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

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Archive for the tag “inspiration”

Top career advice for Millennials, well, and other generations

Top career advice for Millennials, well, and other generations 

Remember the days back in school or in sports when you were waiting to be picked for playing on a team? What if no one picked you and you were the last one to be picked? How did that make you feel? That is anxiety pure. Worse yet, it trained you to believe you have no choice in this transaction.

Even more unfortunate is that this picking and choosing moves along in education and later your career. You apply for college and you get picked to come onboard. You look for work, apply for a job and you get picked. Annual reviews are held and you are told what your performance was and what it should be. You get picked more often than you may realize. So, do you really not have a choice?

You do have a choice and most of all you do need to be the one of all people who needs to pick yourself first. Don’t wait to get picked! Hold nothing back. You deserve to use your talents to full potential. It would be selfish and outright egotistical to hold them back. How dare your team coach, boss, etc. telling you that you cannot make progress? Pick yourself first and then look for the team that needs you for whom you are about to become. Money will all but automatically follow you whatever you choose to do.



7 distraction tactics – avoid e-mail and social media running and ruining your life

7 distraction tactics – avoid e-mail and social media running and ruining your life 

Distractions loom at every corner of our lives. There is barely any moment anymore when we are not bombarded by interruption marketers and tons of visual pollution. TV, our online world, our “smart” phones, and the newest domain – our cars are getting Wi-Fi hotspots. They all are jam packed with distractions.

All this clutter means clutter in your head. Clutter and chatter leads to you thinking you got a lot done at the end of a day when in fact you only made incremental progress. Instead of feeling elated you feel frustrated. This distraction is costly.

One key area you can make a huge difference almost instantaneously is how you use your e-mail and the Internet.

  • Turn off your e-mail notification. Do you ever catch yourself clicking on the new mail link right away? You are at least looking at the notification for a while, right? If so, turn it off. Turn off the sounds too.
  • Never read e-mail first thing in the morning. Take a peek if you have any emergencies at hand. Otherwise, do not open or answer any mail until you have carried out your first couple tasks you wanted to get done for the day.
  • Set a time and schedule e-mail responses in your calendar. Yes, putting a placeholder in your schedule will allow for fewer interruptions and unscheduled meetings to surprise you.
  • If you are not in the “To” address line, do not read the mail. You may think I am crazy, but this is a great distraction buster. My logic is that if the person mailing you did not think it was important enough placing you in the “To” line, then why should I read it? Skim it when you have time. It teaches your folks sending you mail to really think about if they really need your input.
  • Divide and conquer your inbox. Divide your mail into two types: The ones you will respond to during the course of the day. The other ones you change to the “unread” status. Here is what you do with it if you have not responded to it in three weeks: DELETE it. If this much time has gone by and no one is asking for an answer it could not have been important. Radical? Perhaps, but it is extremely effective.
  • Only leave your “unread mail” view open. This assures that you are not getting side tracked by other and old mail. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Only leave Internet browser tabs open that are relevant to what you need to do. Leaving social media ones and inactive ones open will only allow further distractions to happen. Leaving them open will also allow certain sites insights as to your online activities and preferences. Close these tabs.

So you don’t believe me how much distractions cost you? Are you up for a challenge? Prove me wrong and for ten days journal how much time you spend on your daily tasks. After ten days read and reflect upon your journal entries. You will be amazed how much time you are spending on e-mail and Internet. Do not let these distractions run and ruin your life.


1 important life tip for young folks

1 important life tip for young folks 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer.com

Please ponder the following request that is actually important for everyone: Make sure to enjoy life while it still is in a giving mode. First life gives, later it starts taking things away from you. When we are young there are so many gifts that are available to us. Skills, friends, education, career, health, etc., in fact there are countless examples of it. Then there is a time when life seems to start taking things away from us.

In the last couple of years quite a few great people were taken away from me due to cancer. Sure, there are still many new gifts that keep coming our way, but there are equally more people and other things important to us that are whisked away. Take health for instance (I need reading glasses now, how did this happen?) and it will not take all that long, at the rate of speed we are going, that the kids will eventually move on.

How about you? Where are you in this cycle? Is life giving you more than it takes? Hopefully so. Be really thankful if it does and do not waste any time making the best of the gifts presented to you. Also, growing older lets us take fewer risks – it’s the tool helping avoid things taking things away from you. Point of today’s post is to appreciate life to its fullest and to fill it with meaning. You never know if your life is the next thing that is about to disappear.


Three strategies taking control of your fears

Three strategies taking control of your fears 

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have. They can wreak havoc on our lives when we do not manage to deal with them properly. After all, we still have a significant choice: we either succumb to them, or choose to ignore or combat them.

Quite a few years ago I accompanied my mom on the plane rides from Germany to the States. As a family and friends will be able to testify to you, no one should travel with me as many a mishap has happened to me especially during air travel. The main flight across the Atlantic went without a hitch, although we were too late for making the correct connection at Dulles airport. We only had to go on to Philly but the only flight that would still leave that night was leaving from Baltimore.

We went on a wild taxi cab ride from airport to airport barely making it to the connection flight. Then my mom looked at the plane and froze dead in her tracks: it was a very small prop plane. “Ralf, I cannot go on that plane”, she exclaimed with a trembling voice. Say what?

It took all the convincing I could muster getting her on the plane and the only reason why she relented was that she did not want to get stuck a night at a hotel and then stay overnight in Baltimore. Once we sat down on the plane she could finally tell me what was going on. When she was a 5 year old child she survived a few air raids on the village where I used to live. It was towards the end of WWII and air raids were becoming more intense and every time that one came about and the alarms sounded she ran up the street toward the woods and hid in the ditches next to the road. It was the prop sound from the enemy air planes that she could not stand. The sound was what scared my mom absolutely witless. She was a nervous wreck the whole way to Philly.

Isn’t that amazing that the mere sound of a plane can make us do things we seemingly have no longer control over? Good news is that we do have a choice. It took me a while to process it, but mom engaged in a few choices eventually allowing her overcoming her fears.

  • She sought companionship. Having me nearby and being able confiding in me about her fears helped tremendously in overcoming the issues.
  • She took her time processing her thoughts rationally. Taking a deep breath and slowly but surely breaking the big issue into smaller bits let her mentally tippy-toe through the fears she had.
  • She confronted her fear – eventually. Conquering fear is never easy, but in the end the choice was hers. She did not allow for fear taking her choices away.

The purpose of fear is protecting us from really bad issues to happen. Unfortunately, our brains are not really suitable distinguishing between “good” and “bad” fear. Fear is fear and the ancient part of our brain aka lizard brain, typically chooses to let us fight, flight, or freeze. There is another action though that our brain is capable of taking: choosing to think rationally through the issues at hand. Make good use of it otherwise you may find yourself stranded at an airport.


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