How to be 60% more Happy

So, routine has kicked in. Everyday is the same shade of grey. You’re bored and tired and know exactly what you are going to be doing for the next weeks, it’s right there in your calendar. Are you happy?


This is a list that I know makes me a happier person. Especially in the mornings. Usually I do not feel the need to talk to anyone before I’ve had my cup of coffee. I think a lot of people can relate to this. “Just don’t talk to me for now, I’m having my coffee so please, put whatever you wanted to tell me on hold for a minute or two, thanks I appreciate it.” To step out of the grey zone of day in day out routine I decided to change a few things in my life.

1, Do five minutes of jumping jacks and squats first thing in the morning

You won’t believe what this makes for the rest of the day. It’s like I’m waking up like a zombie, stumble out of bed, rub my eyeball a little, yaaaawn and drag my feet to the living room. At this moment I do NOT feel like doing any sort of jumping jacks or squats or anything physical. BUT try it, and you will go from looking like an extra from The Walking Dead to feeling like sunshine is beaming from your entire body. This will make you accept a short dialogue before you’ve had your coffee. Pretty amazing stuff.

2, Stop watching TV

It will not make me feel any better to watch a bunch of reality TV “stars” in rehab. The only reason these shows exist is to get your attention off not doing the things you’re awesome at doing, things that makes you happy. I don’t watch the news. I have a few causes that I’m staying updated on by searching for the information myself. The rest is just noise I don’t have energy for. The only things I’m allowed to watch on TV are shows about dolphins swimming in the open sea and doing cool jumps. That’s it.

3, Eat good stuff

Fast food is pretty delish sometimes, actually most of the time to be honest. But for me it only makes me feel good for a short period of time before I get tired, sleepy and feel like a slob. Is it worth it? Well, sometimes it is, yes.. But the point is I don’t make it a habit. I have one day a week when I can eat whatever I want. During the weekdays, especially if you have an office job and sit down all day, you definitely don’t want to eat anything heavy and slide into that after lunch’s the worst! Then you have to focus on getting work done trying to keep your eyes open and focused on the screen. No good. Instead, eat a huge breakfast, even if you don’t feel like it the first few days and then a light lunch. This will make you happy.

4, Do something for someone else

This can include so many things. Helping someone cross the street, drawing a cool sketch for a kid, showing someone how to build a website or whatever it is – it will make you feel great.

5, Stay in touch with family and friends

Important one. Even though I live half way across the globe from most of my friends and family, it’s easy to stay in touch with todays technology. There are things I have in common with my siblings that only they understand and if I don’t talk with them for a long time I start to feel like something is missing. A quick Skype call can set that straight in minutes. This will make you happy.

Try these things and I guarantee you will be a happier person, even BEFORE that cup of coffee. That’s something I thought impossible but it actually works. Let me know how it works for you! :)


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How I Will Help Aspiring Industrial Designers Save Thousands of $ in Tuition Fees

What if you could learn almost everything you would learn in university without spending thousands of dollars in tuition fees to pay for a greener grass outside the deans office?

Most people have some skill and passion that they are specifically good at, a subject that they know a bit more about than the average person. What if some of us chose to share our skills and knowledge and help other people interested in our passion become better at it. For me this passion is design sketching. It’s something I can’t live without and I believe I can help others become sketching masters.

This is where Sketch Monkey comes in. The site will go live at the end of August and is dedicated to help anyone interested develop their design sketching skills through video tutorials, articles and down the road, live webinars. On these webinars you will join me for an online sketching session where we have weekly assignments and sketching practices. It will also be a community for designers to share skills and knowledge with each other.

Now I need your help. Is this something you would be interested in? Is there something you would like to see on the site? Let me know, your feedback is super important. Write your thoughts down in the comments section below or send me a message. I think we can create something great together :)

For now, make sure to follow @sketch_monkey on Instagram for updates.

Thanks guys talk to you soon!


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Video Tutorial – Sketching Highlights

Screen shot 2014-08-03 at 3.45.49 PM


A quick video on how to render and sketch highlights on a design or shape in Photoshop. We start by making a large black “blob” or silhouette close to the design you want to sketch. Then we need to figure out where our light source is and shade the shape accordingly. Finish the sketch off with adding highlights and try to think where the light will hit hardest, it could be in a corner or on an edge, then make that almost completely white. The whiteness and strength of the highlight depends on how glossy/matte you want the material to be. Less glossy = less highlights.

Enjoy! Don’t forget to like and subscribe :)

Questions? Requests? Write them down in the comment section I’m happy to answer them. Thanks for watching!

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The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

This story gave me a completely new perspective on what it is that makes me happy and got me thinking what is the reason we are working so hard in life. I think you might enjoy reading it too!


An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


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The Power of Encouragement


“In the early nineteenth century, a young man in London aspired to be a writer. But everything seemed to be against him. He had never been able to attend school more than four years. His father had been flung in jail because he couldn’t pay his debts, and this young man often knew the pangs of hunger. Finally, he got a job pasting labels on bottles of blacking in a rat-infested warehouse, and he slept at night in a dismal attic room with two other boys – guttersnipes from the slums of London. He had so little confidence in his ability to write that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript in the dead of night so nobody would laugh at him. Story after story was refused. Finally the great day came when one was accepted. True, he wasn’t paid a shilling for it, but one editor had praised him. One editor had given him recognition. He was so thrilled that he wandered aimlessly around the streets with tears rolling down his cheeks.

The praise, the recognition, that he received through getting one story in print, changed his whole life, for if it hadn’t been for that encouragement, he might have spent his entire life working in rat-infested factories. You may have heard of that boy. His name was Charles Dickens.”

 Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936)

No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.

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Go All The Way

All The Way – a Charles Bukowski poem from Willem Martinot on Vimeo.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even try”

Before starting something new, make sure you have figured out Why you are doing it. If the Why is not strong enough, chances are you will grow sick of it and failure is inevitable. Remind yourself of that Why throughout the journey, Why it’s worth doing the things you do. If the Why is strong enough, you will most likely overcome the obstacles that will come in your way and continue to grow. Whatever it is you need to do, do it with all your heart. There’s so little competition.

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What's Your Passion?

Emails from Marouane will include ideas about inspiration, motivation, spirituality, entrepreneurship and sketching tutorials. It's a personal insights into the world around us.

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