by Shanti Uganda…
As weird as it may seem, it appeared to me that I must have a “relationship” with Toshiba without even being aware of it. Please do not consider that I have any shares in this Japanese company or something like that. No. I have a French car, a Romanian wife, an American fridge, speak a little german and so on. Continue reading I have a relationship with Toshiba…
The man you see every morning in the mirror can be your best friend… or your fiercest enemy. It seems that the last is trying to suck the best out of me during the last couple of weeks.
I am not giving up the project of becoming a “YouTubeur”, but it has to wait, as I am obviously prisoner of my own “creative loop”, biting my own tail like a crazy dog. Continue reading Burning out like an idiot, initiating too many projects…
This blog is about constantly (re)inventing yourself in order to live a happier life, just in case I forgot it 🙂 I am so lucky to have a kind of rollercoaster existence, but anything has its price.
And so for a couple of weeks until now I was rather sad, depressed, trying to figure out what to create furthermore, as I am a kind of “jobless” in Martinique right now. I worked a little bit as a tourist guide for cruises, and then thought about writing novels and e-books.
Being without any regular job does not mean that I am without any professional activity, as I am learning a large amount of new things and growing my “employability”. I am constantly trying new concepts and tools, sometimes without purpose: this is my personal “research & development” effort. It helped me greatly to build our home, to found “Aventura Parc” with my wife, to create websites, and so on. Internet is full of open information about anything, and practically you do not have an excuse not to learn by yourself, haven’t you?
I was wandering in many directions, procrastinating and not finishing anything – except publishing my wife’s e-books on Amazon. But for a few days, all things seem to converge towards one point: becoming a “YouTubeur”. I made this mistake with purpose because I would like to express myself on YouTube, speaking in French, my native language.
So why write about that in an English blog?
Well, I commit myself to writing in English because it is my way of thanking all the people who freely put their knowledge at disposal on internet ; and it is mostly in english language. Furthermore, I try to improve my “english” skills.
For more than ten years I used to organize and facilitate team building events – mostly in Romania, in Romanian – and I think it is my turn now to explain on short movies how to facilitate such events. I would like to reach francophone people as it is easier for me to explain myself in front of a camera in my mother tongue, and also because there is a need to explain all this stuff: most of professional in this area try to complicate things, and I would like to make it simple.
So the idea is: “Team Building Facile”, and I will try to transform this idea into something real and, maybe, use it to reinvent myself and create a new job for me, here, or anywhere in the world… That would be my next dream!
As an important tool for my future activity as a “YouTubeur”, I decided – after carefully reviewing and trying many options – to use the free version of the “Lightworks” software, in order to edit my videos and I would like to share with you a great tutorial in order to insert a graphic (a “png” file) into your clip. Look at that:
I also managed to create a kind of brand throughout my social networks accounts and I will keep you posted.
Wish me good luck and see you soon on YouTube!
I have to leave now since I am cooking for my son 🙂
LOVE ANNIVERSARY – When I turned on my computer today, I was wondering what to write about on this blog… I knew it is a special day for my wife and I but, as usual, I wanted to keep it “quiet” and discreet on our 21st wedding day anniversary: go together to a restaurant, eat something good, mostly just looking in each other’s eyes and contemplating “solid” and true love… Continue reading I love my wife!
SPIRITUALITY – I like to think I tend to be a “Man” described by Rudyard Kipling in his famous poem “If…”. So to be brief I try to be flexible, to adapt, and make my own opinion about things and people.
But some of them really influenced my thinking and well-being as a human. First I discovered Buddhism reading the drama of a French actress called Véronique Jannot. Her autobiography, called “Trouver le chemin” in French (“Find the path” in english) was striking and turned me upside down as I learned all the difficulties and ordeals she had in her life, finding in the end the power to be happy and truthful thanks to Tibetan Buddhism. Continue reading Thich Nhat Hanh… my zen master…
OPINIONS, ALTRUIST ECONOMY – As I was explaining in a first post on our blog in French, I decided a few days ago to begin lending money on Kiva after viewing an interview with Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard attending the Davos meeting a few weeks ago.
Logging into the Kiva website was pretty easy. I did it with my Facebook account in order to make it quick. In a few minutes I created a PayPal account and was able to make a transfer very easily from my bank account. I think the whole operation lasted about 15 minutes, with the connections to the bank, filling the forms, money conversions, checking the numbers and so on.
So I decided to make immediately my first lending and found the “Kiva team” I selected a few days ago and wanted to join: “Supporting Widows and Single Parents” as I explained in my former post. I searched all the pending loans and found my first female borrower: Mariam from Lebanon. As I write these lines, Mariam’s loan has been fully funded and I am happy for her. I hope she will attain her goals and I am confident with it anyway.
As a former entrepreneur in Romania, I know that if someone in the position of borrowing to sustain one’s family will do anything possible to do her (or his) best and give the money back. It is a matter of honor.
Nevertheless I have to tell you that something puzzled me a little bit: during the lending process, Kiva is asking you to make a donation that represents roughly 14% of the total lending amount. To me, this is far too much: I can understand that their activities generate costs, but that is not OK to present things like that: you have to make the calculation in order to evaluate the percentage and come to this conclusion by yourself. I agree to donate 2% for overhead expenses, as Matthieu Ricard explains in this video on the Karuna-Shechen foundation’s website. 2% is not much, surely it is not enough and maybe I will donate more afterwards. But not in the very moment I make my lending. In my opinion, we can have the choice to make a bigger donation afterwards: this is perfectly possible on the Kiva’s website anyway.
I have to tell you that I did not credit Kiva with lots of money: I would like to “test” first with a few hundreds of dollars and see the results. Only then maybe I will raise my participation.
That being said, I will lend 1-2 borrowers per week (after having carefully read their stories) until all my Kiva credit is gone, waiting to relend and put my money back to help others. This is my way of getting concerned by this activity and feel a little bit of altruism in front of my laptop’s screen 🙂
Until then, take care and pay a visit to Kiva’s website!
Being human is mostly about work, but also about creativity.
Or the other way around, because you have to be creative to get some news ideas in order to invent new concepts or pieces of art. Then you can work on them. And be creative again, initiating and maintaining a virtuous circle of “added value”… Continue reading The mind map, or how to organize creativity!
Recently I helped a person to realize she was making a mistake by “naming” an important event of her life in a wrong way.
Sometimes when you think of a life-changing event in your life and try to figure out what it meant at this time and what it means to you by now, the very fact that YOU are concerned in the first place does not help you to objectively “qualify” this event, because you do not have the “big picture”, by definition. And naming correctly an event is paramount to the influence it can have in your subconscious mind and, therefore, in your future conscious life and the general direction it will follow after you have put a meaning on a particular life-changing event. Continue reading Wanna have a correspondence?
What a beautiful, and sad, story about your dad and his friend “Big Joe”…
What a beautiful story about… you.
I know that it is sometimes difficult to have a serious discussion with parents who suffered a lot during the past: the wounds are not well healed and maybe they think we – the children – are not ready to hear their confessions. Sometimes they express themselves in awkward ways because they did not completely “heal” themselves and did not figure out everything completely… Even if we linger to hear these healing words, these phrases that will alleviate suffering and, most of all, the unknown, these “unspoken” things, the silence hurts so much because you just don’t know the truth. And it is unbearable. Sometimes life does not give you any chance: how many abandoned children or orphans do not know anything about their past? It is horrible…
But your dad decided this was the right time for you to know a part of his past, a part of yours, he gave you another piece of the puzzle… He talked to you just like that, without warnings, out of the blue, and you were wise enough not to say anything stupid, but just hear his story and “align” yourself with him just like that, in a second… That is true wisdom 🙂
It is also clear to me that you had to go to Vietnam and make this first pilgrimage, because it won’t be the only one. You will have to go there maybe a couple of times more during your life in order to grasp the reality of this beautiful country, and correct your present “vision” (product of your strong feelings at the museum for example… but these feelings are “too strong”) about it in order to make your own, not the one you think it is for now… Because it is also your country in the end and you have to be at peace with it… And you will be
I think you will continue to write your book about your parents as you were told in Bali, because it is important to you, because you want to know what your “genesis” was. You have to build your own “past” in order to move on… that is why you are so eager to learn a lot of cultures and languages. So keep on learning !
And, if you allow me to make a personal comment about your feelings, I would like to correct your assumption “the war made me”… It is bold, it is strong… but it is not entirely true. I would write “I am a child of love… Of a love born during the war…”.
Please think of it. Please let this idea enter your mind peacefully, calmly. See if it will be yours someday, if you are OK with it: your parents fell in love in the middle of hell, their love was the first best thing they WANTED to create… The second thing, well… it is you : you are a child of love, not of war. Because I do not think they fell in love because of the war: the war was an “opportunity”, as the fall of the iron curtain was for me and Cristina… The love they lived was THEIR choosing, THEIR will, so you certainly were not any accident. You ARE not an accident. The war did not make you.
You are a child of love.
During my short visit home over the holidays, my dad and I often sat at the bar table sipping white peony tea. He was nibbling on a cinnamon roll, I was snacking on some leftover Goi Cuon (Vietnamese spring rolls) my mom made earlier in the evening.
My father fought in the Vietnam war. It’s where he met my mother. There are a slew of Vietnam veterans scattered throughout the country, but few managed to bring back a local from the war torn remains of Vietnam, and even fewer of these couples managed to keep their relationship together through the final, and most difficult hurdle: Culture Shock. Even if a Vietnamese woman were to escape her homeland and be with the GI of her dreams in the supposedly “happily ever after” ending following the Vietnam war, many of them experienced extreme culture shock from both the environment and their new…
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