The year of 2019 slowly comes to the end. It was a bit of a crazy year, and I learned quite a bit – and this time, it was more of a streetwise rather than bookwise knowledge. In this post, I am listing some of the points I learned in the process – which I wish I had learned before yet still, better now than never!
To write a book, three conditions need to come together. Firstly, you need to have some interest in writing and enjoy the process. Secondly, you need to have a lot of time to be able to focus on this task. Thirdly, you need to have a topic for a book, where you can contribute some new, valuable content. Recently, I felt that all the stars aligned – so I decided to write a book.
This fall I was travelling quite a lot. I was attending small evening conferences, local meetups here in the Netherlands, but I was also traveling abroad to attend international events – as a guest, as a speaker, or even as an organizer. And, I obviously met a lot of new people on the way. When traveling, I realised that there is some gradual, global change in the society which is really worrying. Namely, if you took a conscious decision to be a happy person, you are in a serious trouble.
One insight I remember from all the motivational books and movies I ever consumed is that, entrepreneurs always underscore how difficult it is to go against your relatives and friends when it comes to risking, investing and dropping day jobs on behalf of starting new ventures. In my case, family and friends react completely differently than in most cases I ever heard of – and it gives me goose bumps.
I spent Christmas among family and friends quite as every time before. However, this time, I also had a few afterthoughts as there are some examples of common knowledge that stroke me really hard. You might hear some simple truths from your parents and teachers over and over again – or read about it from motivational books – but after all, you only learn how important they are when you see the consequences in real life.
In August this year, I wrote a compilation of seven things I had learned from having a gap year. Funny thing is: the gap year was only halfway back then. Now, when it slowly comes to the end, I can easily add yet another seven things I learned since then. Some of these things are almost like rediscovering America, but I would like to shortly highlight them here anyways.
I was recently recommended to read the book by Emilie Wapnick ‘How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up’ (2017), dedicated to the concept of multipotentiality. In the book, Emilie refers to her own experience as a person who cannot fully commit herself to just one profession, but instead, has multiple passions and can only find fulfilment by sequentially indulging in multiple professions on her career path. When I read this book, I have a feeling that it resonates with my own story to a high extent. However, I developed my own model of labor, which I could call a tangle (or a plaid).