August 10, 2018 3 Comments

I celebrated my 30th. Hassler style!

Yesterday I celebrated my 30th birthday here in Rome! Even though we really didn’t have time for it, Denice surprised me with a trip to the oldest Metropolitan city in the world! We just opened our brand new E-commerce store and have been buried in work the entire summer! But apparently, turning 30 is a once in a lifetime thing, and I deserved an experience that I would remember for the rest of my life (she said). I love this woman, she gets me! I agree that it was long overdue to «get out» and enjoy life again. Refuel on both energy and inspiration. 

Two days ago we checked into an amazing 5 star hotel in the middle of Rome called the Hassler Hotel. Located right above the Spanish steps. Our room is spectacular in itself but the location, the view and the service they provide is what sets this hotel apart.

It's been a family owned Hotel for generations and it still is today. No chain is involved. This family has been in the hospitality business since the 1870s, which you can notice before you even enter the door! The history of this exact hotel is really special. To mention a few things, It opened in 1893 as the most prestigious hotel in Rome. It was used by the U.S. Air Force as the Rome headquarter during WW2. If you take a look at the guest list you will understand that it's «above» average in quality to say the least!

Apparently George Clooney stayed in this hotel not long ago. If I bump into him in the lobby I will take 10 pictures with him and post the one where I look good and he is in the middle of a sneeze or something (not fair, but I like winning). Yesterday, on my birthday we got served a custom made six meal course in the Hassler Hotels Michelin star restaurant, Imàgo.

Made by the Executive Chef, Mr. Francesco Apreda. He has been working here since he was only 19 years old! Do I even have to mention it was some of the best food I have ever tasted in my life?

We also had a wonderful talk with Mr. Hassler himself, Roberto E. Wirth, that revealed a couple of eye opening thoughts for the up and coming generation. More about it at the end of this post. 

The single most important lesson from my 20`s

One of the strongest passions I share with Denice is the love to create something beautiful that performs well! Meaning: It has to look great and still demolish it's competition! It's the only way for us to be truly satisfied with something we created. It does not matter what it is.

When I was a kid I loved to draw. My drawings where pretty advanced compared to most kids my age, and they where also often very strange. For example: I liked to draw these crazy big castles on old school copy machine papers. I was drawing soldiers, towers, trenches, clever walls and labyrinths, so that I would never lose a «war». And then I forced my friends and siblings to draw a castle that was supposed to go to war with mine. I did the same when I built huts in the woods or built Lego. It had to look absolutely stunning and attention to detail was sometimes crazy. But it also had to win! When I became older I started doing it with my body. I wanted it to look good but still be the fastest guy on the track (I was a runner, 400 and 800 meters mainly). Today it's pictures and videos on Instagram, websites, ads etc. I love being an underdog, so when people doubt me I get motivated like crazy! I become pissed and PUMPED at the same time! I love it!


Some reason has finally forced itself into my thick head. Fortunately, I always understood that if you wanted to be the best you had to work harder than everybody else and give it your 100%! What I did NOT know, is that you can achieve about 80% of a top result with only 20% of the effort if you do it right. This has led me to understand that if you like to do more than one thing you can be very good at 5 different things, but NOT the best at any of them alone! Your skillset, the mix of the 5 things that you do really well combined, can make you a truly unique person who performs extremely well in something a bit more complex. Example, if you want to be a champion fitness beast you are doing only that. If you want to be a photographer, businessman, husband and world traveler that is still in decent shape, you cannot be world class in any of the above. But you can have a world class set of skills, doing a MIX of the above. This is your unique set of skills and should definitely be linked to your 5 greatest passions. The 5 things you like to do the most. You will have to work just as hard as the athlete though. Maybe this sound superficial and strange to you, but it has really made an impact on my life. This is the single most important lesson I learned during my 20´s! It taught me to be much humbler, take advice from those who are better than me, be much more grateful and happy about myself! I will call it the true key to happiness (for me at least)! It's very easy to compare yourself to others all the time. Especially in this era of Instagram etc. If I compare my body with Arnold, SoMe skills with Gary Vee, coaching skills with Tony Robbins, leadership skills with Simon Sinek and creative skills with Steve Jobs, it's pretty hard not to disappoint myself. But if I extract the essence from each one of them I can become maybe 80% on my way on all five of them, and acquire a unique mixture of skills that will benefit my purpose!


So how do I find my passions,develop my skills and find my life purpose?

1:Make a list of at least 15 things you love to do.
2:Find your top 5
3:Figure out what you will excel at if you become very good (NOT the best) at all 5 of them. Discuss it with POSITIVE people, who know you and believe in you. DO NOT discuss it with negative people, they will be able to destroy everything at this early stage.
4:How will those around you benefit after you acquire these skills? How can you provide value to other people with a skillset like this?.
5:Make THAT your profession, preferably with the help of others who believe in your vision as well.

PASSIONS: Being around children, taking pictures, making healthy delicious food, travel the world and teaching others.
SKILLS: Photography, nutrition, cooking, coaching and child psychology.
VISION: Making the world a better place, with less young people suffering from physical, psychological and emotional pain because of bad eating habits they learned from their parents.
PROFFESION: Travel the world, taking pictures with the children who you teach to make delicious healthy food!

It does not matter if you are «the cult leader» or not. The day you know your vision and passions you will also know what to study, who to work for, what kind of company to start and which mentors to choose. I believe this is the key to unlock your true potential and live a happy and a meaningful life. 

Back to my enlightening talk with Mr. Hassler. Quick reminder, this is a person who own a small Roman empire, with knowledge and wealth inherited for generations. He and his family is considered to be one of the pioneers of the European hospitality industry. The man was also born deaf.

Anyways, this is my take on him: You have to find your own passion to keep yourself motivated through an entire lifetime. Money and fame alone will not be enough. You have to love your work, the family you build around you and do something meaningful for others. This man has been working to educate deaf children and their parents for decades. There is a reason for this! This is what makes him get out of bed early even on the cold and rainy days. Not because he has to, is supposed to or any of that nonsense people are telling you. This man is on a mission! He is serving someone that relies on him. If he lies down he knows these children’s future will suffer, and he cannot tolerate that! He can relate to them, being deaf himself! Try that for morning motivation! 

I do believe that we have been given our passions for a reason. If everybody knew their passions and found their vision the world would be a much better place. We just have to start listening to ourselves more, and everybody else less! Say NO to those who are hindering you on your path. It's not your parents, teachers, spouse or even children who are going to live YOUR life. It's YOU! You are going to die one day, what is your legacy going to be?  

By the way. After turning 30 I now know how Clooney feels, it goes something like this: «I’m cooler AND smarter than all of you young guys in the room, even though I’m older than a dinosaur!» Has to do with knowledge, experience and confidence! Looking forward to my 40th already!


3 Responses


September 10, 2018



September 10, 2018

Hi, i think your ethos is fantastic, you are a great couple, and love following you on Instagram! Fab fotos too! 👌 keep it up.. x

Archana Sunkari
Archana Sunkari

September 10, 2018

First of all A Very Happy Birthday! Your writing is inspiring and impressive! It’s something with the 20’s, you will learn for life. I like the way you mentioned about ‘positive people’ and yes they . Fallen in love with you guys again😍😍😍

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