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Professor & Ultra Runner

If you don’t have anything to say, it’s better to pause, listen, and learn.

Have you ever been in meetings or attended discussions where the “loudest man” dominated the conversation?

I am sure you have encountered the loudest man. He is everywhere. Restaurants. Airports. Planes. Trains.

In the old “in-person” days, you had to be polite, nod, smile, and keep your head down. It was frustrating.

Why doesn’t anybody else notice that we are wasting our valuable time? Am I the only one in the room who is being driven to madness?

An advantage of the online world is that you can let your frustration run free and scream at the loudest man. …


The future of work is not the “office” or “home,” but…

Social media influencer? Tech entrepreneur? Professional gamer?

Probably, none of the above. Most of my students will still end up as an employee at a big company.

But will they be happy? What should companies do to attract and retain talent? It will all be about freedom and space.

My colleague said something interesting to me last week. She was making an observation about returning to the office:

“It feels weird to be so close to everyone. Being near so many other people.”

A settled sense of what it means to be close or distant is one of the many…


She is a true inspiration.

For as long as I have known her, my wife has owned and run a restaurant.

It’s one of those high-end places for fine dining. Fantastic location. Great atmosphere. Good food.

But it was time for change, a new adventure.

The Good Old Days

Running a restaurant is a lot of fun. Offering guests a memorable time is rewarding and energizing.

And whenever my wife and I are at parties, receptions, or other social events, the fact that she is running a restaurant always becomes the focal point of the conversation. The restaurant business appeals to the imagination of everyone.

Her restaurant soon became…


Leap into the future, don’t dwell on the past.

A. Eddie Murphy

B. Meghan Markle

C. Van Neistat

D. Taco Bell

Who is the odd one out?

Eddie Murphy

March 4, 2021. Amazon Prime released “Coming 2 America,” the sequel to the hugely popular movie from the eighties. It looked like a clear attempt to recapture past glories for a star whose fortunes have faded recently.

I watched the movie a few days after its release. I had no expectations. Normally, I would read the reviews before watching, but I decided not to. It isn’t hard to imagine what they would say. Do we really need another comedy sequel?

The truth…


The rise of the education metaverse.

My university organized an online event for prospective students last week, and some bright administrators thought “meet your professor” might attract more students.

The event used webinar software, so the participants could see me, but I couldn’t see them. The questions all came through chat.

Sat there with my face in a box on display to the “world,” I felt like an animal at the zoo — a caged representative for a product that I both depend on for my existence, yet don’t really believe in anymore.

And, like the zoos of my childhood, the universities are experiencing a similar…


We need a mirror to show us that we are on the wrong track.

Last night, I decided to take my raft on its maiden voyage. The journey started well — beautiful panoramic views and a genuine sense of adventure. But as the sun began to set, I became hungry and realized I had failed to bring sufficient supplies. I decided to go ashore for food in a dangerous area — the Black Forest. I moored my raft and built a hut to hide in until morning.

I didn’t expect five deadly “grey” dwarves to arrive and smash my raft. Far from home, huddled in my improvised accommodation, and surrounded by foes, there was…


3 quotes that help become a better teacher.

I was a lost cause.

At school, my teachers were convinced: I would never make it in the real world.

The reason: I didn’t take the required readings/literature seriously. Instead, I read comic books — lots of them. I loved the combination of illustrations and text.

It was, of course, also a huge problem that I preferred movies over books.

It got worse when I started to play videogames. The videogames had taken away the final drop of hope. There was no doubt that they would ruin any chance I still had left on a decent career.

True. I wasn’t…


Finding freedom is all that matters.

Are you tired of stories that help you to be successful?

I know I am.

I used to take such advice very seriously. I found it inspiring and believed it laid out a pathway for my own success.

So, I wanted to learn from the “best of the best.” I needed to know Elon Musk’s morning routine. It was important to read the books that Bill Gates recommended. I wanted to run like Killian Jornet — winner of some of the most challenging ultramarathons.

I was overly ambitious — continuously chasing dreams and trying to outperform others. It was all…


“Money” or “experience”? And the winner is…

“Do you want to be a teacher?”

It didn’t take long for me to answer the question.

I had several other job offers. The non-teaching jobs would have immediately resulted in six-figure salaries and other significant perks. Car. Representation allowance. Smartphone. Status.

But it isn’t all about the money.

I felt attracted to the teaching profession. I had given presentations to bigger audiences before, and I loved it — communicating a clear message and reading the crowd. I had talent. …


My experiment with “open-world” learning.

Student life is miserable these days.

The experience doesn’t come close to what was expected. And the number of complaints is increasing.

“I ‘sit’ in front of my computer, trying to stay awake during yet another crappy live stream of yet another boring class. The best thing is my own reflection on my laptop screen.”

“The pre-recorded videos are better — they give me more freedom and flexibility. But old-world education squeezed into a laptop is still a lousy substitute for on-campus life.”

“Student life is lonely these days. I feel I am ‘drifting into the arena of the unwell’”

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