This is a list that was not easy for me to come up with, because it is very personal.
For that reason, I was not sure whether I was actually ready to publish it.
On the other hand, I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve – who listens to me and hears me talk, I believe, knows pretty quickly what my deal is.
I believe in honesty. Because what good is a belief if you can not publicly stand by it? I would not want to live my life in hiding. For me personal, I ultimately believe there is strength in sharing yourself, so I am going ahead.
What is the benefit of knowing “my heroes” for you, the reader? I believe it is threefold.
- Some people on the list may be interesting for you as well.
- Others, for example friends and family members, could lead you to think back about your own family.
- Some of the values and beliefs that underly my decisions could be useful guiding principles for your own life.
While doing this list, I also realized just how important some people on this list are in my own life.
#1 – My grandmother.
She was always there for me and understood me. We had fun together, she supported me by giving me valuable life advice, and we were talking the same language from politics to lifestyle.
I will never forget that even though we were sometimes sharing a quite disillusioned world view, she reminded me to “never become bitter”. This stuck with me. The world is an abundant place, after all.
#2 – My friend RIPley.
Same politics, same preferences in humor and lifestyle. We are both Simpsons Fans, that connects… He has worked for over two decades in the mortgage and personal finance industry and has contributed to this blog with some financial advice.
He is a true friend who will not shy away from dishing out inconvenient information. He introduced me to the mentality of an entrepreneur; I also learnt how we should not believe everything that society does or says. Without him, I would have never fully doubted the lifestyle of a “lifelong employee”. His friendship has given me the strength to venture out and go my own way. I would have never embraced the “Red Pill”, had he not sowed doubts in my mind about my lifestyle choices up until 2013.
#3 – Mike Cernovich
I don’t even remember how I first stumbled upon his blog.
I think it was referred to his blog from GoodLookingLoser.com. I was looking for ways to make “passive income” and I gave a comment on one of Mike’s articles.
Despite already being a well established blogger in 2014, Mike directly replied to this first comment of mine with a specific answer and later on even featured the resulting little dialogue on one of his podcasts. That impressed me to no end, because he really took his time to answer.
If I can be as responsive as that with comments on my blog, I will be happy.
His books Gorilla Mindset and Essays on Masculinity are great inspirations, since at the core of Mike’s message, there has always been the urge to take action – which is truly helpful. Gorilla Mindset even has exercises embedded in it.
#4 – Chris Deoudes
First of all, in the beginning of 2013, I took a dating seminar and went out regularly in New York’s bar scene in the following month. I was pretty heavily into “Pick-Up Artistry” and dating, and regularly communicated on forums. I was a bit shocked when I saw a video where Chris marked the advice on such forums as largely useless, because people are anonymous and not accountable. By then, I decided to “agree to disagree” with that video. But the possibility that dating forums could harbor bad advice stayed in my mind.
Then, a few months later, I saw that somebody mentioned his success with goodlookingloser.com on another discussion board, and this time, I decided to read more of what Chris was saying and teaching on his website.
I took the “Approach Anxiety program” (NSFW) on GoodLookingLoser to eliminate my anxiety, and this literally changed my life.
I not only suffered from Approach Anxiety, but also from Impostor Syndrome. Basically, I was regarding any success I had in my scientific career as some form of luck. I literally thought I did not deserve the success in my career. I thought I was some kind of fraud.
Chris’ Approach Anxiety program changed this notion. Because it radically changed my mindset. It is not important to work for someone else to judge you. It is important to do work that you like. It is important to do whatever you want to do, independent of what anyone else may say. Do what you really want. That’s all that counts.
Beyond the cure from Impostor Syndrome, he also introduced me to Kratom (NSFW), which has actually been one of the most important improvements of my lifestyle – perhaps ever.
#5 – Victor Pride
Victor Pride runs Bold And Determined. I think I heard about the site from a podcast he was doing with Chris Deoudes.
I used Victor’s 30 Days of Discipline, and it has literally changed the way I am living my life day in, day out. Without 30 Days of Discipline, I would have no clear morning routine, and I would not have given my own life some structure.
#6 – The Manosphere.
Several people that have and used to have blogs have influenced me positively in so many ways. Ever since I discovered manosphere.com in 2013, I have learnt a lot. Remy Sheppard was the first person to have me on his podcast.
There are others whom I have not mentioned here that have all contributed to my life in one way or another with their wisdom. The manosphere is a truly helpful community for every man (and why not woman as well?) who wants to find his own way.
#7 – Léon
He led the dating seminar I took at the beginning of 2013 and has remained a loyal friend ever since.
I can not really repay him well enough what he has done for me. It may seem insignificant, but I remember on that seminar, I was the first time in a bar all by myself.
There was a girl I liked, but I was on the verge of giving up on her, when he encouraged me to walk back up to her and take her phone number.
That was exactly the “aha” moment I needed to see – after that I knew I could further improve and become more secure in meeting other people. And I got indeed several dates after that.
#8 – My mother.
I will never forget what she once told me: “Oh, they say nobody has done before what you want to do? I guess it’s time for them to learn.”
Perfect. She let me grow up pursuing my own passion, and she made me into the person who is secure enough to go his own ways.
#9 – My father.
He was a reverend working for the German protestant church.
In Germany, the churches are basically an entity that is funded by the state – whoever is member in the church pays a ‘church tax’ which comes down to ca. 10% of his income tax.
The lesson my father provided me with was that corporations or the governmental behemoth don’t care for you. They are averse to your creativity and new ideas.
They are even averse to you caring for people in your community and want you to sit in meetings instead of next to a parishioner in need.
So when they tried to fuse several parishes together, possibly making him obsolete in the process (they would have continued to pay him, but he would have been relegated to a side role in his church) – he fought against it.
The result from that fight was that people from a neighboring parish asked him to transfer so he could help them resist their own impending fusion. And he did. And he won.
He is a true role model in fighting for what he believes in and the people he has to care for. He always keeps contact to others and is there for them. That is probably one of the most important life lessons here.
#10 – Cam Adair
I learnt about Cam from an interview on Mike Cernovich’s podcast.
Cam has started a whole community of people who help each others find meaning in life. The original goal of Game Quitters was to help kids get rid of their video game addiction, but that only works if you develop your own sense of purpose. In that way, even though I was never addicted to games, Cam has influenced me enormously in finding purpose in my life.
#11 – My high school chemistry teacher.
I took advanced level class with Peter Hardt in 11th grade chemistry.
His lessons were ‘tough as nails’, but he (a) taught us the complete knowledge of high school inorganic and organic chemistry – we basically ‘coasted’ through 12th and 13th grade with a different, ‘softer’ teacher; and (b) his ‘no bullshit’ approach emboldened me to really trust myself and go for what I wanted. My only regret: I should have listened to his advice to study either Chemical Engineering or “Brewery Studies” at a vocational school and open a German Beer Brewery in Singapore. Really. No joke. And yes, you “Brewery Studies” is a college level class in Germany.
#12 – My PhD advisor, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg
He had the exact right mix of pushing us forward and ‘longer leash’ – letting us explore our own ideas.
He was and always will be a big role model of efficiency. He’d let me come up with my own ideas, then he would closely evaluated them every week – with one main criterion: will they help move the project forward?
And that they did.
He was always able to push me in my efforts, working hard, while never feeling any of those efforts were ever wasted. That is a pretty great experience.
He is also a true friend who always had my back even long after I graduated from his lab.
If there was a chance to work again in his lab, I would jump at it.
He currently has his lab at the Institute of Science and Technology in Vienna, working on the physical mechanisms that determine the shape of an embryo.
#13 – My friend Boris.
Boris Pfander was my room-mate for a long time – we were in the same biochemistry class in Hannover University.
He introduced me to several friends that still play a role in my life, for example, RIPley Schlauch (mentioned above).
You don’t find people very often that share your values yet still have a vibe easygoing enough to have them as room mates. Plus we both liked Star Trek! Great time having him as room-mate! He now has his own lab in Munich, Germany, where he does research on DNA damage and cell proliferation, two aspects that are often misregulated in cancer cells.
#14 – My friend Jochim.
I know Jochim a long time – we played in the same youth orchestra.
He came to New York for two years when he did his postdoc in psychology at New York University, and we became room mates for a while.
He was always fun to be around, and as a violinist, he introduced me to several people and groups that played an instrument in New York. So I made a lot of contacts because of him.
He has ever since become a psychology professor in Salzburg, Vienna, trying to understand the way humans make decisions in abstract vs. concrete situations.
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