your mind defines you

We’re tricked all the time. Manipulated all the time.

Words can recall memories we didn’t want to remember. People can say things that we misunderstand, causing anger, rage, etc.

We think we’re in control but we’re often guided by emotions ignited by others in our unconscious mind. That’s why our mind is our most precious ally and worst enemy.

It can be both, and we’re not really in control unless we start looking at it each and every day, understanding where it comes from etc.

Because if you say frequently: “I can’t do it”, then it’s right: you can’t.

But not because it’s not possible for you. But because you are defining yourself, asserting who you are and what you’re capable of.
And no, this is not your self-help talk. I’m not saying that if you believe it you can do it. No. I’m saying that there are studies that show how letting people READ words related to old people made them walk slowly without them even realizing it.

Your mind defines you even if you are not aware. You can’t control it, so the only other way is to become more aware to get back on track.

back to the smallest

“I need to train to get fit, but I need motivation to train, and I need results to get motivation”.

Seems complex, but the point is: We need to build momentum to get back on track, even if we did it in the past, we need to start from scratch when we lose our momentum.

How to do it then? Go back to the smallest thing you can do. Exercising? Start with 1 rep per exercise and then go to work.

Start with something you can do easily and continue. Build momentum, once it gets going it’ll be always easier.

something bigger than you

If you’d only take chances on what you know, you would not probably go too far, try new restaurants, explore new places.

It’s the idea that we can surpass our life, that we can go beyon what our mind has for us, that we can create something bigger than us.

you’re not buying a product, you’re buying a process

Do you ever find a brand that you like, an idea that you like?
Thinking “oh, I wish there were more people doing things like this”.

Recently I discovered a new brand of clothing. I loved the idea instantly, but right now didn’t have budget to spend on their big products.

When we see something priced outside of our spending scope we fallback to going to our usual habits. Cheap clothing for example, that will produce waste in the long term.

Or let’s compare it to rusks. I recently bought two different brands, one cheaper than another.
The cheaper had each 4 rusk sealed into plastic. Which does seems like a good idea, although we abuse the use of plastic (something 10 years ago that we didn’t mind).

The more expensive one is made of paper. Yes, maybe they’ll stay crisp for less time, but in the end they do a favor to the planet.

These ideas that we like, we should support them. I never thought about brands as companies to support, but big and small brands are, afterall, companies. And they do survive only if there is money on the table.

We feel powerless in a world of big brands, of lobbies and gigantic companies, but each of us has a power to vote for what’s important. Which ideas are good.
That power is granted to us by money itself. How we use it, where we use it.

Therefore, after getting to this conclusion, I bought a small thing from the clothing shop. Not because I needed it, but because I wanted to support them. To have an extra customer so that they’ll think about it twice in case they’ll want to shutdown the company.

Money won’t act the same for a big brand. You can use it only to give them hints, not support. But it’s still powerful.
Change happens as it is happening for the use of plastic or other material/ingredients.

What matters the most is to spend the money in the brands we believe in. Maybe avoid spending on a big brand and saving up for a dress made in a small shop or a product made near to us or that is aligned with our values.

I know: Why would I want to pay if I can spend less in a big store?
Because if you don’t, those small shops will go away and we’ll be left with no choice but buying from the big stores. Stores that will comply with the general intention of the population but that will _never_ experiment like the small ones do, because they can’t risk money.

But why pay more then?
Do we really need a new shirt? Do we really need a new pc, a new smartphone every year?
It’s a choice, no one’s to blame.
What I think is that we buy more than we need of.
We have clothes in our closet we don’t use in 2 years.
We buy food we see rot and put them into trash.

Are we really saving up money? I do think that in these situations we’re wasting resources more than saving money.
Because for each thing you buy there’s the cost and pollution to produces, there’s the low wage or decent wage of people involved into producing it, there’s the pollution from transporting it to you.

When you buy something, you’re not buying a single product. You’re buying a process, a set of values, an idea on how to setup this world.
You’re voting for what you believe in, consciously or not.

If this relates to you then try buying less, save up some money to support the small brands you like, the ideas you like, so they can outlive you and leave a mark on how the world will be 20 years from now.

who gets to decide your schedule

When you’re watching conventional TV the schedule broadcast it’s already prepared. This means that they get to decide when you go to bed, how much you’ll stay up late.

When you’ll wake up and what you’ll be entertained with during lunch.
On netflix it’s their job to keep you up and watching as much as possible, so, while you _feel_ in control, you really aren’t unless you’re stopping an episode midway so that you break the binge watching addiction.

Those are some of the reason why it’s hard keeping a schedule. The entire world around you wants to schedule your day, not only corporations, think individuals that create meetings for you without asking if you’re available, think customer support reps that call you when they want.

When feeling lost about how you use your time, think about for a second how much value and dedication you put into listening the first voice of the people that wanted to schedule your day: You.

Chances are, you didn’t put that voice into perspective. You didn’t value it, although you clearly should have, that’s why, next time, it might be worth remembering that when everything is pressing the most important voice to listen when it comes to scheduling your day, is the one and only voice you hear in your mind. You.

a call for vulnerability

There is no shortage of pride, no shortage of ego.

We are invaded by people and apps that want to grab our attention, call out our instincts, make the jungle great again.

Everywhere I look I see people trying to save their face, their status, their position.

It’s clear to me than now, more than ever, we do need people with enough courage to show their vulnerability. To lead the way and show that another world is possible. That saving face, being attached to our pride, is not and won’t be, what will make our life and our world better.

Now, more than ever we need to do the opposite of what people taught us.

Because only by changing the behavior we can change the results.

may 2019 monthly checkup

It was a while since I wrote another monthly checkup. Mostly because lately I partly lost some of my dedication to writing.

But no, I didn’t give up.

Let’s get back on track by looking at what may left me

I realize now that I wrote _so little_ in may. It’s part of my ongoing list of things I do, but the real fact is that I don’t dedicate enough time to writing.

As with every little things, practice make it constant, but losing rhythm is the worst of all because you’re back at the starting point.

a beautiful job

A coworker works in the customer support branch of the company, she’s doing a good job and I think she’s great.

At the same time she’s not happy about her job. This shows up clearly in the way she interacts. Not because she’s rude with anyone, but at some level the people outside know this.

So I thought: What if I showed her what could be being in a branch like this in a more structured company? A company that takes the customer support part at heart?

I read the Basecamp levels of seniority in the customer support part, and I asked her to rate her job, based on these levels so that she could have an idea of her level and see what could become of her job.

She did it, and at the end I asked: Does that progression seems like something you’d like to do?
At which she replied “No”.

I totally get that. Being in the customer support requires a lot of gut, a lot of savoir fare, a lot of stress management. People do shout, people can be evil.
At the same time I realized that, for me, customer support is fantastic. Something I’d love to do more often.
Each job can be great or bad, wonderful or dreadful. 

It’s up to us and to our character to have it that way.

a jump into the dark

You face a tough situation. You realize that the person you love didn’t care that much about you. You realize it too late. 

What do you do?
We’ve been into similar conditions, yet we all reacted differently.

We might decide to embrace that darkness, jump onto it and be flooded by its dimension.
If so we might get a little depressed, we might not see the light.
This will be the result of our choice.

Not destiny, not evil, but us.

Because at the end of the day the person that did the all in into the darkness, that chose that path, that decided it was the right thing to do, was you.
There’s no one else to blame, even if the weight is unbearable.

At the end of the day, it’s up to us: We can always choose what to remember, what to live, what to engage with.
The good, or the bad things.

who we are, what we stand for

Gossip is a thing. That’s why facebook gained tractions. Because spying into people lives is such a powerful tool. It gives you the illusion of being god, while obviously staying _human_.

One thing the internet hasn’t lost while growing is the “Who we are” page. Every website has it, while I must admit that rarely I find something useful in that page.

What’s it for? Who’s it for?
I am inclined to think that it’s only a way to please our ego. To stop talking about products and start talking about why we’re so great, the people behind the curtain, us, the creators.

The “About us” existed since the dawn of the web.

Can we improve them? I suppose the implict answer is yes, we can. If I were to redo one today I’ll think more about the “what we stand for” and “what led us here”. A combination of the two would be my most plausible test.

What we stand for is something people might be interested in. Our values, our ideals, our dreams.
True dreams and values, not marketing ones. Not a meaningless page full of text, but empty on emotions and context.

No, I’m talking about real values, the ones that shook your heart. The ideals that keep you awake at night, the longstanding goals for a different world.

Those are some things people can relate to, they can dream of and engage with. Those can be a meaningful about us page.

An About Us page, that does talk about us: the readers.

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