At age 15, I emigrated from Belgrade, Serbia (formerly known as Yugoslavia) and faced a mountain range of obstacles – a new language, a new culture, estranged mother, and a new stepfather. For a shy girl raised by her grandparents in a humble setting and limiting environment, I felt overwhelmed and daunted by these tasks. Years later after overcoming those obstacles, I realized I have also acquired an array of skills I have drawn upon my entire life. Overcoming adversity, finding a way to get things done, dealing with various cultures, and performing and looking professional in my careers as an entrepreneur, engineering and sales coordinator, cost estimator, business administration, and finance analyst were skills I took for granted. I was paying my bills and happy in all of my careers until one day I became a victim of the economical downturn. At first, devastated, I questioned everything I had accomplished in my life. Eventually, I slowly recognized the skills I had subconsciously mastered, re-discovered some new skills and talents, and returned to the work force with a great job, but with a new attitude.
My journey from despair to reward helped me discover a passion I had long kept hidden…a passion for the arts, creativity, photography, and for writing. Excited to inspire other people, I decided to write a book about my turn around and my ability to balance two careers, author and analyst, with kindness, compassion, and creativity. Basically I learned to live here and now instead of spending valuable energy on disappointments that happened in the past. I wanted to share with others the skills and techniques I used to confront and overcome the challenges I have faced (in my book, “Good Bye Job, Hello Life”). Additionally, my new awareness for the arts and their value to others and me has compelled me to start a new venture, Creative Dream Media, www.creativedreammedia.com - (being developed). As the Dalai Lama states: “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” We are all a wealth of resources and inner strength that we need to uncover and utilize to improve our lives. I believe that we need to be inspired and encouraged to learn to create a life of happiness.
The following are tools that help me stay grounded and balance my dual career:
1. Create space for self-reflection (even if you can only afford 10 minutes daily)
2. Live in the present (here and now)
3. Practice gratitude and kindness
4. Challenge yourself for continuous growth (keep learning)
5. Incorporate creativity (even if you feel you have no artistic talents)