You don’t have to know how to build a business to build one.
You don’t have to know the best way to write in order to start writing.
You don’t have to understand life to live it.
Often, we confuse achievement with understanding.
We want to be right. And we assume that being right equals being successful.
We assume we need to know before we can do it. After all, that’s how we were taught.
You can be both, of course: right and successful.
But you also can get lost in trying to be right. And end up not doing anything.
Instead of trying to understand how to write, write.
Instead of trying to understand how to build a business, start one.
And instead of trying to understand how to live, just live.
Among the millions of insights I had in 2020, this is probably the most profound one.
We were sitting in our favorite Italian restaurant. It’s a fancy, yet not overly expensive place, where I usually take my family. It became the ‘family spot,’ with memories of long, deep conversations.
The place also has the best pizza in Moscow.
My grandmother looked at me wide-eyed, the way she does when she wants to make a point.
“Here’s what you don’t understand,” she said, fifteen minutes into our conversation. That’s usually the time she starts teaching me about life. (Yup, she is tough.) “In this period, from twenty to thirty, your main job is to –“
“Wait!” I yelled. “Wait. Don’t say anything else.” …
Living is experiencing emotions. Feelings.
We don’t actually want money or achievement or success. We want the pleasant feelings that come with those things.
But here’s the catch.
All people, regardless of their status, position, fame, income level, gender, sexual orientation, background, location, context, philosophy, religion — they all have access to the same emotional spectrum.
This means we don’t need to get out of our own skin, hustle, or kill ourselves with work to achieve what we want. The feeling of winning a chess game with your grandfather feels at 95% as good as winning the Olympics. The feeling is the same.
Being ourselves is enough.
Another way to put it:
We don’t have to DO everything to BE everything. We are already infinite. Because all human beings are pure potential.
A few months ago, I asked myself, “What should you do in your twenties…if not hustling?”
As a writer, I don’t think if I don’t write. So I sat down and started typing, thinking, overthinking, typing again. Then I had one article done. It was published by Post-Grad Survival Guide and went viral. Then I had another one. And another one. Then I started collecting notes. It seemed that I found a topic everyone was interested in.
Four months went by.
The book I called The First Real Decade: What to do in your twenties instead of hustling and making money is now available on Amazon as a Kindle + Paperback edition. …
England has just announced a second lockdown for a month. Again. This ruined a bunch of my plans. Again.
Only this time, it got me thinking.
It’s impossible to make any long-term plans anymore.
Yes, the COVID outbreak will (hopefully) pass soon — humans are smart; they will come up with a vaccine or something else to fight this beast — but for some reason, it feels as if this tendency to rely on short-term planning will prevail.
Don’t get me wrong — this year was the worst. And it’s not my job here to add more panic. But the truth is, it’s not about the coronavirus. It’s about the general tendency about which the authors of Years and Years drama series were terrifyingly right. …
The writer’s work always reflects the writer’s life — and the theme of ‘living true to your values’ feels most important to me, at my age (22) and a current point in my life.
But what does it mean to ‘live by your values’? And why is it so damn hard that we have to write, think, and talk about it all the time?
A million books are written about ‘finding your passion’ and a million more courses and life-coaches and bloggers, promising to provide you with a quick fix that would make you happy.
Read online blogs for a few days, and it will seem as if everybody — everybody but you — is living their full life, completely satisfied, while you’re sitting there, biting your fingernails, thinking where you’ve gone wrong. …
A few days ago, I couldn’t sleep.
“Shit, not this again,” I thought, blaming my anxiety for giving me insomnia. Again.
I looked at my iPhone. It was 3 AM.
Only this time, it was different. Unlike my previous insomnia episodes, I didn’t worry. I didn’t get a panic attack. Instead, I was thinking.
In fact, the whole reason why I woke up in the middle of the night was that my thoughts were too loud.
Or it was the cumulative effect of four bottles of beer that night — my third drinking week in a row. In addition to a box of cookies and cigarettes and a bunch of other stuff I don’t feel too comfortable talking about. …
what is inside of me? / I don’t know. / I ask myself this question every then and now. / trying, pushing, sweating, swearing. / when all we need is to see. / it’s already there. / staring at you. / like the sky. / which you never see. / because you’re not actually looking. / this was a crappy poem by me
Perhaps talking directly, as in blog posts, is not the best way. Perhaps, instead of telling, one should show.
And not in one’s own life. No. …
Today I turn pro.
What does turning pro mean?
In Steven Pressfield’s worldview, there are two main ways we could be thinking about ourselves.
I met a school teacher yesterday.
The four of us — my sister and her friend — were sitting in a pub, drinking beer, when she told me that she teaches school kids at 21.
“Wait, they actually let you teach kids? At 21? Perhaps you are an assisting teacher?” I asked.
“No, it’s for real: I teach classes 2 through 10,” she replied as if it was the most natural thing.
The more we drank beer, the more serious the conversation got — as it always does — naturally making its way into discussing the most pressing topic: relationships.
The school teacher complained that the only men who were into her are ‘soccer players and policemen.’ …