Waking Up

August 31, 2011

The feeling of “waking up” is probably one of the most under-appreciated moments in our lives. Why? Because in those moments of waking up, you feel most likely still (a bit) sleepy and you have trouble opening your eyes. It’s like we are a child again and just find out that another day has begun. Sometimes this innocence is shattered by an unexpected move, like falling out of your bed or your partner loudly getting up next to you. That’s not what I am talking about! πŸ˜‰

This morning I had a special “waking up” process. I am sailing on a 51 feet sailing yacht in Greece and we anchored the harbor of Symi. I slept outside, like I often do on these trips. I also have my earplugs and my eyeshades on (those you get on long distance flights) ). So, imagine sleeping like a baby on deck. Suddenly, I feel a warm energy touching my body, almost caressing and slowly making me aware of what’s happening (no,it’s not what you think it is πŸ˜‰ ). Since I don’t hear and don’t see yet, I have no clue of what’s happening. It is the sunbeams! What a feeling…like magic!

So, I am really happy for receiving this gift. It made me realize that waking up is in most cases a process that passes us by. We are probably unaware of it. Looking back to it, I am still sitting here with a big smile on my face. Also, thinking that I should pay more attention to the waking up ritual. Why? Well, if you can get a fresh start with a potion of happiness, then the rest of your day probably will unfold itself like this as well. Just be aware of those first couple of minutes while waking up and you know exactly what I am talking about!

Now, what does all of this has to do with you? Do you have a clear view on where you want to go in life? Do you actually have a plan to achieve your life goals? Or are you still dreaming about your legacy? And I hope you do have dreams! Now, the question is have you waken up yet? Do you feel the sunbeams? Do you have this wonderful feeling that another day has arrived? And you can build the next step towards your dreams?

Just let this feeling sink into you. Be aware of this special moment and enjoy your day!

I know I will πŸ™‚

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Crossing Streets

August 13, 2011

As a young boy I was told to look out for traffic before crossing the street. Some obvious rules where learned (e.g. look left & right). It worked pretty well for me (I was never run over :-)). Now, so many years later, when visiting Vietnam, this all changes! The first piece of advice we got upon arriving was : “Do you know how to cross the street?”

What? Do you think I am stupid? Where do you think I am coming from? I’ve been crossing streets all my life! But that was not what the question intended. If you look at the streets here in Hanoi for example. And let me show you just a couple of seconds of how crossing a street works here with this little clip (can you find the pedestrians?):

Did you notice the cop crossing too?

Now, here are 5 simple rules to cross the streets in Hanoi (or in some other big Asian cities):

1. Always Look Left & Right: preferably multiple times. You must be alert and aware of the traffic around you. They not always follow the same rules as in our western world. Although it looks pretty obvious, it is a must, for your own safety. Even if it’s a one-way street!

2. Go Slow: this way the traffic around you can guestimate what your next moves are and how to avoid you.

3. Don’t Run: if you run, you become unpredictable and you increase the chances of getting hit.

4. Don’ Stop: if you stop, you become an obstacle. As long as you keep on moving the traffic flows around you.

5. Don’t Go Back: it’s very bad to go back. If you panic, keep on going slowly. Going back is NOT done.

I would like to add my own tip:

6. Follow a local who’s crossing the street. Walk his walk. Copy what they are doing and you should be safe. Of course, choose wisely! πŸ˜‰

PS: If you want more (severe) traffic shots : Traffic Hanoi, Crossing HanoiΒ and Crazy Traffic.