This letter aims to remind you that if you are reading this in 10, 20, 30 years… you are still alive. Not all of the people that I know will have the same luck. Maybe you have gone through tough challenges that I today would not be able to imagine. Perhaps the day you read this letter is a cloudy day for you. You might have even forgotten that the sun exists from seeing so many cloudy days, and it’s okay! I currently lose focus from time to time, but I am certainly doing better than before. A lot better…
To start with, the most important thing I want to emphasize is that I am sure you will be handling life better than me (hopefully because you will have insights and tools that I don’t have at this moment). Having said that, you should know that there is no need to feel guilty for not knowing how to step forward. I don’t expect you to be perfect or to have corrected all of your flaws. Drop the feeling of guilt or shame and open your vulnerability with those you love. Please take a second to be kind to yourself; realize how much you have done for yourself and others, and be open to receive help from others that feel stronger than you in the moment.
I wanted to remind you of a couple of insights that you might have dropped on your way to greatness by focusing too much on the new goals or learning areas. As I already communicated at the beginning of the letter, the first is that you were given a chance to live today. Don’t take that for granted! Let your mortality be your mantra that determines what you do and what you say daily. There is no time to lose doing activities you don’t need to do, communicating in ways that don’t express who you are, or spending time with people you don’t want to be with.
The second thing is that no matter how much skill, knowledge, enlightenment, or overall success you have achieved so far, remember that I wasn’t always like you. Remember that up to this day, several things have taken me a lot of time and effort to figure out (no matter how basic they seem to you) so stay humble. We have come a long way, and you should not criticize people for how slow they are going in their process.
Remember, there are always cognitive biases framing our lives. All human beings have a frame-shaped by the experiences and the knowledge they have been exposed to so far. So please, do not be judgemental! I am not trying to take away the value of the intention you have set or the insane amount of hard work you have put in to get where you are. However, I do want to tell you that I believe (… or you used to think) that free will didn’t exist. Every act comes from a set of causes that contributed to thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to occur. You don’t wholly choose who you will cross in the street, as well as what ideas will affect you at an emotional level to stick for long enough in your head. Circumstances and cultural lineage play a much more significant role than you might think. I can’t take pride in what I have accomplished so far… I will let you decide if you can for the things you have achieved by then.
Remember that we didn’t choose our parents; our initial environment, our school, language, physical capabilities, interests, or tastes were all a given. We are not sure what is going on at a physiological level that allowed us to do what other people haven’t done. All of this to say, don’t let yourself become a stubborn judge as I used to be as a teenager. There is always room for compassion for those who aren’t bringing light through their true potential. You could argue as well for those who make the world a darker place. There is still a reason that remains hidden for why people act the way they do. It is never as black or white as it might seem.
On another topic, it is of great importance for you to understand that feeling anxious for not being able to scale your impact is not worth it. You do what you can, and you should be at all times in peace, knowing that you are doing your best. No matter how much more productive you are, it is easy to forget that “more” is not the answer to feeling whole. As much as you want to help more people, there will be people you won’t help. In the same way, more skills, more books, and more hours of work will not close the gap between who you are and who you aspire to be. For every step you take forward, the horizon moves twice as long. The more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know. One dies, and still, there will be an ocean of knowledge and experiences that you won’t be able to cover. If you hope to find fulfillment in scaling, then you might have the wrong mindset. In fact, the golden question is: “What are you doing with the resources you have at the moment?” Make sure every single day you find more value in what you don’t know rather than what you have already figured out. That will be enough reason to get out of bed every morning.
Up to this day, this is the hierarchy of value that I have built!
1. Opt for a state of beauty rather than a state of suffering
2. Bring value to those around you
3. Enjoy every bit of life
If at some point you are not in a state of beauty, it might be a sign that your perception of reality is off, you are focusing on the wrong questions, there is an emotional attachment or lack of acceptance of reality.
On the second point, your ambitions should never go at the expense of your wellness or the wellness of others. There is no point in achieving greatness if you need to make miserable those around you in the process. Nevertheless, I have understood over the last couple of months that you can either start giving today your resources in service to the community or you can exploit your potential for the first part of your life so that when you become a billionaire and your scale of impact. Either of those two positions will bring different benefits as well as threats. I hope you have figured this out by then.
For the third point, I want to emphasize that real meaning is found in the hunger for breaking your limitations and facing adversity for the sake of making the present moment better. It’s all within the constant dynamic between building order from the current chaos and letting chaos emerge by stepping into the unknown. Of course, awareness is the gate to breaking delusion, together with filtering what is within your control, what’s relevant to the present, and determining what’s most important. Suppose you find yourself in any of these positions (and you will), release resistance, and sit with the discomfort. Ignoring it carries the risk of letting you fall into delusion, arrogance, or worst of all, resentment.
Get out of your head, dissolve into the experience itself, and enjoy the small randomness in life. Every cup of coffee, the colors of the sky or the flowers, the fresh breeze, every kiss, every engagement with a person or a piece of art. The moments of epic disruption of enlightenment don’t occur often. When they occur, they don’t last for more than a couple of minutes or hours. On the other hand, small pieces of grace are frequently at your disposal, only if you train yourself to be present and to pay attention. Otherwise, you will be too distracted even to notice them. Open more the gap between every external stimulus and your automatic response, that will dramatically influence your decision making and, therefore, your quality of life.
Exposure to new ideas and environments is critical for your development. Hopefully, you will be engaging in a much higher level of conversations consistently. Don’t let yourself be seduced by the joy of being proven right when caught in a collision of ideas. Alternatively, aim to know what’s right by acknowledging that you could be the wrong one. There is no other way to develop critical thinking. Strive to learn ideas up to the point you can articulate them with your own language. Listen profoundly and expect magic from every engagement. You might be surprised to see what comes up from a conversation with a kid, a homeless, a hippie, or a circus clown.
Incorporate people in your process! At all times, always have a mentor/hero who inspires you to lookup. A pupil who you can show he is more capable than he thinks. A worthy-rival you consider as your equal so that you can both challenge each other.
Once in a while, remember to disconnect; that can also help your mind wander and make connections that previously weren’t obvious. Have periods of unlearning where you can reflect and throw away that which no longer serves the person that you are (even if they have helped me at some point). Not every tool is made for every person, for every area of life, and for every moment in time.
For now, I want to conclude by reminding you to strive to win the day. If you see flaws in the fundamentals or values in whatever project you are involved in… just start over. Begin again. Fix the foundation, or else nothing will be able to flourish. Tackle one thing at a time, and have the integrity to do whatever you said you would do. I trust your intuition, and I am always here watching for you.
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