How I Met My Mentor: Megan Tan

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Photo grabbed from the website of ‘Millennial’

The bio: Megan Tan is the host and producer of “Millennial,” a radio documentary about maneuvering your 20s—and embracing the discomfort that comes with it.

How I found her: I discovered my love for podcasts only in 2016, when out of curiosity (and boredom with the same artists I was listening to) I checked out that section of Spotify. The first podcast I ever listened to was fun and cool enough, but I felt like I needed something that would speak to me at that time. I just got out of college then and was unemployed. I felt uneasy thinking about this scary period vaguely called the future. Seeing some of my batchmates update their work description on Facebook—I’ll be very honest—put a ton of pressure on me. So, while I was searching for the perfect podcast, the name showed up. And being naturally drawn to anything that attempts to define this generation I am proudly part of, I clearly had no reason not to listen.

Why she makes the Internet a better place: Because she has no filter. In this day and age where everyone has some sort of personal branding to build through curated posts of their carefully presented selves, it’s refreshing to find someone who presents her raw self to the point that she almost becomes vulnerable in the process. I remember listening to one of her podcast episodes while riding a bus to Manila to start my first day on my first job. It was nighttime, it was really cold, and the view outside the window was a dreamy backdrop. In the episode, she was talking about deciding between choosing a job offer or her own passion project (the podcast itself), and I just sat there staring at luminous lights, wanting to cry happy tears about how accurate she describes the self-doubt, discomfort, anxiety, and everything else that I also felt in my own journey.

What she taught me: Let’s face it. Adulthood is never going to be easy. Actually, you know what? It might only get scarier year after year, and this whole figuring out thing never ends. But here’s something we can hold on to: We’re all in the same boat. Like Megan, a lot of us feel the same fears every now and then. Ever looked at your Instagram feed and felt a little jealous about how other people live such fabulous lives, and you’re there being unproductive spending half of your day in social media? News flash! Those fabulous people feel the same fears, too. (Except Beyoncé. Probably.)

Also, there’s the beauty of going after what excites you, regardless of what people believe you are capable of doing. It’s a bonus that I have a background in journalism and Megan herself practiced photojournalism and had the same dilemma of whether or not she should join a publication like her peers would expect. And her choosing her risky passion for radio (She started recording the whole thing in her closet!) over the safe, expected choice inspired me to always go after what I really want—which is not very clear at this time, but I am slowly discovering in every major step.

The major takeaway: This whole journey of achieving our #goals will most likely be frustrating, but we’ll get by. After all, we’re the “entitled” generation who were told by our parents we could do anything we set our minds to 😉

Where you can find her: @meganleetan or @millennialpdcst on Twitter; millennialpodcast.org for the website

What you should check out as soon as you finish reading this: Season 1 of the podcast! It will always be my favorite since it’s very personal and it really hits close to home.

 

How I Met My Mentor is a series of posts about individuals who have provided no-nonsense and awe-inspiring content amid the noise polluting the World Wide Web. It is my hope that these so-called digital mentors serve as a reminder that there is no such thing as “too much internet” when you’re talking about great content.

If you have a digital mentor in mind whose work you think should be shared with the world, shoot me an email using the contact form embedded in this website.

To read my previous How I Met My Mentor posts featuring goal setting mentor Arriane Serafico and ‘Shots of Awe’ creator Jason Silva, click here and here.

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How I Met My Mentor: Jason Silva

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Photo grabbed from Jason Silva’s website

The bio: Jason Silva is a futurist, philosopher, filmmaker, and host of National Geographic Channel’s “Brain Games.”

How I found him: Everything started with a petty observation I had while watching the said show: “Hey, look. This host is cute.” And you know what happens after a comment like that. You instantly google the guy to see what else he’s up to, you fall into the abyss of non-ending stream of links, and voila, you find a whole new world to discover. I ended up watching a video (and another, and another…) on his Youtube channel “Shots of Awe,” where he philosophizes about the future, creativity, imagination, love, and even death, among others. Anyone who sees at least one video from that channel will surely get awestruck.

Why he makes the Internet a better place: Because he thinks the Internet is indeed a magical place! I don’t see a lot of people who are very optimistic about the future and technology in general. Even a quick browse in your news feed would usually lead you to articles suggesting how, say, artificial intelligence could take over the world and spew catastrophe—which actually seems possible (thanks to Netflix series Black Mirror‘s artful imagining of the potential dangers of technology) but is not the only possible outcome. You can use fire to burn your enemies or to cook food, I remember Jason saying in one of his videos.

Also, social media can get really, really toxic with everyone sending their thoughts out into the void without control nor warning, so it’s always refreshing to hear at least one voice that reminds you to always be in awe of life itself. I especially love it when I get a Facebook notification saying Jason is going live. When I click it, there he is recording himself going on a mind-trip with a friend and just spontaneously talking about life and death and how art and love can temporarily serve as our religion—probably even an antidote—to our own anticipated decay. At the end of it, you find yourself getting drunk in awe and wonder. And just like that—through eavesdropping on a deep conversation from some part of the world miles away from where you are through a “digital wormhole”—the mundanity of your day becomes more bearable.

What he taught me: With every “philosophical espresso shot” that I watch, I feel like I become born again with a fresh perspective about life and the little things. I start seeing nature in its pure poetic beauty as it would be depicted in the videos themselves. I begin to understand people differently—why they cry, why they fall in love, why they create art, and how doing so can “save” them in some way.

The major takeaway: We are faced with one certain outcome: death. The period between being born and that sure-fire eventual decay is this thing called life. How do we make the most out of it? We live by following our bliss. We engage in things that bring us “cognitive ecstasy.” We consume art. We love. We remain in awe of life. We appreciate and improve what we humans can do with our hands. We must, as Dylan Thomas said, “rage, rage against the dying of the light.” That’s how we live.

Where you can find him: @jasonsilva on Twitter; /JasonLSilva on Facebook and Instagram; thisisjasonsilva.com for his website; “Shots of Awe” on Youtube (And I wish he had a podcast, too!)

What you should check out as soon as you finish reading this:“Shots of Awe” on Youtube, of course! My favorites include The Instagram Generation, Existential Bummer, We Don’t Cry Because We’re SadHappiness Lives In The New, FOMO: The Fear Of Missing Out, and Why We Explore. These videos with Silva and Neil deGrasse Tyson arguing about what makes life life and Silva explaining the miracle of life to a cute baby also make me cry happy tears.

The wonderful thing about opening your eyes to this kind of thinking is that you can never go back to being blind, so to speak. When you experience awe as a constant feeling—something that is as natural and effortless as blinking—you basically allow yourself to live your life differently, probably more fully.

 

How I Met My Mentor is a series of posts about individuals who have provided no-nonsense and awe-inspiring content amid the noise polluting the World Wide Web. It is my hope that these so-called digital mentors serve as a reminder that there is no such thing as “too much internet” when you’re talking about great content.

If you have a digital mentor in mind whose work you think should be shared with the world, shoot me an email using the contact form embedded in this website.

To read my previous How I Met My Mentor post featuring goal setting mentor Arriane Serafico, click here.

How I Met My Mentor: Arriane Serafico

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Photo grabbed from her Twitter account @arrianeserafico


The bio:
Arriane Serafico is a design thinking advocate, social media expert, and creative blogger from the Philippines.

How I found her: Her name has always been familiar to me since I first saw it on a promotional poster of a blogging conference held in our university, but I never really made the effort to look her up until I came across a link to her free course about enhancing productivity. Being a broke millennial and a guilty procrastinator, I was the perfect target for it. I immediately subscribed to her newsletter, and from there I basically said “omg same” to everything.

Why she makes the Internet a better place: There’s a reason I didn’t attend the bloggers’ conference I mentioned earlier; I had this unfair perception of bloggers as fancy narcissists. (I know. I’m sorry!) But that changed when I discovered how Arriane uses her blog for a bigger purpose which is helping why-driven women achieve their passion and purpose. I mean, just reading that sentence makes me hear victorious cheers and see confetti. The positivity surrounding the community she created is just contagious.

What she taught me: Joining the “90 Braver Days” challenge was a major wake-up slap to my years-long productivity slump. Every New Year, I would tell myself I’d be a “version 2.0” and set vague, unrealistic life goals and–you know it–I would always end up achieving less. The “90 Braver Days” course taught me that it’s all about the “why” and the ways you stick to systems to make your goal a reality. This barely covers everything I’ve learned in the course, but suffice it to say that this is by far the most effective productivity course I took since I started actively seeking self-growth. Also, Project Ed is a product of my joining “90 Braver Days” and now I’m just inspired to (hopefully) do more passion projects in the future ❤

The major takeaway: Living a life of passion and purpose ultimately lies in your own hands.

Where you can find her: @arrianeserafico on Twitter and Instagram; arrianeserafico.com; thepurposefulcreative.com for her podcast

What you should check out as soon as you finish reading this: Her Braver Goals course! Drop everything and go to this link to learn more about it: http://courses.bravergoals.com/?affcode=26003_v2awdkmv or this http://join.bravergoals.com/?affcode=26003_v2awdkmv#joinnow if you only want the workbook

Investing in your self-growth is one of the best things you can do as an adult, so I would strongly suggest enrolling ASAP 😉 Go for it! ❤

 

How I Met My Mentor is a series of posts about individuals who have provided no-nonsense and awe-inspiring content amid the noise polluting the World Wide Web. It is my hope that these so-called digital mentors serve as a reminder that there is no such thing as “too much internet” when you’re talking about great content.

If you have a digital mentor in mind whose work you think should be shared with the world, shoot me an email using the contact form embedded in this website.