You are the captain of your soul

Inspiration shot January 2022

Sometimes things happen that threaten to turn your whole life upside down. At such moments you have the choice: do you let yourself be placed in the victim role or do you take control and make the best of it?
Nelson Mandela once said, “You are the captain of your soul”. In this inspiration shot, I’ll share some of the situations that I found myself in and how you can react.

Don’t look up

“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.” – E. O. Wilson

We all know better but when we’re hungry, we often prefer a nice meal instead of ‘saving the world’. If you haven’t seen it yet, the movie ‘Don’t look up!’ is an absolute must see. It’s about a meteor that is going to destroy the earth, but the reactions and characters in the film say a lot about how we deal with climate change and other major issues. Sometimes we just don’t want to see or hear it. Sometimes our egos take the lead. Sometimes we let the media take over common sense.
Plato once said, “The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” My intention and advice for these times, therefore, is: “Just look up!”

The power of social media

Sometimes it seems impossible, but if we join forces, we can accomplish much more than we think. Three positive examples of the power of social media (though I still don’t have my Instagram account back, grrrr):

1. Hundreds of caregivers for dad

My call for a new companion for my dear father with Alzheimer’s in Miami went completely viral. It got more than 430,000 views (!) and thousands of comments on LinkedIn. People thought it was an original concept, were eager to help and the corona timing turned out to be perfect. As a result, we have found super good caregivers for the coming year, who will each enjoy three wonderful months in Florida.

2. ‘Save’ Sister Valencia in Cape Town!

Covid nurse Valencia, who does PCR tests at your home in Cape Town, had a hard time without tourists. In fact, she was about to sell her house, although that would mean living on the street with her family.
I advertised her in the Facebook group ‘Dutchies in Cape Town’ and now she is flooded with applications and work, recommendations in various FB groups etc. She can pay her mortgage again, her car is fixed and she can pay the school fees and her children’s uniforms. She has now become something of a ‘celebrity’ in the Dutch community in Cape Town; people are posting compliments and photos with her, which continues to expand her clientele. 🙏

3. Sweet stray cat is looking for a forever home

I have been ‘adopted’ by this sweet cute stray cat who lived in the garden of the hotel I am staying. I’ve been feeding her since the end of November. She now pretty much lives in my apartment and feels completely at home there. But… at the beginning of February I will leave again…
Now I am trying to find a new home for this sweet, quiet lady through the same FB group ‘Dutchies in Cape Town’. Fingers crossed! 🤞🏻🐾

What do you really want? Do you still do everything yourself?

Do you make a ‘year review‘ at the end of the year, in which you look back AND look forward? It provides fantastic insights and helps to give more direction to your life, both professionally and privately. What do you really want?
Many people benefit from outsourcing tasks. I have found good assistants myself through for Eastern Europe, in Serbia, and recently in South Africa.
Although I’ve been experimenting with Virtual Assistants for years and even just published a book about it (Digital Delegation was an instant bestseller on Amazon!), I realized during my year review that I really don’t want to run a business. I don’t want to manage people. My business does not need to grow. I just want to make good content and share it with the world.
That is completely different from what I see around me. There is no standard recipe for this. I have to develop that myself and I am refining that more and more.

One Year To Freedom

Do you struggle with outsourcing tasks, knowing what you want, where, and how best to manage your energy? In my new OYTF program, I’ll help you get started with entrepreneurship, location independent living, and energy management. This month we are starting with an exclusive small group. You can still join!

Did you know...?

…that I panicked a bit when two of my assistants last minute announced a 2 week break over Christmas? Who was going to do all the work? Me? On top of all the projects I already had on my plate?
In the end, I did the only thing I COULD do: I reluctantly decided to just make the best of it. So no new projects for a while. And – what a relief – no meetings for two weeks! I realized how much impact this has on my daily schedule and my energy management. I decided to work undisturbed for a few days on the long-awaited book ‘Light your fire, without the burnout’. Thanks, assistants, for this wise lesson. I hope the break has given you good insights too!

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Where is Esther?

I had been looking forward to staying in 1 place, here in South Africa, for 2.5 months. Summer, a beautiful location right by the sea with a view of Table Mountain, nice people as neighbors, all my clothes in a cupboard, the fridge filled, I bought a bodyboard and wetsuit to play in the sea. I was ready. But after a few weeks, I became restless. Every day seemed the same. I had too little input, incentives, inspiration. I fought it: it was great here, wasn’t it?
I wasn’t allowing myself to ‘whine’. I started booking tickets: to my Trullo in Italy and my father in Miami in February, Curaçao (the writing retreat from March 20-26th), and a conference in Mexico in April. That gave me a small boost. But I noticed that my energy level dropped again; I didn’t feel happy no matter how hard I tried.
In the end, I couldn’t help but accept that I just need the inspiration and variety of travel. I advanced my ticket to be in Amsterdam for two weeks before flying on to Italy and Miami at the end of February. And while I’m still here, I’ll try to consciously manage my energy by going to my favorite co-working space in the city for my much-needed dose of inspiration, people, and lights. This experience also offers inspiration to continue working on my book ‘Light your fire, without the burnout: energy management for passionate people‘… 🙂

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