Personal Development Made Easy by Marc & Angel

Our whole life is given us in order to continuously improve. If we don’t improve ourselves we are not happy and seldom achieve what we want. I’ve just read a nice blog post about the Inconvenient Personal Development Truths. And I think that this is a great compilation of thing you should know. Actually they can even write a whole book about those and discuss them. Although I agree with 90% of what they write, I would like to comment some of the greatest statements and some of them with whom I don’t fully agree.

It’s not so much about finding opportunities as it is about creating them.

I highly agree with this one. If you just wait and look forward for something to happen, it is not going to happen. You have to search for it and you have to act. If you don’t do something, if you don’t create the situation you need, at least in your mind, it is not going to happen. But on the other side, be careful not to push to much and to become to concentrated in what you do and miss some easy to see opportunities near you.

In the beginning, you need to say “yes” to a lot of things to discover and establish your goals. Later on, you need to say “no” to a lot of things and concentrate on your goals.

That’s definitely true, but please don’t say no to your love and especially to your dreams. In one of my posts I’ve already wrote about the difference between goals and dreams.

No matter how you make a living or who you think you work for, you only work for one person, yourself. The big question is: What are you selling, and to whom?

Well, I think, that the big question is not what you are selling, but what you are creating and how are you delivering it. Or to say it even better – what are you giving. I don’t believe in the concept of selling. I believe in the concept of giving. If you give, you are going to be given and to obtain as well. You can only give if you are sure that you want to give and when you give, you give with your whole creature and with your heart. This is a whole process and the giving is only the last and least step. Selling is not such a process. Selling is only a step in order to change something for money.

Results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.

I’m the type of person who likes to do the first 80% of the job with 20% of the work invested, so I couldn’t agree with this statement. The final result is always the goal, but the goal is not as important as the way. When you are on the way, never forget to look around; never forget to reflect about the way. Only striving towards the goal makes you miss the most important milestones on the way.

You have the ability to clear negativity from your mind with a single thought.

Yes, yes, yes, a great statement! Never let the bad thoughts to block you. The biggest blocker is the fear and all other negative thoughts. And only a simple positive thought can blow all the negative ones away and put you back on your right way. Thoughts are material, so be sure that you have only good ones in order not to produce something you don’t want. When you think, you create your future. So better don’t think so much, but when you think, think only positive.

We are all multi-dimensional human beings with simultaneous dimensions of success and failure in our lives.

Be sure to eliminate the failure component if you want to be successful. You may not be successful at the end, but this means that you haven’t fully eliminated the failure component and it does not mean that this component have to be always part of your human being!

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.

So don’t bother about such stuff, just keep going. Better ignore such stuff in order not to get stuck in negative thoughts and feelings. Ignoring such stuff is better than rejecting it! Of course, we do not speak for positive criticism here. This is highly useful.

Simplicity is often a major factor of success. But the process of simplifying things is rarely easy.

That’s the point. A complex thing cannot be successful. If you come out with a complex solution, it’s definitely not the best one. You can only hope that it is at least sufficient. If you come with a simple solution, you can be pretty sure that you’ve reached the goal.

It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo, but it’s worth it.

Actually, if you don’t do it, you are not developing at all.

Confusion isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re growing and thinking.

Even suffering is good. It gives you more. So be happy, when you suffer!

Sometimes you just have to do your own thing your own way, no matter what anyone else thinks or says about you.

That’s the hard way to go, but as a Bulgaria saying states: “The easy ways are going nowhere”. So, when it starts to be hard, you are on the right way!

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often and realize how fortunate you are right now.

If you are happy now with less, you will be happy tomorrow with more and if you are unhappy now with less, it is highly possible that you are going to be unhappy tomorrow with more as well.

If you want love, give love. If you want friends, be friendly. If you want money, provide value. It really is this simple.

As Christ says: “Do to other what you want for yourself”

If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

Yes, start now, be happy now and live now! Life is now and here. Forever!

At the end I would like to say to you: Act! Just take the statements you like and act according them. These are really simple to follow. When you are not sure what you want to do, just look again at these statements and act!

Which Is the Optimal Group Size while Travelling

Every single vagabond or keen traveller is not going to hesitate at all while answering this question. To travel alone is the best! All of the great travellers I know travel alone and it is not possible to persuade them that it can be really nice to travel with a group. And they are more or less right. The greatest travelling projects I’ve ever seen are always done alone. When you travel alone you have to meet people and to talk to local people. No one can survive without social contacts and communication with other people. So travelling alone is more or less a way to concentrate on the travel itself and on the local people and to make contacts easier. You get no distraction at all. And it is great when you meet on the way another travellers, because you can shortly exchange or travel some days together and then go again your own way. And if you meet them again, than it is almost a miracle and normally a great friendship starts.

When travelling alone, you learn a lot about foreign cultures and landscapes, but you learn mostly about yourself. You experience your limits and have enough time to be with yourself and to start vital changes. This is a great way to improve.

On the other hand, when you travel with a group, you stay more or less inside this group and can’t get the best of your travel. On the other hand you can experience the group dynamic and to understand a lot about the group member. Travelling together is a very good way to make friends forever, but all to discover deep differences you’ve never seen before. If some critical situations happen, then you can learn even more about yourself, the other group members, about the different roles and interaction models. You can learn to help, to consider, to share and to give. And it is of course much more fun to be in a big group.

I personally prefer to travel in a small group, 2 or 3 people. Thus I can experience both the benefits of a group travelling and travelling alone. I like dynamical group member changes as well. Pretty nice way of travelling is to travel for several days with local as well. It’s easy possible with couch surfing and combines its benefits with the benefits of travelling in a small group.

Vertical Wind Engines

Vertical wind engines are pretty seldom, but they are actually the best alternative. They can produce wind energy in such a wide scale as the horizontal ones, but if we look forward to creating a sustainable wind energy system we have to look more for small and practical local solutions. Vertical engines are more effective under such conditions: they start to move from less wind, they are lighter, their centre of gravity is lower, because of the lower set engine and thus they don’t need such a solid base as the horizontal ones. And they don’t need much free space and are not dangerous for bird. The horizontal ones have no natural movements, so they are almost invisible for bird and kill millions of them. A nice business idea is to improve the vertical wind engines further and to build them for private households as a local solution.

Time and How to Cope with It

You’ve definitely had already the feeling that you are running after the time and that you never have enough time to do everything you want to. On the other hand, when you finally have enough time, you start to feel bored and time starts to move very slowly and this is even a worse feeling than to have not enough time. You can feel controlled by the time and by the clock. There are many seminars about time management, personal management and many more but all this don’t really teach you something about the time itself and don’t really help you how to cope with your time. And in school we learn nothing about the time. And time competence and control is more than important in our fast going society. Soon I’ve read a book: “A Geography of Time” from Robert Levine, who again reminded me how important, is to understand what time is and how to cope with it. In his book he gave a very thorough, systematically and easy to understand overview of what time is and how people and cultures cope with it. The book is full with nice examples and tips and I highly recommend it to you.

But let’s start with the basics about time we all have to know. Time is nothing but a physical magnitude. And as such it has its own mass, speed, energy, direction and so on. As you may know from the quantum physics and from the modern field theory, mass and energy are both material, basically the same concept. And speed depends on mass. So we can say that the speed in material as well. On the other side with the power of mind we can create, it is said that the mind is material. So, we can control the speed of the time with our mind. You don’t really have to know the whole theory behind this. What really matters for the everyday life is that we can control the speed of the time. So we can have enough time when we need it and less time, when we don’t need it and feel bored. That is exactly what some good sportsmen do. When they have only a small part of the second to observe, to take a decision and to react, they kind of extend the time; they almost stop it for the outside world. Thus the world seems to be very slow and they have all the time to make the best of the situation. And they have the time to react and to win. In the eastern cultures such extensions of time are often used. Meher Baba says: “A mind that is fast is ill, a mind that is slow is reasonable and a mind that is still is Godly”.

There are big differences in the perception of time in the different cultures. There are so called clock time cultures, who measure everything with the clock (the typical western industrialised cultures) and the so called event based cultures. Those use normally no clocks and orientate themselves according to some events, mostly natural or concerning the everyday life. Example for such orientation points are day, night, the positions of the sun, when the cattle go to the meadow, the song of the first roosters early in the morning and so on. You can think that this is not like this anymore, but our western clock time culture is the minority in the world. Most people still live in event based cultures. These cultures put normally the stress not on the punctuality, but on the social interaction between people. It is not so important when you’ll finish something, but that you finish it and that you respect all concerned people while doing it. So it is more about the end result and the way (how you do it) and not so much about the exact time. On the other hand people from these cultures often start with some activity, then interrupt it, start with another one and so on. So they don’t work linear, but simultaneously on different things. This can be a problem, because you can’t really concentrate, but it is more or less the creative way of working. In my job as a product manager I’m always mixing these two ways of working in order to achieve the best results.

I remember a nice joke about event based cultures. Spanish and Arabic businessmen are making a contract. Every second word of the Spanish is “mañana” and of the Arabic “Insha’Allah”. After all they’ve made the contract and celebrated it. The Arabic businessman wanted to know what “mañana” means. The Spanish said. “Well, “mañana” means tomorrow, but we use it for the day after tomorrow, this week, this month, this year, actually at some point in the foreseeable future. And could you tell me what “Insha’Allah” means?” The Arabic businessman explained: “Well, “Insha’Allah” means if Allah is willing to let it happen, then it will happen, but we use it for this week, for this month, for this year, actually at some point in the foreseeable future, but it does not have this emergency character as “mañana””. As you can see, the exact time in these cultures is not so important. It’s enough to know that it will happen. This is for the US-American or the German culture unthinkable. In those cultures you can’t make a contract without setting exact deadlines. If you want to experience both the Spanish and the Arabic culture, you can go to Andalucia, which is a brilliant mixture of both. You can make there a nice time travel to a different world.

The mentioned difference is more or less the difference between the north and the south. But there are differences between the east and the west as well. In the western culture you do everything possible in order not to do nothing. The worst thing it can happen is to do nothing. It is social unaccepted. In the eastern cultures it is exactly on the opposite. To do nothing is highly appreciated, because thus you make the time go very slow and achieve the stillness. You feel completely empty and you feel the stillness. And when you are in this state of complete emptiness, you start to feel fulfilled. So empty your mind and whole creature in order to start to feel fulfilled. I’ll give you a bad example, but a very natural one about this feeling, that you’ve already had: after pissing, shitting or having just finish with sex, you feel the emptiness and this makes you feel fulfilled. So, if a wise man from the west says: “Don’t only stay, better just do something”, a wise man from the east will say “Better stay than just doing something”. We say that something is “empty” and the Japanese say that it is “full of nothing”. The stillness and the emptiness give the meaning.

There are even some cultures in which there is no concept of time at all. There are some cultures where there is no difference between present, past and future. It is important that something happens and it does not matter when. If it happened once, it will happen again. And other for which those three states have no contact point at all. And the importance of present, past and future can be very different. There are past-fixed cultures, future-fixed cultures and present-fixed cultures or cultures where all three states are with the same importance. It is very important for you to understand these aspects of the place where you live in, so you can adapt and act accordingly or decide to live somewhere else. Most people do this completely intuitively. If you have in your culture all those three states of time, the best way you can feel and think about them is to have positive memories about the past, to be active and full of happiness and energy in the present and to be optimistic for the future, while trying to concentrate on being here and now. The greatest minds of our time have their inspirations when they are outside the time, outside themselves, in here and know. You’ve definitely had this feeling sometimes by concentrated work.

Can you imagine what it means to take a person from the western clock time oriented culture into the event based oriented culture? He or she is definitely going to complain about the people, their lack of seriousness and punctuality. Everything is going to be for you too slow and easy going. And if you are from event based culture you are definitely not going to understand why you have to get up at exactly 7:00, they have breakfast at exactly 7:15, be in the office at exactly 8:00, have to do some job till exactly 9:00, then start a meeting and end it exactly at 10:00 although there are still no results and so on the whole day long, even in the free time. We seem to be like programmed and do not do what we want and when we want to do it, but when the clock says that we have to do it. Our clock time culture is actually quite new. It emerged in the last two centuries. We needed it originally in order to synchronise and optimise activities. But nowadays we’ve completely forgotten its meaning and use it even we do not need it.

So, what are actually the factors which determine how our culture and our own time perception looks like? Here is a small list:

1. How fast the tempo of the culture is, is determined from its prosperity, degree of industrialisation, number of citizens (for towns mostly), the climate and the individualism of the people. More prosperity, higher degree of industrialisation, more people and more individualism and colder climate make the tempo faster. And the other way round.

2. If you don’t consciously control your time, you mostly feel that the time is flying, when you are happy and when you like the activity you do and you feel the time is extremely slow, when something bad happens or you don’t like what you are doing. This is the so called inner mental time. If you are unhappy, there is no time pressure from outside, you do something with less intensity and less things change, then you feel that the time is going very slow. And if you are happy, do something interesting and intensive, that you thing that time flies.

Knowing all those stuff, what can we do in order to feel better and more confident with the time? Every single person has his or her own tempo. It’s as always – you have to find your best tempo, the middle tempo of harmony which suits you best. If you go into one of the extremes, you are not going to feel good and you have to balance, to go again in the middle tempo. When you travel you can always use it in order to see the differences in the cultures and use all those lessons to better understand yourself and apply for you in order to find the balance. Places with good tempo balance are for example France and Italy, you can learn a lot from them.

Don’t Throw Food Away!

When I was a child my parents always said to me that I’m not supposed to throw food away. It’s like a big sin for me to do this. Even more when I see who many people have nothing to eat. I’m always eating everything in my plate and throwing nothing away.

But the food stores are doing this! They throw away every day big amounts of food. And there are some food regulations and Germany that say that they can’t just give this food to someone. It is possible, but it is too complicated for them and it comes to be too expensive, so they prefer to throw away. The baps from the morning are at 13:00 already thrown away. We just throw away food (we don’t give it even to animals) while some people suffer. There is something wrong with this system.

I had a couch surfer you used to make a Europe trip with his bicycle. He used to eat only thrown away food from the bins of some stores. And this was really ok. I’ve ate from his stuff and everything was really fresh. They throw away everything before it expires. If some product has two years durability, they just throw it always some 6 months before that in order to show the customer that all of their products are fast sold out.

I would like to start to eat from the bins of these stores and to make more people do this. In this way they will definitely stop to throw food away.