Tag Archive | LEARNING


Think like an Economist…

Have you ever wondered why people around you act the way they do? Why do we do things that are essentially harmful to us? Why do people smoke, drink, take drugs? Eat bad/nasty foods? Why do people take lots of risks? Why are some people looking forward to having their cars stolen?..

Interestingly enough, there ARE answers to these kinds of questions!


No more wasting valuable time! – or audio-reading..

Ever find yourself thinking – “if only I could make this train/bus/tram/…-ride a time that is spent a bit more beneficially for me…” or “I’m OK with cleaning up the kitchen and organising my stuff, but I feel it’s such a waste of my time, for it never stays clean and organised for more than several hours and has to be done again and again, and again…”

My solution to this problem is listening to books, news and interesting radio shows, while I’m on my way somewhere, cleaning up/organising at home or doing something that doesn’t require much thinking. Then the time is not wasted. 😉

Here are some audio resources I recommend:

Audible UK – my library includes the following titles:

  • The Real Purpose of Parenting
  • Bringing Up Bebe
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Law of Success
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • The Social Animal
  • Start with Why
  • Zen Habits
  • Zen to Done
  • Focus
  • The Power of Less
  • Blue Ocean Strategy
  • How to Stay Sane

The Economist

Freakonomics / on iTunes

Wired UK

Books I Recommend

Do It Tomorrow by Mark Forster: so far (after reading 1/3 of the book), I think this is the best book I’ve read about ‘time-management’… Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Ozon.ru | Market.Yandex.ru

* Getting Things Done by David Allen: the book helps people create an effective system for managing their tasks and todos. I’m working with it now. Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex: En / Ru

Focus by Leo Babauta: Leo helps us understand what distracts us and how we can overcome those distractions in order to focus on what’s important for us. Get it on Focusmanifesto.com (2 versions are available: free and premium – check it out!) 😉 – check out more books by Leo: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Drive by Daniel Pink. See the promo video. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Caucasus by Thomas de Waal: the book about the history of Caucasus. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman & Rod A. Beckstrom. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferris: there are lots of tips on how to lose, maintain or not to gain weight and how to be a ‘super human’. Tim’s approach to fitness is based on tons of experiments and makes a lot of sense. Some ‘common sense’ things are questioned and argued: for example, jogging for one hour is less effective for weight loss than other types of short exercises combined with a particular diet or just foods or cold showers… Generally there are a lot of approaches to fitness in the book – it might take several months to fully explore them as well as to meet one’s fitness needs. Get it on Amazon.co.uk: Book / eBook / Audiobook | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex.ru

The Art of Systems Thinking by Joseph O’Connor & Ian McDermott: a good book that explains why sometimes something doesn’t go as planned or expected, although logically it should: more hard work should bring more positive results, for instance. But usually it’s not so, for the systems are everywhere, and their logic is  different. When we understand the logic of systems, we can correctly adjust our actions to get desired outcomes or better understand what to expect from our actions. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

* 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen R. Covey: this is a very good book. I think it is actually the only book that one has to read about family and parenting. It makes so much sense. 🙂 I think I’ll keep it as a reference forever. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson: backed by extensive research of how people get new ideas, the author spells out the following principles to encourage idea-generating environment: go for a walk, cultivate hunches, write everything down, keep folders messy, embrace serendipity, make generative mistakes, take on multiple hobbies, network, follow the links, let others build on your ideas, borrow, recycle, reinvent, build a tangled bank. Once you read this book, you won’t have any problems of coming up with ideas… You’ll need to work on execution though.. See the promo video. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* What’s Your Bright Idea by Paul Humphries & Tim Campbell: this is a guide for a first-time entrepreneur. The steps for starting a new business are all laid out. All one needs to do to succeed is to do all the stuff ‘prescribed’ here. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com: Kindle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner: the authors explain very well how economic laws can be applied in real life. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Superfreakonomics: Freakonomics 2. Get in on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* How to Eat, Move and be Healthy by Paul Chek: all you need to know about healthy lifestyle. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Clutterfree by Leo Babauta & Courtney Carver: very helpful when you’d like to get rid of clutter not only physical but also electronic and mental – there are a lot of tips and ideas. Get it on Clutterfreecourse.com

* The New Book Of Yoga by Sivananda Yoga Centre: basics of yoga poses, recommended diet and breathing exercises. A good book for yoga beginners. Get it on Amazon.co.uk| Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Beyond Chocolate by Sophie & Aubrey Boss: a new approach to ‘dieting’. Get it on Amazon.co.uk |  Amazon.com

* Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray: read it together with your partner if you’d like to better understand the differences and the reasons behind the behaviour of men or women. There are some things that women and men do fundamentally different just because they are of different gender, so it’s good to be aware of them.. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Make Every Man Want You by Marie Forleo: this is a great guide for a woman, it’s packed with tips and ideas on how to remain feminine and real at all times. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers: if you ever had some fear to do something or made excuses not to do something, reading this book might help you go for anything that you set out to go for. I wasn’t too fearful in the first place, but now I’m totally relaxed and not afraid to mess up cause I know that it’s better to try to do something and mess it up than to back off and miss an opportunity. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson: if you only want to read one book on self-improvement, read this one. The concepts presented here are easy to grasp, and it gives a lot of ideas about how to improve oneself. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: Kindle En | Amazon.com

* Treasure Yourself by Miranda Kerr: beauty and gratitude guide for girls and women. Miranda is very much influenced by Louise L. Hay and advocates the lifestyle of appreciation and self-healing. The book is very inspiring and encouraging. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

* The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. Ever dreamed of being a mobile entrepreneur? Then this book is for you. Lots of ideas of how to start and manage a mobile business, especially useful when you already know what you’d do when you have more time to relax and don’t have to spend that much time on earning money. Review by The Simple Dollar. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex: EnRu

* The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau: this is a very inspiring book. It makes one think of what one really wants from their life. And it encourages to go for it whatever others may think. Also it led me to rethink my personal values. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Heal Your Body by Louise L. Hay: Louise believes that one can heal their body or some illness symptoms with the help of affirmations. This book is a list of symptoms and affirmations. Good to have one as an alternative to medicine, sometimes it helps. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

BOOK SHOPS – Simply Sophisticated

MY WISH LISTS (not only books) 🙂


The last 2 weeks at university were full of many fun and exciting things.

I got to know so many different and interesting people. Although most of us study on the same course, our prior experiences vary so much that I’m sure we’ll definitely be able to help each other improve and develop this year together.

What I did not expect is that I would be soooo active in the student life. Suddenly so many ideas had started coming onto my mind that I just couldn’t stay uninvolved.

Being keen on learning languages and organising events, I started engaging in these two activities from the very beginning.

I’m in the process of setting up a ‘Multilinguals at Cass’ club, which aim will be to link native speakers (or fluent speakers of a language) with language learners to help the learners practise and improve their language skills and to help speakers practise their leadership and presentation skills.

The further description is:

The improvement in the language skills will be facilitated through activities, such as reading and discussing articles, watching and discussing films, attending cultural centres of countries where the languages learnt are spoken, inviting speakers to tell (or organising presentations ourselves) about business peculiarities of different cultures and countries, studying economic trends of different countries, etc.

We might even have taster classes of salsa, flamenco or Argentinian tango (in Spanish/En); learn to paint (in Italian/En); read Pushkin (in Russian/En); learn to cook (in French/En, Chinese/En, Japanese/En).

A lot depends on which languages members speak and would like to learn.

To find out more about the students’ needs I have constructed a short survey: http://multilinguals.questionpro.com/

That will help me tailor the club’s activity to what the students expect from it.

So if you are a fellow student of mine, I will greatly appreciate your participation in the survey. =)


About organising events:

We have already attended one classical concert () and one show of ‘magic’ performed by Chris Dugdale (). It was very tricky, amusing and incredible! =)

I really enjoyed the concert and already encourage people to attend another classical concert in the end of October and maybe some other time too. =)

I like Vivaldi, Schubert, Chopin and Piazzolla very much.

More information about upcoming events can be found here: (➛)

I have a lot more ideas about what else we, students, and our friends could do in our free time from studying and attending career dedicated events.

We can go to comedy shows; museums like V&A, Natural History or Transport; jazz concerts or gigs by popular DJ’s and so on. We can even go to Cambridge or Oxford for a day on the weekend. Or Brighton? Or wherever we want! =)

I’ll definitely let everyone know if there’s an opportunity to do something interesting. Let me know about what other suggestions you have, friends! =)


About studying at Cass:

I’m really enjoying it. I like the lecturers and what they are teaching. It seems that finally I am studying the subjects that I really like and that are applicable to my life straight away. Thank you Cass! =) I’m looking forward to what’s coming! )

I wish everyone a successful year ahead!

Good luck and all the best!


New Chapter

Further studying…

This is a new chapter of my life. Studying has never awaken any excitement in me before. However, this time it seems it’s going to be very different. Because for me it’s going to be not just studying, but also a process of finding myself and finally understanding what I want to do and who I want to be.

I am ready for the hard work as well as play, and I am determined to make the most out of this last year of my studies.

Looking forward to it. Let’s see what I write in the end of August 2011… =)

Good luck to everyone!


Are you into painting?..

Are you into painting?..

I thought I wasn’t…

Last Saturday I went to the “Introduction to Painting” course from 10am to 5pm. And I’m going there again this coming Saturday as well (this is a 2-day course).


I haven’t done painting or even drawing for such a long time (since 5th grade or so)… Forgot even how to do it.

Sometimes I wanted to draw something to express myself: my dreams and visions, but I thought I couldn’t do it properly.

And then I had an idea!

I decided to take drawing classes. That was a good plan. =)

With my new skills I will be able to express on paper my feelings and emotions that I can then share with other people. =)

In fact now that I know the techniques of measuring, scaling, shading and colour mixing, and with a little bit of practice, I will be able to draw what I imagine my life to be like in a year’s, 5-years’ or even more years’ time. That will help me see more clearly what I want, and I will be able to achieve it.

I believe that only we ourselves can create our own destiny: that is why I’m working on it now. Putting my dreams and visions on paper into clear pictures will help me. =)

We need to know where we are going before we can figure out how to get there. We create our future ourselves.

That’s what I think.

On the other hand of course, such an approach to life makes us sometimes not flexible enough to change our goals. However, it helps us focus on what we really want and then get it, becoming satisfied with the achievement, instead of having a lot of surprises on the way and not really knowing how to react  them…

Well in fact this is a rather philosophical question…

What do you think about that guys? =)

Wish you all a lot of success!

* update: July 2013 *

I haven’t done much painting since autumn 2009… It just isn’t something that I really enjoy doing, plus I don’t put it high enough on my importance scale to dedicate enough time to it. Till now, whatever I had wished for has happened, so I’m happy! 🙂 I guess, drawing my dreams is not as important as visualising them and actually moving towards them by doing something real. )

We Have the Power! (Susan Jeffers)

* continuation to this article *

Have you ever been stuck in a situation that you could not change, where there was no other choice, but to do what was in front of you (or so you thought)?

I’m sure most of us have had such an experience. However, although we felt or thought that we had no choice, we always had it and could change the situation, but we continued what we were doing… Why didn’t we change anything?

There are two answers:

  1. We CHOSE not to, for we thought of the consequences or the possibilities and decided to remain in the situation willingly, fully accepting it.
  2. We were SCARED to, as we didn’t know what the changes would bring; so we just continued suffering and experiencing the pain of being powerless.

The first answer implies that we have the POWER to do what we want, and we do that; the second answer is based upon PAIN that puts us in FEAR when we are faced with that unsatisfying situation.

Therefore, all we need to do to become satisfied with (accept) or change any situation is to find the power within us. That POWER will fill our lives with excitement, will give us choice and will motivate us to take action.

Being powerful means taking full control and responsibility for our own lives, being present in every moment and even changing the vocabulary.

In fact changing how we express ourselves is a vital point of moving from PAIN to POWER.

Here are the examples of phrases that can help us to move from pain to power (Susan Jeffers):

Pain -> Power

I can’t -> I won’t

I should -> I could

It’s not my fault -> I’m totally responsible

It’s a problem -> It’s and opportunity

I’m never satisfied -> I want to learn and grow

Life’s a struggle -> Life’s an adventure

I hope -> I know

If only -> Next time

What will I do? -> I know I can handle it

It’s terrible -> It’s a learning experience

Susan also gives an example of a situation where the power is taken away or given back with the change of one word a person uses:

“I should visit my mother.” – it is an obligation that implies no choice, brings guilt and upset.

“I could visit my mother, but I’m choosing to go to the movies today.” – it is a choice instead of obligation, as well as this: “I can visit my mother or I can go to the movies. I think I’ll choose my mother today.”

It is not our fault we get sick”, is it?

Well, it is: We are totally responsible for our illness. First of all, we could prevent it. Secondly, now we have to do something about it to prevent it from happening again: we can change the diet, we can reduce stress, stop smoking or get enough sleep.

“The more powerfully we speak, the more we will be a force in the world around us.”