A conversation with Jabbo; 29 years old, doer, motivator, explorer and consultant. He gives presentations and workshops for organisations about following your dreams. We talked to Jabbo last December. At that time he was finishing an interim job and felt the pressures of being caught up in the system. He felt little space to decide what he would be doing next. In the meantime Jabbo is now, five months later, busy rediscovering himself and building a business from a place of calm and flow.
A time out
At the moment I’m trapped in a system which I can’t wait to get out of. I’ve been working an interim job at a large organisation for a few months. The idea was that I would finish my job in the beginning of January, but then I was asked to do one extra project. Although I had already taken my distance energetically, I wanted to help them out, so I said yes. But doing something for someone else and not for yourself doesn’t work. Now I completely outran myself. Normally I’m strong and I can take a lot, but right now I’m really being put on my spot and feel how my whole system is reacting. Suddenly I’m getting skin irritations and my body is tense, all signs that I’m out of balance. The stress hasn’t permitted me the time to go back to my centre. So I need to take a time out. As soon as I finish this project I’m taking ample time to decide which way I’m headed and what I want to focus on. I’m not setting a deadline because I know you can’t set an ultimatum for these types of life questions.
The hard truth
I’m discovering that it’s actually enough to be me. This has been an important insight for me these last months, working in a large organisation where there are many expectations. From a state of simply being present it’s much easier to make decisions that resonate with you. In turn this sets an example and provides the space for others to also make their own decisions. For instance, I sometimes show up at the office at 11 o’clock. No one else does this. Everyone thinks they have to be there at 9. But nobody ever told me I had to be there at 9. If I feel the need to stay in bed a little longer, then I stay in bed a little longer. My colleague says “Jabbo, I find it so fascinating that you just show up at 11.” Whether it’s at the office, at home or during a stroll through the woods; I do my work and I do it well. So by simply being myself, by not conforming to the standard, I also inspire others. But most importantly being myself means I can listen to what I need and act on it, regardless of what others think.
When I look around I see many people who are somewhere they don’t want to be. They all believe they can’t change the situation, because they have a mortgage for example. As long as you have the feeling that it’s not possible, then it won’t be possible. This is what I want to help others with. But it’s a challenge. Even though there’s an intention to do things differently, it’s sometimes difficult to make it happen because people don’t always want to change. I myself am a big ball of energy which allows me to bring others to action. Even though I have created lots of openings with my enthusiasm and motivation – for example I introduced the practice of meditation at the office – it costs me more energy than that it brings me. Eventually people have to do it themselves but can’t always stick with it and fall back into their old patterns.
But when there is a true drive, there are many fantastic ways to help you feel centered. I notice there are so many things I know and apply; dreambooks, the Wim Hof method, no alcohol for 2 months, writing down you love yourself every morning… this is where growth takes place.
What drives me
What I want is to live from my heart. And I want to awaken this in others. In our heart we all want to be kind to each other. I believe we don’t really want to play games with each other or send that nasty email. Because you think everyone does it this way, at a certain point you might start to think that’s how it works. But I won’t give in. Then my manager says “Jabbo, it works this way everywhere…” But if I indulge this idea, it will indeed be like this everywhere. So fuck you, I refuse to give in! I feel an urge to wake people up. People study, get a job at an office and work all the time. All I want to say is “you don’t need to do this!” Having the title ‘CEO’ on your business card doesn’t make you less or better than me, nor does it mean you’ll be happier.
A shift in awareness
You can do much more than you think. This is a continuing theme in my life. More than once people have told me “you can’t do this”. For example playing professional ice hockey, which I did anyway. Also at school they told me I wouldn’t get far because of my dyslexia. They were wrong. Quite often I wonder “why does the system tell me I can’t do this?” I’m becoming more aware that the only person I really have to listen to is me. This awareness came bit by bit, but things accelerated when I started meditating.
“Just go out there and explore! There isn’t simply one right way. In the end it’s all about being able to embrace who you are.”
I started meditating two years ago. At that time I was in love with a girl who didn’t want me. I had the ambition to start my own company, but there was no money coming in. Nothing worked the way I wanted it to. This triggered me to do things differently. So I started meditating, because I had heard that with meditation you learn to observe your thoughts and no longer need to identify yourself with them. This seemed handy because cycling through Amsterdam in the sun there was little I could do about my worries anyway. Through meditation I found more confidence. Mentally everything was more easy and it brought more balance within myself. Meditation can help open you up to your potential, but it definitely isn’t the only way. You can also do Yoga or go backpacking. Just go out there and explore! There isn’t simply one right way. In the end it is all about being able to embrace who you are.
At the moment I want to find my way back to my centre, after a period of too much work, which wasn’t good for me. Looking at the bigger picture it was a useful experience to have had; finding myself in the middle of the system and working for a large organisation. I now better understand how difficult it is to get out once you’re in this world.
“What if I can still buy that car if I really do what I stand for?”
I myself had a good year financially. But I’ve decided I’m going to throw everything overboard, because I feel this is what I need to do. I emphasise the feeling part, because my mind still objects and says “Dude, what are you doing? Just stay put for a while longer and then maybe you can buy a nice car next year!” And yes, if I’m honest I do want that car. But who knows, maybe I can still buy that car if I really do what I stand for.
I’m learning to listen to my inner child. I have this picture as a background on my phone to remind myself of him every day. I try to tune in to what this little indian truly wants. He likes being the centre of attention. He also just wants to be seen. And help others, from a state of love. He wants us all to be kind to each other… so we can feel connection; with ourselves, with each other, with nature.
Recently I came into contact with a coach who combines the spiritual, human and business aspect. During our first session he looked straight through me. I knew immediately he would push me to go deeper. I am growing up. I want to do grown up things. This also means I need to attract professional coaches and invest in myself. Signing up with this coach meant I had to pay a big sum of money. It’s interesting to see what these decisions do with you; both with the degree in which you take yourself seriously and with your sense of self worth.
The whole world is energy. It comprises everything. I believe that you have much more influence than you think. And that you can make things happen for yourself.
A while ago I was at the Rollende Keukens in Amsterdam and had a Tinder date that didn’t show up. For a brief moment I stood there and thought ‘what am I doing here all by myself?’ But then I just decided I was going to meet a lot of awesome people! At first there was a little hesitation but before I knew it, the entire night was filled with one great encounter after another. One of these encounters resulted in me giving a presentation about my experiences with meditation in Germany three months later.
I often feel that I’m able to turn a challenging situation into a positive experience. Something in me shifts.. suddenly I’m on fire and great things happen. I believe everyone can do this!