Sunday Column (372)

Happy Valentines Day. I hope you spoilt your loved one today with some nice lunch, dinner or a glass of bubbly. Or all of it. Being in love is the greatest thing in the world, whether this is fresh or fresh every day for many years. I haven’t stopped loving my wife for many years and Valentines Day, as commercially driven as it is, just helps me remembering how important she is to me. The challenge is that once Valentines has passed, there is in quick succession of my wife’s birthday and then Mother’s day – so she only ever gets flowers in Q1. Just kidding, but I think that those days should be more spread out. I make sure they are of course 😉

Happy Birthday Rohan! My little man turned 5 this week. Scalextric, a group of friends after school and lots of ice-cream, sweets and cake made his day. Boy, was he excited when he came down the stairs. When he went to school. When he came out of school. No surprise he fell into bed early, totally exhausted. He had a fantastic day. So did I. I was exhausted by the end too. However, there is nothing like seeing your kids enjoying a party, playing with their friends and having lots of fun. It is great for them to let go, just being kids!

Happy Birthday Opa!

Happy Fundraising! My wife managed to raise close to 500 GBP for her half marathon so far which she is doing at the end of the month. I am very proud of her. Not only the training, but constantly pushing herself out of her comfort zone to raise money, to push boundaries and make it happen. She was so nervous about it yet done such a fantastic job. I cannot wait her crossing the finish line and then moving on to finish a marathon later this year. Jen, you have done so well!

Happy Feet! Yes, this might sound funny, but I had my first ever reflexology massage last week. I wanted to do that for a long time, and kept putting it off for a few years. Whilst I am not sure if it was me being very tired or the massage, or a combination of both, but I fell asleep during the massage. Yet, the only thing I can say is that it has been an amazing experience. If I say it was like taking drugs, never did I take any drugs really, but that’s what it must be like. An experience I cannot wait to repeat. The body and its parts are replicated on your feet, and by massaging your feet, your lymph system in your body gets drained and pressure releases. It is amazing!

Then, in last weekend’s FT, I read a quote from Simon Blackburn, a philosopher. He was asked ‘what drives him on’ and he answered “Myself. It’s internal, it’s not for money, not for fame; it’s me, it’s what I do”. That quote sums up a lot of my thinking and strongly resonates with me.

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I have a lot of drive and I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t work for money. As I get older however, it is more about recognition and satisfaction. That of course is because I get a higher salary which automatically eradicates the drive to earn more and more money. Having said that, I am not greedy, but constantly striving and of course want and ‘need’ to earn more cash 🙂 You should make hay while the sun shines, shouldn’t you? I am truly engaged in my job and industry, and I am really enjoying what I am doing. I do that for me. What drives me on is me, the achievement for me and my career. And if that gets rewarded, that is nice and fine, but the inner drive to be successful, to make things happen, that is me! That is the Ballueder drive and conviction. That’s who I am. If I don’t work I work on private projects. On the next productivity book, on some thoughts, some articles, or for my start-up. And I love it, but the drive is internal more than anything else.

I write this as I pull into Victoria Station in London. I am wondering, having lived here for over 10 years, always south of the river, how often I must have passed the bridge, Battersea power station and seen the buildings going up around it. It must have been close to a thousand or two thousand times. And I will do that again, or triple that. I am only in the first third of my career, the first 10 years of where I am going.

But let’s finish the journey for the day. We test drove more cars this weekend, and I think we are coming closer to a decision. I am off for a few days next week, so lots of family time during half term.

Life is good. No complains.

Love and Kindness,
Volker