Tag: karma

Ballueder Thinks (2) – I believe in you

To believe in someone, you have to believe in yourself. That’s my opinion anyway. Did you know, according to Coach George Ravelin who was interviewed on Tim Ferris’ podcast the other day, not many parents tell their children that they believe in them.

The coach, now 82, also talks about ‘staying alive’ was his goal for most of his life, living in America as a black man. Every time he got stopped by the police, he feared for his life. A sad, yet fascinating podcast. It takes me back to my life in Kansas. A year as an exchange student, being pressurised into (soft) drugs, guns, drinking, sex and witnessing racial discrimination. It might sound horrible now, but at the time, I thought that’s what America was like. This is over 25 years ago, and I had a teacher back then, I might add a black teacher, who told me that he believed in me, and that one day I will become someone great. Whilst I still wonder when this might be, I wonder if I am already there. Who knows what ‘great’ really means?
You were a great mentor, Dr. Stone!

I have witnessed racism against me at the time, and against black people. I have witnessed a lot in my life, that I have forgotten, or pushed aside. But I believe in myself. That’s the main thing. And, I am very keen on making sure my kids believe in themselves, and their lives moving forward. When my son had his birthday recently, I wrote exactly that in his card. Hopefully, he will read it over again. And he starts believing in himself.

Whilst this is all 25 years ago, it sometimes comes back to the top of my mind. Just recently I remembered some scenes from that time, and it feels wrong now. No one would blame me, being 15 at the time, to not stand up for things I felt were wrong then, but felt I couldn’t speak out about back then. This is all a very long time ago, but you sometimes wonder what I have learned from all that. A whole lot I’d say, as I am someone who processes things and likes to reflect on things. And, I am willing to learn, to strive and make things better.

What have you done 25 years ago when you look back? It might sound as if I was a total idiot. Actually, I don’t think I was, given the environment I was in. But comparing it to the environment I came from, maybe I was 😉 It’s all good, wounds heal, yet it also gave me a deep inside into the heartland of America, the Mid-West. I learned a whole lot, made some really good friends too, and to this day would like to visit again. And what we Europeans often forget is the size of America. Kansas, where I was, is only about 20,000 km2 smaller than the UK as a whole. Or, to put it into perspective, Kansas is the size of the UK minus Wales. That’s a big country for one member state of a bigger United States, and it would have its own dynamics.

Enough about that, as with everything in life, we live and learn. I recently decided to launch a business with someone else. This is very exciting. And of course I will reveal more as we go along. We are still pretty much in stealth mode. We spoke the other day and had a good chat. Business for us is about TRUST. Trust for me comes back to belief. I believe in him, and he believes in me. We believe in what we do and how we will trust each other. That’s more powerful than a contract I suppose.

There is something else I wanted to write about. Teaching. Now, my dad and uncle both were teachers. Both in Germany, both successful in moving up the teachers’ ranks, and both have had a good life, brining up a family, owning a house etc. It is pretty much a good middle class family job. When I grew up, and most children do, I wanted to become a teacher. I wanted to do what my dad did. Thinking back, I am glad I didn’t become a teacher. Despite Covid19, and teachers going through a tough time, they also have a secure pension and a secure income. However, the income of a teacher will most likely always be lower than the income of someone in the open economy, however that’s not why you become a teacher. It’s because of passion.

I know that now, but back when I finished high school, it was all about the money for me rather than the passion. I wanted to become a CEO, a manager, and that was it. And, to a certain extend, I still love working with people, grown ups, and manage and coach/consult them. Now, you could argue, I am an adult teacher. Not quite, but kind of fulfilled two areas, e.g. being an expert in what I do, and passing that knowledge on to others. I couldn’t be a teacher, that’s for sure. In the UK, teachers are worse off financially than in Germany too, but that is another topic in itself. And me dealing with more than two children at a time isn’t my idea of fun either.

The point I am leading to, is that in life you should follow your passion. Which, to a certain extend, I did. I did it without the right reasoning. In NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), we differentiate between two motivational directions, e.g. moving towards something and moving away from something. In my case, I moved away from teaching for the reason of earning potential and moved towards consulting for the reason of earning more money and having a ‘career’. Coming to a point in my life where I am launching my own business, working with my own clients, I essentially realise I got the best of both worlds. I am teaching, training and helping people to achieve their goals. I guess I arrived at my destination, didn’t I?

Let’s stick with that thought for a moment. What if, based on what was mentioned above, I am already great and where I should be in life, then the next few years will be key to proving that what I am doing is successful. As you know, based on my podcast, success is defined by your own individual perception of success. So it could be money, or building something, or proving something.

For me, the next few years are about building a business that I can take with me, no matter where in the world I live, and which I can operate remotely too. This way I want to be Covid19 safe, and add value to anyone globally. I want to help people achieve their dreams and tell more people that I believe in them, and that they can achieve their dream. Things will always fall into place, no matter what.

And whilst I fear Covid19’s impact on the economy as much as the upcoming recession (or the recession that’s here already), and Brexit, and whatever else might come, e.g. a 2nd wave of Covid19 or another virus or global warming – for me it comes back to believing that anything is possible. I believe, despite fear and anxiety of the future, that we as humans will survive. We will find a way off this planet before we destroy it, or we find a way of not destroying it; and I find a way of making my business grow during a downturn. And, in the end, I want to look back in years to come and be proud of what I have achieved.

But I don’t want to be alone on the journey. I want to have enough time for my family, help them to believe in themselves. I want my friends, mates, coaching clients and consultant clients to believe in me, and them to believe in themselves. I want to help and give people confidence in what they do, and support them on the way. If I can achieve that, and make the world a better place in my circle of influence, I achieve success.

Now that’s something to live for.

And every time I think about that, there are people that come to my mind, people I met in Kansas, people I met in London and elsewhere on my way, that do not get it. People that tried to f* you over, that couldn’t be trusted, that treated you like sh*, and didn’t care. People I sometimes think about with compassion, sometimes with anger to be honest, how they could treat me, and a lot of other people, in a certain way. I don’t wish them bad or anything. I am not an evil person, just the opposite, I hope they find peace in what they do. And more often than not they were obsessed by either a wrong ideology or greed. Latter, mainly in the business sense.

My whole life I have and will always try to treat people with the utmost respect. Without prejudice. I hope that Covid19 will help people to see the human aspect more. With all the video calls, we look into living rooms, meet business’ contacts children and dogs. We are getting closer to each other, trying to help each other. That can only be a good thing.

I am a strong believer in Karma. That anything bad you do in life is coming back to you eventually. I also believe that anything good you do in life is coming back to you. The circle of energy, proven in my mechanics class back at university, the forces in any system need to be equalised for the system to be stable. Simple math really.

We are who we are. I am who I am, and you are like you are. Konrad Lorenz, who I read as a teenager, wrote a book called ‘I am here, where are you’ and ‘the so called evil’. I am here, who are you? How can I help you to achieve more? How can I help you to be more successful? How can we avoid evil? I enjoy helping and do that via my coaching. I love helping others to grow and do that via consulting. That’s what I do.

Yes, I could do with more business, but I am confident that once Covid19 goes, and we go back to a more normal business life, that things will continue to flourish. Where would humans be without optimism and belief?

It is key now to not give up. I know a lot of people who are looking for a job, or looking for others to help them. Let me know, I am happy to help you. I don’t have all the answers, but I have all the belief to move forward. Today I am positive.

And when I say today, then this means that some days are dark. Like for anyone at the moment, we have more time to think. Someone I know and lives in the USA, was debating whether to return to the UK. In our times, we have to make decisions where we want to live. How our outer circumstances define our living standards. Happiness, which is the topic of a podcast in a couple of weeks, is key. We, as humans, will always seek happiness. We think that by going somewhere else we are happier, and yet we might find out it’s not the case.

As many in these difficult times, we think a lot. One day this, the other day that. Stay or go. Whatever you are thinking about, you will notice that it changes all the time. And the reason is simple, we cannot plan at the moment. We think that by changing things we will be in a better place. That might or might not be the case, and our thoughts are a bit clouded.

The best thing is to sit down, and take stock. Write down what you enjoy/don’t enjoy, and what is important to you. Look into the future, taking into consideration that you cannot determine the future, and that it is likely to change too. Change is constant. Nothing is set in stone. You can only live in the now.

Then evaluate, talk things through with a person you trust, and wait until Covid19 has passed. Make a decision then, with a clear mind, a mind that can start planning a bit more. Don’t rush into anything that you might regret or didn’t think through, having less information and parameters due to the situation we are in. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make decisions.

At the end of the day we always need to move forward, whatever that means in your situation, and however big or small that step might be.

In the end, you have to believe in yourself and make sure you believe in others.

I believe in you!

Sunday Column (453)

Welcome back. Yes, another very quick week passed. Last weekend was actually the hottest August bank holiday I remember. We were spoiled and spend most of the weekend at the beach – a variety of beaches to be precise – and enjoyed the BBQ weather. I love a sunny Bank Holiday in August! Didn’t I write about it being autumn already in last week’s blog? I guess it is getting colder in the evenings, the sun is lower on the horizon, and we nicely move into the Indian Summer. If it wasn’t getting colder, this could be my most favourite time of the year. It is I suppose. It almost seems as if the summer in England shifted to June/July and end of August/September. Maybe that’s the way forward and we plan our holidays accordingly next year. Rain July/August. Take notes.

This week was short. On Monday I managed a 10 mile/16 km run. I was struggling to be honest. Whether that was the elevation or the weather, I just don’t feel that fit at the moment. Similar on another run later in the week. With my diet on the go I eat slightly less than I should, but my multigym arrives next week. So full steam ahead to loose a few kilos which I will notice when I go to another running event. No decisions as of yet. With busy weekends ahead, I don’t see myself doing another 16 km for a while. Maybe I rest my ambitions until I know whether I was accepted on the London Marathon and once I have done some more strength training. I guess 15-25 km per week is enough to keep fit.

Whilst running I love listening to podcasts. Usually at 2x speed, I get through a few. One was about ‘when do you know when to quit’. And I believe it was Seth Godin who described things not going well as either being a dead end or a slump. So you need to evaluate quickly if it is a temporary slump you get out of again or if it is a dead end. That’s true for business or private life. For the dead end, there is no escape: quit. Even the most persistent sales person won’t be able to make a difference to a product that is a dead end. He also suggested that most ideas have been taken to market before. They have been tried and tested in one form or another. Learn from industry peers, understand the market, get an understanding of what is happening. Then re-evaluate before making a final decision.

The business and life advice I am getting through podcasts is immense. I almost believe it is too much at times. Physically I cannot read or listen to more advice, and everytime I think I heard it all or listened to all podcasts, read all the development books, there is a new spin, a new angle to a similar story. And I love reading about different spins of the same thing. Because essentially, most personal development theories are similar. So is mine. I actually noticed that some of my book #BeBetter looks at similar theories as the Energy Project: it is about bringing your life systems into balance. And this summarises most theories, yet every bit looks as a slightly different way of doing so, with a different emphasis on what’s most important, depending on your slightly different approach to work and life. And some focus on one area only and go a lot deeper. Fascinating – I find anyway 😉

On Tuesday something interesting happened. Instead of my usual breakfast I had a protein shake for breakfast. This is part of my exercise and weight loss routine. Accidentally, as a few other things were going on at the same time, I ended up forgetting to have my daily double espresso. At work we don’t have the greatest of coffees, so I decided to wait and see. By the time I got home my headache was that bad, that I needed a coffee. Unbelievable. It is interesting to see how dependent you can get on caffeine, yet an article I read this week suggested that three coffees a day really prolong your life. So I should be good 😉 As my mentor Darren Hardy says, every now and then you should give yourself a break from something, just to make sure you are still in control. I am. I decide what I do. I am in charge.

Travels went well this week. Another couple of days in Germany, supporting the team and meeting some important people, catching up and strategising. The hotel was noisy, sleep poor and I am struggling to come to terms with the quality that Hilton offers vs. my recent experiences. It must be very hard for a brand to represent values and standards and enforce them across a variety of businesses on a global basis. I suppose it is part of my job to ensure exactly that on a B2B level. Not always easy, yet my team is excellent, I have to say. The team at the Hilton in Hamburg seems to be not so well trained, particularly to the Hilton I stayed in in Düsseldorf, and the difference is mind blowing.

More disturbance happened when two appointments that got confirmed got moved last minute, then moved again and I got different confirmation from different people. Again, people in client services. Very frustrating and in line with the service level I mentioned above. I guess it all turned out ok in the end, and it always will, but time is passing quickly and there is so much to do and so much to sort. Time flies, literally. I am struggling sometimes to focus on the right things and channel my energy to the right things. There were some aggrevations this week where I clearly wasn’t in charge of my energy, and then I have had a few situation where I decided how I felt about where to channel my energy to. Balancing my energy system and being on top of the feelings is not always easy, rather hard at times. Keeping my zen and adjusting, learning. But I am managing better as I get deeper into meditation and balanced life, mind and better sleep 🙂

On that note, I had a relaxing weekend. Travel makes you tired.

Have a great week ahead,
Volker

Buddhist Thought – Love and Affection

love and affection

I am not sure if I understand that quote.

You can give love and affection but deserve it as much for yourself as others deserve it for you to give to them?

Is that karma?

I guess so. Whilst you should give and share love and affection, make sure you get your equal share of the pie. But you will.

Keep giving, then you will receive!

Have a great day,
Volker

Sunday Column (228)

I started this column sitting in an air conditioned Starbucks, my home when I am in town these days. Water, coffee, vanilla ice drinks. My hiding place, place to charge my phone and connect to free wifi. What else to ask for?

The air conditioning is probably the main one this week. Not that we should complain about the weather in Britain, but it seems extreme. Too hot, too wet, too windy. There seems to be no constant in the weather. Given it is an island and hence you have more changing weather, I am not surprised the weather is the most talked about thing in the country.

opportunity

However, Britain is not build to cope with either extremes: snow or heat waves. Most people cannot enjoy a hot summer and if you are in a city it drains you massively. Having said that, my juice diet from earlier this week really helped me to stay active, not to waste energy on digesting food, and hopefully it helped to detox a bit too. I am less bothered to sleep badly, and I am not surprised the kids don’t sleep well. Bad luck for those that booked a summer holiday in Spain, you could have saved the money by going to St. James’s Park instead.

That is what I did this week. I finished a few meetings early and went back down memory lane. It was the first park I saw in London, and the first one I spent a lot of hours in during my lunch breaks at my first job. It was also the park I spent all my breaks in (if any) when launching a start up over 3.5 years ago. This place is somewhat a natural place for me to go to and reflect, relax and clear my head. Difficult in 33 degrees Celsius though.

I finished most of my consulting jobs this week but might take in a smaller project or two shortly. All depends… Life is full of surprises and whilst we often, at least I do not, understand the meaning until much later in life, a lot of things happen for a reason. People you meet. People you watch. Reactions you get. For instance, from back this last winter, I owed a cobbler down the street from my work a cup of tea. He repaired something for free. I never got around doing it, so went back this week and he was super surprised and pleased I came back. But why wouldn’t I? Sometimes it takes a while for things to make sense, to be the right time etc. This week was the week. A few good deeds I did. I am trying to improve my karma, be a better person and contribute more. Daily.

I have tried to spend more quality time with the kids too. This has worked only with some success as I had a super busy week. When you are looking for a job it is an all day business where you are busy all day. It is like working for yourself, selling yourself constantly, building a pipe line and making things happen. One day I will go back to a routine, for better or for worse.

On another note, at Rotary this week, we listened to a talk about South Korea and its people’s dedication to support their country by working hard, giving beyond expectations, deliver quality and even, to bail out the government, donating jewellery to raise money. An identification and dedication unheard of which results in companies like Hyundai or Samsung being market leaders in what they do. I suppose closest would have been Germany’s commitment after the 2nd world war to rebuild the country, again similar to Korea after their war.

Stehaufmaennchen

It makes me philosophise and reconnect to my Buddhist thoughts this week where I mentioned that anything you do, see or feel is in your mind. And you control your mind. You can achieve anything if you believe in it. Believe! Make it happen!

Making it happen brings me to another topic: my job hunt. Whilst I am maybe a bit picky with which company I want to work for, I found what I thought was an exciting tech company. However, after 2 weeks and an offer they withdrew that and so I will venture on to the next opportunity. Like a Stehaufmaennchen, the game isn’t over until the ball is in the net. The contract not signed until the ink is dry on the paper. Not unheard of but bad business practise to withdraw an offer, but whatever reasons they had, the ones they told me were unreasonable. I wish them best of luck, and as I keep saying, things happen for a reason.

Onwards and Upwards. Maybe time to set up on my own after all.

So watch this space.
Volker

Inspirational Thought: Life happens

Life does not happen to us, it happens from us. ~ Mike Wickett

Life is not happening to us. We make things happen, we influence.

If all energy in a system equal zero, then any reaction triggers a reaction.
Like karma. Good or bad.

That means that we make life happen, we influence its cause.
Nice thought.

Buddha bless, Volker

Sunday Column (157)

Some weeks it seems like a chore to write this column but most nights I really enjoy just to relax, have a sip of wine and write down my thoughts.

A fantastically short week lies behind me. I was off on Monday and Tuesday to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Now all my 2011 holidays are used up 🙁

This week was another “non healthy” week: too much drink for which I blame my days off. But also the fraternity meeting on Thursday night. It was the first time in 3 years, 5 years after I recovered the “Wappen” of the Angelsachsen from the old local pub, that I joined a “Stammtisch”/meeting in London. And we had a lot of fun. It was just like meeting relatives/family that you haven’t seen for a while. A nice way to meet new faces, new comers to London and people with similar attitudes. Although I am not as much involved any more it is still fantastic to see that where ever you are, in which ever city you live, you find some people with the same roots. I would go as far and say that the bond is stronger than any other membership clubs I know about.

The main thing this week was time with the kids. Very simple. March will see me travelling quite a lot, so I enjoyed it even more to spend time with the kids in the aquarium in London on Tuesday, then the Hopfarm this weekend. They grow up so quickly and are so enjoyable despite all the hard work 🙂 Sometimes I just cannot get enough when they both try to jump on me, trying to tackle me. At least for the time being I am still the winner. But for how long?

One of the next things I need to tackle are diet, drink and sleep as well as fitness. Have you heard that before? I guess every so often I get fed up of my life style. With me now working less in the UK market I should get a break from too many lunches and with increased travel should drink less. However, I am far from gaining a sleeping or fitness routine. Sleeping gets a lot better and we had a few nights now that Rohan slept through. But Colin is very unsettled and comes to stay in our bed often. Now will that all change with the new house?

The coming week will be critical for the house buy. There are some unresolved issues we need to tackle but we are confident to make progress and push for a completion date before end of April. I don’t think it will all happen before Easter, but it could. We keep you posted.

I met a few interesting people this week. You remember that you “meet people for a reason“? Last week was one of them. I met a few people I hadn’t spoken to for a while. Some new people who I knew through other people that made an impact on me a long time ago. It is weird that those things just happen. You are thinking of someone and “bang” they are there: in your face, in your life for a reason. Then they are gone and a connection to them or they themselves will one day resurface again.

I love life.
I love living.

Have a good week,
Volker

You and the Universe

Rhonda Byrne in the Secret Newsletter the other day wrote the following:

Your job is you and only you. When you are working in harmony with the law, no-one can come between you and the Universe. However if you think another person can get in the way of what you want, then you have done a flip to the negative. Focus on creating what you want.
You are the centre of divine operation in your life, and your partner is the Universe. No one can get in the way of your creation.

I liked that quote for several reasons. The Law of Attraction means whatever you do in life comes back, a bit like Karma. It is also about you attracting the same things until you break a pattern.

That makes me reflect on the problems I had with the car, all the illnesses (colds) I had at the same time, annoying customer service from both the car people and my online shopping provider. I get wound up by it and I seem to go from one case to another until I break the cycle and MY attitude.

Instead of focusing your energy on what you don’t want, you need to identify the positive things, things you really want. In your job, in your personal life, everywhere.

So be positive and try to focus on the things you want in life, not the ones you don’t want. Because you are the centre of your diving operation: you are in charge of your thoughts and your life.

Give it a go. Be positive.

I may die today…

Some people might call me crazy for this thought but I got it out of this new book I am reading, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s “Transform your Life“.

So far I have only read a few chapters about Inner Peace and Karma. Also, I love the Buddhist thoughts about reincarnation. And, that if you don’t have fear, you don’t have to worry about your life….and your death. So by saying this mantra, that I may die today, I take off all the fear. But what is happening?

In our samsara, the rebirth cycle in which we are born to different levels depending on our karma and previous lives, we travel from one life to another. We wouldn’t remember any of it consciously, and re-birth might not take place for a while. However, the more stressed and fearful you are about the next one, the less likely you go from this life with a good karma – that is additional to everything else you might have done in your life.

By thinking that you might die today, you are not saying you will or won’t. All you are saying is that you should be prepared for it. So if it happens, go in a good matter. Be prepared. Live your life in a way that if you die today, you don’t have to worry or fear anything. Just let go.

I find this thought very comforting and helpful. It calms me down to think that if I might die today, there is no reason why I should stress or worry now. But on the other hand it doesn’t suggest me to stop living or enjoying myself either. But more relaxed.

I start focusing on the here and now rather than the future or past. I live in the now, worry less and of course enjoy every moment more than before. That combined with Karma means, if you live your life more intensely, each moment more than before, maybe with a strong sense of giving and helping, then you cannot really develop a bad karma, or can you?

And, by thinking you may die today, you take all the fear of it away.

This might be odd for some, but I really find it helpful. Do you?

Love and Kindness,
Volker

Karma

I had a lot of Buddhist and spiritual thoughts this weekend.

As you know I write another blog which is like an email exchange with a good friend: Balamadana.

Today I wrote in response to Marcelo about Karma.

There is not much happening today on a very slow, rainy Sunday. I was having diner and drinks with a good friend last night and we bought a new kettle today. But that is about as interesting as my weekend got. Besides I digged up half of the garden, so we are making progress.

Have a good “rest weekend”.

Volker