The secret of success: How to get out of the hamster wheel


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Text comes from: Die 95/5-Formel: Warum viele wenig und wenige alles haben (2020) by Simon Hofer, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Many people wonder how success can be achieved. The answer seems simple: break out of the hamster wheel. But how does that work exactly?

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Simon Hofer is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker and top coach.

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From the attic to the dream castle - is that possible?

Years ago, I and my 45 kg overweight (177 cm tall) lived in a small one-room attic apartment. In the summer the heat was unbearable, there was no terrace, few windows and a lot of roof space that was heated by the sun. I worked a lot and earned little and the frustration was correspondingly great. I had no relationship and was pretty dissatisfied with all aspects of my life.

I felt alone, sometimes really lonely, and still didn't feel like going out with people. I was involved in a growing start-up that saw increasing sales but also increased costs. So in the end there wasn't really much left over except stress and anger.

Happiness doesn't have to be

With luck in my life it wasn't far either. When I was 30 years old, all of my direct family members, apart from my sister and an uncle with whom I had little contact, had already died. The loss of my mother in particular had hit me hard, she had been my anchor, she was the center of an almost non-existent family, but it had this gift, as only mothers have it, to fill the many gaps that had arisen. When she was gone it was suddenly very dark and very lonely around me. She was only 58 years old and her death was one of those moments when one wonders: Why this person of all people?

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In the meantime I had already exceeded 40 and I heard the clock tick, tick tack, tick tack ... You know that: once you are in a spiral that turns downwards, you see everything even more critically and worse than it already is. I first developed part-time and then full-time into a cynic and described to everyone who wanted to hear it and also to those who didn't want to hear how bad people and the world had become. One day I read in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) that only 2,1 percent of the people in Switzerland would own 97,9 percent of the wealth!

How to take control of your own destiny

I couldn't believe it and started doing research. In fact, I found the fact confirmed with slightly different numbers from different sources. The bottom line was that I realized that 5 percent of the people in the world are successful in what they do, and 95 percent of the people struggle more or less through life until it ends. This realization reinforced my belief in a bad and unjust world. And now that I had it in black and white, this realization frightened me deeply. I was pretty sure, actually very convinced, that the world was bad and unfair, but somehow I just didn't want to accept it. Something stirred in me, a kind of resistance spread.

In retrospect, these must have been the fighting genes that my mother had bequeathed to me, because she also defended herself for a lifetime against everything that she felt was unfair. I remembered her stories of how she led women's movements in Switzerland at the end of the 60s and how she campaigned for women's voting rights, which was not enshrined in law until 1971. She had always worked for justice, not just for women, but for everyone. And what did I do? I sat there and felt my age lying heavily on my shoulders, but maybe it was just the 45 kg overweight that I felt.

Is the world really unfair and why?

It was 2012, the year I saw the blockbuster of the same name for the first time in 2012. In the film the world goes down and only the super rich have a chance to survive while the others are doomed to go down with the world. I was pretty sure the world would not go under, even if it sometimes deserved it, as unfair as everything was. Ironically, it was the year I started looking for it. I felt that in addition to the cynic, another voice made itself felt in me. I didn't know what she wanted to tell me, but I wanted answers. Why should only 5 percent of people be allowed to be successful? What about us, the other 95 percent? Were we not entitled to an adequate piece of the cake?

I started to deal with this unjust world. The more I did it, the less Sense made the world for me, and I asked myself more questions. The world seemed increasingly grotesque to me. Never before in human history have there been so many diet offers, nutritionists, gyms and such extensive knowledge about sports and nutrition. Nevertheless, the number of overweight people continues to rise rapidly. We have never had as much technology as we do today that makes our lives easier, relieves us of heavy work or is even completely automated, and yet we have a further increase in stress disorders such as burnout, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

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What do successful people do differently?

Social media has networked the world, but more people than ever are lonely or even more so because they can no longer withstand the pressure to be something special and withdraw. I noticed that no matter how many offers we create to solve a problem, the problems continue to increase. I had experienced this myself with my diets. Whatever I tried, success was never long-term. If you are desperate enough, it sounds tempting to read: "Lose 15 kilos in 30 days."

One thinks: »What the hell? 30 days, 69 euros, I can try that. «We all know the results of such diets. After a thorough analysis of many diet methods, I finally came to the conclusion that all diets have three basic problems, the beginning, the middle and the end. In other words, the whole diet is the problem. They consist only of renunciation and are therefore in conflict with ourselves. Nevertheless, there are always people who have successfully lost weight. How did they do it? Why are certain people successful in this and others not? I quickly recognized the 95/5 formula again.

What to do if you belong to the 95%?

I knew I was among the 95 percent. I was not successful, either in losing weight or in my other life. I was not one to give up quickly, and I had never given up on hard work. I was always willing to take risks, often working 12 or 15 hours a day or more. And yet the desired success did not materialize. So what is it that these 5 percent successful people do differently than we do?

I decided to tackle my weight problem first because I thought it was the most important thing. I was certain that once I got a grip on it, everything else would come naturally. From today's perspective that doesn't make any sense, but it sounded good to me then and I had to start somewhere anyway. So I started reading cookbooks in my one-room top floor apartment because I wanted to learn to cook because I saw it as an important factor in my weight loss. However, for someone who thought couch potato was a dish, it was quite a challenge.

Murphy's secret of success

In the first cookbook that I took in hand, the author asked them to consider whether they were more likely to be someone who liked to prepare quick dishes, or whether they wanted to cook more with passion and consciously and thus prepare elaborate dishes. He concluded with the words: "What kind of person are you?" "Good question," I thought, "What kind of person am I actually?" I was sitting there, sweating with 45 kilos overweight in my 40s and couldn't even do that answer simple question of an unknown cookbook author. I put the book aside and sat at the computer. In Google I searched: "Who am I?" Google provided me with more than 370 million search results. "Great," I thought to myself, "so there seem to be many opinions about it."

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I continued googling, moving from page to page, and eventually came across a book by one Dr. Joseph Murphy entitled The Power of the Subconscious. The description of the book fascinated me and I immediately went to buy the book and started reading. Murphy explained that we all always try to be aware of all our actions, but that these actions would only affect a small part of our daily activities. The vast majority of all day-to-day activities would be dominated by our subconscious, which is why it would make more sense to influence the subconscious7. That sounded very logical to me and I quickly devoured the 316 pages of Murphy's book. I later learned from Dr. Bruce Lipton and other researchers even believe that our subconscious affects up to 95 percent of all our day-to-day activities. After reading Murphy's book, I felt like he had initiated me into a few basic secrets of humanity. I felt that I was on the track of the secret I had been looking for for so long. I bought more books and after reading another 1000 pages I got a completely new attitude to the question "Who am I?" I also noticed how I started thinking about a lot of things that had always been clear to me, because a lot of things suddenly no longer made sense, at least in my eyes.

I am who I am, just who is that?

Everyone has asked the question "Who am I actually?", But very few have ever answered it, let alone thought it through to the end! When I started, I suddenly realized that if I don't like the results of my life so far, I can't blame the world or the circumstances for it, but first of all I have to take responsibility for myself, because they are mine Results. That was the first important lesson I had. But to change successfully, I first had to think about who I am and what I want to do with my life. My first finding was that, like most people, I had no idea who I was.

Whether you are asked this question or asked someone, you will usually hear the first name and the family name. If you ask further, the job and age are added. So, I'm Friedrich Schneider, 36 years old and I work as a logistician. Depending on the circumstances, the place of residence and the marital status may also be mentioned. Now we know who we are and who we are, right?

No, we don't know, we have no idea!

Friedrich is a name that the parents have chosen, Schneider is obviously the name that the father has already worn. The age of 36, well, that's an approximate indication of when Friedrich was born and the job of a logistician, which he probably learned at some point, but that's not who he is, just what his name is and what he does for a living. If logisticians were what Friedrich is, then he would no longer be Friedrich if he changed his job. If the name Friedrich made what it is, it would be there quite often. So the question remains: who am I? Or to the reader: Who are you? Now if we accept that the name or the profession is not really what we are, we will point to our body next. Most of the time we tap on the chest and say, "That's me." But is that true? Is our body really what we are? We say: "My leg / my hand / my head hurts." We say "mine" and not "me"! So who do we mean when we say "mine"? Obviously, this body belongs to someone, but who does it belong to? Answer now with "me of course", then please go up a few lines and start again with the question of who you are! By the way, make sure that you also say "my name" and "my profession". Again, the question arises: who is "mine"?

So you see, it is a very simple question that we have been asked many times and that we have answered many times, and suddenly we find that we do not really know how to answer this question. We know what belongs to us, but we cannot exactly define "us"! If you are now torn between interest in and rejection of this topic, it is quite normal. Your ME is being questioned and IT doesn't like it at all. It is most dear to HIM if you continue as before. But we know that the results of your work so far have not been really convincing, so it is time to question the ICH and make a few changes.

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How do you get started?

When we try to become aware of who we are, we have to know that we live in different worlds. On the one hand, there is the physical world with our body and everything that we can touch and see, such as our reflection, which we observe every morning, how it combs the hair and brushes the teeth, although we do not know exactly who we see there. Then there is the psychic world, our intellect, of which we know that it is there, but which we find it harder to grasp, let alone grasp. Since we as human beings tend to believe in what we can see and touch, we lack awareness of many things that are not physical, and this is precisely where the problem with the ICH lies. In addition, there is the spiritual world, which also plays a major role for many people.

Personally, I've found that most of what I am is intangible and visible, and yet it's there, as real as my hand, leg, or headache. To understand that, I first had to learn how our minds, brains and bodies work, and above all how all of these things work together and what a tremendous impact this interaction of mind, brain and body has on our lives. When I finally understood this, everything in my life changed in a way that I would not have thought possible before. I began to understand why certain things looked so simple and easy for certain people and why these people seemed to be able to do everything they had planned to do.

This text is not text written by a doctor or scientist. This text was written by a pragmatist who used the trial and error method to explore the world and wrote down his findings accordingly to help people in real life. The methods of the 95/5 formula listed here can be implemented by everyone of all ages, because that's what it's all about: implementation. Quotes, sayings and requests to do something already exist. I was specifically concerned with getting people to implement it, because that's what we usually fail to do. Of course, knowledge is an important ingredient, but what is the use of knowledge alone? Nothing.

Record promptings in writing

For example, I recommend that you arm yourself with a pen to collect interesting information - for your entire life. You will then sometimes have spontaneous ideas or a question that you want to investigate. But since the moment for our brain only lasts a maximum of three seconds and then a new moment begins, it often happens that things that were in your head a few seconds ago are gone. This is a shame, because often these ideas or questions are important messages that come from your subconscious, in which an infinite amount of information is stored.

If we keep these ideas, inspirations and questions briefly in writing, we can consciously deal with them again at a later date. I've written about a dozen notebooks like this in recent years. You can of course also do this with your smartphone or on a tablet. The exciting thing is: if you go through these notes days, weeks, or months later, you will come across things that will amaze you. "What a great idea!" Think as you read the memo and you can't even really remember that you had this idea. You will also find that certain questions or inspirations keep coming back, and with your notes you can now attach the appropriate meaning to these things.

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Use notebooks as an inner compass

For me, these notebooks are always a kind of inner compass. I can see what concerns me subconsciously and I can respond to it. The notes also show me how I have developed in recent years. Do not confuse the notebooks with a diary, which you can of course keep if you want. The notebook is supposed to be for the things in our head that keep popping up and then disappearing again. If we make a note of these, we can quickly see which of them have meaning for us.

I have had the positive experience that things that I want to change and implement in my life are much more likely to be done by me when I have written them in my notebook. In this way they are an invitation to myself that I can read again and again. Now I hope you enjoy implementing new ideas. And don't forget the notebook.


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