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This is my first blog.
Ever.

I’d like to ask you for patience and please celebrate my go-live with a virtual glass of wine…
You know… that red wine… With that mediterranean flavor of ocean and pine…
Mhmmm…

I will allow the keyboard the freedom to write about the three key-waves of my life and I’ll try to derive some lessons-learned.

You will find your comments already anticipated in square brackets [your comments] and you may jump to the key-take-aways in <angle brackets> whenever you wish.

[OK, so where is that bottle of wine?]

You may also  go directly to the end  or leave this blog using the BACK button of the browser, close the browser, shutdown your PC etc, but I ask you to give me a chance.

[Agreed: one chance]

Thanks.

[Enough intro]

Wave I

This blog and my life start in Spain, on the Canary Islands.

My mother, Spanish, my father, German.

[Humm, sounds like a kind of explosive mixture]

Yes, like Goethe said: “Zwei Seelen wohnen ach! in meiner Brust”

[What?]

“Two souls are living in my breast”

I grew up in Germany, like a normal German, but never lost the connection to my family and the love towards the small piece of earth, where I was born.

[Which “piece of earth”? Please, a bit more concrete]

“La Palma”, in the past called “Blessed Island” by sailors, is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

[Haha, a bit too subjective description, isn’t it?]

Since the Canary Islands are commonly known for their tourism and beaches, I’m posting a picture I took in one of those beautiful forests.

LaPalma.JPG

[Is the picture taken by you?]

Yes, like I said, with a simple camera (I’m not a professional).

[Are you sure?]

But that’s not the point

[So what IS the point?]

Just give me a second.

If you grow up within two cultures, languages, traditions, climates, etc, you develop a natural sense of interest for anything that sounds “foreign”.

Anything “different” is “interesting”.

If you grow up using 2 languages, you’re interested in learning a third and more.

If you realize that “normal” people (like your family) are completely different than other “normal” people (also like your family), you’ll easily admit that other completely different people are “normal” too.

[Even if not part of your huge family?]

Yes.

Moreover, you enjoy spending your time with other different “normals”.

[E.g. salsa-parties]

Amongst others.

You understand that the so-called diversity is not just a word, it is YOU.

[Amongst others?]

Exactly.

You perceive foreign traditions and ceremonies with a broader perspective understanding that they are important, especially because we’re living in a world where change has become fast.

Lessons learned:
Communication is not just transferring some pieces of information, it is talking to a human being; it requires respect and empathy; it is an essential part of our life; it makes our daily work more comfortable.
Moving one step ahead, working together with colleagues belonging to different cultures requires some effort, not to forget that you might have to change your typical way of communicating.

Some key-words:
<Diversity>
<Empathy>

<Tradition>

Wave II
In my first life, I was a musician. I studied piano, invested everything I had [musicians don’t have anything, do they?], well, I spent all my time and all my energy for my piano, won many prizes, etc. I loved Skrjabin, Brahms, Manuel de Falla, amongst others.
[Tell us something interesting]
Musicians are like a big family. Not only are your friends a part of this family, but also the friends of your friends, and also anybody you have met anywhere, and also anybody who has met anybody else, anywhere else…[OK OK, understood]
Musicians travel a lot, either for playing, for listening, learning, teaching, taking part in competitions, jury. Sometime in the past, if I had to travel somewhere, I’d asked my friend (she was cellist and had played in a lot of orchestras), who would scan her hundreds of pages (yes: paper. Remember that?) with names of members of orchestras, find somebody in that town, called them by phone … and I had a place to sleep.
[So being musician is about cost-saving trips, right?]
Har har…
Being musician means never having any spare time, no closing time, no week ends, no holidays. Although musicians travel a lot, usually there’s not enough time for sight-seeing.
Musicians don’t have many needs: have an instrument to play on, that’s enough. And heating in winter, because cold fingers cannot run as quickly as desired. No car needed (even the bike doesn’t have to be new), no money (for what?), etc
[Haven’t you forgot anything?]
Oh yes, sorry, there’s only one essential need: applause. Musicians need to play music on stage, music is their life and it is always live. During a concert, the person is transformed, the music which is produced is different during that time.
Being a musician means to be continuously searching for the truth [like a philosopher?], searching for the true interpretation of a composition, and continuously realizing that there are many truths.
[Sounds very volatile]
No, it isn’t. As long as an interpretation is profound and convinced, it is “true” – “true” for that interpreter and for that moment.
Music is about emotions [aha], analyzing the emotions of the composer [resp. design-time] and transferring them into own emotions [at runtime].
When musicians play together, that’s called “chamber music”

[kind of scrum-team?]

Similar. This is a wonderful experience, wonderful music, but during concerts, nobody knows that it might have been very hard and difficult to make it come true: because every musician has its own ideas and personality and his own truth – which might have led to many (necessary and fertile) discussions.
[Teamwork-soft-skills required?]
Absolutely!
Music needs time to get mature. I remember one example: once, when I was a school-kid, I asked my piano-teacher to let me play Beethoven opus 110

[Do you expect me to know that?]

(FYI: this is a piano-sonata, technically not very difficult, but one of Beethoven’s last compositions) My teacher, a wise man, told me that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to start studying this work, if I wish to be able to play it after 10 years. Frustrating answer, but I felt challenged and worked hard to play this sonata. 10 years later, I realized that I still wasn’t mature enough to play this composition…
But I learned that I need to be patient – and sometimes it is more important to realize how much we’re lacking.

More achievement lies in what we’re struggling for, than in what we’ve achieved.

Later during wave II, I focused on contemporary music. When I was a child, I dreamt about being composer, when I was a pianist, I dreamt about other composers writing music for me.
[You became lazy, hum..?]
And this (second) dream came true: around the year 2000, I founded an ensemble for contemporary music (6 members) and I regularly asked composers (from different countries) to write compositions for my ensemble.

[Arrrgh… modern art – who likes that???]

Nobody, but I can tell you, it is an incomparable feeling to receive the score of a piece of music which has never been heard before – to give birth to a work of art! 

[So why on earth did you stop being a musician?]
Because of wave III…

Lessons learned:
Art is essential for humans, opens our minds, gives energy, doesn’t have a prices, but cannot be valued high enough – even though there’s no ROI
Satisfaction with what we’re doing comes from the passion we provide for it.

Key take-aways:

<Creativity>

<Profundity>

<Restless>

<Passion>

<Dedication>

<Collaboration>

<Perfection>

<Education>

Wave III

It was like if somebody took my person – playfully driving around in a bumper car – and put it into a straight and fast running train, 12 years ago, when my child was born. An unexpected call of an unexpected human being, who told me: little papa, you’re going to change your life…

He didn’t ask me if I was prepared or if I wanted to.

He didn’t provide a workaround.

He just changed my life.

Without even being aware of it, I stopped any ambition of having a career – might have been due to the sheer lack of time, in the beginning, but also because the glow of joy in the eyes of a child gives more satisfaction than any golden shining medal.

I stopped driving fast on the highways.

I started deeply appreciating the music of the birds – which made my child smile…

I started re-prioritizing my life.

[Seems that this won’t find an end – gonna grab a cookie]

OK OK, turning back to this blog:
Children love to ask parents what they’re doing at work.
Accordingly, my child asked:
   Does it make fun to write software?
   Does anybody use your programs? 
   Does he like it?
Note: he never would ask questions like:
   Did you write quickly?
   Did you overachieve your KPIs?
   Did you use Web Dynpro?

And – by the way – I’d like to point your attention to the theory of education developed by Maria Montessori. Please google for it and read some of her wonderful books – you’ll love it.

Lessons learned:
Come down to ask the really important questions.
Future is not only the next step in career, but the life of our children and their children.
Learn responsibility.
To grow is not the sum of capabilities, it is the depth of responsibility.
To learn is not to sum up more skills, it is accepting higher challenges.

The key take-aways are:
<Tolerance>
<Responsibility>
<Sustainability>
<Devotion>

The end.
[Phew!…finally…]
We’re in the epilog section, comments are not allowed anymore…
[…]
Psst.

So, these were few of those words I wish to tell.
Please forgive me if I acted a bit too much like a schoolmaster – it wasn’t intended.
And please don’t get tired reading blogs, e.g. those of Blog It Forward – Safeer Mohiuddin who invited me, and Wayne Brown who will keep the Blog-It-Forward fire burning. 

[I’m tired and need one more bottle of that red wine…]

Nice try.

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15 Comments

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  1. Susan Keohan

    Wow.  Carlos, this is one excellent BIF Blog!  You have really gone deep down, and shown us the person inside – and he seems pretty great.  I like how you feel that Art is so important for us.  Perhaps you will enjoy the story of Slim (Seung Chan Lim) who recently gave a wonderful talk on Empathy at SAPTechEdLV.  I will share his site with you here

    I hope you enjoy it, and that we see more of your blogs here!

    Sue

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Roggan Post author

      Thanks so much, Sue, for your comment! Now that I know that I can reply to comments… 🙂 … I can tell you that I felt somehow nervous after posting my first blog… 😳 … and it was such a great relief and joy to read your comment…you cannot imagine;-)

      By the way, I’ve visited the site you recommended and indeed it is interesting and I liked it.

      cheers, Carlos

      (0) 
    1. Carlos Roggan Post author

      Mark, I’m glad that you read it and I’m glad that you liked it !

      I started trying to write a ‘normal’ blog, but it simply turned out to something ‘different’…

      (0) 
    1. Carlos Roggan Post author

      Hey Moshe, this is somehow your merit, because it has been you to start this BIF initiative…;-)

      It is REALLY amazing how your BIF-initiative has grown. Incredible.

      Thanks to you!

      Carlos

      (0) 
  2. Suseelan Hari

    Hi Carlos,

    Good Day!

    Thank you so much for sharing about you and your experience. It was very interesting and different to read you BIF. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing exceptional blog. Keep rocking and sharing new innovation and ideas. I love to read your blogs and happy to comment it.

    Have a nice day!

    Regards,

    Hari Suseelan

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Roggan Post author

      – in the meantime I’ve learned that I’m allowed to answer to comments – and say thank you…;-)

      So, Hari, I’d like to thank you so much, so much for your so encouraging comments!  I’m so happy to hear that there’s somebody in the world who not only takes the effort ot read my words, but even to comment it and even enjoys it…!

      (0) 
      1. Suseelan Hari

        Hi Carlos,

        I am completely satisfied with your blog and very interesting. Thats why I have commented.

        Motivate others it will motivate yourself. 🙂

        Regards,

        Hari Suseelan

        (0) 
  3. Aditya Varrier

    Super Carlos,

    you have created good impression with your first blog.

    Someone should write on Philosophy (impelling you to write one 🙂 )

    Liked the Music-Wave part, (sound waves), Music definitely gives Peace of Mind, Pumping your brain to become healthy 🙂

    Great blog.

    Cheers,

    Aditya V

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Roggan Post author

      Thanks, Aditya, will try to write something else in future – after getting your encouraging feedback 🙂

      And yes, music, or arts in general, have some healthy side-effects on our brains, apart from being the nutrition for human’s soul, if I may use this term…

      Wish you all the best, Aditya! Cheers 🙂

      (0) 
  4. Sudhir S.V

    Hi Carlos,

    Nice to know you 🙂

    Nice write up. For me most liking part of your blog is:

    Wave III

    It was like if somebody took my person – playfully driving around in a bumper car – and put it into a straight and fast running train, 12 years ago, when my child was born. An unexpected call of an unexpected human being, who told me: little papa, you’re going to change your life…

    He didn’t ask me if I was prepared or if I wanted to.

    He didn’t provide a workaround.

    He just changed my life.

    Without even being aware of it, I stopped any ambition of having a career – might have been due to the sheer lack of time, in the beginning, but also because the glow of joy in the eyes of a child gives more satisfaction than any golden shining medal.

    I stopped driving fast on the highways.

    I started deeply appreciating the music of the birds – which made my child smile…

    I started re-prioritizing my life.

    I can sense that feel in it….

    Regards

    Sudhir Sadhu

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Roggan Post author

      Thanks so much Sudhir!

      And I’m so glad that you liked this part most!

      Maybe you’ll remember it once you’ll have your own children…;-)

      Thanks again and all the best for you!

      Carlos

      (0) 
  5. Carlos Roggan Post author

    Hi,

    one comment from my side to all of you:

    I’ve just noticed that you’ve clicked exactly 1000 times on my BIF !!!

    Incredible…

    I would NEVER have imagined !!!!

    THANKS SO MUCH TO YOU !!!

    (0) 

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