… and it makes sense!

Hey folks,

some of you might already know that I am currently taking part in the CBS Social Entrepreneurship MOOC. My original intention was both to learn more about social business (which I find a great way of working on social and environmental problems in a sustainable way) and about entrepreneurs (whom I find very interesting and inspirational personalities). Now I am part of an online project working on delivering personal and emotional support online to people in need of it and training mentors to give this support. More information on this project can be found here and before starting with my main post, I will share our short presentation video (“pitch”) we just have done for the online course:

Always looking for feedback by the way :)

But now to what I want to share with you today:

An entrepreneur is born (… and it makes sense)

First, I don’t think someone becomes born as an entrepreneur. But if you tend to seek solutions for problems existing in your environment, you are likely to become an entrepreneur one day. I think the most organic (in the meaning of continually growing) and sustainable way of becoming an entrepreneur is to be deeply committed to solving a problem in your environment (e.g. loneliness of the elder people).

You now begin to think about and search for solutions and develop a kind of idea what your solution could look like to solve this problem. Feeling this deep commitment and therefore need for a solution, you have a fire burning within which empowers you to work a lot on your solution and communicate with enthusiasm to other people to find like-minded people and form a team. Forming a team is very important because some day you will need more skills or thought exchange or working hours than you have at hand yourself and if you don’t have a team then, your solution will be limited in its growth and loose its sustainability and you can even begin to burn out.

So far my thoughts are no rocket science I think. But a thought hit me as I was telling a friend that I lacked the feeling of having the parts/activities in my life integrated into a vision/goal which makes me feel like “This is what I am. This is what I want to achieve. I don’t just work, I burn for making my vision real and everything makes sense!”

If you are deeply committed to solving a problem in your environment and burn for it, the way you are and the skills you have will make more and more sense in your life as you will be able to use them for your solution and the puzzle of your life reveals a mystery and shows the entrepreneur required for making the solution real.

I think this must be a wonderful feeling (even if you can’t sleep at night sometimes because you are full of visionary thoughts) which gives you a lot of inner fuel and strength. I mean after all, you have just found the confirmation for the need to be needed and a really meaningful activity and you are somehow made for it – wow!

I feel like my words still lack a bit the clarity to paint the picture of this entrepreneur in my mind but maybe you can help me with your comments and questions so that I can develop this idea further?

Have a great day,

Chris

global_collab1

Do YOU want to make a Social Change?

global_collab1What can you do within 5 minutes to help change the world?
Think globally by acting locally – from the comfort of your own home!

Businesses conventionally use profits for their own benefit and entrust non-profit organizations and governments to solve social problems in the community. Sadly this is not enough. But, did you know there are also companies that invest their profits back into making a positive change in society? People helping other people to help themselves.

Why are we raising funds?
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We are some of these passionate people from around the world that have come together to make the world a better place. Thanks to the wonders of the internet and the goodwill of Coursera, the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is holding a massive open online course (MOOC) in Social Entrepreneurship for people of different backgrounds, ranging from successful business owners, to people working in the medical field, to university students, you name it!
This course allows us to connect with each other and create groups to develop a business plan around a social business. Through a competitive selection process, and chosen by an expert committee from CBS, the most promising social ventures developed at the end of this Social Entrepreneurship course will receive the funds that we raise this week!

How can you help us?
Make YOUR donation count on our fundraising page– every little helps… but in this case bigger IS better ;-)
After you’ve donated tell 3 friends- we want this message to go global by Monday!

Your reward?
*We guarantee a warm fuzzy feeling inside after each donation, good karma for life, virtual bear hugs.*

Related Information

Facebook Group

Our Presentation

CBS Social Entrepreneurship

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Throw Away Your Burden From Time To Time

Hey folks,

DSC_5928_smalllong time no news from me but well… I feel like today, I should tell you something. I’m feeling like waking up again, like leaving my “hibernation”. I had these days of excessive dancing in Spain this Summer and was very active afterwards. With the days getting shorter and the news in my life getting less (or at least it felt like this), I was getting more and more tired and within the last days, I struggled hard to get myself up in the morning most of the days. What happened to the guy who always woke up before 7 am and was already vibrating to do something?

The reason I am writing to you today is that I want to tell you some answers to this question I just found for myself:

  • Eating too much and too fast often takes me down after the meal, especially if I am not vibrating before the meal. So excessive eating is only good/possible for me in combination with excessive dancing – which I am currently not doing.

    Idea 1: Slow food – live fast!

  • Having something on your todo list which you don’t want to do already sucks – but with every day you don’t do and don’t throw the todo away, it feels more like a burden and will probably take you down so that you even stop doing the things you like to do less.

    Idea 2: Carefully think about what to put on my todo list – and do it in a timely manner. If I think about rescheduling something, I should instead think about throwing the task away – if I find a good reason not to throw it away, I can do it right now.

  • Some call it “sharpening the saw”, others speak of “time for myself”. Anyway – between a job, friends, family and leisure activities, there has to be time for myself – time when I can relax, think, work-out and grow.

    Idea 3: Enjoy and spend the time on my own wisely – and claim this time for and from myself daily.

I feel like I should get a task board, pin these three ideas there and start using the task board more than my Calendar.

Have you experienced similar problems with getting yourself motivated/up and running and how have you dealt with them?

Have a great day,

Chris

Circles of fear – a very personal story (Episode 6 (Summer 2010 – Summer 2014))

Episode 5

herbstAfter spending a very young summer (after all she is 4 years younger than me) with a lot of self-made music, little love adventures and a lot of relaxing in the Castle garden of Karlsruhe, my cooperative studies begin. I enjoy working and discovering the freedom I’ve got in my company. There is a monthly meeting which everybody can join and I am told that after every project presentation everybody can ask every question. So once attending to this meeting for the first time (after working a few days in this company), I ask 4 questions after 4 presentations (100% score, yay!) and get my first standing at the company. Some might be embarassed for the rest of their lifetime now but that’s not my way.

After Christmas, I change to my studying phase and work hard because I have a certain fear of not making it. I make it, even too good so that I decide to relax during the second year of studies. But one step after another…

Do you understand that I want to get back to this physical state? :)

Could I become a jacket model? :)

By the beginning of 2011, I have helped my girlfriend to become a lot better at school and lifted her up so that she does not hurt herself anymore or only at very rare occassions. I feel happy and we enjoy our time together travelling, making music and discovering/rediscovering the teenage way towards becoming an adult. It hits me like thunder once I learn that my girlfriend is suffering from some kind of bulimic anorexia. She has talked to my brother who decides that he can’t take the responsibility to keep that secret and talks to me. Three days later, she talks to me and tells me what happened to her.

Now I can handle it, another potential developing project, we can make it baby, here we go! I take her to a doctor, we talk to her mother, we try a lot of things and sometimes she feels better and sometimes she feels worse. Work is becoming a little less important even if I am struggling with the teams during my second year’s working phases. I guess I can thank to the music and my inner knowledge of my potential and unconscious feeling of my energy that I don’t start getting another psychic illness…

It’s by that time, in the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 that I begin to develop a little emotional distance from my girlfriend. I guess it’s a little self-protection wall against her sometimes very hard verbal aggressions. After all, she is sick and not herself or in control of herself all of the time anymore so I don’t blame her for that but take the necessary steps to protect myself. Though this beginning of losing my love for her, I still believe we can make it and move into a flat with her in autumn 2012. I accept a 90 minutes door-to-door one-way way to work everyday to be able to live with her despite the fact we work in different cities. In the beginning, it’s worth the pain. She gets a lot better once having left her parents (where she lacked the attention she needed or wanted to get). At least for sometime…

Through the green gate

Through the green gate

After about three months, I realize a change in her behaviour, now highly sensitive for this kind of behaviour. She is starting to overreact, to refuse being touched, to worry about eating, trying hard to destroy her life once again. I support her trying lots of things even though she has made my daily way-to-work-pain a ridiculous sacrifice by quitting her job and staying at home looking for another job closer to the city I work in. But my emotional self-protection wall begins to grow, I kind of put my heart into the freezer and we live together in the most independent way possible in a 3-room flat.

Ah yeah, I almost forgot, my final study year has already begun and I am working hard to prove my company I am the one to hire after my studies. I am writing a good project paper after a well-appreciated project in my company and discover my interest for education writing two research papers at the cooperative state university.
After some time of hard work and uncertainty, I finally get my working contract and can fully concentrate on writing a great bachelor thesis. Looking at my final grade, I haven’t done that bad…

2013-09-25 14.31.00In Autumn 2013, I leave for Kazan, Russia, to present a paper developed out of my research papers about education. I discover in this foreign country how easy communication with a girl can be even if you only share about 5 words in one language (she only speaks Russian and very very few words of english but luckily she is that smart she brings her tablet with google translator with her the second day). Nothing more happens but once back in Germany, I decide to accept my emotional wall and leave my girlfriend – may she do whatever she wants to her life as cruel as it may sound. I break up (I am so bad at it) and she falls in love again with another guy after a week or something.

I move to my parents’ again and enjoy life at Hotel Mummy again. Not for a long time, I lose my platin card guest status quite quickly and begin to mow the lane, clean the road and do some housework again quite soon. But I am not alone if I need someone to talk and I am independent enough in my room if I need some time for my own.
I begin working at the company where I studied after my longer holidays and enjoy it quite much. Towards christmas I am concentrating on a little love story with a chinese girl living in Cologne (in short it was like a rocket – took me almost to the stars in a sudden but somehow I dropped back to earth in a sudden like a waste part of a multistage rocket). This story already finishes shortly after the beginning of 2014 and I concentrate on work again.

2013-10-11 10.45.46I realize that now I am done, I’ve reached my last goals – getting my bachelor degree and getting hired. What am I supposed to do now? Should I keep working until my retirement? What do I do during my spare time? Why does work feel so bad and unfitting sometimes? Am I doing the right thing?

30 days of proacitivity diary - read me in the morning - tell me in the evening

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

Let’s say I begin to think about my life again after three years filled with studies and girlfriend struggle. I discover the great book “The seven habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey and begin taking control of my life again. I do better at work, enjoy my life more and more and feel quite good. I am spending very great summer holidays, one week of hiking with my parents (Austria) and two weeks of language-learning/practising and partying/excessive dancing (Salamanca, Spain). I discover how much I like to get to know to new people once again and organise some parties and connect people to each other. Back in Germany, some may have a hard time getting used to my new self-confidence but yeah, we are working on that.

So lots of things are happening/I make lots of things happen and I want to leave you here for getting my shower to get ready for another exciting day.

Thanks for reading and feel free to ask for more detail whereever I have gone to fast.

Cheers,
Chris

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…

View original 467 more words

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…

View original 428 more words

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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