When I was a kid, I loved playing Lego. It was magical seeing anything from castles to cars appear out of the same colourful building blocks.
Today, I love tinkering with software frameworks and Google Cloud products, building solutions to problems that I encounter in life. Just like with Lego — there is an infinite number of combinations. It only takes a little bit of imagination and continuous experimentation to put these building blocks to good use.
Last summer, I started recording short videos aiming to practice speaking on camera and build my personal brand. …
Have you ever experienced the dismay of getting a call from your bank’s security team? The voice on the other end of the line reports that they detected a suspicious transaction.
“Please confirm that it’s you making a payment for $149.99.”
You start nervously recalling your latest purchases:
“Am I losing track of the things I buy, or is someone really trying to rob me?”
Your palms are sweating. It’s not you, so you ask your bank to cancel the payment. For the next few hours you’re overwhelmed with uneasy thoughts:
“How did the perpetrator get my payment data? Is it going to happen again? …
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has nought.
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.
~ “My Way” by Frank Sinatra
As opposed to Frank Sinatra, for me, these are my twenties that are coming to an end. I’m writing these lines during the last few days of my third decade.
I’m sitting at my desk in my cosy, little 1-bedroom apartment in Brentwood, a quiet, very green city to the east of London. …
We often wish each other good luck, and yet we despise it when someone gets ahead of us because of luck. We invented all sorts of rituals, like throwing coins into fountains and killing endangered animals, thinking that they will make us luckier. The myth of overnight success makes us seek a magic wand that will help us achieve our goals and fulfil our dreams.
Yet when we dig deeper into biographies of highly successful people, we start to notice patterns. …
Every day, millions of people around the world talk about starting a business. In the UK, one out of ten owns a business. However, 90% of businesses fail in the first five years.
So, with such odds against success, with the need to find money, people and time to start a company, why do we still have risk takers who prefer the complexity and uncertainty of running their own business to the safety and stability of a 9-to-5?
There are lots of reasons, and it would make little sense to start listing them here. What motivates me every day to endure the pressure of building a business is the freedom to work on ideas that I feel worthy about and making a positive impact on people’s lives and the world around. …
I’ve calculated that with my current salary and even any possible promotion, subtracting the costs of renting my apartment and paying all the bills, my chances of saving enough money to buy my own home in the nearest foreseeable future are incredibly slim. So I come up with a plan…
It’s January 2014. I’ve just moved from Moscow to the UK to start a new job as a Data Architect at the company that effectively invented the 9-to-5 job, the Ford Motor Company.
I am now working in Brentwood, a quiet, little, very green city to the east of London. I feel incredibly excited! It’s the first time I am in a country where the grass and trees are green in winter! Of course, I’ve heard about Africa and tropical countries, but having got used to a status quo, I couldn’t even imagine that life could be different. Having spent my childhood in Estonia, my memories are filled with walking to school through the knee-deep snow at this time of year. …
It’s almost midnight. I’m getting into Uber to take me home from the train station after another long day at work. The driver, a man with a remarkably long, black, shiny beard and shortly cut hair, makes me feel a bit uncomfortable at first.
I start a general conversation just to become less tense. I mention that I like running in the morning, and Sayed, the driver, says, “I love running, but if someone sees me running with such beard, they will be shocked”, and he starts laughing.
Sayed is from Afghanistan, and he has been living in the UK with his family for over five years. “A country with a lot of politics”, as he describes Afghanistan, “What you call hills, we call rocks, and what you call mountains, we call hills.”, …
A recent psychology study from Ohio State University has found evidence that a person’s career path is influenced by their own level of self‑confidence and, to some extent, the amount of social support they receive along the way.
So, what does it take to believe in yourself and gain support from the people around you? Let’s explore three ideas that can help you become self‑confident.
Firstly, become an optimist.
“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser — in case you thought optimism was dead.” Robert Brault
Optimism is not about putting a grin on your face for the whole day or hoping for the best when a fail is absolutely obvious because you have already done it the wrong way. Instead, optimism is about offering a solution to a problem without getting into a “Why on earth did you do this?” quarrel. Optimism is about careful planning, continuous learning, and knowing that everything will be alright if you put enough effort to it. …