The luxury of having time

Last month has been a quiet one on I’ve been on a 25 day, very inspiring trip to the magical island of Bali, Indonesia. And what a journey it has been! I’ve been living in pure poetry, along with my wife, children (see the photo above) and some very close friends. It’s been a change of scenery that changed me for it showed me a way of life that I had not experienced before. And I don’t just mean the spiritual side of this island, it’s luscious nature and soothing climate, it’s kind people and really, really nice food. I mean the experience of having all the time and attention in the world to really be where you are. That struck me the most. It was luxurious. And so, I decided to absorb my experiences more than to express them. I wanted to live in the moment, not by self created deadlines. At first that made me feel restless, but soon the mostly absence of WiFi resolved that feeling of discomfort. What I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to travel far (in my case over 10.000 kilometers) to ultimately arrive within yourself. Like I said in this post: “Getting lost is a great way to find yourself”, only in this case I deliberately got lost. And that’s what I wish for all of you. To be able to deliberately get lost and feel free. To go some place, far or near, where you feel like you’re on a journey, cut off from everyday life. If not for 25 days, than at least for a moment. A weekend maybe. Or even an afternoon. Running around in the same circles makes the world seem small, but start walking long enough and you’ll discover it’s actually quite big. There is so much to discover that we remain unaware of due to daily duties. In the end, every journey will broaden your horizon and give you the feeling of having time you didn’t think you had. Anyway, I’m back. And I’m happy to be.

February 2, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |

Dear everyone, in some parts of the world it already is 2012. In Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe, it will be in a couple of hours. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and inspirational new year!

December 31, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Sometimes 10 seconds is all it takes...

Courage is often seen as a deed beyond belief, as something grand and heroic. And it’s easy to be lured into thinking that in order to be courageous, one has to do truly extraordinary things. But, I don’t think that is the case. Let me explain. It may be a very small thing to make a phone call, but if that phone call fills you with anxiety for some reason, it really is a major thing. And then all of a sudden that small thing takes great courage to do. Courage is defined as: “That quality of mind which enables you to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear, or fainting of heart; valor; boldness; resolution”. Courage is not defined as: “Risking your life to rescue someone from a burning house”. It may just as well be: “Walking into a room and speak up” or “Getting out of bed and start the day”. Courage is a personal thing and although it may be “a quality of mind”, I think it lives in the heart. Not only in the hearts of the strong, but in the hearts of each and everyone of us. I recently came across a fabulous quote: “Sometimes, all you need is 10 seconds of insane courage to change your life”. Insane courage? Yes, insane because you’re scared to death! It is that 10 seconds you actually dial the number and make the call, that 10 seconds you walk into that room and speak up, that 10 seconds you get out of bed and start the day. Only to find out later that these ’10 seconds of insanity’ did in fact ignite the spirit of your heart that let you transform your life.

December 29, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
Find your wave

Surely our first idea of waves, is what we see in the ocean. But in fact waves come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. And they are all around us. It can be a swelling of thought, feeling or energy. Like waves of enthusiasm, inspiration and passion. It can be the sound of a bird whistling. It can be the sight of a beautiful person, passing you by. It can be the smell of a heavenly flower, the taste of fresh coffee or the feeling of air touching your skin. To go short, I think every wave is a force of energy and every wave has the ability to carry you onward in life. So, find your wave and let it carry you. It can be the tiniest of things, unnoticed by anyone, but you. And if you can find it, it will find you. It will present you a happy thought, a moment of joy or a thrill of passion that sets your soul on fire.

December 28, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |

When I saw ‘The beginning of Infinity’, a short film I posted a while ago, I got interested in Jason Silva. This young Venezuelan-American filmmaker, journalist and founding producer/host for Current TV, has views on human evolution that are as enthusiastic as they are interesting. He has a way of speaking and a sparkle in his eyes, that makes you want to explore life yourself. Well, it has that effect on me anyway. In this interview on Reason TV, he is asked about how new technologies such as the internet, affect human life. Silva says: “People have always sort of been scared of new technologies. “But in the end we assimilate them and they improve the quality of our lives.” I love this interview for it’s positive, energetic and to some extend hopeful message. Enjoy.

December 27, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

In The Netherlands we celebrate Christmas over a two day period – this is day two. So, since I’m still in the mood, here’s a short and adorable Christmas animation. And although Christmas is a Christian tradition, it’s spirit is universal. It’s a time to reflect, to be grateful, to be less selfish, more friendly and more kind. I think we can all agree these are fine values, no matter who you are, where you live or what beliefs you may have. So, I hope you’ll enjoy this and I wish you all happy (holi)days!

December 26, 2011 by: | Category: Video |
Always start with a clean sheet

Here’s a little poem that I once wrote. I recently decided to post it (and analyze it’s meaning).

When I have an objective,
I will be much more effective,
when I keep being objective.

First, what exactly does being objective mean? It means: 1. (Philosophy) existing independently of perception. 2. undistorted by emotion or personal bias. 3. of (or relating to) actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings etc.. So, why is that important? Because when striving for an objective, it’s easy to get caught up in all kinds of distractions and assumptions. We become dependent of perception, we are distorted by emotion or worse: personal bias and we relate to our constantly changing thoughts as opposed to actual phenomena. To be objective, start with a clean sheet and keep it clean as long as you can – for it keeps you objective along the way.

December 22, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | 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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