Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

September 2014 ‘Useletter’ with Wolfgang Riebe

September 2, 2014

Welcome to the September, the official change of seasons and the move into the latter part of the year.

Firstly, this Useletter can be viewed on video by clicking here.

I also uploaded a few new Quotations videos this month, simply click on the titles below,




and if you feel like a quick chuckle… be sure to watch this one… Another 10 jokes in 90 seconds.

It’s amazing how many people send me bits and pieces of information to share in this ‘Useletter.’ I have now collected enough ‘bits & pieces’ to share a potpourri of 12 wise proverbs/quotations & insights around the theme of living in the moment. Today we get caught up with way too much nonsense and let every small issue affect our day. Here are insightful tips to help you along your path in learning to savour every moment.

1. Do not regret growing older, it’s a privilege denied to many!

This is a powerful proverb to start with, so true, but so rarely thought about. Having just turned 50, it’s a saying that hits home very powerfully, and yes, maybe it is aimed at the baby boomers and above. But even if you are 25 and reading this, it applies. Whatever you age, consider for one moment the people in your lives that are dead today. How many were younger than you? That’s when this proverb hits home, when you realise how lucky you are to be the age you are, and healthy. Consider two people in their seventies, one still drives a car and enjoys life, the other has Alzheimer’s and needs to be under 24/7 supervision. If you are fit and mentally in a right state of mind – it’s time you give thanks and smile for every morning you wake up alive and healthy.

2. I’ve seen better days, but I’ve also seen worse. I don’t have everything that I want, but I do have everything I that I need. I do wake up with some aches and pains, but I wake up!

Another life truth, similar, but with a different twist to the above. Here’s a reality check, things do go right and things do go wrong. We are mostly healthy, but we do get sick. We are conditioned to want things, but these things don’t bring us inner peace, contentment and health. It’s about learning to be thankful and making do with what you have. It’s about learning that we do not need much more than the love of our family and friends, our health and food in our stomachs. Basically we don’t need much. Learn to be happy with your lot in life, and life will start making so much more fun.

3. Live your life and forget your age.

Another magical quotation and one that many people need to practice. Ask any older person how old they feel, and I guarantee you they feel and think way younger than their real age. Also, when we get older, we are conditioned to act our age. By following this advice, unhappiness is the result. Life is short – to constantly act according to what others expect of you is sad. Learn to live in the moment and make the most of every moment. If you want to laugh, if you want to scream, then do it! Live life to the fullest. Live YOUR life, not the life others dictate you must lead.

4. Spending time with your children will give you way better memories and is far more important than buying them things.

In today’s crazy technology and information overload society it has become way too easy to put a child in front of a TV game, than to actually stop, listen and spend time with them. We complain that the youth is messed up, but whose fault is it? Did you spend enough time with your children so that they could learn the value of family and time? Think about it!

5. Looking away from your computer while speaking to someone, or putting your phone away and actually paying attention when someone talks to you is possible! There an App for it, it’s called ‘Respect.’

Have we all forgotten what respect is? I don’t get it? People will rather finish sending an SMS to someone and communicate electronically, than stop what they are doing and look you in the eyes and communicate personally. Huh? Try reconditioning yourself and every time someone speaks to you, STOP fiddling with the gadgets and look the other person in the eyes. You’ll be amazed at the deeper level of communication you can achieve.

6. Take care of your thoughts when you are alone and take even more care of your words when you are with people.

Phew! Powerful huh? As humans we tend to brood in our own negativity – STOP IT! Make a concerted effort to think about your ‘private time’ thoughts and work on making them positive. This is the time you should be dreaming about great future plans and loved ones. Similarly when you speak to others, by only talking about negative issues and gossiping, you are actually pushing people away from you. Unlike a magnet, in real life like attracts like. Who are you attracting in your life?

7. Who said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend? What nonsense! They obviously never owned a dog.

Do you have pets? The unconditional love of a dog is just so awesome. I have a small Jack Russell and when I don’t throw his ball, he lies on his back, holds the ball between his paws, and throws it for himself. The problem is that every time I take out the video camera, he doesn’t do it! I still believe that will be a million hit You Tube video! My dogs give me so much pleasure, I can’t imagine a life without them. I’m sure you can share many stories of things your dogs have done, or do, that put a smile on your face, and that are ‘priceless.’

8. Learn another lesson from your dog, no matter what life throws at you, kick some grass over that shit and move on!

And this advice is funny too! Enough said! We tend to harp on the past and create our own sorrow. Have you ever really watched a dog? Whether they fall, they hurt themselves and another dog attacks them… are they still depressed the next day? No! They get over it! Don’t you think you should do the same and kick some grass over all the crap in your life?

9. Nature is cheaper than therapy!

Oh wow! Having travelled the world and seen over 150 countries, I can objectively tell you that the extremes, Arctic, Antarctic, Alaska and the places where nature predominates – those are the places I have experienced spiritual insights and grown. If you live in a city and are having a bad day, just go walk in the park and watch the ducks on the lake. It’s amazing how nature and animals just calm you down. Again we are so conditioned to follow the masses, when peace and tranquillity and no stress are actually on our doorstep, and free!

10. Life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others – not realising that everyone has a different question paper. This makes me think of that quirky saying, “You are unique, just like everyone else!” Ha, ha! Fair enough, that’s funny, but the reality is we are all different. As humans we have the ability to think and rationalise in our own unique ways. Why then would you want to be like anyone else? I don’t get it? I like being me and unique at that! Be realistic, how can you find happiness and contentment if you judge your life by what crazy celebrities are doing? Why would you want to keep up with the neighbours? Does that change who you are? Maybe it does, I think it makes you stupid! Here’s my view. I had rather be unique and honest to myself and smile at all the people that want to be like me. If only they realised that all they have to do is just follow their own heart. You too can be great and leave a legacy like all the thought leaders of the past – all you need to do is tap into your uniqueness and follow you heart.

11. Here’s a question that needs answering… We still love ourselves even after making tons of mistakes, yet when those around us make just one single one, we hate them for it! Huh? Doesn’t make sense does it? But sadly, that is so very true. From now on, before you judge someone else, look in the mirror and throw that judgement at yourself. Dare I suggest that you won’t like it, as most of the time you will see that same fault in yourself. Another reality check… we ALL make mistakes. That’s part of being human and learning and growing in life. Stop judging others for their mistakes. Rather learn from their mistakes and help them learn too. Imagine if we all did that, how the world would change overnight and how many people would suddenly be forgiving others around them and apologising for being judgmental. Mmn – nice thought, huh?

12. My dad sent me a German proverb last week that I think is apt to end these lessons… “Es wäre eine Freude zu Leben, wenn jeder die Hälfte von dem täte , was er von dem anderen verlangt.” And for those of you that don’t understand German, I’ll translate it… It would be a pleasure to live, if everyone only did half of that which they expect others to do. It all boils down to the fact that we are quick to judge others, but how often do we look into the mirror when being judgmental? We tend to like sitting in front of the television, making comments and statements about the lives of other people we hear about, rather than getting our own lives in order. So, as the seasons change, how about making it a goal to start changing the way you think and to start looking for the good and beauty in those around you. Remember, we all have different talents and interests that are unique to each of us individually. Understand that someone else won’t necessarily see the world the way that you do. Bear in mind that they may not do a task in the manner or the speed that you can do it. Respect each other’s differences and strive to become tolerant of those around you. In the end, you will chill too!

You now have some serious food for thought for this week. Go on, I dare you – make those changes and change your whole attitude in life! has been COMPLETELY revamped and now has a much easier sign up process. Have an incredible September, and if you haven’t done so yet, this free ‘Useletter’ is now coming to an end, but you can carry on receiving it as well as DAILY INSPIRATIONAL QUOTATIONS and much more, by visiting

PPS! Myself and a close friend, Leon van der Westhuizen just launched a new membership site for speakers. Do you want to become a public speaker? Even if you don’t have a clue how to do it! Personal online tuition and so much more. Click here to find out more.


June Useletter from Wolfgang: Time

June 1, 2014

Welcome to June!

This month I have a number of videos for you, including the first ever public launch of some of my comedy magic routines. I have now done them long enough and I thought it’s about time I shared them with the world.

Thus, if you feel like a chuckle, simply click on the links below:

Comedy Cut & Restored Rope Routine

Comedy Paper to Money with a motivational message

The Bandana Routine

Plus I uploaded 2 new Easy Magic Tricks videos – so if you want to learn some fun tricks, or keep the kids occupied for a while, click on these links

6 Easy Magic Tricks Part 1

6 Easy magic Tricks Part 2

For motivational Quick Tip Videos

Time (This month’s Useletter on Video)

Mediocre to Awesome

SWOT to Success

Unknown Author Quotations on Time

It’s half way into the year and once again time is moving on as it does. This is a very special month for me as I will be celebrating my ‘half century!’ Yes I turn 50! As I celebrate this milestone I also realise that life has shot by. Even as someone that shares the message of living in the now, practicing what I preach and valuing ‘time’, I look back at the last half century and wonder at how fast it has all gone. If I think back to my twenties, hey that feels like 10 years ago! I have no regrets and enjoy every day, yet I meet so many people that are bitter and have way too many regrets, and everything relates around time.

Hence I thought it opportune to share some thoughts on time this month, and especially the value of time.

Here are 13 Tips to make your days have purpose and one day when you look back at your life, you can say to yourself, “that was a fun trip!”

1.) I need to learn something new every day. In other words my day must have purpose. If I get to bed and cannot identify with something new that I have learnt, I go onto Google and do a search and read up on a new event or happening. I need to enrich myself daily.

2.) Get out of bed early, and in the right mood. I find that early morning is a great time to catch up on things you need to do, while everything is still peaceful and quiet. Nothing is worse than starting your day on the wrong foot – it can mess up the next 24 hours completely. It is especially important to wake up refreshed with enough sleep and a healthy breakfast.

3.) Yes I know exercise isn’t for everyone, but it’s also a mind-set. Keeping fit and healthy may just give you more ‘time’ on this earth. Also research has proven that fitter people are happier, calmer and more adept at handling unplanned crises. These days I go cycling with my friends and we have a great time catching up, spending time together, socialising and at the same time staying healthy.

4.) Plan ‘me time!’ You need to allocate 10 – 15 minutes where you can simply sit quietly and reflect on your day. Time where no one interrupts you. This is also known as ‘nurturing your soul.’ I know of people that actually put their ‘me time’ as an appointment in their diary! Some people even call these ‘de-stressing’ moments of their day. Time when they break loose, chill, have fun and just connect with themselves again. This is the time I personally enjoy catching up on new jokes and having a good laugh. Nothing de-stresses me as well as laughter. I have even heard people refer to this as the ‘Press Pause’ time of day!

5.) Avoid ‘time vampires!’ These are the people that keep interrupting you during the day and stop you from achieving your goals. They always have needs, but never seem to have time for you. Nothing is more dissatisfying than going to bed at night and not having achieved your goals for the day, because other people interrupted you. Make a point of creating awareness amongst colleagues and friends that your time is precious and that you don’t appreciate unplanned interruptions.

6.) There is a big difference between ‘time vampires’ and people who really need your help. Make sure you learn to identify the difference and make a point of giving selflessly to people who deserve and really need your help. Identify a charity or mentor someone. By giving your time to others who really need it, you expand your own sense of time. This in turn makes you feel way more valued and you go to bed feeling you did something great with your day.

7.) Do stuff that you love doing. There’s an unknown author quotation that says, “You love what you find time to do.” Okay, reality check, not everyone is in a job they love. But if that’s the case then find time after work to at least strike a balance and do things that you are passionate about. Nothing is worse than living a life with no desire to do anything, because you find nothing enjoyable. You need a purpose – make your passion your purpose.

8.) Identify your productive time. This is the time when your mind is fresh and you can get a day’s work done in an hour. In other words the time of day where your concentration is at it’s prime. Utilize this period of the day for the important tasks and items where you need to be sharp and focused. Don’t waste this time on routine tasks, eating and answering emails. This is the time of day when you get the most done – so use it wisely.

9.) Do a midday check on yourself! Nothing is worse than reaching the end of the day and realising you haven’t accomplished your goals. The problem in today’s fast paced technology driven world is that we are so bombarded with information and tasks, we don’t have that moment to stop and analyse whether we are actually still doing what we planned to do. Hence it’s a great idea to stop half way in the day and look at your morning and decide whether you are still on track, or whether something or someone steered you off the path.

10.) Avoid unnecessary information overload. Who cares that your friend just tweeted that they were having coffee in the high street! Is this information really important? No! It’s information overload. It’s similar to reading gossip magazines and filling your life and conversations with poor quality information. Today we are bombarded with so much information from so many sources, that we really need to be critically selective. Remember that life truth, “Trash in – trash out”. If you only fill your mind and body with trash – that’s going to define who you are. Personally, I rather go for quality!

11.) Stop, let me repeat that – STOP trying to get even and stop holding grudges. As long as you hold onto the past, your time will NEVER be your own. It’s really a very simple case of time spent in getting even would be better spent in getting ahead. This goes hand in hand with another unknown author quotation, “Time invested in improving ourselves cuts down on time wasted in disapproving of others.” So stop finding fault in others and focus on improving yourself. This is known as using time wisely!

12.) Do you know that your mobile phone has an off button? Don’t laugh! I get the impression that people don’t know this. Weekends and after hours is my time and family time. The days of half killing myself as I trip over obstacles while running to answer the phone are long over. Also, allocate time when you handle phone calls. Nothing irritates more, and slows down your productivity than unnecessary phone calls. There is something called ‘Voice Mail’ – use it! If someone doesn’t leave a message – it wasn’t important! Research has also shown that more and more people check their phones in the morning before they brush their teeth, kiss their partners or hug their children. You tell me, what’s wrong with this story?

13.) Think about your day – what worked? What didn’t? What frustrated you? What made you happy? Make a plan to identify and eradicate the negative events and strive to have days where you only reflect on positive happenings. This will also allow you to plan your days more effectively and end your day with activities that leave you on a high. In the same vein, never finish a day with uncompleted tasks. Nothing is more frustrating than continuing and unfinished task on the following day. Then again nothing is as satisfying as completing a goal for the day as this allows you to ‘reset’ and ‘refresh’ for tomorrow. Never forget this fact… you can’t recycle wasted time.

And if these tips don’t push you into the right direction to start making the most of your time, simply consider this thought. Imagine that right now you received the distressing news that you were fatally ill and had one month left to live. What would you do in that last month? What would you regret not having done? Would one month be enough time to do the things you really desire?

Don’t just read these words, actually go and sit down and think about this? Put yourself through those emotions and regrets. Personally, I feel that would be the best exercise for anyone to do. Why? Because it will shock you into the reality that time doesn’t last forever, not for anyone of us! Why waste it when you can do so much with it? Remember, time is the only asset we have that once we lose it, we never get it back again.

I would like to end of this month with another unknown author quotation and one that I have always practiced in life… “What comes first, the compass or the clock?” Before one can truly manage time (the clock), it is important to know where you are going, what your priorities and goals are, in which direction you are headed (the compass). Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going. Rather than always focusing on what’s urgent, learn to focus on what is really important.

And remember that every morning each and everyone of use are handed 24 golden hours. There is no discrimination, no favours, no inequality – each and everyone of us gets the same 24 hours every day! Plus they are one of the few things in this world that we get free of charge. If you had all the money in the world, you couldn’t buy an extra hour. So what are you doing with this priceless treasure?

Have a brilliant June and enjoy EVERY minute of it!

Warmest regards


PS! Have you subscribed to my daily quotations at Imagine receiving a personal email from me each and every day where I inspire you with a positive quotation and discuss the meaning of it. As humans we need constant reminders of the magic of life. Here is an opportunity to be constantly motivated each and every day of the year at $1.50 per month – that’s not even the price of a cup of coffee. I shudder to think at how many people spend a fortune every month of candies, chocolates, cigarettes and other unhealthy foods, when the price of less than one of these items can bring you inspiration every month. Visit and subscribe now as this ‘free ‘Useletter’ will be replaced by this website shortly.

Also, have you checked out all the inspirational books at

4 Life Truths to Change YOUR Life: Part 4 – Honesty

September 17, 2012


Firstly, this complete book is available in most e-reader formats from Smashwords, click here to download it for free. 

Hello, and welcome back. I am Wolfgang Riebe, I’m your mind shift guru. This is the fourth truth in my 4 Life’s Truth Video Course. If you have stumbled across this video by accident, please go to and sign up completely free for these four videos. If you just tuned in again for your fourth and final truth, welcome back!  

What is that final truth that I want to share with you? We have spoken about wealth, passion and conditioning. This one is the most important truth for me personally. The ‘Crème de la crème’ of truths! And it is… HONESTY!  

I have done a bit of research in dictionaries, on the Internet and ‘Wikipedia’ has a great definition; “positive, virtuous attributes, including integrity and straightforwardness…” That’s quite a lot of big words! It also refers to a honest person as someone that is not dishonest, that does not steal, or who is not a thief. At the end they say, “Honesty is the best Policy”. In fact William Shakespeare and Mark Twain were people that acknowledged this as well. If you look at today’s world, “Is Honesty the best policy?”  I think according to any lawyer… No! Honesty is not the best policy, but… insanity is a better defense! Ha, Ha… jokes aside, the world we live in is not so much about honesty anymore, it is about image, about pose, about creating an illusion, something false, in order to sell an end product. 

Even friendships… we try an make out as if  we are wealthy and that we live in a big house and we have this good set of morals… but do we have them?” The whole world has changed so radically that it saddens me immensely.  Hence honesty is the most important truth in my eyes. When you wake up, or go to sleep at night, do you do so content with who you are?  This is the crux of the matter! Once you are content with who you are, only then can you start leading a fulfilling life. The conditioned society I spoke about previously has also added to the fact that we are dishonest with ourselves. To test this, stand in front of a mirror. Look at yourself and you say, “I am happy with whom or what I see”.   If you cannot,  then you’ve got to work on your honesty. There are four reasons why you have not been honest with yourself up until now.   

1. Fear of what everybody around you will think and do. You comfort zone! You are too comfortable with where you are now. Without a doubt this is one of the biggest factors holding you back.

2. That damn comfort zone in everything you do today is a big problem. Basically as humans we become comfortable within a situation far to quickly, and then we don’t want to change and try something new.

3. Couple your comfort zone with a lack of knowledge and the ‘Sheeple’ in you comes to the fore! Lack of knowledge results in us not knowing any better.  That is why I made conditioning the third truth, so that you start becoming aware and make the time to think about your life. 

4. Fear of failure is the biggest reason why people rather live in a live of illusions and deceit! The question most people fear is, “What happens if suddenly I am open and honest and I don’t get accepted”! Don’t make the mistake of thinking this acceptance refers only to people around you. Most people are afraid of themselves and coming to terms with the past. I have got news for you. If you cannot do this, then you will never learn the true meaning of honesty. You don’t have to change overnight. I’m not saying from now… and in ten minutes time you must be a completely different person. Obviously that is crazy, but start with small steps. Start changing a few small things and build up from there. If you have that fear of being honest, it’s as if you cannot look at yourself in the mirror without feeling bad about who or what you see. To me that is far more frightening than being scared of what my friends will think. Be realistic about it… lack of knowledge, hey, that’s why I am chatting to you. You are getting the knowledge. If I look at myself in the mirror and I am not happy with what I see, haven’t I already failed? Surely that alone should motivate me to go and do something about it?  

Remember, if you are honest with yourself and everyone around you – you don’t have to remember anything! I only found out recently that apparently it was Mark Twain that said this, and I’ have followed this philosophy my whole life. If I am upfront and tell you how I feel and this is who I am and I am straight forward, I don’t have to remember anything, because I am not deceiving anyone, especially not myself! Once you’re honest with yourself, your life starts changing. Think of an iceberg! Don’t you think that Icebergs are absolutely beautiful? I was fortunate that for many years I did  expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic and I will never forget seeing an iceberg for the first time, it was absolutely awesome! The different shapes, the way they float through the ocean, the height, the flatness, some have waterfalls, some look like little cities, it was absolutely awesome! I was blown away. Strangely enough, about two days later while was standing next to one of the lecturers on the expedition, he said to me, “You realize that is only one tenth of the iceberg that sticks out above the water”. 


Then I started thinking about life and how most of us try to show only one tenth of who we really are to the outside world. That which we are in control of!  This is how we paint the image we want to portray to everyone out there.  It’s like a tenth of that iceberg. However, in the meantime nine tenths of who you really are is below the water. Isn’t that the most beautiful, powerful and majestic part of that iceberg? Why are you hiding it from the rest of the world? Even more so, why are you hiding it from yourself?  Be open and show that to everyone! Can you see that life will start being a lot more fun and have way more meaning? Be in control! Be honest enough to say, “Some things I will accept, some things I won’t.” As soon as you open yourself up and show your entire being for whom you are, you become at peace with yourself.

There’s an interesting saying that goes, “If you tell a lie don’t believe that it just deceives those outside your circle.” By telling a lie long enough, you deceive yourself as well. If you constantly lie, if you constantly show a false image to the people out there, after a while you start believing that is who you are! Come on! That’s why I said, “Look in the mirror!” Can you look yourself in the eyes and say, “I’m happy with whom or what I see?” When you can do that, then your life starts having more meaning.

The most powerful saying for me is, “A person’s true character is revealed when now one else is watching.” Don’t you think that’s awesome? In other words the real you, only comes to the fore when you are alone – when no one else is looking! Are you a different person when you are alone, to when you’re out there? I pride myself in the fact that as you see me now, you will always see me.  Whether I’m on my own, my family or friends – this is who I am. It’s not easy, it takes a lot of hard work, but… it makes a difference to YOUR life! I repeat… you don’t have to remember lies; you don’t have to remember pretences! You can just BE… and when you can just BE you’ve got a different energy streaming out of you. You attract different things to you. Be the same person when you are on your own as when you are out there, because only then can you lead an honest life.

Can you imagine a world where we’re all honest with each other? The world will  literally change overnight. When you do become honest you make yourself vulnerable. I think it was Mother Theresa that said something along a similar vein of, “By being honest you open yourself up and you become vulnerable.” She was one of the most vulnerable women in the world, but she was also one of the most powerful women in the world.  Look at what she did and what she left behind in this world! Simply because she was open and vulnerable! Makes you think, huh?

Did you know that when you make yourself vulnerable, you become authentic? 

Seven months ago, from the day that I recoded this insight on video (6 June 2012) I had a heart attack. At the age of 48, I had a heart attack! Luckily I was at home and luckily my wife saw what was coming and got me to the hospital in time. I remember lying there with my wife and two daughters looking over me, with fear in their eyes. I was more worried about their fear than my fear. I survived! I had no muscle damage. My wife realized what was happening and I survived. Today I have two stents as a reminder to appreciate every moment in life.  When I reflect back on the time I was lying in the hospital I had to ask myself, “Hang on, am I going to live or not, and if I do live, what am I going to change in my life?”  This made me realize that I need to be more honest. You see! I was tolerating a lot of baggage in my life at the time. Are you the same? One of the first things about being honest is being straightforward. Are you trying to be politically correct and polite because it is expected of you? I’ve got these friends, I don’t call then friends, I call them…’energy vampires’. They come up to you with all their problems and they literally suck you dry. You know the type! (If you don’t… it’s you!) The first promise I made to myself  after my heart attack was that I am going to be more straightforward! I’m going to get rid of all that excess baggage. The people that don’t add value to my life, and please do not misunderstand me, I’m not saying I want you as a friend only if you can add value. 

Friendship is about giving and sharing, but it is not about giving 100% from your side only. I find that in life, many people just take, and I’ve decided that part of being honest is to get rid of all the takers. The soul takers that just take the whole time! Just simply saying, “Hang on, this is not working! Every time I say something to you, you don’t listen anyway and you keep on sucking my energy dry. You’re wasting my time! Either come right, or leave!” It’s weird, when you give them that choice they all leave. Think about it, why are you reading this transcript? Because you want to learn, you want to change your life! You want to do something about it. There is a big difference between wanting to do something and actually doing it! If you want to find happiness, if you want to find truth and you really want to live the life you deserve to live, you’ve got to take that first step!

Part of understanding these Life truths is grasping the true meaning of wealth is, clarifying your passion, seeing the conditioning around us and finally having the courage to be honest with yourself.

Finally, look at your life and be honest enough to admit whether your have been honest or not. Don’t be afraid to look a little further… have you achieved everything you wanted to achieve in life? Have you gotten what you want? Are you content with who you are? Often people are not! They only talk about being honest with themselves. Stop talking! Do it! Take the responsibility for your own life! Do and say, “I will be honest with myself.”

There is a wonderful saying that goes, “If you’ve always done what you always do, you’ll always have what you always had.”  You have to change! You have to start being honest and creating that change. It is a wonderful example that I do if standing in front of an audience where I’ll tell a joke where everybody cracks up laughing. Once they have finished laughing I tell the same joke again, and guess what? Some people still laugh! Strangely enough, the third time I tell it, no one laughs. At this point the audience starts thinking that I may just have escaped from a mental asylum, or even that I am crazy!

At this point I ask my audience whether they are nuts! Why? Isn’t this how most people lead their lives? Doing the same stuff, over and over and over and always expect a different reaction. Wake up! There is no ways that anything different is going to happen! You’ve got to change things in order to get different and new reactions! And if your life hasn’t been what you’ve expected, maybe your viewpoint of wealth was wrong. Maybe you lacked passion. Maybe you were too conditioned. Maybe the past three topics and your understanding of them have been part of the problem. But maybe, just maybe, you haven’t been honest with yourself. Now that you understand the concept of honesty, you can start doing things differently and change your life.

That’s it! This has been the basic course on the 4 life truths, and I really trust that I have managed to impart and share knowledge that is going to benefit you in your life.

Thank you for trusting me and spending this time reading/watching my Life Truths.

This has been the introductory course. Obviously there is so much more to life and understanding what makes us tick. Hence I have many more courses, and would like to tell you about my advanced course which goes hand in hand with the basics I have just shared with you.

4 Life Truths to Change YOUR Life: Part 3 – Conditioning

September 2, 2012


Firstly, this complete book is available in most e-reader formats from Smashwords, click here to download it for free.

The third truth is one that we don’t realize is out there. We are all part of it, but we just don’t get it . Once you understand this and how to control this, you can do something about it and change your life radically.

The third truth is, CONDITIONING!

What do I mean by conditioning? You and I and all of us are a product of society. The reality that we life in, what we see, what we hear, what we believe in is all learnt – it is psychosocial, sociocultural,  behavioristic.  In simple terms, the country, the culture, the religion, the place, the influence of our parents and how we have been brought up all plays a role and identifies how we perceive the reality that we live in. We are a product of the society that we grew up in and live in today. Once we understand this, we can start changing changing our lives.

Often we look at someone from another country and we disagree with their behavior. But who are we to judge them? They also have a right to their beliefs. For all we know, they may find us offensive and wrong! Take a simplistic example. Have you ever had a heated debate, or given an instruction to someone that hasn’t been understood? Is it because they were being difficult, or could it maybe be that their perception of what they heard and understood is completely different to what you meant? The reality is… we have all been brought up in differing environments, and hence our perception of reality differs vastly from a person of another culture or country. This is known as cultural conditioning!

What do I mean by conditioning and how does one become conditioned? When you study psychology, the first thing you learn about is classical conditioning. A very simple example is that you get a puppy and every time your feed the dog you ring a bell! You get the puppy used to the bell sound when you feed him. Guess what? After three weeks you can ring the bell without food being present and the puppy will start to salivate!  Why? Because the puppy identifies the sound of the bell with the food.

There is another simplistic example I have heard of via different sources and I am sure it must be somewhere on the internet. Research has shown the following: Put a monkey into a cage with two openings containing food and have an electrical shock attached to one. Shock the monkey every time he touches the one food. Now add a second monkey in the cage. Whenever the first monkey will want to touch the ‘shock’ food, the first monkey will start screaming and jump up and down. A warning to prevent the new monkey from getting shocked.  After a while add a third monkey, and the initial two monkeys will also jump up and down and scream, in order to warn the new monkey about the shock.  As monkeys are added, the others will warn the newcomer. Even if the first monkey is removed from the cage, the rest will always warn the others not to touch the one food, even though they do not know, nor have experienced it shocking any of them. This is called classical conditioning!

Don’t we as humans behave very much in the same way? Are there things you are doing, simply because someone else told you to do it that way? And then you wonder why we are frustrated in life? Isn’t that what the media does to us when they condition us to go buy stuff the whole time!  How crazy is this? We get sold all this technology and stuff because the media says we need it.  Then we buy bigger houses to store all this new stuff that we don’t need. Do you see how conditioned we are? I call people ‘sheeples!’ A sheep and a person together equals sheeple!

When I was young my dad taught me that if everybody is going in one direction, go the other way. I remember when working on cruise ships and docking in foreign cities. The passengers would go off and explore in one direction and my wife and I would go the other way. We always had different experiences and often found better bargains than the passengers. Start doing stuff a bit differently!  Hey, hang on a minute… by me saying that, am I not conditioning you? Am I not trying to do exactly what I am saying you are guilty of… being conditioned! No! I am merely trying to make you aware that you are conditioned and this is how the world works. Take technology… if it wasn’t for the advancement of technology I could not be doing this course on the internet with you. So yes’ I am very much for it, but have you ever considered how much we have been brainwashed by technology. I am a baby boomer. When I was younger, we didn’t have Blue-ray discs, we had 16mm projectors with that big roll of film. As youngsters on a good summer’s night, we would hire a projector plus good movie and set it up outside in the garden. We would hang up a sheet, start a barbecue and have a fantastic evening. Our sound came from one speaker which was in the cover of the projector. DTS digital surround sound was unheard of. Guess what? We had an awesome time!

What a difference in picture and sound quality today to back then! But, was it really that different? When I was young those evenings were magical for me. Doesn’t today’s teenager experience the same kind of magic when watching the latest DVD? Is there really that much of a difference in the experience? From CD to DVD to Blue-ray disc! How much sound difference can we really hear? How much picture quality difference can we really see? Isn’t that just marketing and brainwashing?  Are we not simply advancing to a more instant gratification society?  Back then you were more involved. You couldn’t just download a movie and watch it on your computer. We had to ride to the shop, choose a movie, and learn load the movie reel through the projector – we were more involved. It was an adventure hiring a movie! I don’t want to sound like an old fart, saying; “In our day it was better!” I am not saying that at all. I am just putting into perspective how we have been conditioned. In my days we had vinyl records and seven singles.  We could touch them, feel them and smell them. You never lent them to anybody in case they got scratched. Today people are complaining about piracy and illegal music downloads on the Internet. You see, for me the youth don’t attach a value to the music anymore. We had to buy the vinyl record, we could touch it and feel it. Today, a youngster has a memory stick, sticks it into the computer, downloads the music, takes it out and there’s no difference in weight to the stick, and then goes and loads it somewhere else. The value system has changed! We have been conditioned to start thinking differently. You need to become aware of this, shift your perception and go back to basics. What does society tell us today?  If you’re depressed, go to the shopping mall and you can get happiness there. Buy something, or make more debt so you can work harder and be more unhappy. That’s the messed up reality we live in today! Get out of that zone!

If you don’t believe me when I say that we are conditioned, have you ever driven somewhere from point A to point B? You arrive at point B, and suddenly you think, “How the heck did I get here? I can’t even remember what I thought about, I can’t even remember driving here!” Let me share something my wife once told me, and she initially had me confused, until I understood what she meant. I realized, “Wow, how powerful is this. This has made a big difference in my life!” She said to me, “Think about what you think about!”

In other words, when you’ve driven from point A to B and can’t remember how you got there, sit down, make some quiet time and think back. Force yourself to try and think about what you thought about during this time. Think about that whole trip and suddenly you’ll realize, but hang on…. I swore at that car that swerved in front of me, I made a rude gesture to that guy that jay-walked… suddenly you  realize just how many negative things you said and thought. We actually don’t realize subconsciously how we have been conditioned to think negatively. If you can learn to think about what you think about, and use ‘quiet time’ to realize how many negative things we do in our lives, and then negate them… it’s amazing how your life can change.

What time do you wake up in the morning? If I am doing a keynote with a few thousand people, I ask the same question, I get 05h00, 05h30, 06h00, 06h30, 07h00. Most people,  wake up on the hour or half an hour with a radio alarm clock – where the radio goes off on the hour or half an hour. I wake up at 17 minutes past 6! Why? I’ll tell you why! When the radio alarm goes off on the hour or half an hour, the first thing you hear is the news! And what is the news? Bad! Negative! And guess what? No matter which country you live in… it’s ALL negative! And I actually have a challenge… if you are a journalist, here’s my challenge to you, and if you’re not, see if you agree with me. What is it that the media must always sensationalize events and put the negative angle in the news? The news is negative sensationalism. If there is an accident as an example, the headline will be, “12 Killed in horror crash!” Never mind the fact that the ambulance arrived in two minutes and saved 4 lives. Why couldn’t the headline have been, “Ambulance arrives in 2 minutes and saves 4 lives!” No! We must always go the for negative. I challenge any journalist anywhere in the world, if you change the way that you word the headline and report the positive side, in 3 weeks the entire country’s attitude will be more positive. But no, the editor says that won’t sell! How crazy is that? By the way – that’s conditioning!

Re-condition yourself and start thinking differently. If you wake up on the hour or half an hour, you wake up with a negative news broadcast! Then you go to the bathroom, have breakfast and another half hour has gone by. Guess what? You hear another negative news broadcast! That’s the 2nd one! Now you drive to work, and guess what? You hear another negative news broadcast. That’s the 3rd one in the traffic, besides the fact that the traffic also irritates you. Now you arrive at work and walk into the office, “Aaargh” (all negative). Can anyone blame you? No! Because all you have heard the whole morning is a lot of negativity.

When I woke up this morning, do you know what I heard? Mambo No. 5! Hey, guess what? Whether I like the music or not, it’s more positive than the news! Thus, if you set your alarm (re-condition yourself) off the hour or half an hour., let us say, 7 minutes past or 7 minutes before, odds are you’ll wake up to music. Guess what? The music is more positive than the news! You need to realize that when you are negative, it’s not one thing that annoys you, it’s a culmination of many little things. So start re-conditioning yourself to negate all the little irritations in your life, and odds are you will become way more positive. It’s not much effort, all you need to do is change the setting on your alarm clock! How much effort does that take? And huge difference it makes in your perceptions!

We have learnt to react without thinking – what I like to call learned reactions. I do an experiment in one of my keynotes where I really mess with people’s minds. It’s very risky, but it’s very powerful when done live. I’ll pick on the biggest guy in the audience, someone that looks like he doesn’t take nonsense and whom I feel who could be a bit short tempered. I’ll pick on him and become insulting until that person either gets up and walks out, or gets up and walks onto stage with the intention of giving me a clout. And then I hopefully stop them in time! So far I have! I shout, “Wait, stop, think about what you are doing, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Here they usually do a double take.

The reaction of getting up, getting annoyed with me and coming onto stage wanting to hit me is not an internal normal reaction. It is a learned response to the behavior I displayed towards that stranger. People are blown away when you do this and actually see someone become so upset. Think about it, if someone does something insulting to you, your immediate reaction is to want to do it back to them, or even hurt them, i.e. teach them a lesson.

Now if that person had just thought about their reaction, if they had just counted to ten and calmed down, maybe they would have realized that I playing a psychological game on them to prove a point. Or that I had a bad morning this morning, hence my behavior. This person may have come up with different alternatives. But we don’t do that! Instead we immediately react because we saw someone on television do it, or we saw our parents do it.

Stop being a sheeple. Re-condition yourself to think differently! How do you know what is right or wrong? How do you know thinking differently is also not a conditioned learned response? Does it feel right in your heart when you make a decision? Before you make a decision learn to count to ten, breath deeply and relax. When you practice this, you suddenly become aware of whether the decision that you take feels right within your heart. They always say that women have that 6th sense, they have that feeling! We all have it! We are just not aware of it. Personally I think women are more attuned to it.

Even as a guy… for once just take a step back and ask yourself whether it feels right in your heart. Does it make me feel at peace with what I have decided? Then you are starting to move in the right direction

As a keynote speaker I speak in many places and for many organizations. One of these organizations that that has really touched my heart, by the depth of what they do, is Rotary. And they have a 4 way test that says it all.

The first one is, “Is it the truth?” The heart will tell you whether it is the truth or not. You go with the truth.  The second one is, “Is it fair to all concerned?” And that’s including yourself. Because only then will you be comfortable with the decision and it will be the right thing to do. The third one is, “Will it build goodwill and better friendships?” Isn’t that what it’s all about? Building friendships and having goodwill all around? Then you know from within that it is the right thing to do and not some conditioned response which could be wrong. And the final test, and that’s a biggie for me, is; “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” And again, including yourself.

I think these are 4 awesome tests, and if you want to find the truth, if you want to do something that is not a conditioned reaction, ask yourself those 4 questions! I have huge respect for Rotary because of their 4–way test.

Here is my own personal example of how we are conditioned. You may relate to it, you may not. I’m not saying I’m right. I remember the first time I tried beer – the first time I tasted beer it was bitter, it wasn’t nice at all.  It’s not really my favorite drink. I’ll drink it, especially on a very warm day, then it’s nice to drink to cool me down. In fact in this instance it’s not bad at all.  However, if I backtrack, the first time I tasted it, it was bitter and I didn’t like the taste at all. How come I’ve changed my views? The first time you tasted beer, wasn’t it also bitter? Thinking about it… we’ve been conditioned! Everyone drinks beer. You see the ads on television and are conditioned to believe that it’s social and a great drink to cool you down. In summer it’s great, it’s tasty, and that ‘tsssshhh’ sound when you pop open the can makes it so appetizing! Maybe peer pressure also plays a role.  Isn’t it just society that’s conditioned you to change, to shift your perceptions to like it? Does this make sense? We have to start becoming aware of all the things that are shifting our perceptions. Why do you think they stopped cigarette commercials?

In summary I would like to leave you with 3 points.

1. Become aware that we are conditioned and that we are a product of the society we live in. Once you are aware – only then can you try and do something about it. In future when you react, when you make a decision, remember what our parents told us… count to ten before you react. Breathe deeply if something happens and you’re not quite sure what to do. Count to ten and think and use the 4 way test before doing anything.

2. In a similar vein, be at peace with what you do. Find time to be quiet. Think about your day. When you react, don’t explode and immediately lose your temper – as per the typical type A personality.

3. Be aware of what is going on around you so that you can do something about it. Only then will the truth of who you are and what is really going on in the world make sense! Your perception has shifted – you become enlightened – and life starts having a different meaning.

4 Life Truths: Truth 1 = Wealth

August 12, 2012

Welcome to Part 1 of this video course on the 4 Truths that can change your life. This E-Book is basically a transcript of a 2 month video course which I offer on the Internet. If you have not watched it, you can subscribe to the course totally FREE of charge with no obligation, at

First a practical exercise! Think about your own life and about the ‘wealth’ that you own. Consider for a moment, under the categories of, family, health and materialism 10 items for which you can be thankful. You may immediately be able to write down ten things… great! If not, take your time and over the next few days add items as they come to mind. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and I want you to really think about these things, making a point of writing down only those items that are truly important. The object of this exercise is to be able to look at what you have written and realize that you already have 30 assets that add to your wealth – and the majority (Family & Health) are not materialistic at all!

Hello and welcome! My name is Wolfgang Riebe and I am your Mind Shift Guru that is going to teach you 4 truths that can change your life. Before we even begin, who am I, what’s my claim to fame, and what gives me the right to attempt to teach you something that can change your life?

Firstly, let me give you some important background information on myself… I am not one of those speakers/authors that has become famous on television, read a book on motivation, and now claims to be a speaker. Not at all!

Secondly, I’m someone that speaks from personal experience, because I believe that if I have gone through what I want to share with you, only then I can speak with authenticity, from the heart, with humility, and we can connect, and grow together out of the process.

Thirdly, and most important, I’m not that naïve that I believe I can teach you stuff you don’t know. But… I can remind you of things you’ve forgotten.

Even though I have the Ph.D, that doesn’t really qualify me to have the skills to change your life! You see, I believe the biggest qualification in life is to have gone through things yourself, what they call… ‘The University of Life.’ They also say that when you travel, that is the University of Life! And I have been fortunate that I have travelled somewhat in my life. In fact I have been to places like the Antarctic, Arctic, Alaska, New York, Mexico, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Odessa, Israel. Even the Far East, Singapore, China, Vietnam, Rangoon, the Middle East. I’ve also visited Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, the Caribbean and other islands all over the world. In fact, by the age of 28 I had worked in 86 different countries! I’m a bit older now… and I have stopped counting at 144 countries!

Now when I tell this to people they say, “There aren’t that many countries in the world!” Oh yes there are! There are more than 200 countries and I aim to still see them all in my life! Because travelling is the university of life, it teaches you about different people, cultures, places… and suddenly you realize that there are truths out there that apply to all of us. These are the things that I want to share with you.

I know that you are looking at all these countries and asking yourself, “Man what did this chap do for a profession?” Was he a travel agent? Ha, ha, yea that would be the logical answer, but no! You see, I started my career as a magician! Let me repeat, not a musician, a magician… someone that pulls rabbits out of hats! I am German and I still have family that asks (read with German accent) “Ven are U getting a real job!?” When you tell people that you are a magician, they ask, “How do you pay your mortgage? Come on, you can’t make money with that?” By that age of 28, I had seen 86 countries. I had seen the whole world following a dream and a passion. And there are certain laws and rules that have worked for me. Some people like to call, them ‘secrets.’ I just like to call them truths! In this basic course, I am going to share 4 of them with you. Very strong and very important basic truths!

Finally, it’s important for me to clarify that I’m sharing with you, over the next 4 months, 4 of these Life Truths. This is a gift from me to you, completely free. There is no obligation on your behalf! I just sincerely hope that I can change your view of life, because, as a Mind Shift Guru I want to shift your perceptions and show you the light to the truths out there and give you the ability to reach your dreams.

I really want you to listen carefully and be open to what I am sharing with you. Although I am going to teach you from my life experiences, please understand that this is not about me. It’s about what I have learnt that I want to share with you. And I am hoping from the heart, that you can connect and relate to this, and learn from my experiences.

Let us start with the 1st truth, and that is…


You have to understand the concept of wealth, or as some people want to call it, ‘abundance.’ I could share the Wikipedia, or Oxford dictionary definition with you. I actually had a look at them, and they are quite complex! However, the bottom line is… wealth is defined as materialism, in other words, how much you have!

Over the year in my Keynotes I have asked thousands of people how they would define wealth and openly ask if it means (now I show my fingers and thumb rubbing together in the motion that means, money) this to them. Most people say, “Yes!”
In my opinion, this is why a lot of people lose track in life. This is why they don’t find direction and question the point of life! We have been so conditioned in the society that we live today, that this false materialistic definition of wealth has completely screwed up most people on the planet.

Therefore, before I can even continue with anything, the true meaning of Wealth has to be explained to you in detail so that you can begin heading in the right direction with your life.

In the beginning, I said to you that I speak from experience. So let me share my story with you. I started my career as a magician working on cruise ships, as a headline act. I’ll never forget the first ship I worked on. I don’t know if you have been on a big American cruise liner? What happens is… you join the ship and everything is included, depending on the star rating of the ship, sometimes the alcohol as well. The only thing you really pay extra for, are the shore excursions. So if you’re joining a ship, let’s say in the Caribbean, sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, first going to Nassau and then St. Maarten, on every island they offer shore excursions that cost you extra. The ship has a tour office onboard, where you can book the excursion for $50, $100… whatever it costs.

When ship docks in the morning, they have a bus waiting for the passengers to take them on the excursion. Later in the afternoon the bus returns to the ship and the passengers sail off.

Here I was… a youngster who got a break to work on the cruise ships as a magician. When you work on these ships as a youngster, you don’t realize that the only people that can afford to go on these big super liners are elderly retired people… so it was almost like working on a floating old age home. Don’t laugh, as a youngster I didn’t realize this! Here I was on this dream ship, just starting out in life… and all I had around me was elderly people! What happened to those romantic brochures in travel agencies around the world that displayed pictures of sexy couples with hard bodies tanning in deck chairs?

Because we worked on the ship as a headline act, everything was included in our contract, plus we had a lot of free time. Also, during the day when these passengers went out on these excursions we could actually go with them, but as a representative of the company. The cruise line needed representatives to make sure that these tours were as advertised, hence we had to write a report on the excursion. This covered them in case a passenger wanted to sue the cruise line.

Secondly, because most passengers were elderly people, a lot of them had Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and some even had Zimmer frames and were in wheel chairs. Hence we were cheap labour and had to help them back on the buses at the refreshment breaks and basically assist the tour guide to make sure all passengers were happy. Here I was, a youngster just starting out on the ship earning good money, and enjoying the bonus privilege of going on these excursions for free! After three weeks on my first ship, I signed up on my first excursion. It was in the Caribbean and a whole day tour. The first half was a city tour, and the second half we visited botanical gardens.

The city tour was awesome! Hi Fi’s, jewellery, computers, boy was I in heaven! However, all the old people were bored out of their minds. The second half of the tour at the botanical gardens everything was reversed! I was bored out of my mind! These elderly people were taking photos of flowers! Why would anyone take pictures of flowers? They were Americans… I actually thought they were Japanese… they were taking so many photos! What was going on? It didn’t make sense to me! And they were literally freaking out over stupid flowers.

I got back to the ship that night and said to myself, “That’s it, no more tours. These passengers are crazy!” Over the next few weeks I noticed something else… here I was starting out in life, I had nothing and was stuck on a ship with all these wealthy elderly people. It struck me that the majority of them never smiled! They all had long faces! I don’t know if you know any elderly people? Have you ever stood in the line at the post office and you’ve waited three hours, and you’re up front, and suddenly an elderly person comes along, pushes you out of the way and says, “Respect… I’m older?”

This was what I experienced as a youngster on the ships. Wealthy elderly people, the majority of which had long faces, and they all loved flowers! Man, life did not make sense to me!

Today I can admit to you that I was very naïve as a youngster. In fact it took me three months before I went up to an elderly gentleman and asked him, “Oi… what is your problem? Why the long face and what’s with the flowers?”

Well, I’ll never forget when he looked at me and he spoke! He said, “Because I am alone!” I questioned, “What do you mean because you are alone?” He replied, “My wife passed on last year, my children died in an accident two years ago. I’m bitter at the cards that life has dealt me. I’ve got to sit here in my retirement and do all this alone. And I’ve got no one to enjoy my money with… none of the people I love!”

Whew! Was I blown away! I was in shock! I didn’t know what to say to the man.

But what he said to me hit home big time!

Do you know what I started doing over the next few months? I started speaking to every elderly person I met… and boy, did they change my perceptions of life!

In summary, there are three things I learnt from the elderly. And as I travelled around the world, meeting people from every culture, they all said the same to me.

1. They spent their entire lives (also remember that this a different generation) just making money their god. They ran after money, they made money their priority. Everything was money, money, money! In the process they never watched their children grow up. They never had time for anything else. Now that they’ve got the money and can enjoy it… they actually cannot enjoy it with the people that are important to them. Have you ever looked at it like that ? That’s really sad when you think about it. Do you remember growing up and your parents saying to you, “I can’t believe how quick you’re growing up!” Or even worse, have you said it to your own kids? Why would you say that? It’s because you don’t have time for them! When you’re old one day and when you think, philosophize, pray or meditate about your life, you will suddenly realize a few interesting things. The memories you have are weirdly enough, not the new computer, nor the new car that you bought, and not the latest gadgets you have in your house, but… the first steps that your daughter or your son took, the first kiss you had, the first time you had sex… those are the memories that you have! It’s the emotional memories that bond and mean something. Those are the memories that stick. This is the wealth that remains! Yet as young people we don’t understand this! This concept is completely foreign to us!

2. I was sarcastic earlier when I said that they had wheel chairs, Zimmer frames and Alzheimer’s on the excursions. Once again, as a young man I never realized that they spent their entire life running after money, trying to get wealthy, and in the process they never looked after the most precious asset they have… their own body! They never stayed fit or ate healthy. They never exercised. Now in retirement, in a sickly state, they were still trying to fulfil their dreams. It’s only once we understood where they were coming from, and what they’ve been through, that we suddenly respected them and saw it in a different light. But often we don’t tend to do that. We tend to look at a lot of elderly and become irritated with their frailness. How sad is that? Never forget that it was a different time in which they grew up! Did they have mind shift guru’s that told them, “Hang on there must be a work-life balance!” Hence I am telling you… look after your health!

3. This is without a doubt the most powerful lesson I learnt from the elderly. The most beautiful things on earth are not man-made, but what the universe has given us for free! Travelling around the world has re-enforced and cemented this concept into my mind, over and over and over again! Just look at pictures of the glaciers in Glacier Bay, Alaska. That ice is millions of years old. A piece breaks off, it’s like thunder going off, it’s raw nature… is there anything so beautiful? The reflections of the light on the ice, the colors… wow!

Look at the northern lights in the Arctic. That’s nature – it’s free! Skies go purple, blue, green… word cannot do justice to the magnificence of this!

As younger people we run around – we don’t know why, we just run… stress everywhere! But, if you, as a younger person can realize that your family, friends, co-workers, and friends around you are important… that your health and looking after your own body is crucial… and also that the beauty of the nature around you is were true wealth lies, you will suddenly get a different perception of life!

In all fairness, of course money is important! We live in a materialistic world! However, you need to grasp that it is not the be-all and the end-all! If you don’t shift your perception, if your attitude in life is not right, if you are not positive in your mind and don’t understand what life is about… then the money doesn’t come on it’s own either! But if you align your way of thinking and grasp what the elderly took a lifetime to learn, guess what? Then you are in alignment with the Universe and it starts looking after you!

As soon as you realize, family, friends, health, the beauty of everything around me is where true wealth lies… you start relaxing within in your heart. Your stress levels drop! As soon as the energy in your heart calms down you are in balance, and the money comes on it’s own.

To me an integral part of becoming wealthy is also giving! It is most likely that you are already questioning why I am sharing this information with you? I’m hoping that you can see that I’m authentic and that this has become my calling… speaking, writing and changing your perceptions. This is what is important to me!

Today is genuinely my birthday, and my family, my wife my daughters, all wanted to know what I wanted for my birthday? And for me it was important to spend the day with them, but what was also important to share. I firmly believe that by shooting this 1st Life Truth on video today and having it transcribed into this first part of the book, I was receiving the best present of all… giving! If I can share my philosophy with you and make you more positive and you make the next person more positive and we cause a snowball effect, guess what? We can all change the world together and make it a more beautiful place live! Let us all shift our think and our attitudes and create magic!

Thank you for spending the time reading my thoughts. I do trust that I have shifted your thinking! If you have only downloaded this free E-Book and not seen the video, please subscribe at It really is totally free with no obligations. On the video course I share 3 more Life Truths with you and have designed the whole course to give you time to think about everything I share over a period of 2 months. Also, I send you an audio MP3 audio link and PDF transcript of each video a week after viewing it. Every two weeks you will receive the next truth and in two months time you will have done my basic course on the 4 truths that can change your life.

Next week I will load Part 2.

September 2011 Motivation from Wolfgang

August 31, 2011

Wow, what happened to August? I feel as if I wrote my last ‘useletter’ last week! I trust you had a productive August and thanks for all the emails I have been receiving.

Last month I received a mail from a subscriber seeking advice on how to cope with people that are nasty, or negative towards you. It does happen that you get friends, family or colleagues that put you down when you suggest something, or make snotty comments when you say something. Often the person on the receiving end broods over this for the rest of the day and feels really hurt.

Has it ever happened to you that someone has said something that really bothered you? You smile and act as if it’s all a joke, but when alone your thoughts a bitter and hurtful and you constantly go over the conversation trying to figure out what you did wrong?

You can check out 5 Quick Video Tips on this months Inspiring The World videos, click on the language of choice to view; English, German & Afrikaans.

Someone once told me that you can always tell who the pioneers are because they have arrows in their back and are lying face down in the dirt. It is they that change the world. It is only when people criticise you that you are doing something right and taking others out of their comfort zone!

Clever sayings aside, all I can say is that it is a normal reaction to get cranky when someone makes snotty comments. I have put a lot of videos on You Tube – a few people I don’t know make such vulgar and rude comments and initially this really upset me – even all the good comments never made up for it. When I had my TV series I had tons of good reviews, but the one or two that were facetious would be the ones I remembered. So personally, I can really relate to what many people go through.

I would like to share 12 tips with you on how to cope with this. Even if you can only use one tip – at least it’s a step in the right direction.

1.) Smile

A friend of mine shared a well known saying with me, “Some people grin and bear it. Others smile and change it.” The power of a smile… now that’s something! When these people approach you, are you smiling or do you have a long face? I firmly believe that the odds are way more in your favour of receiving good comments back when you are smiling. In fact a genuine smile is difficult to criticise. Even if you are in the wrong and deserve a sarcastic remark, it will be way more toned down if your were smiling. Think about it! I have learnt in life that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile… it makes their day, and mine too!

2.) Be happy within yourself

let’s be realistic… way more people have good things to say than bad things – so I take it I am on a winning streak – that means I should remain positive. How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us. If I am content with who I am and know that most people don’t have an issue with me, why should I let the few negative ones depress me?

3.) Be tolerant

Be tolerant of the human race. Your whole family belongs to it – and some of your spouse’s family does too! 99% Of the time the people saying the bad things have their own issues to sort out, and are themselves the problem. So why should I waste my time thinking about them and their negativity? The reality of the situation is that you cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it is burning in your own. If there is a fire in your heart, you will only radiate positive energy and it is highly unlikely then that you will attract the negative people to you.

4.) Don’t Criticise

Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticise them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes. We constantly like to criticise others who don’t agree with us. But we must never forget that they could be the one in the right, and you could be the one in the wrong. Also, learn to look at their circumstances, is their negativity coming from problems and issues in their life. if you made an effort to find out what the problem is and helped them solve it, you would turn everything around to a win win situation.

5.) Understand that people do get jealous

Jealousy plays a HUGE role – if you are doing something right or good, for some or other reason the ‘negative’ people out there hate you for it and will always try and bring you down. If you have tried to help and find out what is causing the negativity and found no answers, then learn to ignore them. If anything, you should feel sorry for that person! There are certain things in life you cannot change and unfortunately some people fall into this category. Remember that opportunities are found by those who look for them. The bee has a sting, but honey too… so look at every negative and make a positive out of it.

6.) Chose to be the better person

If you cannot help worrying, remember that worrying cannot help you. Everything in life is a choice – I choose not to associate myself with nasty, negative people. In fact I don’t listen to the news or read the first few pages of a newspaper – because it’s all about corrupt politicians, sensationalism and negativity. By avoiding this I find it easier to remain positive.

7.) See the lighter side of life

If I am forced, i.e. in a work situation, to be in contact with a negative person, an cannot get out of having contact with them, I purposely wind them up when they start with me. In fact I agree with them on all the negative things they say. Kinda takes them off their guard and they stop. They are looking for a fight and argument – so if you just take it in your stride with humour – you throw them off balance. Thus they have no reason for carrying on with you.

8.) Stand up for yourself

You have to learn to stand up for yourself and confront them. Not in an aggressive way though! Simply be firm and inform them that you will not have any dealings with them until they change their attitude towards you. Sometimes people need a reality check. If you think you are too small to be effective, think of the last time you were in the dark with a mosquito! Catch my drift?

9.) Be honest with yourself

In the same vein you also need to be honest with yourself. If you have screwed up or are wrong – then you must also be man/woman enough to admit and accept it. Remember, we need to take responsibility of our own lives. It reminds me of a great saying, “When arguing with an idiot, make sure you are not the idiot!” Then again, it may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others!

Also, are you happy with yourself and who you are? I have learnt to be comfortable with myself and accept criticism. At the end of the day, no matter what anybody says, are you happy with the actions and decisions you made in your day? If you are, then there is no reason to let others annoy you over this. Unfortunately today more and more people bow down to peer pressure and doing what is ‘popular’. Hello! You will never find inner happiness if your behaviour reflects the current ‘flavour’ of the month. Learn to be you and be happy in accepting who you are. Guess what, then other people will also be happy to accept you for who you are.

10.) Attitude

A healthy attitude is contagious, but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier. Always strive to be part of the cure, and not remain part of the problem. Also, ALWAYS keep your words soft and sweet, then they won’t be as hard to swallow if you have to eat them! Think of someone that has said hurtful things to you. If you stood up for yourself and put that person in their place – would their words be hard to swallow for them? Most probably – that’s also why these types try not accept that they are in the wrong – it’s too difficult to swallow their own words. Bottom line, brush it off.

11.) Time

Time invested in improving ourselves cuts down on time wasted in disapproving of others. I rather use my time on more positive things and improving myself. Never forget, most people get ahead during the time that others waste. The most precious asset you have is TIME. None of us know how long we are going to live. By giving your thoughts to those that irritate you, you are giving them the most precious thing you have, your life’s time – are they really worth it? A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the full value of time and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain.

12.) Watch your thoughts

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. If you constantly brood over all the negative things people say, your body will manifest that negativity outwardly and you will draw it towards you from others! It is imperative that you learn to stop brooding and redirect your thought to positive things – then you will draw the positive people towards you.

And finally, if you ever find yourself in the situation where you have something negative to say, think of the foolish man who simply tells a woman to stop talking, whereas a wise man tells her that her mouth is extremely beautiful when her lips are closed.

Have an awesome September.

By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to this completely free ‘Useletter’ yet, you can do so on my website,

May 2011 ‘Useletter’ from Wolfgang

May 2, 2011

May is here and the new season is well on it’s way. April was really great for me, speaking at the Global Speakers Summit in Holland and the Professional Speakers Association convention in Cape Town. I mention this because it’s so great meeting new and old friends in the industry who have a positive outlook on life and share their experiences openly with each other. Often people ask me as a speaker how I stay motivated? Well, this is one way, sharing ideas and getting together with peers who may have a different take on life and see things in a new light. So I am very thankful for this experience. It’s kinda like a vitamin injection boost full of positivity! I had the opportunity to really connect with life long friends and it’s been a really busy time.

I also met some great new people and will be part of a world-wide whole day internet motivational day on 23rd September where we will try and get more than 10 000 people logging in – more details about this to follow. Definitely a day you should diarise.

Many people have asked me to write more on last month’s topic on fulfilment and talk more about it. This has become more of an issue of late for many, especially with the global events of the last six weeks and the escalating natural disasters, wars and violence. So… this month, let’s talk about inner satisfaction and being content with life, and where you live.

I am finding more and more that people I meet, keep on asking me where the best place on earth is to live? Especially when they know I have travelled the entire world and been to nearly every major city on this earth. They tend to feel that the grass is greener on the other side and that they will find happiness somewhere else. I understand why people ask this question, especially now with the financial crises in the States and Europe, plus the disaster in Japan – people are looking for safer places to live. Politicians are no longer trusted to look after the interests of the people, the media is controlled and only prints sensationalist news to sell their papers, wars are looming and hatred is increasing everywhere. Everyone is trying their best to plan for their old age, and not sure whether their savings will still be there in years to come – especially with the current economic climate – hence there is much desperation and questioning as to the point of it all.

Firstly, it doesn’t matter where on earth you live! Yes I have a home in Cape Town and in Frankfurt, but these two cities differ vastly and my reason for being in each are completely different. Singapore is another favorite city of mine. Istanbul is fascinating with it’s incredible history. Geiranger at the end of the Geiranger fjord in Norway is breathtaking. Inverness in Scotland is magical. I can say great things about every city I have been in. But, will the scenic beauty, architecture, people, or history bring me the inner fulfilment I am looking for? The simply answer… NO!

Take a quick example, many people recently immigrated to Australia and New Zealand in search of sunshine and a better life – just look at the disasters this year in these countries. No one knew that this was going to happen. I am sure some of these people are regretting their choices of moving, and may even have lost everything in these recent events, plus are maybe even considering moving back to their original countries.

The bottom line is that we need to stop judging our happiness in terms of external factors. Here a reality check for you. In my opinion, politicians are corrupt everywhere. They are all sycophants with only their own interests at heart. You may not be happy with the current state of your country, but is another country really going to have more honest politicians and a safer economy? Just look at the big USA who last month nearly ‘closed down’ due to no money. Who would ever have thought that? Europe is facing a major Euro crises with the Greece and Portugal financial chaos. Beurocracy is messing up so many countries. The UK – well, no comment! It seems that today the future countries are China and India, hence the new term, ‘Chindia’.

So, running away isn’t going to change things. Yes the grass may be greener on the other side – but, this could be due to more manure in the grass! This also means that you will have to mow it more often!

To come back to the question of where to live to find happiness and fulfilment…

Wherever you are healthy, can make ends meet and have those that you love around you, i.e. family and friends – that’s the place to live. And that can be anywhere on this globe, whether in the desert, on an island or in a city.

Natural disasters are part of the course – this can never be your reason for choosing one place over the other. Just look at the floods in Australia – no one would ever have thought this possible. Here we come back to that philosophy of living in the moment and every day to the fullest, as if it is your last.

Here’s a great quote by Paulo Coelho: “Too often we decide to follow a path that is not really our own, one that others have set for us. We forget that whichever way we go, the price is the same: in both cases, we will pass through both difficult and happy moments. But when we are living our dream, the difficulties we encounter make sense.”

Now let us look at more spiritual side of fulfilment. In the dictionary fulfiment is defined as “developing your full potentiality.” However, for each of us this means different things, as we all experience different emotions, growth, connections and feelings. We all have different value systems which have been conditioned by the society and culture we have been brought up in. When in reality, we should ALL have the same universal values. Once you know and understand these, then life starts having meaning.

We all need to learn to live in the now!

I cannot stress this enough. Most people are living in the past and brooding on all the bad things that happened. Wake up – there is nothing you can do to change this! Let go of the past. You don’t have to forget the past, but you DO have to let it go, otherwise you will never find fulfilment. Imagine if everyone in the world could just let go of all the hatred and issues from the past – the world would change overnight. In the same vein stop living for the future and with the philosophy of ‘one day when…’ That day may never come! Anything can happen to change this. So what’s the answer? Live in the moment. Of course it is important to plan for the future, but make the journey towards that end goal fun as well. 99% of the work in reaching a goal is the journey towards it. It’s usually only the final 1% that makes the goal reality. Take the example of wanting a new car. Buying the car and signing the papers takes 10 minutes. It’s the months of planning and saving up for the car that’s 99% of the work. So why make this journey unpleasant – it should be fun too.

And this brings me to the second point that you have to be honest with yourself and live in tune with who YOU really are. Stop living the life that the media, politicians, family and friends (the Jones’s) tell you to live. It’s your life, you have to live with yourself. If your life is all about ‘keeping up appearances’ and ‘fitting in with everyone else’, I have some bad news for you – you will NEVER find fulfilment. I make this comment with a strong internal belief that it is true because of personal experience. I do not see myself as any different from anybody else. When I left school I had to study and get a decent job. To the shock of my family and friends I decided to become an entertainer and see the world. Today all those people from the past look at me with shock. Most have the secure job, have done well in life, but are still searching for that inner truth. I in turn, have had fun, followed my heart, given back to the world and enjoyed every single moment. When it comes to a fulfilling life – I have practiced what I preach. Make no mistake about it, oh yes I have also had my ups and downs, positives and negatives. I have also had my good times and financially tough times. Yes, I know you may be thinking I have been lucky, or born with a gift and hence things have gone my way. Definitely not! I have had to sacrifice many things in my life and gone through many tough times, and may still do so in the future. But, and this is the huge but – I have been honest with myself and followed my heart. This means that when times are touch, at least I am still being true to myself in these times. This makes them a lot more bearable than if I was living a lie. It’s all about the journey. Life will throw you curveballs, that’s a given, but during this journey of ups and downs – it’s the being ‘true to yourself’ that will make you overcome tough times much easier.

This brings me to my third point on finding fulfilment. Know the difference between pleasure and joy. Things that bring you pleasure in life are temporary. Even your spouse and children are ‘pleasure principles’. That is why you need to be there for your children and savor their youth. Never have regrets that you didn’t spend enough time with them. Same applies to your spouse. One day your children will leave home and your spouse will die – so yes, they are only in your life temporarily. The ‘joy’ can only be created by making memories that will last a lifetime. That is why most people are unhappy, because most things in life, especially those advertised in the media and which have ‘monetary value’ are temporary.

Joy is an inner feeling, it is a way of life and a contentment. It is finding inner peace with who you are and it has to do with your values and purpose in life. During April while attending all these speaker conferences, I met a Scottish speaker, Neil Dorwood who was a funeral director for 30 years. Today he speaks on what legacy you leave. He poses the question, “If all your friends are at your funeral and speaking about you – what will they say about your life?” Exactly that- to find joy you need to find your purpose and ask yourself, If I look back on my life, what difference did I make in this world?’ If you can find the answer to this, then you start finding joy. And please, don’t equate this to anything materialistic!

You may be a housewife who sees no point in running the household and bringing up the kids, playing moms taxi and doing homework with them. Never forget that it’s your value system you are sharing with those children, you are moulding them for the future. One day they could be the first ‘honest’ president of your country. Maybe that’s your purpose.

Among speakers world-wide there is the famous ‘Starfish’ story. A chap walks along the beach and sees thousands of starfish washed ashore. He begins throwing them back one at a time. Another person walks past and asks him why he is doing this. There are thousands of starfish on the beach, what difference is throwing one starfish back going to make. And the man answers, “It’s going to make a difference to this one!”

Just smiling at someone, or saying something supportive to someone you don’t know – could change the future of the world. Never see your purpose as too big or too small – just have one! Remember, it’s not always the big things in life that give it meaning, it’s also the many small things!

In summary, you too can find fulfilment by being honest with yourself and finding your purpose in life. Follow through with it to create joy in everything you do. This will then teach you to live in the moment and practice unconditional love towards all around you. Suddenly life will start having meaning again.

Have a fantastic May and learn to live in the moment.

March ‘Useletter’ from Wolfgang

March 14, 2011

Here we go again, the year is running away with us. This month has been short and very busy, from Mykanos to Heidelberg to Johannesburg – talk about traveling! Hence I thought I would have a bit of fun and do something more light hearted in the ‘Useletter’ this month. Three different stories, the first more food for thought, and the last two aimed at ‘us’ older folks and our relationship with the youth of today – thought you might enjoy some lighter insights for a change too!

Don’t forget to check out the latest Quicktips at the end of this ‘Useletter’ or simple click on the links if you cannot view them. Over the last few months, more and more companies have asked me to combine tricks with motivation, as the trick captures the attention and then the message sinks in more visually. I have always kept the two separate, but have now seen the light. This combination is a winning formula – so this month’s Quick Tip is a really cool trick with a powerful message – make sure you watch it. Click here for the Eng, Ger or Afr version, or view below.

Also, I have completed a new mini book, called, How to be Successful: Tips and tricks to achieving your goals. it’s completely free and you can download it from my website by clicking here.



A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee…

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as when one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.

The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg,or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.




Hmm, I’ve always wondered this myself… now I know.

– People born before 1946 were called The Silent generation.

The Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1959.

Generation X people have been born between 1960 and 1979.

– Generation Y, are the people born between 1980 and 2009. Why do we call the last group Generation Y? I never did know, but recently a cartoonist explained it very eloquently below… Learned something new today!




If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!

When I was a child, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were.

When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning…. u… barefoot…ways etc.I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I would ever the same boring stories on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it! But now that… I’m well over the ripe old age of thirty can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. They have it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in Utopia!they have no idea how good they have it.

When I was a child we didn’t have the internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!! was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter – with a pen!you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take, like, a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child protective services didn’t care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our butts! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3 or Napsters! couldn’t ‘download’ music – you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and ruin the whole song for you! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We’d play our favourite tape and “eject” it when finished and the tape would come undone.

We didn’t have fancy things like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that’s it! We were not slaves to mobile phones – that was Star Trek science fiction stuff. And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mum, your boss, the tax man, a collections agent, you just didn’t know! You had to pick it up and take your chances!

We didn’t have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had pinball and the Atari 2600 with games like “Space Invaders and Asteroids’. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen… forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! There was no such thing as channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel! REMOTES! Can you imagine that! There was no cartoon network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons!

And we didn’t have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

See… I have become just like my parents – the children of today have it too easy! I wonder if they would have lasted lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!

January 2011 Inspiration from Wolfgang

January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

This is the time when we reflect back on the past year and catch up with the family. Most people I spoke to – clean the house out and do the things you didn’t have time for during 2010. I must admit, I have spent the last 3 days doing that – cleaning the house, at the same time talking to my wife and daughters about their dreams and expectations for the year ahead. It has and during the next few days, still will be a good time for reflection and bonding as a family.

Many people are thinking of the obstacles and challenges ahead for the new year, and this morning I found a great saying which I posted on my Facebook page, “As you go into 2011, remember that fear is the opposite of everything you are, and so has an effect of opposition to your mental and physical health. Fear is worry magnified.” If anything, you need to let go of all your fears and try see them rather as challenges. If you think about it, challenges are what makes us grow and give us the drive to reach our goals.

As I was doing my daily post this morning, my wife was tackling her side of the walk-in closet and came down to me with a letter written by my oldest daughter, Sabrina. My wife and I sometimes ask our daughters to write down their thoughts as interesting insights come to light on what is going on in their minds. Sabrina asked me a while back, what it meant that I billed myself as a ‘Change Management Expert’, so we chatted about it and I asked her to write down her thoughts on change. She wrote it in her own time, and gave it to my wife while I was out travelling. She put it away as a keepsake. Of course today she found it again in the closet and asked me to read it. Wow! The insight my daughter has and to see what goes on in her mind at age 13 was very interesting. So most of this morning we chatted and I learnt from my daughter again! Of course I immediately asked her if I could share it with you this month.

Here now is a 13 year old view on the world and in many senses what lies ahead of us in the upcoming year. I have added my comments in italics at the end as not to break the flow of her letter.

MY STORY by Sabrina Riebe

Once upon a time was me. I was born as a perfect little child. I rely on my mom and dad for everything and am completely hopeless without them. Then I got a sister, Alexis. She also relyed on my parents for everything, she too was helpless without them. Life was perfect, our family was perfect, BUT still it has CHANGED!

CHANGE, it is the most scariest thing for me.  It is scary how life isn’t the same as it was even 50, 40, 20, even 10 or 5 years ago! Everything has changed! 50 years ago people didn’t even dream of owning a big screen TV, the latest Mercedes Benz, computers, or even cell phones! SCARY isn’t it? People have become so materialistic! They must have everything, do everything that other people do or have. They do not appreciate life anymore. Especially not the ‘small’ things like just opening your eyes in the morning, being able to speak to your family, having a family, waking up in a warm bed, their bodies, and many more things!

Even for me, just as young as I am, 13 years old, I can even see how everything has changed, how technology is taking over. I can still remember the first day Alexis and I had our first ‘real’ fight. What causes you to fight with your brother or sister for the first time? When you are born you don’t know about fighting, or swearing, or anything worldly. So what causes you to have that first fight with your brother or sister? CHANGE! That’s what causes it. You become older, you change! You grow up. Even Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy – people, children, just don’t believe at a certain age anymore, because they have CHANGED. Yes, life does change us and make us wiser, but inside ourselves we must always keep that special magic alive, then it makes understanding life much easier.

Isn’t that just amazing how she sees life?

Do you realise the impact you have on your child’s life? Does your child feel secure in your family? Often I ponder at how we need a licence to buy a TV and drive a car – today I feel adults should have a licence before they can have children! Often we don’t realise the huge impact we play in a child’s life. The silly things we say which can leave a negative impact. We need to be so aware of how we treat and speak to our children today. Our aim should be that they are totally secure in the family and completely comfortable with who they are. Make that one of your goals for 2011.

With the new year ahead – are you scared? It is the most natural feeling to be scared. Here that ‘fear’ comes in again. I sat with Sabrina and explained to her my comment above, that fear should be seen as a challenge. Challenges are exciting and lead to the possibility of growth. Those challenges that are ahead of us should be turned into realistic goals which are divided up into weekly and monthly smaller goals, ultimately culminating in the achievement of the challenge that lies ahead. Often people forget that achieving your dreams is only 5% of the goal/challenge. The other 95% is the trip you take towards achieving it. Hence the importance of breaking it down into numerous manageable goals which are fun – then the whole trip to the final goal becomes a pleasurable experience.

I feel proud that my daughter has realised how materialistic the world has become. Sadly the economic downturn in the last two years has been the only major reason that some people have become aware of the materialist conditioned society we live in. When the economy turns, I wonder if they will fall back into the same rut again? Taking a break now over Christmas I have caught up with many friends on Facebook and have numerous comments about how exciting my life was in 2010 with all my travelling, pics and posts on Facebook. In fact during November at many conferences many people made the same comments. I am always a bit stunned by the fact that people see me as being lucky of having these opportunities. LISTEN! It has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with ‘Thankfullness, Humility and Honesty.’ And guess what, we all have tough times, problems and set backs in life. You aren’t the only one! But when you live your life being honest, humble and grateful, it makes those hurdles easier to jump over. I firmly believe that life gives back to you what you throw at it.

As Sabrina realises at her young age, how many people are thankful for the simple things in life? The fact that you are healthy, have a family and people that love you? A week ago we all spent a day at the beach. On the way home my youngest, Alexis seemed to be down. I asked what was wrong and she said that she was sad the day had come to an end. It was the best day of her life! At 11 even she realises that the latest computer game is not what brings happiness, but time spend with your family enjoying simple pleasures such as walking on the beach and playing in rock puddles. We even bumped into friends at a caravan park – the kinda holiday I wouldn’t have thought about. Did I learn a thing or two. Everyone’s children were playing with each other, families ate meals together around fires and the whole vibe is fantastic. Do you really need that 5 star hotel? I don’t think so! By being thankful for the small things around you they suddenly become big things. I was speaking to a very wealthy lady the other day (own their own private jet). Her daughter has terminal cancer and she flies her around the world looking for a cure. Guess what she said to me? she would give up all her wealth if only her daughter good be healthy!  Mmm – so what are you thankful for?

Humility is a big issue for me in life. Why do you want to keep up with the Jone’s? To be like them or better than them? Why? It’s not going to change who you are! And when you have everything and more – will you really be better? Nothing saddens me more that self centred people (celebrities, senior corporate people, politicians, etc) who think they are better than everyone else. How many real friends do they have? If they lose everything, will all the leeches still be around them? If you treat everyone around you equally and have an attitude of ‘servitude’ rather than one of ‘taking’ – life gives back to you in so many ways. Make it a goal in 2011 to give more and take less. Expect less and savour the moment more. Get over all your political, racial, religious and cultural issues – respect everyone equally – it’s really not that hard to do! Remember that with humility comes contentment and acceptance – surely our world can do with a lot more of that! It all starts with you!

Honesty is the core of my existence. Firstly, and most importantly, be honest with yourself. Only by honestly seeking the answer to happiness in your own heart can you do something about it. Stop letting others tell you how you must feel and behave. Then 2011 won’t be much of a change. In the same vein tell others (family, friends and co-workers) how you really feel. If those around you understand you they may be able to help guide you along your path. But if they only see a ‘front’ – how will they ever know you.

That brings me to the core of Sabrina’s story of Change. Yes the world is changing and it isn’t the same world as even 5 years ago. People are worried what 2011 holds for us all. However, understand that change is what drives progress and builds you as a person. Fear for change comes with insecurity in the self. It all starts with your children. Give them a secure childhood and make them understand that it’s all part of growing up. Then they will only see challenges, rather than fear. And if you find life difficult today, remember it’s all about attitude. To wake up negative involves exactly the same amount of effort as waking up positive – so why not try choosing the latter. It takes 3 weeks to get into a new habit. Make an effort to wake up positive, spend time with family and friends, smile more, look for opportunities in even the bad things around you.Guess what, by the end of this month you be in the habit of seeing life in a more positive light and 2011 can only be great.


September ‘Useletter’ from Wolfgang

August 31, 2010
Check out this months Video Quick Tip on my You Tube Channel, ‘inspiring the world‘.
It’s time to be inspired again! Before I start I have a request … if there are any topics or issues you would like me to cover and talk about, please feel free to email me and let me know. After all, the whole object of this ‘Useletter’ is that you use it and benefit from the information and advice herein.
This month I want to talk about relationships and family. Promise no tear jerker, but instead, some serious advice. My daughters are both doing their gymnastics competitions and once again I am a proud dad with gold medalists. I think back on this last month, the photos I took and the memories I will have for the rest of my life.
My question is, how many parents actually spend time with their children today and savour these times? In fact, how many couples actually spend time talking to each other about their day and really share their feelings with each other, especially the older married couples?
Here’s a scenario that puts it into perspective.

A man spends the night drinking with his friends. His wife is mad and tells the children not to open the door when their dad knocks late that night. About 1am the next morning there is a knock on the door and the husband asks the wife to open up.
She shouts at him, “Go away, go back where you came from. You are not putting your feet into this house!”
He replies, ” No my darling, I’m not here to come home, I just want to get my credit card. I am having such fun with the guys, I want to go back and party.”
The wife rips open the door and grabs him by the arm, “No ways, you’re coming into this house right now and getting into bed!”
I had to share that with you, I thought this story was very funny and clever psychology.
On a serious note, how do we communicate as couples and families today? Is the stress of surviving and paying bills taking all your time? Is it making you edgy and stressed out? To the point that you snap at each other and don’t appreciate what you have anymore?

Sadly, most people are in such a situation. A rut, for want of a better word. It doesn’t matter how stressed your day is, the biggest mistake is bringing your stress home and having it affect your family life. A few months ago I shared a story about a man that stopped at his front door before entering, and hung up an ‘invisible’ something on the tree in the pot plant next to the door. Eventually when his wife asked what he was doing, he replied, “That’s the nonsense and stress of the day that I hang up outside. I don’t bring it into the home. Tomorrow morning when I go out again, and look at my stress of the day before, it suddenly doesn’t seem so bad anymore.”

Now how’s that for a great attitude? We as humans tend to worry about things we cannot change, and affect everyone around us with our negativity.  Last week I read about a sad bus accident where a number of children were killed. I immediately thought to myself whether the parents had spent time with those children the night before, or whether there had been arguments in the home instead, or even stress and depression about work? Did they miss the last sports game their child played at sport? Makes you think, huh?
You see, none of us know when it’s our time. You could come home tonight in a really bad mood and snap at your spouse and the children. Tomorrow something tragic happens and you live the rest of your life with regret. Think about it. Actually sit down and think really hard. Did you spend quality time with your family last night? Did you look your spouse and your children in the eyes and tell them that you love them?

Or did you just breeze past, say “Hi,” and just carry on working on your laptop?

When last did you actually play a game with the whole family? In my youth, before internet and satellite TV, we played games. We sat around the kitchen table and we spoke about out day. Fair enough, fuel is more expensive today, but back then we went for a Sunday drive. We stopped for an ice cream. We sat on the beach. We didn’t have much money then either. But a picnic basket and a blanket at a picnic spot on the side of the road made for many a memorable occasion. What about doing a picnic on the floor in your living room – there’s a novel idea!

A typical scenario today is that if everyone is at home, the children eat their dinner in front of the TV, the mother eats while cleaning the kitchen, and the husband eats in front of his computer while answering some emails. No wonder we have a substantial increase in divorce and domestic violence.

No matter how much we want to blame the society we live in, you cannot do so. The final responsibility rests in your hands. You need to take control and realise that only you can make the difference. Even if the rest of your family thinks you have suddenly gone nuts. You need to bring about the change and make the difference.

Todays lifestyle has also created problems in parents communicating effectively with their children. When something does go wrong, the parents usually say, “I never saw the change in my child!” It’s because they don’t talk to their children. Did you ever use the ‘Talking Stick’ as a child? If not, have you ever heard about it? A great concept which works so well, and gives everyone a chance to have their say. You will be amazed at what comes out. Basically, as a family you sit around a table and one person gets to hold the stick. This person is allowed to talk and say what is on their mind. No one else is allowed to comment, or pass remarks. Only the person with the stick is allowed to talk. When they are finished, the next family member gets the stick, until all have had a chance to speak. Often the stick gets passed around and around until the issues have been sorted out. It’s a healthy way to communicate without other family members interrupting. I strongly recommend this if you have young children. They see it as a game and you will be amazed at the things thy say.

As far as couples go, when last have the two of you had your ‘own’ time together? Whether it’s a meal together, or just sitting on the bed and talking about how your day has been, while the other person listens?

No matter how unrealistic this sounds, it is something all couples need to do. And, the TV must be off! I find it fascinating at how often I need to speak to companies on ‘negotiation skills.’ Literally hundreds of staff attend and learn. Yet when it comes to their personal lives, they cannot ‘negotiate’ with their partner, or find a solution to solve a problem.
One of our human basic instincts is that of love and partnership. But like anything in life it does take work. There is no ‘secret’ formula – it’s a known formula – it’s all about honest communication, spending time together and respecting each others opinions. You may not always agree with the way your partner sees an issue, but it doesn’t mean they are wrong. There is also nothing wrong with backing down, or giving in once in a while.

Let go of your ego and just be human. In the beginning years of my marriage, my wife and I would argue. I thinks that’s all part of getting to know each other. Eventually I gave up arguing and would just say, “I love you,” no matter what my wife said.Today we look back at those times and she confesses how it just blew her away. Here we were in a heated debate and I would flaw her with that. It wasn’t the time and the place to say “I love you.” But guess what, it worked! However, it took one partner to step down and bring balance back into the equation. Surely that’s not too difficult to do?

In summary, why not just try spend a few minutes every night communicating with your spouse and your children. Even if you only start with 10 mins per evening. Build it up every week so that by end of the month you are nearly spending an hour of quality time together which you never had before. Don’t you think it will make a huge difference to you and your family’s life?
Have a an awesome September with great family time.