Category Archives: Inspiration

Black hole, by photographer Fabian Oefner

The Black Hole series is so spectacular, it almost seems unreal… Yet the concept behind these vibrantly-coloured paint-splashes is actually quite simple.

Fabian Oefner, a 29-year old Swiss photographer who clearly likes to have fun with paint, created this series by dripping various shades of acrylic colours onto a metallic rod that was connected to a drill. When switched on, the paint started to move away from the rod, creating these amazing-looking images.

The motion of the paint happened in a blink of an eye, just milliseconds after the drill was turned on. To capture the moment, where the paint forms that distinctive shape, Fabian connected a sensor to the drill, which sent an impulse to the flashes. These specialized units were capable of creating flashes as short as a 1/40000 of a second, freezing the motion of the paint.

Get a glimpse of the creative process here, but also be sure to take a look at more of Fabian’s projects. Some really beautiful work!

If you would like prints of his work, get in touch with him.

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The Midway media project

I saw this video yesterday and it honestly broke my heart…

“The MIDWAY media project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.”

Day by day, we are slowly killing our planet…

Lets start consuming more consciously and reconsider our use of plastic. For the sake of all of us and the generations ahead.

Don’t let this be our legacy.

More information about the upcoming documentary.

Swedish photographer Paul Hansen wins 56th World Press Photo

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Photographer Paul Hansen of the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter has won the 56th World Press Photo for a very powerful image of a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City.

Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. Their father Fouad was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouad’s brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher.

View the entire collection of winning images from the 56th World Press Photo Contest here.

The winners were selected from over 100,000 images that were submitted by a total of 5,666 professional photographers from 124 countries in a number of categories: general and spot news, sports action and features, nature, people in the news, contemporary issues, daily life, portraits, arts and entertainment.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the photos live when they are exhibited at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, from 26 April 2013 – 23 June 2013. I’ve been going every year since 2009 and the photos have always amazed, inspired, surprised and shocked me.

The exhibition travels all over the world and is visited by two million people every year. I can’t recommend it enough. To see when there will be a World Press event in your city, check here.

I love me

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On Valentine’s Day, which is marketed and widely accepted as the day of love, no matter what your romantic situation, take a moment to think about another kind of love, one we tend to avoid or overlook, yet is so essential, if not the key, to our happiness: Self-love.

Do you know, embrace, and accept yourself, with all our faults and imperfections?

Louise Hay says: “I have found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself. When people start to love themselves more each day, it’s amazing how their lives get better. They feel better. They get the jobs they want. They have the money they need. Their relationships either improve, or the negative ones dissolve and new ones begin. Loving yourself is a wonderful adventure; it’s like learning to fly. Imagine if we all had the power to fly at will? How exciting it would be! Let’s begin to love ourselves now.”

I really couldn’t agree more. Self-love is at the very core of happiness, self-empowerment, well-being and our ability to create and enjoy the kind of life we want.

Here are Louise’s 12 Commandments to help you learn how to love yourself:

Stop All Criticism.

Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.

Forgive Yourself.

Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that you had. Now you are growing and changing, and you will live life differently.

Don’t Scare Yourself.

Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It’s a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure, and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.

Be Gentle and Kind and Patient.

Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.

Be Kind to Your Mind.

Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change your thoughts.

Praise Yourself.

Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.

Support Yourself.

Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.

Be Loving to Your Negatives.

Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. So lovingly release the old negative patterns.

Take Care of Your Body.

Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need in order to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise do you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.

Do Mirror Work.

Look into your eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself while looking into the mirror. Talk to your parents while looking into the mirror. Forgive them, too. At least once a day, say, “I love you, I really love you!”

Love Yourself . . . Do It Now.

Don’t wait until you get well, or lose the weight, or get the new job, or find the new relationship. Begin now—and do the best you can.

Have Fun.

Remember the things that gave you joy as a child. Incorporate them into your life now. Find a way to have fun with everything you do. Let yourself express the joy of living. Smile. Laugh. Rejoice, and the Universe rejoices with you!

What if money was no object?


Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way. -Alan Watts

What do you desire?

Trotter, the fashionable French bulldog

Introducing Trotter, an adorable French bulldog with great style and a wardrobe anyone would be jealous of!

He stars in a fashion production created by his owner, Sonya Ya “professional food pornographer” from San Francisco.

I’m sure you’ll agree, this one-year old fashionista looks great in any outfit!

Enjoy his super cute portfolio!

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Life: Available for a limited time only

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Beautiful self-portraits by Olga Valeska

Stunning. Simply stunning. I really cannot get enough of these photos. They are all so beautiful, so colourful, so imaginative.

The photographer and subject in all of them is Olga Valeska, a 21 year-old literature student from France that discovered photography just over a year ago (a year!) and is completely self-taught. She does her own make-up, scenery, and costumes and uses a self-timer to take the portraits of herself. A one-woman studio!

What she loves about photography is that it allows her to combine the things she is passionate about, like painting, sculpting, drawing, and making costumes.

Sit back and take in all this beauty. Enter Olga’s mysterious, surreal, wondrous world…

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Friday awesomeness!

Just brilliant! The window washers at a children’s hospital in the US got dressed as superheroes to cheer up the little patients inside!

Because it doesn’t take much to be a real hero and make someone happy…

Be someone’s superhero today! :)

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A pep talk from Kid President to you

You just have to watch this. I promise it will make you smile, it will brighten up your day.

Oh, and don’t forget to spread the love! The world needs it! :)

PechaKucha Night

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Just back from another burst of inspiration and creativity at PechaKucha Night, edition #24 in Amsterdam.

But what is it, you might ask? It’s an informal and fun gathering, where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps — just about anything, really. From a newly finished building, a new piece of furniture, or an ad campaign, to a fashion line, a new event or any idea the world needs to know about!

A lot of people compare it to TED talks, but they are actually quite different. TED talks are more formal and top down, whereas PechaKucha is more informal and  bottom up, both brilliant though in their own way!

Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, PechaKucha rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace, offering the audience the experience of a dazzling range of speakers and images in the course of one evening. No more boring lectures, painful seminars or tiring presentations!

PechaKucha Night was first devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening all round the world, inspiring creatives worldwide.

If you’ve never heard of PechaKucha Nights, I highly recommend you look them up. With them now happening in over 600 cities around the world, I’m pretty sure there is one taking place very close to where you live. And you can either attend to get a dose of inspiration or even present something you love and are passionate about!

Gandhi’s top 10 fundamentals for changing the world

Here is a dose of inspiration from a truly enlightened person.

Take some time to read these fundamentals, internalise them, make them yours and live by them. They can change a lot.

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Image: by Francesca

Drowning, by Alban Grosdidier

Hold your breath for this series!

Alban Grosdidier, a 22 year-old French photographer and graphic designer, equates the feeling of living in a big city to being immersed in water. His series “Drowning” is a beautiful metaphor about the diversity of emotions people face with city life and the impact they have on their psyche.

Beginning as a ESAG project in photography, under the supervision of photographer and art director Tom Kan, it was first presented on the banks of the river Seine in January 2012. The second part of the series was showcased in July 2012 on a rainy day along the canal Saint Martin. “The disintegration of the prints by the rain was a “Russian dolls” effect, answering to the use of water inside the portraits, emphasizing the act of drowning and showing by example how big city life can tear someone down.”

Fear, frustration, serenity, calmness, they’re all here. Let yourself feel them all through this wonderful series.

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Diane Arbus exhibition at Foam

Two weeks ago, I went to the Diane Arbus exhibition at the Foam Museum in Amsterdam. It did a major retrospective with 200 of Arbus’ bold and powerful photographs, including all of the artist’s iconic shots and many that have never been exhibited before in the Netherlands.

“For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.” – Diane Arbus

What to say about her artistic legacy? A woman fascinated by the unusual, a frontrunner, she broke the boundaries of traditional portraiture, taking photos of people from the extreme margins of American society in the 50’s and 60’s. “Outsiders”, like circus side-show performers, mentally disabled adults, midgets, transvestites, eccentrics and nudists, placing them in the mainstream. Photos that many times are hard to look at, yet hard to look away from. And although only rarely does Arbus physically appear in her own photographs, it feels like emotionally she’s in most of them.

It was a truly amazing exhibition… I feel very lucky to have seen the work of such a pivotal figure in contemporary photography…

“My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.” – Diane Arbus

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Source of images: Google images

Stunning portraits by Marteline Nystad

I personally  think there is nothing more beautiful to photograph than the human face. Look at Marteline Nystad‘s portraits and you’ll understand why.

She is a very talented 22-year-old photography student from Oslo, Norway who is going in the direction of fashion/art direction.

She says: “I bought myself a Nikon D40 in 2008, and I was hooked”.

I am so happy I came across her photos and I hope to see more of her work. Simply mesmerizing!

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The Life of Pi

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I’ve just come back from watching the Life of Pi, and it was such a wonderful cinematic experience. Apart from the incredible images throughout the movie – that I don’t think I will ever forget- and the beautiful story, there were numerous moments where the words being said really touched my heart. Here are only a few:

“All of life is an act of letting go, but what hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”

“It is important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse.”

“Above all, it is important not to lose hope.”

Although I rarely read fiction, I’m going to buy the book tomorrow…

Find Momo, by Andrew Knapp

Look closely, because Momo, a ‘professional Border Collie’, is in each of these photos!

His owner, Andrew Knapp, a Canadian graphic designer and photographer, realised Momo’s talent for camouflage when he consistently turned a game of fetch into hide and seek.

The result is a lovely series of landscapes, with this adorable dog hiding somewhere in the frame.

Be sure to follow Momo’s adventures on Instagram and look out for the book, which will be coming out soon!

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Flying Houses, by photographer Laurent Chehere

There is something magical and delightful about this series of photos. I guess you could say they are elevating, literally and metaphorically!

French photographer Laurent Chehere, who quit his job in advertising to embrace his two passions: travel and photography, was inspired by the architecture of Paris when creating this whimsical and surreal collection of floating homes, trailers, tents and cottages. He used traditional photography and digital manipulation to remove them from their original surroundings and set them against different backgrounds, adding beautiful details like birds and cables that make them feel like balloons, wandering in the skies.

See more of his work here.

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Timeless words by Martin Luther King, Jr.

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On the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, here are only a few of this great man’s quotes, which I find incredibly inspiring. Words to live by…

  • “The time is always right to do the right thing.”
  • “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  • “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
  • “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
  • “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
  • “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  • “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
  • “Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”
  • “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
  • “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.”

Photo: By Marvin Koner

Inspiration by Jackson Kiddard

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If today was it, would you die knowing you did your best?

If tomorrow never came, would you be proud of the last thing you said to each person you love?

If “someday” was only “now”, would you do everything you’ve always put off?

If you knew you had a choice about what kind of life you could be living, would you choose different?

If you knew failure is impossible, what would you do?

If it were true that everyone you meet is you in another body, how would you treat them?

If love was the true currency of the universe and the more you gave away the more you received, how would you spend it?

If fear were the biggest illusion and the greatest lie of all time, how would you choose to live your life?

If the universe always supported a life lived towards achieving dreams, how big would you dream?

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Thought of the day…

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The Reconstructionists

I recently discovered a gem, called the Reconstructionists: the brainchild of illustrator Lisa Congdon and writer Maria Popova.

Every Monday in 2013, this site will be putting the spotlight on a remarkable woman, publishing an illustrated portrait of her, along with a hand-lettered quote that captures her spirit and a short micro-essay about her life and legacy.

The purpose of the Reconstructionists is to celebrate beloved artists, writers, and scientists, as well as notable unsung heroes that have changed the way we define ourselves as a culture and live our lives as individuals of any gender.

It borrows its title from Anaïs Nin, one of the 52 female icons, who wrote of “woman’s role in the reconstruction of the world” in a poetic 1944 diary entry – a sentiment that encapsulates the heart of what this undertaking is about: women who have reconstructed, in ways big and small, famous and infamous, timeless and timely, our understanding of ourselves, the world, and our place in it.

On 6 January it launched with four portraits, those of writers Anaïs Nin and Gertrude Stein, artist Agnes Martin, and inventor/actor Hedy Lamarr, to give a taste of what will follow once a week for the rest of the year. Yesterday, it posted its second week entry, musician Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Be sure to follow it throughout 2013! It’s such an inspiring way to start the week, don’t you think?

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Private Moon, by photographer Leonid Tishkov

Be prepared to get moonstruck…

Russian photographer Leonid Tishkov‘s ongoing and evolving project is a visual poem that tells the story of a man who met the Moon and stayed with her the rest of his life.

Traveling around the world with his own private moon, Leonid doesn’t see this as a series, but as the performance of a lifetime.

“The world is beautiful around us, you just illuminate it with the light of poetry. And for me, the light of the moon is the perfect poetry.”

Sweet dreams… and enjoy the ride to the moon and back.

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Watch this video for even more photos…

Broken flowers, by photographer Jon Shireman

For his Broken Flowers series, photographer Jon Shireman soaked fresh flowers in liquid nitrogen for 30 minutes before smashing them into hundreds of little glass-like pieces. Displayed against a white background, the blooms look like floral fireworks!

The result is beautiful and quite unique.

Jon described the project as ‘Great fun’ and says ‘I like to turn the idea of traditional flower still lifes on its head sometimes’.

May they rest in pieces… :)

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The new Campari calendar with Penélope Cruz

Following a tradition that has included Jessica Alba, Selma Hayek, Eva Mendes and Milla Jovovich, Campari’s red, hot calendar girl for 2013 is Penélope Cruz.

Fashion photographer Kristian Schuller created a stunning series, centering the theme around superstition with Penélope Cruz walking under ladders and on cracks, opening umbrellas in a room, and looking into broken mirrors.

The 9,999 copies of the limited edition calendar are distributed internationally to the lucky few that receive it.

Enjoy an intensely beautiful, red visual voyage.

Cover 2013

January 2013

February 2013

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May 2013

June 2013

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October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

FLOWmarket: Materialising immaterial needs

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Take what you need: nature, receivability, alone time, togetherness, imperfection, exercise, rest, God, thankfulness, forgiveness, inner peace, silence, trust, contentness, sustainable vision, reflection, prayer + meditation, compassion, quality, patience, non-doing, presence, self-love, non-judging, non-comparing, intimacy, inaccessibility, letting go, holistic thinking, respecting boundaries, wholeheartedness, freedom, openness, courage to fail, spiritual awareness, unselfish motives, authenticity, good energy, intuitive confidence, emotional expression, change coping, body grounding, courage to be me, unconditional love, effortlessness, listening to my body, cravings liberation, courage to ask for help, passion, courage to be honest, self esteem, non harming consumption, happiness from within, commercial free space, non toxic food, respect for others’ truth, psychosomatic awareness, life enjoyment, embracement, clean air, the loving choice, letting be, ups & downs, shamelessness, no worries, accept of powerlessness, speaking for oneself, creative expression, environmental sensitivity, chi, soul-searching, non-expecting, well-being…

The FLOWmarket, offers you empty sealed cans that materialise your immaterial needs. The cost? Just 17.79$ per tin can. It believes that flow is when its good for you, for others and for nature, and this is mirrored in the FLOWmodel™, a design model that reflects a three dimensional view on creating sustainable growth:

Individual flow:
Balanced physical, mental and spiritual growth.

Collective flow:
Balanced interpersonel, cultural, economic, social and technological growth.

Environmental flow:
Balanced environmental growth.

Is it design, art, business or activism? I would say all of the above. This incredible concept, created by Danish designer Mads Hagstrøm, has the goal to create a consumer market based on values, inspiring consumers to think, live and consume more holistically.

“A change process begins with an awareness that something needs to change.”

The FLOWmarket has been opening temporary stores around the world since 2005 (Zurich, New York, Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, Copenhagen). Currently, there are no stores open, but you can buy your new generation luxury online.

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Mads Hagstrøm, has received a number of design awards and has been selected as one of Denmark’s most promising business talents. Here is a text he wrote, called Imagine.

Imagine that all change begins with ourselves. Imagine that our mindset shapes our world. Imagine that we need a sustainable mindset to create a sustainable world. Imagine sustainability as an expression of balance  or imbalance in humans, in society and in nature. Imagine that all our garbage were harmless or even nourishing to nature. Imagine that we solved our problems  rather than repress and remove their symptoms. Imagine why we drink bottle water. Imagine that you can´t solve your problems before you´ve faced the underlying reasons. Imagine flow as a sustainable condition where balance and growth joins. Imagine disease as a symptom of imbalace. Imagine that your consumption choices affects how we treat nature.Imagine that we marked pesticide food instead of organic food. Imagine power of thought as one of the most powerful things we have. Imagine a link between the way we pollute our own body and the way we pollute nature. Imagine that human growth includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions. Imagine eating with an intention of giving your body nutrition and energy. Imagine that conflicts are often just about wishing to be heard and understood by the other side. Imagine holistic thinking as seeing things as a whole. Imagine the level of obesity if people only ate when they were hungry. Imagine of good design meant good for you, good for others and good for nature.Imagine if we could build houses like trees that could clean the air and produce energy and oxygen. Imagine that your thoughts of yesterday and of tomorrow are what keeps you from being present. Imagine nature as our mentor. Imagine that you will receive everything you give. Imagine peace begins with inner calmness.Imagine the equality you could generate if you stopped feeling superior or inferior to other people. Imagine that we can make a demand for growth that includes financial, social, cultural, nature and human dimensions. Imagine your intuition always tells you where to go next. Imagine the benefits in resources, energy and pollution if we preferred tap water over bottled water. Imagine a link between the chemicals, pesticides and additives in your food and the imbalances in your body. Imagine if political decisions were based on what would be beneficial for humans and for nature. Imagine that you can absorb more nutrition when you focus your attention on your food while eating. Imagine the amount of mental stress you could avoid if you stopped trying to cover up or compensate for low self esteem and dealt with it instead. Imagine alcoholism and compulsive behaviour with eating, shopping, sex, gambling, fitness, working or internet as the same mechanism. Imagine that you can create more diversity by loving the way that other people are different from you. Imagine that a no to others, can be a yes to yourself. Imagine if prisons were designed to help and rebuild people rather than punishing and breaking them down. Imagine the feeling of shame as your gateway to low self esteem. Imagine that we as consumers can create a demand for energy created by renewable energy sources like sun, wind, earth or water. Imagine that the way to deal with emotional pain is to accept and accommodate it.Imagine that it is cheaper to buy organic farmed products when you look at the big picture. Imagine you can only change your outside world by changing your inside world. Imagine that you can avoid stress by meditating a few minutes a day. Imagine meditation being as simple as paying attention to your own breathing. Imagine that you can prevent and cure disease with the composition of the food you eat.Imagine that the key to your happiness is following your intuition instead of other people´s opinions and advice. Imagine that your world will change when you change your thoughts. Imagine that giving people your advice without being asked for it is like invading them. Imagine if our electronic devices emitted radiation that was beneficial and healthy instead of damaging to us. Imagine how easily a walk in the forest or by the sea can make you feel balanced and grounded. Imagine that your bed sheets and clothes did not transmit chemicals to your skin from pesticides, dyeing and colouring. Imagine how hardtalking, impatient, punishing and intolerant we can be to ourselves. Imagine that as a complete person you are a more competent person. Imagine life as a journey with ups and downs that offers you unique experiences. Imagine that we used plant photosynthesis as the design model for our energy production. Imagine that there are at least two sides to everything.Imagine organic and biodynamic farming as something that makes environmental, human and economical sense. Imagine that alternative therapy and conventional therapy go perfectly well hand in hand. Imagine that our schools and universities encouraged us to strive for being the best for the world – not in the world. Imagine that we will stabilize the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere in our generation. Imagine that we are all a small part of a bigger whole. Imagine that buying biodynamic food is like saying no to toxic food for you and your family no to unfair trade, no to animal abuse and no to exhausted and barren farmland for future generations. Imagine that you can´t change other people, you can only change your own perception of them. Imagine the amount of energy we could save if we constructed houses with natural air conditioning.Imagine that growth takes place in the pauses. Imagine how easy it is to spend most of our spare time watching television. Imagine that you could make the world more loving by being more loving to yourself and others. Imagine that small things can make a big difference. Imagine that your consumption choices affect how we treat people. Imagine that you are sometimes trying too hard. Imagine that our news empowered us. Imagine that you can make the world more tolerant by being more tolerant to yourself and others. Imagine that you can reduce over-consumption by buying quality instead of quantity. Imagine disease as your body´s way of communicating a need for purification of for shifting into a lower gear.Imagine that your world will change when you change your beliefs. Imagine that self-hate can trigger imbalances in your body. Imagine fair trade as common sense. Imagine how many people that comfort eat to soothe their anger, stress, loneliness or sadness.Imagine making a consumer demand for solar powered airplanes. Imagine how many mobile phones you have had in the last five years. Imagine if the things we designed became more and more beautiful the more we used it. Imagine how cleaning with chemicals affects our health. Imagine dealing with your mental and emotional stress rather than soothing and repressing it with food, sugar, alcohol, shopping, tv, medication or coffee. Imagine if good management meant good for the employees, good for the company, good for the global society and good for nature. Imagine that sustainability and profitability go perfectly well hand in hand. Imagine that the food you eat affects both your physical and your mental condition. Imagine men and women as equals. Imagine that you can make the world safer by being more caring to others. Imagine that you could appreciate the voids and see them as a valve. Imagine how the latest new is immediately replaced by a new. Imagine the way your skin self-repairs after a cut as an example of the way our body and mind, under the right circumstances can self-repair in multiple ways. Imagine that we are born with a natural condition of balance. Imagine light and sound as frequencies that can have a demaging, neutral or benefical effect on you. Imagine violence as an expression of incapacity and despair. Imagine how often you are in contact with nature. Imagine money simply as a form of energy. Imagine if city air became as clean as sea and country air. Imagine your body as an engine that will break down under the wrong conditions. Imagine the power of taking the necessary time to turn your attention inwards and make your decisions based on that. Imagine how liberating it is to be able to be bored with someone. Imagine that having your limits exceeded by yourself or others will have consequences. Imagine that you can take what you need from this and leave the rest. Imagine that your world will change when you change your actions.Imagine how soothing, and how frustrating, silence can be depending on your mental condition. Imagine how much you give to another person by just being present and listening to them. Imagine the amount of energy you can save by dealing with your problems instead of bichting about them. Imagine that we only use a fragment of our mental capacity. Imagine that skincolour and sexual orientation were indifferent.Imagine that when your body pains it is your body trying to communicate and guide your mind. Imagine the high likelihood that you will become a resident at a nursing home when you grow old. Imagine if restaurants made food from a nutrition perspective. Imagine that the key to becoming a complete person is balancing the time you give to yourself, your partner, your family, your work and your friends. Imagine that we could make a demand for bicycle infrastructure as high priority in our cities. Imagine that this poster will become unnecessary. Imagine how lying drains your energy.Imagine that your world will change when you change your consumption. Imagine a link between your physical, mental and spiritual selves. Imagine the energy and resources you can help save by saying no to houshold distributed advertising matters. Imagine if your company had a vision of contributing to making the world a better place. Imagine turning of your television, computer and mobile and doing something with someone you love. Imagine allowing yourself to fail and never be perfect. Imagine that you can allways choose to be driven by confidence rather than fear. Imagine how important a good night´s sleep is for your physical and mental state. Imagine that your thoughts create your words, your words create your beliefs, your beliefs create your choices, your choices create your actions and your actions create your world.

You can buy this text as a black & white, 70×100 poster, on 300g sustainable “Arctic” paper and waterbased print.

Portraits of homeless people, by Lee Jeffries

When I first saw these portraits, I was blown away. Each face a story. So powerful, so impressive, so full of emotion…

They are the work of Lee Jeffries, a UK-based photographer, who started off his photography career by shooting sporting events. But a chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London not only changed his perception about homeless people, but also his artistic approach forever. He now travels around Europe and the US to find homeless people for his portraits, the main focus of his work, and makes an effort to get to know them a bit personally before taking their photos.

Jeffries uses his photography to draw attention to and raise funds for the homeless, posting the images to Flickr, selling his photos and Blurb book  and entering his work into competitions, where he has won many, well-deserved, awards.

A true inspiration…

Follow Lee on Twitter

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The Open Country of Woman’s Heart

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A Map of the Open Country of a Woman’s Heart was a map created by D. W. Kellogg circa 1833-1842, subtitled “Exhibiting its internal communications, and the facilities and dangers to Travellers therein.” Though it mostly depicts Woman as a sentimental, selfish, and superficial being driven by vanity, it places Love at the center of her heart, with Good Sense, Patience, and Prudence at its tip — or bottom, depending on the interpretation.

Want this map for yourself or a gift? You can buy it here.

New Expedia campaign by Ogilvy

Expedia’s new series of print ads brilliantly plays on the airport codes displayed on luggage tags when you travel. So creative!

Two Ogilvy UK executives, Jon Morgan and Mike Watson, got inspired while walking through Heathrow airport and seeing a woman with a FUK label on her suitcase. Turns out she was just back from Fukuoka in Japan! That got them thinking that there might be more codes. And they were right. Actually, thousands, as over 9,000 airports around the world, have their own 3-letter IATA code used to identify the destination of bags.

WSH EWE WRE ERE [Brookhaven, Ewer Indonesia, Whangarei, Erave] and SUN SEA SND SEX [Sun Valley, Seattle, Seno, Sembach] are my favorites!

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Expedia-9

Expedia-8

Expedia-6

Expedia-5

Expedia-4

Expedia-3

Expedia-2

Expedia-1

Credits
Ad agency: Ogilvy
Copywriter: Jon Morgan
Art director: Mike Watson
ECD: Gerry Human
CD: Paul Mason
CD: Mark Harrison
Design: Mark Osborne
Retouching: Trevor Qizilbash
Traffic: Grant Mason, Peter Nuttal

Crinoline Flowers, by photographer Sophia Banks

This stunning photo series, called Crinoline Flowers, was made as a visual representation of Sophia Banks‘ feelings about being transgender. When she made these photos, then known as Daryl Banks, she was nowhere near ready to come out and tell the public about her being a trans woman, but she courageously did so recently.

Her inspiration for the photos came while wandering around some vintage clothing stores in Toronto’s Kensington Market. The original series was photographed when she was taking a studio lighting class at Ryerson University. The photos were later re-shot for the Eckhart Gallery in higher resolution.

Enjoy!

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Startrails, by photographer Lincoln Harrison

Wow. Just wow. Australian photographer Lincoln Harrison‘s long exposure photography is simply magical. I honestly can’t get enough of his colourful swirls in the night sky, nor can I decide which Startrail is my favourite. I love them all! Incredibly enough, this inspired photographer bought his first ever camera only two years ago, with the intention of taking photos to sell things on eBay! It wasn’t long till he discovered he had a magnificent, unique talent!

Harrison spends many hours in very cold conditions to get the perfect shot of a naturally luminous and active starry night. He documents the natural fireworks in the night sky, aided by the earth’s rotation and time, that are invisible to the naked eye.

Amazing…

You can view the entire series here and buy his prints here.

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Scotch Tape, by photographer Wes Naman

In this creative photo series, Wes Naman manipulates the faces of his models in a funny, yet disturbing way! As he describes it on his own blog: “It’s pretty self explanatory… Full of deep meaning and metaphor, both negative and positive… a social commentary that defies all common sense.”

See the complete series here!

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The Holstee Manifesto

This is old, but gold. And what better time to remind ourselves than the beginning of a new year. It doesn’t get much stronger than this…

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2013: The year of love!

Turn the numbers 2013 backwards and it spells Eros! What do you know, 13′, which is actually my lucky number, will be the year of love! And sure, every year is a year of love, but this one has got it written all over it! It’s a sign!

Believe, and it will happen! ;)

Happy New Year everybody!!!

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If you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own

This video touched my heart… Apparently it is a Liberty Mutual ad called “Doing the Right Thing” (2011).

Small, kind acts are not only simple to do, but have a lasting effect and feel amazing for both sides. Let’s do this as often as possible. :)

Merry Christmas!

 

21.12.2012

The-End-of-the-World

Not. ;)

Stop fearing and start living! You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way…

My dream trip begins!

And so it begins, my dream trip to Asia… I’m so excited and so, so scared!

Goodbye and see you in a month!

if your dreams don't scare you

 

The Life Less Bullshit Manifesto, by Nicole Antoinette

A friend posted this on Facebook and I just had to share. Read this, internalise it and practice it. These are incredibly powerful and wise words…

The Life Less Bullshit Manifesto

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and start being more you.

Find what inspires you, and mainline it. Find what moves you, and move. Find what keeps you up all night, and stay up all night. Get worked into the frenzy of being who you really are.

Decide what’s of ultimate importance, and ignore everything else. Only do work that you believe is great work. If you feel lost, join something bigger than yourself. Appreciate being a part of something, instead of stressing to be all of anything.

When you don’t know where to start, just start. If you don’t know where the beginning is, start in the middle, or start at the end. Just start, and keep going. Take the biggest risk you can think of. Take another. And another. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough time, or enough money. What’s “enough,” anyway? Forget about the big picture and let yourself wander aimlessly among the details. You don’t need a plan or a treasure map or a neon street sign, and you certainly don’t need to be the best. All you need to do is start, and then make one good decision after another. Being the best never comes right away.

Pay attention to the moments in which you feel pure joy. Express gratitude, out loud and often. Stop checking your email in bed; there are better ways to start the day. Read memoirs. Read fiction. Read poetry. Never stop reading. Go outside, even in bad weather. Buy yourself a present, even without an occasion. Wear pink shoes, even if they don’t match. You never need a reason to do what you truly feel like doing.

Stretch your mind, and your body, and your soul. Move and bend and jump and push; be faster and stronger and healthier than you were yesterday. Pursue growth. Listen to all the reasons you shouldn’t go, and then go anyway. Let yourself fall into the hole – there’s always a way out. Let other people help you out.

Choose a personal anthem and give yourself a lapdance. Make up words, and use them. Identify what you need to say, and say it. Be loud about the things that matter.

Set healthy boundaries. Work with people you respect. Value your time and your work and your creative energy. Put a price on what you create, and charge it. Show up more often. Ask interesting questions. Share more than you’re comfortable sharing. Write down your core beliefs and read them every day.

Find your people, the ones who make you feel good and beautiful and whole. Treat them like they matter, because they do. Treat yourself like you matter, because you do. Don’t be afraid to let people see that you are messy and flawed. We’re all messy and flawed.

Stop wanting what you don’t want. Define life for yourself. Decide what it means to you to be happy and dedicated and alive. Live by your own definitions. Pick something to perfect, and perfect it. Pick something to stop caring about, and refuse to give a shit. Don’t waste your energy on things just because other people do. Spend less time obsessing and more time actually doing. Forget about yesterday. Stop over-planning for tomorrow. Yesterday and tomorrow are just romanticized versions of today.

Choose today.

Source: http://nicoleisbetter.com

International left-handers day!

Ha! Apparently we lefties have our own day to celebrate! Today is International Left-Handers day! After all… only left handed people are in their right minds, right?! :-p

This reminded me of an old Mercedes-Benz print ad series that beautifully illustrates the contrast between the left and right sides of our brain through some really great artwork…

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Agency credits: Y&R Israel, February 2011

2012 London Olympics street art

Last day of the London 2012 Olympics today and a good opportunity to look back at some pretty cool, thought-provoking street art that was created for the occasion by artists like Banksy, Criminal Chalkist, Code FC and more. Enjoy!



50 years without Marilyn Monroe

It’s been 50 years since the death of American actress, singer and model Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) and her memory is still alive…

Here are some quotes of hers that are close to my heart:

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” 

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” 

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” 

“If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.” 

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” 

“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” 

“I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.” 

“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” 

“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.” 

“You never know what life is like, until you have lived it.” 

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” 

“A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.”

“I am invariably late for appointments – sometimes as much as two hours. I’ve tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.”

“All a girl really wants is for one guy to prove to her that they are not all the same.” 

“I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.”

“I restore myself when I’m alone.”

“It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.”

“What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.”

“Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything.” 

The fantastic world of Fab Ciraolo

I love looking at the world through Fab Ciraolo‘s eyes. The Chilean artist re-imagines famous icons from the movies, art, politics, history and fashion as pop idols of today with an added surreal, dreamy, vintage spin.

If you like this series you most surely will appreciate his ‘Old School Heroes’ series too, where he revamps childhood cartoons from the 80’s, like Jem and the Holograms, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, in the same whimsical fashion.

You can follow Fab on Twitter or Facebook and keep up with his latest amazing creations.

The joy of reading – A photo set by Joel Robinson

I love books. And no matter how many I have, I can never get enough. Only yesterday I went to a bookstore with the intention of getting one, only one, but ended up leaving with five… They are just so beautiful… The way they look, feel, smell. And there is so much knowledge out there, so many words to be read, so many intellectual paths to follow… My desire to learn is just insatiable. E-books may make reading a bit easier, but call me old fashioned, when it comes to books, I love the weight of all that knowledge in my hands. :)

So, when one of my favorite sites, Brain Pickings, featured the work of Joel Robinson on the joy of reading, I was completely taken away. What an abundance of imagination, creativity and inspiration… Whether you are a bookaholic or not, you will immediately feel mesmerized by this set of photos. Stephen King said: “Books are uniquely portable magic”. I could have said the same for Joel’s pictures. They evoke those amazing feelings you experience when you enter the magical sphere of reading .

Visit’s Joel’s flickr page for even more concepts and themes to tickle your imagination or buy some of his work on etsy. What an amazing talent!


‘Women Are Heroes’ photo project

“Women Are Heroes” is a massive, truly inspired, photo project by French guerilla street artist, JR, who traveled to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Kenya, Brazil, India and Cambodia to seek out women struggling in their everyday lives and, in his words, “take their stories around the world.”

He convinced hungry, traumatized women in conflict zones to let him plaster their mural-size portraits into their own communities, on the sides of buildings, on trains, on bridges, thus bringing a haunting human presence to harsh environments of social conflict.

He photographed them and recorded their stories of rape, poverty, HIV, alienation, and loss. He asked them about their hopes and dreams, their regrets and desires. He shared these photos and stories in a video and a book.

A simple, yet so impactful idea that celebrates the worth of the individual, turning photographic portraits into a powerful medium for change and outdoor spaces into art galleries for people, who may never have set foot in one before.

JR won the 2011 TED Prize, where he voiced his audacious wish for art to “turn the world inside out”, inviting people to take part in his project Inside Out.

As the website mentions, this is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images will be made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually…

What are you waiting for? ;)

Conquer your fears. Dare. Change.

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”                      -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I get inspired every time I watch this video. I just found out it is actually a TV commercial called ‘Miedos’ by the agency Leo Burnett, made for Saga Falabella, Peru in 2007.

Great photography, spectacular music* and a very strong message.

Conquer your fears. Dare. Change.


*Music: ‘Summer’ from Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’

The Holstee Manifesto

Words to live by…

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

I read the following blog post on ‘Marc and Angel hack life‘ and have decided to repost here and spread the word. Not only because they are great suggestions and put things into perspective but also because, even though deep down we know all of them, we tend to forget and need to remind ourselves often… Enjoy!

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.

4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.

24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Source: http://www.marcandangel.com/

Ten suggestions for a brighter future, by Barbara Cage

1. Realize that life isn’t always fair. Accept what you must and change what you can.
2. Think before you act. A moment of carelessness or anger can cause years of anguish and regret.
3. Look for the beauty in life, in people, in nature, and in yourself.
4. Appreciate what you have: the people, the opportunities, the material possessions.
5. Make the effort to have fun: it is a great way to bond with others, and it makes some of the best memories.
6. Set aside some time for yourself. Do something you enjoy without feeling even a little guilty.
7. Accept others without judgement. Everyone is unique, and it is okay to be different.
8. Forgive. Bitterness and resentment hurt you more than the person you direct them at.
9. Learn. Open your mind to new ideas and activities, and don’t be afraid to try.
10. Dream. Make plans, believe in yourself and go for what you want.

How to be alone

This video is a beautiful testament to becoming your own best friend. Don’t be afraid to be alone. Seek it out from time to time. Enjoy it. You will learn so much about yourself, you will be surprised…

The poem is written and performed by Tanya Davis.