Man's search for meaning by Viktor Frankl

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” —Viktor Frankl

Between 1942 and 1945, Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Emil Frankl spent time in four different Nazi concentration camps. Published shortly

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7 Life lessons from Marcus Aurelius’ Book “Meditations”

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

― Marcus Aurelius

Meditation is maybe the only record of its kind ever created. It is the private contemplations of the world's most influential man offering guidance to himself on the best way to follow through on the

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How to build a TRIBE!

“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”

― Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Tribes can change you from a sheepwalker into a heretic, by providing you the tools to start your

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon.”― Daniel H. Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Daniel Pink’s provocative looks on the most diverse subjects bring great perspectives, and in Drive, he shows his vision of how people

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Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Leadership can sometimes be extreme. This holds especially true if your mission is to secure the city of Ramadi, which, during the Iraq War, was one of the most violent battlefields in the country.

This Visual Mind Map based on the impactful insights of two Navy SEAL task unit leaders

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Leadershift by John Maxwell

“If GROWTH is expected, then CHANGE is essential.”

-Dr. John Maxwell, Leadershift

Change confronts leaders with disorienting situations and baffling challenges. Figuring out the best route amid change can discomfit even the most level-headed executive.

Today’s secret to enduring success as a leader is the ability to be nimble

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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”― Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

The psychologist and Nobel laureate in economics Daniel Kahneman explains the workings of our minds

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Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Entrepreneur Simon Sinek “hit rock bottom” in late 2005. He had started his own consulting business in 2002, but three years later, he ran out of passion. Dead-ended, Sinek thought about what made him happy. He wondered why some leaders and companies succeeded and

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Good or Great?

We know that your scarcest resource is TIME, but we also know that you want to LEARN and develop as a professional at the same time. Otherwise, you wouldn't have been here, right?

To accommodate your needs, we give away BOOK SUMMARIES in the form of easy to read

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Develop Your Coaching Habits

This week’s Book Summary is about the book: The coaching Habit - by Michael Bungay Stanier

Our mission is to improve the lives of leaders like you by helping you get a bit better every single day. Today, you might finish reading this blog not just a BIT better, but

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Unlock the WILLPOWER in you!

This week’s summary is based on the book: Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney


What is the crucial driver for growth? What can we do to develop this drive? Is there a way to delegate even a bit of it to

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How can I get a better night's sleep?

Sleeping well directly affects your mental and physical health. Fall short and it can take a serious toll on your daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight. Yet many of us regularly toss and turn at night, struggling to get the sleep we need.

Getting a good

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Have you ever wondered what separates highly successful people? When you study what they do that differentiates them, it always comes back to mindset and habits. If you’re able to tap into the most effective habits, then you’re instantly able to create massive momentum and ultimately accomplish anything you desire.

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8 tips to effectively work from home

NEW!!!: Mind-maps, each week a MAP to guide you on your way to a TopMind! (incl. free printable version)

How to work effectively from home!

As of today we will start with a super cool new initiative: Maps that will guide you on your way to a TopMind….

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Some TIPS to improve your FOCUS (and HEALTH....)

WANT TO IMPROVE FOCUS (and HEALTH..) once and for all?

Work can sometimes feel like a never-ending marathon, when it should be a series of focused sprints. A corporate executive on one of our programs summed it up perfectly, he explained how in the early days his career felt like a

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Why FUN always wins....(10 tips)

Do you know WHY having FUN makes your GROW faster?

Today my son, Sieb sent me a video with something he is proud of. I am currently abroad, so he couldn't show me his latest achievement in person. In the video, he showed me his newfound skill, the so-called 'side

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TopMind Talks 8: FULL Alexander Pechtold Interview

TopMind Talks was created to share with you not only our knowledge, but also what we learn from each of our TopMinds. Throughout this interview, guest Alexander Pechtold shares his thoughts on leadership through several aspects. See if you can catch all 7 of them in the full video.

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3 Strategies to 'Work Less and Achieve More'

Want my help with your '2020 Personal Development Plan'? Send me an email:

A client called me recently and asked, "Please help me setting priorities. It is too overwhelming at the moment. I can’t distinguish the noise from the signal anymore."

A lot of people suffer from having too

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TopMind Talks with Alexander Pechtold


Talking with a TopMind!

TopMinds has the privilege and honor to learn so much from our clients, and work with many great leaders over the past decade. Hoping to share this knowledge with you has resulted in an initiative named: TopMind Talks.

TopMind Talks is a series

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How LEADERS can FOCUS (5 tips)

A gold fish can concentrate longer than we can. This makes it hard for leaders to be effective and to enjoy the learning process. Here 5 tips to focus better in current hectic business world (reading takes 4 minutes).

I was in Prague last week (see short video), training

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7 TopMind Tips to beat PROCRASTINATION

Procrastination is perhaps the biggest waste of productivity and mental energy. Apart from obviously getting less done it also costs a lot of mental energy which drains you and takes the joy out of everything.

In this blog I will share with you a number of insights and

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The mindset of a world leader: 5 things we can learn from Barack Obama

Ruling one of the worlds largest and most influential countries requires some very advanced leadership skills. Former US president Barack Obama was in the Netherlands to give an interview on leadership. And we were there, armed with pen and paper.

Here are 5 things we can learn from

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'Back to Business': Work hard, play hard, RELAX!

It's always an exciting time of the year. The kids return to school and you’ve enjoyed the sunny side of life for a while, abroad or at home. You’re fully charged.

But how can you ensure that the start of this new 'businessyear' is going to be a

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The 6 proven HABITS of High Performers

This week’s vlog is about a book written by Brandon Burchard, one of the most popular performance coaches in the world (he has more than 100 million downloads of his online training videos). The book is about the 6 KEY habits of people who he identifies as high performers

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(Video) Interview with the NR 1 executive coach, Marshall Goldsmith

With great pleasure I interviewed Marshall Goldsmith, the world’s Nr 1 leadership thinker, about his daily question process. This process does not cost you anything, takes only a few minutes a day and will get you almost everything in life you wish for.  Yet only few people commit to this

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Video: How to START UP a START-UP!

We've recently interviewed Hans Böhm, Managing Director and Founder of Beerwulf, a start-up of Heineken. He and his team went through a 200 days TopMind Training, which had a great impact on their performance. Read the interview below (or see attached video) about how the TopMind Program helped him

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Make your RESOLUTIONS a REALITY! (18 TopMind Tips)

This has been a really good year for me, my family and my business.

A big thanks to YOU and to everyone who has contributed to it. Especially my wife Lies, my parents, my friends, the TopMind Toppers (our Team) and certainly all our TopMinds (also known as ‘clients’).

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How to make STRESS your FRIEND!

Let’s talk about how to make “STRESS” your friend...

My father was a surgeon and when we used to sit at the dinner table and the phone rang, quite often tension set in, affecting not only my father but also the entire family. My father was, among other

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Manage your ENERGY, not your TIME!

A client asked me: "Why am I more productive and get much MORE done just before a holiday? And why on other days even making a trip to the coffee machine feels like a chore?"

We all experience days when we are super productive and days when

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5 TopMind tips to SLEEP better

This is probably the sleepiest blog I’ve written so far...

But before we all doze off, I first would like to announce our new initiative. TopMind aims to help as many people as possible to improve the Fitness of their Minds. We do this through blogs, videos, quotes

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Build a top team with a TopMind!

Do you have a team where you notice that some habits are effective, but also some that make team interactions in-effective? Do you have the desire to collectively focus on a few priorities? Do you want the TEAM to build itself instead of YOU building the team?

We recently interviewed Hans

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Three tips to start your day!

And now BACK TO BUSINESS after hopefully a joyful summer! We start with a very basic theme you have to deal with each day: How to START your day?

Scientific insights show that the 'mood' we start our day with determines our 'productivity' for the rest of the day.  

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TopMind Training in 1 minute

Tired of reading all these blogs and tips? Have the TopMind Training explained in 60 seconds…

TopMind™ Habit Tracker

And when you are ready to start your own free training now, subscribe or find more info here.

To a ‘TopMind’ !

Regards, Anne-Johan

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The power of a TopMind – Interview with Golfplayer Reinier Saxton

Reinier Saxton is a professional top golf player from Haarlem, The Netherlands. In May we had a short interview with Reinier at Golfclub The International in Amsterdam about his experiences and results of his TopMind Training during the past 8 years. You can watch this interview in the video.


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Work less and achieve more (3 tips)

A CEO of a big insurance company is interested in doing a TopMind training. Although he is really enthusiastic, he questions whether right now would be the best moment to start. ‘I’m so busy’; he says. He is the CEO of the board of directors and the company is currently

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5 tips voor leiderschap fitness

“Zo ben ik nou eenmaal”…. NU 

Een van de grotere ontdekkingen in de medische wetenschap van de afgelopen jaren is de zg. ‘plasticiteit van ons brein’. Ons brein en daarmee onze vaardigheden, gedrag of zelfs bepaalde fysieke vermogens zijn tot op zeer hoge leeftijd trainbaar, en het meest spectaculaire inzicht

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How hungry are you?

Bart Vriends is a 25-year-old professional soccer player. For the past three years he has played for Go Ahead Eagles, and was twice jointly responsible for his team’s promotion. He was the captain of the team for two years and the absolute favourite of the very loyal and fanatical Eagles’ fans.


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Stop talking, start walking….

Above you’ll find a video and short interview with Harald Swinkels, the CEO and founder of the Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij (“NLE”) and one of the most successful Dutch entrepreneurs of the last decade.

I got to know Harald really well in the past months doing a TopMind Programme together. Before

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Give yourself a B.R.E.A.K.!

I work with athletes and business leaders who are often ‘hungry’ for personal growth, yet some achieve the desired results and some don’t. What is the explanation for the difference? And how can you boost your own personal growth?  Here are some practical tips (See the 5 tips in the

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The best coach ever?

A great article in the Harvard Business Review about the succes formula of possibly the greatest coach ever Sir Alex Ferguson.

Click here to download the article (PDF, ~5MB)

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Freelancer of the year?

Ik kreeg vorige week een e-mail van de organisatie van bovengenoemde award (freelancer of the year award). Ze vertelde me dat ze onder de indruk waren van mijn ‘pitch’ en gaven me een ‘wildcard’ voor de grote finale in april. Best lekker gevoel…. Hierbij de blog die ze erover schreven

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TopMind in Top Scientific Journal!

Effects of TopMind Training in an international scientific journal TopMind Training was researched by the University of Amsterdam (AMC) in 2013. Significant effects were found, and in November 2015 an article was published in an internationally renowned medical journal (The International Journal of Surgery).

Great news for us, but

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A TopMind in the cold – part 2 – (A VICE documentary)

The American subdivision of VICE and others, including Anne-Johan Willemsen from TopMind, embarked on their voyage with Wim rather skeptical. Yet this took a drastic yet interesting spin after a couple of days… Watch the video by clicking. (short cut to expedition in Poland at 18′:51″).

Wim Hof first caught

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2 beginnings that lead to big endings!

Today I had a conversation with an executive manager and former consultant. He is responsible for the organizational change in a big Dutch corporation (> 10,000 employees). We met twice on his initiative. A colleague and former client of TopMind recommended him to do a TopMind 100-day programme. This colleague

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My interview with Wim Hof (video)

Last January I spent a week in Poland with Wim ‘The Iceman’ Hof (you can read all about it in my blog ‘A TopMind™ in the Freezing Cold …’.) During this week Wim made us do things I never imagined possible, like hiking for hours in our shorts up mountains, bathing

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5 Tony Robbins’ Tips!

Tony Robbins is the undisputed number one life coach in the world. He coached hundreds of thousands of people, among them Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. My wife and I recently spent 4 days with him to learn his approach to, as he calls it, “Unleash the power

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A TopMind™ in the Freezing Cold …

My week with ‘The Iceman’ Wim Hof (January 2015)

‘Personal growth is physical rather than mental.’

I can choose from various types of training in my professional field as a Mind Fitness Trainer. The reason I chose Wim Hof’s is because I admire people who dare to be different in

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