When Your Big Plans Don’t Work Out

Dear reader,

I visited Ljubljana today for a change. Had to go to the doctors for some check-up, pick up some books, buy some things, meet some people and do many other small things. I also briefly visited my faculty where I studied and where my husband works.

This faculty used to be like my home. It gave me opportunities to discover what I truly wanted to do in my life, was an umbrella of many student associations, a place where I met some very nice people. I gave it my soul, my skills, lots of my free time and my passion. It was a place I felt truly loyal to. I think I contributed a whole lot and for quite some time I viewed this institution as an integral part of my life. It was also a part of my big plan – to work there in a position for which I seemed a good fit, so that I could be in contact with students who loved me and also close to my husband. It seemed a perfect plan and a perfect life.

As I returned back home from the UK in late 2014, skilled, packed with knowledge and ready to pass it on, I was certain that my offers would be welcomed. I was wrong. I got a slap in my face, my offers were received with icy cold attitude I couldn’t have imagined in my worst nightmare. In a meeting with the dean and a couple of other people I literally had to defend myself, while my intentions were nothing but good. Some people that I considered friends turned their back upon me. I could not believe it. As the dean’s committee couldn’t reject my offer completely, they tried to turn me down by collecting some professional expert opinion. It took several months and I was on my toes all the time. Even acquired myself an expert opinion from international community (thank you EBTA!!!) but the bottom line, to make a long story short was, that the dean decided my proposal didn’t get a pass by positive expert opinion, which I later on discovered was not true. Anyhow, my “big plan” collapsed.

What to do when that happens? What to do when you spend so much of your time and place all your hopes, working on one specific goal and then you lose it all? Of course you’ll need some time to accept the fact that it won’t work out the way you imagined it. Of course if you can, you’ll probably look out for ways how you could fix what could be fixed. In my case the notice from the faculty I loved, was final, delivered to me in a cold and rude tone. So I left.

Only a few months later, this rejection turned out to be one of the best things that happened to me. I opened my own company. Started doing things on my own, outside the system, its people and procedures. It paid off. In only three years I’ve grown to be one of the international lead trainers under Erasmus+ in certain topics. I am the Queen of Solution Focused Approach in Slovenia with international reputation of teaching and practise. I get to work with whom I want under my own conditions. I can work across sectors and in different countries. In other words: I am as free as a bird and people pay me to do what I love. My work also matters: I make a difference, because people and organisations do better when I do my job well. Which makes me more than happy.

Today at the faculty, I ran across a cleaning lady who used to see me every day while I was still at the faculty. She barely recognised me. As we had a friendly relationship back then, I knew she was telling the truth when she said I look so much better and younger now than I did couple of years ago. And when I looked myself in a mirror in the bathroom I realised she was absolutely right.

Leaving this faculty was one of the best things I have ever done.

Not to get me wrong, there are still things I like about that institution and by no means want to underestimate its culture. But now I know who my friends were and who was a wolf in sheep’s skin. I also know now that I left being a winner and am so so so very grateful for whoever stabbed me in my back three or four years ago. They have done me such a big favour.

Your turn: Now think about it for yourself: have you ever had an experience when your big plan crashed? Where are you now? What would you have missed, had your plan worked out? What has your “failure” taught you – what was its gift?

The bottom line: When life gives you lemons, surely, make a lemonade. You’ve heard this one before. But I don’t believe life ever gives you lemons. It has something WAY better planned for you. All you have to do is trust it and act accordingly. In other words: manifest to recognise opportunities or create them and trust it will happen in the way that is absolutely right for you. 

Wanna learn how to manifest? I’ve done it all my life, not knowingly. Now I know how to do it so that I can create opportunities for myself. And I’d be very happy to pass this wisdom on to you. Visit this page on Facebook and express your interest.



Walking down the streets of Ljubljana – sunny on the outside and on the inside


Blackberry Kiss

Fancy blackberries? Me too. Fruit is my favourite food and I’m a very lucky person in summer, because there’s plenty of it.

Being a child of nature, always picking fruit from bushes or trees or whatever, I still as an adult keep this habit as my one time favourite to acquire desired delicious pieces. And for several weeks now, I steadily pick our blackberry bushes every morning for our breakfast.

But guess what. Our BB bushes grow steep up the hill. Not far, but very steep. Second, as I’m clearly not the only blackberry fan around here, there are many other delegates, such as wasps. Third, blackberries have thorns. Not thorns like roses, but teeny tiny thorns that you can hardly see, but are a curse if you get wraped. The more you resist, the more they come at you and wedge you. Seriously, it’s like a trap, it gets to you slowly, but thoroughly, and neither your clothes, nor your skin are safe.

Our bushes seemed to have won quite many battles and I got scars, but still won a prize, regarding our breakfast cereal bowls. Then after a while back and forth, strange things began to happen. Bushes started talking to me. One day, I was climbing my way up to the battle field and suddenly I didn’t try to scare the wasps away. I just joined and while they were upset for a moment, the next one they let me merge with them. Not even one wasp would attack me, but I had to be really slow and in a peaceful mood. Then I started to pick the berries. The bush whispered. It was very early in the morning and not even the sun was up. The bush and wasps and me. Communicating. Getting to really know each other. Learning how to co-exist in a way that is right for all of us. I realized that I have to take it real slow. With gentle moves. With absolute calm, no rush, no hurry. No thoughts, just trying to go along the frequence that was already there. It worked. I realized that going slow and staying on the surface provided me with great strength and I could achieve my goal without getting wounded.

I wondered if I could transfer this lesson from the nature into human relationships.

It turned out I can. I have an acquaintance who is a big complainer about everything and everybody. Since he knows I’m in the helping profession and am trained to help people deal with difficult situations, he uses every opportunity to brings his complaints to me. But when I ask him if he would like to work with me, he refuses and says he has no problems to resolve. So eventually, I got irritated to be the doormat ready to listen to his complaints and not to make any use of it. I’m a person who doesn’t like to perform meaningless actions that lead nowhere. And just because somebody else does, doesn’t mean I need to be involved.

The next time he came, I was ready. I was the blackberry bush. I didn’t interrupt him or ask questions. I was thinking how I could wrap him around gently, yet still keeping his attention and point to a direction where he would begin to think about his behaviour in a different way. So I just waited until he finished what he had to say for that day and then replied with:

I’m really impressed how you manage to devote so much of your time and energy for others. I think that you care a great deal and am wondering what do you think how they might respond, should they know about you caring so much?

It was not a question, just a plain, genuine compliment. He looked at me for a while, trying to translate my words and then he said:

Gee. You know, I never thought of that from this perspective. I don’t know. I need to think.

I saw him again two days after our last conversation. He approached me, as usual, but now told me everything about what others did that he liked. He was still talking much, but instead of complaining, he was proudly announcing all the good things he had noticed in others.

I love Blackberries.

berry bowl

Blackberries are leading from behind – hidden under raspberries and blueberries. The best way to lead, is leading from behind.