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The meaning of life is more important than its duration

Everybody’s main reason for existence is to mean something in someone else’s life, that is why other people care about you. At a funeral I asked myself; when would you die too young? The answer I came up with; as long as somebody will miss you it’s too early. Because that means that you contribute to someone else’s happiness. Just image that nobody cries when you pass away. When you set new year’s resolutions, think of what you can do to serve the people around you. Being appreciated for your contributions is most fulfilling. What to do exactly depends on your unique talents. But if you do it wholeheartedly, it brings joy and happiness, unbreakable to you and to others. Let 2020 be the year of your contribution to be proud of.

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To know and not to do is really not to know

Learning by taking classes, either by a teacher or self-study, is a passive form of learning. It helps to get and understanding of the subject but all craftsmanship require specific skills. Skills cannot be learned from paper. It requires a lot of practicing to master the activities to get the things done. In the doing, you will also face unexpected issues. Issues that are not mentioned in text books. Text books describe the theory and show general examples. Furthermore, text books contain by definition information from the past, especially in a fast changing world. It is the combination of classes and apply that makes you an expert in a specific field. Knowing is not enough, the real learning is in the doing. The coming ESD workshop is about applying. Interested? Register for the ESD 2019 workshops

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You cannot actively forget

When something occupies your mind and you are worried or stressed, other people often give the advise "forget about it, let it go". Out of interest that person might ask what the problem is and likes to understand it in detail. Talking about it can help you to get new insights and might relief but forgetting is impossible. Since your mind can only think about one thing at the time, doing something completely different can help not to think about the issue. This method is also called "the law of substitution" which means that you replace one thought by another. That is why sitting on the couch to relax is less effective that doing something that puts your mind on another topic. It is easier said than done but worth trying. Interested in these and other topics, register for the ESD 2019 workshops

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Common sense is not always Common practice

Have you ever experienced that someone says he understands you fully since it is so logical, even trivial, and does almost the opposite a minute later? It seems that common sense, what most people know is right, is not always common practice, what most people do. Why is that? First of all, some habits are so deeply rooted that it is almost part for their nature. Secondly, it seems to be very hard for people to objectively analyze their behavior and see their pitfalls. Thirdly, it requires significant discipline to do things in the right way instead of the easy way. It is so much easier to judge and stay passive than to have the courage to take action, and of course, experience resistance. Common sense is often assumed to be common practice, but it is quite different. This is especially true for 'soft-skills'. Interested in these and other topics, register for the ESD 2019 workshops

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Big and small problems occupy the mind largely

Recently, I spoke with a doctor who was seriously ill himself and asked “Can you still take patients serious who complain about little things?” His answer was “Everyone experiences problems in his or her own way, therefore an outsider cannot judge whether a problem is big or small”. If you have a problem it keeps your mind busy. It is very hard to let a problem go before you found somehow a solution. A colleague of mine said “I prefer to work hard towards a solution and then take a rest, because I cannot rest as long as the problem occupies my mind”. Understandable, but there is a risk that you overload yourself. It requires a strong character to avoid that. Knowing your own limits is most likely the number one challenge for people in modern society. To get a better insight in your own values, register for the ESD 2019 workshops

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Become or having been?

Young people have a future in front of them in which they will get opportunities but will also face difficulties. In today's world the amount of opportunities is incredible but this is also true for peers and competition. As a young person it is not easy to find your way, to be valuable and to ensure a living. Not seldom, young people look up to elderly that might have achieved so much in life. In contrast, many elderly would like to be young, to live life again with their current knowledge. They project themselves back into their youth time and usually forget that the world changed significantly. It is doubtful whether an elderly would even survive in today's modern world when he or she would be young all of a sudden. Where do you want to be, in the process of becoming or having realities in the past? Interested in these and other topics, register for the ESD 2019 workshops

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Sense and non-sense of the pyramid of Maslow

Abraham Maslow has never drawn a pyramid that is what other people made of it later. The pyramid suggests a priority in the human needs. It seems that urgency is mixed up with importance. Of course, "breathing" is more urgent than "security of resources" or "achievement" but all are equally important. More recent studies learned that "higher" needs of the pyramid can occupy the mind fully even when "lower" needs are not fulfilled. Psychiatrist Victor Frankl discovered, when he was prisoner in concentration camps during world-war II, that "a contribution yet to make" was one of the most important reasons for survival. It is commonly agreed that the items in the Maslow model are of relevance for human existence but the sequence the pyramid indicates is very doubtful.

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Be selfish and good to anybody else

Just like in an airplane, you have to help yourself first before you can help other people. In daily life it is not different. You can only be of use to others, or to your company, when you are in good shape. In other words, when you took care for yourself first, physically as well as mentally. Physical self-care is quite obvious but for mental self-care it is usually more difficult. It is not in our nature to disappoint people, therefore saying “no” when somebody needs help is not easy. Nonetheless, when you are not capable to help another you have to think about yourself first. Simply for the sake of survival. If you ignoring yourself, you will ultimately need help from others. This is okay for a while but ultimately fulfillment comes from serving other people, not the other way around. If you want to learn more about personal leadership join the ESD 2019 workshops

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Never give up! Really?

If you work towards a goal you will face adversity. For many people this will be so demotivating that they will stop and, of course, will never reach their goal. The saying "never give up" is there to keep you going even when things are not running smoothly. But is it really smart to keep going? Beating a dead horse doesn't make much sense. Is it then better to stop? The main question is: how do you know when to stop or to persist? The answer is simple but not easy. Continue as long as you believe in it. When there is still a small voice inside that makes you believe you can do it, continue. You might change your practices but don't lose focus on the main goal. Whenever you lost all your hopes, quit. Because then your enthusiasm is gone and you are doomed to lose. When this happens it is time to take a step back, rethink your purpose in live and set new goals that make you tick and go for it. Join the ESD 2019 workshops if want to learn about live purpose goal setting.

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Is there a limit to well-being?

Referring to the second last quote. In contrast to welfare, it seems that there is a limit to well-being. Research shows that well-being even decreased the last 10 years. Why? Most likely because of the value-principle. We will appreciate something if there was related adversity. Similar as for a voltage, there is a only a ‘plus’ if there is also a ‘minus’. Otherwise ‘plus’ loses its meaning. Naturally, we are trying to avoid misfortune. Ironically, we need it to reach fulfillment. For example, by protecting our children for misfortune we actually take away the opportunity for fulfillment. That brings us effectively down. We can achieve greater and greater results, that we call welfare, but the associated mental pressure and risks also increase, limiting our well-being. This knowledge might shift your paradigm towards truly, not faked, happy people. What difficulties did they went through? If you want to further elaborate, join the ESD 2019 workshops starting soon.

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