365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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Geneva is a great place to ‘leave.’

Day 147Less than 24-hour travel-dive – my new thing.

We jokingly say, “Geneva is such a great place to leave”. And it is true that, in addition to it being ranked this year as the city with the highest quality of living in the world, Geneva has another advantage, it is in the middle of Europe, which makes it so easy to – leave – and feasible to make quick trips to other places in Europe within an hour or two, either by car, train, or plane. Since Geneva is a quiet and small city, I find that leaving this little place from time to time and get a dose of some energy and pulse is very refreshing.

It is not always feasible, nor desirable, to be away for several days when traveling. Traveling often eats up a lot of time and it is easy to loose momentum with the projects one has going. That is why I decided to only do a 20-hour trip to visit a good old friend who has taken a sabbatical year in Paris from her hectic and busy life in Stockholm. She has lived in Paris with two of her children. This was a creative and courageous decision, and the year has offered her and her children tremendous value.

I spent 20 hours only in Paris, and I feel energized and inspired by this quick dive into my friend’s world in this mesmerizing city. I arrived yesterday in time to share a lovely lunch with her and another Parisian friend. We sat outside in a courtyard and had a glass of rosé and agreed, “this is life” – to have this opportunity to sip rosé on a Wednesday in lovely sunshine and eat a delicious French meal in Paris.

It might sound like too hectic to be away only 20 hours, but we truly spent quality time together (and I worked both on my way there and back, so I did not loose any time). One of the fun highlights was that we exercised with a fantastic personal trainer in a nearby park, which was filled with lots of people. It was great fun to be amongst all the local Parisians who were running and exercising or just lying around in the grass. We ate a delicious dinner outside in the courtyard/terrace at Costes, (we Scandinavians are very fan of eating outside when possible, for obvious reasons) a beautiful restaurant with super food, interesting people and an almost mystical ambiance, (rare to find in Geneva).

I had a good night sleep in my friend’s lovely apartment and even had time for a nice chat at breakfast before taking a 40 min flight back.

Short trips can quickly give you inspiration and energy, and can easily, and maybe even preferably, be done alone.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine

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NO – one of the most important words to getting things done…

DAy 133We are 133 days into the New Year. We have still got 232 days to get this year right.

During the last couple of days I have written that we have more capacity to do the things that truly matters to us, than what we may think. Most of us, who are not engaged in what is truly important, are wasting time doing things that do not really add to our overall quality of life, nor help us reach our goals.

The matrix below by Stephen Covey can be used to give us a good overview of how we spend our time and if it adds value to our lives.

As you go through this matrix, why don’t you reflect on and write down which one or two of the quadrants that you spend most of your time!


The first quadrant represents things we have no control over and that are both urgent and important. If we tend to procrastinate, we will often end up spending time in this quadrant and very well know what it feels like to be stressed out, as we have to run to try to squelch fire most of the time. I have in the past had a tendency to spend too much time here.

In the third quadrant we find people who are a bit all over the place, and often being directed by other people or other outside input . Here we find “yes man” and people pleasers, who spend their time with other people’s issues and needs, as they seem more urgent and important than what truly is important to them.

In the fourth quadrant we find slackers; people who are truly wasting their time by doing mindless things that is neither important nor urgent. Many teenagers are here.

The second quadrant represents people who are prioritizers and are consciously aware of their values. They schedule their time according to what will bring long-term satisfaction and wellbeing. These people have developed a strong character and are often achievers of excellence. Don’t we all want to find ourselves in this quadrant?

Today, I want to emphasize the very importance of saying NO to the things that do not lead us closer to our goals and things, which we truly value. We need to learn to say NO, even to the things we enjoy doing, like watching TV and films, talking on the phone, browsing on the computer, spending too much time on social events etc. We even have to say NO to what might seem healthy and good for us – such as doing too much sport, reading etc. – in order to leave time and space for other values and goals.

I consider myself as someone who does not waste a lot of time on mindless things. My problem is that I am a maximizer. I admit it. I have had a hard time saying NO to the things that I am accustomed to and enjoy, such as exercising. For several years I would spend too much time doing various sports – and if I looked around in the gym, I could see that I was not alone.

It is important to take a reality check and see if we perhaps hide and are stuck in our comfort zone by doing things we are used to and feel comfortable with. Anything we do in excess may be a sign that we are avoiding (perhaps out of fear of failure or fear of even success) the things that really would make a difference to the long-term quality of our lives.

Tomorrow I will talk about how we go about prioritizing our time around our values and how to attack BIG Goals.

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Trade Offs

Day 132Battling with YES, NO, or YES and 

Yesterday we explored the question; what would life be like if we could have it all…to stretch our imagination of what more is possible for us.

To actually have it all is of course impossible. If I say yes to something – I have to say no to something else. If I say yes to have dinner with friends, I cannot at the same time be home with the family. We cannot have the cake and eat it too.

However, thinking in terms of that ‘trade offs’ are always necessary can be limiting, because it is often based on scarcity thinking. “There is not enough” – not enough time, not enough for everyone to go around etc. This mentality may restrict our imagination and hold us back. We may think that by adding something new to our lives, we have to give up on what we have and that prevent us from stepping up and go after something new. Our minds do not like trade offs, which perhaps is why so many of us do less than what we are capable of.

Questions expand our mind and stretch our imagination. E.G. How can my life, or this situation etc, get any better than it is? By playing with the bold idea that we can have it all, we open up to possibilities that we did not imagine before. And since many of us have not reached our full potential, taking another look at how we relate to the concept of trade offs can be useful.

If we look back at our lives and our busiest time, many of us have had the experience that we can manage much more than we earlier thought was possible. (As the Obama campaign encouraged: Yes, we can! :)). With our personal experiences in hindsight, we can most likely add meaningful activities to our lives, without having to sacrifice or give up ‘too much’ of what we already have.

What is something that you would love to do that you have not thought was possible? Why not go for it and give it a chance – believe that you can do it – and I believe that your gain will be much larger than your pain.

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What more is possible?

Day 131
What would life be like if we could have it all…?

I believe that many of us can experience, achieve and have more than what we have imagined.

Living with the attitude that more is possible – will most likely give us more. In any given situation we can simply ask; what more is possible? And be attentive for the answer! By asking the questions, we are programming our mind to look for solutions and by doing this; we put something (energy) in motion.

Many of us live our lives on automatic. We are living under a paradigm with which we see the world, often influenced and learned from our parents, friends, culture and society. We have put a limit to what we think we are capable of, what we deserve and think is possible. We operate within limits that we ourselves have created! We subconsciously do not believe that we actually are choosing how we live our lives ALL THE TIME.

Whether we do, or we don’t – we choose!

If we really take a look at our lives and understand that we are making choices all day long; from the decision of when to get up, and how to be and spend our day, until we make our final decision for the day on when we go to bed. With the awareness that we choose – maybe hundreds of times during a day – we can become inspired to stop in our tracks – and give ourselves a chance to reflect on what we have chosen until now in our lives.

What more would be possible in your life… if you began to question your choices and allowed yourself to dream a little more?

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Making a leap – part 2

Day 126Expressing ourselves

When we allow fear of other people’s judgment to stop us from expressing ourselves, it is a clear sign that we care more about the external world than our inner world. Opinions in the external world will not make us feel happy and alive – only our purpose, mission and goals will. Only when we live from the inside out, and feel good about the efforts, the progress and the difference we make, will we feel truly satisfied. We know what makes our hearts sing, and what brings music to our lives. We should not look for validation from others; we ought to validate ourselves.

Sometimes it takes time for other people to realize and understand what we are up to. They will validate us perhaps only when we have proven that we are serious about whatever we are on a mission to do. We need to be strong and we need to be determined if we long to express ourselves and perhaps make an impact. Mahatma Ghandi who fought many battles said well what it might take to walk our own path; “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be as brutal as Ghandi experienced his battles. However, if we chose to walk our own path, it is good to be prepared and ready to walk part of that path alone and without necessarily validation and support.

What I have learned from throwing myself into the world of blogging is that I had to let go of worrying about other people’s opinions and instead get motivation from my goal. It is liberating to feel that it is my goal that is driving me everyday – not people’s comments or likes.

What I have learned is that when I let go of worrying about other people’s opinions and instead get my motivation from within, it is very liberating.

Based on my own experience of having a goal, and the difference it has made to my drive and motivation, I would encourage those of you who want to make the leap and express yourself publically, to also set a goal for yourself. Find out why, and your purpose. The purpose and goal will help you feel more assertive and less sensitive to other people’s lack of engagement, comments or likes.

Don’t let fear of being judged stop you from expressing yourself. Live your life for you, not for anyone else.


Live your life for you, not for anyone else.



Making the leap – part 1

Day 125What is it going to take for you to DARE to express yourself…?

Several friends and acquaintances think I am courageous writing my blog. They have also longed to share their voice but have not dared and had the courage to make the leap… into the void… because that is what it feels like when we begin to share our voice publically – we do not know where we will end up. We are stepping into the unknown and that feels scary for most people. Most of us like to be in some sort of control but we have to let go of certainty and control, to go after our inner voice.

I very much relate to the fear many are feeling. Sharing our voice publicly exposes our vulnerability. And those of us that are not used to writing feel particularly exposed.

So why should we then even bother to share our voice if it is associated with fear, anxiety and perhaps pain?

I think that hiding, and holding back our voice out of fear to be judged means that we subconsciously say that we are not good enough, and that what our heart and soul is expressing to us does not have sufficient meaning, substance, or is not smart enough. And to believe that we are not good enough will in the long run cost us much more, than the pain of sharing our voice and stumbling a little on the way until we have found our path and feel more secure.

What I began to notice, and I also have heard from others, is that when we don’t take our voice seriously enough and express it – then our inner voice and inspiration eventually starts to fade. And that is sad!! We are meant to share our inspirations if that is what we long for! As we hold back our voice, we are also holding back our energetic expression. We might even feel like we are dying a little inside. Let’s not do that to ourselves! We are mean to feel alive while we are living.

We all have unique experiences and stories to tell.

So make that leap….

….dare to express yourself!