‘Be Berlin’ is the first Motto of Berlin since the wall came down.

Apart from a bit of a cheesy tourist slogan, what could that possibly mean to us?  Well…

I moderated a conference in that iconic city in Germany a week or two ago.  Coincidentally, I was there on the 30th anniversary to the day of the wall coming down.  To the very day!

After the conference was over, our tour guide showed us all the sights.  Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe – and, of course, pieces of the wall that are still standing.

I even got to see the balcony from where Michael Jackson dangled his baby!

But what struck me – and has stayed with me since that tour, is something that Berlin has managed to do that we can all personally learn from.  It’s quite simple…


Bit of history… Once completed, the Berlin Wall followed a 96-mile zigzag path, 27 miles of which divided the city; the rest of the barrier separated West Berlin from the surrounding East German countryside.

For scale, the M25 Motorway surrounding London is just 19 miles longer.

The no man’s land across Berlin stretched, in some places for 200 meters.  So start to imagine the area of prime city location that suddenly became available once the wall breached.  Let alone the crumbling buildings that were demolished as unsafe – largely on the East side of the border.

Today, the results in “New” Berlin speak of a vibrant and growing city with possibilities and fresh starts everywhere you look.  New buildings, apartments and commercial areas sit comfortably aside pedestrianised and cultural facilities.  Plus a few preserved reminders of the lessons learned in the past…

Berlin is better than it ever has been!

Yoo Wisdom: Whenever WE feel devastated; if life’s chances have dropped a bomb or two in our happiness; if we find barriers or blockages in our lives… then consider what the Berliners have done.

Take the opportunity to re-build.  It can be hard work – and may take time; but the results of your efforts can be spectacular – and a far better outcome than the old system!

Be your best Yoo!

Andy and the Yoo team

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