The One And The Only- George Costanza

He is an architect who lives with his parents.
He eats snickers with his fork, because that’s so classy.
He is that type of person who makes you crazy, but probably does the same to himself.
He gets upset really fast so it is better not to confront him, unless you have enough time for his speech. If so, you will find yourself pulled to conversation you don’t want to participate in. It all starts like normal talk, but when opposed opinion towards his is expressed the yelling instantly sets in.
He can’t control himself when you don’t agree with him. But then, if you shared the same point of view, maybe exactly that would bother him. Obsessing with other people’s actions is the way he operates-analyzing is his favorite tool. You don’t even need to hear him, but just look at him to know he is that ever complaining guy. He enjoys triviality what his questions represent the best, but how he emphasizes his words you may get an impression of importance. And how wrong you would be.
He just gives too much attention to what others consider meaningless.
You never know when he is going to lose it, but you do know that it is not wise to be around when it happens. He is a true philosopher, but although he asks, he thinks he already knows.
Unpredictable he surely is. One, but scared to say not the only- it is all about George Costanza

More And More And More Shopping

Since I live in the city center , every time I leave my house I come across a supermarket, bakery, jewelry or a shop. Because of that, many times I get tempted to buy goods from aforementioned places.

Few walks down the street with so many wishes as I window shop during my wandering. How can I resist that new shirt, croissant or perhaps shoes?

Never before in the history was so easy to purchase your necessities or impulsive wishes so I am not an exception in wanting to buy something I don’t even need.

Often I purchase goods because I know I would feel better afterwards, yet that feeling lasts only for a couple of hours at its best.

I may be a victim of consumerism which surrounds everyone of us- I sometimes think that material possessions would make me happy even for a short period of time.

So me, my family and people around me, bombarded by commercials and advertising of every kind, spend large amounts of money on many products we could easily live without.

If only we would get tempted by occasional window shopping, but today we have opportunity to buy services or products from comfort of our homes with only a click or two.

In other words- we engage in online shopping. I have to admit that I buy books through e-commerce sites like Amazon.
When I see a book that interests me, I have to have immediately!

Although by ordering books via online bookstores you don’t get the same feeling as with buying them in person- I just can’t resist it. Same goes with clothes, household amenities, gadgets or cosmetics.

Shopping is all around us- it’s not easy to resist it, but my advice would be to shop when you have to or in special occasions, but window shop whenever you want 

Why Is It Hard To Read Relevant Information In Today´s World?

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Although I live in one small country in Europe- Croatia, I spend most of my spare time reading American blogs.

I rarely read Croatian newspapers or, for the matter of fact, any newspapers, because I think they only offer biased information to their readership.

As a result, in their writing we can often read about irrelevant celebrities, corrupted politicians or overly simplified scientific findings. For example: the other day I was looking for an information about anorexic girls, so I, just for fun, opened an article on one of the Croatia´s leading news portals where I read that the unlucky anorexic girl was cured because she got fat. How simple, huh?

Same type of news is perpetually presented- the stats about emigration, unemployment and crimes. In other words we only hear negative news which can make us think that the world we live in is much unsafer than it really is.

I am also part of the Millennial generation and hence, belong to the group of young adults whose life was quite affected with social media.

We literally used to spend couple of hours per day scrolling through Facebook newsfeed and by stalking our acquaintances.

Today it is even worse, if you don´t have Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, just to name a few- in a social media sense- you don´t even exist.

In a way it is good to have so many social media outlets if you use them to share quality ideas with others, but mostly, people share material which doesn´t help anyone.

If you just serve as a consumer of other people´s opinion you will never have your own voice and personality.

In a conclusion, today, if you want to read quality- you have to start sharing quality.

Does Your Mind Go Blank When Speaking Of Mental Health?

Mental illnesses in today´s world are just like Spanish flu in the second decade of the 19th century.

Stressful way of living, online networks that changed our social lives including the way of interacting and many demands of modern society are some of the reasons for epidemic of those illnesses.

One in 4 people will be affected with mental illness at some point in their lives which means that almost every family will have one of its members affected.

Despite high prevalence of such diseases, they are still highly stigmatised- people tend to think that someone can just snap out of illness- because it is all in their mind.

Because of a lack of knowledge and biases about mental health- many people who could benefit from some kind of therapy don´t even reach for help.

People are hiding painful truths behind closed doors of their houses or apartments, not willing to admit that maybe they should seek treatment to help them cope with illness and- life.

Sometimes a person can think that admitting that help is needed is a sign of weakness, not knowing that the strength to accept reality as it is- is profoundly courageous.

From my experience as a nursing student- many people struggling with mental illness can be helped, but sometimes the only ingredient lacking is the willingness of the persons involved to seek for it.

Mental illnesses are special kind of diseases because they distort your way of thinking in a way that you don´t think you need help because you have too many negative thoughts or in the worst case because you lost contact with reality.

Mental illnesses can´t be seen and they are very specific in their experience so not many people truly understands them.

However they are our reality, and sometimes we can´t escape from it- or we would become delusional.

Are Some Degrees Really Useless?

A few days ago in my country we could read a news saying that a woman with a college degree from 3 different universities could not find a job.
That particular piece of news spread in an instant through many online portals and throughout social media.

Suddenly everyone wanted to share their opinion of that particular problem.
Soon 2 sides of opposite streams were created: one saying that obviously the aforementioned woman has 3 useless degrees (geography, art history, comparative literature and in short time- one in theology) and the others saying that it is impossible for anyone to find a job in Croatia and that she just wanted to secure a state job.

Some commenters said that the lady should be sending more cover letters and resumes- she already sent 30 of them.
From their point of view, she was not proactive enough in finding herself a job.
What those commenters actually don´t know is that most jobs are found through networking, presence in online media or by being active during your studies through meaningful projects. Sending cover letters is pretty outdated option nowadays.

Then, some were trying to be more helpful with advice that if she really had 3 (soon 4 diplomas) that she should start her own business and not rely on the State for her employment.
In a country where hundreds of thousands people work for the State and where taxes for having your own business are sky high- who are we to blame the unlucky lady?

Many people are blaming the government for their inability to find a job or making it possible to implement more easily their own business plan or project.
In Croatia, we witness everyday emigration of young and educated people who don’t see any perspective in staying here- they can´t find a job to cover their existential needs.

The pay checks are low and those who work are lucky to have a job.
Who should we really blame- individuals like this lady, our educational system our government- we are yet to find.

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Let Cigarette Stay- Far Away

One in every three adults you meet is a cigarette smoker.

Those adults that you encounter were once teenagers which means they tried their first cigarette before their 19th birthday.

We know how it all starts- in most cases from pure curiosity. You see others, mostly adults at bus stations or in coffee shops how they smoke and suddenly you also want to try it.
Or you just started high school and all the popular kids seem to enjoy that unhealthy habit.

The media doesn’t help much either in your choice whether to try cigarettes or not- it actually promotes it via tv serials or movies. Suddenly then, smoking becomes more and more acceptable.

One day you decide you are going to buy a pack of smokes, although you don’t even know how to take a drag on a cigarette. You also try it tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the following week and soon- you become addicted.
Apart from health issues that smoking causes, it also takes a big toll on smoker´s budget.

It might sound too shocking, but from my opinion- people who smoke literally pay for their own death.
Their teeth become yellow, they have breathing problems, their skin becomes gray- and these are only “minor” problems- smoking can cause cancer.

Some people console themselves that they can stop smoking anytime, but I think that the only effective way to get rid of cigarettes is to put them out the very second you light them up. In other words when you wish to smoke, you should remind yourself to disregard that thought immediately.

What I have noticed is that many people smoke while enjoying their cup of coffee- like they connect coffee and cigarettes with emotions of happiness and relaxation.

I know it is hard to quit smoking but- let cigarette stay far away!

Hi School, Bye School

Middle school and high school- places of fond memories or forgotten sorrows?

Everyone remembers endless days spent in classrooms, never ending memorization of what we considered to be nonsensical facts and answering to teachers.

Oh yes, days I wish I would never have to go back to! Fortunately, I am near the end of my formal education- and I think that now I can share some insights with you about those years that everyone has to pass through.

Years when we hung out with our friends worried if were good enough for them, years when we were under extreme pressure to succeed and have good grades, years when we thought that teachers knew everything…

I remember being in middle school when my worries about grades were filling my mind and in order to escape them I would daydream about Summer holidays. In fact, when school was nearly over (when 50 working days until the end were near), I used to make a small calendar in which I crossed every day that passed. In that way I could measure how much I have already „survived“.

I had so many activities apart from the school- ranging from learning languages to playing tennis and piano. Actually, sometimes only free time I had while I was in the middle school were those 5 minutes just before falling asleep.

Near the end of middle school I started to think over about my high school admissions and how would days in that new institution look like. I was sad to leave my old friends, but was really curious to find out what my new friendships would be.

In that search of my ideal clique I changed a couple of high schools. On the on hand I wanted to attend same classes as my old friends, but on the other hand I wanted to meet entirely new colleges.

Finally combination of bad influence and failing grades made me change high school 2 years before its end. Although it was really stressful to have changed classes in the middle of school, it was a positive change 🙂

Learning from my experience- my advice to everyone in middle school or high school is: choose your friends wisely, take care of yourself (don’t drink, smoke or go out too much), study, have fun and try not to stress too much over small stuff.

The Reader´s Dilemma: Paper Book Or E-Book?

If you are a passionate reader, apart from reading newspapers or blogs, you probably read paper books and its digital form: e-books. Here I would like to write about some advantages and disadvantages of reading former and the latter types.

Also there are many audio books on the market, but I won´t be writing about them.

Paper books give you that feeling of enjoying the moment while being immersed in reading when holding a book physically in your hand. Some people connect reading paper version of books with that cozy feeling while drinking cup of hot cocoa or coffee.

Although you can virtually turn pages on your laptop or Kindle device, it can´t really measure up with turning pages with your hand. Furthermore, the light of your computer screen may not feel as comfortable for your eyes as reading book under daylight in your armchair or in bed.

With paper books you can make your own library in tangible form, and not just have them downloaded on your screen as pdf-s.

Sometimes I like to buy e-books because I like the fact that I can have books right here, in this moment, without having to leave the house, but more often I like reading “real books”.

The other day I was talking with my boss, who is in his late forties, how he can not understand young people now days who want to have everything in an instant like purchasing e-books. He asked me then: don´t we like the anticipation of ordering books from store and then waiting for them to arrive to our homes versus having our desires immediately met?

I couldn´t give him any good answer for the reason that I read and buy both versions of books.

The one´s I prefer depend on the moment- when I find out about some great book- I usually cannot wait for the shipping to arrive, but to be honest- paperbacks have its own charm…

Make A Memory Out Of Your life

How do you archive your life?

Every day is similar, yet every day is different from the day before.

Throughout your lifetime you participate in many events, you gain many experiences and you share many memorable moments with your loved ones.

In order to recall more easily all those memories you can archive what happened to you during many hours, days, months and years that passed.

When I was attending elementary school, I used to write a diary every day.

I was mostly writing about my classmates, homework, trips and grades.

It feels funny when I read now what I used to think long time ago- lots of matter seems trivial, but I know how important that used to be to me back in the days.

With a little pause in archiving experiences in high-school (apart from facebook- if it counts), let´s go fast forward to college. Those are the days when I started to write almost every quibble that came to my mind- I wrote them in notes on my Iphone.

At the same time, during college, I started to attend photography course. At first I took photos with my mobile phone, but when my lecturer made a disappointing statement how real photographers don´t use cell phone for art, I switched to my Canon camera. I started to shoot every situation, detail or place that seemed compelling.

Soon, new memories were created which I documented on my laptop.

My creative endeavours haven’t stopped with that- I started to write a blog and I became active on twitter- which are another ways of archiving your thoughts.

I think that you should always try to capture anything that you can think of- one day you might cherish that gathered memories even more.

Start writing a journal, take photos, make videos, archive your life- because for one day: memories shall stay…

This Is Not Just Another Ad

What makes a good commercial is a question that popped to my mind today.

While preparing creative samples for admissions to an ad school, I was gaining inspiration from watching Super Bowl commercials.

I was amazed how many good ideas were showing on TV in that football period of time. Every time I watched a commercial that broadcasted on Super Bowl, I felt some strong emotion – whether happiness, sadness, anticipation or fear.

However, I mostly liked those which inspired me in some way – to start doing something new or to change thoughts about some matter. Commercials seen at Super Bowl are expensive, millions and millions of people see them and they have a big impact. I always wanted to make that type of commercials 🙂

But they are only a small portion of advertising- the best part of it. Every copywriter or art director would feel extremely proud if his creativity could be shown during that popular event.

At ad school, we had one class for which we had to search for terrible ads and explain why we think they are terrible. Then, I realised that most commercials were (using euphemism)- not quite good.

On one hand, I know what makes a bad commercials- they are boring! Not innovative, they don´t show the benefit of a product or a service. They don´t provoke emotions.

On the other hand, good commercials inspire you and make you to actually purchase that fragrance, bag, shoes or car.

Still, many public notices to sale heavily rely on stereotypes like men and bear or pretty woman and cars. Advertisers often stay in their comfort zones be it because the company which ordered a commercial wants to stick to the safe ground or because of the lack of inspiration of creative team.

Good commercials should be informative, witty, fun, they should provoke anticipation and in the end- they should make you take an action.

To put it in another words- they should make you ready, set, buy 🙂

Or you can just watch them. That works too. If it´s Super Bowl.

We Learn For School And Not For Life

Non per scholae sed vitae discimus or in other words we don’t study for school, but for life.

How true is really this statement? I finished high school 9 years ago, have been since then in the institutions of higher education and I must admit that school doesn’t prepare you well for the realities of  everyday life. What we mostly do in school these days is memorizing endless material.

We don’t get encouraged to use our creativity and if we differ in any way from the norm, we often get criticized. I was a gifted student and because no one in high school recognized my talents, I struggled a lot with school. I was way ahead of my colleagues in the terms of knowledge, but I was somehow always getting bad grades- I just could not learn all that given data by heart and present it to teachers. We also don’t learn how to follow directions, but instead we learn how to pretend that we agree with our teachers.

Skills as how to find a job in this economy or how to start a job, what career do we want to pursue or how to manage taxes are not being taught at most institutions. I didn’t even know what a cover letter was when I was looking for a job during high school, let alone how to write it.

Apart from that, I suffered from low self esteem years after high school because I was always given bad grades. I felt enormous anxiety when I would have to speak or answer teachers’ questions in front of the class. I would also compare myself to other more successful students and beat myself down for not having achieved the same „success“.

In Croatia, every couple of years we hear that our educational system will be reformed, but from my opinion no one knows which ideas to implement.

Therefore, education still stands as one big experiment and all I can say to new generations is- you’ll survive, just like we did.

Real life Cannot Be Found On Facebook

I have been using Facebook since I was about 17 years old.

My journey through social media started with Myspace, then Facebook followed (now days I like Twitter the most).

I first set up my Facebook account because it started to be very popular in my country and as I was in high school and you have to be popular in high school- therefore: Facebook!

Facebook was very much different ten years ago than it’s today, but some facts of that social network remained the same- everyone is posting about their happy and often fake lives. Everyone is partying, drinking and enjoying life. When I was younger, I often thought that my high school classmates were like that in real life, but as time passed by, I started to realize how far from the truth that was. Actually most of my colleagues were lost and depressed.

Not much of that fun postings were really true. Unfortunately I was really in a bad mood myself prior to that realization, but now I can observe their posts like a more experienced and mature adult. Actually when I realized that I don’t have to know anything about life of many of my so called „friends“ I was finally free.

While I was in high school, everyone was always gossiping so you had to stay in touch with who got drunk last night, who skipped classes, who made out with someone. Today my Facebook wall is bombarded with pictures of kids and weddings which I also don’t quite understand- shouldn’t photos of kids be kept private?

The best advice I could give myself is to quit Facebook, but unfortunately like all habits that have to be broken, it is not going to be easy. I already deactivated my account multiple times, but I always came back.

In reality today, I think you can only replace one social network with another, so perhaps I can quit Facebook and then start to write more on other platforms and connect with those people whose opinion I share with.

That’s a good start.