… He didn't need anything more but a long road to take him forward and forward, until he reached his goal, and he could've reached his goal any day, at any hour. He always carried his hope in his heart.” (Queen Marie of Romania, The dreamer of dreams)
I enjoy interacting with authentic, vibrant, courageous people. I love the si(e)nergy created during these encounters. Roxana and Nicholas Lupu (Arttis Academy) offered me the opportunity to co-create a memory of a lifetime. This happened last year on February 7th when I interviewed the lovely couple at BiziLive TV. That episode had more than 35000 views, hence I decided that an abbreviated English transcript would be helpful for a broader audience.
“GB: Both of you have already used the word COURAGE – the seed of our dialogue tonight. Nassim Taleb stated in his book – Skin in the game - that the only virtue that cannot be simulated is Courage. What do you think?
RL: Yes, it's truly a virtue which cannot be simulated because is so interconnected with vulnerability. What Brene Brown was also saying: the moment you accept your Vulnerability that's when you access your inner resources, those of the heart and you become courageous. And courage is not possible in the absence of the vulnerability. When you have a great vulnerability, that's when you also have a great courage. And, in fact, through this courage you inspire people and you become, one way or another, a hero. And that's why we are so fascinated and promote this idea of courage. Every day, we learn the power of courage.
NL: As Roxana said the moment you accept your vulnerability, you gain strength. That's why we used these words in our workshops – Courage and Power in public speaking, Courage and Power in communication.
GB: You two are very courageous.
RL: We're trying.
GB: The step you took by going to London and begun something new there, shows courage. How did you decide to do this?
RL: At first, we started the whole Arttis Academy concept in London, being asked to run workshops for speaking, negotiation, communication at a corporate level. Then we wanted, somehow, to extend what we learned there, what we assimilated and the life experiences, and we decided to extend to a broader audience. And, somehow, we made this bridge between London and Bucharest, so now we're running similar workshops here. There is a need for this interconnectivity, and the best is not to limit ourselves to one place and one mentality.
GB: How do people feel during your workshops? To reveal your vulnerabilities, in public, is a difficult thing, to say the least.
NL: Very difficult and what happened in one of our workshops (on 14th December 2019) amazed us. Some things happened beyond what I would have expected because, of course, the moment you talk about public speaking it's a wide area of discussion... And we talked a lot about vulnerability, courage, strength.
RL: During our classes, we let people to discover their own process. In fact, we gave them a space where they didn't feel judged, where they are accepted. And I think that's what each of us needs: a space where to experiment and even make mistakes.
GB: You are saying it is necessary to offer space to each person and this is creating the opportunity for each individual to leave their personal mark. In an interview you gave some time ago, you declared: 'as a human being you have to keep your originality by providing a personal touch to everything you do.’
RL: Yeah... I think that, actually, it's the hardest thing, because nowadays we are bombarded by social media and the desire to conform or to imitate. We no longer realise who we are, where we are going to... And that's why, I find it one of the hardest things these days, to imprint your DNA. Of course, there is also the fear of being judged and the fear of going out of what is socially acceptable, whether we are in Romania, in the UK or elsewhere. It is, in fact, an act of courage, in one form or another!
GB: And if we think that the word COURAGE has its origin in the Latin COR which means heart…
RL: Yes, indeed!
GB: And the last question, which is actually a kind request for each of you: please share with us a thought for the days to come, a hint, an emotion.
RL: Personally, I believe that we need more than ever to believe and to be grateful for every day of our lives, and to smile more often.
NL: Ah, that's exactly what I was thinking about!
For me, one of the things I learned -- a bit hard, unfortunately -- is to do everything I can and be grateful for everything that comes back to me and everything I have. And, without copying Roxana… Again, maybe, I discovered the power of smiling too late. To smile, for real, with no masks.
Many times, while in London I found myself in difficult situations, and I realised the truth in John Maxwell’s statement: 'force yourself to smile even if you don't have why’. And even it seemed crazy to me, walking on streets of London -- during a difficult time when a lot of new things were testing my patience – I stopped and I said to myself: ‘OK, this weather, the poor-quality coffee... OK, I need to smile.’ And I forced myself to smile, and I felt better. And I realized this incredible power: we need to smile, we need to be grateful… because most of the time, we have no idea what how lucky we are!
GB: True! I subscribe to these ideas. Thanks a lot, Roxana and Nicholas!
NL&RL: We thank you!”
Thank you so much for reading this week’s blog post!
If you are working on adapting to the Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity of the world we live in, check out my book VUCA2: Tap The Power Within You for how to express your Vulnerability, Uniqueness, Courage and Authenticity for a fruitful life!
Wishing you health and abundance!
** Photos credit: Cristina Paraschiv / BiziLive TV.