Monday, October 12, 2015

Insights on routine

I spent three days in a Buddhist monastery last week. The time was nourishing and healing to me. I breathed, walked, ate, worked, slept. I was.

Returning to Berlin I could see my thoughts and behaviors with incredible clarity. What I noticed right away was, that my everyday life is full of little decisions. What will I eat today? Will I clean the apartment when I return home or rather go to the gym instead? Will I read or listen to music on the subway? What music will I listen to? Or maybe will I prefer to enjoy doing nothing?

Monks and nuns (in any religion) do not seem to face these "problems". For me it helped a lot to know  what's going to happen and just be present to the moment. This shed a whole new light on my opinion about routine. I can see now how it is possible to be free and happy in any circumstances. I can also see how my lack of routine reveals that I haven't quite figured out the direction of my career yet. The more rigid your schedule the more you go into a certain direction on a straight line. If you know what you are heading for that's perfectly fine, almost necessary. But if you feel that you are on the wrong path, you should stop.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Seven months in an office

In February this year I moved to Berlin. My goal was to put all the ideas in my head into practice and have as much impact as possible. I thought the right place to go was a start up company, because I wanted to learn how a real business works first before creating my own one. Although that's probably not a bad idea if you want to learn fast and take on responsibility in a short period of time, for me it did not feel right from the beginning. The biggest problem was, it did not feel wrong either. I was given interesting tasks, my colleagues were friendly and my boss gave in to my wish to only work 25 hours a week. But apart from that I felt like an alien. And I did not feel like I was living the minimalist lifestyle at all anymore.

First of all I found it extremely difficult to get used to sitting 5 hours a day and staring at a screen. Moreover I was not as engaged as I thought I would be. Maybe I was just being in the wrong industry: a flash sales business for luxury hotels. As a frugal camper and hitchhiker that does not get me excited at all. But I think that I realized right from the start that if I was going to be an entrepreneur, it would have to be something real. No pure online business, no office with nothing but computers in it. I longed for music, movement and laughter. Just the fact that you are your own boss doesn't turn an office into paradise. It took me months to realize this and eventually leave.

So now I am looking forward to finally living the long-dreamed dream to study music. And it feels DAMN right. To the people who read this: may my experience in the start up world be an inspiration to really do what you want to do. Even if it means to leave something that's quite comfortable. If it does not fill you with excitement, then you are meant to do something else. Don't let yourself be lulled into a place of comfort and detachment. Life is waiting for you.