Posts Tagged sentimental

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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Sunday Column (308)

Last weekend, we missed a birthday party of a dear friend, however had a lovely visit from a friend who was very keen on seeing Rosie. It reminded me of what I always thought would happen when you get older: people coming over for lunch, you have a hearty winter lunch on a Sunday, then you head out for a long walk with the dog, come home and put the fire on. Then of course you fall asleep on the couch. I think I always envisaged Sundays like that. But maybe the consume has taken over, the bargain hunts, the Tesco deliveries and the exercise schedules, kids’ birthday parties and doing all those things you don’t have time for during the week. The social pressure really.

I am busy, and try to stay busy between the hours of 5 am and 7 pm but then it is all ‘down time’. At least the couple of hours before I go to bed. I trimmed my beard down and I am not sure if I like it yet. I am not even sure I keep it. It is February too. We are getting out of the January blues and into the winter months leading to hopefully an awesome warm spring that will ignite the fire within us. My mood is changing between winter blues, midlife crisis and an utter urge to drive things forward in life. It is this inner urge a lot of people don’t understand. It is awesome really.

Dry January: I will published a post about dry January on Linkedin tomorrow. But I made it. Despite a client meeting on Wednesday, a conference on Thursday and drinks I had organised for Friday, it wasn’t until Saturday, 31st of January, that I had a glass of wine. With a small one on Friday to ease me in though 😉 Very determined. I kind of enjoyed it to be dry but it felt silly at times to give something up you enjoy and which gives you relaxation.

Having said that, I shed half a stone, which is also diet related, and listened to lots of podcast episodes in January. I had more time to do things, concentrate better and probably saved a small fortune. Moving forward I aim to have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as dry days. Which means it leave me with Thursday through to Saturday with drinking days. Maybe I can swap the odd day and keep Sunday a flexible one. Having said all that I am meeting a few friends for drinks on Tuesday 😉

Never mind, unless you really want to give up drinking, it doesn’t really matter. Drink responsibly, have a few days off and avoid too high alcohol content as well as too fattening drinks if you want to keep off the weight. Red wine, however, is just fine 🙂

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Also, in January, I managed to do a lot of blog planning for tidWOWs, my productivity blog. With the publication of my book chapters I am up to middle of the year for content. The aforementioned podcasts I am listening to about personal development, productivity and life hacks really encourage me to keep going and write more about those topics. I enjoy researching them and started looking more into nutrition, food and weight loss/gain too. There should be no topic one cannot learn if you put your head to it. And currently, understanding which foods are great for my body and which ones aren’t, which ones make me fat and which ones don’t, how to rightly train to gain muscles vs. how to train to get bulky, is a keen interest of mine.

January. There we are. Named after the god Janus, the god that could look into the future and the past at the same time. The month we look back to the old year and the month we look ahead into the new year. I used to be part of an environmental youth group called Janus, trying to look back what damage we had done to our environment, trying to predict what was in store to save it. Those were the days.

But before I get all sentimental, have a fantastic week, enjoy February and … I can now rise my glass to a fabulous 2015!

Cheers!
Volker

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Sunday Column (277)

When one travels, the little things become important. Getting to the airport, having the same (or similar really) bacon baguette you had since flying in 2006. For over 8 years I travel for work on a regular basis. Knowing the little treats on the way is what makes the journeys more pleasant. The bar in Dusseldorf just before you board for instance is a treat. I have spent many hours discussing the world with industry peers and friends. The moment you go through security and catch the train in time to be home for the bed time story.

I often think about the greater good, about what happens in life and when and why. Looking back, why you met people you did and how some of them turn up in your life again and again. Is there a reason, a bigger purpose? I discussed human design with my wife the other day – how can evolution have created something so special. Is it carved over time? Is anything improving over time or is that a human thing? Ants have been on the planet a lot longer than humans and they never had any ambition to destroy the planet. I suppose never did we – at least not intentionally.

When you stop in your tracks and look around you and realise what you do, others do, and where you sit in relation. When you stop and think, like I do just now. What do you realise? Essentially we are all the same, very similar yet individuals. Not a new revelation. Everyone looks at life a bit different. That’s what makes us individual. I am not sure which point I am trying to make but it helps a lot if you just sometimes stop and put life into perspective. To look around and see what’s happening around you and realising you are as normal as everyone else. And to realise life is what it is, best lived in every moment.

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Looking at personal development and reading an interesting coaching book again, it seems that some people are far too focused on their environment and what others might think of them. Others are the other extreme. They don’t care whatsoever. Whilst you might have social differences, the essence is that you are in the driver’s seat to move the needle in your life to make progress, determine what you like to do and represent and do with your life. No one can make you feel a certain way, it is up to you how you feel. As any feeling created within you is down to you, no one creates a feeling for you. Does that make sense?

If you get angry at the holiday travellers going slowly through security, then this is a feeling you created not them. You decide if you want to feel angry or just let go, focus on other things. The person shouting at you because you squeeze on the tube doesn’t create a bad feeling inside you because that is what they want but that’s the way you react. And it is down to you to change your very inner behaviour.

This attitude, staying positive and accepting that you cannot change a situation, helped me this week again. Three hours delay, lack of information, taking off when the airport was about to close to arrive with little time to spare to make one of every 30 minute trains home. Made it. Just. And meeting fellow travellers, those people that touch your life, share stories of their children. One was travelling alone with four children between 2 months and 10 years from Japan to Europe a few years ago. The traveller that had an almost unnoticeable German accent living very close to me and has been in the UK for almost 20 years.

All those stories, experience and people touch our lives one way or another before they disappear. You might remember them in the future, telling a story about the delay, yet overall what are the chances of ever seeing and meeting these people again? What makes them touch you? Did I manage to make a difference this week? I would hope so, holding the queue to the airplane for two mothers to board before everyone else did. Normal, no heroism. Yet, I hope I touched a life in a positive way this week.

Life is too short to worry. I am learning to be more positive and proactive, following my gut. I am getting there. Nothing ever happens over night.

Bring it on.

Have an awesome week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (245)

This week has been somewhat sentimental. There are few reasons for it. It is hard to describe a man’s feeling needing to go to the train, running late in your own mind, starting to stress when upstairs you hear a “daddy” call. And just this split second to run up the stairs and giving your four year old a hug and a kiss because he hasn’t seen you for two days, makes your day. It makes you run for your train. It makes you sad too. One likes to be with the little ones all the time yet they need to understand that daddy works. They need to understand, and will understand. However, give them a few more years and they couldn’t care less whether you are at home or not.

I really enjoy being a dad. At the weekend we made Pizzateig, mum cooked with them some roast chicken, we went swimming and had lots of fun at bath time and we read lots of bed time stories. I guess my priorities are changing for the better. The clear cut between being in the moment with the kids, and the moment working or doing something else. We are getting there.

Life. I suppose life is just like that. I am reading Ayrton Senna’s biography, and he says in one paragraph that ‘kids fully engage in the moment, don’t think about the next hour, are fully concentrated in the here and now’. How right he is. A very emotional person, a very concentrated person and passionate about what he does. It is true that only children really fully live the moment by nature. Adults have to learn that again. How often do I see me distracted in a short 30 minute meeting even? How often can I not keep my thoughts clear and focused in my head? My head is spinning and I need to calm down, organise myself. Information overload, trying to do too many things at a time. That’s probably true for most people in my generation.

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Today would have been Oma’s birthday – 102 would have been her age. She never wanted to live to a hundred, yet looking at the pictures of her when she was younger, in her 50ies, there is a aura around her. The “Wirtschaftswunder” years, economic wonders would be the literal translation. In the 50/60ies when Germany was rebuilt after the war. She was one of them who through hard work, passion and dedication to her family made things a bit better for the people around her. She was a good person. I like to believe that I inherited some of that from her, yet still trying to refine it. Buddha bless.

It summarises for me two things. Concentrate and get on with your shit. And I am doing exactly that. I am refining a few things with my coach at the moment to then move things forward more concentrated and better than ever before. I am very proud of my wife who has done exactly that: baby photography. She is awesome!

I seemed a lot of calm this week. There are weeks when you just need to withdraw yourself from activities to focus on your wife, yourself, your life. I have been ill with colds and coughs and flu for the past few weeks. Because of that I couldn’t exercise, losing my balance a bit. I am determined to go back to my exercise routine. I miss the balance. Interesting how one notices. There is something missing. 2014 will be the best year ever. How do I know? I just do.

There have to be a few decisions to be made before Xmas. A few things refined and coached. I am ready to change, the next steps. My wife reviewed a personality test I did. She thought it was accurate. I feel like cleaning, tidying up a room, getting rid of old books, picking up a few tools, changing the picture at the wall. Year end I guess.

Maybe I get into my mid life crisis realising how important certain things are over others. And maybe I am willing to stand up for it now. Thanks to a little change on my Linkedin profile I ended up with lots of attention for my book on productivity. You find the link to the right. I am very proud of the achievement and hope it will help a few people. Yet, I already plan my next one. Maybe I can fit that in for 2014 too.

Anyway, I maybe should be stopping here. Enough said. Enough sentimental thoughts shared.
Time to put some thoughts together and set some goals.

Yeah! Let’s go for it.

Have a great week,
Volker

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Not long and we are gone

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Car is gone….see tomorrow’s blurb for details.

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