These are not the typical tips you find everywhere.
We are made of knots. And these knots, in turn, are made of people and circumstances. So we are an infinite network of interpersonal relationships, so complex that it is overwhelming.
As if this were not enough, actual increases in complexity as the world’s development advances and becomes interconnected through technology.
That’s why today I want to share with you seven atypical lessons I have learned thanks to this growing complexity over the years in this digitized world that I saw being born and evolving from the first Mac until now that we are just entering virtual reality.
1. You are not you; there is a different you for each person you interact with.
No two people ever read the same book, see the same painting, or hear the same song because when you experience something, you do it with your life in tow.
Your life experience is related to what you see, hear, touch, smell, or taste, making you feel differently than someone else who sees, hears, communicates, or smells the same thing.
And this applies to us as individuals.
You have to understand that not everyone who interacts with you sees in you the same person.
You are a different person for every person who crosses your life because, just as in the case of book readers, they have a life that makes them have prejudices and affinities that they project in every social interaction.
You must be aware that you are not only you; you are as many people as you interact with.
You are a different person to your parents than you are to your bosses or your friends.
Also, no one can get to know you because they can only experience you through their previous life experiences, and everyone has their own.
So please don’t get annoyed when someone misunderstands you because what happens is that their version of you is different from the rest.
A book can’t please everyone. Find your audience.
2. There is no such thing as routine; everything is different every day, even if it seems the same.
Even if everything looks the same, it is not. Nothing is the same. You are not the same as yesterday because time has passed, circumstances have changed, and you have aged and gained experience. Therefore, when you face the same task every day, you will not do it the same way even though it may seem the same.
You will do it with 1% more laziness if you don’t like the task or with 1% more efficiency if you are motivated by what you do and want to improve. But you will never live the same day twice.
And this is important because just because something doesn’t work today doesn’t mean it won’t work tomorrow. Because everything changes, the environment changes, needs to change, and times vary. You change.
3. Being aware of your fragility makes you strong.
Stoics advise thinking of death as a method to enhance life. But if you want a shot of adrenaline that floods every inch of your being with motivation, you need to be aware of your fragility, which is not necessarily being aware of your death.
Imagine a new parent. One day he internalizes that he is no longer alone; he now has another weak point: his son. And this fragility makes him strong.
A thousand worries are going through the new father’s head: “That nothing happens to my child,” “that he is always healthy,” “that he is happy,” “that he is not harmed,” “that I do not lose my job to be able to support him,” “that nothing happens to me so that he does not become an orphan.”
Being aware of your fragility makes you get your act together. You stop procrastinating; you stop postponing the things you know you have to do, stop worrying about nonsense, and hyper-focus absolutely on what is essential.
Discover your vulnerable sides. And you will learn to stop procrastinating, to give yourself up if necessary because you are committed to something more substantial. And that makes you unstoppable because you discover your ability to sacrifice yourself.
4. The person in love is paranoid; he believes everything speaks to him (and it’s true)
Fall in love with life, and life will fall in love with you.
You will begin to detect opportunities, solutions, and exits to your dead ends.
Emotion is fuel. And that fuel helps you to move forward. But as in life, there are many types of energy.
Anger helps you fight for the injustices you endure. But it blinds you. Love, on the other hand, makes you attentive and grateful. And that opens the doors and windows of the world.
You stop living in darkness, and everything is illuminated. Love is the most powerful force that exists. Love allows you to forgive, get out of that depression, close cycles, and move forward in life.
If you can fall in love with yourself, you will be able to modify your environment at will, creating a city, an alternative territory to the one perceived by others.
That same city that is gray and unequal for others for you can become a home full of blessings.
Inhabit with love the places you like and make you feel good, and your reality will automatically change because your environment will change even if you live in a complicated city full of problems.
The life you live, after all, is a life that you invent and grows within you. Everything is perception, even the people you share your path with. You idealize or demonize things inside you; you alter the substance of reality depending on your mood.
We are not biased, and that can be not only a disadvantage but also an advantage. You can choose to make the world, the reality, that grows inside you much kinder than it is.
5. Letting unintentionality act
Sometimes we yearn for something that, instead of attracting it, we push away.
You have to give space and look non-needy. Who’s going to buy something that everyone can have? You have to look like that sports car that seems to scream to customers who see it at the dealership, “If you don’t buy me, someone else will. I’m unique. Exclusive.” And that only comes from calmness and self-confidence.
Sometimes you have to let go of things (and people), to lose them so they can return to you of their own free will.
Epictetus, more than two thousand years ago, said, “Remember that in life you must behave as at a banquet. Something comes to you as they pass by: extend your hand and serve yourself moderately. Pass by: do not withhold it. It is not yet come: do not display your desire and wait for it to come to you.
The best hunter is the one who remains motionless, waiting for the prey to fall into the trap. Chasing usually leads to the expenditure of energy and defeat.
Riches, romantic partners, trips you want to take, dreams, friends, and professional opportunities will open up before you if you train detachment.
Disappointment is like a dagger that sticks in your body, draining you of vitality every time reality does not meet your expectations. Get rid of it, and you will have more energy to keep working and persevering.
And never forget that he who follows gets it. So don’t be anxious, don’t push away what you want by being impatient. Don’t reveal your cards before the game is over.
The experienced hunter waits until the prey is within his reach before pouncing on it because he knows that if not, it will escape from his clutches. So don’t get impatient; wait for the right moment and then attack with everything.
This is how you achieve your goals in all areas of life.
6. People live in different times.
It is harvest time for you; maybe for someone else, it is planting time or fallow time for the land to regenerate.
And this causes all kinds of subtle incompatibilities to grow in relationships, which drive people apart without the parties realizing it.
If you want to understand each other’s lives, it’s up to you to become a time traveler.
Don’t worry; you don’t need a time machine; you just need to know how to use empathy to jump from your dimension to the other person’s space-time dimension.
You have to understand that many times our priorities make us belong to another time, another dimension, and it is as if we live on different planets.
I am at the antipodes of the time twenty-something life in. It is as if these people lived on Jupiter and I on Mars. We have different priorities, different lives, and other times. The only way I can communicate with them is by making an effort to put myself in his shoes.
Understanding other people’s times is one of the main objectives of advertising. For example, they turn every ad and every video clip into a representation of the time of a specific target or client.
For example, I don’t understand reggaeton (my time is different, I’m from the eighties). Still, many advertisements today use those aesthetics to sell their products to people in their twenties.
Advertising that knows how to appear to be on the wave — in time — of each person and speak to them in their language. If it succeeds, it manages to communicate what it is trying to sell, and if it can convince, the sale takes place. Therefore, the deal is produced by identification. And that is the key.
It has to seem that you are aligned with their times.
In conclusion, if you need something from someone, you have to transpose yourself to their dimension, live their own time, and make that person identify with you to achieve what you need from them.
Without identification, there is no understanding between the parties.
7. Personal mythology
You need a past, a narrative for a relationship — love or friendship — to work and prosper. It would help if you had standard codes, anecdotes, intense moments, funny situations, and even having shared some embarrassing episode of the type:
“Do you remember that time at the amusement park when you punched the actor who played Freddy Krueger. I pissed myself laughing”.
All this makes up the personal mythology. And it is accompanied by codes, a language full of nicknames, diminutive, and private jokes that only the components of that relationship know.
This makes it intimate, exclusive, and unique. And therefore strengthens it.
If you start a friendship or a love relationship and don’t know what to do to strengthen the bond, invest in experiences.
Take that person to the amusement park to live in situations of controlled danger. These moments will become part of your mythology.
Try to have a song in common with that person, a private joke, encourage confidence, and even use nicknames and diminutives. All this will strengthen and solidify the relationship, increasing its durability and permanence over time.
A virtual hug