"Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be" - Abraham Lincoln
What I've noticed most of all, as simplistic as this may sound, my state of happiness or sadness is purely reliant on my state of mind. I can switch it, despite it feeling fake at that moment, with the snap of my fingers, telling myself “be happy and joyful” and I can get myself into that state. It doesn’t always work mind you, some days and moments feel that shitty that I just let it run its course and find some other way to break out of it.
Lately, I have especially been appreciating the pleasure of being surrounded by beautiful people, amazing experiences and a feeling that life truly is what you make of it. It is particularly insightful because of having had darker days more than light ones many years ago. It was hard to imagine I could experience this 'happier' feeling on a more daily basis. More so, I identified myself with suffering, as if it was a norm of life. And now, more than then, I have chosen not to. Those darker moments can still tend to creep up on me. I know it's face now though. I recognise it. And when it's there, I sit with it, patiently. Acknowledge its presence, give it some genuine love, since, in the end, it comes from my pains and fears in the first place. Once it dissipates & dissolves, I get up again and realise how it no longer serves a purpose as it may have once upon a time and move on.
"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it." - Maya Angelou
A little reunion in Amsterdam 🌎
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it" - Jalaluddin Rumi
Returning from a magical weekend in the full spirit of love. A journey, a mission and most of a celebration of what life is all about. It is and was an honour to be witness and a part of this momentous occasion. As much as I could I tried to savour each drop of it, the people, the feelings and the purpose of our coming together.
I think we often can underestimate what it means to choose love, to choose a life with someone, to choose to bring cultures together and in its basis, make such courages choices in itself.
Tim worded it well during our late night talks, rounding off the evening; "a weekend where we could be ourselves". The masks came off, we were all there as a unified family and it all went exactly as it was supposed to.
Thank you ❤
"We suffer more often in imagination, than in reality” - Seneca the Younger
Nine years ago we all came together when setting up the inaugural ‘Leadership Summer School’, held in Ankara, Turkey. A first of its kind, bringing together more than 16 organisations to co-create a program which acted as a cross-pollinating pressure cooker to bridge and connect people together while learning and developing oneself. This was honestly one of the most mind bowing things I have ever been a part of, let alone setup. This year, 2017, the 10th edition will be taking place. Although I am not involved with the organisation for many years now, I still hear magical stories of the experiences participants have.
I remember the first one so well. July 2008, Ankara, on the campus of Baskent University. It was a warm summer, and it was an exciting time. Laura Kihlström, Tagi Khaniyev and I had been working for months getting this entire thing off the ground. A kind of teamwork I could only dream of, after which we remained friends. The trainers we brought together became a wolf pack of its own, Zero Generation we called ourselves. And the participants of this summer school, each went on to do incredible things. Not that the summer school was the cause, but perhaps it acted as a catalyst?
This weekend was a tribute to some of those people I cherish and whom I have gotten know very well. We have seen each other grow, develop and transition in different phases of life . Getting married, having children, changing jobs and taking other huge life decisions. All the way through we continue to support and be there for each other. While making a toast this weekend, Miha said “Its Salmaan’s turn, don’t make it too long dude”, we all laughed, they know me pretty damn well :P
During our conversations, I realised, despite how ‘established’ we may feel we are, we all have ambitions and challenges that put us back in that learner's seat. How to raise our children? Perhaps the making of a slight or major career switch? Or how to deal with work/life balance? And how to have more impact with the work we do?
While waiting to board my flight in Trieste, I smile, and my heart is bursting with gratitude for knowing such special people. Each of them I admire for their courage
About dinner last night 😊
One of the amazing Pasta's with Truffles I have ever had at a cute family owned and run restaurant👌🏽