looking, intelligent, brute of a man has. This is my fantasy. The second version is achieving my dreams as I am, in a wheelchair. It’s a lot less sexy, but it’s achievable. Oftentimes, my dreams and my fantasy collide in my head.

Throughout my lifetime, many of my dreams have come true: living on my own, moving out to go to college, buying my first home, and now finding myself on the cusp of marriage to my beautiful Leslie.

Back to my colliding visions….

With every achievement or dream come true, there has always been a letdown...

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Going Out of Your Way for Others.

blog Oct 18, 2012

Two weeks ago, I went to Vegas with my fiancée Leslie and a couple of friends. I went to the bar by myself to grab a drink. I asked the bartender if she had a bigger straw. At first, she said no. But after a while, she came back to me and said, “You know what? I have a five-year-old son…I should have one in my purse.” Then she pulled out a McDonald’s straw–my favorite!

The lesson here is:

Everyone should go out of their way just to make the lives of other people a little better. It was a small gesture, but it meant a lot to me.

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