Surround yourself with very good people!

If you’re the best player in the group, you’ll never be challenged and you won’t get any better. If you are the worst, you’ll work your ass off. And that’s how you’ll become the best you can be.

Stephen C. Murphy


One way to stay grounded in the entertainment industry is to surround yourself with very good people that will constantly remind you how uncool you are.

Lauren Conrad


What being normal actually means? [#PaoloCoelho]

1. Normal is anything that makes us forget who we are and what we want; that way we can work in order to produce, reproduce, and earn money.
2. Spending years studying at university only to find at the end of it all that you’re unemployable.
3. Working from nine till five every day at something that gives you no pleasure at all just so that, after thirty years, you can retire.
4. Retiring and discovering that you no longer have enough energy to enjoy life and dying a few years later of sheer boredom.
5. Using Botox.
6. Believing that power is much more important than money and that money is much more important than happiness.
7. Making fun of anyone who seeks happiness rather than money and accusing them of “lacking ambition.”
8. Comparing objects like cars, houses, clothes, and defining life according to those comparisons, instead of trying to discover the real reason for being alive.

Image9. Never talking to strangers. Saying nasty things about the neighbors.
10. Believing that your parents are always right.
11. Getting married, having children, and staying together long after all love has died, saying that it’s for the good of the children (who are, apparently, deaf to the constant rows).
12. Criticizing anyone who tries to be different.
13. Waking up each morning to a hysterical alarm clock on the bedside table.
14. Believing absolutely everything that appears in print.
15. Never asking a direct question, even though the other person can guess what it is you want to know.
16. Keeping a smile on your lips even when you’re on the verge of tears. Feeling sorry for those who show their feelings.
17. Believing that art is either worth a fortune or worth nothing at all.
18. Despising anything that was easy to achieve because if no sacrifice was involved, it obviously isn’t worth having.
19. Following fashion trends, however ridiculous or uncomfortable.

Image20. Believing that all famous people have tons of money saved up.
21. Investing a lot of time and money in external beauty and caring little about inner beauty.
22. Using every means possible to show that, although you’re just an ordinary human being, you’re far above other mortals.
23. Never looking anyone in the eye when you’re traveling on  public transport, in case it’s interpreted as a sign you’re trying to get off with them.
24. Standing facing the door in an elevator and pretending you’re the only person there, regardless of how crowded it is.
25. Never laughing too loudly in a restaurant however good the joke.
26. In the northern hemisphere, always dressing according to the season: bare arms in spring (however cold it is) and woolen jacket in autumn (however hot it is).
27. In the southern hemisphere, covering the Christmas tree with fake snow even though winter has nothing to do with the birth of Christ.
28. Assuming, as you grow older, that you’re the guardian of the world’s wisdom, even if you haven’t necessarily lived enough to know what’s right and wrong.
29. Going to a charity tea party and thinking that you’ve done your bit toward putting an end to social inequality in the world.
32. Eating three times a day even if you’re not hungry.
33. Believing that other people are always better than you – better-looking, more capable, richer, more intelligent—and that it’s very dangerous to step outside your own limits, so it’s best to do nothing.
34. Using your car as a weapon and as impenetrable armor.
35. Believing that everything your child does wrong is entirely down to the company he or she keeps.
36. Marrying the first person who offers you a decent position in society. Love can wait.
37. Always saying, “I tried” when you didn’t really try at all.
38. Postponing doing the really interesting things in life for later, when you won’t have the energy.
39. Avoiding depression with large daily doses of television.
40. Believing that you can be sure of everything you’ve achieved.
41. Assuming that women don’t like football and that men aren’t interested in home decoration and cooking.


42. Blaming the government for all the bad things that happen.
43. Thinking that being a good, decent, respectable person will mean that others will see you as weak, vulnerable, and easy to manipulate.
44. Being equally convinced that aggression and rudeness are synonymous with having a “powerful personality.”
45. Being afraid of having an endoscopy (if you’re a man) and giving birth (if you’re a woman).

Source: The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho, P. 47-50.

Please turn off electronic devices!

Most airlines have had this rule in place for more than a decade now, even though there has been no definitive documented instance in which passengers leaving their devices on caused a plane crash. Is your mobile phone going to take an entire aircraft down just because you texted your better half? Probably not. [1].

I’ve actually never given it so much thought until I came upon the following excerpt from “The Winner stands alone” by Paolo Coelho.

Image “All mobile phones must be switched off during the flight because they might interfere with the onboard systems.” We all believe this and do as the flight attendants ask.

Igor knew when this myth had been created: for years now, airlines had been doing their best to convince passengers to use the phones attached to their seat. These cost ten dollars a minute and use the same transmission system as mobile phones. The strategy didn’t work, but the myth lingered on; they had simply forgotten to remove the warning from the list of do’s and don’ts that the flight attendant has to read out before takeoff.

 What no one knew was that on every flight, there were always at least two or three passengers who forgot to turn their phones off, and besides, laptops access the Internet using exactly the same system as mobiles. And no plane anywhere in the world has yet fallen out of the sky because of that.

 Now they were trying to modify the warning without alarming the passengers too much and without dropping the price. You could use your mobile phone as long as it was one you could put into flight mode. Such phones cost four times as much. No one has ever explained what “flight mode” is, but if people choose to be taken in like this, that’s their problem.” [2, 39].

I read a few related articles. It turns out that proof why we are obliged keep our devices switched off seems to be lacking.  Some airlines allow their passengers to use mobile phones and even have Wi-Fi spot on the board. Other studies claim that the use of gadgets may interfere with on-board devices and disturb a crew.

Some experts fairly point out that if there was a real risk of interference of a mobile phone or an iPad with the aircraft’s systems, people would not be allowed to take them on the aircraft at all. [3].

Therefore the whole thing isn’t so much convincing, as it seemed to me before. I think that many passengers, including me, will still switch off their electronic devices during the takeoff as the flight attendant request, considering that the true isn’t actually worth risking their life, but there will always remain doubts whether it may be really an another myth created by the big companies to push up consumption…



Maybe we can learn something from Japanese!

I received my weekly newsletter the other day which contained the travel report from Japan. I found it pretty interesting given that I’ve never been to Japan before.

Japan seems to be an advanced and cohesive country to me. It’s outstanding that the recent radiation leaks haven’t caused society to fall apart. The people seem to stay calm and even elated due to that Tokyo has been recently chosen to host the Olympics in 2020. All these brought me to the idea that maybe we can learn something from Japan. So I conducted a small research and compiled some facts I consider might be interesting to know about the Japanese people’s life style.


1. Education played an important role in Japanese life. Even in poor areas schools are excellent.

2. Learning English is a big business in Japan. There are learners’ editions of The Economist and other magazines with hard words explained.

3. It’s hard to find roadside trash bins, it’s even harder to find litter. Japanese put their trash in their pockets or purses to be deposited later into a trash bin.

4. Portion sizes in restaurants are small. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why it’s hardly to find an overweight Japanese person.

5. If you forgot your umbrella at home and it’s raining cats and dogs outside even cheap restaurants will lend you an umbrella; you’re simply expected to return it in a day or two.

6. The most famous statue in Japan is a dog Hachiko, who exemplified loyalty, perseverance and duty. You know the story about him, right?

7. A lot of studies have shown that the longer you sit down per day the more likely you are to die earlier.  A large portion of Japanese people walk, bike, and take the train to work (or wherever they need to go). This means Japanese people are standing up for longer periods of the day.

8. There is very common in Japan when the oldest kid is taking care of the parents when they get old. 

9. Socializing is a very important part of the Japanese life style. When it comes to business, employees are often required to go out and socialize, drink, and have fun after work.

10. Japan takes its time management very seriously.  Even trains often issue late slips for passengers to take to their employers if their trains get delayed.

11. And last but not least I’d like to cite here one excerpt from the New York Times Article telling the impression the Japanese people left on the NYTimes’s columnist who lived in Japan with his family  for five years:

“My wife and I saw the collective ethos drummed into children when we sent our kids to Japanese schools. <…>. When our son Gregory came home from a school athletic meet, we were impressed that he had won first place in all his events, until we realized that every child had won first place.”

This story exemplified that winning and left others behind isn’t everything the Japanese people strive for, unlike the most Americans. They’d rather care about the common good and harmony in their own lifes.

I think there are a couple of things we could learn from them. Of course, there are more other features that make Japanese so special and that they might probably teach us. Here there is only a small part I was able to find and compile. I hope that one day I’ll be able to find out more about Japanese on my own.

Awaiting for the future 🙂


Life Quotes. Watching #LostInTranslation (2003).

Charlotte: I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be.

Bob: You’ll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.

Charlotte: What’s about marriage? Does it get easier?

Bob: That’s hard…


Bob: It gets a whole lot more complicated when you have kids.

Charlotte: It’s scary.

Bob: The most terrifying day of your life is the day the first one is born.

Charlotte: Nobody ever tells you that.

Bob: Your life, as you know it… is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk… and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life.

Bob: “Where the hell’s the whiskey?”


Charlotte to Bob: 25 years (married). That’s uh, well it’s impressive.

Bob: Well you figure, you sleep one-third of your life, that knocks out eight years of marriage right there. So you’re, y’know, down to 16 in change. You know you’re just a teenager, at marriage, you can drive it but there’s still the occasional accident.

(c) Lost in translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)