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  • My Personal Blog

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

    Walking the path of duality: Balancing yourself is a journey

    I am now on my third week trying to find balance again and it's a slow process. This is because in order for me to find balance I need time alone and that is very hard to come by these days. It also require you to understand what you need, which is something that comes from experience and understanding yourself. For many this is very hard as we live in a world where being introvert is looked down upon, even if it is in all of us.
    I am fortunate that I was born and raised in a way that makes me more independent than most. My self esteem is pretty high and I have little to no interest in impressing others or the need to conform to the ways of others. This is not how most people feel and I see and hear people all the time struggling with the need to fit in with the need to find balance in life.
    That balance is hard to come by as we live in a society designed by the rules of the extrovert. Our social behavior is very much based on extrovert activities and behavior related to introvert activities are not always socially acceptable. Just consider how you would react if someone you know and care for would decline a party invite from you because they feel the need to be alone instead. You most likely find that unusual at best and offensive at worst.
    The thing is however that being introvert or extrovert is not a binary thing. Everyone have both sides in them, they are just more or less dominant. You should also understand that extrovert behavior is not always the true nature of different individuals. In some cases it is used to avoid dealing with emotional issues. Others use the good old fake it until you make it even if they are by nature more attuned to the introvert side.
    Once you realize that you have two sides in you things get less complicated. This usually comes with age as you become less focused on being liked by others. This allow you to let yourself be socially awkward and by doing so allowing yourself to find a balance in life. In fact most people that claim to have found balance or enlightenment do so in some form of solitude.
    In a world where we are constantly being bombarded through our computers and phones it becomes increasingly difficult to find serenity. This is why noise cancelling headphones are pretty much everywhere as we try to find moments to be alone even among others. Others turn to walking or running as a way to clear their minds. If you look around you there will be many signs of people finding ways to be alone even if they do not even realize that this is what they are doing.
    Once you get drained of energy this constant bombardment make recovery harder. If you are drained of energy every "must" becomes an anvil that continue to drag you down into the darkness below. It can be as simple as a mail that you need to respond to or a request from your significant other to take out the trash. Even the simplest things can seem unmanageable until you get some of that energy back.
    For me this means that I need to turn off the world around me. I watch movies or read a book. The most important aspect is that if I feel even the slightest issue with something, I will not do it. This may seem egotistical, but it is necessary for you to get that first energy boost back. Spending energy you do not have is a sure way to burn yourself out and the road back from that is a very long one indeed. So if your energy is very low, then you need to be a bit egotistical.
    Finding that balance in life where you can be extrovert for work, but still have enough time to be introvert is very important for your health. If you do not have the option to be introvert at home, then make room for it at work. Have meeting free days or schedule time for focused work to make spaces in your day where you can be introvert. Take walks or go to the gym alone. Go swimming or any activity that allow you some alone time. Find that breathing hole in your daily routine and you can find balance even in hectic lives.
    Also remember that even if you are mostly introvert you will get energy from social interactions. You just need to find the type of interaction that works for you. For me helping others or learning new things are things that give me energy. Things that stimulate my prefrontal cortex are positive things, while things that does not stimulate that are of my brain cost energy. This is why encounters where meaningful conversations are limited, such as parties or where repeat conversations on topics I find uninteresting, are activities I try to avoid or reduce.
    I know many introverts who struggle with a situation where you do not want to be alone, but you also struggle with small talk as it cost energy. For you I just want you to know that it is not an uncommon combination and it's absolutely fine to not be the center of attention all the time. Just listening and not engaging all the time is perfectly ok. If you feel awkward, then use the good old question trick where you let others talk and you just add a question here and there to get them going if they stop. Most extroverts love to talk as it give them energy, so engaging them through questions will save you energy and give them energy, which is a win-win for everyone.
    Finding social gatherings that you find interesting will give you energy as well. Meaningful, deep conversation that engage you in a positive way can make wonders for your energy levels. Finding out what those are however can be a bit tricky. For me I can talk about psychology or games for days. For you it can be about cars, cosplay or politics for example. Anything that peak your interest is something that probably will continuously give you energy.
    So the trick is to find out what social activities give you energy and which ones that cost energy. Once you have that nailed down, then you can start finding that balance between the two.
    Now I am going to go back to filling up my energy levels and I will do so by shutting down this computer and do the dishes before I settle down for a good read. I might take a walk in this wonderful sunlight as well before I have to drain some energy be going to the dentist.
    I hope you have a great, and balanced, day.

    Taking vacation to recharge

    I have been closing myself off from the world a bit lately. This is because my energy levels are very low and I need some time to recover properly. This is a little more severe than the normal recovery times and it's because of work related stress.
    As you probably have read in my article about stress related illness I am no stranger to this type of situations. This means I am pretty good at seeing the symptoms and can react to them in good time. This prevent any major events normally, but this year I failed to act in time and now I have to pay the price. A price that means taking time off and focus on breathing for a while.
     The assignment I was in in the beginning of this year took a big toll on my well being. There was a lot of things happening at the company and communication suffered because of it. This caused a lot of confusion and uncertainty and it caused damage not just to me, but others as well. It became so bad that I was actually going to ask to be released the same day my assignment was cancelled. Despite that my assignment was over I felt that my last few weeks was chaotic to the point where I had to call in my boss to help me survive.
    This was not something that was done out of malice or out of incompetence, it just came as a product of the changes happening internally. People just started running so fast that communication suffered from it. I blame no one at the company for what happened, just myself for allowing another 6 month to be added to my contract at Christmas as I could clearly see the issues piling up at that time.
    The last assignment I had just recently also came with a great deal of stress. Again it boil down to communication and a project plan that looked good on paper, but caused stress on me due to its setup. Fortunately I had two amazing team members that did everything they could to ease the stress, but as I was still fragile from the previous assignment this was pretty bad for me.
    Both of these assignments are great assignments and I do not regret doing them in the slightest. I just feel stupid that I did not realize the toll it took on my health so I could handle it properly. This is why I am now taking two weeks off from everything to just replenish my energy levels. I am also looking into ways to track my situation more closely because I see a trend forming that I loose a bit to much energy lately.
    I am not in any danger of getting burned out at the moment, but that is because I react to the situation before it becomes a real problem. This includes cancelling a great trip to Croatia with the company and taking time out from other activities to focus on "boring" things to let my mind catch up.
    I will most likely write more here as writing relaxes my mind as I let the thoughts come out and manifest instead of running in my mind. It's a good way for me to make order out of chaos, so bare with me.

    How do I present myself?

    One of the more difficult parts of building this site is to figure out how to present myself. As a person that have many areas of expertise it is a bit difficult to present myself in a particular role. Due to this I will try to make a slightly different presentation of myself here by adding a database of professional roles as well as separate sections about me.
    The Roles part is a way for me, not just to present myself in my different roles, but also what skills I have in each role, what my take on the role is and how I work with other roles. In short each role will be like a mini CV of sorts. Of course I will also link to projects I have done in that capacity.
    Things like labels connected to that role so you can find other topics to explore will be there of course. Skills, education and products I work with will all bin those roles. Articles I have written about that particular role will probably be added as well and so on. Each role should be pretty much a good presentation of me in that capacity.
    My education will be just a long lost of education I have participated in. My Swedish blog is just a re-posting on my old Swedish site, which is thousands of posts that will slowly be added to the site. I will add a section about my passion for helping others through my own network. This I will tie into the events calendar and the sections for announcing jobs and finding jobs.
    It will be a bit different than I think most people present themselves, but I think it can be fun to try!

    Another young life ends prematurely

    I just learned that one of my brother's closest friends decided to end his life last weekend. This comes barely a month after another of his closest friends was buried for the same reason. Suicide is a terrible thing, not just because of the loss of a life, but also due to the impact it has on those that are close. The feeling of guilt and the pain of going through all the ways you could have prevented the tragedy in your mind.
    When I heard that Stefan was no longer alive it really affected me. Even if I have not seen him for a very long time. He was someone I knew from when he was just a baby and I watched him grow up along side my brother. He was a little rascal and somewhat of a strange mix between an angel and a bad boy. Just like my brother was.
    When I last met him, which was at my brothers funeral, he looked a bit lost. Almost like he was caught between the tough exterior he wore and the soft, sensitive and kind heart he had on the inside. A bit lost also due to the fact that my brother had passed away and a shoulder to lean on was no longer there. I can only assume the impact the death of Joakim in late June had on Stefan.
    Walking through life is always a struggle, but for Stefan, Joakim and my brother David this seemed to be extra difficult. Maybe they were to sensitive to the pain around them or maybe they just never felt that they found their place in this world. In the end darkness found them when they were most vulnerable and left those that loved them to mourn their passing. Each in their own way and all to early.
    Stefan, Joakim and my brother are not the only souls that have left us to soon. Death are all around us and the signs of young people feeling lost, forsaken and betrayed seem to increase by the day. Some blame the digital revolution, some blame a decline of security in our society and some blame drugs and alcohol.
    I do not know what the cause is, but I know that if we do not start to act, then more young people will end their life prematurely...

    First ever Crown of Sorrows raid was a blast!

    Last night I participated in a clan organized raid for the Crown of Sorrows raid. Half the team had done it before and half had never done it, just like me. It was not the easiest thing to get through, but we eventually did it and could enjoy our first ever clear of this beast of an encounter.
    Let's just say that I am not much of a raider. I have done a few, but I am not very good at them and they are usually to complicated or stressful for me to really enjoy. That said we have the best clan members in the world with raid guides that are borderline gods. Period. This makes the raids not just possible to do, but they are actually fun to do with such a great team.
    The first encounter
    The first encounter was pretty straight forward and I teamed up with Fearoc to clear the left side. Poor LordVektor had some technical issues so he had to leave his spot. We did this encounter a few times before we got the hang of it, but of all the encounters this was not that hard. There are a few elements that can cause problems, but overall it's an easy encounter for sure.
    The Jumping puzzle
    Actually fell down in this part. Twice. Got a bit crowded on the pillars and I missed that the pillars collapse after a while. Still this was the easiest part of the raid. Just shoot the crystals and make sure you team up to have two people for the shielded ones with different buffs.
    Gahlran's Deception
    Now this was an annoying part with far to many complexities with rotating buffs and who has what buff when and so on. We did this several times, not because the encounter itself is hard, but because of the complexity and the confusion on what to do when. With some co-ordination this should not be an issue, but it was annoyingly confusing this time around.
    Defeating Gahlran
    The last encounter was the worst of them all I think. We did this so many times that I did not think we would ever make it. The mechanics are not that difficult as it's pretty much the same as the one before. Kill ads, switch buffs, punch the shielded deception and then shoot the glowing hands. Rinse and repeat and then kill the big boss. Easy, peasy...except it's not when you are already tired and stressed. In the end though we made it and could enjoy the spoils of war. I did not get the Tarrabah on my first run, which was probably a good thing since I would probably be kicked out of the clan if I had that much luck 😉
    This was an intense run that lasted for many hours. Stress was high, but despite what must have been a huge frustration for our guides gta85 and Vahlen they never complained. Not a single harsh word, nothing but encouragement and clarifications on how to do the encounters. Even us newbies held our mood up even when we failed miserably. It was nothing I would consider doing without such a great team.
    Overall this was a great experience, but I'll wait a while before I do it again I think 🙂

    Lucky Guardian - Having great luck in Destiny 2 lately

    In the last few weeks I have had some great luck playing Destiny 2. Not only am I lucky enough to have a great Clan to play with that really support my efforts to get into the more difficult aspects of the game, I also got some of the most elusive loot in the game to drop.
    Raiding is a thing that has always been out of reach for me as a solo player. The 6 man activity takes a lot of effort to organize and you need a few good guides since the game mechanic is a bit tricky for newbies like me. Unfortunately raids also comes with great loot and they are required for some achievements in the game. This makes raids a bit annoying to say the least.
    Until now.
    I got invited to a Last Wish raid, or rather just the Riven part. It was a fun experience to learn what to do and where to stand for the Riven encounter and the queens walk afterwards with my clan mates. In the Last Wish raid most people want the elusive exotic called the One Thousand Voices. Many are still doing the Riven encounter every week just to get this exotic and I got it on my first try!
    Then on my birthday we scheduled a session for doing the Scourge of the Past raid. This was the full raid and while not difficult, it takes a bit of practice to get things right. We did the raid three times so I had a go with each of my characters. Again there is an exotic many are trying to get called The Anarchy. Of course it would totally unfair if I got that one on my first try as well, so I got it on my second run instead.
    I am now looking forward to having a go at Crown of Sorrows where the very last exotic I am missing is waiting for me. It is the Tarrabah and I doubt I will have the same luck for this one, but who knows!
    I want to give a big shout out for my amazing clan members for giving me the great gift of finally be able to do a raid. You are simply amazing and I owe you big time: GTA85, Vahlen, LordVektor, Q0ark, Rothric, Amazingjack, Darkimakura, Fearoc, Pablo, FoxHound, Vlood you are the best!
    ...to continue my good luck I have been grinding for the Platinum Starling ship that you get from completing 100 frames in the forges. While doing this I also got the last 2 shaders missing from completing the black forge items. The last one I know people have been grinding for a long time now and mine dropped at the same time that I got my 100th frame forged!
    So, now I will relax a bit and prepare for the Solstice of Heroes event to start tonight so I can start grinding out those new armors.
    Life is good right now.

    Today is my birthday and I feel old, but in a good way

    Today is 43 years since I arrived in this world and for some reason I feel old. Not in the negative sense that life is passing me by and my life soon is over, quite the opposite. I feel old in the sense that I have done mistakes and that has given me experience and for some reason people start to look to me for advice in life.
    In years I am not very old. 43 is hardly a number defined as being old and I have a long way to travel before my natural life span is over. I have done a lot in my 43 years however and unlike many people that by that age are experts in their fields with 20+ years experience, I still consider myself a student of life.
    I have tested myself in many ways and I have been close to the flickering lights of the other side a few times already. I have been reckless and paid for it in pain and bodily harm. I have fought injustice, real and imaginary to the cost of my job. I have been foolish and narrow minded and I have made many, many mistakes. These are scars I carry on my body and in my heart. Reminders of lessons learned.
    I decided a long time ago that the only way to become a better person is to understand the world around me better. I decided that I can live my life with fear in my heart or let it go to make room for something else. I decided that instead of frown at things that was different I should be curious and learn as much as I could about it. For a year after my brothers death I said yes to everything, regardless of how much it scared me. This experience had a huge impact on my life today.
    Today I can look back and see that there was so much I could have done differently. How late in life I realized what I was actually good at and enjoyed doing. But if I had I would not be the man I am today. I would not have the experiences I have had and even if I could have reached this point in life sooner, I am not sure that would have been a good thing. Sometimes the journey is what makes the destination to what it is.
    At 43 I am a bit puzzled that I have people coming to me for advice, both in their personal life and professional life. I am not a wise man and I am no expert in any field, but I am experienced in many fields so perhaps it's that. For a long time it felt that being so diverse in what I do was a big disadvantage as I did not have true expertise in any of the areas I worked in.
    I am a decent designer, I have written code since 1996 and I have quite a lot of knowledge and experience about conversion optimization and Neurowebdesign. I am certified in requirements and I have 3 years experience as a tester. I have certifications in Cisco networks and I run my own very small hosting business. Still, I know many that are better than me in all of these areas.
    One thing I have learned is that when you are at my level where you do E-commerce projects on enterprise levels as a team- or project leader you always have the best people in each field in your team. They do not need you to be an expert as well, but they need you to understand what they do so you can lead them properly.
    For a long time I thought being stretched thin covering all these areas made me a less attractive person on the market. Today I realize that because of this broad spectrum I am actually the opposite. It's not often I meet others that can do what I do where I can talk the talk with pretty much anyone in a project on any level and sometimes I can even surpass their capabilities and teach them a thing or two.
    In the past 2 years I have noticed that because of this broad spectrum of work and life experiences people have started to come to me for advice. It can be workplace related, life related or even career related. Not only is this something I consider very flattering, but I also take it very serious as my advice could have an impact on a persons life and career.
    At 43 today I realize that I have already accomplished a lot in this world, hopefully to the better. I also realize how much there is still to learn and explore. My greatest discovery in life so far is that it is ok to fail and that it is ok to let go and just dive into whatever comes. Fear no longer control me because I have learned that it is a prison of my own making.
    I still struggle with permitting myself to be great as I find that to be boastful and disrespectful. I know what it is like to be a the very bottom of the darkest hole and I would never be able to consider my own worth be greater than those that still are trapped there. Perhaps though I need to consider that I can still be a light that show them a path out from that pit of despair. Perhaps I need to consider the words of Marianne Williamson:
    At 43 I am still but a student of life and I look forward to the coming years where I will fail and fall. In doing so I will also learn and hopefully become a better person. Perhaps I can someday allow myself to shine so others feel secure enough to let their own light grow and hopefully surpass my own.
    Only time will tell where my journey will take me next, but I am going to enjoy the ride no matter where it takes me.
    Today I am 43.

    Exciting week ahead and yes I have a beard...

    Last week was very exciting for me and I had some great fun at work to say the least. I am now moving forward towards a very exciting week with some directions that need to be confirmed. I also get to decide if I keep my Apple Watch Beard™ or not as I should get it on Friday finally!
    So on work I have had an awesome time this week, not just at the client, but also internally. I had a meeting where I set up some goals for the next year or so and now I am super excited to say the least!
    I have some great challenges ahead and my mind is going bananas over all the amazing opportunities I have at Claremont. We are already awesome beyond belief in the UX team I belong to, but the potential is just staggering!
    Barely a month as an employee and I am ready to kick in some serious gears as I see potential pretty much everywhere. It feels so great to work in a company where growth is seen as a good thing and where I feel I can pretty much go where ever I feel I want to.
    After a very long wait it looks like my Apple Watch Nike Edition is finally going to arrive on Friday. It's actually going to be my first watch ever that I might actually wear. Even if I have had a few watches before I never liked to have them on my wrist, so I hope Apple Watch can change that.
    Last week I decided to test having a beard with the motivation "hey, why not?" and the fact that I have never actually tried it before. So far I am not really sure how I like it after two weeks, but I guess I need to let it grow a bit more before I decide. You can follow that experiment on my Instagram if you are interested.
    Personally I started with my get up early project, but I realized it was not what I needed. Instead I downloaded an app to my phone and set up some some tasks I needed to do every day. This included getting more sleep and drink plenty of fluid which has done wonders so far.
    Water and sleep are important so I'll make sure I catch up on that as I have been pushing a bit hard before the summer and I need to fill up on the energy reserves and flush the body of stress related toxins.
    So my coming week will be amazing and some decisions will most likely be made so I get directions going forward. I'll also move forward with some fun projects, both privately and at work and of course I'll spend some time learning how to live with a watch on my wrist.
    So even if the fall is making things dark outside my inside is bright and just as colorful as the leaves outside in a golden sunset.
    Life is indeed good.

    Get up earlier to feel less tired?

    For a few months now I have felt tired, really tired, when waking up and while a lot of people will feel that this is normal, it has never been that for me. I am one of those strange people that are both a morning person and an evening person, so now that I am having some issues waking up fresh in the morning it's time for a change.
    One of the reasons for not waking up rested is of course overworking and not working out. I stopped working out after moving to Täby Kyrkby because there is no gym nearby that is open when I want, or rather need, to workout.
    Before the move I was fortunate enough to have a 24/7 gym just 2 km away and I loved getting up at 3.30 in the morning to go there. Besides getting a very nice workout in a gym that was not crowded I also felt invigorated by the amazing sunrise that I was greeted with on my way home in the spring and fall. In the summer I got that going to the gym instead, which is just amazing.
    I know that there is these theories that getting up early will empower you and increase your productivity, but that is not my reason for wanting to get back to early mornings. I simply need more time in my day and I want to get back to training again. Fortunately for me a new gym is opening in Vallentuna early next year just 3.7 km away!
    Getting up earlier is a great way to start the day regardless in my opinion because I get more time to do things and I get to start the day with no stress. At the moment I am restructuring my many websites to get them back in shape and refocused after splitting my blog into two. Having just an extra hour in the morning to write a blog post or on my book over a cup of newly brewed cup of coffee would just be amazing.
    So starting today I will change my daily routine to get some calisthenics training in and also to get some stretching going because I am getting old and inflexible, which is not good. Tomorrow I'll set the clock for 5 a.m. instead of 6 to see how that feels and then I'll go for 4.30 or even 4 if it feels good so I am prepared for when the new gym open next year.
    I see a lot of people talking about how they loose energy in the day from getting up early. That is most likely because they do not compensate for the time shift and they try to still eat at the same times. To compensate for this you can do what I do and just have a protein shake before hitting the gym and then eat breakfast at 7 as usual. Or you can add another meal in at around 10 to keep your energy levels even.
    With an earlier start and some workout I should get rid of this feeling of being tired and the energy levels should get back to normal quickly. I am really looking forward to getting back to the gym so I guess I need to get a new pair of running shoes this week since my old ones are getting a little to worn out. Getting my Nike Edition Apple watch in a few weeks also feel like good timing!
    Are you also getting up a bit earlier in the morning or are you like me right now and not really in the mood for early mornings?

    For the first time in years my heart does not sing loudly with joy at the idea of going back to work...

    I have the best work in the world as I get to be a part of building incredible E-commerce solutions along side with awesome people from all over the world. For the past 10+ years my heart has been singing with joy and I have been reluctant to leave work at night and eager to get back to it in the morning. As vacation is nearing it's end my heart does not sing as loud as it used to...
    There is a cloud muffling the song of joy inside me while at the same time another song is slowly building up. In my mind a thousand things fly by as always, but one thought have slowly been overshadowing them all during the vacation: I am leaving my current work for another.
    This might seem trivial to some, but to me leaving my current company fill my heart with sadness. It has been my home and my extended family for five wonderful years and I have loved every single moment of my time here. 
    The people I work with are the best in the world and there is a bond between us that I can not really explain. We truly care for each other and our clients and that special feeling that I have every time I come to work has made a world of difference for me.
    Despite this I have made the decision to move on. A new company will be my home this fall and that fill my heart with excitement. A new beginning with new people that I get to know, a different focus and a different model for salary. These things fuel my passion for what I do and I very much look forward to the challenges ahead.
    Still I struggle with the two feelings of sadness from saying goodbye to my current colleagues and the joy of starting something new and exciting with another company.
    So my heart does not sing as loud as it used at the idea of getting back to work on Monday. It is with sadness I do my last weeks at my current company as I will have to leave behind so many awesome co-workers and friends even though I take comfort in knowing they will keep things awesome long after I am gone.
    It is with joy I look forward to the new challenges ahead and i know that it is just a matter of time before that song return again as loud as before. I need this change as I need to challenge myself to grow, but right now it hurt a bit.
    All things in life changes and change never comes without pain.
    I move forward, towards new challenges and new experiences.
    To hear that song return again, louder and stronger.
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