Thoroughly honest cheating

Not much is allowed in Wembley © David CurranNot much is allowed in Wembley © David CurranWe're suspicious of people who don't abide by the rules.

They're no team players. It's hard to accomplish something together. They cop out when the going gets tough. They're evasive They don't address any issues. They're cheating, lying and betraying, from dusk 'till dawn.


About 2,300 years ago

...  »

Why we clutter

VANITY TOYS charm bracelet (detail) © briserisvegliVANITY TOYS charm bracelet (detail) © briserisvegliWhy is it so hard to keep a place or a room free of clutter? Why do empty surfaces fill up with clutter, instantly? Why do items start to gather at the very places we've just cleaned a moment ago, as if moved by a ghost's hand?

It's about more than just clearing and cleaning.

When we clean places up, we want to believe we're creating free space. However, we're just creating a vacuum. What's the difference?  »

Why projects fail

Brick wall © Les ChatfieldBrick wall © Les ChatfieldWhy are Projects so hard? Why do we fail here so often, even in workplaces featuring thorough planning and highly disciplined execution?

We do not fail despite, but because of these. We believe that turning a project into a success is like baking a pizza, while in fact, it resembles much more creating a pizza recipe.

Why? In our projects, we're not into producing identical results from identical ingredients. Every project is unique - it is like research & development, not like production. In R & D, diversity of results is what we strive for. In production, diversity is our worst enemy. We should be aware of this, however, we're making the same 4 mistakes, over and over again:  »

Destiny or Self-Determination? Square of Quotations No. 1

This is the start of a new series: Squares of Quotations. Every posting will focus on the balance between two good things and on their respective exaggerations (see info box below).

Today's topic: Destiny or Self-Determination?

Lots of attitudes we find annoying (in others as well as in ourselves) are maybe just exaggerations of an element of truth. When we give such an attitude a closer look, we feel that there is simply a need for a counterbalancing attitude.

As soon as we feel annoyed by how another person behaves, we might as well look for the element of truth in it and show our appreciation for it. That will make it easier to suggest a counterbalancing behavior, in order to highlight a path of improvement.

Of course one can also exaggerate the counterbalancing element of truth, possibly in an attempt to compensate for what was found to be too extreme, in the first place. Obviously, such an overcompensation isn't helpful either.

Two elements of truth plus their respective exaggerations form a square of values, describing paths of positive development. The concept of a Square of Values was first described by Paul Helwig (unfortunately, link in German only). Later, Friedemann Schulz von Thun extended it to include paths of positive developments, too. Only the form of a Square of Quotations is my own invention.

Self-Determination versus Destiny


«If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.»

Henry Ford

«God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.»

Reinhold Niebuhr

«What the mind of man can conceive and believe, It can achieve.»

Napoleon Hill

«Fate rules the affairs of mankind with no recognizable order.»

(5 v. Chr. - 65 n. Chr.)

What are your thoughts on this? Please leave a comment!

Ask the reader: what is your most timeless self-development problem?

Cyril the squirrel up for a challenge © Brian SnelsonCyril the squirrel up for a challenge © Brian SnelsonYou've been there, I bet! There's a problem that just refuses to be solved. As a matter of fact, your workarounds didn't really «work around» that problem. Sometimes, you're able to find a solution like a service or a product that will do the job. Alas, all of a sudden, the service or the product gets discontinued. Even worse: vendors and providers decide to split it up, into Scylla and Charybdis, oops: Classic and Premium. You've experienced the consequences: endless footnotes attached to suspiciously low prices, imposing limitation after limitation on you. All of that fine print tortures first your eyesight and in the second place your patience. Say goodbye to comparing offers and prices...

On this blog, I'm into discovering and describing timeless solutions for self-development problems. I've got some questions for you:

  • What are your timeless self-development and organization problems?
  • Did some solutions turn out to be Pyrrhic victories?
  • What is your toughest nut to crack, that obnoxious problem you'd like to see covered by a blog posting, here?

Please answer in a comment - I'll pick the toughest challenges and turn them into postings on this blog!