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Archive for the tag “selflessness”

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*.

Ralf

*Thanks, Tom!

What do you think of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge?


What do you think of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Mike Rowe is a well-known TV personality (e.g. Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch). As such he also had made a name for himself breaking the college mandate for High School students. He has been promoting blue-collar careers all along. Mike’s own work ethic scholarship program has candidate sign the above-mentioned S.W.E.A.T. pledge. How do you feel about it? See for yourself here: http://profoundlydisconnected.com/skill-work-ethic-arent-taboo/

“THE S.W.E.A.T. PLEDGE”

(Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo)

 

  1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

 

  1. I believe that I am entitledto life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

 

  1. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

 

  1. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

 

  1. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

 

  1. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

 

  1. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

 

  1. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

 

  1. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

 

  1. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

 

  1. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

 

  1. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.

 

On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.

 

Signed_______________________________________ Dated____________________

 

 

There are some folks who feel that this is going too far. Read about an example and Mike’s response here. http://mikerowe.com/2017/05/otwappalledbythesweatpledge/

I am not sure that insisting any new applicants and team members having to sign a document like this will help shape new habits. I have come to accept almost all of his 12 points as my core beliefs and values. I would not tell other people to having to make it their own just by agreeing to them by signing a document. That is so Baby-Boom and GenX like. If we want to make an impact that even Millennials want to buy in on than we have to create a work and school environment that is embracing, meaning demonstrating what is asked for here. That is done by asking questions using full transparency and collaboration – just do not stand in front of them telling them. If this is what new candidates find while attending Mike’s program I think that people have no reason to gripe. What do you think?

Ralf

The only way how to prevent personal burn out


The only way how to prevent personal burn out 

“I should”, “I have to”, “I must”, “others expect me to”, but “do I want to”? So goes the daily mental torture most of us are familiar with. There is a lot of pressure on us every day. We play a ton of different roles and the most powerful stress is the one we create ourselves. How alive are you to recognize this and actually do something about it?

Turn your “I should do’s” around by saying “I am doing”. It is a great stress buster and will enhance your quality of life greatly.

First and foremost though, you will have to take an honest inventory about your current state of your life. What are the aspects you really like and provide you with energy? What are the things you want to get away from?

Sort out all the experience and current roles that you may have but they really are not leading to mental peace. Stress occurs when you keep on doing stuff that may have been fun at the time and have been the reason why your career went skyward. That does not mean this is the stuff that you should continue doing.

Now the toughest part: It’s decision time. First do this exercise by yourself, but you will have to involve the people that mean the most to you soon thereafter. Then you need to convert your new plan into action: I am doing this! This is as scary as it is exhilarating.

Come up with a plan. You do not plan – you plan to fail. Put down a time frame by which you intend to have reached your new state. Work back in time and come up with benchmarks. Plan, do, review, and correct. Celebrate the little successes along the way. In around 18 months you will see an amazing climb and before you know it you are there: “I am doing this, because I want to!”

Ralf

Think twice about holding a grudge


Think twice about holding a grudge 

When someone irks you bad enough that it starts to affect your behavior, then you may just have to make the effort to forgive this person either in person, or you do this quietly in your head. Back in the fall of 1995 I woke up bathed in sweat and in horror realized who I had become: The exact opposite of my dad, just worse. How on Earth could I have allowed a person whom I had not seen in six years at that time, who also did not live on the same continent as me to direct my thinking and feelings? It was mind boggling to me and right there and then at the edge of the bed I reflected upon how this could have happened.

It dawned on me quickly that the underlying motivator was for me not to be like my dad. That had always been very tough as him and I look like twins to start with. Mannerisms and even speech pattern were very similar too. The bigger irk factor was however that he had been a long time alcoholic and growing up together with my sister in a household of him and mom being alcoholics had not been a walk in the park. Dad’s psych terror that got physical on a few occasions was as unpredictable as was the intensity. It got so bad that I helped my Mom with the divorce and later packing up Dad who left us with a bit of debt and later claimed personal bankruptcy such that he did not have to pay support to Mom. Topping this off was living in a small German community where we kids were labeled losers just because our dad had made some really bad choices. That is enough to make one bitter, right?

Well, that is where I went wrong. From the day Dad left our house to the above mentioned event, my primary thinking pattern was guided by the thought not to become like my father. What ended up happening was me doing things 180 degrees opposite of what I thought my dad would have done, but would this have been my own natural, sincere and genuine choice? I wanted my life back – as soon as possible. I sat up folded my hands, said a prayer and forgave my father for all the nonsense that had happened. A sense of relief flowed through me and the very next day I started to feel better about myself and the choices I made.

My case was probably a more severe case of this, but I implore you to think about the people that have hurt you in any way and how your thinking and actions may be altered forever in a non-sustainable way if you do not forgive them. That does not mean that you will turn out to be great friends again, but at least you can stay true to yourself and the folks that mean a lot to you get to experience a genuine you and not some other person.

Ralf

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