The Intriguing Element That All Successful People Have in Common

I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of truly successful people…

By “successful” I mean people who have really done meaningful things with their lives, people who have met their goals in different areas of their lives as well.

And the most surprising fact – they’re very simple compared to our image of what we think successful people should be like.

It could even be a little disappointing – I expected to hear the story about “the day everything started” or  the day “that they found their talent and everything changed…”

But there is no such story (I’m sorry).

There is no special marker for successful people like a visit from a unicorn or having special blood flow through their veins. The majority of successful people I’ve met did not have absolute confidence in their talents and never really truly considered their life vision or mission.

So, where is the superhero’s fairytale?

There is no fairytale, but there is a story. There is no day that changed everything, but there is a small step… and another one… and many more small steps after.

“Keep walking” – I saw this tattoo on a leg of my friend recently and this is it – this is the special secret of all superheroes and successful people – they just kept going.

Simple, huh?

Simple as well as challenging and powerful.

Keep going…

I experienced the full meaning of this quote while conquering the mountains.

Imagine: Russia (Ural), -33C, 7 am. It’s dark so you can only see one step ahead because the only source of light is from the torch you carry. It’s extremely cold outside, but when you walk you’re sweating, and you can’t stop because you’ll be frozen. And it’s a 16 km hike to reach the top.

“Why do I do it to myself?”, “This is ridiculous, struggling is not the way to enjoy nature”, “It’s too fast for me”, “I need to take a break”, “I’ll just go back before it’s too late” – were my thoughts during the first five kilometers. Around you there is only darkness, so there is no beautiful view to grant your motivation. And it’s so cold outside and so sweaty inside – there is nothing about this situation to derive pleasure from.

But there is one thing that gives you energy – everyone keeps on going.

And so do you.

Then the sunrise breaks, and nature opens it’s beauty to you as you never seen before, then you start to believe that it’s possible to reach the top, and while the final goal matters, you’re starting to enjoy the journey and every breath of it.

Keep going…

Keep going when everyone else has stopped.
Keep going if you don’t know the final destination.
Keep going if the road is unknown.
Keep going if it’s dark and you don’t see the journey.

Keep going if the road is broken.
Keep going if there is no energy.
Keep going if there is no light to brighten your way.
Keep going when no one believes.

Keep going when it seems impossible to achieve.
Keep going if the way has changed.
Keep going if everyone has left.

Keep going if you have hope.
Keep going if it feels right.
Keep going and create your way.
Keep going and the sun will rise.

Keep going and you’ll meet your tribe.
Keep going and follow your faith
Keep going and your soul will grow
Keep going and listen to your voice.

Keep going and the world will go with you.

THE INTRIGUING ELEMENT THAT ALL SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON

THE INTRIGUING ELEMENT THAT ALL SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON

Kindness is powerful or how one vietnamese woman saved our asses

Once upon in Vietnam..

On our last day of the trip my friend Gautam and I decided to visit Hue city which is 100 km away from Da Nang, where we were staying. We rented a bike from our hotel, travelled through a beautiful road (mountains and sea view!) and reached Hue city.After biking around
the city we went to a souvenir market. After an hour or so, when we decided to leave the market and drive back to our hotel, we didn’t find our bike where we had parked.

Imagine: we can’t find our bike; it’s evening already, we are 100 km away from our hotel, next day we have a flight and no one speaks English.

Interesting case, right?

We went to the police office nearby and we somehow understood that it’s not stolen, it was taken by police, because we parked at the wrong place.

We didn’t expect it because traffic is not controlled by police at all in Vietnam – you can easily rent and drive a bike without license, you can be drunk, you can drive without experience. Traffic lights are mostly decoration in the city, no one follows rules (and this is also the opinion of an Indian :) ). Of course there were no signs about parking zones and a lot of bikes were parked there.

So, we tried to understand where is our bike, about 15 people were trying to explain us in Vietnamese.

We found one woman in the market who spoke English, just grabbed her and asked her for help. She came with us to the police office again and explained that there are several police centres where they bring all bikes. She understood from the police officer, the location of the centre where our bike is taken.

Then she called her husband and they went with us to the police centre, which was already closed (evening). She asked the number of the policeman in charge from the caretaker and explained him that we have a flight the following day. After some negotiations policeman finally came to the centre (after couple of hours of waiting).Policeman: “In order to take your bike you should have registration papers, that proves ownership of it”.
We: “We don’t have it – it’s rented for 1 day”.
Policeman: “Then leave the bike, and the hotel stuff with take it tomorrow”.
We: “Our hotel is 100 km away, and we gave our passports to the hotel…”
Policeman: “So, i don’t know what to do. No paper – no bike”.
We called the hotel (from the phone of this woman), asked them if they could scan the copy of the bike’s registration papers and email it to us. But it only sounds easy, when you are in Vietnam, it’s not simple to explain and understand each other.

Hotels in Vietnam normally have multiple vendors that offer their bikes to the hotel guests. To retrieve the registration papers from the bike owner through communicating with our hotel over the phone was impossible.

We tried to explain the situation to the policeman, proposed money, played drama (almost cried), but nothing helped. He wanted to have official way with bike registration papers.
We already were thinking about stealing the bike from the police centre during the night as the only option :), time was running out, it was not funny at all.

So, what did this woman do? 

She registered this case with her own bike registration papers after negotiation with police!

In other words, took guarantee of the innocence of 2 strangers that she met in a market a couple of hours ago and risked her own bike incase anything goes wrong with the case upon releasing our bike.

After all this was over, we were trying to thank her with money/gift, but she said that the best gift would be if we will come next year and will stay at her house! Can you imagine! And she gave us her address.

It was incredible to feel this kindness! She did without no personal goal behind, just because she can help. We felt ourselves  filled with gratitude, happiness, love and kindness. It’s an incredible feeling, it’s difficult to explain, the only way to understand it is by experiencing it.

Kindness is powerful. You can’t do something bad after you received this gift from the Universe.

Kindness is inspiring. We felt that we wanted give this feeling to someone. It’s actually automatic human behaviour – to give back if you received something. By doing something kind we are giving others the possibility and ability to be kind!

Kindness is beautiful. It definitely brings growth for the soul and increases the level of energy and spirit. And an act of kindness brings happiness for both sides.

What if each one of us does something kind for others? I wish everyone practices it more often and be happy!

JCgnyen Chi Kim JCgan – Vietnamese Woman with her husband
P.S. Thank you, JCgnyen Chi Kim JCgan, for being incredibly kind, we wish you all the best.P.P.S. The road from Da Nang to Hue city is very beautiful – mountains and seaside, rivers and small cities, if you are planning trip there, rent a bike and do it! (but park in right places 😉
 
And Thanks, Guatam, for improving this post and for the trip :)

My story on how one decision changed my life

How one decision changed my life

This post is for everyone who thinks there could be more to their life but isn’t sure how to change it.

Starting from December 2012:

I was working in Moscow at a very good company in terms of societal standards –-world-famous brand, good salary plus benefits (car, food, gym..etc), smart and result-oriented colleagues, and all at a national level of operations.

My parents were thrilled that after several years in AIESEC (and other crazy projects), their daughter finally was on the way to “setting up a stable life.”  I even had great friends close by, great living conditions, pursued my own hobbies and even had my own small business. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Yes, good. But not great.

10402394_10203996715707020_3261109780601911924_n

I wasn’t happy enough. Though my job was interesting, it was not meaningful to me and not in an area I saw myself longterm. Everyday I felt that I gave energy nowhere–spending time but not living life.

I thought to change some things, but was faced with so many hesitations. My parents were happy, and I had a “future” at my current job. Plus, why change everything? I thought, “other people don’t have even this,” and I was not sure if I would find something better.
I still attempted to find a new job, but had no immediate success. I was so busy – I didn’t have time and energy to even think about what I wanted.

Time was running out… each day, week, month… I kept telling to myself: “Next month I’ll look for something else– I’m too busy to think about it now.”

One year passed.

In November 2013, it finally happened.

And It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. people kept asking me “Why did you do that? It’s economical crisis now”, or “What did you find better? Nothing yet? Ummm…” That time I had only my personal business, operations weren’t huge, and my day-to-day living conditions were dependant on what I sold that day.

It was the most unstable time of my life, but worth all the rewards it would bring…

Today is November 2014 and I am living a completely different life, I will share just several things.

In just 2014 alone I have gone from completely instability to having one of the fullest years of my life.

1) I was part of organizing committee to one of the biggest world events–the Olympic games in SOCHI. This opportunity came to my life randomly. I spent 2 months in a great city near the sea and mountains, with wonderful people, all whilst creating an epic event. It’s one of the best experiences I had.

1016444_10203338717297471_740239410_n SOCHI 2014, Winter Olympic games: I lived near lovely mountains for 2 months

1926848_10201601886671638_429692397_nSOCHI 2014, Winter Olympic games: my team, at the half-pipe stadium

2) My friends came to my city and we spent time in the winter mountains together;

3) After the Olympics, I was living a lifestyle that I currently plan for my future – I had my small business, a part-time job within an amazing INTERSELIGER team, I even ventured out and explored other professional areas.

I had opportunity to work from many different places, to make my mornings as i like –  with yoga and meditations, to meet with friends. It’s maybe small things, but life consists of small things, right?

10256912_10203961213059476_7237450038766756972_nWorking from park :)

5) I spent almost 1 month with my family;

6) I found my place to live and work for next couples of years – after a 3-4 months selection process, Imoved to a new country, Malaysia, and began working for Mindvalley where I found all I want for my current period of life – international extremely talented team with different backgrounds but the same values, I’m making on-line products that changes lives of people and creating new education. And I’m working in a small team, where I can do a lot of different things, so it’ learning every day. Plus new country – I wanted to live in different countries for a while. I’ve now been here for a bit more than 3 months, and I don’t remember one day when I wasn’t happy.

10671222_10154569887475459_2403495589783540336_nwith my international colleagues celebrating success of a company in August

10329075_10205375063394796_2088328168482561703_nexploring new places in Malaysia

7) And I’m sure, that a lot of awesome projects, people and events will come to my life, that I will achieve all my dreams.

I know that every single day brings me love, learnings, meaningfulness, great people, and interesting experiences!

My 2014 has been one of the greatest years in my life (by the way, I have 2 months ahead, wo-hooo!!). I didn’t expect that my life would ever be like that.
So how did I do that?

I made a strong decision that I will be happy every day. I decided that i will do only what I really like. This was my new way of living, no matter what changes I had to make or no matter how scary.

Now, Getting there wasn’t easy for me.

While searching for jobs, I felt disheartened by the lack of good matches for me. There was also so many interviews and applications.
Also I didn’t have a stable source of money.
I felt that I failed while others achieved so much more than me.
I was trying to understand what i wanted – not based on education or society standards, but based on what I really wanted. But…

I started to meditate, visualise, feel gratitude for all moments I had and, most importantly, I believed that everything was great and had faith in my small steps forward.

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The scariest thing for me was telling my parents that I had quit my job. I had always wanted to make them happy, to “meet their expectations” and they had always told me to not even think about quitting the company I worked for.

I called them: “I quit my job. I have no options ahead and I don’t know what I want, and it will take time to me to understand and find”  (I was really really nervous).

But, unexpectedly, my father replied: ”Don’t take it so seriously. Life is too short and you are too young to worry about it – it’s just a job! You will find your way. We love you”.
That was so huge surprise for me, I realised that sometimes we create fear to be more than what it actually is! And we will never know “what will happen if” until we try that thing and face it.

Why do I share this? Because this is not just “quitting the job story.” This is making a decision about life.
At this moment, I don’t care what society tells me what to do, I live MY life.

I want to share my main learnings and I hope it will inspire at least someone:

1) Life is too short to just spend time without happiness and meaningfulness. Create it for yourself and make the decision to do it.

2) We always think our problems are bigger than what they actually are. Life is simple.
3) Everything big starts with one small step.

I wish that if you don’t like something in life, have the courage to change it and start with that one step you’ve just dreamed of taking (you know what this step should be). Most importantly, be happy every day of your life. From my experience, it can make a world of different and open your life to so many beautiful possibilities.

Please, feel free to leave your comment below.
With love,
Alsu

Rames Krishnasamy on How He Found His Passion in Art-Design

“I Have a Dream for Every Single Day” – Rames Krishnasamy on How He Found His Passion in Art-Design, Photography and Became a Master in it

“Trying is a first step — always try, don’t just sit there with your negative thoughts — eliminate it and just go for it”.

Rames is one of the most talented art-designer and photographer in Malaysia, he has 100+ artworks, runs exhibitions.  It’s always a pleasure to work with him – he is my colleague in Mindvalley. I asked him to share his story  because he is a role-model for me – he created himself,  he loves what he does and supports his lifestyle by doing it.

You’ll find a lot of insights about finding your talent and growing it to a master level and also Rames shares some secrets on how to be a great designer.

Check the video below or read an article – depends on which format you prefer.

I realised my passion in the bus

I was born and raised in Malaysia, my parents are from Kuala Selangor, I studied in primary school here in Kuala-Lumpur and then in Binary College in Pouching — I studied business, which is the most weird fact here, because my passion is more towards design.

While studying business I could feel that it’s not something that I really wanna do — I didn’t feel the excitement. And I started to search for something I like. While  travelling back and forward from home to college via bus — I had some books and magazines in my bag and I started reading them and watching designs and I thought to myself: “Wait a second,  why am I feeling more towards design than business?”

I saw ads in a magazine and I thought “I can do better. Why don’t I study it all by myself?”. It was the initiative that I took for myself, I downloaded 30-days trial software and that’s where it started.

I would see a movie poster and replicate it.

me-ironmanSince I knew that it’s my passion — the excitement gets better and better every day. Nothing works unless you do something.
 after
So, after time in college, I spent many hours on searching and enhancing my skills. I would see a movie poster and try to replicate it myself.
One of my favourite movies is “Iron Man” — he is the character whom I would love to be — so I started photoshopping myself as Iron man.

Open up magazines, trying to replicate movie posters, then trying to match back to the original poster –  that’s how I started learning design.

How to turn your passion in your profession and source of money? I created portfolio using whenever I have designed. 

Knowing that I don’t have any certs to use for interviews I created artworks on behance.net and then went to this job platforms and applied for several jobs using whenever I have like a portfolio.

And then surprisingly I had few replies and actually 3 offers. I was really shocked! My first job was in “DFA consultant” — I worked there for 4 years as a web-designer.

My first work was not in business, my passion moved me towards design, and I havr learnt a lot while working there — not only in design but also communications, interacting with different types of people. 

First thing you should do in order to become a better person in what you’re doing — to PRACTICE.

Practice is important in any job — not only in design, but also if you like photography or drawing or anything else. The way I do it — I’ll fix the time during weekend. Weekdays I’m pretty busy with my work — so on Saturdays and Sundays I’ll spend some time in front of my computer – I’ll go to any cafe nearby and start drawing.

Try to log down some hours to spend for yourself. Sundays I spend with my family but everyone knows about Saturdays: “Today we shouldn’t disturb Rames because he is in his zone, he needs to do something for himself”.

Do practice a lot — do not just think, do not just plan, saying to yourself “I’ll get it done tomorrow or day after” — instead spend some time and get it done today.

If you think you’re interested in design or art – try to know what you really want – it’s very broad.

The art is very broad — if you into drawing — start to purchase some books or go to the library — see what kind of art do you really wanna do — not only open up your canvas and saying to yourself: “Oh, I wanna do something, but I’m not pretty sure!”.

Design is very broad — there is web-design, there is graphic design, design for billboards, for CD covers, for TV ads… try to see what is that you’re interested in more, try to do research: how this was done, how I can do it better.

There are many artists in this world — think how will you stand among the rest, what is your uniqueness, how do you know it’s not been done before, so people will start look up to you.

If you know what you’re passionate about – start looking for devices.

Next steps would be slightly expensive. What do I mean by it? You should start looking for devices depending on what you do — like iMac for me — I need fast-processing computer, if you’re into drawing — you need canvas.

And you need to start to come up with a concept, let’s say if you want to design a billboard — start to do research — start with a sketch first, try to utilise your imagination. That’s where everything begins.

Imagination helps to process – when I open my computer I know from where to start

Inspiration comes… like even now, it’s hard to say… When it comes — I will open my phone and notepad in it and write points that I wanna do. Let’s say when I drive home — ok, do not try this yourself  (me: that’s how Malaysians drive) — but I’ll just put down things to my phone and I know what to do in a weekend.

Then I’ll open my points and start imagining. The imagination helps to process — when I open my computer and sit — I know from where to start, where to get these sources of images.

As I love to do photo-manipulations — I know where to find assets for it. And after I will check if this is what I really wanted, I’ll do design tricks and share it in social media.

My sources of inspiration? It’s in every moment, it’s magic! 

Firstly, it’s definitely, movies, the second is just thought when I am driving to the office, also while I’m working on a serious project, while I am talking to someone, while I am sipping a coffee, it’s just..how to say.. magic!

My first artwork is photoshopping myself as half-human – half-horse
hormes

 It’s basically photoshopping myself with a horse — half-human — half-horse — until now it’ve been talked by my colleagues and friends — so they kinda tease me with it.

My artwork is mostly movie-based. And it’s something that my audience like. 

I love watching movies. Also, I know that my audience is waiting — they know that Rames is going to do something.

lifeofpi

That’s how you utilize social media — because there are people who know that you can do it and they’re waiting for your next project. It motivates me as well! Facebook, twitter, instagram — it’s not only for photos but also a place to share artworks — that’s how I gain audience.

My favourite my artwork called “Cry me a river”

It’s an eye that tries to cry over a river. I got this idea from Michael Bubble — I was listening to the song “Cry me a river” and thought: “Such a nice words, what if it’s real!”

I made this artwork 6 years ago — still if I’ll open my flickr.com — a lot of people are commenting it. That’s actually how I decided to do more photo manipulations — and I’ve done hundreds of them until now.

 crymeariver

“How you can do it differently” – it’s the most important thing to understand for the artist.

How can someone get into you and ask: “I know you did this artwork!” and you’ll be like: “How do you know?” because even without your name on it — it has your style. If you wanna stand out — find your own uniqueness.

Resources and tools that I can recommend…

I spent some time on behance.com — you can find there a lot of artists and their artwork. What I’ll do — I won’t copy, but I’ll see how can I do differently.

I would also go to coolvibes.com and I’ll find top artists and their ratings according to top rates. Just surf there, it will inspire you.

When it comes to tools – my main tool is photoshop — that doesn’t mean that of you took landscape picture without clouds and you’re starting adding them. It’s more for colour corrections. Let’s not use photoshop to make your photography absolutely different from your original. Let say you made night shot and you’re editing the moon — let’s not do it — photoshop is for basic editing when it’s about photography.

When it comes to manipulation — we all know that it’s not real — so it’s ok to add multiple layers. I use about 6–10 images for one artwork.
So I’ll start looking for photos related to that artwork, I’ll go to devianart.com — they have tons of stock photos, you just need to request your need. But even as a model I often use myself.

I started my photography with my Nokia phone.

The first device that I used was my nokia phone — pretty shity camera.  I started taking pictures and discovered that I’m into landscapes — and I started to invest money there — I knew that I need to buy a better phone, then I bought my first camera — DCLR D50 and then D90 — so, I’m using full frame camera now.

And I like to travel — so thinking about landscapes — I just got back from China — amazing landscape of mountains.

china-mountain 

I tattooed mountains in my hand

I love hiking because you need to suffer first and then you see something amazing on the top. I spent some time hiking Broga Hills, Bukit Tabur — it’s local hills in Malaysia and then my first big trip was to Nepal and I discovered that mountains is a most majestic thing that God built and we always look up to mountains.me_n_mountain

rames-tattoo-mountains

So when I got back I tattooed mountains in my hand. And then I went to other mountains near Tibet and it was mind-blowing experience — people are friendly there and mountains are epic.

 

Discipline is crusial. If you know you wanna get this done — no excuses.

 What helps me to achieve what I want — first of all, discipline. You’re paid to do work — I’ll get that done it first and follow by my other projects. When you go home you have some free time — lock down this time and you go like: ”You know what — I have several hours before going to a bed, let me try to do something now, let me practice now”. If you know you wanna get this done — no excuses: “Oh, I kinda feel sleepy, I don’t think so I can do it”.

Try — it’s a first step — always try to not just sit there having all this negative thoughts — eliminate that and just go for it.

I wanna do something new every day.

That’s the first thing I have in my mind every single morning — whether it’s at work or doing my personal stuff. Because we are here just for once, I am not sure if we’ll be rewarded after, I don’t want to waste this life by doing something which is not good for myself. That’s how I start my day — doing something new every day.

My Dad is my biggest role model in life. 

Many years ago, when I started to work as a designer — there are frustrations – for example, we all know that clients like to change stuff — so I came back from work and smashed my bag, my Dad saw it and asked me:
– “What’s happening there, you look frustrated”.
– “I don’t think that design is something I can do”
– “Why?”
– “Because clients keep on changing stuff (designers get mad on that) — it’s pretty hard”.

My Dad just pulled me there: “If you think it’s hard will Neil Armstrong go up there, touch a moon? Do you think that’s hard compare to what you’re doing right now?”

From that day till now it motivates me to not give up. And in that case I started to think: “How can I talk to my clients to identify their problems and how can I help them?”

To younger version of myself I would say: “Do not give up!”

If you have a dream — work on it, don’t leave it as a dream, you have to suffer in order to get something better.

Youth nowadays is lucky — devices are cheaper compare to my times (I’m 35 years old btw) — I struggled — it took several years to buy even computer. Utilise what you have now for a better future.

I have a dream every day. 

Guys you might think that it’s something really big like to be the best designer ever — not really. I have a dream every day — dream to get this done next week, I have a dream to finish this artwork today. It’s me — my passion. I don’t want to have distraction, I feel satisfied when I get things done.

Time is something very important.

This second that you’re watching right now — it’s already passed — you can never get that second back — it’s just passed. Do you have anything to do? No matter what — something important — passion that you have — you wanna sing a song, you wanna write a blog, you wanna draw a canvas, you wanna design this manipulation — don’t wait tomorrow — today is the day that you thought about it — start today, tomorrow no one could promise that you will be alive. No one knows if this world is gonna be there. Time is something important. Don’t waste it.

I have a feeling that I wasted many years not discovering my passion.  Do what you like, do what makes you happy, do something good for other people, inspire people, start today.

Check the full interview here =>

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