Herr Schwarz (Mr. Black) was the manager I worked with while I wrote my Master’s thesis as a Business Process Re-engineer at a well-known German truck plant. In his 60s, he always opted for an apple and multivitamin powder mixed in a glass of water instead of regular lunch. ‘I am saving my appetite for a really big dinner!’ he would say. Our desks were across from each other. Through the office gossip, I knew that he had turned down being a Senior Manager multiple times. He wanted to live simply and with little stress. He was the first person I met who had chosen his own definition of success instead of climbing an invisible ladder.

One day a young woman working in the same office came by his desk. It was her birthday and her officemates had surprised her with a birthday cake and a celebration. She said to Herr Schwarz ‘This is the happiest day of my life!’. Herr Schwarz looked at her straight in the eye and said ‘You have no idea how much more happiness is waiting for you!’.

I remember his words often. Here he was, cruising into his 70s, consciously choosing what his life looked like, and talking about anticipating unbelievable happiness.

In the midst of all that we are going through as a species and all the bleak news, I want to remind you: you have no idea how much more happiness is waiting for you!

With love, light, and gratitude for all my life teachers,


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