Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the worlds greatest composers of all time. He’s certainly my favorite classical hero. Regarded as the master of harmony and counterpoint, Bach excelled not only as a composer, but also as an organist, violist and harpsichordist. About making music he said: “It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself”. I really like looking at things that way. Making anything complicated simple. Like: “It’s easy to run a 100 meters in 9.58 seconds: all you have to do is run really fast”. The Chinese philosopher Confucius said: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”. So, here’s a nice ‘simple’ tune from Bach, perfect for a sunday morning. Played on piano by Francesco Tristano, Filmed at Théâtre de l’Atelier, Paris. More Blogotheque? Click here.

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

This film is for you to relax. You’ll enter a pure, positive and peaceful atmosphere that can only come from love. It made me reflect on the rat race that is so typical for Western society. The constant hurry we seem to be in. The short attention span that we have, running from one thing to another. And about the pressure of making a career and money. Watching this film made me forget about all that completely. At least for 3 minutes and 56 seconds. So enjoy, unwind, feel free and… be surprised.

October 27, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,
Impossible, is fun

Walt Disney is an inspiration to me. And I don’t mean Walt Disney the billion dollar entertainment company. I mean Walt Disney the guy, the man, the person. The first thing Wikipedia says about him is: Walter “Walt” Elias Disney (1901-1966) was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. I mean… that’s quite an impressive list of qualities right? Why do you think the list is so long? It’s because what he wanted, was never done before. It was considered impossible so he had to try, invent, create and do many things by himself first. And in doing so, he literally turned the impossible into fun for millions to enjoy. He lived by his own creed: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Or as he later said about his – by then very successful – company: “Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.” How about that. A dream and a mouse. So, what’s your dream?

October 27, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: , ,

You may know how to fly an airplane from reading a book. But it is until the moment you actually get into a plane and fly, that you’ll find out whether you really can. You may know everything there is to know about wine. But it is until the moment that you taste it, that you’ll find out whether you even like it or not. You may be an expert on Johannes Sebastian Bach, but without having heard his music, what do you really know about him? This scene from the movie classic ‘Good Will Hunting’ is about the difference between knowledge and experience. Having knowledge without experience, makes you smart maybe, but not wise. The character Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is about to find that out. He is smart, very smart. In fact, with his extremely high IQ he outsmarts everybody. Even his therapist (Robin Williams). Almost, because in this scene Williams explains quite impressively the difference between knowledge and experience. It’s a call to us all, to dare to experience. To dare and live.

October 26, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,
Just, play

William Shakespeare once said: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”. Our thoughts can make and break anything in a split second. They can make the impossible possible. They can make something good, seem bad and something small, larger than life and vice versa. And yet, we are not our thoughts, we only have them. They’re ours, without a doubt and we are free to play with them any way we want. Like with the ‘Lego’ in the photograph above: by rearranging the Lego (our thoughts), we can create anything we want. This photo, by the way is made by Kevin Poulton. After he and I had contact, I discovered more of his creative photography. It’s definitely worth some of your time, especially when you are into Star Wars and up for a big smile: click here!

October 23, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: ,

Yeah, what does make you happy? Such a simple question, right? Maybe even so simple, that it’s easily forgotten? Until of course sometime later (or even years) when you realize you’re caught up in all kinds of things, not entirely sure anymore if that really makes you happy. And then you wonder: who am I, what does make me happy? And even when you know, the question is: do you succeed in giving that enough attention? Anyway, simply by being still for a moment, to listen to your own breathing and by asking yourself that question: “What makes me happy?” you will start to bring peace to your mind. And from this peace an answer will present itself to you. And if it doesn’t, don’t force yourself, just smile at it. You can make the question smaller: “What would make me happy today, this morning or this moment?” It may be a very simple thing, the point is: Where focus goes, energy flows. You’ll start to focus on what matters to you and on something positive. Your actions will follow that focus. And from that point on you can explore until you have a clear answer to what makes you happy in any situation, and dance your way through life accordingly. Alright, maybe not dance, but flounder – or somewhere in between. Either way, to give you an inspirational kick start, do yourself a favor and watch this film. It alone will make you happy, if only for a moment.

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

Here’s a fun and interesting film about deception. For most of us the word deception has a negative connotation. To deceive someone or to be deceived is considered wrong, for it is dishonest. But that is not necessarily so. The magician Karl Germain (1878-1959) once said: “Magic is the only honest profession. A magician promises to deceive you and he does”. In this film you’ll see Swiss magician Marco Tempest using 3 iPods to deceive you or better: to create magic.

October 21, 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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