Are you being seen?

“As our second participant of today’s interview we are honored to welcome Andreas Heinecke,” the moderator announced. An elderly man around sixty walked on stage. He walked slowly and steadily towards his chair. Keeping his head down he sat on his chair while the moderator went on to introduce three more people. Andreas Heinecke, the name seemed distantly familiar and yet I didn’t recognize the person sitting up there almost vanishing between the other four people. Who was he and why had he been invited to speak about social entrepreneurship?

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What revolution will you lead?

In John P. Strelecky’s book “The Why Café” the protagonist John formulates a thought about how once you know your purpose for existence, the reason why you are here, it should be easy to follow. He finishes his thought by stating that when we are confronted with the choice it is harder to follow through than we might have expected. This is the crossroad I am standing at right now. I can choose to go on as before, ignoring or even suppress what I have learned. At the moment this seems to be the easier option. Yes, it comes at a high cost – to feel empty, to question oneself and one’s life – at the same time it is comfortable, known, secure. You know the deal, you have had it before, you managed, you could take it. Opting for my why promises to feel fulfilled, to have a sense of purpose and a clear sense of why you are doing what you are doing. It has a high cost, too.

You will go to undiscovered lands, give up hiding and stand out, as well as face your own fears. Continue reading “What revolution will you lead?”

Accountability and the shadows of fear

Here I am on day ten of seven. I have written and posted every day. I have done it. I made it through. I have kept myself accountable. No headache and no sleep deprivation could stop me. I should feel like celebrating. I should be proud of myself. So why do I feel so empty? Why is this little nagging voice taking over my whole head booming about that this has nothing to say? This is me taking a step back to get a clearer view on what is going on.

I have had a bad accountability record. Putting everyone’s needs in front of mine made it very hard to change this. I made promises to myself only to break them again while promising that it would be only temporary. You know those temporary solutions that are still in place years later because you never came about to do something about them? We get so used to them that they will go unregistered, unseen after just a short while. Those screws substituting for cloth hangers or the moving boxes, filled with unknown stuff, serving as side tables? Just a small nuisance in the flow of your day. Really? Continue reading “Accountability and the shadows of fear”

What difference do you want to make?

Imagine a time in which every person loves what he or she does every day. They love their work. They get up in the morning full of passion and an eagerness to get started into another amazing day. They all know why they do what they do. Whatever they do they start with asking why and aligning their work, products and services to the answer. Every bump in the road is taken as a challenge and a chance to grow. People collect happy moments of growth, connection, meaning and passion every day. Go ahead, close your eyes, see it, feel it, be there and enjoy the moment.

How did it feel? Would you love living in such a world? Would you love to get up every day full of energy to start into a new day of personal endeavors aligned with your own purpose of existence? I definitely would!

And that’s why I retired. Continue reading “What difference do you want to make?”

What’s your everyday elevator pitch?

Did you cringe reading this question or did you start smiling already knowing what your answer would be? I have and still belong to the first group of people. The question “What do you do?” regularly leads to stammering, blushing and a feeling of inadequacy on my side. What exactly am I supposed to say? Do they want to know what I have been doing lately for earning money? Or how my last engagement for social projects is going? Or how I am coming along with my side business of giving workshops? Or do they mean something totally different, like “Who are you?” Do you know this? How has your experience with this situation been?

To stop repeating this experience over and over again I picked up the habit of answering with “I am collecting moments of happiness” in the beginning of this year. It was an easy way to keep myself from babbling and it usually got us talking about pleasant topics. I enjoyed listening to their answers regarding my question of what makes them happy. All in all it was and is a very nice tool to get out of a very uncomfortable situation. The only problem with it is that I still don’t know what exactly I am doing or more precisely why I am doing so many different things that seem to have no connection.

What am I excited about?

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What’s one thing you are proud of?

It’s interesting how questions tend to open up your mind and give you unexpected results. If I asked you for one incident in which you were proud of yourself your brain would probably call forth a couple of those incidents. That is what also happened to me. Usually I would not say that I am particularly proud of anything that I have done. Up until now I just didn’t take the time to consciously reflect on those moments. The moment I gave this question some thought the memories started to appear in abundance. What was most surprising to me is the fact that most of those events weren’t any big achievements just small steps outside my comfort zone. The call or email I had postponed for so long, the apology for a mistake that made me feel ashamed, the courage to ask for a small favor, …

I realized that I am proud of growing, of actively taking steps to expand my comfort zone. Continue reading “What’s one thing you are proud of?”

My latest Failure aka Learning Opportunities

If you happened to read yesterday’s blog entry on what people thank me for you might have stopped reading after two paragraphs being totally frustrated. Man did I let you and me down. There I was babbling for at least 500 words about everything in the world instead of getting to the point and just answering the question. If I happened to come upon a blog post that takes hours to come to the content indicated in the title I probably would have quit way before ever reaching that part of the article. I get it, I totally understand and I am sorry to have burdened you with this step of my own development.

It is an amazing learning opportunity for me.

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What are the boundaries for normal?

Imagine you have the task to nominate one of your acquaintances as a “normal” person. Take your time. Go through all the people you have met or seen somewhere in your life and still can recall. Envision them in front of your inner eye one by one. Whom would you pick?

It took me a while going through all those faces and memories to eventually face my truth of being unable to fulfill the task. I couldn’t think of a “normal” person in my life. Instead one big question started looming over everything:

“What exactly is normal?” Continue reading “What are the boundaries for normal?”

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