Sometimes I want..

I want people to see the world I see
But they don’t

I want them to wake up and open their eyes
But they are sound asleep

I want to scream
But that won’t get my message across

I want to cry
But lonely tears never solved anything

I want to fight
But I am not a violent man

I want to run
But I am not a coward

I want to make a stand
But I feel all alone

I want things to change right now
But change happens over time

I want..

Why more is actually less (or less is more)

lessismore

“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

A new story of the people (video)

After watching this beautiful video I bought the book ‘Sacred Economics‘ by Charles Eisenstein. It is refreshing and inspiring view on our economy and monetary system. It actually provides some hands on solution an leaves room for hope! Enjoy the movie and the book and let me know what you think!

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYtfnONazTU

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

songoftheopenroad

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?”

— WALT WHITMAN, “SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD”

Why I love running

stevenrunning

It can be six in the morning or it can be two at night. It can be only four hundred meters or forty-two kilometers and a little bit. It can be in combination with swimming and cycling or it can be trying to catch a train. For as long as I can remember I have been in love with running. This ultimate feeling of putting your shoes on and just going for it!

Ever since the soccer coach kicked me off the soccer team when I was six with the message: ‘that kid only kicks the ball really hard and than starts chasing it’ I have been running. Running with friends or without. Running towards the finish line or sometimes running away from it. Running for the national relay team or organizing a marathon of my own. I just have to run.

Running is my meditation. Many people tell me one cannot meditate while running but this is not true. When I am running all my problems go away. I can deal with anything. My breathing is controlled. My thoughts start to flow freely and after a few minutes my mind is in its most relaxed state. I feel connected to myself, the world around me and everything in it.

Running keeps both my mind and body in shape. It keeps my mind sharp and my body fit. To feel these two connecting by one single activity is just amazing. It is addictive. It is freeing a source of energy I have never experienced coming from something else. After a good morning run I love to start the day and I keep that energy throughout the day.

Running makes me feel like a child again. It reminds me that, no matter what you want to achieve in life, it all starts with that first step. Take that first step. Get your body moving and the rest comes naturally. This ensures me that When I am running I am moving towards my next goal in life, whatever that may be. It keeps me confident, focussed and energized.

When running I am whole.

‘We are all slaves’ or ‘The world is suffering from Global Stockholm Syndrome’

You are a slave. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind. (Morpheus to Neo in ‘The Matrix’)

In this blog I want to investigate whether Morpheus is right. Can it be true that the we are living in world that we perceive as ‘free’, but in fact is a world where citizens are kept stupid, uninterested and submissive? Where elites are eager to keep them that way. Can it really be true that an entire world is suffering from something that can be described best as Global Stockholm Syndrome?

The definition of Stockholm Syndrome goes as follows: ‘a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them’. In simple words: at a certain point during a hostage situation, the hostages start to understand, like and even defend the people that are responsible for their captivity. A very strange phenomenon that seemingly also can be applied to different situations.

Psychologists have identified four conditions that need to be present for Stockholm Syndrome to occur:

1. Perceived or real threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and belief that the abuser will carry out the threat. Meaning that the abuser may:
- Assure the victim that only cooperation keeps loved ones safe.
- Offer subtle threats or stories of revenge to remind the victim that revenge is possible if they leave.
- Have a history of violence leading the victim to believe they could be a target.
2. Small acts of kindness from the abuser towards the victim
- In some cases, small gestures such as allowing a bathroom visit or providing food/water are enough to alter the victim’s perception of the abuser.
- Other times, a birthday card, a gift (usually provided after a period of abuse), or a special treat can be seen as proof that the abuser is not “all bad.”
3. Victim’s isolation from other perspectives
- Victims have the sense they are always being watched. For their survival they begin to take on the abuser’s perspective. This survival technique can become so intense that the victim develops anger toward those trying to help.
- In severe cases of Stockholm Syndrome the victim may feel the abusive situation is their fault.
4. Perceived or real inability to escape from the situation
- The victim may have financial obligations, debt, or instability to the point that they cannot survive on their own.
- The abuser may use threats including taking the children, public exposure, suicide, or a life of harassment for the victim.

My personal research during the last months has shown me how easily these aforementioned conditions can be applied to our own lives and how we are being held hostage by the thumb of a globally regulated corporate machine and by debt controlled financial system. When you apply the same analysis as one would do on a hostage on our society, a strange and disturbing familiarity can be found. Let’s take a closer look at each of the four points necesary to identify this form of ‘Global Stockholm Syndrome’:

  1. Perceived or real threat to the physical survival of an entire population: Those in power have made it so we have to pay simply to exist on this planet! We have to pay for a place to sleep and we have to pay for food. If we don’t, people with guns come and force us to pay. This might sound very simplistic but it is quite true. At some point in time we were forced by those in power to start paying for everything and since then we assume that it is the way it is supposed to be and we don’t even question it. We are already paying  for everything we used to get from mother earth for free (including water) and probably air is up next.
  2. Small kindness: With strange and small gifts governments and corporations try to keep us happy. Small gifts like rent support and free or cheap (but completely regulated) education.
  3. Isolation from other perspective: corporate media provides the only valid perspective. On a global scale, over 70% of all the media channels are controlled by only five major companies. In the United States it is even 90%
  4. Perceived or real inability to escape from the situation: Industrial civilisation has become the air we breathe, and the corporate machine has the power and demonstrated will to use overwhelming lethal force against any and all who would resist. There are more than enough examples of corporations demonstrating this power towards those who challenge for example Monsanto, American Fruit Company, SHELL, etc.

Human beings tend not only to accept life within oppressive social structures, but to love and cherish it. We invent fanciful reasons justifying our subordinate position and go to the extent of punishing those who refuse to accept their assigned position. Such a person is generally considered “well adjusted” in human society. Human society as we know it seams to be Stockholm Syndrome at a global scale. What do you think of this term and theory?

To be continued…
Inspired by the following book and movies:
- End game (book)
- Zeitgeist
- The Matrix
- The Coorperation
- Flow, for the love of water
- Food Inc.

mijn-why.001

My personal Why, How and What

Why? How? and What? are the three questions Simon Sinek asks in his famous TED talk.
Especially the ‘Why’ question is a hard one to answer for many people. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? What do you belief? Why do you exist?

This is an exercise that I have used quite often for various projects in the past but never actually applied to myself and my own purpose. Why am I actually here? Why do I get out of bed in the morning? Yesterday we were doing this exercise as part of our ‘Traveling Entrepreneurs’ bootcamp and I answered these challenging questions about myself for the first time. Since the exercise was part of the workshop ‘Digital Storytelling’ we visualised our outcomes and below you can find my Why, How and What.

A liberating feeling to see all the things you love to do in your life jus fall into place and captured in only five simple photographs. I thought sharing this would be a nice idea, after all it is better to work with people who believe what you believe, right?

Have you ever made your Why? How? and What? If you want to do so, let me know and will help you! Part of my existence:)

steven,lars,guus

My dreams for the coming years

There is only one way to turn your dreams into reality: say them out loud, write them down and start chasing them. During last weeks exercise of our ‘Travelling Entrepreneurs Bootcamp‘ we had to create a bucket list of our dreams. Dreaming like you were a child again but with all the tools and skills to make them happen for you now:) And although sharing it publicly feels a little scary, below you will find mine:

1. To have a simple but beautiful wedding at the beach of Pie de la Cuesta surrounded by our dearest friends and family
2. Find a place where I can live in balance with myself, my surroundings and nature
3. Run a marathon on Isla Holbox
4. Become an Iron Man on Hawaï
5. Start an anonymous blog so I can write freely
6. Train for the Iron Man on the most beautiful places in the world
7. Keep calling my grandma every two weeks
8. Make less money and be more self supportive
9. Turn ‘Working Wonderfully‘ into something bigger than myself
10. Live on one place for maximum four months and then continue traveling
11. Interview more interesting people and learn from them
12. Write a book about my vision on money, work and our society
13. At least two months per year use my knowledge and skills for free for (local) projects (and if possible) in exchange for food and a place to stay
14. Ride more beautiful routes on my mountainbike
15. Keep close contact with my family but at the same time..
16. ..dare to let go of the Netherlands and my old life and..
17. ..live more in the moment
18. Swim from hotel Las Nubes to the peer (3 KM open sea)
19. Start meditating
20. Keep understanding my dad
21. Do completely nothing at least one day per week
22. Visit more places in the world where the nature is so beautiful it makes you quiet
23. Find more likeminded people who are resisting capitalism and infinite growth and start playing a more active role
24. Have a sixpack (again)
25. A son or a daughter to discover this beautiful world with
26. Live in a closed community for a while and grow my own food
26. Sail over the world together with Gerben
28. Spend at least two months per two years in Holland
29. Experience the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and turn them into a good thing for the local community
30. Improve my spanish
31. Learn Portugese
32. Create my own location for ‘Working Wonderfully’ where our principles are applied on the location, the guests and where we work on  things bigger than ourselves
33. Surprise Diana more often
34. Go Skydiving
35. Don’t use a shower for a week and use natural resources (lake, waterfall etc) to clean myself
36. Work in a bar or restaurant
37. Give a street performance and earn respect or money from the crowd
38. Shave my head completely
39. Visit at least one big festival per year and dance my ass of
40. Keep making people happy with my pictures for free
41. Participate in the HAKA in New Zealand
42. Bike from Amsterdam to Enschede (I don’t know why, just want to do it someday)
43. ‘Feel’ the himlaya
45. See real lava
46. Do more creative video and photography projects
47. Keep laughing really hard about the most stupid things with my two great brothers

So there you have it: my dreams for the coming years. I am curious to hear what you think of them and what your dreams are. All I can say is doing this exercise every one or two years helps you to keep track of things that matter most to me, and life is about doing what matters most to you isn’t it? After all: ‘the purpose of life is a life of purpose’.

guus,lars,steven

Lars, Guus: Sometimes the best things in life are really simple, I love you guys!

An ode to money

An ode to Money. Humanities greatest gift to the world.

I am the greatest gift to the world
You can buy anything with me
I am just a piece of paper
A fact nobody seems to see

I am the greatest gift to the world
I can take you anywhere
As long as you don’t realize
I was created out of thin air

I am the greatest gift to world
Everybody needs me to stay alive
And although you cannot eat me
I make you work from nine to five

I am the greatest gift to the world
I will make all your dreams come true
And although you might not notice it
I am enslaving you

I am the greatest gift to the world
Debt is where my journey starts
And thanks to smart tv commercials
I thrive on swiping credit cards

I am the greatest gift to world
Short term happiness is my thing
I am worth going to war for
To ensure the economy keeps growing

I am the greatest gift to the world
I will open any door for you
This means when you have a lot of me
You get to control other people too

I am the greatest gift to the world
Everything depends on my circulation
Although I exist mainly virtual
I control the entire nation

I am the greatest gift to the world
Very often I have been disguised
Because to acquire a lot of me
Many lives get sacrificed

I am the greatest gift to the world
I am actually no more than a toy
But when you have very little of me
This world is not yours to enjoy

I am the greatest gift to the world
You could save me for when you are old
But I will be worth nothing
Because it were lies that you have been told

I am the greatest gift to world
I am your only way towards salvation
You think you can’t live without me
Thanks to hundred years of indoctrination

I am the greatest gift to the world
No one questions my existence
The earth is being destroyed for me
Thanks to your belief and persistence

Am I the greatest gift to the world?
Or the worst thing we have ever created?
After reading this you decide:
Will you still be dominated?

An ode to money

wout

(dutch) Als iemand je een vraag stelt…

.. dan beantwoord je die natuurlijk!

Gisteren ontving ik een prachtige vraag van een van mijn nieuwe idolen in mijn leven: Wout van Wengerden. Wout heeft meer energie, passie en overtuiging in zijn doen en laten dan wie dan ook. Hij is de initiatiefnemer van o.a. kwetsbareheld.nl: een ode aan iedereen die zichzelf kwetsbaar durft op te stellen en daardoor een heldenrol vervult voor zichzelf en anderen. Hierboven staat het filmpje met de vraag die Wout mijn stelde: wat was onze grootste angst toen we in december 2011 Nederland verlieten en alles achterlieten voor een bestaan als Digitale Nomaden. Mijn antwoord staat hieronder:

Dit is mijn eerste videoblog. Spannend en weer een angst overwonnen. Het voelt gek om tegen je camera te praten maar eigenlijk is het een stuk fijner dan schrijven. Wat vind jij? Heb je ook een vraag? Stel hem gerust aan mij of Wout!

ohshitfacebook

The concept of weekend

Weekend is a strange concept. A concept created by man and obeyed only by man. A concept that is accepted worldwide as a standard. A concept based on basicly nothing, accept our believe in it. The weekend gives us something to hold on to and to long for. ‘What are you doing this weekend’ is a frequently asked question. But what is the weekend really? To answer this question we have to look at its past. How did the weekend come into existence? And does it still deserve this existence?

From a religious point of view, the weekend was created as the 7th day, our sunday. The sunday was a day of rest and mindfulness after a hard workweek of six days. A moment to reflect an to be with God. Not a bad idea in itself. In 1926, Henry Ford added from a economical point of view an extra day to the ‘weekend’ and also closed his factories on saturday. Since 1940 this was applied globally and since then, the weekend as we know it has been a fact. All in al the weekend is a concept based on a long past of religious thinking and economical effects of the industrial revolution in the 20th century. A concept that deserved its purpose for a long time, felt logical and gave structure to our society and our lives.

However, when you look at the weekend from a ‘Working Wonderfully’ perspective, it is nothing more than fooling ourselves a little bit. For the past eightteen months we have been living without the knowledge of week or weekend, holiday or workday. A truly beautiful feeling. At the moment you realize that the weekend was just an invention and you can let go of the concept of time, you earn complete freedom in return. The freedom to work when you want to, write that blog when you feel like, go party on wednesday evening and do some work on sunday afternoon because you feel like it. In the end it really doesn’t matter what day it is if you feel like working, relaxing, exercising etc.

Why should you only be able to have fun with your friends in the weekend? Why is it strange to work on a saturday? Stay longer in bed only on sunday? Why are you longing the entire week for something we all made up (and more importantly why are you fearing the monday?) You have the freedom to arrange your life the way you want it. To work when you feel like working, to relax when you feel like relaxing. People are not the most productive only from 9-5 on monday to friday and quality time and good weather can often be found during the week. An example from the animal kingdom: you will never see a monkey think on our sunday ‘hehe finally I have some time for myself’. No, he will work for his food when he needs it, he will rest when he is tired and play with his kids or friends when he feels like it. And you will never hear him think: oh shit, it’s monday tomorrow.

To dare to let go of the concept of weekend requieres a different view of ones life though. And quite often it also requieres a boos who can understand and embrace the same ideas. We believe that being able to live free of time, weekend and weekdays is something worth fighting for. To decide yourself where, when and how you work starts with the acknowledgement that time is a fluid concept and that we give our own purpose to it. And that this pattern can be broken. At the moment you realize you can change the thing you thought was being controlled by your Outlook calendar, a world of freedom will open itself.

What do you think? Is it time to say goodbye to the concept of weekend and put the thing you want to do first instead of checking whether the day or the hour is appropriate? If you like this way of thinking you might be open to something a little bit more extrem: out bootcamp Travelling Entrepreneurs in August on Isla Holbox in Mexico. The experience to set you free and create a life of working wonderfully. We would like to hear what you think of the blog above, please do so in the comment or by email!

(this blog appeared earlier on workingwonderfully.com and wonderlijkwerken.nl)