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Good bones.

People have different fitness functions for their lives. I don't think they are aware of them at all times, or even at all. But these fitness functions reflect in the choices they make, consciously or less so.

Assuming one is fortunate enough to be able to afford a house or a car, or to go on holidays, their fitness function reflects in their choices. Would they get the most expensive property they can afford? Or the biggest? Or the newest? Or the closest to town or to their friends? Marketing reminds us how much our car says about ourselves. The fashion industry reminds us how much we can say through the way we dress, or how we conduct ourselves.

What are you saying today? Would you style your Japanese denim jeans with sneakers or a nice pair of butterscotch suede high heels?

Are you going for a stroll on the Bond Street or taking afternoon tea at Sketch? Or are you laying your own floors in the house, painting the walls and washing the windows? (nothing wrong with fashion or Bond Street, suede shoes are my favorite and Sketch is just amazing!)

Wait wait wait, are you saying you don't have a cleaning person, but you can afford to eat in Michelin starred restaurants every week? Why would do this?

Well, it's a fitness function. I like to do things myself sometimes. I like to be reminded that things are not always easy (they surely haven't always been for me). And that I can solve a problem by myself, in a way that is not easy, not just by throwing money at the problem and making it go away. Which I do, if really needed.

In my choices, whether of a house, a car, a trip or the team I work with, I look for bones.

Does it have good bones?

my grandpa used to ask. Cuz if it has good bones, wonderful things can be made of it. But if not, then all the work in the world won't amount to much.

Let's say one is willing to put some work, then the challenge then becomes: how do you know? When many (most?) industries try to sell you on the facade, the glitter, the polish, the picture-perfect moment, how do you know you're not "buying" a rotten mess?

It's not easy. And one may need to go against the society norms, or their parents' expectations, or agains their own insecurities and beliefs. Or at least acknowledging these biases and stopping to reflect.

Would you not date a person because they don't pick you up on a fancy car, but rather on a bike, or they just take the train/bus? What are the things that you can learn and develop having this person in your life? Will they support you and help you grow into a better self, or just further feed your already established societal prejudices? Would you go with them to the end of the world?

Bark Europa on the Antarctic Peninsula

I think it takes courage, and patience. Which means it takes fear and often times constant, repeated fear.

Paralyzing fear, panic attacks hitting you while on a normal shopping round to Ikea.

Terrified by the potential loss, the unknown. Especially unknowing if you still got emotional fuel to start over again, just this one time trying again to keep to your fitness function, alone, while everyone around you chose differently.

To date somebody who can help you become a better person. To choose a house that needs a lot of work. To choose or stay in a relationship that needs work (but where both put in the work), rather than starting over, or choosing the shiny new toy.

To go on a trip where you need to wake up at 3AM to go on a watch instead of sailing a cruise ship sipping caipirinha. To choose a slightly out of fashion hotel, where you can see the old stories written on the walls, the choice of furniture, the old broken wooden basket and the old megaphone.

Somewhere in Glengarriff

Someone said that fear is just the undiscovered potential for growth. Hang on to it, and see where it leads you. Sometimes it may be the top of the world.

Snowman Trail Bhutan, ~5000m

You can choose better if you know what you want, where you're going. The problem is that it's very hard to know that, to get to know what you want and where you're going. It takes a lot of trying to figure out what you want to do. And what you can become really great at, because you can, everyone can, because everyone has the potential. It takes a lot of work (and yes, luck too), and a good chunk of this work is resisting the urge to change your fitness function.

But I think it pays off. Maybe not in the most extravagant, not in the "make half a billion USD and be famous" way. But in the finding that home that poets talk about. Where you know you don't need anything else, because you have an evolving something that is priceless to you.

I don't get invited to talk or share my experience or my life story and such. I don't hold a high role at work, but I consider myself as successful as maybe many in higher roles than me.

No, I'm not delusional. Perhaps someone is a vice-president, took their chances (and yes, a lot of work) in an economy of aggressive growth, were in the right place at the right time (and yes, worked their butts off) and got where they are. I consider myself successful, despite not having a TED Talk (which I still hope to have at some point) or being invited to fireside chats as a guest.

Because I know where I started off: shovelling cow poo, eating polenta with dry plumbs for years as a kid, celebrating having bread, and firmly not believing bananas are real. Being discouraged by and abused by my mother into not socializing or going on any school activities (because "what can you possibly learn there that you cannot think of yourself?"), discovering with shock that getting my period is a normal thing and not something I must have done wrong by God. Learning to slowly accept (still working on forgiveness) that my mother didn't know any better at the time and that she was struggling herself with mental health.

My take on life: is not how far you get (the title, the money), but how far you've come.

Marienfluss, Namibia

One of my favourite videos that I referred back to quite often as a DEI lead is this one, "Heartbreaking Moment When Kids Learn About White Privilege". When I go talk to them, I discover I don't share much with the "white folk". I share more similar trauma with the others.

Call us crazy, but we must continue. As Serena Williams and others amazing leaders inspire us: Dream Crazier.

I've got good bones, I'm worth it. I'll dream even crazier.

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