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The sidewalk

Where do you walk when you are in a hurry?

If you look at people on the street, the ones who are in a hurry always walk on the edge of the sidewalk. In the middle you will find the slow walkers, the ones looking around to admire the city, the ones going with the flow. On the edge you will find less people, the ones who are in a haste to get somewhere, the ones who want to be the first.

You can also apply this when it comes to business cases, your career and almost anything else. Those on the edge are the ones who will always move faster. Start-ups also start on the edge. The middle is crowded by big companies; while the edge is where you’ll find a lesser crowd and the possibility to advance fast, gain speed and make a difference.

People with bright careers are also on the edge. They’re the ones moving fast, getting out of the middle where everyone is fighting for the same jobs, projects and contracts. They shift quickly, take risks and advance at a higher pace than the ones looking around and walking in the same pace as everyone else.

Where you walk is your choice.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I have heard this question a million times. I have even asked a lot of people this exact same question and received tons of different answers. Some were crystal clear, while others had almost no idea what they wanted. But almost all of them had a thing in common. Their wishes were linked to their future careers,  jobs, start-ups or companies they wanted to build.

Recently I realized how wrong these questions – and especially their answers – are. The only answer I deem as acceptable to the question is “I want to be happy”. Eventually it should be the final goal of anything we do. The means to achieve your objectives are countless, but the end is – or it should be – almost always the same.

As I was growing up, I had a lot of different answers to this question. As a kid, I wanted to be a professional football payer, then I changed my mind and because I loved playing games I wanted to work in the gaming industry, then I changed my mind again and wanted to be a developer, project manager, work in a big corporation, teacher/ trainer, speaker, entrepreneur. Actually, this is what I did throughout time. And I decided I wanted to do each of them as the opportunity arose. I never had the clear goal to become any of them as a lifetime profession.

My focus was to do the things which made me happy. My ideas, plans, future expectations changed so many times until now. I never saw my life or career as something linear, since I like a lot of things (I have the tendency to get involved in a lot of different projects).

At the rate jobs, technology and society are changing, you may decide you want to become something that will become obsolete in 10, 5, or maybe even just one year or you might find that in a few years something totally new comes up, you love it and you want to do that.

What never becomes obsolete though is the set of skills and aptitudes that includes, but not limited to, things like problem-solving, communication, leadership, fast learning, adaptability to change.

Rather than focusing on what you want to be, focus on how you want to be. Choose to create a mindset and acquire the skills that can make you a valuable resource no matter what you do. This way, you offer yourself countless possibilities to find and do something you enjoy. And also, if you get bored or things are not working out as you would like them to, you always have the chance to do something else which makes you happy.

Why keep it a secret

I had a lot of flights in the last period and I usually like to sit in the first few rows in the airplane, right after business class.

One thing I noticed is that right after takeoff they pull the curtains almost until landing. Why is that? Do people in the first class like the privacy? Is there something to hide?

I don’t believe people in first class love the idea of privacy so much when it comes to this. It’s not like the other passengers don’t see them while boarding. So this seems out of question.

Is it because the air companies don’t want people from economy to see the special treatment people in first class get? Why would you want to hide that? I, for one, would encourage it. This way, more people would see the benefits of flying first class. Get a glance on what they are missing and think again next time they buy a ticket.

If it’s not a privacy issue then by all means, show off. Show people what they are missing. This is how you promote your services and get more people wanting the “premium feel” you get when flying business.