Should I Follow a Guru?

“So, who’s your guru?” she suddenly asked. I admit, I was a little stunned and didn’t know how to respond. Did she mean the one writer I look up to as my idol? One, whose every word I follow because I want to be like her/him?

There isn’t one. Should there be one?

I follow many successful writers, and they take turns in popularity with me. There are so many excellent, successful writers out there who love to share what they know, and I feel I’d miss out if I limit myself to one or even a few.

Maybe it’s an old habit of mine to always spread myself out too thin. I want it all, a bit of everything at once, rather than one thing at a time.

But, here’s the thing about all these amazing, knowledgeable, and experienced writers:

  • They all know something I don’t.
  • Each one has something unique to offer.
  • No one knows everything.
  • Each one has great ideas, but no one is always right.
  • They all keep continually learning.
  • What’s right for one scenario may be wrong for another.

I actually think the trick is to be open to all their wisdom and pick out what’s right for me at the time that it’s right for me. The best people to learn from are the ones who’ve succeeded in something I’m struggling with.

How Sweet the Comfort-Zone!

The real challenge is not to listen to the advice that sounds the sweetest and that keeps you in your comfort zone, but the guidance that leads to success.

When you admire someone, after a while, anything they tell you will sound sweet and smart. But that isn’t necessarily what you need to hear. It has become comfortable, and it has worked so far. You think. Or, if not, maybe it will this time.

But you’re not going to find your own success if all you do is keep follow someone else’s path on the way there. Eventually, you need to walk your own path to bring the best out of yourself. And that’ll be a lot easier if you’ve learned different approaches, and tried different ways.

I’ll go even further and say that some of the most important lessons are learned when you decide to follow someone you don’t like or who does things in ways you don’t like.

Follow What You Need, Not What You Like

I had a colleague once, a rival, and I … well, disliked her. She didn’t work half as hard and organized as me. Instead, she talked a lot, socializing all the time.

But guess what? She was successful. She moved up while I remained where I was. There was no way I could make my superiors see my excellent work. She had better relationships.

It made me bitter. But I also started watching her. How did she do it? I observed how she built useful connections, nurtured them, and used them when she could. I noted how she made sure the right people were aware of her accomplishments.

It was even more bitter to realize that what I resented about her was what made her more successful than me. To me, she was a kiss-ass. The painful part was that no one cared, as long as she presented results. Eventually, I had to admit that there was logic to that.

Now I had to decide: did I want to remain self-righteous, or did I want to succeed?

If I wanted to succeed, I had to stop trying to be the hardest working person in the office, accomplishing my tasks perfectly and quietly without showing off. I needed to shift my energies away from the actual work towards socializing with people. I needed to work less to accomplish more – how weird! (I was very young ;))

I felt phony, like I attempted to use people. Everybody liked me, wasn’t that enough? It felt wrong to chat rather than work – until I started seeing results. Then, building relationships became part of doing my job.

The True Lesson

Don’t learn from the people you like, but from those who have the knowledge or skills you need. I didn’t like my rival and what she did seemed wrong. But she had skills I lacked. Because I lacked them, I wasn’t even able to acknowledge the value of her skills but tried even harder to do things my way. It worked like quicksand: the more you struggle, the deeper you dig yourself in.

When you’re stuck, try looking towards the people who do the opposite of what you believe. It’s time to start considering ideas you never approved of and listen to people you never liked. Open your mind to ideas and concepts you’ve always dismissed. Maybe that’s the reason you’re not progressing.

Everybody has something to offer. Dare to open your eyes to what that may be. You may not like it, but it can be the solution you are looking for.

And you never know, you may end up feeling great about it. Sometimes you only realize what suits you after you’ve tried it. If you only bought clothes that look great on the hanger, you’d never find the perfect outfit.

And the Answer Is

I think I just gave myself the answer: No, I don’t need a guru. A mentor, yes, teachers, yes. But I don’t believe in following the same smart person all the time.

At some point, something they do or say will not be right for you anymore. Then it’s time to move on. That’s how you discover your uniqueness.

Originally posted on my website RuthWriter.

Little Things that Make Life Simple

This is a story about customer service in the digital age.

Here’s the issue: I have a charge on my credit card, which I don’t understand. I want a simple explanation.

Weiterlesen Little Things that Make Life Simple

Frohe Weihnachten aus Israel

Weihnachten am Strand von Tel Aviv. Diese Weihnachtsmännchen und -frauchen brauchen keine Masken, der Bart bereitet genügend Schutz.

Wie Ihr seht, lässt der Winter auf sich warten. Vielleicht hofft auch er, dass das kommende Jahr gesünder wird.

Aber 2020 brachte für Israel auch positive Entwicklungen. Normalisierungsvereinbarungen mit vier arabischen Staaten – die Arabischen Emirate, Sudan, Bahrain, Marokko – das hätte vor einem Jahr niemand erwartet.

Derweil in Deutschland:

(auf Facebook gefunden – ein bisschen Spaß muss sein).

Frohe Weihnachten also, und einen gesunden Rutsch in ein gesundes, neues Jahr!

Jerusalem Taxi

Ich bin Jüdin.
Der Fahrer ist Araber.

Auf der Fahrt nach Hause ist der Himmel ein wirbelndes Wunder aus Schatten und Licht. Die Steine Jerusalems leuchten wie Perlmutt. Ich bitte ihn einen Umweg zu machen, damit ich ein Bild von der Stadt machen kann – der Heiligen Stadt. Die Stadt, die wir so lieben, dass es uns manchmal verrückt macht und uns gegeneinander aufhetzt.

Er macht den Umweg und als wir zum Aussichtspunkt auf dem Ölberg kommen, leuchtet sein Gesicht auf. Er steigt aus dem Auto. Während die Sonne hinter der Stadt untergeht, machen wir beide minutenlang Fotos.

Er macht sogar ein Videochat mit seiner Frau, damit auch sie es sehen kann.

Als wir bei mir zu Hause ankommen, zucke ich mein Portemonnaie, um zu bezahlen. Er nimmt mein Geld nicht an. Diese Fahrt sei kostenfrei, sagt er.

Diese kleine Geschichte habe ich gestern auf Facebook in einer Gruppe namens Taxi Driver Stories gefunden.

Hier der Link zum Original

Fleischalternativen gewünscht? Schaut nach Israel!

Warum ist Laborfleisch gerade jetzt so beliebt und wie kommt es, dass globale Lebensmittelkonzerne ausgerechnet in israelische Entwicklungen investieren?

Diese Fragen habe ich in meinem jüngsten Artikel im Israel Magazin Re:Levant untersucht.

Lese meinen Artikel hier:

Multi-Kulti am Strand von Tel Aviv

An den Stränden von Israel sieht man oft interessante Bilder. Vor vier Jahren erzählte ich hier in ‚Burkini und Schwimmflügel‘ über einen kleinen Strand, etwas außerhalb von Eilat.

Kürzlich beschrieb der Fotograph Dan Lazar die Vielfalt des Charles Core Strandes südlich von Tel Aviv in dem kurzen Artikel ‚Stadt-Oase‘.

Weiterlesen Multi-Kulti am Strand von Tel Aviv

Wie ist das Hundeleben in Israel?

Wußtet Ihr, daß Israelis große Hundeliebhaber sind?

Es soll in Israel mehr Hunde geben als in Österreich oder in der Schweiz.

Tel-Aviv soll laut Statistiken die Stadt mit den meisten Hunden in der Welt sein. Und sie haben sogar ein recht gutes Leben.

Sogar in unserem kleinen Ort gibt es zwei Hundeparks, wie den im Bild.

Hier noch einige interessante Fakten zum israelischen „Hundeleben“

What I Learned About Medical Marketing Writing 2

„We need more compassion in our writing,“ said Dr. Shuldiner, low vision optometrist and founder of the IALVS (International Academy of Low Vision Specialists). „Our texts are too cold and theoretical; there’s not enough empathy in them!“

I listened as he explained how most patients arrive at his practice only after having been told they are going blind, and there’s nothing that can be done.

So, here I was. I had researched the medical conditions leading to low vision for the past two weeks but suddenly felt that it was all for nothing.

How do I address readers who have just been told they’re going blind? What do I tell them?

That’s when I began to understand what it means to write medical marketing content.

Read my second article about the challenges of writing marketing content for doctors.

Schon mal was von Bee-Tech gehört?

Auch in der Landwirtschaft hat Hightech festen Fuß gefasst. Immer neue Innovationen sollen – und müssen – die Erträge verbessern und die Arbeit vereinfachen.

Letzte Woche hatte ich die Möglichkeit einen Gastbeitrag auf Re:Levant, einem deutschsprachigen Israel Magazin zu veröffentlichen. Das Thema konnte ich mir selbst aussuchen.

Der Artikel stellt sieben israelische Bee-Tech Firmen vor, die sich zum Ziel gesetzt haben, das Problem des Bienensterbens zu lösen. Dabei gehen sie die Sache von vollkommen verschiedenen Richtungen an, die alle interessant und erfolgversprechend sind.

Hier könnt Ihr meinen Artikel lesen.

What I learned about medical marketing writing

How do you promote a service that’s necessary, but people never want to need? Like cataract surgery.

Out of the many industries in which I’ve worked, writing medical marketing content for doctors was the most challenging and also the most rewarding.

Creating communication that will bridge the gaps between the practitioner’s world and the patient’s world can be fiercely complex.

The reasons may not be what you think.

Read now on my professional blog.