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Neo Moments: Seeing the world in a new way... not necessarily in green numbers


I'm not sure if I've mentioned my Neo Moment with you, my blog readers, but I wanted to talk about it and perhaps you'll have your own. The Neo Moment, to me, is this enlightenment and awakening of Neo, the protagonist in The Matrix. In the Matrix, there was a time when he was resurrected in the first movie, and he woke seeing the world for what it really was. At that moment, he stopped hoping and thinking he was The One, and just firmly knew he was The One. As he awakened to the world around him, he saw the Matrix in all its green numeric beauty.

My Neo Moment lasted a bit longer than a few seconds, but it was a moment where I started seeing the world much differently. It was when I started living life how I wanted to while also looking for ways to improve the world. To me, it was a moment where I started questioning normal, old-school conventions in favor of more... shall we say, "disruptive" ways of doing things. In many ways, it was my moment where I started coming up with ideas (potentially for different startups) in everyday things. I started just asking random people questions including flight attendants on Southwest on how to improve their provisioning, call center interactions with customers, etc.

I'm not the only one with a Neo Moment, of course. In fact, I've heard of a few Neo Moments recently that has and will continue to have a significant change in my friends' lives.
  • GiveLiveExplore.com - Matt Trinetti is a friend from Georgia Tech who up and decided that he needed to take a break from the consulting life. He kept hearing this little voice in his head to quit -- you can read a recent article he wrote about this in the Huffington Post. In fact, he ended up taking a 7-month sabbatical (spearheaded with a one-way ticket) from a cushy consulting gig to travel to Iceland. The things he learned and experienced taught him so much that he quit his job, and is now a traveler and writer. 
  • TheWhole-Hearted.com - My new friend from Starbucks Ayan ventured to Brazil as part of her MBA program. Exploring the favellas and watching how technology has proliferated even into these neighborhoods has brought incredible life and opportunity to its people. She's also been hearing more about how companies need to find purpose and impact the world in a positive way to really thrive -- lessons she's learning even in an MBA program. When I met her in December last year, she was confused and unsure of her direction. But since then with all these new experiences, she's been more and more sure of her direction, and she's thrilled to be paving the way to finding that intersection of business and purposeful spirituality. She aims to travel the world, and bring that intersection vis-a-vis corporate social responsibility and social enterprise.
  • TitinTech.com - Unsure if I can really say Patrick Whaley's (CEO) Neo Moment was what really inspired him to push Titin Tech further, but I think it's definitely lit a particular fire. Patrick had an idea to having weight compression clothing that would fit more naturally on athletes rather than bulky weighted vests. He had this idea early in his life and started working on it in 2006, I believe. In May of 2009, Patrick was mugged and shot and left for dead. He, luckily, survived, and utilized the very-near-death experience to work on his Titin Tech product that much harder, while also using his story to reach audiences as he used his product as part of his recovery. Today, the company is thriving, and he even posted a picture of Titin Tech at the NFL's Arizona Cardinals practice facility yesterday. The World's Only Weight Compression Gear. Patented. Boom.
  • My Neo Moment came during my time at Emory getting my MBA. After Georgia Tech, I was always traveling doing consulting. It wasn't a bad thing at all. In fact, I absolutely loved it. However, I also knew that I wanted to build my own company... I just didn't think it'd be so soon with Body Boss. My thought process to go into an MBA program was so that I could be better prepared for business obstacles that may come my way (a thinking taken from being an Eagle Scout -- "Be Prepared"). What I didn't realize was the greatest take-away from the MBA program was the time I would get to focus on myself, focus on building Body Boss, workout and player soccer more consistently because I wasn't traveling... 

Neo Moments happen all the time to people. They're watershed events that spur sometimes drastic changes in approaches in life. Many people will have several Neo Moments in their lives. What's common, I think, is some underlying voice as Matt Trinetti puts it in his article that starts creeping in and whispering to you that something else is calling. That voice eggs you on, and oftentimes, taking a leap into some foreign territory be it traveling, educational experiences, or some near-death experience, that's where Neo Moments seem to crystallize for people. It's where people get out of their comfort zones (sometimes unintentionally), and push themselves into places where that little inner voice encourages them.

For me, I'm thrilled to have found my calling, and where I'm heading. It's incredibly frustrating at times, and forces me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. However, I'm happy that where it's putting me, and the steps I'm taking.

What's a Neo Moment you've had? Where/ how do you think your own Neo Moment is taking you?


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