Tag: munich

Sunday Column (496)

I don’t believe it’s the 1st of July already. Half ways point. The days are getting shorter and we are closer to Christmas now. The weather is spoiling us.

This has been a very busy week. Admittedly, I started out with a day off on Monday. Funny how when you not contract for a day, you take the day off. But isn’t it a mental thing to mentally shut down and off? We, the wife and I, went down to the beach, got a bit sun burned and enjoyed an ice cream. I am storing energy, producing some great content around my podcast and getting ready for what lies ahead of me.

The days in the office were busy this week. I love the company I am contracting with at the moment, and love the product offering they have. My main role is in Germany, so Thursday and Friday I spend in Munich, next week Duesseldorf and then Hamburg. It is good to be able to help and to reconnect with friends across Germany. Life is good, busy, or as Darren Hardy says ‘we strive on stress’. To a certain extend I agree, we are by default used to flight/fight responses, to exciting situations and to stress. Yet, I am not actually stressed, which is nice also 🙂

Also, this week I decided on what to do next. Where is my career taking me. I decided to join a service unit of a big agency group to position their product within Europe. Sounds not very clear? I know, I will fill in more details on LinkedIn and personally over the next few weeks and after I start in mid August. Things falling into place and I am relieved that things are moving forward too.

But I have to say, and I am not sure who all is reading this, that the decision was and wasn’t easy. I was humbled by the offers I received and it came down to two companies in the end, out of four (who would have believed that back in February), that I thought were a perfect match. It wasn’t easy to make that call to say no. Naturally one wants to say yes to all the good fits. The way I described it to a close friend this week: you have to make a decision, it isn’t personal, it is business at the end of the day. So I made the decision, however difficult and yet easy it might have been.

I can only repeat my thankfulness for everyone who helped me on the journey. The beginning of the year has been rather dark, yet people are generous, pick you up and maybe it was always GDPR that slowed things down, who knows. We will never know and it doesn’t matter. I learned from it. I learned about consulting, see below, and I learned about believing and patience, and that over time things will always work out.

I have been enjoying the freelancing, consulting and contracting world. I enjoyed helping and making a difference in a short period of time. And I continue that for another four weeks. But at this stage in my life I prefer a pay cheque at the end of the month. A pension scheme. That might change again in the future but for now, that’s what I would like. And I am delighted to join people I have known for a long time and I trust and I look forward to learning from them, working with them, making things happen. Yes, I am excited!

So, as the Germans would say, “Ende gut, alles gut”. All’s well that ends well (Shakespeare). I always knew it was, and I never doubted it yet there were a handful of days that challenged even me. Some nights you wake up worrying. But the future will always be better than the past, and things will always work out and be ok. Trust in you. Trust in the universe aligning things to help you.

On the note of Germany. The football team was playing awful from the start in this World Cup and frankly I prefer the way Columbia or England are playing. Funny that both of my favourite teams are now facing each other in the play offs. Then I don’t know much about football. What I do understand is that there is something missing in the German team: support, comraderie, team spirit. I can see and judge that. And as I said a few times this week, the guys out there on the field are all top players, it’s the team that makes the difference. The team spirit I shall say. As in any job or sport. Anyway, let’s hope the World Cup is progressing nicely for England, they would deserve a good ending.

With that in mind, Ende gut, alles gut.

Sunday Column (445)

Same old … no things are in constant change. It is hot in Europe and I truly enjoy it. Kind of….we really shouldn’t complain about the nice weather. I personally just don’t like it too hot. Anyway, the week was quieter than usual, so just a normal week, and part of it is due to the 4th of July bank holiday in the US. Happy Independence Day!

Then my old iPad mini keyboard broke. No, I didn’t (yet) buy an iPad Pro, but I replaced the 85 GBP Zagg version with a cheaper Tecknet version. Not the same, but I will get used to it I am sure. At the end of the day, I already made the decision to buy an iPad Pro, so now it is a timeline decision. Maybe I see how the connections change in autumn, and if we all get USB C ports instead of lightning connectors, and also there might be an upgrade to the iPad Pro 2 in spring. We shall see. Flying from Heathrow mid day in order to get to Munich in time for a dinner catch on Monday up resulted in a delay and things just didn’t go as planned or hoped. A short and exhausting trip. In the queue to the flight I met someone from Munich. He was from Liverpool originally, studied in Aberdeen about 10 years before I did. And he moved to Munich for his love about 17 years ago. Coincidence, I am not sure. People come in your life for a reason. Life is full of miracles and connections. What is the chance that I started to speak to him in the queue of all the 150 odd people I could have talked to.

This week was the first time I really got annoyed at the constant travel. Mainly because my family isn’t that happy. Not only do I hardly see my wife which annoys both of us, but also the boys are getting fed up with me being away all the time. Understandable. I also look forward to not travel next week. I guess there are a few busy weeks ahead before travel will mainly be for holidays with the family. And I cannot wait to enjoy some downtime with the family soon. The last few months were full on, enjoyable, but exhausting.

On the plane I started to reflect on H1. My first 6 months in the current job. My wife going back to work. Achievements I have made, reducing coffee, publishing my book and moving forward with evolutionary coaching. To understand how learning works and how the “One Thing” allows you to focus and makes everything else unnecessary or easier. Yes, I am striving to apply further productivity techniques to constantly improve my work flow and strive for perfection. One of my staff asked me for the recipe the other day, the recipe to stay on top of everything all the time. Inbox, Google’s add on to Gmail, and the snooze and reminder function are crucial for me. The last 6 months have been busy but good busy, I truly enjoyed them and I genuinely love the work I am doing and the people I work with.

I am happy and slowly try to teach the boys two important things: one is that happiness comes from within. You cannot buy it. You cannot buy it with a great and expensive car for instance. And I have to admit that the Jaguar is nice but whilst it makes me happy, I am not attached to it 🙂 That took the lesson a bit to far, and the oldest said he lost me there. Fair enough. The other lesson is that they need to think. For them to listen, use their brain and then speak. That’s another difficult one for a 6 and 8 year old to understand. They are doing very well. And the weekends and time I do spend with them, they are understanding if I am tired and cuddle up in the movies and are good pals. Until of course they start being typical children and do your head in. Then we go back to play UNO, and I did not count the amount of games we played since they started end of last year. They love it. Same as Trivial Pursuit. Monopoly is next again I suppose, we haven’t played it for a while.

As we go through those phases I have been thinking how they turn out when they are older. Will they become engineers and little brains? We don’t want to dictate them what to do. They already are little brains of course, but what will drive them on. What will they teach their kids and when am I ready to let go? Let them get on with their own life? When will I have enough trust? When did my parents, if ever? They do now – I think. I hope so anyway 🙂 As a responsible parent I need to find the cut off point. And I am sure this will come over time and I will understand when the time is right. My wife surely will support me in my decisions. We will not be able to always watch over them. That’s one of the hardest things to learn as a parent. I think so anyway. And when letting the eldest walk with his mates the last 500 meters to school….that is a first step of independence. Wow. Letting go already?

It was a good week. I got a new white board in my office, a new stand up desk, and I made progress on a project. That strives me on. And I managed to take the wife out for a meal, play UNO with the boys and got cuddles.

What else to ask for?

Love and Kindness from my little corner of the world,

Sunday Column (272)

I thought I write about something called commute. I spend about 3 hours each day in commute to and from work. An hour on the train and between 20 and 30 minutes on the tube. Most days the train is a few minutes late resulting in me hitting tube rush hour, delaying things.

Those days I think about using a Boris bike or a foldable bike. Yet I cannot be bothered with that hassle to be honest. Then I would probably get used to it as you do with anything in life.

If I say I enjoy the commute, what I mean is that I like the ”me’ time, 50 minutes of time I can read, listen to music, write this blog etc. each way! And using the Gatwick Express you meet some characters, people coming into London from holidays or business trips. Relaxed, stressed, devastated, joyful. I see them all.

It might sound a bit sentimental, yet I took a step back the other day and watched people on the train, escalator to the tube, behaviour in the tube etc. Asian, black, white, red, black….London is so amazingly diverse. Different accents, attitudes, lots of tourists yet lots of people working and living here. You sometimes forget the attraction of this city. Muslim, Christian, Buddhist – all that doesn’t seem to matter. There is a buzz in London, and looking into the different faces you realise, they all have their own parcel/problems to carry/deal with. The greater unconscious makes us share most burden, Mr. Jung, doesn’t it?


One thing I couldn’t do the commute without are my Bose noise cancellation headphones. Them on and I don’t hear a word. If someone wants to sit next to me, they have to tap on my shoulder. That happens a lot, I am in my own world, chilling, listening to music, watching movies. The other thing is my iPad. Without it, despite having a laptop, I wouldn’t write my blog, read my books on the Kindle app etc. and have all productivity tools needed in reach.

On Friday my journey home took 3 hours alone. Someone jumped in front of the train. This is very sad, and Twitter was full of people making sure there are no rude comments. No one wants to be rude. Of course it is a tragedy every time someone dies, voluntarily or not. Of course it is a question of society whether there was enough help for this person, if it could have been prevented or not. Yet, it is a horrible thing to do: to jump in front of a train on purpose (I am not talking accidents here which happen too frequently also). The effects are not only on the person deciding to kill themselves but it has an impact on the train driver, the emergency workers, and of course on the commuters.

No question it was a pain to endure bus replacement services, wait, lack of information (which is really badly handled by Southern Trains) and the long commute home. And of course we got home, the person that jumped in front of the train didn’t. It is considered rude to even think that the person messed up a few lives, as mentioned above, and caused a lot of hassle to the commuters.

I do feel compassion for the person. I am sad that someone couldn’t get enough help and didn’t see enough value in living, to actually kill themselves. This is horrible. This is awful. Yet, I also believe that this way of going is one of the worst and selfish ways to go. And I can’t help but speaking out loud, knowing for well I am not the only one thinking the same.

The following TED talk is interesting, talking about suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. And it shows: it is preventable.

It made me think what I can do to help. What can I do to prevent this from happening. It made me – and surely a lot of others – think how we can make a difference in our society, how we can help others, and prevent these things from happening. We should be grateful for what we have. Our prayers going out to the people affected. All of them.

This past week I also went to Munich. A different commute. Still loaded with feelings for my fatherland, I walked the streets of Munich at night. It was nice. Seeing that Munich is doing well, Germany is doing well, becoming more international. Yet, I let go of comparing between my life and a possible life in Germany. I made my choice. I enjoyed my trip despite the red eye flight out of Gatwick.

This closed a great week. I look forward to a few days off. Well deserved I’d say 😉 Time to let go and relax.

Have a great week,

Sunday Column (241)

wedding2007 Today is our wedding anniversary. Six years ago we got married on a lovely sunny autumn day. As we said then, someone was watching us, making sure we had the most amazing day in our lives. And we did. Topped maybe by birthdays, that’s the kids’ ones I am talking about, or Christmas for the wee ones. We are moving into the 7th year, the critical one, as based on statistics, this is the year most couples get divorced. They say if you manage year 7, you manage for life. It is a myth, however research suggest the longer the marriage lasts, the less likely a divorce becomes. I am not worried. Actually we know each other for 10 years soon!

A quick search online reveals a few articles writing about the 7th year, but what have I learned? Surely I am not going to discuss my marriage in public, but thinking back over the years, one learns a lot. And in all honesty, I still learn. The love for each other gets shared with the kids, the attention for each other gets divided with the kids, the overall life is changing from 2 to however big your family might grow. This makes life richer. One needs to compromise, make up, remember birthdays and like today anniversaries. Show appreciation for each other’s contribution to the life together. Lastly commitment. No marriage, relationship or anything in life has only sunny sides. Commit to whatever happens, even if you are the one having to take a step back. My personal tip: if your wife has a good taste, and assumingly she would saying yes to you, leave her to decide all those things you don’t really mind too much: paint colours, furniture, toilet design etc., but make sure to support decisions and have an input, because you don’t want to come across as if you don’t care. And you don’t not care 🙂

But enough about marriages and married life. It is a decision you make, stick to it and get on with it. In good and bad times. Talk. Talk a lot, communicate and speak about things. That’s important.


Last week I was travelling again. I chaired my second conference, AdMonsters Ops, in Germany, Munich. I tried to meet some business partners and friends whilst I was out there. It was a great trip and good conference. Not only did I renew some existing companies’ contacts and industry friends, I also managed to meet a very close friend I haven’t seen for (too) many years. Both very driven individuals, we are pursuing the same dream, in different ways. And, we both believe this dream is the “valid” one. So far away, yet so similar thoughts and motivations. I believe this trip might have been life changing but you never know. Making connections, connecting the dots.

On the way out to Germany I was caught in the trouble at Gatwick airport. A power cut put the South Terminal into a bit of a turmoil. With less than 2 hours delay we departed and I stayed calm. Age, meditation and exercise seems to keep my mind from going mental. At least for now lol. I was a bit more uneasy when the flight home got delayed but I got home at a reasonable time on Friday night. Tired, exhausted, yet full of motivation, contacts and good plans.

Munich, on the other hand, made me feel almost a little homesick. Quality build houses and products, quality food, good life style, yet in a cosmopolitan environment. If I ever considered a move back to Germany, it would be Munich. But I love my little Hassocks. The definition of Hassocks, where we live, was pointed out to me this week: it is the plural of has·sock (Noun):
– A thick, firmly padded cushion, esp. a footstool.
– A firm clump of grass in marshy or boggy ground.

So I can now choose whether I live in a piece of mud or foam. Maybe a soft spot where you can let go, with the feeling of just sinking in?

Flying home I had more thoughts about life. Nothing like having 2 hours of me time. Disconnected. A bit melancholic, thoughtful, yet with unstoppable energy to succeed. Life, both private and professionally, is at a pivotal point. About to accelerate. I love where I am. I love what I am doing. And I am determined to make it work!


Have a fantastic week. When you get a chance, take a minute to reflect on your happiness, your love and life. Hug your children and tell them, that whatever you do is to create a better life for them. When you work abroad you do that to provide for them, because you love them. If you don’t see them during the week, tell them that is for you to make sure they have enough food, because you love them. And, if they are old enough, make sure they understand that you don’t (want to) feel guilty not seeing them. But by you knowing that they love you, you feel better and they understand that you are away because of them. Life is that way. Either part of you has the same motivation, all you do in life is because you love your children. Because that’s the purpose in life, isn’t it? To make it work. To fight for it.

I better stop before I get more philosophical 😉

Have a great week,