Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some highlights of the months


There are so many things happened starting from this year – some moments left on me quite big impression, some took my emotions down, irritated me, made me feel happy or sad… In order to picture them in my blog and after some time to come back to these memories and just smile, and as well share with my readers, I decided to write them down briefly adding some cute stuff also… So let’s start – 10 highlights of January and February months.

Highlight #1 

I remember the feeling how I was coming back from home back to Tallinn and was afraid that it will be again hard for me to go working again with new initiatives, continue things started before etc., as Almaty routine started to absorb me. I remember also that the 1st working week was the coolest one in terms of exchange results brought – we have realized that week the same amount of exchanges, as last years team of AIESEC and also the autumn company raising for exchange finally started to bring results. So anyhow, in my term the exchange results won’t drop as they were for the past 5 years, but grow… Yes, and for today’s quarter we have 100% growth! Cool! :) Also that time arrived the first ever AIESEC intern from Greece - Kyriaki to work for company, which I’m servicing currently from MC side. 

What I’ve learned? When you put a lot of effort, in most of the times the results will come later - to create a change for sure doesn’t happen quickly, you need patience and determination. I think, I learned the same during my LCP term… 

Highlight #2 

For the first time in my life I started to be strict with the food consumption, as I made a promise to myself not to eat any heavy food in the evenings and also stopped consuming sugar as well. That’s very BIG THING for me, as I have never been putting restrictions to me regarding food. But now what made me to do that is the simple coordination of healthiness and control of my organism in it and… to lose the weight. Yes and I almost don’t eat meat as well… So for now it became already a habit and day by day I’m getting used to it. Yes, and I also lost some weight! :) 

What I’ve learned? Self-discipline matters a lot as it’s one the tools for execution of desired vision you want to achieve and for that sometimes we have to sacrifice our dare habits and even our personal passions (like passion for sweets and chocolate). 

Highlight #3 

For these months we have been organizing quite many movie evenings with my international friends here and I’m also visiting the European movie evenings every Thursday (of course for free) and the most coolest ones were “Slumdog Millionaire”, the Indian movie which got 8 Oscar awards, and “The Method” Spanish HR psychological thriller and just recently in the cinema – “The curious case of Benjamin Button”- also the winner of Oskar in “Achievement in Visual Effects”. I think that I watched for these 2 months more movies than for the whole last year! 

What I’ve learned? You may get a lot of inspiration for yourself from watching the movies. Its like reading someone’s blog or book. 

Highlight #4 

Yeah, for the first time here I went to dentist and then regretted that didn’t visit mine personal at home when I was there for a new year holidays, as the prices have surprised me quite much :) Yes, that were and are going to be my unexpected expenses, which I have to take into consideration while planning my next month budget. One more thing I understood, that I have to eat less chocolate as I think its one of the reasons of my urgent visit to the doctor. But I like dentists, they have never been harming me much and got used to visiting them, as having quite sensitive teeth. J Who else likes dentists? 

What I’ve learned? If you go abroad for longer period, always have check-in with the doctors in your country, as it might be influencing not only the financial situation, but for sure the prediction of any illnesses you might have or have predisposition for. Yes and don’t eat much chocolate like me :) 

Highlight #5 

You won’t believe – I was in the ARMY! :) Yeah, it was 24 hours of living in one of the military battalions in south Estonia – Võru town, called Kuperjanov battalion. It has been like a team building for AIESEC Tartu LC where quite many members went there and some MC members including me. “Aika, you are ALSO going to the army?!” That was a typical question, as for sure I would be the only foreigner there trying to understand, what’s the hell the commander is telling? :) But it was really cool experience even not understanding most of the things, I learned the typical commands, members were translating me and just on my own some things I could figure out on my own, what’s needed to do. We learned what does it mean to be a soldier by I think the most simple things, like how to make up a bed and at least 6 times did it, marching, morning wake up at 5.55 and being ready in 5 minutes for gymnastics and run, eating the soldier’s food, history of the battalion, topography and orientation in the forest areas etc. It was loads of fun at the same time for us – now at least we know the basic things on how to be a soldier!   

What I’ve learned? In being such conditions like in the army teaches you how to appreciate small things – lie on bed, sit on a chair. The physical tiredness is the best one in comparison with mental one. 

Here is the cool video what my team mate Maarja made (in Estonian): 

Highlight #6 

All these 2 months I have managed to survive on my own without asking my parents support. This definitely happened because we had a salary raise from December and I think now I already easily and carefully plan my own finances – what are the fixed costs, additional monthly costs, amount of unexpected costs to appear etc. 

What I’ve learned? It’s so cool to be financially independent! :) 

Highlight #7 

Our biggest mountain skating rink in Almaty has been closed for reconstruction and that’s why I didn’t have an opportunity to skate in my city this time on holidays, but I tried skating in Tallinn – its was really funny, as for that I went for the 1st time to the skating rink in the center of the town and it was at least 20 times smaller than ours, but good - it was open air, as in our city we have only these ones. But I have to investigate more bigger, but as I know they will be then inside of the building… With my international friends we have also been sledging at Estonian Independency day – on 24th February. 

What I’ve learned? Winter sports activities are the best ones and I’m enjoying them a lot here! 

Highlight #7 

We have had the Annual conference happening in the end of January, where the main news is that we have selected new AIESEC Estonia President – Lauri, member of our current MC team, and I have a successor as well – girl from Colombia - Cristina, who will be leading the exchange area in the next term starting form July 2009. This conference as I see has been one of the biggest highlights of our term, as we managed to organize the open day for students and our members “Eesti Noorte Foorum” with more than 200 participants, speakers, at least 2 big company representatives, various workshops, panel discussions, presentations… As AIESEC Estonia celebrating this year its 20th Anniversary, we have had the biggest alumni event at the conference – around 70 of them participated totally, we had the day full of activities - open space, panel discussion, gala evening with official dinner etc. The history of the organization has been not only happening, but remembered there. I have even talked with one of the founders of AIESEC Estonia, who also met a girl from AIESEC Almaty that time at the international congress in  Hungary in early 90th, but I don’t know who can it be, as the founder of my LC somehow has disappeared and nobody knows, where is she now. 

What I’ve learned? This conference has been is one of the successes of our MC term I think, and this “taste of success” has been one of the key personal motivators for me and it was proved again that its still is. But for gaining this “taste” you have again work hard even sometimes on the things which you don’t like much, going though routine every day etc. But in the end of the road, you remember only positive memories. 

Highlight #8 

I have visited also the Estonian National Museum’s exhibition, which was dedicated to 90th anniversary of Estonian Republic in 2008 and it has been amused me with its interactivity and actually I really like visiting the museums or any kind of the galleries in here, as all of them which I have attended weren’t the boring ones, which we used to, but full of creativity, where I really admire the Estonian Art gallery and the Estonian occupation museum. So, any time you are here – mark it as the places to be definitely visited. 

What I’ve learned? Educate yourself always by visiting any kind of places like museums, galleries and so on, as it teaches you not only about the countries history, national treasures etc., but gives you the in-depth insight to the culture of the country nation itself, why it’s formed like that and its mindset too. 

Highlight #9 

One of the things, which have been making quite angry and irritated this time, is the MC election process in AIESEC Kazakhstan, where me, Deniss and Nailya have found some serious mistakes on the way how it was organized and the most important, which weren’t done according to compendium. The full members including MC team have accepted their mistakes, but nothing changeable have been undertaken, as we are always finding excuse in AIESEC – “at least we learned”. This case have shown me especially and to certain people as well, that in the real troubles only few people can stand and take them over finding the solutions, but most of the people – even being currently on the leadership positions, will just find an excuse again or blame someone for that, but not being focused on the solution itself. That’s quite sad… And that’s what I’ve learned too. 

Highlight #10 

It has been also a cool month because my LC has selected new Executive Board 0910 team, who will lead the organization in the next term, and I dare a lot about the people who have been selected for that roles. An I’m really happy that YOU were being chosen as the leader of the whole LC – I was telling you, that will be definitely the most intense experience in your AIESEC career and it’s for me still the best one! I have even baked a cake to celebrate this day – Saturday, 22 February, as I told you. Yes and also Happy Birthday again and hope you enjoyed my Birthday gift! :) See you very soon… 

The elections in AIESEC is the most exciting moment in the organization, which makes all the people during selection period to keep and focus strongly the energy level for only one goal – to be selected! And if you get it, then it’s again an incredible feeling of success and then – great, but not a simple year ahead to make “dreams come true” within only 365 days… For myself I’m still thinking about the next years opportunities, but for now stopped at one… You never know, what the future may bring you! :) 

Thanks for reading this looooong post and have a cute week ahead! :)


P.S.: You are smart if you have noticed that i had two number 7 highlights, I just didnt wanna have 11 of them, as 10 sounds better :)

Reisid vabadusse / Travel to freedom

That's always pleasant to see that getting an experience during AIESEC helps you not only develop your skills, broaden perspectives, gain internationalism, network and all that cool things what we are taking from experiences in our organization, but also to become a real entrepreneur and to connect with people who share the same interest as you are.

Here is one of the examples...

My estonian friends, with some of them I work currently or worked before during my MC and LCP term have established a company - eco-tourism company that "takes you to the places that are simple and untouched - this is the magic of their trips! You can be a part of the culture, nature and daily life of local people of Kazakhstan and Croatia."

Yeah and my country is also there! :)

So, you may check out more from Reisid Vabadusse

"Do you enjoy Estonian summer with bad skiing weather or take a unique adventure in Kazakhstan/Croatia?  It`s up to you, as we used to say in AIESEC".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's all about potential...

Today is the coolest day for the whole AIESEC Almaty, as this day the members have selected new President of organization, who will lead the local committee starting from May 2009 for one year - its current LCVP External Relations, Dima Dmitriev. I feel really happy for him today and for the whole AIESEC in my city, as this person is the one whom we call "potential", that's those members who join the organization with personal capacity and great will to develop themselves, absorbing everything what organization gives, taking various opportunities and just growing from year to year. Its very important for the older members to recognize those people, let them join AIESEC  and you will after that see - who they will become in the future. I'm really happy that being in the organization, we could recognize such a potential in him 3 years past... 

Even if such people you can't see being always on the 1st row and sometimes they are so invisible, but the times show everything after some time... They take one responsibility, second, third - they amaze you by the results and attitude they take towards every task. Then the time comes to lead a team for them, but they afraid whether they will manage - you support them and believe that they can, he or she is so scared to step for the first leadership role, you try to support from your side with knowledge, information, but od the otherb things - its up to them... You see how they live their first unsuccesful experience, that teaches them the most to stay stronger and they understand "what doesnt kill us, makes us stronger"... and they become stronger... Then their path seems to go so fast and the results amaze you a lot... their personal development in the organization becomes huge! and here you are - a grown up young person, who stays apart from most of the crowds of young people now - they are simply "different" and they are ready and not afraid of taking any challenges... They are simply talents in everything.

I'm sure and I was telling you a lot, that President's experience is the best ever! It is still the best every for me... I'm just simply happy for you and wish could be this day with you - to congratulate from all my heart...

That's the most powerful thing for AIESEC, when you can recognize those potential people and give them all the opportunities for growth... After some time they will amaze you... I was like that, you are like that and many-many young people who join organization once...

This is true - international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dreams are the seedlings of reality


«Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember, all things are possible for those who believe.”


Sometimes I just start dreaming. These moments just come randomly while watching some TV program, or while going by bus to the office in the morning, or just observing a child speaking to mum, or while trying to get asleep… It’s the moments when I project my imagination to some moment in the future – doesn’t matter in a long or short run. No limitations.


How wouldn’t it sound girlish, but I dream quite many times about my future family house as a peaceful place with green garden and many-many flowers in it, how I will on my own design the interior there, how I will be painting the flower pots in different colors, stitch the decorative pillows for sofa, how cool and bright our kitchen will be… I will be definitely having the house with my future family, which we will build on our own…


Sometimes I’m dreaming that I’m into some creative hobby like painting again, as it was many years ago, while studying at school… or designing my own clothes and sewing – I was so good in that actually… I have been always having a talent in creating smth on my own – stitching, sewing, handicraft, painting - and where its now?


I imagine myself running my own enterprise, which is dealing with social issues in my country, I still don’t know what it will be, but I think more connected to education of children in their young age… I even once was dreaming, that parallel to my professional job – working for some international company connected to my education or professional interest, I do connect with my friends and open an NGO, where I find realization of my personal interest and desires. Maybe that would be one of the 1st steps…


I imagine how I’m running business classes for students in my academy…


I’m having an exhibition of my photostreams, which I have collected while travelling… And it’s my hobby.


I dream about the moments of being in the position for what I’m planning to apply for the next term – there is no concrete company or location, but it will be smth that scares me and fascinates at the same time, as that would be an experience which I will be living for the first time in my life. I know this feeling, when you are image yourself in a new role, but for now actually don’t see the concrete actions, but only the vision what can you get out of it.


I imagine you again, as you are always coming to my dreams and how I’m holding your warm hand.


I’m in Latin America’s nature… don’t know where is it, exact location, but it always shines there and a sea nearby and most important, people, who are always passionate about dancing and I dance with them…

How I adopt an orphan... 

Drinking fresh juice cocktail – strawberry with pomegranate… exactly like in India, Mumbai in 2007, I still remember this taste.


I think it’s good to dream as that’s the time when your imagination broadens and you don’t feel any barriers around and limitations, but only feel great desire and passion towards the moments you are dreaming about. At the same time, you think that they actually can be not just dreams what people are talking as impracticable ones, but actually your own goals, what you can start striving for already today – taking a small step by step, or gaining the knowledge and experience which will bring you one way closer to your dream… and then you are blurred in the smile… and eyes are shining with happiness… Wanna live these moments in reality?


“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” Paolo Coelho 

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Abraham Maslow : Growth or Safety?

Maslow said that in any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.

I love that. I like to think of it this way:

We wake up in the morning. Is our first act a step forward (we get up immediately; we say the mantra we committed to; whatever) or do we step back into safety (stay in bed; hit snooze; etc.)?

+1 one if you stepped forward. -1 one if you stepped backward.

So, after that first act/thought, you’re either at +1 or -1. Yah?


-100+100-3    -2    -1    0    +1    +2    +3

(Notice that the difference between where you could be and where you actually are is actually TWO units apart, not one, btw…)

OK. How about the next moment? Forward or back? Forward or back? Forward or back? Moment to moment to moment…

Fast forward to the end of the day. Where are you? +25,000 or -25,000?

Pay attention cuz the weight of those negative #s is going to make it hard for you to sleep well. In fact, why do you think people crack open the beer/turn on the TV/yell at the spouse and kids and generally act like a weenie too often at the end of a day?

Exactly. Too many steps in the wrong direction. Their soul knows that they were capable of soooo much more. Unfortunately, rather than address it thru more constructive behavior, too often we take it out on others and blame/criticize/etc. Ick.

The quickest way to live a life of bliss? Step forward.

Brian Johnson,