By Brianna Wiest
Zdravko Cvijetic is a writer and the founder of the site Zero To Skill. He is an educator and entrepreneur, and has worked as a Learning Experience Director & Strategy Owner in Mindvalley in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (one of the best companies in Personal growth industry), and working with several New York Times Best-selling authors. He has a degree in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning at University of Belgrade, Serbia. He’s attended more than 50 conferences and educated over 3000 people from 120 countries, ranging from students all the way to CEOs, and created his own startup, Youth Consulting.
1. What is the most liberating thought you’ve ever had?
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
The most liberating thought was that it’s more than okay to express your uniqueness, and go after your dreams (no matter how cliche it might sound).
2. What did it liberate you from?
From the belief that my progress depends solely on people around me and starting circumstances in life.
3. What does it mean to live a good life?
It means that you have full control over your time, and freedom to do the things that make you feel happy and that you are growing.
4. What illusion have you suffered from the most?
That there is something called a normal behaviour.
The reality is that no matter how you behave, there will be someone who will think its wrong. If not in one country, it will happen in another.
So, to simplify things, be authentic and take calculated risks.
5. If you could go back and whisper in the ear of your 16-year-old self, what is the one thing you would tell them?
It’s okay to be different and own it up.
6. What does love feel like? (Real love, not hormonal love or I-like-the-idea-of-you-so-I’m-on-a-high love).
Hah. Good question.
It feels like laying down on a hammock, on a hot summer day, while being in the shade, with the breeze blowing, just enough to create a perfect balance.
Or, like a perfect Sunday. When the rain is falling, you have a cup of coffee and a book with you. And sitting opposite off you, is your partner, in their own world.
7. What does your daily routine look like?
That depends on my current lifestyle.
When things are more defined and certain, I get up around 5 and commit first several hours to myself, then go into deep work, and towards the evening socializing, and before sleep working more, and then detoxing from technology.
When they are not, I just use every available moment to get closer towards my goals and embrace uncertainty and crazy momentum.
8. What’s your favorite thing to look at?
Sunrise, from a rooftop. It’s calming.
9. Describe your perfect weekend.
A perfect mixture of adventure, and reflection.
Focusing on yourself, and reflecting on the week.
And doing the opposite with people close to you.
10. What do you worry about the most?
Waking up ten years from now, going to a high-school reunion and complaining about life.
Because life should be lived, it shouldn’t be normal or mediocre.
It’s because of this quote:
“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” – Cecil Beaton
12. What makes you cry?
Saying goodbye to my niece.
Since I am not living in the same country as my family, every time I am there, and I need to leave again, this one is probably the most difficult thing I have to do.
13. What do you doodle on the sides of your papers?
I always drew Micky Mouse. And a heart or two.
14. What is the most serendipitous thing that has ever happened to you?
I honestly don’t know an answer to this question.
Maybe just the fact that I was born, that by itself was a long-shot.
15. How did your biggest struggles become the pathways to your greatest success?
Every challenge I’ve had in life shaped me into a person I am today. Some more than the other, but each one of them had their purpose.
So I would say that self-awareness, and trying to extract applicable lessons, was the key.
16. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Make my bed. Small win.
(And drink water.)
17. What do you wish you had more of in your life?
Virtue to celebrate successes and take it easy on me.
18. What do you find to be the most genuinely beautiful thing in the world?
Woah, that’s difficult.
I would say those pure moments of full immersion.
Whether a kid is cuddling a dog, or a musician playing.
Just seeing someone so passionate about something is incredible.
19. If you could be free of one thought or fear, what would it be?
That I would end my life, without doing my best, for myself and the world.
20. If you had the chance to tell every single person in the world just one thing, what would it be?
I wanted to put a quote, but I thought it should be something authentic.
Your uniqueness is worthless if you don’t find a way to express it in the world. What’s stopping you?