17 yo building better maternal healthcare in developing countries.

Get disappointed less; live more.

Written in November 2019.

I’ve started to internalize the importance of controlling my expectations.

Why? Because expectations control our lives. They cause anxiety, disappointment and negativity.

Often, we don’t choose our expectations. It’s easy to get conditioned by society; expectations are easy to acquire but difficult to control.

Instagram gives us expectations that our lives should be filled with nice beaches, expensive food and fireworks.

Schools are also a great example. We condition students (and convince them) to spend hours studying for tests, staying up until silly o’clock so they can get a 96%. Were the students naturally born with…

Anyone who has ever spent more than 30 seconds with me knows I ask a lot of questions.

Ever since I was young, I’ve had a “scientific mindset.” I was trying to drill at why things happened. I also asked a lot of “what if [insert hypothesis]?” questions because I wanted to explore alternative possibilities. I love finding new correlations and theories.

Naturally, science has become my favourite area to study, and I spend a lot of time learning about scientific things. But — I’m also interested/dedicated to personal improvement.

And I’ve recently discovered that science is another way to…

Podcasts for the Nerdy

This is a list I curated back a few months ago. I could listen to these episodes forever and not get bored / constantly learn.

After On Episodes

Don Hoffman (Reality)

Sean Carroll (Quantum)

Annaka Harris (consciousness)

Naval | pt1, pt2

Ed Boyden (Neuroscience)

Laurie Santos (Happiness)

Jordan Harbinger (the science of psychopathy)

Daniel Kraft (medicine)

Psychedelic cure to depression

David Eagleman (Extending senses)

Robert Green (genetics)

Stuart Russell (AI)

Ev Williams (Medium + Twitter)

Sam Harris (Terrorism)

Steve Jurvetson (Quantum Computing)

Fermi’s Paradox

Knowledge Project

Steven Strogatz (Exploring Curiosities)

Jeff Hunter (Unlocking human potential)

Scott Adams (Avoiding Loserthink)

Sheila Heen (Decoding difficult conversations)


My Takeaways from White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

You’re doing your Ph.D. in Astronomy at Harvard. You want to study the stars. Then you buy a very very very powerful microscope.

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You buy a microscope that can see individual atoms.

I hope you get kicked out of your Ph.D. program.

One simply cannot study the vastness of the sky with a device that is built to study the vastness of particles. You won’t have the right perspective. To understand the collective of the stars, you must look at the collective stars. You need a telescope.

My favourite points from the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer, Kaley Klemp, Diana Chapman

Thanks to Michael Raspuzzi for the recommendation!

I’ve been working through this book for a few months. (My fast-paced brain gets a bit of anxiety from that statement). But it’s been one of the most impactful books for me because I was slow in reading, and more importantly, integrating its learnings into my life.

I remember Shiv Shukla told me something almost a year ago that has stuck with me since. “I spent a year reading 150 books. Then I spent a year reading 4. …

My favourite points from “Your Music and People” by Derek Sivers

Your Music and People by Derek Sivers

This book was written for aspiring musicians wanting to distribute their music. I can hardly blow air through a recorder, yet I LOVED this book. It’s really about being strategic, working with people and finding your niche.

It’s the most organized and concise book I’ve read.

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A recorder for the unfamiliar

Set Creative Restrictions

If it feels like you have infinite options and you don’t know where to start, start somewhere, ANYWHERE.

You don’t have to begin with the best strategy. It’s better to start with a small strategy vs an overly complicated (and unoptimized) one.

If you don’t start, someone…

Izzy Grandic’s Lessons

Emails, teams and relationships. Followups have been key to my year’s progress.

I’ve built a network of 20+ doctors, five lawyers, an on-ground (Nigeria) partnership with an NGO and the local government. My secret: following up with clear asks.

Now that I’ve been a project manager for over 9 months, I’ve realized following up and checking in is one of the most important actions I can take to make progress as a team.

Planning is not progress. Having a solid plan can set you up for great achievements, but ultimately doing the plan is progress. It’s easy to engage in…

Izzy Grandic’s Lessons

I’m grateful to have experienced little-to-no harmful effects from the adaption from “normal life” to the “new normal.” I focused on the positive new experience I could learn from: more time with family, opportunities to learn skills like cooking, and having minimal distractions moving me away from my priorities.

By focusing on the opportunities created vs the situation at hand, I’ve been able to squeeze experiences and memories out of 2020.

Before shut-downs and masks, a trip materialized this learning: going to San Francisco in February. …

Izzy Grandic’s Lessons

2020 felt like a year of authentic discovery. For example, I uncovered my deep enjoyment for peculiar fun facts and updated my Twitter bio accordingly:

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However, there’s knowing your authentic self and knowing when to be your fully authentic self. I’m still learning that second part.

In identifying my values, I’ve derived my “authentic self” and authentic actions. (And yes, I’m still discovering !!!!) Yet, there are times where my values and another party’s values do not align. Some battles are not worth fighting; it’s much easier to change yourself than change the world.

Since I don’t want to be…

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