In my early age, I started to feel the need to do something meaningful in my life, that it was too precious to be wasted living a regular life. I never really felt I fit in, all given structures around me never welcomed me. To illustrate, since I was the tallest baby born in my home city, at school not even the class tables had enough space for my legs! rsrsrsrsr So I knew I would have to build my own container in the world in order to be happy. But I never knew where to start!
Six years ago I gave up on my business management job. I needed to find a purpose in life. It started with what my life partner and I like to call a “personal innovation” process. An adventure that put at stake everything that was known and certain, it changed our lives irrevocably.
We moved to Europe, leaving everything behind to experience amazing cities like Barcelona, Berlin and Paris for 3 years. We dedicated the following years to studying innovation and sustainability. We saw the link between them as a way to make a radically better world. First big lesson: detachment. From everything, career, friends, family, bicycle, books… we sold all we could and packed the rest to fit in a small room. We handled the keys of our apartment to a good friend to enjoy and to take care of it. When we left we didn’t know for how long we would be staying away, or if we were to ever come back to live in Brazil. We wanted to stop that clock ticking … enough. We were thirsty to penetrate into another dimension of things, to see the world through new lenses. And so we did it.
When it was time to return to our home we were eager to make a difference. We wanted to put into practice all we had seen and learned together abroad. We worked ourselves to exhaustion to convince people that a big shift was needed to save our world. We enthusiastically believed Brazil could lead this movement of developing in a new model of business innovation and development.
We were crushed by reality.
Second big lesson: there is no outside transformation, we’ve got to dig deep into ourselves to provoke the change we want to see outside. We were broken financially, emotionally and we almost lost our marriage.