How to motivate yourself – my top 3

In life and in work you won’t always see the ‘bigger picture’ and it might happen that your energy levels and motivation will drop. What to do then? Here are my 3 proven & well tested ways of getting myself back on the right track.

1. Watch Steve Jobs Speech at Stanford University. 

Used in extreme situations. I would watch it again and again until I remember how lucky I am. It’s been possibly seen by most of the world by now (over 22 million views on YT only) but I still find it inspiring. Every time. Especially “connecting the dots” and, in last year, the truth about our mortality.  Click HERE to watch.

steve jhobs

2. Listen to/read Happiness Advantage book by Shawn Achor.

The book is amazing. It concentrates on a positive psychology and is really well written. You will smile, if not giggle throughout the book and you will find yourself trying to implement author’s solutions in your own life.

shawn achor

I came across Shawn Achor while watching videos on Ted Talks. His talk was funny, entertaining with a lot of insight on how to re programme ourselves to become more successful, happy and effective. His story about Unicorn is one in a kind. Intrigued? Watch TED TALK

If you like this Ted Talk, you will love the book. Personally, after even 10 mins of listening (I’m Audible fan) I get my ‘super powers‘ back. I am ready for another challenge.

3. Follow Richard Branson on social media.

I follow Richard Branson on Facebook. He – more likely his PR Team – actually comes to me – but I prefer to think it’s Richard.  His profile is full of motivational quotes, photos and articles that give me this extra kick. All of this just appears on my wall. Thanks to that I’m getting motivated in an effortless and, you could say, ‘lazy way’. I just liked his page. One click. 
richard B

And how about you? How do you motivate yourself? Who inspires you? Do you use any of the above? Do you have any better solutions?

I’d love to hear from you.

IUT & IAE Annecy – meeting with students

Recently I took a part in a discussion on Employment and International Work Experience during  Le Club des Entreprise Discussion Panel during 9th Semaine Emploi & Entreprise organised with Université Savoie Mont Blanc in Annecy-le-Vieux. The event was open to IAE & IUT Students. 

Myself and 2 other professionals answered several questions on working abroad, shared our experience and gave recommendations on how to find work experience placement.

Students wanted to know what is the best way to find a job in Irleand, secondly how to find accomodation and what to expect. The main key lessons I offered on going abroad were:

  • amazing adventure
  • you will make new friends, then you can visit them 🙂
  • you will improve your language
  • it might be hard at the start to adapt in a new culture, you might feel frustrated
  • there is no bad neither good about other cultures, it’s different
  • French students will miss cheese and good bread:)
  • you will learn a lot about yourself
  • optimze your time, travel around, visit places, talk to local people
  • stay around other nationalities, be curious

I shared some of my own cultural shock stories with the audience to help them imagine and understand what they might experience.

It was a great session with approx. 50 students. I hope this helped some of them to take the decision to apply for Erasmus or internships and set themselves on this fantastic adventure! #lifebeginsattheendofyourcomfortzone

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#tonyrobbins #comfortzone #bebrave

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How to learn English on your own?

There are many ways to improve your English. The more regular your contact with a foreign language is, the more you will progress.

I always recommend following techniques/sources:

  • BBC 6 minutes English  – series of topical discussion and new vocabulary, brought to you by excellent BBC Learning English presenters. You can choose from English at work, English at University, English we speak, LingoHac and many more. FREE
  • If your English is advanced I highly recommend . I am personally a big fan of audiobooks, I listen to them when commuting, cleaning my apartment or simply before going to bed. The only advice I could give is to listen to the sample of the book prior the purchase. If you consider listening to books, make sure you like the lector’s voice. I have books in French and English on my phone – see below. PAID
  • Another lazy and enjoyable way of learing is Netflix. I learnt a lot of French this way. I would recommend watching in English with English subtitles. Just be careful, you might binge-watch…. If you are a fan of cinema, watch films in original. PAID
  • Find English-speaking friends, look for Erasmus students or expats in the area. You can offer them exchange, 30 min of your native language in exchange of 30 min of English. You might even make friends! FREE
  • Read or watch news in English, I love BBC. For a bit of American accent watch American channels. FREE
  • Watch Ted Talks, get inspired and improve your English. You can turn on subtitles to make it easier at the start. FREE

It works for my French:) oui oui, c’est vrai!


The world is mine….Keep exploring

I’ve been invited by Le Club des Entreprise to sit on a Discussion Panel during thier 9th Semaine Emploi & Entreprise organised with Université Savoie Mont Blanc in Annecy-le-Vieux.
Date: 23.11.2017
  • Discussion Panel – I will take part in a discussion on Employment and International Work Experience. The event is open to IAE & IUT Students. Really looking forward to it.  Time: 11am-12.30pm. Venue: IUT Annecy, Amphi F201

Une table-ronde de la Semaine Emploi & Entreprise 

Quelles sont les opportunités hors de nos frontières ? Oser franchir le cap pour vivre une expérience professionnelle à l’étranger est facteur d’ouverture d’esprit et d’enrichissement très prisés par les recruteurs! Témoignages de professionnels qui sont passés par la case “international”

  • Interviews in English – I will meet approx. 12 students to interview them in English for roles they would like to secure after completing their studies. This hands on experience will be really valuable and useful for students and will help them in gaining more confidence and identifying areas of improvement. Time: 2pm-5pm

Venue: IUT & IAE Annecy-le-Vieux

I will add more info and registration links shortly.



Full programme: HERE
More info on Le Clube des Entreprise HERE

About a student who has never been successful

I teach English to 3rd level students and adults in France and Switzerland. As a coach I understand well the importance of self-confidence and the belief that we can learn the language.

In one of my classes I asked students to send me email with their 20 successes – life, sport, education, anything really. The purpose of this activity is to write in English and reflect on their past successes so they can increase their self-confidence and trust in themselves.   This is a well-known coaching tool. It helps us to use previous successes to find courage and strength to achieve new ones.

Some of the students loved the exercise, submitted the work on time, send me even more than 20 items.  You could see a lot of maturity in some of the answers. Approx. 30% of students found it difficult to identify 20 things that they were proud of and that they’ve achieved. Some confused the success bank with gratifications. Some sent me only 5 and said that they didn’t have any more to share with me. One particular student said he had none. This was heart breaking.  How an 18 year old can think that he has never been successful?

After short negotiations via email he submitted the list. I was very proud of him as he included completing this activity as his 20th success. I hope I gave him a new model that he can use to think about himself.

Another client listed all the successes related to speaking English and thanks to this she got rid of her irrational fear of publicly speaking English. Her motivation spiked and after 4 English sessions she couldn’t stop talking.

There is hope.

4 reasons why you should mentor

I would recommend every senior manager to mentor a junior staff member from generation Y or Z for very selfish reasons. You need to learn about new generations and technology they use. Frankly they are the future market and we have to start taking in consideration their views . We are facing now the 4th Industrial Revolution (according to World Economic Forum) that will change the way we work, some of the markets will disappear and new will emerge. Time to get ready.

I had a chance to work with a marketing intern. His direct manager was occupied for 2 weeks and I was given the task of introducing this young man into company procedures and culture. He helped me with putting together tenders and submissions for awards.  It was a refreshing experience to have to explain my methods and reflect on them again. In addition I couldn’t procrastinate as I was a living example how the work should be done. I felt responsible. As a result I was much more productive and efficient.

Learning happened both ways. I learnt how to convert YouTube songs into mp3. Yes, you can do it (for those who didn’t know you can do it). Yes, I wasn’t aware that it’s possible, even though I consider myself tech savvy (for those who knew about this and rolled their eyes). I had to give very honest and direct feedback and recognize the effort. I had to stop presuming that some things are obvious. Not for everyone. He learnt how to develop strong awards submission (his contribution won the company 3rd place in E-Learning Awards), how to admit that he didn’t know how to start the project, how to ask for help and even how to use a binding machine! Win Win.


If you are still not convinced that mentoring a younger employee is a good idea here are some of the benefits:

  1. Access to technology. They will possibly use technology and social media on daily basis (in their sleep even). It’s natural for them, they can introduce you to loads of new apps (Audible for example), websites and concepts. They might even help you in moving from iPhone to Samsung. Ask what books they read, what music they listen to. It can be very inspirational and you will expand your own world.
  2. Feeling good. In the same time you can offer to help new generation in adapting to new environment such as workplace, help them to take the ownership of their actions, show them that they can’t control everyone around but they can control their reactions and make …. decisions. You will build their self confidence and push them out of their comfort zone. Mentoring someone proved to be extremely rewarding and increases your won job satisfaction. According to CIPD a supportive relationship with a mentor can be life changing. Would you not like to change someone’s life for better? Oh, yes you would.
  3. You will understand your customers. You will get an insight into new generation of customers’ likes and dislikes. You will understand how they operate and what they value. Where do you clash and how it could be bridged for the sake of your business. Don’t miss out. Your business needs customers.
  4. Life long learning. We absorb less information with age and we tend to create habits. Mentoring a younger person will challenge these old habits. You will have to as well improve your listening skills and be more open minded to continue the mentoring.

Please share your own experience and your stories comments. Let me know, if you agree and if you want to add anything. I’d love to hear from you!



My purpose is to improve other people’s lives. I’ve started already and I have results. I belive that education and life long learning are the key to more fulfilled existance. I will be happy to work with you. Browse through the menu to find out more.

Ewa Duraj, 11.08.2017

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