How Can You Reinvent Yourself?

A conversation between Eva Kaczor and Dr Christian Knörle

In the third episode of Porsche’s Next Vision podcast, host Melanie Hähnel meets purpose coach and psychologist Eva Kaczor, and Christian Knörle, Head of Company Building at Porsche Digital to talk about the power of reinvention. They give insights into their very own personal and professional transformations. Eva explains the Psychedelic Breath technique she developed and Christian describes his professional mantra: beginner’s mind.

Dr Christian Knörle and Eva Kaczor talk about reinvention
Dr Christian Knörle (Head of Company Building at Porsche Digital) and Eva Kaczor (Purpose Coach)

“To keep up with the world of 2050, you will need […] above all to reinvent yourself over and over again.“ That is a quote from „21 Lessons for the 21st Century“ by world-famous author and professor of world history Yuval Noah Harari. This assumption might sound irritating since coding or technology literacy are often named as the most important skills for the future. However, when we look at soft skills, the ability to reinvent yourself seems crucial.

But how can you reinvent yourself repeatedly? And what does that mean for individuals and also for teams and companies? Those are the questions Melanie Hähnel explores together with Eva Kaczor, who helps individuals to find their purpose and Christian Knörle, the head of company building at Porsche Digital, who is one of the strategists behind Porsche’s plan to explore new business opportunities.

How breathing can help you to get into a more creative state of mind

Eva has reinvented herself multiple times career-wise: She has a degree in psychology and worked as a brand strategist. After a burnout, she slowly found her way to spirituality via art. She started to publish the online art magazine ARTBerlin and became a yoga instructor trained in New York. Now she offers her services as a purpose coach, or as she put it: „I support people in finding what they are.“ Her professional development is so multifaceted because she has always questioned herself: Who am I? Why am I here? How can I serve with all that is given to me? Even as a kid she was searching for her purpose long before specializing in helping others to find theirs.

„I have embraced various forms of myself with all my heart“ — Eva Kaczor

One of the core techniques she teaches her clients is called Psychedelic Breath. A breathing ritual that she developed herself and is now used by thousands of people all over the world. The purpose of the practice is to slow down brain waves so that you can get into a more creative state of mind. Through different breathing speeds, the activated regions in the brain are redirected, from the inner critic to the feelings and subconscious. “People feel much easier afterwards, they recognize things and because they do it consciously, they remember them,” says Eva and continues: “They have recognized: We live!”

Shoshin or: The art of thinking like a beginner

Eva’s and Christian’s paths crossed at a tech conference where Eva’s meditation provided a contrast to the usual topics of the talks. Immediately Christian was interested to learn more about Eva and her work. Christian holds a doctorate in economics and worked as a strategy consultant before joining Porsche in 2015, first as a project manager for corporate strategy and later as an innovation manager. Since 2020 he has been head of Forward31, the company builder of Porsche Digital. The goal is to develop new digital platform businesses for Porsche, which means that reinvention is one of the main tasks for him and his team.

“This journey that Eva has gone through is very exciting for us: How can you reinvent yourself as a person? Many basic principles like personal or team purpose can also be adopted in departments or companies” as Christian sees it. In his opinion, teams benefit from different perspectives and diverse views, diversity is not an end in itself but an asset.

“You have to set your ego aside, question yourself and listen to other people” — Christian Knörle

Christian and his team have dedicated themselves to one mindset: Shoshin, or beginner’s mind. It is a concept from Japanese zen Buddhism, to free oneself from supposed knowledge to be able to think anew. „In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few“, wrote Zen monk Shunryu Suzuki in 1970 in his book „Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind“. People tend to overestimate their knowledge and it prevents them from discovering new paths.

There are numerous psychological studies that support this view, one, for example, shows: The more people perceive themselves as experts the more close-minded they become to the topic in question. „The ability to think completely open and ask questions first is extremely important in times of digital transformation when the world around us is changing completely and certain premises are no longer valid“, says Christian. And if Harari’s prognosis turns out to be true, and reinvention is the most important skill of the future, the art of the beginner’s mind will become an increasingly important tool.

So, is reinvention really the key to success? And how can you create the right environment to give your team the opportunity to rethink and evaluate? In this episode, Dr Christian Knörle and Eva Kaczor give insights in there very own techniques like the “beginner’s mind” developed by Japanese zen Buddhism and Eva’s psychedelic breath method.

Reinvent yourself: The key to success?

You find the full episode of the podcast now on all common platforms like Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and Deezer. Please note that this podcast is in German.

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