How giving 100% gives you LESS stress

If you give your 100%, you can never fail.

Nisandeh Neta




I got stuck, this week.

I was so stressed, I lost track of my to-do list and I realized I couldn’t keep my promises the way that I want it.

Excuses enough…

Life Plan Design is not kickstarting the way I want it.

I want every person that ordered the book to actually get it, which is a lot more work than I expected AND I want to take care of the existing community AND I want to take Nisandeh’s powerful legacy into companies AND I decided to give a one-time open seminar that I need to fill.

Next, to that, I need to properly close my marriage, find daycare for the kids, handle new privacy rules and train for the Rotterdam marathon.

OK, enough whining.

I used to be sloppy pretty much all my life. I got away with it, usually. But now, I can’t, anymore. I made promises, and I didn’t keep them because I was too busy doing other very important things. I missed deadlines and I made too many mistakes.

Do you recognize this? Or am I the only one? What happens is this: while I’m cooking I’m thinking about what the blog needs to be about, while having a conversation with my oldest about something very important, such as why the Milky Way is called the Milky Way, I’m checking my mailbox on my phone. And while I am preparing a piece of the Masterclass my mind wanders off to my personal situation, stressing out about how much there still is to do.


So… I remembered something I learned from Nisandeh and decided to test it.


It’s a powerful system that, as soon as I implemented it, instantly made a huge difference. So I really, really want to share it with you.


The first thing I had to do: make a commitment to be fully aware, focused, diligent and unsloppy in everything I do.

The second action: set an alarm on my phone, every hour. The alarm is the trigger to check myself. How engaged am I, and how engaged was I in the past hour? And if I was not as engaged as I wanted, spend a few seconds on how to improve my engagement for the coming hour. What are my plans, and what do I want to get out of it?


My tasks for the next couple of hours were: clean the house, spend quality time with my kids, make lunch and dinner and bake muffins.


I followed the instructions and this is what happened. 

My muffins were looking fantastic and tasting even better! I never baked muffins like that. (I never baked muffins in my life, so not sure how they would be without being so engaged, but I chose to take it as a signal;)). But it wasn’t just that.

Usually, when I clean the house, I clean it in a way that it looks clean. Now, I cleaned it and it FELT clean. And the difference that being aware and present and giving my 100% makes for reading a bedtime story or even brushing children’s teeth is a completely new experience!

What amazed me the most, was that I still managed to get everything done. No, wait. I MANAGED to get everything done, contrary to the lifestyle I’m used to, hopping around from one task to another without being aware… and giving me so much stress in the meantime.


Sometimes I suck at what I am teaching. But implementing it, and seeing results like this…


it’s soothing to realize that I am capable of doing it differently. So, for the coming weeks, I commit to being present and aware and giving my 100%. And I promise to check myself every waking hour to see if I am “ON”.


Now tell me…how’s your stress level? What is stressing you out right now? Please share in the comments your current stress challenge…maybe we can help each other.

I’m giving away ONE ticket to my (mind you: it’s in DUTCH!) “Is Dit Alles” Masterclass on April 15, to one of the blog commenters.


Now.. talking about the “Is Dit Alles” Masterclass.

As you have read, I also fail every now and then. But I do know there is more to life than work, and I know that it’s possible to start living your Dream Life – now. You don’t have to wait for the future. So if you want to do your yearly checkup, to check if you’re spending your time on the right things- the things that matter to you, be there.

I will teach you what I learned and implemented so far. But I am far from having arrived yet. (I’m glad, since I think it’s boring there:))

I’d love to meet you there. I’ll give my 100%.

Take the discount code “dreamlpd” and:

Register here… 

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Until then…

Live fully and be awesome…




  1. Henk Andy

    To be honest, I do not act the way most others do. I find it troubling not to keep up with “the speed of light”! Is it only me I think?
    So I experience troubles with: focus, one-thing-at-a-time, I am struggling… (although your program seems the answer…)

    • Gerdy Heek

      oh no you’re not the only one… focus is for me a big issue too… and exactly the thing that I changed. This exercise will help you in your focus, because now, everything that you do, you do it 100%….

  2. Ellen Baart

    Dear Gerdy,

    Though it is an excuse I still have this belief (Yes, I know it is a truth that I created in my head) that women have more difficulties to get all up and running (and I do not mean the Marathon… great to go for as I just did the half). In a way, we stand in the shadows of our one light, because we (or better I) turn my back because it also is a way of being frightened (angst) of standing in the light! So to everybody, man and women, turn your actions towards the light AND shine!! Loving regards ????

  3. Mariet Mulder

    As I discovered lately with this nice saying:
    dress the stress as a duck and it swims away.

    • Gerdy Heek

      I love this one!

  4. Joyce Vanes

    I also find it hard to take things one-at-a-time. And I can even get lost during scheduling ITSELF! It’s not a coincidence that my plan for this week is to single-task.

    Your hourly alarm makes me think of the monks of a monastery I once visited. Every time the church-bells rang, they stopped what they were doing to take a looooooong, nice and deep breath.

    Take care! Joyce

  5. Dirk-Jan Maas

    Coincidence doesn’t exist! Since the beginning of this year I felt not in control. Running from one ‘task’ to the other. A lack of overview. And a lack of time to create one for myself! How stupid. This is the golden Tip I was waiting for. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    What’s your starting wave Gerdy? Maybe I’ll see you in Rotterdam at my second M (NY 2017 was mine mindblowing first).

    • Gerdy Heek

      Hey Dirk-Jan,

      Wat do you mean with my starting wave Dirk-Jan? And I don’t exactly know what you mean with your second M… I’d like to meet you in the Masterclass on April 15, will you be there?

      • Dirk-Jan Maas

        Hey Gerdy,

        I was referring to your training for the Rotterdam Marathon. So am I. The starting wave is ‘het startvak’. Depending on your expected race time you will start in 1 (the pro’s), 2, 3, 4 or 5 (the ‘slowest’ category).

        The 15th of April I have the ‘care’ of my mother. So I won’t be there!

        • Gerdy Heek

          aha. Now everything makes more sense. I guess the slowest:)

  6. Fiorella Martijnse

    So many things to bring to the right end: My trusted company that I have been running for 30 years and I still like a lot, my totally new challenge , the company I want to run the next years with my partner. And being a nice person to the people around me. I recognize so much in your story. I think you offered a useful idea Gerdy. I‘m going to try this.

  7. Robert van der Wolk

    I recognize quite a bit in your story Gerdy. It’s easy for me to lose myself in tasks, to-do lists and other obligations I sometimes am putting up myself.

    Although this is not a regular habit anymore, and I have learned to ask for help, delegate and outsource some of the things that will propel me forward, there are still things that can raise my stress levels through the roof.

    For the last couple of months, I have been stuck in a dilemma – a situation in which I could only find one of two choices, and, in which none of those choices were any better than the other.

    Though at the moment, this situation remains unchanged, I realized that worrying about what might happen in the future DOES NOT bring me any joy, relief or satisfaction in the present. And so, in order to keep focused on what there is now, and on where I am now, I parked this high-level of stressful potential. It’s still there, and I know I have to make the choice sooner or later. And I know it won’t be an easy choice, especially since they involve the two major categories of my life: my relationship and my career.

    But the ‘funny’ thing I’ve come to see is, that when I can focus on what’s bringing me satisfaction in the moment, is constructive (not destructive), and is actually helping me to move forward in any of my important categories, life seems to move me with a flow of more ease, fulfilment, and positivity.

    My one secret? I really, really focus on what (or who) I love, and put in time, effort and energy to bring up all the preciousness that’s deep down that well. It may take a bit of time, especially when I feel stressed out, overwhelmed or flat-out negative, but the reward is so worth it.

    Looking back in hindsight, I know that for too long I have dreaded on the ‘What-If’s’ and ‘But’s’ of what wasn’t working for me. And though my life is still far from perfect, I know by experience that being kind to myself, running in my p own true pace (and not the one I think I must run to be successful) and focus on what IS working, will get me anywhere I want with the least amount of stress.

    Thanks for a great reminder!

  8. Dimitris Bronowski

    Too many things to implement, too many things going on 🙂 The last week I was trying to make sure that Nisandeh’s BodyBrainDance project will be ready on time for the launch (marketing, website, app, team, content creation and so much more). We are launching soon, so things start to get wonderfully crazy.

    Meanwhile, I was launching a product related to how to get easier clients during events (I had to write 5 articles for small business owners, coaches and consultants, post them on my website, upload all the video content, create the descriptions, identify and contact affiliate partners, identify and answer online questions that people post related to the product, launch a Twitter and Facebook ads campaign and more). As you can understand, things did not need much to get messy. *What helped me stay focused though is my personal assistant*, the person that takes off my hands each task that needs to be done, but not by me. It is the best investment an entrepreneur can make.

    But I also received a new friend the previous week, a watch that has the option to vibrate every 30 minutes or one hour. Now, every 30 minutes, I get a small reminder, I stand up, jump for 30 seconds (to break whatever state I was in), decide what I am going to focus 100% on, and get back to it.

    This tactic, together with my habit to schedule my tasks on my calendar just works miracles.

    Tip (and I hope you realize I am in no means connected with that company): I bought it from They give sometimes up to 80-90% discounts. The reason is that that they send it directly from the factory to the buyer. Make sure to read well the product descriptions though.

  9. Eric van Dooren

    giving 100% is being in this very moment, right here and right now.
    i stop now and then to listen to my breath. Breathing in fresh new life energy and breathing out letting go of thoughts and struggle. This helps me to come back in the NOW… which brings me always to 100%

  10. Trudy van Oostrum

    Hi Gerdy, i got your sharing Thank you so much.
    Practice what you learned is not always easy.

    My stress level is quite low and that’s because I have chosen to transform my behaviour instead of making it better and this takes beyond everything
    I got your 10 books and gave them to young woman who never had a chance even to finish their school, to follow one the courses we all followed more than one time. I take care of them and hope to be able to take them to your”Is dit alles.” I follow my heart, dit is alles.

  11. Karen

    I totally recognize your describtion of thinking about your work while cooking, checking your mail while ‘listening’ to your son. I am always doing more than one thing at a time. I know it is not healthy and I know why, but really doing it and being 100% focussed…. it is a real challenge.

  12. Emmy Stelling

    At the moment I am struggling with implementing really a good work rythm. Separate work from private things and focus on what I do. Step by step changing my pattern. For me it has to do with focus, action and commitment. And I recognize that from time to time I have a fallback…then end of the day I evaluate what I did and how it went, good or not, I recognize end of the day what went well. Continuing attention for me

  13. Hugo Bakker

    My stress last week was that I want to implement so many ideas I have to help my clients better.
    I got restless…

    I decided to hire an event manager and this was one of the best decisions I ever made.

    • Dimitris Bronowski

      Hugo, hiring some external help is crucial.
      Have you tried mind-mapping as a tool to help you see the bigger picture and focus at the same time?
      I use Xmind, a free mind mapping software, that really helps me manage different projects in an effective way (and find the synergies I need between different projects).

      • Hugo Bakker

        Thx Dimitris, I’m ok now.
        I always write all my ideas in a idea book, no mindmapping.

        • Dimitris Bronowski

          I was using an idea book as well, till I had 6 idea books on my desk, so I decided to go digital :-p

  14. Anne Buiskool

    Sure I recognize postponing and forgetting things Gerdy, and it happens again and again. I have set my alarmclock as you did….for the next hours…and plan to continue doing that for the rest of the week.
    See how that is going to make a difference.

    On the other hand, my attention, being aware of what I am doing, being mindful in the moment has become one of my specialties.

    For 38 years I am on the path of personal and spiritual development and it has become a feast!

    Next to my daily work as a mediator, I give one-day gatherings.

    In a light and humourful way we work around the theme ” Moving from reaction patterns and survival mechanisms towards wise and mature answers” we meditate, study, do exercises and have a clear and heartfelt insight while linking it to daily life.

    A joy to help so many people including myself.

    • Gerdy Heek

      Thank you Anne, I really like the feeling that I’m not alone…. and that somewhere else in the world a phone is ringing with the same message…

  15. Eric Snissaert

    As everyone, I too have several areas in my life I feel responsible for: the house, my relationship, my business, my friends, my hobby’s, etc. When those areas don’t align with each other very well, these are the moments I feel stressed. Getting back balanced in life is for me the answer. Further I experienced that mostly focussing on those things I can control seem to help me a lot too.

  16. Elske van de Fliert - Zero-e

    After weeks of having to work on the weekend, I finally managed to get everything done last Friday so I was FREE on the weekend. Great, because I and friends organised a whisky tasting Saturday (6 courses of food and whisky), which not only means I need time to organise it, it also means not doing much on Sunday. Trust me, I know the health implications, that is why I hardly drink, but when I do I fully enjoy it and go for it.

    So actually my stress level is low now, but I soooo understand what you were going through. Work just kept piling up. Yes, working with focus and dedication is in the end what needs to be done to get around it. Also today: there is much on my list. But somebody cancelled an appointment, so I have more time!

    • Gerdy Heek

      Elske, this sounds like giving your 100%! And great feeling to have finished your to-do list…

  17. Silvia Dragoni

    I am stressed because I don’t achieve to realize the wishes and the aims I have in my work!
    This gives me a lot dissactisfaction

  18. Marjolein Kalter

    well done Gerdy

  19. Eduard Bosch

    My current stress challenge is that I didn’t get the desired results as an employee and as a entrepreneur… and now I am stuck.

  20. Yvonne Ten Bruggencate

    At this moment I am struggling with a burn-out. For the 4th time. How? Why does it happen all the time? Why do I make the same mistakes over and over again? I Wish to be happy and life to be smooth. I am the key, I know. I am so tired right now….

    • Gerdy Heek

      Big hug Yvonne! I wish you strength and just know that it’s ok to be weak sometimes, don’t fight it…

      I learned something else lately.

      I don’t need to be fixed. I am good as I am, and the areas that I need to improve, are not immediately improved.

      What I described, I struggle with this for years… and it keeps coming back. I can only become more aware, and make sure that the next time that I’m confronted with my non-supportive behavior I’ll be aware, present and giving my 100%, for a minute longer… so it will become a habit one day… but it will be something to grow into for life…

      don’t chase being fixed… it’s the chasing that tires you, not your mistakes…

      sleep and rest… and accept that life IS.

      • Dimitris Bronowski

        Have you tried the three breaths technique to bring calmness and happiness to your mind? It really helps me.

        It is quite simple:
        1) One deep breath in and out while focusing on how the breath gets in and comes out.
        2) Second deep breath while letting your body relax from any tension.
        3) Third deep breath while asking yourself: what is one small or big thing that I have in my life that I could be happy about if I wanted?
        Set a reminder and do it every one hour (or just every time you feel stressed) and see how it works for you. For me, it started bringing results immediately.


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