13 Lessons From my Father

My father was an amazing person. I love him deeply, and I miss him dearly.

My father was an engineer, and many people reported to him. He was tough and admitted no errors. He was feared and, most of all, respected. His subordinates immediately picked up that he was first tough on himself. Nevertheless, he had an amazing sense of humour, making everybody laugh. He was charming and wise, having the right words for all circumstances and situations. I cannot remember him losing his temper. Maybe once, when I fell off my rookie skates and broke my arm, which ended my career as a rookie skater. My father took them away, saying that if I wasn’t smart enough to skate, I didn’t deserve to have them.

He was able to teach lessons without using many words.

He was always making jokes about my appearance, usually about my big eyes (family trait inherited from him); “Your eyes are so big that they slide down your cheeks” or that “unlike Darwin said in The Origins of Species, my next of kin were the lemurs and not the apes.” At that time I was angry, but later I realised that he was right and we should laugh at our flaws and also turn them into strengths and advantages.

His lessons are as follows:

1. If you don’t work hard, your luck will dwindle. And the better you work and prepare, the luckier you become.

2. Always learn from your mistakes.

3. Always play fair and admit your mistakes. There is nothing to be gained by not admitting failure or defeat, you should acknowledge your shortcomings and become better.

4. Always look your best, be neatly attired and pleasant, and your demeanour should match your words.

5. Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. I sometimes let myself be a fool, but a fool in the right places.

6. Success comes with a lot of work and very good insight. Hard work is not enough; you need information and a good bird’s-eye view of things.

7. Do not ponder too much over your flaws. I do my best, speak my best, and look my best. If this doesn’t do it, move on.

8. Disorganised people lose half their lives looking for lost things. This is a good one. Now I can find everything with my eyes closed. I am (or have become) very organised.

9. Always have goals and objectives. Small and big. People without goals live plain and boring lives, lose time, and consequently the time their lives are made of.

10. Time is of the essence. Do not squander time. When you see that you are using up your time in activities with no return, stop.

11. Before making a decision, think, but not too much. Use the information you have got but also your common sense.

12. Always have a healthy routine. I try to get enough sleep and go to bed early. I eat properly, and I have a fitness routine. In the evening, I sum up the day and consider if I have done something good (or bad) and if I have created value for others and myself.

13. Always stand your ground and stick to your good ideas. Especially in business. Believe in your work and be prepared to demonstrate your product as often as needed.

When I have a tricky issue on my plate, I ask myself, “What would my father do?”

He was a very talented person. He could draw and paint with both hands; his jokes were witty; and his stories were enthralling. He was the heart and soul of every gathering, and he was passionate about everything.

This is an old text from 2016.

I use this art because I like his works and my father used to call me Julius.
Art – Julius von Klever (Yuli Klever).

Crescent hearts

“Perhaps the crescent moon smiles in doubt at being told that it is a fragment awaiting perfection.” – Rabindranath Tagore

Perhaps we are waxing moons smiling vainly at being told we are about to draw the perfect circle of frightful dreams and bittersweet hope.

To start with a crescent heart that desires deeply to become round one day.

Art by Duy Huynh.


“I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see
The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.”
Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal

Art – William Degouve de Nuncques

How to increase traffic

Step-by-step directions for increasing my client’s targeted traffic by 50% in only four months:

1. Via emails, forums, and customer interviews, I identified what topics his genuine customers are interested in.
2. Conducted a keyword analysis to determine which keywords had the best mix of high volume and low competition.
3. Developed a pillar page (a large, detailed page centered on a certain topic) for the broadest keyword
4. Developed and published 12 weeks of blog posts on subtopics related to the primary concern (including optimized images)
5. Add a backlink to the pillar page.
6. Use guest posting and link-building techniques that lead back to the main page.
7. Pillar page quickly got to the top of Google for its search keyword.
8. Continue to optimize this page using data from Google Search Console.
9. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

A pillar page is a very long a comprehensive post used to build links and drive SEO.

This is effective! As long as you’re writing to provide lasting value and not merely to generate content. My constant objective is to be as actionable and detailed as possible.

Art – Herbert Badham – Breakfast,1936.

St. Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is “sweetheart’s day,” when people in love express their affection for each other in merry ways. But in whatever form, the message is the same: “Will you be my Valentine?”

The custom of celebrating St. Valentine’s Day can be traced to those festivals called Lupercalia. There were games and dancing, and then each young man drew from an urn the name of the young maiden who would be his sweetheart for the coming year. February 14th, the Roman date of the festival, thus became a day for young lovers. After the introduction of Christianity, pagan customs were suppressed (or redefined), but the festival continued, and in the seventh century it began to be called St. Valentine’s Day.

The origin of the name remains in doubt. Some historians link it to Valentine, who became the patron saint of lovers after he was imprisoned by the Emperor Claudius for secretly marrying couples contrary to the Emperor’s orders. Others say the name is a corruption of the French word “galantin” (a gallant or beau). And one further theory is that February 14 was chosen because birds traditionally began to mate on that very day.

Whatever the origin, Valentine’s Day has had a long and romantic history. The Roman conquerors carried the celebration to England, where pagan and Christian customs combined to form some of the most enduring traditions. One was that the first person you saw on Valentine’s Day would be your valentine.

St. Valentine’s Day, with all of its colorful lore, was taken to the New World by the English settlers and lost none of its romantic appeal through the journey.

As for myself, instead of “butchering” an innocent Daisy, I would always take my chances with a Valentine.


Imbolc is a heathen celebration held on the 1st or on the 2nd of February. It is the first celebration heralding the coming of spring with snowy winds, misty blizzards, and delicate snowdrops.

More than a month has passed since the 22nd of December, the winter solstice, and the sun prolongs its journey around the world.

Imbolc is the feast of the poets, and their flame of creativity is celebrated. The goddess Brigid is especially honored at this time. One of the customs is the making of a Bridie Doll by dressing up a sheaf of oats in women’s clothing and later placing it in the earth. This is related to fertility rites.

Brigid or Brigit (meaning ‘exalted one’), also Bríg, is a goddess of pre-Christian Ireland. She appears in Irish mythology as a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the daughter of the Dagda and wife of Bres, with whom she had a son named Ruadán.

She is associated with wisdom, poetry, healing, protection, smithing and domesticated animals. Cormac’s Glossary, written in the 9th century by Christian monks, says that Brigid was “the goddess whom poets adored” and that she had two sisters: Brigid the healer and Brigid the smith. This suggests she may have been a triple deity. She is also thought to have some relation to the British Celtic goddess Brigantia.

Art – “The Coming of Bríde” by John Duncan (1917)

More information about Imbolc and the subsequent Catholic celebration of Candlemas can be found here.