What i have learned from writing 100 000 words in past 2 years?

For past few weeks, I have been working on finishing my book. The project of writing the book passed two years, last month. It has been a collection of many moments, surprises, and big lessons.

This is kind of funny but the whole thing to write, required to learn the techniques and the stream of writing. It needs to be smooth, entertaining and as well meaningful. In the beginning, it is hard to learn that stuff, there are so many different resources, strategies. There is a reward for learning this stuff. Now when I have some problem or some unresolved thoughts, I turn to writing. Just like and an old friend that makes us comfortable, that you can express your feelings and be fine at the end.

One of the biggest things that speed up the process of learning was sitting down every morning with coffee or tea and writing few pages ( Julia Cameron, calls them morning pages). Whatever comes to your mind, you need to put into the paper. Big thing is that sometimes things that are on the back of your mind, unimportant stuff, glitter, are effectively are blocking you. But of you put the direct attention to them, it is very easy to overcome them.

For very long I got a fantastic to go for a woods and staying there to write. I have tried few times actually, and it ends up every time quite badly. Only now a few years later, I?m able to really stay at home, meditate and focus on what matters the most. And it still does not change the mechanics of writing. Sometimes it makes it a little easier, maybe sometimes harder. The work needs to be still done and if you can weed out all the things that do not matter and leave the stuff you care about, you become more productive by not dong the work – avoiding things that don?t need to be done.

I think that one of the things in this fantasies is that you if you are really focusing on writing you can write a lot in the very short amount of time. Every day have 24 hours, even if you spend half of them on writing, on average 600 words an hour you will write something around 7200 words a day – it is Hobbit in under 2 weeks. There are very few people who are able to withstand writing a 7 000 words a day, and even less that have mental fuel for that.

The alienation has sometimes very good point, you can focus on what you want to write about. Your intuition has the bigger impact on you, and this place when you know that you are alone in a way during meditation is one of the best things in the world for me. Maybe it is mainly about lowering what we are able to do when you are removing the sense of urgency and let the things speak for itself? Maybe it is extending the present moment, and increasing traction.

The book, in the beginning, was supposed to be a make something great and rather turned into understanding an effectiveness and solutions as a system. Not as a blueprint of steps but rather set of clues what the structure is. We have abilities to imagine whatever we would like to see or set a goal whatever we want, but it will have the very short lifespan. The big lead was in the special forces and how they are executing the task assigned to them. I have expected some solid strategies, but rather the underlying thing is, they are selected individuals, trained for very specific situations. There is no magic, but rather hundred and hundred of highly trained individuals, and necessary elements in the system. Just to give you a quick example, despite their job rate of divorce in Navy SEALs is one 90% and most of the spec ops have big time problems with PTSD, incomparably higher army. And the same time there it Israeli where the PTSD is less than 1%.

There is no magic for discovering potential, if you want to have some effects, you need to involve yourself and spend time and energy to find a solution. The main problem that you want to find potential is the capitalistic need for scaling or fame and it for almost sure will turn against you. More you involve yourself, more you will have to outlast, sustainable effect. On the another hand, trying to do just on the willpower and feelings is much more.

And the last thing maybe was my biggest fear, that if it will take off if some way I will be able to charge most of my time on the book, how I repeat it? How it will be possible to make this again. It leads to freaking out that I don?t really have any container for writing, it is a deeply intuitive thing. The author of the kite runner – Khaled Hosseini said that he wrote the big part of the book, in the mornings before going to work.

For me it is somehow impossible, to write this way. Maybe I’m writing much less and 2 weeks of pure focus on the book can get things done. It was funny to watch myself battling the very much inner thing to keep working, and that I can work thing out later. Something like your voice and instinct style is very much done by doing a lot of what you would like to distinct yourself with. Just like handwriting, the mechanisms are very the same. Sarah Jessica Parker in an interview with Alec Baldwin said that she basically become good in acting by doing a lot and having the ability to tap into it with little or no effort.

Maybe all the battle, it ends up with how much we are capable of putting our experiences with relation with others? Maybe it is not about how we can dilute yourself with a dream of having something but rather actual living with it and using it in the most compatible way with ourselves?

A few weeks ago I have could work anymore. I was blocked. Nothing was coming out of me. So I did little retrospective digging. I merged all the different versions of the book ( the first draft was in polish, then a year ago I have translated 40 000 words into English, and ever since I work on it). All the different versions of it when joined made a book over 300+ A4 pages long. It was over 100 000 words. Ant there were notes with a stack twice a big as that. Working on our ideas can seem pointless and worthless. But they are our ideas, and even it was spending time and money for nothing in business terms, it made me a little more present and mindful. And I?m coming a little closer to making it worth reading.

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What to do when you hate your job and everybody around you make more money than you?

This month seemed so undirected. I?m trying to go in one direction but there are so many possibilities. So many chances. I have been thinking a lot about making up to my potential. What does it mean? What my next action, a project should be. I’ve read tens of books, listen to hours of interviews, surprisingly three things were coming up over and over. One was the potential for growth, the job which you can pay a rent (starving artist are not a joke here) and other was passion or calling.  The whole problem is how to make money from what you are passionate about without destroying it, or at least trying to protect it.

In order to do that, in first you need to divide your work into three fields.

  • calling = what is true for you, where you feel fulfilled
  • career = how much potential there is, socio-economical system of rewards and advancements to increase spectrum
  • job = work set of actions to do, effect of your efforts, your ability to do the ?job?, your skill set

 

If you are looking for next big thing, or better facilitating your inner strengths here are few things you can do.

Calling

Get better know yourself. Look for feedback, know your strengths, leverage who you are. If you are not sure about your career and calling take a job. You will not burn any bridges because any decision won?t be sustainable anyway.  Travel. I didi it for a few months in 2013 and it was one of the best decisions up to date.

The money spent on experiences are the most worthwhile. Just before I have left home, I remember one of my friends – in few weeks, whatever you think you are, will stop exist. Only you need to take a shot and just try to find it.   Simple things like developing mission of what you do (I seek to understand to make a change). More you know about yourself, deeper you go, more you know and more solution you have. More effective you will be, bigger chances of fulfilled life you will have.

Career

Maybe focus on the career. Look for the potential to growth. How you rise your experience. When you are choosing a growth above anything else. Sheryl Salberg put it perfectly “reduce their career spreadsheets to one column: potential for growth?. If you have clarity, what would you like to do, maybe there is a time to give it a shot, and rise a stake. Maybe it is applying to ?dream job?. Maybe it is starting your own venue.

JobIf you look for more freedom and increasing of living conditions now look simply for a job. Maybe you have pursued your career for a long time, and you have a chance of making choices on your own. Maybe becoming a freelancer? Maybe looking for a job with better benefits?

If you look for more freedom and increasing of living conditions now look simply for a job. Maybe you have pursued your career for a long time, and you have a chance of making choices on your own. Maybe becoming a freelancer? Maybe looking for a job with better benefits?

Stay open

And there is one more thing, which I’m most interested in – legacy when you make something completely new from outside circumstances. For example take Jane McGonigal – creator of Superbetter method. She was focusing on benefits of playing games on happiness and actually designing games. And then she got injured really badly. While standing up she hit her head, and get brain concussion.When couldn’t recover, she applied what she knows in the field of games benefits like motivation, playfulness and made it successfully recovering from injury. She basically created the script (her book Superbetter) which is extremely useful when you want to recover from depression, concussion or just to have more freedom, playfulness in life.

Take Alan Touring. Mathematician, one of the best in the century. Most known from what is called Turing test – if you are not able to tell difference between artificial intelligence and human, AI has consciousness. Did it come from? Yes, he was the genius but rather this concept was from his personal life. It was times of WWII and living in Britain, being gay, was dangerous, it was prohibited. The only way to prove that you were straight was talking to somebody. If you could make it, hide it – you made it.

It is like not calcifying what we do just for a job title, but as well to solve our problems, to deal with them. To put them in new fields, to solve, previously not a solvable problem.

If you will take care about these questions, any problem of effectiveness will be solved. You need to know what you want before you choose what to do. There is not really one answer which a cover all of the answers. Somebody who will be looking for the big career there is some choices, somebody who will look for fulfillment there are some choices, somebody who look for good comfortable life there is a different set of strategies. We need to differentiate there and be aware of them.

Here is the list of resources which gave me huge help.

Books and magazines
Tools for discovering strengths

TED

If you have some comments leave below or contact me through twitter @charles_szpinda

 

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Depression my most exhaustive love_story

When we think about what means depression, usually we compare, our longest, deepest sadness to what we can call normal state. When we were just fine.

When you look back and ?fine? state was a few weeks ago, months ago or years, then you have a problem. I caught myself for the first time that I could have depression when I look for that and compared to years when I was living with my parents. These years in childhood and early growing up, till the moment when I have moved to a different city to study n university. They passed almost with natural ease. There was some kind of magical calmness. I can say that I was lucky. I got parents who support me well, taking care of every need. But what I have really in mind was walking, hiking, going out. It was like a family tradition. Every weekend, sometimes even during a week we went to our summerhouse, just to spend some time away from a city.

And this part – ?away from city? will find troublesome consequences in future. It was the much deeper problem for which nobody pays attention to.

Without accusing anybody I have felt like my creativity, and what I really wanted have been somehow killed. I needed to fit a picture, and by doing that everything was lost. School and its framework were nagging what was there. Then I got these choices. What are you interested in? What would you like do study? What was your interest? Unfortunately, any of the subjects didn?t include exploring creativity or fulfilling passion for drilling holes. It was different standards. Different dimension.

To clarify I went to the school which supports passion in every student deeply  caring about our drive. At every step, I heard you need to adapt. You need to find what motivates you.

All these questions after you took out the world from me.

I haven?t got the idea till everything was lost and the last episode of depression that last over 6 months that I have the choice, to choose effortlessly. To choose myself. Earlier in life, I choose to become somebody else.

And there was one more thing, feeling like a fraud. With every step in the corporate ladder, when I have decided to get a new job. For at some time it was fine, and then there were days when I could just feel like I have done something wrong. Always got the feeling that nobody will want me, that I always will be in this high-pressure companies,not these nice, with high standards, where people respect you. That I will be always at the lower standard, that I will be a slave.

Subconsciously I have chosen people who patronize me, especially at work. Choosing massive change at very short period of time put me in a position to start over again.  There were bad moments when shit hit the fan, somebody could take a charge brutally, fire me (that happen) or just passive aggressively give a ?lesson? not to do it again. I was trying to find my space in jail.

I got assumptions that what I?m really motivated that it is not really useful. That you need to have a strong framework around what you are doing. That there are some rules of the game. And always there, you will be in the game.

And last spring 2016, I couldn?t take it anymore. Everything began to be so hard, almost impossible to take any more. I have resigned from my job, trying to be respectful to my friends at work, to a job I loved. It was  a lot of fun, but it was just too many problems.

This thought, that I should end this, harm myself, were getting more consistent. The worst part was when I got few weeks of holidays and it actually got even worse. I was thinking at that time that the work was the problem. If I will just focus on what matters, spend some time with friends, meditate more, it will be better. It just got worse. And then I have begun to self-medicate.

For last few years I got a problem with my back, and some time ago  has been taking some muscle – realize medicines. When you combine them with strong painkillers, well you just do not feel anything. Pain is gone and body is more like water, cannot too tight.

Then I have decided , I need to speak to somebody. I broke down, contact my doctor and consult him about this. That for the first time I?m afraid of harming myself. He prescribed some medicine and asked me to come back in few weeks. The meds (antidepressants) started to work very quickly. I have responded in beginning very well. It was well few months into the episode of depression and taking these medicines, was like stopping motion. It was hard to feel good, but as well bad. The World have stopped at some point.

For last few years I have experienced sometimes really difficult times. I didn?t believe in this word depression. It was somehow alienated from me. It was not possible to say that I’m depressed.

But it was fact. For months at a time I felt extremely honorable, couldn?t choose my goals and everything just seems too hard.

One of the mechanisms of coping with it, was surprise surprise, walking, listening to audiobooks and taking pictures. It is hard to explain, but I thing that main thing about depression at least in my case is internal conflict. That I have some ideal in my mind, and really  no way to get there. It is much more than sadness, or being unhappy but rather being overlapped by the universe. When your actions just don’t matter. It usually gives you distraction, that you need to make a lot, just like standing in front of too-high-wall to climb. From outside it seems as complete nonsense. That it doesn’t matter if you are sad, or happy but for everybody who went through it is this deep feeling that allows flourishing for his passions.

There is an interesting story about Darwin, and how he got to discoveries. Long before the theory of natural selection and ah-ha moment,  Darwin fully formed the theory in his notes. All it took was illumination, the moment in which he saw the whole structure.  In short terms, he figures out everything in advance.

Just because, something is not clear, just like creativity, it doesn?t mean that it cannot be nourish. Darwin himself was faced with long time companion, of feeling down which he mentions in his journals. The problem is that we got to see what we are really doing. Rather we see only surface pain.

I feel like there is higher way of creativity and creating things. You jut need do say hello to your worst self, worst depression, worst periods, zip it up and get to work. Even if depression is not defining us, during their moments, that it is still our companion. And if you want to experience first-row-show you need to be ready for it. You need to say that you don?t have anything against it. You need to define it as your friend.

Maybe, art, innovation or creative is an element in our word where we want to experience this and of vulnerable, when you show off with an empty heart, ready to be fulfilled.

If you want more of something are you ready to fight for it? It all comes to cycles. Are you ready to get yourself hurt, are you able to change your mind? Are you able to take more?

Because depression is like a poetry. It is nice to read it. it is beautiful to be moved by it, but it takes balls to get through these hard feelings, keep writing when the world loose its color. And when your ego is fixating on the outcome. When you want to let go of these negative thoughts because they are hard but at the same time, they are whispering you the tune, tune of your life. The fact that depression is quite difficult to get through is obvious. It is not the pleasant thing to do. But at some point, it doesn?t matter what you want to feel. There is a set amount of the tasks you really need to be doing to go through next level.

I have started to question myself, what is there that everybody, who went through depression, wouldn?t give it away. it is like opening your heart to the audience. It is like removing every assumption.

There is TED talk by Andrew Solomon, who talks about depression but do not use it this word even once.

And there is this notion of word depression, that means that we were sad, that we do not want to do anything. One thing which is coming over is that depression is much more about.

Some time ago when I have been doing the story how most modern ?problem coaches” works it is quite interesting. For me is completely unethical to do NLP that way but they often will push people throughout their comfort zone completely. And sometimes people just jump out of their problems confronted in the insane situation. And to the question why they are doing is quite a simple answer – I know, I can see where you will be when you drop these problems.

And depression can mean something more than just being sad. But rather as layers of years of problems, an outcome of unintegrated perfect self. Some part of our humanity which want to be included in society.

The same is with depression when you see the word from a systemic point of view when you see as the last step to success. It seems a lot of counter intuitive but if you look at history it makes a good theory.

Most people who were denied their humanity to express their emotions, to find their perspective, in the difficult position. Take Alan Turing, father of modern computer science. Born in 20 century England, was compute genius who was oppressed by being gay. Chemically castrated,  couldn?t deal with his emotions, commit suicide. How you are defining his pain, his inability to express what is his, who could he become. Because of society at that time, we will never know. And at this point, you feel connection with his sadness that your will doesn?t matter.

And the salvation came from an unexpected place, the place where I lived – Hackney. I have lived in the neighborhood of Hackney (most hipster part of London), and enjoy, coming there for a walk.

After all one of five Whole Food Store in London is located here. Smallest, most casual, most hide. I hate to admit but the story begins exactly with Whole Food Market. I was 22 at that time, and at this point, I really; enjoy walking, especially in evening, almost every day.

When I grow up, and still everyday commute in afternoon from school, I would prefer to take a walk. It was almost one of the silent pleasures. Something that was mine. Our city in which I lived – Zamosc. It was 600 years old fort design as the perfect city. Views are magnificent and are one of the most beautiful best-preserved cities in Europe. Every day after last lessons I took my backpack on my shoulders and enjoy 45 min walk back to home.

Then I have moved to London. At first few months, I have been living in central London on East, exploring new attractions. But at February 2014, I stumbled upon pictures of the really nice house in north London. A few weeks later, I have moved to there. I remember that morning when I saw that apartment in which I live now, in hackney and that idea, that it must be near Whole Food Market. That I already knew around this place. That it is not anything new. Luckily about that time, I came back to London after taking a break, and before taking off at next assignment I enjoy one of my treasures – walking. It is hard to frame it, it is so simple, so underrated, so available to everybody, but so profound.

One day when making groceries at the whole food market, I remember one of the cashiers. When she ask me to come forward to her tilt, I look up to her face. Realizing squint in her eyes. Instantly, I tried to smile and mark my surprise. How she expect to be perceived. I remember her shaking hand, maybe it was just her first and only day. I haven?t seen her since then. I was really happy to help her, it was ok that she got something that can?t control. It was very brave of her.  Let?s put this that way. Most of the people who are making groceries at Whole Food Market, have perspective on ethics and can see the bigger picture. Everybody want to help her.  If she would work at a normal shop, most clients, would become angry or whatever. Her life would be harder as well.

But hackney wasn?t like that. It was one of the dark areas.  Nobody wanted to live here. Because of low prices on property, many outsiders, hipsters came. They start to open modern coffee shops and pastry shops. Ethnically diverse society saw opposites and started to work on new ideas, Ethiopian vegan coffee shops, Cuban restaurants. It starts to grow as the old structure but the new idea. When we are in that phase, when there are too many people it is hard to see future, how it will be. But it will be there. Something will emerge. Something true to the whole. Then the Whole Food Market came and open the new store, in one to the most strange parts of London.

This experience in Whole Food Market opens up my curiosity to what was the history of the company. Where it came from. Who was the owner? What was history? Here are the quotes from book “Conscious Capitalism”

 

“Not knowing much about how to operate a business didn?t quite pay off for us in our first year, as we managed to lose more than 50 percent of the capital entrusted to us?$23,000. We discovered that creating a successful business isn?t easy. Despite the losses, we were still accused by anti-business people of exploiting our customers with high prices and our team members with low wages. Despite my good intentions, I had somehow become a selfish and greedy businessman. To my co-op friends, I was now one of the bad guys. Yet, I knew in my heart that I wasn?t greedy or selfish or evil. I was still very much an idealist who wanted to make the world a better place, and I thought I could best do so by operating a store that sold healthy food to people and provided good jobs.”

“One of the pivotal events in Whole Foods Market?s history occurred over thirty years ago on Memorial Day in 1981 when we had only one store. We had been in business for only about eight months as Whole Foods after we had relocated from Safer Way and changed our name. Our new store quickly became a big success. Customers loved shopping there, and our team members loved working there; they passionately believed in what we were doing, had a great deal of freedom to express their individuality, and enjoyed their fellow team members and serving our customers. But that day, Austin experienced its worst flood in seventy years. Thirteen people were killed, and the flooding caused over $35 million in damage to the city (equal to about $100 million today). Our store was eight feet underwater. All the equipment and inventory in the store were destroyed; our losses were approximate $400,000. The flood basically wiped us out. We had no savings, no insurance, and no warehoused inventory. There was no way for us to recover with our own resources; we were financially bankrupt. When the founders and team members came to the store the day after the flood and saw the devastation, many of us had tears in our eyes. For our team members, it felt like the end of the best job they had ever had. For the founders, it seemed like the end of a beautiful but short-lived dream. As we despondently started trying to salvage what we could, a wonderful, completely unexpected thing happened: dozens of our customers and neighbors started showing up at the store. Since it was Memorial Day, many had the day off and had come in their working clothes, bringing buckets and mops and whatever else they thought might be useful. They said to us, in effect, ?Come on, guys; let?s get to work. Let?s clean it up and get this place back on its feet. We?re not going to let this store die. Stop moping and start mopping!? You can imagine the galvanizing effect this had on us; suddenly, we found new energy and felt a flicker of hope that perhaps all was not yet lost. It didn?t stop there. Over the next few weeks, dozens and dozens of our customers kept coming in to help us clean and fix the store. We asked them, ?Why are you doing this?? In response, they said things like, ?Whole Foods is really important to me. I?m not sure I would even want to live in Austin if Whole Foods wasn?t here if it ceased to exist. It has made a huge difference in my life.? It?s hard to overestimate the impact this had on us; we felt so loved by our customers that we were”

“It wasn?t just our customers who helped us. There was an avalanche of support from our other stakeholders as well, all of whom pitched in to save us. We were bankrupt when that flood occurred and couldn?t make payroll, so many of our team members worked for free.”

“Of course, we paid them back when we reopened for business, but there was no assurance that we were really going to be able to reopen. Dozens of our suppliers offered to resupply us on credit because they cared about our business and trusted us to reopen and repay them.”

“Without a doubt, Whole Foods Market would have ceased to exist. A company that today has over $11 billion in sales annually would have died in its first year if our stakeholders hadn?t loved and cared about us?and they wouldn?t have loved and cared for us had we not been the kind of business we were.”

 

I have found this story in the middle of my struggle. It was like a window for a light. That there, maybe there is som way how to do to things much more ? manageable. I brought my curiousness to dig more, to find more stores like this. If you are interested follow the lead of conscious capitalism. There is a lot of resources but best starting point is book co-authored by founder of Whole Food Market 

And this lead to looking for alternative ways how to deal with my issues. How to tackle them. And what I have found was, surprising. The more I have read about these issues, the easier they were to solve. There are some ways how to block yourself and how to stop healing. And at the same, these things, fell so unreachable, so unrealistic, that it is hard to frame them.

It seems like the only problem is when you decide not to touch these issues. As soon if you try to get better, after some time you will, you just need to keep trying.

These are the ways to tackle the issue of depression.

  • Patterns of emotional needs – journaling will help a lot here – to extract what is the cause and effect where it is going bad. For me for example, when I work too much meaning over 14h a day for more than week, it can trigger something bad.
  • work on a deeper level – there are a lot of technologies which will help you to relax and chill – HemiSync – synchronization of semi-spheres
  • the structure of your beliefs – how you think about the world and how it is connected to you function in it – when you have somebody to talk to and he or she is not so much freak out about these things. When you overvalue your wrong beliefs basically.
  • structure and mechanics of your body – how you are eating, at what proportions, when and how often you exercise, how much time you spend working. The issues here are biochemical fluids in our body and how you are reading to them and the how to maintain hormone-hygiene
  • shit that happens to you – coaching and career choices which put you in events in first place . The issue I saw was that many people with depression just do not want to get better, get richer, pursuing any goal doesn?t have a meaning.
  • just to chill out – go for holidays -and I?m not talking for 1 week – take 2-3 months and travel, go explore, find something outside.
  • Tetris – as plain simply is sounds but play Tetris for 10 min every day, after few days you will see the improvement . I do it every day, it helps – backed by research – if you are interested to follow here  or try SuperBetter method.
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What baseline have in common with good product or Land Rover with pair of Levi?s?

What we are after as entrepreneurs is a good product. A good product will drive your organization despite the field you are in. If you want to grow, you need to have a product which can be misused, misunderstand and still will perform as expected by the user. It is not a question how should you optimize current product, but rather where you should aim.

If you realize that you need a certain product that fills your need at first, and this is the product you are selling great. But if what you would like to sell and what you are actually selling is different, stop doing that. It is that simple. You cannot make a good sale from bad product.

mg_9500

 

The most important thing that this perspective is not about competitors or market share, but how much better you can be, efficient, more lean, more align. What is left when you take out your perception, functionality. What happens If your company will not be longer in the market, what legacy it will leave. Last week I have bought Nokia headset. I remembered from early days when these things cost a lot, were bulky and didn?t work very well. Now it is a different story. It is more than 10 years since first Bluetooth headset, technology is developed to a new stage. Everything looks different. Works different.

It is like with military clothes. They give you a baseline. They are extremely useful and very hard to destroy. Everything started when I have watched some apocalypse movie. When humanity was a risk and just a few people are left alive, there was no structure, no factories, no life as we know today, that everybody is always wearing military clothes. Then a few weeks later when watching ?Walking Dead?, I realized, hey they have military uniforms as well. And then I got this idea that maybe they are not just a few instances but rather a trend.

From where I?m coming from, from the eastern part of Poland, on the countryside, in small villages many men still have their own forests. They are taking care of them, and the same time taking care of the car, house, they are the handyman. If something needs to be build, they are doing by themselves. And they are mostly wearing Polish army clothes. They are hugely popular, they are so comfortable, resistible and safe to work, that is it hard to find a better alternative because so widely functional. If you go to local market, you always find few guys who are doing business on army surplus. There is no better way to cover the need for high-quality work clothes. If you start looking for a jacket with Gore-Tex membrane in hiking shop, it will cost you a fortune. Army jackets? Fancy materials like Gore-tex are used by the military for decades and cost almost nothing.

What is important about a product it a perception of expectation ? how it is framed ? brands. One of the best examples will be Levi?s and Land Rover. Every time you are buying a new pair of Levi?s jeans or rent a Land Rover for the expedition you have the same concept ? it is obvious that they will make a good job. We make one thing right it is to solve some kinda problem, to make a solution to somebody. By doing that you are creating the brand ? pattern recognition concept.

It is not only limited to the time when you are making the decision but as well after. Brands like Land Rover, they are the foundation in developing countries or the places where it is hard to get. When you expect to have trouble getting to your destination, the obvious choice is Land Rover.

Last year, when visiting Malaysian district of tea farms, I have seen the land lover all over the place. Land Rover was the obvious choice of the working people who were working on the hills, in hard to reach the shelf. Most of the cars were 20-30 years old, but their standardized structure made them easy for maintenance, and it made parts available and cheap. It is like closed circuit. You are good at something, so people are buying from you and that allow you to make investments and tackle next thing and successfully repeat the cycle.

The thing about the product development the is different sides to it. When you are creating something, putting so much energy into creating, what you really deeply care for. But at the end, the customer is responsible to really using it. We can give some guidelines how to best use it, but after all, they really know, they can sense. If some product can be misused, it is poorly design. If you need to supply a manual just to somebody understand how to use it, you did it wrong. The product should be integral in its use. You should feel what the next thing you should do. It should be possible without the maker.

The baseline is very much about how much you can let go. I?m writing this I?m thinking about how you can mistreat army clothes. When instead of special treatment you are using it as a normal piece of everyday clothes. If you wash your Goretex jacket with normal clothes, iron it, and they still work as new. When you are using it every day for years and it is in its best state. Somebody design this piece and it is rising to its standards. It cost almost nothing, but it is so perfect that beats everything. It is indestructible. For example take OLFA knives with disposable blades. They cost very little 2-3$ and still if you just do not lose them you will have them for years. I bought my one 6 years ago, and I have still had it despite everyday use. This is kind of investments I?m looking for.

At the same time, there is the funny thing. The baseline is invisible. The thousands of employees of Land Rover, military clothes manufacturer or Nokia employees will not hear this stories. Yes, maybe few at the top. But most of them will not realize how good they are. This concept need to be found, make it visible. This is not something you encounter at everyday work. When you are making good tools at the factory, better that you will not have contact with clients who are buying these things.

The only person who is able to see how these things are working is the bystander. When you do not have involvement in how things will play out in any way ? good or bad ? your judgment is impaired. You can see the structures to the organizations, the situation in the much more perspective way. It is extremely important to realize when you are doing business or planning you will just miss this thing, not see them but exploit them. By this, we need to remember that customers will have completely different perception and usage of the product. When we are creating something, we hope that we will have some influence over what is happening. But something like caring is hardly transferable through the product. Product live in its own life.

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Why I have started to do useless things again?

For last few days I have become totally obsessed with words of Debbie Milman that the important thing takes the time to develop. But maybe something that we want the most, sometimes, do not offer the highest return. Maybe we need to do something else. I found myself so many times tired, wanting to sleep, to get rest but push extra mile just to read for these 40 minutes before bed. But maybe sometimes you need to deal with what is a most pressing issue to have bigger resources, field to address. If something what you think is bad, that it will be waste of time sometimes is the actually best thing you can do. If you will hold yourself with cleaning up your computer, it will hold your back because, if decreases your productivity. It is not a question of your opinion, rather than an objective mechanism.

The same principle is about the bootloader, a small program which by itself it is useless. It does nothing except leading the next big thing. Sometimes we need to deal with the biggest issue, we need to address it as will block your way out what we really want. We have just one consciousness, one focus and if something is blocking space there, higher functions will be just not possible.

The absolute laws of the universe are like rules you play by. You don?t see them, you cannot sense them, but sometimes if you do something wrong you will be poked on the arm.

Every chance of running away from our nature is like trying to go against our ourselves. To experience our true self you need to go trough every stage possible. You need to have experience how to play by rules, how to address everybody the same, how to make a business successful, how to have true friends, how to stay true with your family. Every stage is from some point waste of time. It takes energy, it is painful. But together it builds a beautiful life, something worth living.

Even if you have access to your true nature, true self can be experienced only momentarily. It will just not hold itself all the time. It needs to be nurtured. It takes places in these moments, where everything comes by itself. You cannot force enlightenment or having a good idea. You can take care to have the best environment for it, but still, there is invisible hand. Every action is occupied with some side effect. If you are trying to force effect sometimes, it will make things worse. Think about shouting to somebody to calm down as an example. It cannot work.

On one morning, in London underground I have been a witness of quite a funny situation, but which show how rational thinking really works. I was taking underground to central London and in one carriage, some man was standing in middle of the train leaning his back against the vertical handrail. It wasn?t very early morning so the wasn?t many people around. There was space for everybody. But two girls, quite young, maybe being the first time in London were commenting quite loudly, how some people are not respecting others and blocking space (just to clarify, the guy was wearing a nice suit and huge headphones, and playing loud music). I have heard them making comments for a few minutes as a bystander. Then when stopping on station in central London typical Londoner came to into our carriage and flexibly put his hand behind our guy leaning on the handrail and just like nothing happens. It was quite funny to watch, just like. There was just no concept of touching other guy or uncomfortableness. There was like common understanding and allow-ness to break each other personal space to reach a common goal ? traveling together.

Sometimes the change is really small, but you need to be willing to do it. In book ?Algorithms to live by?, authors at the last chapter bring one of the most moving thesis, that even if our rational thinking is in shades of gray, we can apply them to more zero-one decisions. When we feel that there are many options there is just one valuable option for now. It seems contrary, to take chances at decisions which are yes-or-no and decide based statistics, but it works. Rational thinking is applying our theory even to what can seem as the purely emotional case. Sometimes is

good idea

to follow your heart sometimes is good to follow your instincts, and sometimes your knowledge. In short, we cannot put too much in our focus. We need to take step by step.

?Purposes are deduced from behavior, not from rhetoric or stated goals.?

?If a frog turns right and catches a fly, and then turns left and catches a fly, and then turns around backward and catches a fly, the purpose of the frog has to do not with turning left or right or backward but with catching flies. If a government proclaims its interest in protecting the environment but allocates little money or effort toward that goal, environmental protection is not, in fact, the government?s purpose.? ?  ?Thinking in systems? Donella Meadows

?The flu virus does not attack you; you set up the conditions for it to flourish within you.?

In order to keep going, you need to cover all the bases. It is necessary. Plus is minus is the same thing and it is extremely easy to mistake motion for progress. To catch the big waves you need to make space for them, develop special kind of capacity. Neil Strauss, in an interview with Marc Moron in WTF show, as a journalist with huge experience, mention that most people pretend that they are so busy all the time especially in interviews, but when the interview is over, the void was coming. When he have been doing a book with Marylin Manson, they were times when they were extremely busy. And then to nothing and one day in the middle of night, they would be doing nothing, and Marilyn is going to wardrobe and take the big chicken suit. A few moments later, they are in Sunset Boulevard chasing people. The funniest part would be that people weren?t aware that they were chased by Manson.

Most people who break through and make a ?success?, they are giving slogans of 60 hrs work weeks and stuff like that. But it is not the full picture. It is like they are taking so much a big part of theirs day to just stress out and be prepared for this moment which will be most impactful. Nobody, after all, can escape the limitations of how old is working and most of the times we need to take care of ourselves. To be most effective you need to prepare to be. IT doesn?t just happen, it is not matter of your skills or will. It is matter how to optimize how we work, how to optimize our diet, time schedule, physical world. But to came up with new ideas, you need space to do it. We cannot force, body to do it. We just need to take care of for it and give it space where new ideas can emerge.

We cannot forget from where we are coming from, and what is the goal, bigger goal. And to invent a good idea, you don?t need a lot. Sometimes one good idea can beat everything. Sometimes you just need to listen. There is a very fine line between what we expect as our job ? our thing to do, and there is a reality. Sometimes we need to take care of these little things, which will speed things up. When you will be caught in the middle, there is still a chance to do your job but inefficiently. You need to pay attention because good things come from the good source. Sometimes it is easier to drop bad material than keep investing in it ? sank cost.

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Zip it up! Why problems are not far away from your dreams.

One of the most amazing lessons from past years is despite our will, control or vision, we need to do something. Execution of you dreams is directly connected to how you are executing tasks professionally. Are successful at work you are? More successful you will be with executing your dreams.

We like to think that your dreams are separate from your work or even better, they have different energy, and they are executed differently.

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In book Andrew Solomon, brings to mind the countries which were pressed through many years, and after breaking free, they cannot establish democratic rules. The explanation is that there is the difference between breaking free and feeling free. One is executed, the second one needs to be learned.

It is like something going broke. If something will break down you need to repair in a specific way. Not just randomly, but rather applying specific strategy, which will help you get ahead. When something is working, it is working, you don?t need to do anything to use it.

Most people who win the lottery will quickly loose it. Citizens which will gain the freedom of speech will be still leaving in a censored reality.

At many degrees, we underestimate what needs to be done to make something happen. We cannot choose not to care in one area and after transformation change will. You simply cannot choose where you care, and the not. If you are saying somewhere I don?t care, it will spread. It is like a virus.

And now we can come back to the main topic f this conversation, how to zip it up. The easiest way is to stop controlling it, and instead, do something much more powerful. Let it go.

When shit happens next time, instead of trying controlling it, or getting to limit damage first death deeply. Take a moment to acknowledge what just happen and tackle it. At this point, the 3-second strategy is really useful (or this one from army sniper). And then start to make something much more powerful, wider, start a new trend which will crush situation which you are deal with.

The worst thing that you can do is let the problem to take over you. If the problem = you it is over, and you will not recover from it. You need to take charge and put things in perspective. So next time if shit will happen zip it up and carry on.

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When is worth to pay full price

Not long time ago when capitalism wasn?t the only possibility. Prices of the products were less diversified. Even if you go back 100 years, the world looked completely different way. Everything was local sourced and was with high homemade quality. It was quite rare  you could get something that was terrible or superior.

Now the situation is completely different. The market for every product fills till the last possibility. We are looking to fill the gaps as much as possible, finding as many customers as possible.

But this requires for us costumers, we need to ask ourselves what we actually need.

Marie Kondo In book “Spark a Joy” is showing a clear point that whatever you are trying to clean house or car. The question is not if something  goes or stay. Everything goes, what stays.

Capitalism is the complicated system, it is not something that many people can deal. Rather most of us don?t know how to act with so much choice.

We panic when we see the sale and we mistake freedom with what are our needs.

When we feel in danger or under urgent need we almost  panic  and we want a solution. You have run out of paint, you run to shop. You have run out of sugar, you run to shop and loose 45 min to get one product.

But the end point and we forget what is the reality and that we want to solve the problem caused by another problem. Our needs give urgency to every means that we need. We don?t get an idea that maybe it will be ok not to do something and just wait?

One of the strategies how to make a decision about buying, which was mind bending was to stop any buying decision for 2 weeks. Anything. It was quite a relief to find out that, you can actually survive 2 weeks without buying anything (groceries were preplanned). You cannot just optimize what you are doing but to do it easier just stop everything and start with a new slap.

It was proven many times that it is much easier to start something or stop doing rather than do less/ more of it. It is hard to see the measurement of your actions. We don?t work that way.

A different strategy is to whatever decide if this is something that we need for long term or short term. If long term, then only criterion its quality, not price. If for the short term – price, not a quality (of course within some range) .

For example, I like to spend quite a big amount of money on electronics which I?m using on daily basis. Headphones are my priority. I?m walking usually few ours per day, and it is important to how they are isolating from external noise etc.

But for example, my computer or phone isn?t the newest generation. It is definitely a question of possibility but rather of need. If I’m gonna lose my iPhone, without pain, I can replace it. The same with a laptop. This which I have is completely enough even that is few years old.

You need to see the big picture. Having everything at the highest possible level will block your life. You cannot have everything. Our mind is a closed ecosystem. Choosing one thing means saying no to other. Every decision takes same place and space is limited. Do it wisely.

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How to get rich by accepting others?

Our natural way is to go forward. It is easiest to explain on the smallest part of nature cells. When any given cell stops to grow, stops to reproduce, then it dies. Our purpose is to grow, to create a sustainable planet for us, for the whole population.

Our past, our purpose is not possible to define it. It depends on which stage of life you are at. If you are young you purpose is to explore, to experience, then you make some kind of learning, your thinking is expanding, you have better models and then you are introducing, your thinking to the world, trying to make a better place.

Diversity is about choice. It shows to make a meaningful living. Everybody who got some experience with finance and investment knows that it is very important to diversify their investment. You cannot risk putting all your assets into one basket.

But many of us are doing this with relationships, work or thinking. How many times did you think that. The positive side of diversity is creating capabilities on many dimension. You are literally integrating many needs and possibilities to future. You are creating flow instead containing it!

If you have a diversified portfolio, even if few of investments will loose just by rule you will gain on few others. You are keeping the things flowing. In the very simple model of the market – if people wold is just buying stocks and not selling anything, prices could just stay the same or rise. Of course, it is a very simple to model and doesn?t have any connection to reality but, some part is true. If we will still believe and market and somehow we will keep investing in it, the economy will be still growing.

If you think that behaviour is an adaptation to environment and that can be taught or learn quickly then biodiversity – combining people with different background will yield creating complete humans. Our abilities are soaring.

One of most amazing stories of biodiversity in our human culture is Singapore. It is one of smallest countries, but diversity there is seen at every step. Last year I have been in Singapore for few days, and it is very heart moving country. History of Singapore is very beautiful and the same time bumpy. It is a shelter for immigrants. In Singapore, there are 5 official languages. Just to prove it here a photo from the train station, you can read the sign in 5 languages.

But what is interesting is that you can find very comfortable there. You are accepted there without any but. There are just a few places on earth where you can get that feeling. That you are welcome.

On one of the exhibitions on the main walk in Singapore, there was a little corner with recorded interviews with famous people in Singapore displayed on tv. On of the architects who design city centre, he was saying that one of his goals was to make a place in where everybody was welcome, that everybody could find something for themselves. That they could call center of Singapore their place.

These words really impact me very much. My whole stay was almost underlined by this worlds, it is like comforting our nature, human nature. We get caught up in some our thought that we want this and this and nothing else will be good for us. We are trying to defend them at every price, even when don?t serve us in the long term.

Singapore is very rich country. The only question is it is rich because it is diversified or it is diversified because is rich.

If you think about the biodiversity of earth, that many species, all kinds of plants animals are here just coexist with each other. So we can keep other alive. One species is doing something other can?t. And this net of cause and effect is giving the possibility to be alive to keep going. Despite where our origin is, one of the facts is that we are adapting to our environment. That our outcome is almost linked to environment, that we are organisms to facilitate it.

Diversity is about being sustainable. Solutions which are not sustainable, they are dying off, they cannot be kept alive, just like cancer. Human cancer is just like saying no to integration. Cancer is like growing abnormal cells, something new, something that wasn?t there, something that doesn’t fit there. It is focusing on itself. And then only way Is spreading till organism cannot handle something that is contaminated. And it is not about that something is different but something that is out of place.

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Making space in life – or how to quit smoking

What you think about personal growth, is the ability to make freedom choices. Just like we are choosing groceries, ability to choose a way ahead of us in of the most freedom things. Derek Sivers wrote one of my favourite essays of all time – hell yeah or no. It means every decision in your life should be or hell yeah or no. Simple as that.

Every decision is taking some space. Every choice will have some trail in our past. We like to think that more choice is better. But is it true? Is really something what is accessible to us. Make us more valuable. Decision making is always connected to relating to value. How much value something posses to us.

We like to think that limits are bad, but is it true? We think that future selfs will be somehow disconnected from the past. But what if, growing means integrating bigger and bigger chunks of our past. See what means books written by people who survived the holocaust. Their books many times are one of the most important like Victor Frankl. Everybody in modern circle knows who is Victor Franks, where he is coming from. Growing means learning about the past. Every challenge or conflict was some kind challenge about our nature. It may seem contradictory, but think that who survived WWII become example how to deal with pain or sometimes challenge that is bigger than life. For me, always when I was in some kind of uncomfortable situation, I?ve been always stopping and changing assumptions, maybe something is different, maybe it is just my thinking.

Making space is just like challenging our thinking. When we are checking the facts. For the first time in many decades, we have this ability to just like saying Donald Trump to check the facts. We can explore other people perspectives.

Over year ago, I have quit smoking, even I don?t like to say that way. For me, it was just nothing connected to willpower, more to choosing situation I?m in. One of the biggest lessons is that, if I want to abuse myself it is easy, I don?t need to do it with smoking. If you stop you heart Is opening, you are opening to new spectrum, sometimes will be better, sometimes worst. You don?t need to control. By smoking, you are choosing this state. Most of the smokers will argue that is an addiction and you cannot choose, it s habit. But you are always choosing habits, there is always an edge, you can break it. If you would end up at the hospital, faced with hard disease, would you break the habit? If you are traveling by airplane, are you can?t refrain from smoking? Every habit has some kind of edge.

Every relationship, every object you have, every contact, every task is filling the space. Being empty isn?t bad. Sometimes is the only way to experience something. With modern technology, we have better and better ways to create maze around as. To defend ourselves from everything. From everybody. Just like scientists are agreeing about one mutual thing to every human – we resist change. If we are faced with it, we don?t want to do it. But give us some space where we can mould to it, and we adapt almost naturally. It is one of most amazing things about human species.

How much free time you have in your life? And I don?t mean how much time you spent on social media. Instead, how much time you can make on the incubating idea? Times of very fast growth needs a lot of it. If you want 10x something more than you have now, you need to change how you are spending time 10x. At least in beginning. Your capabilities , current thinking will get you with very long time, you need to change everything in order to get there in shorter time.

For example, when I have started this blog for the first month I needed almost 10hrs per post (installing WordPress, organising storage, organising notes, writing post, speaking with my editor etc.) Right now It is much more optimized, I don?t need to set up software on my server. It is already done.

To facilitate a time of exponential growth, you need to say no to the thing which will be unnecessary in future. If you want to make 10x much more money than you are doing right now, make a baseline and focus on how to make 10x more. Say no to easier ways. Stay focus, expect results.

8 years ago when first iPhone was sold, not many people realised how big this trend it will be. This who got the ability to change their schedule, to realise that and make space for change, they catch the wind in their sail.

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Strategy behind your skills

Skills are changing everything. If you look at your career not as a set of experiences but as a way to build skills of some kind what is happening? When you are focusing just on what you can do, what is your literary workplace – your core rosposiblity, focus where you are adding value of some kind it is easier.

To understand completely you need to dissociate form humans, you need to look from worldview. You need to have completely perspective.

There are no ultimate loopholes, that you can exploit. More of exploration of way without the ned you are using, more you are risking. Just like followers on twitter. Look for people who a lot of followers. They are contributing value at some level. More align you are with what is true, what is sustainable, more successful you are.

I?m thinking here about Bill Gates. As you know, few years ago he donated huge portion his wealth to charity cause. This caused that he doffed on list most wealth people in world, and few years later he is back again. He is somehow outside of it. In 2000 he was pressed by government that he will resign from directing company. Right now he is ding something apposite of what we could predict making money. He is trying to make a world better place. We are talking about solving problems like poverty, teaching crisis, ebola, viruses. It seems crazy but actually he is working on cause and he have big skills to take care about it.

The problem with skills is not how many you have or how big they are, but how much they allow you to align your needs of actual world. Money will come. If you will work hard, work dedicated, work long, you will see results. It is question of time. Many things will change. Technology will change, currency will change , government will change, but what will stay is how you are unwinding, how you are creating your habits, how you are influencing others, how inspire others. And skills not only means how to do something but as well handling difficult situations, problems. All of these are inputs. Later you just need to define what you will do.

Behind every skill there is set of strategies. Strategies are compiled with steps and frameworks. Waking up early can expose your strategies. When you wake up early you don?t have freedom to do unnecessary things. It Is early in the morning, almost everybody else is still asleep. But even you can feel uncomfortable, sit back and relax. You are about to learn very important information. The structure is always there. You can?t see it sometime. It is covered with beliefs and rationalisations. But it is there.

Strategy doesn?t change. Just like 2+2=4, is mathematical version of our world. It is prediction that if you do something it will give you certain result.

You can just change strategy, do something else, something what will have different structure. You can do it by first being aware that you want to change it and then applying theory – information from seminar, book, friend or blog. If your new strategy will be suitable to you you will make it over and over again.

Tools are most simple version of strategies. If you have some need, you use tool and job done. You want to drive a nail. You take a nail, hammer, hit a nail and job done. Every driving a nail will be the same. Unless you use power hammer.

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