The Preacher Penguin

On a cold day, in the coldest part of the world, there stood a great crowd of penguins in the snow. They were standing close together not only to keep warm from each other’s body heat, but also because they didn’t want to miss a word of what the Preacher Penguin was saying.

The Preacher Penguin was a local celebrity. But as many local celebrities, he started out as just local and just a penguin. But he had a way of seeing and saying things that caught the attention of other penguins. More and more penguins came to listen to his stories and wisdoms and before you knew it, that couple of penguins grew into a group and the group grew into a crowd and penguins were starting to respectfully call him: The Preacher Penguin.


Today the Preacher Penguin was talking about journeys and the fact that not the destination of the journey is the most important goal, but the journey itself. He was saying that one should enjoy the moment and intensify the now-experience, when suddenly a loud CRACK sounded.

The loud crack was followed by a series of cracking sounds in all directions.

The ice the Preacher Penguin was standing on was breaking loose from the ‘main’ ice. What was a solid piece of rock hard ice moments before, suddenly became a drifting floe, floating into the ocean! Fortunately penguins are good swimmers, but in this case the water was inhabited by 2 hungry polar bears. So the wise Preacher Penguin stayed put on his floe, and drifted away further into the ocean followed by the polar bears…

After a while the Preacher Penguin became tired and – before he knew it – fell asleep. The floe did not but drifted on the strong currents of the ocean leaving the coast, the other penguins and the polar bears behind.

When the penguin woke up, it felt warmer than usual and he felt instantly lonesome as well. Looking around from his tiny floe, the only thing he could see was the blue-grey water of the huge ocean. Fortunately the polar bears were gone but the fish in the water were plentiful, so after a quick dive, dinner was served.

Days went by. The ‘restaurant’ stayed the same but the menu of fish changed from small icy fish to bigger tropical ones. Also the temperature rose while the foe shrunk to a point where it was hardly possible for the penguin to stand straight and keep his balance…

The final disappearance of the foe happened faster than a tip disappearing in a waiter’s pocket and suddenly the Preacher Penguin found himself swimming in a warm but wet ocean. Yet, he wasn’t afraid. He reminded himself of his last speech about the journey and the destination to stay calm. That calmness stood in sharp contrast compared to the joy and enthusiasm that engulfed him when he finally saw a destination in the shape of a golden beach.

After a stiff swim of still a few hours the penguin washed up on the beach where it lay exhausted with his beak in the sand. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain on the top of his head. And another one. When he raised his head, he saw something that he never saw before: a group of brown penguin-likecreatures with long legs and arms throwing nuts at him.

When he got up on his feet and started wiggling towards the group, they burst out laughing! Look at him walking with no feet!

Sad, but happy he survived, he moved on passing the brown creatures, walking into something that looked like a forest. He was thirsty and his tongue felt like an old piece of leather, when he passed a group of pink birds with long legs and necks. They also started to laugh in a twittering kind of way! Look at that! Black and white with wings, but not able to fly!

He wanted to reply, but because of his dry tongue, the only sound he could make was a squeaky kind, making no sense at all and almost every animal in the area started laughing. The great happiness the penguin felt when he washed ashore, was washed away by the most miserable feeling he had ever had in his entire life.

Days went by and the penguin was reminiscing about the time he was still in the coldest part of the world and that gave him a warm feeling. Suddenly he heard a scream. Alerted by his old instincts to help, he moved in the direction of the sound and found a male flamenco and a big egg.

The flamenco was panicking, because the egg was getting cold and his wife was gone fishing. Without hesitation, the penguin took the egg and put it between his legs as he had always done back in the old days and started walking. The flamenco looked surprised and asked where had learn to do that? The penguin explained while he kept walking around with the egg between his legs, until the female flamenco returned and took over.

Another day, another scream sounded through the forest. The penguin got up and wiggled in the direction of the sound, finding a group of monkeys standing on top of the rocks, pointing down at the water.

A young monkey had fallen into the water and was about to drown. The penguin did not hesitate and glided via the rocks into the water. With amazing speed, he raced through the water, grabbing the monkey with his beak just before it went down to the depths forever. He pulled him to the side of the water and heaved him out.

PinguinThe monkeys stood cheering and dancing and they hugged the penguin complimenting him with his swimming qualities, asking him where he had learned that and so on.

The penguin told them how he had learned that and why it was so important to have an open mind for new things, about friendship and the meaning of life. Slowly the group of monkeys grew and flamingos dropped by and rabbits, pigs, other birds flew in, hedgehogs listened trying to pick up something and even some foxes came to eavesdrop….

Soon a great crowd of animals was listening to the stories and the wisdoms of the penguin and it became a returning event. The penguin felt more comfortable and accepted and more liberated to tell his stories. He opened the minds of the animals and the animals inspired the penguin to share more stories and wisdoms.

The good thing was that he forgot all about his previous life and felt completely accepted in this colorful world. Suddenly he saw himself. A black and white bird that could not fly nor walk properly, and realized he had yet another fascinating story to tell: the story about the brightest colors between black and white. Not long after that story the animals started to call him The Preacher Penguin.


The moral of this story is of course what you make of it, but the intention I had with it was to explain that although you can have many talents and gifts or even just good will, in any new situation it will take time to get noticed and accepted or adapt to it and learn to deal with it. Even growing up creates situations like that.
Don’t panic, stay calm. The best way is to be yourself the best you can, but make sure you interact with the environment, the people and the situation. Sooner or later your talents will be noticed and you will be recognized. Sometimes in a way you didn’t or maybe even couldn’t imagine. The Preacher Penguin is part of the World Of Beast.

Yekrut the wisest bird on earth

Cold turkey

Yekrut the wisest bird on earth

September 23, 2014

Like all monkeys, Jake liked bananas.
He ate bananas many times a day and every time he enjoyed them like it was the first time.

Actually, the first time he ate bananas he was just a small boy. He had seen his parents and the other apes eat bananas and it looked simple. Bite at the bottom of the stem, right above the fruity flesh, rip the skin off and the delicious yellow-white meat is visible and ready to eat.

But not for Jake.
He tried to do it with his teeth once and was appalled by the bitter taste the banana skin left in his mouth and figured out a better way,using his hands and nail to break the skin right beneath the stem. Most of the time he was able to open the banana without squeezing it to pulp, and eat the delicious fruit.

One day Jake was swinging from tree to tree and had a great time until the branch of one tree broke off and our little hero wasn’t able to grab another branch and fell on the forest ground/floor.

It was just bad luck, but Jake fell with his butt on his hand that was on the root of a tree. His hand broke in the most unfortunate way. Jake screamed! It hurt like he never experienced pain before.

But that wasn’t the biggest problem.
The first time he tried to open a banana, he experienced a furious pain in his right hand and wasn’t able to open up the banana….


So he tried his left hand, but because his left was less developed than his right hand, he squeezed the banana right beneath the stem into pulp. And Jake didn’t like the pulpy taste. That made him unhappy and he started to complain.

James was the leader of this particular gang of apes. Actually nobody called him James, everybody called him Monk, because he had this bold spot on the back of his head. Something he wasn’t really happy about, but couldn’t see either, because he had no mirror. Only when he looked in the river he was able to see his face and hair and that looked quite good, so….
Monk heard Jake complain, and complain.

After 3 days of continuous complaining Monk was fed up with Jake’s negativity, so he went to him and complained back.

At the end of the downward spiral of discussions and no solutions, Monk had an idea. A long time ago, he heard about a wise turkey living in a big hollow tree deep in the forest. As the story goes, this turkey always had a solution, for any problem. This is why he was wise.

So Jake went to see this wise turkey. After a small journey he found the huge turkey in the hollow tree and before Jake could speak, the turkey asked “Can I help you, Jake?”.

Jake was very surprised the turkey knew his name!
When he found back his tongue, he explained how he broke his right hand and wasn’t able to  open a banana with his left hand by twisting the stem without squeezing the banana into pulp and he didn’t want to bite and he really liked bananas!

What should he do!?

Softly the turkey suggested Jake to turn the banana upside-down and try it again.

Jake was so surprised by this answer that he couldn’t move and just stood there with his mouth half open and a banana in his hand. He then slowly turned the banana upside-down, still staring at the turkey. Then with his left hand he twisted the bottom of the banana and without any effort, the skin opened. The banana did not turn in to pulp and the white, tasty fruit stared at Jake. Surprised he took a bite and it was delicious!

“This is great!”, said Jake, “Thank you very much. How did you know the solution to my problem was so simple”?

The turkey replied “Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned*”.

It is important to understand that many of us do things because we’ve always done them like that. Because of that we believe it is the truth. And this truth has never been tested. It works because everybody believes it is the truth, so why change.

Actually what you just opened is the top of the banana, not the bottom.

A banana grows upside-down. It’s called negative geotropism or growing against gravity, said the turkey. Because of that, the stem has to be very strong to keep the banana up. If it were not, the stem wouldn’t be able to keep the banana growing upside-down.

What you tried to do was to open the toughest part of the banana…

Jake said: When you say it like that, it sounds so logical!
You are truly the wisest bird on earth.
What is your name?

My name is Yekrut.

Yekrut? Jake asked.

Yes, Yekrut.
It used to be just Turkey, said the turkey, but when I grew up, I created a simple vision and that is to reverse ordinary thinking. Questioning and testing what we’ve learned and how we do things in a certain way because we always have.

When the birds and the other creatures heard me solving problems by reversing the ‘truth’, they started to call me Yekrut.

Yekrut is Turkey spelled backwards.

The morale of this story is that we have a tendency to do things or believe things without questioning whether it is actually true or validated or still applicable.

Because of that we create our own belief system and become averse of regarding existing things with a fresh pair of eyes.
But there is a whole different way of looking at this:

Knowledge from the past is like a good weight.
New knowledge is like a trampoline.
Using this weight on the trampoline releases a lot of energy.
When you’re open to this way of thinking, the only thing you need to do is decide in which direction you want to jump.

I wish for you a fresh pair of eyes and new things to see.

*Mark Twain



Flamenco Joe So

Flamenco Joe So

Joe was a pink flamenco, with dark pink flames. Not very ‘masculine’ but then again, he’s a flamenco. Joe isn’t your ordinary flamenco, he’s one of those guys who sets the rules. You know them.

When he was young he wasn’t the unfriendly kind, but when necessary he would take your lunch money and somehow you’d accept it, because it was Joe. It was almost a privilege when Joe stole your money. And when somebody said something about it, Joe simply said “so?” and that was it.

With “so?” he defined a new set of rules, Joe’s rules. And in a way, “So?” was a one-syllable word that told a 1000 word story. Thinking about that, it wasn’t Joe’s 1000 word story, it was my own. In that sense, “So?” was a trigger to start thinking about the situation, putting things in perspective and at the same time it didn’t.
He still stole my lunch money.

Anyway, that was the reason Joe was called Joe So. He grew up doing what he did and always got away with it. One day, he was standing in the pond, together with all the other flamencos enjoying the sun, eating and chatting when it started to rain. Not just a bit of rain, but a serious downpour.

The pond filled slowly with water and the banks started to flood. The watercrept up the feet of the flamencos and one after the other got out of the pond. One of them said to Joe: “Hey Joe, shouldn’t you get out of the water as well? It is rising and almost up to your belly!”

“So?” said Joe and he remained where he was. Standing in the pond.

The rain kept downpouring from the sky. It was like somebody was trying to turn-over an ocean from the sky. More flamencos fled from the pool until the point all flamencos had left, but Joe remained where he was. And again a flamenco said: Joe! Shouldn’t you get out of the pond? The water is up to your shoulders!”

“So?” said Joe and he remained where he was. Standing in the pond.

All flamencos went away, hiding under the trees and the rain kept filling the pond until the water was up to Joe’s neck. That was the point when Joe thought “So!” and realized the situation became a bit tricky. Even for him. So he decided to get out of the pond as well and started to move to the banks.

But when he wanted to move his feet, they were stuck in the mud. He couldn’t move, while the water kept rising and rising. First the lower edge of his beak, so he had to move is beak up to get some air. Still his feet were stuck and then his head was under water, not being able to breathe.

Joe realized he wasn’t going to make it and his life flashed before his eyes and the last thought he had was “So that was it” and died peacefully.

The next day, the flamencos found his body on the bottom of the pond. His feet still stuck in the mud, but with a smile on his face.

Maybe you find this a shocking story but don’t worry. It is a fable and no live animals were hurt. That is the good thing about fables.

The moral of this story is that it is good to be stubborn and go your own way, but it is also good to listen to others (now and then). You don’t have to agree, but it is useful to think about what they say and react, and sometimes just take the advice that is offered to you. Because if you don’t, things always remain the same, with the unfortunate side effect something might go wrong.

Best advice? Don’t be inert, be open for new ideas, keep moving.
A little step at the time will do to not get stuck in the mud,
but be able to stand on top of it.

Flamenco Joe So is part of the World Of Beast.

The Vegetarian Fox and the Chicken

The HENry

It was a great day!

The sun was shining again after a short heavy rain. A rain that gave the air that special smell, you only have in the summer. A smell everybody remembers, but nobody can actually describe.

It also was the day a chick broke through the shell of her egg and had a first look on the outer-egg world. Although it smelled great it wasn’t really what she expected.

Around her, she saw frightened chicken (and one frightened rooster) faces, so instead of saying mama, or “cluck”, she asked what was going on. The answer didn’t affect the great smelling air, but profoundly set the stage for the rest of the life of the chick.

The previous night happened to be a night where a chicken was eaten by the devious fox.

It wasn’t the first time it had happened. The fox knew his way around the yard and (fortunately for the fox) always found a way to snatch a chicken in the end. It definitely was not good for the atmosphere of the coop.

Anyway, the chick grew into a chicken enjoying live as much as she could and learned to live with the occasional loss of a friend or family member. And above all,.. she started laying eggs.

One night, the chicken was about to sleep when she heard a noise. She turned her head and, before she knew it, was looking into the yellow/brownish eyes of The Fox….

The fox was very straightforward and explained the chicken he was going to eat her and that she should not take it personal and all, but before he could bite her neck, she talked back.

This wasn’t something the fox had expected. Actually it was the first time a chicken talked back and wasn’t choking from fear and anxiety, which was odd.

The chicken on the other hand had been thinking about this day, since her birth because she understood this particular day had to come.
Sooner or later.
The day of the confrontation with the fox, that is.

So she was prepared and instead of paralyzing, shaking, trembling, screaming and whatsoever, she made him a proposal.

She said to the fox: I understand that you’re hungry and as a result of that, you feel a strong urge to eat me…

The fox was perplexed and forgot to attack the chicken.
Instead, he turned his head slightly to the left and wanted to listen to what the chicken had to say. He never in his entire foxy live had ever encountered a smart chick like this. So he said: Please continue.

…but imagine how you feel after you’ve eaten me, she continued. You probably will have a full stomach. At least for a few days I think, but then slowly but certainly a new hungry feeling will start to tease your brain.

The fox slightly turned his head to the right. Amazed and curious, he wanted to hear more. The chicken was right. She described exactly what always happened, so he nodded…

And then you have to go hunting for another chicken, hoping to catch one and all that time you’re hungry. And what if the chickens run out. What then? The chicken asked.

The fox couldn’t do anything but nod. She was right.

So, she said, seeing the fox nodding his head, I have been thinking about your situation; instead of eating chicken and be very insecure when you can eat your next one, I offer you a solution: I offer you a daily supply of eggs; mine to be precise, to be collected right outside the coop, every morning at 8.

I know it sounds crazy, but think about it: you’ll never be hungry again. But there’s a catch. You have to promise never to eat a chicken again as long as I give you eggs.

The fox was intrigued by this proposal, but even more intrigued by the chicken. Not only did he start to like this crazy chicken a lot, also the more she talked, the less he felt like eating her.

On top of that, the unimaginable happened: he found the offer tempting.
Not only tempting, but also very acceptable.

Well? Asked the chicken, what do you think?

The Fox thought:
When everything goes wrong, the only thing left, must be right*, and said: Yes chicken, I accept your proposal.

And so the fox went to the coop every day around 8 and the chicken put outside the eggs she’d laid the day before. The fox never felt hungry and never ate a chicken.

Life was good.
The chickens weren’t afraid anymore, were cockling and jumping around and not one chicken died unnecessarily (except for an inescapable Christmas dinner the farmer of the coop threw once a year). And the fox and the chicken became friends, sort of. Anyway as far as a chicken and a fox can be friends.

Sharing thoughts and stories.

Until one day, after 4 years of egg supply, the chicken made a startling discovery. Her egg production stopped. She wasn’t able to lay any eggs anymore. She pushed and puffed, but there was no change in the egg situation. It stayed as it was, like the shape of an egg:

The next day she had to confront the fox with this new situation.
Actually, she was preparing herself to be eaten and she couldn’t blame the fox. She made a promise and now she was breaking it.

Although she wasn’t really excited about the situation, she realized she had to go in order to save the coop. So after a few tears and a few goodbyes and farewells to friends and family, she went to her rendezvous with the fox.

The fox was already there, waiting for his eggs, when she arrived and the chicken, never hesitant, told the fox what was going on and even stretched her neck a bit so the fox could bite more easily.

She closed her eyes and waited for her moment to come, completely in peace, awaiting her fate, when she heard the fox’s voice:

Open your eyes, he said, so she did.
You don’t have to worry; I already knew it would come to this.
You did? Said the chicken.
Yes, I’ve noticed the number of eggs dropping gradually the last few months, and I was anticipating the fact that one day, there wouldn’t be any eggs.

So this is it? Said the chicken.
Yes, this is it, said the fox.
OK, eat me, said the chicken.
I won’t, said the fox.
No? Said the chicken.
No, said the fox.

Since the day we met, I’ve grown rather fond of you. I consider you a friend.  I can’t eat you. In fact, I couldn’t eat any chicken, even if I wanted to. When I noticed the number of eggs decreasing, I realized what was going on and that my egg-diet was going to end one of these days, so I started an alternative menu. I tried eating nuts and mushrooms and vegetables and I actually started liking them.

I guess I am officially a vegetarian fox now.

The chicken looked at him with the biggest eyes you’ve ever seen in a chicken’s head and she had to admit she was rather fond of the fox as well.

Give me a hug, she said.
And he did and they stayed friends forever.


The moral of this story is that even though in the beginning it seems as an impossible thing to do, eventually you’ll get it. Everything is a matter of starting. It is like Lao Tzu said: A journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step. 

*Quote of Robin Williams, may he rest in peace.

How dragon fish became the Dragon Fish

Sounds Fishy

Every day, many, many fish are born.

One day a very special fish was born, at least that was what the special fish thought. He felt different.

He was born like all the ordinary fish, but once in his early life, he swam along a shiny coral. The coral was so shiny it worked like a mirror. He could see himself for the first time in his life and saw what we would call a birthmark.

The fish however saw something else (also, he did not know what a birthmark was). He clearly recognized a dragon and instantly realized why he was different; he was a dragon.

From that day on he felt like a dragon and behaved like one and it felt good. His family and friends though, laughed at him and made fun. Although he felt sad about this, he did not change his belief: he was a dragon.

One day his family and friends were swimming together and having fun, when suddenly a big ugly fish, looking for a snack, spotted them. For a big ugly fish, a group of fish is a nice meal, so he went for them, thinking: The more I can get in one bite, the better.

But just before the big fish was about to have his entree, our dragon fish swims fast and furiously towards the big ugly fish and starts blipping and moving like a dragon.

The ugly fish is distracted and moves towards him and eats him with one bite….

…and swims away, leaving the other fish flabbergasted and shocked.

The dragon fish inside the big ugly fish is completely confused and scared in the darkness of the stomach, but alive and with no intention to give up. He starts moving and blipping inside the stomach even more furiously!

The big fish never felt anything like that before and looses his orientation! Not just a bit, but completely. He starts swimming faster and faster, completely disoriented, just to get rid of this disturbing feeling inside and as a result hits a rock. Hard.

So hard, the dragon fish flies out of the stomach and out of the big ugly fish. The big ugly fish itself hits the rock so hard, his skull cracked. And that was the end of the fish.

When our little brave dragon fish is able to see clearly again, he sees his friends and family who gathered around him, cheering and slapping his shoulders with their fins, very happy because he saved their lives!

No more mocking, no more jokes or laughs for the fish that believed he was a dragon. He saved their lives and that was all that mattered. From that day on, they called him Dragon Fish the Hero of the deep sea.

The moral of this fable is that power comes when you believe in it yourself. Without that it’s hard to achieve anything. Because when you don’t believe it yourself, how can you expect somebody else to believe it…

It is very important to start believing you’re a dragon (or anything that matters to you), releasing the enormous power within.

Don’t give up, keep on going and one day, you can become that dragon.

Dragon fish is part of the World of Beast.

Lucky the lazy duck

WOB2 Duck

Once upon a time there was a very lazy duck.

The duck was so very lazy, she wouldn’t move. She didn’t bother to, because everything happened by itself anyway.

She didn’t need to swim, because she floated in the water. The wind would blow her in any direction and for her that was fine. There was always something interesting to see and if not, well then she waited until the wind blew her somewhere else.

Food wasn’t a problem either because there was duckweed everywhere. The only thing she needed to do was put her beak in the water and the duckweed would float in.

Occasionally she had a treat, when a beetle or another small insect was lost and wandered its way into her beak. Those were absolute feasts!

Life was good, except for the hunters that came by now and then. And when the other ducks fled or got shot, which happened now and then, the whole duck-community was mourning for days about it.

The lazy duck just stayed put, not moving a centimeter. She had a philosophy about hunters: When you don’t see them, they won’t see you, so she just closed her eyes.

Somehow it worked, because she hadn’t been shot yet. The other ducks started to call her Lucky. Lucky the Duck.

Life went on and the summer became autumn and the duck stayed lazy. The autumn became winter and the duck stayed lazy, never moving a flipper.

Then the pond froze and while the other ducks kept moving around to keep the water from freezing, Lucky the Duck didn’t move. Slowly the ice froze around her and she was stuck in the ice and that was the first time she got scared.

She quacked and quacked until the other ducks came and picked the ice away around her body, so she was free again!

She decided to change her life and stay with the other ducks, who kept swimming to keep the ice open. But because the other ducks did the moving anyway, Lucky quickly fell back into her old pattern of being lazy and not moving.

Winter became spring, and spring became summer and life went on as always until one day the hunters came. Lucky sat where she sat and closed her eyes. She was sure she would not be seen by the hunters….

This time Lucky wasn’t so lucky, she got hit!

Small bullets penetrated her feathers and into her body and that really hurt! Fortunately it wasn’t too severe, just very painful. In shock she opened her eyes and saw the hunter right in front of her.

Now because she hadn’t swam for all these years, she not only had become a fat duck, she also forgot how to paddle her feet. Motionless she was floating in the water. She could see the hunter right in the eyes and it was terrifying. The hunter reloaded his shotgun,and aimed at the duck.

In a flash, just before he could pull the trigger, Lucky remembered she was a duck and the only thing connected to the fact that she remembered she was a duck, was how to duck. So without any hesitation, she took a deep breath and ducked. Dove into the water.

Under water she heard the bang of the shotgun from a distance and saw the small bullets entering the water, just missing her by centimeters.

When she came back up to the surface, the hunter was reloading the gun again and Lucky felt a strange electric sensation in her head, right where she believed her brain was.

Suddenly she remembered how to swim and that is what she did. Some ducks say the only thing visible of Lucky was a trail of splashing water, right before she remembered how to fly. Others didn’t see her at all.

The fact is, she got away with just a few broken feathers and some scratches. The only thing that was hurt was her ego. Right then and there, she decided never to be lazy again.

The moral of this story of course is that it is important to keep moving: physically but also mentally. Stay in shape and be open to learn new things. Without moving we forget our potential and possibilities.

We won’t be prepared for any ‘danger’ crossing our path, but neither will we be ready for an opportunity, sometimes simply because we don’t recognize it.

And Lucky? Well, she changed her name to happy and became one of the best swimmers in the pond.



Lucky the lazy duck is a fable and part of the World of Beast.




Once upon a time there was a rooster who found himself to be the best looking rooster in the world. In fact he liked to think of himself as a roostar.

Not only did he admire his cockscomb, the colours and shine of his feathers, but he also loved his voice. His ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’ was the best sounding cock-a-doodle-doo ever.

He knew how to pronounce in it in English, but also mastered the French ‘cocorico’, the Dutch ‘kukeleku’ and the German sound of a rooster ‘kikeriki’.

The rooster lived in a coop with exactly eighteen hens. Eight of the hens were in love with the handsome rooster.and ten were not. As a result only the eggs of the first eight were fertilized and the others weren’t.

The rooster wasn’t happy with this. He was happy with his offspring, but wanted more. He did not understand why the other ten hens were not attracted to him.

One day after doing one of the best sounding cock-a-doodle-doo’s ever, he went to the pond and watched his reflection in the water. Still bothered with the ten hens that weren’t in love with him, he decided he needed to become even more beautiful. And better sounding.

That’s where he started. First he learned the Spanish Quiquiriquíííííííí, Czech kikirikí and kykyryký, the Italian chicchirichì, the Portuguese cocorococó and even the Japanese: コケコッコー(Kokekokkoo).

Then he started working on his appearance using pieces of cloth and paint and even tape. He brushed his comb by rubbing it in the damp grass, making it shinier than ever before.

After that he went back to the pond and was very satisfied. He decided to stride back to the chicken coop, making all his sounds, convinced all hens would fall for him immediately.

And they fell.

Well, three of them did. They were literally shocked to death. The other 15 were so nauseated by his appearance and sounds they ran away, never to return.

As it happened to be, 2 farms down the road, a very ugly rooster lived with no hens. His eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw the procession of 15 hens and he almost fainted when they asked if they could stay.

And the roostar? Well, he took a ‘sabbatical’, now works in a circus and is actually very happy.

The moral of course is that it is better to stay who you are and be happy with what you have.
The problem often is that because you are who you are, and know what you know, and do what you do, you can become either bored or under-(or not)-appreciated by yourself.

We’re somehow ‘programmed’ to constantly aspire change and forget to reflect on what we have and appreciate it or rediscover things we already had, but forgot. That way we can start to re-appreciate. Anyway, dressing up to look even better is bound for an over-the-top-statement.

So re-appreciate, or go work in a circus. That is all I have to say about it.


Rooster is part of the World of Beast-series and a fable.



REF21 Truce 150x150cmI love to run.

It is relaxing, it clears my mind, great ideas pop to live and problems are solved. All during a 40 minute run. I’ve done this for years and years and it is part of me.

But suddenly I got a pain in my calf and sometime my achilles tendon. It started little, but it grows into a serious pain and finally became a cramp. Really painful, serious enough to stop running and walk home carefully.

It recovers in a day or two, but every time when I run it happens again. I even got cramps at night!

I tried all kinds of things to get rid of it, but none of it worked. My shoes were good, good cushioning good support, so it had to be something else.

Then, believe it or not, during running I realized that because I got a new job, spending more time in an office, with a coffee machine, I drank much more coffee then before. By much more, I mean 10 cups a day, easy.

I love to drink coffee, it is one of my favorite drinks, but I realize that, to convert caffeine into something more „neutral”, it uses water…. A lack of water in your body can cause cramp.

I had to quit drinking too much coffee. I had to change but changing a habit is changing routines and that is hard. Especially for someone like me, I love the taste of coffee, the darker roasted the better, the intensity, it’s my fuel for work and creativity!

But I did quit.

I changed to 4 to 6 cups espresso instead of drinking ordinary coffee. The real thing of freshly ground, high quality coffee beans, made by a noisy espresso machine, making great tasting espressos. I enjoy every one of them and drink a lot of herbal tea and water.

And guess what?
The cramps stopped.
It took a few days and a few careful runs, but slowly the cramp dissolved and now I can run without pain, feeling great every time I do!

But there’s more.
Instead of missing my ‘a-lot-of-coffee-drinking-routine’, I gained something additional. I more consciously enjoy the 4-6 cups of great tasting espresso then un-consciously drinking 12 big cups of ordinary coffee.

The morale?

Sometimes it is necessary to give up things,
but realize,
by doing it consciously,
before, during and after,
with a clear objective,
you get a lot more good things in return.

And remember: The best tasting coffee is in the bean.

Espresso is part of the “Little Voices” series. Little voices are like the angels on the shoulders you see in cartoons, but not just good or bad. There are much more Little Voices, like the fearful one, the daring one, the sensitive one, the one who doesn’t like change and so on, but all of them influence behavior in one way or the other.

Rubber Band

REF24 splashed 100x150cm

Carpe Diem or in other words “Live in the moment” that’s what is said and that is good.

At the same time it is good to plan the future.

And sometimes it means that in order to get there you need to go through a period that is not so Carpe Diem and takes a lot of strength to go through. So how to match that? How to create enough motivation?

I created a way of thinking and it goes like this:

Today and the Future are connected by a rubber band. In order to get to the future, it is necessary to have enough tension on the rubber band.

Like when you start running, then a 5 kilometers run seems like an impossible distance and at the same time liberating. And the first training ‘run’ of 1 kilometer is really tough. But training in a consistent way will eventually get you to the 5 kilometers.

It’s the little voices that sometimes prevent you from starting, while without a start, there never will be any progress. Listen to these voices and then ignore them, go for great.

In short: Try to imagine a great future and enjoy the day as much as possible, creating tension on the rubber band. And when released, you’re launched into your future.

Do that in 2014
Happy New Year

PS: Happy birthday sis!

Rubber Band is part of the “Little Voices” series. Little voices are like the angels on the shoulders you see in cartoons, but not just good or bad. There are much more Little Voices, like the fearful one, the daring one, the sensitive one, the one who doesn’t like change and so on, but all of them influence behavior in one way or the other.

Fail more

REF22 Greatness 150x150cm

This year, fail more.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you should try to fail. What I mean is that you need to take more risks. You need to put more of your ideas into action – even the ones you haven’t fully worked out yet.

Of course if you do that, you’re going to fail more. But you’re also going to succeed more. Thomas Edison once said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve discovered 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

You’re going to learn what works and what doesn’t. You’re going to discover that some of your great ideas actually suck, and you shouldn’t spend any more time on them. You’re also going to discover some new, truly great ideas because of those failures.

Launch things before they’re perfect. Go for 80-percent – good, not great. Modify and adjust as you go along.

In 2014, fail more.

Fail more is part of the “Little Voices” series. Little voices are like the angels on the shoulders you see in cartoons, but not just good or bad. There are much more Little Voices, like the fearful one, the daring one, the sensitive one, the one who doesn’t like change and so on, but all of them influence behavior in one way or the other. (this post is inspired by Ferdinandi)