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 tag “empathy”

Gratitude – it’s not only for Thanksgiving


Gratitude – it’s not only for Thanksgiving 

Gratitude for the many things that you have been blessed with is one of those things that very few think about and even fewer do that regularly. If you want to life a long and rich life, being grateful plays a vital role in your mental and physical wellness.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”

I saw a statistic on TV recently that stated fewer than 3% of the U.S. population gets their minimum of physical activity per day. I venture saying that is most likely no different with the mental jogging part – how many times per week do you make room for meditation, self-reflection, or truly listening and collaborating with people who mean the most to you? There is not enough curiosity around and there is complacency and irritated folks surrounding us.

In the attached photo you can see the “1000 Thanksgivings” project at our local church from a while back. Everyone was to ponder what he / she is grateful for, write it down, and share it on the wall. On one hand you will really be taken aback by having to slow down your brain long enough to put your own ideas down. As you place your sticky note on the wall you notice all the other entries. In my particular case the things other people put down took my breath away, because face it, there are plenty of disasters and messes out there. You automatically feel better and most of all grateful for the “little” mess you are blessed with.

One cool mental exercise I can recommend to you is to write down what you were grateful for every night. You can do this mental stretch with your kids too. They learn a great routine that can last and benefit them for a long time. Gratitude determines how content you are with your life. It requires continuous reality checks that can be exhausting, and that is why life is a marathon; do not pretend it’s a sprint.

Ralf

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You never know how little it takes making someone’s day


You never know how little it takes making someone’s day 

In the above picture I am holding a convenience store coffee cup that I am sure just about all of you are familiar with. It cannot cost possible more than one Cent or two but to me it is a priceless item that makes me smile every morning that I have time getting myself another one. Sometimes you do not realize how a small gesture of yours can mean so much to the one receiving it, that you may end up getting much more back than you ever invested.

My mom used to visit us from Germany over the summer or the fall and she used to get a royal kick out of getting a coffee in such a paper cup. She giggled like a school girl when she noticed the travel lids that would allow you to travel without spilling the beverage and yet also allowed you to drink it without dribbling all over yourself. I had forgotten about this little cup up until in early 2005 just about a couple of months prior to her way to early death due to esophageal cancer. By that time she had been on chemo and radiation treatments and I had been slated to travel to Germany to visit her in the hospital again. She asked me if I could bring a coffee cup over so. She did not say for what reason, but I gladly complied.

My sister, her children, and I went to visit mom at the hospital right away. Once we got our initial “hellos” out of the way, we went to the cafeteria and that is where I handed her the little Wawa coffee cup. Mom was so overwhelmed with joy that she nearly hugged the stuffing out of me. I had a hard time keeping myself together, but from that moment I could never look at these cups the same way again: This thing meant the world to her as it reminded her of all the great times we had had in the States and for a brief moment in time her life was wonderful and whole again. In the end mom may have lost her battle with cancer back in June of 2005, but thanks to a little cup she is right there with me.

I would like to inspire you to grant small gestures wherever you can, whether they are solicited or your own idea. Make sure that you do not desire to get anything back in return and then just watch what happens. I can make more than just your day.

Ralf

1 reason not to admire people who do not care what other people think about them


1 reason not to admire people who do not care what other people think about them 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, Captain Sig Hansen in Bethlehem PA 2014

Admit it, people who know what they are doing and don’t care what other people think of them are just cool. They typically know what they stand for and have a list of goals that they are busy pursuing – and they are successful doing that. Being good looking helps, but that is not necessarily a pre-requisite.

Take for instance the crew of the “Northwestern” from the TV reality show “Deadliest Catch”. Sig Hansen, his brother, and Jake (another crew member) were on tour back in 2014 and I got the chance to see them in Bethlehem PA. Their antics were instant classics. Sig for instance threw out the water bottles put in front of them by the stage crew. He replaced it with a beer he had brought on stage with him from his room. During the whole show they were exactly like they are on the show. Him and the others did not care the least that they had hundreds of guest right there with them.

So what makes them so different from us? Well, nothing at all. We all have the same potential as them. The only one difference is that they have not granted power to other people. Yeah, that’s right. That is the fine but most important difference. They strongly believe that power is given to but not possessed by others.

That is why we admire other people: they are true to themselves. Good news is that we can all start in a moment’s notice. This much for the good stuff, the nasty side of most people like this is that they do not consider the feeling and well being of others. In the example above they wreaked havoc on the hotel and the show’s crew during their stay. On and off show they hurt other people’s feelings to the left and right without much caring about it. While we love and admire them, there is always a part that we abhor.

Call to action is to stay true to yourself and leaving the not so nice antics to TV personalities.

Ralf

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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