Posts Tagged: happy

who’s in charge of your life?

It is now about one year that I am not actively working for ESCP Europe anymore. Although that I am already living my life and worklife relatively self-determined for some years now, I can tell you that it is a huge difference when nobody expects anything from you anymore.
Furthermore and quite important to me, did my son and his mother move so far away that I have absolutely no chance on seeing him on a regular basis anymore. In fact I have seen him only ones in the last 30 month.


Should I upload own videos on Youtube? What would be the difference to my Podcast channel and what happens if no one watches them?

time distortion in summer

I discovered my own kind of time distortion over the last 6 month. In the rearview they took for ever and I have no idea where they went and how all of that could have happened so fast.

last month’s review

As I am writing this I am sitting on the top of a mountain in northern Ethiopia (3300m). The town nearby is Lalibela and worldwide known for its wonderful churches that were carved out of the mountain. Some carved more than a thousand years ago.

get a happy reptile

ups and downs are everywhere

I am in Africa now for more than two month and it is still amazing. The Lodge is ready for the season, we have guests, food is great and people are enjoying their time with us. I set up my work routine, am productive most of the time and go swimming with the dolphins or coral snorkeling every once in while.
Sun is shining every day and life is good.
Nevertheless sometimes it is hard to get up and focus. When every day is about as beautiful as the other it sometimes is very hard to get up and go the extra mile today. What it teaches me, is that it is not about how hard or easy or awesome your circumstances are, but only about what you make of it in your mind.

As I am writing this on Christmas Eve, I am sending you all my best wishes, sunshine and my most positive thoughts. Wherever you are, whatever you do… it is your own decision how you perceive the world.

You decide about your happiness. Keep that in mind and enjoy the season!

back to the roots

I am sitting a my Computer, checking mails, process bookings for the Lodge, record Podcasts and am planning my milestones for 2017. Then one question hits me:

Do I really want to keep writing stories on my blog? Yes!

Good, but what exactly? I wasn’t sure.

Since I shifted my focus on recording and broadcasting my German and my English podcast on a regular basis I missed out to write any articles. The main reason for that is that I am so much more spontaneous when talking. I am able to think about a topic, sit down to list some notes, start recording and the episodes evolves while I am talking. When a thought slightly shifts because I mention another dimension of the same problem it feels and it sounds natural to the listener.
When writing an article though, I always thought that I was expected to write „the perfect“ article. According to my own standards I often didn’t meet those and therefor created frustration in my mind.
While resonating about that, I thought about the time when it became so hard for me to write. I didn’t figure out yet what exactly it caused. I only know that there was a time when my expectation shifted and I tried to write not only an interesting story but a really good article, simultaneously in English and in German.
That was not the reason for me to start a blog though. I never meant to write news articles. I wanted to write stories from life and for life. I wanted to take you on the journey to the happiness through simplicity. A journey of life, where mistake are to happen, were experiences are to be made. I don’t aim to tell you what to do, I want to collect examples where it did work and where it did not, for me or for others.
What conclusion you are drawing from that will be up to you.

I will take my blog back to the roots of blogging. Writing a web-log about life and dreams and inspiration. Since I started to write, I created a life I would have only dreamed about 5 years ago. I am taking you on that journey and very much appreciate your thought and opinions.

Back to blogging! About the simplicity of happiness!

relations matter most

This TED talk really is worth being watched. It’s about a 75 year long happiness study which comes to one conclusion: The quality of relationships is what matters most in life.

Those who were the most satisfied with their relationships in their 50s were the healthiest in their 80s. Just watch yourself:

do what you love!

This winter I fulfilled a dream of mine.

Since I was skiing for the first time as a kid, I never want the vacation to end. I love the summer, the heat and the sun but I also love the mountains, the cold and the snow. It just has to be either one.

I never wanted to understand why you have to be either on vacation or at work/school/university/home. I wanted to do the fun stuff every day.
Why can’t I work on a project while sitting at the beach?
Why can’t I be on my board, before or after work?
Why can’t I have a conference call while sailing?

I was told, when I was younger, that this was not possible. Life is not fun, it’s serious.
Guess what, I had to find out in the last 10 years, that it is 100% up to you whether life is fun or not.

Last winter I spent 44 days on my snowboard riding almost 1000km. I loved it and I still got a ton of work done. I had to switch around some of my priorities wich worked out fine. Now the winter is over and I am sitting in Zanzibar, recording podcasts, writing articles, doing online coachings, training for an Ultra race and in between I go for a swim the dolphins.

Having a happy life is quite simple.

It’s not always easy, because you will have to ask the tough question and you will have to go through training and exercise. But in the end it will pay off.

And you can do it, too.

I put my learnings in an 90 minute webinar that I will offer on June 8th 6:30pm CET for the first time.
Hurry up and send me a request with the text “your happy life”! if you want to participate for free.

almost there

Almost, I almost made it. After several rearrangements, changing the format, the name of the future show and hunting ideas for the first episodes the new podcast is nearly ready. Feb. 25th 2016 the first episode will go online:

Once you grew old, do you want to look back on the stuff you owned or the stories you can tell? When more is too much, it may become time to focus on the essential in life. The simplicity of happiness helps to focus, get rid of distraction and find out what matters in your life.
This show will help you to find out and live up to a better and happier version of yourself, complemented by interviews with people who already did.
It is the simplicity of happiness that matters most.
The weekly English podcast version to the blog:

Until then, if you speak German, you might want to listen to the German podcast. Just click on the German flag in the header or here!

what makes up an adventurer?

What it means to be human.
A man who is never comfortable with the situation he is in talks about becoming the adventurer of the year by National Geographic.

Cory Richards, a Highschool dropout who believes that the richness comes with struggle:

happy and successful 2016

The change of the year is only a randomly chosen number or a change of it to be exact. Nevertheless people like to stop at crossroads or signs to look back and think about the route ahead.

Same works with the new year. How did the last year go? What are the goals for the coming? We decide ourself wether our look back is a positive or a negative one. No matter how bad the last year was, it could have been even worse and no matter how good it was, it could have even been better. It is just a question of your point of view.

That lets me focus primarily on the good things of the last year. To be thankful that it happened to me. If I do, all the things that didn’t work out that well appear in a much brighter light and it is easier for me to see them as a hint for the future. What could i do better the next time. Grieve doesn’t help.

For the future I have tons of new ideas and sometimes its hard to me to keep the focus. If you know that, it might help to choose only one important thing to change or to achieve. That will help you to focus and it will increase the chances for success. Most of the times the clear focus on getting one single task done will change a lot of little things around your goal as well you’ll change so much more than you first thought.

So, focus on the positive and plan for one special achievement in 2016. The rest will follow. Good luck and all the best for 2016

worlds end – in ibo

Just the other week, I met Jörg, a person who gave me an answer to the question: what it means to do something for the first time. More than 10 years ago he left his good paying job in Germany, got on his bike and hit the road South. I met him on a remote island in South East Africa in an old, long forgotten Portuguese town, many call it a hidden secret in the Indian Ocean.

What, where, why? As you may have read in earlier posts, I am traveling in Africa for a bit. During the Tanzanian elections which could turn out to become a chaotic catastrophe for the country and Zanzibar in special (which is another story to write about), we headed South into Moçambique to get an impression of that beautiful land of hidden mysteries.
While coming from Europe and Morocco already seemed to be out of different time and space but Tanzania is even more so. Surprisingly there is another huge gap to Moçambique. A country which not only had to fight against colonial rule but also against apartheid influences from South Africa and Rhodesia. Those countries were giving its best to destabilize the country which let to decades of civil war. That war didn’t end before the nineties when the devastated country had to be rebuilt from scratch, most of the cities, villages, industry and colonial heritage lying in ruins.
After flying in to Pemba, we stayed for two days, being very surprised that nothing has changed over the last 4 years while decay seemed to be in even further progress now. We left with a local bus which, like all other busses in Mocambique and for no obvious reason had to leave at 4:30 in the morning. Even more frustrating than the need to be at the bus station so early was the fact that the first hours the bus was driving around the town to hopefully pick up some more passengers. Busses in Mocambique go without schedule and if you really need to be somewhere that day you better be there at 4:30 because you never know when they are full and actually leave. What followed was a five hour backcountry overland drive. Half the 120km on a tarmac road, the other half on dirt tracks. Only very few settlements with only few houses each laid on our way, the whole land being dry as a bone, all the trees leafless and no grass to be seen anywhere.
Finally we reached a little place at the ocean or lets say where the ocean was supposed to be. We arrived at low tide and except for water we only saw mangrove forrest, which was crucial for us since we wanted to catch a ferry. That meant to sit down and wait for the water. Our ferry was a local dow that was to be sailed to our destination, together with a motor bike and some other 30 people on board. The sea better be calm, I thought. After another hour on the boat we reached the little island of Ibo, part of the Quirimba island in Quirimba national park in Northern Moçambique. Ibo used to be the Portuguese capital of Northern Moçambique and was an important trading post on the Portuguese spice route. At least until the harbor and Capital was moved to Pemba. Afterward the world forgot about Ibo, I seems. A place full of ancient ruins, forts and houses among those. A sand covered main road, with sidewalks left and right, nonetheless. A piece of lost paradise, if you can find it.
Some of these ancient houses found a loving new owner who built themselves something out of ruins, literally.

And that is how I met Jörg.

Jörg who took his bike 12 years ago together with a friend of his and drove South. Through Balkan, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania to Moçambique, later all the way to South Africa. The tour took them two year of traveling with some time spent at different places. On this route they discovered Ibo and while spending some time here, they saw complete Solar Eclipse and fall in love with this place. They knew they had to come back. Which they did, after completing their tour, having covered more than 12.000km by bike. Another two years later. They bought one of the completely destroyed ruins at the place. The one with the biggest trees around, two of them standing right in front of their house and they called it: Miti Miwiri (two trees) or on facebook, nowadays one of the finest places in the area. It took them another two years to finally restore the building and have it up and running.
I guess that is how you break with all the conventions and just follow your heart. They didn’t do anything anymore, because they were expected to do so. All they did, they did only because they wanted to do it and on that road they found a passion and love to a place and decided to built something up. Still, friends and family called them nuts, now they go there for vacation. Sure, they had and have their hard times but they followed their heart and live their dream.

Do you have an inner calling? Listen to it!

an english podcast

Just for you, my English readers I thought about creating an English podcast since I launched the German SOH podcast earlier this year.

Now everything is ready and set and new show will be about the indiviual pursuit of happiness. In contrary to the German podcast the pursuit of happiness: POH, will be much longer and contain very personal stories. Since I am often travelling the world I am recording stories and opinions about life, happiness and individual roads to personal fulfillment.

Just so you know 😉
Stay tuned.
The first show will be broadcasted end of September 2015.

lessons from stonetown

In late 2013 I had the idea that it might be right for me to work for a while from a far away place. I was sick of going into the same office every day. I had the feeling that nothing would change ever again in my life if I kept doing exactly the same every day. I came to a point that I worked only for the money and not for the love of it.

I was and I am looking for a reason in my life and for what I do. I want to do something special. Last winter I fulfilled a dream of mine and chose one of the most beautiful places to work at: Zanzibar. This is exactly the point. I want to work. I just don’t want to have the feeling that I am missing my life while I am at work. I strongly believe that I need to follow my inner motivation, to be good in what I do and to create a lasting difference.

Furthermore I thought that an external view on my daily life and my routines could help me find out what I truly want.

After traveling through northern Tanzania on a beautiful three week vacation, I went back to Stonetown, Zanzibar on Dec. 25th to work from there for one month. I was were I wanted to be. I had plenty of time and I had such a big problem starting to work. I found out that Stonetown didn’t provide any space for me to focus on my work and still feel good. My room was small and had no real windows. The small windows of mine were covered by mosquito nets and the house on the opposite side of the road was only about 1 1/2 meters away. Not what I regarded as a beautiful view.

When I was working inside the building I had to switch on the light because it was too dark. The lights were fluorescent lights. That was not what fired up my inspiration either. Next to my Laptop I kept a towel because every few minutes my table was so wet with sweat that my hands kept gliding away.

I wanted to be outside, I wanted to work outside. I had my laptop with enough battery and I had an internet dongle with a ZANTEL card to work online as well. But guess what: That’s not what you do in Africa, sitting somewhere in the park with your laptop. First there were no parks, second there was either beach or shade. Third: if there was an open place to sit, my laptop would attract many people to sit directly next to me and stare on my screen and/or talk to me.

I figured, I had to work from somewhere else. Rooftops, although plenty of them could be available are not common in Zanzibar. If you have sunshine all year round, that might push you into the shade.

No work on a rooftop either. I tried different cafes that seemed to work and walked a lot to discover new places. As you can imagine I felt quite unsatisfied during my first days. That was not what I had expected. Every morning I thought about where to go and where to work and ended up running around Stonetown to find a place. I got lost every time. I had to walk straight in one direction until I reached the end of Stonetown and then run around it until I found a place I already knew. Otherwise there was no way finding home for me. Funny how much effort it costs my brain to find my way. My brain put full concentration on creating new routines to make my life easier again. Actually time went by quite fast when I was wandering around town. My mind was completely occupied with scanning my surrounding trying to find any hints where I am and how to find my way back. Slowly I found out about places where I could sit for while, where they had coffee and some even good coffee. I could even remember how to find that place again and how to go back home. My days became easier and I could focus more and more on the work I wanted to do.

When I came to Zanzibar I wanted to get rid of my routines because I thought that they might be in my way of working happily. Then the complete lack of any routines (where do I sleep, how do I sleep, breakfast???, where do I eat, when do I eat). Basically everything made me so insecure that I even thought it was a mistake to go there in the first place. Then I started creating new routines and when I finally was at an ease with myself the month was over and I flew back.

Now looking back at my time, I realize that it was the best thing I could have done last winter. I developed such a clear focus on how I want to work and what I want to do. I developed new routines not by accident but because they helped me to achieve my goals. And I was actually able to take these routines with me to new places. I work so much more efficient than I did ever before. And I am happier with it.

Some of my lessons from Stonetown are:

  • I hate routines
  • I need routines
  • I could complain wherever I am
  • It’s my own decision to focus on the bright side of life, or not
  • Nothing is perfect.
  • Everything can be perfect for moments.
  • If I know what I want, I can do it.
  • Get rid of expectations and live NOW!

What makes a remarkable life remarkable is not the chances you get, but what you make of your chances!

Are you interested in working without an office, too? I put all my learnings from Stonetown into my Webinar: officeless office!

what our brain does when it does nothing at all

I am so happy to present yet another wonderful post by Lisa. Without knowing she wrote about the reason why my sailing and Sahara seminars have such an impact:

Sometimes it happens, someone asks me:“What are you thinking about right now?“ Suddenly I am torn from my thoughts which were just wandering on their own. In order to come to a suitable answer I try to structure the chaos in my head and bring my thoughts into some order. But then my only answer is: “Well, all“ Knowing that this is not true at all.

Because our brain never stops spinning the wheel.
Amazingly I find my own mind on special colorful routes, coming up with the most creative ideas when I am not productive at all. When I feel almost bored.
Like recently in Melbourne. Far away from my routines and social network I found myself with lots of time and my brain with unsuspected capacities. I used to stroll around without destination when my mind came up with a thunderstorm of thoughts – memories from my early childhood, the taste of long forgotten dishes; dialogues that have never happened; people I never met… it felt like a theatre play of my past, present and future mixed together with countless actors and endless storylines. Way too complex to put it into words. Daydreams…
Some brain researchers explain those moments with the so called DMN (Default Mode Network) which gets activated when our brain is not occupied with other tasks. The DMN does not respond to stimulations from the outer world but is specialized in introspection and the processing of experiences. This makes it essential for the construction of our identities: In an ongoing inner monologue we are telling our own story over and over again. As if the DMN is working itself through a huge pile of ‚post its‘ that were hidden in our unconsciousness. Piled there through our daily experiences. And it keeps assigning, structuring, reinterpreting. Building the basis for reflected decisions.
That is why we come up with creative ideas and complex troubleshooting when we less expect them… under the shower, taking a run, or staring at the ceiling.
But in our modern overstimulated world, tight schedules keep our brain constantly challenged. And we don’t have much time for letting our thoughts wander. That’s why my experience in Melbourne taught me to leave space for idleness. Because I am more in line with myself and my life when I let my thoughts wander around regularly.
Aristotle would be proud – in antiquity the highest value was idleness.

a new discovered freedom

the simplicity of happiness on swiss trails
A free day to me is a day in nature, in the mountains, on meadows, on my own feet with a rucksack on my back and depending on the season with trail or snowshoes on my feet and sticks in my hands.

Already days before, I think about that day. Where I will go, which mountain peak I am going to explore and which trail am I going to show my shoes that day. The anticipation is big and that very day my feet tingle in the morning… soon I will be up and running.
The scenery especially if there is good sight is breathtaking. The pure view enlightening and every change of perspective offers something new and thrilling for my eyes to see and my heart is yelling: I want to see this mountaintop and want to walk on that meadow.
Infinite freedom. Starting at the threshold of my home trails are passing and they lead me to others trail and those to even more.The trail network spans thousands of kilometers passing lakes and going along huge mountainranges. Unlimited possibilities for small trailruns, bigger trailruns, extensive hikes, and soo much more…
A paradise to me! And so simple – not much equipment needed, no big deal… but lots of space and time for me and us.

It can be so simple to find out, what makes you happy, but way too often, it’s just so difficult.

thankful for the moment

I just spent my last week in Sahara with the members of „sahara experience III“. My intention was and is to show others how different life can be. Even I forget, that everything I do in my life, I do by free choice. In almost every case I have the choice to do something different or to not do it at all. I just have to live with the consequences.

I focus on all the little things me and others keep complaining about. Situations that we would so much like to be different. I try to remind myself that it is still my own choice to react the way I want to.
What I keep forgetting though, is how much we managed to keep our world in its boundaries in the western world. We can barely imagine a power cut, not to talk about anything severe. In my everyday life, the worst thinghappening to me is that I lose my internet connection. I rarely think about other people on this planet, who don’t live in such a technological world and how they have to deal with the powers of nature.
After we arrived in M’Hamid, a week ago, the sun was still shining and then the weather turned slowly into a heavy sandstorm that day. I still thought that this was a one day sandstorm that will disappear again after some hours and well, fortunately it did.
Unfortunately it came back every day with one big difference. From the following morning on we were in the desert and headed directly into the direction the wind (and all the sand) came from. I had a feeling that I normally don’t have. I was helpless. I hated the sand in my eyes, I hated the sand in my nose, I hated the sand in my lungs. All I wanted to do was hide from it, but I couldn’t. I had to move against it. Resting didn’t really help either. Preparing food was like playing in the sand. In the night the sandstorm slowed down, to come back every now and then leaving loads of sand in my sleeping bag. Even when I woke up, I was chewing on sand. Nothing helped but to become stoic. Just keep on moving and hope for the storm to settle down. On the evening of the third day it settled down. The sky cleared up and we had the first night with stars shining. In the end, we had a remarkable experience and could enjoy the clear nights with music around the fire even more. We knew that it wasn’t for granted.
I suppose this is the way the world goes round. It’s not always and everywhere sunshine. Sometimes problems occur and you have to go through hard times. It doesn’t help to hide from your problems. That won’t make them better. The only way to deal with them is to face them and work your way through. Once they lie behind you, it is even nicer to enjoy the smooth times. You deserve it because you made it through and that feels good.
If you manage to think about that, you will live a happier life.
I hope, that, when everything runs smooth for me, I will always remember not to take that for granted and that I’ll always be thankful for the moment.
Now I am enjoying Taghazout in Morocco for one week. No sandstorm and nowhere to walk. Just time to relax, organize, plan ahead and write.
I am thankful to be here.

happy#055 – mikumi

Driving on a normal road in Mikumi, I saw Zebra, Buffalo and Elephants next to road and started to wonder. What can we do to preserve the last beauties of the earth. Is it even up to us what happens on the other end of the world?
You decide with your consumption and maybe its about time to fund some rescue the world projects.

happy#054 – when you lose a wheel

The other week when we visited Ruaha Nationapark everything went wrong one day. Our car was about to fall apart. Wouldn’t start, battery down, break broken… then we fixed it and lost a wheel in the middle of the park.
Also had to fix it and drove home knowing that we could lose again at any time…
In the end we had a remarkable trip to be remembered for the rest of our lifes.

It always depends on you how you will view things in life.

happy#053 – the lion in us

On our way back from an adventurous game drive in Ruaha national park, we first met a whole family of African elephants. Later, outside the park shortly before the village that we are camping in, a lion crossed our street. About 100m meter in front he appeared from the woods on the right, stepped on the road, stopped, looked at us and disappeared in the woods on the left.
This picture made think a lot about danger, nature and balance in life.
This is also a very good picture of what we are doing to our own life and our own body. 
What is it that we can do to be better in balance with life and nature?

happy#052 – democracy

Nowadays I often hear say that we don’t really live in a democracy because there is no real choice. I very clearly want to disagree. 
Just the other day we had to American guests at the lodge and they were pointing out thing that are not going right in America. With a lot of their concern if not most they were right.
But I absolutely did not agree with the consequence they drew from their frustration.
They believe that the USA are not a democracy and that your vote doesn’t count because there are multinationals and media who influence you in their own interest.
I can understand that tendency but in the end, it is always up to yourself. You decide what you believe. You decide what you buy and you decide who you vote for.

happy#051 – craftmanship

Technology can make your life easier but often it doesn’t make it happier. Happy comes from doing the right thing. So learn to do something right.
Get a hobby or a job or a mission were you produce something with your own hand and it will be one step towards your happy life.

happy#050 – technology

Do you think it is a blessing or a curse that our life is dominated by electronics.
How do you use it, or does it use you?
Think about the episode of yesterday. Today you can chose so much. You can also choose to which degree you will use technology.
I think what helps most is when you arrange your life without technological gadget and make yourself clear that you don’t need them, maybe once a week or once a month. Or one week per month or every second weekend. It is your decision. But make sure that you maintain a mindset that lets you be independent from your phone, your computer, facebook, google and the internet.
Once you created and maintain that mindset you will always be able to decide yourself to which degree you are dependent.

happy#048 – control

Have you ever looked for the save solution?
Often safe means to be and to stay in control ut there is only one thing certain about control. Control is never safe. It’s never certain.
Control is just an illusion.

Giving up control can give you freedom!

happy#049 – master or slave

150 years ago it was on you to decide to decide on which side of history you were standing. You were born a slave or a master and there was almost no way to change that. Fortunately that changed and most people in modern society are able to chose were and how they work.
Today often I hear people that they are treated or feel like slaves…

They think, they don’t have a choice in jobs, in private or life altogether.

WRONG! Wake up and use your freedom.

happy#047 – start at the end

Often we learn to be realistic. We analyze status quo and try to figure out what we can do with what we already have. Sometimes and I think most of the times companies and entrepreneurs act the same. The invent a product or have an idea, produce and then find somebody to sell it, instead of thinking about the consumers needs first. I learned in marketing to start with the needs of the customer instead of the product that I want to sell. The results will be so much better.
Actually the same applies to reaching your greatest goals. Think big and start at the outcome. Imagine it as realistic as you can and then start thinking backwards
To make a plan how to reach your biggest dreams.

happy#046 – expectation management

Clear language can make a huge difference. In your communication with others as well as in the communication with yourself. The way you talk, you direct your mind and the way you think. Your behavior will follow your thinking and you will talk accordingly.
If you talk clearly other people will know what they can expect. You might risk a direct no but you can react immediately and prevent misunderstanding which would lead to frustration at a later point any way.

happy#045 – natures beauty needs no plastic

Driving through the most incredible landscape I realized once again that we need to be careful to preserve the world that was given to us. It is not ours, we just borrowed it from our kids and grandkids. We should take care about it.

happy#044 – don’t try, do

Thinking is a way of directing your unconscious mind. Be careful what and how you think. There are words that direct you mind in one or in another direction. The word try is one of them. Be careful when and if at at all you use it. Better you do it, than to try it.

happy#042 – principles, not rules

So many rules are hard to follow. Sometimes it’s almost impossible. For example the rule to not cross a red light. Even at 3am and completely alone. Wouldn’t it be so nice to change those rules into principles. More like a: You have no priority when cars are coming… We could also apply more principles instead of rules to our own life. Principles offer a variety of possibilities instead a simple yes or no.

happy#043 – million is just a number

I so much wanted to be a millionaire when I was young. Now that I am, I had to to find out, that I forget to specify the currency. Since then i keep asking myself what the currency means anyway. It is just an agreement build on trust that a million here is more worse than over there. And still, a number can always be taken away from you.
What does it make sense to invest in after all? Maybe time?
Wanna be a time millionaire?

happy#041 – life’s a rough road

When life feels like a rough road and you neither know why you are on it nor if it will ever end you might discover a surprise once it does. The roughest road lead to the most remote and beautiful places.

happy#040 – surprises make happy

If someone really surprises you with something that you really like that can make you happy, right?
To be surprised it needs to be something that you don’t usually have and something that you don’t expect. Because I reduced so much over the last years and am happy with so little that I just had the situation of total surprise in the middle of nowhere in Southern Tanzania.

happy#039 – risks worth taking

The bigger the risk is the bigger the change can be. Big change can lead to an immense improve of your situation. What are the risks that you fear to take?

happy#038 – trust

Dealing with people always comes down to trust. You trust somebody or you don’t. Even more important: do others trust you? Investing in your consistency and therefor reliability will lead to more people trusting you, which would be a very good investment in you future.

happy#036 – no shortcut to success

Wouldn’t it be nice and easy to know the shortcuts in life? You can find tons of books out there that try to teach you how you can systematically learn and train the shortcuts to more success and/or happiness. Unfortunately that is just not working on a sustainable level. Especially with happiness you will have to get into the doing. Without action there is no body reaction. Without body reaction there is no emotion, no feeling, no happiness. 
Spent the same amount of time finding the shortcut with things you really like to do and you are already one major step closer.

happy#037 – accept now

What would happen if you’d wake up tomorrow and live the life of somebody else? Would you regret decisions made in the past? Or would you examine the situation and try to take the right decision from on? Imagine you had the freedom to take just the situations that you think re right now and make life better?
Guess what? That’s what you will do tomorrow!

happy#035 – medicine

Normally I am not sick very often. Now I was. Three times in a row and I was so thankful to have the possibility to rely on modern medicine although I mostly look for another solution.
It showed me, that so many of the modern inventions actually are good and make our life easier one or another way. It only becomes difficult when we rely on them so much that we think we can’t go without. What are you dependent on?

happy#034 – freedom

What does freedom mean to you? Is it only your own freedom or do you also think about other peoples freedom. And what can you do to increase both?

happy#033 – no body, no chocolate

All our feelings and emotions are reactions of our brain to our body. If you don’t take care of your body you won’t make it to a happy life.
My advice, watch your body. Be ware of what you put in and train it as much as you can.

happy#032 – inbox zero

One of the most annoying things in busy peoples life is often the hundreds of email they receive everyday. One of the most successful strategies you can use to reduce the stress of a full inbox and even countless unread emails is INBOX ZERO.

happy#030 – focus on one task

African time 😉 After posting episode 28 after 29 I went straight to 31 and today the missing 30. I’ll work on my counting:

Distraction, procrastination, whatever you might call it. Staying focused seems to be one of the major issues nowadays. This doesn’t get better when you are a busy person. Although some might argue that they are good multitaskers that will most likely not be true. You might be able to do two different things simultaneously, but both results will be worse than had you focused on only one.

happy#031 – convincing

Whenever you try to convince anyone of one of your plans or if you try to speak about a problem you have or had it helps to follow some simple rules.

happy#028 – scheduled events

Sitting on a rooftop in Marrakesh I recorded this episode about my plans for 2017 and then the whole episode got lost and was rediscovered just now.

happy#029 – happy new year

Happy new year to all of you and welcome to my 100 days of daily podcasting with the tip of the day.

happy#027 – sahara

After the 4th day of walking through Sahara with my SAHARA experience IV group I recorded this episode covered in the shade of one of the few trees around. I caught a cold just before I left to Sahara which you might be able tell. Apart from that I was at peace with myself and the earth. If you ever feel, that you are too distracted in life and it hard for you to focus on what matters most to you, think about joining me. Maybe in April?

happy#026 – mindpalace

I recorded this interview a while ago with two amazing young women who run their own podcast called „the mind palace podcast“. Their show is dedicated to minimalism and the joy of less. The English-American team talked about podcasting, friendship, and shaping the future.

JESSICA LYNN WILLIAMS is an artist and I am a lover of written word, both in reading and writing.
She works as a freelance web designer and minimalist mentor in Maui, Hawaii where she spends her days going swimming in the ocean with her dog, Arrow and snorkeling with her husband.
She is inspired by Colin Wright and The Minimalists.

MELISSA CAIN has got a degree in English Literature and Fashion Journalism which is where she cultivated her interest in style, culture, and writing. She spends her days working with children, and in her spare time she loves hiking around the wild English countryside, travelling, watching documentaries and reading. 
Her journey into minimalism started four years ago when she came across The Minimalists website and it transformed her life.

If you do take the time to listen to any of the mind palace podcast shows – don’t be a stranger! Reach out and share your thoughts with me via social media.

happy#025 – live or die

So often I just get caught up in stuff I didn’t mean to do before. I don’t know how it is with you, but often that kind of stuff doesn’t do me any good. When I recognize that, I often think that… well, tomorrow is just another day.
Now I had to realize that no matter how old you are, every day can be your last and I try to live up to best person I can possibly be. As I have been traveling with nomads in Sahara for a week again their understanding of life makes so much sense: You live or you die, it’s not in your hands!

happy#024 – love people, use stuff

It makes so much sense to say things like: love people and use stuff, but every now and then it happens be quite hard to act accordingly. To get what you want it seems to be the easiest to manipulate and use other people. Isn’t that what everybody is doing. 
And the new car, new phone, new stereo, new snowboard you just bought and spent so much time working for the money to buy. Isn’t it normal to love these things?
I am giving you an example today of something that I tend to love and what solution I found for myself.So often I just get caught up in stuff I didn’t mean to do before. I don’t know how it is with you, but often that kind of stuff doesn’t do me any good. When I recognize that, I often think that… well, tomorrow is just another day.
Now I had to realize that no matter how old you are, every day can be your last and I try to live up to best person I can possibly be. As I have been traveling with nomads in Sahara for a week again their understanding of life makes so much sense: You live or you die, it’s not in your hands!

happy#018 – open borders

I am traveling a lot and I see how much traveling helps my mind and my understanding to develop. When I open the news or even facebook I read about people whose biggest desire it seems to be to shut down the borders and isolate them from the rest of the world. As if this would change anything for the better.
Therefor this episode is a pledge to open the borders. Not only in your heads 😉

It is the simplicity of happiness that matters most.

When more is too much, it could mean it’s just right now. This show is about simplicity and ideas for more happiness. Interviews with people who have something interesting to say and personal stories by and from Florian Hornig (Floh).

happy#019 – failure

One of the events that can make the biggest difference for the positive in your life is a decent FAILURE. Fail often and fail early. And then? Keep learning from it. What makes a failure a failure is yourself. You could also regard it as a feedback from the universe and develop further.
Failures can become your life’s greatest learning experiences.

Look at at what you thought were failures and start learning! Now!

happy#020 – control

Neither are kids in control of their life nor do they think they are. Often they decide based on the situation and their feelings. And then they grow up. They learn, that mankind is dominated the nature and that we are in control. That it is just a question of right technique. Not being in control is soon regarded as a weakness and failure. The fear to lose control can become so great that some people forget or fear to live the life they dream of.
So let me tell you this: There is no such thing as control. Be a kid again! Control is only an illusion!

happy#021 – paperless

Have you ever thought about all the paper stuff that is in your cupboard? I talked so often about stuff you own and mentioned mostly clothes. But when you draw you attention to all the papers you own it can easily add up to several 100 pounds. Why do you keep it? Emotions? Important information?
You can enjoy all of that when it is digitalized as well. I am going to present you some tools that can help you become paperless…

happy#022 – two chairs

Today I am sharing a coaching tool with you that can help you to to change the behaviors of other. At least it can help you change your interaction you loop you experience with the person you have a problem with. You might even go further and solve problems that only exist in your mind or even pain might be reduced or disappears afterwards.

happy#023 – hello & farewell

The realization that you will eventually lose everything that you ever value in your life might either lead to a depression or can make you enjoy every moment in life.
Everything material object, even our bodies have a beginning and an end. Some things just last longer than others. One day either they or you are broken and it s up to you wether you suffer or the enjoy the time that you have.

happy#014 – are you god?

„Are you god?“ is not the question that I ask myself but the character in a short story I recently read. Since I wouldn’t consider myself a religious but more of a spiritual person. Sometimes it might help to see yourself as part of something bigger, to start treating everybody else as good as you would like to be treated yourself.

It is the simplicity of happiness that matters most.

happy#015 – LAURENT BURDIN | the interview

Laurent Burdin is founder of Space and Lemon GmbH, mixing two activities of startup mentoring and innovation agency. In Hamburg, Berlin and soon in London. The agency activity targets at larger corporations focusing on business development two years ahead, on predictive analytics and always has a startup dimension.
This „something new“ company was launched in 2016. In 2015 Laurent Burdin toured the tech and startup world from San Francisco to Shanghai. Before that he managed digital agency SinnerSchrader and SinnerScharder Mobile Berlin (8 years) and well-known ad agency Springer & Jacoby (8 years).
He is passionate about „how technology is stirring up marketing, business models and complete industries“.

Twitter: @laurentburdin

It is the simplicity of happiness that matters most.

happy#016 – sleep

Whatever your goal is to achieve in life, you wont reach it if you don’t have enough energy. No matter how hard you train, you will refill energy when you are asleep. You pay more attention to your sleep, you’ll sleep better and you will reach more of your goal in a shorter time with less effort.

Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson 
Meditation App I:
Meditation App II:

happy#017 – fear

What is the single most limiting emotion that you have? Mine was fear!
When I started changing my life I started to face one fear after another. I learned to deal with them and eventually got rid of most of them. That increased my personal freedom more than anything else. 
You can’t blackmail me anymore because I don’t fear and I am not attached to stuff anymore.
Ged rid of your fear as well.

It is the simplicity of happiness that matters most.

happy#013 – BEN LEE | the interview

The first interview partner of the show is Ben Lee, an Englishman in Australia. Ben could be the co-host of the show, such a nice and friendly guy who is always in a positive mood. It was fun to interview him, as he did quiet some changes in his life and learned along the way to never regret.
Enjoy listening to this courageous guy who went from tree surgeon in England to beer brewer in Australia and meeting the love of his life along the way.


It is the simplicity of happiness that matters most.

happy#012 – health

A healthy mind needs a healthy body and only a healthy mind can experience true happiness. My conclusion is that you need to watch you body and keep it healthy to live a happy life. Unfortunately we don’t recognize until it is almost too late that we are treating our body bad. I tried to some up some of the most important aspects to watch.
– sleep
– body strength
– body flexibility
– nutrition
If you are interested in learning more about that, have a look at the podcast of Shawn Stevenson or my Webinar. See below. Until then, enjoy and stay healthy.

Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson:
The model health show:

happy#011 – declutter

When you thinks about living a happy life, it makes sense to think about what brings value and joy to your life and what doesn’t. Do more and get more of what does and get rid of what does not. That is the simple underlying message of simplicity. Keep it simple and focused on what matters most. Your mind, your stuff your life.
In this episode I give you a very brief overview on 10 simple rules that can help to declutter and focus on the the things you love.

Coutney Carver:
The Minimalists:
Becoming Minimalists:

happy#010 – motivation

This is the first episode of the podcast that doesn’t deal with the story of me but gives some real advice. I start with the tool that caused the initial change in my life that keeps changing to the better ever since. It is called the ReissProfile and deals with basic desires of human psychology.
I am introducing the tool and give you an overview, about the 16 desires so that you might get a first feeling about them and may already be able to find out which is most dominant in your life, so you can understand yourself better and get a first idea how different others might feel in the very same situation, which can dramatically change your communication with them.

The Analysis:
Who am I, Steven Reiss:

happy#009 – caveman lodge & snowboarding

After living a lifestyle that really seems to fit the story continues in East-Africa. Having seen the African wildlife and places of my childhood dreams was not enough. I stumbled upon a lifetime chance while sailing on the Indian Ocean. I went for it, enjoyed my first full summer in the swiss mountains, dealt with individual tragedies, learned a lesson about the important things in life and continued to view life positive.
I also explain the story of why this podcast is recorded in Zanzibar.

happy#008 – swiss mountains & stone town

Having moved to Switzerland my story continues with an adventurous trip to Sahara and East Africa, which was going to have a huge impact on my future. 
I learned that it is easy to lose the positive focus no matter how positive your life may look to the outside. Once again it shows, that it is not important what happens to you, but you think of it. Look at the bright side of life. That concept proved to be true in drowning Sahara as well.
I also experienced that it’s sometimes better to know the direction you are heading than having a goal itself. You might end up finding some wonderful places.

happy#007 – EMMA

Having experienced so many things I loved in 2013 I wanted more of it in 2014. Together with Judy we took the crazy decision to move out and hit the road with our 1971 Mercedes Bus called Emma. Eventually we kept on traveling for eight month and ended up in the Golden Village in Switzerland. In between we had seen some of the most beautiful places ever and learned some lessons for life.Having moved to Switzerland my story continues with an adventurous trip to Sahara and East Africa, which was going to have a huge impact on my future. 
I learned that it is easy to lose the positive focus no matter how positive your life may look to the outside. Once again it shows, that it is not important what happens to you, but you think of it. Look at the bright side of life. That concept proved to be true in drowning Sahara as well.
I also experienced that it’s sometimes better to know the direction you are heading than having a goal itself. You might end up finding some wonderful places.

happy#004 – on my own in sahara

I leave the desert village M’Hamid EL Ghizlane to be on my own in the middle of that giant dust bowl one day later. Instead of being afraid I am at peace with myself. While doing the adventure of my life I realize that all I do is not so special after all. I loose my fear but have to discover other limits to my journey and stumble yet into another adventure.

happy#005 – the adventure continues

On my personal route to happiness, I had to travel some stoney roads. Today I am talking about how a failure could turn out to become the biggest adventure.
Life taught me, that is is not about what happens to you, but what you make of it.
I ended up, sitting on the roof of a truck for two weeks, saw more than I could have imagined and found enough time to think.

happy#006 – wanderlust & redefining work

Back in Berlin I had to fit in again. That didn’t work out and I started questioning it all. I was searching for something else than the normal routine and came to the conclusion that I had to do it my way. Sometimes frustration can lead to the most powerful changes, if you are able to look at it from the bright of life.

happy#002 – changing my life

This second Episode is about the first part of finding myself. Have I always been happy? No! Did I always do it my way? No! Did I even know what I wanted to do 10 years ago? Once again NO!
I am giving you an overview, on decisions I took that didn’t make me happier back then and what happened that helped me start changing my life? What led to the change and when did I take the decision to go on the adventure of my life?

happy#003 – preparing for the desert

After finding out about my passion I was tracking it down looking for a way to live it. I came up with the adventure of my life. I had to prepare for more than half a year, but the important thing was doing something just for myself and nobody else. Furthermore I had to leave my comfort zone so far I could barely see it anymore. And this was still the prep time. Even more important to me was finding my smile again.

happy#001 – intro

The introduction to the new simplicity of happiness podcast.

It is the simplicity of happiness that matters most.

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