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advice through questions

One of the hardest thing when people ask your advice is to truly find a way to help them.

When someone comes to you and wants an advice more often than not they do this because they miss some pieces of the puzzle. They lack information or realization of that information, meaning they need to clear up their mind.

They have too much chaos and need to select which kind of information is good and which is useless.

One thing I love doing is asking question. This has some nice side effects. First of all, it doesn’t put me in the condition of “I know it all, you know nothing”. Which, by the way, it’s impossible. I don’t know a thing, let alone about other’s people problems.
Secondly, it allows the person asking for help to dig a little bit on their issues.

For example, a basic starting point is “What is the problem?”, which, by the way, seems like an harmless question, but in fact it’s always unanswered.

Why? Because the answer is rarely the real answer.
If the answer is “I’m depressed”, ok, we got it. But that is a consequence. Not the problem.

A good answer is “I’m depressed because I feel like my relationship is not working out the way it should”.
This is good also because it opens up another question. “How do you expect your relationship to be?”

And so on.
Maybe the questions will lead up to a clear path where my opinion isn’t needed, or maybe I’ll get a better understanding and have some ideas on how to help.
Whichever comes first, it’s a win-win.


what lies in the past

I remembered of a dinner we went with my gf. It was couple of years ago and we met with this friend of us and another girl.

I am always the one that don’t remember events from the past, but in this special case I was the only one remembering it.

I wonder why they all forgot about it, how we end up deciding what goes into our long term memory and what doesnt.
But more than that: How many moments we lose because of this? How many events of our past are now vanished, disappeared from our history, only because we didn’t pay attention, we didn’t live the moment?

Too many.

the courage to do

It’s easy to blame, to consider the obstacles, to talk about how hard life is.

It’s harder to live it, to change it, to work in spite of everything, to show up and have the courage to do your thing.

Each day, ignoring each wall, each problem, finding a workaround to all the madness, the fear, the will to be lazy.

cheap and easy

There are things you can buy for cheap that are worth more and things that you buy for cheap that seems to be cheap, but they are in fact more expensive than others.

It’s hard to realize which one belongs to the right category, the only way is to test, even the common, even the simple, even the extreme.

the trick to a magic phrase

Today me and my GF went to find a dear friend who also happens to be one of those people that always has a catchy phrase ready for you.

One of the oldest he gave us was “we’re made of the things we love”.

Today we went visiting him to talk about our wedding and he gave us another phrase which sounded like this

“In life you have 10 closed doors. The first 3 can be opened with 2 virtues”

The virtues are Humility and kindness. The trick is that in fact all the doors in the story can be opened with these 2 virtues.
Would the phrase be catchy if he told us 
“In life you have 10 closed doors, and you can open all of them with 2 virtues”.

Nope, the negative space in the story adds magic, and even though in the end this is a trick, it’s a great one.

to be a better man you need a better way

Couple of days ago a friend and I were talking. He was quite stressed because of work and I joyfully asked him what was going on.
He said he started having some signs of excessive stress. Pain in some parts of the body that wasn’t going away.

He asked me the secret to be like me.
I think that what he meant was to be serene like me, because, honestly, I struggle with life much like anyone else. I get angry, I lose my way and make bad decisions.
What I think I also do is that I started accepting life, and what comes with life, in the way I get it. Without pretending that I should deserve more.

I don’t consider myself a better man than anyone else in the world, but thinking about his request there’s something that I realized, and it has to do with death.

Sadly, these days also marked the departure of a dear friend of mine. He died because of cancer, a cancer that couldn’t be cured.
He was a great man, a man that I admired.
In days like this there’s lot of crying (I did it too), but personally I also think about what is left for us to do. What should we do after his death.

Much like when my granpa died, I thought about what he left in the world, the good things and the bad things, and in both situations I came up to the same conclusion.
I want to continue their legacy. I want to leave the world in a better state.
Because I’m sure they would love this. They would love seeing the people trying their best to improve the world, to help the people around them, to spread love.

At first I couldn’t give a direct answer to my friend about my serenity in life and I still think that’s impossible to have a simple response to such complex quesiton.
For one, we seek too many shortucts, but we shouldn’t. 

We should enjoy the struggle because it’s part of life. While we love the struggle while working out at a gym, we don’t act the same outside that workout, but if you think about it it’s the exact situation. To improve there is a struggle. Struggling is part of the job, and shortcuts don’t exist.

And the other part of the recipe would be to accept life as what it is, people as who they are. Accepting the fact that the world is not revolving around us and there’s no conspiration against us.

Now that I write this I also realize one other thing: these words I write are the result of my struggle. If anyone had told me this before, I dunno if I had the maturity to learn from it. 
Maybe I would have nodded yes, but in the end, without the struggle, I would have forgot about it.

So yes, the final answer now would be: Enjoy the struggle.

we rush only in the end

When I was a student I was lazy. I didn’t study until I reached that point of no return when it was unavoidable and I had to study.

This often translated in a mixed performance, sometimes good, sometimes bad, in the final votes.

I didn’t lost this attitude entirely, I’m still lazy, but way less than before.
Today I was visiting a friend’s father when I realized that we rush with people too.
We could talk with them, ask them how are they doing, yet time passes. Time flies and we don’t even care until it’s too late.

Until it’s time to say goodbye.
In that moment we try to do our best, our intentions are wonderful, but we forget all the times we were not present, all the time we lost because we didn’t care.

I was speechless, not because of the situation, but because I didn’t have words to share.
I talked too less in the past, and that led to this moment when I couldn’t find a word to start a sentence.

Yes, I’m good when I write, but that is no excuse.
I didn’t build a baseline with him because I wasn’t there in the past and this resulted only in the speechless version of myself.

Time is not precious by itself, time has a value only when you spend it well.
Make good use of your time, but more than that, make a good use of the time around the people you love, the people that inspire you, the people that left a trace in your life.

Don’t let them become part of your final rush. Make them part of your daily, slow, life.

how much a thought stays in your mind

When you’re angry, when you’re sad, when you want to buy something. There are thoughts that linger in your mind for a long time. They steal your time, making you unable to do more, to think more, to live life.

It’s partly what it’s usually called distraction, but it’s also way more than that.

Those thoughts are our demons. They’re invisible, yet they threat us, they’re powerful, yet we think they do no harm, causing our defenses to go down.

It’s hard to let go. To understand that the world will still rise even if you lose.
And there’s no hiding.
Wherever you will go there will be someone you’ll hate, someone that’ll make you sad, some new object to buy.
We can’t escape life, but we can learn to manage it.

get what you want

Sometimes  it may happen that you get what you request. While it seems obvious that you’re the winning side, this doesn’t always translate to that. 

In fact, long term consequences are far from what you expected. It’s like when we, as humanity, try to take decisions on what’s best for nature. Which species should survive even though they were about to be exincted. We save them only to discover that saving them caused consequences and is about to destroy another part of the world.

We’re not prepared for that because we’re not able to see the consequences but only to perceive the short term benefit. The easy win.

But life is not made of easy wins.
and the battle we lose are always more than we wanted.