Be what you want to be

From today, I have technically been living outside the country where I was born more days than I’ve lived in it. It’s not a big deal; lots of people spend their entire lives far from their origins. In my case, it doesn’t have any more significance than to give proof that I’ve been able to do what I always dreamed of doing: explore. When I was little, reading histories of a certain Marco Polo, listening to adventures of the medieval travelers or the wise Greeks who traveled to diverse lands, a great but healthy jealousy arose in me. I always wanted to be a traveler and live that kind of life.
There’s not enough time to think, write, dream about and attain all that I desire to know. Searching is not the important thing in itself; what matters is how and why. For this reason, I designed a route which I have had to alter many times and which is ruled by my passion to direct the course of my own life at whatever cost. Risking isn’t losing – it’s taking a leap. Sometimes that leap sets you up for serious failure, but since to me the important thing is the journey – being in flight and the sensation of liberty that it brings — if in the end there’s a hit, it hurts less, stuns me less, and I’m able to react faster, regain momentum, and learn a lot from it all.

It saddens me when someone says they are what they can be, instead of what they want to be. Because of that, long ago I decided that my work would be global because I like to live without boundaries. It’s exhausting I throw myself into it passionately; it’s thrilling because it allows me to meet people every day that know much more than I do; it’s enriching because at every step, on every flight, during every night in a hotel, the minutes become a pending challenge; it’s vibrant because every new project I take on is the first, electrifying because everything goes at digital speed, and innovative and brilliant because the light of everything that I still want to do blinds me.

Long ago I renounced nonessential things that don’t help me to pursue my dreams and goals. Being happy doesn’t depend on the size of the wheels on your car but on that relaxing stroll through your neighborhood with the one you love, thinking that as the day ends, even if it was a disaster, it was only the day before a great tomorrow.

I tell my team not to let themselves be frightened by the everyday stuff, not to be overwhelmed — because that’s not living — and that they withstand every onrush that comes our way because we decided to be entrepreneurs, because in each one of those onrushes is the beauty of it all. It’s in the difficulties and in how to overcome them. If you do it how, when, and where you want, you’ve won. You’ve won the game that life proposed you in your early days. Forty-three years ago life asked me, “Are you in?” I responded, “Give me some time and I’ll get into it.” And I did.

Once I read a description of the people who monitor what happens in the stands in football stadiums. They’re people in red vests posted between the spectators and the playing field – sometimes police and sometimes private security. These people don’t watch the game because they have their backs to it. Their precise function is to watch the spectators in case they misbehave. They can intuit what happens on the playing field by the refection that takes place on the face of the crowd. They look, think, and get bored, unable to intervene in that world. I think many people live that way.

There are millions of people that don’t see the “goals” of life because they are afraid or because they keep themselves safe in their comfort zone. They hear the roar of the crowd and they figure there’s been a goal. The social model in which we live tries with all its might to make sure we live with our backs to what happens and many resign themselves to drink their morning cup of chloroform in order to not feel bad. These are people that in many cases know a lot, read a lot, listen to a lot and surely know so much that they may call themselves “wise”. You can be wise but at the same time not be living.

I decided a long time ago not to be one of those that looks at the crowd, not even to be one of those that look at the field from the stands. I want to be the damn center forward that scores the goal, and even if don’t achieve that, at least I will have a great time playing.