What is it that you want?

We all have dreams and wishes of what we want to be or become. Some of us plan for today or tomorrow and others think more than ten of years ahead. Assume you want a university degree, then you have to take time, it cannot be realized within a year. The longer the timescales the higher the goals you can set for yourself. Our imagination helps us to visualize future goals. This mental picture is so important since it programs our subconscious mind and will affect all our daily decisions, knowingly or unknowingly. Acting consistently towards the visualized goal will little by little result in successes and that will further strengthen the confidence in oneself. This brings someone in an upward spiral. The motivation to move on and persist comes from inside, at least that is how it works for me. Making progress, even if it is just minor, makes me feel good. If things do not work out the way it should be, adapt the action plan not the goal. Key is to imagine what you want to achieve, only then you can work towards something. Consistent actions is about the most important factor to fulfill your desires.

Nobody can predict the future, so how can you set goals that are many years ahead? My long term goals are based on my values and feelings such as living in a specific area, starting a company and creating freedom for myself. To increase the chance on success, I make sure that my actions fit within my values system, in other words, fit within my mental picture. Long term goals often require preparation, you could call this sub-goals. For example, when you want to be a truck driver it is required to get a driving license. When time goes by and sub-goals are realized it is easier to be more specific and steer towards concrete results with respect to your ultimate goal, which was only be based on values so far. Sometimes, when the way to go is not so clear, you simply have to try things and find out what works best for you. In any case, goals must be time bounded even if it is far ahead, otherwise it stays a wish and nothing will happen. Along your journey you will for sure work with other people directly or indirectly. This requires flexibility so that the objectives of others can also be met because only win-win situations are sustainable. Learn from other people and adapt, but do not give up on your vision.

It is in our nature to always work on something with the intend to make us happier. A classical paradigm is that money makes us happy, it seems to replace all other needs. Abraham Maslow introduced the hierarchy of human needs. Years later, Stephen Covey rewrote these needs to the four dimensions of life "Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit", also referred to as "to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy". This model tells us that all four dimensions are equally important for a balanced life. In the long term one cannot replace the other, therefore money cannot substitute. Unfold your potential and enrich yourself by working on all four fundamental needs; acquire relevant materials, explore new things, deepen relationships and contribute to what you value.

Based on own experience and studying these subjects for more than ten years, I provide lectures about the essence of our behavior, "why do we do what we do?". I'm convinced that a personal vision combined with awareness of the world surrounding us, can lead to great results. This body of thought is what I would like to share with you. Most important for me is visualization, a mental picture of what I'm after. Furthermore, I learned that in anything we do other people are involved. Understanding of what people drive is very valuable and will help you for sure. Hopefully, the lectures will inspire you to realize your dreams. Thanks to my technical and engineering background, lectures are no nonsense, analytical and practical. The greatest compliment I got is that the presented material is applicable in daily life.

Workshop ESD

Since personal development is a lifelong learning path it is useful for everybody to think about ones values and goals. What is it that you like to accomplish, what gives you most satisfaction and meaningful life. This year we organize a series of three workshops again. Interested, read more on the ESD 2019 page and send your submission if you would like to attend.

Here you can find the ESD page of 2018.


Lectures can be given in English and Dutch. The first lectures are a series of three successive presentations, each takes about 30 to 45 minutes. As guest lecturer at of the University of Twente, where I have a couple of hours time, I combine these three presentation into one lecture. However, then the amount of information is quite high.

[1/3] Fundamentals of human needs

As from our birth the journey of personal development begun. We grow up, discover our own values and develop our interests. Sometimes it is a challenge to find the right way to go. In all of us is a need to contribute and have a meaningful life with the intention to be appreciated and ultimately to be happy. What does it take? This presentation addresses the fundamentals of human life, what is it that we need? Understanding these fundaments makes it easier to stay balanced and you will be able to identify what is missing. It will help you to enhance your life and that of others. The four dimensions will be discussed and conceptions such as "what is happiness?", "what makes you unique?".

Together with Dina Bouwhuis, psychologist, a student assignment has been defined with the question “Can Virtual Reality be used for character analysis?” Students Mick Tijdeman, Maartje Huveneers, Hessel Akkerman, Manouk Hillebrand and Verena Winderlich developed a VR demo in which the person in charge is challenged to show his or her true character.

[2/3] The power of Goals

Everyone wants to achieve certain goals in life. These can be small valuable things as well as big dreams, some call that a life purpose. Often, we only have a feeling or a mental image of a desired result but not a clear picture of the path that leads us there. This presentation addresses how to translate your values into goals and to stay focused, even when goals become obsolete and new opportunities arise in this fast changing world. Once you know what you want, the only thing left is execution and to stay on track.

[3/3] Execution, no excuses

Understanding human needs and knowing our values and goals is great but only through execution we can reach fulfillment. Furthermore, in everything we do other people will be involved. Consequently, execution is about self-management and working with others. Stephen Covey wrote “the 7 habits of highly effective people”, this not about prestige but about reaching goals with others. This model, combined with other techniques, is presented. It puts you in motion towards your own ambitions. Then do, learn from your actions and persist, whatever it takes. Giving up is for later.

In a student assignment, Bart Sprenkels, Kristine Bardsen, Piet van Tiggelen, Puck Kemper and Rasha Hamza applied the 7 habits of effective execution to increase the effectiveness of meetings. They made a great movie of their work.

Design your own life

It is our duty to get the most out of our life’s. Knowing what we don't want and seeing what others do wrong is usually not so difficult, but don't get stuck there. The challenge is to discover our own strengths and to contribute the best we can. When someone moves in the direction of his or her interests, that person will be inherently motivated and work feels effortless which is not the case. The effort costs a lot of energy but it doesn't feel that way. This presentation gives guidelines how to discover oneself, what are important factors, how to get started and persist. Get going and successes are, little by little, unavoidable.

Is success really a choice?

Can you always be successful if you want? It implies many underlying questions, such as; “When is someone successful?”, “What are you willing to pay?”, “Do you have the knowhow and skills?”. These are only personal factors. Next to this you have external factors. You will mostly be dependent on others and on the environment you are living in, which is constantly changing. One can control his or her actions but not often the results. I will explain what I do to go after my goals, not always being successful. For me, it is worse not to try then to fail, even if it sometime goes with doubts and uncertainties.

Axiom IC and me, the whole story

In 2007, at the age of 40, I started, together with a small team, my own company in electronic chip design. In 2013 we sold the company. This presentation is meant for ambitious people, also called entrepreneurs. It addresses the company culture, values and motivators, often referred to as; mission and vision. In addition, I also like to share with you successes and  problems we faced. For me, starting a company was not a coincidence. It took many years in advance of personal preparation, courage and some luck. Therefore the phrase “the whole story”.

Humans and Physics; same principles apply

Principles always apply, they are timeless and independent on implementation or technology. In a sense, people follow principles as well similar as physics such as; cause and effect “out=f(in)”, work requires power “W=P∙t”. A hilarious comparison is made between human behavior and mechanical-electrical effects. This presentation is particular meant for nerds. Those be blessed, understanding the essence of concepts makes the world so much more interesting and is an absolute "must" to be creative.