“Up in the Air”

Yes. You are right. It’s the title of a very famous Hollywood movie. Nominated to several Academy Awards just this year. George Clooney did a splendid job, if you ask me. Some other people may take on a debate about that. He goes about so flawlessly with his carry on bag, crisp shirt, neat tie, black suit through countless airports. He knows exactly what to pack, what lines to be in, how much time will it take to go through the whole process before arriving to his destination and calmly firing people who tend not to get so happy when they get the old cutter.

Just today I find myself packing my black jumbo bag yet again. Another “exchange” program, another trip, another airline across another continent to dip myself into a new culture. Even though I’ve never been long enough in that new destination to actually know exactly what to do and how to act, I know perfectly well how and what to pack. I know how much time it will take for me to go through check in, the security, changing airplanes, claim my luggage and finally get there.

Still my stomach giggles at the thought of traveling again. It reassures me that my fascination is to travel. Some people are terrified of airplanes. I love them, especially on the lift off part. Makes me think that I’m leaving, going towards something new. Another adventure, another country, new people. It just brings a big smile across my face.

Me and my traveling soul. Each trip has given something irreplaceable and wouldn’t have it any other way. Like when someone covers your eyes to surprise you. You find something exhilarating on the other side of that hand covering your eyes.

So yes, I know exactly what to pack, how to pack it, how long it will take from start to end. And yet I’m like a kid in Disneyland for my destination. What will I find this time?

Trending Situations

Have you ever noticed how things happen in clusters? For example, if a friend of yours gets married, all of a sudden you find yourself going to all these weddings shortly after. Did you notice today’s headlines? “Slipknot Base Player Dies”. Just days ago another famous rock star was found dead as well.

Even movies happen in clusters. Epic movies, there was a time when Troy, Alexander, and others of the type came out one after the other. If we go further back, we can find “Armaggedon” and “Deep Impact” were released almost together.

Be it worldwide, or your surroundings, events and situations tend to come together in clusters. It’s this strange phenomenon where as human beings, we do not get infected of health related diseases, but of feelings, and actions as well. If someone laughs, everyone around that person does as well. If someone cries, gets mad, gets scared…

Our bonds as human beings aren’t just because we happen to live on the same planet. It’s not only because we share spaces. There’s always an energy (be it negative or positive) shooting from one person to the next. Among us. Between us. It’s the closest explanation to chemistry in a romantic relationship. To understanding in friendship. Have you ever finished someone else’s sentences? Or vice-versa?

As they say, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just takes for you to stop and feel it all around you. Wait a bit, and see the cluster come to you.

Perche siamo tutti insieme?

Siamo qui nel mondo per vivere ogni momento con la securita de che non sera piu nel futuro. Questo che abbiamo adesso e precisamente questo, la sola cosa che abbiamo. Puo essere che siamo felici o tristi, furiosi o tranquili. Piu tardi, si fossi un ricordo sostanzioso, rimarra nei nuostri cuori e si non, dimenticalo rapidamente.

Nessuno conosce il domani. Non vivono per nessun tempo che adesso. Quindi, non preoccuparti. Ogni cosa arrivera come si puo trattare. Mentre, sorridi, che la vita e qui con te e siamo tutti insieme.

Stop & Enough

They say there’s no worse struggle than the one you don’t do. Try your best and you will get what you want. That is definitely true in many aspects of the world. However, there are times where is best to stop, regroup and start over. You may be trying really hard to achieve something, but may be despite all of your hard work, you are just not getting where or what you want. So, what to do?

May be the approach you are using is the wrong one. May be the goal you are so fixated on can be reached through a different way and not precisely with the elements you are using. Frustration may grab your mind and not let go, and then you think that this saying is nothing but a lie.

It’s not. Like they say, reality is only the one you see. What if we can bend reality? You know, the whole positive thinking idea, is not just to make you feel better. You can always achieve what you want, but you can’t bake a cake with the wrong ingredients. There’s a point where in trying you need to stop & enough to start over and do it better. Succeed.

Aliena nobis, nostra plus aliis placent

Have you ever heard this phrase? I keep it very much in mind because it is true. It means that other people’s things are more appealing to us than our own and so are ours to others. Typical situation: you go to a  restaurant and order the most appealing dish on the menu to you. Five minutes later, the waiter brings a juicier dish to the person sitting at the next table.

We push and run for our dreams, and when we get there, we want more. It’s natural, it’s human nature. Though many would correctly define this phrase as envy, I personally see it as fuel. Fuel to always be reaching for what you want and never stop. Not because of lack of satisfaction, but because you can always go further. My best interpretation of this would be to look back on what you have lived and achieved, smile and keep reaching.

Perhaps you may eat the juiciest dish today, but tomorrow you’ll try the next one. You enrich your vision, your experience, your life. What would be of life if all things were stagnant?

Travel the World and the Seven Seas

Is there such a thing as travel fever? Since I can remember, it has always been my dream to, as Annie Lennox says in her song, “travel the world and the seven seas”. So far, I’ve been lucky enough to have been in different spots on this planet. Here are some of the little things that I have encountered along the way, in some of the place I’ve been:

New York: If you haven’t been there, be there sometime soon. After all, the Big Apple has no mold. There isn’t any place I’ve been that resembles everything this city has to offer. From a Bohemian writer to a Business Man/Woman power suit, New Yorkers have a resilience and spark no one else has.

Shanghai: Do you speak anything other than Chinese? You’ll be the center of attention anywhere you walk in this city. Even though Chinese boom is here and it is a reality, people are still getting used to the cultural explosion coming their way. People will turn to look at you, and when it comes time to communicate, trying to sign your way to ask for a glass of water will be one of the most fun and challenging activities you’ve had.

Rome: Feel the clash of centuries of history walk with you along every narrow street. One of the friendliest cities I’ve been in, they give their age old attractions a fresh charming spark. Talk about bringing the old into fashion.

These were just examples of what may happen to you or if it already has happened. Just remember to take in all the different things each place has to offer and enjoy them, you never know when you’ll be back in that place.

Fear in the Masses

How many times do you recall panic spreading throughout the globe for anything from diseases to natural phenomena to economic meltdowns? Make no mistake, I myself have also fallen into these fads more than once. Why is it so easy to scare people when supposedly we live in an era of information?

We all like to be reassured of what we know even if what we “know” is written on stone. We are easily convinced of chaos but not of order. The wildest theories come into mind, always fearing the worst. I’m not saying that the worst is not a possibility, but it’s also most of the time, the less likely one.

Fear is a natural defense system, but it also takes place when our minds run fast without settling down and analyzing things. Especially if when the information we are given is not complete, taken out of context or inaccurate.

Many times have we been threatened with world extinction in the past, based on prophecies or esoteric thinking. Global warming is a scientific fact yes, but is 2012 a scientific fact as well, or just megalomania? I’ll leave that for each individual’s criteria. Just remember to breathe before hitting the panic button.

Do What You Studied For?

College: four years (give or take depending on your major) of studying something you supposedly love. They say, do what you love, but in the end, do we really? At least in Mexico, about 30% of college graduates work or do something related to what they majored in. What about the other 70%? Winding up in your parents’ company, or simply ending up in a job where it pays well, but is not actually what you dreamed of, that’s mostly the answer to that large majority.

The real deal? Colleges are growing rapidly, offering some pretty intense majors, new ones are being born, and still in the growing process of having more academic and higher education diversity, jobs and companies are not keeping up with that. So, even if you study what you always wanted and you are practically in love with that, how do you know it will literally pay off?

Perhaps that is why entrepreneurs are highly encouraged. For people to create new visions where diversity and profitability can go hand in hand. How long will it finally take for academics and working opportunities to be even? In the meantime, brain drain is inevitable.

Taking Action After

As human beings, we learn from our mistakes, and then, with a little bit of hope, we try not to fall into the same pattern. You never plan on learning about life and its daily events, it just happens. But how is it that we almost never take preemptive action to that? Learn from someone else’s mistakes perhaps, or just plain thinking logically of what consequences might be. Even if we do take this precautionary measures, we come out to be paranoid or exaggerated in front of others.

Insecurity in Mexico is a serious example of that. Unfortunately, though I like my country and hardly think of it as the 3rd world, these kind of issues are the very ones that put us in the map with a very bad PR image. Not that they are lies, but they certainly project a hard-to-erase image. As a nation, we’ve suffered of insecurity for years, that is no news. The news here is that people are now absolutely outraged because two students from my Alma Matter were victims of this tragic situation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m outraged as well, and is not something to be taken lightly; but why all this time, all these years and now is it that powerful and public figures find the wrong words to say in a situation where they are just starting to put their minds around?

Finding a solution, including to yours truly, is a massively hard task, but let’s just stop taking action after people are hurt, killed or lost in the process, shall we?

Innovators in the iPad Era

Just how much longer can we keep calling these types of consumers “Innovators” in an era where innovation is practically a given? Take a look around right this instant, do you see anything that hasn’t in at least a way tried to reinvent itself (buildings, technology, fashion, books, stores, etc.)? Even if you aren’t the citizen of a cosmopolitan hot spot, people around the world are influenced, at least partially, of what goes on every minute around the world.

Call it trending, hot spotting, fads, or just plain caprices, organizations such as http://ashoka.org/ keep you posted and encourage you to keep building on this movement. Should I call it a movement? Or is it a statement? Rather than sounding activist, capitalistically speaking, innovation is just the step that everyone pictured only in their wildest dreams or Hollywood Blockbusters.

Here comes the big word though… BUT! Does it have a limit? “The Sky is the Limit”… when do we bump our noses with this sky? Like in the Olympic Games. There’s always a time record to break, they always manage to break it; even if it takes 20 years before anyone can break it, the record reaches its deadline. Just how much more can you reduce the time span between the start and the finish line of a 100 m flat race? I don’t know if our generation will live to see it, nevertheless, what will happen next? Long live the iPad Era! (it scares people to think otherwise).