Tag: love

Sunday Column (380)

If I look back at this week, it was a funny one to be honest. People are back from their Easter break, heads down, on with their work. So I had days at work just catching up on admin, last minute meeting cancellations and then days where I went from meeting to meeting. Some weeks are like that – not one is the same as the other. I suppose it is good for variety.

Evenings were filled with watching Outlander on Amazon Prime on Amazon Prime. Found some awesome Outlander Quotes, see one here. The wife and I finally found a series we both enjoy. I also watch Bosch, a police drama, which is ideal for treadmill runs. No thinking required whatsoever!

outlander quote

I also managed to catch up with a few friends this week which was nice. What I realise more and more is that one gets so busy doing things, that one can loose focus on the little, enjoyable things in life. Like meeting friends. Like making that difference to one particular person. It is great though and often I am sitting there on the train home, thinking it was a really good day. Most days anyway.

The bathroom arrived too. The next three weeks we are getting our wet rooms done and that will conclude house renovation part ‘one’. Means we have done the front door, back door, garage door, asbestos removal, downstairs loo, downstairs kitchen and living room completely with fire place, upstairs carpet, ceilings, floor boards, most radiators in the house and now the bathroom(s). Forgot anything? Once through, hurray. Last thing on the list is some garden work and the driveway which we hope to have done in May.

Then the new motor. I had another look on Saturday and we are test driving the car again soon. We made up our minds, and given the finance options, we might be able to do it as early as May….then we have to wait a few months to get it of course. We shall see. One step at a time. Oh, yes, the Skoda Superb with most the trimmings.

I ramped up my exercise routine this week also. After a 10 mile run (16K) on Sunday I swam on Monday and did 2 kettle bell sessions and two 10K this week. I am feeling fitter than ever, yet don’t seem to get enough quality sleep. I am struggling with lots of things going on in my mind atm. And this causes me a headache I am not sure how to get rid of.

Whilst I wouldn’t call it stress, there is strain on decisions and from discussions I am having. Sometimes when you wake up and think about things, it is difficult to go back to sleep. Yet my cats keep me company, they are settling in and got their last injection this week too. That means they can all go outside as of this week. Hurray. We are getting there. They are still a bit coy to venture outside but they have been. Of course Lula got herself locked into a neighbour’s garage on her first outing. The joys.

Guess life is about patience. The famous roses and perspective. Another great podcast this week said that you only create barriers in your mind. I tend to agree. Reading about Elon Musk who founded both SpaceX and Tesla, you realise human potential and what we are capable of doing. Yet not everyone is willing to take the same risk.

Elon Musk
Tony Robbins nicely summarised it with his human needs. Some people are more security driven then others. Some need more love and growth and others might thrive more on contribution and adventure. We are all individuals. And looking at it from a corporate perspective, a company needs to adjust to every one’s needs. Not just one person’s or the other’s. So understanding the individual, their goals, their background and what makes them thrive is key to being a good manager.

The reason I bring that up is that I am going through a bit of a recruitment spree at work, adding to the team and in the process restructuring some processes. That is fun and never ends. Not without challenges of course but great learning. As a company we are transitioning too, and are in a very sweet spot of our industry. Full steam ahead. I am excited!

One must trust the universe and that things fall into place. Having the above patience and enough stamina. That’s key to success in my view. Things never go as planned and nothing ever comes easy. Hard work always pays off and in the end we are going to be ok. Trust. That’s key to anything I suppose. Any relationship.

Let me leave you with those thoughts. It is just before 7 am on one of those days that I drafted my post. With the real time streaming on Facebook and Twitter, maybe I should consider a ‘Ballueder Video Blurb’ from the breakfast table. Maybe one day 😉

Have a great week and stay safe.
Volker

trust the universe

Sunday Column (379)

The week started with a trip to Hamburg. A night and back again. I am getting used to the regular flights and short trips again. This time I didn’t take my running gear. An unbalanced run the week before paired with a 13K over the weekend left me tired and my knee(s) aggravated. So some needed rest and a treadmill run on Thursday was all. I am cautious of not pushing myself too far and not to injure myself seriously.

I have been thinking a lot over the past few weeks. See last week’s column, that life could be over quickly without you knowing. Things might change. What is important in your life, what do you cherish. Where do you put most emphasis on, what is it that you enjoy and should do more of. I will cover that in more detail. Anyways…

When leaving home my fish tank was playing up. The temperature dropped and I worried a lot. Thanks to my wife and some last minute rescue measures we seemed to have avoided some major fish losses. I had just added some loaches to get rid of the snails, and feel that the ecosystem within the tank is striving.

Actually not my fish but almost ;-)
Actually not my fish but almost 😉

My eldest wrote me a card to wish me well for the trip and he hopes that I will be meeting some friends. I did. It is nice to see them grow up and also understanding German (my sons, not my friends 😉 ). When my parents were over for Easter, they spoke German to the boys and the eldest clearly understood. Maybe there is hope and as they get older they get more of an interest to learn the language. I don’t think they will ever be native but if they manage to communicate and get by, it would be fantastic. Having had 1-on-1 time with both of them over the last few weeks really helps to seal the bond. It also helps me improving my football skills 😉

The remainder of the week passed very quickly. I spend two days in Germany, back to back in meetings, catching up with the local staff, and having in depth conversations about the industry. It is interesting to see the differences in markets and attitudes towards product deliveries. It is good though, and I do enjoy the work I am delivering, as we are pioneering in a new space, leading the pack for second screen advertising. But hey, I don’t want to market my company here, do I? 🙂

A good friend of mine invited me for lunch on Thursday. A healthy, good lunch, and a wonderful chat. Those type of chats and friendships last for a long time to come. He was joking I should mention him in my column, however, here we go 🙂 Thanks mate!!!

As I write this blog I pass Gatwick Airport on the train. Sunset. The daylight saving time and all, we are back to having light travelling home from work. I look at the sunset and think about the things to come. I keep forgetting about the past, putting it aside. We are launching new products at work. We are renovating the house and finish it the first time around. The wheel is turning and we are going faster and faster. Then I listened to two podcasts this week that told me to sleep enough and take it easy. Don’t get the burn out. I am not afraid, I look after myself. I am trying to anyway, being more easy going than I used to be (at least I think so) and more pro-active, forward looking than I used to. My thinking is changing.

The Germans have this saying “gut Ding muss Weile haben” – good things need their time. There is no need to rush and make too many avoidable mistakes. You hear it coming – time to stop and smell the roses. When flying this week, way after my working hours (in case you reading this, boss), I decided to not work but chill out. To sit and read, doze, listen to music and just take time off to think and reflect. I manage to split work and life. I am learning. Still. I am growing. I am proud of my personal development.

a sin. an awesome sin. loving it.
a sin. an awesome sin. loving it.

I am also proud of my wife. 12 years this week that we met. 9 years this year that we got married, had kids, a house etc. In another 12 years the kids would have left the house and another 12 I am probably still not retired. Wow. That means I have only been through the first third of my career. I am just warming up and boy, I am ready to go! Patience, Ballueder, Patience!

Life is good. I remind myself daily and make sure that life is going to stay as it is. That it won’t get worse or we stop looking after ourselves and the kids. No, I want fun, love, and live.

Have a great week. Summer is on its way!

We managed a first bike ride at the weekend. The little one on the tag along bike and I. We sat down, smelled the freshly cut grass, enjoyed the sun and some sweets. We laughed. We loved.

Cheers,
Volker

Sunday Column (372)

Happy Valentines Day. I hope you spoilt your loved one today with some nice lunch, dinner or a glass of bubbly. Or all of it. Being in love is the greatest thing in the world, whether this is fresh or fresh every day for many years. I haven’t stopped loving my wife for many years and Valentines Day, as commercially driven as it is, just helps me remembering how important she is to me. The challenge is that once Valentines has passed, there is in quick succession of my wife’s birthday and then Mother’s day – so she only ever gets flowers in Q1. Just kidding, but I think that those days should be more spread out. I make sure they are of course 😉

Happy Birthday Rohan! My little man turned 5 this week. Scalextric, a group of friends after school and lots of ice-cream, sweets and cake made his day. Boy, was he excited when he came down the stairs. When he went to school. When he came out of school. No surprise he fell into bed early, totally exhausted. He had a fantastic day. So did I. I was exhausted by the end too. However, there is nothing like seeing your kids enjoying a party, playing with their friends and having lots of fun. It is great for them to let go, just being kids!

Happy Birthday Opa!

Happy Fundraising! My wife managed to raise close to 500 GBP for her half marathon so far which she is doing at the end of the month. I am very proud of her. Not only the training, but constantly pushing herself out of her comfort zone to raise money, to push boundaries and make it happen. She was so nervous about it yet done such a fantastic job. I cannot wait her crossing the finish line and then moving on to finish a marathon later this year. Jen, you have done so well!

Happy Feet! Yes, this might sound funny, but I had my first ever reflexology massage last week. I wanted to do that for a long time, and kept putting it off for a few years. Whilst I am not sure if it was me being very tired or the massage, or a combination of both, but I fell asleep during the massage. Yet, the only thing I can say is that it has been an amazing experience. If I say it was like taking drugs, never did I take any drugs really, but that’s what it must be like. An experience I cannot wait to repeat. The body and its parts are replicated on your feet, and by massaging your feet, your lymph system in your body gets drained and pressure releases. It is amazing!

Then, in last weekend’s FT, I read a quote from Simon Blackburn, a philosopher. He was asked ‘what drives him on’ and he answered “Myself. It’s internal, it’s not for money, not for fame; it’s me, it’s what I do”. That quote sums up a lot of my thinking and strongly resonates with me.

IMG_5213

I have a lot of drive and I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t work for money. As I get older however, it is more about recognition and satisfaction. That of course is because I get a higher salary which automatically eradicates the drive to earn more and more money. Having said that, I am not greedy, but constantly striving and of course want and ‘need’ to earn more cash 🙂 You should make hay while the sun shines, shouldn’t you? I am truly engaged in my job and industry, and I am really enjoying what I am doing. I do that for me. What drives me on is me, the achievement for me and my career. And if that gets rewarded, that is nice and fine, but the inner drive to be successful, to make things happen, that is me! That is the Ballueder drive and conviction. That’s who I am. If I don’t work I work on private projects. On the next productivity book, on some thoughts, some articles, or for my start-up. And I love it, but the drive is internal more than anything else.

I write this as I pull into Victoria Station in London. I am wondering, having lived here for over 10 years, always south of the river, how often I must have passed the bridge, Battersea power station and seen the buildings going up around it. It must have been close to a thousand or two thousand times. And I will do that again, or triple that. I am only in the first third of my career, the first 10 years of where I am going.

But let’s finish the journey for the day. We test drove more cars this weekend, and I think we are coming closer to a decision. I am off for a few days next week, so lots of family time during half term.

Life is good. No complains.

Love and Kindness,
Volker

Sunday Column (371)

This week didn’t look busy at all at first. Yet I never stood still. My brain never stopped processing. I never had enough rest to be honest, waking up regularly at night thinking about things. I feel like things are happening.

The news is out too. I got a new job. An additional job: strategic advisor to a start-up. I agreed to be a non executive director or strategy advisor for a start up in the programmatic TV space called Video Agnostic. An area that truly interest me and I believe needs a lot of evangelism and understanding in and of the programmatic landscape. Being able to advice top notch developers on go to market strategies, and helping with getting traction in the market place, is a great challenge and a big honour for me. I will continue to spend my days working for my current employer yet also help Video Agnostic too.

I have done some strategy roles in the past. Helped start-ups, defined go-to market strategies etc. So this isn’t new but more official. Lots of plans ahead. I am looking forward to play a pivotal part in the programmatic TV Space in the UK moving forward.

programmatic tv

Also I had loads of interesting meetings this week. Programmatic is flying, syncing the silos of off-line and on-line is gaining momentum and we are busy. Our social platform gains more and more traction in Europe too. It is nice to see things are coming together.

In other news I went to the dentist. Not good. Another filling. Then another friend turned 40. I am getting closer to the magic number myself. Wiser I suppose. However 40 used to be old, now coming closer to it, it is more like 50 or 60 being the barrier. Looking back in one of my reflective moments I realise that I am very happy and grateful for what I have achieved in life so far. And that I was a young dad and father. That a lot of people shifted priorities whilst I soldiered on. It makes me feel young and old at the same time. With us anticipated to live longer, life events happen later. Will we all get more out of life though?

That of course depends on our vision and how healthy we stay. It depends on our life style and life choices we made. There is no right or wrong answer. We decide how we want to live our lives, decide on where we set priorities. Whether that is the local community or the work community, the wider ecosystem, family of course We are here to make a dent in the universe. And within my small little world, my closest and dearest, I have a big impact already. I am making a difference and change the world for the better.

That means to me that I can shape the future. And given the state of the world we should be proactive. We must help the future generations to look after this planet, to come up with ways to save civilisation. This might be too futuristic and daunting, but engineers, futurists and technologist will be key to survival of mankind. Having watched Martian the other day makes me think – what would we need to achieve to colonise Mars, to save Earth and venture out to continue living. And what is the likely cause of death? Cancer, epidemics, viruses?

I don’t know. And I want to end this post on a high. I like spreading myself a bit, I like connecting the dots and make life happen. Whichever meaning it has to you!

Love and kindness.
Volker

Sunday Column (364)

The year is coming to an end. Same procedure as every year. We are trying to cramp as much work as possible into the last week before Christmas, starting work early, finishing late, and then realising that the day before Christmas, we got most things done, and the rest we postpone to the new year. Every year we are going through this rather stressful cycle. It is what it is and we are doing it for years, don’t seem to learn. Maybe, and a lot of my clients are doing it, I should take 3 weeks off around Christmas to avoid the pressure and the stress.

Never mind, I enjoy a year’s end. I usually get some time to clear out my desk drawers, to clear old folders, tidy things, update my Salesforce and get order into my life. Until January that is 🙂

The kids had their last day at school. They are off and are looking forward to Christmas. They are excited. That is what is most important just now. Christmas. And the kids. How can we make those days special for them? How can we succeed in them always remembering their childhood Christmases as being special?

Merry Christmas

Then there were sick bugs this week. Whether the cough triggered the spewing or it was a combination of both – it is 12 degrees in December, global warming is happening, and whilst it all sound a bit gloomy, I believe the Paris treaty to combat Global Warming is a step in the right direction.

It makes me look back to my childhood. Besides the Christmases, I do remember being part of a nature group protesting against global warming and using certain gases (CFC/FCKW) in spray cans. Did it help? Not sure, but I did my bit and still do my bit when and where I can to preserve energy and to recycle.

Let’s not get too gloomy as December’s lack of light already does that for itself. Life is good. Everyone is in a festive mood, is having a good time and is looking forward to some time off. Well deserved.

What will 2016 hold for us. For your family? For business?

I will write a post looking back next week. I think it will be nice to reflect on 2015 and then subsequently looking to the next year. Like every year. There are unknowns, and lots of things that might change. There are opportunities. There are threads. No one knows what the new year will bring.

Let us rejoice, and let us find some time with our families. Let us go into ourselves. Let us reflect in the run up to Christmas. Let us sit down at Christmas, have a great time, and appreciate what we have. As anything we do not appreciate depreciates. My new mantra.

Have a wonderful Christmas and give those in need and those you love your fullest attention. Share the love in anything you do.

Love and Kindness from my corner of this small world.

Volker

Sunday Column (360)

Writing this post in the aftermath of the terror attacks of Paris is hard. No, I didn’t know anyone that was directly affected. Yes, I know people who know people. I have clients who were affected. My thoughts are with you all. And I love the fact that people on Social Media show their support. I also love the fact that France still committed to taking on refugees from Syria. Together we stand and fight terrorism. In whichever shape or form.

It is a terrible scenario which leaves me speechless.
A friend on Facebook said he survived Madrid, London and now Paris. I have been in London when the bombs went off here. One never forgets. Let’s hope this won’t happen again.

You don’t know. You cannot give in. I am going to Germany next week. They evacuated a football stadium in Germany, diverted two French planes from New York to Paris, they will cancel more events and evacuate more places. We are at war.

It is a new war. No one is safe and no one should give in. There cannot be a religious motivation to kill anybody. Again, this was widely acknowledged on Facebook. Whoever is after killing others is sick. What has the world come to?

Paris

I shared a few posts on Facebook this week. We are dealing with a minority, unfortunately the minority has a high impact on our lives. And I am not getting into a political debate, never have done, and never will. I am not a politician, I hate war, aggression and love peace and friendship. I am probably one of 99% of the world’s population.

And we shall not forget that in other parts of the world terrorism has been killing loads more. In other countries those attacks are part of your day. This is even harder to imagine, of course because it is far away, yet it doesn’t make it better. One video I watched from some Pakistani kids nicely said, that actually they are dealing with the same problems we are dealing with in Europe. They have the same every day problem we are having, and terrorism is just one of them. United we stand!

Let’s hope that we get through this chapter of world history together. Let’s hope we get through it safely for the sake of our children and the children and next generation of the baddies. They deserve it as well, and they deserve to live in a peaceful planet. Or don’t they? What do the children of the terrorist got to do with war? Nothing. Neither do German kids of the war generation have any association with the war either. We will get through it. United!

I am a firm believer that when your time is up your time is up. That’s it. You cannot be scared of dying. And, honestly, you shouldn’t be. It is harder for the people that remain, than for you. You will never know. But let’s not think about it and hope we all come through it together. Let’s try to not think about it and focus on the time we have with our families. This time is precious.

Anyway, the highlights this week: my children! I looooove my kids and my wife too, but she wasn’t there. So we had a men’s weekend. Pizza on Friday night, fun and games and good food and shenanigans all weekend. Despite the younger one recovering from a cold/flu and the older one having one. This time of year, bugs and all. Being able to spend a whole weekend with the boys was fantastic. They are at this stage where I can play with them, discuss things, challenge their minds and brains and their thinking. It is so much fun to just do things. That wasn’t always the case, hence I am super excited. Plus, in times like these, we should put the effort and time in, as this is what we live for!

Of course we were glad, not only me but also the kids, when mum was back, but it was great whilst it lasted 🙂 The opportunity to be able to just spend quality time with your children is something you need to make use of. Building the bond, building trust. And it only gets better over time.

With that high I wish you all a successful and friendly, a peaceful week.

Volker

Sunday Column (348)

Another week full of travel. I am getting used to sleeping in hotels again, and somewhat enjoys it to be honest. It feels like you getting a lot of work done and making progress constantly. Being connected these days via 4G, 3G or wifi makes working on the road so much more pleasant than only a few years ago, not to mention 10 years ago when wifi in hotels was the exception rather than the rule.

Next week I am off again to speak at a conference on breaking in the offline and online silos – connecting TV to digital marketing. I am exciting.

For me, with my 5 am routine, I am up early anyway. So even if I take the red eye to Europe, I have time for my daily exercise and meditation practise before the taxi picks me up.

I often take a moment before I sneak out the door to check on the boys, to tug them under the blanket, sit at their bed or watch them for a few seconds. It is a feeling of wanting to protecting them from the cold or any evil by pulling the blanket back up. They don’t worry half as much as we do about things. Their sleep must be a lot more peaceful than ours. Sometimes they talk and you get the feeling they are awake or sense you are there. I am sure they do. Life must be a lot simpler as a child, wouldn’t you think. A shame we don’t really remember ourselves. Those moments are precious and it almost seems as if your life comes to a stand still, is put on hold, even for only a split second.

When I am out of town I miss the boys. They don’t really yet want to speak to me on the phone. I look back, to think of the day they were born for instance. Little did I know how to hold a baby then, and still today I am not comfortable to hold a newborn. I didn’t have any experience or confidence. It all changed, and now I am sitting with them prior to going to work to understand what makes their life tick, what they enjoy in school or why or if they were sent to the head office.

There are new challenges as parents. Speaking to a friend the other day, I understand that as they get older their rooms, requirements, furniture etc. will all change for them. Life isn’t static, you never finish bringing them up or caring for them. There are new things to master. Life is something I know more about than baby things. I can now help them more, to understand life, to figure out what they like to do, make them better humans and participate in their life. I can mentor and teach them, offering guidance and support.

Happiness Father

The challenge is on. The next 10-15 years I will be spending making them better human beings if they want to listen to me and be willing to speak to me. And if not, we will have different conversations. Who knows what life will have in stock for us?

What a unique opportunity is given to us parents. To influence. To engage. To love and connect. A growing connection of trust. Seeing on a daily basis how their thinking changes. How they evolve and become adults.

We shouldn’t wish life away. I enjoy it. Every minute of it. The now – when did you last press the pause button and reflect on your life to see how grateful you should be. How great is life? How much has life given you and is giving you right now? Reflect on what you have, and cherish what you have. Share it with the ones that are less fortunate. Isn’t that what happiness is all about?

And pay? Yes you get paid for your efforts. My oldest wrote me the sweetest note the other day. Without anyone suggesting it to him, he wrote a note that I am ‘the best daddy in the world’ and ‘thank you for my new bed’ (note: we got him a new bed you might have guessed). It moves me deeply to see so much understanding of the world from my own son. For him to think of this and share the love. Encouraging that behaviour, praising it, will hopefully lead to a great human being as a grown up that will make a difference. However small.

And one day they will be grown up. Coming home from college, university or visit with their own family. And that is when I want to lean back and see in my sons what I see in myself, now. The ability to influence, to enjoy life and love unconditionally.

Whilst I am thinking about this, I grab my bag and look one last time at their peaceful expression, sleeping, all tucked up. I will be back, I am back home soon. The taxi is waiting and I leave into the dark night for another red eye and the joys of travel.

Have a wonderful week. Pause for a moment and enjoy what you have, what life is giving you.

Love and Happiness from my corner of the world,
Volker

Sunday Column (346)

Starting the week with a day trip, whether to Paris or anywhere really, sets you up for the week. A little bit like a 5am routine for the day, a day trip to Europe is for your week. You feel energised and ready to take on the world. It is that feeling of accomplishment, the feeling of achievement. That’s why I enjoy doing what I am doing. That’s why I enjoy productivity, sales and leadership. Because you know you are the one moving the needle.

Of course, given it was a 15 hour day, it was tiring too 🙂 Yet it was a successful trip, and it is what I enjoy really.

So the rest of the week flew past. No punt intended. I noticed my 12K from the weekend, some early training for my Dawn Wall (see last week for context) exhausted me a bit more than anticipated. However, and this isn’t a moan about the man flu, but there are a few bugs going around. So far I have avoided to be off work or feel bad, but something seems to be lingering around for a few weeks. I am certain it all comes out, literally, given recent stories at school, when we break for half term tomorrow. Yet, with some more nice weather on the way, I am eager to do more training outside. Just difficult at 5 am as it is a bit dark still, so my 7.5K on Thursday on the treadmill was a pleasant ‘walk in the park’. Again, a feeling of achievement to be able to do your run first thing.

Another mile stone this week was our 8 year anniversary. Sometimes hard to believe that you can spend over 10 beautiful years together with as little fights as my wife and I have. Who would have guessed anyone would ever be able to cope with me for such a long period of time 😉 I guess that makes her extra special. My wife is a very special person and we have experienced so much together, ups and downs, yet it has been a wonderful time so far. And I am more than certain there are many more years to come. I love you Jenny.

cat

On that note, one sometimes wonders if there is a higher force that sorts out your partner. We know people come into your life for a reason and people leave it for a reason, I mean not dying but entering your life, you learn/laugh/chat together, then they disappear forever. Some stay and some are your life time partner. Is that all down to chance? Why do some never find a perfect match?

I guess this is a philosophical question, similar to who do you meet at university and where do you find your first job. This can determine your whole career and 50 years ahead. The small things in life, the piece of chance, luck or destiny that shape your life. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Let’s not get sentimental…yet the picture above shows our new family partner. We picked him up on Friday – not really a replacement for Rosie, and it never can be, but my wife always had cats, and the last cat we had to re-home because of the dog. I am sure he will settle in fine, and the kids will love him.

The end of the week marked the start of half term. I was actually off from Friday! The kids needing the time off. So do I to be honest. It has been a long time since my last break with lots of changes since. So just before we really hit Q4 I am taking a week off. My parents arrived with lots of wine, filling up the shelves. Plus it gave us an opportunity, my wife and I, to celebrate mentioned anniversary. They are staying for a few days which gives the kids and us a great chance to spend some quality family time together.

As I grow older family time becomes more important. Not that work becomes less important, it is more that other things take priority. I am still working on my career, probably always will, but being able to see my kid’s harvest festival performance, being there when they need someone to talk to or just reading about the ‘burgling cat’ before going to work. Those precious moments are never there to return.

That is life. And I really loving it. I love to be in the middle of it, falling on my back, like a dog in the mud, and really enjoy life for the reason of love and friendships.

Buddha bless,
Volker

Sunday Column (345)

This was a good and successful week!

Having a purpose in life and finding your identity is a great skill to have. Just this week I finished reading another book on destiny and success. On how to structure your life and thoughts to achieve what you want to achieve. I started writing more seriously on my second book and finished drafts for the first chapter. Onwards and upwards. Nothing like getting things done early morning on the train to set yourself up for the day.

Somewhat I got carried away with a few wine and ale nights, yet again managed to catch up with loads of people and done some great networking. Amazing.

On the opposite side of things I did sign up for a 24 hour run. My challenge in 2016. A team of people to run a relay of 10K for 24 hours. This is going to be my ‘wall’ – Kevin Jorgenson spoke about his free climb record at a conference this year and suggested everyone should have a ‘wall’. 280 days to go.

Q4 is in full swing with lots of different ups and downs, meetings being moved, cancelled and decisions for next year to be made. Yet on top of that I managed to network with great people, spend time having coffee with key influencers and made some significant progress. Things are moving in a very right direction, and I enjoy the buzz of Q4 and the industry as a whole.

Then I helped someone very close with an application and the next step in life. This gives me much satisfaction to actually being able to influence one’s future and helping someone to find their purpose, identify and future. That plus helping with career choice, selling oneself and assisting to go beyond your comfort zone. I enjoy doing that.

I am happy. I enjoy my family and had a great morning this week when my youngest woke up early and didn’t want to go back to bed. So we had breakfast together, lots of cuddles and read a few books. All that before the rest of the family woke up. It was a special morning, a special time and connection. I cherish those moments and I am now able to push work and disturbance aside to truly be with him in the moment.

This is important for me, and it is so important to give kids this undivided attention. I am grateful for being able to do that, and my weekends have changed a lot since I got kids. They are my main priority. They are what my weekends are made of!

Making the progress both at home and at work satisfies me deeply. Building lasting relationship and being approached for a big project make me realise what I read in the recent book: the best time of your career is to come from 40 years onwards, and you reach your prime when you are 50+. Yes, let’s go for it and really ramp it up over the next couple of years to avoid the mid life crisis and make life happen. And, it is happening already!

I am up for it, are you? How far can I push myself? What else can I achieve?

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As you might be able to tell, I am buzzing with excitement what life still has to offer. That is without losing focus on what life offers now! I managed my runs this week. I had endless discussions around what is the best thing to do and what I want to achieve with my running. For me this is about fitness, not about running distances, yet I will utilise it for my challenge.

At the weekend we managed to catch up with an old mentor of mine from university. She now lives with her family fairly close by. It was good to see her and catch up on how life has changed over the past 10+ years. We both got married, have kids, established in our jobs etc. Chewing the fat with someone who knows you when your main purpose in life and your identity was different. Changing your identity and belief systems are key to success. Being able to realise that you can influence anything in life and that being fit and healthy can be a life style choice rather than something you think you can never achieve, is a realisation that came to me over the last few years.

I finish the first draft of this post as I pull into Victoria station in London on Friday. It is a gloomy day, but it is Friday and I am looking forward to the weekend and finishing off some key projects at work. It is a day filled with meetings around video and data. Not a boring day at all 😉

Hope you had an amazing week yourself!

Stay well,
Volker

Sunday Column (343)

What a beautiful weather we had this week. Astonishing, like a second summer, we had some sunshine, warm lunch breaks, and actually I took some lunch breaks too. It was a good week from that perspective. I got a lot done. At the weekend, however, the weather was misty cold, so we had the fire on all Saturday. Cosy warm home….country life 😉

Then, I returned my Oyster Card this week. After registering my Amex as paperless payment card on the tube and using it through Apple Pay on my phone, there is no longer a need for Oyster. However, whilst you easily get a refund into your bank account online, there are only three (!) staffed stations left in London where you can get a ‘manual’ one which involves you bringing a proof of address to show it is actually your card.

I also managed to live without cash for another week. Apple Pay plus card payment make it possible. Whilst it isn’t so much of a challenge, it is more that I feel that the 21st century is happening. Cash, notes and coins will be on their way out. Contactless, paperless on its way in.

On that note, I finally got myself my train travel card on the keycard, e.g. a contactless card. Therefore, no more paper tickets and only one wallet, which is the smallest in the world. I am downsizing.

So last Sunday I upgraded my phone. It was easy to do and I am now the trend setter with the latest Apple iPhone 6s. Nothing special to report on it, but that it makes good photos, is my personal computer and has Apple Pay 😉 Since my iPad was getting old, I traded in my old phone, old iPad and upgraded to the ipad4 mini, which is just a bit easier to commute with and a lot quicker. Again, whilst I was super excited getting all the gadgets, I just need them to work and do what I would like them to do. And they are working fine! On Wednesday Apple released it latest OX, so I am now up to date once again.

At time of writing I am looking back to today and my wife was running an 8K race on Sunday. I am very proud of her, particularly since she has had the bike accident and is now almost back to normal, despite a cracked rib and all. Well done! Our/her transformation from us being a couple, going out most nights, hanging out with friends to having/being family, both being very active and healthy, has been a long time coming. We enjoy our new life style, lost weight and feel better about ourselves. Maybe a normal transformation, yet I wouldn’t have guessed that a few years ago. And, who knows. She managed 8K in under 50 minutes, maybe we celebrate her birthday doing a half marathon in Brighton 🙂

It comes down to identify a purpose, as well as drive to achieve those purposes. Most of our identity is determined by external factors like upbringing, family and social environment – however with the help of coaching, new goals and (positive) influence, one can change habits and routines, one changes one’s personality. I have been reading a bit about this and will incorporate this into my next book about personal development and productivity.

The works side of things was interesting. It is forecast season and ‘process’ season. Latter caused, as it often is, some challenges, but nothing I didn’t enjoy :-p Forecasting is often something salespeople dread and I suppose I am not an exception. With plenty of support and understanding for new product lines, I think we managed alright. We finished it on Friday night.

This was the short update of my week. I am excited about the things happening in my life. I enjoy life and enjoy my boys growing up. Winning the trophy at football, being proud to be a beaver and presenting the German beavers in his ‘class’…it all seems to be coming together. A life worth living for, they said, and we should enjoy every moment of it. Whilst these achievements are more C’s ones, R will have similar achievements to come, and he really enjoys school. Being very curious, he asked the wife if the ‘Chinese money plant would spit out prawn crackers’ – I guess he is right, why wouldn’t it?

Live the moment and don’t miss out on the wonders of life. They come in all shapes, forms and sizes.

Below’s picture I found searching for “Indian summer”. All credit to the photographer.

Enjoy your week.
Volker

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