Be a ray of hope!

Because you came on this Earth with a great mission: to live fully and to be happy of what is good in life in any moment!

Redau povestea scrisă de colega mea din JCI, Mihaela Stroe, în urma JCI Academy, academie de top din JCI la care pot participa doar președinții naționali adjuncți care se pregătesc pentru a prelua managementul organizației în anul următor. În 2011 voi avea și eu această oportunitate în calitate de deputy national president și sunt nerăbdător să trăiesc pe viu această experiență.

New motto in my life: Be a ray of hope!

I am one of the 140 graduates of the 23rd JCI Academy that was held in Tsukuba, Japan. Maybe is important to say that by birth I am Romanian, but after one week spent at the academy with colleagues from over 80 countries from all around the world, I strongly believe that I am in the same time Romanian, international and JCI in my heart.

When I joined JCI in February 2006 I saw the opportunity to learn from people that are more evolved than me and I was attracted by the slogan Be Better! I always wanted to be better in every second of my life. But I never thought that one day I will go to Japan and my life will change forever because there I will find my path in life: Be a ray of hope!

Two years ago I met with a delegation of Japanese investors who wanted to bring their businesses in Romania and they offered me a calendar with a beautiful Japanese garden put together by Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic Company. I put the pictures on my bedroom door and I’ve started to dream that one day I will travel to Japan.

Those days came, now I have many Japanese friends and even a Japanese family (Wakita). Believe me that law of attraction works if you strongly desire something! Personally, before travelling to Japan I really wanted to change my life. Completely! I was looking for new path/ motto for my life. This JCI Academy offered me the path. I felt that entire academy was designed especially for me: all my principles, all my values that were treasured inside me found their way to be expressed. More amazing is that not only I had those principles and values, also the rest of the participants for all around the word. So this means that nothing is wrong with me and that is good to have OMOYARI spirit inside (mutual understanding, compassion and active citizenship).

To understand my soul state now and to show exactly what I intend with these words, let me tell with you a Japanese story that a good friend shared with me: “In a village situated at the end of the world was a place called House of the 1000 mirrors and the old people say that if you enter there you could find out the truth about yourself.

A tiny puppy, very happy by its nature, went to visit this place; when he entered in the house with his ears up and wiggling his tail, he saw suddenly 1000 happy puppies that were wiggling their tails like him; he smiled and received back 1000 happy and friendly smiles. When he left, he said: This is a wonderful place; I will come back another time!

Another puppy, from the same village, sad and unfriendly all the time, went to visit the same house. Bored, with the tail between the legs and head down, he entered in the house and saw 1000 unfriendly puppies looking at him. Being scared, he barked and 1000 puppies barked back at him. He left the place thinking: What an awful place; I will never come back here!

I feel like the happy puppy. Maybe you (who read now my words) feel the same. Also, there are people that feel like the sad puppy. It is human nature. The idea is that we choose our mental and soul state and we are the only responsible for how we feel and behave. Many times we run away and hide when we need to take decisions and to assume our personal responsibility.

From all my Japanese and international colleagues (and I am grateful to all of them!), I learned at this academy that you need to take your time to think deeply before you speak, to pass everything to your own internal filter and to take full responsibility for your decisions and actions. And most important, take all the challenges that came into your life one by one and to solve them with calm and happiness. Patience and wisdom are the basis.

I put Konosuke Matsushita and his peaceful garden (that I dream to visit it one day!) on my door because I appreciate his leadership style and because this entire JCI academy was about creating new leaders to embrace world peace. Why I appreciate his leadership? In 1933 Matsushita came with a vision that had the following list of guiding principles (that are very similar with JCI principles):

· Service to the Public

· Fairness and honesty

· Teamwork for the common cause

· Untiring effort for improvement

· Courtesy and humility

· Accordance with natural laws

· Gratitude for blessings

Matsushita knew also the story with the happy and sad puppy (its human nature after all!) and said: “Human beings are sometimes slaves to the ugly and weak side of human nature. However, if you set high goals for yourself and every day continue to reflect on them, step by step you will be more focused and make yourself a better human being, becoming a happier person for it..”.

One of the goals for my life (and the academy through our course leader taught me this) is Be a ray of hope! If sounds very idealistic and makes you laugh, but it is my personal mission on this Earth. Yes, I found it and this academy gave me all the reasons to believe that I am on the right track for my life.

My good friend who shared the above story, Constantin D. Pavel wrote about optimism the following: “Being optimist means to make the best choices for the moment and place where you are. And more you choose what is good from what is bad, more you perseverate in cleaning your life path by all people, things, feelings and thoughts that are obstacles for your life mission. Because you came on this Earth with a great mission: to live fully and to be happy of what is good in life in any moment! You choose what you will reflect in the mirror of your life…”.

So, what is your mirror reflecting? It’s your choice to be the happy or the sad puppy. We are the creators of our own reality!

In the end, I would like to offer you some food for thought:

· ”Service to others is the price you pay for your room here on Earth”. (Muhammad Ali)

· “At times of challenge we seek leadership. We need leadership. We are nurtured by the dream that is bigger than ourselves.” (John O. Burdett)

· “Curious minds have no boundaries”. (Joe Navarro)

· "Logic will not change an emotion, but action will." (Richard Denny)

· "Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot." ( Clarence Thomas)

Drd. Mihaela Liliana Stroe

JCI Romania

www.mihaelastroe.com

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