Luis Cuende


Learnings in 2021

My last yearly learnings post was in 2019, so I guess this is more of a bundle of 2020-2021 experiences. I really want to keep doing this, as it’s a powerful tool for reflection.

So much has happened in my life in 2020-2021, from the best moments of my life to the very worst. I have gotten as close as ever with some of my loved ones, and I have also lost some long-lasting friendships.

All and all, I have come to appreciate negative experiences. We appreciate positive ones by default — we are programmed to do so — but we under appreciate how cathartic negative experiences can be. Negative experiences teach us valuable lessons that we wouldn’t learn otherwise, and they help us introspect and course-correct.

So, without further ado, some of my learnings:

  • Family is, really, the most important thing: This is a cliche, but family values are not exactly in all-time high in our society. There’s just something about unconditional love, with parents that love each other and project that love into raising their children. Continuing with that thought, creating your own family must be the most rewarding thing to do in life.
  • True friendship is as hard to come by as true love: People say that friends come and go, and that’s unfortunately true in most cases. Finding long-lasting friends that you can keep for decades is hard, maybe almost impossible in today’s society. Hang on to those. It must feel amazing to go for beers when you are 70 and laugh at the stupid things you did together 40 years ago.
  • There’s no space in the heart, and no time in life, for hate: Hatred implies caring. Why care about something negative? It’s just better to achieve indifference instead.
  • Forgiving is the ultimate cure: Forgiving people for their actions is both selfless and selfish. Selfless because you get past hatred towards their wrongdoings, selfish because it’s the ultimate cure for the mind, letting go of hatred.
  • Everyone ultimately lets go of hatred: The difference is whether we decide to let go quickly, or live a life filled with hatred. Ultimately, nothing matters while on your deathbed, so we all end up regretting and letting go. But there’s no need to wait to the very last second.
  • Today’s world is fucking up our heads: There are tons of information but we run short of wisdom. Too much FOMO, too much stimuli, too many things happening. Anxiety is our day to day now. We don’t reflect anymore. We don’t look up to the sky and think. That’s what makes us human, not running in a rat race.
  • Run away from mind-playing people: Some think they can play with people as they would play a game of chess. The good ones play a long-term game, slowly eroding thoughts until they get into your head. Run away from those as fast as you can.
  • Creativity cannot be planned or scheduled: Just like love, you’ll encounter creativity when not looking for it. Scheduling it is pointless.
  • When it comes to innovations, it’s all a matter of time: I started Aragon in 2016, which turned out to be 5 years too early. I preached about DAOs for half a decade, which was a very difficult journey. And then, suddenly, their time arrived in 2021!
  • Don’t take life too seriously (seriously): Life can pass by while counting its minutes, life can pass by while thinking too much about it. I’m still not sure what the right balance between planning and pushing vs. improvising and flowing is, but I now know that it’s not worth it to plan and organize everything.
  • To 2022 🥂