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More creative, happy and relaxed in 15 minutes a day

More creative, happy and relaxed in 15 minutes a day 1029 720 Joel

More than introspective bullshit - how purpose can be a powerful guiding force

The last few years there is a lot of talk about Purpose and Purpose driven leadership. The words seem to be used quite easily. But what does it stand for? My vision on the topic.

What is leadership? 

In my view, leadership is neither a calling nor a job. Leadership is about inspiring and executing all forms of self-realization. Leading yourself, people, and a business is leading from yourself, people, and business – doing what you feel needs to be done from your own “Origin” and belief in the business. You know the rules of the game and have the ability to creatively and intelligently deal with the obstacles along the way. Besides that, life’s also a game played together. You’re part of a whole. Actually, you’re a hologram, in which everything is in everything and is connected to each other in this way.

What is Purpose?

You can experience an undercurrent of potential within yourself. That potential is the primal force of Purpose. Your heroism is that you dare to follow your Purpose, whatever it takes. You do so in the knowledge and from the experience that the universal network of this undercurrent of Purpose is connected to your total physical, emotional, and mental system.

Enjoy the ride

Living from a place of Purpose is anything but burdensome and serious. “Lean back and enjoy the ride,” is the slogan of leaders, entrepreneurs, and artists who live from Purpose. It can easily look like they’re doing something they’ve been doing all their lives. But it’s their nature, and actually, it’s everyone’s nature. What gets in the way of many is the prison of identifications, convictions, and emotions – mind stuff. We’ve mistakenly taught ourselves that pain, suffering, and sacrifice as an inseparable part of the growth experience is something positive. It’s actually very doubtful that in your life you were meant to constantly encounter stress, tension, and other problems.

You are your Own Reason. You are your own Purpose. Subsequently, you do what you do and you are who you are. Your “being” has its own Purpose. When you give your Purpose access with complete passion and dedication and make yourself an instrument of the power of that undercurrent, you bring the way and truth in your life to life.

It’s bigger than you

Living and working from Purpose means connecting to something bigger than you. I dare to say that a Purpose you feel from a state of Presence will always be bigger than you, and always mean something positive for the world. You are simply wired that way as a human being. And not just you. Other people in this world are also wired that way. That’s why it’s so important for organizations to have an engaging Purpose. People are still the core of organizations. And as more and more people live from their Presence and Purpose, more and more people in the roles of employee, customer, partner, or supplier will prefer to work with and for organizations that contribute to a higher purpose with which they feel a connection.


From the perspective of a higher goal, the question is very much whether we need to fight each other to survive. Should your own happiness and success come at the expense of another instead of living together peacefully in freedom, joy, and happiness? Everyone has an unconditional and undisputed right to material and spiritual abundance. The idea that only the strongest survives is a programmed belief which divides and pits people against each other. This only fits within the limited mindset of a divide and conquer strategy. No one should live in constraint, and no one should constrain others. It’s not a question of availability. Everything that is needed for anything exists. The “scarcity” that forms the starting point of the economy is man-made. It is an assumption and a belief which simply does not hold true. In fact, we do not have an economic problem of scarcity. We have an allocation problem.

Find your Purpose

To find your own Purpose, it can help to ask the following question from a state of Presence:

What does life want from me?

Even though the question sounds quite serious, the answer can be something that makes you very happy. What excites you? What energizes you? What resonates in you? What captivates you? What brings you joy? Don’t expect remaining silent for 10 minutes to bring you all the answers. It will be a real challenge to hear or see what life wants from you, especially in the beginning; however, what you really want is always with you. You can always fall back on the question: “What does life want from me?” in any situation. Here are a few other questions that point in the same direction when it comes to Purpose: What would I do if I now had a billion dollars? What do I really think is important? What do I really care about? What would I do if I couldn’t fail?

Allow the silence in

The mind is used to working overtime, to being constantly on the move with thoughts – it’s seldom to never silent. And considering the fact that everything which gets attention grows, more thoughts get added to the mix. Thoughts receive a great deal of attention, perhaps also because they fill the emptiness within or help you avoid contact with your innermost self. At any rate, many of us have become addicted to “thinking.” Most people aren’t aware enough of this. Suppose you do choose to leave the autocratic mind for what it is, to allow the silence in. What do you hear or feel inside? What happens to you then? Who or what within you is crying out to be heard?


For a lot of people, something gets in the way of them following their Purpose. What keeps so many people from setting out and taking steps? That’s very simple: fear, one of our emotional signals. Fear arises when the software of the mind is tampered with. Other signs are: resistance, frustration, anger, anger, disapproval, etc. As soon as these signals flare, there’s work to be done.

It’s not a business decision

I experience it in myself and I see it time and again in others: Purpose is not a business decision. Purpose is following your heart on a personal journey. By really listening to yourself from the silence within, most people often already know well and good what their Purpose is. In many cases, you yourself are the greatest obstacle to what you actually want to achieve in your life. Because you want to be financially independent first, because it doesn’t feel like a feasible plan, because you want certainty – whatever; however, you won’t find happiness and wholeness in these things.

You’ll find them in following your heart. When people want to show that something has deep meaning for them, they often point to their hearts. This is the case in every culture around the world, in both pre-agrarian and industrial societies. Seeing from the heart is much more than a metaphor. The heart allows you to experience inner knowing. Making choices from the heart brings tremendous strength and satisfaction. And if money or financial independence is important to you, it usually follows automatically.

Written by: Joel aan ‘t Goor
I am a mix of a psychologist, author and entrepreneur.
In my late twenties I founded OPEN Business Leaders, a cross sectoral network of more than 700 leaders and entrepreneurs of large and medium sized companies. When I got fed up with my ‘work hard, play hard’ lifestyle I started to crack the code of reality and awakened to a deeper, profound and more joyful reality. This personal transformation intensely changed my experience of life and my view on leadership and entrepreneurship.

A loafing CEO is more creative!

A loafing CEO is more creative! 1264 1263 Joel

Ask ten CEOs what issues they encounter in their daily lives and nine will give the same answer: an overly busy schedule.

Earlier this year, the Business Leaders survey showed that CEOs feel like they have not enough time to look outward and have insufficient opportunities to handle the vision and strategic issues. Most of their attention is paid to the operational management of the organisation and troubleshooting.

CEOs are more occupied with the daily state of affairs than with the future and they would like to change this. The CEOs who do engage with the future do something interesting: they make time for it. Some of them go beyond that: they make time to be alone in a variety of ways:

  • ‘I try to take a walk every morning with my phone in flight mode. I leave it turned on to write down any insights I gain during my walk.’
  • ‘Prior to an important business decision, I create a moment to get in tune with myself. This may simply be parking my car on a parking lot for fifteen minutes and engaging the silence within myself.’
  • ‘I regularly take half a day out of my calendar on which I disconnect. After a short meditation, I spend the rest of the day thinking about a topic I want the organisation to work on.’
  • ‘Each year, I go to a hotel for a week, alone, to look back on the past year and look forward to the coming year.’

I also have a certain ‘being alone’-discipline myself. Each year, I spend one week in the mountains and I go offline at least one day a month and do not speak to anyone. I often go for a walk without any company on this day.

It is bizarre how many insights and ideas may come up at this moment.

Last time I was walking in the woods, I prematurely aborted the walk. I forgot pen and paper and the number of professional and personal insights was so great after an hour, that I was afraid I wouldn’t remember them all if I would go on.

When I take a close look at what is happening at these moments, I notice that the solution often does not come from my mind. If often feels like the solution suddenly comes up, falls in my lap. Like the answer was already within me. Most people have experienced a moment of insight in the shower. This ‘shower-insight’ often arises when you unconsciously try to solve a problem without thinking about it.

You may choose to generate an abundance of insights by simply creating a ritual during your day or week in which you are truly present. In this state, your stream of thought is turned down a notch and room for intuition and creative intelligence is created. This can also be seen on MRI scans of the brain. The prefrontal cortex, which is used for analyses and calculations, is most active when thinking consciously. The prefrontal cortex is idle when you are completely relaxed.

During this relaxation, the brain will enter a mode in which thoughts may arise without immediately being checked, assessed or censored. This is how meditation works: the inner chatter in the prefrontal cortex fades into the background and the resulting mental silence provides space for new energy and creative ideas.

When you argue, you don’t have time to find this silence, you are arguing a ‘chicken-egg story’. If you take the time to engage with the future and get a better sense of what needs to happen, you take better decisions. These better decisions result in less time spent on solving problems and provide more time to work on the future.

If you think being alone is unpleasant, I can tell you the following: Before I go offline for 24 hours with the knowledge that I won’t speak to anyone, I need to cross a threshold, but it is often one of the most pleasant days of the year. And getting back to people afterwards is extra fun!

The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone-that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born. – Nikolas Tesla

Written by: Joel aan ‘t Goor
I am a mix of a psychologist, author and entrepreneur.
In my late twenties I founded OPEN Business Leaders, a cross sectoral network of more than 700 leaders and entrepreneurs of large and medium sized companies. When I got fed up with my ‘work hard, play hard’ lifestyle I started to crack the code of reality and awakened to a deeper, profound and more joyful reality. This personal transformation intensely changed my experience of life and my view on leadership and entrepreneurship.

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