Apr 20, 2009

This posting is not about longing, but about appreciating

This is a random thought, but I really want to share this.

I think you are so lucky that you can be with the people who are around you today.

You are.

So whoever is around you give appreciation to them they truly deserve, just because they are there right now.

I do the same here, so that I don't have second thoughts once I change the space.

First find your question

Maru asked me in the morning if BWM-Ferrari is the fastest car in the world. Well, when it comes to cars I hold the record in knowing the least, but I do know that BMW and Ferrari are not the same brand. This said I didn't have much more to add -- except that it's certainly a GREAT QUESTION.

I'm honest with my kid -- if I don't know the answer, I tell him: "Google knows." And I save the day - together with my reputation - with a little Google search.

The ideal time to do this came today while sitting in a fish and chips restaurant and waiting for the -- fish and chips. With a little everyday-magic from Google we learned that the fastest car in the world is SSC Ultimate Aero that can develop a speed more than 415 km/h.

What happened then was my aha!-moment of the week. To host a decent conversation over the dinner I proposed a game: "Let's both ask a question about something we want to know. The one who has more questions is the winner."

And here's the aha! -- I realized that it's much harder to ask questions then to provide answers. That might seem a minor detail, but once you try the game you understand how HUGE impact it has on our lives.

You've been trained to answer, not to ask questions (at least I know I have). You feel a bit incompetent when you don't know the answer -- as if being on the spotlight back in school, grilled by a teacher in our least favorite subject. We're all pretty good in pretending we know, which also means that the effort that should go into focused learning goes pretty often in covering up our lacks.

Think about it -- what do you want to know? What's your question?

And then go for the answer. Not the other way around.

PS: You should try the game, it's fantastic.

PPS: Maru wanted to know how many people have been killed in wars, how many sharks are in the sea of Lithuania and who killed the chicken my mother kept a few years back. I wanted to know how to gain friends and influence people -- and I've already read the book. Bugger, what did I learn, actually?

Apr 15, 2009

If You Don't Know What You Want, You're Doing Something Wrong

"I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want."

Mark Twain
Do you remember the ease of dreaming?

Have you ever felt it's hard to tell what you really want? You've ever wondered why is that?

Time to stop finding excuses for not knowing what you want and find it out. And a good place to start is to unlearn some crap you've picked up and start dreaming again.

Dreaming is something you don't need to learn -- yet it sometimes seems that with every year added to our life account we're becoming crappier dreamers. As if growing older means you don't need to dream anymore, as you already know how things work.

Well, if that was true all the innovations would have been invented by 5 year olds.

If you feel that goal setting for you is a duty, something you do because you're:

- afraid to miss out something
- want to seem smart
- have heard it's useful
- thought you'll try it
- {add your own reason}

...then it's time to get back to the basics.

Dreaming is not hard, it's not a job, it's not taking any effort. It's just the most natural ability you have -- to imagine the unbelievable and non-existing things, a better you, an improved world, you making MAGIC and beating the dragons.

You know what I mean? Dreaming is something you've done since you were a child -- and I believe that what you used to dream about has much to do with who you are now and where your life has taken you.

Now think about it -- if those dreams you had as a child have taken you through the school, maybe through the university, gave the friends, sweethearts, trips and jobs that you have and have had, then imagine where your dreams would take you now when you know so much more about the world?

It's really great to know that you already know how to dream, without any training at all. Well, at least deep down you do, but on the surface you might have ran into a dead end. Maybe asking: "Is that possible?" "Is that reasonable?" "Is that what I really want?"

If you find it hard right now to say what you REALLY WANT, you probably need to unlearn some stuff you've picked up on your way here. Absolutely every person knows naturally what he wants -- if you don't anymore, you need to rediscover the ease of dreaming.

We've been much too often trained out of dreaming -- and we're trying to fill the gap with analyzing, thinking, being busy and worrying about it all. Nothing bad about thinking, but you can't really analyze the data that doesn't even exist yet. You see my point? You first need to dream the new possible reality and then make some reality check to start moving towards it.

I was observing my son the other day, he's a master dreamer. He described the future inventions he's gonna make, also the gifts he's gonna get from Santa this year (yeah, he plans that stuff 11,5 months in advance...). Obviously he was not questioning if the way he was dreaming was right or wrong, nor if it would produce the results what he wanted.

It was just fun -- no expectations, no limits.

Seeing this is refreshing. It reminds the fundamental of natural dreaming -- without worries and the anxiety about the outcome.

So dreaming is not merely setting goals. It's not even thinking. It's sensing what is already there and allowing it to come on the surface. It's easy, it's fun and it changes your life.

So before you start setting goals what you want to be 6 months from now or even before you write your daily to do list, make sure you're dreaming. Daily. It doesn't cost a thing, but it takes you forward so much faster.

If you want to know how dreaming has taken me to Malaysia and given me a dream job then check out the story from the recent video training I made for AIESEC Estonia. I believe dreaming is the necessary premise of setting goals, you need both sides of your brain to reach your highest potential. And if you're not a member of AIESEC Estonia, you can simply skip the final part of the video which is purely meant for AIESEC Estonia highly talented members (and I do think you all are).

Apr 13, 2009

Why I Can Never Have a 9-to-5 Job

PS: Yes, awesome is a clearly underused word -- that's the ONLY REASON why I'm overusing it in this video...

Apr 1, 2009

How To Accept Yourself and Find Opportunities Everywhere

There's no such thing as a normal world, normal family, normal career, normal relationship. Whatever your friends, parents, role models taught or showed you is most probably going to be different for you. So you might as well let go of all the definitions you have in your head and let your own reality open up in full beauty.

Yeah, seems that too many people are resisting their reality that wants to come. Their afraid of unconventional choices that are too far from mainstream -- though mainstream is nothing else than an illusion.

There's no such thing as a normal life. Just look at what's going on in the world, we can't keep up with stiff backbones trying to resist the change. World is changing anyway and if we try to keep it still with our solid expectations for jobs, relationships, lifestyles -- we're just always feeling we're not really getting what we wanted. Constantly missing out that something that could make us happy -- and constantly missing out opportunities that stay outside of our definitions of "normal".

Just accept the reality as it is. It's a freaking chaos, a crazy adventure, one opportunity opening up after the other, non-stop dance. Trying to control it with your expectations of "normal" and "right" is just crazy.

Go with it, flow with it. Let it come, whatever that is.

A girlfriend you didn't expect, boyfriend with a lousy car, a job opportunity that scares the hell out of you, a bold decision you should have taken a long time ago.

There's a reason why I'm not acting like any other single mom. In fact -- I think the term is misused most of the times, it tends to frame the reality in a certain way. It tells my story without me saying a word. Much too often it has a bit sad undertone, overloaded with historical negative data that sets expectations. "Oh, she must be boring." "Well, she might be good for fun, but I can't really consider a relationship with her." "Poor baby, she has been suffering so much."

This is only a perception, one way to interpret reality -- but not necessarily my interpretation.

And "single mom" is only one of the examples -- think of the terms you're being defined by or that you use to define the world. Do they help you or stop you from being happy? And is this the reality or just one perception?

I'm avoiding definitions that tie you to certain abnormalities, because the "abnormality" is often more normal than we think. World is full of unconventional stories and looking at the pace the world is changing -- stability is the last thing we can count on. Which makes me think that it's the last time to consider unconventional the new "normal".

Chaos is the most normal form of life and accepting it fully in your life allows you to fly with opportunities. So don't let the "voices" (whoever they might be) tell you otherwise.

Chaos is the new Order.

PS: Anger should be turned into constructive force to move forward. I can get angry when meeting narrow-mindedness and judgmental opinions -- probably more about meeting my own limits. This post is fully inspired from one recent occasion. All you get are lessons, I'm glad to keep learning and as crazy as it might sound -- to keep meeting difficulties.