Tag Archives: appreciation

Any value from experiences?

7 Nov

Burning my stomach with vegetable curry in Indore (India), getting stuffed by a huge steak & cheese cake in Nashville (US), falling half-asleep during shoulder massage in Bangkok (Thailand), sweating in sauna in Kerava (Finland), searching for the perfect real ale in Cambridge (UK)… the past four weeks have been busy, and satisfying.

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Balanced in 20 minutes, the power of small installments

8 Oct

The biggest reason for failing to live a balanced life is by trying too much. Making grand plans on how you want your everyday life look like is OK, but eventually the only thing that matters is what you do, every day! Start small, and enjoy these small victories of living the life that you want.

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Appreciating everyday life, learning from crisis in Japan part 2

17 Apr

“You appreciate something that you lose… and then get it back.”

The biggest personal impact due to the nuclear problems in Fukushima was the disruption on the everyday life. Suddenly things I take for granted were challenged:

  • For some days, I didn’t feel safe to breathe outside without a face mask
  • Tap water had some radioactive substances and stores were running out of big water bottles
  • At stores I wanted to know from which region the vegetables were coming from
  • Trains connections were cut, and we were concerned of the blackouts in our area Continue reading

Evening reflection, re-grooving your mind

19 Nov

Our minds are like record players, playing the tune that is imbedded into the grooves of the disc. The music in our heads, our thoughts and thinking patterns, eventually define our emotions and drive our behaviour. So let’s select the record that makes us feel funky!

If you would follow your mind-chatter for one day, you would notice that most of your thoughts are repetitive, continuously there to affirm your perception of the world. Some of your automatic thoughts are helping you to live the life you want (I will succeed in this task, I like working with people), while some stop you from shining in your life (I’m too lazy to do sports, I don’t have the willpower to stop eating sweets).

There are various ways to influence our subconscious thinking, the way we have grooved our mind. For example:

  • meditation helps to build awareness of our own thinking patterns
  • goal setting & visualisation exercises create new reference points for our subconscious
  • self-talk / affirmations help us to replace the dysfunctional thoughts with more positive thinking ways

My personal favourite for re-grooving my mind is to reflect on the past day before going to bed. To give structure for my evening reflection, I have selected some important qualities of the ‘ideal’ me. Almost every evening I take time to think through my day and to write down example situations on how I have lived these qualities. For example, I reflect each evening if / how I have:

  1. used my knowledge & creativity
  2. showed understanding towards other people
  3. been happy about my life

By having done this for the past 2 years, I have noticed the following benefits:

  • Awareness: by thinking through my day each evening, I have started to be more aware of my behavioural / thinking patterns
  • Behaviour: by keeping the same focus areas for longer time, my subconscious has started to seek possibilities in everyday life to behave in line with my ‘ideal’ qualities
  • Satisfaction: every evening I am enjoying small moments of victory, as I’m able to show to myself how I have been living the ‘ideal’ me through my everyday actions

For most of the people (including me), our lives are not yet perfect. So if you want to get different results from what you get nowadays, it might be time to create some new grooves and start dancing to the new tunes.

Moving hands, practicing happiness

26 Oct

For me the biggest freedom that each individual has is the ability to decide the meaning he puts to each moment. This basically means that we can continuously create our reality to be whatever we want. And I want mine to be happy!

I have consciously chosen to practice happiness. In my morning meditation I invite joy into my life, in my evening reflection I recognise a happy moment from my day, and most importantly, in each moment I try find elements that make me happy.

I just came back from picking my wife from the station. These 20 minutes of walking were packed with happiness. Some of the highlights included:

  • smell of the wet air
  • autumn chilliness
  • being able to move my hands (not carrying my suitcase)
  • moving through the darkness
  • feeling of my new hoodie
  • seeing the smile of my wife

Happiness is not about achieving; it’s about going about your everyday life with the right attitude. Happiness is not a stage waiting for you somewhere; it’s there for you every moment in your life. Happiness is an action for you to do!

Your turn! During the next 20 minutes let yourself notice things that make you happy. Actively pay attention to things you can be happy and grateful about.

Don’t wait to become happy; make yourself happy!