New Story

Do you have a bird?

When you think about what you do day in, day out: don't you sometimes wonder if you actually have a bird?

Many of us spend a large part of our waking hours in and with our jobs. Climbing the career ladder (vite, vite!), writing a success story, getting promoted, founding a company, increasing turnover, eliminating the competition, optimising ourselves and everything else, beating the competition, winning, hurray! Things like that. "Self-realisation" is what they call it.

There are plenty of great ubiquitous role models for this. The success stories of companies that have shot up from nowhere and against all odds shine brightly. The jobs/benefits/muscle stories, the believe-it-all-in-you! and live-your-dream! and I-always-wanted-to-be-there stories of ... hm ... yes: the wonderful stories of the most desirable state of all, self-actualisation, sound enticing. Maslow pyramid peak*, as you know. I guess that's it.

Why then, I wonder, do a rapidly growing number of people who self-actualise in this way wonder, in one of their all-too-rare quiet moments or during an overhectic flip on the hamster wheel, if they have a bird?

Quite simply: because they have a bird. But the wrong one.


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Do you have a real bird?

In a conversation with ZEITmagazin, Amanda Gorman (the inaugural poet at Joe Biden's inauguration) said something quite magical: "When I realise that a line no longer belongs to me, but to other people, then I know it's finished. Like a bird: I built the nest, it hatched with me, but now it flies out into the world on its own."

We should have birds like that, shouldn't we? For whom we build a nest from which they can fly to others. These birds fly beyond us, beyond our realised selves, into a great whole in which they nourish the history of all others. To have a bird like that, that's it!

We have such birds! Yes-yes!

Because what is true for artists is true for all of us: we are not there to realise ourselves, but to realise something that does not belong to us at all, but much more urgently wants to enter the world through us. That is what we are here for: interpreters, midwives, inspirers of ideas that come to us.

Every one of us has a bird somewhere that chirps in our ears. It is up to us to listen to this twitterer, to understand it, to accept it and to help it into life with all our abilities as best we can - to nurture it, to care for it and finally to release it into the wild. People also call this a call and a vocation.

Such calls resound in infinite variety and volume, shrill and timid, quiet and garish, in staccato or in pleasant singsong, just like the voices of the birds (which are just left).

By no means all of these songs are about our work, about our profession. Never ever! Many of the melodies are calls to social engagement, or sound as accompaniment to hobbies, to creative activity in any form. Some of these songs are simply about warm friendliness in encounters with other people, that is, about a real scarce commodity nowadays that wants to be brought to the people.

Do you hear something?

Calls are many, but one must also hear, understand and accept them. Or, as the infinite wisdom of the German hit described it through the pen of Günther Loose with the voice of Katja Ebstein to the melody of Günther Bruhn:

Many people ask

"What is to blame for this?

Why does happiness come

Not to me?"

Catching with life

Far too little in

At the same time, happiness

Already in front of the door

Miracles always happen

Today or tomorrow

Can they happen

Miracles always happen

When they meet you

You have to see them too.

You have to see it - or hear it. By the way, you can only hear well with your heart to borrow from the good old Little Prince.

Those of us who, in spite of everything, don't whistle at all, nibble too hard on the poisonous fruit of unlived life and then at some point probably ask themselves whether they can still hear a bird or whether tinnitus is already whistling burn-out.

Recently I heard that nowhere else is the rate of depression, burn-out, suicide, broken families and partnerships, or alcohol and drug addiction as high as among the so-called "successful people" - the careerists, powerlifters and coal miners. Why is that?

If we look closely, we realise that the truly successful shining lights we admire do not have a job and a career, but something much better: they have a task. Their success and their career are the result of the task they have recognised, accepted and fulfilled tirelessly. Their success and career are not the goal or even the cause. Although, by their very nature, these people would also all rather have a lot of success than none. Because ultimately this says: effective doing.

Giving up - the opposite of giving up.

This also answers the question of why people who have had every conceivable success (often including money and a career) still go on. They go on tour at the age of 80 like Paul McCartney or the Rolling Stones, they still work even though they would have made a living long ago like Steve Jobs, they carry on with optimism despite all the frustration like Jane Goodall. Quite simply, these people continue to fulfil their task, and this task fulfils them. How could one stop doing that? But only if you have a bird. But what a bird!

This brings to mind an interesting phenomenon that I practically always encounter in my work with companies, brands or teams. As soon as we start to work on their story and ask ourselves: "What is our task as a company, what are we here for, what did we actually start for, what is our purpose, our aim, our why - our story?", as soon as that starts, the next step is almost automatically that I work with the leaders and the members of the teams on their personal story, i.e. exactly on the questions posed above, only for themselves.

And quickly a painful-joyful amazement sets in, the flashes of realisation light up in the eyes, breath is taken in and breathed in, a miraculous transformation begins, a liberation, a catharsis.

People then nimbly scramble up the so-called Maslow pyramid via the self-actualisation peak* one storey higher and from there see the world, their world, with different eyes. In a new perspective, accompanied by the wondrous soundtrack of birdsong. What does that tell me?

Here's what's in it for you:

My personal bird unmistakably sings "New Story Academy" with the self-chosen mission: "We help others tell better stories better."

Among other things, I'm letting this bird fly with a brand new mentoring programme from the New Story Academy. If you want it to land with you, i.e. for me to accompany you as a mentor for a piece of your New Story, then this is possible from now on with very few places for advance mentees (first come first serve) and from autumn on a larger scale in "New Story Mentoring". For you personally, your team, your brand, your company - the principles work universally and hand in hand.

New Story Academy

I open my treasure boxes and work with you with my best top-level tools for orientation, perspective, purpose, focus: for transformation. Just as I do with international CEOs, companies and brands, with artists, authors, teams, founders, leaders, individuals. The laws behind it work universally - for everyone, but not for everyone. But only for people who have the courage and the will, who feel and recognise that there is something inside that needs to get out into the world: their New Story.

Together (in person or online) we will discover, among other things, your "Growth Circle", you will pull your "Sword Excalibur" out of the stone, and we will find out what business you and your company are really in. Spoiler: It's most likely not the one you think you're in. The sparrows are already whistling that your new story will not be about defeating, but about empowering.

You can find out more about how to make your new story strong and how to find it here. If you're interested, send me a direct message from there, or just reply to this newsletter right now for a chance to win one of the few pre-release places. All news comes to me personally, I promise.

My best offer ever.

Because many of your questions can probably be answered faster than you think, and because whoever helps quickly helps twice: From now on, my ever-popular PowerHour is back, my one-on-one mentoring with immediate effect for you.

In a power mentoring session (= 90 minutes) with me you get concrete, immediately applicable benefits through new clarity, orientation and focus for you personally and for your work. And as usual with me - instead of tedious talking around - with the powerful methods and targeted tools from my decades of proven practice and my special programmes: Hero Branding®, StoryThinking and PersonalBrandMagic. Because one thing counts more than ever, especially now, in our disturbing, confusing times: we need an inner story that makes us strong - as people, companies and society. You can find out more about this special offer here.

I would be honoured to mentor you a bit on your hero's journey, in the spirit of the Dalai Lama who told us, "The planet no longer needs successful people. The planet desperately needs peacemakers, healers, innovators, storytellers and lovers of all kinds."

Or, to quote my granny, old Story Dudette, as she sat in the apple tree with a magnificent multi-coloured feather boa wrapped around her wings, her familiar little song on her happy lips: "New Story. New Glory."

* Did you know that Maslow rebuilt his pyramid? Here's why and how.