But Automattic is no ordinary company
Thinking about death is always a step away from hopeless despair
The anxiety is always there, even if we don’t acknowledge it. And it drives our lives
If you feel like you’re always running away from something, thinking about death can help
A trite but effective tactic against the fear of death: think of the list of people who had to be pried away from life. What did they gain by dying old? In the end, they all sleep six feet under—Caedicianus, Fabius, Julian, Lepidus, and all the rest. They buried their contemporaries, and were buried in turn. Our lifetime is so brief. And to live it out in these circumstances, among these people, in this body? Nothing to get excited about. Consider the abyss of time past, the infinite future. Three days of life or three generations: what’s the difference?
Are you sure this goodbye is not the last one?
So how do you teach something that nobody ever tried to teach?
It wasn’t what I imagined as a proper training
As it turns out, what we did was the best possible thing
There is no such thing as teaching someone
Imagine three things you want to achieve or accomplish, three things that would cause you to thrive. It could be this week, this month, or this year…
That’s probably not the result Tony Robbins had in mind
If that’s just one month, what can you achieve in a year or few?
Isn’t that how life is supposed to work?
And then the customs office arrested our sponsor booth
I came there with questions to be answered and left with no brains
But it’s one thing to know something rationally. Another one is to let yourself feel it.
How can you set a goal and be serious about it if you know it has no meaning at all?
My fiancé kept saying I should get out of my head
Then I realised, it’s not the first time I’m ever seeing this abyss. It’s just the first time I choose not to turn away.
But facing your anxiety is neither pleasant nor easy
On UPW they would say: if you’re going through hell, keep going
Luckily we had vacation planned, and it was coming soon
Surprisingly, the world didn’t fall apart while I was away
Looking for some goals to strive toward, I found that all I actually needed was to let go
I don’t feel like I finally found the Purpose in life
Without the pressure to find meaning, I can open myself to that creative energy that moves all things. However you call it, (The Force is my preferred term of choice), this energy can take you places your mind couldn’t possibly fathom. All you have to do is to let it.
Whenever I finally made the move, I was wondering why it took me so long
What if you could instantly change your emotional reaction to things instead of beating yourself up?
If a book can have such impact, what could you achieve in real life?
A NON STOP 4 DAY PARTY
You could get all this information for a fraction of the price. But information is not what we came for.
If that sounds a bit like brainwashing, you’re probably right.
If you’re considering UPW to get some answers, it’s most likely not the right place.
– This moon is shit – said someone at a party last night. – It’s not even an accurate representation of the terrain.
– Yeah, I see what you mean. – I said. – That’s 3D printing with a light inside, so they had to add an extra layer for the basins to make them dark, and vice versa.
– I don’t care. It’s simply shit.
If only I could chill about my work like I chill about my moon
It’s hard to find happiness if everything has to be perfect
Nobody cares about how good you can be. They only care what is done.
What would YOU compliment yourself for?
PERFECT. FEATURELESS. VOID.
That’s probably the closest I will ever get to free floating in outer space. I never knew floating in outer space would be so freaking scary.
A free fall feels exciting, liberating, and out of this world. It’s also absolutely frightening, and not quite optimal when you want to actually get some stuff done.
As much as I loved the experience of a free fall when bungee jumping, I do appreciate having some ground under my feet in everyday life. I like to know it’s there. I’m happy I don’t have to think about it when I’m trying to get from one place to another.
If I couldn’t trust the floor in my high-rise apartment, I would panic each time I walk from my bedroom to kitchen.
It’s good to trust my accountant that I am compliant with all tax regulations and won’t go to jail.
It’s good to trust the company I work for they will pay me for my work at the end of each month.
It’s good to trust the city transport system that subway cars were tested, regularly checked and won’t suddenly burst into flames.
It’s good to trust the engineers who built my apartment block that it’s stable enough and won’t collapse even when the weather is harsh.
It’s good to trust the people I find most inspiring that if I do X I’ll have a good life.
That’s why navigating underwater was so hard. Without seeing the ground, the horizon, or a guide before me, all I could trust back then was myself.
You probably barely notice what makes up the ground under your feet. Until it starts feeling wobbly, and then you’re in the free fall again.
I thought that once I finally understand how the world works, I will avoid such disappointments. But then I realised, the stable ground is not as stable as it seems.
It’s okay to cherrypick, iterate and have mixed feelings – that’s how you learn and grow.
One thing that stopped me from refining my beliefs was hoping for a complete system that will answer all of my questions. I used to think there is an ultimate answer, and people have either got it figured or not. If someone is a Wise Man, he must have all the answers right. He wouldn’t be a Wise Man otherwise, would he?
In result, whenever I admired someone’s way of thinking, but then found a flaw in it, my trust in them got broken. I was disappointed to hear that Steve Jobs rejected evidence-based medicine, he seemed like a smart guy to me before. If he was so wrong about such basic things, could anything he ever said have any worth at all?
Only with time I realised it’s perfectly possible to hold both very wise and utterly confused beliefs at the same time. Even Nobel Prize laureates can be deeply wrong on some topics that are not the main area of their expertise. Even an arrogant self-help guru can have some wise insights on life.
Again, realising this was both frightening and liberating. Frightening, because I could no longer have absolute trust in any philosophy, community or person, no matter how smart they seemed. Liberating, because I no longer had to defend obvious bullshit when I found it in my idols, and could still enjoy the good parts of a system I don’t trust as a whole.
It’s good to build my sense of how the world works on the shoulders of the finest philosophers, scientists and spiritual leaders.
It’s even better to sometimes verify if all their beliefs are equally valid and true.
And this I can only do all alone, navigating with my compass in hand.