Tag: FT

Living in a new world – Days at home (57)

A day blends into another. Last minute changes to campaigns, learning about WordPress, getting on with a job, finishing a project.

Life doesn’t stop. It never does and always goes on. A bit like a treadmill.
I am just preparing for my 3rd half marathon of the lockdown and managed 15K yesterday.
We managed to get our walk done last night and met a very friendly sheep, or lamb to be precise. Life is good in those moments.

I wonder what happens post pandemic. Articles by McKinsey and the FT, and the article in the Independent I quoted yesterday, give me hope that things return to a new normal quickly, and that we rebound quickly from the crisis. Germany seems to be.

I hope this happens soon, and that maybe we can carry on a bit longer to follow our dreams, to live the life we wanted to be living. Then again one seeks security, new opportunities and a balance of the lot. What I am alluding to is, indeed, the new normal. The drive to succeed, to overcome, to make it happen. And, the willingness to take risks and to start all over again. Exciting and scary at the same time.

I worry about mental health. It is mental health awareness week.
I published content this week on Linkedin which shows the impact of Covid19 on mental health. We are ok, and I hope the boys will be ok. One doesn’t know but I am confident. Yet, we know of people who are more affected. And it is nice to know that I can help, and that I do help, and that mindfulness helps with stress reduction. My stress coaching course I finished today gives me another string to my bow. Stress reduction, anxiety coping and burnout prevention. My generation never talked about it, whilst the Millennial and younger generation does. And it is good that they do.

Speaking to a company the other day, they argued that the reason for them to offer unlimited holidays is that you can take time off when you need it. No one wants you to burn out. I absolutely loved that; no one told me before, when I was close to a burnout a few years ago, that they would actually care about me (from a corporate POV). It’s usually about working hard and playing hard…but it is so re-assuring to see companies changing.

Enough about mental health thoughts for the day.

It’s only Tuesday, but I had some time to share my thoughts.

Stay safe.

Living in a new world – Days at home (50)

I promised some thoughts on our PM’s message. I am two ways about it. Given I am not a healthcare professional, it is hard to believe we might not go back to a ‘normal’ lifestyle until 4th of July, America’s independence day. Just saying.

But hey, what needs to be done, needs to be done. Most of us won’t go on holidays this summer, so work will hopefully pick up quickly from August. An article I shared this morning, from the FT, suggest it might be a quick return for the economy. Let’s hope so.

I am hopeful, however, that things will return quickly and enthusiastic about the new normal. It means more working from home, and potentially more opportunities but delivered differently – if that makes any sense. And, of course, I feel for hospitality and pubs, and the general public (which includes me) that cannot be in the pub when the sun is out – what happened to the Great British Summer? Safety, and protecting lives has to take priority. And that’s the right decision, no doubt.

Enough about politics. More rules in our household.

Similar to most parents I spoke to, kids are using the time in between studies, or should I say in between video games, to play video games. There isn’t enough home schooling material and more time is spent on devices. Unless you have a home schooling parent, but in our case my wife is back at work more often, and I am busy. Hence, I had to come up with a new structure of the work/school day to limit video gaming and make sure the overall aim of schooling and learning wouldn’t be cut too short. Let’s see how this goes.
It is very challenging to juggle it all, but we get through that. The oldest might be back to school as early as in 3 weeks time. Fingers crossed.

Below are a few impressions. We keep up our daily walks, enjoy the South Downs National Park, and good company. We are happy, which means a lot, and we are confident, which means a lot too. Life is good, given the circumstances, and we will get through this. Together!

The Inventory

Each Saturday in the FT magazine is this catalogue of questions which is being asked to celebrities: The Inventory. It might be a bit early for me to fill it in, but maybe I could make that a regular every 12 months to see where we are at….until I get a feature in the FT.

Here we go:

1 ) What was your earliest ambition?

I wanted to be a vet but thought I could not stand the blood, besides I was afraid of dogs biting me. So I started a degree in mechanical engineering as it interested me, and business management as this is what I thought I wanted to do.

2 ) Public school or state school? University or straight into work?

Normal state school, 10 months in the navy (compulsory), then University.

3 ) Who is your mentor?

I have several. My dad’s parents always fascinated me with their entrepreneurial spirit. Then people at uni, my mentor in my fraternity, my mentor at the University of Aberdeen. Then big leaders in their field like Tony Robbins or Obama to mention a few.

4 ) How physically fit are you?

I am not. A weak point. Once you have kids you put them first and drink more because you do. I hope that will change now as they both sleep through and I will be able to go back to the gym.

5 ) Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Talent is important but ambition is what gets you where you want to be.

6 ) Have you ever taken an IQ test?

Yupp, and I believe it has been quite good.

7 ) How politically committed are you?

I was thinking of joining the conservative party in Germany but move to the UK. Now I am a bystander.

8 ) Do you consider your carbon footprint?

No, but I don’t travel too much at the moment.

9 ) Do you have more than one home?

No, but I would like to have a little cottage in Scotland.

10 ) What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

As a Buddhist it is not about possessions. So maybe the gift of being able to improve more lives.

11 ) What is your biggest extravagance?

Our car: we don’t need it but it helps. We don’t drive it a lot but we can afford it. I often consider getting rid of it.

12 ) When are you happiest?

Being with my family, my wife, my two boys.

13 ) What ambition do you still have?

Making a difference in the world and work for the UN or another big charity, helping others. But before that I want to continue my career in media for a good while.

14 ) What drives you on?

Money of course. But less so as you move up the ranks. It is achievement, making differences, getting recognition for things you do. Also to fight setbacks, being able to learn.

15 ) What is your greatest achievement of your life so far?

Besides my family and my career to date I am proud of my personal development. I have been able to uncover myself. Not many people can say that.

16 ) What has been your greatest disappointment?

Maybe that it took so long and still drags on to discover in life what really makes you happy. It disappoints that you cannot do everything 100%, e.g. career and family. Life is always a compromise.

17 ) If your 20-year old self could see you now, what would he think?

I am glad you made it to where you are. I thought you eventually gave up and emigrate to Australia to work on a farm.

18 ) If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?

Start again. I am a fighter.

19 ) Do you believe in assisted suicide?

No. As a Buddhist you only kill your life but your soul/spirit lives on. That means you get reborn and have the same suffering/problems you had in this life. If you don’t overcome obstacles in this life, things will be coming up again until you resolve them. In either this life or next.

20 ) Do you believe in an afterlife?

See previous question: yes, I believe in rebirth.

21 ) If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what you score?

7.5 – I have achieved a lot but want to achieve much more. However, Volker is a person that is never happy, so will never achieve a 10. Until I finally figured out what life is all about 🙂