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

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There and back again

Oh hi! I imagine every blog on the net will at some point have a post that starts with “So it’s been a while”, and so it has and will be again.

The past year (!) I’ve still been writing a lot, yet not so much on here. Someone gifted me a booklet which I’ve been filling with thoughts, experiences and ideas. It has proven very fruitful and useful, but they were stories for me, not for this blog. The process of it though, has led to me sitting here once more, squinting at my screen in the summer sun, writing an actual blog post. Continue reading

Guest blog: “Why I started Control & Motivate”

The following is a reblog from controlandmotivate.nl. In this post my good friend Louis talks about why he started his blog and business. (He even wrote most of it while on a plane from Budapest to Rotterdam). Here we go!

Why I started Control and Motivate

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I’m going home. As I return after two weeks in Budapest I would like to share my thoughts on my journey. The journey started at the end of 2015, when I realized that I wasn’t happy with my job. People told me that young people are too demanding (generation Y), that they quit jobs too quickly. “You should be lucky you have a job.” Something I can imagine after a financial crisis from 2008 until 2014 (I was studying economics at that time). As always I questioned things, just like such pieces of advice. Were they advising me or themselves? Does this say more about them or about me?

What was holding me back from doing what I wanted to do? Fear… fear of the unknown?
Continue reading

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!

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.”

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

Take the hits

On Monday morning I woke up at 7.30, a decent time you might say, yet it was 2.5 hours past my alarm. I had an important job interview at 7 in the morning, located an hour drive away. The early hour of the meeting was set up as a sort of test, which they apparently they do to all new potential recruits. I wasn’t too bothered, I can get up early easily when I have to. I prepared well and set my alarm well on time, but alas, life had a different plan.

How I managed to wake up that late, I’m still not sure. What I do know, is that I was bummed out all day. After talking to the person handling the meeting, and asking to reschedule, I was told it was very unlikely I’d get to try again. Fair play, that was the test wasn’t it? Continue reading

Inspiration II – Be pro stuff

As mentioned in an earlier post, and in certain videos, I want to elaborate a bit more on the topic:

“Be pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff. – Define yourself by what you love.”

There are things you like and things you dislike, that’s just the way it is. You probably have no idea why you like or dislike certain things, but it’s just a feeling. Or perhaps someone told you about it and they pretty much formed their opinion for you. This is common, yet again, it is what you do with this that truly matters. Thinking more positively makes you feel more positive, so try and emphasize your feelings towards the positive aspects of an experience, object or person. Continue reading

A guide to a motivating day.

Five guiding principles to a motivating day.

  1. Be active: set realistic and challenging activities.
  2. Get inspired: inspiration can be found anywhere.
  3. Have a meaningful day: Ask the ‘what?’ and the ‘how?’ question.
  4. Progress and achieve: success is satisfying.
  5. Reflect and rejoice in what you’ve done: “What did you learn today?”

What if being at work is like having a day off? Your day off generally consists of things you want to do and some things you need to do that day. If you managed to do what you had to do, and you had time to do the things you enjoy, you look back on a day (full) of joy, happiness and accomplishment. It does not necessarily have to be a day off to feel this way, in fact, this could also be true after a day of obligatory (work-related) activities. Follow these five guiding principles, and see what happens! Let’s elaborate what they’re all about. Continue reading

Inspiration I

The first ‘lesson’ will be more of a tip, one which I have found a game changer once I consciously started applying it. It is simply:

Allow yourself to be inspired by anything.

Once I started doing this (consciously) I noticed I enjoyed a lot of things a lot more, and generally remembered things that inspired me better. The level of inspiration is irrelevant, I can be inspired for only a few minutes by something someone says or something I hear/see on tv, yet it might be all I need to kickstart a thought, idea or simply my motivation. Once you let go of some of the barriers you set for yourself when it comes to enjoying things, you open up and allow yourself to be inspired and enthused a lot more. Continue reading