NY Elite Magazine: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Rudina Kopo: I’m born in the beautiful Albania. That’s one of the reasons I like traveling, hiking, photography, storytelling, etc. I studied Journalism and Communication in the University of Tirana but later on I decided that filling peoples’ lives with uncertainties and fear wasn’t the image I wanted for myself. That’s why I decided to dedicate myself to knowledge, spiritual and mental growth, health, love and creating better communities. For this purpose I went in Thailand and later on in the Netherlands to gain more knowledge and enlarge my vision of a better possible civilization. Currently I am a Transcendental Meditation teacher and I work towards the improvement of society. During my life I have worked and faced different people from different walks of life. I have worked with kids that couldn’t hear and speak, drug addicts, sex workers, journalists, students, etc. and from all of them I have learned so much and I am thankful for meeting all of them.
I love elegant things and things that are made with great love. I love traveling and that’s why by now I have visited 25 different states in Europe and Asia and every year I put my own personal goals regarding it. I love getting to know as many people as I can and learn from them at least one new thing. I am passionate about developing better ways of communicating ideas and desires with other people. I love learning new languages and I had to learn my first non-native language when I was around 3.
NY Elite: What are you currently working on? Tell us a little bit more about your company/organization.
Rudina Kopo: After working since a teenager with kids, then youngsters with different problems, then with drug addicts and sex workers, then with journalists, etc. I decided that I wanted to do something bigger than that, something from which the whole society would benefit and from which I wouldn’t get tired or unhappy or stressed at a certain moment of my life.
That’s when I took the decision to go in Thailand, stay in a school in the middle of a thick tropical jungle and learn that there are much higher knowledges of what we have been getting so far in our educating systems. I learned about the Science of Consciousness and how to apply this science in our daily life in order to not get caught up in the stressful routines of noisy societies which drain our energies and amazing potentials that we all have inside.
So, since 2015 I am working on raising the collective consciousness of people. This I am doing through the NGO Meditimi Transcendental i Shqiperise, a branch of TM movement in Tirana, Albania. I give lectures on Transcendental Meditation, hold different courses, talk about the nature of our universe and about the nature of the human beings, etc.
I feel good that I have helped more than 150 people to bring out the best of themselves and to start believe in their great potentials and act as responsible human beings which cannot only blame the society or the circumstances of life to give up from being the best of themselves.
NY Elite: What projects have been your favorites that you have been a part of and why?
Rudina Kopo: In 2005 I have worked in a project with young people that couldn’t hear and speak but they didn’t need to. They became so good at acting in theatre stages that their skills spoke more than what their mouths could say.
We were around 30 youngsters (some could hear and speak and the majority couldn’t) who gave shows in all the theatres in Albania and then, after preparing for a period of two years, in most of the theatres of Italy.
It was my first trip outside Albania, away from my parents, in another state, another culture. Albanian citizens at that time needed visa for going abroad and it was a big deal for a 14 years old girl to go in another country which was held in higher regards. The trainers and the movie directors were Italians.
For the first time I saw more of what my family or most of my cousins had seen in their entire life. Since then I never stopped traveling, meeting people with different abilities and lessons to teach me, searching for different ways of living. I wasn’t comfortable in the usual Albanian society and I wanted for my small and big family to get to know more. To come in that stage where they want to be fulfilled and balanced not only financially but also intellectually and spiritually.
The most important reason why I distinguish this project among the others is that in that time I have seen more happy faces than what I had seen all my 14 years before that. I learned a new way of happiness.
NY Elite: What three social issues are most important to you and why?
Rudina Kopo: 1- Communication- the bridge between people’s hearts has some holes in it. I think this happens due to high stressful routines which leads to unhappy individuals. As a result of not feeling satisfied, happy and fulfilled people do not have the tendency or desire to improve their relationships and the way how they communicate.
2- Education- not based on consciousness. A system which doesn’t allow the young mind of the student to get to know his own self, to be established in his own self and learn first of all on him/herself is not the kind of education which will bring solution to next generations’ problems. It most probably will create them more than it will solve them. A young person needs to explore more on the nature of the Self first and then to learn about the world that surrounds him/her. Just repeating what the teacher says and doing the thing in the way the teacher commands is a crime against the immense creativity that a young mind holds. I have much more to talk on this but it would take more than one interview to explain what I really want to say. I have got a training on Consciousness Based Education and I am fully convinced that for as long as the education system doesn’t incorporate CBE in schools and universities, we are creating more headaches and problems for generations to come.
3- Not doing the things you are passionate about. “What you sow, so shall you reap”. If you don’t do things with passion they will never give you enough satisfaction. In the society I live (but mostly in all societies) people have different professions and in most of the cases they have chosen one not because they love it but because “it makes money”. So the highest goal is not the product you make but the money you earn. From all those examples I have seen during my life I have learned that if your highest goal is money for the sake of money then you will never achieve happiness. On the other hand, if your highest goal is doing what you are best at and most passionate at for the sake of bringing something better which will help others, then probably you will struggle in the beginning a little bit but then you will start to attract the needed money for fulfilling your highest goals and for being completely fulfilled.
NY Elite: What was the most significant change you brought about in a project / organization?
Rudina Kopo: Excuse me for often answering with “we” instead of “I”. I just see everybody connected and can’t distinguish myself from the WHOLE.
I think that every step we do brings something significant to our lives and other peoples lives. In most cases we just don’t understand it at the moment we do that action. I have many moments in my life for which I am very proud of myself, with my actions, with how my parents raised me and their values and virtues are reflected through me, with the people I have faced in my life. After all, all our actions and ourselves are also the product of all the interactions, actions, efforts, opportunities that people has given and invested in us during our life. All our good or bad actions are the good and bad actions of all society and vice versa. This is how I see it.
I’d like to keep these actions for myself. In most of the cases is most fulfilling for me when I do something good and I am the only person knowing that. This gives me the opportunity to laugh more and enjoy how life returns me that good action in such a precise way very quietly. Life often seems to be a perfect scale that measures what you have given and what you give to yourself and your surroundings and gives it all back. Sometimes only after a long time, when you can go with your mind back in time, can connect the dots and see how beautiful is all. Also having a good image of myself in my mind is the highest enjoyment that fills my soul.
I would only shortly say here that currently I am working towards puting meditation and yoga in prisons and schools in Albania despite those learning individually. For this and much more I am taking the blessings of all those people which I have helped in a way or in another.
I hope that the reader here will understand that he or she is very important and every action makes a big difference in everybody’s life. Try to make the best of you no matter what.
NY Elite: What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?
Rudina Kopo: Put as your highest goal FREEDOM and HAPPINESS. Pursuit only them because they are the highest goals in life. Don’t go for small things. Think in this way for the people who you lead, love or encounter in life.
NY Elite: What are the most important values and ethics of a leader?
Rudina Kopo: Honesty. Love. Objectivity (as much as possible). Transparency. Justice. Serenity and calmness. Vision for expanding happiness. Loyalty. Not giving up. Finding a balance between being pragmatic while continuing to think big.
I could continue endlessly here but I think that most of the readers have their own “hero” or their own vision of what a leader should have and different values may apply in different situations. Important is that a person who wants to be a leader (in his own life first and then in the lives of others) to consult his heart and his logics when taking a decision.
NY Elite: How can one improve their leadership skills?
Rudina Kopo: First is to ask this exact same question to yourself or others. This means you want to learn and not impress others by how much you know. Listen. Have the desire to learn. Be eager to know more and more and more. Staying hungry for being a better human being, a better leader, a better seeker is the first step that will always give you and your actions grace, humbleness, friends. Have the unstoppable desire to constantly learn, have more knowledge, be curious.
So be transparent first with yourself and give others the opportunity to say to you what they think about your strong and weak points.
Reward people publicly for being humans and for taking their values with them when they meet you. Do this just for the sake of making the life of those around you happier, more meaningful for them. Reward people for just saying the truth, staying themselves, being humble, not showing off while their actions speak for themselves. Don’t do this only for diplomatic reasons and only once per year. Do it every time you can. You have no idea how much magic this gives to life.
Make every situation turn into a win-win situation. In a situation when both parties can win why try to win only you while showing that you are right and the other one is wrong when you can overpass some things if this serves for both people? Don’t try to satisfy your ego. This will give you only permanent satisfaction and after that glow has gone you will feel even more empty and with more desire to find contentment.
Have patience. Life has showed that every time that I have pulled myself together and told to myself to not rush into giving a reply for which I will regret (even though I may have wanted badly to do so) I have gained enormous benefits afterwards. If I would have reacted impulsively every time some injustice was made to me or when the words and actions of the others have made me uncomfortable, I would have had zero friends, zero jobs, zero connections and zero happiness. Be patient. We never know what storm is the other having in his head and life. Wait until it calms down and don’t add more thunders and winds. Storms devastate everything they find.
Invest in your spirituality and that of people around you. Going into higher states of consciousness has its own benefits (much more of what one may think). Only some may truly understand why I say this and I will leave this unexplained. Be free to think it as you wish (depending on your own state of consciousness).
Give. Love. Do what fills your soul most.
NY Elite: What is your advice for those who would like to reach higher in their career?
Rudina Kopo: See everything for what it is.
Treat people as people (including here yourself). Treat passions as passions. Always try to learn and never stop in the quest for expanding your knowledge and happiness and freedom. Be humble. Count experiences and not material gainings. Keep in mind your beginnings and remind to yourself why is your career important to you. What are you trying to achieve through it.
NY Elite: What are you an advocate of? What are your life passions?
Rudina Kopo: During my life I have been an advocate (and still am) for people with different abilities, sexual rights, gender equality, drug users rights, LGBTI rights, sex workers rights, homeless youth rights, protection of consumers rights, green, responsible and sustainable tourism, earth’s rights, etc. I advocate for happiness, freedom, better education, enlightenment (spiritually and intellectually), growth, the right to be informed, right policies, etc.
I love learning more about science and communicating about it in simple terms. I love to share my knowledge and experiences with others. I strive for making the coming generations wiser than the past generations were in a certain timeframe. I love creating a new way of educating young, energetic and passionate minds. I love learning new languages and visiting new places and cultures.
I like painting and writing, describing nature and human behavior, reading books, meditating and practicing yoga.
NY Elite: What/who inspires you?
Rudina Kopo: The greatest inspiration for me is NATURE. My jaw drops open when I see its creations, its perfect functioning laws, its simplicity and practicality. Nature has never stopped surprising me in colors, fragrances, tastes, sounds, smells, sensations and experiences. When I was living in Thailand’s jungle for six months I was always enjoying what nature gave me (the views, the fruits, the people) and I never got bored with it. I even wrote a diary-book with all what I learned and witnessed from nature those months.
After nature are the creations of nature. Of course that humble people (that maybe I don’t know in person), those who work in simplicity and quietness are those who inspire me. In Albania there are thousands of them. Despite the difficulties, the injustice they face they continue to follow the right path, they choose justice in their actions even though this means more work, less enjoyment, etc. I often write about them in my diary. I call them the quiet heroes. We may not know they exist but they are there, some in our neighborhoods, in our homes, in our souls.
There are also other people which I appreciate (broadly known ones) throughout history and from different walks of life like Tesla, Einstein, Tolstoi, Marie Curie, Mother Theresa, Emily Murphy, Dostojevski, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Ray Dalio, Jim Carrey, Mark Aurelius, John Hagelin, etc.
NY Elite: What are five characteristics that make successful leaders?
Rudina Kopo: On my opinion they are:
- being calm and rational in all kind of situations
- investing in yourself firstly (meditating, spending time with family, taking vacations, taking lectures from mentors, pursuing hobbies and passions) and then in others
- being persistent and confident in what you do and say (this comes from believing and knowing perfectly well your product or service even the product is YOU)
- listen, try to learn as much as you can and then talk (don’t talk only for the sake of impressing)
- treat every creature with respect and humbleness
NY Elite: What are your future plans/goals/projects?
Rudina Kopo: I want to work and create something much, much better of what we have nowadays for those to come and those who already are here. Now I have done some progression in raising the collective consciousness through my work and my teachings. In the future I want to take this into another level since I see myself always in the academic world getting and giving knowledge. I strongly believe that an early great education does the miracle all our societies are looking for.
One of my dreams is to create a different kind of education, an “almost perfect” education with experts, with no restrictions and bureaucracy where the students can take the experience and expertise of all great leaders from different fields. An education where students don’t waste their potential, they don’t just take theory but become very practical, where they can take lectures from everywhere around the globe and where one can go forward according to his/her own pace. An education that doesn’t make a young person enter into debts or spend most of his beautiful energetic life behind the desk. An education where the person is free to choose.
Most of the people can contact me through these means of communication. I don’t have bureaucracies and secretaries. If they are interested in getting involved in the organizations or projects I work with I’d be more than happy to lead them through.
NY Elite: What books would you recommend that have made an impact in your life, business, or success.
Rudina Kopo: In the past I was more focused on classics like Dostojevski, Balzak, Leo Tolstoi, Mark Twain, Hugo, etc. Now I am more in books that talk about science, universe, physics, health and spiritual books like books from Dr. Tony Nader, Dr. John Hagelin, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Stephen Hawking, Avadhutika Anandamitra, etc. I think that all of them and every experience I have in my daily life make impact in me and make me the person I am.
NY Elite: What is your favorite hobby and why is this hobby important to you.
Rudina Kopo: Writing and painting and reading.
I love writing because I can take lessons from my own life. I can be inspired in moments of low levels of energy from great experiences and how I overpassed difficulties in the past. I can leave something for others. I can communicate with every spot in the globe. I can create my own universe. The same for reading. I can expand my universe and fill my senses with bliss while I imagine what the author writes.
Painting, because I love colors and I like striving for improving myself. There is always joy when you try again and again and again to perfection your creation. Then this is only your creation and nobody better than you can understand it.