Drie sleutels tot authenticiteit

The Three Keys to Authenticity

"Be yourself. There are already so many others." - Loesje” – Loesje

In a world filled with social media and constant comparisons, the quest for authenticity is more relevant than ever. Stephen Joseph, a leading psychologist, emphasizes that true authenticity consists of three core facets: self-awareness, autonomy, and integrity in our actions and choices. But what do these facets mean for your daily life, and how can you apply them to live your most authentic self?

In my book 'Hoe was je dag' I invite you to explore your authentic self along with a walking partner. But you can also sort everything out for yourself.

Key 1. Self-Awareness: The Foundation of Everything

Self-awareness is the foundation of authenticity. It is a profound understanding of who you are, including your passions, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. This requires time and reflection. Questions like "What did I enjoy doing as a child?" or "When did I recently feel completely myself?" can shed light on your true nature and desires.

Key 2. Autonomy: Taking Control of Your Life

Authenticity also means being in charge of your own life. This involves making choices that align with your personal values, not those imposed by others. It takes courage to follow your own path, especially when it deviates from the expectations of others. So, ask yourself who has control over your life. Who possibly determines (along with you)? And what do you do to navigate your own course?

Key 3. Integrity: Living in Accordance with Your Values

The last facet, integrity, is about acting in accordance with your values and beliefs. This means staying true to yourself in your actions, words, and decisions. It is the authentic self that comes out in everything we do. So, ask yourself if you are being yourself or do you too often play a role? Do you follow your passions?

How Do You Know You're Authentic?

The path to authenticity is personal and unique. It requires self-reflection, and that's not always easy. Do you want to be confronted with who you are, what you want, or would you rather let sleeping dogs lie? Authentic living also requires an act of courage, not only to get to know yourself but also to stand up for yourself and claim your own authentic life.

Authenticity as a Philosophy of Life

Authenticity is more than a trend; it's a philosophy of life. Embracing the three facets enables you to lead a life that is rich and fulfilling, true to yourself, and resonant with your deepest desires and values.

In Conclusion

In our current time, where it's easy to get lost in the crowd and live according to others' expectations, authenticity offers a compass for personal freedom and self-expression. Let us, therefore, strive for a life in which we can fully embrace our authentic selves, thereby cultivating a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us.

How authentic do you live? And what does authenticity mean to you?

Reading tip: Joseph Stephen, Authentic: How to be yourself and why it matters, 2017.

The Power of Quotes

The Power of Quotes

"Quotes are medicine for the brain." – Brenda Casteleyn

Ik ben gek op citaten want ik ontdekte de kracht van citaten al heel snel. Heel wat beroemde schrijvers, acteurs, zangers en andere bekendheden hebben citaten verzonnen. Maar ik vind het ook leuk om er zelf te verzinnen.  En dat is meer dan alleen een leuke hobby, want citaten hebben een diepgaande impact op mijn leven gehad. Zo herinner ik me een periode waarin ik me vaak ergerde aan kleine, financiële ongemakken, zoals verkeerd terugbetaald worden in de winkel. Toen hoorde ik iemand zeggen: ‘ik maak me nooit meer druk over geld’. Niet zo geslaagd als citaat misschien, maar het bleef bij mij hangen en sindsdien begon ik die zin als een soort mantra te gebruiken. En het had een enorm effect. Langzaamaan kon ik een meer ontspannen houding aannemen ten opzichte van geld. Ik hoef me nu niet meer benadeeld te voelen als er weer eens een financiële tegenslag is, want… ‘ik maak me niet meer druk om geld’. Daarnaast gebruikte ik citaten om me te motiveren tijdens mijn studie, om me te troosten bij verdriet en bij tal van andere gelegenheden. Deze persoonlijke voorbeelden illustreren hoe een enkel citaat  je perspectief en zelfs je gedrag kan veranderen.

Let's, therefore, list the ways quotes can enrich your life.

1. Quotes Comfort

A quote can express a feeling you struggle with and feel alone in. The relatability of the quote can then provide comfort. I find this one by Isabel Allende quite beautiful: "The biggest problem with people today is that they are afraid of suffering, so afraid of losing something. We have forgotten that loss is a part of life." Also, you can find solace in quotes about resilience and hope, which remind you of how others have overcome similar experiences. This quote by Nelson Mandela, for example: "The greatest glory in life lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

2. Quotes Motivate

A quote can motivate you to maintain a habit or pursue your goals. Maybe you need motivation to study for an exam or to go to the gym. This quote by Mark Twain might then help: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." And when you hang such a quote somewhere visible, so you're confronted with it every day, it works as an affirmation or mental support.

3. Quotes Offer a New Perspective

A quote can prompt you to see something from a different angle. Sometimes you're so down in the dumps that you can't see anything positive anymore. Then this quote by Martin Luther King might help: "Only in the darkness can you see the stars." It gives you a new perspective on the difficult situation you're in and challenges you to see it not only as an obstacle but also as an opportunity to learn and grow.

4. Quotes Provide Insight

A quote can help you achieve something on a deeper level. For instance, I recently heard someone say: "better done than perfect." For a perfectionist, this might initially seem counterintuitive, but it can also lead to the insight that perfection actually leads to the opposite, namely that your quest for perfection becomes an obstacle to progress and completion. This quote can then lead to a more productive attitude, allowing you to derive more satisfaction from completed tasks and the process itself rather than just focusing on an unattainable ideal of perfection.

5. Quotes Inspire

A quote can inspire you to experience new things or tackle matters differently. Perhaps you're looking for some inspiration to find the right job in your life or to break out of your stagnant job. Then this quote by Confucius might inspire you: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

6. Quotes Improve Your Mood

Quotes can also be funny, and in that case, they can significantly improve your mood. How about this one: “The problem with doing nothing is that you never know when you're finished." - Groucho Marx

In Conclusion

Quotes are a fantastic tool to give your mental well-being an extra boost. What quotes have helped you? Do you have a favorite quote or a favorite author? Or are there other ways quotes have helped you that I haven't mentioned? Share it below.

Teleurstelling als kracht

The Power of Disappointment: 6 Steps to Turn Disappointment into Strength

"Desire is the mother of disappointment." - Alexander Pola

I recently launched my third book. Although many had registered via LinkedIn, Facebook, and email, a flood of last-minute cancellations led to fewer attendees than expected. Naturally, I was initially disappointed, but the positive reactions from those present and the fact that I sold more books than there were guests made up for a lot. Have you ever experienced a similar disappointment? How did you handle it?

With these steps, you can turn your disappointment into strength.

Step 1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

It's normal to feel upset when things don't go as expected. Maybe you missed an opportunity, a promise was broken, or a goal was not achieved. That hurts. That evening after the launch, I gave myself time to feel and accept the disappointment. This is an essential step to turn disappointment into strength. In my article about 'constructief lijden(constructive suffering) I explain why it's so important to allow and give space to sadness and negative feelings.  

Step 2: Explore Your (Limiting) Beliefs

Take a moment to reconsider your expectations. Were they realistic? Could I really have expected my launch to turn into a large event that was more crowded than my previous launches? Tony Robbins, now a famous speaker in stadiums, started with events for an audience of three people. So, I had to accept that growth takes time and that it's okay to start small.

Step 3. Redefine Your Goals and Expectations

Now that you've adjusted your beliefs, you can also redefine your goals and expectations. Instead of focusing on the number of attendees, I chose to appreciate what went well: the quality of the interactions and the feedback. This helped me revise my goals and focus on what's really important: the impact of my work and sharing insights.

Step 4: Build Resilience and Perseverance

With adjusted goals and expectations, you can now continue with renewed resilience and perseverance. Like Thomas Edison, who experienced many failures before his breakthrough, I saw this experience as a valuable insight on the way to my ultimate goal.

Step 5: Create a New Strategy

You now have enough motivation to work out a new strategy. In my case, that meant focusing on the power of 'butterfly effects' or starting small. Instead of fixating on the number of readers or followers of my author's page (which, by the way, has increased tenfold in the last three months), I can now focus on a real connection with readers.

Step 6: Improve Your Self-Image

Finally, use the experience of disappointment to develop gratitude for what you have learned and pride in how you handled it. The experience has already helped me to move forward with renewed strength and confidence.

In Conclusion

Disappointment can be painful, but it is also a powerful tool for growth and development. By embracing these feelings and learning from them, you transform yourself in ways you never thought possible. Often, the seeds of future success and happiness lie at the core of disappointment.

What setbacks have you had to deal with? How did you handle them?

Kerst of oudjaar alleen

7 Tips for Celebrating Christmas and New Year When You're Alone.

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.” – Robin Williams

These days can be challenging if you are alone or missing someone. However, there are ways to get through them unscathed. Here are 7 tips for celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve alone.

Tip 1. Go for a Walk or Do a Solid Workout

Start with a brisk walk or engage in some sports. Not only is it healthy, but it also improves your mood. Choose a beautiful natural area for your walk, or surprise yourself by blindly picking a spot on the map. This might lead you somewhere new, starting your day with fresh impressions. If a walk is physically challenging, consider a lighter activity like a short walk in your neighborhood or some simple exercises at home. The goal is to keep your body active in a way that is comfortable and refreshing.  

Tip 2. Pamper Yourself

This is the perfect time to pamper yourself. Take a long bath or a warm shower, and make self-care a pampering ritual. Dress in a way that boosts your confidence - whether it's something festive or your favorite comfortable outfit. Also, pamper yourself with food. Prepare a special dinner for yourself with all your favorite dishes, or order something special. And don't forget to give yourself a small gift as a token of self-love.

Tip 3. Make It Cozy

A neat and cozy environment can improve your mood. This doesn't have to mean a big clean-up; sometimes tidying up a few small things can make a big difference. Add some extra atmosphere with candles, soft lighting, or your favorite music in the background.

Tip 4. Choose a Favorite Activity

Whether it's reading a good book, watching a movie or series on Netflix, or listening to your favorite music, make sure you do something you really enjoy. If you're creatively inclined, consider drawing, painting, crafting, or writing.

Tip 5. Do Volunteer Work, Go on a Date, or Seek Contact with People

If you're looking for interaction with others, volunteering is a great way to be meaningfully busy and meet new people. If you're feeling adventurous, try a dating app and see what new connections you can make. Virtual contact with friends or family can also provide a sense of connection.

Tip 6. Cherish Memories and Maintain a Positive Mindset

Take the time to be grateful for happy memories and focus on the positive aspects of your life. This can help you feel more connected to what you're currently missing and focus on the good things you've experienced.

Tip 7. Reflect and Plan for the Future

Use this time of peace and solitude for self-reflection and future planning. Think about what you have achieved in the past year and what your goals are for the coming year. Write down your thoughts and goals in a journal. This can help you process your feelings and map out a positive path for the future. Reflection can also help you realize what's important to you and how you want to shape your life. Creating a vision board or making a list of New Year's resolutions can be an inspiring activity to focus on hopeful and positive aspects of your life.

In Conclusion

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For all those who are spending these days alone or missing someone: lots of hugs and warm thoughts

Benjamin Franklin-effect

Improve Your Relationships with the Benjamin Franklin Effect

“Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.” – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, discovered a fascinating psychological phenomenon: asking for a favor can lead to greater sympathy from the giver. This paradoxical effect, known as the Benjamin Franklin Effect, remains relevant today in our daily interactions, from personal relationships to professional environments.

Historical Context: How Franklin Discovered It

Franklin stumbled upon this effect after borrowing a rare book from a political rival. Remarkably, this improved their relationship. This anecdote not only provides insight into Franklin's personal relationships but also illustrates a larger psychological principle that continues to be studied.

Understanding the Benjamin Franklin Effect

Understanding the concept of 'cognitive dissonance' is crucial to grasping the Benjamin Franklin Effect. When one helps another, the brain seeks a reason for this behavior. If you wish to assist someone whom you previously viewed negatively, it helps to adjust your opinion of that person somewhat positively to maintain consistency. We sometimes think that we do good for people we like. But the Benjamin Franklin Effect also means the opposite, namely that we come to like people for whom we do something good.

Of course, asking for help can also be seen as a compliment because you acknowledge that someone can do something better than you.

How to Utilize the Benjamin Franklin Effect

When you ask your employees for advice, it can lead to a better working relationship because the employee feels valued. But even if you ask your friends to help you move, it can strengthen your bonds. Or consider neighbors who ask each other for help and how it strengthens the social fabric of the community. Even businesses use it to make customers more loyal: they ask their customers for feedback on customer service. But today, with the numerous surveys, the request for feedback may have gone a bit overboard. This can, of course, have a counterproductive effect. Asking for help has also become a useful tool in online communities and social media. And even among business competitors, seeking help can lead to fruitful collaborations.

But be aware, this effect can also be used for clever marketing. For example, there have been marketing campaigns, such as those by Lays Chips, where customers are invited to give their opinion on a new flavor, leading to increased engagement and a more positive perception of the brand, ultimately resulting in more sales.

Do You Sometimes Struggle to Ask for Help from Someone? Consider that the Benjamin Franklin Effect may lead to a better relationship with that person.

Recommended Reading: David McRaney, You Can Beat Your Brain, How to turn your enemies into friends, how to make better decisions and other ways to be less dumb, 2013.

Voordelen van onzekerheid

The Meaning of Uncertainty: 7 Reasons Why Uncertainty is Good for You

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller1

Spontaneity and improvisation are fun – like on vacation, for example – when you don't have to plan anything and can just do what you feel like. But in your daily life, you still like to know what to expect and what lies ahead. Where will you go on vacation this year? And what will you do during the holidays? You love surprises, but only if they are pleasant, right?

However, uncertainty can have its advantages. Here are seven reasons why uncertainty can actually be good for you.  

1. It promotes your flexibility

Uncertainty forces you to adapt to new situations. Remember that time you had to take an unexpected detour and how you quickly found a new route? Such a challenge forces you to respond quickly and efficiently in unforeseen situations. This experience teaches you that you can be flexible.   

2. It stimulates your creativity

If you're not prepared for what's coming, you often can't rely on your tried-and-tested methods. You are forced to think outside the box and improvise. This can lead to more creativity. It's like cooking without a recipe, and maybe you'll discover a surprising but delicious new flavor combination that you would have never considered otherwise.

3. You learn to let go better

Uncertainty also teaches you that not everything is within your control. Think of the times when things went differently than you expected. By accepting that some things just happen, you can embrace the flow of life and let go more easily.

4. You are more in the now

An uncertain future teaches you to appreciate the present moment. This can lead to a deeper awareness of the now and a greater appreciation for the small things in life, such as appreciating an unexpected sunny day or enjoying an unplanned visit.

5. It strengthens your problem-solving ability

Uncertainty is like a mental workout. It challenges you to solve problems in new ways, thereby strengthening your thinking and adaptability. So, you become not only more creative but also more efficient in finding solutions.

6. It encourages self-discovery

When you are faced with uncertainties, you may also be confronted with yourself. You are then forced to set priorities and thus you can discover what is really important to you and what values you want to uphold.  

7. It builds your resilience

Uncertainties often go hand in hand with fears. By facing these fears, you build inner strength. And this resilience helps you to face future challenges with more confidence.

In Conclusion

The uncertainties and inherent unpredictabilities of life offer you opportunities for growth, learning, and authentic living. When you face uncertainty again, remind yourself that this is an opportunity for personal development.

When has uncertainty enriched you or brought a new dimension to your life?

  1. Helen Keller (1880-1968) was an American author and activist. Deaf and blind from the age of 19 months, she overcame these limitations with the help of her teacher Anne Sullivan. Keller became the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and was an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.
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Persoon met uitstelgedrag

Recognize and Overcome Your Procrastination: What Type of Procrastinator Are You?

Who isn't familiar with procrastination? For me, it's primarily household chores that get left behind, piles of unironed laundry staring at me accusingly. I just keep pushing it off. But did you know there are different types of procrastination and that each requires its own specific approach? Below, we explore the most common types and how you can outsmart them.

1. The Perfectionist

Type: As a perfectionist, you're always afraid that the result won't be absolutely perfect. This can lead to paralysis. Or you keep tweaking your work, and so you never really make progress.   

Strategy: It can be helpful to set concrete and achievable goals and aim for 'good enough.' Establish a timeframe within which you'll complete the task and remind yourself that you can always make improvements after the work is done. This clears the way to finish your projects without getting caught in endless revisions.

2. The Dreamer

Type: Are you a dreamer who is good at coming up with ideas and plans but finds it difficult to execute them? Perhaps your project remains a beautiful plan in your head, never materializing into a result.

Strategy: Break your pattern by working with action plans. Write down all the tasks and set deadlines. Then focus on one project at a time and commit to a small daily effort towards your goal.

3. The Burnout Procrastinator

Type: If you feel overwhelmed by even the smallest tasks, you often don't know where to begin. Everything seems too much, and so you might decide it's better not to begin at all. Your procrastination stems from deep fatigue and feeling like your batteries are drained.

Strategy: Use the five-minute rule: start by breaking the task into smaller, more manageable pieces and spend only five minutes on a task. Often that's enough to break the lethargy and find the motivation to continue. Also, ensure adequate recovery and rest between tasks.

4. The Bore-out Procrastinator

Type: It could also be that your tasks don't challenge you. Boredom is your enemy. You find your tasks dull and meaningless. The absence of challenge and engagement leads you to apathy and hence procrastination.   

Strategy: Think of ways to make your tasks more enjoyable or exciting, for example, by linking them to your passions or by adding an element of competition or reward.

5. The Crisis-Maker

Type: Do you need an adrenaline rush to spring into action? You work best under pressure, and therefore you postpone your tasks until the last moment. Only when the stakes are high do you feel sufficiently motivated to perform.  

Strategy: Set earlier deadlines and share these with an accountability partner to create a sense of urgency. Link the completion of tasks to another goal or reward.

6. The Risk Avoider

Type: If you have a fear of failure, it can lead to you continually postponing tasks. The idea that you might fail then becomes paralyzing.

Strategy: It can help to adjust your expectations and thus work on your self-confidence. You can break the task into smaller tasks that you're sure you can handle, and thus gradually build up to more difficult tasks. Understand also that failure is part of the learning process.

7. The Improviser

Type: If you're disorganized, this can lead to procrastination because you have no control over your time and priorities. Maybe you find improvisation and spontaneity important, and thus you find planning tedious. Or you can't decide what you want to tackle, and thus you flit from one task to another without a clear goal.

Strategy: Cherish your spontaneity and improvisation but also bring some order to the chaos by developing a clear daily routine or using planning tools to organize your tasks. Prioritize activities and become aware of how you spend your time. This can help to find a balance between flexibility and structure.

In Conclusion

Of course, the nature of your task can also present additional challenges. Complex and difficult tasks are a challenge for all types, as are boring tasks or tasks that don't suit you. A universal strategy is to break the task into subtasks and create an action plan. Additionally, look for ways to make it fun, exciting, or urgent.

So what type of procrastinator are you? Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions? Take these insights and see if you can apply them to your daily life. Perhaps you'll find a new way to approach your tasks that helps you overcome procrastination. Try out different strategies and see which works best for you.

Meer doen in minder tijd

7 Tips to Achieve More in Less Time (Part 2)

Here are seven more tips that can help you make the most of your time. Not necessarily to do more, but to spare some time for what truly matters in life.

1. Start Early or Work Later than Others

The morning hours are often the quietest and least distracting. By waking up early, you can take advantage of this peaceful time to tackle your most important tasks without interruptions. Early birds often say they have their most productive hours before the rest of the world wakes up. On the other hand, if you're more of a night owl, you can benefit from the hours when others have gone home. These hours can also be quiet, allowing for concentrated work.

2. Regular Physical Exercise

Exercise not only stimulates your body but also your mind. Whether it's a morning jog, an afternoon walk, or a short stretching break, physical activity can help refresh you and boost your concentration. Moreover, it helps to reduce stress. Combine this tip with the pomodoritechnique, or make your breaks active.

3. Eat Healthily

Nutrition plays a crucial role in your cognitive functions and energy levels. By opting for nutritious meals and snacks, you provide your body and mind with the fuel needed to function effectively. My mother knew this better than anyone. Especially during exams, she would serve the healthiest snacks. So, try to eat regular meals and avoid excessive caffeine or sugar.

4. Break Down Large Tasks into Smaller Steps

A large project can seem daunting. By breaking it into smaller, manageable tasks, you can focus on completing each step individually. This also creates a sense of accomplishment with each task completed. Combine this tip with good planning.

5. Set Clear Deadlines

Deadlines can serve as a powerful motivator. Even if there's no external deadline, setting your own can help you stay on track and be accountable for your progress.

6. Gebruik de Twee Minuten Regel

This simple rule suggests that if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, you should tackle it immediately. This prevents small tasks from piling up and eventually taking up a lot of time.

7. Surround Yourself with Motivated People

While tip 1 advises you to work when it's quiet and there aren't too many people to distract you, it's a different story when you have people around whose energy and attitude positively influence your mindset. Surrounding yourself with motivated and positive individuals can indeed draw inspiration and motivation from their enthusiasm and drive.

Do you have any other tips to increase your efficiency? Share them below.

Gekookte Kikker Syndroom

"The Boiled Frog Syndrome: Why You Often Notice Change Too Late"

The Boiled Frog Syndrome is a metaphor used to describe people's tendency to ignore or belatedly notice changes in their environment, even when those changes could be potentially dangerous. The idea behind it is simple: if you were to throw a frog into boiling water, it would immediately jump to escape. However, if you place the frog in cold water and gradually heat it, the frog will simply sit there until it's too late.

Now, you might be thinking, "Well, I'm not a frog, so this doesn't apply to me." But the Boiled Frog Syndrome is actually a quite apt analogy for human behavior. You've undoubtedly experienced moments when you ignored changes in your life, whether related to your health, finances, relationships, or work.

Here are a few examples:

1. The Sneaky Weight and Stress Gain

  • When I had successfully completed a diet, it was just a matter of "maintaining my weight." But after a while, I gained a little weight back. It seemed insignificant compared to the pounds I had lost, so I didn't pay much attention to it. But before I knew it, my favorite pair of jeans no longer fit. The Boiled Frog Syndrome in action! But what if you let your stress build up in the same way? After some time, you might realize that you've fallen into a full-blown burnout .

2. The Financial Hangover

  • You start ignoring your monthly credit card bills because the amount is slightly higher than usual. You continue to spend, thinking it's not a big deal. Until you notice that you're deep in debt and have no idea how it got to that point. And if you continue to bury your head in the sand, you might even lose control to the extent that you can't afford to pay your rent anymore. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up completely homeless. This is the extreme worst-case scenario of the Boiled Frog Syndrome in financial matters, where all those minor financial setbacks lead to life on the streets.

3. The Relationship Disaster

  • You've sensed tension in your relationship for a while, but you choose to ignore it, hoping it will go away on its own. Spoiler alert: it usually doesn't. The Boiled Frog Syndrome can let relationships simmer just like slowly heating water. An extreme case of the Boiled Frog in relationships is when you get entangled with a narcissist because these individuals are exceptionally skilled at using this syndrome to slowly ensnare their victims. A narcissist may begin with subtle manipulation and gradually take control without you even noticing. Before you know it, you're deeply trapped in a suffocating relationship, and you're unsure how to escape .

So, how do you avoid becoming a "boiled frog"? It all starts with awareness and proactive action. Be attentive to changes in your life, no matter how small they seem, and take them seriously. If you notice something is amiss, act before the situation reaches a boiling point.

In short, don't be a "frog" ensnared by the Boiled Frog Syndrome. Recognize changes in your life, take action, and prevent yourself from getting burned, or in this case, burned by life itself. Because, let's be honest, who wants to end up like a frog? ??

When was the last time you were a victim of the Boiled Frog Syndrome?

Meer doen in minder tijd

7 tips to accomplish more in less time (part 1)

"People who think that time is money usually only realize on their deathbed that their time is up but their money isn't." ― Alexander Pola

Have you ever felt like time was slipping through your fingers, even in the midst of retirement expectations or the hustle of your daily life? I vividly remember eagerly anticipating my retirement, expecting a sea of time lying ahead. Ironically, it seems that my schedule is now busier than ever before. Time is more precious than ever, and this awareness has led me to contemplate how we can do more in less time.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can apply to increase your productivity. Here are the first seven tips that can help you make the most of your time. Not necessarily to do more, but to have time left for what truly matters in life.

1. Make a plan and set priorities

It might seem contradictory when you have little time to spend a quarter-hour planning. However, without doing so, you lose a lot of time and energy hopping aimlessly from one task to another. Imagine that, through thoughtful planning, you discover that the work you do for one task is actually the key to success for another. By setting the right order, you can create synergy between tasks and handle them more efficiently. This prioritization prevents you from getting stuck in the multitude of small tasks that may not be essential and lead to a loss of time.

2. Avoid multitasking

This tip applies to both men and women. Even if you think you can do multiple things at once, it's actually an illusion. Instead of multitasking, you're constantly switching from one task to another. It's not surprising that studies have shown multitasking actually reduces your productivity. Concentrating on a single task leads to fewer mistakes and improves the quality of your work. Better focus also makes you work faster.

3. Take regular breaks or use the Pomodoro technique

Named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer used by its creator, this Pomodoro  technique involves working intensively on a task for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. These short, focused work periods can help you avoid distractions and keep your energy level high. Taking breaks is not only a well-deserved breather, but it also allows you to stay fresh and alert, increasing your productivity throughout the day.

4. Minimize distractions

To work with focus, it's important not to be distracted. If a background radio distracts you, turn it off. But more importantly, turn off your phone and all digital distractions. Each notification requires your attention and, therefore, time. Ensure you have a quiet workspace so that you aren't disturbed, or inform others that you are working.

5. Learn to say 'No'

It's easy to get overwhelmed when trying to please everyone. By learning to set boundaries and saying 'no' to tasks or obligations that don't align with your goals or priorities, you take care of your well-being and productivity. If you've made a priority list, you can easily refer to it to frame your 'no.'

6. Use technology

There are many digital tools designed to increase your productivity. Apps like Trello help you manage projects, Todoist helps you track task lists, and Google Calendar can assist you in managing your time. Choose the tools that best suit you and integrate them into your daily routine. However, remember that technology is a tool, not a goal in itself. It's an art to find the right balance so that technology actually enhances your productivity without overwhelming you.

7. Schedule regular reflection moments

Periodic self-evaluation can help you refine your approach and identify any obstacles. So, when you're extremely busy, take some time to reflect on what works and what doesn't so that you can adjust your strategies and optimize your productivity. This prevents you from running around like a headless chicken from one task to another.

In conclusion:

These tips reveal that working faster is actually a good balance between planning and reflecting on one side and working concentrated on the other. Speed is achieved by also slowing down occasionally and taking breaks, or as the French saying goes: 'reculer pour mieux sauter,' which means 'to step back in order to jump better.' Therefore, at the end of each week or month, take the time to look back on your achievements. Consider what went well, what could be improved, and what changes you can make to make the next period even more productive. By consciously choosing where you invest your time and energy, you can have time left for the enjoyable aspects of life.

Next week, we'll bring additional tips in part 2. Meanwhile, do you have any tips for doing more in less time? Share them below...

Relaxte vrouw op kantoor die technieken gebruikt om haar gedachten te ordenen.

7 Ways to Organize Your Thoughts in an Overwhelmed World

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci

Do you also sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the stimuli and endless flow of information? Fortunately, there are methods you can use to organize your thoughts and find clarity. Here are seven effective techniques to declutter your mind and regain focus.

1. Mind Mapping: A Visual Technique for Organization

Mind mapping is a visual technique where you organize information around a central idea. It resembles a tree with branches: the central theme is in the middle, and related topics branch out around it. This structure promotes a holistic view of complex topics and stimulates your creativity. Thus, it's ideal for brainstorming, seeing connections, and organizing. Want to know more? Click on this clip in youtube.  

2. Journal Writing: Reflection and Insight

Making it a daily habit to write about your concerns creates an outlet for your thoughts. It's a moment of reflection where you can express feelings, ideas, and worries without judgment. Not only does it bring peace to your mind, but it also might provide solutions or new insights.

3. Meditation: Reduce Stress and Promote Clarity

This age-old practice is effective in reducing stress and promoting mental clarity. By focusing on your breathing or a specific meditation point, you can minimize the noise from daily distractions. Just let your thoughts pass like a train, making them less disruptive.

4. Priority List: Strategy and Control

List your tasks or worries and rank them based on importance. By doing this, you can form a clear strategy on which steps to take first. Moreover, listing everything gives you the feeling of being back in control.  

5. Digital Detox: Reduce Mental Noise

Take regular breaks from technology. Disconnecting from digital devices can reduce mental noise and refocus on what really matters.

6. Nature Walks: Calming and Perspective

Nature has a calming effect on the mind. Regular walks in green surroundings can help organize your thoughts and offer new perspectives.

7. Maintain a Tidy Environment: Efficiency and Mental Peace

Clean up your physical space. A tidy desk or home can lead to a clear mind. Start small and organize one space or area at a time. This promotes efficiency, as you can quickly find what you need, and it also provides mental peace. Too much clutter and chaos in your surroundings can overload your brain with excessive stimuli. So, cleaning can improve both your physical and mental well-being.

Conclusion

Organizing thoughts is essential in the hectic world. With the right tools and techniques, you can find mental clarity amidst the chaos. It's not just about sorting information, but also about rediscovering your inner peace and focus.

Which techniques do you use to bring more peace to your mind?

Twee mensen in een restaurant lachen terwijl ze hun technologie gebruiken, een illustratie van technologie in relaties

Technology in Relationships: 7 Tips to Find Digital Balance

“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” – Christian Lange

These days, I catch myself constantly checking my phone. With my watch also connected, I'm alerted with every post on any platform. It feels like I spend more time in the digital world than in the real one. But what exactly is the impact of technology on our relationships? I've gathered 7 tips to make the most out of the digital world while avoiding the pitfalls.

Tip 1. Enrich Your Communication

Thanks to technology, you can now chat with your loved one even if you're thousands of miles apart. You can have deep conversations online with friends or even your psychologist. However, there's a danger in replacing physical interactions with digital ones, losing real intimacy and depth. Use digital communication as a supplement, not a replacement. Remember, text messages can lead to misunderstandings. For important conversations, it's sometimes better to call or meet in person.

Tip 2. Be Aware of Selective Information

Nowadays, all information is easily accessible. But the photos of your friends on that exotic beach don't tell the whole story. Make sure you don't solely rely on what you see online. Take the information you get from (social) media with a grain of salt and occasionally ask your friends how they're genuinely doing.

Tip 3. Digital Introduction, Authentic Connection

Dating apps have transformed the way we meet people. While it's easier than ever to meet new people, it can also foster superficiality. Use technology as a tool to connect, but transition to personal meetings to discover the real person behind the profile.  

Tip 4. Find Your Availability Balance

The pressure to always be reachable can be overwhelming. Maybe you feel it's essential for your kids, boss, or partner to reach you at all times. But what's the downside? There's no longer a moment where you can truly be in the 'now', free from being 'available'. Perhaps consider letting your contacts and family know that you won't be online all the time, so you can schedule 'phone-free' zones or times, allowing you to truly enjoy the moment.

Tip 5. Cherish Moments of Silence  

You never have to feel bored nowadays. Waiting for the tram? Scroll through social media or play an online game. Your phone is always there to entertain during moments of boredom. But boredom serves a purpose; it allows you to slow down and be mindful, reducing stress. Ensure you occasionally schedule empty moments to enjoy the stream of thoughts passing by, rather than filling them with the noise of the internet, freeing you from constant notifications.

Tip 6. Joint Technological Activities

Sometimes, I text my significant other, who's just a floor above, to ask something. It's convenient, but if you're continuously sending messages from different rooms in the same house, you might slowly lose real contact. Use technology for joint activities: play games together, watch movies, or listen to music. Discuss your thoughts about using technology in your relationship. Consider taking a walk without phones for genuine contact with each other and the surroundings.

Tip 7. Conscious Online Shopping

Almost anything can be purchased online nowadays - groceries, meals, books, or kitchen gadgets. It's undoubtedly convenient, but there are downsides. Maybe you're tempted to buy things you didn't really need. Or you get your food delivered instead of enjoying shopping and cooking together. Shopping and cooking can be enjoyable shared experiences.

Conclusion

Technology can indeed enrich your relationships, but it's essential to use it consciously. Actively reflecting on your digital habits can let you enjoy its benefits while steering clear of its pitfalls.

I'm also curious about your experiences. How does technology influence your relationships? Share your thoughts.  

Kind studeert rustig aan bureau, tips tegen faalangst

7 Tips Against Fear of Failure

"Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” – Japanese proverb

Is your child struggling with performance anxiety? Or perhaps you yourself are grappling with fear of failure, be it for a job application or an exam? I'd like to share some effective tips with you. Overcoming performance anxiety is a journey, but with the right strategies and tools, significant progress can be achieved. Here are 7 tips to combat fear of failure:

Tip 1: Document Your Fears

Don't ignore your fear of failure; instead, face it by jotting down what specifically scares you. Writing it down demystifies it, transforming it from a looming Sword of Damocles into something more manageable. To assist your child with this, encourage them to write down their fears and symbolically dispose of them by either burying or burning the paper. You can also guide your child in rephrasing these fears into more positive thoughts. Instead of thinking, 'I'm going to mess this up,' encourage them to think, 'I'll do my best, and that's good enough.' (See also Tip 5)

Tip 2: Focus on the Journey, Not Just the Destination

Don't just fixate on the end goal—'I must succeed'—but pay attention to the journey that leads there. If you dive into studying while preoccupied with the outcome, you're not truly engaging with the material, and your focus suffers. Immerse yourself in the subject matter and find a way to enjoy it. After all, the outcome is a byproduct of the process, and you have to engage with that process. To help your child, think of creative ways to make studying more enjoyable. How can they interact with the material in a fun way? Consider techniques like mindmapping or using colors to highlight important portions of the material.  

Tip 3: Train Under Stress Conditions

If you are afraid of failing because you're worried you won't be ready in time, you can practice to overcome that fear. Set your alarm clock and complete an exercise under time pressure. You can make it a game with your child, gradually reducing the time limit so that your child experiences success and notices improvement. If your child has trouble concentrating, you can also practice by adding distractions. Have them complete an exercise while the radio is playing, turning it into a challenge.

Tip 4: Offer Strong Support

Your child will perform better in a calm and secure environment—this is a given. Emotional well-being is crucial for optimal performance. Hence, as a parent, it's vital to provide not just a safe haven but also consistent positive reinforcement. Engage with your child to discuss their fears and experiences, while providing reassurance, motivation, and encouragement. If you're dealing with performance anxiety yourself, make it a priority to be around individuals who uplift you rather than drag you down.

Tip 5: Monitor Your Mindset

You might be prone to negative thinking, such as "I can't do this" or "I'm terrible at math." Replace these thoughts with empowering ones like "If someone else can do it, so can I" or "I may not be the best, but I can be above average." This tip significantly helped me. For instance, I was awful at sports and games. After some private practice, however, I managed to outperform my detractors. This initial success prompted me to apply the same principle in other areas, like drawing, another skill I had to work on. Since then, I'm convinced that anything is achievable with enough focus, care, and motivation.

Tip 6: Prioritize Calm Preparation

Your mental state is crucial when it's time to perform. Last-minute cramming will only increase stress levels, as those final moments aren't sufficient for absorbing new information. Instead, focus on calming techniques to strengthen your mental resolve. Breathing exercises, singing, or engaging in light conversations can help. Visualizing a successful performance the night before can also provide a mental edge, as your brain struggles to differentiate between reality and imagination. visualisatie.

Tip 7: Adopt Specialized Strategies When Required

If you or your child has a learning or behavioral disorder like ADD or ADHD, performance anxiety may be exacerbated by these conditions. Implement specialized strategies that cater to these specific needs. Techniques that enhance concentration, such as breaking tasks into smaller chunks, can be particularly helpful. Effective coping strategies can equip you to face challenges, even with a disorder.

In Conclusion

Remember that performance anxiety, like all fears, is a mental construct. It can be managed with the right psychological techniques. If self-help doesn't work, consider hypnotherapy. I have personally used self-hypnosis techniques successfully throughout my academic career. If you're interested in hypnosis for yourself or your child, I highly recommend seeking the help of a qualified coach for help.

De Egoscue-methodez

The Egoscue Method: Small Postural Adjustments for Enhanced Well-Being.

“Life is a balance between rest and movement.” – Rajneesh

During my journey with Tony Robbins I came across the Egoscue Method for tackling chronic pain. Being naturally skeptical, I decided to give it a try. To my surprise, just ten days of dedicated practice yielded noticeable improvements. In this article, I'll delve into what the Egoscue Method entails and how its effectiveness can be measured.

What is the Egoscue Method?

Do you frequently experience back or knee pain, or any other persistent physical discomfort? Often, such pain becomes a constant companion in your life. The Egoscue Method aims to address the root causes of these nagging issues. Developed in the 1970s by Pete Egoscue, a Vietnam veteran seeking relief from his war-induced chronic pain, this approach is predicated on the belief that the human body is designed for movement. An imbalance in one part of the body can trigger issues elsewhere; for instance, hip issues might lead to knee problems, and spinal issues could cause neck pain.

When is your body in balance?

You can consider your body to be balanced when it is symmetrical. To test this, stand against a wall and see if your back, shoulders, and head simultaneously touch the wall when relaxed. Most people, including myself, feel more at ease leaning forward slightly. However, this is an indication that your body is out of balance.

You can also take a photograph to check for symmetry in your shoulders and knees. Another test involves standing straight with your eyes closed. If you start to sway after a short time, it's likely that your body is unbalanced.

How does the Egoscue Method Work?

At its core, the Egoscue Method comprises a series of tailored exercises and stretches, known as "E-cises." These are designed to realign your body through incremental adjustments. Consistent practice can improve your posture, increase your range of motion, and alleviate chronic pain. Before and after photos are often used to gauge progress. In my case, after one week, I noticed a marked improvement in my posture—my back was straighter and my head less inclined forward.

Some Basic Egoscue Excercises

One of my favorites is the ' ‘static back’ exercise, which can also serve as a form of meditation. To perform it, lie on your back on the floor and rest your lower legs on a chair, forming a 90-degree angle at the knees. Extend your arms at a 45-degree angle to your torso, palms facing up. Hold this position for 5-10 minutes to help reset your back.

At this link you can find additional exercises.

If you're struggling with persistent pain or simply seeking to improve your posture, the Egoscue Method could be the answer you're looking for. It beautifully illustrates the butterfly effect within your body—small changes can bring everything back into balance, significantly enhancing your well-being. However, it's advisable to consult a professional to ensure the exercises are suitable and safe for your specific needs.

To learn more, read Pete Egoscue's book.

For mor insights consider reading Pete Egoscue,'s book, "Painfree, A revolutionary method for stopping chronic pain", Bantam Books New York, 2021.

Artificiële Intelligentie tools voor dummies

Artificial Intelligence for dummies: 7 awesome free tools even your grandma can use

“The greatest innovations are the ones that make life easier, not more complicated.” - Unknown

Are you looking for free Artificial Intelligence tools? Or do all those reports about AI scare you off? Perhaps you are not very technically inclined and, like me, you sometimes had the greatest difficulty in having to work with a new program again. Then I have good news, because with Artificial Intelligence everything just becomes easier. Nowadays you can use the most exotic applications without much technical knowledge. I would like to prove that with these 7 Artificial Intelligence tools. for dummies. They are all free tools that do not require you to have any technical knowledge, but are very useful or fun. Are you up for the challenge?

Tool 1. Make your own unique picture

One of the many tools to generate pictures is LexicaYou can have your images generated based on a description in text. For example, I asked to take a photo of a dog wearing sunglasses and a hat and this was one of many images I could choose from:

gratis tool: Afbeelding hond met zonnehoed en bril

Tool 2.Make your own tune

On Beatoven you can click on 'start for free' and then you can choose a title for your tune. Then you indicate how long the tune should last and what tempo. You also choose which genre of music you prefer (rock/pop, etc.) and you can even choose an emotion (eg happy/angry/cheerful). After clicking on all your choices, all you have to do is wait and voila… your own unique tune is created. You can then play it, if you want to download you unfortunately have to take a premium subscription.

If you want to download your music, you can use Soundful On this tool you have to login but for personal use everything is free.

Tool 3. Invent names

Artificial Intelligence is also very nice to get inspiration if you have to come up with a name, for example for your new pet or for your company.

The site Ainamedmypet helps you find a name for your pet. You will first be asked a few questions such as: which pet / some external characteristics / the nature of the animal and in which language do you want the name. Then you will receive a name list with some explanation why the name suits your pet.  

The tool Namelix is great if you're looking for a new name for your business. You just enter a few keywords and a description of your company and you get suggestions for names and logos. I tested it out for the blog butterfly effects and I liked the suggested name 'DropsOfInsight'.

Tool 4. Make your meme

In Supermeme, choose 'start for free' and then you get an input field where you can type in about which you want a meme. I went for "when I try AI tools" and got this meme. You can still adjust the text (translations in this meme: The whole group eagerly awaiting the results of my AI experiment).

Gratis tool: Meme 'als ik AI-tools uitprobeer'

In the tool Imagetomeme you can upload your own pictures to make a meme. Also nice; I made this meme.

Gratis tool Meme boek 'Hoe was je dag'

Tool 5. Have your presentation made

De Gamma-app is echt een geweldige tool als je regelmatig powerpointpresentaties maakt en ook deze is gratis. Je geeft gewoon een onderwerp waarover je een presentatie wil maken en klaar is kees. De tool geeft je dan de keuze voor een sjabloon en een voorstel voor inhoudsopgave. Je kan daar nog iets aan wijzigen of het zo gewoon goedkeuren. En hopsa, je krijgt een mooie powerpointpresentatie, die je kan downloaden en die je dan eventueel nog verder kan aanpassen.  Ik vroeg bijvoorbeeld om een presentatie te maken voor ‘ChatGPT voor beginners’ en dit was de powerpoint.

You can also have a document or web page made with the same app.

Tool 6. Extract informations from a pdf

Let's say you need to read a large PDF to get some information out of it. Or maybe you just want to have your PDF summarized. That is possible with Chatpdf: you download your pdf in it and then you get an input box in which you can ask questions about the pdf. In the free version you are limited to PDFs of a maximum of 120 pages or 10MB per PDF and 3 PDFs per day and 50 questions per day. But that has already helped you a lot if you don't feel like reading everything yourself.

Tool 7. Find an original gift

One of the many tools to help you find a gift is Coolgiftideas. You only need to describe the person you want to surprise with your gift. You then get many ideas.

In Conclusion

Don't forget ChatGPT is also an amazing tool as I explained in an earlier post about Artificial Intelligence. And also keep in mind that the AI ​​world is constantly changing, what is free today can be paid tomorrow. But don't let it stop you from testing one of these fun or handy tools right away. Which tool appeals to you the most?

Lentebloesem

Constructive wallowing: how to beat bad feelings by letting yourself have them.

“The only way out is through.” – Robert Frost

Who would have thought that positive thinking could also have negative consequences? Not really, of course. Positivity is good, but not when it means brushing your negative feelings under the rug.

Every day, you experience a range of emotions, from joy and gratitude to sadness and frustration. It may seem tempting to avoid or suppress negative emotions, but allowing yourself to feel those emotions is essential for your well-being. This is where constructive suffering comes into play. It is the art of embracing your emotions in a conscious and constructive way, and it can have a profound positive effect on your life.

What happens when you don't allow yourself to feel your emotions?

Firstly, they often get bottled up and suppressed. This can lead to a buildup of tension and emotional burden, making it harder to experience joy and satisfaction. Suppressed emotions can also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and insomnia.

Moreover, ignoring your emotions can lead to negative coping mechanisms such as overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, or excessive use of social media. These behaviors often serve as temporary "escape routes," but they do not provide sustainable solutions and can even lead to further problems.

So, how can you embrace constructive suffering and process your emotions in a healthy way? One useful technique you can use is the "TRUTH" technique by Tina Gilbertson, which helps you acknowledge and understand your emotions.

The 'TRUTH'-technique

The technique works as follows:

  • Tell yourself the situation

Start by becoming aware of the situation that is bothering you. Identify and acknowledge the factual events that have taken place.

  • Realize what you're feeling

Allow yourself to become consciously aware of your emotions. Acknowledge and label them without judgment. Whether it's sadness, anger, fear, or disappointment, give yourself permission to feel.

  • Uncover self-criticism

Pay attention to any negative thoughts or self-criticism that arises. Recognize that these thoughts can prevent you from fully experiencing and processing your emotions. Sometimes you may think that you're not "allowed" to have certain feelings, but if, for example, you feel anger, there is no ethical dimension to it. You feel what you feel, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's simply a signal that something is not okay. Of course, it's a different story if you engage in negative behavior out of anger.

  • Try to understand yourself

Go deeper and try to understand why you feel a certain way. Ask yourself questions such as: Why does this situation affect me so much? Which personal beliefs or values are being triggered? Try to show understanding for yourself, without reasoning everything away. Just try to figure out what the feeling is trying to tell you.

  • Have the feeling

Allow yourself to fully experience your emotions without judgment. Don't be afraid to be sad, angry, or anxious. Acknowledge that these feelings are normal and human. Give yourself the space to cry, scream, or just be silent. Let the emotions flow through you without suppressing them.

Strategies for constructive suffering

Constructive suffering doesn't mean losing yourself in your emotions or getting trapped in them. It's about being consciously present with your feelings and processing them in a healthy way. Here are some strategies you can apply for constructive suffering:

  • Talking and sharing: Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Talk about your feelings and share your experiences. This can help you process your emotions and gain new perspectives.
  • Writing: Keep a journal where you can write down your thoughts and feelings. Writing can be a therapeutic outlet and help you better understand your emotions.
  • Listen to music that resonates with what you're feeling to better empathize with your emotions.
  • Meditation and mindfulness: Practice meditation or mindfulness to increase your awareness of the present moment. This can help you observe your emotions without getting entangled in them. By developing a non-judgmental and accepting mindset, you can cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness and emotional balance.
  • Healthy self-care: Take good care of yourself by getting enough rest, engaging in physical exercise, and consuming nutritious food. Allow yourself time to relax and participate in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Seek professional help if needed: If you find that your emotions are overwhelming or you're struggling to process them on your own, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A trained therapist can guide and support you in processing your emotions effectively.

A journey towards insight and well-being

Remember that constructive suffering is a process that requires time and patience. It's important to be gentle and compassionate with yourself throughout this journey. Emotions can provide valuable insights and can help you grow and change. By allowing yourself to feel, understand, and grow, you can have a profound positive impact on your well-being and quality of life.

So, allow yourself to feel, understand, and grow. The butterfly effect of constructive suffering can have a significant impact on your life and help you thrive in your personal growth and well-being. And when negative emotions are acknowledged, positive thinking truly becomes effective.

Reading tip Gilbertson Tina, Constructive wallowing, How to beat bad feelings by letting yourself have them, Piatkus, 2014

7 manieren om je leven te verrijken met Artificiële Intelligentie

7 Ways to Enrich Your Life with Artificial Intelligence

“AI is likely to be either the best or worst thing to happen to humanity” – Stephen Hawking

Today, anyone can utilize Artificial Intelligence. For instance, on ChatGPT, you can register for a free account and ask questions as though you were conversing with an actual person. And what's more surprising is that this individual may possess any type of expertise you prefer. You can request responses from them as a doctor, a philosopher, a psychologist, or even your favorite writer. Additionally, you can request immediate assistance. Here are 7 ways in which you can enhance your life with Artificial Intelligence.

Make better decisions

You want to buy a new smartphone but you don't know which one is best. Tell ChatGPT what you want to do with your smartphone and exactly what your preferences are and then ask what to look for to find the best buy. You can also ask them to list the pros and cons adapted to your specific needs and present that in a nice table.

You can also ask more personal questions, like seeking career advice based on your interests and skills or seeking tips for resolving conflicts with colleagues. Or, perhaps you're seeking a list of the pros and cons of moving to Spain after retirement.

Improve your communication

Suppose you got into an argument with your best friend and you want to write an email to apologize but you are not sure how your email will come across. Briefly write the context (e.g. I offended my friend and now he doesn't want to hang out with me anymore) and give a draft of your email and ask for feedback on it. You can also commission a complete rewrite of the email. And if you don't know how to start it at all, just write down what you want to say and ChatGPT will translate it into a nice email in your writing style (then you have to provide a text in your writing style beforehand).

Become more efficient

You are having visitors and you would like to surprise your guests with a culinary delight. But one of the guests is vegetarian, another eats salt-free and you're reluctant to make several dishes. Ideally, you want one menu for everyone, and if it includes beans (your favorite vegetable), that's just great. Ask chatGPT to put together a menu within these constraints. In addition, ask it to make your shopping list, preferably arranged by product type so you can shop more efficiently.

Stay healthy

You can request ChatGPT to create a personalized diet or fitness program that caters to your specific needs. Alternatively, you may seek advice on relaxation techniques or stress management tips. Are there any recommended meditation apps? Moreover, if you have specific health concerns, you can ask ChatGPT to provide insights as a physician and suggest a list of potential causes or diagnoses. You can also ask for recommendations on which medical specialist to consult for further examination.

Enhance your hobbies

Enhance your hobbies and interests by asking ChatGPT for book or movie recommendations tailored to your taste. Let ChatGPT assist you in developing your website, and you can even request that it write the programs for you. Are you in search of a sports club to join? ChatGPT can provide guidance on that too.

Boost your carreer

Are you ready to venture into the market with your business? Wondering what your target audience might think of a product you're planning to launch? Simply describe your target audience and ask ChatGPT to answer as if they were a member of that audience. And if you need additional assistance, ChatGPT can also help you with your business plan.

Would you like assistance in improving your budget management? Feel free to seek advice from ChatGPT. If you require motivation to pursue entrepreneurship, he/she/it can provide personalized tips and guidance to help you achieve your goals.

Increase your creativity

Are you seeking inspiration for a fresh composition in music, literature, or art? Perhaps you've already created something and are looking for ways to enhance it further. Alternatively, are you experiencing writer's block and require guidance to resume your writing project? ChatGPT can provide assistance in generating new concepts and overcoming creative blocks. You may also consider experimenting with dall-e, a platform where you can create artwork in the style of your preferred artist using only a description, such as "a still life featuring a smartphone in the Rubens style." dall-e. Daar kan je kunstwerken maken in de stijl van je favoriete artiest enkel op basis van een omschrijving, bijvoorbeeld ‘een stilleven met een smartphone in de stijl van Rubens’.

Finally

Toch nog wat kanttekeningen bij al dat hoera-geroep. ChatGPT baseert zich op een heleboel bronnen (momenteel gaan die tot september 2021) maar kan niet weten of wat er in die data staat ook waar is. Maar als je dat voor ogen houdt, is het echt een heel grote hulp. En verder moet je bedenken dat je nog steeds tegen een computer spreekt. Hoewel je in normale spreektaal vragen kan stellen, moet je wel een beetje handigheid ontwikkelen om de juiste vragen te stellen. Wat eruit komt hangt immers af van de kwaliteit van je vragen. Maar geen nood, voor mij lukte het vrij snel, dus je hoeft geen computergeek te zijn om ermee overweg te kunnen. En nog tussen haakjes: ChatGPT kent alle talen, zelfs Klingons 🙂

Want to get started, too? Go to: https://chat.openai.com and create a (free) account.  

Thank you

7 redenen waarom dankbaarheid meer geluk in je leven brengt

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

Wat zijn de 7 redenen waarom dankbaarheid meer geluk in je leven brengt en hoe ontwikkel je een praktijk van dankbaarheid?

Een praktijk van dankbaarheid ontwikkelen

Dankbaarheid is meer dan ‘dank u’ zeggen. Wat zou er gebeuren als je elke dag aandacht schenkt aan alles waar je die dag dankbaar voor kan zijn?  Je kan op verschillende manieren een praktijk van dankbaarheid ontwikkelen:

  • Hou dagelijks bij waar je dankbaar voor bent: welke geschenken, lieve woorden, waarderingen, kleine attenties, bijdragen kreeg je? In je persoonlijke relaties, op het werk of met mensen die je in het dagelijkse leven tegen kwam.
  • Herinner welke moeilijke tijden je meemaakte en wat je daaruit hebt geleerd. Wees dankbaar voor de lessen waar je nu de vruchten van plukt.
  • Vergeet ook niet dankbaar te zijn voor wat vanzelfsprekend lijkt. Realiseer je wat het is om te mogen ruiken, voelen, bewegen,…
  • Deel je ervaringen met anderen. Wanneer je je ervaringen ook met anderen deelt, worden ze nog reëler.
  • Wees ook dankbaar tegenover jezelf en feliciteer jezelf voor wat je goed gedaan hebt.
  • Beperk je niet tot enkel opsommen van wat je dankbaar maakt, maar geniet ook van het gevoel dat dankbaarheid meebrengt of beter nog, druk je dankbaarheid ook uit naar al wie je dit positieve gevoel heeft bezorgd.

7 redenen waarom dankbaarheid meer geluk in je leven brengt

  1. Het brengt onder de aandacht wat er allemaal nog wél goed gaat in je leven. Daardoor krijg je positieve gevoelens die je kan gebruiken als antigif tegen de tegenslagen, die je niet onder controle hebt.
  2. Door je te concentreren op dankbaarheid blijf je meer in het hier en nu in plaats van te focussen op wat er misging in het verleden of angsten voor de toekomst. Daardoor verminder je dus je stress en je zorgen.
  3. Je verhoogt je gevoelens van overvloed. Voor je je dankbaarheidsoefening begon, dacht je misschien nog dat er niets was om je over te verheugen. Nu je hebt opgesomd waarover je dankbaar bent, kan je een gevoel van overvloed en welzijn ervaren.
  4. Je zelfvertrouwen stijgt omdat je een gevoel van trots kan hebben op want je hebt gerealiseerd of wat mensen voor je hebben gedaan. Je ziet welke rol andere mensen in jouw leven spelen en hoe ze jou ook appreciëren. En je ontdekt ook waar je jezelf voor kan danken.
  5. Je krijgt meer energie omdat je je concentreert op het goede gevoel dat je krijgt in plaats van je te laten leegzuigen door spijt over het verleden of zorgen over de toekomst.
  6. Dankbaarheid heeft uiteraard ook een positieve invloed op je relaties, want plots merk je wat anderen allemaal voor je doen en jouw dankbaarheid naar hen toe geeft hen op hun beurt een goed gevoel naar jou toe.
  7. Je gezondheid verbetert wanneer je dankbaar bent. Dat komt omdat dankbaarheid een gevoel is dat werkt als anti-stress middel. En gevoelens van dankbaarheid verhogen ook je immuunsysteem en  je slaappatroon.

Waar ben jij vandaag dankbaar voor?