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My musings over Piersic’s unique show

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I was recently to a Florin Piersic show. For those who do not know who he is, I will simply say Florin Piersic is a famous Romanian actor and TV-personality. He is also known as a colourful raconteur that can talk for hours without getting his audience bored.

The show lasted for about 2 hours, and I was impressed by his talent to share stories and simultaneously evoke a palette of emotions. I laughed and cried, and I was happy to have had the chance to see him in a live performance.

This was not your typical show, but rather a collection of vibrant life stories told in a unique style. The charming Piersic has the talent to transform the world around him in a tale, and that is why he was and remains a remarkable personality!

After 2 hours I felt energised and inspired. I also understood instantly that I will have to put aside some time and digest all that he shared, because there was far more substance to that than an instant emotion.

A week went by and after playing with the information, these are my key takeaways:

  1. Life is like a theatre stage! There is an initial set-up and then it runs based on the director’s instructions. In this image you are the director.
  2. We, people, need other people to survive! We need others to share ideas, to spar, to argue, to get new perspectives… We need to feed both our brain and soul. We are enriching our lives every time we meet someone who is able to challenge us and influence us to see and go beyond our status quo.
  3. We need good friends to travel through life! They are those people one will share both the glorious and joyful days as well as the sad and tumultuous moments. With them one will be comfortable to share laughs and tears because one knows these friends genuinely care about ones wellbeing.
  4. We need a clear map to our happy place! Life is sometimes too serious and stressful. Therefore, we need to know which road is the easiest and fastest to our happy place.
  5. We need a guiding star! Of course, it is not a static star, but rather one that is adjusting throughout our life, given our maturity level at any point in time.
  6. We need someone to look up to! Even the most successful people need a role model to admire and aspire to become.

In an interconnected world, we cannot stand alone. We need to be among people, and continuously find sources of inspiration. Interacting with others puts us in a vulnerable position, but it also provides us with the needed resources to enhance our existence.

When I think of myself at almost 82 years old (Piersic’s age) I would love to look back and be happy and proud of the people I met, the places I visited, the steps I took, the choices I made and the legacy I left to the world.

 

How understanding diversity can subdue conflicts

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I come from a small village in Moldova. Growing up during the 1990s exposed me to a society that was forced to embrace a new way of living. Moldova was going through a transition period that sadly enough was being done without a strategy or a good leader. Consequently, many kids such as me felt indirectly encouraged to flee the country and look for a better life.

At the age of 15 I moved to Bucharest by myself. There are many reasons why I made this move, but one of them is that I wanted a new environment where I could escape the need to have a predetermined behaviour. As you might have guessed, a little village community is very judgemental, but efficient in imposing a conformity bias among its members.

Bucharest exposed me to new people, new dynamics and new opportunities. Even though I was still pretty much running through a certain embedded framework, I was absorbing the new as a sponge – clearly not knowing what I would do with it later in life.

Fast-forward 7 years and I was finding myself moving to Copenhagen. I didn’t know what to expect from this experience, but I think that in many ways this is the place where I polished who I am (with no doubt this is still work in progress). I met many great people who challenged me to go beyond my understandings of the world, to explore new perspectives and behaviours, and to be open to see and hear other people. Furthermore, they encouraged me to think of diversity in the large sense, and after some research and thinking, I realised that we need more of it if we want a society that lives in harmony.

The central tenets of my new-found “philosophy” can be summarized as follows:

  1. We have too many conflicts in this world mainly because we refuse to actively listen to one another before we bring to the surface our “I-know-better” attitude.
  2. We need to put ourselves more often in other people’s shoes.
  3. If we are listening to the others it doesn’t imply we are agreeing or accepting their message. However, we do open our minds to alternative reasoning.
  4. We need all the facets of human diversity to be accepted and supported. People need the freedom to be themselves as long as they do not invade other persons’ freedom.
  5. People have to learn they are governed by biases.

Each of us has a story to tell which is modelled based on our background and which implicitly imposes a certain view on life/world/good/bad/etc. This is simply the reality we are in. However, when we consider that our understanding of the world is above anyone else’s, this is an active choice we make. I do not think that we need to model our mind to fit others; however I do believe that we need to model our willingness to listen to one another, at least once!

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Who are you?

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This question can easily bring some philosophical reflections, but before I personally start the exercise one of my favourite Disney characters, Mushu, pops into my head. Whoever watched Mulan can easily remember below quote:


Mulan:
Who are you?

Mushu:
Who am I? Who am I? I am the guardian of lost souls! I am the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible Mushu! I’m pretty hot, uh?

This dialog helps me relax before I open the door to meet my inner demons. Whether I like it or not they are part of who I am, and therefore I invite them out whenever it’s necessary to review our coexistence strategy. Today is one of those days.

The demons are my friends, because they easily highlight where and when I lost my true self. Yes, I am aware that the true self is not a static state. I know that what yesterday held true might not apply today. We, humans, are changing as fast as any new technology, but not all of us are truly conscious of this because it is too great a burden to bear. It is so much more comfortable to stay oblivious and experience only the surface of yourself.

Unfortunately, I’m not made that way. I live intensely certain situations and somehow manage to go down the rabbit hole every time. As painful as these experiences might be, I do try to look at each of them as a wake up call, as an opportunity to search inside me and come back stronger. I know I have the power to rebuild myself in ways that may seem impossible. All it takes is for me to wish to embark on the journey… But each time the very first step is the critical one and the most difficult part of the journey.

So far 2017 is a year that I want to forget – the balance between the happy and the sad moments is tilted towards the latter. Probably all the events that happened entail necessary life lessons and I should cherish all of them, but today I just want to Shift+Del Enter them. So, 2017 please stop challenge me this way!

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The beginning of the end

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Reflecting on yourself and your actions is the main source of growth. However, many people prefer not to do it because sometimes this entails pain. It’s not always pleasant to learn who you truly are and what you stand for. Therefore, individuals form this invisible citadel around them and stay oblivious to the impact they have on themselves or on others. They let the world’s expectations direct their path, and they live only touching the surface of the life itself.

Pain is a powerful motivator to overcome your status quo, to challenge what you think you know, to enhance your life in different shapes and forms. Pain opens doors to unknown lands, and it will help you explore your limits. Pain is an emotion that we should never hide from because it enriches our existence.

Failure is a state that none of us wants to be in. But once in a while we end up there simply because our current achievements or behaviours are not reflecting our past expectations. The perfect state we were aiming at is not reachable for various reasons, and this hurts us both mentally and physically. At the same time, if you take the time to embrace this suffering, you will gain valuable lessons. However, to learn from your experiences you have to commit to a long journey of self assessment. Sadly, many people I know don’t prioritise this because it’s an effort they perceive to be irrelevant for their well-being.

Success, on the other hand, is the state that all of us want to be part of. We want to feel good about ourselves, and therefore we identify and adopt a benchmark for success and aim to achieve it without considering that this standard was defined by another fallible creature. Unfortunately, we do not spend enough time to adjust the barometer to our own needs and wishes. Hence, we will unfailingly come across failures and adversities which hopefully will open our eyes and motivate us to sit down, take a breath and think about why we ended up here.

When we are done reflecting, we will have a holistic view of who we are and what the future might look like. This is the moment when the beginning of the end will start, and instead of being affraid of it we should cherish it.

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Why a vessel is called „she”?

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In 2013 I sailed for 5 days with Ebba Maersk which was once the largest vessel in the world. But knowing that there were bigger vessels out there didn’t stop me from being mesmerised when the car dropped me next to the gangway.

The reason for on-boarding the vessel was to understand how a ship works in general, but more importantly meet some of the people I was communicating with on a daily basis, a.k.a the vessels’ crew. I strongly believe this was a great opportunity for me to have a clearer overview of what life at sea implies, and similar trips should be mandatory to anyone that works closely with the vessels.

As in any industry shipping has its particularities. As a newbie I was absolutely flabbergasted that my colleagues in the office were referring to the vessel as she. With my humble knowledge of English, I was sure that a thing that doesn’t breathe is an it. However, she was clearly the unwriten rule of how one was addressing a vessel. Therefore, during my trip I asked one of the officers to enlighten me on the matter. And this is what I got:



Now, I don’t believe this explanation still applies in 2017 when we are also having women captains, and the number of female officers in the world’s fleet is increasing steadily. So, I’m wondering when this unwritten rule of calling a vessel she will fade away?

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Toate vârstele

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Se spune că fiecare vârstă are farmecul ei. Mi se pare deosebit că la fiecare vârstă avem altceva a spune. Asta nu înseamnă că ne schimbăm 100 de procente, ci doar că privim cu alţi ochi lumea din jur.

Când eram mici voiam să fim mari. Atât de mari încât să fim independenţi. Ca şi copii atât de mult ne dorim maturitatea încât sărim cu paşi grăbiţi peste aventura copilăriei. Ne credem specialişti în toate şi ne punem întrebarea ce am putea afla mai mult decât atât? Însă la fiecare pas adăugăm o nouă experienţă şi perspectivă existenţei noastre.

Îmi amintesc de mine acum 15-20 ani. Eram o copilă foarte ambiţioasă. Aveam ţeluri mari. Bineînţeles că am trecut prin destule stări sufleteşti şi am încercat multe posibile cariere de viitor. Pomenesc aici de cele standard: doctor, învăţător, educator sau vânzător. Ştiţi unde mi-ar fi plăcut mie să fiu vânzătoare? Mă vedeam într-o librărie mare înconjurată de sute de cărţi. Cărţile mi se păreau tare misterioase. Fiecare carte avea de oferit ceva special. Întotdeauna când citeam o carte simţeam cum se creează o relaţie deosebită între mine şi personaje. Eram implicată în poveste 100%.

Tot ce ştiu este că voiam să fiu mare. Mai voiam să am un job care să mă pasioneze şi care să-mi permită luxul de a vizita lumea. Se tot vorbeşte de vârsta nebună în care încerci multe şi mărunte şi anume cea dintre 14-18 ani. Eu în acest interval eram sensibil mai matură decât cei din jurul meu. Aveam multe obligaţii şi munceam mult ca să nu îi decepţionez pe cei care îşi puseseră încrederea în mine. Orice pas pe care îl făceam îl gândeam înainte, pe principiul de 7 ori măsoară şi o dată taie.

Nu regret că nu am fost mai infantilă atunci, dar regret că atitudinea mea matură (în mare este rezultatul trecutului meu) mi-a limitat indirect experienţele de viaţă. Bineînţeles că nu ştiu cum aş fi evoluat dacă aş fi avut un comportament mai zvăpăiat, dar asta nu înseamnă că nu mi-ar fi plăcut să cunosc şi acea realitate. Deoarece maşina timpului încă nu este un element real, cred că este cazul să trec mai departe.

Acum am ajuns unde îmi doream când eram mică – sunt mare! Sunt adult cu acte în regulă, independentă financiar, cu un job care îmi oferă posibilitatea să călătoresc atât în interes de serviciu, cât şi în vacanţe.  Sunt un contribuabil serios al societăţii şi, mai presus de toate, îmi trăiesc viaţa în cel mai bun mod pe care-l ştiu.

Dar aşa mare cum sunt, eu vreau în timpul meu liber să fiu infantilă. Vreau să explorez lumea şi să mă descopăr. Vreau să trăiesc viaţa aşa cum o simt fără a lua în calcul definiţia societăţii pentru maturitate. Noi, oamenii, suntem aşa de mult ancoraţi în regulile prestabilite ale societăţii încât foarte uşor uităm să trăim cu adevărat. Suntem prea concentraţi să îi mulţumim pe cei din jur cu aşteptările lor cu tot, şi uităm că în esenţă avem o viaţă şi ar trebui să o trăim fericiţi cu adevărat.

Fiecare vârstă are farmecul ei, dar parcă etapele vieţii ar fi mai grozave dacă societatea şi-ar vedea de treaba ei şi tu ai învăţa să nu-i acorzi atenţie. Acum eu cred că trec prin procesul în care învăţ să-mi văd de viaţa mea şi să o trăiesc aşa cum îmi doresc eu şi nu cum alţii aşteaptă. Wish me luck!

Sursa foto

 

It’s all about us

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We are all unique! This is something I truly believe in because it is the only logical reason that can explain the entire range of conflicts and dynamics in this world.

Our uniqueness comes from our experiences. Some of them are our own choice, others happen due to circumstances that we have no power over (or so we think). Regardless of how we ended up experiencing something, we had the chance of learning a lesson that will prove later to be valuable or not.

But talking about choices, what is a choice and how we make it? I think that the majority of our choices are made consciously after fully using our rationality, but still a great part of them do not run through the same process. We simply act based on feelings which seldom can be explained by reason. So, is that really a choice or just nature? I recently learned that it is the latter, and it is close to impossible to change anything by using rationality. Some events just need to happen in your life, and you need to find and learn the lesson – a task that is ridiculously difficult, at least in the beginning.

This leads me to the next questions:

  1. Can we maneuver safely through these emotion-propelled feelings?
  2. And can we ensure that our feelings-based actions will not raise any regrets later?

I would say no to both of them because we need to live on the edge from time to time to understand ourselves entirely. We have many facades that we are not aware of, and it is critical to bring them up to the surface and learn who we truly are even if we might not like what we are learning. However, this is key to our growth and development, and the only way not to be caught by surprise in some situations.

Breathing means that you are forced to experience the world around you, consciously or not! So better embrace it and learn as much as you can while remembering not to lose yourself in the process.

“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.”
― C.S. Lewis

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Trying and failing is far better than not trying at all

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I watched the attached video and my main takeaway from J.K. Rowling’s speech was: „It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”

As my brother always told me, every experience in life is a lesson to be learned. Unfortunately, in the society I was growing up failure was not an accepted result. Hence, I felt always the need of being very cautious about my actions which, in return, led me into not being open enough to grasp and apply the „try and fail” method.

I learned over time that one has the power of changing the mindset and accomplish in life whatever one desires. Therefore, accepting you as you are and being fearless in the face of the unknown is the attitude that will help you live a life without regrets.



Victoria cui?

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9 mai 2015

Mă minunez că după 70 de ani noi în continuare celebrăm victoria unui regim totalitar asupra altuia. Moscova s-a pregătit riguros pentru a arăta încă o dată lumii întregi cât de mult ţine la trecut şi la aşa-zisul Marele Război pentru Apărarea Patriei. Majoritatea statelor lumii au fost invitate să participe la cea care s-a vrut a fi cea mai mare paradă din istoria Rusiei. Din fericire pentru omenire doar 30 de lideri din întreaga lume au dat curs invitaţiei domnului Putin, aceştia reprezentând în special statele CSI, Asia şi câteva ţări africane.

Mă întristează să văd că un popor încă mai crede că o astfel de celebrare este necesară în secolul 21. Nouă mai pentru mine este cel mult poate o zi în care oamenii ar trebui să se întorcă în trecut şi să înveţe o lecţie. Nouă mai este ziua în care ar trebui să comemorăm victimele nevinovate care au murit sau au rămas afectate pe viaţă luptând să hrănească grandomania unor lideri de ţară.

Din păcate în 2015 încă asistăm la realitatea în care nazismul este condamnat, dar comunismul este invitat la masa învingătorilor morali în ciuda abuzurilor staliniste. Cu toate acestea, nemţii par să îşi fi învăţat lecţia istorică prin acceptarea responsabilităţii acţiunilor teribile ale lui Hitler, dar ruşii dezamăgesc prin a le saluta pe cele ale liderilor din perioada sovietică.

Când vom învăţa să nu ne uităm istoria atunci avem cu adevărat şanse să ne îndreptăm către o societate bazată pe pace, înţelegere şi susţinere reciprocă independent de identitatea naţională. O victorie asupra unui popor, anexarea lui şi impunerea de valori nu este o politică de succes de lungă durată. Cel mai bun şi clar exemplu pe care-l avem este Uniunea Sovietică. De aceea, Rusia trebuie să accepte că atitudinea de care dă dovadă acum nu este sănătoasă şi că dacă va continua acelaşi joc tinde să rămână singură pe terenul de joacă.

Nouă mai este una din zilele în care ar trebui să ne amintim trecutul pentru a nu-l repeta.

Sursă foto: gandul.info

Learning how to fly: nature vs. nurture

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Sometimes I wake up in the middle of a situation and I feel people are staring at me. It takes me a couple of seconds until I figure it out that they expect an answer from me to a question that I don’t want to respond. I prefer having my peace in the very little world I created around me.

I like not giving explanations every time I make a decision or I take an action. I already think too much before I act on something. I don’t want to be questioned by anybody just because this is considered to be a default. I fight the so-called standards as long as they don’t define me.

I’m afraid, but I’m courageous. I’m a piece of the puzzle. I’m all and nothing. I refuse to play by the book. I never close the doors behind me. Involuntary, I leave people wondering if I miss something to feel complete. As of recently, I found out that people perceive me as a person that doesn’t have strong opinions about the things happening around me. Trying to guess why this is the case, I came up with a very simple explanation. I accept everyone’s beliefs and wishes as long as nobody is forcing his on me. Therefore, I have no strong urges to impose my personal ideas/views. Additionally, I never express an opinion unless I have studied the subject. I guess for this attitude I have to blame academia and the fact that I dislike people that form an opinion out of thin air. Clearly, I’m a science person.

Since day 1, life is all about learning and developing. In the begining, we have our parents to guide us and teach us the dos and don’ts. Further, we have an entire system that was created to offer us the opportunity of a wider and brighter future. Then we should have the tools to explore the world we are living in. In the process, we learn that if we can pay attention to others, we may learn from their life experiences. In a way, witness a different life without getting out of bed.

Learning from others’ mistakes has its perks, but also it has its disadvantages. I skip some steps in the development process assuming that I will reach faster and easier my final station. Is that indeed better? Do I really save some time to invest in something else? Or am I just losing the sight of me? I don’t have an answer. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m learning how to fly and how to conquer this world bit by bit. With or without help, I’m on my way to an adventure and I’m open to explore. Life is what I make out of it. Let it be great then!

If I live or if I die, it’s surely all up to me.

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