When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.
– Paulo Coelho

From the Digital Detox Challenge, No Sugar Challenge and MeToo Challenge to numerous challenges against boredom, which arose mainly during the Corona Lockdown- CHALLENGES are increasingly taking over our leisure time: Whether in games, on social media or in real life.

Following a challenge has become a new hobby of many people.

I admit that I have “accepted“ some challenges on social media too. And in my opinion there exist meaningful ones, like the “Challenge for more self-love“ or the “Anti-plastic Challenge“, which are indeed something positive for the individual and the society. In the end, I ask myself if these “bets“ distract from the “real“ challenges of our time and if they just serve our ego.

I haven’t found any clear answers for me yet, just more questions. 👉 Here are


1. What do you think of all the challenges and which one have you already completed successfully?

2. Do you have an idea for a challenge that could have a positive effect on all of us in response to the current issues on our planet?

3. Are there any situations in which it is difficult for you to switch off your ego or where it is difficult for you to listen to your inner voice and feel your soul?

🙎‍♀️Volina Serban 🇷🇴🇦🇹

I met Volina at the Impact Hub Vienna https://vienna.impacthub.net/membership/ during a workshop for entrepreneurs in 2018. I liked her determination and openness to learn new things and I invited her to join me in a social media assignment. Since then we have been cooperating professionally.

I appreciate Volina’s reliability, her precise work and her eye for beauty.

🙎🏼‍♀️Conny Wernitznig 🇦🇹🇮🇪 

Conny and I have had a very special friendship since our time at high school (1980).

I admire Conny for her ‘power’ – she is a woman full of exciting ideas and energy, for her directness, her thirst for action as well as her gift for writing very good texts and initiating projects and her emphatic manner.

🙍🏼‍♂️Joop Stroes🇳🇱

Joop and I are both certified
Kolbe1Kolbe is the only program that understands and builds on your instinctive strengths. Understanding your core self can unlock productivity and joy for yourself, at work and with your family. https://www.kolbe.com Consultants. We had our first business meeting in Amsterdam in 2017. Since then we have been in constant contact as business colleagues. I admire Joop for his reliability, enthusiasm and team spirit and his heart for humanity.

🙎‍♀️Volina Serban🇷🇴🇦🇹

Answer 1

While I’ve noticed some challenges on social media (and also been challenged to do some of them myself), I must confess that I haven’t accepted any challenge so far. Even before the lockdown, they were quite a popular content idea on YouTube and I’ve followed some YouTubers who did mostly health-related challenges (“30 days without sugar”, “30 days of push-ups challenge” etc.). I think that such challenges are a good motivation to implement a good habit, since they make you stick to it if you share it with your online community (a sort of positive “peer-pressure”). I personally haven’t done any of the popular Corona-inspired challenges on Facebook since this has also been one of the busiest times for me on a professional level. After having invested so much energy in that, there were not many resources left to commit myself to a challenge. Nevertheless, I would like to have a go at one of the health-related challenges I mentioned above.

Answer 2

The first thing that pops into my mind is a “kindness challenge”. It’s true that many people, whose life hasn’t been turned upside down because of the crisis, did wonderful things for those who have been affected by it in one way or another, but I have the feeling that this “trend” has waned over the past few months. What would this challenge consist in? In daily acts of kindness to the people around us, with the final purpose to build a long-term habit out of it. It can be anything, from calling your grandmother and ask her how she’s doing, to giving a hand to a friend who’s moving into a new house. I think that if more of us would start to do genuine acts of kindness consciously, the world can indeed become a better place (no matter how clichéd this might sound).

Answer 3

Usually, when I have loads of tasks on my table, there’s not much time left to listen to my soul or try to relax and be more conscious of the world and people around me. Balance is one of the things I appreciate most in life and I struggle to achieve it at all times, even though it can be difficult sometimes. After a very stressful time, I normally allow myself to stop and smell the roses, mainly because I want to recover my lost equilibrium. Since stressful times cannot always be avoided, it’s important for me to have my “balance mechanisms” in place, so that I can be again at peace with myself as soon as things settle down.

🙎🏼‍♀️Conny Wernitznig 🇦🇹🇮🇪

Answer 1

To be publicly nominated for a challenge on Facebook or Instagram as a “Powerwoman” or with other appreciative terms caresses personal vanity and is always tempting. Who wouldn’t like to get a stage every now and then for something that remains unnoticed and unappreciated by society. This is sometimes a beautiful, warming and strengthening feeling. However, it usually fizzles out again very quickly, because hardly any challenge is long-term. What remains of the hashtag? This is the question I always ask myself before I decide to participate or not. If it’s just a matter of satisfying your own ego with a challenge, I’m now leaving it off as often as possible, because I want to decide for myself, with which contributions I want to appear on Social Media Channels. “Green smoothie challenges”, “morning rituals”, “#photoyouwouldneverpost”, “30 days of fasting food pictures” or even “TikTok challenges”, where alpine cows are scared off, get neither a hashtag nor energy from me. When it comes to regional products, women’s empowerment, initiatives against abuse, donations for refugees, social justice, plastic avoidance and other basic life issues that are important to me, I am very happy to support these challenges. However, I try to do my best to ensure that this commitment is not seen as finished with a hashtag, but rather that I am active beyond that. In women’s groups, in a service club and wherever it is possible. 

Answer 2

I think it’s wonderful that there are challenges like the Ice Bucket Challenge, where the German Society for Muscle Diseases (DGM) collected more than one million euros in September 2014 which led to advancing research into the incurable muscle disease ALS. Although I didn’t pour a bucket of ice water over my head and posted the video, I did share the challenge and donated. As did many other people. But even with this voluntary challenge, which was perhaps weird but harmless, there was an incredible number of hate posts as far as I can remember. If we could succeed in stopping or reversing hate, envy, resentment, exclusion, stupidity, spreading and indifference towards right-wing extremist ideas with a challenge on the social media channels, I would be in. Because the most important thing on our planet is in the long run a functioning social and societal coexistence. This is the basis for ultimately solving all other challenges – war, pandemics, poverty, diseases, refugees, climate change, etc. The fact that social media currently tends to divide rather than connect, is frightening. It certainly requires much more individual commitment to think in a positive, supportive direction and to initiate a change.

Answer 3

Yes, of course do exist such situations. Again and again. Something that feels right to me, a success, a situation where I feel that everything is good and right as it is. And suddenly I have some doubts. What could my environment think of it? Is it worth the effort? Am I good enough? Can I afford it (externally)? Do I make a fool of myself? Am I too open, too visible? So, my ego speaks out loudly and questions many things, gives too much attention to superficiality and outwardness, prevents me from remaining in self-love. Facebook & Co. favor my ego and make ME weaker and sometimes stronger than I like. Then I find it difficult to listen to my inner voice, to stay with me, to listen to my soul, not to give in to the doubting thought patterns. But I learn. Just the awareness that there is this ego, which is definitely influenced by social media, makes me clearer and therefore also able to recognize when my ego is screaming or when it is really my inner voice that is well-disposed towards me. And then – giving the inner voice more power – to decide.

🙍🏼‍♂️Joop Stroes🇳🇱

Answer 1

I participated in some challenges too although they were more for fun. Some of the challenges that came by on my timeline on Facebook seem very interesting, but they also seem rather be meant for women. Challenges can really bring a topic on the table and start an interesting discussion.

Answer 2

An idea for a challenge might be to let (y)our Kolbe clients describe in, let’s say 500 words max what Kolbe brought them in terms of self-awareness, self-esteem and reducing stress. In other words: mental health.

Answer 3

Yes, at the moment I am working part-time in a children hospital as a cook.

I make lunch and dinner for the parents of the children staying in the hospital. Most of the children are very sick and are there for a long-term stay.

As a father who has experience with many hospital visits with my own children, I know how these parents feel and I know how they are depending on the staff of the hospital and the facilities.

I find it hard to charge the prices for meals if you are there for weeks.

A couple who stays there and is using 3 meals a day is spending approximately €50 – €60 per day on these meals. If you know that their child is already there for 6 weeks, you can calculate the costs until now.

I think the meals should be much cheaper or maybe even for free.

I can’t give them away for free because otherwise I get problems with my manager, but I don’t feel comfortable about it.