In 2010 Otto and took 2 unlimited friends – Deb and Lori – for a hiking trip to the Alps. We started in Austria and walked through Switzerland and then got back to Austria where we had started.
One of the experiences I had during that trip did connect me with my past and made me feel very thankful for who I am right now. My last job in Munich before I moved to the U.S. in 1996 had been for a record label. It was the biggest label for German folk music and we had the most thought after folk musicians under contract. One division of this label was managing the artists’ life concerts and this is what I was tasked to do. At that time I connected with an Austrian folk music group called ‘Die Jungen Klostertaler”. I loved them! They had heart, they were creative and they just had won the Grand Prix of Folk Music which was a huge success for them. So they were now one of the most demanded groups in Germany and Austria doing about 160 concerts a year.
One of these concerts was in their home town Kloesterle where they hosted their annual open air festival. The hiking trip ended exactly 5 miles away from Kloesterle and their annual Open Air Festival was scheduled to be right after we had planned to be done with our hike. Unfortunately, the festival was completely sold out and had been for several months. When doing some research I found that they were no longer contracted with the record label I had worked for but my former manager had created his own label and represented them now. So I contacted my former manager. He got us all VIP tickets and we attended the festival. When arriving there, the entire town of Kloesterle was transformed. All streets were closed and we saw masses of people dancing in the streets, drinking beer and having a great time. This was long before the festival had even started. When we entered the concert we saw an entire valley full of people and the biggest TV channels were there as well. I saw the people who I had closely worked with doing extremely well.
When I left that evening I was overwhelmed and moved. Everything ‘Die Jungen Klostertaler’ had wanted when I worked with them they had achieved. They had climbed the ladder from small fame to huge fame. If I would have stayed in Germany I knew I would have had the opportunity to climb the ladder right with them. Now I asked myself, did I miss anything? This was good for me because it made me realize that I had been as successful in the things that I had wanted and it was a very different kind of success. The group members who I had been close to then, didn’t recognize me, there was none of the personal warmth left that I so treasured when I worked with them 14 years earlier. I saw my former manager be so stressed that he wasn’t able to smile when he saw me. He just rushed me to receive my tickets and didn’t even spend the time to exchange a couple of words.
My success is not the one of working with TV stations and helping a folk music band to be number one. My success is that I feel and look awesome. My success is that I am in my fifties and can complete a very challenging multi-day hike through the Alps without any physical problems. My success is that I can still appreciate people for who they are and give them a warm feeling. I might not be rich but I make good money that allows me to help build an unlimited life style on this planet with Bernie and Jim.
Unlimited living is so under represented and definitely not as in demand as the band I used to work with, but it’s the best life style you can have.
I am more successful in not following the path of fame and money but rather the path of helping to build a completely new way of life that will benefit everyone no matter if they believe in unlimited living or not. I feel successful because I am getting better all the time in making others feel more valuable not because of their achievements but because of the amazing individuals they are – completely irreplaceable. I am successful because I have found Bernie and Jim, two people who inspire me every day, two people who are so available to be close to.
I always looked for people I could be close to but I found that most people aren’t available for that. Now I found the two most approachable and available people on this planet and it makes me very successful. I am successful because I feel more valuable and irreplaceable myself. I feel valuable and thankful for who I am right now no matter if I am famous or not. I feel I am the most successful and achieved person in the world.