In the spotlight: My Mind Farm
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In the spotlight: My Mind Farm

Ivana (They/Them)

I build Venopi

7 min read

Introducing Steven, one of the founders of My Mind Farm, a Neurological Mindset Training based in Haarlem, the Netherlands. My Mind Farm is on a mission to help both individuals and companies reach their highest potential by integrating mind training, emotional intelligence, and cutting-edge negotiation techniques.


My connection with Steven goes back over 17 years ago, when I was a student and worked at his house as a cleaner and chef during his career as a neurologist. It was during this time that he introduced me to Buddhism. Our weekly talks on the brain, Buddhism, and how Buddhism can optimise the way we live life left a lasting impression. I vividly recall being amazed at his intelligence and wish more people could benefit from his knowledge and wisdom.


Fast forward to today, I'm happy that Steven has established My Mind Farm, aiming to share his expertise with a broader audience. I am very excited to welcome My Mind Farm to our Venopi community as a Neurological Mindset Trainer.


Having personally taken their Shamatha meditation course, I can attest that it truly transformed my life. I'm enthusiastic about helping others experience the same focus and positive transformation for those who are open to it.

Book Mindfulness Company Training with My Mind Farm

Success: sharp mind, emotional intelligence and skilled communication 🌟 Book now

Hi Steven, please briefly tell us about your background & your business.

I started out with sheer curiosity about life and living beings in general. It made me philosophy and science-oriented. Mixed with a bit of free-form religion.


Then it was time to develop a career, and I opted for med school. Very soon, it was obvious that I wanted to know more about the brain, which I considered to be the core of everything we do. I became a neurologist.


During this career, I played a role in organizing work, especially in the big healthcare setting. This exposed me to how large healthcare systems function. It also sparked my interest in brain training, a method that helps people improve their work and interaction skills for better results and more happiness at work.


Soon, I picked up more and more courses and training to get a better understanding of mindset, emotion, connection skills, relationship building, and positive quality of life building. I also learned how to optimize all this through brain and mind training.


All these things gave me so much joy that I decided to take a leap of faith and see if I could break away for a certain future to an adventure into the unknown, follow the dream, become a full-time trainer and be happy with anything that happened. Result: I'm still at it and never regretted my decision. I was learning about the mystery of a good life, and I am sharing that valuable wisdom with anyone willing to put in the time to make life better for themselves and others.


Steven from My Mind Farm
Steven from My Mind Farm

What inspired your decision to blend esoteric and logical elements in your business venture?

We work with methods that have been tested scientifically. However, many people still think mind training has a high woo-woo index, hence the false impression of esotericism. There is a lot of confusion about 'mind', 'training of mind', 'meditation', 'mindfulness', 'emotion'. Through my former work and studies, I know this domain contains extremely valuable techniques and strategies for balancing our minds, emotions, and efficient action. Something that comes together in the field of emotional intelligence. I am in good company. Harvard and Cap Gemini have publicized the positive effects on work pleasure and work efficiency. And the results are very robust.


Despite or maybe because of this scepticism, I challenged myself to venture out. It is not easy to take this path. But I am so convinced by the potential of this training that nothing would make me more happy than to share this with as many people as possible. Moreover, as a former oath of Hippocrates taker, it would feel unethical not to offer this to anyone interested in leading an extremely rewarding life independent of circumstances.

Who would benefit from your services, and what advantages do you offer? 

Our services cater to:

  • The professional(s) wanting to reconnect with the joy of delivering quality work at a stimulating level with special emphasis on relationship-building skills
  • Private persons, wanting to become more adaptable at joyfully living life and its perpetual change
  • In company groups looking to optimize their connection skills to get the best out of collaboration


Here are compelling reasons to consider taking our sessions:

  • Simple, extremely efficient
  • Reliable brain/mind training strategies
  • Aimed at practical applicability
  • Tested directly from the source, proven effective
  • Delivered by a brain/mind/training expert
  • We are continuously learning by applying the method to ourselves
  • We function in a professional feedback network, so our skills stay up to date

Book Mindfulness Company Training with My Mind Farm

Success: sharp mind, emotional intelligence and skilled communication 🌟 Book now

What is the hardest part of the journey so far?

The hardest part is making people realize that in order to change your mindset, you have to invest in the regularity of practice and give it time; otherwise, it won't stick. That is just how the brain works. The main advantage when this story does sink in is that people immediately know that miracle 'quick fix' training is a waste of good money if you're interested in results that last and grow. Do it, and the reward is huge.

How about the best part?

The best part, hands down: emerging from the bottom of the learning pit with the trainee...that magic moment everything just falls into place. Every training starts out with specific questions/reasons to do the training. People get stuck with their problems because they get trapped by their frame of reference, aka tunnel vision. The training opens up other points of view, but it takes time before these can be understood. That is associated with confusion. So, while learning, you first sink into confusion (sinking into the learning pit), and then during the course, new understanding emerges, and with it, you emerge from the bottom of the pit to climb out with new possibilities. Out of the pit, into a feeling of increased self-worth, calm balance, less anxiety, enthusiasm, new zest, ready to go!


I do nothing other than exploring and handing down the knowledge I received from the wise. That's why I want to do this for the rest of my life.

Do you have any crazy, fun, nearly impossible milestones you wish to achieve in the coming years?

My wild dream: help set up in a house training facility in a big company to help it weave emotional intelligence into its fabric so they, as a group and the individuals in it, will experience the happiness and joy of dealing with challenges.


Also, I'm excited about a big goal I'm currently pursuing: writing a book that shares practical tips for improving both work and life. The book will tell the story of my own discoveries in life, science, and philosophy, presented in a fun and effective training format. The core idea is to make the learning journey enjoyable by embracing the valuable trial, error, and continuous learning process.


My Mind Farm
My Mind Farm with their student

What advice would you give to someone just starting their own business?

Prepare yourself mentally and physically.


When I go mountain climbing, I know I'm going to be in for a challenging activity that I want to be able to start and finish. And I need a functional body that can get me to a summit, back, and out of emergencies if they happen. It is nothing short of unkind to yourself not to prepare. Preparation is something you do regularly for a longer time. If you start it and then stop, you're back to square 1.


Starting your own business is very similar to mountain climbing. You have to navigate untrodden and often steep terrain. Weather or other circumstances can be adverse. You may need to work long hours. Etc. But once you get going with a well-prepared body/mind, it is totally worth it, every step, even in bad weather. And the bonus: when you hit that ridge or summit and take in the magic views, knowing you got there because you could do it...


Mental preparation starts by building a basis for self-management and building relationships that help you attain goals. It ensures good attention skills, analytical skills, understanding-feeling-planning-action management, verbal communication skills, and relationship-building skills.

What are some of your greatest learning experiences in running a business?

Some of my greatest learning experiences happened when things seemed to turn against me. Became adverse. Through our own training, I learned and re-learned that a condition is adverse because you decide to see it that way. In itself, it is what it is. The bad quality is something you make of it. In these situations, you can learn to start seeing things differently. Explore the opportunities the given situation presents you with, and come up with creative solutions. Once you've experienced this a few time, confidence builds, courage, happiness for being able to overcome it, you feel connected because often you receive help from unexpected direction. And then you know: I can turn any situation into a growing and connecting experience. That's wild stuff.


Is there any message you'd like to share with the readers?

Mind training is a super efficient way to optimize the joy of living this (professional) life. It is not woo woo/esoteric. It is not something to destress with or to become relaxed by. Those effects do take place, but it's not the main goal. Mind training is something that changes you from seeing problems to seeing interesting challenges that can be solved with increasingly creative solutions. It improves your relationships, and in relationships lies value (more can do more than one). Try it, it will change your life.


Book Mindfulness Company Training with My Mind Farm

Success: sharp mind, emotional intelligence and skilled communication 🌟 Book now

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