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Archive for the category “success”

6 strategies to get rid of your mental grid lock once and for all

6 strategies to get rid of your mental grid lock once and for all 

Here you are and you envy all the people who “have it together”. They are focused, have found their purpose, and they are successful at it. In other words: They are on fire and inspire others because they are so focused on the goals they have set for themselves. You are struggling with the fact that you are close in figuring out what your life’s purpose is, and yet it feels like you are at 211º degrees and you just cannot get the temperature up another degree and thus over the boiling point. Yet, you are steaming over the fact how others have seemingly been born with purpose on their mind from the day one.

Though there is not a one size fits all approach, there are a few steps that can help getting rid of your mental gridlock about what it is that you should be doing:

  1. It is not a single bright idea that will bring you fame and fortune. It’s all about executing an idea in an expert fashion – it does not even need to be a brilliant service or product; just top notch execution will get you to the next level.
  2. Start with pondering what kind of things give you energy and which ones don’t. The ones that do will put you into a state of flow and time no longer matters. How far off are you with what you do and who you are today?
  3. Realize that your future emerges from the present. Raise your head and look at the big picture. Which pieces of your puzzle do you have together already and which ones just need a little distance helping you realize a better fit.
  4. Journal your thoughts and ponder them frequently. If at all possible get yourself an accountability partner who can reflect on your goals and strategies at least on a monthly basis.
  5. Be rigorous about delivering upon the things you want to achieve each month. This kind of prototyping will flush out bunny trails that are a waste of time, and then again you home in on the things you were born to do. Make sure you Plan-Do-Review-Correct. “Ship” something.
  6. Here is the most important point: Share your journey and where you are now and where you want to be. Do this frequently with the more folks the merrier. It’s all about who knows you and not whom you know.

You can easily get away from your mental block with the 6 steps mentioned above. The only thing you need to be comfortable with is the thought that your life may never be the same as soon as you have the courage to dig a little deeper about what your life’s purpose is. Once you scratch at this you and your views will change and you may not be able to turn back. Are you brave enough for this part of the journey? I would say that you should never live a life of regret and therefore you should definitely go for it.



5 good reasons why people are wrong calling you being “weak as water”

5 good reasons why people are wrong calling you being “weak as water” 

I used to think that this referred to water having no taste and no effect at all on anything. It is a liquid after all and the negative connotation thus hints toward weakness. The more I think about it, the more I believe that we have been wrong about it. In fact water is stronger and more human than you may have ever thought.

  • Water is very persistent and yet accommodating. Just look how it forms a stream and follows its path faithfully. It remains powerful and persistent all the way to when it meets the sea. It is always ready to give itself up. Flexibility and persistence are among the greatest human attributes as well.
  • Water can transcend from liquid to gas, or solid. External forces can change its characteristics significantly and remain useful in each form. We are also blessed with this attribute. Depending on external forces we also adapt and make good use of the respective attributes that come with it.
  • Water gives and sustains live as we know it. No other substance is like it. We are mostly comprised of water.
  • Water can cut stone. With high pressure and flow it possesses the power to transform and cut stone and even steel. We humans may be weak and yet under the right circumstances mind and body are capable of incredible feats of strength.
  • Water can go bad if not maintained well. Worse, bacteria and other organisms start growing in it. Always be on the move and you do not go stale.

As you can see there is more to water than meets the eye. It is not weak or without effect – and neither are we.


3 strategies making it through the holidays dealing with family

3 strategies making it through the holidays dealing with family 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

Family: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Or can you? Holidays, birthdays, christenings, weddings, and other celebrations are one of the most stressful events. Why? Because this involves family and many a times we do not get along for a myriad of reasons.

I have two examples of that. The day of my bachelor’s party my closest relative managed to forget to rent the van that was supposed to take us to the event. In fact he also forgot to invite a lot of people. In the end the few people that were left did not need a van anymore and we just drove to the event in one car.

My wedding day was equally interesting. Coming from church and on the way to the reception the limo driver alerted my bride and I to the fact that the car behind us had suddenly stopped and was no longer following us. That was my dad-in-law who stopped there at the side of the road. Being a good fire cop, he had stopped at a site of a minor fender bender to direct traffic – in his tux. Parked right behind him was his 80 plus year old uncle in his tug boat size Caddy who did not know the way to the reception. We could not go on either and were stuck in our limo until the little accident scene had cleared up.

In hind sight, both events are actually rather funny. I did not think so at the time of the events. My wife was ready to shoot our close relatives to the moon. And that is also what I am writing about today: You may choose to not speak with them, or divorce them, but they will always be family. But how do you deal with the stress that we cause each other?

Part of the reason why the stress exists is because of the perceived or real expectations and assumptions. The other main component is candor, or the lack thereof, that is needed to keep any relationship genuinely and sincerely real. Often we do not say anything because we do not want to offend or burn future bridges.

There are three ways how you can choose to deal with this delicate situation:

  • Talk about it. Yes, that is correct. Open dialog, when done correctly, can easily prevent major long term damage to family relationships. Key is to have taken a deep breath and not do this while you are emotional. Also, doing this in a timely fashion is key to not letting things fester too long. Key to this is not to speak when you are angry. Give yourself some time to just think of the facts rather than allowing your feelings getting in your way.
  • Write about it. It is not necessarily my cup of tea, but writing a letter or e-mail (text?) can also help you get to resolving family issues. The advantage is that when you write about your challenge you typically reach a deeper understanding yourself.

Thinking it through and finding a way to convey your key points and perhaps a request takes a bit of prep work. That is also the disadvantage. The written word, no matter how well you think you captured it, is still the most misunderstood and misinterpreting thing on the planet.

  • Ignore it. Last but not least, you have the choice to blissfully ignore any of it. I know of people that are so good at mentally sweeping this old baggage under the rug that they cannot see the white elephant in the room even on the best of days. Do not sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff. Even I can get that. There are times when this strategy does work. It is the small things that often get put under said rug. Problems arise when even a Dyson vacuum can no longer pick up the mess that got left behind there. What I mean is that eventually the smaller issues will accumulate and turn into a big enough issue that can no longer go on ignored. Now the situation may end up worse because the problem is too complex to unwind even with the best of intentions and open dialog.

Do not forget that family members are going to be there for you even when everyone else has abandoned you. Family ties run deep. Sometimes, you cannot ignore the issues that have piled up and you will need to choose between the three above mentioned strategies. Choose wisely, because your mental health relies on how you handle family challenges. Family is all you have got when bad goes to worth. Make every effort saving these relationships.


Somewhere between two viewpoints lies the Truth or a solution

Somewhere between two viewpoints lies the Truth or a solution 

The reality and truth you see starts out with an illusion: That we can all perceive it the same way. Just take your mirror image. The one on the left is how YOU see ME. The one on the left is how I see MYSELF. Pay attention to the facial features. How I see myself is not at all what you see when you look at me. Do you also know people that stress out about their outward appearance? They are coifing up someone that only they can see that particular way.

My point is that between the reality you see and the one I see there is a difference in perception. The mirror image example was relatively simple, but just think of so many other topics where we will most likely never be able to come to an agreement about what the ultimate truth is. Between two viewpoints there is what I call the delta point; it lies somewhere between the two. It can almost never be the same just the same as our life journeys are unique to us. Committing to finding this common ground is what the two opposing parties need to be able to do. Agree to disagree and if you cannot do that think about the mirror view example and let it be. Share this example and perhaps this can be another great day where ignorance can be overcome.


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