One Life

“You only have one life.” You’ve probably heard this statement a million times. But you probably hear it so often that you don’t actually stop and think about its implications. “You only have one life.” is not just some overused motivational quote, but rather a fact. Yes, it’s true, every moment that passes by is one moment that you will never get back, and one moment closer to the end of your life. I had never really thought about how much time I have left in this world until I recently discovered an article (link here) about a professor who says you’ve got an average of 30,000 days in your life. That’s it. This is about 82 years, and if you think about it on a large scale, it’s not much…It makes me think about all the days I wasted doing nothing…

I am now 26, which means I’m roughly 1/3 through my life. When I read this article, I realized how limited our time is. You don’t have endless hours and days to waste accomplishing tasks that don’t even make you happy, or sitting around dreaming of the goals you will never act on. In the end, every single one of us has the same fate – death. So, have I got you feeling super depressed yet? Well, sometimes it takes a harsh reality check to get you back on track.

One Life - Steve Jobs Quote

That one life is real!

I recently had the misfortune of finding out that multiple people in my close circle of friends and family had either passed away or been diagnosed with cancer. I’m not going to lie, the only way to explain receiving news like that is… it f**king sucks. But it was also my reality check. The average lifespans 30,000 days, but that’s just the average! No one really knows what tomorrow will bring and that’s when the reality of “You only have one life.” really hit me. That one life is real, it’s happening right now, as I write this, as you read it, and it can end at any time.

Do what you love!

Once you accept the fact that you only have one life, and really let the meaning of that sink in, you can do one of three things: You can get super depressed and lie on your couch all day moping, you can continue living a life of contempt, moving through the motions, and being satisfied with that, or you can follow your passion, and do what you love! And I mean what you really love, not what society has you thinking you love, like making lots of money or having all the nicest newest products. You can choose to do what you get true long-lasting gratification from. You can choose to do what makes you excited the moment you open your eyes in the morning.

What’s your purpose?

Now, there’s a good chance, that you have no idea what makes you truly happy, at least not yet. I recently had a conversation with a friend, John, who was talking to me about a book entitled “The Way of the Superior Man” by David Deida and he said the author of the book talks about finding your purpose in life. So what is your purpose in life?

It’s your responsibility!

Our lives are very busy, every day we get caught up in all these little things that don’t really matter. We do the weirdest things, we waste time, and live our lives with our noses to the ground only focusing on the step in front of us rather than the bigger picture. This goes on until all of a sudden you’re retired, and you’re thinking  “I wish…” or “if only I had…” So stop what you’re doing, and spend some time exploring what you’re passionate about. Or maybe you already know! Maybe you have a hobby that you’ve always wanted to make a business out of! It’s also okay to flounder for a little bit. If you don’t know what your passion is yet, you may have to try out a few different things before you find it. But it’s your responsibility to do this, don’t sit around and just wait for the right thing to fall into your lap because it won’t happen. So, what do you want to accomplish? What impact will you have on the world?

I want to help people!


Passion can be found in different places for everyone. Sometimes it doesn’t mean quitting your job and starting a business. For some people, passion can be found spending all their time outdoors, climbing, skiing or hiking. For others, a job from 9 to 5 is what makes them fulfilled and they truly love being able to go home and enjoy their time with their family. So again I ask, what are you passionate about? What is your purpose?
For me, I know my purpose and passion is helping people. I want to make an impact on the world, even if that goes against my introverted personality. Because my biggest fear is that at the end of my life I will have regrets of not trying what I really wanted to do, and challenging myself!

Time is limited!

What I have found in life so far, is that it’s not the things you do that matter, it’s the things that you don’t do. Life can be over tomorrow, and I know it sounds cheesy but I truly believe that you should live your life on your terms as you want, not as other people say you should.

Time is limited. You only have one life, so don’t end it with regret. Find your passion and pursue it. Your future is in your hands.

 

What I’ve learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elon Musk

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elon Musk are two personalities that don’t seem to have anything in common. Even if it seems strange at first to compare a known entrepreneur with a bodybuilder and actor, the reality is that both of them are great entrepreneurs and there’s a lot that you can learn from them. Elon and Arnold managed to reach the top levels of success in their industries. But they always pushed the boundaries, they wanted to bring something new to the table, and this worked to their advantage. If you are interested in learning more about them I can highly recommend both biographies: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future and Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.

In this post, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned by reading both biographies and what I’ve noticed that Elon Musk and Arnold Schwarzenegger have in common.

But first, let’s have a quick look what both have accomplished so far.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwazenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/) | no changed were made)

Even if you don’t like Arnold Schwarzenegger you have to admit he has accomplished incredible things. You can learn a lot from Arnold Schwarzenegger, especially the fact that he never gives up. He always tries to do something new and even if it fails for some reason, he does all in his power to come back stronger.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was seven times Mr. Olympia (one of the most desired bodybuilding trophies in the world). He also held the title of Mr. Universe four times. It was an incredible experience for him to come from the Austrian army and enter the bodybuilding world, but he was obsessed with working out, and this is what led him to bodybuilding in the first place.

After his bodybuilding career, he moved on to acting. He was the highest paid actor at the peak of his career (Kindergarten Cop, Twins, Terminator and Conan the Barbarian). But that’s not all. Arnold Schwarzenegger also was a governor of the biggest state in the US (California) and a best-selling author.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is and always was an entrepreneur. He always invested in side projects to generate revenue. He has had various investments, he had a bricklaying business, a mail ordering business, he even had real estate properties, and he invested in the Planet Hollywood chain. 

Something else I want to mention about him, is that he is incredibly charismatic. Check out this video:

I think this is a major reason that his career has been such a success.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk
Elon Musk (Licence: CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) | no changed were made)

Elon Musk didn’t focus on industries like movies or bodybuilding. He was a nerd who had his focus on making the world a better place. This is something that he still wants to do in the current day and age and he tries to make it a reality. He has a passion for working hard and achieving his goals. He knows that the best way to achieve something in life is to generate a massive revenue and grow a powerful business. Elon Musk’s career is fascinating and it’s continually reaching new heights year after year.

Just like Arnold, Elon Musk tried multiple ventures, although his were a lot different. His businesses are very impressive and we can easily see Elon as one of the most influential persons that will most likely change the world very soon! What you need to know about Elon Musk is that he created X.com, which merged with PayPal. He was a board member at PayPal, but he soon left to pursue other ventures. He is the co-founder of Zip2, which was one of his first business ventures and one that he had to sell to generate revenue for some of his other businesses.

Nowadays, Elon Musk is mostly known for his involvement with SpaceX, a company where he is both the CEO and the CTO. On top of that, he is also the co-founder, product architect and CEO at Tesla INC and he is also the chairman and co-founder of Solar City. Musk is also known as the co-chairman of OpenAI.

 

Similarities between Elon Musk and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Both of them are immigrants

Arnold Schwarzenegger is from Austria, and Elon Musk is from South Africa. So they are not from the US at all, on the contrary, they had to work very hard to come to the US. But they did all of that, and they were very committed to having a great life. That’s what makes both of them so amazing, the fact that they wanted to live their dream and focused on pursuing that dream with all their commitment, focus, and power!

Both of them are visionaries

Arnold Schwarzenegger always wanted to become the best bodybuilder in the world and he pictured himself in the USA even when he was young. Elon Musk also has a great vision. He plans to help our society go to Mars, he wants to create a sustainable car for everyone, and he also intends to change the way we acquire energy and how we use it.

Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elon Musk are very hard workers.

While Arnold worked out and still works out many hours per day, Elon is known to work up to 18 hours a day. They both know that only hard work pays off and they do all they can to work and achieve their goals. Elon Musk describes in his book how he wishes he didn’t have to eat so that he could work longer.

They aren’t afraid of challenges.

Like Arnold, Elon has tried multiple ventures and businesses. He is always ready to try out something new, and he does everything in his power to reach incredible results and take himself to the next level. He knows that there are many challenges to overcome, but so far he has gotten past all obstacles. His business ventures clearly show that he is ready to tackle everything. Arnold, on the other hand, was a bodybuilder, an actor and then a politician. It was hard to go from one industry to another, and then he even entered politics. But it’s his powerful spirit and commitment that never let him give up.

In Conclusion

Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elon Musk share some similarities. These are things that all entrepreneurs should learn, and we should always use both these exceptional individuals as role models. (Except when it comes to their relationships with wives and secretaries 😉 )They never gave up, they worked hard to achieve all their goals in life, and that allowed them to get stronger, better and reach new heights with their businesses! There’s always a lot to learn from people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elon Musk. Read their books and consider applying many of their life lessons, as they might end up changing your life for the better!

 

(Header image is licensed under CC BY 2.0 – more information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ )

 

My 10 Tips to Become More Productive

Being productive is very hard and challenging most of the time. In this post, I want to share with you my 10 tips on how to be more productive. Please feel inspired and try some of them out if you want. For me, these tips have made a huge difference.

Productive: Productivity Quote by Paul J. Meyer

#1 Figure out when you work best

During the week I usually get up at 4:30 in the morning. I love quiet mornings. My brain is fresh, I’m energized, and no one is there to interrupt or distract me. In the morning is when I get the most work done. Getting up early works for me but I’m not saying you should do the same!  Everyone is different, and everyone should figure out when they work best. For some people, it might be the morning, for others the afternoon or at night.

#2 Write down your To-Dos/goals for the day/week in the morning.

There’s something about actually writing down your goals rather than just thinking of them that makes a huge difference. Do this and you will find that, in the end, things get done. I feel when I write down the goals I want to achieve in the morning, I get a better sense of the day and I know what I have to do, what I can do and what I can delegate. I mean, it doesn’t have to be fancy. For example, I use 3”x5” index cards for this. 

#3 Don’t overload your To-Do/Goals-List:

The last thing you want is to have your to-do list too full of stuff.  Just consider adding a few things in there, because in the end, you will be very impressed with the outcome. If I have too much on my index card I feel almost too overwhelmed, and I don’t know where to start. The idea is to keep your list focused, with fewer distractions.

#4 Follow the two-minute rule

If you haven’t read “Gettings Things Done” by David Allen, go to the bookstore and get it right now. This book contains many tips on how to be more productive. One of my takeaways was to follow the two-minute rule: “If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now”.  I believe that this book will help you to better organize your day and it will provide you with the insight and help you need to create a more powerful way of working.

#5 Execution

Based on my experience, the beginning is always the hardest part. Especially if it’s something I haven’t done before. It can be quite overwhelming, I get it, and that’s the reason why I’m a big believer in the  ‘trial and error’ method. If you have an idea, don’t think too much about what could go wrong. Try it out, move fast and execute. You don’t have anything to lose, do you? And remember, at the end of the day, no idea will be worth it without the proper execution.

#6 Count how many times you procrastinate per day and write it down

Most of the time, you don’t see how much time you waste by procrastinating until you actually write it down. I recently started to count how many times I procrastinate per day. In the beginning, it’s hard, because you have to be brutally honest with yourself. I mean no one wants to admit that he or she is wasting time, right?. But what I’ve found is that it gives you a good visual of your day and it’s a great learning experience. You will learn how unproductive you’ve been and you will also see what makes you unproductive.

#7 Get that feeling of urgency and race the clock

The urgency mindset can do wonders. It’s a very good idea to have a sense of urgency in your mind. This is very helpful if you really want to get stuff done and it works amazingly well. I feel if I give myself that sense of emergency I get more things done. But that’s maybe just me. Try it out! You have nothing to lose.

#8 Follow the 80/20 rule

98% of the time it’s not necessary to have something 100% perfect. And this is where the 80/20 rule (or sometimes called the Pareto principle) comes into play. If you want to get the ultimate experience, you just need to know where you can apply your best and when you don’t have to work at your fullest. MOVE FAST.

#9 Stop watching f**king Lost

A great tip from the one and only Gary Vaynerchuk:

 

#10 Habits, Habits, Habits: Turn the above 9 tips into habits

If you want to learn how important habits are, you should read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg! This is a  great book that shows exactly how crucial it is to create good habits. Yes, habits are crucial. They will offer you the insight and help that you always needed. If you are serious about being more productive, form all the tips listed above into habits. It won’t be easy but I promise you, it will be worth it. Dedicate yourself to your work, do all you can and the outcome will be very impressive. I think many people underestimate the importance of habits.

In conclusion

It certainly won’t be easy to become more productive, but it’s something that you can do. In fact, you have the complete power to do anything in life. Try it out, you might fail but then it’s important to try something different until you find what works for you. I hope this has been helpful to you and that I’ve given you a sense of how I work. Let me know if you have any questions.

My Experience At University And How You Can Get The Most Out Of It

My Experience At University

My experience at university was pretty awesome and I can still remember my first day there in October 2010. I had just moved to Munich, met new people and I was so pumped for something new and exciting. And yes my time in university was exciting, but in the beginning, I had no idea what ‘student life’ was about and how things worked at university.

My first day wasn’t particularly interesting. Actually, it was pretty boring. We got our student ID’s done, and there was a talk from the dean of our faculty. That was my first day in university. But listening to that talk I felt that something new was about to start, and I was really excited about that.

Now almost seven years later I look back and I can confidently say that university is worth it. You will learn a lot, and not just in your study program but also about yourself.  I made some mistakes, and in this post I want to share my experience at university and how you can get the most out of yours. Otto von Bismarck once said:

My 10 tips for making the most out of your university experience

1. Don’t focus too much on grades. Do what you like and join clubs to get more experience in your field

2. Projects, projects, projects. Work on projects and release them open source. If you are a mechanical engineer, design stuff, build it and post pictures on a blog or similar platforms. If you are a software engineer, write code and publish it on Github. Or if you are an art student, create your art and post it on Instagram, Facebook, etc.. This has more value than anything else you may do in university. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that until the end of my studies. Don’t make the same mistake.

3. Don’t be afraid to fail. Man, this is a classic and a bit cheesy but it’s the truth. Especially when you’ve just started university, and you have no clue about how things work. Trust me, you will figure it out. This brings me back to point 2: projects. Just try some out! Buy a microcontroller for 20 bucks and start with a blinky led example. If you enjoy it, continue, if not move on and try something else. But never ever think you can’t do it!

4. Hang out with the best students in your class. This has two benefits: First, you will get a better grade. Second, and more importantly, you will learn way more than when you work/study alone.

5. This may sound obvious, but pay attention in class. I was always stunned by how many people came to class and did something like work on a different project, or surf the web or even watch YouTube videos. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it’s hard sometimes, but by doing two things at once you miss out on half of the information and in the end, you lose.

6. Go to professors open office hours even if you don’t have a problem. This is something I should have done more often. Why? Generally, professors like to help interested students. By showing that you are genuinely interested in the subject, they will notice you and will want to help you. The word to remember there is ‘genuinely’. Don’t fake it. Ask questions and learn from them. They are the experts in their fields. Furthermore, they have a lot of connections, and they are happy to help you out if they have the feeling you’re a good student.

7. Don’t be shy, be loud. I always thought that if you were a good student, people would notice your talent and you would get the credit that you deserved. But the truth is that NO ONE cares about you, and NO ONE will notice you when you are the quiet, nerdy guy in the corner.

8. Go abroad for at least one semester. I’m telling you, do it no matter what. It is so valuable, I wished I would have known that earlier. Why? Because this is the perfect time to travel, you are young, and you probably don’t have any responsibilities (wife, kids, mortgages, etc.). Please, just think about the adventure, the new people you’ll meet, the new language you’ll learn and the culture. It’s going to be expensive, for sure, but trust me on this, it’s worth it, and you will learn so much!

9. If you get homework, just do it. There is a reason why it’s called homework and not copy-and-paste-work. In the long run, you will benefit from it.

10. Most importantly, enjoy your time in university. This is a once in a lifetime experience, and you won’t get it a second time. You don’t want to have any feelings of regret after you are done university, trust me. Enjoy, be ambitious, but don’t take it too seriously!

In conclusion…

I by no means regret or am unhappy with my university experience. However, my experience could have been that much better had I taken advantage of opportunities which I didn’t even know existed. Hopefully, these tips open your eyes to what is possible.

Please comment below and share this article with any freshman you know!