Posts Tagged health

Sunday Column (448)

Finally, reaching some milestones this week. Firstly, I am writing this post on my iPad Pro. Yes, after the contemplation of upgrading or not, I decided I’d go for it. The keyboard is fantastic and better than the one (the good one) was for my iPad mini. Size wise, it is almost a bit too big, or too close to a laptop. However, the screen size is good for reading and, with my continuous bad eyesight, I enjoy it. It is less strenuous on my eyes. Now, essentially it is a laptop replacement, and with the new iOS coming out later this year, it will even be more productive. For emails, for anything else, it is already what I always wanted.

What about the Apple pencil? Now this is a good question and as I would say: too early to tell. I love the opportunity to have one, but recently I haven’t done too much brain storming on the road. Yet, ultimately, the pencil and the screen sensitivity, is a white board in a pocket. So what are the next steps? Moving to paperless completely, and removing my notebook at work and moving everything to Evernote and notes. Why not? After all those years, it still doesn’t seem acceptable to use an electronic device where you could just do your emails instead of taking notes. I am certain this is going to change moving forward. Also, having drawn a few sketches this week, it really works so much better than any pen I had before, e.g. the Evernote stylus which I sold on ebay.

The next milestone? My last trip to Germany for probably 4 weeks. Yes, it feels like my job in Germany is done. We turned it around and kick-started a few important meetings this week. Now it is all about the regular follow up, building relationships and establishing needs. That must be done by the guys in market, from the market. No more need for me; at least for now. I am here to mentor, to support and help, but it feels like the main job is done. That is nice and deeply satisfactory. A job well done, and I am a bit proud of the achievements over the last few months. I will still go back to Germany for a few visits and the dmexco exhibition in September, but that will hopefully be it. Then, I would not be surprised to do another international role soon which requires me to travel, but hopefully less often and to a more variety of destinations (I technically already have an international role). Time will tell, it is all change.

So what is next on the time line for me. With the sales of the company being announced, the next 3 months will be business as usual. I am working on a very interesting project and hope that this will continue once the companies come together. That is about all I can say at the moment. However, the quieter summer months should allow me to work on a seminar of my book. I also want to look into podcasts and webinars potentially. We shall see, but my ambitions are to refine my #BeBetter book material into more bite size chunks for people to utilise in their daily lives. This probably takes me to the end of the year at least. From there I am keen on working on my next book. I have a few ideas that are kicking about and I like to put it to paper.

I also started looking into my training schedule. Clearly, and you might remember my writing on weight loss, exercise alone won’t make you loose weight. So whilst maintaining my fitness level and increasing my distance to a half marathon distance by mid September, I also want to do two other things; firstly my diet needs to have a revamp as I am falling into the habit of eating badly, particularly (and no excuse here) when travelling. Secondly, I want to focus more on strength training and support the wife in her efforts to do so too. As a result I’d like to reduce my weight by about 3-5 kg, more measured around circumference and body strength as well as fat content. Over the last few months I have been a bit relaxed with what I eat and need to revisit my daily eating routine. As anything, it will be looking at new habits. Less travel should allow me to do so.

On the note of health, my toe which I ‘damaged’ running, got infected. That, the man flu, the travel and the weather being so awful for summer, got me quite into a ‘down slump’ this week. Not that I am not motivated to get things done, never ever am I not, but it feels like things are dragging on a bit. Trains seem to be back to normal but wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the hot weather we had for a bit longer? After all it is the end of July. My parents came to visit over the weekend, stocking up my wine ‘cellar’ and I managed to chill out and relax a bit over the weekend. That was nice and needed.

Overall it was a very nice week, slow but good and I do feel like I accomplished something. That is great.

Have a great one yourself,
Volker

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Sunday Column (444)

Same procedure as every week? Same procedure. Heathrow on Tuesday morning and to kill some time I had a play with the Apple iPad Pro. The large one. The medium one. It makes my iPad mini look small. My keyboard clunky and my Evernote stylus, which I haven’t used for a while, obsolete. So thinking about not needing my notepad that scans things instantly, my Evernote stylus and instead having it all within my iPad Pro is very appealing. Just what I always expected the iPad to do. Finally. I am not ready to swap just yet. Having said that, my beloved ZAGG keyboard broke this week. A sign? First let the iPad Pro be out there for at least a year and the charger and connection cables be changed to the new USB one. Or will they? And when do we find out? Painful, or maybe there won’t be cables and everything will be wireless charging? Let us wait a while. So a cheap replacement keyboard it is for now.

I am not getting too excited about Apple anymore. This is mainly because I feel that the innovation leaps are gone. The incremental innovations are amazing and first class, but the new revolutionary things are nowhere to be seen. But I let myself be surprised of course and I cannot wait for their October event to reveal the new iPhone and whatever else is in stock. With Apple buying a new company every few weeks, AR will be high on their cards. I cannot wait for that. Discussing innovation and IOT and technology moving further into our homes on Linkedin the other day, the question is who owns the data of voice recognition and voice recordings and learning from those analysis. There is a huge can of worms we are going to open, and when your TV listens to you making love during certain TV shows to show you ads….or Alexa offering you the latest sex toys from Amazon on the back of it…..those are scenarios we have to be careful about. Or do we? I guess this is the question we have to ask.

Can we rely on our privacy in a connected home moving forward? I am not sure we can but do we have a choice? We should of course have a choice. Interesting times ahead. We are trusting a lot of information in our phones, our tablets, our computers. Our personal assistants like Siri/Alexa and soon other devices. And whilst thinking about this, I am more and more putting my phone away at the weekend. I do not need all the social media entertainment. Maybe the odd messaging, email or call of course. The time for a detox is coming closer I think, and back to basics, the hippy movement of the 70s, just for digital, is near. That’s my prediction anyway. Not for all of us, but being disconnected, like me now on my flight, makes it peaceful and productive. The choice must be given even in a connected home stuffed with IOT devices. And no, probably not for me.

Travel. Routines. I have been very good keeping my routines going when travelling as described in my book on productivity. That means mainly to exercise and to eat healthy. However, as you get less sleep, be more busy, you have to compromise on some things over others. It can hurt. I managed to kick my five a day coffee habit. I am only drinking one double or triple espresso a day. I enjoy it a lot more and I am less agitated throughout the day. That works. Eating habits are in the process of being improved. Slowly but surely I am getting back to watching what and when I eat. My aim is to loose about half a stone by end of summer to have my “fighting” weight back ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s about 3kg for my readers from the continent ๐Ÿ˜‰ It won’t be in time for my 24 hour relay race but overall it should get me back in shape. My 10K is on the 48 minute mark on the treadmill, I am getting fitter again.

On the other hand I want to decrease the distance I run a week from 3x10K to maybe 20K over 3 runs. I want to stay fit and healthy but don’t overdue it. The next habit to tackle will be wine. No worries, whilst we all drink too much (according to government guidelines in this country anyway) it is more the regularity of having a glass at night to relax. So my plan is to replace that with an equally tasty, less alcoholic beverage. Tea maybe. Or juice. Putting all that together, I should be back on track for a healthy lifestyle that has lapsed a bit over the last few months. And part of it is the travel as it throws you out of your routine. With sleep, exercise, food etc. There is my summer challenge. One habit at a time.

Being tired and worn out also affects sleep and makes you impatient with the kids. I noticed that on Thursday when I took them to the child minder in the morning. Then I caught up on some fabulous sleep over the weekend, whilst doing some work too. This month will be busy.

And as H1, and 6 months in the new job, come to a close, I look back and think if I enjoy it, am I happy? The answer is yes. The opportunity given to me in the last 6 months are amazing, I feel I arrived and be in the place I want to be. Yet there is so much more I’d like to do but feel I don’t have enough hours in the day. Guess that will never change as long as I continue to have this fire in my belly. Which I do. And this won’t change.

Have an amazing week.
Volker

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Sunday Column (419)

I hope you enjoyed my new blog post on Thursday: THURSDAY FLASH, where I wrote about what I enjoy reading, and which information I found useful over the past week.

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Funny picture for my blog

What is next?

What is happening in 2017?

We had the Brexit, Trump takes office, the world hasnโ€™t really moved since the New Year. So essentially, we are still in 2016.
No! This year has already been busy. At least it has been for me. Constructive, forward looking meetings, discussions and idea exchanges. I am buzzing after this week about opportunities out there, and changes to come within the industry. The world. Letโ€™s embrace the change and letโ€™s make 2017 a never to forget year, for the right, positive reasons.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of good will, help and support in the community. What ever happens next, I will never forget and pay back to the community whenever I can. Thank you and a shout out to friends, helpers and mentors out there. One of the best meetings this week was a discussion around โ€˜gut feelingโ€™ and โ€˜you know what is rightโ€™ with a very experienced industry veteran. We are all the same, and we just need to trust our guts more, our instincts, our bodies, our minds. They already know what is right and what is wrong for us. Interesting isn’t it?

What about my New Year resolutions?

I don’t have any to be honest. Why? I will continue to work out, and try to reduce my weight again and trim up. Get in shape. Work on a new exercise routine. So if I talk about weight, this means more physique/circumference/body shape than absolute weight itself. Weight itself is not as relevant, key for me are measurements and fitness level. Back at the end of 2015 I was measured to have the metabolic age of a 23 year old. Did I mention I turn 40 this year? My aim is that by summer I shall have a similar fitness level, eat more healthy again, drink less etc. The usual. And I will do that, as I have done it before, particularly as I haven’t really slipped up too much. I need more of a constant reminder. Every now and then I get a cold or a temperature and stop doing weights, it gets colder etc, but I always keep my fitness up. I am actually thinking of buying some more equipment for body resistance exercises in order to increase fitness levels. We shall see. I also aim to do another 24 hour race which I couldn’t do last year. So things moving along nicely on that front.

Then, the other big thing this year is to focus on family. I think I realised that living where we are living, having the job I love and the career I want, I need to focus on the weekends to spend time with the boys and my wife. The week is just not feasible to calculate arrival times for trains, particularly with the train strikes, and calculate work commitments. The only other way is to move and we are not going to do that. So weekends are family time, Monday to Friday is all about exercise, work and commute, latter being me-time with lots of readings and podcasts and personal development. Maybe another book to write ๐Ÿ˜‰

Overall, I just want to improve my life style even further, progress with my career and give my family the best life. All I want is to make life work – based on our expectations, values and commitments. Simple really. And this is more ambitious than it sounds. Just think about it for a bit. I am not thinking I am demanding a lot, but it is complex to align everything that is going on in your life to make it ‘perfect’ (or close to it).

I constantly improve myself by working and checking against my quarterly goals and objectives. I track my progress and make amendments to both expectations and execution to achieve those objectives. My resolution is changing daily/monthly/quarterly, as I constantly try to better myself. I try to freshen up my toolkit on a weekly basis to sharpen the saw, as Covey would put it in the โ€œ7 habits of highly successful peopleโ€. My daily exercise, both physically and mentally, is part of that. A new addition is a daily journal to recap of what I appreciate in life. I use “Gratitude Journal”, the top one on this list of Gratitude Journals, for it.

And Dry January? I still hadnโ€™t decided when I started writing this blog but had a glass of wine on Thursday. It is good to take some time off alcohol, but it isnโ€™t as if I drink excessively. I enjoy a drink, particularly over Christmas and New Year, but during a โ€˜normalโ€™ week, it is good to just have a glass or two every now and then to relax, chill out, or chat with people, being social. Nothing wrong with that. So on to 2017.

So thatโ€™s my blurb for the week really. A quiet, yet intensive and fairly busy start in the year. You might have seen my Thursday Flash which is my newest bulletin about articles I think are worth reading each week. I started collecting them and publish about three or so articles, related or not, that I found a useful read each week. Please let me know what you think.

Picking up the earlier comment again: A lot of things feel right at the moment. Some feel wrong. Some feel like they are moving in the right direction. Trust your feelings, and trust you being you. Because you are the one that knows you best.

Enjoy yourself,
Volker

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Sunday Column (368)

This week started with a surprise. Things that meant to happen will happen of course. After a very relaxing weekend things just wouldn’t stop. And this wasn’t even work related. Luckily it all worked out and to that point one needs to trust that things will be working out. The famous dots will connect in the future. Looking backwards.

connecting dots

Whether that is for work, career or personal things. One must trust the greater universe for what there is, what there will be and things work out in the future.

My biggest concern, besides money which will always be a concern, is health. For myself, my loved ones and friends. Hence I run, reduce drink, swim, exercise, meditate and try to eat well. But will that be enough given circumstances like work and the commute, stress and the environment? Are we having enough influence on our own well being?

I don’t know is the honest answer. Maybe we will develop enough new technology for healthcare that we don’t have to worry in the future. But I guess we cannot bank on it.

Work was busy this week, or intense seems to be the better expression. Good intense and it felt like we made a lot of progress. Signing a big deal is always a great fulfilment. Touching base with people that are pushing boundaries and move things forward is satisfying. This was a good week. There will be some things I hope to share soon, but I am in a very happy place.

Also I gave up on my dry January. Not because it is difficult, actually I could do with never drinking again. It’s not that difficult but I do like my wine. I didn’t drink for two weeks, it wasn’t a big deal but thinking of having a glass of wine, sitting by the warm fire, coming in from the cold…that is a piece of heaven. I can do without drink, don’t need to prove that to myself, and a detox of two weeks is enough. As a matter of fact, I would like to consider an alcohol free week every month. With 14 units being the limit, this will be a good idea. What would Donald Draper have said to that?!

On that note I am down to the last few episodes of Mad Men. I cannot wait to finish it, or not to finish it as I really enjoy watching it. It is escapism, yet within my industry.

mondeo

We then test drove a car at the weekend. Looks like the only spacious saloon car out there big enough for us giants is the Ford Mondeo so we are thinking of getting one. The new car finance deals are tempting, yet we aren’t convinced whether we a) need a car just yet and b) whether a good used one might end up being the better deal. Or, we could wait until we can afford a SUV.

No rush, so we shall see. Still waiting to win the jackpot ๐Ÿ˜‰ After two wins over the weekend of around 10 pounds, I am hopeful LOL

On the note of jackpot. My wife is running a half marathon on her 35th birthday and raises money for RISE. She really goes out of her comfort zone and pushes boundaries to achieve both the fundraising and the fitness. I am very proud of her and hope you spare a few pennies.

Last but not least the boys have been good lately with trying new food. We printed off food charts showing the different things they tried. It turns out to be a competition. We find it very important for them to be exposed to different foods, try things, go out of their comfort zone. Big steps for my little people. I am a very proud dad.

Guess that is enough of an update. Today we mainly enjoyed the snow, a long walk, some yummy hot chocolate and cake, another log fire …. a fun day!

Have a great week. Wrap yourself up warm. Winter is finally here.

Love and kindness from me.
Volker

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Sunday Column (332)

I survived, actually really enjoyed the long weekend with my boys. Having dad time is great, yet juggling the school run, taking the dog for a walk, particularly in the rain, with two little ones….anyway, it was all fine. The kids seemed to have enjoyed it and I did too.

This week at work it was still busy. Looks like next week a lot of people are on holiday, then another busy week and July is already gone. Wow. Time flies when you are having fun! We interviewed for a German Sales Director position based in Germany and are in the process of appointing someone soon. So that’s good news, we are moving forward. Lots of things to do, targets to achieve. Exciting times.

On the private side of things I am looking at my health again, my exercise patterns, my sleeping patterns. I am tempted to experiment more. My 18K run encouraged me to extend my running cycles but looking at having to spend 2 hours running and being tired for 2 days, just doesn’t work for me. My ambition is to stay fit and healthy. Also, my leg pains are back, not as strong, but I believe it might have to do with my shoes. If you run 20K a week, 800-1000 km are quickly done. Time to get new trainers.

So this week I went back to a 10K, a 5K and another 10K over the weekend. This plus 2 sessions of kettle bells and 3 sessions of own body weight exercise, plus my 10,000 steps a day, keep me fit. Given I continue to eat healthy, I shouldn’t put on more weight.

xk8

What’s my aim?
I want to spend as little time as possible away from my family exercising. I want to stay healthy. I don’t want to regain the weight I lost.

Along those lines I have been looking into my sleeping patterns and the 90 minute cycles. I seem to really be refreshed after 6 hours of sleep (that is 6:30 in bed). 4×90 minutes. I wake up ready for the day. The next one would be 7:30 of sleep, e.g. 8 hours in bed, catering for half an hour of going to sleep.

So rather than sticking to a 5 am start, I might change to a 6 am start but a later time to go to bed? It is all about routine, accepting your body’s internal rhythm and monitoring what works for you, extending on what you have learned. Personally, I find that very interesting and fascinating ๐Ÿ˜‰

mercedes

But let me not bore you with all that. On other notes, our dog got into a habit of jumping up on strangers, licking them and ‘play biting’. Nothing malicious yet unacceptable behaviour, particularly with older people and children. So we seeing a specialist to hopefully get on top of that. She is otherwise such a lovely dog and has positively transformed our kids’ lifes over the past 12 months.

We are also in the process of renovating upstairs. Good bye artex ceilings, new skirting, new design/outlay of our spare bedroom/home office and some electric work on top, matching downstairs’ design. Last but not least we are getting new carpet too. Exciting times.

There is not much left to renovate now, a bathroom and a shower room and my long anticipated driveway….all that to be concluded for my 40th when I then park a birthday present on it…the dream. I will continue dreaming ๐Ÿ™‚ See pictures.

Not long now! Things are falling into place.

Whilst summer is on and off, we managed to have a lovely BBQ with friends today, enjoying some of the outdoors, a good chat and some wine ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you had a great weekend too.

Stay tuned,
Volker

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Sunday Column (311)

I started my week with some travelling. Frankfurt this time, just in time for “Rosenmontag”, the night of carnival in Germany. Neither my client partner nor I had this on the radar yet we managed to get three great meetings out of it. I also flew with a small airplane from City Airport and enjoyed the more “elite style” flying experience. This wasn’t because it wasn’t Easyjet, I love my Easyjet, but more because it seemed to be more intimate, 2 seats each side of the gangway, closer to the sky somewhat and faster. The City….

Once I arrived in my hotel, I realised the higher standard leads to the hotel being a bit more complicated. The computer system, the room service, the housekeeping…..oh dear, I am just made for simpler things sometimes. That includes simply customer service, like Marks, but that is now all solved too. Just a shame you need to kick a fuss to get attention ๐Ÿ™

In the hotel, I got all those things for comfort I don’t need, and I miss those simple things I am used to, like decaf instant coffee. Working in start ups for most of my life, being brought up on modest pleasures. Yet it was a great stay for one night and I didn’t end up in a hotel in the red light district, so that’s a bonus. That’s what could happen when you are working with external booking agencies that don’t know the country ๐Ÿ˜‰

Carpe Diem

I enjoy travel, and believe that you should feel comfortable when you stay away from home. It is a burden to you and the family. However, I am still a big advocate of spending a night or two away from the family sometimes. It makes your heart grow fonder as they say, but it also gets you and your partner some ‘me time’. I usually get more work done and write more posts, work on presentations etc. Shutting off the screens when travelling seems to be harder than at home, as you are out of your routine. Your weight bench is replaced by “own resistance” exercises unless you got a gym in the hotel you are staying at. Soon, I am contemplating of taking my running shoes. All depends on the length of the stay.

This week I finished another book on Steve Jobs and Apple. Working off a Mac now on a daily basis for two years, I couldn’t go back to any other system. It just works. I am waiting to upgrade my iPhone as the battery life on mine is appalling, and I am contemplating of replacing my iPad sometime this year to upgrade after about three years. Hmm, we shall see. I used it mainly as a kindle and for mind mapping, then as a laptop replacement at home. I could do all I do there on my laptop but if you are in confined spaces on a plane or train, you end up preferring a smaller device. Decisions decisions.

Whilst this week has been a bit of a roller coaster ride too, I will write a more detailed post about some other developments later this month. All is well, and sometimes we just have to be very grateful for what we have. I have experienced a deeper connection to my loved ones recently and a an urge to spend more quality time with the boys. I feel like time becomes so precious if you start thinking about it.

Overall it was a good week. Work has been busy too. I have been thinking a lot, laughing a lot and continued with my framework of “no drinking days” and exercising despite travelling. Or at least in moderation, and that is a good thing Food wise, I managed to order a kid’s portion without chips to keep off the weight. No need to eat a big meal before bed, is there? Just by being more aware of what you drink and eat, you can keep a healthy and balanced lifestyle without the need to overeat, put on weight and ultimately being unhealthy and unfit.

I also managed my first 9.5K run outside (my calves and shins are still hurting from the hill up to the South Downs) in 54 minutes. For a first time this isn’t too bad. For me, 2015 is about positive change. Better healthy diet, better exercise, outside running, more quality time with the family, more balance at work. I am making progress on most points.

We need to enjoy life, yet in moderation and balancing the good and bad days, without beating ourselves up.

With these thoughts, have a great week.
Volker

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Sunday Column (302) – Year review

Merry Christmas, or as close as a blog post can come to it. With Christmas now being a few days away, and me finishing off work on Tuesday, it is time for my yearly review. Having said that, this year was full of so many great memories, experiences and excitement, I just want to summarise a few thoughts in this post. Maybe I do another one or look back at a few events soon. All I can say is that this year passed quickly, in a good sense, and that I developed a lot as a father and person.

Let’s start with the most important thing: health. I have been constant with my weight, lost a lot of it and feel really fit. Two sick days and a healthy period throughout the winter so far (fingers crossed) make a huge difference to last year when I was ill months at a time. I am happier, healthier and fitter. And, I am grateful for this. Next year should see an improvement even to step up the game. This will include running with the dog I hope and maybe some different sports I could add to the mix. My recent visit to the physiotherapist gives me hope that I will be pain free on my 10K adventures. You never know, they might turn into 15 or 20K….

The next biggest thing in my life: family. One could argue family goes over health but what is the family worth without health? We were married 7 years this year, knew each other for 10. We got two healthy amazing boys and a lovely cat and now a dog. We are truly blessed with what we have and we both know and appreciate it. Without them, their love, trust and commitment I couldn’t do the job I enjoy and live the life we do. They give me both strength and purpose in life. I love you all!

The house got an overhaul and thanks to family support we got a lot of things done. One is never finished with a house but the next things are more cosmetic, so no rush ๐Ÿ™‚ Having said that, the outbuilding (shed), new carpets and driveway are all planned in my head at least.

My job is going well. 2015 might bring some changes and I hopefully find more time for personal projects on top. Overall I am in an exciting space of the industry where opportunities and challenges are close together. An amazing and exciting place to be. I am very happy with that.

On that note, tidWOWs gives me a focus outside work to pursue and build a reputation as a coach, productivity expert and personal development trainer. I will continue to write my articles and research topics for that blog. I enjoy it and it is a hobby which of course is very much work related.

xmas

One of my new year resolutions is to find more mentors, people that can push me to achieve more: A-Players. I still have a long working life ahead and realised when visiting my fraternity in Germany, that within the fraternities there are different attitudes to achievement and success. Most of the people there are achievers, great students and fantastic managers. Pushing the boundaries and succeeding. I look forward incorporating some of that work into my productivity studies, modelling other’s success.

There are things we didn’t do enough this year and there are things we want to do more next year. That is to spend more time together as a family, visit more friends and maybe going to visit Germany. Yet we are thankful and grateful for what we have and have achieved. We have been able to donate a few pennies to charity which fulfilled us with joy. We could help other people to achieve things in their life. I am looking back at 2014 thinking we have done well, we have been good people yet also think we could do so much more. The highlight most probably was our campervan trip. Proper family time, independence and sunny weather.

2015 is about refining for me on one hand – that will be around family and work life balance and managing my private interests. Yet on the work level it is about acceleration and reaching the pivotal point that should catapult me up and beyond from where I am now. Prospects are exciting and we haven’t even started 2015 yet. Things looking great.

I might have a short post next week, however please enjoy the festive season. Look back at the year and be grateful for what you have and thankful for what you have achieved. When feeling blessed and acknowledging what you have, what is happening in the NOW, one can move things forward, moving on.

Enough from me.

Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year.

Love with you all.
Volker & Family

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Sunday Column (251)

Before I have some thoughts on the New Year, let me have another quick look back at the past week as I found things, mainly the weather, a bit fascinating yet crazy. We had a few storms, a few travel disruptions and flooding in this country. We then had the most beautiful day for a walk, cold and sunny, on Boxing Day when the whole family went for a walk at Wakehurst Place, National Trust. Then more rain, travel disruptions, floods. Luckily we stayed put yet both my MIL and my parents had to travel and luckily got safely to their destinations.

I enjoyed Christmas. Not many presents for me really, yet the biggest one of all: Love and Happiness in my childrens’ eyes opening their presents. And then lots of play time with my dad and kids: hot wheels are actually quite cool ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a fantastic time as a family, an enjoyable Christmas, too much food and too much booze yet a good time. And, as they say, that is all what matters in our age, Christmas is for the kids. This is so true: Colin was amazed how Santa got all the presents inside the house and looked suspiciously at the carrot we left for the reindeer, and how it was bitten off the next day. Nothing beats a child’s innocence. Bless.

Looking back over the years I can see how much more important others become for me, and this is of course particularly true for my own kids. Something that gives you a different purpose in life, a different outlook of what life is all about.

2014

Going into 2014 I have some hopes and thoughts. I guess one is based on a big present we got recently, allowing us to do some refurbishment on the house. My wife and I are quite excited to sort out some much wanted work downstairs, making it a proper home. It will hopefully be done before Easter. Leading on from that, I think we have done enough work on the house, yet pending one or two other things, we might be lucky enough to do some more work on the house or outside next year. Nothing major, yet it would be nice to get a few more things done. This could go in line with me fulfilling myself a small dream I had for a while, so keep your fingers and toes crossed.

I look forward to finding some inner peace next year. This particularly means one thing for me: time with the family, quality time and me being with them in the moment. Whilst at the same time this means to focus on a physical challenge and make 2014 my best ever “athletic year”. After having lost almost 10 kg this year, suffered from a cold and cough (and still do as of today) for the past 3 months without exercising, I am eager to get going and build up core strength, endurance and sign myself up for a challenge. One I consider is the bike race across the South Downs with the British Heart Foundation. Probably doing the 35 miles and then the 100 miles a year later. I am still a novice biker really.

Plus there are some walking endurance challenges I consider, and maybe we find something as a family or I find a way of pushing myself, training with the kids. Stay tuned as I want this to happen. I am almost desperate to give next year: both my time for charity, with the help of my fitness raising money to make a difference for a charity, and of course being involved in events with Rotary and potentially another charitable organisation.

What else is there to come? I believe I will grow stronger within my job and get more involved in the industry. I have an aspiration to succeed, and this is supported through some coaching sessions I am taking at the moment. I am excited about constantly improving myself to do well: both in a job and being better in my private life too.

Let me wish you all a Happy 2014, success, health, peace, freedom and love.

I finish with Confucius:

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

All the best,
Volker

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Why we sleep?

I have been looking into sleep a lot lately. I got an app called sleep cycle that monitors my sleep and wakes me up when I am NOT in deep sleep mode. Personally, I think sleep is overrated but I slowly come around and understand the importance of sleep:

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Sunday Column (227)

IMG_1733 What else could you wish for but a week of sunshine. It takes a toll on body, sleeping habits and water consumption, but hey, this is good, right? Why complain about a heat wave we were waiting for for many years? And, I am still off work and can enjoy it.

To cover the job hunt: It is, as always in a small community of digital marketing, a balancing act. You don’t want to jeopardise people’s friendships over favours. But friendships outlast company gigs. It is about you, the whole life is about you and not the association with a product. Once you realise that, choosing becomes easier. Having said that, there is one cutting edge product/company I’d like to work for ๐Ÿ™‚

When I think cutting edge, pushing boundaries and making things happen, I keep getting back to this free fall pictures from Redbull/Felix Baumgartner. I cannot say how much I am impressed by this guy and his attitude to stress, personal development, making things happen, getting things done. Wow.

I have had a lot of time to reflect over the past few weeks. I heard stories from old colleagues, feedback from them and so on. I believe the worst thing sometimes is to get confirmation that some thoughts you have are right. And the thing I need to learn, still, is to let go. I am not talking about my old company but about life in general. Don’t hang on to things you missed or what could have been. Also, be confident about your knowledge, trust your gut and be prepared to stand up for your opinion. We all make mistakes, but take the step, make the decision for better or for worse. Don’t look back but forward. Be bold. Let go and focus on yourself, your life, as this is the important bit. Everything else will sort itself out, so don’t waste your energy on other people’s problems but make them part of your solution. Hope that makes sense. It is a bit like an energy exchange.

What you are made of, what you want to achieve in life, and what defines you doesn’t always have to be related to your work. For me it often does and I enjoy working. Always have done and the next position won’t be different. I enjoy building new things, driving things forward, making things happen and working my butt off. That’s me. Hands on. Networking. I almost think that for the past few years I neglected some things. I need to improve that. Who do I think I am having figured it all out. There is so much more to learn. And now is the time, I enjoy learning.

Another thing that made me think this week was Joe Cross who fastened with fruit and vegetable juices for 60 days, lost lots of weight, and cured himself from a disease. The body is capable of curing itself if you give it the opportunity. If you having a roller coaster ride you eat for comfort, you ease your stress with alcohol or you smoke. That is not the way forward, convenience food will kill you! I will try parts of that diet and wish I had seen this when I first took voluntary redundancy as I could have tried this out for the past 60 days. I could be quite slim and really fit now ๐Ÿ™‚

Another quote I came across this week says: Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion. I couldn’t agree more and cannot wait to follow my passion! It is about positive stress, so defined by a close friend and mentor, enjoying the strain you have and turning it into passion, and ultimately profit. Onwards and upwards, let’s get things done.

On that note, the kids love learning and asking things too. Colin for instance said the other day: look dad, the sky has the same colour as the ocean. It will take a couple of years for him to understand how everything is connected but it is so good recapping it for yourself and appreciating how complex life is. Don’t get too hung up on it though. It might just do your head in trying to explain a few things but isn’t it great to help the little explorers to conquer life and understand it? I enjoy being a teacher, dad and mentor. Family life really eases in at the moment, I enjoy being around the wee people. I even managed two hours with R the other day. Not easy but I managed. I cannot wait to see them grow up and being able to support them. Make their life the best they can have. And they will decide how to define that of course, however showing them the odd shortcut will help either way.

Maybe a bit of a reflective post this week. I hope you understand. Putting things into perspective is very important for me, not taking everything for granted. That is true for work, life, family and health. I want to be around to see my kids grow up.

Btw, you might have noticed that I changed my profile picture. Do you like it or do I look too serious?

Have a great week,
Volker

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