Posts Tagged energy

Sunday Column (484)

Easter is over. I don’t really enjoy Easter generally, and this one was just miserable weather wise and being a non-believer, it doesn’t have any meaning for me. Unlike Christmas, which for me marks the end of the year with a new beginning. Besides Easter was far too early this year. And it was raining for the most of it this year. Anyway, it is over and I look forward to summer – if it ever comes. We did have a few great days last week, so fingers crossed this will continue. The car needs a proper wash and the garden some doing too.

Life moved on this week, things come and go, and opportunties come and go. I am a bit fed up but enjoy the moment, the contract work I am doing and the time I can spend with the boys. I had to take a day off this week feeling under the weather, and have a few days off next week to spend with the boys whilst the wife is back at work. Life is in constant change. Let’s see what the next week brings.

One day this week it was nice to be on the train coming home in daylight, after 7 pm. It was actually very nice, as the sun was setting, a beautiful light and a calmness. The train was a bit emptier than usual, as a lot of people were still on Easter holidays I assume. It was one of those nights, where the mood from nature took over, I had little to catch up on and just relaxed. I guess it was almost an enjoyable train journey where I tried out a new app I downloaded, called Subliminal. One can choose different themes of underlying, subliminal, messages like ‘attracting opportunities’ or ‘attracting a male/female’ or ‘being more confident’. The messaging cannot be heard but are within the music and tunes. Really weird, but I was keen on trying it out for a month before subscribing. It reminds me of ‘alpha waves’ I used to listen to in order to concentrate better when I was at uni. Not sure that got me the good degrees, but maybe it helped. Love the idea of subliminal messaging, and tunes to relax and perform better. The ways our brain works, the law of attraction (LOA).

I am reading this book at the moment called ‘Brain Chains’ (BrainChains: Your thinking brain explained in simple terms. Full of practical tools, tips and tricks to improve your efficiency, creativity and … email, social media, lack of sleep and stress) and it is highly fascinating. It looks at how our brain works and how we are able to influence how it works. E.g. the way we structure our day and life, with always checking our phone for emails and messages, the whole information overload, does have an impact on how our brain performs. And some tasks are just not made for our brains either, multitasking is a big no-go. We have less of a disconnected life and less of a relaxed life, we chill out less often. Reading this book, I am trying to consciously change some of my daily routines to ensue my brain capacity is actually increasing rather than decreasing. That goes in line with the above subliminal messaging. We must use science to improve what we are doing and how we are doing things, in a way to constantly better ourselves. I couldn’t sit still for a moment, could I 🙂 And, as you know, I am doing the same with sleep, which again has a huge impact on brain performance.

People can think what they want whether exercise is good if you feel under the weather. On Thursday morning I went for a 7.5K run after going to bed with a hot tottie at 8:30 pm the night before. And I had energy. So much energy and felt so good, almost a spring in my step all day. Of course it wore off during the day and as daily things take over, this is just the way it goes. But spring must be in the air, and running ‘away’ my virus seems to work. Onwards and upwards.

Then my parents came for a ‘second Easter’ if you like. So besides the usual wine shipment they brought sweets and stayed a couple days longer, e.g. they are still here at time of publishing. It is nice to get everyone together and exchange ideas, see the kids spend time with the grandparents and have a good time. Good food, enjoying the moment and making the most of the time we have.

I am a bit sentimental this week, not sure if that’s due to the weather, or just the general mood. It feels we have been stuck in a world for the past 2 months now that could be worth living for, yet isn’t sustainable long run. And the learning from that is amazing, interesting, scary and relevant all together.

Where next?

Volker

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Success – Positive Giving

After interviewing a good friend and successful entrepreneur on my podcast Stories of Success, he sent me an article and a link to the positive encourager website, which I read with great interest.

Success, so far looking at only a few definitions from my podcast’s guests, has to do with encouraging people positively during our time on this planet. I phrase this a certain way on purpose, this is for the greater good of human kind, and NOT about short term financial gains. It’s about the great unconscious (Carl Jung) and the bigger picture.

It is about finding people’s strengths, develop practical strategies and achieve their picture of success. THEIR success, is what THEY want to achieve. To be loved, live in peace, achieve a career, or whatever it might be. The same, according to Mike Pegg, who is the man behind the positive encourager, can be applied to teams and organisations. So in that context, we are looking at superb work, forming good habits (see my book), to provide a good service, achieve goals, and finish those activities successfully?

As I go through Mike’s website, and I encourage you to do the same if you are interested, I find lots of material on positivity. It is a person’s choice to be positive, to create and take responsibility. As human beings we are in charge of our destination by making decisions, making choices between options.

Looking back at my experience, I have been looking to stay positive more than once in my career and life. When I started meditating, and letting go of situations I couldn’t influence, I learned to deal with situations differently. I was even told I come across of not caring, which isn’t true, but I am a lot more chilled out. Being able to prioritise your feelings and your reactions towards a situation is important in my mind. If you cannot change a situation, monitor it until you are able to make a positive difference.

The LOA (Law Of Attraction), which hasn’t yet been mentioned by any of my podcast guests, is about energy. The way I personally describe it is that you put a lot of positive energy and thoughts into something, and you get the same positive energy back; same of course with negative energy. So by wishing your competitor all the best and hoping the best for her, will in return win you a similar contract even if it isn’t this one. Patience is key to understand those principles and practising them continuously. You wouldn’t notice a difference with one thought only, so persistence is key too.

Following the positive path will lead to gratitude. Essentially this is what I described above. Also, from this path you gain more confidence as the world seems to conspire to help you. You will have more success on the back of being more positive. When writing this article I am looking at a few presentations from Mike Pegg which are published on his website.

Meditation not only allows me to choose when but also how to react to a situation. This is particularly important when you are in board meetings, heated discussions and deal with emotionally involved people. That’s when having a mind like water (David Allen’s expression of being able to have enough computing power in your brain), paired with experience and the ability to retain your thoughts, comes in handy. Self Awareness and Emotional Intelligence. Meditation taught me to let go, stop thinking and to not contribute to a discussion and wait until things sort themselves out naturally. It works, try it out!

On the topic of energy and heated discussions. How often do you find people that drain your energy? They talk about themselves, are selfish and don’t share the same positive attitude. Those people are challenging and don’t bring you forward. Try to help them bring themselves forward and if that doesn’t work, let them go. They shouldn’t be part of your life, should they? Make room, time and space for people that give you positive energy and provide you with fun, and enrich your life.

Following discussions and looking back at my NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) training many years ago, I was remember of the long term goal. Imagine you are on your death bed, looking back at your life, what would you have wanted to have achieve?

If you believe in Steve Jobs’ last workds or not, someone published them on Facebook as the following recently:

I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
It should be something more important:
For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbours.

Wow, wow, wow, which I thought were his last three words, but it tells you something. Even if it is a story that is partially true, the message is simple. Life isn’t about money but about having a positive impact. About sharing the love and enjoy every moment. It is about learning and love, success and fun at the same time. I encourage everyone to go through the exercise and decide what your life goals are. I am sometimes wondering if I have set mine, yet they are dynamic as we go along. The reason is simple, as I get older and wiser (I hope so anyway), I end up having a different focus and changing priorities. The sports car in my 40ies might be less important in my 60ies or 80ies, yet my health is much more important now than when I smoked like a chimney back at university.

People seem to forget that life is a journey and is changing. So is success as you start defining it differently as you grow older. Your life changes with life stages including marriage, kids, building a house, career progression and parents dying. The circle of life is ever present and influences your thoughts and objectives, definitions of life.

Coming back to Mike’s approach on positivity for a moment, he writes about vocation. What is your vocation and can you match your purpose in life with a job that matches it? What can make you really happy? What activity gives you this inner satisfaction? And if you cannot get it at work, where can you get it?

I am embarking on a journey where I started to examine my strengths. A mentor of mine, not the same that pointed me to Mike’s theory, coincidentally suggested to me a test to examine where my strengths lies and which ones I need to develop. Which are my weaknesses? I have done the test and loved the results. As we move along on the journey of life, I would love to offer this as a service to companies and individuals to understand their personal profile better, to understand which areas need to develop for them to achieve their individual success.

Once identified the strengths, find yourself some mentors. Jim Rohn said you are as good as the 5 people you spend the most time with. Who are your 5? Which 5 people do you spend the most time with and which 5 people do you ask for advice. Find yourself some smarter, more experienced people who are willing to help you on your journey. Importantly, do the same for younger, less experience people. Give back what you receive, and close that energy loop!

I hope you took something out of this article, and please share it on other sites. This is an important milestone for me to bring a few thoughts together early from my podcast but also from discussions around my job search. I am not sure if this gets me closer to the meaning of life, but it shows the energy flow and the practises that work to put life in perspective, figuring out where you want to go and how you want to approach life. Isn’t it exciting to fail and adjust, to try and succeed, to make decisions and go along with things. Identify your strengths (contact me for details) and make yourself better, every single day.

Volker Ballueder

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Sunday Column (474)

I thought I start differently this week. The weather: cold, yet warm. Sunny yet rainy. Lack of Vitamin D (supplements!) and it all seems slow. But, there is energy. Positivity. Fun times and conversation with people that make you rock. A hot chocolate with a neighbour who just gets it. A benchmark to mastering life and to understand I am not alone with the problems I face. The challenge with the kids to make their bed, wash their teeth, get dressed in the morning and eat breakfast. Being at home brings those things into focus. It is good to be home, and it has been a fun time, but it is time to go back and work, to contribute, to make a difference.

Anyway, next week Tuesday, my 2nd interview goes live on my podcast. I cannot wait. I got loads of feedback (shoutout to Debbie, Anna and Spencer) and the third episode will see some changes; from the 4th episode onwards the quality should improve. I am recording 4 (!) podcasts next week. So this week it is going to be a different angle on Stories of Success. Another great industry friend, a fun conversation about life. As I investigate jobs I think about what he said:

1. Can I make a difference to the job?
2. Can I learn something?
3. Is it going to be fun?

I found a few jobs where that is the case, e.g. where I can say YES to all of those questions. Some are more formal, some are more fun, and at some I will learn more, others I can make more of a difference. Weighting, values, priorities and what I learn more and more, there is an emphasis on meeting your manager early on. If the chemistry sucks, you are out. For both parties this makes a lot of sense.

However, the companies need to want me first. And I am not at the stage yet where that’s necessarily the case, and I update you as I go along. I am hopeful though, and everything else would be worrying. The pipe isn’t as big as it could be but things only started to pick up. When I first left my last job I had one verbal offer which turned into a ‘no more recruitment before Christmas’ and another where I lost against an internal candidate. Things happen for a reason and things will work out in the end. I am very positive about things and I am keen on moving on.

That’s my update. Or is it?

The most important part happened over the weekend. My youngest got a red belt in Karate. Only a few months in, he managed to get the first accreditation. He was chuffed and proud, and so should he be. And I am too. I am very pleased he enjoys it and keeps going at it.

We also saw my mate who recently had twins. It is somewhat weird to see these small babies. It is as if it never happened to us. It seems so long ago, I feel so old ;-( No, actually I don’t, but I am glad the days of nappies are over. It was a great afternoon with lots of industry friends.

Weekends can be super to chill, spend time with family and friends. That’s how it should be!

Have a great week ahead,
Volker

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Sunday Column (469)

Merry Christmas.

Given today is the Holy Night, and Christmas morning tomorrow, I don’t anticipate many people reading my column. That is fair enough. It should be a time of year when you don’t check your social media and relax a bit. You should have down time, and you should not have to worry about what is happening in the world. Christmas for me is all about having a week off, knowing everyone else is off, and you are not missing out on anything.

Merry Christmas to you, peace and happiness.

I want to use this week to look back – personally – on the year. It has been a turbulent one to say the least.

First things first: family. My first priority. We keep on learning how to bring up our children, we make things up as we go along, and I am absolutely enjoying it. From holidays in Centre Parks, travel to Legoland and day trips down the coast, Brighton football games, grandparents visits and trips to Germany, and time for the wife and me in Edinburgh or London. It has been an eventful but good year, and – being hopeful to say that every year from now on – we are getting better at being a family. Not that we weren’t before, but I am a strong believer in a growth mindset, and a collective unconscious. I feel like things are falling into place and we are growing together, and that is so nice to feel and experience. To speak of two things that made my year, I’d say the youngest starting and enjoying Karate classes, and the oldest working hard for 6 months to win a trophy in football. I couldn’t be happier or prouder of my two boys, and without my wife, Jenny, I couldn’t be doing all this. She has been on my side for 10+ years and I love you more every day! I am very grateful, thankful and full of appreciation of what we have.

On the other hand there is my career, which still takes up most of my week. That’s true for work for most of us. In January I joined a plc which I knew might be sold or change its proposition in one form or another. It was somewhat a gamble to join them, yet you never know who might buy a company. Looking back it was the right decision as I got to work with some very talented people, joined a fantastic culture and got a lot of learning from it. Unfortunately, I spent 2-3 days a week in Germany from April to October. That took time away from the family, and juggling two jobs, this put a lot of strain on me, family and the job I was originally employed to do in the UK. But I made it work, working from taxis, airports and making up with the family at the weekends. I loved the experience and sincerely think that I made a difference for the company. I lost out on a lot of things at home and burned a lot of energy.

Then over the summer things got quiet and the company sold. It became apparent, that moving forward, my role might be made redundant. I did what I could to avoid redundancy but likewise appreciate the help and support I got in the process prior to leaving last month. Whilst redundancies are never nice, I have so far enjoyed the time off to re-position myself, to re-evaluate my life and career. I might even go as far as saying that I have grown and gotten more confident. I know what I am doing and got confirmation of that a few times in the past few weeks. New projects will be announced early 2018. Based on the first few months of the year, I shall decide what the long term plans are. Most importantly, I am looking forward to align work closer to my values and my life expectations. Similar to the family, I am growing up too, still, always growing. And the break of a few weeks was needed, I felt burned out a bit. But I got my energy back, and that is the most important part, and of course I made up for some lost time with the family.

In the meantime I want to spend as much time as possible with the most important people in my life. As I do over Christmas. My family. Having had the privilege to spend more time with them over the past few weeks was amazing. From school drop offs and pick ups, them helping me testing some new equipment, watching Star Wars and making a routine and habit work at home. I am training them well I think 😉 They make me realise every day why I am doing what I am doing. They are my inspiration and motivation. Somewhat I enjoyed working and juggling two jobs and a family and going out of my comfort zone whilst upholding a 5 am routine and exercise, and meditation and personal development practise. As I said, I grew over the year, and that is the most important thing for me. It makes me who I am. I am happy. Yet, closer to Christmas I did notice my body getting tired, so time to have a few days off and relax.

A turbulent year. Just as well I am now relaxing and unwinding for a few days. And so should you, to my point earlier, there is nothing to miss out on. Don’t feel guilty and have another glass of wine, the extra piece of cheese or turkey/goose/duck. And if you are a grinch like me and don’t like Christmas, or you might not celebrate it due to religious reasons, enjoy the quiet time. Enjoy not having to read emails, not having to watch the news and spend some time looking deep inside yourself. Embrace yourself. And hug the person next to you, show them appreciation for them being them and being here.

And thoughts for 2018….you are the one that already knows where you want to be, what you should be doing and what is right in life. And you must always trust that the dots connect looking backwards. Hence, move forwards, always, and the right path will open up. You know it will. Trust in the future.

Speak to you in the New Year. All the best for 2018.

Love and Kindness, Peace and Happiness, and of course a Merry Christmas.
Volker

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Sunday Column (367)

The first week back at work is always hard you might think. It started slowly but intensively. Long hours and lots of work but just the way I like it. Some great discussions about the future of the industry and future prospects.

And I seem to have so much more energy. Whether this is due to dry January, I am not sure. Things seem to happen.

I also pushed myself physically this week. Two 10K runs, a 1K swim and two kettle bell sessions topped up with some body resistance training. I am a bit knackered, really feeling it. Also, I went back to wear more formal shoes. I love my green trainers but thought maybe it is time to be a bit more smart, to step up the game again. Maybe it is just a fad. Maybe go back to the comfy trainers again soon. Then again I bought nice new winter ankle high boots (see Instagram). My wife seems to like it though.

This week I kept pushing myself. Going outside my comfort zone. Listening to podcast pushing boundaries. Is that my 2016 resolution? If you do what you have done, you will get what you got. Time to push. Outperform and go beyond of what you have. Maybe words but followed by actions. Demanding answers, making things work, pushing the needle, winning. Sometimes there is losing, re-negotiating, learning from set backs and pushing forward. Times are good and right to push forward. Standing still is not an option!

energy

The goal of this week was to push forward with reading a book about negotiations. I did that and I love it. Some of the theories are not new, but yet very effective. Some are new theories and show new ways of getting agreements. Things are never the way they seem. Most thoughts and situations are in your head. Being able to quieten some of those voices, concentrate in the moment, listen and following up properly does help you in negotiations. Just being the human you are with the ability to connect, cross reference and understand. Seems simple yet there are only a few of us capable of doing this effectively. Confidence has something to do with that. Experience I suppose.

The beginning of the year. Time to still reflect on the old and looking forward to the new. Expectations. Values. Friends. Priorities. There are a lot of things to consider in life. Work, income, career prospects. Life is there to make the most of it, in which ever way YOU want to do that. What intangible value is the most important one for you?

I had this interest in HR and leadership ever since I got my MBA. That’s what I live and want to make sure people understand people. I am a people person, that’s what I do, I want people I deal with being happy and getting value from the exchange with me. Trading intangible values. Whether you read my blog here, at tidwows, my articles on LinkedIn, my book on productivity or you talk to me, negotiate with me, or buy from me. I am essentially a value proposition 😉

And in the meantime just be a good friend 🙂
That’s what I did at the weekend. Meeting friends. Letting go and just be myself. For what I am worth.

Sending you love for 2016. From my little corner of this ever exciting world.

Volker

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Sunday Column (233)

Thank you.

Thank you first of all for your compliments and the visits and comments on my post about the job hunt. A lot of people felt for me, had similar experience, and were astonished how open and honest I was describing my feelings and experiences. It could happen to you. Why not talk about it?

Thank you for your support. All of you!

I am humbled. When I started this blog, I wanted to write about productivity and coaching. I tried different topics but ended up writing about me, my life and my feelings. I am happy it resonates with you. I am happy that you are finding it useful. This means a lot to me!

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This week saw me returning to work. Start-up. Technology. Media. Lots to do, prioritisation, focus and energy needed. I got it. Making it back to my 5 am exercise routine, my Rotary meetings and new projects. The company is called Adizio. The first week felt like I have been there for ages already. Just imagine me in a few months 😉

Also there is a book I read about personal development: What got you here won’t get you there. Last but not least my involvement with the advisory board for ad:tech and iMedia. Both events which I supported over the years (not least launched ad:tech in Germany many years ago), and events that will be getting more popular again and delivering on what the industry wants. Watch this space!

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Often people ask me where I take the time from to write my posts, do all of what I am doing and more. I sleep but not more than six hours really. I have two hours train journey each day to GTD (Getting Things Done), and I can be very disciplined. I have drive. I want to get somewhere.

What am I aiming for? I guess I want to change the world. A bit at a time. I would like to make the famous dent into the universe of which Steve Jobs spoke. Things grow over my head too. But I am learning to focus more. I like pushing myself, and the recent break helped me to reflect. And for my job? I want to make RTB mainstream and transparent, away from ‘black magic and hidden margins’. Oh yes, I am motivated 🙂

Anyway, it is weekend, and time to spend as much time as possible with my boys. A night in the tent is planned. Not being able to see them in the week make weekends even more precious. Particularly if they are long ones. I can now properly focus on them. No worries about jobs. No worries but the boys and the wife!

Enough said. I hope you had a great weekend, and hope you spend some quality time with some loved ones too. We had great fun, and ….

….don’t forget, we ain’t back to work until Tuesday 🙂

Cheers,
Volker

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Sunday Column (195)

I was off for a few days early this week. So a quick one really. An action loaded week. Kind of.

Let me start off with Monday. More decorating, more DIY, more quality time with the boys. That plus a Tuesday in Brighton in Sealife where we now have a yearly membership really helped bonding with the boys. I don’t know what it is but probably just being properly off, eg no work, nothing urgent to do and the wife being busy decorating, that those days I were off helped me to bond with them. A truly enjoyable time.

I believe, and that is thanks to my wife, that we concluded most work on the house for the foreseeable future. I enjoyed spending time with her and my parents too. We couldn’t do it without the family support at all.

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One thing I picked up from going to Sealife though was the great question of evolution or “grand design”. Or the combination of both: survival of the fittest (Darwin). If an Octopus looks like a spider, are they related? If a turtle lives for 150 years, does that mean it survives anything and everything else. Is that because it is so slow or is it because it is that slow, that it lives that long? Do you know what I mean?

I am still fascinated with those questions and they get triggered each time I go to Sealife or similar. It brings back memories of discussions with my physics and biology teacher when I was an exchange student in the USA 18 years ago. He was a Christian and part time preacher too. Those moments when you start discussing the worlds’ problems. When you start thinking about the meaning of life and how unimportant oneself seems to be in the universe. Crazy, ey?

To tie this over I met my old friend on Thursday who similar to me spend a year as an exchange student at the same school in Kansas. I haven’t seen her for 18 years. Wow. A good conversation, a catch up on life, a meet and greet, as well as a thought on “the times were crazy, the experience shaped our lives, and we are glad that we did it”. What would have been if we hadn’t gone?

In these moments I sometimes like to withdraw myself a bit from the world. To go into the corner, sit in the dark, meditate and think. What if? What had happened if…? How much of a difference does an individual make? Will I be able to be a big cog in the overall clockwork? Will I make the bell ring?

Yes. The simple answer is yes. That is because I like to concentrate on the important things. I have a plan fuelled by actions. I have an idea. I take steps in the right direction. I am back running on my treadmill, my back is getting better and I feel I get traction. Yeah!

I get my energy back. I have plans. I am on track. I went to another networking event, I managed to increase my fellowship on twitter, I got new contacts on LinkedIn, I made a difference in some one else’s life today. Did you?

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For some part since I did my back in, and I have been mentioning it here, things almost gave me a gloomy outlook. Ok, it wasn’t all that bad. Life is a lot better than most people’s. However, I seemed to have lost momentum a bit. Not struggling, but going at the speed of sound starting to rotate. A “Baumgartner moment” that lasted a bit longer 😉 now it is time to kick ass again. I am ready to fight, be there, get there and smash my goals. I am more motivated than ever for what is there to come!

To relate to the picture on the right. I believe everyone is confronted with this in life. Those moments when you run around the mountain. The moments when your inbox is so empty that you check it very 2 minutes. Doesn’t last long. You need to climb the mountain. Again and again. For you, for your ego.

I will always be a “mountain climber“. A team leader going to the peak. Leading. Managing the team, it’s expectations. Constantly trying to improve performance and productivity to free up more time for new projects. I enjoy that. The higher the peak, the greater the challenge, the better my performance.

Looks like 2013 has a few mountains to climb. I better get ready and get my gear packed.

Have a great week,
Volker

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3 A’s to energise yourself and others

Dan Rockwell, on his blog Leadershipfreak, wrote about the 3 A’s that energise yourself and others. Here is a summary.

The main aim is to understand how to energize others.

Abandonment – you need to have an unreserved dedication to the mission and vision of your organisation. A buzz and feel for the passion to get the job done needs to be felt by everyone around you.

Affirmation – you should make positive statements at least 4 times more than negative statements. Be positive. Use positive language. You’re always dealing with problems. You’re always thinking about ways to improve your team’s performance.

Addition – you should decide to add rather than subtract from others. Find ways to lift others higher than you. Offer staff a career, a path to success. Challenge someone to step out of their comfort zone. Let them feel the pressure and then add comfort to them by expressing confidence in their abilities.

I like how Dan puts the alphabet into context and finds ways to come up with inspiring quotes, comments and ideas to improve leadership and management.

Thanks for this inspiration.

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Energise your life!

Jon Gordon wrote on his blog about how to energise your year.

He came up with about 20 tips, so I thought I summarise the main ones here:

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. Focus on the good things in life and be thankful for everything you have.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement: My purpose is to ___________ today.

4. Live with the 3 E’s. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.

5. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

6. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

7. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.

8. Engage in daily random acts of kindness.

9. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing positive energy into your life.

10. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

11. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

12. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

13. Smile and laugh more.

14. Each night before you go to bed reflect on the day and say thanks for what it was and wish for what you like it to be tomorrow.

15. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

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Good intentions – living the life

I want to live, and of course who doesn’t? I have all good intention to prolong my life. I am conscious of my life and my body, my personal and spiritual development, and I am eager to see my kids grow up.

But, on the other hand I enjoy the odd cigar, I like my drink, and of course I enjoy the odd burger or fry up. Hence, whilst reading books about how to beat cancer by eating right, how to prevent diseases by eating correctly, and how to keep my energy household balanced in order to have a better, longer and healthier life, I thought I share my latest developments:

Sometimes we are living “a” life. Not the one based on our values, our intentions and our inner harmony. We just live and are too busy to notice that we just do that. We are good in ignoring the fact that we put on a few pounds, or that we stopped going to the gym.

From what we get in life we make a living. From what we give, we make a life. Through what I gain by giving to my children & family, and spending time with them, I get more out of life than sitting in the office. However, the latter is for me very enjoyable, and makes me a living.

One question someone asked the other day was, whether the life I am living is worth what I am giving up to have it. What does that mean? I believe that means, that if you are unhappy with your life, and you just do something, e.g. work, for the sake of doing it, you will never be happy. Only if the things you do are based on your values, and you enjoy doing them, you will strive, be successful and enjoy life. You will always have to compromise between a career and your family life, keep balancing both, or at least most of us do.

And on one of those notes, I decided guided on all those health and energy books, to change my diet once again. To lose weight. To drink less coffee. To smoke less cigars. For the sake of my children, for the sake of not losing out whilst being busy living the life that makes me a living.

The lasting change can only be achieved if I define the purpose (kids/health), face the truth (big gut/out of shape) and take action.

The latter lead to a food plan which I am trying to build into my routine.

Breakfast: remove Nutella and peanut butter and replace with protein shake, high fibre cereal/muesli.
Lunch: salad and tuna, couscous and brown bread, brown pita and humous
Diner: rye bread and spreading cheese (light), salads with tomatoes, feta, olive oil and cucumber, yogurts, odd bit of cheese
Snacks: assorted nuts, sunflower seats, apples, bananas, fruit

I hope that this diet and this change will result in some weight loss, a healthier balanced diet (of course there will be the odd indulgence and glass of wine), and a routine that sees me gaining higher energy levels.

Also, once the kids are in a more steady routine, I will go back to the gym, or do some form of exercise.

I have all the good intentions to make my life a life worth living. Enjoying every minute, enjoying my job/work, and giving time to (not only) my family but to life itself.

Have a good one,
Volker

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