What does it mean to take a leap of faith? For some, it can be quite uncomfortable to do, especially if you've been trained to think, assess, analyse and then finally make a decision based on a standardised approach. Schools, businesses and many other societal organisations train us to have structured thinking so that we can follow a process to get an expected outcome. In fact, in most areas of our lives, this is the pattern of thinking that helps us to maintain good health (through balanced eating and structured exercise programs) and to develop a critical thinking process that's much needed for education, jobs, and even life itself.

However, there's also a lot to be said about imagination, creativity and intuition. According to Michiel de Koning, taking a leap of faith allows his life to be a reflection of his true self; he believes in synchronicity and alignment to get things done. And I believe that his approach to life allows him to differ from many others, including myself, where there has been a significant shift and transformation that only became possible after a journey of struggle and pain. At a very early age, Michiel understood the pain and suffering of others, and this led him to a passion to help others. Michiel belongs to a new generation of changemakers.

Learning from others and questioning the 'truth'

I was the youngest of six kids, raised in a Christian Protestant family. And because my brothers and sisters were much older than I was, and had made many more decisions already about life than I had, I was able to look at them, see what they liked and disliked, understand why they made the choices they made for career, as well as many other of their life choices.  

Then when I was 17, I started to question my belief systems and this started with religion and the God that I was raised to believe. I thought if this is true and should be the most important thing in the world, then everybody should start believing it. How could I convince people that this was the Truth? And so I decided that science and history could help, from which I researched and took Harvard courses that led me to a whole different truth than I was taught to believe. It suddenly hit me that maybe what everyone was always telling me wasn't actually the entire truth. I became agnostic and I wasn't really sure what I believed in, and at the time I didn't want to deal with anything that I couldn't feel or touch, or that wasn't tangible. 

The beginning of my mission to make the world a better place

When I was walking to school one day, I witnessed an accident where a two-year-old child was killed by a truck. The child was in the front of a bike with their mother, and I can still remember the mother screaming. This really hit me hard and I realised that these tragedies were happening all of the time, all around the world. I began to ask myself questions like, "What if I was already super-rich and I didn't need to work for money - what would I do?" And I saw people that were really wealthy who would do good to try to make the world a better place. But then I thought, "Why would I first need to be really wealthy before I could start doing what I really want to do, to make the world a better place". That's when I decided that I should just make the world a better place from the start. And I wanted to help prevent suffering on a larger scale. I spent the next seven or eight years really kind of taking the world on my shoulders, and I could feel many unpleasant and sufferings in the world.

However, I found that I was alone and that at my age, many of my peers weren't thinking about the things that I was drawn towards. But later on, when I started doing internships, I met like-minded people who worked on these bigger problems.

Having an open mind leads to growth and self-discovery

About 3 years ago, my sister invited me to join her in some counselling sessions after her divorce. This was using the Family Constellations method, a family therapy or systemic therapy that can bring clarity to a family's relationship patterns, new insights into mechanisms and well-rehearsed patterns that we unconsciously and unreflectingly adopt in our family. I was already reading some Joe Dispenza stuff but I wasn't really into spiritualism like my sister was. But I decided to join her because I knew it was important to her and I wanted to understand why. From the very first moment, it was just so striking and it was a whole new experience for me to this kind of family pattern and the things that are mainly taking place energetically. Before I attended my first session, my sister was joking with me and said that sometimes people have to be on the floor where they sit and even roll, and they have to beg for forgiveness and in some cases, they really need to be seen. And in my first constellation, I was already laying on the floor - I was really open and basically ready for this work and things changed really quickly because I started looking into the kinds of family patterns that I had. Why was I still holding onto guilt and how could I be free of this, and live a life that is actually meaningful, but in a deeper way and more connected to who I really am? The Family Constellation, and also Dr Joe Dispenza, really opened me up to a new way of looking at the world. 

Because of my religious background, I was much less into concepts of energy and its source, because it made me feel like it was a myth where you had to listen to whatever the preacher said, even if this wasn't the entire truth. I am drawn to more scientific methods and listening to things like Effective Altruism, which is really science-based looking at the world and how can you make the world a better place. 

I also do meditation with Joe Dispenza and a guy called Mas Sajady from the US, who I was introduced to by a friend of mine - a fantastic businesswoman as well as into energy. She went to the School of intuitive medicine in San Francisco. and has done all kinds of different practices from energy healing to sound tuning.

I now feel internally happy from being connected to who I really am, which is just a completeness of who I am. 

This is a completely different level of living because there's no need for information or a need to prove that I am a good person. 

Previously, my life was all about proving that I was worthy and the need to add value to the world and to my relationships, and all the time I was basically neglecting myself. 

Building purpose-led businesses to help others



When I did a traineeship, I met my current business partner. He was also really into consciousness and spirituality, but also hands-on for how we can actually make the world a better place. Our first project was called Superfan - a business to help mission-driven brands to build communities around their mission. Many companies have a product and a mission but don't realise the wasted potential of their consumers and audiences. We help these brands to build communities and bring them together as brand ambassadors, and really also bring the opportunity for people to have a role and let purpose be part of their identity.



A more recent initiative is the launch of NOWATCH - a watch that doesn't tell the time but instead helps you to live in the present moment. Every human being can get the most out of each moment that we are alive, and this is really fostered by the connection to self. People in today's society have lost their connection with themselves, and when you're not connected to yourself, you can't be connected to others. So we're really looking into how technology can play a role in this way of living, where we are using technology in helping to form these connections, instead of disconnecting us.

Equipped with state-of-the-art light sensors, the NOWATCH measures your physical state of being, which in turn can tell you much about your mental state of being. It can measure your cortisol proxy levels, which basically means that it will predict and measure your stress levels even an hour in advance before you are actually feeling this. And that's really revolutionary because now you don't even have to even enter the stress zone, because you are told that your cortisol levels are increasing, and then this will prompt you to take a five-minute break, do some nice deep breathing, go for a walk or anything else that will lower your stress levels. 

The NOWATCH does not have a traditional screen. Instead, it vibrates, and it has different kinds of vibrations for different messages. So, imagine your cortisol levels are rising - this will trigger one type of vibration which tells you to take a quick break, or to check in with yourself for a minute. It will also be filled with modules that you can connect with one to do breathing exercises. However, we also recognise that some people often have their own practices, and can choose to just be promoted and not connect to any specific module.

Another sensor we have is to measure SPO2, which is your blood oxygen levels. So we can actually track whether you need to breathe more deeply. For example, often at the end of the day, people tend to feel a bit more tired. It's often because they don't take deep enough breaths, so you can get a signal to go for a two-minute breathing exercise. We also have a heart rate variability sensor, which you can improve and regulate with your breath. And then one other really cool feature that I really like is the wake-up feature. You can set a time range in which you want to wake up. So let's say you have to wake up by 8 am. Imagine if your new sleep cycle starts at 7:30 am and you're in deep sleep at 8 am. You will wake up horribly. With NOWatch, you set the alarm to wake you up between seven and eight. It will wake you up during your light sleep cycle, which would have been 30 minutes earlier, and you will start your day feeling much better and more rested.

For more information on NOWATCH, visit www.nowatch.com.

Synchronicity and alignment

The beginnings of NOWATCH can be said to have been 'pure coincidence'. The concept came together by two friends, one of whom had the idea for over a decade. It wasn't until one brought this concept to his friend, who worked at Philips, that their work combined and allowed over 15 years of research into stress to form the basis of the sensor technology.

The face of NOWATCH is not for traditional time-telling and contains different natural gemstones that you can interchange depending on how you're feeling or the look you want to achieve. This became a design feature for the NOWATCH as one of the team members whose family was in the gold and jewellery-making business, went to India and met some families who were in the stone-making craft. So that's kind of how things got started, and it felt like we were handing it over to the universe, who was kind of guiding us.

And finally, my involvement in NOWATCH started with my skills to build the community and run a campaign on Kickstarter. So with my SuperFan expertise and my ability to create communities around products, services and mission, it was a natural fit. I also had this kind of idea a long time ago, about being in the present moment. I even still have a picture I drew about four or five years ago of a watch, and on the face of it, I had written the word NOW.

Why make mistakes when you can learn from others

When I was 16, I was involved in multi-level marketing. I observed people and found it interesting that everyone was always talking about having freedom. But they were not free. They would be working all the time and chasing goals, to earn 10K per month, or 100K, or even a million. But I realised that even after reaching these goals, they would still be rushing around. managing their teams and making presentations etc. and I knew they would never find the freedom they were looking for. So I think that very early on, I learned about these types of things by looking at other people and I asked myself, "Why would I make all the mistakes that other people make? Why can't I just learn from their mistakes so that I don't have to make the same mistakes myself?"

My biggest fears used to drive my success

I remember having an English class, and I was not the best at English. The teacher gave me a very low mark on this test, but I thought that I had done quite well. And when I received this grade, I felt horrible and I was crying on the inside. When we checked later on the results, it appeared that I had made one mistake, which was why my subsequent answers were wrong as well. And so my mark was adjusted slightly to a higher score. But this was such an interesting experience for me because I still remember how strongly I felt and I needed to understand why it was so important for me not to fail. I know that when it comes to things that I care deeply about, this is when it was really important for me not to fail and in fact, I use this positively to drive myself forward to bigger things.

When I'm not comfortable with things, I try to do them to really come out of my comfort zone. For example, I don't like singing or playing the piano for other people. But I found that when I forced myself to do this, it would go really well and it would get easier. But I could really feel it in my body, getting nervous, and sweating, asking myself, "Oh, am I really gonna do this?" But then it feels great to do these things and to challenge yourself.

I get energy from trying new things -

surfing bigger waves and doing crazier adventures

When I'm not comfortable with things, I try to do them to really come out of my comfort zone. For example, I don't like singing or playing the piano for other people. But I found that when I forced myself to do this, it would go really well and it would get easier. But I could really feel it in my body, getting nervous, and sweating, asking myself, "Oh, am I really gonna do this?" But then it feels great to do these things and to challenge yourself.

How to keep your vibes HIGH


I meditate regularly, do visualisations and mind movies. I feel like the biggest thing is just to be connected to your higher self, in your body and being connected to the earth. I feel like many people are just zooming out, and they are zoning out. So they try to manifest in their minds, or in their spiritual space, but then as soon as they're back in the body, it's just not there. So I really try to bring manifestation into my life by having the highest vibration possible. 

Practice patience

I also practice patience, so I just try to feel good, and then just leave for what it is. With SuperFan, for example, the company that I started is going a little bit slow but we are still making steps ahead, and we're getting happy clients and proving our hypothesis. Although I feel it's still a little bit slow sometimes, I know I just need to be patient and patient and patient - to just trust the process. Some people tend to lose themselves in this process and they start to feel negative about the things that they don't have, that they expected to have achieved already.

Have fun

For me, it definitely always comes back to just having lots of fun. So, sometimes, when my vibrations are low, it's because I'm just being inside too much, I'm not seeing friends and not doing the things I love. As long as I meet up with friends, go surfing and do other sports and have fun, then my vibrations are very good and things start to happen for me. 

Healthy eating

I'm a vegan cheater. I eat mostly plant-based, but then I also don't want to make it too hard for myself. So sometimes I'll have snacks, like chocolate or crisps. I haven't eaten cheese or meat for a long time now. I just try to eat as healthy as possible for like 90% of the time, and then have some snacks when I feel like it - then I don't really mind. I'm also moving towards much more of a low-carb diet, and that really helps me as well. I feel a huge difference when I eat healthy foods, then when I don't eat healthily of course, and this is important for me to maintain my active lifestyle.

Michiel de Koning


LinkedIn: @koningdemichiel

Instagram: @michieltheking

Email: michiel@superfan.world