Unwired Ideas from a train to Budapest

I was on a 5-hour train journey from Timişoara to Budapest, and it occurred to me to do the following exercise: During the journey, I was going to write down and maybe delve into some ideas that were coming up in my head. I think it is a very useful way to understand how you think, and above all, where your gaps are.

After writing them down, I thought it was a good idea to share them with you:

  • We live thinking that we are infinite. We can’t live a thousand lives, as Nach said in his song. And at most, we can get to be good at one thing. You can go around and around as much as you want, but life keeps moving forward, whether you want it to or not. This reminds me of a quote from Hokusai after about 70 years of working on his paintings.

“From the age of six, I had a passion for copying the form of things and since the age of fifty I have published many drawings, yet of all I drew by my seventieth year there is nothing worth taking into account. At seventy-three years I partly understood the structure of animals, birds, insects and fishes, and the life of grasses and plants. And so, at eighty-six I shall progress further; at ninety I shall even further penetrate their secret meaning, and by one hundred I shall perhaps truly have reached the level of the marvellous and divine. When I am one hundred and ten, each dot, each line will possess a life of its own.”

  • Life is about making decisions where we have no control over what is going to happen. Maybe we go down a road and end up in paradise, or maybe we end up in a wasteland. But we can’t stop trying.
  • Elevator conversations bore me. Not because I think I’m better than anyone else, but because I think everyone has interesting stories to tell and ends up talking about the weather or how expensive electricity is.
  • Almost anyone lives better than any king of two centuries ago. Yet we keep complaining because we don’t have enough.
  • Limit your options. If you try to pursue 100 paths, you will run out of strength and will not be able to finish any of them.
  • A smile and a thank you are the best tools for any situation and for any place.
  • Creativity is more about discipline and perseverance than genius. Picasso made 50,000 works during his lifetime, and only 1% of them have had an impact on the world.
  • Between love and hate, there are very few centimeters. Sometimes the one we love the most is the one we can hurt the most. Be careful with this.
  • People come and go in your life. Some will stay forever, some will stay for a season, and some will stay for just one night. Try to take this as a part of living. Don’t take it too seriously.
  • It’s amazing to find people who, despite being born in another country, culture, and situation, can become someone you can call a friend in just a few weeks. Someone who can understand you even better than those who have been with you all your life.
  • If everyone spoke from vulnerability, everything would be easier. We all have insecurities, fears, and problems. And in many cases, we share them. The best stories were always created from vulnerability.
  • “The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we are able to focus on it.” — Steve Vais
  • Don’t underestimate anything you want to do, no matter how small it may seem. Doing something and doing it well takes a long time. It took Dumas 2 years to write The Count of Monte Cristo. Peter Jackson took 4 years to shoot Lord of the Rings. Anything worth doing takes a long, long time. There is no other way. There are no shortcuts.
  • What are we? Our body? No, since every 7 years all our cells have completely changed. Our emotions? Impossible, our emotions are primitive reactions to things that happen to us. Therefore, we only have consciousness, which is the big difference between an animal and a human being. The awareness that we are us and our existence in this world.
  • The less I worry about how and the more I do, the clearer I see the path. The more I think about how to do things and the less I do, the darker I see it.
  • And without a doubt, the one that is clearest to me. The more I write, the clearer it becomes to me that I have no fucking idea about anything.