I am a maximalist, that’s why I became a minimalist.
What? How does that make sense?
I think it does, although it took me more than 30 years to realize. As long as I can remember I could not get enough. It did not matter whether it was playing a game, a vacation I was on, a mountain I was hiking, stuff that I owned.
I just couldn’t get enough. I wanted more and got frustrated easily when I couldn’t get it.
I believe that a major reason for me to get frustrated was, that I never focused 100% on one thing. I could do everything in life, right? The older I grew the more I realized that I could also own everything that I was longing for.
After all… I knew people who were coming from nowhere and who owned all the fancy stuff now.
What I didn’t see back then, is that they where paying a price for everything. A day has only 24 hours and each moment can only be spend on one thing at a time. So even if you have enough money to buy almost everything, you will have to take decisions to do either this or that with your time. Even owning a motorbike, a sportcar and a sailing boat, you can only use one at a time. The more you add to your possessions the more you have to limit your time for that.
Apart from that, most people I know had to earn their money somehow. When I had a closer look at the job they needed to do in the first place, it was nothing that I ever wanted to do. At least not for more than a week.
That is the problem about comparing yourself with others. Compare and dispair. You only see the result and not the work they put in the previous years. You also don’t see the unfulfilled dreams they secretly have.
Everything comes with a price. Maybe they are in a bad relationships, maybe they don’t see their kids, maybe they would love to have more time for themselves, maybe their success comes with the price of bad health.
Furthermore we tend to compare ourself mostly to multiple other people and see the different things they achieved, all of them coming with another price and each one of them lacking the others achievements.
Now one remains unhappy and feels unsuccessful as long as you don’t own everything that others do.
Well that is the perfect ingredient to become and remain unhappy for the rest of your life.
That’s what I did for the longest time. Looking back, I already did a lot of fun things, but kept focusing on what I did not have yet… and I felt miserable.
I came to I realized one day that three steps are important for me:
I need to focus on myself. What do I really want? I mean really want. Next I needed to find out what was the underlying motivation of this and then prioritize for which one I want to go first. Sometimes I found out that I could satisfy the needs completely different or combine two or three of the needs with a different action.
Knowing what you really want, knowing your basic desires for happiness.
Stop doing things that you don’t want to do. Do things that help you be the one you want to be. Focus on your desires and prioritize. Work on the things you love most, first.
Compare myself to one person only: to myself yesterday! Comparing to others is the perfect way towards an unhappy life, no matter how much you own. If you know what you really want and who you want to be, check daily whether you are one step further today than you were yesterday. If you are not. Adjust.
Sooner that you think you will have changed your life 180°. Stay focused and thankful with what you already have and go on from there.
Because I wanted to have everything and couldn’t get enough of what I already had, I started to focus on what I wanted most. All of a sudden I became l much better and had more of what I desired most. Therefor I had go get rid of all the distractions in my life that where not helping me to fulfill my dream of living the life I love.
Minimizing helped me to maximize what I love most!
Time changes! All the time!
As one second and one moment always connects to the next one, life feels like a constant flow.
On the one hand it actually is and on the other hand all we have is NOW. Decisions are always taken now. Although you can take the experiences from the past into account it remains the moment of now that you take your decision.
It is the combination of your past that will lead to a decision now, that can shape your future.
A coach of mine once told me that our unconscious mind is always protecting us and that decisions we take are always in our best intentions. No body really wants to hurt itself, at least not as long as there some more valuable secondary gain that it will take out of that action.
If you realize that, you will come to the conclusion that whenever you took a clear and congruent decision, it was the right decision. It was as good of a decision as it could possibly be in the moment you took it.
Has it ever proofed to be the wrong decision afterwards because you received feedback that showed you information, you didn’t have before?
Well, it remains the right decision for that very moment you took it. There was something that you didn’t know yet and which you needed to find out to become more aware.
While your heart/soul thrives for something, your mind will create the decision and circumstance for your body to experience it. Then your body will give a feedback of gained knowledge back to your heart and you can thrive for something else.
Let the grieve (about wrong decisions) go and focus on what you are going to do with the new knowledge for the rest of your life.
I myself planned this year to be different. I had plans and goals and dreams and wishes. Then life happened. Other people around me took decisions that I had not foreseen and as everything in life is connected one way or another it made realizing some of my goals impossible.
It was up to me to take this knew knowledge into account. Some blogposts back I told you that I was going to run across the alps by foot and that I wanted to document the journey of this summer. Then I went to Zanzibar and suddenly had to adjust all of my plans. A lot went wrong for me and I reprioritized, had to rearrange some things and had to focus on some other projects. These made running out in the mountains for some weeks not possible…
And… I took the new gained freedom to turn a dream of mine into reality. I always wanted to go sailing. Not around one bay for an hour or so, but for distant places and far away lonely beaches with no schedule to come back.
I needed my own boat and now I have one. I went for the smallest wooden boat that I could find and which is still safe enough to go for larger distances and now I am going to write and publish about this journey instead.
More about my folkboat in another post.
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.
Despite this being very frustrating, it leaves me being responsible for nobody at the moment.
Since I have reduced my financial obligation to almost zero in the last years… not being dependent on anyone and not being responsible for anyone is quite an unusual situation to me.
Apart from true freedom, this can also be very scary. I can or even have to ask myself for every single action I do: what is purpose behind it and why are you about to do it?
The only one who can put a reason behind it is myself. There is absolutely no one left to blame in on. Every single step is purely because I take an active decision for it.
This has, if you look at it closely, always been the case… (just like in your life) and still did I so often try to find an excuse, why something is somehow just not my choice and others make me do this or that.
Does that idea sound familiar to you? Well, realizing that whatever situation you are in, it were your own previous choices that brought you there is the first place.
Realizing that is the first step to personal freedom.
The scary thing though, is that freedom doesn’t always feels like fun. It sometimes is hard work. Being responsible for your own thoughts and actions will give you no other choice than put you actions where your mouth is.
You are the only one in charge on where life will take you. You are the only one to put in the work that will take you to where you want to be?
But guess what?
You will have to go through some ups and downs. You might ask yourself not only what you’d enjoy most… while making your way towards your goal, but also what you’d be willing to suffer.
Be honest with yourself. Are there things, that you are just not going to do? Maybe you go down a different road instead?
So, where did this lead me, you might ask?
I realized that I love to inspire people. I want to help improve peoples life. I also love to travel, be outside and be physical active. I love to create lasting memories. I want to be on an adventure. I love motivating people to join me on a journey. I love to share my stories.
I am ok with sitting my butt down and record my ideas for a podcast, write it down for a blog post, record a video for a publication.
I am ok, improving my website, cutting the podcast and videos. I am fine with sitting down with people on very specific times to help them overcome their own obstacles.
I absolutely hate to talk people into something. I don’t enjoy building a marketing funnel. I don’t want to create an event where I then have to sell it to people to join.
Let’s take the Caveman Lodge for example. I don’t want to find people whom I need to talk into a vacation in Zanzibar and then into staying at my Lodge. No I want to do it the other way around. Be found be people who are looking for a vacation anyway. Put my offering out and help them to have a remarkable time while they are there.
It turned out that I want to do something quite similar with Happylife.Coach.
I’ll tell you what that is in my next posting.
This is why we founded a children education project: KIDZ.
Although I believe one should not put too much meaning in the end of the year I am still using the date for a little review of the old and an outlook into the new year. Especially with Christmas season, plenty of time, new year and my birthday all within two weeks there are quiet a few reasons for a review.
End of December I came back from 4 weeks in Zanzibar and had family and friends time in the Swiss mountains. I love the difference between the winter and the tropical island and gives me the opportunity to get the best out both world.
One thing lacking in Zanzibar is education though. I am not talking about an European school or value system at all. I mean having enough basic knowledge to be able to form an own opinion. In contrast to that the local eduction focuses on stupid repetition only.
Therefor the only way to receive an ‚important‘ and/or ‚powerful‘ position later in life is through intransparency, misinformation or just force.
Most people in Zanzibar fit into one of the following roles, the dictating authoritative or the repressed person. Sometimes people are both depending on the situation. Both roles lead to a stagnation in society, which nobody enjoys. Almost everybody you ask, is unhappy about the lack of possibilities, the amount of wages being paid, the ongoing corruption, the inability of the officials and so on.
It is sad that although nobody likes the status quo, nobody is able or willing to change for the better. I belief that one major reason for that is education, which be it at home or at school consists mainly of two things: shut up and repeat.
Young people learn to sneak around, not getting caught and repeating what is expected without understanding why. Society is a mirror of that.
Now that I somehow slipped into being a Hotel owner in the most southern village in Zanzibar I asked myself what to do about it. I thought that I have the chance to either complain as well or do something about it and I chose the latter.
Back in Switzerland we founded the association „KIDZ individual development for Zanzibar“ K-I-D-Z.org and we are collecting donations to send as many kids from Kizimkazi as possible to a private non for profit school. At the moment private school seems to be the only form of education that makes a difference, at least until enough people become aware how important a decent education is and the public school system will start to improve.
If you want to support that idea, you can either head over to K-I-D-Z.org directly or support me on Patreon patreon.com/flohjoe where you will also support the children in Zanzibar as well as exclusive content from me.
One time a moment takes for ever. Another time it seems as if time is not passing at all. You experience the same amount of time completely different then another time?
That can also happen in hypnosis. When a hypnotic subject is in a really deep hypnotic state and experiences some major internal shifts he might come back and either think he has been gone for only second when it was indeed 30 minutes or he might have experienced it as hours when it where only very few minutes.
Something similar can happen when you are very much concentrated and focused on something you do. You might drive home in the evening and can’t even recall how you got there. Or you are waiting for that airplane to finally arrive and you are so concentrated on that, that it takes for ever.
Which is, I think quiet logical, if you regard hypnosis as a very ultra high concentration state. I often use this example to show that Hypnosis it not at all anything special, or even magic whoowhoo (although it might feel like that). A hypnotic state is something very usual and common to being human.
I would even suggest that you spend your time doing stuff, where you forget about time at all. Imagine spending your day with a project where you even forgot to look at you watch and you only notice when you are done. You might come close to happiness.
Imagine somebody could tell you where you´re actually from. A journey around the world and it all sums up to be you.
This is a commercial, but well, what would happen, if you´d find out all, the people you hate most are actually your ancestors?
End the end, we are one family. Amazing:
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:
Honey and bees are such a nice metaphor. Bees dedicate their whole life to the best for the community. Bees in the summer collect nectar for honey, so their successors in the wintertime won’t starve. Only if every part of the bee community fulfills its own mission the hive can survive and thrive.
As it is such a fragile system the bees live in and it is similar in the world where they find their food. In their direct surrounding they need to find flowers that produce nectar and pollen. If it is too cold, the bees can’t fly, if it is too rainy flowers might not open and the bees can’t fly. If it becomes to hot the flowers may wither. Even in an all natural world it seems as a wonder that bees survive throughout the years.
As it happened to be I started to keep bees on myself in 2003. It fascinated me from the first moment I opened a beehive. What I had to learn while keeping bees is that nowadays life became even harder for bees. When you have the possibility to look into such a fragile structure as a bee hive, you have a direct mirror for what is going on around you.
Farmers are growing only one crop so bees starve once this crop has no more flowers. Since every part of the countryside was turned into farmland. Crops are heavily treated with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. No other plant than the desired crops are growing anymore.
Furthermore the applied chemicals can be found in wax and honey. If you are truly concerned about collecting a clean and precious bee products you have to worry about nature as well. On top of these problems, scientists imported a bee mite from Asia in the last century. This mite is decimating bees around the globe and industrial beekeepers started to implement chemical pharma products until the mites became resistant 10 years ago.
This shows me that it might not be healthy to engineer and to try to improve nature. Concerning the bees it might be the best, to reduce stress for them as much as possible and give them time to adapt to the mites, which means less honey for us. Bees in Asia are coping with it as well. The more we give our bees the right to reproduce as they like the more we might give them the chance to survive. I try to leave as much honey as possible to my bees and let them on their own for most of the year. That reduces the amount of honey I can collect per year but I believe this adds up to its superior quality.
These principles might apply to nature in general as much as for dealing with people especially our kids as well.
Control is just an illusion!
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