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 June 19, 2019

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

2. Trust the Muse

Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.


When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

“The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

3. Remember to Be Authentic

Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.


How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.


Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful


6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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