Aspire is a vibrating community, full of thinkers, doers and dreamers. But who are we, behind the scenes? In our “Aspirers in the Spotlight” series we take a closer look at outstanding members of our organisation!
This year’s first story is about Dani, Head of Marketing @Google Romania. His history with Aspire dates back to the 4th of July, 2011 when he was accepted for the Aspire Academy summer program. He contributed to the organization ever since, having held various positions. Participant, organizer, 2-times co-president, board member, Dani shares today a bit of his experience, vision and drive with us.
Aspirer in the Spotlight – Dani Oros
1) If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
First of all, to take every advice with a grain of salt, and think deeply if and how it applies to them. Chances are that most advice is not relevant to their own experience. Having said that, I would encourage someone just starting out to take responsibility for their development and have more initiatives. It might be due to the educational system, but I see that many people starting out expect too much guidance and are afraid, or at least reluctant, to come up with new ideas and suggestions. The fastest way to grow in your career is to be proactive and not wait for others to tell you what to do.
2) What are your non-negotiables?
My non-negotiables are who I spend my time with and how I prioritize my health and well-being.
- Firstly, I stopped spending time (both in my personal and professional life) with people who are either constantly dissatisfied (e.g. angry, complain a lot, blame everyone, etc.) and/or have low integrity. Your friends have a huge influence on your overall wellbeing so choose carefully. Unfortunately, many people are afraid to be alone therefore they end up compromising.
- Secondly, I treat my health as my number one priority, and when I say health I mostly mean nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Without getting too much into details, I believe these 3 influence the quality of your life the most, and should be prioritized above everything else.
3) What was the hardest decision you ever had to make?
The hardest decision I had to make was giving up a professional opportunity that would have doubled my income at that time, because there was a small probability that it might affect my integrity and my mental peace. When making choices it’s usually better to go with the option that feels slightly more painful on the short run. The reason is because we’re biased towards avoiding short term pain which clouds our judgement. This framework applies very well both to personal life (e.g. relationships) and to work (e.g. changing jobs).
4) Can you tell me more about a challenge you had to overcome and what did you learn during the whole experience?
The biggest challenge I had to overcome was related to my age, or more precisely the perception of other people about it. I had the opportunity to grow fast in my career and ended up frequently in situations in which I was the youngest person in the room. It can be a bit challenging to be a decision-maker when some people have more work experience that you have years of life.
The way to overcome this perception is to make sure you listen to everyone’s opinions, to be knowledgeable and back your decisions with data, and to be confident. The last one might be the most difficult to achieve when you’re very young, until you realize that good judgement comes more from the number of iterations and learnings in a specific subject than from the number of years of experience.
5) Last but not least… What is that one book that has influenced you the most?
Awareness by Anthony de Mello. It will help you understand better that happiness is internal and that you see persons and things not as they are but as you are.
Aspire means something different to everyone – from just another summer program, to a life-changing experience. For Dani, Aspire is the experience that not only improved his skills, but also changed his mindset about life: “It represents a profound maturing process, both professionally and personally. I learnt to have confidence in myself and I started asking more (and better) questions about what I want to achieve in life. I started getting surrounded by ambitious people, people I admired and people I had a lot to learn from.”
“A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought — they must be earned.” (Naval Ravikant).