Just Play

December 30, 2009

We typically spend less than 20% of our time doing what we like or even doing some work that is meaningful and enjoyable. At the same time we spend over 50% of our time doing work that is boring, meaningless and unsatisfying.

So, when I tell people that I turned this around and do exactly the opposite, most of them look at me with a puzzled face. They either don’t get it or don’t believe me. Luckily some do and these are the ones that are open to change and improvement.

Having said that, I came to the conclusion that most people are really stuck in their everyday situation. The sad part is that they know all this. So do you, right? Why are you stuck? Why are you settling for it. Why are you doing the stuff you are doing?

I want you to have a life full of dreams, possibilities and meaning!
You deserve it! And sure, it might not be the easy way, but at least you’ll have a life… It takes clarity, focus and commitment to build it and to enjoy it.

Most people don’t know how to step out of their every day life. They don’t know (it anymore) what it is to really enjoy. Or to really play and have fun. So, one of the first steps in setting yourself free and stepping outside of your current framework is to Just Play!

By just playing, you start to rediscover the joy of fun, laughter and good times. Start with playing a game you liked as a kid or invite some friends over and play any kind of game. By playing we release tension and relax more. We get into the habit of smiling and fun. Imagine what our world would look like if we all had more fun…

So, would you commit to do something of fun this weekend? Would you commit to Just Play in 2010? Even if it doesn’t set you free, at least you’ll have a great time, right? Let me know what kind of fun you love to have, we all might enjoy it…

Living Simply

December 27, 2009

Almost every day I have a conversation with someone onΒ simplifying our lives. For most people it is very hard to understand that we do not want to continue in this “rat-race”. Of course, we still want a full life, but sometimes it is getting ridiculous. We have tried more and more of everything, only to find that life has not become easier, better or even what we hoped for. We are continuously running from one thing to another. More people, more fun, more money, on and on. We sometimes long for the day that it won’t be so busy. And who’s planning all that? Right, we are!

During these last months Tonia and I had several discussions on where our lives are going. Especially during her walk to Santiago. We came to the conclusion that we are making it too difficult for ourselves. Our lives are too complicated. There must be a simple way to change all that. Where is the Genius Shortcut here? πŸ™‚

So, it all changes now! We are committed to simplify our lives. How do we simplify the details that make up our lives? And aren’t those details important? Not anymore…We are thinking in a different kind of abundance now. We are downsizing and reorganizing our lives towards a continuous process of joy, freedom and contribution. To give you one example: with the extra money we are saving on our (new) house, we can travel more, explore more cultures and enroll for extra trainings. We are spending the same amount, but in an optimized way. Another example: some of the extra money we make on our house will be donated to a charity. Third example? While our monthly running costs are downsized, we can easily take another time-out or sabbatical when we feel like it. We no longer need months of savings to cover for us, while we are somewhere else enjoying more.

You see, we are looking at things in a different way now. We are living simply and at the same time achieving more. Less is more!

So, what could you do to simplify your life? Have you thought about that? Now would be a good time πŸ™‚

Reuse Bananas

December 24, 2009

Yes, as bananas are dear to us through our “Go Bananas” project, I was surprised to find a blog article about the reuse of banana peels. The only uses I knew, was using it to fill the compost or to see people slip and take a fall. Now, there are at least 7 extra Genius Shortcuts to reuse your banana peels. For once, I did not try them out, so try them at your own risk πŸ™‚

1. Help Your Garden Grow: Bananas are naturally high in potassium and encourages plant growth. Use banana peel or puree entire banana and bury with soil.
2. Shoe Polish: Use the peel to make your kicks nice and shiny.
3. Stop the Itch: Rub the inside of a banana peel on a bug bite helps itch relief.
4. Pain Reliever: The oil in a banana peel will help relieve the pain from (sun)burns and scratches.
5. Wart Removal: Tape a piece of banana peel on a wart, continue until it’s gone.
6. Make Houseplants Gleam: Just like peels can shine shoes, they can also be used to make the leaves of plants shine.
7. Removing Splinters: Similar to wart removal, tape a piece of the peel over the splinter. The enzymes will help dislodge the splinter and heal the wound.

Of course, I did some extra research and found a couple of extra Genius Shortcuts for reusing bananas:

8. Tender Chicken: Bake skinless chicken breast with a banana peel over the top. It replaces the skin and keep your chicken more tender.
9. Teeth Whitener: Rub your teeth with a banana peel for 2 minutes daily.
10. Face mask: Mash up a banana and put it as a mask on your face for 20 minutes. Works even better with yogurt and honey added.

So, now you know everything you need to Go Bananas! πŸ™‚

Sources: Β re-nest, curbly


December 22, 2009

We all have reasons and excuses for not doing something. We often find more contra than pro. So, we don’t do it. But, what if you want to do it? But, what if it would change your life? Eminem says it right when he sings : “Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment Would you capture it or just let it slip?” My question is, would you just let it slip? Let’s hear your excuse(s) πŸ™‚

Anyway, here is another brilliant commercial about the “BUT”-word. Plenty of reasons not to play ball…Pay special attention at the last one. Then think again. What’s keeping you from achieving your goals? So, get on with it and “Just do it!”

Less is More!

December 21, 2009

A classical title for my plea to stimulate simplicity.

Life is complex if you want it to. Can we make it simple again? Sure! Just let go of some of your activities and luxurious materialism. Easier said than done? Probably. So, what can you do to make your life simple again? Simply give up more!

To set an example, my wife and I decided to sell our house. We are moving to a smaller house. Of course, we can make a lot of excuses for not doing it. At the same time, we did create a list of what it can and will bring us instead. The most important one for us is freedom! We want to create more freedom, so we can travel more, invest more in personal growth and help more people. By downsizing we can actually save a significant amount extra every month. Of course, we’ll be happy in our new home too! And this doesn’t mean we’ll buy a dump πŸ™‚

So, how does it work? Here is a fictitious example :

Value of the house : 300,000 €

Mortgage : 150,000 €

Net : 150,000 €

New House : 180,000 €

New Mortgage : 120,000 €

Own Means : 60,000 € + costs notary, energy documents… 20,000 € = 80,000 €

Net Profit : 70,000 € (=300K – 150K – 80K)

With 70,000 € you can buy yourself quite some freedom πŸ™‚ And yes, I know, it’s just a fictitious example, just fill it in for your own situation and be amazed how much “extra” freedom you can get by downsizing.

On top of that, if you invest this at a 20%/year rate (ask me how), you’ll double it after 4 years! Of course, you can also spend 10,000 € this year and gain 12K € next year (@ 20%), of which you can spend another 10K € to enjoy your freedom. And you could do this every year. In my world spending 10K € on extra freedom is fantastic! Oh, by the way, you could repeat it yearly. And you might consider giving away 10% to your favourite charity too : 1,200 €! The remaining 800 € will probably cover extra costs, taxes and partially inflation, right?

So, now that I’ve shown you how to do it, what steps are you taking to simplify your life? Sure, it takes courage and it doesn’t have to be the same plan we are executing, but I am sure you can downsize easily too. So, let me know which actions you are taking…

PS : if you are interested in buying our house, have a look at Immoweb (Dutch).