Simon Sunde

"Fail early and fail often."

Purpose

Every day we wake up and go out to do things. These things often have to do with our jobs, hobbies or businesses. We do these things day after day, week after week, year after year. But why?

Sometimes it’s ’cause we have to. Other times it’s ‘cause we really want to. It can be driven by curiosity, passion or necessity.
However, one abstract and inexpressible substance is to be found in every single thing we do. That’s our purpose. That’s our why.
A person’s purpose isn’t always easily found. But when it is, it makes everything seem clear and can produce enormous amounts of enthusiasm, courage and optimism, that’ll last a lifetime (if not longer).

What is it?
Purpose is often defined as some sort of goal, that we aim for and try to reach in everything we do. That’s purpose all right, but it goes deeper. It has wider implications. It has higher meaning. It has greater impact.
It’s our guiding star, when we’re navigating through opportunities and self-discovery. Without out it, we wander into a meaningless void. Never fully understanding where we’re going and why we do the things we do.
Because as said “purpose” is your essential “reason why”. It is your motivating force, your invigorating energy, your inner fuel that fires your engines. Purpose is what drives you to do what you already do – and want to keep doing.

Gathered here are three things I find crucial for discovering, as well as maintaining one’s purpose:

Forget Prestige!
In my opinion one should never do anything just because of the prestige. Don’t worry about what other people make of you – the only thing that matters is what you, your friends and family thinks.
If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious. Many things we consider prestigious today, used to be anything but at the beginning. It’s because someone took “nothing” and made it “something” we now consider it prestigious.
The first example that comes to mind, is the Beatles. Everybody once laughed at the Beatles, because their music were so obscure and weird (at the time) – But they kept going and then one day someone took the chance and recorded their first album. Ever since they’ve been one of the most record-breaking and prestigious bands ever in history.

Success
There’s two main misassumptions about success that troubles me:
The first one is how we think we know what success is. However, the truth is, that we adopt these perceptions by others and considers it success. I’m not saying we should give up on our ideas of success, but we should make sure that they’re our own. Success should be an individual measurement, based on what a person is pursuing in life.
The second is the destination. Most people believe that when they reach, what they consider to be success, they’ll be happy. What really happens, is when one goal is reached, another is immediately set – which basically means that we might be successful, but we’ll never reach true success and therefore never reach true happiness.

Boundaries
There will be situations in life when you’ll be faced with decisions that put your values at odds. In order to be true to your purpose (and yourself), you’ll need to be able to set boundaries. You need to know where you draw the line and remembering your values. Every time you compromise with believes, you compromise with your purpose (which means your success and simultaneously who you are).

If you have anything to add, please share it in the comment section below.

Becoming an Uncle

Some time ago I was told that I was going to be an uncle. Then came a lot of waiting and a couple a weeks ago it finally happened and it was official – I was an uncle (to a beautiful little girl). However I didn’t knew the first thing about being an uncle and what this new title might bring. So I did what any rational guy in my age (with no children) would do… I google’d it!

At first I feared that it would be nothing but a rampaging tornado of baby talk, diapers and screaming rushing over the family for a couple of years. But as it turns out there are actually quite a few things to be excited about!
I always loved children. Maybe ‘cause we’re so much a like? Anyhow, I came up with 10 reasons why becoming an uncle is one of the best things that could ever happen to a guy.

1. See how it feels to have a baby (but only when it’s cute and quite)
I’ve been with my girlfriend for almost 6 years now (yea, ‘high-school sweethearts’), so of course the thought of having a pooper ran across our minds. Now that I’m an uncle, we can finally see how it is and how well we do in certain (screaming) situations.

2. A great excuse to do little kid things again (without being judged)
No one is going to question you, if you watch cartoon for 1-2 hours – that’s if you’re doing it with a kid. Suddenly you go from childish dude, to a really great and patient babysitter.
When you have a kid in the family, you get to relive all of your favorite childhood memories. You can bring over your old legos and play with them for hours and hours, and see the same joy you felt as a kid, in another child’s eyes.

3. They’ll always be honest with you (for better or worse)
Honesty comes from drunks and kids – that’s just the way it is. So be prepared!

4. Birthdays are cool (kids birthday are the best!)
Family birthdays are all-right: you sit down, eat some cake, sing a few songs, and that’s it. A kids birthday, on the other hand, is a whole different matter. Usually you have a great theme (maybe dress-up) tons of cake, candy and baked-goods. There’s never a moment to sit down, because there is always something new and exciting happening – like a scavenger-hunt or a bouncing castle.

5. They’ll share all of their candy with you
Kids loves to share. If they don’t, you tell them that’s a valuable lesson to learn in life (and take whatever you wanted them to give you in the first place).

6. You get a free mini-me
“You have to be a role model…” is what my mom used to say, when I was playing with my younger brother, and of course I’ll be – but first we’re going to have a little fun (and my niece will be no exception)! I’m gonna teach her all the pranks and curse words, that’ll drive her parents crazy. Dress her up in the exact same outfits as mine and give her all the ‘My uncle is the best’-merch I can get my hands on.
Warning for all young uncles: your sister will be pissed at you for teaching her 2-year-old the F word and the middle finger.

7. You have someone to pass down all your wisdom to
The world is in desperate need of more female coders. My niece is gonna be one of them.

8. Kids are weird
Kids does and loves the weirdest things. They presume every room to be the bathroom, eat things not considered to be eatable and listen to Justin Bieber (sometimes all at once!) They’ll always embrace what is weird and quirky – and that’s where we’re very much alike. In order to become the best uncle ever, one most be as weird and funny as one can be.

9. Kids are basically free entertainment
To observe a kid who’s learning everything from scratch can be very joyful. To see them make the same obvious mistakes as you did – like miscalculating the existence of gravity when you’re trying to see how far you can swing in a rocking chair.

10. Kids melts your heart
If any of the above doesn’t appeal to you (or if the idea of kids frightens you), remember this: Kids are the most awesome form we humans can ever take. They’re curious, adventures, weird, adorable, sticky and smelly, and absolutely wonderful.

I dedicate this article to my niece, whom I started loving long before I’d ever layed eyes on her. The most precious gift an uncle could ever receive.

Emily

Emilie

6 Ways To Pull The Plug On Vacation

I’m one of those people who gets very early up in the morning, to get something out of the day. You could imagine that I’m also one of those having a hard time relaxing, when on vacation (I mean I’m on vacay now, but still I’m writing this post). However, I was intrigued when I first learned, that I wasn’t the only one facing this problem – or at least the relaxation part (people genuinely don’t like mornings).

So I (unquestionably) sought to our beloved science, to resolve this difficulty of reaching the state of relaxation. What I found was quite interesting and I divided it into 6 simple tips:

1. Go to the beach. When you’re deciding whether or not you should spent your holiday on the countryside, in the city, or near the beach – you should go for the water’s edge. A study by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health shows, that people who went to the seaside for a holiday reported more refreshment, serenity, and enjoyment than people who spent time in an urban setting or wilderness.

2. Leave the smartphone on the counter. For a vacay to be rejuvenating and calming one self, you need to be completely present in the moment, says Matthew Edlund, MD, author of “The Power of Rest”. It’s now secret that smartphones, tablets and PCs are a constant distraction in our everyday lives. So we need to put them away, in order to be on vacay in both mind and body. “If you’re distracted on vacation, it’s not worth it,” says Dr. Edlund.

3. Get out of your comfort zone. Sure, laying by the pool, at an all-inclusive hotel with all the food and drinks in the world, sounds like a nice way to spend you day – just don’t spend all your days like that. Your physical and mental welfare will gain a lot more from an out-of-the-box activity, says Dr. Edlund. Plan activities. Go surfing. Go eat at a local restaurant. Go do something uncomfortable (yay, so excided…)!

4. Go out with a bang. Ever heard of the “peak-end rule”? Neither had I. It’s a term used by psychologists, and what it basically means is that we remembers an experience by its peak – and how it ends. Keep that in mind, when planing your holiday activities. Save something you’re really looking forward to, for the end – and you’ll look back at a wonderful vacation, full of happy memories.

5. Don’t post it. In this modern society, it can be ever so tempting to post every little memorable moment of your vacation. However, by doing so could actually compromise those beautiful memories. Researchers from the University of Alberta found that the more we pick apart our experiences or analyze our memories, the more we dilute the strong emotional connections we have to them – turning heartwarming and joyous memories into detached cognitive experiences.

6. Plan you next trip. The joy of anticipation is always greater than the actual event. Same goes for vacations, finds a study from the Netherlands. It was also found that participants found an positive change of their moods, up to eight weeks before a big trip. Unfortunately, when the vacation is over, people tend to fall back into their everyday rutines (and also moods). So my advice would be: Plan your next vacation, as soon as your current one is over.

And now I’m pulling the plug,
Happy Holidays :-)