Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hooray to Mediocrity

Often it is difficult to decide if the goals we pursue reflect our desires or those of others. The expectations of society for instance. Or you are told to do things in a certain way because "we´ve always done it like this". 
Everyone who expects something from you has an agenda. And the selfless ones have a past. In this past, they have failed. They have been hurt. Pain changes the brain. Even the ones that love you and mean well might try to push you further than it´s good for you or limit you as a result of their own "brain scars" and life experience. 
To make one thing clear: My aim is to help people to achieve greatness. But my aim is also to help people to discover what they truly aspire to be and uncover manipulation. 

Social Media and Leadership

Latest when you are a grown-up and create your profile on LinkedIn you´re like in a constant shower of expectations and unsolicited lectures. 
All day long we read quotes that imply we have to be super successful leaders - or else we are losers. Being average sounds like having a nasty STD. 
Can you feel how you shrink after reading that quote? .... How you feel a little bit smaller and incompetent because you know you do not live up to the quote? A tad sad and humbled. As if someone sucked the enthusiasm out of you.
Well, the poster of the quote probably also did not live up to it. In my experience, successful leaders do not post memes that imply that "average" people are "losers". 
A real leader helps people to grow, lifts them up. Leaders are enablers. Not bullies. 
Leadership is one of the most commonly misused words (just like Entrepreneur, which does not mean to sign up to an affiliate program and replicate what someone else did successfully. It means to take on a significant risk; either financially or as an innovator). 

What is success

Here is my definition: 
Success is happiness. What makes a person happy is individual. Success is what makes you happy. 

Fulfilling expectations of society might give you a feeling of temporary relief, but if they do not comply with your vision of achievement they will not make you happy in the long run. 
For some people, success will mean to climb a corporate ladder to the very top. Others might want to live a simple life on a farm, have twenty kids or become the best painter around.
There is no such thing as free dinner. Every form of success has a price. Career success might cost a bit of your personal freedom, the currency to pay for outing yourself as gay is reputation. And so on ... It´s not a burden to pay the price for something you are passionate about.
Some did what society or their parents expected them to do without questioning it. They were married by the age of 21, two kids, nice house, good job - but they are not happy. Others are housewives and happy, but they are bothered because all of their friends work, and often they get questioned why they lack ambition. 
Maybe after careful consideration, you will decide that complying with what people expect from you is more important to you than following your desires. If you make the active and conscious decision of setting back your wishes it will not make you as unhappy.  
Personally, I recommend that everyone lives in the way that makes him most happy. If we drop dead after an unfulfilled life, nobody will hand out free beer vouchers for every time we fulfilled the expectations of others. 

Tip:
 Dig deep into yourself and find your real dreams and desire. Separate the expectations and definitions of others from your own. 
Then pursue whatever success means to you and do not let others manipulate you into becoming something you are not. You might find that you can achieve more than what is expected from you - or less. 

Success and self-worth

Your level of success has to be in accordance to your feeling of self-worth. Getting 10 % more or less of what you feel you are worth will lead to unhappiness or unhealthy behavior. 
Did you ever wonder why so many lottery winners and Hollywood stars engage in self-destructive behavior and often fall into addiction or loose all of their money in no time? 
They were not ready for the level of success they achieved, and it did not comply with their feeling of self-worth. 
It´s not enough to set your goals high. You also have to honestly believe you are worth of achieving them. 
And you have to have a positive attitude towards what you want to achieve. Let´s say that it includes money (it´s better to have a non-material higher goal, but that´s also a topic for a different article); you have to love money. If deep inside you believe that money is dirty and bad, you´ll probably never get a lot of it. 
Tip:Visualize your ultimate higher goal. Align your feeling of self-worth with your goal. 

Agenda and Motivation

The first rule when someone shares his expectations, feedback, demands or opinion with you: 
Everyone has an agenda. And everyone has a motivation. 
You should aim to find both out right away. 
My agenda is to a) help and support you and b) get word about my services out. My motivation is a) to empower you and make the little change I can on this world and b) if you trust me and consider my advice helpful make you an offer. 
Once you understand the motivation and agenda of a person, you can decide how you should handle and value feedback, advice, and expectations from that person. 
Everyone has a motivation at all times. 

Follower or Leader

The first thing to understand: A follower is not worth more or less than a leader. No matter what social media posts seem to imply. A real leader might be harder to find. And most of the self-proclaimed leaders we find on social media ... well, you know. 
It´s not important if you are a follower or leader. It is important that you follow your true desire. A leader needs strong followers to help him and produce results. 
Don´t force yourself to leadership when you do not feel the wish to lead and don´t limit yourself to following when you have the ambition to lead. 
I followed great leaders and mentors and was glad that I had them. They helped me grow, they took the shots when I messed up - and they were happy that they had me. 

Being average

Being average is another .. hmm what is it? It´s neither a trait nor a skill it´s just a description of the norm. 
If the majority of people would be able to swim 40 miles it would become the new norm. What "motivational" posts imply (that everyone has to "swim 40 miles") does not even make sense.
There is nothing wrong with being average. Unless you are destined for greatness and limit yourself. Average can be a great and proud achievement is someone upgraded his skills that were below average to "average". 
A long, long time ago I met a girl. I can´t remember where. She had a very slow processor and a learning disability. Hardly could she do the simplest additions. Her dream was to become a waitress. She worked very hard on herself, harder than I ever saw anyone work for his goal until she finally had the math skills to become a waitress. 
Do I have respect for this achievement? Hell, yes! Would I be happy as a waitress with the income of a waitress? Hell, no! Is one worth more than the other?Definitely not. Both used their potential to create a life that makes them happy.
Keep in mind: Your potential is a gift. It´s not something you earned or worked for. 
I care about being happy, and I care about being me. And so should you. 

Conclusion

  • The term leadership is often misunderstood. Leader built people up. If someone puts you down he´s probably not a leader. 
  • It´s important to understand the agenda and motivation of someone before deciding if you take the advice/demand etc. to heart.
  • Happiness is the ultimate measurement scale for success.
  • Success is individual, what makes someone happy, and therefore successful, differs from person to person.
  • Measure people based on their potential - not yours.
  • Set your own standards.
  • Being average is perfect if it´s the best you can be. 
  • Yes, you can achieve nearly everything you set your mind to. Relevant is: What do YOU want to achieve. 
  • Break your limits, reach to the stars if YOU desire it.

Free training on how pain changes the brain HERE.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Happiness in the NOW - Mindfulness

The hunt for happiness


Do you remember how your stomach tickled when you bought your first house? Went out with the Lady of your Heart/Prince for the first time?

Happiness in the NOWOur hearts beat faster when something we have been longing for finally becomes reality. Nothing stands between you and ultimate happiness anymore.

The extraordinary becomes commonness


There comes a point where dreams lose its glamor. The new house or friend are still important - but not the priority anymore. The special becomes commonness. It does not happen overnight. It is a creeping development.

Why does happiness not last?


As soon as a need has been fulfilled, it´s importance changes. If we are hungry, a good meal is the highest priority. Until we ate. Repetition also kills the appeal of novelty. After a few weeks, the new car of our dreams becomes a commodity.

Wishes come and go. It´s part of life. The more relaxed we go about it, the more effortless our life becomes. As soon as we stop believing our happiness depends on the fulfillment of this or that wish our lives change dramatically. For the better.

Taking your wishes less serious does not mean you get rid of them. It is about looking at the desire and reflecting its importance for your happiness.

After all, once you fulfilled a wish - the next one is already lurking behind the corner.

Perfectly happy does not just happen 


For me, happiness includes being grateful for what you have. If you still long for something that is missing you continue the hunt. The art is to focus on the substantial events in our lives.

With a bit of mindfulness, I start seeing more and more beautiful things in my everyday life. The happiness about a great conversation weights heavier than the anger about heavy traffic on my way home.

Happiness in the NOW

The fewer expectations and wishes you hunt, the more you can appreciate what is there. Happiness is great wealth. That might feel weird at times - after all, we think something is missing for us to be happy. 

Do not get me wrong. This is not a pledge to not pursue goals or create the life of your dreams. It is a vow to be self-aware and in the know about what is your dream and what you need to be happy. And guess what? Once you reflect and become aware of your true needs you will likely strike a lot of material wishes from your list. 

What do you need for happiness?


We invest a lot of time and energy to achieve our goals. Over time, we feel that what we have accomplished does not make us happy for an extended period. The hunt for happiness can become a neverending cycle. 
But we can break the pattern. First of all, we have to choose consciously that we do not want to be trapped any longer, like a hamster in a wheel of desires. 
Happiness is a source of power that grows from the inside. It takes patience and self-reflexion to find it. We need answers to the following questions: 
  • What do I hope to achieve by fulfilling one wish after the other?
  • How does it make me feel to do nothing for two hours?
  • What is missing for me to be perfectly happy?

Again: Do set goals and due pursue and achieve goals. Just make sure you spend your energy on those that matter for your happiness. 



Related articles: 
The Neuroscience of Happiness (Why happiness is not a hammock)
Can mindfulness change your brain?
Setting goals or drifting along
Do you want to search or find?

Training:
Project Phoenix Emotional Intelligence 



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Is Dehydration Effecting Your Performance?

When it comes to success and goal achievement nutrition is very much underrated. While optimal nutrition can help our brain to function at its peak, junk food, and dehydration can decrease our productivity.

Most people are chronically dehydrated without even knowing about it. Feeling thirsty for instance is a clear sign of dehydration. When you drink enough you will not feel thirsty.

Water is needed for basically every function of our body. That includes the brain. In these hot summer days, even more people than normal are suffering from dehydration - they might not even know it.

Making sure that your staff is not dehydrated must be the single most easy way to increase the productivity of your team.

Quill.com has created an excellent graphic that provides tons of information on

Related articles:
Foods that make you more productive
Foods that boost your brainpower
These 4 foods sabotage your success


Water to the Rescue: Is Dehydration Draining Your Employees?
Infographic by Quill

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Art of Self Conquest

I have the uttermost respect for people who leave their comfort zone for a higher goal. People who do things that are hard on them to reach this higher goal.
The Art of Self Conquest

As people, we make a choice.

We can say: I am who I am, and I do not change for anything or anyone. I do not want to change. I have my limits, and they decide about my destiny.

With this way of thinking, you will often feel like the victim of circumstances. Because there is nothing we can do.

This type of people would often use expressions like: "It is what it is." or "What can you do."

Or we believe: I can grow as a person. I can upgrade my skill-set and evolve. Limits do not hold me back. They exist so that I can overcome them, even though that can be exhausting and challenging at times.

Do you feel the power in the second option? With this way of thinking you are not a victim. Who thinks like that takes charge of his life and designs his world.

We can overcome our limits. For that, we have to overcome ourselves as most of the limits reside within us.

Our limits hide in our fear, our prejudice, our habits. And that is where we can start and make a positive change.

That sounds a bit strenuous. Sadly, it is. It´s not easy to conquer oneself. If it would be easy everyone would do it.

But it is worth it! The rewards include pride, self-confidence, and confident expectations as well as the feeling of being in control of your life.

What is self-conquest?


For instance, it means to recognize your fears, question them, confront them and act even though you are afraid. For the higher goal.

How often do we say: "I would love to ... but I am afraid that ..."

How often do we accept sub-optimal situations because we are afraid of the uncertainty that change brings? We lock ourselves into a cage. The struts of the cage consist of fear. Fear of the unknown and uncertain, fear of failure and fear of what others might say about us.

Just imagine for a second you would not perceive fear as an insurmountable obstacle? What if you approach your fears carefully...get to know them, flirt with them. And finally jump over the hurdle.

What would be possible?