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Celebrations - turning 50

Posted 1/6/2014

In the Nordic Countries we generally celebrate the 50th birthday with at least friends and family. This occasion came to me this week. It’s also a moment for a person to take stock of his/her own life. Here you can get a synopsis of the speech I held at my own party.


"My life has been fulfilling and I’m satisfied with it while looking forward with confidence at the next phase of my life.


As I’m still young at heart I want to continue to be outspoken and live my life with feeling. I also want to continue to choose my company, and Tarja - thank you for having been there with me for more than ½ of my life at my side.

We’ve had some incredible experiences and you are the best thing that’s happened to me. Many times you remind me about sticking to my principles.


1. Live in the moment and just do it


This first theme reminds me about seeing the hot air balloon festival in Chateau d’Oex the first weekend we had moved to Switzerland. Not remaining home to unpack, but rather get doing and seeing something with our 3 and 1 year old children.

In Hamburg we biked along the Elbe, among the flowering apple trees. Here in Finland we hike through the forest, sail, golf or waterski. We collect memories together, sometimes in a positively crazy way. 

With my family we’ve done several longer trips. In 2008 we all joined Isabella when she had a 2-week spring break from her High School in Colorado, naturally we added a week to see her at school as well. Taking the other two out of school for three weeks naturally demanded some negotiations, but they learnt more during their 3 weeks in the SW US than they would have at school.

Great to have understanding teachers who also feel the most important thing is learning for life.

So ”Carpe Diem” - and stay in the moment - even when it’s challenged today by what’s up, Facebook and other smartphone apps.


2. Bigger projects require planning


Not everything can be done at once. When you do something bigger go in with both brain and heart. Without brain the plan is not likely to work very well, without heart even the greatest thing might feel like nothing when you get there.

It’s easy to over rationalize, over analyze and over do things. That easily means burning the candle from both ends, which often leads to a burnout. On the other hand just doing whatever the heart tells you will not give the sensation of accomplishment.


Edward de Bono has thought me many techniques; PMI is one I use very often. Peter Drucker’s Managing Oneself is another source that helps me keep tabs on myself. Using many sources as sparring partners, not necessarily doing as everyone suggests, but listening to the reasoning and making up my own mind.


3. When all is said and done - Everyone knows best what’s right for himself.


None will have your best interests at heart better than you. None will know better what’s right for you than you. Very often it takes courage, not only to decide, but simply to listen to the alternative reasoning before deciding on your course of action. Some people never take the courage to take action themselves; they abdicate the power to decide to someone else. It can be by not being decisive enough, persistent enough or reactive enough. Taking proactive steps to find the right way and taking the courage to ”know” you are right is not always easy. Personally I draw strength from my roots. If my ancestors managed to do great things in the 19th and 20th century, why should I be any less capable? If I managed to do great things as a scout leader in my youth, why should I not be able to do it as a more experienced executive? If I’ve managed to coach my children to worlds championship levels of performance in their chosen sports, why should I not be able to do that in other fields?


I still hope to have many fantastic times ahead:


As an entrepreneur I want to see my customers successful

As a father I want to see my children, my own as well as their significant others, do their own decisions independently and by satisfied with them

As a husband I want to see my wife happy and

As a human being I want to make the world a little better place to be


It will require: living in the moment, planning with brain and heart and continuing to decide for myself.”


Marudd 26th of May 2014



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