Posts tagged alcohol
Always Stick to Your Ethics
Estimated reading time: 1'20

Estimated reading time: 1'20

- Reading time 1'20 -

 

I heard about Sebastien's story while discussing dream jobs abroad with my boyfriend at the time.

He told me the horror story of one of his friends.

It all started well.

Sebastien had signed a new job in beautiful Cyprus, his dream job, great salary and perks, fun company and interesting responsibilities, and had moved into a beautiful apartment with rooftop terrasse.

His girlfriend was willing to have a long-distance relationship, and he was getting along well with his new colleagues.

Or so he thought.

One night on a weekday, they all went out and his colleagues insisted that he's take drugs with them.

He never tried it and wasn't into it. But everybody was doing it, insisting over and over again so he felt peer-pressured and ended up accepting to try it for the first time.

Incidentally, the next day, there happened to be a drug control in the office.

Not for everyone though, he was the only person "randomly picked".

His test was, of course, positive and he was asked to pick up his things and leave the company/country on the same day.

Once he came back to his home country, Sweden, he was unemployed for a while, became depressed, put up on weight, his girlfriend broke up with him and he lost his apartment.

Eventually, he turned his life around, has a new place/ job/girlfriend and is happy,

Turns out one of his managers in Cyprus was jealous of him and felt insecure, fearing that he'd take his place eventually. He had arranged the whole thing to oust him.

My conclusion on that one would be: always stick to your ethics, no matter what others are pressuring you to do...

Have you ever been backstabbed? How did you react?
Know What You Want & Maximize Your Time Accordingly
Estimated reading time: 3'

Estimated reading time: 3'

I met Hunter at a Friends-giving getaway in lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful areas of California. We had rented a giant house by the lake together with 18 other people.

On the first day, while the group split into either skiing or hiking adventures, Hunter decided to stay home by the fireplace and read a book.

In the evenings, while he was the youngest of the bunch, 20 years old, he would warn adults not to eat sugar or drink too much... This caught my attention and I was curious to know why he was acting so mature.

"I just want to maximize my time and my health.

Alcohol dissolves brain cells, and brain cells don’t recreate after being made, while most other cells in your body regenerate after 5 years. I don't want to waste them at an early age. 

Last year, I would wake up at 8am and go to Business Administration classes. Then, I would go to my club and organizational roles. After a commute home, I would go to work as a pizza-delivery guy, then home again, do homework, play a video game and eventually end the day at 12-2 o'clock, in the morning i’d start again. I always needed to have energy, so I've always made a point to live healthily (sleep well, eat well, take care of my mind, etc). In college lot of students underachieve: it's more fun and less studies.

It wasn’t the same for me.

 

- Did your parents put that pressure on you to study and work hard? I asked.

 

- My parents never really pushed me, I continually reach for my potential alone. However, they did introduce me to various activities and raised me well. They would never push me but I was taught that if I wanted something I would have to work towards it. For example, my family burns wood in the winter to help heat our house. This meant I'd have to help split, stack, or bring in wood during the winter, from a young age. Yet as I grew up it went from a chore, to something that I could do to help. I’ve always given whatever I'm doing my all.

I used to be an A student, soccer all-star, and track runner until I hurt my feet and was not able to compete any longer.

But when you work so hard toward good grades, you lose the meaning, you wake up in the morning and think "why am I here right now, is this this even worth it?".

Fortunately, one day, my high school buddy bootstrapped a company and asked me to be part of the project.

He dropped out of school, developed a wearable tech company, sold it, and invested in what has become Leangap.

I believe that everybody should have the chance to create something meaningful, to develop their ideas, no matter what their financial situation is. So we created this summer program that helps students reach their full potential. We gather students from all around the world into one location. We have mentors which direct them as they combine their various expertise and ideas. By the end of the program they will have a viable business model, app, or prototype which they pitch to a panel of venture capitalists, CEOs, and successful entrepreneurs.

I found what I love, it gives me more meaning, and I'm helping kids do the same. I might go back to school eventually but right now I still spend all my time experimenting, learning and growing. That's all I can do for myself at the end of the day. There's so much information out there...

My biggest tip is: learn what you want to know, figure out what interests you, then maximize your time accordingly to do what you love".

What’s your passion & are you following it?
Get Help From Your Friends
Estimated reading time: 2'

Estimated reading time: 2'

Conversation with one of my colleagues on his most memorable turning point.

“At college, for 180 days straight, I got drunk, smoke a lot of weed and took pills.  Once, I did something really bad that could have led me both dismissed from school and go to prison.

The counsellor gave two choices, either I’d go to AA meetings every week and report on what I’d learnt, or he would report me to the university and the police for what I did.

I took the first option. Once there, I met this guy from AA who told me:

“Look, man, you think this is funny, you think you’re tough? You think this isn’t the problem?

You’ve been doing this for 180 days, I’ve been struggling with this for 30 years.

Do you want to wake up at 9.20 when you have a job, you’re drunk, you don’t know where you are, you can’t find your shoes and you have to get a cab to get to work? You go to a good school with a very difficult major and you seem like a smart kid, so I want you to go home today and I want you to look in the mirror tonight and think:

“Do I want to do this for the rest of my life? Do I want the first thought in my head when I wake up to be “I need a drink”?"

Right now you’re at school, but one day you’ll have a kid and a wife. I missed the birth of my daughter because I was in a drunk holding cell. I wasn't there for her, is that what you want? I missed my father’s funeral because I was at the bar.

My first answer was “Look man, that’s your problem”.

He said “for 30 years, every decision in my life was influenced by alcohol, and I don’t want that to be you.

You think you have the whole world under your feet but you’re right on the verge of losing everything in front of your eyes".

So I listened.

When I got home, I got rid of all the bottles and asked my roommates to hold me accountable.

If there were parties, they’d tell me to go upstairs. 2-3 days in, I was sweating, I felt horrible.

After 2 weeks, I went out, planning on only getting one drink.

After the first drink, my friends took my credit card, and if a girl would offer me a drink, they’d slap it out of my hand. Or they’d smell my glass to check whether I was having water or vodka. It eventually got to the point when I’d go out and only want to have soft drinks and slowly grow out of it. This dude's sentence still sticks with me.”

Being Accepted Isn't Your Life Mission
Estimated reading time: 3'

Estimated reading time: 3'

It is commonly known that Swedish people (in particular those from Stockholm) are referred to as “cold” or “not easy to approach”. Having lived there myself for 5 years, I have noticed that compared to other countries, they are indeed not very keen on small talk nor having any sort of interactions with strangers. Just google “waiting for the bus like a Swede” to see for yourself (and crack a smile).

That’s anyways where Patrick grew up. A couple weeks ago, he spent a weekend with his cousin in Copenhagen, and went out to a bar. Despite being originally “hungover, tired, and not in a party mood”, he ended up spending one of the best evenings of his life.

"We went out, had a few drinks, no more than usual, and started to talk to random people sitting next to us, also Swedish. 

First, a guy asked us if the seat next to us was taken, I said “Sure, as long as you turn your back at us and do not talk to us!”, half joking. 

Another one asked to smell my cousin’s drink, and he let her take a sip, which he’d never usually suggest. We all ended up talking for 5 hours until the place closed down, then headed to a club and let loose on the dance floor until it closed at the break of dawn.

It was all a coincidence, everything was just smooth from the taste of the food, to conversations, to the music..."

But was is really just a coincidence? Why did he completely let loose with strangers, for once?

"I just felt a connection with other people I haven’t felt in a long time. I didn’t feel the need to impress, and was 100% myself. I used to convince myself that I did not enjoy meeting new people, because fear was taking over. What if they did not like me? It would have reflected my own low self-esteem. That night, I figured that I had it all wrong. I used to see “being accepted & being special” as my life’s mission, until I accepted that other people’s expectations, opinions and wills were theirs, not mine.

I originally understood this after studying Biocentrism*, which gave me a clear understanding of life, our purpose and relationships. As soon as you stop trying to please everyone, you become your own boss. I feel good about myself now, which means that I can BE myself, and consequently, others can also appreciate my personality, which was confirmed that night. I felt a flush of satisfaction and pride the next morning, which led me to want to start being more social, open, travel more, change my business and do something with my life. Live it to the fullest so to speak".

Living in a society where people have to be someone special, do something special, live to expectations, seems to have a heavy impact on people’s self-confidence in social environments, in particular in Stockholm, according to Patrick’s experience... It made it harder for him to open up and make new acquaintances. But the cocktail of those 3 things seem to do the trick:

  • Having a special connection

  • Letting go of social fears (being abroad, where nobody knows you & you can reinvent yourself, helps, as well as alcohol, the infamous social lubricant)

  • Topped with some background work on self-confidence

_

*NB: Biocentrism is a theory developed by the physiologist Robert Lanza that explains that life creates the Universe, is infinite, and that there are as many realities as there are people.