- I am the only one to take care of the dog!
- What if I want to travel?
- How will it be when I will have a family and a baby?
- Will I have enough free time?
- What if I move abroad and have to rent the apartment?
- and other rational and irrational concerns
In 2014 after graduating from Data Mining and Machine Learning from Aalto University, I was in between academia and industry. At one point, I loved the subject that I studied that time, on the other hand I was offered a position by newly opened Microsoft to do reporting-related job. At that time the position offered seemed attractive to me, but the environment with strict schedule and dress code did not seem the right for me.
What would you choose in this situation?
They say you need to select your PhD topic and research group as you select your partner that is by love and passion to the subject. In my case, I was certain in the subject, though my research group had only few people left. That meant that I needed to find collaborators outside. In fact, the situation was not perfect.
I understood that I need to find a deeper reasoning to convince myself to do either of the steps. It is the same as defining the vector and asking yourself “Why?” to be sure you are going in the right direction.
First, I understood that I need to enjoy the environment where I will be working. Large corporate world did not seem attractive to me that time since it the position was far away from being research oriented and contained pretty well defined direction to go. If that would be Microsoft research that would be completely another story.
Second, for a foreigner despite speaking finnish already, it feels more like home at the international university. I found the meaning of university to be this intermediate step in life that gives you time to integrate into the society by lots of interactions with people and by having the opportunity to take finnish courses. It is hard to imagine how many people one can meet at the large university and people are our best teachers. Besides, there is something special as well about foreign people who are open-minded and were ready to overcome their comfort zone to come abroad.
So during your PhD you can meet really good friends for life that in case you want to integrate into the society it is of crucial important. Friends are the one who make you feel more like at home. Believe me or not, but at the moment I feel already in Finland more than at home. Huge part of this comes from the bonds I established here.
So I decided to take a PhD as a school of life.
For me it means the following. I choose myself what I put into the meaning behind the PhD. That is very crucial point since it sets your attitude towards the process. For me it was the period of life, when I decided to study deeper the subject I loved. I clearly understood that Professorship is not my path, but being a Professional is my path. Both words have a prefix Pro meaning you take it seriously. I understood that I want to go deeper and that the subject really interests me. This period of life at the same time was the period of integration into the finnish society. For me that meant to continue taking finnish courses with my favorite teacher Seija Koski. It also meant to meet new people and grow as a person. During my PhD studies I even organized Proactives Finland society with Elena O. for the students where we taught a mindfull approach to life.
Next vital and really meaningful part of PhD is to get familiar with global community. One of my wise friends I met at the conference in 2014 in Cyprus while still doing my masters, told me that he tried to go to the best conferences he could from the beginning of his PhD studies.
In fact, it takes time before you can publish the paper to the best venue, that is why it makes sense to go to the best places even without any publication there. I learned this lesson and thanks to the support of my professor I made it possible to attend the best venues.
I got to know global community and the brightest minds through summer schools. My most favorite one Machine Learning Summer School in Tubingen, 2015. It is hard to get to this school, since they select only 100 people, but I managed to write a good motivation letter and got there. It was amazing time and we still keep in touch with some of the community people there and meet while being at the conferences.
Besides I went to Deep Learning Summer School where I met my good friends D.U. and A.L. whose friendship I appreciate till now. So each year during the summer I selected a different summer school until the last year when I have chosen to attend an ICML instead.
Nobody can deny the difficulties that one has to face with during PhD studies and conference deadlines. However, with time every other paper is a bit easier to write. The research comes deeper with knowledge and the quality increases. However my position was to deny PhD life as the one full of suffering. I have chosen a bit different position as PhD as a school of life.
Taking responsibility for what you have is a key thing that helped me to balance those four years. I have to acknowledge that at some point my research did not go well, since I did not have collaborators to work with. But once I started to work with one researcher, very responsible and clever person, it went well. In fact, there were two influential people Eric and Emil with whom I worked tightly and who drastically have increased my standards.
That is PhD as life can be hard at times…
Besides, I am extremely grateful to have so many trips and travels abroad through these years… Two months in New York spent in NYU while research visit, two months in Moscow in MIPT university with IPavlov project.
Running after the raccoons in Montreal and walking for many hours along the Long Beach in California with a friend. Those moments are not coming by default, but those are created by good planning, hard work, open-minded attitude and yes, a pinch of luck 😉
An apartment is a cave where we always want to return back. The place where we recharge emotionally and physically by adjusting everything according to our needs. That is why even the most luxurious hotel will never be the one for you, since there is no emotional attachment exists with it.
In Nordics people and housing communities take a really good care of keeping the houses neat. Despite the high repair costs that can end up in 1000 euros per square meter, a 50 year old house can look 30 years younger after renovation. In Finland, it is called “putki-remontti” that means “the renovation of pipes”. This procedure can take several months, but closer to the date of renovation the cost of the apartment drops significantly.
Buying either new or old apartment is less stressful in Nordics where either the broker or housing company takes care of the papers. However, more difficult part is to choose your future apartment. I try to mention several things that I consider to be important while choosing a new apartment.
First, you need to be honest with yourself and understand do you need to choose an apartment for investment purposes (and sell/rent it in the nearest future) or for leaving yourself there. If you decide to buy an apartment for yourself and family, then you prioritize more your own needs. Particularly, you might prioritize what suits your needs (e.g. size and location) and bother less about the attractiveness in terms of location (that is one of the crucial factors while investing). For example, for investment it is better to buy smaller apartments of one/two rooms and with a good transportation. On the other hand, for you it might be more vital to have an additional room for the same price, but located further. While selecting an apartment for living there, you need to select it subjectively and to have an inner “yes” from your heart. In this article I share some tips for those who are considering buying a new apartment in Helsinki area, all the information is based on personal experience and is not supported by any of the construction companies
An important step to do first is to find your favorite construction companies. Some of the companies are larger-scale, like YIT, Skanska, Bonava, WestPro, Peab, SRV others are smaller and family-scale, like Jatke, Lapti, Hausia, Varte, JM. Recently, Bonava started to plan really nice houses and in new areas, like Suurpelto, Espoo and Kuninkaantammi, Helsinki where the prices are more than reasonable. WestPro offers business class apartments with high-quality materials often near the sea with large windows and wooden balconies. YIT has a large share on the market, builds many houses and is originally a finnish company. Among smaller construction companies my favourite is Hausia, a family-owned business by people who worked in large companies and gained enough experience to start their own construction business. What makes them different are good materials and furniture included in the basic price. Yes, finnish apartments usually come with a ready to move in condition with a kitchen and a toilet. That is truly amazing that the only thing you need to do is to bring some furniture and you can enjoy your new flat.
For example, Hausia offers by default a parquet floor, large balconies with wooden walls, Siemens equipment ( it is a highest class of quality), Novart kitchen and wardrobe ( a high-quality kitchen furniture) and free underground parking space.
The best windows are offered by T2H, who offer panoramic windows that start almost from the floor. Besides Pallas Rakennus builds a really nice project in Vuosaari with panoramic windows and large balconies as shown below in the picture.
Thus, every company has its own price segment and the choice of materials that you can get familiar with. Usually with time they keep updating the materials they use. It means one can except for upcoming apartments to have a similar selection. Another company that offers interesting projects with a possibility to buy the land is Peab and SRV. The reason is why you might prefer Peab is because when you have a little bit larger budget you can buy an apartment with owned land (that means you do not need to pay extra fee for renting the land that can be slightly lower than maintaining fee) for a reasonable price. Peab does not have as much housing projects as YIT, but people are very quick with reserving their apartments. Lapti company also sells apartments with owned land and offers a good quality. To conclude, it is really good to know the market and the companies whom you trust building your future apartment.
So once you know the construction companies, you can be ready to follow future houses to be built. If you are subscribed by either an individual future project or the construction company, you can be the first one to reserve the future apartment. Believe me, you can save 10-20K from the apartment cost by reserving the desired apartment during the presales time, “ennakkomarkinointi” in finnish. The saving can come from reserving an apartment located in the lower floors, since the price increases drastically with higher floors. The companies notify presales time and day during which one need to call by phone to reserve the apartment. Believe me, there are lots of people who want to reserve lower floors and one room apartment so make sure you call immediately after the presale starts. Later after reservation you can pay a deposit and make your final decision later. So in case you change you mind, they just return the money back. Presales period usually lasts several months, after which the sale starts.
While you are following future projects, it is good to understand the areas where you would like to live. For new apartments, you need to be flexible since mostly new areas are used for building. For example, in Munkkuniemi there were no new houses built for some time, except recently that Skanska started to build one house there. Explore the areas you are interested, come there and if you want to understand who will be your neighbors, come to the closest shop at a busy time and you can get the picture. Sometimes, the expectation does not meet the reality, like it was for me with Soukka centre in Espoo. The areas that seem attractive to me are Hiekkaharju, Vantaa (close to the centre by train, very calm area), Henttaa, Ymmersta and Suurpelto in Espoo. Those places have a good connection to the center, peaceful and are not yet hyped. Ymmersta is located at the next train station after Kauniainen (the place where one can not afford easily to buy an apartment due to special status of the area) and it takes 20 minutes to reach city center from there. Suurpelto and Henttaa are new areas in Espoo, the atmosphere there is nice and there is a large forest nearby along with a small shopping centre. Besides those regions, Kannelmaki in Helsinki will be more expensive in the future. In Vantaa, there is a high risk of airplane noise that can be checked from here. In Martinlaakso e.g., one can count several planes in a minute that makes it harder to open the windows and enjoy the silence. That is why in Vantaa in general the apartments cost cheaper due to airplane traffic. E.g. in Kuninkantaammi one can see airplanes, but much less than in Martinlaakso. In new area Kivisto, Vantaa it is calm now and one can not see airplanes but there is some passive slowly recognizable noise that I could hear while being there. Wherever you are leaving there will be something to sacrifice, either with more expensive price or the absence of facilities, so that is why it is important to set the right priorities in the first place
I hope this article makes some points more clear to you and make you closer to YOUR apartment.
Joy can be result of our achievements, outside forces or joint effort with other people. While being a kid, this external force is often our family, so struggling to make us happy. They do lots of sacrifices and we as consumers just accept their love and all the material goods they can afford. Kids joy is expressed without any additional preprocessing and filtering, you can see it clearly. I still do not understand why kids even need social networks, since their straightforward way of expression, so common in childhood, allows them to share what they feel. That is why it feels they are so alive, direct and somehow spontaneous.
With young people approaching more conscious and grown-up life much transformation happening. We start to underestimate our achievements, asking from ourselves higher and higher results; perceive many things as granted. While mixed with high criticism, those things even get more sophisticated. Moreover, we afraid to boast about the achievements. For our inner soul, that makes so much for getting what you have now, it is a trauma. Efforts that are not noticed, are not nurtured. So how to support ourselves, how to appreciate small things?
I see the following two steps:
- Being thankful for all the joy moments and everything we have now. Noticing these moments and respecting yourself for making those moments happen.
- Sharing these moments and your joy with others. Being able to express without any sense of shame, that you had good time or you had a good achievement.
First step is the basis. What you feel inside is what matters. Not to feel any shame for the good times you had, being truly glad for yourselves and others involved.
Second step is being able to share your joy. Without having a feeling, that you boast or exaggerate the situation. It is really easy to make a post in the social network and even some portion of people might envy you, the others might be happy for you or even get motivated! I personally believe, that something that was achieved by you is especially worth sharing. E.g. going to a conference, where you present your work, etc. Sharing good moments with people you love can be also certain gesture of appreciation. One wise women told me that even if only 1 person benefits from the post, it was worth posting it.
The stronger you become mentally, the more you are open to share more with people taking a responsibility of dealing with consequences. Not to share only positive information, but also inconvenient one.
Your voice is what can make dramatic change. In all of its forms. Bloggers share their views with hundreds thousand people every day, so why not to be a bit more open and starting sharing more with a small circle you have, especially with joy
P.S. My turn to share my joy: the featured image is shot that I am personally proud of. It was made while being in Boston for Christmas, 2017. Guys made a performance where they taught people to dance, the crowd of people got an extreme pleasure of watching that got depicted on the shot.
6.05.2018 ~ Luiza
Late autumn I was asked by Kristina Makarova, a wonderful coach, why don’t I upgrade my skills by doing internships? I understood clearly what stopped me from applying all these years and apparently it was a limiting belief. It sounds like: “If I get that internship at this company, I will lose the opportunity to … “. E.g. an opportunity to catch up with your publications, to miss the whole summer, to be misunderstood by the professor, to lose lots of energy in vain since getting there is hard, everyone has its own answer. As soon as you question those limiting beliefs asking: “Am I 100% sure it works like that, why getting an internship can limit me?”, you are on the way to making yourself free and ready for a new challenge. Probably, for most of the people the limiting belief sounds like: “You? Applying? No way! There are a bunch of people, more skillful than you, be realistic!”.
“People think that computer science is the art of geniuses but the actual reality is the opposite, just many people doing things that build on each other, like a wall of mini stones.”Donald Knuth
Next step is about networking and finding the way to contact Google recruiter directly without going through a website application, that can be left without any attention. In Machine Learning or generally in research communities places to meet a recruiter or seniour researchers are well-respected conferences, like NIPS, ICML, etc. and summer schools like Machine Learning Summer or Deep Learning school in Montreal. I met a recruiter at NIPS Women in Machine Learning workshop. Believe me or not, but this WiML workshop was the best place to meet plenty of industry stars during NIPS conference… Still happy about the opportunity of talking to Christopher Bishop, who wrote Machine Learning “Bible” Machine Learning for Pattern Recognition. Believe me, he is one of the kindest and attentive people, I have ever seen. Well, this is a different story…
So I sent CV and within the week of applying I had a phone call with a recruiter. She asked general non-technical questions and mostly spoke herself, explaining the process of the interview. The recruiter gave me materials to prepare for the coding interview, scheduled in one month period. Google recruiters are extremely flexible with respect to coding interview scheduling and let you choose the data and time yourself within some limits!
“Talk is cheap. Show me the code”Linux Torvalds
Let us switch to the most interesting part: coding interview preparation! A candidate is supposed to code interactively with the recruiter in a google document. By interactive coding I mean coding on the spot, where you can build up your function iteratively while getting useful hints from the interviewer. The whole point of it is to check your coding fluency, the knowledge of basic data structures, like stacks, lists, queues, dictionaries and how they are implemented in your favourite language <3. For Google, opmitization and nicely written code is out of the question. One surprizing fact about the position you apply is that there is only one type of internship position called SOFTWARE ENGINEER. This role in practice can be anything, from pure research to heavy coding, but while being interviewed you are expected to have excellent coding skills combined with algorithm design skills. Up to my knowledge there are two types of problems: to create a class implementing some functionality or to implement a set of functions. Hashs, sets and binary search trees will be one of the mostly used structures.
One of the most helpful advices I got before preparation – do not spend your time trying to solve difficult coding tasks, meant to be for olympiad programming. In practice, a candidate needs to be fluent in solving the tasks similar to those given in Cracking the Coding Interview book (considered to be the classics for preparation) Better to solve the tasks from: https://careercup.com/, as they are the real ones at least! On the other side, if you have plenty of time ahead, you can practice using the following sites:
In addition to algorithmic questions, I went through python related questions, checked this handy complexity cheat sheet: http://bigocheatsheet.com/ and read about the complexity of the most commonly used operations for python specifically! One month is a relatively good amount of part-time preparation, but be better generous to yourself by asking more time to prepare from Google recruiter 😉 Those who speak russian or use actively google translator, should definitely check this website: http://larrr.com/, most of my gratitude goes to a woman-googler who shared a lot useful tips about Google interview process, that made me feel more confident.
Believe me or not, but preparing can be hard even to a researcher! Solving algorithmic tasks requires fresh practice and don’t be sad if the first problem takes you several hours … If you can choose between Python and C, I recommend the first one, since Python is a Google language and your life becomes easier when it comes to a bunch of algorithm implementations. I was pleasantly surprized to see very concise pythonic tree implementations with print, delete and insert being short and not scary 😀
While preparing get some help from the peer’s who already went through the interview and organize mock interviews Your friend will act as an interviewer giving your hints on the way and getting some useful feedback to you. Quite important to find a person familiar with the process, being able to help if you are stuck and to assess critically your performance. Mock-interview is a vital step in your preparation, by having those, you significantly increase your chances !!!
Personally, I was given relatively easy problems related to implementing a class with a certain functionality, sorting and probability distribution related tasks. The challenging part was to take into account corner cases, optimize my code, reason about the requirements, etc. Interviewers prefer assessing your skills using simpler tasks. They see how you reason, go deeper, take into account resources and see more than one solution on the toy problem. It is not something a personc can output on the spot, it is purely the result of good preparation or strong background
Overall, I had 3 coding interviews, 45 minutes each (usually there are only two!). Interviewers were extremely helpful. I am telling you, everyone has a chance to apply to Google, given enough dedication and willingness to study. Although I did not get there this time, my first two interviews went well in my opinion. In the end I got an enormous practice, refreshed in my memory some vital topics and let the fear of applying to any big company go away. Of course, there were a moment of frustration, since my preparation has started before the new year and even on the 31st I spend a bit of time to study I needed to make lots of compromises choosing between seing people, doing sports, etc and this preparation. In such periods of time, I try to keep the balance, allowing pleasant moments to happen in my life as well.
So dare to apply and if you want the continuation of this post, please write your question in the comment below!
To summarize, here is your action plan:
- Step 1: Rethink your limiting beliefs that govern your decision about the internship. The decision should depend on your values, priorities but not on your fears of being not good enough, etc.
- Step 2: Find the way to apply to Google through a recruiter or through googlers that you can meet at respected conferences or summer schools. Meanwhile start searching for a person to give you a reference, Google asks that after the first talk to a recruiter. You can mention in the form the team and location preferences.
- Step 3: Send carefully prepared CV to a recruiter and have a scheduled call withing 1-2 weeks. Agree on the date of the next coding interview, please take enough time for preparation.
- Step 4: Find a mock-interview assistant who acts as an interviewer. It is vital to find a person familiar with the process, being able to help if you are stuck.
- Step 5: Go through “Cracking the code interview book” and other mentioned materials and arrange several mock-interviews, the more the better for you!
- Step 6: Make the best during the interview and wait patiently for a couple of weeks until you get a verdict
Short post about the main lessons, that I learned during this long and amazing year. The concept of insight means something that stroke your mind at some point, may be an idea that you used to know, but totally forgot in the totally busy schedule of the life. Not to forget the diamond thoughts, this year I bought a small notebook, where I tend to write a couple of lines to keep the most amazing things in memory. Believe me or not, but this is the only way to reuse your insights later, to share them or to use them to write a book in the future! What I really like about the insights, as they are personal – adjusted for you, short – several sentences not to make that a burden, striking and amazingly powerful. Most of my insights were born during the communication with people. People have much to say, and some of their ideas are diamonds that you have to notice. So here are my diamond-insights:
- Clarity in our mind is the result of hard work of answering unsolved questions. Unless you dont resolve what are your values, your ethics, your preferences in life you will be blown much by the winds of people, who know what they want. That is why it is worth asking yourself and discussing with other people your picture of the world and to establish the most vital rules of your life. Rules created by you! It is very exciting journey to make that list of rules, that you do your best to follow. No country would ever survive without the set of laws, the same applies to our individual life. Rules can express as well the things that you will not ever do in your life: “hit the child”.
- We can not learn from people, unless we are tuned to hear something good from them. That is why many people listen so attentively the speech of famous and successful people and pay much less attention to the others. Not fair, is not it. It means that we decide in advance the level up to which we perceive the information: weather we are ready to be engaged fully in the conversation or not. I tend to remember those diamond thoughts from people around me, knowing that everyone has something to say very precious, you just have to wait a bit.
- Emotional intellect can only be the result of communication with people. If you want to be more comfortable with people, get to know new people. After knowing thousands of people, you better understand what to expect from the 1001, as we tend to be similar, be slightly groupped according to our values. Emotional intellect is the ability to interpret the notice what is happening inside and outside with other people and to interpret that correctly.
- Systems where people are united by the common interest and bring support is the best way to grow. Being involved in the community with similar interests can increase your speed significantly, even if you think you can not proceed anymore. It is called pushing the limits. This year Galiya Berdnikova business-woman community “ZBU” has given me a lot of inspiration and tools to grow. Galiya is the perfect example of the woman who can make things clear in her mind and business. I really recommend you to check her russian blog http://womenbz.ru/.
- The last thing to do is to start accusing people in case of things going wrong. In most of the cases they are doing the best they can and your task is to help them help you by listening of their version and situation explanations. We are expecting much and sometimes are not ready to hear the rules and conditions of real business. I am using this rule on a regular basis and almost never get angry when the things are not going in the way, I expected. I have to confess that in the beginning of January after laser eye operation, I was very nervous not to get the desired results and expressed my unsatisfaction to the doctors of the clinic. In half of the year, the doctors turned out to be right and my vision has stabilized.
- Judgements of other people is mostly the result of your childhood traumas. We see in other people, that we see in ourselves. E.g., I can notice people being busy, as at times I can be busy myself. The word busy can be replaced by any other characteristics, like “selfish”, “rude”, etc. So your judgements of other people can show you what are the things to work with and what you dont really accept yourself.
- Group all the work, that is similar. This year, I had a trouble with 2 projects and was trying to reserve couple of hours per each during the day. This did not work for me, as getting into the process as well takes time. Later I have changed the strategy towards doing 1 project for several days and noticed a tremendous results, as I had actually time to go deeper and to make a progress. The same applies to replying messages, email. In addition, I started to do hackatons with my students where couple of days they have dedicated only to my project and the results were much more prominent and visible.
- Walking before the sleep for 1 hour was the best practice I could imagine. During this 1 hour I could remember and reflect on the things happened, the things to consider on the fresh air. My skin was super happy, my body and my mind was cleaned during this 1 hour of reflection to be ready to sleep. More here in this article: http://muzaluiza.ru/making-commitments-as-a-way-to-introduce-a-habit/
- Deepest and nicest relations require mutual giving from both sides. It is all that simple if both people are mature. Just be ready to give as much as you can, but dont try to require much. You all know that situation when the wife can ask “Do you love me?” 10 times per day, but that seems like pulling the love out of the husband, rather than giving what you can. We can not get much more than we give, so dont be surprised by the shortage of love, just make a first step yourself. “Buddha and Love” by Ole Nedal (http://buddhaandlove.com/) was my favourite book about relationships this year, very deep and budhist approach is really deeply caring.
- We can break promises given to ourselves, but much more difficult to break promises given to others, especially whom we respect. I gave a couple of promises this year to my dearest friends to introduce new habits and I could introduce my walking routine and improve eating habits. Losing weight by 5 kilos up to 55 did not work for me for 3 years until I gave a promise.
- Most of the people dont need advices, they need listening and us telling nice stories, joking and smiling. Relaxation is number one in the modern world. By listening and keeping our advices silent, we can heal people, told Thich Nhat Hanh to Opra : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyUxYflkhzo
- Simplify all the routines, that can be done without much of your thinking. This way you can give the space to something more meaningful. My morning routine consists of simple meals, shopping usually takes place once per week. I never spend more than 1 hour on cleaning as prefer to keep my room clean by default. May be checking out the clothes takes more time, but I combine that with educational videos on the background.
- One person can be wrong. Three people are less probable to be wrong at the same time. Be ready to share and explain your situation, ask advice from people, who succeded, and this way you can be much more steady in life and avoid bad cases. Being able to discuss your case with other appropriate people is a blessing and together you can always go further than alone. Check the concept of MasterMinds here http://www.thesuccessalliance.com/what-is-a-mastermind-group/.
- Introduce a practice of writing down your short insights and you will have an opportunity to go back and retrive your learned wisdom whenever you want.
What are your insights this year?
After holding the seminar Morning Routine, I took my friend’s hand and told him: ‘Can you promise me to start using one thing from our seminar?’ As I deeply appreciate Sayantan, I wanted him to take some benefit from it.
‘For the next 2 weeks I will wake up in the morning, drink a glass of water and do a small set of exercises,’ said Sayantan, smiling, but not truly understanding what he committed for.
At the same time, I felt weird not promising something in return, so I promised in my turn to make a 40 minute walk before going to bed every day. Why it was specifically a 40 minute walk, I can not remember now :/
First day Santa was really excited to wake up at 5.00 a.m., but an hour later he fell back asleep and came to work only at 10 a.m. Nevertheless, I supported and encouraged him to continue, but instead suggested that he shift waking-up time more gradually The following few days some things did not work out for him , but he managed to make a permanent habit of drinking a glass of water with lemon juice and doing stretching exercises.
More importantly, the promise I gave him affected me even more. It was a spontaneuous decision to walk before going to bed. At present I consider that to be one of the most powerful routines. Two weeks turned into a continuous routine that is replaced occasionally with other activities related to sport or seeing people dear to my heart .
First of all, a brisk one-hour walk outdoors in the fresh air gives you the time to plan the next day and to reflect on the ending day. Being thankful for the day you had is a really something to treasure. I believe that every day we have should be celebrated in the evening. Remembering hard work we did, people we helped, emotions we felt, goals we achieved brings an extremely pleasant feeling that your life is good!
Of course, not all the days are sunny. Still there is always something to be thankful for. Furthermore, the place where I walk inspires me: the bay area in Keilaniemi, Espoo, is the residence of hundreds of companies, including Microsoft. They even have their own helicopter pad, near the shore of the Baltic sea that is usually my furthest destination to reach.
Secondly, walking builds up your body, is gentler on the knees compared to running and makes the skin breathe! No cream will make your skin white and your cheeks pink like walking does! People spending time outside in the fresh air tend to have a better skin. In addition, due to walking I lost several kilos that were hard to lose! That was a great reward.
Thirdly, I spend this sleepy time before going to bed in the nicest way I could imagine. Computer as an alternative does not give much benefit at this time, when you only have the energy to browse passively. Evening time is time for socializing and at times I meet my closest friends that make me forget about all the routines..
My clever friend Sergio found another reason for walking. He told me that walking gives time for slow and calm processing of one’s emotions and thoughts that have accumulated over the day. Indeed, during the day lots of thoughts are accumulated and one of the biggest reasons for not being able to sleep is having the continuous endless flow of thoughts. Some people read before going to bed. Some drink warm milk. Some meditate. All these are the ways to bring your mind to a quiet mode ready to sleep. Quietness comes after ordering your thoughts, letting some of them go. It can not be done just by lying on the bed before going to sleep. What would be your way of ending the day: walking, meditating, conversations with the dearest, a sauna, a book is up to you and the circumstances.
People intrinsically try to follow high expectations set by the society and show a better image of themselves. In such an environment showing your strengths is considered to be an advantage, and that is a reason why people might respect and love you. In theory.
In practice, while trying to look perfect we loose the opportunity to grow, to learn and to receive a tremendous feedback from people around. Ask yourself: will anyone give you a hand without you telling about the problem openly? Of course, no.
Secondly, it is much more difficult to build close relations without being vulnerable and sharing openly yourself. Vulnerability implies the opportunity of being hurt by opening and this concept was studied in detail by Brene Brown: http://brenebrown.com/. For people with their hesitations, problems, sad moments occuring sometimes it is easier to connect with the others. Because we all share some difficult moments, hearing someone having the same experience echoes in our hearts: “Exactly, I had the same feeling, how can I understand you!”.
Being vulnerable is unsecure and I have to admit, we should select to whom we open. Brene Brown suggests to choose those people, who will not fall into depression with you, but rather can empathize. Empathizing means the acceptance in all its meanings, accepting everything as it is without strict judgement. I would not share my weekness with the one, who starts to judge me saying, “I told you, you should have done it differently”.
My life has become much more harmonic, when I increased sharing my difficulties with people around. I feel myself more authentic and real, not spending the energy for keeping those akward memories only inside of my head. Only now I realize, why some people considered me not to be open enough and why it was difficult to make a deeper connection at times. Still, despite of mentioning weeknesses, I stick to the prevalence of positive attitude and readiness to make the actions, as this is the only way to proceed and fulfil your life full of meaning…
The scent of Jasmine flowers comes miles away… Charming flowers usually appear in July, but to keep relations with those this time I took the whole responsibility to make a jasmine tea myself. To enjoy it with green tea in the evenings and to stop the time for a while with a cup of tea.
I got acquainted with Jasmine tea from Ahmad collection. I still buy it and other forms of green tea with jasmine, like pearls (“Jasmine dragon pearls”), quite famous recently among tea lovers. It makes me feel more relaxed, even before going to sleep you can afford yourself a cup of green tea with jasmine.
Among the recommended services that I use for buying tea is alliexpress.com, it is so cold chineese own “ebay”. Of course, when it comes to tea better option would be to rely on this website rather than ebay when leaving in Europe/Asia!
For russian people who do not want to seek for good tea themselves I recommend http://realchinatea.ru/, where the guys made a whole art of selling the tea (not only selling, but organizing tea tours, writing tea blogs,etc). They buy the tea from the trusted people, carefully choose their products to sell and make you 100% enjoy their tea. From their website I get to know that actually some sorts of oolong and green tea should be stored in the fridge! Happily it is not the case for black tea, that can be stored in room temperature.
Keep calm, drink jasmine tea
“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest thing can happen” Pere Carrol
People have good ability to follow the expectations of other people. This is the simplest scenario to follow: to underperform, when you are not given enough trust. Parents thinking, that their child is not talented enough will not put much effort to open his existing talents and loose many opportunities to grow a clever child. How many times in your life, you were put down and given not enough trust or underestimated? It happened to me, not often, but enough to take the lesson.
My article will be a short personal story, that taught me how to support yourself no matter what others are saying. This is the only way to go forward, before anyone will give you the trust. The trust usually comes later and easier, when you have already proceeded, started to believe in yourself and achieved some results
In the family my father was strict and keeping household when needed. He always thought that the food should have been simple and one should have carefully used the ingredients, not letting any food to be spoiled. Since 14 I started to be deeply interested in cooking and started to cook myself, without any guidance, following the recipes from the internet. I have tried to prepare hand-made wraps, that turned out the first time into hard wraps, that my brother helped me to finish:) Then I continued with the dumplings, that fell apart and became a mix of meatballs and the pastry. I tried to make Tatar “mantu”, that are huge dumplings on the stream. All these attempts were not the perfect from the first time and my father asked me to stop cooking at all. He was telling that I can not cook and I should not waste the ingredients. That time I felt sorry and my motivation for cooking was decreasing. He did not support me at all with my attempts. With time, I stopped noticing his words and continued to cook, getting the pleasure from cooking and believing that I will improve and nobody has the right to stop me. Since 10 years, I am cooking almost by intuition, inventing new recipes with healthy style. If I did not support myself that time, I could lose my passion in inventing new recipes. Still, my father loved me and still loves without any intention to hurt.
This was only one story, but it illustrates the fact, that one to go forward should stop listening discouraging statements, that are not making any good for you. Don’t believe bad predictions and make your own. People are not ideal and it is easy to put down someone and not to find encouraging words. I want to say you, do not give anyone the right to say who you are and what you are worth and what you can. It is up to you to decide.
Imagine you are in the beginning of your career in the business. This time, you are not given much trust probably from the investors and clients. Nobody possibly will support you at the beginning, but to start making a good service, you need to support your belief about your abilities to make that. You need to forgive and to learn from mistakes, to learn how to talk with the client. You need to gain the trust slowly. When you business starts to cherish, you can start getting more support. But at the beginning you had to do it for yourself.
Another tool except supporting yourself, would be to learn to encourage people around you for good changes. To give people slightly higher the credit of trust, so that they will make that true. This way, you can make some wonders happen, by giving someone trust. Yes! Dont except the support from the outside always, but be ready to support people around you! By support I do not say only general words: “You will make it, etc”, but I mean treating people as well, as they are great, interesting and have much to say and do. Believe me, you will notice how their actions slowly will start to match your words.
With love, Luiza <3