1 BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT
My Masters-Degree, by no doubts. This was the thing I was working for seven years, including many ups and downs. Looking back now, I am able to realize what huge amount of resilience has been necessary to get to that point — and the better it feels to be a graduate now. This makes me really proud and I don’t regret any decision I’ve made in this regard. However, not at all, I can imagine to again pass 25 exams and write a thesis with more than 100 pages, as I’ve done it throughout my Master studies in recent years. Consequently, I am very happy to step into a new stage of my life this year by starting my professional career and moving to another city. I am quite confident, that the best is yet to come.
I had it in my mind for a long time, so I took the chance after graduating for making the dream come true — going to Africa for supporting a volunteering-project as a football coach. And to conclude: all the efforts of this journey were worth it in many ways. I’ve met incredible people there (not only from Ghana but also from all over the world — mainly other volunteers), I got in touch with a culture which is overwhelming courteous and I was able to spend the days only by doing things I enjoyed, in particular being on the pitch with kids for guiding their football training. Overall, it was an experience which I will think back probably forever as it taught me three important life lessons. 1) Life is good. 2) Embracing foreign cultures provides huge opportunities to learn. 3) Africa could, and hopefully will, make huge steps forward to prosperity and peace in the 21st century due to mobile internet access. Putting it in a nutshell: I can recommend both from my heart, going to Africa (and, of course, in particular Ghana) to explore this fascinating continent as well as spending some weeks/months as a volunteer by supporting communities which could need support.
3 TIME OF THE YEAR
During recent years at university, I’ve spent a lot of hours working for an organization called VWI, which brings together many students of Engineering Management. And as the best comes for last, our local group in Bayreuth had the pleasure to host a big event in the first week of May this year with round about 140 participants. I was part of the project team, which is why these five days unleashed all the joyful anticipation that has been built up within the months before. Or to put in other words: rocket-mode was on. It took a hell lot of texting, planning and preparing to finally get all the necessary things done. But seeing the event flourish, feeling the work was worth it and realizing what an amazing team we are all part of — that made it so special. However, time was also flying, due to many fantastic conversations with old and new friends, celebrating parties like there was no tomorrow and enjoying the sunny weather on our beautiful campus. When thinking back now, there is just one feeling which comes up: gratitude, for having experienced such a good time.
4 ANNUAL PURPOSE
Not meat for one year, this was definitely the most challenging aspect of the past 12 months. I was pretty clear in my mind when I started on the first of January as I’ve done a lot of research the months before — and as a result, I never really felt insecure about whether being able to follow through with this ambition. Even more, it was way easier than expected to be honest. Once you know why you are doing something and following a certain path, your resilience is growing continuously. That was really powerful to experience.
But there is also another huge learning I made, which is about what happens if you start to scratch at the surface of a system which got really sick. I got in touch with a lot of defensive attitudes, ridiculous excuses and sometimes even wrong facts — which, by implication, just strengthened my motivation to don’t let me get knocked off course.
“The stone age didn’t end, because we ran out of stones. This cruel disgusting industry will end because we run out of excuses.” — that’s how Philip Wollen has put it some years ago. I hope he will be right.
P.S.: I’ve also written a detailed review of my vegetarian year 😉
In this regard, my yearly goal was run 365 miles, which is about 586 km. Finally, I have also accomplished that two weeks ago. Putting it all together, it took me 2 days and 3,5 hours, by an average speed of 5:15 min/km. The things which I really enjoy most while running are in particular two things. On the one hand: being outside, breathing fresh air and appreciating the silence of nature. And on the other hand: the feeling when coming home after an intensive exercise and knowing the conditions outside couldn’t hold you back. It gives me so much inner balance and positivity, I definitely won’t stop my running activities completely in the future. However, my sports goal for next year will be another one — but my willingness to finish a marathon once in a lifetime is stronger than it has ever been.
6 PERSONAL PROJECT
My blogging-activities made good progress last year, at least that’s how I feel about it. Allover, to put it in numbers, I’ve written 27 articles on my website and shared 13 personal comments plus 95 external posts on Facebook. It required a lot of time and many efforts to do so, but as a result, I was able to recognize two important things. On the one hand, thinking about how progress for the good is happening and what can be done to support these developments, that’s it what I am really curious about — I am very comfortable with diving deep into certain things or circumstances, figuring out meaningful perspectives and putting them together within a framework which is easy to understand for multiplying the messages lying behind. On the other hand, the more I was developing a positive narrative for the future myself, the more I felt a massive lack of optimism and confidence within our society. In my opinion, that’s a huge problem, because change is coming and there are no indicators that the pace of innovation will slow down in the time to come. That’s why I am thinking continuously about how to allocate my energy wisely, in particular when there might be less time next year. Maybe it’s time to join a political party, let’s see.
I guess most of the people who know me well have already noticed that I love reading non-fictional books, and this fact is truer than ever before. Furthermore, as I had some spare time last year, I could gain a lot of new and exciting insights into many fields. Allover, it was 23 books which I was reading last year — each of them is mentioned in the following list below.
Adressat Unbekannt (Kressmann Taylor); Armageddon im Orient (Michael Lüders); Außer Dienst (Helmut Schmidt); Business Romantiker (Tim Leberecht); Crushing It (Gary Vayernchuck); Doughnut Economics (Kate Raworth); Der Ernährungskompass (Bas Kast); Die Getriebenen (Robin Alexander); Hautnah (Dr. med. Yael Adler); Hit Refresh (Satya Nadella); Homo Deus (Yuval Noah Harari); Innovation (Wolf Lotter); Kryptowährungen (Julian Hosp); Machtbeben (Dirk Müller); Principles(Ray Dailo); Die Schulz-Story (Markus Feldenkirchen); The Second Machine Age (Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee); The Startup Way (Eric Ries); Der stille Raub (Gerhald Hörhan); “Such dir einen schönen Stern am Himmel“ (Nina & Karl-Heinz Zacher); Unshakeable (Tony Robbings); Was das Gehirn essen will (Aileen Burford-Mason); Würde (Gerald Hüther)
Cover Picture is taken from pixabay.com