Non-Conformity

Unveiling My New Business

WasteLessNormally, this blog is strictly dedicated to self-optimization on a personal level. I usually stick to topics like optimizing your skills, developing mindsets and breaking the status quo.

But today, I’m going to take a break from that and talk about self-optimization in a broader sense. Because ultimately, in order to truly optimize yourself and your life to the fullest, you need to also target the world around you. Think of it more like societal optimization, if you will.

This concept requires us to step outside of ourselves, and look at how we can influence (and improve) the world around us. How can we make sure that our existence ends up having a net positive impact on the world?

Of course, depending on your specific situation in life, the impact you can have will vary. Some people strive to put an end to poverty, or make humanity an inter-planetary species. But seeing how we can’t all be Bill Gates or Elon Musk, most of us have to settle for smaller feats, like helping our friends and family, recycling our trash or taking part in a local charity.

The point is simply to have the biggest positive impact we can – with the means available to us.

And for me personally, I think I’ve found a way to increase the size of that impact – and actually make sure that I do something positive for the world.

Introducing; my new business.

See, in today’s society, we’re producing a ton of waste – shocker, right? What’s even more shocking though is that, as it turns out, all this waste is pretty bad for the environment. So I figured, if I’m going to start a business, why not start one that’s actually tackling this problem?

And so, WasteLess Scandinavia was born.

WasteLess – the Zero Waste shop of Sweden

When we think about all the waste we produce around the world, it becomes obvious where the majority of this waste comes from; our food shopping.

And I’m not talking just food waste here – that’s actually a comparatively small problem. I’m talking about the millions of tons of plastic, paper and metal packaging that comes along with that food – most of which ends up straight in the trash can (or, best case scenario, the recycling bin).

Historically, there hasn’t exactly been much we can do about this. We all need food, and for most people, there is no way to get that food without a ton of unnecessary packaging.

But that’s where WasteLess comes in. Being a Zero Waste shop, WasteLess wants to offer its customers the option of buying their food in bulk, free from any unnecessary packaging and waste. And the kicker? Only reusable containers allowed – either ones people brought from home, or ones they bought in the store.

Of course, I can’t exactly take credit for this idea – Zero Waste shops have been popping up all around the world in the last couple of years. But, for some reason, we haven’t really seen any in Sweden.

So, spotting a hole in the market – and an opportunity to do something good for the world – I’ve decided to open the first Zero Waste shop in Stockholm, Sweden. Hopefully, this will allow me to increase my positive impact on the world around me.

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When Boredom Takes Over

when boredom takes over

A few weeks ago, I woke up and realized something;

My life is fucking boring.

Now don’t get me wrong – I like my life. It’s a nice life. I’m healthy, I have a well-paying job that I enjoy, I have good friends, and a lovely girlfriend. I have everything I need, and most things I want. On paper, my life is pretty awesome.

But it’s also really, really ordinary.

I’m not creating great things. I don’t go on nearly as many adventures as I would like. I don’t passionately dedicate my time and energy to some awe-inspiring project that I believe in with all my heart. Hell, save for a short, 5-day trip to Britain, I haven’t even left the country in years.

That is certainly not what 18-year-old me would have called an exciting life. It’s a long way from the globetrotting, world-changing, startup-founding trailblazer I always imagined myself becoming.

So what the hell happened? How did I go from being an ambitious teenager who had travelled half the globe and dreamed of conquering the world, to a 23-year-old average Joe with a steady job and a collection of Ikea furniture? (more…)

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Achieving Excellence – Putting in the Work

(Note: this is the final part of a longer series of articles on the subject of Excellence. For some context and an explanation to why this whole thing is happening, check out part 1 – Excellence vs. Reason)

So far in the series we’ve talked about the various obstacles we need to overcome in order to have a chance at reaching excellence. We’ve looked into how making exclusively reasonable decisions is holding us back, how our irrational risk aversion severely limits our potential for success, and how our addiction to social support keeps us stuck at a mediocre level in life.

But there’s one aspect of reaching excellence that we haven’t even scratched the surface of yet. And it’s a pretty important component too: putting in the hard work.

Ugh, such an un-sexy phrase. Hard work. That’s not what we want to hear – give us some more tricks or life hacks that promise us instant success! Anything but hard work!

Unfortunately, there is no way around this. Hard work, more than anything, is what determines whether or not you will reach excellence. Because anyone can do what’s easy. Anyone can go for the low-hanging, mediocre fruits of life.

But to go past this low-hanging fruit and reach for that perfect apple at the top of the tree – that’s what separates the extraordinary from the ordinary. (more…)

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Excellence Beyond Social Support

master plan

(Note: this is part 4 of a five-part series on achieving Excellence. For more context, and an explanation of why this series is happening, check out part 1: Excellence vs. Reason)

In the last post, I introduced the concept of external support systems, and how much we rely on them to do just about anything. To briefly summarize, this external support is made up of all the support we get from the world around us to help us live a decent life.

This support comes in many shapes, from the school system teaching us the things we need to know, to the medical system that brings us back to health when we’re sick, and even our social circle supporting us in achieving our personal goals.

The only problem is that most of this external support is only there to help us reach a certain point – usually mediocrity – after which it seizes to exist. Our schools help us pass the test, but no further. Our social structures help us get everything we need to live a decent, ordinary life, but not an extraordinary one.

Anything past the point of mediocrity, and we’re usually on our own.

This is, of course, a problem for anyone who wants to go past mediocrity and reach excellence.

It’s not easy to go from relying heavily on this external support, to tackling the problems of life all on our own. In fact, this is the hurdle that stops the majority of people from ever going too far beyond mediocrity in the first place.

All of this leads us to the following conclusion; in order to reach past the point of mediocrity, we need to stop depending on external support systems to carry us through life.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. We can’t just stand up one day and declare that, okay, as of right now, I don’t need any more outside help! We’re far too dependent on it to do such a thing.

What we can do, however, is replace this external support with a solid internal support system. A system that we control; one that doesn’t depend on the support of any outside factors that may or may not want us to succeed.

But in order to replace anything, we need to first figure out what it is we want to switch out in the first place.

(more…)

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If You Want Excellence, You’re on Your Own

excellence

(Note: This is part 3 in a series of posts about achieving excellence. If you want some context for the whole thing, you might want to start out with part 1)

So far in the series, we’ve talked about how excellence can never come from reason, and how a certain degree of risk is essential in the pursuit of excellence.

But reaching excellence isn’t all about taking risks and being unreasonable. There’s also one major obstacle that needs to be overcome – an obstacle that tends to be the one thing separating the excellent from the mediocre.

That obstacle is learning to get by without the support of the world around you.

Let me explain.

Throughout our lives, we’ve depended heavily on the support of the rest of the world. We depend on others to teach us how everything works, to show us how to get a job, to help us get good at the things we suck at, to show us how to buy a car, find a partner and do our dishes, and to help us stay healthy and in shape.

We depend on these external support systems to help us do just about everything we do.

Unfortunately, these support systems only exist up to a certain point; mediocrity. Once we’ve reached that point, the majority of this support will seize to exist – and in order for us to keep going, we’ll be more or less on our own.

Your teacher will help you pass the test, but if you want to learn more, you’re on your own. Society will help you find a job – but if you want to start your own business and get filthy rich, you’re on your own. And your friends will support you in losing weight and reaching an average level of fitness, but if you want to get into better shape than them, you’re on your own.

This is where we’ve reached a magic threshold that separates the mediocre from the excellent. It’s the point where we’re forced to stop relying on support from the world around us, and start depending on ourselves to keep going.

Unfortunately, this is not an easy thing to do, seeing how..  (more…)

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