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Impressions after 5TC… July 4, 2011

Posted by armina in thoughts.
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Most of you already know I am writing on this blog very seldom. I am writing when I can’t share my experiences with my close friends because I am blocked and the only way for me to make a step forward and get over it, is to write here. Today is a blurry day for me…I guess is just now that I realized “it ended” (the conference).

I arrived there last Sunday for the pre-meeting and thanks to Adi who is so calm I became calm too. I was confident the entire team will do a great job (they were hand-picked :P).

Then in the first day I was anxious to start and a bit worried about the GTKEO because I was thinking that the people might not arrive in time but most of them did, so starting the agenda at 10.00 am is not a bad idea (though finishing on Friday as early as possible might be something we should consider…)

The World Caffe worked like a charm and I was pleasantly surprised to see that people were so interested in talking about the topics we chose. I am glad we could afford the luxury to choose these topics thanks to the people we had present. A bitter taste did appear, because I was thinking that next time these people will not be present and I have to figure out a new recipe to make the spell work.

Then the Skills block was phenomenal (I think). It worked so well – it was just what people needed and I think the idea of Oana withΒ  “newbies track” is gorgeous and we will implement it – I hope we will have in autumn participants with different levels of experience and preparation and thus have the need to have a newbies track, otherwise the current concept works just fine. And again the bitter taste told me I will have to figure out a way to find/(re)bring the right, beautiful people to “cook it all” next time. The big question in my mind was “Why can’t I just keep them all in?” Of course I know the answer…we don’t have the needed money because the rest for a great (job) mixture, exists. How would it be to have some or all these people involved full-time (me included) working in youth education projects – GROW mainly but not only. How much would it cost? I will calculate…maybe starting from autumn or spring we will find a solution.

Moving on to the briefings’ day I have to say that I was not perfectly satisfied with this day. Maybe being at the 3-4th review of trainers’ manuals I became too picky, or maybe not. Anyways, my main feeling was that we still need to work a lot on the manuals and I hope I will not be doing this alone but have some ex/current GROW trainers to join me in doing these reviews. I was also a bit upset about how the corporate sessions went, mainly because I could see in the trainers’ style that they were not considering the participants as being adults, they were treating them a bit like kids. Well…they are not kids, they are in their twenties and even though I act like a kid sometimes (and don’t we all do that?), I am an adult (at least supposedly and everyone expects it from me). So long story made short, a great quality standard would be to involve in this 5TC only trainers who have some experience/knowledge/openness to understand how/what working with youth means. A youth trainer is not a corporate trainer. A corporate trainer can become a youth trainer but there are some special ingredients that need to be added to this soup and some people are just not aware of the complete recipe.

The simulations day was according to my expectations (I wish it was better). For the next edition I will create a best-case practice manual for how to run and coordinate the whole process – it will make things happen faster and easier πŸ™‚ – i will have to put this on paper asap not to forget anything πŸ™‚

The last day was torture for me. I didn’t want to say it but the fact that I was in charge of the “impressions” session made it so much more difficult because there were many people I worked with going in front and talking about their experiences and I knew I will never see some of them again/for a long time. So after the session I went away to write some diplomas and to run some interviews (which were again tormenting me because they were about participants’ impressions). I was sad I didn’t find time to make a picture with my group and say good-bye but I might have started crying and I can’t accept crying – it just unbalances my inner peace much too much and if now I am suffering only for 1-2 days, if I was to say good-bye I would have been offbalance for a week. So on one hand is better that I didn’t say good-bye to all at once, but to just a few important ones, one by one. I hope in the future I will get better at “good-byes” though for the moment and for the last few years I have been preferring to think that if you don’t say good-bye you increase the chances of seeing each-other again – it proved true a couple of times but there are still 2 best friends of mine (Martita and Monica) whom I haven’t seen in a while and I miss so much and they seem so far…Dubai and Genova…it might be just in my head and I hope to see them this year and “break the spell” πŸ™‚

I want to thank all of you for a wonderful time. I wish it didn’t end so soon. I am glad I had the chance to see so many cultures together functioning quite well and I was very impressed by Jojo – my dear Jojo, “o plecaciune pentru tine” (I am not sure how to say it in English) – I sincerely hope to see you again, you powerful, fragile girl! You rule!

Thank you Kasia also! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I think I know what you are going through but I was kind of blocked and couldn’t speak directly to you, though I hope I will soon.

The others, you know yourselves and how much I appreciate you and your work. I will not write it here again because I need to close this post and with it, my offbalanced mood – a new week has started and we need to rock again πŸ™‚ – I need to run for the GROW opening in Pitesti to support the team from here…actually I should have left 10 minutes ago already.

One last message from me – Oamenii sfintesc locul, nu Dumnezeu! – Sorry but I truly believe this above all.

PS: I don’t need to read the evaluation forms to know we did a wonderful job. I am not arrogant as some who don’t know me might think …I just happen to know it.

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What’s up with 2011? Or the key to happiness. March 15, 2011

Posted by armina in dareberry, friends related, thoughts.
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I haven’t been posting here for a very long time. I thought of leaving it as it is forever. Then today, being an unusual day I have decided to tell about it and…about my plans for this year…just felt like sharing.

So today I woke up at 13.00 and worked a bit, went to sleep at 17.00 because i refused to drink a coffee instead πŸ™‚ and I slept one hour, then from 18.00 I worked until 21.00 and then went to sleep and woke up at 22.00 and have been chillaxing since then. Weirdest day…

I have had full weekends and some full weeks, too – full of work, full of fun…this year started at a very high speed and it’s been said to continue like that. I am loving it and I am glad I know my body and will feel when I need to stop in advance so I won’t break…something I see happening around quite often πŸ˜‰

This is it for me…this is the year when “i make it or break it” – what does this mean? Well…I have been dreaming unintentionally, every other fortnight, for 3 years (since I came back to Romania) that I am in a foreign country, having the lifestyle I wish for. D.Β  feels the same, so we decided that in 2011 we either get to live as we want in Romania or we leave. I am glad to say that though it’s just March, we have been progressing towards the lifestyle we want.

The funny thing is that we don’t need “stuff” to get to the lifestyle we want but we need people and feelings – we want to feel relaxed as the Italians are feeling, we want the sun they have, we want to see less randomness around us and in people’s minds, similar to Swiss thinking style, we want to mix work and fun as much as possible so that the “criticism and crisis-sadness, typical Romanian complaining-chatter” doesn’t get to us.

We realized that if we want to make things work with us and around us we need a reinforcement for our beliefs for the better and this can be easily done if we go for a trip outside the country for a few weeks. Unfortunately sometimes a few weeks is too much when you have things to do so we need to find “alternative ways of energy” – something to keep us running and that helps us stay healthy – like not get the “complaining-crisis-sadness-criticism-attitude” which gets us to think that nothing can be done and then we are back down.

And…I rediscovered some old ways of recharging my batteries (like chatting with really old friends whom I haven’t seen in a long time and dancing on some trance) and I found new alternative ways of getting energy: planning new projects, being in front of a bunch of people telling stories, delivering trainings, and…I tend to believe another one for me is driving – but first I have to learn some more mechanics, pass the darn exam, and get the license – and then I will be driving a lot πŸ™‚

I love it that I am charging my batteries more often from the trainings and talks I have with people and in the same time I am contributing to their personal development. In the same time there have been many 16 hours days of work…and…I love that, too.

Then again like in every spring, I needed a reassurance and I got it:Β  from time to time I am wondering how much am I worth it on the market, being afraid that perhaps my company is not the best option for me – well…on the market I worth so so so much less than in my company and here I definitely love what I do and I love it that I have time for volunteering as well. And from what I have heard this is valid for my price on the Western Europe market, too.

So work hard, play hard! Don’t forget the money you make is not worth the work unless you spend it on something that makes you happy…ideally something for you…ideally not “a thing”, but a memorable experience!

The more memorable experiences you create for yourself and for the others, the happier you will be – that’s the key to happiness.

2010 in review January 2, 2011

Posted by armina in Uncategorized.
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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meterβ„’ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 6 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 159 posts.

The busiest day of the year was January 5th with 93 views. The most popular post that day was Who Am I?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were darmievenimente.ro, musat.com.ro, linkedin.com, ro.linkedin.com, and marius.sigheti.eu.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for i used to rule the world meaning, difference between a bitch and a woman, the difference between a woman and a bitch, difference between a woman and a bitch, and whatever helps you sleep at night.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Who Am I? June 2009
2 comments

2

The difference between a bitch and a “woman entrepreneur” April 2009

3

About September 2007
2 comments

4

What’s a dareberry August 2008

5

I used to rule the world November 2008
1 comment

Writing books and Re-designing services December 10, 2010

Posted by armina in thoughts.
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Lately I have decided that lifestyle entrepreneurship is not enough for me :)) I want even more freedom. Currently I am working 40 hours per month on an average and make just enough to cover all needs. I love what I am doing but what if I worked only 10 hours per month? So I figured I would write the book I have been thinking about for the last two years and sell it on the internet. It’s amazing how the idea came up and how it transformed and transformed in time. Today is definitely nothing like the sketch from 2008…

The “selling books online” idea has been tested by many and it seems it works (at least considering the number of books I wrote as a ghost writer for others – they paid me so…i guess it paid). Then I tested it myself with my father’s book – a present for his birthday – we translated and designed his book and sell it only. The book is quite hardcore and the readers’ niche is very slim but it still sells about 2-3 per month. If the niche would be 100 times the size of his niche and the book would approach a subject that can be understood and liked by anyone between 14 and 38 then the sales should be bigger.

Then I used the Business Model Canvas to make sure that my plan is realistic and as original as possible. I recommend “Business Model Generation” to anyone who is thinking of designing or re-designing his services or business model. I would say that this is advisable every 2-3 years, depending on the industry you are in, maybeΒ  even more often. I found it very useful many times already.

Christmas gift concept December 1, 2010

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This December, at Rent eBrains we donate time.

We offer 100 hours as a Christmas gift for NGOs and returning customers – check our website to see what we could do for you: http://www.rentebrains.com

Put some daydreaming time in your calendar November 15, 2010

Posted by armina in thoughts.
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I started today in an unusual way – I went to a clinic to make some blood analysis – and it went on in an unusual beat. I went for a walk in the sun…the 17 degrees sun of November πŸ™‚

By the way the nurse was the nicest I have ever met – she made my day πŸ™‚

Then I went home and I was planning to have breakfast and start working but…i just “had to” schedule some daydreaming time. I got home with a song in my head and couldn’t get rid of it. I checked my calendar and yes,Β  there they were 8 hours of work planned and i thought what if…i would just make a big hole in the schedule and put there a daydreaming “session” cause i just felt like eating toast with butter, drink some mango tea and listen to Robin Hood’s soundtrack songs while being creative :P.

I haven’t been daydreaming since I was around 16 or so – around 12 years ago – when I used to do this just because i was in love or with the purpose of writing. So it’s been a while. I just thought that once in 12 years it could be useful especially since I was doing this with a purpose – how to create an amazing conference I will be managing. So I did my peaceful daydreaming and then I got curious – my analytic part just had to know – if anyone else uses it, how and what else is out there written about it.

Not surprising at all,Β  there is quite some info on the net about this creative, aware process. What is surprising though is that out of 10 links 6 or 7 claim it could be harmful…really? and what could happen with you? become a futurologist or a visionary? And out of these 6-7 links some are opinions of the church…the church? again the church?

Well enough with the politics. What I wanted to say is that satisfying my taste buds with a nice breakfast, my ears with nice music and thinking creative and positively about how this important event will happen, helped me a lot and I recommend it.

What happened since forever… October 10, 2010

Posted by armina in Uncategorized.
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I decided I could spare some time to write a bit about what I am doing and have done to update everyone.

Well this year has been pretty hectic.In a bulleted way:

  • I finally finished my masters in February – it was never a priority but is cool to look back and realize you have studied and finalized a form of education even if it was not a priority. I also got a hilarious feedback that I am not prepared to be a trainer though I have been doing this since 2003. The teacher who gave this verdict is a trainer, too but they never saw me preparing or delivering a training and most importantly in the NGO/youth environment because I am not a corporate trainer – and these 2 are very different. Or maybe they didn’t like the topic of my thesis so much – i tried and almost managed to prove that a test group people enjoyed the online version of a training more than the class-based version. The training was about innovative thinking and I guess for many young people this means “usage of technology as much as possible, if 2.0 even better”.
  • In spring, Rent eBrains got to a point where me and Dani were happy with – a comfortable income zone. I thought this can’t be it and let’s try to reach an outrageous objective, like double than usual, and surprise, we did it. So this proved there is no limit to this business and also (once again) that there is nothing I love more and very few things that could convince me to go back in the corporate rat race.
  • Also in spring, I had the nice occasion of facilitating a corporate team building where I met an old friend from AIESEC and joined his NGO, The School of Values (www.scoaladevalori.ro) – in one word, through non-formal education we aim to re-establish a value system among the Romanian teenagers. The program goes very well and I love doing this. The amazing thing is that in the last 2 years I have sent many CVs to Romanian NGOs to give me a volunteer job. Basically I wanted to donate 10 hours per week to a good cause, and I have never got an answer. The fact that I wanted to donate these hours from the distance (online work) was seen as “weird”. Well, surprise surprise, my volunteering goes very well from the distance (not all of use have to move to Bucharest to do a good job for the people of this country…some of us can do this from the province as well). Yes, I love it a lot and I ended up donating more hours and also “on location” support but they convinced me. I guess I consider that I have come to a point in my life, though I am not so old, when I don’t have so sell myself anymore – you have to sell what you do to get me in your team. And they did it!
  • Sometime in the summer I took driving lessons. I have never been fascinated about driving, maybe because I love being a co-pilot (though the GPS took my place of searching streets on the printed map :P) and because I love trains so much, especially fast trains (it seems to me the most calming place ever – I will tell you why another time). I think that having a good driving instructor is very important. I have taken classes from an old instructor, the kind of guy who is dedicate to his job and likes teaching and talking you into something. He never screamed at me, he always made fun of my mistakes and said that is ok, I am better than many women he taught how to drive. Great teacher! Still haven’t went to take the exam because of some other events that were more pressing, and also because I want to pass from the first time, which means I want to know “everything” before entering the test room.
  • During summer we had our wedding – very un-traditional and a total success. We had only ~70 guests and very few that felt obliged to come, so basically only the ones who really wanted to be there were there.Β  We had a Swedish buffet and had a DJ, playing lots of “good to dance on” songs, and only one folk Romanian dance (all this is very unusual for a Romanian wedding). We served cocktails with carbonic ice and good bottled wine, together with home-made whisky (if “home-made whisky” sounds like a surprise you can read more about it in my father’s book: Almost Everything About Whisky). And because a picture is like a thousand words, you can checkout our wedding photos on our “family events” website: http://www.darmievenimente.ro
  • Autumn came quickly and we went for holidays (an unusual time for a holiday since our clients are usually away in June-July, so it was a real hassle to stop the projects or to put them on slow-motion so our team could handle everything on their own). We chose to go with our friends by car to Greece. We were about 14 people going to a small village in Greece, out-of-season – very beautiful! So quiet, almost deserted, so friendly people, and still hot enough to try the blue-flag beaches. We stayed in a villa and the hosts were so nice, took us for a bonfire on the beach, showed us a nice island, nearby, the fauna-reach places where to snorkel. Great holiday! In the last day we wished it was longer…we even calculated how much it would cost to move there πŸ™‚
  • Now winter is here (yes, unfortunately even though it’s just October, this winter is supposed to be the coldest in the last 150 years and yes, the temperatures are between 5-10 degrees, when usually was 15-17). I decided I will take the driving test next week no matter what and then I will design and deliver some of the GROW 1.2 sessions – a total delight πŸ™‚
  • Plans for next year: we are thinking of buying our own place to live and no, we will not have kids just yet, though everybody is thinking like we will. What’s the hurry? I am also planning to finish the books I started reading this year…about 4 and all unfinished…I don’t know why because they were good…

hugs to all!

A.

 

Feel like traveling… June 28, 2010

Posted by armina in thoughts.
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A spirit like mine can resist without traveling just about this much. We have been in Bulgaria for the 1st of May and I really liked Balcic and the way the people treated us around there. They are much nicer than the Romanians working in the hotel industry. It was odd to see that the hotel personnel answered in Romanian when you asked a question in English. Where else in the world people will answer in Romanian besides Romania?!

Anyways it seems like 1st of May is so far and I feel like traveling again. The issue is that there are too many things to be done around here and most of the time until the big day is planned. The big day is our wedding day on the 6th of August.

Maybe we will escape to Austria for a weekend…

Nicknames May 17, 2010

Posted by armina in dareberry, thoughts.
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This post is about nicknames and how annoying I find them sometimes.

Today I got a link to a blog from a friend. I liked the blog a lot and I found the blogger to be a very interesting individual. He is an erudite I would love to learn a thing or two from, but he is nowhere to be found. It’s just his nickname and his blog. And while I was reading the “About” page which was talking about the “nickname” and not saying much about the guy himself I remembered my acting teacher from high school. I admired him a lot – a complex person, dressing in simple clothes, always smoking elegantly (this made him look a bit mysterious) and asking questions I have never thought about. One of the questions that got stuck in my mind forever was: “Aren’t you proud of your name?”. He asked me this question at my first acting course, when I didn’t even know if I was in, because they were selecting very few people and I badly wanted to be among the selected ones, but I had no clue what they expected from me. The first thing they asked us was to present ourselves. To pronounce our names as in “My name is…” and then to sing our names. It seemed dumb to many of us, like…they already knew our names from the moment our parents subscribed us there…Anyways, one by one we told our names. Since to me at that moment it seemed unimportant and I was a very shy compared to nowadays, I told them my name as if I would have sad a bad joke and I knew it was a bad joke: in a low voice, without any pride, almost inaudible. Aaaand yes, I saw my teacher’s face saddening. And then he explained it all to us: you might like or dislike the name your parents gave you but you should learn to cherish it. After all, it’s the it that defines the who. It’s not a tag as many call it, is so much more. Is the “how they call you” when they think about your actions, when they love you, when they hate you, it’s even how you call yourself when you look in the mirror or try to encourage yourself to become a go getter! It’s part of you and when someone asks you what’s your name you should pronounce it loud and clear, and if the context allows it, you should also add a look straight in the eye of the questioner and a firm handshake. Of course if all this represents you and defines who you are.Β  If not, you can stay little and hide behind a nickname, even if you are grand. You can make the nickname the gatekeeper to the real you, so that the curiosity and love of others will not reach your heart…if that’s who you want to be. But if you believe that most of the people on this globe are good people and don’t mean you harm, like I do, then you don’t need a gatekeeper to your heart.

My birthday:) December 17, 2009

Posted by armina in friends related.
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Yesterday was my birthday, but since it was Tuesday, we celebrated it last Friday, then again on Saturday and people kept wishing me all the best every day…and we will celebrate again this Saturday with some hot wine.

What I love the most about my birthday is the fact that except 2 years, since as long as I remember, I got snow! It’s magic πŸ™‚

And then another thing that I love are the wishes – I collect them :))

I also collect presents of course but the wishes are the most important for me. I love words so much. i got about 50 wishes during the last 3 days.

The nicest of them all was this one:

“May you enjoy this day with smile on your face and warmth in your heart!

May it be the day that you remind yourself you have all the power and strength to lead your life in the direction you choose!!

May you choose to climb the highest mountains of your dreams and may you be happy to enjoy your victories together with the people you love and care about!!!

I wish you joy, love and the strength to never forget how powerful YOU are!!!”

Love,
Nasko

The others were nice, too and most important, they were from the heart. But this one…Nasko you amaze me! I didn’t know you are so good with words:)

Hugs to all!