Best known for analysing people, brands and the media on Sat.1’s breakfast television programme and Sat.1’s show So tickt der Mensch, star psychologist Rolf Schmiel is also a successful author and congress speaker. Discover Germany spoke to Schmiel about which motivation traps to avoid in everyday life, his new podcast series and much more.

Why did you choose to become a psychologist? How did that come about and what fascinates you about this profession?

R. Schmiel: As a student I was fascinated by magic tricks and wanted to understand how they work. Thereby, I noticed that mostly psychological mechanisms were responsible for the most astounding deceptions. This very view behind the inner workings and the wish to see through the mysterious became my personal passion.

You frequently analyse people, brands and the media on Sat.1’s breakfast television programme and can be seen in Sat.1’s show So tickt der Mensch, alongside Ruth Moschner. How did you manage to get into primetime TV as a psychologist?

R. Schmiel: I’ve been working as a radio psychologist for BR3 and WDR2 for many years. In 2016, Sat.1 discovered me for TV and working with TV experts like Ruth Moschner or Daniel Boschmann is a lot of fun. And apparently this joy also jumps over to the audience.

What distinguishes you and your approach from other motivation experts?

R. Schmiel: My experience and knowledge as a psychologist cater for sustainable motivation strategies instead of a short-lived flash-in-the-pan of excitement. I’m not into esoterism or silly games, but rather into practical techniques which are scientifically founded.

Maybe you have some tips for us: which motivation traps can we avoid in everyday life?

R. Schmiel: Most people don’t even have a motivation problem but rather an energy problem. Those who don’t respectfully treat themselves and their physical resources, can’t possibly achieve top performances. If you want to take off, you need to recharge regularly. Regeneration is a part of work and isn’t the opposite. But unfortunately, many people forget that!

How can we motivate ourselves when we cannot get out of bed in the morning?

R. Schmiel: Tip 1: We simply need to accept sometimes that we don’t always feel the same. This is a part of life and also of attentive dealings with oneself. Tip 2: Make yourself aware of the ‘why’. For who or what is getting out of bed worth it? What are the reasons that make you move? This is exactly what motivation is about: it’s about strong motives!

Immediately after attending motivation training or a motivational event, the new knowledge gained is mostly fresh in the mind. Is it really possible to sustainably motivate oneself in the long-term?

R. Schmiel: Is it possible to shower in the long-term? A one-time action is neither enough for one’s own hygiene, physical fitness or motivation. However, those who are willing to regularly invest some time in their personal development, will deliver convincing results.

What can we look forward to from you in 2018 and 2019? After publishing two successful books (Senkrechtstarter and Wichtig ist auf dem Platz), can we look forward to some more?

R. Schmiel: First of all, my new podcast series Stars auf der Coach will start in the next few weeks. There, I will conduct psychological interviews with celebrities. These conversations are planned to be published in a book in the next winter too.

And last but not least: what other dreams and wishes do you still have?

R. Schmiel: To be honest, I’m really grateful for my life. I’m not about a constant ‘higher-faster-better‘ and rather focus on enjoying my life and consciously designing it in cheerful calmness. If we could also live in peace as a society and my family is healthy, I’m perfectly happy.


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