“Am I just being lucky?” About letting life create itself around you

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We all have our history. And usually not very little of it. Times of hardship and darkness, and times of growth, incredible opportunities, and wonderful experiences. Experiences like last night. I had dinner with a dear friend of mine, enjoying incredible food and an Argentinian blend of red wine, and we talked about the role of luck. When I told him that I feel like I’ve been on a run for the last two years, all he said was “There is no luck, Kathrin! You have just made yourself a magnet to luck. Good things happen to those who don’t wait but who get out there and let ‘luck’ find them. It’s all a matter of creating choice and seizing the opportunity.”

I have never really had much strategy about how to approach life and create success – the only tactic was to always do my very best. But his words made me think. And yes, when looking back, I have changed quite a bit about my approach to life, almost exactly two years ago, when I made a very conscious decision to not live the lives of others anymore. It’s mainly five things I have consistently done differently from then on. And yes, my life has completely changed.

I go with my gut! I can’t even imagine that there have been times where I haven’t listened to it enough, where I have even gone against it. But I have, and that has taught me many hard-learned lessons. Today, I know that my gut knows what’s good for me much better than my brain, and for every important decision, I now take time to detach myself, take a walk on the beach, listen to the waves and consult with my gut. It has never mislead me!

I spend time with people that enrich my life! Everyone knows the quote “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. I think it goes much further. If we’re talking about attracting good things, like success, love, or freedom, it usually enters your life through human interactions. It’s important to choose who you want to have an influence on your life! As soon as you interact with someone, it will be have effect on you, no matter what. So choose wisely!

I make bold moves and don’t compromise for important matters! While making compromises is often important to make things work, they can also undermine your values and goals. And although it’s sometimes tough, I am now able to make bold decisions in the most important matters, including where I want to live, who I want to be with, and what I want to do. And if that’s moving to the other side of the world, then that’s what it is!

I choose my battle fields! While not compromising in the important matters, I am much more able to compromise in the unimportant. Of course, things could always be better in the detail. But in order to not waste energy on the wrong matters and let everyone have wins, I won’t put up a fight for things that don’t make a big difference to me. Not anymore. Just let it go!

I stay aware and talk to everyone! You never know when ‘luck’ strikes again, and one of the running jokes for my friends is to exchange stories about where they first met me – in a plane, in an elevator, on a farm… just name it! People are the gateway to success, and they open up doors for you that you didn’t even know existed. There is so much information and opportunity around you, at any given point, but if you don’t ask and, even more importantly, listen, it does not have the chance to get to you!

Don’t get me wrong, I still feel incredibly lucky, and I am very very thankful for all the good things in my life. Every. Single. Day. But my friend was right: Living up to the above maxims has certainly invited a lot of beauty into my life, and most of it created itself around me without me having planned for it. My single job in this game is to make the right choices, creating the right setup for it all to unfold, while being the best person I can be to myself as well as to others. And although there is still a long way to go until I get where I feel I truly belong, I am determined to make it easy for luck to help me out!

Let’s all get lucky!

Always yours,

Kathrin

 

“Which hood is yours?” The (un)importance of choosing your immediate surroundings

“There is only one livable neighborhood in Miami, and that is Brickell.” “What, Brickell? No, you really shouldn’t go there, you won’t hear a word of English and it’s a wanna-be Manhattan. Go to South Beach!” “The Beach? Definitely no! You’re not 25 anymore, it’s crazy over there, no parking at all, prices are ridiculous, and then the traffic and tourists… You should look at Coral Gables, it’s beautiful and very calm.” “Yeah, if she was married with kids and wants to own a lawn mower. Check out Coconut Grove!” “Hippie Town? Nooooo. You need to be Downtown, Kathrin, it’s so up-and-coming, and you’re everywhere within 10 minutes, even the airport!”…

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Sounds familiar? If you’ve ever moved to a new and unknown city and start talking to the locals, this is what will happen – an hour long conversation about the pro’s and con’s of every available neighborhood in your area, and a full stack of realtor business cards. You will never learn as much about both the city and your friends as in this conversation, and you will leave the table with one main feeling: perfect confusion! What if you choose the wrong hood? Will you screw this whole move up? Is your exciting adventure now going to end in failure and depression?

Relax before you go out there! Because exploring the different areas  won’t make it any better, and you will start to realize that your friends were right. All of them were! Every neighborhood has their pro’s and con’s and their own distinct character, and there is no way of saying which one is the most beautiful. Mary Brickell Village, Ocean Drive, Miracle Mile, Merrick Park, Design District, Wynwood Walls… How can you seriously pick from all these amazing places?

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. After a week of insomnia, anxiety and running around with my hair on fire, here’s my take on things:

(1) Before you take advice, make sure they know about your style and intentions! The best questions I’ve been asked were “what did you come here for?”, “how much do you value space against location?”, and “what are the MUST’S and the NICE TO HAVE’S on your wish list worth to you financially?” Everyone wants to set you up for success and give their best possible advice, but they might be assuming things about you that they cannot know yet.

(2) Don’t give the branding factor too much weight! Are you willing to pay for adding the “hood tag” to your personal brand? I admit, it’s pretty cool to say “I live in South Beach”, and no question about it, it’s absolutely gorgeous there, especially for European taste. But are you going to take advantage of it enough to swallow the number on the price tag? If you do your social job right, your friends will likely be scattered all about town anyways. And if you’re an explorer and wanderer, there is a beauty to not being emotionally bound to your hood, especially in times of Uber and Lyft.

(3) Look at different places in different areas, and listen to your gut! Even if you make the best lists or think through it in the most sensible ways, the only person you should listen to closely is that little genius living right below your Celiac Plexus. Don’t drive to the front door, but park 5 mins away and walk there. Be very self-aware when walking to and through the place. Are you smiling? Are you getting excited? Are you seeing your furniture magically arrange itself before your inner eye? If no, leave it and see the next one. But if yes, trust your intuition! I guarantee you, it’s always right.

Back to my own quest. After seeing about 10 different places and a lot of rational and emotional back and forth, I now signed a lease in Waterfront / Downtown. And I’m super excited! You’re asking why on earth anyone would want to live in Downtown, especially with the Ultra festival coming up there? Well, to uncover my personal wish list: It’s right by the causeway to South Beach which makes it a 5 min drive or 20 min bike ride, Brickell is right around the corner, Wholefoods just opened 3 blocks away, the symphony, ballet and art museum are at my door step, and I have two bayside parks that I can run in every morning. And most importantly, the apartment is absolutely gorgeous!

Unfortunately it is not South Beach. But it is my new home, the “Princess Castle” as a friend called it, and I will make this into a beautiful place for this next chapter here in the “Magic City”!

Happy hunting, and always yours!

Kathrin

5 reasons why relocation is your best personal coach

For many of us, the sheer thought of moving places triggers anxiety, especially if it gets you out of your state, country or even continent. I have felt this anxiety multiple times – to be honest, I feel it right here and now. But in the end, relocation helps you self-assess and personally develop much more efficiently than any highly paid personal coach. And it contains many metaphors and parallels to emotional and mental relocation.mhwdiclogo

Here is what I have found happens:

(1) You assess! The thought of having to move all of your “stuff” is daunting. So why do it? Are you sure this is all still “you”? How much have you changed over the last few months and years? Are you still the same person that bought these things at some point? This is the time to become “light” again! No better prospect than this!

(2) You dig and declutter! Who are you today? What are your current values? Your goals? Your aspirations? What will you need to keep on your journey, and what might be better off serving someone else? You will realize that in many ways you have moved on! Many things will turn out to be unwanted and unsupportive mental baggage, visitors from the past that hold you back rather than serving a purpose. Be bold! Throw them out!

(3) You put yourself to the test! Now you’re in there. Moving. All your stuff from the “keep” pile is in boxes (mine are actually scattered across 3 different time zones right now). You’re a little homeless, at least for a bit. Scary? Yes, but very humbling. At no point do you get as close to yourself as this – you are in between worlds, and all continuity that you have is yourself right now. What does that make you feel?

(4) You get first-hand feedback! Now you’re there. New world, new people, new life. Starting from scratch, the setup that you are building and the way new acquaintances will react to you reflect exactly who you are. Right here, right now! No built reputation, no historical baggage, no expectations. How do you furnish your home? What are the routines you keep, drop, create? How do new friends treat and respect you, without having known you for many years?

(5) You create! You are now able to express your very current self in new and innovative ways, making further development possible and reengaging with yourself in unexpected ways. You push a reset button and let your life reboot itself around you, with all its software and hardware customized to your persona.

All of us are on a journey through life, with ups and downs, challenges and successes, and although our core values usually stay the same, we change around them. Modern times make it very easy to lean back and be pushed out of the driver’s seat. This is why many find their lives unexpectedly at a dead end, realizing that at some point things got out of hand, and they were being controlled by their surrounding instead of controlling it.

Let’s not let this happen to us. Move! 🙂

Always yours,

Kathrin

 

Welcome to Miami, bienvenida a Miami

Happy new year, happy new state, happy new job, happy new life… For many, this prospect sounds scary, for me it is like the fuel of my life. The energy that is being released when stirring things up as they start to settle, leaving a place when the comfort zone sneaks in, setting out for new endeavors when adventure calls – it’s what I am most addicted to doing, over and over again.

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After 2 years in San Francisco, California, I am now settling in to my new home and life in Miami, Florida, the gateway to South America, where the sunshine never seizes, where English seems to be a second language to most, and where I will be creating my first truly international home base, as a German citizen with permanent US residency, and a job that allows me to travel to some of the most sought after markets and places of the Western world.

January is the month of transition, and it is a tough “Goodbye” to the West Coast with its lush beauty, its life embracing attitude, its diversity and potential, and most of all, its people that I have come to love and will miss terribly. It’s just as well a wonderful “Hello” from the Cuban culture here, the energy of the Beach, the pride of the salsa dancers, and the adventures and experiences that this different environment presents, ready to be discovered.

For many years, I have been asked why I have never started a blog, and now it’s time! I invite you to come along with me on my journey to different places, exploring different ideas, meeting inspiring people – always having a spot in my suitcase.

Welcome to Miami! Welcome to my new blog! Welcome to many hopefully exciting short-read impressions of my journey! And thank you for following me!

Yours truly –

Kathrin