Choosing the unknown

Choosing the unknown

I started my day today by watching an interview with Elon Musk on YouTube. Whenever I feel the need for inspiration and energy, turning to whatever Elon is working on always does the trick for me. But then this one sentence he said made me stop the video because it for some reason hit me deeply. He spoke about the history of exploration and said:

People chose to give up the known in favour of the unknown.

It made me curious why exactly this particular sentence made me stop what I was doing. It didn’t take long until I located why this touched me so much. This is why:

I feel that this is exactly what I have been doing in my life: making conscious decisions to abandon what I know and move towards something I don’t know. It started when I was twenty years old and decided to leave my country, friends and family and move to Sweden where I only knew one person (my husband) and only had a basic understanding of the swedish language and culture. If I hadn’t been so crazily head over heels in love with my man I think I would never have made such a move at that age. But we had met already three years before and the only thing I wanted was to be close to this human being who completely turned my world upside down. My first years in Sweden were all about diving into the unknown on many levels and figuring out how to create a life in this new country. It was both absolutely great (we lived in the middle of the famous IT bubble where for a while the sky was the limit) and also horribly difficult (I felt alone a lot for example).

After five years in Sweden I gave birth to my first child. That was a major move into the unknown again! It didn’t matter how many books I had read about being a parent: nothing could prepare me for the major shift in life that becoming a mom entailed. A whole new world opened up and just as with moving to Sweden, also this world included both amazing highs and incredible difficulties.  

Ten years later I came to a point where I deeply felt that my way of living wasn’t sustainable. I lived my life driven by truths that were not real. I let Lennart (the voice of my mind) run the show entirely. And it made me miserable. So I decided to enter the world of self-exploration and personal development. And as you can read in my previous blog post About surfing the waves in life, this decision slowly transformed my life.

Half a year ago I abandoned the known of a well-paid job in Stockholm in favour of moving to Spain and here I am today entering an unknown world again: entrepreneurship. Yesterday, Bolagsverket approved the name of my new company so now Poolside AB officially exists! I feel really proud and really scared at the same time.

I think this is my point. Abandoning the known in favour of the unknown to me means being willing to become really scared and daring to do whatever it is you want to do anyway. I also believe that this does not only apply to the type of major life events I described above. It is also about daring to speak my truth at my new job and risking people’s judgement of me. It is about dressing up tonight in clothes that make me feel uncomfortable but doing it anyway because it makes a lot to the person hosting this themed-party (and I love her very much). It is about sending my teenager on a trip to London to have a great time and process my pre-empty nest feelings instead of telling her to please not go because her being in another country without me really freaks me out. And so on.

Back to Elon. If the media is correct, he seems to be heading into a wall in his personal life. In his recent interview with The New York Times he admitted to working up to 120 hours/week. So to me it seems pretty obvious that no person can keep up this way of living in the long run, not even Elon Musk. I side with Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, in her open letter to Elon asking him to at least get more sleep because truly: the world needs it.

I will continue to challenge myself in abandoning the known in favour of the unknown. It’s simply the way I want to live. So that I hopefully can look back at my life when I’m really old and say: at least I had the courage to follow my heart, stand in my truth and tried to reach the stars!

If you’re interested you can watch the 2018 Elon Musk interview on YouTube where he discusses Tesla, SpaceX and new AI technologies
You can also read the New York Times interview: Elon Musk Details ‘Excruciating’ Personal Toll of Tesla Turmoil
And this is Arianna Huffington’s open letter to Elon Musk

Photo: Bryan Minear – unsplash.com


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