After you did everything you could do, what still lights you up?

When you have a certain goal to achieve, you have done everything that is in your responsibility to do, and the other side says that is good what was done but the only thing that is now possible to do is “light a candle” because the final decision is not in our hands, what do you do?

I was not sure what to do next. What I know was that:

  • This new project could be important for the overall success;
  • It was already a big effort investment of, half an year, to demonstrate our competence;
  • We have a good product and project team and we are confident that our product is good for the customer.

Then I had one idea about what I could do next, I could do what my counter-partner said that was the only thing possible to do “light a candle”. But “light a candle” is something quite easy I had to transform it in one good challenge.

I like very much to run, this is where:

  • I maintain my physical form and health,
  • I find peace and relaxation,
  • I learn by listening to my podcast list,
  • I transform physical activity into creativity (when you need to be creative, do some physical activity first, it makes a big difference)

In the city where I live, Braga (Portugal), there is an Unesco Heritage called “Bom Jesus” (translated means “Good Jesus”), it is a religious and relaxing place in the hill 116m high where you have a good view to the city of Braga. “Bom Jesus” is also known for having an impressive 575 steps from the bottom to the top hill.

Since some time, that I wanted to repeat the challenge to run from my home to the “Bom Jesus” and be able to come back (approximately 16 km) but this time, from the hill side, joining 2 known trails: “Trail Santa Marta das Cortiças” and “Sanctuaries trail”.

I had in one hand “light a candle” to win the project and in the other hand “Sanctuaries trail”, combined together gave me the idea of the “light a candle challenge” that would consist in doing the above mentioned trails and lighting a candle in all the churches that I would pass by until the “Bom Jesus”. In total I count 6 churches and so I lighted-up 6 candles.

When we think that there is nothing more to do, there is still one more thing to do. Just be creative to not give up too soon! And if at the end your effort would have been “in vain” you had done the best of you and you had enjoyed the way through. What have I enjoyed on the way? From the business side, the good relationship with the customer team, a new colleague from my sales department, ideas to make our product even better then before. From myself: that I’m able to achieve my challenges, that Braga is a lovely place to live (the hill trails and the surrounding nature are awesome).

“When we think that there is nothing more to do, there is still one more thing to do. Just be creative to not give up too soon!”

–Tiago Mateus

Enjoy your life!

Take aways:

  • Transform you intention into a good challenge;
  • Don’t give up too soon;
  • Important is not the destination, it is the journey to the destination!

21-days challenge:

  • Identify a big work package that you have to perform in business or private life,
  • Define which challenge you can create to gamify your work and make the process more interesting.


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