Getting out of my own skin and placing the “camera” above my own self, I can tell that it should not be such a big deal to navigate in turbulent waters when the whole world is facing the same challenge.
Still, we are on our own – more than ever, and knowing that the whole world deals with great turbulences (economical, social, political, spiritual, mental, etc) does not make things easier at individual level.
It’s frightening, but at the same time these are also very interesting and challenging times, a true playground and opportunity for learning if you manage to not let yourself enslaved by anxieties, doubts, fears and the big unknown that lies ahead.
Living in Romania, many generations were born and raised in permanent crisis times: confused, not knowing what we should do, where to, and how – in order to get a decent and joyful life for ourselves and our families. My generation was even more confused and puzzled – as after ’89 Revolution when we theoretically escaped communism mindsets, the capitalist freedom was the new option; but our parents were not well prepared for it and did not know what to teach us about it.
For my and the younger generations, it all gets down to one question: “How to hold on until I die?” Putting it less cynical: “How to manage to enjoy the beauty of life, nature and people; how to evolve, progress, make a family and self-develop while I permanetly walk on moving sands and thembling thin wires, while many arround me and out there in the world are facing worse challenges and conditions?”
Praying is my main pilot and holding on source of power when it comes to daily navigation through the very turbulent present times we live today and to daily walking through darkness and confusion.
I can not imagine anymore how else we can have a good life on today’s permanent crisis times, how else we can hold on and move forward without loosing ourselves and still feeling joy and hapiness, still feeling hope and still smile at the same time.
After my business was deeply affected by a fraudulent overall context back in 2008-2009, I’ve been living out of this world somewhere between times, spaces and worlds; experiencing permanent loss, poverty, doubt, fear and unknown for over 4 years. Just like in a prison but where no food, shelter and light is guaranteed as minimum living conditions.
There is still more to overcome in my overall recovery process, but I guess it’s perceptions and inner core that changed, taking into account that the difficulty level of daily challenges increased on a constant basis.
I have good days and bad days. I have days when nothing seems to happen and change or improve and days when all my efforts pay off and when invisible turns into visible. Those days are the happiest because they confirm me I was on a good track with all that fog and dark around, I was not crazy when I pushed myself to cross all the limits I crossed and my faith was rewarded.
Romanian statistics show that 1 of 3 new businesses die in their 1st year of existance.
My business survived over 10 years in Romanian economic and political permanent turbulent environment. That is performance, I may say and it happened due to permanent adapting to change, continuous learning, keep an open mind and permanently combat and react to injustice, fraudulent and negative business conduct.
I remember that 2 or 3 years ago an Aspen Romanian member and a highly respected public voice, Liliana Popescu (associate professor at SNSPA – The National School of Political and Administrative Sciences) forwarded me as her proposal to Young leaders – Aspen Institute Annual Leadership Programme.
I ended up in the first 40 people out of hundreds, so I guess she had a good hand that year.
The paradox of this program was that a local jury made of non-leaders and corporate HRs made the young leaders evaluation. My CV diversity and my unconventional background seemed to be a negative ball for this kind of jury and competition with only corporate standard and conventional typologies – despite all my performances, awards and achievements (national and international) – so I was not chosen among the final 20 to enter the young leaders program.
What a damaging local and typical Romanian and old fashioned corporate mindset, I may say if we only watch today’s latest trends and insights, like:
- The Economist, Ideas Economy annual conference – 2013 Human Potential “Why unconventional backgrounds are so important today – A New Era of Talent Management”
- Harvard Business School Historian Nancy Koehn speech inside 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival “Crisis Leadership: Lessons from here and now” (see also Arianna Huffington‘s article “Lincoln, Mandela and Obama: Lessons for Leaders Over Three Centuries”)
Going back to turbulence and crisis times, the truth is that you do not know if you are going to make it or not. The only tools you have is believing and trying.