I Love You!

This is a love letter and a declaration of gratitude. It is a letter to myself, to my parents, sister, to the loved ones who left for the heavens, to the men who have touched my life, to all the friends I am blessed to have had, to all the people I have ever coached or trained, to all the teachers who have poured the water of wisdom over the seeds of my mind and soul, making them grow. It is a letter to all the people who have hurt me, lied to me, infuriated me or challenged me in any way. It is a letter to all those who have crossed my path and given me the gift of a smile or a kind word, to the children I have taught and who have taught even more in return and to all the people who have given me a hand when I most needed it. I love you! I have come to believe there are two emotions that drive our lives – love and fear. There are still so many things I fear, still so many lessons to learn and mistakes to make. Yet there are still even more things and people to love. Today I make a vow no to forget that love is always the best antidote for fear. I want to tell you all how grateful I am for your existence! I thank you for all the love you are giving me, for all the opportunities to learn, for all the challenges you are placing in front of me, which make me discover more of myself and grow to be a better human being, wiser, kinder, more patient, more confident, more forgiving, more in tune with my own femininity, more in touch with my own heart. I thank all the people who have ever hurt me for teaching me about forgiveness! I thank all the people who have ever loved me for teaching me about feeling! I thank all the people who...

read more

A Lesson of Patience and Persistence by Roxana Dragus

A while ago I was writing about my meeting with a beautiful, intelligent girl, who taught me an amazing lesson in humbleness. I wrote about our meeting gone bad and what I realised right after it. What I didn’t know is that Roxana – now I can reveal her name – would read my post and write back to me one of the most touching, humbling and emotional emails I have ever read. We had a second meeting – a wonderful, heart to heart encounter of two souls who were probably meant to connect and learn from each-other.   Roxana reminded me, once again, about the importance of compassion, about refraining from judging, about how easy it is to be superficial and arrogant, even, or especially, when you believe yourself to be wise and patient and, most of all, she taught me about the magic that happens when people connect on a soul level and not just on a mind level.  This is a girl who truly believes she can change the world and I truly believe she can and she will. I invited her to write a guest post, sharing her story and how it connects to our encounter. She is a young graduate looking for a job in an unfriendly work market. It’s hard, but she isn’t giving up. And I invite you, my reader, who might need someone on your team who is wonderfully authentic, open, brave and truly committed to make a difference in this world, to read Roxana‘s story.  When Alis invited me to write a follow-up of her article – “Today I remembered to be humble”, I immediately became stressed at the thought of becoming exposed to a large group of readers, to share my inner struggles, vulnerability and to publicly accept my imperfection. Here I am. I feel brave enough to tell the story of my last three months, my perspective on how I met Alis and why today I’m writing a guest post at her invitation. But, let’s take the story from the beginning. It all started...

read more

The Happiness Treadmill

Most of you are probably familiar with the notion of “happiness treadmill”, or “hedonic treadmill”. I’ve written about it before (you can revisit the article here). It basically is this illusion many of us have that having more will make us happier. A larger car, a bigger house, a better job. All these “markers of success” as society today defines it are considered absolute necessities for being happy. Unfortunately I see more and more people who are profoundly unhappy despite having more, achieving more, climbing the social ladder higher and higher. Lately I have been reminded about the subject as I realized how many people around me are running like crazy on this treadmill, caught in the trap of their own desires for a better life, but lacking the profound understanding of what “better” really means. So I decided to share with you what that “better” means to me and to others whom I know to be leading happy, fulfilling lives. You don’t necessarily have to agree to my conclusions, but I hope they will at least make you reflect on your own lives, needs, desires and beliefs about happiness. As always, I’d be happy if you shared your conclusions with me. 1. Happiness is all about perception What happens to you might influence your state of mind, but ultimately happiness is about perception. It is your conscious choice to look at your life’s events as if they were tragedies, strokes of luck or lessons to be learned. It is your choice to take the best out of everything that happens to you. It is your choice to enjoy the good in your life and look for the silver lining when the bad comes your way. 2. Happiness is NOT about what you have  You are more than your job, your social status, your relationships or your possessions. You can never buy peace of mind, joy, true love. Dreams and hopes have no price. These are things that make up happiness and can’t be...

read more

Listen to the Story!

Sep 03, 11 Listen to the Story!

Posted by in Featured, Thoughts/Ideas

What of the things I most enjoy about being a professional trainer is having contact with so many people, vastly different in age, profession, experience and outlook on life. It never ceases to fascinate me how such different people can yet be so similar. Talking to hundreds of men and women in a given year has taught me many lessons about how people think and, most importantly, what their thinking has in common. I have discovered many themes, thought patterns, that I encounter over and over again. One of these thought patterns troubles me more than others and makes the subject of this post. It is people’s overwhelming tendency to judge, label and place blame on others. I virtually every seminar I ever facilitated I heard things such as: “that or that person is a bad person”; “our managers are to blame for our current problems”; “it is impossible to get along with someone you can’t stand”; “I simply don’t know how to deal with that person”; “why do some people have to be so aggressive and difficult” or, one of my “favorites” – “try as I might, I can’t find one good thing to say about that person”. I can empathize with all these statements. I too like some people more than I like others. It is only natural that we all do so. As is natural that we always look for blame outside of ourselves, yet most of us are in a hurry to take credit for things that have gone right (there is even a well known bias in psychology accounting for this – the self serving bias). However, I have come to believe that this type of limiting beliefs are but a stage in every person’s emotional development, one that we should learn to outgrow. One of my most startling discoveries in dealing with people was that nobody truly wakes up in the morning with an intention to harm others. Almost all people I know hold a firm belief that...

read more

5 Mistakes That Changed My Life

It is fascinating to me what an ambivalent role mistakes have in our lives. On the one hand we seem to come into the world wired for making mistakes and learning from them – you just need to watch a toddler experimenting with the world around her, trying to take her first steps and falling over and over and over again until she finally succeeds. If toddlers weren’t willing to make mistakes, they might never learn to walk on two feet, keep their fingers away from hot stoves and stop torturing the house cat by incessantly pulling its tail. On the other hand, once we get into the schooling system, mistakes seem to take on a new meaning altogether. Instead of embracing them as stepping stones for personal growth, we are being taught to avoid them at all costs. Children are rewarded not for how much they experiment and learn, but by how few mistakes they make – the fewer the better. Later on in life things don’t get better either. Work, at least in the corporate environment, is but a continuation of school in the sense that mistakes are strongly discouraged and their absence is rewarded. In our personal lives too, we are expected to conform and do “the right” thing, whatever that may be, according to the expectations of our families, friends, or of the society we live in. If success is measured by how many things you have – then we are expected to get good jobs, buy houses, cars and other material indicators of personal success, all the while making as few mistakes as possible. Thus, years later, we end up being caught in this suffocating web of social norms that, more often than not, come against our innate predispositions. So, what are we to do then? My revelation was that whenever my life took an extraordinary turn for the better, it was after I had done some sort of serious mistake, not after I had done everything “right”. Thus...

read more