Who are you?

Inspirational Breaks

The previous class of Blogging has been as inspiring as it was motivating to me. Inspiring in a way that before returning home I sat down on a bench in front of the metro, stepped out of my life for a moment, let go from all the stress and breathed. Nothing. Smoke. I felt the moment’s freedom and airiness.

In the alleys of the metro system the usual melodies of the accordion player who was there every single day. Same melody. Every day. Often from 8am to 8pm. I dropped him a coin in his hat. I missed the train. 5 minutes, what are 5 minutes in a lifetime? 5 minutes of childhood, 5 minutes underwater, 5 minutes sitting on a hotplate, 5 minutes late for the last ferry from a desolate island, 5 minutes can be changing your life! They didn’t, but for 5 minutes you can change your view on things.

Suddenly you don’t see a blurry crowd of people anymore, but individuals and diversity: a guy in suit with neat briefcase, construction workers in dirty clothes holding beer in their dirty hands, an old lady with a hunchback dragging her carrier bag, girls with headscarves, girls without headscarves, two Turkish boys holding open the doors of the opposite train to help an elderly women entering, the meager woman yelling at her son.

It was good to absorb this moment. Sometimes, all you need is a break and it doesn’t matter how long it lasts in time, just in value.

You ask why I am telling you this? Because in the midst of the daily stress, the learning, the rushing from one duty to another and accomplishing everything that is expected from us like a machinery we have to remind ourselves what we are actually doing here.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

I found a great blog by a guy named Daniel Decker, he has some really good perspectives on life in general, business etc. One article was especially valuable: You are what you think.
We should keep asking ourselves:

What is it that motivates us? What do we want to achieve in life and how? Who are our heroes and what can we learn from them?

In an attempt to answer these questions for myself I came across Frederick Herzberg who stated that The most important driving force in our life isn’t money, but the opportunity for advancement, adapting to jobs with increasing responsibility, making a positive contribution to other people’s lives and being recognized for one’s achievements. Of course, there are people out there who think differently and although I don’t want to judge anyone by its profession I cannot help but feel sorry for those investment bankers who probably can’t sleep at night.


There are two kinds of people in the world…

is what I in fact learned from Daniel Pink (Check out his blog, here.) Those who make your life easier — and those who make it harder … Those who leave you feeling up — and those who leave you feeling down. In his article he asks: Which are you? Good question, at least I strive for the first. How about you? I liked his provocative writing style and he has a point.  He also wrote a book about what motivates us which might be useful: “Drive“.

Clearly, I cannot think of anyone who wants to count himself to the second category. However, there is a reason for why someone like Bob Sutton , who is an incredibly interesting person, writes a book about “The No Asshole Rule”. Apparently, while in private life one would forgo people whom you consider as jerks, at work this turns out to be much harder. Unfortunately, Assholes are a big deal, not only do they stop you from implementing actions to the answers you found for the questions above. They can also cause a big damage to the company by lowering engagement, discourage people and raising staff turnover. What Bob Sutton advises you to do is: Escape if you possibly can! If not, you are at great risk of suffering personal damage and of turning into as asshole yourself. If you are worried now, make the Asshole Rating Self Exam (ARSE) and check whether you already are a certified asshole.


Who are you

Therefore, I think it is important to have heroes as an orientation, although they don’t necessarily have to be Superman. Your heroes might embody a certain set of qualifications and characteristics that you find admirable and want to use as a guideline for yourself. I must admit that I didn’t have 10 of them at hands right away.

I figured out, my hero is everyone who scored below 5 in the Exam for Certified Assholes, Max Goldt and his intelligent humor which brings me a valuable break whenever I read his short stories, my great-grandmother as she was the most kindhearted person I ever met and with regard to our blog topic “Diversity Management” I I was highly impressed by the philosophy of the  German telecommunications company Telekom with its HR program and culture that above all supports otherness when searching for talents: lateral thinkers, career changers, people with accomplished gaps in their CV. However, the most valuable insight you can get is the following:


“How about you? Do you think that there are valid points for you as well? Who are your heroes???”



3 Responses to “Who are you?”
  1. barke says:

    My Heroes are Bret and Jemaine, because they care…

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  1. […] a major progress in research strategy, writing and referencing for this one. Finally my last post “Who are you?” stands out of the crowd as its writing style is more reflective than descriptive and only giving […]

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