The Butler, Another Truly Amazing Story

If you have seen 12 Years Slave you might also want to watch The Butler

Personally, being the sensitive person I am I couldn’t finish 12 Years Slave as it made me sick, literally. To prevent myself from throwing up I had to stop half way through.

However when I saw The Butler DVD on the shelve I couldn’t resist. I was of course very nervous when sitting down to watch it. It was a great experience though and no food left my stomach (giggling).


As a white person representative, I’ve always felt very fortunate as I’ve learnt it very quickly that the majority of people are racist. The minority is truly sick racist; however there are still many people in the world who wouldn’t bring a dark skinned person into their homes.

The Butler is an inspiring and heart breaking story of one black man’s life from 1926 to the Obama’s first day of presidency – from the struggle of the white people’s abuse to the day of a black man taking the white people country’s lead. Fascinating!

In 1926, Cecil Gaines was raised on a cotton plantation in Macon, Georgia, by his sharecropping parents. One day, the farm’s owner, Thomas Westfall, rapes Cecil’s mother and shots his father. Cecil is taken in by Annabeth Westfall, the estate’s caretaker, and trains Cecil as a house servant. This is where Cecil’s luck begins. He learnt to work hard and stay away from the politics which saved his life and made him a good living… as good as it could be for a black man back in 1926.

In 2009, as an elderly Cecil Gaines recounts his life story, while waiting at the White House to meet the newly inaugurated president.

In between the 1926 to the 2009 where the story is….

Introvert?  Extrovert? It doesn’t matter!

I’ve been exploring Introverts and Extroverts for some time now. I’ve written a few articles and read a few more discovering the phenomena of, so known, being more or less social labelled as introverts and extroverts.

I am, myself, an introvert surrounded by extroverts hence I am constantly looking for better ways to explain the two and connect with each other better. Introverts are often seen as shy, reserved and typically self-centered individuals… well, in fact, they are simply thinkers.

Introverts are often perceived as anti-social, self-absorbed and … weird. Extroverts are loved by everyone and noticeable everywhere, they are loud and fun and everyone wants to be with them. Introverts are quite, they don’t have many friends and no one really notices them. Extroverts become successful business people (do they?), managers and leaders whereas introverts work in the library or get involved in some boring science activities (or do they?). Extroverts are always happy and introverts are always depressed. Extroverts are always stressed and introverts are always mellow.

extroverts and introverts


Discovering the spectrum of introversion-extroversion and uncovering the discrepancies was a topics, Nutrition & Well being Consultant, Melissa Legovic approached me a few months ago. I was seeking like-minded people to write a piece of this phenomena together; and Melissa seems to be interested in the topic.

Melissa agrees that we are often categorised into an ‘introvert’ or ‘extrovert’ labelled by people around us and many self-help books. However, Melissa believes that we need to really think about how accurate the ‘accusations’ are. Melissa introduced me to the Introvert-Extrovert continuum which basically illustrates that we are not The One or Another but the combination of the both. Here are some both extroverts and introverts’ definitions Melissa shared with me:

Characteristics of Extroverts Characteristics of Introverts
  • Talkative
  • Volunteers personal information
  • Easy to approach
  • Like to socialise
  • Outgoing
  • Get energy from being around others
  • Acts before thinking


  • Quiet and reserved
  • Private
  • Prefers to interact with fewer friends
  • Independent
  • Enjoys quiet
  • Gets energy from time alone
  • Thinks before acting


Melisa raises an interesting topic asking some challenging questions.

“How often do we find ourselves acting like an extrovert when we know (is it possible to know hundred per cent?) we are an introvert?  Do you often find yourself behaving like an introvert even though you prefer to be an extrovert?”  Melissa asks.

Melissa believes that we tend to switch our preferences from one to another. It doesn’t mean though that we ‘become’ an extrovert when required or other way round; however often shift from one to another and back depending on the situation. Let’s see what Melissa means by it:

  • You are an extrovert. However as soon as joined up with small group of close friends who you almost become an introvert. All of a sudden, you seem like the introvert in the entire group.
  • You are an introvert, but are working with a group of people who are more introvert than you; you have appeared to be an extrovert!
  • There is a team of introverts who are discussing an issue that needs solving. Everyone have something to contribute and there is lots of noise and chatter among the group.  You walk past and perceive it is a group of extroverts.

The point is that nothing is concrete and fixed” – says Melissa, – “It depends on the context as well as your nature.  It depends on, as I call it, the reference point.  It depends on how confident and familiar you are with the subject matter.  It depends if you’ve been having a good day or a bad day.

Historically, there has been just as much confusion in the psychological literature. Carl Jung originally defined introversion as a focus on one’s “inwardly directed psychic energy”. However, in the 30s, the psychologist J.P. Guilford showed that various attempts to measure Jung’s conceptualization of introversion resulted in multiple, distinct factors. In other words, there didn’t appear to be a single dimension of personality that captured all of introversion.

Jung defined introversion as an “attitude-type characterised by orientation in life through subjective psychic contents” (or focus on one’s inner psychic activity). Extroversion on the other hand was defined as “an attitude type characterised by concentration of interest on the external object” (or the outside world).

The most common misunderstanding of the extroversion-introversion dimension is that introverts are more introspective than extroverts. In reality, introverts are not necessarily introspective and highly introspective people aren’t necessarily introverted. In a recent analysis, Jennifer Grimes, Jonathan Cheek, and Julie Norem found that measures of Jung’s conceptualization of “Thinking Introversion”– introspectiveness, fantasy proneness, and having a rich inner life– were not significantly correlated with Big Five scales of extraversion-introversion, including a need for positive stimulation and gregariousness.

What many people ascribe to introversion really belongs in the intellect/imagination domain. Intellect/imagination represents a drive for cognitive engagement of inner mental experience, and encompasses a wide range of related (but partially separate) traits, including intellectual engagement, intellectual curiosity, intellectual depth, ingenuity, reflection, introspection, imagination, emotional richness, artistic engagement, and aesthetic interests.

Interestingly, “people who score low in extroversion are not necessarily turned inward; rather, they are less engaged, motivated, and energized by the possibilities for reward that surround them. Hence, they talk less, are less driven, and experience less enthusiasm. They may also find levels of stimulation that are rewarding and energizing for someone high in Extraversion merely annoying or tiring (or even overwhelming, depending on their level of Neuroticism)“, according to Scientific American.

CURIOUS FACT: Are you still having trouble deciding where you fit?  Sometimes people can exhibit characteristics which are not ‘typical’ of their type.


Melissa and I both have always felt like we are definite introverts; however most of people around us are certain of our extroversion. She calls this phenomena Enthusiastic Introverted Type. Therefore Melissa believes that it doesn’t really matter if we are introverted or extroverted as we tend to adjust to context. In saying that, I must ad that, knowing yourself allows you to adapt easier and fitter. If we are aware of what our strengths and weaknesses are whether it is our personality traits, experiences or skills, it no doubt makes our existence easier and happier.


However, if you are still not sure which type do you belong to, you in fact could be a representative of ambiversion.

The majority of the population are, in fact, ambiverts. Moreover, ambiverts seem like a grey area in the personality-type world. Our personalities are varying mixtures of introverted and extroverted functions. The majority of us have traits of both [introverted & extroverted] personalities which are contextually driven.

The say, ambiverts are people who don’t really prefer one way of functioning over another. What do you think? Keep the conversion going! Share your observation, opinion and research!

Acknowledgement: Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania – Nutrition & Well being Consultant, Melissa Legovic – Loner Wolf – 


The Ugly Truth About Multitasking

I’ve always thought I could multitask my tasks with no problem. Especially since stepping into an event marketer role’s shoes, where multitasking is in the core of the job, I felt like I am an absolutely multitasking guru. Everyone around me seems to be getting along with this beast too. How wrong was I! I wrote an article for criterion conferences I am very eager to share with you today:

Anna Kochetkova: The Ugly Truth About Multitasking

Did you know that only 2 percent of us can really juggle multiple tasks without our performance’s taking a serious hit? 

WARNING: one study out of University of Londonshowed that multitasking lowers your IQ by around 10 points. Are you now worried about missing out on higher IQ score because of the multitasking nature of your work, studies or personality? Don’t!

BREAKING NEWS: apparently there are exceptional people out there. David Strayer, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah, discovered a few “super” humans who can in fact multitask without sacrificing their performance. Dr Strayer calls them “supertaskers.” He believes that there is a very small but persistent subset of the population (which is about 2 percent) whose performance does not deteriorate, and can even improve, when multiple demands are placed on their attention,” explains a fascinating recentNew Yorker article on Strayer’s work. However, just like anyone extraordinary, these people are true outliers.

OPPOSITION VIEW: the rest of the world cannot multitask. “When you perform multiple tasks that each require some of the same channels of processing, conflicts will arise between the tasks, and you’re going to have to pick and choose which task you’re going to focus on and devote a channel of processing to it,” says David Meyer, a cognitive scientist at the University of Michigan.

HOW OUR BRAIN WORKS? Meyer’s work explained how multitasking is problematic. It turns out the brain’s ability to process information is limited in a variety of ways including processing channels, limits on data volume, velocity and, of course, working memory. You simply can’t do two cognitively complicated tasks at the same time.

LIFE APPLICATION: “I can listen to a radio and write this blog post” I would say. Some people will argue that they can talk on the phone while writing an e-mail or making notes which is multitasking. David Mayer explains that when you’re on the phone and writing an e-mail at the same time, for example, you’re actually switching back and forth between the two tasks. There is only one mental and neural channel through which language flows. David Mayer argues that if a task complex enough and you continue to switch between a few you will end up not completing both of them or end up giving all your attention to one task only as it would get too hard to concentrate.

Moreover, David Mayer claims that multitasking is simply dangerous for your health. “Even the most adept multitasker will ‘crash and burn”’ trying to resolve simultaneous conflicting demands”, he says. This is exactly why mobile phones are not allowed while driving in Australia. When you’re driving, you have to use the language channel to read signs and plan your next move. However trying to have a phone conversation while reading signs or making a turn will never work, one task will end up being unperformed. Mayer claims, trying to complete two or more tasks at once can take 50 percent more time or longer (depending on the complexity of the tasks). This does not sound like something any of business people would want to hear. However it is not all that sad.


Finding Out What Works for You: Scheduling vs Multitasking POSTED BY TIMEA

The Internet: love it or hate it?

- Young people are constantly staring at their mobile screens.

- People now talk to their phones and screens more often than relatives.

- People seem to prefer online to offline, the real world.

- Predators can now find our kids easier and more discrete.

- The Internet and social media obsession is an addictive disease making people fat, dumb and anti-social. It is all about businesses making money.

The Internet: love it or hate it?

About a century ago it was television that was blamed all the world’s miseries for.  In 2014, when its now been 10 years since we moved to Facebook for our friendly catch ups and witch-y bragging, it is all about social media being evil. Just like forbidden music on the radio, evil TV sets tearing families apart and mobile phones radiation, The Internet has now separated our world into obsessed with it and totally hate it.

Anna Kochetkova: The Internet: love it or hate it?


I happened to be dating a hater while representing an obsessed lover on the Internet. Opposites attract, indeed.

I myself moved on from “Facebook? Me? No way” in 2008 to “OMG this is amazing” in 2010. I wasn’t born the way I am now about the Internet. I was the last kid on the block who’s parents finally got a computer (even though all it could do was showing an empty blue screen). I also became a victim of online thread years before media started to talk about online bullying. I’ve gone through some long and steep learning curve before I was converted into the Internet follower and social media lover.

Social media is now my job, my passion and my leisure. Is it evil because it took me off the real life putting behind the screen? Am I deprived from sleep, social interaction or started loosing my mind? Am I a lonely and anti-social individual hiding behind the screen of my laptops with 20 cats sleeping all over my desk? Believe it or not but I am one of the most social people you will ever meet, I have no sleeping issues, exercise regularly, spend as much time outside as I can, have no cats and have been in loving long term relationship for over 4 years now. The Internet has changed my life a lot but it has not changed who I am.

I am an introvert. I love my me-time. I am not lonely when I am alone. The Internet, in fact, feeds my cravings for being along enhancing my offline life. I’ve embraced social media almost fully integrating it into my life sharing, researching, chatting, updating, learning, buying, producing, selling, etc, etc, etc. However, when I get tired I turn it off, I go for a run and come back into the online stream fresh and excited.

Society is founded on communicating knowledge. That is why language and writing were invented. The Internet is just a faster way of exchanging that knowledge. Like cars were faster than horses and the telegraph faster than letters, the Internet is just a step up on the road to instant communication of thoughts, ideas, and information.

The Internet has changed our lives making some practices obsolete and others enhanced. The Internet has replaced some of the things people used to do regularly. Handwriting a letter, for example,  78 percent of people in America is something they have given up.

Is Spongebob Ruining Our Kids Lives?

I love animation wether it is American, Russian, Mexican, Japanese or European production. I’ve always loved living in colorful imaginary worlds of Disney. It resonates with my personality and occasional escape-tism. Although The Little Mermaid and Bugs Bunny used to me my two heroes in my late childhood I did not plan to become one of them. My answer to the question ‘Whom do you want to be when grow up’ was traditional including a few ‘ordinary’ options like a vet, a cosmonaut and whatever else was a popular back in Russia in the early and mid 90s.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me that his nephew (a new generation kid) wanted to be Spongebob when he grows up.

Anna Kochetkova: spongebob burgers

I started watching Spongebob fairly late in my life because back in Russia (when I was a kid) we only watched local or Japanese production with only a little bit of Disney sprinkles. I always loved Spongebob but of course never wanted to be one. At the end of the day, he is a sponge. How can he be a role model? Apparently, he can.

My friend’s nephew announced his hero (Spongebob) which absolutely shocked my friend who replied with the following: ‘So you want to be a middle aged guy who flips burgers his entire life, cannot pass a driving license exam and goes jellyfish catching on the weekends with a Sea Star who appears to be either really dumb or intellectually challenged?’

It made me thinking… I grew up with fairly tales. I grew up with my mothers stories she read me about Vikings, warriors and princesses, witches and magic. The year 2014 kids love Spongebob. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Spongebob happiness and easy attitude toward life; however, as my friend pointed out, Spongebob has no ambitions, no drive and cries every time something goes wrong in his life, he is naive, trusting and always gets in silly troubles in real life could cost our kids their lives.

Is modern animation production putting our kids in danger? 

Five Elements I Stand By: Creating Awesome Brands

I love this SlideShare so felt obliged to share it with you! Take a few minutes and check it out.

These are the elements which make up the working environment of your dream (well, or mine, definitely lol). These five elements generate millions in revenue, changing the world. These five elements make up awesome brands! Be a part of The #awesome!

The Curious Case of Anna Kochetkova: from sole trader to full timer.

It’s almost been a month since my last post. How embarrassing! I must admit I’ve gone slack with my blogging because I’ve been blogging for everyone else but myself. My freelance writing was going pretty good and I was running out of hands with the amount of coming through work.

Although I was snowed down with writing I accepted a job offer starting my marketing career from scratch. My marketing experience goes back a few years ago. It started with search engine optimisation and copy writing. I’ve now taken a new challenge aboard and joined an event marketing team within a large Sydney organisation starting up as a marketing assistant. It doesn’t make sense to you? 

Starting up with criterion conferences

So many people are working hard on moving on to working solo lifestyle (or partnerships), embracing self-employment whereas I moved on from sole trading to employment agreeing on earning less money than I was making two weeks ago, freelancing for mortgage brokers and small accounting firm. Why would I make such seemingly stupid move in my career?

I worked for IT, finance, music, building, education and a few other industries over the last few months which I enjoyed a lot; but I felt like it was time to move on. It might sound absolutely crazy to you but my desire to try working for bigger sharks grew proportionally with the growing amount of freelance work I started to get. Childish for some, challenging for others, I decided to abandon self-employment and dive into the corporate world. And you know what, I am also determined to make an exciting career out of this experience, before I jump into a new adventure. Does it mean I won’t blog anymore? Of course not! As soon as I get back on my feet I will be back typing my life away. Give me about a week or two! :)

Does it mean self-employment wasn’t for me? I cannot give you a definite answer at this stage in my life. I think I lacked the courage and the knowledge. I don’t think I was tough enough. However, I did enjoy working for myself and I feel I will be back. However at this time of my life I am embracing something different. I am sailing towards the unknown.

I had to say No to a few potential clients and even a few current ones which pissed them off. I am thinking it will affect my brand in the future; however sometimes we are ought to make tough decisions in order to move on forward. So here I am, undressed by my honestly, telling the whole world that I’ve swapped self-employment, thousands of people chase, for corporate full time employment starting from the very beginning of the career ladder.

If you find this experience curious stick around – I will be blogging a lot about it. 

BONUS ANNOUNCEMENT: in the course of my work with Parramatta based accounting firm I was lucky to work on trade show organisation. The experience is absolutely priceless! I’ve started drafting the blog and will be sharing it with you hopefully in about two weeks. I highly recommend you stay in touch – it will blow your mind away.

I am also running my second City2Surf tomorrow and if you are in Sydney, please feel free to come down to Bondi Beach! See you at the finish line!

Internet Trends 2014


A good geeky friend of mine sent me this awesome document I am ought to share with you today. PLEASE CLICK TO OPEN THE PDF -> Internet Trends 2014 by Mary Meeker

Here is a quick overview of the 164 pages. I am still going through it right now and find it fascinating! Good luck scrolling down.



My Nominated Burpees Video Inspiration

So videos hey! 

If you remember I posted Consumers Love Video in January. I initially wrote it way before that. It sat in my folder for a few months. Shocking I know! It happened so because I initially wrote this piece for a business which did not want to do anything with video production (marketing agency we are talking about). later on I simply forgot about this work and only got back to it in January while I was writing other stories.

Consumers Love Video wasn’t the only forgotten work of mine…


About a year ago now (OMG I know) I was ‘nominated’ by the crazy obstacle racing people which I wrote a lot about in my other blog. Let me please explain, Crazy in a good way of course! :)

So I was told to do my 10 burpees and video record it putting online and nominating the next ‘victim’. I went on and completed this task straight away… with a smile on my face! However when it came to putting it online I didn’t feel like sharing my raw work. At the end of the day, I’ve done MANY amateur video / photo editing and just couldn’t leave my burpee video hang there unedited.

Since I am not the video guru at all and still learning, the video came out squeezed and squashed making me some really awkwardly large size. Well, I guess this is my start!

The start of something new, a little frighting, challenging and super exciting.

It is time to work on my own videos!!! 

I met this absolutely amazing woman couple of weeks ago, Amanda Rose who inspired me! As a result, I decided to go back to all my videos I’ve created before… thinking of potential ways to move forward. It was only natural to post my burpees video finally!


As you know I am running for Cancer Council on the 13th of July which is now taking off next Sunday. I am extremely excited as I used to hate running due to the pain and discomfort I used to get (my doctor advised me to never run if I want to be able to walk) during this awkwardly looking process.

I absolutely love it now! Moreover I am collecting donation for Cancer Council as a part of my running experience.

How can this not be inspiring and motivating?! Feel free to jump aboard and donate.

Please donate to Cancer Council Today I had an awesome 10km trail run training and I’ve created some great short videos I am putting together now! Let’s hope you guys see it very soon. I am still learning this side of the marketing / fun world so you will have to get some patience somewhere :)

Bottom line, videos are amazing! Don’t believe? Go and see what your competitors are doing? 

If you are not a business owners you shouldn’t be reading my blog. KIDDING! If you are not a business owners but a runner , creating videos of your progress, training and story sharing is an amazing motivator.

As soon as you get really comfortable with the idea of video production you will get super excited every time pushing yourself to train more and train harder. While you are only establishing your relationship with your camera it would be a challenging but also incredibly exciting journey. I know that leaving your (or mine) comfort zone seems to be scary but, on the contrary, it is inspirational, entertaining and highly valuable. Be scared for a minute and grateful till the rest of your life!