A day without sunshine

I love comedian Steve Martin. Especially in the movie LA Story. A modern fairytale (well modern in the 90’s when it came out) about a guy trying to keep up with life while fighting his mid-life crisis. I chose this quote because of it’s simple truth. We tend to complain about days the sun isn’t shining. But the only time the sun doesn’t shine is… at night. Even when it’s cloudy, the sun is shining. If however you feel it isn’t, it’s because of you, not because of the sun. You’re the sunshine of your life.

November 8, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Beauty or a Beast?

The Japanese Samurai used the dragonfly as a symbol of agility, power and victory. In early China the dragonfly was linked with prosperity, good luck and harmony. However in European and early-American myths, children were told that if they misbehaved, a dragonfly would sew shut their eyes, ears and mouths. Hmm, ok so where Japanese and Chinese children felt blessed when being in the presence of a dragonfly, European and American kids would run for their lives screaming. How interesting! A difference in thoughts, feelings and behavior, all because of a different story about the same little insect! To me this is a beautiful example of how stories create our perception of reality. And a reminder that in order to create a reality that works for you, you must create your own story.

November 6, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
If music was a movie, this is what the connoisseurs would say

Music. Everyone has their favorite piece, song or tune. For different reasons, but with the same effect. Music gives us chills. Chills of happiness, sadness, celebration or mourning, chills of life and death and everything in between: it can all be felt when you open up to music. Your music. Listen to it everyday, close your eyes and be. If music was a movie, this is what the connoisseurs would say.

November 5, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Here's your sign!

Oh, sure we all wait for a SIGN from time to time. Before getting into action we’re waiting for the right time, the right circumstances, the right people etc.. But how long are we going to wait? And what if this SIGN never appears? In an earlier post I quoted Mark Twain: “The secret of getting ahead, is getting started”. The truth is you don’t need a sign. But hey, if you still want one: here it is!

November 2, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Everybody is a genius

Everybody is a genius in his or her own way. Everybody is unique in what they have to learn and what they have to offer. But when you judge yourself using the wrong criteria, you might believe you’re not good at what you do, you’re unsuccessful or even stupid. The key trick is to discover the right criteria to judge yourself upon. You will then discover, you are indeed a genius.

October 24, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Doing something pointless, can make a lot of sense

Many people try hard to spend their time effectively and constructively on doing ‘useful’ things. Because they’ve been taught that ‘time is precious’ and so it should be ‘well’ spent. In making that effort many people also experience some pressure. Because what exactly is ‘useful’ and what if they don’t spent their time ‘well’? The interesting thing is that it doesn’t matter what you do with your time, what matters is what you want to get out of it. And having accomplished that, makes it a time well spent. And so, because from monday to friday we are so focused on doing ‘sensible’ things, why not use the weekend for doing something completely pointless. Just because it will break the routine. It will be refreshing! It will lead to a crazy adventure! It will set you free from that constant pressure of having to do something ‘useful’. In fact, doing something pointless in this case, is very useful. 

October 5, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Add color to your life

There are many ways to add color to your life, but what does it really mean? A quote by French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac (1799–1850) inspired me to think about this. He said: “An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man’s entire existence”. Simplified it means that if you don’t do in life what you were meant to do, your life has no color. But Mr. de Balzac speaks not of your ‘entire life’, but of your ‘entire existence’ being colorless if you don’t find and live your purpose. That means your physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual being, everything you were, are and ever will be – and all that without color! Now, that’s serious stuff! It’s a call for real living! It’s an call to go out, search, find and live your purpose. Maybe you already know what it is. Maybe you’re already living it too, maybe not yet. Maybe you’ve just started to think, feel and wonder about what it might be. But in whatever stage you are, finding and fulfilling your vocation is not something you do once. It’s a life long process. And it’s being in this process consciously, that adds color to your life.

October 4, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
    • Daring to be vulnerable gives you power to be

      People are vulnerable as individuals and as a species. And fighting vulnerability is useless. No matter how hard you try. Simply because you can’t control everything and so your life can turn upside down at any moment of any day. You may be the King of the World, the Smartest Woman in the Universe or the Sexiest Man Alive; it won’t help. You can however hide from it. And most of us do. Behind a fancy job title, nice car or house. Interesting friends, a busy agenda, designer clothes or healthy hipster life style, but sooner or later vulnerability will find you. So what can you do? Well, it’s simple.

      Simply face it and embrace it. Because when you embrace it, you no longer need to fight it. You no longer need to run or hide from it, by keeping up appearances and putting energy in this hopeless attempt to avoid the discomfort of feeling it. You can now be as you are, vulnerable, instead of pretending not to be. The way I see it: vulnerability is indestructible. So by letting it in and become a part of you, in a way that makes you indestructible. Daring to be vulnerable gives you power to be.

      Vulnerability becomes a Strength

      Are you alive?

      From time to time it’s good to ask yourself: “Am I alive?” Because it’s not uncommon to just be busy doing what you’re always doing. To be caught up in a routine. And that routine may very well result in hours, days, weeks, months or even years of living, without actually being alive. Because there’s more to living, than just breathing. Imagine someone in a coma and it becomes clear… I recently attended a re-birthing workshop and I experienced the difference between A) normal breathing: a mostly shallow, kind of mechanic and unconscious way of getting the bare minimum of oxygen ‘shots’ and B) breathing with full awareness, in a rich flow, organic and fully open to receive life’s energy in all it’s splendor. It let me experience the meaning of the phrase: “Just because you breathe, doesn’t mean you’re alive”. And so I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to wonder: am I  really alive or mostly just busy breathing?

      Just because you breathe

      Who am I… or rather, what am I?

      I guess you’re familiar with this sensation: one moment you feel great, and the next… well not so great. I sometimes feel like I’m nothing and sometimes I feel as though I’m everything. It’s a really fine line, much like it is with being crazy or brilliant. John Lennon had a nice way of putting it. He said: “Part of me suspects I’m a loser. The other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty”. I wrote a post about that one too. Anyway. A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon the “I, a universe of atoms…” quote by the American physicist Richard P. Feynman (1918 – 1988). And it’s stuck in my head ever since. Because to me his words are both mind blowing and heart warming. The thought of “I” being a tiny, stand alone atom – and an infinite, whole universe at the same time, blows my ego off it’s socks. Because “I” isn’t (only) the ‘earthly me’. “I” is a single atom and an entire universe, completing one another. Think about that when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror. So yes, it’s a quote I gratefully meditate on. It’s so simple and yet so deeply profound. It makes me feel humble and larger than life at the same time – it’s liberating. Look at us humans. Look at you, look at me. We are both nothing and everything. Again. That’s just… wow.

      I, a universe of atoms

      focusNjoy #122: Stop searching, start finding

      Imagine you’re looking for something, but you can’t find it. Annoying. Yes. Very. But then, maybe you’re not supposed to find it. Or maybe you’re just looking in the wrong place. Or maybe… you already found it, but you don’t realize it yet. Whatever the reason is, you might want to stop searching. Why? Well think about it: as long as you’re busy searching – you’re not… finding!

      Stop searching, Start finding

      A fresh start for focusNjoy

      Dear friends, it’s been more than a year since my last post! Honestly, I needed the break but a lot of good things have happened to me in the meantime. Apart from a great time at Eyeworks Netherlands, where I worked as a Senior Creative with some great people at the Program Development Team, it were exciting times for me personally as well. Too much to tell you in one post. But I will share more in the coming months, because it’s been truly transformational.

      I’m planning on a brand new start of focusNjoy at the end of April. And this time, I intend to actually make some money haha – because running an ad-free blog is great, but from a financial point of view it wasn’t a success and one of the reasons for me to get back to television. Later in 2014 I intend to finally start with my workshops in Amsterdam. I’m super excited about that but let’s see how things develop. Anway – I’m back and I’m feeling fresh. Hoping to hear from you – always feel free to send me an email and say hi!

      Love, Stijn.

      focusNjoy back 2014
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