Treat others how you would like to be treated yourself. When you want to be respected, respect the other person. When you want to be loved, love the other person. This is a key factor in the 30+ years of my successful marriage. We love each other, respect each other, and we’re reciprocal in the exchange of treating each other as we want to be treated.
Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?
As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Erwin Wils.
Erwin Wils, mindset coach and business strategist at Millionaire Life Strategy, empowers tech experts to boost their business and themselves, transforming them into the person that achieves their ambitions, goals, and beyond. As a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering by education and certified professional hypnotherapist, master Soulkey therapist, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy) practitioner by training, Wils brings 25+ years of experience to show the tech-geeks, nerds, and other left-brained technical experts how they can use their expertise to make a positive impact in the world and make a good living doing it.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/646da9428ebc7f150e35f0d1c6250075
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge and inspire your readers! To be honest, I might say I am not your typical entrepreneur. I am an only child, had a great childhood, my mother was very caring; I considered my father to be my biggest fan and friend. I did my best in school, and I am a Master of Science in electrical engineering. So, I didn’t have a terrible childhood. I wasn’t a drop-out. You could say I didn’t have any real challenges to cope with, as so many do and share in their stories. I met my wife when I was 19 years old and I graduated college 5 years later. That same year, we bought our first house together and I started my career in the corporate world. I never intended to become an entrepreneur! However, I have always been looking for ways to add value to my life and to others. I forever dream to make a positive impact in this world. I am not the kind of person to say how great I am, because that feels like bragging to me, but I have discovered this proven path to success, and I believe it now to be my duty to share this blueprint with the world. My world. And my world is tech geeks who are brilliant but don’t know how to get out of their own way so that they, too, can create a brilliant business and share their gifts with the world. I have always wanted my work to speak for itself. With Millionaire Life Strategy, it does.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
No doubt, that is my wife. I met her in my first year of university at a dance party. Somehow, we ended up dancing together on the dance floor, had some drinks, and at the end of the evening, we said goodbye with 3 kisses on the cheeks (typical Dutch good-bye). And somehow, it felt like we knew each other for years. I went home with my friend and all I knew was her first name, the city she lived in, and the car she drove. The following days I visited that city on a quest to find her, and actually I did!… 10 days later. I found the house she lived in. I gathered my nerves, rang the doorbell, and asked her mother if she lived there. In fact, she did. We went out for a drink that night, exchanged our contact information, and I wrote her a letter telling her that I wanted to see her again. A week later she invited me to the movies. I happily agreed, and that day was the beginning of the rest of our lives. I consider her to be my soulmate. I feel blessed that she supports me in everything I do, gives me the space to do what I want, and to become the person I am today. I definitely improved myself because of her.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
I think it was somewhere in 2006, when one of my colleagues was put between the department and my former manager and became my manager. Until then, I always had great reviews, and I always gave my 100% best effort. My first review I got from him and my former manager was something like this: “What you’re doing is bad and how you do it is even worse.” That hit me like a bolt of lightning out of the blue and made me doubt everything I knew. But I knew it was needed. That was the first time I started to look at my own actions from a different point of view and take full responsibility for myself and my actions. It was also the first time that I started to improve myself by means of a self-development training.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I have read many books over the years and all of them contain golden nuggets that have impacted my life. But there is one that might surprise you. It was a free e-book I downloaded from a hypnotherapist trainer, Edwin Selij. This free e-book made the biggest impact in my life. Like I mentioned, I know I am responsible for my actions. That is the very reason I will never do drugs and I don’t drink alcohol. Because waking up in the morning and not knowing what I did the night before is not compatible with Erwin Wils. I had the same presupposition about hypnosis, that I would not be in control. It scared me. Up until 2014, process optimization ran like a thread throughout my career. I felt that was my added value and every career step I made, was to do that even more. That year, I thought to myself: “You can optimize a process and have all the proof of how to make it better, but if the people that are using the process don’t change, the process itself won’t change. So, how I do I get those people to change as well?” I started thinking I should take a training in NLP, neuro-linguistic programming. On my search, I found Selij’s e-book. It stated that NLP was similar to hypnosis and that intrigued me. How can a business training compare with hypnosis? That made no sense to me, the logical left-brainer. The author challenged me to read his other e-book. This one was about hypnosis, and quickly, all the presuppositions I had were swept off the table. That intrigued me more! Once my view on the world challenged, I knew, I had to know more of this truth. To make a long story short, I signed up for a hypnotherapy training and that is when my entrepreneurial journey started. So that e-book made a significant impact on my life and now I can make that significant impact in the lives of others that I was looking for.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
I love this quote from Napoleon Hill: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” I truly believe that. A lot of people have wonderful dreams, but truly believing in them, turning them into visions and taking steps to achieve them, that can be a real struggle, or seem like mission impossible. That’s where I come in. I am a mindset coach and business strategist. With my hypnotherapy skills, among others, I am able to align the consciousness and subconsciousness of my clients, so that they become the person that achieves their ambitions, goals, and beyond. I have always had a positive mindset; this quote empowers that mindset even more. I like to capitalize on my last name as well: “Where there’s a Wils, a better way will be.”
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Next to my normal coaching and training activities, I am starting a “Goals Mastermind” in 2021 to lead participants to achieve their goals for the new year, and preferably smash them out of the park! I am also looking forward to sharing my knowledge on several platforms, like this interview, and on podcasts and social media. When I can inspire one person and make a positive impact, it is worth it.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Sure, I can! My first and favorite good habit is don’t use the snooze button! Let me explain. When you set your alarm in the evening, you make promise with yourself to get up at a certain time. When the alarm goes in the morning and you hit the snooze button, you are actually breaking your first promise that day, one you made with yourself. So, when you break a promise you made with yourself, how can you keep a promise you made with someone else? I know some people need the snooze button to wake up, and to them I recommend they use it consciously. If they want to get up at 7 am and the snooze time is 9 minutes, set the alarm for 6:51 am. That way they can still keep their promise.
The second habit I want to mention is to keep a journal. Write down every day at least 3 things that you are grateful for. This will help you to focus on the positive things of life. It doesn’t need to be material things, you can be grateful for the ability to breathe, to wake up again, to walk, for the sun to be shining, whatever. When you are up for it, you may also add at least 3 things that you are proud of that you did that day. And that doesn’t need to be big things. You can be proud that you got yourself dressed, that you brushed your teeth, etc. This will also help you to focus on the things you can do, and eventually build your self-confidence into the person you desire to be.
The third habit I would like to share, is to set a high goal and enjoy the journey. When I started my training back in 2016 to become one of the first Certified Professional Hypnotherapists™, we invested 22 minutes on a daily mind training exercise. Our trainer said we needed to have a goal, a purpose to persist listening to the audios (730 parts). My purpose was to become the best hypnotherapist in the world. You might say pretty ambitious. Will I ever be the best? You won’t hear me say no. Will I be able to prove it? Maybe. But that’s not the point. This goal motivates me to keep growing, keep developing myself, to learn from professionals that are much further than I am in the study, to learn from my clients, and others I meet along my journey. I am enjoying the journey every single moment.
Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.
Of course! I am using a lot of visualizations, which is a form of meditation. I recently started Atma Kriya Yoga. But what I would like to mention that can be implemented directly and helps you gaining a positive focus, is actually implementing the second habit (journaling) with a twist. Before you start writing, take some time to relive the day with the journal goals in mind. Reserve at least 15 minutes, close your eyes, relive the day, and make mental notes of everything you can be grateful for, or what you can be proud of. When you are done, write down those mental notes in your journal. When you do this daily, it will become a new habit, and it will change your focus in a positive way for sure.
Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
The mind and body are interconnected. For instance, you cannot stand straight and be depressed at the same time. A healthy mind will also have a positive effect on the physical wellness of a person.
One habit that is very important is to listen to your body. When you feel any discomfort, ask yourself what the reason could be. Let me give you an example. In my opinion, burn-out is the hand brake of the body. You’ve been driving in a dead-end street for some time, your body has given you signs that it’s a dead-end, but you ignore those signals until your body intervenes, and you’re struck by burn-out. This often happens with very loyal people and with people who have a high sense of responsibility. Our minds can overrule the signals that our body gives us until it’s too late. Listen to the signals your body is giving you. When you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.
A second habit that will lead to optimal physical health is sleep. I mean, make sure you get enough sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your energy level drops, which can lead to additional eating, using energy drinks to stay awake, and other unhealthy habits. Loss of sleep can make you lose focus, gain weight, adopt ill habits; need I say more? If needed, take a power nap. 10 minutes is perfect to regain energy. This also circles back to the first habit: listen to your body.
The third habit is to move. Make sure you get enough exercise time and build a habit for it. You don’t need to subscribe to a gym, you can start by making small adjustments in your daily life. For instance, park your car a bit further (or walk around your car to get in), take the stairs instead of the elevator (first going down and after a while, going up) do a squat or lift your knees when brushing your teeth, do a sit-up in bed when getting up, do some push-ups against a wall while waiting, be creative.
Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
A well-known saying is, “You are what you eat.” I think it should be a trade-off between healthy eating and enjoying yourself. I have days when I eat healthy and days when I treat myself. I do my best to keep things in balance. Our whole life we have built habits and created a comfort zone for ourselves. Within that zone, we feel at ease, comfortable, and everything is more or less predictable. Our subconscious likes that. I always say that our subconscious has a positive intention. It wants to take care of us, keeps us safe, and what better way to do that than staying in the comfort zone. Whenever you get out of your comfort zone, it can feel like a threat and our subconscious will do its best to get us back. It demands sheer determination and perseverance to get out of your own comfort zone. One way to do that, is to start with very small changes and be persistent on your goals. For instance, when a ship sails from Amsterdam to New York and its course is off just 1 degree, it will end up in Miami. So, stay the course! Do not change course 90 or even 180 degrees, 1 degree will do! One very simple, maybe even childish (yet very effective) example to lose weight, is to start using smaller plates. We were taught to finish our plate. Over time, plates got bigger and automatically we ate more. Using smaller plates will help you lose weight.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
The other habits mentioned before will also lead to a better emotional wellness. That said, the first habit I would like to share, is express yourself. Express your feelings and emotions. When you feel negative emotions coming up, address your feelings and emotions. When it happens in a conversation, tell the person. For example: “this remark somehow makes me feel angry,” or “when you say that, it makes me feel sad.” You will notice that the emotion will start to vanish, and you will feel better and more in control.
The second habit I recommend is related to this: Release bottled up emotions. Redirect the energy, have an outlet. I like to say that emotion is energy in motion. It needs to flow, so do not block it by holding it back. A good outlet for emotions is sports. Go running, hit a punching bag (or a cushion), shout, get rid of the negative emotions.
The third habit worth mentioning is decide consciously. What I mean is the following: your environment can have an influence on you, but you decide what the impact will be. For instance, let’s say someone is challenging you, saying mean things to you. You can feel attacked, you can feel sad, you can be indifferent, you can feel sorry for that person, there are many ways you can react. It is your decision! Decide whether you will be a victim or a victor. I know it sounds simple, however that doesn’t mean it is easy.
Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.
The power of smiling is underrated. A lot of research has been done on the power of laughter. Laughter increases the activity of the airways. It stimulates the cardiovascular system and activates the production of endorphins (“feel good” chemicals in our bodies). And the small derivative of laughter is smiling. When you smile to people, almost everyone will smile back and that will make you feel happier as a result. There is an exchange of positive energy, and since everything is energy, smiling provides a positive impact.
Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
The last couple of years I have studied quantum thinking, the law of attraction, and soul key therapy. I found a lot of similarities between these fields and even among various religions. They are all speaking about a higher force that is out of our control, and when we connect with that higher force, that higher force will take care of us. With quantum thinking, they call it the Higher Consciousness; with the LoA it is the Universe; With soul key therapy it is the Soul; and with religion it is God, Allah, Shiva, and other like names. Personally, I never chose a particular higher force, but I know that belief is a very strong motivator. I respect all religions and beliefs, and with my new insights, I believe there is a higher force. I am a big believer that things are meant to be, and when you do good, it will return to you. Combining all this, I would like to share the following 3 habits:
- Treat others how you would like to be treated yourself. When you want to be respected, respect the other person. When you want to be loved, love the other person. This is a key factor in the 30+ years of my successful marriage. We love each other, respect each other, and we’re reciprocal in the exchange of treating each other as we want to be treated.
- Do good. I believe every person is here to make a positive impact. By doing good, you are also making a positive impact and that will be rewarded; I am sure of it. Let the other person go first; give a compliment; grab something from the top shelf when the other person can’t reach it. Make it a habit to make at least one other person feel better each day. As a nice side effect, you will feel better about yourself. This is also something my wife and I make a point of doing for each other and our children. This provides us with a loving home and teaches our kids to do good for others because they know the positive impact it makes in their lives.
- Always do your best. When at the end of the day, you can look in the mirror and say to yourself: “I have done my best,” you will have peace of mind, which will lead to better spiritual wellness. Especially when you also implement the other habits, because everything is connected. This was my big lesson when my friend and colleague called me out for doing a less than stellar job at work, even though I thought I was doing well. Instead of getting angry, I look introspectively at myself, my work and my actions and I grew from that. Now I teach this to my clients so that they may have the same self-respect I do when I look in the mirror.
Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?
Being in nature puts the focus on yourself. There are no distractions, so you can fully focus on the present. Nature is great for meditating, enjoying the little things, getting your mind at ease, letting things go. This all leads to cultivating spiritual wellness. Unfortunately, people are not used to being in nature like that anymore. It takes a conscious effort and practice, but is totally worth it.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
One of my coaches said that entrepreneurs are the ones that change the world, and since technology nowadays is so important, I would say that my target group (tech experts) is the focus of my movement; specifically, “Generation Z.” I believe we have exploited the earth too much over the years. Generation Z contains our future leaders and these geniuses will impact future generations to come. It is my belief that they want to leave a legacy as well as care about this earth. When I can inspire them to follow their dreams, live their true purpose and regain a healthy balance between nature and technology, I will have been a success in my movement.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I admire a lot of people for their skills. One that comes to mind immediately is Will Smith. I admire him as an actor, but he is more than that. He is also a motivational speaker, singer, entertainer, and a good businessman. He is versatile, and I would love to get to know him better and see how, together, we could add value to each other’s projects and movements for the betterment of the world.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
They can connect with me on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/erwin-wils/) or follow my website https://millionairelifestrategy.com. My company is also present on Facebook and Instagram, enough ways to follow my work and be inspired.
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.