This post was first published as a column on the website of the Dutch Magazine for Coaching. For Dutch readers, you can find it here. I was asked to write a 100-word piece about boundaries. And the second I heard the word boundaries, my thoughts moved towards space. Because to me boundaries are not limitations, but the contours of the playground called life. Every boundary is an outline of space. Like the horizon on an endless sea or a star in the universe. Boundaries show us where we are and where we can go. Within ourselves and beyond. And while change itself has no boundaries, it is only noticeable due to the existence of boundaries. Boundaries come in all kinds of shapes and forms. The steps of a staircase, the keys of a piano and every second that goes by: these are all boundaries. They are not the end of things, only stepping stones from one to another. Boundaries create space. Like the walls of your house accentuate the space you call home. This nice film shows you an impression of boundless nature, which becomes visible, bounded by its own rhythms.

April 2, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Creativity brought to life: here’s a playful stop motion animation simply for your enjoyment. The filmmakers also give us some wise words: “Every second our planet is spinning you, but you can spin the world just the same. Every day you are able to move forward in order to be happy and make others happy. Maybe not a simple thing to do, but it is possible. Life is not a movie and you don’t always know how your story will evolve but while you live, you are the director of each moment. This film is a tribute to those who were able to change something, build something, create something and to do something that spins our planet in a positive way”. Enjoy watching and go spin your world!

March 30, 2012 by: | Category: Video |

This film might be a little long for a quick video snack, but then the whole point of posting this is to make you slow down for a moment. Give it six minutes and 22 seconds and you’ll be fueled with inspiration to go way beyond your desk at the office or couch at home. The story is about a Norwegian guy who decided it was time to see this “world” he had been hearing so much about: South America. So he bought a backpack, bought a guide book and booked a flight to Peru with a return flight from Brazil. And so began the best summer of his life. You are about to see a summary of his trip, showcasing some of the beautiful places and faces that he encountered. Enjoy!

March 27, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

In 1990 the Voyager 1 spacecraft made a photograph of planet Earth, called The Pale Blue Dot. Taken from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) from Earth, the photograph shows Earth as a tiny dot against the vastness of space. The Voyager 1, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and to take this photograph, at the request of Carl Sagan (1934-1996). This American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and promoter of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, subsequently used the title of the photograph as the main title of his book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. This film presents you an inspirational excerpt from this book, a monologue written and narrated by Sagan. He shares his almost poetic thoughts on the evolution of mankind and places it in the context of our existence in space. Well, I can tell you one thing: it makes our personal day to day sorrows appear… insignificant.

March 25, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Wondering around in the New York City subway, you’d expect a noisy rat race. Right? Wrong! This film shows that with your eye and ears focussed on something peaceful, you can find moments of meditation even in the busiest situations. Let yourself be carried away for a couple of minutes and experience how the ‘bending sounds’ of the NYC subway and the music of various street musicians bring you in a calm state of mind. And really, it’s only because the filmmaker concentrated on them, that we you will notice and appreciate their soothing contribution to busy everyday life. In the end, it’s all about attention. Whatever you put your attention to, will grow. Or as I said earlier in this post: The way we see reality (and in this case also hear it), is how we create reality.

March 23, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Dedicated to the people everywhere, who will help out a ‘stranger’. These words come from Benjamin Jenks at the end of  his film. He says: “Some people dream of sitting on a beach in Tahiti or sailing around the world. My travel dream was to hitchhike around the USA for a year. I wanted to meet people from all walks of life and learn about the world through a simple adventure. The video took 3 months to shoot and 2 years to create (although I’m a hitchhiker and I’m not slaving away for 12 hours a day or anything…)”. Dear friends, this is one of the most uplifting, positive and warm hearted video’s I’ve come across so far. This video is just the start of Benjamin’s adventures to live, as he says so himself: “an exciting and wise life”. Let it inspire you to open up to all the people, everywhere, not only the ones you already know. Because they too, were once ‘strangers’.

March 21, 2012 by: | Category: Video |

This post is for relaxation. You’ll see stunning timelapse footage, depicting the stars from low earth orbit, as viewed from the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is a modular structure whose first component was launched in 1998 and in 2011 it was completed. From 2000 the station is permanently inhabited. Like many artificial satellites, you can the ISS from Earth with the naked eye. But what do you see with the naked eye when you’re in the ISS and look outside? Click play to see!

March 18, 2012 by: | Category: Video |
    • 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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