a matter of priority, faux interest vs real interest

Yesterday I was talking to a friend,, once I shared with him my 2015 goals he said that he too wanted to do that many things (I was talking about contributing to opensource and so on) but he just couldn’t make it.
When he got home, he didn’t have the will to do it and he slacked.

I don’t think he really slacked, I’m much more convinced that we have different priorities.
Some priorities are just invisible to us, because we are not able to distinguish “real interest” from “faux interest”.

Real interest is something that drives you deeply, it’s what you think during your day. It’s a motivator of your life.
If you are doing martial arts 3 times a week constantly, you probably have a real interest going on there.

This doesn’t mean that the real interest will last forever. Some times it’s just a mood, some time will just go away in a few weeks.
But for those few weeks it’s on your mind with a big red light that says “Follow me” and your interest is there.

Faux interest can be pictured like something we want to do but that in the end we end up not doing.
It’s the “I’d love to do that, but I’m just too busy”.

I believe there’s some sort of emulation here. We want to emulate success (which, in my modest case I think it’s just “doing a lot of things”) or results.

We are attracted to that idea, and so when we say “I want do build a product, to learn japanese, to learn to dance” what we really mean is “I want to earn lots of money with a successful product, I want to be attractive thanks to my languages, I want to not be embarassed when I’m dancing” and so on.

It’s a subtle trick of our mind.
If we got something we didn’t quite do but we wanted to do so much, maybe it’s time to consider why we care about it and we’re not willing to move a finger for it.

the introvert advantage

I am an introvert, at least I think so, and one of the things I always found out true about myself is determination.
Which shouldn’t be confused with the fact that I, occasionally, procrastinate as much as anyone out here in the world.

Being an introvert gives you a place to think of, where your time is the most valuable thing.
Introverts, like me, tend to think about the situations to learn from them and act accordingly.

We don’t learn by body, we learn by mind (if this sounds a bit strange, think of it of body memory and mind memory, that’s the idea).
It’s our mind that slowly process information and creates pattern to react instead of learning invisibly by the body.

This is not always a good thing, since we are (at least myself) really slow at learning by body or without thoughts on the matter.

Being an introvert thaught me to value my words, to listen to my mind and to move forward slowly and steadly, knowing that I will get to the point eventually.

prejudice will grow on us

If we keep talking and complain, if we keep giving our bad voice a stage we will just continue to let our prejudice grow upon us, to change us.

Many people online believe we are what we do, not only what we say.
But listening to this motto might hide a different issue.

Saying something is doing something.
You chose the words, you chose the context and the people whom you shared the information with.
You took a decision that’s much more deeper than you thought.

Slowly, the single act of repeating something will turn into a bad mantra, an habit that will grow a new beard on you, an invisible beard you can’t recognize.

This beard will define you from here on, it’s your mark, your tatoo.
It’s what you are now.

Giving space to some bad thoughts and prejudice is not just a matter of words, it’s a matter of heart.
What your heart will become next, nobody can know.

make lists and do one thing

Making lists helps defining how we work, it ignites into our brain a pattern to create a map, a defined map of what we are going to do and how we are going to do it.

Let’s take a degree thesis for example.
When you are preparing your thesis you are usually out of ideas, but to me the best advice I’ve ever received on that was “Do the index first”.

I initially wondered, why prepare the index of the thesis beforehand?
It didn’t take long to realize that creating the index laid out all the work I would have done later on.
Thanks to that, writing the thesis was really easy because the most intimidating part was “What should I write?”

So, whenever I need to define what to do I usually write a list, my index, and then move on one step at a time, trying to not change the context.

I do it also in my work.
As a web developer it happens to build an application that’s more complex than usual.
When I need to do that sometimes I can’t visualize entirely the program, so I write small comments, defining what will be the steps, and then I work on the smallest part, building it until it is full fledged, tested, working.

I just love indexes.

the lies behind every **urgent** matter

You probably already know that emails are a way for other people to allocate your time (and if you don’t, learn it now).

The thing about emails and urgent emails is even more interesting.
Urgent, is something referred to a situation.
The email containing the “URGENT” element in the message usually answer the “what” question.

What is urgent?

Thing is… what’s really important is why, which is often forgot.

Why is it urgent?
Is it urgent because you will lose your job?
Is it urgent because you won’t get paid?
or because you forgot it to do it before?

Urgency is a very delicate matter, adding it requires exposing a lot of vulnerability and therefore it is a practice that’s ignored by many peopl.

Still, sharing the urgency could enlighten us in 2 ways

– by letting understand how much urgent it is (once we write it down we might realize it’s not that urgent).
– by empowering the people we are communicating to, allowing them to help us in the best possible way.

share the joy

Share the joy as a way of life, don’t settle for a rule.

Joy is one of the most powerful elements in this world and is the result of feelings mixing into your mind and heart.

In today society we might want to hide joy because it makes us appear “different”, not in line with what we’ve showed until now to them.
But this, this way of expressing freely, is our most true reaction and behavior. Is something that could define us in the future if only we would allow it to do so.

Keeping away from the beauty of joy is pretending to ignore our best part, the vulnerable one and that is the worst thing we can do to ourselves.
The best, instead, is to keep sharing, to show hidden parts of our personality.
To show up and not be afraid.
To be honest and heartwarming.
To love deeply with no fears.
To take hard decisions because we want joy to be part of our world.

never forget the family

I was taking a look at some old photos today and I realized I’m missing photos of my family.

many of them.

Over time your family may change, or may not.
But if inside your heart it stays the same and you find photos missing, then it’s time to change something, to regain that time together and build some new memory together.

7 questions to discover and understand your niche

It happened some weeks ago when I was talking to my fiancè and she wasn’t sure about her skills in finding a niche.

“How do I find where to sell a product to them?” she told me.
Then I decided to do a small test with her, to see if this was something a total newbie in any area could do.

We were talking (as an example) about a new kind of wine (or something related to it), and we wanted to discover where the possible clients were.

I asked these questions and we got a LOT of examples

  1. Is your product high-priced or low priced?
    useful to targeting group of people and their interest
  2. Your ideal client, what’s his/her name, where does he live, what he wears usually and what does he do for a living?
    we discussed a random guy named John who is a bit of a rich man, has eyeglasses and so on.
    The point here is to be very specific about our guy or our girl.
  3. Where you can usually find wines?
    this is where the interesting thing start. We are looking for places.
    You should stop 2 or 3 answers later the “I can’t find any more of that” affirmation 
  4. What are the things (selleable, like objects) related to wines?
    – 4bis: where you can find them?
    here we are tackling side-related places that still have a context that’s relevant to wines. The first questions helps you understand what other topics exists and then you search out for places.
    Move on, as usual, 2 or 3 answers later the “I can’t find any more”
  5. Where do people like John who like wines hang out in real life?
    Now we’re moving onto discovery places related in other ways to the wines.
  6. where do John hangout in the internet?
    Here we think about the places online we might find John and his network of wine related friends
  7. What kind of movies/book our dear John likes?
    Now we’re getting somewhere different, our goal is to find a topic that’s related to wine to include wine as part of the offering.
    Our John was a fan of Lars Von Trier, a famous film director.
    We imagined how nice would it be to create an event that included rare movies and good wine as a possible idea.

If you have any product, you can dive into this 7 questions to find more about your users.
The key elements are

  1. You are allowed to ran out of ideas only  3 ideas after your first “I can’t find any more…” (this will ensure that you are trying hard)
  2. To think about new questions, try to be as much unrelated and rambling as possible.
    If you stick between the frame you can’t get out of it, and our point is to find new things. So wherever you are truly stuck, use a question that seem foolish.
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