The more money you make, the more you cannot consume it

There is a strict correlation between your income and stress you put on how you spend your time. It is only natural for we count our leisure as “non-productive” and/or we tend to calculate our time into money.

New economy and old Hygge

Since our work-hour is soo precious in quantifiable terms of cash, we do have problems with “spending time” on leisure which value is not that easy to measure. On top of that, the list of options that we can invest in is nearly endless so we have troubles choosing in fear we will waste one of few precious opportunities to relax.

These are circumstances that our rather primitive biological machinery can’t that easily adapt to.  It is true not only from psychological angle of anxiety attached to well “spending” our free time. It is true for our cognitive capabilities – there are studies that show we can’t quite better our experience with increased income over certain level (around 75 000$ a year). There is also the fact that often times increased income comes in pair with longer hours per day, hence there is less leisure time at hand to spend.

I don’t have one trick to rule them all as there is no such thing as pill for the happy life. Still there is definitely something to do around this problem and here is one of my suggestions:

There is a danish tradition called hygge that could be one of the components we need to thrive and not to loose ourselves in this new economy.

The easiest translation of hygge is “to cozy up”. It is the time and built up atmosphere of an evening when you meet with friends and cozy up in furry blankets, fire up candles and drink rich and full wine or beer.

Hygge everyday keeps anxiety away

As studies show, apart from genes, our actions are what determines our outlook on life. It is then vital to act on hyggeish attitude of building up that culture around us. In the cycle of ever-growing pace we live in we also need to break our belief that leisure time is somehow less valuable and only being busy enrich us. For the fact is that our best intuitive work is done by brain when we tend to think that it’s not working at all.

Przemek Kucia

To your first job | Few words from your spy in the grown-ups world

1.Don’t wait with your first job until you get a degree

In many cases you don’t need a degree to start a career. There are jobs that require formal education, but my point is a bit different and twofold. First: you need to learn how to work. The sole skill of working is very different from the skill of learning and getting good grades at school.The sooner you gain experience in the setting of a real workplace, the better you will understand which skills to pursue. You will also have a real, more tangible idea of what is it like to work and how being a professional differs from being popular at school. Second: as I mentioned, there are still jobs with formal requirements, but even in these cases the real learning will start only when you get your hands on the work.

2.Your first job should not be about the money, but still it also should not be done for free

You need the experience. As a freshman on the marketplace often times you are not as productive as your more experienced colleagues. Being able to start early, gain practical knowledge, be in the position to network can be a value in itself. Yet, beware of spec work and working for free. Free work does not have tangible value to people interested — your input will be diminished unconsciously and you can be even actively ignored as if your lack of experience was an additional cost. It can be a complete waste of time and energy for everybody involved.

Spec work is an entirely different story, and should be considered case by case. Because legitimately, if you are not under non-disclosure agreements concerning the speculative work, it can boost your credibility on the market. Yet, be aware with the risk and tendency that young creative workers can be exploited that way.

3.Master the art yourself

Approach your first job (and any job) as you would approach new subject or class. Google up what your position is all about. Check out for the best practices. Get a book or course at or Treehouse if you can. You will be surprised that not many people in their roles are devoted to perfecting the craft. With little effort you can easily avoid misleading advice and easily build on your colleagues’ experience.

There is also the other side. Many job descriptions and requirements contain this classic phrase: “2–3 year experience” or, towards senior positions, “5–7 year experience”. As your spy I can assure you that this is a misleading criterion. If the position in question needs that diverse set of skills, then it would be all about problem solving skills and ability to adapt — not the “experience”. If not, then how much can you learn about any particular job, or how long can you learn it? If you don’t get the best practices under your belt after two years on that same position, then you probably won’t get them after next 3 to 5. On top of that, how much of experience can you translate into the same position but in the different organization and setting? If potential employer really insist on that “1+x years of experience” criterion, then she or he needs not your experience but your network.

4.If you are interviewed for your first job, do not be afraid to ask about other opportunities if, for whatever reason, HR does not think you are the best fit for them

Almost all interviews end with a statement encouraging the person interviewed to ask own questions to recruiting team. As it is your potential first job and you seek for work experience, you can genuinely ask: “If for whatever reason you conclude that I am not the best match for this position right now, could you possibly help me with pinpointing opportunities to gain experience needed?” People on “the other side” of the table are just like you — real people. There is a chance that they can and just might help you out. Especially if you impressed them with a positive attitude and lacked only in skills they particularly needed in that particular recruiting cycle.

5.Audit yourself. In the sense that not everyone have to work in the office or, even further, in IT or marketing departments.

There is a vast market for welders not to look into the extreme non-office jobs. Salesmen are year after year in the top of the most paying positions. Do not be fixed on idea that everybody can live off blogging, or be a creative director, or an entrepreneur. Most of times office jobs mean a lousy work-life balance. Something that welders can manage perfectly. There are jobs with 8 hour day, where you leave working mind at workplace and have free leisure mind to do whatever you please. Office jobs are often highly stressful, so you can have real difficulty to truly appreciate time with friends and family.

Take seriously the odds and ask yourself what you would rather do with the limited time you have. It got all serious real quick, but it is true that you are on the brink of one of the most important decisions in your life. Consequences can drag upon that sweet little sentimental and almost romantic thoughts about working and careers.

Of course dream big and devote to great risks now if you are prone to — there will be not a greater time to do that than in your twenties. Also take into account that people change their entire career paths about 5 times on average in life, so it seems like little is constant. What I ask you to do is to make informed choice. Do research, weight the odds, and only then go for it.

Przemek Kucia

(Photo by Attila Schmidt)

Sweet Monday Post – Entitlement of Y generation

As there are many temperaments. Personalities within temperament type. Habits and thought processes within personality types. Needs, wants and preferences to though. And many more individual situations that allude every typology. Yet, thanks to logic and natural need for adaptation we, as in collectively and each and every one individually, can be generalized into cultures, civilizations and entire generations of people with common denominator.


Revolution in communication.  We are not bound by locality to cherish community, we are not bound by written word to consume great writing, we can and aspire to be as individual as we can, yet the same time belong to something greater than we are by ourselves.

Technology, in some way independently got us to old school of social and political thought of personalism (whichever one you choose) or perhaps even more to Friedrich von Hayek’s true individualism.


This is where paradox could become irritating. There is no one proper way to behave and think. Or maybe to be more precise – no one could ever test it properly. As circumstances differ for each, and each generation. To maybe drop some of frustration, or put our thought denominator in understandable categories our drive to persona is called the sense of entitlement and narcissism.

Well, perhaps we have this sense, perhaps we are generation of narcissists – one I know for sure, other think in those terms and we are no good in judging our case. However I propose to indulge in what we do and how we want to do that. We are the youngest kids of the History, with our own, more vague challenges. Blunt tools as collectivism and goal orientation are no good with our precise tasks.


Friedrich von Hayek, Individualism: True and False. There is more to this book than the first time you read it. Hayek – a man ahead of his time. If you find a snatch of a time to read one another, make it anything from Ludwig von Mises. If you ever thought about being an individual and yet with yearning to belong – those people will help you understand the laws of social life behind it.

Przemek Kucia

Be smarter thanks to flavonoids

Who want to be smarter, focus easier, be better in communication and decision making? Blueberries and berries in general are your IQ pills.


Wildly distributed in plants are responsible for many functions. For instance blue pigmentation in blueberries. What’s even cooler, among many positive perks they give us – flavonoids enhance our cognitive capabilities thanks to protective effect they put on neurons. Many studies proven that in fact we can improve executive functions of our brain, various memory functions and more general processing speed[1].

If your cognitive capacities are grater, working memory is more accessible, and you’re processing data faster, then you are in fact more intelligent.


Boosting your intelligence is one thing, taking care of your cognitive abilities, so your elder mind could stay sharp is other. Research suggest that putting more flavonoid rich foods into our diets we could do just that.

Even in very high amounts flavonoids do not cause unwanted side effects, so blueberries are amongst healthiest foods around.

It would be arrogant and irresponsible not to put more of flavonoid rich foods into our diets. And unenjoyable, because berries taste soo good ^^

Take care about your brain and it will take care about you!

Przemek Kucia

[1] A. Macready, O. Kennedy and others, Flavonoids and cognitive function: a review of human randomized controlled trial studies and recommendations for future studies, [ available 23.07.2014].

Sweet Sunday Post – blogging personality

Post with kittens and puppies made me think about theme driven blogging (you can find it here). So you see, to this point I thought theme driven should contain that only theme – in my case public speaking and social interactions. Now it is obvious to me that it’s not really blogging in that case – it’s just a site with daily updates.


I don’t know the definition of blogging. Today I even don’t want to come up with one at all. Intuitively I think, blogging should transfer passion and personality. If I would to judge my personality just through this blog I would have to say I’m pretty much one dimensional, one track minded, overthinking everything and really strict about how people around me think. And believe me: that is true only to an extent.


That’s a bit tricky, because recently I don’t have much of “after hours”. My daily regime (yeah, the strictness is not bullshit, side part of me) starts around 6:20 AM > Work as Product Manager > Around 4:30 PM I get back to home > Eat something > See my absolutely fantastic girlfriend > Write or read to my Masters thesis > Write daily update for the blog > Get somewhat updated on the IT front > Go to sleep around 11 PM.

That being said I really enjoy gaming. Especially SimCity, Anno 2070 or lately I would want to play Europa Universalis IV. Up to the point I’ve got my job as PM I would play a lot of volleyball and as a kid I played tennis.

One of my biggest dreams was to stay and work at university, but at least in Poland, higher education is in real decline. Decline of quality as well as in terms of being viable option of stable career. I could stay on the topic of education forever – maybe I’ll talk about it another time. If I could do the same work as a blogger and consultant, well that would be just amazing.


I very often don’t like to generalize on such big scale as entire generation. However, a lot of features of Y generation fit to how I would think about myself and how I think about quality life. Especially when I think about the role of established institutions or forms and methods of organizing and managing work, education or social cooperation through local communities, nations and global community. This dissonance of what makes sense to me logically and practically and the state as it is now widened since I got my Political Science education. And/or had time to think about it on deeper level.

I think that Y generation will be the first to be taken to account not only for their IQ but also their Emotional intelligence. The more balanced the better.


That’s a bit of fake modesty, because I think this whole post was sweet ^^ (That’s the Y generation narcissism)

Skittles on the ground taken from

Skittles on the ground taken from

What if this image was a poetry? I think it would mean that even on the ground level, while you’re working your hands on dirt – you should allow yourself some rainbow, some dreams and pleasures.

– Przemek Kucia

Please, comment and share your thoughts =D What do you think about blogging, quality life or generations?

How to detect a lie – Paul Ekman’s way

Deception is one of the greatest strategies of survival on our planet. From animals to great nations – we all lie. Some dishonesties are even socially expected. Courtesy, white lies, half-truths or concealments are what keep our interactions on friendly level.

Let us imagine the world without these deceits: Your 5 years old niece comes to you with great shyness drawn on her face. She want to present her painting of you both being at the ZOO the other day. She thought it was great fun, you’re cool, and hence she put 3 hours of work to make this historical record with paints involved. Now, you turn your head and see a painting from a 5 year old – so of course it’s aesthetically terrible, technique is none to poor, and you definitely have more than three hairs on your head. You can’t lie so you tell something like this:

“I really appreciate the effort, but your painting is obviously appalling. The ZOO looks nowhere near as the one we visited. Oh, well – I would have to say that almost everything about it is wrong. You have only 5 years and to properly paint that scene you would have to train at least another ten to fifteen. That being said, come give me a hug! It is really sweet that you tried. ”

— Obviously honest and terrible aunt


Deception then is not negative in itself. It’s a tool like knives. You can use it in context of right or wrong.

There are lies of great impact. First coming to my mind is Hitler’s lies to force appeasement policies and put him in best position to eventually start his military aggression. If Chamberlain could call Hitler’s lies who knows how the present would be shaped.

Those kinds of deceptions are connected with great emotional states. The better liar the more concealed these emotions are. But unless you are psychopath – something will “leak”.


This is why we need Paul Ekman in this topic. He’s the one who decoded facial expressions and pointed out the existence of micro and subtle expressions that can disappear faster than blink of an eye. We tend to control ourselves with great effort not to leak any emotional reaction. Sometimes to the point when it becomes absurd and indicates that we’re lying. Like fear concealed under a smile. Yet, most of us are terrible at spotting liars. Or even at discriminating between real and fake smiles. Only after training in spotting those subtle and micro expressions our scores go up from around 50% (so as good as chance of coin flip) to even 70% and beyond.


There are certain hot spots we can investigate further. If someone is afraid of something while we’re investigating him/her it doesn’t mean that he or she is afraid that truth will come be discovered. That person can be afraid of not being believed. So we are always looking for changes in behavior and reactions. Those incongruences suggest that we’re on a fast lane to discover something concealed which is in relation to the whole context – not necessarily the matter itself.

So still, to some extent lie detection is still a bit of an art than the hard science. Especially in real life situations – fast, where contexts mash up and our cognitive biases are working hard. That being said, still it is viable tool in negotiations, strategic decisions, everywhere where information processed by humans are vital.

–          Przemek Kucia

So tell me, would you like to know whenever you are lied to? Even when white lie is making you feel good? Please, like and share if you liked it!

Intuition – some truth about our gut feelings

Let me introduce two systems of our minds:

1.       System1 – intuitive, quick thinking, our gut feeling

2.       System2 – rational, slow thinking, this is where we “feel” our consciousness is

To be so quick, intuition has to rely on heuristics – simplified, sometimes plainly simplistic sets of rules to problem solving. These rules are based on experience, associative memory and antagonistic instincts. All of our cognition is managed primarily by System1. It has basically three primary goals – keep us living, get us procreate and do both while using least amount of energy possible. On the other hand, System2 is used to deal with more complex problems, where all the contradictions should be solved.


Information gets into our brains. Our brain automagically interprets it and judges through associating signals with our experience and hardwired, animalistic reactions. Still automagically, our limbic system (the old brain) decides if our muscles need to be stimulated and if we need to get some hormones. Feelings and emotion emerge to motivate us in some way. Images pop up to our consciousness. And then, after all those our conscious minds are aware (mostly in part) what’s going on. Crucial decisions already took place – rational neo cortex (new brain – mostly all frontal lobe) only reacts. Reacts in situation defined by animalistic instincts – that needs to be added.


There is no doubt about that System1 works with humongous amounts of data. To process all of those consciously would take nearly forever. So whole quick thinking for the quickness itself is absolutely a positive. Another is that it works with subtle information, scattered or hard to consciously catch. It takes them all into account (at least to some extent) which is a limited feature for System2. And it always produces some decision – wrong or correct, but always tries to bet on something. Find some explanation, some pattern.

The greatest con is that it is prone to make systemic errors. Especially today we face many challenges and problems that are extremely counterintuitive. Our intuitions are terrible with statistics. Absolutely hopeless. Especially with taking to account base statistic, not only what looks like a pattern (ie. guy looks like librarian, so he is one; he’s orderly and unwilling to party). Gut feeling often wrongly judge the importance of information (ie. basing on sympathies). And it works with obsolete, antagonistic references (ie. idea of social proof – assuming what others do is correct).


Heuristics aren’t perfect. Intuition has it’s certain and obvious pros and also undoubted cons. In the perfect world of balance between two Systems we could alter states induced though System1 by strict reaction of our aware mind. But that’s not the case.

I would suggest few things:

·         Try to learn about decisive process, statistics and how your gut can fool you

·         Don’t make mistake of trying to transfer all decisions to conscious thinking – this is wasteful, hard and rarely makes sense either

·         Try to sharpen your awareness to heuristics you used to the point you consciously deciding over important matter

·         From time to time think about thinking

–          Przemek Kucia

Please share if you liked it, hit that like button and comment!

P.S. This post was inspired by Eric Tonningsen‘s

For further reading about two Systems I suggest to google Daniel Kahneman and Amon Tversky

How to talk about communicating and decision making

You cannot not communicate – this is great quote from Palo Alto school of communicology you can find in my About page. Everything you do, not do, or try to not communicate is an information you ultimately do communicate in some form.

Decisions – same as. Every behavior or lack of behavior is an end of some decision. Conscious or unconscious. I don’t care – your brain made it.

Now let’s talk about those two. As we are all always communicating and in decisive process, why on Earth no one is teaching us about effectiveness of both processes? I mean, we learn languages and math (and through math about logic), but in school there is not anything like: Look, every step you take is a decision. Young or adult you never escape it, so listen – here are effective theories about it. Same goes with communication.

Charisma Workshop takes the challenge!

Well, I’m certain that about decisive process and communication you can talk in terms of elegant simplicity. In my opinion, academic discussion is so high in clouds of thought-masturbation it cannot relate to everyday reality anymore. On the flipside, everyday discussions lack theoretic background and essential knowledge to discriminate between valuable statements and opinions based od obsolete presumptions.

To discuss about the most important fields of human existence in agile language and nimble thought! This is my mission. To put a collar of elegant and clear structure to complex ideas. I hope you give me feedback that will give me a chance to do just that!

–          Przemek Kucia

So tell me – what topic would you like me to cover? Or what you think about decisive process and communication yourself – please share.

Body language education

Apart from all knowledge you can learn about meaning of body language, to be successful communicator you need to be fluent in using it. Meaning: You need to understand your own body. It’s reactions, subtle changes in tension, how hormones and stress affect your movements. You need to control it far further beyond hunched sitting position in your office box.


Both fields rely on perfect control of own body. Beautiful figures that seem so light and movement that seems so smooth – most of the time those are very hard (or impossible) to achieve without strengthening the muscles which we weren’t even aware of before. To move on and around the scene so it works for the story. To use gestures visible and understood as good form furthest seats back as well as the closest to the performer. These are perks we seem to forget while improving our communication skills.

Everyone talks about body language for few decades, but still – great body language is no more often to experience than inside theatres and operas. Why is that? In my opinion because in language classes we never mention communication itself and because drama and dance are treated as lowest tier of importance.


If you are reading this blog I presume you don’t have much (if any) school time before you. Dance classes with your spouse or sympathy should be first thing to consider. Sweat your ass of and get your up there as well – your body language will improve greatly.


Let us go through few illustrations:

Take for example open position used often in public speech. Dance teaches you to overcome hunching while opening certain figures. Your muscle memory and awareness of opening movement will definitely develop. Firm and steady openness feels powerful to the audience. In dance keeping the frame is one of the most basic skills. It will naturally improve your posture and change your habits of adapting to stressful and social situations. Also in dance, use of whole scene is among key competencies. It is also key in public speaking: to be aware of your position and that through change of position you can easily alter emotional states of audience.

Those are first which came to my mind – I’m sure you can find much more corresponding skills.

–          Przemek Kucia

Please like it. Please share it. And tell me: Have you ever taken dance course or class? Do you think it improved awareness of your own body? I did both as a child – drama and dance. Back then I never thought it’ll pay off like this.

Pros and cons of spec work

So spec (speculative) work is in short:

“Any kind of creative work rendered and submitted, either partial or completed, by designers to prospective clients before taking steps to secure both their work and equitable fees.”

Mostly associated with field of design, but more or less seen through entire marketplace. It is common in communication consulting as well.


I’ve got to tell you – I’ve done spec work and I’ve done quite tangible amounts of it. The thing is when you are new to the field and professional suite word of mouth and portfolio comes with a cost. And since you are fresh and naked you don’t have much to spend. In fact your sole asset is time.

That being said there is spec work and there is the process of creating you portfolio and promotion. In both fields (design and communication, and as I presume – in many more fields) the distinction is either ownership rights or “bragging” rights. Or both. You see, especially politicians are really shy about hiring consultants[1]. It is often one of the first paragraphs that contains non-disclosure agreement. Well, I had non-profits insisting on NDA as well.

I do understand the risk of hiring fresh designer or consultant. I really understand the fears behind NDA and property rights. Being inexperienced and bitching about those things really comes from sense of entitlement. But, everyone want to get paid for their hard work and talent. That’s understandable too.


Spec work without both – pay and property rights (and bragging rights) has it’s different name: exploitation. There is none for you to get from this kind of agreement. If you are young or just new in the field the more time you put (and can afford) into getting your portfolio pitch perfect the better. As long as you don’t actively turn off money propositions. Get big client under your belt. Do few spec jobs perfectly well then collect the goods.

Client service jobs/careers/fields are more of marathon than sprint. And the longer you can wait with your finish (without being lapped) the better your finish will be.

–          Przemek Kucia

Like and share if you liked it! And tell me: Did you ever done a spec work? What is your opinion on this issue?

[1] Yes I know it’s more complex than that, but for professional growth of young consultants non-disclosure means a hole in portfolio.