A new beginning?

Ricardo Marvao
Mar 31, 2017 · 4 min read

When I first announced my time off in December of last year, I had hundreds of people asking me many things:

  • Was I having a nervous breakdown?
  • Was I having a burnout?
  • Was I leaving my position at Beta-i?
  • Was I starting something else and what was it?
  • Was everything was ok with me?
  • What was happening to me?
  • And a few were even mad at me that I was taking a month off and others that with a post like that, they thought I was taking a year off and not just a month.

Some people told me they were happy to see me share more (I was never a very sharing kind of person and people noticed that quite a lot).
Some people told me they didn’t knew this about me and were glad to find out.
Some people related to what was happening with me and wanted to share their views.
Some people even approached me just saying “we have to talk” and we just talked for hours.

I was surprised by this and still today I get people asking me, specially people abroad when I travel and see them again after a few months.
And in this last trip I had one of these talks that made me rethink and write this post, but in a different way.

You want to know what happened?

When I first started to write a new post a month ago, the title was just “a new beginning”. No question mark was there.

I started collecting my thoughts and getting into the details of what was changing. I was determined to follow what I had started and apply these principles for a long period. I even started collecting my lessons for the year that I wanted to achieve (one of them was writing more, don’t know why but I seem to like it), and had started all this text about how we must believe in ourselves and challenge oneself, to keep improving always and that it is possible to change habits. I was even measuring everything (if you can’t measure, you can’t improve) to really have proof of progress.

The reality is that this is an ongoing process and that it is easy to forget why you’ve started this in the first place.

You start very energetic, pass the first barriers that are really hard, start a trend, the body and mind start responding positively, you see progress, you push for more progress and you even see your progress in the eyes of others.

But than life hits you in the face with all the old habits of work and kids and personal problems and family and friends stuff and priorities that sometimes shift just a bit and you understand that it’s not that easy to keep up.

My analogy for this moment is like meditation gone wrong. When you start to focus on your inner self, you have a sense of the space around you, the different sounds, your breath, your body, you notice that thoughts come to you instead of trying to force to understand what it is, and then the mind just goes on herself and wonders off.
But instead of being able to come back, and get into your one thought again, you go adrift and stay navigating somewhere with your mind and lose yourself in it

And that’s when you start choosing your battles.

For me, those battles were the ones that were working well during this period and if I felt it was going well, I made damn sure that I had that battle with enough resources and time and focus to keep on fighting. If not, it just overwhelms you and you quit due to all the things your in.

So now I prefer to leave it at the second sign of resistance and push that later, than keep pushing for everything. It’s simpler, you keep your focus and continue to see progress so you don’t quit on everything.

So, is this a new beginning? Don’t know. Maybe not. Maybe yes. All I know is that I’m trying and that’s enough for me now.

Do I have commitments for the year or goals? I started writing them, but today I just say I’ll do my best

For me, the reality is the best motivation and I’ll keep on pushing and try to keep on writing every time I feel it’s right.

Maybe this is my more negative view of the present or maybe just a reality check to shake things up. All I know is that I have seen this principle all too very often in my life when creating my own businesses: it’s a rollercoaster ride that typically goes either very high or very low (normal just doesn’t make it into the list) and you just have to keep it cool on the bad moments and cherish and celebrate really well the good moments.

I once wrote about this journey, a journey that was hard, really hard, 99% of the time. But that’s ok. Because what you gain with that 1% of achievements, will follow you for the rest of your life.

My father used to tell me a lot that “if it isn’t hard to do, it’s no fun” and I guess he was right.

So here’s to my 1%.

Cheers,

Ricardo

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