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  • Anouk Schaap

"Dare to dream!"

Bijgewerkt: 29 nov 2019

I met Jona through a mutual friend. We introduced ourselves shortly and that was about it. It cannot be coincidence that we ran into each other only a few days later at a party. I told him about my volunteering job and experiences in the refugee camps. The look in his eyes changed instantly. The next time we met, he decided to join our volunteering team on the spot. Only a few weeks later we left Holland and visited two refugee camps in Greece where we shot a short documentary. I got to know him pretty well in only a few days. Jona is honest, open, trustworthy, committed and an amazing friend. You understand why I asked him for this interview.


Jona, we had so many inspiring talks about life, dreams, values and so on. Let’s talk about self-care this time! Was there a specific moment in your life when you felt self-care is very important?

"That was about 10 years ago, 26th May 2009 to be exact. My dad died the day before. The day I mentioned was the day someone in my family started an issue about money… I was outrageous of course, I could have gone crazy and violent. I took a step back and decided what was more important to me: that my mother and myself were doing okay. I choose not to get into something this negative that wasn’t worth the energy and time. I handled with the problem to get it over with, without all the extra emotional drama."


"The fact that I was able to do this in such an emotional state still helps me nowadays. When I have days that are not going the way I want to, I focus on what really matters, remembering myself that I always have a choice.”


What does taking care of yourself mean to you?

“To always put yourself first. How can I help or advise others if I am not okay?! Putting myself first means that I can be myself 24/7. Being myself can change overtime but I want be and feel myself at all times. In order to be myself I ask myself the question “who am I?” very often. Not only that question, I also ask myself: “how do I want someone else to see me?”. I answer those questions and I do everything to live up to this. I don’t want to be curious what people would say at my funeral, I live and act up to what I want people to say about me.”


“Taking care of myself related to work means that I follow my gut feeling. I only work with people have a positive energy around them. And again, I ask myself lots of questions to check in with myself and to know whether I should take an assignment or not. Questions like: “Does it makes me happy?”, “Does it gives me energy?”, “Does it makes both parties happy?”. The most beautiful things are made in co-creation, so the last question is also very important.”


What do you do when you feel the need to take care of yourself?

“I accept whatever comes up, the good and the bad. For example, if I go through a period where I don’t feel very creative, it can be frustrating because it is important for my creations. When this happens, I tell myself that I am only human and that this also is part of life. I talk to people that I love and share my struggles, when I say it out loud it is out there which makes it easier to let go of afterwards. A nice trick for those moments is to think of all the times I was in creative flow. So I focus on that feeling, knowing and trusting that the flow will come back after I let go of the frustration.”


“When I get stuck in a negative vibe, I give myself three simple things to achieve that day, it can be anything. I focus that day on finishing those three things and celebrate the achievement. The day will be worthy enough because of those little achievements. The day after, I do the same thing and start slowly to make the list longer, to be focused on the positive and getting back into flow.”


What is your TCOYS tip to other people?

“Be the person that you really want to be, choose yourself, work on yourself. Don’t get yourself busy with expectations of other people, be busy with your own values. Strive towards those values. Live conscious and ask yourself lots of questions: “Who am I?”, “Who do I want to be and why?”, “Why do I feel this way?” Start to get to know yourself and live your life!"


"And also, dare to dream! My dream?! That would be a world where everybody lives in peace with themselves. I know it is quite a dream, but I know I can contribute to that change and I do whatever I can to be part of that world.”


Jona is a videographer with a dream: having his own documentaries on Netflix. Not because he wants to get famous, he wants to inspire other people that anybody can live his or dream by just doing. Follow his journey and get regular inspiration from this amazing and inspiring young man.

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