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GermanyinUSA is the home of the monthly newsletter “Germany for Americans”, produced by the German Embassy in Washington, DC. For the embassy’s official website, visit Germany.info.

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Word of the Week: Innerer Schweinehund


Do you know the feeling of laziness that just keeps you from reaching your goals? The lack of motivation, will power or the force inside us that makes us stay passive when action seems risky or uncomfortable? Germans would call this their Innerer Schweinehund, their “inner pig dog”.


Originally used to describe the dog that hunts boars and later used by students in the 19th century as an insult to describe someone who behaves unethically or breaks the rules, the word has certainly shifted its meaning again to what it is today: the inner voice of procrastination that stops us from being our best selves. There are many tips on how to overcome that inner demon, such as finding a personal motivation, creating a concrete plan, writing down your goals and starting immediately. Having someone by your side with a similar goal might help as well. The ultimate reward is certainly worth it.

So, get off the couch, get over your innerer Schweinehund as we say in German and do something great today!

By Regine Poirier, German Embassy

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