On Spreading Gratitude, Inspiration Repositories, and the Work and Life Ethic of the Bangtan Boys.
|Sumeet Shah||Mar 3||1|
Hey, everybody. I turned 35 last month. It was hard at times to feel comfortable celebrating a big age milestone, thanks to how emotionally swerving 2020 was. But as more great news continues to pour out ahead of post-pandemic life, the following year forced me to revisit the quality of my routines, especially around being more present, mindful, and caring about my own happiness.
Thus, Nitasha and I took a few days off and headed upstate to Saugerties, NY, where we stayed at the incredible Diamond Mills Hotel. We ate some incredible food, got some self care routines in, and came out of the trip refreshed and rejuvenated, especially as this was our view every morning.
It’s very easy to push aside self care these days, as it’s gotten lots of stigmas tied to it. But if anyone pushes the “it’s a weakness” argument to you, counter with this:
By taking care of and refreshing yourself, you end up becoming exponentially more productive in your personal and professional work. Who wouldn’t want that??
As a lovely segue, I’d like to introduce to you all this week’s contributor. I’ve known her from my early days in the startup world and she reached out loving Le Cinq and asking if it was possible to write an edition. (Note: I always love people reaching out, don’t be afraid!)
Here’s her piece, which frames so well into how we really need to take care of ourselves.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Zi Xie.
Zi Xie leads content creation at Dailyhuman. She’s Australian-born-Chinese, lived and worked across 4 continents, and decided 2 years ago to move to New York with her husband in search of new adventures and challenges. She wanted to work in an industry that merged all her top passions in food, education and technology. Dailyhuman started as a food data company to help restaurants find new customers, but during the pandemic, pivoted into a gratitude company to empower the connection between humans via acts of kindness. It’s launching later this year, so come join their conversations on gratitude via, Instagram, Youtube and Podcasts.
When she’s not creating content, she’s usually dancing, cooking or doing an Airbnb experience with friends and loved ones.
A fun fact: Here’s two:
Hmmm, Sake Somm is a pretty fun one, right? I am a certified Level 3 Sake WSET. (I can always whip that one out at parties :-) ) People seem to love being guided through a flavor profile during a tasting, particularly in more nuanced foods, such as sake and tea.
I randomly got cast in a Walgreens Ad...so if I look familiar to you, I may have subconsciously lived in the back of your mind as that trusty pharmacist, hah!
What are you currently working on?
Personally: I'm launching my website and I have found it to be the most reflective exercise ever. When I was going through the process of writing my bio from scratch, it was a humbling realization that all my unique experiences in life have led to my present. I’m often inspired by others and their journeys, so to have experienced a sense of awe while writing my bio, was an example of self-love and acknowledgement, which I’m always working to get better at.
Work-Wise: Podcasts. I have launched a Podcast called ‘Gratitude, but we digress’, where we talk about all things gratitude. We are currently recording an Industry series, where we chat with industry professionals about what gratitude means to them, and in the context of their industry, how gratitude is practiced, and how they would prefer to experience gratitude from others. As you can guess from the title, we digress, a lot, mostly into food, but also into everyday life, relationships and everything in between. It’s been so much fun, and super insightful.
What are you currently excited about?
Travel. We have a lot planned. My husband and I are Australian, but he’s a dual citizen, so we’ll be heading to Europe soon. We just did a 3-month stint in Mexico and it was incredible. I am at my happiest when I travel. And I’m not talking about plane rides or escapism.
What I love about travel is connecting, both with old friends and new ones in authentic environments. Life is richer when it’s shared. I lead content creation at work, and we are working towards achieving a billion acts of gratitude. I honestly can’t think of a cooler topic to create content for.
I can already visualize myself going around the world, initiating conversations and acts of kindness to spread gratitude, then capturing that in creative ways to share with my team and the world.
What’s a story or article that you're currently thinking about?
At work, we love having freestyle days where we present and share what is inspiring us at the moment. Juana, a colleague of mine recently shared Paper Planes from Experiments at Google, which explored the concept of bringing people together from all over the world, by virtually throwing paper planes from screen to screen. Experiments by Google is an amazing repository, and I have discovered so many cool projects that I would have never come across since I’m primarily an iOS user.
What caught my eye was their Hack to Help: COVID-19 page (below). All of the projects are so cool. I highly recommend checking it out!
What’s a product you’re currently obsessed with?
I am currently obsessed with emerging audio platforms such as Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. It’s Zoom without a waiting room and video. These platforms are taking the nostalgia of tuning into live radio, but instead of having to call in for the opportunity to speak, these apps facilitate that live interaction by tapping the unmute feature. Many other platforms offer real-time voice interactions, Discord comes to mind... but these new platforms are zeroing into this spontaneous way to connect. I love being a fly on the wall for topics that interest me, and something about live audio makes them feel exciting, fresh and current. As a Host, it’s also thrilling to have random people drop in to listen to our conversations.
The last time I hosted a talk on gratitude on Clubhouse, Brad Pitt was also on Clubhouse, talking about Climate Change.
I forgive everyone who tuned out of my session… #climatechange
Wild Card: What’s an item you can’t shake your mind off of?
Truly and honestly...BTS...have taken over my life, in the best way possible. BTS is a South Korean band that has been around for over 7 years now. I first came across their music in the fall of 2020 as their hit ‘Dynamite’ was topping the charts, then slowly, (or quickly), fell in love with their energetic yet suave choreography. I started doing dance covers and the addiction of nailing a dance choreo injected a lot of drive and satisfaction into my everyday life. At some points during the pandemic, dancing literally got me out of bed in the morning and got my endorphins rushing as I practiced like crazy.
I have since discovered many reasons to be inspired by BTS, from their meaningful lyrics to their work and life ethic. The way they share their stories is so human and sincere, and that relatability is part of what makes them so dear to the fans. In one of their non-music related pursuits called ‘Run BTS’, a variety web series, the members are put through various individual and team challenges, and I find myself implementing ideas from that show, straight into our company culture, to strengthen team bonds.
“How are my dance covers going,” you ask?
There was a turning point for me when I made a choreo for a BTS song titled ‘Life goes on’ on TikTok, and I woke up the next day to over 100’s of videos of all these people around the world, posting dance covers of my choreo. I realized then, that by sharing my joy, I initiated this ripple effect and inspired others to share their joy and creations.
That’s something that I know is worth pursuing.
~ C O L O P H O N ~
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