Paul Stanley: Face The Music

Many people wear masks. They hide what they fear and interact with the outside world through a cover, always worried about exposing their weaknesses. People that are broke pretend to be successful. They enter a relationship even though they are lonely inside and are afraid to bond. They talk in phrases without saying what is really on their mind.

In “Face the Music”, Paul Stanley, lead guitarist of KISS, talks about his own fear and the mask he chose to cover up that perceived flaw. He was born with only one functional ear; the other ear was deformed, and children used to tease him mercilessly.

He chose the make-up of KISS as a way to cover up his insecurity, only to realize later on that he can not run away from himself. He managed to heal himself by first confronting his fear and then helping others to accept themselves.

This lonely kid wanted to do that, and this lonely kid ended up doing that. I made my own reality. The character I created— the Starchild— would go up on stage and be that guy, the superhero, as opposed to the person I really was.

“We are all pretty bizarre, some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” – Emilio Estevez ‘The Breakfast Club’

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Michael Ende: Momo

This book is one of my all-time favorites. I read it with 10 years within 2.5 hours (on the back seat of our car on the highway, I still remember) and I have read it again 15 years later.

The world Michael Ende designs in this book is for all ages. You can tell it your kids, you can read it yourself.

“Momo” is about embracing the moment, spending time with your friends and live your life according to your own ideas, not somebody else’s blueprint.

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Benjamin Franklin: Original Prankster And Minimalist

Benjamin Franklin is one of the leading personalities in United States history. He is the only Founding Father who signed all four major documents that gave birth to this country (Declaration of Independence, Treaty of Alliance with France, Treaty of Paris and the United States Constitution).

This is the review of “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”. You can buy the book from Amazon here:

Since Franklin is a figure of such historical significance, I have also included links to some of the books he read and articles he wrote throughout the text.

I have mostly focused on his personal life and habits, development of his social skills and starting his newspaper. The way Franklin went about these items can still teach us something today. I will explain his political career and scientific findings in a later article.

Benjamin Franklin
Next time you throw a “Benjamin” around, you know whom to thank…



Franklin’s autobiography includes the years from 1706 to 1757. We learn about a man who approaches life from a “can-do” spirit, who takes it on with wonder and curiosity and as someone who genuinely likes people.

He is a leader, but early on, his peers do not always take kindly to him taking the spotlight. He learns from his mistakes though and molds himself into a beloved statesman highly regarded for his diplomacy, pragmatism and capability of “getting things done”.

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One Year Of Discipline: How To Let Your Past Go

One Year Of Discipline

A lot of the advice in then self-improvement community centers on being present. Don’t live in the past, don’t imagine you are already in the future, live now. One widely recommended way of living in the moment is meditation. If you either shut off your thoughts for a brief period of time and/or focus exclusively on what you are doing right now – e.g. the dishes – you will hone in on the moment and loosen your attachment to the past and future.

Abandoning those attachments is the basis for getting rid of regrets – a passed opportunity – or fear – of bad events that could happen to you. Moreover, you learn to act and not react, since you are not a slave of your emotions.

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One Year Of Discipline, February Review

30 Days of Discipline

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February 2015 was a success – albeit smaller than I had hoped – but I managed to work in the direction of my goals.

The big event this month was that we finally sent off our manuscript. A brief explanation – as some of you may know, I work as a biological researcher at New York University. I am interested in the mechanisms that enable blood vessels to grow into the brain, and we found several genes that are necessary for the process. Excitingly, one of those genes is involved in a lot of different types of cancer!

Of course, even though the research will hopefully eventually benefit humans, we can’t really experiment on human subjects. Instead, we use zebrafish, that have blood vessels very similar to humans, as model organisms. We basically switch different genes on and off and use a microscope to record whether blood vessels are still growing or not. These experiments take several days to finish, and all in all, our work was approximately 4 years in the making. Even though the finish was a bit stressful, we are proud.


I am also happy, however, that I can go back to a normal blog post publishing schedule in march.

Two months gone in my challenge “One Year Of Discipline” – based on Victor Pride’s book 30 Days of Discipline and multiplied by 12.

As a brief explanation, “30 Days of Discipline” basically is a collection of 10 habits – some of which relatively easy, some of which hard work, depending on your personality. Those routines prime yourself for a successful day, and you can tackle your main project(s) (habit #11) heads on and efficiently. It has continued to work nicely for me and produced some good results, as you can see below.


These are my goals and performances in February 2015.

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