What do i want to do in my life? What do i want to be?
It’s a recurring question everyone of us is continuously asking, isn’t it?
How many of you guys are asking this question and how much of your thoughts have you put on it? Have you managed to find some light?
Most of the times it turns out to be the most complex question too, especially to my generation; the millennials – the generation in a transition from a model of life hundreds of years old, the industrial model – to a new one, the digital revolution.
For the closest buddies who know me well – it may sounds like if i got out of mind or suddenly i lost my self-confidence. I always had clear goals, i have been working hard to achieve those and evolve myself to the next level. Step by step – crashing to the wall and restarting again, raising myself from the ground-up and trying to keep always a very modest and open attitude collecting feedback that helped me to reflect on my behaviors and shape my personality to the better.
Yet, failures came across the way and i’m grateful they did as they have been big opportunities to learn.
It’s not an easy process and it takes a huge amount of time on personal development – especially if you come from a value-less society which has lost its identity or probably never had one.
The kind of society which is not helping individuals to become contributors of its own development, rather pushing individuals on turning their backs to each other – creating in fact an obvious social disaggregation that is slowly unpowering, pouring and killing individuals.
I was talking about Italy, Sicily in particular.
Since i started to live in an international environment, i have started to perceive very clearly tiny and thin differences between a model of society still living in the past and a society living in the future. All of those thoughts became more clear everyday as i enrich myself from a culture and a society able to grow up, evolve and be leader in many ecosystems.
Once you become able to draw a line between old and new, you get to embrace the importance of changes, development and evolution. Under all point of views.
So coming back to the title of this post, why am i asking myself this question?
Does it mean that am i lost? Does it mean that i am confused?
The answer is No.
I have gained, finally, the confidence i needed to understand properly my values, my energy, my limits and use those to keep pushing my boundaries having the mission to start giving a meaningful sense to my existence.
Back in January i spent some days around the baltics at -20 and while i was freezing around the Tallinn’s snowy streets, i have been asking myself:
Why have i done all of that?
What’s the fuel pushing myself up along this journey?
It took a little while before i zoomed out my life to a proper level and rise back the fire. The very same fire able to let me run towards what i am today, the source of my motivation, my growth driver. We must have that fire inside us in order to keep pushing ourselves to the future and we must find the way to keep it alive. We live in an era where everything is given to us, we tend to accept everything as it is. Most of the time we don’t even know we do have that fire inside us, we are almost trained to forget about it.
How do we raise that fire? How do we keep it alive?
Once i suggested to a very important person in my life the following:
Make a list of the top 10 things you love most and a list of the top 10 things you hate most.
If there is anything you truly love, there might be the concrete possibility for you to spend all of yourself to master that thing and improve it. Embrace it and make it the mission of your living.
If there is anything you really hate, even better! You have got something you could try to change, transform, maybe disrupt.
The only thing you have to do is focus! Open your mind, find the courage, raise that fire and spend all of yourself to the resolution.
There are 3 things i love most:
Innovation, thinking outside of the box and technology.
While 3 things i hate most:
Greediness, corruption, ignorance.
I believe today’s technology is the most powerful tool we can use to improve the world and our society. If used with ethics and an honest desire to work for the benefit, it will certainly lead us to positive results.
In short – i would love to use creativity, technology and innovative solutions to contribute and have an impact to the world, helping to make it a better place. That’s it. That’s my mission in life.
Is it about money? Not really. It’s about purpose and the satisfaction you get from improving people’s lives. Money is just a result.
Did i understand how exactly am i going to give my contribution? Not yet, but i do have some ideas. If you haven’t understood it too, there is no reason to panic about it. We only have to listen to ourselves and focus in our values.
How will i accomplish my target?
Before i got to this point of awareness, i had to actually develop skills needed to achieve this complex target. I am not saying that i have nothing left to learn, i’m actually starting to learn now, but what i mean is that i have finally got the attitude and the right mindset to evolve consistently and acquire knowledge with no friction.
I am still raising experience into business and i am challenging myself daily in order to prove myself. I have achieved many of my small dreams. Now it’s time to turn the fire back on and get to the next level of thinking having established a consistent and reliable personal engine of growth.
Though, in life you might get squashed from your daily and operational flow, when you sell your time to other individuals you might end up forgetting what is your real goal in a first place, you might slowly put asleep that fire, or worse kill it.
Here is a list of 4 major topics i found important to a consistent growth and to keep feeding the fire i need to jump to the next level . I am keen to listen your comments if you came across this check-point in life before me. Yet i hope they would be helpful to anyone.
1) Mindshift – stop negative. Start positive.
When you want to run a race, the first thing you should do is to get rid of any weights holding you back or slowing you down. I think it’s a good metaphor to explain the first thing we should all do in order to run faster and fluently. Stop any kind of negativity sources around you.
Guys – this is simpler than it looks like. It’s a true mindshift, you simply have to stop being negative and if something negative is around you? Try to adjust it once, maybe twice and if it doesn’t work because you are not the owner of the problem and stronger forces are making it impossible, simply walk away. We are not gods, we can’t change people mind if they are not willing to open it.
It might mean to quit your job as you don’t trust your leaders anymore, unfollow people or old friends from your Facebook if the only thing they do is sharing negativity.
Around December i unfollowed about 300 people on Facebook. The ones always complaining and never finding a solution, masters on everything but still sitting at their parent’s house at age of 30 waiting for a “good” job.
I removed from my bookmarks all kind of italian newspapers, local and national. Total garbage. They drive depression, they are toxic as vipers. Simply. Stay away from it.
What have i done instead? Reading, TED, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Audible, Meetups. When it comes to Facebook and news i am following only positive and inspiring people, entrepreneurs and best friends. I want talk future, not past. I wanna talk inspiration, not depression. I wanna simply talk positive. Stop negative. It’s just a mindshift.
2) Wake up the dreamer’s soul.
Do you guys remember when we were kids, dreaming about almost everything? Imagining ourselves into who knows what kind of mask or into what kind of superpowers?
Dudes, get back dreaming! It’s time to wake up again the most primordial human feature able to drive evolution. Dreams. If you don’t dream, you are lost. You are off. You are a zombie.
Dream and challenge yourself transforming your dreams in targets. Focus on your positive attitude. At one point one of those dreams will not sound that far as it was looking like 10 years ago. Inspire yourself, think out of the box. Lead your future and rely on your true wishes.
I realized that one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated and alive is to travel. Visit new places, get to know new cultures, new people, new point of views. They will enrich you of so many ideas and inputs that would be impossible for yourself not to dream, imagine the world in different ways.
This year i have a target of 12 different countries to visit. It’s only May and i traveled to 6 and i am so looking forward to keep travelling around.
3) Why, How, What
In a popular TED talk, Simon Sinek talks about the reason why people are successful. On a first thought we all think that successful people are recognized because of what they do.
But is it really like that?
The answer is No and i would suggest you to watch this talk or read his book ‘Start with Why’ to find out more.
If you think a little deeper; what you do is always just a result of what are your belief, ethics, wishes, values.
Most people focus all of their energies on what to do, they want to find a quick way to success or money, most of the time they end up losing everything they have raised because they are not able to extend or build trust and empathetic connections between their mission and their audience.
Build an honest and true desire, transform it in obsession and work hard to satisfy it. People will follow you and will appreciate you not for what you are going to do, but for the ethical unconditioned motivations that will drive you.
4) People. The more you get to know about them, the more you will discover about yourself.
One of the most important thing i came to realize during the last couple of years is that if you want to get to know yourself, if you want to become successful, if you want to really solve people’s problems, if you want to be proud of what you are doing; you must get to know people.
You must connect with them and truly understand them. You have to listen them, you have to offer your help.
I was so focused on myself, influenced by that crazy negative stream, having my ideas fighting with each other and so busy “decompressing” the bad energy around me, almost protecting myself – that i never had the possibility to realize how important people are to me.
People are the best source of knowledge around you, the best source of suggestions, critics. You must open your mind and truly listen to them and help yourself growing up.
Surprisingly your success would not be just about you anymore, but mostly about the right people around you. Surround yourself with open minded, smart and honest people, friends. Share your life with them and tweak the best you get from them inside you.
I spend 1-2 hours a week skyping with my best buddy Gianluca, sharing opinions, point of views, critics, dreams, bad moments, successes, jokes. Having both committed on being honest, transparent and loyal to each other i have seen growing conversations to a wonderful high level. We are able to share an idea, build a business model and structure a realistic business concept in just a couple of hours. Sure most of the time we end up throwing away those ideas as they are difficult to implement, but what matters is the learning we get out of it. A continuous iteration of ideas and critics that help both growing and raise motivation. I believe that’s just fantastic and the best example among many other continuous creative conversations i have with other dear friends.
We give it for sure. But we do all keep forgetting very easily that we are meaningless and unuseful if what we do is only based on personal interest and greediness.
Alone we will never get anywhere.
Think positive, open your mind, dream and let the magic happen with the best people around you.
Find your purpose and go for it. Persist, until you are making it happen.
Do not give the right to any one to squash who you are and transform you to a clone of many.
Don’t give up.