Summer University at Copenhagen Business School

And now it ends :) ... studying at CBS is not only an advantage of sharing and gaining knowledge but building great relationships, meeting diverse students from all around the globe, strengthen your network, learning from some of the best teachers and experience a total new way of learning different from the one I got in my own country. Thanks to our great teacher Paul Eberle, a teacher of ´Investment Analysis´ and ´Managerial Finance´ from Florida Southern College – USA, who honored with his presence at Copenhagen Business School - International Faculty, this summer 2010.

We thank you Prof. Paul Eberle for making this experience worthy, and indeed “The Best Investment Class … in the World!”

Let´s hope for a good exam :)

Challenges (part 2)

I write in my previous article information related to the idea of facing challenges and what do they represent as meaning for our own life. I do not think I have a definition for it or that my answer or idea I wrote about would be the perfect one, but I like to relate each topic to my own life experience and the way I see things. I agree with other people opinions, I believe I am open-minded when it comes to explaining and accepting a certain point of view. What it bothers me most, is the way people relate to each other when it comes to giving an advice. I experience the most outrageous comments that people try to define as their perfect way of seeing things, mostly when they try to misjudge others opinion or make them feel stupid for the way they see things. Most people do not understand that life is being seen differently from everybody´s perspective. If success for me means the way I achieve goals and the level of satisfaction I feel I reach, for others can have a different connotation or it can be defined totally different.

If there is something I so much appreciate to the way, for e.g. Danes lives their life, is the liberty to which they express and relate their imagination, goals and life achievements. The priorities they set and the extent to which they find this life being worthy (this involving the way they feel about their way of deciding, less based on what other think about them).

What makes us sometimes unhappy is the way we think people see us, the way people judge what we are, what we do, what we achieve or not. We make us unhappy only by comparing our life with the ones we perceive as being better that us, having done things in life that are in a better way appreciated than those of ours.

When I achieve a goal, I am happy; but happiness and the feeling of satisfaction remains sometimes only until I may acknowledge other people who have done greater things than me, and so I start being ungrateful, I start complaining and I set higher goals to be achieved, sometimes harder ones. I am not saying that this attitude is always wrong because this can be viewed as a way I motivate myself to achieve more and more. But it is wrong to underestimate myself only by comparing myself with others. I think this is a bad habit that makes me unhappy and depressed (when I am) and I think a lot of other people are in this same situation.

I do am very happy with my achievements! … As far as I am not comparing myself with others, my level of happiness is high. But to what extent do other people influence us in a bad way? My own experience with this feeling of not being worthy comes from the moment when people relate to me, as if they would know better what is good or bad for me. There are so many people, also in my life, people who know how to judge for what I do, for what I am, for what I want to be, for my actions in general … and to resume, for the way I live my life. I mean, I also most of the time, advice others not to let themselves influenced by what other people think, but can we really do this? – Not to worry at all?

I can do this, most of the time, to the extent I can express my feedback in speaking – when I tell loudly what I think about their advices; but it is not the same inside. I still think about it; we in general still think about it, we analyse it; we make judgements about our own decisions and think twice if we are on the correct way in our choice. I mean, it should not matter, but it does. We do not make it loud, but we stress ourselves – and if I should not say this as a generalization, I mean it for myself.

And at the end, why is it so? Why other people are so interested and fascinated making other people´s life difficult? They discuss with such a passion about others, they make it their own issue and they know better how the whole situation can be handled. … They tend to advice you, they criticize you; they make sure you know their own opinion and sometimes, when you allow them, they make sure they are in a position of controlling your final decision.

Why do we tend to spend so much time judging and criticizing others? Why are not we spending the same amount of time improving our own life? Is it because most of those who spend time on criticizing others life have nothing interesting to say about their own? Then why not develop the interest in finding the best that lies in us. In this way we enrich our life and let others enrich their own. This can be viewed as a life lesson, but why is it than so hard to apply this lesson to our own experience?

I think, in my own opinion, we are so stressed out with handling our own life that, it is easier to start handling others, and that is because from this position we do not have the need to ACT? When we make decisions, the way it works, the way we can see results, it is all correlated with the way we act. Acting is not easy and we sometimes are afraid of acting because we are not sure of the way the action will lead us. We may not know in advance if it is a good decision, not until we act and experience it. We can than experience a happy ending or not a happy one at all.

When we decide for others, we make it easier for our own belief system, that the decision is good. And we will think: “As long it is not me who has to handle the situation that comes as a result of action on that decision, it is good”. Experiencing this, we also make assumptions about the results. If we personally have had good results, we estimate others should also have; but if our results were not what we expected, than we tend to advice others not to act in the way we did, without allowing them experience the results.

I experience so many times to be in a group of people which topic of discussion was about other people’s life. Worrying, complaining, and even deciding the way they should have done things, criticizing everything about others lifestyle, way of decision they may have made and I can tell the passion you could see in their eyes when they were talking about, the frustration they lived for the end result of others decisions – a totally theatrical theory which made their day successful somehow, ending the discussion with the feeling of having done something worthy that day, for themselves and maybe for the person she/he was in debate.

I sometimes make the same mistake by mixing my own opinion in others decisions but I am glad when I recognize the moment, and for my good, I try to change it in the other direction where I allow myself to learn maybe something worthy from others experience, make a decision for myself on what was good and not, then decide that it is better accepting people as they are, because they are the person they themselves want to experience to be. We all are what we produce out of us based on our own decision, even when we are being influenced – sometimes.

But, can we stop others make decisions for us? Is this a good or bad thing to do? How can we know this? How can we change the situation if there should be something to be changed? I do not have a correct answer for that but what I most of the time do, is first recognize when somebody is trying to just give bad advices without knowing me; I recognize the way and the reason they may try to influence me and I act by either avoiding them or stopping them in a nice way. Being open and telling them to let me make my own mind about a certain thing is not always understood correctly. People may perceive this act as an attack or just criticism and also, this does not always mean that people will stop talking. It is just a matter of time until they will start again; it only matters the way we learn to handle the situation by making the correct decisions – decisions that are correct for us.

When people starts inundate me with unexpected or undesired opinions, I have learned to avoid any discussion by just ignoring them … sometimes in a nice way. If they do not understand when I tell them something and continuously are trying to force me accepting their opinion, than the only way to make them ´disappear´ or stop is by ignoring them. It may not be always the smart way of deciding, but it is the way I decide for myself as being the better one, which by meaning – is sometimes a good one.

Giving an example: 3 years ago (2007) I decide not to eat meat any more. That by meaning I was becoming a vegetarian. The decision was purely made by me and with a 100% certainty! I just felt I do not want to eat meat any more, that I feel better and healthier in this way; I not only decided but felt it as being the right decision for me. I just do not feel the need or the wish of trying meat. It is unexplainable sometimes, but I was and still am very sure about my decision. Since then, people around me tried and are still trying to convince me that my decision was bad. Most of them developed ways of convincing me to taste meat, tried to “feed” my mind with idea of scientifically proves on how eating meat would make me be normal. I mean, what does being normal mean? There are a lot of scientifically proves that smoking is bad for the body and the mind and though people who smoke try to convince me that being a vegetarian is bad and wrong. Please, I can only laugh about it!!! It is unbelievable how much stress they send me and how unavoidable they sometimes can be. When telling somebody I am vegetarian it is as if the whole conversation should stress this topic and nothing else for the next 30 minutes. Sometimes I feel bad bringing this topic in a conversation, not any more though, only if I have to be in a situation of refusing the meal by explaining my reasons. I mean, it is OK for people asking me about my reasons, wanting them to understand my decision but I do not agree with those who just want to convince me that I am wrong by deciding for a certain way. I am always also curious how other people can succeed in being perseverant in some of their decisions, I also ask them questions if I hear about something not that popular but I do not argue about their decision, I most of the time admire people who stick to their own life by remaining perseverant and focused and I think that it is good supporting them. I am not saying I do not have people around me who do understand my point of view, who do support me and people who do agree with the way I run my life. I was just mentioning those who are continuously worrying about my lack of meat in my body or other kind of worries which in my opinion, should not represent their focus. Poor them! And as this example, many other examples can be explained and discussed the same way.

In this concern I have learned to try to focus most of the time on my own life, on my own decisions; on my own accomplishments and failures and try to learn something good out of them; the rest of the time looking by other´s results, analysing what I want to learn from them, something that may bring satisfaction in my life and something that can be a useful lessons for my future decisions. This is how I believe, I enrich my life.

Be good with yourself! and thanks for reading this article.


CHALLENGE … is our life a continuous challenge? Is my life a challenge?

It is being so long since I have posted something, written by me and about me, on this blog. And for those who like my blog and check from time to time to see what new stuff I have written, about maybe things that happen in my life, I am sorry to have disappointed you with anything new. … But I promise I will try to find time for new sharing.

What meaning have challenges in our life and what should they represent for each other? What would challenges represent for me?

It is one year since I decide to move into a complete new place, new country, new society and culture, the kind of decision that changed my life somehow completely. One year and things looks different right now. I lived new exciting experiences, some of which were sad and heartbroken, others happy and joyful, some accomplishments and failures, feelings of stability but also of insecurity; I have learned new languages, new habits, and new people but not to forget about the old life patterns and style that brought me sometimes to the end of my limits of acceptance and endurance, patterns that I was not yet prepared to change or improve. One year, time that I spend in finding the best ways to go further for achieving my life and professional goals, one year of analyzing my mistakes in order to make sure I take the best decisions and I surely go in the right direction. There were times of self confidence and believe but also times of disbelieve and low self esteem. I sometimes wanted to be alone, other times crowded by people.

Being in a complete new environment means also being surrounded by complete strangers, people that you may not know if you should trust or not, people who ended to misuse my feelings but also lot of those who smoothly touched my heart with joy and compassion. There were times of appreciation and times of regret; times of love and times of hate. But two things which matter most were the feelings of having learned something new about me, of having learned a new lesson that made me who I am today and specially accepting to be a lucky person who had and still has at her side, a partner that knows how to bring the best out of me, a partner who encourages me and supports me in all my decisions. For that, I am most grateful and thankful.

This article is an introduction in a new series of short stories about my life and my experiences. It is mostly about life lessons and challenges. I believe one must experience the most diverse things in life in order to be able to appreciate not only the good out of every experience, but the lessons out of those bad ones.

Yes, there were good times! Yes, there were bad times, too! But all those good and bad experiences are the end result of today. And for what it matters, today I am happy. At the end of each bad or good day I remember myself to appreciate my life, to appreciate what I have and what I am. I smile in front of the mirror and I try to feel the feeling of happiness. I sometimes lie myself but after few seconds smiling in that mirror, I can really feel it, I can really feel the moment of appreciation, the feeling of gratefulness. It may not always be easy, but I also remember myself that in every experience there is a lesson. A lesson that I have to learn a lesson that represents the end result of my being. And so, at the end of each day, I feel more mature, more confident, blessed and definitely stronger.

As I have learned during all this time – we are what we produce out of ourselves; and we should be happy for the best parts of our life experiences – the good parts as well as the bad ones, comparing the example of the need for salt and sugar in our daily meals. We cannot feed ourselves with only sweets as well as our life would be senseless without bad experiences from which we are suppose to learn something good out of them. Our meals taste much better by adding additional ingredients such as salt and pepper. Bad, good, all this combined is going to be reflected into our final product, our cooked meal or our present being.

My message in these shared thoughts is that we have to learn to combine life experiences; to learn how to use the bad experience to our own advantage. To learn what has to be changed. Learn to enjoy all the experiences we may have. This will bring joy and satisfaction to our life. Learn how to enjoy ourselves, with good and bad, with tears and smiles, with new and with old.

I want to tell you about one concrete example, explaining what I mean about challenges.

One year ago I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark. In the hope that everything will be fun and easy, I find out that stepping out of my comfort zone was much harder than I ever wanted to estimate. The first challenge, that of learning Danish language which I thought it should be easy, it ended to be the most difficult one. Deciding to learn Danish language is, first of all, just as deciding to learn two languages in the same time – the written and the spoken one. I struggled a lot at the beginning … maybe also because I was constantly telling myself and others how difficult it is and how impossible it seems to be when I needed to act. It took me a month to start and after starting it took me few weeks to get the basics. I may have had the need for a tutor, a native one, but I stubborn into thinking that I can do it all by myself – as usual. I decided at one point that school would be too slow for me and so I start teaching myself the advanced part of the Danish language, challenging myself each day more and more. H. C. Andersen’s fairytales became my favorite ones and because I found not only the books but also audios, I was listening again and again for many days in a row. In the beginning nothing made sense, I was not able to understand much but I never gave up believing that one day all this will seem very easy … and indeed that day came, though after about two other months. I start to volunteer in centers where Danish was the main communication language, I start discussing with different kind of people on streets and shops, I listen constantly to radio and watched news on TV, I got involved in so many activities as possible in order to improve the language that, at the end of about six months I could handle quite well. I was and still am proud of my successes in this area; the kind of challenge that seems impossible became possible, only that it took some time. The time is not ended and I still have to improve a lot, but I did it. I believe, life teaches us how to face problems and challenges in a kind and easy manner but we seem to struggle believing that, and we sometimes make out of our experience a negative and hard one.

This was and still is, for example, the kind of challenge I had to face when decisions about moving here seemed to be reasonable. (I will talk about other challenges in the next article)

My next article will relate to the following question:

Why do we tend to spend so much time judging and criticizing others? Why are not we spending the same amount of time improving ourselves / our own life? Is it because most of those who spend time on criticizing others life have nothing interesting to say about their own? Then why not develop the interest in finding the best that lies in us. In this way we enrich our life and let others enrich their own. This can be viewed as a life lesson, but why is it than so hard to apply this lesson to our own experiences?

I will relate this question to my own life experience and a new challenge, but in the upcoming article.

If you would like to read about specific kind of examples I have linked in this article, I will appreciate your comment. And so I will introduce your question to my article where I will post a concrete example of the kind of experience you want to read about.

Thank you for reading this article. Enjoy life!