There's a lot going on in the world and those days I feel I have to ask a lot that question to people around me and encourage an answer that is beyond "I am okay..." - when I detect the three invisible dots in their answer I know that I have to keep probing and eventually people open up and possibly feel a little better.
I am no a priest and I encourage to sin regularly as long as it makes you happy but clearly those last three years have been quite a lesson for some and undoubtedly a confirmation of how fragile our existence could be when the right triggers hit the proverbial domino pieces.
I lost a friend thru COVID last year, I lost two uncles and one auntie a few months apart just this year alone. We lost a friend that we thought was a trustworthy close friend. While all this is terrible by any account, you look at Ukraine, the shootings in the US and then you consolidate the key principle of every stressor releaser: take it easy, shit will never stop coming your way. How you manage it makes the whole difference.
Don't just live, set the stage
May is mental health awereness month, and while every organization is eager to twist your wallet as much as they can for the cause, my contribution is about inspire and lead by example. I did all that since I was capable of breathing and I don't want to stop regardless of the side effects. Hey, some people do drugs, I do that. 🤪
When I was 16 years old, while I was building my most advanced home made lab for inventions in the basement of a garage... I made a master plan for where I want to live in my future and what I wanted to get good at. It was "I want to move to America and make computers my career". Didn't speak one word of English, I just mustered some GW-Basic for programming. It took 17 years but it happened exactly as the book wanted. The amount of driving force, luck, commitment that all that took is beyond what words can describe but nonetheless when they say anything is possible: they don't lie. What they omit, is how much you have to bust your ass for making that statement true... Obsession for doing what I say I will do, is due to my mom's teaching. From a rural family with very humble upbringings the woman has more knowledge and wisdom than nuclear physicist.
That was Master Plan Phase I. If you haven't heard about making master plans life phases, then there are more books out there than me to tell all about it, they are so practical for some people that even Mr Elon leverages the same principle.
It took another 16 years to make my second phase plan come true "I want to be a professional inventor & entrepreneur" - while the latter was pretty much built in given my dad's roots and mom's support, the former was a much harder path. Nonetheless, I have dozen and dozen of patents, sold many, licensed some and ran into all kinds of scum bags out there in that space. I even partnered with some of them. It would take a book to tell all stories... I loved every second of Master Plan Phase II.
Master Plan Phase III was about improve quality of life and building the foundations for a life that would be more focused on spirituality, wellness and mental health. I studied and researched for three years how to engage and execute that plan. As my good friend Vittorio once well posed the subject on Twitter
I had reached that stage where I needed to figure "how do you want to proceed toward the exit" when life makes the final call. As often I mentor to promising talents or people that are stuck with their lives "it's not a question of IF, but rather of WHEN". And when it comes to paradigms like that you better set your terms or you are going to be the ride rather than part of it. That's when the move to Hawaii become the most visible part of the plan.
While working and building a life here, where pollution of any kind is virtually impossible and that sense of small town on the water permutate your lifestyle I started working on Master Plan Phase IV, it always have taken time to refine the plan but I must admit that I did get a lot better from the first attempt ever to my current phase. My mental math says, seven years, faster. I learned a few things in the process and those are the basis for my next development phase.
What I learned thus far
Life is too complex to consider all variables and ramifications, don't make plans that require a team of 20 people, millions of hours and then the execution is left to one: YOU.
Make a statement that no matter how it is interpreted, many years from now, it can only be answered by the sentence: that happened because I said so.
Make the time to make it happen. I am a dreamer and a perfectionist, according to my professor of neuroscience, and that is what you want to aim for. Aspire but get shit done. And the only currency there that is needed is not money or smart. It's time and its application. I never say to a friend that I will help if I am not absolutely sure that I can and when I say it, I make it clear that my help is time-bombed because I got shit to do. Or other friends to help LOL
Make sacrifices. It's not about to skip dinner or not going out with friends. Those are drops that fill the bucket. It's about choices, the uncomfortable ones. Every startup that I built has required an insane about of effort and time. While others where exploring the NW or visiting home, I was chipping away on solving what others had not solved so that I could register a patent. That potentially would have brought me some wealth at some point. Think of sacrifices as a rubric not a list of things to cut or accumulate.
Obsess about the outcome. You can dream of owning a place in paradise but it's not going to be happening, ever, if you approach the quest with the same identical process of everyone else. You need to squeeze all you got and some more until you find what is really an oiled machine to get the job done. For me, for example, it's matter of sharing part of my plans with people that usually don't accomplish what they claim to crave.
Their scepticism or negationism attitude is something that I can feel at skin level and fuels me to prove them wrong. I don't care to prove anyone wrong, but I need a constant reminder of what failure looks like and that helps me to stay in line with my own objectives. As I make progress I share some bits and pieces with more trustworthy friends to hear their unfiltered view. And I keep iterating between those categories until I can eat my lobsters.
Yep, I develop this habit decades ago of celebrating with an outrageous amount of fresh seafood with the closest of the closest friends.
You can follow of the list above but if you don't apply the key ingredient of any life recipe you can still blow it. The missing piece of any best advice is: don't be an asshole!
I have been hit hard and close to the core by mental health situations. Surprisingly nothing to me individually that would rank ok on the scale but I have as many scars as the people around me that suffer from this invisible illness. My wife, my mom, my daughter, close relatives, very-very close friends.
The fact that you don't see people wearing a death face or wounded like in a war conflict, it doesn't mean that saying to others "have you taken your meds today" is something that even as a joke is okay to say. You don't know what they are going through and likely you will never know because clearly they will never trust to open up to you.
I call all mental health (of any degree) cases as "the invisible cancer". Take sleep deprivation as an example of which I can write books about it.
Insomnia drives people crazy and to death. My wife and I suffer massively from it and nonetheless we haven't killed one another yet. Most of the times we laugh and poke to one another more than the average healthy sleepers. I hear occasionally from people "I haven't slept last night, I feel terrible today, how do you do it; is beyond me" and yet, a few days later the same person blames me for not wanting to do an activity that requires an energy that sleep deprivation doesn't offer on most days.
I understand them. They don't understand me. And this bring me to the last advice I can share with absolute confidence. Judging others from the comfort of your own personal bag of experiences is going to make any plan of any type to fail. Let me add some color:
- you have developed habits. When you go to the store, what roads you take, what you choose to put on a pizza (pineapple?). What kind of utensils you use to eat per type of dish (soap with a spoon, fork with spaghetti...)
- Therefore, when you see someone else doing the same things in a different way. Your brain ranks what was just witnessed and determines if it is below the 50% or above. If it is is above you make an expression of stupor and curiosity, you may even give it a try. If the needle tends the other way you criticize, gossip about it and even smear.
At that moment you are limiting clearly and inevitably your options. To do what it takes requires an inquisitive attitude and a strict desire to wanting to experience more. My friend Cristiano once saw me eating tortellini with broth with an utensil that was not what he grew up with using for that dish. He wasn't happy about my choice 😄, I didn't see the difference because after I was done with the tortellini I would have used the spoon or any other option available to me for the broth.
There's nothing wrong with any option but from my standpoint, I know the difference between all of them and picking up one becomes a preference not a prescribed path.
My friend Samuel has been complaining for years about his wife's depression, he had all sorts of reason why she sucked at everything. They love each other very much but he is just too much of no filter dude to understand his own blindness. That was until 7 months ago when he got fired for sucking at work so bad that was not even worth having a conversation with his manager. Turned out that he got hit by a severe depression and his wife stepped up. She recovered to a degree that they had both not seen in years. This last review cycle she got promoted at work. If Sam had been less than blindfolded in judging what he was observing by the only experience he has had he would have been less ill prepared to this phase of his life. His now professing mental health change and sending invites to fund raising for this and that organization. Some of his friends in the meanwhile are augmenting the stories they pass on one another about his misgivings. #salt_not_needed
What the world and people close to you really don't need is the acceptance that in order the understand others we all have to have the same problem. Or as I put it, we all need to have a hole in the shoe to understand what others are going through. #not
And certainly not wanna be friends with kindred gossiping spirits, the world needs a larger class of humans that give a fuck and understands that that if someone put pineapple on a pizza there's a reason. And it might not be as obvious as "they like it that way", it could be that that's all they had to eat growing up.
If you haven't seen us posting as much as we have been doing for sometime it is because of the aforementioned scars and have to choose between stay close to who needs help and building the next best thing it is a no brainer. Although, experience may vary by your ability to help yourself not being you. 😄
Victoria took over the bLife/Robots stuff because although I conceived a business format that is in my experienced business mind a killer app, I don't have the physical time to pursue it with all other constraints. You know, I am admittedly not in my 20s anymore and multitasking at my speed requires sleep... She has a lesser stronger work ethic than me so don't hold your breath when it comes to production at scale 🤪 but she does care for the project though. After all I created this for her!
We have received interest from a couple of streaming services for the I AM CLOUDIA project and it has been fascinating seeing how in America, with all problems and divide you can start anything from just a lonely blog!
I am not going anywhere, you will see posts from me, when I get the mood, just not as dominant as before. Writing is an old passion of mine. I had to address this particular one because the number of emails had passed the two digits on "what happened?" LOL
All is well just very convoluted and more unpredictable that I am accustomed to but I am learning to adjust with the flow. As matter of fact behind the scenes the HQ of the bLife Movement is building up!
This post is sponsored by Lozayi, the only portable blender that bLifers should use to make granita on the beach!
and with that, I will see you at the next post where I am going to share my last DIY project that will open the door of your creativity.
Peace out and remember, just don't be an asshole and everything else will be fine. Scout promise.