goal buddy |BEYOND|

It has been almost 9 years since I have been to a BarCamp in Salzburg to talk about the goal buddy concept and even though my promotional pitch didn’t yield any results whatsoever, not a sausage, the idea is still alive and kicking – at least in my stubborn head.

Instead of dumping the idea for good, I kept it on the back burner for several years. Last year, I put some additional effort into the goal buddy concept by setting up a website (www.goal-buddy.at) and by making a video (click above).

To my mind, the video is hilarious and informative but I’m possibly suffering from a Troubadix delusion. Troubadix the bard and singer in the famous comic Astérix. He is, unlike everyone else, very fond of his musical talent. Performing his music is of the utmost importance to him. Unfortunately, as the music by Troubadix is just nix (=Austrian slang for nothing), he has to be tied up and gagged in case of a musical event.

The goal buddy concept is all about being genuinely interested in your buddies’ efforts to reach their goal. It is vital to focus on action. Having a goal buddy to help you pursue your goals and your dreams can be as effective as hiring a coach. Bonding with a goal buddy can help to conquer procrastination and to get you onto the success and happiness track.

Ideally your goals are SMART, that is,

Specific

Measurable

Attractive

Realistic

Time-bound

Choose your goal buddy or goal buddies and get in touch. Inform them about a personal goal of yours and be curious about their’s. Start with fitness goals if you like. Fitnesschallenges are a smashing application of the goal buddy concept. Find yourself a challenge and share it with your gang. Exploit buddy, friends, gang, family – you name it, any kind of social power because without it most people end up running on empty. Mind you, don’t forget about your fellowmen and pay some attention, give them feedback, take your time to encourage them.

Alternatively, apply some sensitive criticism, e.g. if you don’t approve of the goal buddy concept because you think it’s just for loners and losers try: “Stephan, your goal buddy concept totally sucks and your video is pathetic. It’s not funny at all. With this poor performance you’ve qualified for a Troubadix treat: You need to be tied up and gagged BEFORE you are making your next video.”

I’d highly appreciate a comment like that – for insulting someone skilfully is really rare in these times where ghosting has literally become a zeitgeist phenomenon.

Unlike those best-selling Neuro Socks (a definite must-have:-) the goal buddy concept is not the one and only solution to every single problem people are facing and yet it could be your break – your critical key to success.

Having more than just one goal buddy can further pave your way to success and accomplishment. By joining a club (equally so by working on a project together) that engages your interests and passions several goal buddies become available. By joining or by founding a club you might take your game (of life) to the next level. If you don’t know exactly what kind of club or gang you’d like to found don’t worry and relax: Focus first on getting the right people on board. With that accomplished, you can unlock both your personal and your team’s full potential.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Have you avoided being in company? Have you started talking to yourself? Do you love being on your own? Have you been thriving on the lockdown? Did you enjoy not seeing your relatives as they can be a real pain in the neck? Have you lost touch of your friends? Do you take pride in sabotaging team meetings and teamwork? Have you started hiding from your colleagues and committed yourself to reducing contact with them to the ultimate minimum, that is to say, zero contact – bupkis, not a sausage? Have you developed the highly sophisticated skill of ignoring other people’s social endeavours? In other words: Have you become a ghost who can’t be reached by anyone? If the answer to some, or ideally, all of the above questions is YES, that’s smashing for a start.

However, in addition, you need to be vigilant to avoid getting soft. If you’d like to be virally safe you need to suppress your childish and immature need for socializing and for having relationships. Just make it a habit and after a while it will come to you naturally. You are very likely to develop a healthy social phobia which will be conducive to your evolving into a socially distanced modern hermit.

Social distancing comes easily and naturally to some people. According to a government survey in Japan about one and a half per cent of the Japanese population has adopted a hermit-like lifestyle.

However, the actual number of people who have become “their own island”, is presumably much higher. In Japan, these people are known – or rather not known – as hikikomori. It’s a safe bet that this social phenomenon, which has got the potential to erase any virus, is not just limited to Japan. Hence, whatever country you live in, there is hope. If they can do it, you can do it as well. Resolve to learn by example.

There’s a bit of a catch, though. How do you learn from someone who has successfully cornered themself into a communicative dead end? The trick is to find them just before they are about to drift off for good. Watch them before they are sucked into a black hole of socially isolated, blissfully safe desperation. Watch and learn how they get spaghettified – one noodle at a time. Keep your distance before you follow them.

Don’t rush it. Be patient and hold on until you feel the time is right. Breathe in deeply, gather your courage, get hold of your lightsaber, your broom and your imaginary baby elephant. Now, take a running jump towards your blissfully isolated and virus-free island. There’s a personal, dedicated offshore spot waiting for every single human being. Just take it and don’t you ever leave it.

Schweinehund

It took me a while before I could tackle this feisty and ferocious animal: an endemic creature which is up to mischief in German-speaking countries. Beware of this grim and grumpy hybrid – a nasty mixture of dog and pig! I dare you to take a close look at it. Can you manage to size this animal up with a long hard stare – without getting scared?

There are plenty of people who have been sizing this animal up for quite some time – (me included) – doing a thorough analysis of the situation. There’s an IT-specific term for that – analysis paralysis. People suffering from analysis paralysis might look like a couch potato, but they are inactive for a good reason: They are sizing up the “Schweinehund” with a long hard stare.

IT Crowd: Episode 1 |interview|

The “Schweinehund” is domesticated in German-speaking countries. As everyone is carrying one of these “cuties” inside it’s most common to name it “innerer Schweinehund”. The “Schweinehund”, as a curse for insulting people in the form of “Du Schweinehund!”, is more and more outdated – at least according to my humble linguistic hunch. For sure, when consulting LEO or dict.cc you still find (mis)translations of the “Schweinehund” like skunk, swine or ratfink.

My inner voice, which is sometimes conspiring (or maybe consulting 🙂 with the “Schweinehund”, is just telling me not to weasel out of providing a proper definition of this strange and intriguing animal. So here we go:

The “(innerer) Schweinehund”, a hybrid creature made of dog and pig, is the manifestation of your fears and your inertia.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Listen to this very personal pet of yours as it can provide you with useful information but do not always take it seriously. Have a good time together and frolic! Try seeing your “Schweinehund” as a pleasant and likeable companion and never forget that you are the leader. Make sure it feeds properly – a balanced diet with a focus on positive experiences is to be recommended. Walk it skilfully and relax together on a couch or wherever you like. Don’t stare at it for too long and go for fun and frolics not for fright!

100 push-ups per day: What’s the point?

Fascia rolls are great not just for your back.

In my first week back at work after my Covid-19 home office I gave the participants of my course for job seekers an anti-pep talk to lure them into (not) taking part in my 100 push-ups challenge, which I had started during my time at home. Obviously, I was trying to unlock some paradox intervention power. I thought that maybe the motivational tide was about to turn.

My challenge hadn’t gone viral during Covid-19 home training, to say the least. In fact, not a single person had joined me in my challenge. Even though, It would have been quite flexible. For the purpose of accompanying me any other fitness challenge would have done the job, i.e doing a number of squats every day or trying two Pamela Reif workouts per week – it wasn’t or isn’t just about push-ups.

Having real people in front of me and not just on the screen of my laptop could make all the difference, wouldn’t you agree? At least, two guys of my current course assured me on Tuesday, just before my tumble, which will be elaborated on later, that they’d give it a try. Is it likely that they are in? What do you think?

One of the two guys has just responded to my message. He is not in but he seems to be interested in my progress. That’s very kind and indicates good manners. This time, I haven’t been ghosted by every single participant. Yippee!

As I see it, being ghosted is something typical of our current culture and society. Hence, it’s literally a zeitgeist phenomenon. According to Paul Watzlawick, there’s no way not to communicate. So, when you’re being ghosted it’s certainly a message too and there’s a lesson to be learned. It’s quite likely that the person ghosting you is trying to convey the following message: “You’re a jerk, a complete kneebiter.”

😊 I’m sorry. My mind was wandering to Douglas Adams’ LIFE; THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING. The alien described in the third book of the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy has dedicated its life to insulting every single living creature in the universe with tailor-made insults. Personally, I prefer being insulted to being ghosted.

The true challenge behind my 100 push-ups per day assignment is not to give a flying flamingo about whether or not people are ghosting me. My state of mind ought not depend on the amount of clicks, thumbs up, or messages received in whatever form, for such an emotional dependence lacks dignity.

My 32 days push-up challenge was meant to be conducive to promoting the goal buddy idea, which I had left on my back burner for more than eight years. The idea is still alive and worthy of giving it more time and effort.

As for my solo sports challenge, it has turned out to be an excruciatingly tough one. According to my judgement and my self-established yardstick I’ve managed to hold on to my resolution with flying colours; even though I had to adapt the challenge a bit.

On Wednesday, the 27th of May, on my way back home from work, I was rushing to catch the train which was about to leave the station. Completely focussed and fully aware that I could still make it, I did a jump across the rails. However, my left calf failed me and I was smacked to the ground. Baffled and in pain, because of the muscle fibre I had torn, I could still catch the train. Lucky me or rather WHAT A BUMMER!

The push-up challenge was out of my mind for a couple of hours due to my arduous and
quite painful endeavour to get back home. I could barely walk, let alone straddle my
motorbike, which I had parked at the central station in Linz.

For sure, this was bound to end of my challenge. There was no way I could do any more push-ups because it was impossible to put any strain on my foot. The situation made me falter und susceptible to wishful thinking: On Thursday evening I thought: “No problem. The two guys from my course can take over now. Why not have a push-up relay?”

On Friday, it dawned on me that the two guys might not walk their talk. As I didn’t want the challenge to fail, my mind came up with another solution: I used a fascia roll to put my feet on. With this tool I could more than catch up and do 400 push-ups. (Accidentally, I did 100 push-ups too many.) Don’t be too impressed as it was in fact not particularly strenuous because I just did 40 sets of 10 reps: easy-peasy 😊.

Finally,  I’d like to provide you with my 100 push-up per day pep talk:
If you’d like to take on the challenge, bear in mind that it’s excruciatingly boring and futile in terms of physical progress (unless you adapt the challenge a little like I did) and yet you might find some meaning in it eventually. Keep in mind: The greater the struggle. The more glorious the triumph.

Kia Kaha and hang on in there!