Category Archives: Awareness

Postcards

Standard

– Did you send postcards from Tartu?

– ?

Our digital world brains tried to locate the concept in the memory. It was at a working dinner with fifty something judges. 50 is a number for their age. 

They were restless:

– you never send postcards from your trips?! I always do. To mom, dad, each of my four kids. Tomorrow you’ll do it as well. 

Our fingers were looking for the nearest post office on the phone screen. 

Next morning we are at these wonderful Estonian judges court. One of them holds poscards. You know – the rectangular piece of thick paper. They make us sit and writte down words on paper. You do not disobey a judge in his court.  One of us: ‘”it’s the first time i do it”.  My brain is not ready to tell me when was it the last time i did it. 

– can i take a pic of the postcard and send it electronically? i ask playfully.  

When was the last time you sent a postcard to your loved ones? Re-live it or do it. It feels good on the giving end.

 It feels good at the receiving end. 

A week after that dinner, my kid greets me in the evening with: “look what the postman gave me!”  đź™‚

Higher you get, less you do?

Standard

Recent Pope Francis words “the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly” https://www.ted.com/talks/pope_francis_why_the_only_future_worth_building_includes_everyone/transcript?language=en#t-572940 reminded me about something I once heard from a big boss in a big international organisation. He stated loud and clear that his career goal was to get high and do as little as possible. He eventually got pretty high. I kind of wondered about it back then.

To me, higher you get, more you can do. Same is valid for corporations. I like to see performance. I love it more when performance is joined by purpose. Take Apple for example. In 2012,  Apple’s stock market value had neared $625 billion, making it the most valuable company ever. Its underwhelmed social purpose is still to match its extraordinary financial success.

dv1419004Think of all resources one has access to. Let’s take the poorest European country: there were 17000 orphans in 2012. 17.000 was the number of police, intelligence and customs employees. Suppose each of these gets to act as a mentor to each of orphans? Given that these are military structures with people who obey orders, a big boss’s decision has a great chance of being complied with.

Or think about first ladies and opportunities they have to chanel the good and bring to light development issues and influence policy agendas or just meaningfully help on an individual basis. Same is valid, by the way, for husbands of first ladies :).

Or just ordinary people with out-of-ordinary kindness who would make a phone call to a lawyer-friend to ask for a pro-bono involvement, or would open their house door to a charity party to draw attention and collect stuff for needy.

When you get high what is important to me is to keep the connection with the self and your roots and cherish the place you came from. This will keep you away from „the higher you get the harder you fall”. No need to quote unhappy examples here.

“Enjoy your climbing and stay humble”, my reminder for today.

 

10 Impactful Ways To Recycle & Repurpose Used Clothing – re-post

Standard

It was pretty awesome to see my good old Mexx suit at the small cloths shop in my neighbourhood couple of weeks after I put it in this box:

It served me well and it is now earning money for a shop owner. It feels good to see commodities continue their lives.

Among retailer, H&M offers discounts to those who bring used clothes for recycling. There is a growing number of retailers joining the cause of recycling. Check them out in your area.

In Chisinau, I used to donate clothes through a programme developed by Diaconia, diaconia.md, which regularly reports on the charity impact it has and the number of beneficiaries who enjoy the donated clothes and commodities.  http://mobi.protv.md/stiri/social/garderobe-pentru-cei-nevoiasi-in-10-localitati-din-moldova-hainele—1870261.html

If you are looking for ways to repurpose your clothing, this article offers quite a number of options:

http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/how-to-recycle-and-repurpose-clothing?utm_content=buffer96bf4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, including a staying green way :).

How to be 1% Better Every Day – re-post

Standard

View story at Medium.com

we want it all. we want it today. the wanting mind becomes the master… you know the rest of the story. there are many ‘how to’ out there. this is simply one that resonates with me.

How to be 1% Better Every Day (The Kaizen Approach to Self-improvement)

“Compounding is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.” — Albert Einstein

The quest to become a better version of yourself often feels like a roller coaster ride. It’s hard. And it’s usually so uneven. You can end in failure. But life is a journey, not a marathon, so you always have another opportunity to restart and improve.

Many people practically look out for secrets, tricks, and hacks that will make EVERYTHING better right now. But unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. There are no “overnight successes”. Think of all the incredible people you truly admire. They didn’t succeed becasue of one giant move, but rather a series of small and consistent actions over time.

Stop aiming for radical personal change!

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” — Stephen Covey

A magic bullet cannot save you! You’ve got to embrace the process and enjoy it. You can’t escape the hard work it takes to get better. Every incredibly successful person you know today has been through the boring, mundane, time-tested process that eventually brings success. So, stop looking for “quick hacks” that bring faster results.

Instead of reading every self-improvement post for the one golden tip that will make you superhumanly efficient, focus on doing the actual work that needs to be done. You can inspire yourself to take action. The hard, long process is the only way though. You can’t achieve tremendous life success with a quick fix. Nobody gets it that easy.

Your big, audacious goals are not inspiring you!

“Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.” — Helmut Schmidt

Your attempt to be better usually ends in failure because you life-changing goals overwhelm you into inaction instead of inspiring you into action. Unrealistic goals make it insanely difficult to make any progress. You will get “stressed” over what is supposed to help you take action.

Your performance and ability to get things done is inextricably bound to brain performance. A big, audacious goal looks scary to your brain. And when your brain encounters scary, it goes into “freeze” mode. You don’t want that. If you constantly overstretch yourself, you will lose the required energy you need to take the necessary action to get better.

Setting a goal, no mater how simple is always the easy part. Everyone has goals. The real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the sacrifices required to achieve your goals.

If you want to achieve your goals at all times, create a system that works. Instead of a goal, design a great system or process. That way, you will always win. Even when your short-term goals are achieved, your next goal won’t be a struggle. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process makes a huge difference.

James Clear explains:

We place unnecessary stress on ourselves to lose weight or to succeed in business or to write a best-selling novel. Instead, you can keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals. When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.

Self-improvement is not a destination!

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily”— Mike Murdock

Learning should not end after formal education. Lifelong learning, the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge can enrich your life and make you a better person every day.

Self-improvement isn’t a destination. You’re never done. Even if you have some success, and you want to maintain it, you have to keep doing the things you were doing that got you that success in the first place.

Your first step to improving your life and becoming the best version of your self won’t be easy. Nobody can promise you that things will be easy but they will get better. It pays to take a small action–any action–and grow from there. Remember, you are better off trying and crawling than anyone else who isn’t trying.

The Kaizen Approach and how it works

“Little strokes fell great oaks.” –Benjamin Franklin

Kaizen — Japanese for continuous improvement

It was developed by Depression-era American business management theorists in order to build the arsenal of democracy that helped the U.S. win World War II. The Japanese took to the idea of small, continual improvement right away and gave it a name: Kaizen — Japanese for continuous improvement.

While Kaizen was originally developed to help businesses improve and thrive, it’s just as applicable to our personal lives.

The idea here is to focus on consistent improvements in your life, every day, not matter how small the step you take to be a better you than you were yesterday.

According to Brett and Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness:

“Instead of trying to make radical changes in a short amount of time, just make small improvements every day that will gradually lead to the change you want. Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you’re trying to improve. That’s it. Just 1%.

It might not seem like much, but those 1% improvements start compounding on each other. In the beginning, your improvements will be so small as to seem practically nonexistent. But gradually and ever so slowly, you’ll start to notice the improvements in your life. It may take months or even years, but the improvements will come if you just focus on consistently upping your game by 1%.”

Here is why Kaizen works

“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.” — John Wooden

The Kaizen approach is a reminder that all improvements must be maintained if we wish to secure consistent gains. Think of the smallest step you can take every day that would move you incrementally towards your goal.

Becoming 1% better every day is a simple, practical way to achieve big goals. 1% seems like a small amount. Yes, it is. It’s tiny. It’s easy. It’s doable. And it’s applicable in most things you want to do or accomplish.

It feels less intimidating and is more manageable. It might feel less exciting than chasing a huge win, but its results will be stronger and more sustainable.

If you enjoyed this post, you will love Postanly Weekly. It’s my FREE weekly digest of the best productivity, career and self improvement posts from around the web. It challenges you to become the best version of yourself.

The story of a tablecloth

Standard
The story of a tablecloth

My previous year Zara Home Christmas tablecloth looked far from the festive look it was promising when purchased. And  Christmas last year asked for something meaningful de celebrate.

On Christmas Eve, I was in the capital of what is still known as the poorest country of Europe. -10Celsius. The souvenirs market colored the grey December afternoon with paintings, souvenirs and handcrafts. She was there. She is as beautiful as i met her four and a half years ago https://lovevonbeautyvonlove.com/2012/07/23/lets-talk-about-aging-part-2/ 

I am with my daugther. We spot a white tablecloth with a delicately crafted finishing. It is exactly what we wanted for our Christmas dinner. 

The beautiful old lady is frozen and asks as to help ourselves. I touch her hand. It’s as cold as ice. I offer to bring her a hot tea. She declines. With modesty. She switches the conversation to my daugther. The purchase made, I leave with a hope to see her in Spring. I hope with all my heart. 

The white tablecloth joined the other two tablecloths i bought from her. They witness our family meals, meals with friends, silent meals, joyful meals. They keep the story of the beautiful old lady part of our stories. 

#buylocal #buywithimpact

Positive or Negative: it’s a choice

Standard

I was having a dessert with my kid at the office cafeteria. A colleague joined us briefly, while waiting for his meeting over coffee to start.

– I admire the cafeteria lady, i said moving my eyes to the lady cleaning tables and arranging chairs, as closing hours were approaching. She is a model of efficiency and politeness combined. She is fast and always serves the coffee with a sunny smile. Even at the end of a super busy day.

– Ya, you should have seen the personnel in the cafeteria in the other building, my colleague responded. They were masters of ignoring you to the point of …Hmm, he said after pausing, it’s amazing how you see the positive examples.

What’s the point of focusing on negatives and ruminating over it? Answers are here:

“Positive or Negative? It’s Your Choice” by Daniel Goleman | LinkedIn published on 6 September 2016.

Negative or positive?: it is a choice. Choices create habits. Habits create expectations. Expectations create responses. Negative or positive. It’s again a choice. Your choice. My choice. I know what I choose 🙂

I am mini. I like mini

Standard

Our first car was a tiny Opel Corsa. My husband’s parents did not talk to us for months. They owned a large BMW. We did not miss the small talk. We like our air unpolluted.
My grandmother fed a family of eight and the neighbours occasionally. Her oven was 1,5 meter deep, one meter wide. She needed wood, a match, flour, water and her hands. Her bread and pies were a local legend. I need an oven, a blender, a mixer, and a handful of appliances and moulds to make a dozen mini brownies. You can see the difference. If I need a mini boll for my Magimix to bake a new recipe, i’ll say ‘thank you’, but no, thank you”. I knife and my old cutting board will do the job.

Since we moved to a rented apartment, half the size of the one we were used to, two Ikea wardrobes suffice. “One thing – in; one thing- out” is a custom now. Why i needed a dressing room before is foggy to me now. I have everything I need. My family has everything they need.

If i need to buy something to see if i am able or willing to do something, i say no. Planning of teaching my kid checkers?  Why buy it when i can download an app for free to see first if she will like the game.

I recently discovered the Minimalism. When the shopping urge kicks in, Minimalism gives you three criteria. I minimised it to two: is it truly necessary? Is it of value to last? If no ‘Yes” finds its way to these questions, I steer my attention to investments into learning and travelling. The return is a promise kept.

Last Christmas the gifts wraps were recycled from previous years. And, more importantly, the gifts of joy and time together needed only the  wrapping  of love, in abundance.