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grow

Be Inspired

Those five little words

“I am happy for you”. The art of rejoicing in someone else’s success and happiness is easier said than done.

It´s easy to feel happy for someone when you find yourself in a good state of mind. It´s also a piece of cake to clap for someone’s success when they accomplished something within a field that is not the same as yours. But cheering for someone who achieved something you wish you had, that is the real challenge.

I grabbed a coffee with an old friend last time I was in Paris and we cheered for her recent success of getting into the best school in the country. I found myself being genuinely proud and happy for her. I recognised her hard work and dedication and felt it was more than deserved. Not an ounce of jealousy or frustration in sight. We shared a lovely moment rejoicing in her little happiness cloud and as we said goodbye I felt I took a little piece of that cloud with me. I had a smile on my face, thinking how lovely it is to see hard work being rewarded and feeling at that very moment that everything was how it should be.

But what if I had been depressed that day? What if I had tried and failed at the same exam? That would have been a very different story. I would probably have received her happiness as an aggression. Seeing it as reflexion of my own failure. I know this because it has happened before. But I also know it is not justified.

Others’ successes or failures are in no way related or proportional to yours.

You are responsible of your actions and life and they are of theirs. It makes absolutely no sense to feel better to see your friends fail where you also failed. On the contrary. To progress and grow you need to surround yourself with people who will challenge you, push you forward, not drag you down.

Again, easier said than done. We know all that, and it looks great on paper, but controlling your feelings is something that demands practice, dedication and awareness, knowing yourself and more importantly being very honest with yourself, admitting and recognising your feelings to then be able to act on them.

Definitely something worth working on though, for ourselves and our entourage, because happiness is contagious. Catch it. Spread it.


By: Mo Oléron 

Be Inspired

Building up self-confidence

Failures and negative experiences are big challenges for our self-confidence. The good news is that self-confidence can be rebuilt.

It doesn’t happen overnight and it takes energy and patience. We need to say goodbye to old habits and start developing new ones. Negative thinking is the biggest obstacle to building self-confidence. Recognising negative thoughts and turning them into productive positive ones requires a lot of commitment, but is a necessary effort.

Listing our qualities instead of our flaws is a very good exercise. If our self-confidence is already strongly shaken up, we will often have difficulties coming up with qualities or we will feel anxiety or shyness when writing. In that case, it helps to turn to family members, friends or colleagues, who will be quick to remind us how many wonderful qualities there we possess. When our list is finished, a tip is to read it often in order to train our positive memory!

A lack of self-confidence can be a passing phase in our lives which, with a little effort and work, can be conquered. All we have to do is remind ourselves of how much good we really have in us. By being patience and working on yourself you will become a person who radiates self-confidence.


By: Sonja Josipovic / Photo cred: iStock 

Be Inspired

Never stop learning

I love to say that I learn from every place I go to and everyone I meet. And I mean it. The past couple of years I have been to more places and met more people than ever. And every time I thought I was in a rut I realised I could learn something new, get curious again, gain a new skill, a new interest, maybe a new passion. Maybe not, but in every fail attempt, in every activity that eventually bored me, I learnt something.  

So today I want to share with just a couple of things I put into practice and platforms I use to never stop learning:

  • Network! That might sound boring, and for all of us shy and socially awkward people, even dreadful, but networking doesn’t have to be! It basically means, talk to people! Share you interests, get out there, join events, there are tones around you just check your Facebook! Join a friend to his/her art show even if you’re not into art! Who knows who you might end up meeting there, and if no one, you’ll make your friend happy and get free appetizers. Win win.
  • Say YES (or NO depending of the way the question is formulated). There are two or three key moments in my life where I said YES when I would normally have said no and that turned out to be life changing experiences. Keeping everything in proportions of course, (I’m not saying say yes to cocaine!) if people offer you a chance to try something new, get out of your comfort zone, say yes. It will take you places.
  • Read and discuss. We are exposed to so much information every day, but knowledge of any kind is like learning a new language, you can be great in theory but if you lack practice you will never enrich your vocabulary and eventually forget everything. Use what you know!
  • Give “new” a chance. We sometimes are so stuck in our comfortable routines or just master at procrastinating that we are struggling to truly give something new a chance. Whether you registered for an online course and given up after the first class because “the teacher was a snooze” or ruled out Pilates because ” I don’t have abs“, we are quick to dismiss things that we find difficult, things we are not really good at and don’t immediately make us feel good. Give it a real chance. Try to commit for at least a few weeks before you decide it’s not for you.
  • Check out Coursera. It is an online platform on which Universities from all over the world share full study programs on endless topics with written and video contents. Pick the free option for personal awakening, and if you need that diploma you can purchase the course. I am now following three classes : Unravelling Solutions for Future Food problems from Utrecht University, Understanding Obesity from the University of Edinburgh and Cities are back in Town: Urban sociology for a globalizing urban world from Sciences Po. And I am super excited. Those are subjects I never even glanced over back at Uni, because it was not my interest then or not available and I find it so amazing to be able to take on new courses as my personality and interests evolve!
  • I am no designer and probably never will be but thanks to Canva I can feel like one and save myself time and money when it comes to designing some simple banners, posters, flyers and so forth. Once again, there is a free and paid option to explore further.
  • Yoga enthusiasts, but not ready to go out and take a class yet? Check out Do Yoga With Me.It’s free, it’s Canadian (not sure how that is relevant), it’s full of online classes for all levels and styles! I love it!
  • A bit of a geek or just curious about stuff and start-ups? Check The Hub for events in the Nordic start-up world as well as job and internship opportunities!

That is it for today, don’t hesitate to share your own “go to” platforms and tips to grow and learn more in the comments or on our Facebook page!


By: Mo Oléron