Paul’s life in English
I feel fortunate that life has let me experience the joy of learning and blessed me with feel of adventure. I have always had a special love for words in the early years of my life. I could say poems before I could pronounce words properly, from what my parents have told me. I pretended to read children’s books even before I could recognize the letters of the alphabet. I remembered the stories that I had heard several times, so sometimes I held the book I “read” upside down. Although my parents seemed to be impressed by my special charisma as a kid they were more devoted to make me a well behaved boy. They seemed to be annoyed that my favorite game was to play the Indian chief, leading other children including my brothers to a “war”, the “war” that I had declared against the adults….
All that love I had for learning, reading poems, learning new things my first years of school managed not to enhance but to extinguish it… I actually classified as a bad student with grades that were getting worse every year and I had a hard time to avoid being kicked out of school. My best mark was at physical education. Those school years were so hard on me and made me think of an escape. I wanted to go to South Seas as soon as possible. Despite all this I did manage to finish school and I took the shortest study program. Paradoxically I became a teacher myself.
My studies at the pedagogical academy sparked my interest in psychology. I graduated with very good marks (for the first time since the first grade of primary school). It is interesting I was also a student representative and even organized a student strike.
As a trained teacher and after one year of professional teaching assignment in Tyrol, I volunteered to work in Papua New Guinea.
In New Guinea I worked to establish courses for local youth leaders, and published a workbook for cooperative village development. It was during those years I met and I fell in love with Maria, who was a volunteer just like me. It was love at first sight and slowly it evolved to be a deep connection.
Me and Maria as couple got back in Austria and we married in 1981. We spent two more years in Tyrol and then we moved to a small house in Upper Austria, which Maria had inherited from her grandparents.
Being just a teacher was not “enough” for me. So I started having the vision to change the school system and organized discussions and training for the teachers-team in my school. Unfortunately this brought conflict at work. I was not very diplomatic with my criticism and I got disappointed, l wanted more freedom, more opportunity to realize my ideas. At the same time Maria had the feeling that she had enough of being a house wife. After some turbulent times we decided to move to Salzburg, where she accepted a job as a nurse. Myself, I resigned my teacher position and stayed at home with our two children, Katharina and Johannes, who were at the time 4 and 2 years old.
Our move to Salzburg was a fresh beginning, but even there we had to move a few more times as it was not easy to afford a good home. I decided to study and I actually graduated as teacher for adults, team-trainer and psycho-therapist.
While I was doing that I was also giving children swimming and guitar lessons and organized creative holidays in Greece (from 1990 to 1998). Step by step I became quite successful as a lecturer in rhetoric, presentation techniques, communication and leadership-trainings.
I took this opportunity and started organizing my ideas, my teaching methods, my experiences and I published my first book title “Leading, Presenting, Moderating“ (1998) which turned out to be a bestseller. I am pleased that this book of mine is often recommended as a reverence for adult education. Also my DVD-video seminar modules are used as electronic learning support in schools as well as in management seminars. My second book „Resistance is a Part of Motivation“ (2005) is about the development of motivation in difficult situations. My third book “Journey to the Solution“ (2010) describes the practical use of communication skills as a way to support responsibility and self-control.
In my profession I very much enjoy to encourage people help their personal development, promote critical thinking and willingness to change.
I have also written a book with poems and photographs and currently I am working to publish the story of my parents, my childhood and share those years of adventure and change in my life.
I respect and live according ethical standards, such as fairness and humanity in our „global village“ in particular in environmental responsibility. So I don’t own a car, driving and flying less than 3.000 km a year, I don’t eat meat and I keep my consumption moderate, choosing well where and what I buy. This conscious awareness I understand as an expression of my spirituality that inspires the joy of my life and my work.
As a lecturer I travel a lot, but on the other hand, it have settled down a bit, I had moved places many times in my life maybe thirteen or so, but now in my mid-fifties for the first time in my life I find myself living in Salzburg in the same house for more than 3 years.