Tag Archive: philosophy

How do you choose to live your life? My dear friends, by now you know I love road trips. And the film you are about to see, is the road trip of all road trips. Besides truly stunning images, there is a voice-over that is not just talking to you. It is speaking to your heart. And it’s not just somebody speaking, it is the future! It’s real life, expressed in pure poetry. I say this often: give yourself the time. Do yourself a favor and watch this film from A to Z for it will make you feel good. The film was written, filmed and produced by Dan Riordan and his girlfriend Nina while traveling through Chile & Patagonia. They spent 5 weeks exploring this amazing country and this is how they chose to document it. What a life, what a life, what a life. And you too have an amazing life. When you document it, you will see.

February 16, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , , , ,

I had to watch this film a couple of times to fully understand the depth of it. It’s… kind of profound. The information combined with the images that are thrown at you are impressive and, at least to me, very interesting from a philosophical point of view. The film is, in part, inspired by the ideas explored in David Deutsch’s new book: ‘The beginning of infinity’ and tells the story of how humanity is reinventing the earth and potentially the universe as a whole. The example given concerns the island of Manhattan. To be precise: the topographical shape and the material constitution of the upper surface of Manhattan, as it exists today. It is considered to be much less a matter of geology than it is of culture, science, economics, politics and human psychology. The effects of shaping the earth geological forces were trumped (you might say) by these other forces. Forces that proved themselves, in the fullness of time, physically stronger. Deutsch thinks the same thing must in the long run be true of the universe as a whole. Stuff like gravitation and dark energy are the sorts of things that determine the shape of the cosmos only in its earliest, and most parochial stages. The rest is going to be a matter of our own intentional doing. Wow. More info about the film? Click here.

November 9, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,
action vision, yin yang
In Asian philosophy, the concept of yin yang (in the West often referred to as yin and yang) is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Like night and day, ebb and flow or in the case of this Japanese proverb; vision and action. They need each other, for else they become illusionary forces – either a daydream or a nightmare. Did you notice how in the West ‘yin yang’ is referred to as ‘yin and yang’? Apparently in Asian philosophy there is no need for and in yin (and) yang, meaning: in Asia the yin yang concept is considered as one, while in the West it is perceived as two separate forces, that potentially is one, depending on the presence of the word and.
November 8, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: , , ,
Small change, big effects.

Golf is a fascinating game: you have no opponent except yourself and only the perfect alignment between body and mind results in the perfect swing. Also, the difference between a great shot on the green and a whoosher off target, is often only a matter of millimeters. That’s because the angle from where you hit the ball, has a major effect on where it will land given the distance the ball is going. A millimeter more to the right or to the left, up or down results in a difference of many meters. Think about that in the context of daily life. A small change may have little effect on today or tomorrow, but over the course of many years it may be the difference between life and death. Starting or quitting smoking is such a change. You can also use this line of thought in reverse: when you completely messed up something (you hit the ball way out of the golf course) it’s likely that by changing only a small detail in your approach, you will get a much better result next time. So whenever you fail, don’t burn yourself down – see what small changes you can make.

October 30, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: , , ,

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: , ,
Keep it Simple

You know that situation where you expect an important email from someone but you don’t get it? At first you think the other person is busy, but soon you find yourself making up conspiracy theories. That usually doesn’t help so the next time this happens, keep the following in mind. I found it on Wikipedia and it’s called: ‘Occam’s razor‘, a principle from philosophy and named after William of Ockham, a Franciscan friar who studied logic in the 14th century (yeah, quite a long time ago). The principle says that if the only difference between two explanations is how complex they are, choose the simpler one, for the one that involves the fewest guesses, is probably the right one. Another way of saying it: the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is. Example: Two trees have fallen down during a windy night. Consider these two possible explanations: A) The wind has blown them down. B) Two meteorites have each taken one tree down, and after that collided and removed any trace of themselves. Even though both explanations are possible, the second explanation needs several assumptions to all be true and is probably the wrong answer. Occam’s razor also often comes up in medicine when there are many explanations for symptoms and the simplest diagnosis usually is the correct one. If a child has a runny nose, they probably have the common cold instead of a rare birth defect. Medical students are often told, “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras”. That’s if you don’t live in Africa of course.

September 26, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: ,
The love of wisdom

What is philosophy? Wikipedia says: Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational arguments. The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”. Especially when emotions and feelings leave you numb, it’s reason that provides a highly effective framework to regain control. If you like to get a general view on philosophy and it’s history press here. And if you’re up for something stronger, I also found a website called the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. You can browse by topic (e.g. the ‘Philosophy of Sexuality’ or ‘God and Time’) or by philosopher (e.g. Socrates, Descartes, Goethe, Plato etc.). When you ‘love wisdom’, I’m sure this is interesting for you.

September 24, 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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