Hi there, it’s been a while 🙂 a lot has happened lately: I finished Fabian’s and my campervan, drove it from Münster over Orleans and Madrid to Lisbon, went on some trips around Lisbon, started working part-time at beta-i, read a few books, started to learn Portuguese, began to get to know the startup space in Lisbon, worked on my personal development, implemented habits, thought about what I want to do with my life, and so on. But let me start slowly:
In July, I ripped my ACL, so July/August were a bit slow for the time where I couldn’t walk. I had to postpone my plans for finishing the campervan and moving to Lisbon. However, when I was on my feet again, the motivation to finish it and get moving was incredibly high. So that’s what I did with the help of a few friends. Reflecting on the process, it was a lot of fun. I never thought of myself as a big builder, but I am quite satisfied with the results: but see for yourself:
I then had to move that baby 2500 km to Lisbon, which turned out to be a long drive. Luckily, I had a friend coming with me, and we spend the time talking, listening to music and audiobooks, as well as visiting Orleans and Madrid. In the end, it took us three days until we got to Lisbon.
In terms of reading, which was one of the habits I wanted to implement, I was able to read a few fantastic (and life-altering books):
One was The Circle, a dramatic and frightening thriller about a tech company that is trying to make everything transparent and remove privacy once and for all. It helped me in my decision to quit social media.
The Bullet Journal Method is about a journaling technique that I found very useful. Since starting the journaling approach at the beginning of July, I have written every day – sometimes more, sometimes less. If you want to get some more clarity and intentionality into your life, I can highly recommend this technique.
Then I read the second book series of the “Why Are You Here Cafe,” which is a story about how to find more meaning in life by living on your own terms. A fantastic book fostering a new outlook on life and teaching things such as that 1 in 5 men do not reach retirement age. Once again, it reminded me that experiences are worth much more than any material thing can ever be. One phrase that also stuck was, “Who are you not to do it?” – Often we put something off because we think that nobody would care about our thoughts, writings, or entrepreneurial endeavors. But think about it: if you could change the life of just one person by doing the thing you do, isn’t it already worth it? So, who are you not to do it?
One of the most profound books I have read so far is The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People. It was written in 1989 and is still very relevant today. It teaches that you are the creator of your life and that it is important to clear one’s own values. Stephen R. Covey points out that many people are busy climbing the ladder of success only to find out that it has been leaning against the wrong wall. The book had me started to visualize how I want to be remembered and to clarify the values I want to live by. I can highly recommend it!
Then I am trying to implement the following habits: getting up early, physiotherapy/ exercise, meditation, journaling, reading, writing, and learning Portuguese. I want to do these things every day, and I had mixed success. What really helped me was to write one “Why?” page in my journal about every habit. That meant thinking in-depth about why I want to do those things to get more tractions on them. It really helped! Since the beginning of October, I was able to do at least 5 of the 7 every day, which is a vast improvement. I also like to think of it as “progress, not perfection.” I do these for my personal development, not because I want to be some self-help guru. Mediation is a massive improvement for me, I can feel the benefits like improved clarity, empathy, focus, and detachment from feelings (e.g., sadness because of the ACL injury).
Lastly, I have started to work at beta-i, a start-up accelerator focused on bringing corporations, startups, and investors together to facilitate innovation. I work there part-time and share my perspectives and ideas. Mainly, I want to learn more about Entrepreneurship to build DLAXT, the Lacrosse platform I am working on. The first impression: there are really relaxed, welcoming, and impressive people working there. I have gotten to know a lot of them already and am looking forward to working with them and learn from them.
Lisbon is incredible so far. A lot of places to explore and very welcoming people. Having the opportunity to take the van out every weekend, I have already seen a few places around like Ericeira, Fonte de Telha, Sintra, and Playa Ribero. It is fantastic to be able to get out of the city rather quick, and #vanlife has seriously inspired me. Just yesterday, Fabian and I decided to drive to some remote cliff to watch the sunset and talk about our ideas and what we want to focus on in the next time. It was so intense and productive. I think we wouldn’t have had such a clarifying session sitting in the living room.
That’s it for now. I hope I could inspire you with some book recommendation or the technique of asking “Why?”. Cheers, Jonas