Life of a Family Man

After 10 years of regular columns, I am now back to more regular personal updates and personal development advice. I work as a trusted advisor, executive coach, and business consultant; this includes mindfulness trainings. I also host a podcast on success, wrote a book on success...oh and I have written a book on productivity too. Feel free to follow the links on the left-hand side, or reach out to me directly!

Living in a new world – Days at home (1)

Hello world, Since this morning, my two boys Colin and Rohan, are working with me from home. This is, as you all would have guessed, due to the Corona Virus or Corvid 19. So far we don’t have any symptoms, so we are all well hopefully, and my wife is at work. As she is a nurse, she can help people in these challenging times, so it is good that we can help them by staying at home. Now, whilst the boys have been given homework, and I am still working as a contractor until mid April for now, but also work on my own stuff, these are challenging times to juggle the workload and schedules. However, day 1 went well, and we thought we start a diary. We guess the biggest challenge for everyone out there is that we don’t know how long this is going to last. Today we managed to do all of our home work, including Maths, English, Computing, Reading, SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation And Grammar), Art and we had fun too. Next steps are PE, e.g. we need to get out of the house to exercise and get some fresh air. We can always catch up

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You can’t give up. Ever. A personal look at life.

After an inspirational podcast recording the other day, my guest ask me if I ever thought I’d have a burn-out, given all the stuff I am doing. I wanted to pick that question, because this is a passionate topic of mine. I have always been work focused, enjoyed work and love being busy. I could never imagine not being busy or doing something. It’s an inner drive I have, however … Reflecting on my work life, I have gone through seven redundancies in my career. That’s more redundancies than some people had jobs at my age. But, I haven’t given up. And, I have not had a burn-out or struggle with mental health problems. Given ‘blue Monday’ was last week, I have been reflecting on how lucky I am. Whilst I have to deal with anxiety when I hear the words of ‘restructure’, as it just has this negative association with redundancies, given my history, I believe that is fair enough. There is something to be said about being able to get up 8 times when you have been knocked down 7 times. What I struggled most with was that people didn’t see the value I added, or if they

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New Year Column 2020

It’s 2020 – so what’s now? Happy New Year, and maybe a happy new decade. If you ask some people, the decade doesn’t start until the year 1, e.g. 2021. If you ask me, let’s go for it and call it the roaring 20ies. I always admired the 1920ies, and when did they begin? 1920 or 1921. We are in times of change. Having started the delivery of my first mindfulness course, I noticed two key learning points already. One was that I have been involved in meditation and mindfulness since 2006. I have studied, practised and developed my mind. This, in all fairness, probably made me cope better with life, and what life threw at me, over the years. I haven’t suffered a burn out or depression, and I am grateful that I didn’t. But mindfulness has been a key part of my personal journey and I feel privileged to teach it to organisations, individuals and showcase the benefits in our ever hectic world. If you are interested in finding out more, please download my pdf on my website about mindfulness. The other point I noticed is a quote from Eric Schmid. In 2010, so 10 years ago, he

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My 2020 plans – what are yours?

I have been debating what 2020 has in stock for me. Of course we don’t know, and we will never be able to live anywhere else than the here and now. But if I had a wish for 2020, I’d like it to continue the way 2019 ended. As people know, I left what we call a ‘permanent’ job in order to pursue my passion: working on projects I enjoy and where I am in charge, where I can make a positive difference. I found a few of them. One in the data space working with very talented data enthusiasts on exciting projects. This actually is the most enjoyable job in adtech I ever had. My mindfulness journey lead me to work with another company called Moment Pebble. Their aim is to revolutionise the way we are being more mindful at work and life, reducing stress and becoming more skilful around mindfulness. This goes in line with my latest course I took. I am super excited to scale that business and bring more of the skills around our pebble to the masses, and I will deliver my first Workplace Mindfulness course from early January. Lastly, I work on a few

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Mental Health, Mindfulness and the Workplace

Since finishing my Mindfulness Trainer course and preparing my first deliveries for January, I often get asked if I can solve Mental Health issues. The answer is ‘no’, as I am not a therapist. When you get asked what mental health is, I bet you say something like ‘it’s a disease or illness of the mind’. But is it? For me that sounds really bad. An illness, a disease. Wow. But, you aren’t wrong, and often we put it down to stress, or someone not being able to cope. But mental health, and I need to stress again that I am not a health professional, can be anything from a mood disorder like depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety, personality and psychotic disorder. It can result in eating disorders, trauma related disorders and lead to substance abuse. I looked that up, admittedly, as I didn’t want to miss out on anything. This is huge. Let’s just take a moment and reflect on the extend of those disorders, and what it means to you and people around you. I openly admit having had anxiety. Yes, that is very common, but up until a few years ago, people didn’t talk about it. Most

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A no brainer, why health is so important for all of us

When I interviewed Payal Mehta on my podcast, the owner of Nirmana Life, I became very thoughtful. Years ago, I quit chain smoking and started looking after my health. I understood how and what to eat, and how to lose weight. As a matter of fact, I lost almost 10 kg at one point, a great achievement. Yet, when it comes to the ‘doctor’ kind of things, it is a bit different. I am not a doctor, I don’t understand all the ins and outs, but I understood what Payal tried to tell us in the podcast, Stories of Success. We are all living a lot longer, however we all have more chronic illnesses. So whilst our quantity of life goes up, the quality of life might go down. And the challenge we have is that our Western medicine isn’t geared up to treat chronic illnesses, but it is more geared towards dealing with acute illnesses. Chronic illnesses are better treated with traditional medicine and on a preventative basis, as well as holistically looking at your physical, mental and spiritual health. Whilst of course there are several factors influencing this, and some of those conclusions might be wrong for some

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Smart Devices & why I ditched my Apple Watch (kind of)

I have been mulling whether to get the Apple Watch 4, or is it series 5 already, for a few weeks. And my decision has been to not get it. I looked at what I used the watch for, and realised it is all about fitness tracking. Quite frankly, that’s why I got it in the first place. It measures my heart rate, which I hardly check whilst exercising, and it gives me my measure of calories burned. Now, I can achieve that with a Fitbit (recently bought by Google, what a surprise), and I can achieve that with a smart ring. So instead of ditching my Apple Watch completely, I keep it for my outdoor runs and added a smart ring to my gadget list. The ring measures my steps, my heart rate and my sleep. Actually, my sleep app on my phone is as accurate as the ring, but it never harms to have too many devices measuring the same thing, does it? My overall aim was to simplify my life, not make it more complicated. Hence, adding a ring instead of a watch, makes my life a little bit easier. Whilst I cannot really charge it overnight,

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How you can shift your mindset to win!

As I am sitting here just watching Eliud Kipchoge breaking the 2 hour barrier for running a marathon, I am looking back at history and what mankind can achieve when they put their mind to it. It is amazing, isn’t it. When are we landing on Mars? It is also what gets me up in the morning. The drive to help people achieve the goals they want. Coaching, advising, helping others. That’s my passion. What is it I am doing? I advice executives and boards on their company, personal life and coach them to change teams, staff and themselves to be better and more productive. That is what I do. For Q4 I still have 3 individual or about 2 company places available. Now is the time to reach out and hatch plans for 2020. The results I have seen with clients so far are amazing. Get in touch on www.ballueder.com. I also teach mindfulness, meditation and help companies to embrace a better way of working. It’s change management, mindset change. Just like breaking a 2 hour barrier on the marathon. That’s something I have been passionate about for many years, being able to work flexible, take breaks, and bring

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What is your agenda 2020? How can Coaching help you?

For those of us that have been around for a while, you might remember the EU member states agreeing on the agenda 2020, looking at principles, priorities and approaches for their youth policy strategy. Now, with the year coming to an end, you should think about what your agenda is for 2020, and how coaching might benefit your strategy. I have been involved in personal development since the early naughties, gaining a Master Practitioner in NLP in 2003 and subsequently dismissing EQ (Emotional Intelligence) as a fad in 2004 during my MBA thesis. I thought both approaches were common sense, being aware of yourself, striving for being better and having a growth mindset. Always giving your best and defining your goals, reviewing them and making plans. This, as I know now, looking back at 15 years working in a corporate career and with technology start ups, isn’t the case. People don’t apply common sense, not every manager is emotional aware, and yes, I have seen printers and fax machines being thrown through the office. It is time to understand what the workplace really needs! Hence, after coaching teams, executives and advising businesses and boards on strategic positioning and outcomes for

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About Principles for Success (4)

I have a few more chapters I want to share of my book Principles for Success. So if you haven’t bought and read my book, have a look at it. And feel free to tune into stories of success on any podcast outlet or www.storiesofsuccess.fm We discuss life-life balance, realising that work-life balance doesn’t work, given we are spending more time at work than with our family. Maybe it is just a phrase but the underlying thought is that you only have one life. Why divide it between work and life, if you can combine the two. My prediction is that the way we are working is changing in the future. And we discuss visualisation. Did you know that the brain can’t necessarily differentiate between the real experience and a good visualisation? This is a huge thing for athletes who go through a run or a swim over and over again. Just to get the brain and body to think you have done it. I did that for my marathon and it helps. Try it! You would have guessed that mindfulness and meditation foster success, whether that is through journaling, reflection or whatever it means for you. I found that

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