ImagiNation with Elnaz Moghangard

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Elnaz Moghangard

Occupation: Founder of Millennial Nomaad/JD Candidate

Age: 24

Favorite Productivity Tool: My journal (still traditional in this sense)

Most Recommended App: Uber/Lyft

Last Book You Read: "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami

Website: www.millennialnomaad.com

Twitter: @elnaz_mogh  // Instagram: @millennialnomaad

Tell us about your journey? Growing up, I was always surrounded by my big family and a close circle of friends. I loved to socialize. During my sophomore year of undergrad, I transferred schools out-of-state. The culture shock of moving from Georgia to Miami combined with making new friends at first really challenged my identity at a time when I was already questioning what I wanted from my goals and life. That loneliness was a foreign feeling and it brought out my inner fears. I found myself confused and retreated from the world, which was not my usual personality. During this time, I began to write my thoughts in my journals and on a personal blog of mine called Hazel. I never shared them with many people, but they helped me to better understand myself. Eventually, I started to attract people around me that would randomly open up about their lives, deepest fears, and emotions. Sometimes they became friends. Other times, we would just share a genuine conversation and not see each other again. In these moments, I realized how common my own emotions were and how rarely people truly express what they think and feel to one another. As I heard more stories, I started to notice underlying patterns in the human experience and the need for communication. I also noticed how my generation, in particular, felt so lost and stuck at times. What at first felt daunting began to excite me and lead me to start Millennial Nomaad – a platform and movement in which I seek and share the collective experience of our often misunderstood generation. The website itself has only been active really for about a year and a half. But, the preparation and the life experiences have been building since I was a teenager. My journey is still in its beginning stages, but I have received tremendous support for Millennial Nomaad so far. I’m just excited to create something that others can connect to and to have it grow. I am currently in my second year of law school, so it has been a balancing act. But, when you work on something you love, you figure it out. No excuses.

What’s your favorite part of your day? When I do get myself to wake up early (it’s really a struggle!), I love the stillness and quiet before everyone else is awake. It gives me the chance to start the morning in a calm and grounded way. My favorite part of the day will always be late at night when I have the chance to do some creative writing and reconnect with my soul.

When do you feel most successful? When I have connected with another individual in a deep and meaningful way. Also, after I have finished any form of a creative project. There is a profound, yet subtle joy after I have completed a goal or fulfilled a promise to myself.

What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained? Music, music, music. I just let my mind wander with whatever music I am feeling at the moment. Some of my most personal epiphanies or creative ideas have come while listening to a song or melody that resonates with me in an emotional way. I think it’s because it allows me to both escape and face myself when I need it most.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? That you cannot please everyone, so don’t bother looking for constant validation regarding your service, project or product. Feedback is essential, but at the end of the day, each entrepreneur has to really have faith in her work and in her own capabilities. If you fulfill a goal using both your heart and intellect, then you will attract the right audience or clientele that will appreciate your work.

How do you optimize your day? I am not a natural planner, but I have become a serious list maker. Sometimes I just have to write down a reminder to breathe! I don’t follow them in a strict format, because I feed off of flexibility. But, having a general outline of my time and daily intentions helps to prioritize the things that matter most or that are necessary.

Who is the person/people who allowed you to imagine more? My family and friends have all been really supportive, but I do think that they have often struggled to understand the way I think. I would have to say during the time period in which I was really feeling lost and disconnected with myself, my aunt played a key role in helping me to imagine more. She may not have been able to relate to my experiences, but she instilled so much confidence in me during a time when I was drowning in self-doubt. She has always led her life in a bold and fearless way and encouraged me to follow my instinct and to pursue my calling –whatever that may be. Sometimes the end result may work out differently than you expect, but with patience and perseverance, everything does eventually work out. That inner confidence that she cultivated in me gave me the courage to imagine more and to put action behind those dreams. Also, my grandmother. She has lived a life of many hardships and much loss. But, the most alive I see her is when her eyes light up as she tells a story. She is a very animated woman and that spirit is something I admire.

What does imagining more mean to you and your story? Imagination is everything. It is the seed of innovation. It is part of the personal healing process and self-discovery. It is the way in which we envision goals and give back to the world. Imagining more means having the courage to challenge my own self-limiting beliefs and to take a chance on the things that matter most to me –both professionally and personally. It’s giving myself the freedom to feel alive and the confidence to push forward in life.

If you could do more of one thing every day what would it be? Write and read leisurely, because one nurtures the other. When I write, I have the craving to read and learn more. When I read, I am inspired to write more. Also, although I do make this a conscious effort, I would like to show more gratitude for the people in my life. The gesture could be as small as a note or a verbal expression, but I think we often take the people closest to us for granted when in reality they deserve the most amount of respect in our lives.

Favorite social media platform? Instagram. To me, it’s a form of visual journalism. I recently went back to the very beginning of my account and reflected on the passage of time and the many changes along the way. Although Instagram doesn’t capture every moment and usually focuses on the highlights, I know deep down what those time periods and images meant to me.