Sunday, November 18, 2012


A few days back I ironed. The vacation laundry had arrived the last step before I could put it back into the wardrobe. Ironing doesn't need all my attention, so I switched on the TV to listen to the latest news. Conflicts and troubles are everywhere, I wanted to be informed what's going on on this globe. I switched the channels, CNN and n-tv come really late. I got stuck at "Frauentausch". It's a reality soap where 2 women live in the home of the other one for 10 days.

The one woman was very diligent and cleaned the entire day. While the other woman couldn't pick up herself to do much. Her husband wasn't able to do anything. He slept and hang around. The baby got pizza, because no food was at home.

Why do I write this?
I think it's a good question if someone does something very good to find out how she is doing it.

What was the diligent woman doing or thinking that allowed her to be so diligent?
What motivated her?

She had a mantra: NOW. 
In German we've 2 words for "now": "gleich" and "jetzt". Both means now, yet gleich allows a tiny bit of procrastination. "Jetzt" means everything else must be stopped and the task must be performed.
Perhaps one can translate "gleich" with "in a moment" and "jetzt" with "now" or "at once".
If you listen to the sound of the words you realize already from the sound alone that "jetzt" doesn't allow any discussion. It's short, to the point, the sound is almost aggressive.

When the husband returned from work, the woman told him: "Go have a shower."
He undressed and put his pullover on the washing machine.
She saw this and insulted him: "Put it in the laundry basket."
He: "Gleich (in a moment)."
She: "No, sofort (at once)."

This was her mantra: Now, at once.
I heard it all the time. Now, now, now.
With this thinking pattern she accomplished a lot. Perhaps I may say that this woman was rather a simple woman with not so a high education. It's not necessary to have a university degree to accomplish things.

Now is a formula. Everybody can use. One can think it or one can say it aloud. It works.

Of course there are other ways to motivate oneself. I know several tools. It was so nice to see how effective this one single tool worked for this woman. Now, she repeated, now.

Rules: Interesting also was that after 5 days the women were allowed to change the rules in the family. It made me laugh to see the reluctance of the family members. Not only for 5 days they liked to change the rules. The grandpa of the one family was cooperative. The others were not able to change anything in their behaviour.

I step on the mat for second series.

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