Just Do It!

Dear reader,

I’m burying my morning run sneakers today. They’ve served me well for more than 4 years and as from today, they will rest in peace. I discovered holes on both sides of both shoes and as I was thinking about all the mornings and miles we run together and all the ideas I got while wearing them, they’ve inspired me for this post.

For a while now, I’m writing a chapter in my thesis about identity and self-concept that comes with it. I do this, because it is important to understand how identities are shaped in order to later on understand activation of stereotypes and prejudice. It’s fascinating how our contemporary world is imbued with concerns about the Self, from within the Self and for the Self. The self-help industry and happiness industry are thriving as we are sinking deeper and deeper into isolation and lack of trust on one hand and try to cultivate sometimes even super powers, skills and competencies on the other, all in order to prosper, make progress/profit or to impress people who often don’t even care about us.

What about our character? Our moral responsibility for this world? Our sensitization for injustice? We are too busy finding ourselves and we get lost in overthinking (a nice word for that is ruminating). We forget that overthinking often leads to negative thoughts and can even detach you from your basic life purpose. We don’t become good by thinking about being good. We don’t master a certain skill or learn a new habit if we only think about it. We don’t solve our problems with our partner if we analyse our relationship until there’s nothing left to analyse. We don’t find ourselves by constantly being soaked in our thoughts and by spending every second we have, focusing on ourselves.

That’s, in most cases, a mere waste of time. Time you’ll never get back.

As usual, this is nothing new to discover. I’m always impressed how we as mankind have learned so little and that the Greek philosophers have figured most things out already.

If you want to get on with your life, get moving. Go, stand up now and DO all the things you are thinking about doing. Or simply stop thinking and start doing. Aristotle suggested this, as he said:

We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action.”

Character is forming through doing, through engaging with others in meaningful conversations, through getting on with your life, wherever that may be. So put away your self-help book and go out. Stop thinking about all that could have been or all bad things that have happened to you and call somebody who is about to celebrate their birthday and ask them what they want for a present. You don’t need a therapist to “fix” you. You don’t need an expert to tell you how to live your life. You just need to start DOING things and through doing things that are meaningful for you and have benefits for the community, you’ll shape your character in terms of self-respect, courage, moral responsibility and empathy. If it scares you, good. It means it is worth it. If you have doubts, great. It means you are doing something challenging. Are you afraid you’ll fail? You probably will at least sometimes, and that’s awesome, because you can’t learn if you don’t fail every now and then. Don’t follow others who want to make you a happiness industry consumer. Go figure out what makes YOU getting on with your life. And figure it out by just doing it.

What difference would that make for you?

bajbaj shoes

Meet my sneakers. They will go to a trashcan now, but the story will stay on the web probably forever. They might even get famous!

Be productive, set goals, make a marketing stragety, sell, grow, buy …

Dear reader,

since the beginning of Ribalon, I increasingly started to receive all sorts of invitations to various meetings, seminars and workshop about how I should run my business. From companies, agents, all sorts of “professionals” (real or fake).

When I answered and attended some, I’ve been advised to use a certain marketing strategy, was taught how to write a business plan and how to sell my services. All in terms to attract more “customers”, to bring in some investors, to increase productivity with as little efforts as possible, etc. In general – how the business should be, from the bottom down and reverse. It was not advice form a friend, but rather a comment from an expert who was convinced knows better about my company than I do.

Guess what. How I run my business is non of their business.

I don’t want to increase my productivity by appointing 10 clients a day. I rather do just one, but really do a great job with “only” one.

I don’t want to “sell” my services. They are not to be sold. They are to make people’s lives better.

I don’t want to adjust my price to the market. Quality has no “price”. I believe in the triangulation cheap – fast – good cannot go together (see the picture below). You have to pick the combination of the two you like. So if you want it good and fast, it’s not gonna be cheap, But if you want it to be fast and cheap, it’s not going to be good. I somehow refuse to do that. Your choice.

I don’t want to create the needs in people, so that they would need my services and would keep coming back. I want them to fly and to leave me as soon as possible, because this means they have taken up with their lives and I’ve done my job well.

I don’t want advice from someone who doesn’t care and only wants to make profits. But I do value feedback from people who do care. Who want to make this world a better place. Who want to see me grow, because they believe I do a good job. Who want to share their knowledge because they know it’s not theirs to keep it. Who care about other people. And environment. And who don’t think numbers, but instead think melodies.

I don’t want to make my company an investment opportunity for people who would like to buy it and later on sell it to a third party who pollutes our waters. Instead I want to sleep well at night and I want to keep the feeling that I love my job and that what I’m doing is exactly what I want and how I want. At the end of my life I want to look back and count all the memories I’ve created and I want to open my box where I keep them and read about all the stories from many people that I (hopefully have) touched. And I want to remember all the wonderful people I had an opportunity to learn from and create together. That’s my business strategy.

I want to make it the hard way. I want to put much efforts to it. I know I could probably buy my doctorate and nobody would find out, but what quality and worth would that have? For others? For me?

So I’ve created a filter and marked all these offers to make me a super modern enterpreneur a spam. Appologies if I’ve ofended someone. But I’m not sorry.

Now I’m off to do a two-day training at some new organization I’ve never worked with before. I’m really excited to meet and work with new people. Every time it’s different. And I remember each meeting as something magical.