This is my personal manifesto. Thanks to it I know which projects I want to get involved in and with what I want to help other people. When defining my career, I have always focused on what I want to do. And that’s why I randomly ran from project to project. I couldn’t decide what to get involved in and what not to do. So I was inspired by Vishen Lakhiani and I wrote my personal manifesto, which maps especially the reasons why I do things and what change I want to bring to the world. I recommend creating a similar manifesto for yourself – you don’t have to publish it, but I think it will help you. My manifesto is called “Option +” (or “Option plus”) and it is a live document, its current version can always be found on my website. Let’s begin.
What do I do and why? One of the most important values for me, but also for the people around me, is freedom. I want us to be able to decide freely what we do, what we do not do. I want us to be able to choose from many good options. Option+ is an approach with which we increase our optionality, i.e. the quantity and quality of things we can, but do not have to do.
Freedom as an option
Freedom is a very abstract concept that does not have a uniform definition. One of the definitions from Wikipedia says:
“Freedom is the absence of coercion: not having to do what we don’t want to do, but which does not mean being allowed to do what we want to do. ‘The concept of freedom is very ambiguous, which is sometimes misused for ideological manipulation.”
Optionality is the ownership of options (something that we might do, but we don’t have to – options, but not obligations) that we may freely exercise. Owning these options usually costs something, such as awareness, effort, knowledge or money, but once we own the option, we can easily use it. If we can evaluate the costs of acquiring the option and value of what the option brings us in different circumstances, we know how to evaluate freedom exactly.
Optionality is antifragile – it likes chaos, volatility and uncertainty. If we have the right option, we have more ways to react in a chaotic situation and therefore we can choose the one that is the best even in an unexpected situation. There is a mathematical relation between optionality and antifragility, not a philosophical one – an option’s payoff function is convex and thus antifragile.
Optionality is thus a measurable and attainable form of freedom. We can aim for it because it meets the requirements of S.M.A.R.T. criteria – in this sense it is similar to other goals, like a goal to lose 5 pounds of fat in the next month, a goal to increase our salary to $5000 as of first january next year or what we want to learn.
Freedom – here and now!
It is often claimed that the existence of freedom depends only on a good socio-political environment, however this is a myth. Indeed, a socio-political environment makes it easier to attain freedom, however even in a favorable environment, the majority of people do nothing in order to enhance their freedom or optionality. Living in liberty does not always encourage people to take advantage of options that freedom gives, even though doing so improves people’s lives. Especially in chaotic and unstable society.
A second myth to bust is that in the current state of society, it is not possible to live freely and in order to change it, there has to be a wide-ranging social reform. If someone is imagining liberty as a freedom to sell hard drugs in a kiosk on a street to everybody else, then yes, this form of freedom is not currently allowed by society – but, is this your goal? Which options are really increasing the quality of life and which freedoms help our antifragility? In most cases, freedom could be accomplished even in a current state of society, although it is not always straightforward or obvious how to do it.
Liberty can be increased – here and now, without the need to change the whole world. If we find the limits of our society, where our freedom can not be increased, we would be very free already when reaching that frontier. Most people think about it the other way around. They first dream of liberty that they think our current society does not allow. Then they envision a socio-political system that is more free and would allow this dream to become reality. …and then they are disappointed everyday, that they cannot change the socio-political system.
However, for most people, liberty is not their core value. So in a way, we live in a bubble. Assuming that the whole society would change, because we want liberty, is incredibly naive.
Instead of fantasizing about how the true free society would look like and why it still does not exist, let’s do something else – let’s improve our personal liberty in a measurable way, actively taking advantage of freedom in order to have a higher quality of life. After we have been doing this for a while (years or decades probably), we will reach the frontier of the limits of our society. Then and only then we could start changing the whole socio-political system – in my opinion, this would not be even necessary.
Freedom and optionality as a personal mission
This manifesto is my personal declaration of why I do what I do. What are my values and where I am heading.
I make optionality available to people in a variety of forms, such as podcasts, articles, courses and books. Like an option on financial markets, this option costs you something to get, but it offers an asymmetric return if the conditions are right to exercise the option. So my goal is to offer you a guide, program, consultation, course, or book that will lead to a high return on investment of your time and energy. For example, if you buy a book from me for $20, I want the value you get from using it – if the book is right for you and you can use what you learn from it – to be at least $2,000. At the same time, I do not promise a direct financial return, I do not provide financial advice, I talk about the value you will get in the form of life improvement if you can use the product correctly. The asymmetric return is because the cost is fixed (for example $20 + opportunity cost of your time to read and apply the knowledge), but what you get as a result is significantly higher return and your freedom will grow. If this works, then I have succeeded in my personal mission.
I like to work with people on the basis of mutually beneficial business relationships. I like creative, independent, enterprising people. I understand that they will not work just for me. On the contrary, I would like them to do business and create new projects and new companies. When we participate in projects together, we use each other’s unique abilities to create something new.
I am not a boss and I do not have a boss. We work outside of traditional corporate or workplace hierarchies. Together with people I cooperate with, we create products and services to increase the optionality and thus freedom for our customers.
I only participate in projects where I can use my unique abilities. I like to promote projects whose values are close to me or help them find suitable collaborators, but I only participate in projects to which I can bring unique value through my participation.
This OPTION + manifesto is my public statement of where I want to direct my energy. I believe that through my work on this planet, I will support the increase of optionality and freedom. I hope that people will actively use this newly acquired freedom and will be antifragile, productive and creative as a result.
Examples of projects
I am only starting in English, but here’s what you can expect. I started the Option Plus podcast that talks about increasing your options.
I am planning to produce English versions of my books about mindsets, freedom, entrepreneurship, cryptocurrencies and thinking in the environment of uncertainty.
I teach biohacking as a way to increase freedom of use of our own bodies and minds. For example I can, but I don’t have to eat lunch everyday, because I gained metabolic flexibility. I can be productive any time of the day, because I increased the productive energy of my body.
I teach people not only how to use cryptocurrencies, but also how to participate in the peer to peer crypto economy – in my courses How to use cryptocurrencies in your daily life and Ethical crypto dealer – how to become an economic node.
These abilities are an option, or insurance, against very likely inflation of prices in classical fiat financial system and even against its possible collapse. Being an option and thus insurance, I recommend learning about cryptocurrencies and using them before you want to use them – you need to get insurance before an event happens, if there’s fire on the roof, it is too late to contact an insurance company to buy insurance.
My book The Great Restart – written in Slovak – deals with the structural properties of optionality, uncertainty, antifragility and allows you to apply optionality and proper understanding of risk to individual areas of life. It started as a response to the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting changes in society – the structure of work and entrepreneurship, the economic crisis and the like. It describes a world full of new possibilities (options). I will bring this content also to the English speaking market in the form of series of books called Hack Yourself. Dealing with uncertainty is a crucial skill of the future.
I am also working on a book called Financial Surveillance and Crypto Utopias, in which I describe the legacy financial system and why it lost its privacy features.
OPTION+ is a new path to freedom that involves creative and productive activity and does not involve waiting for a system change or philosophizing about what a free world might look like if the world was different from what it is now. OPTION+ is a set of strategies and techniques based on reality in the present moment.