Crucial Stuff Nobody Taught Me Vol. 1

Here’s a bunch of things I learned the hard way. I’m putting it out here so perhaps it’ll save you some time (and a as a reminder to myself).

Ignore the art you don't like. They tried to teach me about art epochs, poems, novels, paintings, music and so on… the truth is that if you don't get it or don't like it just ignore it. Take it in if you like it. If it makes you feel something. If you don't get it move on and keep looking for something you like. That's it. It's not for you, or not for you at this time. There’s nothing wrong in that. And don't let yourself get convinced that Mona Lisa is a great painting because some wise men say so. You either like it or not.

Paris is as interesting as Düsseldorf or Warsaw or Chicago. It's the stories we've heard that make us look at it a certain way. It all depends on how you look at it.

Business decisions are as much about economics as about our values. Plenty of business decisions are not motivated by logic, analytics or economic rationale. Instead they often come from the way we want to spend our time, what we like to do and how we want to be perceived. '#decisions'

You don't have to finish that book! If it doesn't resonate with you or you don't have fun. Put it away and think of it as finished. Like with art. It's not meant for you. There's so much fun books in the world you won't have time to read that it's not worth to waste your time on it. Move on. '#book'

You need goals. Or time management or other way to focus on your priorities. What's important to YOU? This is an absolute necessity if you want to get anywhere. It's because of the infinite number of possibilities. They'll distract you and derail you from your journey. '#goals'

Self awareness is the most productive work you can do. Without it you don't know who you are. What you like. Or your priorities. You're like a lost child in the middle of a forest. You don't know your strengths or your direction. It's amazing the extent to which we're capable of fooling ourselves. Without the ground work of deep introspection and experiences we're just a bunch of narratives coming from our parents, friends and marketing.

Some of the things you felt are wrong when were a child are really wrong. Have you ever experienced this in your childhood, that you learned something about the world and thought to yourself it was wrong, absurd and it shouldn’t happen? But then nobody among the grownups seemed to not even notice that? I remember when I first learned that we've only left with X years of oil to burn and will run out of it soon. And a second thought that there’s something wrong in burning fuel that took millions of years to be created in just a few centuries. Everyone around seemed to be OK with it. Now it turns out they’re all insane. My child intuition was right.

Credit is bad. Unless you're taking a loan for a well thought through investment it's bad for you. If you can't afford to pay cash it means you can't afford it. Having debt will make guide your decisions. It will make you work to pay for stuff you probably didn't need and the novelty of which has worn off. It's going to be your burden. Your cage.

You pay tor stuff in TIME. Unless you developed something of substantial, residual value your trading time for income. That income covers your expenses. The less expenses the less time you need to spend as a slave.

TV and Facebook fucks your brain. Want to be able to make good decisions? Want to think independently? Shut down that marketing / lifestyle tube that smuggles artificial desires into your head. “#living-under-a-rock” theme.

Best stuff in life is free. Friends, love, self respect, inspiration and so on. However you need time and energy to nurture and enjoy them. Again, this is connected to the previous three points.

Division into humanists and logical thinkers is false. Just like any other classification of talents and preferences. You may not like mathematics but you use logic and physics every day, even if you don’t know it. You may not be an art director but you can appreciate a nice magazine cover or an aesthetic billboard. All skills and talents are a spectrum from MIN to MAX. Each of us is a unique mixture of such spectra.

It's all invented Starting from the concept of number “1”, through the word “renaissance” to a bridge. All of those are concepts and they didn't exist. They have been invented by humans and thy are artificial. Especially the terms for natural and psychological phenomena. Those labels help us think and communicate but they hide the reality from us. Reality just IS. “All models are false. They're just useful sometimes.” Our inventions are just such models.

Nobody knows how the world works Plenty pretend they do but they don’t. They may have figured some small part of it. But how it all works on macro scale - nobody knows.

Action is better than thinking. You need practice, you need experiments. You need fun. But just a little of the right kind of knowledge. Obsessive research, knowledge gathering and presentation is a form of hiding. You need to use what you know. You need to interact with the world. You need to practice a skill you need feedback information. You need action and progress. This is the trap I regularly fall into.

There is no end point There is no ending, final state. A finish line doesn't exist. At the end of every endeavour in your life, there is: a broader perspective and a possibility to start the next one.

Everything's temporary. The moment you finished painting that wall it starts getting old. The process if it peeling off the wall has already started. This is the paint that you or someone else in future will be scraping off. Your car in the garage is rusting right now. Even if it’s new. You don’t see it because it’s happening very slowly. Yo can't do anything about it. And it's fine. Just don't get attached to anything too much.

Time is the great equalizer. We all have the same amount of it each day. You, me and Elon Musk.

There’s probably lots more of these things. I’ll publish a new set once I gather a few things.

What’s your wisdom that you paid for in time?

Michał Nowak

I'm an entrepreneur with a visionary and a strategic twist. I have a passion to unleash potential we all have in us! I'm a manager, photographer and an engineer.