Food for thought I

I’ve spent most of the the last couple of months abroad/traveling and have started a self-study of sorts (previously mentioned in There and back again). Now that I’ve soaked up some wisdom and turned a few pages, I want to start sharing a thing or two… Three, actually.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Find Your Why (part I) – Meet Simon:

I’d like to introduce Simon Sinek. In two parts, this post being the first. For those of you who don’t know Simon, he’s a visionary, speaker and consultant. His main topics are leadership and ‘start with why’. Both these topics are (mostly) job-related, what kind of work you do, how you do it but mostly, why you do it. This lands on common ground with an earlier post regarding Live Your Legend. That it is important to realise what you do and why you do it. This leads to one of Simon’s strongest quotes:

“People don’t care what you do they care why you do it.
And what you do it simply proves what you believe.”

In one of the most interesting talks I have ever seen/heard, he explains this quote and the meaning behind it. He explains it using his “Golden Circle”, seen here:

golden-circle
It’s based on this: Most people and organisations know what they do and how they do it, but only a few truly know why they do what they do. Sinek uses Apple, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers in his talk as successful examples of people who follow their why, and inspire others to do the same.

Point is: find your why. If you know why you do what you do and you are happy doing it, congratuwelldone! If you dig deep and realise you have no idea why you do what you do – the opposite end of the spectrum – it might be time to rethink some stuff. Everyone is at some point of this ‘line’. You might do what you do for the money, for self-actualization (Maslow’s pyramid: hierarchy of needs), simply to have something to do or maybe you do what you do for the well-being of others. There is no right or wrong, as long as you stand behind your reason for doing it. Currently in a shitty job but you need the money? Fair enough, if you are happy with that situation. In a great job but the pay is shitty? Fair enough, if you are happy with that situation.

Simon goes a little deeper and mentions the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers. They all did what they believed to be right, they had their why and followed it ardently. Their belief inspired others, not what they did, but why they did it.

“By the way,
Dr. King held his ‘I have a dream’ speech,

not his ‘I have a plan speech’.”

Like with all sources, it is not what is said or stated that contributes to growth, it is what you – the recipient – do with the information that matters. People followed Dr. King because of their own idea of what had to change in America, says Sinek.

There are leaders and then there are those who lead. People like Dr. King are leaders not because they have authority but because they lead. They inspire us. It is the same in our jobs and work places, we follow those who inspire us because we want to, and only follow the authoritative leader because we have to.

“If you hire people just because they can do a job they’ll work for your pay check but if you hire people who believe what you believe they’ll work with blood, sweat and tears.”

The Wright Brothers are the perfect example of this. They knew and followed their why and it inspired others to follow them and do the same.

I recently held a speech at a (my) graduation ceremony about this.  About finding your why, and it was mostly inspired by this talk. I still find it incredibly interesting (I think I mentioned that before) and Simon has many more like it, some of which I’ll add later on. For now, I recommend watching this one and marvel at its truths!

Power of the Peergroup

Last Saturday I attended the ‘Power of the Peergroup’ seminar in The Hague, Netherlands. It spanned the full day and featured six enthusiastic speakers, seven including the equally energetic host, who happens to be one of my closest friends :-).

The ’Power of the Peergroup’ (PotP) is a personal development group led by a handful of young fellas excited and ready to happily share their knowledge on what they have learned over the years. They all have different backgrounds and stories, what they have in common is that they all began a journey a few years ago. A journey to find themselves, to truly make something of their lives and to become better people. A valuable process for each of them and they are now working hard to show people their own potential and the possibilities.

I won’t tell you about the day in full detail, the sincerity and enthusiasm of their words would lose value in text. Nevertheless, I’d like to share some of the lessons. The first coming from one of the most naturally excited people I have ever met. He has three rules he lives by:

  1. Do exactly what you feel like doing.
  2. Be honest.
  3. Be relaxed.

“The world is your playground! Go out, do things and talk to everyone. As long as you stay within reason, these rules will take you places.”

He spoke for around 40 minutes, after which I – the whole atrium – felt an enormous buzz of excitement. You can tell the rules work for him, they describe him and his talk perfectly. An excellent way to start the day!

The day was filled with inspiring talks such as these. Topics were, among others:

  • Feeling more awesome about yourself.
  • Learning to talk more (to the opposite sex).
  • Masculine and Feminine energies
  • Finding what’s important to you.
  • What truths and values you hold dear and ways to find them.

I just want to land on the last one and put it in a bit more detail. The theory states that we are like an iceberg, with our surroundings and behaviour being the tip (above sea level, thus visible). This is what everyone knows and sees, the rest lies under water and is not yet visible. These are our skills, convictions, values, identity and mission. The point is: that part of us is so much bigger and more important than we realise, and through discovering them you will be more true to yourself and able to present this to others.

Obviously these theories and talks stem from somewhere. The speakers get their inspiration from own experiences and many different sources, an important of which is the book by David Deida, also featured in a previous post ‘the way of the superior –. Perhaps the most important source however, is the inspiration they give each other, pushing each other to new limits. This is the power of the peergroup. Wherever you get your inspiration from, know that sharing it with your peers and with people who are equally excited helps more than anything. Just think of anything you like, isn’t it more fun when you share that with someone else? A new movie, result of your favourite sports team or even a new crush. Now, personal development is a lot bigger than a mere hobby or interest, but the shared excitement is far greater.

“There is no bigger life hack in the history of the world from getting where you are today to where you want to be, than the people you choose to put in your corner” -Scott Dinsmore.

So many people, including the men from the PotP, have found out just how important it is to surround yourself with the right [passionate] people. To push you – and you them – towards greater heights, to accomplish things you thought were impossible or simply for tips and tricks of the trade. For instance, a friend of mine (the host) wanted to write a book on personal development but wasn’t sure how to do it and if it would work at all. He started working on the project together with a friend and now they’ve landed a book deal!

Surround yourself with passionate people that inspire you and reap the benefits. Just from going to this seminar (filled with passionate people), I’ve thought of new ways to deal with things in life. It has had a positive influence and brings positive change. Thanks guys!

Live Your Legend

I want to introduce the Live Your Legend movement and Scott Dinsmore. I found his TED talk a while back already but had lost track of it while speeding along the clutter of the information superhighway. Luckily I have rediscovered it and with it, its greatness and importance.

First things first: here’s the TED talk of Scott Dinsmore, the founder of Live Your Legend. I should note that Scott unfortunately passed away in September 2015 while climbing the Kilimanjaro in Kenya. (While doing what he loved).

What he founded lives on and many people are joining the so-called revolution. Currently Live Your Legend (LYL) is joined by 200.000 people from 186 countries who are on their journey to finding fulfilling work. ‘Change the world by finding work you love!’ An amazing feat and creed which I fully support. By signing up with your email address you’ll receive regular tips and tricks on how to do this. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of these tips, they benefit anyone who is open to them! Continue reading

Meet Alexi:

New post, new face! This time I want to put Alexi Panos in the spotlight. Not that she needs an actual spotlight to stand out though, it’s her vibrant and positive energy that do that. I personally love her energy. The home page of her website features a big happy picture of Alexi with the question “Want to have an EPIC life? I’ll show you how.” followed by pictures, videos, her blog and contact forms etc. A great and positive way to establish first contact with readers/viewers.

The first video I watched was shown to me by a friend, and the quirky, vibrant energy combined with cool video editing got me hooked:

It’s clearly someone who loves doing what she does, and wants to share that with the world. She’s trying to make the world a better place and is fully convinced she can do exactly that, one share at a time. I support such enthusiasm and the topic in general of course, hence this share. 🙂

Meet Henrik:

Meet Henrik Edberg from Sweden, his ‘Positivity Blog‘ is simple, inspiring and right up my alley. In many ways he beat me to the punch. Luckily, in the world of people sharing their positivity and excitement for personal development and happiness, there are no competitors.

Henrik writes “practical articles and newsletters each week about simplifying life, reducing stress, social skills, self-esteem and improving your happiness and awesomeness.” Sign up for his newsletter in order to receive the same updates I do. They’re generally short and concise. Sometimes one has a major impact, sometimes it’s just the little pick-me-up you need.

Today Henrik shared the following post: 21 small ways to make life simpler.

The reason I want to share it here is because I recognise a lot of the steps, from personal experience and reading/hearing about it elsewhere. Timothy Ferriss (from the New Rich) also recommends some of the steps in his work. For instance their take on emails and time management are similar in a lot of ways, and rightly so.

It’s a short read, so read it carefully, take in the information and use what you feel is useful to you. (and more)

As our mutual friend Seneca once said:

“Philosophy calls for simple living, not for doing penance, and the simple way of life need not be a crude one.”

Interview: “Aanpak”

Iets dichter bij huis vind ik ook genoeg inspiratie, in mensen om mij heen. Een aantal van deze mensen heb ik een aantal vragen gesteld, deze post gaat om de antwoorden van één van hen, namelijk Ruben ter Haar. Over hoe hij het leven ziet en aanpakt. Wij hebben het wel vaker over dit soort onderwerpen, maar op deze manier kon ik het duidelijker op papier krijgen als mooi geheel. Het is meer een gesprek geworden dan een Q&A, maar hopelijk leest het als vraag en antwoord wat fijner door.

Q: Heb jij dagelijks een doel, een plan dat je wil uitvoeren of een rode draad die je wil volgen? Een ‘groter’ doel kan ook een overkoepelende motivatie zijn. Continue reading

Documentaire: “Omdat ik het wil”

Laten we voor de verandering eens beginnen in het Nederlands. De documentaire en de daar bij behorende auteur Eric Mijnster werden aan mij geintroduceerd door Louis, wie er zelf ook een stuk over heeft geschreven.

Omdat ik het wil: 

De documentaire is inspirerend, spannend en meeslepend. Het neemt je mee in het avontuur van Eric, die de Route des Grandes Alpes in één keer heeft gefietst. Bijna 700 km en 14 bergen. Waarom? “Omdat ik het wil.” Het was een idee en begon hier aan te werken, het moest gebeuren. Een autotelische activiteit noemt Eric het, een activiteit waar er geen beloning is voor het doen, het doen is de beloning. Dit gekoppeld met wilskracht en passie, en alles kan.

Kijken dus. Kijk gelijk door op de website van Eric, waar veel mooie kleine verhalen staan over wat hem allemaal bezig houdt.

The New Rich (NR)

A friend of mine bought me a book recently, called ‘A 4-Hour Work Week’ written by Timothy Ferris. If you don’t know Tim, he’s an American entrepreneur who reinvented his own way of living, and is now free, successful and happy, working just four hours a week.

I had never heard of the book before but I had seen some of his work, such as:

How to feel like the incredible Hulk
How to master any skill by deconstructing it
 How to triple your reading speed

In these videos he talks about how he taught himself things simply by taking a different approach, looking at the core values of the lessons and how to apply this to other experiences. For instance learning a new language, improving his swimming performances drastically and becoming National Kickboxing Champion in China.

After doing some research I mainly wondered how I had never really got to know his work up until now. It’s like finding hidden treasure!

What this man has done with his life is amazing and inspirational. Just as many aspire to be like him, he aspires to make people think along his lines and pursue their dreams in similar fashion. He fully believes that anyone can join the ‘New Rich’, if you are motivated enough and have a passion for what you do. In his book and his many talks he will tell you how to achieve this lifestyle for yourself.

If you feel like you’re stuck in your current lifestyle or you have too many negative routine things that you can’t wait to be rid of, even for just a week or so, then you are not yet free. This is just one of the many scenarios and whether this is the case or not for you, I highly recommend this book and his other work. It’ll change the way you think.

You can buy the book here (opens in new tab) The 4-Hour Work Week

What is freedom to you?

I’d like to add the TedX talk by Adam Baker, who talks about how he discovered his freedom. His question, asked to countless people throughout history, was this: What is freedom to you?
Only by defining what freedom is to you can you realise it. Mine is to be financially independent and to be able to travel the world helping others. If my actions can lead to such a point, I’d be free. Again, the process is just as important, as it’ll shape you in ways still unimaginable.

It’s a broad topic and I’ll be writing more about it. For now sit back and watch the TedX talk.

Edit: So I just watched it again and got all excited so wanted to add something. Continue reading