Believe (you can do it)

Believe in Yourself

If you TRULY Believe, you CAN Truly Do Anything 

In honor of it, let’s “believe” 2021 will be the best ever. 

You might be surprised what a little faith might do to your wishes.


A little over 2 weeks ago, I noticed I ran 534 miles this year (despite never running more than possibly 25 or more a year).  It blew me away when I hit 500, but a little thought creeped into my head right after I saw this number.
I quickly converted it over to kilometers out of curiosity and saw it was “up there” in terms of digits.  I wondered to myself, “how close would this be to 1000?
After quickly converting it, I realized I had ~141 km to go to hit 1000!  I thought to myself, “that can’t be too much in miles, could it?”  Well…

Math Skills Finally Serving Some Use

Quickly using my “9th grade Math Student of the Year” skills, I noticed that it was only about 82 miles’ish.  Doing a bit more math, I measured it out to be 11.7 miles a day for 7 runs — I knew I had no more than 7 or 8 opportunities to possibly execute on this crazy idea.  The most I ran this past year of “living life to its fullest (and frankly, my entire life!),” was 14 kilometers split into 2 separate runs.  This new pace was easily 4 km+ more than that “best day.”  And I would have to replicate this incredible feat 7 times in a row!??  Could I do it???  


Guess what?  I started to “believe.”  


Up through that point, I was running between 3 to 6 miles (at most).  Frankly, the 6 mile run was an anomaly b/c it was more like 3-5 miles on each of my runs.  Honestly, I was content with it, but this new goal seemed potentially within reach.


So, I said “Screw my body. Let’s see what I can do!?”



I couldn’t believe it, but I ran more than I had ever in a single run.  You see, that 14 kilometers was (again) broken up into 2 runs.  This one straight shot down Marina del Rey had literally set a personal best (pb).

Killing Myself

My body was in excruciating pain, but my mind started to say, “You could do it.”


If I haven’t said it enough, I hated running.  No, I detested, despised and literally loathed this activity that kills the joints and right before the runs from this year, I worried about needing possible hip surgery.
However, it was less than the 11.7 miles I had set as a pace I would need to hit.  So, the very next day, I ran another 2.36 miles to get close to the pace.  My body was telling me to “go f*ck yourself,” but my brain yelled back and said “go f*ck yourself even more!”


So, the day after, I decided to run another 8 miles, but as a result of my schedule that day and a surprise call from a gal I had just recently swiped right with, I only ended up with 6+ miles.  
Noticing that I wasn’t close to the 11.7 miles every other day, I ran another 4.19 miles later that night.  In total, I had run over 20+ miles in 3 days.  I was really believing I could do it — while dying in agony at home after the longer runs.


I had to rest.  So, I took my first full day off in a few days and prepared for the run on the 19th.  I was more determined than ever to reach that 11.7 miles goal.

Just do it

At first, the run was the same old pain where it takes about a mile or 2 to start warming up. After I got past the first couple, I started wondering “maybe I could reach the virgin territory?”  But for some reason, it was tougher today than it was the past few days.  When I got to mile 8, I thought, “I can’t do it.  I can’t run this entire length.”  So, I walked for a bit.  However, I told myself “I MUST do this.”  I began running again.  For the next 4 miles, I walked, ran, walked and then ran.  The last two miles, I ran enough where I would at least attain a pace that didn’t feel like walking.  While it was slow, I got the 12.2 miles done!  Even though the pace was slower, I felt like I truly did it.
I literally just ran the most I had ever.  I destroyed my body while doing so, but it was an accomplishment I’ll never forget.


From there on, it got easy.  I didn’t have to actually run the 11.7 miles (~18.8 km).  Somehow, I had gotten a tad ahead of myself and ended up only needing to run 8-9 miles (12.8-14.5 kms) every other day to achieve my goal.  Maybe my 9th grade math skills were rusty?


A little after a week ad a 1/2 later, I’m at 990 kilometers or only 6.21 miles (~10 km) away from hitting this crazy goal that seemed impossible.  After running 12.2 miles once and 8+ miles four times in a row, I felt like this was destined to be achieved! 


Breaking Records

I’ve also run more this month than any of the previous ones by a long shot:
Once this is said and done, it will represent 25+ miles more than the best month I had back in June — the month I had the 14 km (~8.69 miles) run, I believe.
  • March: 6.4 miles (over 5 runs at 11’05’)
  • April: 59.4 miles (21 runs at 13’27”; note, I spent a lot of time calling, writing, etc. on the runs)
  • May: 71.2 miles (19 runs at 13’15”; same note)
  • June: 84.9 miles (18 runs at 12’07”; similar issues here)
  • July: 30.6 miles (13 runs at 11’39”; getting more focused on the pace)
  • August: 61.9 miles (22 runs at 10’20”)
  • September: 75.9 miles (29 runs at 10’34”)
  • October: 58.1 miles (23 runs at 9’47”)
  • November: 60.9 miles (19 runs at 10’41”)
  • December: 105.5 miles (20 runs at 9’49”) thus far

In Kilometers:

  • March: 10.3 kms (over 5 runs at 6’53’)
  • April: 95.7 kms (21 runs at 8’22”; note, I spent a lot of time calling, writing, etc. on the runs)
  • May: 114.6 kms (19 runs at 8’14”; same note)
  • June: 136.7 kms (18 runs at 7’32”; similar issues here)
  • July: 49.3 kms (13 runs at 7’15”; getting more focused on the pace)
  • August: 99.6 kms (22 runs at 6’25”)
  • September: 122.2 kms (29 runs at 6’34”)
  • October: 93.6 kms (23 runs at 6’05”)
  • November: 98 kms (19 runs at 6’38”)
  • December: 169.8 kms (20 runs at ~6’05”) thus far


2019 Wasn’t Easy

Not sure if I’ve shared this, but 2019 was one of my worst years ever.  I couldn’t get myself to continue running after attempting to start about ironically 7 times.  My stomach has been a little off over the past 5 years or so where it gets so hungry, it starts to feel like it’s literally eating away at things inside.  I probably should get it checked out, but every time I go to the doctor, they say the same thing: let’s run some tests and after we get them back, it’s usually “You’re o.k.  Just exercise and eat healthy.”  LOL


In December of 2019, I literally thought I had prostate cancer (esp after my homeopathic doctor had said I have “nodules”).  The urologist in January said, “Nope. You’re o.k.  Just exercise and eat healthy.”  After the emasculation, I was relieved (I know — any guy reading these words together must be ROFL).


Shortly before this little episode, I also had thoughts about the last 5 minutes of life.  All the thoughts that Seneca had in “How to Die,” or Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” or Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” had become so clear that I decided moving forward, I would live every moment I could as if it were my last.


This revelation helped me start  This revelation helped me carry out acts at the day job I never thought I would ever do.  This newfound “belief” let me truly become stronger than ever.


As a result, it hasn’t been that hard to achieve these 1000 kilometers (that I will have attained here in 2 days).


If I can do it, so can you.


You just need to do one thing:



Happy 2021 everyone!


It’s been a pleasure sharing my life with you.


p.s.  I have one section of this post I’ll come back and share and it will be titled:

Just did it

12/31/20’s update:

1000 km of running in 2020

  • December ended up being 112.8 miles (21 runs at 9’46”)
  • or 181.5 kms (21 runs at 6’04”)

These Korean Movies Will Make You Cry Your Eyes Out

In terms of Korean movies, my favorite (and definitely made me tear up) are:

1 – A Moment to Remember

The scene where Chul-soo is reading a letter left by Su-jin will make you bawl. I haven’t seen something so sad, yet so compelling and powerful in making you feel exactly how the couple loved one another in any movie. This is a tragic love story with an amazing end, but also one with a poignant topic that could affect many moving forward.

2 – The Letter

Since this list is about movies (or dramas) that will make you bawl, this movie deserves a much higher ranking given the topic. The movie is prescient in terms of how someone could potentially make their love last eternally. It’s honestly one of the reasons why I’m trying to build a platform that can hopefully make this happen digitally. Continue reading “These Korean Movies Will Make You Cry Your Eyes Out”

The Best BizDev Team in History

Making the deal

I watched 1.5 trillion $ history transpire right in front of me.  

Biz Dev ComplexityToday, you see astronomical valuations of Seattle’s Tech King Amazon.  In yesteryear, we were barely trying to hang on for dear life and eBay was giving us a run for our money.  We were bleeding money.  However, one thing we had was INCREDIBLE people.  Here are a few:

The Best Damn Business Development Team in the World

The “God” before the “Goddess”

Continue reading “The Best BizDev Team in History”

The Big List of Korean American Startup Founders, CEOs, Executives & VCs (Venture Capitalists)

Many of us have heard of FitBit, the electronic fitness brand that’s almost as ubiquitous as the Apple Watch.  And even better known is the football franchise based in the same city as FitBit’s HQ: the San Francisco 49ers.

However, did you know that both of them were founded and owned by Korean Americans?   Continue reading “The Big List of Korean American Startup Founders, CEOs, Executives & VCs (Venture Capitalists)”

Every post, question and piece of Quora content by Brandon Na (2010-2020)

My Quora Answers from the past decade (2010-20)

I’m prolific on Quora. 

I’ve decided to share: Every single answer, question and piece of content I have created or follow in some fashion on Quora (between 2010 and August 25, 2020):

With my latest answer to: How close is Korean drama to real Korean life?

Continue reading “Every post, question and piece of Quora content by Brandon Na (2010-2020)”

3 Best (& Funniest) Ivy League Commencement Speeches for graduates disappointed by Corona

If you haven’t seen these speeches, you should.  And I would advise you listen to them more than once.  I have.

Not only do these 3 comedians share some of their “best stuff,” but I’d argue #2 gives you her “best stuff” which isn’t necessarily the most humorous.   I was touched by her “real advice” which are words you should truly listen to.

With that said and for all the unfortunate graduates who won’t have the opportunity to listen to a great speaker this year as a result of Covid-19, these are in your honor:

#3: Conan O’ Brien’s Dartmouth College Graduation Address – 2011

TRANSCRIPT:  Continue reading “3 Best (& Funniest) Ivy League Commencement Speeches for graduates disappointed by Corona”

Prostate Cancer Support Groups in Seattle and More

Last night, I had one of the most wonderful experiences with a lovely couple who I met a couple years before.  These two were not only so enjoyable to hang out with the time before, but they absolutely blew me away last night giving me some incredible advice about the husband’s prostate cancer — which I had not learned about on the previous visit.

However, I also had not been diagnosed with “nodules” on my own prostate until most recently after deciding I would get things “checked out” and get my health in order for the first time (possibly  in my life).  So, it wouldn’t have even made sense to bring up that topic until this most recent event.

These two were absolutely amazing.  They intently listened to everything and are as hip as you can be.  Continue reading “Prostate Cancer Support Groups in Seattle and More”

The Top Universities of the World – Updated 2017


Updated: 5/2018

For over 20+ years, I’ve analyzed the many lists and surveys* about the Top Universities in the United States (and quite possibly the “World”).

And in the earlier part of this decade, I wrote one of the most comprehensive posts (on two former employer site’s) examining all the different ranking systems and analyzed how we can determine the answer to the question:

What are the top universities in our world? 

Continue reading “The Top Universities of the World – Updated 2017”

Why Analogies Can Help

Originally answered on Quora.

Jesus Christ!

Just as much as me using a divine person’s name (to some) to express an emotion or feeling vs. just logically saying “I think that is the most stupid question I have ever heard” OR “How can you not know why analogies ‘help’?” OR “Wow, I can’t believe you don’t know, analogies have an amazing power.”

Like other rhetorical devices, the “alternative words” called “analogies” are used to help elucidate ideas, emotions or otherwise to people who can’t “get it” initially with a first explanation OR they need extra examples that help better clarify the concept or whatever point the source is trying to generate.

At birth, you have very little that you can understand because you have very few references. However, as you grow in age, you start to develop more and more points of references and so these “analogies” leverage those concepts you already have in your mind. And then when someone explains a new idea that is foreign to you, these analogies help you understand by leveraging the “other simpler concept” to help you build upon your understanding.

Analogies are so powerful that the top boarding school programs in the world use a test that focuses 1/2 of its 60 (verbal) questions on analogies. You can probably learn even more why they are so powerful by visiting the site or reading up on all the different analogies.

I guess I take back the first 2 thoughts I had initially when I read your question and maybe even the 3rd (from above). Depending on how young you are, perhaps these “silly” rhetorical devices might be still foreign in your mind.