Posts Tagged carpe diem

Sunday Column (510)

I wanted to publish a different post this week. As you can imagine I have a lot of thoughts and love writing to comprehend them, to work through new input I am getting from podcasts, work and life in general. That’s one of my things. My creative outlet. So there are always a few posts in the pipeline. But then a few things happened which made me think, and I wanted to share those thoughts.

After last weekend’s 20 mile run, I wanted to run 22 miles on Friday. However, I came down with the man flu, aka as a common cold, and therefore didn’t run. I guess I am ready to go the marathon distance already, but will have to do a 22 mile run before the event. Hopefully I am better by next weekend to tackle that one.
And, we are lucky with the dry weather. The crystal clear air, filled with cobwebs and mist, that slowly burns away by a low standing sun. It’s mystical almost. One of my most favourite times of the year, and I was told that San Francisco is like that all year around. Wouldn’t that be nice?

In Germany we celebrated the reunification, it must have been 29 years since the wall came down. We plan a trip to Germany again soon. I want to show the boys the fatherland, introduce them to Berlin, some history. I couldn’t imagine to ever go back and live there but I want to at least experience it. So as a matter of fact, I am looking forward to it. Hope the boys and the family will like it too.

A podcast I recorded with a German living in Los Angeles this week, brought up the topic of greater German (or any nation’s) collective unconscious. Allegedly it takes 7 generations (or 140 years) for it to clear. So Germans still look at the Great Depression and two worldwars in their collective unconscious. That would explain some of the stereotypes and values I see in myself as well, like a need for security, cautious, not wanting to make mistakes, and being the good person. Interesting isn’t it? Or it is over-interpretation? It’s difficult for me to compare that to any other nation of course. The inheritance of a nation or even family, I remember studying family constellations at university, is a highly sensitive yet fascinating topic. Watch out for the podcast with Conni when it goes live, I really enjoyed that conversation.

Life goes in cycles, and there is only one certainty. This week I learned that an industry friend died at the age of 49. When I attended the industry trade shows recently, I saw him and we had a chat. This week I also caught up with a mentor who had health problems when I was working for him. It was good to see he is better for now. Those moments are when you pause for a second, take a deep breath in, and breathe out. I don’t know about the exact circumstances, but I know that in our small industry I know a few people, and we are close. We look after each other, and it is always with great sadness to hear someone passing away or being ill. It affects me. One reflects on priorities, the focus we discussed a few weeks back. One thinks about their own lifestyle, health choices and how long one might have back on the clock. And then it’s business as usual, isn’t it?

So a bit of a melancholic week almost. Taking a flight on a Saturday missing a family weekend isn’t nice but to see a bit of the world prior to a conference makes up for it. Monsoon season though 🙁 A weekend to myself, 10 hours of uninterrupted time on a plane. To relax, reflect, write, read and sleep. What’s not to like?

I will tell you all about it next week. For now, have a great week, enjoy the autumn and stay well.

Volker

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Buddhist Thoughts: Tigers

I came across the below in a newsletter the other day. It is an excerpt of Pema Chodron’s latest book, The Wisdom of No Escape. I thought it would be worth sharing!

Tigers Above, Tigers Below

There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.

Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.

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Sunday Column (207)

Here we go. Another week.
It started somewhat on Sunday night when I indulged myself in a movie. Killer Elites.

Just the kind of movie I enjoy watching. I haven’t really done that for a while. We watch movies on a regular basis but normally a compromise between what I like to watch and what my wife likes to watch. She did something else on Sunday night, so I had the TV all to myself 🙂

Anyway, I got some relaxing times with the boys last weekend too which was good as the week prior to that had been busy. Monday I started back at work with a conference about mobile marketing. This then triggered a post about the state of the industry which will be published in March. We came a long way in the last three years.

I have then been publishing those motivational quotes and put some on my own website. I am hooked on motivational quotes and videos that push you over the edge. Or at least they should. They should motivate you, show you the real tests in life and motivate you to do what you like to do. Even my wife got one as a background picture on her phone now, and I am thinking of printing a few to put them in the garage. Sad us 😉

As I mentioned on my Monday post, I am in a very lucky position. I do what I always wanted to do, enjoy what I am doing and I am passionate about it too. Probably I am closest to be the luckiest person on the planet. But I am grinding. I cannot stop. I have an inner urge and an inner need to grow. And I will.

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Most of those videos/quotes are about the happiness and purpose of life. About doing what you enjoy most rather than following the honey trap which they call “money”. Money won’t make you happy. It helps but even if you had all the money in the world, you wouldn’t be a better, wiser or more successful person. Neither would you be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I am money motivated but not only. I can see beyond the first attraction.

I guess that is where one struggles. Watching the last episode of “Africa” by Attenborough made me think once again. Africa being the birthplace of mankind, an ever growing population and an ever growing amount of wildlife that gets extinct. The last continent with life as it existed millions of years ago and we are about to destroy it. As we have done it in other parts of the world.

We sometimes have to think of the bigger picture. Is life about a paycheck this month or about what difference I can make to save the world, someone’s life or how I can help the old lady across the road. Again, the paycheck is important. Everyone has to start somewhere. I am not a believer in God myself, despite believing in a spiritual being, but if you are, thank him for every day you got. Make sure you make the most of it and that you are a good human being. That is what it is all about. If alongside that you can found a family, be good to others, put others’ welfare above yours and make some money, make it a career even, join a few charitable organizations, then I’d call that an alright life.

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Is it asking for too much if I want more than that? I want it all. One step at a time though. Prioritizing is important. If I won the lottery….but I haven’t, and probably I never will. Nevertheless, I want to be awesome, motivated, be coached, coaching, healthy, fit, rich, member of a few groups……wow wow wow. I don’t wanna stop. I want to reach for the stars.

And I will.
A bit at a time.

If you don’t have those (or other) goals, you are not reaching for something. At least not in my opinion. I couldn’t just get up every day, sit at a desk for 7.5 hours, go home watch TV, and do that for the rest of my life. I just couldn’t. You should aim to have three things you want to achieve each day. If that is to make someone smile, win a new piece of business (or a step towards that), or really help someone out – that is up to you.

But I enjoy what I am doing. Even I have limitations: for instance I couldn’t exercise this week due to shin pain. I have a cold. My MIL is around. I got more lie ins. The kids didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep much at night. I had too much drink.

I am alive though. My heart is beating and telling me that I move forward. My head made huge progress on a project this week, and I had a fantastic catch up with some folk this week too. Actually if I try to put all the things where I think I made a step forward on one side of the scale, then there is no way the negative things will weigh it up at all. They just wouldn’t. And, somewhat I believe they never will.

But maybe that is for another time. Another sentimental post. Time to go back and play with the kids. It got cold outside. Our fridge broke. Our hoover broke. But that all doesn’t matter as this moment I will turn off the computer and spend time with my boys. No matter what.

Get onto your dreams. Don’t waste time.
Carpe Diem. Simple.

Best wishes,
Volker

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