The New York Quick Check for Lasting Changes

How to find your Personal New York in Life

For over 20 years, I have been a huge fan of singer and songwriter Udo Jürgens. Born in a small Austrian village, he became an international star who played concerts all over the world, sold over a hundred million records during his career and composed songs for Shirley Bassey, Sammy Davis jr. and Frank Sinatra. And even if he died of a heart attack at the age of eighty, two years ago, the music of Udo Jürgens will live with us forever. I´ve always been fascinated by the life story of this terrific artist, because he was the perfect example of how the life of a Changemaker can look put into practice. But even more, I like his songs, lyrics and melodies because they have accompanied me during different phases in my life. Especially his song “Ich war noch niemals in New York“ (I´ve never been to New York) is one of my favourite songs of all tme. I love that song because it´s like an anthem that represents the desire for change. That is why I keep  the song at the beginning, in the breaks and at the end of each of my seminars, trainings and workshops

The once-in-a-lifetime chance

May I ask you if you believe in such things as coincidences or fate? I would like to share a short story with you. Several years ago I held a change workshop in New York. And while as I was walking from Madison Avenue towards Central Park I had to stop at a red light. So I stood there waiting for it to turn green until I noticed a man on the other side of the street who looked very familiar to me. I really had to look back at him a few times until I was absolutely certain. Who was standing on the other side of the street, on that special day in New York? Exactly. It was him. Udo Jürgens was standing in front of me, in living color.

And I noticed instinctively that this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. So I put on my nicest smile and said, “Hello Udo.” Of course, I told him what I was doing in the city and why his songs meant so much to me. And do you want to know what Udo Jürgens said to me right off the bat? I can´t even remember. But I will never forget how I felt back then. This successful international star made me feel like I was the most important person to him in that moment on Madison Avenue.

All in all, we chatted for a few minutes, and, at the end, I asked him a question that had been running through my mind a lot during this time. “I know so many people that are already frustrated at the age of twenty or thirty. What is your secret, how do you manage to still do what you do with so much passion and motivation at almost eighty years old?“ And I´m still fascinated to this day with the answer Udo Jürgens gave me. He thought about it for a moment and then he said:

“That´s simple, you just have to find your personal New York in life. And then you do everything it takes to get there.“

I still get goose bumps when I think about that moment because this simple piece of advice applies to every kind of change, to the big ones as well the as small ones, to the easy ones and the hard ones. When you know what and why you want to change, you will find a way, because you are willing to make mistakes and to learn from the failures that definitely will happen.

What is your personal New York in Life?

After reading this story, I would like to ask you a few questions. “What does your personal New York in life look like? What makes you jump out of bed energetically in the morning? Which subject are you so positively obsessed with that you cannot let it go?“ The more you want to change yourself with all your heart and soul and have the support of a strong team the more successful you will be able to handle upcoming challenges.

Are you not quite sure yet? Then I would like to introduce you to a powerful technique that I´ve been using for years, that will either help you uncover your personal New York in life or strengthen it once more. I call it the New-York- Quick-Check for Lasting Changes. And it goes like this. In order to truly keep working on my motivation, I ask myself three questions that have a very powerful effect, every day, the first one in the morning, right after waking up, and the others in the evening when I review the events of the day in my head.

The New-York-Quick-Check for Lasting Changes

Here are three questions to find your personal New York in Life:

  • Question 1: Which three things do I definitely want to accomplish today?
  • Question 2: Which five things that I have experienced today am I especially grateful for?
  • Question 3: Have I gotten closer to my personal New York in Life with my ideas, decisions and actions?

My challenge to you: Try this for at least four weeks, longer if you´d like, but definitely not any shorter. (If you need a motivational companion by your side for an entire year, I highly recommend using my change journal, which I published last year.) Of course, I am well aware that only a small portion of my readers will take this challenge. But if you pull through with the New-York-Quick-Check, you will realize how much your focus will change, how much you will recognize what really counts in life and how much bigger and more powerful your personal motivation gets. Maybe you will also find out that you don´t even have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to find your personal New York; it´s right around the corner—deep within you.

Let the change begin!

Yours,

Ilja Grzeskowitz

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