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Archive for the tag “humor”

Which person impacted and changed your life forever?

Which person impacted and changed your life forever? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Think of a person that has changed or impacted your life the most. This person saw something in you that he or she believed in you more than you did. His/ her encouragement led to a much enriched life journey for you.

Does this person know what kind of impact their belief had in you? My call to action is to get in touch with this person immediately. Let her/ him know how you feel and appreciate what he/she did.

Next, follow this train of thought and create a ripple effect. Give of yourself. Help out a person who struggles through life. If you want to read up on what that could look like, Jeff Goins’ book “Wrecked” could help set the stage for you.

My person is my best friend Holger who helped me through some great difficulty when I was 17 and enduring the hardship of apprenticeship. My mom and dad did not have problems with alcohol – they had problems without alcohol. They were alcoholics. The home life was a royal mess, and we did not even have money to buy heating oil for about two winters.

Girl friend? Hah, did not have the guts and the heart much less the energy getting entangled with more issues. I was bullied extensively during the first year of my job apprenticeship. Whenever I could I would drink heavily. Shame galore – living in a small village in Germany was not a walk in the park when you are being put into the same category as your dad. Dad is an idiot = son must be an idiot also. That was a simple equation that came with some “interesting” ramifications. Life was miserable.

One particularly bad night I had come back from a party with co-workers, drunk and depressed. I bumped into Holger at a block party and he saw the heap of a mess that was me. He listened and helped me get my bearing again. Day by day and thought-by-thought. We became lifelong friends, but as of late we can no longer stay in contact all that much as we live in totally different places. Thanks for all you did my friend during the darkest time of my life! Life improved soon thereafter once I realized that I was still in control of my thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts – they are not me! Once I stopped my own pity party life improved beyond measure.

Do you know someone who picked you up from the floor and put you back on your feet? How about a teacher or coach? This special person may not even remember you. It does not matter. Make sure you tell him that you love him and that you appreciate everything that he did for you. Do it fast, because life can change with an blink of an eye*.


*Thanks, Tom!

A thorn in my brain: The curse of the alphabet

A thorn in my brain: The curse of the alphabet 

This curse happens especially at school. Your last name starts with a “W” or worse with a “Z” and you will almost never go first. Don’t believe me? Just attend a graduation celebration and you will recognize this pattern right away.

It is really a curse, because no one really wins here. Folks with names that start with letters of the last part of the alphabet usually need to listen to their best ideas as they are being delivered by the folks with the first part of the alphabet. By the time the teacher got to you, all good ideas were surely taken. All you could say would have been something like “exactly what my colleagues said”.

Conversely, People with names that start with A through K typically always have to prepare being called upon at first. That sometimes can occur out of the blue. While going first is great on one hand – you get it out of the way – the other side is that preparing for the surprises teachers have in store for you can really keep you on edge. Also, you end up listening to all sorts of great and refined ideas from folks that come after you. They had a lot of time to think about better answers.

How about the middle of the pack of last name letters? Lucky they are: Neither pestered first, and never going last. Of course, this routine could always be interrupted by a rogue teacher who would of course inadvertently upset this by starting from the backend of the alphabet. The only saving grace is that you know what to expect and that makes the curse at least predictable.


10 telltale signs that you are stressed out and a few way to bust stress

10 telltale signs that you are stressed out and a few way to bust stress 

Stress leads to all sorts of health problems and if at all possible we should avoid getting into stressful situations. Sometimes it is a little difficult to distinguish if and how much stress you are experiencing. I have a short list for you to enjoy, which will illustrates situations that were caused by too much stress. At the end of that list you can find a few ways reducing that stress.

You may be under too much stress, if:

  • you sit down at your desk and your colleagues give you a funny look. You were supposed to be off and you went to work anyway.
  • you drive “home” just to realize that you went to the house you used to own.
  • you put your trash out on a Sunday thinking it is Friday – the actual trash day.
  • you are halfway out the driveway on the way to work when you notice that the neighborhood is way too quiet. You find out it is Saturday.
  • you get off the airplane and your luggage does not arrive on the belt. You pay a ground support person $10 to check the aircraft and he appears with the suitcase. You rush out the airport as you need to catch a flight at the next terminal when you realize that you got off the airplane one stop too earlier and you should have gotten back on the same plane.
  • you rush through an airport and make a quick restroom pitstop. You sit down and look to the left and right and notice high heel shoes. You are a man.
  • you attempt punching in a telephone number into your computer’s keyboard and are unsuccessful in making a call.
  • you try making a phone call trying to key in the telephone number into calculator on your desk.
  • you go to the back to school night of your kids and you try remembering the school entrance door key code because you think you are at work and are now stumped that the code does not work.
  • you go back to the airport parking lot and have no idea what level you parked your car.

Funny, huh? Sadly enough these are my own real life examples of occurrences when my stress level was too high. Lesson learned was to keep slowing down and having enough down time once and a while. What really helps is exercising, sleeping long and well enough, hanging out with friends and family, and in general not taking yourself too seriously.


Ready for a laugh? Humor is when you can laugh anyway

Ready for a laugh? Humor is when you can laugh anyway Smaller FB

Do not take yourself too seriously and laugh often and hard. That is my basic recommendation and I have a natural talent for providing the situations that let me and others laugh – hard. Yes, I know this is a lot harder to put into daily practice because so many events seem to be outside the things we can affect and they seem to happen to us rather than you being able to do anything about it. Well, it comes down to using your power of choice and actively choose looking at events at a different light even if you have to laugh / smile later. This has key health benefits besides being a great stress buster.

Take for instance the one time when I hurried through the Memphis airport and I went to the rest room. As I was sitting in the stall I was looking down to my right and my left and to my surprise I was looking at high heel pumps. In my rush I had mistakenly gone into the ladies room. When the voices disappeared in the room I bolted out of the room and even managed getting to my flight on time. That was embarrassing but nowadays this story makes me laugh any time that I think about it.

Not too long ago I brought my kids along for a car service appointment. They wanted to stay in the car and I allowed it. I watched them go up on the car lift while the tech started working on the vehicle. Unfortunately, I had managed to come in around lunch time and the tech promptly took off enjoying his lunch break. Both kids started panicking in the back of the car and I could do nothing about it until the tech came back from lunch. That was not fun for anyone.

Many years ago I ended up forgetting that the local river had flooded and I turned my old car into the floating pontoon because I went over a berm way too fast and could not brake in time. It did not float for long but I did manage to get the car back out of the river. One thing that amazes me to this day is how fast the water went into the car, but how much of it stayed inside. I had to drill holes into the rocker panels in order to finally drain it all. Unfortunately, in the wintry months following the incident I had to scrape the windows on the outside and inside. Now this story makes me smile, which back then I was not laughing much at all.

Laughter is therapeutic in more ways than one. It takes for you to just starting to pay attention for the things that you can provide for yourself or the ones that happen around you. Funny self-depreciating humor provides you also with great ice breakers for social events and especially when you are in sales or a public speaker.

Have fun having fun,


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