This is one of the best TED talks ever! Shawn Achor has a wonderful way to explain his research topic “positive psychology”. First he rises the energy levels in the audience by telling a wonderful story from his early childhood and once everyone is waiting for the next joke to arise he explains his research findings over the last years. Here some quotes out of his talk:
See what we’re finding is it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.
90 percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world.
We’ve found that there are ways that you can train your brain to be able to become more positive.
By doing these activities and by training your brain just like we train our bodies, what we’ve found is we can reverse the formula for happiness and success, and in doing so, not only create ripples of positivity, but create a real revolution.
Very inspiring talk and a great summary of his book: “Happiness Advantage”
Leave your comment what you think about this talk and maybe you have another awesome TED talk to share.
Teaching and learning in Kyrgyzstan
Have you ever heard of Kyrgyzstan? Two years ago I had no idea where exactly this country was. And this year it was already the second time I traveled to this amazing country in Central Asia.
Everything started when Gerrit Beine asked me to join him giving a workshop about agile software development in Bischkek (here some impressions from 2012).
This year I was offered the possibility to teach, inspire and learn again in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This time Michel Löhr joined in as the main coach for the agile workshop at KSUCTA University. And it was amazing this time I was already used to the not so good things like infrastructure or air pollution (which has improved in a good way over the last two years) and then on the other side I saw all this beauty!
The nature is stunning and looking to those massive mountains just outside of Bishkek is amazing. Hiking in those mountains was even more rewarding and then you had the people of Kyrgyzstan: Awesome! So friendly, hospitable, open minded and curious people it was a wonderful experience. Every day at least two students took care of us by doing activities to explore nature, culture, people or food. Thank you all for making this possible.
The 5 days agile software development workshop was a lot of fun where we taught the basics of Scrum. With a lot of games and interactive exercises so that the students could experience the agile culture first hand and learn to work and improve as a team and excel with each iteration.
I’m already looking forward to inspire, teach and learn more in this wonderful country called Kyrgyzstan in the next years.
Motivation Boot Camp – Power Days
Ever wanted to experience a soccer stadium atmosphere combined with some intellectual input regarding how to use more of your potential. Well then maybe the Jügen Höller Power Days are something to consider.
Saturday 10am the event started in Nürnberg, Germany together with 2200 people and the song “I got the Power” from Snap and immediately the energy level in the hall rises. In this environment it was easy to learn new things. I liked how Jürgen Höller and Mike Dierssen used metaphors to explain their topics.
One exercise I really enjoyed was for instance everyone was handed out a 100 centimeter paper yardstick and then was told if you are a man cut it of at 85, for a woman at 90 (to show the typical life expectance). Then you should to some calculations: Start from your current age and depending if you are a non-smoker or smoker, eat healthy or unhealthy, do sport regularly or no sport, … you changed the years (+15,+10,+5, 0,-5). The end result you subtracted from your starting point (85 or 90) and you got your remaining years. Well that was very vividly for me. Sure not everything is in your hand but you can do a good part yourself to stay healthy and increase the odds to live a long and happy life.
Well to summarize the event: I liked the “stadium atmosphere” and the energy levels, I met some really great people and got some nice inspirations out of it. Here some sayings from those two days:
“Grow your comfort zone then your personality grows”
“Workout leds to championship”
“Never give up and always give 110%” (the clapping and cheering to the song “I got the Power” was a metaphor for that)
“Never think for your customer”
“The more successful you are, the more humbled you should be”
“Never stop to grow because that’s the beginning of dying”
“Strangers are only friends you don’t know yet”
“Success always starts at home”
“Success is 15% expertise and 85% personality. Invest in your personality if you want to become rich”
“How you do your job, is how you live your life”
“Successful people are decisive”
“Every NO is one step closer to a YES” (The power of the quote: e.g. 1 out of 50 will say YES, so every NO gets you closer to the yes)
“5 pillars of your life house: Career, Finances, Health, Relationships, Private Development” (Have 4 or 5 pillars set up you have a great foundation for your life house, only 3 and the foundation is not solid anymore not speaking off when only 1 or 2 pillars are in order …)
It is the 11th of May 2014 and after a good night sleep I wake up early in the morning to get ready for my first Triathlon ever. Although I had a good preparation for the first triathlon I was still a bit nervous of what will happen that day.
Great that the competition started at 1pm, so enough time to prepare myself. With my bike and all my stuff for the upcoming challenge I took the Munich underground to the famous Olympic Park. And already in the underground I met another participant and funnily he was starting just next to me and it was his 3rd Triathlon. His hints on what to think about in that specific Triathlon helped me to relax a bit.
After the check in of my bike and all other stuff what you need for your transition (water, power bar, cycle shoes, running shoes, socks, towel) it was time to change into my triathlon outfit and get ready for the swim in the Olympic pool.
Then I was standing there, second in line to jump into the water [funnily my registered swimming time was second slowest of the fast group] and then they guy infront of me jumped into the pool … so only 12 seconds left till my start … count down … 3 … 2 … 1 … GO
In my head I was super excited but as I already knew from my running where I’m also super excited at the start I only said to myself… swim slow… slow and steady with long strokes and off I went … slow and steady … after 2 out of the 8 lanes I was overtaking that first dude (who started first with the slowest swimming time of the fast group) … WOW … So now nobody was infront of me and I had all the remaining 6 lanes clear (my biggest fear in Triathlon was to be packed into one big swimming group and not getting ahead) So too not become over excited … swim slow … slow and steady … well that worked fine till lane 7 where I had my first foot cramp … ok keep calm … relax … swim slow … slow and steady. And then I went out of the water and I was first, what a feeling!!! [Please keep in mind there were 400 guys behind me who had faster swimming times, but I didn’t care] and the volunteers were supporting me: “Yeah you are the first!” 🙂
Transition from swimming to bike was good and went without big mistakes. Slow but steady …
I was on my bike and went onto the first of 5 rounds in the Olympic park, to get to know the course. Second round was even better and third was great. But in round 4 I got my first cramp on the bike so I had to slow down a bit and also the course was a bit slippery and very twisting. Then getting from the bike one volunteer shouted to me “You’re a the 5th guy”. Wow so I only lost 4 positions [please still keep in my there were 400 guys still behind me who started later] but hey it sounded great!
Transition from bike to running went like this … ok running with my bike to my transition position was good … put the bike back on a pole check … helmet down check … cycle shoes out check … both running shoes on check … wait something is in my left running shoe … 5 seconds I’m thinking is it ok to run like this? 3 … 2 … 1 … NO … so after taking the left shoe off and searching what might be in this shoe I found a … power bar (!!!) [Reminder to myself: Please check next time in the check in procedure if anything is still in my shoes!] ok I put the left shoe on and then something was in my right shoe as well a bit smaller but I decided to check this shoe as well. This time I had to search a bit longer but I found another [but smaller] power bar in my right shoe … then both running shoes on check … change the number from the back to the front check … Great then it was time to get back on track and to the start of the running trail.
Funnily the guy from the underground who started 1min behind be at the swimming was now next to me. We had a short chat and then I went of. And all the transition preparation from my trainings camp in Croatia was coming into place. Actually I was feeling very good in my running shoes [without all that power bars] and my pace was good. A former colleague and triathlete athlete found me and cheered me up [Thank you Hannes for your support and the pictures] and then the last 500m to the finish line.
Volunteers were handling out water but I refused and just saw the finish line. Wow what a great joy came over me. All this tough 6 month preparation was now paying of and all the endorphins were rushing into my body and with a big smile and hands in the air I was crossing the finish line. WOW what an AMAZING experience.
For the next three days I was full of endorphins and I was already looking forward the next two events in Ingolstadt and Hamburg. More from those two events in the next weeks …
Triathlon Camp in Poreč
April comes and so does my first Triathlon trainings camp. How exciting, after my first cycle camp in Málaga it was now time to put all three triathlon parts (swimming, cycling and running) together for my first upcoming triathlons in May, June and July 2014.
Together with the two awesome coaches Sabine and Wolfgang from ESV Ringsee Ingolstadt, Natalie and Karin we had one week of training in Northern Croatia in the small beautiful coastal town Poreč.
Training conditions were very good: Sunny weather, Plenty of good food, hilly surroundings for our cycle tours, great running track on the coastline and a salt water pool.
Here some impressions:
Cycling in Malaga
Long time no update from my site and thus a short flash back to February when I went to my first ever trainings camp to Spain to learn Cycling on a race bike. Together with some experienced cycling mates I was on my way to southern Spain, Malaga.
We arrived there end of February and for one week the hills around Malaga were our training grounds. Especially one hill which went up from 0 to 965m was twice part of our course. Amazing to cycle over 1 hour only up a hill, great fun.
The weather was already nice with up to 25°C just the gusty wind was a bit disturbing. So let’s tell you about our regular day, which looked almost every day like that:
Wake up at 7:45
Have breakfast at 8:00
Get ready for the cycling day till 11:00
Cycle for 3 to 6 hours
Take a nap … long nap 🙂
Go for dinner at around 19:00
Go to sleep at around 22:30
And here some impressions from our trip. Thanks Jochen, Daniel, Andreas and Tomasz who joined in this trainings camp and helped me to cope with a new sport. Result: I love race cycling 🙂
How to master any skill
Traveling around the world for me is about meeting awesome and inspiring people in interesting places AND to learn new skills.
Recently I stumbled on this article in which a great approach from Tim Ferriss was explained.
In the last three month it was swimming for me. I started out with 1 lane of crawling and then I was already exhausted. The goal was 152 lanes. And now after less than 3 month I can crawl those 152 lans. How is this possible?
First of all I had a written Dreamplan to help me focusing on the goal. Second I tried to deconstruct the task into small pieces. And then after weeks and weeks of practicing the small pieces, I was finally putting it all together and it worked! Breathing was not a problem anymore and swimming felt almost like running for me and I can now meditate while swimming. It’s brilliant and now I love swimming!!!
So what is it, that you always wanted to learn?
Give it a try and learn something you always wanted to achieve!
Here the Video from Tim Ferriss:
How to make your inner weaker self your friend
I just returned from a run in snow and rain and was surprised how happy this made me feel. You should probably know one more thing: I don’t like cold weather, I love the beach and the sun … but snow and rain with 0°C … bbbrrr no way!
Somehow I still enjoyed that. And I had the same experience one month ago when I actually started to enjoy swimming in the pool and I was somehow in a flow while doing this.
2 month ago I hated free style swimming and didn’t see the point in doing it, beside becoming fit for my first triathlon coming up in May 2014. So I was thinking: “How come I enjoy something where my inner weaker self was so strong a month ago?”
And then I found a wonderful article at: http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/11/how-to-beat-procrastination.html
with a wonderful picture (Source Waitbutwhy.com) which explained it perfectly for me.
In the beginning I was in the dark woods and my freestyle swimming was very limited and I didn’t enjoy it … But once I could handle to swim for 40+ laps I appreciated it so much and I was even getting into the flow 🙂
Thanks guys at waitbutwhy.com for this great illustration and explanation! Awesome 🙂
Where is your inner weaker self so strong that you are still in the dark woods?
How to make your Dreamplan work
Ever thought about making your New Years Resolutions work? Well I have some ingredients for you to achieve your dreams. At least those are the ingredients I use already successfully for the last couple of years to attain my dreams:
(1) Write your dreams on paper
This helps me to vizualize my dream. As we all get distracted once in a while this is a great reminder to look at the goals we dream about to achieve
(2) The dreams should be SMART
Setting up tangible dreams which are archivable given my current situation is the second key to achieve them
Specific: Be as specific as possible about your dream!
Top 3 things I have learned
Recently I had a talk with a very good friend of mine and he asked me an amazing question
What are the top 3 things you have learned on your trip?
We were talking on the phone and so I was ready to argue myself out of this question with telling him: “This is a tough question, let me think about it for a day” but he said: “NO! Trust your guts and come up with three things!”
So here they are my top 3 things I learned on my 6 month around the world trip:
- Self awareness of my goals and how I want to live my life (My perfect day which I wrote down more than a year ago is really archivable and I love it!)
- Trust in my own strength and my principals for life, i.g. I love people and I love to inspire people with my thoughts and my radiant optimism (Personal Mission)
- Growth of self confidence and taking baby steps into the direction I want to develop
I love this question so much and believe it’s great to ask this question once in a while to yourself or to your friends.