Oct 15, 2007

Only stories

A while now I haven’t directly written about AIESEC. I’m working as a president of this organization in Estonia, being involved full time and working daily with topics that I’m personally passionate about – individual development, discovering your strengths and finding your future career, problems in the society around us etc. Yet I’m discovering every day that I’m not working for AIESEC.

There is no such thing as AIESEC, it doesn’t exist in itself. It gets the meaning only through different stories, through people who are living their life in a dynamic and challenging way (is there any other way to your true self, at least in the beginning of your journey?) and giving the meaning to the organization by caring what is happening in the world and gaining deeper understanding about themselves.

It sounds easier than it really is.

When you start your journey you have no idea what you are connecting yourself with. There have been times when I’ve asked myself: „Why is this organization doing this to it’s members?” Once you start going it’s inevitable that you meet challenges, a lot of them. Staying awake in the night to cope with your responsibilities in AIESEC, finish your school works, reply all the e-mails and be able to face your sweetheart in the morning while trying to explain why you put so much effort in your work isn’t the hardest one. Yet this is something you can solve with learning time management.

The hardest part is to start facing yourself. Start realizing who you could be and seeing the gap between your dreams and reality. Facing the feeling of failure when you are not meeting your own expectations, which you soon don’t even know are your own or coming from other people.

AIESEC makes your life hard. You can’t stay in your box anymore. You move on or you give up. And as you move on you don't expect someone else to help you to reach wherever you want to go. It's about you, standing up, going on, learning and finding the meaning every day.

I believe living your dreams is not easy. No-one tells you how you can reach your dreams, there are no books written on the topic „10 steps for your personal success, Marjam Vaher!” (and the ones about Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela and Jack Welch are about Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela and Jack Welch, not you).

Starting to realize that reaching your dreams or even recognizing the right one is harder than dreaming itself makes you humble. How can you judge others when you know the work behind it?

So AIESEC is nothing more than a playground for people who are yearning to find out where the dream could lead. Challenged by the environment, expectations, responsibilities, people, tasks I feel I’m growing every day to become more connected with what I could be. Me and the rest of the 23 000 members.

So there is no AIESEC. Only stories.


This is EuroCo facilitators dance video. Every time I hear this song I remember the moments I had during past 10 days in Lithuania. I have to smile every time and feel grateful for being able to experience such times, people, fun and happiness.