With upmost respect for David Siegel, Tomer Sofinzon, Ralph Reijs, and the rest of the Pillar team
After last night’s talk with Tomer, co-founder of 20|30 and Pillar Project, I feel the urge to write my thoughts on Pillar, and why it can be so easily misunderstood. It seems last night a lot of pieces of the puzzle were finally fitting together to paint the picture.
Follow your heart, follow your dreams… It is something we might say a lot. Do what you love, love what you do… But it is many times easier said than done. Because how can we know what we really love, and how can we not mistake liking for loving?
I have been writing and talking some time now about Ikigai. Ikigai is the concept in Japanese philosophy describing the “reason for being”. It roughly states that what you do in life is a combination of four factors: What you love, What you are good at, What you can be paid for and What the world needs. At the heart of these four, at its inner overlap, Ikigai is found.
Ikigai is personal, every person has its own. Most people will never find their Ikigai, many people will not even be searching for it. But if you will find it, you will find indescribable happiness. Ikigai is magic. Not like a las Vegas show, but real magic. Unexplainable, untouchable, transcending words, a force so strong, it can’t be overpowered. The force of life.
But what has this to do with Pillar Project? Well, maybe everything…
Pillar Project and David Siegel’s vision is grand, it’s huge, but that does not mean it’s foolish or unreachable. It takes a special kind of person to not see the limitations, but the possibilities in this.
And it’s not only about the goal itself, also about the way to get there. To many it may seem a strange, odd, and maybe even crazy way, but it takes that same special kind of person to see the potential.
For so long, we have been beaten and butchered to fit in into the “desired” way of (corporate) life. Our minds have been poisoned, limited to how the world is set up today. What does not fit is marked as odd, divergent. An easily targeted black sheep to be criticised. And in the midst of all this, we tell ourselves and each other to follow your heart and follow your dream. But what does this really mean, to follow your heart? Is it to follow as long as it fits? As long as it is inside the box? As long as it is not divergent? It is an easy line to say, but is extremely hard to comprehend and to do.
You want to find your Ikigai? Try searching inside this box, inside the confines of what with think is rational, normal. Try finding it switching positions at your firm. But maybe it’s even better not know about this concept at all, and just move along in your daily routine of making money, pay the rent and beat the rush hour traffic.
Pillar Project is not just a Blockchain project, not just a wallet, it is not even just solving a huge challenge and misconfiguration of our world when it comes to personal data.
I think Pillar Project is an Ikigai platform. It brings together some unique (what the hell, just call them odd) people, who bring something with them that supersedes passion and belief. These people bring with them the force of Ikigai. The combination of being good at something, being passionate about something, and bringing something the world really needs.
Others outside Pillar might not understand or comprehend this. It is also something that really can’t be explained, at least not if we stick to our inside the box mindset. But if we open ourselves to the force of life, we might get a sneak peek into the magical side of Pillar Project.
David’s “odd” way of working, is actually creating the freedom for these people to feel welcome and understood. It invites the people who can see and feel beyond the office cubes (or open garden offices for that matter). And that all comes at a price. A huge sacrifice.
Because Ikigai is not something you can set aside. It is more than a calling. It is something you can’t explain, but also something you can’t ignore. It is the reason you might be making irrational decisions and it might be the reason outsiders things you have your priorities in the wrong order.
It is this force that makes a Pillarista leave their family, their wife, their kids in their home country, and fly off to London to be with Pillar. It is the sacrifice the members of the Pillar Team make, to feel the pain of structurally not being home for dinner or bedside stories, and to suck it up for a greater good, a greater calling. It is their sacrifice of giving up their own life as they know it, to follow their Ikigai.
And this bizarre thing is happening because a free mind makes it possible. David, Tomer, the whole team, they are all free minded, and it attracts and enforces. The Pillar Team has more in common with the Illuminati than a Blockchain DEV team. They might just as well be the Illuminati of the New World.
That is why, if you are open for it, Pillar Project is such a incomprehensible thing. It is contagious, and addictive. Once you come in contact with it, you want more. It is an insatiable appetite. It is a force you can’t deny. Pillar Project is like a magnet. It pulls you in, and submerges you into their Ikigai world. A natural high, it provokes you to run the extra mile, to outdo yourself, to exceed your previous limitations. It will entice you to give it all you got, and maybe even more. The whole Pillar Team lives by this. They have been invited on an Ikigai journey and gladly accepted.
Ikigai, I know this concept well, and have been searching for my Ikigai for some time. And this search brought me valuable insights in what I like, love, and where I should be heading. But last night, I may very well have touched the outer borders of my Ikigai! Why I think the world of Pillar? I can’t explain it, but maybe you should let this one sink in…