“Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards”

We’ve heard all the quote ‘when one door closes, another one opens’. There are many things that we know rationally, but only by experiencing them, the lessons really stick. If we don’t learn something the first time, life will give us the same lesson over and over again until we understand it. I believe that the secret of life is to recognize and learn the lessons as quickly as possible. Life is a game. Always find the silver lining of the cloud. Even seemingly unrelated things can contain powerful life lessons. I have collected some special examples for you.

Life lessons from my cats


More than 20 years ago, my friend Kristel's cat got kittens. We lived in Curaçao, but I would go back to the Netherlands to take care of my 12 years younger brother Michael R. Jacobs. I had no experience as a 'mother' but wanted to give him (and maybe myself) the most homely experience possible, after all the divorce we'd been through. That's how I got the idea to take the two kittens with me as a surprise.

Life lessons from my cats2021-08-26T12:36:42+02:00

Letter to my younger self


At age 40, Esther Jacobs writes a letter with wise lessons to herself as a teenager. What did you want to know when you were so young? Part of the book by Steven de Jong and Viola Welling.

Letter to my younger self2020-07-30T14:49:33+02:00

Life lessons from ski


Do you focus on what’s immediately in front of you, or do you keep your look on the future, on the horizon, the bigger picture? I had a private ski lesson that taught me some important life lessons.

Life lessons from ski2020-03-10T09:40:08+01:00

From hero to outcast


From hero to outcast My story (being Knighted for collecting €16 million for charity and being ‘fired’ from that same country a few years later for traveling too much) is featured in the book Friction. [...]

From hero to outcast2020-03-10T09:39:23+01:00

Life lessons from surfing


Whenever I learn something new, I cannot help but notice the metaphor it provides for business and for life in general. I already wrote about life lessons from tango, watercolor painting, meditation and tantra. This time, I’d like to share my insights from a golf surfing retreat.

Life lessons from surfing2020-03-10T09:38:11+01:00

The price of freedom


Travel, adventure, flexibility, no constraints, no responsibilities or commitments, meeting interesting people in exciting places; many people see only this superficial exterior of the wonderful free life I lead. But my life is not that one dimensional.

The price of freedom2020-03-10T09:48:49+01:00

30 day vegan challenge


When I was younger, I used to be a vegetarian. I did not like the idea that animals were killed for my food. As I got older and especially as I was traveling more, sometimes it was easier to have a more flexible diet, so I became a ‘flexitarian’. This requires a certain numbing of the mind; to dissociate eating meat with thinking of where that meat came from.

30 day vegan challenge2020-03-10T10:06:42+01:00

(Re)connecting to emotions – scary or adventurous?


I used to think that emotions were annoying, useless and non-productive. I was so focused on achieving results, that I became a master in ignoring and repressing my disappointments, hurts, sadness and other negative experiences. However, repressing emotions not only takes a lot of energy, but it also prevents you from feeling positive emotions.

(Re)connecting to emotions – scary or adventurous?2020-03-10T10:22:06+01:00

Heartbreak in Jordan (2019)


My trip to Jordan turned out completely different than planned when my relationship unexpectedly disintegrated on the first day. I combine this very personal story and life lessons with Jordan travel tips in this blog.

Heartbreak in Jordan (2019)2020-03-10T10:18:12+01:00
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