Molly’s game. Jocuri secrete

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„I’m getting that you don’t think much of me but what if every single one of your ill informed, unsophisticated opinions about me were wrong?

În ceea ce mă privește, la momentul de față Aaron Sorkin ar putea scrie despre absolut orice că eu tot aș plăti bilet să merg la cinema să-i văd filmul. Cel mai nou film pe care l-a și scris și regizat nu avea cum să facă exceptie chiar dacă, văzând despre ce e vorba, aproape că nu m-a entuziasmat ]n mod deosebit. Atracția era grupul de actori și faptul că scenariul era semnat de Sorkin. De când am văzut ”The Newsroom” (de nenumărate ori), am căutat să-i văd toate filmele, chiar dacă ”The Newsroom” nu e neapărat printre motivele lui de laudă sau mai degrabă printre titlurile pe care să le scoată la înaintare când dă vreun exemplu din munca lui.

”Molly’s game” e despre Moly Bloom, o fostă campioană la ski care a fost nevoie să se retragă din cauza accidentărilor și care a ajuns să organizeze unele dintre cele mai căutate seri de poker de la Hollywood și New York unde au participat actori, sportivi, politicieni etc. La aceste intrarea se făcea cu suma de 10k la început mai apoi ajungându-se la 250k de dolari. Continuă lectura „Molly’s game. Jocuri secrete”

„The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”

It’s one of those TED talks that got viral and it’s still appreciated by every person that stumbles over it or finds it shared on social media. “Why?” you might ask. Because it tackles a subject that affects us all: education.

In “The Element: How finding your passion changes everything“, Ken Robinson makes a case about how education should change from the “one size fits all” approach: from standardized to customized education. It should be “elemental”. Furthermore, Ken Robinson defines the element as: ”The meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion” where you feel like your most authentic self, times passes differently when you are “in the zone”, focus is better and you feel more alive.

He also shares many stories of people that became successful after having found what they were really good at and also loved doing. Not all mentioned people were school misfits if that’s what you’re wondering: some did great in the standardized system, while others needed adjustments or abandoned it all together and took another path.

What they all have in common is that they all were “lucky” enough to find the thing that made them feel complete, authentic and fulfilled. But that activity isn’t necessarily a job or the main source of money. The Element and its practical function, beyond the psychological benefits, is not the same for everyone as Robinson points out.

What stands out again and again through many of his examples like Paul McCartney, Arianna Huffington, Paulo Coelho, Meg Ryan, Aaron Sorkin, is how life-changing it can be to find, what he calls, the element, hence the title.

If you turn your element into your work then it probably won’t be a burden anytime soon because you’ll be doing what you’re good at and what you love at the same time and the minutes and hours pass at a different pace because you are able to get into that very hunted state of flow.

Finding your element can be a coincidence, a stroke of luck or it can be facilitated by someone that can observe and sense, notice what might suit you best, that can guide you towards this epiphany and achievement. You might be lucky enough to stumble over such a mentor that might be of great help in this endeavor we all find ourselves in at some point in life.

There are many issues with standardized education because for some of us it’s not the proper environment to know ourselves, know what we want and get to explore and discover our passion and further grow what is our element. The insights Ken Robinson offers in the book are thought provoking and will hit close to home for many of us that feel could’ve done better with a more customized way of education from a certain point or at least could have been much better off having a mentor to guide us. I sure know I could’ve used one.

The success stories are always nice to read and inspiring and maybe are providers of hope for those of us who are still struggling. But that’s all there is. I do not find anything else to take from these stories, but then again I guess there aren’t guidelines either to help replace the success stories and help us achieve the same level of fulfillment if not success. Only pieces of advice.

The book is catchy up to a point, but then I felt it tended to fall flat. If you already watched or listened Ken Robinson’s talks on YouTube you will feel this book is repetitive, a bit redundant and I am not sure what the impact would be because he mostly shares stories of people who found their element and how accomplished they feel because of that. I should’ve expected that because of the title of the book and shouldn’t complain, right? I got what I was promised in that sense. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, he made the case for customized education and working towards finding your own element through the help of mentors maybe or paying attention to what you enjoy most and expand on that further and also how important it is to meet like-minded people.

Truth be told I was, as probably many readers were, influenced by that famous TED talk I mentioned at the beginning to read this book and also because when I flipped through its pages at a book fair at the Okian booth I noticed that he wrote about Aaron Sorkin (who is the writer of The Newsroom which is one of my favorite TV series ever). This book will probably satisfy your need for inspirational stories if you are into that, with a touch of education related eye-opening insights that many of us, who didn’t feel like they fit in the standardized school system, will approve of.

Did you hear about „The element” before? Are you tempted to read the book?

What kind of day has it been?



Since I want to start on a light note I will mention this first. 2014 was the year my favourite TV show ended. Although it received mixed reviews from critics it is of such greatness to me that I am able to watch its episodes multiple times without getting bored. I enjoy them every time and I get excited every time the characters engage in some quest regarding their job that happened to be their passion also. They did it with such dedication and were so committed to their cause that just watching them do their day to day tasks was getting me excited too. It was a thing of beauty seeing a group of people committed to their, many times idealistic, goals and committed to doing the right thing. But it was also highly inspirational.

Two years ago, if you had told me that a TV show about the news would be one of my favourite things ever, I would have raised my left brow and lowered my right (the other way I am not able to do it) in very much doubt that I would be able to enjoy such thing. But then there came this HBO TV series cleverly written by Aaron Sorkin, with fast paced and engaging dialogues delivered by very improbable-to-exist-in-real-life characters but that nonetheless got me hooked to the screen.

People there had an honourable purpose. They wanted to make the news worth watching. They wanted to deliver information that was useful to the people, that would educate them and that wouldn’t be a „slave” to ratings instead of being a „slave” to honesty and newsworthiness. They started their quixotic mission having a great person as a leader and they stopped at nothing to do what they thought was the right thing. They hit great obstacles but against all odds the series ended with them still fighting their good cause no matter the pressure.

Career was a big theme for me in 2014. I had decisions to make, priorities to reconsider, and evaluate what was done and what should be done next. Some people say timing is everything. And I am a believer of that. Circumstances brought me to the point where I found myself thinking “What the hell am I doing here really?” I realised I should stop the autopilot and get myself awake and at the steering wheel. The realization wasn’t pretty at all. Mostly, what I had to come to terms with, was that I had a lot of work to do on myself first.

As I said earlier, “The Newsroom” was of great inspiration and made me realise I should get committed to my cause, dedicate myself to my work, the work I want to do and not just sit around on autopilot waiting for things to just happen. I should get serious about stuff if I want that stuff to happen. That passion I saw, regarding those characters, I feel and I know it’s real and can be felt towards doing something. But it has to be nurtured by working towards your goals. Each step at a time of course. Also, it’s OK to fail. It hurts like hell at first. I know. But it is one of the steps towards getting what you want.

So pretty much this is one of my top goals for 2015. I have a few plans and, thank God, I also have the support for it so basically it is up to me if I make things happen or not. Also, there are the smaller stuff, but not less important, like travelling, enjoying more art cause Vienna got me hooked on that, enjoying even more great movies than this year and of course reading more books to get the writing “juices” flowing even better.

What do you really want to do in 2015?