I love sports and I love athletes with the ability to inspire you with their passion. Following 55-year old David Patterson, a personal trainer and competitive regional bodybuilder, this documentary delves into the sport of bodybuilding. We are guided into the world where only the strongest survive and only the committed make it. With many, many wins under his belt, David discusses how building a body with weight training is both an art and a sport. It will certainly give you a life’s lesson or two. Enjoy!

May 14, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

Tomorrow, Sunday May 13th is Mothers Day. Though it’s easy to see this day as a commercially exploited tradition (and maybe it is), it really has a deep meaning. Wikipedia defines Mother’s Day as: a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. Now I’m not the perfect son, honoring his mom with a hand written letter elaborating on my love and appreciation for her. Nor will I overload her with flowers, cookies and presents. But, like the people in this film, I will definitely say to her: thank you mom! To make this film, the filmmaker went around New York City asking real people on the street to say thank you to their mothers and what he came back with are some terrific responses, some unexpected, some adorable, and as he put it: “(…) they all brought a huge smile to my face”. And it made me smile too.

May 12, 2012 by: | Category: Video |

‘Come play’ is a beautiful short that encourages us to perceive and explore life playfully. It shows you some words, sentences and images in a powerful combination, creating a serene and inspirational atmosphere. I realized once again that: ‘The words you use to give meaning to the things you see, is what you see. If you like this film, you’ll also like: ‘Wake Up. Day Calls You’, as seen in this post.

May 7, 2012 by: | Category: Video |

Watching this won’t have a relaxing effect on your mind, but then that’s precisely it’s aim. The film shows you in a striking way just how television screams for your devoted time and attention. Promising you to be your 24/7 loyal friend, providing you with everything you ‘need’ in life. As long as you don’t walk away from it, that is. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against television at all. And of course it’s not just television that’s trying to get your attention. It’s also radio, computers, magazines, game consoles, smart phones and tablets etc.. We surround ourselves with devices that are all fighting over our time and attention by promising us… yeah, what exactly do they promise us? This film emphasizes the importance of making conscious choices when it comes to ‘media consumption’. To not get hypnotized, to remain independent, free thinking and… to go off line every now and then.

May 3, 2012 by: | Category: Video |

Can you imagine life without the concept of time? Sure, we wouldn’t have any deadlines to chase, but we would also lose the ‘good times’, wouldn’t we? Without time, ‘quality time’, ‘prime time’ and ‘big time’ would seize to exist. No more ‘running out of time’, being ‘ahead of our time’ or make it ‘in the nick of time’. We would no longer have ‘all the time in the world’, we couldn’t take a ‘time out’ or just ‘kill time’ if we wanted to. Wikipedia says: Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them…”. We use time to organize life. Seconds, minutes and hours. Days, weeks and years. Past, present and future. Sooner, later, slow, fast etc.. But ultimately it’s our perception what gives time meaning. It’s by how we perceive time, that it starts working for us or against us. The film I show you here was made in Brooklyn NYC, within an 8 hours span. It takes you only 3 minutes to watch, yet it makes you feel as if time stands still. And that makes it a perfect example of how perception influences your experience of time. NOTE: This post is also published as a column in the Dutch Magazine for Coaching.

April 25, 2012 by: | Category: Video |

Chances are that you are one of the 20.829.525 (and counting) people that saw this video. It’s about a girl singing an acoustic version of Adele’s song ‘Rolling in the Deep’. I saw it some time ago and immediately loved it. I then showed it to my kids. They loved it even more. And my wife almost had to cry, she too was swept off her feet. And so our family is responsible for at least 15 of that astonishing total of 20.829.525 views. Why did we love it so much? Because here’s a girl that obviously is aware of the camera, but she is also just herself. Overly excited to do it right. Not flawless in her singing, but so enthusiastic she just makes your heart melt. Now, I come from the world of television format development and I’ve witnessed the worldwide uprise of the talent show formula at very close range. In fact, I’ve been a part of the creation process of many. Many spin offs that is. Because once an idea proves to be a commercial success, it’s creative potential is quickly drained by television makers all over the world. And so audiences worldwide see one talent show after another. And although I’m amazed by all the talent out there, many talent shows are more about show than about talent. Immense studio’s, crowds that go wild, visual effects, fancy camera movements, fast editing, clever storytelling – sure – a show it is. And that’s all fine with me. I post this film to show that the simple setup of a guy with a guitar and a young girl on a couch, can be more than enough to entertain you, move you and make you feel good. Or how a small show can have a huge effect.

April 12, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

This post was first published as a column on the website of the Dutch Magazine for Coaching. For Dutch readers, you can find it here. I was asked to write a 100-word piece about boundaries. And the second I heard the word boundaries, my thoughts moved towards space. Because to me boundaries are not limitations, but the contours of the playground called life. Every boundary is an outline of space. Like the horizon on an endless sea or a star in the universe. Boundaries show us where we are and where we can go. Within ourselves and beyond. And while change itself has no boundaries, it is only noticeable due to the existence of boundaries. Boundaries come in all kinds of shapes and forms. The steps of a staircase, the keys of a piano and every second that goes by: these are all boundaries. They are not the end of things, only stepping stones from one to another. Boundaries create space. Like the walls of your house accentuate the space you call home. This nice film shows you an impression of boundless nature, which becomes visible, bounded by its own rhythms.

April 2, 2012 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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