26 May 2013

Know what makes you happy

In life, we're surrounded by people who have strong opinions about what we should do and what would make us happy. We even convince ourselves what we think would makes us most happy.
We often make vague plans for our life already when we're around 15 years old. We know pretty much nothing about the world but somehow we convince ourselves that our view of a happy life is realistic.
For instance, we might think that working as an architect and living in London would be the coolest thing. Or perhaps working as an art director in a fancy bureau in Paris.
It sounds good. It has to be good.
We see our lives as a large period of time. We don't bother to think about how each day of that period would be. But; we will always only live one day at a time. When you start dreaming about your dreamlife don't forget to think about how one day would look. If you were super successful, would you have time for family and friends? Would you have time to take a long weekend in a cottage by the sea?

It's all too much about what we do. And too little about what we feel.
When I grow up I wan't to be happy. That should always be the goal number one! But we make up these rules in our own mind that we stick to like superglue and then when we've achieved those goals we feel empty and confused.

I once saw a theatre actress talk about her life. All she wanted was to get bigger parts. To play in more important plays. To become something more. And then she got that amazing part were she was the lead and they played in front of a huge audience. But when she stood there, taking in all the applause after a show, she simply felt nothing. The feeling she had created in her mind all her life didn't show.
The smaller and simpler things we appreciate in life, the happier we'll be. And like many stressed out successful young girls say, it doesn't matter how much money or how cool your job is, health is always number one and nothing can be valued higher than being happy for what you have and appreciating the things you do have instead of constantly thinking about the things you want.

So, what I want to write (because unfortunately I have no photos or illustrations to show) is that you shouldn't underestimate small goals and doing things that don't have that much "prestige" in them. Also, above all, show respect to family and friends who might have chosen a path that doesn't sound very impressive.
And those who say you should do more and that you should do better, take a look at their life first before you evaluate if you should bother their criticism. Some people claim to have the answers to what I should to with my creativity... but I won't let that get to me. I know myself. I don't have a desire to become rich and famous. I believe that you only feel truly happy when you still have to struggle for things in life. When you can have everything you feel like you have nothing. You will become like a lazy lion at the zoo. You wan't to be the hungry lion in the wild, hunting for your food :)

Aim for happiness, not fame :)

95 comments:

  1. Wow, I literally was crying and thinking about these exact things when this popped up on bloglovin. A week ago I left my home in Helsingborg and went up north to a tiny village in Norway to work at a hotel as a waitress. And I have never felt so miserable in my life. I feel so freaking alone and I feel like someone is stabbing my heart.
    I went up here to make money so maybe I could
    make a trip to Japan or some other place that
    I sat and dreamt about home in Helsingborg.
    But I don't like it here. And it's simply not worth it feeling miserable for three months just so I could go to Japan for a week in the future.


    When I was telling my friends about my going away
    they were impressed and somehow it all felt so shallow
    like how did they even know whats good for me, am
    I finally a cool person to them or what?

    All spring I was looking forward to the southern
    swedish summer and then I chose to go away to
    make money
    but its simply not worth it
    and now I want to go get out of here but it is
    not so easy since I have a job contract.

    I also feel like there is,often on the internet and in the blogosphere, and also generally among young persons in sweden/northern europe, that you're supposed to
    go on some big adventure and travel the world and whatever. Some sort of pressure. I feel like
    that pressure probably was a part of my choice to go away.
    And I had finally start to love my hometown.
    Why did the heck did I leave?

    Sorry for the long post, just had to get these
    thoughts out. And sorry for the bad english :)

    Thanks for a great blog post and inspirational blog overall.

    Peace









    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Darling!
      I know just that feeling. The feeling that you have to travel the world because it's expected and if you don't you're a bore. That's how I ended up in India. I went there because I had a year were I didn't know what to do... so I figured I HAD to travel. I planned to stay there for 3 months. I came home after 10 days. I didn't feel any shame. A little stupid maybe.... but sometimes you just know when you're in the wrong place and rather you follow your heart than stay just so you're friends won't think you chickened out.
      It takes more confidence to come back and admit you made a bad choice... than to stay. That's what I think :)
      Maybe if you claim you have health-issues you could break the contract? If you stay, I hope you'll find that little someone who feels as lonely and out of place as you, there's always one. I say that about parties too. When you come to a party where you feel that it's so not your crowd there is often one more person who feels that way... then you just have to find that person :)

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the kind words! always comforting to hear someone elses story. I will try to feel things for another week or so, try to find that other lonely awkward person (although finding people as awkward as myself is the hardest thing.), and then make a decision. :)

      Delete
  2. When I was younger I envisioned the same things - that if I had this and that, and this job that I would be happy. I did end up feeling satisfied, but it was not the "same kind of happy" that I had envisioned.

    You are also right about choosing a path that is not impressive. I have been struggling with this lately as sometimes when you take the "road less travelled" or live your life that is "unconventional", it brings you to feel stronger emotions of fear, especially when it's not "the norm". But all I can say is that I will never ever, ever, ever want to be that lazy lion in the zoo.

    Thank you for this a wonderful post, Ulrika - it speaks your truth and mine and perhaps countless others.

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think happiness is such a intangible thing at times ~ that it may take a lifetime to work out what really makes you truly happy. But yes, I agree seeking happiness over fame/glory/money is always a better way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  4. well said. It is hard nowadays I think for younger people to do what they actually love because so many things and unfortunately blogs portray this life that is nothing but travel, a lot of clothes and always buying 'things' that they have to do the same things for happiness but they don't bother to think that perhaps these people are seeking something too and perhaps never finding. The problem is we are never really content with the little we have so how can we be content with more? I guess the only thing we can do as individuals is make sure we are happy and hopefully 'infect' others with our happiness

    ReplyDelete
  5. that is so true, I completely agree with you. That's what I always say to my boyfriend, cause his only wish and biggest happiness is to become famous. And somehow I disagree that this will make him very happy.
    Anyway! great post! and not always you need photos or illustrations. Sometimes words are really good as well! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I bookmarked this wonderful post (and its comments) to come back to it every now and then when needed - because sometimes we get so lost in our every day life that we forget to remember...

    Thank you, Uli!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This makes so much sense for me right now...
    thank you for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for that, it's important.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Det er det fineste jeg har lest på lenge. Takk!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Helt enig Uli. Har gjort meg lingende erfaringer i det siste selv. Å stresse 24/7 for å få til absolutt alt er ikke nødvendigvis et godt liv.. Stå på:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. thanks for the post and all the comments, i hope it'll help me also :))

    ReplyDelete
  12. That is some very good advice, the one about picturing one day... I want to say I've never heard it put like that before, but thinking back I must have, but as a youth I just focused on the idea of achievements, the vague big things. Naturally ;) It's a really good way to put your goals into perspective, thank you x10 for sharing!
    I hope your job is going well too xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. I loved reading this! Thank you for putting these thoughts into words. They echo so many strong feelings I have had this year about happiness and our day-to-day life balance. For me I have found that happiness will not solely be found in a career choice or a relationship... it's really about loving yourself and doing the small things every day that make you feel happy. Even if they are small or insignificant to someone else. And not just doing, but simply BEING! Enjoying your surroundings, little discoveries or surprises can mean so much. Thank you for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are so very, very right. The same day I read this blog I heard a singer "Tricky" talk on the radio, on my way to Melfi, that talked exactly about the same thing as you...saying that once he got famous and really rich he also got really unhappy....and when he took a step back from the spotlight he found his happiness again...and he talked about the same "traps" as you; that is, people who think that getting fame, money and having a super important job will make them happy, but instead it often leaves them empty and unhappy once they get there! Lots of love from your un-famous, poor and " I'm almost 30 and I still don't really know what my job should be" sister :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. This post moved me, appreciate the simplest things in life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a beautiful piece of writing, and at a time in my life when I truly needed it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I live my life by lists of things to do, and goals to accomplish, but it really is those little moments of spontaneity that make me feel the most satisfied and happiest. Sometimes I have to remind myself that life is happening now, at this moment, not one step at a time in my organized lists.

    "I believe that you only feel truly happy when you still have to struggle for things in life. When you can have everything you feel like you have nothing. You will become like a lazy lion at the zoo. You wan't to be the hungry lion in the wild, hunting for your food."

    - This was my favorite little quote from the passage. I'll keep it in mind :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is such a lovely thread
    I feel like I can relate to you Uli because even though I live far away in the States we are similar in age and have similar considerations of lifepaths and happiness.
    I've also started to realize that happiness is relative. True happiness is more powerful when it is contrasted against the other normal emotions of our life.
    How often have we been sad/angry/disillusioned and then suddenly something wonderful happens (it could be the tiniest good luck moment) and it feels that much sweeter against the previous mindset

    ReplyDelete
  18. To all my super sweet readers, I'm so happy you took the time to read the post :)
    And also that so many of you understand the value of happiness in the small things.
    I hope you'll value this week like a diamond!
    Love / Uli

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post! It's so great how many different people, I mean different in age, sex, interests can relate to this kind of thinking?
    I am now 30 and a mom of two sweetest kids and a wife, sister, daughter... Before them I was a children's illustrator about 70% of my time and now I must learn to juggle and enjoy other things that are not directly part of the art world.

    ReplyDelete
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  21. Åååå Uli, det här var just det jag behövde läsa/säkerställa för mig själv... det blir så lätt att man glömmer de smått men livsviktiga i livet. Tack! Hoppas livet leker med dig!
    Kram! Sasha

    ReplyDelete
  22. You are so right!
    I have been bothered by the future as i get older. The goal of life is getting vaguer and confusing.
    I will keep your words in mind. For happiness!

    ReplyDelete
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  27. Hello Uli. I'm Firda from Indonesia.
    I really love this post. Very inspiring story. Thank you so much Uli :)

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