Whether it is writing books, giving speeches or working as a consultant, Dr. Andreas Salcher does all these things and all of them well. Today he was invited for a reading to weXelerate headquarters. Dr. Salcher read from his latest book “An Entire Life in One Day”. In his 9th book the author poses an interesting question: What would you do if your whole life was lived in 24 hours? Every hour stands for 2 to 5 years in a person’s life. The readers are asked to look at their lives from different perspectives and ask themselves who they are and who they could be.
After his reading, we asked Dr. Salcher a few questions.
weX: Dr. Salcher, thanks for the great reading from your latest book and for agreeing to give us a short insight into your work.
Dr. Salcher: Sure, it was a pleasure to read to the audience.
weX: From browsing on your website I know that you are not only an author, but also give speeches and presentations as well as work as a consultant. What is your most favorite field of work of those three?
Dr. Salcher: Well, it’s hard to choose. I like working in all these fields and the great advantage when working in different fields is that you are never bored, there is always variety in your daily business. Some activities sound more fun than they actually are. Take writing a book, for instance. This task takes a lot of time, you need to have a topic you are interested in and happy to write about, but you also need to think about what people are interested in reading. I really love to do readings. You are close to your audience, you see in their faces what they like or dislike about your books, some of them come and talk to me afterwards.
In general, people often confuse the terms “fun” and “joy” when talking about jobs. There can be fun things at work, but I will only be happy in my job when my work fulfills me, and I am basically in a state of “flow”. This means that people are in a mental state of operation in which performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment in the process of the activity. As mentioned above, writing a book is hard work. For giving speeches or making presentations there is also a considerate amount of time I need for the preparation. But even after all those years in business, I still enjoy them. Meanwhile I am lucky enough that I can choose only those projects that bring me joy.
weX: Where do you take the ideas and topics from you write about?
Dr. Salcher: The ideas come from different sources. For my first book “The Talented Kid and his enemies” both the idea and the title were my own doing. It took me more than 20 years to put the ideas into a book. The idea for my second book “The Wounded Man” came from my publisher at ecowin. My latest book “An Entire Life in One Day” is a special book, because it is the first non-fiction book that I know of covering human life from birth to death. Friends and family also bring up topics for books, sometimes I write about them, sometimes I don’t!
weX: I have also seen on your website that you support non-profit organizations, one of which is “The Curriculum Project”, a project that focuses on a better schooling and education of children. What are your learnings after having been part of this project for 10 years?
Dr. Salcher: This project summarizes quite well all the non-profit work I have been doing in the field of education. I had this idea to create the school of the future. I talked to several people from different fields, the world’s brightest minds, if you like. The beginning were the so-called Waldzell Meetings at the abbey of Melk. These meetings were basically a dialog among world-famous artists, religious leaders, and scientists. The list of speakers appearing during the first four years includes people like the Dalai Lama, Christo and Paulo Coelho as well as several of the most prominent scientists of our times such as Robert Gallo or Anton Zeilinger. For “The Curriculum Project” I also talked to many different stakeholders. I am proud to say that all the hard work and all the effort I put into this project paid off as this topic was in all international papers and magazines. So, you could say that I learned the hard way how much work it is to work with international stakeholders.
Furthermore, I do a lot of pro bono work, within Austria the most famous project is the Sir Karl Popper school, which was founded in 1983. I am proud to be co-founder.
weX: Thanks for the interview and the great insights and all the best for future projects.