Season 1, Episode 18

Happiness is a Choice

with

Greta Kesa

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Today’s Guest

In today’s episode I am speaking with Greta Kesa.

Greta is a passionate problem solver who loves to speak up and make things happen.

Greta Kesa is originally from Lithuania and is now working in Malaysia with a passion for leadership and developing others at MindValley.

5.5 months into being Customer Support Specialist, she got an opportunity to lead the whole department and become responsible for Customer Support operations and people management in Mindvalley. One year after, her responsibility level extended to Customer Success/Experience where her main goal is to cooperate with other stakeholders within a company to solve main customers’ pain points.

Greta is especially interested in leadership and people empowerment, she has been actively writing her insights and sharing stories on LinkedIn.

In additional to that, Greta is working on online courses in Lithuania, pivoting her own upcoming Happiness Coaching Program, performs Bollywood dances and leads Zumba lessons as licensed instructor.

Greta adores and express herself through yellow color, and believes that it represents optimism, brightness and faith in her life.

 

If you love the show please leave a rating or a review.

If you have a comment or question please reach out to me at malini@malinisarma.com or on Instagram @gladiatrixpodcast

Guests

Greta Kesa

 Get This Episode

Malini Sarma 0:01

Hi, Greta thank you so much for being part of this show. I'm really, really excited for you to be on here because I know a lot of people are looking forward to hearing your story.

Greta Kesa 0:14

Hi, Malini, it's my pleasure to be

Malini Sarma 0:15

here. Thank you. So, as we talked earlier, I wanted to start off the interview with how your how you grew up. So you grew up in Lithuania, right? No traditional household. Do you want to just talk about some of your experiences, you know, that shaped your upbringing?

Greta Kesa 0:36

Sure, sure. Yeah, I grew up in traditional household and I think I always have been observing how much my parents are working. And you know, both of them had full time jobs and then a lot of initiatives, I would say they were really entrepreneurial. And, you know, when they tell me that in order To, to help me grow and have education and everything they have been, you know, planting flowers and, you know, selling random things and going from one place to another to buy some stuff and then resell it. And they were really businesslike people. And I think the attitude I grew up with that it's very hard to earn money. And actually, it requires a lot of, you know, hard work and difficult situations. And I think in the beginning, when I finished high school, and then university, I was feeling like, Oh, my God, it's gonna be a tough job. You know, it's gonna be challenging, because, of course, they grew up in different conditions. They grew up still in Soviet Union. And when I was born, Lithuania was already free, thank God, and I had different opportunities. But even now, when I sometimes talk to them, they have this Oh, yeah, it's easy for you now. So I'm sometimes even feeling unnecessarily guilt. But this, yeah, it's easy, but it's not bad. Or we can also have this approach. Because I grew up with understanding that you know, becoming an adult is very hard and only when you become an adult, you pay taxes, you get children, then you understand life. And I was kind of reminded by that, of course, from the place of love, because only one that was good for me. However, I think it puts certain beliefs in my system as well, which I needed to rethink a lot, I would say,

Malini Sarma 2:30

hmm. So would you say that most of the parents of your parents generation think that way and most of the of the children of parents who are like your age, think the way you think because of the just the conditioning of you know, the Soviet Union and how everything's really hard, but not because the markets are opened up and the world is opened up, you can do a lot more things.

Greta Kesa 2:56

I it will be very brief for me to say that right. I don't want to generalize but Thinking, let's say at least about my friends and my friend's parents, I would say mostly

Yes.

And sometimes we even have these jokes with our friends that, oh, in these times, everything was harder. So we kind of like, tease each other. And of course, you know, even if we look from facts perspective, we definitely have way more opportunities, right? Our generation is a bit different. So, I would say yes, but of course, read different people,

Malini Sarma 3:26

right? Or across the generations, right? So now that's a that's a, you know, like, we see a generational gap, right? The older people always think differently, but for you to have to combat completely different mindsets. I'm sure you must have had some role models growing up. So how did who were they did you have role models? And how did that shape your thinking?

Greta Kesa 3:45

Yeah, I do believe I, I did have and one of the strongest ones are access actually my dad. Because no matter what he helped, has always had this attitude towards life that you kind of need to have fun. And then and you know and joke around. And that's okay to be like funny and silly sometimes. And I think I really observed him during, let's say, relatives gatherings or just joking around. And I was thinking, Oh, I actually, maybe I also have this approach this, that life can be fun and we can play in life. And this kind of gave me I would say permission to be me to be fun and to be silly. For which actually, to be honest, I don't think I was punished in my later experiences at school or university or even students organization not punished in a bad way. But I was asked to be normal, which is also I think, started in upbringing to be normal. And just now, I would say a few years later, a few years before I started fully owning me and seeing that my dad's exactly It was stronger than I thought. And that I should, you know, keep this freedom and this love for life, which I learned from him. even stronger than then even he feels at this moment.

Malini Sarma 5:11

You know what I mean? Mm hmm. So when you were like when you were in school and college and everything, do people be like, Why are you so happy? Or don't you know life is hard? Is that what you mean? When people would say be normal?

Greta Kesa 5:24

Yeah, or I Yeah, exactly. Or for example, if I would, you know, give certain jokes or like just talk around and have a lot of excitement and like, people would be like, why is it happening and then when I became an I was still a student, but I was the leader of one team, and I would be super how to seem like bubbly, etc. So I was hearing these words like, get the leader should be serious. And then in kindergarten, I'm now even remembered when I was like, so happy and trying to catch boys around. I was told that the girls should be modest and not be doing this. All times as be normal, be normal, be normal and come into some standards. And I started believing in this and I think that's why in high school years, I was feeling like I'm not finding myself at all.

Malini Sarma 6:10

Hmm. So, so going into high school in college, how how, how would those experiences? What did you study? I mean, what would be what kind of prompted you to? How did you decide what major to study for? Or did you I mean, did you even have a choice? Did you just do whatever everybody else was doing?

Greta Kesa 6:34

I think I had the choice, but I think my choice was also based on some subconscious decisions and and environment. And I, I was a good student. And, you know, I had good grades and I basically could select almost from everything and anything, but I had no clue. Like, I think a lot of young people. Like I don't know what I exactly want. When I was choosing an international business studies in English, because my logic was if studies are bad, and I'm not learning anything, then at least I'll know some English.

Unknown Speaker 7:10

So that's a plus, you know,

Greta Kesa 7:12

that was basically my motivation. And I remember at once I wanted to maybe study political science and everything, but then my parents said, I assure in order to be a politician, you don't need to study that you can actually find the cause and then fight for it. And I'm like, okay, that actually makes sense. So that's why maybe I went more into this international business. And to be honest, like to be very honest, and maybe even vulnerable. At that time. My boyfriend was studying that. So I believe this is how I also made the choice even though I not my choice. Mm hmm. environment.

Malini Sarma 7:46

Yeah, yeah. So now, in Lithuania, does everybody speak English? Or do you have to go to study English?

Greta Kesa 7:53

No, no, not everybody speaks English, but I think like my generation most of us are speaking well. Okay, let's Let's say from my parents, my mom can understand a bit and speak with my dad doesn't speak at all. So English is not like super super common. Okay, so is that something you learn in high school? Or is that something you learned in university? In high school? Yes, it's like usually it's first foreign language and it starts either from second grade or from fourth grade. Or some parents even go extra mile and teach their kids even in kindergarten, but that's probably another topic.

Unknown Speaker 8:26

Okay.

Malini Sarma 8:27

So so basically English is is a foreign language for you. So not every Lithuanian would know English, they would understand they wouldn't be comfortable speaking. So, so for you to not only speak English, but be comfortable in it. That just speaks to words how determined you were to have, you know, fun and learn a lot of new things. So you, you you actually now work in Kuala Lumpur. You're not even in Lithuania. Right? Yes, that's true. So, how did you go from Lithuania to Malaysia? How did that happen? What was that story?

Greta Kesa 9:10

Okay, so there is there's this company called mind Valley. And that I got to know about in my student here is when I was part of organization youth organization called icic. Actually, it saved my student years because I didn't like my studies at all. And I really I was even thinking to quit it, etc. But I was so involved in this volunteering activities. And I think I learned all my skills there I made friends, I found my now husband there, and it really shaped me as personality. And in one of the conferences when I was leading local chapter, we were going to international conferences, and this company was there as well. Representatives of mind Valley, and I've heard about that when I thought down the street, this is really amazing, but sounds so so cool. Such Good place to work. It's literally from the culture perspective seemed like like this icic organization just blessed this, that was that you're getting paid for it. So how, how awesome it is. Mm hmm.

Malini Sarma 10:12

So what is icing? What is icic

Greta Kesa 10:15

so i think is a youth nonprofit organization which aims to, to bring get peace and human kind of potential into the world, okay. And it was actually established after second world war when countries were divided. And the main thing was exchanges between countries etc. So it has a lot of social projects. And it develops I think, leadership skills because as an example, when I was I think only 21, if I'm not mistaken, I was leading the local chapter of 40 plus people, and I needed to ensure that we have good finance flow, recruitment, etc. So these are organizations, and especially this organization for me, it shaped me a lot because it shifted my understanded understanding and showed me the world that showed me a lot of different people, you know, this diversity and, and the love for impact, which I think I still have that. It's not only us, we can develop but also the whole world. So I think is all about that. Mm hmm.

Malini Sarma 11:15

So um so from because you because you were part of this organization, you were able to travel and you were, you went for international conferences, and you happen to Did you meet somebody from my rally? Was it Was there somebody from your friends who talked about it? What happened after that?

Greta Kesa 11:35

Yeah, so they were making presentation people from mine Valley, but I was too scared to approach them because I thought this job is too cool for me and I thought it's even impossible. You know, it's too good to be true. Maybe for others. Yes, but I downgraded myself, like I think sometimes I have been doing along the journey. And I think I'm not alone doing this and just deciding, you know, for the world that I'm not good enough in this case. And And then the life life was going on. I found my dream job in Lithuania that time as a trainer of in big logistics company and I forgot about mine Valley. When me and my husband we went on our dream honeymoon to the US, I noticed that two of my friends are sharing about mind Valley and one of them were was there for one year and then another one for a few months. And I contacted them had the call and asked how is it and then I thought, if they can do it, maybe I can also try so they were my inspiration for dreams to come as reality. And then I applied for entry role for I would say, you know, the most central role for customer support agents. And I got it, even though I have to say that some people were challenging that and saying that that you were leading training to you know, more than 1000 people in huge logistics company to even board members. People twice of your age. And you know, you have this amazing girl. And now you're going to write emails. Mm hmm. So I was challenged, you know, for my decisions. Hmm. It was

Malini Sarma 13:12

it was not easy. So um, so you, you were on your own already gotten married. You were on your honeymoon when you heard about the position. And then so you heard about your friends applying there. And so you had applied as well. And so you when you when you got back to Lithuania after your honeymoon would you do?

Greta Kesa 13:35

So we actually we were just waiting for for results, because I applied and when we reached Lithuania, I was still in selection process. And we were thinking What do we do now? So we actually went unemployed because before our honeymoon, we quit our jobs, just to you know, pursue our dreams. And we were these. I was like we were this young couple who thought that we're gonna stay in the US longer. Huh, because our apartment was rented, we had no more jobs, nothing. And we're like, okay, we're coming back what's now so it was funny period. But we've got officially unemployed. Mm hmm. So I we applied for that until we get some clarity on on mind Valley offer. And I remember me and my husband sitting at home at his parents home my thing and saying, Okay, look, no matter how the results go, let's just buy one way tickets to Asia anyway. And let's see what world you know, getting to us. So we agreed on that. But But thankfully, a few months after I got the job, and we started planning this this journey, after being few months and employed and you know, just having fun with other projects as well.

Malini Sarma 14:47

So, so you were so you were in Lithuania until you until you got the job? Yes. Okay, so is your husband also in my family or is he doing something else?

Greta Kesa 14:59

No. He is he's freelancing. He's doing affiliate marketing and technological gadgets reviews, okay. And I'm super happy because he converted his hobby into the job along the way.

Malini Sarma 15:11

Okay, so you guys had already discussed this probably before you got married. I'm sure everybody around you, especially your parents must have been like, What is wrong with them? They are getting married and they're actually giving up their jobs, and then they're going to be traveling do they have? What is? I'm sure they must assess stuff like that. No.

Greta Kesa 15:33

Yes, but not out loud that much because they already knew me. And that, you know, anyway, I will go my way. And

I think, you know, the thing is that

my parents couldn't travel that much and their years, right, we talked about this different situation. And my parents when I was selecting studies, they actually wanted for me to study abroad, because we didn't have this opportunity and I was going against that. Oh, I said I will never live abroad haha look where I am now because I wanted to go against this and I think them herring that we want to try you know to go with one way ticket to the US for crazy honeymoon or we are thinking about Asia excited them at least my parents of course they have this you know, safety questions and they knew that we're together and there were two of us probably I went alone doing that alone. That's a different story. Right Right. Right.

Malini Sarma 16:30

So um, so once you found out that you were accepted for the position, then you would pack up your bags and just moved

Greta Kesa 16:40

Yeah. Actually bags were kind of backed from the US strip. Okay. So we just needed you know, I don't know repack them and they could take out warm clothes. Good. Malaysia is so hot all year round. Okay. And yeah, we just we just move it just like that.

Malini Sarma 17:00

Wow. So what was it like landing in Malaysia? You know, it's so different from a you've never been you had never been there before. Right? No. and Lithuania is very, very different from Malaysia. You know, the people, the language, the clothes, everything. The weather, the culture, everything is so different. So what? How did you find it when you first landed there?

Greta Kesa 17:22

Humans First of all,

Unknown Speaker 17:26

and you're so right, Malini, you're so right. It was so different. But you know, interesting thing with us. I don't know if that's good or bad. But we didn't. We didn't make much of her search. And when we just ordered the, like a taxi to go to our apartment, we realized that Malaysia is using other side of the road to drive.

Unknown Speaker 17:47

Hmm.

Unknown Speaker 17:48

Then I remember we were when we were still at home and backing and my parents were asking about what is the government there and you know, religion, all these things. And I'm like, Mom, I don't know. I'll go on all day. figured out. So we were not putting much into theoretical knowledge building. We kind of you know, looked at each other and starting in honeymoon we started saying this word to each other and Nosotros which we don't spare to speak Spanish, but I think it means if we wait, yeah. And we tell it to each other with my husband, every time when something happens, we're like, no matter what, Nosotros, like, we're together, you know, we're both of us. That's cool. This is how we just lived and you know, something was happening in Malaysia, the knee, of course, we had the culture shocks, we had culture shocks that we need to shower, above the toilet seat, because this is how some toilets in older buildings are built. Oh, there's a toilet seat, and then showers almost above so your bathroom is always flooded with with water. Oh, my goodness. It was weird. Very weird, but, but it's okay. Because we work together. We laugh about it a lot.

Malini Sarma 18:59

So So now you've been in Malaysia For how long?

Greta Kesa 19:03

Almost two and a half years.

Malini Sarma 19:05

Okay. And and, and so, if somebody if somebody else is doing the same thing that you were doing, you know, landing in, in Asia, Malaysia for the first time, what would you tell them?

Unknown Speaker 19:20

embrace the weather for sure. And, and I would tell them to be relaxed because actually, especially Malaysia is so comfortable and friendly for foreigners. Mm hmm. If even you know it, it doesn't use the word. immigrants. Like let's say if I now I would go to London, you know, UK and I have a job. They would call me immigrant. And Malaysia calls us expats expatriats. Mm hmm. And even this shows, I think, like kind of more respect, we're understanding and people are curious to know more about you. And I don't know if that's positive racism. I have this term I don't know if that's official term or not.

Malini Sarma 20:04

Which is still resin that's an oxymoron because it's opposites, right? That positive and racism kind of don't go together in the same sentence. Right?

Greta Kesa 20:11

Exactly, exactly. But that's the thing, you know, because I'm not suffering from that right? Like they are curious about me. But I still think this comes from the racism and maybe from the history that you know, oh white person, I don't know comes to my land and maybe it's good, which you know, I can use it or I can sometimes think that that but I'm not feeling comfortable. I want us to be equal, you know, I want us to do cooperate together and not be seen as somehow different. But overall, Malaysia is super good because everywhere people speak English, okay? And even menus and and shops, and everything is in English. So it's so comfortable for a foreigner and they're so friendly. They're so welcoming, that I'm really happy to call Malaysia my second home. Actually.

Malini Sarma 20:59

That's really cool. And I know there's a larger population of Muslims in Malaysia. So did you? Do you have any issues with you know, you not being Muslim? There's no such issue there?

Greta Kesa 21:11

No, not at all because at least in Kuala Lumpur, there are a lot of like, there are a lot of different ethnic groups, right like a lot of Indians, a lot of Malaysian Chinese and a lot of Malays, and they all have different religions. So for me, it's a beauty how this country or at least like Kuala Lumpur, can hold the space for everyone. And in metro stations, you can see at different clothing, you know, from being covered from you know, head to toes, to being just in short sleeves, and super short shorts. And they all just smile at each other and they all fit and I'm like, Oh my god, I wish the whole world was like that. Mm hmm. Because at least being and that you feel that support and this acceptance on each other. I don't know how politically they are right. I'm not going to this Ready everyday, everyday life, I felt like we are one. And that was so powerful.

Malini Sarma 22:05

So so you don't feel threatened when you're there even though you are not from there. So you feel very welcomed and okay. People are very friendly. That's awesome. That's very cool. So you do you know, you've been there about two and a half years in, and I did see one of your posts, and you had talked about a training that you had gone to, you know, that, that supports and encourages, empowers women. Training by Google. Did you want to talk a little bit about that?

Greta Kesa 22:32

Sure. Sure. So one of my friends actually from I six times, I, as I said, like a big network. She's working in Google and she was writing to me one day and said, hey, look, we have this amazing initiative, which is called I Am remarkable initiative by Google. And then this is like a workshop. A seminar for underrepresented groups are mostly women, or it can be also in terms of race age. Anything else in the workplace. And we have been discussing about the role of these underrepresented groups in workplace. And we were sharing a lot of statistics and and we were coming very vulnerable in the way and discussing that women in the workplace usually thinks a bit less of herself than she actually is. And naturally, most of the men not necessarily the thing more, but they, they know what they are capable off, and they are way more confident. And the fact that actually shocked me the most is that both men and women don't like women that stand out. Mm hmm. According to a lot of researches, and it's based on a singing How's it possible, but then, and this is super, I'm not proud of that at all, but that's the reality. I started thinking of any situations at my work and mind Valley, even though we're super supportive. There were more all around the world. And we love each other. But the only times when I was feeling a bit irritated by someone speaking up or talking louder, or or, you know, expressing themselves more was about other women. I'm never about men. And I was just feeling so ashamed of myself that I think I, I'm educated, I'm pretty intelligent. I work on myself in terms of personal growth, right? I'm not ideal, but I'm, I'm aware the world. And still I had those biases without even knowing and judging my fellow amazing, you know, female, smart women. Just because I can't even explain it. And it was a wake up call for me that maybe I'm not supporting my, my women that much as I could, and maybe I'm not standing up for them sometimes in meetings when a man for example, interrupts you know, someone. Mm hmm. So, so that was very powerful experience for To understand,

Malini Sarma 25:01

so coming out of that training, or that coach coaching program, I'm remarkable that's basically supporting other women. So what is the one thing that you would bring to your workplace? Now that you've gone into that training, and now that you've had that training?

Greta Kesa 25:23

I think I am bringing that kind of like starting with my team. So let's say now we're having performance reviews, by yearly performance reviews, and I'm emphasizing to everyone to both men and women, that they need to speak loudly about their achievements. And I even gave, you know, five minutes monologue maybe how is it crucial for them to be proud and when they will have a meeting with me telling what they have done and achieved in past six months, that they would be overly excited that they would own it, you know, and when I'm having these with them as well I'm very careful and observing, whether they are doing this. And if they're not, I'm like, I want more fashion from you, like just be you know, own and be happy. And then I see how their face changes. Because sometimes we kind of wait for permission. Mm hmm. Happy about what we accomplished. And the same happens to me. So encouraging each other to speak about what we have done. I think that was the the main step. And maybe another one like very shortly if I may share. I started sitting down and analyzing any people if they a bit trigger me at work, I'm not still at Zen, you know, peaceful in a way things happen. And I started writing down by most of those people were actually women, which again, I'm feeling pretty bad about it, but then I'm aware at least. And then I started looking differently. I started looking at them as simply humans, who have gotten in And who are just trying their best to make the impact to the world unto themselves? Mm hmm. And this shifted enormously my understanding.

Malini Sarma 27:09

I know it's awesome. That is that is really, this really powerful, right? When you start looking at people from a different angle, it changes how you look at the world. That that's really cool. So, you started us, you said you started as like in customer service? What do you own customer support? What do you do now? Because you said you had performance reviews that you have to do. So how many people do you lead?

Greta Kesa 27:36

Yeah, so directly, I would say leave around 10 people now because some of them are changing teams. And indirectly, I'm responsible for the Department of almost 40 people. Okay, so funny enough, even though I was sure you know how we're sure with ourselves. Yes, that I'm gonna come to this place, come to customer support, be there three to four months. And move to another team, because I had nothing related to customer support. Hmm. Things happen that actually after five and a half months, I was offered to apply for the heads roll. Mm hmm. And surprisingly, to my surprise, I got it even though I felt it's impossible. And at first when I got about it, I just laughed. You know, when people said, Oh, get out there, maybe you can consider applying. But here I am now for almost two years leading this department and they going from role to role and I'm very happy actually working with customers very happy. It's challenging, but it's rewarding.

Malini Sarma 28:40

That's That's awesome. So you've accomplished so much in in two and a half years that you were there so your dreams are all coming together. They're all coming true.

Greta Kesa 28:49

Actually, yes.

Malini Sarma 28:52

That is so cool. See you I know you talked about you said you all you have a lot of passion project, right. So you figured I mean, it's huge step reads very brave, you know, you leave everything behind, pack your bags and travel halfway across the world to country that you did not even research, you know, complete different weather different food is you know, far away from home. And even if it was not the popular choice, but it was like as if it was calling you I say Come here, come, come come. So, and now you've been there for almost two and a half years. And now you call that your second home. So what are some of the other passion projects that you have?

Greta Kesa 29:31

I actually I'm thankful to you for summarizing it because I just got the video back in time and I thought about everything. And yeah, it actually it actually sounds amazing. Because let's say I really changed a lot and when I was still at home in Lithuania, I was participating in different projects in let's say, public speaking clubs, etc. But when I came here, I kind of stopped everything because that was too much of a change. And only, you know, a few months back, maybe half year back, I starting started putting my dreams into actions. And that's again one more lesson for me that I have always wanted to embrace those passion projects and to do more besides my job, but I was always afraid. And I always had this syndrome off Who am I to do something? And then when Somewhere I read or I listened to the speech, I don't remember now, but somebody said, Who are you not to do this? Huh? Okay. It just shaped me so much. Because we might think you know, we're not good enough etc. But who are we not to do it? Or are we not to take the step Who are we not to inspire other people and why we are at the end of the day, so selfish, protecting our fears and no insecurities. So So this really changed my perspective. And I think the biggest journey and the biggest passion for Deck is related to leadership and that's why I started writing on LinkedIn. Mm hmm. Because I really believe in in servant leadership and vulnerable leadership in, in this honest care and you're much much at work and I believe this is how we can really support each other. And it's not that I have always been like this and now I decided to share I have been sorry for the word but shifted leader. back and I six times in organization, I was calling my team names, I was taking care only on numbers, and I even had nicknames from my, my interests are coming from other countries. And my nickname was the name of one dictator. Ooh, okay. Which, at that time, we laughed about it, but I think now I want to cry how bad I was. Mm hmm. And and this journey, my own journey showing that actually people can change, okay, people can improve and you and organization can reach way more goals. And this bill being in this culture and the atmosphere when you're actually investing in proper leadership. So that's why it's one of my, you know, passion projects to write on LinkedIn and then sometimes to do my webinars in the future, I hope to have some programs or even coach, other leaders, that's just, you know, starting starting points.

Malini Sarma 32:22

So we

Unknown Speaker 32:26

know it's okay.

Malini Sarma 32:28

Now, so basically, positivity, encouragement. When you have, when you pull, push your push your people up and make them more empowered, you get a lot more done. Right. Yeah. Your your leadership when you're looking at leaders, leaders, you build other leaders, you don't, you're not putting other people down. So that's what you're you're doing. So that's the That's really incredible. I did see some of your posts on LinkedIn. And I started reading that level. That was really neat. So, you the other interesting thing when we talked about is you also do indeed dance. Yes. That's something you started after you went to Kuala Lumpur.

Greta Kesa 33:21

Yeah, I think one year after I landed in fall on for one of my colleagues told me about this and I was looking for places to dance again. Because I was dancing in my childhood and teenage years. And then they said, oh, we're having this group of people who are dancing bollywood, and we are going to perform somewhere so that's why you don't need to pay for classes. And then if you go to performances, you can

even get paid and I'm like,

Unknown Speaker 33:46

What?

Greta Kesa 33:48

But yeah, being Lithuanian and Malaysia, I started dancing, Indian dances, bollywood dances, and I love it. It's hard. It's very hard. It's very not natural for me, but I have had some some performances and it's really makes me so so happy.

Malini Sarma 34:04

So wait, did you do bollywood dance even in Lithuania? No. Okay. Okay. Okay so so when you moved to Malaysia is when you started so I did not realize that Bollywood is that that popular over there but that's awesome to hear that you're actually enjoying dance. That's really cool. So you've had a few performances How long since you said by about a year year and a half since you started dancing?

Greta Kesa 34:26

yeah nothing like that Yes of course now it's like you know with Coronavirus and everything I everything is stopped. Right But yeah, I've had maybe six seven performances so but that's

very cool dress up and you know spread the joy.

Malini Sarma 34:41

Yes, yes, Love makes the world go round. There's no overseeing. So I had one last question. So when you look at your wild and crazy journey that you've had so far, I mean, here's light, you know, you have a lot. There's so much more To accomplish in the world, right, there's so much to do. But even even in the journey that you've had so far, looking back, is there anything that you would have, you know, changed about yourself? Or is there knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have told you younger self?

Greta Kesa 35:20

That you have? powerful question?

I think Yeah, there are a few things, maybe mostly two.

Or one is

the one that I started just recently looking at the mirror and saying to myself, that I love myself and how beautiful I am, etc. And I feel how much more acceptance I have now. Let's say now I'm 29 years old, and how insecure I felt even five years ago or I'm not even talking about teenage years. So this love for myself was never never strongly there. Because I thought I'm not beautiful enough. You know? I'm not achieving enough. And I was very critical about myself. But now when I started accepting myself, I'm just having the best time with myself. And so maybe one advice to younger me would be, you know, just love yourself and be there for yourself and put your well being first. Mm. Because that's, you know, the only person you have next to yourself 24 seven. And if this person is cherished and loved and accepted, and being reminded by yourself that this person is amazing, I think it can build so much confidence and happiness in your heart.

Malini Sarma 36:39

That is awesome. You know, for someone so young, you have you you speak like an old like a wise of a wise person. You must be an old soul.

Greta Kesa 36:49

Maybe Maybe, but you know, just like one more thing I guess is that when you asked about fashion produce, I actually forgot to mention that but another thing would be remember when I I told what I learned from my dad about this authenticity and joy and having fun. Mm hmm. So I really believe that happiness is a choice. Yes. And one more thing would be to actually cherish every moment and not to wait for any, you know, tragic incidents so that you start living because sometimes this is what happens. Mm hmm. And, and that's why also I decided that which is super again vulnerable for me, but I started piloting my happiness pro program project, I don't know in terms of coaching and everything. Because I believe that my ultimate goal is now like the biggest one is to be happy, whatever I'm doing, okay. And I believe if all of us invest more in doing what makes us happy, then then it's better for us and better for the world. So that would also be you know, again, advice for younger me, just be authentic self be unapologetic self and shine the light that that the universe gave to us.

Malini Sarma 38:00

That is awesome. Thank you so much better that is, that is so awesome to hear. And I'm sure all the other people listening will also be will also gain from that knowledge. So thank you so much for being on the show. Really appreciate it.

Greta Kesa 38:15

Thank you for inviting me and thank you for your questions. You're very welcome.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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This podcast showcases women, predominantly women of color, who in spite of their fear, are forging ahead, chasing their dreams and becoming stronger.

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Malini Sarma

Malini Sarma

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Hello. I am Malini. I am a dancer, world traveler and storyteller. I am a hard core fan of chai and anything hot. I am always looking for new adventures and would rather be outside than inside.

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