“Always remember that where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be, from this moment on.” Hal Elrod

Hal Elrod, mental coach and author of the bestseller "Miracle Morning" 1 sums it up with this quote: Everyone can control what they make of themselves, how they feel and whether they achieve their goals. Where you are currently emotionally, professionally, socially and in all other areas is largely your own doing. No matter what the situation is at the moment, you can change it yourself from day to day and from moment to moment. The change can be big or small, happen in quick or slow steps, because with every second the rest of your life begins.

“But the circumstances in which I find myself have brought about others”
It may seem to you that others have it easier, and even if that is the case, you always have two options: accept your fate or face up to the circumstances and see which of them you can change through your own efforts. We have all had bad experiences. However, it is important that we see the benefit in each of them. Let's say you have been hurt and lied to, you can resolve to be honest and loving to those around you so that they do not have to go through the same experience. There are always two sides to a coin, and as long as you look at the good side, the glass is always half full instead of half empty.

The salutogenesis approach – health instead of illness
In the 1970s, Aaron Antonovsky developed the concept of salutogenesis 2 . This is based on human health. Salutogenesis is made up of salus (= integrity, healing, happiness) and genesis (origin). In contrast to conventional medicine, which assumes the patient's suffering (pathogenesis: pathos = suffering), this model focuses on being healthy.

Health pol GraphicstY0MxI4L8SCln

Disease pole

Antonovsky assumed that a person is never completely healthy, but also never completely ill, but rather is in a health-illness continuum throughout life (see picture). He came to this conclusion after examining the mental state of women in 1970 who were between 16 and 25 years old in 1939 and were in a Nazi concentration camp at the time. 51% of the women in the control group had no mental impairment.

In the test group of concentration camp survivors, the figure was 29%. A difference was to be expected, but what surprised Antonovsky was that 29% of the women who had to endure so much suffering were still physically and mentally healthy.

Stressors and individual resistance resources
Antonovsky concluded that individual health conditions (stressors and general resilience resources) vary widely. The same environmental conditions can cause different health conditions, depending on the resilience resources the individual brings with them. This is particularly evident in siblings who grow up under similar environmental conditions but develop different levels of personal stability in terms of physical and mental health.

Furthermore, Antonovsky's theory assumes a sense of coherence (SOC) that can influence the state of health. With this starting point, Antonovsky developed the coherence triangle, which consists of the three components of comprehensibility, feasibility and meaningfulness.


In this context, comprehensibility is understood as a subjective category of one's own world and general knowledge. Feasibility refers to a structure that one clings to and that is difficult to break away from when one receives suggestions for change. This problem is linked to the fact that one is torn out of one's comfort zone in order to make the change.

Significance or meaningfulness is directly related to this factor; if it is recognized that the change will have positive effects, then one is more willing to make it. Strengthening the three components is directly related to the resistance resources. This means that if the components are out of balance, the sense of coherence has a negative effect on the person's resistance resources.

How can you optimize your sense of coherence in real-life situations?
Let's say you want to stop smoking, and you understand that this would be beneficial for your health. The feasibility of doing it is a major hurdle in this context, as it is difficult to get out of the comfort zone of addiction. The change involves a lot of effort. Now the meaningfulness plays a central role; if you realize that you will actually feel better, no longer smell of smoke and no longer have a cough, you can make the change successfully.

The meaningfulness could also be reinforced by other negative or positive factors, such as a partner who refuses to smoke. All three factors must actually be strong enough for the change to be successful.

What is success?
Everyone should ask themselves this question, as the answer can be different for each individual. Pascal Voggenhuber, a mental coach from Switzerland, defines success in his work "Enjoy this life" 3 as follows: A successful person achieves what he sets out to do and pursues his calling instead of working. He likes to help others without feeling exploited.

For me personally, this idea of ​​success is also true, but I have added to it: find solutions and identify opportunities instead of dwelling on problems. Always develop further, because a successful person does not stand still when they succeed or fail at something.

If you are satisfied with yourself, you can give more to others. You can recognize a frustrated person by the fact that they are constantly looking for mistakes in others. If one partner in a relationship is constantly criticizing the other, blaming them and being jealous, then this is ultimately due to their own dissatisfaction. No self-sufficient person carries such negative emotions within themselves. You could also put it this way: "What Mara says about Ina says more about Mara than about Ina!"

How do you become happier? First of all, you should appreciate the things you have. This point will be discussed in more detail in the next section under the title Gratitude.
Dissatisfaction also often arises when you feel like you haven't accomplished everything you wanted to do. It helps to keep a to-do list and set priorities .

Questions like "what absolutely has to be done today and what can wait a day or more?" If at the end of the day you have only done six of ten things, but they were a high priority, you can safely postpone the remaining four until the next day. It is always important to ask yourself whether you have reached your full potential or whether you have done your best . As long as you can answer this question with a yes, it will be easier to be satisfied with yourself. Basically, you should always expect yourself to do your best!

Making mistakes does not mean failure

 “Every failure is a blessing in disguise if it teaches a much-needed lesson that we would not have learned without it. Most so-called failures are merely temporary setbacks.” – Napoleon Hill 6

Napoleon Hill, who wrote the classic "Think and Grow Rich" in 1937, discovered in the 20 years it took him to write the work that mistakes are useful. That is exactly how they should be viewed: as necessary components of a learning process. In science, many inventions have come about through coincidences and mistakes.

For example, the antibiotic penicillin was discovered in 1874 by the surgeon Theodor Billroth because he forgot a Petri dish containing dangerous germs before going on holiday. When he returned three weeks later, he found a mass overgrown with fungi (penicillins) - the dangerous bacteria could no longer be seen 8 . Of course, not every mistake can be linked to a scientific breakthrough, but there is always something to be learned from it.

The simple question "what can I do better next time to avoid repeating the mistake?" would already be useful. So you shouldn't spend too much time thinking about what went wrong, because it's in the past anyway and can't be changed. It's better to concentrate on the future and strive for the best possible result.

Napoleon Hill also wrote at the time that someone only becomes a failure when they admit defeat. Just because you experience short-term failures doesn't mean you're a failure.

In order to get the things you strive for, you must first be grateful for what you already have. No matter how much is not as you wish, you can always find something to appreciate. You can start with things that we often take for granted: a roof over our heads, enough to eat, a job, friends, family, health, clothing, mobility, freedom, self-determination, free time, learning new things...

The list could go on and on, and the more often you are aware of this, the less you complain about what you don't currently have (yet). Some mental coaches even assume that it is not possible to get more as long as you are not grateful for what you already have 5,6,7 .

Love and emotions
Besides food and sleep, there is hardly anything that is more important to us humans than love. Without interpersonal relationships and social contacts, we could not survive. Unconditional Love Feeling enriches us not only in a relationship.

When we learn to love ourselves and others, we can feel that this emotion creates energy, joy of life, imagination and creativity.
From a biological and evolutionary perspective, we feel this love most strongly for family members. Studies show that we would always offer help to close relatives without expecting anything in return. We should take this basic attitude to heart in other areas too.

Doing something for someone else usually gives us at least as much as it gives to the person we are supporting. The important thing is that we do it consciously and without expecting to get something material in return. However, it should be ensured that productive actions will always benefit us - even if not necessarily in physical form.

Only those who can give love can receive love; it doesn't work the other way round. So if you're constantly wondering why you're not loved, you should first start by loving yourself and then use this self-love to develop love for others. At the end of the day, this results in others giving love back to the person. But loving yourself shouldn't be confused with arrogance or conceit.

The Mastermind Principle
This principle is based on cooperation or, more precisely, on symbiosis. This idea also comes from Napoleon Hill 6 . Inspired by successful people such as Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison, Hill was convinced that an idea or project can be implemented much more successfully if you put together a mastermind group in which everyone contributes something.

Each member has a role and fulfils an important task. Everyone is dependent on one another and only by sharing their experiences, ideas and developments can something great emerge. Hill used a metaphor to illustrate how important it is to exchange information 7 : If two people each have a dollar and exchange it, then both still have exactly the same amount as before. However, if two people exchange their knowledge and experience, both end up with twice as much knowledge as before.

Enthusiasm and voluntarily doing more than is required
In order to be successful, satisfied and happy, you should also find out what inspires and fulfills you. Fortunately, in today's world it is possible to change industries even in later years if the job you once chose no longer suits you. It is important to find out what inspires you and to what extent you can connect this enthusiasm with a life purpose or perhaps with smaller goals at the beginning.

If every time you start the week you think: "I hate Mondays, please let it be the weekend again," then you are definitely in the wrong job. Your job should be fulfilling and inspire you with so much enthusiasm that you are happy to do more than what is asked of you. This is the only way to be successful in the long term. It may be possible to earn good money for thirty years doing a job that you can't stand, but it will not make you happy or content.

What goals do you have in life?
A large proportion of the population cannot answer this question with certainty. However, everyone should ask themselves and think about it. The best thing to do is to write down where you want to be in the short and long term for each area of ​​your life. It doesn't matter whether certain points remain empty or whether these goals keep changing. The important thing is that you always know why and for what purpose you do the things that take up your everyday life. You could divide the areas and their questions as follows:

  • Job/Career: What do I want to achieve? In 6 months, one year, five years or ten years?
  • Partnership: Do I want a steady relationship? How do I imagine a good relationship? Do I want to have children, get married? Would I rather be independent and free?
  • Social contacts: Who do I want to spend my time with? Which people are good for me and support me? What do I do to maintain these relationships?
  • Health & Wellbeing: What is health for me? What do I do to feel good and healthy? Do I have sporting, physical and health goals? What are they? How do I achieve these goals and do I need expert support?
  • Fun and joy: What is good for me? What relaxes me? How can I switch off and how often do I need these moments? When do I incorporate them?

In practice: Daily routines as a foundation Routine is what determines our everyday life. Both bad and good Habits determine our lives if we do not actively control them. It is therefore important to plan your everyday life consciously and to introduce routines that can make many things easier in the long term. (read here why habits simplify our everyday life)

A successful day should not start with hitting the snooze button five times. If that is necessary, you either need to optimize your biorhythm or sleep, go to bed earlier, change jobs or look for other causes that trigger this listlessness. Get up immediately and look forward to what awaits you that day; that is the right start!

Mental training diary
Keeping a gratitude journal has many advantages: Writing always has a greater effect than thinking, you can look back after a while and see what developmental steps you have taken and also bring structure into your life. The following points could occur daily - which does not mean that you cannot add to or change them:

  • I am grateful that/ for…
    E.g. my apartment, my friends, good food, deep sleep, sunshine… etc.
  • Today’s goals/What do I do to make my day and that of those around me good?
    E.g. doing something for someone else without expecting anything in return / being particularly kind to a person I often get annoyed with (you're surprised what effect this can have on both sides) / saying only good things about other people (that's not so easy, you catch yourself doing it every now and then) / completing three priorities on my to-do list... etc.
  • What am I good at? What are my strengths?
    E.g. explaining things to others, I am a specialist in job XY… etc.

After these few minutes of writing, it would be a good idea to do a little exercise: yoga, stretching or a quick walk around the block with the dog are good options. Afterwards, you could take a little time to meditate or do a breathing exercise. Anyone who finds this too much to start with should perhaps set aside a few minutes to write in their diary. This alone makes a big difference and offers a focused and stress-free start to the day if you consciously get up five to ten minutes earlier.

Finally, a quote from Napoleon Hill that we should keep in mind, because it is never too late:

«Love the life you have and at the same time create the life of your dreams!»

Recommended audiobooks/ books for personal development:
- Hal Elrod: Miracle Morning
- Carol Dweck: Mindset
- Napoleon Hill: Think and Grow Rich
- Napoleon Hill: Believe in yourself and grow rich
- Pierre Franckhe: Successful Wishes
- Alexander Janzer: Manifesting with the Law of Attraction
- Byrne, Rhonda: The Secret
- Charles F. Haanel: The master key system
- Ullrich Strunz: Strategies of self-healing
- Pascal Voggenhuber: Enjoy this life
- Tony Robbins: Power Principle
- Dr. Dome Vlog:

1 Elrod, Hal (2016): Miracle Morning – the hour that changes everything. Bavaria: Irisiana Verlag.
2 Methfessel, Barbara (2007): Salutogenesis – a model that challenges us to rethink. Part 1. Heidelberg: Heidelberg University of Education. In: Nutrition Review (12/07).
3 Voggenhuber, Pascal (2017): Enjoy this life – How to develop your full potential. Bavaria: Allegria Verlag.
4 Dwek, Carol S. (2010): Boosting achievement with messages that motivate. In: Education Canada (pp. 6-10).
5 Byrne, Rhonda (2007): The Secret. Munich: Arkana Verlag.
6 Hill, Napoleon (1937): Think and Grow Rich. Munich: Finanz Buch Verlag FBV.
7 Hill, Napoleon (2011): Believe in yourself and grow rich.Unterrohrbach: Deltus Media Verlag.
8 Kern, Ernst (1991): Real and supposed progress in surgery. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 9 1991, pp. 417–429; here: p. 418

Ines Schulz
Ines Maria Schulz, born on December 1st, 1992 in Basel, Switzerland, also completed her Master of Education in Biology and WAH there, laying the foundation for understanding physiology and anatomy as well as nutrition. She is also a trained primary school sports teacher. For two years she has been a coach at MTM Personal Training, the most successful personal training studio in Berlin. There she supports customers every day who want to exploit their maximum potential in terms of mental and physical health and performance. In cooperation with doctors such as Dr. Dominik Nischwitz and a laboratory for intestinal health as well as constant exchange within the team, she can give her customers optimal advice on training, nutrition, micronutrients and lifestyle. She has already written a breakfast book and a large part of a lifestyle booklet for MTM. She also writes the weekly newsletter, which publishes nutritional tips and recipes she has created. Ines has completed seminars and certificates with various successful coaches and specialists and is constantly expanding her skills. The young trainer has been writing blog articles for Supz Nutrition since January 2019.

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