Posts Tagged challenges

Sunday Column (432)

The joys of travel makes it almost enjoyable to sit on an old Southern train on a Friday, bumping in the seat, as I go into the office. The usual routine is back and I had a chance to see both the wife and the kids before I headed out of the house. The life I chose to be living. As I finalise this piece, my kids are sitting in their PJs entertaining themselves, the wife is making lovely bacon butties and I have a strong cup of Joe. Saturday, sunny, and maybe a BBQ on the cards. Life can be pretty awesome.

Friday, and that is not what I anticipated, a terror attack in Stockholm. As I said on Twitter, I was in Stockholm when it happened in London and I was in London when it happened in Stockholm. My friends are safe in Stockholm. I am shocked. I said it then and I say it now, we will see more of those attacks. Terror. Not a lot of casualties but fear. Cheap, little preparation. Stay safe everyone. Then there was Syria. Wow. I don’t know what to say but I am more scared of stupid people than of smart people. And you know what I mean by that.

Anticipating how the week would develop, see comment above ‘or not’, I started my ‘new routine’ this week of flying into Germany for a few days with a lazy Monday night. That was very much needed, and deliberately planned. So I started the week with a long sauna session followed by eating healthy salad, watching ‘The motorcycle diary’, a story about Che Guevaras. The right thing to do. Balancing your life.

I cannot say I know much about him, but he travelled and experienced a lot new input biking across South America. I have not travelled much to new and exotic places (yet) however lived in different cultures since I have been 16. That’s a different experience. A different input. So watching the movie and for Che Guevaras to realise that he is no longer the one he was, stroke a cord with me. I am no longer the me I was when I lived in Germany 16 years ago. Or in the USA 20 years ago. Life moved on and experience took over, and one got busy having a family and all. But we are still we, aren’t we?

Those experiences determine how we react. For our German team we did a personality test (red=driven, blue=organised, yellow=creative, green=team person) which determines your main character. Similar to Meyers Briggs this test just looks at your favourite personality treat but uses colour to determine your preference (see above as a rough guide). I am, of course, red. Driven, determined and GSD (getting sh* done). I strive on productivity and love getting lots done doing two jobs at the time. I try to not let anything slip through the net, but cannot promise to go into every little detail as necessary. That is a challenge for me but as they say, it is interim. This interim position got a lot of traction in the German press which I sincerely enjoy. See my Linkedin profile for details.

So whatever made you the person you are, determined your connections between your left and right brain, and whichever experience helped you to be who you are and achieve what you got, you will always go back to your childhood values. Can you tell I have been in Germany, getting back to making those long winded sentences (Schachtelsatz) 🙂 Values often don’t change but come out in different ways. The basic you, the one that doesn’t change, is still there, even after all those years and experience. And this is what I find fascinating, to still get adjutated (sometimes) with the same things by getting a trigger in Germany. Pushing the button on small things that I had long forgotten. That includes words, actions and attitudes. An amazing muscle/brain memory function of going back and making those connections mentioned above.

As I start writing this post I am about to take off from Hamburg. A lovely city. A nice city. It is funny how every airline seems to take off slightly different, like a different driver of a taxi, getting used to Eurowings. Moving forward I will go back to Easyjet at least for the outbound journey due to a) costs and b) convenience. Also, in all honesty I enjoy the extra challenge of having two jobs on one company, however difficult it is to manage sometimes. It is fun and satisfying. I strive on a challgene and love the company I work for. I do. And the more challenging it gets, the better the job right?

So I managed to wrap up the week from London and focus my energy on my two little boys over the weekend. Actually I don’t think they are that little anymore. It is great to see them again and make sure they know I am still there and love(d). I cannot wait to spend more time with them over Easter. I managed to bring back some new Pokemon and some Pokeballs. And some Gummibears of course and NicNacs which are still not available in the UK. Allegedly, so I heard years ago, there is some licensing issues around it. You’d never knew.

With those thoughts about the constant evaluation of life and work, character and personal destination, I want to close for the week. I can see an increase in downloads for my book which is nice and encouraging and hope it helps people to organise their life’s systems. Link on the right hand side.

Have an amazing week ahead of you.

Love and kindness,
Volker

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Sunday Column (407)

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Monday started off nicely and when drafting my blog I realised I ended up writing a whole post on Brexit. See Brexit.
So I had to stop myself writing another post just about train strikes on Tuesday. The RMT union, rightly or not, strikes. Again. Overrunning engineering works added to the misery. I finally was on my way on the first train (!) running from Brighton to London. Just before 830 am. Two hours later than anticipated. I am up early anyway. I can change my schedule but my employer expects me in the office for 9 am. And they should do. The ongoing situation with Southern Rail is inexcusable. It is utterly disgusting in this day and age. But I wouldn’t add anything to the conversation by getting annoyed.

So I breathe in and out. I decide how I feel. Southern cannot make me feel a certain way. I cannot change the situation. I can only accept it. Doesn’t mean I like it. Far from it. Totally out of my control. The same is true for my headphones. After spending a small fortune on my Bose noise cancellation wireless headphones I exchanged them on Monday. Interrupted and intermittent connectivity. I have been testing the new ones all week. It seems better and I am in close contact with Bose support. We will tackle that. The sound of the Bose headphones are just too good.

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The commuter nightmare. A lot of people feel the strain and pain. It makes people sick. And I wonder why or do I get sick? On Tuesday I couldn’t leave the house before 8 to catch any train. On Wednesday I was in London before 8. Madness. No reliability or consistency. The fear and worries of the train company’s delays reflecting bad on you and your ability to be at work. Companies luckily understand but they shouldn’t have to. And neither should we as commuters. A never ending story but shouldn’t we just get a reliable service most of the time? The other challenge is that most people don’t know how to use the commuter time. I have habits. In the morning it is very much about me-time. I read. Without (many) exceptions I try to go through a book every 10 days. On the bus it is a mix of emails, podcasts, preparation for the day. Depending on the day I might just chill out to some music. On the way back I work on the bus. Time sheets, feed reader catch up. On the train home I usually work. If there is nothing to work on, which is rare, I read or watch some catch up TV, an episode of a TV series or chill out. Moving forward I also will make sure to finalise my next productivity book. Once I finished reading Bruce Springsteen’s biography. Yet without that routine and use of the time to accomplish something, this commute would be hell. Now it is one of my most productive times of the day. The reduced strike service causes less delays and less time to work. I get home quicker. Bit odd, and counter productive 😉

Due to the strike I also changed my exercise routine. A nice run on Wednesday night, given I had time, resulted in a 43.16 for the 10K on my treadmill. Result. My body went in overdrive and resulted in some ‘stress pimpels’. Never mind. I enjoy challenging myself and pushing boundaries. I feel like I am moving in the right direction and get a few things done at the moment, clearing out the old, bringing in the new input. I am looking forward to a break, to recap on a few things, and make sure I am not missing anything in life. Half term is not too far away! On the other hand there are things that seem a bit off at the moment. Without wanting to go into great detail, just when you think things are all happily moving along, more change is in the air. I hope for positive change of course but that isn’t always guaranteed. Sanity is what you must aim for.

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Coming back to Springsteen’s biography I realise a few bits about life. No great revelations but essentially, as you grow up, you notice more and more that your life isn’t at all different to other people’s life. Bruce said in one of his chapters that ‘I loved as best as I could, but I hurt some people I really cared about along the way. I didn’t have a clue as to how to do anything else.‘. I see myself having done that in the past, and had to learn a lot about loving people. Something that just didn’t come natural to me. I am great in building rapport with people, mastering situations, dealing with people and having a higher EQ than some. Yet under the skin, the love and appreciation for people beyond the daily interaction was something I had a hard time learning. My wife would be a in a better position to tell you, but also my kids. It took me a long time to come to terms of what fatherhood means to me, and how to love kids in the right way. To appreciate them seeing the world from a different place and to understand how to change my perception to their level. It is a wonderful world, once you are in it, but getting there didn’t come natural for me.

Where is that coming from? I often had doubts if I could ever learn it. If I say that Bruce gives me the confidence that it is normal, I don’t have many other people I could ask. But that’s what you learn in life, that actually the challenges you have, the things that you worry about, are the same things everyone else is worrying about. With personal nuances of course. Talking about his puberty, Bruce writes ‘I was a punk, grumbling my way through….My dad’s journey on this ship was probably one fo the most meaningful of his life and I couldn’t respect it.‘ – and I can remember those days when I was just a grumpy old teenager, and so can many, that didn’t respect their parents. And looking back we will feel bad. When Bruce looks back and says he would like to turn back time to change it or get a second chance to make it better, we often don’t get this. We often only have this one chance in life, yet we mess it up. And so what, you might be thinking. You are probably right. I have regrets in my life but I am not worried, don’t want to go back to rectify them. I found my closure in life a few years ago. I went through the exercise of writing letters to people asking them for forgiveness and closure. The ones that wanted, replied. And it is good, it is healing for me, and hopefully it was for them too. We move on in life and need to focus on what lies ahead of us, not looking back. We cannot change the past or dwell on it. We would go crazy. Would I love to go back in time to rectify things? No, I honestly would not. Maybe I don’t have enough baggage and my things are small in comparison to others, yet when in puberty, I am certain my kids will go through the same thing and I will experience life from the other side. What goes around comes around I suppose. Cycle of life.

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I am not quite sure where I am leading with that. I look around the full ram packed train which I am on at 7 am in the morning due to the strike in order to get a seat and look at the commuter crowds. If we took a snap shot of those people and ask them the above questions, they would all agree. Life is what it is. No surrender. No regrets. Moving on and up. We can change the now and are obliged to make the now the best one yet. We must ensure that we always give our best, to keep winning and moving in the right direction. I am certain of that.

We sometimes remember snapshots that might be, over time, look bigger than they are. Like the famous objects in the rear view mirror. Yet often the opposite is the case. We lay to rest what we have to lay to rest. It’s done.

I am done. I am done for this week. An amazing week. I feel in more control of things and had a few things I took care of. Nice. I feel like I am winning. In my game. Getting shit done, adding value. But that’s all I want. All I can ever ask for, isn’t it?

Have a fantastic week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (312)

Two months into the new year. It has been a busy start with an acceleration towards end of Q1. I just came back from a trip just to go on to another, then another, a bigger pitch and an exciting conference plus another trip. Wow, the next few weeks will be busy. Good busy. 

I enjoy the travel, and have written about it at lengths. They are a bit of an escape and an opportunity to carve out disconnected time. Disconnected time you usually don’t take, as I feel like I am constantly connected, 5 am to 8 pm. That is wrong, no question, and I will deal with that over the next few months. It affects my sleep and downtime, however I have big goals for self improvement this year. Losing weight, changing my diet, running up the South Downs are part of a bigger picture. And I started. 9.9K up the South Downs, down to almost 90kg from 95 at Christmas. Dropping chocolate, snacking and disconnecting more often is next. 

The main challenge I have at the moment is tiredness. Whether this is the 5 ams catching up with me or the vivid dreams, the disconnectedness or some other stressful things in the back of my mind, I am not sure. Getting 7 hours of sleep should surely be enough, yet the animated, vivid dreams are what seem to crack me up. No nightmares but processing things way down my past history. I believe there is a certain stress factor with challenging times across my life.

A computer generated image of a chain with a broken link.

What I mean by that is manifold. The above mentioned travel and associated business at work cause a strain of course. Don’t get me wrong, it is good and I enjoy it, but life is coming with some challenges. I have some challenges outside work I don’t want to discuss here, but it never pours, it rains. Life is good though, with those precious moments; and we should never forget that, I get reminded when going to bed and seeing the little ones’ blanket off, when you pull it back over their tiny bodies, hugging them, and enjoying the moment to feel so close to them. To be able to teach them gratitude and to challenge the status quo. To build their own vision yet pursue their dreams, regardless of money. I want to be able to support them to do that. 

Those moment you can perish. Enjoy the hugs, and hug them a bit more. Sharing the love. When you, out of the ordinary, take their warm milk to their bed in the morning. When they wake up and smile at you. The smile saying that, I love you dad, and thanks for me being able to stretch in bed and drink my warm milk whilst waking up. The love you feel. The satisfaction you get from them being able to have some special moments. Small things in life.

And when you set up the first computer profile for your son to use the computer. And you explain him what a profile is. And you ask him to find out about which games he plays in school, and what he likes to do at home on a computer. They are growing up so fast. My parents always said you have to be 12 to use the computer. But things change of course, technology and exposure to it accelerates dramatically. Mad.

The ever accelerating spiral of technology advancements. The connective-ness and strain, faster moving world, pressure to perform, reply to emails quicker and deal with more in shorter time.

That is it for the week. My WordPress doesn’t show me the visual editor, just the html one, so the post might look out of order.

Love and Kindness.

Volker

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Sunday Column (278)

Life needs to give you a kick in the arse sometimes. That happened last weekend. My wife signed Colin and myself up for a 4 mile bike ride. The first time ever we went on a bike ride together.

My excuse is simple: I don’t like a lot of uncertainty in life. I couldn’t take my youngest. I prefer my routine, don’t like adventures that much. The only situations I like coming out of my comfort zone is when I am at work. When a client comes up with questions, thinking on my feet. But at home, I like it when life just goes as planned.

We saw a few people having child seats on bikes, something we never considered but just bought one from eBay this week which we picked up on Thursday. Adventurous enough for me tbh. I am not sure if it is safe and comfortable for either mum or child. But it is good. Colin enjoyed the bike tour and when he fell over in the first 500 m due to some child undercutting him, he cried a bit, picked himself up and went for it. Amazing. Great attitude, never giving up. What a proud dad I am.

And from now, triggered by the event, we are good to go as a family with Rohan sitting on a bike seat on the back of my bike. Happy days.

After that warm up I went for a cycle ride myself. I first wanted to beat last week’s record but ended up trying a different route, ending in a 29 km ride on the South Downs to Lewes. Amazing. I am still sore as I write this as I had to do it again this weekend. This time against the wind, with lots of muddy puddles and the other way around. I also decided to shorten my circuits to the most essential strength exercises, still 6 minutes, to keep doing some of that on my ‘rest’ days.

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Talking about challenges. We all got them in life. Whether it is a thing people do differently from birth or due to different education or upbringing. We all have different models of the world, different needs for adventures (see above), securities, growth, charity, importance and love. Those six human needs that have been identified for many years and sum up most challenges you encounter with people. But it isn’t unsolvable.

Another challenge is staying away from certain foods. I gave up cheese last year to loose weight and now started eating some again. The odd indulgence. Same with chocolate or crisps. Yet, I have been good this June. One take away, only very little chocolate (3 bars maybe), hardly any crisps (but pork scratching in the pub). In return I ate a bit too many sweets and some cheese as well. I already had more chocolate this month 😉

Now for July I had planned to be tee-total. But with an off site sales meeting, a summer party and an invitation to a BBQ, this seems unlikely. However, it won’t happen in August either. So I will just pretend to be tee-total whilst being in situations I don’t want to drink, and drink on the occasions I want to drink. Simple….I hope. Sad when I think about society almost predefining whether you are drinking. When I was at a German networking event the other day they served, as standard, alcohol free beer. No questions asked if you didn’t want to drink. I assume it will be another few years before this will be commonplace in the UK.

Enough about challenges. Go out and enjoy yourself. Carpe diem.

Have a fantastic week. Less time to Christmas this year than last year’s, we are more than halfway through the year. Mad!

Take care,
Volker

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Sunday Column (265)

As you know I spent last weekend away from the family. On a stag. I didn’t know I could handle (or judgement thereof is down to my companions) that many shots. Never mind. Thinking you are still at uni whilst ‘rocking the dance floor’ coming up for 40….

It is odd to travel without family for pleasure. No one but myself to look after, nothing to worry about but myself. It is a bit selfish but also nice. I enjoyed it and truly relaxed.

This week was different. I flew to Paris late on Wednesday to start a long day early on Thursday. Busy with meetings and work, travelling and working. This is less fun, one is more engaged with work, less relaxed. But that’s what I do, and I still enjoy it.

One thing stays the same: You miss the kids. It is nice to hear that the highlight of school was me doing the school run. Nice to get the hugs and kisses before I leave. I am used to not being there for bedtime but the older the boys get the more I feel that I am missing out on not being there.

Colin suggested I should stop working. I tried to explain to him that this wasn’t a good idea. Whilst we are looking to rent a caravan we cannot live in it forever. A five year old’s mind works in mysterious ways.

But don’t get me wrong. I love my job, my travel and the European challenge. I enjoy what I do, yet need to be stricter in separating work and life, being more in the moment with the kids. I am improving at weekends. I am making it work.

Just this weekend, despite the stress of packing up our downstairs in anticipation of some renovation work, I didn’t even check my phone nor Facebook all day. I spend some quality moments with the boys and enjoyed their company. At the same time of course they are getting easier in entertaining themselves. Win/win as they say.

Next week I am travelling again, yet it is a good thing as the downstairs renovation starts. For the next four weeks, if we can sit in the living room at all, we will sit on chairs. Our couch went on eBay, the new couch will arrive early May. The result will hopefully be amazing. I cannot wait.

I am closing this blog with a video this week. When watching this, I got a lump in my throat and a few tears. This week I got good and bad news, and some very sad news. Life is a roller coaster ride, yet I am very positive about what is there to come. I am so ready for the challenge of it.

What do you think?

Should we sometimes be a bit more considerate with the people we tip…..

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (244)

It’s another crazy week. It is another journey home after a good Rotary meeting. Trains are messed up due to signalling failure and a person hit by a train. Wonderful, nothing ever goes smoothly? My week started with a temperature. Shaking, sweating 24 hour flu, and dragging myself into the office, ploughing through a lot of work. It is amazing how the body heals itself and repairs itself, just give it a bit of help and sleep. However, Thursday morning my body rebelled. I had to call in sick, some stomach bug made my life hell 🙁 But by today I am a lot better.

At work the fun part of building a team has began, we are recruiting for sales managers, so be in touch if you are looking. Exciting times ahead!

I read a good Buddhist quote this week:

You really have to know your own fundamental mind before you can stop and rest. If you know your mind and arrive at the fundamental, that is like space merging with space. Ta-tu

Whilst this is not my Buddhist column, and it might not continue it next year, I still like to share some thoughts on the above. The knowledge of your deep inside – it is worth exploring. Motivation, issues, restrictions, rules, behaviour. This week I started working with a new coach again. A few weeks lie ahead of me where I want to make some positive change. Again, exciting times ahead. To do that I will work on my deepest understanding, getting to know myself a bit better than before. As a regular reader you will know this is going to be VERY deep. I love challenging myself, in any way, and really look forward achieving more. I am not sure who said that but ‘if you are going through hell, you need to drive like the devil’. No, I am not going through hell, just the opposite. But literally, if you are going to master any challenge, make sure you got the skills and equipment to do so. Thanks Chris for the coaching!

I believe, when you are free falling like I was describing it a few posts back, you are gaining space. When the mind opens up and you start breezing and going for it. I begin to feel like that often, yet I believe I can widen my span and open up wider, falling slower, enjoying the moment of the fall and go for it more intense, more productive, more engaging. Again and again exciting times ahead.

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I got feedback the other day that it is good to have a topic on the blog. Something to focus on. Of course if I start thinking about it, I cannot think of any. Gut instinct might be one, knowing what you know, trusting yourself, knowing when a situation is good or bad. That is a good topic. It goes a bit in line with the free falling. You know when to spread your wings and when to accelerate; when to climb up the hill again to accelerate on the next fall down. Isn’t that amazing.

It goes in line with knowing, and trusting your body to heal itself. Lying in bed with a temperature, trying to sleep, focusing on the healing process, yet knowing how far and if you can push yourself the next day, day after, whole week. We can go so much further if we wish to. I think that is my topic. Not to overstretch myself yet constantly challenging myself to strive and improve. Professionally, personally.

I am eyeing up a charity challenge for next year. The one I am thinking about is a 100 mile mountain bike ride on the South Downs from Winchester to Eastbourne. 12 hours if I am lucky. Can I physically do it? I want to believe I can yet I am wondering if I have time to get physically fit. A good challenge. Maybe I do it. I could impress myself, I could show my kids what you can do, and I had a reason to give up drink, caffeine, and eat healthy. All of that paired with client lunches, hard and long hours of work, travel, kids…. – challenge enough for me!

You can see, not one topic, but many small little ones that go around in my head. Then there are more charitable projects I want to do, and if I put my mind to those, I will be able to do them. And maybe, start with a smaller challenge to begin with. Please comment for any suggestions. I am keen on getting my head around it, and as you have seen, I am eager to make 2014 my fittest year yet with the latest addition, the pull up bar.

I guess that’s all for tonight. Let me end with an impressive video where no commentary is necessary, and I am sure I have shared it here before. I still cry everytime I see it.

Thanks guys, have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (223)

Today is Fathers’ Day. And, I had the first full and good night sleep in a long time. So today was a good day!

In the The Secret Daily Teachings newsletter I came across the following:
You can limit yourself by the story you have created about you. Here are some simple examples of how the story we have created about ourselves can limit us:
I am no good at math. I have never been able to dance. I am not a very good writer. I am very stubborn. I don’t sleep well. I am very moody. I struggle with my weight. My English is not good. ….

And so on, you probably find many of those examples in your daily life. It is suggested to identify those limitations and change them. You know how hard that is? Self consciousness is difficult to change, mantras, ever so small, are difficult to change. “I am getting old“, I used to say. I changed this to “I am young, I am alive.” In NLP you call that reframing or re conditioning.

Actually, little changes like self limiting believes are easy to overcome. With the help of a good friend, partner or coach, you can use a variety of techniques to change your mantras to be positive and helpful. The deeper question would be along the lines of why you had those limiting believes in the first place. Why think to be old or fat. Why would you think to not being able to lose weight? Because it is easier and gives you comfort. You wouldn’t need to face torture of finding out that you don’t get into a habit of going to the gym to lose weight, or embarrassment of giving up smoking for the 100th time. So why try in the first place?

Breaking out of your habit has to do with belief. A belief in yourself. Your will power. Your confidence about it all. You would need to get started and try to go to the gym on a regular basis over and over again until you will succeed. Starting everyday again until it might become a routine. And you will. If you really want it – you will. So start changing your life today and identify those “comfortable mantras”, because they are holding you back!

Centre Point London

Centre Point London

Maybe an unusual start for my Sunday column but I didn’t want to write another weekly summary. Despite this week I met a few really interesting people. My cousin was over for Colin’s 4th birthday party and we had a good time preparing the party, having the party (16 kids to visit and their mums) despite the rain, and had a huge amount of Indian food on Wednesday night to wind down. Good times, a mini holiday really. It is good to see that my cousin becomes friends with my wife and the family growing closer together, also of course my cousin being close to the kids. And even I enjoyed the party a bit yet I was very exhausted afterwards. Staying on top of all those kids, playing all over the place, is a real challenge.

But as of the intro challenges are there to be conquered. I identify them weekly and make sure I work on them. I enjoy personal development challenges as they make me grow, both as a person and in terms of portfolio for coaching and/or managing others. But you probably heard that in my first video blog on Friday.

I mentioned before that job hunting is a full time job. And it is. Travelling back and forth to them, following up, learning for it, improving for next time and eliminating job opportunities you wouldn’t have looked at if you were still in employment. All of that whilst having the nagging voice in your head that you need to find a job, well knowing you actually aren’t in a rush. The world is what you make of it, how you play it, what you believe. What are the limitations and what are the things you do really well? Your gifts. And interesting enough there are opportunities that stick out and are “potentials”. Let’s see what the next few weeks bring.

As a former manager once said, I’d rather spend money on Volker making him better in what he does than improving areas he isn’t as good in. I know what he meant. This week I was asked to explain how cookies sync online between exchanges, bidders, publishers and ad servers. I knew it more or less but to be honest, this is not my main area of expertise. I can explain the whole ecosystem but the technical details aren’t for me. I could explain most of them to someone, and I could learn it very quickly, but I won’t take a job in ad operations 😉 However, I know it well enough to explain it to someone, and selling ad operations, I could do. Technical enough for that. And what I realise is that it seems to be the most important skill in my area: knowing of technology, know how it works and being able to explain it to others. Not knowing what the algorithm or black box underneath really is though. And, to be honest, there are too many people out there, that wouldn’t even understand some of the basics. And they are in positions that are much higher than mine. Never mind ;-(

That’s really it before I go on a rant. A good week overall. Good catch ups and great conversations. Great family time and a four year old that was so excited to have his birthday, it was fantastic. Life is good. Excitement on children’s faces and them stuffing their face with sausages and cake, dancing in the living room. That is what I will remember mostly from this week. I will forget about my small hangover, the interviews and discussions. I remember the love, the sharing and the fun those little people had. I was glad to be part of it.

And I will remember the movie I watched on Saturday night: YOU GOTTA DREAM, YOU GOTTA PROTECT IT. You wanna get something, you go and get it. Period. (Good mantras btw.)

Have a wonderful week.
Follow your dreams and believe!
Volker

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Sunday Column (185)

Another busy week. Or just normal I guess. Busy is the new normal. Not complaining, wouldn’t want it any other way. So where are we?

Colin started pre school. A big step for a wee man. Separating from mum in the morning is difficult. His dad cried half an hour in kindergarten before he spoke to any one. Colin cried 30 seconds by end of week. He is a real man. Quirky, bendy, agile, friendly – a real character.

Latter is true for his dad too. To this day I guess. We went through change this week with him. Him growing up and us as parents learning a lot about our kids, and other kids. I love it.

New challenges, not being bored. We all need those changes and challenges. Most of the time things are really going well and sometimes they don’t. Never mind. But the challenge is there. If you loose the challenge, life is getting boring. Same with jobs I suppose, so no problem there.

20120915-190003.jpg New beginnings this week? Our new office at work, I started running before work again and my back is improving day by day. Things are good, new challenges. Only drawback is some kind of man flu bug. Think I am getting it too. Rohan has been poorly this weekend.

I spend two days in Germany this week at the world’s largest exhibition and conference for online and digital marketing: dmexco in Cologne. Having sold exhibitions before and being familiar with the industry I can confidently say that this is the best show I have seen, the must attend event in Europe. I met friends and industry colleagues from all over the world. Some I have known for many years. Of course those days are exhaustive but fun. I remember we used to hope for 10,000 visitors a few years ago but never achieved it. dmexco 2012 welcomed 22,000! Well done!

On Thursday night I was glad to be back home. I fell asleep on the couch quickly. It was worth it. Friday wasn’t much better. The man flu build up, lack of sleep and long days. Next week doesn’t look better.

The weekend was rather quiet. Quality family time. Wow. I seem to either get older or wiser. Saturday morning Colin and I went shopping so I could prepare a Greek chicken dish for my wife at night. The afternoon we spent in Brighton shopping, or attempting to anyway. I really have problems finding a nice blazer. But we found a lot of cloths for the boys. Success.

To round up a good weekend we went for a long exhaustive walk. The South Downs are beautiful. I love living where I live. Like being on holidays.

Have a good week.
Volker

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Buddhist Thoughts: How to deal with objects

It is crucial to know when it is appropriate to withdraw our attention from things that disturb our mind. However, if the only way we know how to deal with certain objects is to avoid them, there will be a severe limit as to how far our spiritual practice can take us.

– Lama Thubten Yeshe, “Introduction to Tantra”

This quote picks up the basic understanding I have of Buddhism.

Objects, this includes situations, conversations, life stuff in general, are there to make us learn. Our aim is to solve as many objects to our satisfaction as possible. If you do, you will move on to the next one.

If you fail or run away, you will get the same object again. Until you solve it. Maybe solving isn’t the best word. Mastering might be better. Like samsara itself. As if every object is a “mini samsara”.

Now if you keep avoiding objects you’re limited in progressing. Both spiritual but also in life matters.

So go out there, find your object, your daily challenge. Grow with it. Make it work!

Buddha bless!

Volker

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Inspirational Thought: Peace With Your Enemy

Unfortunately I need a new source of Buddhist quotes. I keep looking but in the meantime I found this inspirational/spiritual quote.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy.Then he becomes your partner ~ Mandela

I love this one for the reason that I described before. I spoke about learning from difficult people before, challenges that make you stronger and if you don’t master them, they come back to haunt you until you do.

Work with your enemy does exactly that. Grow on the challenges thrown at you from your enemy and become stronger than them.

Go for it!!!

Volker

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