Which celebrity would you most like to see as President of the United States and why?
Dr. Stephen Hawking. Choose a genuine genius for a leader. I’d vote for a candidate who likely has a better grasp of the universe than anyone. As a symbol of perseverance, Dr. Hawking is unparalleled. His disability has proven no match for his creative productivity. He exemplifies the power of the mind. In his writings, he never forgets the human message – and conveys it with love, honesty and a sense of humor, qualities necessary for a President. Hawking reminds us that we are small, nearly insignificant, and that this is what makes us so special. He’s a scientist that believes in God, believes our existence has a definite noble purpose, and celebrates curiosity as a drive that betters mankind.
If you could teach the world one thing--based on your knowledge, talents, and skills that you have right now--what would it be and why?
The ability to suspend judgment. I would stress that change must begin with the individual, that a government-sponsored program to promote non-judgment would be unnecessary and ineffectual. I learned to suspend judgment in college, though it was never in a syllabus. As a music major I was introduced to challenging, unfamiliar modern music. Fascinating changes happen in the mind and heart, when a piece inspires distaste and confusion upon first hearing - only to evolve into love, joy, and declarations of beauty after merely listening more. I try daily to apply this idea to interactions with people. At most jobs I’ve had to leave, the hardest people to tell goodbye were the ones I didn’t like in the beginning.
What is your best personal productivity or time management tip?
It’s best not to think about the entirety of work to be done at any one time. An important project will likely have several stages, all of equal importance. One can easily be intimidated by the size of a project, and the intimidation can lead to complacency or hopelessness. However, upon closer examination each stage may reveal itself to be simpler than previously perceived. If one focuses on the impossibility of accomplishing seven stages at once, the project becomes impossible. If one can relax and focus on a single stage at a time, gradually the project moves forward, one sees undeniable progress, and finally laughs at the panic felt before.