Bastiaan Reinink

Nov 202014
 

Near to work they put up an ice skating rink, so yesterday I went ice skating with my girlfriend. And despite being Dutch, I’m not particularly good at skating…

I can see my work from here!

I can see my work from here!

The beginning was very awkward, trying to stay up-right whilst moving forward on stuff that is too slippery to walk on, with things underneath my feet slim enough to cut with.

But after the first few rounds I got a bit of the muscle-memory that seemingly was instilled as a child back. A few more rounds and I was doing very average indeed!

Having (re)gained some confidence I tried going a bit faster, turning my corners a bit sharper. All fine until, inevitably, I fell.

Falling sucks!

It hurts (a little), but worse, you look like a complete fool in front of all those people, girlfriend and complete strangers alike!

Better then to play it safe, stick to what you can do, make sure that nothing goes wrong.

Yeah right!

Because: “If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not learning anything either.” If you’re not falling, failing, flailing, you already know how to do it.

“Actually, I never make mistakes. I thought I did once, but I was wrong…”
Some people may very well enjoy doing something they know how to do well, but I’m not some people. I enjoy learning something new, a challenge, improving myself. And if that means I sometimes fall on my ass, so be it. Or if that means I sometimes make a fool of myself, I’ll take that in my stride as well.

The hurt passes (very quickly). And so what if some strangers (or even my girlfriend) think me a bit silly? Personally I have a lot more respect for the people that take the risk (and the plunge) than the ones that stay safely on the sidelines. If you don’t fail, you’re not trying. And if you don’t try, you won’t ever succeed!

So, how often do you fail?


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!

Nov 162014
 

I just got back from a week away to Portugal. And as much as I love to travel alone, I love to travel with someone special even more. Luckily, I met someone very special not so long ago…

Alone: Bleh, rain.  Together: Romantic, rain!

Alone: Bleh, rain.
Together: Romantic, rain!

In fact, it was only slightly more than a month ago that we first met. Booking a vacation together within a month of knowing each other was certainly a record for me (and for her as well). A few of her friends had kindly but urgently asked her whether it really was a good idea to head of with this random stranger she knew only for so little time (my own friends didn’t say a thing. Probably because they’re more used to me doing strange things (or perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t really ask anybody’s opinion on it…)).

Now I could write something about “true love”, “soul mates”, and “not a moment of doubt”. But that would most definitely not be in line with my thoughts.

Yes, I was worried about being “stuck” with someone I hardly knew for a whole week. What if our travel ideas were completely different? What if we got into a huge fight? What if…

But more than doubts and worries, I felt trust.

First, trust in her, that she was a good person. Human and thus bound to be imperfect (just like myself), but with a kind heart and willing to work to make the experience pleasant if not enjoyable for the both of us.

Second, trust in myself. That I would be able to indicate when something was bothering me, that I would listen to her when she voiced an opinion or idea.

And finally, trust in the both of us, that we would work things out if there was frustration. That we both wanted to make the other person happy, despite set-backs (did I mention we had heavy rain for all but one day?).

“A relationship without trust is like a phone with no service. What do you do with a phone with no service? You play games…”
It worked out. We did fun stuff, decided together to not bother with the awesome monestary that had a two-hour waiting line, had great (and not so great) dinners, slept late (both in stunningly romantic and stunningly un-romantic places (what self-respecting interior designer makes the toilet the same lime-green as the wall?!?) , hiked up to fairy-tale castles. And we talked. A lot. And through it all grew a lot closer together.

It could have worked out differently of course. We could have had that huge row. But even then, isn’t it better to know that as soon as possible, instead of finding out after having been together for a year (or more)?

Trust is fragile and precious. But that doesn’t mean you should hoard it, keep it safe to your chest. It means that you should give it quickly, so that it can either grow over time, or wither away quickly. The people who are not worthy of trust you cut out of your life, so that there is more space to keep the ones close that are.


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!

Nov 082014
 

My challenge for last month was to open up the file for my book, at least six days per week.

I've got a lot of stuff written, but now it still needs to be put in the right order...

I’ve got a lot of stuff written, but now it still needs to be put in the right order…

It didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped… I think if I opened it up 4 days per week I have to count myself lucky.

And of course, just opening a file is not the real goal. My assumption was that if I opened it, I would work on it as well. This came true about 75% of the time I think. I found myself deliberately taking the easy way out by opening the file and then immediately closing it again.

Where the challenge didn’t go so well itself, it was a very useful experience. Creating the pre-requisite for the work (opening the file) did work in the 75% of the cases where I did it. Not a bad score at all!

What I could have done better is to create a very specific moment / trigger for when I’d do the work. When I previously had the challenge to run every day, I also set that I would do this right out of work and if I couldn’t (due to social obligations) I would do it right after waking up. I actually planned my day around this (we do this with work, why not with other things?). And I had thought to do the same, but then a pair of beautiful dark eyes came along and that kinda messed up my schedule (not blaming her, this is my own doing!).

And finally, I have been having the feeling I’m burning the candle at both ends, feeling very tired when coming home from work, which is not particularly productive to get a lot of things done.

Lessons to take away:

  • Setting a goal for the step before the work actually works quite well
  • A very specific time / trigger helps
  • Being well rested helps even more!

Challenge for this month: No challenge, just enjoy the pair of beautiful black eyes (and the rest of the package), get a bit more sleep, relax a bit more. But no stress if I don’t!

Nov 032014
 

Once upon a time life was highly uncertain; behind every rock there could be a saber-tooth tiger with an appetite, every morning it would be a question whether you’d be able to catch antelope to fill your belly.

Ok, so things were quite bad in the stone age as well...

Ok, so things were quite bad in the stone age as well…

And though I’m sure it was tough, I’m also convinced that this uncertainty instilled a certain joie-de-vivre; if you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, better enjoy yourself now!

That of course comes with a certain view of the future. Or perhaps, lack of view would be better put; why save for a distant day when that day may never come? Worse, even if you wanted to set something aside, there was no way of doing it; when you travel with the herds, you can perhaps bring your favorite club, but not much more.

The result is that we humans (like all animals) are instilled with quite a blatant disregard for anything too far away.

Where we differ from your average warthog or goldfish however is our ability to plan for the short-to-medium term; we learned to labor for almost a year on a silly plot of land, postponing our reward in trade for a single rich harvest.

A few tens of of thousands of years later our ability to look just a tiny bit further has left us the dominant life form on our speck of a planet. And along the way of claiming every last bit of land as our own, we invented the wheel, writing, plasma TVs and collateralized debt obligations.

Still, we are driven by our desire for instant gratification, but are able to postpone that at least for a little bit.

And that’s where I feel our unique nature is shafting us.

“I love work. I can look at it for hours!”
We optimize for the medium term. Meaning we enjoy vacations to France (or Fiji) and we get to have a new plasma TV once and awhile, beautiful and enjoyable but ultimately short-term gains. Whereas the costs are immense: A lifetime of toil, office politics, over-time, stress, e-mails-while-on-vacation, blood, sweat and tears.

Back in the stone age you’d probably die before you were 30 and life certainly wasn’t easy, you spent the better part of the day finding food, but you got to spend that time hanging out with your buddies, chasing after antelopes (instead of being chased by the boss for an overdue report on collateralized debt obligations).

Or on the other end, nowadays our productivity is so high that we can feed everybody with just 8% of the working population. Be generous and add in another 17% for things like building shelter and making clothes and we could theoretically all do with a 10-hour work-week.

It’s not that I mind work so much. It’s that there are so many other things I’d rather be doing (like afternoon naps, or chasing after antelopes with my buddies)…


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!

Oct 312014
 

”He walked into the room and her heart skipped a beat. Wordlessly he walked up to her and it felt as though his dark eyes pierced to the depths of her soul. Strong yet oh so gentle hands closed behind her back and she felt herself pressed against his broad chest. She closed her eyes, lost in the moment, lost for eternity when their lips met. She had kissed before, but it felt as though those had only been play, the little girl pretending to be a princess with the little boy as her knight. This was different…”

Muscled stranger, check. Fair maiden, check. Random and unimportant plot-twists, check. Unimaginative cover, check...

Muscled stranger, check. Fair maiden, check. Random and unimportant plot-twists, check. Unimaginative cover, check…

I’m not particularly well known when it comes to unashamed romance novels (a.k.a. porn for women). Luckily I have friends (ok, one) who know much more about them then I do. She was able to tell me that your average romance novel emphasizes three things: The woman heroine is beautiful but doesn’t know it. The man is silent and thus mysterious. The love between them is different.

The first so that a woman reading the book can identify with the heroine. The second so that she can portray her husband in the role of the charming stranger (most men are much more silent compared to women; how better to make that appealing than by making it mysterious?). And finally things have to be different, because your average housewife reading the literary equivalent of the McDonalds hamburger leads an all too predictable life.

But then, life is different when you’re in love, as I’ve been discovering very recently.

“Seduced by an angel”, “The maverick and the maiden”, A case for romance”, “Savage dreams”, “Prince of dreams”, “His wicked dream”, “More than a dream”. If those aren’t enough to melt any heart…?
The world has lost some of its beauty; where normally my head would turn at every beautiful woman, I find myself comparing and left feeling un-charmed. The world has gained beauty; sights made more spectacular for being shared (it’s amazing that that even works for the unadorned walls of your own bedroom…). I’m sleep-deprived but at the same bounce through life on a bubble of energy.

It’s easy now. I’m in love. But having been through the mill of love ample times, I know that those feelings don’t last forever. But I do believe that it is possible to keep those feelings for a long time. Especially with some help from romance novels:

  • She is beautiful (charming, funny, smart, sweet), be the one that sees that
  • It’s ok to be silent. As long as you continue to create a bit of mystery
  • Do something different with some regularity. Yes it takes energy, but it gives it back many times over

Happy loving (and reading!)!


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!