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And tomorrow I’ll be happy

// Tomorrow I’ll be happy //

Tomorrow I’ll have time for my friends.
For my family.

Just finish one more task.
Just finish this one project.
Just get done with the house renovations.

Just bite through the next week.
The next month.
The next year.
Then I’ll have time for my family and for my friends.

So many people fall into this rabbit hole.

// They are results oriented. //

“When I get a result I’ll be happy.”

But when you get the result, what then?
Achieving your goal makes you happy for a day.

And then?
Once you’ve lost 5 kg you gain 5 kg.
Once your house is tidy your house sinks into chaos.

Because the way you do things did not change.
Because the way you think did not change.
Because your process did not change.

Once your project is done… you either stop or you have the next project.

// So how can you be happy every day? //

Just don’t be results oriented.

Don’t work for your results.
Don’t bind your happiness to your goals.

// Become process oriented. //

Create a routine that you enjoy.
Make the time it takes for your results enjoyable.

And take a break once in a while.

Most people achieve 80% of their productivity in like the first 4 hours of the day.

No matter how important that project is.
No matter how urgent things seem to be.
No matter how fast you want it.

// Design a process that you can sustain.//

A way of working that makes you happy every day.

And take a break once in a while. Make it part of your routine. Recharge every day.
And be a turtle.

If your process is good results will follow automatically.

Much love
~Marius

How 10 seconds can make your day a good…

Crossroads… life is full of them. 10 seconds to decide: left or right? Onwards or back?

10 seconds to decide…
Burger or salad?
Drive or walk?
facebook or meditation?
Cold shower or hot?

// 10 seconds decide what happens in the next hours //

Every morning, I have 20 minutes where I can do whatever I want. It’s free time. I made sure that the rest of my routine, shower, breakfast, getting ready for work, do not interfere with them.

20 minutes just for me. My time.
I’m sure you also have 20 minutes somewhere.

When you wake up.
Or when you come home from work.
Or after dinner.

What do you do?

In my 20 minutes I want to breathe and meditate.

So I brush my teeth, come down. And the next 10 seconds decide what happens in the next 20 minutes.

Do I pick up my phone and check my latest post? My messages? Oops, 20 minutes gone. Let’s rush over to breakfast. My head is spinning.

Or do I snuggle up in a blanket, close my eyes and breathe? Get my head free? Aaah such bliss! Here I am world, let’s rock!

10 seconds to decide for 20 minutes of waste or 20 minutes of bliss.

20 minutes to prime you for the day. Start it rushing through other peoples shouts and posts? Or start it with a calm mind? Bliss, energy?

20 minutes to decide whether your day starts relaxed or with information overload. Where your headspace is.

Are you present during breakfast? Enjoy every bite? Or is your head still spinning with other people’s content? Do you rush through breakfast, upset your belly?

You see where I’m getting here.

// Everything you do influences the course of your life //

Snooze the alarm one more time? You have less time for breakfast. You rush. You’re stressed before you even DID anything.

Keep the tv off in the evening? Spend more time with your loved ones. Have quality time, creativity. Go to bed with positive vibes AND on time. Wake up rested. Don’t snooze.

// Learn to make good decisions //

Every decision even so small counts. Learn how to make them good. Every time.

Learn to setup your environment to facilitate good decisions.

Make it easy to make good decisions.
Make it hard to make bad decisions.

For example, setup your meditation space the night before.
Log out of netflix.
Switch your phone off at night. Put the charger far away from the bedroom.

Everything counts. Everything you do is a vote for or against the person you want to be.
Vote for the best version of yourself as much as possible.

Become aware of your habits. Nurture the good ones, make it hard for the bad ones.

// Tell me about your decisions //

What are your pivot points? Your small decisions that make your day a happy day?
What do you struggle with?
Tell me in the comments!

Much love
~Marius

persons hanging in a climbing wall

How fear is the only thing holding you back

I learn a lot about my life and my approach to challenges when I do sports.

Last week I’ve been bouldering for the first in a while.
A few years ago, I got a knee injury from an unfortunate jump.

Since then, I have developed an unnatural fear of falling.

Even though falls in a boulder gym usually means a more or less controlled jump of no more than one meter onto padded ground.

I failed to climb some routes that I knew I could do. And I started to observe myself.

I would climb up. Then hang in the wall, just one meter above the ground, eyeing the next grip that looked just out of reach. Thinking I would fall if I reached for it.

Hanging there, watching, holding on to the grips and wasting my strength.

And then I’d fall off. No juice left in my arms. Thinking I couldn’t reach the next hold. Thinking I couldn’t climb that route.

I feared the fall, which resulted in exactly that. Falling.

Whether you think you can do it or whether you think you can’t, you are right.

Henry Ford (supposedly)

I thought I couldn’t do it. And I was right.

Until I realized what I was doing. I turned around, looked at the wall, and that next grip was not even far away!

So I told myself, Mr. Marius, that reach is absolutely doable. You can do it! And if you fall, it’s not even a meter. On padded ground! There is nothing to lose.

I changed my believe. The way I thought about myself.
I rationalized my fear. I knew I couldn’t hurt myself in the gym. I knew I could do it.

I stopped trying, and I started doing.

I climbed up to that reach again, and then I reached. And it held. And I finished.
And I finished many more routes, even some above my level.

Control your mind, control your fear, and you can do anything you want.

If you DO try, you may succeed.
Worst case, you fall into your safety net.

If you never try, you will NEVER succeed. You will stay on the ground, you won’t move forward.

I learn a lot about myself in the boulder gym.

And how to approach certain things in life.

It once again reminded me how important it is to try. Not even to try, but to DO it.

The importance of the environment

An average person in a good environment is more successful than a brilliant person in a bad environment

Taylor Welch

Overcome your fears.

Setup your environment.

When climbing, take a padded crash pad. Use a rope and take a buddy who will catch you.

In life, set your environment up for success. Build a good support network. Draw from it, and give back. Setup your crash pad.
And then, there is nothing to lose.

You only lose if you don’t try.

Much love
~Marius

sunset in Bergen aan Zee, the sun sinks into the sea

We are sunlight

We eat, we breathe.

And what is it that we eat? Sunlight, quite literally.
And what is it that we breathe? Sunlight, quite literally.

Sunlight is the energy that makes plants grow.
Sunlight is the energy that allows plants to perform photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide to oxygen and carbon based structures.

The carbs that we eat.
The oxygen that we breathe.

Pure sunlight.

We are sunlight.

We are stars.

Much love
~Marius

PS: I have written about this before in much greater detail. Take 10 minutes and read it. It’s stunning, the cycle of life: what happens when we breathe.

4 colorful toothbrushes

Habit beats Motivation

Have you ever been motivated to learn something new? To do more sports? Learn a language? Play an instrument?

But a year later, nothing has changed? Maybe you have had some progress for two weeks, but then you stopped? Or not even that?

Of course you have been super motivated. Maybe you have been on a vacation, and you want to talk more to the people. That’s brilliant motivation to learn the language! You ARE really motivated. Maybe you have bought a book. Maybe you learned how to say your name and order a beer. But a week later, a month later, even a year later that’s still it — you haven’t made any progress beyond “Hello, I’m Marius, I want a beer please.”

Maybe you made a resolution to learn the guitar. You want to be able to play Christmas songs for your family. Or be able to play Wonderwall at the camp fire. Last year you were super motivated. You bought a guitar, and an online course. You studied super hard for 2 weeks and learned to play Smelly Cat. And 12 months later you can play… Smelly Cat. That’s it.

Maybe one weekend some friends dragged you along to finally play soccer again. It felt great to be moving again. You had some great little successes during that workout.
It felt good knowing that you are finally doing something about those little extra pounds around your waist.
You are super motivated. Next week you’ll crush it!
And yet, Monday comes and goes, Friday comes, the next weekend, and you have done… nothing. Even though you’re soo motivated!

Does that feel familiar?

What is missing to turn motivation into action and change?

I’ve written about it before: we need to be turtles, not rabbits. We need to implement our process of change consistently, make it part of our life. But how?

What we need are: HABITS!

Habits beat motivation

Let’s look at it from the other side. What are things that want to do less? That you are not motivated to do, but yet do it regularly, even too much?

Do you sometimes eat too much? Too many sweets? Too many “sins” on the plate? I am certainly guilty of that.
But am I motivated to eat unhealthy? Do I say “OH MY GOD, TODAY I WANT TO EAT SOO MUCH SHIT!”. Nope. I don’t do that.

What else are we brilliant at? Scrolling too much on Social Media? Binge-watching Netflix or youtube? Mostly everyone these days does that every once in a while. Are you motivated to do it? Like thinking “WOW, I REALLY WANT TO READ ALL OF FACEBOOK TODAY!”. Do you do that? Right, I didn’t think so.

Or the most trivial thing… what everybody does consistently is brushing their teeth twice a day. And I bet no one is MOTIVATED to do that. No one thinks “I AM SO EXCITED TO BRUSH MY TEETH TONIGHT. AND TOMORROW. AND THE DAY AFTER!”

So what is it that makes us do all those things, if not motivation?

It’s… HABITS.

Habits are what keep us going. Habits drive much of our behavior. The good ones, and the bad ones. You are simply used to brushing your teeth. Scrolling facebook. Watching Netflix in the evening. You can do the same with the good stuff:

  • If you want to improve, you need to implement habits.
  • If you want to grow, you need to implement habits.
  • If you want to learn the guitar, you need to implement the practice as a habit.
  • If you want to learn a language, you need to implement the study as a habit.

Just like you brush your teeth at a certain point in your daily routine, no matter what, you need to implement the actions that bring you forward as habits into your routine.

You can even use existing habits as an anchor for your new habits

For example, everytime you brush your teeth, you play the guitar for 5 minutes. No matter how you feel, whether you feel motivated in that moment or not, you just pick up that guitar and play.
Or do 5 push ups.
Or learn 5 new words.

5 minutes is not a lot, but you build up the routine. And you make steps. YOU ARE A TURTLE!
2x 5 minutes a day makes 70 minutes a week.
5 hours a month.
60 hours a year.

And while 60 hours won’t make you a Jimi Hendrix, they might be enough to play Feliz Navidad under the Christmas tree next year. Or not feeling exhausted at the top of the stairs. Or do more than just ordering a beer during your next vacation.

Much love!
Marius

hand with rainbow paint

Always think positive?

How to think about the negative stuff with 5 fingers

Do you like to think positive?
Or would you like to think more positive?

This is what we hear around us a lot. This is what is taught by all modern gurus.

Positive thinking. A positive mindset. Learn from your mistakes and turn them into a positive experience.

This is what we hear a lot lately. And generally speaking, positive thinking is nice. It gives us a nice, cozy, comfortable feeling.
Our problems, our bad experiences crumble with all our positive energy.

Do they?

Well, some negative thoughts, some negative experiences are just that.. minor annoyances, that indeed we can think away, turn positive.

But other things are very real. Illness. Loss. Deep backlashes that life throws at us.

Sure, we can learn something from almost everything. But shouldn’t we be entitles to feel negative emotions every once in a while?

Joy and happiness are just 2 of many emotions that we are capable off. What about anger? Sorrow? Grief? Jealousy?
All valid emotions. And all have a place. They are less comfortable than joy. But they are there for a reason. Very personal reasons maybe, or maybe things that life throws at us, maybe things that we can control, or things that we can’t.

But if we do not allow ourselves to feel all those “negative” emotions, how can we fix the root cause? Or at least change our perspective on them?

That’s the difference between positive thinking and a positive mindset.
Positive thinkers do not want to see the bad. Which means they have no way to fix it.

A positive mindset tries to approach life with a generally positive attitude, but it names the problems by the name and grabs them by the balls to fix them. Without being pulled down by too many negative thoughts.

Here’s one exercise to see positivity while being open for change and progress.
All you need is your hand.

The 5-finger reflexion method

Count through your fingers and think about your day:

  1. the thumb: SUCCESS
    What went well today? What are my small, and big, successes?
  2. the index finger: LEARNING
    What did I learn today? Which new experiences did I have?
  3. the middle finger: F*CK UPS
    what did outright suck today and go really, REALLY wrong?
  4. the ring finger: CONNECTION
    What were my positive interactions today? What I get or provide positive feedback or recognition for?
  5. the pinky: SHORTCOMINGS
    What did I MISS today? What was lacking? What do I want to improve tomorrow?

This way, you can get a realistic and balanced view of your day. And with that, you can progress. And slowly and steadily improve little things, make your life more positive. While still allowing yourself to think of fuck-ups as what they are, still allow yourself to miss things and dislike things. And then act to change what you can change.

Go ahead and try it out right now! It only takes a few minutes, and I’m curious what you come up with 🙂

Imagine you had a 6th finger? What would you add? Let me know 👇, like and share if this was helpful.

Much love!
~Marius

Why you should be like a turtle

Let us be turtles.

Lately I have been reminded again by comments on my posts, by my wife, and by life (hello flu!), that we all should be more turtlish.

Also in the Wim Hof groups, in fitness groups, international, Dutch, German, I see daily posts of the type “I’ve done my training routine for x weeks, I do breathwork daily and x minute ice baths. I was feeling great, but now I always have a snotty nose. What am I doing wrong?”.

Well, here’s the thing:

You are not a turtle. You are a rabbit.

You know the story of the turtle and the rabbit.
The rabbit is sexy, the turtle is not.
The turtle is rich, but the rabbit is not.

It’s easy to get carried away by something new, something cool. Do daily 7 minute ice baths. Do a crazy long drive, have an intense weekend, and drive back to a full working week. Start a new sport and go all in.
Sure, we can do it, but the body will tell us after some time that it was too much. We burn out, get sick, feel that our performance goes down. But we train so hard? What’s wrong?

THIS IS WHAT RABBITS DO!

A short sprint that gets you far ahead, then a little rest, a little distraction, and maybe another sprint.

Don’t rely on intense weekends for your kick. Make every day is beautiful and build up your stamina.

Do a little work every day, but do it over a long time. You will win.

Be a turtle.


Much love!

PS: A claim without a proof is just a ramble. Good job the internet exists. Here is my proof:

Lessons from the mountain

3 years ago we climbed mount Sniezka as the final cornerstone of my WIm Hof Instructor course.

It was a unique experience. Intense, joyful. The last day of our retreat, and we would conquer the mountain. Some 30 freshly baked instructors. Our final walk up that path before going out and sharing this beautiful method with the world.

// But The Mountain had a lesson for us. //

Not all of us made it up the mountain. But all of us made it down. And all of us learned the most important lesson of the whole instructor training.

The first part of the hike was beautiful. Wide gently-sloped paths through snow-covered trees. Some degrees below zero, but nothing too serious. Everyone was fine stomping up that mountain in just shorts and boots.At one point the path reaches the tree line, and the wind started to hit us hard. No problem, we were in our focus, our inner fire was switched on. It started snowing. Beautiful!

The final part of the ascent leads over an exposed ridge. Half way up that ridge, the weather changed. The wind took up. The windchill decreased to -30 degrees C. And with it, the storm brought frozen rain. The rain covered everything. The stones, the rails that gave us support. The spikes under our boots started to fail. Our feet slipped on the stones, and our hands slipped on the frozen rails. And with the slipping feet our focus started to slip.

And focus is what keeps the inner fire going. When the focus goes, the cold creeps in. In our case, it didn’t creep, it was hammered into us by hale, frozen rain and wind gusts of 80 km/h. From there it was chaos. Some managed to get dressed. Others were shivering too much to even put a jacket on. Everyone was at their limit. Everyone started their descend back to the last shelter, the Yellow House at the beginning of the crest. It’s only thanks to good luck and individuals who helped some others back down to safety. I personally have half pushed, half pulled, half carried a severely hypothermic person down the crest. I was at the end of my own power when finally he was taken off me by a helper and carried the last few meters to the shelter.

So we didn’t make it up the mountain that day, and barely down. In the beginning, I was almost ashamed that I didn’t make it up. Now, 3 years later, I know that The Mountain taught us an important message that day:

// YOU NEVER CONQUER THE COLD. //

The cold is always stronger. It does not differentiate between a Wim Hof Instructor, a practitioner or any person in the world. Even Wim Hof himself had some close calls. The cold always wins.Nature always wins.

You can use the cold as a tool. It can make you stronger. But if you challenge it, it will win. Always.

Does that make the cold bad? Of course not. It’s like a weight. You wouldn’t walk around all day with a barbell with 100 pound on each side on your back. But if you build up to it, squatting it a few times in the gym will make you stronger. And after training, you need recovery and rest to give the muscles time to recover and grow.

And the cold works the same way. Use it a few times a week to train your body and mind. Respect it. Know your limits. And slowly, and steadily, build up, expand your limits.

The cold can make you happier, healthier, and stronger. Together with a healthy lifestyle, rest and recovery.

This is the lesson I have been teaching in my classes in the last 3 years to hundreds people from a dozen countries. And I hope I have made every single one a happier, stronger and healthier person.

Much love.
Marius