I’ve seen this film a few times and still I love watching it. It’s about Christoph Rehage who, after a year of planning, set out to walk from China to his home country Germany. Between November 9th 2007 and November 13th 2008 he walked roughly 2796 miles, passed the Gobi desert, but then he decided to stop walking. Or as he describes it: “I got a haircut, shaved off my beard, and took a plane home”. He walked about one third of the initial way, from day one (his 26th birthday) until the downfall about a year later. The reason for his journey, or why he stopped walking aren’t very clear (even to himself) and it doesn’t really matter. He got as far as he got and gained an experience for which he says he’s very grateful. ‘The journey is the destination’, as I wrote in this post. On his website he concludes by giving us some nice piece of advice: “It doesn’t matter what dream you choose to follow, as long as you have one. Go follow your dream, and laugh while you’re doing it!”

June 16, 2012 by: | Category: Video |
Change yourself, change the world

The quote you see in the image above is by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). It touches a universal truth: to change the world, first change yourself. Universal, because it’s message was true in his lifetime, and still spot on half a century later, when India’s spiritual and political leader Mahatma Gandhi (18691948) said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. And today, again over half a century later, these quotes are still as valuable as they once were.

June 12, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |

So here’s the third and final film by those three guys you were able to see here and here earlier. They set out on the trip of a life time or as they described it: “3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… All to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films”. Well, in my opinion they succeeded greatly. This last film is about food and a reminder of the richness life has to offer when it comes to food (and choosing our daily meals).

June 12, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags:

So. There you are. You’ve done it! First of all: you were born! You’ve graduated! You’ve got the job! You found your love! You’ve got the car and the house! And now you’re married, you’ve got children! You’ve got the shoes, the watch and the friends to show it to! Hell, maybe you’ve got it all! Well, no. You can’t have it all, I mean: where would you put it? My point is: whatever you have, the moment you first got it created an amazing feeling. But with time the intensity of every feeling, even the good ones, will gradually fade. Daily life takes your attention away from what was once pride, gratefulness and happiness. So there you are again. Same situation, only now the question is: now what? You have what you wanted, but that’s not enough is it? No. Because it isn’t about having what you want, it’s about wanting what you have. Or else you’ll always be chasing for happiness the rest of your life, without ever really being happy.

June 8, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags: , ,
Before you think, be still

In his book ‘The Trouble With Being Born’, philosopher Emil Cioran said: “Man is a robot with defects”. Now despite it’s great title, I didn’t read the book, yet I agree with what he says. Many of our daily routines make us act like robots, and most certainly we all have defects (nobody is flawless). But now it gets interesting: science says that 95% of the time our unconscious mind is running us on its automatic pilot mode. What that means? Well, let’s begin with defining the unconscious mind. Wikipedia says: “(…) the unconscious is all the processes of the mind which are not available to consciousness. (…) Unconscious phenomena have been held to include repressed feelings, automatic skills, unacknowledged perceptions, thoughts, habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and desires. So… whilst we think we control our mind, in reality our mind controls us. As Sigmund Freud put it: “The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of unconscious from which it rises”. To me being still is the answer. Sink away to the deeper levels of yourself, let your feelings speak, use your intuition to guide you. In order to make room for feelings and intuition, learn to be still before your thoughts starts yelling they have it all under control. Because they haven’t. Meditation is a great way to practice in quieting your thoughts. It helps you to make room, to be one with the rhythm of your breath and enter the deepest source of wisdom that lies within you, waiting for you to find and use it.

June 5, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | Tags:
Truth is stranger than fiction

Apart from my own (pretty strange) truth, I don’t know what the truth is. Fortunately Albert Einstein had an idea about the truth. He said: “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters, cannot be trusted in large ones either”. To me his saying means something like: “When you contemplate the greatness of life, you mustn’t forget about the tiniest details”. And besides my own truth, I also have my own (pretty strange) fiction – imagination, dreams, wishful thinking. It runs wild at times, it is sometimes of great help and sometimes it’s diluting me. But what fiction really is… Luckily Oscar Wilde had an idea fiction. He said: “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means”. Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it: “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures”. I guess in the end, both truth and fiction are strange. Strange things happen in reality, strange fictional thoughts come to mind. My answer to this: play with reality, play with fiction.

June 4, 2012 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |

In life we can learn millions of things, but the ‘time is money culture’ urges us to make choices. And so it’s more likely we invest our time in learning things that we need to learn, rather than in things that are just nice or fun. It’s the difference between learning new computer software for work versus learning how to ride the back of an elephant for just that moment. But that would all change if you were to set out on a journey around the world, having all the time in the world. Wouldn’t it? In this film we see a guy traveling, learning from whatever and whoever comes on his path. In every shot he’s in a different learning situation, in a different part of the world. His motivation to learn is not because it’s beneficial to his daily life or career. Nor is he learning to master any of these things. No, it’s the process of learning what it is all about. Because that will let him discover more about the local people, traditions and craftsmanships and so about life. American author Lloyd Alexander once said: “We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” This film by the way, is only a part of his journey. I posted another part called ‘Move’ some time ago, you can see it here. And you can watch the third and final part ‘Eat’ here. Enjoy.

June 4, 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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