Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Take the Time

A friend of mine has an underweight problem she has been fighting for a few months. She's been visiting a dietitian who subscribed a radically different diet. My friend was somewhat shaken by this new diet, because it would mean a dramatic change to her daily routine, her shopping and cooking habits and at some level her daily balance. After a few minutes of explaining to me, she broke down into tears, because of the burden of changes.

It occurred to me that she didn't have do this. She had a choice to not do the diet. Even better, she had the choice to do the diet at her own pace. I advised her to not mind the dietitian too much, but if she really wanted to do the diet, she should stay committed to it, and do it at a pace she felt comfortable. So no, no habits and routines need to be changed overnight. She could do it over a period of weeks or months. So long as she's gaining weight, it should be OK to take the time!

The next morning I got a call from her, that this simp…

Good people with bad habits

In professional relationships..

Bad people with bad habits: it’s easy to catch early and filter them out.

Good people with good habits are too rare. They hardly come by.

But good people with bad habits are more common.

These are the people whose enormous potential is being blocked by some self deceptions going on in their minds, that they don’t see, but others around them can tell. As always, those around us know a lot more about us than we ourselves (though 99.9% of the times we think it’s the other way around).

So what to do?

It turns out that good old objectivity is our best friend.

Consider a programmer I used to work with. He was an honest guy with good intentions to do a good job. At the end of the day however, he would live up to 40% of his potential. But he felt enormous stress in accomplishing even that. Worse yet, he thought he was giving his 100%.

How could we tell it was only 40%? We counted the number of lines of code he wrote, which averaged no more than 30 per day. Now…

Death & Detachment

When death comes, it's time to give everything up..    everything you built and love.    everyone you love. That's why people don't want to talk about it. It's sad, scarily sad.
I think being prepared for death is the ultimate act of detachment. And in detachment lies peace. As a sane man, would you choose peace or conflict within?
At any point in my life, I would like to have my dependents entitled to whatever I want to provide them. And that is limited. I want all my debts kept paid. Those things I create, I hope there are care-takers for it, and they benefit from them in future. Those people that had love for me, hopefully I did enough for them, that they do not remember any emotional debt.
Detachment then, is the key to living and dying a free life.

My Taxes are my Votes

Someone more democratic has to explain the flaw in this logic.
Little Macedonia went to a referendum in September 2018 to vote for essentially 3 national decisions.  Change of name from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to Nothern Macedonia. Implied in 1. and in relation to Greece‘s approval of the new name, entry into NATO. Implied in 1. and in relation to Greece‘s approval of the new name, entry into EU. I spent the last 4 days in this trip to Macedonia, discussing with friends and strangers, mainly their opinions about entering the EU. 

One of my employees mentioned that she does not care about the outcome and she didn’t vote. I had to admit to her that I myself miss voting, but definitely do care. With a little guilt injected due to that last admission, I went on to explain to her that my way of contributing to the democracies I live in is by paying taxes. Hard cash. Not 1 vote every few years that may or may not count, but cold money, that will definitely count. By that logic I …

Power-to-Inform and it’s Leverage

Recently after an argument about the controversial withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement with friends at our local Irish Pub, a friend forwarded more info..
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35073297
Financial Aid has been known, studied and documented to be a „tool of indebtation“ used to establish the superiority of industrialized nations over the under-industrialized ones.  So short-term US saves money by withdrawing, but longterm, they loose „a little“ leverage over the weaker nations of the world.  Trump‘s short-term goal seems to be financial austerity. 
Most of the $100bn ends in the pockets of politicians, power-brokers in poor nations.
More valuable for impacting systems in receiving-countries, than cash, is knowledge & technology transfer, via academic and industrial sectors. That’s a whole creative exercise in itself. 
Ps:  I wonder if the BBC is an unbiased source of news. Questionable for ex. above is if the 100bn „funding“ is supposed to be in cash …

Polarity with Employees

The 7 Universal Laws of Nature are the following.

Law of Vibration (or Energy or Focus)
Law of Relativity
Law of Cause and Effect
Law of Polarity
Law of Gestation
Law of Rhythm
Law of Transformation

Of these, I find the Law of Polarity applicable to my relationship with my employees. For the longest time, as I ran companies in Germany, India and Macedonia, I always tried to have my employees (team) on my side. I wanted them to think from my shoes, care for the companies they worked in like I did and take from them commensurate to what they give.

I must say, that for about 15 years now, I have consistently been disappointed with the outcomes of my endeavours to have my employees on "my side". Good pay, personal rapport, career development and equity in the companies never seemed to work to establish that special connection.

Perhaps because it was never meant to!

The Law of Polarity, applicable also to north-south, electron-proton, profit-loss, masculine-feminine, manifests i…

Full Day Schools in Stuttgart

Arguments against a full-day-school from for children of 1st to 4th class.
If the child returns at 17:00 from the school, returning home at 17:30 or so, there is less family-time before the child retires to sleep at ca. 19:00.If the child and parents are interested in development of extra-curricular skills like specific music instrument, specific sport etc., over and beyond what the school officially offers. One compromise would be to offer the mandatory lessons (Pflichtfächer) in the morning (till 12:00 or 13:00), and the optional ones in afternoon. Parents and children can opt to go to full-day or half-day school.

20 and Happily Stuck

At 20 there is a world to explore. The social-programming is yet shallow, and you are defensible. Everything can be undone. Wow, isn't that wonderful?

At 20 we have a hero's vision of ourselves. It can be anything we want, because anything and everything is possible. You can be Julius Ceaser, Nikola Tesla, Wolfgang Amadeus or Sir Charles Spenser Chaplin or combinations of them.

But as the years pass, that hero seems to fade away, alas even die. That's sad. To see any hero die is sad.

After those blissful years of 20-something, why do people let their hero die? Why does ego and vanity take over?

Cash Reserves

We entrepreneurs tend to get excited about cashflow surpluses, for example if there's enough cash in the bank to honour 2 months of payroll and operational expenses. In fact, research supports the proposition that 4 months of cashflow surplus is optimum for avoiding bankruptcy.

But how much cashflow surplus is actually sufficient?

In my view, there should be sufficient cash in the bank to honour all current commitments, including the contracts up to notice-period of all employees on the payroll. So if there are 10 employees costing the company 50.000 EUR per month, and the average notice period for relieving the employees is 60 days, there should be payroll reserves of 100.000 EUR in the bank. In addition, assuming opex of 20.000 EUR per month, maintain 40.000 EUR to cover this. So optimal cash-reserves should be 140.000 EUR.

Maintain at all times an order-book with payments due per month of 70.000 EUR (plus material costs and other commitments).

Before adding a new employee, ens…

Biggest Myth

The biggest myth in life seems to be the one we fall into the trap of believing that at any given point, I have educated myself enough.

The German language has a many self-directed expressions, such as "I excuse myself", instead of the English "excuse me". In the same way, "I educate myself" should in fact be mainstream, because most of our education is self-education.

Vanity at 40

40 is a serious turning point in a man's life, if you let it be. With almost all of life's fundamental needs fulfilled by now – marriage, kids, profession and some wealth to your name, it seems like the krug of life has gotten full. Vanity sets in. A strange sense of weight and inertia sets in, making us feel heavy, less manoeuvrable, less agile and less alive.

But is the krug of life really full? How about if you managed to expand the volume of the krug in your mind, since our world is what we perceive it to be, and make it look like an empty one again? Could you see a second youth that way. Couldn't you be 20 again, only with another 20 years of experience?

A large set of social-norms, life's frameworks like family, profession, social-status and worst of all, our own perception of the self come in the way. A conscious mind will however boldly manage them, to have it all back again, and maybe never let it go.

Because our would is.. what we perceive it to be.