Lets face it! We are just mammals with brain enabling for better cognitive skills then our animal competition. Never forget that. As humans we usually forget that we are just animals with all our primary instincts that happened to live in the age of 5G internet and handheld devices smarter then any scholar in the history of mankind. By forgetting who we really are (hairy monkeys with developed prefrontal cortex), we beat ourselves up too much too often for having limits, for not being good enough, for not remembering important information or tasks, for forgetting, for not always behaving according to social standards and on and on and on. Then we have to live with this guilt that is stored over and over deep into our beliefs and later develops into depressions, burnouts or other modern age health conditions. This self-imposing guilt, this not forgiving to ourself, this forgetting who we really are is simply not serving us well and is stopping us from living life the way we have been given it to live: to learn and experience life in all its forms (good and bad). So lets stop being too hard on ourself, we are "just" hairy monkeys with more developed brain.
Trust is elementary attribute in a colaboration success. If you feel safe with your colleagues, you know that team has one shared goal and don’t have to compete between each other, you can easily speak up and express your opinion. If all people can freely express their opinion, multiple contexts are then assembled and strong narrative can be build. Trust is also key factor in having thoughtful disagreement when disagreement appears. If we trust each other and we agree on how we should resolve this disagreement we can build this narrative much faster. That is why every leader should focus first on building the trust first within the team.
Over the years from childhood to adulthood we build masks and patterns (beliefs) that define us. After we climb at our first mountain (achieve things we always thought will make us happy and achieve success from the society point of view) we realize that lots of these beliefs were false beliefs created to get approval of others, to get their love, to avoid fears and not to get hurt. We have to start unlearning those old beliefs and learning start learning new one. I believe it is our journey in the life we got to learn from this experience. One thing I have been experiencing on this journey has been the sense of accepting whatever fear I have. In the past I was mainly absorbed by the fear and then try to avoid it at all cost but recently I have found out that what we resist, persists. The more we resist it, the stronger it gets. Whenever I feel I am worried or scared, I immediately change my approach and rather then resisting and try to welcome my fear and accept that I can have this fear. I am allowing myself all spectrum of emotions not judging myself anymore. I also try to understand what belief triggered this particular response.
Since more and more of what we do moves into the cyber world, we are plugged and becoming more and more reactive. System wants us to be reactive so we can buy more shit we dont need and obey orders of so called trendsetters and fake role models without even knowing it. I believe we are growing into the age when if the page does not load within first 3 seconds or the on-boarding process is not super straightforward, we are out of here. Right? They do not deserve our attention, they did no make it easy for us so fuck them, right? Add little bit of multi-tasking ideally with high degree of context switing and that only certain neurons are firing when we are consumed by cyberworld and no muscles are used (your handwriting is totally different to your keyboard writing in terms of what parts of brain are activated). Sum it all up together and you have a recipe for impatient obediant cyber junkie.
I have learned the hard way that life is about seeking that balance. Like a string on the lute not too tight, not too slack. Living extreme for some time but knowing how to get back to your bat-cave regularly to rebalance, recalibrate (because even Batman had a bat-cave). One of these mids is your void. Your core. Your solar plexus. Place of endless energy and love. Place where you can connect and get in touch with the ultimate power of now. Place where statements like these are truly working: "That who is aware of fear, cant be fearful. That who is aware of anxiety, cant be anxious". I encourage all of us to search for our mid, our core in everything we do. It teaches us patience and focus. It teaches the way how we can magically slow down the time just by our mind. It is time to seek that mid in everything we do and this maybe a good encouragement to pause and ask yourself today, where is the mid I can tune in today?
After five years of hard work and good laughs, long days and countless travels, I have quit the company I have helped to built. It was a hell of a ride. We have grown the company from 20 people to 150 people in the development (DevTribes as we like to call it) and build four development offices in both Czech Republic and Belarus. We went through all possible and known failures such as:
You know the story. You have been hurt. Somebody stepped into your territory and break your toys. Sometimes stole those toys from you. That emotion has strengthen that neural pathway connected to this memory. It created pattern for the future. Your future is now defined by your past. There is a saying, show me your past and I will tell you your future. Unless you forgive those who created that emotional synapse firing in the past, you cant move forward in the future. Because even if you leave people who created this emotional injustice, there will be other people firing the same pattern over and over no matter where you will go. And the more energy you will give to this emotional injustice, the stronger those neural pathways will be in the future for whatever similar situation no matter where you will go. Fortunately we have been given great tool in our mind toolkit: forgiveness. By forgiveness we can heal our wounds, we can weaken those pathways that are damaging for our mind and body. It is time to identify those old and new grudges and time to forgive.
This is a message to all high achievers out there. All approval junkies, success seeking goal oriented work addicts. If your fuel is the desire to prove others wrong, it might be a time to reconsider your why. If you will drive through life in 280km’s an hour in that avatar you have been given, sooner or later something will break and you will totally reconsider your priorities. You have basically two options. Either continue and find out the hard way (through pain), or slow down and find out the smother way. That slowing down can start right now. Great thing about slowing down that you can begin immediately. First thing that is very hard to accept is, that you are complete already and no todolist once completed will ever make you fulfilled. Once you accept you are complete, you can start taming your eagerness to be something more. Something more what is defined by external factors rather than internal virtues. Start today just by sitting still for 5 minutes without feeling guilty. Forget about any goal of this stillness, any usefulness. Don’t search for any hidden meaning. Just tune in to yourself. Just be with yourself, without guilt. You deserve it after such a long journey.
Chronic pain can become the greatest and strongest teacher of all. It catches you many times unprepared, sometimes weak after a long hard day, sometimes in the middle of the night and it can easily grab your attention and bring all your dark daemons. Bring all the fears and self-pitty. If you let it, you can spend in this dark state hours getting both your pain and your mindset worse and worse by thinking all the negative things about your state. And how can we make this state even worse? When we anticipate that by doing X, Y or Z we will get better. That after I will take this treatment, or I will change my diet this way, or taking this pill or this exercise on regular basis I will get better. We undergo these anticipations and when results does not prove to be fruitful, it gives to our daemons superpowers and makes our thoughts even darker. Failure after failure you must learn to stop constantly anticipating a change. That does not mean losing hope, but it means that whatever you do, you literally must accept any state it will provide. Accept it and be fine with it. Will it worsen the situation? Good, you know this one is death end. Will it make it better only temporary? Good, maybe there is little clue. Nothing happens? Good, time to try something else. You literally must stop constant anticipation marathon for the sake of maintaining your sanity. By accepting any state you are in, you are not letting your daemons in. Start by observing what situations trigger the daemons to get in. Then with compassion accept any state you are in. If you are dealing with chronic pain, many times it will be unpleasant but there will come time when you will be fine again and those daemons will go away. Time can heal any wounds. It is not easy, but it is truly a Stoic practice we can all learn.