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 on 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? 🙂

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 🙂


September 30, 2008

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
– Elbert Hubbard –

What a great quote this is! We often take ourselves way too seriously, don’t we? Most of our problems are problems of our own mind. We can focus as easily on the solution as on the problem, but most of us tend to stick with the problem. The others, not you, of course 🙂

Haven’t you experienced it before that in front of a challenge that you were terrified, having difficulties to find a way out and it looked like you were stuck and your whole life depended on it, while afterwards, when reflecting on it, how could you have been so seriously about this? It wasn’t such a biggie after all…Sure, it was a lesson to be learned! And did you learn the lesson or what? What do you mean: NO? So you had to go through this a couple of times? Right, so did I, but no longer…

Do you take yourself so seriously all the time? Why? Are you that important? Really?
Loosen up, have fun and enjoy more 🙂

In fact: Enjoy Every Day,

Bert Verdonck
Create, Connect & Contribute

Today’s Contract

June 17, 2008

In today’s cell phone, internet, fast moving society we see a contrast with a few of the most common human challenges we face.

Fear and insecurity. A human basic need, but so many people today are gripped, almost paralysed with a sense of fear. The vulnerability often fosters a resignation to riskless living and to co-dependy (or is it interdependeny?) with others at work and at home. The problem, in my humble opinion (imho), is that we are living in an interdependent reality, and our most important accomplishments require interdependency skills well beyond our present (and future?) abilities.

Next is the lack of life balance. Our lives are increasingly complex, stressful and exhausting. For all our efforts to manage our time, do more, be more and achieve greater efficiency (through lifehacking?), why is it that we find ourselves in a situation of subordinating health, family, integrity and many of the things that matter most to our work? Go in earlier, work harder, more efficient, stay later and sacrifice more, seems to be bringing peace of mind, but is it really worth it? I don’t think so, but who am I to state that? I’ve been there (+100 hours/week for years), done that (bought the T-shirt if you like) and didn’t want it no more.

I consciously choose to do the work that I love (it hardly feels like work nowadays!), and focus on what I really want in live. I delegate “stuff” I don’t want to do or get rid of it in some way, so that I can dedicate almost all my time to enjoying what I do. I’d say I became pretty good at it by now 🙂 And where are you? When do you start living (the life you really want)? What’s keeping you? When did you decide not to go easy on yourself? Get rid of that limiting believe and start living what you really dream of…I did it and so can you!

Something to think about, right? 😉

Enjoy every day,
Bert Verdonck
Lifehacker & Coach

May you live…

June 13, 2008

May you live all the days of your life.

– Jonathan Swift –

A nice wish by a great author (Gulliver’s Travels) to think about our daily lives. Why are so many of us just surviving and not really living their lives? Start realising that life’s too short and that you have to focus on your purpose in life. It may be over sooner than you think! What if today was your last day? How would you live it? What would you do? And why aren’t you living more days like this special “last day”?

I am grateful for every day and the magnificent opportunities and lessons that are coming my way. I am living my life! On top of that I am focusing on doing what I love to do and enjoying every bit of it!

So, what’s your excuse?

Enjoy every day,

Bert Verdonck

Create, Connect & Contribute

Create your own business?

March 8, 2008

How many of us are dreaming of creating a business from doing something we are passionate about? How do you know what your passion is? Do you really think you can make money by just doing what you love? No? That’s why most people stop here and return to their daily job, being unhappy and remaining stuck for the rest of their lives. 

Of course, this is not about you 😉 

What can you do to break this pattern? Start by creating a vision and dreaming again! Make a list of things you really, really love to do. It doesn’t matter if these have no correlation at first sight. Start writing now! 

Just come up with a list of stuff like driving luxury cars, dining in fancy restaurants, flying around the world to explore nature, etc. Wouldn’t it be great to do this for a living? Be paid for what you love to do…just make sure you choose something you really love! 

When you have this list, just Google and find out who else is doing this? Find out about your competitors. It would be great if you find them. That means there is a market for it,right? And if they can, you can too 😉 

Now, think about this activity. Do you love it so much, you are dreaming of doing this every day? Would you enjoy it every day? Great! If not, go back to updating your list until you find something you are daily passionate about… 

The next step is to think about the business model. Most people never get started because they think they don’t have what it takes to build a successful business. In their mind they are lacking background (education, experience, age,…), resources (people, money, equipment,…) and guts (giving up security, positive attitude, business feeling,…). But guess what? No one does! Every entrepreneur is learning along the way! And who said you can’t start small? 

Before you do actually start, write a business plan and talk to some specialists. Most of them are willing to have a first look at your plan for free. All you have to do is ASK them! You might be surprised how many are ready to help a fellow entrepreneur… And if after a while you are absolutely sure, you didn’t find anyone, just ask me 😉

The most important thing to do is to start working on the “What” you want to do. Make sure you are passionate about it! If you have found it, you can start working on the “How” of your business. You will see how much easier it gets once you have the “What”! 

Enjoy every day,

Bert Verdonck

Create, Connect & Contribute