This is for the people who look at the world from a different perspective. The ones who are restless. The ones who strive for change. The ones who see things differently. The ones who don’t accept the status quo. The ones who challenge current thinking patterns. The ones who break down existing barriers. The ones who make the impossible possible. The ones who build new things. The ones most people call crazy, but we call them passionate. This is for the people just like you and me...
A while back I came across a very popular entrepreneurship event at a private business school in Germany. When I went through the speaker list I stumbled across a very familiar name. A name I never expected to show up at such an event.
Now that most New Year’s greetings and blessings were exchanged I wanted to use this moment of silence for a short recap of what happened in my life in 2013 and share some of my best but also darkest moments of last year.
But before doing so I would like to thank everyone that accompanied me on my incredible journey in 2013 and made it one of the most interesting and special years I had so far. It was a year where I achieved more than I ever achieved in any previous years, but at the same time also lost so much.
If I could summarize it in one sentence it would probably sound something like this:
“You have to lose yourself before you can find your true inner self”.
Even though from the outside it didn’t look that way, I was fighting numerous fights with my true inner self about what I was doing and where my journey might take me. I had countless ups and downs and my thoughts were filled with many doubts, circling around the numerous doors I am about to close or already closed for good.
It was a year full of tough decision making, of embracing change, of many doubts both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated and most importantly the year where I lost myself. The year where I lost myself? Yes, 2013 was the year where I totally lost myself and with it the identity I thought defined me. It was the year where I either lost or gave up all of the things that most people would describe as precious in their own little world. The things that define most people’s identities.
I quit my job, stopped receiving paychecks at the end of each month, moved into my girlfriend’s room in a flat share and pretty much started living on a shoestring. Most recently my girlfriend and I split up and I thought I lost my last tower of power in this world.
I guess the saying “That which you try to hold on to, you will lose” fits quite nicely here. I was heartbroken and my doubts about my entire journey popped up again. After a couple of days reading books and reflecting about my situation I realized that I didn’t have anything left to lose that I recently held so precious.
It was an intense discovery that made me realize that I totally lost myself during the last couple of months working on my own projects. The sheer endless pressure I put on myself to perform and meet my and people’s expectations for almost no gratification at the end of each month was eating me alive and gave again birth to even more self doubts. It was a vicious circle.
But on the positive side it also helped me to realize that I didn’t have anything left to lose. I don’t have to fight this inner battle anymore, I just lost it. So instead of bitching about it I reflected about what had happened these last few months, went outside a lot to enjoy nature and my surroundings and talked to some of my family members.
The result was that I realized that we should stop caring so much about the past or the future. Living in the past usually gets you down if it was bad or it makes you feel too confident about yourself and you get lazy if it was too good. Whereas living in the future will make you dream about a vision you have, which you will probably hardly achieve, which will then start the vicious circle again.
But most importantly we can’t really influence either one of them anyways. We can’t change the past and we can’t manipulate the future. We can only hope that the things we do right now will bring us closer to a now that we want to be in one day, but there is absolutely no guarantee for it. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into it, how busy you are, how many days and nights you work or how many meetings you have.
The only thing we can do is to learn as much as possible from the past and live in the present with every single fibre of our bodies and do everything in our power to produce the best things ever possible in this very moment. It is today's now that will decide about the now in the future.
This means we have to be present and ready to grab all opportunities along our way to not regret the things that we didn’t do in our lives. I am so ready for this 2014, the year where I will try to get to know my parents a lot better while I still have the chance, get back in touch with new and old friends, where I will be more focused on the now than ever, where I will finish all projects I started in 2013 and where I will follow the newly discovered path back to my true inner self.
Goodbye 2013, a year of numerous gains and losses, a year with no regrets at all! Hello 2014, a year where I would be more than happy to see, meet and know myself accompanied and surrounded by as many of you folks as possible!