Tuesday, October 16, 2007

If I would be a..

You know that game: If I would be a...what...would I be? It's a great game to play if you want to get to know more about people.

Today I came across this song and I was thinking.. If I would be a song, what song would I be?

Temporarily, I guess I'd answer a waltz. I can compare it a lot with my life lately. The rhythm is steady, pleasant, things, events or the things I learn evolve in spiral, same rhythm but new things all the time, in appearance they seem fun and easy, but when getting down to business they become complicated.

The more you dance the better you learn and the more confident and creative you get.

Yeah, I guess a waltz it is. However, I must admit, things do get a bit Tango once in a while. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Latest Learnings


A Story about the Power of Questions

To bow or not to bow……….?

”You can eat an apple”, I said and gave him the green fruit.

It was as if he had seen an apple for the first time.

First he just held it there and smelled it, but then he took a little bite.

”Mum - mum”, he said and took a bigger bite.

”Did it taste good?” I asked.

He bowed deeply.

I wanted to know how an apple tastes the very first time you taste it, so I asked again:

”How did it taste?”

He bowed and bowed.

”Why do you bow?” I asked.

Mika bowed again. It made me feel so confused, that I hurried to ask the question again.

”Why do you bow?”

Now it was him who became confused. I think he did not know if he should bow again or just answer.

”Where I come from we always bow, when someone asks an interesting question” he explained – ”and the deeper the question, the deeper we bow.”

That was the strangest thing I had heard in a long time. I could not understand that a question was something to bow for.

”What do you do when you greet each other?”

”We always try to find something wise to ask?” he said.

”Why?”

First he bowed quickly, because I had asked another question and then he said:

”We try to ask a wise question to get the other person to bow”.

I was so impressed by the answer that I bowed as deeply as I could. When I looked up Mika had put his finger in his mouth. After a long time he took it out.

”Why did you bow?” he asked and looked insulted.

”Because you answered my question so wisely,” I said.

Now he said very loudly and clearly something that has followed me in my life ever since:

”An answer is nothing to bow for. Even if an answer can sound ever so right, still you should not bow to it.”

I nodded briefly. But I regretted it at once, because now Mika may think that I bowed to the answer he had just given.

”The one who bows shows respect”, Mika continued, ”You should never show respect for an answer.”

”Why not?”

”An answer is always the part of the road that is behind you. Only questions point to the future.”

Those words were so wise, I thought, that I had to press my hands against my chin not to bow again……..

- Jostein Gaarder, 1996 in Norway

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Life in me


It's amazing to look back and remember everything. Of course sometime it's hard to keep track, with so many things going on.

What's more amazing though, is not necessarily the fact the you remember everything - some may not - but the fact that if you scan your whole being in terms of way of thinking, strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, behaviors, abilities you can see the difference.

I'd probably take a lot of time to write everything I lived these past few weeks. But I'm sure everyone who really knows me could tell the difference. How I've discovered team members as individuals and friends (thank you Team :), how I reconfirmed I love what I'm doing and kept my motivation high, how some basic simple things as sharing how I think can lead to changes in people, what my priorities are, what I want to leave behind at the end of my term, why my role is nationally and globally, where and how I see myself in the future, what impact means and how you can measure it - thank you Lucian for reminding me :) - what happens to people who dream and act stepping out of comfort zones, which are the opportunities that would be suitable for me in the future, who are the most important people in my life and why!, how can I improve myself to perform, how great it feels to be appreciated, how personal life and AIESEC can go together (thank you Razvan :) , how great it is to take some time off, how I always keep connected to what i do and believe in although I'm taking time off, how people make places, how to leave places more beautiful than you found them - Thank you AIESEC Cluj! :) - how knowing where people come from and their past experiences explains behaviors and beliefs, how important is to keep close contact with your family otherwise hey will call the police or email all ur friends :P, and the list could go on and on.

This is why AIESEC people have so much Life in them. It's about comprised life time experiences and the impact they make on you. It's about a burning flame insight, that you could call whatever - Life, Change, Happiness, Fulfillment, etc.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Rond and round..


The morning sun beats against the window. light and sounds hurt. It all goes slow until I'm on my two feet. And afterwards, there is no time to think about all these. One after another, people, events, colors and feelings burst into an endless stream or threads that seem like parallel universes tied around me like the threads of a carpet, that altogether form a beautiful and unique pattern.

A leadership experience in AIESEC is as busy as you want it to be. I thought autumn will be crazy, but summer is not far behind.

New things I learned this week: a new park and coffee place, Bucharest - the traffic jungle - the extreme Irony - my first fine ever - for not crossing the road in the right place.

The Dutch Ambassadors - sometimes AIESEC doesn't have to be about concrete results but especially about the impact a thought or a different way of seeing the world has on you.
Surprising mum with Julio Iglesias tickets: the more you create a negative aura before the surprise, the more positive impact the surprise has on people, (but also don't ask mum to pick things up for me again otherwise get ready to face a nervous breakdown).

TMU Meeting. All collective MSN meetings get frustrating at some points - you just have to loosen up.

And the last but most important: Coaching Meetings. Have patience and be supportive - your role is to coach and enable people to develop not do all tasks perfectly in the shortest time possible. You're somehow closer to where you wanted to be. Help them get there!

Next stop: Sibiu, Presidents Meeting Training, MC Team Building, Sepultura Concert, People Task Force, Meeting Munchkin, NTT Preparation, Coaching Meetings, Team Scoreboard Planning and Coaching Training in Ploiesti, TRIX in Cluj, then PenInsula in TgMures.

All of this and a Scottish song that keeps rolling in the back of my head:

Round and Round
..goes the wheel of fortune
Round and Round
till they weary me.
Young girls hearts
- are so uncertain
Sad experience teaches me

19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, 1

20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6 ,4 ,2

... none.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Latest Readings


I've finished reading The Collector , and I was immediately in love with it. The reading started pretty slow, because at the beginning I was not sure where it was going.

I like Fowles' style. Simply built: his and her personality and side of the story. Gradually drawing with words the collector type of character. Behaviors and reactions, from diary thoughts addressed to readers. The end was not surprising, but rather surprisingly sad. I thought she was somehow similar to me.

There was one quote that got stuck to my mind: " Only the fools underestimate the power of a water drop. They are, in the end, one and the same with the Ocean"

This could be either a optimistic, or a very sad thought. Today I incline towards the latter one.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The world I live in

In my world...

  1. People matter. They constitute hope for the future. The generations of internet, nuclear equipment, genetic revolution, global warming, terrorism, aids, and other issues that stick to the global agenda for decades. The generations to fight Idiocracy.
  2. What you give is what you get. Effort equals growth.
  3. People do things without expectation of recognition.
  4. People understand concepts as Vision and Values. While some spin around them, like bees around flowers, others sit right on top of them. They get fed and thus function.
  5. Time and space shift values. They pour down the walls in cascades, like thousands "Persistence of Memories", snatched off their expensive frames.
  6. There are so many shapes and colors, not even Lijphart could compare and classify.
  7. Do at least the effort of understanding the past, while dealing with the present, and building for the future.
  8. Everything you are is everything you have. The distance between word and thought, thought and action. Not between the first and last last grade on your graduation sheet.
  9. Is comprised of experiences that lead to options. The more options people have, the more their lives are worth living.
  10. Intense finds no appropriate Superlative Form. Mistakes are Precious and Failures Successes. Ignorance is constrained to hide it's dirty face.
My world is like a war helmet. When I will step out of it, I'll keep the casket and remember what good it has done to me.

Some days ago I realized My world is a Conscious Choice.

I was talking to one of my former high school friends last night, and after displaying his ironic opinion on AIESEC, we were trying to set a date for catching up. When asked about it, I said:

"We could go out for a drink tomorrow". He patronizingly replied :

"Tomorrow night Bestival concerts start. One what world do you live in?"

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Leadership Style



What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

From the series: What rock band, beverage drink, pet, poet, and so on ... are you, here comes this one. Gandhi was actually one of my early idols.

(Re) Discovery



The Dickinson Electronic Archives have been updated. It's been quite a while since I looked around. However, not all the articles can be viewed. I was quite interested to read some of Emily's letters to Susan. For those interested (if anyone actually reads this and loves Emily Dickinson), I found the first chapter of Open me Carefully, in a New York Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/h/hart-open.html?_r=2&oref=slogin

Enjoy! :)

Meanwhile



When I first thought of creating a Blog, I thought I'd use it to go back in time and see how many things happened and how those things affected me, the way I think and act.I realized today I wasn't doing that much of that, so here I am trying to catch up.

I'm in Bucharest now. One of latest activities on the agenda was the Board of Advisers Meeting. Was quite surprised by the people attending it. I've set meetings and got some pretty good inputs. They were quite nice to spare some of their time for us, and sustainable future. However, there is a limit to their kindness - of course. When eyes look down and noone says a word. I keep noticing different types of people here. Bucharest taught me not to be surprised.

A more pleasant event was the RoPDU Planning. The guyz reminded me of Breakfast Club. In each of the there is a bit of each other they have to explore more. It was one of those moments when I put more than an equal share of my heart and my mind. Hope I'll get some back :)

Some other lesson: It's incredible how people in AIESEC have the same goals and way of thinking. Get to know each other in TMU. It was like my thoughts, experience so far and ideals, signed, by turn, by people around my age all over the world.

(Re) Discovered: Klimt, Fowles, watermelon, working in the office, long distance calls with munchkin, externals, extreme temperatures, agendas, quantity of sent and received mails per days measured in two numbers, fruits, planning.

Quote of the Day: "All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning."
Henry David Thoreau

Monday, June 18, 2007

Free will

There was a young man who said, 'Damn,
In is borne upon me that I am
A creature that moves
In predestinate grooves--
Not even a bus, but a tram.'


If ever asked if I believe in destiny, I usually can't help a big smile. Not because I consider this amusing in any way, but because the idea of a "superior force" guiding our steps and watching over us is very much against everything I believe in as a person, against every form of freedom I value, but most importantly against freedom of choice.

However, two days ago, as I was getting ready to leave from Bacau to Bucharest, I received a phone call from my friend saying my exams are starting in two days, not in a week, as I was told and as the year structure posted next to the Secretary's door said.

I was unpleasantly surprised, not only because I had only 1 day to study, but mainly because I had a meeting on Monday I did not want to miss. Eventually, the hour of the meeting was changed, and I was to go to Iasi the next day, which was Sunday, then go to the exam on Monday morning at nine, then take the train at 14 and arrive in Bucharest at 21.30, then go to the meeting.

This morning at nine o'clock there was nobody from my year of study around. I was expecting the teacher to be late, but not them. At 9.30 a teacher comes and tells me I'm supposed to come at 16, that's when the exam takes place. :|

As I was coming back from school, I realized some things are beneath our power of choice, that we are conditioned by the perimeters of the systems we are a part of. Direct participation is not only a concept for defining actively engaged citizens in politics or community, but it spreads out to education or NGOs or any form of institution or process that is a system or is part of one.

Of course, the more we express our choices the better thing go for us. Had I decided to join the Student Council or be the Student Year Coordinator, I would have had something to say about it.

What's more, terms such as political clientelism can be easily applied here as well. If I had been in contact with the Student Year Coordinator, making her some small favors, complimenting her, or whatever else polite terms are there to substitute ass kissing, she would have given me the big favor of telling me the exact hour of this exam, and who knows what else.

There is , for sure, a list out there with people who get this information very easy... And I am not a part of it. This, of course in the hypothesis of the Teacher actually consulting someone about it...

Two days ago, my mum asked why I don't find school as attractive as I used to.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Zen Week


Remember this week.
Ever since January or perhaps last year you've been waiting for it.

It's now surprising to see the changes. What was once avoided has now become interesting or even pleasant. Watching TV, reading History books, cooking, day sleeping, reading casual non urgent mails..or creating a Blog.

However, the best part of it was still being in touch with people and my duties. Then I realized. By far, these have been the most balanced days of my life. Everything was into place. Balance, must surely be, a primordial condition for circles of influence to expand. Beyond any system, numbers or theories, it alone can trigger constant and long term change. Perhaps we should try working on that for the next Leadership Development Seminars.

Balance is the core of Zen philosophy. The human mind, unconsciously balancing the opposites. Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Daily thoughts

Salty waters bathe my feet
- their road is safe and thought of
Nonetheless, formulas are changing
It's two steps forward and one back.
I am not to choose latter destinations -
Was last taken at the market
Mistaken though -
- I am not for trade
And neither are my goods.