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Monday, June 7, 2010

That's it. Screw this, I'm giving you my money.

There's free money in this for you.

I'm not being cute.  I will send you cash.

And I'm not being creative either (got this post idea straight from Seth's Blog).  Here's the most relevant excerpt:

"When we set ourselves a deadline, we're incredibly lax about sticking to it. So don't (set it for yourself, in your head, informally). Write it down instead. Hand it to someone else. Publicize it. Associate it with an external reward or punishment. If you don't make the deadline, your friend gives the $20 you loaned her to a cause you disagree with..."

I think this point is right on.  In my life, I've missed a lot of deadlines.  But for the situations in which peers expected/needed/wanted me to deliver, I've much more often (drastically more) shown up on time and with quality.  This has been true for my group projects, competitive teams, childhood plays, lab partners, jobs, everything.  If it matters even a little bit, I'm much less likely to come up short in front of my peers.  I care what you think.

That I care about that has frustrated me for a long time.  We hear from different places that we shouldn't care about what other people think because being influenced by other people's perceptions is a weakness - a sign of insecurity, a lack of self-confidence, something to overcome.  More recently, however, someone told me that growing up is not about cultivating indifference towards external opinions of you and your work but about being able to discern which people's opinions actually should matter to you.

I know I still have work to do in this discerning process - I still do care too much about random people's criticisms when I shouldn't.  But I also know that my life has been INSANELY blessed with peers who think deeply, who live intentionally, and who have consistently done amazing, inspiring, life-giving, stand-up, straight baller things so far in their time on earth.  Micro loans to Nepalis.  Med school after earthquakes.  Surfing couches to move your life forward through the worst economy we've seen.  Holding up your own family, quietly.  Seeing them through.  So many examples and so many I don't even know about, I'm sure.  You guys -- I care what you think of me and my work.

The big project I'm working on and am extremely invested in is this website and resource we've started to teach Haitian Creole: HaitiHub.  We have well over 100 people signed up just waiting to take classes through Skype.  The problem is that I'm already teaching as many classes as I can.  We're bottlenecked until we organize and orient more teachers - either native speakers or former volunteers.  Until this happens, the project is stuck and a ton of people aren't benefiting from online conversation classes and even more people than that in Haiti aren't benefiting from more Creole-fluent and culturally-fluent volunteers.

And yet, somehow, it's been months with "get more teachers" at the top of my HaitiHub to-do list and we don't have a single one (despite interest from many potential teachers).

So here's the deal: The first two people to like or message or comment about this post, for you two, I'm on the hook for $20 each.

On July 7, if HaitiHub doesn't have at least one new teacher, be in touch with me however you want and I'll send what I owe you in whatever way you'd prefer.  That's it.

I care a lot about you and I care enough about the money for this to actually work.  All I can do is thank all of you guys for your friendship and everything you do and for helping me make some progress with HaitiHub.

(Here at the end, I almost don't want to post because there's something very performative about all this...but I do know that it really will increase the chances of us getting another teacher on board, so onward!)


  1. I emailed an old friend of mine who served a mission in Haiti about your need -- hopefully he can help or at least pass on the word to his Creole speaking friends!! Bon chance, Carlo!

  2. get it done.. stop being a drama queen. :) Always sending good thoughts your way, Car-lo!