Beliefs Courage Mindset Purpose Vision

Can you cause an earthquake?

Insights about overcoming resistance, creating a movement, and driving change.

If you have been driving through the Netherlands recently, you had time to look around you.

For sure.

Perhaps you’ve never driven through the Netherlands, but the story still matters to you.

For a few years now, you can’t drive faster than 100 kilometers per hour on Dutch highways.

Try to do this yourself.

When you don’t live in the Netherlands, and you’re driving on a highway, slow down to one hundred kilometers and watch what happens.

If you have to go far and are not in a hurry, put your car on cruise control and autopilot and observe.

You feel like a snail.

Do this anywhere but in the Netherlands, and you will cause road rage.

Cars will pash you honking, flashing their lights, cut you off, and throw all kinds of hand gestures at you that don’t indicate love or appreciation.

It’s a disaster. It’s boring. And outside of the Netherlands, it’s flat-out dangerous.

On the roads in the Netherlands, these are the rules.

The fines are hefty; traject controls are frequent, so people follow the rules.

We don’t like rules in my country, but we like paying penalties even less. We have a reputation for being stingy with our money.

The living evidence is the saying, ‘Let’s go Dutch’ when paying for your bill abroad.

So you adjust and drive one hundred.

While driving, you may notice countless Dutch flags along the highway upside down, especially in the rural areas of the Netherlands.

Blue. White. Red.

It has become so normal to see our flag upside down that recently, our prime minister, on a visit to Belgium, was welcomed by the Dutch flag upside down.

We still don’t know whether it was an honest mistake, a deliberate protest, or a practical joke from a Belgian clerk who wanted to make fun of his northern neighbors.

Blue. White. Red.

The flags along the highway are a protest by the Dutch farmers against the strict ‘nitrogen emission’ plans of the Dutch government, introduced about two years ago.

Our flag has been upside down ever since.

It has led to movements against our government, some of which are political.

Two years ago, during parliament elections, the movement of farmers and civilians out of nowhere won a seat in Parliament.

It was a protest movement.

The female leader of the movement is a breath of fresh air in the political snake pit of Dutch politics.

I don’t agree with some of her ideas, but she’s authentic, outspoken, and speaks the everyday language.

Unlike her political opponents, who watch every word out of their mouths while trying to secure their hidden agendas.

Worried about their reputation and their political future. Disconnected from reality within Dutch society. Not listening to what Dutch citizens truly need.

I’m not the only one impressed by her ‘normal’ attitude and her ability to translate complex challenges into simple language and words people understand.

Two years after her initial seat in Parliament, she won elections for the Dutch Senate by a landslide. 

She went from zero to seventeen seats (out of seventy-five), winning 22+ percent of the vote and becoming the largest party in the Senate.

It was an earthquake everyone could see coming, but nobody was able to prevent it from happening.

Two years of driving 100 hundred along the Dutch highway seeing those flags twice a day on the road to and from work.

The seeds were planted two years ago, and now they have come to fruition. 

People are fed up driving 100. Farmers are fed up with having to change the way they work not once but with every new government.

More so, people are fed up seeing the same guy running the government with his political friends, not addressing what people want.

He’s more worried about becoming the longest-ruling prime minister in history than doing good for his fellow citizens.

He’s driving “a train to nowhere that won’t stop,” the movement leader stated when she took in the results.

“And we made sure the train will stop,” she added.

Here’s my question to you?

Can you cause an earthquake as well?

Yes you can, actually.

By having a clear vision, a compelling plan, a practical hands-on approach, and patience to see your seeds come to fruition. 

But most of all, by being able to clearly, simply, and authentically state why the current status quo is not good enough and why things need to change.

That’s how you overcome resistance. That’s how you create a movement. That’s how you drive change.

Your turn: What’s your earthquake?

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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