A no-nonsense tip for success, or the power of asking

Knock and the door will be opened.

Knock and the door will be opened.

Like in the popular cartoons, this morningI felt an invisible lamp being lit over my head;  the so-called “a-ha” moment, and I want to share my insight with you.

As usual, it happened when I was injecting my morning dose of inspiration on BBC.com Capital into my brains. “The Three Secrets of Getting What You Want”- the clickbait headline already foreboded a mix of ultimate reading pleasure and a promise of tangible outcomes (read: subsequent actions).

I’m not going to criticize or summarize the article. Rather, I’ll focus on the  single point that rang a bell to me. Asking as a prerequisite for getting what you  dream about. And this is when I realized the only gross obstacle pulls me back and halts my progress toward the goals: I suck at asking because I’m too proud, sometimes lazy, and other times just foolish, and even when I ask the time spent on the decision-making drains the energy that could have been spent more efficiently on my goals.

“Ask and it shall be given to you”, the famous Bible quote swirled into my mind (which is rare given my not being a keen Christian or an overly religious person) which started conflicting with another thought-provoking quote by my favorite Mikhail Bulgakov: “You should never ask anyone for anything. Never- and especially from those who are more powerful than yourself.” (NB: Woland’s advice to Margarita).

Sorry, my favorite Bulgakov, author of immortal “Master and Margarita”. With all my love and respect to your masterpiece, these words are not up-to-date anymore. The life realities haves changed. Life speeds have so much accelerated that one can’t have the luxury of sitting back and waiting when those “who are more powerful” to notice your merits (for instance, to give you the deserved raise or recognition at work).

And my recent life experience has come to prove that. Of course, it took me months to take the step of asking to later find out it’s not at all humiliating and tough, especially when you’re sure you deserve what you ask for.  The result? I got what I wanted (even if it was a short-term fix), and I’m not sure if I would if I hadn’t asked.

A conclusion? Besides your personal strategies and tactics (share, please, if you do anything specific and out-of-box to reach your goals), the overused “visualization” and already cliche “positive thinking” strategies, just ask for the particular thing you want to have for your longer-term goals, and 90 times out 100 you will be rewarded. After all, rejection is better than regret.

BeNe (Lux?) trip: Part 1: Overcoming fears

Traveling solo: selfies are the solution

Traveling solo: selfies are the solution

It’s equally hard to write about an incredibly enjoyable as well as annoyingly failed vacation: in both cases, you come home a bit depressed and it lasts for at least 2 weeks (varies from traveler to traveler). But I finally fight my still lingering laziness (a natural byproduct of a 2-week-long holiday) and enter my online “room” to speak up about my BeNe trip. Why not Lux? Technically, I could manage the Lux part, but BeNe was already so exciting and honestly, pricey, that I left the beautiful Luxembourg unattended this time. It’s ok. Next time I visit the Low Countries (I learned a lot during the trip, by the way:)), I’ll traverse Luxembourg first thing.

Why Holland and Belgium?

“I’m slightly surprised why you decided to explore nordic states after sunny Italy last year”, my uncle confessed after I bubbled away all the (sharable) impressions from my trip at my granny’s. The short answer is – 1.I wanted to travel solo to a place  completely different from the ones I visited- Italy, UAE, Russia, Georgia, and first of all – Armenia.

2. I wanted to learn something simultaneously with traveling, and I enrolled in Ent-Ex Amsterdam program (I’ll touch upon this workshop in a separate post).

Not really short, isn’t it? Don’t worry, I’m not going to dwell on the long one: it’s mostly personal and…stretching outside of the travel blog format 🙂

So, why solo?

I don’t believe in coincidences: I do believe in signs. So, I took the fact that all my friends with whom I’d feel like traveling were  unavailable in summer as a sign: it’s time to face one of your greatest fears- traveling solo. Not that I was afraid of being bored. I have always enjoyed my company and would surely find something to entertain myself. Nor was I afraid of being stolen or kidnaped. No, the reason was more technical and…silly.

“What if I get lost in the airport? What if I’m late to the second plane? What if I suddenly forget English out of fear and get lost? What if I hotel booking is wrong and I find myself “homeless” in, say, Brussels?” These were but a few endlessly stupid questions that were swirling in my mind keeping me awake at nights, no matter how much my friends tried to be supportive. Besides, as a person, who had the notorious story with Armavia and flew with pilots (this is yet another entry), I shouldn’t have been braver, indeed. Anyways, I was obsessing over these insecurities. That’s why, at a very crucial moment (was I drunk? I don’t remember), I declared to myself: “Drop the fears, Siri. You’re traveling solo this year”.

Surprisingly, I didn’t get lost in the airport. Astonishingly, I was on time for all my planes. Mesmerizingly, there were no wrong hotel bookings. And, fortunately, I retained (and even improved) my English during the whole trip. And learned a bit of the tricky Dutch 🙂 And I discovered I’m not that helpless as I formerly thought of myself. By the end of the trip I found myself traveling from Rotterdam to The Hague on the subway without a map (that was a moment of pride for me, honestly).

But first things first. The next entry will be devoted to the forever young city of Amsterdam, my first destination, my likes and dislikes, the people I met there and some travel tips.

Lesson learned N1: push yourself harder, pick up a fear a time and “work” on it.

Lesson 2: Traveling solo can be safe and fun, but don’t forget take your common sense, sense of humor and a few helpful gadgets wherever you go.

Lesson 3: Never ever eat the sandwiches during your Yerevan-Moscow or Moscow-Yerevan flight with Aeroflot. Just a tip for your stomach:)