Venice, City of Dreams

March 30, 2017
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Hello my dear friends! After a break from blogging due to work demands, I am back with the promise to fill you in on what I have been pursuing here in beautiful Venice, City of Dreams. Please continue to read and scroll down to get a taste of my experience here and enjoy the photos from different parts of Venice. For those of you returning, as well as those here for the first time- hello and welcome; please drop a comment below, I look forward to hearing from you and will do my best to answer your shortly.

When you are in Venice, you have to walk always along very crowded streets. People are walking in both directions with great purpose and direction. Last week not far from Rialto bridge, I saw a girl who stood out from the rest. She was walking a bit slower with an uneven pace, and she had her head down.

She wasn’t looking to the left or to the right. She wasn’t looking around. She wasn’t even looking at the water, or her feet. She was looking at her mobile phone. She was actually texting while walking on the crowded quays, and she was on a direct trajectory to collide with me.

“Ooops… Look up” I was softly repeating under my breath as she approached headlong towards me. She was about to run smack into me, and the sidewalk was so full that it was impossible to step out of her way. I was on the verge of making my mantra, “Oops… Look up,” audible.

At the very last moment before crashing into me, she looked up with a completely startled reaction. It was as if she were in one world one moment and then back in the real world the next.

Oh, wait: That was exactly what was happening.

She was mentally not present, even though she was physically walking on that sidewalk with all of us. She was so distracted by her mobile phone that she was just going through the motions of walking somewhere, but was not actually there walking.

The Rialto Bridge at night

Beautiful little Canals everywhere 

Palazzo Bovolo which I pass everyday

Sometimes I am asked by my younger friends to share my experiences for reaching a certain level of professionalism. I think my primary message surprises them somehow. Here is what I tell them:

Learn how to ‘be here now.’ When you are working, work. Don’t spend time stressing over the things you are or are not doing in your personal time, leave those for another time. When you are not working, don’t work! Don’t let the distractions of your professional pursuits keep you from being fully present in your personal life.

Wine tasting event at Hotel Regina

Admiring the beautiful views of Basilica Santa Maria della Salute

Venice is very calm at night and has its charms too …

Piazza San Marco, (St. Mark’s Square)

We as Iranians celebrated the new year on 19th of March and I achieved exactly my goal in the beginning hours of new year (1396). As our new year is beginning, the first day of spring for you, it is very easy to allow ourselves to be so wrapped up and so caught up in something, that we cannot set it aside to change gears and focus on what is right in front of us. That is what the young girl pedestrian was doing before she pulled herself out of her virtual world to rejoin the events going on in the real world around her.

Spring is here in Venice!

These colours really take my breath away 

Rooftop Venice style! 

During the past four years, I have written over 2000 texts on Instagram and couple of hundred here. When I first started to write, I was a guy who literally lost his business in Switzerland with many unimaginable problems. I knew I had to be very present in different procedures in order to solve my horrendous problems. I started to set aside some time to write, mostly after everyone was tucked in for the night. Instead of watching television, for a few months I wrote between 11 PM and 2 or 3 AM several nights a week. When my close friends start to read my texts they exclaimed, “When did you write all these texts? We can’t imagine how you are able to write??” I also travel an enormous amount. I am on the road an average of every week each year. With my new Italian achievement, I am traveling even more. Consequently, making time to write is becoming even more difficult. 

The same concept also applies in reverse. When you are working hard on a project or accomplishing something demanding in your business, it is necessary to keep yourself focused on the task at hand. You all know how much I love my lifestyle– my cooking and my daily training. But I was focused to accomplish this Venetian project. There are many things which can become a distraction… and so I made the choice to leave everything temporarily to focus on my main goal. I have seen successful people become completely inept at the job at hand because they cannot be fully present due to some other pull on them from another area of their life.

Learning about Venice from the best locals

Details of Basilica Santa Maria della Salute

 

As a child growing up in my mother’s home, she had an approach to these distractions that served med well and stayed with me all of these years for when I want to “be here now” and there are some things pulling me in other directions, preventing my ability to do so. She used to say, “put those distractions in a jar and set it up on a shelf. When you are done with the task you need to accomplish, it will still be there on the shelf, and you can take it down and get it out then.” 

Lunch with my friends at Caliche, a very Venetian restaurant where gondoliers eat their lunch

So my mantra of “Ooops… Look up,” can also be a way to keep yourself in the present and really begin to “be here now.” For the young girl pedestrian, she could not at the same time focus on her mobile phone, walk at the same pace as everyone else around her, and also take in all of the sights and sounds near the Rialto Bridge and the beautiful streets of this City of Dreams that night. She could not “be here now” successfully in both worlds at the same time. So friends my advice to you is that if you start to apply this simply mantra in your daily life, I think you will find that you can eventually navigate the paths of life, work, networks of family and friends more deeply, richly, profoundly and with greater success in each of them.

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My heart is always skipping the beat and my soul wanders between real and dream

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