Which lives have been ruined by stuttering

I can not speak?!

This guest contribution comes from the pen of a very good colleague from the industry: Thomas Toperczer - the founder of Your Skills and the initiator of the Graz Flow Market. In his very personal story, he explains how he made it through very dark times of his life with mindfulness and the development of mental strength and how he now implements the solutions he has learned in his everyday life.

"Thomas, before you became a mental trainer, Obama and Putin would have been married!"

An old friend told me that when I met him for the first time in many years - and he was right! I would not really say of myself that I belong to the type of person who has dealt with mental training, mindfulness or personal development “on his own initiative”. But as is so often the case in life, A) it turns out differently and B) than you think!

Life is a constant development.

The only really constant in life is change. We plan our life, love, career, successes, happiness, our relationships or fulfillment. And yet it often turns out very differently than planned. Maybe it will actually turn out exactly as planned, but then it doesn't feel quite as good at the moment as we had imagined in our vision. Our mind tries to understand that and we think we have the knowledge of what works how why - or just doesn't work. And then suddenly we reach our limits in situations and realize: “Hey, wait a minute, I've been there before, I know that from somewhere, why did it come back like this? Is this coincidental or could it be that I am going round in circles? Is it me, the other person, or the situation, or maybe just the external circumstances? All-over-basta! From now on I will do everything differently! Today is the first day of my new life! "

Thoughts and resolutions like these are most likely known to all of us, and that's a good thing. We'll get into what this is all about at a later date.

Let's rewind briefly!

Almost 7 years ago, unfortunately and fortunately, I had a serious motorcycle accident. However, it was not this event alone that motivated me to deal with the topics of mental training, mindfulness and personality development, but in particular the following years, which were characterized by severe pain around the clock and great restrictions in my mobility. Since that day I have suffered from chronic pain. In my case, this means relatively severe back pain in combination with very little sleep. As of today's date, there are now 2,462 days non-stop.

And suddenly everything was different.

From the time of the accident, not only my physical condition changed significantly, but also my psychological and mental condition. The changes associated with the accident aroused (at first unconsciously) my interest in studying more closely the background to pain perception as well as methods and techniques for pain relief. 

I then started looking for answers intuitively and without really noticing it myself and found what I was looking for in the wide range of methods and approaches of mental training & mindfulness. It was almost as if I had to open an inconspicuous door and suddenly an infinitely large world was hidden behind it! A world full of knowledge, insights, sometimes also many confessions and lessons, but above all with many potential possibilities!

The U-turn

Personally, it feels like I've always dealt with these topics every day and of course I'm still a long way from the end. I won't get there either, because personal development is a journey with no concrete end. The place where we arrived doesn’t exist! For me it is much more of a path that I go because I find the journey itself exciting, because I am curious and adventurous and there is a lot for me to discover here and because it makes my life more interesting, meaningful and, above all, a lot makes you more fulfilled.

The path of small steps

One more thing should be mentioned very briefly - Those who hoped for the 5 tips for the path to success in this article will unfortunately be disappointed, because in my opinion they do not exist. There is no one size fits all key or piece of advice that applies to absolutely everyone. Just as the expectations, character traits and patterns of action of each individual are presented in an individual way, the approaches and expectations also differ. This individuality is also due to our subjective motives and unique life experiences. For this reason, in my opinion, it is difficult or almost impossible to determine generally applicable success strategies, concepts and principles.

"Small steps" are actually the magic words here. Because growth, progress or whatever you want to call it cannot be forced - it happens in its own time. That is why I consider it to be of the greatest advantage to approach the matter as relaxed and relaxed as possible and not to undertake too much or even to expect too much!

Knowledge versus competence

What's the difference? Knowledge defines the acquisition and understanding of information. The great thing about it is that, as is well known, we live in the information age. It has never been easier to acquire knowledge than it is today! On the subject of "knowledge", however, there is an important key fact that I would like to explain to you in detail at this point:

Imagine that you read all the books in the world that are devoted to the subject of piano playing. After that, you will definitely know the best approaches and techniques to hold your fingers for the optimal touch of the keys. You then also know exactly where to focus your gaze while playing, what kind of wood such a piano is made of and probably much more. But that doesn't mean you can play for a long time!

The saying “Practice makes perfect” is probably the most obvious here. And at this point the term “competence” is clearly differentiated from knowledge. In general, the guiding principle is that competencies only become manifest when knowledge is converted into concrete actions. From a psychological point of view, the word competence describes the ability to act creatively and self-organized, even in confusing and complex situations. It is only when you convert your existing knowledge into action and gain experience from which you then develop yourself further that we speak of competence.

If my own personal experience and the exchange with many like-minded people have shown me a common denominator, it is that we all already have a lot of knowledge but often forget to apply this knowledge in practice - i.e. in our lives.

When I started my conscious, personal development and recognized the enormous potential of this teaching or philosophy, the motivation almost killed me! Within a very short time I then "felt" absorbed all the available information. I had the feeling that I understood everything and I mistakenly assumed that everything in my life would automatically turn for the better from now on.

Puff cake!

The Dunning-Kruger Effect got me with its full broadside! I thought that I am now super-smart and that knowledge will automatically take me further. But the more I dealt with topics from psychology, mental training and personality development over the years, the more I became aware of how much I don't really know about it yet!

That is why I have made it my goal in my own actions and with my company "Your Skills" not only to impart knowledge but also to impart much more skills - that is, to get people into action. It is my philosophy to go the way in small but many steps. So basically to think big but start small. Take the first small steps, collect experiences, then reflect on them, possibly correct the direction a little, in order to then take the next small steps again. I also only do activities that interest me and give me fun and joy. Of course, mistakes are part of this principle and serve as a guide. Since I really understood this principle, I can sit back and finally enjoy the trip! This is my personal miracle weapon and it allows me to look at even the most negative events in my life from a certain emotional distance.

For me, this perspective means mental strength!

Even if it jerks every now and then, I would say that my life is in the "flow". In addition, things have happened since then that I didn't think possible before and that I can't really explain - such as writing this guest post for RealTalk but above all for you! If you had told me ten years ago that I was going to write such a text, I might have laughed at you. Because without my accident you would certainly not have read this text here. So it is not only the experiences that advance us in our development, but above all how we evaluate them and which personal competencies we can develop as a result!

I wish you all the best and many skills you have learned on your way!

your Thomas

PS: If you recognized yourself in this text and you would like to find out more about me or my projects, such as the “Grazer Flow Market”, then I cordially invite you to my online channels!