Updated: Jan 14, 2022
Elatior grew up in an academic family but there was never a pressure for her to go to universities. One day, at the age of five, she was watching a TV program and saw a beautiful ice-skater wearing a beautiful princess dress. Elatior’s big beautiful eyes grew wide and she said to herself “I want to be an ice-skating princess”. Later, when she joined her parents for grocery shopping, she thought she wanted to be a food store check-out staff. Her love for animals grew and in her teens this inspired her to become a vet. These dreams soon faded away as she realised there was a dark side of this occupation (veterinarian). The death of animals, the emotional side that she knew she was not able to handle. Knowing what you are good at is not enough. It is also important to realise what you can and cannot handle emotionally.
Her caring for lives though, has continued. In 7th Grade, opportunity arose to attend a week internship. She got a chance to work with disabled kids. This gave her exposure to another occupation – physiotherapy. It interested her in finding out how to become one. With the help from her dad, she was able to learn more about what she needed to study to get the qualification to enter university and become a physiotherapist. For Elatior, what was important was that when she had questions, her parents were there to help but never to steer her to a certain direction.
After studying one year at a university getting exposure to different subjects, Elatior realised what really interested her was about the learning of society and the way people communicate. She chose to major in political science and communication technology where she could put her love of writing into practice and go deeper into learning about people and the way societies operate. “Communication is powerful” – said Elatior. I could not agree more with this statement. I used to focus so heavily on speaking skills as part of communication and overlooked another important skill (if not more important), that is listening. My mentor once asked me what was the unique look of the Indian God of Knowledge – Ganesh. Yes, the two big ears. "Maybe there is a reason why we only have one mouth but 2 ears?" My mentor asked.
The art of communication inspired Elatior to travel and to learn from the way of lives in many parts of the world. To Elatior, diversity is not a challenge per se but an excitement, a life experience that she could learn from.
Diversity is not a challenge per se but an excitement, a life experience to learn from.
Her first job was not a satisfying one. It was because of the unpredictability of what would happen each day and that was mainly to do with her boss. To Elatior, a satisfying workplace could be achieved when:
There is direct, open and honest communication where people respect each other;
There is a strong leadership so the direction and the focus is clear and uncertainty is minimised and
Negative energy is minimised meaning the workplace has a one united team rather than many little groups.
Again the power of communication and respect! There is a Lao saying ‘your words can kill people – words and the way you say them could have stronger impact than actions”.
Being surrounded by people with negative thoughts and reactions can drain your energy. If these key criteria could be addressed, Elatior’s score for the satisfaction at work would very much likely go higher! Are you like Elatior whose energy is drained by negative thoughts and reactions which again are demonstrated through the way we communicate?
Simple inspiration emerges from deciding to be positive! Sometimes when you touch the heart – the energy can rise faster than drinking a Red Bull :) I asked Elatior what advice she would give to a young person who may be lost and doesn’t know where they are heading or where they want to go or want to be. She said “Everything is possible if you give it a try…Yes not everyone has choices still this does not mean you should stop pursuing your dream and passion…As much as possible try to pursue your dream before you bury them and say it is impossible”.
“As a parent give guidance NOT orders! It is not about ‘you cannot do that or this’ but it is about ‘it is not a good thing to do’ ” – it is about giving reasons. Elatior also shared with me her experiences about being told what she cannot do. Travelling, camping and hiking, these are her passions. When she had her first child, people said to her “now you wouldn’t be able to do those things anymore because you couldn’t and shouldn’t do that when you had kids particularly when they were young.” Her children are just under 15 now and they have been with her in all her overseas camping and hiking trips since they were toddlers. Yes it is possible!
One of the most valuable consequences of trying to keep doing what she believed in was the way her children turned out to be. Elatior said she has never heard her children complain being on a long road trip, judging or commenting on people or behaviours that might not be the same as theirs. She believes it was a consequence of being exposed to diversity since a young age, and yes parents had a major role to play. “If parents don’t comment on things, complain or use certain languages to describe the differences we all have then kids would not too”. It is a matter of acknowledging the fact that we are different but we are human.
It is a matter of acknowledging the fact that we are different but we are human!
And like what Elatior mentioned in earlier “diversity is not a challenge per se but an excitement, a life experience to learn from.” Why not start embracing this excitement around you today?
Have a great holiday reflecting and unlocking your positive energy!