Tag Archive: focus

The soup is ok

There are many food metaphors explaining life. A popular one is: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”. Yes, true and I love the movie too. Besides chocolates we have Apples (that do not fall far from the tree), Omelets (that you can’t make without breaking eggs) and Cookies (that you have today, but will be crumbs tomorrow). And of course we have Soup (that you shouldn’t eat as hot as they serve it). Slightly different from the English expression, is the Dutch proverb: “The soup is never eaten as hot as it was served”. It means that what seems intimidating at first, will proof to be far less intimidating in reality. Whether it’s something you heard in the news, an important presentation you have to do, a blind date that waits just around the corner or the thought of life without cigarettes: reality often is much kinder than our thinking.

October 12, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags:

You’re about to see a 5 second film. Only 5 seconds? Yes, only 5 seconds but don’t worry, it’s a complete story. It’s about a woman looking at herself in the mirror, smiling and thinking: “I can change the world with this smile”. The next moment she walks out the door, smiles and waves to a stranger in the street, who in return gives her ‘the finger’ saying: “Fuck off…”. My first thought: “Ouch”, but then the woman says: “It worked…”. The End. Hmm, pretty intense… I looked for some information and this is what the filmmaker says: “Flip that frown upside down. You’ll never know what’ll get flipped back at you”. Now, it’s a fictional story, I don’t wanna get all psychological about it, but the fact is that any facial expression evokes some sort of a response. And whether you flip your frown or not, you never know what you’ll get back. What I do know is that whatever the response is, it tells more about that other person than about you. I once read: When someone answers your smile with negativity, look at that as if it were a present: you don’t have to accept it. By not accepting it, you don’t absorb that other persons negative energy and you can continue being you in good harmony.

October 11, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags:
getting lost is a great way to find yourself

Imagine yourself waking up in a maze. After hours of searching but not finding the exit, you come to the conclusion that you’re completely lost. Bummer maybe, but an opportunity for sure. Because with everything and everyone gone – there’s only one person that you can turn to. And that person is… you. You will find yourself, because being lost means there’s nothing else to focus on except yourself. I always tell people: “You are the only person that’s with you 24/7. From the second you were born until your last breath, nobody spends more time with you, than you. For that reason, starting a really loving friendship with yourself is a really good idea”. Yet, in life we don’t always connect that well with ourselves. We are so focussed on the outside world, that it becomes the compass we live by. Until the moment we get lost and the outside world is no longer the beacon that we can hold on to. Then we can only hold on to ourselves. That’s what I mean with getting lost is a great way to find yourself.

October 4, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags:

To achieve success is one thing, but how do we sustain it? “Why do many people reach success and then fail? One of the big reasons is: we think success is a one way street” Richard St. John opens his TEDtalk with these words and an interesting (and funny) talk it is. Speaking from his own experience he says: “When we become successful, we must not forget that success is a continuous journey” and he presents 8 rules to sustain success. He calls them 8 to be Great. If you like, you can download them for free as a wallpaper for your computer, press here.

October 4, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,
Always green

I think we can all relate to this situation: You’re up and about, living your life, minding your own business and all of a sudden… you meet someone else and you experience something that makes you think: the grass is always greener on the other side. In other words: I’m good, but that other person really has got it all together. That’s a normal response I guess, as we all want to feel like we’re on top of things. But the funny thing is (and this really is funny) it’s most likely that the other person feels the exact same (but opposite) way. He or she thinks you got it all mapped out, crystal clear. Yeah, people envy each other. Even about the smallest things. That’s what they do. I know I do. Until the moment I realize, that everything outside of myself (the way I experience things, the way I judge things etc.) is a reflection of myself. It’s me creating that image. It’s about me (focussing on my own imperfection) and not about that other person (being really perfect). So whenever I’m in a situation like this, I stick to myself and think: the grass is always green. There’s no need to pick sides.

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

“If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on”, said Lance Armstrong. The seven time Tour de France winner knows like no other that in order to win, you must focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. As for Danny Macaskill… well, he for sure is focussing on what he wants. It’s amazing what he does with his bike, how he does it so precise and how he makes it look so easy.

September 11, 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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