Money is a showstopper not a show enabler

People, especially bankers, politicians and economists (even the currently famous economist Piketty) have this belief that it is actually money that is making things happen in the world. They belief money is the driving force on this planet. Whether we talk about speeding up innovation, eradicating poverty through ingenius tax systems (haha) or propelling our healthcare system forward, they really belief money is responsible for all of this. Continue reading Money is a showstopper not a show enabler

The power of stories (and the impact of our current story about money)

This article is about the power of stories, and especially about the power of a story we are telling ourselves and each other every day. The story about money. A story that has to change.

In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing and fertility. The normans would tell each other stories, starting at childhood, about Thor. They feared his destructive power of fire and worshiped his lightning because it would scare away the trolls. And it became a very powerful myth. Continue reading The power of stories (and the impact of our current story about money)

On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it. Continue reading On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs

What’s important?

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!”

And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

Creating a life that reflects your values

Over the course of the last few years I have learned that staying true to your heart is difficult (if not almost impossible at times). I have also learned that it is completely worth it and very important. Because by staying true to your heart you are creating a life that reflects your values. You are staying true to who you are. And this is not only fulfilling but also highly necessary. In doing so, you will not only make this world a little bit better (your heart will never ever tell you to do something that is bad for this world) but you will also inspire others to do the same! Continue reading Creating a life that reflects your values

Confession of an ashamed marketer: I was wrong

happiness is here and now

Marketing and Economics used to be everything I knew that was true about this world. I was, and still am, a well-trained and high-skilled marketer. During the first years of my career I marketed a wide range of things: massage sticks for athletes, chemical coating for sewer pipes, expensive fashion for kids, a new way of mobile payments and everything in between. Finding smart and new ways for people to buy more and faster at the highest possible price was what I loved to do. I was so focussed on doing this, that I had no idea what the implications were of my individual actions. Continue reading Confession of an ashamed marketer: I was wrong

Why do my eyes hurt?

About a year ago a fellow traveller I met in Mexico gave me the book ‘Ismael, an adventure of the mind and spirit‘. A beautiful book that made a huge impact on me. It was the start of a new personal journey. At the age of thirty I was about to rediscover the world and look at it through a new pair of eyes and they started hurting. It was (and is) a journey where almost everything I believed was challenged, questioned and most of it swept away. It made me feel things I had never felt before in my life. There were times when I felt so sad, alone, powerless and disconnected from almost everybody that I love, I didn’t know what to do with it. Continue reading Why do my eyes hurt?

Why more is actually less (or less is more)


“We have bigger houses but smaller families;

more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense;

more knowledge but less judgment;

more experts, but more problems

“more medicines but less healthiness.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,

but have trouble in crossing the street to meet our new neighbor.

We built more computers to hold more copies than ever,

But have less real communication;

We have become long on quantity,

but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;

Tall men but short characters;

Steep profits but shallow relationships.

It’s a time when there is much in the window

But nothing in the room.”

– Author unknown

Why I don’t vote

About three months ago Russel Brand appeared in this great interview with Jeremy Paxman. Russell explains in a very clear way why he does not vote and I couldn’t agree more. I have had some vivid discussions after posting this movie on Facebook and I decided to repost it on my blog with some of the other arguments that evolved from it. Let’s first watch Russel on why he doesn’t vote:

So, this is exactly why I also don’t vote.. Our current political systems are solving the wrong problems, for the wrong people for the wrong reasons.. It looks like our only choice is left or right but there is a third: NEITHER!

Voting (also when voting neutral) in my opinion shows you still believe in the system and you disagree with the current parties. Not voting shows you have realized it is just one big show that has done almost nothing for you, the economy or the planet. For some more examples on this topic, see these two movies: Politics is big business and on TED We the People and the Republic we must reclaim

Coming from a big corporate I have seen that shareholders determine the faith and strategy of a company, not employees or governments. Our plans can be as beautiful, sustainable and progressive as we wanted them to be, at the end of the day, profit is all that matters to shareholders and nothing else. As long as this system is kept alive, we can vote all we want, but it is not going to change a thing. Curious to learn more about how this system works? Make sure to watch this TED talk Who controls the world? and ‘The Corporation‘? 

If the current system doesn’t work, now what? Unfortunately this problem is not one that can be tackled that easily. I do see however numerous initiatives where people are gathering for the right reasons (fair distribution of wealth and stop harming the planet). One of them is called New Earth Project, they are far from there yet, but at least they are trying. And instead of criticizing others I believe we should focus on creating this alternative together instead of someone trying to come up with the magic formula. A true source of inspiration for me is the movie I AM

You too have the power to decide if those in power should remain, that’s how democracy works. And the current way is not working. Not for the people, the economy nor the planet. We have to start to live more consciously, to love and to contribute to this beautiful world in order to make it sane and whole again.

What do you think of all this?? Let me know!

Question for 2014: Where do your talents fit in to make a better world?

First of all: Happy New Year!! Since this is a time for looking ahead at the year to come, I would like to ask you one simple question: How are you going to use your talents to make this a better world?

As a source of inspiration for my own changes for 2014 I am using various movies and books . The movie ‘I Am‘ in particular inspired me so much that I am sharing parts of this movie in these blogposts. Please take a look at the short scene below and let me know where your talents fit in to make the world a little better!

2014: Make it count!


‘The Economy’ is not a thing, is it?

We are treating money, the stock market and the economy like they are living things. Living things we cannot control. But somewhere along this path we have forgotten that WE actually created this entire system. And it is not working.

Money is doing more bad than good and stock markets, share holders and economic growth are taking the focus of the real problem at hand: we have invented something that is not working as it was supposed to! And therefor I think we are asking the wrong questions trying to solve the current economic problems. These problems cannot and will not be solved while we are still thinking ‘the economy’ is something real like a tree or the ocean. The economy is a mathematical model that was once designed to help us distribute wealth and stimulate fair trade but it is not doing a very good job.

Once you realize that without the economy the earth will keep spinning, food will keep growing (probably even better) and water will keep flowing (probably even cleaner) then and only then can we can start working towards a real solution.

I borrowed a part of the beautiful movie I Am that shows where I am coming from and what I am aiming at, what do you think?

The song of the open road

Our travel companion on the open road

I just found a great poem by Walt Whitman called ‘Song of the open road’. It spoke straight to my travellers heart so I am sharing some quotes from the poem with you here:

“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!
Traveling with me you find what never tires.

The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Whoever you are, come forth! or man or woman come forth!
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detain’d!

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?”