2020 Readings // The Rosie Result

The 10 days of mandatory quarantine upon my entry in Romania gave me a reason to sit down and count the days until I can finally go out. An entertaining book was a good idea to kill the hours and see what Graeme Simsion has been working on in the 400 pages he wrote.

The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effekt and The Rosie Result is a funny trilogy which relates about one nerd with slight autistic problems, trying to find a girlfriend which he eventually found (Rosie), living with her and finally raising their child which has as well some deficiencies.

I happened to have the third book at hand, which I bought randomly before flying once and which I found now once again back at home. The Rosie Result is about Don and Rosie, married since 12 years, freshly returned to Australia, together with their 11 year old child, which struggles to adapt to the society, doesn’t have too many friends and has difficulties in accepting changes.

Their attempts to help him cope with his (already supposed) autistic syndrome before the school officially puts him this label and sends him to special help, as well as the dialog and the surprises Hudson makes for them, transforms the book into a journey about love, care, family and cooperation.

Don, the main character, decided to take some time off from work and dedicate it to the Hudson-Projekt. He puts all his knowledge, personal experience and advice from his friends to enable his son to slightly open up to the society and overcome the dificulties that Don himself had to while being a child, due to the different perception over the world, caused by the syndrome.

In the end, Hudson made a lot of progress and decided not to adapt to the society but rather to help the society accept people like him. It’s a good example of how much love two parents can have for their children and how intelligently they deal with the situation in order to help their kid grow and overcome his status.

2020 Readings // The Ride of a Lifetime – Disney CEO Robert Iger

It all started with an interview I watched, where Oprah Winfrey had Robert Iger talking about his recently published memoirs, with the purpose of fundraising for some scholarships.

The interview is available here and it’s a good overview regarding the topics that Oprah and Iger tackled and the most relevant points in his career:  

This interview really left me curious about the former Disney CEO and what type of legacy he left behind. Starting in 2005, Robert Iger took over the function of the CEO of The Walt Disney Company and ever since had to cope with a series of challenges, hard decisions and major acquisitions. Currently, the very powerful media company owns Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox.

What really impressed about the book was Iger´s openness to talk about the hardest time in his life and career – the death of child eaten by an alligator into one of the Disney Amusement Parks in USA, while the whole Disney team was about to inaugurate a new amusement Park in Shanghai. While trying to handle the both events, Iger mentioned that this was the most important moment in his career, where none of the moments had to be eclipsed by the other but both of them had to be publicly approached with the necessary attitude of sorrow and joy respectively. Over the past 15 years, Iger speaks about handling the deterioration of the morale, dealing with competition and keeping up with the latest developments in technology. As he explains, there were 3 pillars he refered to while knowing that arguing over the past will not bring any value. Thus, he focused on bringing the highest quality content ever, making friends with technology and thinking bigger and global. While leading 200,000 employees, staying curious about what drives progress and putting decency over the dollar, he finally agrees that You can’t fake leadership.

The Advent Challenge // Mönchsberg Lauf

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As Christmas is slowly approaching and this year has been for almost everyone a pure waste of time and opportunities, while also a long time to rest, wait, self-reflect and keep calm, we have thought together with my dear neighbour Nada Vasic to use the long time to rest and wait that we were offered by the authorities in order to create some morning routines, refresh our spirit, start the day with the right mindset and collect some money for a good cause.

Therefore, as of 1st of December until 24th of December, at 6.30 in the morning, Nada, myself and some of her friends have committed to keep the habit and go on a small mountain next to our building called Mönchsberg for a run/walk/call it visit if you want. We tried to cover Mönchsberg from different sides and enjoyed some very beautiful sunrises under the Salzburg Sky. Until 24th the invitation is open to anyone would like to join – please text me and I will put you in touch with Nada.

During this decade of days, we’ve managed to hold this habit and stay consistent in what we have aligned. I tried to join every day, except for 2 occasions when I had to rest. With this daily effort and Nada’s energy and determination, we have already achieved together 50% of the challenge and in parallel have collected some money. Nada will continue running while I will be flying home for holidays. The invitation to join her and help her collect money for this cause is still open and if you need more info please do not hesitate to contact me. If you would just want to donate money I will provide you with her bank account. I will also provide you with a proof of your contribution, as Nada will publicly release a list with the names of all the participants upon the donation.

Location: Mönchsberg

Time 6.30 a.m.

Duration: 1h

Activities: Running/Walking/Jogging/Talking

Every participant that joined Nada at least once had to pay 10€. The collected sum will be on the 25th of December donated to a charity in Salzburg that aims to help kids with skin problems.

On this occasion, I would like to thank Nada for her determination and consistency, great spirit and proven commitment to keep up with her goals. It is hard to meet such serious people who dare to have initiatives and stay consistent until the very last step.

More information about the charity where the money will arrive, here:

https://www.eb-haus.org/ueber-uns/eb-haus-news/2020/was-ist-ein-schmetterlingskind-anschaulich-erklaert/

Anchor yourself while the unexpected happens.

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When things get out of your control…

When they just happen…

When the impossible becomes possible…

When the lockers are set on the doors how do you handle the mess inside?

How do you hold on and adapt during a journey that started and it’s still far away from the final destination?

There is always that pillar of support which keeps you on the surface no matter what. Or there should be something which always worked out. Something that brings you joy, makes you feel free and releases the pressure. That pressure which has no factor you could connect it with, but which feels strong on your shoulders.

The more time you spend with yourself the more true you become to yourself. Now, the more isolated you are, the harder the confrontation. Your positive and negative sides come into the game, your undiscovered skills easily open the door of your life, whereas the negative ones are clumsily coming into the room like kids who need their parents because they had nightmares.

Call it maybe multiple sides of your personalities. But still you cannot help it but acknowledge that living in the unknown is a challenge for most of us. It comes with questions about every single detail of our life and the worst is you cannot do anything to stop such questions flourishing. They come uninvited as if you organised a casting for them.

Here’s the antidote therefore. The anchor. That thing which keeps you going. It can be your favourite movie which puts you in a good and optimistic mood. It can be a role model who talks about overcoming difficulties and making the best out of it. It could be the voice of your best friend or the silly mind of one of your siblings. It can be your favourite dress. Your beloved shoes or your watch.

It can be a topic you’ve always been fascinated of. It can be a walk on a mountain, a call with your best friend, a blog, a project or maximum solitude. Removing all the noise because you don’t need unnecessary stressful and noisy factors around you. Maybe that’s your anchor. Yourself only and your own silence so that you can find ‘The Solutions’.

Set goals while crossing days.

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Since the quarantine or the lockdown (call it as you feel) gets longer and longer and you are just a human, maybe it’s time to turn this unexpected historical context into a challenge and go deeper than just crossing the days in the calendar and working. In general, it turns one month to create new habits. I mean you need to be consistent for one month to learn a new habit and hope you will not give it up as soon as the restaurants are open.

Since not everyone was born over-motivated, some of us need to be more disciplined and persistent in order to get something done step by step, day by day. A plan or an idea always helps to define some shapes.

Today I want to talk about the things, projects, ideas that I hope to get done by the end of the quarantine. I would like to talk about personal goals, as this excites me and puts me into something. Keeps me busy and helps me sleep better. It puts things into perspective. It shows a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. It shows a beginning and an end. And a journey in between. A journey in your own flat with your own resources. No coaching or mentoring.

I would like to talk about doing things differently, but still getting them done. If I’m not over-motivated, I would like to go through the following points of interest:

  • Learn 5 new different recipes – maybe something Italian, something Spanish and something French. Already cooked asparagus on my own and learned to combine Aperol with white whine.
  • Start practicing yoga. Twice a week is already an experiment.
  • Watch a season from a TV show I`m interested in – I’m currently watching a Start up Pitch TV Show, 2 mio 2 min. it’s always good to know what is on the market while keeping a rational head. https://www.puls4.com/2-minuten-2-millionen/staffel-3
  • Read a book until the end. I am currently reading a book about the new financial crisis. Good to know what might happen. I personally didn’t see corona coming to Salzburg.

I would to use this time to find new passions. To nurture interests which have neglected because I thought learning German is the only way.

I`m confident we’ve been given this time which is anyhow limited with a purpose. It will end. Everything ends. Just like university ends. Just like an old job comes to an end because you get another offer. Everything has its own time and maybe the lesson is to use that time with a purpose, knowing there is a deadline out there.

Which habits would you rather adopt other than sitting on the couch and working all day long?

Tell me about your goals. Find them, please. It’s gonna be a long journey and we’re only in the middle of the third week.

Wanderlust in Romania – Sibiu.

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Continuing the partial tourist life with a quick stop in Romania, I am happy to show you one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Romania – Sibiu.

To start with, I would like to refer to a few aspects about Sibiu, before going to the historical reminiscences. In 2007, Sibiu was declared the European Capital of Culture. Its European spirit, its cultural location and good infrastructure played a crucial role in this nomination. As the European Capital of Culture in South-Eastern Europe, Sibiu was the location for artistic events, marathons, conferences, visual arts. This title brought even more visibility to the city and somehow contributed to its improvements in culture, economics and tourism.

As a former colony of the Saxons coming from the Rhine – from Moselle, more specifically – in the 12th century, Sibiu (known as Hermannstadt as well) manages to resist later on, as a fortress, against the Ottomans and was even the capital of Transylvania during the domination of the Habsburg principality. Speaking of its strategic meaning, also during the 1989 Revolution, Sibiu was representative for fighting to write its own history.

What brought me to Sibiu? It´s springtime, I´m on a short trip to Romania to celebrate the Orthodox Easter with my family and in between I´m also visiting some cities. Sibiu is located 80 km away from my hometown and I might affirm that it is a very clean and well maintained city in Romania, ready to embrace its tourists with peace and beauty. Its medieval charm pays off when you choose to spend a few hours or days in the heart of Transylvania and need something to take you out of the real environment.

It doesn´t matter whether you stop in front of the Gothic Cathedral or you choose to walk among the streets and admire the colorful houses, you will suddenly feel relaxed and more joyful. According to Forbes, in 2008 Sibiu was the 8th most idyllic place to live in Europe.

Some keywords that describe the city very well are: open squares, stone walls built for defense, towers and very old buildings and churches. Passing from the Lower Town to the Upper Town, there is a bunch of staircases. According to the history, in the city center (Upper Town) only the wealthier Saxons were living, whereas the Old Town was dominated by the peasants.

Speaking of the Upper Town, you can start with exploring The Big Square, which is officially the center of the city since the 15th century. Even nowadays the wide-open square serves as a place for concerts, festivals, events and touristic gatherings.

I´ve had the chance to cross over the Bridge of Lies, a very small and cozy bridge, from which you can admire the rest of the city or simply reflect on everything that surrounds you. According to the legend, when someone tells a lie on this bridge, it will hear and recognize it and consequently it will creack.

The second thing you can easily visit is the Gothic Lutheran Cathedral, located into Huet Square. This cathedral was built in the 14th century and has a steeple of over 200 feet high. During the Middle Ages, the steeples marked a sign of threatening for the visitors, informing them that they can be sentenced to death if they stepped out of the rules.

Take your time and get immersed into this ancient visual environment from Sibiu whenever you have time!

Bad Ischl.

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Since Austria is famous for its tourism (and indeed, there are many resorts worth having a look at), I am happy to write about another place I had the chance to visit – Bad Ischl. On a week-end when you have a lot of free time – and you feel like going for a long trip – this can be a very good choice. Why do I say ‘a lot of free time’? Well, because it´s not so close to Salzburg and if you want to return in the same day, you´d better start driving early in the morning…

All-focus

From Salzburg up there it takes one hour and a half by bus no. 150, but the journey itself is very beautiful – the road to it goes along Fuschl am See and Wolfgansee and passes within many Austrian villages. Altogether, nature, mountains and tradition – nothing Western – and simple enough to help you clear your mind. As mentioned in another post, the lakes Fuschl am See and Wolfgang See are really worth seeing and are just on the way to this touristic city. The bus drives every 30 minutes from Salzburg, so there is no panic in case you didn´t make it for the first trip.

Bad Ischl belongs to the Salzkammergutes Area, which counts in all the lakes surrounded by mountains, from East to West. Therefore, to have a complete overview on what this side of Austria has to offer, it makes sense to try all the lakes and not just one for conveniency reasons. Where there are lakes, there are boats and where there are lakes, there are cosy terraces to drink cappuccino on and where there are lakes and good weather, there are happy people and good vibes. Coming back, the Salzkammergut could be a comprehensive choice, as this famous touristic region offer a diverse yet connected picture of Fuschlsee, Wolfgangsee and Mondsee.

The city Bad Ischl itself is famous for the therms – as you step out at the last bus stop, the therms are just 50 meters away. I might say I did not try them yet, but I heard only good recommendations. One of the main benefits of the therms is their curatoric effect of course. On the other hand, historically, the city is famous for the engagement of the Kaiser Franz Joseph I with Elisabeth (Sisi).

All-focus

Apart from the therms and the museums, you can also have a ride with the cable car on top of the mountain. Katrin Seilbahn is not too far away from the city center and the view is simply amazing. Going on top is totally worth it, as it is one of the most beautiful panoramic views you could ever get in Austria – sometimes it also helps putting things into perspective, due to the complexity of the view.

The Traveller Mind

Sometimes living in Rome teaches you to evaluate things more into their depth or at least it encourages you to give it a try. Actually, Italy has this quality of making you feel everything twice more intensely that if you were in a different country. Maybe it happens so because almost every day it’s sunny and it brings you in contact with all your senses or maybe it’s because of the history and all the lives that happened on this territory or maybe it’s just the latino style that puts a bigger emphasis on moods and emotions.

garden_personal_01

However, I invite you to close your eyes for a while and check if you have a traveller mind. How can you do it? It’s simple – check this list and question yourself.

  • The traveller mind meets almost the same type of people in every corner of the world and can’t understand the feeling of – I know you from somewhere but I don’t know how to prove it – so it has deja-vus and is aware of it (proved fact, many people told me they know me and vice versa ?!?)
  • If you have a traveller mind you just can’t focus on a specific place and can’t live as a normal inhabitant of a specific country for too long, because you always want to try something new. You want to put your feet on new territories, get to know new cultures and see new people and the idea of staying too long in a place totally scares you. Moreover, it makes you feel uncomfortable and it also makes you look like a freak in the eyes of your chill friends.
  • Usually traveller minds dream. They dream with their eyes wide open, they dream when they sleep, they dream when they walk on the streets, they dream even while making a coffee. Why? Because they have ideas, they are imaginative and their brain goes beyond the normal human limits. Actually, it’s more difficult to stop them from dreaming and making plans than to ask them to be productive or do some work that involves routine. This is what kills their spirits.
  • A traveller mind is happy only if it can create something different every day. Sometimes even speaking up an idea creates some sort of satisfaction for the simple pleasure of being thought of.
  • And, finally, the traveller mind collects the vibes from all the places. It’s no secret people who travel a lot are thought to be a lot more alive and are said to send a lot more emotions only by being around. Conversely, traveller minds have a lot more emotions and vibes within themselves than normal people.

This is just to point out some differences that shapes us like human beings. Sometimes being normal helps a lot having a quite, organized life and it keeps you away from trouble and unexpected situations. However, sometimes you are born with a traveller mind – which means you are born to think outside the box and see things differently almost all the time – or you just get to develop this characteristic feature through your experiences and choices. Regardless of anything, sometimes it’s good to know for yourself which category you belong to and where to make your next move.

And yes, the traveller mind knows how to create magic. Maybe that’s what makes its existence worthwhile.

Question your fear until you defeat it!

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This post is for real fighters. For people who know what they want from life. For people who are not afraid to follow their dreams and regardless of any losses, move forward. This post is about ambition, self-fulfillment and commitment. This is not intended to classify any of us in winners or losers. As long as you keep looking for alternatives to your issue, you’re still in the circle.

Have you ever embraced change? Have you ever asked yourself what it would be if starting from tomorrow you will wake up in a different city, have a different job, make new friends and speak a different language? Have you ever felt homesick? Have you ever wanted to be surrounded by strangers, just to listen to yourself and focus on the present? If yes, then you can continue reading my words. Otherwise, please stop here and return to your routines – you are wasting your time.

bryant-mcgill-ending-new-beginning-7twa

Whoever made a change in their lives at least once knows that there comes a moment when change calls again and despite everything you simply cannot fight it. I mean, you can fight it but you’ll only end up consuming your resources. And in the end, you will make that change, because it’s normal. Because it’s part of your DNA and because it defines you as a human being and without that feature you would simply stop being yourself. It’s something that will open you new doors all the time but will also ask you to face your biggest fears – the fear of losing it all!

So what if you lose it all? Did you ever have anything? What defines you? … Do you trust your instinct, your intuition, your abilities, your knowledge, your RESILIENCE? If you ever made a change in your life you know what RESILIENCE feels like, if not, again, please exit from this blog.

How does uncertainty feel on your skin? Do you like it, does it bother you, does it excite you? How about satisfaction? Do you feel more satisfied after having tried your best and eventually managed to achieve your goals or you feel more comfortable sitting in the same warm corner and dreaming about what you could do if only you wanted to? I like warm corners, I do, but I can’t stand them for too long. They make me feel old. They make me feel powerless. They make me forget where my strengths come from.

How about the fear of failure? How do you cope with that? Did you ever approach it or you always tried to avoid it because, once again, the warm corner knows nothing about failure? Do you feel yourself when the fear of failure lies under your skin? Do you ever practice introspection? Did you ever fight your fear of failure? How often do you fight your fears? Are you aware of how afraid you might be sometimes? The more changes one makes the bigger is the fear of failure or is it less or almost inexistent? Does it make you feel more responsible, brings you more mindfulness or distances you from yourself?

 

 

Oprește-te. Respiră…

just breathe 1Într-o lume diversă de la un capăt la celălalt, unde clivajele sociale și economice variază o dată cu depășirea granițelor, psihicul uman resimte o presiune puternică și astfel devine încorsetat. Din dorința de a nu rata nimic de pe lista priorităților, riscăm să uităm micile detalii care ne distrug viața și uneori ne și încurcă planurile. Trăim într-un secol în care fiecare secundă contează, iar orice decizie luată poate genera consecințe surprinzător de numeroase. Mă întreb care este atitudinea potrivită, optimă, pe care să o adoptăm și astfel să alegem răul cel mai mic?

Am fost crescuți, probabil, cu un număr limitat de opțiuni care să ne asigure echilibrul muncă-serviciu, iar această lipsa de informație ne aduce pe noi, cei prost îndrumați, în tot felul de impasuri. Suntem într-o permanentă competiție cu noi înșine și cu cei din jur, căutăm să fim mereu cu un pas înainte și nu ne permitem să pierdem din teren cu nicio ocazie și totuși, suntem martorii propriilor înfrângeri. Ce e de făcut când vrei să ții pasul cu tot, iar când tragi linie constați că dacă erai mai relaxat, iar agenda ta număra doar câteva priorități, rezultatele ar fi fost mult mai frumoase?

Și revin la contextul social în care am crescut și ne-am dezvoltat. Probabil că o țară mai liniștită, mai normală, o universitate axată doar pe calitatea studiului, lipsa grijilor pentru ziua de mâine și coerența etapelor de dezvoltare în viață ar fi asigurat un fundament neted și potrivit noilor etaje care vor contura imaginea zveltă a tânărului pregătit pentru jungla capitalistă. Sau poate tânărul respectiv nici măcar nu a trăit în capitalism până atunci, poate a fost doar amăgit că astea sunt vremurile și de fapt, ele arătau cu totul altfel dintr-o altă perspectivă.

Și totuși, alergăm. Dacă nu fizic, atunci psihic, intelectual. Oricât de obosiți ne-am simți, creierul are grijă să surprindă fiecare detaliu al lumii în care trăiește, iar produsul final este unul greu de digerat pentru un tânăr. Cum distrugi entuziasmul vârstei printr-un simplu „asta e” și cum justifici eforturile depuse de acesta pentru a se realiza cu un banal început „în ziua de azi…”? Îl distrugi pur și simplu, că doar și ție ți-au fost distruse idealurile odată…

Dar spectacolul trebuie să continue, nu? Și deși astăzi te-ai oprit pentru a respira și a te aduna, nu înseamnă că mâine vei rămâne nostalgic la ziua de ieri pierdută. Ce înveți din tot acest cancan? Că întâi trebuie să respiri, să îți acorzi timp ție și să îți îngrijești corpul și sufletul, și abia apoi te preocupi de detaliile din jur. O facultate poate aștepta o zi în plus, un avion mai pleacă și mâine, dar TU ai nevoie de ține în fiecare zi. Pe tine nu te poți reprograma, pentru că tu nu ai un soft care generează orare și nu funcționezi după principii birocratice. Iar dacă celelalte pot fi remediate cu ușurință, tu ai nevoie să fii în formă maximă pentru ține înainte de toate. Pentru că doar așa vei fi capabil să transformi în realitate planurile, să evoluezi frumos și să reziști în acest haos mondial.