Posts Tagged spring

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 (481)

Spring is in the air. If you listen carefully as you board the early morning train, you can hear the birds singing. Our cats got a lovely mouse I rescued from them, and there is a ‘new beginning’ in the air. I signed another advisory role for a blockchain and ICO/ITO (Initial Coin/Token Offering). This is exciting for many reasons. On the one hand I get to work with some very smart people and on the other hand, I am able to learn a lot from them and the product/offering itself. There is no doubt this part of technology is going to be big, so getting involved early is never a bad thing. Exciting times ahead, and more info will be shared on LinkedIn when appropriate.

So as you can see I keep myself busy. That is essential. It is interesting how weeks evolve and things happening out of nothing and your week just gets a different spin. For example I spoke to a company one day which after only 30 minutes thought I wouldn’t be commercial enough, despite my experience definitely being able to do that. Then just a few hours later I was in knee deep discussions how to help a business to structure their sales and account management team across EMEA. Wowsers. Let’s see. I am hopeful.

I won’t, for obvious reasons, discuss any details here, and I am deliberately vague. However, the point I am trying to make is that with every interview you learn. I even discussed my education and went back throughout my whole career. I enjoyed the thoroughness and the chat, being very reflective, it helped me to focus on what I enjoyed in each job, which is what my interview partner wanted to know. It is somewhat fun this journey, to explore opportunities, technologies, and meeting very interesting people. Yet is can also be tiring adhering to time lines, chasing etc. I am hoping that at the end of this journey, besides a job, I will come out with a position that will last me for a few years. And as of the paragraph above, people see and spot different things in different people. The reason that’s the case is because everyone has their own filter of the world, I am going back into NLP here now, but if you are someone that is keen on finding X in someone, then that’s all that matters. Chin up.

On top of that I recorded 2 of 4 scheduled podcasts this weekand, and I scheduled another 2 to be recorded next week. Amazing conversations, each of their own kind. Maybe I need to increase the frequency and the best thing is, I so love doing them. The thought crosses my mind to build my own media company in years to come. Producing podcasts, events and venturing out into new areas. There is no limit to what you can achieve in life, is there? And I am still trying to identify the perfect way, but to be honest, is there ever going to be something that is perfect? Is there something ever going to be the life you dreamed of? As my wife pointed out, life isn’t a straight line, and once you accept it being up and down, ride the wave. F* it. Easier said than done when you are the breadwinner. Who knows what life holds. One interview this week might have lead to some media deal – oh I love those days in media really LOL – Don’t I?

I am trying to figure out bigger questions in my head, and to be honest, my question supporting those thoughts are around ‘why did we dream of the perfect life in the way we did’. Maybe I should have studied philosophy and psychology, but if we imagine for a moment, and I discuss that in my podcasts, that our dreams are influenced solely by upbringing and parents. So success, and however you want to define that, is based on what ‘seed’ was planted for your dreams. Did your parents suggest you dreaming big or small? In colour or black and white? Were they taking risks or not? One of my podcast guests coined the phrase of ‘entrepreneurial GM’ which I like to adopt for myself. Fits the bill, dont’ you think? He made me a great compliment too 🙂 . And he made me think whether I am already at the right place at the right time, but I haven’t noticed it yet. You ever thought that sometimes you step out of the future you dreamed of, to be sidelined into what you should do (or what seems right to do), but not realise it?

My other theory which goes in line with that is that life is constantly changing. So if I discuss what my career looks like in 5 years time, there is no point. I believe that in 5-10 years our lives would have changed so much, that we essentially work and live completely different to the now. I shared Elon Musk’s theory this week which suggests we all live in a simulation. Maybe we do. Stephen Hawking died this week, one of the greatest philosophers based on physics/science of our time. How is the universe and the universal conscious putting things together to move you forward as an individual? How do we know what is right or wrong, and can our intellect really rely on our gut feeling at all times?

I am drifting again. And people keep telling me that my blog is getting too long. So apologies. Feel free to reach out – with jobs, contract work or for a chat or feedback re the blog 🙂 – as someone said the other morning when we both met on the train ‘Volker, feel free to reach out anytime for a chat, things will be fine, but happy to listen’. Thanks, and you know who you are. And for anyone out there going through the ups and downs as well, ping me, I am always happy to help if I can. Life is about giving back and rising with the tide.

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (378)

A short week one might think. It started off pretty hectic. We moved seats in the office, changed desks and added desks and we also had to deliver Easter eggs. Yup, 1kg of chocolate Easter eggs to our clients. Hand delivered. That was fun.

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Then, a friend and mentor had an accident which overshadowed the week a bit. It makes you think where the journey takes you, and why. You start reminiscing on the purpose of life. The familiar reader knows, you realise you should stop more often, and smell the roses. And that’s what I did on Tuesday. A spring festival at school, and a play at the Beavers. My eldest, who is not really enjoying plays too much, had to do three performances in a day. Pushing himself past his comfort zone. Very proud. Quality time.

One cannot but look forward. Not sure this sentence makes sense. We don’t have a choice but to accept what life throws at us. We pick it up. We leave it there. We ignore it, we take it on. We move on. Time is precious and can’t be stopped. So we must continue, like the hamster in the wheel, until we find a way to change….the wheel, the cage or the exercise.

And the same is true for Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels. We cannot stop the wheel. We cannot stop using planes or public transport. We mustn’t be afraid. As I said to a cabbie, whilst delivering above mentioned eggs, my philosophy is that when your time is up your time is up. He said, he had a lot of things still to do, and is far from ready to go. Neither am I. Far from it. But if I have to go, what choice do I have? And if there is an hourglass somewhere with my name on, I hope it has a lot of sand left. Fingers crossed.

Not wanting to go into more details of morbid stuff, but I had a virus that came out end of last week. Not that I am the only one: half the office and half the industry is having some kind of bug. It’s a nasty one, that seems to form different symptoms a day, so you never know if you have a stomach cramp one day or just feeling tired the other. Hence I couldn’t wait for a few days off over Easter. My parents came to visit, the weather is rainy, yet Spring is in town. As a matter of fact, we had a wonderful Friday in Nyman’s Garden. I smelled some roses.

I feel like I am accomplishing something, getting something done, things are moving forward.
I feel like life is moving forward, the wheel is turning.
I feel good.

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Yet the virus slowed me down a bit too. I skipped some exercise sessions this week and cut down on a few kilometres running. Now catching up again. I feel pretty fit, so that’s good, with lots of energy to go and I will get things done. I must.

I keep looking forward. We made arrangements for holidays. We are discussing options to see people and I am still dreaming of the new car, which we won’t have for our trips to Scotland or Germany this year. And there might be a school reunion soon. 20 years since I graduated from high school.

In the meantime I enjoy the time off. Tuesday starts with a trip to the fatherland. I will be on the road again in the next couple of weeks. It’s good. Likewise it is good to stop. Reflect and smell my roses. Springs is here, and they are blossoming.

Love, peace and happiness from my corner of the world,
Volker

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Sunday Column (162)

Happy Easter!

A short week before Easter and a short week after Easter makes life quite pleasant. Four days with the family. On Friday and on Sunday we had friends to visit, went out for nice lunches, and just chilled, catching up on what’s happening in each other’s life. It is unbelievable to think that we haven’t caught up in person with one of our friends since Easter last year. Life is just too busy, isn’t it?

Jen and I started watching “Game of Thrones” and decided to buy the boxset. It is fantastic! We got hooked and managed to watch most of the 10 hours over Easter 🙂

Another friend of mine just started a trip around South America by himself. I admire people who are able to do that. I couldn’t do that. I am a person that needs a reason to go out of the house as otherwise I could just sit on the couch all day. Similar is true for playing with the kids. I could happily just sit here, watching TV with them and getting lazy. We built up our treadmill, so things will change. Jen has been active already and I will start soon-ish….

What I still find very fascinating is my work in the digital industry. I have only spend the last three years in digital media (as I don’t count search marketing as part of it), and just realised how many of my mates are from the industry by now. I know he is reading my blog, but last week I went out with a client but it is less a “client relationship” as you would have it in other “traditional industries”. It is more of a friendship in the same industry, exchanging views on products, innovations and developments. I really think those relationships are unique to digital media. And this is just one of many.

Life is great at the moment. I have a steep learning curve at work. Maybe that is why I am so tired at the moment. A lot of challenges. But although I managed to catch up with some sleep over Easter, I still seem drained.

Time to get to grips with things, re-start an exercise routine, looking forward to the house move in June (though very late 🙁 ) and get on with things. I bet the sun, the warmer and longer days as well as a youngster that hopefully starts sleeping through until at least 6 am will help me getting a kick-start….

Eventually things will sort itself out.

Be well,
Volker

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