Hooray, I failed!

Being brought up in an Eastern European country means, for most people, a series of events and happenings of keeping up appearances. Your path in life has to be successful and it is, for the most part, already determined before you are even born. The decisions you make, have to be very similar to the ones everyone else makes, you need to stick to the rules and patterns of the natural flow of things, and you can’t possibly desire to have a lifestyle that is way out of the path set by social pressure.

FailedThe most important part is however, to no not let anyone know that you failed. Shame is kept behind locked doors and it is to never be mentioned to anyone ever again. No one wants to be the one who failed or have a child which failed. Failing is not socially accepted and once it becomes obvious that you failed, the stigma you carry is quite heavy and follows you around for the longest time.

Finding a new hobby, starting a new career path, studying for a new degree, learning a new skill or language, and you have to do it perfectly, in one go. You can’t be slow, bad at it or fail. Failing is not part of the normal life cycle of a human being. We all have to be perfect, fast and efficient.

Making your relatives happy with all your amazing accomplishments, keeping the neighbors in the constant illusion that your life is dreamy and without any flaws, assuring everyone around you that your kids are prodigies and overachievers and that you are leaving the dream of having a perfect house, partner and career can become quite exhausting. You sacrifice your own peace of mind and happiness in order to satisfy people who don’t even matter that much to begin with.

The possible career options in the European Eastern cultures are quite limited, mostly by social pressure which sees success in money and valuable assets. This is how it all comes down to 4 major categories: doctor, lawyer, engineer or disgrace to your family.  Most of us are in the 4th category though, and this is for most people unacceptable. You will never be happy with yourself, hear your family being proud of you, or someone congratulating you on becoming something less than an influential person. No one will applaud your decision of maybe not wanting to follow that path to what they believe is successful for you. They are happy about you earning less than you could and everybody knows better than you do what’s good for you and what makes you happy long term. Having just an ordinary job, following your hobbies and passions, or not fighting to achieve more than you might ever need in life, makes you a failure.

You will meet people that you might look up to for various reasons: it can be career path, education, lifestyle, popularity, wealth. They have the perfect (you might think) house, partner, kids, animals, they are living the dream, traveling, throwing parties, spending money, driving the cars that you could only dream of, while you are just you, … who failed. You are even more disappointed with yourself because you convince yourself that you might never reach the standards that society set for all of us. But … is success really measured by the number of assets we posses or the career choices that we make? How many of us do actually have such a life? And are they really even as successful and as perfect as you might think they are?

The more people you meet, the deeper the connections become, the more you get to realize that no one has such a perfect picture life. The perfect picket white fences are made to keep the illusions in the eyes of the people who are easily fooled by appearances and look up to the idea of being admired because of those achievements. No one has perfect relationships, kids, households. We all struggle but in a different way. And most of us keep the failure locked somewhere in a closet, next to all the other skeletons.

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The inspiration for this post: a simple tshirt, a night at an impro show and a wonderful friendship

After leaving already for a few years in western Europe and making friends from all over the world, I came to realize a lot about how different the mentality is around the quite small European continent. The social standards from my homeland are closer to what’s socially accepted in most Eastern countries, than they are to the ones in the west.

In the west it is actually possible to meet people who are not afraid to say that they failed at something, that they went for a different career path that they originally intended to, that they are 40 and still don’t have it all figured out, that they have a regular job, that they don’t do anything out of the ordinary and yet, they are wonderful. People who are not afraid of screaming as loud as they can: ‘Hooray, I failed‘ and be proud of it. Who said failure is a negative thing? They didn’t fail, on the contrary, they succeeded. They didn’t achieve what other see as the standard to success and that’s perfectly fine.

Our lives might not be magazine cover approved but this doesn’t makes up any less beautiful. Who said that society has it all right? So what if they judge you? What makes them know better than you do what your soul needs? Who sets the definition to ultimate success and failure?

You failed? Congratulations! Most of us do. You didn’t fail at being a human being, you just failed at reaching the ridiculous standards set by society on what’s successful and what’s not. Don’t let illusions ruin your image of self worth. Only you know what actually makes you happy in life. Only you set your own standards for success. Go out there, make mistakes, struggle, smile, shine in your own way and celebrate your failure!

Dedicated to all of us who don’t have it all figured out

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Letter To Your Soul Mate

“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” ―Elizabeth Gilbert

When we say soul mate, most people instantly think about a life partner, when in fact, it can be anyone. Your soul mate might be your best friend, a relative, a person just passing through your life, or even a non-human being. When you meet that special one, you just know it. You feel it with all your spirit, and your heart finds new reasons to beat for.

Your soul mate will show you who you really are and what you are made out of. Like in front of a mirror, you’ll be facing your strengths, weaknesses, and you’ll get stripped of all the layers and walls you built around you. The touch of your soul mate will bring your true self to surface.

Like the moon, you can’t help but gravitate around. Losing all your physical aspects, your souls connect at a new level, where you learn more about yourself than you ever though it’s possible.

Your soul mate will challenge you. It won’t be easy. You will fight it, your ego will get hurt, you’ll be unhappy with the image in front of you, you’ll make things more difficult than needed. You get challenged, and you challenge back. You reassure, encourage and inspire each other.

Even with all the right sparks, sometimes you just can’t work out your differences.  No matter how much this hurts, the truth is that our soul mate doesn’t always stay…

Love doesn’t fix everything. Love isn’t all that matter, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves about this. Love is important, but circumstances and timing are crucial. Sometimes, the right moment isn’t right, and no matter what you do, you just can’t fix it. No amount of love can fix a late or early arrival in your life. No amount of love can fix past mistakes and a complicated situation. Sometimes, you are just not ready for this once in a lifetime moment. And once it’s gone … there’s nothing you can do to put it back together.

Even so, you don’t just love only the good parts of this person, but you love all of them. All the perfect imperfections. They all make sense to be right there.

The thing with soul mates is that our hearts make it more complicated. They touch our heart in such a way, you just can’t get them out of there no matter how much you try. When they’re gone, you just can’t get closure. Closure doesn’t come when someone comes into your life, brings the light which you needed in order to get rid of darkness, changes your entire life, and then continues on a separate path. When your heart is being touched in such a way, there’s no getting that special feeling out of there.

You think you can’t breath or live without them. You suffer and die inside, but all the pain makes you see eventually, that your soul mate opened your eyes to a new life. A better life, and a better you. Maybe you are not meant to stop loving them, but maybe you are meant to love yourself more.

Even if your image of how it should have been was totally different, life has sometimes other plans in store. Sometimes, not getting a fairy tale ending is a better teacher than a positive outcome. A part of you will always love your soul mate, and that’s ok. Don’t regret a single second of it!


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The Curse of Everything

Human mind is a beautiful place. Complex, busy, influenced by the environment and experiences.

We constantly evolve, ever since the moment we’re born. With every new sound, color, word, picture in our mind, something changes inside us. We begin learning to like and dislike things around us, at a very young age. The more exposure, the more we alter our path in life, our likes and dislikes, and dreams and aspirations. Most of the time, we don’t know what we want, but our experiences taught us what we don’t want.

As children, ever since we can remember, we’re asked by many people the same question: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?‘. That question sets our minds free. The answer has no limitations, the only limitation is human mind. So we think about it, and we come up with ambitious dreams. We want to be astronauts, firefighters, superheros, princesses, scientists, doctors, police officers, and many others. Our innocent souls, dictate our path in life, and ration doesn’t have much to say in it. Influenced by animations, love, and goodwill, we seek to be happy, regardless of the form it takes.

“Passion is the difference between having a job or having a career.”

With age, we’re slowly guided towards the slot in society we should occupy. Exposure makes us forget or ignore what our previous goal was: to be happy. Once school becomes a major part of our lives, things complicate, we become more job focused, getting lost in the illusion that what builds a career aren’t actually dreams and passion, but solid knowledge.

The more people we meet, the meanness of the persons around us, the cruel society, the situations we’re confronted with, alter the way we see the world around us, our dreams and desires. And our worldview changes. Our ambitious dreams are replaced by heavy thinking and struggling to occupy that position dictated by society. We go back and forward between choosing the right career path. And most of us find it. Influenced by the school subjects, material gain, people around us, we feel like we finally fit in that slot, and we work towards making our dream come true.

Hard work pays off and we become good at something. Our entire lives are shaped around us becoming something when we grow up. And for most of us, it works.

It’s really easy to choose to ‘become something’, if you know you’re good at one thing, and you feel like you can only do that, at a level which makes you happy and turns you into a skilled professional. It’s easy when you know you will get a job.

But what if you still don’t know the answer to ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?‘. What if you are passionate by many things? What if you just can’t choose? What if you’re that ‘annoying’ type of person which can do pretty much anything the mind is set to do, and can’t settle for a job? What if you change your mind every few months, and your heart defines ‘career’ in a totally different way? What if you just have no plan to ‘become something’ once you’re done with your education, in comparison with all your other colleagues?

Being multi-talented, training your mind easily to switch from one field to the other, might seem like a blessing. However, you realize soon enough that you are not like others around you, you don’t know how to do just one thing, but you can be anything you set your mind to. Even if we are trained to believe we need to find that ‘job’, and fill in that empty slot in society, for a person like you, it’s almost impossible.

Doing almost anything, can become a curse. It’s never easy to mix different skills from art, writing, technology, love for animals and environment, people, to a personal life, into ONE career path. You can’t be everything but you can’t be without everything. And then you face the curse of everything, with makes it almost impossible to choose.

So, what do you do? How do you find out the right path for you? Is there such a thing? Can you focus on one thing only? Can we be happy with being less than we want to be?

In the crazy race for a career, money and a future, we must not leave our heart behind. Once we try to remove a part of us, from our future, we soon realize we lose our happiness. For people with so many passions and interests, the only way to live a happy life is to not leave any passion un-nurtured. Our artistic side is always waiting to come to surface, our compassionate side is present in all our actions, and all our skills combine and become a lifestyle. We can’t just NOT do what makes us happy, unless we amputate a part of our soul.

“Doing what you like is freedom.

Liking what you do is happiness.”

When it comes to a career path, we tend to choose from our passions and skills, the ones which have the potential to bring the most income. However, long term, income is not enough. Think about removing all monetary benefits, setting all career options right in front of you, and picture what would you do, if you could choose from anything, and all would pay the same. Would it still be the career you had in mind before? Making a career from your passion, feels like you never go to work, not even for one day. Wouldn’t that be beautiful, to be so free? That’s true happiness!

When life gets busy and complicated, we immediately remove the time allocated for what really feeds our soul. However, the crazier life becomes and the less time we have, the more time we should invest in our true passions. We should never forget that nurturing our heart is as important as feeding our body. Losing ourselves in the process of building a future, takes us to an empty space, where sunshine can’t reach. Can fortunes feed an empty soul?

“In Order to Succeed, Your Desire for Success Should Be Greater than Your Fear of Failure.”

– Bill Cosby

Passions … there is no right and wrong. The right choice is the one which makes us happy, and we shouldn’t settle for anything less. Our hearts and minds need peace, and once we take the time to listen, we’ll choose our true path in life. We’ll just know it, as we’ll give 110% in anything we do, and it won’t ever feel like a job, but it will feel like freedom. It will feel like happiness.

Remember we’re not meant to fit in that slot society created for us. Taking the time to find out what really makes us happy, nurturing our passions even in the busiest times, our desire to succeed, and a positive attitude, will put us on the right track to a career and fulfillment, and keep us away from getting stuck with an unsatisfying and time consuming job.


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Mindshift – The Power of a Changed Mind

Today I came across this amazing video, which contains a powerful message and beautiful encouraging words. All best wishes for a wonderful Sunday and a changed mind!

There is NOTHING as powerful as a changed mind!

You can change your hair, your clothing, your address, your spouse, your residence. But if you don’t change your mind, the same experience will perpetuate itself over and over and over again, because everything outwardly changed, but nothing inwardly changed.

If you want something out of life, if you want to change yourself, if you want to acquire something, if there’s some goal that you want to reach; changing your behaviors, overcoming negative habits, it’s challenging. It’s hard.

Most people go through life never discovering what their talents are. Most people never develop their talents.

The only thing that’s going to make you happy my friend in this year or any other, is to STEP UP. It’s to raise the standard, it’s to discover what you’re capable of and FEEL that incredible power of pushing through whatever is holding you back and get to the other side of more of your true self.

Seeing the world through your eyes

Choose to see the world through optimistic eyes!

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After starting my blog, I got very lucky to meet a lot of wonderful people from all around the world. We shared stories and ideas and got to know so much about each other and about the place we call home. I’ve found out so much about everything around me, and I can’t be happier about this.

Going through other blogger’s posts, I’ve found similar stories, opinions on trips, places, people and experiences. It seems like even if we all talk about the same person, event or location and the pictures are pretty much the same, the posts are always very very different.

At first I wondered why? It seems weird. Then I’ve realized we all see and feel the world in a different way.We see everything around us, and paint our entire life, just as we are inside.

When it comes to travel, it will always open your mind, if you keep it open. Some see something as simple as a sunset and it makes them smile and fill their hearts with joy. Meanwhile, for others, the same view is worthless and might not even get noticed. Most people I know travel only to have fun getting drunk and spending money, while others meet people, absolve different cultures and traditions and, most important, grow.

seetheworldasyouareSome spend their entire life running after money, wasting it on nothing but meaningless things, finding joy only in what they can feed of. If it makes money, or if they can make it bring money, it gets registered. If not, it won’t make a difference to them. The way we experience our surroundings makes us pursue fortunes, destroy the environment, bring species to extinction, just so we can grow and spread our greed. Such people will never enjoy the simple things, events, places. If it’s not loud, expensive, fancy or cool, it’s not worth a second look, or a spot on the blog.

Some just can’t see past the ones mentioned above, and so, the same place or experience it’s very different from one person to the other. This got me to think about some people I know, who are always unhappy, cranky and mad at everything and everyone around them. How do they actually see the world I see? For sure it’s so different.

For me, the right way to travel is to open my mind and my heart, learn as much as I can, and meet as many people as possible. Once you open your eyes, you will see much more out there, then it’s noticeable at a first glance.  This can never fail, but it will take you places!

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The way we see ourselves is what makes us all unique. This is what makes our stories unique. No matter how many people you ask about a certain subject, the answer will always be different.

Who we are is how we see the world!

 

The Thank You Letter

Some of us are used with taking it all for granted. The house we live in, the water that comes out of the faucet, the car we start in the morning, the food we have on the table, the electricity which powers every device in our home, and the list goes on and on.

But, have you ever looked around you and realized the work others put into building everything and keeping it all going on a daily basis? Have you ever considered the very fragile balance of the nature which allows us to live the life we live today?

The world around us moves because all of us make it that way, on a daily basis. It’s like a huge machine, and every little turning wheel must work in sync with the others. And you are also part of this, a very important piece of the entire system, and you contribute every day, to make it all grow. You, are another turning wheel, and without you, the closest wheels will slow down.

Take a few minutes and become aware about your surroundings and the actions you perform on a daily basis. How many people contribute in order to get you going, and maintain the balance in your life? And please consider not only the people, but also the cosmic balance. Do you realize how lucky we are to live on a planet situated so perfectly on a orbit around the sun, that actually allowed life to evolve? If this balance is lost, the Earth can become the next Mars or Mercury.

Civilization as we know is possible thanks to the research, effort and dedication of some brilliant people in our history, and to the people who took those inventions and brought them closer to our home. Life as we know it today, started when some key inventions were put into practice.

The sewage system is probably one of the largest steps in reduction of disease and improving the quality of life. Removing human waste from the city is what took Roman Empire to the next level, by stopping disease spreading, and is what keeps your city nice and clean as well. Whenever you flush or open the tab, remember the system requires constant maintenance work, so someone is cleaning the pipes for you.

Life expectancy went up thanks to the evolution of medicine. So many researchers dedicated their entire life to finding cure for diseases, or inventing devices which will increase your recovery chances, in case it’s ever needed. Doctors spend their entire life continuously studying and are ready to attend your health state at any given moment of the day or night.

Living in a civilized world means you open your fridge door and food is there waiting for your, after you finished your weekly shopping session at the local supermarket. Or maybe you don’t bother with cooking, and you eat at your favorite restaurant. Take a moment and think about how much work is put into getting the food there, for us. Bringing water where is needed, and removing the waste, made agriculture possible. We all have easy access to food thanks to the farmers who dedicate their life to caring for the crops, and the truck drivers who deliver the food, cross country or continent, where is required. This wouldn’t be possible without oil, and mechanization. Have you ever wondered how dependent our society is on oil? It keeps us going, day by day!

All these efforts would be in wane if we wouldn’t have power lines. It’s impressive how much constant work is put into an electricity plant. Think about it, just to power it, we need either coal, gas, oil or nuclear power. Without a constant supply of these resources, making electricity simply wouldn’t happen. What would you do with an unplugged fridge and a disconnected stove. Not much, right? We pushed ourselves, as a society, to the limit of what we can do without electricity. If we don’t have power, there is no working sewage, food, medical aid. Basically, our world stops. When you switch on the lights next time, remember how many people maintain the power lines, so your home is powered and heated.

We love our freedom and we can’t wait to travel more, but would we be able to see the world without roads and means of transportation? The invention of the wheel and later, of the engine, made our world go round. We can transport our food, visit places, relocate,  thanks to all the researchers who invest so much energy into making us mobile and safe.

We went places, but would we have a home to come back to, if not for all the construction workers, and the dedicated people who work on quarries, to extract the building materials needed for our hoses and buildings? What about the metal and wood workers? Without them, we wouldn’t have any tools, and without tools, construction and invention would be slowed down, or even impossible. Our buildings wouldn’t look at all the way the look today, if not for all their work, right?

At the base of any civilized society are rules and safety. People like policemen and firefighters, have more than a job, what they do is a lifestyle. They keeps us safe. Most of the job they do, is done behind the scenes. You don’t even know they are there, but they keep society in order.

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The ones above are only a small example. Just think about it. Everything you use was made by someone and it still runs because someone puts a constant effort into keeping it going. Every device and appliance was made after years of research and trials and needs electricity / gas / water to run. Without a constant background effort from others, life as you know it, wouldn’t be possible.

Considering this, take a few moments and be thankful for the lifestyle made possible, thanks to the effort of so many.The question is: how do you contribute to other people’s lives? If more people would ask themselves this question, life would become so much better for everyone.

Remember, you are also a small turning wheel. Your actions do matter. Choose wisely!