How many things do you really need to be content and happy? (by Dr Lutz Ammerer)

Everyone is advised to think about at least once in lifetime – burnout can be a chance – what can I give up (what do I not need) and what do I really need to be content and happy? The shortest list possible, honestly answered and visualised in your mind´s eye. You will be astonished how short this list will be. Everyone´s list will be different, I am sure that there will be no Porsche on it nor a pretty villa or bling-bling. A terrible crisis can be of help as you will recognise how much unnecessary dead weight you were carrying along, how meaningless huge property and wealth are, but how important and essential love and peace are and some modest pleasures you do not want to resign. They can be very important, possibly essential for survival!


Lutz Ammerer and Jörg Demus

Stefan Zweig erred tragically when he retired to Petropolis to “have some peace and quiet”. He didn´t realise that his list was too short. He who was used to see Richard Strauss, Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Siegmund Freud, all the celebrities in art and science daily, was now alone, left in far reaches, in a little village two hours from Rio, thousands of kilometres from New York where other Jewish emigrants, artists and writers lived. He had no books with him, no library he would have needed for working, this was a fatal mistake that produced depression. Before he took his own life he wrote a touching letter of goodbye: “Compliments and wishes to all my friends! May they live to see Aurora after the long night! I, far too impatient, go ahead.” If Zweig would have made a two items longer list he possibly would have overcome his despair of barbarism in Europe.


How sad to hear when a multibillionaire like Apple founder Steve Jobs recognised only a few days before dying of cancer: “In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to. At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death … Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth … Should be something that is more important: Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days … Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions


*Photo details below

brought about by wealth. The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love. That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. Love can travel a thousand miles. Love has no limit … Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands … Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – “Life” … Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends … Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” With these words one of the wealthiest and most successful men in economic life concluded his life, maybe a burnout at the right time and the support of the right therapist would have helped him earlier to come to this realisation and to live a fulfilled and happier life.


“Where to can man fall if he is falling? He falls into the arms of God”, something like that were Karl Heinrich Waggerl´s words and there is a deep wisdom in you should adopt. Crisis like these where you have lost almost everything can make you to be able to look out calmly and serenely over your life and to realise in this onset a new chance.

*My model was Ilijana Dedova, BSc, who is working in the marketing department here. I am doing an interview with her for the blog next July.


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