Working remotely can get very lonely at times. If I’m the average of 5 people I spend the most time with, 4 of them are my fiancé. He’s my favorite human in the world, but it’s great to sometimes speak face to face with someone else for a change.

This intention brought us to WeWork some 2 months ago. I’m not sure how this happened, but we ended up in their official startup accelerator. I don’t have a startup, or even concrete plans to have one, but I’m excited to be there. We have amazing people from all industries and walks of life–from social media advertising to airplane engine repair simulators. There’s even an informal meditation group in our office, quite a surprising thing to experience in a professional setting.

I thought I had broad horizons, but folks from our coworking office push me further and further. I have a lot to learn from every single person in the room. They are the kind of people who have audacious goals combined with great sense of ownership and responsibility. One more time, I feel like an impostor sneaking into a club I am not good enough for.

Startup world is a bubble, and it’s a beautiful one

There are more opportunities to grab than we can possibly take. People build amazing companies from scratch, and have a ripple effect around the whole globe. We have incredible mentors with more achievements under their belt than I have ever dreamed of, who are always willing to share their advice. Potential investors keep knocking at our doors, while I hide in the corner, having nothing to sell like the fraud that I am.

Even though I don’t interact with the folks in my office as much as I’d like to, I can already feel a shift in how I see the world. There are no limits to what I can do or achieve except for those in my own head. Life is infinitely abundant for those who dare. If something doesn’t come out the way I’d like to, I’m solely responsible for what my reaction will be.

Implementing these lessons in practice isn’t easy. For most of my life I’ve been operating from a framework of guilt that sends me in spirals of self-loathing and misery. If I’m solely responsible for something, it surely must be my fault? Luckily, I get to learn my mind’s tricks and know now that even if I’m procrastinating and overwhelmed, it’s a choice that I am making. With trial and error I should be able to make better ones.

The world I live in is pretty unique

Every now and then, I get reminded how other people perceive the same events. In the world they live in, secret organizations control all levels of government. The only way to succeed is to sign a shady deal with an evil political party. The only way to make a million dollars is to steal it.

Women are greedy, cruel, and emotionally unstable. Nearly everyone is either incompetent, malevolent, or lazy. No one can get a good job unless they have the connections.

How come our perceptions of how things work are so different? I used to think this is because of the books I read. But as it turns out, people who believe in secret conspiracies running the entire globe often consume even more books than I do. They are genuinely curious about how the world operates. They just find their answers in different places and come to entirely different conclusions.

Can I be sure that my sources are right and theirs are wrong?

I don’t care. All these conspiracies might as well be true.

What I care about is, how does this belief serve me? Will it help me become the sort of a person that I admire most?

It’s never been easier to find out what kind of a person are the folks you admire. Almost everyone has a blog these days, or a podcast, or at least a Twitter account. They all speak in interviews about the resources they found most useful, or the beliefs, questions and mental exercises that helped them succeed in life. Even if I’m at a very different stage than they are, I still learn a ton from all of those.

Many of the folks I admire come from the startup scene. To you, this might be an entirely different crowd. But no matter what you do and what you believe in, you live in a bubble too. All that you surround yourself with–the people, the books, the news (or lack thereof), the things you learn, the hobbies, the past time activities–all make up the bubble through which you make sense of the world.

What you invite to your bubble is not as important as being deliberate about it. If you don’t, it might spontaneously fill up with things you don’t really care about.

3 thoughts on “Design your own bubble

  1. Bardzo słuszne wnioski.

    Po pierwsze co do pracy zdalnej – mam to szczęście, że mam elastyczny czas pracy i mogę sobie czasem popracować z domu. Ale nie wyobrażam sobie siedzenia w domu NON STOP. Teraz jestem na zwolnieniu i tylko kot mnie ratuje 😉

    Po drugie – wybór własnego bąbelka internetowego. Co jakiś czas krytykuję osoby, które świadomie wchodzą w określone miejsca w internecie i po raz kolejny frustrują się tym, co tam zastają (np. Galanta Lala ciągle czyta na fatfobiczne komentarze, a Dwie miski – teksty o nierealnych wzorcach kobiecości).

    1. Praca zdalna kiedy cała reszta firmy siedzi razem w biurze to trochę co innego niż praca zdalna kiedy robią to wszyscy. W tym drugim przypadku jest zdecydowanie raźniej i łatwiej na dłuższą metę. Ale fakt, jest to zupełnie inny tryb i potrzeba paru miesięcy żeby się całkiem przestawić. Potem to już z górki 😉

      Co do komentarzy–czasem same przychodzą do Ciebie, i wtedy co poradzisz. Niestety najbardziej skrajne i oburzające opinie najbardziej przyciągają uwagę, a media to wykorzystują. Niektórzy dla odtrutki polecają odwyk od internetu, ale trochę trudno to zrealizować pracując w internecie.

  2. Agree! Been designing my own bubble since the moment I learned it was my creation. Hence no news, no toxic relationships. Just trying to be the best version of myself daily. At this point that means practicing being in the moment and focusing entirely on the task at hand. Things like working at work, smart breaks, playing with Cassie 100%. It’s a practice for sure. Impossible to perfect, but every aspect in life has been improved drastically.

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