Friday, October 20, 2006

"How are you?"

asked a friend I hadn't talked to in a looooongg while. Well, I was somewhat confused when trying to define for myself how am I...I came to a concept of 'multidimensional well-being', depends on how and what to look at!

The easiest is my work - it's f***ing excellent, else it's been high on emotions. The past, the present, the future...memories and experiences all sort of crashed this week....actually really really crashed.

"I'm doing good" was the quick sum-up of the multitude of dimensions, which in the end was true. Doing good or bad is up to me, right, so I prefer to be doing good. And mostly I manage.

"You could say "hi" sometimes" said the friend. Yeah I had not done that in a while...part of it due to memories I didn't want to have awakened, a big part.

"Yeah, I will", I said, "But only if you promise that the conversation goes beyond "How are you?" - "I'm doing good? and you?"" was my condition.

He promised.

Footnote: actually there's many things that are f***ing excellent.
Trying thinking of 100 things you love in life, you'll see.

Wanna retire at the age of 37?

Scanning through my mailbox, I came acrosse a book review from a motivational webstie's mailing-list, which went like this:

"The decision to review this book was my interest in the author's ability to retire at age 37. How can anyone afford to retire at the age of 37? What was he doing that I was not?

After reading the book, I could see how the author was able to achieve success. I wish that I had read this book 20 years ago; perhaps I would now be retired if I had implemented his thinking. You can be sure that now after reading the book I am applying the author's thinking to my own life.

While the author points out and gives you real life examples of how he achieved success, there is one predominant thought throughout the book that can assist you in achieving success. Read the book, you will find the secret as the author repeats and reinforces this point many times. Reflect on this point and you will see it truly is a secret of success!"

Quite amusing to read eh!
Isn't the fundamental idea of all the motivational stuffs to encourage people to find their passion in life, find passion for what they are doing. So that assumption in place, why would anyone want to retire from something that s/he loves doing :D

Hehee or is that book for the ones that have failed to channel their passion in their professional life and would thus seek to retire at the age of 37?
mmm...come to think of it, could one say that the people that long for early retirement have actually failed to find their passion in professional life and would thus try to make a quick run-through on a career that would allow to retire as soon as possible?

What's success anyway? Would you think the same 30 years from now?

Anyway, if you want to know what book it was, ask me :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

The European Union has no hope?

According to the London School of Economics, the European Union has no hope of achieving its goal of becoming the most competitive economy in the world by 2010 (the goal stated in the Lisbon agenda).

In an attempt to close the productivity gap with the US, the EU, in 2000, launched its Lisbon Agenda, aimed at fostering innovation, research and entrepreneurship across Europe, but a study published by the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) notes that the US is still much more productive than the EU mainly due to:

- Unwillingness of EU member states to implement product and labour market reforms;

- Failure to create a Community patent – which makes registering a patent in the EU five times more expensive than in the US;

- Lack of investment in research: with a ratio of R&D to GDP that “has never gone past 2% let alone got anywhere close to the 3% target”, the EU lags behind Japan and the US and is being caught up by China;

- Brain drain: the EU will soon have a shortage of highly-qualified R&D staff because the US remains “the preferred destination for migrant scientists”, and;

- A badly targeted budget: the CEP suggests that the EU could make better progress by adapting its budget “to reflect the Lisbon vision”.

The study states that without wide-ranging reforms: “The reality is that Europe will not achieve the objectives for 2010, if at all.”

Interesting ain't it?!!

In addition, the headlines like - EU innovation goals 'doomed'; Single-market policies are failing; EU falls behind on cutting red tape etc etc make you really wonder about the future of the EU eeeh! Intriguing!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Family weekends

Meet my roommate Piret!! In fact there's 8 more of them: Filipe who works with Piret in the SSGN, and 7 members of the national team of AIESEC in Brazil. I shall introduce them to you later!

Wanted to share about nice weekends we are spending with Piret and the others here! The following was supposed to come out on my blog already 2 weeks ago, but never really got that far :), here it comes now!

Family weekend at home 23.-24.09.2006

Piret has now been back after almost a month in Europe, she participated in the International Congress in Poland as she’s working in AIESEC, she’s the Social Entrepreneurship Talent Development Coordinator in Spanish Speaking Growth Network (eheh sounds fancy eh!!). So now our family is complete :)

During the weekdays we don’t see that much, I leave home at around 8:30, and get back around 20.00..depending on the schedule and social program in the City :D, the work finishes officially at 18.00, but usually people stay a bit later, for example staying until 19.00 wouldn’t be unusual at all. Paulistas work hard!

Some things about our family life :) - after realizing that since the food here in Brasil is sooooo good (and thus „dangerous“ for anyone who tries to get ready for the beach season), we started our sports program :D, going running at least twice a week! We thought of taking it easy for the beginning.

There’s a park nearby our house, called Aclimacao where we go in the evenings. It’s open until 20.00, so we have to leave at least 19.15 to get there. Sometimes Gabiru from the MC joins us as well.

This weekend we had a „family weekend“ with Piret :). On Saturday we first went jogging, then did laundary and cleaned the house! We also wanted to go to churrasco at Alexandra’s, but since we got soaking wet in the rain, we turned back to the house, ordered pizza, watched TV in the upstairs TV room, and enjoyed a bottle of Argentinean wine Piret brought along from her trip....mmmm....was delicious!! (ooo I love red wine!)

Today we kept on the same spirit :D (I mean the family weekend not the wine), after jogging and swimming (Piret went swimming), we went to Ana Rosa to do shopping for our house: a frying pan, bed covers and sheets, floor cover for bathroom (a green fish...hehe you should see that one!), some tableware were some of the things we got...we came back like camels! and as we walked by a shoeshop, we both got a pair of black shoes for just 25 R each...hehe we really needed these ;))))

Family weekend in Curitiba 29.09 - 01.10.2006

That weekend we travelled to Curitiba, 6 hours away from Sao Paulo. Left on Friday nite and got back on Monday morning, went pretty much straight to work!
The afternoon with feijoada and wine, the eye museum and Japanese exhibition there, the tower (Torre do smth) for grasping a sight across the city in lights at night, bar with Brazilian music, visit to Maria's house, the fair on Sunday morning in the city center, visit to the movies... It was all soooooooooooooooo perfectly niiiccceeeee and relaxing weekend!!
Thanks Lizi for that!!!
Some pics here!

And another one, family weekend in Sao Paulo 7.-8.10.2006

On Saturday we went to Ashoka event: it was meant for young entrepreneurs, I think about 16 to 24 years old youth that want to contribute to the society. Ashoka usually works with older people, but that was the first event they had for the youth, more than 100 selected people attended. What was really really good was that there were people from different social backgrounds, even from favelas. It amazed me how socially aware the youth were!! They had all their own ideas what they wanted to do, what to change in the society, in the community around them: projects for people with special needs, educational projects on how improve the literacy rate, awareness of sustainable development in their community, how to market handicrafts made by the poorest in society, how to improve the use of recycled materials, and these are just a few examples!
Amazing, and really really inspiring!

Sunday, that is today, was a total sports day...heheh if we continue like that we can soon run a marathon :D
After getting up at 10 in the morning, me, Piret and Rod went pretty much straight to Ibirapuera, which is a huge park 45 minutes walking distance from our house. So we walked to the park, me and Piret went running and Rod played basketball. And we run for 1 hour non-stop!! whiew..I think I am beating my personal records soon. After that we were exercising and streching for another hour!! oooh it was very very relaxing and it felt amazing!

The park is packed with people running, walking, cycling, playing basketball or soccer, having picnic etc etc. It has perfect trails for running and walking - I think even the least interested person in physical excercises, would become a sports fan there (eventually at least :).

After 3 hours in the park, we headed back to our house - yeah another 45 minutes walk!! - actually it took more, since we walked "a bit" further to have dinner together.
Ohhh soooo perfect eh!!

Footnote: I look at myself from aside and it's amusing to see myself getting into the sports again. I've always loved sports, but after being one of the top atheletes in my high school I went to 1-excercise-a-month-if-I-have-time kinda person some time later, just didn't prioritize regular physical activity that that I do it again, feels great!!
And doing it with Piret helps! If one feels lazy, the other kicks ass!