Friday, April 29, 2016

Back to basics. Facing the roots of (un)happiness

One and a half week ago, on a day off, I drove with my motorbike high up into the mountains. Green, clean air and nicer temperatures this time of the year for me. The final part of my nearly two hours trip the road was nearly impassable. I ended up in a small, not known by the tourist-industry, village, parked my bike and walked around greeting and connecting with the villagers my way. And I got connection.

I decided to make use of the possibility to join this village life for a short while and was even offered to be more ‘part of the community’ and dressed to be a - temporary - member. First it looked fun but after it felt much more comfortable. A great experience to connect with the basics of living life. Real connection, no mobile devices, actually this people lived the basic needs of Maslow’s pyramid and felt happy. For me a peaceful energy without any worries, insecurity and stress. It’s hard to describe happiness but for me it was.
On my way back home, passing the centre of the crowdie and full of tourist busy city Chiang Mai, I felt a total different energy.

It took me a while after being back home again to think things that happened to me over. Actually I asked myself the question who is really more happy? What is real happiness all about?

I think we are brainwashed to see and feel as a base unhappy and bound to fail. We are told to invest to find and keep some happiness over and over again. On a daily base we are dealing, not even aware of the distortion this brings in unhappy feelings, with how we are programmed. Beliefs and roots put into us by our parents, ancestors, culture, tradition, religion, society and the ongoing screaming marketing industry. We do not even face it. Open your eyes!

Those believes are false. They are not reality or facts. They are only your reality and facts. Connected for you with fear, guilt, social expectations, ambition, worries and so forth. They block you from being happy in a sustainable way. The biggest disturbances to be happy are our ongoing desires, ‘needs’, and maybe even more our attachments to things and persons. We are always focussing on things we do not have yet and think this things will make us (more) happy. You are not even aware you are standing on top of your happiness. Because of this, and you are not looking down, you do not see.

We are trained to blame ourselves and never blame the way we are programmed. I think most people do not even realized because of this how unhappy they actually are. They discover when it’s too late and are not even able at that time to make a change.
What makes you unhappy is not the world around you or the situation you are in but your thoughts. The whole program arranged for you (not by you) in your head. This program forces you to always want and get more or to change the situation you are in to feel happy. If you do not succeed you feel miserable. But it’s an unrealistic thing to think you can change the world. This is not under your control. Maybe it’s much easier to change yourself and change your believes. Be open and curious to discover the same world in a different way a enlarge your truth.

An attachment isn’t a fact. It is an emotional state of clinging. Believing that without a specific thing or person(s) you cannot be happy. It is a believe, a fantasy in your head, acquired by your programming. If the desire is fulfilled it will bring you a flash of pleasure but also fear (in relation to persons jealousy) to lose it.

In the village community there was not so much to attach or to desire. It was all about family life, a roof above their heads, community support and connection. Very basic needs. I cannot answer my question if they are more happy than me or us. In many respects I think they are. The experience was great and it showed me a wider ‘truth’.

Attachments can and will not survive, Enjoy things and persons in life. Keep your freedom to grow and flourish and respect the same in your friendship or relationship. Refuse the believe that you will not or cannot be happy without them.

The roots of (un)happiness are related to your believes, attachments and clinging…

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Managing expectations. Do not make a compromise with yourself to please your environment.

For the third time in a period of not even one week I got guests on my path who are suffering about this question; “How to find a compromise with myself to live a life that is in line with the expectations of my parents or my environment?”. Actually this question makes me a little bit sad. So it’s an invitation to share my thoughts about it because for sure many women and men are suffering about the same thing and possibly it will give them some or another insight. Maybe a little bit a longer story than normal but... I hope it's worth reading it.

I am a parent myself, I have parents – and even now they are not physically around me anymore – I want to respect and to honor them for the rest of my life. They offered me life. But does this say I have to make, or my children have to make for themselves, a compromise to make myself happy?

Let’s first trust that parents and your environment out of their best intentions want the best for you. The voices in your head you hear about the thing you are suffering about are actually not your voices. It are the voices of your parents, ancestors, masters in life, friends, relationships, etc.. Voices you only think they express your intuition, your inner wisdom. But they are not. So actually you are having a fight or maybe even a war inside yourself between soul and thought.

You want to live your life and to make the choices in it to explore, to grow, to flourish, in a for you best suitable way. Without even knowing you are trying to find the best way for your soul to fulfill your personal mission. And being already far beyond the time of puberty you face you are still in it. You are rebelling and the child in the soul is giving you the impulses to explore - and actually to be happy - with that and who you really are. But… you do not want to hurt your love ones or people with expectations of you so… When your way does not fit them, you think the best option is to find a compromise.  

Be aware you are always of a different generation than your parents and most of the time also than people in your environment. Be aware culture, pride of family name and maybe even religious background have great impact in the way other generations think about the best way of living life and make it a merit. But life goes on, the world changes and people have to adapt to the ever changing situation called growth (even if you cannot see it as growth yet). There is no way back. Trying to keep everything the same will show to be a lost battle. Actually people who do not want to accept change do not accept growth.

Status and position, I know from my own parents, can be a big deal in the freedom people have to live the life they actually want to live. I think in nearly every culture, I see it around me with children at international schools, for parents it is nice to tell great stories about what their children already reached in life. It’s all of positive stories so the parents can feel proud and show the world around they are proud. And yes, this can be a nice thing. But is does not have to ruin a life to go on with a lot of times a show still called life. Smiling on the picture on social media but actually poor inside.
Status and position have to do with the outside show and do not anymore, if they already did, show real happiness, well-being and living in connection with life and purpose. They are worldly soulless feelings invented by our society and culture to make us productive and controllable. 

A compromise between that what you really want and the expectations of the world around you does not exist. What you do is you are not serving yourself and not serving your parents and/or environment in the best possible way. There is nothing wrong to work on personal well-being and happiness first. It is not an egoistic thing. When you do not take care of yourself in the first place (and this is not in relation to materialistic things) you cannot be there for the world around you for your full 100%.

Parents have to understand that their children are not their children. They come through them but they do not belong to them. They may house their bodies but not their souls (a saying of Khalil Gibran I started to understand and live about six years ago). When you do not start to love yourself in the first place and to make yourself happy, how can you share your energy and how can you ever fulfill that what is the meaning of your life.

Your underlying intention is not to hurt your parents or environment. So making the choice of a compromise does say at the long term you make yourself and your environment sustainable not happy. So you only create more ‘victims’ by not being straight and clear to yourself.

When you are in a transition in life, you are in front of a threshold you have to pass. It’s called; in for a change. Not passing this threshold will hurt you more and more. Sometimes even so much that you become physically sick. Passing this threshold is accepting the change and go with your flow.

You start your personal heroes journey and yes, ‘friends’ and relatives maybe do not understand (yet) your choices. It has to be the respect from them to you to keep the door always open when there is unconditional underlying love. If the door will be closed (for ever or hopefully only for a while) it is a sad decision but still it is their decision and only your choice to live your life. Again, it is not your intention to hurt them.

When people make the choice not to be your friends anymore because of your choices how you want to live life or even do not support you anymore, you can see it as a challenge. First of all try not to hold on for too long time. Accept the emotion but do not start to hurt yourself. Accept it is better to let go because you create space for something new that is already waiting for you (but you just do not see yet).
The second thing, let it be a challenge to proof your way of living life gives not only you but also the world around real happiness out of yourself. Be the example, bring the change, be the change. Share what you have to share because the world is waiting for it (but maybe you are not at the right place yet). At the long run it will make even the people who had other expectations for you in mind happy. Not to please now possibly makes more happy finally.

What is success for you, what is success for the world around you? Happiness.

You are a free living human being with a task to fulfill. Listen to your inner source. Connect with silence. Follow your path. Your life cannot go wrong. There is nothing to manage, nothing to attain, no agenda, only to live. 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Trust and respect. Easy job.

Beginning of April I wanted to rest at our poolside to read a book for a couple of hours. I did not succeed. Normally it’s always quiet around the pool with people relaxing during their health programs. This time there were 6 Americans, partners in business (three men and three women) working in the same company on a project. One of them seemed to be the project leader. The other five were team leaders in the same project.

Particularly their speech was loud. In my opinion nobody was listening. It was good to see that when one of the group was telling something, the others were touched by a single word of their speech and started to make up their mind to share their thoughts immediately after the former one stopped it’s talk. Adding or taking away things or bringing in even better thoughts. Unrest and struggle. Not a single dialogue, only debate to find out who was right or maybe even more… the strongest. Trying to find the winner of the game that did not show up the period I stayed at the pool. I walked back home and even there I could hear the loud voices blaring over the water. They stayed, only the six of them, for a longer period. All the other guests left step by step.

The team has to trust and respect me...???
One of the team leaders dropped the theme he did not get any trust and respect from the team members. For him it was a struggle to manage the team this way and he asked his colleagues for counsel and advice. If necessary even to enforce.
After his request a kind of drama worked out. All kind of answers and skills mentioned in management books came up. One solution showed up even better and more suitable than another. And when this solutions should not work it was all about the team members and you had to work on the individual members. A girl named Bianca in his team, for instance, did not show respect or trust to any of the other team leaders in the same organization. They all agreed. This had nothing to do with the team leader itself but with this girl. Better if she should leave the organization. So they started to talk about how to do that the most easiest and cheapest way. A real and meaningful solution – but who am I? - that could help did not show up for me.

Trust and respect? An easy job. It is what you get!
Sometimes you hear the story you have to earn it. I only partly connect with that thought. When this is true, you have to work for it. Trust and respect have nothing to do with that. It is all about the energy people give / send to attract and make them enthusiastic and to lead by example. You have to show your purity in who you are and in what you are doing. It’s not working with a box full of tips and tricks.
You do good and you do not feel concerned, you are concerned and available. With that what’s going on in the project, with the team (well-being and growth) and the surroundings of the project. It is all about the purpose of the overall thing. Everybody need to get a chance to grow by sharing their individual unique contribution. The value is more than the sum of the individual parts. Narcissistic and dominant behavior do not fit in and are killing in that what we call "team spirit". 

Ever thought about the meaning of the word respect? It's build up out of two parts "re" (again) and "spect" (watching, in relation to the ongoing good things a person shows). 

If you have to build up trust, you can ask yourself when trust is 100%. If you can only reach 98% - I do not know actually how to measure – then trust still is 0. Trust is about only 100% or nothing. It is there or it is not there. And if trust in employees or in managers is damaged, or in general a relation is damaged, then there is no trust. There is nothing in between.

This does not say you always have to agree. If the boss, who has and need to be boss (just out of trust), makes another decision than thought or personally wanted this does not say there is a loss in trust. It is about the connection and the explanation (if possible before) about the decision.

You show respect to somebody else. If this respect is sincere, so no show in the game we call networking to get ‘friends’, then three main things are involved. Respect in relation to the other persons wisdom (more than knowledge), his/her compassion and his/her purity in thought and action.

To the group of Americans… good luck with trying to build or maybe even force it the way you suggest… Show your true and pure self in connection to get it. If you do not get it most of the time it has nothing to do with the other team members and maybe not even with you. There is also something that’s called ‘Click’. Trying to force is as already signing your own dismissal. Maybe, to grow again and give you new opportunities, better for you and for the team. 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Join the “Purpose Economy”. The harvest? Bigger, durable and much more valuable.

Triggered by a Dutch television program last week I feel inspired to write this week blog. 

End of 2009, at that moment as "Villa-Asia", we started to organize work- and retreat-programs being a catalyst in developing tranquility & insight to get well-being, purpose and new sustainable flow. This to help individuals, couples, groups and organizations to live or work happier, engaged and out of inner (latent) strength. 

By sharing their new energy, in my opinion, they step by step create a happier world and less misery. In Thailand we will go on with our programs. Nowadays I think our approach should totally fit in the “Actions for Happiness” organization methodology.  

The economic crises, in my opinion, for sure brought something good. More and more people and organizations started to discover that 'profit' is more than just only a financial thing. Profit is more and more connected with well-being, purpose, contribution and social significance. Happily an ongoing and spreading theme of and in the new Millennium generation now a days. Finally a new course to sail because the thought of becoming financial richer does not say also becoming happier. Actually it works out to be an old and ridiculous thought.

Think and do different. What is life all about? What is the deeper meaning? What shows your 'underwater profile'? What does the world need? These are all things that are not on the table leaf but are more or less hidden underneath and not always visible. Those things that inspire you from within to serve the world outside.

When you are more engaged with your job, with your uniqueness to contribute, to share and to grow in a natural way, you will feel well more and more. When you build purpose in the things you do it excites, engages, stimulates and connect people because of your unique contribution. Actually you create sustainable social progress. Things start to have real and valuable social impact.

Purpose economy is more and more about the theme; “How to improve our lives together in a more valuable way” (social progress) and not only about how our economy financially is rising or falling.

Sustainable success does not come because of more money, it arises out of happiness. Social significance makes persons and organizations sustainable more valuable. The change from welfare thinking to well-being feeling. Be aware economic prosperity is linked with happiness. Something you do not find in much study-books yet.

Start to make your life and work meaning-ful. What is your life all about? Make the difference as well and join the group who wants to create a more and more beautiful and happier world.

Be a member of the Purpose Economy and make the change.
You are worth is and the world already is waiting for you a long time.

Interested in one of our programs about this subject we periodically organize in Thailand? Click here.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.” 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Want to feel more comfortable and energetic? Be two times home.

This week I worked with an American couple who for five years lived and worked in Shanghai. Passionate people with a young child. They are in for a transition in life because life and lifestyle do not ‘fit’ them anymore. They go back to an area in America, a small town with a nice small stream in nature, where tourists - most of them American as well - come to breath again and recharge. They did not feel home any longer.

What is this? This “home” feeling?
Actually it is the most easiest thing to create and we are not even aware of it.
The environment you live in, your habitat, without even knowing is an energy giver or energy drainer. Every person has his or her own specific habitat. Colors, use of materials, space, design, light, air, temperature, smell, maybe even arts are elements creating that specific personal habitat.

When you do not have influence on your habitat, as examples your workplace or the waiting room in a hospital, this makes you feel more or less comfortable. And here it starts.
When I talk about myself, for the first time I really felt ‘home’ was when I visited a house (I think I lived there maybe earlier) in Vietnam during one of my travels. At June 12th 2015 I wrote a blog about that.

When you are not comfortable at the place you live or work actually it can and will make you sick. And, forget about your general excuses, it is easier than you think to make a change or shift in that environment. It is just bringing in some elements (maybe even a change of the color of the light-bulbs from white into warm white light for instance) that creates an atmosphere (energy) that serves you much better so you are more at ease and living in a for you higher energetic environment. And yes, I know, that’s hard to do in a waiting room of a hospital but happy enough you stay there not for too long.

There is another element that needs to be done to feel comfortable. Essentially it is the basic thing in being ‘home’. A pré-home feeling. And most of the time we do not take care of that feeling as well. We always run away because we are afraid to come home.
It is the coming home in and feeling comfortable with ourselves.

Do you feel comfortable with yourself? You are the one who spend 24-hours a day with yourself. Do you know yourself? Do you know that inner silent place within where you feel comfortable?
And again, it is easy to find. There is only one thing that sometimes is a hindrance. To find that place, to find that inner home, we have to face the war that’s going on in ourselves. The war between (heart) feeling and thoughts.

Feeling home with yourself. Think about a vagabond. A vagabond, without having a destination, always reaches a destination. A place to survive and for a while stay safe. When he or she does not trust him/herself, does not feel home with him/herself it is not even possible to survive any longer. Lots of people, luckily, have a vagabond inside.

Do you want to feel more comfortable and energetic (again)? First feel at home with yourself (Possibly meditation can be a helping hand). Connect with yourself, skip desires only created for you in the outside world and make you just temporary happy. You cannot find yourself in the outside world full of show and judgement. Find yourself, be yourself (on the outside ánd on the inside). Do not try to show a different personality at home and at work.

Make your own change. Create your specific comfort zone on the outside and start on the inside.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”