I don’t run on Nike shoes and this commercial won’t make me change my mind. Still I like it for it’s inspirational message. It says: “The theory of evolution claims only the strong will survive. But the theory of competition says just because they are the strong, doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked”. Remember that when a business competitor stronger than you is after the same contract. Or what about this line: “The odds may be stacked against you, the other guy may in fact be the favorite. But what the odds don’t know, is this isn’t a math test”. The way I see it, ‘the other guy’ in this case can be anything. It can be a person, but also a statistic, a distance, an illness, a crisis and last but not least, it can very well be yourself, trying to sabotage you in one way or another. The point is, in life we face all kinds of challenges. Sometimes we take them on with great confidence, but if we can’t, this commercial encourages us not to worry, for “passion has a funny way of trumping logic”.

September 30, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags:

Even when we’re frustrated with something, like our job or rude people in the streets, we tend to not really show it. For a large part because we are taught to remain calm, to keep our cool, to control ourselves and play it safe. So that’s what we do, most of the times anyway. And this can go on for years. For years we can have the job that we know isn’t going to make us happy. For years we can tolerate rude people being rude etc.. I recently stumbled upon this video. It’s called ‘Get mad as hell’. It’s a dialogue from the 1976 movie ‘The Network’ and a great dialogue it is. Although the story is set in the 1970’s, the dialogue could be about 2011. In fact it could be about you about you and I: to get mad as hell, to not take it anymore. To not take what anymore? Well, anything we’re unhappy with, but don’t show. And if you like, here’s the original footage (quite brilliant too).

September 25, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Some days I really feel like dancing and I throw myself on that floor to make some confident moves. There are also days I prefer to stay in the background, making just a little step, or two. I’ve had days where at first I wanted to be invisible, finding myself transformed an hour and a half later, making the craziest moves. There are days I just don’t catch the rhythm, no matter how hard I try. And there are days I really don’t want to dance, but I’m forced to anyway. And then there is style. Dancing comes in all kinds of styles, just like living. One style isn’t better then the other, it’s what makes you feel good that counts. And watching these people dance, reminded me of just that.

September 23, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Now this may be a guys thing. You know, a motivational speech in an American Football movie. But I felt like posting it because of the intensity of it: being vulnerable can be so powerful. The movie is called ‘Any given sunday’. The actor is Al Pacino. The speech is about winning or losing and that the difference between them is a matter of inches. To fight for these inches and be willing to die for these inches, that’s about living. Nobody can do that for you. Only you can – alone or with others.

September 21, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

While most of us try really hard not to fall, these men and women risk their lives for it. And seeing them enjoy their free fall in slow motion, makes me understand why. It’s like gravity is non-existent. But make no mistake; with their fall they reach speeds over 160-180 mph. Still, seen in slow motion this extreme sport looks so totally comfortable, amazing really. So next time I fall, I’ll picture myself falling in slow motion. Maybe it helps break my fall. Hell, I’ll even enjoy falling!

September 16, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

I’ve been reading Alain de Botton’s book Status Anxiety. And a great book it is. With the help of philosophers, artists and writers, the book examines the origins of status anxiety (ranging from the consequences of the French Revolution to our secret dismay at the success of our friends), before revealing ingenious ways in which people have learnt to overcome their worries in their search for happiness. It aims not only to be entertaining, but wise and helpful as well. In this speech he displays some of what’s in the book, only very much compressed and in high speed – as all speakers at TED, who are given so little time for the many things they have to say. Nonetheless, I hope it will inspire you and if you like, you can check out Status Anxiety here (and our Dutch readers here).

September 12, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

If you feel a little restless or if you just have a moment of spare time, watch this film. It’s called “Water & Rocks, New Zealand” and it’s completely relaxing. New Zealand’s nature is just awesome and a ride in a hot air balloon for free is always nice, right? Not only the images, also the downtempo music helps you to unwind. And while you’re at it, try to breathe in and out, as deep and conscious as can. Follow the rhythm of the music. And afterwards you’ll feel a bit more at ease.

September 12, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,
    • 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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