Where do you want to be?

Only four months until the end of the year. Still, enough time to do fun things and also (re)build habits. The question is: “Where do you want to be in life on December 31st” The following questions can help you form this person. write down:

one thing you’re excited for

one new thing you like to try

one person you want to catch up with

one area you want to grow in

the way you want to feel

The second step is to implement the answers to these questions daily, weekly, and at tops on a monthly basis. Set realistic deadlines that are easy to write off as accomplished or not yet accomplished.

How fun would it be if you answered these honestly, really stuck with them for the next months, and actually saw results at the end of the year?

Source: Unsplash, by Jorgen Hendriksen

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How green is your grass?

We live in an era of the Internet where you can post anything. And few social media applications are filtered to what you want to see. Yes sure you can follow the accounts you like. But the explore page is still feeding you with more accounts to “consume”.

Do you really want what they have?

When you see someone with a shiny car do you really want that car? You can see someone being super happy with what they have, applaud them. But at the same time you don’t have to want what they have. Do you want a partner, a social media career, or children, to be traveling constantly? Think about it: what if you can’t post anything on the Internet or show off in public, would you still want that? Well, there’s your answer.

People don’t notice you

When you have an expensive car, you park it and walk out.. people don’t look at you but at the car. So even if you really want that car. be aware that people will not admire you but rather that car. The same goes for all other materialistic stuff. While it has become part of the culture to constantly celebrate an accomplishment and signal your hustle online. What you’re doing with that is watering society and social media platforms. You are not focusing on your “lawn” but rather on how your “lawn” is perceived by your neighbors.

The grass is greener where you water it.

What you give attention to grows. This means that if you spend a lot of your time and energy looking at other people’s lives, that will grow in your eyes. You are nurturing their “lawn” while yours turns brown. No wonder you think their life is much better because you have been putting all YOUR time into theirs.

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Finding contentment

It is certain that every human will experience ups and downs in their lives. How do we find contentment during those times? Usually, people handle good times better than bad times. So in this post, I will focus more on the bad times.

No expectations

When we feel disappointed it is usually because we were really looking forward to something. It could also be that you had a different expectation of that situation and things turned out differently. By having high expectations you’re setting yourself up for failure. But you could also look at it the other way around. Namely, during good times you expect that something bad will happen so only thing negative thoughts.


  • Shit happens
    suffering is part of every human experience. But somehow we forget this because we only show the shiny side of our lives on social media. The more you accept that you will experience ups and downs. The more you can heal when a situation arises.
  • Being selective with their attention
    people who show resilience accept the things they can’t change and act on the things they can change. This allows for more peace of mind.
  • Help or Harm
    people who show resilience also ask themselves: “Is what I’m doing helping or harming me?” Some things are not helping us in our healing process but feed the emotion we are in at that point.

Practicing gratitude

By writing or thinking about all the things you are grateful for daily or weekly, you are looking at the good that is happening in your life. This way you will always find something positive during good or/and bad times. It also might be easier to cope with the thing you’re dealing with, because there is always something to be grateful for.

Image: Unsplash. by Dave Herring

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Take the good with the bad

A rainbow arises when rain falls and the sun shines simultaneously. This is one example of the quote “With hardship comes ease”. It is important to take the good with the bad and end up with a beautiful site like a rainbow.

Inna ma’al ‘usri yusra

In Arabic we have a saying which is translated to “With hardship comes ease”. And for years I have interpreted this as: “After hardship comes ease”. Usually, people say this to reassure you and make you realize that after the hard times, the sun shines again and better days will come. But actually, life is more complicated than that. Because in reality the good and bad times happen intertwined. Yasmine Mogahed writes it beautifully in her book Reclaim your heart. She says:

The ease exists at the same time as the hardship. This means that nothing in this life is ever all bad (or all good). In every bad situation we’re in, there is always something to be grateful for. With hardship, Allah also gives us the strength and patience to bear it.

Jasmin Mogahed

Yin and Yang

Is a Chinese philosophical concept. It explains that opposite forces need to exist together in order to have harmony. Yin (black) is receptive and yang (white) is the active principle. They need each other for example; night and day, black and white, etc. It could also stand for positive and negative. This would mean that in order to live in harmony, one must have positive and negative in their life at the same time.

Don’t go looking

Now it is not wise to go looking for the bad at times when things are going well. Sometimes everything in my life is going great; career, private life, health. And during those times I often worry about what will ruin it all. Thus, which hardship will crash this good time. But by looking for hardship you firstly are not fully present during beautiful moments in your life. Secondly, you are also manifesting and inviting that bad energy into your life which ultimately becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Image: Unsplash, by Yulia Gadalina

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It’s always me against myself

Have you ever noticed yourself slacking with something? For me, it usually is my weight or the discipline to be consistent with writing these posts. A year ago I was fit and living healthy. I’ve lived a healthy lifestyle once so, I know I can get back to it.

Do better

I believe that life comes in different phases, the same as the economy. There are recessions and expansions. In the phase of expansion, I’m personally thriving. My lifestyle is healthy, my body is fit, and my mind is well-rested. Now in the phase of recession, I don’t make time to eat healthy, I’m not consistent with my workouts and mindfulness is the last of my priorities. It is a shame because I know I have the discipline to keep up with this lifestyle and somehow I let it slip away sometimes.

Things are getting personal

When I notice that I want to get back to something, but it’s not happening, then it gets personal. The only person standing in my way is me. But make no mistake, just because you’ve been so disciplined once doesn’t mean you’ll bounce back immediately. It takes time and for me, I like to look at it as if I’ve never done it before because then I won’t compare myself too much against my previous self. On the other hand, it also gives me motivation to know that I have done it before. And if I had the motivation once, I can tap into that again.

Your potential

Image: Unsplash, by Baran Lotfollahi

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New environment, better ideas

Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what you need. Whether you need inspiration for a new product or you’re stuck on a project. Why not take a break or even learn a thing or two from another industry?

Take a break

When you feel stuck or need inspiration, you must take a break from your current industry. Einstein regularly took a break from physics. He ventured into realms of science like music, art, and mathematics. This way he could get new ideas and implement them in his own research.

Take a bath

Other times you have to completely do nothing. Just relax and “clear your mind”. Now a major disclaimer: clearing your mind doesn’t mean scrolling on your phone. Because if you scroll on an app on your phone, you’re still injecting your brain with new information. Archimedes took a bath and suddenly he had his eureka moment. He saw that the water moved upwards as he was sitting down. This eventually led to the law of Archimedes.


Have breakfast

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Embrace the full range of emotions

Listen to your body

Usually, when you feel a strong emotion it is because your body is telling you something. For example, when you feel really tired or sick, your body is requesting rest. Most people don’t fully listen to their bodies. But in the end, it will get what it wants, because in my opinion you won’t just get rid of an emotion or feeling until you deal with it.

Stress response cycle

Are you feeling stressed? Don’t wave it away by saying “It will be fine”. Think of the quote in our newsletter: Witness it, Allow it, Release it. Sisters Ameila and Emily Nagoski studied stress related to burnout. They found that not completing the stress response cycle has consequences on your stress levels and even your well-being. This is proof that your body is constantly telling you something and you need to deal with it or else it has consequences. But sometimes we don’t even notice that the stress response cycle has not ended yet. For example, someone you know (at work or in your private life) has made a harsh comment. Now consider you have had a conversation with that person and expressed your view on it. When we leave that situation we often think that the cycle is completed. However, we still could be feeling angry or hurt. If these situations happen continuously it leads to these repeated incomplete loops of stress build-up, making it hard to sleep and compromising our ability to manage the next event that might be a trigger. Article


Other times these emotions could be a mirror. Haemin Sunim wrote the book “The things you can only see when you slow down”. It contains a bundle of quotes full of wisdom. Some of the quotes are about your emotions or actions towards others being a mirror of yourself. For example, The flaw that you immediately notice in someone you meet is probably a flaw of yours, too. If you didn’t have it, you wouldn’t have noticed it so quickly.

Image: Unsplash, by Imleedh Ali

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You are not the main character in their lives

“Think about others as much as they think about you. ” Remember that awkward moment you had in high school or during a summer vacation? Well, the people that experienced that with you probably don’t remember. We overestimate how much time people spend thinking about us. And it’s time to let that go.

You do it too

How much do you think about others? Now choose the one person you think about most. How many hours a day do you think about them? Two, three, or four hours tops? Nobody thinks about someone else the full 24 hours a day. Most of your time is spent thinking about your own goals and challenges, basically your own life. And if this is true for you, it probably is also accurate for someone else.

People listen to respond

When you have a conversation it usually goes something like this: “Person A tells a personal story. Person B responds to that story with something similar they’ve been through.” Most times people listen to respond instead of actually listening. So even if you tell a personal story, the other person is still thinking about themselves. At the end of the day, we have to come to terms with the fact that we can only be the main character in our own lives. So focus on improving your story.

Be bold

Let’s say you want to dress differently or hang out with a different crowd. Don’t be discouraged by what others will think or even say. Because at the end of the day: “You got to think about others as much as they think about you.”

Image: Unsplash, by Bruno Figueiredo

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How you think others perceive you

I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am. Read that again…
This term comes from sociologist Charles Horton Cooley. He created a concept around it called The looking-glass self. But more on that later.

The term

Now let’s dive deeper into the first few sentences. Basically, Charles Horton Cooley explains that we don’t form a self-image fully ourselves. Rather we create an image of what others might think of us and run with that story of our self-image. Perhaps it still sounds too abstract.

Let’s imagine someone values money, and you are around that person a lot. Then you might create an image on what that person thinks of you regarding money. That eventually becomes your self-image.
On the other hand, let’s imagine you have a presentation and the people in the room all look a little bored. You might think that they think your presentation is boring or that your non-verbal skills are poor. As a result, you think that you haven’t prepared your presentation well enough. In reality, someone in the room might be a new parent and hasn’t slept all night because of their baby.

Looking-Glass Self

You might be curious about this process of creating a self-image. Below are three main components.

  • We imagine how we must appear to others in a social situation.
  • We imagine and react to what we feel their judgment of that appearance must be.
  • We develop our sense of self and respond through these perceived judgments of others.

Reaching a self-imagined ideal

As explained above, the looking-glass self concludes that we develop our sense of self through our perceived judgments from others. To take it a step further one could try to reach a self-imagined ideal. Jay Shetty wrote in his book Think Like a Monk: “Not only is our self-image tied up in how we think others see us, but most of our efforts at self-improvement are really just us trying to meet that imagined ideal.”

Silver lining

All the concepts and examples above contain others. However, none consider what others actually think. This made me realize that in the development of our sense of self we only take into account our own thoughts and preconceptions. The silver lining in all of this is that we have the power to change our thoughts and therefore change our self-image.

Image: Unsplash, by Priyanka Singh

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Yes means saying no to all other options

Time is essential. I used to think that saying yes was easier than saying no. But actually, it needs to be the other way around, because yes leads to commitment. Practice saying no to something you don’t want to commit to.

No is more important than yes

The first thing I thought about was that the word no creates boundaries. But it goes even deeper than that. When you say yes, you end up saying no to all other options. This makes saying no even more important than saying yes. So next to no creating a boundary, you also get to evaluate what you find really important.

Career is not always most important

You might be inclined to say yes to all opportunities in your job. Especially at the start of your career. But when you say yes to a business opportunity, you say no to time with others. Ryan Holiday said it best on the On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast. He said; “Love is spelled T-I-M-E”. So quality time with your loved ones is essential. We sometimes forget that the quality of life is not only materialistic. Time is a valuable currency we have a limited amount of.

Image: Unsplash, by Lena Polishko

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