How to embrace change

…Or how to be your own change manager.

Change has become the new constant. This is what we hear EVERYWHERE. It is in the way we build relationships and the way we work, spend our time or shop. It is the thing in life you may be certain of will come.

The environment of constant change should make us used to it. We should easily accept it feeling the usual comfort of daily life. Yet that is not the case for many. Not the reality for sure, if it hits you unexpectedly, forcing in the direction you would not self-pick for the future.

Yet, you need to go on.

So how to make it a digestible turned into nice experience?

As I have recently gone through a big change (yes unexpected (kind of) and yes, the one I would not be able to imagine for myself before), I am here to share my path that has  led me to a state of embracing it, the state of releasing the past and the state of getting to appreciate it.

My former trainings, studying and executing of change have been a solid grounding for the process. Albeit, there have been many soft, unconventional inner factors and practices that have had same importance.

Fact. It is very different making the change happen and being the object of change. Still, knowing the theory behind supports the process in both cases.

Theory behind the process of change

There are hundreds of studies covering life cycle of change. Common denominators relate to a tough beginning and elevated end of it.  Knowing that concept brings comfort from the beginning. You get to learn that although it does not feel good when it starts, one day it will. Psychologically proven.

So why it does not feel good right from the beginning? That is actually the case even for the change that is received as positive and as anticipated.

It is because of fear. The fear of unknown and the fear of the process of transformation itself.

As for the unknown, we all tend to prefer the situation when we know the outcome. I am sure you said it at least once in your life: “it’s better to know than not to know”. The reference here is not made to a specific academic knowledge of course but simply to our human existence and life in general.

Speaking about the transformation, we fear it because it is a period of intensified effort, learning new things and changing patterns. It is stressful and it is uncomfortable. But. Being a period, this “state” is temporary. A HA !

Here is how the change cycle looks like

Shock – first step when you hear “the news”, feels very uncomfortable or at least uncertain about the future. Does is sound familiar? Yes, it is fear that starts to kick in;

Rejection – state of total nonacceptance of the situation; you can have thoughts like: “This can not be true”, “Why that happens to me”, “There must be a way out”, “This is stupid, makes no sense” and so on;

Depression – state of awareness that what has happened is a fact, state of sadness and nostalgia about the past. It is also continuing uncertainty about the future;

Acceptance – breakthrough number one.

Creation and building the new in new environment. This is a breakthrough moment in motion. Now you switch from an object of the change into making the change happen. That gives relief. In that phase, one should see the purpose of the new and gain fulfillment from it.

Comfortable state, status quo of day-to-day or so-called business as usual – phase of unpredictable length before entering next change. Because, yes, next change is to come sooner or later.

The practical side

As every theory, this one is also a base. Important but again just a theory. Life proves that practice tends to be more complicated. We need more tools. We need more support to make it work.

What else can we do (in this case what did I do) to feel better and turn the new life circumstances into success the and most importantly the way to grow.

Acknowledge that, as the change was something you would not choose yourself, it has actually happened FOR YOU, not TO YOU.

You would not otherwise take the steps that are essential for your future self

Say it out loud. This change is here FOR ME. Thank you!

This may be extremely tough in the beginning. Still this shift in perspective has enormous power. I encourage you to at least try it for few minutes a day and you will FEEL the difference. Think following. It happened for me. It is for my good.

The good may have a form of development, getting to know new people (for future purpose), getting to see new places, getting to know the real you and your capabilities, maybe realizing it is time to make shift in life and finally focus on a different thing. Certainly, it is getting to grow. Pick what best speaks to you.

Change is about accepting that whatever happens is for your highest good.

Believe that everything happens in the right moment. The life is unfolding, as it should. If you have some desire for your future reality that is distant, perhaps that needs many correcting factors on the way there. Remember, obstacle is just detour in the right direction. You will only connect the dots by looking backwards as Steve Jobs once said.

Your beliefs are the only thing that will get you through the change. If you believe, that whatever the change is, you can handle it, you will. As a result the experience will expand you.

Stop resisting the change because the change is typically an upgrade.

Put your ego aside. This is a tough one. I see many of you nodding -yeah right. We are raised in a peer-to-peer, judgmental and consumption driven environment. The things we have reflect our status. If they are taken away, we feel lost, vulnerable or unworthy.

Still, ego, is the worst advisor of all and the cause of unnecessary conflicts we have with others and within ourselves.

Last but not least, Meditate

Finding the time to sit in silence, breath and perhaps get to know some meditation practices will stimulate your brain to see a bigger picture and focus on the expected and desired future.

Meditation gains regularly more followers as it boosts our creativity and lowers stress level. Perhaps for that reason it is broadly spoken of and used by many successful executives.

Last but not least, change tends to be painful. Still the pain means that we are outgrowing ourselves to get on the new level of excellence. Where we need to be.

gratefulness

Gratefulness and the Why and How of it all

Gratefulness is the simplest thing to make you feel happy now.

The WHY.

Neuroscience, as writes Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book, has proven that we can change our brains, and therefore our behaviors, attitudes and beliefs, just by thinking differently.

Thought comes always first and shapes our perception and our reality.

Say, there is a rainy day. What is your thought? It can be neutral, accepting the occurrence as a simple act of nature. It can be positive, associated with plans for the day or appreciation of the nature. The thought can also be crap. And so will be our mood and the instant reality.

I am sure you already understand where I am heading. There are millions of examples like above in our life, related to our family, job, finance and so on.

We have tendency to worry which becomes our unconscious habit. Some of us worry even for the sake of having some worry. Ironically that gives us comfort. Without having some fears or doubts, we feel anxious that something surely will go wrong. We eventually end up controlling our field of worries, which in itself is an illusion.

Now when you think of that, how strange if not silly it is. Really.

Habits, especially those unconscious are very hard to change. First, we have to become aware of them.

Gratefulness and gratitude is therefore the first step to unlearn our brain the habit of feeling bad and anxious.

The HOW.

I do it at least once a week. Still, the more often I do it, the better I feel. If you have never done it, just try simple things. Appreciate your closest environment, your friends, job, and health.

It could be something like

  • I am grateful for my comfortable bed and the nice sheets I sleep in;
  • I am grateful for being healthy;
  • I am grateful for the coffee I am drinking;
  • I am grateful for the book I am reading which gives me joy and new knowledge;
  • I am grateful for my loving friends;
  • I am grateful for the day ahead that gives me new wonderful possibilities;

And so on. You can spend few minutes on a free writing and see where it leads you. Once you start, it gets easier. Elevated mood at the end of the exercise is a guarantee.

Gratitude gives one more advantage next to changing the habit of feeling bad.

It helps focus on what we already have and what we love, to create more of it.

When we focus on what we don’t have or don’t like, we attract more of that.

That is something to keep in mind.

Happy New Year!

Energy is everything

Energy is everything.  According to physicists, energy is also everywhere. It forms our environment and our body and cells. It constantly moves and flows and thus energizes and gives us power.

Looking from a different perspective, every object, including a person has certain energy, which is either attracting or pushes us away. I am sure you have encountered people that you are drawn to, that have that appealing energy, and those whom you don’t feel comfortable with.

Have you also noticed that your own energy does not only attract other people with similar energy but also circumstances and events in your life?

Why should we protect the energy level ?

High energy level boosts action, creativity and positive vibe. Everything is possible. The life around is more accessible, more at ease.

The output you put forward creating from that positive feeling, will reflect in your work as well, attracting people and circumstances your direction.

Think of the last time you felt highly vibrant. Maybe you spoke at ease to your friends or to strangers, the tasks at work were all somehow easy to handle and the errands you had to run went smooth. You had a great day.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep that level of energy? What if this is possible?

Downsizes of low vibe.

On the other side, when you are in your low energy, you are less immune to negativity. Things simply get on your nerves and you easily become irritated by little things not to mention those with bigger weight.

Low energy makes you tired and powerless. You do not feel like doing something. Things that are on your table seem complicated and take a lot of effort. Therefore, the expectation towards results starts to drop and is fear based.

If you try to create from a feeling of low energy, the content you create reflects this energy level as well.

Who wants that? Certainly not me. Luckily, we all can affect our energy and make it joyful and vibrant.

If you want to show up to the world as a person you want to be,  get familiar with importance of the energy and how to manage it.

Secondly, if you drive to have control over all the outcomes in your life, focus on controlling the energy instead. I am myself the “been there, done that” case. Now learning to release and allow more flow into my life.

Here are the two basic, beginner level tools that you can use to work around your energy level.

The first one is gratitude.

Buy yourself a nice journal or simply take a piece of paper and put down each day what you are grateful for. We tend to take all the good things for granted and focus only on those we lack. Change the perception. Focus on what you already have to attract more of the good stuff into your life.

By doing this simple exercise, you will feel good about your past, happy about your present and positive about the future.

I have just come across Dave Meltzer free app, that offers 30 day practice to say “thank you” as an act of gratitude. Great solution if we need additional stimulus. You might also google this gentleman. Great motivation.

The second one is the “conscious steering list”.

That simply is a list of things that make you feel good and a list of things that drag you down. You do not really have to put it down, however it is recommended to at least have it in mind. I actually physically wrote it for the sake of this post.

  • lit candles which create this soft vibe around home
  • catching up with friends
  • listening to podcasts
  • inspiring discussions
  • exercising
  • meditating
  • home décor
  • cooking

I have a lot of to pick from to bounce back and the list may go on and on

  • TV news around politics these days
  • Gossiping and judging people
  • Rudeness

I  consciously choose to avoid things and situation that are poisoning. And you can do it too.

Last, but not least, no one is perfect. Doing above exercises will not save you from a lousy day. For sure though you will learn that it is only you, nobody else, that is responsible for how you feel.

And most importantly you have the power to make the shift.

The three benefits of meditation

The experience I got through meditation has so many benefits I thought it would be unfair to keep it to myself. In a need to give I spread it further. I would encourage everyone who feels any kind of anxiety, sadness, lack of motivation or happiness to try this powerful thing.

Actually the fact that it has already been used since the ancient times and is present nowadays among different profound business people , surprises me in a way it’s not as common as eating.

After practicing it for last months I am able to define measurable benefits meditation gives me.

I actually experience three main boosts. Strength, Serenity and Believe (Faith)

Strength

There are many things in our daily life that require certain amount of guts. Accumulation of power and certainty that we reach desired outcome is valid ingredient to achieving success or simply a happy and fulfilled life.

We encounter daily various obstacles blocking us from going forward. What will others say?  Am I worth it? Or am I good enough?

We often tend to project future in an unhelpful way dragging us down rather then elevating. This is our imagination playing with us and holding us back from joy. Yes, the joy. Sometimes we even use this “trick” on purpose to feel safe as in a way protecting our ego from a bed outcome experience. That however has no positive influence on our development. Fear based emotions will not lead to creativity and success.

Meditation learns techniques that support self-confidence system. Thanks to that we feel empowered to do things we would normally not feel comfortable to do. For sure you have experienced in your life a situation when you deep down wanted to do something, something that kept you up at night or something that you felt simply brilliant. Still, above obstacles, the limiting believes came on board and discouraged you.

Result. No progress, no dream come true to say the least.

 

Serenity

It is everybody’s dream to lay down peacefully in the evening without worrying about the future or errands that one needs to run the next day, week or whenever. Basis for that calm is the trained and nourished believe that everything is OK. You may ask how the hell you can say it’s OK if you have this and that problem on your shoulder.

Tricky thing is that meditation calms our nerve system and regulates cortisol, the stress hormone. Thanks to that we are able to think brighter and take balanced decisions. What is same important, we can appreciate current moment and how much we have right now. The recipe for serenity is the gratitude.

How often are you with yourself “right now” appreciating what you have or simply acknowledging your presence?

Another practice that improves the well-being of our mind and of our body is to choose peace. What I mean by that is that you can always choose how you want to feel.

It’s about conscious decision. It is not always easy. Sometimes it is actually pretty hard. However, having in mind the stress effect and how destructive it is to our mental and physical health, it is worth to be more of a peace maker.

For sure you have stuck in a traffic one day when you were quite hurry somewhere. What was your reaction? Biting a steering wheel so to say and yelling in the air may be the easiest and quickest reaction. Still for sure it will not make you feel any better. You will arrive on a very low energy level, hating everything and everyone around you. Moving down the spiral of negativity.

The solution is to think that you are going slowly in that car for some reason. Say to avoid an accident or meet someone you was to meet. It may be, there will be no special reason behind but still also our being late will have zero negative effect. On the contrary, the  positive effect will be our saved good mood and the mood of the others around you. Create more positive energy around you and it will pay you off.

If you are not much into meditation yet, practice just that and you will be surprised how much good it brings. It is good to feel good.

 

Faith

One of the most curing believes meditation offers, is that everything unfolds in the right order and in the right time. That believe limits resentment over the things that didn’t happen or things that went “wrong”.

As an example this one day in a company I used to work for, I was told to move to a different department. I was devastated hearing the news. I literally cried. I really hated the idea having already in my mind a different path for my future.

Still the universe had a totally different plan for me. A plan beyond my imagination.  Accepting the new direction led me just after few years to a top position in a company that was about to be established.

Of course at that time I didn’t have a clue about meditation. Neither was I able to surrender to the universe. It takes some practice, it takes a lot of believe. However once you do it, you feel great.

Feeling good is the greatest gift to yourself and, citing Gabriele Bernstein, feeling good is the greatest contribution you can give to the world.

 

meditation

Meditation. My new practice for the New Year.

If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that one of my desires for the passing year was to explore the topic of meditation. Up to some time ago, I have heard many positives about it. Yet the area seemed either strange or distant. I was sceptic associating it more with a trend for some crazy yogis.

Luckily, I came across people and sources that helped me start with it. And I am more than grateful I had a chance to start to know the practice.

As I see many benefits, I decided to share them with you to possibly encourage you to try it as well.

We care more nowadays, about what we put in our mouth and body. Why not care more about what we put in our mind.

Here are the five main reasons I love about meditation.

I can feel happy more often and easier. Most of all I learnt that it is my choice to feel either frustrated or accept the situation believing that it is there to happen for a good reason. Imagine, you get stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work. I am sure you have experienced that. Either you have a choice to go nuts by the fact or you can accept that. It may sound irrational or undoable but think of the benefits. Your day forward may be dull or it may be bright, normal.  Make that exercise and see what happens next. Taking a different road or going slower for a while may have interesting results. You may meet someone you wanted to see. Your favorite song may be on the radio. You may even avoid an accident or simply but still good, there is no negative result of you actually being late… The idea of a reason behind every sh*t is in fact curing.

Helps overcome issues and obstacles by reducing stress. Meditation activates relaxation response. By doing so, it reduces your blood pressure and pulse rate. Your breath is slower and deeper. Finally, your mood is enhanced.

It works and it is good to feel good.

Other than that, I do not have to explain the positives of reduced stress because you all well know them. The undeniably good effect on health.

Gives support at public speaking. Meditation has calming effect and makes you more focused and connected to yourself. It is complicated to explain. However if you would look for a reason to start meditating and speaking to an audience evokes your anxiety you should definitely try it.

Helps me attract what I want. Meditation shifts the energy from what is negative into positive. It helps focus on things that I do have instead of the opposite. By doing so, I am grateful for all I have and can attract more positive energy to come. Do not get freaked out by this. Just try and you will love it. Positive energy eliminates fear and judgement. Thus, we are more willing to do things we want, fearless.

Makes me look younger. As I started the meditation practice, I very often hear from my friends I look fresh and rested. Seems like the reduced stress overall has impact on the face muscles as well. Hurray. The argument works for me just fine. Still there is really something to the slower ageing effect that takes place on the cellular level

There are much more benefits which you can explore. However those are the basic ones that for me are already enough to keep continuing.

Those needing more profound encouragement can reach out to articles published by Forbes  or BusinessInsider.

Meditation will definitely be my number one practice for 2018

leader

Things you should know about leadership

Leadership is not simply about having the power to take the decision. It is about having the power to make the decision happen. To influence the decision on one side. On the other side to support people, it would not have been possible without. The followers.

To put it differently, leadership may be associated with management and it is good when a manager is a leader. However, good developing organizations foster leadership behavior on lower employee level as well.

The more people feel empowered to raise their ideas, the more agile and change adaptable a company is.

No matter which level, the top or the middle, being a leader is a skill you may develop.

If you have ever wondered whether you have leadership ability or if you want to check what is essential to get it, here are the key characteristics a leader must have?

 

Authenticity

Along your career or life, it may be complicated to get that comfort within yourself to get to understand and accept who you really are.

Then on top goes the ability and comfort to show that “real you” to people around you. Even more to people in your working environment.

We are surrounded by too many believes and perspectives of how a leader should look like and behave. That affects our own imagination and action. Judgment simply blocks us.

Being real is however, what attracts people. Some will not like what they see. Still that is not that important. Leader is not to be likeable but needs to be trust worthy.

 

Empathy

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

This quote by Theodore Roosevelt is the essence of empathy. This is actually a critical skill for a leader.

Why is that? Without empathy, there is no trust. Without trust, there is no real unity and no aiming at one goal.

Empathy has very much to do with listening and pursuing the context. A leader has to understand his or her coworkers’ perception and respect them. People around are the most valuable asset.

I recommend to read this article which describes empathy in a very clear way.

 

Passion

To me passion goes hand in hand with authenticity. When we are passionate about something, our ability to get attention, get heard and finally get followed goes up. Passion boosts communication of vision. You can tell the difference when a leader says “I want you to believe in that” vs “I believe in that”.

Let us not mix passion with an attitude of an ever-over active person jumping on every topic. Some of the best leaders are calm with even sometimes slightly withdrawn attitude.

To me for example, passion is the desire to serve others and to do the best work one can do. An expression I once read and that mostly corresponds to my leadership style.

 

A leader should represent so many other traits, like good communication skills, creativity, courage, decisiveness and open mind or transparency.

However, when you start to evaluate those it all goes down to these three mentioned.

 

 

 

 

 

bitcoins

10 Things to know about Bitcoins

You must have come across the word. Bitcoins. Mysteriously sounding expression, still in its sounding connected to coins. That is some sort of money. That is some sort of currency.  Correct!

As bitcoins became this year a super hot topic across financial markets and not only, you should probably get at least some basic insight in what those forex specialist talk about.

Here is a short, lightly written list of things one should know about bitcoins.

 

  • It is less than 10 years old.

In 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the concept of cryptocurrency to the world. As such bitcoins started to be operated in relatively low number of annual transactions. In 2009 there were less than 10 thousand transactions worldwide. Now the number exceeds 10 million.

  • Bitcoins are not governed nor managed by third party.

This is typical for the “normal” kind of currency we deal with daily. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency where transaction is only between the two parties involved without the administrator such as a bank or a visa or paypall system, etc. All transactions are recorded on a public ledger in the internet that is called a blockchain.

  • Bitcoins as currency is real but virtual or actually digital.

You could argue that all other currencies are nowadays digital as well. Money being transferred electronically between bank accounts less and less have a form of a paper. Thus, the range of cashless transactions increases every year.

Bitcoins have no physical form and they only exist electronically, however you can make real transactions;

  • Places that accept Bitcoins as means of payment;

The growing popularity of this cryptocurrency reflects the growth of places accepting it as legitimate payment. Among are travel agencies, online shops and services. Just to name few, we have Bloomberg, LOT Polish Airlines and Virgin Galactic, naturally, on the list. For more please refer to this page.

  • Bitcoin value is listed and monitored like all other usual currencies;

The value of one bitcoin has gone up significantly over last months. Few years ago its peak was noted in 2013 when the value hit USD 1200. This level was also recorded beginning of 2017. However than suddenly its value spiraled up to almost USD 5000.

That is a rise by over 400 percent.

 Five year bitcoin value - source www.xe.com

The return on investment seems very tempting and that is a reason financial world is giving so much attention to bitcoins nowadays. Still, as such situation brings risk of speculations, it is not recommended to use this currency as a long investment.

  • Where to buy bitcoins?

There is plenty of places where you can buy bitcoins. Check the spots in your local area if you are interested. It is quite amazing seeing the variety of available places.

Other, old school way to get bitcoin is to mine them. This way has lost on popularity due to its complexity or in other words the need to have some technical or coding skills. Although some claim that is not crucial. For mining, you also have to invest in special software first. And there is also a range of different available software offering different scope of profitability.

  • You can transfer money using bitcoins.

You can also exchange it for USD, EUR, GBP or any other physical currency.

The online exchanges offer the transfer to your bank account. And for exchange itself, you can use for example Bitsane.

  • Bitcoin is not anonymous

All transactions are recorded online on the blockchain. That is for the sake of transaction security and record. They are permanent and can not be hidden. Your login is visible as well as the balance of the transaction. Nevertheless, the real identity of the user is kept behind the nickname. It is only revealed during a purchase to the other party or in other circumstances requiring it.

  • Where are bitcoins kept?

Bitcoin is stored in online wallets. These wallets come with bitcoin addresses, which represent a destination, similar to an email address. If the wallet is lost, the money in it is gone. Therefore it is extremely important to pay extra attention to the security of your bitcoin wallet.

  • Is using bitcoins safe?

Yes and no. Yes, because all transactions are transparent and recorded. Over the years bitcoins became acceptable as a payment and a transfer financial tool.

No, because its spectacular rise in value brings high risk of financial bubble. It is extremely risky to invest long term in bitcoins.

Another risk factor is that if you lose your wallet, it is gone forever. The same happens if someone steals your bitcoins by hacking into your wallet. That suggests, you should first assure the safety of your funds.

 

to live a less stressful life

How do I live a less stressful life

To live a less stressful life has been my goal for some time.

I do not want to change my job. I do not want to disregard daily headlines delivered by media, often full of hate and nonsense. I want to be up to date.

In general, I want to stay active in all areas of my life, enjoying my professional and family time. I just want to counter the tension effect.

Why?

Avoiding stress is single most important key to longevity. We all know this answer. Yet, we rarely do something about it, thinking there is no way to get away with stress.

This is also true. Stress is everywhere. We encounter it while facing challenging times at work, handling family and friends relationships or managing our finances. It is also present when watching TV or planning our holidays. While some people handle stress better than others, being under constant stress leads to various reactions in our body and mind which are followed by diseases.

Under pressure, it is harder to think rationally or to be creative. We simply lose the will to develop and in worse cases to live.

I do not want that.

That is why I have started to explore and use following ways to release the tension.

Exercise

Physical activity produces endorphins. For this reason, exercise does not only good for the body but benefits also the mind. It distracts from the problems or challenges currently on your shoulders and switch your focus to the activity. Personally, I am very much into Pilates. I have also taken up the running challenge that for me in addition is the inner fight with my weakness.

Get creative

Again. Distract your mind from the stress. There are so many things to choose. Writing (like a post), cooking, interior design, singing, DIY craft, doodling.

Over the years with more responsibility as we grow, we tend to forget about hobbies. Excuse is the lack of time.

Now, realizing that is actually very important for our mental health, get back to one or quickly develop something new.

Meditate

For me this one is totally new. I am an eager freshman learning the craft.  I am open to this having heard so many positive things meditation can bring to our lives. Let’s see where it takes me.

Breath

Let the oxygen circulate in your body. Deep and conscious breathing is a rescue at a single stressful event but also helps prevent chronic stress on regular basis. Exhale bad emotions, inhale the good ones.

Eat well

Well does not mean rich or fat. Stress increases level of anxiety hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Look therefore for food with calming effects and those regulating levels of the hormones. Unfortunately, these are not hamburgers or apple pie. Good enough beef and oysters do extremely well as they are rich in zinc.

Zinc regulates the level of a nerve chemical influencing mood thus its insufficient daily dose leads to anxieties and signs of depression.

As another example, spinach leafs contain folate, producing dopamine that is a pleasure boosting brain chemical.

Other ingredients to mix regularly in meals are avocado and asparagus, both rich resource of folate as well on top full of Vitamin E and B.

Do not forget about antioxidants and Vitamin C and reach out for berries and red pepper. Strong doses of Vitamin C reduce cortisol level.

 

Good news is that moderate amount of stress has some benefits. The adrenaline we experience triggers the motivation to act. Doses of so called good stress boost effectiveness of performances and sharpens our mind when needed.

less stress

procrastination

Should we feel bad about procrastination?

I have been putting writing this article off for quite some time. I really wanted to do it.  But somehow there were different things that came out always more interesting or more important.

Do you know that feeling? Have you ever worried that procrastination is slowing you down or felt anyhow differently bad about it?

Reading, hearing about the importance of planning to push things forward but also implementing that in my life I have always felt a bit worried or stressed about putting certain things off.

I can admit I have a problem with how to embrace procrastination.

Should I have guilty conscience, which I do most of the time? Should I give myself excuses to feel better? Or is it just natural state of things for all of us and thus should be accepted?

In order not to base purely on my gut feeling I made a little study to find out what psychologists and specialists in the field think of it.

Is it really bad or is it actually good?

Is it something that holds you back from achieving your goals, doing your tasks. Or is it something that helps you prioritize, think things through and finally better manage your time.

I guess the best answer to that is – it depends.

 

It is good if kept under control…

It helps getting a different perspective. We mostly work, work, work and rush through the days. Procrastination can be very beneficial. To stop, clear mind and enjoy the moment.

From conclusion that procrastination is easy some of us can actually argue it is challenging to stop and simply not “chase the rabbit”.  Some, on the contrary, tend to procrastinate relaxation.

 

Procrastination can albeit be also destructive, in particular when it becomes a habit.

As it is said, you cannot experience a fulfillment in your life, sitting on a sofa and doing nothing all the time. Unless this is your ultimate goal which I doubt.  Even the Law of Attraction needs action for things to go the desired way. Nothing will happen by itself.

 

Procrastinating

 

As with anything in life, it seems that finding the right balance is important.

 

Since you are reading this, you are probably an ambitious person worried a bit about your occasional laziness, looking around for acknowledgment this is a natural human thing.

You are also looking for ways to improve, at least slightly, in that area. Sometimes pure awareness of the reality helps us sort out problems.

First of all it turns out procrastination can help us be more productive if managed. Frank Partnoy interviewed a number of senior executives that resulted in interesting findings he describes in a book “Wait – the art and science of delay” .

Top decision makers manage delay, meaning they do not take the decision until the very last moment, they do not answer emails up until it is ultimately necessary, they do not react spontaneously.

Same patterns were found among most successful professional athletes or in military. That saves time for things that need action. It also helps finding the best solution, idea or strategy.

Following that path, we can make a thesis that managed procrastination should be the core base of action.

But what if above awareness still does not help and the whole delay management ideology slips through your fingers anyway?

Following tricks can help.

Joy and reward impact – as we tend to put off things that we don’t like, it would help to have some inbuilt self-reward system. For example, if I iron all the washed shirts I will have more time in the morning. This one is tricky. I should not say – if I iron all the shirts, I will relax and have a glass of wine. Why? Because I may conclude, I can just easily relax without having anything ironed.

That leads us to the value of things we do.

Value – as analyzed, procrastinating of given tasks happens because of consciously or subconsciously putting value to what we have to do. If we value one thing more over another, the one with bigger value to us wins. If the value is too small, perhaps the thing is not important at all. Yet, it is important to be really mindful of what is on the other side of weight. Perhaps it is bottom line happiness of our spouse, safety of our job or good health

Anxiety and how to deal with that – Anxiety refers not only to fear that we will fail but also to nervousness due to doing something for the first time thus lacking experience. We end up advancing that inconvenient situation to our future selves.

How to overcome that fear? Cut task in pieces, get help, and make the first step.

Cutting bigger task into smaller activities and having the step-by-step approach is actually key to me when playing around more time or task challenging to dos.

Even with this article. I first drafted the idea, then built a skeleton and sequence and only then started to add some meat to it.

It is good to have that confirmation that procrastination can also be a benefit. It saves time for really important things. Some, which we put aside, may in the end lose the relevance.

On the other side, the line between active procrastination and passive is fine. We should watch out not to go on the “dark side of power” ending miserable failing on every desire or plan we have.

Women in Davos

We just had an annual World Economic Forum held in Switzerland, known as the meeting in Davos. It has its history back in early 70’s 20th century. Having gone itself through some transformation it focuses nowadays on topics around the world economy, touching on most current political, social and technological developments. The event gathered this year 3000 participants from 90 countries.

The entry ticket is quite expensive. Both, membership for a company in this non-profit organization and the ticket sum up to two digit thousand US dollar fee. Just to give you an idea why the cost is so high, among the speakers this year was Donald Trump, the newly elected president of America,   the very first   president of China, Xi Jinping and Christine Lagarde, the managing director of International Monetary Fund.

Since 2011 the WEF has the focus on gender parity.  It has introduced since than the gender quota meaning that strategic partners are requested, that for every five executives that are attending the meeting, one of the executives must be a woman.

 

Davos women participation

Davos women participation

Among female leaders attending the conference, there is General Motors CEO, Mary T. Barra, Lloyd’s of London CEO, Inga BelaeWorld Bank CEO, Kristalina Georgieva or CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, Rachel Kyte.

Top organizations and top positions. Still the share of women is far from the 50%,  one of the goal of UN global sustainable development .

It seems that gender representation in Davos reflects the split across leader positions worldwide. I wouldn’t say that is fundamentally wrong.

I am of the opinion that it is not the gender that defines one’s ability to lead or in that case to participate in a conference.

But am I right?

I sometimes come to a conclusion that my opinion is blurred by my early life experience. Raised by a widowed father with an older brother and his male friends I was most of the times very much included rather than excluded from what you call a masculine environment. Although I believe that my childhood had quite an impact on where professionally I am today, I also believe that my gender is not an obstacle.

Still I have also experienced gender bias. Many times.

It’s not that I am complaining about it. It is just a fact.

So in my perception I am stuck somewhere between if you want to achieve something you will do it regardless the gender and…women sometimes have it harder.

The topic of gender equality is deep and I don’t want to dive into it here.

It makes you think of it though when you come across an article like a Davos insight by Katrin Bennhold.

Lifestyle Trends in 2017

Beginning of the year inspires me to take an insght in lifestyle trends and possible ideas of how will our reality shape in the course of following months. Why? Well, partially to gratify the internal curiosity to be up to date which direction the world around us is going and partially also to support my refreshed view on certain things. But yes, also to understand the sometimes unconventional ideas of my friends

After the midnight of the New Year’s Eve, I discussed with some friends how they were going to spend the following year. There were not many specified things but one that was outstanding and repetitive was the idea to enjoy the life more. Spending the time to actually live and appreciate life. Sounds so obvious. I just wonder why we have not had that in mind earlier.

Maybe that is just age but perhaps the focus on better, richer and healthier life is the emerging trend.

Doing a little research, detoxification comes to the surface as one of the strongest trends.

That can actually relate to many areas of life

Lifestyle – escapism

In a meaning of healthy enjoyment, focus on time out for a moment. Be it a month, week or maybe few hours in the evening. It is about having the time to express yourself and calm the daily hectic reality.

We will hear more in media about the importance of gratitude, breathing and meditation. The trend is the answer to increasing stress and ratio of people suffering depression.

Within this trend, we can also find the somehow surprising and untypical ones like suspended adulthood for people escaping the worries of adulating.

Food

The interest in being more careful about what we are putting in our body is gaining on significance. The trend for organic food as part of the healthy lifestyle trend has been growing for some time now. Yet it has not reached its peak. The potential is enormous. It will become more important to consumers influencing foodstuff but also cosmetics business strategies very strongly.

Fashion – Buy Less

Detox in this area is very much about limiting the spending on unnecessary things. It is about the reevaluation of priorities and deciding what has true value. It is also connected to the curve of economic growth of generations.

Generation X (35-50 years old group) is at the moment the group with the highest annual income. Still the rising awareness of possible and unnecessary money waste makes them go rather for good quality things once in a while.

Until recently, this group was spending big on houses, cars, investments etc. that is the commodity groups the millennials are mostly not targeting.

Millennials are interested more in meaningful purchases still having the price high as the selection criteria. Millennials is by far the largest group of future consumers reaching its biggest potential in 2020 and this shapes strategies of marketers already now.

Buy less but thoughtful is the growing trend for all generations, still all the groups will keep different perception of what is thoughtful.

Digital detox

Last but not least, the digital detox that is slowly developing into a movement.

We could see last year some trendsetting in that area coming from the world of celebrities. The fact that Kendall Jenner (Kardashian family) being absent on Instagram for a few days was the news of the day on CNN (!?!) is quite astonishing.

Disconnect to reconnect is seen as the way to regain perspective and reassess the value of technology in our life. I would say it is at least an interesting food for thought.

 

 

 

 

New Year's Inspiration

New Year’s Wishes

Next year has come to an end. So there we are, reflecting, assessing and planning. Yet, this is not a post on New Year’s resolutions that you could expect.

This is the time for me to look back and check if I was successful to achieve some development in areas of my life dearest to me. If I managed to explore more, learn more, experience more and love more.

Being slightly contrary, I’m not going to follow the track of giving you the best advice how you can deal with setting goals for the next year. That you can find here.

Instead, I want to share with you the quotes from one of my favorite books that will inspire you, that will give you courage, consolation or a new perspective.

Whatever you need at the point of life you are cuurrently in.

Purposely, I don’t comment on the chosen statements. Let’s just say I picked those that I found appealing, wise and true.

To me they are as intimate and personal to one another as they are universe.  

You can therefore reflect on it your own way, the way you feel and this is the best way to do it.

Nevertheless, I deeply recommend reading the book and finding out what the author herself was referring to.

The book is “The Woman I Wanted to Be” by Diane Von Furstenberg, my inspiration for this post and one of my inspirations to look up to in life.

 

  • Listen, always listen (…) Sometimes there are doors that will open and you think it is not an important door and yet it is—so it’s very important to be curious and pay attention, because sometimes you learn and you don’t even know you are learning.

 

  • Passion and persistence are what matter. Dreams are achievable and you can make your fantasy come true, but there are no shortcuts. Nothing happens without hard work.

 

  • Fear is not an option.

 

  • You never know how something that seems the worst thing turns out to be the best.

 

  • If one door closes, another will open.

 

  • There is no way to envision life without love (…) Love is a way of feeling alive and respecting life.

 

  • Love is about relationships, yet the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.

 

  • Favorite sutras: Harmony, Integrity, Peace, Abundance, Love, Knowledge, Laughter and Creativity.

 

  • Dare to be you.

DVF

Diane Von Furstenberg

 

With these words, I wish you and myself the motivation, health and strength to make the best out of the New Year.

All the Best! Alina

3D Printing shaping the future lifestyle

Despite its beginning in the 80’s 20th century, 3D printing exists broader in the news for last three to four years. Over this time, scientists and innovators from different fields have been trying it more and more in different industries.

In 2013, McKinsey pointed it as one of the technologies that will transform our lifestyle in the future.

This transformation will have an impact on global economy and therefore the technology is named disruptive.

Now it may feel awkward to accept some (if not most) of the products printed instead of produced the normal way. The normal way may however become the old-fashioned way in the future. Just think of last ten or twenty years and what we see nowadays as a must of existence. Internet, WIFI, mobile technology just to name few. Likely followed by cloud tech, advanced robotics or 3D printing.

Without arguing on the likelihood of scientists’ prediction, let us have a look what we can print in the year 2016.

Fashion Industry

After more or less successful prototype designs made in the workshops of innovators, 3D printing stepped into the world of haute couture.

The use of the new technology in the industry rather traditional in its production techniques is a critical step forward.

 

3d-printed-chanel-suits

3D printed Chanel suits

 

The Costume Institute’s spring 2016 exhibition MANUS x MACHINA held at the MET Gallery in New York presented much more examples of mechanic design vs the manual in the high-end fashion.

 

Interior Design

Very popular in the area of modern interiors, 3D offers possibility to create forms that would be impossible to make using traditional technologies.

 

3d-wood-printed-furniture

3D Wood Printed Furniture

Architects go even further. The ambitious Dutch are using the additive manufacturing technique to build an entire house !

 

Food Industry.

The most questionable of all. When we think of the printed food, we suddenly visualize SF movie scenes. 3D printing so far is used though mostly to craft special design of food to give it a form of an art.

 

sugar-cake-blue-china

Sugar Cake Blue China

 

Still the science fiction movies are not far from reality. NASA sponsored a project donating $125.000 for a company to develop a pizza making printer. The printer is to serve astronauts during their missions on Mars. It was presented this year at the Food Loves Tech and is to enter commercial market in 2017

BeeHex at Food Loves Tech 2016

 

It is hard to assess at this point in time if the 3D Printing technology is just a hype or a real potential. For sure though it brings some advantage to producers. No or less material waste. Lower labor and transport costs with an impact on supply chain. It has also a big advantage in tailored production. An idea can go directly from a computer design to a finished product.

It is still some years to come for a wider consumer usage of this technology but that could speed up as the systems get cheaper and smarter with ongoing attention from research and development units.

public speaking

Public Speaking Tips

Public speaking is considered as being the most stressful thing right after the fear of death. When I learnt that I became both, more stressed about the idea of ever having to speak in public and relaxed as it was some kind of prove I wasn’t the only one finding it stressful.

Over the time I went from an overwhelming fear to perceiving public speaking as a positive challenge opportunity and a way to gain more experience with it.

Public speaking can be speeches given on a special occasion (inauguration, grand opening, jubilee), performance at conferences or the usual town halls given to your employees or work peers.

So far I have experienced the three types and can say they require different kind of focus and preparation.  I can imagine since we are not alike we most likely have a different set of tools that help us with it. But here is what works for me.

 

Have a structure to what you want to say

Structure means a plan and a sequence. In other words put the information you want to share and order it in a way that best suits you or would be the most accessible to your audience.  Planning is always the first step. You know it from other areas of living and working and it also works in case of public speaking. Remember about the opening and the closing. Think of ways how to engage your audience especially when having a longer presentation. Keep in mind that focus of listeners goes down after 15 to 20 minutes max.

 

Prepare and rehearse

For me preparation is the key.

Depending on a type of public performance, you may adjust the preparation accordingly. I usually practice short speeches aloud, testing the sound of my voice and the effect I want to achieve by saying particular things. It is not insane. I mean even Madonna rehearses before performing live.

For longer presentation, at least know a sequence of what you plan to say.

 

Visualize

That will help you getting familiar with what is ahead of you. Imagine the place, the audience. Visualize how you will feel getting on stage, starting your speech and visualize the reaction you will get from the public. At first the visualization itself can put you in a panic mood. And that is good as you can cope with your fear before. I was once taught by a professional speaker to rehearse in front of a set of items that I would visualize to be the audience. It was quite astonishing when I got frozen in front of my daughter’s teddy bears.  Still it made me realize the power of brain and how we see things.

As such visualization is definitely a powerful and helpful technic. Believe that you can do it and believe that it is going to be a success. Even if it will be the success just for yourself.

 

Await it as an excitement

The stage is yours.

It can be tough, however it is helpful if you convert your anxiety in an excitement. Either your brain can activate you to do something or it may block you from doing it. Fear stops you, excitement makes you go.

As Adam Grant puts it, instead of trying hard to relax by saying “I’m calm”, say I’m excited. We can’t switch off anxiety or at least it is a very long process. Instead, it is easier to convert one strong emotion, which is fear, into another one, which is excitement.

 

Breath and smile.

First thing you want to do in front of your audience is smile. It is natural reaction that people will smile back and that already puts you in a calmer zone. Remember to smile as you present as well. It will help you connect to your audience. Watching your breath will provide oxygen and help you relax. Breath in, breath out and you will be fine.

public speaking

 

 

Business Travel Packing

My over 10 year experience in an international company has taught me, among other things, a lot about packing when traveling on business.

The experience of spending a night at the Munich airport in a middle of snowstorm or the occasionally cancelled connecting flights added a new perspective on what can actually be useful on top of the things you plan to have with you at the destination.

I therefore divide my packing list into two separate spheres.

The main luggage destination items and the travel handbag ones.

The registered luggage.

 

Businesswoman traveling

Whether you register your suitcase or not is actually up to you, the length of stay and the comfort you like to have. Nowadays we hear a lot about light packing. It is even in fashion to go light. This is very pragmatic, especially if your stay is up to two nights long, you do not need official outfits and you do not want to waste time waiting at the belt.

For longer stays or the flights with layovers at the airports, I tend to choose the registered option. I do not have to carry the suitcase around during the travel. That gives me comfort to take the things I need without limited quantity and I am prepared to face the fact I am not following the light packing trend.

Whatever the way is, here are the things that I recommend to consider useful.

Think of your schedule.

Plan your outfits for the days. Adjust the style to the dress code for the meetings. For business trips, the style ranges between business, business casual and smart casual. If you need any hint of what that means, go here. Still consider what the common style in your company is or in the company, you go to visit.

It may be that despite the instruction on the agenda for a casual attire, all the attendees will show up wearing business casual.

If the style is not defined and you are not sure it is always better to come slightly overdressed then under. I would target business casual.

Take the “just in case” items.

  • On my list is always a warm cardigan and I am always thankful I took it, be it outdoors or in a cold hotel room in the evening. The air conditioning is sometimes a bit too much 🙂
  • Other extra things are additional blouse and a pair of heels or at least some flats.
  • Do not forget about the hair. Most hotel rooms provide a hairdryer so it is unnecessary to take one with you. What I recommend instead is a styling brush. As they say, you may wear anything unless your hair and shoes are polished. And, in case, a dryer happens not to work, you may use the brush.
  • Sportswear, in case there is a nice gym in your hotel and you are in the mood

 

When on the way…The hand luggage.

 

business light packing

 

As much as it is important to pack for your stay, it is also important to think what you may need getting there.

The things to consider having in your handbag

  • Big shawl – it tends to get cold on board of the plane. It is always nice to have something warm to wrap into. You can ask on board for a blanket. Still I think it is nicer to have something that is yours and in addition may serve you well outside the plane. Imagine a colder wind outside or worse – a sleepover at the airport.
  • Flights and hotel booking confirmations – Do not take your smartphone for granted. Hard copies may sometimes be of need.
  • Spare set of basic essentials – toothbrush and paste, basic make up accessories, underwear, wet and soft tissues, basic medicine. That is actually something you may not make use of every time however when the time comes you will be thankful you used this advice.
  • All the tech essentials – especially the phone charger and headphones if you like to listen to podcast or music.
  • A notebook and things to read in your spare time.

Last but not least. Create one perfect list for your business trips and then reach out to it every time you need it. It will save some time and stress for the future.

 

 

giving feedback

The Art of Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is an inevitable form of communication. Right? That’s actually a question whether or not and when to use it.

Some cultures are more feedback driven than others. Taken the western style it’s expected that superior provides feedback on often basis especially on the performance shortcomings.

In eastern cultures people tend to avoid it seeing as totally uncomfortable and unnecessary way of communication and focusing on giving instructions instead.

As much as it raises contradicting emotions it is important tool for managers to assure company’s strategies and culture are followed.

Yet one should be cautious since only effective feedback done with the proper intentions can lead to expected improvement. The feedback conducted in the wrong way can either cause downfall in productivity or be simply ineffective in the best case.

There is many good guidance for giving feedback. Still the most important output of reading it all is  focusing on the goal we want to achieve thanks to it.

Starting the conversation with simple let me give you some feedback may set the tone for the discussion going forward. I think though every approach needs to be adjusted to the situation, its impact on the company and the aim we want to reach.

Therefore instead of following a pattern simply consider following.

The relevance – and if it makes sense to give feedback at all. According to HBR if given behavior or an error has overall a minor effect on the work environment, company’s profit or any other valid work frame you might think of then it’s sometimes better to let it go rather than cause employee’s overall frustration.

Before giving feedback consider if you can offer constructive proposal for corrective action.

If you can’t that is not a feedback but a communication ruining your relationship with an employee.

Based on that decide whether or not to start the conversation.

The tone and atmosphere – the feedback may sometimes regard issues that are uncomfortable and awkward to be raised because of the given case or because of a relationship you have with the other person. Here again the intention of the conversation sets the tone for it and ultimately has an impact on the outcome.

Nevertheless, regardless how calm or friendly you are you will always face defense in a way of rejection, blaming somebody else or accusation of offending.

And that’s normal. And that’s OK.

The place – from psychological point of view address a corrective feedback in an isolated area where you can discuss it face to face. On the other hand reserve open spaces among other employees for the positive expression.

The time – It’s said the sooner the better. I say, it depends. If we want to react to certain behavior that took place during the meeting than it’s best to do it right after. There are though situation where the conversation may take place at other time like when commuting together to work or having lunch together. Some things may be put off to an annual evaluation.

The time also refers to how much of it you devote to the feedback itself. I like the advice from Shari Harley, the founder and President of Candid Culture, a company specializing in creating better business relationships. She recommends the feedback to last no longer than 2 minutes. In reality no one wants to discuss his or hers flaws for 20 minutes. It gets humiliating and doesn’t lead to the aimed improvement.

The precision – the feedback has to be specific and related to given situation, behavior, etc. If it can’t be specific it’s not a feedback. It’s not effective to tell someone to be more organized without adding any specifics. Same for telling they are doing great. They will just feel confused or feel good (which is good of course) but without any reflection for the future.

So if you want to achieve something by giving feedback and this is the purpose for any feedback than you have to be precise.

Happy practicing…

 

enjoy vacation

How to really enjoy your vacation

Vacation booked and longed for. Still once you’re there ready to relax you suddenly realize you’re actually not resting. Sounds familiar? That probably means you have a lot on your head on the daily. So what to do to enjoy your holiday and make use of what you have waited for?

This is something I’ve been struggling with a lot myself. Even being aware of all the side effects of not having a rest for a longer time I still couldn’t stop keeping my head busy. Step by step I created a plan how to be successful in the area of holiday. Sounds crazy, I know. Despite that I guess building a plan is actually a good exercise for all the plan following junkies

Some of you have a job out there which is hard to let go off for a few days. Well, I took that into consideration. It’s not about throwing your laptop and smartphone out of a window. An advice given often by work life balance promoters. I can imagine you would probably not stand that and end up with anxiety not letting you relax in the end.

Elba vacation

The key is to build your day around holiday theme and as much as possible in the holiday mood.

  • Set time slots for yourself to check your mailbox if you have to. Of course you may totally skip that one if it doesn’t have any reference to your reality. That’s great. If it does however it’s best to set a time for it. It can be early in the morning before the day starts for the rest of your holiday companions or in the evening. Choose what works for you. Do what you have to do and then switch off. That will help you relax when being busy with summer unplugged activities.

 

  • Plan those activities. For my last holiday I planned to wake up shortly after 5 am just to see the sunrise over the bay full of mooring yachts. I guess I could have pretty well slept until 11 instead. The only difference is I wouldn’t have a great memory from my summer break.

mooring yachts vacation

mooring yachts Tuscany

  • Arrange for trips you wanted to do. Thanks to that your mind will be busy organizing as it is used to but the job so to speak will be less stressful than it usually is. There are many advantages of it. First, as per Wall Street Journall, scientists say planning vacation and activities around it has a relaxing effect on our brain. That planning has actually the positive effect already before the holiday as we anticipate the good experiences to happen.

 

  • Engage with family and friends. Organize joint dinners and have some good laugh. It very much depends whether you recharge your batteries with people or alone. Still vacation gives you the time to socialize with others which is good to make use of.

 

  • Follow up with the books you wanted to read or movies you wanted to watch and be focused to have that ticked off by the end of your holiday

 

  • Practice mindfulness. That can be challenging. We find ourselves thinking about our past or planning our future without really experiencing the present. Don’t you have that when finally experiencing something you have waited for so long you are actually not fully mindfull to cherish it? Being here and now is what make us celebrate our life.

 

So, do I use my holiday to the fullest? Well in whole fairness I’m still working on that but I’m getting there. The motivation is to be more creative and productive after the break. The additional advantage of having a rest is friends tell you look better…

life decisions

Holiday Inspirations. Start something additional.

This one isn’t about to motivate you to start something new in a sense of changing your life. It’s about taking on something in addition that will enrich your life.

Holiday is the time of the year when our mind gets a bit more relaxation from daily duties. The thoughts are not around the hustle and errands.

For me holiday is typically thinking about my life and how I could explore it better to have it fuller and richer.

It’s the best moment for our mind to sense and grasp new inspirations.

Here are some good examples of the women having done this and experiencing fulfillment in areas not straight forwardly connected with their base profession.

I can almost hear you saying – yeah right, I don’t have the money or I don’t have the connections.

It can be truth. Yet you don’t have to start a new empire. You can start something small that will give you this extra sparkle of excitement.

Anyhow here are just examples of some of my favorite Hollywood stars whom I bow to in respect to their new accomplishments. Good job ladies!

Jessica Alba

In 2008 year Jessica started building a cosmetic empire. After few years of strugling with the idea she couldn’t stop thinking of, she found her business partners and launched the company with 17 products. That was in 2011. You may have noticed Jessica has this little craze over names starting with “H”. It must have started from her big role in “Honey”, she named her daughters Honor and Haven and rounded it up with her company name – Honest. The Honest Company’s mission is to provide families with non-toxic household products from house cleaning products, through skin soaps to diapers and tampons. The worth $ 1.7 billion empire has been expanded by Honest Beauty Company selling skin care and make up products.

 

Drew Barrymore

Her passion for wines turned into business she nurtures and promotes intensively throughout the USA. The adventure first started in 2011 in Italy but then moved to a place closer home.

drew barrymore wine

In 2013 she started collaboration with California based wine maker Carmel Road. The outcome of the collaboration are two wines so far.

The Barrymore Pinot Grigio and The Barrymore Rose of Pinot Noir.

 

Of course wines are not the only thing Drew is busy with apart from her acting career and daughters. She is also a writer, a film producer and has her own cosmetic line as well.

Cameron Diaz

One of the most successful actress of 90’s and a former model came up with a brilliant idea to convert her deep interest in a healthy lifestyle into a business.

She first started in 2013 with her book praising the healthy nutrition, strong body and positive mind. The “Body Book” became a number one New York Times bestseller. Then in May this year (2016) she launched the next book called “The Longevity Book” in which she describes the art and science of growing older. With the two books Cameron created a culture of strong women knowing their worth and accepting the process of aging.

Reading the books you can really sense how strongly involved Cameron is in the topic. Expert knowledge which she gathered for the books topped with her personal anecdotes makes it a good read for lazy Sundays.

The authenticity in her case, like in the above examples, is the key to success.

I admire people who have the guts and the motivation to do things beyond their normal (one would think) routine.
I guess that is something that has called me eventually to start this site. And my motivation is to share the inspiration.
Have a wonderful holiday!

Keep your brain fit

Brain is no doubt our most important muscle. Keeping it fit enhances its ability to function at its best. If we may care about and train our body to be healthier, more flexible, energized, faster…why not do the same for our brain. In addition to the advantages gained for today we will be thankful in the future since as scientifically proven fit brain diminishes risk of dementia and related diseases.

Here’s the “Vitamin E” to maintain the youth of your brain.

 

Eliminate dehydration

Brain is an organic machine and thus needs water. Very simple yet still very much neglected by many. Imagine that brain consist in 70% of water which evaporates all the time during the 24 hours of a day. Water gives the brain critical energy to function properly including wit and memory process. Brain cells need two times more energy than other cells in the body and water provides this energy in the most effective way. Lack of water hinders the focus and sharpness of your brain. It also leads to anger, depression and other risks. In other words water is not only to make your body look better but most of all it’s precious for your brain. Implement this 1.5 l routine a day you have heard about many times but didn’t feel like doing it.

 

Exhale and start the day with a deep inhale

Open a window after you wake up to breathe some fresh air. In first minutes avoid the screens like inbox, social media, etc. You will lose focus diving into the reactions on what external news bring up. Let your brain reflect on the night that passed by and visualize on what’s ahead.

 

Exercise your body

I am a fan of a morning exercise. That doesn’t mean however that I’m successful with it every time. Nevertheless I try to at least do some work out in the evening. In whole fairness more for the purpose of lifting my bottom. Still energizing my brain has always been a great second reason. If you have ever done some exercising before going to work or school you have experienced how much positively it boosted your energy for the day. You actually felt you were alive!

Exercise increases pressure of blood which is responsible for delivering of oxygen to the brain. Oxygen is the energy to every single cell in your body and again brain needs it twice as much.

Exercise your brain

Do puzzles, crosswords, calculations in your head, whatever that pushes your brain to work a bit harder. Break the daily routine. Don’t go on autopilot. Challenge your brain.

Take a different road going to work, talk to strangers if you don’t do it regularly or write a list of things starting with the same letter as an example 😉

Whatever you do to push your brain will increase its creative abilities.

 

Energize with a well-balanced diet

Add to your diet products that have substances best converted into the energy. Without going much into specialized details pick green vegetables, good oils, nuts, fish and whole grain stuff.

Vitamin E, vitamin C and DHA received from food helps protect neurons and nerve cells.

There are many researches around the impact of a diet on the overall quality of body functioning. Not always there is a straight correlation between the diet and lower risk for let say Alzheimer, nevertheless there is no downside to consuming food rich in valuable proteins and fats.

Best food for brain

Explore

Explore and learn new things. I have this strong believe that the curiosity of the world, exploring and learning gives brain the extra power. The more we explore the more we use the thinking capabilities of our mind.

Process of learning creates new connections between our neurons. The brain remains active.

Learning of a second language for example which is one of the biggest effort for the brain, increases intelligence and protects it against aging.

 

Want some of this vitamin E? I do.

The things rich (successful) people do

Inspired through a session of motivational and inspirational speakers I listened to in a conference this week I decided to share the set of knowledge that is to make you rich.

Realizing that this kind of advice is often met with sarcasm of disbelievers, I can only say that reading it can either give you some valuable suggestion or be at least checklist for you.

As my friend says it does no harm to listen to a successful person once in a while.

What was striking listening to the speakers from different backgrounds and nationalities was that they all more or less were driving at same recommendations that will lead to your wealth.

Be optimistic

Your mind has an enormous power. This we’ve all heard many times. Mind has influence on your health. It also has influence on your business or career.

If you don’t believe you can do it, you will not do it. Simple as that.

It’s not about believing in miracles. It’s about having the strength to get up, try again, and try differently after you fail. Optimists look for a lesson in every failure they face. They are not blaming other people.

They are thinking about what they want and how to do it.

If you are optimistic, there’s higher chance of perseverance and achieving what you want despite the obstacles and effort on the way.

Set goals

Sounds easy however when adult people are asked to give their goals which are specific, measurable and time set, it gets challenging.

It’s said that only 10% of people have actually written and specified goals.

What people mostly refer to when thinking about goals are wishes like “I want to be happy”, “I want to be healthy”, “I want to travel”, “I want to be rich”.

The thing is wishes have no energy behind.

So instead saying I want to travel, say I want to go to Thailand by the end of next year and then work around that.

Act

Getting clarity on your goal will not lead you anywhere if you don’t start working on it.

Make a list of things that are needed for you to achieve your goal, prepare plan of action and make the first step.

It’s like when you implement a project, you work with a plan, step by step. Sometimes smaller, sometimes bigger but you are moving forward.

Learn and explore

Some say school graduation is not the main factor to make you rich. I’d say it isn’t the main factor but it helps. It’s also not that much about the titles you have but what you know in general. It is how much you know about the possibilities to develop further that may be around you.

Learning has two more advantages. It makes you more intelligent and you can do more things.

Do what other successful people do

Life is short and it is much easier to follow someone’s footstep rather that inventing the wheel. To make it simple, look for a successful person in the field you want to develop and ask for mentoring or make a research what steps in career he or she took. To put that in other words, hang out with people smarter than you. They are a positive motivation and will help you implement good habits to your daily routine.

 

 

UEFA championship

What to love football championship for

There’s this special time in a while when men are totally focused – crazed would be a better word – on one thing. Football. This becomes top priority when planning a day or even a full month.

As much as that can be annoying, that can actually be the time for the ladies to have same amount of fun. Even or especially if you are not a football fan.

 

  • Have a weekend get together with your girlfriends – be sure to tell your spouse/boyfriend there’s no championship transmission at the spot you are going. Indulge in a spa relaxation and tons of girly talk.

ladies out of town during football championship

  • Buy some new decor for your home or a pair of new shoes – your partner will most probably be too distracted with the more important thing to pay attention to this 😉

decor

via Garance Dore

  • Adjust the menu to the origins of football teams playing given day – that can be additional inspiration for your normal menu routine. It’s fun for the kids and an excused time off from a diet you’re on. Here’s some tips from Jamie Oliver.

football food

 

  • Enjoy it! Allow your man to enjoy his hobby and then switch hats for you to enjoy yours. Balanced partnership in the end is all we want.
the art of conversation

The Art of Conversation – 5 key rules

Good conversation is everything. Think how you met your best friend. It all started from one of those best discussions you had in long time. Right? Conversation is what builds relation. And relation is essential to be successful. In your social, professional and business life. Simple as that.

But is that really simple?

Especially in today’s busy times when we are flooded by hundreds of distractors from every angle it’s important to stop for a minute and focus on the quality of conversation.

  1. Be present

Clear your head from all the other thoughts running through your mind or the hot topics sitting on your desk. Devote the time to the other person and the conversation. Show genuine interest. Your partner will sense right away your head is somewhere else if it will.

 

  1. Be yourself and talk for real

The power of authenticity. As much as it is important to adapt the style of a conversation to another person, it is extremely important to stay true to yourself. Embrace your personality and share with others. The gift will be recognized and the conversation will be so much more interesting and trustful. Trustworthiness leads to buy in.

business relationship

  1. Be brave to meet reality

Issues tend to be swept under the carpet. People avoid uncomfortable discussion hoping time will solve the problem for them. Well, sometimes it does. However usually we just feel bad we didn’t face it to talk it through and clear the air. We stick not moving the situation forward, not influencing it.

Facing the reality in a conversation has the power to change it.

 

  1. Let the silence do the trick

Do not do all the talking and just the talking during conversation. Give the time to a question being answered and don’t ask another one if the first hasn’t been answered. This may be painful for those loving to talk. Still give it a try. Sometimes allowing the silence to step in brings in aspects or facts that wouldn’t be brought without the added help of a silent bubble. It helps master the good listener skill. But most of all the silence can really do the trick to open conversationalists.

 

  1. Be responsible for the emotions you leave behind

One of the rules of conversation by Susan Scott, who inspired me to write about communication, is that conversation is not about the relationship; conversation is the relationship. Bum! I didn’t hear anything more true than that.

Delivering the message think of its emotional wake. It speaks very loud about the relationship you have or want to have with another person. And remember – you always meet twice…

the art of conversation

New York Style Breakfast

New York City is a place of uncounted diversity of experience. Breakfast is one of them.

You have here the highest buildings, the breathtaking views, one of the longest bridges, the wildest variety of people, museums and shopping. And I’m sure I overlooked something.

For all the food lovers this is however a place with the richest variety of choices when it comes to the pleasure of eating.

As per Wall Street Journal there are over 9.000 eating establishments in Manhattan only, which makes it not only impossible to review but would also be quite a challenge to visit.

I therefore focus  on breakfast only and on the three most adorable tastes I recommend to try.

The Avocado Toast

the avocado toast

The best served at Le Pain Quotidien, a chain with various locations across Manhattan and Norma’s Restaurant at Le Parker Meridien which you will find on West 57th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue.

 

The Jalapeno Avocado Omelet

A bit of Mexican flavor best for a stomach with a big appetite.

The Jalapeno Avocado Omelet via Facebook

The one I tasted is at the Bus Stop Cafe at 597 Hudson St. , the far from being fancy restaurant one could say. Nevertheless its homey style, where expectations meet the reality of quality and tasty serves of classic dishes makes it, as cited by NYMag, one of the West Village long lasting favourite.

I recomend it in paricular if you’re in a company of hungry males appreciating a well sized dish 🙂

 

The Granola

Something for the ladies. Sorry guys. Yes, most of all New York City is a place taking organic and healthy food as a seperate religion. And I can wholeheartly say this appeals to me.

cafe cluny granolavia Cafe Cluny

Cafe Cluny located at 284 West 12th St, offers this delicious combination among many other tempting options. A very upbeat and lively place to enjoy the vibe of The City.

 

As a bonus…

If you still feel you have some place left for a desert go for a lemon cheesecake.

A piece of art to be tried at the Magnolia Bakery.

magnolia bakery cheesecake

The world went crazy about rose quartz and serenity

Rose quartz and serenity announced as the colors of the year 2016 seem to have dominated the design and fashion completely.

Pantone, which is said to be the authority on colors in consumer trends, announced end of last year that the two colors will rise in ranking as The Colors of the year.

As a supplementary comment the company said both colors represent “connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace”.

 

pantonesource: Pantone

The colors are selected after a research done by the company including surveys with fashionistas and specialists representing pop culture, including movies and music.

Some of you may recall last year’s color of the year to be Marsala, a very dark and intense mixture of deep burgundy and brown.

The outcome of said survey was that current anxious times call for softer tones bringing the sense of mindfulness and well-being.

We may see the response to the announcement in various designs represented by different industries.

Here are some of the egzamples

apple rose quartzsource:www.minzofficial.com

shoes rose quartz and serenity

source: Pinterest

furniture rose quartz and serenity

source: Westelm

kitchenaid rose quartz

source: Kitchenaid

Rolls Royce Rose Quartz

source: topspeed.com

The announced colors have some oponents as well claiming Pantone is not setting the trends but following

Nevertheless I find it very apealing, espacially looking at the nature May offers to us in recent days plus they are nice colors to wear!

rose quartz and serenity

 

Social Media Marketing.

The Secrets behind Social Media Marketing

Learning about social media marketing in pursue to find the best way for myself I came across diversified and valuable information.

Here’s the core I want to share with you that will help you find way to improve your marketing efforts and perhaps give social media a(nother) try if you haven’t so far.
Key advantages and benefits of social media marketing
Social Media Examiner publishes an annual report analyzing the social media marketing industry in details.

Below I focused on the extract related to benefits determining or better said convincing one should decide using the tools social media offer.

social media marketing

  • Increased exposure – The time you need to spend on building your brand in social media effectively should be 6 hours a week or more. Nevertheless it’s said that the 6 hours is already sufficient to some extent. The success also doesn’t happen overnight so one has to be consistent and patient. Usually after a year your brand will definitely get much more exposure for your business;
  • Increased traffic – a result of increased exposure. Your site through the brand building gets more visitors and the traffic on your website goes up;
  • Developed loyal fans – this one is not just an outcome of being present in the social media but being present in the right context to your audience. More on that down below;
  • Provided marketplace insight – one year experience gives already a good insight in what your competitions is doing, what are the current trends and what is important for your audience;
  • Generated leads – very much connected to the market insight. The more you know the more you can make use of directly or indirectly;
  • Improved search rankings – over a year presence in social media assures as per marketers for significantly better results in search engine rankings;
  • Grown business partnership – there is also a straight correlation between time spent in social media and gained business partnership;
  • Established thought leadership – that is grow to a position of recognized authority in their field of specialization. For that however you would need to be present with your quality content for more than 2 years as per the report’s findings;
  • Improved sales – most marketers commit social media marketing helps them boost their sales. Most of the time it’s the outcome of building a brand but not always. This one needs more analysis to get to measurable results and often depends on the brand itself;
  • Reduced marketing expenses – the marketers using social media for longer time could see much less expense on marketing as such;

 

What should you pay attention to when using social media for marketing
Above presented facts should be supported with a touch of something I like to call emotional skills.

To put it simple, it’s not just about being present in the social media. It’s about being present to your audience with content that is valuable for them. Sounds logical but in fact this requires a thorough study about the market you want to be in and the target audience you want to reach out to.
It’s all about your audience. Think of your target audience, visualize it. How do they look, what do they do, what are their values. Perhaps it’s the girl in below picture.

Young smiling woman in white t-shirt and hat sitting with surfboard on the roof top on the white city background in the morning

First of all the content has to be adjusted to it. Furthermore many specialists stress the quality of content. Giving it a thought I came to a conclusion it’s better to focus on style and form that best suits given audience.

In other words it’s not always about the top quality in its general meaning. It’s about the quality that best appeals to your audience.
Last but not least in order to build a relationship with your audience it’s important to engage in a dialog. If recognized, recognize back.
Mrs. Susan Genelius describes it neatly as 10 laws of social media marketing.

 

What doesn’t work any longer?

Since digital marketing was born it concentrated its effort and expenses on branded content. Companies, sometimes even hiring top class Hollywood directors, created short movies and stories to break through in culture.

The almighty digital network has however also changed the cultures and ways they react to the surrounding reality.

 

Idea Commercial Planning Marketing Brand Concept
What are the new trends?

As per HBR review on Branding In The Age Of Social Media it’s the crowdculture that plays the role at present and (nearly?) decides on success of a given brand or trend.

Quoting the article, to brand effectively with social media, companies should target crowdcultures.
Nice thing about social media is its audience reacts very quickly to context, it senses rapidly what’s cool and trendy and what will not fly. Marketers nowadays can thus adjust their strategies accordingly.

What’s nice about it makes it complicated at the same time.

I wonder what is your experience with social media branding your business.
It would be very valuable if you share your thoughts with me and the rest of readers. Please do. After all it’s all about crowd sharing and shaping nowadays…

Key messages for women in the workforce

Woman’s life is complex and requires serious decision making about the future. They may be happy and fulfilled staying at home raising children. However if they chose to stay in the workforce it’s worth to be aware of what helps to achieve a rewarding and fulfilling position.

 

Here are three core messages that Mrs. Sheryl Sandberg promotes in her bestselling book “Lean In”.

 

  1. Sit at the table

Women tend to underestimate their own abilities and often feel intimidated by surrounding men in a work environment. It is behavioral aspect and let’s face it’s a complete nonsense.

At schools and universities it is very often females that are studying and getting the best grades and rewards. Women are into jobs in military, politics, running companies but still there’s this perception in societies that they are somehow weaker.

Just looking closer into the expression “that woman got balls” referred to ladies in managerial positions implies that the “She” is somehow different from the other regular women.

I have myself a long experience of being raised in a men environment by my father with my older brother and his large number of male friends. And I agree, men are stronger but it’s only about physics.

Good news is that every behavioral aspect can be trained to change it.

Worse thing is that woman’s success and her likeability are not positively correlated in our sociatites. It should be in our interest to change that equally for women and for the men who surely care about the future of their daughters.

This message is about engagement in your workplace and thus building your self confidence about deserving your own success.

If you are invited to a meeting, make sure you sit a the meeting table and engage in the topic. Otherwise you will be perceived as an observer not as a contributor.

 

business meeting

 

  1. Make your partner a real partner.

Women focusing on their career find it difficult to combine it with a decision about having a family. As per study cited by Mrs. Sandberg, two thirds of men in USA in top positions have kids, whereas looking at women, we have one third less managing both.

It is possible. And you can have it both

But the secret is you need to have the right partner. It’s not about suddenly convincing you to change your spouse of course but to either consciously chose right from the beginning or raise awareness of how much important that is.

I personally can confirm that. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my husband’s support taking care after our child when she was 2 months old and I had to go abroad for a week to attend a company meeting or spending time with her on weekends while I was engaged in my MBA for 2 years.

 

With some exceptions to the rule (also proven in my case) citing the author

“the things that make bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands”.

Or perhaps I’m just attracted to good guys in general 😉

 

  1. Don’t leave before you leave

Again, if you chose to stay in a workforce and you want to succeed, don’t let yourself be stopped by fears about your future probability of having a family. Girls from the early years are told that they will have to chose between the one or the other. That tends to hold them back and that may impact their future going forward.

In the extreme cases, don’t think how you will manage your family if you don’t even have a boyfriend!

If you are about to move to a different country for a year or so with your husband don’t waste chances you may be offered before you leave. It may be you will get back watching your colleagues having that dream job you’ve ever wanted but somehow thought you didn’t have time for that.

A food for thought.

 

I recommend this whole book from the bottom of my heart as apart from valid advice it gives the insight into a woman’s world and how not to get paranoid about all the complexity, unfair society judgments and perfection we are driving at in all areas of our life.

 
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Dream Board – Powerful Visualization Tool

Visualization of your dreams helps you get clarity of your goals. Dream board is a perfect way to get started with planning of your ideal life.

I tried making a dream board for the very first time a year ago invited by an inspiring friend.

At that time I took it as a great possibility to do something new, have fun and meet some new friends which I did but yes mostly to have fun at a glass of wine.

I started my map only, leaving it unfinished, though being very satisfied with my craft and the experience it was associated with. The map itself made an impact on me in a sense that I felt somehow bonded to it and wanted to get back to it finishing the unfinished art so to say.

Still I haven’t had (somehow) the time as it (sometimes) happens until two weeks ago. Surprisingly when I saw it I was stunned the majority of things put on the map somehow came true in the course of the year.

I worked on and practiced my public speeches, I launched my website which I had in mind for some time and planned my trip to NY.

Some of the unspecified plans even sort of realized as the picture of a beautifully set table standing outdoors with a view over an olive mediterranean garden turned into an invitation to a Greek wedding that I’ve totally not expected. I’m going of course! Exciting!

This all got me wondered about the power of the dream board (however silly it sounds). Naturally it made me start working on a new one which this time is an almost fully done nicely polished diamond.

Vision Board

What is a dream board?

It has a lot to do with planning but it’s more around the feeling and aura of it. Being specific about our goals is crucial at detailed planning, however dream board is more looking at the big picture. It’s a visual representation of our desires and dreams for the future.

The good thing about it is it makes you stop and think. Yes, stop and think (this one is stressed for a reason) how you would like to feel and whom you would like to be in the future. Rushing and running errands one day after another doesn’t usually leave much time for that.

It’s around the questions of what you would like to do, achieve, change, surround yourself with. And sometimes how do you want to go that given path you set for yourself.

In that respect it has the attributes of real planning management like:

  • What – plans, directions, changes, desires;
  • Why – why do I want to do that? Health, wealth, wisdom, happiness, fulfillment?
  • How – it’s not a must to put that on the board, though it’s helpful;
  • When – it is said the board should be renewed every year. This means that some of the short term goals should realize whereas those more complicated long term goals need a bit more time. Every year we may either continue with our frame goals while putting new ones along.
  • Who – Mostly “Me, Myself and I” but the board has also space and freedom to add people you feel helpful or want to be connected with.

 

How to do a vision board?

The technique I know and would recommend is to simply use magazines. You cut out pictures and sentences, words that appeal to you and represent the visualization of your goal. Then what you need to do is to put them on the board. Fun!

Vision Board Magazines

Vision Board Magazines

 

You may stick the pictures how you like them to be displayed – a method used by my 5 year old daughter – but the common way would be to put them using the guide of Bagua nine box chart.

 

Bagua Chart, dream board, vision board.

Bagua Chart, dream board, vision board.

You can find more details here .

Every box represents area around you (in the middle). By using this pattern you get the chance to focus on varying aspects of your life and get a comprehensive, complex picture.

While doing the board yourself is a nice way to spend an evening if you’re not much into art classes you may try out one of many applications available online to help you with it. Then you can use your time for it when sitting at an airport as an example. I really like the idea. Have not tried it yet though.

Attitude matters…

It’s worth to be bold doing that board. I mean it’s for you and about your dreams. Why not go wild with it. Dream board being a visualization tool is based on the Law of Attraction. Limiting thoughts result in limited effects.

Have you tried it already? Please share. Would be wounderful to hear your expereince with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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The most powerful and influential women of today

Meet the most influential ladies of today.

Below is not a ranking but just a list or better said the tip of an iceberg of the most influential women in their fields and specializations but also having broad impact outside the scope of their daily professions.

Hillary Clinton

The lady doesn’t need an introduction. A Yale Law School graduate involved in politics for her entire life. After being made known to the world as the first lady in years 1993-2001, she became the first female elected as the senator from the state (New York) where she served until 2009. A US Secretary of State until 2013. Very much engaged in the area of women rights and empowerment. One of the best paid speaker in the US (6 digit numbers) and very probable President of the United States soon to be which same will make her the most powerful woman in the world.

Sheryl Sandberg

COO (Chief Operating Officer) at Facebook and former Google executive. Sheryl founded organization called Lean In and is an author of bestselling book under the same title. The organization’s mission is to inspire and encourage women to engage in business and take on leading positions.

In the past years she has been named one of Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, and the Wall Street Journal’s 50 Women to Watch. 

Anna Wintour

Said to be the most influential woman in the fashion industry setting trends for coming seasons. Born in England, editor in chief of American Vogue since 1988. We all know the name, nevertheless it had to be mentioned for the purpose of this list.

 

Angelina Jolie

Famous actress and UN ambassador for refugees. Called as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry. Among other causes her example gave adoption of children from 3rd world countries a lot of attention starting same a kind of a trend among celebrities. In recent years we also faced a so called Angelina effect that caused an international flood of BRCA1/2 mutation tests and an increased rate of mastectomy.

 

Meg Whitman

One of the most powerful ladies in technology sector. Former CEO (Chief Executive Officer) at eBay in years 1998-2008 which she developed from 30 employees to 15.000 with annual revenue at level of $8 million. Time being serves as a president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (splitted company of HP in 2015). Meg Whitman is named self-made billionaire with net value of $2 billion and is ranked #14 of the most powerful women by the Forbes magazine in 2015.

Susan Wojcicki

A silicon valley native, starting as one of the first employees of Google. She was the driving force at Google to acquire YouTube in 2006 and became CEO of the company in 2014. Ranked by Forbes #9 of the top 100 powerful woman in 2015.

 

 

Keep your head in the cloud. Cloud Technology – disruptive trend.

Cloud technology broadly described as cloud computing is another technology characterized as disruptive.

Disruptive technology means a technology that is to have most probable significant effect on development in economy.

The impact of this specific technology will create various shifts.

  • There will be changes in cost structure of organizations.
  • The shift will also regard flexibility of available IT solutions.
  • Last but not least it will impact employment areas.

 

So what Cloud Technology (cloud computing) is?

As McKinsey describes it smoothly it’s any service that is delivered over a network or Internet.

What is meant under the term “service” is data storage or process applications tailored at customer’s need (SaaS –software as a service). It’s also IT platform (PaaS) or entire infrastructure (IaaS).

In other words it’s a combination of hardware and software recourses delivered over internet as a service. Some other say cloud is becoming the core of IT architecture for the new generation of information systems.

It is said that that the cloud wave  that is approaching is bigger than most people think and thus we have to accept that it will become our future and close reality.

Among key advantages are limited investment in in-house hardware or programming, flexible and delivered on as-needed basis solutions. In other words, you don’t have to spend money on IT infrastructure until you don’t physically need it. An ideal scenario for many companies.

Among key concern is privacy of data which was additionally heated in the media when nude photos of various celebrities  saw the daylight.

 

Cloud Service providers have an answer to that. You may chose among public, private and a hybrid cloud.

The most safe but most expensive at the same time is private cloud. It is (can be) still located outside the premises of the company using it, however access is restricted to the single organization.

Cost rationalization pushes users into direction of using hybrid clouds that is combinations of public (for less or no confidential data processing) and private where data confidentiality is strict.

There are also community clouds that are shared between organizations, usually used in case of joint data management systems.

 

types of cloud technology solutions

source: http://www.cloud.sarl/types-of-cloud-computing/

The other big concern steadily surpassing the privacy related one is the lack of resource in terms of skills needed to assess what cloud services are really of value for a company and how to implement and optimize them effectively.

The future.

Analytics estimate the cloud technology market value will reach $400 billion globally. The share will be more towards developing markets and small and medium business, that is those more agile and prone to test new solutions, especially when less expensive.

The cloud computing will also result in shift of working force. Companies, as to a larger extend equipped with off the premises solutions will not invest in IT in house knowledge. The expertise will still be needed of course. Though the place of the need will shift to the more specialized IT centers.

In fact, cloud is already becoming a reality for majority of companies worldwide. As per Rightscale’s Cloud computing Trends Report 2016  , over 95% of respondents representing regional and global companies, report using some cloud solutions. The trend continues to rise every year.

 

cloud technology used

The cloud services will also make the IT services more accessible to the market. That will result in the development in the area of entrepreneurship, often requiring lower business entry costs.

 

carrer woman working promotion advice set pace

How to set a pace for your career and increase chance for promotion

  1. Learn and pay attention

No matter how educated you are or how experienced you may be, it’s worth to learn how the things work in new working environment. It’s not the best move to push forward your ideas without understanding the context. Something could work fine in other company but it may be a failure in a different organization. Learning from others and paying attention to company’s culture helps understanding the background and needs of an organization better.

If you are at the beginning of your career learning and paying attention is crucial. You will simply avoid making mistakes.

  1. Make yourself visible and show engagement

Put quality to your tasks. It’s not enough to do “only” what you are supposed to do. Employees who go the extra mile that is exceed the expectations tend to be more successful. If you want to be noticed, stop adapting the “what’s in it for me” or “it’s not my job” attitude. This type of philosophy will prove you’re focused on yourself and may act in the end to the contrary of your goal, that is get elevated within the organization.

It’s also, despite some clock watching managers, not necessarily important how long you stay in the office. When it comes to the visibility, it is what quality of work you deliver that matters most.

  1. Be kind but decisive

Taking (fast) decisions, specially for a beginner is a burden. However a good leader will always expect of you to take a measured risk rather than ask your supervisor for advice every single time. Of course I don’t mean here taking decisions no matter what and endangering your company’s interest. Again learn, ask questions and make use of the of the gained knowledge with a flavor of having guts.

  1. Make your point

Prepare for the meeting and suggest your proposals. If you are not sharing your colleagues’ point of view raise your concern. Be a part of the conversation or brain storming. If you are invited to the table that’s probably someone thought you can make a contribution. Do focus on bringing to the table something that moves the conversation forward.

On the other hand, be careful.

You don’t want to be the person that thinks the key to be noticed is to make his/her voice heard.

No one likes lengthy meetings and that’s one of the most common reasons that contribute to the added time spent rather than added value.

career woman

Source: Pinterest

  1. Ask for your career development or a promotion

If you want something ask for it. It’s not a 100% guarantee you will get what you want but it will help for sure. Sitting and waiting for someone to spot you or your needs may not be fruitful. If your strategy is to do that you might be disappointed with the effect.

However, majority of people is afraid to ask for things such as raise, change of position, promotion or simply asking someone on a date. What it takes to ask is to overcome the fear of rejection.

It’s also important to spread the news you are open for new challenges. Therefore embrace networking and identify people that may help you.

  1. Change company

It may turn out the you can honestly confirm you’ve been doing all that with zero effect. If your desire to go up and make more money or get more experience is overwhelming, it’s time to consider changing the company. Some say that leaving your current firm increases the chances to be hired back for a higher position.

 

 

 

A Love Affair of Fashion and Tech. Meet wearable technology

The world of music and technology has been a couple for many years. Now it’s the fashion and tech that seems to get closer with every year passing.

It’s in the starting phase. Still it’s interesting to see where it is going and what the ideas are to use the technology in clothes and accessories we wear daily. With style.

Google glass and IWatch have been given a lot of publicity. But what else is there worth our attention?

Here is the selections of things that perhaps will jump shortly on your wish list.

 

  • Fitness tracker. A cooperation of Fitbit and Tory Burch.

Beautiful case covering the tracker designed by Tory Burch gives the regular gym class device an elegant touch.

tory burch

 source: ToryBurch.de 
 

  • Bracelet charger. Case Mate Lightening Cable Bracelet

Rebecca Minkoff teamed up with Case Mate to provide us with a leather bracelet that converts into your iphone charger while on the go and in case of need.

rebecca minkoff

 source: nordstrom 

  • Smart Ring. This lovely piece provided by Ringly connects with your Iphone through an app.

The ring is to alarm you about the feed you want to be notified. You may set it to let you know about incoming emails, messages or new stories in your social media or selected apps. No need to keep your smartphone lying on the table or taking it every minute out of your bag while you in the meeting or at a club waiting for a message. Plus the ring looks edgy and classy.

ringly

 source: https://ringly.com/ 

  • Now imagine a bag that will change its looks depending on your mood or the weather outside.

VanDerWaals offers a handbag that changes colors to suit your outfit, mood or surrounding. It just needs a connection through an iOS App. The bag also notifies you of incoming phones.

3

 source: http://van-der-waals.com/ 

  • How about some light in the inside of you bag?

If that’s something you have dreamt of you have to see the Glass Handbag. It is a lovely combination of great design and technology. The bags have built in lighting system.

glass

 source: http://van-der-waals.com/ 
 

  • Last but not least. Fitness tracking smart bra.

After teaming up with Ralph Lauren to introduce the Polo Tech Shirt, OMsignal, a Montreal-based maker of wearable-technology products is just launching a product tailored specifically for women. It is not only to give you tracking on the usual parameters such as calories burnt or heart rate and distance. The designed biometric coach will evaluate your effort vs you goals and will tell you if and how you can try harder.

bra source: http://urbanwearables.technology/ 
 

 

It’s a lot to look into and it is just the beginning of the boom within the wearable tech.

I don’t know how about you but as a start I am going for the Rebecca Minkoff killer charger bracelet !

BIG Data for beginners – 3 things you should know

“Ten years from now when we look back at how this era of big data evolved…
We will be stunned at how uninformed we used to be when we made decisions”
(Billy Bosworth, DataStax CEO (2015))

This quote drawn my attention and put into perspective the life we are leaving today when it comes to taking decisions.

The more that I’m already quite stunned thinking of how we could communicate in the era of no mobile phones (?!) Even though I had my first “cell” only in my 20s it’s hard for me to recall how it really was before.
I think we must have had some super power of sub conscience that made us meet friends at given time as an example 🙂
If our life is to change that significantly, when Big Data comes to use, there must be something to it.

So, what is this actually?

As per Gartner, Inc (Tech research and advisory firm), Big Data is characterized by three-dimensions.
The high Volume of information, Velocity (the speed of data coming in and out) and Variety of information assets. The definition is referred to as 3Vs. Based on concerns about the quality of data, the 4th V has been classified as Veracity (candidness). If all above requires specialized technology and analytical methodology for its transformation into valuable information, that’s Big Data.
To be honest, above explanation makes me visualize the concept somehow but I still can’t embrace it.

Let’s explore it further…

To look at it in a simple way it is the data that floods us with enormous waves on a daily basis. But it’s not the size of it that matters but the importance how that data can be used if properly analyzed.

Where it comes from?

The data comes from us and the devices we use. Using internet, we generate data, which web pages are most popular, what topics and where. Another big source is in social media. I know some of you think just now – I will never have such an account as I don’t want to be used as data source.
If you think you can avoid that you are practically wrong if you are a regular behaving person. Our Smartphones have sensors producing variety of data like our location, speed or phone calls we make.
I think it’s true to say that sensors are everywhere recording traffic flows, temperature, number of store visitors, types of meals we order at Mc Donald etc. Use your imagination. It can be frightening but that’s the way it is.
The source for data comes also from transactions we do, invoices we issue, delivery records we store, city cameras but also from machines and industrial equipment. From everywhere.

Who needs it?

We hear for years that information is the power. It can be easily assumed that those interested in information/power will reach out for Big Data.

At the moment it’s mostly or most effectively used by Google and Facebook but there’s potential for other industries like Finance, Health Care, Manufacturing, Retail and much more.

The raw, uncategorized data as such is worthless if it’s not processed and analyzed. Time being it’s stored but the majority of it just waits to be used in future. As per SAS only 0,5% is analyzed whereas 33% is estimated as data that could deliver valuable information. And that information is to provide knowledge helping businesses and industries taking more effective decision.

The amount of digital data generated is overwhelming and it constantly continues to grow.


source:Data Never Sleeps 2.0, Josh James

As published by Data Never Sleeps 2.0 infographic, there is following input a minute.

  • Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content.
  • Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
  • Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos.
  • YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content.
  • Apple users download nearly 50,000 apps.
  • Email users send over 200 million messages.
  • Amazon generates over $80,000 in online sales.

The problem with analyzing is that it requires specialized technology which is at the moment still developing and expensive. Hadoop is the name you should get familiar with as it’s at the moment the most commonly used software for data analysis and computing.

Another challenge is analytical talent that is people capable to build useful models that would use the information.

If you are at a point in your life when you think which path of career to chose, you should consider going into computing analysis. The demand for the skill will be huge.
If you are in business, senior executive in particular, you might want to think to direct investment in the area of computing analysis and of ways to attract the needed talent.

Fashion Week Facts

February started which inspired me to gather and post few facts about the fashion week. The week or four weeks to be precise that every fashionista is most crazy about…

  1. What and Where

The history looks back to 1943 and Mrs. Eleanor Lambert who brought the fashion from France to USA. Nowadays more and more places are organizing weekly fashion shows however The Fashion Week covers four main fashion industry centers that is New York, London, Milan and Paris

Coming dates:

  • New York – 10-18 February
  • London 19-23 February
  • Milan 24-1 March
  • Paris 2-9 March

Until recent the cities showed designers from the given country however this is not main guideline any longer. As an example Givenchy moved from Paris to New York and The Row vise versa. All for publicity of the brand and stronger expansion in other markets.

Worth to note, the February/March weeks present the preview for trends to be “in” for the coming Fall/Winter and the September/October reveal trends for coming Spring and Summer.

  1. How to get to the show

That one surprised me. Oh my God – I know! How unaware, naive, arrogant (you name it depending on your perception) I was !

It just proves every industry has its insights.

No, you can’t just simply buy a ticket.

And Yes, it’s helpful if you are somehow press and/or fashion related.

Most of the shows allow only selected audience. Sometimes the invitation itself is not sufficient and you may be rejected to enter at the door if the amount of guests ultimately exceeds the number of seats/space.

You may apply for an invite at a sponsor like Mercedes Benz for a so called general access to the area of the event (Lincoln Center time being). It still doesn’t mean you will make it to the show but if it is not full you may get in almost accidently hooked by PR reps.

For additional hints you may refer to advice offered widely by various bloggers online where the one common denominator is, if you are determined enough, you will do it!

Consolation – moderate but still- it’s more and more popular for designers to offer live online streams.

  1. The business behind the fashion week

The cost

The cost of a fashion show is ranging in total expenditure depending on the strategy a company representing designer has. The minimum is $ 200.000 and the cost may go up along the imagination of producers. Some sources indicate amount close to $ 1.000.000 ! Whereas the average length of a show is 10 minutes.

This includes the venue, stylist, production, PR, models and celebrities seating in the front row.

The money income for the city

As per New York City Economic Development Corporation, the economic impact of the event reaches $ 887 million. The amount is said to outweigh the economic benefits of U.S. Open.   The number of people attending the shows goes as high as 230.000 visitors.

The money therefore comes in majority from tourism that is hotels, restaurants and shops. No wonder mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio, shows strong support to the event and to the whole fashion industry in New York.

The promotion

Of course the main aim for the fashion industry is to set promotion for their coming collections. It is about selling new looks and sending message of the brand. Designers focus on creating as much buzz around their work as possible.

Also very important for new comers launching their brands with not too modest investment account.

Who writes what influences the brand rise or collapse.

Apart from the apparel the Fashion weeks started to involve other industries like food , electronics and social media. Car industry seem to be one of the oldest collaborators with examples of Land Rover and Victoria Beckham or Maserati and Zegna.

 

6 hints to a successful job interview

Conducting interviews over the years has shaped me as an interviewer and also given me the vision of ideal discussion that results in my higher interest in the interviewee.

Here are few tips that I deeply recommend to boost your chance for a successful application.

I’m not going to write about the qualifications, education or experience. I’m going to assume this is met in one way or the other.

I want to focus on general things that are same or sometimes even more important.

  1. Get an overview about the company before you go to the meeting.

It’s one of the routine – what do you know about our company – questions that one may expect. It’s also very easy to answer with little effort to prepare. Still not being able to say anything about the firm you are applying to leaves a bad impression just right in the beginning and may impact the conversation moving forward.

  1. Think how you could contribute.

A bit more challenging. However this can easily be combined with the area of your strengths. You may refer to your usual role in a team whether it is a resource investigator, coordinator, specialist, etc. Remember – every team member is important.

Try to visualize the position you are applying for and share how you would see your special role in it.

Visualization is also helpful when it comes to the interview itself.

Try to foresee the questions that may pop out and think how to answer them to present yourself best.

  1. Ask questions.

First of all, you should clarify as much uncertainties you may have about the position as possible. It’s for the good of both parties. Changing a job is a huge step, therefore simply be sure it’s a right one.

Moreover it gives the interviewer the signal you are responsible and task oriented even without phrasing it.

It also shows you are keen to learn more about the company and the position, therefore interviewer takes more faith in your future engagement.

  1. Smile 🙂 and keep eye contact.

Simple, yet very important! Same, shocking, when stressed, we tend to forget about it.

It’s not just about verbal communication but very much about the non verbal.

Remember you are about to enter new environment. That’s why you are also looked at in terms of how you come across.

  1. Dress smart!

Some people tend to underestimate importance of that one. However for me this is a statement how serious one is about the application. The style of a smart outfit depends on the job you are applying for of course but keep that in mind please.

  1. Have an open attitude – be ready to answer a personal question.

I ask those on occasion to get to know a bit more of a person and his/her natural reaction to it. Simply for me to see a bit more behind the surface. Of course, normally the interviewer will not go across the board, so I’d say nothing to be afraid of.

Easier said than done, but, don’t take it personally if you’re not selected… Often times the competition is just too extreme. If you feel your skills are adequate and you are determined and certain you want to work for a given company, don’t give up!

 

Digital Technology – Trends in 2016

One would like to say New Year – New Trends. Well there’s something about it.

Definitely the beginning of the new year is the best time to stop and think for a moment if the world around us is changing and whether or not this will have an influence on us.

The scope of areas where we can identify new trends is enormous however for the purpose of this article I want to focus only on digital technology.
Digital technology is vast developing area with daily developing infrastructure. We may observe a rapid growth of solutions that is built on existing platforms. Natural, one may say. Still the speed of changes is overwhelming.

The main things that I think will be more visible in our day to day in 2016 are:

– Mobile technology – this technology has bypassed desktop and laptops already and is going to be soon omnipresent. The number of internet connected reaches billions worldwide. It is also estimated that in only two years the percentage of mobile usage within that group will rise up to 90%. With that we see increased traffic in number of mobile applications that are launched. The trend is going to strengthen.

– Distribution – Indeed, the deluge of information available needs to find its way to get to the receiver. Otherwise it won’t get attention. Brutal reality. We are already more or less familiar with existence and workability of twitter, instagram, youtube and facebook naturally. I should name snapchat also, until recently popular among younger generations, nowadays valued by the business. Those however gain new rivals. New on the radar of popularity for 2016 is Netflix – fast expanding VoD platform. The company itself recorded an over 130 % increase of share price within 2015 and has just started the expansion to Europe, Middle East and Africa.

– Crowdshaping – one of the emerging technologies that is definitely the trend to shape consumer reality of every person considered as individual in the future. The technology is about collecting data of needs based on our habits and emotions.

Yes – the technology is ready to read our emotions and adjust the product/service accordingly. The nearest distant product of it is smart cities in terms of city roads system or crowdshaped police patrols. The outlook goes beyond that where most expected are adjusted television programs shaped live or customer service in restaurants, stores etc. that will be tailored according to customer’s emotions. Sounds a bit like “Back to the Future” becomes the reality…

Above will be reflected in marketing which develops in real time nowadays, using all social, economical and technological aspects of the present.
I love the expression used by specialists in the field, that there are marketers who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.
Indeed, if you’re in the industry requiring quick reaction to trends (which isn’t?) you should take above into consideration.

Mobile technology and means of distribution will have a lot to do about the branding of the product whereas crowdshaping will be the tool shifting the marketing from globalization to personalization of a product.

5 Tips to get better organized at work

 

  1. Plan your week.

I mean putting down tasks in your calendar. This is the base. Whatever you put in writing gets higher chance of putting it into realization.

Plan in particular:

  • Things to arrange for;
  • Schedule your meetings;
  • Other “to do” things according to your deadlines, prioritization, etc.;

 

  1. Go with a plan for a given day

You have to be prepared that some percentage of the time – the share depends on your profession – will be absorbed by the business as usual stuff which can’t be planned ahead. Still you should either plan how much time you should free for those or plan how much time you may reserve for the planned activities. That’s why it’s super important how you plan your week.

 

  1. Stay focused on your task.

When you go to the planned task, stay focused to finish it. Avoid distraction like too many windows opened in your browser or your mobile. This one requires self control and is sometimes even painful but the award is you are done with your task.

Of course to be realistic and again, depending on your job, you will be distracted by things or issues you can’t shut your eyes to.

Just imagine one of the most important customers calling you in the middle of a budgeting meeting with your team. I’d recommend to take that one and spare few moments for the discussion. Same – spotting an urgent inquiry in your mailbox. Reacting to it by giving short information you will get back soonest (or delegating to your team member if possible-even better) will save you unnecessary stress bothering you when you should be focused on the thing you want to finish.

And, what’s equally important your business as usual won’t get negatively affected.

 

  1. Handle the most important things in the morning.

It’s in the morning when your brain is most efficient and you get the things done with ease and speed. Plus the things ticked as done will put you in a “doer” mood for the rest of the day.

 

  1. Don’t get de-motivated if you can’t cross out as DONE all the things you have planned for the given day. You can always put them forward to some other day. That’s quite OK. Just make sure it’s not going to be your everyday routine and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that.

Women in business vs GDP

Can more women in business add up to the world economy?

We are living in times when boosting world economies becomes a challenge and belief in forecasts of growth is far from solid. Looking at already some good years back we come to conclusion we can’t fully base plans for economic or corporate growth on past performance or experience. We need to come up with additional and new ideas and use the unused power.

McKinsey report dated September 2015 gives the executives solution on a plate. More women engaged and involved in business.

This would mean eliminating of gaps in equality between women and men. Countries where this does happen have experienced or a proper word enjoyed a stronger economic growth. The report indicates that by using the potential of women in economy to the full, the global GDP would grow by additional 28 trillion USD in next 10 years! That’s almost as much as the combined total GDP of United States and China in 2015 (Respectively 17.9 and 11.4 trillion)

Using the potential of women’s participation in business in 100% is not possible as just to give a simple example it is sometimes a matter of personal choice how to allocate time between domestic and work life. However the aim should be to ensure equal participation rights and to ensure the free choice promoting this participation. Women constitute 50% of global population whereas generate only 37% of the GDP. Just this alone should be the prime argumentation in pursue for the equality.

Taking the realistic scenario – if the gap would be narrowed to mirror the best (highest equality rank) country in the region, the GDP would go up by 12 trillion USD. And that would mean that on average countries would have to do “better” by 42% compared to the state of today.

The World Economic Gender Gap Report presents the ranking where you may find 142 countries and where you may check where a specific country is at the present. The lowest gap is in Scandinavian countries and the biggest in the Middle East. One could say there’s not much more of an impact we may have looking at those two polar zones. Still there are many developed and developing countries and societies which can still do a lot.

What can country and business leaders do and ultimately what can you do to have an impact?

McKinsey report identifies six types of intervention helping bridging the gender gap.

  • Financial incentives and support – mostly under the governmental umbrella as related to cash transfers targeting girls to support their education or tax incentives when both partners working. Still the financial support can also be injected by companies offering scholarships for girls.

 

  • Technology and infrastructure – this goes from very basic as providing sanitation facilities for girls in schools to more sophisticated and technology driven as apps supporting female entrepreneurs.

 

  • Creation of economic opportunity – field to a large extend for private sector. Companies can build development programs for woman to prepare them moving into leadership positions. Time being the number of positions at the top of organizations shows an under proportional share of female executives.

 

  • Capability building – ensuring that women receive the package of training and education meeting standards of gender equality with focus on high quality knowledge such as science, technology, finance, digital literacy etc.

 

  • Advocacy and shaping attitudes – gender equality goes along the social equality. The first can’t be without the later.

 

  • Laws, policies and regulations.

In times where we face globally decreasing demographics in developed and developing countries where also aging societies become the reality, focus on the increase of women in labor force and business seems not just the socially right thing to do but very much the only way to go forward. Plus women’s buying power shouldn’t be neglected.

Networking – to Do It or NOT to Do It ?

The answer is simple. Do It! And here is why..
In short, it is valid for your current business as well as for your potential paths of doing business and not only.
I listed down below some of the main advantages when considering the value of networking. The order is not random although it may turn out you will praise one over another.

Inspiration – if other people can do it why you can’t ! Basically networking , be it events, face to face or the one in social media is about inspiration. Before every plan there’s a dream. And before every dream, there’s an inspiration.

Opportunities – people you get to meet open many doors. Everyone holds a sphere of influence he or she has. An exchange of knowledge and common interest is a key factor to your business development.

Advice and Assistance – very much related to “Opportunities”, however this one is not that much or even very little about joint business development. Yet similar. People you meet with different background and experience can share valuable thoughts or advice.

“Open-mind-maker” – Networking is a fantastic tool that makes us think outside the box. Just to give an example – have you ever thought about climbing Mount Everest to promote your business? Perhaps you thought of supporting cancer R&D programs donating percentage of your income? The more diverse in type of business and personal character your network is the better.

Friendship – Now this is indisputably one of the added value we love about networking. The chance to meet new friends is actually quite high as you will most probably meet ‘positive freaks’ with similar enthusiasm towards life.

Last but not least Positive Health Impact – Yes, that’s scientifically proven. It boosts state of happiness, reduces stress and improves your self-confidence. And that is just to name few.

All above seems to make sense and to be encouraging to start building and developing your network. Though it’s not all that sweet and dandy for many.
To be fair it actually comes with an effort. It requires time and consistency to build a relationship and in some cases guts to make the first step talking to a stranger…
Still, the drive of an entrepreneur to evoke attention will also be the secret force behind the call of networking.

Happy Networking! This may actually become one of the New Year’s resolution for you!

Mobile Internet – Disruptive Technology

Have you ever thought of how the surrounding technology influences your lifestyle and habits ? Have you ever thought how it influences your needs ? Or these are perhaps the needs that influence the innovation and creation of new technologies ?

In this and coming posts we will introduce some of the disruptive technologies of today and of the future. This knowledge may impact your business decisions of today or at least be an interesting topic to take up when meeting friends.

Disruptive technology is a technology that is to have most probable significant effect on development in economy. As observed by Joseph Schumpeter, a 20th Century economist, only a process of creative destruction can result in major shifts in focus, funds, creation of something new. One could find a reference to basis for a significant change outlined in the field of change management.

There is some good dozen of classified technologies regarded as disruptive.

Mobile internet is one of them. It is amazing to observe that something which has transformed into something normal over the years is changing our social behaviors but, or better said because of that shouldn’t be neglected in our business approach.

Mary Meeker has just released the latest 2015 Internet Trend Analysis. The report is extremely comprehensive and I encourage those interested in more details to get some more insight here.

Important highlights are that nowadays we have 2.8 billion users of internet worldwide. Calculating with usage of KPCB report and McKinsey report dated 2013, there is still expected over 3 billions of users to connect. That would mean that we may expect nearly 80% of global population to be internet connected in years looking forward.

It is also estimated that in only two years the percentage of mobile usage within the group of internet connected will rise up to 90% ! 51% of time spent in internet by adults in USA is that using mobile devices, an over 3 times more than 5 years back.

Well I’m quite impressed to be honest. On top engagement of users continues to rise.

What does it mean for your business? First of all, you have to be internet present, second of all you should assure your website is compatible with mobile devices. Even Google, the master of data collecting, has just recently started positioning websites with mobile functionality higher than those without it. Think of that…We’re living in reality where more and more people expect to get what they want with ease and speed. .. It’s also increasingly important to invest into mobile advertising which is on the rise at the moment and which still has huge potential of growth. Stay tuned…

Prescription for Happiness

Can you learn how to be happy?

For those feeling some sense of unhappiness, we have good news. Yes, you can!

You can actually work on your happiness. This becomes a new, sexy trend together with all the trends related to a healthy life style. As you think of that, it makes sense. The happier you become, the more endorphins your mind produces leading to a healthy state of your body. Sounds relatively easy. But what it really takes to create a happy world around you or better said in you? I can imagine this can be a little confusing at first.

Crucial element for it all is to realize that happiness should be the aim in its own. In other words, as scientists say it’s not the perfect job, perfect man or a perfect pair of shoes (well I’d slightly disagree at this point 😉 ) that gives you happiness. It’s actually the happiness itself that brings values or things you considered the base to be happy at first. Sounds encouraging ? Again something to consider since happy people as being more energetic and social tend to attract other people and situations making their life opened for new opportunities and ultimately easier or better one.

Not a surprise, there is even a new science created around that topic. Psychology of Happiness – one of the most googled types of psychology which was started by Martin Seligman.

So, what can you do to increase your happiness? Here’s a recipe or at least part of it.

Be grateful for what you already have. It is very important to acknowledge the current state we are in, our health, achievements or simply situation that we are in particular moment. It’s said that happy people focus on now rather than then.

Challenge yourself in a positive way. This is known as the flow . When we are doing things we are good at we experience flow, a state that gives the filling of fulfillment and drive. That could be anything, from riding a bicycle or exercise through hobby or even job we love to do. Some people experience flow working on particular project, cooking, driving a car or giving speeches. This can be anything. Just think of what that could be for you.

Plan a happy day or happy events and then spend them as planned not forgetting about experiencing them. Living them. A Study of San Francisco University proved that buying experience (theatre, trip, meal with friends) satisfies higher order needs as opposed to buying things. This is also related to the need of social belonging and feeling alive.

That leads to the value of relationships. It’s not only about having that trusted someone we can rely on in moments of gloom although that’s already very good. It’s also about surrounding yourself with positive people. As researches show that boosts tremendously the probability to discover more happiness.

What about money ? Doesn’t money bring happiness ? To some extend of course.

However as people achieve a level of income that enables them taking care of things considered as basic, the correlation between the well-being and wealth begins to fade.

Intriguing enough, some countries started to measure Gross Domestic Happiness next to the GDP.

Above listed is just the top of a mountain as there are many more things like a simple smile that make you feel better and happier.

If you are interested in the topic enough to start exploring it, you may start with testing your positivity ratio established by Barbara Fredrickson at http://www.positivityratio.com/single.php. This may be a good base to a recognition of one’s emotions that influence our perception on life. And remember to celebrate the international day of happiness on March 20th.