Author: Volker Ballueder

The Diamond Cutter

I am reading the book THE DIAMOND CUTTER at the moment. Again, one of those amazing books you do not want to put down.

In a Buddhist way Geshe Michael Roach is showing how sustainable business really works. And, how you can apply Buddhist principles to it.

My most favourite chapter is about the imprints you left in your life that cause you experiencing similar situations over again.
For an example, if you had a bad boss and you are thinking that is only his fault to be bad, then this leaves an imprint. You then move to another company and somehow you have a similar situation there. Not happy, bad boss. It is your imprint, your perception that let you be in certain situations.

Geshe Michael gives a great instruction on how to change your imprint, to only have positive imprints that lead to a great business, happy work and great situations – it is up to you and how you perceive situations as well as your previous experience.

Definitely a MUST READ. His Website is here, currently under construction. But you find a short abstract here. Also, there is another website.

Motivation par excellence

I went jogging this morning. As I have done for the past few weeks. It was the bank holiday weekend in August when I said to Jen that I want to lose weight. I said by the time we get married (2 weeks from today) I weigh not more than 100 kilograms (kg).

Hurray, I achieved that about 2 weeks ago and I am almost at 98, counting for a loss of about 10 kg! No, you do not lose your belly but you lose weight. The belly stays once you passed 30. So, how did I do it?

What I did not do was having some miracle cure or remedy that just makes my weight disappear. I read a book to motivate me about “how to beat cancer by eating healthy”. That gave me motivation to:

  • cut down on alcohol
  • cut down on (red) meat
  • cut down on animal fat
  • eat more healthy stuff, e.g. vegetables
  • think about what you eat, eat less processed food

I did not read this book because I have cancer but because I am interested in changing my lifestyle so that this never becomes a topic to think about. Fingers crossed.

After all, I gave up smoking 9 years ago. Smoked off and on since but in general, I did quit from 60 a day and never went back to a proper smoking routine of more than 10 months and more than maximum of about a pack a day. Haven’t smoked for the last 3 years really but the odd cigar and pipe – which is not a problem if you do know it is the odd one. Self-control it is.

When I gave up smoking Alan Carr’s book clearly helped by saying “do not focus on the cigarettes you give up but on the fresh air, healthy life etc. you gain”. Old NLP technique I mentioned before. Motivate yourself towards a goal and not away from it.

So, coming back to my weight loss, I focused away from weight, away from being fat. But what I really focus on is my healthier lifestyle:

  • slimmer figure
  • more toned body
  • healthier look
  • healthy food
  • healthy digestion (you wouldn’t believe it … I spare the details)
  • more energy
  • better feeling towards yourself

As you can see I focused on the good things in life. The slimmer figure I got. I lost about 2 kilos just by not drinking wine every night. To be honest, I cut down on alcohol to an absolute minimum. Didn’t stop me to have a great night with great wine but I reduced the amount significantly. The odd glass does not do any harm – red wine is even healthy in moderation. Then, just by cutting out animal fat – the odd burger after a night out or a kebab – that is where the fat is! And, the less you drink, the less you are tempted to have this hangover cure.

Also, I started jogging again. 10 minutes to begin with. Then half an hour, an hour by now. Weight just comes off if you exercise. If I did not feel well, I would go for a long walk. Walked down the River Thames last week and 3 days of exhibition, makes it probably about 10 kilometers a day. It all counts. The stairs in the office, the walk at lunch time. Give those elevators a miss.

Got myself a bench to do some bench press and free weights for my biceps. No, I do not look or want to look like Arnold but I really like being a little more toned. A little bit muscular, makes you feel stronger and burns off a lot of calories. Do not forget, just a few repetitions work wonder. 5 minutes in the morning and 10 at night. That is all it takes.

The healthy look comes automatically. Your skin clears up. And then, the healthy food! Never thought that some veggies could be so tasty. Unfortunately I have an intolerance against “Quorn” so stick to Tofu, but there are loads of alternative options out there. Some rice or pasta with broccoli and Indian spices do it for me. Saves me money too. Overall, perfect way to save money and eat healthy. And it is no effort at all.

If you do all that on a regular base over a few weeks, a month or two, you do notice that you gain more energy. You sleep better and get more done. You think clearer too. You sometimes do not stop thinking and go wild. You need to run because you feel the “ants in your pants”. A positive vicious circle.

I mean, let me not forget. If you drink a lot, have a nice meal every other night then you get tired, lazy and get into the vicious circle the other way around. Change today and you will see how much you can gain. Quit the glass of wine at night that you think gives you relief, step up the game and go for a 15 minute run. Notice the difference within a week!

So what do I do when I do not feel like doing anything? It is cheesy but I watch Rocky. Either the first movie or when he fights the Russian. I love the scenes when he trains in the snow in Russia. No technology, just him and nature. Often, I just watch it on fast forward. But it is great to see that someone with no help and financial support can achieve so much just by wanting it. You can too!

It comes back to my grandma – if you set your mind to it you can do it. I have the stamina and motivational power to do it. I can do it. I want to move towards to……

Try it for yourself!

My grandma always said….

….my grandma, who I dearly loved, always said that if you work hard and dedicate yourself to what you are doing then you will get rewarded for it.

I talked to a close friend last night and she is working hard, works with dedication and passion, “just” doing a very good job. And, it does pay off, it is recognized. That makes me proud!

However, unfortunately those situations are not always true because often people work their butts off and do not get any reward.

So, grandma, maybe we have to say that if you really work hard and dedicate yourself to what you are doing then you will get rewarded for it IF you have a manager who realizes it.

It comes down to good managers and good leaders. With high empathy, EQ and relationship to their staff.

Have a great weekend.


I do not believe it is the 3rd of October already. Time and year has passed – flying!

Just finished the book on Colin Powell today. Nothing revolutionary new. Nice story Oren is telling but the is it really a leadership secret he reveals? Not for me.

Did we not all know that a good manager is someone who manages but a great leader leads by example, is balanced and appeals to common sense? Particularly the latter one seems to be the secret of Colin Powell, not getting too engaged with his duties but keeping the “30,000 feet overview”. Think outside the box, do not forget your front-line staff and be – after all – very human in your daily tasks.

I liked the book, I have to admit. But it is nothing overly new. Then again, maybe I need to read the autobiography of Colin Powell, as he is a great man and politician. My respect Mr. Powell!

Do things turn out the way you want them to?

Do things turn out the way you want them to?

Not long ago, I wanted to change something in my life. I was angry, furious to change it. Nothing happened and I decided I am going to stick with what I am doing, I do not need the change I am longing for.

Now, a few months on, I still think of the change but my emphasis and importance of changing did change – which means that I am still interested in the original change but not as angry and furious about it. Therefore, the change seems to come naturally and I can cope with it easier, as I am more patient, more relaxed and I do investigate more about the right step of change.

Of course it depends on the topic but if you really look for something and you put your mind to it, it will happen. And it is coming your way when you are ready. It will be there, be patient and relax. It does not come without effort but it might just come as a more sustainable change and not with a crowbar (I translated that from the German “Brechstange” and hope it makes sense).

There is a saying that you cannot force your luck – you cannot. But, it is true that good things come to those who wait. Just do not fall asleep waiting ,-)

All the best for the next week.

Act As If

I noticed another article in my magazine, going back to NLP “acting as if” – reminds me of the Secret, acting as if you are already have something, and seek for something and really want something, putting a picture in your mind.

The article talks about people that wanted a promotion at work and started to “act if” they already got it. Changed their lifestyle, hairstyle, daily style and within weeks either got a promotion or what they wanted – down to synchronicity.

That reminds me of really wishing for something and it comes through. But also, I think that, like my NLP trainer used to say, if you for instance start thinking of something to buy in your head, you already “bought it”, even if not physically.

Where we going from there? Take little steps towards your goal. If you like to be the CEO of a company, learn how to run it and make your knowledge available to people. Show people what you can do and how you can lead them and get yourself the first position in management. From there learn about strategies and give strategic advise…and one day, you will be there. Taking small steps at a time and you will get where you want.

The 7 habits of highly effective people do the same. They talk about “starting with the end in mind”. Imagine you are already a CEO, how did you get there? And, using stepping stones that you can write down on a time line, check against your performance to see your progress.

Be who you want to be – act as if!


It seems that the word “passion” follows me. I got a magazine from the Coaching Academy talking about the “Passion for Coaching”.

I noticed, that is in regards to the last entry, that there are so many help books out there. Currently I read a book about the Leadership of Colin Powell. Very interesting. But sometimes I wonder how much we can take it. How many self-help and personal development books can we read and process.

Last night I said to my partner that I just noticed recently that I am not taking any exams any more at the moment. I haven’t for the past 3 years but was not consciously aware that the pressure of exams is over and now, all I do, is working. And, did I take all the things in I learned at University?

I guess so, thinking back I remember that I experienced loads of different topics, new fields of studies, new research. Even back then I read a lot of self-development books. But today. I still read books about online-marketing or new Internet facts as they relate to my job. Or, I read about the newest developments in NLP. But the more self-development books I read the more I realize that I learn less and less from them. What I do learn is that I get so conscious about life that I do should write my own – which I surely will at some point.

Coming back to the article about the passion of coaching it talks about passion being an emotional and not intellectual response. My passion was always to learn more, to gain more from life experience and use self-help books and mentors to grow my own portfolio. And I do. But I often feel like I am stuck in terms of how I can develop due to my personal environment, my work, my life, my current life situation.

That is not negative at all but more of a mission to constantly change the situation and personal preference and performance to gain more and learn more. The day I stop learning is the day I am dying – I believe that quote is from someone famous.

So, make the most of NOW and make sure you develop yourself and your skills every day – even if it is only little by litte.

Passion and Profits

In one of the many newsletters I receive a day I got an offer to attend a free 3 day seminar with Mr. Christopher Howard. 2 tickets, worth over 1800 pounds. And, I am even off all three days.

I was afraid that it would turn into a “happy clappy NLP seminar where we are all happy and make the best of our ability as soon as we leave the room” class. Therefore, I decided to buy his book “Turning Passions into Profits” – if you search by title at Amazon do not forget the ‘s’ on passions, otherwise there are not hits. Guess they could work on their Internal Search Engine which used to be known for its efficiency.

Anyway, obviously the advertisement for the seminar worked and I bought at least a book (second hand of course) and wonder what it is all about. I will let you know of course. Just bought about a million books, so might be some time.

Btw 2nd hand books. If anyone is interested, I am selling quite a few books at the moment at Listing Amazon

Constant Change – do not expect a great revelation


My partner Jen said to me the other day that, during a girl’s night out, her and some friends discussed whether one does ever know when the right time is to get married and when to have kids.

She came home and shared the thoughts and I, whilst jogging last night, realized, what most of you probably already realized, that in terms of change management, humans change as well.

Not a great revelation I suppose. But here we are. 6 months ago I liked my bottle of wine, my nice diner and could not be more comforted by having food and nice drink. Now, shortly before the wedding, I drink about a glass a week, run about 20 K (in total) a week, do weight training and cannot tell you what a difference vegetarian food makes to my diet. Wow – that is a lot of changes.

One never knows what comes next. Another trigger in life lets me set sail to India or Tibet to get enlightened and my partner might want to move to New Zealand for good. Would one make those decisions together, can one make those decisions together? Will one ever know the other person? When is the right time?

The right time is always in the now. The Power Of Now – by Eckhard Tolle, describes it nicely. There is never a good time but the actual now. Because we do not live in the past or future. All decisions, all feelings are at this very moment. NLP taught me that if you start thinking of e.g. buying a new car and really get yourself hyped up for it, feel it and imagine driving it, then you have already bought it. All you have to do now is the action and physically buy it.

So, is there something like THE right moment. Yes, there is. It is now. But this now changes, in “human terms” every second I suppose – if we want to put a measuring on it.

We all have the right to change and the will and motivation to change. We need to constantly develop ourselves, have different wants and needs. Out of that we create our now which nobody would ever be able to predict.

However, with a little of common sense and stability I guess we are reasonable in what we are doing and caring and loving towards our partner.

I would like to dedicate this entry to Jen, as without her, I could not reflect my thoughts as well. Her love shows me every day, that the now is what I want. And, if I could, would like to have the NOW forever.

NLP Revistited (3)

Just tonight, having the man flu again, I am looking at the concept of the CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE which is an anchoring exercise.

I remember doing this exercise years ago. One goes through a situation where one e.g. excelled in something and at the moment one feels the peak of the action, then one steps into an imaginary circle on the ground. This circle now represents the feeling, not the actual situations, a state of being rather than a state of doing.

If one now goes backwards one will experience how one got to that state of excellence. For instance the state of excellence is finishing a marathon. The way leading up to it would be hard training, different milestones. If one now moves forward, is the feeling of achieving it still the same? Or does one demand more, or could one have done less to achieve the same?

The motivation to achieve something PLUS the attainment, e.g. the achieving itself gets us in the state of excellence. Any gap to what we like, want or need to achieve leads to irritation.

This irritation, being out of balance, will activate something and will lead to a motivation to get what one wants. If the irritation is to run marathon, one will activate the training to get motivated to train for the achievement of the marathon to end of with a state of excellence.

However, if we now think about this circle of excellence, what can we use it for? A good example is given on this website. Get into this circle and feel how you achieved something. Step out and add more thing you could have done (or remove) and try to step into that circle again. It might just create that motivation to do more to feel even better.

I guess it is not easy to explain but try it out for yourself. An easy, self-anchoring tool. Enjoy.