day 6: 30 day proactive challenge

Originally posted on this bipolar mom:

I’m currently reading Stephen Covey’s 7 habits book and I decided to take his 30 day proactive challenge. For one month this is a goal setting blog/experiment of sorts. If you haven’t read my last posts prior to this one, this is where I record 1) focus on my proactive thoughts and share the most memorable ones,  2) write how I changed my thought process, not all experiences but those that are relevant, and 3) any experiences that are pertinent to my change.

1) There wasn’t one moment that stood out today. I am however catching myself and changing my thoughts more and more often. I feel my self automatically starting to notice when I need to change my thoughts/attitude.  I’m hoping that this continues and gets to a point where it becomes such a natural and fluid transition.

2) I notice that I have a lot of “have-to” thoughts. Like, “I…

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7 habits; 30 day proactive challenge

Originally posted on this bipolar mom:

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My husband has had this book our entire marriage. He said he bought it in like 1995 or something. While I’m not sure about that date reference, I do know that we’ve had it and moved it with us all 12 moves. He started reading it recently and after reading about 100 pages invited me to read it too. I planned on waiting until I was finished with reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey to then write about it. When I had had this huge transformation and was full of knowledge and wisdom. But where’s the fun in that?

I’m maybe a quarter of a way into the book. I decided not to wait because there is a 30 day challenge that I want to participate in. The challenge is to be proactive for 30 days. To not wait to be acted upon, but to…

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Can Gamification Make Us Learn?

Howdy folks,

2014-08-04-15-00-50.jpgtoday I want to share with you my latest insights about the question if gamification can make us learn. I was thinking about it again because my former lecturer told me that in her opinion, learning (especially in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)) does not need to be fun but to include top notch content.

First, for those of you who are not familiar to gamification: gamification is the application of game mechanics in non-game contexts, e.g. showing customers a leaderboard of the most-buying customers to motivate them to buy even more. So you might want to call gamification a manipulation thing using mechanics that make you feel good or try to do better in games.

The question now is, can we really be manipulated to learn something?

2013-10-11 10.45.46In my opinion, gamification can be a trigger for learning. The game-like style is likely to grab your attention and teach you a first few things in an easy way. This is supported by a good on-boarding design. On-boarding means that in the beginning, there is more help and less difficulty so that you can start smoothly and not just get scared and frustrated after the first minutes.

Gamification then can keep you for some time satisfying your curiosity to discover new things and to figure out how things work. You might enjoy yourself earning some points and achievements and making some progress.

But someday, things get boring and the question then is: What have you learned and what are the take-aways from the time spent on this gamified learning environment?

To be able to answer this question, we have to think about your original motivation why you spent this time and if your motivation changed during spending the time. In my opinion, you can only learn something in a healthy way if you are really caring about learning it. I define healthy learning as a sustainable learning which is achieved once the learner begins to ask questions and looks for answers to these questions – which leads to real engagement of the learner and application of the topic to learn.

2014-08-07-10-50-56.jpgSo if you just stumbled into the learning environment accidentally, looking for pleasure and left once pleasure became less and work became more, you might have learned a few things but they are very likely to fade away soon and you are likely to have not achieved a deep learning and understanding of the topic to learn. In short, little or no learning.

But if you came to the learning environment with questions to answer or developed an interest in the topic to learn in the learning environment, you are likely to take away much more – and maybe even stay longer or look for other learning environments.

So the point I want to make is that what matters first and most is not the design of the learning environment but your motivation to learn.

Which is the role of gamification then?

Redesign of a gamified Software Engineering course, ICL Kazan 2013(6)As stated above, gamification can be a trigger for learning. If the learner is motivated for learning (motivation is not the product of gamification!), the elements of gamification can be a great way to provide the learner with a lot of intuitive learning management tools. Think of a map which shows you the topics you could still move to. A skill tree which shows you which skills you’ve already learned and what you might want or need to work on. A quest you can give to someone so that he/she explains something to you or works on a topic you are interested in. Earning experience points for learning success and getting level-ups to find and peer with other persons of similar levels. All the tracking of your learning and the management of the topics to cover, the possibilities to work on and the communication with other persons can be enhanced and facilitated by gamification techniques so that you can spend more time on the thing you care for – learning something you are really interested in.

2014-08-08-11-44-19.jpgFinally, to answer my starting question: gamification can not make us learn in a healthy way if we are only looking for pleasure. And a last side note: It is somewhat ironic that a society which is pleasure-centered tries to cure the problems of their pleasure-centeredness (that people care more about earning money to buy more pleasure than to learn more to make the world a better place), that this pleasure-centered society is trying to cure their pleasure-centeredness problem with making learning more pleasure…

I am looking forward to learn what you think.

Have a great weekend,

Chris

Singing

Using Visualization For Self-Improvement

Howdy folks,

today I want to let you know how I am currently implementing Habit 7.

If you wonder what I am talking about: I am on a journey of continuous self-improvement. I am using Stephen Covey’s great book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” as a framework and guide. You might want to check it out, it provides you with a framework for continuous self-improvement based on reasonable principles. If you have any questions about the book, feel free to ask in the comment section.

Parts of Habit 7

Parts of Habit 7

So back to Habit 7, “Sharpen The Saw”. Habit 7 tells us to spend some time everyday on ourselves, on our production capability to provide us with a healthy and fit body and mind to implement the other habits. You can see the four parts of Habit 7 in the photo on the right side (which I put on my room’s wall):

Let’s start west – MENTAL: Of course, I am READING my guide and further literature whenever I feel a need for some external wisdom and guidance. I am PLANNING my day whenever I want to achieve a lot of different things (usually the first thing I do on Saturday mornings – writing an ordered list of todos/activities with some scheduled hours to make sure I get everything done during the day). I am WRITING right now (I think a blog is a great way of self-reflection). And I am VISUALIZING a lot of things on my room’s wall to remember me everyday and this way establish them in my mind/as a part of me. I will show you some of the photos on my room’s wall now.

Feather in the air

Feather in the air

To remind me of the right state of mind (Energy is a question of attitude & mind: Sometimes I feel very tired or slow but most of the time, it is because I don’t lift up my mental energy level.), I use the photo on the right side (which is a feather in the air – in my opinion a good metaphor for an easy state of MIND):

Singing

Singing

 

Some kind of PHYSICAL activity which also lifts up my mood and improves my inner balance by requiring me to be in the right state of mind (otherwise it feels like a lot of work) is singing.

Boy in the woods

Boy in the woods

 

 

 

 

This applies also to going for a walk and enjoying nature which is also good for my body – which I tend to use to little during the day as I am an office worker. So I took this photo of a boy enjoying the sun in the woods to remind me of going for a walk everyday:

Sports collage

Sports collage

 

 

 

 

And for the real sport stuff, I made a little collage of my favorite activities – going for a jog, cycling, swimming and work-out. The man’s shoulder also reminds me of the right position of my shoulder which still tends to be bowed.

Smile

Smile

Very useful for my SOCIAL motivation is to remind me of smiling everyday. Smiling makes me feel more positive about things (also a kind of attitude thing) and lets me spread a positive energy that can reach persons around me. This way I feel both more readiness for social interaction (sometimes even too much you might say – most of the time I am travelling by train for more than one hour, I enjoy a conversation with a stranger) and am more attractive for social interaction (is there a more attractive thing than a simple smile?).

Two more photos are left to show. Do you know the following challenge? You know a lot of very nice persons that you always want to stay in touch with but rarely manage to give them a call, write them some lines or invite them for lunch/dinner. Why do you fail to stay in touch with them? One of my explanations is that I think too little of them. I think of a person quite a lot shortly after talking to the person but after some time, with all the daily issues on my mind, I only think of the person if something remembers me of the person. If I don’t have the time in this moment to give the person a call (let it be whatever kind of communication), I think about planning to contact the person but well, you know this can still be difficult and I forget to remember the person again after some time.

Social Planetary System

Social Planetary System

So what I did to remember my friends every day was to craft a kind of social planetary system. I printed some circles for the background and the profile photos of the persons I want to stay in touch with and put them onto the background in a kind of best friends/most important persons from the center to the edges (I blurred this photo to save my friends’ identities). I look at this photo/collage almost every evening and whenever I feel like I haven’t heard of a person for quite a while, I can contact the person.

Some words on the SPIRITUAL part: I am currently working on the preparation of my personal mission statement which will clarify my values and inner motivation. Of course I will put my personal mission statement (which is something like my personal constitution) on my room’s wall to read it quite often.

What I am looking at every morning

What I am looking at every morning

We get to the last photo which is of the wall I look at every morning (you have already seen these photos but I think for visualization, it is very important to put the photos in a place where you see them quite often).

What would you visualize on your room’s wall? Do you also use this kind of visualization technique?

Thank you very much for your reading.

Have a great time,

Chris

P.S.: If you wonder why I am already implementing Habit 7 before even finishing (for the first time) with Habit 2 – in my opinion spending some time on a first implementation of Habit 7 can improve my production capability in a great way which allows me to implement the other habits in an even better way.

Learnings From 30 Days Of Proactivity

Howdy folks,

how are you?

Today, I want to share with you my learnings from having taken the 30 days of proactivity test. As mentioned in my last post in which I introduced my diary for this test to you, I don’t want to dive too deep into theory but in short, I can say that the goal is to work in my circle of influence using my freedom to choose my response to a stimulus and to take and use respons(e)ability this way. Thereby I can grow my circle of influence.

Here are my learnings from having taken the 30 days of proactivity test with a short explanation how I learned it:

Independence

  • Know what you want & do it: Sometimes I don’t know what I want to do and feel unhappy about everything I do instead of defining what I want and then doing it.
  • Energy is a question of attitude & mind: Sometimes I feel very tired or slow but most of the time, it is because I don’t lift up my mental energy level.
  • Watch your need for regeneration & spending extreme energy: Sometimes I sleep too little (need for regeneration) or stay all day on the same medium to low energy level (and feel unsatisfied or impatient when going to bed).
  • Have a break from time to time: Sometimes I forget about having a break from time to time and things are getting harder and harder to do.

Work

  • Think about priority & communicate your priorities: I sometimes just work and sometimes, I priorize and let people wait instead of communicating my priorities to them.
  • Structure problems to solve them step by step: I am sometimes frustrated by the complexity of a problem but only because I don’t analyse it in a structured way.
  • Think before doing & ask if unsure: I sometimes just start doing something, sometimes without even knowing if I understood what is the thing to work on.
  • Accept & ask for help: I sometimes want to get everything done on my own.
  • Ask until you understand: I sometimes accept an answer that I don’t understand.
  • Read & follow the manual: If there is a manual, it might be worth reading it instead of feeling frustrated about things that don’t work.

Interdependence

  • Spend your communication time wisely: Sometimes I just listen to a very long and boring conversation without knowing how to take part and without any interest in the topic.
  • Watch your own integrity and be fair to others: Sometimes, especially if I am on a high energy level, I say things that can be understood in a mean way.
  • Look for synergy/understanding: Sometimes, I focus too much on my own way and goal instead of understanding another person’s concerns first.

Well this was a quick post with a heavy load of learning – I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Anyone already read the book (7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey)?

Have a great weekend,

Chris

 

Beautiful Weekend/Proactive Journey Update

Howdy folks,

How have you been? Hope all of you had a beautiful weekend!

I just wanted to share a 1) short thank you and 2) update on my journey towards being a highly effective person.

  1. Thank you for this beautiful weekend. I enjoyed a great dance/dancing party, had an insightful and motivating singing lesson and a very long talk with some nice food and a very good friend of mine. Not to mention the bunch of things I managed to do yesterday – I am happy!
  2. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo but maybe you can still somehow guess it.
    30 days of proacitivity diary - read me in the morning - tell me in the evening

    30 days of proactivity diary – read me in the morning – tell me in the evening

    This is my 30 days of proactivity diary for the application suggestion “30 days proactivity test” for Habit 1 (Be Proactive) of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I use to read my self-made book inlay (shown on the other photo below) every morning and tell my diary how I’ve been doing through the day in the evening. I don’t want to dive too deep into theory but in short, I can say that the goal is to work in my circle of influence using my freedom to choose my response to a stimulus and to take and use respons(e)ability this way. I lack the words sometimes as I can’t make excuses any more but most of the time I feel a lot better because I feel like growing my circle of influence. So tomorrow is day 22 of 30 but I might continue my diary for a while. It is a very good self reflection exercise for me to answer my three questions every day:

    30 days of proactivity diary inlay - how to be proactive and which questions I ask myself every evening

    30 days of proactivity diary inlay – how to be proactive and which questions I ask myself every evening

    Q1. In which situations have you been proactive today?
    Q2. In which situations have you behaved reactively today and which would have been a proactive way of dealing with it?
    Q3. Have you kept the commitment for today and how do you feel about it/what did you learn?
    And I make a commitment for every day which I have always kept except for two times when I only managed to work towards the intentions behind these commitments. Keeping a commitment to yourself every day is a great way to grow, too.

So now I am about to go to bed, getting ready for day 22.

Have a great start of the week and make sure to let me know what is the one thing you want to do most this week!

Cheers to you,

Chris

I Am Back – Am I Back?

Hello world,

how have you been?

Just came back here somehow feeling like doing so. Well, what’s new on my side of life?Image

  • I fell in love and I broke up – it was a short but intense time
  • I started studying to become a master degree and stopped studying – it was a short but not wasted time
  • I started to take some dancing lessons and I still enjoy it – it is a weekly delight often clearing my head full of thoughts
  • I am still singing and might perform for the first time since a very long time on stage soon
  • I read a lot of books and discovered a little interest for art and architecture, suggestions welcome on these issues!
  • I might have learned a lot about myself – want to share some thoughts with you right now…
  1. Asking the right questions
    If I don’t know enough about the things I am working on, I tend to try to puzzle things out myself. After some time without finding any working solution, I get frustrated and feel blocked. The way to get back on track: Asking the right questions – or at least asking a team mate for help. Only this way I can improve my knowledge and feel more confident about the work I do. Which leads me to…
  2. Finding the right attitude
    Some days, I tend to shut up and listen and listen and listen and wait, you get it but I didn’t understand the last thing you said but I just keep listening and lose track and you keep talking… This is not the right attitude, I can’t keep staying that passive because I risk to miss a lot of learning opportunities this way. So even if I’m feeling tired or in a bad mood, I need to ask questions if I don’t understand something someone is telling me and not let a monologue happen. I need to keep learning to…
  3. Keep on moving
    I’m 23 years old, been working for seven months now after finishing my studies and I still feel that I’m quite at the beginning of my working career and journey of life. I am getting a clue where I could head for but am still unsure how to get there. But step by step, I keep on moving. Facing challenges instead of suffering from problems – that’s the attitude, dude!

So much from my side of life for now, now it’s up to you:

  • What are the challenges you are currently facing?
  • What’s on your mind?
  • Which is the direction you’re heading for?

Wishing all of you a great time.

Chris

 

I Wanted To Create Something Beautiful

Cover of "Something Beautiful"

Cover of Something Beautiful

“What did you came here for, boy?” she is asking. “I don’t know, I just wanted to create something beautiful, you know? Not even something that lasts but maybe something that creates an emotion that lasts in someone’s heart…” he answers. “But why do you think this is the right place to create that kind of thing?” she is digging deeper, not giving up on her journey to the heart of the truth. “I don’t know, I’ve never been good at drawing. Neither at other visual arts or sports. I mean I have been doing some good sometimes but never anything really beautiful, nothing that made me proud for more than one sec. I tried to write a book but I have never made enough sense to finish it. I wrote some lyrics but none of them was brilliant enough to make me proud for more than a few days yet. Anyway, until recently, I’ve been not that much of a singer to perform a brilliant lyrics in a beautiful way. Now I might dare to give it a try but am lacking the musicians to start this journey together. We’ll see what time does to this option of creating

there are beautiful places

there are beautiful places

something beautiful. But back to your question. I came here to tell the world about the light side of Gamification but was deceived with the first poor amount of feedback I got. After some time, I came back and realized I could write about much more than Gamification. I told the world about my psychosis and recovering from it, about some impressive books I read, about my educational research and ideas, posted some lyrics, photos and invited everyone to join me on my way to happiness. A few months ago I spent a lot of time on this blog every day. I felt like I was making some sense, like I could make a difference to someone. I hope I have done so.”

2013-09-25 14.31.00“Why do you sound like you’ve already closed this chapter?” she cannot resist to proceed with her questioning. “Well, you see I’ve been some weeks off or almost off, for various reasons. One reason is that I broke up with my girlfriend some months ago and then focused more on what I could call ‘real life and real people’. I wanted to meet people face to face and somehow spent less time on this blog. One day, I stopped following my weekly reading list and only answered comments I got here. I began my master studies and worked full time at the same time so I had enough to do during the day and evening that I did not feel a big need to participate that much in the amazing Word Press community anymore. However, I don’t think I’ve closed this chapter yet. I’d rather say I’ve changed to another book but still know where the old one is if one day, I want to come back. And I am sure I will, from time to time, whenever I feel like doing so. You see, the probability to create something beautiful and maybe even meaningful is much higher if you just let it happen and let the inspiration stopping by before beginning to write. The story of my life is not something linear, there are ups and downs, there are times with lots of events and changes and there are times when I feel like waiting for something not knowing what it might be. Why should I ever try to force my writing to be something that my life is not, something regular and linear? By now, with all of my 23 years of existence, I’ve learned that the good things come at the right time.

Walk through this gate with me

Walk through this gate with me

We can always try to improve our self and I try it day by day but I’ve learned about what I call “working with me” and “working against me”. It might sound a bit paradox but I believe both that we can improve ourselves very much and that the best version of ourselves is somehow predetermined. But thinking more about it, I guess it could make sense. In my life, I have often been working against me, muttering a low bass voice in the school choir (now knowing I have a high tenor voice), being very introvert (now knowing that communication and talking is one of my big talents) to list only a few examples. I worked a lot to become more of the Me - Ready for band rehearsalperson I think I am meant to be (this somehow predetermined best version of myself).” “I think I am getting your point”, she uses his short break, not asking a question for the first time in this conversation between the old friends Ms Doubtnosy and Mr Lookatmybigego. “I’ve only one question left: What is this new book you mentioned before about?” she points toward the end of this conversation. “I’m not the guy who reads the last pages first so I can’t tell you yet. The only thing I can tell you is that it is supposed to be about living a big love between two very different people who have a lot in common, who live in different cities but like to watch the same movies, who are from different countries but share the same dream. There might also be some lines about successful master studies, founding a band, playing some gigs, succeeding at work and of course, some dissatisfaction which is also the root of improvement.”

Thank you for reading this interview with myself, I hope you enjoyed doing so. I am here for your comments and whenever you want me to read something or have got a question for me, I will be happy to be of service.

I am wishing all of you the very best for the year to come, enjoy and celebrate these days, my friends.

May peace surround you, love kiss you and happiness be your friend.

Chris

The Rapture of Winning

Originally posted on Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger:

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brian13

In 1920, Harvey E. Newbranch, writer for the Evening World Herald in Omaha, Nebraska, became the first writer to win the coveted Pulitzer Prize, for his scathing review of the breakdown of government in light of the race riots, that brought the city of Omaha to its knees. The brutal lynching of Will Brown, a black worker, followed by the murder of two white men, the assassination attempt of the sitting Mayor, all dominoed into a rampaging crowd of thousands, who burned the Douglas County Courthouse…. to the ground.

There is the rule of the jungle in this world, and there is the rule of law.

Under jungle rule no man’s life is safe, no man’s wife, no man’s mother, sister, children, home, liberty, rights, property. Under the rule of law protection is provided for all these, and provided in proportion as law is efficiently and honestly administered…

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Briefly Hit By Happiness

Howdy folks,

Bring Back My Happiness

Bring Back My Happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know this feeling of a very comfortable fit between two persons on a special matter of common activity? Do you know the feeling when it is gone as fast as it came into your life? If you do, I think you understand this post’s title quite well…

A Little Happiness

A Little Happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But we never give up, you know, we are fighters, for happiness and peace, we shout through the silence and silence the screams calming down the worried and loving the lost ones. Let’s stand together in the desert where a single drop of tear can make a flower grow and swim through the ocean of tears we cry one day or another. A new day will come and the sun will shine on our way. To happiness.

May peace surround you and be happiness your friend celebrating life.

Chris