Location Factors: Recognize what’s good for you by H.-J. John

Take a look around your world.

Look at the animals. They go where they like. If there are too many wolves in a pack, not all of them will be able to eat their fill and thrive.

Look at the plants. They grow best where they have everything they need. The trees in the forest don’t see a lot of grass.

Look at businesses. They’re looking for a place for their branches where they find everything they need for their economic survival – customers, infrastructure, tax benefits, trained workers.

Look at yourself. Are you happy and content? Then begin building your nest and start a family.

Is something disturbing you? Then move on. Recognize what’s good for you.

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John

Write and learn from it… by H.-J. John

Late summer days showing the first signs of fall are a perfect time to go hiking.
Go to the top of a hill or a mountain. Or even a church tower or other tall building. The point is: view what’s around you.
From your view up high, take a look at where you just came from. It’s hard to see the details from a distance. Yet you can see how things connect with each other.

Your life is composed of scenes. Like on TV – except there’s no camera team creating DVDs to help you remember the scenes later. You alone are responsible for storing and assessing memories of your past. So take advantage of the means available to you, even as you go along your way. Keep a journal!

Record and describe everything that you consider worth mentioning. Over the years, you’ll learn to distinguish between what’s important and what’s not. Because your time for writing is much shorter that the time you spend experiencing the many events and conversations that take place each day.

You will learn from your own experiences, and you will continue perfecting yourself.

When did I reach a goal, and why? When did I fail, and why? Did everything turn out the way I want it? Did I always behave properly toward other people? What experiences have I had, and what do I still want to experience?

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John

The house by H.-J. John

We were at a pizzeria. I ordered a pizza Hawaii, she ordered a pizza Funghi. I remained silent; she spoke.
All I was able to do was sit silent in admiration.
She moved from one topic to the next as if she were a general inspecting his troops.
After the first half hour I had to suppress a yawn. That’s how little I was able to contribute. Slowly I was starting to feel envious.
Suddenly I was wide awake. I realized that, although she was probably twelve years younger than I, she had an opinion about each topic she addressed.
It was as if she were leading me through a house, with rooms and doors labeled “relationship,” “work,” and “family” on the first floor and others labeled “hopes,” “dreams,” and “goals” on the second floor.
I put the rule to the test and started to criticize her. No, she was not completely set in her ways. She stood by her opinion but accepted mine.
An interesting house. What doors might still be undiscovered in the basement and the attic?

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John

Control your moods and you will achieve contentment by H.-J. John

Are you satisfied with yourself?
Are you well in spite of gout, rheumatism, diabetes, and financial problems?
Are you well even though you see people everywhere who are more successful or apparently happier than you?
Do you enjoy the patter of rain against the window even though your outing with the wheelchair has to be cancelled today?
Do you live as a foreigner among people who do not like you but still see the humanity in them and wish them well?
Would you have liked to go to university like others did but were unable to do so because of your grades?
Do you care little about car bombs occasionally detonating in your city? Do you know your enemies because you can see the desperation that wants to be appeased behind their angry eyes?
Are your neighbors always noisy yet you smile content and happily when you meet them on the staircase? Such nice people, they always greet you!
Are you content? If yes, you are serene and always at an advantage and you have found the meaning of life and balance within yourself.

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John

The coffee bill by H.-J. John

Today, calculating is called for.
After waking up and the morning toilet, breakfast is within reach.
The first coffee, the roll, the cold cuts, the cheese, the jam. Lunch. Afternoon tea, dinner, and before and after some snacks.
Added everything up?
Now we take five percent of this and wire it to Africa.
And tomorrow morning we will enjoy our coffee twice as much. Want to bet?

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John

What you are left with by H.-J. John

Look at the time.
Have you ever watched a clock?
Try to stop it with the power of your thoughts.

Look at money. It comes and goes.
And if more remains than leaves you, you can be proud, but still you will leave it behind at the end of life.
Look at your children. The born and the unborn. They pass along to their children for centuries what you have taught them.

So choose wisely. Do you desire more time and money for yourself? Time does not obey you and money leaves you.
Look at your ancestors. They chose you.

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John

The one… by H.-J. John

She was having relationship problems, the one said this morning on the phone.
I asked her where she got my number.
She said it was really bad. Her boyfriend was ignoring her.
I told her that she was lucky. Some partners are pursued with jealousy, locked in basements or in bathrooms, kissed with burning cigarettes, or abandoned.
I stopped. Silence at the other end.
I apologized. Told her she knew her boyfriend much better. Asked her what he liked, what he didn’t like. I told her to write down her problems.
I recommended she look at them from all angles, as with something she likes a lot that is very important to her.
“Like… ” I hesitated. “Like a painted vase or a statue. First you list everything that is great about your boyfriend. Then everything you dislike. If the negative has been outweighing the positive for a long time, it is worth considering breaking up.
But that would be like building a house and stopping after the foundation. Nonsense, the house of trust is also built with stones from valleys, not just bricks from the hills.
“If you give more weight to the positive, you try to solve the problem.” “It’s that simple?” “Much simpler,” I said and hung up knowing that she would call again – to thank me. Her boyfriend was important enough to her to look for a solution. She did not have to make the detour through me.
© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John

Be direct by H.-J. John

There are highways! What for? To save time in our ever-faster world! Shortcut is the magic word! Only the linear distance is shorter.
Be direct!
Between us humans, openness and directness have not yet prevailed over politeness and a mistaken sense of consideration.
Be direct!
How often have we become annoyed when someone talks behind our back when he could tell us openly what is going on?
Be direct!
Problems arise in a partnership and we let them grow inside of us, even though there are few things that cannot be sorted out with words…
Be direct!
…and be brave. First you will offend; then people who appreciate honesty and openness will support you.
Be direct!

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John

For the suffering by H.-J. John

Do you feel mistreated?
Do not think about it.
Go forth and imitate the person who treats you poorly.
If he hits you 1,000 times, hit him once.
If he accuses you for years, accuse him once.
If he betrays you constantly, betray him once.
Do you feel better?
Then let him feel that you are well.

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John