Posts Tagged patience

Sunday Column (427)

This week was different. In a good way I suppose, given it started out with a lovely Sunday meal with the family. We celebrated my wife’s birthday and her finishing yet another half marathon. Well done. I am very proud of her achievements. I originally wanted to eat a salad but ended up with some nice winter warming comforting Pizza – so much about losing weight again. My training is going well, yet before the 24 hour race I should really shed a few more kilos. I guess consistency with weight exercise is needed and more discipline on the food side of things. I am trying. Maybe not hard enough but pushing myself in regards to making sure to complete three 10K runs a week.

On Tuesday/Wednesday I attended an internal conference where eating and drinking healthy wasn’t an option really. I mean, knowing HR is reading my blog ;-), there is always an option, but less discipline I guess. One night to make friends with up to 180 people from our international territory. That’s a lot of people to meet, a lot of networking. A great event though and speaking as well as listening to our CEO was encouraging. I love what I am doing and believe this company is right. We are on a journey and it is a journey I enjoy. People I enjoy. Amazing technology. We are winning. And no, I am not only writing this since HR is listening in. I am writing this as I think there are similarities between my CEO, my MD and myself. This sounds weird, but besides the early morning routines (this sounds weird, doesn’t it), we also seem to understand and enjoy business. Different level of experience of course and backgrounds, and motivations, but overall I can spot a theme. That’s amazing.

I had probably one of the shortest commutes from the conference. It happened in Brighton. So when I got home Wednesday afternoon I caught up on some sleep and then on some work. The next day I was back at my 5 am routine. It killed me at the conference given I was in bed very late and naturally woke by 5, but on Thursday my 10K was refreshing. I started my physio exercises again and taking ibuprofen, so I am hopeful to get on top of my leg pain soon. I also had 9 hours sleep that night which helped immensely to get back to normal.

The remainder of the week was rather busy. A lot of things to organise, conferences to prepare, personal stuff to sort out. Two weeks out from my citizenship ceremony, which I found out is free of charge after all, the government agreed that the status of EU citizens would not change post Brexit. I feel at ease knowing that soon I don’t have to worry about it anymore. No one likes dealing with government processes I don’t think. So putting it all to an end to apply for a passport will be nice. A bit of closure. Britain is home for me. Here is where my family is and here is where I belong.

Trains seem to run fine at the moment. I don’t want to jinx it but since I started my job 6 weeks ago, I can take a direct train again to get to the office for 9 am. That is nice. An easier commute, reliable most days and a more convenient one. However, the train is older and doesn’t cope that well with the old tracks. So slightly more uncomfortable. I find myself typing this blog on Thursday morning. A sunny day, a windy day. The wind woke me up a few times at night. Winter is not quite gone yet, and according to the calendar spring wont’ t start until 21 March. Despite my wife thinking it is the 1st of March. I look forward to the summer, to more fun with the boys. outside, sitting on the patio. To enjoy nature and nature’s warmth. To connect with the roots. But let’s not get sentimental.

Life has been good to us. I am pleased and happy with what we have. My life as a whole. The challenges it comes with. The love from my boys and discussions we have. The challenges we work through as parents. The ‘treadmill weekends’ of going to parties and entertaining the family. I enjoy to be able to help, to make a difference to things. I am content yet hungry for more. I am eager to step up and take on more. And hopefully I will eventually. With patience, consistency and integrity, I am confident to take things further. Life is great.

Have an amazing week ahead.
Best,
Volker

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Sunday Column (379)

The week started with a trip to Hamburg. A night and back again. I am getting used to the regular flights and short trips again. This time I didn’t take my running gear. An unbalanced run the week before paired with a 13K over the weekend left me tired and my knee(s) aggravated. So some needed rest and a treadmill run on Thursday was all. I am cautious of not pushing myself too far and not to injure myself seriously.

I have been thinking a lot over the past few weeks. See last week’s column, that life could be over quickly without you knowing. Things might change. What is important in your life, what do you cherish. Where do you put most emphasis on, what is it that you enjoy and should do more of. I will cover that in more detail. Anyways…

When leaving home my fish tank was playing up. The temperature dropped and I worried a lot. Thanks to my wife and some last minute rescue measures we seemed to have avoided some major fish losses. I had just added some loaches to get rid of the snails, and feel that the ecosystem within the tank is striving.

Actually not my fish but almost ;-)

Actually not my fish but almost 😉

My eldest wrote me a card to wish me well for the trip and he hopes that I will be meeting some friends. I did. It is nice to see them grow up and also understanding German (my sons, not my friends 😉 ). When my parents were over for Easter, they spoke German to the boys and the eldest clearly understood. Maybe there is hope and as they get older they get more of an interest to learn the language. I don’t think they will ever be native but if they manage to communicate and get by, it would be fantastic. Having had 1-on-1 time with both of them over the last few weeks really helps to seal the bond. It also helps me improving my football skills 😉

The remainder of the week passed very quickly. I spend two days in Germany, back to back in meetings, catching up with the local staff, and having in depth conversations about the industry. It is interesting to see the differences in markets and attitudes towards product deliveries. It is good though, and I do enjoy the work I am delivering, as we are pioneering in a new space, leading the pack for second screen advertising. But hey, I don’t want to market my company here, do I? 🙂

A good friend of mine invited me for lunch on Thursday. A healthy, good lunch, and a wonderful chat. Those type of chats and friendships last for a long time to come. He was joking I should mention him in my column, however, here we go 🙂 Thanks mate!!!

As I write this blog I pass Gatwick Airport on the train. Sunset. The daylight saving time and all, we are back to having light travelling home from work. I look at the sunset and think about the things to come. I keep forgetting about the past, putting it aside. We are launching new products at work. We are renovating the house and finish it the first time around. The wheel is turning and we are going faster and faster. Then I listened to two podcasts this week that told me to sleep enough and take it easy. Don’t get the burn out. I am not afraid, I look after myself. I am trying to anyway, being more easy going than I used to be (at least I think so) and more pro-active, forward looking than I used to. My thinking is changing.

The Germans have this saying “gut Ding muss Weile haben” – good things need their time. There is no need to rush and make too many avoidable mistakes. You hear it coming – time to stop and smell the roses. When flying this week, way after my working hours (in case you reading this, boss), I decided to not work but chill out. To sit and read, doze, listen to music and just take time off to think and reflect. I manage to split work and life. I am learning. Still. I am growing. I am proud of my personal development.

a sin. an awesome sin. loving it.

a sin. an awesome sin. loving it.

I am also proud of my wife. 12 years this week that we met. 9 years this year that we got married, had kids, a house etc. In another 12 years the kids would have left the house and another 12 I am probably still not retired. Wow. That means I have only been through the first third of my career. I am just warming up and boy, I am ready to go! Patience, Ballueder, Patience!

Life is good. I remind myself daily and make sure that life is going to stay as it is. That it won’t get worse or we stop looking after ourselves and the kids. No, I want fun, love, and live.

Have a great week. Summer is on its way!

We managed a first bike ride at the weekend. The little one on the tag along bike and I. We sat down, smelled the freshly cut grass, enjoyed the sun and some sweets. We laughed. We loved.

Cheers,
Volker

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Sunday Column (373)

It was half term this week. That meant I took a few days off to spend with the boys and the wife of course. It was great. Three days of ‘peace’ and happiness.

On Monday we went to London and the Natural History Museum. Again. Yet every time we go, the boys seem to understand a little bit more about earth quakes, lava, dinosaurs and so on. It was great, and Rohan’s best part of the museum was how life is created as a dot within a mother’s womb. Then evolution….we must go back again soon.

mother's womb

Having had some time to myself, I decided to shut down my productivity blog ‘tidwows’ this summer. The content finishes end of March and I shall move it under my blog’s pages as an archive. The decision was made to focus on other things that are going on in my life. Life is fluent and I enjoy working on new projects.

With my second book on productivity far from being finished, I just don’t have the time to maintain two blogs and two separate sections of productivity, e.g. one on a blog and one in a new book.

Regarding our car buy…or not buy. We have been thinking a lot. There seems to be a lot of new SUVs coming out this year. Whilst I enjoy the thought of having a new Skoda Superb and drive it for three years, then get another new one etc., from a financial point of view it might make more sense to buy used and drive a car for longer. Or does it?

Having done some research, looking and offers and realising it is a huge financial burden to add a monthly payment to our outgoings, we decided to put our decision on hold until later this year. Our beloved Seat Alhambra works well and is ok to drive for another year or so. Yet, for longer distances, like going to Scotland or Germany, it would be nice to have a more comfortable car. And then again, Ford offers a better deal with better car features….decisions.

The challenge is of course that the new car deals are very appealing. However, if you have the money to buy a used car, or nearly new, out right, it doesn’t stack up to buy new. And financing a new car makes sense if the interest rate is lower than the one from the bank….anyway. Decision made for now. Yet of course we keep looking 🙂

There aren’t many other news this week. I kept up my 5 am routine when being off and also added some additional milage to my running. I noticed it more than anticipated, but won’t have time to keep it up. Even a 5 am start doesn’t allow more than 10K before work 🙂 I think however that this is enough, twice a week. I tried our new elliptical trainer which wasn’t too bad and worked on different muscle groups. I might just alternate between swimming and cross trainer. Oh, and I did eat too much this week 😉

Going back to work was fine, having two days in the office is just enough to get on top of things, go through your emails and catch up on 3 days you missed. Sounds fun, yet all set for next week. It is unbelievable sometimes as to how much you are missing in only three days. Never mind. And given next week’s activities and schedules, it is going to be very busy. Full steam ahead!

The weekend passed quickly. Given it was half term, there weren’t any kids parties. So that was good. A relaxing weekend to finish off half term was nice. My wife decided to spoil me with nice food and I did my part in choosing a nice wine. One tries 😉 A few errands and play time with the boys.

Also the week I discovered Blinkist, which is a tool that summarises non fiction books. So within 20 minutes I can read the main and important content from a non fictional book and get the gist of it. I like it. The only challenge is can I make it work for £5/month to read enough books? Or in other words, how many more non fictional books do I really need to read?

We shall see.

As with most decisions this week it is down to patience and time. Time will tell and patience will pay off. Fingers crossed anyway. Yet patience, as you all know, is something I have little off. But one tries :-p

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (369)

Happy Sunday.

Another week in adtech. What happened since last week? More rumours around IPOs, discussions around the industry, if adtech is merging with Martech and how many acquisitions will happen between now and the end of the year. Nothing new, and when watching the final episode of MadMen, without wanting to take anything away, I was thinking how my career will turn out, 5 or 10 years from now.

Life is constantly changing. For the better I trust. There are some things we can influence and some that we cannot influence. I keep thinking that only if you are working for yourself you are in full control of what you deliver, what you promise. Standards and values vary amongst people. The negotiation book I am reading is suggesting the same, the value exchange and making use of the power of standards. No one wants to hear they are working towards low standards. I practised this weekend with Tesco and so far it is working.

January blues is happening I suppose. Yet I am in a happy space, I am very grounded and connected. The only thing I am not that great at is patience. To let go and let things take their own time. Although with some things I have been more than patient. That is also true for our bathroom. Opinions, designs, discussions. Gladly I am married to an amazing woman that does that for a living if you like. She organises the back office: bathrooms, house designs, kids, school, garden etc – for me to just rock up and enjoy. And I do. And yes, I do get involved a little bit too 😉 But I couldn’t cope in life without her. Thanks honey!

The bathroom on the other hand, having got a decent quote for the things we wanted, we got a horrendous quote on the actual fitting via another company. Sorry, but I cannot imagine a bathroom fitter taking the same amount as the costs of the whole bathroom. That said, we got someone else involved and things are moving in the right direction. Fingers crossed we can get it all signed off this week.

don draper

In other news our youngest actually told us that he is hungry. You might not understand that but he, since I “met” him just under 5 years ago, has been a difficult eater. No food was ever good enough for him, easy for him and you had to force him to eat. So him coming to us to ask for food is like ‘problem solved’. It might have to do with school lunches, the food wow chart or a growth spurt. Maybe all of it.

The food wow chart is my invention, a bit of a competition between the boys who tries more different foods. So far we got to celery, squid, peppers, cucumber, pork chops, chilli (kind of), chicken satay etc. So we are doing well. Printing all that out and showing off with it is great too.

Next week I am travelling again. Having a cold and not feeling great, doesn’t help me getting motivated for a January trip to Germany and the Netherlands. A round trip. I normally don’t mind, but find that the first trip of the year is more of a hassle, to get up and going again. But there are many exciting clients and meetings we have schedules, so I am looking forward to going.

That all is if my cold is better by then. I have had a cold all week, which didn’t deter me from exercising. However, at the weekend I felt worse, and hope it is over by Monday/Tuesday. I am sure it will be 🙁

I keep you posted next week and will also officially talk about the previously mentioned venture I am getting involved in.

In the meantime stay warm and safe,
Volker

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Sunday Column (337)

This week I watched the movie about Stephen Hawkings’ life and subsequently read his autobiography. When I was young, my brother who studied physics, read his first book, a brief history of time. While Hawkings gets a lots of attention due to him sitting in a wheelchair, also living longer than anyone anticipated, I like him explaining science in a common way.

He must have patience, speaking/typing at a speed of three words per minute. Whilst this would be difficult for most, I am personally someone that runs at a million miles an hour. Recently I have been practising to take my time, to meditate, to slow down. This helps me a lot. Yet, reading Hawkings’ book I wonder what else is out there to explore? Should I read Einstein’s book? Or should I go back to university? I have those thoughts regularly, often think an academic career would have been nice, yet I believe that I am doing well with what I am doing and I am very happy with my life.

black hole

My next book however needs to tick the box of a more intellectual work than the last one. More research. However, unlikely I philosophise about the universe, black holes and time travel. I am writing an eBook at the moment which is more of a summary, similar to the last one, yet embarking on a bigger project for publication later in 2016. We shall see, it might not be the phd thesis though 😉

Ever since I was a child I refused to think about what could be beyond the universe. What is in space and what does it do? Will we ever find out? Did we become humans by pure chance? Is there a god? Latter is the only question I could answer for myself, and by common definition the answer for me is ‘no’. Yet I believe in energy, infinite greater conscious, a common unconscious everyone can tap into. Some might call it god though.

Other thoughts this week are around music. For many years I have been struggling to expand on the music I am listening to, listened to few new artists, realising that I am missing out on potentially nice stuff. The above mentioned rush doesn’t help. With the addition of another Sonos system to my beloved spare bedroom and the arrival of Apple Music, subject to them two integrating, I am keen on changing my approach and exploring new music. For many it is difficult to understand but I am running on iOS. I like what is easy to use cross device, for work, for pleasure and it being fully integrated. So the more this ecosystem develops, the more I will be sucked into it. Hence only Apple Music is appealing to me, Spotify never was. Silly, I know.

I guess Steve Jobs’ approach works. A closed system that works 99% of the time, or at least more often than other systems. Windows seems to crash by far more often, and maybe Windows 10 will change it all. Or Android for the masses. Is any approach just for the data or as Steve said about user experience.
I (like to) believe that Apple is good, and puts customer and their experience first. Ever since I know, and my wife has done it, that you can buy your new phone and renew your mobile contract through the Apple Shop, I love it. The best of both worlds. Give back your old phone, get a voucher, get a new phone, get a contract and…the Apple service on top. You can’t beat that. No upsell in the Vodafone shop, no silly calls, no waiting for a phone to return to one of the many phone ‘recycling’ sites.

Maybe I am a bit naive. Maybe I just like it simple. Life is complicated enough to not worry about certain things, and having things that work, and not thinking what is beyond our universe, just keeps it simple 🙂

Have a great week,
Volker

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Hair gone, youth back?

Comments welcome.

I guess the “transition phase” from short to long hair took too long 🙁

Off it went.

image

Before.

image

After.

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Sunday Column (116)

Ok, needless to say this week was another quick one. I believe every week will be a quick one as I have so much to do at work, and do so many things at the evening, even if I am “only going home”.

My diet was ok this week. You remember I tried to improve what I eat. Besides two client lunches and one team diner I survived, and only got tempted to too much wine at night and one night of pizza. So it is much better than the week before, but hey, it was only the first week. We are making a lot of progress. I don’t remember EVER eating so many apples, bananas, nuts, kiwis and oranges. All good for me!

Each change needs to be incremental, one change at a time. So be patient 🙂

I also added a lot of Google Chrome extensions, so hopefully my little netbook will become even more of a productivity tool. I had a quick peek at the Lenovo website, and found a laptop I’d like instead, but it is about £600. So for now, I stick with what I have. However, I treated myself to new head phones. My Panasonic ones seem to break once a year, so I spend double what they cost on some Sony ones. Fingers crossed those last longer.

Work proved to be a great week. Very busy but lots of good chats, meetings and outcomes too. My CEO was in London, also I met with some great people and came up with some new approaches and ideas. We are moving in the right direction with the speed of light 🙂 We had our team night out this week, going bowling. I found a cigarette advertising in a pub – one from the 80ies when I still used to smoke. Actually this very advert was the one that really appealed to me. Back in the days.

What else happened? Not too much to be honest. I finished reading the book about energy households, The power of full engagement. A highly recommendable book, managing energy rather than time.

I also managed to see Colin at night as Jen tries to keep him up longer. Sometimes this results in me not being able to see him in the morning as he is still sleeping. Either way … the weekend was great.

On Saturday Colin and I went for a walk down the train station, watching trains. Then we took one stop down the road and walked back home. He so loved that, although he was very tired afterwards. In the afternoon we went swimming, again tiring out our wee man. Rohan wasn’t in the best form this weekend but is ok.

Sunday was another full on family day. My wife went to a photography course and I was home alone with the boys. Great fun as you can imagine.

I hope you all have a great week ahead.

Best,
Volker

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Patience or Impatience….

As some of you know, I can be quite impatient. Mainly, I want to get things done. I like to cross things off my to-do list and get on with the next task. I hate waiting and hate to let others wait. Hence, I am constantly stressing what might happen, or what might be. So naturally, I feel like the grass is always greener somewhere else, and always seeking best opportunities. I hate to stick around places just for the sake of being somewhere……

Anyway, this is not all bad news, and being impatient can have some advantages. However, it can have disadvantages too.

Do you know the feeling? You just need to get something done to cross it off the list, although it could be done tomorrow. Prioritising?! Or is it just organising? Or is it impatience. Depends on the circumstances I suppose.

I was never really good in sticking to a problem, trying to figure it out. It is mainly about “let’s try A, if that fails, try B”. I am hands on. I didn’t get a first class engineering degree by thinking too much about a problem but trying several possible solutions.

However, I have changed a bit, and I work less stressful nowadays. I live more in the now and with the help of mediation and relaxation techniques, I developed a good sense of patience. I still worry about the future, and I like to see what is on the other side, but I am actively practising how to perform better in the here and now without worrying too much about tomorrow or next year.

On Wiki-how I found an excellent article on “How to be patient“. A good start to look at things differently – what do you think?

Please note, the 10 rules have been shortened and you find a full review on the Wiki-how site.

1 Try to figure out why you are in such a hurry. We tend to lose our patience when we’re multi-tasking or when we’re on a tight schedule.

2 Pinpoint the triggers that often make you lose your patience.

3 Overcome bouts of impatience.

4 Look for patterns.

5 Let go if you can’t do anything about the impatience trigger.

6 Remind yourself that things take time. People who are impatient are people who insist on getting things done now and don’t like to waste time. However, some things just can’t be rushed.

7 Expect the unexpected. Yes, you have plans, but things don’t always work out as planned. Accept the twist and turns in life gracefully. Keep your expectations realistic.

8 Give yourself a break. The meaning of this is twofold. First, take a few minutes to do absolutely nothing. Just sit quietly and think. […] Second, stop holding yourself and the world around you to unreachable standards.

9 Remember what matters. Not focusing on what matters most in this life fuels impatience.

10 Always remember that you will eventually get what you want

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patience or what?

Over the last few weeks in my interviews I was asked for my greatest weakness. I keep saying “patience” just purely as for a sales person it could be a strength too. Maybe I should not admit it then?

As a sales person one doesn’t have to have attention to detail. One wants to get the sales. As a Business Development and Marketing person, I need to get everything right, everything needs to be perfect, as I am working on reputation and showing off. So where do I stand?

I definitely feel more comfortable in the marketing and business development role where I can concentrate on delivering the right message and getting people to be interested in our products and services. Being detailed oriented is very important. I even would consider myself being a perfectionist. And, I am good at that because focusing on marketing only you usually have less pressure on selling. Then again there is always pressure on selling. Whilst solely working in sales, it is all about the deal, not necessarily the details. That is why for complex proposals you always work in a team 🙂

However, when it comes to nitty gritty details I am not the best. Less so in a professional environment but more so at home. And, the older I get, the less I am bothered about how often I dust at home or whether we meet friends on Saturdays, Sundays or whether we spend £30 or £35 on a product. I cannot be bothered going through too much detail just to make a decision. Car insurance is good example. I just want to get things done.

The other day I had to buy car insurance and after filling in some details online, admittedly wrong, I called up the insurer (Admiral) and they said they cannot change it and cannot quote me the same premium as if I registered online over the phone. I had to do it over again. It drove me nuts to fill in everything again. Yes, those details just bother me these days.

I more and more understand a friend of mine who never knew how to use the washing machine at home and left it to his wife. Whilst I know how to use the washing machine, I see where he is coming from. Why do we need to know everything and anything when most of the time we don’t need to know?

I believe ironing is another one. Why trying to press the shirts to perfection if you put them on afterwards and within 20 minutes of wearing them they are slightly wrinkled again. Of course I still iron but I am less picky then I used to be.

So bottom line, maybe the weakness is not patience but the weakness is to bother about nitty gritty bits that are just NOT important. Such as car insurance etc. and things that need to be done but no one likes.

Guess I am just normal 🙂

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Monday Morning Thoughts

What a weekend. First ever my wife knew in advance that she was not working. So we both enjoyed a good bottle of vino on Friday, another really good one on Saturday and good food all weekend. Really relaxing weekend. I went to the gym too!

However, thanks to our noisy neighbours downstairs who were supposed to (be) move(d) out this month, we did not get as much rest as we were hoping for. I left at 5.45 this morning and sit on a train to York, HQ of the company I work for.

So I am now sitting on the train. I did finish a part of my essay last night and realized that it is alsmost an essay itself. With close to 2,000 words I might just publish it on its own. I keep you posted.

On Saturday we found out that the chain for our house is complete – ergo we might be moving as early as June. That is much quicker than we had ever imagined. We try not to get over excited but also we try to make plans on furniture. Disagreements, however, overall Jenny and I have similar tastes.

Latter is a good practise of patience. Something I desperately need and want to learn. In a Buddhist / spiritual sense as well as  in a work sense. Often I have this feeling that things need to be complete before I actually started them. Since this is not possible, I am learning to more categorize and prioritise things. That way I am practising patience too.

Have a good week.

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