For several months now, a series of related and complementary ideas kept coming back to mind.
I got into the habit of taking notes once an idea comes to mind, even if it’s just a couple of words. Sometimes they're just the raw core, like a punchline.
At first I fought the urge but, after long inner monologues I started taking notes. I tried to dismiss it at first because, knowing myself, I was sure that if I started taking notes, those ideas would definitely become A THING.
And they did. These ideas are becoming a book.
I'm in the course of writing my first book!
I'm somewhat like 1/3 in, because I love measuring everything, and it's working title is Reality Check: The (untold and unsexy) truth about accomplishing anything.
The book is about seeing yourself as a continual Work In Progress. It's about taking a step back and understanding that the willingness, the courage and the stamina necessary to be whatever and whoever you want to be, only depends on you.
Throughout the book I share multiple techniques in an organized framework so you can take a step back, analyze where you stand and draw a path forward.
It's all about dedication, focus and hard work.
It's all about analyzing all the possible (and impossible) options and taking calculated risks.
It's all about defining a rational and realistic strategy towards developing your skills, be it technical or not, and ultimately becoming an incremental better version of yourself.
It's NOT ABOUT reinventing yourself and becoming a successful person. Only you can define what success means
It's about finding what matters to you. And how you can nurture that.
I want to share an excerpt with you. I promise I'll share more in the future!
Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think!
If you enjoyed this article clap, clap, clap👏👏👏 Share this with your friends, let them know this book is in the making!!!
A few months before finishing my Masters degree, I applied for a research internship that would allow me to continue explore the research topic I’d been writing my thesis about — Social Network Analysis — and take a different kind of break before starting my PhD.
The peculiarity of this situation was that the internship was almost 7,000 miles away from home. At the time I was living in Lisbon, Portugal and the 5 month internship was in Tokyo, Japan. This was both one of the scariest and wisest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Every time I think about this turning point, I’m also extremely grateful for being fortunate enough to even have this opportunity.
In hindsight, this is a perfect example how your Internal Code of Conduct is put to the test, without you even realizing it.
Up to that point, I had no particular interest in Japan. I vaguely remember seeing documentaries or movies set in Japan and being fascinated about how different the culture is but, never to the point of thinking about visiting or wanting to learn more about it.
I landed in Tokyo with a big suitcase and a backpack, which contained nearly all of my possessions, and a handful of printouts with directions from the airport to the house I’d be living in for the next 5 months. To this day, I don’t know a word in Japanese. Well, I learned the basics by parroting the people around me, but nothing more elaborate than greetings or asking to excuse myself, most of which I have to make an excruciating effort to remember. I also didn’t know a single soul in Tokyo.
For the first time, I was on my own, too far away from home to ask for help. In my mind, this experience could have turned out in two different ways. I was by myself on the other side of the world (relative to my home) in an exchange program, so 1) what’s the big deal if I just enjoy the ride and make the best out of this experience, because you’ll never know when you’re going to be able to go back right? or 2) accept that I was outside my comfort zone, extremely scared actually, and set some goals. I’d work hard during the week and do my best to, at the end of the 5 months, have a paper submitted to conferences, consolidating the purpose of the internship. And then, on the weekends, roam like a free bird in the streets of Tokyo and try to get to know the city as much as possible, instead of trying to zig-zag across the country and not really knowing the culture, the habits of the locals or what living in Tokyo is like.
Based on my Core Values and Internal Code of Conduct, I didn’t even have to think that much. I chose the latter. This was a unique opportunity in my life, and clear opportunity to level up, so I needed to embrace from long-term perspective. The immediate reward would have been to think that I was only going to experience this once therefore, needed to absorb every second of it. So who cares about the project I’m going to be working on or even if I’ll be able to publish. I was living sort of a dream. And you’ve got to make the best of it.