Archives for category: inspirational

These days, it has become an official norm, regardless of one’s capabilities, to encourage and drive all personal attempts to succeed in life, regardless of the field or industry involved, to dream big!

Have a top job, work for the “big boys”, have a big house, a big car, a “trophy wife”, friends in the right places, homes abroad, luxury holidays, pedigree dog, etc.

So it seems only reasonable that when you don’t succeed first you will have to try again and again as long as it takes until you get things right.

Success road

There are also those people who operate in a rather apologetic, dismissive and patronizing way towards the ignorance, mediocrity, lack of talented of under skilled individuals… from birth.

Too often, I have seen overzealous parents talking to their long time academic under performing child, careful not to hurt any feelings or affect one’s life aspirations or even risk causing trauma on a long term basis?!

Very few people take self development seriously though. Sometimes I wonder why should people strive at all to be the best they can? At times, being the best version of yourself or more than others can only really land you in trouble, as everybody else will feel inferior and threatened by the level your performance.

believe in yourself

For example, often in offices where the manager is under educated and unqualified he or she will make life miserable to the best educated person under his or her power, while  supporting and promoting another mediocre just like him or herself, regardless of how that will inevitably affect the rest of the organization’s ultimate goals.

I have also witnessed extremely talented, very skilled and intelligent applicants being rejected at interviews simply because the panel did know if the person would fit in with the rest of the less capable co-workers, if the applicant would integrate well, even the recruiting manager felt threatened by the applicant who was just keen on impressing the panel despite being clueless about the background details of that company’s real working culture.

Business man, angry boss, sitting at his desk showing dislike, thumb down, hand drawn doodle vector illustration

These youngsters have an incredibly strong work ethic, they inspire and encourage British students to work much harder but still have no psychological, emotional, physical, financial support or social network at their disposal.

If you consider the fact that they barely know the new country they find themselves in to study and they remain ignorant of the ways to navigate the system then you realize their chances of survival and accomplishing their endeavour are indeed minimal.

Education

Behind they left a harsh place where there are no chances of decent employment, no hope of future of building a life altogether. On top of all, their families, friends and neighbours back home have placed a heavy burden on their shoulders in terms of responsibility and an obligation to succeed, regardless of circumstances, in meeting such high expectations.

Surely if the UK goes the extra mile to promote a world class education service on a global scale, it should also be able to do something in order to offer a safety net or support network when such cases arise.

Concept of science.

In the meanwhile, in the highly competitive academic environment existent everywhere, if you ever come across students like that do not dismiss them because they do not look fashionable, wealthy, trendy or as cool as the rest of the in-crowd.  You never know, they may just be far more interesting, talented, intelligent and hard working than you could possibly imagine.

Therefore do not hesitate to offer them some camaraderie, solidarity, humanity, compassion, assistance and understanding for their own challenging personal circumstances.

Group of Human Hands Holding Together Concept

Every year the UK welcomes students from all over the world. In general most people associate international students with wealthy and prosperous families, e.g., sons and daughters of industrialists, tycoons, aristocratic, diplomatic and royal families constantly enjoying in the “dolce vita” in the most exclusive locations available.

The truth is that these youngsters are exactly the ones who grease the wheels of UK’s economy by the standards of consumption and excess they engage with great enthusiasm and abandon.

Happy smiling shopping girl

However, there is on the opposite side of the coin another type of international student in town that few people bother to meet, remember or even acknowledge.

These are the youngsters whose humble and under privileged families sacrificed and spared every single penny they had so that they could send their offspring abroad in order to get a world class education in the UK.

This is done hoping that once the education is completed the youngster will benefit from a steady good job and contribute towards the survival of the family.

Education is the Key to Success

There is a substantial number of international students just like in the UK and they come from southern and eastern Europe, China, Nigeria, Nepal, India and the list goes on…unfortunately they were not awarded any study grant in their native country and after paying the course fees up front, they barely have enough money to live on.

Once in the UK they are completely alone and left to their own devices and they meet a completely different educational system to the one they were used to all their lives. They find themselves constantly being tested to the limit and it takes sheer grit, incredible resilience and real surviving skills to overcome all the obstacles that life throws at them.

Poor student

Since the beginning of the recession massive jobs cuts took place in every sector and the economy gradually sank into deep trouble.

People turned towards self employment, volunteering, work placements and internships as potential constructive alternatives.

Now with the Brexit uncertainty is back looming in the air and people fear the worst before things may eventually get better.

Recession Recovery signpost

As everybody knows by now, both work placements and internships have been notoriously in the media for the wrong reasons.

Many have voiced openly for both to be scrapped completely as they only seem accessible for the wealthy offspring of well connected families.

In addition, many companies sign up for work placement programmes only so they can get the government’s grants. Unfortunately a significant proportion of BME and migrant population are systematically exploited, abused and rejected under such programmes… as many union bodies have already exposed the dark scenario openly.

With volunteering, a risk has been taken to drive it to almost form a substitute for the State social responsibilities (remember the big society concept?), instead of providing a simple complement to its primary role.

Diverse Hands Holding The Word Volunteer

The idea alone of relying on volunteers to take over the State’s responsibilities in terms of providing vital services to society’s vulnerable members just to cut back on expenses is like threading on dangerous ground.

People volunteer out of the goodness of their hearts for a certain period of time but they simply cannot volunteer forever! They have their own personal lives and other obligations too.

Anyway, since the beginning of the recession as the jobs became scarce, more and more people fell into desperate situations and start to regard volunteering as a way to step into paid employment again.

Unfortunately many were simply taken for granted, pressured, deceived, exploited and abused, so much so they would not recommend it to anybody they know. I have learned of several horror stories about people volunteering for more than a year and still not being offered a role in the organization!?

Large foot about to tramp a row of people

Ultimately this is exactly where volunteering goes wrong as it abuses the good will of people who just end up being regarded as basically quick, disposable, cheap labour.

Volunteering does not have to be like this! Done correctly it contributes towards enhancing one’s life and society as well.

There is a valid need to re-habilitate the true meaning of volunteering and regain the trust of people in a constructive and appropriate manner. The sooner this happens the better for all those involved.

 

Last year London was granted the honour of being the European Capital of Europe. Consequently several events and activities took place throughout the year to mark the auspicious occasion.

Volunteering has had a massive impact in the UK for many generations and the charity sector has through the years stepped in to complement the role of the State working in tandem.

In general, the public, private and charity sectors staff have always been encouraged to volunteer and many do so with great joy.

Volunteering word cloud, heart concept

According to experts, volunteering contributes towards social cohesion, psychological and physical wellbeing, developing more knowledge, skills and experience. It also boosts one’s self esteem, independence and personal confidence.

Altogether this wonderful combination of elements should equip and assist the volunteer in stepping up to a new or better job in the near future.

I have come across some people in well paid full time jobs, performing demanding roles whilst facing hostile working environments who take great pleasure in volunteering as they find it extremely rewarding and healing.

Chalkboard writing: volunteer at work

For them it becomes a way of maintaining their own sanity, bringing a balance to their own personal life and nurture meaningful rapports with people outside their usual social  circles they would not meet otherwise in a healthy and constructive way.

I guess this could be regarded as a positive way of detoxing after leaving a hostile office culture behind.

Hand design vector.
It has been proven that doing good is actually wonderful for both the provider of the good deed as well as the recipient.

It actually releases endorphins, providing you with a sense of pride and self-fulfilment just for helping someone else in need

 In some nations around the world people go to work to make a living. They have a life outside work and they make time for personal leisure, their family and social circles.

London however remains fiercely different. Once you start working in the capital all that framework disappears and everything changes.

First you notice that in the capital life is generally geared towards work as the country’s main engine room. You almost don’t want to believe it but soon realize that in fact people live to work!

The company they work for and the job title will gradually define their social identity and shape their own notion of self-worth.

Business People Working in an Office

On a daily basis things are extremely blurry as people go to work to share every aspect of their lives, perform a role play and the office becomes their stage…basically a freak show!  More often than not people discuss their sex lives openly, medical issues, marriage breakdowns, divorce proceedings and the cat’s visits to the vet!…All this takes place while the city delivers “professional services” to the rest of the global economy!

The problems arise when they believe their actions are normalized and think everybody else should be doing the same as themselves. Quite often I noticed that those who seem desperate to find out personal information about fellow colleagues are the worst offenders and trouble makers. Their biggest talent lies in distorting facts and fabricating “truths” and unbiased rumours about people’s lives in order to proceed with character assassination and destruct one’s careers prospects at work.

Not surprising they are also the most frustrated and repressed people of all who go to work just to take their own personal failures on others and often rejoice in causing misery to others.

Open hand raised, Poisonous sign painted

In order to survive in this working culture I kindly would suggest the following:

  • creating a personal life outside work without “work mates”,
  • detaching psychologically and physically from work as soon as you leave the office,
  • making a genuine effort to spend quality time with family members,
  • engaging in constructive activities with significant friends,
  • nurturing yourself completely and healthily.

Wellness sign with wooden cubes

This way you’ll have memorable experiences to store in your own “memory bank” for posterity, “to infinity and beyond”…

All those who live to work and centre their basic existence around the workplace will sooner or later feel true disappointment. Instead of leading meaningful lives they live vapid lives as they make no effort to enjoy the fruits of their own labour. Always working and networking is basically a nonsense approach to life!

As soon as the recession started people lost their jobs, wives, girlfriends, homes, professional status, social identities and social support networks. That alone provided a lesson for many but it seems that unfortunately people have short memories.

These days the word hygge is everywhere and is being used to almost saturation levels.

Is that bad at all? Let’s explore the topic now.

Right now it does seem like the Vikings are back again in the UK but now with a different peaceful mission to educate the Brits about a better quality of life… without breaking the piggy bank!

At a first glance it does seem like the true meaning of the word itself goes against the popular cultural habits of this native population.

cocktail dog

If you consider looking back to pre-recession days how people enjoyed boasting about the vast sums spent on expensive drinks and food, extravagant holidays, extreme consumption, bottox sessions ( on credit of course!), etc…Hygge channels people to the extreme opposite direction.

It is not just a different life style but also a change of mindset!

I can’t even begin to imagine anybody even noticing the meaning of hygge in the pre-recession days or attributing any value to it.

Family Of Four Stock Photo

It’s biggest accomplishment is to bring people back to basics in order to value living less stressed lives, appreciating all the existent material possessions without coveting more or envying what others have, cherishing precious family and social moments, investing quality time doing things you truly love in a healthy, constructive and safe manner.

For example, lit up candles, read a good book, sit with a warm blanket by the fireplace, drink a hot chocolate with a delicious cinnamon bun.