Silencing Dissent

This article is related to an incident that happened in the middle of november.

Silencing dissent











Mike from has written about it:

There are two other excellent articles on this topic here:

Continue reading “Silencing Dissent”

NoNothingNovember, Day 28

NoNothingNovember is almost done…

Today is the last big push for upgrading and adding to my blog.

I have a lot of free time over Thanksgiving.

It is especially important that I stick to very regular schedule on these days, otherwise the free time is gone very fast.

I realize that a regular job provides one big advantage – it provides an automatic schedule and structure for the day.

It takes a little bit of a mindset shift to regard working on my blog as regular job.

But every time I am writing on here, it is so fulfilling, because this work is completely mine. So I am starting the day and ending the day a happy person!

Continue reading “NoNothingNovember, Day 28”

NoNothingNovember, Day 27


 Time flies by!

November is almost over.

It has been pretty interesting so far:

#1 – It seems true that you need 3 weeks to ingrain a habit – since day 22/23, I don’t feel a big urge to take part in my vices anymore.

#2 – I have started to build up this blog.

#3 – I have even admitted something I feared (


I feel I have definitely grown this month, and NoNothingNovember was a great thing to do.

Continue reading “NoNothingNovember, Day 27”

NoNothingNovember, Day 26

Either be proud of or afraid of what you post.

An article from Mike at struck very much home with me.

So what did I learn today?

Since I have started this blog,  I realize that I sometimes worry too much about not offending anyone – and/or embarrassing myself! I should accept who I am and stand up for myself.

Ok, so let me correct that right here.

When I wrote my review of “The Slight Edge” (, I said that this book has helped me overcome a lot of my addictions.

That’s true. What I still left out was the one addiction that I felt the most devastated and embarrassed about:

Continue reading “NoNothingNovember, Day 26”

NoNothingNovember, Day 25

Making the NoNothingNovember journal more useful.

I decided to change the format of my diary a little bit – to make it easier to learn from.

I will still write down what happened in each category, but now it will be preceded by:

What did I learn today?

and then structure the posts into

(1.) What went well?

(2.) What do I want to improve?

(3.) How will I improve?

That way, I can track my progress better and give myself some “love” while still working on improving my life. Especially (3.) forces me to come up with a little plan on HOW to improve.

Once a week I review these points and thus see (a) what I have accomplished and (b) where I still need to correct my path.

Continue reading “NoNothingNovember, Day 25”

NoNothingNovember, Day 24

NoNothingNovember, my sweet tooth enters the big sleep.

Three weeks seem to be a valid time to train yourself new habits.

I am a bit surprised by it myself, but most of the vices I wanted to abandon this month are simply gone from my mind.

For example, yesterday, I went to get a sandwich for lunch, and there were all those sweets and snacks lined up – I did not even think for a second about buying any of those.

NoNothingNovember goals


Slept fine, albeit sometimes, I am a bit tired over the day. Maybe I should up my sleep time to 6.5 hours.

Sweets and snacks

As I mentioned above: no desire for sweets. Not even for a replacement, like oatmeal with honey. My sweet tooth lies dormant. Did not think it would be that easy.

Social media

I still only check twitter and Facebook when there is an eMail waiting for me, or when I post my “three things to be grateful for”.

The only times when I have to restrain myself is when someone posts something sounding spectacular. And indeed, there might be a webpage that is truly informative and good to know.

What I do then is I click on the link and bookmark it for later, then close it again.

That helps me indeed not getting distracted.

What have I achieved?


We had a bit of a setback, an experiment that was crucial to our research did not pan out the way we expected it to.

These things happen when you work in science. You gotta look ahead and come up with a new idea.

However, the fact that I make my bed every morning, follow the Happiness Habit and NoNothingNovember helps me here:

it has freed my mind from all BS, so I can focus on what is important to me.

That’s basically it for today!

NoNothingNovember continues: Day 25 tomorrow.

(a description of my #NoNothingNovember challenge:

NoNothingNovember, Day 23

Getting into the final week of NoNothingNovember.

75% of this challenge are done. I am getting pumped to amp up my efforts.

I have gotten the vices I wanted to lose during NoNothingNovember mostly in check, so that I can focus my energy more and more on this website and my paper draft at work .

Over the weekend, I had the chance to double my efforts in writing blog posts, now I have to catch up with writing the manuscript.

Oh, and I also have to file some remaining documents for my Green Card application… and there is also the Science Writing class that I want and need to put a bit of effort into. Will be quite a busy week. And such days are fun!

NoNothingNovember goals


No problem. The “duty” to go to bed on time creates a good incentive to get stuff done during the day.

Sweets and snacks

No sweets and snacks today, but I did eat a lot of other food. Quite curious how that translates into body fat – my guess is that it does not change much, since the only source of carbs was oatmeal with blackberries and apples, sweetened with honey. But we’ll see over the next days.

Social media

Almost no twitter and Facebook at all, only one posting in the morning, that was it.

I did spend a lot of time communicating back and forth with a friend via eMail, though. He had sent me a guest post for my blog, and I was translating that from German to English.

What have I achieved?

Work and Blog

No work on my manuscript at all, since the whole day was taken up by my blog, and in the beginning, things are just a bit slow.

I could have been a bit more efficient by focusing on two to three different tasks instead of working on 5 – 10 items in parallel. Have to transfigure my excitement more into focusing on the task at hand.

In the end, I am happy I got the article my friend sent me – see above – translated and published, in addition to my NoNothingNovember post.

I have now written/translated 4 extra blog posts over the last 4 days – in addition to my daily NoNothingNovember journal. I am happy and a bit exhausted.

Without me getting used to a daily writing habit over the last 8 months, I am not sure I could have done that without any sweets and snacks and still gotten regular sleep.


Nothing. Sunday was just a good day to lean back and enjoy life.

NoNothingNovember continues: Day 24 tomorrow.

(a description of my #NoNothingNovember challenge:

Ripley’s World: The Pen Moment

Is Ripley’s World Worth Reading?

There are so many endless blogs and books and broadcasts from people who promise a better life, becoming rich in ten days and the ability to love one thousand women in one year.

Quite frankly, I think this is all total nonsense and a waste of time. There are definitely ways to get rich quick (while still legal). There certainly are some safe ways that are easy to do.

But a formula to make everyone rich in short time without working contradicts various laws (which I might follow up upon in a later post).

What really works for anyone who wants it bad enough is a long-term plan which can lead to great prosperity.

I am working in sales since 21 years. As the saying goes, that means I sell a product to the end customer.

In concrete terms, this means I sell mortgage loans to bank customers as an independent sales representative.

Over those 21 years, I have built up a five-digit (albeit small five-digits) monthly income plus almost $ 2 million in real estate assets, which yield a rental income of $ 6,500 per month.

I mention these numbers only as a guide. I myself will not earn more. I will not build up a a three-digit million dollar fortune by the end of my life and I will never earn six figures a month.

Within this framework, I can indeed tell you how you can achieve riches. Attainable for every hard-working person. Not so bold as “I’ll make you a millionaire in 3 simple steps”, but understandable and repeatable.

Since that is the formula for success: To achieve measurable objectives through repeatable actions.

A one-time sales success is like hot air: it fizzles. Only if I can repeat what brings me money, no matter what it looks like, I can speak of success!


The Pen Moment

Perceptual filters.

They determine our lives.

You will see a butterfly and think you see it with neutral eyes, completely unaffected, the way it is.

Far from it. The human eye can neither see ultraviolet nor infrared light. The colors on the wings are caused by refraction of light.

You could even have a visual impairment. Particles in the air can change the impression of colors. Light and brightness may alter your visual experience.

Belief filters.

They also govern our lives.

In some African tribes, you can sue spirits. These are real trials, part of the society.

If I can prove that your Grandfather’s spirit destroyed my harvest, YOU are liable for it. Why not? (if you like to see a link to this: Google helps. What do you mean? read Schlauchfuzius later).

In other words:

The world as we perceive it does not exist

If the world does not exist, then I don’t need to adhere to its rules. I can just walk across a red light, run people over with my car – and if a cop aimed a gun at me, I can just laugh at him and walk away. Right.

Unfortunately, there’s the thing with the pen.

Belief filters – that are just a part of the perceptual filters -, neurological limitations, cultural or societal restrictions and linguistic or individual limitations, give us a distorted picture of the true world and restrict the term “reality”.

Having $100 in my hands is indeed real, though. No matter what I think, these are $100. It’s called “facts“, and it has nothing to do with filters of any kind.

“Success” lives in the intersection of reality and perception.

In general, success is defined as achieving a goal. This goal must therefore be a measurable value that can be attained in a given time frame.

However, every one of us desires different goals – and beyond the bare mathematical wisdom, a goal not backed by our own philosophy of life is not desirable for us.

And what does all this have to do with the pen?


Success means selling

Politicians are the kings of the penless life. This not only refers to the ruling leaders, but also to the CEOs of corporations and starving artists.

Bad scores are glossed over. Responsibilities delegated. Explanations, excuses, distortions and denials.

If you want to achieve real goals, think about the pen: you hold it in your hand, release it, and … what does the pen do? It drops.

And to recognize this reality – as easy as it sounds – is the foundation of every success.

Accepting reality. No “if”s and “but”s. No discussions. You accept it, just as it is.

Recognize that there are situations that I can not modify and must live with.

And you can really not sweet talk your way out of it.

Pulp Fiction Before






Or can you?

Pulp Fiction







Arguing that the pen would not drop in outer space; that it could have been tied and therefore kept suspended in mid-air; or that it might be magnetic and floating in a solenoid – those are subterfuges into very unique and highly unlikely situations. These cop-outs distract from the real world.

Realities. Respect. Accept.


Thus ends this blog post.

This post – I’ll call it introductory contribution – is the first of a series that will describe my definition of the world and success on a professional and private level in individual steps.

I will explain the Schlauchfuzius, in 20 steps – a collection of wisdom about life, the Universe and all the rest (thanks, Douglas Adams – who does not know who this is: Google is your friend). I’ll explain practices and incidents from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (thanks, Richard Bandler) – and will fuse this all into one unit.

I conclude with a phrase I heard the other day on a talk show. Unfortunately I can not provide a list of sources, since I do not know who it was, but I was very sympathetic upon hearing this statement:

“He who believes in exponential, unlimited growth in a finite world…

…is either mad or an economist.”


Click here to read Part I of the series “The First Steps to More Money”:

Check this link to get back to the overview:

NoNothingNovember, Day 22

Growth occurs by fits and starts.

Some days are very slow, others are really extremely efficient. Day 22 was the most productive day in November, if not in 2014, for me.

I wrote several articles for this blog, plus finished my “homework” assignment for the Science Writing class I am attending and still managed to get ahead at work.

That being said, with day 22 I can also review my complete progress in November so far.

NoNothingNovember goals


Without an alarm clock – I did not need to be at work on time – I slept close to 7 hours. I sometimes wake up after 5 hours and make myself sleep longer until I have a minimum of 6 – 6.5 hours. I really want to get my body used to a regular sleep time.

I don’t want to ever think I could sacrifice work for sleep, that just makes me fall back into old patterns of behavior. Instead of urgently needing to finish my work, I could lose my discipline and postpone it, regarding sleep as an optional resource.

Enough with that BS.

Since the beginning of november, I have slept an average of 6 hours 20 minutes each day.

Sweets and snacks

Once again, it was a saturday, so I indulged into oatmeal with blackberries and apples, sweetened with honey. Fantastic. Even after freezing and warming it up in the microwave.

So, of course, no sweets and snacks that contain refined sugar.

I am down from 227.6 lbs at the beginning of november to 216 lbs three weeks later. That is a loss of 11.6 lbs or 5.3 kg.

My body fat went from 25.3% to 23.4%. Almost 2% lost, which amounts to 7.9 lbs (3.6 kg) pure fat.

In other words: by removing sweets and snacks from my diet, 68% of the weight I lost consisted of fat.

Social media

When I open Facebook or twitter to post about things that I am grateful for or answer an eMail, I have almost no interest anymore following the stories people post. In the cases where I do find it interesting after all, I click on the link and bookmark the site that has opened for later, thus eliminating all potential distractions.

Social Media don’t distract me anymore.

What have I achieved?


I spent a lot of time with searching for a way to handle a software error. The other day, I was recording pictures with a high-resolution microscope, and now the software does not display the data properly. The problem is absolutely solvable, but needs some additional work.

That is one of the exciting or “sucky” things about science. You spend a lot of time trouble shooting.

And what did I achieve since the beginning of november?

I am not as far as I thought I’d be with assembling the figures for the manuscript. On the other hand, I have managed to get most of the experiments done that were still missing.

Now I have to finish the experiments completely, then focus exclusively on putting the figures together. Thanksgiving will give me a bit of time to do that.


I planned on writing three articles for this blog on the weekend, and I finished them all. So that was productive.

Since the beginning of November, I have revamped the design of my blog and published around 25 blog posts.

That is pretty much the pace I wanted to have. Now I feel I can even amp it up and publish more unique, non-dairy style articles.


I have still managed to finish a homework assignment for my Science Writing class. How? I worked the whole week at it and NOT started in the “last moment”.

That is something writing this blog has shown me.

You can’t finish an article within two hours after starting and hope it will always be as good as you want it to be. 

What the Science writing class has taught me in addition:

There are a lot of style elements in a text that you can improve upon, and it is absolutely worth taking your time to extensively edit your texts.

That being said, of course: it is better to have a draft that you can improve upon rather than not getting started.

NoNothingNovember continues: Day 21 tomorrow.

(a description of my goals for the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here: