It has already been over three month now. Three month! It’s crazy how time flies.

It’s an interesting time I find. Many things are happening at the same time. On the one hand side I still feel like I haven’t fully arrived and I am still only on another stop on this journey. I still live on Betty’s and Jan’s couch, I am still officially unemployed and I don’t have a real routine yet. On the other hand I am getting sucked into every day life in certain aspects and with all the projects I am working on it’s more than my old full time job. But something is still very different.

Before I forget a few of my observations from the last week. I still find it funny to notice these things. And it also shows I am not completely sucked in again. Or have things changed for good and I will not go back there anymore…?

Personal Space
People seem to be trapped in their day to day life. I wrote about my perception of “Personal Space” already during my time in Vancouver. I was wondering why people in cities are so closed, avoid eye-contact and seem to be stressed and offended easily by people whereas on the countryside and in more remote areas it is very different. I do experience the same thing again here now. I love to smile at people randomly when I am in the bus, running or just wondering through the city. I find it shocking how people react. 9 out of 10 will turn away, look down and pretend they haven’t seen anything. Normal interaction is almost impossible. But at the same time they are all online on their devices, sharing almost everything online with strangers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Tinder. There they don’t even know who is hiding behind the profile. Still they don’t care and openly talk, share pictures and talk. But in the real world they can’t even return a smile. That I find really alarming…

But maybe it’s also only me. I mean, I have a long beard and maybe people are just scared of me… 😂

Driving – always expect the worst. Why?
Another thing I noticed is driving. Germans and driving is probably a unique topic anyways. Everything is regulated and there are many written and unwritten laws on how to behave. And people rely on them and if you don’t follow them others will let you know – by giving you the horn, the brights or the finger 😂

If you don’t use your turn-signal and change lands, people will feel offended for this ruthless behaviour. Whereas if you want to change lanes in South America you cannot use your turn-signal. Because if you do so others will know what you are about to do and will close the gab to not let you in! But if you just change the lane and squeeze in no one cares at all. That’s just how it works.

It’s so interesting how conditioned we all are. I have the feeling I am still very relaxed and if I see that people need to change lanes to overtake a slower truck or when lanes merge I leave some space to let them in. But people apparently don’t know how to deal with it. They don’t expect people anymore to be friendly and supportive. So instead of taking the opportunity they hit the breaks and look at you angry when you pass them.

I have stoped for pedestrians at places where there is not an OFFICIAL! crossing and gave them a sign to cross the street. I have been jelled at twice already what I was thinking and doing? There first reaction was to think about something negative, insulting and offensive. As if I was telling them to move faster or something like that. So crazy…


And now some of the things which are happening to me.

I am an artist now! 😂
Fun fact: After being a full-on business man, mainstream & slick, having been kicked out of choir in 5th grade, not having been able to write more than one page in High School exam in “German” and having done my drawings in school with a ruler and dividers I am officially an artist now! 😎 At least according to the German Tax Bureau. When I applied for a new tax number for my “business” as speaker I had to learn that I am officially an artist now. Still cracks me up. Two years of hiking and I have fully converted from a business man to an artist. Thinking about it makes me laugh so hard… 😂 What a change!? Who would have thought…?

Some things apparently never change.
My plan or at least something I wanted to try during my re-socialisation process was to find a bit more balance between “private” and “business” life. Trying to get more downtime and also time and space for myself. Looking back on the last weeks I have to realise that didn’t happen. Looking at the amount of work I have and the things I am doing might even beyond the amount of my “old” life. Being unemployed has been one of the busiest times in my life. What a contradiction! 😂

I guess I am a personality of the extremes. I can’t do things only half way. Either I do things right and fully or I don’t. That is probably something I just have to accept. But I guess the beauty of extremes also lies in the fact that a switch or move to the other side is so fascinating since you have been very far away from it before. The contrast makes it so interesting. You again have to move out of your “comfort zone”. And the further away you go from it the bigger the amount of magic which happens. I think. It correlates a bit with the general concept of good and bad, high and low, happy and unhappy – they all only exist because of their opponent. You couldn’t be happy without unhappiness. Why? Because if there wasn’t unhappy you could also not be happy but just… Well, neutral? The only difference with my “problem” is that it – luckily – doesn’t have anything to do with happy and unhappy but only with the fact of being very different. But each extrem doesn’t mean either happy or unhappy. It just means a change that wakes you up again.

So maybe that’s my life. Maybe my balance lies in the extremes.

When we don’t know where life is taking us, we are never lost.

But what does that mean? Our startup was officially born last week. We are now a real company which is starting to really roll. And we are fully committed. But it’s a different feeling. Even though we don’t know where to start with all the topics, ideas and to-dos it doesn’t feel like a burden. It feels like a liberation. We just tackle whatever we think is necessary now, we follow instincts and feelings, we prioritise on a daily basis and adjust an hour later. The power generated is unbelievable. We both unfold unknown energy. It’s hard to describe.

And besides the fun many other things happen along the way. Without doing a lot actively opportunities unveil by “coincidence”. I know some of you might say there is nothing like coincidence. But irrespectively of this discussion being liberated from the “tunnel” and too much target orientation opened my eyes for many things which have been out of my perspective. Opportunities, contacts, ideas and interests are just everywhere and I don’t know where to start at the moment. But people with similar mindsets just “smell” you agains the wind and connections happen. I have met so many inspiring people in the last weeks and the dynamic and little ideas which arose from these encounters are incredible.

You might think being fully committed and and not being target oriented doesn’t make sense. It also took me a while to understand. With our startup, with speeches and all the other things I am currently doing I am always fully committed as I mentioned just a bit earlier. And I also want them to be from outstanding quaintly and successful. But it is not primarily about the financial success or status. It is way more about the experience, the learning and the joy of being dedicated to things following the things I enjoy doing. I don’t know if this makes it tangible. Not knowing how things will end and where they will lead to doesn’t feel scary anymore. Not at all. It feels exciting. I am very curious to see where all these things will lead. Failure will be part of it. A great part I think. It will teach me things I would have not learned without going there. Not having a plan for everything has already shown me on my hikes and especially in New Zealand that the greatest things happen when you at least expect them. Paulo Coelho beautifully expressed this: “When we don’t know where life is taking us, we are never lost.”

Another fascinating thing I discover more and more now is the sharing community. Having my office in a Coworking place and a few other things are a cool experience. But more about this in the next article. Stay tuned…

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