Thank you for all the kind words to everyone who replied back to my last email. Your enthusiasm gives me a ton of motivation to make each issue of Tam's Jam better than the last one.
Below you will find one new essay that I've published, a collection of older articles that I've never shared yet, and the best content I've found this month.
Let's dive in. 🙂
I want to show up for my loved ones during tough times but I never knew exactly how to help. After my research, I learned how surprisingly simple it was to have a big impact on a friend who is suffering.
The book, There is No Good Card For This, had so much nuanced advice and practical tools that helped me support the people I cared most about.
If you'd like to better show up for your loved ones, let's dive in. ❤️
Every year, I write a reflection on my yearly goals, key experiences, and biggest learnings. You can see my 2020 year in review here.
I've adopted my friend Neville Medhora's framework on goal setting which is simple: three goals every month. I've taken it a step further by setting weekly goals complimented with a daily post-it note with all the biggest things I need to accomplish that day.
For someone who has tried to plan his whole life path, this approach has given me more peace to stay focused on what's in front of me. I may not know what the future holds but as long as I'm in the right direction, I feel more freedom to simply "let go." 😌
Below is a list of my older articles that I wrote in the last couple of years but haven't actively shared any with you! Click on any links that interest you or bookmark this list to read later.
- How to Have Deep and Meaningful Relationships When You Can't See Anyone In-Person
- My Plan to Make Friends From Scratch In a New Country
- How I Accidentally Met Some Of My Closest Friends
- To Easily Meet Interesting People, Go Do Interesting Things
- How To Have Great Conversations With Anyone You Meet
- A Beautiful and Pessimistic Approach To Life - School of Life Conference
- My Experience Working With a Life Coach - Is It Worth It?
- I Quit My Job to Study Chess for 7 Months and Beat a National Master
- We Started With A Napkin and Ended Up With An Nintendo Wii
My dear friend, Candace Wu, created an AMAZING product that helps bring your friends or family closer together.
You pick your group. You answer questions. Then every month (or whatever cadence you set), you see everyone's responses along with photos from their lives, opportunities to support others, and more.
The product is quite simple but having a touchpoint like this gives everyone a chance to learn something new about each other and simply stay in touch.
Spotlight: Yul Kwon
I know I'm 20 years late but I just found out about the show, Survivor, and I am hooked!!
After watching a few seasons, I have a huge admiration for Yul Kwon, who had a huge underdog victory to advance him to the final 4 people, eventually winning Survivor: Cook Islands.
His game focused on strategy and game theory that made a chess nerd like me light up. I went to research more about who he is and it amazed me to read his backstory.
Yul is a Stanford and Yale graduate and used to be a lawyer, an instructor at the F.B.I. Academy, and the owner of a frozen-yogurt chain. He now works at Google, where he helps build tools to track the spread of COVID-19.
Not only is he incredibly intelligent, but he's also handsome, physically strong, and held his own in the wilderness. I have a big man-crush on this guy.
After listening to his interview on the Freakonomics podcast, it was humbling to hear his troubled upbringing, and learn how hard life was for him to get to this point. Highly recommend you give this a listen.
(BTW, do you watch Survivor?? Reply back and let me know - I just finished Winners at War)
My friend Cathryn Lavery, founder of Best Self Co, reveals how an ex-team member embezzled over $230,000 from her over the course of nearly 2 years.
Cathryn breaks down how it happened and what happened to the team member after getting caught red-handed.
She runs a small, tight-knit team and had a personal relationship with this person. To my surprise, this type of fraud happens A LOT, especially to small businesses.
Fraud and other forms of white-collar crime cost US organizations more than $400 billion every year. The most costly abuses tend to occur not in large organizations, but in companies with less than 100 employees.
The biggest lesson I took away from this article was to trust people, but verify.
💰 $2,000 Opportunity For Anyone Under 25
Justin Mares, founder of Kettle & Fire, has an amazing initiative called Trajectory Change Grant.
"If you’re under 25 and $2000 or less can meaningfully change your life, I want to hear from you. I’d love to help you start companies, learn new skills, build things, make art, do science, push boundaries, and improve yourself.
If $2k or less can truly change the trajectory of your life, let me know and apply below."
My friend Kevin Lee, co-founder of immi (low carb, high protein ramen that you should totally check out), is sponsoring $2,500 worth of grants and also providing free mentorship.
Seize this opportunity and apply here.
My dear friend, Tayler Jenkins, has a lovely 10-minute meditation practice that I really enjoyed.
The mantra that I learned and want to remember is:
May I be happy
May I be safe
May I be healthy
May I be peaceful and at ease
Then we extend that mantra to our loved ones, strangers, and the world. I felt like I was radiating love to everyone I passed by or interacted with on that day.
Try it for yourself here.
🌲 Photo of the Month
It's so refreshing to get off my screen and be out in nature. I recently went on a hike that included at least a dozen rock paths over the water to get to your next destination.
Jumping from one rock to the next, with the possibility of slipping in and getting wet, was one of the most fun experiences I've had in 2021.
All that mattered at that moment is to hop safely onto the next rock. In a time of being indoors and going through my routine, I felt incredibly present and alive. It was like I was a little kid again. 🙂
Shout out to my friend, Kavi Vu, for creating an awesome mask. Happy late Chinese New Year's everyone!
Thanks for reading! If you dig it, I'd love it if you shared Tam's Jam with a friend. You can send them here to sign up.
As always, let me know what you're reading (or watching). I'll share my favorites in the next issue of Tam's Jam.
Have an amazing day,
Tam Pham's Blog
I write about my adventures, learnings, and reflections on living my weird, unconventional life. Subscribe below!