2018: The Road So Far

Ok I’m a bit late, but it’s never too late to wrap up a whole year, and this will act also as a stream of consciousness and way to plan things ahead. You might also notice that I decided to switch back to a self hosted blog due to several changes in the monetization strategy of Medium.

This require a bit more of maintenance but I was able to set up everything almost right (ok, I might have broken some things or two). So let’s start this wrap up.

Work

The biggest change that ended 2018 was the fact that I decided to leave UX Republic and my work as consultant. A lot of things led to this decision which was quite difficult, but after 9 years of working for big historical companies, I wanted something more real in life.

Something were I felt I had a real impact and where 80% of my energy wasn’t focused on solving corporate politics problems. I realized that I wasn’t feeling well even if my work was recognized, that I wasn’t feeling fulfilled at all. And while I’m not advocating per se for following one’s passion, there’s a clear line where work starts to become a destructive force more than anything and where it’s time to leave.

As from February 2019, I joined Bankin, a start up aimed to help people manage their money, a smaller team but building something that has a real impact on people lives and where I feel that my competencies could be used at their fullest (and where internal politics will be hopefully less than 20%).

Health & Spirituality

On this part I’m not really proud. 2018 and my work problems took quite a toll on my health leading me to loose almost everything I built in 2017. My willpower was depleted and therefore I regained most of the weight I managed to loose

I started 2019 by cutting sugars again and reducing carbs. I also practice intermittent fasting, which is quite great (except for the fact that people keep looking at you like a weirdo when you’re not eating). Reducing sugars already helped to feel a bit more energized.

I started to keep an eye on my sleeping patterns and influences while also journaling everyday and I’m slowly able to spot which things impact my health and energy level. I’m also slowly getting back to meditation, something I also lost going through a lot of things last year.

Brainfood & Mental Health

I finished 74 books in 2018, less than last year but those were heavily oriented toward self improvement and work. Some of the most important readings for 2018 were :

  • Start with why: This book helped me solve a lot of questions by providing me with a clear framework about the things I wanted to sort out in my life and clearly led to some of the work related decisions. It’s a book I advised for everyone.
  • The Filter Bubble: a book showing you everything the Internet is hiding from you. Very important to read especially with algorithms presence growing more and more and getting involved deeper and deeper in our lives in ways we don’t realize.
  • Man’s Search for Meaning: a profound life lesson from a survivor of the horrors of World War 2, something everyone should read. True and life-changing.
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century: I’m a big fan of Yuval Harari and while Homo Deus disappointed me a bit, I really love those 21 lessons. His lessons are really important problems we must tackle now if we want to evolve and create a world we’re proud to live in, and it’s something I really look forward to.

Thankfully, 2018 didn’t destroyed everything, I keep on updating my Book of Beliefs, which evolved quite a lot but not as much as in 2017. I changed my mind on some things, especially crypto influences and global politics, but unfortunately 2018 wasn’t full of learnings on this.

I built my newsletter, which has around 140 people and on which I’m able to work a lot. I wanted to make one every week, but things in 2018 had such an impact that it wasn’t possible. Still, I was able to write 31 newsletters and it’s something I’m quite proud of.

Love & Social Life

Thankfully this was a really highlight of 2018. I’m living with someone wonderful who’s doing a lot to support, help and love me everyday, this is something I wasn’t expecting and one of the big positive part of 2018.

I also made some really strong connections and real friends in 2018. I realized some people were always there when I needed to talk, help or support. And this is something amazing as I realized some of those people were like childhood friends to me while I didn’t knew them 1.5 year ago. Kudos to them.

The Road Ahead

My goals for 2019 are quite clear, and will look a lot like : get the fuck back on tracks.

I’ll work on feeling empowered at work by doing something I love and having a real impact on people lives.

I’ll get back on tracks in terms of fitness by having a better food consumption and also get some exercice back (walking to work for example).

I’ll go back to meditation everyday to be able to give my mind some space and breathing.

And I’ll do everything in my power to avoid getting crushed again.

Here we go 2019!

2017 : The Road So Far

With this year slowly ending, I felt it was the time to have a small look back and see the road I’ve travelled on different aspects of my life in 2017. While this has been quite a difficult year, it lead also to a lot of improvements, learnings, new habits useful to share and to discover new improvements paths.

Health

I started the year with a weight of exactly 80.2kg and a 22% Fat Mass. 12 months later, thanks to several improvements, I’ve reached 68kg and a 15% Fat Mass. I still have some work to do (especially dive into fitness and weight lifting on a more regular basis), still I’m quite proud of the work accomplished.

I’ve reached this by taking some simple steps: cutting sugar from my food intake (and most related carbs… well except for pizza. You can’t refuse pizza.) and adopting a ketogenic diet. This lead at the beginning to some headaches but finally I feel more energized, dynamic and less nauseous overall.

Based on some readings, I’ve also started to take some supplements: magnesium citrate & krill oil mainly. Those helped me to get a better brain health. Since I take them, I’m able to make connections between things more quickly, but also I’ve gained a capacity to focus on things, which was quite a challenge due to my ADHD troubles.

I’ve started 2017 by removing coffee and alcohol from my alimentation. Since then I’ve started to slowly reintroduce coffee (mainly for the taste), and I’ve lost the unfortunate side effects. I drink it less than before, and I don’t need it anymore to feel energized. Alcohol has been reintroduced quite quickly mainly due to two things : first I spotted that some of my depression events where provoked by either life events I didn’t want to acknowledge or simply by reacting to some kind of alcohol (bye whisky, it has been quite a ride), secondly I’ve noted that when you’re the only sober person in a party, it’s really hard to keep a conversation with someone drunk without wanting to kill them.

Spirituality

I tried to keep the pace with daily meditation (depending mostly on daily energy and mood) and must say that it really helped me to sort things out, keep my mood under balance and be able to analyze some events and encounters in a more clearer way. This is still something I’d recommend to anyone regarding the improvements it does to one’s life. I’ve divided the meditation in several parts (and learned to use mudras to improve my energy flow):

  • Mindfulness: take the time to acknowledge the time and space you’re in and how your body is feeling, what thoughts are going through your mind and labelling them
  • Premeditatio Malorum: imagine what could go in the worst possible way for the day ahead, experience how it’d make me feel
  • Projection: picture what I want to reach on several level, and be able to set steps to get there by projecting ahead
  • Forgiving: take one person in my life that hurt me, relive the moments I felt hurt and then forgive this person, and letting her go.
  • Reverse gap: take some time to acknowledge the road I travelled so far and express gratitude for all the things I’ve done until now.

I kept the habit on journaling almost every day on my life. This transformed a lot from a place to empty my thoughts to something more structured. Nowadays it’s divided in several parts I’m able to go through quite quickly:

  • Acknowledge 3 things I’m grateful for in other people
  • Acknowledge 3 things I’m grateful about myself (this is quite hard)
  • Try to remember parts of my dreams (this helped me acknowledge some things that were bothering me but that I didn’t want to bring up to the conscious level)
  • Set 3 things I want to accomplish for the day.

Brainfood & Mental Health

I’m finishing this year with 128 books read, and I’m quite happy with the result. While I was a bit afraid at the beginning of the year concerning the quality of the books I was reading, this year end has been really fruitful and brought to me a lot of books I’d totally advise:

  • Progress, Ten Reasons to look forward to the future (Johan Norberg): lately I’ve seen a lot of people being quite negative about the world we live in and the state of our society. This book help us to develop a more objective view of our times and to see that things are, in fact, going better and better in every possible way.
  • The Code of The Extraordinary Mind (Vishen Lakhiani): This book really helped me setting some things straight. It shows how you need to change the way you look at things and how to adopt a more healthier way to go through life and its events. It also forces you to examine some rules you live by and to destroy them. I’ve developed a spreadsheet to help you question the 12 areas of life balance exposed in the book, available here.
  • Homo Deus & Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari): I can’t express how much I’ve learned from those two books and how it changed everything I learned until them. From the beginning of our stories to the way our cultures have been shaped, those are truly eye opening. For everyone interested in our common history and future, those are must read.
  • Gaïa : A New Look at Life on Earth (James Lovelock): The Gaïa hypothesis is something I was deeply convinced before encountering this book. James Lovelock exposes here some scientific theories about it and gives a new look about the planet we live on. Mind blowing in every possible way.
  • La route du temps — Théorie de la double causalité (Philippe Guillemant): Time as we experience it seems like a finite dimension on which we have no control. In this book, Philippe Guillemant shows that things might be different than we think they are and that we have some control about both our past and our future. It also shows that our minds are way more powerful than we think they are.

Based on an idea from Buster Benson, I’ve started to write my Book of Beliefs, it encompass everything I believe in in a perpetual draft state. Everytime I learn something new or that I change my mind about something, I edit it. It’s already well developed and some readings and experiences lead to dramatic changes, but this really helped me setting things straight in my mind and establish some basis for discussions.

I’ve also finished writing my second book. While it’s still under correction, the draft version is available here. It was a real help in getting through my breakup and learning to let go, and I’m quite happy with the result (and the fact that it’s now out of my head).

After some time for myself, I’m keeping my listener role on 7 Cups. There’s something highly efficient in helping others get through life events, and I’ve found there some way to give back to the world and help people around me. I’ve discovered that it was something I was really happy to do and, in some ways, needed to do. So if you ever need some anonymous help, don’t hesitate 🙂

Work

A lot has changed about this during this year. After some time freelancing (which allowed me to finally gain a real confidence in my capacities and about what I wanted to do), I’ve decided to take several decisions.

Things started thanks to a friend who opened my eyes. For a year, I was supposed to search for a flat to buy. After 6 months, she simply asked me how many flat I had visited. Two. Two flats in six months. She then asked me if I really wanted to buy a flat. This is when I realized that deeply I didn’t really want to buy a place but that was something I was supposed to do. And then I digged deeper.

I realized that I wasn’t happy at all in Belgium. While for years I’ve put this on being in a relationship or single, I slowly realized that, in fact, I wasn’t finding anymore what I was looking for where I was living. I was, in a metaphoric way, dying. I wasn’t learning anything anymore except through books. While on the economic side things were bright, on a mental state I couldn’t live like that anymore, not at almost 30 years old.

There was only one thing I could change: where I was living. After some self examination, I’ve ended considering several states around Europe. For the first time in my life I wrote a real motivation letter, send it and things went really well. In the space of one month and half I moved to Paris and started to work for a company I admire, UX Republic. Since that, I’m finally challenged on the professional level, I’m able to discuss and debate about ideas I couldn’t in Belgium. There’s still some steps I want to take, but I’ve never felt so alive.

The Road Ahead

2018 will begin for me in this new country, new city. I’ve already started to make some friends and encountered a lot of different people. I’ve set my intentions for this year in a more clearer way, and based on things depending only on myself:

  • Keep learning and evolving, teach and transmit: I’m slowly giving back more and more through some internal conferences, and this is slowly I want to expand more. I’m also setting things straight to be able to start a master in management and innovation sciences, something I’ve been willing to do for years but always refused.
  • Be surrounded by love & Help people: While I’ve decided to be happy in the present moment, I’ve also decided that I wanted to deepen my relationships. Finally I’ve learned that love wasn’t only based on my soulmate relationship, but through all my relationships. I’m eager to meet new people and build new relationships. I’m also still willing to help as much people as I can this year.

All those are depending only on myself and doable. While there are things I want to reach for next year (fitness based for example), those are not the most important things for me and this is something I’ve finally learned. I still have a lot of time ahead of me, so many things to discover, test, learn, so many people I want to meet and things I want to see. There’s only this moment, and in this moment, I’m finally happy being myself. See ya next year!

“This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

The right not to care

This year a lot of my reading where going around the same subject : How not to give a fuck. It’s strange that nowadays we end up reading something that should really be natural, even spontaneous. It always felt strange that we slowly switched from a world where you had the right not to care about some subjects (not even in a violent way, just not to take position), to a world of constant shoutings, personal vendettas and small wars.

So it’s strange to say it this way, but I now reclaim the right not to care about some subjects. I reclaim the right not to be enlightened enough on a subject to take any position about it, but also the right to neither know enough about it nor willing to take the time to learn about it. We’re all here for a limited time, with all our passions, subject of interest, personal fights, and it seems to me absolutely necessary to reclaim our right to decide where we invest our personal energy. Not caring about something isn’t an aggression toward the persons fighting for this thing, in fact it’s letting them more room to act, but also to be active proponent of the discussion by using their knowledge at the best. Not caring allow us to focus on the things that really matter to us, to lead our own fights. And sometimes, even if we would like it to be this way, things aren’t just all black and white, and some subjects are too dense to take position for one side or the other.

We have to also be able to let others not care about the things that matter to us. We have to understand that not everybody care about the things we do, that sometimes our fights are not understandable nor worth fighting for to their eyes without it being a critic about ourselves.

While we’re living in better and better times (please read this by the way), it seems essential to me that we learn to cool down a bit on the tensions we put everywhere, and that we accept to learn again how to compromise and accept that what we do doesn’t make sense for everyone all the time. So please give yourself a little gift when you can, and choose not to care about the latest fight on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or whatever. Just go along the way and breathe. You have a limited amount of energy, keep it for what really matters to you.

Learning to say no

It’s funny how this simple thing has eluded me for so many years (and still eludes me from time to time). Something as simple as saying “no”,“I won’t”, “I can’t”. I’ve spent so many years running after time, saying yes all the time, abiding to things I didn’t want to do, investing energy I didn’t have, forcing myself to be someone I wasn’t or to do things that only pulled me down further.

But I wouldn’t say it was a fear to say “no” in fact. I think it was going way deeper than not being able to say that. So I took some times to work on myself, but also to understand what I really wanted, what was the purpose I defined for my life, what were my healthy boundaries … I must say that this was the most terrifying blank page I’ve ever faced. While I did read many books about “discovering yourself” (some even joked on the amount of self-help books I was reading), I must admit that when the time came to write what were exactly “my rules”, I was staring in the void like a dead fish.

So I turned the problem around, searching for all the things that pissed me off, or where I failed in the past years, my errors, my mistakes, to try to define something by removing the fog around them. If I couldn’t express exactly what I wanted to, at least I would be able to express exactly what I didn’t want anymore.

Failure shows us the way — by showing us what isn’t the way.
 — Ryan Holiday (
The obstacle is the way)

By doing so, I was able to clear the fog almost completely, allowing me to define my personal boundaries and some moral rules I wanted to abide to. I realized also that we all have a finite amount of energy to give each day, and that I was clearly deep into debt on this side. The worst part? Most of this energy was lost into things that didn’t bring me anything.

I discovered also some of my flaws. Like how I was postponing tasks for the sake of treating them later (hello procrastination), while acting directly on it would require just 5 minutes of my time (and especially keep my mind cleared of it). Or how much time I could spend uselessly complaining about things (without acting). At this time I decided to stop complaining as much as I could, and to act directly on things that would take only a very small amount of time. I still complain from time to time, I must admit, but every time I do say, I notice it to myself, and try to find how to avoid it for the next time. Still not perfect, but improving.

I realized also that I had a tendency to avoid things by going sideways mostly by fear or hurting other people. I spent a lot of time thinking I was doing the right thing by using those so-called white lies. But it’s by reading Lying by Sam Harris that I realized that those weren’t useful.

First they made me feel bad, and I had to be weary of everything I was doing not to contradict them, and second they didn’t give any real information and kept me in a spiral. How could I stop doing things I didn’t want to do if I never said that I didn’t like them? I was having a hard time just being myself. So I decided to stop. To slowly learn to say exactly what I wanted to do, what I didn’t like, … I was surprised to realize that people were able to accept my limits and weren’t pushing me anymore to do things I didn’t want.

The truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.
 — Marcus Aurelius (
Meditations)

Going deeper in the process, I discovered several other things important to me (first and foremost honesty and speaking the truth, on which I’ll write something deeper later), allowing me to see exactly where I was and where I was going. This allowed me to be able to trace a line in the sand to be finally able to say “no”, this is where I stop, this is something I don’t want to do, this is something I won’t tolerate or accept anymore.

This whole process took me quite some time (in fact it stayed two whole months on top of my to-do list), but once done gave me a peace of mind I’ve never felt before, and a feeling of relief quite impressing. I also regained a lot of personal time, and while I still have an important social and work life, for the first time in a long time, I must say that I feel in command of my ship, and free.

Reframing our window

For a decade now and with a surprising increase during the last years, I tend to encounter a lot of words used without any interest for their basic definition, thinking only about creating or increasing some “wow” factor. Those words I keep seeing? Exclusivity, Groundbreaking, Revolutionary, Unique, Innovation, … While at some point this tendency was limited to marketing (and which is part of well… their job), this spread to the general public (and I fell for this several time too).

Everytime it happens, it’s usually based on the fact that we don’t have a sufficient knowledge of the subjects, or didn’t do enough research, so we tend to use them because, from what we know they’re exact. This is a common problem in our times, where we’re all having trouble saying that we don’t know.

It then creates a false narrative and an unnecessary fuss around things that are perhaps non ground-breaking. But at least, this is caused by a simple slip of the language based on not enough facts, and we all tend to fall for it. Be it when we advise this “revolutionary” app, or that we tend to proclaim something as “unique in the world” (something that tends to happen a lot in the French market, where we have a remarkable blindness to everything non-French-speaking that is happening in the world).

The problem for me happens when we tend to fall for the marketing jargon and to defend sayings that are not our own, through the only window we were provided. Or worst, when we tend to reframe this window to be smaller and smaller, just to justify the use of a word that we simply shouldn’t use. Hence this app really is exclusive* (*in your language), revolutionary (*in your country, your neighbor have it since 10 years now), unique (*on your platform).

This is not “that bad”, but I tend to think that words have a meaning, and when we use those words in the wrong place we tend to reduce this meaning. And while the motto of the last years on every mouth has been “innovation” yelled clear and loud everywhere, it’s rarely true (nor based on anything). In a world where everyone is becoming an entrepreneur (which is neither good or bad), perhaps we should be a bit more honest, or picky in the choice of our words.

While not every idea is a revolution, you have plenty of other things you can promote your idea on, plenty of possibility that you offer that, while they’re not exclusive), provide a different/better experience for your audience. And this won’t require you to reframe any window while it might make you appear less “bullshit-prone” than any other idea out there.

“If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.”
 — Nassim Nicholas Taleb (
Antifragile)

When non-doing is better

One thing I’ve come to realize more and more in our society, is our tendency to intervene all the time in everything, for the sake of the intervention. Things are being changed, teams are being shuffled, plans are being remade, … all the time, especially with a new-comer. While sometimes those changes can be good, most of the time they end up being quite a waste of time, energy, and human resources, while they give the impression that something is accomplished (when it’s not).

It’s interesting to find examples everywhere that, sometimes, the act of non-doing is better than changing things just for the sake of our ego. In Chinese, there’s the concept of Wu Wei, an important concept of Taoism which means non-doing or non-acting, to let things behave according to their nature, go with the flow. It’s interesting to note that the same thing was explained by the Stoics centuries ago, who put following nature as one of their core principle (if not the core principle).

You can find a related thing in chess, with the zugzwang, where you are forced to move one’s piece when doing absolutely nothing would save your game. Throughout history, we encountered a lot of times where our interventionism did more damage than good but still we learn nothing on our human scale. If you look into health, you’ll discover the iatrogenic effects, which occurs when your health is worsened by the medical care you’re receiving (One of the worst example? Decades ago lobotomy was considered as a great health practice.).

Ego isn’t the only culprit in this, depending on one’s position, the root cause could be also our own fear. Fear that people will think we’re not working, fear that not giving an advice will feel like giving up on someone or something, … Which is why, even when we’ll choose not to act, it is important to take the time to explain ourselves. Because even the act of non-doing requires some thoughts and thinking, and by being prepared to explain our non-actions, we’ll avoid useless fears and judgments.

Our tendency to intervene in everything, all the time, in a way that suits our egos more than the greater good ends up costing a lot in our lives, jobs, friendships, … and we are all guilty of it, even if we tend to persuade ourselves that the changes we’re making ends up, at best, changing nothing. Sometimes we need to take some steps back before making a decision and ask ourselves a simple question : Am I really doing this to improve something or am I doing this so people won’t think that I’m not doing anything?

“Ask yourself at every moment: Is this necessary?”
 — Marcus Aurelius (
Meditations)

Getting yourself to read more

I’ve never had the feeling that I was reading that much, or that I was doing something that looked so impossible to a lot of people. But as friends asked me this question several times, I came to realize that I was indeed reading a lot more than the usual people. Of course, everyone devotes one times to what one thinks important, but it seems that nowadays a lot of people regret not being able to read more. So I’m writing this to give you some tips that I gathered along, hoping it may help you 😉

Get back to reading

I see your reading capacity as a muscle that you have to train over time. You wouldn’t try a triathlon if the last time you went out for a walk was seven years ago would you? The same goes for your reading habits, don’t get too hard on yourself first. Five years ago I realized that I hadn’t read a book in two years. Not a single one. I realized that the idea of opening a book, and finishing it, was really “frightening” me. So I decided to slowly get back on reading.

You have to start small, and luckily, there’s a lot of things available. I’d recommend to buy a book of short stories, in the kind of stories you prefer (may it be science fiction, fantasy, horror, modern, … whatever you want). And just try to read one every night before going to bed. If it’s not doable, then read one each two days, whatever works the best for you. But aim for really shorts stories (around 20 pages is fine). Slowly you’ll train your reading muscle and you’ll realize that you are able to finish a story quite quickly, and a full book faster than you’d have thought. Once you’re at ease, simply switch to small books (under 100 pages), and you’ll be on the right track!

Always have a book with you

I couldn’t stress this one enough, but always have a book with you, seriously. You don’t realize the amount of time you’re wasting every day, waiting for the bus, waiting in the bus, waiting for a friend to arrive, … Instead of waiting, refreshing your social media feeds or whatever, you’ll now have a book at hand! And you will be surprised how fast you can finish it by using those little time chunks every time.

If you can, bring your book with you to the toilet. Even better, every time you feel the urge to go check Facebook during the day, to breathe a little, why don’t you read two or three pages instead? You can always have a PDF version of a book with you, and it’s not worse than checking social medias, it’s even better in a way.

Better, have several ones!

Okay, this one is a bit personal and might not suit everyone. It might even frighten some of you. But I’m always reading at least 3 books at the same times (often it goes up to 6). The idea is simple: if I’m not interested in a book, I can pick another one, instead of not reading at all.

The trick is to simply select some very different books: fiction, self-help, business related, philosophy related. For example at the moment the books am reading are really different: The Dice Men (fiction), Siddhartha (fiction & philosophy), The Paper Magicians (young adult fiction, perfect before going to bed), The Bed of Procrustes (business & philosophy), … I tend to also have some books in French, others in English so I can really switch to whatever I feel like at the moment.

Some even use audio books when they’re going to the fitness, but it’s something I’ve never really succeeded at (finished just one audiobook in my life), but if it works for you, go for it! I’m also using a Kindle for the last three years and I must say that it’s one of the greatest investment I’ve ever made. While it’s not close to the feeling of a real book, and that I can’t write in it, I love to be able to highlight parts of the books and extract them later, and I love to be able to carry 20 books with me when I go on holidays without it being an additional luggage.

I really hope that those tips will help you to get back to reading some books for this year. If you want, you can always add me on GoodReads, or share your experience, I’m always ready to learn new things 😉

Those mistakes that shape our lives

Just as business tend to evolve thanks to failures and improvements, I strongly think that we tend to evolve through our mistakes, our errors and regrets. But I also strongly believe that not all errors are equal, and that in each of our lives, we’re making what I call some major formative mistake. Usually we don’t realize it when we’re doing them, but when time passes by and we’re looking backward, we tend to see them clearly for what they are.

Those mistakes are deeply formative in our characters, as making them make us evolve toward a greater human being. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, those mistakes are making us a bit more antifragile, as we’re building on them or rather, because of them. They are easy to identify when you’re a bit distanced from them, as they usually pack a lot of regrets. You wish you had taken another decision, another path, acted differently, … But when you look how you acted after those mistakes, you also realize that you learned a lot, you’re not making the same mistake.

Looking back, I’m able to count three major mistakes in my life. The first one was hurting someone I really loved through acts I deeply regretted. It took me 2 years to gain forgiveness from the other person, but 5 years to forgive myself. This mistake forever changed the way I envision and act into all my relationships since then, in a better way. It also made me gain a best friend and someone I don’t want to lose at all in my life.

The second was taking some distance from a friend as I felt it could endanger my relationship. Two years after I had the chance to make amend, talk with him and explain why I reacted this way and how stupid I was. Three days ago, this friend died. This mistake taught me to always be open about what you’re feeling and thinking but also, the hard way, that the people in our lives don’t last forever and that we have to act on our problem as soon as possible, when we still have the chance to.

The third one was both personal and professional as I let my ego get in the way and cloud my judgment, taking a non calculated risk that almost destroyed a lot of my relationships and career path. This mistake taught me to not let your ego get in the way and also to always listen to opposite advice. It also teached me to be more careful and consider every possibility before taking a decision. It also teached me to listen to my guts and to refuse something if it doesn’t feel right.

Those three mistakes shaped my personality and the way I’m thinking today by hitting hard on three major aspects of life: love, friendship and work. But I would say I have been “lucky” enough to have the chance to build on them, and to have the chance to make amend to both my ex lover and my friend before it was too late. Talking with a lot of people, I realized that everybody didn’t had this chance in their life unfortunately. Still those mistakes defined them, shaped their characters in a more profound way than everything else.

So if you have the chance, take a look backward, what are those decisions, those acts that you deeply regret? Can you still act on them and, if another person if involved, ask forgiveness? While those mistakes shape us, we don’t have to let them leave open wounds in our lives, scars are a way to keep the teaching while still healing.

Diving into adulthood

I’ve always had troubles to relate to my age. While I know it’s only a number, I can’t stop thinking that those years are slowly counting and growing in numbers (still can’t believe I’m reaching my 30s in one year). For years, I stubbornly refused to become an adult, deciding that it was something I didn’t relate to, staying in some kind of pre-adult years (or more post-teenage years).

However, lately things changed a lot. While 2016 was a terrible year for a lot of people (and for the world), it was for me one of the most formative year I’ve ever encountered. I never felt myself getting older than I did during last year, taking decisions that changed my life totally: quitting smoking totally, deciding to leave my job and go full freelance, learning what I needed and wanted in several aspects of my life.

While 2017 didn’t start as well as I had wished, it’s still packing a lot of promises on the professional level, with a tremendous amount of project being planned for the coming weeks. It’s even a bit frightening how much I’m investing into my work life lately but, well, sometimes it’s necessary and it’s for the better.

I always had some troubles identifying as an adult due to the fact that I’m still looking quite young (with people giving me 23 years old it doesn’t help), but finally, at 29, I’ve decided to accept myself as an adult person, and to accept that I could have insights, opinions, things to say, … that were as valuable as the other adults I’ve ever encountered.

I’m still, and will still look younger than my age for (I hope) a long time, but I know that now my mindset has changed, now I can finally say that I’ve entered adulthood, or at least entered what I consider to be adulthood. It might not look like much, or something I should have done years ago, but for me it was finally being able to stand on the same ground as lot of people I’m working with, and this has forever changed the way I look at things.