Notes About America

Uncategorized Jun 05, 2020

Notes About America

 

When my parents arrived with me in 1979 I was two and I had come here to be diagnosed with a lifelong disability.  We arrived from Iran which at the time was in conflict with my new home, America.  At the same time, there was a movement that disabled people were partaking in that would impact my life greatly.  This movement gave me the chance to attend school through college and it still gives me the opportunity to live an easier life.  When I go out to a restaurant, I don’t have to worry about handicap accessible anything.  When I go to the mall, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I can get around.  When I check into a hotel, most of the time I know that I will get a hotel room that will be conducive to my disability. My life is easier now than it would have been without the movement.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s the United States made a conscious decision to include persons with disabilities like...

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4 Mindset Strategies Michael Jordan Can Teach Super Successful Professionals

Uncategorized May 29, 2020

As entrepreneurs or business professionals, we have many responsibilities. We are juggling projects, ideas, relationships, and our own personal needs. ESPN released a ten-part documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Growing up in the ‘90s almost every boy in my neighborhood had a pair of Jordans.  In fact, I received my first pair for eighth grade graduation. 

 

  I loved basketball then, and that love has not died. Like so many others, one of my favorite players of all time is Michael Jordan. Even though in 1991 he beat my Lakers, he still remains a favorite. His moves on the court were magical. But, even more magical has been his ability to leverage his basketball stardom into great business success. Over the years, I put time into thinking about exactly how Jordan was able to be so successful. Keep reading. I think the answer may surprise you.

 

For the last twenty years, I have been looking at what makes someone successful and where...

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Crip Camp

Uncategorized May 15, 2020

I recently watched Crip Camp on Netflix. The documentary was about disabled people in the 1970s and 1980s. It featured the life and the political activism. They were fighting for the rights that I have now. I knew that the Americans With Disabilities Act was fairly young. However, I did not realize that it was only the generation before me who made my amazing life easier.

 I was born in 1977 and, in 5th grade, I was mainstreamed into a public school where I was the first person in a wheelchair in the district. Throughout high school, I was provided with an assistant and had a robust social life. When I entered college, I had access to a whole department dedicated to students with disabilities. I was provided accommodations for classes and tests. When I go out on the town, the last thing on my mind is whether or not there will be ramps or even if I can use the restroom.

 The United States made an important decision that disabled people will be included in life. It’s...

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Perfection Is The Enemy Of Amazing

Uncategorized May 15, 2020

After a mother saw an interview with me, she messaged me and said that even though she appreciates the work that I do, my message does not apply to her son who has a cognitive disability. Her expectations for her son were not realistic. The best advice that I gave her was to readjust her expectations. Otherwise, she would not find peace and happiness.

This got me thinking about my own life and the pandemic. All my life, I have dreamed of what my life would look like if I was not disabled. I would dream of speaking without a speech impediment, driving a car, hiking in Hawaii, giving my kids piggyback rides, and more.  Some of these activities are adventurous and some are downright mundane. Oftentimes, I was paralyzed by this idea of perfection. Even when my life was amazing, I said to myself: “This could be so much better if I was not in this body.”  Although I still have my moments, my number one goal is to make my life amazing. 

 Due to the pandemic,...

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Pandemic Parenting

Uncategorized May 01, 2020
 

One of the most important goals that I have is raising my sons, Andrew and Tyler, who are 6 and 5 respectively. As any parent, I want them to do well in school, experience life, have extracurricular activities, have fun, and have the skills necessary to excel in life. As their father, my job is to support and facilitate these goals. Before the pandemic hit, they were involved in many activities including karate, soccer, and piano. 

As we all are dealing with the coronavirus, our job as parents has evolved and has become more intense. Before the pandemic, parents relied on teachers, coaches, or even family members to get involved in helping our kids grow. This responsibility has now been thrust more on the parents. In addition, we are all learning how to deal with this amazing situation. It’s easy to enter into survival mode.

One of the keys to success is to be engaged in our goals. This included being more engaged in our kids' lives, especially during these tough times....

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The Great Reset

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2020
 

The Great Reset

 

Our lives have slowed down because of the coronavirus. We have the opportunity to reset the way we go about our lives, the way we deal with others, develop new habits, be kinder towards others, and decide how we want to live the rest of our lives. One excuse for not going after our goals is lack of time. That excuse has been dampened by these times. Simultaneously, there is much panic and angst during this pandemic.

The way you act in these times can position yourself in the future. Your actions today will determine your success tomorrow. As James Clear writes about, your life is a lagging indicator of your habits. If you want to improve your life in the future, you have to start living as someone who is already successful.

Other people are watching you right now. They watch how you handle situations. They watch how calm you are. They watch how you complain. If you want to do business, hang out with them, or even date, you must start by showing them that you...

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Why We Should Not Try to Overcome the Coronavirus

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2020

Why We Should Not Try to Overcome the Coronavirus

 

As we are dealing with the coronavirus, we are starting to turn our attention to what life will look like in the coming months or even years. A misnomer is that we are going to overcome this crisis. We are going to deal with the aftermath of this virus for decades or even generations.  This does not mean that life won’t feel normal, or even be better. This only means that life will change and it’s up to us to embrace the change, work with reality, and do our part to improve our lives and the lives of others. 

I don’t believe we overcome most challenges. I believe we deal with challenges. I was born with a disability and speak with a severe speech impediment. I understood that my disability would not go away and that I would not overcome it. I started to look at other people and other challenges and saw that, in most cases, people deal with challenges, but do not overcome them. The only challenge...

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Succeed During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2020

There are universal principles of success that can be applied in every situation. For almost two decades, I have been studying, hypothesizing, writing, and speaking about the principles of success. Although every situation is different, what’s not different are the principles. The principles of growing a company are the same as dealing with a disability. The same principles of raising kids are the same as losing a few pounds.

 We have a brand new challenge. Success is partly defined by the application of these principles.  I want to give you a framework to apply some of the principles to deal with the coronavirus.

 

Working with Reality

There are two parts of reality itself and there is your reaction to reality. Success comes with the positive reaction to reality. The reality that we are in this amazing and tough situation. To be honest, it really sucks. If you fight reality, you will lose. Accepting reality is very important in any kind of situation. If you...

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Working From Home

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2020
 

With the pandemic called the coronavirus, many people are working remotely.  Unfortunately, many of the traditional advice is not applicable such as working from a café.  Working from home has its advantages, but it also has some unique challenges. I have been working from home for almost 20 years.  I was born with cerebral palsy which has left me in a wheelchair with a severe speech impediment. I also need help typing long form articles, blog posts, and books.  Back in college, my dream was to work in the middle of downtown Los Angeles or the west side of Los Angeles. I realized that I needed a working environment that was conducive to my disability.  I work from home and part of my team I physically work with, but most of my team I work with virtually. We use messaging and video calls. Productivity at home has its own unique challenges. These challenges need to be understood and dealt with especially for those that work from home for the very first...

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Mindset in the time of Coronavirus

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2020
 

 Mindset is the way we go after our goals, think about life, and deal with challenges. In these trying times, we have to adjust our mindset. Simultaneously, we have to keep living our lives and working towards our goals. We cannot ignore the unique situation that we are facing.  I always thought of mindset in five areas. Those areas are rewriting your narrative, improving your habits, dealing with challenges, engaging with your fellow human beings, and being clear about your goals and next steps. I want to look at mindset in these five terms. There are two categories of mindset that I want to address in each area. The first is directly related to dealing with the impact of this pandemic, and the second is how to position ourselves for success during this crisis and beyond. Another element of mindset is the mindset of your unique situation. If you are in a business where the impact has caused you to lose your job, it’s going to be different than a person who has the...

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