When you first meet Nikole Cedeno, Utilities BU Coordinator from Costa Rica, you will be overawed by her positivity and charisma. To merely say that Nikole has faced difficulties in life would be committing great injustice to a woman whose resilience has been put to test in tragic ways. Over time, Nikole has proven to the world that she is a true warrior — a paradigm of will and strength.
About six years ago, following a personal tragic incident, Nikole decided to travel the world to search for the true meaning of life. At that time, Nikole, a graduate in business administration, was already on an amazing career path. However, she quit everything and flew off to Spain. A couple of friends had recommended a visit to Nepal, in the lap of the Himalayas. She spent a year there and realized that her spiritual journey would not be complete without a visit to India. In India, Nikole travelled from south to north in search of different perspectives of life. While on a journey within, she met kind-hearted people who taught her the meaning of family, joy, laughter, and the value of a simple hug. After a year in India, Nikole travelled to Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and rest of Southeast Asia.
“I had heard psychologists, psychoanalysts and motivational speakers talk about resilience, which is the ability to spring back into shape or elasticity. However, back then I hardly understood what it meant. I only understood it when I went through chaos,” Nikole said.
She explains that resilience depends on what perspective one decides to see when they are in a difficult situation. “For me, life is about the perspective that you decide to take upon your mind,” Nikole said.
Nikole attributes the source of her strength to meditation and self-awareness.
“Once a Buddhist monk told me to look at the mind as if it was a closet. Is it time to get your closet in order? Open it and see the wonderful life that you can live once you put this closet in order, because what’s inside is out,” Nikole said.
Critical River gave her a second chance to build up a career. It was only here that she found the opportunity to work towards set and targeted goals, enhance her skills, meet amazing bosses and co-workers, and get equal opportunities of growth.
From her journeys, Nikole has learnt that change is certain and although people are unaware of it, they are prepared to accept it when it happens. Coming to terms with this with gratitude was the most formative period in Nikole’s life and it helped shape her future with Critical River.