I ended the first part of this article saying: change is hard.
How did I transform my whole life and purpose in 4 days?
I didn’t. I needed way more time to digest it. All those realizations weren’t instantaneous.
In fact, I could only think about my purpose as “to empower purposeful entrepreneurial businesses and people”, 6 months after the seminar!
Nevertheless, I was honest with myself and took huge steps towards transforming my life. But where did I take the guts to do so? Here’s a thorough explanation:
According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) theory, introverted intuition is my primary function – that means how I understand the world works: I focus on the big picture, slowly gathering and making sense of the information that forms my beliefs – so when I was at the seminar, I felt something like: I like this environment. This is where I’m supposed to be. But why do I like it? What is triggering this sense of belonging?
I would relentlessly ponder about my behavior, my feelings, and what was actually happening, with theories, perceptions, essentially everything I could think of. More than that, I needed self-knowledge, introspection, authenticity. I needed to be willing to re-analyze everything I had ever believed. Finally, I needed a system that would help me stay on track.
When I came back to Brazil, I stopped for 4 more days. I had taken a 1-week vacation from my job, so I didn’t go to work. I also didn’t go to any of my classes, I just stayed at home. Alone, introspective, and far from lonely. Completely entertained with myself.
Who was I? Why had I ended up where I was? What did I want from life?
I had been acquiring more self-knowledge and creating what I called “Self-Awareness Map” for one year or so. From these questions and the need I was facing to reevaluate my values, my philosophies, my life story, I transformed what was initially a self-knowledge tool, into a methodology to make better decisions. And according to that, after more and more self-exploration, I decided to apply to Praxis.
I still didn’t know what I wanted to do during the program, after the program, or even if I weren’t accepted to it. And that was shocking for me. I had always been a planner. Now, I didn’t even know how life would look like in 6 months.
What if I didn’t get accepted? Do I really want to go to college? What can I do in Brazil without a college degree? There are basically no startups here!
Several worries, thoughts, and plans came to mind. Fortunately, my family always respected my space. They knew I needed to think. They knew I would figure it out. No one talked to me during that time. Although they had always been there to help me when I needed, they did exactly that – helped me when I needed – not when they (or I) wanted.
And this helped me grow. Not only do I love my independence, but I also needed to learn how to deal with it. It isn’t every day that you start to live alone at 16.
Then, I made the next decision: even if I weren’t accepted into Praxis, I wouldn’t go to college. I should start taking full ownership over my own life, not letting other institutions decide it for me.
I was, am and will ever be willing to take risks in order to become the best version of myself.
So, how has this decision-making methodology helped me? If it weren’t for it, I wouldn’t have taken these two bold decisions, accepting the status quo and succumbing to a standard career path and college experience. I’d have neglected my potential to be in the driver’s seat of my own life, the chance to go to work in an awesome startup in the US, and the opportunity to craft a career directly related to my life purpose.
If you can only take two things out of this two-part article, please take these two:
1) Self-knowledge is underrated, focus on it and you’ll be ahead of 95% of people – especially if you’re young. My recommendation? Check out my personal decision-making system.
2) Work towards what you want every single day. Even if you’re not sure about what it is, work with something you don’t hate and try to find it in the meanwhile, but work. Be prepared, when it comes to your turn to be lucky, you don’t want to miss out.
And here’s what’s to come: first, I’m going to prove to myself that I’m capable of achieving what I want without a college degree. Then, I’ll show people that this is a possibility. Finally, I’m going to teach them how to do it. Actually, this article is already part of it. And even after entrepreneurial choices (hopefully Praxis) surpasses colleges as the go-to educational programs, I’ll gladly smile and say: that’s just the beginning.