Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the category “blogging”

Making the process of blog writing simpler


Making the process of blog writing simpler 

This is a really useful point to ponder whether you are in the process of starting a blog or you start with a new job: You want to slip under the covers of comfort and routine as soon as possible but that can only come to fruition over some period of time. I call this the chaos period in which you will need to find out the hard way where the borders – perceived and real ones – lie. Once that has happened, you can enjoy a sense of community and your individuality. Ironically, you need each person’s individuality to make it a community and it is the community that allows for you to have your own way of doing and seeing things. You cannot have the one without the other. Realizing that there is a process behind it that will only take a few days to weeks to get into place should make it easier for you to embrace the period of chaos and insecurity. Anticipating change and its unsettling effects is half the bet to surviving and thriving in the process of it.

Where is this helpful again? Let’s say that you are starting a new job. The first 2 to 8 weeks are most likely the scariest as you need to explore the culture of the organization and how you fit and where you can make a contribution. It is unsettling and does not feel natural. Know that what you are feeling is normal and it too shall pass. Unless there is a total incompatibility you will be part of a team soon and can make a contribution and still remain an independent person as well.

Blogging for instance is a great and rewarding thing to do, but it will take some time to find your own tribe that will support and understand you. Knowing that you will go through a sense of chaos first within yourself and then with the first people paying attention to you can be a daunting thought. In order to be successful at it you will need to figure out voice and calling. It is the single most important task of your blogging / writing career right before developing content. One follower at a time will need to get what you want to stand for and the beginning can be awfully rough and chaotic before you start building a solid followership. The more you can make a case for being yourself, the greater the chance you will generate a sustainable followership (community, tribe). All it takes is an unsettling vortex of change and chaos in the beginning that you will need to put up with.

If you want to bake a cake and eat it too you will need to put up with the whole process. Here it is dealing with the sacred geometry of change that will always be your uneasy companion when you want individualism and a sense of community. That applies to the communities that you want to create as well as the ones that you will “just” become part of. Agree? Disagree?

Ralf

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Too old to be hip and too young not to use social media – 3 quick thoughts for the non-believer in social media


Too old to be hip and too young not to use social media – 3 quick thoughts for the non-believer in social media Smaller FB

As of late there is rarely a week that does not go by where folks don’t ask me why I extensively use LinkedIn, Facebook, Buffer, Klout, Paper.li, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, write a blog and more. To me they have become incredible time saving and business tools that I would not want to miss anymore. I have been able to stay in touch with old friends and relatives, found new friends. For work I have even found new employees, vendors, and business opportunities on LinkedIn. More importantly, I have been able to find my own tribe – positive people who like to serve others such that everyone can be a winner. It’s like building a mini community that is with you wherever you go. It is too cool to miss anymore.

Problem is that for the majority of older folks who ask me what in the world I do the things I do they just do not see the value. The sheer volume of Internet offers provides little more than total confusion and they look at me funny: “What on Earth do you spent all this time on line for (actually I don’t)?” On the other hand, younger people look at us “older” folks as if we are dinosaurs. We are caught between a rock and a hard place: Too old to be hip and too young not to use social media.

Just wait a moment though. Do not throw in the towel just yet. There are 3 key questions for you to ponder. Once you are done with thinking hard, it will be time to act. Choose to become an active social media member; that is all that I can recommend.

  • What can you lose? There is so much useful information out there that it would be a shame missing out on it. You can always choose to ignore the chatter and do nothing. It’s all electronic and will therefore not waste any paper.
  • Confused where to get help? It is easier than you think. If you have family and friends chances are that someone can get you started with the minimum Internet presence such as mail, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc. Once your personal information (profile), timeline, sharing platform, are set up, all you have to invest is a few hours of getting used to start using it.
  • What is the most important thing about starting to use social media? It all seems a possible waste of time, this social media thing. True only if you do this for the wrong or no reason. Ponder first if and what kind of a community you want and which existing ones you want to hang out with (that would determine which channel, or web site / app you want to use).
    Well, it is also a time suck if you have no plan how much time you want to dedicate to this and when. The moment you have an idea what you want your limitations to be the Internet can become your friend and not your foe. Start with spending no more than 20 minutes per day either in the evening, or in the morning on your favorite platforms. Then explore the pages and functions of each of your platforms. Do so with the innocence and mindset of a 9 year old child. Do not be afraid to make mistakes – they really do not matter in the vast space that is the Internet.

Is all of this still too much for you? No worries, I will never lay a guilt trip on anyone. This is a matter of your personal choice. You can certainly choose to stay where you are and not use any. You are missing out on a cool thing.

On the other hand there are truly useful features of the various platforms in stow for you. Then there is the nasty issue with obsolescence and the never ending push for newer, better, and more useful technologies spreading through our daily work and social lives. How we do business will more and more rely on Internet technologies. It is tough to stop the proliferation of faster and cheaper method to communicate and do business with one another.

What is happening is not unlike what happened on the PA Turnpike: At first EZ Pass payment with the transponders allowing you to just drive through the toll booths used to be the exception. It makes your trips shorter though and as of late the tolls are cheaper for the EZ Pass user – people who do not use the new technology spend more time and money on the Turnpike. See what I mean? Age does not play a role here folks!

If you are interested in learning more about this topic and would like to get more into the hang of social media, here are 2 people who have helped me greatly with venturing deeper into this subject matter: Jeff Goins and Michael Hyatt. If you are also into building a tribe check out these two folks: Seth Godin and Gair Maxwell. Let me know if you have any question, or if I can be of any help with any of the above.

Ralf

5 reasons why New Year resolutions are usually a waste of time


5 reasons why New Year resolutions are usually a waste of time Ralf a

How can you tell that it is resolution time at the beginning of a new year? Very simple: The ads for weight loss and smoke quitting programs are off the hook on TV. Sure, it makes sense because the end of a year lets you reflect upon the year that has passed and you ponder what you should do with the upcoming year. Before you know it you think about a resolution and come January 1st you start with it.

Problem is that they typically do not work in the long run. The vast majority of folks barely make it through a week or two before they light up again, or they end up gaining weight and quit regular exercising. It happened to me, and I am certain it has happened to you as well. In fact I no longer believe in making New Year resolutions (mind you that is different from goal setting). Here are a handful of reasons why they do not work in the long run:

  • It is not organic. So you wait around for the end of the year to roll around and then all of a sudden you come up with a completely new pattern you want to establish overnight. Good luck with that. Most changes in culture take time – a lot of time and certainly more than the weeks or months you have dedicated to reach your short term goal.
  • Guilt is not a good motivator. Most resolutions are based on “guilting” you into staying on course while you are implementing your new behavioral pattern. What happens when you are sick and tired getting stressed out about your personal guilt trip? It’s stress and neither body or soul like that stress.
  • Peer pressure isn’t powerful enough. You put yourself out on Facebook and perhaps you are brave enough to fess up to your family and friends what you promised you would do to get to your desired goal. So what? Most family, friends, and even co-workers are too polite to ever say a word to you. What is the point then? I do stand corrected with one measure that I have recently come along. Having an accountability partner has been fun and may prove to be the only worthwhile peer pressure tool though.
  • It does not deal with the triggers. Your patterns and habits all have certain triggers why and when you do things. You do not deal with the triggers and of course you will go down the old comfy ways – it’s like you are going down a beaten path with the know reward at the end.
  • Rarely is there a plan for what comes after reaching your goals. If you are part of the group of people who are successful at sticking to their resolutions and reach their goal, you may end up running through open barn doors. Meaning, that without the pressure and end goal on your mind, your mind will most likely fall into the same habits again eventually as the triggers and rewards will still be around and you just blindly follow them again. Ouch!

Sound familiar? If it does, there is a different way of dealing with changing your bad habits. How do habits, good, bad, or indifferent work? You need three key elements:

  1. Trigger: Habits have a trigger that is so engrained into your brain that it initiates a certain behavior / action anytime that it comes along. Keep a log of what is leading up to a habit that you want to change. Raise your own awareness about what happens and when. Do not worry that it happens; make sure that you know when the triggers come your way.
  2. Action: Any trigger sets off a certain behavior that follows it. This is the behavior that you want to make a lasting change to. Log your behavior again and keep this in the back of your head for the time being.
  3. Reward: Any action has a reward. This is why addicts become addicts. The reward can be so powerful and all but intoxicating you with positive endorphins. This is a drug like substance your body produces and it provides you with a sense of intense well-being – even if the activity is super bad for you.

Now you have 3 key areas where you can make a lasting change. Amend any of the three and you will get to have different results. Instead of telling your brain constantly what you do not want to do, you tell it what you should be doing in order to get a reward. Now you need to define what the reward is. That is the tougher part as you want to come up with something that is fun, or exciting as the bad stuff you want to get rid of.

Do not get me wrong, I am not telling you to not making resolutions. If it works for you, the better. I am asking all the others of you to make sure that you do this with the right reasons and end in mind. Overall I still think that resolutions are the telex and telefax of yesteryear and even e-mail is too slow anymore. Dinosaurs. They are also not around anymore. Take a look at your old dinosaur behavior patterns and think about how you can alter trigger, action, or reward in your favor.

And when you fall off the wagon, do not worry. We are all humans and stuff happens. We will love you the way you are anyway.

 

Ralf

Find out about how you prevent missing the greatest treasures right before your eyes


Find out about how you prevent missing the greatest treasures right before your eyes upload_-1-3

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, Hämelschen Burg Castle in Northern Germany

On my recent trip to my German home village in Northern Germany I visited a small little castle again that made me think about the headline above. As you can see by the photos it is a small yet very pretty little castle with a lot of rich history. The little chapel below the castle is the oldest Protestant one in Germany. Even Tilly stopped by during the 30-year war. The castle is still owned by the same family that has resided here since 1437. It is an absolute gem located close to the Pied Piper city of Hameln, which lies around one hour South West of Hannover.

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Why am I telling you about this? I missed visiting this beautiful structure and all of its history and even more so magnificent Christmas market for most of my life. It was not until I had moved out of the country and had lived in different countries that I actually visited it for the first time. The only reason I had gone back then was because I had travelled with other visitors from America who wanted to get to know my old stomping grounds. They were astounded to learn that I had not been to this place even though I had lived within 10 minutes driving time by car. Boy did I feel stupid and since that faithful trip about 15 years ago I have vowed to make a change.

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The reason why I missed out on this was that I was so used to seeing it almost daily for years. Preventing missing out on all these hidden treasures located nearby you is actually really easy in principle. All you have to do is to start planning visiting the most local sights to see in your area. If you have kids, invite them to help you out with finding sightseeing sights in your town, county, state, and surrounding states. Google should help make this really easy. Now on to the tough part: You actually have to plan seeing at least one of these sites per summer. Most of you will probably say that this is a piece of cake. Well, it is tougher than you think, especially if you have not done this before.

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Share your experience with your family and friends. Share it at work. Invite visitors to come with you on these trips. There is so much to see and explore. Just remember that it is not the things, the stuff we clutter our lives with that really matter in life – it is the experiences we help create for others and ourselves that are priceless. We are all blessed beyond measure with the richness of these sites and the people that we get to meet on the way there and back.

Ralf Weiser

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