Category Archives: Motivation

Postponing life again and again

Our lives have become so hectic. We think in terms of optimizing our time. We want to maximize output while reducing input. We give ourselves targets. We rush. We run. Sometimes we force ourselves to take a break and stop for a few minutes to meditate. Relaxation is forced upon us as well as a healthy nutrition. Sometimes I ask myself about purpose. What is the point of this? Where do we struggle the most? Breaking our own barriers, fighting against the slack persona in ourselves, the couch potato? Or is it the aggressive marketer within us that goes beyond shame, overcomes shyness and speaks to strangers on the train. I laugh when a child shouts out in the middle of a game. The child uses a swear word. It is so natural and so different from the other people on the trains. We, the professionals hide behind our laptops and smart-phones. We want to seem busy because busy equals important. Important equals successful. Successful means we will be loved. Ultimately.  BUT:

  • Tonight we are too busy to spend the evening with the man or woman we like.
  • Tonight we miss dinner again and come home when our baby is already asleep.
  • Tonight we have a pizza instead of the healthy salad we planned to have.

Maybe we will even have a drink because our boss was unfair, our husband did not call or our client just cancelled an appointment. If I feel like this I try to do something completely different like dancing. Have you tried?

Life is a bollywood movie

by VMS

Have you ever imagined your life to be bollywood movie? You know like you sit in a café and suddenly you look into his eyes and your hands start moving towards the sky, your bangles showing up as you move your hands upwards in different mudras (handsigns). You give your loved one a sexy wink and you move your hips and suddenly both of you are in a mountain range in Switzerland dancing with different costumes in colour-coordinated style.

The words of an Urdu song come out of your mouth and your voice is a few pitches higher. The advantage of being in a movie is that you are also very slim and wear full make up and have perfect hair when you just get out of bed.

Your family and close friends magically appear when you need them and the special one is on your side in the critical moments of your life.

It sounds funny and unrealistic but often I think when we start the day with a bollywood mindset, listen to the music on the way to work and keep that smile when we think of our prince…that we get more positive responses from our surroundings.

Let’s try to have a bollywood day and please share your experience.

Here are songs to get you into the swing:


A family


How to speak to your brain to solve any issue in three easy steps

This morning it took me a long time to get into work mode. Maybe the whole pizza and bottle of red last night had a bit of influence on my slack-ness. I came to my office later than normal (10 AM) and cheerfully started my day by jotting down a cool idea on my whiteboard. I wiped away small tasks from the To-Do-List in no time (despite the wine).

And then I get a mail which tells me in the typical formal Swiss letter style (that they took over into email writing) that one of my business plans will NOT work out in the way I wanted. The writer gives me the facts only plus a suggestion what I can do. I was disappointed. Then I reflected. Maybe this extra challenge was built in so that I find a better solution.

We Germans (and the Swiss Germans have perfected this art) tend to think and speak in a „this will not work“ manner. We often explain why certain ways will not work but usually fail to offer an alternative or a solution. I have fallen into this trap many times myself and believe it can be frustrating for people with other cultural attitudes.

While it is acceptable to be negative or pessimistic once in a while I learnt that the „this will not work“ manner stops your brain from thinking about solutions.

First step: Ask your brain an open ended question

In other words when you have a problem you would like to solve you need to give your brain a task to work on while you are sleeping, ironing or cleaning. One example would be to ask your brain „How am I going to pay those bills?“ instead of saying „I am never going to be able to pay those bills.“

Second step: Write down all solutions that came to your mind during ironing

The next morning or after ironing your shirts you take a white sheet of paper and jot down all the solutions that came to your mind (Please note. „Suicide is not an acceptable solution.“).

Third step: You forget what you have written and look at it with a fresh eye

After a few hours of working on another task you look at your solutions again. You can highlight the ones that seem easy to achieve and start with those. Then you devise a plan for every week and work off that plan until you have solved your issue.

What if your pessimist breaks through?

The German inside of me sometimes is still hesitant, miserable and wants to ponder on the problems (even though the original problem has disappeared through above mentioned 3-Step-Plan).  I am giving this pessimist a bit of room. I allow it inside my home. I show this pessimist some achievements and I allow the pessimist to write down all of her wishes in a booklet. If that does not help I order pizza and wine. Just like „groundhog day“.

What is your recurring challenge or limitation?

Please share your experience with the 3-Step-Plan.