It is impossible to ignore that feeling of discouragement and failure when it takes over your whole body. Each and...

Looking at the end of the calendar year approaching, with a new year to start soon, often brings about the...

One thing I wish I knew when I started practicing meditation is that even the most avid practitioners—Monks, for example—still don’t always fully control their mind, often having episodes of random thoughts jumping inside their head (we call it “Monkey Brain” for that reason). The big difference is that their training allows them to not “grasp” those thoughts. Rather, they watch them pass by like little white clouds in the sky; not  like a storm they cannot get rid of! Pema Chödrön says it in a great way:
"The path of meditation and the path of our lives altogether has to do with curiosity, inquisitiveness. The ground is ourselves; we’re here to study ourselves and to get to know ourselves now, not later. People often say to me, ‘I wanted to come and have an interview with you, I wanted to write you a letter, I wanted to call you on the phone, but I wanted to wait until I was more together.’ And I think, “Well, if you’re anything like me, you could wait forever!’”
What a big lesson coming from someone who has been a Buddhist nun since 1974 and has spent 7 months each year in solitary retreat! 7090041 So you get the point: no goal, no destination. It’s today, and it’s the journey that matters. The other major point obviously is to practice, practice, and practice. Going to meditation courses is great, reading books helps, going to seminar is awesome, attending a retreat is great support ... BUT BUT BUT the most important thing is to practice, daily and regularly.

Doing Epic Shit During My Career Break

On June 13th, I left New York for a six month journey across India, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Mongolia, and China, taking nothing except myself, an open mind, and a small backpack, all the while raising awareness and resources for an incredibly important cause – – who are on a mission to help the nearly 2.5 billion people who do not have access to a basic sanitation and hygiene. crowdriseA toilet is something most of us take for granted, but for countries like India, nearly half their population lives without one. For kids, this is deadly. Diarrhea, largely due to lack of access to toilets and hygiene, has killed more children under five then all deaths due to armed conflict since WWII! That's crazy. We can fix this! Let's help Toilet Hackers Do Epic Shit and take on the global toilet crisis! Funds we raise will fund Toilet Hackers' programs in the countries I visit – programs that will save lives, keep girls in school, and empower local entrepreneurs.
RodinMuseum2-JSmith-1169-587 While describing my upcoming extended career break to my friend Eli, he understandably asked “Why?”. And as I embark on this new chapter in my life, I’ve tried to answer that question, both for him and myself. But first, let me put some things in context. I just ended an incredible five-year adventure as the co-founder & CEO of (You can read some posts from this period.) Five years of joy, of doubt, of ups, of downs, of excitement, of fundraising, of awards, of risks, and of walking this thin line that separates success from failure. It ended very recently – not in the way I could have imagined 5 years ago – but we definitely grew the business to a point I never thought we would when I first started with my partners. On the personal side, I became single in January after five years with my ex-girlfriend. Sometimes there are many signs around us that are telling us something very specific if we are open to hearing and seeing them. Somehow today, the constraint of running a large business and the obligations of a long & committed relationship are no longer a part of my life. So I have decided to go away – Six Months – Far – Remote. In very simple & probably challenging ways. The six months started a few weeks ago, and as I write this from France, where I am visiting my family before the big travel begins, I feel the urge to answer Eli’s question: “Why?”.
We talk about our career choices as if they are mutually exclusive: either you make tons of money and buy fancy things you never have the time to enjoy, or you do what you love and live in poverty, but you’re happy. You sell your soul to Goldman Sachs or write poetry nobody reads. Not Steve Jobs. People often eulogize Jobs for his revolutionary success, but for all his accomplishments, he also came off as an intensely fulfilled human being. Jobs managed success and happiness. And the advice he left behind for entrepreneurs is immensely inspiring. Jobs said you can have both. And he told us where to start: Do What You Love.