Flip Flops Can Change Your Life

After having finished developing my next project Wake Up!: A book and app that helps you get off autopilot and your habit loops every day and tap into what really counts, I treated myself to the most amazing adventure. A whole month of travelling around Indonesia with my wife and children.

It was like living Wake Up! every single day. When habits and routines go out of the window, and we are surrounded by rich stimulus and amazing people; it’s impossible not to feel that little bit more alive. 80% of our lives is spent on Autopilot. Our subconscious carries us through the day and we become creatures of habit, disengaged from ourselves and the world around us. Every once in a while though we have a Wake Up! moment. These are those times when we feel connected, aware and appreciative of our lives. The more of these moments we have, the happier we are in general.

I noticed things in Indonesia that I wouldn’t ordinarily notice when living my busy life. I had time to immerse myself more deeply in each experience regardless of how opulent it felt. And importantly I found myself smiling so much more; smiling at nature, smiling at myself and my musings and smiling at what have to be some of the loveliest people on the planet.

One day we went to explore the most amazing Buddhist temple. We were all struck by the energy there as well all the other tourists as they mingled with the students of meditation.

It was an incredible place.

There was so much to explore and behind every set of steps or baobab tree you’d find another sanctum we could sit and think and connect with the universe.

I noticed that when we came to a particularly sacred place, people would take off their flip-flops before they entered and as they did so they would slow down and seem to connect more to the most special of places.

It wasn’t long until I started to leave my flip-flops in random places around the grounds to see what happened. Naughty I know, but quite a cool experiment.

What I did notice was that people would put their flip-flops next to mine, taking a deep breath to look in wonder at all around them as they stepped forward into what ever was ahead. It may have been a garden, a pond or a little shaded area to retreat from the sun.

It seemed that the flip-flops had a power to help people tune in to themselves and what was going on around them.

I’ve realised that that is what Wake Up! is all about. Instead of  flip-flops in a Buddhist temple, Wake Up! helps us tune into who we are and the world around us as we live our life.

It may be through one of the Wake Up! moments we have designed; like flying a paper plane, writing a letter, saying no or helping a stranger. Or it could be something unique to us, that simply piques our attention and engages our imagination.

What it is, doesn’t matter. What matters is through those experiences we take a deep breath, smile and remember how lucky we are to be alive.

Who thought a pair of flip-flops could change your life?

Wake Up! the app launches on September 24th 2016, be part of the journey, sign up here.

2 responses to “Flip Flops Can Change Your Life”

  1. Michael Mertens says:

    So it’s out of your own shoes into somebody else’s? Being shoe-less is a bit back to the caveman, or if I were to think more British, it ain’t really normal, isn’t it? But, it’s certainly true that we need to look around ourselves much more, indeed putting ourselves into the respective other person’s shoes (note, not flip-flops) can change one’s perspective drastically and is widely underestimated.

    Once in a while to ask yourself why is this other person doing this or saying that, finding out what drives them to behave in this or that way, positive or negative. Think the way they do, just for a moment that is, and learn from their ways, then do what feels right.

    My own next flip-flop moment is coming up. As much as I’m a digital man, I will take a Polaroid camera, loaded with black and white film, to a classic car show in Sidmouth this Saturday. The sound alone of taking a picture (clack, whirrr, sssssitt, pfft) might well trigger something with any bystanders. I have one film with only eight shots, my entire photographic behaviour will be drastically different from anybody elses. The exposed pics I’ll have to keep close to my heart, physically, in the darkness and relative warmth of my shirt pocket and to protect them from too much light for several minutes. After all this what I get are not even colour pics, fantastic!

    But finally, it gotta be said, flip-flops, especially for men, are by far the worst item of foot wear ever invented. Nuff said. 🙂

    • Ah Michael, so good to hear from you
      Loving Polaroids but hadn’t seen them quite as beautifully as you
      Thx for the insight
      And you are right, they were Birkenstocks from your motherland and not flip flops …
      But not everyone has my taste
      Big love to you

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