Jumping on Entrepreneurship

Parkour, Startups, and Travel


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I spoke at TEDxSeattle

I recently was invited to speak at TEDxSeattle. Parkour has had such a big impact on my life, so I knew parkour had to be involved in my talk somehow. And yet, I wanted to do something bigger than just another talk on parkour.

Since moving to Seattle, the focus of my life has really shifted from parkour to startups. After a lot of thinking, I realized how much parkour has impacted my thinking - even in the startup world. So, I wrote this talk...

Expect the Unexpected

On Kelby Barker

This is a post from a prior blog of mine. Still, I feel that posting it here might prover useful. Mindfulness meditation teaches us to how to clear our mind that we might see how nuanced and ever changing things are. The other day I was hanging out with some close friends. We decided that we would go to dinner at a Japanese restaurant in town, a personal favorite of mine. One of my friends was quite leery about the choice as he has not had very much foreign food that he has liked, especially Asian food. In fact we had gone places like this before where he had not liked his food and not only went hungry but then had to pay for another meal that he did like after we left. That being considered, this was a bit of a risky choice for him. Yet, despite the fact that he has had bad experiences before he liked what he ordered quite a bit. His expectations, pleasantly, were not satisfied.

This morning I decided that I would wake up and do Ashtanga Yoga to a lengthy YouTube video. I had done this practice before and had barely been able to do the poses, being out of breath and dripping with sweat the whole time. As a little background, Ashtanga Yoga is what so called Strength Yoga is based off of, and is an incredibly physically demanding style. It is one that I am interested in despite my lack of physical prowess though, so I thought I would try it again. Leery, I step onto the mat and a pleasantly surprised by my stamina and strength. I was expecting to barely get into it since I haven't done yoga in about a month, but I was pleasantly surprised.

It is quite easy to look at a situation that contains risk and shun it. This morning's practice could have been a harsh reminder of my limits. Based on my past practice and the fact that I haven't practiced yoga much lately it very well could have gone that way. My friend's meal could have been abrasive to his palate causing him to be out the price of two meals instead of one, as has happened before. Yet, we both walked away from these experiences satisfied.

Now, this is not necessarily what happens when you take a risk. In fact, you'll feel the sting of the times that your risks don't pay off far more than the benefits of when a risk pays out. Yet, by getting that stupid little voice out of my head that was saying "you aren't strong or flexible enough for the style," I had a good experience. I divorced myself from an expectation that in this case would have lead me to an  incorrect conclusion.

My friend is a picky eater. He knows that he doesn't like certain foods and avoids them. Yet, he got that little voice that said "all new foods are bad" out of his head and as well had a good experience. His experience has taught him his preferences, but at the same time his experience does not bar him from trying new things. Instead, it tempers his encounters with new things, making the experience a better one.

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