Portrait written on March 23rd 2018
Colin is what people call a global citizen: born in Canada, brought up in Greece, having studied in Britain and, finally, ended up in Romania, starting with 2006. He runs his own agency, BrandUp and promotes a culture of empathy and open communication among his team. “I think fear, as you may agree, is one that divides nations. And a lot of the world’s events today is driven by fear-based thinking. But, we are meant to transcend our ever-present fear and be aware of it in order to be able to access reason within our brains and actually build something coming from a positive mindset.”
We asked Colin to share with us some of the most important turning points in his own life. “One quote that really opened my eyes was: life doesn’t happen to you, but it happens for you! Three years ago, I had a wife, I was running my own agency and had done everything that society told me I needed to do in order to be successful, but I just was not happy. So I started to really look for meaning. Meaning is the most important need for all human beings, after survival, so I thought this must be it!” He goes on by telling us that utter and radical forgiveness was how he freed himself to be more creative and that he used creative visualization to get closer to his objectives. “If something makes you fell anxious, depressed or gives you a sense of injustice, stop first and ask: what is it in me that perhaps I need to change? What is it in me that I need to forgive, or forgive in others so that they can understand me in return? Because, we are not going to solve violence with more violence, or blame with more blame.”
When we asked Colin about life hacking and what is the best piece of advice he can give, he replied: “I’d like to encourage you to quiet your minds once in a while and just let your playful hearts take over. Allow your intuition to guide you, because there’s huge strength in that and amazing things can happen. It’s risky, cried reason, it’s impossible, cried experience. Give it a try, whispered the heart!”
Talking about his life got us to the obvious topic: living in Romania. Why he chooses to do so, when so many other Romanian born people choose life abroad? “When people ask me – what the heck are you doing in Romania? I answer, what the heck are you doing in Romania? I mean, it’s true that I have a different perspective and maybe I’m the lucky one in this... But, coming here, I only see opportunities. Sure, things are hard, but do you know how hard the same things are in Greece or in Britain? If I have one thing to say is go travel! Go travel, see the world and come back! Then we’ll see how you look at this country… What I actually recommend people all the time is: don’t stay stuck in the same place, with the same ideas around you. Get out there! Go get other ideas, break that energy. Make a move, come back and make something better! I really do feel bad when I see people not loving their own country. And this is not only about Romania – it’s about other countries as well. It’s the mentality in our heads which really counts, nothing else!”
Talk to Colin during LifeHax #1, happening on March 23rd 2018, at Cinema PRO.