If you can't stand the heat, get into the kitchen

When you’re confronted with something you’re afraid of, you have two options. You either run away or rise to the challenge. This is called the flight or fight response. In prehistoric times, the human fight or flight response was manifested in aggressive behavior as we faced a predator for example. In current times, fight and flight responses have assumed a wider range of behaviors. For example, the fight response may be manifested in argumentative behavior and the flight response may be manifested through social withdrawal. The thing is that by turning away from our fears, we allow them to remain alive and kicking. Whereas to rise to the challenge, ultimately leads to the eradication of our fears. So – whether it be in your personal or professional life – If you can’t stand the heat, get into the kitchen. For you will grow, by doing what you fear.

August 31, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags:
Live in the now

When we have fun our perception of time is shortened. We may even completely forget about time. And forgetting time let’s you live in the now, simply because history and future need time to exist.

August 31, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: ,

This short film takes you from planet earth through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe. Sit back, relax and be amazed. Warning: you may feel a little small afterwards, but seen from the bright side; so are your problems!

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

I’ve always loved this scene from the 1995 movie Forrest Gump. It’s about Forrest who’s life has become complicated to handle, so on one morning he decides to go for a little run. While running he decides to run a little further, and further, and ultimately running from ocean to ocean, clear across the country. Finally after more than 3 years of running he decides to stop and go home. He reflects on this later saying: “My mother always told me: you’ve got to let the past behind you, before you can go on. And that’s what my run was all about”. It was about clearing his mind. This scene captures this process of clearing the mind – or a journey if you will – in a truly beautiful way, accompanied with some great music. Whenever I see this, it actually clears my mind too.

 

August 28, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,
Schermafbeelding 2011-08-27 om 21.20.21

Feel free? Choose your own way? Right, you might think, so easy for you to say, as you walk into the office on monday morning facing deadlines and seeing your boss, bossing around already. Sure, reality can be harsh. Making it seemingly impossible to feel free and choose our own way. Our surroundings can be so dominant, we sometimes think we ARE these surroundings, while instead, we are only IN these surroundings. That means we can get out of them as well. It’s not your boss making you feel not free. It’s not your deadlines making it hard to choose your own way. It’s your perception and how you deal with this, that makes you feel free or not. Reality begins in your mind. If you want to be free in reality, start feeling free within yourself. That means taking responsibility for yourself first. Don’t blame your boss, for that will make you a prisoner of him/her. Don’t blame the deadlines because that drives you away from yourself. And you – is where your freedom begins. To feel free, free yourself. Let nothing stop you and let this picture by Erik Johansson – inspire you.

August 11, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: , ,

Do you have enough fun? In your work, at home or wherever? I’m sure you’ll say yes, as we all like to think we have enough fun in our lives. But what is fun exactly, let’s focus on that for a moment. Box of Crayons made a great video that demonstrates 8 principles of fun that will instantly bring you in the mood for adding (more) fun to your life. So, take moment and have… fun!

August 11, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,
Do nothing

Mindfulness is hot and happening. It’s a way to calm the mind, in stressful times. But to actually be ‘mindful’ is not always easy. It takes time to practice. So here’s a little exercise you can do any time of the day. Even at the office. The challenge is to do nothing for 2 minutes and to just listen to the waves. To proof you’re doing well, don’t touch your mouse or keyboard. Sounds easy? Do the test.

August 11, 2011 by: | Category: Link | 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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