Bastiaan Reinink

Mar 022015
 

I’m writing this at the airport, waiting for my flight to leave.

Mine. Mine! MINE!!!

Mine. Mine! MINE!!!

Once upon a time airports were exciting (this was in the time when Ace of Base was the next new thing…). Now, I find myself here, a bit bored.

Once upon another time I would have enjoyed spending an hour (at least!) browsing in the airport book store, leafing through magazines, checking out whether there were any interesting new sci-fi books I would like to have.

It’s a different age now. I have enough unread sci-fi books on my E-reader to last me a lifetime. Computer games (and their associated magazines) don’t particularly interest me anymore. Nothing really to strike my fancy in your average book-store.

And it’s not just book-stores. I used to enjoy going into town, stepping in and out of shops (guy-shops: Electronics, books, toys (when I was a bit younger), bric-a-brac, music. Anything but clothing really…). Now, I’ll go if I need something. Get in, buy, get out, as quick as I can!

“Stuff” can be bought, but time or adventure aren’t to be had in any kind of store. Maybe I was better off as a kid when a new box of Lego could stir my desire?
I’m very happy that consumerism seems to be passing me by (though not entirely, I find myself spending my money on interesting tasty food stuffs that I could live without but enjoy thoroughly. And every once and awhile I’ll pass by an instrument shop and my eye will fall on a shiny and new (or better, a battered and old!) saxophone).

I’m still greedy, just not so much anymore for things.

I’m greedy for time, adventure, meaning, beauty, love, knowledge, expression, action, connection. I want more of doing, feeling, experiencing, giving.

There is more than enough left to want. It’s only of having that I have had enough.


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Feb 252015
 

I like adventures. In books, movies but also in real life.

Arrrrr! There be adventure ye way!

Arrrrr! There be adventure ye way!

One of my dreams still is to board a ship and set sail for the seven seas, fighting off pirates, discovering treasure, meeting the locals (especially if they’re particularly pretty!).

Somehow however this seems less romantic in a modern day setting, where the pirates have machine guns, the treasure would be an oil-spill and the locals know better what’s on MTV than I do (they might still be pretty though!).

Actually, I’m not sure that this kind of adventure was actually that romantic when the pirates still had sabres and treasure was measured in doubloons; chances of dying were high (higher than now?), and death really would be a downer for any adventure…

In the back of my head I always knew this: Adventures are only good when looking back; while you’re in the middle of them you’re most probably scared to death and wishing you were home.

On the other hand, perhaps that is only one extreme form of adventure. Perhaps they needn’t be life-threatening to count… I remember taking off to South America for multiple months, which most certainly feels like a big adventure (no pirates, but definitely pretty girls!)! And even my first steps as an entrepreneur were an adventure. Again, no pirates, but it certainly was a road of discovery and learning.

Which perhaps brings us closer to the heart of what an adventure is. Maybe there should be pirates, though metaphorical, in the form of some sort of adversity, is sufficient. The treasure is whatever you take away, the skills and lessons learned, perhaps even the doubloons gained while overcoming the obstacles. And the locals are the people you meet on your way, who help or hinder you, the teachers who show the way, the merchants selling you your adventuring gear (because at some point you’re going to need a new pair of socks) and the random strangers you meet in the tavern (whether they are pretty or not).

An adventure is any time you step out of your comfort zone. There will be pirates, but there will be treasure as well.

In this sense I most definitely can say that I’m an adventurer!

How about you?


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Feb 212015
 

One of my strong beliefs is that just about anything can be learned. If I really want to run a marathon, I could train until I could. If I really wanted to design a space ship I could take a few years of my life to become an aeronautical engineer (or whatever the title is of the people who designed the Enterprise and the Millennium Falcon).

I'm sure it will be here any minute now...

I’m sure it will be here any minute now…

The above relates mostly to practical / physical skills. Very important for everyday life, as they influence what you can and can’t do (well) and through that they influence what you do and don’t enjoy (being good at something definitely helps enjoying it!), which then influence what you actually do.

There are however also other things that make us who we are. Personality traits, temperaments. How alert are you? How much do you enjoy romantic activities? Are you thorough or a slob?

In my feeling these are far more set. You might see slight drifts over time, but in general you die with the same set you were born with. Most importantly, there is nothing to “learn” about these.

Interestingly enough, I recently found a counter example to this.

Patience has never been my strong suit. I much prefer things yesterday than tomorrow and I’ll settle for right now if that’s the only choice.

Yet over my years of life, the universe has consistently been serving me a message: ”Stuff takes time.”

Being patient is one thing. What I still struggle with is “not having anything to do”. Can you un-learn boredom (or learn it’s opposite)?
It takes time for people to call back (even if you want to know now

Through all that something must have gotten engrained in my subconscious: “Don’t worry, it’ll work out.” Or: “No need to fret, let’s go do something else in the meantime.”

I’m still very far away from your average zen monk, but I’m definitely better than I was a few years back. And learning isn’t so much about being good, as it is about getting better.

I am better, I am more patient.

Which makes me wonder: What other personality traits are actually amendable to learning?

I can’t wait to find out…


Bastiaan ReininkHi, I’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Feb 202015
 

When going from the train station to my home (in The Netherlands), I pass by a huge piece of construction work. They are tearing one of the major traffic arteries in the city, to build a new canal and upgrade the traffic situation at the same time.

I think they're building an amphitheater...

I think they’re building an amphitheater…

This being a major artery, they can’t just shut it down for a year, so instead they work around it. Block of a part here, do the work, open it up again, move to the next piece. This means that my way home changes slightly from week to week. It also means that a lot of building is done, which is subsequently broken down again.

The same happens with building a building: Part goes up, scaffolding is put in place, to build the next part, and so on.

And I read that even a human being is constructed this way, with many cells forming only a temporary function, before being broken down and re-absorbed by the growing fetus.

When I went to school I learned about grammar. This was not because grammar was particularly useful, in fact, when you actively think about grammar, it’s very difficult to construct a coherent sentence. When you’re learning a new language however it’s very handy to know about grammar, is it gives very general rules that allow you to learn just a single word but use it in many different ways. Grammar is the scaffolding the intermediate step that makes it possible for me to go from “not being able to say a word”, to “being (reasonably) fluent in a foreign language”.

Completely unrelated: After my flight landed and clearing customs I noticed that I had 0 minutes to get my train (or wait half an hour). Ran for it anyway and made it, with 2 seconds to spare. The universe is not always against me! :-)
Once I’m able to express myself decently, the grammar is forgotten, the scaffolding is taken down, stored somewhere until the next language, the next construction site.

And one final example. At work I have to solve some (analytical) problems. I spend time thinking, trying things out, doing preliminary analyses, perhaps doing some programming. The final result of all of this is that I can go to my manager saying: “The answer is X”. All the work that has gone before it was absolutely required, but once the answer is known, it’s not useful anymore.

It’s almost always this way: Most of the work is in the work before you get to do the real work.

What to take away from this:

  • Pay-offs, the final answers, they are far between: enjoy the process!
  • Today’s “failure” is what allows us to set the “right” step tomorrow.
  • If it’s just one more step along the road, no need to get too attached to it; there is nothing wrong with throwing something away when it has served it’s purpose.

Happy building!


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Feb 152015
 

“We need to talk…”

I just can't bear to keep this to myself any longer...

I just can’t bear to keep this to myself any longer…

We’ve all seen enough Hollywood movies to know that this is the end of a relationship. Or at the very least the beginning of the end.

And why shouldn’t it be? Love is something beautiful, souls singing in tandem, hearts beating the same rhythm. Something as vulgar as talk can only get in the way, right?

Sure, we chat a lot, about work, what’s on TV, the latest gossip on mutual friends. At times we reminisce on the vacation we were on. Sometimes we even discuss plans and the future.

But talk?!?

About you and me? About us?!?

That’s scary! What if you don’t love me just as I am? Or maybe I’ll be forced to admit that I’m not as enamored of your cooking as I always make out to be. And what would be the point in that? No, much better to just bury all those tiny little things. It’s not like they really matter, right? So what if I don’t really want to go visit your dear old aunt Mathilda? Relationships are built on small sacrifices. It’s the big picture that counts. And in the end we’re both much happier.

Until we aren’t. Until all the little things add up to one big thing. One big thing that is important enough to talk about. Or perhaps not talk, but just tell: “I’m sorry, but it’s over…”

It feels somewhat hypocritical for me to be writing this. I’ve been there, multiple times. Not talking, until it was too late. But a big part of life is about learning from the past, of doing things a bit better next time around.

Yesterday was valentine’s day. I love a good holiday as much as anybody, but something in me rails against the idea of commercializing love. I’m therefore very happy not to have done anything special (though this did take a bit of talking with my girlfriend…).
So that’s what I’m trying. To discuss things before they become too big and too scary to ever talk about (again, until it’s too late). To mention the small irritations and to actively ask what my girlfriend’s small irritations are.

Yes, it’s scary! But it does seem to work much better. To catch what isn’t going perfectly and to try to figure out a way around it together. Sometimes there is no immediate solution, but even then, just being heard makes a big difference!

For me the most important thing in any relationship is trust. Listening, talking, being able to spill the beans and to feel confident that we will work together on whatever is bothering us does wonders for that.

Not just that, but every time it gets a bit easier. It’s still not my favorite phrase, but some time soon I’ll be looking forward to hearing: “We need to talk…


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!