Tim van der Vliet comes walking into the famous Café Americain in Amsterdam – he surely looks like a happy local, here in downtown Amsterdam. We have tea together and we start talking about his latest book ‘Spiritual Awakening (the easy way)’ like we are brothers.
From Stock Trader to being his own Guru
Tim van der Vliet spent years trading stocks, futures and options in the financial markets. He bid goodbye to that world to write about the things that really matter to him… and his words are surprisingly different from what we might expect from someone of his background.
Personally, I loved reading his compact book and Tim’s message is raw and straightforward –
a surprising combination of spirituality and humour. But what struck me most is that Tim has the unique ability to get to the core of what’s really important while keeping it simple and funny. His words truly inspired me and we had some great laughs.
Let’s forget about enlightenment and start enlightening
Soul Love: One day on the stock market, you lost a fortune, but that doesn’t necessarily make you a spiritual author. Can you tell me what happened to you inside?
Tim van der Vliet: Losing my money was totally caused by fear. I kept on telling myself that I was so afraid of losing everything, but I believe that everybody has been at a point in life where he or she was really afraid of losing something valuable – whatever that may be. But that’s okay, as long as you can also learn from this emotion.
I still remember the first lesson that I learned from my former boss at work – He told me: “Forget everything that you learned so far because only two points are important to live by”. Those points were the 2 qualities of a successful stock trader – The first is that you shouldn’t have a big ego, because you will either become arrogant or you will become fearful and in both cases you will lose money. The second quality is that a good stock trader has to live in the moment, no matter what happens around you – if you just had a lousy trade or not. I clearly forgot the first one because I did become fearful. But I was relieved in a way and I surely did learn from having those fears – I now know that you suffer most from the fear of suffering and 99% of all your fears are not realistic anyway and in the end, there so much left to be grateful for.
For the next six years I worked in a different field of trading but I also started writing, I just loved that and I began to share some of my spiritual insights with my ‘nerdy’ colleagues. I received a lot of interesting feedback but I began to run out of energy and switched completely to becoming a full time author. I didn’t really plan for it, but I went with the flow and it just happened.
SL: So then you write a book ‘Spiritual Awakening (the easy way)’. It’s written in a very raw and easy to understand language. What’s the message that you want to bring across?
Tim: That’s actually quite simple: “Just have fun! Spirituality is fun and it will be more fun as long as you are open to it”. Spirituality is not complex at all, it’s so simple that it’s often too hard for people to understand, but the goal is to have more fun in your life. If you do something that you really love, you will be truly happy and you automatically shine your light on the people around you. The fact that I bring spirituality in such a way that people can really laugh about it, is probably the most important reason that people love my book. The less you want know about spirituality, the more you are open to feeling and living a spiritual and intuitive life from the inside-out.
SL: Where do you get your daily inspiration from?
Tim: From conversations with people, especially in my own neighbourhood, watching my children play and conversations like this. But let’s not forget the neighbour’s dog! (see video below).
SL: What’s the most favourite part of your book?
Tim: That’s not an easy one… but I go for: “Let’s forget about enlightenment and start enlightening”. I think that it’s so cool to realize that you can create your own path in stead of following somebody else’s.
Thanks so much Tim for the tea and for the fun time we just had together. You’re our Zen Loving Soul!
If you’re interested to purchase Tim’s book, just click on the book above!
For more information, please visit Tim van der Vliet at: timvandervliet.com
INTERVIEW BY: DIRK TERPSTRA – SOUL LOVE FOUNDER
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