3 Challenges for 2017

3 Challenges for 2017

For me, 2016 was full of unexpected challenges; however, now when I think about it, it definitely was for the best. I would like to encourage everyone to spice up their life without waiting until faced with encounters. I consider myself an open-minded person, yet it turned out that there are tons of aspects in life that I was missing out on. They say there is no limit to perfection; well at the end of this year I would like to state that there is no limit to open-mindedness. Below are three challenges I had to face that made me a better, more patient and curious person, that you should try in 2017.

1. Travel to a country where you could see the world unknown to you

When I was 10 years old, I used to tell my mother that I would go to India when I grew up and would volunteer to help out the less fortunate. My mother, being Russian and having a rather close-minded mentality, about had a heart attack every time she heard my speech.


Time passed, and this year (now I’m 28-years-old and make my own decisions on where to travel), I happened to travel to Pakistan. Even though it was not India, I thought there quite a few similarities between those countries. After my trip, I read a book in which the main city described was Bombay, and it was described in so much detail that I built an image in my head, which I then compared to the city Lahore in Pakistan. This trip opened my mind to a completely new world, people and culture. Though I did not got there as a volunteer this time, now I am even more sure that I will keep making a positive influence on people, regardless of the country.

2. Don’t wear makeup for a week

Girls like to be pretty; I guess this is just a consequence from an evolutionary process. Makeup, extensions, perfect nails – we all know that the list can go on and on. However, I have one example in my life that goes against all that, and despite all my love for perfection, I would like to propose a challenge.


My mother, who is now 58 years old, has used makeup approximately 10 times in her entire life. When I was a kid, I was upset that I had nothing to snatch so I could secretly use it; on the other side now, I just truly admire her and her confidence. She has been using face care products all her life, and that was the furthest she ever went.

Let me get to my point, though. Unfortunately, I do not have my mother’s confidence, or the skin perfection either, so I am addicted to all the beauty products out there. Recently, I had to do a health related test, and five days prior to the test I could not use any kind of face care products or makeup. I cannot describe how strange life felt without those extra layers on my face. I felt more naked than I would have felt if I was actually naked. But I realized something: Instead of investing big amounts of money on makeup, we should invest in face care products, to help perfect our skin (I do understand there are some days when we need to cover some things up). I want to encourage all the girls out there have a makeup free week; be strong and get through that week – I have a strong feeling that it will make a positive influence on the way you feel about yourself.


3. Be a better person

One might think this is so easy, or that it does not even have to be mentioned. Well for me, this is a desperate scream out to the world! Yes, for some people it is a challenge to be a truly good person, as sad as it might sound. It makes me extremely upset that I see people being rude to waiters (for no apparent reason), throwing trash out on the street, being impatient with elders and children, being extremely self-centered, wasting natural resources without thinking about consequences, etc. (This list will get very long if I continue).

There is a quote from the novel Don Juan by Tirso de Molina: “For us, nothing is as cheap, and for others, nothing is as expensive as politeness.” This is extremely accurate, yet nowadays very few people use this logic. We are so evolved that we believe the world revolves around us and no one else deserves a good word, compliment, or any other kind gesture for that matter. With everything that is happening in the world these days, there is no better time to act, and to act nicely.


Featured photo credit: Farida Karimova via

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

5 Powerful Ways for Building Fulfilling Relationships

5 Powerful Ways for Building Fulfilling Relationships

We all have relationships. We have acquaintances, relatives, colleagues, neighbors and friends. However, for a large percentage of us, many of these relationships are not fulfilling.

They are unfulfilling because they lack real strength; and they lack real strength because they lack real depth.

Unfortunately, in today’s society, we tend to have shallow, superficial relationships with others, and it’s extremely hard for this kind of relationships to provide anything more than faint satisfaction.

I’d like to show you, based on my experience as a communication and confidence coach, how you can add a significant amount of depth, and thus strength, to your relationships and make your social life a whole lot more meaningful.

Here’re 5 simple yet powerful ways for meaningful relationships building:

1. Meet More People

This is an apparent paradox, but the quality of the people you meet has considerably to do with the quantity of people you meet.


If you don’t know a lot of people and you barely meet one or two new people every season of the year, considering the variety of individuals out there, you won’t meet very often people who are a good match with you in terms of personality, interests and values.

And since this natural match plays a huge part in building strong relationships, you’ll just as seldom have the opportunity to develop strong relationships.

Conversely, if you go out a lot, you meet a lot of new people and you constantly expand your social circle, you’re much more likely to meet people you match up well with, and these people have a tremendous potential to become good friends, reliable partners, etc.

This is why it’s important to meet more people.

2. Talk about the Things That Matter To You

A relationship becomes the strongest when two people discover they believe in the same things and have similar interests. It’s these commonalities regarding values and interests that create the strongest emotional connection.

I’ve noticed that many people keep conversations shallow. They talk about trivial stuff such as the weather, what’s on TV, the lives of various movie stars, but they rarely talk about what really matters to them in life. This is a mistake from my perspective, because it’s the perfect method for a relationship to not develop.


Talk about the things that truly matter to you and give others a chance to know what you care about and what you believe in. If they believe in the same things and they care about the same things, they’ll eagerly let you know. Thus you’ll find meaningful common ground and you’ll feel more connected.

3. Express Vulnerability

Many people try to come off as perfect. They don’t talk about their failures, they hide their shortcomings and they never say anything that could embarrass them.

This is all just a facade though. You may appear perfect to some, but you know you’re not perfect and they know that too. You’re only human and humans have flaws.

However, by hiding your flaws, what you do succeed in is appearing cold and impersonal. You seem like a marble statue rather than a real person. And this makes it very hard for anyone to connect with you emotionally.

Humans connect with other humans, not with ideals. Keep this in mind and don’t be afraid to let your vulnerability and your humanity show. This is what takes a relationship to the next level.

Take a look at this article and find out Why Showing Vulnerability Actually Proves Your Strength.


4. Have Integrity

Integrity, as I see it, is the alignment between your thoughts, your words and your actions. When you say what you think and you do what you said you’ll do, you have integrity.

This is a crucial trait because if you have integrity, people can trust you. They can trust you to give them an honest feedback, even when it’s hard to shallow, and they can trust you to keep your promises.

This trust is one of the central pillars of a strong relationship, both in your personal and your professional life. So, as challenging as it can be sometimes, always try to have integrity.

Be honest with the people around you, even when this will initially hurt them. It’s more important for them to trust you than to not feel hurt. And always do what you promised. Even better, think twice before you promise anything, and only promise what you really can and you are willing to do.

5. Be There for Others

Another central pillar of strong relationships is support. Connections between people grow sturdy if they can rely on each other for support when it’s needed, whether that support means a few kind words or several massive actions.

Of course, you can’t be there for everybody, all the time. Your time, energy and other resources are limited. But what you can do is identify the genuinely important people in your life and then seek to be there as much as possible, at least for them.


Your support will help them practically, and it will comfort them emotionally; which makes one hell of a difference in a relationship.

The Bottom Line

With the right mindset and the right behavior, you can strengthen a wide range of relationships in your life and advance them as far as they can be advanced.

And with strong relationships, not only that you feel more fulfilled, but you feel more connected to the entire world. You feel that your life has real value, you have more fun and you live in the moment. An entire world of opportunities opens up in front of you.

Then your task is to simply walk through the open doors.

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