Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Secrets to transform your office in the perfect place to work!

One tip, engage people...

In my office, at the end of each month we have team learning events that are developed and run by employees.

Each employee has been asigned a month, I will be responsible for October...

The learning event of April 2008 was organized by Eduardo, he decided to buy some canvas and give us some painting time...

I was a bit grumpy today, so not much of team work in my painting, but ce la vie!

You can even see the bird all alone in the sky... What a reflection of my day today...

The main point here is that everyone had the chance to 'be there', some of us painted, some others just watched, some made fun of us, no mtter what was the purpose of each one to be there, all of us were there.

You do not need to me mixed to be together, however togetherness is valuable...

Think about it and bring it to your office, speak to your boss, make it happen.

Trust me, it is cool!
Your co-workers will appreciate it!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

How to seize your Sundays

Are you looking for a way to seize your Sundays?
Tired of realizing that weekend is over, and that after the party on Saturday your Sunday went off and suddenly you are back on track to work again?

For quite a while I have been in the same search, and last Sunday was so amazing that made it out for a lot of Sundays together. The secret? I am not sure, so I will let you find out…

Saturday midnight: After waiting for my dog to arrive for over 7 hours, finally at 12 O’clock Jocca arrived [yes, Jocca, not Yoka, which does not make any difference for Spanish speaking people from Latin-America anyway since we will pronounce both in the identical same way]

Sunday 6 am: After a long night showering my dog and get him used to the flat, plus taking care of his crying [I guess was missing previous home – a farm] I woke up and took my dog for a walk.

Sunday some minutes after 6 am: My dog did his first poo on the streets! Big success since I do not want him doing it all over the flat, so it was a big event!

Sunday 9 am: having breakfast with my cousin that came for the weekend after 4 years not seeing each other. Cool Venezuelan breakfast [Arepas have become famous within my network of international friends, I even remember Petroula making arepas in Rotterdam]

Sunday mid morning to mid afternoon: Walking my dog by river Tagus. Lads of people walking their dogs, exercising, just taking a walk, reading… Life in motion.

Sunday mid afternoon: Sitting for a beer in from of the river and enjoy the sun. Being joined by Mr Right, or Mr 9… It is also a big plus for the perfect landscape. Getting a Mango Ice Cream from Mr Right it makes it unforgettable.

Sunday afternoon: Cooking at home, having some food and saying bye to my cousin after a great weekend of sharing and family gossiping together.

Sunday evening: Brazilian Churrascaria and Spanish movie at cinema with Mr Right [long time not seeing a horror movie that actually had classic scary scenes that work, go and see REC, it is an interesting and different thing to see]

Sunday late evening: Getting back home, chit chat a bit with room-mate and his girlfriend and taking care of my new baby boy Jocca. Some reading of ‘The Story of B’ and finally, a nice sleep.

As you can see it was nothing extraordinary, it may be the extraordinary character of the ordinary world, but I felt last Sunday was a real Sunday, I have a role model for how I want to feel at the end of a Sunday and will live it up to that standard.

You need to have something you really want [like I wanted my puppy], someone you love and that you have a lot to share and update each other [like I had Carla my cousin] and you may need to think of a new approach on how you build a possibility and build it with someone special [as Mr Right and I are working it out step by step].

At the end of a happy and productive Monday I may say: get a pet, invite some family member that you haven’t seen for a while over to your place and start to build a beautiful relationship… It does not matter you already have one, old houses always need a new hand of painting.

For the record, I wonder how your perfect Sundays look like, as usual I need some inspiration... So leave me a comment with suggestions for the Sundays to come...

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Are you bored to death of Power Point presentations?

Then you may take a look at this one and learn a few things...

Even if there nothing new in the advise, it has been created in a really fresh and cool way.

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Are you scared to fall in love?

10 good ways to safely fall in love again and again, and again... and again!

Well, yes, you know it is true, you know you are scared to fall in love… So do I; well, from time to time…

But falling in love is not about a relationship, it is not about loving, it is more about that special ‘you’ that you become when the flirting is happening… That usually gets lost later on… So you can fall in love many, many, many times! Cool, isn’t?!

Point being that I found myself tired of fooling around, as many of you may find yourselves. So in August 2007 I decided not to have sex anymore until I do not feel it is coming along due to some sort of shared feelings, more than just the pure pleasure of the physical fact. How is this connected with the random 10 safe ways to fall in love?

Well, this week, I went out in a ‘date’ that was not a ‘date’. No high expectations, you know, to avoid disappointments… However, the ‘meeting’ ended up being really cool, I had a lot of fun and I kiss as if for the first time… High school type of kiss… Yes, I know you may say ‘cheesy* and boring’. I don’t care.
It was just perfect!

As part of our flirting game, he has complained that I have not written anything about it in my blog… (yes, he reads my blog) so here it is, with dedicated song and everything, aughhhhh, definitely cheesy*!

So I want to share with you my 10 commandments to continuously fall in love, you know, because I care for your emotional stability; and because I want to send him a message as well…

The Ten Commandments are, in no order of importance…

1. Let yourself go with the flow.

2. Once you feel the flow is starting to take over your sense of direction, let yourself go with the flow.

3. When you are starting to think too much. Focus very carefully and stop it! Remember that you have to let yourself go with the flow.

4. When you are starting to create monsters in your head. Let the monsters be taken away by the same flow… It is a very helpful flow.

5. When you are starting to grow expectations, let the expectations be taken away by the flow… I told you the flow is a cool friend.

6. When you are starting to picture future, let the flow bring you the taste of the moments together and concentrate in those, there may be no ‘future’; but we all know that the flowers in the threes come from the roots underneath.

7. When missing the person after just one meeting. Let the flow smash you against a rock in the river; wake up and smell the coffee! You are missing how special you felt when with that person, focus on that.

8. When you are starting to sigh too much, or too often – which is not the same thing – let the flow bring some water into your lungs and bring you back to earth… You are dreaming too much. Focus! Love does not live in dreams, or you want to kiss and hug in your dreams?

9. When planning the second date. Do not plan anything; let the flow take the things as they are supposed to. However, make yourself available!

10. When seeing the object of your new affection again… Let the flow take over yourself and throw your arms around him!

* This is an important word and nobody has it right yet.
What it means is:
Trying too hard, unsubtle, and inauthentic.
Specifically that which is unsubtle or inauthentic in its way of trying to elicit a certain response from a viewer, listener, audience, etc.
Celine Dion is cheesy because her lyrics, timbre, key changes, and swelling orchestral accompaniment telegraph 'i want you to be moved' instead of moving you.
Gold chains on an exposed hairy chest are cheesy because they shout out: "I have money and I am manly" instead of impressing a woman in a more subtle way, or allowing a woman to form her own judgments. The excessive showing off suggests he's compensating for what he does not have--i.e., he's actually poor, insecure, or short with an inferiority complex.
Cliches are often cheesy because they are an obvious and artless way of making a point.
A movie might be cheesy if it contains 'on the nose' dialogue, like "I can't live without you" or "You had me at hello."

Cheesiness is subjective. What seems cheesy to me, may be a legitimate and attractive hairstyle to you. What seems cheesy to me, may cause you to weep and hug your girlfriend tight.

Taken from redhen.
Thanks for the tip, even if I like Celine! Maybe I am really, eally cheesy... Who knows... Who cares?...

Well and here you have the song that gives sense to the 10 commandments!

Throw your arms around me Lyrics

I will come to you in the daytime
I will raise you from your sleep
I will kiss you in four places
As I go runnin' down your street

I will squeeze the life right out of you
I will make you laugh, and make you cry
And we may never forget it
As I make you call my name as you shout it to the blue, summer sky

And we may never meet again
So shed your skin lets get started
And you will throw your arms around me
And you will throw your arms around me

I will come to you at nightime
I will climb into your bed
I will kiss you in 195 places
As I go swim around in your head

I will squeeze the life right out of you
I will make you laugh, I'll make you cry
And we may never forget it
As I make you call my name as you shout it to the blue, summer sky

And we may never meet again
So shed your skin lets get started
And you will throw your arms around me
And you will throw your arms around me

Ohh yeah, uh huh, uh huh...
Ohh yeah, uh hum, ooh...
Ohh yeah, uh huh, uh huh...
Oh...and you will throw your arms around me...

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Copywriting, Learning and Tribes

In my job I am using everything I know, everything I have ever learned; but most importantly, I am learning at a pace that I have never learned before...

Right now I am taking online courses of copywriting to be able to work out properly the content for the online platform we will be launching in july 2008.

[ Thanks Ondro for the tip on copywriting :) ]

In one of the websites I researched I found something that triggered and echoed in my mind and my history in AIESEC - still does - so I decided to paste it here...

Go Tribal

Despite our attempts to be sophisticated, evolved beings, we humans are exclusionary by nature. Give someone a chance to be a part of a group that they want to be in—whether that be wealthy, or hip, or green, or even contrarian—and
they’ll hop on board whatever train you’re driving.

This is the technique used in the greatest sales letter ever written. Find out what group people want to be in, and offer them an invitation to join while seemingly
excluding others.

I am still making sense of what it means for me and my past, and due that to my present and future. However I am sure that there is a hidden message that will emerge as soon as I am ready and still enough to grasp it.

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Stuart Knight

After I posted his video, I received the tip from Sarita and I decided to visit his website. I must admit I have been very positively impressed. Even if sometimes he uses language that i consider innecessary...

The best thing was to read his funny and quite funky statement at the bottom of the page:

Welcome to the land of Stuart Knight. If this website causes you to quit your job, leave a lover, speak up, laugh louder, cut the shit, hug tighter, move to a new country, dress differently, smile at a stranger, have better sex, read a book, join a club, run naked or make a funny face at a child, then I assume ALL responsibility.

At the end, I overall liked his apporach and then I decided to subscribe to his newsletter...

To my amusement, I received the following 'unique' confirmation mail that I have registered:

Hey there Dey!!

Thank you for subscribing to Stuart Knight's weeklynewsletter.

Each week, Stuart sends out a story about his life. It could besomething that happened to him that week or it could have happened20 years ago. Some are funny and some are thought provoking, butall of his stories have a message. As Stuart says "It's like a funkick in the face!"

Everyone deserves true love, an amazing job, great friendships,loving relationships with their family, lots of cash and lots ofadventure. Not to mention, everyone deserves the opportunity tosit with a beer, have some chicken wings and contemplate life. Ina weird way, that's kind of what you get with Stuart's weeklynewsletter, only without the runs!

Please take a couple of minutes out of your schedule each week tocontemplate the writings, and while you're at it, please take amoment to share it with someone else out there in the world whomight just benefit from the words they read that week.

Either way, please remember that the person you think you are canonly do so much, but the person you are can do anything.

Love, Stuart Knight

I am very much looking forward to what this new discovery will bring into my life...

Check it out at his site.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Story of B

Since last year I have the goal of reading at least four books a month. I have not been able to keep up the pace to four, but as minimum I have read three every month, which makes me happy, proud and lately fills out with joy my trip to work and back home every day.

Right now I am reading a book that is bringing some perspectives that I haven’t considered before. The book is by Daniel Quinn and it is called ‘The Story of B’.

I have been advised several times to read Ishmael from the same author, but never got the chance to, now after reading him on ‘The Story of B’ it is sure I will get to read it.

These are excerpts from ‘The Story of B’.

“Vision in our culture supports isolation, for example. It supports a separate home for every family. It supports locks on the doors. It powerfully supports staying isolated behind your locked doors and viewing the world electronically. Since this is the case, no programs are needed to encourage people to stay at home and watch television. On the other hand, if you want to get people to turn off their televisions sets and leave their homes, that’s when you need a program”.

“Isolation is supported by vision, so it takes care of itself, but community building isn’t, so it has to be supported by programs. Programs invariably run counter to vision, and so have to be thrust on people – have to be ‘sold’ to people. For example, if you want people to live simply, reduce consumption, reuse, and recycle, you must create programs that encourage such behaviors. But if you want them to consume a lot and waste a lot, you don’t need to create programs of encouragement, because these behaviors are supported by our cultural vision”.

“Vision is like the flowing river. Programs are sticks set in the riverbed to impede the flow. What I’m saying is that the world will not be saved by people with programs. If the world is saved, it will be saved because people living in it have a new vision”.

This book is from 1997, but is more than ever a good reading when thinking about global warming and everything else happening around.
Highly recommended!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

No excuses...

I don't even know who this random guy is (that may end up being not so random...) But I liked the video, so here it is...

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We Think!

Amazing things I come across while doing research for my job...


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wanna things done? Do them yourself!

I have been struggling in life with this fact.

I have been really working hard to believe that things that concern me directly can be trusted to friends, family or close people to you.

It definitely sucks!
If I want something done at my own speed and level of expectations, I have to do it myself...

The worst part is that you still need to be grateful to the ones that 'tried' to help you.
I do not believe in 'trying'.

When things that you want done are for yourself, please do not make the mistake to trust them away. They are yours, do them yourself. You will not have anyone else to blame, so you will not blame. You will get them done or not.

Short post because I have to get something done.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

IRW April 08 - good, in general...

This last week I went to the IRW (International Reception Weekend) organized by ISCTE, one of the Local Committees of AIESEC in Lisbon.

The experience was just unique. Meeting again some trainees I have met in the IRW last year in Alcobaca; meeting new ones that have arrived since then.

Making new friends.

Having amazing chats and long conversations.

It definitely was refreshing for my spirit!
It was a open door to more and more days of joy and peace...

We started in Lisbon, and stayed at a military base!

The dining room was just awesome from 1800's...

We slept in the rooms of the sergeants, a complete soldiers' experience!

From Lisbon we left to Setubal, were we stayed in a youth center...

The center is located in the center of the town, very pacific. I even had the chance to continue the reading of the "Seven Keys" the novel that currently takes my spare moments in my every day trip by bus to work and back home.

The Organizing Committee (OC) prepared a treasure hunt for us, so that we get to know the city while searching for hints and learning about the historical places while interacting with the local people.

Of course my team won the race!!!

In the afternoon we visited the museum of work, and I was soooooo tired I must admit I was falling sleep, but the experience was cool as well.

On Sunday we went to a small town in the surroundings, Aceitao.

There we visited the oldest wine cellar of Portugal that stills operates. We got a great tour through the main parts of the old farm and we closed the tour with a taste of wine, good!

Some pics of the cellar... (for more pics, please check my facebook profile)

Of course fun was a critical element of the whole weekend. The phrase of the IRW came up when a trainee told another one: "You know what? You know nothing... (silence) general!"

From that moment on, the trainee is better known as the 'General' and to everything that happened we added "in general".
So, I have had a great weekend,
in general!

At the end of it all, when crossing the 1932 door of my house, I realized that the most amazing moment was a powerful conversation that lasted for hours.

I have had the chance to keep alive that impetuous need of connecting in indescribable manners with special people around me.

It is not a conscious decision, it just happens, like the 'magic nights'. I just need to be open to it and life will cross my path with remarkable individuals.

Once again, I am happy.
Once again, I feel grateful.
Once again, my life makes sense.
Once again, I am sure I AM ALIVE!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

A beautiful week!

Well, this week has been amazing!

At work I finally got the two contracts of the It vendor signed!
Software Development Agreement and Maintenance and Support Agreement DONE!
I have also achieved my three weekly priorities at work, which makes me happy so that next monday I will send the report to my Board: 1. Done! 2. Done! 3. Done!

And my personal priorities also achieved!
I am going today to meet the rest of the AIESEC trainees for the International Reception Weekend organized by LC ISCTE that will take us to Setubal and Arrabida. The support of the Organizing Committe before the IRW has been amazing. Reception in Portugal ROCKS!!!

Enjoy this very cool video of Setubal!

You can find more info about Setubal here.
You can find more info about Arrabida here and here. Some pics of Arrabida here.

Last weekend was also awesome with Juan and Araz visiting...

We had the chance to go and see Jesus Cristo Super Star.
It was amazing! I had a long time not going to theater...

Snap videos of the play:

We also went around in the city and went to the Oceanario of Lisbon.

Thanks Arazita and Juancho for the great time together...

My life everyday is definitely looking more and more as I always wished it to be.
I guess I am just living the kind of Life I want and that makes me smile deep inside, in my soul.

I am grateful!

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Friday, April 4, 2008

My dog is about to arrive!!!

This is a follow up to with the dog in da way post!

Well, after a very bad failed attempt (I lost the opportunity to have 'Gonzo' - my previous choice for my dog - due to my trip to Japan) I finally managed to get the dog of my dreams!!!

Initially I wanted to adopt, but the process was not as simple and most of the dog that i likeme more that what I can possibly give right now, so I decided for getting exactly what I wanted. I am that kind of determined... If you know me, you should know that.

So here he is!!!!

His name is YOKA!

I know, I know... CHIN, CHIN!!! Funny, I know...

Isn't he cute?

He is a Breton Spaniel, or also known as Epagneul Breton or Brittany... Hunter dog and nothing to do with Britney Spears!!!

He also has pedrigree, this is him mom, Bellah - He will get this color more or less when he grows more :)

And this is his dad, Dickee - Funny isn't, Dickee and Yoka chin chin...

Well, I definitely have to thank my friend Hugo for helping me out with the whole process, it was not easy...

Next week I will get to meet my baby, home is ready and waiting for you...

Look at that face :)

I am soooooooo Happy!!!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My work, my passion...

This is my place..
This is my space...
This is the nest where my ideas and dreams are nurtured...

This week I am defining together with our IT vendor in India and our amazing graphic designer (the best one of the world!) the prototype of our online platform.

Exciting times full of busy days and crazy 'pop corn' ideas...

Thing are definitely starting to take shape, I have seen some screens working already and it looks and feels awesome!

A complete platform that does not need any training to be used; completely user friendly and based on cutting edge technology for the tourism world in terms of usage of WEB 2.0 for purposes that go beyong the business and touch the limits of altruism.

I do firmly believe I am blessed.
This opportunities just show up when you are ready, you deserve them and you are open to see and accept them.

Responsible Tourism is without a doubt and new trend that is shaping the traveling world; and if we go further and we discover what Community-based Tourism is, as a concept and as reality, then we cannot help it but feel completely overwhelmed by our desire to experience such adventures.

Authenticity is the new trend in tourism as I wrote before in my blog.
People want to feel and experience 'real-life', not pre-design packs of fake adventures.

I cannot wait till July 2008 when we launch our initiative worldwide. It is going to be such an amazing experience of self realizationa and achievement for me.
So far I have been working alone on the project, of course with the support of my Board, but the work has been done with my two hands and my brain.
Today I also count with the help of the graphic designer and a supporter for internal brand and communications in London.
It feels so cool to have more people to share ideas with and gather inputs from!

My AIESEC experience has been a crucial benefactor for the project.
I have managed IT vendor selection; requirements drafts; design of the user experience; back office portals; brand creation, design and registration; conceptualization of the public image; PR plan; business model creation and projections; budget and finances plan for three years; manuals of procedures; etc, etc...
I have discovered that I am a company myself.
I can see now how I am more than capable to make my NGO later on a complete success.

For the moment, my commitment is given to the trust my Board has placed on me.

I thank God for my chances.
I thanks life for its wisdom.


Here there are two videos I found and prety much describe the area in which I am taking my first steps into the Entreprenurial world...
Enjoy them...

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