One Apple A Day #750 – the “have to” free zone

There are many “have to” in my typical day.
I’m quite sure it is the same for many.
I have to do this or that.
I have to be there.
I have to finish this.
I have to leave.
I have to write something.
I have to go.
Even now, just writing these few examples, I was holding my breath.
Most of the time, I’m not aware of all of these “have to”, but I just came back from two days free from them where my senses woke up.
Two days in the mountains, with my best friend, doing only what we wanted in the moment.
Sure, we had a plan, sort of.
But it was only useful to set the stage in advance.
Since the moment we left for our weekend out, we only followed our intuition.
It is so powerful.
Time almost disappears.
Now I need more of this in my average day.
Plan in advance to set the stage and then follow my intuition.

One Apple A Day #715 – beneath the layers

For almost two decades, I worked in the digital industry. Over the years, I observe the same pattern in many products or services.
It starts with a smart and simple solution. Sure, usually it’s not perfect, a bit rough on the edges and with some small bugs, but it works.
So people love it and use it, and the product gets traction. Users ask for improvements and new features, and the software begins to grow. The developers add new layers of code. Maybe they are even new developers, hired to keep up with the success of the solution. Every now and then, someone wants to leave a footprint on the product, so new pieces are added. Even if they weren’t asked for.
All works fine until, all of a sudden it doesn’t. It may be because a new competitor enters the arena disrupting the game. Or something turns the industry upside down. Or maybe it’s just a nasty bug that compromises the whole product. Whatever the reason, a radical change to the core of the product would be needed. The problem is that there are so many layers that nobody knows what to do. They all worried that even the slightest change, would crumble everything.
Some stick to what they have until they slowly become irrelevant. Others rebuild everything from scratch because it’s easier than changing what is.

My feeling is that something similar happens to people. While we climb the ladder of success, moving forward in our career, we add layers over layers. Success and failures, experiences, knowledge, skills. We keep adding following a linear path. Until something disrupts our journey to the top, or maybe we get to that top, and we discover that our core is covered by so many layers, we can barely remember who we are.
I guess it happened to me at least once or twice. Likely for me, I always found people who helped me clear out all those layers and see what wanted to emerge from my core.

One Apple A Day #710 – impermanence

This too shall pass.

It’s a Persian proverb coming from a Sufi fable. Just four words yet so much power.

These days are, at least for me, a reminder that impermanence is part of life and nature. So many things that we believed immutable have been turned upside down. All of a sudden, some habits have become old, and we left them behind while new ways are emerging.

This is quite normal in nature. The old plants die to leave space for the new ones. 

The idea that sooner or later, everything comes to an end, may sound sad. But when we accept that impermanence is part of the perfection of life, it is liberating. At least that is how it worked for me.

It doesn’t avoid the pain that comes with any ending, but it transforms it in fuel to move forward instead of suffering that holds you back.

This too shall pass.

One Apple A Day #709 – build on love

We need to change things to prevent this from happening again.

We must avoid going back to how things were before. 

Recently, someone reminded me that after every big global shock, humanity reacted creating new structures or configurations. 

The UN was created after World War II to prevent future wars. The same for what evolved into the current European Union. After 9/11, many changes were made to the way we travel and live.

Yet, here we are. With all these structures showing fragilities and struggling to provide answers to the challenges we are facing.

Energy informs configuration. And the energy from which those systems and structures were sourced was one of fear. As a result, they feed on that fear so they can’t really create the way forward unless they don’t shift on a different energy.

So, this is my wish. 

For individuals, families, communities, organisations, and countries.

That whatever new system, structures or configuration that will emerge from these circumstances, they will be sourced from love, compassion and courage. 

Not as a way to escape from something. 

Not as a way to avoid or protect something. 

But as a way to move forward and create a better future for everyone

One Apple A Day #708 – time

How’s your relationship with time?

Mine can be complicated. It happens anytime I try to manage it.
“Time management” is a tricky definition. It may fool you into thinking you can control time.

But is it really possible?

In my many attempts to manage time, I’ve learned two things.

The first is that time is definitely relative. I’m not talking about Einstein’s theory of relativity. What I’m referring to is our experience of time. I don’t know you but to me, one hour staying still in a plank position would definitely feel way longer than one hour watching a movie.

So, it’s less about managing time and more about managing what we do in the time we have.

And that brings me to the second thing that I’ve learned. My focus should always be in managing my energy. When I’m tired, everything is a drag. I can’t focus, and hours slipped through my fingers without being able to accomplish anything. When I’m full of energy, or even better when I’m doing something that energizes me, I can get the best out of the time I have. As if time expands.

That’s why for me, it’s vital to find a rhythm in my days that follow and sustain my energy level.