BE more, do more, have less
Ode to 2017
Wrapping up a short period of our lives is quite a habit, especially if you have something to say or want yourself to hear that something later on. NY resolutions, plans, detailed analysis of the past and ephemeral wishes for the coming are emotionally touching.
My 2017 was the following: I did a lot, always wanting to do more, got a lot of stuff, planning to have more, and was never there.
I went onto Europe’s best deep tech accelerator to start a company with a bunch of fascinating people who I would never think I would be placed among. Humblebrag aside. Seriously though.
The aspiration to do smth that touches millions of lives, hopefully in a positive way, was consuming my whole existence. EF (Entrepreneur first aka the accelerator) was a surreal setting on its own, socially, economically, psychologically.
We were placed in a room full of us (others like us), told we were the best in the world to do this, not exactly knowing what this is, but being assured it is the most important and deepest thing we would endeavour in our lifetime. Best case scenario, we were motivated like never before. Worst case, scared and paralysed. I think I was in the middle.
After pairing up with three people (which is somehow similar to dating aimed at “serious relationship”), I decided to stick to someone who knew what his “this” was and was crazy passionate about it. For the first time ever I told myself: “Naré, this is not about you any more. It is about something bigger than you”.
I thought it was my lesson in humility and company building. However after a lot of buzz, exciting sales deals and conversations, rebellious abandonment of the home ship (EF) sailing for the bigger seas faster than anyone else, I fell off a cliff. Literally.
My company appeared not to be mine at all and somehow I was happy about it, as if a burden had fallen and I could walk on my own again. I was embarrassed to have failed, not knowingly, selling bubbles of fresh air to those who had them in abundance. I could go into details of this fascinating startup story, but it is not worth it.
Huge lessons learnt (pardon tautologies, repetitive inspiration bits and other parts you perhaps have read many times before)
When you think you are in control, you actually aren’t.
Nothing is easy. Doing what you love makes it bearable (I am sure someone else said this too).
Hedging hurts opportunity. Or at least your vision to notice it.
Humility is not there if you are proud of it.
If you do not know what exactly it is that you love, you’ve got to love the trying.
You have to put yourself out there. The sooner, the better. Do more
Presence is key. In your business, personal life, sports. Be more
No matter how much you have, it is not enough. Skills, wealth, positivity, clothing items. Why bother? Have less instead.
Having less takes discipline and provides with infinite satisfaction from restriction. Try it! I am going to, to say the least.
I started working on a number of new things. Sort of going with the flow, but putting maximum effort into it. Working with people I genuinely care about and who (hopefully ) care about me.
This time I decided not to give it names or titles or try to evaluate how big or successful it can be. All it does is training my cynical muscles, and feeding the ambition, not the passion.
Ntropy network was born. We are not revealing much yet, but it is going to be different! I will perhaps talk more about it on a separate occasion.
Investing in early stage companies is quite a mission. You either love it and are able to, or you do not even get the mere point. I fell into it by accident, grew into hating and loving it simultaneously.
In Q4 2017 I realised I am going to continue. In a conscious, determined way to improve and learn.
Markets in general, seasoned in behavioural science, are my thing for now.
I am going to ace it!
I started three novels throughout 2017 and never got to finish them. Kept thinking about commercial viability, although never aimed to sell them. Read the paragraph above. Our tasks and doings make our brain. Trap! Neuroplasticity they call it.
Writing every day is the deal now. And putting it out. No matter how many other (more brilliant) pieces have come onto the surface of Medium and how many people actually do not care to skim through my scribbles.
This is going to be hard ( read above on putting yourself out there).
2017 was the year of meetings, but I got to know less people than I have in any other year. Simply was not there for anyone or myself. Constantly floating in a lightness of being, considering this is just one version of my numerous lives in alternate realities. I was embarrassed for not trying hard, but did not go for it, to have a future excuse and safety net. Epic fail!
My ego was caressed by people I met. And even more by those I liked and gave significance to. It kept me thinking I am secretly cool. Or maybe openly cool, wanted, in demand, appreciated. Also added up onto the same safety haven, for the rainy days when I have to retreat there.
What about now? What do I need to do before going to that consolation pillow? I am in a constant expectation of failure, incessantly hedging bets in this empty square of nothingness. Basically, being risk averse in the weirdest way possible, I shoot myself in the foot.
Being there with and for the people is the deal now. Not taking anyone or anything for granted. First of all _ my time.
I am a snob. I like nice things. Not super attached and stuff, but I care about how the streets look, how my meals are served, what hat I am wearing and much more.
I bought lots of things this year. Loved some of them, don’t care about most and returned the rest. Wasted time. To the point that I realised having more gives me anxiety. Tons of it.
I also moved to a lovely flat this year, with a roof terrace that brings me closer to skies and further from my tiny self, hoovering attention on a daily basis. Practicing being on that same roof terrace is the deal now. Awesome setting for yoga, btw! The daily practice of being is the most rewarding of all and takes the charm from having. Completely.
Just want to thank everything and everyone around me. Thanks for making me myself in this sublime, beautiful, horrible timeline of a passing life, whether it is within the idea of eternal return or not. If I am living this once, and in this form only, I better get myself together. If not, and everything can be altered, I would not consciously know of it anyway. Hence, back to basics!