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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Persistence

blog Oct 04, 2012

A week ago, President Obama was on 60 Minutes and was asked what makes a President great. Obama replied, “Persistence.” Which really got me thinking about my own life. Everything great in my life has been the result of persistence. Over the last couple of months I lost the persistence that I needed to succeed. I felt myself starting to complain—not to others, but to myself.

The main thing that changed is I lost a little bit of my persistence. In order to succeed in whatever you do, you need to become doggedly persistent. Yes, you will annoy people. Yes, you will even piss some people off. But if you’re not annoying at least some people, you’re not trying.

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The Dream Within a Dream

blog Sep 20, 2012

My big dream of getting married comes with dreams within that dream.

The biggest one for a guy like me was rounding up the boys and going to Vegas for my bachelor party.

I always dreamed of going to Vegas with the boys and on the weekend of September 7, my dream came true. I had ten friends from childhood and college, as well as a couple of cousins with me in Vegas to celebrate this momentous occasion.

We had a blast.

It was relatively low key. We just watched sports, shot crabs, and had a nice dinner at a steakhouse. And, yes…I had a few cocktails. Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was staying up until six thirty in the morning with my cousin Babek, who introduced me to my fiancée Leslie.

I flew home on September 10. It was a quick 28 hours. Then I had to turn around and go back to the airport when Leslie arrived.

I can’t believe that she’s actually here!

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A New Direction

blog Sep 06, 2012

I’ve been taking a month off to think about what I want to say and what I want to do, and one thing I decided is that my business needed a new look. So, I abandoned my old brand and created SourenaV.

I’ve been contemplating this particular change for about a year now, but it’s finally time. I have a lot going on in my life. I’m getting married in two months. Not only that, but I really want to start speaking again next year. As far as that goes, I made a lot of mistakes in the past and I don’t want to make the same ones over again, so I’m taking my time and doing it right. Also, my thoughts and ideas have changed so much over the last two years that it’s time I change and reflect that growth.

I will now write blog posts every other week rather than keeping the weekly schedule I started with two years ago. I’ve got too much going on in my life—and, for now, I’m going to give my attention to Leslie my fiancée, my...

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Emulating Success

blog Aug 09, 2012

I used to be obsessed with copying success. If I only had the right blueprints, I could turn into something big. As I grow older and more experienced, I understand that success cannot be copied but rather it can be emulated.

Success, unlike a great recipe, cannot be copied or replicated 100 percent. The components of success are not finite. There are numerous factors that go into success.

If you ask one hundred successful couples what made them fall in love, you will get one hundred different answers. One couple might go camping while the other couple might visit the opera. One couple might travel the world while the other goes to baseball games.

There are also many intangibles that people don’t think about, such as the way someone shakes your hand, the general aura about them, their smile, how people react to a situation.

There are guiding principles for success, such as hard work, discipline, taking advantage of opportunities, reading, learning about life, and many more....

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