10.21 — Life at London
My 20 days away from home, the importance of creating the time, and seizing the moment
Hello everyone 👋
Welcome to a new version of The One Percent, my previous weekly newsletter. I’m shifting now to a monthly update, including some things that I’ve been up to and some of my learnings over the past few weeks. I’m not going to lie, I really miss writing weekly. But as life has it currently, I’m just unable to make that a priority with everything else going on. How sad :(
However, that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Queue in Brandon’s Bulletin — where you’ll be able to keep with me for at least once a month. Maybe if I miss writing too much I’ll make it bi-weekly or something…we’ll figure it out as we always do haha :)
Let’s dive in.
What’s New With Me?
Successfully ran JF1 at Jemi 💎 (YC20, Forbes 30 under 30)! Such a great experience to bring people from across the world and be able to put together a program catered towards their interests in breaking into tech and PM. Applications for JF2 are now open!
5/8 midterms done! Not too happy about how some of them went, but I’ll learn from it. Considering the amount of time I’m putting into school (or I was, since I definitely have to change a few things), it wasn’t too bad. Honestly, I forgot how exams could be…but it’ll be better next time :)
Spent 20 days in London, ON. OK this is kind of a big one…I’ll talk about that below 👇
Carpé Diem — Seize the Day 🦋
Yep, if I had to describe my time in London in some kind of cliché phrase, that would be it. This was the longest time I’ve been away from home — my family, rent-free living, basically everything to what was comfortable to me. After visiting London for five days back in September, I really wanted to go back. Back to my friends. So that’s what I did, I packed my bags and went back to London for 20 days. And it was absolutely amazing.
Carpé diem. Life is a collection of moments of shy opportunities stepping out of their uncertainty briefly before reclining back to it. We’re going through life making thousands of microdecisions a day, not knowing how each move will affect the next. To me, that’s the beauty of life, that possibility for something incredible to happen that we didn’t expect.
I’ve always been someone full of routine — most of my days were all planned out down to the last minute and I hated change. Last-minute plans were the absolute worst and it would always get me all worked up for absolutely no reason at all. That all changed when I vowed to make room for spontaneity over the past summer. It was really disheartening when my friends who were all back from university wanted to go hang out and play basketball or grab a bite to eat, and I wouldn’t be able to join them because I had a meeting or had to finish that one thing I had planned out on my schedule.
Since then, I’ve made it a point to be somewhat selfish of my availability, clumping up a bunch of my meetings and blocking out times for self-care and the potential for something spontaneous. I also limit work and meetings on weekends and evenings whenever possible. Here’s a high-level view at my current schedule:
6-12:00 — focused school work, studying, and learning
12-20:00 — external projects and learnings, additional school work if needed
20-23:00 — blocked off self-care time
You’re probably wondering why I’m spending so much time talking about my schedule. Honestly, probably no one even cares. But, I’m bringing this up because it’s the first step in being able to say yes, to seize the moment. Believe me, I was convinced that having every minute of every single day planned out was essential to being productive and maximizing your time. But no, it’s not all about giving in to some arbitrary schedule you’ve put out for yourself but allowing room for flexibility and spontaneity. Then, say yes to those opportunities when the time comes. Life in London really opened my eyes to important it is to actually do that.
Said yes to joining a Zoom game night for TAW, a Western University social club that (obviously) I’m not a part of. Ended up meeting a great mutual friend, and meeting up with one (indirectly two) of my YouTube followers.
Said yes to going over to my friend’s house at 11pm instead of going to bed. Ended up talking until 2am (and on one day 4am) about the craziness of life and was able to just be there for my friend.
Create space for opportunities to be made, and then go out there and create that opportunity. This extends beyond the lifestyle to basically any aspect of life in general. Block out time to visit that professor you want to work with, and then go knock on their door to talk to them. Just book the hotel to that destination you and your friends have been talking about, and then start planning the trip (within reason of course).
My point is: if you don’t step forward, you’re always going to be in the same place. So say yes more. Do things that are out of your comfort zone. Take the leap. Carpe diem.
“Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities, seize common occasions and make them great.”
― Orison Swett Marden
Up Next 🚀
Reverting back to life in Toronto and getting back to the grind
Mending my London-interrupted sleep schedule
Take a more holistic approach on school. Life isn’t all about grades, prestige, or work. It’s the experiences that make it amazing
Life Captured 📸
A collection of photos from stand-out days throughout the month.
I really appreciate you for being a part of my monthly update today! If you are enjoying this newsletter, I’d love for you to share this with a friend or two by hitting the share button below. I’ll see you back here again in a month’s time!