Archive for the category ‘English’

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.

 

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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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.



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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Where am I?

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noideawhereiamI feel like I’m living in a parallel world. Somehow today was the day when all hell broke loose. Nothing really happened, but the whole day I had a zillion thoughts flowing in my head and a zillion feelings running through my body. I felt confused.

Lately I feel like things are changing too fast and I miss the times when I could stay still and reflect for hours. I miss me in my restless days. I miss the days when I felt the sky is the limit. I miss not missing things. I miss the days when I was in a carpe diem mood. I just miss something I don’t have now, something that I have dificulties in explaining or defining.

However, I’m here, in the state where everything is mixed and nothing is really clear. Is it the weather? Is it that time of the year? Is it the people?

What was it that triggered this state?

I’m continously looking back trying to find it and, so far nothing stands out as being a proper cause of my current condition. I guess I just need a break from my daily activities. I assume I need to see some of the people and places from the time when I was entirely sure of who I am and who I want to be.

Probably some confusion is needed now and then in order to take a step back and analyse where you are, to which degree you achieved what you wanted and verify if adjustments are necessary to follow your path.

Now I will take a step back…going on holiday will hopefully help.

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It started as one of those days…

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…but it ended as a day where I almost met my target!

I woke up this morning at 06:30 and there was no daylight. Additionally, it was raining. It was one of those mornings when one doesn’t want to get out of the bed. I would much rather have stayed in, read a good book and have a big cup of camomile tea.

The day would have continued with some cooking for my royal lunch and I would have probably finished my day with a drama movie. All my activities would have described a perfect hygge day. Do you know what hygge stands for?

Hygge is a Danish word for coziness. I have adopted the concept and I like it very much. My hygge period starts in the beginning of November and it ends around the end of March. Please note that when one is in Denmark, one cannot live for 5 months every year without discovering the beauty of all the activities that during the summer time are almost non-existent. It is a given and one should not choose this country if one cannot cope with the specific Danish weather.

So, back to what I was saying. I wanted to stay inside my apartment in my comfy robe with my warm slippers on and be hygge all day long. However, the real life kicked in, so after 40 minutes I was biking to work in the rain. Believe me, it is not as romantic as it sounds :-). On my way, I decided that this weather will not ruin my day. I have so many things to get done that I don’t have time to think about the rain.

I reached my work place after a detour to have a nice latte from Kafferiet, I chitchated a bit with my colleagues in the lounge and finally I got to work. In the process I realised that there are so many tasks on my desk and that the time might be a constraint. I did some prioritisation (I’m still working on improving this skill) before getting started and I set my target for the day. I managed to accomplish about 85% of what I wanted to do. As a general thing, the statistic is not looking bad. However, it made me wonder: Were my ambitions too high in the morning? Or do I need to improve my productivity level? Hmmm, it is always nice when you end the day with a question to yourself, don’t you think?

There are still so many things I need to learn about me. The fact that they are countless makes it a very interesting adventure.

Finishing on a curious note, what will tomorrow bring? (Hope it will not be rain) Good night, my friends!

Did you try anything new lately?

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Do you know what we have now compared to our parents? We have opportunities! We have the liberty of choosing what we want to do. We have the possibility to be entirely ourself and still make it work. We don’t need to convince anybody about anything. However, we need to always keep in mind our goal.

It is perfectly fine to have a purpose in life. It doesn’t matter what is that, as long as you are happy and you feel accomplished. But we should always remember that we should not restrain our goal. We should always adjust it as we go. Don’t be conservative, because you will miss on chances. It is as simple as that!

When I was in my early teens I always imagined that by now I will have a child. I believe I had that vision because I could easily see myself having a proper family rather than a proper career. And no, it wasn’t because I wasn’t ambitious. I just weighted more having a husband and a child than a career. In the meanwhile, I grew and found new angles of myself and I decided that they are interesting to develop. Consequently, I focused my attention elsewhere keeping though an eye on my initial goal which had to be updated to comprise the new aspects.

Where do I stand now relative to my initial goal? Well, I’m not married and I’m not particularly interested in achieving this status. This is purely because marriage per se would not really change my current life. At the same time, I believe that I’m not prepared to be a parent yet either. Somebody might argue that I will never feel prepared which might as well be accurate. Somehow though, I feel that I still have some time left to get there.

Therefore, I’m focusing my attention on the other parts of my life goal. One of the things I have under my radar for the time being is my career. I’m developing my career because I have the chance and the time to learn from so many interesting people. Just yesterday I dined sitting next to 2 very famous gentlemen, the Captain and the Chief Engineer of the glorious vessel, Mærsk McKinney-Møller. Fantastic guys that had some good stories to share and, at the same time, were happy to answer questions coming from a rookie in the industry (i.e. myself).

If it is one thing I learned lately is that nobody expects you to know everything, but they expect you to dare and ask. Be genuinely interested in what you are doing! Don’t wait until you fell 120% comfortable to share an idea or to challenge a standard! Try new things as they come and believe it or not, you will see a change which will help you achieve everything you dreamed of right from the beginning. It is all a matter of perspective, remember that!

Work hard, play hard!

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I met a consultant and I had the chance of sharing some lunches together for the last couple of days. We have touched upon different subjects including business trips, marriage, children, challenges and perks of being a consultant etc.

My humble conclusion was that as a consultant one works hard, but plays hard as well. Extrapolating from his life story, I believe that each and every one of us should do the same. We should work hard, we should aim high, and fulfil most of our career-related dreams. At the same time, we shouldn’t forget that we live only once. We shouldn’t forget that a bit of craziness is not only desired, but it is encouraged.

What I have noticed among my peers is that everybody wants to live an adventurous life, but when it comes down to it, they back down. Some of them invoke financial reasons, others the fact that they are adults now and they don’t have the time to behave childishly. C’mon, guys, we are allowed to be irresponsible from time to time. Once our soul gets old, there is no way back. How to keep it young? I got a very interesting suggestion from one of my colleagues: “Spice up your routine life with an exciting trip in a land that has (a bit of) a dangerous vibe. Do this at least once every 2 years and you will feel alive!”.

I had my fair share of trying new, amazing and adventurous land(s) this year. What should my future project be?