DSC05681Not Belgian, not Spanish, but someone who likes to think of himself as being a little of both, while aspiring to be a true world citizen. A lifelong student with a love of history (particularly anything related to naval power) who once dreamed of donning a military naval uniform before converting to peace studies and international cooperation, and happily so. A pen that is always aching but that rarely hits the paper and a fan of both prolonged silences and gripping movie soundtracks. Very, very ambitious professionally speaking. He’s also very disciplined body-building enthusiast, an avid reader, a supportive, loyal friend and a very loving husband.

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What is the one thing I can do today to really get closer to my goals?

Staying focused and not allowing myself to get distracted so easily. You may not know it, but it took me two hours to write that sentence because I kept going back and forth between it and some of my favourite websites.

Other things I absolutely want to focus on today: Answering these questions, preparing a warm meal for my wife (as part of my ‘become a more practical husband-plan’), some house cleaning, conducting some online research for my parents’ real estate company, completing another module in one of the e-learning courses I am taking.

How can I create more value today than I did yesterday?

By keeping a better eye on the clock and practising my active listening skills.

What new approach can I try to come closer to my vision?

Setting smaller, specific goals rather than huge general ones.

What made me feel happy, in flow, recently?

On Friday, addressing a big load of customer inquiries while barely needing to take a break. Yesterday, successfully completing a 3D puzzle. Earlier this week, I felt happy every time I successfully completed a set of exercises on my current weight training program. Being spoilt by my wife with one of her famous desserts (see https://www.instagram.com/p/BId01i_AkHo/?taken-by=mfescg) and cuddling up with her. Earlier this month: completing yet another e-learning course and printing out the relevant certificate. And last but not least, the congratulatory messages I got on my birthday, especially the video starring my two-year old Venezuelan cousin.

What is the one product we can really promote?

Depends on how you define ‘product’. If you mean anything that is a human creation and aspiration, I would not know whether to choose between the Sustainable Development Goals, human rights, gender equality, respect for diversity, environmental protection or peace and disarmament. If you refer to any type of action we are able to undertake, I would say active listening is a good start, with critical thinking and empathy tied for a very close second place. And if you just mean something that human beings have prepared for consumption and that you can get at a store, consider books. Loads and loads of books.

I am grateful for: having met some of the most brilliant, committed creative and passionate people on the planet that you have yet to hear of and being allowed in their company. That includes among other people this blog’s owner, that upcoming pastry chef of mine whom I see fighting for her dream day after day, and a lot of true humanitarians and internationalists. Being in good health. My parents. Having been able to go to University back in the day while actually being penniless. Being able to speak multiple languages. White chocolate with a praliné filling. Every place I have ever been to and will yet end up going.

I’m really excited about: Geek alert: the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Two books with rare photographs from the First World War that I saw at a local second hand bookstore (but that I am unlikely to be able to afford).

These are the most important habits I’m building: Taking courses all year round and notes so my moments of inspiration do not get lost into oblivion. Reading more often in other languages than Spanish or English. Being on the constant lookout for job opportunities.

Stuff I did right: In the past week: offer some comforting words to a colleague at work whose mother is suffering from cancer. Giving positive feedback to another one.

New ideas:

  • Develop a series of blog posts on LinkedIn on… now, that would be telling.
  • Re-activating my online volunteering profile and getting back in the swing of things.

Power decisions:

I will finish writing this and not let William Peynsaert down.

From tomorrow onwards: continue not to give in to work-related stress and taking on one issue at a time.

Things I’ve learned:

  • Do not blame others for your own flaws.
  • You do not need a blue passport to make a positive difference. You do need to make a start and get off your couch, you lazy (censored)!
  • Do not look before you leap. Just leap. Do not look back either. Do leap again. Sideways if you have to. But never, ever, backwards.
  • Do not turn envy into an homage for other people’s talents, turn it into the energy you need to develop and perfect your own.

How do I want to feel today?
Energetic, loved, valued, capable, trusted, needed. Not necessarily in that order.

How do I want to treat others today?
In the biblical sense, but with a touch of raunchy humour added to the mix.

Some material stuff I’m acquiring: Some movies on Blu-Ray and DVD. A gift for our upcoming wedding anniversary. Perhaps some flight tickets.

How are you going to reward yourself today?
Maybe cram in some online gaming.

What kind of people am I inviting into my life today?
Anyone willing to mentor me by pushing me to the limit because they know better than I do what I am capable of.

The one thing, in general that bothers me are my own contradictions. Enough said!

The power question = What is holding me back? (x or y) I do not intend to reveal what x and y are, though.

Remind yourself of your vision. What does your ideal day look like?

– Getting up early and remaining energetic in the course of the day

– Spending an hour and a half in the gym before midday and completing all my planned meals on schedule

– Completing at least one application from start to finish

– Writing a poem without ever feeling the urge to erase it from my notebooks.

– Completing another module on an e-learning course

– Spending some hours volunteering with a Red Cross on my back.

– Alternatively, skipping town with my wife and exploring some new city or locale in search of monuments, markets, and new sensations

– Taking an evening walk by the sea, in a major park or forest and watching the sunset

– Watching some classic movie cuddled up together without falling asleep in the process

Live an authentic day!