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Author: Andrea Grassi

last in, first listened

That’s a sad truth, we’re more likely to listening to a new person we don’t know very much than an old friend.
His/her advices might be more well received than our friends, but why is that?

It’s not that the friend becomes instantly useless.But we are less inclined to listen to him.
There’s prejudice, we think they are saying that for a reason. And there’s the fact that we don’t really listen to them, but we’d like them to listen to us.

A friend becomes a listener, while in the beginning he was an advisor. And as such, the new, unknown person that seem skilled like our friend become our new advisor.

It’s not always like this, but to have a different outcome you have to play it in reverse. The friend must find the perfect time to share the information so that it can be listened, understood and applied.
Missing that it’s like missing the flight. You might find another one, but you’ll be late.

shiny and pricey doesn’t equate quality

I’ve been to pitti fragrance today, and one thing I learned is that we can be easily fooled.

Fooled by packaging, fooled by stories and narrations, fooled by nice people. 

Shiny things, pricey things, don’t always mean quality. They some times show a great skill (marketing) but hide a mediocre product. 

To have success, you need both. A great product, a great message.
Shiny might then be only a thing you want to add if needed, but nowhere required.

never tell your goals, on keeping your words

I don’t consider myself successful in the way most people think. I’m not rich, not famous, nothing of these things.
Yet I do think that I succeded in learning such many things.
Learning to sing from zero, to build up some basic muscles, to run, to jump rope, to talk, to write, to inspire even if for small moments people, to change diets and diets, breakfasts, learning new programming languages, and so on.

It’s not to brag about it, but to make a point about how was all of this possible.

You might think it’s because I’m good at learning and even though this might be part of the equation I think the reason is different.
I didn’t tell anyone about many, if not all, these things. I kept them for me until I was fairly decent about it.
Why?

Well, first and foremost because of the reactions many people have.
One day I wanted to write a letter to my bosses, to give them a different perspective. Why I letter? I like to write and I wanted to convey a message while they were relaxed, not in the daily rush.

I told about this and the first reaction was “you’re crazy, it’ll all go bad, why you dare do this?”.
Guess what? It went good.

Perceptions matter, and though they are part of the story that led to my idea about the letter they couldn’t be told while I was sharing the idea. It was impossible, but people react on what they know, and if they know only a part of the story they might jump to wrong conclusions.

The second, critical, thing is: We might want to say them only to pump up our ego.
You know when you say something like “I want to learn bungee jumping” and everyone goes like “Oh man, that’s wonderful, I always dreamed of it, bla bla bla”.
You get that nice little feeling that you’re the best, that you’re one step ahead, but will this imply that you’re going to do it? Nope. It usually leads to the opposite result because you’re already got what you wanted, a plause.

This leads us to the third and final element: Don’t do it for others. Don’t do it for your ego. Don’t do it for some temporary plause.
Do it for you, for the pleasure of learning, of practice, of being in a constant state of learn, fail, succeed, repeat. But please, don’t do it for your ego.

changing the routine

We should not fear a routine change, a habit to abandon. We do change and as such we should adapt, improve, relearn and install new habits.

Testing them even though you’re not 100% sure about the benefits or the outcome, just for the sake of understanding them.

Because the only way to understand something is to try it firsthand, that’s when the process becomes clear and you learn.

Writing this because I’m obviously testing something new related to food, the ketogenic omad diet, an extreme diet. My goal in this case is to grasp the benefit of both and, if they are good, integrate part of them into my daily life.

misconceptions on priorities

We think about priorities as a todo list, something to be accountable for.

It’s quite common to say: My priority in life is to lose fat, to be fit, to learn swimming.
But then we do nothing.

Was it a priority? No.
Priorities are not what we think we should do, but what we actually do. Our facts and decisions define our priorities.

Yes, priorities can be defined well before their actions, but sometimes they don’t match. What we do is different than what we expected to be.

a matter of priorities

When should you say no? When a no is more important than accepting?

You’ll be facing tough times in life, there are 2 things that will put you off.

First: Some changes don’t disrupt instantly. They remove your energy one brick at a time, making you unable to change.
Think about a work you don’t love. You can bear with it for some time, but after a long time it’ll be too much.

Secondly: You have to say no and protect your borders.
Borders are all about defining what’s important, what do you care about, and acting towards that goal.
Even if it damages you, even if it’s agaist your interest, you must protect the borders as long as they are sound.

Why? It’s not a matter of ideology, it’s a matter of protecting the things you love.
You would do it for your children, you would do it for your mother.
Now it’s time to do it for yourself.

the first letter I wrote

My first love letter was handwritten. I wrote it to a girl I liked when I was a child. 
Each and every morning we would take the same train to get to school. She was blonde, beautiful.

I didn’t knew her, I didn’t knew where she was headed to, and I was shy.

I decided that writing and hiding a letter into her backback was the best way to go.
I hand wrote it and hid it into her backpack.

Days later I found a letter in my backpack.
I opened it, there she was, replying to me.
It didn’t go well, I was rejected.

Today I’m still shy, but in different things, although I would suspect that my approach wouldn’t change that much.
Today the importance of writing in my life is still the same, and it’s easy now to see that trajectory. Writing was key for me, it didn’t seem at that time but it’s crystal clear now that writing was a part of my life.

Trajectories are hard to predict. You can’t see them until you’re a bit far away, then they become clear.
Yet they’re obvious, the things you do without thinking, the things you do “naturally”, are the ones you should cultivate in life, either as passions or work.

the obstacle is your best help

I was trying to unscrew something from my balcony. I couldn’t do it. I tried for days and nothing. It seemed stuck. Used wd40 on the screw before trying to turn it but it stuck.
I needed someone strong to keep it blocket while I was pushing so that I could unscrew correctly.

I managed to do it thanks to one thing: There was something on the upper part that blocked my tool and when that stuck, I was finally able to screw it entirely.

Not every obstacle is something that is going to kill you.
Most of them are going to help you, but it’s up to you to see their potential.

perception of good

How can you convey the perception of good work even when the work is invisible? You can’t.

If it’s invisible it’ll stay that way, there’s no way we can show that value if we’re not showing it off.

We can either unveil it or market the benefits. There’s no way around it.You either empower that work with your charm so that it seems like gold entirely, or you allow the people to touch the work, interact with it, see how it’s done and how much time it takes.

No shortcuts.