matsumoto castleOnce, almost thirty years ago,  I had a dream that one day visit I would visit Japan.  I was fascinated by stories with samurais and geishas, but when growing up in communist Romania you know that such dreams are as bold as nowadays travelling to the moon.

I almost forgot about my childhood dream until one day last year. I  stopped and realized that life can just pass by if you don’t make a conscious effort to follow up on your childhood dreams. My good friend Anouk helped me see how easy it sometimes is to ‘JUST DO IT!’. And I did it – I bought the flight tickets (Thanks Anouk!) Two weeks ago, together with my husband and my two small children we travelled from Tokyo, Kyoto and to the Japanese Alps and back. My beautiful Japanese dream didn’t stop at admiring the beautiful mountain river filled with colourful fishes, on the last day I got the opportunity to speak at the closing plenary of the  WIN Conference in Tokyo about realizing dreams and the upcoming Mothers as Leaders’ book.

Tokio WIN

Why is it important, for us women, not to give up our childhood dreams when becoming mothers?

It all started with a dreamYour mother gave birth to a perfect baby: You! 

  • Her dream was that you will be happy and that you will do something meaningful with your life and hopefully you will not repeat her mistakes. Honour her by making a difference in the world and by leaving your own legacy.

‘When everyone takes care of their own children than all children will be taken care of’

While I don’t fundamentally disagree with this statement I  do think that it’s not enough.  I have a boy of three-year-old and a daughter of six. I want the best for both of them, but I also believe that we need a society in which boys and girls have equal chances of reaching their dreams after becoming parents.

So, How can you make our dreams real and therefore become an agent of possibility and  ‘ become a force for good in the world”.

KNOW YOURSELF – become aware of your strengths, biases and vulnerabilities

BLOSSOM – allow your enthusiasm and commitment to grow

HELP – give and receive support in your  journey

EXPLORE  – be curious and stay connected to others, yourselves and your intuition.

And most importantly, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.


About the Author:

Steliana van de Rijt-Economu is a mother of two and a leadership consultant and coachShe believes that the world would be a better place when more women and mothers  ‘lean in’ to take formal leadership positions in society. 

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