About

If there were a temple and you felt very comfortable there, would you stay and help the Buddha run the temple?

No, I wouldn’t. No matter how big and comfortable that temple is, I belong to the Universe. My mission, if it is my help that is needed, is to help people be themselves in that temple, so they can help themselves and continue to run the temple smoothly. Sometimes, I might bring help from the exterior. Sometimes, I am there to learn something. Sometimes, I might even take the Buddha and its people to another temple, because their help is needed somewhere else. Once my mission is accomplished, I am flying somewhere else. By no means, I am meant to stay.

Extract from – Conversations with Raf.

Hi, I’m Ruoxiang Chau. I believe that there is no greater gift you can give to yourself or the world than really, truly being yourself.

你好! 我是周若翔。”做真实的你是你能給自己和世界最好的礼物”是我的人生理念。

Describe the work you do.
请描述您的工作

I work with very talented people who have an urge to serve something beyond themselves. My mission consists of helping those amazing people be themselves and continue to use and develop their abilities and talents, while working on community projects that are meaningful to them.

我与一些极具才干的人共事。他们热切地希望超越自我,成就一番自己的事业。我的工作是在他们为对于他们而言极富意义的社区项目工作时,协助他们这些令人称奇的人们持续运用和发展他们的才干和天赋。

Sometimes, it means restructuring and launching several medical programmes within a remote hospital of South Sudan. Sometimes, it means organising fun events and competitions in Paris, to raise awareness on specialty coffee and how a good cup of coffee is the result of collective efforts of so many people all along the chain, from seed to cup. Other times, it means preparing conferences in Shanghai so people can share their ideas and innovations with the rest of the world. Lately, it means organising, fundraising and recruiting an international team of teachers and volunteers for a summer camp in rural China.

有时,这些项目可以是在南苏丹偏远地区的医院里重建和启动若干医疗方案;有时,可以是在巴黎组织一些有趣的活动和竞赛,将人们的注意力吸引到精品咖啡上,让人们意识到,从种植一棵咖啡树,到调制成一杯上等咖啡,整个过程凝聚了多少人的辛勤努力; 其它时候,也可以是在上海筹备大型会议,使来自世界各地的人们能够聚集一堂,分享各自的思想和创新 。最近,这项有意义的项目是一个在中国农村举行的夏令营,为夏令营筹款和招募一支由教师和志愿者组成的国际团队。

I truly thrive when working in a multicultural environment, with diverse and cross-functional teams. The more complex the cases, the more fun I have.

与多样化的,具有交叉功能的团队在一个多元文化氛围中工作,我切切实实感到自己在成长。情况越是复杂,我越是乐在其中。

What are you most proud of?
你最骄傲的事情是什么?

It changes with time. I can give you an example: one of the mums with whom I am working in Hunan, recently shared photographs I took of her at work on her social media. She was putting herself under the spotlight for the very first time, and was pleasantly surprised that she could actually look “very pretty” on those images.

每个阶段都不一样。比如说:一位我在湖南一起工作时认识的母亲,最近她在社交媒体上晒了几张自己的照片,那是她工作时我为她照的几张相。这是她第一次在聚光灯下照相,她惊喜地发现原来自己在那些照片上看起来“相当漂亮”。

I would say there is a real satisfaction in making your team members shine, so they can take pride in their work and realise they all have an essential role to play and they do absolutely belong to the bigger picture.

通过这个例子,我想说的是当完成了一件真正令人满意的事情时,整个团队都会绽放光彩。他们会以自己的工作为荣,并且意识到对全局来说,他们每个人都发挥着非常重要的作用。

Tell us more about your interest in photography.
谈谈你对摄影的兴趣吧。

Photography started as a way to take visual notes for myself and record memories. It turned to be something much more to me, as vital as breathing. I realised that not only can I express very complex ideas, projects, experiences, and emotions, but I can also document the journey of my teams, encourage their individual efforts and see what we can achieve together. It became a very powerful tool for personal development.

最初,我把摄影当作个人的视觉笔记和回忆记录。后来,摄影成了一种如呼吸一样不可或缺的生活必须。我意识到我不仅可以通过摄影表达自己的复杂想法,课题,经历和情感,而且还能够记录我的团队活动的轨迹,鼓励每个人作出的努力,并使得我们最终的成果看得见。可以说,摄影是一种助力个人成长的利器!

Can you share some photos and short stories of this?
能和我们分享一些照片和关于它们的小故事吗?

陈叶芝 Chen Yezhi lives in rural Hunan and works at the new farmers cooperative of Wolong. On September 6, 2017, I accompanied her on one of her daily appointments with the farmers. She really values their work and takes those mountain roads even on a rainy day. There, she checks the quality of the eggs brought by the farmers, and selects those that are suited to be shipped to the city dwellers. She also collects those that have some flaws on their shell for local consumption.

陈叶芝住在湖南乡下,是卧龙新农协的工作人员。2017年9月6日,我陪同她参加了一个合作社同伴们每天例会。她非常热爱他们的工作,即使在下雨天也不惜在泥泞的山路上跋涉。她在合作社里负责检验从村民家里收上来的鸡蛋质量。她把符合要求的鸡蛋挑出来运到城里销售,把有裂纹的鸡蛋挑出来在当地销售。

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For July 2017, we organised a summer camp in 3 rural villages of the Wolong region of Hunan, where we brought a team of teachers and volunteers from different regions of China and the world. Here above, you see Professor 刘洪涛 Liu Hongtao and Professor 王琳 Wang Lin teaching improvisation during their drama class. They received the most heart-warming love notes at the end of the summer camp. It was a life changing experience for those kids, who never imagined that they could be so creative and have fun at expressing themselves.

在2017年7月,我们在湖南卧龙地区的三个村庄组织了夏令营,团队的教师和志愿者来自中国各地和世界其他国家。上图,你可以看到刘洪涛教授和王琳教授在戏剧课上教孩子们即兴表演。夏令营结束时,他们收到了许许多多的小纸条,上面写满了最暖心有爱的话语。对孩子们来说,这是一次可以改变人生的经历,他们从未想到他们能如此富有创造性地表达他们自己,并从中获得无限的乐趣。

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Elin Mai Hughes teaching English in various creative outlets: through songs, games and dances. For many kids, it was not only their very first English class but also their very first encounter with a friend from abroad. I can tell you that the parents had fun too. A few weeks ago, I received a message from one of our volunteering mums, who remembered how she had always loved English. After her experience as a teaching assistant, she decided to go back to teaching and got a job as an English teacher in a secondary school.

在课堂上,Elin Mai Hughes通过唱歌,游戏和跳舞等形式在多个富有创意的媒体上教授英语。 对许多孩子来说,这不仅是他们的第一堂英语课,也是他们第一次见到外国人。我可以告诉你,在场的孩子父母也玩儿得很开心。一位妈妈志愿者说她还记得自己是如何地喜欢英语,几周前,我收到了她的信息。经过了这次助教经历,她决定回学校教英语。目前她已经在一所中学里谋到了一份英语教师的职位。

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This is a shot of my team working late at night, 5 days before the launching of TEDx Shanghai 2016 on May 2, 2016. You always see the super stars on screens, but what is really dear to me is what happens behind the scenes. Nothing of this, would be possible without the help of hundreds of anonymous and kind hearted souls who came to give us a hand.

这张照片拍摄于2016年5月2日,即发起TEDx上海2016活动的前5天,你可以看到我们团队。你总是能看到许多可爱的小星星出现在屏幕上,但是最让我感到亲切的是在这一切背后发生的事。没有那些成千上万默默无闻的、心地善良的志愿者所给予的帮助,我们所做的一切都不可能发生。

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Here above, you see Magdalena Brodzinska pouring a latte art during the 14th Frog Fight competition, at Coutume Café on October 11, 2011. Back in 2010, there were only a few coffee roasters and coffee shops in Paris. The quality of coffee we were drinking was pretty bad and with a small group of very passionate people, we decided that it was high time to change that, by organising all kinds of fun events, degustations, seminars and friendly competitions. By the time I left Paris for Shanghai, speciality coffee was literally blooming. What was amazing about this group of people, is they all came from different backgrounds and their uniqueness and personal stories made a huge contribution to serve better coffees in Paris.

上面这一张,你看到的是在Coutume Café咖啡馆里,在2011年10月11日举行的第14届青蛙争夺赛上,Magdalena Brodzinska正在制作一款拿铁。回到2010年,当时的巴黎只有几台咖啡烘焙机和几家咖啡店,我们能喝到的咖啡味道不敢恭维。我们这一小群激情昂扬的人决定,是时候搞一些有趣儿的活动,品尝会,研讨会和友谊比赛来改变它了。等到我启程从巴黎来上海之时,精品咖啡制作已经在巴黎蓬蓬勃勃地兴起。这群人让你着迷的地方是他们来自不同的背景,他们以各自与众不同之处和各自的小故事对巴黎的咖啡服务业作出了巨大的贡献。

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There is a whole website dedicated to this project: http://www.missionsouthsudan.org but I have chosen the pictures of a toddler that I took the day she left the hospital and, when I first met her in the paediatric ward.

有一个专门为该课题开设的网站:www.missionsouthsudan.org,我只选择了其中一个刚刚学会走路的孩子的照片,这些照片是在她离开医院的那天我为她拍摄的,那是我第一次在儿科病房见到她。

By being on site, by checking on your team regularly, you get to know what they are going through, how they interact with each other and what you could do to improve their job and working conditions. You witness their struggles, their successes and their evolution. They tell you more about themselves, their family and what they aspire to do next. If you think that Corporate Law, HR and Finance are an office job, I can tell you that there is no better way to check where money goes and how it is spent, how to recruit your new team members and draw up contracts than going to the field.

通过在现场不断地与你的团队交流,你能知道队员们正在经历什么,他们是怎么互动的,以及你能为完善他们的工作和改善工作条件能做些什么。你目睹了他们的挣扎,他们的成功和进步。他们会向你倾吐更多关于他们自己,家庭和事业理想。如果您认为公司法,人力资源和财务是办公室类的工作,那我可以告诉你:核实资金走向,使用情况,如何决定聘用团队的新成员及起草合同的最好办法就是实战。

My team is my Ikigai. 生き甲斐 is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”. They are the reason why I get up in the morning.

我的团队是我的Ikigai。生き甲斐是一个日本概念,意思是“生命的意义”。他们是我每天要起床,迎接新的一天到来的动力。

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What does being healthy mean to you?
健康对您来说意味着什么?

I believe that being healthy is the fine art of finding and restoring balance between your body, mind, soul and spirit. When I am experiencing pains, injuries or illnesses, I take the time to stop and reflect on which areas of my life I have been neglecting.

我相信健康的体魄是一门精美的艺术,是一门在身体,思想,灵魂和精神之间找到和保存平衡的艺术。每当我感到疼痛,或受伤,或生病时,我会停下来,反省生活中被自己忽视的方面。

How can you find balance in a busy and distracting place like Shanghai?
您如何在上海这样一个喧嚣繁忙的地方找到生活的平衡?

It is a journey of self-awareness and self-actualisation. Who you are, what you want and what is important to you at this particular stage of your life, is going to influence the environment you choose for yourself. In a city like Shanghai, I prefer to avoid the busier places, opting for a slower pace, calm and luminous spaces to work and live. I find balance by surrounding myself with trees, gardens, lower buildings, neutral colours and people with whom I feel comfortable. People and the quality of your relationships are a key component of your well-being. As you are changing, you have the right to change your mind.

这是一次关于自我意识和自我实现之旅。你是谁,你想做什么,及在你生命中的这一特殊阶段对你来说什么是最重要的,这些将影响你为自己选择的环境。在像上海这样的城市里生活,我更愿意避开闹市区而选择节奏慢一些的,宁静,光线充足的地方工作和生活。绿荫,花园,低矮的建筑,中性的色彩,以及让我感到愉快的人,我从中找到了平衡。相处之人和你所拥有的友谊的质量是构成你幸福的重要元素。因为人不断在改变,你自然完全可以改变你的想法。

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Extract from Active Interview with Darren O’Connor of Relabs.

Active Interview is a series aiming to invite friends, old and new, to come workout with me and discuss ideas, stories and insights about work, life, health, balance and other topics of interest.

积极式访谈是一个系列活动,旨在邀请新老朋友来与我一起健身,共同探讨各自对工作,生活,健康,平衡等话题的见解和故事。

Thanks for reading!
“Stay Active – Keep Exploring!”

Translated by Chanel Quan~

周若翔
Ruoxiang Chau
شاو روكسيان


Texts and images are creations of the mind, protected by Intellectual Property Law. No reproduction or usage authorised without prior written permission of the author.