I turned my business into my graduation projects, here's a few thoughts on what I'm planning to do.
January 9, 2022
A few weeks ago I started a new business called Meaning Crafter. Starting a new project like this takes a lot of time, energy and resources. However, I find myself in the privileged position of getting to work on this business as my graduation project for University; a wonderful opportunity to work hard on a project that I’m passionate about for the next five months.
In this article I want to share my plans for this graduation period with you; the essence of the project; the aim and goals; the shape and scope; the value that I will hopefully offer you; and what to expect next. Let’s explore.
The essence of Meaning Crafter
If I had to summarise the essence of this project in one sentence it would be something like this:
‘Helping young professionals become effective and fulfilled individuals, by developing internal understanding and translating this into external results.’
In other words, I want to help young (aspiring) professionals to create a deeper understanding of themselves - their values, the nature of their consciousness, their aspirations, their deep rooted sense of meaning, their cultural scripts - and translate this into the external world through their actions and behaviour.
My reason for doing this is that I strongly believe that the best way to understand and improve the ‘external’ world, is by understanding and improving our ‘internal’ world. It’s only when we know what we want, that we can go out to get it, and only if we have the skills and abilities that we can actually **get it.
What we really want
Take for example a co-worker whom is being an absolute dickhead. Does this person want to be a dickhead? Probably not. If they would take the time and effort to dig inside for a bit, they would find out that what they really want is to feel seen, or understood, or listened to. Had they realised this about themselves, they could find a way to fulfil this need without being a dickhead. Furthermore, they would also have a better understanding of why other people might act like dickheads, relating to them from a place of personal experience.
This digging inwardly to better interface with the world outwardly is, in my opinion, the best way that we can move forward as human beings, both on an individual and a societal level. But in order to do this successfully, we need an as-complete-as-possible understanding of both these worlds, and the bridge that connects them. And that’s exactly what I aim to do with this project.
The aim of this project
The aim of this project is to arm people with the knowledge and wisdom needed for the war on ignorance and mediocrity. Or, put differently, to provide them with the tools, techniques, principles, and information, that will allow them to engage with live more fully and honestly. Or, alternatively, to help them realise their internal divinity in order to manifest a world based on love and compassion.
These are all different ways of the saying the same thing: I want to help you get your shit together, both internally and externally, and live a good life. Or actually, I want to get my own shit together and live a good life, whilst sharing my findings and insights with you along the way.
The labyrinth of knowledge
The reason for phrasing my aim in all these different ways, is because I plan to explore a wide diversity of approaches in achieving this goal. Figuring out how to live a good life isn’t easy; being one of the most fundamental human challenges. One could easily get lost in the labyrinth of methodologies, religions, systems, narratives, cultures, resources, and thinking on this subject, which have been developed for over thousands of years of human evolution. Like a mineworker mining in a mountain of rock for nuggets of gold, I’m mining in this mountain of information for nuggets of wisdom. And depending on the nugget I found, I might phrase it like a Shakespearean sonnet or a LaBeoufian “JUST DO IT!”.
The execution of this project
That’s all well and good, but what will this look like in practice? Most likely: generating a shit-ton of output and doing many iterations. In my last article I laid out the rough plan - namely writing blogs posts, creating informative video, giving lectures, and building a personal life system using Notion - but how I will execute on this remains to be seen. With the driving mantra behind my process being that quality will be achieved through quantity, and that “It isn’t 10,000 hours that creates outliers, it’s 10,000 iterations.”
The key elements of this exploration
However, there a few key elements that will form the backbone of this exploration, namely:
- Getting a complete as possible understanding of things.
- Sharing an honest and real-time evaluation of my thinking process.
- Translating abstract matters into concrete ones.
- Doing everything in service of human well-being, development and thriving.
Let me briefly expand on each of these key elements, and why they are so important.
A complete understanding
The world that we live in is tremendously complex. Our entire universe is build out of an infinite amount of particles, floating in an infinite space, having an infinite amount of relationships to each other. This infiniteness is scary. It confronts us with everything that we’re not; everything that what we don’t understand, that we can’t comprehend, and that we can’t be. Our infinite surrounding reminds us of our finiteness, and that fucking hurts.
So to not live a life of crippling paranoia and existential dread, we decide to ignore the infinite nature of our universe for most of our waking lives; isolating a small portion of existence and giving that our fullest attention. That small portion could be the stock market, our fitness goals, the amount of followers we have on Instagram, our relationships with friends and family, or the career path we’re trying to build.
From a staying-sane perspective this is great. From a trying-to-learn-the-truth perspective not so much. Because this same tendency to narrowly focus our attention on things we can comprehend, also riddles our minds with biases and incomplete (or uninformed) opinions and mental models. I fall victim to this just as much as anyone (and probably even more), which is exactly the reason for explicitly training myself into considering as many different perspectives as I can. Comprehending infinity isn’t in the cards anytime soon, but widening my scope of focus is; so that’s the hand I’m going to play.
Honest evaluation of my thinking
When I say that I probably fall victim to these biases more than other people I’m not being self-deprecating in an attempt to amuse, rather I’m trying to honestly reflect on my own behaviour. As anyone who knows me can tell you: I’m a great salesman of ideas, and once I’ve discovered a new one I can ramble on about it for hours. Often this rambling is riddled with inconstancies and a lack of critical understanding. But that doesn’t stop me from persuading other people to believe it (even when I don’t believe it myself); because fuck critical thinking and go shallow minded parroting.
Knowing this about myself I wan’t to develop stronger self-awareness and a more critical stance in how I approach my own thought process. One part of achieving this is through documenting my thoughts and ideas; another part is through accountability. By creating content in which I honestly share my thinking and evaluate it in real-time, I hope to cover both these parts. So even though my thought process might change wildly over time, you can at least be assured that it’s my thought process.
Translating abstract matters into concrete ones
Then there is the matter of concretisation. As you might have already noticed, the nature of this exploration is one filled with abstract ideas. This is all fine and dandy, but sometimes we just want clear and concrete instructions: read this book; go to this gym; take this path. Just give me a finite thing to focus on and stop bothering me with your infinite bag of shit.
The true art (and power) then lays in translating the abstract matters into concrete ones. To build bridges between the world of ideas and the world of actions; the inward realm and the outward realm; the implicit and the explicit. It is nourishing and expanding yourself in the vast pool of abstraction, to then titrate it down into a fresh glass of drinkable water. It is to slay the metaphorical dragon of chaos to safeguard the treasure trove of concrete value.
That is what I will attempt to do during this project. I enjoy philosophising and playing around with fancy words; but I also want to be able to share what I’ve discovered with others, which requires me to make my thinking understandable and accessible. So whenever I go on an abstract tangent just bear with me (or skip ahead), as I’ll try to bring it back to a concrete point, which can then hopefully serve as a starting point for action.
Human well-being, development and thriving
Which brings us to the final key element, and arguably the most important one. Everything in this projects and it’s accompanied exploration is dedicated towards human well-being, development and thriving. How can we, both on an individual and societal level, live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives? How can we create a world that is filled with joy, love and meaning? And how can we do so in a sustainable, fair and accessible way? These are some of the toughest questions to answer, but you got to start somewhere, and I might as well start here.
Time to graduate
So there you have a short description of my graduation project. I’ve used these two first articles as means to set the stage, to give people some insight into my intentions, goals and approach of getting there. And now that the stage is set, it’s time for the big act to begin. So bookmark this blog, stay tuned, and I will see you back here for the first scene.