No decoupling of reason and feeling

This is the first part of a blog series on what the author considers the most important learnings he wished to have had when he started working in software industry, roughly a ten years ago.

The series target to make you think what it takes building great teams, from vision to practical execution, but not anchoring to any particular industry, let alone technology.

Let’s start from what we are as humans. Are you ready?


Know that feeling of falling when you are just about to enter asleep?

Right, hypnic jerk or sleep twitch, but more often we just call it falling asleep. For a brief moment we feel like we are falling into the void before we start sleeping. This nowadays seemingly unnecessary feature prevented us from falling down from trees, back when we still used to sleep in those. Our bodies adopted this feeling because it was useful in terms of surviving.

Our survival is based on striving for persistence. Persistence in a world which is constantly shifting in pieces, more or less regardless of us. These pieces move in ways we are not even today very good at predicting. To persist in this kind of world we had to change with it, eventually come down from trees.

We had to move to unknown areas when we ran out of food or we wanted to find love. It surely felt not too safe at first, but when we got there we felt rewarded. Our bodies adopted this feeling because it kept, and still keeps us, hungry for even more rewards.

We had not to do it alone though but as a team. But first we had to put shields down within the group so we would not kill each other before we even got moving. The first one to put the shields down usually ended up being the leader. Either did or got killed first.

All successful entrepreneurs have a thing in common

They decided what they want and then they tirelessly went after it. They kept their brain wired for wanting whatever it was, so long that they eventually had it actualised in front of their eyes. But it became so in smaller pieces, each of which provided a smaller reward as they were achieved.

Anything that gets us closer to fulfilling what we consider to matter makes us feel rewarded. We keep going after what we want, even if there is a possibility of not succeeding. Do you know what you want?

When you want something enough, all the things that prevent you achieving what you want, stop being obstacles. They become challenges, which can, and are to be, tackled. This is also the moment we start to think how we will in practice do it.

You want to make the world a better place?

You must know your passion. You want to invent something new? You must have a vision. You want to have it built? You must hire people. Eventually drilling down to more and more concrete steps, steps that are then executed as part of the big goal. Taking big steps too fast gets us killed, too fast.

What were you thinking when you got where you wanted to be? What were you feeling before you got where you felt succeeding? You want to stay where you are right now? Go ahead, we cannot hope anything but that you will not starve, too fast.

When we wire our brain for wanting something, whatever it is for us, we are already on our way to get there. Knowing this is one the most powerful tools you will ever have in your life. But knowing is not the same as being ready…

You know that feeling of irritation you are not yet falling asleep?

Your mind is racing, worrying if you are ready to achieve what you want. But considering whether you are ready for it, means you are already thinking if you have picked up all the necessary things to get where you want.

So are you ready?

The next part of the series reminds us that time is the most valuable asset we have in life.

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