How do you get/stay motivated (to do things or continue doing things)?


This was the most common question by far. Here are a few things I do to keep myself motivated:

  • Physical exercise increases my motivation & energy. If I feel like I’m in a rut, I go for an easy long run.
  • Seeing progress is key for me. So to increase my motivation, I try to track my progress in any way possible, make even the smallest progress visible, and celebrate even the smallest victories.
  • I surround myself with articles, books & videos that motivate me. This could mean reading about personal development on Medium, watching creative short films on YouTube or reading a book about bouldering techniques.

How can I motivate myself to go to the gym regularly?


Here’s an unconventional workout tip: find a type of exercise you actually enjoy. Don’t force yourself to go to the gym if you don’t enjoy it. Try different sports and find the one you truly enjoy. It is a lot easier to stick to exercising and to get fitter when exercising is enjoyable rather than forced.

How do you stop procrastinating? How do you stop being lazy?


I think laziness partly stems from doing things you’re not interested in. So, one way to become more unlazy is to try and surround yourself with things that interest you.

How/why did you start Youtube and who has inspired you?


I had to film a 1-minute video application for a speech competition (i.e. a video of me giving a 1-minute speech). For that reason, I bought a compact camera (Sony RX100 IV) and played around with it. I enjoyed filming and editing that short 1-minute video application so much that I decided to film a longer video and upload it to YouTube (the ”Reading 30 Books in 30 Days” video). That’s how I got started. I continued because I fell in love with the endless creativity and freedom of videos. I see videos as the ultimate tool for sharing my ideas to the world.

Peter McKinnon, Yes Theory, Nick Bare and Mike Boyd inspired me (and still do), to name a few creators. More generally, I’m inspired by people who are pushing the limits of human capabilities, whether it be in fitness, science or creativity. People like David Goggins, Albert Einstein, and Peter McKinnon.

Any tips for starting a Youtube channel?


Starting a YouTube channel is a lot of trial & error in the beginning, and there is no ”formula for success”. I’d say that you can only become a great content creator by creating a lot of content. It’s also the best way to become authentic in front of a camera. So don’t hesitate to start a channel (if you’ve planned to do it) and keep uploading – that’s the best way to learn. Simultaneously, you’ll quickly discover whether or not YouTube is for you. Yes, YouTube does offer a lot freedom and the rewards are many, but it can also be highly stressful and lonely at times (something that’s hard to grasp before you actually try it yourself). You might discover that you don’t like spending several hours a day editing videos and always pondering what to film next. But.. you can’t really know before you try 🙂

On a more practical level, nowadays YouTube is all about CTR (click-through-rate) and audience retention. As a YouTuber you really only have two goals: make people click your video AND keep them watching (of course, engaging with your community is also important). So it is a lot about the thumbnail & title (CTR) and the quality & pacing (audience retention) of your video. (I once had a video call with Mr. Beast and he told me that if he has an idea for a video but he cannot come up with a highly clickable thumbnail & title, he will ditch that video idea!)

What has been your hardest challenge? What has been your favorite challenge?


The hardest challenge was probably the “reading 30 books in 30 days” challenge. It took me 6-9 hours every day! In a way it’s also my favorite challenge, as it started my YouTube journey!

How do you see yourself in 5/10/20/40 years from now?


In the distant future, I see myself doing YouTube full-time 🙂 I also have a dream of owning a space that would have stuff like a video studio, gym, climbing walls, trampolines, music instruments… anything I could use to develop my skills further!

What does your perfect day look like?


Currently, I consider my day to be close to perfect if I do the following things: exercise, skill practice, reading, writing, editing. If I do all that, I’m both developing myself and getting work done 🙂

What are your favorite quotes?


I have two simple quotes that I like:

”You can do anything, but you can’t do everything

 – David Allen

 

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

 – Joshua J. Marine

What is the best daily routine?


There is no one-size-fits-all routine that would be best for everyone. I also think there’s too much fuzz about routines in general. The three things that make you productive are proper sleep, proper food and proper exercise. If you do all three of those well, you’ll sure be healthier and more productive.

And this is true in general. Fundamentals often give you 80% of the results, but we often tend to focus on the last 20% that is achieved with ”tricks” and ”hacks” (Pareto Principle). So much so, that we often spend 80% of our time focusing on things that give us 20% of the results! The personal development space is all about hacks and tricks, because it sells (on the contrary, telling you to get 8 hours of sleep each night doesn’t sell, cause it’s common knowledge). However, no amount of ”productivity hacks” can negate the need for sleep, nutrition, and exercise.  Don’t get too tempted by the hacks. It’s important to first focus on getting the fundamentals right, and only afterwards focus on the last 20%.

Also, even though I think it’s good to try different habits and keep changing them if they don’t fit you, at some point you need to stick to something. You only really get the benefits of any particular habit after you’ve repeated it day after day for months, or even years. Jumping from habit to habit might just be an additional waste of time. This is also why some people choose to disregard ”habit building” entirely. Many of the most successful people have no routines at all, so habits don’t always give you an edge. For instance, Paulo Coelho hates routines, having said that ”if you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” And, as in most things in life, I think simplicity is important. Keep your habits & routines simple, and don’t stack up too many habits together.

P.S. I HAVE A CHALLENGE FOR YOU: send me a letter and ask a question from me! The wackier the question, the better: it could be a quick challenge (like ”how many hamburgers can you eat in 10 minutes?”), a weird question (like ”which is more beautiful: a carrot or an apple?”) or anything you’d like me to find out about (like ”how long can a human run?”). I’m considering starting a video series ”Unlazy Letters”, where I go through some of the questions you guys send me via letters! Also, I would love to hear from you, so feel free to write about anything else too. I’ll try to reply to a few letters each week or so.

My PO box:

Jonne Tiili
Box A1435
Gr. Juliana v Stolberglaan 31
2263AB Leidschendam
Netherlands