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 “focus”

What a little puddle of water can do for you

What a little puddle of water can do for you 

Photo credit: Joe Lynch, taken in Philly

The photo of today’s post is of a little puddle that the photographer noticed while walking in the streets of Philly one day. I think of it offering a great analogy. I look at a dirty little puddle because I am down in the pits. Yet, the reflection lets me see the beautiful sky right above me. When we are at our worst and our mood is down we should still make enough time to realize what a beautiful sky is wide open above our heads. The great image of the blue sky stands for inspiration, hope, possibilities, and opportunities. We need to allow this positive energy into our thoughts – even in the darkest of times. Much like the photographer though, we need to have the presence of mind to notice this little bit of inspiration in the muck.

On days when nothing works right we often can only look down and feel really bad about ourselves. We can only see the short term impact of our doing. We are in total reactionary mode; things are in motion but we make little progress. What we should be doing is to look up and see the possibilities that are out there waiting for us. Beauty and positive things are just waiting for us to discover them. Open your senses and be on the lookout for them.


Do you want more joy in your life? Embrace failure

Do you want more joy in your life? Embrace failure 

You may say: “Huh? How does this even make sense?” Yet, there is a very sacred connection and it goes like this:

Joy follows success

Success follows experience

Experience follows failure

Failure follows taking risk

So what lesson is there to learn? Do not fear failure, because without failure there is no joy.


The American Dream is alive and well – Thoughts of an immigrant

The American Dream is alive and well – Thoughts of an immigrant 

Photo: Pablo by Buffer

This post was recently shared through Dr Tom Hill’s weekly electronic magazine (scroll to end of webpage to sign up for receiving his Eaglezine). Happy 4th of July!

These days following the news and social media can be depressing, right? The world news currently are not very positive. Here at home we unfortunately seem to be quite divided over some real and some not so real issues. Despite all of this I am hopeful and upbeat that we will once again be unified in helping each other live the American Dream. There is barely a week when folks ask me why one Earth I am so enthusiastic about living here in the U.S.A. and life in general. That is really easy to answer. We are blessed beyond measure living in a country that nurtures a culture of inclusion, tolerance, collaboration, and it guaranties liberties that I have not found in any other country I have either visited or lived in. The only person in my way of progress and dreams is myself. Many helpful people and organizations are around who can assist you achieving them. Here is a little bit of my journey to becoming an American citizen.

For me it makes me think of my first Thanksgiving in the U.S.A. – and Phyllis. That was 1989, the year I arrived at Philly from my native Germany for what I thought would only be for a 3 year adventure. Phyllis was a friend of a friend who knew a friend of mine at the company I still work for today. A recent divorcee, she rented a room of her little condo to me. I was thankful for having a place to stay. The room was big enough that the only things I had to my name were 2 suitcases full of clothes that did not even make a dent in the room’s closets.

New to country and language I knew no one. She was so warm-hearted and explained a lot of colloquialisms and also taught me everything from laundry to going grocery shopping. I had been in the country only for a few months when the Phyllis asked me if I wanted to stick around with her family for the Thanksgiving holiday. I had to ask her what we will be thankful for and what the holiday was all about. She tried explaining this to me as best as she could. My command of the English language still had a long way to go at that time.

Little did that prepare me for that great cold Thursday in the fall of 1989. I was astounded how many family members and friends showed up. Two big tables were moved together and everyone helped in preparing the food and table for the feast. Then I saw my first turkey. Wow! I had never seen anything like it. When all the food was set on the table I thought to myself that there was enough for a whole football team to show up and still have enough food for everyone.

After saying Grace her family and friends asked me all kinds of questions as to where I was from and what I was doing here in the States. They did not know it, but I was so humbled by that. At that time, Germans were still not all that welcome in various areas in Europe and people there would avoid you and actually make a point to exclude you. Many people’s thinking and actions were still affected by the horrible Nazi times surrounding WWII. Here a former foe was sitting amongst folks whose relatives most likely had fought mine in one or both world wars. Instead of hostility and the usual ignorance I received nothing but warmth, inclusion, and most of all a genuine interest in a total stranger! Wow! Who are these people and would more people act like these folks?

In the many years to follow I found the vast majority of people to hold the same core values. Work took me to visit 44 States so far and across the board I met genuinely nice and genuinely warm hearted people. I began to ponder if it was not time to play a more intricate part of the American society. Who I am is due to my German upbringing, education, and of course my family and friends back there. Who I can be though, I owe to America. I went from being a mechanics apprentice in Germany to becoming a management team member of a successful manufacturing company here stateside. Sure, it took a lot of work to get there, but I am eternally grateful and thankful to this country and its people for providing the most important part: opportunities. It was time taking the arduous path becoming an American citizen. I wanted to help perpetuate helping others pursue their dreams and I could only do this if I could exercise my right to vote.

My family was with me the say of getting sworn in as an American citizen back in 2010. It was such a special day to me and I am sure that the other more than 40 new citizens next to me felt the same way. I was hopeful then as I am today that we will put our political views and differences aside and figure out solutions to our everyday issues. I am confident that our struggles will unify us more than separate us. We are a good people and the world and our kids need us, one nation, under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all. Blessed beyond measure.


11 tactics fighting too much work and too little time

11 tactics fighting too much work and too little time 

Are you feeling stressed out because you are overcommitted? Does your manager not pick up on the clues that you are at the brink of a work burn out? This can happen when you are totally over committed with work and you think you just do not have any time to cram any more into your schedule. You may even feel powerless because you have no other options. This feels very uncomfortable and your work and health may eventually suffer. Here are some ways helping fight this phenomenon.

  • Prioritize: What is really important? Make sure that you only do the tasks you really need to do. Be rigorous about the stuff that you decide to pay attention to. Resist accepting tasks that are not really yours even if they appear to be easy to do. See the next point.
  • Delegation: How much of the work you do should really be done by others who are perhaps even more qualified, or have more time to do this?
  • Vigilance: Be vigilant about having a clear task scope, having a clear time line, and also a firm commitment between the person who issues the task and you.
  • Candor: How candid have you been with yourself? How candid have you been with your boss? Only when you share how you feel and what would happen if nothing happens will you pave the way for lasting change.
  • Advocate for yourself: Make certain that you go back to your boss and share how overcommitted you are. Ponder ways how to mitigate the situation and have those solutions handy for your conversation with your boss. You get what you tolerate.
  • Identification: What is really behind the definition of “I do not have time”? Do you not have the time, or you are just not making the time?
  • Planning ahead: Interestingly enough, half of your issues may just be due to not planning ahead enough. Make the important things a priority and they will happen as long as you allowed the time for it.
  • Preparation: Prepare your fiercest issues well before you take them to the key stake holders. The better prepared you are, the greater the chance that you will be able to do what you want to do and thus get more wiggle room for doing the things that you really want to do. Those are the ones that give you energy rather than help draining it.
  • Do not wait for a miracle: Do something about your situation. Think about how you would like for things to work out for you and start delivering results. You will get noticed.
  • Subscribe to the 5 minute rule: First thing every morning start tasks that you have procrastinated for a while. Promise yourself that you will spend 5 minutes working on it. Most projects will take less than 3 minutes – promised.

When you really think about it, there are many ways of dealing with over-commitment on your part. Try giving one of the 11 tactics a try and provide me/ us with some feedback below in the comment section. If I can do this, so can you. All you have to do is making the decision to start and then actually deliver on this promise.


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