Inspiring TED Talk: 30 year history of the future

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Sunday Column (290)

A week that starts off with a headache, a 5K run with lots of muscle pain and a temperature drop of 5-10 degrees is not a good week, or at least not a good start of the week. Whether it was the weekend where I overdid my exercise or the amount of chocolate and sweets I ate at the kids party, I do not know. Yet something triggered a typical Monday which turned out to get worse as the day went on. Of course the week changed to the better and I got used to the rather nice autumn weather and went on another trip. But this weekend, I felt it again – so maybe I just need a break :-(

This week I went to Paris for a night and a day to visit a few clients. As this gets published I finish packing my things for a trip to Istanbul. I have never been to Istanbul in my life, so I am very excited to go. A few years back I went to Egypt realising that I will see the pyramids. Being on work travel schedules doesn’t mean you are doing some sight seeing. Having said that, I went to Iceland before and my wife was annoyed that I saw Iceland and Egypt/Kairo before she did. Now I also see Istanbul. I am not into travelling as much as my wife, I just do my job, but that’s where we differ I suppose. Maybe that is why I am quite happy staying at home with a dog at the weekend, putting my feet up and enjoying “being home”. Istanbul of course is different. I will report back next week of course.

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What else happened this week? I think there are a few things transport wise worth mentioning. I was on the train towards Gatwick when the train stopped. Then we heard someone got hit by a train. Lucky for us it was behind us and with some delay we managed to get to Gatwick. I did get a bit stressed and was glad I didn’t travel the other direction that night. Bad enough for the person that got hit, it is a bit of pot luck tbh to sometimes make your journey home. At Gatwick I got served an undercooked chicken at Jamie’s Italian. Fancied some superfood salad and ended up with an awful meal. Not great to travel sometimes. The view of course, as of my earlier post, was amazing.

Anyway, things are good overall. One never has enough time for the family it seems and weekends are too short. I caught up with a uni friend and another good friend this week. I have another few people I need to call. I spoke to my granny for her 94th Birthday. I am lucky, all my grandparents reached the age of 90+. Maybe a good omen. None woke up at 5 am to run 10 K, then worked all day and commuted for 3 hours per day. Life seems as if it is in the fast lane at the moment. I like that though.

I know the next few weeks will be busy. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I couldn’t to be honest. But I am learning a lot too. Prioritising, time management, letting go. All those passionate topics I am writing about over at tidWOWs. It is as if I am fine tuning a bit.

It is good to know that in a few weeks time, probably around mid December, things will slow down. When the dog and I will be having a cuddle with the boys under the Christmas tree and watch the fire, when we think that we are so grateful for what we have. And, that next year we take more time for each other. And this will repeat for another few years. Why I think that? Because I believe that is how it is. Life is living in extremes, on both ends. And I am truly blessed with it.

Love living!
Volker

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Rosie at 5 weeks

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Travelling

Hopefully this picture doesn’t show up too large.

Just managed to sit down for some food with a amazing view, washing away the strain of the day.

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Sunday Column (289)

There have been a few things that went through my head this week. Starting last weekend with the final decision to get a dog on Monday. So coming mid October we are able to pick up “Rosie“. I am excited, ecstatic yet apprehensive. When you wanted something for 30 years, and when you were always told that you cannot have it, and then had your wife saying that it isn’t feasible for years and then the day comes that her and you agree it is a good thing to add a dog to the family – this is a big day. That is a dream come true. But also a reality come true. I can no longer say “I always wanted a dog”, I now will “have a dog”.

To a certain extend, yet with less people talking about how many nappies you have to change and how this will affect your life, it is like having another child. And it is interesting to see how people give you advice. Some are very pragmatic and tell you about their own experience and what they never thought of. That is appreciated. Then there are those people that never had a dog and think they tell you all about it. Those are the annoying ones. And then you get the odd comment that a dog needs walking and you cannot take it in a plane. Those comments I am not sure about; they are either sarcastic or give you reason to doubt those people’s input.

Making the decision to get a dog is not easy. For me it was a childhood dream and also for my kids to grow up with a dog. This is particular true for them being as they are scared and not used to dogs. But foremost this will be a true companion, someone that is loyal, someone to take for a walk, someone wanting to please you and be on your side. And your wife’s side. And your kid’s side. A best friend, play and sports partner.

Enough about it. I am very much looking forward to it.

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The picture on the left got a bit of attention on Linkedin this week. I am not 100% sure why and I notice me using Powerpoint solely because that is what the company uses. But overall, I am normally on the whiteboard, drawing things up and discussing things with clients. That is more fun and it shows I know what I am talking about. Also it is a lot more engaging.

Moving on from there I have been active working last week at dmexco, the biggest online marketing show. So this week I feel a bit under the weather. Not sure if I caught a bug from one of the 30,000 visitors or if two late nights (I don’t remember when I was last still up at 3.30 am), little sleep and a 10K run on Friday contribute to my physical state, but something clearly isn’t right. I felt a bit under the weather, slept a lot but still got up early. My legs just don’t feel like exercising. Maybe I did too much or needed a break, you never know. The travelling and late nights, constant entertaining and talking take their toll. Luckily this only happens once a year. Also, the weather has been very warm and humid for mid September, not something I overly enjoy.

Looking forward to next week I am going to be in Paris, soon Istanbul, Milan and Hamburg, yet probably another few trips to come before the end of the year. Things are at the pivotal point, so the hard work is paying off. I enjoy what I am doing, and the industry is accepting what we are doing. But I don’t want to write too much about my job today.

Everytime I write my blog post, I am looking at the word count in the lower left corner, how it starts adding up. At 400 words I think I better come to an end and by 630, about now, I believe I should come to an end.

I don’t want to bore you with my thoughts too much, despite knowing that most of you enjoy reading it. This is a huge compliment. Speaking of compliments, the biggest one I got this week was from a lady I don’t even know. She said “my dad used to speak a lot about you, I remember your name” – that is nice to hear. I cannot go into further details (not because of the lady) but because of a surprise. I might reveal it in a few weeks time.

Now we visited Rosie again this weekend. It is nice to see Colin bonding and Rohan liking the dog. Also nice to see Rosie myself.

Have a great week ahead,
Volker

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Lilly – not another dog, just Rosie’s mum

We assume Rosie will be looking that stunning one day also!

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“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera

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Rosie at 4 weeks

Volker and Rosie week4

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Rosie – German Shorthaired Pointer

We made a decision. More and better pictures to come.

Rosie

A liver German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP). And we are all very excited.

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Sunday Column (288)

What a busy week. Where to start?
Monday saw me continuing my 5 am starts with a 5K run. My osteopath on Saturday seemed to think things are improving, yet I wasn’t convinced on Monday; but usually it gets better during the week. At the end of the week I managed another 10K which second as a detox after a heavy trade show week.

It has been 30 days now that we have been back from holidays and I am back into my 5 am routine. They say it takes 60 days to form a new habit, so half way through I am wondering, am I getting there? Of course I do. Getting up got a lot easier, to the extend that I naturally wake up around 430 to 5. Exercising got a lot better with my first 10K run, my weight increase on the bench press gets me back to uni levels. Things are moving in the right direction.

Of course it doesn’t stop you from being tired. Some days I notice that my brain is still half asleep or still full of toxins (as in not relaxed, not hangover ;-) ). Usually this is fixed with a nap on the train on the way into work, if I work from home I usually carry on or have a cheeky 10-15 minutes nap over lunch. That is very refreshing. Also introducing more regular meditation helps settling the mind and clearing thoughts.

As you can see things are improving. So on to the next 30 days.

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In the meantime we are back to conference season. Opening conference was on Monday in London, Ad Trading Summit – five years running, not missed one year, it focuses on real time bidding and programmatic since it started. A big industry get together with lots of industry gossip. Lots of fun.

I cut the networking short as I flew into Cologne at 7 am the next morning. There I attended an internal strategy meeting before a high end VIP dinner, ending the night with whiskey and cigars. The next day we kicked off the world’s biggest online and digital marketing exposition, dmexco. It evolved from OMD which I was competing with a few years ago, and turned into dmexco a few years later with over 300 exhibitors and over 30,000 visitors. An amazing achievement for a trade show, whichever niche.

When I came back on Friday I was rather exhausted. As usual trade shows come with lots of alcohol, long parties and little sleep paired with long days and good chats, great networking and fun of course. Thanks to our fabulous marketing team, we had a good turn out at all our events and started making an even bigger dent into the universe of connecting TV to digital :-)

What else happened? R went back to school. C lost another tooth, whilst biting his brother’s (superman) cape. We looked at a GSP (German Shorthair Pointer), more about it in the forthcoming next weeks. However, it looks like it would be the best addition to our family. Exiting times ahead, yet timing is still to be decided.

I guess that sums up another great week. When you are away all week, you enjoy the weekend even more!

Volker

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Sunday Column (287)

I had a great weekend, remember I am writing this about last weekend. Monday started slowly into the new month. Not long until Christmas. Yet we made a decision, we are now actively looking for a dog, a Weimaraner. Lovely pets and hopefully helps the kids to get over their fear of dogs, animals in general and teach them how to take care of a living being. Amazing decision, life changing and it is a bit daunting. Yet, I always wanted a dog!

Weimaraner-puppy

Here we go…not yet confirmed, and no idea how much it will be, but we are eager to find out more and maybe moving forward with it quite quickly. As the week moves along I was stunned about the price and but hope the investment and additional burden will be well worth it at the end. We hopefully going to look at puppies in the next 4-6 weeks. Having said all that, we are now widening our search to potentially GSP – German Shorthair Pointers. They seem to be even better with kids….decisions decisions. We surely keep you posted.

Then, as every year, I took the coin collection to the bank. At my little Buddhist altar I donate gold coins (pound coins) on a regular basis and the kitchen hosts a “stein” in which I put everything less than 50 pence. So this year we got a whopping £200 which we decided to split into four for each one of us to decide which charity to donate too. It feels good to give, and being able to give too. And just by donating spare change we can make a difference: amazing. Hopefully by getting the family involved, Colin and Rohan get a feel for how good of a life we have: running water, warm water, heating and a roof over our head. Things we take for granted.

Colin went back to school this week. He is now in year one. Apple class of course ;-) and rightly so, he is very proud of it. Having a first day at school is not a biggie as it is in Germany, yet a big stepping stone for my wee man. One can tell how he grows up from the models he builds in Lego and which thinking goes into it to create what he imagines. Kids’ imagination is great: submarines, spaceships and monster trucks.

Rohan has yet another year before he starts reception. That will be an even bigger step as both kids will be at school. I will probably be writing about that next year thinking about this post. He develops a lot different to his older brother and the two couldn’t be much more different from each other. Yet they are both amazing. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

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I am looking back over the years, as I like to do when autumn is on and leaves turn golden the view out of the train window is foggy…and I am thinking. Those days, like at the time of writing, I stare into the fog. I look into my past and the decisions I have made in life. Without regret or burden I think about what would have been if …. And my mind drifts off for a bit, and comes back. I feel complacent to a certain extend. Full of energy, plans and desire. Goals and drive. Things are moving in the right direction. So when I say complacent, it is more happy and content, rather than smug.

When finishing this post, I just got a new suit. I needed one for a fraternity event in November, and I don’t have one that fits me anymore. I gain weight but hope it is muscle; I did my first 10 km run this week in 53 minutes, my osteopath seemed to have cracked my “shin splints” and my weight bench is getting heavier weights. For me this is a sign that things move in the right direction. I got my bikes repaired, might have to get more done, and soon it will be winter again.

And whilst I philosophically wind down, work is ramping up. Shows ahead, travel and lots of work for one person. I am enjoying it a lot! That is how I like it really.

The next few weeks will be very busy.

Have a good week.
Volker

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