It is Easter time. Nature has awoken. The most beautiful time of the year, when trees and flowers are blossoming, and the scents are so amazingly captivating my senses.
I decided to plant beautiful roses in the garden. This garden is in my mountain villa. Recently, I started to renovate the building, little by little, because I want to spend more time there. This is the place where I connect with myself on a deeper level and boost my creativity. There is something amazingly simple and yet magical in that place, something pure and deep I feel when I am there. This is where I grew up, this is where I feel connected with my roots, my core, my essence.
I was organising my library today, and an insight came to me. Relationships are like books. Remember a moment in your life, when you got out from the book store excited because you have just bought the book you wanted to read so much. You went to your favourite park, opened the book with curiosity… perhaps went quickly through the contents and started absorbing each word, and sentence and chapter… until you read the book and found its special place in your library.
There are different kinds of books. Books we want to read again and again. And every time we read them, we are enthralled by them and discover new depths and nuances, because we read with a shifted mind. Others are books that disappoint us from the very beginning, for various reasons… the style, the story…or something else doesn’t resonate.
I had quite an exciting coaching session this morning with a client of mine. The depth we naturally moved to, was how my client can cope with so many urgent tasks and pressing issues in such a tight time frame?
Most of the senior leaders nowadays face the same challenge again and again. They operate in an emotional space that disallows quality thinking. Solutions = quality thinking. In the 21st century organisation, unfortunately people are encumbered by suffocating emotions and feelings of anger, frustration etc., which impart to them the energy to complete the DEADlines. What is their thinking capacity within that space? Because quality thinking, which equals solution, cannot be forced into existence. It is possible though, within a limited time, but only when the person trying to acquire it, has a full reservoir of high energy. Imagine how excitement and joy, inspired by a task itself, could lead to a finer performance.
Personal transformation is all about “crossing the river of change” as Joe Dispenza points out in his book You Are The Placebo.
I was reflecting on change while reading a little neurobiology, which is certain to be a regular activity in the coming years of my life. Being on a search to find scientific knowledge and confirm my “truth” of how energy affects our core (authentic self) so that we can reach and stay as long as possible in the “Thrive Zone”, I found myself captured by the thought of why change from the inside-out is the only way to create a sustainable life of joy and happiness.
Dear reader of my thoughts, perhaps you have heard already that you need to change your thoughts in order to change your reality. In what way do we mean that? We mean that our unconscious thinking patterns, which we have “learned” over the years through personal experience, shape the emotions we experience when going through life, and affect our actions. And it is all repeating again and again.
What if you could be the observer and the participant in your own life, at the same time? Great science starts with great observation. Observation happens in this moment, now, in the present. It is objective, not subjective. When we slip into subjectivity we are detached from our true selves and we are the servants of our small selves; let’s call it our ego.
I have observed with myself that once I detach from my core (my authentic self), which happens when I am not nurturing myself with my daily habits, the social environment suddenly starts to be a huge influencer on my wellbeing. Let’s call that the energy detractor.
It is so essential for us to be One with Life. As Eckhart Tolle says:
“Being one with life is being one with now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer and you are the dance.”
To be creative is natural. This is the highest form of self-expression. It is so human to express ourselves through creating beauty – art, music, words of wisdom, sports and more. Feeling this natural urge to create, I recently decided to take one month off and spend it in the mountains. This was a very important decision, because it allowed me to focus on one of the most important aspects of my life: my creative work.
Having experienced it in my own life, I am convinced that tapping into our level of creativity – what I call limitless creativity – can happen regularly only when you work on strengthening your “core.” I came across this expression for the first time through my tennis coach. He created a series of exercises for me so that I would strengthen my physical core.
“You have to be very focused on channeling your energy and this is what is going to give you success!”
_Vasko Mladenov, Professional Tennis Player, National Champion 2017, Bulgaria
The inner game of tennis is the inner game of life. It starts with focusing on what you are passionate about. Knowing why are you “in the game of life” is fundamental to channel your energy in the “right direction”. We are all programmed to think that we need to focus on what’s wrong, what doesn’t work well and to correct it. Why don’t we try to break the rules and focus on what we do right, what we are capable of doing, what our hidden and untapped potential is? Focusing on what doesn’t work is draining our energy.
We can not reach the Thrive Zone, without the ability of bouncing back after adversity and pain. This is resilience.
Cheryl Hunter’s Ted Talk inspired me to think about the connection between resilience and the ability to reach the Thrive Zone. The Thrive Zone is a place where we are at our best and live our lives to the fullest.
The key question to me is: what is at the core of having the strength to bounce back – to step into action in a moment of adversity and unbearable challenge? There are many answers and I have noticed that they all have something in common: clarity on who you are, what your life purpose is and a passion to live your purpose and stay aligned with your true Self. I have established this pattern as a result of my research on Effortless High Performance.
If you feel lost and there is no sense of purpose in your life, chances are that you are less resilient. This means that you are disconnected from who you are. This phenomenon is rather frequent in our time.
Winter came back in April. It was freezing cold outside (-1 degrees Celsius) and cozy and warm at home. It was a Saturday morning and I was preparing pancakes (which is a Saturday-morning routine for me). And, as may be expected, something that I do really well. This time it didn’t work out well. I was wondering what was different? What was I doing differently this time? The proportion of the ingredients was the same as usual and I wasted 1/3 of the pancake mixture, because while placing them on the pan they were sticking to the pan and came out shapeless. I even got frustrated for a while. When I became aware of my frustration, I quit the frying and began to examine the process in my typical way of a coach. I noticed that the temperature was higher. The truth was that I had never paid attention to the temperature before. Obviously because everything was turning out nicely in the past. The formlessness of my pancakes this morning drew my attention to the process and I started to pay attention. To notice and explore curiously. That is how the “pancake metaphor” was born.
We are very often in a situation where we lack clarity, and that drains our energy and keeps us away from thriving. We are in the “lack of decision” mode, which prevents us from taking actions. And the small steps, small actions are those which bring us closer to our goals. And what is a goal? A dream with a deadline.
While interviewing top performers on Effortless High Performance, I repeatedly came across the word “clarity.”
Clarity is an important prerequisite for us to tap in into the effortless high performance level and to thrive in all aspects of life.
Recently, I had an amazing conversation with a young and talented Business Development Executive. I was interviewing him on the subject of “Effortless High Performance”. We were exploring his success patterns. What truly fascinated me, was the simplicity he was bringing to the complex corporate environment. This only 29 year-old Executive had an amazing track record. He had moved for five years from Research Assistant to Business Development Executive.
Reflecting on our conversation, I gained some insights and confirmations, which I want to share with you. It’s all about personal power and how can personal power moves us forward and helps us to achieve effortlessly.
What do we feel, when we are at our best? What have we achieved, being at our best?
The topic of how can we tap into the level, of effortless achievement, has always fascinated me. This is the level of simplicity, authenticity, wisdom, joy, flow and creativity.
Yesterday I made a present to a dear friend of mine: a poster with a quote of Theodor Roosevelt’s:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to that man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
This quote is truly inspirational for me. There is so much depth and wisdom there. All that we need to know about how to be at our best is there… Summed up in two beautiful sentences.
A few days ago I had an amazing experience in the famous amusement park Prater in Vienna. Me and my family tried one of the newest in Europe indoor rollercoasters. The indoors rollercoaster takes you on your journey in darkness, unlike the classical rollercoaster. You do not know and do not see what is ahead. Before picking the rollercoaster, we had a mission – to go through a labyrinth in darkness, to walk in a dark laser room with fog and after completing this mission, finding our way to the train, taking our seats, fastening our seat belts and starting a journey.
I have often been asked, “How do you manage to go through times of adversity?“
In my last article Want to create a “happy” organisational culture? I share two definitions of happiness.
I stand behind the second one, which is happiness is “living a rich, full, and meaningful life.”
It makes sense for me to continue writing about success and ask you the question: “What makes you successful, when times get tough?” Happiness and success are the things we all want to have in life. And we define them differently, because we are different and have unique understanding about ourselves and life in general. Being successful for me means to achieve what you truly want in different aspects of your life (deeply connected with who you are and what you value), no matter what stands in your way.
Recently I had a conversation with the Managing Director of a British company, I am currently working on a coaching project and he shared, “I want to create a happy organisational culture.” And I asked him, “What does this mean to you?” He answered, “A place, where people are being happy, confident and engaged. A happy culture is a culture of trust, where people are open and create cohesively, there is continuity and strong belief in what we do.”
Our discussion around how to create a “happy culture” was based on values. What do we truly believe in for our organisation, for ourselves and how those two align?
I just came back from beautiful Vienna and am looking forward to sharing with you two magical tools that can move you to your dream life.
I was honoured to be one of the guests in an amazing live radio show “Trust Your Gut”. I shared with the audience my personal journey and how using a simple and yet magical tool, I moved to a place, where I live my dream life. The other guest was sharing his story with using another simple and yet powerful tool – saying “No”!
These tools are as simple as they sound and not easy to implement. Why?
Read the following story and you’ll know…
Breaking the rules is all about authenticity. This probably sounds bizarre. It does not, to me. My personal story confirms it and I will gladly share it with you.
What is the first association, which comes to your mind when you hear the word authenticity? For me, it’s freedom.
How much freedom do you have in your life? When did you last experience the feeling that you are free? Free to do what you love to do, with the people that truly understand you, in alignment with your core values.
At the “7 Pearl Living” retreat, which we did with my business partners in the Austrian Alps in September 2015, one of our clients asked us:
What is the difference between mindfulness and intuition?
This is a wonderful question to address, because there is so much excitement around mindfulness in the business world. Something amazing is happening! The business world is waking up. Innovative companies like Google, Apple, Unilever, eBay, HB School, World Economics Forum, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Nike, adapt mindful leadership.
The combination of these two words might create confusion. How can you be confident and vulnerable at the same time? Perhaps the confusion comes from the way we were trained or limited to perceive confidence and vulnerability… It shapes a limiting belief, which perhaps stops us to shine as authentic leaders.
Let’s take a close look at confidence and vulnerability.