Sunday, August 18, 2013

Feeling happiness first

We live in a world where many people believe that success, reaching a next step, obtaining a material reward or a public distinction, will make them happy. But this is often not true, because happiness has to come from the inside first. So they try to be successful but often fail because they do not go about their work and projects with the joy, the positive emotions which could lead to success.
It is important to begin with feeling happiness and joy to explore the world, which can easily be found when one connects with one's inner self, because it is here where happiness, joy and many other motivating emotions are to be found. Many people look for happiness outside themselves, but it is on the inside where it is to be found. And, connecting with it can make success much easier, because the road on which one achievement builds on another, the road that never ends, will be much more joyous to walk on.

Interesting books on communication by this and other authors: astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21 or search for "Christian Jonathan Haverkampf" on your local Amazon website or at your local book dealer. Suggestions for further explorations in communication: www.chrishaverkampf.com & www.ivy-experts.com. You may also want to take a look at the following sites: www.chrishaverkampf.de (deutsch), www.chrishaverkampfcoaching.comwww.chrishaverkampfcoaching.de (deutsch), www.selfhelpnet.cowww.wordfields.com (adventures), www.wordnets.com (success stories), and for communication technology www.communication-net.com.
© 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation and/or the risks warrant it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. If this article is marked as a work of fiction all references to persons, living or deceased, or organizations, including former ones, are coincidental. I know that this is reiterating the obvious, but thanks for bearing with me.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Following your path

I admit I became a specialist on burnout. Too often I have seen individuals who were unhappy at work but could not admit to themselves that they were in the wrong place. They saw themselves as failures and somehow felt that by holding on to their work they could prove to themselves that they had not failed.
But how long is it really worth holding on to a job? Some people do routinized work and feel scared while others take inordinate risks and feel great.

It is important to realize that often it does not have to do with the work itself but with the inner attitude we have towards things we do in general. Have you heard of Joseph Campbell? I became fascinated with his books while I was at college. He was a man who became interested as a boy in Native American mythology at the New York Museum of Natural history and later traveled the world to study the world's oldest mythical tales and stories as a scholar. He wrote a number of books that became bestsellers from the 1960s onward and have shaped the collective consciousness of innumerable screenwriters and authors. Campbell focused on themes and structures that recurred in the world's greatest stories and more than indirectly influenced films such as Star Wars. Director George Lucas actually remarked that he modeled Yoda on Joseph Campbell, the wise old story teller.

Joseph Campbell studied a number of subjects at various institutions, lived in a shack near Woodstock and traveled to California where he met John Steinback. He wrote a number of widely read books and gave many lectures before he died on Hawaii in 1987. All along he followed a path that might have been straight in his own mind but probably not to many other people.

Many people cannot follow their path because they do not even see it. But the problem is not that good alternatives and rewarding paths do not exist. Many do not trust themselves in feeling passionate about something. It often comes down to fear of one's own passions. Where will they get me? Can I trust that they will be the same in a year from today, in ten years? What if they change? Will I then be miserable because I built a career on the wrong passion or set of passions? It is a fear that I as a person might change away from what I am today.

So the first thing we have to do is trust our personality more than we often do. We are what we are. While it is possible that someone changes under severe circumstances 'for the worse', humans usually try to change for the better. Our personalities become richer over time as we accumulate knowledge, experiences and communication skills, not narrower. So, a genuinely felt passion today will most likely be a genuinely felt passion tomorrow. Take more faith in the longevity and strength of what makes you feel good. This is an important key to success.
Interesting books on communication by the author and others: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
If you want to find out more about communication and how it can help you:
  • http://www.chrishaverkampf.com
  • http://www.ivy-experts.com
(c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Openness - Find Your Heart's Desires

Openness is a key term in success. It is more than just flexibility. Openness defines how we let new impressions touch ourselves in a way that they will lead us somewhere new. This ma sound like a tall order, but it attempts to describe how important the concept of openness really is in all facets of our life, while walking down an unfamiliar street in a large city or going through one's business email.

Imagine you are starting a new business. And, as is the case in any new business, you have a brave plan but do not know what your business will look like in ten years, or even just one year from today. Openness does not mean that you do not have an idea, goals, a vision and a plan where to take your business, but that you are open to new information coming towards you from the diverse corners of your business. This may include a suggestion or complaint from a one-time customer or what the person sitting next to you at Starbuck's has to say about a new internet marketing tool which she herself has picked up at a hobbyist group she went to.

But at least as importantly, the information holding the key to improvement could come from inside yourself. Gut instinct  thoughts, emotions and a host of other information your body and brain produce are very valuable. Our central nervous system is extremely well connected to billions of cells and the organs they make up in our body, including the various sensory organs that take in and transmit more bits of information from the outside world around us than some super computers in the same amount of time. Unfortunately many people clearly hear the voice of a complaining customer but not the voice from inside themselves that something does not feel right. It feels as if this voice from inside could disturb the peace we believe we have with the world. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett listened to what felt right in most of their work, and more often than not it brought success. Both seem to agree that it was not about the money in the first place, but about doing something which feels good In the long-run there is hardly any other source of information you can find that monitors as much information from the world and integrates it into such simple messages as your body and brain. Your neural networks  which make up the information superhighways and processing centers inside you put any supercomputer to shame. It can be highly profitable in terms of happiness and resources to listen to them closely.

Trust yourself, because this is where it starts. Openness and trust in your own voice go hand in hand. One cannot live without the other. Openness means you know where you are heading, but with the important qualifier that you feel good about changing your path at any moment when it feels more right to adjust your bearings. It requires that you are the helm in the pilot's seat and holding on to the stick. This is where you belong in your life anyhow. Do you want to be in the passenger seat of a flight that just goes somewhere? If you want to live on an airplane it may be an option, but otherwise it is a poor choice because the world has so much to offer in all its parts and corners. Openness means becoming an explorer, an explorer of life in its many forms and expressions.

If you have a small business you know that openness is your lifeline. If you have a hobby you feel passionate about you know that openness is what makes it fascinating in the first place. If you travel as a backpacker through the far reaches of the world you know that openness means there will always be a horizon behind the next one. This is your life and openness is the least you deserve.

Openness from a communication perspective means that you begin selecting information less for its source than for its content. And in life as in academia content indeed reigns supreme. Meaning arises when some novel information is communicated from one person to another. So what makes content meaningful, and thus precious, is the hidden element of novelty. You know from your private and work life how important it is to capture the bird of novelty, which never seems to fly in a straight line. How do you go about it? By sitting being the pilot of your life and not being fearful in the face of something that seems a little different from what you are used to. This does not mean taking risks for the sake of risk-taking. Openness is about not knowing for certain what will come around tomorrow but being confident that, because you have dealt with novelty in the past, you will do so successfully at any moment in the future.

Interesting books on communication by the author and others: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
If you want to find out more about communication and how it can help you:
  • http://www.chrishaverkampf.com
  • http://www.ivy-experts.com
(c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Where to Begin? - The First Step

Many people do not how to begin a new journey whether in business or in private. Maybe it is about starting a new business or making a film, or maybe planing a trip into the last remaining jungle in Southeast Asia. You may wonder whether you will end up leading a successful company or make new far-traveled friends on a beach. For many people it is not so easy to make a decision to take the first concrete action in the new direction. In the case of a business this may be the signing of a new lease, in the case of a film optioning or writing a script, and in the case of a far away trip the purchase of an actual ticket. But why do many people have such a difficult time in taking the first step?

1. Do you really want to?
We think we want to go to this exciting new book club, but why don't we go? Maybe because deep down there we actually do not want to.

2. Are there better alternatives?
Often there are alternatives we secretly are convinced are better. Maybe we don't want to admit for some reason that they are better into our consciousness. We are often afraid up to give something that we have told ourselves feels safe. This strange new agey dancing class is maybe socially less accepted, but it is 1000x more fascinating, at least that is what this indefinable feeling deep down in your belly tells you. Maybe it is time to explore why you are not doing the thing your own body and mind tell you would feel good, and what can be important enough to keep you from something that might make you happy.

3. Lack of confidence in your own feelings and passions
This is what leads to 2. above

4. Lack of trust that you have strong and consistent feelings and passions
You may think that you are not sure what you really feel good or passionate about. Many people comfort themselves with the false hope that in a few years time they will better know their feelings and passions, only to postpone believing in their feelings again next year, and the year after that, and so on. This has much to do with 3. above.
If you have survived until today, which I assume since you are reading these lines, you MUST have strong feelings because they help you survive in a complex worlds. And with strong feelings come strong passions. Even if it may feel unfamiliar in the beginning, accept the wonderful human being you are, with strong feelings and passions that can take you where your mind and heart want you to go.

5. Lack of feeling your feelings and passions
This might sound like a complex metaphysical paradox, but so many people suffer from this affliction in their everyday lives that it should actually be called 'normal'. If even the high powered three week trip to the last village on the Laotian side of the boarder to Vietnam does not help against the nagging sense of inner emptiness, maybe there is nothing in there after all? This is the thought of someone who has lost the interaction and connection with one's inner life. If you feel that the computer screen on your office desk is more alive than you in your work, then it might be  high time to think about why you can no longer listen ... to the most important person in the universe, yourself. Mind you, this is not being egoistic, rather by devaluing who you are you also devalue the human species and the people around you as a whole. So what can you do if you feel that there is really no voice inside you?

Communication
Learn to communicate with yourself in ways you have unlearned a long time ago. It begins with the realization that there is something meaningful inside you in the messages that your body with its billions of cells and a very elaborate and highly developed nervous system sends to you all the time. A communication specialist says that meaningfulness and novelty are related, the latter gives rise to the former. So an important step is seeing the wonder that there is always something new inside you, something you don't know yet. And this could lead you further down to the conclusion ... that there is a whole new exciting world you have yet to explore and discover - full of passions and feelings.


Interesting books on communication by the author and others: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
If you want to find out more about communication and how it can help you:
  • http://www.chrishaverkampf.com
  • http://www.ivy-experts.com
(c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Consistency

I have been to the Cannes Film Festival twice where I met industry professionals, stars and Oscar price winners. I also talked to film professionals who were less successful or had just started out. There was something striking I noted when comparing the successful and the less successful ones. It was the consistency with which they did their work. The less successful ones were not as sure about doing the right job as the more successful ones and tried to do branch out into different areas, probably to be on the safe side. Mind you, success here does not necessarily money, although this did seem to come with overall success, but mostly happiness in doing what you are doing.

One of the greatest problems people face when they talk about what work or profession to chose is in thinking only about what they are good at, and not what they are not so good at. It is as if they were thinking that their choices are severely limited, and that they have to be "good" at the thing they are doing at the moment. This is certainly far from the truth in a world which does not only offer millions of different kinds of work but where right now someone is probably starting out on a new job she invented herself. Often it is just a small modification of an existing type of work, but it can make a huge difference.

And once you find something that feels right, which should be the fundamental consideration in selecting a line of work, consistency kicks in almost automatically. If you ask a successful film director or screenwriter if he could imagine doing a different job, the answer you get is often just perplexed silence. When you ask some more you find out that they often feel that they would be bad at other things and do not really have a choice but do what they are doing. This feeling seems genuine and not only an understatement. Knowing that there are things they do better than other things keeps them on their track and maintains their enjoyment of doing what they probably do best. Knowing yourself can make you more consistent in the things you do and bring you a greater level of success in the long-run.

Interesting books on communication by the author and others: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
If you want to find out more about communication and how it can help you:
  • http://www.chrishaverkampf.com
  • http://www.ivy-experts.com
(c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Consistency in Communication - on the Road to Success

This follows on from my proceeding blog on the importance of consistency in actions and behaviors for success. I talked about my observation that very successful film industry professionals I talked to where very consistent in what they were doing, which also made them appear very professional. 'Job alternatives' were usually not considered by them. The question was whether success led to this high level of consistency in following a profession or the high level of consistency to success. Success here can be happiness and the fulfillment of one's needs and aspirations, desires that are unique to us or that we share with others. It may be money, but often it is much more, such as becoming the person one wants to become, which we often call self-actualization.

Consistency shows in how someone communicates with oneself and with the world around. It seems very likely that using these forms of communication efficiently is what makes some more successful than others. Someone who adapts to the communication style of the environment, such as a society, is often more successful than someone who does not. But what about people who are highly creative and seem to be on the fringes of society? Here it is interesting to note that they may appear to be on the fringes of society but use communication styles that are at least latent in a society and thus an integral part of it. Communicating outside of society does not make one successful in a society. The successful musician uses the basic rules of making uses that are centuries or thousands of years old, albeit with a novel twist to it. It is possible that it may take a while until a society bestows success on an individual but the seed of success, the complementary communication style  is already latent in a society. This communication style is the basket of common communication patterns in a society that the artist, scientist, businessperson, professional or scientist taps into. Public fame does not work too differently from individual attraction. It is a feature of communication and its use by the individual.
Interesting books on communication by the author and others: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
If you want to find out more about communication and how it can help you:
  • http://www.chrishaverkampf.com
  • http://www.ivy-experts.com
(c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Building Real Power


What is power? You have power if you can make some else do something you want. Power does not mean there must be force or pressure involved. To the contrary, the best power base might be the one where the other person actually carries out what you him or her do. Knowing that you can successfully motivate someone else to do something means you have power.
To accomplish anything in the world you need the cooperation of others. In order to obtain someone else' cooperation three things have to happen:

  • you have to communicate successfully to the other person what you want him or her to do
  • the other person is or becomes motivated to do what you communicated
  • the other person acts on the motivation
The first step is communication, and if you are successful in this step the rest falls into place. So what it comes down to is communicating successfully with the other person. This requires that you know

  • enough about the person to know how you have to encode and send your message so that it will be understood by him or her
  • how the person reacts based on his or her understanding of the information
  • that the channel you send your message through (telephone, Skype, email, in person, written note) is reliable and will not distort the message too much
So you have to know quite a bit about the person or group of people, the environment and the available transmission channels.
If you are a politician and try to rally a group of people you should know what these people have in common, what their backgrounds are, how they are likely to think, what forms of communication they are used to and, quite significantly, what motivates them to listen to a message from you. Businesspersons and politicians often fail to try to put themselves in the shoes of the people they are trying to address.
Putting yourself into someone else's shoes means learning about someone else's environment and background and listening in on yourself. How would you feel if you were this person in this place at this moment in time? Many underestimate our commonalities. Knowing how you yourself feel - given the different life experiences and personality traits the other seems to have - is a good starting point, often much better than doing mass surveys.
Thus gaining power and exerting it successfully means in the first place being able to communicate with yourself successfully. How to accomplish this I have described in my books and will look into further in future articles. It is something which unfortunately often does not get the attention it deserves, which is one reason why so many people are rather powerless where they could use their power for good and further everyone's lot in life.

Interesting books on communication by the author and others: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
If you want to find out more about communication and how it can help you:
  • http://www.chrishaverkampf.com
  • http://www.ivy-experts.com
(c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation warrants it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.