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/About Ferry

Who is Ferry Zandvliet?

Ferry is a speaker that makes you hang onto every word as a listener. After surviving the Bataclan attack on November 13, 2015 in Paris, Ferry started giving talks all over the world. The lessons he learned after this horrific drama turn out to be universal. You don't have to survive an attack to understand that you are responsible for your own happiness. That connecting rather than excluding is the key to achieving that. Ferry actually befriended the family of one of the terrorists who was trying to kill Ferry and his friends.

It just magnificent how you have shaped your life after that horrible experience. You have literally turned it into a life experience where you try to help others in their lives. That is a power that is unprecedented! You have become an inspiration and thus the opposite of the poison that the terrorists have wanted to spread in our society. I feel deeply honored that I was able to interview you so shortly after the incident in Paris, despite the sad background, it is a pleasure to see your growth and further development from the sidelines.

Humberto Tan Presenter | Program maker

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My parents' divorce really hit me as a teenager. I was just 18 and suddenly our whole family was broken. I didn't realize I was destroying myself until about 2003.

I was a fanatic house party “goer”. Unfortunately, I was on a lot of drugs at the time. I only did this so as not to give in to the sadness of the past.

2003 was a tipping point. My relationship broke up because of the partying and I suddenly realized I could not go on. I registered for a college degree in hospitality management. It turned out to be the best choice ever. I felt right at home, and finally had some structure in my life. However, I did remain angry with the world that prevented me from maintaining a relationship.
After quite a few years of having had a great time in the hospitality world, the angry little man returned in my head. I no longer enjoyed my work. A feeling that gradually got worse. The weekends, the evenings, the holidays; I always had to work. Instead of doing something about it, I got angry again and I was jealous of people who had the perfect job in my eyes. I placed everything outside of myself.

Exactly this period I broke my ankle during a night out. A pretty complex fracture and the surgeon advised me not to work in the hospitality industry anymore. Despite the fact that I was completely fed up with work, I crept into the victim role—again.

Despite everything, I went fully for my rehabilitation. I had surgery on my ankle several times that year and walked on crutches for almost a year. When I had my first appointment with a physiotherapist I was immediately like; “Wow, what a great profession, this could very well suit me”.

Long story short; that feeling has never gone away. I wanted and would become a physical therapist despite my age (30). I registered for the course and graduated within 4 years. I was (and am) immensely proud of myself. For 4 years I literally put everything aside to make this dream come true.
In October 2018, I finally dared to take the plunge. I quit my beloved job as a physical therapist. Something that had been nagging me for months. But I didn't dare. After all, I had put so much energy and time into this study, not even that long ago. “I can't change jobs again, can I?”

"Yes, that is possible".

I had to follow my heart. Something I have always done despite all the anger and rage I had in me.

And that… the ONLY way.

3 years after the Bataclan attack, my biggest dream has come true. I can call myself a full-time speaker. Never before have I performed my work with so much passion and pleasure. I owe this success to my own efforts and 100% focus.

Outside of my work-related success, I only have sweet, beautiful and positive people around me. That might be the best gift! You get what you give!

If only I had known that 20 years ago.
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