Archive Monthly Archives: December 2015

Why the World is not getting Worse

2017 Update: We must keep in mind that progress is not a linear process. 




After a year of terrible attacks and crisis, many people have the feeling that the world is getting worse.

The World in 2015 - A Retrospective


But is that really so? Here is my year-end speech for you (;

An article I read today and my FB newsfeed inspired me to add some facts to the subjective feeling that everything is becoming worse.

The world in 2015 - A retrospective


With all the terrible things happening all over the world it is easy to see why we would get the feeling that 2015 was a terrible year and humanity is going down.

Paris, Donald Trump, the comeback of the MacRib, German Wings, Wars, Syria, Refugee Crisis, ISIS, Mass Shootings, Roundup, Gang Violence, Deflation, Inflation, Ebola, Corruption, Racist Blame Games, Drug Abuse - one could think that the world has become a large pile of crap.


And that politicians attempt to turn their powerlessness into all-powerfulness merely with slogans like: Whatever it takes - we will make it happen.

It would be silly to say that all is good because most of us own a smartphone, clean drinking water and family guy announced another season.

But we should have a closer look. Some numbers and developments show that the world is getting better in many aspects.

Good things do not happen at the speed we would hope for and in the intensity we would love - but they do happen. For them to continue to happen and happen faster we need every person to be active and engaged.

Extreme Poverty and Hunger


Especially when a feeling is foggy it make sense to keep to the facts. There are many small successes and trends that point in the right direction. They imply that we live in a world where terrible things happen but also in a world where more people are in a good position than ever before.

200 million people less than 2012 suffer extreme poverty (less than $ 1.90 per day). That means that still a horrifying amount of 702 million people suffer extreme poverty. That´s 9.6 % of the world population. In 1999, that number was still 29 % while in 1990 37 % suffered from extreme poverty.

795 million people suffer from chronic malnutrition (I hope I am using the correct term, I mean undernourishment - not corndogs). That is so terrible it´s hard to find words to describe it. But 2012 it was still 821 million people and 2005 even 942 million. In the early 90ties, over 1 billion people suffered from chronic malnutrition.

The number of malaria infections has gone down 37 % since 2000.

The child mortality rate is half of what it was in 1990.

In America, for the first time since ages the number of obese people is going down. For the first time in like forever McDonalds is forced to close more restaurants then they open. Monsanto is facing trial for crimes against humanity.

Education for all


America might still have a lot of homework to do, but we are looking at trend worldwide. Compared to 1999, 48 million children more are send to school. The illiteracy rate fell from 18 to 14 % since 2000.

Clearly, the message is: That´s not good enough. But the message is also: Things are NOT getting worse and we just need to keep pushing.

This list could be extended. The Human Development Report of the UNO sums it up like this: We achieved more since 1990 than we dared to dream. 

Why do people still see only negatives?


When some of the numbers are positive why do many people still have the feeling that the world is getting worse? The first reason for it is our perception.

Many pessimists can produce statistic in an instant that suggest the world is in a terrible state. "The glass is half empty" statistics historically have an easier job of influencing us.

The UNESCO rarely mentions successes. That´s part of their job, they need money to achieve all of the many goals we have not yet achieved.

The solution of former President Bill Clinton is as current as ever:

"Follow the trend lines, not the headlines."

How about Wars? 


That´s where our distorted perception shows most clearly: War and organized crime.

The renowned Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) said back in 2014 that the 126.000 victims are more than in the last 20 years.

Do not get me wrong. I am 100 % pacifist. I do not even eat meat. 80 % of my shoes are from El Naturalista, a brand that uses sustainable caoutchouc, a natural rubber. I do not even kill mosquitos - I use natural oils to keep them away (basically, I get bit a lot).

My point is: You have to read beyond the headlines. A deeper look into the report of the UCDP also shows: "Compared to the many international wars of the 20th century the number of death was relatively low."

"The world is less violent than in the times of the cold war." "Seven conflicts registered in 2013 were pacified one year later." "A positive trend is the number of peace agreements since 2011".

The number of conflicts is growing since a few years. From 31 in 2010 to 40 in 2014. In 1990 49 conflicts have been registered. From 1997 - 1990 it was 40.

Every conflict is one too much and every victim of violence is one too much. But is the world getting worse every year? I do not think so.

Is there still a lot to do? Absolutely, and therefore, the world needs us active - not depressive.

Perception and Social Media


It is not always the numbers that change but also our condensed perception.

If the world is bad today how was it when civil wars rampaged the Balkan Countries? Or when the Hutu in Ruanda killed so many Tutsi, that this number has been excluded from the genocide statistics and showed separately.

A few years back if at all we saw a few pictures of the horrors in the news. Today every terrorist films his terrible crimes with a smartphone and puts it on social media where it goes viral.

"Share" and "like" on facebook. A disgusting reality of our modern world.

Facebook also censors our newsfeeds. You follow/like one topic? You will see more of that. And even more. FB will present you with a completely one-sided view of the reality.

Terrorist propaganda becomes a war of content. Everything gets shared, reconstructed and analyzed in a speed that maybe our brain can process. But not the rest. No matter if you call it "heart" or "soul".

We are left with a diffuse feeling of threat and sadness.

And then we are easy prey for those who want to manipulate us for their ulterior goals. Whether it´s hate speech or the government canceling the last bit of laws that protect our privacy.

Neuroscientists explain this knowledge paradox. We know more and understand less. We know everything really fast, every detail in live ticker mode - but we cannot comprehend the complexity.

Neuroscientist Mark Waldman offers the great advice that it´s easier for the mind to comprehend bad news when we read them (as opposed to watching). And he also advises to sometimes for the sake of your sanity take breaks from following the news.

Analysing problems


Religions and ideology offer seemingly simple solutions to handle the complexity. And we try to interpret it with simple patterns and overstatements.

What can we do to not get lost in a fog of bad news and negativity?


Besides our perception, that is often distorted it´s also about our attitude. Where is our basic trust that crisis made by men can be solved by men? 

And where is our believe that we can solve problems that seem unsolvable today with future innovations?

Many things in this world are so cruel and unfair that it must tear every decent person´s heart apart. Since the very beginning of the human race. 

The world has not become worse in 2015. 

Let´s all keep on pushing and be the little drop of water that helps to carve the stone. 

Life is great and where there is hope and love change is possible. 

Your world needs you. 

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The Four Candles – Short Story

An Advent Story


Four candles were lit on the Advent wreath. It was so quiet that you could hear when the candles started to talk.
Advent Short Story

The first candle with a sigh of resignation said: "My name is Peace. My light shines, but the people do not keep the peace." Her light became smaller and smaller until it faded.

The second candle flickered and said: "My name is Belief. I am completely needless as the people are not interested in me anymore. There is no point in me burning. A draft of air blows through the room, and the candle was out.

Quietly and sad the third candle started to speak: "My name is Love. I do not have strength to burn anymore. The people ignore me. They only see themselves and not the others they are supposed to love." With a last flicker, this candle went out too.

A child entered the room. It looked at the candles and said: "Hey. You are supposed to burn." The child nearly started to cry.

It was then that the fourth candle started talking: "Don´t be afraid. As long as I shine we can lit the other candles again. My name is Hope." The child took a match and relights all of the other candles.

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Winning the Game of Money Review 2016

Brain-A-Thon Review Update

Read the full Review HERE

What has changed?

On December 4th, 2015 the newest version of John Assaraf´s Brain-A-Thon, the 4th annual Brain-A-Thon, has premiered. As I have already reviewed the full program I will focus on the changes.  Please read the full review HERE.

Accessibility

The whole product portal has been reworked. Minor bugs have been removed and the product access portal is faster and more clearly arranged.
Winning the Game of Money 2016 Review
Definitely a good change.

New Bonuses added

The full list of included features and items is HERE. This chapter describes only the bonuses that have been added in the 2016 version of the Brain-A-Thon.
The list of deliverables was mindblowing as it was. Currently(!), people who purchase right after the free Webinar receive additional new bonuses. I cannot say for how long NeuroGym will be giving away that much extra value on top.
Winning the Game of Money Update
NeuroGym Review John Assaraf
Brainathon 2016 Review
Basically, an additional value of nearly $3.700 has been added while the price for the program stays the same. Just register for the FREE WEBINAR - even if you cannot make it on Saturday. Every registrant will be offered a time window in which he is eligible for the old and the newly added bonuses.

Winning the Game of Money VIP Community

The first change is that NeuroGym has added additional staff to the VIP community. Questions are being answered in record speed and the community manager adds content nearly every day. That is definitely great.Leading Neuroscientist Mark Waldman and John Assaraf are very active in the community, answering questions and adding content. The hourly rate of Mark Waldman is $370, John Assaraf does not offer 1:1 coaching. Within the VIP community, both offer their support without additional cost.The access to the VIP community and VIP support has been shortened to 6 months. Please note that that does neither change the lifetime access to your product nor your ability to use the regular phone and email support.

Long-Term Success Stories

Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to observe the success or struggles of people for over 6 months. 
I take into account my own personal experience, the experience of my clients and what I have read within the VIP community. 
My clients naturally are very open and honest and gave me unfiltered feedback. The success quote is probably 98/100 and that is pretty insane. 
The success stories I have seen and heard included
  • People until their necks in debt who were able to get out of their misery
  • Already successful people who were able to further increase their income
  • People who were held back by their low self-esteem have grown and reached for the stars
  • Some founded businesses, some had struggling businesses - many reported how they turned things around
The main focus of Winning the Game of Money is obviously career success. But many people used it to break free from their old lives that made them unhappy or even to take a temporary step down on the career ladder and risk to go after what they really wanted in life. From divorce to a board member position or even weight-loss. The success stories were as different as life. 
A story that touched my heart was an over 80-year-old Lady that started a new business. I was so impressed by how she with over 80 years is still more willing to learn and grow than many 20-year-olds. Needless to say, that with this attitude the Lady´s new business was successful within just 2 months. 
What the program did for me is that it enabled me to overcome what was holding me back. Because I am from Germany and my English is far from perfect I was very insecure about offering my coaching and training service. 
I started in April 2015. I now have a blog with a nice amount of loyal and new readers, over 800 people were digging what I was saying and joined my newsletter list. My coaching business is doing great and the most exciting thing is that I am now working with a legend of sales training. Oh, and I have been asked to contribute articles to a leading success site. 
Not too shabby for half a year. 

NeuroGym Support

At times, NeuroGym had a pretty long response time. The incredible success of the program led to a higher than expected amount of requests.Meanwhile, the support time is back to great. With the new manpower I do not expect any issues for 2016.

Final Verdict

It is and was in my opinion and experience on of the two best programs on the market. The value was incredible and adding additional bonuses made the offer even more enticing. 
The bottleneck was the support for a short while. Now that this is solved I do not have any criticism.
Usually, I would say: If you are serious about your success sign up HERE. The brain retraining component of the program is so strong that I will say: Even if you are not serious. You will be once you start. 

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Review of Story Seekers, Mike Bosworth Leadership

Story Seekers Chicago

Story Seekers Open Workshop

This honest review of Story Seekers will look at the good and the bad.
Mike Bosworth founded Mike Bosworth Leadership in 2008. In the late 90ties, he became a legend of sales training with his Solution Selling program. Back then (and that has not changed until this day) around 20 % (or less) of the salespeople accounted for 80 % of the sales.Mike´s mission was to help the 80 % underperforming salespeople to keep up with the pack at the top.

Mike´s headache

It turned out that Solution Selling made the top 20 % even better. But it did not make the other 80 % better. The gap even increased.From a technical point of view, Solution Selling was (and is!) perfect. But there was one link missing.In early 2008 Mike discovered the power of Story.But story is not story. The best story told the wrong way is not captivating the listener. The most captivating story might not influence change in the listener.At first, Mike thought that these soft skills cannot be trained. But Mike would not be a legend of sales training if he would have left it at this.Mike discovered and analyzed and was able to create a framework that will allow anyone to influence through connective listening and the power of story.

Who needs Story Seekers and why?

Story Seekers is not limited to salespeople. It is for anyone who is in the position of influencing change in others. From online marketer to fundraiser, board director, coach to a lawyer, public speaker, realtor...Naturally, Sales Managers with a team of sales guys with empty pipelines and a track record of lost RFP´s can help their teams with this tool. Story Seekers takes the salesy, the sleazy and the pushiness out of sales. It teaches how to influence change through the art of storytelling and most importantly story tending.Salespeople are not very good listeners. You could say that we have a tendency to suffer from selective hearing. We learned not to think in features but solutions. Soon solutions became our new features.As soon as a customer mentions A-NY-THING that could allow us to propose our solution we stop listening. While we look at the client, we count the commission in our brains and wait for the next best moment to interrupt or for when the prospect needs to take a breath.At the point you throw in solutions, it´s too late to learn about the story of the prospect. The discussion will drift to discussions about the "solution" or even technical environment. At this point, you do not know the vision of the prospect and you are rather lucky if your solution happens to fit and you get the deal.
It does takes a while to shake off the reflex of forcing solutions on a client instead of listening to him.

The Story Seekers Workshop

Rob Stenberg and John Kratz, two of Mike´s Affiliates invited me to come to Minnesota for a Workshop.The Workshop is 2.5 days long.You already know the agenda of the training - teaching us how to influence change through connective listening and a powerful sales/influencer story so that I will focus on the quality of the WS.The rotation of team tasks, tasks, listening mode and reflection kept everyone's attention throughout the 2.5 days. I do not find anything to criticize.Mike Bosworth´s Workshops are not the type where you just sit passive. In the evenings, you will have to do homework.

The good

  • Extremely skilled, qualified and also likable set of trainer
  • Excellent trainer that are not just talk but have "street" experience and sales success
  • It was amazing to see how the attendees grew in the course of the 2.5 days
  • It is not a "story teller" workshop but a story influencer training
 

The bad

  • I would have wished for some follow-up support until Story Seekers becomes a habit and maybe a few tools to make it even easier for me to implement Story Seekers. Well, it´s maybe not "the bad" because no other training offers this
  • You will have to discipline yourself after the training to further your art
 

Conclusion

Story Seeker will change the way influencer communicate for good.Besides all of the testimonials (we all know how that sometimes works, right?) I have seen other people and myself grow in just 2.5 days.But do not take my word for it. Take my life for it.A "LinkedIn expert" has recently deleted my entrance jobs from my profile (data entry, team assistant). The expert was not impressed that I have no formal education. I did not study or earn an MBA or anything like that. My LinkedIn starts at when I became a secretary. http://linkedin.com/in/aurorasa.coachingWhat you will see is that I took one course: Mike Bosworth´s Solution Selling. Followed by years of successful sales and sales management career at companies like SAP and Logica UK (Management Consulting, Enterprise Intelligence, Data Mining, Export Manager). Pretty impossible, huh? I had no idea what performance indicators or neural networks are.What you will also discover is that THE sales trainer legend Mike Bosworth has asked me if I wanted to work with him. I have a great business and have no intention to work for someone. So I waited a while until I said: OH, YES, MIKE!!!!!! I am now holding dream jobs at once.
Regarding "the bad": It´s a positive now. Everyone who books their workshop or company training HERE gets 1 month of exclusive access to my membership area, weekly support calls and tools that will allow him to make Story Seekers their new habit even faster. Included in the regular fee.I rest my case and leave the conclusion about the quality of MB training up to you.For information on company training and the next open workshops click HERE

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Killing time around Christmas

Time is all we have

"Time is a game played beautifully by children." Heraclitus
Procrastination around ChristmasGerman author Erich Kastner said: Remember the 5th commandment, don´t kill your time.Wait, that doesn't sound right. It should say: "Thou shalt not kill". Is this rewording just a catchy phrase or is a deeper meaning hidden behind it?In the end of the day, time is all we have left before we die. Lifetime. Killing time is like killing a little bit of yourself.I am probably guilty of some killing of time myself. I love the picture above this line. It looks so fragile and precious and is a great metaphor for the lifetime we have to spend.Killing time is when you do things that do not really have a meaning. No significance. Binge watching a poorly made crime show for instance.Couldn´t  we use our time better? Maybe go to college? Helping a good cause?Killing time is also if you are not in the Now. If your thoughts wander around in the future and you make your actions contingent of future development you are putting off the real life. Like better weather, having more time, money and so on and so forth.Until then we stay in a relationship that is not working or a job we hate. Or we do not take the steps necessary to get closer to our goals.There is nothing wrong with enjoying a computer game (guilty!) or a show on tv from time to time. But only if you enjoy it with your full presence and if you stay aware that you are living Now.

Procrastination around Christmas

December is the time of the year where people tend to put off things and procrastinate the most. "I´ll do that next year." "Only one week until Christmas."If you think about it: deduct the public holidays and you end up with as many working days as in February. So why would we be less productive in Christmas? A time to relax? A needed break?Putting things off is not relaxing. Again, make sure that you use your lifetime wisely and enjoy what you are doing (or not doing) with every cell of your body in the Here and Now.Some Christmas procrastinators tell themselves "after new year´s eve I will do things differently". If you live in the Now you will never find a need for new year´s resolutions.It´s 5 to Christmas and you have already received your present from the Universe: The gift of life. Lifetime.

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