Fixed to Flow

By Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta

Flow / Fiero > On Purpose [April 2022]

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Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta
Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta
👋 Hey there, 
After the pandemic reality check, many people are reflecting on their life so far; and how they want to live from now on.
As an optimist, I find that beautiful and see it as the seeds for a better world. In fact, discovering that my purpose is helping people to grow had a big impact on my life on many levels. And it has a multiplication effect — people you help today will help others in the future.
There is a catch, though. All this talk about purpose sometimes brings anxiety to people who didn’t find theirs. It doesn’t have to be like that. Sometimes, you just need to take the first step, like everything in life.
In that context, I love how Dan Pink repurposed his perspective on purpose in his book Drive. He now distinguishes between two types of purpose:
  • Purpose with a capital P — solving the climate crisis, ending world poverty, etc.
  • purpose with a lowercase p — small gestures to help other people in their daily lives; what we can call random acts of kindness.
The first is about making a difference, and the second is about making a contribution.
I would add that making a contribution can be an excellent start to uncovering your purpose. And if it doesn’t work, at least you helped someone along the way.
In You 2.0: Cultivating Your Purpose, Anthony Burrow talks about three different pathways to purpose based on his research:
  1. When pursuing a passion or a hobby starts to become bigger and gain momentum like a snowball rolling down a hill.
  2. A major life event like losing your job and having to reinvent yourself.
  3. Observing someone with purpose and using inspiration from that in your own life.
The big lesson here is to not overthink about your purpose; instead, expose yourself to diversity and experimentation and be aware of yourself and others.
To wrap up, and playing the contrarian role now, it’s important to notice that the world is full of happy people who never thought about purpose.
Project Spotlight
Talent Protocol
“We’re going to do what you have been doing for the past decades but at a larger scale.”
Pedro was inviting me to become an advisor of Talent Protocol, and I couldn’t think of a better pitch for someone like me, who has been doing pro bono mentoring for many years.
Talent Protocol is a web3 professional network for high-potential talent, and it’s completely aligned with my life purpose.
“Until now careers have mostly been a single-player game where only a privileged few can win. With web3, careers are becoming multiplayer journeys where early support is rewarded and success is shared.”
The cherry on top was that I had helped Pedro, as an advisor, on his previous startup, Landing.jobs. So things came full circle.
A couple of months after, I agreed to allocate part of my time to improve the product as a contractor. The Web3 bug had caught me. My head started to spin around about all its possibilities. Still is.
Toolbox
Notion
When I use Notion, I feel like a kid playing with a box of Legos; nothing is impossible.
Principles trump tools every day of the week, but sometimes you bump into something that makes you feel at home. Notion is so powerful that it’s hard to define, so let’s have the official team give you a first intro.
What is Notion?
What is Notion?
Before adopting Notion, I tried it a couple of times and quit. I just couldn’t grasp what to do, where to start, or how powerful it was.
Then one day, I started to think of it as a box of Legos, and everything started to flow. And by flow I mean, flow.
Today, it’s my go-to tool to manage the different facets of my life and the tool of choice for most projects I work on.
Disclaimer: I’m a Notion Ambassador (a non-paid position).
Five prompts for Filipe
Filipe Macedo
A newsletter you will never unsubscribe
For me, Digital Native is the newsletter I read every week. Rex Woodbury is fascinated by how people connect and create online, and he writes about how tech and culture intersect. To get a taste of what to expect, here are a few great editions: Everyone Is An Investor, The Rise of Synthetic Media & Digital Creators or Myspace, Tumblr, and the Long-Lost Weirdness of the Social Internet.
A community where you feel at home 
Launch House is a social club for founders united by the central belief that the purpose of life is to build things with your friends that make the world a better place.
The combination of ambition, curiosity, and openness I see in Launch House makes me feel at home. A place where I can spend hours talking with someone about their interesting life story or ambitious dreams. Being around so many smart people pushes me to be better and aim for more.
Two podcasts to go deep
The first is How I Built This a super well-produced show where Guy Raz dives deep into the stories behind some of the world’s best know companies. Get personal with great innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists - and the movements they built.
The second podcast I recommend is The Deep End (produced by On Deck), where visionary builders, creators, and experts discuss world-changing ideas. The host Marshall Kosloff asks great questions, skipping the surface level and going in-depth into ideas that matter.
A book that inspired you
I was surprisingly impacted by the simple book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. This quote sums it up nicely: “If what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either (…) The elements that made a story meaningful were the same that made a life meaningful.”
A piece of advice to live by
Go all in on work, but always leave space for hobbies and side gigs.
Bookshelf
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius
When people ask me what books influenced me the most, The Obstacle is the Way is at the top of my list. This is a bit meta since it’s a byproduct of the book I read the most — Meditations from Marcus Aurelius.
Along with Memento Mori, and Amor Fati, the Obstacle is the Way is one of the stotic principles I follow most deeply. Its meaning is quite simple yet powerful — see obstacles as opportunities.
In the book, Ryan Holiday takes you on a journey through history to show how some of the most successful people applied stoicism to overcome tough situations. When it was published, it took Silicon Valley and US sports leagues by storm — and since then has been massively adopted by top performers. Although I don’t play the “success game”, it has became one of my core principles, and helped me immensely to overcome the most difficult period of my life.
Be careful, though, when seeing things through this lens — applying these concepts when you start from a position of advantage is entirely different from when you are underprivileged. So instead of judging others, help to level things up.
Quotes worth pondering
“What if we measured true success not by the amount of money you have but by the amount of human energy you unlock, the amount of potential you enable? If there were our metric, our world would be a different place.” —Jacqueline Novogratz
“Value is created when we can customize, adapt, and innovate—all of which require learning."—Bradley R. Staats
Pointers
On repeat
Sweet ride
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Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta
Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta @gustavocpimenta

Thoughts and pointers from a proud generalist powered by radical diversity.

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