“Originals, how non-conformists move the world”- by Adam Grant

It’s one thing to have new ideas, but another to stand up for them. Adam Grant, one of his generation’s most provocative thought leaders, explores how individuals can recognize good ideas and speak up without getting silenced, parents can raise creative children, and leaders can build cultures that fight groupthink and promote innovation.

Using remarkable studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant shows that original thinkers are surprisingly similar to the rest of us. They procrastinate. They grapple with doubt & fear. They have bad ideas. What sets them apart is that they choose to act anyway. This book offers groundbreaking insights about how we can all become more successful in championing our best ideas.

Never ending decade

I recently heard someone say that we need to get over ‘80s & finally move on. As someone who was born in ‘70s but is the product of the ‘80s -I strongly disagree. If you grew up in the 80s you know what a great time it was to be alive. No other era gets as mocked as the 80’s, but let’s not bully an entire decade. It was a golden era as far as music & fashion. Regardless how you feel, you are either directly or indirectly connected to the decade.

Music in general has been huge part of my life ever since I can remember. Maturing and growing up in the ‘80s rock scene was an honor & Guns N Roses wrote a soundtrack to my youth.  Naturally I have my favorite bands, not so much favorite, and bands that truly define ‘80s which you had no other choice but knowing. I think ‘80s music is much cooler than people give it credit. I mean, when we would ever learn the word Kajagoogoo, have a hair style like A Flock of Seagulls or attend Poison’s costume party? Watching old footage with packed arenas, music videos which actually needed a budget and creativity, makes me nostalgic.  We now introduce our kids to the music that stood the test of time. I once saw Jon Bon Jovi wear a T-shirt that said “Tell your mom I said hi”. Some bands still tour after all these years and some resurfaced to join the pack. Once you hear familiar tunes from the old days, it’s when the nostalgia meets an escape. Your own personal history unfolds again. Because who hasn’t slow danced to “Heaven”? You can’t ignore those memories if you tried. It took a skill to be a musician back then. You had to play an instrument, more than one at times. Musicians relayed heavily in their ability to sing unlike some bands today. It took quite a determination to launch a record & they gave their all to be successful without a talent show or YouTube. The ‘80s gave birth to some of the finest guitar legends like Nikki Sixx, Slash or much underrated (in my opinion) Richie Sambora.

If you want to put the ‘80s music in a nutshell, I have 1 word for you- mixtape. There was no such thing as MP3, Apple Music or Spotify. You had to sit diligently by the radio forever & pray that DJ plays your favorite song. And you could then listen to it on your walkman. I’m sure there are great kid bands out there that could kick ‘80s ass but there’s a difference between having a pop celebrity moment & having a career in the field. Don’t talk to me about 1, 5 or 10 year careers.  When you get to 20, 25, 30 and the songs have stood the test of time, then talk about a career, a legacy. Sorry, but there will only be celebrities among the pop kids today. Let’s see how many artists from today’s generation make it to Cleveland’s “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”.

L.

“…Those were the best days of my life…”- Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

“My Grandfather’s Son” by Clarence Thomas

Provocative, inspiring, and unflinchingly honest My Grandfather’s Son is the story of one of America’s most remarkable and controversial leaders, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, told in his own words.

His own quiet ambition would propel him to Holy Cross and Yale Law School, and eventually- despite a bitter highly contested public confirmation- to the highest court in the land. In this candid and deeply moving memoir, a quintessential American tale of hardship and grit, Clarence Thomas recounts his astonishing journey for the first time, and plays homage to the man who made it possible. Intimately and eloquently, Thomas speaks out, revealing the pieces of his life he holds dear, detailing the suffering and injustice he has overcome, including the acrimonious and polarizing Senate hearing involving a former aide, Anita Hill, and the depression and despair it created in his own life and the lives of those closest to him. My Grandfather’s Son is the story of a determined man whose faith, courage, and perseverance inspired him to rise up against all odds and achieve his dreams.

Does “pure” altruism exist?

According to my research most of the psychologists argue there is no such thing as “pure” altruism. I started to think, there must be some benefit for helping friends, strangers or animals. We definitely want to feel good about ourselves but in my opinion it’s a very small percentage. We want people to like us & respect us and that’s what boosts our egos. Those who are believers want to increase their chance of getting into heaven.  Some of us believe in reciprocal altruism (we do good to people & people will return the favor someday). So whether we know it or not, we do help ourselves in some way, shape or form.

Altruism is defined as an ego defense, in which a person copes with his anxiety by stepping outside himself to help others. I started to wonder, what about people in altruistic vocations such as medicine or teaching? There is an expectation of honor & respect towards doctors, nurses & teachers. Which ultimately leads to entitlement, pride & satisfaction- also defined as an altruistic behavior. This argument is always attacked on different grounds. Starting with money, economic status, emotional & physical job demands, material gains etc. Often, altruism is discussed as if no compensation should be expected.

Researchers pointed out that the sense of self-satisfaction we receive from helping another, along with the idea that we “bank” favors by helping others, is evidence that humans are simply selfish. I think that being selfish to some degree is good. Some unanimously say that pure altruism doesn’t exist & it’s nothing but a selfish behavior. This brings me back to the main question if pure altruism really exists. If self satisfaction & feeling fulfilled are what we ultimately strive for in life- then theory of pure altruism is automatically eradicated. The challenge lies in finding ways to evoke the better ways to do good. Regardless which side of the spectrum you are, if you have a desire to make a positive impact & it warms your own heart- this is ultimately the worthy act. And the worthy act is, always, the greatest act.

L.

“I don’t do things for the response or for the controversy. I just live my life”- Rihanna.

You settled for less

“The only difference between you & someone you envy is, you settled for less”. Dr. Phil

I came across this quote twice in my life. The first time I heard it I was convinced that Dr Phil was watching me from a hidden camera. It felt like he was observing me, whispered the quote into my ear, and left me to figure out the rest. I have to admit that it made a small impact but I didn’t think much of it. Every now & then I would remind myself of it but again didn’t make a big deal about it. Years went by and I continued to live uneventful & tedious life.  I noticed however that my life started to irritate me, make me sad & I began to suffocate. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong but each day I felt less & less happy. I did however put a good face to a bad game. I adore & respect Megyn Kelly and I was very excited when her book “Settle for more” came out. I was reading it & all of the sudden there it was. Same quote starring at me, right into my face: “the only difference between you & someone you envy is, you settled for less”. I have those words pinned to the wall in my office. I look at it daily. Megyn went on explaining how it was an eye opener for her & I recall the time froze on me. I felt paralyzed. I kept reading it over & over sitting straight up in my bed as I discovered world’s greatest secret. This time I knew it was meant for me to see it. I knew right there that I did settle for less. It felt like an intervention. I couldn’t sleep that night. Time to re-examine my life I thought. I was afraid that if I didn’t act on it now, I would miss out in life. This wasn’t a coincidence.

 I reached deep into my heart & soul and started visualizing my dreams. I categorized it as short & long term but I stayed realistic. Some changes required immediate action & some remained on the list for a while. Warning, dreams also come with setbacks. I have accepted mine as part of the process instead of giving up on everything all together. Setbacks build patience and perseverance. I adjusted my attitude and started working on myself & the emotions that caused my unhappiness. I pretty much created an improvement plan. It is crucial to stick to it & give yourself a deadline. Continue to visualize your dreams and don’t betray your authenticity. Few months went by and I started noticing how my attitude changed. I made small steps towards small goals at the beginning. All of the sudden I became curious of how much more I can stretch my ambitions. Turned out that opportunities were endless. My future was 100% in my hands. I stayed consistent with the plan because only consistency leads to personal transformation. I did experience hurts & fails during my journey. Big ones. The truth is, the more hurts & disappointments you experience- the more challenges & fears you can face. Important is to honor commitments to yourself. Don’t make excuses because excuses are dream killers. Be specific & commit to it. If you truly want to send an earthquake through your soul, when you know it’s time to make a change- you will somehow figure out the way to make it happen. Don’t let the dreams scare you. Devote your time, your energy & money if necessary. Be true & honest with yourself.  Otherwise it will not work. And remember, settling for less is not an option! L.

“…I have been asking myself some tough questions. Ones I’m not sure I want the answers to. I fear screwing up my life. Why can’t I be satisfied with what I have? Because, in my heart, my soul, I want more. I hope I have the courage to listen to myself. I hope I figure out what settling for more means in my personal life and have the strength to do whatever it takes to have a full, meaningful life….” “Settle for more” – Megyn Kelly

Don’t Worry Be Happy

Happiness has many definitions. Generally we tend to get happy if we get what we want. Unfortunately that is not how life is designed. Struggles are real, pain is real, stress is real. Throughout this journey of life, you will hit rock bottom from time to time.  Life may knock you right out; so? It happens! Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. Now I know this may sound like a cliché, (the thing about clichés is that they’re typically true)but try to learn from difficult times. Dissect an ugly situation & see what went wrong. If the story repeats itself you’ll know how to minimize the impact. Otherwise it’s pointless to learn from the difficult times if what you learned doesn’t affect your actions. Your emotions should be focused on things that are within your control. Don’t dwell on things that you have absolutely no power. Don’t let worry to become a chronic source of anxiety in your life. It’s a waste of energy because outcome will be the same whether you worry about something or not. Most of the time, our worries don’t pan out. That’s because worry is often created by our imagination, and it rarely originates in fact or truth. Eventually, we realize that worry doesn’t prevent tomorrow’s troubles, it just robs today of its joy. Be grateful for what you have. Gratitude should be the barometer of good things you have in your life vs bad. Share your thoughts with trusted friend or family member. Loved ones can be a great source of support & can provide different perspective. Look at your worries closer & asses if you’re being realistic. Learn how to relax. It can be through breathing exercises, yoga, meditation etc.

I will wrap up with the quote from the book “Settle for more” by Megyn Kelly. I personally adore Megyn & her book could not come in a better time for me. Few years ago I had to make some of the hardest decisions in my life. Her book was an eye opener for me on many levels.

“You can use the difficult times to shore yourself up, to prove to yourself you can handle anything, or you can lament your bad luck and cry in your soup about life being unfair. One is productive, and the other, most certainly, is not. Though times can be stressful, but they also have a way of centering us, of shining a light through the darkness…The hard times remind you it is possible to change your life. To do better. To be better. To settle for more”

L.

“In every life we have some trouble; But when you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy” – Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

Don’t be so hard on yourself

While growing up we all heard a phrase “Is this the best you can do?” or “Only a B and not an A?” Now in life whether we’re launching new business, new career or new projects we tend to get hard on ourselves & apply the same thinking process.  As a result we end up being our own worst critics and enemies. We let fear & doubt to take over and we start coming up with resistance, excuses and eventually we abandon the project. More than once I thought to myself “This is such a waste of time”, “I’m not good with this & it will fail me”, “I’m too old”..Sounds familiar? I have mentioned this already, as soon as you start to think that something is a waste of time or you’re not ready, it means you should go for it. Now! So what if you fail. Failure is part of live and we are going to experience it. We have to experience it. More than once. There is no learning process otherwise. You will never learn if you don’t make mistakes. I wrote about failure in my previous blog.

Don’t compare yourself to others because you’re not them. You are you and your projects are unique and you came up with it. Stand up for your ideas & put your unique spin on it. Only you can see it the way it supposed to be created. So respect your desires & make it happen. Shift to a determined, creative mindset. You owe it to yourself! There are always lessons learned with criticism as long as it’s constructive. Learn from your critics. But don’t allow people who didn’t create or accomplish anything to criticize you or give you advice. Don’t allow ridicule in your life either. Remember, there is no such thing as perfect. You can always get better with what you do but you will never be perfect. Don’t let the circumstances control you. Someone said that fear is the enemy of inspiration. So sleep with the enemy. Have a relationship with it. Create smallest goals possible first. Aim high but start low. Series of small successes is better than no successes at all. And don’t forget to scream if it’s too much. But don’t be so hard on yourself.

L.

“Success is falling nine times and getting up ten”- Jon Bon Jovi

“My Love Story”- by Tina Turner

Tina Turner- the long-reigning queen of rock’n’roll, living legend & my personal hero– sets the record straight about her illustrious career and complicated personal life in this eye-opening and compelling memoir. Faced with an array of health issues and family tragedies in recent years, Tina reflects on her own extraordinary life’s journey, finding grace and purpose even in the darkest hours. “My Love Story” is an explosive and inspiring story of a woman who dared to break any barriers put in her way. Emphatically showcasing Tina’s signature blend of grit, energy, heart, and soul, this memoir is as enthralling and moving as any of her greatest hits.

“…And you know what I say to people who ask, “What do you do when all the odds are against you?” I say, “You keep going. You just don’t stop. No matter, if there’s one slap to the face, turn the other cheek. And the hurt you’re feeling? You can’t think about what’s being done to you in the past. You just have to keep going” -T.T.

The “F” word

It’s the F-word that everyone fears the most in life- Failure. Everyone fails in life. At one point or another, you’re going to suffer failure & disappointment (if you haven’t already). I myself failed numerous times. I experienced failure in almost every aspect of my life. And you know what- I wouldn’t want it any other way. If I had a chance to alter my past, I wouldn’t take any of it back.

Failure, as painful as it might be, allows us to unlock great potential. Failure shapes our character, our DNA, our core, our stamina. It resets our perspective on life, money, relationships, love, friendships, work…whatever it might be. Disappointments always have take-ways & lessons learned. If there is nothing to learn from the experience & it has no effect on you- it wasn’t as bad as you think it was. If you spot a potential failure on the horizon, let it happen. Let it crash, let it explode, let it collapse. You might cause more damage to yourself by changing a dynamic in the midst of it. But, it is entirely up to you, a person who failed, to see this as an opportunity to embark on a new direction.

Failure is the greatest teacher. You cannot live a life by always playing safe & staying under radar. It’s an uneducated & un-experienced existence.  You are potentially repeating same unsuccessful steps only not to cause any waves. Accepting possible failure is a key to taking on a variety of challenges, whether you’re reinventing yourself by starting new career, new business, new relationship or even allowing yourself to trust another person.

I advise you to shake your mind & allow yourself to fail. And yes, you will feel embarrassed, especially if you are used to succeeding a lot. But there are no successes in life without utter failures.

L.

“You are built on failure. Use it as a stepping stone and close the door on the past. Don’t try to forget the mistakes, but don’t dwell on it.” –Johnny Cash

Anger- useless emotion & waste of time!

Anger is one of the basic human emotions such as happiness, sadness, anxiety, or disgust. We’ve all experienced anger & we’ve all know the feeling: arrhythmia, higher blood pressure, frowning that causes irreversible wrinkles. Anger is the rage that rises when a car cuts us off  and we just want to flip the bird, it’s the call being put on hold, it’s when things simply don’t go our way…we can come up with endless examples. Anger doesn’t dissipate just because it is unleashed; in fact, it can reinforce and deepen into rage. It prepares us for a fight, a battle, an emotional war. It can erupt into hostile, aggressive, or even violent behavior toward others.

I tell you, anger is a useless emotion & waste of time. Anger only depletes energy and leads to loss of perspective and judgment. Anger decreases our productivity level. The angrier we get the more control we lose of our mind, focus & energy. Our muscles stiff, our bodies  paralyze & our nervous system is completely derailed. Anger itself isn’t a problem- it’s how you handle it. Cognitive restructuring (simply put) means changing the way you think. Remind yourself that getting angry is not going to fix anything, it won’t make you feel better and may actually make you feel worse. Logic should defeat anger, because anger, even when it’s justified, can quickly become irrational. So use cold hard logic on yourself. If you have a bad day, remind yourself that the world is “not out to get you,” you’re just experiencing some of the rough spots of daily life. As someone said, tomorrow is another day. Don’t drag your irritation or anger for days and don’t spread it around. Anger is contagious! Bad attitude is contagious. And just think of how much time is wasted on anger. We start rewinding & reliving the incident that made us angry over & over. We start to think how we should have responded or how we should have punch back at that moment. Why? Coulda, woulda, shoulda…It’s in the past. It already happen so move on. Utilize the time for pleasant thoughts. Immediately go to your happy place or incident that will make you smile. Always have them on the back burner just in case. I have few that no matter what, always make me smile or laugh.  Cunt to ten or a hundred if you have to, focus on calmness & joy. Joy is an antidote of anger!

L.

“Music is a weapon in the war against unhappiness.” – Jason Mraz

“Grit” The Power of Passion & Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth

In this book, Angela Duckworth shows parents, students, educators that secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit”.

Insightful and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that not talent or luck- makes all the difference.

My views of what’s life all about

Have you ever wondered what life is really about? I have. Many times.  Especially when I was drained emotionally & exhausted physically. That’s generally when thoughts as such creep in.

Everyone is more receptive to common, very average life where everyone’s expectations are the same. How about experiencing uncommon life? Life where you feel fully alive, where you let go of your inhibition & where you live life of the highest aspirations. No one wants to climb mountains that at the end turn out to be the wrong ones. Don’t always look for tangible things in life. Look for things that are deep inside of you & things that will guide you to better life. Perhaps life that is unexamined yet. Those qualities are inside of every single one of us. We just need to wake them up. 

  1. Have a self- honor. This means- be true to yourself cause you have no one else to fool. Respect your values & accept your flaws. Flaws are part of who you are. Flaws define you.
  2. Respect your ideas even if they are different & unconventional. Go towards your dreams even if everyone around you don’t get you. Keep your chin up & be proud of your ambitions. Have confidence & stick up for yourself.
  3. My favorite- be genuine. We are all build to love. Open your heart & forgive anyone you haven’t forgiven. Let go of relationships that steal your happiness.  Love people unconditionally & faithfully. Nurture with your heart- not your hands.
  4. Express your creativity. I’m a super creative person. Ideas flow constantly thru my mind. I’ve always been different & original. So don’t hold your creativity. Be ridiculously curious. Adore books & learn to love learning. Exercising your brain is great.
  5. Experience life’s beauty. Travel broadly.  Start hiking. Get lost in the woods, forests or mountains where cell phones don’t work. Fell in love with nature. Read books. Laugh loudly with friends. Smile every time you make eye contact with someone. And smile like you mean it. Eat delicious food, drink great wine. Buy flowers. Loosen up to dancing. Play songs you like & just dance to it. Dance when you’re alone. Be yourself. No one can see you. Sing in the car when you’re stuck in traffic. Play your favorite song & sing it out loud. No one can hear you.
  6. Be altruistic. Generosity is a beautiful & fulfilling thing. Whether it’s monetary or simply volunteering-  start giving.  Pay it forward. We need kind & generous people now more than ever. It’s not only how you live but who you help.

Those 6 are my personal believes of what’s life’s all about. All 6 define me and have never disappointed me. I wrote this with an open heart and utmost authenticity. If you feel unfulfilled on some level & you don’t know how to change it- borrow my ideas. Because life is waiting for you & days are slipping away.

L.

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind” – Taylor Swift

Don’t be a dick- be a gentleman

World is filled with jerks. Dick- is a special kind of jerk. Women often wish that men came with manuals or came out of the box all perfect. As we know, that’s not the case. Women spend years shaping men into something they can live with. Some succeed & some fail. How not to be a dick? Here are few friendly reminders:   

  1. Women need attention. So give it to us.
  2. Compliment us (even if we look like a hot mess)
  3. Make eye contact as often as you can
  4. It goes without saying- open the door & let women go first.
  5. Text your lady to check how her day is going.
  6. Listen to your girl. Don’t just talk and talk and talk. Just be quiet and listen. She might be complaining about her work again or traffic or just venting…I don’t care what it is. Just listen.
  7. Say please & thank you.
  8. Have a hobby. Sport is the easiest but for the love of God have an interest in something.
  9. Learn how to fix things. Utilize YouTube if you have to. Even if you fail first couple of times- keep learning.
  10. Don’t think you’re better than anyone else. You’re not.
  11. Wear a suit or nice blazer once in a while (tie optional). Invest in a good suit & it will be money well spend. I’m not saying you need to look like James Bond but suit can transform any man into a stud. And button up when you stand up. Don’t let the open jacket just hang on you. Button up!
  12. Don’t cheat! And violence is never acceptable. Go to the gym and have a relationship with the punching bag instead.
  13. Don’t fake your feelings but be careful how you communicate it. It’s not what you say but how you say it.
  14. Educate yourself on current affairs. Even politics. But don’t go overboard with it. Know what’s happening around the world.
  15. And (this is a big one) read books! There is nothing sexier than a man with the book. An exception would be doing dishes.
  16. Learn how to dance. At least just a little. Slow dancing is acceptable. No one is looking for a performance from “Footloose”.

Look, we all have our days, but you get the drift. Bottom line is- just be the best gentleman you can be. Do the best you absolutely can. Your attire, your weight or your hair will never be perfect. And that’s not what true women are looking for (but you do need to resemble a human & have all your teeth).  Work on yourself daily because there is always room for improvement.    

L.

“Hold the door, say please & thank you. Don’t steal, don’t cheat and don’t lie. I know you got mountains to climb but always stay humble & kind” – Tim McGraw

Does love conquer all?

Love…

Love?

Love.

And does love conquer all?

It is one of many beautiful quotes – love conquers everything.  It is uplifting and inspiring. And indeed, in countless ways and instances, it has proven to be correct. So why are there so many divorces & failed relationships? Because despite what Beatles tell you, love is not all you need.

We call love this great “institution” that we rely on every time we have setbacks in life. We automatically think that love will save our derailed relationships, love will connect two perfect people, love will help us forgive & forget. I have a newsflash, love will NOT solve all these issues for us- we have to do it ourselves. But love is definitely the starting point. It can help us commit & help us become better people. It can help us understand that everyone makes mistakes & anyone can have a slip. Love can inspire us to work on ourselves & to overcome relationship problems. Rely on love as the glue that will bind all of it together. If you sit around and don’t do your part, love alone won’t save you. Love is like oxygen for relationship- it is necessary but not always sufficient for survival. There is a chance that you need to work pretty hard to get through some of life’s junk. The only person we have any true control in a relationship is ourselves. Some people resent love mainly due to life experiences. But are willing to contemplate being in love again if it’s lurking outside their window. So I guess love does conquer all.

L.

“…And if it takes me a lifetime, I swear I’ll tear down every wall. Love conquers all…” – Love conquers all- Deep Purple

“A memoir of my extraordinary, ordinary family and me” – Condoleezza Rice

Fascinating book written by a woman who I personally admire & I’m proud to name one of my role models. Extraordinary figure in U.S. history. Condoleezza Rice’s memoir is a fascinating and inspirational story for young people. This book reveals with vivid clarity how her early experiences sowed the seeds of her political beliefs and helped her become a vibrant & successful woman.

Do you want to unburden for 15 minutes?

I might have an answer. Go skydiving. Believe it or not, skydiving will allow you to do it. Well, more like it forces you to do it. I can guarantee that you will forget your worries. I’ve lived thru such pleasure few months ago. One of the best experiences in my life and one that opened doors to so many new challenges. That crazy moment when you sit on the plane & wait for door to open. And then it happens. The adrenaline is thru the roof. No way out. You’re about to experience life to the fullest & it’s a wonderful feeling.

The worries you are burdened with no longer matter. Marital troubles, financial stressors, misbehaved kids, insecurities at work- all of it is a million miles away once you jump out of that plane. Why? Because all you think about is death & that you will not make it out alive. (Just kidding).

For the first time you don’t have to worry about anything and you are forced to live in the moment. You are looking fear into its eyes & keep repeating same thing over & over…”what was I thinking? My live isn’t so bad. I want to come down”. Finally door opens & you have to jump because you don’t want to chicken out in front of everyone on the plane. So you do it, you take a deep breath, say f..it & you’re out!

Once you reach the point of canopying, your breathing is stabilized & you no longer want to vomit. You start to realize that what you’ve been missing is simply living. Living to the fullest. Skydiving grabbed you by the shoulders & shaken you. You just started living again!

What do you wish to conquer next? How about another fearful experience? This can take many shapes. Whether it’s another adventure, running a marathon, getting a degree or something bigger like leaving your job for better one, starting your own business or pursuing someone that you might think is out of your league. I say go for it & you will approach new challenges with ease. Stop worrying about things that probably will never happen. Stop being terrified of the unknown and start living the best that you know you need to be living. We grow & expand our capabilities by doing difficult things. Take control of whatever is holding your bravery.

L.

“Be brave & fearless to know that even if you do make a wrong decision, you’re making it for good reason” – Adele

You gotta work!

Work :/wərk/

Verb: be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result.

While growing up, my mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whoever I wanted to be. All I had to do is work for it. As an immigrant, hard work is what I’ve always been exposed to. Everything came twice as hard for me at the beginning, mostly due to the language barrier. And I mean everything! I began to wish for talents or connections, even shortcuts. I figured if I had a natural talent for something, maybe I wouldn’t have to work so hard. Things got much harder as I entered the workforce full time.  I thought to myself “this American dream  is really kicking my ass”.

Over the years I developed more transparent distinction between talent & hard work. It’s very simple- nobody gives a crap about your talent! All that matters is work. You gotta friken work for your successes.

In my opinion athletes don’t have much talent. They have a spark for something & everything they achieve is because of rigorous training, perseverance & devotion. And they compete with each other because competition is healthy.

Any successful person will tell you that it took them hard work, blood, sweat & tears to get to where they are. So any connections are usually short lived.

Be a professional- not an amateur in everything you do. Do the work even when you’re hurt. True athletes & musicians play even while injured. There is a legendary Game 5 of the NBA 1997 Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz, known as the “Flu Game”. As ill as Jordan was it didn’t keep him from balling out. In Chicago’s 90-88 win, the ailing Jordan recorded an unbelievable 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 block, including a 3-pointer with less than a minute left that gave the Bulls a lead they did not relinquish. Jon Bon Jovi severely injured his leg in 2 different concerts (New Meadowlands, July 9 2010 & Helsinki June 17, 2011). He finished both concerts in visibly excruciating pain. That’s what I call dedication.

Do honest work. No matter the task & regardless of the profession. Whether you clean toilets, work at the gas station or an office. Do the very best you can do & be proud of it. Take it to heart. There will be a reward at the end- I promise. You’re getting paid. You earn a living. Every buck counts & you also learn. You don’t even know it, but you learn. Someone has something to teach you.  Not to mention that you’re establishing connections, meeting people & making contacts.

So show up to work with a can do attitude, go above & beyond and you will always find employment.

L.

“You can’t wait around for destiny to give you what you think you deserve, you have to earn it, even if you think you’ve paid your dues”- Slash

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

If I have to rank & categorize this book, it would be in my top 5 books on how to achieve personal greatness & mastery. In my opinion everyone should read, especially college students. It will be a proper send off to the world.

Fantastic book but written in old English so not easy to read & it took me a while to finish it. I used my dictionary a lot. Among many, may lectures on how to improve your personal greatness, here are my favorites- directly from the Founding Father. 

  1. Teach yourself difficult skills
  2. How improving yourself personally will help you professionally
  3. Respect time & money
  4. How reading will help your career
  5. How innovation is born from necessity
  6. How to introduce tranquility to your life
  7. How everything in your life should have its place & meaning
  8. How to be industrious & always employed in useful careers
  9. How to be frugal
  10. How to be sincere

Enjoy!

L.

Does being a female automatically make you a feminist?

Well, majority of women would probably answer yes. But to what extend? “All the way” because females need to rule the world and we have to stand in solidarity just because we have ovaries? Or do we need to be unbiased? Or it depends on the circumstances? There is probably an audience for each of the questions.

The truth is, feminism, by definition, is gender equality. Media are giving this topic way too much attention & to me it completely lost its meaning. They are trying to corrupt & brainwash the society by their beliefs of poor heroic women & evil, destructive men. Feminism has turned into nothing more than a campaign for women supremacy. I think it’s the worst thing ever created. Now that we are trying to become equal to men, it has become a power grab for women.

I have been observing females in different habitats and I have to say that I’m confused. I found 2 examples which I actually witnessed. Men opened the door once for a lady & she got offended. She said that she can get her own door. If it was me, I would push her outside, close the door & make her open it herself. Another time, man allowed himself to go first & someone complained there are no gentlemen in this world. I know women who won’t do simple chores as to mow the lawn or wash their own cars because, apparently, it’s a men’s job. But if conversation takes a different turn, we say that we don’t need men and we can live without them.

Let’s look at the corporate environment. I have been part of this establishment for over 20 years. If you look at every organizational chart it is noticeable that majority of executives are males. No argument there. Diversity is big nowadays and promoting females JUST  because they’re females is practiced more & more. Regardless if candidates fit the job description or not. No one can say anything- God forbid men. What if this was the other way around? What if there was diversity towards men? Some say we already live in this culture & I say we need to give it a rest! Ladies, let’s not be fragile in our workplace, because at the end, we shoot ourselves in the foot. Women complained for decades about the glass ceiling but now that it’s broken most of us can’t handle tough situations or tough bosses. We are called paranoid, fragile & over reacting snowflakes. Another things that bugs me is, let’s not wait 20 years to bring discriminatory case to court. If you’re dealing with the bully, deal with him on the spot. React right there at the moment. Do not wait just in case he becomes famous or rich & then nail him. You make the rest of us look bad.

Most feminists out there are hypocritical & have no common sense to realize that we already have equal rights. If feminism wants to de-sexualize women, I suggest watching 2020 Super bowl Half Time Show. It was full of sexual innuendos & stripper pole was seriously used and abused.  (Not to mention that de-sexualization would stop the human evolution).

Women can be violent too. If a woman hit a man, no one would care & everyone would assume he deserved it. If it was the other way around, everyone would go insane!

I’m still trying to form an opinion about sexual assaults & rapes. Not saying that I don’t sympathize with the rape victims because I would personally castrate all the rapists. I’m saying that most of the sexual activities are consented so by definition not an assault.

To wrap up, let’s give feminism true meaning not just the convenient label for everything. The world needs more strong headed ladies.

L.

“I felt like it was time to set up my future, so I set a goal. My goal was independence”- Beyonce  Knowles

My First Blog Post

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde

This is the first post on my new blog.  Welcome!

Why did I decide to create a blog? Because someone told me that it will be a waste of time & there are tons of them out there. So…“If someone tells you, your idea is stupid, unrealistic or a waste of time, that’s a sign you should go for it”

How will my blog differ from the others? Blogs are created to express opinions & share stories in conversational style, so mine will be similar. I have opinions & life experiences like everyone else.

It’s up to you how you’ll interpret it. I would love to hear from you if you wish to opine.

In general, I don’t do half ass jobs, but I’m not a writer so I will not offer 100% perfection. As Margaret Atwood said “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word”

L.