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Imagine that in order to have a great life, you have to cross a dangerous jungle. You can stay safe where you are and have an ordinary life, or you can risk crossing the jungle to have a terrific life. How would you approach that choice? ”- Ray Dalio

Welcome to Lumispection, a joint blog by Diliana Dimitrova and Anna Wang. We started this as a forum to share our thoughts and reflections across a variety of topics, typically related to business, technology, finance, psychology, and travel. Some posts are objective and fact-oriented, others are personal reflections from our lives and experience, and yet others are abstractions that may serve as a window into our deeper, sometimes exploratory, thoughts. This is meant as a foray into finding our voice in a more public setting and is still an exploration for us. We hope you enjoy reading (and if you like it, please subscribe below!)

A tapestry of possibilities, but no progress without choice

I think there’s something about “possibilities” that makes us excited — looking at a map and seeing all the places we could go, looking at a list of classes and seeing what the semester ahead could entail, walking into a library and seeing all of the books that we could read next….but that’s the key – “could.” We see a multi-faceted, many-colored tapestry in front of us, and we become excited. But we can only choose one reality.

Remember that feedback is aimed to shape us to the system we are in…so take it with a grain of salt

Although it is important to listen to the feedback that we receive (especially the patterns), we should nonetheless remember that when we work for a company or person, we are part of their system, and the feedback that we receive will be aimed to try to shape us to operate smoothly within the context of this system. So, we should ask ourselves if this is what we actually want and whether this is truly how we want to be shaped.

What does good look like?

As we progress in life, leave our structured university and job settings, it becomes more difficult for us to assess where we are, and what the benchmark for “good” actually is. I’ve thought through three methods of gathering guidance or feedback on where we are (i.e., top-down guidance, sideways peer comparison, and looking up at successful individuals/companies that we hope to emulate). My thoughts are that while retaining the big-picture perspective that comes from “looking up” is most important in guiding us, we can and should leverage all three methods to get accurate guidance and feedback on our progress toward our goals.

Staying flexible without spinning in circles

I’ve recently been thinking about the spectrum of flexibility and adaptability and where the optimal level lies. On one hand, I think it is important to be highly flexible so as to be able to adapt to the situation and adjust actions, behavior, and decisions as new information arises. On the other hand, there has to be a certain level of stability so as to not be jumping, changing direction, and spinning in circles with every single new piece of information.

What does home really mean?

For me, movement has always been a part of life. However, whenever I have found stillness in the midst of all of this movement, the question has always arisen: what is home, really?

What I’ve come to realize is that maybe we don’t find home, but rather, we create it. “Home” can be anywhere. It is not a place, but rather, a mindset.

Demystifying Disengagement at Work

Over 85% of people are not engaged at work, yet we can spend 100,000+ hours (50%+) hours of our waking lives at work.
I know it’s possible to lower this lack of engagement statistic dramatically–most of the methods and research are out there. However the delivery of effective methods, to more people, can be improved.

A series of auditions, not failures, for what should have a place in our lives

Every time we try something, we can think of it as an “audition” for its place in our lives, and it’s okay if certain things don’t work out. Ultimately, it is all part of the process of figuring out what deserves our effort and mental space. Every single thing that we let in means that we don’t let in the whole universe of other alternatives, so we should seek out and embrace the truth of what doesn’t belong.

My 10-year vision: Systematizing decision-making

I believe that when we actually set an intention and write things down, that significantly increases the chance that they will become reality. I’d like to write out my 10-year vision for the future, as it stands right now. My vision centers around creating a company or series of companies aimed at improving decision-making on 1) an individual level, and 2) an organizational task/process level.

Freedom and responsibility of shaping our reality

Having the ability to shape our own path is an enormous freedom, but we also have the responsibility to ourselves to constantly be aware and continue questioning what is right. It is important to maintain a relentless approach in cutting that which we realize is not, while incorporating our continually increasing self-understanding to decision points in the future.

A dichotomous world.

We live in this world of dichotomy of tension and chaos and the pursuit of orderliness.We are constantly battling conflicting goals and priorities, irrational prioritization of human desires, motivations, and impulses.Everything in my life, for example, can be viewed from the lens of satire. Or the seriousness lens. Satirical work life:As an investor, even in … Continue reading A dichotomous world.

Modularization of knowledge work

Even within the complex domain of knowledge work, there are certain processes that can be increasingly standardized when we take an archetypical, big picture view. This is already being done in ways both big and small, ranging from tagging/labeling, to bigger-picture process automation in recruiting, investing, and other decision-making. In the future, there are multitudes of opportunities for increasing knowledge work automation.

Creating order out of chaos: Archetypes and systematization

How can we create order out of the chaos that is our disorganized world? Recently, I’ve been thinking about two concepts that can help us to do this, related to organizing ideas, systems, and businesses: archetyping and systematizing. I. Identifiying Archetypes A couple of years ago, I read Ray Dalio’s book, Principles, which detailed his … Continue reading Creating order out of chaos: Archetypes and systematization

In search of community

What defines a community? This is a question I often wonder during this time when I can’t find community belonging by simply walking around in a neighborhood, experiencing activities at my aerial gym, and interacting with people in public spaces. It seems to be a subtle and easily underappreciated element of the pre-quarantine past–now a … Continue reading In search of community

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