Cheating backfires

When I was young, my parents told me to be honest. And they emphasised that this was unconditional, as it would only cause damage – which would turn out the worse for me than for others. But I rejected their advice as nonsense.

Yet I must admit that I wasn’t much of a role model for others. I lacked considerate behaviour: I was a secret smoker, I drank, and I stole things, the latter of which became a real addiction that only found an end, when I was caught shoplifting.

I felt ashamed, having been caught in the act.

Then and now

Looking back, reflecting my memories and sentiments, I feel that my behaviour was disastrous. Not only for those from whom I had stolen, but more so for myself and my own development. I can remember it like it was yesterday. It felt downright horrible to act with great caution, because my covert operations could be discovered at any time.

At home, I could never display my loot openly, risking my parents asking me about its origin. They would recognize new toys I had that were neither bought or given to me by them. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

So, I continued to maintain my fiddle-yard for stolen toys.

But it was even worse: My appreciation for those illegally begotten items was extremely low. I did not deserve them, and I knew it. For me this made a decisive distinction to things I got as a birthday present or that I had worked for.

Looking at this matter as an adult, I think it is even more dramatic. If I get hold of money I do not deserve, because I got it through cheating or I took it from a purse I found on the street, then there is the remorse during the action and on top of that when spending it. If I buy anything from the fraud money, the things I bought will always remind me of the feeling connected with the insincere way of obtaining it.

As a conclusion it is to say, that illegally gaining goods or money will not make you feel enriched. Rather, the quality of your life will suffer from bad feelings.

There again, if I worked for something, there will be a notion of success in it, it will moreover have a feel of deservedness to it. The more efforts I have to make, the greater the sacrifice for the endeavour, the more precious the reward will become and the more proud I will be.

The journey is the reward

As a rule, having things does not make for value. It is the work that comes before the reward. It is like getting a gold medal for chilling out. There is no deservedness in it.

But when I train hard, fighting and sacrificing myself to win that darn medal, this gold medal will be priceless.

If I earn money by cheating others, I will never appreciate the value of my undeserved income.

At the end of the day, I think that this insight is applicable to a small as well as a large scale. If I am into gaining quick and dirty money, it will always be of lesser value to me.

No matter what others think about, be it regarded as moral or immoral, of ll-gotten goods you cannot feel worthy. Period.

Because the whole thing is lacking true value, there is a danger of the means of acquisition to become addictive. You will have to compensate the dull feeling of undeservedness that lingers, hoping that the reward will yet come. You will do this by acquiring more things in the same illegal way. You are presumably going to increase your income and invest it in status symbols you can show off. But still this dullness persists. Nothing is deserved.

Money alone does not make you happy – I think there’s some truth in it.

It is not ultimately about money. It is about the amount of work someone puts into the things he does in order to reward himself with good things a man feels worthy of. Money only helps to counterweight the value of your work.

Career change vs. happiness

photographiert von Merle Piefel

Career change vs. happiness

In this article, I would like to lay out to you why I think that changing your job isn’t always a step towards happiness. Of course, my assumptions are not based on universal truths, and there will most likely be situations in which aqcuiring a new job makes sense.

There is, anyhow, a significant number of cases where it does not seem to lead to an improvement of the overall situation. On the contrary, there is evidence that it has a bad impact on your personal development and your satisfaction in life.

When we do not feel appreciated by our boss, there is a good chance that we will go through the same old patterns repeatedly after a short period of acclimatisation.

In my opinion it is a fact that issues of personal development lie underneath, if you re-encounter known conflicts with your new boss or colleagues. And they will linger just until you throw yourself at them and adjust your attitude towards reality and alter the impression you convey to your environment.

This, of course, requires committment to yourself and your issues. As we blame our boss or colleagues, mournfully complain about life and its hassle, we refuse to take responsability for ourselves.

Our current employment, which at first glance appears to be dull, actually serves as daily wake-up call to strive for more self-esteem, deeper commitment to ourselves and to adjusting our views and beliefs, defining more simplicity and fulfillment as superior aim in life. Not only does this improve our professional situation, but will be beneficial for your overall situation.

Retreat vs. attack

Changing your job in a situation as described above equals retreat. This will result in acquainting your old fellows in a new context sooner or later. Precious life time is wasted and your energy consumed by purposelessness. You plod on with a vague hope that everything will come out right, just until you realise you face the same old situation, albeit the faces you meet at work have changed.

Every time you consider a change because of dissatisfaction, you should analyse the true cause of your interest. You should assess your true motivations and your share in the conflict. The different types of potential developments that can be triggered through conflicts with others deserve several more specific and dedicated articles.


Problems with your boss can hint at an emotional problem with your parents. Most likely, you missed out on untieing the bonds with your father and your mother. Criticism uttered by the boss will subsequently be interpreted as pointing out personal deficiencies without regarding the rational cause for negative feedback. A task assigned by your boss will feel like being bossed around and inner rebellion against your employer will arise.

If problems at work are due to unresolved issues with your parents, there is more effect in sorting them out, rather than blaming and replacing the boss.

Neglecting responsibilities is a common issue, when emotional bonds, that is, with your parents, had not been released. So, we are still emotionally depending on the feedback from our parents on our decisions and on the things we do despite us having grown up. We still expect praise and appreciation of which we think we have never received or as a matter of fact never were given.

If we avoid doing things or do them secretly in fear of our parents’ reaction, or as their representation, the reaction of persons higher up in a hierarchy. The result will be completely different, once you do your homework: Once development is actively ort and you take the challenge. Then, it is possible that your boss becomes insecure. If then you seek new adventures, with a light heart, a change can result in improved satisfaction and an enriched life.

Self-confidence alone won’t do…

The awareness, the confidence and esteem concerning ourselves has a striking impact on to which extent we can lead a happy and fulfilled life.  Self-awareness is something you can acquire by learning. It is hinged on knowing yourself, being aware of your strength, your weakness and your skills. You can learn this by heart and thus give your subconsciousness access to it.

  1. Character traits

When we know about our character traits, we will be able to cope with all kinds of feedback much more easily, no matter if it is accurate or not.

We know ourselves and we know the truth about ourselves well enough to stay calm. If we do not know ourselves well enough, any external feedback will get hold of us, especially if it is negative.

For this reason I deem self-awareness to be crucial for a self-reliant, i. e. independent life. If external feedback is the only source to rely on, our life feels like a roller coaster ride and our personality is veiled. Other people will perceive various aspects of us, most often those with resonate within themselves.

As a result, by not knowing yourself well enough, and by relying exclusively on external feedback, your personality will be blowing in the wind. Your own well-being is depending on others, and you are going to feel really bad when someone criticizes you. In other words, you trade a lot of power to your environment, giving away the control over your own mental condition.

  1. Self-confidence

The second aspect for an independent, self-relying life is self-confidence.

Self-confidence cannot be acquired in any intellectual manner. For this, you will need try out new thing and learn by doing them in real life.

By overcoming your own constraints, making new experiences, your self-confidence will grow. Every time you scaled an obstacle, you will start to feel confident about challenging the next hurdle, and then the following and so on.

Even if you make a mistake on the way or really mess it up, still your confidence will grow. Bad experiences help, too, can help to strengthen your confidence, because most likely insecurity is stimulated by uncertainty. The more we actively try, the more knowledgeable and experienced we will become. Uncertainty diminshes in more and more fields which encourages our self-confidence to grow.

  1. Self-esteem

We are in control of the level of the self-esteem we have. It is a matter of your very own perception related to other people to whom we compare ourselves.

By doing so, we again cede the power of control to others, and our self-esteem will surge and fall rapidly, depending on the people around us.

As a rule, all people have the same value. If you compare yourself to someone else, you try to equal things that do not fit together. There is no-one who is a complete likeness of you. Every person has their own character traits, strengths, weaknesses. Their life took a totally different course than yours. So why should another person’s life count less than your own?

If self-awareness and self-confidence have been developed thoroughly, then you shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone but yourself. Who am I compared to yesterday or the myself a year ago. Who am I compared with the best version of my own that I can imagine?

As I refer to myself, I begin to realise that I am in a process of change and development. Ideally, I will confirm my self-esteem and its increase, ceasing to compare myself with others. As a result, my self-esteem becomes gradually independent of my environment.

The Principle of the Three Pillars

By strengthening these three personality aspects we can become sovereign and independent of other people’s feedback and confirmation.

We become more relaxed and are able to reach out to others more easily. We will be less hurt and thus have less urge to defend ourselves. We can accept criticism in a better way and assess whether there is a point in it or not without feeling insulted or unappreciated.

We can do things that are important to us – in a way we deem right, because we do not strive for accpetance and appreciation anymore. Others will automatically begin to praise and appreciate us, as soon as we cease fishing for it.

As a matter of fact, we become authentic and we do things, because we love doing them, and not because we are trying to gain appreciation for it. With this attitude you become highly charismatic, and besides the appreciation you have learned to find in yourself, you will receive the praise of others on top.



My comment on Flatliners

The feature film „Flatliners“ is about medical students in the USA who do some practical work in a hospital attached to their university.

One of the students wants to extend her expertise on pathology and thus labours on near-death experiences. She interrogates patients who have been reanimated about their detailed impressions during their mental absence.

In the course of the film, she decides to perform a self-experiment with the help of her fellow students.

While lying in a CT scanner, she induces a cardioplegia. After two minutes, her colleagues are to reanimate her.

After the experiment she possesses increased cognitive skills, so some of the other students also perform the experiment.

After a while, all of the four students become delirious, paranoid and suffer from hallucinations. In all cases, these episodes result from feelings of guilt. The students repent things they did in the past. While one of the students experiences an episode of hallucinations, she falls down an emergency stairway. Following this incident, the others closer investigate the case. In the course of their work, they discover a link between past events and consequently occurring pathologic issues. The key to escape this vicious vortex is to apologize for the faults from the past, to rectify or at least to accept them.

This was a brief outline of the plot.

And this is my two cents:

Our sense of indebtedness and remorse create our personal hell on earth. Literally right in your head. And you will run through your memories like through an endless loop, until you resolve your issues. The near-death experience is the trigger that focusses on the essence. When humans are facing death in real life, they begin to realise how irrelevant everyday problems can be. Even so, a sense begins to grow that in the face of death the fear of sincere repentance, not to be able to accept flaws and forgive them is downright ridiculous.

  • That is, to fight against the demons that have power over us by standing upright, facing our faults and forgiving ourselves. By doing so, one can release painful remorse, endless trains of thoughts and, ultimately, the „demons“ inside.
  • By not accepting flaws, forgiveness is in vain, no matter for us or for others. It is crucial, anyhow, to free yourself from the painful past in order to be at peace with yourself.
  • I suppose that we can find the most profound resources for a balanced life in the darkest nooks of our mind. I am mean just those that you neglect to clear out at times, well-knowing it’d be better.

To shed light on the dark spots, and to resolve them, can clear the way to celestial joy on earth. This insight is so precious to me that I would like to share it. I hope I can inspire others who are seeking a way to a more fulfilling life.