Monday, December 12, 2016

When Meetings Don´t Meet Expectations

Everyone who has ever worked in an office knows the pain:

  • Unproductive meetings
  • Meetings that go on for too long
  • People don´t how up in time
A former boss (bless his heart) once told me: A meeting should never last longer than one hour. If it lasts longer people are either repeating themselves are it is not a topic for one meeting.


There is a lot of truth in that.

The graphic below contains useful tips for small businesses on how to run effective meetings.

What you should do when meetings don’t meet expectations

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tactile Sense and Wellbeing

Living using all 5 senses 


Even before people can hear or see, they can feel touches. For our mental and physical health, the tactile sense, touching plays an important role.

Tactile Sense And WellbeingAllowing closeness


We use glasses to correct poor eyesight and hearing aids to correct poor hearing. Our senses are of crucial importance because they enable us to get an idea of our surroundings.

The facial expression of our conversation partner, the smell of smoke in the house, the sirens of a police car - without our senses we would be defenseless and unprotected.

How about touches?


Emotional meaning of the tactile sense


Other than in a sexual context we do not hear a lot about this overlooked sense. Like all others, it is important. It allows us to recognize a touch. Without it, we could not hold a fork, use a smart phone or change a bulb.

This uses of the tactile sense are very visible. The sense of touching is also of large importance for our emotional and physical well-being.

Eat or cuddle?


In the 50ties Psychologist Harry Harlow (read more on Wikipedia) conducted an experiment with rhesus monkey babies. He left them alone (without parents or a buddy) in a cage.

Later they had to make a decision between two objects. Two "mothers." One consisted of wire and a bottle of milk. The other one did not carry milk but was made from cozy, soft fabric.

What would the monkeys do? Which object would they choose? The vital milk mother or the comfortable mother made from fabric?

The majority of monkey babies decided for the fabric mother. They seemingly considered physical closeness more important than food.

Cold and hugs


People and monkeys are comparable to a limited degree. Experiments with people came to the same conclusion, only even more drastic.

Social isolation equals suffering. The hormone oxytocin is released when people hug. That is (among other things) an anti-stress hormone. Also, the blood pressures sink as well as the amount of fear. Even the subjective perception of pain goes down.

Here is info for germ freaks: A 2014 study by the Carnegie Mellon University suggests that hugs can help to get through winter without or at least without severe colds. More about "a hug a day keeps the flu away in this Time.com article HERE.

Participants of the study have been asked how often they embrace other people. Afterward, the 404 participants have been exposed to a common cold virus. They have been put into quarantine, and the researchers took note of how many of them showed symptoms of a cold.

The participants who hugged other people on a regular basis showed significantly fewer symptoms. And if they got sick the illness was less severe. The theory is that a lower stress level decreases the likelihood of becoming ill.

Grave consequences of loneliness


We are social creates that need contact to others for our happiness. People who were isolated in their youth and childhood have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases at a younger age compared to other grown-ups.

A study that looked at retirees found that isolation and loneliness are accurate predictors for how long a person is going to live.

There is a connection between depression and loneliness. Isolation seems to encourage depression. Cognitive decline happens faster when people are lonely.

A different study could show the relation between social isolation and Alzheimer.

What if you don´t have someone to hug


Another connection exists between touches and loneliness. But what if you´re single and do not care for hugging your work mates? In the US 124.6 million people over the age of 16 have been single in 2014 (Source: US Census Beaurau).

The good news: Hugs and touches from people you do not have an emotional connection with help too. Massage could be an option, and many people chose pets.

Pets have demonstrably had a similar positive effect on our health like dealing with people.

5 Short Motivational Tales

Aurorasa Tales





Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mastering The Art Of Gratitude


Mastering the Art of Gratitude

Are you hearing and reading a lot about gratitude lately? How do you feel when you hear "be grateful"? Grateful for the small things in life, thankful for the chance for growth from painful experience - does hearing that irritate you sometimes?

My mom has not been a good cook, to put it mildly. When I did not empty my plate, she used to say: "The people in the third world would be grateful for the food." And how often did grown-ups tell you to say "thank you" when you were still a kid. 

The Case Of Fake Gratitude


I am convinced that manners are a great cultural technology and helpful to get along with each other. But saying "thank you" automatically, as a reflex makes the word an empty shell. 

Why should people not express when they don´t like a present? Shouldn´t the goal be to express your emotions without fear of hurting someone else? 

And how about non-verbal expression? When my eyes light up, isn´t that enough?

Many people had internalized the reflex of "thank you" so much that they even say it when they did something for someone else or a person has been rude. 

The true gratitude challenge


The first step is to observe all of the times you thank someone. In which situation do you say "thank you"? For what do you thank people? Do you MEAN it?

For a week, you could only thank people when you mean it, not because it is expected. I will admit, that you might come across a bit anti-social. I will say that I enjoyed the task (:

We do not like to be told what to do. It creates resistance. That is normal, for nobody wants to follow orders.

He alone is free who lives with free consent under the entire guidance of reason. - Baruch Spinoza

Why we like good manners


What do we like about manners? If I do something polite for someone, I might get a smile in return or a "thank you." I feel acknowledged. My good manners and politeness create an echo. I thank you and you, smile at me. You will have a better opinion of me.

Am I polite because I am feeling grateful or to create an echo and motivate you to a positive response?

What if someone is in a rush or rude and just ignores me? Will I be disappointed? Will I become judgemental and think something along the line of
  • This person has bad manners
  • What did I do to that person to react like this?

When you analyze these thoughts, you will come to the conclusion that you need that "thank you" to feel good and acknowledged. If I exaggerated I little bit, I could say: Your self-esteem depends on it. 

What if nobody acknowledges your good manners and politeness for a whole day? Or week? Would you question yourself?

If it´s a good idea to depend on this kind of social acknowledgment is a question for another day.

What it is not is gratitude. 


Gratitude is an attitude


Gratitude is crucial. It´s an essential component of happiness. Positive thoughts attract positive outcomes. Happy people achieve more.

In my life, gratitude is of paramount importance.

Manners are not gratitude. Doing something to get something in return is not gratitude. Gratitude is without expectation. It is not a reflex, a meaningless automatism

Gratitude is the way you face the world and how you connect with it.

To me, gratitude is related to not taking things for granted.

You probably never suffered from hunger in your life. Or thirst. Clean water is available through the taps in your bathroom, kitchen and in your shower. You probably were never homeless and always had a roof over your head.

Throughout your life, there was probably always someone who loved you.

We can be grateful for what we have, even though we have it every day. I could never relate to the quote: "You only know how much something means to you when you have lost it."

I am grateful every day for things that I always had. 

Gratitude for pain


Yes, we learn a lot from painful experiences. Through them, we became who we are now. Still, I would never tell people to be grateful for pain. That would be a bit cynical.

The feeling of gratefulness for negative experiences only manifests in retrospective. 

Mindfulness and gratitude


I have a fantastic exercise for you. This exercise is also a mindfulness practice. 


Exercise: Gift of Gratitude 


During the two weeks, analyze in which moments are fully "there." Maybe a flower (or cool car) catches your eye? Or is your lunch tasty? Or perhaps when you look into the face of someone you love?

Each time, pause for 30 seconds and explore it with all of your senses. Be only at the moment and experience your emotions, breathing and "it." 

Before you go to sleep, let the day pass in front of your eyes. Retrieve the memories, relive them. You will be amazed that you will be able to recall moments that did not stand out. Enjoy the bath in the abundance of the memories of the day. 

After two weeks, reflect. What has changed since you started the exercise? What did you learn about yourself? What was the impact?

Did you feel gratitude? How does gratitude feel for you?

Maybe you decide that you will continue this exercise. Or you might want to come back to it from time to time. 

I feel grateful for my loyal community!

New Article about Empathy Misconceptions

My newest article can be found in the Emotional Intelligence Hub

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Myth Of Multitasking

Why multitasking is not working


Why Multitasking Is Not WorkingYou are on the phone with your client when you get the notification that your boss just sent a time-critical e-mail. You don't want to keep your boss waiting, so you reply to his e-mail while you're still in the conversation with your client.

Soon you receive another e-mail from your boss. Only this time he sounds impatient.  Apparently, you were only addressing two of the three points of his message. Then you realize that you forgot what the client said about his deadlines.  You will have to call your client again and ask him to repeat the information.

Or maybe you are the boss. Good for you because in that case, people will likely only complain behind your back.

You and me, we've all been in similar situations.

For the longest time, we have been told that as highly efficient human beings we have to be able to multitask and adapt to the demands of an increasingly stressful work environment and new technologies.

Multitasking does not describe a situation when we are idling. For instance, it does not apply if we are on hold and we check our e-mail inbox while we are waiting for our conversation partner

But does multitasking really lead to an increase in productiveness?

1. Multitasking leads to more mistakes


In general, multitasking leads to making more mistakes. Correcting those mistakes often takes more time than focusing on a task in the first place.

A current example is Pokémon Go. Recent studies suggest that the cognitive abilities of people who are hunting monsters while driving their cars are comparable to those of a 10 to 30 year older person.

The problem increases when we are trying to do tasks that use the same cognitive resources. This is why it is legal to use hands-free devices while driving. Studies have shown that people who are engaged in a phone conversation overlook more than double the amount of traffic signs than individuals who are not talking on the phone. They also react slower in critical situations.

In the example of the multitasker that is talking to his client and tries to read it or even answer his e-mails at the same time, it is likely that he will miss part of the conversation. Potentially important parts.

It is highly frustrating when someone replies to your message and obviously has read only half of your e-mail. The same applies to the person on the phone.  Your client will likely not be happy if they have to repeat information they´ve already given you.

In a conversation, the most important information are often not the facts but the emotion of your conversation partner. The things that are not being said. It is more than unlikely that you would be able to understand the emotions of the person you are talking to if you are reading and replying to e-mails at the same time.

2. Multitasking leads to stress


Not only is job burnout a huge problem that is on the rise and presents a huge health threat. Stress is also the happiness killer number one.

You can read my detailed article about job burnout, consequences, and remedies here. AVOIDING JOB BURNOUT

Stress can lead to severe mental and physical issues. If you are stressed at your workplace it will sooner or later also result in problems in your personal relationships.

Unhappy, stressed out people do not deliver great results.

3. Scientific proof and multitasking


What has been proven is that automatic tasks run smooth in multitasking mode. The reason for that is that our frontal lobe is not required to fulfill these duties and therefore does not require resources needed for creative thinking.

Psychologists of the renowned Standford University show in the Clifford Nass study that multitaskers have a hard to time to separate relevant from irrelevant facts. Apparently, they spread their attention to all information alike and lose the ability to focus on the important points.

Some go as far as saying that multitasking can damage your career. I tend to agree.

Conclusion


Multitasking is inefficient. You will achieve the best results if you do one thing at a time and you do it properly. Giving the task at hand your full attention helps you to avoid unnecessary and time costly mistakes.

Communication and relationships benefit from undivided attention as well.

Naturally, this is not always possible in these times that require us to focus on several sources of information at once.

But even small changes can bring relief. For instance, turn off push notifications and check your e-mails manually every 15 or 30 minutes. Shut off your phone while you are working on an important task that requires your cognitive abilities.

Todo lists help to focus on important tasks - most of the time notifications from social networks are not one of them.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Interview with Don Kerr

"The person, not the persona". 





Canadian Writer, Don Kerr, asked me for an interview to learn about the private person Aurorasa. If, and only if, you want to learn more about me, you can read the interview here.
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@don-kerr/the-person-or-the-persona-a-revealing-portrait-of-aurorasa-sima-the-person#c35

About Don Kerr

A brand creation, development, and marketing communication consultant with 30-years of relevant experience to creating powerful connections between corporations and their customers. His work is founded upon establishing a compelling emotional connection between a brand and its stakeholders revolving around three principles of effective brand expression: Clarity. Simplicity. Wit.

Leading branding efforts include organizations such as Wal-Mart, Château des Charmes, Kraft, Pep Boys Auto, McDonald’s and Disney.

He is also the creator of the Brand Clarity™ workshop and has been a brand leader for companies in North America, the UK, South America, and Asia. 

A copywriter by craft, he also creates effective written communication for clients in all media including advertising, packaging, social media, and web. 

Clients on this front include Tim Horton’s, Fuji Film, Astro Yogurt, General Electric and Irving Paper. He was also instrumental in introducing the first-known use of QR coding on alcohol packaging in North America.

I recommend you check out his other work, he is a gifted writer and touches some delicate issues.

Please consider supporting the crowdfunding campaign for his new book.

Twitter @dkridingshotgun

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NeuroGym 5th annual Live Brain-A-Thon

Winning the Game of Money 2017 LIVE

Brain-A-Thon Winning the Game of Money

Announcement



For the 5th time NeuroGym´s fabulous and meanwhile famous Brain-A-Thon is taking place on

November 5th, 2016

As a reader of my blog, member of the AC community, or client, you have probably attended a Brain-A-Thon and experienced the incredible amount of knowledge and empowerment you gain from it. 

I will send you a reminder if you are on my newsletter-list. But I do recommend that you mark the date in your calendar right away. 

The time is not yet fixed. The event is scheduled for 6 hours, depending on your timezone you should reserve 8 am - 6 pm. The safest thing to do (because I am forgetful at times): Sign up for the 2016 replay and be sure to receive the latest news HERE

I consider this the most important self-help and success event of the year, and the value and knowledge transfer from this free event is unmatched. 

If you have not yet heard about NeuroGym´s Winning the Game of Money, make sure you check out the links below. 

As I said, the list of experts for the 2017 even is off chart. But decide for yourself: 

NeuroGym Brain-A-Thon 2017


1. Dr. Srini Pillay- Harvard Professor - Specializing in overcoming self-doubt, fear, stress and anxiety about money and life.

2. Mark Waldman- World Class Brain Researcher- Specializing in letting go of limiting beliefs, negative emotions and bad habits.

3. Sharon Pearson- Overcoming life’s trauma’s expert- Letting go of the past and focusing on the now and future.

4. Dr. Evian Gordon- Leading Behavioral Neuroscientist – Recognizing and releasing the negative mental focus and disempowering emotions.

5. Dr. Daniel Friedland- Integrative Health Brain Expert- Turning your Money stress into your financial success.

6. Larry King- World’s Greatest Interviewer – No explanation needed


I guess you can tell that I am really excited. See you there? 



UPDATE  10/05 Brain-A-Thon Speakers: 

  • 1-Dr Daniel Friedland M.D:  Chairman, The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. Turn Your Money Stress Into Financial Success- Stress can shut down your motivation, make you sick and and kill your chances for financial success. Daniel will show you how to gain control and redirect and leverage your brain’s natural stress response system to fuel your focus and energy so you earn more money and achievefinancial freedom.
  • 2-Dr Evian Gordon M.D. PHD. World Renowned Neuroscientist - Get Unstuck: Maximize Your Brilliant Subconscious Mind. Almost everyone knows their real power is locked deep in their subconscious mind unfortunately, not many people know how to access it and use it to their advantage. Discover how to retrain your brain and get unblocked and unstuck from the hidden mental and emotional traps silently sabotaging your success and preventing you from achieving your fullest potential.
  • 3-Dr Srini Pillay: Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical- Strategic Speed: Use Your Brain to Achieve Your Financial Goals Faster. Most people know there must be a faster way to achieve their financial goals, but they’ve never learned how to use their brains the right way to do it. Based on the latest brain research, you’ll discover how to unleash the genius parts of your brain so you can find and take the smartest path to financial success.
  • 4-David Bach: One of America’s Most Trusted Financial Experts - The Automatic Millionaire. Believe it or not, most millionaires didn’t take the slow, painful road to riches. Join David, author of 9 New York Times Bestsellers, as he reveals counter intuitive thinking and simple behavioral patterns whichautomatically eliminate your debt, and grow your wealth so you retire comfortably and live the lifestyle you desire. ( even if you think it’s too late). Now is the time for you to get of the hamster wheel and start living life on your own terms.
  • 5-Sharon Pearson: Neuro Linguistic Programming Expert- Break Free From Past Failures, Challenges, Stories, Circumstances or Excuses. Sharon will share how simple self-talk and mental focus techniques will retrain your brain and empower you to step up and live the biggest, best version of your life. You’ll discover how she transformed her life from seriously considering suicide to growing a $10 Million a year coaching business helping men and women overcome their challenges while following their deepest passions.
  • 6-Mark Waldman: Expert Neuro-Coach and Brain Researcher - Change Your Brain. Transform Your Life. Mark will share the most advanced neuroscience-based methods you can immediately use to recognize and release any of your negative or destructive patterns. You’ll learn how to redirect negative thoughts, release unwanted emotions and stop your negative self judgement or self sabotaging behaviors.  When you understand better how your brain works, you can literally rescript your money story and reshape your self worth and transform your results and life.
Your Host:
  • 7-John Assaraf: Founder, NeuroGym. 2 Time New York Times Best Selling Author and Creator of Innercise
  • And last, but certainly not least… Larry King - The World’s Greatest Interviewer - will serve as the moderator for this star-studded guest expert panel. No explanation needed!


Related:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Differences Between Changemaker and Troublemaker


Are you Change Maker or Troublemaker?

When Jim learned that the drinking water in his town is polluted for quite some time, he had every right to be angry. After all, he used the water to shower, cook coffee and most importantly to nourish his children.

The authorities did not share information about the degree of the contamination and which pollutants were found in the town´s drinking water.

His worry for the safety of his family and his anger that he did not get the information he so rightfully demanded, made Jim infuriated. I guess we can all sympathize with Jim and would have been angry too.

And the feeling of being helpless added to his anger. No matter how many times he called, he never seemed to be to be able to talk to the person in charge.

The problem concerned every person in the town so that they implemented a special phone number and hired agents to answer the enormous amount of calls from angry citizens. The agents had no authority whatsoever and certainly no detailed information about the degree of the problem.

In his last frustrating call, Jim got so angry that he started threatening the call center agent. It was not like Jim, but he told her that she should be careful because something might happen that would endanger the health of her family.

All of the calls get recorded, and the call center agent went to the police and filed a complaint. Jim had to pay a pretty high penalty and in addition to that, he was in deep trouble with his wife. Only when his wife told Jim that she would rather drink a whole cup of the toxic water than being married to a jerk did Jim come to his senses.

Jim started an action group and called it "transparency." The work group was soon able to get a court order that required the authorities to give them detailed information about the water quality and the pollutants the citizens had consumed.

Jim received a lot of appreciation from other citizens for leading the movement that influenced the speed of change. The group then continued to suggest actions to enhance the water quality and make sure of the safety of all citizens.

From troublemaker to changemaker


It happens to the best of us that sometimes we attack the bearer of bad news, rather than the source of the problem. Depending on the nature of the issue the source might be difficult to reach or persuade. Sometimes even impossible. That can make us impatient, and we could forget that we mean well and are uplifting, non-violent people.

We might engage in toxic behavior.

There are three problems with that:
  • we distract people's attention from the original problem
  • we behave hostile and hurtful towards people who neither have the authority to influence the change we are looking for nor have they created the problem
  • when we become aggressors, we will likely be seen as part of the problem, potentially the bigger one
It´s easy to get emotional about topics we consider important and "truth." The harder it is to influence the desired change, the easier is gets to occasional slip into a behavior that collides with who we are and what we want to achieve, especially when the "nobody cares" feeling kicks in. 

In my opinion, PETA is a good example of this. I 100 % agree and support their important mission but occasional the wording and actions throw me off a little bit

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

We see it on LinkedIn


A great example for the right message gone wrong is LinkedIn. I don't go to LinkedIn to solve math puzzles or share cat pictures. But many people do, and I tolerate that. Meanwhile, there are as many people posting trivial content as there are people attacking it. A third group is attacking people who do either.

Not only is it counterproductive because it helps to spread the trivial post. LinkedIn's algorithm rewards engagement. It does not differentiate between negative and positive engagement. What makes it even more absurd is that disconnecting from people or hiding their posts costs a simple mouse click. 

A scream for professionalism is most effective from people who act in a professional way, and not anti-social. 

Some people go even further and would like to ban certain professions from the site altogether (for instance the topic you and I connect through, Empowerment). I am not sure if they consider how attacking the post of a plumber that is trying to promote his service makes that person feel. 

I am sure though who will be perceived as the problem, or even a bully. Influencing change from the position of a "bully" is certainly harder. 

If I am unhappy with a system of a site like LinkedIn there are three ways to deal with it that will not make people mad: 
  • I can try to change it
  • I can remove myself 
  • I can accept it
It seems like such a silly example, yet it is a good one as it stirs up so much emotion that it´s not an uncommon place to see a changemaker turn into a troublemaker. 

Refugee "crisis."


This blog is not a political blog and will never be one. But each and every one of my readers also knows that I believe in humanity and treating people respectfully. I am not just a teacher of mindfulness but also a life long student. I make mistakes too.

Generally, I stick to the rule of attacking the sources of problems and not innocent people. Being hurtful and toxic is never okay in my book and before you know it you are the one in the wrong.

Please understand my statement from a humanitarian and pragmatic point of view.

It is every citizen's rights to be concerned about changes that seem to endanger their culture. It is also every human's right to look out for his safety and the safety of his family.

Attacking a person that executes his right to make sure of his survival and the survival of his family will most certainly only change people´s perception of us - not create change or constructive discussion.

Those are just two obvious examples you and I see every day. Examples where I wished people would show a bit more empathy before they decide on appropriate actions to reach their goal.

Creating change


The "how to create change" question can probably never be answered in a universal statement. It´s dependent on too many factors. But here are some general thoughts on how to wrap an idea in a non-toxic way: 
  • To create change we have to modify the source of a problem
  • Becoming an aggressor can distract from our intention and message
  • Generalizing can lead to hurting people we are potentially not aiming at
  • Whenever we are a part of a diverse community or society, empathy and tolerance go a long way when attempting to influence change
  • Having realistic expectation regarding the time, measures and traction needed to influence change can help with frustration

Conclusion


We could reflect from time to time to make sure that our behavior is still in line with our intention and goal. 

Changemakers chose constructive approaches while troublemakers most of the time do not help a solution. 

Each of our actions creates crimps through a matrix of causality that we cannot see at first. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Infographic 10 Minutes Mindfulness

Implement mindfulness into your everyday life


Sometimes our busy schedules leave us with not much time to spare. Try these simple mindfulness exercises that only cost you a few minutes of your time extra.

Infographic Mindfulness http://aurorasa-coaching.com




Monday, August 29, 2016

5 Simple Steps out of Dilemma

Once upon a time, there was a monkey. He was sitting on a banana tree. The bananas hanging to his left and his right looked both so yummy that he could not decide which one to grab. After two days, the monkey fell from the tree. Dead. A tragic death by starvation.

Ways out of dilemma


I will admit that I made this up. Here is an example that I read about in a newspaper today:

A wife called the police on her husband. He was driving drunk. When the police caught him, his blood alcohol was over 1.0 mg/ml. The husband is in trouble now.

The first thought that might cross our minds could be: "How could she".

Well, we don´t know the whole story and how many times she tried to influence him to change. The 6-year-old daughter was in the car and that was the last straw that broke the camels back.

I am sure the decision to call the police was not easy on the woman. It was a classic Catch 22.

What is a dilemma?


A dilemma is a situation where you have to make a decision for one of two options of which both seem to lead to undesired results.

No matter which way I go I will not get what I want.

A classic example from Paul Wathlawich:

A mother gifts two ties to her son. No matter which one he wears first the mother will ask: "Why did you not chose the other one first?"

Most of the time we get into dilemmas through other people, within relationships. Catch 22 situations can be found in all walks of life. Often we feel that we are forced to make a decision regarding a meaningful situation or important need. Or in other words: We feel that the decision has existential consequences so that it is not easy for us to let go of either option.

Consequences of dilemma


When people are in a dilemma they often alternate between 
  • denial (it´s not all bad)
  • try and fight (I just have to try harder, next time with more xy it will work)
  • resignation, feeling helpless (I failed again. Whatever I try I keep failing...)
If you get into a dilemma too often, it can lower your self-esteem. You will question and doubt yourself faster and faster. Naturally, the fear of failure will increase. 

The worst thing about a dilemma is that attempts to get out of it are taking place in the problem loop. As if the tires of your car got stuck and you try to hit the gas, change the gear but whatever you try - the car is just sinking in deeper.

Way out of dilemma


Stress is where you allow it to be


Catch 22 situations rarely go away by sitting them out. It will be on your mind until you make a decision. A dilemma is an energy thief. The sooner you make a decision, the better for you. 

It´s in the nature of a dilemma that there is no ideal solution. 

  1. Analyze the situation. Is there a middle way you might have overlooked?
  2. Analyze your emotions regarding option a) and b) Maybe one option is more harmful to you while the negative emotions towards the alternative are based on your fear to let another person down.
  3. Ask your heart
  4. Be proactive and try to eliminate negative consequences
  5. Do it NOW

If you still need help: Contact me or go to my website and schedule a session. 

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?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

When Words become Weapons

How to spot manipulation

Words have a lot of authority, and they change our brain. Negative words as well as positive words.

The Power of WordsCurrently, our society is brutalizing. That makes it even more important to keep in mind the power of words. We are living in times when hate speech becomes socially accepted. We hear words of hate, negative and limiting words on TV. Even in political debates.

I usually write and teach about the positive power of words. And how we can use words and thoughts to send active marching orders to our brain to get us what we want. To make us happier and more successful.

This article is about negative words and manipulation. Some of us do not seem to be as aware of the damaging effect of negative words as they are of the power of positive ones.

Words ...

  • can shatter souls
  • are sharper than knives
  • can break people
  • can make us sick
  • make us suffer
  • are like traps and loops
  • build walls
  • can destroy and ruin

Just try this little experiment: Say aloud "I love myself" 20 times. Does it change how you feel? I bet you are feeling better than before. But negative words have the same influence. 


Influence, Manipulation, Propaganda


Not just our words influence us but also the words of others. Many people know about this power and use it against us. In normal times, I would say "Just remove yourself from people attempting to influence you by using negative words, words of hate."  But these are not normal times, and I would tell you to stop watching the news or political debates. 

There are many ways to use words to manipulate and influence us: 

Disinformation


Disinformation means the act of suppressing information, playing down the importance of information or change its meaning. 
  • Twisting the meaning of a fact
  • Exaggerating
  • Leaving information away


Word Manipulation


Pseudofacts

Example: 60 % of clients are happy. How many have they asked? How did they ask? Did they maybe just ask ten buyers at the checkout to nod if they are happy? 

Emotional words

Words that stir our emotions have a very influential effect. For instance: "family", "quality of life." 

Reinterpretation

Instead of "guest worker" you use the term "foreign worker" or even "alien worker."

Twisting words and meaning

Instead of terrorist you call it "freedom fighter."

Elimination of harmful words

Goebbels (Nazi) for instance disallowed the use of the term "assassination."

Repetition


Just like with auto-suggestion repetition is a powerful influence-enhancer. Repetition is often used in the context of influencing us towards negative feelings. By the hate speaker who might also attempt to invite the crowd to hate chants. A very powerful weapon. 

Choice of words


Doctors and therapists use this method as well. Author Paul Watzlawik wrote about a surprising phenomenon: A doctor helps a kid to get rid of his warts with the following trick: He gave the kid a coin and told him that he will buy the wart from him. 

This absurd statement causes psychosomatic reactions. The blood vessels shrink, and the wart dies off. With the coin, the ownership of the wart changed. 

Any absurd negative statement would have a similarly strong effect. For instance: "I will build a wall, and they will pay". 

Qualitative and quantitative information


"The big tragedy of our society is that we have too much quantitative information and too few qualitative. We know way more than our ancestors, but we know it less good. We need better information by getting the information in a better way - not by getting more information." P. Lévy. 

Way too often the spectacular comes before the important, the meaningful gets suppressed by the sensational. 

That keeps us from seeing clear and coherent. 

Our perception of quantitative results can be influenced. Example:

Test result of a heart treatment pill:

A = Number of heart attacks reduced by 33 %
B = 1.4 % less heart attacks
C = 95.9 % of the test group given placebo has not had heart attacks, while 97.3 % of people who used the medicine where heart attack free

Naturally, we would prefer alternative A that decreases the number of heart attacks by a full 33 %. 

The funny thing is that it´s the same medicine and the same study. The results of the "Helsinki Heart Study" were: 

4081 patients have been observed for 5 years
2051 received the real medicine. 56 of them had a heart attack
2030 received placebo. 84 of them head a heart attack

The treatment was successful in 28 additional cases. That is 33 % of 84 heart attacks without the medicine. The placebo was ineffective in 84/2030 cases = 4,1 %. The treatment only in 56/2051 = 2,7 % of cases. That is a reduction of 1,4 %. The treatment made 2051 people attack free = 97,3 % - as opposed to the placebo with 95,9 %. 

Suspicious wording


Travel agencies are masters in questionable wording:
  • Natural beach (probably full of seaweed and stones)
  • Easy going guests (they will hit on you hard in the hotel disco)
  • Ideal for guests who love great beach holidays (enjoy the day, because it´s dead here at nights)


Insecurity can increase trust


Sometimes we perceive statements as more believable when the speaker signals uncertainty. Unpolished speech, searching for words can come across more trustworthy than a perfect, polished speech. 

Speaking in pictures


Not just in hypnotherapy pictorial speech is used. Who speaks in pictures, speaks more forceful. The pictures get stored in our long-term memory. Word and image (right and left brain) get connected. 

Example: It has been proven that creating a picture of fat cells can influence: 
"The greedy cells are white-yellowish, oval, and they build up in high, honeycomb-like layers. They grow and grow incessantly."

Even though this statement is incorrect from a scientific and medical point of view, obese people have been found to be influenced by it. 

Politicians use this form of pictorial speech with great success. 

How to spot propaganda


Typical manipulation techniques: 
  • overstating advantages
  • understating disadvantages (or not mentioning them)
  • censoring or ignoring other opinions
  • knowingly stating false facts
  • getting personal
  • missing indication of sources
  • strong emotional appeal (prejudice)
  • denigrating opposition

People that are afraid or insecure can be manipulated the easiest. Everyone is looking for stability in times of uncertainty. 

Nobody knows this better than the pipers. 

What can you do?


To make sure that you cannot be manipulated against your will you will need a high level of Emotional Intelligence. A high EQ allows you to understand your own feelings, the feelings of others and be in control of both, your emotions and your actions. 

If someone with a hidden agenda tries to manipulate you, you will see right through it. You will also be in the know about the source of your emotions so that you are immune against manipulative speech. 

That said, a high EQ also comes with the power of influencing others. It allows you to have better relationships in business and life. 

You are invited to join my free EI training, just click on the picture below to learn more and join:




Monday, June 13, 2016

Aurorasa Sima off Topic - Online Dating

Something off topic and completely different: My 2 cents on online dating

https://aurorasa.podbean.com/mf/play/4yq2cd/Od.m4a

And here is a troll video to accompany the broadcast and illustrate .... if you want to know WHAT the video illustrates ... you have to listen to my podcast (:

Watch the video fullscreen it´s about my horror - no it´s about the comments (and my horror and disgust) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr__YgNZOaU


Once you´re at it: Check out all of my podcasts (:


Aurorasa Sima

Friday, June 10, 2016

Monchu - Successful Networking

Wisdom from Okinawa (Japan)


"You cannot choose your family." That´s what people say. The people of Okinawa (an Island in Japan) have a different point of view. The word "Monchu" means "own family." It invites people to put their family together independent of blood relation.

The good thing about this is: One supports each other, helps each other and aims to share wisdom and knowledge from generation to generation.

Surrounded by supporters


Imagine that: You are surrounded only by people that aim to support you in all of your projects - in business and life. As you know, we have limited capacities for tending relationships and friendships. With the Mochu method you use all of your capacity for positive relationships that you have chosen and created.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

20 Hidden Gluten Traps

Gluten ahead, celiac disease patients


Hidden Gluten TrapsLuckily, I do not have any food allergies. I eat gluten (in moderation, whole grain and organic whenever possible) - bread plays a significant role in the European kitchen. 

But once you have celiac disease you will have to stay away from gluten for the rest of your life. It is not always obvious that products contain gluten. 

Many arguments why we all should not eat gluten are in this article HERE

I bet you did know many items from the 20 products below actually contain gluten: 

  1. Potato products
    Potatoes are gluten free. But they are mixed into many ready-made potato pancakes, croquettes, and such contain flour or other ingredients that contain gluten.

    That applies to french fries as well. In fast food restaurants, other gluten containing foods might have been fried in the oil even should (which most of the time is not the case) the fries are gluten free. Often fries are powdered with flour to make them more crispy.

    Potato Chips
    Sorry...I know it hurts, I can feel your pain. There are even three sources when it comes to chips: spice mixes, gluten as aroma enhancer, or the product gets powdered for crispiness.
  2. Roasted onions
    We are not talking about the battered kind where it is evident. Un-battered roasted onions are powdered with flour as well on order to make them more crispy.
  3. Fruit yogurt and light products
    Surprised? Fruits are gluten-free, and natural yogurt is gluten free as well. The conclusion could be that fruit yogurt is gluten free as well. Wrong. Anything labeled "fruit preparation" (or similar) will likely contain gluten. It´s used as a helper and binding agent for its ability to bind water and keep the product smooth.
  4. Cream cheese with herbs
    The cream cheese itself is gluten free. But ready made cream cheese with herbs or other flavors often contains gluten a) in the form of spice mixes and b) as "glue". Especially in light products you should read the ingredient list carefully if you want to be sure that it does not contain gluten.
  5. Hazelnut spread/Nougat cream
    Sweet spreads can contain gluten when barley malt is used as a sweetener. Also, flavorings can contain gluten. The same applies to other candy and sweets.
  6. Spice mixes
    Sometimes gluten has been added to enhance the flavor - sometimes flour has been added to keep the product from clumping.
  7. Ketchup and sauces
    Unless marked gluten free spicy sauces, salsa & co. are the next suspect. Gluten is a cheap stabilizer. There are other options, but gluten is the cheapest so that it´s commonly found in ketchup & co.
  8. Sushi
    One would think one is safe when eating sushi, right? NOPE. The soy sauce contains gluten in nearly all cases. Gluten-free soy sauce is hard to come across and even harder to come across in restaurants and take-outs. Tamari sauce is a good alternative. And if you are like me: With enough wasabi soy sauce becomes irrelevant.
  9. Stock cubes, stock fond, bullion.
    That probably does not come as a surprise. Most of the time producers mark the products as "can contain gluten" or "contains gluten" for legal reasons.
  10. Ice cream
    Sadly, gluten is not just added to sauces but also to ice cream. Celiac disease patients should only buy their ice in supermarkets where they can view the list of ingredients.
  11. Baking powder, dry yeast
    Both products often contain wheat flour.
  12. Dried fruits
    Often contaminated because they are produced in factories that also process gluten foods. But dried fruits are products you should check the ingredients list for other reasons. Added sugar and sulfuric acid are also not our friends.
  13. Sausage and sausage products
    Meat is gluten free. Ham and roast beef are usually risk-free. Any other form of sausage product can and often will contain gluten in the form of spice mixes or cheap fillers. Obviously, any battered meats are to be avoided. But also any marinated meat can contain gluten.
  14. Beer
    Oh, no!!! Yes, it´s true. Some producers offer gluten free beer that´s not made from barley malt or wheat. But I will not lie to you. It takes more patience to get used to than I have. The alternatives are made from rice, soy or millet.
  15. Modeling dough
    If kids cannot tolerate gluten we have to consider more than just the food. Children tend to swallow smallest parts of items and take things into their mouth. Often wheat flour is the main ingredient in the modelling dough.
  16. Bubble bath & co.
    Because they are not used internally, they are risk-free for grown-ups. But, similar to the modelling dough, the problem with kids is that they will likely swallow tiny bits of the product so that parents should go for gluten free alternatives.
  17. Toothpaste
    The problem with toothpaste is that it is hard to find out if it contains gluten or not. Producers hide behind Latin names: Triticum aeastivum, Triticum Vulgare, and Triticum turgidum are Latin names for wheat. Triticum spelta = spelt; Hordeum vulgare =  barley, Avena sativa (or Avena strigosa) = oat; secale cereale = rye.
  18. Lipstick, lip care
    We swallow part of whatever we put on our lips. Check for hidden gluten (Latin names under 17.)
  19. Tablets/pills
    Wheat starch is often used in tablets and pills. Some vendors use corn starch - it´s best to inform your doctor upfront so that he can choose appropriate products.
  20. Lentils
    Lentils are gluten free. But most of the time they are grown in mixed cultures so that they can be contaminated. 
More health and nutrition related articles HERE

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

True Cost Accounting of Food Production

The true price of cheap food


Food is dirt cheap. To be exact: it is too cheap. The real costs are way higher than the prices we pay in supermarkets and at discounters.

The ones paying the bill are our environment and people that are being exploited for the cheap production of food.
True Cost Accounting of Food Production
True cost accounting is a trend I like for once. Do you remember my article "Why our food is too cheap"? If not just follow the link because it contains lots of detailled info on the subject.

Weekend - Cheap end


The weekend is approaching, and supermarkets are outdoing each other with discount prices. A pack of tortillas for 0.25 cent, three cucumbers for a dollar, Avocados? 49 cent a piece at the Jewel. How about Walmart? I boycott this store for so many years that I would not know ...

Who thinks that conventional agriculture could produce food at this prices is wrong. Selling an avocado for 49 cents cannot work. Growing the avocado has caused costs that we do not find in the end price. That is ignoring the cost of sales, rent for the store, salaries, transportation costs, marketing costs, etc.

Polluted waters - leached lands


A new movement that has also been picked up by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) wants to inform and raise awareness of the true costs of food. 

True cost accounting includes costs for the production that until now do not appear anywhere:
  • Over-exploitation of land
  • Pollution of waters
  • Extinction of plants and animal species
  • Climate changes
  • Social exploitation
These costs are not reflected in the price we pay at the checkout. Regarding to the FAO, the yearly costs for environmental damages sum up to 2100 billion dollars, the costs for social exploitation even to 2700 billion dollars. 
Environmental Damage

Consumers do pay the price of conventional food production eventually. 

Conventional agriculture does not add social and ecological costs into the prices people pay at the checkout. 

Organic Food is All Inclusive


Organic food production does not impose these costs on the people or the environment. Different cultivation practices address pollution. They bind greenhouse gasses as they grow and practice a mostly responsible handling of individuals and animals. 

That is expensive. And we pay these costs at the supermarket register. In short: 

Organic includes the cost actual cost of producing food - conventional agriculture does not. 

Organic is not expensive - Conventional is cheap


The reality of things is that conventional food is too cheap. And dishonest. We all will pay the price at one point. 

Organic or not


We as consumers make the call. To raise awareness for the problem, Nature & More has calculated the true costs of a few foods. You can read all about that on their WEBSITE.

It´s not easy to calculate the real cost of food production. How do you put a number on the exploitation of people and environment? How do you calculate the follow-up costs? Not all costs for the society are as transparent as the public cost of welfare for Walmart employees (that by the way amounted to 6.2 billion dollars in 2014.) 

By an FAO report, Nature & More was able to create a model that allows the calculation of the true cost of food. 


I recently had another discussion with someone about the price of organic eggs. My conversation partner claimed he could not afford them. The amazing thing is that he spends tons of money. Every day he grabs his coffee from Starbucks (that´s a pack of organic eggs per day), he pays $ 189 per month to Comcast for his TV bundle and so on. 

Really? And you cannot afford $ 3 extra for healthy eggs? Like is the exploitation of people and destruction of our environment and your health not more important than watching King of Thrones?

We all make our choices. And then we have to live with the choices we made - and with ourselves. 

Check out all of my articles about health and nutrition HERE