Let’s Talk For a Second!

As mentioned lately I found a true gem in my community. With the utmost probability you can find it also in your city.

Talk is about Toastmasters.

It was true for me and it may be true for you, if I say that especially one question may arise.

Is Toastmasters the right thing for me?

Only you can answer the question for yourself. But here are some good hints that it is:

Do you feel misunderstood?

Are you happy with your communication skills?

Could you improve your communication skills more?

If you affirmed these questions, then, by all means, the answer is

YES, YES and YES.

Communication is the ultimate skill you must learn to live the life you want. It’s good that you have great ideas, but are you able to communicate them with the world?

Revolutions of all kind – personal, social, political, you name it – originated in one person. But it didn’t end there, right? From Abraham Lincoln, to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., they all had an IDEA that changed the world, but change was made by the people they inspired to follow. The connecting point between your idea and the revolution you want to see in the world is your ability to COMMUNICATE it.

Whether you want to bring world peace, build your own business or work on your marriage, you will not accomplish it alone. Your success depends solely on your ability to connect with people.

Failure is done alone. Success is made together.

I’ve been studying communication and social dynamics for quite a long time now, yet have I never encountered an environment that strengthens communcation skills in such an extent that Toastmasters does.

Here you have the right people you want to have in your corner.

People who believe life is a party. People who want to make the most of you. People who believe in you.

Whether you are a shy person who is afraid to talk to people or whether you are an outspoken person who wants to communicate more effectively, Toastmasters is your place to be.

I can hardly wait for the next meeting. Can you?

Take the next step. Your partner, the world, your future self will thank you for it.

Happy speaking!

-Lukas

Toast to the Toasties!

We all have dreams. And we all look for people who believe in what we believe in.

But how do we find them?

Let me share with you a personal story how I found a true gem to surround myself with passionate people that you can also find in your town.

Yesterday was the day.

I finally made it to the club I wanted to go for a long time.

What I found totally BLEW MY MIND.

As I entered the room, the energy was mind-boggling. The sort of encouraging and pulsating energy that makes you come alive. Positivity and encouragement just by being in this room were so palpable, I could literally grasp it with my hands.

I never saw a group of people so diverse yet together: from early 20s to late 60s, from professors, political representatives, lawyers and doctors to blue-collar workers, students and retired persons you could find people from all different aspects of life and society.

It didn’t matter who you are or where you come from: the only thing that mattered was you and I who come together for the same purpose to make the best of ourselves, help each other the best we can and have a good time together. No I, no You, no But.

Just We.

Talk is about Toastmasters!

You want to improve your communication skills?

You want to improve your public speaking an leadership skills?

Then you better check out your local Toastmasters club, as it gives you abundant opportunity to improve in those areas.

And here comes the best part.It’s so much FUN!

From comic to breathtaking speeches, you get all kinds of speeches. Laughs are guaranteed!

Don’t be afraid to go there! All members have been in the same spot as you are – and talked themselves out more than you do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Go there and see the magic unfold.

My toast goes to all the Toasties in the world!

Happy speaking!

-Lukas

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Overdoing It!

Can personal development be bad for you?

Not exactly. But you can. Once you become obsessed with personal development.

On the way to become your best self you take in all those principals from experts like a food-addicted person eats muffins, eggs, anything for breakfast. You clutter all those promising principles

within, thinking that knowing about them will make you your best person.

Let me share you something:

Personal development is supposed to make you better. It is not supposed to make you best.

Because you never will. Perfection does not exist.

Take your personal education seriously, but don’t become too rigid and overdo it. Otherwise it will harm you more than it will do you good.

As any other obsession, it will feed on you and start becoming the only vision you see life through. I can tell you this, because I’ve been through this.

What became an enrichment in your life, becomes a burden that pulls you down.

โ€œI’m falling back!โ€œ

โ€œI am supposed to be better by now!โ€œ

โ€œWhy am I not feeling better?โ€œ

You stop living your life and start living a life like a robot โ€“ lifeless, sterile, void of feelings.

When you try to opperate on principles all the time, you try to behave like robot.

Which you aren’t.

You are a human being that laughs, cries, falls, lives with all its strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths and weaknesses make you beautiful. So embrace them.

Yes, your life may need some guidance. And you do very well with your intention to make it better. So put on a corsette.

But don’t pull it too tightly.

Life, happiness, creativity โ€“ it won’t flow when you limit yourself too much.

Take the first step and work on yourself.

One change at a time.

When you succeed in one change, move on to the next.

And then to the next. And the next.

As soon as you learn about something worth applying, work on that change only until you succeed.

During that process, allow yourself to fail. Fall out of line.

Take the first step, grow, fail, fall, smile, get up again and move on.

Enjoy the process of falling back and getting better. It makes you the better person.

Every once in a while, take a moment and look back.

Look how far you’ve got.

This is how great you are.

-Lukas

How Do You Get Through Your Day?

Video

Whenever you have a rough day, watch this.

Richie’s story touched me deeply. I bet it did the same with you.

Next time you and I complain, put up your hand and start counting your blessings:

1) I’m alive.

2) I have family.

3) I got my health.

4) If I can look up I can get up.

5) The best is yet to come.

If someone tells you you can’t do it, show them how you do it. Find your Richie Parker within.

Don’t listen to people who try to tell you what you can do and what not.

Impossible is nothing.

Do your next step toward your goal today and show the world that you are possible.

Live fully, laugh often, choose courageously.

-Lukas

How To Jumpstart Your Day

This year has been the most productive in my life.

Personally and professionally I cannot think of any more successful time in my life.

By the end of 2012 I decided to make 2013 my best year. So I sat down at my computer and researched the internet and books on ideas to improve my productivity.

I came across an abundance of great ideas and applied them over the last few months. Eventually, after few trials and errors and some tweaking, I came across a way that works for me.

By far the most rewarding habit was the creation of a morning routine. This really changed the game for me.

Today, I want to share it with you.

So here it is:

My Morning Routine

  • Wake up at 6 a.m.
  • Envision major goals in my life.
  • Go to the bathroom and wash my face.
  • Exercise (muscle workout, running or swimming).
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Shower.
  • Set 2 to 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) for today.
  • Start the day with one MIT

The MITs I set for the day are tasks with the highest urgency. These are the tasks that I MUST finish today. There are several other things I do during the day, but by pointing out the MITs for the day I get clear on what I have to do. Focus is everything and I did not come across any better concept than identifiying your MITs for the day. My MITs are the first things I do during the day. That way I finish the day knowing I finished the most important thigns and came closer to my goals.

Another thing why I love this routine is that it pumps me with energy and positivity for the rest of the day. By envisioning and seeing myself in my future goals I lift myself up, get focused on what I want to achieve and rise with a smile. Exercise chases the last bit of fatigue out of my body and fills me with energy and joy. It feels great to do something good for my body from the beginning of the day.

I know that hearing to get up earlier doesn’t pump you up at once. Don’t worry! I’ve been there, too. But watch this: Imagine you would eventually get up one to two hours earlier than you usually do and use it constructively to lift yourself up from the first moments of your day – how much more would you finish during the day? How much happier would you be? How much more fulfilled of a person would you become having finished more of the things you wanted to?

In the past I usually got up by 8 in the morning. What I did over the last months is simply to set my alarm on 7 o’clock and used the extra hour to establish my first morning routines. It was WAY easier than I expected. Once that worked for me, I started to wake up at 6:30 am. Now I wake up at 6 am – happier and fresher than I ever did in my life.

The best thing of all? I finish all the things I never got time during the day already in the morning when everyone is still asleep! This way I got time for myself and treat myself well without any distraction.

I own the day – with clarity, positivity and energy.

Start your day as positive as you can. For the one who greats the day with a smile wins the day from start.

To your happy mornings!

Do you have a morning routine? Share it and leave a comment!

Dream big, laugh often, choose courageously.

-Lukas

Learn about the Foundation of Happiness

Video

A friend of mine stumbled upon this highly recommending video whilst researching empathy.

Please take your time … and watch it.

When you’ve finished watching, come back.

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๐Ÿ™‚

Isn’t that great?

Since expressing gratitude is one of the most contributing factors to overall happiness in your life, let us try it for ourselves.

1. Think of the person who has influenced you the most.
2. Write down why this person has influenced you so much.
3. Pick up the phone to call that person and read out loud what you just wrote.

The value of feelings comes from sharing them.

Of course I had to think of the person who inspired me the most.

It was my great-grandmother.

Being a young adult during Second World War in Poland, she witnessed more cruelty any heart can bear. Despite all this hardship she and her family have been through, she kept her positive spirit, enriching the lifes of people she met with her shining spirit. Where everyone else would get bitter, she would be the light that shines on even brighter. From time to time she would share stories with me I would have never thought of, stories of profound humanity and generosity in this dark times.

My great-grandmother would always see the good in people and point it out wholeheartedly in front of other people. She always saw the good in every situation.

Simply by being herself, it is her who taught me the lessons of being a good person: always seeing the good in people, sharing with others, caring for others, and being the positive change you want to see in your life.

From early on it was her who saw something in me nobody else could see and who would support me more than anyone else. I cannot think of anyone more inspirational than her.

She was a great woman.

Unfortunately she passed away 4 years ago by the age of 96. This year would be her 100th birthday – but to me she will always be my 100 year-old great-grandmother who would always remain positive with a smile on her face and change the lifes of us with her love.

I am grateful beyond measure to have met this person.

What are you grateful for today?

Seize the abundance of happiness that is around you.

Live grateful, and always wear a smile on your face.

โ€“Lukas

When Was Last Time You Did Something First Time?

Let’s go on a journey.

Unwritten by life, imagine you were a child again.ย  Do you remember the time you got your first bicycle?

Promising it had an enticing magic to you that you had to jump on. It was irresistible. Sure, you were afraid to fall, but the allure soon got hold of you and you would not stop getting on that bike until you could ride it as all the other kids. You just wanted to be as free as them.

All the curiosity coming alive and the fire of excitement burning in your chest everytime you found something new in the world. Do you remember it?

When was the last time you felt the same?

Do you feel that itch to start something new?

Maybe it’s to start your own business! Or maybe it’s playing guitar in a band!

I know, I know. You may be in lack of experience, never having had a guitar in your hand.

But today is not about yesterday. Today is about you. Today is the day you take the first step to create the future you want to see.

Imagine what difference it would make in your life if you would know how to play guitar or know how to connect with anyone on a deeper level. Imagine you learned to live your passion and get paid for it! How much more rewarding that life would be!

I hope you are curious for that life, because I know you are hungry.

Bring out the curiosity to learn something new and be excited for the rewards it will bring along!

Curiosity combined with excitement brings adventure.

And in every beginning there is a magic,
that protects us and helps us to live.

Hermann Hesse

Learning something new is the beginning to become something more we already are. And do you know what the most beautiful thing about learning is? Learning is SO MUCH fun!

Learning new things is an exciting journey. And as with every other journey, you determine how far you want to go.

It is not necessary to become a professional in every area that matters to you. To most people the magic of feeling fulfilled already happens when we become expert enough for something that matters to us: to be able to play our favourite song on a guitar, or to be able to order a meal at a restaurant in Japanese.

Learning a new language, learning to play a new instrument or developing a new mindset is a journey. To be vulnerable again, to rise and fall, and get up again, and discover places you haven’t seen before is so rewarding. Whatever skill you decide for, the journey towards it will enrich your life. Enjoy the process.

Scratch that itch you have and dive into new territory!

Give yourself permission to be a beginner at something. Let next time be the first time for something new!

What was the Last Thing You did Something for the first time?

How to Boost Your Happiness – INSTANTLY

Do you know the feeling when someone asks you for your help, be it a beggar asking you for spare money or a stranger asking you to carry something, and you say no? How do you feel? As you walk away, do you also feel detached inside, a feeling of dullness coming over you, covering your sense of well-being like clouds cover the sun?

I do. Because every opportunity you’ve missed to help, is your missed opportunity that you could’ve made the world better, and yourself happier.

That’s why I created a new habit.

“Everytime someone asks me for help, I give it to him or her, freely and wholeheartedly.”

That’s it.

Everytime someone asks me for money, I give it to him. Everytime someone asks me for advice, I share it with him. Everytime someone has a troubled mind and needs someone to listen to, I take time and listen. And even when I reckon I don’t have time, I try to spare at least a second. Then I look the person in the eye, give away my smile, and say sincerely that I would love to help, but unfortunately need to go.

We all have our own troubles and we all fight our own wars within. To give someone your time and just listen is the greatest gift you can make any person.

So share! Because as the saying goes: “sharing is caring”.

Since I learnt the lesson of sharing, I am a much happier person, everyday.

And do you know what’s best about it? Even if you’re unhappy and you give, you will become happier.

Next time you complain about all the negativity around you, give your positivity to the people. If people have been rude to you, give them your kindness. Whatever you wish for, be the change you want to see in the world.

“Happiness is the only thing that doubles when you share it”

Albert Schweitzer

Try to become more aware of opportunites you could help everyday.

If you see an old woman carrying heavy bags across the street, go there and help her without asking. If you have any knowledge others would love to know about, share it with them. If you see a child being bullied, go there and help him out. If you see an adult in grief sitting on a bench, sit down and just listen. I guarantee, you will be much happier than you were before.

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have livedโ€”this is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Because at the end of your life it will not be the cars you drove and the money you had on your bank account. At the end of your life it will be about the moments that took your breath away and the lifes you touched.

What do you have that you could give away?

Do You Know the Day That Changes Your Life?

The day that changes your life.

Without exception, it is the day most of us anticipate.

To some people it is the day they gain their first million dollars. To others it is the day they get the position they always desired. And to some others it is the day they become free, financially and emotionally.You get to see and feel what you always desired to have.

But are these really the moments that change your life forever? They seem so on the surface, but in reality they aren’t. They are nothing but the result of a change that happened at one day of a person’s life who achieves his desire of becoming happy, free or wealthy.

These results will never occur until you had that one day.

The day you realize that you are capable of far more than you ever believed.

The day you realize that you are destined to be more than you always told yourself to be. The day that you start to believe in yourself.

Throughout history, there are numerous accounts of great men and women that tell the same story.

It was early in the 19th century in London when a young boy put labels on bottles in a rat-infested warehouse and slept in a murky attic with two boys. He didn’t have any self-confidence in his writing that one night he sneaked out of the house so no one could see him send his first manuscript to the editors. Days went by when the boy didn’t receive any answer and the cloud of doubt was weighing heavier with every day on the boy’s shoulders. Until one day; The day when the story got accepted by an editor. The editor didn’t pay the boy anything. He praised the boy by printing his story and gave him something more valuable than any shilling he could pay him: the belief in himself and in his art. Wouldn’t it have been for the praise and recognition he received from getting one story in print, we wouldn’t know about this boy today. His name was Charles Dickens.

One day a teacher asked Les Brown to answer a question on the board. After Les repeatedly told his teacher that he couldn’t do it because he was labelled emotionally mental retard by the doctors, his teacher said something that would change Les’ life forever:

“Don’t ever say it again. Someone else’s opinion about you does not have to become your reality.”

From that day, it didn’t anymore. Les took out into the world and changed millions of lives by his motivational message that you can become everything in life you desire.

A 6th grade teacher gave Jay Z his love for words by telling him that he was smart. From that day he believed her and his whole life took a new direction.

โ€œI’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.โ€ – Abraham Lincoln

If someone else’s positive belief in a person turned an Abraham Lincoln or Jay Z into what they have become, what could a positive belief change within you?

In fact, this happened to me, too. Let me share with you a personal story.

Growing up I had no self-confidence and many times created my sense of self from the eyes of other people. Because I listened to the negative comments of people I made their opinion my own reality. But there were few teachers who believed in me. Amongst them was my gym class and German teacher Mr. Breick, whose words planted the belief in me that I am by far greater than I thought I was at that time.

One day playing basketball in gym class I was surrounded by many members of the other team, throwing a 3 pointer from the corner of the field or losing the ball to the team being my only options. Throwing a 3-pointer was something I have seldomly done before, not thinking about that tremendous distance I was staying at inย  that moment. But I didn’t want to disappoint my team. I took all my courage, closed my eyes and hoped that shot would lead to something great. As I landed with my feet on the ground I saw the ball going perfectly through the net. What happened the next moment would change my world forever. All of a sudden Mr. Breick jumped off the bench, with his fist raised in the sky, shouting to me “I KNEW you can do that, Lukas!”, filling the whole gym with his enthusiasm. From that moment I was on fire.
I kept nailing one shot after another, Mr. Breick shouting at me from the side with shouts of the most profound belief I have ever witnessed before. That this teacher kept applauding me in front of the whole class and believing in me when I didn’t was the greatest gift I’ve ever gotten. From that day I would not let my teacher down.

I didn’t realize it back then, but that day changed my life forever.

The lives of millions of people changed because at some point in their lives there was a person who saw something in them they didn’t see in themselves.

What is the lesson we must draw from that?

It is of crucial importance that we see possibilities in people. Not only is it important that we see these possibilities, but also that we utter our belief to these people. Because some of our words may be the ones that will bring a next Lincoln into life.

Because this is about your day, how could I leave you without a special? So here’s your task for today:

Think about a person close to you whom you always admired but never told him or her about. Think about a person within whom you saw something greater than that person saw within himself or herself at that time.

Write down the name of that person with a specific characteristic you admire a lot about. It may be his writing skills, or it may be her ability to create deep connections with people. Pick up the phone and call that person. Tell him or her you want to do something exciting and meet together.ย  Get together with that person and tell that tiny extraordinary something you never told him or her before.

The philosopher John Dewey said that the deepest urge in human nature is the ‘desire to be important’. Show the person next to you that what he does is important to you. Show the person that what he does matters.

Imagine what the world would be like if we all believed more in ourselves. How far could we get as individuals and how far would the world be? Contribute your part to that and start to tell people that you believe in them.

You will be surprised how much people long for belief in themselves. Be their angel and pick them up when they need you, because the best thing you can teach a person is not a specific knowledge or formula. The greatest gift you can make a person is to rediscover the belief in himself.

It is not the day you open your own business that changes your life and it is not the day you win the big cup.

The day that changes your life is the day you realize that you are possible.

To your greatness! Let today be an expression of your best self!

Lukas