A book that will change your thinking.

You may think I’m exaggerating but that’s not true. I finished ’The 4-hour Workweek’ by Timothy Ferris and it really is a life changer. Your vision will never be the same after you’ve read the book.

Timothy’s book was on my reading list for a long time and now that I’ve read it, I regret waiting so long. Timothy grabs your attention from the first page with his own story and vision. He is someone who questions his life and work so much that he realized he had to make a change. A change that everyone should make. We are all afraid of jumping in the dark. The unknown scares us so we stay in our comfortzone. Instead of taking the opportunities around us with both hands, we push them away from us.

We work day in day out to earn money. Long days fullfilling our tasks sometimes like robots. In the evening we are too tired to do something else and we ignore all the nice things around us. Worst of all, we don’t even realize life is passing by and we are missing the train.

Timothy took the train, in fact he took different trains, boats and plains to discover his opportunities. He created opportunities by jumping in the dark, by grabbing the chances he got. He questioned his life, his work and how he was doing the things was doing. He made some changes and created all the time he needed for exploring the world and reinventing his life.

I’m convinced. Now it’s time for the hard part, getting out of my comfortzone. I’m covinced I will succeed. What can go wrong?

Will you make the jump?

Will you make the jump?

’Mijn leven. Sven Nys’, a book about cyclocrosser Sven Nys.

I know, the book ‘Mijn leven. Sven Nys.’ is in Dutch so a lot of you won’t be able to read it. Still, I think this book deserves a place on your bookshelf. Mijn leven. Sven Nys.Like I said in a previous blogpost, it made me read again.

Who knows Sven Nys? I think a lot of you do. But I suppose that a lot of people think that he’s just a cyclocrosser with a lot of talent. Well, that’s not completely true. Wait, don’t panic. He is a great cyclocrosser but only because he worked very hard and still does.

In the book you can read that he trained so hard that he sometimes forgot that there is more in life than cycling. After some disappointments in the big championships, he learned from his team that he needed to relax from time to time if he wanted to have a long carreer. That was more than 10 years ago…

Besides his passion another thing that jumps out in the book, is the importance of his team. Not only his teammates in the cross itself, but his family, his son, friends and so on. Without them, he would not be who he is now. They help him to become better. They help him when something goes wrong. Ofcourse he has the legs that need to perform but without the mind and support of his team, he would be lost.

That should be a lesson for everyone. Not only for those of you cycling are playing soccer. All of you need a team that you can count on. You need people that are there in difficult times.

Buy the book.

’The In-Between’, a must read.

Looking for a book to fill your evenings? You should read ’The In-Between: Embracing the tension between now and the next big thing’ by Jeff Goins.

To be honest, I heard about the book a couple of times in a podcast but wasn’t very interested in the beginning. Only when it was mentioned on Twitter a couple of times, I got interested and bought it. And I do not regret it. It was a great read and every page made me long for the next. It is not science fiction with lots of action and adventure in it. No, it is about the waiting in our life. A lot of people live from day to day, from action to action, from event to event. We go to work and try to be the best. We have hobby’s and enjoy the life as we like it. But what do we do in the in-between? We wait. We wait for someone. We wait for something to happen or we just wait till the light is green. But what we do not realize is that this waiting determines how we live. How do you fill in the waiting? What do you think while waiting? Maybe you are not thinking while you wait.

All of this can be found in the story that Jeff Goins is telling in his book. So if you want to know more about the in-between or you just want to read a good story, go grab your copy of the book!

“Instead of living life wishing you could jump ahead to the next adventure,
these pages will inspire you to slow down and savor the in-between.
—Crystal Paine, founder of MoneySavingMom.com” (http://goinswriter.com/inbetween/)

I’ve read the ‘Email Field Guide’ by MacSparky

MacSparky’s ‘Email Field Guide’ is out for a couple of months and was on my list since then. Two weeks ago I finally found some time to read it and I bought it from the iBookstore. A week later I turned the last page. All reviews were correct. The book talks about a common problem for most people: email. It is in our lives for a long time so that we don’t think about it anymore. At least, not enough. In fact, it is good that you do not need to think about your email. But you should think about your email system and make it work. For yourself so that you can use your mind for creativity. But also for the people that reach for you via your mailbox. If you share your email adres with other people, you should act on it too.
Do you want to improve your email skills, go to the MacSparky.com and buy the book.

MacSparky wrote this about his book:
“This book tackles your over-stuffed inbox. The Email Field Guide covers both why email has become such a problem for everyone and how to manage it more effectively. The book was built entirely in iBooks Author and features a gorgeous craftsman-inspired design with illustrations by Mike Rohde. There are 36 screencasts, 8 audio interviews, over 46,000 words, and other rich-media assets to help you become the boss of your email. The material is accessible to beginners and power users alike with a thoughtful, fun, and systematic approach to managing your email.”

Want to read more? Go to Email Field Guide page on David’s website. Thanks David!

I’ve found back my old love.

Who? That’s the wrong question. What? Reading. I used to read a lot while I was younger. But when I went to highschool, I stopped reading. I don’t even know why.

I used to read different books every month, when I was younger. I rented the maximum amount of books at the library and at the end of the renting period I finished them all. That means 7 books in 6 weeks or so. I loved reading. I always went for quick adventures, stories that made me want to turn the page. Stories that made me go for that extra chapter. Before I knew, I could start the next book. But I’ve never read ’informational’ books or biographies. Maybe because I was too young or just because I did not like them.

I suppose that was the reason I stopped reading when I grew older and went to highschool. People expected us to read the news, read books about history and what we were studying. But why would I read those if they did not interest me? But that was not the main reason. I had a busy life playing soccer, going to school, assignments for school, breeding birds and so on. To be honest, it never occured to me that I was not reading anymore. I didn’t even think about it.

Until now. Since last year, I started reading blogposts and short articles. About life, productivity and other stuff. People were blogging about the books they were reading and how they learned a lot just by reading what others wrote down with so many passion. So I started reading the short ebooks provided by those bloggers. Mostly free but with great content. Then I started reading about the things I do at work. About datawarehousing and agile development because I wanted to learn more about what I was doing. But I noticed that this lecture is not the same as reading life experiences and little adventures. I needed to think while reading and store some things in my memory. Those books could not be read in the evening. At least, I couldn’t read them because my mind is tired in the evening after a day of work. So I started reading in the morning at 5:30 AM before I went to work at 7 AM. This works for me. I enjoyed doing so but still those ’learning’ books are not always as easy to read. I like books like ’Getting Things Done’ by David Allen because those books tell a story. They are written with practical knowledge and have that factor that make you go for that extra chapter.

Right now, I am reading ’Mijn Leven, Sven Nys’, a book about cyclocrosser Sven Nys and how he experiences his carreer. This is the book that made me find back my old love. Reading.

My advice? Ask people what books they are reading and when you think ’this is the one’, buy it and start reading. Not as good as you thought? Close it an go look for another one.