Posts Tagged new beginning

Sunday Column (462)

How are we all? My webanalytics and the feedback I receive from friends and family suggest that the amount of people reading my blog is increasing. Thanks for listening to my rants, my moans, my diaries and my joys and attempts to be a modern philosopher. I love sharing. My life, my joys and my experience. I enjoy giving and seeing others strive. And I am a firm believer that as everyone around you grows, you grow with them. We are all in it together. One team, one dream. One world. My mentor Darren Hardy said it just this week, give and you will be given. As I state in my book, I believe life is a closed system. Anything that goes out, comes back to you. LOA = Law of Attraction. The first time I learned that was in my mechanical engineering studies, it is the first chapter in technical mechanics. Simple really, the equilibrium of forces.

But my engineering and university times are long gone. This week I had another cold. Didn’t we just have a gorgeous weather spell? Warm weather in November, and bang, another cold. After I recovered from my stomach bug, which I now found out others caught in Belgrade too, I managed to catch a cold. Just as it is in full swing it gets really cold outside, killing the last germs there are. The weather is worrying. I don’t remember having this warm weather as a child, and this is only 20-30 years. Global warming is real, and as a teenager I used to protest against the use of FCKW or CFC in English (chlorofluorcarbons), the gas causing the greenhouse effect. And as always, my thoughts on the Monday morning train are drifting to ‘where is it best for us to live if it gets worse’, thinking about Brexit too. Just as the latest rumour hit me last weekend, that allegedly we are moving to New York. Yeah, I’d love to but not with the kids I don’t think. Particularly with the latest terror attack. No, we are not having any plans to leave this country anytime soon, but the Economist just had an article stating that the ones that can leave are more likely to do so. And the ones that can, are the ones that have a good education, well paid jobs and whose skills are in demand. This is the same when mergers happen between companies: the good people don’t have to worry, they move on or do something else. Retaining talent is the difficult part.

But not all is doom and gloom. As the week moved on I managed to sort my thoughts out a bit. This isn’t always the easiest in the current situation. However, on the other side I have time for a lot of reflection and thinking. Actually, I managed to figure out a few tricks on how to be even more productive on LinkedIn, Gmail, Inbox etc. Whilst doing that I also enlisted some support from friends to sort my thoughts. Isn’t it just amazing what some talking and coaching can do to you. And it isn’t that I just speak to them when I need help. As my mentor Darren Hardy would say, help others first, then help yourself. I believe I wrote about that last week or if not, I have an article on LinkedIn which goes live soon. Actually life is pretty good, and I am not complaining. Just a bit uncertain at the moment, but I got lots of encouragement from friends and colleagues this week. It was also nice to hear some positive feedback. Thanks guys and please share the blog if you like it, it would be nice to increase the readership steadily.

We had a few leaving drinks this week for people who have been at my company for 6+ years. I of course haven’t been with the company that long, and it is great to see what culture there used to be and what friendships have been established over the years. And culture was the focal point for me this week when speaking to a friend of mine who I haven’t spoken for a long time. She is dedicating a lot of her time to cultural coaching, and how to change and establish great, successful cultures in companies. Not an easy task and something I write soon about on LinkedIn, speaking about the podcast ‘Eat Sleep Work Repeat’. The dots are starting to connect, I am able to bridge two worlds it seems. Life is moving in a good direction, good vibes. A nice night out with loads of the old crew showing up, many familiar faces. This is the beginning, not the end. Something excitingly new, as we leave the old.

On another note, one night this week I treated myself to some German music. I have been discussing listening to German folk, Reinhard Mey, a few time, and sitting on the late train, reflecting on his stories about his families…makes me think how much the boys enjoyed Halloween this week. Something we never celebrated back in Germany when I was younger, plus something I am not too fussed about. Yet I was able to help them with the carving of the pumpkins, eating the sweets and giving them confidence that their scary designs are great. Whilst I reflect on that and listen to Reinhard how he picks up his son from the train home from university, I manage to reflect deeper on my upbringing and how things have changed since I was a boy in Germany. All that growing up is to come with my two, but I don’t want to wish my life away – as he says “you sometimes only ever realise your luck and happiness when you see it from the outside”.

This is true. When you enjoying life and you are in the midst of it, you forget how great things are and how much you are enjoying them. And I have been focusing on how lucky I am, having my two amazing boys and my lovely wife and the life I am living. My first priority in life. Hence it was good to be able to work from home this week to do a school run and help with some smaller bits in the house. Life is good, and one should never forget how many people don’t have such a good life. So I am entirely grateful for the life I am allowed to be living. The warmth we have, the food we eat, the wine we drink, the clothes we wear. Never take anything for granted.

Before I close there was another sentimental thought this week. The poppy season is upon us and as the November morning are getting gloomy, there was a huge collection effort at Victoria station. Many soldiers in uniform, clean uniforms and polished shoes, silent, standing there collecting for the Poppy Appeal. It takes me back doing the same in Germany. When I was in the Navy. A lot of people might not know but I am one of the last generation of Germans who had to serve for at least 10 months or do social services. I used to be a radio operator in the German navy. Clean, tidy uniforms and polished shoes. Collecting money for a good cause similar to the Poppy Appeal here. Those were different times, and it is over 20 years ago. But the discipline, the routine and the mindset hasn’t faded much.

There is a commitment, an inner urge to serve and be grateful for what you have. To help others and stand up for what you believe in. I do. To this day. And fight for freedom. Having lived in the US, there is more acknowledgment for the armed forces, where if a soldier eats in a restaurant and wears his/her uniform, someone from the public would naturally pick up the bill. To say thanks for the freedom they provide. For protecting it in the future. To potentially give their life for others.

Long this may continue and lets remember all soldiers next week on Remembrance Sunday that fought for our freedom and for us being able to live in peace for as long as we have. Let’s be grateful for what we have. Always.

Have a great week ahead.
Volker

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Sunday Column (254)

In life it is not about what you own, possess or what you represent. Life is about what you make out of it for yourself and for others around you, what you create and how you embrace it. It is about the love you share and the moments you value. With friends and family, experiencing things.

I have been travelling this week and looked at some beautiful landscapes and was thinking, why home (UK) wasn’t like that. One reason is that it is different in its own account, beautiful too, but on the other hand it is how we create our landscapes ourselves. We are the masters of our destiny. We are the ones that are in the driving seat of our lives, we make the decisions and follow our dreams.

Of course this philosophy isn’t new to most of you. But I formed my future this week. A new beginning as I was promising over the past few weeks here and who read between the lines has guessed it already. I will be able to talk about it in greater detail soon.

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Sometimes one gets stuck and feels like one isn’t progressing. One sees that things don’t turn out the way they originally seemed. In those situations one makes decisions to wait or to move. All things being equal you would try to make things happen as long as you can. But not all things are always equal.

Maybe a quick thank you for the support from family, friends and my coach. My coach and I have been discussing values in depth, motivations deep inside. It is very interesting to see your insides, and I also had a psychological assessment which revealed a lot of insights also. But I also become more balanced inside, more at ease with life and ambitions.

Enough about work. Life is great. The boys and I have so much fun at the moment. It must be their age. They loved the huuuuge Kinder Surprise chocolate egg with 7 eggs inside which I took back from my most recent trip. There will be more travel soon to which I look forward to. More time away means for me a more intense time to make up for it at the weekend. More treats 🙂

We already treated the guys to another curry last weekend. Seeing their eyes when biting into poppadoms is priceless. They have done so well at swimming that I couldn’t resist taking them to their most favourite place. You cannot beat a feeling of inner love and connectedness to your children, it must be an instinct wanting to please them and having fun with them. Playing monster trucks hotwheels too can be so much fun!

Also, I started running again this week. If only once or twice I was happy to be back in the run of things. It has been a productive, good week for me.

It is still January. Still early in the year. But there is a mood around, a feeling of excitement in the industry, felt throughout. The recession is over and we are on the brink of growth. Things in 2014 are going to be better, life is returning to pre 2009 times. Good times. You can feel the buzz and hear the positive attitude in people’s voices.

A friend of mine who recently, or as he said was pregnant over the past 9 months with it, found a job, changed his life, and has a new beginning feels ecstatic. Opportunities are there to grab them. Life is about that: the chance of making opportunities work. The chance to be who you want to be. Aligned with your values.

Thank you guys.

Have a great 2014. To a new beginning.

Volker

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Sunday Column (252)

Back to school tomorrow….or work really…I remember those days when it was school and not work; when it was fun to see your friends again and tell them what you got for Christmas. It’s not that different I suppose when you go back to work. A small industry, close friends, fun and rumours about who buys whom. A new year fuelled of IPOs, M&A and earn outs. Yet there will be new technologies coming to market, new companies moving in the media space. Whatever consolidates on top, will be filled by smaller and new companies entering in the lower, SME area. London sees an uplift in start ups and I recently saw another high tech incubator area, there are lots of brains out there.

2014 in my predictions will be a big year for IPOs and hopefully not another dot.com bubble. Technology and business heads have moved on from the mistakes and immaturity of 2001 I suppose. Let’s see. The ad technology out there is a lot more stable than over 10 years ago.

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It’s a little bit like having a crystal ball and predicting the future. I watched an interview with Steve Jobs this week when he said that he cannot predict the future. At the time of the interview he said “I couldn’t predict maps and navigation on the iPhone as I didn’t know 5 years ago either existed”. Sure he might have had an idea but maybe not an exact knowledge of what’s possible. But that’s why I don’t know what I am doing in 5 years time, what my phone will do for me then and what else might be dominating my life. The only thing I know is that I am excited because I can be in the driver seat now to steer in the direction I want to go to. Forget the past, it has been, look forward and move on. Exciting times ahead.

My grandmother always said things work out as long as you put the hard work into something. I think so too. One builds for the future. The work you put in today will carry fruits in the future (German expression). And I believe in that.

I am not sure why I drifted into that sentimental, melancholic future forecast post now, but I suppose when you look ahead, what you want to achieve, you think about all facets of life. One questions the status quo, and one must forget the past. That’s done. There is no ‘what if’. You can only ever do as well as you can on the day. No regrets. Never, look forward, make it happen, things will turn out for the better. Or have they already?

This week I took some time to myself, maybe that’s why I am reflective, to sort out some challenges. We sold some furniture as well. Out with the old and in with the new. It is the change of year after all. To a new beginning. To change, new starts and the future ahead.

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Have a good start into your work week unless you have been back already 😉

Happy New Year.

Cheers,
Volker

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Buddhist Thought – New Beginning

new beginning

You can always begin again.
You can always cut ties and start all over again.

It doesn’t matter what happened in the past, no matter how difficult it was.

This is a new year. A new beginning.

Stay well and all the best for 2014!

Volker

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Sunday Column (169)

What a week. Sunny weather in London. Full pubs. All flags up for the Diamond Jubilee. Britain is enjoying the summer and it’s Britishness. I cannot imagine to live in any other town or country at the moment.

Of course that comes at a time when we finally exchanged contracts on our new house and we will be moving in 2 weeks time.

Work seems to dominate my life at the moment. So additionally to a lot of stress with the solicitors regarding the house, organising the move etc, it seems that since we got taken over in December, it is like a new job. And my job changed again just now. I might not work long hours at the moment unless I am travelling where I put in two-day-days but that will change soon too. It is very draining though and exhaustive to plan, put together strategies and organise a few things I cannot speak about here. Anyway – it has been 2.5 years since I started at my current job and I made a very conscious decision to turn off my phone and not to check any emails or voicemails for the 2 weeks when I go on holidays. And yes, I like my job 🙂

Holidays might be exaggerated but we move house and I go to a friend’s wedding in Germany. I believe it is time to truly switch off. I even spoke to my boss whilst my wife was in labour, so it is time for a break, recharge, and come back to the new job with more power and strength than before. Whilst I always talk about productivity and energy households, this time I might actually lead by example. I don’t always do hat, for instance I do not take enough breaks.

Anyway. Enough about blowing my own trumpet of how great I am. I just enjoy what I do: simples. But at times you need to realise that you are not non-replaceable. And that’s it.

Let’s see what happened with the family this week? Rohan walks more but not consistently. Fingers crossed he will be properly walking soon. He seems ready but his feet aren’t. As if he had some rubbery bones 🙁 Colin is great, and at an fantastic age. I so enjoy playing with him. Let it be at 6 am in the morning on a Saturday or after 8 whilst having a BBQ with our neighbours. Sometimes you just need to make use of the available time.

My running is going well too. I lost a few kilos and increased my speed. Finally I got a good routine back and my upper back pain has improved a lot too.

The iPad is a great replacement for my netbook. I enjoy the instantly available apps and connectivity on the go. The external keyboard helps with longer emails or blog posts, and for flights I put on some movies.

Two more thoughts to finish off this week.

Our neighbours and us agreed that 3 beers are plenty these days. With us being up at night with the kids and not sleeping great, we cannot cope with more: how old did we get? On the other hand we didn’t have a hangover after half a bottle of really good wine. Overall I drink a lot less alcohol than I used to but that’s the way it goes I suppose. I am up half the night and from 5.30 am. This just doesn’t mix.

The other thought came to me when I met a friend who I see about once a year. He lives two streets down, just got a kid and we used to do Tai Chi together. However, we met for a coffee in the park, including children. We both gave our wives some free time, tried to cope and arrived at this stage in life where coping is probably the better way of describing every day than living. However, I believe that this perception will change once the youngest, e.g. Rohan, will be around 2ish. So another year of worrying, sleepless nights every night, cuddly nights in daddy’s/mummy’s bed and crying in the cot because he doesn’t want to go to bed. From in a year’s time things will improve. Not long now!

I guess this sums up another draining and hot week. One more week to go before my 2 week work break starts. I can focus on the new house, unpack boxes and settle. I will arrive. I hope anyway.

Have a good one,
Volker

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Sunday Column (142)

How are you all?

I think this week started to be a turning point. Yes, I am highly influenced by Steve Job’s biography, e.g. I cannot put that book down, but his thoughts and his eagerness to build something great is reflecting a bit on me. It ties in with further thoughts about upcoming developments. I am loving it. Then again I love any biography 🙂

As you know the last few weeks have been stressful and tough, so only this week my brain seems to relax a bit and started thinking. I have got a lot clearer directions on what I want to achieve in the next few years, and to some extend how I want to do it. I spend a lot of the week brainstorming about my life too. It is almost like a new beginning, I started wearing my watch again which I haven’t worn for many years, started deciding when to get the iPad and whether an iPhone will be the next thing. Things like sorting out our bed and change it to a Futon, replacing our old stereo and planning a fantastic family Christmas are high on my list. It is time to change for the better. Stepping up the game really.

Maybe focus is a better word. I managed to take Colin to school on Thursday morning. I squeezed in almost a whole hour of playing trains before walking him to school for 20 minutes. This gave me great satisfaction and true happiness. Things in life seem to be opening up and becoming clear. My brain is buzzing. I abandoned shitty places like Pret in the morning who cannot sort out a standard filter coffee and went back to Starbucks. It sounds like a small change to you, but for me this just means I am back on track.

Saturday I spend the whole day playing with the boys as mum went shopping with the MIL. Fantastic. I really started enjoying “me time with the boys”.

The next few weeks up to Christmas are going to be wild, busy and entertaining. I cannot wait to have a (well deserved) break with the family. We might even get everyone together for it in Beckenham. Who knows. We are debating it as we speak.

But life is very good to us. We are very positive, very thankful, and it feels like we are making progress. Slowly but definitely.

Guess that is all I have to say this week. Maybe boring for some but very exciting for me.

Have a good one, onwards and upwards,
Volker

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