the beauty of life is hidden in the quiet moments

We are always searching for happiness, but if we were to define happiness it would be quite hard.

Is it when you’re laughing? Is it when you’re smiling? Is it when you’re more than satisfied?

There’s no good or bad answer. Happiness, as many people would say, it’s not an end goal, it’s the travel itself. There is no finite moment when we can say “from now on I’ll be happy”. That is an instant in our lives.

If I had to answer, though, I’d search happiness in the slow, apparently boring and meaningless moments we live.
Those times when we’re not filled with tasks to do, things to achieve, goals to reach.

The times when you can focus on enjoying a moment, having a conversation, drinking with your family, taking a walk into the neighborhood with no goal set.
”The daily life, when life is not in the way”.
Those moments are the true beauty.

While I was writing this I also thought that an Haiku is also the perfect form of expressing this kind of beauty and that, maybe, they were just trying to answer the question themselves.
What is happiness?

we were depressed all along

2020. Covid Happened. We didn’t expect it.
With it everything changed. Our behavior, our distancing, our working, our friends.

We started seeing people differently. The world split into two main factions. But under that hood there was an even sadder truth.

I was reading a reddit topic on how quarantine changed for good and bad your life. Many people wrote in there, sharing their life experiences. It was full of life, of struggle, of fight and failures.

To me, covid allowed me to stay with my family and improve my overall fitness.
Being able to have so much more time for working out allowed me to improve a lot in areas I didn’t expect.

But my experience wasn’t the standard.
Many people stopped working out. Many people couldn’t keep up.

What did I do different? Nothing, that’s the truth.
What then made it possible for me to do something other couldn’t?

Well, what made impossible for them? This would be the question.
The answer? Depression.
I, too, couldn’t do many things.
Many people faked happiness.

The single moment of joy, the extreme playfulness, the going out with friends, allowed us to look away from our life, from the shadows we dive in.
Living in quarantine forced us to face them.
Not many were prepared, many failed, many others learned a lesson.

But all of us discovered that there was a little dark spot in our heart.
We didn’t have a clear name for it, we feared it and like a cancer we always hoped it wouldn’t happen to us.
Yet it was there all along.

Some have a darker spot, some a bigger one, some drowned into it, some drove through it, but we shared it all.
It’s our dark moment, the night when we think we can’t make it, the moment we say “It’s enough”.
The surrender, the failure, the acceptance that we can’t honestly do it.
Our dark spot, our depression was always there.

Quarantine uncovered it and we had to battle it.

When I look at all the failures in other people’s lives I don’t think I did better. I know for sure that I failed in other things.
We all tried to cover that black spot in the beginning. But it was strong.
In the end those failures are scars that tell a story of survival.

That’s what quarantine reminded us, that’s what it’s reminding still today.
To survive, in spite our dark spot.
In spite of the failures, of the hopelessness, in spite of the depression we all shared.

raise your voice

How can you make it easier for people to raise their voice? To stand up for what they believe?

Put them in a condition when they are not affected if they have something to say.
Otherwise you’ll always have enough power to control what they do or think.

If you’re the one in charge, you’ll likely think that you should always own the last words, but it’s not ok.

You can learn so much from the people around you. It’s only through humility you can accomplish more. And to do that you need to allow people to step up, to say what they believe.
People you trust, of course, but they shouldn’t be chained or worried about your reactions.
If they do, they’ll always avoid direct confrontation.

If you’re not allowing this kind of growth you should hope to have someone who’s vocal even if she has something to lose. Someone who’s near you that you can listen to.
Then, maybe, change can still happen.

over communication in a remote world

Lately I’ve been flooded with calls of any kind. Some useful, some useless.

Some organized, some with no foreseeable intent nor goal.

This made me realize that we live in a strange time. Meetings give you the overall idea that everything’s under control, but if we don’t write it down and if we don’t make this information searchable and findable, then it’s like not having it at all.

What great remote companies get right is the importance of written over communication.
We think the best way to align the entire team is with a quick call BUT if we write it down and we have systems and people that will read, the result will be that we can consume that information in a much better way.

Over communication might sound extreme to some, but it’s the starting point to have a decent remote team.

But what about being fast? you may ask.

What do you mean by fast? Do you mean to be able to react instantly to market change?
Isn’t that being reactive instead of proactive?

Fast should be about execution, efficiency, precision. Fast should be about the ability to execute a plan. A plan we defined before with slow times, taking the time that’s required to move on.

No role is final

There is no final role in your career. What you have now is part of what you may or may not become. It’s a step.

It can be incremental or decremental. You might discover that the role you’re about to do isn’t that exciting, or that it doesn’t suit you. Or even that you simply don’t want to do that job anymore.

Stepping down is often disregarded as if it’s admitting failure, but it’s an important and critical element. We should all be fine with stepping down. If we’re not we should ask why.

If it is for the money, then we might live a life way above what we deserve. If it’s for the status, then we got ego problems.

Stepping down is the clear indicator of honesty. If you’re not worried about it, then you’re ready to do your work and risk it, and get back to what you used to be if it doesn’t work.

This is fine too.

what makes you angry?

Think about it, what makes you angry? If a coworker doesn’t obey your order, what makes you angry?

If you lose at a game, what makes you angry?

In many situations our anger is pointed towards others, but if you look closely it’s strictly connected to our ego.
Our self-image being lowered, our position being altered, our esteem being attacked.

If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t be angry.
We’re angry because we put ego first.

any relationship is an investment

I always thought that relationships are just that, a relation between two persons.

Often I though that they ought to be directly linked. If I did something good I hoped that something good would eventually come.
If I did harm, I expected to harm that relationship.

In some ways it went like that. I harmed (emotionally) people, and I took care of them in other times.

Yet I didn’t realize that the whole concept of “Our relationship is bidirectional” is wrong.
Any kind of relation between two persons has different ages.

Mental age, the two people have different ages, they _think_ differently. Their goals in life are different, they might be slower or faster to realize things, to understand them.

Emotional age: We understand emotions on different levels, we empathize in different ways, we seek connections at different times.

And last, but not least: Relationship age.
Beware, this is not the age of the relationship itself, it’s how you live it. It could be a friendship that it’s 3 months old, but for you it’s like knowing her since college.
On the other hand she might feel like she knows you since 3 months.

Thing is: We expect things to happen.
We expect that if we’re harmed we’ll get some extra attention, some more love.
We expect to be seen when we feel alone, but it might not happen.
It might not happen because we live the relationship on different ages.
Where we stand now, it’s not where they are standing now.
Even though we’re together, we might be apart.

Which is not to say that we shouldn’t value relationships, quite the opposite instead.

We should nurture them, we should cultivate them, because like a seed, we can plant what we value, but depending on the age we might not see the results when _we_ want.

Saying that a relationship is an investment makes it sound like something you do for benefit, or something that’s not emotional, but it shares some similarities.

You put something in, hoping it grows and becomes something better than the one you put.
It doesn’t always goes this way, but when it does, well… it’s quite amazing.

it’s all about the people

What makes a company worthwhile? Is it their goal? Is it their software?

Those are part of it, but they’re never enough. Yes, “the dream” can help, but at the end of the day what makes a company truly worthwhile is the people you interact with.

Their empathy, their ability to connect, to feel your pain, to compromise to help you.
They might not always be able to help you, but they’ll surely try their best.

A business like that is worthwhile, no matter the goal. If you’re surrounded by good, competent people, that have empathy and care for you, then you’re headed to a success, even though success might not look like everyone’s imagine.

green cleanup

You see it everywhere. Brands now advertise themselves as environmentally conscious, green, caring for the planet.

Years ago only few brands stood out because of these attributes, but nowadays it seems every company cares about the carbon footprint, being environment friendly, create less plastic and so on.

How much of this is true?
Well, for one we’re seeing how the green economy impacts the market.
Some brands were already on that train, they simply didn’t declare it. Others didn’t feel like it was good pursuing and, last but not less important: Some are using it to clean their image.

It’s obvious why, but what strikes me even more is that the green bandwagon is not simply a choice. It can (and often is) a strategy with a well definite goal that _isn’t_ caring for the planet.

What’s even worse is that this marketing tactic is used also as a strategy to clean up politicians in a very similar way.
Let’s say you have a politician that’s too authoritarian or so on, we’re having election in some months and people started losing trust in this man because his action weren’t so good as they declared.

What they could do is to make him do some good for the homeless and so on, more often than usual. This would help him have the imaged cleaned up, exactly like a brand might do to erase some past behaviors.

Why this happens? We have faith in things (which is good) and we don’t take into consideration the past enough (which is not good).
We should always measure how much of these actions are selfish by checking out the history of those brands and people.
The more they betrayed the trust, the less they will change for the planet’s good.

“Oh well, but they’re still doing good for the planet, right?”
That’s the dilemma.
Now, if we’re talking about companies, yes. They are doing some good, and that good might even be here to stay, until the green trend will fade out.
What will happen when it’ll fade? Will they keep up or not? That’s the other dilemma.

The same is true for the politician. Once their image has been cleaned up, what will they do?

We can choose to trust those people who put the planet first from the beginning, who cared for the people from the beginning.

That’s a choice we can always make, and while it’s interesting to see brands and people try to change, it’s always good to wait a little and see how that change will last through time.

say thanks more often

We should thank more often. Take a moment to realize who are the people that influenced us, that shaped our lives and thank them.

Think about all the friends, all the coworker, all the people that have been an inspiration for you, that helped you get through the rough times, that supported you when nobody would.

Thank them. Thank them not with a physical gift, but with the most valuable gift of all: Your time.

Spend some time with time, write them something, tell them how critical were for your story, show them that you care.

Help them when they need it and ask them how they are doing. Not the superficial question, the deep one. How’s it really going.

Listen to them, listen to them even if their story is seemingly boring, because they showed you a way in the past, and might as well do that again in the future.

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