Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Video CV

So, here it is folks!

24 hours later and the video's online.
My head is in so much pain I'm not sure if I'll ever turn on my computer again...


Feedback most welcome!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A full plate

People have been asking me what it is exactly that I do now.

To answer their question - I'll be managing a project which has to do with business Internet presence and creating a professional's image online. Why the future tense? The website & our services are scheduled to kick off in two days, so there hasn't been that much managing to speak of. However, there has been a lot of learning, meeting, reading, writing and translating in the last 3 weeks. Hopefully, as stated in my previous note, I'll be able to better work around organizing my working hours soon, because I have a couple of other things lined up (from the simplest ones like having time to meet with friends and go to the gym, to working on my project and learning the skills I need to have in order for it to succeed).

.         .         .          .            .

The biggest Polish chocolate brand (well, the company is Japanese now) is celebrating their 160th anniversary and they decided to get some publicity by looking for their brand's Ambassador (they call the job "Wedel's Ambassador of Pleasure"). Job description? Travel big style to some of the greatest destinations in the world, bring people pleasure in the form of Wedel chocolate, write and blog about it and earn about 2250€ per month (it's a 3month deal). Obviously the moment I saw it, I asked my screen "So where do I sign up?".

The first stage of their recruitment process is posting your video CV/cover letter on youtube. The contest has been on for a long time now but of course, being the ignorant that I am and not watching TV, I've found out about it only last week. There was no time to do anything before yesterday. I did write a script in the morning, shoot some scenes with the help of M in the afternoon, but then got defeated by my lack of technology and codec knowledge (hate .mts files!!!). Luckily, another M (this one actually specialises in video editing etc.) has volounteered to help me, all saints bless him. Fingers crossed that we manage to put everything together today or else that would be some high lost opportunity cost for me.

.         .         .          .            . 

At the same time I need to finish my written CV and also come up with a written cover letter and send it out tonight to apply for some journalism internship for an online Asia-oriented study center. They don't pay you zit and for half a year you prepare and conduct interviews for them, as well as report from various Asian festivals around the country. Why not, I figure.

.         .         .          .            . 

Oh, and on Wednesday P and I have a meeting regarding the new project. Yay!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Management of onself in time

Are you good with time?

I'm quite disorganised and unless I have a bunch of activities a day, I never get anything done on time. My new job's been rather time-consumming, although not that busy. Or maybe it was just me who was time-consuming when it came to getting things done.

One of the new responsibilities/advantages related to the job is attending a weekly seminar on topics varying from marketing, through time management, to business networking. This Tuesday was the TM one. I was sitting there, noting and suggesting all those great tips on how to save time and better organize oneself, yet couldn't stop worrying about all the things I had to do before today, as they've been piling up quite a bit.

.        .          .          .          .          .

And so last evening, when I was supposed to be working oh, so hard I decided I'd had it with my room. Let me explain - it almost didn't change in the last 8 years. It's like an emotional vampire when it comes to spaces - whenever I walk in I feel like sleeping or leaving. And as I want to work from home now (easier to focus than at my boss's home office, although the atmosphere isn't half as cool), leaving it in such state simply wasn't on option. So I started moving things around, throwing them out, classyfing and re-arranging them, like I should have a long time ago. Of course, there's still loads to do (I think about 70% of the things I have are totally useless to me and only create clutter and mess all around) but it's a start! Today, I was able to work almost the whole day and smile when I looked around :)

I think that called for celebration and the universe thought as much it would seem, 'cause today I found plane tickets to Sicilly for.. 0,75€! Normally I'd leave for longer but seeing how I'm all responsible now (ekhm) and with a proper job (ekhm), I'm only getting a 3day get-away. Which I still consider mighty cool, by the way ;)

It's great for another reason (Italy, sun & the gelato being the first ones) - I'll be going there with P and it'll be a kind of a test for us and for a project we have in mind. And this time, unlike 99% of the times when I have a project, I share it with someone, so there's actually I chance I'll get to do it! If I (we) do, you'll be awed and I'll be the happiest person in the bloggosphere.

.        .          .          .          .          .

Oh, and as for the TM tips that I intend to follow:
*getting up at 6/6:30am
*prioritizing my tasks
*checking email twice a day at a fixed hour
*giving myself deadlines for every task
*thinking about what my goals are; if what I'm currently doing isn't getting me closer to achieving them, I just drop whatever I'm doing (unless it's BBT, but that's over for this season. Well, True Blood will be an exception as well!)
*start exercising (the getting up at 6am part has a lot to do with it)
*blocking chores, doing them regularly on a given day
*blocking out distractions when working

.        .          .          .          .          .

That reminds me, I gotta do some more decluttering, finish my CV and think of the video I want to shoot this weekend.
Promise to add some more Spain pics asap!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I've somehow had a hard 2 or 3 days lately, luckily am slowly coming back to life now.

Today I have found a graphic I loved and wanted to post it, so that all of you out there took a moment to step back and be grateful for what you have, just as I did. 

Maybe not a mighty original thing, definitely not anything you might not have seen or heard before. But still, it had quite an impact on me.

So smile and appreciate all the small wonders of this world 
and all the things you take for granted.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's official

If I am up on a Saturday morning at 5:30 am (and will be for the next couple of those), it means I'm into something. 
And I so am.

And thus, it's official.
I've started a 'normal' job (although there's not much normal about it hehehe) and will be staying in Warsaw for about half a year or more. I'll finally update the photoblog and will write down the adventures and thoughts I still wanted to share with you from the previous trips.
In the meantime, I gotta run read some materials for my      8 am meeting and eat some breakfast!

Fingers crossed that all goes well and you should be getting a taste of many new places in a couple of months ;)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Changing the world

It's something that's been on my mind for quite a while now but it took me ages to actually sit down and write it down. Why I'm doing it today is probably because I've recently came back from a meeting with a Turkish CSer I spent the afternoon with and with whom I ended up talking about what I'm about to share with you.

.        .        .         .         .

What got me to put into words the feelings and notions I was having for quite some time was a very curious meeting I had in Spain, Frigiliana to be exact. My CS host at the time was an Englishman living in Spain, an anarchist and devoted nudist. He was very eager to share his knowledge and above else, his ideas about the world. He was also the first person to tell me about the Zeitgeist movement, today's Turkish CSer being the second. I still haven't watched the movies but will do it very soon (and probably share some more thoughts on the occasion).

The ideas and ideologies my English/Spanish host had might be simplest summed up as 'changing the world'. He was talking so much about it and about how the society and the system ruin our lives, that he really seemed like a man on a mission. At first I was very interested and impressed but later on took a bit of a different approach.  Let me tell you why.

.        .        .         .         .

First off, everyone keeps on saying how we need to go and change the world. Which world, may I ask?
I firmly believe there is no such thing as THE world. Or THE reality, for that matter. Just as I don't believe there's a thing we call objectivity. 

"If there's no such thing as THE world or THE reality, what is there?!", I hear you ask. Well, there's a sum of all worlds. There's the world of a millionaire living in a beautiful beachside mansion, whose reality is not at all similar to that of a fisherman living in a poor village somewhere in SEA, who in turn lives in a totally different world than a child in Iraq, who has to fight for his 11 year old life every minute of my life, which is led in a different world than the one my friends in Spain have.. Can you see my point?

So when I hear someone shout out: "We have to change the world!", I automatically ask him: "Which world would you like to change, sir?". And even if we decide we should be changing the world of the child, for example, how do we go about doing that? And what warranty do we have that if US troops back out, some other won't take their place? None. And so we get stuck in a cycle we cannot escape. Because instead of preventing something, we're trying to fix or replace it. Which is a fool's errand when huge money (and let's face it, what else is there to politics at this point?) is involved.

"So what do you propose, we should just let it be?" No. But I don't think big revolutionary ideas will change anything.

.        .        .         .         .

My host and I spent one evening talking about similar things. Him telling me that we have to get rid of all the money, destroy the system, leadership etc. I do agree that we could do without money, as there are enough goods produced to satisfy everyone, and it's the distribution or the lack thereof that causes misery and poverty, and might be better off without it. Destroying the system? Changing the system, yes. What good would come from destroying structures? We'd just make new ones. Get rid of leaders? How do you propose we get anything done on a bigger scale?

A bit of our dialogue (M=Magu, H=host):

H: There's a community in town A. They live like this. Without money, without leaders telling them what to do. Everyone's happy.
M: Ok, so what happens if there's a bigger project that needs to be undertaken? How do they make decisions?
H: Well, everyone sits in a circle, they have a stick they pass along and only the person with the stick has the right to speak. It's ideal! Everyone gets heard out. And then they vote.
M: Ok, and how many people are there?
(can't recall the exact number he quoted, let's assume he said something like:) 
H: 100
M: Ok. And how long does the decision making process take? What if there's a 1000, 5000 people in such a community? Let's say there's 6 billion of them. How big do you think that circle to be?
H: It doesn't matter how long it takes! Because like this everyone can speak up! And well, there would be many small communities that would communicate with each other.
M: Ok, and how would they be doing that?
H: There would be representatives.
M: Ok, and how is it different from what we have now?
H: Because the system is wrong! And there is money! And politicians are evil and only care about the money!
M: Ok, and how do we know it won't happen again? For every 20 people that will agree to have as much as the next person, there'll be one who'll decide he wants more. How do you prevent corruption?
H: You get rid of money!

And so we went back and forth like this - me understanding the concept and partially agreeing with it but seeing that "destroying the system" or 'simply' "getting rid of money" is no answer. Unless you have precise solutions to the problem, you'll just create a different version of it. Criticizing something without offering ways of making it better is pointless. And not worth anyone's time nor attention.
At that point my host must have decided I was against his believes and that I was arguing with him, because the discussion got a lot more heated.

.        .        .         .         .

I decided to share my take on the subject.

We make the system. 
If I change how I live, I change the system. 
'The system' is not an individual. Nor is it a constant being imposed on us by some almighty power, be it God or whatever else you believe in. We made it. And if it doesn't work or has some kind of a malfunction, we're the ones who'll have to move our asses and change it. No other way around it.

Change the world? No. Change MY world? Yes, please.
How? Be happy.

You might laugh and want to quit reading but let me take some more of your precious time and elaborate on the subject.

"Be happy" is the simplest and best advise we can, and most definitely, should follow. Where do all the crime, corruption, harm come from? 
From the unhappiness of those who indulge in them. 
From unsatisfaction. 
Feeling helpless.
All of which are the total opposit of hapiness.

If you're happy, do you feel the need to lie? 
Harm others? 
Didn't think so.
If you're happy, are you positive? 
Do you want to share that energy with others? 
Do you feel like helping them to make sure they're in such a state as well? Isn't life easier and more rewarding when you do what you love? 
Meet with those you like? 
Help those you are in power of helping?
Yup, yup, yup and a thousand times yup.

If you want to be selling flowers and studying ikebana, why do you spend your life doing accountancy - anything but? Do you have another life to later do what you love?
If you enjoy law and want to practice it in the future but are afraid you won't score well enough on your entry exams, why don't you spend more time learning instead of wasting your time settling for less?

"But you can't make a living out of it!", I hear so many people say. Yes, you can. If you like something, if it makes you happy, you do it. A lot. You get better at it. If you're good at something, there'll always be people willing to reward you for it. Who'll appreciate you.

And yet it's all twisted, in this world of ours. For everyone who wishes they were a florist and does something else in life, there'll be a florist who hates their job and wishes they could be doing finance, and I can imagine there are hundreds of finance specialists who'd prefer to be doing something else, like baking or selling properties. Or surfing, or a million other fascinating things we can decide to do with our time. And decide is the key word. Don't let others create your life for you! They have their own lifes to take care of and one life to manage is plenty work as it is.

H: But that's such an egoistic approach! 
M: I don't think it is. I do believe that if you're a happy person, you make others around you happy as well. You feed them with positive energy. Think of it in terms of bringing up children, for example. Can a frustrated and unhappy person be a devoted and loving parent? Teach a child to feel fulfilled in life, to reach for what they want? Be a good role model?

Telling a child "You can be happy in life" while being miserable yourself is sending out a most contradictory signal. And I think we all know actions speak more than words.
 How can we teach others something we don't know how to do ourselves?
Whom would you rather learn to start up a business from, an enterprenuer running his own company or an accademic who thinks he knows how to do it, cause he's read so many books on the subject? Maybe written a few himself..

And that brings me to why I started viewing my interlocutor in a not-so-impressed-after-all way. He was telling me all those grant world-changing ideas and yet spending his whole days watching lifechanging movies, smoking weed and doing yoga on the rooftop of his building. 

As I've said before - talking, even most interestingly and about the most important things, without actually taking any action is not worth all that much in my eyes.

.        .        .         .         .

So be happy! 
Change the world to suit YOU. 
Don't change yourself to suit someone else's image of this world.

Of course, it would take time the change things in the bigger picture. But every process takes time. That's something we cannot escape. How much time it takes, however, depends on our actions.

Please take a minute and visualise this for me:
Every person commiting to what they love. 
What brings them joy. 
What gives them satisfaction and fulfillment. 
(whatever that thing might be)
How does this world of ours look like then?
Do you like what you see?
Because I know I do.

"We have to change the world!"
So please, just follow your heart and be happy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A reason to stay

Already on the flight back from India I knew that my next destination was going to be Spain. Don't ask my why, but I felt this urge to go there.
On the flight back from Spain, I had a million ideas but not one specific plan as to where to go and what to do next.

"It wouldn't be bad to stay in Warsaw for a while and figure out the next step." I thought to myself. However, the last time I was here I spent quite a lot of my savings (= travelling $) and didn't do too many productive things with my time. "If only I had something interesting to keep me occupied while providing an income at the same time." I thought some more.

Well, ladies and gents - Magu's luck is back on track!

I've found my reason to stay.  
Or, better yet, the reason has found me.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Amor patriae nostra lex

It's been maybe an hour since I was telling my dad how much I've been feeling the need to (re)learn Polish history ever since I started travelling more, and randomly browsing through the net I came accross an eight minute video prepared for the Shanghai Expo 2010, which I haven't seen before.   
And I absolutely loved it!

I guess my Polish friends might have seen it before but I doubt any of the foreigners have.
The animation is pretty self-explanatory but if you don't know any facts from the Polish history, I'd recommend watching this one first:

and then continuing to the animantion itself:

And here's a short clip of how the country's borders were changing throughout the centuries

I hope you like it and find it interesting!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Today I've had one of those moments I'm not likely to forget for many years to come.

Watching your grandparents dance during their 50th wedding anniversary party is not something that happens every day.
And then watching your parents do the same to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

It made me realise, yet again, how fast I'm ageing. 
Already now, if I ever hoped to experience my 50th wedding anniversary (and I so do!), both me and my hubby-to-be would have to live till the age of 75, at least. 

Thus, a shout out to my future hubby - stop playing around and come and find me, so I can have my anniversary, for crying out loud!