Yep, that is what it's all about:

Human Atomic Composing


This text wants a lot. And it’s just the 17th iteration of my thoughts. If you find something still confusing, not plausible, or unclear, please let me know. And for now: Let’s go.

Once I read a quote that has stuck we me since then. It’s a Jesus analogy, and describes very well, what is going on with us today. It goes something like this: Metaphorically speaking, we all go through some kind of crucifixion, but then an opportunity for rebirth arises. However, we are often too afraid of this initial death that allows for rebirth. As a result, we cling to what we know due to our pursuit of safety. And that probably lets us get stuck where we are, with a desire for the unknown, for an arising doubt, that life must have more to offer. And it creates a personal void.

Safety means mostly a linear way of being as often safe as possible to be who you believe you are. This includes things like money, structure, family, career, status, and education. But it doesn’t necessarily imply valuable attributes like happiness, contentment, fulfillment, joy, perspective, health (physical and mental), and many more. Once we reach a sense of safety or even security, somehow we do not develop so dynamically any longer as before. We stay in what we have created for ourselves, in perfect synch with what society requests. We created our container.

Paradoxically we go on growing in directions but haven’t recognized yet, what lies beyond our container. It happens under the radar of life’s business. As we age, we develop a deeply surprising feeling that “safety/security, or our life in general,” is incomplete. But unfortunately, your context is not providing you with any answers to what arises: “Is this everything? It feels strange. I am not feeling good (any longer) – something needs to be changed”.

That “surprising feeling” happens in my opinion, when we reach the threshold of all things we suppressed within us in favor of living safely in our container. But now the container is full. And we rarely expand. A very pivotal moment. At that point, we mostly feel but don’t know how to change something to fill this void. Welcome to disorientation.

What now? Out of the “comfort zone” into the unknown? Maybe! But our ego will protect the known because, guess what, it’s safe! And secure. The known and your new upcoming desire collide, inner and outer worlds are not in synch for a moment. And this is not easy to handle.

History indicates that there is a path for each individual (within his/her specific context). But why do we find ourselves consistently in this described dilemma? Perhaps it is about how we cultivate our conscious decision-making process early on: When we are born and become self-aware, generally between the ages of 5 and 8, we spend a significant amount of our waking energy simply trying to survive, rather than fully embracing life. Instead, we integrate ourselves into an attractively secure system with plenty of orientation and pathways, we sympathize to walk on.

On a broader spectrum, it is extremely interesting how we try to tackle this self-confrontation. Just look at our current collective human needs and trends: Digitally obsessed and escape-oriented, at the same time being different, purpose-driven, stability-seeking and independent at the same time, adventurous, and so subjectively individual. The trend is to be uniquely different from the others, a me-culture with a high frequency of self-actualization, no need for common sense, and instant access to tons of inspiration on how your life could be (i.e. through social media and plenty of self-help books). But this is so contrary to how we conditioned our container (exactly not unique and alone). We encounter existential questions but we receive no well-prepared guidance for better orientation. From whom, when we get more and more fragmented? There is no collective blueprint we can offer to someone who is colliding from his container into his void. It seems each human needs to go through this process, and depending on how you can handle it, it impacts you more or less.

How we tackle this self-confrontation probably does not give us the desired and reliable extension to our container, sadly: Statistics show how we have even become constantly “less”: depression, anxiety, and feeling lonely rates have significantly increased, especially during the pandemic. Some studies suggest that within Europe, the empathy level of each person has decreased by 23% in only 3 years! As a result, we develop various coping mechanisms such as overeating, binge-watching, gaming, pornography, casual dating, lack of connection, attention deficits, difficulties in focusing, ghosting, and many more – a perfect playground for neuro-diverse disorientation with little changes to get, what we all need: validation. Simultaneously we build walls and cave in and keep more distance than ever. Headphones became our best friends. And somehow we lost roots and don’t know how to go on growing. We are a trunk.

Probably less dramatic than it sounds: Aren’t we more than just a systematic prediction of a certain container?

I believe there are two possible pathways for awareness and possible change:
A. A priori: Learning to avoid misery from an early age before it happens (= in our case prophylaxis).
B. A posteriori: Acting differently after the experience and the awakening.

Prophylaxis (A) involves making fundamental adjustments to the system itself. A totally different kind of teaching and preparing for life. However, there are reasons why these adjustments are not taking place, probably to maintain the stability of the system. Just one example: Teaching children about the importance of healthy food in Kindergarten and school. By instilling an awareness of good choices and their implications, we could have a significant impact on our cardiovascular system and reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes or other food-related illnesses later in life. It’s an incredible opportunity to set up our children for a healthier future, but unfortunately, it is not being realized. So we get all the incredibly unreflected chance to slide into something that will cause issues, after which we seem to have a choice between keeping or changing our behavior. So A. is in this case extremely difficult to change from this blog’s perspective. Even though system critics are an extremely awesome topic to write about, it will not be the main focus for Human A/B (yet). It will be B. It’s the more practical cluster, the one where everybody has his/her chance for change after something significant happens. And something needs to happen to reflect on, it seems.

In the sense of B.: I crashed, too. It wasn’t a tragic crash, but it was enough to make me struggle massively. I didn’t understand why I hadn’t anticipated it, and suddenly I felt disoriented. My life had been good, with a loving family, good job prospects, a good education, and even some excitement in sports. But one day, things didn’t feel right anymore.

I chose to ignore this rising feeling and endured, hoping to postpone the realization that one day I would find myself unsure of who I truly am, what I truly want, and what to change to get rid of my discomfort. This resulted in an identity crisis and a mental vacuum, almost unable to make good decisions for my next steps. It’s disheartening to think about all the effort I put into my path until then, “only” to end up somewhere where it didn’t feel right. But as someone with a caregiver personality type, I also realized that I am not alone in this experience. I saw it on friends and family as well. It’s a shared human experience, unfortunately without any resulting action templates that you can give someone to prevent him/her from the same “mistakes”. It’s a frequent pattern. And if there is a pattern, it can be identified and influenced. Perhaps it applies universally, and maybe it counts for everyone. That is, what Human A/B tries to find out.

A change was necessary, I needed new tools that I hadn’t added to my toolbox yet. I became fascinated with topics like biohacking, spirituality, books, sports, and nature. My exploration gene helped me, but I need to say that I became receptible to all these new topics because I needed to confess that my logical operating system had no answers to guide me to a promising destination. The complementary had to lay outside of what I knew. And I am somehow very happy about having this reflected for me.
It didn’t happen overnight, it took time to journey through these new topics. Fast forward: Some very essential things needed to change. I truly wanted to discover my core and understand why I had added all these layers to it, and why I had chosen all my cornerstones which guided me to a place I didn’t like.

In the end, I believe that none of us are inherently more or less important or individual than others. It’s simply a matter of which aspects of ourselves are emphasized, creating a perceived “difference” to others. Biologically, physiologically, and mentally, we all operate based on the same rules. We are a collection of shared experiences and expressions built upon our DNA, influenced by our socio-culturally defined Habitus.

Once you understand your sequence, you can trace your old pathways and begin the process of understanding them. Later on, you can change them to create new ones. This framework of thinking has helped me realize that I have more control over my own transformation than I originally believed. It was a moment where the victim mentality ceased to exist. For me, it felt like reverse engineering. This gradual transformation allowed me to evolve into an iterated version of myself. I realized that I needed to embrace discomfort and venture into uncharted territory. The effort required to do so is significant, as it involves seeking personal growth and transformation. We must let go of certain aspects of ourselves in order to become someone different. Together, in this blog, we will explore the journey of self-reconstruction. 😊

Summed up
We begin our lives by simply wanting to survive and by trying to fit into our society. This consumes our attention to the point where we neglect other potential aspects of our journey, often forgetting about them for an extended period. Eventually, we attain a sense of “security”. However, this leads to significant dissatisfaction. It is during this period of reflection that we realize we were never adequately prepared for this phase. There are two possible paths to address this: implementing systematic changes before death and adopting a different approach after you have been reborn.

Composting yourself
For over a decade, I have worked internationally in digital and marketing agencies of various sizes, operating at an insane pace. However, during the last 30% of my career, I began to feel disillusioned with the lack of meaning or purpose in my work, and too much politics which made me feel distant.

As a managing strategist, I developed frameworks for experiences, behaviors, and user needs. I always prioritized understanding the contexts in which we needed to act. I was eager to use principles and methods to carefully construct a “single source of truth.” This served as a foundation for delivering exceptional products, including complex websites, commerce platforms, apps, and other valuable, data-driven services for both users and customers.

Then, something clicked. To cultivate my frustration was not an option any longer, cynicism would have become the downfall of my driving spirit. So, why not apply my knowledge to something more meaningful? Why not create a framework for humans? A framework that allows everyone to contribute and shape their understanding of what might be beneficial to others. A guiding principle that encompasses all imaginable and experienced possibilities. A map that showcases favorite “places”, offering inspiration for “travel destinations”. Old paths to let go of or repurpose. New paths to redefine your entire existence. A collective companion for a more authentic version of yourself. And all from a brighter understanding without getting lost in the rabbit hole of endless singular options.

Let me introduce Human Atomic Composing (HAC). It’s an initiative to create a framework that outlines your persona and captures the patterns of your being that dictate your conscious and unconscious actions and feelings. Once everything is mapped, HAC serves as a compass, helping you understand your options and potential choices. It’s akin to understanding the importance of a healthy diet before deciding what to cook. Just as there are numerous ingredients in a meal that can offer different tastes and benefits, there are various aspects of ourselves that we can explore – and change. Sometimes to a better taste 😊

HAC also involves integrating existing and new knowledge and understanding the connections, impacts, side effects, and amplifications between everything. Ultimately, Human A/B and HAC aim to facilitate knowledge, broaden your perspective, and shape your awareness of yourself, your context, and the dynamics, options, and behaviors you possess. They help you understand what you’re made of and what you can do to evolve.

A more technical explanation: HAC is a theory that follows a basic and structured methodology. It encourages the application of new elements, referred to as “atoms,” to expand the range of options and enhances decision-making (e.g., choosing between A or B). It promotes experimentation and overcoming the fear of failure, accepting that initial attempts may not be successful before achieving improvement. It underscores the understanding that situations can fluctuate between A and B and that choices are always available.

Etymology of Human Atomic Composing

HAC stands for “Human”, “Atomic”, and “Composing”. Each word has its official meaning and an explanation of how I use it in HAC.

Humans, or Homo sapiens, a term coined by Carl Linnaeus in 1735, are the most widespread species of primates. Mainly characterized by bipedalism, the ability to move on two legs, and exceptional cognitive abilities, a trait Aristotle focused on, which are due to their large, complex brains. As highly social creatures, humans live in intricate social structures. We evolved approximately 300,000 years ago from Homo Heidelbergensis in Africa, making all humans part of the Homo sapiens species. This signifies that our fundamental characteristics are uniform across the board!

Hence, I use the term “Human” in HAC (Human Atomic Composition) to represent all humans with their variations, contexts, filters, specialties, differences, and choices, due to our interconnection. I aim to write for all humans and their common patterns. In this context, the intended “object” (human) is authentic and complete to me because there are no gradations in “human” when considering their fundamental existence and the composition of their “atoms”. The term “Atomic” is another significant concept in HAC.

First, let’s define the term “atom” as it serves as the foundation for all matter. In physics, an atom is the smallest particle that defines a chemical element. It consists of a positively charged central nucleus, surrounded by one or more negatively charged electrons. The nucleus contains relatively heavy particles known as protons and neutrons, bound together by electrical attraction. The identity of the element is determined by the number of protons.

A key takeaway for HAC is that atoms are the fundamental building blocks of matter, with intrinsic relationships stemming from their polarity. “Atomic” refers to power generated from the energy released by splitting atoms.

Atoms form the foundational elements for everything. Surprisingly, these principles were applied to a completely different field: design. “Atomic Design” was introduced by Brad Frost, a design system consultant from the United States, in 2013. His work emphasizes the concept that building things involves starting from the smallest components and scaling up for efficiency and control. It also highlights the ability to break down large structures into smaller components. This approach allows for a flexible, logical, and visual arrangement of building blocks, or atoms. Not only has assembling things become easier, but disassembling them is now effortless too. This forms the basis for reconstruction. Hence, nothing needs to remain in a single solid state. This is a wonderful interpretation from one domain to another with a significant impact. And I borrow now from Brad 😊.
So, what exactly is Atomic Design?

“Atomic design is a methodology composed of five distinct stages working together to create interface design systems in a more deliberate and hierarchical manner” (Brad Frost). These are the five stages of atomic design:

  1. Atoms
  2. Molecules
  3. Organisms
  4. Templates
  5. Pages

Building visual elements like websites or apps isn’t always a linear process. You typically start with the smallest building blocks, or “atoms,” gradually assembling them into minor, meaningful units known as “molecules”. These molecules then form into more complex structures, or “organisms,” which ultimately become templates and pages that make up the final product. As you define atoms and subsequent steps, you also describe behavior and rules. This results in a granular and clearly defined context with rules, which can be understood as a basic design system. As previously mentioned, larger components can be deconstructed into their constituent building blocks for creating variations or iterations.

The atomic approach offers maximum flexibility, particularly in the later stages of design. If something isn’t functioning as expected, adjustments can be made at the organism, molecule, or even atom levels. Once the design context (or design system) is in place, consistent rules govern how each element interacts with the others. Any modifications, such as changing a color, will affect all instances where that color (or atom) is used, thereby maintaining the integrity of the entire structure.

In the case of HAC, the first three levels are most relevant to my approach. I prefer sticking to this chemical terminology as it is coherent and avoids introducing a “second language” that requires translation. The focus is on our building blocks (atoms) in their entirety and how we arrange them into molecules without any unnatural resistance.

Lastly, this involves recognizing and choosing our state, mood, presence, behaviors, and options as an organism. We need to be cognizant of our achievements, decisions, and their effects on our own lives and those of others. As Brad Frost emphasized, modularity is key. If we view ourselves as modular constructions with limitless potential to add, modify, adapt, rearrange, avoid, or create modules, and apply this understanding in the HAC method, it aligns closely with the framework described earlier. Finally, the sense of security we need, previously described as a driving force, could be reimagined as the “human” design system accomplished through this approach. This refers to the awareness of our own repository. It’s our frame.


Human Atomic Composing

The term “composition” originates from the Latin words “com” meaning “with” and “ponere” meaning “to place”. It refers to the act of putting together various elements to form something. In visual arts, composition involves organizing selected elements based on their context and established principles or rules. For instance, classical music is composed and performed following the principles of the classical style, such as specific instruments and arrangements.

The key elements in visual design include line, shape, color, space, form, texture, and value. There are also specific principles and suggested rules, like the Rule of Space or the Rule of Odds, to organize these elements. The main goal is to assemble these elements in a meaningful way. The specific content and sources you use to create a pool of “atoms” will depend on the context of your creation. For further clarification, please refer back to the “Atomic” example.

A 2nd layer on top: A/B-Testing
But what does “A/B” in Human A/B signify? It represents the choice between two options: A or B. This term originates from “A/B Testing” or “split testing”, a method used to test two variations against each other in real-life situations. The option that receives the most positive feedback is chosen for final use.

For instance, suppose I’m developing a web shop and want to include “buy” or “add to cart” buttons. These buttons might vary in shape, size, and color, in line with Atomic Design principles. If I’m uncertain about the most effective option – like whether to use red or green buttons – I conduct a test with users. I present one group with variation A and another group with variation B. I then select the variation that performs the best.

Why? User feedback dictates their preferences, and a shop is crafted to enhance user navigation. By minimizing the builder’s subjectivity, we can optimize the user experience. A/B testing is crucial not only for creating new offerings but also for updating existing products. If market demands or user perspectives shift, the product must adapt to retain its appeal and relevance. It’s all about iterative improvements.

HAC focuses on promoting understanding of our structures, along with the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities we face. It highlights that self-change requires a shift in perspective, attitude, and behavior, especially when our current situation becomes intolerable. Thus, awareness and discomfort are essential elements for progress.

The A/B concept is a practical part of decision-making. Often, we’ve already chosen a path, like a career as a doctor (A). However, if we no longer find fulfillment in our choice, we start considering alternatives (B). It’s worth noting that the alternative (B) typically aligns with our nature, and doesn’t always involve a significant shift when broken down into its core elements. There are similarities between A and B, but the results, traits, and contributions can vary.

For instance, an alternative career for a doctor (A) could be as a YouTuber (B) creating beneficial and innovative content. Though this might initially appear as a major shift, a closer examination reveals similarities. Both careers involve assisting others, enhancing their lives, empathetically interacting with clients or users, and unveiling insights they might not discover on their own.

The potential for choosing either A or B already resides within us; we just need to decide which avenue to express. The concept of A/B testing encourages us to consider alternatives, reminding us that the decision to test something new against the known hinges on our comfort level, awareness, and readiness to welcome the unknown. By comparing two options, we obtain a more precise understanding of our preferences and strengths. And we gain a new safety.

A personal example: I spent my childhood and youth playing soccer, and I was decent at it. However, over time, it began to feel like more of an obligation than a joy. This feeling persisted for a long time. Eventually, I developed a passion for triathlon. For some time, I juggled both soccer and triathlon, but I found endurance sports to be more adventurous and enjoyable. Today, I have no regrets or thoughts of what if I had stuck with soccer. The allure and benefits of triathlon were simply more compelling to me, so I chose to pursue it. And trust me, I wasn’t good at it initially.

All in a nutshell
Over time, we face growing challenges due to stress, low resilience, lack of empathy, insufficient involvement, and various mental struggles, including insecurities about our identity. We hold onto an illusion of a predetermined or ready-made form until something signals a fundamental problem. Although this might not be disruptive, I believe that all these “experiences” follow a system or pattern we have fostered. If something adheres to a pattern, it can be organized.

Human Atomic Composing
aims to foster new awareness and provide a framework of methods and options that help us move beyond our “old” selves and become brave masters of our own choices. Thus, we find ourselves seeking the necessary ingredients and tools for transformation, allow the new, embracing discomfort in various domains, and utilizing a mix of pragmatic, science-based, experiential, and spiritually influenced concepts. It’s all about making new decisions, by allowing ourselves more options; this is where A/B comes into play. Ultimately, it presents an opportunity to understand that there’s always an option A or B! It encourages us to venture and explore, especially the unknown, without losing ourselves. And that change is never far away. Enjoy your journey!