My name is Diana and I am currently 24 years old, all the amazing times and opportunities ahead of me!
I have never considered myself a good writer or someone who could start her own blog. Nevertheless, today I have decided to do so. I have decided to do it because I want to share an extremely important message with all of you, with those of you who feel stuck in their lives or who are not following their wildest dreams! Don’t pay attention to the style or expressions I use, but focus your attention on the meaning of this piece and it could be your turning point for the best! 🙂
I was always told by teachers in high school that I will not be anything or that in best case I would become someone’s secretary, only because I did not shine with my grades and had interests which every girl in her puberty has. Already in such a young age they were trying to fit me into a box and always brought out the things I lacked instead of encouraging me and acknowledging my good qualities. I was measured down by my academic achievements and by how I dressed, how I did my make up or for whatever other reason that doesn’t matter in the bigger picture. I was always told by my high school teachers that I will not get a good job because I’m not smart enough, but here I am today, owning my own business and hiring people to work for me. My English was not the best during the high school time and when I asked my English teacher to help me with applying to university in Denmark she just laughed…once again here I am today, having my BA done in Denmark in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. For all that, today I can communicate in five different languages, in which I’m continuously improving myself and strive to learn more.
Here is my story, that I hope, will inspire you and most important MAKE YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF WHICH IS THE MAIN THING WE NEED TO HAVE TO ACT TOWARDS OUR DREAMS! THE MOMENT YOU SET YOUR MIND TO SUCCEED, CREATE YOUR HABITS TOWARDS SUCCESS, YOU WILL BECOME UNSTOPPABLE AND YOU WILL LIVE YOUR DREAMS!
Our society has created so many “norms” for us. Norms, that we all want or are forced to follow just to be seen as someone “very good”, “smart”, “successful”, “normal”, etc. Unfortunately, in our society it does not matter what makes you happy, but what makes you acceptable for others. Here I would like to say my thoughts about it. I believe that everything is normal until we don’t hurt or “destroy” someone with our actions.
When 17 years ago I started my school journey, I realized that I have more interest in spending time with children who are few years older than me. I had two good girlfriends also from my own class, but their parents were not thrilled about me, so often they were not allowed to communicate with me. I got the blame on all the childhood stupidities, that we were doing together, only, because I communicated with older children.
Physically I also looked older than children in my age. My body started to change so much earlier than my age-peers. So, from first grade I started to have older friends and company with who I was “hanging around”. People always find themselves form the communities with who they look similar, think similar or have similar interests. There was nothing wrong with me evolving faster than others, but jet many tried to make me think or feel that way.
Already from first grade I did not impress my teachers and already from first grade I had started to be told who I probably will become. Can you imagine? Crazy. In first grade, we don’t know ourselves… our personalities… we are still learning our values and we apprehend the world so much differently.
Recently I found my old classmate from Instagram with who I went to the same school from 1-3 grade. I saw his Instagram posts and I just say, I don’t believe this was his childhood dream to become. And I am not talking about some “bad job” or something, but someone, who has just taken the easier way. The same boy was always struggling at school and the reason I remember him so well, is because one time the teacher got so mad at him that she just kicked his head with a book. It was shocking. Okay, I understand you might be a difficult child and so on… but such violence has no place, especially if you are an educated school teacher. I wonder what he would’ve become if someone would’ve encouraged him and said, “You are a good boy and if you just try harder you will make it” or whatever other encouraging words. In life, we most likely become what surrounds us. It is difficult to become any better if you don’t know better.
When I started my fourth grade I changed the school, because I moved to another part of town. When I was a fourth grader I looked like someone in eighth grade, because as mentioned above my body just changed earlier. Once again, I found myself from a company with few years older students that I was. I never felt that I’m younger than any of them and I was never treated as someone younger.
From fifth grade I started to discover another interesting thing, that took my mind away from studies totally. I always did good enough to pass, but that was not my interest to be the best in class. I wanted to have my free fun time with friends but I also knew I don’t want to fail in school. So I just simply gave my studies enough time to at least pass and then I had enough time to do things that were so much more fun for me.
My teachers certainly did not like that. I heard so many bad words and sayings. I remember by the sixth or seventh grade I started to put even more effort on how I look, I used solarium, I had super long nails, I wore so much make up that if I think now back in time I just laugh. But I was happy. I did not do any harm to nobody. I enjoyed being that time just young and beautiful (don’t get me wrong, I don’t considerate myself old now at all). I enjoyed the attention of opposite sex and there was not needed much for me to feel happy. So, of course if someone much older than me is saying to me I need to think about my future, I did not take it seriously. Why should have I? I was so young… I had all this time ahead, when I could be serious and think about what I will become. When then can we feel fun and be this careless empty person when not at that age? I always knew I will be something big and I was always sure of it, but at that time I didn’t put any effort in it, I just enjoyed life. I did not fail in school, I had it under control, not in the best sense but still, never was I in danger of failing. And if sometimes if not with my own mind then I had super awesome classmate, a boy who was so smart and always helped me out if needed. Thank you Martin Jeret!
Here are some pictures of me when I was 13 years old and 15 years old:
13 years old (Ducati model)
15 years old
Some of my teachers, although they kept saying to me all the negative stuff like how I will not find a good job, how I will just be in best case someone’s secretary… wow, they had all my future in front of their eyes and they sure did not hold it to themselves. Eventually I did not enjoy going to any of those teachers’ classes to learn something from someone who feels so negative about me. I still went, but I had 0 interest to study there. In this age now I understand that with that I only harmed myself with it, but when you are 12, 13, 14, etc. you don’t realize it. What studies? What future? No, I was so too young and beautiful and I enjoyed making boys go crazy rather than to just study and live my life to make someone else happy or impress someone else. We have one life, why live it for someone else? Important is not to hurt anyone and to be happy. We sense the world so differently at this age. Hereby I would like to thank my physics teacher who was teaching until 9th grade and was always so good and encouraging towards me. I believe therefore I also did well in her class. I did not want to disappoint her and never allowed myself to have bad attitude towards her classes as I did towards other teachers classes. Thank you Maie Tibar!
When it was time to apply for 10th grade she even said to me, that she said good words about me for me to get accepted to the same school where I studied from 4-9 grade. I did not get accepted. Then I realized that okay, I need to level up because soon high school is also over and I always had a strong plan to go to university after I finish my high school. When I changed the school and stepped in to 10th grade, my grades were better. But once again I had struggles with teachers. I always had my own opinion and I was not shy about it. I don’t think I was rude, but I just questioned so many things and that again brought me in bad terms with many of my teachers.
I never had good relationships with language teachers. My Italian teacher seemed to always have a problem with me and although I really felt I was on the same level with my super awesome smart friends who I found in 10th grade, I still got graded lower. When I say my super awesome smart friends then I am not exaggerating. They were those students who had most of their grades the highest and in our company of three, I was seen as a black sheep because I didn’t have grades as good as they did. With those girls we are still best friends today.
When my classmate told my Italian teacher, that I am good at math she made big eyes and her reaction just showed me that she wanted to think of me as someone who just can’t do good. I always studied for her lessons, never had I skipped and I always had my homework done. Another year the teacher changed, she was nice and my grades were much better. I enjoyed being at her class, I did not feel like some “intruder”. Maybe I had strong opinions, but I still don’t think I was rude to anyone to receive such feedback. I believe you need to question things if they are unclear, that shows you have interest in the subject. If something seemed unclear or unfair I just asked. It was also eye to eye with my Russian and English teacher. I remember when I decided to apply to Danish university and asked my English teacher to help me with it, she just laughed and said that I am not at this level. Luckily, I decided to ignore her and still give it a try. I got in, if I would’ve had just a few points less I would’ve not gotten in, but that doesn’t matter, I got in and that’s it! Before I move on I would like to thank my high school main teacher who was always so awesome, I think she is the real teacher. She always encouraged, was so open minded, and she knew everything about everything. She was I think the youngest teacher but she is the REAL teacher. She made students feel good about themselves and she had very interesting classes. She wrote to our high school year book “Diana treats everyone the same as she is treated”. I have tendencies to speak very fast and when other saw it as a problem she said, “Diana is just a faster thinker”. I respect her a lot! She was always creative and understood that people are different. Thank you Maarja Tinn!
I also would like to thank my step-father Martin Noodla who helped me with all the needed paper work in English and who helped me first two months in university with my school work.
Before I move on to my studies in Denmark I would like to say, if there is any teacher who is now reading this, please understand that those 12 years or just a few years of those 12 where students look up to you and learn from you, it is important to be kind to them. Your sayings can and will affect everyone of your students somehow and unfortunately big part of our confidence comes from the feedback of our surroundings. Don’t place your students in the box and don’t celebrate only those who do well with grades. Good grades only, do not help anyone in life. This what we think or believe of ourselves, that helps us in our lives. This how we have formed our minds towards life and ourselves, that will help us in life.
If you are a student reading this then take all you can from everything. If your passion is not to study then at least listen during your class and pay attention, you anyway need to sit there so just take this time and use it for your own good. No matter how much you don’t like the teacher or something else, all you make is only for yourself and only you eventually will do harm or benefit yourself. You never know what knowledge in life can present you with amazing opportunities. Don’t forget having fun. Life is short, but as I said, if you already need to sit in this class then better use this time for your own good and be like a sponge that takes in all the knowledge given 🙂
If during 1-12 grade I had full confidence, I never was afraid to speak up or wasn’t insecure about myself, I always believed that I can achieve and do things although I was often, too often confirmed that this is not true. When I got to university all changed. First 2 years I made my AP degree in marketing management. In classes I was always quiet and even if someone else answered the same answer that I had in my mind, I was too scared to say it first because I always thought it is wrong or stupid. My first 12 years in school affected me so much. I didn’t think nothing of myself and I did not know my worth or value.
Here is picture of me on my first day in university
I finished my AP degree I moved on to do my BA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Most of the students were older than me and I got even more insecure. I remember when I introduced myself to people I talked of myself as someone lower than that and said how I think I am not in this level to be there with people like this in the same class. From the first day, I promoted myself to others as someone who is very insecure and unworthy. Nobody wants to surround themselves with people who don’t know their worth.
I remember in our first day of BA studies we had a competition and we needed to formulate 4 teams. There were 4 people choosing their team members. I got chosen last. That was an unpleasant feeling. I felt like I am not a full part of the team because, I was just a leftover. So I knew I needed to step up a little so that I would never get chosen last again in anything.
Our assignment was to come up with business ideas and make money, the team, that gets the most earnings will win. We got a second place and the most money that we earned came from the part I made. I had an awesome team and we all co-operated and it was a team work. But I was working as a beautician and masseur next to my studies in a beauty salon so I offered to make massages to people. My classmate was driving me to places and I did the job. Same time everyone else of course also did their part. Then I remembered a guy that sells bikes very cheap, so I bought the bike and sold it with more than twice from the price I had bought it. I tried to level and step up because I had this feeling that I was in this group only cause I was the last one to be picked..
I did not realise it then that I will always be selected last to everywhere if I did not stop promoting myself as someone who doesn’t value her worth and as someone who is so unsecure.
Me working as a masseur next to my studies
During my BA studies, I had very long days. I left home at 7am and arrived back at 10pm. I had basically a full-time job next to my studies and I had only 2 days free per month. Eventually I did not have time for anything. Not for my friends, not for my studies. I fell in depression. Being a masseur is a physically hard job. On weekends, I worked full days and after every school day 5 hours. I did not enjoy this job eventually at all. I felt like I am stuck in somewhere and I was living my life with no purpose. School was so hard for me, I always felt tired and most of the time I had no clue what I was doing. Luckily in Denmark the study system is very open minded and they handle depression as a serious matter. From the second semester, I was given an opportunity to still finish my school if Ii at least hand in exam papers, assignments and show up at exams. But I still needed to learn all the materials somehow. For me it wasn’t enough just reading about it. At the time my head was just full of all the negativity towards myself and to learn new things got more and more difficult.
I wanna say thank you to Mette Bonde, who was one of my teachers when I did my BA, and who gave me many encouraging words. It meant so much!
I decided to write to a student that had finished her studies a year before me. Her name is Zaiga Circene and she is just awesome!! She sat with me from her free time to discuss materials with me and to help me understand them. Our meetings were often around 5 h and almost every week and some weeks we needed to meet more than one day. I have so much respect towards her. You don’t find people like that often. I was a total stranger to her and she still helped me, guided me and explained to me the topics that I didn’t understand. She was such a big help for me and she had the ability to explain the things in such an easy way with all the examples and it was just easier for me to do my exams and defend my papers. Thank you Zaiga, you are AMAZING!! I will always remember you!
That time on my life I felt was the lowest, because I did not feel excited about anything and everything just seemed so pointless. People around me also got tired about me constantly complaining about how sad I am and how bad everything is. Looking back today, I don’t even remember this me or it is difficult now to even understand what was going on in my head. Why I let those thoughts control me for a few years. Instead of taking any action towards changes, it was just easier to cry and think how bad it all is and how I am a nobody. I was at such a low point with my mind. I didn’t want to start the day, I needed to count reasons why I should do it… just wanted to give up on everything.
I knew that I needed to take some action for things not to get worse. I said to my boss I cannot work that much anymore and that I wanted to have at least 2 free weekends. I didn’t want to be a masseurs or a beautician for the rest of my life. I did not go to Denmark with the main intention to work, but I went there to study and become something more. But at some point, of the time the job ruled my life and not the studies that I went there for. I felt empty and that was never my plan to be regular. When I say regular I don’t mean to have a regular job, but I mean that I don’t live my dream and I did nothing for it to change until I got rid of negative things that made me unhappy and focused my free time on things that actually would help me to grow. At that point I thought to myself “I am Diana Teniste” this is not how I dreamed myself to be, I will become what I dreamed to become.
I started to go to seminars and read a lot about mind-set. I realized that all those successful people from who I learned what it takes to become happy and live your dream life, shared the common thing. They all talked about the mind-set and what/how to do/practise to get yourself on the right track. My perspective of life totally changed and I took all what I have learned and implemented it to my own life and totally re formulated my habits. Now when I was introducing myself to people I did not tell my weaknesses but I communicated about myself as someone great and awesome. With the way, how I spoke and the way how I communicated with my body language. Those two things are both equally important. In few seconds people create their first impression about someone. Even if you shake their hand, be firm and don’t give a “dead fish”. That already tells a lot.
On third semester, we needed to find for ourselves a company where we can take the internship. I knew I wanted to do my internship in Spain in a real estate company. I had also an opportunity to do it in Denmark. That way I could’ve keeped my job during my internship time and it would’ve been easier considering my financial situation. I am happy I did not take the easy way. If you want something you will ALWAYS find ways to do it. I worked a lot to collect money for myself to get by those 4 months that I had my internship.
By that time, I already practised changing my habits and mind-set. Now when I went somewhere or did something I did it in a way that it would not be a time waste. Meaning that if I participated somewhere, in seminars or anywhere else, I would take all out of it to make my time spent well. That well, that it would matter and I would get out of it something (new connections, opportunities, knowledge).
When I started my internship, I did not have the mentality like most of the students have. Mentality that this is just unpaid internship and I will just hang around there. I went there with a serious thought that if I spend there 4 months of my life, I will not do it to be closer to receive a paper from school that says I am highly educated, but to have myself something much bigger that will help me in life. It could’ve been good connections, job offer, new knowledge or whatever, but at least something that is useful for me. The most precious thing is time, we never get it back. So be sure you use it well!
Picture I took after I had defended my final thesis
When there was only a month left until the end of my internship, the company owner, Mischa Sepp, came to me and asked what are my future plans and where do I see myself. I answered him, that I have always knew I want to eventually own my own business. He then told me that he has seen me who I am as a person and how I treat working tasks or challenges and he likes what he sees in me. I had made a good research and found out many things that the market is lacking. He then told me he has an idea and he would like me to step in. He then asked how I would see our co-operation with it. I told him I am willing to spend and invest the same amount of time and money and I want to own the concept equally with him. He agreed. I was thinking to myself WOW, someone who is already successful, doing well in his life and is intelligent in many ways is interested of having a business with me. That is awesome! I did not only get started with my own business, but I got it started with someone who is already experienced. So now I have my business partner who I can also consider as a mentor because he already has much knowledge and experience. With that I already can avoid many mistakes that I would’ve maybe done myself. Not all mistakes, that would be impossible. Mistakes are always good and from them we learn and grow, but I definitely avoid doing many of them by having an opportunity to have a business with someone as my business partner.
Year after that, I was the one who offered the internships. Awesome! So that was a little introduction of how our Interhomes Online Networking Property portal born.
Next to my studies I also learned Danish and I still keep improving it. I met in Denmark my absolutely amazing Russian boyfriend Erik Fijalov, with who today we have been living together over 3 years and who was there for me when I had all my ups and downs and was so big support in so many ways. This is what I would call “boyfriend goals” J! Thank you Erik! With him I have improved my Russian language and about half a year ago I also started to take Spanish language courses. My days are usually 17 h full of work and studies, but they go so fast because I enjoy every day and I enjoy what I am doing. I don’t hate Mondays and I don’t wait Fridays. I love every day the same and for me the weekend looks the exact same as the week days. I can decide myself when I need a brake and a free time, I don’t need to ask from anyone a day off for it. I am a decider of my own time and activities. The thing is, that a work day for me is the same enjoyable as a day that I take for myself just to relax and spend some time with my friends and family. I don’t hate mornings. I love mornings because I know it is a new day what I have given to get more awesome opportunities or things happening to me. Simply because I know my biggest goals and I know thanks to those long days I am everyday closer to them. I DESIRE TO ACHIEVE THEM! With the mind that I have now I recognize opportunities around me and I take action. When people mostly treat the fair as something that works against them, I treat it in a way to make it work for me.
Today I have met and seen people who in many ways are smarter than me, but does not live the life they dream about also including some of my friends. When we talk I hear always the same reasons why they don’t take action towards their wildest dreams. It is always “I am afraid it might not work out”, “I don’t have time next to my day job”, “I don’t think I am good enough for it”. I have understood that why all people are not successful or living their dream. It is because they lack of self-belief, are afraid or don’t realise that in order to get things happen for you, you are the one who need to start to create them to happen for you!
Don’t be afraid, try and do things. Ignore the thought “impossible” instead find the ways, nothing is impossible, NOTHING! Things come impossible the moment you will say it is impossible and things become possible the moment YOU DECIDE IT IS POSSIBLE!
“HE WHO SAYS HE CAN AND HE WHO SAYS HE CAN’T ARE BOTH RIGHT!”.
Today I have just recently moved back to Estonia and I have been writing to schools and contacting with the people who can get me in touch with teaching about what I have gathered from the mind-set and habits towards success. I have got interest from the schools that back in times I could’ve only dream about getting in to study there and today I have opportunity to teach there.
I am so passionate about this topic and to share it with others. I want that you who you might struggle now would know that you can do more, you can live better and you can have it all. I want to say to you who you were always cheered at school by the teachers because you had the best grades and everyone said you have a bright future but currently you are not living your dream because of the reasons that are mentioned above, GO OUT THERE, TRY MORE, DON’T ACCEPT THE AVARAGE if that does not make you happy. You were not the average, so why should you be now!
If your wildest dream is to be a hairdresser then be it and enjoy it. If your wildest dream is to be a millionaire then find ways for it, do it and be it! If your wildest dream is about learning something that you think you can’t, just do it, try it and you see you can!
Don’t give yourself a chance one day to look back with a regret and think “What if”. Try, fail, embrace the failure, learn, don’t give up and you become what you DREAM!
ALWAYS LEARN NEW THINGS AND GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
I love the phrase from the movie Rocky:
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa