I am not sure about you, but every-time something out of the regular happens to me, I try to be rational in order to understand what is happening and act accordingly.
Of course this only applies to situations that seem to require the usage of brains, because every-time the matter is related with the usage of strength (read it using your hands or bricolage to be more sophisticated) I realize very fast how under developed I am.
I could argue that Monday at 5h45 am one is not to blame when trying to open the front door on my way to the airport and repeatedly fail to accomplish such a simple task.
Using more and more efforts rotating the key on the locker I was on the verge to break it when my wife appeared sleep walking and with a gentle move just pushed the handle down opening the door followed by a smile.
– It was open already 🙂
It was indeed a very curious insight to kick starts the working week, there are so many doors in front of us and most of them are already unlocked, all we need to do is to open them.
Let me share with you some of the doors that crossed my way this week.
I start off flying from Lisboa to Manchester on my way to the little town northwest of England, Lancaster, I was impressed how in late March we still could see the hills of Lancashire covered with snow, at lunch time I was already installed at the Sun Hotel enjoying the hospitality of the local stuff along with a wild sea bass Niçoise.
My trip to Lancaster was related with my passion for research and for teaching.
For few years already I have been thinking deeply that it is time to dig deeper into the relation between gaming and education and try to make a real impact out of it in people’s life.
I found in Lancaster University a one of kind program under the name Highwire (http://www.highwire.lancs.ac.uk) a state of the art combination between Design, technology and Management.
It was two days to understand better, how the PhD program works, meet heads of departments, talk with current students, watch the work being currently developed and try to understand if it makes sense to proceed with a formal application.
To make my experience even more authentic I was able to prove (once again) that there aren’t many Portuguese in the world…but there is at least one everywhere around the world 🙂
Rui Ramos, currently doing is PhD at Highwire was my host for the evening over a couple of pints of Lancaster Blonde, I found a truly brilliant mind that is on to revolutionize the world.
It is curious that on the way to Lancaster, my mind was pretty clear about how to frame the research problem and honestly I could already see the final result after four years of hard work, but either influence of the pints, or Rui provoking thoughts, made me leave Lancaster on the train to London with a lot more doubts that I would wish to have at this stage.
Going back to my initial thought, the PhD “door” is in front of me, waiting to be open… what is the best way to open it?
Tuesday night I planned to meet for dinner Prof. Banerji a perfect mixture between Warren Buffet and Buda, an acquaintance that was brought to me while wondering in this marvellous planet teaching.
The dinner was an incredible “explosion of flavours”, being myself at the home of a natural of India married with a Catalan wife, my stomach touched heaven for several times, wrapped around an incredible Spanish wine.
Besides the fact that it is always a pleasure to talk with people from whom we can learn, the best was yet to come. The PhD topic ends up on the table around the same time we were attacking the sweet rice.
– The answer does not matter, the way you question is the most important thing – I heard over and over, until I departed to the hotel. Grateful to had such moments in my life.
The cold of the night winged by a gentle breeze on my checks, calmed down my thoughts and gave me an interesting image that I kept until the moment of falling asleep.
I was in front of many doors (remember the movie Monsters & Co), some I was able to open and some not, having a felling of endless opportunities, good feeling actually.
Wednesday morning appeared sunny but cold as well (freezing according to the Iberian standards). Following the path of adventurous Portuguese spread out around the globe, before heading to Gatwick airport, I still had the chance to meet my friend Pedro do Carmo Costa for breakfast.
Pedro and his family is among the thousands and thousands of Portuguese that have departure the country in the last couple of years, which is seen by many as a negative situation.
I do see it differently, when a Portuguese goes abroad, not only he/she will continue to support (somehow) the country’s economy but that person becomes automatically a genuine ambassador, generating new businesses and curious tourists, as Pedro is doing.
I truly believe that one of the main solutions for many of the world’s contemporary challenges lies in opening up to other cultures and not the opposite…once again the imagine opening doors came to my mind 🙂
Being around with Pedro always lifts up my spirits, which surely helped me for the afternoon long leg all the way to Kiev in Ukraine.
From The Netherlands to Germany followed by Poland, it really seemed that “Someone” up there painted the all scenery in different tones of white, while landing in Boryspil airport and looking down, I could only which the airplane had a good pair of skis underneath the wheels 🙂
Thursday morning I was invited to deliver a master class in the Marketing Forum (http://www.marketingforum.com.ua) right inside the Olimpiyskiy stadium, a “door” the Portuguese national team was not able to open last Euro Cup.
Taking into consideration the feedback received, the presentation was not a failure, even knowing the topic was exactly about how to use failure in your own benefit, looking forward to be back in two weeks time, but with slightly warmer weather…in my phone it was marking -14c at night……I was already missing warm weather from England 🙂
By Thursday evening, the hours started to pass slower than desired and I could feel that it was about time to return to the family, dog and warmer grounds. The snowstorm in Ukraine from previous Friday left the country frozen and blocked for almost three days.
Many of the cars on the street, could easily enter any deluxe edition of global magazine – where is Wally 🙂
Nevertheless there was still time to have an incredible Portuguese Porto wine tasting with my good friend Andriy Fedoriv (http://fedoriv.com), a man that lives few decades ahead of his time.
Love, crowd funding and the death of advertising as we know it was the aperitif to go along with the wine, when we looked into our watches was Friday early morning, but I did not left his flat without bringing with me a great piece for my weekly puzzle.
” To be ready for today’s challenges, a person needs three key skills, a mind able to look up to understand the strategy, a heart full of energy to overcome all hard tasks and be able to work like a farmer”
I wonder why he said farmer? The answer was amazing.
” Because a farmer is not afraid of touching the shit”
Friday came with plenty of sun and rivers streaming downtown Kiev…I am afraid they will need boats to go to work next Monday 🙂
One last stop at Kmbs business school to meet a very brave woman and catch up with the latest news about the Academic year. After hearing her personal story on a topic that maybe one day I might be able to share…few last thoughts cross my mind before heading to the airport;
– There are plenty of doors (opportunities if you prefer) waiting to be open, and most of them just request from you to go there, do not worry about the locker.
– Some “doors” require a tremendous attitude after you walk in the room, be prepared.
– Whatever you might think it is difficult in your life…just think that in others might be much worst, so…relax.
Or as old teacher I had in Belgium use to say;
” The problem of this young generation is based on the fact people stress to much….people should relax and smoke more”
Ahead of me five hours of flight and 3,500 km to be back with the family to celebrate Easter, probably the most essential “Door” of all.
Happy Easter to all of you