Use psychology of achievements

Many of us have great ideas, yet few are putting them into reality. What stops us?
Lack of action is caused by lack of knowledge concerning psychology of achievements. It’s a discipline of knowledge that teaches us how to plan how to correctly aim for our goals, know how to motivate, receive feedback, to systematically improve a process and changing strategies to action. All the laziness, excuses, blame on others… These are just ripples of lack of knowledge. That is consciousness.
How should we fight against this? And in general, should we fight? Or maybe it’s better to accept that not everyone has to be successful?
Not everyone has to be a millionaire and in fact, it is not a necessity. Americans made surveys on the correlation between earnings and happiness. It appears that at above earning of hundred fifty thousand dollars a year, the level of happiness does not change. So in the end, it doesn’t make a difference if we are earning more as it will not change much. O.K. there is a difference between earning two thousand and eight thousand zloty a month. But between twenty and fifty thousand, the difference is much smaller even though financially it seems significant.
I would ask a different question, what does self-fulfilment mean to each of us, and what does it mean to be yourself? People are happy when they build true relations, are competent in what they do, and have autonomy, which means they are free to make their own decisions.
I was able to answer this question and now I know what I want to do in life and what I want to leave behind. Those who do the same will find their path. There is no struggle, then your mind is clear, and it leads to results.
If we're thinking of a change e.g. getting a new job, is there a right moment in our lives to make that change, for example, when we have enough savings?
In order to motivate yourself, you should feel ready to make that kind of decision. The second condition is to have a better alternative to your current job, considering salary, relations, ethics, and many more. The third one is doing it wisely, that means, politely, safely, and without burning any bridges along the way. It also means to have savings.
Should changes in our lives come naturally, preceded by long periods of preparation, or is it worth just being spontaneous?
These two are different models. A fast solution is questionable – it may result in a sudden growth and an unexpected collapse soon after, because changes in reality are not followed by the mental changes or acquiring new skills, where a single event could change it into a predictable and controlled model. The evolutionary growth is organic, safer, but slower.
Generally, everything that grows too fast (apart from cancer or the human embryo) is unbalanced and eventually destroys itself.
A bodybuilder who takes steroids achieves his goal faster, but destroys his heart in the process. Those who win the lottery lose most of their money within the next two years. A proper pace in changing from one reality to the other is a safer solution. Sometimes, of course, you need to speed up the process a little bit, but it's better to do it carefully.
Many of us are often convinced that our job or degree isn't connected with what we really want to do in life. How could one deal with such feelings?
Most of us feel this way because we follow a cultural and family model without focusing on creating ourselves.
You need to create yourself in a different context: imagine yourself as a parent, partners or someone's child.
Without it, we will follow someone else's ideas, trying to figure out what to do with being a passive father, whose job is to earn money, or being a wife playing the role of a mother. Most of human problems have nothing to do with an individual, and derive from culture. A Brazilian's opportunistic nature, a Pole’s complaining habits, or the conservatism of an Arabian extremist, have nothing to do with them as individuals. They are simply carriers of cultural patterns, unaware that they probably are paying the bill for the lack of awareness of previous generations.
This article was published in the magazine “Benefit”

Seven levels of motivation

Motivation is one of the most important soft factors of effective life. Without it, we don't want to get up from bed in the morning, a salesman won't earn any money, and a manager won't plan any new actions.
Everybody talks about motivation, but very few know what it actually is and how it works. What is motivation and what does it mean to motivate? After reading this article you will learn a lot on this subject.

What is motivation?
Motivation is the energy, essential to taking action. The word 'motivation' derives from the Latin word 'movere' (to move, to prepare for battle). The word 'motivum' means both 'cause' and ' a resolving reason'. 'Motive' derives from the word 'motus' (movement), and therefore, if you find the right motive, you will become motivated. If not, you won't take any action. The reason is always connected with the thought that triggers (or doesn't trigger) motivation. If it does, it will lead to bringing ideas into life and giving visible results.
Instinct vs. thinking

The fundamental and simplest level of motivation is instinctive behaviour: body nutrition, reproduction and protection against danger. You don't need to be motivated to do these things, the body reacts by itself to the environmental stimuli, and the feeling of hunger and fear informs us about our needs. Apart from these exceptional, automated behaviours, the rest of the motivation resources come from our minds, and are dependent on our consciousness and choices.
Since our instincts have been tamed, it is time for evolution of emotional motivation. As a result, a simple mechanism is set into motion: you follow what brings you pleasure, and avoid what takes it away. On this level, you begin to think about what you want to achieve. What you need to do is consider the form i.e. how to do what you want to do, so that you also like the process itself. Studies show that runners who listen to music during training have increased motivation. Emotions motivate only when you're taking action, then, we need another dose of emotions. If you want long-term motivation, then motivate yourself with the help of the following levels.
Solving problems vs. ambition
Solving problems motivates two times stronger than achieving positively formulated goals. If you want to motivate yourself or others on this level, your goal should guarantee the solution of properly defined problems of the targeted group. What bothers whom? How does it limit them? If you find at least three problems and convey your message in a way that helps solve them, move on to the ambition level: think what will happen if you achieve the desired result. Who will the person announcing problems become, and what will he/she gain out of it? Ambition is all about 'being' and 'having' – it's about acquiring the desired opinion about yourself as well as acquiring specified material goods.
Higher emotions
When you satisfy all your needs, you will desire the sense of happiness to become a part of your success. It is a trend of the future – studies show that the worker, who values happiness over sales results, earns more money. Higher emotions consist of happiness, love, joy, spontaneity, creativity, and altruism (we achieve stronger motivation by helping others, however, we tend to help others after our own needs have been already fulfilled.) If your goal helps others change their lives for the better, how can you achieve it, and how can you make it unique? What will you come up with?
Mission and vision
Those who achieve success and happiness become a tool to be used for the highest purposes, to change the world. 'To think globally' isn't just a sublime phrase anymore, but a fact considered as one of the greatest motivators among young generations. The reason? A YouTube video, recorded on a phone, can become famous in a matter of days. Another one is that everyone using the Internet and social media can see that the world changes in front of their eyes, although they are sitting in their small, quiet rooms. On this level, try to motivate yourself and others by asking: 'What is my life mission?', 'What will I dedicate my life to?'. Finally, 'What will I leave behind, after I die?', 'How will I change the world?'.
This article was published in the magazine 'Benefit'

On cards of History

That conversation couldn’t be easy mainly because I didn’t believe him. I didn’t believe in coaching and that it might change other people lives. I came there to fight, debunk some myths or even mock. Well… In the end we stayed as friends.
I’ve been reading your writings. I don’t understand if it is possible to motivate different people to achieve such goals like learning a foreign language in a few days or succeed in business, personal and family life. I find that incomprehensible. I do not understand.

Mateusz Grzesiak: You don’t have to understand it. You’re from Poland so your skepticism is intelligible.
Your job, since decades, is very popular in the States. It has a long tradition. Preachers over there give speeches concerning God to a wide range of spectators. We are from a totally different tradition – catholic and protestant. Neither Catholics nor Protestants are used to the fact that such people stand in front of the audience to change other people lives.
Thinking how to combine religion with business will cause you problems. I’m not talking about God and I’m not a preacher. I’m talking about emotions using psychological knowledge because that is what trainers and coaches do. Every single product that finds a client is based on demand and supply. When someone wants to hear something, a potential interlocutor will appear. If we think of it, why did it appear in Poland several years ago…
… we joined other free market and democratic states. In the past, the ruling Party organized people’s lives within the state. That’s why there was no need for such profession.
In fact these are three professions. Firstly, the Public Speaker, a motivator that talks to a bigger group for two or three hours. His main task is to motivate his listeners, give them hope and lift them up. A bigger audience requires more emotional content. It is an educational performance.
So, you need to know how to induce emotions and how to control them. It is kind of an art. A performance.
Without any doubts, soft skills coach will be another profession. It is a very useful knowledge, especially if comes to dealing with Poles because we have a very highbrow attitude towards life. At school we learn what is the capital of Madagascar and we can easily enumerate the longest rivers of the world. Unfortunately, potential employers will definitely require us to show some teamwork skills instead of knowledge concerning details about protozoa. Do we really need to know what the Defenestrations of Prague were about?
Maybe if president Komorowski knew a bit more about the Defenestrations of Prague he wouldn’t have lost the last elections? Or maybe his defeat is more related to lack of humility?
Humility is a soft factor. If he paid more attention on such aspects it would be much easier for him to communicate with people. So as you can see, soft skills might seem to be very useful even for presidents.
Do trainers works only with one person?
In this case we’re rather talking about the third profession: coach. A trainer performs in front of smaller groups in comparison to a motivator. He conducts seminars and workshops, which are mostly based on sharing specific skills. At the same time, content becomes much more important than the performance itself. It consists of soft skills: financial intelligence – how to earn money, emotional intelligence – how to control emotions, motivate people etc., leadership (which is incredibly popular at this time) – how to build and manage the group. Among the already mentioned skills we can also find those related to social intelligence, i.e. how to build relations. ‘One on one’ meetings are the essence of what we call coaching. To make a long story short: you’re coming to me and we’re sitting down and choosing an area of life that causes you most problems. For example you’re saying that you ‘wish to be much happier with your wife’. I’m starting to ask you questions and after a while you’re coming to your first conclusion. That’s why we create communication models. Of course it doesn’t have to be your wife. It’s only an example. We can also talk about losing weight or finding a better job.
What’s the difference between coaching and psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy aims at diagnosing the past and bases on a fundamental presumption that we need to find the source of a problem so we can ‘repair’ the present. Coaching is a much easier process – it assumes that if we concentrate on our goals as well as searching for who we would like to become, it will be faster and easier for us to implement such changes. Psychotherapy concentrates on personality, while coaching deals with our behavior. These are two different things when someone says: “You know what? You’re a type of a nervous person” and starts searching for the roots of such state. At this example, a coach would rather help such a person to understand that by shouting, raising one’s voice and flexing our body during any kind of communication with another person causes negative emotions, which might be eliminated by changing our behavior.
Is a coach a behaviorist?
For sure coaches operate within a behavioral context. Behavioral changes are side effects of cognition. Coaching in fact is an interactive form of cognition.  
So at the same time you’re trainer, coach and a motivational speaker?
I’m also a business consultant. In a nutshell, a consultants main task might be easily explained by a well known proverb:  give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. If it comes to coaching, the ongoing process of cognition leads to discovery what you would like to change in your life. That’s why asking questions is crucial in this aspect. Imagine that you come up to me and say: “If it comes to administration in my company, I need such solutions”. My task would be to prepare a model that can be quickly implemented in your company. On the one hand, you were surprised at how it is possible to learn a foreign language in a short time, and on the other hand surprised to give advice to a manager on how he should motivate his employees or even help someone lose some weight. It may seem that those examples have nothing in common at all. In fact they do, because the personality running all of those contexts is almost identical. If I know how to thin down, I can imagine a long awaited result. In other words, I’m setting a goal for myself and I know what kind of action shall I take: tell about it to my friends because that will increase the likelihood of achieving it; write it down so I’ll have a better motivation etc. In the end it turns that the same model works in the case of language learning. Also in management the very process of setting goals is crucial for future success. So again it’s based on the same thing. In every single case I analyze the structure. It is possible to say that I’m a kind of a modeler. When I introduce a financial product or a motivation system to the company, I’m trying to think in the same way as a costumer. Taking Poles as an example, I know that they might be characterized as brave, entrepreneurial, hard working but at the same time skeptical, litigious (pol. pieniacz) and they do not trust others. Knowing that, I’m able to send out a message that will be received by a Pole and will help him to understand the function of a product.
Litigious (pol. pieniacz) made me laugh a bit. That’s an ancient word.
Our language is beautiful. It’s a pity we don’t know how to use it. Especially nowadays, where business jargon and Anglicism cause confusion.
And are we litigious? That’s also interesting. Today in some part you’re a Pole but at the same time you want to be considered as a global citizen. This level of enslavement caused by rapid technological progress is getting more and more annoying. Nevertheless we have to live with it. 
That’s what we can choose. I agree here that such choice to a large extent enslaves us. I just can’t fully agree with the fact that ‘we have to’.
Ok let’s put it in other words. Technology producers work hard to push us into such a state that in the end ‘we have to’. Their products call for our attention or want to inform us about the weather while we’re having a walk.
You’re right but it’s up to me if I’ll answer my phone or not. If I had let my phone take control over me, I wouldn’t be able to choose who I am. It’s clear that producers want us to use their products as often as possible. That is their goal, but your aim might be absolutely different. You are the one that decides what attitude you have towards your phone. Otherwise, firstly we would give the decision making process to the others. Secondly, such accusations are much closer to conspiracy theory where someone wants to make me addicted to something rather than reality.
Is it specifically Polish?
Suspicion, lack of trust, skepticism.
Historically we were always between Germany and Russia, so it’s hard to expect us to be different.
Of course but we need to remember that we’re living in totally different times. Unfortunately we still think is same categories as 30, 40 or even 200 years ago. I also work abroad. In every place visit I’m trying to create, for my own needs, verbal-behavioral model of a respondent, that is a model of a typical John Smith or Hans Schmidt. Only by being there I can learn how I should talk to such a person. English, French, or Russian is not the only language to communicate. Each of us uses an individual language. The way I speak has to be understandable for the addressee. Interpretation is more important than objective facts. When I publish an article on Facebook, for an example about emotions –  ‘What does it mean to be a good husband/wife?’ – and it was seen by over 2 million people, it means that I blocked out the correct model. This is a concrete result. It gives me information what are people interested in. I read their comments and I’m looking for a formula. This is what you call modeling.  Some women write: ‘How lucky is your wife!’ or ‘Why dating is so fake. It should be something spontaneous!’ What I see over here is just romanticism, romanticism and romanticism. Element under the title, ‘if we suffer, we will be unleashed’.
School plays an important role in sustaining that romantic paradigm.
This is just unbelievable. Romanticism was needed by dependent nations, which had to struggle against total devaluation of their values caused by invasions and other forms of national rape. Myths about their great history and culture were a kind of a stepping-stone. Poor Russians living in miserable conditions buy Putin’s stories about great and mighty Russia deciding about the world order. We as Poles needed stories about Poland being the messiah of nations. Today, this narration is not useful for us anymore and in many ways it might disadvantage us. We need new histories that will lead us to a different direction. The problem is that, in opposition to the political order, it is not easy to quickly reprogram the mentality of the people. That’s why people are commonly not aware that for an example ‘hating’ which has been raised to pathology, is simply immoral. Unfortunately, if a big part of the society systematically repeats something it becomes a new standard. You mentioned about local and global mentality. Polish social issues won’t be solved with polish mentality. Einstein said: ‘Want to solve a problem? Use different resources from those that created it’. When there’s a fire I need water instead of more fire to extinguish it. That’s why I need to think globally to provide Polish people with resources that they won’t be able to find. I go to Brazil and with pleasure I take from Brazilians kindness because they are a really kind nation. People over there talk to each other on the streets, they have no inferiority complex, and they communicate in a totally different way. When I’m standing at the bus stop, people are coming to me to start a conversation. I can feel the difference when I’m inside a Polish elevator where people just stare at their smartphones and changing floor numbers. We’re not so open. If I’ll be looking for some higher gentility I might ask an English man for some advice. Poles in the end are too direct. For a Pole, English people might seem to be pretty fake when they’re constantly asking at the beginning of the conversation – ‘How are you?/How do you do?’. On the other hand, English people might think that Poles are crass and presumptuous because they don’t make any ‘preambles’ to the conversation. Nations along with their cultures are in fact cognitive models. When I’ll be looking for some bravery, I can pick something from Polish history, for an example from John III Sobieski who helped the Austrians in their struggle with Turks so that they wouldn’t have been speaking in Turkish today. I would take kindness from Hispanics, attitude towards money from Americans and ability of strategic planning from Germans.  Looking at it from a global point o view, everything wends to homogeneousness. Everything! It’s a matter of time when instead of distinguishing man and women we’ll be saying ‘person with such gender’, we’ll be at the very different level of consciousness where the only existing humans are ‘global people’. Not Germans, Poles etc.
I’m sure if it’s a convicting vision. Will it give us happiness?
Visions are not supposed to give happiness. Happiness is more of an attitude to what is going in our life. Similarly like being happy of what we have. In every culture and epoch, this term is being redefined. Same thing if it comes to self-esteem. We’re talking because I’m a coach and I train such kind of people’s skills that are needed in Poland because people over here crave for success. Looking at the statistics: Poles work 51h a week and they are at the stage of losing the inferiority complex and they want to be at the same level as Germans have maintained since a long time. We’re craving for a widely understood material success. Two hundred years ago we were mad about the idea that if we fall in love and suffer, we would be spiritualized. Five hundred years ago we were running around a priest who was talking in Latin, which we didn’t understand in hope of salvation. Over the centuries people were hooked on different visions of happiness. And that will never change. Let’s assume that my theory is right and in a matter of time our world will be globalized with metamentality and metaconciousness encompassing everything. And we will have the same problem with happiness we have today. Some of the issues we have at this moment are caused by a lack of oneness. Poles feel hatred towards each other so they cause a lot of harm for themselves. According to Eurostat survey, if a chav at the Independence March destroys a street sign – 40 per cent of Poles will assume that it’s not their problem. We do not think in categories of a community, as ‘we’. And that is one of the reasons why we are so unhappy. I’m going to Colombia, people invite me to appear on a TV program, over a million viewers watch me, and most of them probably have never experienced a meeting or even listening to a Polish person. I answer in Spanish, and I start with ‘Chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie’ to awaken their interest. They swish, but they still can’t pronounce it. I teach them what is żurek, and they’re smiling. When I’m back to Poland it’s the same as always: ‘You’re a manipulator! Thief!’ It appears that the cult of destroying something by our brothers and sisters is much powerful than anywhere else. I distance myself from it. I understand and observe it. But just imagine how many talented people we’re losing because of that. Because they’re too sensitive? Or they do not understand why history forced us to believe that mediocrity is something that helped us survive? I don’t agree with that and I believe that every single person is unique. I’ll never believe that you’re one of many journalists, one of many ordinary men. I want to know what excites you, what your story is, what makes you an individual. That’s the only way that we can get to know each other! In other way, you’re just a guy wearing jeans, and I’m a guy in a suit and everything is clear.
So what do you crave for? What made you who you are today? When you were a child such a profession didn’t exist, at least over here.
I crave for more histories. Just like you. I was six or eight years old, I’ve been in Koszalin by the end of 80’s. We were just running around, playing football, climbing trees, we didn’t think of any opportunities because planning our future didn’t appear in our talks at all. In retrospect I can see how much I wanted to leave that mentality which was a kind of a reminder that I am ‘only’ from Koszalin,  ‘only’ a Pole, that I’ll never achieve anything big or incredible. I want to show 40 million of my compatriots that they can accomplish incredible and global success. There is a study claiming that Polish people are starting up many new companies but they still do not consider themselves in global categories. They don’t expect to end up with a big, international business. They all think ‘I am only a tiny, little Pole, I won’t even try to reach for the stars’. That really terrifies me because instead of thinking ‘I was born with a mission to change the world and make it a better place’ they (whatever that’s suppose to mean) repeat ‘Poland is not yet lost!’ which means that one day it might be lost, or use a phrase ‘Polish Angelina Jolie’ while Americans won’t describe anyone as ‘American Kieślowski’. Or something like this: ‘Dear investors come to Poland, we have a well educated and cheap workforce’. You know, when I hear that we should still catch up with western countries, I’m just thinking if we should catch up with England in the culinary field as they didn’t achieve much in it, or Americans if it comes to intellectual matters because their knowledge about the world is far behind in comparison to Poles. To all concerned I’m stimulated with stories that I’m worse. But I don’t want that. In Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django’ there is a scene in which black slaves are sitting in a cage with an opened door. One of them leaves the cage and sits on a horse and leaves. While looking at that act, his mates only made one comment ‘Strange, black people don’t ride horses’. And that is how I feel from time to time in Poland. The people’s potential is being crushed by hatred, pettifogging, a belief that if I don’t agree with you it means that you’re not right instead of thinking that we are all not the same. This is just bad.
That is a catholic rhythm of our sojourn. History has put us in a position of the Antemurale Christianitatis. It was easier for Protestants from the West because they didn’t have to live at the intersection of different cultures. They were just a different culture, which helped them to concentrate on their goals – work and orderliness.
You’re right. I can only change the future, and I accept that. I know that if it comes to people creating Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as well as in Jan III Sobieski’s thoughts there was no space for complexes. Being the ‘worse one’ didn’t exist as any kid of a concept. In some way it was taken from us by years of Germanisation and Russification, to stop a nation of rebels that never gives up. That’s why we have learned that if there is no problem that means that we have a problem.
Everything has its price. Even that we survived as a nation and the price is the way we are. Coming back to your story…
When I was 17 and in high school I managed to reach the finals of a history knowledge competition and after to the state level finals. That was the time when I have understood that ‘I can achieve big things. I can be best beyond my hometown’. Suddenly I became a Pole with a concept ‘I can achieve success within the country’. That’s how I understand it today but I’m a mature man who interprets events from the past that triggered me to who I am today. Of course I didn’t understand it at that time, I didn’t know what was shaping me as a person, I didn’t understand that the prejudiced teacher by giving me D’s in fact was motivating me. At some point I understood that I don’t want to live in a world where someone judges or rates my self-esteem. And that was really releasing. Once I had a great English teacher. At the very beginning he told us that he would give us grades that we have asked for. We could cheat during exams or even not appear at his classes. Imagine that everyone regularly attended and no one even tried to cheat. We understood that we’re learning for ourselves. That was very inspiring for me. I noticed that it is possible to teach people in such a way that they are motivated. Later I went to university in Warsaw. These were not the times when you could hear ‘Work with passion’. This is just voguish now. It was a kind of world where your job had to be strongly connected with your education. My parents – dad was an actor, mom theatre expert. We didn’t live in rich conditions. They wanted me to graduate in law and become a lawyer so I’ll earn a nice living. That was so obvious for them. No one ever asked me if I want to be a lawyer. I’ve watched plenty of movies about lawyer, inflated guys in front of the jury. I thought that this was how it works. During 5 years of my studies I have never been to a court! I went to Germany for a scholarship and I had to pass the exam for Civil Law. I went for that exam and I declaimed everything I knew. The teacher answered: “Why did you learn it by heart? A good lawyer has to know how to use the code!” Over there they teach you how to think rather than remember all the material. That was an eye-opener for me because I noticed that up to then I’ve been only learning the theory without even knowing the practical aspect of what it looks like. During that time I’ve been reading and learning other things. I was constantly repeating to myself that ‘I have to study because that’s the only key to the bigger world’. No one knew at the time that graduating in medicine doesn’t guarantee patients after next 10 years. The market will release a bit so the clients instead of choosing the qualified one might chose the one with a friendly smile. World has dramatically changed. At the age of 20 I figured out that with theoretical skills alone I won’t achieve much. People who might not have had the best grades surrounded me, but they seemed to be more than happy about their personal life.
It's so simple!
-It's simple, but not that easy. I leave the cultural and family model behind as I create myself. Right now, you're talking to a concept created by a young boy who one day wanted to become an international coach and save the world. He is still trying to accomplish that and I'm just getting started. I value my personal achievements the most. Once, I was walking down the street in Mexico City, it was the year 2008. One of the participants, named Edgar, approached me and asked if those techniques that I had explained during the lecture could be used to pick up women. 'Of course you can!' I answered. 'So show me, how about you try it on that girl?' he asked. I approached her, feeling a little nervous and that's how I met my wife, the mother of my child. Last year in Brazil, I was kidnapped. We were driving on a highway when suddenly a car hit us. Two thugs with guns came out and said it was a kidnapping. My whole life flashed before my eyes, but after an hour we managed to build a relation and eventually they drove off after apologizing to me. These are my greatest moments. People who know me from TV or the Internet think of me as a man of success, young, beautiful and rich. For me, those are just secondary things!
They are insignificant, because I will speak with you the same way, whether I'm wearing a suit and tie or a tracksuit. I've been learning how to play this communication game, I know how to play both local and global games because I understood that without it, we are just pawns being moved by someone else. If I learn the rules, I can create my own game and function in this world. This is a completely different story. Very little people are interested in what's beneath the surface. Most of them want the product. They come up on the street, take a photo, and walk away.
-It's part of the image you created.
-It's part of the game. I had to learn how to play, which doesn't change the fact that there is still this boy, Mateusz, who constantly creates himself and sets bigger goals for himself.
-What about talent?
-I don't believe in talent. When I can't explain where certain things come from, then, the word 'talent' comes in handy. It's a matter of constant training and improvement of your skills. Maybe there is something out there, something higher up, either a spiritual or genetic kind of determinism. I look at myself, at what I achieved and how I achieved it. Before I reached 30 and started having heart problems, I used to work 16 hours a day! I remember once, during winter, I went for a run. I remember the snow getting into my eyes, some people where coming back from a party, they noticed me and I heard them saying: 'What an idiot'. I smiled to myself and kept running because I realized what achieving meant. I've been running to this day. I'm not giving up the chance to explore who I am, to explore who we, as people, are. I don't know where evolution ends, but I know I realized once again that I'm not the person I thought I was. The reason behind why I do all this is just like my car, it can be changed.
The article was published at ''

You can learn soft skills the same way as learning how to ride a bike

The number of followers you have on Facebook, which has already reached over 133 thousands, shows that you are the most recognizable personal development coach in Poland. You teach in couple different languages and you conduct trainings in other countries e.g. Brazil. You also wrote seven books. How did your journey to the top look like?
Mateusz Grzesiak: It was a long and winding road, full of ups and downs, moments of joy and misery. It's an emotional description. A more practical one consists of 10 points, which were necessary for me on my way to success and happiness.
1. Naivety – some years ago I said to myself that I'm going to become the best coach in the world. This dream was motivating me the whole time.
2. 'I don't give a shit' attitude – not one day goes by without someone saying hateful things about me on the Internet. It's been like that for years now. When they hate, I continue to walk.
3. Setting the bar higher – I performed in Mexico with basic Spanish, in Brazil I spoke Portuguese after only a couple of dozens of hours of learning. I survived a kidnapping in Brazil. I left everything behind for a woman. I overcame a heart condition when chances were slim. I lost over 30 kg. I keep getting more challenging jobs.
4. Teamwork – for years I've been working with people and I'm still looking for more to help out.
5. Authenticity – I'm having fondue with a family in Paris in a while.
6. Improving competences – I spend at least one month a year on improving myself.
7. Concentration – I work only as a coach and trainer.
8. Diversity – I visited 120 different countries, I speak 8 languages, I worked in many different cultures, and I finished three faculties, in Poland and abroad.
9. Altruism – half of what I do is not profitable, such as social media, charity events, collaborations with different foundations,
10. Failures – a whole lot of them e.g. a bad investment that resulted in loosing a great deal of money I possessed at the time.
Why are these 10 points so valuable in order to become successful in business?
If you want to achieve something that is unreachable for you and those around you, you have to be a naive dreamer, because only this will keep you going further. After a while this dream simply becomes reality.
The 'I don't give a shit' attitude, being able not to worry about what others think is important because most of them are afraid to reach for their dreams and are unable to realize their potential. This results in their frustration and discontent, and the only way for them to get out of it is either to get to work or to bring others down with them. Most of them will choose the latter, that's why they can't have what they want. You have got to know how to pass by barking dogs.
You have to constantly raise the bar, because, if you think it's going to be easy, then you've already lost. If you want to achieve what others couldn't, then, you have to be ready to take on harder tasks every day. Each slain demon will award you with more confidence, new possibilities, and new skills.
You won't achieve big things on your own, for that you need support from other people. Learn how to build relations, teams and learn how to manage them. Find people who will help you reach your destination.
If you don't have someone you can be yourself around, you'll lose. You need support from loved ones and those close to you. The higher you get, more people start to idolize (fake admiration that feeds ego) and criticize you (they're jealous of you, they want to drag you down, because you remind them of their unrealized potential). You need people around you who can tell you what they really think.
A problem that every master encounters at some point is becoming a professional narcissist when they tend to think that they don't need to put any more effort since they took the top chair. Those who don't constantly improve themselves will eventually fall.
You can't be the best at everything so choose one thing and try to master it. The rest you can abandon or delegate. Don't waste your time on small things, time which you can otherwise use for work and study.
You have to do various things, eat various foods, see new countries, meet new people, so that you can broaden your horizons and stimulate your mind. Being confined in your country with only your own people and family can lead to ignorance and lack of tolerance.
You have to keep thinking that you're helping people and changing the world. Egocentrism does not bring clients. No one will care about you. The more you focus on others, the more they will support you.
Sometimes, you will lose, you will fall, and you will get your ass kicked. Accept it and move forward.
It's impossible to keep winning over and over again, so stop daydreaming. Simply learn from your mistakes.
-Is your road to success any different from those of other entrepreneurs?
- No, it's not. There are many roads that we can take, but the end is the same. You have to have a dream, work consistently and persistently, overcome obstacles and achieve goals. There is also a road that leads to failure. Here is what you need to do: blame others for your mistakes, don't take any feedback, don't confront your fears, don't plan, don't care about balance in your life, be egocentric, and worry about what other people think of you.
-What do successful business owners have in common?
-They think globally, they think how to help others, how to change local communities, the country, the world. They work organically and long-term and they have highly developed soft skills. They expect difficulties and failures, but they are not afraid of them. They set the bar as high as possible where others can only dream of it. You need to want to be the best and reach for gold. Successful business owners spend money on experts and they encircled by them, all from different fields. Each of those outstanding businessmen hires the best people, attracting them with vision, energy, and money.
-Changing the world sounds like a very ambitious challenge and creating an international business is a great responsibility. What should entrepreneurs who want to develop on global markets be prepared for?
They should be prepared for distortions in communication that derive from cultural differences and for times where they will be forced to change strategies in order to compete with larger markets. Moreover, for balancing their private and professional lives because, if success gets to their heads, it can have destructive consequences. They should prepare for the battle against Polish anxieties and the Polish inferiority complex. Finally, they must prepare for the temptation to leave for 'The Promised Land', which is an illusion.

-How can one become a businessman, similar to those you called outstanding?
By modeling their behaviors. That means doing what they do and trying to improve it. Keep up with technological and social trends and be prepared to use them.
-As a coach, you make use of personal development tools that allowed you to become one of the best trainers in the world. What kind of personal development techniques do you use on a daily basis that you could recommend to others?
I start with visualizing my goal and the means to use in order to achieve it. I also ask myself some coaching questions to 'potentiate' what I do. Another technique is feedback, a systematic way of drawing conclusions. I care about precise communication in order to easily delegate tasks among employees and about the motivation system that keeps us all motivated. I recommend the same to others.
-What destructive behaviors should start-ups avoid?
They should avoid being motivated by fear e.g. screaming or punishing, because the best people value themselves and they will quit. I would advise them to avoid monotony, repeating things over and over again. Otherwise, their employees will burn out. Resting on one's laurels has also a negative impact on business development and can cause you to fall from the top or never even reach it in the first place. Entrepreneurs should also avoid working too much, because that will lead to personal problems and will make them unhappy.
- What soft skills should they acquire to run a successful business?
First of all, we should focus on emotional intelligence, which consists of a few elements. The first is self-awareness, which is recognizing and understanding emotions and behaviors. When we know what emotions are accompanying us, we are able to control them. The ability to switch between emotional states and decide about their intensity is called self-control. Motivation, managing emotions in order to become committed to a course of action and to the realization of the objective is important as well. Another aspect worth mentioning is empathy, the ability to walk in someone else's shoes, which helps understand and react to other people's emotions. This is how we'll be managing our relations. Furthermore, coaching plays a crucial role here as well. Because of it, we can easily communicate and make more progress. Other skills that need to be acquired are:

  • Sales, because without it you won't be able to show off your virtues and you will waste your potential.
  • Marketing, because without it you won't be able to sell anything.
  • Relationship building, without which you won't move an inch.
  • Time management, to manage business processes and maintain balance between personal and professional lives.
  • Psychology of achievements, to be able to motivate both yourself and your team.
  • People management, so that you don't do everything yourself
- Which of these are most important?
All of them are necessary. Without emotional intelligence you won't be able to motivate yourself nor your team. Without coaching you will repeat the same mistakes. If you don't build a relation, the competition will harm your business or you'll end up hitting a 'glass ceiling'. Without proper planning you won't be able to get out of bed in the morning, you won't be able to anticipate any problems and prepare for them. There is no such thing as a useless body part. The choice between cutting your arm or leg is bad either way.
- How to master those skills?
Just like learning how to ride a bike, you put them into practice. At first, it's good to visualize it, then, have someone become a model. Treat it as a point of reference and a perfect example to be followed by self-practice. Under the expert's supervision it will become much more effective. Poland has finally grown to appreciate and accept the education of soft skills, today we can see a great number of coaches offering their services and teaching those skills.
This article was published at ''

People who don't know how to use their own minds are...

When I asked what slows down the pace of our development, Mateusz Grzesiak – psychologist, coach, claims that it is connected with the fear of making mistakes. The self-esteem of Poles is based on knowledge and we are afraid of not knowing.
Mateusz Grzesiak: 'The fetishization of higher education leads to the rejection of learning soft skills e.g. Poles don't know how to sell, therefore Poland is unable to build a brand as opposed to other countries, such as France.'
Joanna Rubin: What is your opinion on Poles and Polish society?
Mateusz Grzesiak: On the one hand, we have one of the most resourceful societies in Europe, as we're listed #4 among countries with the highest rate of starting new companies. A brave and creative society. Only a Pole can pack his bag and blindly go to England to sleep at a train station and then to find himself in a new environment. We're great at adapting to all conditions.
We are also well educated. According to OECD, in a few years we'll be having the highest number of university graduates in the world. Oh, and we speak English too. In this regard we are currently holding the 6th place and we're behind only because the surveys count elderly people as well. This was the bright side.
-What of the dark side?
-We do have some negative qualities as well. We're pathologically distrustful – only 12% of Poles think that most people have good intentions, and 16% believe that people are helpful towards each other.
For an average Joe living in Poland, a salesman is always trying to rob him, a business owner is always trying to work an angle, a psychologist is messing with his brain, and the press is always manipulating facts. It is a destructive mentality, counterproductive, and reducing the emotional quality of life. Poles don't know how to talk about money: 50 per cent are ashamed, 20 per cent are scared to talk about it. They live in a dichotomy of happiness and material success, where you can only be either a spiritual sufferer with nothing or an empty and greedy capitalist. We keep telling ourselves that all rich men are thieves.
-What else slows down the pace of our development?
It's connected with the fear of making mistakes. The self-esteem of a Pole is based on knowledge and he is afraid of not knowing. That means he'd rather sound like an expert, criticizing everyone and everything, that only leads to creating an illusive world where he keeps talking about things that he knows absolutely nothing about.

-Could you give an example?
For example, 60 per cent of Polish parents accept spanking as an educational method, which is basically traumatizing their children and breaking the law, but 30 per cent of young people didn't graduate High School last year. The fetishization of higher education leads to the rejection of learning soft skills e.g. Poles don't know how to sell, therefore Poland is unable to build a brand as opposed to other countries, such as France. Because of that, the ordinary Joe's quality of life is greatly diminished.
-Let's leave the ordinary Joe alone. What personal convictions have you encountered?

I had to get free from all the cultural restraints, as well as my own. I had to stop thinking that a boy from Koszalin would not be able to achieve international success. I had to get rid of the so-called ' inner Polack ' - the spiteful dog in the manger, afraid of change and full of insecurities. I had to create the mentality of a citizen of the world.
The most important change along with getting my master's degrees in Law, Psychology and my PhD in management, was acquiring the necessary soft skills. I'm talking about emotional intelligence, public speaking, sales, networking, modeling, entrepreneurship, as well as financial and social intelligence.
-How valuable is this mix?
Because of it, I was able to shape reality based on my own worldview and ultimately create myself. This idea turned out to be a very appealing vision for people all around the world.
-What are your personal achievements?
Picking up a girl back in Mexico. A student picked her and asked me to demonstrate a communication technique on her. Now, she's my wife and the mother of my child. Another personal achievement of mine is when I convinced kidnappers in Brazil to let me go unharmed and return some of the items they had stolen. My personal achievement is when I got cured after suffering from hypertrophy and high blood pressure. I remember the doctors saying it was impossible.
Especially important for me is the upbringing of my 4-year-old daughter, who already speaks three languages.
-And what are your personal failures?
The biggest failure is that we haven't been able to get soft skills, which are emotional intelligence and coaching, into public schools yet. Now I'm dedicating my life to this very purpose.
-Why are soft skills so important to you?
Because when people don't know how to control their emotions, they suffer. They can't communicate with their partners, resulting in divorces. They keep hurting their children, because they don't know how to talk to them. Instead of willing to give a positive feedback they hate on each other over the Internet. People who don't know how to use their own minds are unhappy and inefficient in their lives.
-Your presentations are drawing crowds, what do they want to learn?
They come because they want to get better results. Couples want to have a happy marriage and fewer arguments. Parents want to learn how to communicate with their children and how to avoid teaching them bad habits. Managers want to motivate members of their team more. Salesmen want to sell more effectively. Workers want to manage stress and control their emotions. Middle-aged people want to find balance between personal and professional life. Students want to build their future and need proper tools to do so.
We all have to deal with universal problems: 'I'm not earning as much as I want to', 'I keep fighting', 'I'm stressed', and 'I'm struggling with motivation'. There also exist problems of specific businesses e.g. salesmen have problems with a particular type of client, or, there is a barrier between nations because Poles complain about Mexicans being passive.
-Do your spectators, clients or fans from other countries have different needs?

Yes, they do. Each society functions on a different level of mental development. The Germans want a good quality of life, so they value psychology of happiness, whereas Poles prefer achieving success. Latino women are now learning to leave the patriarchal society and learning how to live independent lives. European women are searching for balance between personal and professional life, I'm talking here about the courses' participants and employees of companies that hire me.
My fans on social media have also problems of their own. Poles value substance and they don't accept celebrity. On the contrary, Brazilians prefer listening about personal lives and are more relational.
-Where do you like performing the most?
I love big performances, for thousands of people, because the energy and intensity of the crowd is unbelievable. I love different cultures, so I choose exotic markets i.e. I used to work in Columbia and I used to work in Israel. Their cultures are entirely different from ours.
-What would you like to teach at big performances?
The vision is to put soft education at schools, that everyone since childhood would be taught emotional intelligence, entrepreneurship, time management, and coaching. I do that by trainings, video products, and books that teach psychological tools from a background of soft education.
-Can you name other crucial skills for development?
Emotional self-consciousness, ability to change emotional states, stress reduction, and empathy. Motivating – fundamental for managers and selling as it is the fifth most important skill in the world, changing your values and finally, other coaching skills. Necessarily – ability to learn. Entrepreneurship. Communications and relationships. Knowledge – how to provide kids, workers and spouses with information.
-How can one learn that?
We need to familiarize ourselves with communications models, techniques, and enforce them in real life. The same as with swimming, first you need to learn the moves and practice them. We teach such communications models at our trainings.
-Could you share some inspirational stories from your previous trainees?
I could think of several stories. After twelve years of work, it’s very difficult to count the times that they have amazed me. For example, for three years, Maciej and his wife have unsuccessfully tried to conceive. We worked together for nearly an hour, and changed his mindset because the psychological factor was essential in this case. After three months, his wife got pregnant. Let me share other stories. Ania would get panic attacks at the very thought of cats. After coaching, she could carry cats and cried, as she was extremely happy to overcome her fear. Artur lost a considerable amount of weight. Mariusz and Karolina did not file for divorce, despite being very close to doing so. A boy with cancer started to work with me, and a few months later, he won his battle with cancer. Such emotional training, supported pharmacological treatment, these are just few of the examples. Since many years, I receive emails on a daily basis from people I have never met in my life. They write to me about how much my work has helped them. They push me forward and gain motivation through them.
- What is more motivating: desperation or inspiration?
Both. Desperation is like deleting pain. When it has been deleted, space is created for a targeted reality. Sooner or later, everyone becomes mature and wants to change to world and make it a better place.
- I’ll ask a present for the readers. Give me one sentence that will provoke reflection and action in the context of development.
Create a life in which you are the best version of yourself. You have what you desire, you help others and you are changing the world.
Thank you for the conversation.
Interview appeared on 

How to find time that we do not have?

Mateusz Grzesiak: Start with the roles you’re filing
‘Negotiate with yourself how much time you would like to spent on certain activities. Thanks to that, you’ll keep your life under control.’
Everyone is complaining about not having enough time- we do not have too much of it at work, we can’t find any of it after, and the weekend is too short to catch up with everything we didn’t accomplish during the week. That’s a result of the inability of finding a balance between personal and professional life. That’s why employers around the world are losing 300 million USD per year, and many families have to struggle. How to find that time we’re still missing? It has to be ‘created’ – according to Mateusz Grzesiak psychologist and the most popular personal coach in Poland.
Only now people start to understand that great education and hard skills are useless if we’re not able to find any common language with our wife or boss. That’s the moment when their ‘work-life-balance’, a balance between personal and professional life, faces serious interruptions. According to studies, because of that reason employers around the world are losing 300 million USD per year. In Poland we absolutely do not know how to get by with it. In this field, Indians, Brazilians or Mexicans are leaving us far behind – Mateusz Grzesiak in an interview for Weekend
These unsettled proportions cause a constant lack of time. ‘I don’t have time’ – we repeat this sentence almost on a daily basis. We complain Ø we don’t have enough of it for our loved ones and us.  How can we find it? Change our attitude and be more sufficient in our time management.
What exactly should you do? Start from writing down the roles you’re filling in your life – the ones at home, work and beyond. You need to think when and how much time you want to dedicate on filling each of them. Maybe you work from 8am till 6pm, from Monday till Friday but you want to spend at least one hour daily with your child and go for a date with your partner once a week. Perhaps all you need is one weekend far away from the city. After all, the most important thing is that you negotiate with yourself how much of your time you want to spend on certain activities. Thanks to it, you’ll be able to control your life, and the lack of time won’t be a problem anymore because you’re the one that ‘creates it’ – Mateusz Grzesiak on the first series of videos at Weekend

Why are we such nosy-parkers when it comes to celebrities?

If Doda read this article she would be shocked. In other words, why are we more interested in famous people affairs rather than our own?

Why does my daughter prefer Justin Bieber to me? Many worried parents have asked that question while searching for TV news channel. And she found out that ‘Madzia’s mom’ was released from prison, where did the prime minister buy his new suit and how much fun did Rihanna had at the beaches of Tricity.

Many years ago I was taught to think like Einstein, exercise like Hercules, and create like Leonardo da Vinci. Today, my own child doesn’t even want to hear about them. Justin Bieber had replaced dad’s position as the main authority. Authorities are gradually sinking into oblivion, being replaced by some new creatures – celebrities. Beloved and hated ones, spotlight addicts and those who hate paparazzi and photo cameras, the new ones and those we recognize since our childhood – celebrities became an inherent part of our culture, and that is why this phenomenon demands from us a psychologists special attention. 
Why is it that during the time we read some Internet journals, it is easier for us to spot ‘information’ about Doda’s underwear rather than riots in the Middle East? Why are we fascinated about intimate secrets of famous people? Why do their lives seem to excite us much more than ours? Why do some of the actors truly hate paparazzi while others are arranging photo shoots with them? Answers to these questions might be found in this article. The celebrity phenomenon is nothing new. Humans are social species and they live in organized groups. Status decides whenever when and what we eat, with whom our bed should be shared with and whom we can ask for help and friendship. Already in caves those who were able to hunt down the most were becoming leaders, gaining plenty of privileges connected to power. Others by similar behavior expected to achieve same profit. With the passing time, these leaders, along with social evolution, became monarchs and they were setting standards – legal, political but also others, like for example the ones related to fashion. Hardly any people know that Queen Victoria first presented a white wedding dress in 1840.
We perceive celebrities as people possessing some kind of power – not necessarily legal or political, but emotional (shocking story of Madzia’s mother), related to image (David Beckham by shaving his head mobilized many imitators) and health (Angelina Jolie and her mastectomy). Such a mechanism is not only related to human behavior. Some studies made on chimpanzees proved that these monkeys preferred to observe photographs showing the leader of the group rather than have their favorite snack. We want to achieve the highest status. Celebrities own it. That’s why we want celebrities.

Another thing is brain stimulation – an effect of pure exposure. Robert Zajonc (1968) teaches us that we prefer things that we watch more often, even when we are unaware of it. This shows a fascinating phenomenon where brain stimulated by photographs of celebrities (exposed few times a day in press) has to deal more with celebrities than a mother seen once a week.

After months of such stimulation we’re starting to have an unrealistic conviction that celebrities are much closer to us that we know much more about them than about our families and we know all of their secrets. The more the brain gets stimulated, the more people get addicted to stars and celebrities in their lives. At the same time, media provide news and information that people want to hear about. Such a process creates a vicious circle.

Another issue is lack of any possibility for fulfilling our childish dreams, dreams about incredible life, financial success, tinsels, fame, admiration, wealth and beauty. Mainly because of the ‘American dream’, we confuse happiness with being successful and we’re constantly searching for an opportunity to turn our dreams into reality.  Not everyone will achieve that and to be honest most of us will fail. But if we can’t get what we desire, at least it’s possible for us to watch the ‘successful others’. We receive a product that equates all of these dreams. Such celebrity is rich (at least we think so because in many cases reality seems to be totally different), famous, and looks gorgeous. Such a person indirectly demonstrates what most people subconsciously desire, even if they have never admitted they would love to lead such life, even for a moment. Thus, being a celebrity is an unfulfilled dream, the ‘perfect me’ just like the juxtaposition of attractiveness, fame, admiration and wealth, all strongly promoted by western culture. By identifying with them, I can feel that I’m at the top of the tree. At the same time if some of them face certain difficulties in their lives, I can feel better because it also happens to those from the very top. 

Celebrities (even as in most cases without their will) are solving many social issues. Every culture consists of taboos and social disabilities (things that people want to achieve but considered hard for them: Mikołaj Piskorski from Harvard Business School). One of the taboos in Poland is to display what is recognized as conceit. And that’s where the problem appears because sometimes it’s even more than necessary to show something off – in some way a boaster-celebrity might solve such problems. People tend to brand him for his behavior, but at the same time viewership constantly rises. Another issue appears with adultery as an extremely intimate as well as sensitive matter. It causes many repressed emotions. That’s why news about famous husbands cheating on their wives, which however places us as nosy-parkers, gives a unique opportunity to experience something we might can’t or might never go through. That’s why celebrities are solving social problems and the deeper rooted a taboo is, the bigger attention it gains. Furthermore, ‘social connivance’ together with distorted concept of justice – if you’re so famous and you posses so much, others have right to be closer to your secrets – maintain this mechanism. We live in a celebrity culture. Celebrities are much more of transcendentalists and they rapidly replace former authorities. Let’s be honest – we do identify ourselves more with a problem of divorce rather than an ongoing rebellion in Cameroun, for ladies cleavage exposure is much more of a problem than the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh.  This micro world of their lives, with its ups and downs, in some way also belongs to us. After all, this is our favorite world!

There is no success without a sale

'Even when you come up with the most groundbreaking invention if you don't sell it right, you won't reap any benefits. Poles often have problems doing that.
A good sale is crucial.
'Our nation doesn't know how to sell and selling is the fifth most desired skill among employers. One shudders to think how much money we're letting slip through our fingers because of the ignorance of marketing and sales', sais Mateusz Grzesiak, president of Starway company.
Some years ago Polish scientists created a blue laser based on nitrogen and gallium. It was supposed to be a Polish engineering miracle, worth 3 billion zł. However, Poles spent too much time arguing and speculating on how and where to use the laser as well as on how they would change currently used technologies. In the end, the project financed from public funds didn't work out. In the meantime, the rest of the world started creating their respective innovations, partially imitating the Polish idea. The mass production started shortly after and blue lasers could be seen in companies all over the world. Poland ended up with a couple of prototypes of the 'marvelous' invention and some unused patents.
The masters of missed opportunities
In our country we have many talented scientists and engineers, but it doesn't matter since we don't know how to sell any of their ideas.
'Although Poles create marvelous inventions, they can't sell them. Until they learn how to do it, they will stay poor. At best someone else will make use of these inventions', says Jeremi Mordasewicz, advisor to the administration of the Polish Confederation Lewiatan.
Because of the lack of this particular skill, many companies lost profitable contracts or couldn't make use of groundbreaking inventions. What is more, this situation is likely to happen again and again in the future.
'Poor trade negotiations may be the reason behind the downfall of FSO (Passenger Automobile Factory). The future of graphene is also unknown'- reminds Marek Sodolski, vice president of E-point and member of the Polish National Sales Awards (PNSA) jury.
'We loose economic wars, we pay more for gas than other countries, we give away our market on unprofitable conditions to foreign owners. We choose French helicopters over Polish ones and the production of Jaguar will flourish in Slovakia instead of Poland', adds Mateusz Grzesiak, personal development coach and president of Starway company.
He believes that we loose these wars not only in terms of politics and economy, but also because we don't know how to negotiate or advertise ourselves to foreigners.
'For 25 years Poland hasn't been able to come up with a good idea for nation branding. One shudders to think how much money we're letting slip through our fingers because of the ignorance of marketing and sales' – sais Mateusz Grzesiak, president of Starway company.
History is at fault
The reasons behind our inability to sell are quite easy to point out.
'Polish society stems from Sarmatism and Polish nobility used to deal with food production, not with trade', explains Marek Sodolski
We used to live in times when you could lose your nobility title if you were engaged in trade while in England commercial success was awarded a noble rank.
'The merchant profession has never been highly appreciated in Poland', admits prof. Dr hab. Grażyna Śmigielska from Cracow University of Economics and a member of the PNSA jury.
'It is clearly depicted even in Polish literature – one of the protagonists of the novel Lalka (The Doll) by Bolesław Prus, a high born lady on the verge of bankruptcy, has no intentions of having a relationship with the rich merchant Wokulski.'
Jeremi Mordasiewicz points out that the inability to sell haunts not only Poland, but also all post-socialist countries.
'We were being brought up in a socialist economy, a permanent shortage economy where salesmen didn't have to learn any special sales techniques since it was the consumers who were desperate to acquire goods', explains Lewiatan's advisor.
'The People's Republic of Poland was a nail in the coffin of Polish sales skills. It looked down on the so-called 'privateers', says Marek Podolski.
The situation was different in Germany for example, where merchants played a vital role.
'The Hansa, one of the largest international corporations, was able to impose its will on kings. In the 14th century it even won the war against Denmark', says Marek Sodolski.
According to him, it is the Americans, brought up in the 'everything is possible' culture, who are the masters of self-presentation. They are eager to give speeches and set trends in presentation skills, sales, and brand building.
'People from Southeast Europe, Asia and North Africa have sales skills in their veins, because historically, trade was an important part of their economy. Being open, talkative, and eager to communicate adds to those skills and is culturally conditioned in these parts of the world', claims professor Grażyna Śmigielska.
Time for a lesson about sales
For 25 years Poland has been studying relations occurring in the economy and we have still much to learn.
'Many manufacturers didn't make it in the new market and disappeared, because they didn't master the sales skills fast enough. Others managed to do it and quickly stood on their feet once again. It is the young generation, brought up in market conditions, that is certainly more prepared to compete on the market. However we still have much to do in order to catch up with those who have lived in a market economy for ages.' - says Jeremi Mordasiewicz.
It's worth to make more effort, because that's the only way to become competitive.
'The majority of relations exists in a form of sales. Those who mastered the art of business and negotiations, now have the opportunity to show what they are capable of', says Marek Podolski.
'Sales teaches flexibility and adapting to changes, it increases earnings, which are determined by the quality of communication. This is how a responsible society of proud winners, not losers dwelling on failures, is created’ maintains Mateusz Grzesiak.
Sylwia Wedziuk, Puls Biznesu

Profession: Coach

During the Perły HR contest, which was recently organized by our editorial office, almost all laureates described their jobs as a constant learning experience and as a possibility to improve their personal development. Some of them were wondering what other fields they can focus on and ways to further develop their careers. In moments like these, it is worth consulting a psychologist or coach, and our guest is one of the best. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the interview with Mateusz Grzesiak, Polish personal development coach, author of books on psychology of success, change and relationships, and emotional intelligence. Enjoy!
For some years now, we've seen plenty of new coaches out there. How can we know the difference between a good coach and a bad one? How long will it take for them to reach perfection?
This phenomenon is connected with market needs, a market over-saturated by young people who just got their master degree, people with no soft skills, who aren't good enough for employers. In the US, middle management often uses the services of professional coaches while upper management does it almost all the time. What's happening in Poland already happened in America, it's just the natural course of events.
What makes a good coach different from a bad one is the same as in any other profession. Differences are laid in education, skills, work experience, number of clients, prestige. There is one rule, however, that never changes, regardless of the type of business: ' Only the best win, because the market chooses them.'
What sort of soft skills should a person working in an employment agency have? How to talk to candidates and what techniques could one use to verify their potential?
The more the recruiter recognizes the employer's needs and builds a precise candidate profile, the better chance of success. One of the best tools to extract information is the so-called Meta Model, a neuro-linguistic programming tool, whose models derive from cognitive and behavioral psychology. Emotional intelligence will come in handy as well, especially in terms of empathy. It will allow us to recognize and feel other people's emotions, which will help us determine the candidate's true intentions. Marketing models help build psychological and demographic profiles, which are essential for an effective selection.
When it comes to the techniques themselves, here are some sample questions that can help us determine the candidate's potential:
'How do you see yourself in three years from now?' - verifies the candidate's level of ambition and his/her will for self-development.
'What do you think is your strongest quality?' - examines the candidate's self-confidence.
'What makes you the right person for the job?' - checks the candidate's qualifications.
'What would your boss need to do to make you want to quit your job?' - helps determine the candidate's possessed values, which can help in finding a more suitable employer.
'What was your most important life lesson and what have you learned from it?' - verifies the candidate's level of emotional maturity and the ability to take feedback.
How can one help recruiters reach their full potential and teach them to release someone else's full potential?
This is what coaching and psychology of achievements is all about. By properly setting your goals, taking action to achieve those goals, taking feedback on your progress and making proper changes, a candidate learns the necessary skills and achieves the intended results.
What is also important is to inspire and motivate candidates by expressing our appreciation, our faith in their abilities and by approaching them firmly with the will to teach them specific skills.
'What is in your opinion the biggest challenge for the HR departments in managing people and what tips would you give to all the people working there?
'Considering current trends, it is managing generational differences with the leave of 'baby boomers' and the increasing role of generation Y, working in a multicultural environment and the ability to get around all the cultural differences, also leaving heroic leadership behind and developing critical team thinking. In addition, the transition from the 'burned-out winner' culture to the educational culture, the constantly fading but still existing inequality between men and women as well as stimulating the Work-life balance concept and lastly, the improvement of soft skills, without which there is no possibility to build a career. The most important thing is to understand these issues and to educate necessary people in these areas’.
'Are some people simply born leaders? Is it possible to make anyone a leader by coaching them appropriately?'
'Nobody is born a leader. No such genotype exists. It is a mixture of soft factors, such as charisma, motivation, strong personality, and hard factors, which is a set of specific communication and management skills. Coaching doesn't teach skills so it's not a tool sufficient enough to help you become a leader. Only by combining coaching and proper education can you achieve success.'
This interview has been published in the December edition of the Polish magazine Rekruter.
December (72) 2015 | WWW.MAGAZYNREKRUTER.PL | ISSN 2083-5302

Life hacking

-Several decades ago, no one was thinking in terms of modeling success, building duplicable patterns, which are used to bring repeating effects. Later on, while cognitive psychology was simplifying and promoting communication tools, more effective models, which were used to solve certain problems, were formed.
Do you have relationship problems? Have a discussion with your partner in the following way:
Say what you feel, don't attack, don't blame, and don't generalize. Talk about specific moments and behaviors. Do you want to be successful? Work hard, with passion, constantly raise the bar and be determined. Who said that? Thousands of people became successful in their professional life on the international level. All of which whom were examined by psychologists,
Each skill is based on a specific structure. This structure contains certain elements put in a sequence that gives repeating results. If a model is functional, then, in addition to someone being able to follow it, achieving identical results each time, it becomes duplicable and it can be passed down to others.
This is how each successful franchise works – an intelligent model is being created and the success is based on the strategy, not on the achievement of an individual. Both restaurant franchise, making doughnuts as well as swimming or speaking a foreign language, can be treated as a model, however, each time you have to know what to learn (i.e. which words, grammar rules or pronunciation), and in what order.
New possibilities
What about success in life? What about a happy relationship based on love and mature communication? What about the dream to become a billionaire or an owner of a lucrative business? And what about developing start-ups into a big business? What was recently called dumb luck, a coincidence or talent, functions today in the measurable and what's more important, repeating form of models. These models are reliable and ready to be used.
Psychology that describes behavioral, emotional and intellectual processes, combined with the knowledge of people having years of experience, conveyed in a simple way, took the form of the so called ' life hacking'. Today, it is one of the most important trends in methodology and education in the world.
Life hacking
Life hacking is, generally speaking, a model, describing how to achieve the intended purpose 'in life'.
This model is composed of the right steps, which, if used in real life, will bring the intended result. It's not a set of hypotheses or philosophical questions, but a description of the existing reality. That is why it is effective by definition. How to create such a model?
Let's imagine that a life hacker (the person building the model) has read dozens of personal stories of divorced people. Each of them described what they had done right and where they had made mistakes. The life hacker notices 10 repeating patterns (e.g. setting terms and conditions of a divorce one-on-one, without the interference of family and friends), which he converts into a fully functional model, and presents it to the market as ' 10 techniques that will help you go through a divorce easier and faster.'
The model works because each experience duplicates the repeating patterns. The key is to find and present them adequately to the existing market standards.
Life, bio, business, kitchen
During the last few years, life hacking became so popular that other domains, previously reserved only for experts, have started joining in. It turns out that while doing less work (because you're not repeating other people's mistakes) you can achieve good effects, also in other areas of life.
Do you want to sleep less? Search for bio hacking, which creates models on how to keep a healthier body, have more vitality and sleep less. Do you wish to hire the right person for the job? Search for business hacking where people create the models, whose profession is business and who hired thousands of people throughout their career. Do you want to make a good soup? Here comes kitchen hacking and one of thousands of Internet sites where cooks share their experience. Thanks to the access to information, every one can learn anything.
What about the future of learning?
You're thinking – it can't be that easy. I want to run a business so I read one article? No, you read thousands of them, but those articles are verified, confirmed by professionals. You implement this knowledge into your daily life and improve everything you do. Life hacking is a new, self-applied method of learning – using other, successful people's models to improve your life.
Everyone is a teacher, but not everybody knows how to pass down his or her potential to others, because we lack the knowledge known as modeling. There is no useless theory here, no technicalities or form over substance. This method of conveying information is easy to learn and fits today's educational trends. It is universal and timeless in its nature. It offers learners plenty of opportunities, as well as teachers who, by creating models, are able to present them to the market. What is important is to convey your experience into an easier form for the learner.
This article was published in the magazine 'Benefit'

The art of speech. Mateusz Grzesiak on how to give and 'sell' a presentation effectively.

'A well-prepared presentation can make you feel safer, but a stressful public speech may be quite overwhelming. Fortunately, there are methods that allow you to not only take control of your fears but also guarantee an effective and smooth performance. How to make use of the so-called 'presentation format' and how to take control over your body while giving a speech', teaches Mateusz Grzesiak, psychologist and coach.
'Every one of us has a different style of learning, that's why we look at presentations differently. If a person presents a topic and uses all four elements of the Kolb Learning Cycle [a universal method of designing an effective learning process – Ed.], his/her presentation becomes more effective', assures Mateusz Grzesiak.
'What are these four elements all about? Number one, sharing an experience with the audience so that they know exactly what you're talking about. Number two, improving your presentation by using videos and audio-visual materials. Number three, presenting the audience with specific content in a way that enables them to make use of it. Number four, teaching how to apply what you have learned in real life.'

Motivation is a lifestyle

‘Motivation or how to leave the golden cage?’ and ‘Whether living in the discomfort zone may be comfortable?’ – these questions are just one of many Polish coach Mateusz Grzesiak and his wife Iliana Ramires have been asked by Karolina Kryś.
- What is motivation?
Mateusz: It is the ability of achieving set goals at the most general level. We can look at it as the approach to life based on what we want to want. But we can also look at it more scientifically, psychologically and call it ‘the set of emotional, behavioural and cognitive techniques required to have enough energy to act. More philosophical approach is also quite right – motivation is a lifestyle based on our own rights and the way we want to live.
- As we all know many people have their own personal comfort zone where they spend every single day of their lives, performing the same well-known activities. This is like being locked inside the symbolic golden cage. Being locked inside means that we are only able to watch the world and all its possibilities from behind the bars. We could have reached for them but we are afraid to leave the place we feel safe at. How can we overcome this fear?
Mateusz: People learning new things (it may be a foreign language, attending the gym or improving our interpersonal communication skills) get used to their new abilities which become a kind of habit for them. Their actions will be based on a set of subconscious patterns. We call it ‘a period of stabilization’, when we get used to certain incentives.
You have called it ‘a golden cage’ but it doesn’t have to be a cage. It may just be the way our brain is trying to make life easier for us. We drive a car and we don’t think about how we should start the engine or switch the gears – it just happens. It is good for us, we can do it easily and quickly, this is how our habits work. But there is also another side of the coin: if there is something that doesn’t work we are not as efficient as we could have been; this is when we enter the cage. We do it because we don’t know that we made a mistake. We are so used to the way we do something that we don’t want to change it. Of course we know how we should do it but we are simply afraid. So I wouldn’t call the way our brain works ‘the golden cage’.
I would rather say that each habit wants us to get used to it as this means comfort.
In my profession we often talk about being in the box, and there is the expression about thinking outside the box which means going beyond the usual thinking patterns.

- But isn’t the real problem located much deeper? I mean our willingness to control everything making us too logical and unable to believe that things can simply go well for us?

Mateusz: First of all, in some cases it is more than possible. Second: it is a kind of trait. Some people want to be perfectionists so they try to control everything. But there are other people much more spontaneous. In the macro-scale we can tell that the Poles have understood that running business takes controlling, planning and being rational. But when it comes to our relationships we still do it according to some two-hundred year old models. We think that ‘love comes and then goes, it should be fine, we will see what is going to happen’ which means ‘we are spontaneous, we don’t control this area of life’. And the number of divorces gets higher. People have no idea how to cope with the most trivial problems (from the psychological point of view) as they are simply too spontaneous. If we would have called it in the categories of Polish approach, I would say that people don’t know how to motivate themselves. They don’t know what questions they should ask Ø themselves and they don’t know that motivation isn’t something we have – it is something we build. Of course it takes certain thinking pattern. There are different levels of motivation. I’m not talking about the obvious physiological needs which don’t require being motivated. At the higher levels this is our brain which plays the main role.

The first level means the motivation to solve the problems so I must ask myself about three main problems I need to solve to achieve my goal.

At the second level I must know who I will become and what I will possess having achieved it. To be and to have – this is the level of ambition.

There is also the level of emotions: how will I be more spontaneous, loving, enthusiastic, and calm when I will achieve my goal, and how I will motivate myself at this level.

The level of altruism is above it: how my actions will help the others. This is just behind the level of self-realization: how I will become more myself because every goal we achieve creates us as people.

The level of vision, this is about how I will change the world. The small one (Poland or my local community) and then the greater one. We then don’t have to think about the problem anymore, it is enough to realize that the source for most of our problems is our ignorance. It is followed by obvious lack of basic knowledge. This knowledge is common for people of my profession but still absent in the mainstream. Sometimes it would be better to learn about emotional intelligence instead of knowing what the capital of Madagascar is. Then we would know how things work. What you have metaphorically called ‘a golden cage’, making people stay in their comfort zones, is the need of perfectionism. Of course this is just one of many possibilities.

- This is quite specific for young people complaining and dreaming about what they would like to achieve. It is a flash in the pan as they stop at the level of dreams and they usually don’t go any further.

Mateusz: It is specific for the younger generation indeed. They live in quicker times, they aren’t used to long-term work. Because of their environment, mostly the Internet with its content increasing every five months, they demand quick results which are sometimes unavailable. If I start running to lose some weight, there will be no differences I will be able to notice within the first week. I must wait. The same rule applies to becoming a millionaire; there is no way to become one in a month. It is not about perfectionism. It is about being unable to continue the organic process. Having reached the first emotional level, they don’t go any further as their emotions were the only source of their motivation. So now they go back to what I was talking about before. If they have asked themselves before: “What will I achieve? Who will I become? How will I love and be myself?” they would have built their own motivation system. But they haven’t – because they are unaware of it.

- So we must be careful and prevent these emotions and euphoria from carrying us away...

Mateusz: Both. Without emotions we can’t switch ourselves on to start actions. Research shows that people shopping without emotions don’t enjoy what they have bought. We need emotions but we must also remember that they are never long-lasting and always dependent on external incentives.

We must act both rationally and emotionally. In fact, feeling is a part of thinking too. This is like separating our mind and body using an axe – this is not something we could do. Separating our emotions from reasonable mind is impossible too. So we must learn how to motivate ourselves emotionally and rationally to make both of these components work together. The word ‘emotion’ comes from ‘motion’. If we want some motion, it takes emotions. To make our body act we must feel and think but first we must answer the questions I have mentioned before.

- Are there any reasons to avoid the trap we are talking about?

Mateusz: We keep motivating ourselves with new challenges. We must realize that people don’t learn new things repeating the same old things. They must change the level of difficulty and the circumstances they act in.

To put it shortly: we must make our lives more difficult, raise the bars, and set Ø more complicated goals. We must use new incentives, go to new places, meet new people, visit new restaurants, and learn new languages as well as new things. We get rusty living the same life every day. But it doesn’t have to be all wrong.

Maybe there is someone who wants to be an absolute expert in a certain area of life, so he has no intention to leave his laboratory. But if we don’t want to get used to our life, we need new incentives. Einstein once said that doing the same things over and over and expecting different results is insane.

- Is there a risk that you two may fall into this cage too?

Iliana: I don’t think so, we always want to change things. Whenever we have time, we travel abroad to visit new countries and meet new people. We talk every day, for at least fifteen or twenty minutes, about what we are going to do in the future. We focus on how we could make our dreams come true.

Being with Mateusz, it is impossible to be passive so we keep changing things and motivating ourselves to become better people. I remember when Mateusz was ill. He had hypertrophy and was told by the doctor his condition was impossible to heal and that he would have to spend the rest of his life taking pills. But we knew that we could make it, it just took changing our lifestyle: the way we were eating, doing sports, etc. We had to do it as an entire family, otherwise it would be pointless.

When I started living in Poland and I had to learn the language, we were speaking Polish all the time. This is why I needed no extra lessons. Our mutual motivate
 teachers, still have new customers, we give new interviews, and these things keep us stimulated. We can say that living in the zone of discomfort is quite comfortable for us.

- People often fall into routine in their professional and personal life. But it seems that it is not a problem for you.

Mateusz: It happens because they don’t care about it. Polish people have learned that running a business takes planning, controlling but they do nothing about their families and relationships.

I want Iliana to be smarter than me as it means less problems for me. So we lean toward the other extreme.

- There are many differences between Poland and your home country, especially cultural ones. Can you notice any differences when it comes to motivation and achieving goals?

Iliana: Of course, recently there was some research about the most positive language. It proved how positive Spanish is and I believe that it affects our motivation too. In Mexico, whenever we talk about our goals with family or friends, we know they will support us. It doesn’t matter what it will be, they will always try to look at our advantages. Even if you make a mistake, they say: “Don’t worry, you’re smart, it is going to be OK”.

- So they are able to find the advantages of each failure…

Mateusz: There is no such thing as ‘hatred’ in Mexico.
Iliana: And they are unable to say no, this is true. If someone invites you for a dinner and you know you won’t be able to come, you say: “Great, I will do everything to come!” They never say that they won’t do something, even if they know that they won’t. This is how it works in their culture. We also permanently thank for everything. Even if the car stops to let us cross the street. It’s not like it works here in Poland.

When people in Poland share their plans with the others, they usually focus on the risks and not the chances. It’s not really supportive.

- It seems like we have a lot to learn from the Mexicans.

Mateusz: When it comes to their kindness, it is true. We are complainers, pessimists and we look at the world in the darker colours. There are interesting interviews with English businessmen or European Union officials in Polish media. They all keep talking about how great our economic results are. But we never believe it and still compare ourselves to Western Europe believing we are still poorer than they are. We must change it. But there are also things Mexicans could learn from us as we are much better organized than they are. Latin Americans have no idea what punctuality is while we feel bad whenever we are late. They could also learn being efficient looking at us. If there is something in Poland that doesn’t work, we just fix it. If it doesn’t work in Mexico, they leave it. Both these cultures may learn a lot from each other.
Such was our idea. We try to live as Citizens of the World. We believe that being just Polish or just Mexican is definitely not enough. Our four-and-a-half year old daughter speaks three languages and calling her just Polish or just Mexican would be so unfair.

Iliana: Whenever we reach our goals in Mexico, the people we love want to be close to us and celebrate, enjoy our happiness. It is different in Poland where most of people are jealous. This is another thing we should change.

Interview from:

I build happiness

Do the Polish people live according to the philosophy of slow life?

Mateusz Grzesiak: Most of us live in a hurry. The average Pole works fifty-one hours in a week. Every tenth Pole works twice as much as he should. Generally, we work longer than we should. Our professional life takes two thousand hours a year. For the Germans it is only one thousand and four hundred hours. They have already achieved their high financial status so they can afford living a slow life. As a culture they have also reached another level of awareness.

- There is no way to convince Germans to work at the weekend.

- But there are other nationalities living in Germany who would like to do it for them. Like the Poles who will earn the double wage for it. Sometimes people living their slow life have never tried to achieve a traditionally perceived success as they prefer living in their own small worlds. They also live slowly, even though they don’t know about it. There are many generation Y members who choose living a slow life, I mean people born after 1980. Their lifestyle is more important than money for them. Year after year, this philosophy will be more and more present in Poland too.

- Do Polish companies care about their employees’ work-life balance?

- I have been coaching for thirteen years. I do it for two-hundred coaching days in a year. I have been asked only once to teach one company’s managers about the work-life balance issues. But I conduct training improving indirectly the balance between these areas of life. I encourage employees to do sports, I teach them how to manage their emotions and stress. I believe that soon we will all focus on the work-life balance. It will happen as soon as we realize what the shadows of achieving only professional success are.

- What are your favourite daily routines you love to celebrate?

- I love the celebration of drinking delicious espresso. I would call it a ‘slowpresso’ (laughing). I keep smelling the coffee, then I taste it. There are many factors affecting what I experience. The way the coffee was prepared, what kind of cup it is in, what time it is, what is my mood, etc.

- So you drink your coffee slowly, but then you ‘kick-start’ your day energetically…

- Well, it depends. I have spent so many years meditating that I can separate myself from this energy kick. Even if my heart beats like crazy I know that it is only my body’s reaction, not mine. I look at it from distance. The same rule applies to feeling stressed as well. I won’t tell you that I feel stressed. This is my body feeling it, not me.

- What would be your advice for people coming back to work after holidays and trying to avoid usual depression?

- Many people have post-holidays syndrome. The symptoms are headaches, anxiety, concentration problems, depression, etc. There are two ways of looking at this problem. We can start with some easier tasks, avoid taking too much at once. But if we don’t like our work, we will suffer anyway. I have never experienced something like that because I love my work.

- You are a coach. What do you feel like when listening to people claiming that coaching is manipulation performed by people lacking necessary knowledge and experience?

- My reaction is similar to the reaction of physicians hearing that they are big pharmaceutical companies’ servants. Or the salesmen accused of making old people buy things they don’t need. Whatever you do, there are always people accusing you. It is true that you may be a coach having only finished online course in England. There is some trend, there are some demands and the vision of big money, and these factors draw people toward my profession. The more coaches there are, the more of them have quite small competency. But we should look at each case individually. People like me will never be told that we lack formal background. There is also a kind of cultural scheme. The Poles are one of the most suspicious and distrustful nations in the world. Prof. Janusz Czapinski claims that only twelve percent of Poles believe that others have good intentions. We permanently believe that there is someone who wants to use us and this way of thinking also affects the way we are perceived.

- Let’s go back to the counselling issues. We go to work and our kids go to school. How can we wake their learning passion up?

- I can talk about my own life. I show my daughter how useful knowledge may be. There was a time when I took her to the swimming pool. I jumped into the water and started enjoying it. I was swimming around, diving. Adriana wanted to do the same. I was holding her hands but I let her in. She realized that she is just drowning. This is how she got motivated to learn swimming. Six months later she could dive two meters deep. There is another method: creating the context where learning something is necessary to survive. Adriana is four-and-half-years old and she speaks fluently in Polish, English and Spanish. She does because my Mexican wife and I have created the system where I speak Polish, she speaks Spanish and there are English classes in the kindergarten too. Another method: I ask my daughter every evening what she has learned on that day. I read the fairy-tales for her and I ask her questions making her think.

- What are your goals related to the ‘Father’ project?

- I want my daughter to become good, wise, efficient, holistic and international. I will be raising her until she will be fourteen. Then I will convert myself into a friend, a mentor. I don’t believe in being a parent forever. People trying to tell teenagers what they should do, will never succeed.

- What was the most beautiful thing that happened to you recently?

- For some time my daughter has been calling me ‘daddy’. She used to call me ‘dad’ before. It makes me melt, I feel so soft… There is so much love and tenderness in this word. Whenever Adriana says ‘daddy’, I am ready to drop everything and run to her.

- And your most recent traumatic experience?

- Last October I had been kidnapped in Sao Paulo. As usual I was picked up at the airport by the man organizing the training. We were driving through the city centre when we got hit by another car. The driver went out to check what happened. He returned with two bandits. Despite having a gun touching my body I kept cold blood. I used many psychological techniques to avoid losing my life and money. I started talking to them like I talk to my friends. In the end they were apologizing for this accident. Later I could tell my students how they should behave in the situation like this. I have also been talking about it in Polish TV.

- Your recent book is titled ‘100 Happy Days or How to Build Your Happiness in 100 Days’. Building happiness? Sounds interesting.

- Most of Polish people think about happiness as an abstract idea. For me it is an approach toward life related to being responsible for it. I build situations making me happy. This is how I build my happiness. People in Poland are romantic, they believe that things just happen, spontaneously and genuinely. I prefer more scientific approach, we may call it ‘a German one’: I look for models and strategies making us happy. This book combines both approaches so it analytically describes my everyday experiences.

- You said that you try to be responsible for your fate. I wonder how you have met your wife.

- It was in 2008. My students and I were walking around Mexico City centre. I was teaching them how to meet new people. One of them asked if this technique may be used to pick up a girl. I confirmed so he asked me to start the conversation with a random woman. Today this woman is my wife. Our first meeting was quite spontaneous but our seven-year long relationship is not. We manage it as smartly as we can.

An article was published in “Slow & Life” magazine

How to move forward?

‘Pareto claimed that twenty percent of duties take eighty percent of our time’
Remember: doing nothing is much more exhausting than achieving our goals!
I wish I was as motivated as unmotivated I am, claimed Winnie the Pooh. It means that he was highly motivated to… being lazy. Those who want to get motivated to being active may need some useful motivational techniques.

Find a reason to act

The word ‘motivation’ comes from Greek ‘movere’ which means ‘moving’. The word ‘motivum’ means ‘decisive reason’. ‘Motive’ is also related to ‘motus’ – ‘movement’. Finding right reason means being motivated. There are some questions you should ask yourself. What are your motives? Why do you want to achieve them? What can you do to make yourself motivated?

Avoid time-eaters

Pareto claimed that twenty percent of duties take eighty percent of our time. Name all the time-eaters making you lose your precious energy and then start avoiding them. Meaningless surfing in the Internet? TV? Putting things off? Be aware of what you should focus on and ask yourself which meaningful things you would like to do. Then do it.

Find your challenge

People who, having their goals achieved, can’t find any new challenges, rest on their laurels or get burnt out. This is why you should find a new goal improving you. It should be huge enough (as the challenges are always huge) making you grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. We avoid problems we don’t care about, problems too small or impossible to solve.

Avoid saboteurs

Here are the nine of the most dangerous demotivators: fear, wrong goals, value conflict, dependence on others, lack of challenge, loneliness, burning out, and an unclear future. Work on them using proven coaching tools (like Rational Behaviors Therapy) and you will stop losing your energy. Doing nothing is much more exhausting than achieving your goals.

Choose your direction

You are always motivated to do something, even if it is about being lazy. Think about what you want and continuously ask yourself: What is my goal? What am I going to achieve? Which of the activities I perform help me to get closer to it? Your energy follows your thoughts. Invest in the future as there is no way to change the past. 

Motivate the others

According to the research conducted by Mercer’s consulting company (covering thirty thousand employees in seventeen countries) the most frequent factors killing our motivation are: lack of respect, neglecting real problems and ‘fake democracy’ (asking for our opinion while the decision has been taken long time ago). There is also the list of thirteen factors increasing our motivation, you may be surprised but money comes only sixth! So invest in the ability of motivating other people and in helping them achieve their goals.

Use the whole of your brain

Imagine what you want to achieve. Talk to yourself out loud, perform physical moves related to what you want to be motivated towards (like public speakers standing up and speaking, pretending there is an audience in front of them), listen to energetic music and feel your goal as strongly as you can. The more stimulated your brain becomes, the sooner you will reach your goals.


An organizer, a calendar and a list of things to do are the attributes of efficient people. Plan every evening what you are going to do tomorrow. Make sure that your list isn’t an unlimited one, avoid becoming a workaholic. Research proves that the goals we have written down are easier to achieve. Ticking another box gives us the feeling of self-realization, competence and pushes us towards our goals.
An article has been published at

What can we do to make sure that our motivational speech will work?

I have been working as a coach for several years, teaching in five different languages. This was my childhood dream turned into my passion which became a useful and inspirational profession. I teach, I motivate and convince my students that the main factors responsible for the quality of their life are creative thinking and efficient communication. To make them believe in these ideas I must be efficient as a speaker. My speech must reach their hearts and minds. What is the reason making an audience reject our message or just misunderstand it? What can we do, as a leader or manager, to be sure that our public speech, new strategy or product presentation will bring the best possible results?

Emotional form and meaningful content

People who want to create an efficient (influencing an audience at the moment of speech and much later too) public speech should know about two important components of this process. The first of them is related to the way we speak, our personality, emotions, story-telling skills, and motivation. The second component is related to its content. Creating an efficient public speech takes combining both of these elements, only then we will be able to influence our audience. If we don’t succeed in these two areas, even the best expert will leave his audience bored and the best showman will tell nothing important. This is why those components are crucial.

What are the mistakes we should avoid?

Let’s start with things we should avoid. The most common mistake is leaving an audience unconcerned. They don’t identify themselves with our speech believing it is not for them, not about them, it is untrue or impossible to use in their lives. Imagine there is the big boss facing his team and speaking. It is very optimistic as he keeps talking about professional success. But the members of his team look at their company quite differently. They remember that one of them has almost lost his wife because of the overwork. What the boss says is meaningless for them. They will listen to him without any emotions, they will spend thirty minutes or one hour listening and then go back to their daily duties. Nothing will change in this company. If the boss believes in what he claims, his employees aren’t connected to his vision or mission. Smartly constructed motivational speeches should convince employees to start believing in what their leader believes. There are several communication tools we can use.

How can we do it?

Imagine there is a company named X. They are going to introduce their new motto: ‘This is all up to you!’ so they want their employees to become more responsible. The motto itself is meaningless so the speaker must make the audience find its meaning. Imagine that the leader starts with his personal story. He says that he has been suffering from obesity since he was a child. He used to blame his parents, wrong eating habits he was taught in his childhood, etc. But then he has met the man who inspired him to lose weight and suggested that it doesn’t matter what has happened before. The only thing that matters is what we can do now, the things we are responsible for. So the leader started fighting and he won, he lost his weight. Moreover, he motivated his family too so they all have changed their eating habits and general lifestyle.

So upon reading ‘This is all up to you!’ the audience now knows what it means. This is an example of process we could call ‘connecting employees to our ideas’: the values regarding their everyday life. If the employees start identifying themselves with these values, they may become their own guides.
‘Speaking to the employees about values related to the company’s strategy, we should mention about the examples from their own – professional or private – life.’

The new byte-map picture (2) An abstract idea included in our message must be related to the emotions and life of our audience. Sometimes the leaders speaking to their teams only focus on their faults. Such approach will surely not increase their efficiency but will decrease their self-esteem instead.

The second common mistake of public speakers is abstract communication. It is boring when someone keeps talking about things we can’t remember. It isn’t cool, is it? This is why the way we talk is so important. Changing our voice, emotions, movement – they can all increase the quality of our message.

But what is crucial is the precise (communicative!) language: simple and full of examples. If I say that ‘Travels teach’ it will be just a slogan. But if I tell you about my life and my traveling passion which motivated me to learn foreign languages and start working in several countries – it will get some meaning. It will become meaningful.

This example will prove your thesis. Whenever I build my public speech I use the so called ‘presentation format’. The structure of my presentation is based on four questions important for my audience.
All the public speakers should ask themselves these questions before they enter the stage:
- Why? Why should anyone listen to me? (Or: How can I motivate my audience?)
- What? What am I going to tell them?
- How? How is my audience supposed to implement my message?
- What was it like? The feedback: if the goals have already been achieved, is it done in a right way, are there any areas of improvement?

A well prepared public speech may become immortal (like Martin Luther King’s legendary ‘I had a dream…’). But it may happen only if the audience uses it in their everyday life, performing their professional duties, etc. What could this value be? It should contain both a professional knowledge and emotional component (keeping the audience inspired, agitated, motivated). Combining these two elements is necessary if we want to succeed.

How should we motivate our audience?

Employee’s motivation towards performing assigned duties may be quite different when it comes to its character and power.
There are several levels we should address:


Make sure that our audience have proper conditions to receive our message properly (they shouldn’t be hungry, sleepy or tired; don’t expect too much when speaking early in the morning after a late night party).
Problems to solve

It is always good to name some specific issues our target group should face. Finding and naming them will help the audience identify with what the speaker is going to say. Employees in their forties understand what professional burn-out means, they also know how difficult it may be to combine private and professional life. These are the problems they face every day.

Ambition and willingness to move forward

This level is related to the future and answers questions like: who do I want to be and what do I want to have? We all have our plans and dreams, proper public speech should help us achieve them. How do our audience members imagine themselves in some time? Connect the content of your speech to their plans and be sure they will love to listen to what you are going to tell them.

Higher emotions

We all want to feel happiness, love and joy. Our speech should be the answer to the question about what should be done to keep our employees happy, creative and spontaneous as these are crucial motivators regarding our private and professional life.


This is one of the most efficient motivators – the speech should tell the employees how they can achieve self-realization and fulfill their potential using the talents they have.


Giving is much more motivating than receiving. Every speech should give its audience some additional value, even if they haven’t expected it before. What about some deeper meaning? Personal story? It surely will be appreciated.


There must be some ideas behind the most powerful companies. The ideas telling us how we can change this world together. This is the most powerful motivator giving meaning to our life. This is what the best public speeches were based on.

Good speech’s efficiency

Having used the above-mentioned tools we can expect that our message will be delivered in quite an efficient manner. But we need some tools and parameters to measure its effects. These effects may be short-term or long-term ones. The first ones mean the assessment of the quality of speech itself. We can use simple survey allowing audience to assess its quality using 1-10 scale. Their conclusions will be related only to what they have experienced during the presentation.

The audience must be connected to the content of the speech. The best way to do it is using personal examples.

But what about the goals we were going to present to our audience, the mission and vision of our company? The long-term effects are much more difficult to measure and equally difficult to achieve as they are related to the company’s results (e.g. how much the goals included in the speech affected work organization in the company). The participants may be satisfied with the quality of the speech but what really matters is the long-term effect (increasing the level of efficiency of employees, teams, departments, etc.)

Many team leaders believe that a thirty-minute long energetic speech is enough to change the entire company. Of course there are always some individuals using their own internal motivation to increase the level of their efficiency (and for them the speech will be a stimulus for the permanent change) but usually there are just few of them and they are not the ones who really need any extra motivation. The rest require permanent long-term actions. Changing their attitudes takes time and work. We must remember that all the motivational speeches are based on high intensity, powerful energy, but it is just a single event. Believing that one great speech will be enough to erase all the previous management mistakes is rather naïve. Motivational speeches are intense but short-term. Meanwhile implementation of the ideas included in the speech is the long-term action (vide: chart ‘Speech and strategy implementation’). Both these components should be combined if we want to achieve the best results.


Most of the public speeches are doomed to fail as their content is overloaded with theory and data. It lacks emotions and examples regarding personal experiences of the recipients. The presented goal or long-term mission should be connected to the duties performed by the employees. There is no way that a single speech could bring any long-term results if there is no efficient communication inside the company.
An article has been published in ‘ThinkTank’ magazine

Success is something we may model

- I have seen many fragments of your coaching sessions. Sometimes you teach about the relationships between men and women. You tell them how they could avoid the mistakes regarding the interpersonal communication. And what about the employer-employee relations? How can we avoid problems in these relations?

Mateusz Grzesiak: Yes, their roles are different than the ones they were supposed to play. The same rule applies to the men-women relationships. Forgetting about physiological differences we face the situation where we all have different roles to play. Taking the role means creating certain personality. This personality consists of the goals it has to achieve, specific behaviors, actions we should take or avoid. This is how the world is created. It applies to the family issues and organizations where everyone knows their tasks and duties.

Each member of the organization uses his individual language, the language of his own needs and the collective language, adequate to the needs of an entire group.

Taking up the wrong role is enough for the organization to stop working properly. In the man-woman relationship this is the case when she starts acting as her husband’s mother. It means that he must start playing the role of her son. They were supposed to be partners: wife and husband. The mother will be great a mother for her child but she will be totally useless compared to her mother-in-law. There is no other adult woman in the world who would be able to love her husband as much as his own mother loves him.

Something like this may also happen at our workplace, like the situation when the boss stops acting as the ‘Boss’ and takes up a ‘Father’ figure. It means that all the employees must play the role of his children. The children don’t think like the adults do, they don’t act like the adults, they don’t achieve the results they are capable of. It generates many systemic problems, unrelated to the individuals. The lack of communication is a common problem appearing in many contexts. People don’t communicate precisely enough, there are different disruptions of messages, commands, and requests. This is like playing Chinese whispers: one person tells something to another one, the third one changes its meaning and nobody knows what the original message was. Imagine that the boss tells his employee: ‘Be efficient’. Telling him: ‘Close your eyes’ or ‘Put your hand up’ means that he will know what he is expected to do as these commands are unambiguous and precise. Telling someone: ‘Be’ means that he has no idea what he is supposed to do. The verb ‘to be’ is so ambiguous that nobody knows what it means. When we tell our children: ‘Be good’, they have no idea what our expectations actually are. Every day the employees receive many imprecise and ambiguous messages. This kind of communication can never work.

- Why are some people successful and others are not?

- Because they think differently. The recipe for success has never been as available as it is today. We have proven models we must replicate. But people don’t know what success is, how it works, as this still isn’t the part of the so called mainstream.

Some time ago fitness got popularized in our country, this is why Polish people keep exercising so hard. Twenty-five years ago only twenty-five percent of our society was physically active. Fifteen years ago it was fifty percent and today only twenty-five percent of us don’t do any physical exercises (not only at the gym). Doing sports became trendy. Today coaching is also becoming mainstream. It is not enough to tell someone: ‘Go and be successful’ as this is too abstract and too imprecise.

- Do you mean that the real problem is in people being unaware of what success is? Or is it because they don’t reach out for it? Is it really just enough to pick it up?

- First of all, people have no idea that success follows certain actions. They don’t know about it as this is not a part of public education. We learn how we should act in case of war but nobody teaches us how to earn money. People forget about ninety percent of what they were taught at schools and they end up as the slaves: stuck in the systems they haven’t created playing roles they don’t even like. Moreover, there is no success they can see in their future so they stop learning. They have no idea that this is similar to learning a foreign language.

We must learn to think successfully and then start certain actions. Like I said: there are some recipes, they are proven and replicable. There are more than one hundred thousand millionaires in Poland, they are people owning really big money. They can give us repeatable models of how they have done it. I am not talking about the American society with 4,3 percent of millionaires or Switzerland with 9,5 percent. I am talking about the Polish society with only twenty years of possibilities of self-realization behind us. As a society, we are young and stupid. We had a lot to do as a population, we lost two hundred years of partitions and communism and only now we have started understanding that success is something real and available.

An article published in ‘Benefit’ magazine.

Ten things you should know about Generation Y

If you want to know the source of their high expectations, why they change their jobs so often and what are their biggest problems, below you will find a psycho-sociological analysis of the members of this generation. Read carefully as these people are your potential customers, employees and maybe even bosses!

Is it some cipher-machine code? No! It is only a description of the millennial generation, people born after 1980 and before 2000. They followed the X’s making way for F’s (the generation of Facebook, people born in the times of community websites). Each generation has its own distinct traits causing conflicts between them and their predecessors (based on their different interests, values of beliefs).

I am special

Communism destroyed our individuality and focused on promoting equality. Capitalism invests in individuals encouraging them to create themselves. The Generation Y, growing up after the fall of communism, received a clear message: you are special, the most important, you are your own best investment. High self-esteem is desirable but its shadow may be considered narcissistic. Y’s are the best but they aren’t the most modest.

Future junkie

Generation Y invests in what may be changed, in the future. Forget about tradition, meeting war veterans, and labelling people as ‘communists’ or loving poetry. This generation is dynamic, technological, turned towards what will come. They don’t care about politicians talking about past.

It is about happiness

Y’s want balance and fulfilment. Their definition of happiness is based on quality of life, it is not about ‘having’, it is about ‘being’. They don’t run away from poverty like their parents did. They have no inferiority complexes and they don’t have to prove their worth. They don’t need a new car or TV set to show what they are worth. They would like to have their workload reduced to find some time and go out with friends.

We play as a team

Bad news for the domineering bosses. Y’s expect being treated as partners and they feel bad performing monotonous activities as it means they cannot self-realize themselves. They look for the place to shine, discover themselves, and improve their skills. They are much more interested in the flat workplace structure (we are all equal but we do different things) than the traditional ‘Master and Servant’ hierarchy. The power of the boss doesn’t come from his function, it depends on his personality and competences.


The same sex marriages? Sure! Legal marijuana? Fine! Getting divorce by e-mail? Great idea! Euthanasia? Why shouldn’t we decide about ourselves? Millennial generation presents a neoliberal approach toward politics, culture and economy. Avoiding being conservative, they are very open to the world they see as a global village, identifying themselves with the planet as a whole more than with their nation-states. This is the world in which women are able to seduce men actively. This is the world in which men who aren’t ashamed of their own fragility.

Peter Pan and Eternal Princess

Y’s have no intention to grow up. They agree to live with their parents despite getting older. Being an adult is not the matter of age, it is about maturity, the traits and skills. They despise the choices made by their mothers who decided to quit their jobs to have a baby. They don’t want to be the copies of their fathers working all day long and feeling stressed permanently. They are different than X’s as they don’t believe there is anything like ‘misbehavior’.

An article has been published in ‘Benefit’ magazine

Support sport just like it supports you

Whenever the national team enters the pitch, life in Brazil gets frozen. There are no cars on the usually busy streets. The pavements, generally crowded, are empty. But bars and restaurants are so full that you can’t find a place to stand. The waiters keep watching TV, they forget about their work but they know everyone will understand. This is the football time. It means that the millionaire wearing a golden watch will be standing next to the hungry beggar. The grandma with a bunch of children will be standing next to the sexy model dancing to the rhythm of samba played by the vuvuzelas. She is black, they are white, and there some Brazilians of Japanese origin standing right behind them. It doesn’t matter what your skin colour, how old you are, whether you live in favela or luxury apartment. They are all the same when their national team is playing. Football is able to do what politicians have never done –unite the country and erase all the social differences, just for a while. Sport unites people.

Many miles north of Brazil, a twenty-five year old attractive woman is walking to her workplace in a small American town. She is self-confident, fulfilled, she can’t stop smiling whenever she thinks about her date with a boy she had met recently. She visits a café and notices a fat woman eating cupcakes, they may be the same age. It was just a year ago when she looked exactly like that woman. She was trying to escape from difficult emotions – straight into the unhealthy eating habits. She was angry at herself, she knew that her job was not the one for her but somehow she was still unable to do anything about it. She wasn’t interested in men, convinced that they don’t find her attractive. Her life changed when her friend persuaded her to start jogging. Between the jogging sessions she noticed the chance to regain her self-esteem, joy and passion. Week after week, she was training more and more intensively, each pound of weight she lost increased her self-esteem. She found a better job. She started a new relationship. She felt happy and attractive. Sport builds your self-esteem.

A secondary school student from Slovakia was having a tough time. His older schoolmates were bullying him and the teachers didn’t care. Stupid jokes turned into fights. One day he came back home with a black eye, so his father decided to send him to karate training. Initially he wasn’t quite convinced but a couple of training sessions were enough to change his posture. He started walking upright, looking straight ahead. His school marks got better too. The next time he had to confront those nasty kids, he showed them that the rules of the game have changed. He was braver and, after a year of training, he was also more mature than his peers. He became their leader because his calmness and ability of achieving his goals turned him into their role model. Karate changed him and he became the self-confident leader. Sport builds our personality.

When Brazilian volleyball players were gaining more and more points, chasing the Polish national team, our fans were finding it hard to keep their nerve. They went so far, how could they lose now? Each point is precious as gold, metaphorically and literally. And then they made it! Gold medals! We made it, we are the best in the world. Polish fans started their crazy celebrations. Many of them got no sleep that night. They remembered every single moment and the heroes of this game became national heroes. The nation which had spent two hundred years fighting to survive against the stronger neighbours, the nation damaged by communism, complexes, anxiety, distrustfulness and lack of hope: such a nation needs victories. They build national pride, it sneaks into the hearts of average Poles, convincing them that they too are able to achieve their professional success, self-development, overcoming everyday problems. Sport makes us feel proud of who we are.

Sport unites. Sport increases the self-esteem of individuals and nations. Sports builds our personality, teaches us discipline and consistency. It solves racial and international conflicts. It connects people. It gives the power to the weaker and it gives the pride to those who feel ashamed.
Sport increases. Sport strengthens. Sport unites.

An article has been published at “” 

Mateusz Grzesiak

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