Do you remember what you were doing between the 29th of April and the 10th of May 2011? Whether you do or don’t, this was happening in the Arctic, on the archipelago Lofoten in Norway. The film, made by Terje Sørgjerd, captures a natural phenomenon that he calls ‘The Arctic Light’. He says: “The Sunset and Sunrise are connected in one magnificent show of color and light lasting from 8 to 12 hours. The sun is barely going below the horizon before coming up again. This is the most colorful light that I know, and the main reason I have been going up there for the last 4 years to photograph”. As for myself: I can almost feel the fresh air running through my nose, filling my lungs. It’s like a little meditation. For more information about the film see this.

September 7, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

Enter the gates of the Burning Man Festival, a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, USA. Wikipedia says: “The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression and radical self-reliance. In my own words: it’s a celebration of jaw dropping creativity from people all over the world. This video is like a road trip, giving you an impression, with the both uplifting and melancholic remix of the song ‘Hide and Seek’ by Imogen Heap, as the perfect soundtrack. For more information about the festival, check out this.

August 31, 2011 by: | Category: Video | 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: ,

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: ,

This is, if not the most famous, at least the most inspirational speech by Steve Jobs, who died yesterday, october 5th 2011, at the age of 56. The former chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios urges Stanford University graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks, including death itself. It’s a remarkably personal speech and makes you want to grab every inch life has to offer you. Stay hungry, stay foolish. To learn more on how to stay foolish, please read this post and this post and this column.


August 11, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

You’ve heard this song before, I’m sure. I recently came across it and listened to it again. And though I always thought of it as a ‘funny’ song, it’s lyrics – so I found out – are just great. Simple and soothing, just like the tune itself. By the way, At the 1989 Grammy Awards, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” won the awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Not to mention the video, with a cameo by Robin Williams. So, just for a moment sit back and relax. Enjoy this great little happy tune. Oh, you want to get some more information? Check out: this.

August 10, 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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