Practice Happy- Meet Alexa and Allen

 Hello Born Passion Community! 

 We are grateful to have the opportunity to share our story with all of you. Every human being has a unique upbringing and perspective, but according to studies done by Deloitte, 80% of people do not enjoy their work rather than do work that they can’t not do.

This is why Alexa and I are here today, sharing with you how we both motivated ourselves and also were motivated by others to follow our passion and do what we love every single day.

So many people told me I was going to fail in my divergence from the path most traveled by. That’s the first instinct of so many people. But that fear and doubt doesn’t have to be an impediment. It can be a propellant and motivator. We recognize that it hurts the most when doubt comes from family and friends who want you to be financially stable, but in reality money is meaningless if we are not following our passion in doing what we love every single day.

We take the road less traveled by and that makes all the difference. Here is our story:

Alexa and I were both raised in the Midwest of the United States. We sought to achieve something greater in our lives than just have fun or have kids. We both knew we wanted to enrich humanity but did not know the exact mediums in which we would achieve this.

Alexa has blossomed from a noob designer to a rockstar designer in a matter of three years. This in large has to do with the school she attended, California College of the Arts, which stimulated her creative juices in some of the most liberating and unique ways I’ve ever seen. It also has to do with her developed ability to question the philosophies behind every action and along the way teaching me the differences between when design is used in manipulation for a negative versus design being used to create light in an area of the world filled with darkness.

I have blossomed from a child in business to having solid foundational knowledge about operations, marketing, sales, leadership, management, design, engineering, finances and idea execution. This all stemmed from one interaction I had with a 44 year old executive at Microsoft when I was 19 years old starting a technology company in San Francisco. He told me, “What do you think you can teach me and what do you think I can teach you?” From then on, I focused on surrounding myself with people smarter than me and just listening to what they had to teach.

This leap of faith to come out to the Bay Area to follow our passions did not come without challenge for Alexa or I. Alexa was entering into a world of uncertainty, being alone in a big city was a scary place for her whereas I was experiencing tons of doubt from my friends and I especially hit a wall of uncertainty from my family. All we wanted to do was explore something new and chase our passions. Our motivation was constantly under siege by doubtfulness, fear and hesitation but we never let the fire inside of us get completely extinguished. We kept it alive and slowly found the right people in our lives to help us take the leap of faith.

For Alexa, it was her parents who helped solidify her understanding that if she wanted to do design, the Bay Area was one of the best places in the world to chase that passion. For me, it was the entrepreneurs who came and spoke at our entrepreneurship club at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. I constantly asked them how to best execute my ideas and every single one of them motivated me to chase my passion by seizing the bountiful opportunity in the Bay Area.

A life without risk is like no life at all. The decision is simple now in retrospect. Every time an opportunity arises, seize it. Take risks, especially those associated with following your passion. Worst thing that could happen is you fail and move onto something new. Best thing that could happen is you succeed, reaching a flow of happiness only achievable by following your passion. If we never take the chance at all, we never know the outcome and we’re left with our complacency of stability.

Our passion was just starting to burn inside of us when we were formulating the decision and the process of execution. Now it’s raging inside of us because we are doing it every day. We both attribute a high amount of moral direction, consciousness, passion discovery and our increase in knowledge due to living in one of the most diverse areas in the world. We have had the opportunity to surround ourselves with a plethora of cultures, talents, passions, unique upbringings and perspectives, all causing us to see the world more consciously.

Ok, so what do Allen and Alexa do? They run an education non-profit called Practice Happy in San Francisco, California. To Practice Happy is to practice a growth mindset - for life. They ask random people thought-provoking questions then share their answers online to spread wisdom and awareness. Practice Happy also showcases other altruistic and philanthropic organizations to better understand why people are passionate about enriching humanity. We believe meaning comes from making. We know that on our journey of following our passion, we will fail, transition, iterate and continuously be developing stronger meaning from what we are doing.

Below are two videos. First is 'A Lesson Learned with Charles'. Second is 'A Lesson Learned with Bukky'.

 A Lesson Learned with Charles

A Lesson Learned with Bukky

Following our passion was the biggest risk we took in our lives and it felt like we were going against all odds, but it ended up being the most rewarding thing we’ve ever done. We believe that every human being has this endogenous motivation within themselves to do work that they can’t not do.

Much love to the Born Passion community for having us featured on their blog and much love to you, the reader, for making it all the way through. Feel free to reach out for advice about following your passion, partnership inquiries, or even just philosophizing about life. We would love to hear from you - 




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