miércoles, 27 de agosto de 2008

Daily wealth

The value we give to time, depends on the situation or the deadline we have. There are times when we would give anything for just a few more minutes, hours or days. Ask someone dying and you´ll recognize the real value of time.
But most of the time we use it and waste it as if was endless. As Millôr Fernandes says: “who kills time isn’t an assassin, but it’s committing suicide”.
We usually fail to take advantage of the only wealth we all share. No one can buy, lend, advance or save time. The richest or smartest person has the same time any of us have, but the majority of us doesn’t give the value time deserves. We waste it and undervalue it until we get into a situation where time is what matters most. Only there we begin to value that treasure. Only when we understand that time could disappear without notice, we begin to take full advantage of every minute we own.
Time isn’t productivity either. Taking advantage of time isn’t necessarily to be working, learning, producing or earning. Is just using it for our needs, our plans, or our happiness. Relaxing, sleeping, thinking, contemplating or admiring might be a great way to invest our time, as it is traveling or reading if that’s what we really want.
Every day we wake up with the same 24 hours every body has, and it’s up to ourselves to determine what to do with it. Every day we wake up, open our eyes and get our new daily wealth, and we can invest it, spend it or throw it away. Some days might appear to have only 12 hours if you share it with someone you love, or 36 hours if you are sick in bed, time perception varies depending how good or bad you use it. I would like to live 12 hour days for the rest of my life, it might be something close to happiness, and I would love to die after a 5 hour day.
So, what are you going to do with your time today?

domingo, 10 de agosto de 2008

Play to win

Play to win is the name of a book I read some years ago. As many great things we read, we agree, and get exited about our own potential, but our minds and our false sense of security doesn’t allow us to act. As I had now clear that I wanted to take control of my life, and live it, I had to act accordingly. Not as I always did, protecting what I had achieved at the moment, but letting things go, in pursuit of bigger dreams I had.
When I was at school, and later at the University, I was a good student. My grades were one of the best, I did well in all classes, I excelled academically. This created a brand for me. A “smart” guy. And smart people do not make mistakes. So every time I had to make decisions, instead of going for the home run, I played it safe, to maintain my brand.
When there was any risk of loosing my smart image, I rather take the secure path. I decided with fear. This is why many smart people remain secure in jobs instead of creating the companies they dream about, this is why many live conservative lives, instead of running to other places or changing careers to follow their dreams, just because we play not to lose, instead of playing to win as it says the book. I don’t know the cause of it, but when there’s a 50/50 probability, we always think the worse option will prevail. It seems universally genetic. So, we avoid any risk. Some of the greatest achievements in the world have been made by people with not much to lose, or by people who took great risks, these are players, and most of us are spectators. We can watch the game of the world if we want, but we can not be spectators in our own life game. At the end, it’s very frustrating if you know you had everything to do what you wanted to do but you waste it.
This principle applies for beginning our projects, inviting somebody we like, buying something we want, investing. Not every time we’ll get the result expected, but we’ll get many of the results desired, and this will make us close o what we dream about.
Many times we feel trapped, with no possibilities to move ahead, without visible exits, but is our decision to chose moving towards what we want, to advance we need to take some risks, as long as some ventures are successful we’ll begin to advance. I finally forgot what people might think about me, and began to advance. It took me a life to make the first step, but the long walk began.

Ps: The name of the book is Play to win, by Larry Wilson

martes, 5 de agosto de 2008


How easy is to forget. And the worse of it, is that we forget what we want in our life.
We tell ourselves lies that we force us to believe about being happy, but deep inside we know the truth. When something hard or impressive happens, we think about what we are doing, but the next morning we are in automatic mode again.
As hard as my heart attack impacted my life, in a moment, after everything went back to normality, I forgot and turned to the automatic pilot, not deciding where to go in life but letting the waves move me wherever the wind blew.
I was again in the comfort zone, but destiny wouldn’t surrender that easy. A 2 minute, 7,9 magnitude earthquake showed me death in the face again, and tattooed in my mind how fragile life is and how short it could be.
Weeks later, a friend told me crying, that one of her best friends died in a car accident. He always was one of the best students, had changed to a better job and was very happy with a new girlfriend, just planning to get married. Always behaved as correct as he could and did things right. But some drunk guy that ignored a red light thought it was enough time for him, game over.
For me, It was necessary something as strong as dying to make me change my life and take control of it. But the environment we live in, is so powerful and has such influence in our futures that we usually loose control. My incident made a lot of people think. That Monday night I was told many of my friends and family cried for hours. Many couldn’t sleep at all. And not only was because the health problem of a friend or co-worker, but because the fragility of life was demonstrated horrendously in their faces. Death could happen to moms, dads, sons, husbands, girlfriends or even themselves, and clearly nobody lived under that certainty. That night, many made plans, took decisions, began to take control of the wonder of their lives, but a few weeks after, almost all of those remained as plans and decisions, none became actions.