Until recently, I lacked awareness about the motivation of many of my actions.
Since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to live alone by the time I turned 18.
I started investing when I was 16, aiming the compounding effect and financial independence.
When I discovered GANTT charts, I couldn’t help but make plans and explore nearly all possible paths for my life.
I had always been the captain in sports teams and video game guilds.
All this meant one thing: I wanted to have full control.
What I didn’t know is that I would never be in charge of everything. And that in spite of that, I should focus on myself – my mindset, my skills, my capacity of creating value – and minimize the importance of external influences.
Image extracted from Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People”.
I was a reactive person, stuck in the Circle of Concern. And here’s how I realized it.
When I was 16, I got my first job and started to live alone. It was July 2015, and I was being presented to a new world, in which I was responsible for myself.
Of course I had to abide by certain rules, but it was the first time I had chosen it. I was glad.
The time passed by, and my ambitiousness started being suppressed. I was overwhelmed and started to feel stuck. Planet Earth, South America, Brazil, state of São Paulo, a small city called Artur Nogueira. I couldn’t see a path for growth.
I felt disconnected, unmeaningful. I didn’t want this life.
But what did I want?
I didn’t know either…
That question led me to 9 months of self-deception and lack of purpose. I was taking pills to stay awake and to go to sleep. I spent all my time outside of work/school environments trying to understand myself and get rid of this burnout.
I learned so much during this time. I realized that I’m an INTJ, and how it explains lots of my actions, beliefs, and reactions. I naturally attach my motivation and sense of worthiness to my capacity of planning and executing to solve meaningful problems. If I didn’t have a clear “why” inspiring me to jump from my bed, eager to start a workday, I wouldn’t be happy.
INTJ, “The Mastermind” personality, stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging (not judgmental!). See the full description here.
With the hustle, the benefits came. I changed cities, got a better job, a smaller work-week, and fewer home duties. Now I had some time for myself, things will get better, I thought. But I still felt the same.
Then the universe decided to give me a gift – the right opportunity at the right moment.
I heard of some seminars abroad by a group inside of Students for Liberty in Brazil, so I applied for the only one I could attend (because I was 17).
I got a scholarship for a seminar called Economics of Entrepreneurship, held by the Foundation for Economic Education, and it would happen within 1 month in Austin, Texas.
I had neither a passport nor a visa. Long story short, I got my visa 2 days before the flight and went for it. Alone. I just needed to feel what it’s like to live something meaningful. I wanted an opportunity to grow. And I’m glad it came.
June 2016. I already knew that working to create a freer society was one of my life goals. But how could I do it efficiently (and make money at the same time)? By the time, I only knew that I could learn more about liberty and present it to others through SFL.
At that seminar, my convictions were positively shaken. I started seeing entrepreneurship as the most efficient way to change the world. I had to get involved.
Me (left), and a friend, Luciano (right), at the mentioned seminar.
During the seminar, T.K. Coleman, one of the FEE faculty members and Praxis Education Director, recommended a book that really interested me, given my financial background. It was called The Last Safe Investment.
By the time I came back to Brazil, I read it and thought: “Okay. This is the best thing I’ve ever read. Now I want to change everything pictured for my life.”
That was enough to motivate me to take the biggest step I ever took: apply for Praxis. I talked to Derek Magill, Praxis Marketing Director, whom I also met at that seminar, and who encouraged me to just go for it. I did it.
After a little more than one month, I was accepted. When I received the answer, I couldn’t really digest it. It only felt real by December 2016, ~20 days before actually starting the program. I had cried only once after I left home, and at that moment, I cried of joy for the first time of my life (such a cool experience!).
Now, I’m on the first month of the program. It still feels somewhat unreal, but I’m eager for getting the most out of it.
Praxis is a 9-month business apprenticeship/education program for entrepreneurial young people. Get to know more here.
Praxians are amazing. Sometimes I feel like I’m not as good as most of them. I felt the so-called Impostor Syndrome. I’m no genius. I’m no average either. But once I read this quote, by David Lloyd George, everything seemed to fit together:
“Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.”
I’m here to grow exponentially, achieve great things, make society freer and help other entrepreneurial people do so.
I’m leaving my country at 18, I’m criticizing by creating and working towards the best version of myself every single day. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’m glad I’m breaking the mold.