Saturday, July 30, 2011

Me, the newspaper column writer

Today I made it to the news! Writing a column at least.

The NRC Next has a column called 'waarom hebben wij dat niet?', meaning 'why don't we have that?' It's a column that describes 'inventions' or things that you see in other countries that makes you wonder it's not in your own.

Short translation: The article is about the buskers, street musicians who play on one of the 500 designated spots in the London tube.

Write column for a national newspaper: Check.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Party hardy with Improv Everywhere mp3 experiment 8

Image found here.

You might already be familiar with some of their work, such as the 'no pants subway rides' or the 'frozen grand central'. Their latest project is called 'the mp3 experiment 8', where 3500 people downloaded and pressed play at the same time to participate in a series of synchronized actions using flashlights, camera flashes, glow sticks, and masks.

The Improv Everywhere group do all sorts of pranks in public places, which they call 'missions'. Their goal of these missions is to simply cause scenes of 'chaos and joy'.

So awesome.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to thrive by carefully picking your environment

Image found here.

You have this crazy idea. It's a bit risky. It's a bit out of the ordinary, but you know that if you succeeded you could be living the life you really wanted. So you start telling your friends and family about it. And then it starts.

"That's crazy, it's not as easy as you think." "But what if you failed?" "Stop dreaming, that doesn't happen to people like us." Just keep listening to their arguments and the sooner or later you'll say to yourself: "Hey, I guess that makes sense, what was I thinking?"

Sounds familiar?

Now what would happen if instead, this is what they would've said: "Wow, that's a brilliant idea, I can't believe I never thought of that", "This could really work, make sure you have a plan B if things go wrong, then go for it!" or "Great idea, you should call my friend Steve and talk about it, I'm sure he can help you work out your plan".

Would that make a difference?

It's often your environment that makes or breaks you. Especially when your discipline and self-confidence isn't as hard as steel. Who are you 5 best friends? You're the average of those 5 people. Look around in your social circles, your friends, your classmates, your colleagues, or even your family. Who of them do you really envy, do you look up to, and feel like they're really successful? Who of them only pulls you down and who of them actually encourages you to be successful?

It's not always that easy to consciously choose your environment. You've grown on them. The temptation is great when they call to sit in the bar chitchatting about the same useless stuff for the fourth time this week. But let's be brutally honest: you know deep down inside the only reason why you 'hang' with them is because you think you're better than them and that makes you feel good about yourself.

But once you constantly and only surround yourself with positive and successful people, you'll automatically follow in their footsteps. You'll have no choice, it works as peer pressure. Make them your mentors. The great part? Everyone will encourage and help you to succeed!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Old Spice Guy: The Internet duel of the century

Image found here.

This is what the genius marketer must have thought:

Put a bare-chested, deep-voiced, over-the-top ladies man in a bath towel promoting deodorant on video and voila; I've got myself the perfect ingredients for the most epic ad campaign ever.

And he was right.

It started with the Old Spice Twitter feed: “Today could be just like the other 364 days you log into Twitter, or maybe the Old Spice man shows up”, when everyone could ask questions to Isaiah Mustafa, or better known as The Old Spice Guy, and he would make 30-second videos to answer anything you ever wanted to know.

Up until recently, The Old Spice Guy was being ‘replaced’ by his long-blond haired evenly muscled alter ego Fabio, or better: The New Old Spice Guy. But when The Old Spice Guy found out, all hell broke loose. And so the ultimate ridiculous popularity battle of all time began, called ‘Old Spice Guy Mano a Mano Fabio in El Baño’, in battle arena Internet.

People from all over the world send in questions like “@OldSpice I challenge you to a laser cat duel. Are you manly enough to duel with laser cats?” resulting in a series of hilarious video replies which have literally nothing to do anymore with deodorant whatsoever (see the reply below).

The fierce battle proceeds as I’m blogging this, so follow the battle live on foot (click here) and make sure to get answers to anything you’ve always wanted to know!

BBC’s hunt for the answer: What is reality?

I am me. You are you. But what if we’re not? In BBC’s Horizon documentary ‘What Is Reality?’, scientists explain that we live in an infinity of parallel worlds.

Think of a tennis ball bouncing off a wall. On the moment it hits the wall, it can bounce to the right, to the left or any other direction. Every possibility creates and continues in its new parallel world. We can only see one world, which is the parallel world we live in.

Looking for clues within the atom, scientists find 6 essential elements that everything in the world is made of. We know it is, but we don’t know why. Why 6? Others argue that everything can be defined by mathematics, making reality a mathematic structure. It further discusses how black holes can suck in literally everything including light, and how we all might be part of some sort of cosmic hologram, projected from the edge of the universe.

So, what does this imply to our daily lives? For one, we can use the law of attraction to teleport ourselves into our desired parallel world. Or: we’re part of an alien mathematical super computer that’s projecting our reality and we really live in the Matrix.

Are you still with me? No, you’re not. In the words of one of the scientist: “We only know that it’s there and what it does, but nobody understands it.”

Thus, in a parallel world other than this one, given the ‘facts’ that time is relative (Einstein said so) and we’re living in an infinity of parallel worlds, I might be you and the other way around.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How great leaders inspire action

Why is it that Martin Luther King led the civil rights movement? How come Apple is so innovative compared to its competitors? And how were the Wright brothers able to figure out the world’s first successful airplane?

In his great talk, Simon Sinek explains what these three have in common. He calls it the Golden Circle.

I’ve used this simple yet wonderful concept ever since and it has helped me to structure my thinking, whether in emails, letters, or talks. Now you can use it too!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Google’s own Facebook: Google+

Image found here.

A silent watcher. That’s what they call it. As I’m lurking in offline mode, checking out who’s having dinner with whom, in which restaurant, what the lobster soup taste and look like, and how the rain poured down on their way to it, I just can’t help myself thinking why on earth I would want to know any of that.

And yet, I do, and with me 750 million others. That’s when Google decided: “I want Facebook too”, and launched Google+. Currently only available upon invitation, Google+ tries to beat Facebook by making their platform more like the real life, by introducing Circles, Sparks, and Hangouts.

Circles enables a user to share certain things with certain people only who are in their ‘circle’. Sparks picks out interesting content from the web based on your preferences, similar to Stumbleupon. And Hangouts, what Google calls ‘the next best thing apart from teleportation’, attempts to simulate being in a social environment like a party, where you meet friends by chance.

A smart move of Google, to let the users do the work for them by letting them put the right contacts in the right circles. However, it still isn’t perfect. For example when you share content within a circle, everyone else in that circle knows who you’ve shared it with. That's not always preferable, as with CC and BCC in email.

And that’s exactly what the invitation only policy is for, to get feedback and improve it before the Grand Launch. And so the war in social media land gains another giant player. With already over 2 million members in the first two weeks, things looks pretty promising for Google+. Meanwhile, Facebook announced to launch new product improvements, including the recently leaked out iPad Facebook app.

“I liked Google+ when it was still called Facebook” is what you’ll hear more often these days. Which brings us to the question whether there is still room for another social media platform. And also, how much more will Google get to know about our lives, if it doesn’t already know everything that is.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How to think your dreams into reality using the law of attraction

Image found here.

Imagine being a gigantic magnet. Think Magneto from the movie X-Men First Class. But instead of just attracting the screwdrivers, cars, and massive satellite dishes, you’re literally attracting everything you’re thinking of.

Think of your thoughts as life’s eBay and the universe is the almighty supplier. Now, what can you not buy on eBay these days? You simply click on what you want and know that in just a matter of days, it’ll magically appear before you.

This is exactly what happens when you’re using the law of attraction. Here are the three basic steps to follow:

1. Ask; know precisely what you want. If not, how would you know if you’ve received it or not? Then go ahead and ask the universe for it. Or god, or whatever you believe in.
2. Belief; belief with all that you are that what you ask for will become yours. Use the same certainty as if you ordered your razor from eBay.
3. Receive; let it become reality. Experience all the emotions you would feel as if you already have it. You’ll attract exactly that what matches your feelings.

The last part is crucial; the more intensely you feel, the faster it will manifest. Always combine your feelings with gratitude, the most powerful emotion there is.

One last thing to remember is that the universe makes no distinction between positive and negative thoughts. It simply gives what you focus on. Focus on why you’re so damn poor and more poverty will manifest. Focus on all your extra pounds and don’t be surprised how much more you can get. But when you focus on being wealthy, the money, health, and happiness starts flowing into your life.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities and don’t know where to start? It makes no difference to the universe to what or how much you ask for, or when you ask for it or receive it. You’re the determining factor. I’d say start small. Build momentum by seeing the small things manifests before your eyes. Then when you’ve grown that rock-solid belief, go all out!

The secret of living your dream life starting right now

Image found here.

That’s a pretty big headline you’ve got there young man! Yep. What I’m about to share with you is the single most powerful thing I’ve ever learned. It’s the ultimate power in the possession of us, humble mortals.

If you’re open to it, it will completely change the way you think about the world and everything you know about it. And if you’re really open to it, it takes you on a rollercoaster ride and your dream life starts at this very moment.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

It’s called ‘the law of attraction’. Here’s what is says: like attracts like. Positive thinking attracts positive physical results; negative thinking attracts negative physical results.

Take a big-ass microscope, and put anything you can think of underneath it and zoom in a gazillion times. Here’s what you’ll see: vibrating energy. Everything around you is energy. You are energy. And most importantly, your thoughts are energy.

So what you think, your thoughts, influences and manifests itself into the physical reality. You’re the creator of your thoughts, thus the creator of your own physical reality. And that’s where true power lies. Your current life is nothing more or less than the result of your past thoughts!

If you pay attention to it, sooner or later you’ll discover that all successful people know, consciously or subconsciously, and use exactly what you’re reading about right now in their every day lives. In fact, I’ve used this very same principle to attract you to my blog. What do you think about that?

There’s a book and DVD out there, called ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, and that’s all you need. If you have never heard of it or haven’t seen it yet; go get it. Buy the book. Get the DVD. Download it or do it all. It’ll blow your mind, guaranteed.

On the next post I’ll explain the steps of how to actually use this to make your dreams become reality.

The day my MacBook Air went iPad

Image found here.

Well, almost. Except for the touchscreen. The responsible? OS X Lion, Apple’s no-brainer operation system upgrade for only €23,99 straight from the App Store.

Rubber-band scrolling, zooming, tapping, pinching, and swiping; directing four fingers at once requires some practice, but the new multi-touch gestures on the trackpad feels extraordinary. The full-screen experience surely makes browsing on Safari more enjoyable (although you could already do it with other browsers) and you just gotta love the Launchpad.

Another neat little functionality is the AirDrop, making file sharing with other Mac users easier and user-friendlier. Now just have to wait until everyone else updates to OS X Lion too. Other new stuff includes Mission Control, App Store, Versions, and Resume; functionalities I personally don’t use all too often.

The new MacBook Air launched the same day; same appearance this time, but faster, more memory, and the return of the backlit keyboard. Looks cool, but honestly? I wonder who works in the dark anyway.

It feels like the Apples become more alike every step of the way. Can’t wait until the launch of the new iOS for my iPhone 4, iCloud, and the expected iPhone 5 in September. It will inevitably draw a heck of a lot more non-Apple-users across the border into the promised Apple-land. And once you go Mac, you’ll never go back.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Playing extra on new NCRV TV series Mixed Up

8:00 a.m. The alarm goes off. Have to be on the set at 9:00 a.m. Today I’ll play the role of an extra on the tenth episode of Mixed Up, starring Georgina Verbaan.

Mixed Up is a drama series about the life at the editorial office of ZIJ (Dutch for ‘she’) magazine and the battle of the sexes. Today we were shooting at the office studio and a few scenes on the streets in Amsterdam.

For me and my fellow extras, it was mostly waiting until you were summoned for some of act-like-you’re-doing-something-interesting-at-the-office on the background. It was fascinating to witness the live recording on the set, as the last-minute lights, make-up, and boobs-taping adjustments were made.

From what I could see, acting is just like any other long-days, hardworking, and not-always-that-exciting job.

The highlights of the day? When Georgina said ‘thanks’ when I held the door open for her and wished us a nice day as we left. Famous, beautiful, yet down-to-earth and nice!

5:00 p.m.; it’s a wrap for the extras. The others continue. I’ve had a blast and marked a new life experience off the list!

Mixed Up will be aired starting October 31, 2011 at channel NCRV.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Roamler: Crowdsourcing at its very best

What's crowdsourcing? Click here.

Everyone meet Jackie, my brother. Jackie is an early adopter, or what you would call a trendsetter. Above all, I think he is a maven.

A maven is someone who knows disturbingly much about anything and feels the urge to share it with others. Ask him anything from politics, to sports, the weather or the latest Hollywood gossips. He can tell you all about it, just like that.

Jackie has a new addiction; called Roamler. Roamler is an iPhone application through which you can earn money by completing tasks. Based on your location, you receive a task. Every completed tasks earns you experience points and/or money.

Imagine having thousands if not millions of mobile workforce around the globe, ready and waiting to complete your tasks every minute of the day! If that’s not über-cool, I don’t know what is.

Having started just a few days, Jackie is now the top 1 Roamler in Amsterdam and ranks number 11 in Holland. So Jackie, is also kind of a nerd. But here’s the best part: Roamler works on invite only, after earning 1750 experience points. Guess who Jackie will invite first?

The yes’s and no’s of buying Apple products

Image found here.

I’m an Apple fan, hands down.

Apple’s almighty rumor machine predicts that the OS X Lion will be launched today. More importantly, the new MacBook Air too, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern to be precise.

I bought mine just two months ago. Just like my iPhone 4. Luckily they’re just rumors and there’s still a chance for delay. Yes! There’s hope for having the latest Apples in my possession a little longer!

There are only three disadvantages with buying an Apple I can think of. The first one is this; from the moment you buy your Apple, you’re 100% certain that within a year your ‘precious’ will be replaced by a newer version - that will totally rock your world if you bought it - making it a very expensive hobby. Two, an Apple hardly ever crashes, and three, it looks ten times better than a Windows. Oh wait, did I say disadvantages?

Way to go Steve, we love your products!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to use affirmations to achieve all your goals

What if you could wake up every morning with that kind of a mental state? Well you can. It’s called the power of ‘affirmations’.

An affirmation is a statement that describes a goal in its already completed state. For example: “I am happily driving my Porsche 911 to my beautiful beach house on the Ka’anapali coast of Maui.”

Basically it comes down to this: repeat your affirmations in your head, and then actually feel it until you believe it. While you’re experiencing it, your subconscious can’t distinguish what’s real and what’s not. Once you open your eyes your subconscious notices the gap and automatically finds the way to close it!

Follow these guidelines for creating effective affirmations:
1. Start with the words ‘I am’
2. Use the present tense
3. State it in a positive
4. Keep it brief
5. Make it specific
6. Include an action word ending with –ing
7. Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word
8. Make affirmations for yourself, not others
9. Optional: add ‘or something better’

But what if your mind keeps telling you: "Who are you kidding?” Just welcome the limiting belief and let it be as best as you can. Then ask yourself, would I rather have this feeling or would I rather be free? Then simply let it go. Repeat until you feel free!

The super cool Ray-Ban Wayfarer

Image found here.

It all started back in 1936 when Bausch & Lomb received a request from the U.S. Air Force to design a sunglass for pilots. The world-famous Ray-Ban Aviator model was born and has claimed the must-have-status ever since.

Inspired by Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent and his glasses, Ray-Ban introduced the iconic black, plastic, thick-framed Wayfarer, also known as the ‘Clarks’. Like it ‘worked’ back then, it nowadays still works as a disguise, like in Hong Kong where you’ll stand out for not wearing one.

Ray-Ban, derived from the English words ‘ray’ (beam of light) and ‘ban’ (to prohibit), literally means to ‘banish rays’. I suppose it works; I have never seen Superman using his laser beam eyes with his Ray-Ban on. Have you?

Being suitable for use at the office yet cool enough for hitting the clubs, the Wayfarer symbolizes the resurrection of the spirit of the era of young and masculine look. For me, it’s the Man of Steel, as I recently caught myself finding a Superman T-Shirt in my very own wardrobe.

The crucial benefits of failure and imagination in life

Image found here.

Ten years and eight movies later, Harry finally kicks You-Know-Who’s ass for once and for all. Nobody cared the epilogue, 19 years later, showed the same Harry except now with a beard; all of us only focused on staying in the Hogwarts-world as long as possible.

Behind every success story is a story of struggle, and this was no exception. Before J.K. Rowling's success, she saw herself as the biggest failure she knew. Her marriage failed, she was jobless with a dependent child.

Yet, she described her failure as liberating: “I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

And so her mother’s death transformed into the details of Harry’s loss, and her clinical depression became the soul-sucking Dementors. How's that for a positive change? Hear it from J.K. Rowling self in her inspiring talk:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How to get you energized for completing all your tasks

Image found here.

Have you ever said to yourself: “Today I’m going to do XYZ”, and you get yourself ready, and then get yourself ready, and then get yourself ready... but you never actually do it? Raise your hand if this sounds slightly familiar.

This has to do with the ‘law of diminishing intent’: the longer you wait to implement an idea, the less enthusiasm you’ll have for it.

The real key to success depends on how much ‘do-power’ you have. You’ll be successful once you do, and continue to do, more than the average person.

Knowledge is only potential power. Action is temporarily power. Activity is real power; action repeated until you get what you want.

Now, the number one factor that defines our level of activity is ‘energy’. Get more energy and you’ll have more activity. Makes sense?

There are plenty of things you can do to get more energy. Here’s two:

1. Feed your tongue
Go eat a banana. Here’s what your tongue will tell you: “This is a great food resource. One is plenty.” Here’s what it will tell you if you eat a hamburger: “There’s not enough resources. Let’s eat another.” Listen to your tongue. Eat the food that’s healthy and gives you energy.

2. Drink enough water
The majority of all people are constantly dehydrated. Your blood needs water to circulate nutrients. Once your blood doesn’t have enough water, it draws the water from your organs. What’s your biggest organ? Exactly; your skin (dudes, I know what you were thinking). What happens if your skin doesn’t have enough water? Ladies, I hear you. Cheers!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why following your heart is more important than listening to others

The awe-inspiring speech of Apple's CEO Steve Jobs. If you didn't saw it yet, now is the time and make sure to put it on repeat. It's a classic.

Stay hungry. Stay foolish!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The secret of continuous growth in all areas of your life

Image found here.

Your greatest enemy for keeping success is this: comfort. Once you’re comfortable you lose focus. You take things for granted and take it easy. If a business doesn’t grow it will what? Exactly. And that goes for everything in your life. Push yourself constantly out of your comfort zone and you’ll excel!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why simply working harder will never buy you your dream house

Image found here.

You want to change, but it's just not happening? When was the last time you’ve changed your actions? Most people that want to change do the same thing over and over (and over) again and then wonder why nothing changes.

That's because same actions lead to same results.

To change your results, change your actions. Review your new results and, if it’s not bringing you closer towards your goal, change it again until you get there. Simple and powerful!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Worldwide financial crisis. Raging wars. Apocalyptic global warming. The world as we know it, is about to end… What a terribly exciting time to live in!

It’s in times like these, badasses are born doing epic shit that changes the world forever. Being a self-proclaimed member of the early midlife crisis club, I challenge myself to find the passion in my life so I can unleash the badass within me.

I’ll cover the most awesome things in my life and, as a big fan of self-development; I’d also like to share some of the best success principles with you while you’re here.

Cheers, to the beginning of a kickass journey!