I’ve been reading Alain de Botton’s book Status Anxiety. And a great book it is. With the help of philosophers, artists and writers, the book examines the origins of status anxiety (ranging from the consequences of the French Revolution to our secret dismay at the success of our friends), before revealing ingenious ways in which people have learnt to overcome their worries in their search for happiness. It aims not only to be entertaining, but wise and helpful as well. In this speech he displays some of what’s in the book, only very much compressed and in high speed – as all speakers at TED, who are given so little time for the many things they have to say. Nonetheless, I hope it will inspire you and if you like, you can check out Status Anxiety here (and our Dutch readers here).

September 12, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

If you feel a little restless or if you just have a moment of spare time, watch this film. It’s called “Water & Rocks, New Zealand” and it’s completely relaxing. New Zealand’s nature is just awesome and a ride in a hot air balloon for free is always nice, right? Not only the images, also the downtempo music helps you to unwind. And while you’re at it, try to breathe in and out, as deep and conscious as can. Follow the rhythm of the music. And afterwards you’ll feel a bit more at ease.

September 12, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,
Getting started

Whatever it is you want to do, you can think about that for days, weeks or even years. You can analyze it, make plans for it, come up with al kinds of strategies and theories. But it is until the moment you actually get into action, you’re not getting anywhere. In order to really get ahead, there is one simple thing you have to do. You have to get started.

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

Now I don’t own a pair of Levi’s jeans and this commercial won’t make me buy one either. Still, I really like the commercial. It’s actually a mini movie. The images are beautiful, the voice-over is soothing and the words spoken remind us of what’s so easily forgotten: to live life, your life.

September 12, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags:

What tunes will get the party started? That’s a question you can ask yourself every day, in every situation. You can wait for someone else to play some music, hoping that you’ll like it. But it’s your party, so you decide. Play whatever makes you feel good and dance your way through the day.

September 11, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration | 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: , , ,

Bob Marley once said: “When one door is closed, don’t you know, another is open”. Every door is a gateway to opportunity. Even a closed door, for it sets you in motion one way or another. A door is a chance to explore, to enter a new space where you can meet new people, learn new things and what not. Even when that door seems unattractive to you at first, open it and a discovery can be made.

September 11, 2011 by: | Category: Daily Inspiration |
    • 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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